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AGW/CC Deniers & "Fake-Skeptics" - their mindset


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While I agree with you that the kind of "weather control" that Gost is talking about is not happening, your energy argument is not a good refutation. In fact, weather control is almost certainly technologically and physically possible, and without expending amounts of energy comparable to that which the Earth absorbs from the Sun.

I agree with that. I just didn't want to bother with a better response. XD

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While I agree with you that the kind of "weather control" that Gost is talking about is not happening

I expect that while "weather control" is a little used field of science/technology at this moment, that it will become increasingly prevalent over the coming several decades, and that governments will likely take steps to modify the weather to dissipate harmful storms, prevent droughts, maintain needed snowpack levels, etc.

which is fine... but the GH context, which you acknowledge in your opening sentence, was modifying weather to effect global climate change.

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which is fine... but the GH context, which you acknowledge in your opening sentence, was modifying weather to effect global climate change.

Well, the entire premise of AGW is that we can modify the global climate through our actions. Clearly, increasing the Earth's CO2 levels is one way to heat the planet, and reducing them is one way to cool it. There are other ways that can also be implemented, with varying degrees of effectiveness and difficulty. As I've mentioned before, I'm not too worried, because so far as I've heard no one has bothered to try to figure out what the optimum temperature and CO2 level for the planet might be. Once we have a target based on a quantitative analysis rather than that's just how it happened to be when we started recording detailed data, we can start looking at how to achieve it, whether by modulating GHG levels, modifying the Earth's albedo, construction of orbital structures, or other means. The surest bet in protecting us from the effects of an adverse climate is to have the technological capabilities to deal with it or to control it, and in that sense the best strategy to address climate change is to ensure the most rapid possible technological progress, which is generally strongly correlated with economic prosperity.

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As I've mentioned before, I'm not too worried, because so far as I've heard no one has bothered to try to figure out what the optimum temperature and CO2 level for the planet might be.

optimal... as in best or preferred? How about just to avoid severe impacts of warming/climate change? To that end, the by 2100, 2°C (above pre-industrial) temperature target equates to an equivalent target of 450 ppm of atmospheric CO2. However, that doesn't include considerations for the impacts of other GHGs, particularly methane... in regards to both the active ongoing release today of methane but more signficantly, the positive feedback impacts of permafrost melting causing methane release. More pointedly, those targets are questionable in terms of the overwhelming lack of certainty associated with the full complement of longer-term so-called "slow" feedbacks. Of course, there is considerable doubt that the 2°C target can be realized... that the current track and lack of mitigation attempts to bring a semblance of stability to accelerating emissions means there is no likelihood in meeting the temperature target. The 'in terms of trying to figure out' reference you make, is one that has a focus on the "optimal" CO2 level simply to bring stability forward...

I note, once again, your reach for the geo-engineering panacea.

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To that end, the by 2100, 2°C (above pre-industrial) temperature target equates to an equivalent target of 450 ppm of atmospheric CO2.

The 2°C 450 ppm target is nonsense, and I'll explain that in another thread once I have everything together.

Edit: Btw, Waldo, you realize by accepting 450 ppm to correspond to 2°C increase over pre-industrial levels, you are implicitly accepting a doubling of CO2 levels to correspond to a 3°C increase on the timescale of 100 years. Despite this, in the other thread you kept claiming that projections that suggested a doubling of CO2 levels from 400 ppm to 800 ppm would increase global temperatures by 4 degrees or less by 2100 were underestimations.

Edit 2: Also, your claims that the 450 ppm target doesn't take into account other GHGs is complete nonsense.

Edited by -1=e^ipi
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Edit: Btw, Waldo, you realize by accepting 450 ppm to correspond to 2°C increase over pre-industrial levels, you are implicitly accepting a doubling of CO2 levels to correspond to a 3°C increase on the timescale of 100 years.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0304380014000404

Climate sensitivity summarizes the net effect of a change in forcing on Earth's surface temperature. Estimates based on energy balance calculations give generally lower values for sensitivity (<2 °C per doubling of forcing) than those based on general circulation models, but utilize uncertain historical data and make various assumptions about forcings. A minimal model was used that has the fewest possible assumptions and the least data uncertainty. Using only the historical surface temperature record, the periodic temperature oscillations often associated with the Pacific Decadal Oscillation and Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation were estimated and subtracted from the surface temperature data, leaving a linear warming trend identified as an anthropogenic signal. This estimated rate of warming was related to the fraction of a log CO2 doubling from 1959 to 2013 to give an estimated transient sensitivity of 1.093 °C (0.96–1.23 °C 95% confidence limits) and equilibrium climate sensitivity of 1.99 °C (1.75–2.23 °C). It is argued that higher estimates derived from climate models are incorrect because they disagree with empirical estimates.

Edited by TimG
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@ Tim, wow nice paper. I'll look at that. That is a very low estimation of climate sensitivity for both transient and equilibrium. I'll look through it, but I think ultimately the paleoclimate data of the Pleistocene is the most convincing.

