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Carter Confusion #1: Anthropogenic Warming

Posted on 19 May 2011 by dana1981

Bob Carter is a marine geologist at James Cook University in Queensland, Australia who in recent years has forayed into the field of climate science, for example co-authoring the extremely flawed study McLean et al. 2009 which attempted to blame global warming on the El Niño Southern Oscillation.  Recently, Carter penned a media article in which he argued against Australia's proposed carbon tax.  The article is a fairly typical Gish Gallop in which Carter seems to attempt to jam as many climate myths into as few words as possible, interspersed with a lot of empty political rhetoric and the usual misunderstanding of climate economics.  The article contains too many myths to refute in a single post, so we will address it in a Carter Confusion series in the same vein as Monckton Myths, Christy Crocks, and Lindzen Illusions.

In this first installment, we will examine Carter's claims that there is no evidence that the observed global warming is man-made, and that it is instead caused by the natural internal variability of the climate system.

Anthropogenic Fingerprints

Carter leaps quickly out of the gate, launching a whopper in the second paragraph of his article (emphasis added):

"Since [the 1980s], with the formation of the IPCC, and a parallel huge expansion of research and consultancy money into climate studies, energy studies and climate policy, an intensive effort has been made to identify and measure the human signature in the global temperature record at a cost that probably exceeds $100 billion. And, as Kevin Rudd might put it, “You know what? No such signature has been able to be isolated and measured."

First of all, it's difficult to determine where Carter is getting this $100 billion figure from.  The article focuses specifically on Australia, and the country has not spent $100 billion on climate research in its entire history, period.  Even on a global scale, nowhere near $100 billion has been spent on studies to identify anthropogenic signatures of global warming.  Carter appears to be playing fast and loose with the facts in order to appeal to his readers' emotions during difficult economic times, which is a highly unscientific approach.  Not a promising start to the article.

Furthermore, as Skeptical Science readers know, the claim that no human warming signatures have been identified is entirely false, and reveals that Carter is either ignorant of the field of climate science, or is not being honest in his article.  We have previously addressed the anthropogenic "fingerprints" or "signatures" of global warming in the rebuttal to "it's not us".  Below is a brief summary of those fingerprints:

  • the upper atmosphere is cooling
  • the tropopause height is rising
  • nights are warming more than days
  • sea level pressure is rising
  • precipitation is changing as expected from anthropogenic forcing
  • ocean heat content is changing as expected from anthropogenic forcing
  • downward longwave radiation is increasing
  • upward longwave radiation is decreasing

Additionally, the warming trend is accurately projected by climate models – another fact which Carter denies later in the article.

Models Accurately Project Warming

"One thing is known for certain about these computer models, and it is that they are wrong as tested against the last twenty years of elapsed global temperature."

This is another false statement.  As we saw in Lindzen Illusion #2 and the rebuttal to "Hansen's 1988 prediction was wrong", in 1988 James Hansen projected global temperature changes to a high degree of accuracy (Figure 1).

Hansen vs Lindzen

Figure 1: Hansen et al. 1988 Scenario B adjusted to reflect observed radiative forcing changes (red) vs. our reconstruction of what Lindzen's temperature projections may have looked like based on comments he made in a 1989 talk (blue) and the average of the GISTEMP land-only and land-ocean temperature record (black).

Additionally, the observed temperature change is well within the range of IPCC model projections (Figure 2).

RC model data comparison

Figure 2:  IPCC AR4 hindcast and forecast temperature projection range vs. observations (RealClimate)

Internal Variability

Carter also suggests that rather than being man-made, the observed global warming could just be due to natural internal variability:

"that we can’t identify and measure [an anthropogenic warming signal] indicates that the signal is so small that it is lost in the noise of natural climate variation....Global average temperature at the end of the twentieth century fell well within the bounds of natural climate variation"

"It's internal variability" has become a popular "skeptic" argument, and one which we have previously addressed in Christy Crock #3 and Lindzen Illusion #5.  The argument's Achilles heel is that the oceans, from which heat would be transferred to the air if surface warming were simply due to internal variability, are also warming.  Moreover, contrary to Carter's claim, the average global surface air warming over the past century (0.8°C) is well outside the range of the influence of internal variability on surface temperatures over decadal timescales (generally no more than 0.3°C), and this variability can account for little if any of the 20th century warming (Figure 3).

Swanson Tsonis variability

Figure 3: Estimation of the observed signature of internal variability in the observed 20th century global mean temperature in climate model simulations (Swanson et al. 2009).

