Sunday, June 22, 2014

There Has Been No Warming

I received the first submission to the $10,000 Global Warming Skeptic Challenge today. It was submitted as a comment to the challenge page. You can see it there, but I also reproduce it here verbatim:

Here you go:
http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/from:2000/plot/rss/from:2000/trend

Please make your generous donation payable to: The Free Software Foundation (fsf.org). You donation is appreciated and TAX-DEDUCTIBLE...

Response: 

If you go to the webpage he (forgive me for being sexist. There is no indication of gender. I use the male gender here as a generic reference only.) refers to, you find this:

http://www.woodfortrees.org/graph/rss/from:2000/plot/rss/from:2000/trend
Source: WoodForTrees.org





Let's cut right to the chase because this is a really pathetic example of denier-speak: No, this does not satisfy the challenge. In fact, this doesn't even qualify as a proof under the scientific method. This is what is known as 'cherry-picking' - picking your data to get the results you want.

Since, Mr. Anonymous (I don't blame him for refusing to identify himself. I would be embarrassed too.) didn't submit a proof, I am forced to conclude this is not a proof that man made global warming is not real.

However, I will, on my own initiative, submit it as the first challenge under the $1000 Scientific Evidence Challenge. Again, this is not evidence against man made global warming for the following reasons:

Failure #1: The data is cherry-picked, as I said before. It is completely expected to see a large amount of variability in the data. Just look the graph above and you can see how it goes way up and then it goes way down. Compare the year 2008 to 2010. In fact, let's do that and see what we get:

http://www.woodfortrees.org/graph/rss/from:2000/plot/rss/from:2008/to:2010/trend
Source: WoodForTrees.org





Wow! What a difference! See the thin green line going up at an incredible rate? Look at that and tell me there is no such thing as man made global warming! We're all doomed! DOOMED!

But, if you objected you would be correct. This is cherry-picking. I selected two data points in order to get what I wanted. Cherry-picking is invalid science, no matter which way you go. I cannot do it any more than Mr. Anonymous can. It is still invalid and only serves to provide someone with a false argument.

If we want to really see what is going on we need to use statistical methods that take out the 'noise' of background effects and variability. A long-term average does a better job:

Source: WoodForTrees.org




This plot shows the average data from 1980 to the present with a trend line from 1980 to 2013 (the last complete year). This is a much more valid plot than what Mr. Anonymous provided and shows a seriously different result: there has been a definite warming trend in the data.

Mr. Anonymous failed on this one point alone. His plot is not scientific evidence against global warming.

Failure #2: If you are able to see the source for all of these plots (shown to the right on the source page for the plots) you should quickly pick out the second fatal flaw in Mr. Anonymous' argument: The data source is "RSS MSU lower trop. global mean." This stands for Remote Sensing System Microwave Sounding Units lower troposphere global mean temperature. In other words, this is the satellite measurements of the lower part of the atmosphere. There is the problem with this claim and I have pointed this out many times:

When we say global warming we mean the whole globe, not just one part of it.

Using a limited data set excludes what is happening everywhere else. Where is the data on ocean heating? Or, data on ice melting? Or, data on other parts of the atmosphere? Mr. Anonymous has conveniently left out all of that data. It is a very different story when you include it:

Source: Skeptical Science compiled from data in Church et al. (2011)

Seeing a more complete depiction of the data shows global warming is serious and it continues, despite the false arguments of deniers to the contrary.

So, there is a second fatal flaw in Mr. Anonymous' claim.

In short, he did not submit a proof, so he failed in the $10,000 challenge and it is not scientifically valid evidence against man made global warming, so it fails the $1000 challenge, as well.

I am sure the deniers will object simply because deniers reject science in favor of their denier-religion. But, if they think I am wrong in my statements here, they are free to both comment below and to make corrections to the submissions and submit them again.

However, I am thankful to Mr. Anonymous for the link. That is a very nice website and it will provide me with some nice graphics to show how deniers cherry-pick the data.

134 comments:

  1. Wow. My little one liner got you dancing for a whole blogpost (and you are a lovely mover). Your reply contained the usual wriggles to explain away the lack of recent warming. All stuff from the regular SKS playbook learned by rote.

    But despite all that you must be congratulated. Your original post contains a quite sublime version of the strawman argument. You claim that sceptics claim that man-made climate change is not occurring. That's quite preposterous. Of course they don't. Of course man changes the climate in many ways, CO2 being one of them. You seem to think the debate is about whether we are or not. Again preposterous. The debate is about how much. Enough to be a problem? Or not enough to worry about? Are the doomsayers correct?

    Thanks for the picture of the whole RSS dataset as it illustrates the point perfectly. The IPCC said in their 1990 report that we would experience a "rate of increase of global mean temperature" of 0.3C per decade (note that they didn't wriggle and try to shoe-horn ocean heat content into it). So the RSS data should be bouncing around up the very top of the picture at 0.85C or so. Why is it so much cooler than projected? That's the debate. Not your made up one.

    And by the way I tried to post under my Google account, but your blog didn't let me (at least on FF 29.0 with ABP enabled) so your snides about posting under anonymous ring a little hollow.

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    1. I have no idea of what SKS is. I'm going to assume (I know, its bad thing to do around deniers) and say it refers to Skeptical Science. That is a blog written by some of the best climate change scientists in the world. If you are rejecting what they say you are really proving my point - the only way you can deny global warming is to deny science. Of course, you will reject everything they say without any science to back you up.

      As for what I think 'the debate' is about, you are wrong (of course!). I am not trying to present an all-inclusive challenge. Deniers claim man made global warming is not real. If you doubt that, just read some of the comments to this blog to see what I am saying is true. After saying it isn't real, they say it is easy to prove it. I am challenging them to provide any such proof.

      If you wish to go off some other denier nonsense, I will be glad to address that, too. But, that is not what the challenge is about.

      As for the man made models, when unpredictable things (such as El Nino and volcanic eruptions) are included, they have a 95% accuracy. Of course, you forgot to mention that in your comments.

      As for being anonymous, you can always sign your name at the bottom. But, once again, I don't blame you for remaining anonymous.

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    2. 'That is a blog written by some of the best climate change scientists in the world.'
      Nope. It's written by Dana Nuccitelli of Tetra Tech (specialities include Oil Exploration - go figure) and a cartoonist.

      'If you doubt that, just read some of the comments to this blog to see what I am saying is true.'
      Well, I tried to find some comments to see, but Chris, your blog isn't exactly popular now is it? The first two pages of posts and no comments, except for your made up 'challenge' posts. Ouch.

      'when unpredictable things .. are included, [the models] have a 95% accuracy'
      Of course they do sweetheart.
      http://www.drroyspencer.com/wp-content/uploads/CMIP5-73-models-vs-obs-20N-20S-MT-5-yr-means1.png

      'I don't blame you for remaining anonymous.'
      Chris, from the laughable lack of comments here, and your Alexa site ranking you ARE anonymous.

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    3. Translation:

      "The big mean nasty SCIENTIST dismantled my crappy little bit of quackery and I'm SO MAD AT HIM!!!!!"

      Delete
    4. Your comments about Skeptical Science are so false as to be offensive. Did you even bother to check out who is on the team? Or, did you just assume we would all be so stupid as to simply accept what you said without verification?

      http://www.skepticalscience.com/team.php

      Not the mention The Consensus Project

      http://www.theconsensusproject.com/


      Denying the results of the models only shows how you simply deny any science that isn't convenient to you. Here is an excellent article on the subject, which I am sure you will either not read or will simply reject it because it has a lot of science in it.

      http://www.ucsusa.org/publications/ask/2013/climate-modeling.html

      And, wow! Are you really saying my 'laughable lack of comments' is any evidence for, or against, man made global warming? Well, it would make sense that you would because that is about as scientific as anything else I have ever heard from deniers.

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    5. 'Your comments about Skeptical Science are so false as to be offensive. '
      I've offended Skeptical Science? Yes! [Fist pump] But I fail to see how. Nuccitelli does work for a (in part) oil exploration company. He's not a climate scientist. John Cook (the founder) was/is a cartoonist. Not a climate scientist. Rob Honeycutt, not a climate scientist. In fact none of them on your list (so kindly supplied) are practising climate scientists. None.

      Perhaps you were thinking of Michael Mann's RealClimate? No. Scratch that. You said 'best' climate scientists.

      'Here is an excellent article on the subject, which I am sure you will either not read or will simply reject it because it has a lot of science in it.'
      Says the dude who just ignored the CIMP comparison vs temperatures. You really are a piece of work. Oh Physician heal thyself (do you see what I did there?)

      'Are you really saying my 'laughable lack of comments' is any evidence for, or against, man made global warming?'
      Oh my word. I really didn't think that a prof of physics would need lessons on basic reading comprehension. How wrong I was. Try it again. If any of the big words bother you get a humanities student to help you.

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    6. Is there a reason why the poster prefers the RSS dataset over UAH's? They differ considerably over the period in question.

      But even RSS showed 15-year trends as high as 0.30 C/decade around 1998-2000, and above 0.25 C/decade from about 2003 to 2008.

      Should we call that the "anti-pause?"

      What did people like the poster say about these trends then? Probably, I expect, that they were enhanced by natural variability, especially the big 1997-98 El Nino.

      Delete
    7. That is good question. To be thorough, both sets should be considered.

      Delete
    8. Looks like we have a winner. He needs to pay up.

      Delete
    9. I'm sorry Anonymous, you misread the challenge. He doesn't have to pay me any money when he is wrong.

      Delete
  2. I am very skeptical about what I consider absurdly unsupported claims of man-caused global warming. Evidence of at least a several year pause in global temperature increases is clear and not in much dispute. IPCC projected increases in global average temperature using the various models predicted a significantly large increase in temperature than has been measured. The satellite gathered temperature data (over only very recent years) seems stuck. The CO2 ppm in the atmosphere has continued upward - temperature is not following the models used by the IPCC.

    Does this prove that there is no man-caused global warming? Of course not. Just as the evidence presented by the IPCC does not prove anything about man-caused global warming. It does show some relationships of some concern, causality is far from established. And it can't be for many years.

    Scientists and researchers often get too focused... I recall about 50 years when I was in High School - a major story in the news about findings that indicated that smoking cigarettes led to significantly lower grades. There was a clear "scientific consensus". And of course, if there was any causality it was in the opposite direction: low grades encourage smoking? Or lower intelligence encourage smoking?

    When I attended a major medical conference in Europe addressing a very debilitating and eventually deadly somewhat rare neurological disease a group presented their research which included a drug mix that seemed quite effective at reducing a protein found in the brain in unusual levels for those with the disease. They had started a clinical trial and results were recent. No statistical improvement so they were going to up the dose on about about 12 volunteers. I'm an EE, attended because a close relative had the disease. At their poster table I engaged them in a discussion - along with a few of the conference organizers. And raised the possibility that the "unusual protein" that they were attacking could in fact be associated with the disease - because it is a natural corrective response - not a causal agent.... 3 PhD guys... and they had never given that a moment's thought.

    Back to the main subject... I've not looked much at the previous warming periods - prior to man having any possible effects. But they occurred and may have been related to solar activity, the effects of which may dwarf anything that man can do with CO or even water vapor increases.

    Anyway... I'm not going to try to disprove man-caused global warming. No one else has proved the opposite. I prefer engineering / science where one proposes a hypothesis, sets up and experiment and makes observations. The long term satellite measurement of earth temperatures will get closer to real science.

    One last comment regarding the earth temperature record, specifically the US (which admittedly is a small sample). Have you ever looked at the locations and local enviroment of the weather stations being used to gather the data over the last 100 years? Many were in excellent observational environments 20 or 40 or 60 years ago. With development, many of those sites are now obvious subject to warming from local heat sources or heat focusing structures.

    This group has been documenting with personal photographs and observations the locale of every weather station used for the NASA GISS data. If you scroll to the bottom of the page you will see one of the extremes in effect of site changes!

    http://www.surfacestations.org/

    Two stations, not very far apart. One affected by development, one it what appears to be a pristine location.

    So far the work of this group:
    1007 of 1221 stations have been examined in the USHCN network. The Google Earth map below shows current coverage.

    Several papers have been written based on this research.
    A published one is reproduced here:
    http://pielkeclimatesci.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/r-367.pdf

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    1. I showed very clearly in my book that man made global warming is real. The only way to deny it is to deny science.

      As for the station business, this has been debunked very thoroughly, First, the stations in question were removed and the data set was recalculated. What was found is that there was nearly no difference in the results at all. Interestingly, what was found was that the temperature record actually got a small amount warmer when the highlighted stations were removed.

      Next, if the urban heat island effect was an issue we would expect to see the greatest amount of warming to be in the cities. This is not the case. We see the greatest amount of heating to be occurring in the Arctic region and in the wilderness - all places far from any urbanization.

      Third, a ground at Berkeley examined the global temperature record using an independent data set obtained from entirely different sources. The conclusion: the heating trend is real. The ironic thing about this is that this study was done by Berkeley Earth and was funded by a denier organization (The Heartland Institute). The guy heading this group (Richard Muller) was a denier who wanted to prove man made global warming was not real. When they obtained their results, he came out and admitted he was wrong and AGW is real. That is the way science is suppose to work.

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    2. Dr. Keating; I applaud you for trying. It's difficult to have this argument, but I fear it is necessary. I will note that, after you encouraged "anonymous" to sign his name, he ignored that, and instead belittled you, calling you "sweetheart" and "Chris", rather than addressing the arguments you posit. It's hard not to see that as a deflection from a weak argument.

      I hope to keep following this discussion. Thanks for taking the time to have it. (not too worried about your money, though)

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    3. Thanks. I hope you're enjoying the show.

      Delete
    4. David Bedini: Hilarious. I called Chris, err, Chris, and that's bad how exactly? He calls me 'pathetic' and I call him 'sweetheart'. So what?

      If it makes you feel any better my name's David Blake, Google right away. See where it get's you. Stalker.

      It's a common pattern on climate blogs though; the alarmist tries to steer the conversation away from data showing lack of warming or similarly 'good news' data onto the personalities to those delivering the message. You didn't disappoint Dave.

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    5. Anonymous wrote: "Evidence of at least a several year pause in global temperature increases is clear and not in much dispute."

      That's not true. With the scientifically better dataset of Cowtan & Way, Tamino has a simple and elegant demonstration that surface temperatures are on the same trendline, with the typical oscillations around it:

      http://tamino.wordpress.com/2014/02/25/by-request/#more-7094

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    6. Wow! That is a great plot. Thanks for sharing that.

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    7. Who are you really anonymous? Why should anyone give any credibility to you as someone willing to lie about who you are? You have given away your integrity.
      Signed,
      Mark Schaffer
      B.S. in Environmental Studies

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    8. David Blake, also known as "StankDawg" is the founder of an internet hacking supergroup that LOVES mucking about with statistical databases. Beware, Dr. Keating. He LOVES messing about with traditional scientists, though he, himself is but a technician.

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    9. Thanks. I'll keep an eye out for his work. It is mystifying why so many people feel they need to lie and deceive.

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    10. Richard Muller was NEVER a "denier" (isn't using that term evocative of Holocaust deniers, and akin to calling them Nazis?).

      http://toryaardvark.com/2012/08/01/richard-muller-the-climate-change-sceptic-who-never-was/

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    11. This is a misrepresentation of Muller by a denier publication. Muller's record speaks for itself. But, then, so dues Muller:

      In October 2011, Muller wrote in an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal, concerning his work with the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project:

      When we began our study, we felt that skeptics had raised legitimate issues, and we didn't know what we'd find.

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  3. Wow, I like this Christopher Keating fellow. I appreciate you enthusiasm and passion you are putting behind the science. Perhaps it's unfair, but this is what we are going to need from our climatologists. You are engaged in perhaps, and most likely, the most important issue of our time, and most Americans respond with a sneer, a yawn, or some bewilderment.

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    1. I know that we, as educated people, are suppose to treat the deniers politely. They, unfortunately, don't feel the same. As a result, I feel no need to be nice to people that are actively working to destroy our environment, degrade the world economy and standard of living, and are willing to see hundreds of thousands of people die every year rather than risk the profits of the fossil fuel industry.

      It is time to take the gloves off and treat them they way they deserve to be treated.

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    2. Thank you for the nice comments. I appreciate the support.

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    3. Thanks Dr Keating- as a fellow scientist (although not a climatologist)- I've found your arguments most enlightening- and your take downs very amusing.

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  4. Dr. Keating has proved a trend is defined by the start and end point, not man made catastrophic climate disruption. There is no experimental evidence for either man made catastrophic climate disruption or climate change mitigation.

    Instead of challenging non-scientists, why not ask climate change mitigators for experimental tests? Isn't that the scientific method?

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    1. ProperNoun wrote:
      "...why not ask climate change mitigators for experimental tests? Isn't that the scientific method?"

      You can rarely do experimental test on climate science, because it isn't an experimental science -- you can't do repetitive tests with the same starting conditions. It's an observational science.

      But here are some observations that are directly pertinent to the existence of AGW:

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

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

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

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

      “Measurements of the Radiative Surface Forcing of Climate,” W.F.J. Evans, Jan 2006
      https://ams.confex.com/ams/Annual2006/techprogram/paper_100737.htm

      "Observed changes in top-of-the-atmosphere radiation and upper-ocean heating consistent within uncertainty," N.G. Loeb, et al, Nature Geosciences 1/22/12http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ngeo1375.html

      More papers on this subject are listed here:
      http://agwobserver.wordpress.com/2009/08/02/papers-on-changes-in-olr-due-to-ghgs/

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  5. Anonymous, is actually Al Gore, and he's playing the devil's advocate.....

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  6. Dr. Keating,
    Many thanks for this challenge and your dogged replies here. I am also a scientist.
    The discoveries of science are not only often breathtaking beautiful, but so is the very structure of science itself, which 1) always allows for open discussion; 2) is driven by data and scientific method; and 3) actually allows for mistakes and tentative conclusions. Thus, no practicing scientist could ever be ashamed for reaching a tentative or a mistaken one; no doubt he or she will be duly corrected, but, even then, is still participating in the science. There is thus no need whatsoever to present anonymous postings. Scientists are trained to stand by their data or to have it overturned by better evidence. So you are admirably patient...but the anonymous post in the first place was a tip-off that "someone" was fudging (in this case, cherry-picking) the data.
    Mark Cavanaugh

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    1. I feel pretty strongly about standing by my statements, which is why I never do things anonymously, but I can understand why some people would want to. It raises a question, but I don't mind.

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  7. Christopher, you sound like you know what you are talking about. It would be great if you could answer the following questions for me:

    1) What is the ideal average mean temperature for the earth?
    2) Has the ideal mean temperature ever occurred on earth? (If so, when and how long)
    3) Is their anything modern man can do to help the earth achieve this ideal temperature and keep it there?
    4) If people were wiped from the earth, would the climate continue to change?
    5) Looking back in time, can you tell us why 10,000 years ago, half of North America was covered in Ice? (was this the ideal mean temperature?)
    6) Going way back, was Pangia's climate different or the same as ours today?
    7) Looking forward, if Pangia's climate was different than ours today, as the continents shift, what effect will this have on future "Climate Change" and is their anything man can do to stop those changes?

    The questions above are real. They could all be answered with computer models but as we know, computer models aren't that reliable as there really are too many variables. Until our data set has more concrete information than the past couple hundred years, nothing is "certain" or "settled." There are too many "educated" people walking around in a religious like trance stating that the "science is settled" when it really is not. The climate will always change, always has, always will. Are humans having an effect...yes for sure. Does it matter...the science is definitely NOT settled.

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    1. The science is certainly settled. The only way you can deny man made global warming is by denying science. Pure and simple. I demonstrate that point in my book.

      Here are my responses to your questions:

      1) What is the ideal average mean temperature for the earth?

      There is no 'ideal' average mean temperature without additional clarification. Ideal for what? An ideal temperature for an ice age is very different than an ideal temperature for the dinosaur age. If you were to take the Earth, without any atmosphere, the temperature would be about -20 degrees Celsius on average (much higher in the sunlight, much lower in the dark). Add an atmosphere and you add a warming blanket that would raise that average temperature.


      2) Has the ideal mean temperature ever occurred on earth? (If so, when and how long)

      Again, without a clarification of what it would be ideal for, it is difficult to answer this question. I would qualify it by saying the temperature has been mostly ideal through the history of the Earth until man came along and started changing things. It changed through natural cycles, but it would be the appropriate temperature for the conditions that existed. There were a few instances of massive natural disasters, such as supervolcanoes and gigantic meteorite impacts, that would actually alter the climate of the planet away from what it would otherwise have been.


      3) Is their anything modern man can do to help the earth achieve this ideal temperature and keep it there?

      Stop polluting the atmosphere.


      4) If people were wiped from the earth, would the climate continue to change?

      There is a natural change in the climate that is going on all the time. Right now, there is a natural change to make the climate cooler. We have added so much greenhouse gas pollution that we have added an additional climate change to the natural one. If we were to go away, our greenhouse gases would eventually dissipate (over thousands of years) and the man made component of climate change would cease. The natural variability would continue unabated.


      5) Looking back in time, can you tell us why 10,000 years ago, half of North America was covered in Ice? (was this the ideal mean temperature?)

      Natural variability in the climate is responsible for every thing before we loaded the atmosphere with greenhouse gases. No one is saying there is no natural variability. What climate science is telling us is there is also man made variability.


      6) Going way back, was Pangia's climate different or the same as ours today?

      Pangea was a supercontinent that existed between 300 million and 200 million years ago. This was the end of the Permian and the beginning of the age of dinosaurs. I am not sure if we have detailed knowledge of what the climate was like at that time, but during the age of the dinosaurs it was much hotter than today.


      7) Looking forward, if Pangia's climate was different than ours today, as the continents shift, what effect will this have on future "Climate Change" and is their anything man can do to stop those changes?

      Looking forward, natural climate change will continue. However, natural climate change is a slow process, much slower than the effects we have witnessed the last few decades. This is especially true it is the result of continental drift, which can take millions of years to occur.


      I hope that answers all of your questions.

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    2. RE: #1 If I may be so bold as to provide the anthropocentric answer I believe the questioner is looking for? If the goal is the benefit of man, which is not an unrealistic concern, I would suggest the ideal temperature is that temperature at which humanity has experienced 99% of its socio-technical advancement -- from animal husbandry to agriculture to metal working to writing to mathematics to astronomy to navigation to printing to physics to locomotion to refrigeration to to chemistry to antibiotics to space travel -- and that would all be within the last 10,000 years when the global mean temperature has not varied far beyond 1°C either way.

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    3. The goal is always the benefit of man. There are a few people out there that want to remove humans from the global equation, but they certainly don't represent the majority thinking. Climate scientists are not advocating returning us to pre-industrial revolution standards, that would be ridiculous. But, we could reduce our polluting emissions and not only maintain our standard of living, but actually improve it. Wouldn't that be for the benefit of man? Even better than maintaining our current system that pollutes and kills?

      If we were to reduce those emission, then it would be possible for the climate to return to those ideal temperatures you refer to.

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  8. Hi Dr. Keating,

    Would love to interview you about the challenge for Salon.com. Can you email me at labrams@salon.com?

    Thanks!
    Lindsay Abrams
    Asst. Editor, Sustainability

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  9. Thank you so much for answering my questions. Your answers bring up many great points but there were two of them that caught my attention; "during the age of the dinosaurs it was much hotter than today" and "natural variability." We know through fossils and other clues that it was warmer during the age of the dinosaurs than it is today, I understand this. What I don't understand, could it be possible, somewhere in the history of the earth, what if the "natural variability" of temperature had changed much more over a period of decades or centuries, than it has changed over the past 150 years? If it were the case, that we could point to a 150 year period during the dinosaurs and show that the "natural variability" of temperature was greater than the "rise" we've seen the past 150, wouldn't that raise questions as to whether or not the science is "settled?" I have to believe, that over the billions of years of earth's existence, there have been 10 year, 100 year, and even 200 hundred year periods where the temperature change has been much greater than the changes we've recorded the past 150 years. Of course humans were not recording temperatures during the age of the dinosaurs so at this point, all we know is, it was warmer then than now. Therefore, until we have more than 150 years of recorded temperature data, we cannot say for certain, that anything, is "settled."

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    1. Could it be possible? Yes, although I cannot comment on the probability of that happening. In any event, it is not relevant. We can look at the natural climate cycles going on today and the only way we can get results that match what is actually observed is if man made effects are included in the equation. The idea that today's changes must be part of a natural cycle because there were natural cycles in the past is not supported by any scientific evidence.

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    2. Even during the Age of Dinosaurs (a very warm average earth temperature) and Ice Ages (a very cool average earth temperature), these natural cycles were still caused by some event or activity. It seems like science deniers, when they talk about "natural cycles" are implying that the earth sometimes warms or cools seemingly at random. If we're talking gradual changes in temperature, then sure, this could be an accumulation of small effects working together to make a slow change. This is clearly not what we are seeing in the present as it is too rapid.

      They need to think of it instead not as natural cycles, but as natural "Events". A super volcano eruption might change the environment dramatically, but it's not part of a cycle, it's a large rare event. If we were experiencing something of that nature now we would be able to see what the event was that was causing it, and instead all we have as a credible reason is un-natural man made causes.

      Delete
    3. There have been several things identified to have caused climate change over the history of the planet. One of the most consistent appears to be solar activity (not the solar cycle). As solar activity goes up, the level of CO2 in the atmosphere goes up as well. If solar activity is not the trigger, then there is some kind of relationship. This is part of why we say we are in a natural cooling cycle right now because, among other things, the solar activity has been going down since the 1950s. Not anything to be concerned about, but it is enough to result in a natural cooling cycle.

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    4. I am not a scientist, but a retired 64 year old mechanic. I wonder if you can answer a couple of questions I have? When I was in school, all sources said that we were still coming out of the last ice age, and the climate would warm up gradually. And I am wondering how and where the CO2 measurements are taken, because we were also taught that CO2 is heavier than air, and falls to the ground. With a thud. Ever read Hancock's book "1421". I don't know if he got it all right, but pretty close. I guess there was a warmer climate back then, allowing for the mapping of Antarctica and the Northwest Passage. I have reservations of the extent of man made influence on the climate. Among other things, during WWII we burned everything flammable and dirty on the planet, to very little effect. Other thoughts, too, but let's start here. I am not a techie, and don't know how to "select profile". My name is William Sullivan, and my e-mail is: williamtsullivan@att.net The only selection it allows me to use is "anonymous", but I am not the same writer as above.

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    5. Yes, there could have been short term warming events, even as the result of a single species as today. Imagine a carbon rich environment, with the oceans teeming with billions of tons of algae. For whatever natural reason, there is a massive die off, and the algae sink to the ocean floor, and over time, become part of a sedimentary layer of rock. Later still, tectonic forces push the plate in which this sediment is contained underneath another plate, and directly into the source of a massive volcano. This "subduction" volcano then taps into that massive reserve of carbon (dead algae) and spews it back into the atmosphere, where the additional carbon gases provide the same warming effect we see today.

      It's sort of counter-intuitive, since volcanos generally have a cooling effect, spewing particulate matter which block the sun's rays. But in the case outline above, it is taking long-sequestered carbon and re-introducing it to the biosphere. The EXACT same thing that is happening today, but rather than algae and volcanos, it impetus is vegetation and man.

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    6. Yes, there is a natural process that has been going on for billions of years. No one in the climate science community denies that. And, these natural processes are still going on today. That does not hide the fact that we have also become a process in the planet and the things we are doing are frequently not in the best interest of the environment, or for us, either.

      Thanks.

      Delete
    7. To William Sullivan, I apologize for the delay in getting back to you. I am having some problems with the blog on this end.

      Yes, CO2 is heavier than air and, if left to its own devices, would sink to the bottom. But, the troposphere (where we live) is constantly being mixed up by winds and currents in the atmosphere. This part of the atmosphere is very uniform throughout due to this mixing. If you were to take a sample of air down low and a sample of air from high up, the total pressure in the sample from high up would be lower (that's why you have to 'clear' your ears when going up and down mountains). But, if you were to measure the gases in the sample and compare their relative abundance you would find they make the same relative amount in both samples. Above the troposphere, starting with the stratosphere, the gases begins to settle out due to a lack of that mixing.

      Atmospheric CO2 is measured in many places around the world to ensure we have representative data. The one that has the longest record and is most cited is the data from Mauna Loa in Hawaii. That was started in the 1950s by Charles Keeling and the resulting plot is known as the Keeling curve.

      There have been cycles where the temperature has gone up and down in the past. Today is the warmest it has been for the last 2000 years, at least.

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  10. Is endorsing SkS a good idea, considering how they were caught red-handed deleting comments that undermined their position ( http://nigguraths.wordpress.com/2011/10/10/skepticalscience-rewriting-history/ ), and how they are having so much trouble with their 97% consensus gig ( http://wattsupwiththat.com/tag/skeptical-science/ ). And are you going to sidestep any tough questions Ms Abrams might ask you, too?

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    1. I have no problem endorsing SkS. Their postings have been outstanding. I am not familiar with this issue you refer to. But, the 97% claim was, ironically, conclusively proved by a denier that was trying to refute their claim. So, there is certainly no problem there except for deniers. As for WattsUpWithThat?, that is is someone that has been shown, repeatedly, to be someone that has no credibility. A true denier of science.

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    2. Again sidestepping the challenge to show where skeptic climate scientists actually 'deny' global warming? But indulge us, using all the virtual space you have at your disposal here: where has Anthony Watts ever demonstrated an outright denial of science, and where has it been shown for all to see that his detailed material on surface temperature reporting problems are flat out not credible?

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    3. SkS moderates comments using a published moderation policy. Shub couldn't keep to the rules

      You do know Cook et al is the most cited paper on ERL - ever. Their 97% just replicates the findings of prior studies

      Delete
    4. watts basically just posts whatever (often conflicting) arguments he comes across, re-written with as much insane jargon (climate change ="Anthropogenic Global Warming, Green-House-Gas Heating Effect") as possible so as to make everyone nod along. the only scientists who try to convey information to the public in this way are really bad at their job. here's a great example of watts cherry-picking pro-global warming reports to somehow make it seem like there's "no consensus"
      http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/06/24/the-disagreement-of-what-defines-consensus-by-cook-et-al-is-revealed-in-raters-remarks-and-it-sure-isnt-97/

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    5. Watts is one of the worst tools out there. I look at his page on occasion just to keep up with what the deniers are saying so I can be prepared. But, all I really see is the same false arguments over and over. It doesn't seem to matter to those guys that they have been completely debunked. But, then they are being paid to say those things, so I guess it makes sense they would continue.

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  11. Even "Anonymous" admits that man is changing the climate.

    "The climate will always change, always has, always will. Are humans having an effect...yes for sure. Does it matter...the science is definitely NOT settled."

    I believe Anonymous is missing a very very important point of all of this... and to illustrate my point I'll even concede something... let us assume that man is not contributing in any way to the 'warming of the planet'

    Over the entire history of the earth... it's temperature has been cooling... (4.5 billion years ago this planet was in a near liquid state and it is MUCH cooler now)

    Over the past few decades... the trend may of may not be warming (I believe it is warming but I'll let you believe otherwise if you so choose)

    Over the past few thousand years the trend has been warming... (I submit as evidence that we are in what is believed to be an inter-glacial period of the most current "ice age")

    As such... the earth is in a warming phase of a long term cooling trend (the cooling trend will end to far in the future for me to much care about it)

    The important issue really is... "Is there anything we can do about it?" and the "we" is "all of humanity"

    There are only two possible answers to this question.... Yes and No...

    Assume the answer is NO WE CAN DO NOTHING ABOUT THIS CURRENT WARMING PHASE.... then we had better adapt... we need to determine what will happen as temperatures rise.... as the energy in storm systems increases.... as ecosystems around us respond to the changes...

    Assuming the answer is YES... WE CAN DO SOMETHING...
    Then we had probably better figure out what... and take action...

    debating this issue for a couple hundred years... will have NO IMPACT on the long term cooling of the planet...

    debating this issue will permit those with a financial interest in one or both sides of the issue to profit in the short term...

    I'd like to think there is something humanity can do... regardless... I live over 200m above current average sea levels... in an area that has not been flooded in over 200 years...

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    1. Yes, they are coming around, slowly but surely. The argument originally was "there is no warming." This turned into "there is warming, but man is not causing it." And finally, we arrive at "man is causing warming, but not enough to make a difference." I have a sneaking suspicion that this creeping acknowledgment of reality is directly proportional to how far along the fossil fuel industry is coming in preparing its infrastructure for conversion to green energy production.

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  12. Fascinating that you seem to have decided not to publish my replies. It says much about you (and the alarmist crowd in general) that free discussion is not to be tolerated.

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    1. I have not failed to post any comments yet. The one requirement I insist on is that all postings be family friendly. Some people have been pretty rude, but have been within that limit.

      If you posting hasn't been published yet, it is because I have not been able to get to it. Comments are coming in faster than I can address them. Be patient and I will get to any comments you made.

      Nice job of patiently waiting for 10% of the information before jumping to the wrong conclusion. And, I appreciate how you wouldn't give me the benefit of the doubt. Very much in character, I suppose.

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    2. It appears that... because during a previous period posts were approved nearly instantly that any future delay in approving any post is an obvious sign of CENSORSHIP...

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    3. "... Nice job of patiently waiting for 10% of the information before jumping to the wrong conclusion. ... " Tell us you didn't think that one all the way through. You did devote an entire blog post to me based on one heckuva leap of assumption, don't you remember? http://dialoguesonglobalwarming.blogspot.com/2014/05/sure-sounds-like-threat-to-me.html

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    4. Oh, stop whining. You tried to intimidate me and it failed. Go suck your thumb.

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    5. Responding to -bd, I really don't want to censor you. Letting you talk is the best proof there is that deniers don't know what they are talking about. Rest assured, you'll be published.

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    6. 'If you posting hasn't been published yet, it is because I have not been able to get to it. Comments are coming in faster than I can address them. Be patient and I will get to any comments you made.'

      Gee. And you wonder why most of your blog-posts have zero replies... It is strange that the majority of replies on this page were submitted well after mine were, but 'you haven't got round' to looking at mine...

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    7. Who is whining, hurling insults and sidestepping challenges? I asked you straight-up questions of how you could defend your assertion that skeptics are paid to lie, and you not only failed to rise to the challenge, you attempted to portray it as some kind of threat and failed to make that stick as well. Why do you keep building cliffs to jump off?

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    8. sorry... the "sarcasm" pseudo tag didn't show... I was attempting to apply "the pseudo scientific method" used by 'anonymous' to his accusation of censorship in an effort to demonstrate his flawed attempts at using logic combined with his paranoid view that the world is persecuting him.