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@ Tim, wow nice paper. I'll look at that. That is a very low estimation of climate sensitivity for both transient and equilibrium. I'll look through it, but I think ultimately the paleoclimate data of the Pleistocene is the most convincing.

The same author did a paper on tree biology a while back and demonstrated that the assumption of linearity made by all of those tree ring reconstructions is likely not true.
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So when will the IPCC and the vast vast VAST majority of other scientists be slamming the brakes on their alarm?

They won't - they have already hooked their reputations to the alarmist bandwagon and there are still plenty of "useful idiots" in governments willing to shower money on them. But in the end real world data trumps computer models all of the time and they will fade into the background as more and more people realize the problem has been greatly exaggerated. Edited by TimG
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Assumption of linearity with respect to what?

The assumption that tree ring widths/densities are linearly related to temperature.

Without that assumption tree rings cannot be used to create temperature estimates.

Edited by TimG
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The assumption that tree ring widths/densities are linearly related to temperature.

Without that assumption tree rings cannot be used to create temperature estimates.

Well, you don't necessarily need that assumption. You just have to measure empirically the relationship between tree ring density and temperature... the relationship could be described by any non-linear functions or just an empirical formula or set of tables, and still be used to estimate temperatures based on tree rings

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Well, you don't necessarily need that assumption. You just have to measure empirically the relationship between tree ring density and temperature... the relationship could be described by any non-linear functions or just an empirical formula or set of tables, and still be used to estimate temperatures based on tree rings

It depends on the non-linear relationship. A saturation effect would mean that information on temperature changes above or below a certain level is simply not in the record (or at least so small that it is swamped by noise). Edited by TimG
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You are correct but there is no data that would allow one to determine the non-linear relationship for a given set of fossilized trees.

You just need an independent temperature record. Such as that which exists for the last 100-150 years or so. And you can analyze that against tree rings over that same period. If the influence of other factors that may also have changed over the last 100-150 years can be established to be negligible, or accounted for, that gives you the set of data you need to establish an empirical relationship.

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You just need an independent temperature record. Such as that which exists for the last 100-150 years or so. And you can analyze that against tree rings over that same period.

That only works if you have enough data to show that the non-linearities are consistent across a population. I believe the paper established that the exact response varied greatly from tree to tree.
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That only works if you have enough data to show that the non-linearities are consistent across a population. I believe the paper established that the exact response varied greatly from tree to tree.

I see. Well, I haven't read the paper but certainly if it shows that there is significant variance from individual tree to tree then that would make the analysis more difficult. Even still, presumably one could take an average over a large number of trees to still get a valid result and establish an empirical relationship that is valid for an average over a population. But yeah if the correlation is really bad then a meaningful relationship may be impossible to establish.

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The 2°C 450 ppm target is nonsense, and I'll explain that in another thread once I have everything together.

will it be under 7800 words in length? I suggest you target this, your next wizardry, at the scientists who arrived at the 2°C target. By the by, are you shopping your manifesto around... any journals giving you a sniff?

Edit: Btw, Waldo, you realize by accepting 450 ppm to correspond to 2°C increase over pre-industrial levels, you are implicitly accepting a doubling of CO2 levels to correspond to a 3°C increase on the timescale of 100 years. Despite this, in the other thread you kept claiming that projections that suggested a doubling of CO2 levels from 400 ppm to 800 ppm would increase global temperatures by 4 degrees or less by 2100 were underestimations.

don't hesitate to show what you claim I stated... "in the other thread" - as in I call BS! But again, your reading comprehension difficulty rises to the top... I'm hardly, as you say, "accepting" that target when I speak to the doubt in meeting it... that there's little likelihood in meeting it... that, as I stated, it's a questionable target "in terms of the overwhelming lack of certainty associated with the full complement of longer-term so-called "slow" feedbacks".

Edit 2: Also, your claims that the 450 ppm target doesn't take into account other GHGs is complete nonsense.

your opinion is noted.

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They won't - they have already hooked their reputations to the alarmist bandwagon and there are still plenty of "useful idiots" in governments willing to shower money on them. But in the end real world data trumps computer models all of the time and they will fade into the background as more and more people realize the problem has been greatly exaggerated.

enter the denier/fake-skeptic point that they completely ignore empirical evidence... that they incessantly rant/rave over climate models, forever falsely claiming they have no predictive capability and track record.

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your opinion is noted.

It is nonsense. You can't get a long-run 2C increase over pre-industrial levels with 450 ppm without considering other GHGs.

don't hesitate to show what you claim I stated... "in the other thread" - as in I call BS!

