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Global cooling - Is global warming still happening?

What the science says...

Select a level... Basic Intermediate

All the indicators show that global warming is still happening.

Climate Myth...

It's cooling
"In fact global warming has stopped and a cooling is beginning. No climate model has predicted a cooling of the Earth – quite the contrary. And this means that the projections of future climate are unreliable." (source: Henrik Svensmark)

When looking for evidence of global warming, there are many different indicators that we should look for. Whilst it's natural to start with air temperatures, a more thorough examination should be as inclusive as possible; snow cover, ice melt, air temperatures over land and sea, even the sea temperatures themselves. The key indicators of global warming shown below are all moving in the direction expected of a warming globe.


Indicators of a warming world based on surface, satellite, and ocean temperature measurements, satellite measurements of energy imbalance (the difference between incoming and outgoing energy at the top of the atmosphere), and of receding glaciers, sea ice, and ice sheets, rising sea level, and shifting seasons.

The question of global warming stopping is often raised in the light of a recent weather event - a big snowfall or drought breaking rain. Global warming is entirely compatible with these events; after all they are just weather. For climate change, it is the long term trends that are important; measured over decades or more, and those long term trends show that the globe is still, unfortunately, warming.

Last updated on 23 February 2014 by LarryM. View Archives

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Update

On 21 January 2012, 'the skeptic argument' was revised to correct a minor formatting error.

Comments

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Comments 51 to 100 out of 195:

  1. Is "Global dimming" an issue here at all? Or does it exist?
  2. Thanks for the reminder, Theodore. Yes, "global dimming" does exist. John Cook talks about it in a related thread called Why did climate cool in the mid-20th Century?. He's got a reference to Wild et al. 2007, which discusses global dimming in some detail.
  3. Thank you. I have mostly followed the science through documentaries and some times it is hard to know what is accepted by the scientific community and what not. Good to know I have not been telling porkie pies whilst explaining climate change to people :)
  4. Response: Levitus' data covers only the upper ocean heat which shows more variability than the total ocean heat. Measurements of ocean heat down to 2000 metres deep show that the oceans are still accumulating heat.

    Would you please cite a source for that statement? I am unable to find such a measurement and following the link only dumps you back at this site.

    The NODC data shows a suggestive resemblance to atmospheric temperature data, delayed a few years.
    Response: The source is von Schuckmann 2009:


    Figure 2: Time series of global mean heat storage (0–2000 m), measured in 108 Joules per square metre.
  5. Can anyone suggest a mechanism by which greenhouse warming bypasses the atmosphere, bypasses the upper 700 m of ocean, and warms the ocean between 700 and 2000 m? This seems like it will be required for the earth to continue warming.
  6. TomJones at 03:01 AM on 6 August, 2010

    Not sure I understand your argument Tom, since the observed increase in deep ocean heat (e.g. [*]) doeesn't require that this bypasses the surface.

    For example we know that during La Nina years there is a shift in the location of the thermocline in the Pacific with enhanced upwelling of deep cold waters. This will have the effect of transferring heat from warmer waters above the thermocline to the deeper oceans.

    Likewise there is increasing evidence on some of the mechanisms by which thermal energy can be transferred to deeper ocean waters in a warming world [**] There's nothing surprising about this. The oceans must warm in the response to radiative forcing.


    [*] the work of Greg Johnson and his collaborators is a good starting point; e.g.:

    Johnson GC et al. (2006) Recent western South Atlantic bottom water warming Geophys. Res. Lett. 33, L14614

    Johnson GC et al. (2007) Recent bottom water warming in the Pacific Ocean J. Climate 20, 5365-5375.

    Johnson GC (2008) Warming and Freshening in the Abyssal Southeastern Indian Ocean J. Climate 21, 5351-5363.

    Ozaki H et al. (2009) Long-term bottom water warming in the north Ross Sea J. Oceanograph. 65, 235-244.

    Johnson GC et al. (2009) Deep Caribbean Sea warming Deep Sea Research. 1 –Oceanograph. Res. 56, 827-834.

    Johnson GC (2008) Reduced Antarctic meridional overturning circulation reaches the North Atlantic Ocean Geophys. Res. Lett. 35, L22601

    [**] e.g.

    S. Masuda et al. (2010) Simulated Rapid Warming of Abyssal North Pacific Waters Science 329, 319 - 322
  7. Chris, thanks for the references. Upwelling is an interesting mechanism. It would seem like it should leave footprints, though. The cold water would have to absorb sunlight near the surface and become relatively warmer before it was driven down, and that warmer water would have to escape detection.
  8. TomJones - the thermohaline circulation perhaps? If you watch the ENSO forecasts you will see cross-sections of the tropical ocean showing the downwelling. It doesnt escape detection.
  9. Susan Wijffels presentation for OceanObs 2009 had a slide that she credited to Palmer 2007 that compared eight different analyses down to 700 m. They all disagreed but had visibly the same shape, and averaged 0.3 W/m**2 over about 50 years. The von Schuckman 2009 paper obviously took advantage of the Argo network, went down to 2000 m, but estimated power at 0.77W/m**2. Furthermore, the 700m analyses had about four times as much accumulated heat.

