What does past climate change tell us about  – global warming? –

Home page https://globalwarmingsupporter.wordpress.com/39-2/

This post is made in reply to a discussion begun at 

http://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php?p=2&t=71&&a=22

I must say that this site is one of the very few that is prepared to discuss the essential things to do with the AGW theory and to that extent they have my applause.

However the latest answer to the sites explanation, (because I took the trouble to carefully read the references) has balloned to such a size I thought it would be more appropriate posted everything here.

Avid readers may wish to visit the links on my blog or the originator’s blog as described above.

Unfortunately after the final replies (copied below in the comments section), none of which even got close to examining my point, I was blocked from making any more comments

I can only assume that my comments were hitting a little close to home.

Relevant comments which refrain from Ad Hominem comments and other abuse are welcomed.

——————————————————————————————-

Frankly I have seen more honest explanations in Scientology books.

“What does past climate change tell us about global warming?”

In case you dont know it, your explanation uses the AGW theory to explain the question when the question is really asking for some proof of the AGW theory.

Cheers

Roger

http://www.rogerfromnewzealand.wordpress.com

 The comment was published in the modified form shown below.

 ”What does past climate change tell us about global warming?”In case you dont know it, your explanation uses the AGW theory to explain the question when the question is really asking for some proof of the AGW theory.
doug_bostrom at 13:53 PM on 8 April, 2010

Rogerthesurf, you’d do better to explain yourself. Failing that, presumably you won’t care if your post is deleted?


http://www.rogerfromnewzealand.wordpress.com
72.doug_bostrom at 13:53 PM on 8 April, 2010
Rogerthesurf, you’d do better to explain yourself. Failing that, presumably you won’t care if your post is deleted? “

Sorry your reply did not show up on my “My Comments” page.

Thank you for editing my comment (not)

However my point is simple.

Correct me if I am wrong, but at no point does your explanation discuss the validity of the “Anthropogenic CO2 causes Global Warming” hypothesis. 

Instead your host of explanations which are all based on the assumption that it (the above hypothesis) is fact, which actually it is not fact but as yet simply an unproven hypothesis.

Therefore all your explanations are no better than this unproven hypothesis.

I trust that is clear.

Cheers

Roger

I also always post my comments and replies on my other site https://globalwarmingsupporter.wordpress.com where my readers can evaluate my questions and your answers. Check under your url and post title.

 

  • doug_bostrom at 07:47 AM on 21 May, 2010

    Roger, I’m not spotting the tautology. Which part of the physics do you disagree with?

  • Roger, what exactly in the theory of climate that underlies the above that you are objecting to? That, when you add more heat to our climate, global temperatures rise? That CO2 is a greenhouse gas? That greenhouse effect is real? These questions of climate physics are better addressed on other threads. For past climate, it is better to realise that it is primarily where models can be tested and constrained.
    Phil (also from NZ)

  • Phil and Doug,

    Thanks for your answers, please consider the opening statement to the answer of the question on this page.

    “If there’s one thing that all sides of the climate debate can agree on, it’s that climate has changed naturally in the past. Long before industrial times, the planet underwent many warming and cooling periods. This has led some to conclude that if global temperatures changed naturally in the past, long before SUVs and plasma TVs, nature must be the cause of current global warming. <b>This conclusion is the opposite of peer-reviewed science has found.

    Our climate is governed by the following principle: when you add more heat to our climate, global temperatures rise.”</b>

    The above opening statement in the “explanation” as to why there were previous warmings (when there was no anthropogenic CO2) neatly sidesteps the question.

    The question, which is a very good one, is – “If there are previous warmings, why do we blame this one on CO2?”

    The answer is “Because an increase in CO2 which is a greenhouse gas, is the cause THIS TIME”.

    So I am saying, where is the empirical proof of this cause.

    All that is in the explanation is a lot of theory which is not based on anything empirical, in fact like I have mentioned above, the explanations assume that the “Anthropogenic CO2 causes Global warming” hypothesis is fact when in actual fact there is no emperical support whatsoever. In fact previous warmings disprove the hypothesis.

    Hope you can understand my point.

    This comment and your answers are posted on http://www.globalwarmingsupporter.wordpress.com for the benefit of my readers.

    Cheers

    Roger

     

    Response: “where is the empirical proof of this cause?”