Carter Strikes Out

Here we have examined just three of the many false claims in Carter's article.  In each case, Carter's claims were easily refuted by a quick review of the scientific literature.  Yet amazingly, Carter also has the gall to claim

"environmental activists and their supporters, including apparently many scientists, [developed] the disease known as deaf ear."

In reality it's Carter who appears to be deaf and blind to the body of climate science research.  Until he puts in the time to learn about the scientific field, Carter is in no position to be advising others how we should respond to the threats posed by climate change.  Carter advising climate "skeptics" is a case of the blind leading the blind.

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Comments

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Comments 1 to 50 out of 59:

  1. $100 billion sounds like a fantasy figure plucked from the ether. Does Carter believe that nothing should be spent on climate research?
    Or does he believe that the results should be neutral and effectively show nothing, as if a god were magically balancing things?
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  2. Carter is a polemical idealogue first and foremost, and a scientist (just about) last. He should be ashamed of himself but is probably proud of his disseminations.
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  3. You didn't mention the isotope signature of the carbon in man-made CO2 vs naturally occurring CO2. I believe it is the main signature of anthropogenic climate change.
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    Response:

    [dana1981] Only if you accept that CO2 is causing warming to start with

  4. Some folks like to pretend that the majority of NASA’s budget is devoted to “proving” some aspect of climate change.
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  5. All of the fingerprints you listed would be true no matter what the ultimate cause for an increase in GHGs, so they really can't be used as specific evidence for an anthropogenic cause. Something that would be true only in the case of anthropogenic causes is needed, like the carbon isotope ratios.

    If the question is evidence for warming, then those signatures are sufficient.
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    Response:

    [dana1981] Let's not pick nits here.  We're taking it as a given that the CO2 increase is anthropogenic.

  6. I see Bob Carter has now appeared on the list of "Independent Advisors" to the newly minted "Galileo Movement". Said list also includes such distinguished names as Singer, Lindzen, Plimer, Marohasy, Nova, Bolt, and Monckton, among others.

    It's a veritable picnic of denier arguments. They even repeat the "$100 billion spend on research" argument...
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    Response:

    [dana1981] How ironic, the "Galileo movement" is made up of a bunch of anti-Galileos

  7. The 100 billion charade is even more ironic considering that skeptics are the ones always claiming that there is too much uncertainty and that more research is needed.
    Nonetheless, it is a sad state of affairs when someone as scientifically incompetent and as dishonest as Monckton associates his name with that of Galileo.

    To anyone who feels like whining about my accusing Monckton, check the facts first. His incompetence and dishonesty are heavily documented, on this site and elsewhere. Even our resident "skeptics" don't bother defending the guy who tilts a graph to make it look like there is no increase.
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  8. More knowledge, less certainty, Kevin Trenberth, 2010.):

    „So here is my prediction: the uncertainty in AR5′s climate predictions and projections will be much greater than in previous IPCC reports ...”
    “Is it not a reasonable expectation that as knowledge and understanding increase over time, uncertainty should decrease? But while our knowledge of certain factors does increase, so does our understanding of factors we previously did not account for or even recognize.
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  9. I actually had a look at the Galileo movement site and had a lot of difficulty finding any useful science over there. Surely the mark of good science is the editing out of materials that can not be traced back to some original core and proven science.
    Yet the site references plenty of unscientific material, which is a bit ironic, since some criticism of the IPCC was the inclusion of some non-science material (due to poor editorial control or in sections that were about mitigation).
    Yet here we have critics of the IPCC failing to put into practice what they preach.
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  10. 8 - Arkadiusz

    Indeed Trenberth seems to have you nailed!

    "Performing cutting-edge climate science in public could easily lead to misinterpretation," ... "and such results can be misused. In fact — to offer one more prediction — I expect that they will be."
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  11. the upper atmosphere is cooling
    Yes. Particularly the mid to upper stratosphere. But we should note that much of the cooling trend is accounted for by 'step function' changes associated with the volcanic eruptions:

    ( -Long off-topic Gish Gallop snipped- )

    But the evidence of the low rates of above put me squarely into the lukewarmer camp.
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    Response:

    [DB] This thread is about the confused state of Bob Carter and his complete misunderstanding of climate science.

    I appreciate the deep care you put into your comment, but pick the one or two items you feel most strongly about & use the Search function to locate the most appropriate thread to put them on.

