Top Ten Good Skeptical Arguments

May 1st, 2014 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

As suggested by a friend, I’m following up my Top Ten bad global warming arguments list with a Top Ten good arguments list. These are in no particular order, and I might have missed something important.

These ten were just off the top of my head….there’s no telling what might be lingering deeper in my brain.

I have avoided specific alternative causal mechanisms of natural climate change, because I view them individually as speculative. But taken as a whole, they represent a class of unknowns that can’t be just swept under the rug just because we don’t understand them.

For some reason, all of these ended up being phrased as questions, rather than statements.

1) No Recent Warming. If global warming science is so “settled”, why did global warming stop over 15 years ago (in most temperature datasets), contrary to all “consensus” predictions?

2) Natural or Manmade? If we don’t know how much of the warming in the longer term (say last 50 years) is natural, then how can we know how much is manmade?

3) IPCC Politics and Beliefs. Why does it take a political body (the IPCC) to tell us what scientists “believe”? And when did scientists’ “beliefs” translate into proof? And when was scientific truth determined by a vote…especially when those allowed to vote are from the Global Warming Believers Party?

4) Climate Models Can’t Even Hindcast How did climate modelers, who already knew the answer, still fail to explain the lack of a significant temperature rise over the last 30+ years? In other words, how to you botch a hindcast?

5) …But We Should Believe Model Forecasts? Why should we believe model predictions of the future, when they can’t even explain the past?

6) Modelers Lie About Their “Physics”. Why do modelers insist their models are based upon established physics, but then hide the fact that the strong warming their models produce is actually based upon very uncertain “fudge factor” tuning?

7) Is Warming Even Bad? Who decided that a small amount of warming is necessarily a bad thing?

8) Is CO2 Bad? How did carbon dioxide, necessary for life on Earth and only 4 parts in 10,000 of our atmosphere, get rebranded as some sort of dangerous gas?

9) Do We Look that Stupid? How do scientists expect to be taken seriously when their “theory” is supported by both floods AND droughts? Too much snow AND too little snow?

10) Selective Pseudo-Explanations. How can scientists claim that the Medieval Warm Period (which lasted hundreds of years), was just a regional fluke…yet claim the single-summer (2003) heat wave in Europe had global significance?

11) (Spinal Tap bonus) Just How Warm is it, Really? Why is it that every subsequent modification/adjustment to the global thermometer data leads to even more warming? What are the chances of that? Either a warmer-still present, or cooling down the past, both of which produce a greater warming trend over time. And none of the adjustments take out a gradual urban heat island (UHI) warming around thermometer sites, which likely exists at virtually all of them — because no one yet knows a good way to do that.

NOTE: I’ve been thinking about why my “bad arguments” post involved statements, but my “good arguments” post involves all questions. I think it’s because the bad arguments (I attempt to debunk) always seem to be posed as facts, which the believers seem to have complete faith in. In contrast, the “good arguments” are posed as questions because of the inherent uncertainty of the whole global warming issue…the IPCC states so many things as facts, yet there are usually alternative explanations they don’t discuss.


356 Responses to “Top Ten Good Skeptical Arguments”

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  1. Ossqss says:

    How can climate scientists make bold assertions (that set policy) associated with their work and not release the data or code for others to evaluate and verify?

    That is unsettling science.

    • Trust them. They are scientists. They know what they’re doing.

      • Lionell Griffith says:

        They may know what they are doing but is it actual science or simply conspiring with the government to extract grant money from unwary taxpayers? I find little evidence of the former and far too much evidence of the latter. Hence, I am highly skeptical of the entire field of “climate science”.

      • Mike Haseler says:

        There are two types of science – consensus/committee/peer review science which is just that which a group of people who call themselves “scientists” tell the public – and they should not be trusted anymore than a similar consensus group of economics or any other experts.

        And then there is “skeptic science” which is what most skeptics see as science, which is science derived from the data by logic and reasoning – and which is reproduceable.

        One is someone saying “trust me”. The other is the conclusion which what any reasonable person would draw from the data – and there is no “trust” except perhaps in the integrity of the data.

        • Throgmorton says:

          You are too kind to them when you describe them as saying “trust me”. They have never offered the option of demurring. What they are actually saying is “shut the hell up, or else”. There is no science here, or at least, what ever science there was was compromised into promoting one hypothesis at the expense of all other legitimate inquiry.

          The CO2 thermostat hypothesis was politicized from the very start in the early seventies, when Maurice Strong’s ‘behind the scenes’ string pulling backed up Gro Harlem Brundtland’s saccharine totalitarianism, and was given faux scientific credibility by Bert Bolin’s activism dressed as science. Despite his initial resistance, Stephen Schneider got on board, and his distinctive sneering rhetoric and habit of misrepresenting his targets has set much of the tone and tactics of what passes for debate.

          The function of the IPCC is not to present a fair review of the current state of climate science, but to corral and silence dissent. It has a pyramidal structure, with the activists on the top gaining spurious scientific credibility from the actual scientists working lower in the structure.

      • Tucci78 says:

        Plainly, there’s a [/sarc] tag needed here….

      • londo says:

        And by definition, a scientist is somebody able to attract a government contract that confirms that it is worse than we thought.

      • Bill says:

        Government scientists. Top men!

      • Ronald Chappell says:

        Dr. Spencer, Has this anti-c02 green house been discounted?
        It would seem to make the entire AGW question mute.

        Professor Nasif Nahle (Monterrey, Mexico) provides a peer-reviewed paper, ‘Determining the Total Emissivity of a Mixture of Gases Containing Overlapping Absorption Bands,

        Seventeen years later, B. Leckner repeated Hottel’s experiment and corrected the graphs [12] plotted by Hottel. However, the results of Hottel were verified and Leckner found the same extremely insignificant emissivity of the carbon dioxide below 33 °C (306 K) of temperature and 0.6096 atm cm of partial pressure.

        The results of Hottel and Leckner have been verified by other researchers, like Marshall Lapp [13], C. B. Ludwig [14], A. F. Sarofim [15], who also found the same physical trend of the carbon dioxide.

        Perhaps this explains that no ‘hot spot’ can be found in NOAA and NASA data.(and increases confidence in their experimental data.)
        Does the ‘broadening of the c02 band negate these conclusions or merely move the emissivity an insignificant amount from zero?

        Even if c02 spectral broadening uncovered a small amount of the spectrum, how can c02 having a partial pressure of 0.0078 relative to H20 an an emisivity of ~.22 relative to H20 contribute any significant warming.
        In the extreme if there were no spectral overlap, and the 33C of heating were due entirely to H20 greenhouse then c02 would contribute an additional maximum of 0.0566 C.
        Adding a factor of 3x for H20 feedback would make AGW a maximum at the outside of 0.169 C. Even if there were found to be no negative feedback from clouds.

        • Ronald Chappell says:

          Oops put the c02 emissivity (o.22) in twice.
          Brings the 3x feedback total up to 0.77 C.

      • xXGrizZ says:

        Blindly trust anyone who is a scientist you say? You know who else was a scientist? Josef Mengele…

      • david schuster says:

        #8, off by a decimal?

    • Rob Painting says:

      Roy inadvertently illustrates the Quantum Theory of Climate Denial – the first two arguments contradict each other.

      • Guard says:

        Rob,

        No they don’t. You can’t have argument number 2 without first settling argument number 1. You can’t have an arugement about whether something is natural or manmade, when you first have not determined there is, well… “something”.

        • Rob Painting says:

          Guard – quote from argument No.1: “No Recent Warming”

          Quote from argument No.2: “If we don’t know how much of recent warming is natural”

          These two claims are contradictory – hence the Quantum Theory of Climate Denial.

          • I should have made the words more specific, it’s now fixed…the first refers to no warming in the last 15 years, the second to observed warming over the last 50 years or more.

            I write these things up in a short amount of time, since it’s not part of my job. More of a public service (or disservice, depending on which side you take).

          • Rob Honeycutt says:

            Roy… I don’t think the oceans are listening to your point #1…

            http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/heat_content2000m.png

            I suggest you amend #1 just one last time.

            You could claim that, in most data sets, the past 15 years do not show a rise in surface temperatures at the 95% confidence level. At that, you’re only talking about 3% of heat in the climate system, but at least it would be an accurate statement.

            To say “no global warming in the past 15 years” you have to exclude most of the climate system.

          • m says:

            You post the ocean heat content data all day long, several times, and it will still get ignored. Roy Spencer will never acknowledge that “no warming in 15 years” is a lie. He is in capable of changing his mind.

            http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/heat_content2000m.png

            http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/heat_content2000m.png

            http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/heat_content2000m.png

            http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/heat_content2000m.png

          • Bart says:

            Anybody would be justified in not acknowledging it because it is an obvious ex-post-facto flail to try to cover up the fact that the atmosphere has not warmed as it was supposed to under the AGW hypothesis. And, because the heat capacity of the oceans is so vast that it translates into an utterly negligible temperature rise.

            Really, guys. Wake up and smell the coffee. Stick a fork in AGW. It’s done.

          • Dr. Strangelove says:

            “the past 15 years do not show a rise in surface temperatures at the 95% confidence level. At that, you’re only talking about 3% of heat in the climate system”

            FYI 2,000 meters under the sea is not surface temperature. The climate is not under sea unless you’re Patrick Duffy, the man from Atlantis.

          • Dr. Strangelove says:

            @Honeycutt

            Surface temperature is air temperature 1.5 m above the ground and sea temperature 0.001 to 3 m deep.

          • m says:

            @Bart Do you have any research or evidence to back up your claim that there is a conspiracy and the ocean data has been falsified?

            What makes you think the increase in ocean heat is negligible?

            The amount of heat the goes from atmosphere to ocean and vice versa varies from year to year, that is why you must include the ocean as part of the climate system. If you do that, you will realize you cannot honestly say that global warming has stopped.

          • Dr. Strangelove says:

            @m

            Since you want to use ocean heat content as the measure of global warming, therefore the 1st half of 20th century is warmer than the 2nd half because sea level rise due to thermal expansion was greater in the 1st half.

            the mean rate of global sea level rise was “larger in the early part of the last century (2.03 ± 0.35 mm/yr 1904-1953), in comparison with the latter part (1.45 ± 0.34 mm/yr 1954-2003).”

            http://www.co2science.org/articles/V10/N4/C1.php

          • Bart says:

            Never claimed that, “m”. Read it again. Now, tell me why, in view of thermodynamic laws, I should be worried about hundredths of a degree change in ocean temperatures?

      • DaveO says:

        11) Why are people who dress up in Nazi uniforms offended when they are called global warming Nazis?

        • Rob Honeycutt says:

          Why would you want to change the subject away from the issue at hand?

          • rustneversleeps says:

            Rob, you would probably be frustrated and tempted to lash out irrationally too, if you realized this lame list was really your “Top Ten Good Skeptic Arguments”.

            That’s the way I read Dave O., anyway.

          • TonyM says:

            sleepyrust:

            Lame? Is there anything to salvage after that list? Perhaps you can enlighten us.

        • Tucci78 says:

          “I have often been called a Nazi, and, although it is unfair, I don’t let it bother me. I don’t let it bother me for one simple reason. No one has ever had a fantasy about being tied to a bed and sexually ravished by someone dressed as a liberal.”

          – P.J. O’Rourke

          • Throgmorton says:

            So, did P.J. O’Rourke ever photoshop his face onto a picture of Himmler?

      • bert says:

        and you illustrate your inept reading. argument 1 is about recent warming (no warming) while argument 2 refers to long term warming. they are not mutually exclusive just as in you may not have gained height in the last several years of your life but you did have a growth period between your birth and the present.

        • Rob Painting says:

          It’s you with the reading impediment Bert. See Roy Spencer’s comment here – he changed the wording of the arguments after the obvious contradiction was pointed out. Thanks for trying though.

          • Throgmorton says:

            You are just heelbiting here. It was plain from context in the original wording that the word ‘recent’ referred to two different timescales.

    • Chris McLaughlin says:

      If all weather events are evidence of CAGW, droughts, floods, ice, no ice, higher temperatures, lower temperatures, etc…. then what “events” would we need to see before all AGWers agree that CO2 isn’t as serious a problem as theorized? In other words, what would make the Theory of AGW falsifiable? Thank you.

      Chris

    • Kyle says:

      It’s the reverse of Asimov’s “Nightfall”. On Lagash, the Cult predicts physical damnation from the darkness and the torrent of fire unleashed by the stars. The people all go insane due to their reaction to a harmless natural event: Darkness with stars. A few _scientists_ try to stop the madness and fail. They are rebuked in their efforts by the consensus of their contemporaries.

      On Earth, the people are being driven insane by imagined events promulgated in quite a cult-like manner, with no serious scientific evidence to support the extreme tales of doom and gloom. A great many _scientists_ (reported as only a few) try to stop the madness and fail. They are rebuked in their efforts by the consensus of their contemporaries. There will be no “Nightfall” with CAGW, just the insanity of the masses, misled in a cult-like fashion. The chaos and damage will occur as a result of the mind of Man alone. There will be no great meteor, no first night in two thousand years, no great physical manifestation of any kind, just madness. It has already begun.

    • JapanYoshi says:

      Because everyone TL;DR’s?

  2. MarkB says:

    [i]For some reason, all of these ended up being phrased as questions, rather than statements.[/i]

    The most “effective” skeptic meme is to highlight uncertainty, generally without any attempt to quantify its magnitude or significance. Whether “effective” is equivalent to “good” depends upon usage context and one’s objectives.

    • Lots of this has been quantified. The model forecast failures for the last 30+ years being the prime example. This isn’t a science journal, it’s a blog. I’m summarizing in qualitative terms that which is quantified in many places elsewhere.

      • MarkB says:

        My reaction was more to dichotomy between good and bad skeptical arguments as characterized by the two blog posts. The overriding theme of “good arguments” seems to be pointing out uncertainty in the mainstream science, hence they’re all formed as questions. The common theme of “bad arguments” seems to be trying to state a well-defined alternate position that isn’t fatally flawed.

      • m says:

        Why don’t you go ahead and quantify it then? It would only add a few more words to your post.

    • …and the alarmist meme seems to be to use a lot of quantified calculations which end up producing junk and forecast failures.

    • Mike Haseler says:

      That’s because skeptics ask questions of the data, whereas consensus science asserts what the “consensus” of the scientists is.

      That is why good skeptic science tends to end up as questions – that’s because a question cannot be wrong, whereas only a consensus scientist would have the audacity with such a paucity of data to assert its “significance”.

      • Ah! Just what I concluded, too, and I posted a “NOTE” at the end of my original post stating the same thing.

        • MarkB says:

          In contrast, the “good arguments” are posed as questions because of the inherent uncertainty of the whole global warming issue
          No reasonable person would deny inherent uncertainty as there is in any science, but a “good argument” is aware that uncertainty is not unbounded nor does a “good argument” ignore prior knowledge. For example, the first item, “no warming in 15 years” is a “good argument” if the uncertainty level of the measurement and the projection do not overlap and if prior knowledge does not indicate a basis for the apparent discrepancy (e.g. Foster and Rahmstorf (2011) and Kosaka and Xie (2013)).

          • Steve Fitzpatrick says:

            Foster and Rahmstorf? Nothing but a mindless curve fit that adopts non-physical (and wildly varying!) lag constants fro different forcings to reach a desired outcome. (See Troy Masters several posts on F&R, or mine at Lucia’s.) F&R is a sad joke.
            .
            Kosaka and Xie? Humm… Goes something like this: if we could just remove enough heat artificially from the climate model by say, fixing the tropical Pacific a couple of degrees colder than what the model itself calculates it should be, then, well, gee-wiz, the model is a lot better at hindcasting global average temperatures. How does a clear failure of a model to hindcast reality accurately, absent a rather grotesque kludge that sucks heat out of the model world, turn into an explanation for the pause? I fail to see the connection. Mostly is says the model doesn’t work.
            .
            Try harder to offer defensible explanations for the obvious divergence between models and reality…. cause so far explanations are lacking. OK let me offer one: the parametrized cloud feedbacks in the models are way wrong; fix that and the models will be much closer to reality. Bite my lip, that would lower the diagnosed sensitivity… can’t do anything like that, now can we?

          • MarkB says:

            Mostly is says the model doesn’t work.

            No, it suggests that the models don’t do well with a particular ocean process (which wasn’t a surprise) and do a much better job globally, including reasonable fidelity at regional levels, when a kludge around that shortcoming is implemented. That is, it suggests that much of the model is a useful representation of reality. Clearly there are shortcomings in the modeling, but this work helps bound what the most significant shortcoming might be. This is how science advances.

            . . . the parametrized cloud feedbacks in the models are way wrong; fix that and the models will be much closer to reality.

            There are open source models out there with which this idea could be tested. If in fact your hypothesis has merit and one could get a better fit to observed data this simply, then it would be a powerful argument for lower sensitivity.

          • Steve Fitzpatrick says:

            MarkB,

            “it suggests that the models don’t do well with a particular ocean process (which wasn’t a surprise) and do a much better job globally,”

            We are going to have to just disagree on this point. The models do a very poor job both regionally and globally (on average, overstating warming by a factor of about 2). If you think this is how science advances, please explain why you think fixing up an obvious error in a model with kludge ought to be converted into a public declaration of the “the pause has been explained”. To me the argument boils down to nothing more than: “See, if it weren’t that the model was wrong, then, well, the model would be right.”

            K&X do NOT offer an explanation; it is a kludge which demonstrates clearly that the model is quite wrong…. as are nearly all of the models. If Kosaka and Xie had been really serious about advancing science, they would have 1) made an effort in their model world to quantify the energy balance impact for artificially fixing the tropical pacific temperature a few degrees too low, and 2) attempted to relate that calculated imbalance to physical error(s) in the model. IMO, motivated reasoning (Anything, ANYTHING!, to avoid admitting the models are way too sensitive!) instead of thoughtful analysis (Damn, our stupid model is clearly wrong!) is all we are observing with both F&R and K&X… and a host of other recent arm-waved “explanations” for the pause. Note that note of the offered explanations ever touches on the obvious: the model parametrizations that drive the sensitivity upward are just wrong.

            Rubbish is rubbish on all sides of the argument. Seems to me you, and many others, can only see rubbish on one side.

        • Mike Haseler says:

          But I’m suggesting something much more fundamental, which is that skeptics and “non-skeptics” have very different ideas of what constitutes “science”.

          One group uses “science” to describe the work of people called “scientists”. So, when e.g. Michael Mann produces the Hockeystick and has it peer reviewed, the consensus of these “scientists” is that this is “science”.

          The other group use a far stricter definition based on the use of the scientific method, on being cautious and not saying more that the data & reason permits.

          This is how we can get comments along the lines of “if you reject the hockeystick, you are anti-science”. It’s not that we are “ant- [skeptic] science as skeptics usually see science, but it’s “anti-science” as in the output of a GROUP of people called scientists who don’t reach the standard of skeptic science (like Mann).

          You are a scientist – you are also (thankfully) what I call a “skeptic scientist” – that is what leads you to asking questions rather than making unsupportable assertions. Mann is just a scientist (although as a skeptic I would need to check all his work before being so bold)

          Skeptics and the other side really have two very different views of science. One side labels e.g. the work of the IPCC or “a consensus of those who claim to be ‘scientists’” as science. It is really a statement about which group produced the work, not an absolute standard.

          The other group see science as a standard rather than a group. So, e.g. ANYONE taking the temperature and carefully working out that the data does not currently show warming and therefore the models predicting warming are wrong – is a [skeptic] scientist.

          This I think is why the debate has been so heated and often appears to be going nowhere – it’s because both sides have very different ideas of what “climate SCIENCE” means.

          • Rob Nicholls says:

            Steve Fitzpatrick: “Foster and Rahmstorf? Nothing but a mindless curve fit…F&R is a sad joke.” Have you got support from peer-reviewed literature for that assertion? I’ve read your article on F&R 2011 at the Blackboard, and have read a response at http://tamino.wordpress.com/2013/06/16/bangs-and-smoke/ .