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  13. "the only way we can get results that match what is actually observed is if man made effects are included in the equation"

    The "results that match" have so far, been proven to not match for any projected length of time. (the last 16 years have not been favorable to the "models") Therefore, since we cannot yet rely on modeling and we cannot be certain how or why the natural cycles of the past have worked, science cannot say, for "certain," how much the warming during the past 150 years can be attributed to man and the extra gases we are emitting. The only science that should be "settled" is that we need more information and the only way to get more info, will be over time.

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    1. The models haven't done badly at all.

      CO2 absorbs IR. The earth is warming. We won't enjoy the ride. Settled.

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    2. The models have actually done very well and this is well documented, despite what the denies want to claim.

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  14. thanks, Dr Keating for having the grace and patience to deal with these folks in an adult way, but without letting them get away with bullying. You remind me by example that its every thinking persons responsibility to combat ignorance ( willful or otherwise}
    Colin Barclay

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    1. Thanks. It is not my goal to be harsh to them. It is just my goal to stand up to their bullying and to let the general public see them for what they are. If someone wants to deny AGW, they are free to do so. I am not on some kind of crusade. I would like for them to be able to make an informed decision, though and to know that the deniers are paid to deceive and to lie by the people that stand to profit from their decision.

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  15. Dr. Keating, I applaud you for your patience and forthrightness, and your willingness to engage in this kind of conversation with those particular people who will insist on taking you up on your challenge. I hope you reach some of them. :-) Even if not, please know that you're attracting attention to an important issue, and that your efforts aren't going unnoticed. It amazes and saddens me that there are those who believe they have no impact on the world around them, or assume that their actions and choices are devoid of consequence or benefit. To deny humanity's cumulative effect on our environment is to deny that humanity, collectively or individually, has any significance or value. That act of denial rejects even more than science, from a philosophical standpoint. I suppose the ideology of rejection must be appealing to those who believe they were born only to "sin." Regardless, well done, and I look forward to reading your book. You just sold me a copy. Your effort to reach out to (rather than simply dismiss) those who reject science as a tool is appreciated; I wish you the best of luck, and all the enjoyment you can manage.

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    1. I will share your challenge elsewhere to help bring attention to this to as many as I can-not nearly enough, nor all that many, to be honest-because I remember quite well how obfuscation and hand-waving worked to keep tobacco products from being properly regulated, all to line the pockets of tobacco entities at the expense of everyone via their health insurance. CC-denial is exactly the same, with some of the very same actors involved in lying for profit once again.

      Another item that will undoubtedly occur will be the deniers of the future facing truly horrendous climates and then saying "we couldn't have done anything because it was nature that did this, not man!" And the dance will be complete.

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    2. Thanks for the comments. I don't really believe I can change the mind of a single denier and that isn't what I'm trying to do. As I keep saying, there is absolutely nothing that get them to change their minds. But, I don't want them to go unchallenged on the world stage. There are lots of people that have not made up their minds and they have the right to make an informed decision, not one based on only what the deniers want them to hear.

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  16. For "ideal" temperatures of the globe and temperature changes over geological time scales, a geologist / climatologist is a good bargain. It's almost an hour but it's worth sitting back with a coffee. One thing he points out, which we all know and take account of without further reflection, the Himalayas rising and taking CO2 from the atmosphere - all good so far - is in fact a very, very unusual event in geological history. And the lower the CO2 concentration goes naturally, by virtue of these rising mountains, the more effectively an increase in CO2 can disturb the temperature balance.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yze1YAz_LYM&hd=1

    And for anonymous wanting an overview of temperature trends. This item from John Nielsen-Gammon applying ENSO as the criterion for selecting and displaying trends was a revelation a couple of years ago. Despite all the articles that have followed on this basis, I still like to use it.

    The graph. http://blog.chron.com/climateabyss/files/2012/04/1967withlines.gif
    The blog JNG presented it on. http://blog.chron.com/climateabyss/2012/04/about-the-lack-of-warming/

    And thank you for doing this, Dr Keating. I know it's tedious. But at least it needn't be thankless.

    Thanks.

    adelady

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    1. Thanks for your comments and for the links.

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  17. I believe that man is adding to global climate change.... but let me add that even if we are not, we ARE adding lots of pollutants that are making the air unbreathable by many, SO MAN has work to do either way!

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    1. Thank you. You are certainly correct and, hopefully, that is not an issue many people are denying.

      Delete
  18. I have been a scientist, engineer and energy specialist all my career and an avid supporter of anthropogenic climate change up until six months ago when I came across information that has changed my understanding of the causes of weather, climate and the very nature of the universe itself.

    The basic scientific methodology is about evidence and data that is observed and measured and then mathematically expressed to represent what we see or detect. The present model of the universe has been built on false assumptions and mistaken information that have taken modern science into a quagmire of complex imaginary mathematical constructs that have little relationship to the observable universe and reality and which few people understand. One can built a whole paradigm based on false or mistaken assumptions and that is the case of present science including climate change.

    The principal error is the assumption that the universe is governed mostly by the force of gravity that creates the planets, stars and galaxies. This one belief alone has led science down the wrong path to understanding the universe and how it works. We all believe that there is ultimately one fundamental force, but it certainly is not gravity which is the weakest force. How can the weakest force be the governing force in the universe? The other fundamental forces are immensely greater than gravity, including the electromagnetic force that is the 39th power greater than gravity.

    Science ignores the role of electromagnetism at the cosmological scale. The false assumption is that gravity although the weakest fundamental force is the dominant force at the cosmological scale. The evidence is that this is not the case, and that phenomena that cannot be explained or contradict the present gravitational model are not only explained but predicted by an electric model of the universe. This is not a new theory but rather one that has been ignored by modern science even though a century of data supports its validity. And as new evidence and data is obtained, it consistently supports the electric universe theory.

    Briefly this theory views the entire universe (>99%) as consisting of plasma. Plasma is a state of matter consisting of charged particles. And since plasma is the main “stuff” of the universe, electromagnetism now can express itself to its fullest potential. The evidence of this effect is overwhelming and cannot be ignored even though it destroys many of the accepted apparently solid tenets of our present model of the universe. There is simply no need for these mathematical constructs in an electric universe.

    Most of all the observations and latest findings indicate that the nature of our sun is not understood based on a gravitational model. Indications are that the sun is not a thermonuclear reactor, but rather a plasma electric discharge phenomenon. And it is linked to the earth and the galaxy by electric fields. In fact in an electric universe all matter is linked by the electric force which is the only fundamental force, where gravity is also a weak electromagnetic phenomenon.

    Given this new paradigm, it is the electromagnetic activity and variation of the sun that drives our weather and climate, and ultimately overrides any man-made activities. That does not exclude the fact that we are poisoning the earth with the toxic emissions and effluents of our human activities, but we do not control weather and climate by these activities. Our activities may contribute somewhat to weather and climate, but they are negligible compared to the enormous solar electric force that acts on the earth, and is the primary cause of many planetary phenomena, including temperature, weather, lightning, and climate.

    The evidence that supports this model is extensive, and must be taken and digested at one’s own rate. However in the end what emerges is a picture of one infinite, eternal universe connected by the electric force. The journey to understanding begins at: http://www.holoscience.com/wp/ and https://www.thunderbolts.info/wp/ .

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    1. There are lots of problems here, but I'll touch on a few.

      You are correct when you say gravity is the, by far, weakest of the fundamental forces. But, it is the only one that always adds up to a larger value. The electro-magnetic force has both positive and negative values, so it sums to nearly zero given large amounts of matter.

      Plasma is a gas that consists of individual charged particles, as you say. But, the overall net charge of plasma is zero - equal amounts of positive and negative charge.

      You are wrong, though, when you say modern science ignores all of this. All of these considerations are major factors in our understanding of everything from candles the the universe. Plasma is a major area of study and there are programs where people get their Ph.D.s in plasma and spend their entire careers studying it. The electro-magnetic force is most certainly not ignored in our work to understand the universe.

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    2. The main problem is your assumption that we are dealing with large amounts of typical matter, but we are dealing with large amounts of plasma that has a unique nature and behavior. Plasma does not behave like any of the other three states of matter. It is highly energetic and dynamic, constantly changing and redistributing charge based on variations in its energy input. In more energetic states it self-organizes creating glows, toruses, filaments and complex discharge patterns with electromagnetism as the acting primal force. I know that plasma physics is a scientific discipline. I just believe that the role of plasma is not well understood and its significance highly underestimated at the least.

      The electrical nature of plasma cannot be ignored. Plasma is a collection of charged particles that responds collectively to an electromagnetic force. It is conductive and if you apply a voltage, an electric current will be induced in it causing charge separation into anode and cathode field-aligned current sheaths or double layers. Given increased energy these layers can transform into spiral tubes or vortexes of conducting charged particles (Birkeland currents), creating magnetic fields around the current paths.

      The electric current excites the ions and electrons in the plasma making them move rapidly toward the opposite charged sheath. The frenzied particle movement produces collisional energy photons that cause the plasma to glow in the visible range. As the input electric energy increases, the plasma goes from dark glow mode to glow mode to arc or spark discharge mode, as in the cases of the solar wind, the polar auroras and lightning, respectively. Input energy variability can effect an instability in the sheaths causing their magnetic fields to pinch down toward each other and discharge energy at the “Z-pinch”. This is what is defined as a star in the electric universe theory.

      In this theory our star, the sun, is a plasma discharge phenomenon that is connected electrically to all the planets and other stars in our galaxy. Given we can now detect and observe electrical tornadoes impinging at earth’s poles originating from the sun, then electric currents and accompanying magnetic fields flow between the earth and the sun. Larger currents flow between the sun and the galaxy.

      Why this matters is because this electromagnetic link between the sun and the earth is highly energetic and variable. The earth reacts to the sun’s electromagnetic variations with changes in its electromagnetic environment that influence temperature, weather, lightning and climate. Sure, certain gases like carbon dioxide and methane have heating effects on earth’s atmosphere and surface, but one significant solar event can accelerate or reverse these effects.

      This is not about those that believe in anthropogenic climate change versus the deniers. This is about seeking and knowing the truth, the primary function and goal of science. Let the evidence lead you to the truth wherever it may take you, not based on consensus, but on observational facts.

      And I believe I can prove that your stated position is wrong, because it is based on incorrect assumptions about the nature of the earth’s atmosphere, temperature, weather and climate, and what drives and influences them: the sun.

      Some recent evidence (about an hour total):

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=67wOTlKmeoA&list=PLwOAYhBuU3UeYFyfm2LilZldjJd48t6IY

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ygQIl-JaUUc&list=PLwOAYhBuU3UeYFyfm2LilZldjJd48t6IY&index=11

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDkP9Jp1KN4&list=PLwOAYhBuU3UeYFyfm2LilZldjJd48t6IY&index=29

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HOIlIMdJV5k&list=PLwOAYhBuU3UeYFyfm2LilZldjJd48t6IY&index=31

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VIAp_6FAXCY&index=14&list=PLwOAYhBuU3UeYFyfm2LilZldjJd48t6IY

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    3. I didn't make any assumptions. I did my graduate work in space plasma physics and am well familiar with its properties.

      Delete
    4. Then you can easily understand what is being presented and its implications to planetary climate. I would be interested in knowing how you view this perspective relative to your position since it challenges your assertions that human activity is the primary driver of the present climate change.

      One final piece of evidence for you to view:

      https://www.thunderbolts.info/wp/2014/04/07/ben-davidson-the-variable-sun-and-its-effects-on-earth-eu2014/

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  19. Not the first anonymous, So if those of us that believe climate change are wrong, how will we hurt our environment by reducing pollution and ending the tax breaks that gas and oil receive. Yes we will probably have marginally higher cost for electricity and heating, but isn't that a free market system that those deniers espouse. They are also denying the cost of pollution to our health care system. Pollution or carbon should really be taxed to pay for the costs they create for other parts of our economy. Those that find the cost of energy too expensive will seek out more ways to conserve energy or innovation will find alternatives that are suddenly cost effective. Doug Jones Minneapolis

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    1. What you just said is an example of how we could stop arguing and start working together. It is not necessary to convince everyone in the world the man made global warming is real. What is necessary is to stop the coordinated effort that is stopping us from doing anything. I believe you can be skeptical about AGW, but feel we need to do something at the same time.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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  20. One thing I have not seen here is a discussion on the rate of carbon injection into the atmosphere. At the depths of the last ice age, estimated CO2 concentrations were about 180 ppm and it took over 15,000 years to get it to pre-industrial levels of 280 ppm. We have gone from 280 ppm to 400 ppm in 200 years and the levels are now higher than they have been 3 million years.

    The only remotely similar event in the Cenozoic is the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum where CO2 levels spiked 1000 ppm above background over the course of a couple of millennia. The fossil record indicates substantial extinction and species dislocation. Again, the anthropogenic rate of CO2 injection is many times faster than at the PETM.

    As Dr. Jim Hansen said a while back, you don’t need computer models, you just need to look at the geologic record.

    Anyone with scientific training should understand the concept of hysteresis, or the lag between an introduced change in a system and a subsequent response. We are only now seeing the beginnings of the response to the substantial changes in CO2 concentrations. This rate of increase is unprecedented in the Cenozoic geologic record. An analogy I have used before is a typical one used in an introductory physics class. Put a car in neutral and start pushing on it. The going is tough for the first few feet, but once momentum builds, it will be very hard to stop it. Because, from a geologic perspective, we have only started pushing on the climate, we are only now starting to see the effects.

    It’s not so much that we are causing a deviation from any “ideal” climate; it’s that we are causing a deviation from the fairly stable climate in which civilization arose. The final resulting climate is unpredictable in detail, although I would venture to guess that it won’t be one which is as hospitable to the various species of life on this planet, let alone the 7+ billion human inhabitants.

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    1. I have a couple of submissions about this very topic and my responses will be showing up soon. (I am having some serious problems with blogspot that is making things difficult on this end).

      Thanks for your comment.

      Delete
  21. Between conspiracy theorists, paid shills/experts-for-hire, and the generally misinformed, we have our work cut out for us. Thank you for leading a new charge, Dr. Keating, and good luck. This is like herding rabid cats.

    - Cam

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  22. Dr. Keating

    I am completely enjoying your challenge - I'm sure you will not in any way be losing a single $1 of your money..

    Once you have finished putting the deniers in their place I have an excellent book title for you if you choose to write about these modern Flat Earth Society members:

    "The Inconvenience of Physics"

    I predict it might be a best seller...!


    :)

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  23. I'm not a scientist but I love science. I was wondering if you could explain whether large volcanic eruptions also affect greenhouse gases and the planet's temperature? How much greenhouse gas enters the atmosphere during such a volcanic event and how does that compare to how much greenhouse gas human activity puts into the atmosphere each year? Is it comparable at all? If so, have you been able to see how quickly the volcanic greenhouse gases affect global temperatures after such an event and how quickly they might dissipate?

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    1. Define 'large volcanic eruption.' If you mean something like Pinautobo or Mt St. Helens, the answer is, no they don't affect the CO2 levels. Volcanoes continually emit CO2 through the sides, not during the eruptions. This is easy to see by looking at the Keeling curve (the saw-tooth plot of CO2 level in the atmosphere). Check the plot for the time period of the big eruptions and you do not see a big uptick at the time of the eruption.

      But, if you want to discuss the supervolcanoes and volcanic traps (such as the Deccan Traps or the Siberian Traps), then the answer is they can not only emit lots of CO2, they can emit so much, along with ash and chemicals, that they change the entire climate of the world.

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    2. Yes, I was referring to the supervolcanoes that you had mentioned previously. I was wondering how much greenhouse gas enters the atmosphere during such a super volcanic event and how does that compare to the amount that we are putting into the atmosphere each year through human activity? I wondered if the supervolcanoes in the historic record can tell us anything about how quickly the volcanic greenhouse gases affect global temperatures after such an event and how quickly they might dissipate? Thank you.

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    3. Herre is a good article, with lots of numbers, on volcanic emissions versus ours:

      "Volcanic vs Anthropogenic Carbon Dioxide," T Gerlach, EOS v92 n24, June 14, 2011.
      http://www.agu.org/pubs/pdf/2011EO240001.pdf

      Humans now emit 100-200 times more CO2 than do volcanoes. Even Pinabuto emitted only about 0.05 Gt CO2 (man's annual emissions are about 35 Gt CO2).

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    4. David Appell's comment is correct. But, supervolcanoes are a different subject. The reason regular volcanoes don't emit a lot of CO2 is because the magma sits just underground (a few miles) for a long time, allowing the CO2 to escape on a continuous basis. Supervolcanoes erupt and bring large amounts of material from deep in the Earth very rapidly. There was a supervolcanic eruption about about 75,000 years ago (the Toba eruption) that almost wiped out humanity.

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  24. you're insane for actually responding to all these morons. none of them are even TRYING to apply to your challenge, they won't admit it but they don't even know what you're asking for.

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    1. That is true for many. But, I also have some submissions I will be posting in the next couple of days that are quite good. It has been fun working on them.

      But, really, I'm not responding to them. I am firmly in the belief that there is nothing I can ever do or say that will ever change their minds. The people I am really responding to are the ones that have not made a decision and I want them to be able to make their decision in an informed manner. We can't let the deniers have free reign.

      Delete
  25. It is certainly true that many of them have not bothered to read what the challenge is before commenting. And, yeah, I must have a screw loose to spend all of my time responding to them, but it is the only way we can win this fight.

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  26. The grass is green
    The sky is blue
    Your political science is Untrue

    You complain to us like you give f**k
    Only to drive your diesel truck

    So save the world from CO2 death
    Please be the first to just hold your breath

    Now gimme that money

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I hope you didn't work on that for long. The meter sucks.

