In response, local climate change denier, and anarchist, "Hogeye" Bill Orton, wrote a letter to the editor (apparently not published, so far), and sent copies to about 18 people (including my wife, and two copies for Doug). This resulted in a detailed response by me, and one by Dr. Stephen K. Boss, the Director of the "Environmental Dynamics Program" at the U of A.
Hogeye has posted all of this on his website here, along with a new rebuttal responding to Dr. Boss and I. There is no place for comments on Bill's site so I will respond to his new comments (his first rebuttal) here. If you wish to read my first rebuttal to his letter, scroll down to the next post.
The following contains all of the text, and graphs from Mr. Orton's rebuttal, along with my responses.
Hogeye Bill's reply to Steve's and Darrel's rebuttals.
"CO2 in the atmosphere has soaked up just about all the heat it can" and "CO2 could double or triple in the atmosphere with little effect on global temperature" are wholly incorrect assertions with no basis in fundamental physics."
"As proof for my first claim that CO2 in the atmosphere has soaked up just about all the heat it can, I offer this graph:
This comes from comes from David Archibald, and is based on climate sensitivity calculated by Craig Idso and published in peer reviewed literature (Idso 1998)."
The notion that CO2 sensitivity drops off rapidly is not controversial and has been known for well over a century.
You don't provide a reference for your claim of peer review, but being completely unfamiliar with your source, lets take a look at Mr. Idso:
"Craig D. Idso advocates that atmospheric carbon dioxide is not related to air temperatures and that increasing atmosphere carbon dioxide concentrations will instead benefit plant growth."
"Craig D. Idso is the founder and chairman of the board of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change."
This is from his wiki blurb. If accurate (I will check and update later), then this puts him at odds with 185 years of atmospheric science, all of it, and certainly, without question, completely in the crackpot category. The group he is director of is one that Mother Jones magazine put on their list of 2009 global warming skeptic "Dirty Dozen of Climate Change Denial"
His wiki blurb mentions three degrees but this last one is interesting:
[And received] "his Ph.D. in Geography from Arizona State University, where he studied as one of a small group of University Graduate Scholars." --ibid
The footnote for "University Graduate Scholars" leads one to the Science and public policy group, a *notorious* group of cranks I am very familiar with. This is a group that draws heavily upon the profoundly wacky works of... wait for it... "Christopher Monckton."
As I have shown before, Monckton is to climate science, what Kent Hovind is to creationism. And that is being slightly unkind to Hovind. See my post on this complete charlatan Monckton here.
So Hogeye leans upon the usual bunch. Sorry to digress into such blatant character assassination (I'll pay my fallacy fines later), but it is important to check the source of material when one is a non expert and needing to find the best science. It just astonishes me that anyone could take such sources as this seriously.
A similar graph comes from Patrick Michaels, based on a climate sensitivity estimate from Richard Lindzen in his recent ERBE paper (Lindzen and Choi 2009).
I knew about this one. It has been absolutely ripped to shreds here:
http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/ar ... unraveled/
And here, and here.
More on Lindzen here.
As someone on realclimate.org pointed out: "When even Roy Spencer doesn’t buy a denialist argument, you know it must be bad."
(Note: Roy Spencer, is a well known climate science skeptic, a meteorologist and he is also a "proponent of Intelligent Design" and advocates "Christian Based" science. He is an advisor to the "Interfaith Stewardship Alliance" (Cornwall Alliance) which advocates bringing a Biblical view to science. He has publically state that he advocates an environmental policy that is based on a "Biblical view" rather than science.")
You can see both graphs and read a discussion of them on this web page.
The webpage referred to here is "Jana Nova." More on her in a bit. Hogeye's claim here is that the CO2 effect is saturated (the hidden title of the jpeg he references is entitled: "CO2 is already absorbing almost all it can"). This is climate science denial canard number 65, so I refer him to this carefully written rebuttal:
Is the CO2 effect saturated?
As Joanne Nova, a former alarmist and author of The Skeptic's Handbook says:I realize log curves are not something you want to reach out to the public with in detail, but I felt everyone who has done chemistry at university would grasp this point quickly. It explains the paradox: It's true that carbon has some warming effect, but it's also true that extra carbon doesn't have the same effect. When alarmists point out that the natural greenhouse effect causes "X degrees of warming," they usually fail to mention that the first 100pm does almost all of this, and no additional 100ppm will ever do as much. It's a lie by omission.