    There are multiple lines of empirical evidence that CO2 is causing warming. We have a number of different satellites from NASA and Japan finding less infrared radiation escaping to space at CO2 wavelengths (Harries 2001, Griggs 2004, Chen 2007). Surface measurements from thousands of ground based stations are also finding more infrared radiation returning back to the Earth’s surface (Wang 2009). A close examination of the infrared spectrum returning back to Earth finds more infrared radiation at CO2 wavelengths (Evans 2006).

    So we have independent measurements finding the same answer – which is consistent with lab measurements and simulations of an increased greenhouse effect caused by rising CO2.

    If you could post this answer on your blog, would be much appreciated

    Response,

    Your reply is faithfully included in my blog.

    I am not disputing any of the findings that you mention in your answer, although some might, but none of this information proves in any way that anthropogenic CO2 is the root cause.

    My argument which is simply based on the standard scientific proof of a hypothesis, is not hard to understand, but for your benefit I will explain more.

    Even in the absence of previous warmings, the earth could be heating up for some other reason. The fact that there are well documented and general agreement that there have been previous warmings, such as the Holocene Maximum, the Minoan Warming, the Roman warming and the Medieval Warm Period, which are recorded in history as well as scientific proxies and the like, make CO2 as the root cause of global warming even less likely.

    The situation can be likened to the problem that pharmaceutical researchers have. If a patient is ill and you give him some of your new drug, and the patient gets well:- Did he get well because of the drug, or did he get well anyway?
    Very hard to tell, so as you should be aware, this problem is solved by doing double blind tests on a large sample of patients and doing a statistical analysis of the results. (Double blind because if the patient knows if he is receiving the drug or placebo, it effects his response, as the response is also effected if the person administering knows whether it is the drug or a placebo)

    To further illustrate the difficulty of proving a hypothesis, I recommend watching the following video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TxiBHNeTG7o&feature=related
    The video has nothing to do with CO2 or global warming, but illustrates well the problems of hypothesis proof.  A number of people died when the captain of this aircraft formed a hypothesis of what was wrong with the plane, an incident seemed to support his hypothesis, but in spite of definitive disproof of his hypothesis being readily available, because the hypothesis was incorrect, the aircraft crashed.

    In fact there are a number of known things which could cause the current warming, and probably a greater number of factors which are unknown.

    I hope this clarifies things for you and your readers. Please take the time to watch the video.

    This response is also posted on http://www.globalwarmingsupporter.wordpress.com

    Cheers

    Roger

     Response: “The fact that there are well documented and general agreement that there have been previous warmings… make CO2 as the root cause of global warming even less likely”

    The degree and global extent of warming is still debated for certain periods (re the Medieval Warm Period) but putting that aside, we can all agree that there have been many periods in Earth’s history when the planet has experienced dramatic changes in temperature.

    Why has climate changed in the past? The primary driver of Earth’s climate is and has always been changes in the planet’s energy imbalance. If anything causes a change in the energy coming in or going out, that will lead to warming or cooling. This can include the sun getting hotter, more aerosols in the air reflecting incoming sunlight, more CO2 absorbing infrared radiation, etc. CO2 is not the only driver of climate – in the past, various factors have driven Earth’s climate. The one constant is that an energy imbalance has driven temperature change.

    So what does past climate change tell us? It tells us that when the planet suffers an energy imbalance, global temperature changes. It doesn’t mean CO2 is always the main driver of past climate change. The ice age cycles of the past million years were driven initially by orbital cycles, not CO2 (but CO2 does play a positive feedback role).

    A crucial piece of information we learn from past history is how much climate responds to an energy imbalance. How sensitive is our climate? And what we find is when our planet accumulates heat, there is a net positive feedback response from our climate which amplifies the initial warming. Past climate change reveals a key truth: our climate is sensitive. If you impose an energy imbalance on our planet, positive feedbacks will amplify the initial warming.

    What does this have to do with CO2? We know rising CO2 is causing an energy imbalance because of direct observations (satellites observing less infrared radiation escaping to space and surface measurements of more downward infrared radiation).

    So we have two pieces of information from empirical data:

    1. Direct measurements today find CO2 is imposing an energy imbalance
    2. Past climate change finds the climate is sensitive to an energy imbalance

    Our understanding of climate comes from considering the full body of evidence. You need to consider past climate change in the context of the current energy imbalance imposed by CO2.

    doug_bostrom at 11:12 AM on 23 May, 2010

    Roger, you should add this to your blog because it speaks to the weight of your opinion on this subject:

    Some scientific conclusions or theories have been so thoroughly examined and tested, and supported by so many independent observations and results, that their likelihood of subsequently being found to be wrong is vanishingly small. Such conclusions and theories are then regarded as settled facts. This is the case for the conclusions that the Earth system is warming and that much of this warming is very likely due to human activities.