    Long comments touching upon a plenitude of areas within the panoply of climate science amount to a Gish Gallop when placed upon a thread with such a narrow focus as this.  And as such are typically deleted.

    Thanks for your understanding.

  12. CW @11,

    You do not have a terribly good history here at SkS with accurately relaying the science. And your latest missive is not doing much to alleviate that. In fact, some might point out the irony of you trotting out your own Gish Gallop and confused post to defend Carter's Gish Gallop and confusion. It also includes some fine examples of Cherry picking (e.g, the graph to support your claim that global precip declined from 1970 through 2000). What your strawman fails to address is that it is the increase in extreme/intense precipitation events and droughts which is at issue here-- some places are becoming wetter, others drier.

    Concerning stratospheric cooling. You might want to read Randel et al. (2009) in which they say:

    "Temperature changes in the lower stratosphere show cooling of ~0.5 K/decade over much of the globe for 1979-2007, with some differences in detail among the different radiosonde and satellite data sets."

    And,

    "Trends in the lower stratosphere derived from radiosonde data are also analyzed for a longer record (back to 1958); trends for the presatellite era (1958–1978) have a large range among the different homogenized data sets, implying large trend uncertainties."

    You might also wish to look at their Figures 4a and 14--they show a long-term downward trend in stratospheric temperatures. The step changes that you allude to do not account for the majority of the long-term cooling trend as you claim.

    Anyways, this is not worth my time addressing the other misinformation in your post-- having to do this is tiresome CW, very tiresome.

    Here is a great quote by John Adams that I think applies to 'skeptics', "lukewarmers", and those in denial about AGW on this thread (and in fact all threads):

    "Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence."

    Ponder that.
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  13. CW's comments just make me shake my head. It's enough work to deal with the Gish Gallops of professional "skeptics". I don't have the time, energy, or patience to do so in the SkS comments too. Suffice it to say most of CW's arguments in #11 are excellent examples of cherrypicking. For example focusing on the stratosphere while ignoring the higher layers of the atmosphere, choosing convenient short-term data, dismissing inconvenient data for no apparent reason, etc. Not to mention misunderstanding or misreading the arguments (assuming he read them at all). For example, confusing sea level rise with sea level pressure (combined with making a false statement about sea level rise).
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  14. CW @11,

    Re the trends in the diurnal temperature range (DTR), you might want to read a paper by Zhou et al. (2010) [H/T to Eli Rabett]. They conclude that:

    "When anthropogenic and natural forcings are included, the models generally reproduce observed major features of the warming of Tmax and Tmin and the reduction of DTR. As expected the greenhouse gases enhanced surface downward longwave radiation (DLW) explains most of the warming of Tmax and Tmin while decreased surface downward shortwave radiation (DSW) due to increasing aerosols and water vapor contributes most to the decreases in DTR in the models. When only natural forcings are used, none of the observed trends are simulated. The simulated DTR decreases are much smaller than the observed (mainly due to the small simulated Tmin trend) but still outside the range of natural internal variability estimated from the models."

    Inconvenient findings for Carter. Then again, many factors affect the DTR other than GHGs, so I agree that it is perhaps not the best indicator of AGW. The changes in the annual cycle (winters warming faster than summers) is a robust fingerprint of AGW.

    And before you introduce Fall et al. (2011), their results bring the models projections into closer agreement with observations.
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  15. Dana @14,

    I agree and share your frustration. One could delete such Gish gallops, because they are of no scientific value really. I do not know what the solution is, but I sincerely hope that people following this thread take what CW states/claims as 'truth' with a grain of salt.
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    Response:

    [DB] I implemented a compromise strategy.

  16. CW,

    Dana was addressing was Carter's claim that no signature of AGW has been identified. I hope you at least can agree that for him to state that is utter BS? But your post @11 suggests otherwise, in fact you seem to be defending his misguided position.

    If you deny that at least one such signal/fingerprint has been identified, then you deny the theory of AGW, and that then does not make you a 'lukewarmer' (that is a fabricated position of convenience) .

    Do you agree with Carter's assertion that not signature or fingerprint of AGW has been identified? An unequivocal/unambiguous answer please. That is "Yes" or "No". Thanks.
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  17. Daniel @15,

    Thanks. A fair compromise IMHO.
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  18. 15 - Albatross "I sincerely hope that people following this thread take what CW states/claims as 'truth' with a grain of salt.".
    Some will cheer him, others will frown; but I'm sure I'm not alone in reading SkS for the quality of the science and give the noise produced by 'skeptics' no more than a wry smerk.
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  19. Small point: Carter is one New Zealander we are very happy to have Australia claim as one of their own...
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    Response:

    [dana1981] Is he?  We Americans have a hard time distinguishing between Aussies and New Zealanders (if Flight of the Conchords is any indication, that was a highly offensive statement).  I was always under the impression Carter was an Aussie, but I'll take your word for it.