If Darrel understands this logarithmic graph, he will realize that my comment "CO2 in the atmosphere has soaked up just about all the heat it can" is quite accurate, but his claim that "doubling of C02 will have profound implications for the planet's temperature" is naked alarmism.
Hogeye didn't read my response carefully. I specifically pointed to his weasel words "just about." The "just about" is what is in contention. That "just about," is in fact nearly the entire concern of the climatologists talking about climate change, at least with regard to the CO2 part of the concern.
I disagree with Nova's unreferenced, unsupported claim of a "lie by admission," but it hardly matters (perhaps she is referring to the media, which has nothing to do with the science). It's well established science that the effect of CO2 diminishes and drops off considerably. It's also well established that it doesn't drop off completely, hence the necessity for Hogeye to include his qualifier "just about." How big is that "just about?" The best science on the planet tells us that "Climate sensitivity is around 3ºC for a doubling of CO2." This is all laid out here on the award winning science site produced by climatologists, realclimate.org. See here. See step five, which I"ll quote:
"Step 5: Climate sensitivity is around 3ºC for a doubling of CO2
The climate sensitivity classically defined is the response of global mean temperature to a forcing once all the ‘fast feedbacks’ have occurred (atmospheric temperatures, clouds, water vapour, winds, snow, sea ice etc.), but before any of the ‘slow’ feedbacks have kicked in (ice sheets, vegetation, carbon cycle etc.). Given that it doesn’t matter much which forcing is changing, sensitivity can be assessed from any particular period in the past where the changes in forcing are known and the corresponding equilibrium temperature change can be estimated. As we have discussed previously, the last glacial period is a good example of a large forcing (~7 W/m2 from ice sheets, greenhouse gases, dust and vegetation) giving a large temperature response (~5 ºC) and implying a sensitivity of about 3ºC (with substantial error bars). More formally, you can combine this estimate with others taken from the 20th century, the response to volcanoes, the last millennium, remote sensing etc. to get pretty good constraints on what the number should be. This was done by Annan and Hargreaves (2006), and they come up with, you guessed it, 3ºC.
Converting the estimate for doubled CO2 to a more useful factor gives ~0.75 ºC/(W/m2)."
See a further analysis here: What percentage of global warming is due to human causes vs. natural causes?
So, is Hogeye asserting that it is "alarmism" to point to the science that tells us a doubling will lead to about a three degree rise in temperature? What will a three degree rise do to the earth? I submit such a rise is very serious. If Hogeye is unfamiliar with what the science says three degrees of warming will very likely do to the earth, I refer him to climate science denier canard number 153:
LINK. Excerpt: "A few degrees of global warming has a huge impact on ice sheets, sea levels and other aspects of climate."
Hogeye references "The Skeptic's Handbook." More on this in a bit, but I would be remiss to not point out that this handbook has been completely, utterly ripped to shreds, here:
A Scientific Guide to the 'Skeptics Handbook'
Again, as anyone can see with a little checking, Hogeye's material is outdated, clearly debunked, bottom of the barrel and funded by the politically motivated, anti-science oil denialism industry.
Hogeye then turns to Dr. Steve Boss's rebuttal. I'll invite him to come by here but being a professional who works in this field, I suspect he has better things to do. I'll respond to some of this and Dr. Boss can certainly add to it or correct me if I make a mistake.
Steve writes, "The fundamental physics of the outgoing long-wave radiation is not deniable." I agree. But as we see, more CO2 has a vanishingly small effect. Even IPCC agrees - it estimates only 1.1 degree of warming even if CO2 doubles. What is deniable is the IPCC models' grossly inflated feedback factors.
Hogeye doesn't cite a source for his claim of 1.1 degree warming with doubling, but it's pretty clear he is wrong. Oh I see, he is dismissing with a wave of his hand, any warming due to feedbacks. Good grief.
"Under Scenarios A2 and A1F1, the IPCC report projects that the global temperature in 2095 will be 2.0–6.4°C above 1990 levels (2.6-7.0°C above pre-industrial), with a best estimate of 3.4 and 4.0°C warmer (4.0 and 4.6°C above pre-industrial average surface temperatures), respectively."
Skeptical Science link, referencing the IPCC directly.
Steve claims that, "General Circulation Models (GCMs or 'climate models') are the most sophisticated computer programs climate scientists have and are not generally founded in assumptions."
Joanne Nova totally disagrees, and gives citations:Every prediction over 1.1 degrees relies on "feedback" of some sort. But what if that extra humidity turned into low clouds? What if it just rained out? What if fewer high clouds formed? Any of these would cool the planet.