    Either von Schuckman has discovered something new and exciting, or the Argo system still has a few bugs. In either case, the world is going to be full of papers which are going to examine the Argo data in detail, and compare it to predecessor data. It might be a real good idea to let the dust settle before using the data.
  10. Full text of von Schuckman here (pdf).
  11. Doug: Thank you for the von Schuckmann paper.
  12. It is surely curious that the chart of ocean temperature stops at 2005. The oceans have been clearly cooling since 2006. How about an update and a new discussion?
    Response: It's a good question - I actually asked the same question to Dan Murphy, author of the paper where the total heat content data comes from  (from Figure 1 above). The data actually ends in 2003. This is because the ocean heat data taken from Domingues et al. 2008 ends in 2003. This is why I post the von Schuckmann data in Figure 2 - this continues onto 2008.
  13. Voila, Charles.
  14. Hello all, I'm very new here to Skeptical Science, so bear with me if I have posted in the wrong section and too late.
    I found this site via my day to day viewing of "Ice age now", quite an interesting read, of which in one of Robert Felix's pages he mentioned this site, and I must thank him for it.
    This is certainly a grade above the rest, and truly is good to see facts over fiction.
    My question is:
    How is it, that if I do a quick check on every Australian city regarding the daily mean max temp since the start of Jan 2010, has shown an increase to the yearly average ? Thus far. If according to people like Robert Felix that the sun is in a quiet period and that the earth has not warmed lately and is cooling, how on "earth" can this be happening ?
    My monies on something called a "Greenhouse effect".
    And again, my apologies if have posted inappropriately.
    Richo.
    Response: Playing devil's advocate, one might answer that question by saying you can't gauge global temperature trends by looking at the temperature at a few selected cities or even over a single country. What you need to do is look at the global temperature record. Of course, what this shows is the hottest 12 months on record had just transpired recently: June 2009 to May 2010. So yes, we end up with the same question - if the sun has been cooling, why are we experiencing record warm temperatures this year?

    NASA GISS global temperature - hottest 12 months on record June 2009 to May 2010
  15. Re: Richo (64)

    I would recommend a primer in the science to get yourself a good background. There are many uninformed commenters and websites out there, so it can often be difficult to discern the wheat from the chaff.

    I would begin by starting here

    Then go here

    And also watch this.

    Then come back to Skeptical Science if you have additional concerns, type a few words describing your concern in the Search box in the upper left of every page and see what has already been covered on that topic here. On those threads, many of your questions may have already been answered. If not, find the most appropriate thread and post your question there.

    Feed a hungry man a fish, and he will be full - for a while.

    Teach a hungry man to fish and he will never be hungry again.


    The Yooper
  16. Thanks very much for that,
    Best regards,
    Richo.
  17. Oh dear, selti, the link you provided shows someone attempting to refute a decades-long trend with just a few cherry-picked data points. This is either a very basic misunderstanding of science, mathematics, and especially statistics, or a very poor attempt at deliberately misleading people.

    When you look at the full dataset, and include up-to-date data (beyond 2008, this year happens to be 2010), then the trend clearly remains unbroken, and IPCC is fully vindicated.

    If Girma Orssengo, MASc, PhD was intending to mislead then shame on him. If he honestly believes his presentation is an attempt at honest discourse then he should go to wherever he got his PhD and ask for his money back.
  18. adrian smits wrote (on the Isn't global warming just 2 °C and isn't that really small? thread) : "According to UHA satellite data the last week hasn't been this cold in many years for this old rock and I expect before this la Nina ends its gonna get a lot colder yet! Lets just wait 4 maybe 5 more years and see where we are at before doing anything rash.After 14 years of nearly flat temperatures that's 1996 to now. Three or four years of actual cooling should put a stake in the heart of the AGW agenda."


    Firstly, could you provide the link to that amazingly devastating data ? (Well, you seem to think it is)

    Secondly, last month was higher than the same month of the previous year, as was every other month - and, generally, some of the highest ever recorded. Where is the cooling you believe in ?

    Thirdly, are you agreeing that if there are 4 or 5 more years of warming, you will finally admit that your so-called skepticism has been wrong ?

    Fourthly, you have already been shown to be wrong about your belief in cooling over the last 14 years, but perhaps you have some hidden evidence you would like to show ? If so, please prove that your belief has some substance.