  20. It looks like Carter was originally from NZ and works in Australia, eh Gareth?
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  21. RealClimate has the right idea for the CWs of this world: a bore hole for them to live in.
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  22. I love the quote from Richard Alley's book Earth, The Operators Manual.

    "The natural-not-human problem that isn't happening and wouldn't matter is too big to handle."
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  23. While I am baffled by Carter's take on climate - especially recitation of things he must know are wrong - I wouldn't rush to wholesale condemnation either. He was stimulating teacher when I attended Otago University(NZ) in the 1970s and he has made excellent scientific contributions to NZ geology. I would read with some respect what he published in the scientific literature - just not what he says to media, very much like Lindzen. The "gone Emeritus" phenomena perhaps?
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  24. Dana, if you need to be sure, just listen to him say words like fish & chips or six. If it sounds more like Fush & Chups or Sux, then he's almost certainly a New Zealander ;-). Sorry for the OT post, but just had to poke a bit of fun at our Trans-Tasman cousins.
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  25. scaddenp: yes, I understand Plimer is (was?) also one of the best geologists in Australia. Why they feel that makes them experts in climate science, I'm not sure. It seems to be a surprisingly common position amongst geologists. I suspect it's because they know enough about paleoclimate to understand the massive variation the earth's climate can have on geological time scales, while failing to understand that what we're staring down the barrel of now is on a human time scale - i.e. 100s or 1000s of times faster.
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  26. Hi Dana - yes, you have him nailed. He is an honorary fellow of the Royal Society of NZ, because he did much good work in NZ. He gets (arguably too much) of a free ride from senior NZ academics because he was helpful in many of their early careers.
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  27. I am very interested in the range of comments on this article, none of which makes any substantial comment on the science of global warming by carbon dioxide. I am personally interested in the "science of atmospheric carbon dioxide", to use a very broad description of the total physics and spectroscopy of that gas. I want to understand the characteristics of its absorption in various molecular bands and the physical processes involved in the redistribution of that energy through intermolecular collisions and subsequent convection upwards of that energy.

    ( -Snip- )

    In these few paragraphs I have tried to give some overview of my assessment of the scientific case for carbon dioxide’s role in global warming. I know that some of the things I have remarked upon will be controversial in this forum as they should be any where that science is being discussed. I look forward to the strong rebuttals which I expect will follow in these pages and to which I would like to heve the opportunity again to respond in due course. It would be an exciting prospect that we might actually debate some basic science in this way, with respect and due acknowledgement of each others capacity to respond and that their views, however different from their own might have at least some truth in them.

    John Nicol
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    Response:

    [DB] This thread is about Carter's confusions about the science of global warming.  As such, the vast majority of your very long comment was off-topic here on this thread.  You are welcome to repost your comment on a more appropriate thread than this one (use the Search function thingy).  Thanks!

  28. I was only attempting to change the approach here to one of more genuine debate on the science which Bob Carter is proposing, as a very experienced (thirty five years) paleo-geologist whose work has centred on past climate for millions of years worth of records, I believe he understands much more about climate than you give him credit for. As a "marine" geologist, he spends his time on marine expeditions which are internationally funded, drilling for both deep and shallow cores - in the ocean floor - with which to study past climates and other geological history. Your article stated that it was intended to examine "In this first installment, we will examine Carter's claims that there is no evidence that the observed global warming is man-made.. ". I was simply responding, I thought, to that comment in the article. Your phrase "Carter seems to attempt to jam as many climate myths into as few words as possible, interspersed with a lot of empty political rhetoric and the usual misunderstanding of climate economics..." suggests that you are criticising the person, not his statements and seems to me to move at least to the edge if not outside your own guidelines. I would like to hear your comments on the newest "climate scientist" to enter the debate, Ross Garnaut.
    John Nicol
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    Response:

    [dana1981] Where exactly do you see Carter proposing "a more geniune debate"?  If you read his article, it's hard to find any such proposal.  What Carter does is repeat a whole bunch of long-debunked myths which have no scientific basis.  That's an attack on the content of the article, not the man.

