Monday, August 4, 2014

JoNova's Proof

I am still waiting to see JoNova's submission. She penned this article back in 2012 titled "Man Made Global Warming Disproved".


JoNova starts out with a false argument right off the bat, "It takes only one experiment to disprove a theory."

The scientific method requires all theories to pass all tests, but a failure does not mean the science is invalid. It only means there is more work to be done. In fact, theories are built on previously validated theories. Proving the new theory needs more work does not necessarily prove the previous theories are in any way flawed. This is a false argument that I see used quite a bit. In fact, someone even made a submission based on this entire premise. The argument works this way:
A single experimental failure under the scientific method means the theory is false. Therefore, if I can find a single failure, the entire theory is invalid. 
The second does not follow from the first. A more correct statement is this:
Under the scientific method, a single experimental failure means the theory is not completely valid. Therefore, if I can find even a single experimental failure, under the scientific method you have to go back and do more work. 

JoNova then makes numerous statements that are all unsubstantiated (the heat is missing from the oceans; its missing from the upper troposphere; .....) and then goes into complaining about models. Her statements about models are both incorrect and irrelevant. I have covered this many times and did an in-depth discussion here. Contrarian claims about climate models are so false, and are false in so many ways, that it is a serious red flag anytime I hear someone make this claim. They are either lying or very misinformed.  Or, both.

Models are not climate science. They are a tool used in climate science. They are a mathematical representation of the real world and help us to understand what is going on. Other tools we use include thermometers, satellites, ice cores, mud cores, coral cores, buoys, and more. Claims that AGW is not real because models don't work are both false and false arguments. Again, read my posting on this subject.

Then, she goes into a series of false claims. Let's take a look. This list is from her webpage:

Observations show major flaws

  1. The missing heat is not in the ocean 8 – 14
  2. Satellites show a warmer Earth is releasing extra energy to space 15 -17
  3. The models get core assumptions wrong – the hot spot is missing 22 – 26, 28 – 31
  4. Clouds cool the planet as it warms 38 – 56
  5. The models are wrong on a local, regional, or continental scale. 63- 64
  6. Eight different methods suggest a climate sensitivity of 0.4°C 66
  7. Has CO2 warmed the planet at all in the last 50 years? It’s harder to tell than you think. 70
  8. Even if we assume it’s warmed since 1979, and assume that it was all CO2, if so, feedbacks are zero — disaster averted. 71
  9. It was as warm or warmer 1000 years ago. Models can’t explain that. It wasn’t CO2.  The models can’t predict past episodes of warming, so why would they predict future ones?

Let me address each in turn.

1. Did I misread that statement? Did she say the oceans are not heating? Take a look at this page and this graphic from NOAA:

Global Ocean Heat Content 1955-present 0-700 m
Source: NOAA


2. This is a very curious statement. The statement is valid ONLY if the planet is warming, but the topic of  her post is that AGW is not real. She is trying to have it both ways. "Man made global warming is not real because the planet is warming." Not a logical argument. The fact is, the precise details of planetary heat flows has not been determined. However, we have good satellite data that maps the amount of heat leaving the planet. Does a hotter planet emit more heat than a cold one? Duh! Does a hot skillet on the stove emit more heat than a cold one? Of course it does. So what? Both the skillet and the planet continue to get hotter. Her statement only goes to confirm that global warming is going on while also confirming she doesn't understand it.

3. I've already addressed the issue of models above.

4. This is a false argument. Clouds cool during the day, but warm at night. The effect of clouds on global warming is one of the most complicated issues of climate science. If she really believes it as simple as that single statement she is dramatically demonstrating a lack of understanding of climate science.

5. Models again. A false argument again. Give it up.

6. Models again? Really? Remember what I said about red flags? This woman is really stuck in a false argument rut.

7. No, it isn't hard at all. At least, not when you go with science and not pseudoscience. Look at the graphic I showed above showing the ocean heat content.

8. The name of her post is "Man Made Global Warming Disproved" but then she states "Even if we assumed it's warmed since 1979, and assume it was all CO2...." Which is it JoNova? No man made warming or man made warming without 'disasters'? The two statements are contradictory!