    Lastly, what do you believe this hidden agenda is ? Some sort of conspiracy ?
  19. Adrian- well I expect that next La Nina will start the chorus "start of cooling trend" again - until the next El nino. Not a constructive way to look at it perhaps? Wouldnt it be better to look that the temperature and compare with temperatures the last time the world have a similar magnitude of El Nino/ La Nina?

    With a TOA energy imbalance, you need iron-clad wishful thinking to propose that we are going to get cooler. On the other hand, if you are prepared abandon your denialism if its warmer in 5 years, then that would be progress.
  20. The deniers jumped on the same cooling train back in 2008 and predicted that we were going to enter a Maunder Miniumum due to the combination of the lowest solar minimum in more than 100 years and a negative PDO.
    With 2010 smashing all sorts of records, the deniers were proven dead wrong, but they are getting away with it. The MSM is all over tiny dicrepancies in the predictions of the real scientists, but dead quiet on the massive failure of the skeptic cooling predictions from 2008. Those predictions were all over the blogs and deniers even went on television proclaiming rapid cooling. Henrik Svensmark is one of the most high profile ones.
    Last month was the warmest (by far) in the UAH record, despite maximum cooling effect from the lowest solar slump in more than a century, despite the cooling effect from the much heralded (by deniers) negative PDO, and despite the onset of the second strongest La Nina on record. Nature is turning all the natural drivers to Max Cool and September was still the warmest by far. Food for thought.
    2011 will flatten out and perhaps cool slightly, due to the strong La Nina, so the deniers will make their usual noise and the MSM will bite, hook, line and sinker and make first page material out of pretty much every single bit of denier disinformation.
    2012 temperatures will come back with a vengeance, however, as we will likely enter an El Nino, and the solar cycle will have gained some momentum, in addition to the always present and increasing warming from the increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases.
  21. This page is correct that this is the best overall way to measure the Earth's heat, but in terms of the global warming discussion this argument is disingenuous. The IPCC sets the terms for the discussion. It is their argument that must be validated or disproven. The skeptics are simply responding to them.

    For example, when the IPCC makes a statement such as, "current temperatures are probably warmer than any other time in 1,000 years," or "The current rate of warming is unprecedented," this is based on a comparison with historic surface temperatures. According to the NAS even surface temperatures from proxies like tree rings are not that reliable earlier than about 500 years ago. But there is no way at all to get total ice volume or temps from specific layers of the ocean from the medieval warm period or earlier. For all we know, if we take all this into account, we might not be warming that much at all right now compared to 1,000 years ago.

    Skeptics talk in terms of surface temperatures because that is how the IPCC tends to talk. To respond to the skeptics with this argument is comparing apples to oranges.
    Response: This topic is addressed on the page Hockey stick is broken.
  22. Since Adrian was so easily convinced by the UAH temperatures, he should take another look at the graph and realize that we are in big trouble after all: Channel 5 is now once again smashing the all time record, despite the second strongest La Nina on record.
  23. So after my post @ 71 it says my statement is addressed on the hockey stick page. Yet the hockey stick page does not talk about total ice volume or total heat content. I think someone was missing the point of my comment.
  24. Re: erikbays (71, 73)

    Your claim was that:
    "According to the NAS even surface temperatures from proxies like tree rings are not that reliable earlier than about 500 years ago. But there is no way at all to get total ice volume or temps from specific layers of the ocean from the medieval warm period or earlier."
    This claim is addressed both in the linked post you were given as well as linked from there directly to this 161-page NAS document, 'Surface Temperature Reconstructions for the Last 2,000 Years'. I would direct your attention to FIGURE S-1 on p 17 and then these quotes from the summary on p 18:
    "It can be said with a high level of confidence that global mean surface temperature was higher during the last few decades of the 20th century than during any comparable period during the preceding four centuries."
    and
    "Less confidence can be placed in large-scale surface temperature reconstructions for the period from A.D. 900 to 1600."
    Less confidence does not mean unreliable or no confidence. Compare the confidence expressed in those two quotes to that in this (also from the summary on p 18):
    "Very little confidence can be assigned to statements concerning the hemispheric mean or global mean surface temperature prior to about A.D. 900 because of sparse data coverage and because the uncertainties associated with proxy data and the methods used to analyze and combine them are larger than during more recent time periods."
    So, the NAS has little confidence in surface temps prior to A.D. 900, and high confidence in temps post-1600 A.D., with temps 900 - 1600 A.D. falling somewhere in-between, confidence-wise. This, based on multiple, converging lines of evidence.

    Thus, the post you were directed to did indeed refute your claim. I believe that is why the Moderator directed you to the prior post.

    I'd recommend reading the entire NAS report. There's some good stuff in there.