    I have no doubt that Carter has done some good research in the field of marine geology.  But that doesn't mean he gets a pass when he publishes error-riddled and politically-tinged (to put it lightly) climate-related articles like this one.

    As for Garnaut, we comment on science, not on individuals.  If you would like to ask a question about a particular statement Garnaut has made, we would be happy to answer it.

  29. John

    I think dana's post is very focussed on the evidence actually. There is some frustration, but partly that results from watching a good scientist makes such obvious mistakes in public. Sticking to the evidence, which of dana's criticisms of Carter's statements do you specifically take issue with and why?

    BTW Best to take it a step at a time because people can't respond substantively to long lists of points - not to mention the moderators will get angry. Also, if you have extensive comments related to a preexisting section (likely in this case given that Carter is proposing ideas that have been dealt with in detail here) its best to post a short summary here that points to that appropriate section and post a proper summary there. That does no constitute exile; you will be found and it ensures that your point doesn't get lost.
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  30. Hey guys, should just warn you that John Nicol is a member of the Australian Climate Science Coalition-which also has such "august" individuals as William Kinnimonth, John McLean (of "hide the incline" fame) and, of course, Bob Carter himself (hence John's very spirited defense). This organization is a typical Denialist Organization, with strong ties to the Lavoisier Group, whose sole goal is to prevent any meaningful action on Climate Change via the use of pseudo-science-like the stuff this very article focuses on. As such, I think its fair to say that any future contributions by John will be equally irrelevant & equally unscientific.
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    Response:

    [dana1981] Not just a member, but the chairman, assuming it's the same John Nicol.  Coincidentally, I just took the ACSC "climate quiz", and wow, talk about incredibly misleading.  Nevertheless, discussion of ACSC and John's membership therein isn't relevant to this topic, so let's leave it at that.

  31. ...oh, & Ian Plimer is in the ACSC as well. They do say that you can judge a man by the company he keeps....doesn't say much for John Nicol, I must say.
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  32. "Nevertheless, discussion of ACSC and John's membership therein isn't relevant to this topic, so let's leave it at that."

    Well I only mentioned it because both he *and* Bob Carter are part of this Group, so I thought everyone should know...but you're right, Dana, I won't say anything more on the subject.
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  33. Marcus, I just thought I should let you know that Bill Kininmonth happens to be one of Australia's most distinguished meteorologists. To help you understand what that means, he has studied the atmosphere, its changes and the physical processes which influence its behaviour in great detail. He is first a physics graduate, with an understanding of a great deal of the necessary mathematics and thermodynamics as well as advanced Newtonian mechanics involving Lagrange's equations, Euler's equations in various appropriate co-ordinate systems whether Cartesian, Spherical or Cylindrical. He understands the connditions in the atmosphere where it is appropriate to describe the mechanics in terms of Lagrange's equations and where it is necessary to apply an Eulerian approach. He understands the differential equations of fluid dynamics and the interaction between the ocean and wind together with the effects on the atmosphere of evaporation and condensation. He understands the mechanism in its totlaity involved in warming the atmosphere by evaporation from the oceans and water bodies, as well as the cooling effect this has on the water. He understands the cooling of the land surface by wind associated also with the ewarming oif the air followed by upwards convection. Over the past many years since his retirement he has continued to apply this knowledge in analysing climatic situations which after all are largely, though of course not totally, an extension of meteorology. My question to you is: Do you understand all of these things?
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  34. jonicol @33, so I am to understand that the new denier position du jour is that the climate is much to complex to be fully understood ... except by Kinnimonth who understands everything.
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  35. Just a few points John Nicol.

    #1: Being a meteorologist-no matter how distinguished-is not the same thing as being a climate science. This is a distinction which still appears to be utterly lost on the members of the Denial-o-sphere.

    #2: Weather is chaotic & hard to predict; long-term climate is relatively stable & easy to predict *if* you know what the long-term inputs & feedbacks are-because all the chaos of individual weather events tend to cancel out over periods of years to decades to centuries. Heck, if *weather* were so unpredictable over the longer-term, then we'd have no such thing as *Seasons*-but seasons represent one form of long-term stability that climate represents.

    #3: Whatever William Kinninmonth's past calling, his current close ties with organizations like the Lavoisier Group & now ACSC-both organizations fully funded by the Fossil Fuel Industry-makes any statements made by him highly suspect & incredibly biased. Same is true of Plimer & McLean, both of whom have shown a willingness to misrepresent the data to advance the denialist agenda.