    That’s from the National Academy of Sciences. You can find the press release for this just-released report as well as links to the report itself here.

    What is this “National Academy of Sciences”? You can learn about it here. It’s sort of like the UK’s Royal Society but with the brand of USA on it.

    The basic point is, anthropogenic warming is considered to be fact, uncontroversially so in terms of scientific understanding. If you dig into the science you’ll find past changes of climate playing the role of evidence in support of this fact.

    Doug,

    Have done,

    However I expect you to use your brain to discuss my point. I dont give two hoots what the NAS says, unless they can show me how the “Anthropogenic CO2 causes Global Warming” hypothesis is proven. Now that would be not unreasonable to expect from a bunch of scientists right?

    And it might be news to you but “anthropogenic warming” is not considered to be fact, even in IPCC reports and there is an increasing body of opinion that support what I am questioning.

    But most importantly, lets not forget this conversation is about whether this blog addresses the question “What does past climate change tell us about global warming?” and I am maintaining that it skirts around the real issue which is what I am raising here.

    Cheers

    Roger

    Roger, what’s to discuss? The National Academy of Sciences says anthropogenic warming is a fact, you say it’s not and you’re quite unprepared to accept otherwise. I’m a bystander to your argument with the NAS but I have to say, I attach more weight to their conclusion and not yours. Are you surprised, that I’d have to give more credit to the NAS and their conclusion based on a veritable mountain of evidence, as opposed to your personal opinion supported by a Youtube video?

    What an extraordinary conversation. I’ve participated in many such yet they still leave my head spinning. Either one must leave the merry-go-round filled with folks who show every sign of technical psychosis or one must jump on and join the endless revolution of repetitions.

    Support

    Thank you for your reply.

    I have read your answer carefully and visited all the links you suggested.

    If I may, I would now like to analyse your answer.

    Remember my assertion is that the “Anthropogenic CO2 causes Global Warming” hypothesis is not proven empirically or by any other means and I cautioned that on your site you appear to be using the above unproven hypothesis to prove itself.

    I think we would all agree that this would be meaningless and definitely unscientific.

    We seem to be in agreement that the planet has been warmer before. Not only during the most recent time (The Medieval Warm Period), but the Roman Warm Period and the Holocene Maximum just to name some of them.

    You assert that the climate warms because of an energy imbalance, which could arise from a number of reasons.

    This is obvious, and it is difficult to see how global temperature change could be caused by anything else.

    “It does not mean that CO2 is always the main driver of climate change”

    Very true, in fact it appears that IF it is currently the driver of this climate change, it will be for the very first time.

    Positive feedbacks, by which you mean, as CO2 concentrations rise, and the planet warms, extra CO2 is released by the oceans and bio mass etc, causing higher CO2 concentrations, more heat, and then more releases and so on, put us on less solid ground.

    This feed back mechanism idea is another hypothesis and like the “Anthropogenic CO2 causes global warming” hypothesis, it is unproven. In fact it can be clearly seen that the “CO2 Feedback theory” relies on the “Anthropogenic CO2 causes Global Warming Hypothesis” for its basis. (Effectively the use of an unproven theory to prove itself again!)

     

    So since we are talking about empirical proof of the “Anthropogenic CO2 causes Global Warming Hypothesis” we cannot rely on any other hypothesis which relies on the “Anthropogenic CO2 causes Global Warming Hypothesis”, as being any sort of proof of the “Anthropogenic CO2 causes Global Warming Hypothesis”.

    Also if there was a positive warming feed back, it is difficult to understand why we did not experience excessive heat (such as enough to make the world uninhabitable) during say the Holocene Maximum where the climate was significantly warmer than today.

    “We know rising CO2 is causing an energy imbalance”

    I took a look at this link which took me to another part of your site and I carefully read the citations which you have there.

    Of course CO2 has some effect on the greenhouse properties of the atmosphere, but the question is, is it significant, (especially considering the inverse logarithmic relationship that CO2 has with radiative forcing) and is it the driver of our current warming?