            I would be interested to see any peer-reviewed criticism of F&R 2011.

          • Steve Fitzpatrick says:

            Robb Nicholls,
            Ah yes, the old “all criticism has to be peer reviewed” approach. Well, IMO, this peer review requirement is nonsense. One does not need to know much of anything about climate to understand that wildly varying (and physically implausible) lag constants for the several different forcing agents considered by F&R is crazy. The entire approach is physically implausible. That such tripe passed peer review before publication just confirms that peer review is not always able to stop publication of tripe. (Shocking as that may be, I know.)

            Tamino mainly waved his arms and made a lot of noise about my analysis at Lucia’s, but never came though with the promised additional (substantive, I hoped) critique… I just assumed that he had finally seen the obvious errors in the F&R paper and decided to let it go. If you look at Troy Masters’ several posts on F&R you will see he demonstrates the F&R curve fit method can’t accurately identify a KNOWN trend in synthetic data. I noted in my analysis that F&R failed to consider the (rather obvious) aliasing of volcanic influences and solar cycles, which leads (at least in part) to an overstatement of solar influence.

            But there is no need to get too bogged down in the details: curve fits without reasonable physical justifications are almost always rubbish. F&R just happens to be a particularly egregious case.

          • Kurt R says:

            I think that the easier way of describing this dichotomy is that the AGW crowd thinks that the opinion of a scientist is science. They think that the process of peer review is a substitute for experimentation and replication when the latter is unavailable.

            The skeptical crowd has an objective standard of proof as to what the relationship is between an input (CO2) and an output (pick your climate variable). If I ask how we can be sure that the adjustments made to US temperature records to compensate for various biases are accurate, and the only answer is that the statistical manipulations have been peer reviewed – I see that as a weakness. I don’t have to rely upon peer review to tell me that the acceleration of gravity at the earth’s surface is 9.8 m/s2. Nor do I need to rely on a computer model to verify that two 100 ohm resistors connected in parallel gives an effective resistance of 50 ohms to a voltage supply across them.

            The level of our knowledge of ANY science, whether it is of gravity, or electricity, or the earth’s climate system can only be measured by the manner in which we apply what we think we know to achieve demonstrable results, e.g. applying fluid dynamics to build an aircraft that works. By this I literally mean that the measure of our knowledge is the very use to which we put that knowledge. How well do we understand gravity? Well enough to predict the motion of planets and to accurately fire mortars across large distances. How well do we understand electromagnetism? Well enough to build microcircuits and to transmit power over large distances. How well do we understand the interaction between gravity and electromagnetism? Not well enough to predict solar flares.

            How well do we understand the effect CO2 ACTUALLY has on temperature in the Earth’s climate system? We know nothing, because we’ve not demonstrated any such knowledge.

          • Cliff says:

            “So, when e.g. Michael Mann produces the Hockeystick and has it peer reviewed, the consensus of these “scientists” is that this is “science”

            Michael Mann’s model was peer reviewed…so why didn’t the scientists who reviewed his work find the model generated false results? I believe it was math professors in Chicago who discovered it, but it took a multi year law suit to get the model (and data) released so that it could be analyzed. And when fed random Gaussian temperature data, which can be generated by Excel,the model predicts a “hocky stick.” So much for peer reviews. Yes, peers reviewed his articles, but they did not confirm the model. The model was wrong.

            A “Peer” searching for the truth would have exposed his model as a failure. This did not happen, so…what do peer reviews really do?

            Skeptics look for the truth, not the bias. Also, what is never discussed is the margin of error in all the measured data, or the margin of error in the sampling data. Since it is impossible to “take the earth’s temperature” so to speak, the cross correlation and sampling error of all the data I suspect has an error well outside the results presented. Kind of like measuring the ocean with a yardstick and claiming that it can be measured to the nearest 100th of an inch. Yes, global warming may be taking place at a rate of .7C/year …. plus or minus 2 degrees….yes, I am skeptical that we can actually calculate a true temperature change that is statically valid.

  3. Nabil Swedan says:

    I will start with the worst argument. ” I agree with the basics of main-stream science but disagree with climate model and IPCC reports.” Well skeptics, the main-stream science is the computer model and the model is the science, they are inseparable. The IPCC report is based on the science.

    • rah says:

      Nabil Swedan says:
      May 1, 2014 at 10:46 AM

      I will start with the worst argument. ” I agree with the basics of main-stream science but disagree with climate model and IPCC reports.” Well skeptics, the main-stream science is the computer model and the model is the science, they are inseparable. The IPCC report is based on the science.

      Well if the computer models “are science” then what are the observations that continually demonstrate the models projections to be false?

      • Nabil Swedan says:

        Rah,

        It is sad but true. There are no mathematical equations to calculate forcing of the various climate agents used in the climate energy balance. They run computer “experiments” to determine forcing. Please take a look at Hansen (2005) Efficacy… and that will give you a clue why the computer model is the science.

        • Nabil Swedan says:

          Computer “experiments” have found that methane is a potent greenhouse gas, about 40 to 80 times that of carbon dioxide, the range is still changing for they still do not know the exact range. Accordingly, methane leakage from hydraulic fracturing is dangerous and methane extraction should be stopped. What a garbage science that can be detrimental to our jobs and livelihood.

          • By claiming methane is a potent greenhouse gas they ignore water vapor and empirical data for methane see table 5-9 &pages 5-32 to 5-35 of Perry’s Chemical Engineering Handbook or this post http://cementafriend.wordpress.com/2011/10/

            When so-called scientists lie about something they demonstrate they have no understanding of true science and probably lie about others matters

          • I thought most methane emissions into the atmosphere were from natural causes and agricultural sources such as cattle flatulence, not industrial sources such as natural gas extraction.

          • JapanYoshi says:

            How proud our children would be when they no longer can drink the water, breathe the air, or raise the crops

        • rah says:

          Well the way this layman looks at it. Honestly taken measurements (adjusted rationally if necessary) and informed observations are reality.

          Recently it has been demonstrated that what probably all of us were taught about how a siphon works was incorrect. It is not atmospheric pressure that makes a siphon work but gravity and molecular adhesion. IOW a siphon works in a vacuum.

          It struck me that if science and engineering have only just now figured out how such fundamental mechanics that are used for so many common purposes in our modern world actually work then how can I or any rational person be denigrated for being skeptical about any “scientific consensus” that is not supported by observations and measurements?

          • Nabil Swedan says:

            Education does not make one a scientist. Scientists are born with a trait to seek the truth based on derived mathematical equations supported by facts and hard observations, not “virtual observation or experiment.” A large number of great scientists of their time had no formal education.

  4. Mark Bofill says:

    I don’t see how you can leave the uncertainty of feedbacks off the top ten list with a straight face. Granted, it isn’t as catchy as the others and takes more verbiage to explain / is more involved, not utterly unlike this poorly written rambling run on sentence you are currently looking at which takes forever to get through but which eventually makes its point.
    wait, what was I saying? :)

    Thanks Dr. Spencer.

    • Robert JM says:

      He is saving that for the “you can’t argue with empirical falsification” post.
      To put the only argument in this debate bluntly:-

      CAGW theory is entirely dependant on water vapour positive feedback.
      Water vapour positive feedback is required for the 3.7w/m2 CO2 forcing to be amplified to between 10 and 14w/m2 forcing that is required to warm the planet 3-4deg C.

      The Observations show that water vapour is declining at the critical altitude rather than increasing as per model.

      CAGW is therefor falsified.

  5. An Inquirer says:

    The main thrust of your point #11 is valid, but there is an error in your discussion of it. It is incorrect to suggest that UHI is not addressed in all the temperature estimates. While most warmists in my circle believe that HadCrut does adjust for UHI, that belief is not accurate. HadCRut does not adjust its baseline estimate for UHI, but does add .1% to its error band to account for it. However, GISS does adjust for UHI through its famous lights-from-space methodology. I have studied the GISS methodology quite a bit and am not all convinced of its reliability. Also the mild negative adjustment by GISS for UHI is swamped by its positive adjustment for TOB and other factors. As far as I can tell NCDC and NOAA do not adjust for UHI. I suspect that UHI is a non-issue for RSS abnd UAH.

  6. joletaxi says:

    the small beach where I played child … is always exactly in the same place , the chance …probably?

    • Geeks Unite says:

      Bitch, ya think just cuz the Earth heats up, God comes up and moves a whole f@#king beach?

  7. Don B says:

    #12 Mankind’s activities release carbon dioxide back into the atmosphere from where it came. How can a fraction of what existed in the past atmosphere be a dangerous pollutant in the present atmosphere?

    • Rob Honeycutt says:

      Don… The problem is the fact that, the carbon we’re re-emitting into the atmosphere is the product of many millions of years of previously sequestered carbon, which we’re reintroducing to the atmosphere over a very very brief period of time.

      If you look at the Pliocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) there was a corollary situation where the Siberian Traps released immense amounts of previously sequestered carbon back into the atmosphere. The result was the worst extinction event in Earth’s history, killing 90% of all living species. And since you can keep a species going with a small number of individual critters, it’s likely that nearly all life was killed at that time.

      • Rob Painting says:

        Rob – that was the Permian Extinction around 250 million years ago – where the Siberian Traps perforated coal seams and released a large amount of CO2 to the atmosphere. And it’s the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum PETM. We don’t yet know for sure where that CO2 came from. Seabed methane deposits?

        Sorry to be such a nit-picker.

        • Rob Honeycutt says:

          No problem. Happy to be corrected on that.

        • Rob Honeycutt says:

          Yeah, I looked it up again. The PETM was accompanied by a 35-50% extinction event, whereas the end Permian/Siberian Traps event was >90% extinction event.

          Both very nasty events. And the End Permian very likely to be a climate change event due to rapid emissions of carbon into the atmosphere.

          • m says:

            “But I thought CO2 was good, since its necessary for life?”

            -Roy Spencer, PhD

          • Rob Painting says:

            Don’t forget that Ocean Acidification, which occurs from the geologically-rapid injection of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, has also been implicated as a kill mechanism in 3 of the 5 major extinction events in Earth’s history. In other words, marine critters vulnerable to corrosive seawater were preferentially extinguished.

        • coturnix says:

          PETM carbon? The reptiloid race it was, who burned all that carbon…

      • Kurt R says:

        Whether the CO2 and other gasses emitted by the Siberian Traps was a cause of the later mass extinction is a completely open question. As of a few months ago, the best information was merely that there was a very large volcanic event about 10,000 years before the mass extinction. Inferring causation in quite a leap.

    • Glenn Tamblyn says:

      Don

      Several reasons.

      - In the distant past (Permian/Triassic etc) when CO2 levels were much higher the Sun was cooler. The same CO2 levels today would produce a warmer world than they did then

      - In the distant past when CO2 wa that high the dominant lifeforms on the planet were reptiles and amphibians. Since then mammals have evolved (including one Homo Sapiens). And mammals with their warm-blooded nature don’t survive hot climates as well as cold blooded creatures do. We really are cool climate specialists. Similarly a whole class of plants predominantly evolved over the last 50 million years or so as the Earth cooled – Grasses. You might know of some of them: Corn, Wheat, Oats, Rice etc. We humans have a passing interest in how well those species thrive.

      - Today is different from any other time in history. The Earth has a population of over 7,000 million Homo Sapiens that consume vast quantities of the Earths plant and animal life in order to survive. Anything that puts the climate needed to power this vast food creation engine under stress is very very bad for us!

      • Kurt R says:

        Everything written in Glenn’s post cleverly avoids the point of Don’s original post. The first paragraph is not only speculative, but irrelevant absent the ability to demonstrably measure (as opposed to theoretically compute) how much higher temperatures would be.

        Whether “mammals with their warm-blooded nature [ed. whatever "nature" means in this context] don’t survive AS WELL AS cold blooded creatures do” is also irrelevant. The average temperature of the earth prior to the present ice age is estimated to be a little less than the average temperature of what the rainforests of Brazil and Africa are today, and mammalian life survives those temperatures just fine. Also, the earth’s average temperature today is estimated to be about 20F less than that prior to the present ice age. That seems to leave plenty of leeway for temperatures to increase without impacting mammalian’s survival. Likewise, whether grasses evolved in a cooling climate doesn’t mean that they can’t survive in a warming climate, or even that they needed the cooler climate TO evolve in the first place. Perhaps they would have evolved anyway. All this obfuscation is meant to avoid the fact that there is no evidence that warmer temperatures will harm the ecosystem at all.

        Stating as fact that “today is different from any other time in history” is not only conclusory, but incredibly presumptuous. Mankind may well consume “vast quantities” of plants and animals to survive, but mankind also creates most of those plants and animals through farming, fisheries, etc. It’s not as if we’re still hunters and gatherers who depend on nature to create our food for us.

        The last sentence in the post above is an example of the logical fallacy of begging the question. Don asks why returning CO2 levels to a past level is harmful. Glenn responds by simply presuming, without demonstrating, that doing so somehow “puts the climate . . . under stress” (again, whatever that means). This is but a fear, not a fact that can be used as a premise for a later conclusion.

      • There is the matter that when Earth was warmer in the past, it was generally greener. Warming the world generally warms the cold areas more than it warms the warm areas – as demonstrated by polar amplification, which seems to work quite well in the northern part of the planet (where most of the land is).

        Also, with a more evenly warm world, the intertropical convergence zone wanders more seasonally, and this shrinks deserts.

        I see a mild warming of the world as beneficial for growing grains and other crops.

      • DaveW says:

        Geez, Glenn Tamblyn, that’s amazing. I think almost everything you write is wrong, including the capitalization of the species name in Homo sapiens. The dominant life forms on the planet have always been plants – ever since those first blue-green algae all so long ago. All loving CO2 – without plants there would be no animals. Mammals were around with the dinosaurs as were birds (also ‘warm blooded’) and probably many of the non-bird dinosaurs, certainly the larger ones, were functionally homeotherms. Homo sapiens evolved in the tropics of Africa, all of the early civilizations were in the tropics and today most of the world’s population still lives in the tropics. People seem able to live in almost any climate, but we like it warm on average. Grasses are a family (Poaceae), not a class, and the earliest evidence for them (distinctive pollen) is 60 million years ago in the early and very warm part of the Tertiary.

        You have real talent – ever thought of becoming a journalist? You seem pre-adapted.

    • Rob Painting says:

      How can gravity be real if birds and planes can fly?

      It’s easy to play the logical fallacy game Don.

      • Kurt R says:

        I can demonstrate the not only the existence of gravity in a controlled, repeatable experiment, but its magnitude as well. Can you demonstrate in the same manner the existence and magnitude of the climate change that results from burning fossil fuels? The logical fallacy here is in your silly analogy.

        The premise that CO2 levels were much higher than at present through much of the Earth’s history, during which plant and and animal life thrived, at least tends to counter the premise that burning fossil fuels – and returning to the carbon cycle that which was originally there – will be ecologically catastrophic, or as some say in hyperbolic fashion, will “destroy the planet.” I don’t see anything necessarily fallacious in that.

        Those pushing the catastrophic anthropogenic global warming theory are asking other people to sacrifice their wealth and their well being on vapor-science: the musings of a cadre of theoretical scientists who have no way of demonstrating that they know what they are talking about. It’s not unreasonable that Don’s question to be answered before committing to a policy that will produce actual and severe costs.

    • Woody Loloma says:

      Don (and Roy to respond to your #8), spinning off what Honeycutt says about the temporal displacement of CO2 emissions occurring today; let’s look at the other side of CO2 – Oxygen. Oxygen is a natural and wonderful gas. Like CO2, it is critical to life; unless you are an anaerobic bacteria (hint). Suspected carbon monoxide poisoning? The EMT will put you on 100% oxygen first thing. Emphysema? A doctor will put you on oxygen. A scuba diver coming out of the water with symptoms of the bends? Give her oxygen. But send that diver down to 75 feet on a tank of pure oxygen and she’ll probably die from oxygen induced central nervous system toxicity. Toxicity is nothing more than the harmful affects of any substance (even ones essential for life) being in the wrong place or in the wrong concentration or at the wrong time. Examples abound. Ozone in the upper atmosphere = good; too much ozone in your lungs = bad. It is not a bad thing to think of the Earth as a living system. In that context, the fact that you simply can’t buy the theory of CO2 as a greenhouse gas if it doubles or quadruples or increases ten-fold speaks volumes. Making blanket statements that CO2 must be necessarily “good” since it is natural and plants need it is just fatuous. OK, I realize you didn’t assert that; you just posed a question. I do think you should drop that from your talking points though.

  8. An Inquirer says:

    I would add a #12: Climate models get an association with increased CO2 and higher temperatures ONLY through aribitary and convenient choices of inputs for aerosols. Accurate world-wide information on aerosols for the historical period is not knowable, but if one makes convenient assumptions about it, then the climate models get the CO2 effect — just like any model will produce the results you want if you put in a couple of dummy variables.

  9. rustneversleeps says:

    This is it? These are the “Top Ten” arguments?

    Leaving aside the fact that it is not even clear what they are arguments about – magnitude/sensitivity/? underlying mechanisms/physics? etc.

    … but some of them are nothing but rhetorical b.s./diversions:

    e.g. *Is CO2 bad?* What does that have to do with whether it is a greenhouse gas?

    *Do we look that stupid?* If we warm the planet, we amplify the hydrological cycle, leading to more of both – yes, both – droughts and floods, depending on location. Whether you look stupid or not has nothing to do with it.

    etc.

    • Markus says:

      Dear wakeful rust

      “Leaving aside the fact that it is not even clear what they are arguments about – magnitude/sensitivity/? underlying mechanisms/physics? etc.”

      As previously stated, this is a blog, not a science journal.
      However, no matter how good or detailed your physics in your models, if you can’t hindcast, your experiment is rubbish.

      “*Is CO2 bad?* What does that have to do with whether it is a greenhouse gas?”

      Nobody denies CO2 is a greenhouse gas.
      Straw-man argument not worthy of reply

      The hydrological cycle amplified ?
      Causing droughts, floods all depending on location, none of them forecast and always used by warmists in an ad-hoc propter-hoc fashion. That simply isn’t science, just using positive indicators, which doesn’t amount to a hill of beans, hot, cold, frozen or otherwise.

      • Kurt R says:

        Ironically, I don’t think you’re giving the argument that more droughts and more floods occur simultaneously in a warmer environment enough credit as a deceptive little bit of a truism. The wetter an environment is, the more susceptible it to droughts by definition; a desert simply doesn’t suffer many droughts. The more rain that falls over an increasing portion of the earth’s surface, you will have more droughts because you increase the rainfall average by which a drought is statistically measured against, and you also bring in more areas of the earth that now are able TO HAVE droughts because rain is falling, where before it wasn’t.

        But realize that the “droughts” of this new climate being posited will still have a higher level of rainfall WITHIN THE DROUGHT, than do existing droughts. It’s just that the baseline precipitation level for what counts as a drought has moved up, along with the rainfall.

  10. Nigel Tufnel says:

    But this one goes to 11… It’s like 1 louder

  11. I think past history temperature changes (point 10) is one of the strongest arguments. If one reviews all of the temperature changes let’s take the past 20000 years, many were more abrupt and to much greater degrees of magnitude then what has happened during the past 100 years.

  12. Bob Mount says:

    Dr Spencer, I have only just caught up with your excellent 10 x good and 10 x bad (stupid?) “skeptical” arguments, so I hope I’m not too late to put one more to you? Does temperature exist? Is it not merely a man-made proxy for heat energy, which, until relatively recently, science could not measure directly, e.g. viz your satellites. With this in mind, is it sensible to continue with the average global temperature approach? I believe this has been the major problem with the whole global warming saga. Who in their right mind would attempt to do this with any hope of producing a result that could be verified with any degree of certainty! It is somewhat absurd that your satellites, which can accurately measure the Earth’s heat energy balance directly, must then compute the data into temperatures to be added to all the other adjusted/averaged/massaged land and sea surface temperatures! Isn’t it time to bin temperatures and concentrate on what we want to know:- “Is the Earth heating up unduly or not?”