    If your point was otherwise, I'd recommend re-phrasing it more narrowly & resubmitting it. Hope that helps.

    The Yooper
  25. Found this poking around on Kelly O'Day's site. Data through 10-26-2010.



    The chart can be found here.

    The Yooper
  26. Yooper, I agree with pretty much every point you make @ 74, but it is a strawman argument. To rebut me you would need to show how historic temp data encompasses the total Earth heat content. That is what this page is talking about and that is what my post was about. Nitpicking about what years of temp data the NAS has confidence in has nothing to do with my point that historical temp data doesn't encompass total Earth heat content.
  27. To the Yooper,
    Thanks for the links above, re #65, excellent way to get a good base, very interesting info.
    I have some questions that I will post in the appropriate threads.
  28. I'm one of those idiot skeptics.

    No matter how hard I try to become alarmed about the warming earth--I simply can't. Yes, it looks like we're warming but it appears I am too dumb to understand the charts behind the charts and know the numbers behind the numbers. Naive me, I just looked up facts and figures a few years ago to see what was happening--yikes--the earth HAD NOT BEEN HEATING up, despite what alarmists said. What was everyone talking about? Then 2005, 2008, and now 2010 show some heat and gives the alarmists tingles up and down their leg...I read the reports from NASA, they wrote, "It now seems pretty certain 2010 will outpace 1998, which currently ties for fourth hottest year in the NASA dataset." So I looked at their chart.

    I feel left out becasue it doesn't give me tingles. There is a record high March....uh... your point is? No other months seem remarkable. So one month spikes the charts and the stats and the global warming "trend" is intact. June, July, and August were cooler than the other comparison years.
    So in order to try and make this look serious NASA writes: "Continuing the trend from the previous month, NOAA reports that May, the period from March to May, and from January to May all have had the hottest combined global land and ocean surface temperatures since records began in 1880. "

    I read the chart from NASA--they have to use the word "combined" and "since 1880" to make the stats look scary. March was the only scary month of this year, if global warming scares you.

    Just last week SeaTac recorded the coldest temp ever recorded for this month at the airport. Ohhh-maybe if I combine it with some other cold records I can manipulate the stats to refute NASA?

    But i don't take the cooling alarmists that seriously either. Geologist Dr. Don Easterbrook's projected cooling for the next several decades and is based on past PDO patterns for the past century and temperature patterns for the past 500 years. Three possible scenarios are shown: (1) global cooling similar to the global cooling of 1945 to 1977, (2) global cooling similar to the cool period from 1880 to 1915, and (3) global cooling similar to the Dalton Minimum from 1790 to 1820.

    At this point, I don't believe any of you--not Dr. Easterbrook--not the bots at the bottom of the sea not NASA and NOAA--

    Until Greenland has the green meadows and longer growing season it enjoyed in the 1400's I won't buy into the "warming" craze--and if it happens I will be happy for the planet because those warmer periods bring a cornucopia of plenty to the earth and its people (polar bears survived that period just fine). and if the glaciers return with a vengeance, I will be happy becasue it will make it harder for man to survive and that is how we advance--by overcoming adversity.

    On a final note: Dear Esop, you wrote, "Nature is turning all the natural drivers to Max Cool and September was still the warmest by far." Did you look at the charts by NASA? Sept was hotter than 1998, yes, but cooler than 2005 and a number of other years. and this June, July and August were cooler than all the comparison years.

    But like I said, I can't understand the secret numbers behind the numbers, and charts behind the charts and I am certainly way too simple to understand the cycles of nature and cooling and warming. I just read history and take the numbers at face value--how dumb is that?
  29. Re: daybyday (78)

    I well understand the feeling of skepticism when new to climate science - I've been there.

    But you offer conflicting testimony:

    1. On one hand you confess basically "not getting it" and that there must be "secret numbers behind the numbers" (Psst: there are no secret numbers...don't tell anyone! It's a secret!).

    2. On the other hand, you say "At this point, I don't believe any of you".

    Which leads me to ask:
    Which is it? Number one or number two?

    If it's number one and you want to learn the truth, then click on the home link in the upper left corner, then on either/both of the "Newcomers, Start Here" and/or "the Big Picture" links in the blue boxes near the top.

    If it's number two or you just don't want to learn, then why are you here?

    "Pour the coins of your pocket into your mind
    and your mind will line your pockets with gold"


    The Yooper
  30. daybyday wrote : "Naive me, I just looked up facts and figures a few years ago to see what was happening--yikes--the earth HAD NOT BEEN HEATING up, despite what alarmists said."