    Griggs (of which I could only raise the abstract) confines her studies to radiation measurements of CH4, CO2 and O3 on clear days, which is fine academically, but as H2O is the dominant (95%) greenhouse gas, and she is deliberately NOT measuring this, it is difficult to see the relevance of this paper.

    I would have expected to see some studies providing a time series of the total outgoing radiation, and the proportions of the various components thereof. Then this would need to be compared with the same during say the Holocene period to decide where the similarities/differences lie and then decide, if indeed the outgoing radiation has decreased, which factor(s) is driving it.

    Chen  is actually doing the same thing. Once again “Cloud Free spectra are used”. Like Griggs, there is no calculation of the total energy absorption over all the spectra which is really what matters.

    Indeed the paper ends with the sentence “In the future, we plan to extend the analysis to more spatial and temporal regions, OTHER MODELS, and to cloudy cases.”

    Wang and Liang of which I could only access the abstract, only appear to confirm that downward long wave Radiation is increasing. Well we know that, because in order to climb out of the Little Ice Age, the heat has to come from somewhere. They don’t appear to have ruled out the sun!

    The final sentence in the abstract “The rising trend results from increases in air temperature,(fairly obvious), atmospheric water vapour, and CO2 concentration.”

    Well although the abstract does not deal with the division of these things, it is obvious that the air temperature is increasing, very likely that water vapour has something to do with it, and one cant get away from the feeling that they mentioned CO2 just to maintain their funding. Nevertheless unless the main body of the report says something substantially different, it is difficult to see how this study pins down CO2 empirically as the culprit.

    From Philipona we get a very similar story.

    “The resulting uniform increase of of long wave downward radiation manifest radiative forcing that is increased by increased greenhouse concentrations AND water vapour feedback, and proves the “theory” of greenhouse warming with direct observations.”

    Also in the text, we read “At least half of the increases may therefore not be explicable by direct effects of GHG’s and associated feedbacks of temperature and humidity, but are rather due to circulation changes over central Europe.”

    Of course the biggest danger of any studies like these is that they are all aiming to a predefined conclusion. The effect of this is well known and is the very reason why empirical and statistical tests for the effectiveness of pharmaceutical drugs are conducted using the double blind method. Neither the patient nor the administering physician nor the analysts have any knowledge of the actual people receiving the drug, and only this way can the results be trusted not to have any personal or environmental bias.

    In conclusion

    I see a lot of attempts to blind people with “science”, very similar to a book on Scientology that I once read.

    There is no attempt in your analysis to identify and then rule out the reasons why the earth has warmed in previous epochs. (I agree that it would be a very tough project) Neither have you have not taken into account, so far as I can see, of the negative logarithmic relationship that CO2 has with its greenhouse properties, and most important of all I have not found a shred of proof that actually supports the “Anthropogenic CO2 causes Global Warming” hypothesis.

    Unless the previous warmings can be explained and the causes for these definitely ruled out for the current warming, it is difficult to find any support for the current AGW theory.

    Why should we demand such a strict interpretation of proof in the case of the “Anthropogenic CO2 causes Global Warming” hypothesis.

    The effect of implementing the emission reductions as put forward by the IPCC plus the recommended transfers of wealth will simply break our economies.

    This is an area of which the IPCC does not dwell on and other so called “Green Economists”, with rose tinted glasses, are actually telling us the opposite.

    We hear all sorts of hysterical statements about how greedy we are, how evil our consumer society is and how we need to de-industrialize and how a small cost will be worth it in order to save the planet,even if the scientists are wrong.

    Well the fact of the matter is: Reducing the emissions and transferring wealth in the manner outlined by the IPCC will cause a major slowdown in our economies in every sector.

    A slowdown of 33% in industrial activity will put us in the same position as the Great Depression with the terrible hardships, poverty, starvation and social unrest associated with it.

    I believe that we are likely to surpass the excesses of the great depression.

    If we want to reduce CO2 emissions by 40% of 1990 levels, which I calculate to be over 57% of today’s usage, this means we will have to reduce usage of oils, gases, coal, production of steel, cement, fertilizers and other CO2 producing processes by about the same amount. This will effect every part of the western economies and the outcome will be a reduction in total western industrial activity by a similar percentage!

    This will put the price of gasoline, gas and coal out of reach for the normal citizen, or if it is rationed, create cataclysmic shortages. All manufacturing processes including agriculture will be affected. This means a cataclysmic rise in the price of food and basic necessities of life. Building will be similarly affected as will the cost of transportation. In other words, normal people will be disadvantaged from every quarter.

    Jobs will disappear, poverty and deprivation will be rife.

    nb: I haven’t even discussed the wealth transfers yet!
    What about “Green” Industries.

    Countries that have sufficient Hydro power or natural thermal energy will, to some extent, be better off. Nuclear energy is a partial solution but definitely not acceptable by “Green” interests.

    Most countries have limited or no opportunity left for further hydro energy production.

    Wind energy is unreliable and can only ever serve to supplement current energy production. Hydrogen and electric cars and the like, only serve to transfer the production of CO2 from one place to another and are not a solution. Solar power is very expensive and offers only a partial solution at best.

    If governments put billions of tax payers money into so called “green” energy projects, what ever they may be, they will exacerbate the situation because for every “green” job created, several other jobs will be lost because of the taxation. (Milton Freidman received a Nobel Prize for pointing out his fact).

    The point is that if we are going to break our way of life so very thoroughly in order to save the planet, WE NEED A VERY HIGH STANDARD OF PROOF INDEED FOR THE “ANTHROPOGENIC CARBON DIOXIDE CAUSES GLOBAL WARMING” HYPOTHESIS. 

    To carry out the IPCC demands just in case there is AGW is most certainly not an option.

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    14 Responses to “What does past climate change tell us about  – global warming? –”

    1. cmb Says:

      Steer clear of the subject? They offered you link after link after link after link. Why lie?

      “Response: “where is the empirical proof of this cause?”

      There are multiple lines of empirical evidence that CO2 is causing warming. We have a number of different satellites from NASA and Japan finding less infrared radiation escaping to space at CO2 wavelengths (Harries 2001, Griggs 2004, Chen 2007). Surface measurements from thousands of ground based stations are also finding more infrared radiation returning back to the Earth’s surface (Wang 2009). A close examination of the infrared spectrum returning back to Earth finds more infrared radiation at CO2 wavelengths (Evans 2006)”

      Each reference was linked.

      Still, you prattle on about “proof” when, as every serious investigator knows, science is not in the business of proof. It is in the business of evidence. You will never get “proof” of AGW from science until it is too late, and I believe that you know this and are simply using the word again and again as an excuse to harrass.

      I also notice that after proof-proof-proofing on the other blog, the words “evidence” and “validity” are what you say you want in your reply to me. More classic creationist goalpost shifting.

      As always, you get reasonable (in this case, excellent) answers, then run off to your own blog to lie about them instead of manning up and checking them.

      In fact, I just realized that’s what this whole blog is for. You say as much yourself.

    2. cmb Says:

      Sidestepping indeed. Does he ever do anything else? Roger is not noticing that in almost every blog thread of his, he shows himself being thoroughly schooled by his superiors, of whose subject he knows almost nothing and to whose arguments he dare not actually respond – and his willfully ignorant attempts to shift blame for his own failures to them. =)

      • rogerthesurf Says:

        As I recall in this conversation, I was trying to pin them down on some empirical evidence for the “anthropogenic CO2 causes Global Warming” hypothesis but if you read carefully, they kept trying to steer me away from that subject.

        Who are these superiors that you mention?

        Its true I have failed. I have tried so hard to find someone who can genuinely explain the empirical validity of the “anthropogenic CO2 causes Global Warming” hypothesis but no one has ever come up with anything yet.
        Could it be that there is no such evidence to support the hypothesis?

    3. JohnO Says:

      Roger,
      I’ve read your arguments at length.
      I believe I have enough of an education in the sciences to university level have a good idea of what constitutes proper a scientific debate.
      I find the pro AGW arguments put up by the likes of Doug Bostrom very strong.
      On the other hand, you sound like a intelligent thinker, but only up to a point. When the likes of Doug B present a solid argument against your “beliefs” you employ a tactic of “side-stepping” the issues raised against you. No wonder you drove him nuts!
      If you ever did study, – in the sciences , – at University level you would’nt get away with what you do on this site!

      • rogerthesurf Says:

        John,

        Thanks for your comment.

        Exactly where do I side step Doug’s arguments?

        If there are issues that you feel are on my part unsatisfactorily addressed, I am happy to discuss them with you.

        Cheers

        Roger

    4. Pollution Statistics Says:

      Interesting…I’m adding your feed.