      Delete
  27. Dr. Keating,

    Let me ask you a question, theoretically, what would it take to prove that "man made" global warming isn't real? Don't get me wrong, the globe is warming, it has been since the end of the last ice age, however I don't think it is "man made". You don't need humans to cause a green house effect, just look at Venus. So again, what specific evidence would it take to disprove the "man made" part of global warming? Science is about questioning everything all the time. When you stop questioning it is no longer science, it becomes a faith. Instead of waiting around for someone to prove to you that "man made" warming isn't real, why don't you take the challenge up yourself? It could save you $10,000 dollars in the end, after all, I was taught in school that Pluto is a planet, and now it is not, and I'm not old.

    -- Alex

    P.S. I know you are busy so you don't have to respond to me. My post was intended to get you and others to start questioning again. Take care and good luck.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. The idea of proving man made global warming is pretty simple. That is one of the reasons scientists have to work so hard to put the evidence together. Scientifically, it is easier for there to be an alternative explanation. The very fact that the science is overwhelmingly supportive of man made global warming is a testament to hard work of the climate science community. It has not been easy.

      Some specific things would be to show conclusively that this is the result of a natural cycle.

      Another would be to see the evidence reverse itself. If we found the global surface temperature falling, ocean temperatures falling, glaciers growing, Arctic sea ice extent grown, etc., that would prove man made global warming is not real.

      Delete
  28. Don't you think that someone should point out that temperature is not the only variable needed to measure increasing heat content? Start adding heat to ice and the temperature rises - until at about 0C it levels off - even as heat continues to be added. Then, suddenly the temperature will begin to rise again - after all of the ice has melted. There are a myriad of possible phase changes and chemical equilibrium shifts that may cause the global temps to stop rising (not saying they have stopped) and yet we would still have the problem.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. You are right. That is factored into the scientific calculations, but isn't discussed in the public forum very much.

      Delete
  29. The problem with the global warming denier/believer argument is that media and government have lost the trust of the people. It's impossible for a layman like myself to discern the crap from truth. Whatever I choose to believe I can find "evidence" to back up my belief.

    I'm not sold on global warming but I will readily admit that I could be wrong. I have an engineering degree but I can't parse a statistics formula for the truth.

    What to do? Science, medicine, politics... it's all becoming religion.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree. I don't trust the government and I don't trust the media. So, I go out and get the data and the scientific papers myself and study the material so I can make a decision myself.

      Delete
  30. Chris, as a fellow physicist I'm.. disheartened? You are allowed to believe whatever you want and I won't judge you. One of my colleagues has his PhD in physics and is extremely christian! I don't judge his beliefs, but he seems to think that the burden of proof is on the rest of the world, to prove that he is wrong.

    That is problematic.

    If he can prove that god is real, I would convert, repent, and pray everyday. But he can't prove it to me, so when he fails he turns and says "well fine, you prove that he isn't real because I already know he is because of my faith."

    This all coming from a very intelligent physicist. It hurts to hear it coming from a professor.

    Unfortunately, whether or not global warming is man made or not, you have fallen into the same hole. You're insisting that others prove you wrong. This isn't helping your cause in the scientific community, in fact, anyone who uses the "scientific method" should groan when they read your blog, regardless of their beliefs. At most you could hope for from this is publicity among those who do not practice science.

    For the record, your curiosity or otherwise, I'm not what you have been painfully referring to as a denier (no one would call someone who believes in god a "denier" in the topic of evolution, as true as it might be, it's still an ugly name).

    Global warming is happening, we have evidence, we know it is, we know climate change has always occurred
    We need to do something about it, because if you look at our history, we know we will hit another ice age and a lot of people will die.
    CO2 is a greenhouse gas, and it heats up the world.
    We have dumped a lot of CO2 into the atmosphere.

    Anyone "denying" any of the above facts are following a bias.

    But also, water vapor is a much much larger contributor to our greenhouse effect.

    This is super important in this discussion. It overlaps with CO2's cross section (which responds to wavelengths of 2.5 microns and 4.25 roughly, water vapor already responds to the 2.5 micron light emitted by Earth back to space, does more per molecule, and there are many more molecules of H2O), leaving only the wavelengths within (plus minus) .25 microns from 4.25 microns wavelength as a contribution to the greenhouse effect from CO2.

    This is visible light, much lower energy than the 4.5 ->8 microns that water vapor absorbs. and again I repeat, there is more water vapor molecules and it is more responsive per molecule. the numbers are .004% CO2 and up to 2% water vapor depending.

    Now, here is where my opinion stabs in.

    Our Earth is heating up and we need to be working as hard as we can to prevent it from doing that. But instead we're dumping greenhouse gases into our atmosphere, making it worse. How much? We can bicker about it all day, even the climate "scientists" bicker back and forth and can't quantitatively agree on the thermal feedback per CO2 molecule. Most arguments are qualitative and I think "there might be something to that, they should have a legitimate scientist check it out."

    but the facts remain:

    climate change is happening.
    we aren't doing enough to slow it down or prepare ourselves for it.
    we don't fully understand it.
    everyone has a different theory.

    However, we can only do it so long, one day we'll run out of oil. A much larger concern of mine is what happens the day after we run out?

    We better start relying on alternative forms of energy. This is just how it is, feel free to help us spend the rest of our lives arguing about it just like religion.

    Oh also, just to be an ass, I'll give $1,000,000,000 to the first person to prove god isn't real.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. As an aside that has nothing to do with the topic here - I personally have no problem between my scientific beliefs and my religious ones and I have a hard time understanding why others do.

      As for what I'm doing, I am certainly not asking anyone to prove me wrong. You have fallen into the same trap so many others have. All I am doing is providing a venue for deniers to back up their claims that they can prove man made global warming is not real. They do not have to prove me wrong/right. In fact, they do not have to address my stand at all. It is all about what they are saying and claiming.

      I'm sorry if you have misinterpreted this challenge.

      Delete
    2. And, no, I cannot prove God is real or not real.

      Delete
    3. For that matter, I don't need to.

      Delete
  31. Some very factualy evidence supporting Global Warming can be found here if anyone is interested: http://tinyurl.com/2scpoe

    ReplyDelete
  32. Given the fact that science has spoken and there is no debate, there is no discussion, and there is no opinion: There are only those who want to commit mass murder on a global scale with AGW and those who do not want to commit mass murder on a global scale. Would not the proper approach be to utilize the various laws supporting self-defense when it comes to dealing with those who are trying to murder us?

    ReplyDelete
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    1. That is an interesting concept. I wonder if it will ever come to that.

      Delete
    2. What you scientists really need to do is start communicating, in the strongest possible way, that there is no difference between someone claiming to deny AGW, and someone claiming as a defense in court that just because they shot someone in the head there is no proof that the person they shot is actually dead and that it only the opinion of medical examiners.

      The only difference between al-Qaeda members sitting around a Hamburg apartment planning to hijack passenger jets and crash them into office towers and the people claiming that AGW is an opinion, is that the al-Qaeda members are a better class of Hominid because at least they do not lie about wanting to murder us.

      Delete
  33. Christopher,
    As someone who really is trying to stay objective on this issue, I must say it is rather tough to find a reliable source of information and commit to one side of the argument. Primarily my confliction is based on the fact that I feel as if news sources are completely skewed based on overarching political positions.

    I ask your feedback on the following:
    Are there any elements of the climate change rhetoric being expressed that as a credible SME you feel are exaggerated? Things like "the hockey stick diagram" or projected global catastrophe scenarios that would likely be overblown.

    Do you know of any colleagues that have a differing opinion that you would deem respectable or credible?

    Are there any forces outside of man made causation that you would lend credibility to in impacting our global temperature?

    If this is a closed debate, what tangible things can be pointed to that show the negative impact of man made global warming (instead of what is to be expected in the future)?

    Sorry to seem one sided, but again it has just been troubling to develop an objective position on this. While I generally am in alignment that man is having a negative impact on global climate, I feel as if there is somewhat of a converse position to merit this not being an "open and shut" debate, and would love to see it be not as politicized.

    Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Are there elements I think are being exaggerated? Certainly. The hockey stick is not one of them, though. I know how much deniers hate it, but I figure that is just a good indicator of how accurate it is. If it was wrong, they would just ignore it. But, there are things I wonder if they might have it exaggerated.

      I don't know why people think scientists all agree on everything. There are always some good debates going on when scientists get together. But, understand the debate might be over whether the average temperature in May was .14 degrees higher of .16 degrees higher than average. Generally speaking, I expect, when I'm with a group of my colleagues, that there will be someone there that doesn't agree with me. That does not make that person any less credible in my eyes.

      Yes, there are lots of forces outside of man that are affecting our climate. Just because we are changing the climate doesn't mean the natural forces have stopped. This is one of the reasons it takes so much work to figure it out. Which factor is natural and which is man made?

      It is not a closed debate. That is a denier myth.

      See this article on the current cost of climate change:

      http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2012/sep/26/climate-change-damaging-global-economy

      Delete
  34. So let me get this right.. You want to make a claim that no one can disprove with data that doesn't prove that you're correct about it having any sort of catastrophic impact on the planet.

    You guys went from "Global Warming" to "Climate Change" as a matter of not being able to continue to prove warming temperatures.

    NASA posts that temps on all planets in the solar system were rising at about the same rate at the time this whole Global Warming nonsense pops up in the first place. Explanation: rise in solar flare activity.

    At the time it was comical to point out that there is no such thing as Global Warming because the planet has been in a constant state of cooling for billions of years to which no global warming nut could deny even if they tried.

    I'm in no way a scientist but rather an IT Systems Engineer with 25 years under my belt designing and building the systems clowns like you use to project all of your models. The one thing I have learned over the last 25 years is that science is nonsense on many levels because it's disproven or only partially correct as we find new evidence to support new views all the time which change basic things in very big ways sometimes.

    I also have learned the hard way that many times data is intentionally skewed by those trying to come up with a result and end up not getting the outcome they had hoped for so then it becomes the fault of guys like myself for our systems being faulty.. Trust me, I've heard that too many times when it's actually the moron behind the keyboard putting the data in that is incorrect.

    Scientific methods are not absolute contrary to what you might want to tell people. If they were so absolute then disputes and changes in discoveries would never happen at all. So I offer this up as a bit of insight to someone that isn't grasping reality very well.

    Man has an impact on the planet, of that there can be no doubt. To say that carbon emissions by mankind are effecting that negatively is rather absurd considering that the oceans put off far more CO2 than any source combined by man. That's just a simple fact that you cannot run away from no matter how hard you try.

    We had to listen to you guys whine about the polar caps melting..

    And now it's global COOLING! Return of Arctic ice cap as it grows by 29% in a year

    533,000 more square miles of ocean covered with ice than in 2012
    BBC reported in 2007 global warming would leave Arctic ice-free in summer by 2013.

    In the 80's we were told we were on the way to an ice age by guys just like you who used scientific methods just like you do to tell the country that we were heading for a time when we would have to learn how to deal with the extreme cold temps and that half of the country would likely be going through harsh winters and extreme freezing temperatures for a much greater period of time in my lifetime.

    That was ABC's In the News that was broadcast to kids during Saturday Morning cartoons back then.

    So what's changed? Profits, that's what. You're doing little more than trying to stir up something because no on can anymore disprove what you're saying than you can prove beyond a doubt that what you are saying is true as well.

    So instead of acting the ignorant fool you are here, maybe you should delete this, go back to not trying to get so much attention because you're no one of any importance, and get a hobby instead of trying to create alarm and controversy where there is no story at all.

    You're just seeking attention and now that you have it you'll likely act like a wild animal defending your food source and continue to defend even to the point of making a fool of yourself.. oh wait.. too late.. You did that time and again already with the number of replies to posts that have upscaled you time and again.

    I won't be bothering to read a reply as I can't care what someone like you with so little going on in their life that they scream out for attention like a child as you're doing here.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. You really haven't bothered to read what the challenge is all about. I am not trying to prove anything and I am not demanding anything from anyone. I have provided a venue for deniers to make good on their claim that man made global warming is not real. If you don't fall in that camp, then I guess the challenge isn't for you.

      Delete
    2. I see this claim about the other planets a lot. Where, exactly, does NASA "post" this? URL?

      Delete
  35. Given that Earth's atmosphere has much more nitrogen and oxygen than CO2, and Mars has much more CO2 than Earth but not even the slightest greenhouse effect, it is obvious that the vast majority of Earth's greenhouse effect derives from N2 and O2 rather than CO2.
    Should we make of research showing recent warming on Mars and Pluto, planets without power plants or automobiles? Is planetary warming simply a natural phenomenon? A better understanding of the issues surrounding these and similar questions is needed.
    We cannot make assumtions that greenhouse gasses caused by mankind are the contributing factor of global warming. In my own opinion the sun exites the earths atmosphere charging the plant like a battery. This battery is weak it gets warmer letting more solar radiation bypass into our atmosphere.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Why would you say Mars doesn't have a greenhouse effect? It certainly does. Even with its extremely thin atmosphere (about the same as being at 100,000 feet in our atmosphere), it still retains heat. As cold as it is on Mars, it wold be even colder without it.

      O2 and N2 do not contribute to the greenhouse effect, although CO2 is not the only one that does.

      Delete
    2. Raymond Pierrehumbert in his textbook gives Mars' greenhouse effect at about 6 K. (The difference is pressure broadening.)

      But, with very little atmosphere, the temperature swings on Mars are large.

      Delete
  36. Isn't the onus on Scientists to PROVE their assertions, supply all the raw data for everyone to see; not on observers and politicians to prove them wrong?

    Every scientist I have ever met, has always been eager to share their raw data, to validate their conclusions. Why not with climate science?

    Deny this: http://www.theregister.co.uk/Print/2009/11/30/crugate_analysis/

    Why does Phil Jones need to be secretive with his data?

    Christopher Keating, every scientist at the IPCC, CRU; I am claiming that you are, in fact - politically motivated scientists. Therefor, without your raw data, you are not to be believed.

    Too many dissenting views of man made climate change are met with smear campaign and attacks from the Left. That is what the left does - ask Richard Tol.

    FOIA request for data denied.

    So I will end with this. Until the IPCC, CRU, Phil Jones, and everyone involved with the initial hypothesis and observation of raw data comes clean and provides the public with the transparency that ALL SETTLED SCIENCE does, your conclusions are not settled. You are merely - to use your words Christopher Keating, "cherry picking"

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    1. I am not trying to prove anything or demanding anyone else prove anything. I am providing a venue for deniers to make good on their claims that man made global warming is not real.

      You do not need to ask anyone for data. It is free for anyone with a computer at the National Climatic Data Center. What deniers have been trying to force climate scientists to turn over is their software they have written and developed themselves. That is proprietary material and they don't have to share that. I wrote my own software years ago and I still won't share it.

      Delete
  37. This is nothing more than a lame attempt to prove your theory by pretending it must be correct if no one can disprove it, with you being the sole judge. You blather on about Science!!! , Consensus!!! while quoting blogs and disproven surveys? You, sir, are a fraud.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I am not trying to prove my theories here. I did that in my book. What I am doing here is providing deniers a venue to prove their claims, if they want to, that man made global warming is not real. If they do not fall in that camp, then the challenge is not for them.

      Delete
  38. Gee, I wonder if that will be "approved"? Here's my proof AGW doesn't exist....Everyone claiming it seems to be an idiot.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe you should take a good hard look at the person holding that opinion.

      Delete
  39. Kuni is proposing mass murder for the crime of "improper thought", and you think "That is an interesting concept"?

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    1. I think it is an interesting thought that someday, people that suffer because deniers blocked attempts to fix the climate will be held accountable for their actions. If someone were to charge them in a court of law for their actions it would be worth following. We have already done that when we found out the tobacco companies were blocking all attempts to protect people. Look at how much they got punished.

      Delete
    2. In what universe is advocating defending ones family and fellow countrymen from those who are trying to murder them, “mass murder”?

      Science has spoken: There is no debate, there is no discussion, and there is not opinion; there are only those who want to commit mass murder on a global scale with global warming, and those who do not want to commit mass murder on a global scale.

      Delete
  40. Hi. My name is Mike.


    When CO2 levels were
    over 4000 ppm during the late Ordovician Period, which was also an Ice Age, shouldn't it have been hotter then if CO2 was & is our planet's heat driver/thermostat?



    The Carboniferous Period and the Ordovician Period were the only geological periods during the Paleozoic Era when global temperatures were as low as they are today. To the consternation of global warming proponents, the Late Ordovician Period was also an Ice Age while at the same time CO2 concentrations then were nearly 12 times higher than today-- 4400 ppm. According to greenhouse theory, Earth should have been exceedingly hot. Instead, global temperatures were no warmer than today. Clearly, other factors besides atmospheric carbon influence earth temperatures and global warming.

    http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/Carboniferous_climate.html

    ReplyDelete
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    1. The Sun was cooler back then -- solar irradiance decreases by about 1% for every 110 M years back.

      The continents were in different places and of different sizes, so the planet had a different albedo.

      Our knowledge of CO2 levels back then is sparse, with few proxies that are on average about 10 M years apart. (The O-Silurian ice age lasted 0.5 M years.) The plots of CO2 you see come from (uncertain) carbon models.

      Delete
  41. Note that 4% less solar irradiance is 54 W/m2 at the top of the atmosphere; if the planet had the same albedo at today, it'd be 38 W/m2 less at the surface.

    By contrast, anthropogenic CO2's radiative forcing is now only about 1.9 W/m2.

    In a very nice article, Royer puts the glaciation threshold back then at 3000 ppm:
    http://droyer.web.wesleyan.edu/PhanCO2(GCA).pdf

    ReplyDelete