    Not been warming up ? Since when ? What were the "facts and figures" you looked up ? Can you give more detail ?



    daybyday wrote : "I feel left out becasue it doesn't give me tingles. There is a record high March....uh... your point is? No other months seem remarkable. So one month spikes the charts and the stats and the global warming "trend" is intact. June, July, and August were cooler than the other comparison years.
    So in order to try and make this look serious NASA writes: "Continuing the trend from the previous month, NOAA reports that May, the period from March to May, and from January to May all have had the hottest combined global land and ocean surface temperatures since records began in 1880. "

    I read the chart from NASA--they have to use the word "combined" and "since 1880" to make the stats look scary. March was the only scary month of this year, if global warming scares you.

    Just last week SeaTac recorded the coldest temp ever recorded for this month at the airport."



    Are you just looking at the data for individual months and determining a trend from that ? Not good. A month, while more interesting than a week, day, hour, etc. is too short a time period to be comparing temperature data if you want to make assertions of any value. A collection of months is better; a number of years is better; 30 years is even better.

    The reason why months are "combined" is because they eventually add up to a year - combine years and you get a decade, etc. The more the better.

    The reason why NASA mention 1880 is because 1880 is the year their temperature records start from. Nothing to do with scaring anyone. If their records started in 1780, they would then say 'since 1780'. Simple as that.
    You should also notice that the temperature trend has been up since that time.

    Here is their latest monthly statement :


    For January–October 2010, the global combined land and ocean surface temperature was 0.63°C (1.13°F) above the 20th century average of 14.1°C (57.4°F) and tied with 1998 as the warmest January–October period on record.


    That's why it is also worthless to highlight records for any particular spot on the planet. Records are always being set in individual places but, as in the way you highlighted months above, it is more relevant to look at records which encompass more than one place, state, country, region, etc., and records which follow a pattern, rather than being one-offs, etc.
  31. daybyday wrote : "Geologist Dr. Don Easterbrook's projected cooling for the next several decades and is based on past PDO patterns for the past century and temperature patterns for the past 500 years."


    What expertise do you believe that this geologist has that makes him relevant to your opinion ? I believe he stated it would be cooling by now - compare that with the NASA data above, and you might be interested in this review of his work.


    daybyday wrote : "Until Greenland has the green meadows and longer growing season it enjoyed in the 1400's I won't buy into the "warming" craze--and if it happens I will be happy for the planet because those warmer periods bring a cornucopia of plenty to the earth and its people (polar bears survived that period just fine). and if the glaciers return with a vengeance, I will be happy becasue it will make it harder for man to survive and that is how we advance--by overcoming adversity."


    Do you have any evidence for those "green meadows" and that "longer growing season" ? You should read further on this website, particularly :

    Positives and negatives of global warming

    Greenland used to be green

    PDO




    daybyday wrote : "But like I said, I can't understand the secret numbers behind the numbers, and charts behind the charts and I am certainly way too simple to understand the cycles of nature and cooling and warming. I just read history and take the numbers at face value--how dumb is that?"


    There are no secrets but you do need to know how to look at the data, how to use it and how not to use it. It is also best if you avoid some of the more dodgy AGW denial sites out there, and check anything that you use in your posts, to make sure that you are posting information that can be backed-up or confirmed, especially by yourself.
  32. Yup, still happening:

    NASA: Hottest November on record, 2010 likely hottest year on record globally — despite deepest solar minimum in a century



    And the zonal means plot showing the polar amplification:

    Zonal Means Plot for November 2010

    Don't know about you, hoss, but this cowpoke says the heat is on...

    ...but I still feel significantly lucky!

    Iris effect, anyone? Bueller?

    The Yooper
  33. 82: "Iris effect"

    Good catch, Yooper!

    Now that's one I hadn't heard of. So off to the google machine: I suppose NASA's Revisiting the iris effect is old hat, but it does offer up a great one line come-back to the pretenses of the cherry-picker:

    “You cannot make a scientific judgment,” Wong said, “until you’ve done the complete analysis.
  34. If Greenland was covered in meadows in 1400 where did all the run off go? Surely it would have mostly been under water along with many other places!
  35. #84: "covered in meadows"
    Where have you heard that? If you are referring to the Medieval Warm Period, here is a map that shows Norse settlements of the period; I believe the large white area is ice and snow. And here is a more appropriate thread for further discussion of that subject.
  36. #85 Thanks for the reply. It was from thread 78 above. I should have put it at the start of my bit. Not used to this site yet.
  37. Still Happening (hmmm, just like the Energizer bunny):

    2010 was the second-warmest year on record, says the Japanese Meteorological Agency
    (The ranking is preliminary and is based on the January to November data)





    (Anyone know if JMA corrects for ENSO?)

    This other relevant bit caught my eye:
    "The average temperature over land is expected to hit the warmest record."
    See JMA press release here.

    It's like Deja Vu all over again...

    The Yooper
  38. In a recent debate I had with someone they offered this:

    "I would like to comment on Global Warming. Makes me smile when I hear Global warmer’s these days dismissing the third year of record cold temperatures as, “Just weather” and the big picture is what really counts! They are of course exactly correct in saying this, it’s what reasonable people have been saying all along, but rest assured that global warmers have been forced into the position they find themselves in. Before the record cold set in every story concerning a shortage of rainfall, lack of snow on the Iditarod trail, a heat wave anywhere, etc, etc, was all linked to the rapped and unstoppable effects of man made global warming. Before the cooling trend every story that could possibly be linked to the immediate affects of AGW, was.

    The fact is that the world is not warming, everyone knows this, it’s obvious AND it’s proven but let us be extremely generous in this Christmas season and say, for the sake of argument, that yes man kind’s production of CO2 gas can heat the earth. Then we would have to say at this point that there are other factors also affecting the earth’s temperature and that very likely CO2 gas is a minor factor easily made insignificant by the natural forces of nature."

    What do you make of that?
  39. @Chris: "What do you make of that?"

    Uh...that it's utter nonsense?

    Number of facts the person got wrong:

    1) We are *not* in a cooling trend

    2) There have been more record hot temperatures than record cold temperatures

    3) There is a difference between science and how the media reports it: compounding the two is an illogical thing to do

    4) Global Warming doesn't mean it's going to get warmer everywhere all the time

    5) It is neither proven nor obvious that the world isn't warming

    6) Other long-term factors are not currently affecting climate to a greater degree than CO2

    This person you were talking to bases its entire argument on faulty assumptions and outright falsehoods.
  40. @archiesteel: I passed on your response to the person I'm talking to and this was his response:

    "Recently, 130 German scientists wrote an open letter to their government. They made the following points:

    1.Information known before the IPCC was founded shows that human CO2 emissions have no measurable effect on global warming.

    2.The atmosphere has not warmed in the last 10 years and has cooled significantly since 2003.

    3. The expensive IPCC climate models predicted steady warming but the opposite has occurred.

    4. Growing evidence continues to show human CO2 plays no measurable role in climate change.

    5. If all fossil fuels were burned, the additional long-term warming would not exceed a few tenths of a degree.

    6.The IPCC has been aware of this fact but has completely ignored it.

    7. As a result, the IPCC has lost its scientific credibility.

    8. The belief in manmade climate change has become a pseudo-religion.

    9. The Second International Conference on Climate Change in NY March 2009 was attended by approximately 800 leading scientists, some of whom are among the world’s best climatologists.

    10. The media has virtually ignored the results of this Conference. "

    You can read the entire open letter here: http://climatephysics.com/2010/09/19/open-letter-to-the-chancellor-of-germany-by-130-scientists/
  41. Chris,

    You can investigate each of these claims on this site's own List of Skeptic Arguments. There is also a good index of common claims here.

    Be warned that your discussion with this person is likely to devolve into an endless Gish Gallop. It is the argument style of choice for those who have no interest in understanding what they are discussing, but have formed a conclusion anyways. If so, you are likely just wasting your time, as he is not really interested in hearing what you have to say.

    FYI, the Second International Conference on Climate Change is sponsored by the Heartland Institute, a libertarian think tank that is explicitly political in its goals. As such, it is an extremely poor source for objective science.

    Likewise, the claim that the conference includes "the world's best climatologists" is self-described, and thus should be taken with a very large grain of salt.

    As for the general credibility of these "130 scientists," the fact that they signed their names to a set of demonstrably false (and quite old) talking points is enough to toss their credibility out the window.
  42. #1: Wholly incorrect. It was intially discovered in the 19th century; Tyndall, Arrhenius, et al. That initial was repeatedly validated in the early-mid 20th century.

    #2 & 3: Wholly incorrect. Refer to argument #4 & 7, and the recent blog article.

    #4: Wholly incorrect. Consult the argument list.

    #5: Wholly incorrect. Strength of belief does not overturn published & independently validated empirical research.

    #6 & 7: Wholly incorrect. Neither do vast conspiracy notions.

    #8: Wholly incorrect. Dismissing a empirical field of scientific endeavour as a religion only serves to show pridefully ignorant the respondent is.

    #9 & 10: The ICCC (1st & 2nd) was a dog & pony show staged by a well-known professional disinformation outfit. Their previous work includes "tobacco is harmless" back in the 90s.
  43. Re: Response to #54TomJones at 01:56 AM on 6 August, 2010 : The source is von Schuckmann 2009:


    Figure 2: Time series of global mean heat storage (0–2000 m), measured in 108 Joules per square metre.