    5. rogerthesurf Says:

      yocta the link at http://rogerfromnewzealand.files.wordpress.com/2010/06/upenncross.pdf takes a legal cross examiners view of he IPCC reports and the available evidence from other sources and tests it for bias, accuracy and exaggeration.
      He does not need to know much abour climate science at all, in the same manner that a cross examining lawyer does not need technical knowledge, its the quality of the reporting that is being tested here.

      By the way, I am disappointed that I have been blocked at your site, I and my readers can only assume that you all are unable answer my questions and that you feel your “faith” is being threatened.

      Cheers

      Roger

    6. rogerthesurf Says:

      (copied from http://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php?p=2&t=71&&a=22)

      99.yocta at 10:08 AM on 9 June, 2010
      RE#97 Rogerthesurf

      That PDF is 82 pages of non-peer reviewed work. It comes from a non-scientist (legal professor) at the University and is uploaded freely to the SSRN (Social Science Research Network).

      The author does not appear to understand very much about climate science. It reads more like an essay than of anything with any scientific rigor and I don’t think it adds any value to the discussion. I for one would not spend my time reading it unless it has passed a peer review.

      100.scaddenp at 10:21 AM on 9 June, 2010
      “I reiterate that no such proof appears in any IPCC publications.”
      This is dealt with exhaustively in chapter 9 of WG1. What you are looking for is called “attribution”. Read the chapter then take up the argument piece at a time. (in the appropriate thread – this is about past climate change). See also an excellent article at On Attribution.

      “You are too proud to watch the video I suggested”. I watched – more case of teach your grandmother to suck eggs. I frankly resent the implication that this contains lessons that scientists didnt know.

      “you don’t actually understand my question.” Of this I agree. In part because it keeps changing. You asked for empirical evidence but it seems there is trouble understanding why this is empirical evidence. Trouble understanding the nature of scientific proof, trouble understanding past climate change. We are trying to help. The reason climate science has confidence that anthropogenic gases is causing change is based on multiple supporting lines of evidence. See ch 9.

      Look, consider instead an alternative hypothesis. eg. the sun causes most of the warming. Run the model and make some predictions. These would include:
      There should be more energy from sun reaching TOA.
      Tropics (closer to sun) should be hotter
      Warming should be more pronounced in daytime rather than night.
      Stratospheric should be warming
      etc.
      Check this against reality – whoops. Next hypothesis. See how it works? Increasing GHGs is the one that matches our reality.

      As to your link. How about some skepticism of this to match that of your skepticism of scientists? As far as I can see, its motley collection of long-debunked denialist talking points without a look at the real evidence at all.

    7. rogerthesurf Says:

      (copied from http://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php?p=2&t=71&&a=22 )

      98.e at 09:48 AM on 9 June, 2010
      Roger,
      As has already been explained, there is no such thing as proof in science. There is only evidence in support of or in contradiction to theories. Your request therefore is invalid and meaningless. If you have any issues with specific lines of evidence, please post them in the appropriate thread.
      99.yocta at 10:08 AM on 9 June, 2010
      RE#97 Rogerthesurf

      That PDF is 82 pages of non-peer reviewed work. It comes from a non-scientist (legal professor) at the University and is uploaded freely to the SSRN (Social Science Research Network).

      The author does not appear to understand very much about climate science. It reads more like an essay than of anything with any scientific rigor and I don’t think it adds any value to the discussion. I for one would not spend my time reading it unless it has passed a peer review.
      100.scaddenp at 10:21 AM on 9 June, 2010
      “I reiterate that no such proof appears in any IPCC publications.”
      This is dealt with exhaustively in chapter 9 of WG1. What you are looking for is called “attribution”. Read the chapter then take up the argument piece at a time. (in the appropriate thread – this is about past climate change). See also an excellent article at On Attribution.

      “You are too proud to watch the video I suggested”. I watched – more case of teach your grandmother to suck eggs. I frankly resent the implication that this contains lessons that scientists didnt know.

      “you don’t actually understand my question.” Of this I agree. In part because it keeps changing. You asked for empirical evidence but it seems there is trouble understanding why this is empirical evidence. Trouble understanding the nature of scientific proof, trouble understanding past climate change. We are trying to help. The reason climate science has confidence that anthropogenic gases is causing change is based on multiple supporting lines of evidence. See ch 9.

      Look, consider instead an alternative hypothesis. eg. the sun causes most of the warming. Run the model and make some predictions. These would include:
      There should be more energy from sun reaching TOA.
      Tropics (closer to sun) should be hotter
      Warming should be more pronounced in daytime rather than night.
      Stratospheric should be warming
      etc.
      Check this against reality – whoops. Next hypothesis. See how it works? Increasing GHGs is the one that matches our reality.

      As to your link. How about some skepticism of this to match that of your skepticism of scientists? As far as I can see, its motley collection of long-debunked denialist talking points without a look at the real evidence at all.

    8. rogerthesurf Says:

      Scaddenp

      Thanks for your comments,
      I have copied them to my page at http://www.globalwarmingsupporter.com where I will comment on your answers for the benefit of my readers.

      I would remind you though that I have made no assertions of any sort in any part of this discussion, I have only asked for reasonable proof of the “anthropogenic CO2 causes global warming” hypothesis and explained why I believe a good standard proof is required.
      I reiterate that no such proof appears in any IPCC publications.
      Measurements of global warming of any sort do not constitute proof because we are looking for the cause of the warming.
      You are too proud to watch the video I suggested and your insistance that the proof is found in IPCC publications shows you don’t actually understand my question.

      PS. Check out this report from the University of Pennsylvania.
      It appears their conclusions are similar to mine except they have taken a different route.
      http://rogerfromnewzealand.files.wordpress.com/2010/06/upenncross.pdf

      I hope I will get a proper answer from the owner of this blog.(http://www.skepticalscience.com)
      Cheers

      Roger

    9. rogerthesurf Says:

      Copied from http://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php?p=2&t=71&&a=22

      95.scaddenp at 06:32 AM on 8 June, 2010
      Roger -you persist with this idea that science “assumes AGW”. Either you havent read IPCC WG1 or you didnt understand it. WG2 and WG3 DO assume AGW because they ask the questions about what will happen.

      I state again – here is how the process you work. You say IF, IF, the hypothesis is true, then what would I expect to observe. If you the observation match prediction, that is support (but not proof) of the theory. ALL SCIENCE IS DONE THIS WAY. This is not somehow “assuming AGW is true”. I dont see how anyone could read IPCC WG1 and come away with idea.

      Roger, read more carefully what I have written. I and the whole of science is well aware of logrithmic relationship. What I am asking is WHY you believe that the science doesnt take it into account. It does – demonstrably – but somehow you believe it doesnt?

      AGW support is mostly based in physics not paleoclimate. Paleoclimate is an area dogged with uncertainties so its happy hunting ground for deniers.

      Since you started this discussion on this blog, it would be imappropriate to move it yours. I will not respond there.However, if you prefer to correspond on this by email, feel free.

      96.e at 07:43 AM on 8 June, 2010
      Roger,
      With all due respect, you demonstrate some profound misunderstandings about the nature of climate science, the IPCC report, and the scientific method in general. It is ill advised to be commenting on the nature of something you clearly haven’t read or understood. If you want to argue in good faith, I strongly suggest you spend some time learning what climate scientists actually have to say rather than relying on the strawman depicted by climate denial blogs. A good source would be the IPCC WG1 as linked above, or one of it’s summary reports. Another interesting read is the epa response to comments on their findings on greenhouse gasses. This site’s own list of skeptic arguments is also a great overview of common skeptic points. The Discovery of Global Warming is great for getting some perspective on the history of climate science, and understanding that AGW did not leap spontaneously from the minds of scientists and some in the blog-o-sphere would have you think. Finally you can find a host of great links here.

      In any case, if you have any specific questions or points, please place them in the appropriate post, as this post is focused on the significance of past climate change specifically and this discussion has veered off-topic.

    10. rogerthesurf Says:

      scaddenp,

      Thanks for your comment.

      First of all I make no apologies for the length of my reply as it is in response to the answer I received from the owner of this blog for comment #82.

      I understand the intentions and content of the papers and abstracts I carefully read, thanks for your concern.

      It appears however that you do not or refuse to understand the relevant points, I suggest you read again and give it some deep thought.
      The fact you refer me to any IPCC publication where the AGW hypothesis (Anthropogenic CO2 causes Global Warming) is assumed to be valid, and every thing is based on it, shows me that you have not yet understood what my assertions are about, let alone appreciated the difficulty in arriving at a sufficient standard of proof that will justify the sacrifices expected of us.

      Some comment though:
      I’m surprised you haven’t heard of the negative logrithmic properties of CO2 and it’s greenhouse properties. Try googling the subject. Its even described in that “epitome of authority” Wikipedia


      “it is difficult to understand why we did not experience excessive heat (such as enough to make the world uninhabitable) during say the Holocene Maximum where the climate was significantly warmer than today.”. ”
      This is in response to the feed back theory mentioned in the above answer.