    You see, John, your little song & dance might get you loads of attention from your mates at The Australian, but here we hold contributors to a much higher standard of evidence-& evidence is something which Carter, Kinninmonth, Plimer & McLean have never had.
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  36. 33 jonicol - Thanks for that! It's very encouraging to know that you need no more than 2nd year physics to understand climate science.
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  37. @ Tom Curtis: Hasn't that always been the Denialist meme? The idea that 97% of the world's climate scientists don't *really* understand how the climate works-only a handful of "truth-seekers"-like Nicol, Kinninmonth, McLean & Plimer really understand what's going on. Or at least that's what they want the media & policy-makers to believe. I've seen Kinninmonth's "hypothesis" before, & they sound just as bogus when Nicol lays it out as it did when Kinninmonth originally proposed the idea. Of course the hypothesis doesn't work, because it then doesn't explain how the planet has managed to warm by around +0.5 degrees C over the last 30 years. After all, what happens to that heat once it reaches the atmosphere? Tropospheric Warming & Stratospheric Cooling would suggest that its not getting beyond the troposphere, which is pretty much as high as evaporative processes actually work anyway. After all, what goes up, must come back down again.
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  38. I'm also curious-how did these people, supposedly with backgrounds in physics, miss something as basic as the ability of Carbon Dioxide to absorb infrared radiation. I'm no expert in physics, but even *I* know about this basic property of the Greenhouse Gases. They also don't seem to understand that evapo-transpiration is good at explaining heat transfers over very short time frames, but really isn't a very good model for explaining the long term build up of heat in the atmosphere & our oceans. Maybe a remedial education is in order?
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  39. Jonicol:

    "I want to understand the characteristics of its absorption in various molecular bands and the physical processes involved in the redistribution of that energy through intermolecular collisions and subsequent convection upwards of that energy. "

    Look deep into the exit pupil of a CO2 laser, turn it on, and get back to us afterwards if you want to argue that physicists don't understand the physics ...
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  40. I am agasin disappointed that the reponses to my attempts to draw attention for the need to discuss the scientific aspacts of climate change have failed to ignite any passion beyond discussing what climate scientists know and what meteorologists, geologists and physicists know from their background. Sure basic Lagrangian mechanics is the subject of second year physics but Eulerian theory in its fullest form is certainly third year level and well beyond, being the basis in tensor form of Einstein's theory of General relativity. I know this is irrelevant. I am not going to speculate on what climate scientist's background's might be but up until fairly recently climate scientists came across from geography as in the case of Andy Pitman and Matthew England UNSW for instance. That too is irrelevant. However, you must surely recognise that climate science is basically mechanics, fluid dynamics, hydrology, oceanography and, if you include the effects of carbon dioxide, quantm mechanics and high resolution spectroscopy with experience in line broadening and statistical mechanics of gases. Without deep knowpledge in all of these areas, there is not a lot to be done which is useful in the field of climate. As even the climate scientists would agree, climate is a long term assessment of what happens in the weather. The physics which is used to understand this is what is applied to meteorology.
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    Response:

    [dana1981] Perhaps you are unfamiliar with our site, but discussing the scientific aspects of climate change is the fundamental purpose of Skeptical Science.

    We've allowed this discussion to get far off topic.  Everyone please keep future comments relevant to the subjects in Carter Confusion #1, or take your comments to the relevant discussion subject.

  41. jonicol @40, I found my first encounter with your theories several years ago quite educational. I had to actually learn the true basis of the theory of global warming to understand what was wrong with them. But learn I did, from blogs by Eli Rabbet, Chris Colose, and Tamino, and a book by Pierrehumbert. Do you wish to argue that any of these are inadequately educated in mathematics or science to understand climate? Or that Hansen is insufficiently knowledgable in physics to do so? Or that Archer is insufficiently educated?

    Your listing of Bill Kinninmonths qualifications are a pure appeal to authority, and nothing more. In this case the appeal is unwarranted because Kinninmonth demonstrably makes fundamental errors on a repeated basis, wether by design or through incompetence. He is so incompetent that his colleague, you, is still refuting a back radiation model of the the green house effect without having realized after three years that that is not the theory of the greenhouse used by climate scientists. Nor, apparently, for all of Kinninmonths qualifications in Eularian theory has he realized that your model of the atmosphere and radiative transfer is unphysical. (Or perhaps he does, and is too focussed on strategy to say.)