    With Thanks Best Regards.

  13. PS Radiative heat transfer is a tricky subject, only appreciated by the long in tooth and grey of head! Dr Spencer is still learning!

    What a ridiculous assertion to make.

    You all need to learn from Dr. Spencer.

    He lays out a sensible argument and can back it up through experimentation and data.

    I had to post this from the other discussion.

  14. The P.S. statement to clarify was from another poster. I then made comments.

  15. Nate says:

    Roy,

    Your #1. Really! Can you please back up this statement, which is made repeatedly, with numbers! The last 15 years in your data set has a linear trend of +0.14 degrees/decade. And what are the expected statistical variations in the trend over a 15 year period anyway? They would appear to be pretty large.

  16. pic.twitter.com/d5s2zWZoOE

  17. Sparks says:

    rustneversleeps says:
    May 1, 2014 at 11:34 AM

    “If we warm the planet, we amplify the hydrological cycle”

    By “We” you mean that Humans amplify the hydrological cycle by producing Carbon dioxide!

    The suggestion that you are making is that CO2 is a method of amplifying planetary hydrological processes, hydrological processes are overwhelmed by the role of the sun, our planets orbital parameters and lunar tidal influences, all of which are natural factors, these factors over power CO2 many times over. Earths atmospheric composition only has less than half a percent carbon dioxide, and besides being beneficial for a healthy ecosystem on earth, this Carbon Dioxide is subject to the same physical rules that is driving the rest of earths atmospheric state.
    Carbon dioxide is generally a low lying gas at earths atmospheric pressure and temperature, at very large concentrations it can actually be poured just like water from one container to another.

    BTW the claimed 10 skeptical arguments that don’t hold water are tiny in comparison to the CO2 alarmist arguments and even smaller compared to claims made by so-called “climate science” as a whole.

    :)

    • rustneversleeps says:

      No, I am saying that CO2 will warm the planet, and the WARMING amplifies the hydrologic cycle. You remember – how if it is warmer out you get more evaporation? And the air holds more water vapour?

      Remember those bits from school?

      Leaving aside that the water vapour is itself then a positive feedback, but just focussing on those two effects. More evaporation ==>> more drought, in drought-prone areas. More water vapour ==>> more precipitation, potential for extreme precipitation events (flooding).

      It’s that simple.

      Dr. Roy’s (and your) argument 9 is really what is known as an “argument from personal incredulity”, although “Do We Look that Stupid” is another way of putting it, I suppose.

      • bert says:

        more evaporation means more cloud cover which means more reflected solar energy. so it seems the endless tug of war of opposing influences never end and cycles of heating and cooling will continue and fools will continue to lobby fools for cures for crows feet. the whole emphasis on CO2 is bothersome to me because it is over emphasis like saying one brand of toothpaste over another will change your life. …. well maybe in your world.

        • rustneversleeps says:

          No it doesn’t.

          Yes, this *was* Roy’s pet hypothesis, but Andrew Dessler that it cannot offset the initial water feedback effect.

          Note well, this doesn’t even appear in Roy’ top ten list. Which reminds me. I will add at the bottom of the comment thread.

        • That is, if more water vapor actually means more cloud cover. I can see how this can easily not be true.

          If the lower troposphere warms and has more water vapor, and especially if the upper troposphere cools (both modeled and actual, but maybe to different extents), then convection increases.

          With more water vapor, convective clouds become more effective at having convective updrafts to transport heat upward. But clear air’s ability to transfer heat (or lack thereof) downward does not change so much. This would mean that the percentage of the world covered by clouds would *decrease*, while the clouds get denser and get stronger updrafts.

          Correspondingly, I expect increased coverage by downdrafts and decreased coverage by updrafts to cause a decrease in overall troposphere relative humidity. As I see it, the cloud albedo feedback is probably positive, but probably much less so than IPCC expects. And if the cloud albedo feedback is positive, then I expect the water vapor feedback to be less positive than if overall tropospheric relative humidity keeps constant with warming temperatures.

      • Sparks says:

        Wow! we’re starting with the really really “way out there” stuff.

      • Sparks says:

        Please note that my comment had no mention of “WARMING” in it.

    • rustneversleeps says:

      By the way, the increase in atmospheric water vapour is an observed fact over the past several decades. And it gets there via increased evaporation. Simples.

      Like walking and chewing gum at the same time, see if your mind can consider that we can simultaneously get conditions for BOTH more drought and flooding conditions…

      And this is one of the “Top Ten” arguments. Embarrassing.

      • geran says:

        r-n-s So you believe in the “tipping point”, huh?

        (Sorry folks, I couldn’t resist. I just love tweaking the trolls.)

        • rustneversleeps says:

          I do not know what you are referring to, geran. Nothing about “tipping points” in my comments.

          I think I know the basic mistake you are making here, geran, (please tell me you aren’t confusing positive feedbacks and tipping points!) but why don’t you do the honours.

          Like Denzil Washington liked to say in “Philadelphia” – “explain it to me like I’m a four-year-old.” After all, I am a troll…

          • geran says:

            It’s a simple question. Do you believe in the “tipping point”. The tipping point, as “Warmers” define, is where CO2 heats the atmosphere so much that water vapor takes over and the oceans boil. Or something close to that.

            Anyway, since you find Dr. Spencer’s points “embarrassing”, maybe you could fill us in on your “science”. You seem to think water vapor is increasing. So, what is the exact date the oceans will boil. (Okay, within 30 days, either way, will be fine.) Don’t back out now, the fun is only starting.

          • rustneversleeps says:

            Yeah, it’s like I thought, geran. You think that a positive feedback means it necessarily/inevitably goes runaway. Which confirms that you are really working from a low base of relevant knowledge.

            This is stuff you learn in high school pre-calculus, but if you have a function where for every 1 degree increase in temperature, the system itself provides a positive feedback of 50% of that initial amount, then the first 1C leads to an additional increase of 0.5C. But then that extra 0.5C leads to another 0.25C. Lather, rinse, repeat to infinity and the limit to the function is a TOTAL increase of 2C, including the original 1C.

            Grab a pen and paper and prove it to yourself. Like I said, you learned this in high school if you went past grade 10 math.

            No boiling oceans. No runaway.

            And furthermore, professor, not only are confusing the concept of “positive feedback” with “runaway” (boiling oceans”… You are confusing “runaway” with “tipping points”, which are more to do with points where an ice sheet might be committed to melting etc.

            So your “definition” of “tipping point” is just made up as well. You are just generally confused. Start with an intro text.

            You’re right about one thing, though, doc. The fun is just starting.

            Interesting that I already predicted your first error, eh? I know what’s coming next too. There, there. Be a good lad and keep showing off to us all your deep knowledge…

          • bert says:

            increased evaporation comes with increased precipitation. (rain or snow) which is overall good. the atmosphere can only hold so much water vapour before it falls back to earth. how is more rainfall a bad thing? and how do you explain the increase in green or vegetation cover around the world. this is part of how climate is moderated. so… I am not buying the chicken little narrative .

          • rustneversleeps says:

            @bert – so you’re saying that you can get BOTH more evaporation (drought) and more precipitation (flooding) at the same time?

            Funny, I thought argument 9 suggested that skeptics were too smart to “fall” for that!

          • Glenn Tamblyn says:

            bert

            “how is more rainfall a bad thing? ”

            Well, at least potentially more rainfall can, counter-intuitively – cause increased desertification. It all depends on how the rain falls.

            If rain falls slowly and steadily (it is raining gently outside as I write this) then that rainfall can soak into the ground, recharge water tables etc.

            If the same volume of rain falls more quickly, more intensely, then more of it runs off rather than being soaked up. So the actual amount of water in the ground declines.

            And if the reverse happens, a shift from more intense to more gradual rain then the reverse can happen, deserts blooming.

            Either way changes in rainfall patterns (not just where or how much but at what rate) can change ecosystems.

            So perhaps the bigger question is ‘how much is ecosystem change a bad thing?’

            Answer. It depends on what crops you are trying to grow in that ecosystem.

      • coturnix says:

        By the way, the increase in atmospheric water vapour is an observed fact over the past several decades. And it gets there via increased evaporation. Simples.
        —-
        or a decreasing precipitation – could be a sign of a slowing hydrologic cycle

      • Gonzo says:

        RNS says {the increase in atmospheric water vapour is an observed fact over the past several decades} and just where did you get that tidbit of info? according to Vonder et al 2010 using NASA’s NVAP dataset they don’t see an increase and possibly a decrease.

        [“By examining the 12 year record [1988-1999], a decrease of TPW at a rate of -0.29 mm / decade is observed. This relationship is significant at the 95 % but not at the 99 % level. A downward trend would be intriguing since there should be a positive slope if a global warming signal was present. However, by subdividing the data into two halves (1988-1993) and 1994-1999, trends with opposite signs are detected. Since the trend is not robust by subdividing the data, we conclude the global TPW has no significant trend from the NVAP dataset studied here.”]

        RNS says {And this is one of the “Top Ten” arguments. Embarrassing.} you should be embarrassed.

        • rustneversleeps says:

          Breaking news, folks! Gonzo is single-handedly demolishing the Clausius-Clapeyron relation!

          Predictably, the balance of evidence shows no such thing. Quel surprise.

          From section 2.5.5.5 of Chapter 2 or IPCC AR5 WG1:

          “In summary, radiosonde, GPS and satellite observations of tropospheric water vapour indicate very likely increases at near global scales since the 1970s occurring at a rate that is generally consistent with the Clausius-Clapeyron relation (about 7% °C–1) and the observed increase in atmospheric temperature.”

          See also Figure 2.31: b) Global annual average anomalies in column integrated water vapour averaged over ocean surfaces. Anomalies are relative to the 1988–2007 average.

      • Chris McLaughlin says:

        Dear Rust, I see your point that AGW can cause “BOTH more drought and flooding conditions…” But at the same time couldn’t non AGW cause more droughts and flooding? I think when Dr Spencer’s asks “how stupid do you think we are” he is asking for an AGW definition of what climate would we experience in the absense of AGW? AGWers just seem to want to have it both ways. Whether its wetter or drier, colder or warmer, more ice or less ice, more tornados or less tornados, it seems that no matter what we experience the AGWers point to that as evidence of AGW. When a theory is unfalsifiable, it’s not much of a theory.

  18. David B. says:

    And why is it that you can be excused from bad behavior only if you have enough cash money to buy your excuses?

  19. Walter Allensworth says:

    Riddle me this!?

    How can the science be settled when 97% of the climate models do not match reality over the last 30 years?

    • Mike Haseler says:

      Consensus science is settled by a vote – that’s how consensus science is settled.

      Skeptic science derives from the data – we don’t have enough data and that is why we end up only with questions.

  20. geran says:

    Just a few more, off the top of my head:

    –Why “climate gate”, if all the “science was settled”?

    –Why does the IPCC “energy balance” not match reality?

    –How do you determine the “average temperature” of a planet? And, what is that temperature “supposed” to be?

    –With the Earth’s core temp near 10000ºF, and with 1000′s of known underwater magma flows, why has core heating been neglected from “energy balance”?

    –Why pick on CO2, when water vapor is the predominant infrared absorber?

    –What if the funding to “institutional science” were cut off today, would there be more, or less, “climate change”?

    • rustneversleeps says:

      Whoops!

      geran is suggesting as another argument worthy of Dr. Roy’s “Top Ten” arguments one that Dr. Roy included on his WORST arguments list:

      geran: recommends “–How do you determine the “average temperature” of a planet?”

      Dr. Roy advises never to use (refers to it as “stupid”): “9. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A GLOBAL AVERAGE TEMPERATURE Really?! Is there an average temperature of your bathtub full of water?”

      Gee, this is hilarious.

      Oh, and the 10,000F lava argument being neglected for the energy balance. Thanks for letting us know. We’ll get right on that. No one ever thought of THAT before!!!

      That’s supposed to be one of the “best” arguments against the mainstream science??? WTF???

      And why focus on CO2 versus water vapour. Short answer: H2O is a condensible gas in the atmosphere, CO2 is not. Long answer here: http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/abs/la09300d.html

      Yer welcome.

      • geran says:

        LMAO. What would cause water vapor to condense there, rusty? Kinda need to violate gas laws if you’re still warming the planet, huh?

        Please, more…

        • rustneversleeps says:

          Seriously? What would cause water vapour to condense? We would have to violate “gas laws” to have water vapour condense?

          And YOU are the one “laughing his ass off”?

          Dr. Roy started this two-part series trying to get bad arguments from skeptics avoided, because – his words – they are stupid and ludicrous. Embarrassing, in other words.

          I think you are not helping him out here.

          But I will play.

          You seriously think that if the planet warms that water vapour will stop condensing?

          • geran says:

            Rusty, to be funny, try to have at least a grasp of the science. The best humor is when trolls use “science” dribble to make a point. For example: “All of the manmade CO2 is getting ready to explode, as it is now an explosive gas due to irradiation from the Sun, due to over stimulation of the ozone layer.”

          • rustneversleeps says:

            Ok, you quit. Good strategy, frankly.

            Nice try on the sudden dodge about the condensible gas. Quit while you are behind. I understand.

      • bert says:

        yer really annoying. why do your arguments rely so much on ad hominem.
        you say carbon stays. while water disappears. am I supposed to be impressed by your claims? what is a carbon cycle? what is a hydrologic cycle? why is so much government and media pressure being devoted to this pseudoscience . I say its for the same reason the miniskirt rose to popularity. because some folks just got to show their behind. you treat your pet theories like they are sacrosanct and we unwashed masses who don’t bow before your declarations are hopeless dolts. you go on and believe that and keep telling yourself that so you can sleep at night after you’ve justified govt boondoggles and the ruin of economies. keep congratulating yourself because you are in love with your own models.

        • rustneversleeps says:

          Lacis, et al., paper explains it, bert, if you want to understand why the atmospheric CO2 (mostly) stays and H2O (mostly) rains out.

          No ad homs, but you will have to read.

          • bert says:

            hydrologic cycle exists as does the carbon cycle. but in case you haven’t figured it out , im not interested in your trillion dollar propositions to solve dollar issues.
            but here’s a suggestion , why don’t you cool your jets and stop adding fuel to the fire if you really care about global warming. all that hot air youre snorting may make a difference.

        • Glenn Tamblyn says:

          bert

          Yep, there is a hydrological cycle and a carbon cycle. Small difference between them however. Timescale.

          The Ocean/Evaporation/Atmosphere/Precipitation hydrological cycle occurs on timescales of days to a couple of weeks.

          The Carbon cycle occurs on time scales from decades to millennia.

      • bert says:

        you asked how increased evaporation and increased precipitation could happen at the same time. …. have you ever heard of an equilibrium. like the rate at which one biased pseudoscientist can bloviate non-sense eventually is balanced by the perception that all that bluster is founded on little more than superstition and belief that if you keep talking you will eventually convince everyone you are right so you can take their money by force with the government you have voted for. its not science its speculation and wishful thinking. its love in the time of apocalypse. …. you have not proved anything but that the science is far from settled and that it is defiled by biases which favor an agenda of govt interventionism.

      • Sparks says:

        A paper from G.A. Schmidt basically Saying Without the radiative forcing supplied by CO2 Earth would be plunged into an “icebound Earth state” frankly does not hold water…

        There are several mechanisms that can plunge earth into an Ice age which I have been exploring with interest, regardless of earths atmospheric composition.

        I’ll remind you once again, ‘Carbon Dioxide is subject to the same physical rules that is driving the rest of earths atmospheric state.’

        Alarmists love playing with artificial scenarios involving the properties of carbon dioxide and deriving fanciful conclusions, which unfortunately become widely cited by fools.

  21. John Garrett says:

    #12 Where is the “missing heat?”

  22. Kent Freed says:

    From a layman’s point of view our planet, like our solar system, and the entire known universe, is in a constant state of flux. Therefore it is reasonable to expect our weather patterns, including temperature changes, to also be in a constant change of flux, right? Nothing, not even us, remain the same and a constant in the realm of nature. So, stating the obvious, I would expect our climate to be constantly changing, which it is, and all the time. From the severe to the sublime and back again. Cyclic if you will. But to think that we, mere pissants in the great, overall scheme of things, could actually alter the weather patterns throughout our little planet, through CO2 emissions, just gives us far too much credit then we’re actually worth. I certainly believe that solar flareups, which, I do believe are cyclic in nature, have more to do with our changing weather patterns and climate, then anything we could ever do to our planet. And the fact that “El Nino” and “El Nina”(?), produce lengthy seasons of rain and drought throughout our continent. These, of which, are also cyclic in nature. But, enough of my childish, sophomoric ramblings on a topic I shouldn’t even broach. But hey, always remember, records were made to be broken, even climates and weather, right?!

  23. Hernan Tinoco says:

    Is it not a fact that the atmosphere has a known capability to recover from relatively large perturbations like that of Tambora eruption in 1815, leading to the year without summer (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Year_Without_a_Summer)?

  24. Don says:

    Dr. S.
    This is what concerns me about the AGW advocacy.
    All scientists are human and therefore biased to some degree, including in their science. (I am a part of that community.) But typically, when scientists interact in meetings or in reviewing and publishing papers, their peers hold them accountable for what they conclude.
    That accountability starts to break down when journal editors and policy statements from science societies take firm positions too soon and possibly for quasi-political reasons.
    That accountability really starts to break down when government funding agencies and the press also have confirmation bias and act on that. Why fund a study if the answer is already known?
    If such organizations at all levels have obviously “made up their mind”, is it any wonder that the individual scientist would feel that pressure and act accordingly?
    Politics should stay out of science. But don’t hold your breath.

  25. Aaron says:

    How can a page like this not have LIKE button on it?

    • rustneversleeps says:

      What’s to like?

      If the “Top Ten Good Skeptic Arguments” are things like “Is CO2 Bad?”, “Do We Look that Stupid?”, etc., I would be careful about crowing about it.

      Dr. Roy’s takedowns of the bad skeptic arguments generally at least made an effort to rely n some plainly stated, quantitative science.

      For this list it seems to be mostly rhetorical, irrelevant hand-waving – e.g. “How did carbon dioxide… get rebranded a dangerous gas?”

      That’s a top ten argument? Huh? You “like” that it is?

      • geran says:

        What’s to like?

        We like funny trolls spouting nonsense.

        More, please.

        • rustneversleeps says:

          Ok, I will stick around, geran.

          I think there is some pretty good leverage to getting some “troll” input on a post like this one: Here they are folks, our absolutely best arguments!

          And it is bupkis.

          By the way, geran, you are not doing well upthread. I think your fellow travellers may be getting a little anxious about your contributions here…

          Dr. Roy in particular, what with you suggesting he add some of his “avoid at all costs/too stupid” arguments to his BEST arguments list…

          • geran says:

            Rusty, I’m trying to help you move up a notch or two. Right now, you’re just an average troll. If you add some finesse to your pulp, you could maybe be a little better than average.

            Trying to put down Dr. Spencer, or other commenters is cheap. You should concentrate on your science (humor). State why Dr. Spencer’s points are wrong, one by one. I can assure you, your readership would skyrocket. We all love science humor.

            Provide us with your science, such as, “a warming atmosphere will precipitate more rain”.
            Kinda like your comment above where you stated: “No, I am saying that CO2 will warm the planet, and the WARMING amplifies the hydrologic cycle.”

            Now, that IS funny!

          • Sparks says:

            What is the best argument skeptics have in your opinion?