Without the effects of feedbacks to amplify carbon's minor warming, there is no disaster, and that's exactly what the observations tell us. Lindzen found that as the planet warms it gives off more radiation."
Citation please. Much of Lindzen's material has been refuted. Saying someone found something, is not a citation.
Spencer found that as the planet warms, we get fewer high clouds.
Citation please. Spencer, the creationist who recommends using "Christian Based" science, has some of his material thoroughly refuted. For instance, see directly below.
Paltridge found that humidity levels have fallen.
Citation please. Saying someone, found something, is not a citation.
The missing hot spot shows the models are wrong.
This point has been completely debunked and this was done in 2005. A perfect example of how dated Hogeye's canards are. If Nova is relying upon Spencer for this (and I bet she is), this was refuted and Spencer withdrew it and admitted his mistake six years ago:
1. In 2005 Spencer admitted that his data was wrong:
"The scientists who developed the original troposphere
temperature records from satellite data, John R. Christy and
Roy W. Spencer of the University of Alabama in Huntsville,
conceded yesterday that they had made a mistake"
New York Times
2. Other scientists have shown that it was not only wrong, but 180 degrees wrong.
"The mistake was in their satellite data research that they
said demonstrated a cooling in the troposphere (the earth's
lowest layer of atmosphere). It turned out that the exact
opposite was occurring and the tropospher¬e was getting
New York Times
There goes almost all of the warming. The models exaggerate by a factor of six. The 3.3°C scare is really only about half a degree of extra warmth."
Here Hogeye contradicts himself by quoting person who plainly admits the IPCC claims "3.3°C" of warming.
Joanne Nova's field of expertise is:
"Nova received a Bachelor of Science first class and won the FH Faulding and the Swan Brewery prizes at the University of Western Australia. Her major was microbiology, molecular biology. Nova received a Graduate Certificate in Scientific Communication from the Australian National University in 1989." Wiki blurb
I see no reason to think she has any expertise in climatology, and since she is the author of the completely debunked "The Skeptic's Handbook," (distributed by the rightwing thinktank denial machine, The Heartland Institute), I know she has no credibility on the issue. Anyone who takes five minutes to read the sourcewatch blurb on her can she why:
Also, the IPCC disagrees, saying "Uncertainty in projected climate change arises from three main sources; uncertainty in forcing scenarios, uncertainty in modelled responses to given forcing scenarios, and uncertainty due to missing or misrepresented physical processes in models."
All scientific claims have uncertainty. It's what differentiates them from religious claims and dogma.
Now, about the accuracy of the 20 plus IPCC models: both Steve and Darrel claim that the IPCC models are accurate for past climate history. But this evades my point, which was that the models have failed to predict. Anyone with a speadsheet knows that by changing your assumptions (in this case related mostly to feedback) you can "explain" the past. To settle this, we need only look up the 20+ IPCC predictions in the late 1990s, and see if they predicted the flattened trend since then.
That Hogeye says "flattened trend" shows he is still wedded to the transparent fallacy of cherry picking either the *single year* 1998 anomaly, or a time span too short to be statistically significant.
The sixty year examination in the following is statistically significant. Could Hogeye please point a "flattened trend" in the last sixty years:
As to the accuracy of the models, observe:
The accompanying article at the award winning science site Realclimate.
Here are some from the 2001 IPCC report (I'll even spot them a few years).
None of them predicted the nearly flat trend since 1998. All failed. Miserably. (To see more failed IPCC models, click on the link above.)
I really can't believe Hogeye is still peddling this unbelievably stupid 1998 cherry pick. I guess I shouldn't be too surprised, this is popular climate science denier canard #9. Read the debunk here:
"The planet has continued to accumulate heat since 1998 - global warming is still happening. Nevertheless, surface temperatures show much internal variability due to heat exchange between the ocean and atmosphere. 1998 was an unusually hot year due to a strong El Nino." LINK
But even better... Hogeye likes to appeal to Patrick Michaels (and has in this exchange). He is one of the few climatologists still willing prostitute himself out to the denial industry (although he now admits the earth has warmed and humans have caused some of it, but he says "get over it.") Here is one of Hogeye's favorite climatologists advising him, specifically to NOT to use this 1998 example, lest he make a fool of himself. Youtube video clip:
Denier Crock of the Week
Darrel's own graph, Hansen's 2005 model, is a good example. It clearly demonstrates a gross overestimation of warming compared to what actually happened.
Hansen's scenerio "B" is his prediction, but actual temperature was more like scenerio "C" - a nearly flat trend."
Always good to bring in Hansen for missguided kick (certainly more substantive than swinging at Al Gore). I find your chart rather ludicrous. And besides not being very clear what your point is, if I understand you correctly, you are appealing to what, a seven year trend? That's ridiculous.
Let's compare Hansen to your climate science denier Lindzen:
I have lots more on this, but it's hardly necessary.
I agree with Steve (contra Darrel) that climate models are not scientific evidence. ("Climate scientists do not, as a group, claim model outputs are scientific evidence of climate change or global warming.")
I'll certainly defer to Dr. Boss's comment that "Climate scientists do not, as a group, claim model outputs are scientific evidence of climate change or global warming."
I notice you completely ducked my further point that we don't need the models. We have direct observation providing multiple lines of evidence.
Some of Darrel's linked "evidence" is puzzling, e.g. to "prove" that climatologists understand the effect of CO2 on clouds, he links to an article that mentions clouds - twice!
Twice was enough. Did you read the article, and increase your knowledge about how we know what fraction of warming is attributed to humans, or did you just do a word search for "clouds?"
What percentage of global warming is due to human causes vs. natural causes?
He doesn't deny the relatively flat trend since 1998;
I very much do. Completely roasted above. Patrick Michaels, one of your favorite skeptics says don't use this ridiculous argument, because it will come to bite you in the bum (and it has indeed). Watch the clip here.
by crying "cherry picking" he apparently expects people to ignore the evidence.
Yes, ignore cherry picked evidence of time spans having no statistical significance, especially after they have been refuted by an additional 6 years of warming. This argument was silly when you were making in 2006 (all over this forum). It's especially ridiculous now that your 1998 cherry pick has been bitchslapped with hotter temperatures perfectly inline with scientific predictions! If it had gotten colder this decade, you would have something to crow about (not really, too short of a timespan), but now, you have to eat crow. How long are you going to put off the inevitable Hogeye?
And he seems not to understand that all years near the peak of a continuous trend are necessarily near the peak.
See charts above. As scientists have predicted, we continue to steadily warm. Anomalous years, will happen, of course (and we know why 1998 was hot). Avoid abusing these years to make fallacious and silly points that have nothing whatsoever to do with science.
It is noteworthy that the IPCC claim that cloud feedback triples the effect of CO2 is falsifiable. If their claim was true, there would be a "hot spot" in the atmosphere about 10 km up. But no such hot spot has been observed."
The curious thing is how Hogeye could possibly be so misinformed and out of date with such crackpot material. This one is several years old. The hot spot is there as predicted. Mrs. Nova, needs to update her claims and you do too. This is Denier canard #40:
"Satellite measurements of warming in the troposphere"
"Satellite measurements match model results apart from in the tropics. There is uncertainty with the tropical data due to how various teams correct for satellite drift. The U.S. Climate Change Science Program concludes the discrepancy is most likely due to data errors."
Alarmists say that it is obscured (somehow) and invisible. Such faith! I don't believe in invisible pink unicorns.
It's not obscured. It's there in the data, as predicted. Your source, Mrs. Nova, received much grief for investing in this "no warming in the Troposphere" claim after it was revealed to be based upon rubbish science (now admitted by Spencer and Christy). Note:
"According to an August 12, 2005 New York Times article, Spencer, along with another well-known "skeptic," John Christy, admitted they made a mistake in their satellite data research that they said demonstrated a cooling in the troposphere (the earth's lowest layer of atmosphere). It turned out that the exact opposite was occurring and the troposphere was getting warmer.
"These papers should lay to rest once and for all the claims by John Christy and other global warming skeptics that a disagreement between tropospheric and surface temperature trends means that there are problems with surface temperature records or with climate models," said Alan Robock, a meteorologist at Rutgers University." LINK
That was six years ago! Hogeye again reveals his ignorance of this issue and then goes on to dismiss with a hand wave the actual peer reviewed science, calling it "such faith!" And then adds that it is he that doesn't believe in invisible pink unicorns.
Dear Hogeye, the things you believe in, from politics to plainly wrong pseudo-scientific denialist claptrap, make belief in the great Invisible Pink Unicorn look reasonable by any comparison. We don't actually have evidence refuting claims about a great IPU, which makes it far better than your claims about climate change, which we know are false because of mountains of easily verifiable, well established, scientific evidence.