    Hey, you keep digging up this Schuckmann graph, although I have told you it was unbelievable.
          Now I'll give you something to believe. I'm just one hundred and one, five months and a day.'
          'I can't believe that!' said Alice.
          'Can't you?' the Queen said in a pitying tone. 'Try again: draw a long breath, and shut your eyes.'
          Alice laughed. 'There's no use trying,' she said 'one can't believe impossible things.'
          'I daresay you haven't had much practice,' said the Queen. 'When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.

    Some more practice is needed perhaps. That way one could eventually believe between december 2006 & february 2007 OHC went up by 8.15×107 J/m2. That's about 3×1022 Joules in just two months, about 25% of its supposed increase in 55 years (since 1955).
  44. @Chris: Bibliovermis pretty much said it all. Your friend believes things that are false, and bases all of his argument these falsehoods. His response is therefore insufficient.

    This is how you can respond, if you want to (it seems as if he is politically opposed to AGW theory, and as such is unlikely to be open to a rational scientific argument):

    1. The greenhouse effect was discovered in th 19th century and has been validated numerous time since. The burden of scientific proof is therefore on those claiming it doesn't exist.

    2. That position is wrong on two counts, i.e. that 7 or even 10 years is a sufficient period to establish statistical relevance, AND that temperature have been stable since 2000 or decreasing since 2003. Here is a graph showing the 15, 10 and 7 year trend (again, the last two being statistically not significant to the 95% degree):



    3. The IPCC models never predicted steady warming. He has to prove that assertion, or it is irrecievable.

    4. As him where that (presumably) peer-reviewed evidence is. Insist on this very simple truth: there is virtually no evidence supporting his position, and a mountain of evidence supporting yours. It's a safe claim to make, as it is completely true (you can find such evidence here).

    5. Again, that is an unproved assertion. Ask him for serious peer-reviewed evidence supporting this idea. Remember, the burden of proof is on him, not you.

    6. That is an unfounded conspiracy theory. Offer to sell him a tinfoil hat.

    7. The IPCC still has the confidence of the scientific community. Most people not trusting the IPCC were already against it, and their opposition is for the most part political. In any case, the IPCC is a reflection of the scientific consensus. Attacking the IPCC is rather meaningless in this regard, as it relies on actual climate science for its position and publications.

    8. If anyone is acting in a fanatical manner, it is those who continue to decry AGW theory even after being presented with the strong evidence supporting it. They often repeat the same debunked talking points. In fact, by clearly failing to understand the science while entertaining all kinds of conspiracy theories, they are akin to a modern version of the European medieval flat Earthers.

    9. The ICCC was a sham, and very few serious climate scientists attended (if any). It was organized by the Heritage Institute, which is not a scientific body but a highly-politicized conservative think tank. In other words, it is an institution that does not seek to discover the truth, but rather to spread a conservative agenda that unfortunately considers scientific evidence to be less important than political ideology.

    10. The media ignored the results of the conference because it was a sham, and an obvious one at that.

    For a so-called "skeptic," your friend seems to trust what conservatives say about climate change a little too much.

    Hopefully this is on-topic enough; in any case, I won't add anything to this unless it specifically deals with points 1 to 5.
  45. BP @93,

    "about 25% of its supposed increase in 55 years (since 1955)"

    And the 0-2000 m OHC decreased by that about amount in two months in early 2006. Yet, the long-term trend is up my friend. Funny how you ignore that fact. And worse still, I know that you know better BP.

    Also, please make up your mind. Earlier on this thread you correctly stated that the planet is warming and that TCR is about 2 C, now you seem to be trying to suggest that the warming is an artifact of an alleged faulty data record.
  46. #95 Albatross at 10:43 AM on 30 December, 2010
    And the 0-2000 m OHC decreased by that about amount in two months in early 2006. Yet, the long-term trend is up my friend.

    Funny you don't see it's impossible. One needs a 15 W/m2 radiative imbalance at TOA for two months to produce such wriggles. That's more than 6% of ASR (Absorbed Shortwave Radiation). You could say the Earth was at its perihelion in early 2007. But it makes the drop a year before even more suspicious. Either - or.

    There's simply no heat reservoir in the climate system other than the oceans that could emit or absorb so much heat. The two events, taken together, require imbalances of some 30 W/m2 on such timescales. Can you see anything like that in the ISCCP-FD Net TOA Radiative Fluxes?



    An OHC history reconstruction showing impossible features is not the best candidate for estimating trends.

    Also, please make up your mind. Earlier on this thread you correctly stated that the planet is warming and that TCR is about 2 C

    I said UAH satellite lower troposphere data showed a (moderate) warming trend. That's not the same as "the planet is warming", is it? And I was not talking about TCR (Transient Climate Response), but equilibrium climate sensitivity and said it was at most 2°C, probably considerably less. Other than that, well done, you've quoted me correctly.
  47. @BP: why does your graph stop in 2005?

