Gimme Three Steps Toward the Renewable Energy Door

October 13th, 2015 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

jesus-turbines-smallA TV meteorologist named Greg Fishel (WRAL, Raleigh, NC) posted an article yesterday on their WRAL Weathercenter Blog entitled Choose science, stewardship in understanding climate change. In the blog post Mr. Fishel claims — I hope I am not putting words in his mouth — to have finally accepted human-caused climate change, and therefore encourages other conservative Christians like himself to put aside partisanship for the good of humanity and the Earth.

I actually agree with most of the science he presents, but I want to address why he is misguided in his conclusions.

Mr. Fishel got (at most) 1 in 3 correct

In order to actually do something about human-caused climate change, primarily caused by our carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel use, you must answer “yes” to the three following questions:

1. Do humans significantly contribute to climate change?

2. Does that human contribution have a demonstrably negative impact?

3. Can we do anything to significantly avert it with new energy technologies without causing human suffering?

Unfortunately, while Mr. Fishel spent most of his time on #1, he sort of skipped #2 and #3…or at least hasn’t spent much time researching them.

So, let’s take these three steps, one at a time.

1. Do humans significantly contribute to climate change?

I actually mostly agree with him on #1. I believe humans have caused maybe 50% of the recent warming of the oceans and the atmosphere, say since the 1950s since we have a published paper analyzing that time period. But Mr. Fishel seems to believe it was all caused by humans, since he says that “it can’t be the Sun”. Well, there are actually quite a few other possibilities, since even without humans the climate system changes all by itself. For example, a small change in ocean circulation can cause a small change in cloudiness. The recent multi-decadal period of stronger El Ninos by itself can explain about half of recent warming. Yes, the stratosphere has cooled, partly due to increasing CO2. But “weather” makes attribution of a human effect on tropospheric temperatures — where people live — much more difficult.

2. Does that human contribution have a demonstrably negative impact?
Here’s where Mr. Fishel has little to say. It has not been demonstrated that any kind of severe weather has increased because of our addition of 1 CO2 molecule to each 10,000 molecules of atmosphere over the last century. He ignores the benefits of mild warming (which likely isn’t even all our fault, and which has been demonstrably below computer model projections), as well as the benefits of more CO2 on the biosphere and agriculture (based upon satellite measurements of global greening and literally hundreds of agricultural experiments).

3. Can we do anything to significantly avert it with new energy technologies without causing human suffering?
This is where Greg Fishel appears to be the most misguided. Here’s a quote from his article:

“And on top of all of this, we hear the argument that it is economic suicide for the U.S. to act alone, and that we need the cooperation of China and India. Did you know both of those countries are leaving us in the dust when it comes to pursuing new technologies relating to energy production? Those countries see the economic opportunity and are going after it while we sit around and have politically partisan arguments.”

This simply could not be further from the truth.

In the lead-up to the Paris climate conference in December, China and India are basically thumbing their nose at the world on carbon dioxide emissions. They will continue to burn fossil fuels at an increasing rate.

There is no “magic bullet” green energy technology which can replace fossil fuels, period. Plus, wind and solar power are so expensive (and did I mention intermittent?) that to rely on them in any but isolated, special cases will hurt economies and make poverty worse, not better.

This is why green energy programs, where they have been tried, are now being abandoned as too expensive and provide too little return in energy production.

As I’ve said before, I really don’t care where our energy comes from…as long as it is inexpensive and abundant, because that’s what humanity requires. And I don’t care if the CEOs of every coal and petroleum company ends up disagreeing with me, and decide to join the ranks of the alarmists.

Since Greg Fishel invoked “Christ’s teachings”, let me do the same.

How can we provide for widows and orphans if we can’t even provide for ourselves?

Until new energy technologies are eventually developed — (the U.S. does not sit on our hands in alternative energy research) — the most moral thing we can do for humanity is to use fossil fuels.

(A good place to start for Christians who want to learn more about our options from a biblical world view is the Cornwall Alliance.)


273 Responses to “Gimme Three Steps Toward the Renewable Energy Door”

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  1. Alick says:

    1950. That’s about the beginning of nuclear power, right? The science book I have told me that the complete fission of 1Kg of uranium is releases the equivalent heat of the combustion of 3,000,000 Kg of coal. All that energy from nuclear power mixes into the environment. I don’t see how it should get a free pass to space without some effect on the environment. It’s probably responsible for some of the CO2 increase in the atmosphere.

    • Andrew_FL says:

      The average total energy released by a Uranium 235 fission reaction is 202.5 MeV, or about 3.244408*10^-11 Joules. A kg of pure Uranium 235 is about 4.255 mol, so we’re talking about around 8.3*10^13 Joules. The amount of energy the Earth receives from the sun in a given year is about 5.4*10^24 Joules (some of that is reflected, of course, but we’re working order of magnitude here) So we’re talking about something pretty small, actually. To be comparable to CO2 we’d need to release heat from hundreds of millions of kg of pure Uranium 235 every second of every day all year round. We’re really not talking about much heat at all.

      • Alick says:

        Why do people like to throw the comparison with the total output of the sun in my face? The correct comparison is with the difference between the most energy the sun has ever sent and the least amount of energy the sun has ever sent. Even with CO2, we are only talking about upsetting the balance. Why should it be any different when talking about heat.

        When nuclear heat warms the water used to cool the reactors, logically that warmer water should slow the transfer of CO2 from the atmosphere to the water, thus increasing the concentration in the atmosphere. It probably speeds the release of CO2 from the water to the atmosphere as well. If the greenhouse trapping theory is correct, this CO2 is just as deadly as any CO2 released from the combustion of fossil fuels. Worse really, because no one believes it.

        • Andrew_FL says:

          They “throw it in [your] face” because evidently you don’t know how to do a basic back of the envelope calculation or order of magnitude estimate. CO2 forcing is on the order of 1/100th of the average power per unit area received from the the Sun. So the difference between a kilogram of uranium and the forcing from CO2 is about nine orders of magnitude. The amount this reduces CO2 absorption by the water of the entire world is also negligible (do your own homework on this one). The effect you are proposing is totally negligible, which you could have easily figured out if you bothered to examine any actual numbers at all.

          • Alick says:

            On the contrary, if what you say is true, it makes the rate of exchange of CO2 from the nuclear heated waters that much more significant.

          • Gordon Robertson says:

            @Andrew _FL “CO2 forcing is on the order of 1/100th of the average power per unit area received from the the Sun”.

            There is not an ounce of scientific proof to verify so-called CO2 forcing. All the IPCC can offer is that it is ‘likely’. That was in 2007 but in 2013 they admitted there has been no warming trend since 1998. Since the UAH satellite record shows no warming trend since 2013, that’s 18 years without a warming trend.

            Besides, the word forcing applies to differential equation theory, as used in climate models, not to the real atmosphere. A forcing function is a function applied to a differential equation to ‘force’ a particular response. Forcing does not exist as a physical reality, then again, many climate scientists don’t talk in terms of reality these days but in terms of consensus.

  2. Gary says:

    Fishel seems good-hearted and earnest, and a bit naive although that may come from space constraints on his essay. I hope you can contact him, Dr. Spencer, and point him to the more complete view expressed by Cornwall Alliance. It’s too easy to be duped by the alarmist agenda wrapped in “Christianese” language when you have come to the place Mr. Fishel is. The aphorism about wise as serpents, innocent as doves was meant for situations like this.

  3. Brian says:

    Why is religion involved with this at all?
    Morals don’t require religion.
    Science doesn’t require religion.
    Climate change (human caused or not) doesn’t require religion.

    • Roy Spencer says:

      I’ll let Cal Beisner expand on this, but from a historical perspective I would say, (1) yes, morals DO require religion (of some sort), and (2) Modern science in nearly every major field was originally elucidated by people who, based upon a biblical world view, considered the universe to be unified and knowable, that they were merely “thinking God’s thoughts after Him”: e.g. Kelvin, Bacon, Newton, Faraday, Pascal, Pasteur, Kepler, Linnaeus, Maxwell.

      To believe that unthinking matter can accidently self-organize into living human brains which then are capable of discerning the true nature of things is itself a religion, and one which my faith is not strong enough to believe in. 😉

      • Ed Caryl says:

        I agree completely with that first paragraph, but not the second.

        The self-organization was not an accident. Consider the vast volume of the early ocean and the vast number of organic molecules in that vast soup. As soon as a few of those molecules polymerized into a molecule that could replicate itself, life began. The many opportunities for that to happen over millions of years made it inevitable. This is simple chemistry, designed by The Master Chemist. Life is now simply DNA’s way of propagating itself. Those forms of DNA that are most successful will increase. If intelligence is a positive selection factor, then intelligent DNA will develop. Dissolving back into that organic soup will not happen. God is not a “Stage Magician”. God is a Physicist.

        • …and to believe that what might happen originally at the molecular level (that you discuss) would eventually then lead to the human brain, male and female reproductive organs, all the varieties of life, still requires faith. You discuss just the first hurdle to overcome. There are many more on the way to what we see today. It still requires faith to believe in all of that.

          Besides the origin of life, the origin of the universe violates either the 1st or the 2nd law of thermo….faith in physics which has never been observed, only imagined.

          Not to derail the discussion too much….I only brought up religion because I’m responding to a blog post which brought up religion.

          • Tuora says:

            If your god is tease of yours Dr. Spencer, I will buy it. That will derail all god-climate connections. On the other hand, if you are your god best son to make mince meat of Mann made Hockey stick parade, I do not mind you being god inspired influenced Alabama,twice a year born again, you should consider the money coming your way once you get Obama religion to be your guarding light. You are done enough already. Let OBAMA and Algore do their best.

        • Tuora says:

          It was nice of your god to invent evolution to let him have time to deal with more important issues, Ed Caryl. Nice try though. You would do well to advice Kim Davis of your Supreme Ayatollah wisdom she needs more than her current god guides can provide. You can invoke the support of the holy sprit being an essential part of the sole god he is supposed to be. But let us get back to the eartly issues at hand, once your godly quest is dispatched.

          • Tom O says:

            It always amuses me how atheists always have to make such a big thing out of anyone mentioning anything about God. Yes, I did use the big G. See, as I understand atheism, it is all about not having anything to do with God, totally removing anything about Him from their lives, yet they can’t seem to say “god” enough and to heap scorn on anyone that says God. Either you ARE an atheist, which should mean you never utter anything that’s “religious,” or you are just a closet “believer,” waiting to “come out” in the final breath asking for forgiveness, thus not allowing “god” to impact your lifestyle. Since you can’t say “god” often enough, I say you have no faith in your supposed “faith” of atheism.

      • Tuora says:

        “To believe that unthinking matter can accidently self-organize into living human brains which then are capable of discerning the true nature of things is itself a religion, and one which my faith is not strong enough to believe in.” Typical Roy Spencer more or less. A bait to bite into.

      • Tuora says:

        Your deliberate opening of Pandora box duly noted, Dr. Spencer at your best, tilting the windmills of Obama orthodoxy, the believer of his mental circumstances all of us are to take and swallow in one gulp.

      • David Appell says:

        Roy wrote:
        “To believe that unthinking matter can accidently self-organize into living human brains which then are capable of discerning the true nature of things is itself a religion, and one which my faith is not strong enough to believe in”

        Yet you apparently have no problem believing in some entity that is powerful enough to have created the entire universe, life, and pay attention to every college football game played.

        To me, such a creature is far, far, far(^N) less likely than a few molecules getting together and having a party.

        Where did “God” from, Roy?

        • DEEBEE says:

          Gos must be infinitely merciful to let you exist, David. A lesser God would have finished you off for the sheer benefit it would do to the average human intellect

        • Gunga Din says:

          Romans 1 has you nailed.
          It had me nailed too. Then I believed what Romans 10:9,10 talk about. My separation from “The unknown god” was nailed to the cross at that instant. Yours can be too. Then you might be able to understand a few things.

          1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural, nonspiritual man does not accept or welcome or admit into his heart the gifts and teachings and revelations of the Spirit of God, for they are folly (meaningless nonsense) to him; and he is incapable of knowing them [of progressively recognizing, understanding, and becoming better acquainted with them] because they are spiritually discerned and estimated and appreciated. – The Amplified Bible 1965

          • David Appell says:

            Gunga Din: Why should I believe anything written in the Bible?

          • Gunga Din says:

            Gunga Din: Why should I believe anything written in the Bible?

            For your own good.
            That’s why God has reached out a hand to rescue Man even though none of us deserve it.
            But any of us, by our freedom of will, choose not accept His reached out hand, then we’ve chosen not to be chosen. (“Many are called but few are chosen”)
            I sincerely hope that at some time before you draw your last breath that you’ve said “Yes” to Him…for your own good.

            (Romans 5:8-10 KJV) But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
            9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
            10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

        • fonzarelli says:

          David, is your final question, ‘where did “God” come from, Roy?’ ?

        • David Appell says:

          DEEBEE: What “God(s)?” What is the evidence for it/them?

          • wert says:

            Computationally, if Church-Turing-Deutsch holds, you may eternally ask if you are just a simulation in a god’s computer. But on the other hand, god may as well you a message to your emulation.

      • Gordon Robertson says:

        @Roy…”To believe that unthinking matter can accidently self-organize into living human brains which then are capable of discerning the true nature of things is itself a religion, and one which my faith is not strong enough to believe in. ;-)”

        Roy…I agree with your shot at evolution. It’s a stupid assumption featuring generous amounts of chance occurrences. Covalent bonding, upon which evolution depends, has no properties that would allow for evolution leading to life. Furthermore, there are codes in DNA upon which RNA depends to create amino acids and proteins. Those codes could no more come from natural selection than the ASCII codes essential to computers could be derived by the computer itself.

        Biologist, Rupert Sheldrake, put that in perspective wrt proteins and life. He claimed that expecting proteins to take the next step to living matter was akin to dropping off supplies at a construction site and expecting them to form themselves into a building.

        However, it has come to light recently, in the works of religious scholars like Elaine Pagels, and Karen King, that the Bible is far from accurate. The modern Bible as we know it came from the catholic roots of Irenaeus, circa the second century BC, and was forced upon the world by the Roman emperor Constantine.

        Constantine and Irenaeus saw to it that the Christian views that contradicted Irenaeus were burned. Anyone offering such views were regarded as heretics and subject to death.

        I think that’s too bad because Jesus was an important person who the world has been excluded from knowing well due to that kind of infighting among Christians. The books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John were written at least 20 years after the death of Christ by anonymous people posing under those names.

        Furthermore, some of the four gospels are apparently more about the ethics related to the Jewish war with the Romans that followed the death of Christ. The writings of Mark and Luke in particular are about a conflict between the Jewish church and the early Christians, who were mainly Jews themselves. The Jewish war with the Romans tore people apart as some Jews opposed the war and others fought it.

        Essentially, we have lost a tremendous amount of input from Christians in the era of Jesus who might have clarified the teachings of Jesus, and what he was really about as a man. Fortunately, works were discovered in a container in the Egyptian desert at Nag Hammadi, circa 1945, that revealed knowledge missing from the times of Christ.

        Elaine Pagels (Harrington Spear Paine Professor of Religion at Princeton) and Karen King (Winn Professor of Ecclesiastical History at Harvard) have specialized in the study of those works. In the works were discovered The Gospel of Thomas, aka Doubting Thomas, a disciple of Jesus, and such works reveal a different interpretation of actual words spoken by Jesus.

        Thomas was one of the only people of the times of Christ who knew him intimately. Unfortunately, people in that era, including Jesus, spoke in parables. The works of Thomas follow that system.

        Along the way, the Protestant movement splintered off the initial Catholic movement authored by Iranaeus and Constantine. Pagels has pointed out that many modern Christians have stopped believing and have moved in the direction of asking questions. That does not imply a loss of faith, rather it makes their faith more dynamic.

        In the Gospel of Thomas, it is not known if the Gospel was written by Thomas or by one of his followers. However, there is one statement associated with that Gospel that appealed to me. In it, Jesus claimed that whatever we need in life is already within.

        Another scholar, Jiddu Krishnamurti, claimed the same thing. He was joined in dialogs by physicist David Bohm,a friend of Einstein, and their dialogs were pretty mind-boggling to me.

        I think if you are going to quite correctly question the theory of evolution, you need to become well informed on the history of the Bible and question its origins. Newton certainly did. The Bible tends to contradict what Jesus stood for. He was opposed to leaders in churches like priests and other clergy. He urged people to think for themselves and to essentially follow what is in one’s heart.

      • Bil Danielson says:

        With all due respect, there’s a profound argument you’ve completely missed. Rather than paraphrase it, here’s the link: https://www.theobjectivestandard.com/issues/2012-fall/religion-versus-morality/

    • Well, Roy’s response is good by itself, so all I can really do is expand on it a bit.

      Brian, if you don’t consider yourself religious, then of course you’re not likely to bring your religion into this discussion–and nobody’s insisting that you do. And for some people, religion is a very private matter with little social/cultural application. But historically, religion has tended to be at the very core of most people’s lives, and particularly for Christianity it has played a tremendous role in shaping our understanding of every aspect of life. The God of the Bible, assuming He’s not just a figment of people’s imaginations, claims to have created everything and to have issued moral commands to us that affect every aspect of life as well as to have revealed truths to us about how the world works that will help us understand and use it wisely and beneficially. Those of us who believe in the God of the Bible therefore, striving for consistency, want to apply such moral and practical instruction as we think about issues like this.

      Some people have sought to argue that morals don’t require religion, but the history of philosophy (not to mention of religion) suggests that those who think so are few and rarely among the most intellectually capable of the philosophers. Kant–arguably the most brilliant philosopher of the 18th century–for instance, though he argued in his CRITIQUE OF PURE REASON that none of the traditional arguments for the existence of God (cosmological, teleological, prime mover, etc.–Aquinas’s “Five Ways”) was valid, argued in his CRITIQUE OF PRACTICAL REASON that if justice is real, there must be an afterlife and a transcendent, objective, impartial, omniscient, omnipotent Judge, or else clearly injustice remains permanent. Agree with his arguments or not, he’s one example among many of great philosophers who have argued that without God it is impossible to provide rational justification for any moral claim–which doesn’t mean, of course, that atheists invariably act immorally or amorally, but that their moral commitments suggest an inconsistency in their thinking. Such arguments are so common among top philosophers that it seems hardly necessary to mention examples, but a few would be Alvin Plantinga, Richard Purtill, William Lane Craig, and, though not a professional philosopher, C.S. Lewis.

      The notion that science doesn’t require religion is, I think, equivocal. Are some excellent scientists atheists? Yes, certainly. So if one consider atheism not religious (and most philosophers of religion would dispute that, the denial of God’s existence being not religiously neutral and therefore being religious just as much as is the affirmation of God’s existence), then one can think that science doesn’t require religion. But in the history of philosophy and science, one thing is quite clear: that science (not in terms of occasional brilliant flashes of insight but in terms of the scientific method of fabricating a hypothesis about how something in the natural world works, making predictions based on that hypothesis, comparing the predictions with observations in the laboratory or in the natural world, and either rejecting, revising, or provisionally retaining [until and unless further observations require otherwise] the hypothesis according to whether the observations agree or disagree with the predictions) arose only once in history and in only one place: Medieval Europe, where a Biblical worldview that affirmed that a rational God created an ordered universe to be understood by rational creatures made in His image. Historians of science are pretty well united in this judgment. (I’ve discussed this at length in my lecture “How Theology Can, and Should, Contribute to
      Scientific and Public Discourse about Anthropogenic Global Warming,” presented to the Round Table on Theology, Climate Change, and Politics, University of Western Ontario, May 29, 2012, at the invitation of applied mathematician Dr. Christopher Essex.) See, e.g., Loren Eiseley, Darwin’s Century (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1958; reprinted, Doubleday Anchor Books, 1961), 62; Rodney Stark, The Victory of Reason: How Christianity Led to Freedom, Capitalism, and Western Success (New York: Random House, 2005), 14; Bernard Cohen, Revolution in Science (Cambridge: Belknap Press, 1985); Randall Collins, The Sociology of Philosophies: A Global Theory of Intellectual Change (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1998); Harold Dorn, The Geography of Science (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991); Edward Grant, Planets, Stars, and Orbs: The Medieval Cosmos, 1200–1687 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994) and The Foundations of Modern Science in the Middle Ages: Their Religious, Institutional, and Intellectual Contexts (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996); Toby Huff, The Rise of Early Modern Science: Islam, China, and the West (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993); Stanley Jaki, Science and Creation (Edinburgh: Scottish Academic Press, 1986); Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1962); David C. Lindbergh, The Beginnings of Western Science (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1919), and “Science and the Early Church,” in David C. Lindberg and Ronald L. Numbers, eds., God and Nature: Historical Essays on the Encounter Between Christianity and Science, 19–48 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1986); David C. Lindbergh and Robert S. Westman, eds., Reappraisals of the Scientific Revolution (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990), 14; Alfred North Whitehead, Science and the Modern World (New York: Free Press, [1925] 1967), 13, 12; and more generally on the whole subject of the relationship of Christian theology and worldview to science, see Nancy R. Pearcey and Charles B. Thaxton, The Soul of Science: Christian Faith and Natural Philosophy (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1994).

      Finally, our practice of the scientific method sketched above doesn’t occur in an intellectual vacuum. Different people devise different hypotheses because of the starting points they bring to the table, and, having devised those different hypotheses, they also devise different tests for them, and those different tests can lead to the discovery of different phenomena ignored by others. So, as one example of how the Christian faith might affect one’s thinking about AGW, consider this: Genesis 1:31 says that the earth and all in it were “very good” after God had created it; and at the end of Genesis 8, God promises Himself that so long as the earth remains, various cycles on which life depends will not cease (the Hebrew poetic device of merism there suggesting that the four cycles named are representative of all). Elsewhere the Bible reveals that God is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnibenevolent. (One may of course contest any of those, but we’re just talking for the moment about how religious commitments might bear fruit in hypotheses.) Thus, we can reason that the earth and all its systems were the effect of an omniscient Designer, an omnipotent Creator, and a faithful Sustainer. A Christian therefore might be more likely than a non-Christian to think the earth and its ecosystems are robust, resilient, and self-regulating rather than fragile, prone to irreversible harm, and non-self-regulating. With that in mind, when the Christian hears the hypothesis that an increase of atmospheric CO2 concentration from 28 thousandths of 1 percent to 56 thousandths of 1 percent will cause catastrophic, irreversible harm, or even that an increase from 28 thousandths of 1 percent to 40 thousandths of 1 percent has been the primary cause of the warming since the mid-19th or mid-20th century, he’s likely to think that hypothesis isn’t very consistent with what he thinks about God and creation, so he might be more likely than the atheist or agnostic to go looking for other possible explanations for the recent warming and for evidence that CO2’s warming effect is less than what that hypothesis requires. That in turn might make him more likely to notice some things that point to a smaller warming effect from CO2, e.g., possibilities that some feedbacks thought by others to be strongly positive could be only weakly positive or even negative instead. He will still need to test those ideas by real-world observation in order for him to be doing good science, but what steered him in that direction in the first place might very well have been his religious pondering. (Similar religious pondering–in this case on the doctrine of the Trinity–led to the hypothesis that light is both undulating and corpuscular, an idea that previously had been thought self-contradictory but that was confirmed by experimentation.)