      • bert says:

        I like that it gets you hot and bothered, and that it opens discussion to opinions other than the self indulgent ones. here’s the core of the matter though. kooks have been predicting ice ages then warming, then ice ages, and then warming, and in the absence of sufficient evidence to perpetuate the global warming scare now the talk has turned to climate change. a nice nebulous term which would fit elegantly into the lexicon of newspeak. the prognostications of your friends is just a tad less tawdry than those of a common palm reader.
        whats to like is that so far weve been able to avoid having people like you skim our wealth (or in many cases lack of it) for the promised good it will do us. what it is really good for is scam artists who use govt mandates to force the public into paying for economically unviable alternatives. now compare me with folks who said we would never fly if you will, but what is true is that govt funding didn’t win the race to powered flight. it was a couple of bicycle mechanics without govt subsidies. the whole subtext of all this back and forth is simply this. go ahead and do your research, but don’t fudge data to make predictive models that cant even be supported by observations and then demand that I still believe in the dire consequences of not giving heed to your hue and cry. go get a real job.

      • Alcheson says:

        So why is CO2 a dangerous gas Rust? Hasn’t caused CAGW but is has caused the planet to become 11% greener and crop yields to increase substantially. How about you point to even ONE bad thing the CO2 has caused since going from 300ppm to 400ppm? Guess the ~1C rise in temperature since the LIA is catastrophically BAD in your opinion?

  26. Bruiser-101 says:

    Dr Roy, On the subject of data manipulation – The very high temperatures experienced in Australia during 2013 have received a lot of comment by the CAGW camp. On the SS website, I commented that 2013 was hardly the poster child for CAGW because the country recorded record levels of solar radiation for most of the year (accompanied in most cases by very low relative humidity). The debate is still available here: https://www.skepticalscience.com/australias-hottest-year-humans-caused-it.html One issue that was raised was that the BOM chart showing average levels of solar radiation across the country for 2013 bore no resemblance to the actual data for individual sites and was out by over 2Mj/M^2 in some instances. It seems that the BOM has been busy correcting the chart anomaly however instead of changing the chart to reflect the data recordings, the records have been systematically altered to reflect the vales in the chart. Thus the inconvenient truth of high solar radiation has been erased from the record and the opportunity for real scientists to study the linkage between H2O and incoming short wave radiation has been lost.

  27. anthony cox says:

    You may be interested in these 10 reasons why AGW is bunkum:

    http://theclimatescepticsparty.blogspot.com.au/2013/06/man-made-global-warming-wrong-ten.html

    • rustneversleeps says:

      Number 6 best reason the planet has warmed, from the link!

      6. The Moon

      It’s the moon what did it!

      Maybe Dr. Roy can provide his thoughts!

      • anthony cox says:

        Did you read the linked paper rusty? If you haven’t why are you commenting?

        • rustneversleeps says:

          I had a cursory look. It looks like complete nonsense to me.

          I was curious if our host shared my opinion.

          • anthony cox says:

            “I had a cursory look. It looks like complete nonsense to me.”

            Mmmm; there’s an approach which informs a lot of AGW support.

            For those who want slightly more than a cursory look but who perhaps don’t want to wade through a fairly technical paper here is Jo’s analysis:

            http://joannenova.com.au/2013/06/can-the-moon-change-our-climate-can-tides-in-the-atmosphere-solve-the-mystery-of-enso/

            The GPCS of 1976 still doesn’t have a definitive causal explanation for the partial cessation of ocean upwelling which caused the dramatic increase in atmospheric temperature or the resumption of that upwelling around 1998 which has arguably caused the ‘pause’ in temperature since.

            Alarmists says its all due to CO2 [which apparently causes both increases and decreases in temperature] however perhaps lunar cycles play a part.

          • rustneversleeps says:

            Moon big. Cycles. Tides! Maybe. MOON!!! Cycles. So, not AGW.

            Something like that anthony? And even shorter than Nova’s precis!

            Still would love to see our host weigh in? How about it Dr. Spencer?

          • anthony cox says:

            I’m beginning to think you’re not here for serious discussion. The Wilson and Sidorenkov paper is here:

            http://www.benthamscience.com/open/toascj/articles/V007/TOASCJ130415001.pdf

            They specifically talk about a number of cycles and VARIATIONS in those cycles which correlate with ENSO cycles which are NOT symmetrical and therefore can produce TRENDS in temperatures; another feature which is well documented in the literature.

            But carry on being a loon, a term derived from well known lunar effects on psychology.

  28. rustneversleeps says:

    In addition to Dr. Roy’s prior “bad skeptic arguments” list, I think it is telling that various others did not make his “Top Ten Good” list.

    No “Iris Effect”.

    No “Cosmic Rays”.

    No Spencer and Braswell cloud thingy…

    Hmm… “too speculative” at best, he alludes. Others might describe these specific points even more harshly…

    So he goes with the big guns, instead. Like “Do we look that stupid?”

    Impressive.

    • Sparks says:

      “No Cosmic Rays”

      You’ll soon be on a top 10 list yourself if you’re not careful! ;)

    • geran says:

      Rusty, Rusty, Rusty. Are you learning nothing?

      Try to state your science. This is your chance to perform. Put your science on the table. Your humor will make you famous.

      Just rambling mumbo-jumbo is for beginner trolls.

      • rustneversleeps says:

        I am saying that various skeptic favourite “Best arguments” of days gone by didn’t make the list here. Nor are they standing up well in the scientific literature as time and further review passes.

        http://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2014/apr/11/climate-change-research-quality-imbalance

        Both true. Didn’t make the cut here, and not faring well at all as competitive explanations, either individually or in toto.

        • geran says:

          Very good Rusty, you are improving.

          To be humorous, when asked for science, always link to the Guardian.

          Much improvement.

          • rustneversleeps says:

            The rebuttals to the Lindzen, Christy and Spencer, Spencer and Braswell papers are in the journals, years ago at this point. I didn’t get the impression you read the primary literature but you can get the links via links in the Guardian piece.

            This is well-covered ground in any event. Not news to you either, unless like water vapour condensing it is new news to you.

          • bert says:

            the guardian…. reminds me of natural news… always warning people against things like measles vaccinations…

          • rustneversleeps says:

            ha ha, from “don’t do ad homs, stick to the argument” bert, that’s predictably, hypocritically risible.

            You go, bert, you go, girl.

  29. Sparks says:

    rustneversleeps,

    What is the best argument skeptics have in your opinion?

    • rustneversleeps says:

      Possibly low TCP, but I think that is a weak line of reasoning and evidence. And paleo ECS would indicate a low TCP only buys us a bit more time.

      But this is still in line with the mainstream science. But like I said upthread, it’s not clear what part of AGW Dr. Spencer is arguing against with this list anyway. It’s a bit all over the place.

      • rustneversleeps says:

        TCP = TCR. Autocorrect, sorry.

      • Sparks says:

        Is that your star sign?

        • geran says:

          TCR and ECS, even funnier than the Guardian!

          Rusty, you are vastly improved.

          • rustneversleeps says:

            I answered Sparky’s question.

            I take it you think the low Transient Climate Response argument is “funny”? As in bad/weak? I would agree, but I still think it is one of the stronger lines of argument.

            Especially compared to what you, geran, think is strong, like “There is no global temperature.”

            Which our host considers a “stupid”, “ludicrous” argument. His words, so take it up with him.

            But thanks for denigrating the TCR argument, too. I wouldn’t have, but thank you for stepping up.

          • geran says:

            rustneversleeps says:
            May 1, 2014 at 6:06 PM
            I answered Sparky’s question.

            I take it you think the low Transient Climate Response argument is “funny”? As in bad/weak? I would agree, but I still think it is one of the stronger lines of argument.
            >>>>>
            No, it is just not scientifically proved.

            Especially compared to what you, geran, think is strong, like “There is no global temperature.”

            Which our host considers a “stupid”, “ludicrous” argument. His words, so take it up with him.
            >>>>>
            Non-sensical babbling.

            But thanks for denigrating the TCR argument, too. I wouldn’t have, but thank you for stepping up.
            >>>>>
            Not a problem, I’m here to serve mankind and save the Universe, planets included.

  30. geran says:

    Sparks, were you addressing me or Rusty?

    Sparks says:
    May 1, 2014 at 4:24 PM
    What is the best argument skeptics have in your opinion?

  31. geran says:

    Hilarious, I got the answer the same time I clicked….

  32. Dr. Spencer,
    On your blog you have:
    “Latest Global Average Tropospheric Temperatures”

    “Since 1979, NOAA satellites have been carrying instruments which measure the natural microwave thermal emissions from oxygen in the atmosphere. The intensity of the signals these microwave radiometers measure at different microwave frequencies is directly proportional to the temperature of different, deep layers of the atmosphere. Every month, John Christy and I update global temperature datasets (see here that represent the piecing together of the temperature data from a total of fourteen instruments flying on different satellites over the years.”
    How can you assert that you are measuring what you think you are measuring?:
    1) How do you confirm that you are measuring the radiance of atmospheric O2 at any altitude, rather than the higher radiance from the surface at frequencies near the actual O2 absorption at that pressure and temperature?
    2) What measurements have you made that show that variation in surface radiance cannot overwhelm any O2 radiance?

    “…. Contrary to some reports, the satellite measurements are not calibrated in any way with the global surface-based thermometer records of temperature. They instead use their own on-board precision redundant platinum resistance thermometers (PRTs) calibrated to a laboratory reference standard before launch.”:
    3) This is the best! You admit that your remote sensing radiometer measurements are in no way is corrected, to a remote thermometric temperature!
    How can you claim that your radiance measurement and your unknown calculation indicate any “temperature anomaly”? You have thousands of uncontrolled variables in any computation!
    Your March computation of +0.17 degrees Celsius is 1/4 of the error bars, most would put on such calculation of +/- 0.8 degree.
    Your effort is appreciated, and may lead to understanding of the atmosphere!
    Please, prease (Chinese), supply your best guess, but with all known “warts”, to be even more appreciated!! Most all including skeptics would accept your best guess for what it is, and like chickens, pruck onry at the weak points!

  33. Werner Brozek says:

    “why did global warming stop over 15 years ago (in most temperature datasets”

    On several different data sets, there has been no statistically significant warming for between 16 and 21 years.

    The details for several sets are below.

    For UAH: Since February 1996: CI from -0.044 to 2.366
    For RSS: Since November 1992: CI from -0.023 to 1.882
    For Hadcrut4: Since August 1996: CI from -0.005 to 1.308
    For Hadsst3: Since January 1993: CI from -0.016 to 1.812
    For GISS: Since July 1997: CI from -0.004 to 1.246

    (For more details, see my post tomorrow on WUWT.)

  34. Thanks, Dr. Spencer. Good post.

  35. Phyte On says:

    It seems to me another good skeptical argument is:

    Where is the science and empirical evidence that US Climate Policy is capable, competent, and cost-effective to control and regulate the climate, reverse climate change, and lower global temperatures?

    For example, California’s Cap & Trade scheme has ZERO efficacy in impacting the climate. It is entirely a tax and regulatory scheme with zero impact on climate and global warming.

    Also, if CAGW is settled and certain science then I would like to see the forecasts of catastrophic events over the next 50 years that above and beyond what is natural, above and beyond anything we have seen in the past 50 years. Please be specific, measurable, time-bound, and accountable for your predictions of catastrophic climate events not witnessed in the last 50 years. It is urgent we act now. Why?

  36. geran says:

    Oh yeah, April UAH temps are due any day now.

    This is a tough one. Computer says +0.14, but analog says +0.21.

    Tough decision, as usually both are closer. Do I average the two, or select one over the other?

    I’ll go with the analog, what the heck?

    +0.21

    You heard it here first!

  37. Michael Hauber says:

    So the best skeptic argument is just flat out wrong?

    All major data sets show warming over the last 15 years. Just slower than predicted.

    • Sparks says:

      What is the best argument skeptics have in your opinion?

      • Michael Hauber says:

        The argument most likely to be correct may start with noting that warming has been slower than predicted over the last 10 or so years (I place the start of the slowdown at 2006). And showing that this is due to a stabilising feedback that consensus science has missed, and not due to other climate factors such as natural variability or aerosol pollution. A stabilising feedback would mean changes to cloud circulation, and therefore changes to precipition patterns, so unless these changes happen only over the ocean or in ways that happen to be beneficial instead of harmful to agrigculture, the cure of a lower climate sensitivity could be worse than the disease.

        I’m sure AGW predictions are wrong, but whether thing will turn out better or worse than predicted, I do not know.

        Or if you mean the argument most likely to convince, rather than most likely to be correct, I’d suggest shout a lot throwing as many contradicting and ever shifting arguments as possible and hope one of them sticks.

      • rustneversleeps says:

        I already answered this for your pal, geran.

        I said I thought the low Transient Climate Response argument – though weak – was the best. But he completely rubbished the very idea.

        I think he is sticking with the “no global average temp” or “water vapour doesn’t condense” lines.

        OK, so some skeptics think the low-sensitivity argument is weak too. OK.

    • geran says:

      No Michael. The science (against AGW) is right, but “all major data sets” (promoting AGW) are wrong.

      Look outside your window.

      • rustneversleeps says:

        All major data sets are wrong? Wait, what?

        What about, say, that of our host. The UAH satellite temperature series. You’re saying that is wrong?

        That’s what you are saying now, geran?

        Does Dr. Spencer know about this?

    • Geoman says:

      But you were so very sure of your predictions.

      Actually current low warming rates are consistent with increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations, if you entirely exclude any potential mutiplier effects. Unfortunately if you exclude multipliers then it isan’t much of a crises – the Earth will warm very slowly over the next 10 years with plenty of time for adjustments.

    • Bart says:

      No. It is not statistically significant. Therefore, you cannot claim warming. You can claim the numbers themselves have a slight trend in a positive direction, but you cannot claim that it has genuinely warmed.

  38. Alick says:

    A adding few extra molecules to the atmosphere doesn’t mean much without an increase in the source of energy to keep them there. Feedback is not a source of energy.

    • Sparks says:

      Feedback is not a source of energy.

    • rustneversleeps says:

      This sounds like “there is no greenhouse effect” line of argumentation.

      Again, our host characterizes this as “stupid”/”ludicrous”.

      I tend to agree.

      Seems to be a fundamental misunderstanding about how greenhouse gases work in this comment.

      Did you study quantum physics? It is well-covered there. Or basic spectroscopy.

      • Sparks says:

        Feedback? is not a primary source of energy, do you think it is rusty?

        • rustneversleeps says:

          No, but it can change where the energy resides.

          “Alick” suggests that “adding few extra molecules to the atmosphere doesn’t mean much”, but in fact this is precisely what the greenhouse effect involves.

          Then “Alick” says “without an increase in the source of energy to keep them there”, which is a bit vague, but if the atmosphere is to hold more energy, it can come about by EITHER more energy IN or LESS energy OUT.

          The latter IS the GHE “feedback” with those “extra molecules”, with respect to the energy stored in the atmosphere, until temperature rises to the point where it can re-radiate away the incoming (solar) energy.

          No, it is not a “primary” source of energy. NOR does it need to be.

      • Seems to be a fundamental misunderstanding about how greenhouse gases work in this comment.

        Did you study quantum physics? It is well-covered there. Or basic spectroscopy.

        Did you ever study electromagnetic radiation, the Maxwell quaternion equations or the translation by John Poynting to the precise Euler vector arithmetic? You write nonsense, never understanding that thermal electromagnetic radiation has only a relationship between the difference of two opposing thermal radiative potentials,(radiance). With no difference in “thermal temperature” there is absolutely no thermal, (temperature controlled), electromagnetic energy transfer between masses at any frequency of the electromagnetic spectrum. None has ever been detected! Your quantum stuff is fantasy, never to be detected in the physical.

        • rustneversleeps says:

          Again, this is fundamentally a denial of the GHE, and our host has explained many times the mistake you are making about your claim that:

          ***With no difference in “thermal temperature” there is absolutely no thermal, (temperature controlled), electromagnetic energy transfer between masses at any frequency of the electromagnetic spectrum. None has ever been detected!***

          That is nonsense. All mass emits EMR, irrespective of temperature or thermal gradient.

          Our host calls your misunderstanding “stupid”, “ludicrous”.

          Am I representing your views accurately, Dr. Spencer?

          • rustneversleeps says: May 1, 2014 at 8:43 PM

            “Again, this is fundamentally a denial of the GHE, and our host has explained many times the mistake you are making about your claim that:”

            It is indeed a denial of any thermal radiative flux in any direction that has a greater radiance at any frequency. in such case that can only absorb electromagnetic energy as determined by the difference in radiance of the two surfaces in that direction and within that frequency band! nothing else has ever been detected!

            ***With no difference in “thermal temperature” there is absolutely no thermal, (temperature controlled), electromagnetic energy transfer between masses at any frequency of the electromagnetic spectrum. None has ever been detected!***

            That is nonsense. All mass emits EMR, irrespective of temperature or thermal gradient.

            Where are your measurements of such radiative flux?
            I can and have measured a a single directional radiative flux to or from my fluxmeter down to 2 microwatts/M^2 there is never any bidirectional radiative electromagnetic energy!

            All surfaces or cross sectional area emits EMR, if it can, sometimes that surface has no energy transfer or is only absorbing EMR, never both at any frequency!

            “Our host calls your misunderstanding “stupid”, “ludicrous”.”
            Your host is that that is “stupid”, “ludicrous” He nor you, can demonstrate your ridiculous claims. I have been trying for 38 years to do such, with no success!
            Am I representing your views accurately, Dr. Spencer?”to

        • David A says:

          Here is some of your evidence:

          “Increases in greenhouse forcing inferred from the outgoing longwave radiation spectra of the Earth in 1970 and 1997,” J.E. Harries et al, Nature 410, 355-357 (15 March 2001).
          http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v410/n6826/abs/410355a0.html

          “Comparison of spectrally resolved outgoing longwave data between 1970 and present,” J.A. Griggs et al, Proc SPIE 164, 5543 (2004). http://spiedigitallibrary.org/proceedings/resource/2/psisdg/5543/1/164_1

          “Spectral signatures of climate change in the Earth’s infrared spectrum between 1970 and 2006,” Chen et al, (2007) http://www.eumetsat.int/Home/Main/Publications/Conference_and_Workshop_Proceedings/groups/cps/documents/document/pdf_conf_p50_s9_01_harries_v.pdf

          “Radiative forcing – measured at Earth’s surface – corroborate the increasing greenhouse effect,” R. Phillipona et al, Geo Res Letters, v31 L03202 (2004)
          http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2003GL018765/abstract

          • Bart says:

            This is not dispositive. It shows that the atmosphere is semi-opaque to particular wavelengths, and strongly implies that the Earth is warmer than it would be without the atmosphere.

            But, it does not address the question of local sensitivity. It does not say that an incremental increase in GHG concentration, from the current atmospheric composition and in the present climate state of the Earth, will necessarily result in an incremental increase in opacity.

            This is the difference between the slope of a secant line versus that of a tangent line. Though the function which relates surface temperature to GHG concentration may be globally positive, that does not establish that it is globally increscent. In fact, it is not difficult to establish that it cannot be, if you consider the extremes of a completely non-radiative atmosphere versus a completely radiative one.

          • Bart says:

            I will add, your sources do claim to show an increase over time. However, the increases are so small, and the data from disparate sources, with such intricate processing, and over eras which had monotonically increasing delta-temperatures, that it is not at all a compelling result.

          • Bart says:

            The most compelling thing in figure 3 here is that they do seem to have matched a theoretical calculation to the observation.

            Yet, the result in the CO2 band, at least, is decidedly mixed. It got brighter over one part, and dimmer over the other. So, what does it mean? It got dimmer in the low portion, yet not so much for the actual data as for the theoretical construct.

            I need more info. What else have you got in your bag, David? Preferably not paywalled.

          • Good god What nonsense your last one, “Radiative forcing – measured at Earth’s surface – corroborate the increasing greenhouse effect,” R. Phillipona et al, Geo Res Letters, v31 L03202 (2004)
            http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2003GL018765/abstract

            Does indeed hint at some opposing radiance, from clouds, limiting outward direct radiative exitance of some outward surface thermal electromagnetic energy but never shows the vast, vast increase in direct radiative exitance into two pi steradians of space, of all energy transferred to that cloud by all methods of energy transfer.
            It is the efficient radiative atmosphere of this Earth that provides the lower than expected temperature of this Earth.