      “And by the way, we have no way of measuring what the outgoing radiation was in holocene.”
      Correct and this is a problem when trying to prove the AGW hypothesis.

      You are welcome to continue this discussion on my site where there is no chance of having reasonable comments spammed. However comments containing Ad Hominem comments and the like. will not be published.

      Cheers

      Roger

      PS. Check out this report from the University of Pennsylvania.
      It appears their conclusions are similar to mine except they have taken a different route.
      http://rogerfromnewzealand.files.wordpress.com/2010/06/upenncross.pdf

    11. rogerthesurf Says:

      (Copied from http://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php?p=2&t=71&&a=22)

      scaddenp at 14:30 PM on 6 June, 2010
      Roger, I am somewhat disappointed by your post on your blog. I think it would be have better to continue the discussion here, clearing up misconceptions one at a time rather than posting a public essay with a number of incorrect assertions. Lets see if I tackle the main points.

      “it is difficult to understand why we did not experience excessive heat (such as enough to make the world uninhabitable) during say the Holocene Maximum where the climate was significantly warmer than today.”. Well watch for new papers on this, but Holecene maximium was a/ similar to today and b/ at time when most of humanity was hunter-gatherers. The worry about AGW is mostly about RATE of change and also that the last time we had atmospheric Co2 at 450ppm was in the Pliocene when humanity didnt exist let alone have developed sophisticated civilizations based on settled agriculture.

      The question indeed is “is it the driver of current warming?”. I dont think you have understood the intent nor the conclusions of Harries, Griggs, Philipona, etc. Firstly, lets deal with water vapor. Clouds water vapour. They occur when vapour condenses. The do however complicate the measurement that these papers are trying to make. The reason for lack interest is the water vapour that it is a function of temperature. It is always a feedback not a forcing. It doesnt matter what the forcing is, GHG, solar, aerosols – if the temperature changes then so does water vapour. see water vapour is the most powerful greenhouse gas for more detail. Since we are interested in the FORCING not the feedback, water is deliberately filtered out. Now here is the condensed basis of the those papers: Hypothesis – the forcing is GHG. Prediction: if the GHG is the forcing, then we can (for a cloudless sky anyway), predict the spectrum of detected radiation, filtered for water. (incoming for Philipona, Evans, Weng; outgoing for Harries, Grigg, Chen). This the “modelled result” in the papers, but please note this “model” is the GHG equations from fundimental physics, not the output of a GCM. Next you measure the actual radiation, filter for water vapour and compare results. Observation confirms prediction – there isnt a placebo effect, statistical uncertainty, and skeptics can examine the data themselves at leisure, no need for double-blind. The results can also determine how much energy is from the increased GHG – roughly 4x the radiation difference from solar minimum to solar maximum. The paper is written for scientists in the field. They dont need to discount the sun because the sun does not emit radiation in this part of the spectrum. (see for example of The sun and Max Planck agree. For more on why its not the sun see, Its the sun. Especially, explain upper stratospheric cooling – increased CO2 is the only theory going so far that can explain this.
      And by the way, we have no way of measuring what the outgoing radiation was in holocene.

      Despite being told explicitly earlier in the thread about accounting for past climate change, you state “There is no attempt in your analysis to identify and then rule out the reasons why the earth has warmed in previous epochs. (I agree that it would be a very tough project)”. This is patently false. Why do you continue to assert this? You also assert without proof: ” Neither have you have not taken into account, so far as I can see, of the negative logarithmic relationship that CO2 has with its greenhouse properties,”
      Where on earth did you get this fanciful idea? Or perhaps it is better to ask why do you believe this? The mathematics used in the code is published and the GCM code is online.

      Given other comments on your site, I suspect you knowledge of climate “science” comes mostly from sites like WWUT and Climate audit, rather than from climate scientists (especially Realclimate.org). Instead of making assertions about what science does or does not say, how about actaully reading it IPCC WG1 ? Then we all start on the same page and have a sensible discussion but please respond in the appropriate sections of this blog.

    12. Phil Scadden Says:

      I have responded in some detail back at skepticalscience.
      Climate’s changed before. And yes, this might be the first time in earth’s history has climate change due to CO2 increase, though hydrate release is a theory for the PETM.

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