      All of this, by the way, isn’t even to address how religion informs our moral considerations related to policy in response to whatever we think human action might be contributing to climate change.

      So, there are a few ideas anyway. Religion may contribute little or nothing to your own ideas about morality, but it contributes a great deal to most people’s. And your practice of science may not depend on your own religious thinking, but the origin of science certainly did owe much to religious thinking. And religion might be irrelevant to your own thinking about climate change, but it isn’t, and needn’t be, for many others.

      • Tuora says:

        You missed quoting the rest of 836 page of Bertrand Russell history of philosophy to make your nebulous and lengthy irrevelance, E. Calvin Beisner says: October 13, 2015 at 9:22 AM reference ipso facto. Rumination of yours does not make anybody burp in unison with your gut wisdom you are full off. You have had your 15 minutes, and let your progeny know you were smart enough to be one for them to be proud of you forever. Poor kids indeed.

        • MIke says:

          “Poor kids” applies to you more than Beisner. What he wrote is well documented, was the minimum to answer the question at hand, and delivered with respect and courtesy. You, by contrast, sound like a college freshman who thinks he knows it all.

      • Gordon Robertson says:

        @ E. Calvin Beisner ….”That in turn might make him more likely to notice some things that point to a smaller warming effect from CO2, e.g., possibilities that some feedbacks thought by others to be strongly positive could be only weakly positive or even negative instead”.

        Calvin, you talked about the scientific method earlier. Anyone who claims that a positive feedback exists anywhere in the atmosphere must prove that premise and so far no one has proved it. I have argued with Roy and others that even the Greenhouse Effect, upon which AGW is based, contradicts the 2nd law of thermodynamics.

        We have proof of that from the IPCC itself, even though policymakers who depend on the IPCC are in denial about what the IPCC said following AR5 in 2013. They admitted in very clear language that no warming trend has been detected since 1998, going so far as to call it a warming hiatus. Since no further trend has been detected in the interim, it is now 18 years without warming.

        There is much confusion about positive feedback in climate science, not to mention science itself. If you read explanations for PF on the Net, you will see people claiming PF as an amplification. That is wrong. Dead wrong. PF has no properties related to amplification and is only part of an amplified system. If an amplifier is not present, there can be no PF.

        There is no amplifier in the atmosphere. If there was, we as a race would have been extinct long ago, provided we were allowed to ‘be’ in the first place under conditions driven by a PF system.

        Consider an oscillator in electronics, which is an example of controlled positive feedback. One variation involves a tank circuit comprised of a capacitor and an inductor in parallel. The tank will oscillate with a sine wave if a pulse of current is applied to it. That is because the capacitor charges during the pulse and drains through the inductor. The inductor forms a magnetic field which collapses and recharges the capacitor.

        That oscillation has a natural damping factor which causes the oscillation to die off naturally unless another pulse replenishes the energy. The pulse comes as a positive feedback from the output of a transistor circuit. Without amplification, the oscillation cannot be sustained.

        The oscillation can be controlled in amplitude in an oscillator by controlling the amount and sign of the feedback.

        Normal audio amplifiers use negative feedback to broaden the bandwidth. That feedback requires a signal sent back from the output stage that IS NOT in phase with the input signal. If the feedback signal was in phase, here’s what would happen. The positive feedback pulse would add to the input signal and the combined signal would be amplified by the transistor. Part of the output would then be fed back to the input and that signal would larger and would be added to make the combined signal even larger at the output.

        Within a few cycles, the output signal would become so large that the power supply could not deliver enough current to to maintain the output and the peaks of the output would flatten out.

        However, in an audio amplifier, the output is frequency sensitive. The output signal is very sensitive at certain pole frequencies and the output will rush to a maximum at those frequencies. That’s why you hear the squeal in an audio amplifier that we call feedback.

        The point to get is that PF cannot happen in the atmosphere without an amplifier. PF is NOT amplification, it is a product of amplification. In the atmosphere, where heat is being transferred, the 2nd law must be obeyed, otherwise you could have perpetual motion.

        The 2nd law is practicably about losses. Clausius was impelled to create the law after Carnot had claimed there were no losses in a heat engine. That is essentially what many climate scientists are claiming today in support of the AGW theory. They think that infrared energy emitted by the surface can be collected by GHGs and radiated back to the surface to super-warm it.

        All heat engines have losses therefore all feedbacks in the atmosphere MUST be negative. Anyone who posits a PF in the atmosphere is a climate modeler who does not understand PF or the 2nd law.

        Even scientists who proposed a theory of thermal runaway on Venus due to CO2 have been proved wrong. The surface temperature of Venus, according to astronomer Andrew Ingersoll, is far too hot to have been caused by a CO2 positive feedback.

      • Bil Danielson says:

        I just find it rather amusing that theists go to such tortured lengths to attempt defending their mysticism. It just boggles the mind that here in 2015 there are still people who seem to think that without a belief in the supernatural anything goes; that in some way irrationality is required to establish morality. Fact is, nothing could be further from the truth. If a person wishes, at this late date, to continue to believe in a supernatural entity (a god or gods) that is clearly his choice, but in doing so there is no excuse for it in the name of reason and morality. Thus, if in any way a scientist is relying on revealed truths or any conclusions not based on reason and rationality, such scientist ought to be completely and totally ignored.

        For details and the critical/decisive intellectual arguments, see ATHEISM The Case Against God by George H. Smith.

    • MarkB says:

      Brian says:
      October 13, 2015 at 6:51 AM

      Why is religion involved with this at all?
      Morals don’t require religion.
      Science doesn’t require religion.
      Climate change (human caused or not) doesn’t require religion.

      Action on climate change in whatever form one might advocate, involves politics and in the US a large percentage of conservative Christians are closely aligned with the political right. The political right of course are broadly aligned in “skepticism” of AGW. Clearly this is the audience which Fishel is addressing, he’s doing so in terms familiar to his audience. Whether or not religion is required context for a discussion of morality, science, or climate change to a different audience is not relevant. In this vein, arguably, Pope Francis has done more to shift Overton Window in US climate politics than any amount of scientific evidence.

      • Tuora says:

        “Pope Francis has done more to shift Overton Window in US climate politics than any amount of scientific evidence.

        All faiths are in agreement about the importance of making Climate change Armageddon be the most important facing humanity today. That leaves Islam conquest of West with Pope Francis blessing. W

      • Gunga Din says:

        Brian says:
        October 13, 2015 at 6:51 AM

        Why is religion involved with this at all?
        Morals don’t require religion.
        Science doesn’t require religion.
        Climate change (human caused or not) doesn’t require religion.

        Hmmm….unless you believe that there is no standard greater than you to live up to then you are only left with “my ends justifies my means”.
        You’ve just made yourself your own “god”. (That or Al Gore.8-)

        • David Appell says:

          Gunga: What is the evidence for any god or gods?

          There isn’t any. So why should anyone believe in them, anymore than they should believe in thousand-legged purple elephants?

          • Gordon Robertson says:

            @David Appell…”Gunga: What is the evidence for any god or gods? There isn’t any”.

            By the same token there is no evidence against the theory that some kind of intelligence other than natural selection is behind life.

            Let’s face it, the human mind is full of itself. I fully understand that the concept of a god does not fit well with scientific theory but Newton wrote volumes on the subject.

            I have just been reading about neutrinos, which tend to defy everything we know about science. The so-called empty space we regard as space without matter is teaming with them. Neutrinos could well explain the aether some scientists have proposed, through which the Earth must travel in it’s orbit around the Sun.

            All I am saying is that the human mind is oblivious to much of what constitutes reality.

            Although I belong to no religious movements, nor do I believe anything, there is a question in my mind as to how one man could seriously influence the western world for 2000 years following his death. I think there may be more to that than what we are ready to admit.

            There have been many martyrs during that period but none of them have affected the western world as much as that one man. There has to be something built into humans, as Jesus claimed, that resonates with what he was about. He suggested that what is within us is God.

            It appears highly unlikely to me that so many people were influenced by him so deeply that their feelings of justice and mercy became part of the human psyche.

            It’s far more likely that justice and mercy, love and compassion, were built into us for some reason and that he knew about it. What he preached was not common knowledge at the time and it lead to his execution. He was executed basically because he advised people to ignore people who set themselves up as authorities, like priests and rabbis. He claimed what we need is already within us and how would he know about that?

            We are taught stories about how Jesus was deceived by Judas for money but new information has come forth that Jesus may have sent him deliberately to turn him in. The entire story is shrouded in mystery and that mystery resonates in many people as being a natural property of humans.

            Of course, humans may have come about justice and mercy by other means but there is no proof for that either. Natural selection certainly offers no feasible explanation.

  4. geran says:

    Dr. Roy says: “I believe humans have caused maybe 50% of the recent warming of the oceans and the atmosphere, say since the 1950s since we have a published paper analyzing that time period.”

    And, the word “believe” must be strongly emphasized. It is a “belief system”. There is NO scientific proof of AGW/CO2 warming. That is why there is the struggle to explain the “pause”. A “pause” is not supposed to be happening with increased CO2. And, in a few years, if temps “drop”, there will just be more excuses. Folks that choose to “believe” will likely always choose to “believe”.

    The advantage of a “belief system” over the scientific method is that in a “belief system”, one gets to throw out any evidence that does not match the belief. The correct application of the scientific method does not allow throwing out critical evidence.

    • Ed Caryl says:

      I will come to Dr. Roy’s defense here. His “belief” is based on many years of using the scientific method in an attempt to tease out the precise value of the amount that CO2 warms. It is a measure of how difficult this problem is that hundreds of workers in this field have not been able to pin that value down. All of them also have a “belief” in some number, but no one “knows” what that number is. And ALL throw out, or don’t recognize, varying amounts of the evidence. You believe the number is zero. What evidence do you recognize that supports that belief?

      • geran says:

        Ed, I don’t have to prove the “null hypothesis”. Climate “scientists” must prove there is something going on beyond “natural variability”. That has NOT been done.

        In fact, even “adjusting” the temperature record, they cannot come up to their predicted “warming”. 🙂

        • Tuora says:

          “In fact, even “adjusting” the temperature record, they cannot come up to their predicted “warming”
          Too bad reality does not follow the predicted doom scenario derived from one pine tree analysis proxy. I any case, all we have to go on now is what the worst can be, and the winters of Siberia in 2013 and 2014 are related by world albedo response. It snowed in Alberta on Aug 22 2015. Probably another Climate Change calamity.

      • Bart says:

        The aggregate temperature response to CO2, in the present climate state of the Earth, cannot be significantly greater than zero. The proof is that, to a very high degree of fidelity, atmospheric CO2 evolves according to

        dCO2/dt = k*(T – T0)

        Such a dynamic, coupled with a positive aggregate effect of CO2 on temperature, would comprise a positive feedback loop which could not be stabilized even with T^4 radiation.

        This relationship holds since at least the time that CO2 began to be measured accurately at Mauna Loa in 1958. Hence, any ameliorating long term feedback which could stabilize the system would only allow, at the most, a tiny net positive aggregate effect of CO2 on temperature.

        There really is no possible alternative, given the empirical data. Somewhere in the chain of logic which posits even a moderate temperature sensitivity, there is a fatal flaw, a major oversight, and/or a fundamental error.

        • Bart says:

          Besides which, of course, the relationship means that humans are not significantly responsible for the observed increase in atmospheric CO2 over the past century anyway.

          • Tuora says:

            The existence of life on this Earth is evidence that temperature sensitivity to CO2 in the present climate state is at most insignificant. Bart says:

            October 13, 2015 at 11:25 AM

            Besides which, of course, the relationship means that humans are not significantly responsible for the observed increase in atmospheric CO2 over the past century anyway.

            I agree in full with your intentions to entomb Mike Mann in his sarcophagus well deserved for posterity, Bart. I hate to see you arguing with yourself and losing the argument without any opposition. Perhaps some 101 math would help you,if you are still able to learn.

          • Bart says:

            Yeah, trash talk is always so convincing. If you actually have anything to say, I will be glad to help you understand the problem better.

          • Tuora says:

            “Bart says:

            October 13, 2015 at 4:41 PM

            Yeah, trash talk is always so convincing. If you actually have anything to say, I will be glad to help you understand the problem better. So agreeing with your basic tenet of
            ” October 13, 2015 at 11:25 AM

            Besides which, of course, the relationship means that humans are not significantly responsible for the observed increase in atmospheric CO2 over the past century anyway.” Is in the way of your conceptual power of adding two digits numbers to add to four. You need to be of help to Mike Mann society of mutual adoration where your D

            October 13, 2015 at 4:41 PM

          • Bart says:

            Word salad.

        • Tuora says:

          T^4 radiation is enough to restore the negative feedback that is obviously at work on earth as documented by the very existence of life on Earth. If there is any conceptual error in your thinking, Bart, it is taken care of by the grace of the god unknown and unnecessary.

          • Bart says:

            Wrong. T^4 radiation would not be enough to arrest the instability in this case.

            You have it backwards. The existence of life on this Earth is evidence that temperature sensitivity to CO2 in the present climate state is at most insignificant.

      • Smokey says:

        Ed Caryl,

        And yet… and yet…

        There has never been an empirical, testable, verifiable and replicable measurement that quantifies the fraction of AGW, out of all global warming including the planet’s natural recovery from the LIA — one of the coldest episodes of the entire Holocene.

        Science isn’t much without data, and measurements are data. Yet there are no reliable measurements quantifying the percentage of AGW, out of all global warming.

        I think AGW exists. There is a lot of indirect evidence for it. But if there are no direct measurements, then two possibilities come to mind:

        Either AGW doesn’t exist, or

        AGW is so minuscule that it is too small to measure.

        I think it’s the second possibility. But unless and until we have a verifiable, testable and replicable measurement quantifying man-made global warming (AGW), we’re still at the conjecture stage of the hierarchy: Conjecture, Hypothesis, Theory, Law.

        Even a hypothesis, if valid, must be capable of making repeated, accurate predictions. But the AGW conjecture has never been able to make accurate predictions. It certainly flubbed it by not predicting the so-called “pause”. And despite multi$millions spent on supercomputers, those predictions are the butt of jokes.

        • lewis says:

          Let us say it does exist. My religion tells me that is a good thing. Why? Because of the alternative: colder.

          Warmer is better than colder. The alarmists are actually anti-humans, seeking to destroy what man has created to enhance his life on earth. Unless, of course, it impinges upon their self-indulgence.

          Thus we seek alarmists seeking sustenance from others as they belly up to the trough of government handouts, in order to avoid any decrease in their lifestyle. So they tout the religion of the alarmists, whether or not they think it true. Radical Islam would serve them well. Join, pay taxes or die – the choices are yours.

          • Smokey says:

            lewis,

            Correctomundo. That’s an apt analogy. (And always avoid alliteration…)

            Islamists have nothing on some of the more radical climate alarmists.

            You’re also right that warmer is better. Viewing the Vostok and other temperature proxies shows that we’re in a very rare interglacial. Most of the time it’s been much colder. It also shows that at times global T has been quite a bit warmer than now, without causing any observed problems.

            And finally, all the empirical evidence shows that ∆CO2 is caused by ∆T; not vice versa. The alarmist crowd began with a wrong premise, believing that changes in CO2 caused changes in global T. But numerous observations on many different time scales show that ∆T causes ∆CO2.

            When you begin with a wrong premise, your conclusion will probably be wrong. Skeptics would go back and try to figure out why, and where exactly they were wrong. Not the alarmists. They bend factoids and cherry-pick evidence to support their beliefs. And that, IMHO, is the central problem.

          • Simon says:

            DBstealey (Smokey)
            You want a take a look at this talk from the man whose work you love to quote, Richard Alley. He gives a very good explanation of why we know pretty well that is is the CO2 we have been putting into the atmosphere that is causing the warming. Watch it and tell me where he is going wrong.
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RffPSrRpq_g

      • Kristian says:

        I must side with geran here.

        Roy, you say (on question 2):

        “Here’s where Mr. Fishel has little to say. It has not been demonstrated that any kind of severe weather has increased because of our addition of 1 CO2 molecule to each 10,000 molecules of atmosphere over the last century.”

        I must ask, then: Where and in what way has it ever been demonstrated empirically in the real Earth system that an increase in atmospheric CO2 causes ANY warming of the global surface? And/or that >0% of the general ‘global warming’ observed between the 70s and the 00s was caused by the parallel increase in CO2_atm?

        It is all just a claim and an assumption, Roy. A belief. Still. And you know that perfectly well. It is merely a conjecture and a circular argument: Claim: +CO2_atm causes +T_stf. Test: We’ve seen +CO2_atm and we’ve seen +T_sfc. Conclusion: Therefore the +CO2_atm caused the +T_sfc. Which means our original claim was correct.

        How much further from science can one get …?

        • alphagruis says:

          It is all just a claim and an assumption

          No, it’s juste the most probable for any serious physicist .

          Physics or any science of nature is not really a matter of “proofs” or demonstrations as mathematics but a matter of what’s the most probable with respect to what is already known.

          Feynman about flying saucers

          • Kristian says:

            alphagruis says, October 15, 2015 at 2:22 AM:

            “Physics or any science of nature is not really a matter of “proofs” or demonstrations as mathematics but a matter of what’s the most probable with respect to what is already known.”

            But it isn’t the most probable with respect to what is already known (whatever that constitutes in your mind).

            The most probable with respect to what we know about Earth’s climate system is that the ‘global warming’ from the 70s to the 00s was all naturally induced. Occam’s razor. The null hypothesis. The CO2 hypothesis is the alternative explanation to what has always caused the climate to fluctuate, and so it needs to be able to put some fairly solid empirical evidence on the table in order to push the ‘natural’ explanation down from it. Well, it isn’t. And it hasn’t. Not even remotely so.

            And so it remains a conjecture and an assumption. An unsubstantiated claim about the real world. And only that.

            I’m not talking about “proof”, alphagruis. I’m talking about “empirical evidence”. Do you know the difference? It appears you don’t …

        • MarkB says:

          Where and in what way has it ever been demonstrated empirically in the real Earth system that an increase in atmospheric CO2 causes ANY warming of the global surface?

          http://newscenter.lbl.gov/2015/02/25/co2-greenhouse-effect-increase/

          • Geoff Wood says:

            MarkB. Although it is possible to detect the presence of atmospheric components remotely from the surface, this doesn’t detract from the much overlooked fact that the tropospheric lapse rate, globally averaged doesn’t deviate from that calculated ‘without including radiation’.

            It is reasonable to say that the bulk of radiative heat ‘trapping’ as proposed by GHG theory must be lower tropospheric. This arises from water as a gas being most abundant there, pressure and temperature broadening of spectral lines being most effective there, and density driven optical depth proving shortest mean free paths for absorption there.

            Still, having said that, once we include latent heat transfer we can calculate the surface temperature from 7.5km globally averaged ‘without including radiation’. At 7.5km, water is trace, pressure temperature and density greatly reduced. We don’t have include a compensation for the surface being unusually warm, because it isn’t. The atmosphere is extremely adiabatic.

            The whole of the 330W/m-2 downwhelling ‘flux’ is instrumental artefact. This is demonstrably proven by being ‘unavailable for work or power’. No energy is transferred downwards unless the temperature is inverted. And the total of this downwhelling ‘flux’ has not altered the surface temperature above that calculated from higher up where these fluxes are much less.

            Heat transfer is the result of a thermal gradient. With a gradient present heat transfer will remain constant unless the gradient evolves. As the tropospheric thermal gradient remains the same as that calculated without resorting to including radiation, then the whole of surface to atmosphere and inter atmospheric radiative exchange must be a product of that gradient, illustrated by the long term persistence of the gravitationally set lapse rate.

            A confusion of cause and effect I’m afraid, on climatology’s part!

          • alphagruis says:

            As a physicist I consider that there is ample empirical evidence from spectroscopy and quantum mechanics that additional CO2 has a (small because of saturation regime) warming effect on earth surface.

            The open question is therefore not whether or not CO2 is involved in climate change.

            The open question is obviously rather how much warming results from additional CO2 and can the effect be unambiguously evidenced within natural climate variability.

          • Geoff Wood says:

            alphagruis, as a physicist, are you saying that CO2 heats the surface by absorption and re-radiation, or that CO2 affects the effective mean radiative height that answers to space? I can show evidence that the former cannot be true.

          • MarkB says:

            Geoff,

            A nominally constant lapse rate does not constrain surface temperature unless the tropopause height is necessarily fixed by some mechanism.

            http://www.math.nyu.edu/~gerber/pages/documents/santer_etal-science-2003.pdf

          • geran says:

            alphagruis says: “As a physicist I consider that there is ample empirical evidence from spectroscopy and quantum mechanics that additional CO2 has a (small because of saturation regime) warming effect on earth surface.”

            By “ample”, do you mean enough to convince an IPCC pseudoscientist-following, CO2-fearing, wobbly-lukewarmer, or enough to convince an independent-thinking, physics-grasping, super-skeptic?

            The amount, and quality, of the evidence would differ by magnitudes.

          • Joel Shore says:

            “A nominally constant lapse rate does not constrain surface temperature unless the tropopause height is necessarily fixed by some mechanism.”

            Exactly. The greenhouse gases in the atmosphere determine the “effective radiating level” at which the radiation emitted can escape to space without being absorbed, i.e., it determines the level at which the average temperature is 255 K. Then the lapse rate determines what this translates to in terms of a surface temperature.

            There seem to be a lot of people around who think that if I tell you the slope of a line, that uniquely determines the value of y for a given x. In fact, to determine it, you need both the slope of the line and one point (x,y) that the line passes through. This is grade school math.

            Geoff Wood says: “alphagruis, as a physicist, are you saying that CO2 heats the surface by absorption and re-radiation, or that CO2 affects the effective mean radiative height that answers to space?”