9. Still more model false arguments. Models explain the warming in the past quite well. We understand the Medieval Warm Period and other warming periods, which is one of the reasons there is such a high level of confidence that today's warming is man made. And, no, the Medieval Warm Period was not warmer than today, although that is irrelevant. There are naturally occurring climate cycles. How do we know that? Because climate scientists have gone out there and done the hard work to identify them. Take a look:

Source: Wikipedia

By the way, did you notice how the peak at the right (today's temperature) is the highest point on the graph for more than 100,000 years? So, is this a naturally occurring cycle? No. The evidence shows we are actually in a naturally occurring cooling cycle. I have covered this before. What is interesting is she combined two false arguments into one. She really is obsessed with the models, isn't she. You would think someone that cares about them this much would have done a little homework and read someone other than the professional deniers. That is a clear-cut case of going out to find what you want.

So, the bulk of her 'proof' consisted of comments regarding models. By doing so, she demonstrated a total lack of understanding of models and of climate science. She really needs to go back to school.

Then, she goes into more false arguments about models. But, she does something interesting. She talks about the warming due to CO2 and states,
A multitude of observations are in rough agreement that any increase in global average temperature caused by a doubling of CO2 is more likely to be about half a degree than the 3.3 degrees determined by the IPCC3.
Hold it! Her 'proof' that man made global warming is not real consists of a claim that it is real, just not as big as some scientists claim! Holy makes no sense, Batman! Does anyone really believe this? Does anyone else read this and go, "What the ....?" Please explain to me how the presence of man made global warming can possibly be proof that man made global warming isn't real?

But, she isn't finished. She gives her conclusion and states,
Every which way we measure it, the models predictions don’t match the observations.
Apparently, she still has not bothered to read anything about models except what she finds on denier blogs.

She finishes up with a quote from Richard Feynman. Its is amazing how many deniers quote Feynman without bothering to understand what he is saying.
The exception proves that the rule is wrong. That is the principle of science. If there is an exception to any rule, and if it can be proved by observation, that rule is wrong.
Richard Feynman, according to The Meaning of it All, 1999 ­­­
Well, JoNova, you failed to show the exception to the rule for AGW, but you certainly proved that Feynman was correct in regards to you. The exception to your 'proof', proved by observatin, shows that your argument is wrong. JoNova did nothing to prove man made global warming is not real. I mean, her 'proof' is so bad that even if there really is no AGW, she would still be wrong. It is that bad.

And, this submission did not prove man made global warming is not real.


  1. Ah, good, the missing comments seem to have been resurrected recently, minus the proper avatar icons. Astute readers will more easily see Mr Keating never could answer my challenge about proving skeptic climate scientists were involved in a quid pro quo arrangement with industry officials or anyone else allegedly paying them 'dark money' to lie and spread misinformation.

  2. I thought her use of references was interesting, the ranges I mean. But there was so little discussion on the points in her article I was not even tempted to see if the references actually backed up her statements or not.

  3. Talking about that Roy Spencer graph, I am wondering if the IPCC chart on page 87 is it's inspiration:

    In my opinion it is a more honest representation as it uses a 20 year (1986-2005) baseline instead of 5 years (1979-1983), and does NOT zero all it's measurements at the start point of 1986).


  5. You sure wasted a lot of time typing up a meaningless statement. Based on the correlation, if the solar activity goes down, the global temperature goes down. If the solar activity goes up, the global temperature goes up. But, after the 1970s, the solar activity went down and the global temperature went up. That is a violation of the correlation.

  6. That is a very interesting graph. Thanks for sharing that reference.

  7. Professor Keating,
    I admire your patience in answering some of the submissions. Some are better than others. The sort of submission or comment I would find particularly difficult to deal with are the ones which consist almost entirely of insults.
    I have a question: you say that Nature absorbs about half of our current CO2 emissions, currently about 18 billion tons per year. This is clearly true, and I would guess that one of the major carbon dioxide sinks would be the oceans. (As a self proclaimed expert on fish I know a little bit about the dramatic reduction in the alkalinity of the ocean waters.) But many of these sinks are dependent on both temperature and on the amount of carbon dioxide already adsorbed.
    Logically as their temperature increases and the concentration in these sinks approaches saturation there could come a time when they become net releases of carbon dioxide. At this point global warming would become difficult to reverse.
    If the emissions of carbon dioxide continue to increase as shown on your graph, how long do you estimate it will be before more carbon dioxide is released by nature than is adsorbed?