    You say you want to "draw attention for the need to discuss the scientific aspacts of climate change". Nothing done by the moderators or participants in this forum have prevented you from doing so. You have just been required, like the rest of us, to post on topic discussions which are confined to the topic of the post being discussed. As all manner of climate science (and non-science by deniers) is discussed on this forum, finding a suitable topic should be no problem. Apparently, however, it is too much effort for you. You would rather hijack threads with long screeds devoted solely to your theories. However, this is not your site. Out of politeness to your host, you should obey the forum rules (see the comments policy). Your inability or unwillingness to do so is you only impediment to discussion on this forum.
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  42. 1. Tom Curtis at 08:13 AM on 24 May, 2011
    jonicol @40,

    I found my first encounter with your theories several years ago......
    .
    He is so incompetent that his colleague, you, is still refuting a back radiation .......... without having realized after three years ...... is not the theory of the greenhouse used by climate scientists.

    1. Thank you Tom for coming back on this. I realised after reading a number of physics and spectroscopy papers on the action of CO2 in the atmosphere, and in particular after carrying out my own basic quantum mechanical analysis, that mine was not the “physics” used by climatologists. I then spent the next three years asking the Australian climatologists, what is the theory of the green house used by them. None has been able to give me an answer beyond stating that there was a correlation between 1979 and 1998 and virtually that was it. If you have more details, I would be delighted to hear from you. You have my email address at bigpond from my paper so I will look forward to hearing from you with genuine interest.

    Kinninmonth demonstrably makes fundamental errors on a repeated basis, wether by design or through incompetence.

    2. Could you give some examples of his errors?

    Your listing of Bill Kinninmonths qualifications are a pure appeal to authority.......


    3. I was not intending to go through the background qualifications of anyone, since I believe that most scientists learn on the job. However, some one else mentioned Bill as being one of my colleagues and indicated that he, Bill was not qualified to make a contribution to climate discussions. It seemed appropriate to at least outline what I believe does give him very significant credibility in this field, even though he does not claim to be a “climatologist”. So, no, I am not appealing to authority as I did not make any comment on the results of Bill’s work. It would also be interesting to know for instance, whether Andy Pitman or Will Steffen for instance, are conversant with the required physics and mathematics which is used to set up an AOGCM climate model, the basis upon which the science of climatologists relies. Not that it is any concern if they cannot, but they do refer to themselves as climatologists. Nor am I not saying either that Hansen is insufficiently knowledgable even though I do not agree with his analysis of the behaviour of CO2 since he also uses assumptions based only on Arrhenius’ hypothesis with a bit of embellishment from Callendar, whose work is interesting, but I am sure would agree simplistic. As I included in a longer response in this thread, the main portion of which was snipped, the most significant error from the point if view of physics that Arrhenius and Callendar made, as perpetuated also in modern climatology, is that only the green house gases are responsible for the rise in temperature from 255 K to 288 K. While at low concentrations the green house gases will assist in warming the atmosphere, the major transfer of heat from the surface to air is via wind cooling over land and evaporation over water. The sea surface for instance in the tropics has not been known to rise to 100 C (373K) which would be required for it to radiate at the rate it receives heat from the sun. Similarly over land the surface exposed to the midday tropical sun does not reach more than about 60 C whwereas the radiation equilibrium temperature is 119 C. On the basis of these observations, it is not difficult to calculate the fraction of heat lost by radiation - < 20%, - and nothing will change that. Perhaps you could give me some references to the work by Rabbet, Colose and Tamino since in my limited knowledge of them they have seemed to be working more on the veracity or otherwise of temperature measurements and concentrations of carbon dioxide, rather than discussing the physical links between the two parameters.

    Nor, apparently, for all of Kinninmonths qualifications ...... radiative transfer is unphysical

    4. I am wondering if you could be more specific in explaining why my model of the atmosphere is “unphysical”. I have had many comments on my paper over the years it has been on the web but none which described it as “non physical” As you would be aware, I have always given my email address and invited comments and in particular criticisms of the physics – but disappointingly none has been critical and many physicists have commended it – not that I am seeking commendation as it is just pure text book physics applied to the atmosphere and carbon dioxide in particular as an example of a green house gas.


    You say you want to "draw attention for the need to discuss the scientific aspacts of climate change". Nothing done by the moderators or participants in this forum have prevented you from doing so.