            All of Dr. Roy’s microwave radiometer measurements indicate that the atmosphere of this planet, with the variable aqueous vapour, can, at any time plunge this planets surface temperature to less than that of any previous ice age. Please ask Dr. Roy, why, this is not happening at this instant of time?

    • David A says:

      The molecules are already in the atmosphere.

      They absorb IR, and re-radiate. Some of that is downward. That is global warming.

      • Please demonstrate any energy transfer by any means in the direction of a higher temperature. I will then describe the source of energy at yet an even higher temperature. This will demonstrate that spontaneous energy transfer can only be in a direction of lower thermodynamic potential. None is downward to a higher temperature.

  39. Geoman says:

    Given we don’t control the world supply of carbon (a bunch of nasty countires do) or the global demand (China), and therefore that there is nothing mathmatically, politically, or economically we can do to stop anthropogenic climate change, why is this such a big deal?

  40. gbaikie says:

    –NOTE: I’ve been thinking about why my “bad arguments” post involved statements, but my “good arguments” post involves all questions. I think it’s because the bad arguments (I attempt to debunk) always seem to be posed as facts, which the believers seem to have complete faith in. In contrast, the “good arguments” are posed as questions because of the inherent uncertainty of the whole global warming issue…the IPCC states so many things as facts, yet there are usually alternative explanations they don’t discuss. –

    I think of them as a hypothesis. And I don’t think greenhouse effect is a valid theory. So I know of know valid theory that adequately explain why planets are warm or cold. Or I don’t we are capable of accurately predict the a habitual zone in any star system.
    Or I am not going to be surprised if we are surprised when we orbit Ceres in a year or so. And we unable to predict Mars or Venus before we went there. And I think see worsening rather improvement in this ability to predict. And we should have been seeing improvement in ability to predict to predict future global temperatures, as we have had longer period of collecting more accurate data, and we are not seeing improvement. Therefore as far as I am concerned greenhouse effect has been dis proven and I interested if and when some better theory is developed.

    So I think some people are somewhat persistence in their claims but I don’t see this as problem, it’s no where near the problem of a government insisting that their silly theory is correct and “settled science”.

    • rustneversleeps says:

      ** I know of know valid theory that adequately explain why planets are warm or cold. **

      Well, alrighty then! It’s a mystery!

      Not even a hunch about the difference between the moon and earth? No?

      • gbaikie says:

        –Not even a hunch about the difference between the moon and earth? No?–

        Of reason there couple big difference between Earth and Moon which explains temperature difference.
        Moon covered with light powdery dust. See Apollo pictures of foot prints.
        And the Moon has slow rotation. The slow rotation largely explains how the lunar nights are so cold. And planet Mercury is also similar to the Moon in terms of having slow rotation, probably has similar regolith as Moon, and has very cold nights.

        The reason the Moon has very hot surface temperature- about 50 C warmer than Earth ground ever gets is because the moon lacks any significant atmosphere [it's a very good vacuum- better low earth orbit]. And lacking an atmosphere it get solar constant of 1360 watts per square meter.
        Btw the long day time has nothing to do with the Moon’s high temperature, has lunar top surface would heat up faster to 120 C as earth can warm to 70 C [in hottest surfaces on Earth- which is in Iran]. So Moon the warm up within hours of sun being close to noon, though is has days of sunlight near noon.

        Or if Earth had a day that lasted 29 days, it too would be cooler. But it’s the regolith which makes the biggest difference. Or if the Moon had a 24 hour day, it would still have lower average temperature as compared to earth. And still have surface temperature of 120 C at noon.
        In terms understanding the climate of Moon it’s pretty simple. With Earth, ocean and sky have many different things happening.

  41. gbaikie says:

    Top Ten Good Skeptical Arguments.

    I think top best argument is Obama and Dems thought Obamacare
    was more important.

  42. John says:

    why did global warming stop over 15 years ago

    Exactly, UAH has a trend of 0.147±0.210 deg C/decade (2σ) since the beginning of 1999, which means there was a warming probability of 92% over that time and a cooling probability of 8%, i.e. no global warming if you want a warming probability of 97.5%.

    But what’s so special about 97.5%? Surely if we’re going to spend trillions of dollars then we need at the very least 99.999% probability of warming.

    In that case if we look at the entire period of reliable measurement for global temperature (with UAH), then the warming trend was 0.138±0.069 deg C/decade (2σ). This means there was a warming probability of 99.997% and a cooling probability of 0.003%.

    So for practical purposes, there has never been any global warming.

  43. TonyM says:

    Just an addendum to climate model failures. Some warmists contend that the models are within the error bounds. Some I guess are – just.

    But I would suggest that such a treatment of errors is nonsense. What is the chance that ALL 102 runs of models end up being on the high side if they are right? Perhaps it has the same chance as the universe exploding if I repeat abra-kadabra 102 times.

    It is a bit like saying that a team has great goalkickers when all of the kicks for goal end up on the right side of the goal posts scoring only a point or out of bounds in Oz rules football. Impressive kicking indeed as no ball left the stadium.

    (You need vizualise Oz rules football which has four scoring posts – two tall posts in the middle which score a goal (6 points). Either side of these goal posts in a straight line, is an equal distance bounded by another post, which scores 1 point – much like a dumb bell distribution with four posts. Beyond the points post is the out of bounds boundary.)

  44. gbaikie says:

    –1) No Recent Warming. If global warming science is so “settled”, why did global warming stop over 15 years ago (in most temperature datasets), contrary to all “consensus” predictions?–

    So what are the answers to this question?
    A simple answer is IPCC selected models and they wanted the best models. And best models would fit the narrative they wanted to convey. And people who making these model were aware that their models would be accepted if fit what IPCC wanted.
    So Popular Science has video which explains what kind of things one should to avoid this all too common mistake:
    http://www.popularmechanics.com/how-to/blog/pmam-a-dose-of-skepticism-16744002
    Linked from:
    http://www.transterrestrial.com/?p=54713

    So we know, all science must take steps to eliminate bias, and everyone knows IPCC did not take these steps. So chance
    these models would have been correct was very low. One could say this was known and “corrected” by offering so many guesses. This of course is dumb and not the right thing to do, but they were competent to know they were going to fail, but lack the will and knowledge to do it right.
    So that leads to question if not for this selective process guaranteeing failure, had they been scientific in their approach, **could** they got it right?
    A simple guess had better chances of getting closer to being right, but get more picky about what is right. In other instead merely being nearest to current temperature, could have shown the pattern of yearly swings in global temperature. And seems one need to be able to have this kind of skill to predict temperatures and global condition more 50 years in the future.
    So that was not going to happen. And no one had such expectation, rather the hope was to get somewhat close, be brag about how close yours ones compared to the rest of them.
    So one could say there was low expectation, and the models even failed in this regard.

  45. Massimo PORZIO says:

    I would like to say something to the “truth-seekers” like rustneversleeps and David A, but it’s much better I don’t waste my time.

    So, instead I compliment with Dr. Spencer about the “Spinal Tap Bonus”, because it nevertheless stimulated a post by Nigel Tufnel.
    I would like to know his point of view about the topic.
    He surely knows if and how much our CO2 overproduction is dangerous for Gaia.
    Anyways, I’m sure he will be more sympathetic and less arrogant than those “truth-seekers”.

  46. Pete Brown says:

    Your question 8 is already contained in question 7. If 7 is ‘yes’ then so is 8.

  47. Mike Flynn says:

    I’ll be blowed! Both sides! Wonders will never cease!

    We’ll all know in a couple of thousand years or something. What a relief!

    Live well and prosper,

    Mike Flynn.

  48. Quondam says:

    My favorites:

    1. Thermodynamic limits

    2. The Convective Adjustment

  49. barry says:

    Sparks, the best skeptical argument is to emphasise the uncertainty in climate sensitivity estimates.

    Unfortunately, this allows for the possibility of low and high CS, which promotes the risk management factor.

    In truth, I don’t think the skeptical canon has a leg to stand on, if the agenda is to damp down concerns of the possible bad-case scenarios. To claim sensitivity is low, then skeptics must profess more certainty than the IPCC, and must cherry-pick in order to do so.

    As no skeptic ever asks me what I think (they invariably tell me what I think), I’ll put it down here:

    It’s much the same view that RP Snr holds – because we don’t know what will be the outcome of this uncontrolled experiment with our atmosphere, we should put the brakes on. Unless you can guarantee me that it will all be hunky dory, that bad case scenarios aren’t going to happen, then it’s past time we mitigated.

    There’s more to it than that, including reason to be concerned comparing ice age CO2 shifts and climate change with the current CO2 concentration and rate, but that’s the overview.

    Uncertainty cuts both ways. it’s possible we may not see too many adverse effects from increasing CO2 in the atmsphere. But if you start making positive announcements about how benificent more CO2 will be (with cherry-picks of low CS estimates, and pointing out that CO2 is plant food), then you are more absolute and far more selective than the IPCC.

    (I disagree completely with Roy’s comments about IPCC not presenting uncertainty and alternate views – I’ve read the last two nearly cover to cover)

    Alarmists oversell one side of the story, skeptical pollyannas oversell the other. Neither convince me. both are selling something. And anyone demanding certainty doesn’t understand risk management. That’s the core of the whole shebang.

    • SocietalNorm says:

      Since you are putting the risk into a policy framework, let me talk policy.
      The alarmist/statist prescription is to reduce the wealth of the world in order to delay the onset of global warming (hoping to reduce the likelihood of a worst-case scenario). However, they don’t really take into account the known effect of reducing the world’s wealth and driving millions to billions of people into poverty (depending upon the severity of the prescription) and significantly reducing the ability to cope with any global warming above the level which is beneficial. Coping with something like a significantly higher sea level will require a tremendous amount of wealth. If the world’s wealth is reduced significantly, the effects of a radical global warming will be far more damaging and cause far more human suffering, misery, and death. It is very possible that humankind would be better off with more economic growth and less poverty and even radical global warming. Remember, the IPCC’s predictions of economic damage rest on nothing being done to ameliorate the effects of a global warming. This is the equivalent of saying people are going to stand around for the next 100 years while the water rises and then drown when it gets over their heads.

      (Note that I say alarmist/statist because most people advocating global warming reduction measures really have no clue about the science one way or another, but it fits into their goals of more control of the people – these are the statists. The alarmists are those who understand the science and truly believe that radical global warming will happen. Of course, there are those who are in favor of the prescriptions for greater poverty because they believe humans are a plague on the Gaia Earth and more human deaths are a benefit, but I don’t know what to say to them. An interesting alliance, in any case.)

    • Alcheson says:

      So Barry is apparently FOR causing guaranteed catastrophic damage to peoples health and welfare, standard of living and our economy in order to possibly prevent the very slight risk that there MIGHT be catastrophic damage if we do nothing. The prescriptions the CAGW all for guarantee very bad outcomes for the majority of the planet, many deaths and much poverty.

      • barry says:

        Right on cue, someone else telling me what I think.

        Short answer: no.

        • Chris McLaughlin says:

          But Barry,

          Please try to understand that if we are not convinced (in other words we’re skeptical) that AGW is as horrible as the alrmists say it is, why would we agree to take immediate action to fight this goblin?

          Chris

        • Magoo says:

          You did the same thing yourself Barry you sanctimonious hypocrite:

          http://www.drroyspencer.com/2014/05/top-ten-good-skeptical-arguments/#comment-113132

          I never said that but you made a point of saying I did, in capital letters as well to make sure nobody missed it. When called up on it you can’t even admit your mistake – weasel. Are you the resident website troll or something?

  50. Ron C. says:

    The CO2 hysteria is founded on a false picture of heat flows within the climate system. There are 3 ways that heat (Infra-Red or IR radiation) passes from the surface to space.

    1) A small amount of the radiation leaves directly, because all gases in our air are transparent to IR of 10-14 microns (sometimes called the “atmospheric window.” This pathway moves at the speed of light, so no delay of cooling occurs.

    2) Some radiation is absorbed and re-emitted by IR active gases up to the tropopause. Calculations of the free mean path for CO2 show that energy passes from surface to tropopause in less than 5 milliseconds. This is almost speed of light, so delay is negligible.

    3) The bulk gases of the atmosphere, O2 and N2, are warmed by conduction and convection from the surface. They also gain energy by collisions with IR active gases, some of that IR coming from the surface, and some absorbed directly from the sun. Latent heat from water is also added to the bulk gases. O2 and N2 are slow to shed this heat, and indeed must pass it back to IR active gases at the top of the troposphere for radiation into space.

    In a parcel of air each molecule of CO2 is surrounded by 2500 other molecules, mostly O2 and N2. In the lower atmosphere, the air is dense and CO2 molecules energized by IR lose it to surrounding gases, slightly warming the entire parcel. Higher in the atmosphere, the air is thinner, and CO2 molecules can emit IR and lose energy relative to surrounding gases, who replace the energy lost.

    This third pathway has a significant delay of cooling, and is the reason for our mild surface temperature, averaging about 15C. Yes, earth’s atmosphere produces a buildup of heat at the surface. The bulk gases, O2 and N2, trap heat near the surface, while CO2 provides the radiative cooling at the top of the atmosphere.

    • gbaikie says:

      –3) The bulk gases of the atmosphere, O2 and N2, are warmed by conduction and convection from the surface. They also gain energy by collisions with IR active gases, some of that IR coming from the surface, and some absorbed directly from the sun. Latent heat from water is also added to the bulk gases. O2 and N2 are slow to shed this heat, and indeed must pass it back to IR active gases at the top of the troposphere for radiation into space.–

      If you take an area about size of football field; the air above it is about 50,000 tons. More than say 40,000 of this mass would be warmed and cooled by about 20 C in a day.
      And of 40,000 tons of air, “78.09% nitrogen, 20.95% oxygen, 0.93% argon, 0.039% carbon dioxide”- wiki
      So roughly, 31,000 tons of N2, 8000 tons of O2, 350 ton of argon, and 16 ton of CO2.

      The reason the air is up, is molecules have average velocity
      of around 1000 mph. And they are kinetic energy.
      In terms of how much joules of energy moving things have, there formula of KE = 1/2 mass * velocity squared.
      Or 1/2 of 40,000 tons is 200,000 kgs times 700 m/s times 700 m/s is about the amount of total joules of energy which the air above the field has. Or why the air is up.

      And in terms cooling or warming by 20 C. One has 400,000 kg
      of air requiring about 1000 joules per kg per per C:
      Specific heat of atmosphere:
      “For ordinary calculations – a value of cp = 1.0 kJ/kg.K (equal to kJ/kg.oC) – is normally accurate enough”
      http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/air-specific-heat-capacity-d_705.html
      And in terms velocity change 20 C is difference of about 1% of velocity.
      400,000 kg times 20 times 1000 is the joules involve to heat or cool 40,000 tons of air.

      So the molecules of air are traveling about 1000 mph, but their direction is changing constantly. And if could whack it with a hammer, the more you whack it the faster a mass of molecule would go and it warms. If air molecules can hit a hammer [and they do] they cool [slow down] and warm the hammer.
      Now, the ideal gas law says the kinetic energy of all gases
      is conserved, or it does not lose kinetic energy via radiating into a vacuum. Though the kinetic energy can be transferred to say a container wall. But if container wall is same temperature as the gas, the gas does not lose kinetic energy.
      And question is how do you think the CO2 molecules violates this law?

      • Ron C. says:

        gbaikie says:

        Not sure what you are driving at.

        Thanks to collision broadening the ability of complex molecules to absorb radiation in the lower atmosphere is greatly enhanced but most of the energy they collect is given back to the surrounding chief mass of the air.

        As the pressure rises the mean time between collisions falls until the collision time constant is much smaller than the radiative decay time constant. In other words radiative transfer in the lower atmosphere has essentially the same effect as convection.

        The bottom line here is: Infrared transparency in earth’s atmosphere depends upon pressure, not the composition of gases. CO2 is the agent of cooling in the stratosphere. The bulk gases, O2 and N2, under pressure delay the surface from cooling and our mild surface temperatures are the result.

        http://faculty.washington.edu/dcatling/Robinson2014_0.1bar_Tropopause.pdf

        • gbaikie says:

          “Not sure what you are driving at.

          Thanks to collision broadening the ability of complex molecules to absorb radiation in the lower atmosphere is greatly enhanced but most of the energy they collect is given back to the surrounding chief mass of the air. ”

          Gas molecules energy is about their movement.
          And as to complex molecules, H20 becomes a complex molecule when it’s a liquid. So I fine with idea that complex molecules [not gases] being become warmer when the they absorb radiation- as a liquid do not increase it’s velocity the the warmer they become, unlike gas molecules.

          So a bullet does not increase it’s velocity if you light up with a laser, but since bullet is a solid, the laser can make the bullet become warmer if shine a laser at it.

          So atmospheric gases are traveling at about 1000 mph, and this it unlike liquids and solids [or complex molecules].

    • The 5 milliseconds it takes for IR energy to get from surface to tropopause if greenhouse gases are in the way is not “speed of light”, not unimpeded in my words. During that 5 milliseconds, some IR energy is turned back towards the surface as part of absorptions and re-emissions, and has to be re-emitted towards space all over again. And some of this downward-redirected IR energy reaches the surface as opposed to getting past the tropopause within 5 milliseconds.

      In order to keep up the net outflow of IR energy should greenhouse gas presence increase, the temperature gradient between lower and upper troposphere has to increase. The more honest question is how much or how little, rather than questioning this fact.

  51. Ivan says:

    Roy Spencer: “why did global warming stop over 15 years ago (in most temperature datasets)?”

    you mean, except in yours?

  52. SocietalNorm says:

    It only takes point #1 to prove that the global warming models are incorrect. The models predicted something and it did not come to pass.

    People used to say, “back to the drawing board.” That was the way science was done. Maybe the models are basically right but need some adjustments, maybe they are completely wrong. In the past, many theories could be proposed and tested.
    Now the advocates refuse to admit they are wrong, yell louder that they are correct, and try to eliminate people who point out that it is wrong (including some pushing for imprisoning people who believe that the models are wrong).

  53. John S says:

    This is one of my favorite skeptic counter-argument:
    If AGW is “settled science” then how come they can’t even balance their energy equations? Instead they make wild claims that the “missing heat” is hiding in the deep oceans (Kevin Trenberth). A claim that can neither be proved or disproved since ARGO temperature buoys only measure the upper layers of the oceans. However lack of evidence never stopped alarmists from making up more hypotheses to explain why their previous hypotheses have failed. And did you know that 97% of scientists who get government grants are in favor of their funding being continued? :)

    • Sparks says:

      Reminds me of the big-bang theory! Where the speed of light barrier can not be broken therefor adjustments to basic physics are introduced that allow galaxies to travel apart from each other “faster than the speed of light”. (note without information).

      Who was skeptical of this idea? oh just the usual Hubble and Einstein.

      • Don says:

        Sparks,
        Objects cannot travel faster than light speed in a vacuum and in the frame of reference.
        But the universe as a whole can expand faster than light, as it did during inflation, and this does not violate light speed limits.
        Study your cosmology

        • Sparks says:

          The speed of Shit -sticking to a stick is more intelligent than your assertion.

          “But the universe as a whole can expand faster than light, as it did during inflation, and this does not violate light speed limits”

        • rustneversleeps says:

          Like Don, said, Sparks: Study your cosmology.

          Don is absolutely correct, and your blustery personal incredulity and ignorance of the subject matter can’t change that.

        • Chris McLaughlin says:

          “…as it did during inflation…” Are we talking Ford or Carter?

  54. Alcheson says:

    A couple of additional points I would add.

    1) Why is sea level rise at the same low rate today as it was in 1850 before AGW? In fact, it seems to be de-celerating rather than accelerating.

    2) Why is Global Sea Ice area the same now as it was in the 1980s? Total sea ice is NOT shrinking, the Antarctic is growing while the Arctic is/was shrinking. According to models total sea ice is supposed to be shrinking.