    I'm sorry, but you have yet to make a convincing case against the graph. The fact that results are surprising doesn't mean they are impossible. In fact, considering the limits of the survey (0 to 2000 meters), it is quite possible part of the extra heat was released from below.

    It seems to me the main reason you are dismissing this graph is that it disagrees with your own (non-peer-reviewed) theories.

    "I said UAH satellite lower troposphere data showed a (moderate) warming trend. That's not the same as "the planet is warming", is it?"

    All temperatures show pretty much the same warming trend, and it is not moderate by any reasonable standard. Of course, when your goal is to minimize the risk and stall the debate, everything goes, right?
  48. In any case, the topic of this is "is global warming still happening", and the answer to that is a resounding yes. Discussion of the reliability of an OHC graph are quite off-topic.
  49. Thanks Archiesteel @97,

    I'm busy today, so I can't argue with BP.

    Some points. The planet is warming (accumulating heat) the trend in global SATs and tropospheric temperatures is positive and statistically significant, and the rate of warming is noteworthy. Sad that BP cannot even conceded that simple point without prefacing the statement with a caveat.

    BP, despite his claims is not calculating EQS, he is calculating TCR, and his estimate of TCR is within the range of TCR calculated by Gregory and Forster. If BP thinks he is onto something regarding EQS being so low (he does not say exactly how low, lots of arm waving), I am sure Journal of Climate would be happy to ship his manuscript off to the reviewers if they think his proposed method has merit.

    Yes, the OHC data are problematic. My point though was that despite the spikes and troughs, the trend in those 0-2000 m OHC data between 2003 and 2008 is up. I do not see a systematic positive bias in the measurements.

    Finally, let us for now forget the SAT data and the OHC data. There are still multiple, independent lines of evidence which point to a warming planet (oddly enough a planet which BP claims is 'cooling itself').

  50. Thanks for the responses Archiesteel & Bipliovermis.

    I directed my friend to this thread and this was his response:

    "Well, I followed the link you provided to the Skeptical Science site and I read what they had to say about the assertion that the earth is in a current cooling trend. I really don’t see what you see in the site?

    I provided you with a long list of scientists who are in agreement that the earth is cooling and skeptical science writes:

    “Whilst it’s natural to start with air temperatures, a more thorough examination should be as inclusive as possible; snow cover, ice melt, air temperatures over land and sea, even the sea temperatures themselves.”

    Yes … they thought of that! In fact it was a thorough study of temperatures from the sources listed that brought the list of scientists to the conclusion that the earth is in a cooling trend. This is a good example of the “Straw man” arguments put up by many Global Warmers. The Skeptical Science author implies that people who believe the earth is cooling just haven’t thought of measuring things like ocean temperature. Then he steps in and provides the easy answer to the ravings of the lunatic scientific fringe, “They only look at air temperature! They need to check the oceans!” Ahhh, thank you oh wise one!

    Of course, anyone who actually looked at the research being conducted by vast numbers of scientists all over the world would understand that their temperature data was amassed from a wide sampling. Also, and I mention this only in passing, anyone who even casually read the emails from the University at East Anglia would know that a major concern that the top Global Warming scientists had (Their research went directly to the U.N.) was that they had no data showing a heating planet and therefore conspired to destroy the data they had. They did in fact destroy and manipulate their data, ultimately resulting in a number of firings.

    I’m absolutely loving watching Global Warmers explain the current cold snap. The problem, of course, is that Global Warmers had been predicting heat …hence the name, Global “Warming.” So now Global Warmers must emphasize that hey, a few years or even a decade or longer means nothing, what really counts is the long term trend!

    Here’s how Skeptical Science put it:

    “For climate change, it is the long term trends that are important; measured over decades or more, and those long term trends show that the globe is still, unfortunately, warming.”

    Now, go to the site that Chris linked to and drop down to the graph. Click on anything, Ocean heat Content, Sea Surface, etc. (Strangely, no matter what you click on you’re taken to the same story from the government agency NOAA but remember, “There is no political connection between government and Global Warming scientists” …keep repeating that) Look at the title of the NOAA story, See the word “Decade”?

    Now I don’t see any Global Warmers criticizing the government agency NOAA for irresponsibly reporting how the earth’s temperature increased over a decade when real science looks at the long term picture. Why is this? Why is it that we see Global Warmers jumping up and down and frothing at the mouth to explain away relatively short term cold spells when a simple Google search will reveal that Global Warmers use ANY sort of heating trend from a lake that appears to be drying up to a hot week in November to try and prove their theory that mankind is dooming the planet?

    Long term trends are indeed all that are important and real scientists know this. Global Warmers, on the other hand, play both sides of the fence. When things are hot, it’s a sign of the coming apocalypse, when it’s cold, it’s just “weather” that really doesn’t mean anything."

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