            The sun heats the Earth. What the CO2 does is to return SOME of the radiation emitted by the Earth’s surface back to it, so that the rate at which heat escapes from the atmosphere (at some fixed surface temperature) is lower than it would otherwise be. Since the Earth’s steady-state (average) surface temperature is determined by radiative balance (that it emits back out into space the same amount as it receives from the sun, this means that temperature must rise.

            That is the basic picture, neglecting such details as full radiative transfer problem in the atmosphere (multiple absorption events) and convection. Including those details, yields the more precise picture in terms of the effective mean radiative height increasing.

          • Joel Shore says:

            In the above comment, my statement

            “…so that the rate at which heat escapes from the atmosphere…” should more precisely be “…so that the rate at which heat escapes from the Earth…”

          • alphagruis says:

            Geoff

            alphagruis, as a physicist, are you saying that CO2 heats the surface by absorption and re-radiation, or that CO2 affects the effective mean radiative height that answers to space?

            But these assertions are actually quite equivalent !

            That’s the physics involved.

            It is precisely because CO2 absorbs and re-radiates IR that the effective radiation height to space changes. .

          • Kristian says:

            *Sigh*

            MarkB, where in that article is it even remotely demonstrated empirically that the increase in atmospheric CO2 caused the surface underneath to warm?

          • Geoff Wood says:

            Hi MarkB. Thanks for the link.

            There is no doubt that tropopause height varies with global temperature, that’s how atmospheres behave. Volume increases with temperature increase under near isobaric regimes. The authors explain having used radiosonde data in determining tropopause height and then conclude by saying that the results show ‘greenhouse gas forcing’ identifiable in a troposphere that shows warming in satellite data, but not in one that doesn’t (28)!

            (28) being Christy, SPENCER, Braswell.

            Indeed, if you care to look at p49 in the following pdf, there is a global tropopause anomaly shown that confers with UHA satellite data provided here by Dr Spencer. This data can also be shown to confer with radiosonde!
            http://acd.ucar.edu/~randel/SeidelAndRandel.pdf

            I have made no attempt to calculate a global surface temperature separately, merely to point out that the maximum effect of opacity upon radiative heat transfer must be lower tropospheric. Having established that, it can be shown that there is no measurable effect of this uneven vertical opacity structure upon surface temperature with respect to those at altitude. Indeed the basic structure of the troposphere (pressure, density, temperature, height) can be established without recourse to surface to atmosphere or inter-atmospheric radiation. As mentioned earlier heat transfer requires a thermal gradient and once established this controls heat transfer unless the gradient evolves. The persistence of the lapse indicates that long wave radiation transfers insufficient energy to modify it. This radiation therefore remains a ‘product’ of that gradient.

            Regards.

          • Kristian says:

            alphagruis says, October 16, 2015 at 10:00 AM:

            “As a physicist I consider that there is ample empirical evidence from spectroscopy and quantum mechanics that additional CO2 has a (small because of saturation regime) warming effect on earth surface.”

            But alphagruis, you’re making the exact same mistake as MikeB is doing here.

            There is no empirical evidence anywhere for the warming effect. That effect is only ASSUMED to be there. Your “spectroscopic evidence” is evidence for CO2 absorption/emission of IR within certain bands of the EMR spectrum. And nothing else. All else is INTERPRETATION. Your spectroscopic evidence is NOT itself evidence for any ‘extra’ radiative warming by the atmosphere of the surface of the Earth.

            Do you see the disconnect?

            You’re assuming one end effect from an entirely different one. You ASSUME the path leading from the first effect (the IR absorption/emission) to the second one (the surface warming) is the way that you suggest. But that’s where your leap of faith comes in. That’s what you think. That’s your hypothesis! That the two effects connect directly in that way.

            And so this is what needs empirical evidence. You need to put empirical evidence on the table showing that your spectroscopic effect really does end up causing the surface of the Earth to warm.

            This is your basic premise: +CO_2 atm -> +T_sfc

            And so I ask again: Where is the empirical evidence from the real Earth system of this causal relationship to be in operation? At all!?

            It is nonexistent, alphagruis …

          • Geoff Wood says:

            Joel Shore, hi.

            Most of the radiation from the Earth comes from the atmosphere ‘already’.

            True?

            All gases are intrinsically low emissivity.

            True?

            Can you please explain the total effect of raising atmospheric emissivity (increasing GHGs), whilst lowering emitting temperature (crawling of the effective mean radiative height up the lapse gradient)?

          • alphagruis says:

            The persistence of the lapse indicates that long wave radiation transfers insufficient energy to modify it. This radiation therefore remains a ‘product’ of that gradient.

            Geoff, the mean lapse rate is determined by moist convection. Moist adiabatic lapse rate is an attractor of the system.

            When perturbed, for instance by some additional CO2, the vertical gradient tends to increase temporarily but convection resets it readily to the moist adiabatic as soon as transient regime is over.

            And nobody claims that heat is ever transferred up the gradient. It’s just that less heat is temporarily transferred down the gradient when IR photon mean free path decreases, until the temperature increases sufficiently to re-establish the previous radiative heat flux.

          • Kristian says:

            alphagruis says, October 17, 2015 at 7:22 AM:

            (…) the mean lapse rate is determined by moist convection.

            No. The SALR is determined by moist convection. Just as the DALR is determined by dry convection.

            The mean lapse rate (I assume you mean the ELR), is set at the balance point between convection (moist AND dry) and radiation (heat IN down low, heat OUT up high).

            When perturbed, for instance by some additional CO2, the vertical gradient tends to increase temporarily but convection resets it readily to the moist adiabatic as soon as transient regime is over.

            And nobody claims that heat is ever transferred up the gradient. It’s just that less heat is temporarily transferred down the gradient when IR photon mean free path decreases, until the temperature increases sufficiently to re-establish the previous radiative heat flux.

            Hehe, no, alphagruis. What you (correctly) state in your first paragraph effectively negates what you claim in your second. If you INCREASE the vertical gradient up through the tropospheric column, then the transfer of heat down this gradient does not decrease. Basic heat transfer theory …

            If you put more CO2 in the atmosphere, then there will be a tendency towards stronger absorption down low (potential relative warming of the air) AND a parallel tendency towards stronger emission up high (potential relative cooling of the air).

            However, none of these potentials will come true. Not in the troposphere. Why? Because of convection. If radiative processes attempt to steepen the vertical tropospheric temperature gradient, then convection (buoyancy) will immediately and automatically pull it back down to its former profile, by transferring the energy from the heating end down low to the cooling end up high. There is no average rise in temperature required for this to happen, just a perturbation to the gradient. Which happens all the time.

          • Geoff Wood says:

            Hi alphagruis. Thanks for the reply. You are still not addressing the point as I would like you to. Globally averaged data from 7.5km averaged over a year, allows calculation of a surface temperature by ‘only’ including the change in specific humidity to the thermal pool and gravitational potential. Likewise from the surface the temperature at 7.5km can be calculated from surface conditions by only including the change in specific humidity to changes in the thermal pool from gaining altitude. The ‘data’ sets the actual measured global mean lapse, and it is exactly as you would calculate it without long wave radiation. It’s not ‘hand waving’ about a proposed temporary adjustment to the lapse, it is the theory of the derivation of the adiabatic lapse with the inclusion of latent heat as a correction to the dry lapse and it is supported by the data. The total of proposed modification of the lapse through opacity and long wave radiation affecting the gradient is not apparent. It is therefore difficult to imagine that a CO2 induced ‘blip’ can do what the total ‘greenhouse effect’ hasn’t! The lapse remains EXACTLY as you would calculate it WITHOUT including long wave radiative heat transfer. So the data indicates that the effect you are proposing is impotent. The long wave radiation present must be an environmental product.

          • alphagruis says:

            Geoff, as I said the lapse rate (after transient regime) is determined by convection and latent heat and not by radiative heat transfer.

            So it obviously</b< can be calculated WITHOUT any consideration of the latter and I can't see your point.

            Radiative transfer and CO2 increase affects the absolute temperatures in atmosphere and on earth surface but lapse rate remains some moist adiabatic as it is set by convection.

            Now if CO2 is added the moist adiabatic gradient is expected to decrease a little bit since higher absolute temperatures imply more moisture and thus a somewhat lower lapse rate.

          • Kristian says:

            Geoff Wood says, October 17, 2015 at 10:08 AM:

            The ‘data’ sets the actual measured global mean lapse, and it is exactly as you would calculate it without long wave radiation. It’s not ‘hand waving’ about a proposed temporary adjustment to the lapse, it is the theory of the derivation of the adiabatic lapse with the inclusion of latent heat as a correction to the dry lapse and it is supported by the data.

            You appear, like “Hockeyschtick”, to confuse lapse rates and their derivation.

            The adiabatic lapse rates are calculated using only gravity, atmospheric specific heat and the release of latent heat of vaporisation into the air column. Thus:

            The DALR: dT/dz = g/c_p
            The SALR: dT/dz = g/c_p – (L_v * dq_vs)/(c_p * dz)

            The adiabatic lapse rate expressions only (!!!) apply to rising and sinking volumes of air. Not to air in hydrostatic equilibrium. Not to the atmosphere in general.

            The environmental (normal) lapse rate is not really calculated at all, but rather directly observed.

            Its particular value in any one place comes as a result of the constant ‘struggle’ between convection, advection and radiation.

            In other words, radiation does indeed affect the actual, observed tropospheric lapse rate. It does not, however, affect the adiabatic lapse rate, that of vertically moving air.

          • Geoff Wood says:

            High alphagruis,

            Even if the mean lapse was adjusted temporarily in the same direction regularly due to the proposed effect then the time averaged effect would be apparent over a year as a modification to the calculated lapse that doesn’t include it.

            You have said;

            “When perturbed, for instance by some additional CO2, the vertical gradient tends to increase temporarily”

            And,

            “Now if CO2 is added the moist adiabatic gradient is expected to decrease a little bit ”

            So methinks you are ‘winging’ it a bit here!

            So now we can add to the question I proposed to Joel Shore, and one you were free to answer;

            1) a crawl up the lapse reduces the temperature of the effective mean radiative height (increase in surface temperature)

            2) increased emissivity negates this as the atmosphere’s intrinsic emissivity is low as adding GHGs increases this (decrease to surface temperature)

            3) this is the one you have added; a projection of the lapse at a reduced gradient from the effective mean radiative height (reduces the surface equilibrium temperature).

            Total one plus, countered by two minuses???

            But you are still positive of a warming effect!

          • Geoff Wood says:

            Hi Kristian. With respect, does the ‘fact’ that the physical properties through gravity, isobaric specific heat capacity and latent heat inclusion ‘correctly’ predicting the ‘observed’ global mean over a year not negate your contradiction!

            Regards

          • alphagruis says:

            Geoff, you seem to confuse transient regime with steady state regime once energy balance on top of atmosphere is re-established.

            Once one acknowledges the difference, I didn’t ‘wing’ anything.

            “Crawl up” the lapse of effective radiative layer only reduces effective emission temperature temporarily in transient regime as long as energy balance is not re-established.

          • Geoff Wood says:

            alphagruis, you have said;

            “When perturbed, for instance by some additional CO2, the vertical gradient tends to increase temporarily but convection resets it readily to the moist adiabatic as soon as transient regime is over.”

            The vertical gradient is sampled eight times per day and 7.5km globally averaged is temporally decoupled from the surface by direct influence from convection because the lower convective overturning (1 to 2days) stops at the planetary boundary layer. Upper tropospheric overturning is weeks By this I am saying that additional CO2 increasing the lapse by radiative forcing would be easily resolved and modify the mean, ie the temporal resolution of the sampling is sufficient to monitor and detect ‘transients’ that might affect the mean ‘steady state’.

            You speak of a ‘theoretical’ increase of a ‘transient’, always as an increase to the lapse, that I am not including, that is unresolved in the data.

            So yes, you are ‘winging’ it.

            Bring the data to the table. How are the transients which cannot be linked by convection causing a simultaneous rise in 7.5km temps when they are locked out by opacity?

            The full effect of opacity upon the tropospheric lapse has not caused it to deviate from theoretical discluding radiation.

            ‘Very little energy is transferred by radiation’ without temperature differences.

            Temperature differences.

            Like gravity set a gradient perhaps?

          • Kristian says:

            Geoff Wood says, October 17, 2015 at 12:16 PM:

            (…) does the ‘fact’ that the physical properties through gravity, isobaric specific heat capacity and latent heat inclusion ‘correctly’ predicting the ‘observed’ global mean over a year not negate your contradiction!

            No. Because you need to recognise how the troposphere actually works.

            The DALR: dT/dz = g/c_p
            The SALR: dT/dz = g/c_p – (L_v * dq_vs)/(c_p * dz)

            The “(L_v dq_vs)/(c_p dz)” term is simply describing the release of latent heat of vaporisation inside the rising – and thus adiabatically expanding – air parcel, reducing the temperature falloff rate with altitude.

            There is no way we can be certain how large the global average of this variable would be, because it’s impossible to tell exactly how “wet” (condensing, really) the global troposphere actually is on average. We can make estimates, of course. The 6.5 K/km ‘average’ value is just such an estimate, really no more than an educated guess. It is not actually ‘observed’. It is simply agreed upon as the global average, although it is originally stated as the US standard average. In other words, it has become 6.5 K/km by convention. Methods have been used to calculate the global average providing lower estimates than this standard value, 6.1-6.2 K/km, and – even more importantly – the value varies greatly both vertically in the troposphere and from the equator to the poles:
            http://ifaran.ru/old/ltk/Persona/Mokhov_pub/LapseRate-FAO06-IACP430.pdf

            https://okulaer.files.wordpress.com/2015/07/lapse-rate.png

            (More figures in the following post.)

            What is evident from these maps and graphs is how the tropospheric temperature gradient depends significantly on the amount of vertical mixing of the air, that is, on surface heating and evaporation plus subsequent condensation in the tropospheric column.

            The average annual tropospheric temperature gradient in the extratropics and especially near the poles actually tends towards the isothermal condition (it will never get there as long as there is some kind of heating and cooling going on diurnally/annually), because there is a lot less surface heating and a lot less surface evaporation, and so convection is a much rarer and more intermittent phenomenon than closer to the equator, and so a lot more of the thermal radiation escapes to space directly from the surface and/or from much lower in the air column, which tends to level out the upward temperature gradient because of higher cooling rates down low. (Not enough low heating during the day, effective low cooling during the night.)

            Bear in mind, the maps/graphs above and I are speaking in annual averages.

            So you have two global patterns manifesting themselves: 1) “wet” areas (and/or tropospheric levels) generally (annual avg) have gentler gradients than “dry” areas, because of SALR vs. DALR; 2) tropical/subtropical areas generally (annual avg) have steeper gradients than higher latitudes, because of more consistent vertical mixing of the tropospheric column.

            Bottom line: Radiation matters. And, there is no natural, inherent “hydrostatic equilibrium” (‘gravitational’) temperature gradient in the troposphere as some people seem to assume. If so, it would’ve been say 6.5 K/km at all tropospheric heights and especially at high latitudes where convective mixing is limited mostly to passing fronts, orographic lifting/sinking, ocean evaporation and summer heating events. You need dynamical vertical mixing to keep a tropospheric gradient, because the air actually needs to rise in order to cool (from adiabatic expansion). The air just sitting there, in hydrostatic equilibrium, only higher up, being less dense than air further down, doesn’t in itself make it cooler than the lower air. Such a situation will gradually move towards isothermal conditions through internal conduction (the average molecular velocity (and hence, air temperature) would end up the same at all levels, regardless of the density of the air).

          • Geoff Wood says:

            Kristian, thank you for making time to reply. We do differ upon our views. I will try to run through the issues you are bringing to my attention.

            “The DALR: dT/dz = g/c_p
            The SALR: dT/dz = g/c_p – (L_v * dq_vs)/(c_p * dz)”

            The fact that you repeatedly omit the minus sign intrigues me. Are you unaware of its significance? Temperature does not increase with height in the troposphere. Punching out incorrect equations is meaningless.

            More importantly, where do these expressions come from?

            Are they so dissimilar?

            Latent heat is a modification to the ‘heat capacity’, is it not? Does it not alter the thermal response to energy changes?

            The atmosphere is contained by gravity. It only persist here because of the local gravity. The Earth, the atmosphere, are contained by its rules. There are only a few ways that energy, spontaneously exchangeable with thermal energy can be stored. Nothing moves within a gravity field down to a quantum level without without answering to gravity in some manner. Accrual of gravitational potential comes at an energy cost from otherwise kinetic (thermal) states. Likewise release of gravitational potential increases the energy in the kinetic (thermal) states by conservation. How matter re-distributes this energy and normalises it within the available is states is through the sum of independent energy states which must include energy stored in changes of physical state. By conservation.

            There is no DALR, or SALR, but there is;

            dT/dh= -g/Cp

            Where, universally Cp is the thermodynamic specific heat capacity and to which we must include latent heat to be viable, as water is always present to a degree.

            “The “(L_v dq_vs)/(c_p dz)” term is simply describing the release of latent heat of vaporisation inside the rising – and thus adiabatically expanding – air parcel, reducing the temperature falloff rate with altitude.”

            There is no ‘simply’ about it, latent heat alters the heat capacity and therefore modifies the lapse rate. The accrual of gravitation potential is depleted from the sum of available energy storage states, including state changes, by conservation.

            “There is no way we can be certain how large the global average of this variable would be, because it’s impossible to tell exactly how “wet” (condensing, really) the global troposphere actually is on average. We can make estimates, of course. The 6.5 K/km ‘average’ value is just such an estimate, really no more than an educated guess. It is not actually ‘observed’. It is simply agreed upon as the global average, although it is originally stated as the US standard average. In other words, it has become 6.5 K/km by convention. Methods have been used to calculate the global average providing lower estimates than this standard value, 6.1-6.2 K/km, and – even more importantly – the value varies greatly both vertically in the troposphere and from the equator to the poles:”

            We measure the specific humidity!

            Therefore we know how wet ‘it is’.

            And we measure the lapse, so we know what ‘it is’.

            The lapse 2014 was -6.69K/km to 7.5km. The specific humidity at the surface was 10.6g/kg, the specific humidity at 7.5km was 0.5g/km. Globally averaged.

            “The average annual tropospheric temperature gradient in the extratropics and especially near the poles actually tends towards the isothermal condition (it will never get there as long as there is some kind of heating and cooling going on diurnally/annually), ”

            The polar tropospheric thermal gradient due to the near complete absence of water and constant circulation is the maximum observed on the planet and near the dry adiabatic lapse rate of -9.7K/km. how do you get near isothermal from that?

            “So you have two global patterns manifesting themselves: 1) “wet” areas (and/or tropospheric levels) generally (annual avg) have gentler gradients than “dry” areas, because of SALR vs. DALR; 2) tropical/subtropical areas generally (annual avg) have steeper gradients than higher latitudes, because of more consistent vertical mixing of the tropospheric column.

            Bottom line: Radiation matters. ”

            Not if it can be shown that globally the lapse is;

            dT/dh= -g/Cp (+ latent heat transfer)

            Where Cp is modified by latent heat as an additional heat capacity.

            -6.69K/km (measured) is exactly -g/Cp if we include latent heat as a heat capacity. From global measurement.

            ‘Bottom line’, I can neglect the impotence of matter’s equilibrium radiation as a forcing mechanism. It does not modify the global lapse measured, which was calculated by its exclusion.

            Heat transfer, is the result of a thermal gradient. That heat transfer then either modifies the gradient ‘or’ remains a product.

            Gravity has set a repeatable, dependable, global gradient that is unaffected globally by long wave radiative heat transfer, therefore the long wave heat transfer must remain a product of that gradient.

            Regards.

          • Geoff Wood says:

            As an addition Kristian, (and I do not want you to treat this as anything other than discussion, as largely I like you expressing your opinion and views. I can see you are passionate about what you believe), bringing down the hydrostatic condition whilst stating that the lapse requires vertical mixing is incongruous.

            Total adhesion to an unrealistic hydro’static’ condition would mean no vertical mixing other than diffusion. Differences from the hydrostatic, and by stating its existence, ie telling me it is not hydrostatic, means to some extent the atmosphere is ‘always’ vertically mixing due to deviations from that condition.

      • Gordon Robertson says:

        @Ed Caryl…”His “belief” is based on many years of using the scientific method…”

        Roy also believes that heat can be transferred from a cooler body to a warmer body on it’s own volition. He seems to think that if you unplug a refrigerator that somehow the process of cooling can still happen spontaneously.

        I have spoken to Ph.Ds who believe that time is an entity, like force or mass. Even though Planck pointed out the obvious in 2013, that time was derived for the benefit of humans, as was length, temperature, density, and pressure, many scientists today regard such concepts as being real.

        Heat as thermal energy is real but temperature is a derived scale to measure the degree of thermal energy. Density is a measure of the number of atoms per unit volume and is based on the the density of water at just above freezing. In other words, an individual atom is real (in a relative way) but the number of them that can be crammed into a unit volume is ‘defined’ as the density of a unit containing them. Density is not a real thing.

        Pressure is the force applied to a surface by gas molecules based on the force per unit area. Length in metres is a sub-division of the distance between the North Pole and the Equator.

        It’s important in science to distinguish between real phenomena and human derived concepts. Pressure does not exist as an entity, nor does time, even though many scientists believe both are real. Pressure comes down to individual atoms/molecules acting in unison and time is a fraction of the periodic motion of the Earth as it rotates on its axis. Pressure is defined based on the pressure in the Earth’s atmosphere at sea level.

        No one can measure the energy of an individual atom or molecule so that energy is derived using statistical approximations.

        A Ph.D is nothing more than a document to recognize study in a fairly limited area of science. Even at that, the narrow focus of the study is highly dependent on the paradigms adopted by the issuing university.

        John Christy, Roy’s boss at UAH, did his grad studies under uber-alarmists Kevin Trenberth. I am sure John was well indoctrinated into the AGW theory but much to his credit, when the data he was studying from NOAA satellites contradicted the theory, John questioned it.

        I admire Roy for his skepticism but recently he has been appearing to offer a a peace offering to the alarmists by believing that up to 50% of global warming since the 1950s is man-made.

        His own evidence on his website contradicts that theory. CO2 has increased markedly since the 50s yet the UAH data since 1979 shows little or no warming, according to the UAH 30 year report.