    3) So far the increase in CO2 has been net positive. Planet is 11% greener and crop yields have increased substantially since CO2 went from 300ppm to 400ppm. Temperature has increased only ~1C since the LIA and currently has stopped warming entirely. How can you claim certainty about the doom and gloom and we are ALL GOING TO DIE if we don’t drastically curtail CO2 emmissions starting today?

    4) Why does our 10 year Window of Opportunity to save humanity keep changing to the next ten years after the original ten years comes to pass and the world didn’t come to an end?

  55. Werner Brozek says:

    David A says:
    May 1, 2014 at 10:17 PM
    Werner: I keep asking you, and you keep avoiding the question — how often is a 15-yr trend (or so) statistically significant when you use whatever model for autocorrelation you are using?
    What is your answer?

    I am not an expert on statistics. My numbers come from Nick Stokes site at:
    http://moyhu.blogspot.com.au/p/temperature-trend-viewer.html?Xxdat=0,1,4,48,92
    Please take these things up with him.

  56. Pouncer says:

    The argument about “science” obscures the arguments about freedom (politics) and allocation of resources (economics). In fact the scientist agitating politicians on the issue explicitly condemned “Business As Usual” (BAU). IF Global Warming, THEN One-World-Government. IF Climate Change, THEN catastropic impact on agriculture, medicine, trade routes, resource competition… IF “my hypothesis”, THEN “put me in charge”.

    It rather reminds one of Harold Hill, the first pool table in River City, Iowa, and a boys’ marching band. (With uniforms, incluing big brass buttons and shiny gold braid.)

  57. Climate Weenie says:

    My favorite ‘arguments’ are:

    1. GW is -real- but the extent, effect, and impacts are all -exaggerated-.

    2. As mentioned above -what is the net balance?-
    That is what are likely BENEFITS as opposed to DETRIMENTS?
    Use of the fossil fuel itself has to be included as a benefit.
    CO2 fertilization. CO2 drought resistance. Longer growing seasons. Increase of area of sufficient growing season. Increased available surface water. Reduction in human mortality ( which is strongly ANTI correlated with seasonal warmth ). etc. etc.

    3. The developed world is already DECREASING its CO2 emissions without gov intrusion. China is likely to follow suit. Solving what might be a problem centuries from now makes no sense.

    4. Population is modeled ( by the UN ) to peak this century for both the low and mid-range projections. Solving imagined problems of future generations does not make sense.

    etc. etc.

    • Chris says:

      It is not obvious to me that on balance (3) is true.

      At least in Australia any decrease in emissions is as a result of the decimation of our manufacturing industry, and corresponding increase in imports of manufactured goods.

      We have essentially exported our CO2 emissions (and real pollution) to China.

      It is all very clever and makes us appear to be such good world citizens, but the reality is quite different.

      If the goods were manufactured in Australia the overall environmental impact would have most likely been much lower.

      I can’t see that China can possibly reduce its emissions and right now we live in a clean green Australia, thanks to China being happy to generate the pollution and CO2 emission there.

  58. Leon says:

    HERE’S ANOTHER SHOT AT IT

    1. 1970s: Every major climate organization endorsed the ice age scare, including NCAR, CRU, NAS, NASA, as did the CIA.

    2. Catastrophic Anthropologic Global Warming has not occurred and there is no evidence that it will occur. Modeling projections are used to create the illusion of an upcoming Anthropologic Global Warming catastrophe. All models are performing very, very poorly and their core assumptions have been shown to be ineffective and questionable. There is no observational evidence that CO2 has caused, or will cause, Catastrophic Global Warming.

    3. Our current climate is not “Unprecedented”. There are thousands of studies that document warm periods, equal to our current warm period, which occurred prior to any possibility of human cause.

    4. Our atmosphere is currently 4/100ths of 1% (.0004) Carbon Dioxide, up approximately 1/100ths of 1% (.0001) since the beginning of the industrial revolution. It is counter-intuitive to believe that an increase of 0.0001 mole fraction of an odorless, colorless, largely inert gas will destroy civilization. We do not currently have any convincing evidence or observational data that Anthropologic Carbon Dioxide has caused or will cause a Global Warming Catastrophe It is absolutely known that the heating effect of Carbon Dioxide is logarithmic. The more CO2 is added to the atmosphere, the less heating effect the added CO2 will have. The first 20 ppm had more heating effect than all of the other CO2 that has been added (whether anthropologic or not). Since the industrial revolution, atmospheric concentrations have increased from about 280 ppm to 400 ppm. Without the very questionable positive feedbacks assumed in models, doubling from 300ppm to 600ppm would have a heating potential of ½ degree centigrade. At the current pace of added anthropologic CO2, this doubling will take about 200 years.

    5. The IPCC’s catastrophic AGW (CAGW) hypothesis is based on the prediction that human CO2 emissions would produce a “hotspot” in the atmosphere above the tropics. This hotspot was identified by the IPCC as the penultimate evidence that global warming was accelerating, causing a “tipping point” cascade of catastrophic events. The projected hotspot over the tropics was expected to stretch from the 5km mark to as high as 15km, with the hottest portion being from 8-12km. The temperatures in this specific area were supposed to rise 1.2 to 1.5 times faster than surface temperatures, due to positive feedback loop produced by the CO2-induced warming. Big problem though: ” NASA satellites are unable to locate this mysterious, runaway hotspot”. (AGW “signature” and/or “fingerprint”) that the IPCC and global warming alarmists have long predicted. This despite NASA satellites having 100% coverage over the entire tropical troposphere, including the critical water vapor areas of the lower and mid-troposphere. In fact, this specific area of the troposphere has only warmed a fraction of the IPCC’s predictions, turning the “hotspot” into the embarrassing “AWOLspot.” Additionally, this means that the feared AGW positive feedback loop went kaput, or it never really existed, except in the “consensus” hive mind of the alarmist-science collective (and their models).

    6. The IPCC has attempted to eliminate changes in the Sun’s Solar Cycles as a cause of current climate change. Recent observational data has indicated otherwise and many of the world’s top Solar Scientists believe that the recent Solar Cycles provide a strong indication that the Earth will experience cooling in the coming years. (As evidenced by his 1988 report, .even Jim Hansen believed that Northern hemisphere temperature changes track solar irradiation almost perfectly over the 237 years from 1750 to 1987..) Solar Cycle 24 is on track to be the weakest solar cycle in 100 years and it is predicted that Solar Cycle 25 will be even weaker. A succession of weak solar cycles has, in the past, preceded precipitous drops in the Earth’s temperature. Club du Soleil, a Dutch virtual institute on solar variability and climate change with a multidisciplinary character, consisting of astronomers, meteorologists, climatologists, biologists, and earth scientists has compiled a listing of 71 new papers published during 2013 demonstrating that the Sun controls climate, not man-made CO2. Visit Club du Soleil for many more published in 2012 and earlier.
    .
    7. Extreme Weather: ‘US floods have not increased over a century or longer (same globally). — US hurricane landfall frequency or intensity have not increased (in US for over a century or longer)’ ‘US intense hurricane landfalls are currently in longest drought (7 years+) ever documented — US tornadoes, especially strongest ones, have not increased since at least 1950. — US drought has decreased since middle of the past century. — US East Coast Winter Storms show no trends — Disaster losses normalized for societal changes show no residual trends (US, other regions or globally). Since 2006 the GLOBAL tropical cyclone ACE (cyclone energy) has decreased dramatically. Professor Bob Carter: “The IPCC, NIPCC and scores of independent scientists have investigated whether there is anything unusual about today’s weather. None of the scientists involved has been able to show that the intensity or frequency of modern weather extremes exceeds that of the natural climate events that have occurred throughout geological history.”

    8. There is no evidence by either satellite measurements or tidal gauges to show that the sea level rise has changed in any appreciable amount in the last 100+ years or that there is evidence of any human influence on sea levels. . All five datasets measuring sea level rise indicate a 31% reduction in the rate of sea level rise since 2002. Global sea ice extent is currently at it’s highest level since 1994. Antarctic sea ice extent is at it’s highest level since records began.

    9. All five world-wide temperature datasets agree that there has been no statistically-significant global warming for at least 17 years

    10. ‘We’ve had 27 climate changes in the last 400 years: warm, cold, warm, cold. There have been four in this past century that have nothing to do with CO2, because CO2 wasn’t a factor… We know that those are not all related to CO2. So why would we expect climate change today to be related to CO2?’

  59. Alick says:

    Feedback is not a source of energy. Extra molecules added to the atmosphere do not increase the sources of energy.

  60. Bart says:

    I would like to compliment Steve Fitzpatrick and Kurt R for some very well crafted posts.

  61. Ian says:

    Roy, sometimes you make it hard to believe you’re actually a scientist. Your points are more typical than good. I won’t go into them all, but one quote caught me; “How do scientists expect to be taken seriously when their “theory” is supported by both floods AND droughts?” You ARE a climate scientist. It doesn’t take a scientist to figure out that climate and temperature is not evenly distributed throughout the atmosphere. The floods and droughts aren’t necessarily in the same place. Ocean circulation, continents, mountains, oscillation, ice caps, ect, influence the distribution of heat and energy. When this is disrupted, weather systems can bring more or less water to certain regions. Plus, a rising sea level is obviously going to bring floods while amplified heat is obviously going to make a hot place hotter.
    I have a good question on par with yours. “If a tree falls in the woods with no one to hear it, does it make a sound?” Yes, it does because science understands sounds. Do you understand science?

    • Massimo PORZIO says:

      Ian, his point is that it’s ridiculous affirm that an increase of floods and droughts both support their theory without explain how they should do it.
      Tell me one, I repeat only one, theoretical mechanism (not statistical, which means nothing in this context) which states for sure that increasing a GHG in the atmosphere could, even slightly, increase those events.
      IMHO Dr. Spencer seems to be one of the few in climate science, who understands what science is indeed.

      Have a nice day.

      Massimo

      • barry says:

        Massimo,

        But they are explained. It’s easy to miss this with critics turning headlines into talking points and ignoring the details.

        Global warming brings changes in weather patterns.

        Generally, wet areas get wetter, arid areas get drier.

        It’s not difficult. Unless one imagines the earth to be an unfeatured billiard ball.

        • Massimo PORZIO says:

          Hi barry,
          You wrote: “Generally, wet areas get wetter, arid areas get drier.”

          What intrigue me (which I admit that I’m not a scientist but an engineer) it is how could these extremes became more extreme.
          Please give me the scientific details of the explanation about your statement.

          Have a nice day.

          Massimo

        • barry says:

          Hi Massimo.

          Below are an assortment of peer-reviewed studies, science articles and regional studies, on observed and projected changes in regional precipitation. The more technical papers may have the details you want, and the following list is by no means exhaustive. I hope it’s a good starter for you if you want to pursue the matter further. I’m only familiar with the basics.

          ——————————————————-

          The key question is the broad picture at major regional and continental levels. Some interesting conclusions for this survey are emerging. For example, the review shows increased variance of precipitation everywhere. Consistent with this finding, we observe that wet areas become wetter, and dry and arid areas become more so

          h t t p ://w w w.mobot.org/MOBOT/Research/climateChange/pdf/Dore2005-EnvironmenInternational.pdf

          “We are looking at why this is happening,” Polade said. “Earlier studies suggest that warmer regions will get wetter, while colder regions can get wetter or drier,” he said. “The tropics are also getting wetter or drier, while the subtropics are drying.”

          h t t p://w w w.livescience.com/44065-climate-change-means-less-rainfall.html

          As a result of global warming, precipitation is likely to increase in high latitudes and the tropics and to decrease in already dry sub-tropical regions [1].

          h t t p://w w w.ldeo.columbia.edu/res/div/ocp/glodech/PDFS/Liu_etal_2013.pdf

          Annual average precipitation is projected to increase in some areas and decrease in others. The figure to the right shows projected regional differences in precipitation for summer and winter.[6]

          http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/science/future.html

          Analysis of computer simulations from 14 climate models indicates wet regions of the world, such as the equatorial Pacific Ocean and Asian monsoon regions, will see increases in heavy precipitation because of warming resulting from projected increases in carbon dioxide levels. Arid land areas outside the tropics and many regions with moderate rainfall could become drier.

          h t t p://w w w.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/wetter-wet.html

          For a future warmer climate, the current generation of models indicate that precipitation will generally increase in tropical regions (such as the monsoon regimes) and over the tropical Pacific in particular. There is projected to be general decreases in the subtropics, and increases at high latitudes. Globally averaged mean water vapour, evaporation and precipitation are projected to increase.

          h t t p s://w w w.wmo.int/pages/themes/climate/climate_projections.php

          Climate models predict that the addition of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere will shift precipitation in two main ways. The first shift is in a strengthening of existing precipitation patterns. This is commonly called “wet get wetter, dry get drier.”

          Warmer air traps more water vapor, and scientists expect that additional water to fall in already wet parts of the Earth.

          “But because precipitation has to be balanced by evaporation, we expect a [corresponding] increase in dry regions,” Marvel said.

          h t t p://w w w.scientificamerican.com/article/climate-change-is-altering-rainfall-patterns-worldwide/

          h t t p://w w w.cawcr.gov.au/publications/otherreports/rainfall.pdf

          h t t p://w w w.int-res.com/articles/cr_oa/c047p123.pdf

          ——————————————————–

          Apologies for spacing out the URLs. This site hold posts in moderation if there are too many links, and Dr Spencer doesn’t always get aroud to admitting such posts. Just remove the spacing when pasting them to the address bar if you want to follow up. The appropriate search terms in google scholar will also assist.

          barry.

          • Massimo PORZIO says:

            Hi Barry,

            no, that’s not the kind of “science” I use to call “Science”.

            As expected, you gave me links to statistical analysis and model simulations.

            I know them and what they support, but science is not that IMHO.

            Assuming an AGW and stating that it is likely for that that we will have increase of extreme wet and dry areas shouldn’t be used to support that AGW is occurring indeed. It’s a circular argument, not different than considering polar bears at risk of extinction and then use them to proof that AGW exists.
            Real climate scientists shouldn’t spend their time about what could happen in case AGW is “likely” to happen, instead they should give clear physical proof that men are really causing an increase in average temperature over the natural climate tendency.

            I’m still very skeptic about AGW.

            Have a nice weekend.

            Massimo

          • Ron C. says:

            Barry, check it out:

            Abstract – 16 October 2012 Changes in the variability of global land precipitation Fubao Sun et al[1]

            In our warming climate there is a general expectation that the variability of precipitation (P) will increase at daily, monthly and inter-annual timescales. Here we analyse observations of monthly P (1940–2009) over the global land surface using a new theoretical framework that can distinguish changes in global P variance between space and time.

            We report a near-zero temporal trend in global mean P.

            >>Unexpectedly we found a reduction in global land P variance over space and time that was due to a redistribution, where, on average, the dry became wetter while wet became drier.<<

            Changes in the P variance were not related to variations in temperature. Instead, the largest changes in P variance were generally found in regions having the largest aerosol emissions. Our results combined with recent modelling studies lead us to speculate that aerosol loading has played a key role in changing the variability of P.

            Geophysical Research Letters – Volume 39, Issue 19DOI: 10.1029/2012GL053369

            http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2012GL053369/abstract

          • Massimo PORZIO says:

            Hi Ron C.
            as said, I don’t really like to rely on mere statistic, in both ways, when it disproves my point of view and even when it confirm it.

            Just to let you understand what I mean, take a look to the paper at this link:

            https://www.google.it/#q=Meteosat+derived+planetary+temperature+trend+1982-2006.pdf

            They used our Meteosat European geostationary satellites to conclude:
            “10. CONCLUSION
            The amazing finding of the present study is that we do not observe global warming in the period 1982-2006, but significant cooling. What could be the cause?
            The satellite data are from a reliable origin supported by the European meteorological community. Their accurate calibration has received due attention and efforts from Eumetsat. Our processing of these data has been simple and straight forward, involving only noon and midnight image composition, averaging and a filter to eliminate cloud effects. We have created similar planetary temperature change images for the unfiltered, 10, 20 and 30 day filtered data, clearly showing convergence towards the longer filters, indicating that cloud influences were effectively removed.
            Moreover, we do observe significant temperature increase at some locations which are due to human interventions, and which are quantitatively in line with the theoretically
            expected effects of these interventions. Therefore we believe the observed planetary temperature decrease for most of the hemisphere to be real.
            The cloud filtered temperature change patterns, in figure 2c, indicate that the largest decrease occurs in the more cloudy regions of the hemisphere: the tropics and the temperate zones, while in the desert belt the temperature decrease is much smaller.
            This suggests that cloudiness changes could be the mechanism behind the observed global cooling since 1982: an increase in cloudiness would decrease global radiation and increase rainfall and evapotranspiration. Both effects tend to decrease the surface temperature.”

            But don’t they told us that we had faced decades of warming?

            I’m very confused about this.

            Have a nice weekend.

            Massimo

          • barry says:

            Good morning massimo,

            “no, that’s not the kind of “science” I use to call “Science”.

            As expected, you gave me links to statistical analysis and model simulations.

            I know them and what they support, but science is not that IMHO.”

            I provided several references that were observationally based, and also described the mechanisms that produce different regional precipitation responses to warming, which was what you asked for. Half the references were peer-reviewed, and most of the rest were articles about a peer-reviewed study.

            I’m curious: in order to assess precipitation changes, what method can you describe that would be effective which doesn’t use statistical analysis? Your point there seems like an anti-science opinion to me.

            If you wanted to assess if precipitation trend are variable depending on region, how would you go about it?

          • barry says:

            Hi Ron,

            I note firstly that the study confirms dry regions drying, and wet regions getting wetter, but they question attribution, suggesting aerosols may have a significant influence. Right now, it is an outlying view in the literature. I guess we’ll see how this thesis plays out over time.

          • Massimo PORZIO says:

            Hi Barry,
            good morning too.
            Here in North Italy is a sunny Sunday despite the weather forecast of yesterday predicted heavy rain (maybe it will happen later).
            All your reference have a common denominator which is the time related temperature measurements used to establish the correlation with the floods and droughts (correlation which not always means it’s the causation).
            Since it’s well known that if you correct that temperature measurements for the UHI you get a negative trend, instead if you correct for the men improved irrigation of lands (which it is done indeed, but that’s just one of the many corrections applied) you get a positive trend.
            In my point of view this means only one thing: the measurements are meaningless because the simulated (arbitrary) corrections overcome the measurements themselves.

            You wrote: “I’m curious: in order to assess precipitation changes, what method can you describe that would be effective which doesn’t use statistical analysis? Your point there seems like an anti-science opinion to me.”

            I’m not suggesting any alternative method, I’m not a climatologist, I’m just highlighting that if a scientist want his/her work to be recognized as really scientific, he/she has to use clear measurements not computed ones, otherwise it’s very easy to fall in trivial circular argumentation.
            For example, from an engineer point of view “homogenizing” the temperature measurements of very few locations to get a global temperature information is a very crazy solution, but it has been done.

            I’m not saying that all the statistical analyses are meaningless (excuse me if I lead you to think that), I’m just saying that using mere statistical analyses for doing science is like walking in a mined field.

            Do you get my point?

            Have a very nice Sunday.

            Massimo

          • barry says:

            Since it’s well known that if you correct that temperature measurements for the UHI you get a negative trend…

            I have seen no credible analysis that determines a negative long-term global trend if UHI is removed. Rather, the credibe evidence I have seen is that the UHI effect is small (and some of the temp records try to remove it, in different ways).

            If UHI is a singificant factor, is it significantly present in the long-term satellite data trends? Or in the Arctic temp trends? What about the long-term global SST records? How much urban influence is there on the surface of the seas?

            Do you have credible references on this (not blogs – peer-reviewed studies)?

      • rustneversleeps says:

        Massimo PORZIO says:

        May 3, 2014 at 2:26 AM

        Tell me one, I repeat only one, theoretical mechanism (not statistical, which means nothing in this context) which states for sure that increasing a GHG in the atmosphere could, even slightly, increase those events.

        ************************************************

        Ok, here is one.