  8. Your analysis is spot on. You are correct in your conclusion that the sinks (principally the oceans) will slowly become less efficient and even, at some point, become sources. The amount of time for this to happen is not clearly defined. All I have ever found is the statement that it will take 'centuries.' Is that two hundred years, or is that 20,000 years. Both are 'centuries.' So, I can't really give you an definite answer to your question except to say that the literature indicates it won't be a problem for quite some time.

  9. Since I never claimed "AGW is not real" your article is absolutely moot.

  10. Excuse me? You make some remarkable comments. Let me refresh your memory - "The current rise in temperature started prior to a major use of fossil
    fuels. So unless CO2 works by time machine you have your proof it's
    mostly natural."

    That is the comment you posted in this string just last week. Your statement, "you have your proof" refers to my challenge and the challenge was for people that claim AGW isn't real. So, it sure sounds to me that you stated AGW is not real.

    Are you now saying that AGW is real?

  11. You don't have to "refresh my memory" but you certainly do have to work on your reading comprehension skills. Look up what the word "mostly" means. Duh. I mean really if you can't understand simple English then what makes you think you can understand a complex scientific paper?

    "Are you now saying that AGW is real?"
    I never "denied" that humans have effects on the climate. In fact it is implicit in the statement you just quoted. "Mostly natural" implies partially unnatural.

    Certainly an increase in CO2 will, all other things being equal, increase temperatures but it really isn't all that much to be worried about. In fact, it seems to be quite beneficial. It makes plants grow faster, and will help reduce the quite real catastrophic effects of the next glacial period.

    What I deny is that you have any good evidence that CO2 is the majority cause of the current upswing. The upswing was already in play and prior swings have been larger. It appears completely in line with prior variability, and so it is quite impossible to tell exactly how much is due to humans. The uncertainty is extremely high.

    Bad science papers like Michael Mann's statistically incompetent performance don't change my outlook. This isn't particularly alarming if you don't by what is about as close to scientific fraud as you can get.

    You are in the position of listening to static on the radio and claiming that you are hearing aliens speaking to you. There may be a great likelihood that there is alien chatter in the static but you haven't proven to anyone you've actually filtered out all the static.

    So claims like those made by James Hansen (climatologist) that we are in danger of a run away Venusian greenhouse effect are just catastrophic chicken little end of the world scare mongering.

  12. Instead of insulting me and making patently false statements, I suggest you got back to school. All of your issues have been addressed here and other places. You are just trying to be a troll.

    You're done.

  13. This is outstanding. I've bookmarked it.

    (That's me being lazy. Instead of coming up with the same stuff over and over again I can extract a suitable quote from your work, cite the link and save myself time and trouble.)

  14. That is why I put it here. Glad I can help.

  15. Thank you, Professor.
    Thanks to your information I will be able to make the 'science' part of the science fiction novel I'm writing a little bit more accurate.

  16. This is the most helpful post on models I've seen anywhere. Right on, Professor!

  17. You sir just got wrecked. HARD.

  18. "Skeptics don't claim that CO2 emitted by man causes no warming."

    No. And now that the submissions are in, look at some of them. Certainly, some deniers are claiming this.

    "The claim is that much of the warming is likely natural warming"

    If we examine the natural forces at work right now, we should be seeing global cooling. What we see right now is warming (claims that we haven't warmed recently have been debunked countless times). That means something other than natural forces is causing our warming. And it's us with lots of scientific evidence to show this.

    "But they can't prove how sensitive climate is because the climate is too complex and chaotic to fully model."

    Did you just tell me that climate is chaotic? Yes, climate is complex, but it's NOT chaotic, that's weather. Climate is the average of weather which reveals longer term trends that can be modeled and used to show climate sensitivity.

    "One of the most complex parameters is cloud feedback. Even the IPCC was forced to concede that there are large uncertainties in calculating cloud feedback."

    Correct. But the only thing that proves is that we don't fully understand cloud feedback. That doesn't mean we don't understand climate science. Most other aspects are well understood and are included into models.

    Your entire last paragraph about models is misinformed. Read what Dr. Keating has to say about them here: