Overview of the Global Warming Debate

I know I have been dormant on this site of late (the perils of having a day job), but I have been thinking about and working for a while on a way to clearly portray the basic outlines of the global warming debate. I hope you will check it out in this article posted today at Forbes. Here is the opening:

Likely you have heard the sound bite that “97% of climate scientists” accept the global warming “consensus”.  Which is what gives global warming advocates the confidence to call climate skeptics “deniers,” hoping to evoke a parallel with “Holocaust Deniers,” a case where most of us would agree that a small group are denying a well-accepted reality.  So why do these “deniers” stand athwart of the 97%?  Is it just politics?  Oil money? Perversity? Ignorance?

We are going to cover a lot of ground, but let me start with a hint.

In the early 1980′s I saw Ayn Rand speak at Northeastern University.  In the Q&A period afterwards, a woman asked Ms. Rand, “Why don’t you believe in housewives?”  And Ms. Rand responded, “I did not know housewives were a matter of belief.”  In this snarky way, Ms. Rand was telling the questioner that she had not been given a valid proposition to which she could agree or disagree.  What the questioner likely should have asked was, “Do you believe that being a housewife is a morally valid pursuit for a woman.”  That would have been an interesting question (and one that Rand wrote about a number of times).

In a similar way, we need to ask ourselves what actual proposition do the 97% of climate scientists agree with.  And, we need to understand what it is, exactly,  that the deniers are denying.   (I personally have fun echoing Ms. Rand’s answer every time someone calls me a climate denier — is the climate really a matter of belief?)

It turns out that the propositions that are “settled” and the propositions to which some like me are skeptical are NOT the same propositions.  Understanding that mismatch will help explain a lot of the climate debate.

  • netdr

    The climate alarmist cause is in retreat. Every year that it cools more of the public becomes aware of the fallacies of the alarmist beliefs.

    Copenhagen was the high water mark of alarmism and it has been all downhill since then. A US carbon tax ix out of the question regardless of who is president. Thank heaven.

    I must be part of the 97 % since I believe slight beneficial warming has occurred and mankind is partly responsible.

    I believe in slight beneficial AGW but not in CAGW !

  • Greg

    Very decent article. It did a great job of breaking down the complexity and highlighting major points of disagreement.

  • NuclearCannoli

    Good article, Warren. Next article should focus on the “… therefore socialism.” argument that gets put forward by almost every alarmist who offers suggestions on mitigation policies. I find the majority of times when I’m speaking with people the left right divide that seems to correlate roughly with alarmists and skeptics respectively is due to the fact that climate alarmists almost always follow their claims of alarmism with claims that only massive nationalization schemes can mitigate the problems they foresee. I had an old professor who warned me of the “… therefore socialism.” argument, he got it from Rothbard I suspect. Basically you plug whatever the belly achers and professional worriers of the day are carping about into the first part and tack on “… therefore socialis.” and you basically get the entire platform of the alarmists in one sentence. What’s amazing is no matter what the problem is, socialism is always the answer to these people.

    I’m not inclined to argue the idea that beltching hundred of metric tons of gasses into the atmosphere might not be a great idee. I’m just always left wondering why The Answer always seems to involve giving left wing nut jobs more of my money and more power over my life.

  • Thanks Warren, very good article.

    I have been publishing about the Global Warming debate and the science of climate in my page “Climate Change (“Global Warming”?) – The cyclic nature of Earth’s climate”, at http://www.oarval.org/ClimateChangeBW.htm

    I agree completely that the position one holds must be clearly defined so that discussions can be engaged and conclusions can be reached eventually. Honesty is required of all participants for discussions to have value.

    BTW, I think both global warming and cooling have happened and will happen again, cyclically and naturally.
    Some man-made contribution is possible, but has to be proven first. This with real evidence, not models.

  • pauld

    Roger Pielke, Sr. has a recent post that fits in well with your analysis regarding the uncertainty of the water vapor feedback you can be accessed here: http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2012/02/10/new-paper-that-further-documents-a-muted-atmospheric-water-vapor-trend-surface-water-vapor-pressure-and-temperature-trends-in-north-america-during-1948-2010-by-isaac-and-van-wijngaarden-2012/

    Pielke, Sr. concludes the post with this observation:

    The new Isaac and van Wijngaarden 2012 paper adds to these studies and is yet another documentation of the inability of the multi-decadal global model predictions of the IPCC to skillfully predict even such a basic component of the climate system as the long term water vapor feedback.

  • renewable guy

    Andres Valencia:

    BTW, I think both global warming and cooling have happened and will happen again, cyclically and naturally.
    Some man-made contribution is possible, but has to be proven first. This with real evidence, not models.

    ##################

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/a-comprehensive-review-of-the-causes-of-global-warming.html

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/pics/HvA50.png

    THere are many illustrations summing up the influences of humans vs natural variation. Human responsiblity depending on the study 75% to 112%.

    Interesting about the 112% is that we are really heading towards an ice age in orbital forcing terms. Which is a very mild forcing. AGW has overwhelmed that and gone beyond.

    There are 7 or 8 different papers just on summing up human vs natural variations.

  • renewable guy

    NuclearCannoli:

    This fear based idea of socialism you have. Do you understand that Cap and Trade was market based? That is not socialism. WW2 response was socialism based according to you. Therefore socialism? We came back out of a socialist response and went back to a market based socieity. When we need socialism, why not use it and then let it go when we are done with it. It saved us from having to speak German as our first language.

  • renewable guy

    netdr:

    If we reach 4*C increase world wide, will that be good?

  • netdr

    Renewable Guy

    A doubling of CO2 will only cause 1 ° C without feedback.

    Since, so far, feedbacks have been negative it is a good bet that they will remain so in the future.

    This means that even 1 ° C overstates the expected warming.

    Since the PDO is negative and the solar cycle is small there will be cooling for 30 years.

    By that time CAGW will be a bad memory.

  • netdr

    Renewable

    The warming which is cited as being from CO2 was between 1978 to 1998.

    First of all that is a short time, similar to the period 1998 to present [14 years vs 20].

    the more recent time 1998 to present has shown no warming despite lots of CO2 emitted.

    The period 1978 to 1998 was a period of excess El Nino’s over La Nina’s and it would have warmed without CO2. Why they think CO2 was responsible I’ll never know.

    The studies which purport to remove natural forcings underestimate the El Nino cycle greatly.

  • geran

    Great article, but it needs to go further.

    The science of AGW was always bogus. The CRU emails validate the “scientists” were lying.

    Mankind, with all our power plants and emissions, cannot heat the planet compared to the Sun.

    The folks that made money, earned a living, on this scam should be put in jail–after proper due process, of course.

  • renewable guy

    netdr:
    Renewable Guy

    A doubling of CO2 will only cause 1 ° C without feedback.

    Since, so far, feedbacks have been negative it is a good bet that they will remain so in the future.

    This means that even 1 ° C overstates the expected warming.

    Since the PDO is negative and the solar cycle is small there will be cooling for 30 years.

    By that time CAGW will be a bad memory.

    netdr:
    Renewable Guy

    A doubling of CO2 will only cause 1 ° C without feedback.

    Since, so far, feedbacks have been negative it is a good bet that they will remain so in the future.

    This means that even 1 ° C overstates the expected warming.

    Since the PDO is negative and the solar cycle is small there will be cooling for 30 years.

    By that time CAGW will be a bad memory.

    ############################

    What about the water vapor feedback?

  • renewable guy

    netdr:
    Renewable

    The warming which is cited as being from CO2 was between 1978 to 1998.

    First of all that is a short time, similar to the period 1998 to present [14 years vs 20].

    the more recent time 1998 to present has shown no warming despite lots of CO2 emitted.

    The period 1978 to 1998 was a period of excess El Nino’s over La Nina’s and it would have warmed without CO2. Why they think CO2 was responsible I’ll never know.

    The studies which purport to remove natural forcings underestimate the El Nino cycle greatly.

    ###################################

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/a-comprehensive-review-of-the-causes-of-global-warming.html

    There are 7 papers that don’t agree with your conclusion. They say we are 75% to 112% responsible for the present climate.

  • renewable guy

    geran:
    Great article, but it needs to go further.

    The science of AGW was always bogus. The CRU emails validate the “scientists” were lying.

    Mankind, with all our power plants and emissions, cannot heat the planet compared to the Sun.

    The folks that made money, earned a living, on this scam should be put in jail–after proper due process, of course.

    #########################

    According to you, then all the climate scientists are corrupt. How about this guy below. He has made a PBS special about AGW and Energy. Watch it and tell me what you think.

    http://video.pbs.org/video/1855661681/

  • geran

    renew guy: If your only source of science is PBS, then I doubt you will understand.

    If you want to start a self-study of Earth energy, find the total energy this planet gets from the Sun each year. Then find the total energy mankind produces each year.

    Divide the first figure by the second figure.

    (Hint: Both figures are available in the World Alamanc.)

    Your homework is long overdue….

  • renewable guy

    geran:
    renew guy: If your only source of science is PBS, then I doubt you will understand.

    If you want to start a self-study of Earth energy, find the total energy this planet gets from the Sun each year. Then find the total energy mankind produces each year.

    ################################

    Hansen has done the work to come up with .59watts/M*2 to the positive for warming.

  • renewable guy
  • geran

    renew guy:

    Nice try at diversion.

    But your homework is late.

    (Hint: Avoid PBS and Hansen if you are interested in real science.)

    I will not respond to your further diversions.

  • netdr

    Renewable

    The studies you cite all overstate natural cooling to make human caused warming appear larger.

    From 1978 to 1998 there were more El Ninos than La Nina’s and it would have warmed without any CO2 at all.

    Since the studies were all done with COMPUTER MODELS instead of observations it is easy to tweak a variable to reduce the effect of El Ninos. Isn’t it strange that in the period 1940 to 1978 there were more La Ninas than El Ninos and the temperatures went down. No Aerosols required.

    From 1978 to 1998 there were more El Ninos then El Ninos and it warmed. No CO2 required.

    From 1998 to the present El Ninos and La Ninas are about equal and temperatures were flat. No CO2 or aerosols required.

    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/ensostuff/ensoyears.shtml

    The skepticalscience site is blind to actual science. Models can be tweaked to show what the maker wants to show and 1 observation is worth 1,000 models.

    The skeptical science models are prefect examples of the above.

    Is it just chance that both cooling and warming exactly follow the El Nino / La Nina cycle ?

  • renewable guy

    geran:
    renew guy:

    Nice try at diversion.

    But your homework is late.

    (Hint: Avoid PBS and Hansen if you are interested in real science.)

    I will not respond to your further diversions.
    #############################

    So only your version of the world is the right version? sounds pretty narrow.

    If the rest of the climate scientists recognize him with awards, I think that puts you at odds with the whole field of climatology.

  • renewable guy

    Netdr.
    From 1978 to 1998 there were more El Ninos then El Ninos and it warmed. No CO2 required.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/el-nino-southern-oscillation.htm

    Foster and Rahmstorf (2011) used a multiple linear regression approach to filter out the effects of volcanic and solar activity and ENSO.

    They found that ENSO, as measured through the the Multivariate ENSO Index (MEI), had a slight cooling effect of about -0.014 to -0.023°C per decade in the surface and lower troposphere temperatures, respectively from 1979 through 2010 (Table 1, Figure 4).

    This corresponds to 0.045 to 0.074°C cooling from ENSO since 1979, respectively. The results are essentially unchanged when using SOI as opposed to MEI.

    ##################

    It seems to really be that ENSO has had a slight cooling effect according to Foster and Rahmstorf. I’m not able to tell what you are talking about from your source you provided. HOw do you come to that conclusion from the source that you provided?

    By the way Net, since you aren’t a climatologist, where are you getting your conclusions from?

  • netdr

    I get my conclusion fro PhD’s like you should !

    The Ransdorf study was all done with models and you could prove water isn’t wet with a model if you wanted to.

    The only model which van be trusted is one with an out put which is verifiable. Rahamsdorf’s models don’t qualify. They under estimate the effect of El Ninos so they can over estimate CO2 and aerosols.

    The fact that the temperature mirrors the El Nino effect exactly both up and down is a pretty good indication causation is involved.

    I don’t see how you could be having trouble reading a simple El Nino chart. That appears to be your problem!

  • renewable guy

    netdr:

    I don’t see how you could be having trouble reading a simple El Nino chart. That appears to be your problem!

    ################

    It’s normal to ask each other how they come to their conclusions.

    #################

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/a-comprehensive-review-of-the-causes-of-global-warming.html

    All of these studies, using a wide range of independent methods, provide multiple lines of evidence that humans are the dominant cause of global warming over the past century, and especially over the past 50 to 65 years (Figure 1).

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/pics/HvA50.png

    Figure 1: Net human and natural percent contributions to the observed global surface warming over the past 50-65 years according to Tett et al. 2000 (T00, dark blue), Meehl et al. 2004 (M04, red), Stone et al. 2007 (S07, green), Lean and Rind 2008 (LR08, purple), Huber and Knutti 2011 (HK11, light blue), and Gillett et al. 2012 (G12, orange). This has been added to the SkS Climate Graphics Page.

    #######################

    Several different scientists in their individual papers are showing natural variation is small or negative and that the human contribution is much larger. Several different methods are coming up with similar results. You can see a summation of the results in the link provided.

  • Markus Ftzhenry.

    renewable guy says:

    Several different scientists in their individual papers are showing natural variation is small or negative and that the human contribution is much larger. Several different methods are coming up with similar results. You can see a summation of the results in the link provided.””

    You need to read up a bit more. There are plenty of papers that say the opposite. And many more punters are saying the models are conjecture. That is your argument, models, it is not good science and is falling apart..

  • renewable guy

    Markus Ftzhenry.:

    You need to read up a bit more. There are plenty of papers that say the opposite. And many more punters are saying the models are conjecture. That is your argument, models, it is not good science and is falling apart..

    #############################

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/a-comprehensive-review-of-the-causes-of-global-warming.html

    There are other effects, but GHGs and SO2 are the two largest human influences, and solar and volcanic activity and ENSO are the dominant natural influences on global temperature. Now let’s see what the scientific literature has to say about the relative influences of each effect.

    Tett et al. (2000)
    Tett et al. (2000) used an “optimal detection methodology” with global climate model simulations to try and match the observational data. The inputs into the model included measurements of GHGs in the atmosphere, aerosols from volcanic eruptions, solar irradiance, human aerosol emissions, and atmospheric ozone changes (ozone is another greenhouse gas).

    Meehl et al. (2004)
    Meehl et al. 2004 used a similar approach to Tett et al., running global climate model simulations using various combinations of the different main factors which influence global temperatures (GHGs, solar activity, volcanic aerosols, human aerosols, and ozone), and comparing the results to the temperature data from 1890 to 2000. They found that natural factors could account for most of the warming from 1910 to 1940,………….. but simply could not account for the global warming we’ve experienced since the mid-20th Century………………

    Stone et al. (2007)

    Over the 60 year period, Stone et al. estimated that humans caused close to 100% of the observed warming, and the natural factors had a net negative effect. As with Stott, their model did not fit the data perfectly, though they had the opposite result, underestimating the observed warming.

    Stone
    ###########
    Here they underestimated the observed warming and came to the conslusion that NV had a neg effect or cooling.

    Stone compared 62 different model runs to energy balance models.

    ###########

    Stone again, second paper
    1901 to 2005. Over that full 104-year period, Stone et al. estimated that humans and natural effects had each contributed to approximately half of the observed warming. Greenhouse gases contributed to 100% of the observed warming, but half of that effect was offset by the cooling effect of human aerosol emissions. They estimated that solar and volcanic activity were responsible for 37% and 13% of the warming, respectively.
    #####################

    Over a hundred year period we get contributions from natural varaiation, but GHG’s are half. The shorter time periods become human dominated.

    ###################

    Lean and Rind (2008)
    Lean and Rind 2008 used more of a statistical approach than these previous studies, using a multiple linear regression analysis.

    LR08 did this over various timeframes, and found that from 1889 to 2006, humans caused nearly 80% of the observed warming, versus approximately 12% from natural effects. As with the previous studies discussed, this doesn’t add up to exactly 100% because the statistical fit is not perfect, and not every effect on global temperature was taken into consideration. From both 1955 and 1979 to 2005, they estimated that humans have caused close to 100% of the observed warming.

    ##############################

    Here we have a different method not based in computer models and humans have caused close to 100% of the warming

    ###############################

    Stott et al. (2010)
    Stott et al. (S10) used a somewhat similar approach to LR08, but they used their statistical multiple linear regression results to constrain simulations from five different climate models.

    The average of the five models put the human contribution at 86% of the observed warming, and greenhouse gases at 138%, with a very small natural contribution.

    They note that human influences have been detected in changes in local temperatures, precipitation changes, atmospheric humidity, drought, Arctic ice decline, extreme heat events, ocean heat and salinity changes, and a number of other regional climate impacts.

    #########################################
    Statistical methods and models combined, and we still get a very large human component compared to natural variation.
    #######################################

    Huber and Knutti (2011)
    Huber and Knutti 2011 implemented a very interesting approach in their study, utilizing the principle of conservation of energy for the global energy budget to quantify the various contributions to the observed global warming from 1850 and 1950 to the 2000s.

    More than 85% of the global heat uptake has gone into the oceans, so by including this data, their study is particularly robust.

    Huber and Knutti estimate that since 1850 and 1950, approximately 75% and 100% of the observed global warming is due to human influences, respectively.

    ####################################

    A none model study, but conservation of energy study. Again human influences dominate.

    ###################################

    Foster and Rahmstorf (2011)
    Foster and Rahmstorf (2011; FR11) implemented a very similar statistical approach to that in Lean and Rind (2008). The main difference is that FR11 examined five different temperature data sets, including satellites, and only looked at the data from 1979 to 2010 (the satellite temperature record begins in 1979).

    FR11 found that the three natural effects in their analysis exerted a small net cooling effect from 1979 to 2010, and therefore the leftover influence, which is predominantly due to human effects, is responsible for more than 100% of the oberved global warming over that timeframe.

    #################################

    Natural variation has slight cooling and human influences are dominant.

    #################################

    Gillett et al. (2012)
    Similar to S10, Gillett et al. applied a statistical multiple linear regression approach to a climate model – the second generation Canadian Earth System Model (CanESM2). They used data for human greenhouse gas and aerosol emissions, land use changes, solar activity, ozone, and volcanic aerosol emissions. In their attribution they grouped some of the effects together into ‘natural’, ‘greenhouse gas’, and ‘other’. The authors estimated the effects of each over three timeframes: 1851-2010, 1951-2000, and 1961-2010.

    Gillett et al. estimated that over both timeframes, humans are responsible for greater than 100% of the observed warming.

    ###########################################

    Human influence greater than 100% of the warming

    #############################################

    Human-Caused Global Warming Consensus
    The agreement between these studies using a variety of different methods and approaches is quite remarkable. Every study concluded that over the most recent 100-150 year period examined, humans are responsible for at least 50% of the observed warming, and most estimates put the human contribution between 75 and 90% over that period (Figure 2). Over the most recent 25-65 years, every study put the human contribution at a minimum of 98%, and most put it at well above 100%, because natural factors have probably had a small net cooling effect over recent decades (Figures 3 and 4).

    ###################################

    There is a very strong consensus that humans are the dominant influence in global warming.

    #######################################

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/pics/Contrib25-30.png

    THis last link helps to sum up the article review of the several different papers that talk on human influence. The last 25 to 30 years humans have dominated the change in global temperature at over 100%

  • renewable guy

    Every model is wrong, but what is the quality of information coming out of them.

    http://bartonpaullevenson.com/ModelsReliable.html

    That the globe would warm, and about how fast, and about how much.
    That the troposphere would warm and the stratosphere would cool.
    That nighttime temperatures would increase more than daytime temperatures.
    That winter temperatures would increase more than summer temperatures.

    Polar amplification (greater temperature increase as you move toward the poles).
    That the Arctic would warm faster than the Antarctic.
    The magnitude (0.3 K) and duration (two years) of the cooling from the Mt. Pinatubo eruption.
    They made a retrodiction for Last Glacial Maximum sea surface temperatures which was inconsistent with the paleo evidence, and better paleo evidence showed the models were right.

    They predicted a trend significantly different and differently signed from UAH satellite temperatures, and then a bug was found in the satellite data.
    The amount of water vapor feedback due to ENSO.
    The response of southern ocean winds to the ozone hole.
    The expansion of the Hadley cells.

    The poleward movement of storm tracks.
    The rising of the tropopause and the effective radiating altitude.
    The clear sky super greenhouse effect from increased water vapor in the tropics.
    The near constancy of relative humidity on global average.
    That coastal upwelling of ocean water would increase.

    Seventeen correct predictions? Looks like a pretty good track record to me.

  • Zachriel

    renewable guy: That the troposphere would warm and the stratosphere would cool.

    That single, straightforward prediction eliminates most explanations other than greenhouse warming.

  • Andy

    Wow renewable guy your still alive I thought you would have done a Jonestown with all your foolish nonsense. You cannot just pick the the most extreme minority papers of doom and gloom and disregard the far more thouroughly researched and backed with quality data papers that paint something much closer to reality.
    Of your 17 correct predictions … 9_ trends well known, well before they were predicted, 3_ still unverified , 2_ cancel each other out , 2_ highly doubtful, and the cherry on top it has not warmed (raw data to raw data) so how fast and ABOUT howm much is only a figment of your imagination and the straight out lies by a desperate few eager to retain their fraudelently obtained funding.
    You are so ignorant of the fact global warming is no longer a term used and it is now climate change… this seems to elude you. Even my grandson can understand the relevance of that.
    Your piss weak research for sources of such a narrow and limited scope however give many a good laugh.
    Unlike yourself I read as much as possible and then form my own view. Much better than having a view then cherry pick through conflicting information with childlike google searches to try and support it. Then delude oneself that it is the only rational view that one could come too.

  • Zachriel

    Andy: You are so ignorant of the fact global warming is no longer a term used and it is now climate change… this seems to elude you. Even my grandson can understand the relevance of that.

    Global warming refers to the rising average global temperature. Climate change usually refers to regional changes in climate associated with global warming.

  • Andy

    Global warming refers to the rising average global temperature. Climate change usually refers to regional changes in climate associated with global warming.

    Incorrect climate change has always been climate change . Associating climate change to global warming is to associate a non man made effect with one that is in theory. Just to keep a dis proven theory alive.

  • netdr

    Zach

    Without rising temperatures there can be no climate change or climate disruption.

    Even your grandson can understand that can’t he?

  • netdr

    Renewable

    Your faith in models is misplaced.

    Nothing can be proven with a model since they can be tweaked for any outcome desired. Rahmsdorf is an extreme example.

    He takes the 1978 to 1998 warming and tweaks the El Nino effect to zero.

    Then he claims that all warming was because of CO2. That reasoning wouldn’t fool a child but it would fool an alarmist.

    The models have proven themselves to be malfunctioning in predicting phony warming.

    The inability of climate scientists to predict climate even 11 years in their future proves that their level of understanding is very low !Why spend tens of trillions based on it ?

    AR4 predictions .3 ° C warming between 2001 and today.

    http://tiny.cc/zwa7x

    Actual COOLING between 2001 and today.

    2000

    http://tiny.cc/owp6f

    #Least squares trend line; slope = 0.00201553 per year

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:2000/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:2000/trend

    Models like Rahmsdorf which have no way to check their output against reality ate valueless.

  • Zachriel

    Andy: climate change has always been climate change .

    Hard to argue with that.

  • Zachriel

    Andy: Associating climate change to global warming is to associate a non man made effect with one that is in theory.

    What you probably mean is that the term “climate change” can refer to historical and natural climate change, and not just to anthropogenic climate change. That is correct. However, in many discussions nowadays, it often refers to the latter.

    netdr: Without rising temperatures there can be no climate change or climate disruption.

    Sure there can be climate change without global warming. There are many forcings for climate, including solar irradiance, volcanism, orbital variations, continental drift, mountain building, variations in sea currents, changes in greenhouse gases, even cometary impacts.

  • Andy

    Zach
    What you probably mean is that you support liars and frauds.
    Why point out the obvious when you know that is not what i am saying. As with most of the cattle pumped out these days you tried to argue the subtleties of the statement because you cannot argue the conclusion.

  • Zachriel

    Andy: Why point out the obvious when you know that is not what i am saying.

    Your statement wasn’t clear, but we attempted to respond substantively in our second reply. We’ll try again.

    Andy: Associating climate change to global warming is to associate a non man made effect with one that is in theory.

    No. Both terms are used, but climate change refers to something different than global warming. The latter refers to an increase in the average global temperature, while the former refers to changes in climate. Both can have natural or artificial causes. There is little doubt the Earth has warmed over the last century. There is strong evidence this warming is due to human activities. This NOAA chart shows data from a variety of sources, including satellite, balloon and ground-based instrumentation. Note that the lower troposphere is warming, as is the surface. Meanwhile, the stratosphere is cooling, the *signature* of greenhouse warming.
    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/img/climate/globalwarming/ar4-fig-3-17.gif

  • NuclearCannoli

    @Renewable Guy
    There is no such thing as ‘market based’. Markets are a spontaneous order in response to scarcity, they can’t be created via government fiat. Markets are a bottom-up form of self organizing order that depend on trillions of continuous marginal value judgements by individuals. Government created ‘markets’ are top-down impositions of categorical value judgements, and at best can only distort real markets.

  • pauld

    I appreciate the post that Warren wrote and the article upon which it is based. It does a nice job of laying out the areas of agreement between the sceptics and the alarmists and the precise areas of where the disagreement lies. I am with Warren that in the areas of disagreement, the sceptic’s position is much stronger.

    Unfortunately, the comments for the most seem pretty much irrelevant to the main post. I could copy them and paste them as comments to just about any other post that Warren has written and they would fit in just as well.

    For those alarmists who are commenting here, go back and read Warren’s post and the article upon which it is based. If you think he is wrong, point out the specific point with which you disagree and present your evidence. We cannot reasonably discuss every disagreement between any skeptic and any warmists. Why don’t we discuss the points that Warren makes on this post and to the points he makes in the article he cites.

    For example, Warren agrees that temperatures have risen since the 1800’s, but for the last 10 or 15 years they have not been rising. Any disputes here?

    Warren next argues that the warming effect of CO2 emissions alone without any feedbacks would be about 1 degree for a doubling of CO2. He further asserts that the warming from CO2 alone would not be anything to be greatly concerned with. Anyone want to argue with Warren on these points.

    Next, Warren argues that the models that predict dangerous warming do so because they assume that the small amount of warming caused by CO2 alone is multiplied several times by positive feedbacks. He claims that whether the climate system is dominated by positive feedbacks is not well-suppported by any empirical evidence and is subject to much dispute. Does anyone want to really argue against these points by comprehensively discussing the evidence on climate feedbacks. Citing a study here and there does not engage his point. He acknowledges that this is an area of dispute.

    Finally, Warren points out that the so-called consensus of 97% of climate scientists is a consensus on those parts of climate science that no one seriously disputes–temperatures are rising and CO2 has made some contribution to the increase. Any disputes here?

  • pauld

    We can reasonably discuss global warming because there are reasonably defined metrics upon which to base the discussion. We can examine the trends based on average global surface temperatures or better yet ocean heat content.

    Climate change by contrast is an undefined term. North Amerca is experiencing an extraordinarily mild winter. By contrast Europe is experiencing a severe cold spell. Ate humana resposible for both or either? If so, by what mechanism? Extreme weather events have occurred in one part of the world or another thoughout history. If you want to discuss whether we are experiencing more weather extremes you will need to probide a metric for comparison and do more than waiving your hands around and claiming humana dis it.

  • Lance

    Amen pauld,

    C’mon renewable guy. Did you even read the article? If so, how about responding to something DIRECTLY from the article?

    You too Zachriel.

    You two are just parroting the same old crap that has been discredited here time after time.

  • Zachriel

    NuclearCannoli: Government created ‘markets’ are top-down impositions of categorical value judgements, and at best can only distort real markets.

    Sure it’s a distortion, but the market is not accounting for the true costs involved in carbon use. In this case, a carbon market internalizes the external cost of carbon.

  • Zachriel

    pauld: go back and read Warren’s post

    Sure.

    Warren Meyer: Let’s look at the actual propositions the 97% agreed to in one such study conducted at the University of Illinois. Here they are: 1. When compared with pre-1800s levels, do you think that mean global temperatures have generally risen, fallen, or remained relatively constant? 2. Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures? The 97% answered “risen” and “yes” to these two questions. But depending on how one defines “significant” (is 20% a significant factor?) I could get 97% of a group of science-based skeptics to agree to the same answers.

    Even granting the somewhat broad definition of “significant”, that is a very strong consensus among experts in the field supporting anthropogenic climate change.

    This NOAA chart might help clarify matters, and disentangle other possible causes of global warming. It shows data from a variety of sources.
    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/img/climate/globalwarming/ar4-fig-3-17.gif

    In particular, note that the lower troposphere is warming, as is the surface. Meanwhile, the stratosphere is cooling, the signature of anthropogenic global warming.

  • Zachriel
  • Zachriel

    Hmm. No edit. Oh well.

    Here’s a rundown on climate sensitivity.
    http://julesandjames.blogspot.com/2006/03/climate-sensitivity-is-3c.html

  • Zachriel

    There’s also an excellent review article:

    Knutti & Hegerl, The equilibrium sensitivity of the Earth’s temperature to radiation changes, nature geoscience 2008.

  • pauld

    Zachriel:

    You need to actually read the article referenced in the post. Your response to Warren’s first point is expressly addressed in his article.

    I’ll take a look at the other articles you cite while you have actually read Warren’s article

  • pauld

    Zachriel says:

    “There’s also an excellent review article:
    Knutti & Hegerl, The equilibrium sensitivity of the Earth’s temperature to radiation changes, nature geoscience 2008.”

    Did you read the article, which is gated behind a pay wall.

    From the abstract of your excellent review article:

    “The quest to determine climate sensitivity has now been going on for decades, with disturbingly little progress in narrowing the large uncertainty range.”

  • Zachriel

    pauld: You need to actually read the article referenced in the post.

    As we quoted from the fourth page, it sort of indicates we did read the article.

    pauld: Your response to Warren’s first point is expressly addressed in his article.

    If you are referring to the 97%, then yes, Meyer attempts to minimize the consensus. Climatologists are agreeing that humans are “a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures”. It certainly doesn’t means humans are the only cause of climate change, which includes many other factors, all of which have to be accounted for in order to reach some sort of conclusion as to the future climate on Earth.

    That’s why we started with that point. The closer scientists are to the actual study of climate, the more likely they are to consider humans a significant factor in global warming. There really is a consensus on this. The open question concerns how much the globe will warm, and that will depend in no small measure on human responses.

  • Zachriel

    pauld: Did you read the article, which is gated behind a pay wall.

    If you send a request to angelmail at zachriel.com, we’ll send you the article.

    The quest to determine climate sensitivity has now been going on for decades, with disturbingly little progress in narrowing the large uncertainty range

    Of course. That doesn’t mean most climatologists don’t think there is a climate sensitivity, with most estimates being from 2°C to 5°C. It’s a broad range, but scientists are working to narrow the estimates.

  • pauld

    Zachriel:

    Here is why I still don’t think you have read Warren’s article.

    Warren’s first point described by me: “For example, Warren agrees that temperatures have risen since the 1800′s, but for the last 10 or 15 years they have not been rising.”

    Your response: “Combined Global land and ocean temperatures in 2010 tied with 2005 for the warmest such period on record”

    From Warren’s article: “When looking at the historic temperature record, skeptics today tend to focus more on the fact that temperatures have leveled off over the last 10-15 years. Both sides of the debate play annoying games with cherry-picked end-points and graph scales to try to support their arguments, but most reasonable people look at the graph above of the last 15 years and will agree temperatures have been relatively flat. Even more important for scientists (since the oceans are a much larger heat reservoir than the atmosphere) is the fact that the new ARGO floating temperature stations have measured little or no increase in ocean heat content since they were put in service in 2003.”

    Warren continues: “These facts actually lead to one of my favorite examples of the two sides in the debate talking past each other (this example actually played out in the editorial pages of the Wall Street Journal over the past several weeks). Skeptics will say, “temperatures have been flat for 10-15 years.” Global warming advocates will respond, “the last decade has seen some of the hottest temperatures in the last 100 years.” Both statements are actually correct. Imagine spending all day climbing to the top of a tall plateau. Walking around on the plateau, with every step, it is correct to say that you are at the highest point you have been all day, but it is also correct to say you are no longer climbing.”

    Me: Your response to Warren’s first point is exactly what he accurately describes as the two sides of the debate talking past each other. If you are having trouble understanding this elementary point, I find it difficult to believe that you actually understand any of the far more technical articles you cite above.