        Will the Wet Get Wetter and the Dry Drier?

        from NOAA/Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory

        http://youtu.be/wAbMuefx3oE

        • Massimo PORZIO says:

          Simulation, always simulations…

          That movie started saying “in response to increase GHG levels Earth temperature rises…”

          My point about that is: since the error bars on the last decades “global temperature” measurements are wider than the supposed warming (or cooling?) trend, how could they wrote the code for that impressive simulation?

          Read my post above, and you’ll know why I tend to consider this kind of statistical analysis not scientific at all.

          Sorry, I’m an AGW skeptic, and reading your posts I well know that you are an AGW believer, so I don’t pretend to change your mind, but IMHO real science should be made by real measurements which must confirm theories, not impressive video games like simulations.

          Have a nice Sunday.

          Massimo

  62. Magoo says:

    How about – ‘What evidence is there for positive feedback from water vapour when the tropospheric hotspot has failed to eventuate.’ As the missing hotspot suggests no positive feedback from water vapour, and water vapour is supposed to contribute almost all of the positive feedback that is supposed to double/triple the minor warming attributable to CO2, how can the temperature rise more than 1.2C maximum per doubling of total atmospheric CO2 without positive feedback from water vapour.

    The IPCC AR5 shows that the mid troposphere has warmed barely a tenth of what was predicted in AR4, if even that (IPCC AR5 report, Working Group I, page 197, table 2.8):

    http://www.climatechange2013.org/images/report/WG1AR5_Chapter02_FINAL.pdf

    • barry says:

      Water vapour exists beyond the hot spot. Global average water vapour has increased. You’e confusing two different arguemnts.

      John Christie (and IIRC Roy Spencer) has pointed out that the hot spot issue is not tied to CO2. It is theorized to occur whatever causes the warming. The issue is not about CO2 warming, but whether heat transport in the atmosphere is well understood.

      • Magoo says:

        The fact that the hot spot is not tied to CO2 doesn’t change the fact that it isn’t there regardless of what causes it. It’s absence shows an empirical failure by the models that predicted water vapour at a certain altitude that has failed to materialise – water vapour that is supposed to have a profound effect on positive feedback. Water vapour at different altitudes has different effects (e.g. clouds & negative feedback). Here’s what Dr. Roy Spencer has to say about it:

        ‘Most people don’t realize that the missing tropospheric “hot spot” in satellite temperature trends is potentially related to water vapor feedback. One of the most robust feedback relationships across the IPCC climate models is that those models with the strongest positive water vapor feedback have the strongest negative lapse rate feedback (which is what the “hot spot” would represent). So, the lack of this negative lapse rate feedback signature in the satellite temperature trends could be an indirect indication of little (or even negative) water vapor feedback in nature.’

        source: http://www.drroyspencer.com/2010/09/five-reasons-why-water-vapor-feedback-might-not-be-positive/

        • barry says:

          I think the way Roy puts it – with qualifiers and caveats – is a reasonable comment.

    • barry says:

      Come to think of it, that would make a good entry in the “bad arguments” list, as it is widely proliferated.

      11) LACK OF HOTSPOT DISPROVES CO2 WARMING

      • Bart says:

        And, a good entry to the “good arguments” list:

        11) heat transport in the atmosphere is not well understood.

        • Massimo PORZIO says:

          No Bart,
          that’s 12 not 11…
          Entry 11 is already occupied by Spinal Tap bonus, don’t you see it? :)

          Anyways I agree with barry that the missing hotspot means nothing… Other than heat transport in atmosphere is not well understood.

          Have a nice weekend.

          Massimo

        • barry says:

          I agree with that, bart.

      • Magoo says:

        I never said the lack of a hotspot disproves CO2 warming, what I said was that it disproves positive feedback from water vapour. See the quote from Dr. Spencer above.

        • barry says:

          What you did was mention only CO2 warming regarding the issue, not a general proposition. Thus, you seemed to tie the hotspot issue the an enhanced greenhouse effect only. I will take your qualification here to heart.

          • Magoo says:

            No, read it again. I linked the hotspot to water vapour not CO2, and water vapour is needed for the AGW theory to work. The reason I mentioned CO2 is because AGW theory dictates that water vapour is supposed to double/triple CO2′s forcing, not because I think it’s the only thing that causes a hotspot.

            I never said or even implied that the hotspot was reliant on CO2 warming alone – you ASSUMED that, just as you are assuming that I ‘tie[d] the hotspot issue t[o] an enhanced greenhouse effect only.’ I neither implied nor suggested anything of the sort. I respectfully suggest that your conclusions are based on a false assumption on your part, not because of anything I said.

          • barry says:

            Yes, I assumed you were tying water vapour feedback to CO2 because that’s what you said. If you’d left out the CO2 part and only tied the feedback to atmospheric warming (from any cause), I would not have made the point.

          • barry says:

            Water vapour concentration has risen in the atmosphere as a whole. I’m not sure that the tropocal tropospheric ‘hotspot’ is a necessary feature of the feedback effect. It’s just one part of the atmposphere.

          • Magoo says:

            Listen Barry, stop trying to worm your way out of your total misrepresentation of what I said. This is what you said I said:

            ’11) LACK OF HOTSPOT DISPROVES CO2 WARMING’

            and this is what I said:

            ‘What evidence is there for positive feedback from water vapour when the tropospheric hotspot has failed to eventuate.’

            followed by:

            ‘how can the temperature rise more than 1.2C maximum per doubling of total atmospheric CO2 without positive feedback from water vapour’.

            Where have I said that the hotspot stops CO2 warming?

            Regarding water vapour: as I said previously, WV at different altitudes has different effects (e.g. clouds vs. negative feedback). Can’t you read or something, or are you just an imbecile?

            Now, I think an apology is in order.

          • barry says:

            This has gotten a bit out of hand. I accepted your clarification straight after you made it, which was after I suggested adding point 11) to the list, and have since been explaining why I made the comment in the first place. Check the time stamps. If you still feel misjudged, then I’m sorry.

            It is, however, a misunderstanding that does proliferate the general debate.

            Be well.

            barry.

      • I would say that the lack of the tropical middle or upper-middle troposphere hotspot is a significant sign that AGW has little or no positive feedback, but not a sign that AGW does not exist at all.

  63. These four factors either combined or in some combination are responsible for all the climate changes on earth. If one agrees with this then one will also have to agree that global climate change is synchronous.

    MY FOUR FACTORS

    1. The initial state of the global climate.

    a. how close or far away is the global climate to glacial conditions if in inter- glacial, or how close is the earth to inter- glacial conditions if in a glacial condition.

    .

    2. Solar variability and the associated primary and secondary effects. Lag times, degree of magnitude change and duration of those changes must be taken into account. I have come up with criteria . I will pass it along, why not in my next email.

    a. solar irradiance changes

    b. cosmic ray changes

    c. volcanic activity

    d. UV light changes hence ozone /atmospheric circulation changes.

    e. ocean current changes due to atmospheric changes.

    f. ocean heat content changes.

    g. albedo changes due to snow cover, cloud cover ,precipitation changes.

    h. thermohaline circulation changes.

    3. Strength of the magnetic field of the earth. This can enhance or moderate changes associated with solar variability.

    a. weaker magnetic field can enhance cosmic rays and also cause them to be concentrated in lower latitudes where there is more moisture to work with to be more effective in cloud formation if magnetic poles wander south due to magnetic excursions in a weakening magnetic field overall.

    4. Milankovitch Cycles. Where the earth is at in relation to these cycles as far as how elliptic or not the orbit is, the tilt of the axis and precession.

    a. less elliptic, less tilt, earth furthest from sun during N.H. summer — favor cooling.

    This is what I think is behind climate change.

    I do agree with Dr. Spencer’s points on GHG’S and the greenhouse effect , with one important difference which is I think the GHG effect(how effective it is) is in response to the total energy coming into the climate system (via the sun)to begin with.

    When the climate is warming the GHG effect is stronger and weaker when it is cooling.

    In addition convection/conduction will always act opposite to the GHG effect counteracting it to one degree or another.

    Data which supports GHG effect is in response to the climate rather then leading the climate is the fact that no matter how high GHG concentrations have been they ALWAYS follow the temperature.

    There is not one instance where data shows this not to be the case.

    • Don says:

      On your point 3a. Earth’s magnetic fields affect solar flares and coronal mass ejections, but NOT cosmic rays. It is the electromagnetic field associated with the Sun and charged particle outflow, operating over large distances, that exclude weaker cosmic rays.

      • ren says:

        Don know very little about the galactic radiation.

        • Don says:

          I have published several scientific papers on galactic radiation (GCR), as well as energetic solar particle emissions, and their interactions. Included in this was the first paper to experimentally show modulation of galactic cosmic rays by solar activity beyond the Earth.

          • Don says:

            P.S. to ren
            If you wish to know more details, here is a simplified summary introduction (graph not shown) I wrote before as background to the possible role of GCR particles in cloud formation.

            Now some description of how particles of different energies interact with the Earth.
            (1) Because all solar protons are stripped of electrons, are charged, and are in motion, they both produce an electromagnetic field and interact with the Sun’s magnetic field. All solar particle emissions, both protons and stripped electrons, are propagated outward and intense particle energies are associated with stronger electromagnetic fields.
            (2) The Earth’s magnetic field is relative strong close to Earth. It deflects weaker SCR particles and concentrates the stronger ones into the upper atmosphere near the magnetic poles. The more energetic the SCR particle, the deeper into the atmosphere it penetrates and the greater the photon emission and ionization effects it produces.
            (3) The Earth’s magnetic field has little effect on GCR particles of higher energies, e.g., those above ~100 MeV. These are the particles most likely to enter the lower atmosphere and produce ionization. They are also the ones that produce 14C and 10Be by nuclear reactions, which typically require energies above 5-10 MeV.
            (4) The magnetic field propagated out from the Sun is not as strong near Earth, but propagates far out into space, even beyond the planets.
            (5) A charged SCR or GCR particle passing through a magnetic field will be bent in direct proportion to the strength of the field and the total path length over which it interacts with the particle. GCR particles interact with the solar field for very long path lengths. Thus, when the Sun is active and the solar field strong, GCR particles of higher energy will be bent and deflected away from the inner solar system to a greater degree than when the Sun is less active. GCR particles will be bent in the solar field in inverse proportion to particle energy; thus, more energetic particles are bent less.
            (6) The net result of #5 is that when the Sun is active GCR particles of intermediate energy are deflected from Earth. Thus, there are fewer particles to penetrate the atmosphere and produce ionization. GCR particles of highest energy that produce 14C and 10Be are deflected to a lesser degree, but production of these nuclides is still affected somewhat.

            Although GCR particles are deflected by the electromagnetic field produced by the Sun and the charged particle flux streaming outward, the SCR particle flux curve can be thought of as a relative measure of the strength of this field. Thus, the maximum solar flare of 1956 produced a greater flux of protons than the GCR flux out to an energy of ~3 GeV. In contrast the weakest flare curve (still a relative strong one) had a proton flux in excess of the GCR flux only up to ~0.1 GeV. Coronal Mass Ejections (CME) from the Sun have still lower energies and their flux curve would cross the GCR curve to the left of the graph. Thus, the stronger 1956 flare deflected the GCR particles up to higher energies then the weaker flares shown in the figure. During an inactive Sun, there would be relative little deflection of GCR particles from Earth.

          • gbaikie says:

            So, GCR is particle near light speed. And strength would mostly type of atom [ie Iron] or nearer light speed.

            Solar particles as far as I know aren’t near light speed.

            So it’s the speed of GCR which make Earth small field have little effect- there no time to bend it.

            So,those on ISS are not getting as much GCR as in open space [say in Earth to Mars transit or Earth/sun L-1]. Obviously part of that reduction is Earth mass blocking 1/2 the sky, but
            I had assume Earth’s magnetic field also blocked some GCR.

            I am thinking about radiational effect of GCR and affecting humans [rather cloud formation]. GCR because their high velocity are difficult to shield against [they go thru a meter of rock or whatever- and long duration exposure is risk to crew.]

  64. lewis says:

    RE#8 which in fact covers the whole of the political side of the AGW advocates simply because it is the reason for their advocacy in the first place.

    CO2 is “rebranded” as a bad gas because by doing so the ability to attack industry and mankind is justified. This was shown to be the purpose when the fear was another ice-age and industry was decried as the reason, now the fear is reversed yet the cause and the cure remain the same. As the cause and cure remain the same, it is easy to discern that the reason CO2 is chosen is to continue to justify the attacks on industry.

    This point of view is also reinforced by the blog comments by supporters of (C)AGW wherein they state ‘we must do something now’ before the fearful happening happens.

    Well, at the risk of repeating myself, I am more afraid of what would happen if those who would shut down the CO2 producing industries have their way. In short, the reason we are so well off, the reason we have such a variety of clothing, housing, food, transportation and electrical devices, is because of the use of stored hydrocarbons. Perhaps there is some future of high consumption based on solar energy, but it hasn’t become available yet. And until it does, we would be foolish to follow the irrational advice of those ever fearful of the falling sky.

    On that irrational point, perhaps they would have us sacrifice a virgin to the gods – certainly that seems to be the way they think.

    • Don says:

      I agree with much of the sentiment you express.
      For a variety of reasons, a movement to forms of energy other than fossil fuels needs to occur, but that movement must be slow and measured. Trade-offs have to be considered.

      The sacrifices desired are not virgins, but AGW skeptics

  65. Dear Dr. Spencer, you have given me a lot of discussion work with your list of “bad arguments” from skeptics… Especially on WUWT. The list of “good arguments” seems a lot less controvertial.

    Anyway thanks a lot for both lists, I agree with practically all points, but should have used better arguments for some of them…

  66. Don says:

    There is an old Chinese saying that applies to comments posted on this site and many others.
    The saying is paraphrased below.
    The difficulty lies in determining which of these four categories a given comment author falls into.

    He who knows and knows not that he knows is asleep; wake him
    He who knows not and knows that he knows not is simple; teach him
    He who knows not and knows not that he knows not is a fool; shun him
    He who knows and knows that he knows is wise; follow him

    • gbaikie says:

      “He who knows and knows that he knows is wise; follow him”

      It should be:
      He who knows and knows what he knows is wise; follow him

  67. Magoo says:

    No tropospheric hotspot disproves positive feedback from water vapour:

    ‘Most people don’t realize that the missing tropospheric “hot spot” in satellite temperature trends is potentially related to water vapor feedback. One of the most robust feedback relationships across the IPCC climate models is that those models with the strongest positive water vapor feedback have the strongest negative lapse rate feedback (which is what the “hot spot” would represent). So, the lack of this negative lapse rate feedback signature in the satellite temperature trends could be an indirect indication of little (or even negative) water vapor feedback in nature.’

    source: http://www.drroyspencer.com/2010/09/five-reasons-why-water-vapor-feedback-might-not-be-positive/

    • Models with strong water vapor feedback show the tropical middle/upper tropospheric hotspot, despite the fact that such a hotspot is an exception to the overall increasing lapse rate and cooling of the upper troposphere that those models show.

  68. Mike Flynn says:

    Place a ball of molten rock containing lots of radioactive material of various half lives, at, say 6000K, radius of around 6,367,473 meters, in an orbit about 150,000,000 kms from the Sun, in an environment of 4K or so, and wait for 4,500,000,000 years or thereabouts.

    Will the molten ball -

    Have cooled,
    Have warmed,
    Or stayed the same?

    When its surface temperature has fallen to 300K, will it -

    Continue to fall,
    Magically rise,
    Stay the same?

    What about when the surface averages 288K?

    Seems fairly simple to me. But then I’m not a Climatologist.

    Live well and prosper,

    Mike Flynn.

    • gbaikie says:

      When it cools, one will get thicker crust. Thicker crust will tend to reduce eruptions and reduce heat loss. So there is like everything, negative and positive feedbacks. Or it’s not Linear.
      But the radioactive energy generally reduces- even if you include breeder reactors. Though earth radioactive decay may involved breeder reactor type branches. Or thorium is fertile fuel and quite abundant which with neutron bombardment becomes fissile material.
      So it possible that even though one reducing a finite amount of nuclear energy that one actually increases heat output of the nuclear reaction.
      [Though to be clear, Earth is not nuclear reactor.
      Or common granite has radioactive decay [and generates heat] but a large amount of granite doesn’t resemble nuclear reactor, just as nuclear reactor does not resemble a nuclear bomb. ]
      Or stars also increase the amount heat they generate despite having finite amount of fusionable material.
      But with Earth I wouldn’t guess this is probably true, just that seem it maybe/might be possible.

      • Don says:

        There were natural nuclear reactors in early Earth.
        Look up Oklo reactor.

        • gbaikie says:

          Uranium is somewhat abundant, but probably not so abundant as to indicate a significant amount is occurring under the crust.
          And there is far more heat from radioactive decay in the surface crust than that which has been discovered which generated heat by natural nuclear reactors.

  69. BartT says:

    Dr. Spencer,
    Skeptics pose questions. When your list came out as questions, therefore, it was natural.

    “Global warming not man-made” is a dogmatic statement and demands proof. “I am not sure global warming is man-made” is subjective, and requires only (unanswered) questions for legitimacy. Skepticism indirectly demands better evidence. Dogmatism claims to need none.

    Premature dogmatic statements in science sometimes require premature proofs. When the proof is discredited, the statement tends to be discredited also.

    Your skeptic approach is prudent.

  70. On your point 3a. Earth’s magnetic fields affect solar flares and coronal mass ejections, but NOT cosmic rays. It is the electromagnetic field associated with the Sun and charged particle outflow, operating over large distances, that exclude weaker cosmic rays

    That is not so a weaker earth magnetic field will allow all kinds of charged particles along with galactic cosmic rays to penetrate the earth’s atmosphere more efficiently.

    Strength Solar magnetic field having the greatest influence however.

  71. Re: “No Recent Warming. If global warming science is so “settled”, why did global warming stop over 15 years ago (in most temperature datasets), contrary to all “consensus” predictions?”

    It appears to me that one major dataset (RSS TLT) has a complete lack of warming that has lasted a little over 17.5 years, while UAH TLT, HadCRUT4, HadCRUT3, GISS and NCDC all support complete lack of warming starting no less recently than roughly early 2011. (I have more faith in HadCRUT3 than in NCDC, HadCRUT4, and especially GISS.)

    As for “lack of a significant temperature rise over the last 30+ years” as mentioned in Point 4, I see very significant temperature rise during the first 15 of the past 30 years.

    I feel touchy about both sides overstating their cases.

  72. Bill Marsh says:

    Dr Spencer,

    Thanks for posting this. Interesting to compare views. One of the biggest arguments against AGW I can think of is more of a ‘you haven’t falsified the null hypothesis, and likely can’t”.

    Given the reliance on the predictive skill of the GCM model ensemble (see Gavin Schmidt’s latest video) to buttress the AGW argument, I find it difficult to understand why the reliance on the models in the first place.

    Since the IPCC (implying the 97% consensus also agrees) agrees that the earth’s climate is a complex, non-linear, chaotic system, and, based on Lorenz’s work on atmospheric chaotic systems in the 1960s (in which he showed that you cannot ‘predict’ the future state of a climate system unless you know the initial state of ALL the various climate variables and the functioning of EVERY process to a degree that is unattainable by current science, you cannot rely on the ‘predictions’ of climate models to skillfully predict the future state of the climate) I don’t understand how the current group of AGW proponents can place such faith in the current generation of GCM models. Without a level of confidence in the models I can’t accept any of the ‘consequences’ derived from them. Admittedly I am NOT a ‘scientist’ in the purest definition of the term, an engineer by training, retired, but, having done some Phd work on feedback systems, I’m somewhat familiar with the area (although, as my Phd Advisor was fond of saying, my knowledge was ‘trivial’) ;) .

    Can you (or anyone else) help me gain understanding?

    • barry says:

      Bill Marsh,

      Given the reliance on the predictive skill of the GCM model ensemble (see Gavin Schmidt’s latest video) to buttress the AGW argument, I find it difficult to understand why the reliance on the models in the first place.