    • And let me contribute, as a philosopher/theologian and historian of theology/philosophy, that the typical contrasting of “belief” (or “faith”) with “reason” or “science” is quite contrary to the historic and Biblical understanding of what faith/belief is. The best definition I’ve found for “faith/belief” in terms of the Biblical use of the terms (in Hebrew and Greek, as well as in translations) is that by the late philosopher Gordon H. Clark in his book FAITH AND SAVING FAITH: assent to an understood proposition. Thus, in the two sentences, “I believe 2 x 2 are 4” and “I believe Jesus Christ rose from the dead,” the word “believe” means exactly the same thing. The objects of the belief (the propositions) differ, but what it means to believe is identical. Various Enlightenment and post-Enlightenment philosophers succeeded in misleading many people to think there was something about faith _per se_ that is different from reason and that therefore science and religion are inherently opposed (something Andrew Dickson White argued in his HISTORY OF THE WARFARE BETWEEN SCIENCE AND RELIGION, a book whose historiography was thoroughly decimated by later scholars but that unfortunately has retained much influence, partly indirectly through other books that depended on it), but in terms of both Biblical and historic Christian theological usage, belief/faith is most certainly not contrary to, or extraneous to, reason. Rather, it is, or purports to be, eminently reasonable. Hence the Apostle Paul could instruct all Christians to “test all things, hold fast what is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21), and Peter could say, “in your hearts regard Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you” (1 Peter 3:15), and Paul again could say, “I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. 9 For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. 11 Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed. 12 Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. 15 We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If in this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. 20 But in fact [for which he had just given the historical evidence] Christ has been raised from the dead” (1 Corinthians 15:3-20).

      • Gordon Robertson says:

        @E. Calvin Beisner…”“I believe 2 x 2 are 4″ and “I believe Jesus Christ rose from the dead,” the word “believe” means exactly the same thing”.

        While attending an awareness seminar some 30 years ago it occurred to me that saying I believe is the same as saying I don’t know, but I think I do.

        The two statements above about belief are not equivalent. Claiming that 2 x 2 = 4, provided you accept our system of mathematics, can be proved. There’s no way to prove that Jesus rose from the dead.

        Even the Gospels are contradictory on that. If you read the 4 initial gospels of the New Testament, they contradict themselves on that subject. They are not clear on who witnessed the resurrection or if any of them did. They are not clear on whether Jesus spoke to them as a person or as a spirit.

        I would dearly love to have the answer to that because it would comfort me to know that Jesus survived his brutal execution and went on to better things.

        I might add that ‘believing’ and ‘believing in’ have different meanings. If I say I believe in what Jesus stood for, which I do, it’s not the same as claiming I believe what happened back then based on Biblical reports.

    • Slipstick says:

      If you increase the proportion of an IR absorber in a system that transmits or receives IR radiation without some compensating change the equilibrium temperature of the system will increase. That is not a belief, that is basic physics.

      • geran says:

        When the outside temp drops below freezing, you can turn off your furnace. If the room gets too cold, just bring in blocks of dry ice (frozen carbon dioxide). As the dry ice sublimates, it will warm the room nicely. (You have increased the proportion of an IR absorber in the system.)

        However, be careful you don’t set the place on fire.

        (For Warmists and Lukewarmers who do not get it, this is sarcasm! Slip doesn’t understand that “basic physics” is NOT the same as “basic IPCC physics”.)

      • Kristian says:

        How is the atmosphere supposed to cool without radiative capabilities, Slipstick? The atmosphere absorbs a lot of heat from the surface, all the time, most of if non-radiative. It is automatically drawn up into the atmosphere convectively as soon as the Sun heats the surface. How is the atmosphere supposed to be able to rid itself of this energy without any radiatively active constituents? Those constituents (what I presume you would call “GHGs”) first and foremost function as EMITTERS of absorbed atmospheric heat to space, Slipstick. That’s what they do. They don’t HAVE TO be there in order for the atmosphere to WARM. They HAVE TO be there in order for the atmosphere to COOL.

        In other words, a massive atmosphere on top of a solar-heated planetary surface quite naturally needs to be radiatively active, otherwise it wouldn’t function as an atmosphere and the planet would never be able to reach a steady state. Until it had shed the atmosphere altogether …

        • Slipstick says:

          Wow…that is so wrong on so many levels I don’t even know where to start.

          • Kristian says:

            Hahaha. Quite the master of retorts.

            No, please do start, Slipstick. Don’t be shy. Name just ONE particular point that’s factually wrong and explain exactly how and why. I really do want to hear. And I think other readers do as well …

        • FTOP says:

          Which begs the question, if we removed all CO2, would the earth ‘s surface be warmer? The reduced radiatively capability suggests, “Yes”.

          Thus, increasing CO2 causes cooling.

          • Kristian says:

            FTOP, you infer:

            “(…) increasing CO2 causes cooling.”

            In the stratosphere it would. Because there is no convection moving the energy there. In the troposphere it does nothing, temperaturewise, because in the troposphere convection is what moves the energy.

        • Rick says:

          Kristian, if the atmosphere had no “GHGs” the only energy transfer to or from it would be by conduction from the surface. The atmosphere would end up at the average surface temperature.

          The surface would radiate directly to space and the surface temperature would adjust so that the outgoing energy rate (Watts ) would match the Wattage coming from the sun.

          Why do you think that the surface would not reach a steady state with a “GHG” free atmosphere? How would a atmosphere free planet?

          • Rick says:

            Correction: How would that be different from an atmosphere free planet?

          • Kristian says:

            Heard of convection, Rick? You know what happens when the Sun heats the surface? Heat is drawn up into the atmosphere CONVECTIVELY. If it cannot be radiated away from there, it will pile up. You know that the Sun heats the surface of the Earth every single day, don’t you …?

            “How would that be different from an atmosphere free planet?”

            Sigh. It would be different because you would have a massive, warm atmosphere on top of the solar-heated planetary surface, Rick.

          • Rick says:

            Yes, the air that is warmed by conduction near the surface would be carried up by convection as long as it is warmer, less dense, than the air above it.

            At the same time at night the warmer atmosphere would conduct energy to the cooler surface but the now cooler air near the surface, being denser than the air above, would not convect. The whole atmosphere would warm but it could not reach a temperature higher than the surface.

            After a while the average temperature of the atmosphere would reach a steady state except for a thin layer at the surface that would cool and warm with the surface due to the day/night cycle.

            Relative to a few feet of the surface the atmosphere is not that massive.

          • Kristian says:

            Rick says, October 15, 2015 at 9:57 AM:

            “Yes, the air that is warmed by conduction near the surface would be carried up by convection as long as it is warmer, less dense, than the air above it.”

            Indeed.

            “At the same time at night the warmer atmosphere would conduct energy to the cooler surface (…)”

            Er, yes, but you do realise that pure conduction of energy from air to surface is an excruciatingly slow process, while the opposite process during the day, where convection swiftly carries the transferred energy up and away from the surface air layer and deep into the atmosphere, is a thousand times (or more) faster.

            There is no balance whatsoever between the heat being convectively drawn from the surface high up into the atmosphere during the day and the tiny amount of heat being conducted back from a near-surface inversion layer during the night.

            So the heat from the surface would pile up for each diurnal cycle, thermally inflating the atmosphere. And this would happen relatively fast.

            “(…) but the now cooler air near the surface, being denser than the air above, would not convect.”

            That’s right. During the NIGHT. When there is no surface heating by the Sun. But as soon as morning breaks and the Sun starts shining down again, the inversion layer that developed during the dark, cooling hours starts dissolving. And eventually convection resumes.

            “The whole atmosphere would warm but it could not reach a temperature higher than the surface.”

            Exactly my point. The surface would always be warmer than the atmosphere above it during the day and would therefore always transfer some of its heat to it by way of convection. This heat would then effectively not be able to escape the atmosphere again, which is of course an inherently unstable situation. The atmosphere would simply inflate to the point where the planet could no longer hold on to it.

            The mere MASS of an atmosphere thus NECESSITATES that atmosphere to be radiatively active. It NEEDS to be able to radiate in order to shed its absorbed heat, convectively transferred from the solar-heated surface. This ability is half of what makes it a functional atmosphere.

            “After a while the average temperature of the atmosphere would reach a steady state except for a thin layer at the surface that would cool and warm with the surface due to the day/night cycle.”

            No, Rick. Only in your rGHE dream fantasyland. The Universe is a much less compromising (and thus much more elegantly simple) place than that: No radiatively active atmosphere, no atmosphere.

            You simply can’t have the cake and eat it …

          • Rick says:

            Kristian, we agree completely up to the point where you say that the surface would always be warmer than the atmosphere and therefore continues to convect energy.

            At the point that the atmosphere approches the daytime surface temperature convection will stop. No more energy will be added to the atmosphere. The system would then be stable.

            You seem to be saying that energy will continue to be convected from the surface to the atmosphere but that won’t happen when the bulk of the atmosphere reaches the surface temperature. Am I miss understanding your point?

          • Kristian says:

            Rick says, October 18, 2015 at 6:34 PM:

            Kristian, we agree completely up to the point where you say that the surface would always be warmer than the atmosphere and therefore continues to convect energy.

            During the DAY, Rick. Always during the DAY. As long as the Sun continues to heat the surface during the day, there will be energy convected from the surface to the atmosphere above. And this energy could not escape the atmosphere and so would pile up. No stable state on the horizon, I’m afraid …

            At the point that the atmosphere approches the daytime surface temperature convection will stop.

            At what point is this, precisely? It won’t get there, Rick. Not during the day.

            No more energy will be added to the atmosphere. The system would then be stable.

            Haha, warmist wishful thinking. Sorry, wouldn’t happen in the real world.

            You seem to be saying that energy will continue to be convected from the surface to the atmosphere but that won’t happen when the bulk of the atmosphere reaches the surface temperature. Am I miss understanding your point?

            Yes, you are. The bulk of the atmosphere will never reach the surface temperature during daytime. And that’s when convection primarily takes place …

          • Rick says:

            Kristian,

            The atmosphere is a fixed mass, it has a specific heat and without a way to cool it would eventually reach the temperature of the daytime surface. A thin layer near the surface would cool slowly at night by condution but it would quickly heat due to convection in the daytime but above that layer the air would warm until convection stopped and no more heating would occur.

            The second law would prevent the bulk of the atmosphere from reaching a temperature higher than the hottest surface daytime temperature.

            Do you understand the point that convection would slow as the atmosphere approches the surface temperature?

          • Rick says:

            If you continue to add energy to a fixed mass with no way to remove energy the temperature of the mass will increase. Since the atmospheres temperature cannot exceed the surface temperature where does the excess energy, in your explanation, go?

        • slipstick says:

          Kristian,
          What you seem to overlook is that when atmospheric molecules radiate, only a fraction of the radiated energy goes “outward” to space; the majority of the energy is directed “sideways” or “downwards” to other atmospheric, surface, or surface water molecules and the exit of that energy from the atmosphere is delayed, raising the equilibrium temperature. This is why those atmospheric molecules that absorb strongly in the long-wave IR, where most of the Earth’s energy is emitted, are so-called “GHG’s” (a term I find a bit inaccurate).

          • Gordon Robertson says:

            @slipstick “What you seem to overlook is that when atmospheric molecules radiate, only a fraction of the radiated energy goes “outward” to space; the majority of the energy is directed “sideways” or “downwards” to other atmospheric, surface, or surface water molecules and the exit of that energy from the atmosphere is delayed, raising the equilibrium temperature”.

            In your blanket theory you fail to explain the quantities of GHGs and how they trap heat. The concentration of all CO2 in the atmosphere is 4/100th of 1% of atmospheric gases. According to the IPCC, based on a CO2 concentration of 390 ppmv, anthropogenic CO2 accounts for only a small fraction of natural CO2.

            If you work it out from the diagram they supply, the fraction of ACO2 is about 3% of natural CO2. There used to be a chart done by the US Department of Energy that confirmed those figures but obviously the religious fanatics now running the EPA have destroyed that evidence.

            That natural 97% of CO2 in the atmosphere comes from our oceans and vegetation. When the atmosphere had a CO2 concentration of 390 ppmv, all CO2 ever emitted by humans was part of that 97%. The 3% was ACO2 currently being emitted in the 1990s after the atmospheric concentration of CO2 had reached 390 ppmv.

            The IPCC contradicts itself by claiming a base of 270 ppmv for CO2 in the pre-Industrial era. It’s diagram, based on 390 ppmv was done in the 1990s and they claim 97% of that CO2 is from natural sources. Of course, ACO2 could have been recycled so many times by then that it became natural.

            The IPCC ignores the Little Ice Age in its pre-Industrial ESTIMATE based on ice core proxies. With the world about 1C cooler during the LIA, the oceans would have absorbed a lot of atmospheric CO2. With a shorter vegetation growth season there would have been less CO2 emitted to the atmosphere. The greatest problem, however, with the LIA, is the IPCC’s failure to account for re-warming in its claim of warming since the pre Industrial due to anthropogenic gases.

            The natural component, or 97% of the 0.04% of atmospheric gases, must have been in place for thousands of years, yet nothing happened wrt global warming or climate change. Even if CO2 was not there, the GHG water vapour had to be, yet it did not warm up the atmosphere in recent millenia.

            Looking at it from a perspective of a real greenhouse and all GHGs, which are 96% water vapour and 1% of atmospheric gases, consider a greenhouse with 100 panes of glass. In order to get the equivalent of a 1% concentration of atmospheric gases, you’d need to remove 99 panes of glass.

            I am trying to get it through to you that not nearly enough CO2 exists in the atmosphere to make a hoot of a difference with atmospheric warming. In that case, atmospheric heat trapping, which is not possible, would have no effect either.

            You cannot trap heat because it is associated with the motion of atoms or molecules. A greenhouse does not trap heat, it traps molecules of air, which are 98% nitrogen and oxygen. Even if you could trap IR, there’s no way that could slow down the heat transferred away from the surface by IR.

            Once the IR leaves the surface it contains no heat.

          • Kristian says:

            slipstick says, October 16, 2015 at 6:08 PM:

            “What you seem to overlook …”

            Classic warmist claptrap. I’m not overlooking anything, Slipstick. Because there is nothing to overlook.

            The atmosphere, just like the surface, is a thermodynamic system. You know “thermodynamics”? That part of physics specifically dealing with energy transfers and resulting changes in temperature. Heard of it?

            A thermodynamic system like out atmosphere gains and loses heat [Q], and it contains internal energy [U]. The internal energy is what gives it its temperature, the heat fluxes in and out are what lets it maintain its temperature. Everything else is completely irrelevant to the issue at hand. You speak of IR fluxes going everywhere. I speak of simple ‘internal energy’. U.

            Yes, less energy moves out from the warmer surface to the cooler atmosphere above than would from the warmer surface to space at close to absolute zero. At the same surface temperature. Hence, the surface needs to be warmer in the first case than in the second to balance the heat transfer. But this is simply a result of the atmosphere being warmer than space. It is not because of “back radiation”. Temperature difference. Plain and simple. It is heat transfer 101: q from warm to cool is larger than q from warm to ice cold. And that’s it. (Bear in mind, I’m not talking solely about the radiant heat transfer here, but of ALL heat transfers, the total one.)

            So putting more of so-called “GHGs” in the atmosphere would have to make the temperature difference between the cooler atmosphere and the warmer surface smaller than today in order for q between them to decrease and so for energy to pile up, raising temps. It doesn’t happen, Slipstick.

            It is the atmosphere’s MASS that makes it warm, NOT its radiative ability, Slipstick. Its radiative ability is what enables it to COOL.

      • Bart says:

        The belief comes in where there is assumed to be no “compensating change”.

        • Slipstick says:

          And the compensating change as regards to the climate is…? Perhaps it’s the rising sea levels…while that does give a larger surface area for the IR to radiate, that radiation would still have to pass through the atmosphere with its increased IR absorption so that doesn’t really help. Perhaps it’s the melting glaciers…the cold water would serve to cool the oceans, but the effect would be very small and short-lived and the loss of glacial surface decreases the albedo, increasing the IR absorption by the surface, so no help there. Perhaps it’s increased cloud cover…while that does increase albedo, it also increases radiation and the delivery of heat from the atmosphere as precipitation back to the surface, so, again, no help. You’ve stumped me, what is the compensating change?

          • Bart says:

            Personally, my bet is on heat convecting past the optical filter of the atmosphere to the point at which it gets radiated away. A dam on a river doesn’t do anything if the water can just exit through a spillway. Similarly, IR absorbing gases will have little effect if heat can be transported in quantity non-radiatively to the radiating levels of the upper atmosphere.

            I may be right, or I may be wrong – I have little expectation that you will agree in any case. But, it is rather moot. We don’t need to know the compensation mechanism to observe that a substantial increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration over the past two decades has had no discernible heating effect. We are forced thereby to conclude that atmospheric CO2 is not the dominant factor governing contemporary changes in global mean temperature.

          • Geoff Wood says:

            Hi Bart. I largely agree with your view and that of Kristian.

            To corroborate this statement you have made;

            ” Similarly, IR absorbing gases will have little effect if heat can be transported in quantity non-radiatively to the radiating levels of the upper atmosphere.”

            In a star like the Sun, obviously energy is produced by fusion in the core and at the very high temperatures there finds its way through the matter largely by radiative heat transfer. This rate is set by the immediate thermal gradient across the mean optical depth. As we move away from the core the temperature starts to fall and changes material opacity occur. This happens as electrons start to become more associated with nuclei. At a point the eigenvalues of electronic levels limit the distance and efficacy of radiative heat transfer by ‘increasing opacity’ such that there is little temperature difference between emitter and absorber and therefore little energy transferred. As the happens the radiative layer becomes more and more convectively unstable as the process of radiative process is inhibited. Thus radiation and convection in a gravitationally bound gaseous envelope are coupled through material opacity, and both transfer heat according to the respective thermal gradient. The quantity of heat transferred by any method will then either modify the gradient and cause it to evolve, or remain a product of the gradient if it doesn’t.

            Regards

          • Bart says:

            Fascinating, Geoff. Thanks.

          • Gordon Robertson says:

            @Geoff Woods…”” Similarly, IR absorbing gases will have little effect if heat can be transported in quantity non-radiatively to the radiating levels of the upper atmosphere.””

            Lindzen…

            http://www-eaps.mit.edu/faculty/lindzen/230_TakingGr.pdf

            Basically, heat is transported from the Tropics poleward by convection and thunderclouds where it rises and is radiated to space.

    • Tuora says:

      Scientific methods of Mike Mann are beyond any reproach of Climate deniers. State of Virginia was forced to admit in court of law that Michael Mann is indeed the sole owner of Nobel medal winner, and this verdict is still uncontested by Climate Change deniers.

      • FTOP says:

        I wonder what chapter that falls under in Mark Steyn’s book?

      • Gordon Robertson says:

        @Tuora…”Scientific methods of Mike Mann are beyond any reproach of Climate deniers”.

        The Natational Academy of Science told him he could not use pine bristlecone as a proxy which Mann used to cover the 20th century. Without the bristlecone his graph falls apart. In fact, even without the bristlecone the proxy data began showing cooling while thermometers were showing warming. So Mann et al clipped off the offending data and spliced in real data.

        A subsequent investigation by statistic expert Wegmann upheld the findings of McIntyre and McKittrick that Mann had grievously erred with his statistical methods in the hockey stick study.

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

        When one of the members of the Mann hockey stick study, Bradley, attacked Wegmann for plagiarism, he confirmed that Mann et al had no case against his findings. If they had anything they would certainly not have attacked him using a red-herring argument like plagiarism.

        Wegmann pointed out in his defense that he had already cited Bradley and felt that was sufficient. I thought it was bad form for Bradley to stoop to something like plagiarism to cover his butt.

        In conclusion, the IPCC dropped Mann’s hockey stick and replaced it with what is now called the spaghetti graph due to its numerous error bars and alternatives. The IPCC also re-dated it from 1000 AD to 1850 AD.

        Ironically, 1850 is the year the Little Ice Age ended. Facts like that were no problem for Mann who ignored the LIA and the Medieval Warming Period. He could not have gotten a nice straight shaft on his hockey stick with the nasty old LIA and MWP in the way.

        In the new graph, the IPCC have re-instated the LIA and the MWP.

    • David Appell says:

      geran says:
      “There is NO scientific proof of AGW/CO2 warming.”

      “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. Philipona et al, Geo Res Letters, v31 L03202 (2004)
      http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2003GL018765/abstract

    • David Appell says:

      geran says:
      “There is NO scientific proof of AGW/CO2 warming.”

      “Observational determination of surface radiative forcing by CO2 from 2000 to 2010,” D. R. Feldman et al, Nature 519, 339–343 (19 March 2015)
      http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v519/n7543/full/nature14240.html

      Press release: “First Direct Observation of Carbon Dioxide’s Increasing Greenhouse Effect at the Earth’s Surface,” Berkeley Lab, 2/25/15
      http://newscenter.lbl.gov/2015/02/25/co2-greenhouse-effect-increase/

    • David Appell says:

      geran says:
      “There is NO scientific proof of AGW/CO2 warming.”

      Describe the experiment or observation that would, for you, definitely settle the question of whether or not there is warming from CO2.

  5. Russell Cook says:

    What bugs me about AGWers is their enslavement to false premise talking points. Toward the end of his piece, Greg Fishel claimed “conservative former South Carolina congressman Bob Inglis” was the kind of politician who should be replicated throughout Congress. Problem is, Inglis was a moderate Republican who was soundly defeated in his re-election primary by Trey Goudy, but worse, in his last congressional hearing, Inglis dropped an egg into a jar of vinegar to illustrate the current situation of ocean acidity. That is exactly the kind of anti-science ignorance we DO NOT want replicated throughout Congress.

    And on the subject of Christianity, did Greg Fishel bother to ask himself which is the bigger sin, the failure to stop a so-called environmental situation that’s plagued with questions about its core science pronouncements, or breaking the 9th Commandment against skeptic climate scientists by calling them ‘paid industry shills’?

    • Tuora says:

      Dr Spencer blog on Climate is getting infected with all kind of religious wannabes quoting languages they do speak as parrot does. None of which changes what god intended for humanity to follow his commandments, or not, by granting us an unlimited free will. god also instilled the earth human beings with supreme command to conquer the Earth and multiply. No mention of any calamity after Noa ark landed safely on Mount Ararat. I must now insert a hint of being sarcastic for all those who are immune to good all time fun unlimited. If it were not for god being invented already, it would behoove someone to do it all over again. Skip Islam and Scientology. The new unnamed religion of Climatology has her first messiyah, anointed one to enter the Parnass of new mythology heaven with Obama the first prophet among sons of Noah by the name of Ham. This tribe is no longer called Hamitic. The common contemporary name is Kushi. Etiopia Kushis are the best what is left of Israel 12 original tribes. Graceful of body and mind they live like a wind born free to succor the spirit of the world, and the joy of being.

      • Gordon Robertson says:

        @Tuora…”Dr Spencer blog on Climate is getting infected with all kind of religious wannabes quoting languages they do speak as parrot does”.

        This is the only article in the last couple of years in which religion has been discussed at all. The article was written specifically by Roy to address a religious statement made wrt AGW. If people who are religious reply, I think that’s fair play.

        I am not religious per se unless you regard ‘religious’ by it’s root meaning, which is to be serious. If you are studying religiously you are studying seriously. I am tolerant of people who are religious because I grew up with some religious people. They did me no harm.

        I have found out in life that I can get along quite well with people who don’t agree with me nor I with them. I don’t think personal relationships should be based on agreement or belief.

    • Tuora says:

      Bart says:

      October 13, 2015 at 2:19 PM

      Wrong. T^4 radiation would not be enough to arrest the instability in this case.

      You have it backwards. The existence of life on this Earth is evidence that temperature sensitivity to CO2 in the present climate state is at most insignificant.
      Bart obviously lacks the basics of academic credentials that would make him understand the difference radiation makes being the only way 4th power mechanism to make it all possible. But his instincts are on the right track that can be easily remedied by taking some more education, if available in his nook of the woods. He does now know what he does not know, but waiting for him to learn while he is still capable of learning. Bless his learning heart to deliver the rest of what it takes to become.

  6. Kelvin Vaughan says:

    I have difficulty in understanding how our additional 1 CO2 molecule in 10,000 finds enough energy to raise the temperature of the other 9,999 molecules by around 1C. Wouldn’t that 1 molecule need to dissipate 50kW? i.e. 5W for each molecule.

    • FTOP says:

      Additionally, how does that 1 in 10,000 molecule heat a liquid (ocean) that has 1,200 times the heat capacity of all the molecules in the atmosphere and 12 million times the heat capacity of that one additional molecule.

      Plus, it’s “power”(LWIR) can’t make it past the first micron of the liquid.

      luke warmers are living in a smaller version of the same fantasy.

    • David Appell says:

      Kelvin: It is not just the concentration of atmospheric CO2 that matters, but its effectiveness in absorbing the infrared radiation given off by the Earth.

      CO2 is EXTREMELY good at capturing IR, and it captures it just where the Erth emits most of it.

      The cross secdtion for CO2’s absorption is , at its peak, 10,000 square meters per kilogram of CO2.

      That is a HUGE cross section, and it matters.

      • geran says:

        And the funny thing is Davie believes that once CO2 “captures” all that heat, it NEVER releases it.

        • David Appell says:

          geran says:
          “And the funny thing is Davie believes that once CO2 “captures” all that heat, it NEVER releases it.”

          Not at all.

          Any other falsehoods you want to make up?

          • geran says:

            Davie says: “…but its effectiveness in absorbing the infrared radiation given off by the Earth.”

            “CO2 is EXTREMELY good at capturing IR, and it captures it just where the Earth emits most of it.”

            “The cross section for CO2′s absorption is…”

            Davie, by dwelling on “absorption” and “capturing”, and completely avoiding mentioning “emitting”, you reveal your bias. Then, when caught, you deny and attempt to say I am making up falsehoods.

            The evidence against you is clear from your own writing. That is why all you deserve is “snark”. (Answer to your question below.)

        • David Appell says:

          Geran: Your comments here are the scientifically weakest of anyone’s.

          Do you got anything other than snark?

    • David Appell says:

      In English units, CO2’s maximum cross section for absorption is

      1.15 acres per pound.

  7. Svend Ferdinandsen says:

    “And on top of all of this, we hear the argument that it is economic suicide for the U.S. to act alone”
    I believe it is true, but anyway we also hear how cheap the green energy is and how many jobs it creates!

  8. ossqss says:

    Dr. Roy, considering that most all discussions on AGW revolve around terrestrial temperature measurements, what percentage of those measurements are actually anthropogenic?

    Not necessarily the measurements themselves, the adjustments applied, right or wrong, to those measurements are indeed anthropogenic (man made) too, no?

    So, what percentage of the adjusted temperature record is man made via adjustments? Through my eyes, it appears somewhere from .4-.8 C since 2000 alone, not even considering the consistent cooling of the early to mid 1900’s that are evident also.

    Additionally, what % of warming could be attributable to just land use changes as another example of many underexplored topics relating to climate change. It is not just CO2 in play, but CO2 is an easy and tangible target to villainize.

  9. Rob JM says:

    When is someone in the scientific community going to pull their head out of the sand and actually look at the temp of the lower stratosphere? One look at a TLS graph and its plainly obvious that the only “cooling” that occurred happened in response to large volcanic eruptions, the effects of which are still being felt today. If you can’t figure out how volcanoes have multidecadal effects then think about how SO2 gets out of the stratosphere (its not as SO2)

  10. Tuora says:

    Dr.Spencer makes the most coherent argument for more, not less of CO2 on Earth. CO2 is literarily, the stuff all life on our planet is made of. CO2 is gobbled up as soon as it is created, no matter the source. Welcome negative feedback bringing the life on Earth to the man-made state of paradise coming when CO2 increases high enough. If any human influence can be noticed, perhaps the current so called ‘pause’ is indeed man or Mann made reason the real life disagrees with Mann made model. I am concerned with the way the whole issue got politicized to became our litmus test of Political Correctness making IPPC the ultimate governing body of the world. I have been watching responses on any message board dealing with this subject and invariably the Vox Populi is always on your side, Dr. Spencer.

    • David Appell says:

      Plants need more than CO2 to thrive — they also need the right temperature and precipitation, and these change too with AGW.

      “Higher CO2 tends to inhibit the ability of plants to make protein… And this explains why food quality seems to have been declining and will continue to decline as CO2 rises — because of this inhibition of nitrate conversion into protein…. “It’s going to be fairly universal that we’ll be struggling with trying to sustain food quality and it’s not just protein… it’s also micronutrients such as zinc and iron that suffer as well as protein.”
      -– University of California at Davis Professor Arnold J. Bloom, on Yale Climate Connections 10/7/14
      http://www.yaleclimateconnections.org/2014/10/crop-nutrition//2014

      “We also find that the overall effect of warming on yields is negative, even after accounting for the benefits of reduced exposure to freezing temperatures.”
      — “Effect of warming temperatures on US wheat yields,” Jesse Tack et al, PNAS 4/20/15
      http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2015/05/06/1415181112

      “Crop Pests Spreading North with Global Warming: Fungi and insects migrate toward the poles at up to 7 kilometers per year,”
      — Eliot Barford and Nature magazine, September 2, 2013
      http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/crop-pests-spreading-north-climate-change/

  11. Thanks, Dr. Spencer. I agree with you.
    “the most moral thing we can do for humanity is to use fossil fuels.”
    Looking at data should be our guidance, rather than looking at theory.

  12. Tuora says:

    The growing Humanity, by a capital H, wants more energy to do what took 40 slaves to do in an affluent slave dependent Greece of democratic lore. One microware oven replaces camel dung stove in the West. You cannot blame people of the desert for getting smart enough to take advantage of progress. That is the good part of progress nobody can deny. The more of us have enough smarts and daily time left to make a difference the better for all of Humanity. It took me all my life to get my contribution published and accounted for. Small step allright. It did not demand bowing my head toward East five times a day, but not having any better incentive than that, I still would rebel for what it is worth. I saw a woman head being chopped of in Saudi Arabia yesterday, screaming her head off and silent a second later, with all Saudi Arabia Sharia male cohorts doing their god demanded duty with total commitment to their law. How many gods it takes to replace the one you are willing to kill for his sake? Will you kill to defend the Climate change from taking place? Perhaps not. But you can sue to make sure a self appointed Nobel Laureate by proxy to employ Court of USA land to make his falsity rule the world?

  13. dp says:

    If humans don’t cause 100% of global warming then there is nothing we can do to prevent thermageddon. We can’t even reverse it if we are not contributing more than 100%. That logical twist is at the root of the problem. CO2 increases naturally at a rate what will push us to that fear-mongered tipping point and that is something we can do nothing about.

    We won’t even make a dent in global warming without establishing limits on fossil fuel production to achieve negative growth. If the fuel is available it will be used somewhere. This isn’t a difficult problem to solve from an engineering perspective but it is an impossible problem to solve from an economic and political perspective. Nobody is going to mandate fossil fuel production cutbacks. So the political solution, still not good economically, is to make energy consumption far more difficult.

    Adverse consequences are fuel reserves growth then production decline likely resulting in a chain reaction of loss of economies of scale and a price explosion for those goods owing to rising production costs. Next will come the black market.

    This is how strategic warfare works.

    • Tuora says:

      At some point in time Earth will have no more energy left to be digged out and used with abandon of today. So long as
      the plants grow using CO2 and deliver the green fodder the beasts eat and algae deliver free of any political connotations, all is well. Reductionism never accomplished anything, but let the uninformed be content with being uninformed long enough to learn the fallacy of politically correct manipulation of public opinion. And by and large people at large do not buy it anymore. Every time another Obama green Solyndra goes belly up, people pay attention.

    • dp says:

      I should add that I am not willing to accept a thermageddon scenario happening naturally because if it were possible it would already have happened. Because it hasn’t after 5 billion years of the climate running open loop and without micromanagement by disinformed humans, it won’t. It can’t.

      The only downside I see to increased CO2 is the de-desertification that abounds around the world. My concern is this is going to stress desert-adapted life forms. Perhaps they’ve just learned a new trick without losing all their pre-desert traits and can coexist with a greener world. I do know that Mojave desert tortoises survive just fine when they’re relocated to coastal California.

    • gbaikie says:

      — dp says:
      October 13, 2015 at 3:58 PM

      If humans don’t cause 100% of global warming then there is nothing we can do to prevent thermageddon.–

      It would be relatively easy to stop Earth from becoming too warm. We could cool Venus, if we wanted to.
      But there is not any desire to cool Earth or cool Venus.

      One way to cheaply cool Earth or Venus is to put dust in L-1
      [[Lagrangian point: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lagrangian_point ]]
      There is no shortage of dust available in space. And some kind of government program could be develop the skill needed to move space rocks to put them in the right place- such scale of a government program would similar to the governmental program to develop fusion energy- tens billions of dollar over period of decades. And unlike fusion research, moving around space rock is something one be successful at. One would probably want to use nuclear bombs to do this. But if prohibit the use of nuclear bombs [because of mostly superstitious belief] you move the rocks without using nukes- probably about 5 to 10 times more expensive. In terms of costs- far less money spent than bailing out banks which are too big to fail.
      But the problem is no one really believes in the idiocy of
      thermageddon, instead what is desired is for the government
      to control human economic activity.
      People are poorly educated and want totalitarian forms of government- they could imagine that Cuba is example of a good government, which other than maybe a bit of tweaking it is good enough [or a model to work from].

    • David Appell says:

      We’re actually contributing 110%.

      • geran says:

        Davie, that’ not nearly “alarmist” enough. How about 1000%? Heck, why stop there, 1,000,000%!

        As usual, your fantasies are irrelevant to science.

  14. Alberto Zaragoza Comendador says:

    Wind and solar, or photovoltaic to be precise, only compete in power generation, which even in developed countries accounts for less than 50% of primary energy demand. So they’re not even competing in the broader energy sector, only in the electricity segment.

    So the switch to a RE-powered world would need the following steps:
    1) Move the grid to wind and solar (as enviros reject nuclear and most good hydro sites are taken already); this would also imply replacing fossil-fueled generators (for off-grid areas) with batteries. There is the small nagging issue that no country has moved beyond 40% in this regard, and the ones nearing that mark (Germany and Denmark) have power rates most of the world would find unaffordable, unacceptable or both (and also happen to be part of a bigger European grid which overall doesn’t rely nearly as much on wind and solar).

    2) Replace all our combustion cars, airplanes, trucks, buses, helicopters, motorbikes, vans, ships, boats, tractors, harvesters, bulldozers, excavators, tanks, submarines, trains, cranes, drills, motorbikes, lawnmowers, leafblowers, welding machines, steel mills, glass/cement/paper/food factories, chemical plants, boilers, water heaters, kitchens, driers, ovens and smelters with their electric equivalents.

    The Indians have other priorities, I think.

    • Tuora says:

      “So the switch to a RE-powered world would need the following steps:
      1) Move the grid to wind and solar (as enviros reject nuclear and most good hydro sites are taken already); this would also imply replacing fossil-fueled generators (for off-grid areas) with batteries. There is the small nagging issue that no country has moved beyond 40% in this regard, and the ones nearing that mark (Germany and Denmark) have power rates most of the world would find unaffordable, unacceptable or both (and also happen to be part of a bigger European grid which overall doesn’t rely nearly as much on wind and solar).” Precisely the point. German power rates are the4 highest in Europe at 44 cents a kWh to pay for the cost of stand-by power when sun does not shine and the wind does not blow, but grid is to provide regardless. lalaland, move over.

  15. Norman says:

    Is Roy Spencer a Lynrd Skynrd fan?

    Good song!

  16. Magoo says:

    ‘I believe humans have caused maybe 50% of the recent warming of the oceans and the atmosphere’

    Sounds perfectly correct to me when you check the data in the AR5:

    http://dailymediareview.weebly.com/what-the-media-wont-tell-you-about-climate-change.html

  17. Neville says:

    I wonder what Roy and John think about Dr David Evan’s alternative climate modelling strategy?

    http://joannenova.com.au/2015/10/new-science-11-an-alternative-modeling-strategy/

    • John F. Hultquist says:

      I’m the wrong John, but, note your ref. is to #11 in David E’s series. Is this the last one?
      Then there are the side trips, as with the recent post at Blackboard, and then back to Jo.
      Last year there was a post by Lumo at The Reference Frame (June 17).
      Seems to me a quick response to David Evans work will require careful study. He (David) is highly qualified and deserves serious consideration.

    • David Appell says:

      David Evans is a first-rate crackpot.

  18. John F. Hultquist says:

    Above, Russell Cook mentions congressman Bob Inglis putting an egg in vinegar (about ocean acidity). My chickens never lay eggs in the ocean, but then I live at 2,200 feet elevation. I investigated this idea and discovered the outer shell of the egg will dissolve in vinegar but all else of the egg stays intact and can expand (or shrink) via osmosis and, also, change color if food dye is added.
    This proves nothing about the ocean but does show calcium based shells are likely unnecessary for life – salmon eggs, for example.
    [Thanks Russell. I had not heard of Ingles.]

  19. gbaikie says:

    –1. Do humans significantly contribute to climate change?

    I actually mostly agree with him on #1. I believe humans have caused maybe 50% of the recent warming of the oceans and the atmosphere, say since the 1950s since we have a published paper analyzing that time period.–

    I believe the best period to measure any effect from human activity upon global temperature is from the period 1980 to 2015- due to satellite measurement. And there has been a slight increase in average temperature over this period of
    about 35 years, but there is no indication of an accelerated
    increase in temperature due to global CO2 increases. Though I think it’s possible that some portion of this increase in temperature is due to higher levels of CO2.
    But the entire amount of increase in temperature is insignificant in terms of changing climate.
    For example, I don’t think that the increased CO2 levels have caused the recent reduction in hurricane activity.

    In terms of the difference between climate and weather events, climate refers to longer periods of time, and so 35 year period is not sufficient to measure change, but nor is the period from 1950 to present, a long enough time period, but in terms of measuring any small effect from CO2, the period from 1980 to 2015 is a more precise global measurement. If look at last century and at the US, the most significant event which has changed in terms of climate was the dust bowl and this had nothing to do with CO2. And if looking at recent centuries, the most significant measured effect to climate was the retreat of temperate glaciers which began around 1850- and this change had nothing to do with increasing CO2 levels due to human activity. And the sudden retreat of global glacier, was result of centuries of advancing glaciers during the Little Ice Age. And generally the most significant climate change over the centuries have been long term periods of cooling and warming- which again has nothing to do with increase CO2 due to human activity.
    And regarding the dust bowl, historical measurement of drought periods, indicate such drought conditions [and worse] have occured.
    So longer periods of time, have resulted climate changes which much larger magnitude, than we have experience and measured, recently, but were any climate change were to measured due to increased CO2 level, the more precise global measurement from satellites would be best means of detecting it’s effects and it’s not clear that CO2 levels have caused any effects other than perhaps a small amount of warming, which is not accelerating over the last two decades.

    • David Appell says:

      Why are satellites the best measure of temperature?

      Satellites don’t even measure temperatures. They need a complicated model to calculate them….

      • gbaikie says:

        –Why are satellites the best measure of temperature?

        Satellites don’t even measure temperatures. They need a complicated model to calculate them…–

        Satellite are the best way to measure global temperature.
        One could argue about the merits of measuring global temperature, but if you want to do this, it is best done from orbit.
        You can’t have any understanding science if you can’t understand this obvious fact.

  20. Bill Dollar says:

    Attempts to approximate the costs of curbing global warming always show it is much cheaper than future mitigation. Doing
    nothing is neither a moral nor smart option. And please don’t tell me that the studies are all part of the massive leftist
    conspiracy.

    Roy is like a guy sitting in a sealed box arguing that breathing the air in the box now is much cheaper than buying
    a drill to make small holes and let some air in. He has his grandkids in the box with him, but apparently doesn’t
    think that their future is important to his present.

    Of course if you don’t think there is a problem, then I can’t help you.

    • David Appell says:

      Roy’s grandkids will likely be OK. They won’t live on a coast, but they’ll have good A/C. THey’ll pay more for food.

      It’s the poor and downtrodden of the world who will suffer the most, by far.

  21. Neville says:

    IPCC author Philip Lloyd looked at temp change per century over the last 80 centuries and found an average deviation of about 1 C . Antarctic and Gland ice cores used for proxies. The HAD 4 data shows about 0.8 C of warming since 1850 or about 0.48 C per century. So tell me why this is considered unusual and unprecedented? And anyone else have a comment about mathematician Dr Evan’s theory? So here’s Lloyd’s abstract and study.————-
    http://www.researchgate.net/publication/276276180_An_Estimate_of_The_Centennial_Variability_of_Global_Temperatures

    ABSTRACT
    There has been widespread investigation of the drivers of changes in global temperatures. However, there has been remarkably little consideration of the magnitude of the changes to be expected over a period of a few decades or even a century. To address this question, the Holocene records up to 8000 years before present, from several ice cores were examined. The differences in temperatures between all records which are approximately a century apart were determined, after any trends in the data had been removed. The differences were close to normally distributed. The average standard deviation of temperature was 0.98 ± 0.27 oC. This suggests that while some portion of the temperature change observed in the 20th century was probably caused by greenhouse gases, there is a strong likelihood that the major portion was due to natural variations.

    • David Appell says:

      The Earth is warming 30 times faster than when it left the last glacial icy period, 25000 yrs ago.

      • geran says:

        Davie, if you’re going to use estimates of interpretations of biased opinions, why not “go for the gold”? How about “The Earth is warming 3 MILLION times faster than EVAH!”

        You like it don’t you?

      • JohnKl says:

        Hi David Appell,

        Great luck you happened to be around 25000 years ago to let us know. We wouldn’t want to descend into speculation would we?

        Have a great day!

  22. JohnKl says:

    Hi Roy,

    The wheels have already begun to separate from the climate fraud cart. Yet another “climate expert” abandons the pseudo-church of climatology.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/11931645/Frances-top-weatherman-sparks-storm-over-book-questioning-climate-change.html

    Have a great day!

    • jimc says:

      … and he’s been taken off the air.

      Another recent one, this time Freeman Dyson:

      “I am hoping that the scientists and politicians who have been blindly demonizing carbon dioxide for 37 years will one day open their eyes and look at the evidence.”

      http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/10/13/top-physicist-freeman-dyson-obama-picked-wrong-side-climate-change/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social

      • JohnKl says:

        Hi jimc and Joel Shore,

        Regarding Freeman Dyson and climate change you both may consider a few facts. First, Joel S you selectively quote him to appear as if he has little knowledge and merely has some emotional vague feeling against alarmist hardliners actually you may want to more carefully read your own links statements:

        “However, he believes that existing simulation models of climate fail to account for some important factors, and hence the results will contain too much error to reliably predict future trends:

        “The models solve the equations of fluid dynamics, and they do a very good job of describing the fluid motions of the atmosphere and the oceans. They do a very poor job of describing the clouds, the dust, the chemistry and the biology of fields and farms and forests. They do not begin to describe the real world we live in …[55]”

        and, in 2009:

        “What has happened in the past 10 years is that the discrepancies between what’s observed and what’s predicted have become much stronger. It’s clear now the models are wrong, but it wasn’t so clear 10 years ago.[56]”

        He is among signatories of a letter to the UN criticizing the IPCC[57][58] and has also argued against ostracizing scientists whose views depart from the acknowledged mainstream of scientific opinion on climate change, stating that “heretics” have historically been an important force in driving scientific progress. “[H]eretics who question the dogmas are needed … I am proud to be a heretic. The world always needs heretics to challenge the prevailing orthodoxies.”[55]

        Dyson says his views on global warming have been strongly criticized. In reply, he notes that “[m]y objections to the global warming propaganda are not so much over the technical facts, about which I do not know much, but it’s rather against the way those people behave and the kind of intolerance to criticism that a lot of them have.”[59]

        In 2008, he endorsed the now common usage of “global warming” as synonymous with global anthropogenic climate change, referring to “measurements that transformed global warming from a vague theoretical speculation into a precise observational science.”[60]

        He has, however, argued that political efforts to reduce the causes of climate change distract from other global problems that should take priority:

        “I’m not saying the warming doesn’t cause problems, obviously it does. Obviously we should be trying to understand it. I’m saying that the problems are being grossly exaggerated. They take away money and attention from other problems that are much more urgent and important. Poverty, infectious diseases, public education and public health. Not to mention the preservation of living creatures on land and in the oceans.[61]”

        Since originally taking interest in climate studies in the 1970s, Dyson has suggested that carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere could be controlled by planting fast-growing trees. He calculates that it would take a trillion trees to remove all carbon from the atmosphere.[62][63]

        In a 2014 interview, he said that “What I’m convinced of is that we don’t understand climate … It will take a lot of very hard work before that question is settled.” [2]”

        Jimc and Joel Shore to be fair Freeman Dyson may not be the best person to look at regarding Climate Change after all he did cock up the “DYSON SPERE” which quite opposite of the desire expressed by most climate alarmists to remove as much planetary waste energy (heat) as possible sought to construct a giant planetary sphere around a star to ABSORB AS MUCH SOLAR/STELLAR radiation as possible and REATAIN AS MUCH WASTE ENERGY/HEAT AS POSSIBLE!!! Closest thing to a human designed version of hell one could imagine. Just saying, he may not be your guy!

        Have a great day!

        • JohnKl says:

          Btw, jimc and Joel Shore,

          Freeman Dyson does share one strong passion with climate alarmists, a taste for “SCIENCE FICTION.” Thy Dyson Sphere I referenced above did inspire Larry Niven to write Ring World and Ring World Engineers. Just saying…

          Have a great day!

    • Joel Shore says:

      Well, I am glad you put “climate expert” in quotes since I can see little to justify the claim that Philippe Verdier has any particular expertise in climate. According to this page (in French), https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philippe_Verdier , it seems he is a journalist who “specializes in meteorology,” which I guess is just a fancy way of saying a TV weatherman.

      As for Dyson, he is a very good, if iconoclastic, physicist but he even admits he has little expertise in climate: “[m]y objections to the global warming propaganda are not so much over the technical facts, about which I do not know much, but it’s rather against the way those people behave and the kind of intolerance to criticism that a lot of them have.” ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freeman_Dyson ) Also, Dyson’s views on global warming are hardly new; I first saw him give a talk expressing his skepticism about climate models at an APS March Meeting and I haven’t been to one of those meetings since 2001. (In fact, I am pretty sure it was at an earlier meeting than that, probably 1999 or earlier.)

      • JohnKl says:

        Hi David Shore,

        For a higher degreed skeptic/denier that has worked in the climate field you may wish to consider Dr. David Evans who holds 6 University degrees. Wikipedia states:

        “From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

        Jump to: navigation, search

        David Evans
        Residence
        Perth

        Nationality
        Australian

        Education
        Electrical Engineering

        Alma mater
        University Of Sydney

        Partner(s)
        Jo Nova

        Website
        Science Speak

        David Evans is an Australian mathematician and engineer.

        Evans obtained his PhD in Electrical Engineering from the Stanford University in 1989 and a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering 1983 from the University of Sydney. He has four other degrees.[1]

        From 1999 to 2005 Evans worked in the Australian Greenhouse Office.[2][3] There he contributed to the development of FullCam, a fully integrated carbon accounting model for estimating and predicting all biomass, litter and soil carbon pools in forest and agricultural systems for the Australian government.[3] (FullCam, part of Australia’s National Carbon Accounting System, received a Special Achievement in GIS award at the 2010 ESRI International User Conference).[4]

        He established Goldnerds, an information service for gold investors. He also serves on the Board of Advisors for the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow,[5] a group founded to promote a “positive voice on environment and development issues”. The Committee rejects the consensus of the scientific community on global warming as “alarmist”,[6] and Evans has moved from what he calls a “warmist” to a “skeptic” position.[1]”

        The number keeps growing. In any case, if I remember correctly I read an article somewhere in which he claimed evidence that Earth albedo changes caused the recent warming not CO2 as many including myself have noted.

        Have a great day!

  23. Dan Pangburn says:

    A peer reviewed paper published in Energy & Environment, Volume 26, No. 5, 2015, 841-845 demonstrates CO2 has no effect on climate. The most convincing evidence is that there has been no sustained temperature change during the last 500 million years in spite of the CO2 level being always at least 150 ppmv as required for life as we know it to have evolved.

    Following is the abstract to the paper
    :
    Atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) has had no significant effect on average global temperature. This deduction employs existing data and the computational mandate that temperature change is in response to the time-integral of the net forcing; not proportionately to the instantaneous value of the net forcing itself. This finding also strongly suggests that Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) is flawed and climate sensitivity (the increase in average global temperature (AGT) due to doubling of CO2) is not significantly different from zero.

    Much of these findings are also provided in the section headed ‘Demonstration that CO2 has no significant effect on AGT’ of the analysis at http://agwunveiled.blogspot.com The AGWunveiled analysis also identifies (near perfect R^2=0.97 since before 1900) the two factors that do cause reported average global temperature change (sunspot number is the only independent variable).

  24. Vincent says:

    Roy Spencer says:
    October 13, 2015 at 8:22 AM
    “To believe that unthinking matter can accidently self-organize into living human brains which then are capable of discerning the true nature of things is itself a religion, and one which my faith is not strong enough to believe in.”

    Don’t you believe in chaos theory, Roy? I’m sure you’ve mentioned the chaotic nature of climate on many occasions. (Wink)

    The way you’ve expressed this process of evolution is misleading. Accidents occur in nature continuously, every micro-second of every second. If the chances of the first most primitive and basic, self-reproducing organism, occurring as a result of an extremely exceptional set of circumstances, were trillions and trillions to one, then it would happen somewhere in the universe, because the universe is so vast.

    We don’t know how many planets there are in the universe with a similar climate and similar general circumstances to ours. Let’s suppose there were 10 trillion earth-like planets of very roughly similar composition and climate to what the earth was about 3.5 billion years ago.

    However remote the chances are that life could have started by accident on the Earth about 3.5 billion years ago, those chances should be multiplied by 10 trillion, if the Earth is the only planet in the universe to sustain life.

    Considering the constantly changing circumstances of the multitude of various mixtures of swrling chemicals on the Earth 3.5 billion years ago, all occuring in trillions of different locations on the earth, every second and minute of the day, and simultaneously occurring on trillions of different planets scattered throughout the universe, every second and every minute of the day, is it really surprising or unbelievable that the very slim chance of the precise set of circumstances occurring for life to begin, on at least one of those planets, in at least one location, would arise?

    One should also consider the recent medical and biological evidence for the role of bacteria in our lives. Without these primitive organisms, we wouldn’t be alive. The reality appears to be, we are hosts for bacteria. We rely upon them for our existence, but they often don’t rely upon us. They can find other species as hosts.

    • Bart says:

      “…then it would happen somewhere in the universe, because the universe is so vast.”

      That’s an appeal to possibility, and rests on the subjective nature of human perception, i.e., “vast” is a subjective term. Some event probabilities are so infinitesimally small that the odds of even one occurring within the spacetime volume of this universe are still vanishingly small. The odds of many low probability events in a chain likewise become vanishingly small quite rapidly as well, as the cumulative probability decreases geometrically.

      The body of theory loosely aggregated under the rubric of Evolution is still only able to speculate on the origin of life itself. Evolution only tells us how the species evolved given the a priori existence of life forms. And, even then, the specific pathways in the branching tree of life, and why they were, for want of a better word, chosen remains mysterious. In fact, the mere existence of such a miraculous self-organizing molecule as DNA beggars belief. Why does nature even allow, nay compel, these incredible, self-organizing snippets of matter to be?

      Evolution itself becomes a religion when it is extended beyond the realm of what is known and speculates beyond the boundary to the unknown. A truly scientific approach is to eschew the speculation, and carry on with what is known which yields actual benefits as in, e.g., modeling the mutation and spread of pathological microorganisms. We do not need to know if there is or is not a God in order to employ the theory in the realm in which it is reproducible and reliably predictive.

      I, myself, choose not to take a side in the Evolution vs. God dispute. Quite simply, that is not a scientific discussion.

      • fonzarelli says:

        Yeah, bart, if it just so happens that it is impossible for inert matter to naturally become a form of life, then even in a “vast” universe the chances of it happening then are ZERO! Enter God (with a capital G). Even if God did create life, we still have the problem of how it is that God came to exist. A real challenge for those of us who believe that not only does life exist (duh), but God as well…

        • David Appell says:

          fonzarelli says:
          “Yeah, bart, if it just so happens that it is impossible for inert matter to naturally become a form of life, then even in a “vast” universe the chances of it happening then are ZERO! Enter God (with a capital G).”

          And where did thid “God ” come from? How was it created?

          • JohnKl says:

            David Appell,

            God would be a First Cause. God creates, he isn’t created or he wouldn’t be God. You appear to make the same mistake Bertrand Russell did.

            Have a great day!

      • Vincent says:

        “Bart says:
        October 15, 2015 at 11:21 AM
        “…then it would happen somewhere in the universe, because the universe is so vast.”

        That’s an appeal to possibility, and rests on the subjective nature of human perception, i.e., “vast” is a subjective term. Some event probabilities are so infinitesimally small that the odds of even one occurring within the spacetime volume of this universe are still vanishingly small.”

        Hhhm! If we don’t know how many planets exist in the universe, we cannot be precise about the degree of probability. Also, everything is relative. The concept of an ‘infinitesimally small’ probability changes when the conditions, or framework becomes infinitely large.

        If I buy a single lottery ticket in a large lottery which offers a huge prize, I know that my chances of winning are very small indeed. I might describe them as infinitesimally small. The larger the lottery and the greater number of tickets sold, the smaller my chances of winning.

        However, I’m sure you will agree that my chances of winning increase in proportion to the number of tickets that I buy. My first comment on this issue was really addressing the issue of the ‘lack of credibility’ that some people express, including Roy I think, that the chances of life spontaneously arising are too slim to be credible, and that an Intelligent Designer (or God) is a more credible explanation.

        Do you agree, for example, that most of the fundamental elements listed in the Periodic Table, were created spontaneously, after the Big Bang, from just a very few light elements, such as Hydrogen and Helium, and perhaps a couple of trace elements? I believe there are now around 118 elements, some of which have been synthesised by modern science.

        But ask yourself how many non-living, chemical compouds exist, as a result of various combinations of those elements. The number is incalculably large. Do you accept that the formation of such compounds occurred spontaneously or naturally?

        In other words, we started off with a couple of very simple elements about 14 billion years ago, Hydrogen and Helium. Gradually, those simple elements, through nuclear explosions, combine in a natural way to form about 94 different elements with progressively higher masses. Many of those 94 elements then combine into billions of different chemical compounds with varying degrees of stability that continue to react with each other today, forming new compounds.

        Place these countless billions of different chemical compounds on a trillion different planets throughout the universe, then the chances of some primitive self-reproducing chemical compound arising on at least one of those planets, does not seem unreasonable or improbable to me.

        Everything seems to have been a continuing process of developing complexity, from the simple elements of Hydrogen and Helium, to the complexity of the fine, human brain of Dr Roy Spencer.

        • Vincent says:

          To continue:

          I think the real fallacy in this issue, is not the assumption that because something is ‘possible’ it must therefore be true, (no-one believes that, surely), but the misconception of the ‘either/or’ principle. We tend to think, that something is either living or it’s not, and therefore there must have been some sort of giant leap from inanimate matter to the first, most primitive, living, self-reproducing compound.

          A more reasonable assumption would be that there was an ‘evolution’ of gradual chemical changes from definitely inanimate (by our definition) to definitely ‘self-reproducing’ by our definition.

          In between those two states of inanimate and animate, which are the either/or states, it is rational and reasonable to suppose, around 3.5 billion years ago, that there developed numerous states of very complex compounds, perhaps millions of different states, that by our rigidly scientific definitions, do not fit into our limited and simplistic definitions of what is living and not living.

          In other words, it is reasonable to suppose that there were many stages in that first evolution of life, as we define it, that were neither animate nor inanimate, that is, large molecules that were not totally inanimate, but also not really animate in the sense of having a DNA or RNA .

          Those first processes from inanimate to animate were likely as subtle and complex as the current processes of continuing evolution of living creatures that is taking place today.

          There is one indisputable state of affairs that we can observe in our universe, and that is that everything without exception, from the micro to the macro, is in a constant state of change. Even objects that we imagine are particularly stable, such as the paper weight on your desk, or the gold bar in your safe, consist of atoms that are continually buzzing around, like bees in a hive, and changing their positions and colliding with each other, all the time, continuously. Is this not true?

          • Bart says:

            I’d say the either/or fallacy is in the very question, is there a God or not?

            You seem bound and determined to rationalize him (or her, or them) away. Why? Why is it necessary for you to settle this question in your own head? And, why do you care how others have settled it in theirs?

            What is so hard about saying, “I do not know”?

          • David Appell says:

            Why don’t you wish to settle this in your own head?

            If you believe in a god, without any evidence whatsoever, why don’t you believe in thousand-legged purple elephants?

          • JohnKl says:

            God’s existence has enormous evidence. Just ask Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. The argument of the Prime Mover has never been disproven.

            Have a great day!

          • JohnKl says:

            Hi Vincent,

            You make many assumptions and spend an inordinate amount of blog space speculating. Are you aware that scientific knowledge comprises the facts and laws of nature, not speculation.

            Have a great day!

          • Bart says:

            David – “Why don’t you wish to settle this in your own head?”

            Because it is unsettle-able, and I would only be latching onto a comforting myth of my own devising.

            I do not disbelieve in thousand-legged purple elephants, either, though I think that would be stretching the classification. But, I have never seen one, do not know of anyone else who has seen one without the aid of hallucinogenics, and see no need to carry the implications of thousand-legged purple elephants forward.

            Perhaps, one day, we will journey through the cosmos, and find some planet upon which thousand-legged purple elephants exist. At that time, I will be prepared to accept the evidence for their existence, and consider ways in which the information might be useful.

            Until then, I will tuck that speculation away, and carry on life as best I can with the devastating and crippling lack of confirmation of the existence of myriapodous technicolor pachyderms.

  25. Scott Brooks says:

    I fail to see where 0.04% of something could have ant significant effect on climate. Water has 1,000 x the heat capacity of air. Most likely the sun along with heated air would cause water to evaporate. More likely the oceans would heat the air.

    I have seen dry warm fronts come in over a snow covered land and hardly make a dent in it even under a cloudless sky. But if that air mass has moisture then the melting is significant.

    So I fail to see hardly any effects so called GHGs have on heating. I do see heating from specific heats of the gases aided by conduction and convection.

    As for the human effect I see micro climate effects like when trees are remove alteration effects of albedo and moisture content of the air. This is what’s caused the melting of the Kilimanjaro ice cap.

    • slipstick says:

      Scott Brooks, because the molecules of the 0.04% happen to restrict, by absorption, one of the more significant holes in the long wave IR absorption spectrum of water vapor.

      • geran says:

        Slip, I always enjoy your humor. For your response to Scott to mean anything, you have to ignore water vapor, and “believe” that CO2 molecules NEVER re-emit IR.

        “Ignore” and “believe”, two qualities of pseudoscience.

        • slipstick says:

          geran,
          As usual, your conclusion is based on incomplete physics. Repeating my previous response Kristian,
          “What you seem to overlook is that when atmospheric molecules radiate, only a fraction of the radiated energy goes “outward” to space; the majority of the energy is directed “sideways” or “downwards” to other atmospheric, surface, or surface water molecules and the exit of that energy from the atmosphere is delayed, raising the equilibrium temperature. This is why those atmospheric molecules that absorb strongly in the long-wave IR, where most of the Earth’s energy is emitted, are so-called “GHG’s” (a term I find a bit inaccurate).” What of that statement is belief and not fact and what does it ignore?

          • geran says:

            Your first sentence, “What you seem to overlook…”, contains your belief. Low energy photons bouncing around in the atmosphere do not imply warming.

            And, what you ignore is what’s going on outside your window (last 20 years of Earth’s temps). They are not rising to a new “equilibrium temperature”. Your IPCC pseudoscience is not working for you, but you ignore that fact.

        • David Appell says:

          geran says:
          “Slip, I always enjoy your humor. For your response to Scott to mean anything, you have to ignore water vapor, and “believe” that CO2 molecules NEVER re-emit IR.”

          As usual, your knowledge of the science is sparse.

          No one ignores water vapor. CO2 absorbs in places where it doesn’t.

          Everyone knows CO2 reemits IR. This fact is included in all climate models.

          • geran says:

            Davie, your pseudoscience tells you that CO2 reemits IR AND that it “traps heat”. No wonder you are so confused.

          • David Appell says:

            Correct. This is science that has been known for over 100 years.

            You need to study up, boy.

          • geran says:

            You do not understand your own pseudoscience! That’s why you are so hilarious. You try to claim CO2 “traps heat”, but you hate to admit is emits IR. CO2 does both, but you only want to talk about “trapping”, until you get caught.

            (And, again with the name-calling! You are really getting desperate.)

    • David Appell says:

      “I fail to see where 0.04% of something could have ant significant effect on climate.”

      A delightful aspect of science is that it is full of counterintuitive findings.

    • David Appell says:

      “I fail to see where 0.04% of something could have ant significant effect on climate”

      Why?

      Atmospheric ozone has a concentration of about 1/700th that of CO2.

      Yet, without this tiny trace amount, you’d be dead.

  26. David Appell says:

    Roy wrote:
    “As I’ve said before, I really don’t care where our energy comes from…as long as it is inexpensive and abundant, because that’s what humanity requires.”

    It’s not what you require, Roy — you make a very nice salary.

    Tell me again why you shouldn’t be expected to pay for clean energy?

    I make a lot less than you, and I pay for clean electricity. It costs a few dollars a month more.

    • geran says:

      Davie says “I make a lot less than you”

      Hint to Davie: Get a real job.

    • Andrew_FL says:

      “expected” read ==> forced.

      While it’s interesting to know how cheap your conscience is, David, I don’t understand why you feel the need to insulate yourself morally from your would be personal contribution to climate change if you didn’t, when you seem perfectly alright with the idea that your lifestyle choices be forced on others at the point of a gun. Seems one of these things is several orders of magnitude more morally reprehensible than the other. Hm could it be the one that’s, I don’t know, violent?

    • Gunga Din says:

      “Clean” energy.
      Who came up with that name? Why not call it “more-expensive-even-though-it’s-heavily-subsidized-by-the-taxpayers” energy? “Unreliable” energy? “Bathed-in-bird-blood” energy?
      For some “a few dollars a month” is a large percentage of their income. Especially in third world countries. Is keeping some in poverty worth you feeling good about your “clean” energy?

      • lewis says:

        Keeping them in poverty and shortening their lives. Typical socialistic policies.

      • David Appell says:

        Gunga: Are you aware of the negative externalities of fossil fuels?

        The National Academy of Sciences estimated that fossil fuel use causes damages of at least $120 B/yr to health and the environment:

        “Hidden Costs of Energy: Unpriced Consequences of Energy Production and Use” National Research Council, 2010
        http://books.nap.edu/catalog/12794.html

        (Dollar figure for 2005, in 2007 dollars.)

        That comes to about $400 per person per year in 2007 dollars, or $500 per person per year in today’s dollars.

        Do you like paying for this? (And it doesn’t even include the cost of climate change.)

      • David Appell says:

        PS: Don’t expect Roy Spencer to acknowledge negative externalities. They get in the way of his theology….

        • michael hart says:

          David Appell, you persist in political-religious attacks on Roy Spencer in an attempt to discredit him.

          I remain a politically left-of-center atheistic scientist, and find myself in almost full agreement with Roy Spencer.

          You need to get a grip.

          • Gunga Din says:

            David seems to persist because what Roy says conflicts with David’s personal beliefs, political and religious.
            You seem to realize that despite what your personal political or religious beliefs may be, Roy’s handling of the science regarding caGW (or whatever they are calling it now) is robust and sound. Maybe not perfect, but honest. (The day any man or woman knows and handles all “the facts” perfectly is the only day that any aspect of science can be said to be “settled.)

    • David Appell says:

      geran: Thank you for your concern, but I have a great job — that I created for myself — that I love, and it gives me lots of freedom to boot.

      I’m not affluent. And I couldn’t care less.

  27. An Inquirer says:

    Dr. Spencer writes: “Yes, the stratosphere has cooled, partly due to increasing CO2.”

    Has the stratosphere cooled since 1995? I see seeing cooling stratosphere after dramatic low-latitude volcanic eruptions in the late 20th century. But I do not see cooling since then.

    • Andrew_FL says:

      The radiative effects of Ozone dominate in the lower stratosphere, and the Ozone layer has been recovering since about the mid 90’s, so the effect of greenhouse gases in that layer, which is actually quite small, has basically been canceled out. You have to go higher to see the effects of greenhouse gases dominate. UAH does not publish data for higher than the lower stratosphere to my knowledge, and to my knowledge no one publishes long (30+ years) records of middle to upper stratosphere temperatures. But RSS does have data for higher in the stratosphere since about 1999, though, and it does show cooling of higher levels of the stratosphere since then.

  28. Vincent says:

    A major part of the expense of clean, renewable energy, such as solar power in particular, is the cost of providing different and additional infrastructure, delivery systems, and retraining of workers etc.. It’s the process of change which is an obstacle.

    For example, the solar panel on the roof, without battery back-up, has now become a cheap source of power in many areas, particularly Australia, because the infrastructure of a network of power lines to individual homes was already in place. Surplus solar-generated energy can be fed back in the grid. No back-up batteries required, unless one lives in a remote area with no conventional electricity supply.

    Imagine the possibilities if, at some stage in the future, the building regulations require, as a matter of course, that all new houses should have their roof covered with solar panels. In conjunction with the back-up of small, gas or coal-fired power stations, energy could be much cheaper than it currently is, taking into consideration the development of cheaper and more efficient solar panels, as the industry takes off.

    The electric car is another marvelous innovation that’s been around for a long time, but its development is hampered because the existing infrastructure caters to petrol and gas vehicles. Most service centres and car mechanics are not trained to service electric vehicles. The numerous petrol stations, or gas stations around the country, don’t have the facilities to do a quick recharge for long distance drivers, which would require a number of docking bays with a high-voltage, high-current electricity supply. The customer could take a break for half an hour or so whilst his battery was charged, maybe to only 30% capacity. For a full recharge he might have to take a longer break.

    Large solar farms in deserts and arid regions could be another source of cheap power, but again, the obstacle is in the cost of the delivery system, the construction of HVDC power lines across thousands of kilometers.

    However, once that infrastructure is in place, the cost of maintaining the solar farms should be less than the cost of digging up coal and transporting it long distances to various coal-fired power stations, plus the continual cost of running and maintaining the machinery, turbines, buildings and various structures.

    • An Inquirer says:

      Vincent, FYI. I ripped out the solar panels that I had installed on my rooftop. Maintenance costs exceeded the value that I was getting. I planted some large trees that shade house, and the savings in AC costs were more than the cost savings I was getting from the solar panels.

      • Vincent says:

        Was this an early system? Did you have problems with the panels themselves, or just the converter?

        The converter for my solar panels broke down after 4 & 1/2 years of use. Fortunately, it was still under the 5 year warranty, so I didn’t have to pay for a new converter , although nothing is really free, (except the sunshine). The warranty is built into the initial purchase price.

        It’s true that problems of duarability are often not sufficiently addressed in our modern societies because manufacturers like people to buy new products as often as possible. However, products really can be designed to be very durable, but with a little more expense.

        Whilst the warranty for my solar-panel converter was only 5 years, the foundations and structure of my house is guaranteed for 50 years (wink).

  29. Vincent says:

    “Bart says:
    October 17, 2015 at 1:34 PM
    What is so hard about saying, “I do not know”?”

    What’s the point in saying the bleeding obvious? Of course I don’t know. I don’t claim to be Jesus Christ, and I’ve never come across any reports of scientists in a laboratory creating any form of life from a petri dish, or larger container of swirling, inanimate chemicals.

    One might think that such discussions have no relevance on a climate-science site, but I do see an analogy between the uncertainty of the consequences of rising CO2 levels, and the uncertainty about the processes that created the first form of basic life on this planet.

    Both situations involve enormous complexity and long time-scales, which make it extremely difficult, and perhaps impossible, to create a sufficiently accurate model of the real conditions in the laboratory, in order to test the accuracy of any hypothesis.

    • Bart says:

      I guess I do not know what your point is, then. I thought your original object was to tell Roy he was wrong for disbelieving that life is serendipitous. I think you are wrong for saying he is wrong, without necessarily saying he is right. Unless I am wrong about whatever it is that is your point.

      While agreeing that it is complicated, I would disagree that the climate is even remotely as complicated as abiogenesis. It is, I will allow, not unlike classifying orders of infinity, or perhaps fractal dimension. But, at the very least, I believe it is readily apparent that there is currently no basis for supposing that increasing levels of CO2 in the present Earth’s atmosphere in the present state of the climate has any significant effect on global temperatures.

    • fonzarelli says:

      Vincent, first off i just want to say how well written your comments are. This isn’t the first time that i’ve heaped praise on your prose. A while back you posted a comment about keeping legislation spawned by agw even if agw is wrong. Even though i (vehemently) disagreed, i couldn’t help but notice how well articulated your argument was and i said so. You sure knew how to make a fellow feel ‘green’. Not just in the sense of pushing the green agenda, but by your superb diction, green with envy! (i wish i could write like you…)

      I think the crux of the intelligent design theory is that an organism has to be up and running before the process of natural selection can even begin. And even the simplest of organisms is way to complex for it to have happened by chance (regardless of how vast the time and space you give it). The analogy given is that of listening to radio signals from the far reaches of space. If a radio signal comes in that says “i want pizza”, then you can rest assured that there is intelligent design behind that signal…

      • Vincent says:

        Fonzarelli,

        Thank you for your praise of my writing skills. You write very well yourself. I think it is important to try to express one’s ideas as clearly as possible because ordinary language is so full of ambiguities, and so many common words can have many different shades of meaning. I agree with your comment that “an organism has to be up and running before the processes of natural selection can even begin”.

        My questions is, why are we so fixated on the notion that something is either living or not living? It’s like saying, something is either hot or cold. Is it because we all know that we are eventually going to die, and therefore that dichotomy of life and death, is firmly fixed in our consciousness?

        I’m not a specialist Biologist experimenting in such matters, but it does seem intuitively rational to me that the chemical processes from inanimate matter to the first self-reproducing life-form would have involved many stages from, completely inanimate to ‘very, very slightly animate’, to ‘very slightly animate’, to ‘slightly animate’, to ‘largely animate’, to ‘fully animate’, with thousands of stages in between each of those categories.

        There is a continuum of change taking place all the time, every micro-second of the 14 billion years of the history of the universe. That we do know.

        What we don’t know is often glossed over, because we all like to think we’re so clever and knowledgeable.

        I’ll give just a couple of examples. When the human genome was cracked a few decades ago, describing the coding of about 35,000 genes, everyone was elated. What wasn’t reported so widely at the time, is the fact that those protein-encoding genes represent only about 3% of our DNA. The rest was considered junk. 97% of or DNA is ‘junk’??!!

        We now know that it’s not all junk. Maybe none of it is junk. We’re still working on it.

        A few decades ago it was thought that the outer reaches of the expanding universe were slowing down. The Hubble telescope provided observations that this was not the case. The expansion is accelerating.

        Does this mean that our theories of astrophysics, and Einstein’s theories of relativity, are wrong, or at least partially wrong? We simply don’t know yet.

        The discrepancy between our theories and our observations on this matter, imply that about 95% of the combined matter and energy in the universe is totally invisible and undetectable, if our current theories are correct. Wow! That’s more than a slight discrepancy, wouldn’t you agree?

        I admire Roy for his skepticism about AGW, and his acceptance that the issue is just too complicated and chaotic for certainty to exist, but I’m a bit disturbed about his preference for Intelligent Design as an explanation for the development of life. There seems to be a disconnect here.

        Despite our lack of understanding of the precise processes that drive climate, we do know that climate is continually changing, for whatever reasons.

        Does Roy think that the ‘Intelligent Designer’ is causing the climate to change? I think not.

        If he accepts that the climate-change processes are just too complicated and chaotic for us to understand, why cannot he accept that the processes from inanimate matter to the first most primitive life form, such as cyanobacteria or algae, are also too complicated to understand?

        Hope I’m not censored for this post. I have no animosity, and I’m against ad hominem attacks.

        • JohnKl says:

          Hi Vincent,

          You state:

          “I’ll give just a couple of examples. When the human genome was cracked a few decades ago, describing the coding of about 35,000 genes, everyone was elated. What wasn’t reported so widely at the time, is the fact that those protein-encoding genes represent only about 3% of our DNA. The rest was considered junk. 97% of or DNA is ‘junk’??!!”

          A UCLA student friend in the bio-sciences informed me in the last 1-2 years that the 35000 gene figure long ago shrank to ~20-25k, which only proves they know little of what they speak. As you mentioned 97%+ of the genes are ASSUMED to be junk. Again Vincent what does science have to do with assumptions? Either one knows and has tested the action of said DNA or one has not and making academic pronouncements about which one knows very little seems idiotic. Of course, that hasn’t stopped the institutions.

          Have a great day!

    • JohnKl says:

      Hi Vincent,

      You stated:

      “What’s the point in saying the bleeding obvious? Of course I don’t know. I don’t claim to be Jesus Christ, and I’ve never come across any reports of scientists in a laboratory creating any form of life from a petri dish, or larger container of swirling, inanimate chemicals.”

      There exists no problem in not knowing. The problem arrives when one becomes deluded enough to claim spontaneous generation aka abiogenesis to be science. Empirically speaking life only comes from life. The Law of Biogenesis established countless times by the likes of Redi, Spallanzani, Virchow and Pasteur disproved spontaneous generation hundreds of years ago. All life comes from pre-existing life and replicates after it’s own kind.

      Have a great day!

      • Vincent says:

        Hi JohnKI,

        The Law of Biogenesis appears to be an appeal to ignorance. In other words, ‘Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence’. Events that are extremely rare in the laboratory could occur frequently in nature. For example, because the number of bacteria on our planet is so large, events that would occur once in 10 billion years in the laboratory, could occur every second in nature.

        It is perhaps not realised by many of us that we are largely ignorant of the number of different species and forms of life on our planet. Estimates range from 5 to 100 million, most of which are probably insects. We’ve named and catalogued maybe only about 10%, as a very rough estimate, but that doesn’t include all the viruses and bacteria in the soil.

        It is estimated that there is a greater quantity of biomass below the earth’s surface than above it.

        It’s estimated that possibly as much as 1/3rd of the Earth’s biomass lives beneath the ocean floor, and just one gram of soil may contain from several hundred million to a few billion microorganisms.

        According to a Wikipedia article I came across, in 2011 a team of scientists detected more than 33,000 different species of bacteria and archaea clinging to the roots of just one type of plant, the sugar beet.

        Have a simple and uncomplicated day!

        • JohnKl says:

          Hi Vincent,

          An appeal to fact is not an appeal to ignorance. Will explain more later.

          Have a great (even if completely fabricated and delusional) day!

        • JohnKl says:

          Hi Vincent,

          To continue… You state:

          ‘Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence’. Events that are extremely rare in the laboratory could occur frequently in nature. For example, because the number of bacteria on our planet is so large, events that would occur once in 10 billion years in the laboratory, could occur every second in nature.

          No doubt this quote comforts you. However, lack of evidence will never convince anyone of your claims and the obvious fact that thousands of years of human existence has not disproved it provides further support to this Law of Science. Your claim that abiogenesis could occur every second in nature begs the point if it has why can’t you provide any evidence of it and why hasn’t anyone over the millennia done so?

          Not to be outdone in irrelevancy you state:

          “It is perhaps not realised by many of us that we are largely ignorant of the number of different species and forms of life on our planet. Estimates range from 5 to 100 million, most of which are probably insects. We’ve named and catalogued maybe only about 10%, as a very rough estimate, but that doesn’t include all the viruses and bacteria in the soil.”

          Likely true but how does this buttress your case? You confess ignorance and imply others to be ignorant as you, but how does that make a case? You go on:

          “It is estimated that there is a greater quantity of biomass below the earth’s surface than above it.”

          Yes, and many have discussed this before. Thomas Gold theorized about a deep biosphere decades ago. We know iron and methane eating bacteria and others exist deep within the earth, but we also know they replicate the same kind of bacteria. You have yet to establish abiogenesis. The rant continues:

          “It’s estimated that possibly as much as 1/3rd of the Earth’s biomass lives beneath the ocean floor, and just one gram of soil may contain from several hundred million to a few billion microorganisms.

          According to a Wikipedia article I came across, in 2011 a team of scientists detected more than 33,000 different species of bacteria and archaea clinging to the roots of just one type of plant, the sugar beet.”

          One could also add the fact that most of the cells in your body are likely foreign bacteria but it still fails to make a case.

          You apparently believe that by repeating known facts that this somehow, in your mind only, creates doubt about the laws of nature to your readers. Truly remarkably silly.

          Consider this Vincent, the First Law of Motion states any object in motion must be set in motion by another and the stronger moves the weaker. As a corollary, a principal of information theory is that the information contained in any system can only come from another system of equal or greater information. Their exists no system other than living beings that contain the information coded in DNA. So where did it come from? Watson and Crick did not believe the speculated 4.5-10 billion Earth history could create such entities and simply speculated it must have come from somewhere else. Where indeed.

          Have a great (and sadly a likely confused and muddled day!

          • Vincent says:

            “JohnKl says:
            October 20, 2015 at 2:02 PM
            Likely true but how does this buttress your case? You confess ignorance and imply others to be ignorant as you, but how does that make a case? ”

            Hi John,
            My case is similar to the case for AGW skepticism. The processes of climate change appear far too complicated to attribute the current warming phase to a modest increases in one or two ingredients which represent a very, very tiny proportion of our atmosphere.

            The case for AGW alarmism therefore seems to have religious connotations. A truthful stance would be, we simply don’t know whether or not increases in man-made CO2 will have a significant effect on our climate, and whether or not such effects, on the whole, will be positive or negative in relation to humanity’s well-being into the future, and to what degree the effects will be positive or negative.

            However, we certainly do know that a lot of environmental damage takes place as a result of the mining and the burning of fossil fuels, with very-difficult-to-estimate health costs as a result of polluted atmospheres in many cities around the world. And we also know that we will eventually run out of fossil fuel reserves at some point in the future, unless we begin to make the transition to renewable energy.

            Likewise, a truthful stance on the position of Biogenesis versus Abiogenesis would be to state we simply don’t know.

            However, again, there are certain related issues that we do have at least some understanding of, involving theories of probability. We know that improbable things do happen all the time, although many people’s understanding of ‘improbability’ appears to be an illusion based upon their preconceptions and biases, and often has nothing to do with statistical truth.

            The concept of Intelligen Design appears to be an example of a belief based upon a misconception and illusion about the nature of probability. Remember that famous quote attributed to Einstein, in relation to the new theories of Quantum Mechanics, “God does not play dice.” (wink)

            As I mentioned before, Abiogenesis does not have to rely upon the very remote, perhaps impossibly remote, chance of the creation of a completely self-reproducing life-form occurring in one random event. It was likely a very long process (by human life spans) involving many small. incremental steps.

            Have a great day, free of all confusion!

          • JohnKl says:

            Hi Vincent,

            There seems to be so much mistaken with your post it may take me a few a while to unravel some of it. First, let me begin with your first bromide which I should have addressed more fully in my last post. You stated:

            ‘Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence’

            This statement proves at best to be a cliche’ certainly not a universal truth and is not universally binding. Should someone tell you a giant 30 foot pink elephant sits in your living room a quick glance may reveal the absence of any evidence that such a creature exists and would indeed provide evidence of absence. The statement at best applies where one contends the scope of investigation proves limited. However, many truths can be illustrated universally despite this limitation such as Newton’s Law of Gravitation. However, far into space and time one looks through say a Hubble telescope gravitation appears to keep the stars, planets, galaxies etc. in order. Indeed, one finds as Newton claimed that gravitational force ( or mutation of space time as Einstein maintained ) proves proportional to mass. The absence of evidence to the contrary throughout the visible cosmos sure provides evidence of the absence of a chaotic universe lacking in gravitation.

            There exists much more to say and I will endeavor to correct more errors in the future when I have time. In the meantime…

            Have a great thoughtful day!

  30. David Appell says:

    Dr Spencer: What do you think of the recent paper that claims to find a tropospheric tropical hot spot, from radiosonde data?

    “Atmospheric changes through 2012 as shown by iteratively
    homogenized radiosonde temperature and wind data (IUKv2),”
    Steven C Sherwood and Nidhi Nishant, ERL (11 May 2015)
    http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/10/5/054007/meta

    • FTOP says:

      This new radiosonde dataset Iterative Universal Kriging (IUKv2) was produced via a process of IUKv2, using the same methodology as an earlier version (Sherwood et al 2008, hereafter S08) with a few modifications.

      The methodology statistically corrects for incomplete sampling and step changes in bias arising from changed instrumentation or observing practises. It does this by, in effect, performing a multiple regression of the available data onto a structural model that allows simultaneously for natural and artificial changes.

      {in filling data with models}

      This preserves trends and slow variations at individual stations in an unbiased way given the structural model, a property that is essential for obtaining global trends but not yet demonstrated for other approaches that have been used (Sherwood 2007). Raw data are from the Integrated Global Radiosonde Archive (IGRA), http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/igra/.

      2.1. Review of IUK method
      The method first identifies change points from individual station data, then simultaneously imputes missing observations and calculates shift amplitudes in a large network of stations given the times of change points.

      {there is no such thing as missing data in climate science, just opportunities to impute the data you want}

      I wonder if this will be looked back on as the impressionist age of science not hindered by the constraints of reality.

  31. nc says:

    Dr Ralph E. Lapp, The New Priesthood: The Scientific Elite and the Uses of Power, Harper, New York, 1965, begins (page 1) with the following quotation from President Woodrow Wilson, on the dangers of dictatorship by secretive expert advisers, like a Manhattan project:

    “What I fear is a government of experts. God forbid that in a democratic society we should resign the task and give the government over to experts. What are we for if we are to be scientifically taken care of by a small number of gentlemen who are the only men who understand the job? because if we don’t understand the job, then we are not a free people.”

    Lapp then points out how he saw science change during WWII from a poorly funded, low-prestige business of struggling individuals pursuing unpopular technical questions to find the truth, into today’s “big science” of groupthink-dominated government (taxpayer)-funded teams of aim-biased technicians, seeking wealth and prestige, paying only lip-service to freedom and objectivity:

    “Today … the lone researcher is a rara avis (rare bird); most scientists team up to work together toward agreed upon objectives [not an unbiased agenda]. … A single experiment may involve a hundred scientists … the research is no longer unspecified as to objective … democracy faces its most severe test in preserving its traditions in an age of scientific revolution. … scientists in key advisory positions wield enormous power. The ordinary checks and balances in a democracy fail when the Congress, for example, is incapable of intelligent discourse on vital issues. The danger to our democracy is that national policy will be decided by the few acting without even attempting to enter a public discourse … our democracy will become a timocracy. … Even if no formal secrecy is invoked by the government, an issue might as well be classified ‘secret’ if the people in a democracy are incapable of carrying on an intelligent discussion of it. … The danger is that a new priesthood of scientists may usurp the traditional roles of democratic decision-making”

    – Dr Ralph E. Lapp, The New Priesthood: The Scientific Elite and the Uses of Power, Harper, New York, 1965, pages 2-3.

    “As the nation’s most famed weapons expert, Teller had access to secret atomic data which greatly enhanced his ability to be persuasive in public, while not disclosing the data pertinent to his argument. He could always, if challenged, retreat to a sanctuary of nondiscussable information.”

    – Dr Ralph E. Lapp, The New Priesthood: The Scientific Elite and the Uses of Power, Harper, New York, 1965, page 138.

    Lapp on page 8 quotes President Thomas Jefferson:

    “To furnish the citizens with full and correct information is a matter of the highest importance. If we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education.”

    Education in fact, not groupthink indoctrination nor the propaganda substitutes for fact used by dictatorships.

    Lapp on page 14 quotes President Dwight Eisenhower’s 17 January 1961 farewell address:

    “Today the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists … In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution … Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. … The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present – and is gravely to be regarded.”

    Lapp on page 16 quotes Dr Alvin Weinberg (director of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, 1955-1973):

    “I do believe that big science can ruin our universities, by diverting the universities from their primary purpose and by converting our university professors into administrators, housekeepers and publicists.”

    Alvin Weinberg expanded on his critique of “big science” in his 1967 book, Reflections on Big Science.
    Alvin Weinberg’s analogy of populist anti-nuclear pseudoscientific rants to witch hunts, is in Appendix B: Civil Defense and Nuclear Energy, pages 275-7 of The Control of Exposure of the Public to Ionizing Radiation in the Event of Accident or Attack, Proceedings of a Symposium Sponsored by the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP), April 27-29, 1981, Held at the International Conference Center, Reston, Virginia. (The proceedings were published on May 15, 1982, by the U.S. National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements, Bethesda, Md.):

    “That people will eventually acquire more sensible attitudes towards low level radiation is suggested by an analogy, pointed out by William Clark, between our fear of very low levels of radiation insult and of witches. In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, people knew that their children were dying and their cattle were getting sick because witches were casting spells on them. During these centuries no fewer than 500,000 witches were burned at the stake. Since the witches were causing the trouble, if you burn the witches, then the trouble will disappear. Of course, one could never be really sure that the witches were causing the trouble. Indeed, though many witches were killed, the troubles remained. The answer was not to stop killing the witches – the answer was: kill more witches. … I want to end on a happy note. The Inquisitor of the south of Spain, Alonzo Frias, in 1610 decided that he ought to appoint a committee to examine the connection between witches and all these bad things that were happening. The committee could find no real correlation … So the Inquisitor decided to make illegal the use of torture to extract a confession from a witch. … it took 200 years for the Inquisition to run its course on witches.”

    Lapp quotes an editorial by Science editor Dr Philip Abelson on page 30 of The New Priesthood:

    “The witness in questioning the wisdom of the establishment pays a price and incurs hazards. He is diverted from his professional activities. He stirs the enmity of powerful foes. He fears that reprisals may extend beyond him to his institution. Perhaps he fears shadows, but … prudence seems to dictate silence.”

  32. WizGeek says:

    It’s amazing how far off topic a thread can get when egos are involved, when insecurities are triggered, and when agendas are more important than an unbiased search for truth.

    • JohnKl says:

      Hi WizGeek,

      Your statement is related to the above blog post by Roy exactly how? Or did you just have an agenda to present anonymous self as somehow above the rest? Just asking….

      Have a great day!

  33. Norman says:

    JohnKl and Vincent,

    I like reading your thought provoking debate. Thanks.

  34. Vincent says:

    “JohnKl says:
    October 21, 2015 at 10:00 AM

    This statement proves at best to be a cliche’ certainly not a universal truth and is not universally binding. Should someone tell you a giant 30 foot pink elephant sits in your living room a quick glance may reveal the absence of any evidence that such a creature exists and would indeed provide evidence of absence.”

    Hi John,
    The fallacy in your argument, and the confusion, rests upon your definition of what constitutes evidence. Evidence consists of a report and interpretation of some sort of detection or observation of a process, event or substance.

    A report from someone that a pink elephant sits in your living room does not constitute an ‘absence of evidence’. A report of an observation is not a ‘lack of evidence’.

    If the evidence in the report is found to be false upon further investigation, then such falsification of the evidence, as in your example, could provide other evidence of a psychiatric disorder or a delusional mind, or at least evidence that the person making the report is a liar.

    The correct application of this principle that ‘Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence’, in these circumstance of the pink elephant, would be if someone were to state that, just because there is no evidence of a pink elephant in the room, it does not mean that there is not actually a pink elephant in the room.

    In which case, a scientific response would be to ask why there would be any reason to suppose that invisible and undetectable pink elephants exist.

    If the person were to respond that pink elephants are a common occurrence, frequently appearing and disappearing in all sorts of circumstances, then one might reasonably consider that report to be evidence of a delusional mind.

    The fundamental scientific principle that is addressed by this so-called cliche, as you describe it, is that all science is based upon the examination of evidence. The evidence has to exist in some form before the scientific process of falsification can begin. All else is mere speculation and hearsay.

    • JohnKl says:

      Hi Vincent,

      Your confusion appears to continue. You state:

      “Evidence consists of a report and interpretation of some sort of detection or observation of a process, event or substance.”

      Not quite. A report is just a claim. Empirical data and/or measured observation constitutes evidence if properly conducted. The interpretation ( a vague term ) may or may not be evidence and prove of value.

      You go on:

      “If the evidence in the report is found to be false upon further investigation, then such falsification of the evidence, as in your example, could provide other evidence of a psychiatric disorder or a delusional mind, or at least evidence that the person making the report is a liar.”

      Yes, in my example the claim proved to be false. However, it seemed you had a little trouble deciding if false claims should be made a few threads ago. Not to be outdone you go on:

      “The correct application of this principle that ‘Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence’, in these circumstance of the pink elephant, would be if someone were to state that, just because there is no evidence of a pink elephant in the room, it does not mean that there is not actually a pink elephant in the room.”

      So you apparently think the correct application of your principal is to assert that even though a 30 foot pink elephant cannot be observed in the room it doesn’t meant there is not actually a 30foot elephant in the room. Really? If your five senses cannot detect a 30 foot elephant in your room you would remain skeptical? You definitely don’t have much confidence in empirical data and/or observation. In which case you can have no regard for the scientific method at all since it’s based on EMPIRICAL OBSERVATION!!! You should consult Rene Descarte he has the perfect logical map for your condition.

      To add to your own confusion you continue:

      “In which case, a scientific response would be to ask why there would be any reason to suppose that invisible and undetectable pink elephants exist.”

      How exactly would that be scientific since whether or not pink elephants exist it remains quite apparent you don’t observe it in your room! You continue the apparent sophistry:

      “If the person were to respond that pink elephants are a common occurrence, frequently appearing and disappearing in all sorts of circumstances, then one might reasonably consider that report to be evidence of a delusional mind.”

      No more delusional than the person who after carefully investigating a room and having found no evidence of a 30 foot pink elephant still believes one may in fact be there, perhaps hiding under the rug. You add more:

      “The fundamental scientific principle that is addressed by this so-called cliche, as you describe it, is that all science is based upon the examination of evidence. The evidence has to exist in some form before the scientific process of falsification can begin. All else is mere speculation and hearsay.”

      No, in fact the statement ‘Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence’ as an absolute claim is empirically false if applied to all circumstances and in fact as you proved above involved the POSITIVE DENIAL of one’s senses. A more idiotic statement could be only be contrived with difficulty.

      Of course had you instead stated:

      ‘Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence’

      There would exist no need for the discussion, but then again we already have empirical evidence that your not exactly thinking clearly.

      Have a great if murky day!

    • JohnKl says:

      Hi Vincent,

      Another observation must be noted regarding your screed. You asserted:

      “A report from someone that a pink elephant sits in your living room does not constitute an ‘absence of evidence’. A report of an observation is not a ‘lack of evidence’.”

      Please note with careful attention I NEVER CLAIMED THAT A REPORT FROM SOMEONE THAT A PINK ELEPHANT SITS IN MY LIVING ROOM CONSTITUTED AN ‘ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE’. Apparently, you need a reading comprehension lesson. The absence of any visual ( and one should include tactile, or other sensual evidence ) of said elephant constitutes an ‘absence of evidence’!!! This was made abundantly clear when I stated:

      “a quick glance ( toward my living room you may wish to reread my post ) may reveal the absence of any evidence that such a creature exists ( in my living room – context please ) and would indeed provide evidence of absence.”

      Again a report is a claim and an OBSERVATION ( EMPIRICAL DATA BY DEFINITION ) DOES COUNT AS EVIDENCE. THE ‘ABSCENCE OF ANY EVIDENCE’ AND/OR VISUAL CONFIRMATION UPON OBSERVATION OF MY LIVING ROOM THAT A 30 FOOT PINK ELEPHANT EXISTS IN MY LIVING ROOM DOES INDEED SHOW A ‘LACK OF EVIDENCE’ FOR THE SAME CLAIM THAT A 30 FOOT PINK ELEPHANT EXISTS IN MY LIVING ROOM!!!

      You really need help I think…

      Have a great day!

      • JohnKl says:

        Hi Vincent, Norman and everyone,

        As a point of clarification regarding Vincent’s absurd bromide ‘Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence’ you should all ask yourself a very pertinent question. What else besides the absence of evidence for the existence of anything can lead one to the conclusion and/or provide evidence that some given thing does not in fact exist? If it wasn’t for the absence of any evidence that Centaurs or precise cube shaped planets and stars exist why would anyone claim evidence existed that they don’t exist at least as far as we know? If a grocery clerk claims to have given you 52 cents in change what else besides observing the lack of said change in your hand or on your person ( except perhaps only the presence of a laundry tokens ) would you claim as evidence that she never gave you the change at all and the absence of what is owed you?

        Please note especially with advances in DNA you never know about the discovery of future Centaurs and such chimeras though!

        Have a great day!

        • Vincent says:

          “JohnKl says:

          October 22, 2015 at 2:15 PM

          Hi Vincent,

          Your confusion appears to continue. You state:

          “Evidence consists of a report and interpretation of some sort of detection or observation of a process, event or substance.”

          Not quite. A report is just a claim. Empirical data and/or measured observation constitutes evidence if properly conducted. The interpretation ( a vague term ) may or may not be evidence and prove of value.”

          I’ll not address every misunderstood point you’ve made, John, because my response would be far too lengthy. For the time being, I’ll just address the nature of ‘evidence’.

          Evidence which is not interpreted and reported cannot, by definition, exist. All sensory phenomena, and all observations of whatever type, whether received indirectly through sophisticated scientific instruments or directly through one of our five senses, has to be interpreted as a first, initial step.

          If such data, observations and measurements, after interpretation, are not also reported or shared, then knowledge of such evidence doesn’t exist outside of the individual or group.

          If the evidence is reported, then such reports have to be interpreted. All data has to be interpreted and all reports and comments on such data have to be interpreted.

          Everything we know (or think we know) about the world and our environment, is an interpretation which is always ‘colored’ to some extent and distorted in accordance with the peculiar nature of the Homo Sapiens species, and the individual variations that exist within that species.

          Interpretations of reality are often wrong.

          Have a nice day, secure in the knowledge that your interpretation of reality might not be correct. (wink)

          • JohnKl says:

            Hi Vincent,

            Please answer the question I posed in the following quote from above:

            “As a point of clarification regarding Vincent’s absurd bromide ‘Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence’ you should all ask yourself a very pertinent question. What else besides the absence of evidence for the existence of anything can lead one to the conclusion and/or provide evidence that some given thing does not in fact exist?”

            You do seem to avoid questions!

            Have a great day!

  35. JohnH says:

    Roy,

    Roy, you say:

    “I believe humans have caused maybe 50% of the recent warming of the oceans and the atmosphere, say since the 1950s”.

    On your global Warming: Natural or Manmade tab at the top of the page you say:

    “global warming is mostly natural, and that the climate system is quite insensitive to humanity’s greenhouse gas emissions and aerosol pollution.”
    http://www.drroyspencer.com/global-warming-natural-or-manmade/

    Are you reversing your position and now believe humans are responsible for 50% of global warming?

    Please help me understand.

    John

    • wert says:

      Well ‘recent’ warming and ‘sensitive’ are both very vague terms. Recently (like 20 years) there has been very little warming. At 150 year scale, there is warming, and apparently a lot of it was not related to CO2, but internal variability, unknown forcings and measuring errors. Which have been meticulously hunted so that the 20th century statistics are rebuilt every Tuesday.

      • JohnH says:

        I still don’t understand – Roy said 50% of the warming since the 1950s has been caused by humans, what am I missing?

        • Andrew_FL says:

          “Maybe 50%” sounds like he’s saying his best estimate for an upper limit for the portion of warming since 1950. Given that some warming occurred before then, if the contribution to recent warming was 50% the contribution to earlier warming would have been less, so the overall contribution would be less than 50% i.e. mostly natural.

          But actually even if nearly all the warming since 1950 were due to anthropogenic forcing, it would be consistent with a relatively low sensitivity. So even that would be consistent with the latter half of Roy’s earlier position statement.

          However, even if Roy’s position has changed, it hasn’t changed by much. There’s nothing magical about a threshold of 50% that radically changes how one should characterize a position close to the edge of that threshold on either side.

          • JohnH says:

            I still just don’t get it. It sounds like Roy is completely changing his position. What’s up with that?

          • Andrew_FL says:

            Are you being deliberately obtuse or do you really think there’s a huge difference between 51% natural and 50% natural?

            Do you think the difference actually matters?.

          • alphagruis says:

            And so what ?

            Even if Roy Spencer changed his mind about the amount of warming due to anthropic CO2, that’s just the normal condition of any genuine scientist at work.

            Only laymen, ignoramuses or hypocrites who have no idea of what science really is can’t get this.

        • geran says:

          JohnH, Dr. Roy does not promise science. He supports his “belief system”.

          He clearly stated: “I believe humans have caused maybe 50% of the recent warming of the oceans and the atmosphere, say since the 1950s”.

          “I believe…”

          You can’t argue with a “belief system”….

        • MarkB says:

          For what it’s worth the tab at the top of the page defines a period of “the last one hundred years or so” vs “since the 1950s” so he’s technically speaking about two different intervals.

          The mainstream central estimates as I understand them are about 50% of the warming over the first half of the 20th century being due to natural causes (increasing solar output and decreasing volcanic activity over that period) and about 100% of the warming being anthropogenic over the second half of the 20th century.

          Dr Spencer has published work suggesting low climate sensitivity, but nothing on attribution that I’m aware of. He did a blog post a year or so ago showing a (flawed in my opinion) attribution analysis.

          • Andrew_FL says:

            Nope, mainstream estimates are that more like 150% of warming over the second half of the 20th century is anthropogenic and significantly less than 50% of the first half is natural. Don’t read what they say, look at the output of their models. No mainstream model explains anywhere close to 50% of the warming in the first half of the century with “natural forcings” alone. There is no mainstream modeling support for these claims. If they’re making them they’re doing so on no actual basis. And the mainstream models give natural forcings a significant cooling influence in the last fifty or so years. So it’s +100% according to mainstream estimates.

  36. Dan says:

    Dr. Spencer,

    Thank you for your continued work in your field, may God supply you with the endurance, patience, and wherewithal to continue your work. It is difficult to work in an environment teeming with bile and vitriol. Unfortunately, this is such in many parts of Academia and internet forums which are rife with self-adulation and sophistry, of course not to forget the vile manner in which people attack others through the shield of computer transmission lines and a monitor. So many supposedly nice people become bitter know-it-all self-proclaimed geniuses in online forums when armed with a search engine and the knowledge of others. Do not let it get you down, but let it build you up as a light rising out of conflict. Do not lose yourself, as you find yourself immersed in such a culture. Though it may not mean much, I will and do pray for you and other leaders in politics and academia in these times.

    I enjoyed your 2014 publication “The role of ENSO in global ocean temperature changes during 1955-2011 simulated with a 1D climate model” Keep it up!.

  37. Steve Case says:

    “3. Can we do anything to significantly avert it with new energy technologies without causing human suffering?”

    It’s a loaded question loaded with the assumption that there’s a problem to be averted.

    Don’t follow my reasoning? How about this:

    “3. Can we do anything to significantly prevent Dr. Spencer from continuing to beat his wife”?

    When you’re engaged in a debate, don’t let the other side set the agenda. Cut them off at the knees, tell them there ISN’T a problem and you don’t beat your wife.

  38. JohnKl says:

    Hi Vincent,

    You stated:

    “Evidence which is not interpreted and reported cannot, by definition, exist. All sensory phenomena, and all observations of whatever type, whether received indirectly through sophisticated scientific instruments or directly through one of our five senses, has to be interpreted as a first, initial step.”

    You may require remedial reading instructions. You see I absolutely agree with you and have many times made the same observation. In fact, You may recall you quoting me stating:

    The interpretation ( a vague term ) may or may not be evidence and prove of value.”

    Interpretation indeed must be required when we view anything since in fact our sensory apprehension of reality must and will be re-constructed by our minds. We don’t apprehend mere sense data otherwise our visual field would be a collection of dots pertaining to stimuli by the rods and cones of our eyes and whatever image would be up-side down. Our minds re-construct and re-present the stimuli to our consciousness.

    Thank you for pointing out what I had already pointed out.

    Have a great day!

    P.S. – The word interpretation can mean many things that’s why I used the term vague.

    • Vincent says:

      “JohnKl says:
      October 23, 2015 at 1:42 PM
      Hi Vincent,

      Please answer the question I posed in the following quote from above:

      “As a point of clarification regarding Vincent’s absurd bromide ‘Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence’ you should all ask yourself a very pertinent question. What else besides the absence of evidence for the existence of anything can lead one to the conclusion and/or provide evidence that some given thing does not in fact exist?”

      You do seem to avoid questions!”

      Hi John,
      I do sometimes avoid stating the obvious. The statement that ‘absence of evidence is not evidence of absence’, is irrefutably correct and logical.

      Not only is ‘absence of evidence not evidence of absence, it is also not evidence of presence; it is not evidence of anything whatsoever; it is not evidence, period.

      In the absence of evidence, all we can do is speculate on what we think is probable and possible. What are we arguing about? Religion?

      Have an enlightened day! Let peace be upon you!

      • JohnKl says:

        Hi Vincent,

        Wow! I’m impressed that you still managed to evade the question. You stated:

        “I do sometimes avoid stating the obvious. The statement that ‘absence of evidence is not evidence of absence’, is irrefutably correct and logical.”

        Merely asserting it doesn’t make it so. You go on:

        “Not only is ‘absence of evidence not evidence of absence, it is also not evidence of presence; it is not evidence of anything whatsoever; it is not evidence, period.”

        Hmmh! You’ve on multiple occasions tried to suggest I claimed something I never did. I never claimed absence of evidence was evidence of presence. How you contrived that one only you can know. Again you failed to address my previous question. Please let us know if the absence of any evidence that something exists is not evidence of it not existing then what would be? YOUR CONTINUED DENIAL OF THE OBVIOUS IS OBVIOUS!

        You follow up with a generalized incoherent claim:

        “In the absence of evidence, all we can do is speculate on what we think is probable and possible. What are we arguing about? Religion?”

        This proves false on multiple levels. Perceived absence of evidence supporting a claim involves active observation and the use of ones mind and senses and therefore IS EVIDENCE! This has been stated before and you continued to provide absolutely know evidence or proof against merely bromides and assertions.

        As to speculation that only applies to areas of space, time and matter outside our ability to perceive, not finite regions of space, time and matter open to perception like one’s living room. If you truly believe you cannot make any definitive statement about your own living room and the presence or absence of a 30 foot pink elephant you really disappoint me. Your doors of perception haven’t been nailed shut have they? Have you consulted Timothy Leery?

        Thank you again for your efforts however incomplete. Here again is my question:

        “What else besides the absence of evidence for the existence of anything can lead one to the conclusion and/or provide evidence that some given thing does not in fact exist?”

        Have a great day!

        • JohnKl says:

          Hi Vincent,

          Regarding the Doors of Perception you may wish to read some Aldous Huxley. If you listen to old Jim Morrison tunes let us know.

          Have a great day!

  39. JohnKl says:

    Hi Bil Danielson,

    If you wanted to ignore any scientist or person for that matter that relied on claims not based on reason and rationality you would of course need to begin with ATHEISM.

    Have a great day!

  40. JohnKl says:

    Hi Vincent and evryone,

    To help alleviate any confusion that remains I do need to point out something to you. Your statement ‘Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence’ is completely illogical and self-refutes. Why? It violates the most basic axiom of logic the LAW OF IDENTITY. How? Well since in previous posts you yourself have expressed concern regarding either/or thinking and seemed confused about declaring things living or non-living. It seems appropriate to review this axiom of thought that traces back over 2 millennia to the ancient Greeks and Aristotle.

    The LAW OF IDENTITY states that a thing cannot both exist and not exist at the same time. Or it may be sometimes stated as a thing is itself or formulaically as A=A. It has also been called the LAW OF THE EXCLUDED MIDDLE in that no third and/or middle option exists between existence and non existence. While the universe is triune (space, time and matter) the question of existence remains binary. Either something exists or it doesn’t exist and no third alternative exists. Another version the Greeks liked stated that if perceived objects share all the same characteristics they are in fact the same object.

    So how does the statement ‘Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence’ violate the Law of Identity and reflect cognitive dissonance in whoever holds the statement absolutely. Well as mentioned above a thing is evidence of itself. A=A. If the premise that “absence of evidence” is true then it must be true and evident that their exists an ‘absence of evidence’. Do you see the problem Vincent?

    IF NOTHING ELSE AN ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE IS EVIDENCE OF AN ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE!!!

    Note it doesn’t matter if the absence of evidence is real or perceived, or even partial or complete. An absence of evidence either real or perceived is by definition and the Laws of Logic evidence of an absence of evidence either real or perceived.

    To believe otherwise Vincent is to violate by definition the Laws of logic and to suffer from cognitive dissonance.

    How can this be applied in the real world. Well for example since due to the fact that for over a hundred years their has been a noticeable lack of evidence that the Passenger Pigeon is alive and flying it has long ago been ruled extinct. The noticeable lack of evidence that a living Passenger Pigeon exists is evidence of an absence of evidence that Passenger Pigeons exist even if one later shows up say in some unexpected place like Papa New Guinea.

    Have a great day!

    • JohnKl says:

      Hi Vincent,

      Just a couple of additional points.

      1. The word absent or absence does not mean non-existent, but merely not present.

      2. For the record I don’t deny the possibility of life forms on other worlds. In fact, I find it likely. What I deny is that any evidence exists that it came into existence from non-living matter alone ( i.e. without the input of pre-existing life ) and/or life from non-life.

      Have a great day!

  41. Vincent says:

    “JohnKl
    22 hrs, 45 mins ago
    Hi Vincent and evryone,
    To help alleviate any confusion that remains I do need to point out something to you. Your statement ‘Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence’ is completely illogical and self-refutes. Why? It violates the most basic axiom of logic the LAW OF IDENTITY. How? Well since in previous posts you yourself have expressed concern regarding either/or thinking and seemed confused about declaring things living or non-living. It seems appropriate to review this axiom of thought that traces back over 2 millennia to the ancient Greeks and Aristotle.
    The LAW OF IDENTITY states that a thing cannot both exist and not exist at the same time. Or it may be sometimes stated as a thing is itself or formulaically as A=A. It has also been called the LAW OF THE EXCLUDED MIDDLE in that no third and/or middle option exists between existence and non existence. While the universe is triune (space, time and matter) the question of existence remains binary. Either something exists or it doesn’t exist and no third alternative exists. Another version the Greeks liked stated that if perceived objects share all the same characteristics they are in fact the same object.
    So how does the statement ‘Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence’ violate the Law of Identity and reflect cognitive dissonance in whoever holds the statement absolutely. Well as mentioned above a thing is evidence of itself. A=A. If the premise that “absence of evidence” is true then it must be true and evident that their exists an ‘absence of evidence’. Do you see the problem Vincent?
    IF NOTHING ELSE AN ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE IS EVIDENCE OF AN ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE!!!
    Note it doesn’t matter if the absence of evidence is real or perceived, or even partial or complete. An absence of evidence either real or perceived is by definition and the Laws of Logic evidence of an absence of evidence either real or perceived.
    To believe otherwise Vincent is to violate by definition the Laws of logic and to suffer from cognitive dissonance.
    How can this be applied in the real world. Well for example since due to the fact that for over a hundred years their has been a noticeable lack of evidence that the Passenger Pigeon is alive and flying it has long ago been ruled extinct. The noticeable lack of evidence that a living Passenger Pigeon exists is evidence of an absence of evidence that Passenger Pigeons exist even if one later shows up say in some unexpected place like Papa New Guinea.
    Have a great day! ”

    John,
    I appreciate the logic, of a mathematical nature, which you’ve expressed above, and would agree that in the binary system of ‘either/or’, your comments make sense. However, what your comments remind me of, is the distinction between precise, scientific and mathematical terms, and the meaning of ‘everyday language’.
    In normal, ‘everyday’ language, the meaning and significance of words is understood in accordance with the context. Change the context, and the same word can have a different meaning.

    A simple example is as follows. Take a temperature reading of an object, or a confined space, with a well-calibrated thermometer. Let’s say the reading is 40 degrees Centigrade. How do we describe that temperature in common language? Do we say it’s hot, or warm, or even cold?
    It’s the context that determines the appropriate usage of words. If the context is the temperature of the atmosphere outside of the living room, or inside the living room, then 40 degrees C is bloody hot. If the context is the temperature of a cup of coffee that has just been served in a restaurant, then one’s response might be a complaint to the waitress, “Hey! The coffee is cold!”

    Likewise, the word ‘evidence’ is not a precise mathematical term denoted by ‘x’ or ‘y’. There are numerous shades and degrees of evidence ranging from ‘very strong evidence’ to ‘strong evidence’ to ‘reasonably strong evidence’ to ‘slight evidence’ to ‘no reliable evidence’, and so on.

    For example, when Paul Dirac realised that the mathematical formulae relating to Quantum Mechanics implied that here should exist anti-electrons (electrons with a positive charge), he was reluctant to report his hypothesis (or mathematical prediction). He thought he might be ‘laughed at’ or rediculed, and his reputation as a brilliant mathematician/physicist would be tarnished.

    Friends persuaded him that others might come to a similar conclusion, report the issue and get the rewards for being the first, so Paul agreed to report his findings.
    This was in 1928. As a result of his report, scientist began searching for the anti-electrons. A few years later, in 1932, the existence of the anti-electrons was discovered. They were called ‘positrons’.

    Now the question I put to you, John, is a mathematical prediction of the existence of something a type or degree of evidence?

    Have a thoughtful day, with all your neurons and synapses in full swing!

    The modern theory of antimatter began in 1928, with a paper[10] by Paul Dirac. Dirac realised that his relativistic version of the Schrödinger wave equation for electrons predicted the possibility of antielectrons. These were discovered by Carl D. Anderson in 1932 and named positrons (a portmanteau of “positive electron”). Although Dirac did not himself use the term antimatter, its use follows on naturally enough from antielectrons, antiprotons, etc.[11] A complete periodic table of antimatter was envisaged by Charles Janet in 1929.[12]

  42. Doug ~ Cotton says:

    Roy declares his belief in the carbon dioxide hoax when he writes …

    “I believe humans have caused maybe 50% of the recent warming of the oceans and the atmosphere”

    So you admit you don’t understand the thermodynamics I have explained, Roy, which shows why it is gravity which raises the surface temperature, not back radiation supposedly helping the Sun to do so.

    Please see my three comments on the latest thread.

  43. Brook says:

    Well, one Democrat (Sanders) is on record now saying we need to use the RICOH statutes to prosecute climate change deniers, and you’ve had a group meet in the UK trying to figure out how to use international law to outlaw any denial of climate change. This is breath-taking in it’s Orwellian audacity.

    These people are not secure at all in their position, but at least their true nature is being exposed. This issue left science behind a long time ago. It is now a political agenda and a financial scheme that is going to make vast fortunes for the well-connected who are already positioned to cash in.

    Consider what happened to Lennart Benngston — one of the most respected meteorologists in the world, when he publicly questioned the science. He had to change his position “for his own health’s sake” after the climate doomer Nazi’s got done with him. This is taking an ugly and very evil turn now. Our right to free speech is now being threatened.

  44. gallopingcamel says:

    As usual you are much to ready to accept the idea that CO2 is a major driver of global warming.

    You admit that you agree with Fishel to the extent that the anthropogenic contribution to CO2 concentration could account for 50% of global warming.

    This completely baffles me. Atmospheric CO2 is increasing at an accelerating rate but global temperature has flat lined for 18 years. There is absolutely no correlation.

    I understand that correlation does not imply causation but how can you suggest that this lack of correlation somehow implies causation?

  45. Adding 1 of anything to 10,000 of anything has very little effect. Adding 1 CO2 molecule to 10,000 CO2 molecules has even less effect as the field is already near saturation. Having been around for 75 years, I can say that I have not noticed any meaningful change in the weather or the climate, anywhere. The weather still defies forecast, people are always complaining about the weather and hoping for some hot sunny weather for the beach, until there is a drought and then they want it to rain on demand.

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