    5. That isn’t quite correct as some years ago I added my two pennies worth as I did the other day and
    was pillaried for it. I wasn’t discouraged this time – just had the main part of my contribution removed from the site. I accept that it may have just now gone outside this particular thread but somewhere else on this I have been urged to stick to the science. You have just been required, like the rest of us, to post on topic discussions which are confined to the topic of the post being discussed. As all manner of climate science (and non-science by deniers) is discussed on this forum, finding a suitable topic should be no problem. Apparently, however, it is too much effort for you. You would rather hijack threads with long screeds devoted solely to your theories. However, this is not your site. Out of politeness to your host, you should obey the forum rules (see the comments policy). Your inability or unwillingness to do so is you only impediment
    0 0
  43. jonicol @42, I am not going to wander of topic so far as to debunk kinninmonth's various presentations, nor your argument here. I will, however, suggest that you present your argument on the thread about the saturation of the Green house effect where it is probably on topic. Take care to read the advanced version of the article and relate your discussion to that article. I suspect that if you just post a screed again without relating it to the appropriate article it will once again (and rightly) be considered off topic.

    When you relate your argument to the article, please take care to explain why your result is so different from that obtained by Line by Line models using exactly the same physical laws that you appeal to. Also explain why we should accept your approximate calculation based on energy transfers at just two levels of the atmosphere over detailed calculations over multiple levels of the atmosphere that ensure conservation of energy between each level, and account for all energy transfers between levels.

    I find your claims about Australian climatologists frankly incredible (ie, unable to be believed). I believe you have either misunderstood their communication with you, misrepresented it, or have simply been fobbed of.
    0 0
  44. jonicol - if you wish us to accept that you have a better answer than the textbooks, with experimental evidence to back it, then I think it is time to show us your workings and your data. Such a landmark result, if true, should surely be published.
    0 0
  45. Scaddenp at 8:04 25/4. Thank you for your invitation to show you the "workings". I had earlier indicated here a much longer contribution with some scientific arguments, but it was, probably correctly, snipped fro being off topic.

    I am in the process of preparing both a general statement to explain the broad range of evidence which shows how other cyclical phenomena influence the climate from the regularly occuring ice ages to extremely warm holocenes in the past, the present and the future. I am also completing a paper for submission for publication. I will value your criticisms and perhaps we could establish an exchange forum where such in depth scientific debate could be used to exchange worthwhile ideas from both sides with criticisms focussed solely on the scientific arguments. If you are interested, pleasse let me know. I will also be putting material, very soon I hope, onto the thread suggested by Tom Curtis "the saturation of the Green house effect". In any case, I would value your help in trying to understand the fundamental case of carbon dioxides action in the atmosphere in terms of the modern physical analysis which must be available somewhere but which I have been unable to find or to be provided by people from the several Climate Science Units I have contacted over the last four or five years. I will look forward to hearing from you. Thanks.
    0 0
  46. Tom Curtis. Thank you for pointing out to me this alternative thread which I will use in future, and soon.

    My last comment here would be to ask if you could let me have a list of the articles on the interactions of atmospheric carbon dioxide which you or others consider most important in leading the argument for considering the existence of a serious imbalance in an earlier state of thermal equilibrium and thus lead to climate change. If the bodies I referred to earlier are simply fobbing me off as you suggest may be the case, I would be grateful if you could help me in getting my request through to them for a sensible use in comparing their analysis with my own and those of other scientists who are questioning the role of carbon dioxide as indicated by the IPCC.
    0 0
  47. See post in suggested tread, but you ask what is basis used for actual climate science? SoD recommends these text books:
    Engineering Calculations in Radiative Heat Transfer, by Gray and Müller (1974)
    Thermal Radiation Heat Transfer, by Robert Siegel and John R. Howell.
    Atmospheric Radiation: Theoretical Basis, Goody & Yung

    The theoretical work in core of radiative models is based as far as I know on Ramanathan and Coakley.
    0 0
  48. jonicol "...to ask if you could let me have a list of the articles on the interactions of atmospheric carbon dioxide which you or others consider most important in leading the argument ..."

    If you want an overview of the radiative physics of CO2, a good place to start would be Science of Doom , this is part 3 of a 12 part series. Anything you need that's not here you can find in one of the other parts.
    0 0
  49. jonicol@45
    '...cyclical phenomena influence the climate...'

    You may save yourself a bit of work (and maybe a bit of later heartache) if you do a bit of checking on "cycles" first. I just did this search over at Open Mind for a list of articles on cycles.

    And you might also want to avoid the correlation-and-to-hell-with-causation principle trap.
    0 0
  50. Yeah, "models" that violate thermodynamics to start with. I do like the term "mathturbation".
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