      Global warming from increased GHGs in the atmosphere is a matter of physics, not global climate models. The physics have been generally understood for decades. GCMs are one way of estimating how much warming may occur under a given scenario.

      Tyndall demonstrated the ‘greenhouse effect’ in the lab in the mid 19th century.

      Arrhenius calculated the result of surface warming from a doubling on CO2 in the atmosphere in the last decade of the 19th century.

      No GCMS then. Not even computers.

      GCMs try to simulate as many of the climate system components as possible. They are not used to “buttress the AGW argument.”

      • JohnKl says:

        Hi barry,

        Some of your comments caught my eye. You wrote:

        “Global warming from increased GHGs in the atmosphere is a matter of physics, not global climate models. The physics have been generally understood for decades. GCMs are one way of estimating how much warming may occur under a given scenario.”

        Hmmh! The EXISTENCE of “GLOBAL WARMING” can only possibly be determined by MEASUREMENT not CALCULATION derived from physics or otherwise! If all the physics relevant to GLOBAL WARMING/TEMPERATURE is in fact as you hilariously assert generally understood, model projections based on them should bear far greater relationship to observation and data should not have to be ADJUSTED to make it conform. GCMs simply help modelers formulate GUESSES based on imperfect data and numerous assumptions.

        You went on:

        “Arrhenius calculated the result of surface warming from a doubling on CO2 in the atmosphere in the last decade of the 19th century.”

        Great point! Of course, Arrhenius who from what I’ve read first asserted that CO2 absorbed and emitted infrared like most modelers of his day viewed GLOBAL WARMING positively. In fact, most modelers viewed it positively until Roger Revelle questioned the ability of the oceans to keep absorbing atmospheric CO2. Note: Roy’s data indicates that roughly half of man’s atmospheric CO2 contribution continues to be removed by nature.

        Have a great day!

        Have a great day!

    • TomP says:

      The fact that a system is complex, non-linear or chaotic does not necessarily mean that it cannot be described and predicted. A very simple example is a flush toilet. The equations of motion cannot be solved analytically, nevertheless, flush toilets work. There are plenty of other less trivial examples in many different fields including engineering, economics, traffic managemt, biology, medicine to name a few.

  73. Don says:

    @gbaikie comment/question @ 12:04

    GCR is dangerous to protect against because it penetrates so much matter. But, the flux of energetic solar particles in a flare is much higher, and this is more damaging to human tissue. Plus, the GCR background is fairly constant, whereas SCR (flare) events can raise flux by many orders of magnitude and are hard to predict. There is a window of time after a flare is observed heading to Earth before it arrives. But on a human voyage to Mars, flares become an issue. But flares penetrate much less matter than GCR, so shielding is easier.

    There is another consideration. When a GCR proton goes through you and strikes a nucleus, it produces many 100 MeV level protons and neutrons. These continue on and many leave without further interacting. Thus a GCR proton likely deposits only a part of its energy in your body.
    But, a 100 MeV solar flare proton interacting with your body produces many 10 MeV level protons and neutrons. Given their lower energies, these have greater probability of interacting further, both nuclear reactions and electron ionization. Thus more of the SCR proton’s energy is left in your body.

      • Don says:

        ren,
        The site you give is apparently password protected.
        I don’t disagree with anything you comment above.
        What is your question / comment?

        BTW, “cosmic radiation” is often used as a general term. Radiation is generally divided into classes based on source and energy:
        solar wind — continuous outflow from solar atmosphere of about 1 kev/proton
        CME (coronal mass ejections) — “burps” of solar particles having energies up into hundreds of kev.
        solar flares — giant and direct outbursts whose flux fall off with energy, but often extend into several Mev.
        GCR (galactic cosmic rays) omnidirectional from space whose median energy is about 3 Gev.

        The higher the energy the harder the particle is to deflect in a magnetic field, but the deeper it will penetrate matter, including the atmosphere.

        • ren says:

          Don, the data do not lie. Solar electrons and protons reach the lower stratosphere only the sharpest explosions X and operate for several hours. Galactic radiation is constantly present and the energy of the particle is measured in GeV. In the lower atmosphere, the particles create a great secondary particle bundles of, including neutrons.

          • ren says:

            Everything in the universe, including cosmic rays, is made of subatomic particles like electrons, protons, and neutrons. A proton and an electron make up a hydrogen atom. Hydrogen is the most common atom in space. The nuclei of hydrogen (the proton) make up about 90 percent of cosmic rays. The remaining 10 percent are made up of the nuclei of heavier elements such as helium (two neutrons and two protons). Unlike most particles, cosmic rays have extremely high energies and travel at extremely high speeds through space, nearly at the speed of light.

            The Earth’s magnetic field acts as a protective barrier against cosmic rays. Because they are mostly charged particles, their direction of travel is strongly influenced by magnetic fields. The higher the energy acquired by cosmic ray particles, the less affected they are by magnetic fields.

            Cosmic rays do not get far into the atmosphere before they collide with nitrogen or oxygen molecules in the air. The collision destroys the cosmic ray particle and the air molecule, and then several new particles emerge. Cosmic rays from space are termed “primary,” and any particles created in the atmosphere from collisions are termed “secondary.” A bit of energy is transferred to each new secondary particle. Secondary cosmic rays spread out and continue to hit other particles and air molecules, creating a cascade of particles showering towards the ground. Figure 2 shows how the particles shower to the ground. The number of secondary cosmic rays in the atmosphere increases to a maximum, and then diminishes as the energy fades closer to the ground. Because of atmospheric absorption, low energy particles are plentiful and high energy particles are rare. Scientists studying the neutron monitor data are more interested in the energy of primary cosmic rays, before they are affected by the atmosphere. A typical energy level for a galactic cosmic ray detected by the neutron monitor is 17 billion electron volts. Solar cosmic rays are more concentrated towards lower energies. The ones reaching ground level started out with an average energy of about 3 billion electron volts before meeting the atmosphere.
            http://neutronm.bartol.udel.edu/listen/main.html#atmos

  74. Alick says:

    Disregarding the heat released during combustion, adding more molecules to the atmosphere has the potential to add to the amount of heat simply by adding more substance to the atmosphere without raising the temperature. I thought scientists used to call this enthalpy or something. Any “feedback” associated with the additional molecules is probably only enough to keep them suspended in solution in the atmosphere.

    The only way to increase the temperature is to increase the heat source by increasing the intensity or the number of sources. Combustion and nuclear heat are much greater in intensity at their source than the ambient atmosphere.

    If you think about the sun as a personal heater that you could dial down all the way to zero, as you turn down the dial wouldn’t water be the first thing to drop out of solution in the atmosphere, then turn the dial down quite a bit further and then CO2, then O2, then N2 all condensing to a liquid and then freezing/solidifying on the surface?

    If all incoming energy to Earth was dialed down to zero, wouldn’t the entire Earth cool down to a temperature of absolute zero, eventually?

    It stands to reason that whatever time you decide to choose when global warming started, and begin with that CO2 concentration in the atmosphere and whatever theory of the GHE you like, the energy released from nuclear power alone is enough to raise the temperature of the Earth.

    • Don says:

      Alick,
      Earth’s average global heat flow at the surface is only about 0.075 watts/meter2. Much of that heat is produced in the interior by radioactive decay. In contrast, the average solar insolation received at the surface is ~160 watts/m2.

      There is another way to increase the temperature of an object beside increasing the heat source. Prevent that heat from escaping.

  75. Tim H says:

    # 9 is a compelling question to me. I know that the global climate is very complex, so I can understand how climate change can manifest as droughts in one part of the planet and floods in another.

    But I am from Georgia (the state), and throughout the 2000s we experienced warmer winters, hotter summers, and an on-going drought. This we were told was due to global warming.

    Since the beginning of the 2010s, we’ve had colder winters, (relatively, it’s still the South) cooler summers, and increased rainfall, sometimes leading to flooding. Now we are being told that this is also being caused by global warming.

    Maybe I need a PhD in climatology, but I don’t understand how a unidirectional trend can cause opposite climate phenomena in the exact same part of the globe.

  76. Darren says:

    There are lots of good questions still to be answered about the Earth’s climate systems before I will take “models” seriously.

    Easily the WORST argument from the AGW crowd is the deep ocean heating explanation of why their models are bad and getting worse.

    In one breath they admit:

    1) Their current surface temperature models are incapable of handling at least one massive energy sink in the natural environment (one that happens to cover 2/3 of the Earth’s surface). Gee, if we missed that one, what else is out there that we may have missed?…. hummm…

    2) They undercut any “panic” anyone should be feeling about AGW. Warming the deep ocean hundredths of a degree is not something to change energy policy for…. even if it is factual.

    3) Every AGW dire consequence based on the surface temperature models — which are flawed by their own admission — are also bunk.

    So please folks, keep spouting off about deep ocean heating. Your coiling your own rope.

  77. JohnKl says:

    Hi Roy,

    Overall you wrote a good piece. However, you chimed:

    “Just How Warm is it, Really? Why is it that every subsequent modification/adjustment to the global thermometer data leads to even more warming? What are the chances of that? Either a warmer-still present, or cooling down the past, both of which produce a greater warming trend over time. And none of the adjustments take out a gradual urban heat island (UHI) warming around thermometer sites, which likely exists at virtually all of them — because no one yet knows a good way to do that.”

    Wikipedia once mentioned the existence of over 10 ADJUSTMENTS TO THE UAH DATA-SETS AS WELL!!!

    Query: Why adjust the data all?!!! Frankly, the 1998 temp adjustment of ~.1 deg centigrade (WARMER!) due to supposed orbital decay (fascinating how a satellite moving closer to an emitting object provides a COOLING BIAS!) seems strange given the inverse square law. While I understand the argument posed that as the satellite draws closer to the emitter the observational window closes, it still fails to convince. Do you have additional information in this regard?

    Thank you, and have a great day!!!

    • barry says:

      I believe that the various adjustments to UAH did not always result in a higher trend, but the sum of them have, particularly the adjustment circa 2005, after consulting with the people from RSS.

      When data is known to be imperfect, you have two basic choices. Dsimiss it, or try to improve it. Treating it as if it is perfect when you know it is not is indefensible. Spencer and Christie have done the right thing.

      • JohnKl says:

        Thanks barry,

        You wrote: “When data is known to be imperfect, you have two basic choices. Dsimiss it, or try to improve it.”

        Agreed! Dismiss it! Assumptions don’t improve data-sets. If weakness/imperfections exist in the data simply state them and let observers judge for themselves.

        However, you went on to assert: “Treating it as if it is perfect when you know it is not is indefensible. Spencer and Christie have done the right thing.”

        No data-set is PERFECT! Simply provide the measurements and delineate any known flaws or possible sources of inaccuracies. We don’t need rose/warm colored glasses! Thanks again.

        Have a great day!

  78. Bob Bonder says:

    Does anyone here think that the rise in co2 in the atmosphere actual cause the oceans temperatures to rise. Knowing that it is hard to prove temperature rise in the atmosphere how can AGW be the cause of temperature rise in an ocean that is 250 times the mass of the atmosphere. If the answer is no then why is the ocean temps rising?

    • Desertphile says:

      “Does anyone here think that the rise in co2 in the atmosphere actual cause the oceans temperatures to rise.”

      Er, it’s an observed fact. I suspect you mean some other question.

  79. Unfortunately, all the good sceptical arguments eventually turn on one or more of what Roy has described as the bad sceptical arguments.

    • Desertphile says:

      “Unfortunately, all the good sceptical arguments eventually turn on one or more of what Roy has described as the bad sceptical arguments.”

      All of the good skeptics’ arguments, without exception, were resolved decades ago. Skeptics no longer reject the evidence for human-caused climate change.

  80. Bob Bolder says:

    Stephen;

    why don’t address the arguments above in the article.

  81. I. Hellwig says:

    6) Modelers Lie About Their “Physics”

    How can I convince myself that this is true? What to read? And yes, I read Fortran if necessary.

    Thanks.

  82. Alan says:

    “9) Do we look that stupid?”

    Yes. Yes you do. Mostly you look dishonest, but thinking no-one will notice your dishonesty does make you look stupid.

    • Desertphile says:

      “May 6, 2014 at 11:40 AM

      “’9) Do we look that stupid?’

      “Yes. Yes you do. Mostly you look dishonest, but thinking no-one will notice your dishonesty does make you look stupid.”

      Considering his “10 denier arguments” list is made up of false assertions that have been debunked *DECADES* ago, yes, he does look “stupid.”

  83. John says:
    why did global warming stop over 15 years ago

    Exactly, UAH has a trend of 0.147±0.210 deg C/decade (2σ) since the beginning of 1999, which means there was a warming probability of 92% over that time

    Just to remind everyone, a warming probability of 92% means there was no warming.

    • Desertphile says:

      Decade C Delta
      ===========================
      1880s 13.80
      1890s 13.73 -0.07
      1900s 13.67 -0.07
      1910s 13.65 -0.02
      1920s 13.78 +0.13
      1930s 13.92 +0.14
      1940s 14.01 +0.09
      1950s 13.96 -0.05
      1960s 13.98 +0.02
      1970s 14.03 +0.05
      1980s 14.21 +0.18
      1990s 14.37 +0.16
      2000s 14.57 +0.20

      Min 13.65
      Max 14.57
      Delta +0.92

      See the problem now?

  84. Anonymous says:

    I would love to see a post from you about some of the alternative causation theories. What do you see as their strengths and weaknesses? Which one do you think is strongest? Just a few of the ones I find more interesting
    1) Cosmic rays ions directly seeding clouds. The NIPCC said “the flux of galactic cosmic rays clearly wields an important influence on Earth’s climate, likely much more so than that exhibited by the modern increase in atmospheric CO2. That makes fluctuations in the Sun the primary candidate for ‘prime determinant’ of Earth’s climatic state.”
    2) Cosmic rays changing the global electric current causing cloud changes. (see Tinsley)
    3) Interplanetary electric field causing changes to the global electric current causing cloud changes. (http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/8/4/045032/pdf/1748-9326_8_4_045032.pdf)
    4) Total Solar Irradiance UV changes.

    Secondly (and less important because I think I know your answer to some of these) do you think the IPCC (1) too low feedbacks for aerosols (2) amount of methane released recently (3) cloud feedback (4) too low feedback for dimethyl sulfides

    • Desertphile says:

      “I would love to see a post from you about some of the alternative causation theories.”

      All causes regarding climate change are already known. All contributions to the current global temperature anomaly are already well known. Attribution has been known for over 40 years.

  85. Nick says:

    After years of reading detailed science from “deniers” it seems strange to me that, despite the threat of being branded heretical, losing jobs, funding, and personal attacks they still carry on. Conversely since the personal attacks all seem to be against these “deniers” by the “believers” and without equal response, human nature indicates who is probably right and secure in their knowledge. Shrill attack comes from insecurity and ignorance.

    For me the debate is over, there is no AWG. If there is any natural warming that’s awesome; we’ll grow more food and the temperate areas of the Earth will benefit. It won’t kill anyone, and in fact will save lives now lost through food shortages.

    The science is not settled, but it is irrelevant to those of us living in the real world. A few degrees of warming would be great! Time will be the arbiter but I just wish the “believers” could be held somehow accountable for this giant irrelevant fraud.

    Dr. Spencer, appreciate your integrity and determination to keep the truth front and center.

    • Desertphile says:

      “… despite the threat of being branded heretical, losing jobs, funding, and personal attacks they still carry on.”

      As soon as that happens, do tell someone, m’kay?

  86. Anonymous says:

    Just saw this from NASA on cosmic rays “Some researchers say they might effect the cloudiness and climate of earth.” Didn’t expect to hear that actually admitted from NASA in a public facing setting.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=34gNgaME86Y#t=177

  87. The Earth’s magnetic field acts as a protective barrier against cosmic rays

    Ren says which is what I agree with 100%.

    I don’t think Don does.

    • Don says:

      Earth’s magnetic field excludes the weakest solar particles (e.g., solar wind, at kev), concentrates mid-energy particles toward the magnetic poles (e.g. CME and weaker flare particles of 10-1000 kev), and stops only some of the weaker higher energy flare and GCR particles. High energy GCR particles (GeV) penetrate deep into the atmosphere and many reach the surface.

      I work in this field.

  88. Solar particles generally do not reach the bottom of the atmosphere, in contrast to the GCR, which generally have a much higher energy. Only then can overcome the Earth’s magnetic field. I’m talking about protons and electrons.
    Only the solar wind magnetic field may fold GCR successfully from Earth. When solar activity falls field is much weaker.

    REN SAYS ABOVE.

    Then it is logical the weaker the magnetic filed is of the earth the easier GCR will be able to over come the magnetic filed of the earth.

    In addition they will be directed where the magnetic filed of the earth is strongest, so if the magnetic poles have an excursion to lower latitudes the highest concentrations of GCR would also be directed there.

  89. Gordon Robertson says:

    @Rob Honeycutt “To say “no global warming in the past 15 years” you have to exclude most of the climate system”.

    No you don’t, you just have to read the IPCC AR5 review. It states quite clearly that there has been a hiatus the past 15 years. They put the global trend at roughly 0.05 C/decade since then but the error margin is ridiculous. It could be -0.05 C.

    The argument that the heat is hiding in the oceans is a red herring argument with absolutely no proof to back it.

  90. matthew pizana says:

    No matter what we call it, label it, discuss it as, or pretend it to be, humans have a negative effect on earth. Why don’t we consider doing things to stop doing that and stop worrying about the labels of the argument?

  91. Geoff Bridges says:

    Roy’s “Top Ten Skeptic Arguments” have been answered according to John Abraham and Dana Nuccitelli in the Guardian newspaper in the UK. Some scientific information to debunk their answers and wipe the smile off their smug faces would be nice….. http://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2014/may/06/top-ten-global-warming-skeptic-arguments-debunked

    • Desertphile says:

      “Some scientific information to debunk their answers and wipe the smile off their smug faces would be nice”

      It is not possible to debunk observed reality.

  92. Adrian says:

    The AGW Ponzi scheme is reaching critical mass and will completely implode soon, leaving climate science relegated to the level of astrology and the credibility of science as a whole severely harmed. A resurgence of creationist movements and such would not surprise me as real doubt shadows science for the first time. “What else have we been misled about?” will be the question on many minds.

    I really wish the people still trying to push this scam would at least think about the damage they are doing to science and as gracefully as possible shut the thing down and go home with their billions.

  93. A good way to reduce pressure on your lower back is using an inversion table.

  94. Desertphile says:

    1) No Recent Warming.

    No scientist agrees with that assertion.

    2) Natural or Manmade?

    Dozens od fingerprints show that nearly 100% of the current global temperature anomaly was and is human-made.

    3) IPCC Politics and Beliefs.

    The IPCC assesses the world’s scientific consensus on the subject, sans politics.

    4) Climate Models Can’t Even Hindcast

    Current climae models correctly and successfully hindcast observed climate change.

    5) But We Should Believe Model Forecasts?

    No.

    6) Modelers Lie About Their “Physics”.

    No.

    7) Is Warming Even Bad?

    It has already proven disastrous.

    8) Is CO2 Bad?

    No, and no scientist has ever said it is.

    9) Do We Look that Stupid?

    No: you look like a liar.

    10) Selective Pseudo-Explanations.

    So stop doing it, silly!

    11) Just How Warm is it, Really?

    The current human-caused climate anomaly:

    Decade C Delta
    ===========================
    1880s 13.80
    1890s 13.73 -0.07
    1900s 13.67 -0.07
    1910s 13.65 -0.02
    1920s 13.78 +0.13
    1930s 13.92 +0.14
    1940s 14.01 +0.09
    1950s 13.96 -0.05
    1960s 13.98 +0.02
    1970s 14.03 +0.05
    1980s 14.21 +0.18
    1990s 14.37 +0.16
    2000s 14.57 +0.20

    Min 13.65
    Max 14.57
    Delta +0.92

    You’re welcome. Anything more?