Here you go:

http://www.mapleleafweb.com/forums/topic/23149-americans-believe-climate-change-is-real-and-a-real-problem/page-16#entry932044

http://www.mapleleafweb.com/forums/topic/23149-americans-believe-climate-change-is-real-and-a-real-problem/page-18#entry932109

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It is nonsense. You can't get a long-run 2C increase over pre-industrial levels with 450 ppm without considering other GHGs.

again, your opinion is noted.

what a load of crap you're throwing around! But yes, I have no qualms in you highlighting a post that shows you absolutely had no clue about the 2°C target... and more pointedly you stumbled big-time over the graphic you presumed to key on. You clearly hadn't a clue about emission scenarios. If you're going to put up a graphic that you presume speaks to models vs. temperature... and you don't even recognize or understand the emission scenario the models are being run under, I most certainly will point out to you the criteria associated with the particular emission scenario your graphic reflected upon. Again, your reference, your linked graphic, your inherent reliance upon the associated emission scenario. And you presume to suggest I'm making a claim! As I stated, you offered up a summary assessment, one that certainly didn't line up with your graphic reference and its associated A2 emission scenario.

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The same author did a paper on tree biology a while back and demonstrated that the assumption of linearity made by all of those tree ring reconstructions is likely not true.

Okay, read through the paper.

I really like the approach of the author. Simple but compelling. Though it got a bit questionable here:

"This can be converted to equilibrium sensitivity as follows. In IPCC (2007) Table 8.2 shows both transient and equilibrium sensitivity as computed by climate models. For the 18 cases where both are shown, the mean ratio of equilibrium to transient sensitivity is 1.81761 °C. Multiplying this by the transient forcing yields SE = 1.986 °C (1.745–2.227 °C)."

I think having the ratio in °C is a typo. Anyway, I'm skeptical of their methodology to calculate equilibrium sensitivity, particularly because the definition of transient sensitivity of the author and of the IPCC seem to differ. Here is the definition that the IPCC uses from Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_sensitivity#Equilibrium_and_transient_climate_sensitivity

"AA measure requiring shorter integrations is the transient climate response (TCR) which is defined as the average temperature response over a twenty-year period centered at CO2 doubling in a transient simulation with CO2 increasing at 1% per year.[7] The transient response is lower than the equilibrium sensitivity, due to the "inertia" of ocean heat uptake."

- - - - -

Another issue I have is with the following statement:

"The log of an exponentially rising function (as CO2 is) is of course a straight line, so the linear anthropogenic warming signal detected by Loehle and Scafetta (2011) is in line with theory and can be viewed as essentially capturing the CO2 signal."

Even if one accepts the premises that the effect of increasing CO2 is approximately logarithmic and that CO2 levels are exponential with time (which is roughly true if you use the following data and subtract a value of 285 ppm ftp://aftp.cmdl.noaa.gov/products/trends/co2/co2_annmean_mlo.txt), this does not mean that the anthropogenic warming signal will be linear with time since the pre-industrial CO2 level is non-zero.

If you represent atmospheric CO2 as an exponential function of time A + B*exp(Ct), where A = 285 ppm is the pre-industrial level, the the logarithm of this is only a linear function of time in the limit where B*exp(Ct) >> A (which will give ln(A + B*exp(Ct)) A/B + ln( B ) + Ct). In the other limit where B*exp(Ct) << B one does not get a linear function (instead one obtains A + B*exp(Ct)) ln(A) + B/A*exp(Ct).

To determine how relevant this approximation is, lets perform a taylor approximation of ln(A + B*exp(Ct)) around t = 0. This yields ln(A + B*exp(Ct)) ln(A+ B ) + Ct/(A/B + 1) + 0.5*(Ct)^2*(A/B)/(A/B + 1)^2 + higher order terms. Note that around t = 0, the linear approximation above is only valid if ln(A + B ) A/B + ln( B ), thus if we neglect the higher order terms, the error of the linear assumption is on the order of (A/B)*Ct/(A/B + 1) - 0.5*(Ct)^2*(A/B)/(A/B + 1)^2.

The paper you provided used CO2 data that started with 315.62 ppm in 1959 and ended 54 years later with 395.68 ppm. This gives a C of 0.2261/year if we assume the linear approximation. Since the paper uses 1942 as the start year of the anthropogenic signal, if we take that data point for 1959, we get 315.62 ppm = 285 ppm + B*exp(0.2261*17) => B = (315.62 ppm - 285 ppm)/exp(0.2261*17) = 0.6557 ppm.

Plugging A, B and C into the error formula and using t = 54 years (since this was the period during which the approximation was used), we get (A/B)*Ct/(A/B + 1) - 0.5*(Ct)^2*(A/B)/(A/B + 1)^2 = 12.18 - 0.17 = 12.01. Dividing this by 54 years yields 0.2241/year, which should be the error on the value of C from the linear assumption alone. Notice that the error on the value of C is nearly equal to C.

This results from the fact that the linear approximation gave B = 0.6557, thus A >> B. But this contradicts the assumption of B >> A necessary for the linear approximation in the first place. So I'm unsure how to resolve this.

Edit: I'm a bit tired so I'll come back to this issue tomorrow. Perhaps I made a mistake and/or am overthinking it.

- - - - -

A third issue I might have with this paper is it's discussion of general circulation models in the introduction:

"Thus estimates of climate sensitivity that are not based on general circulation models (GCMs) would provide a check on model outputs."

"Interestingly, estimates of sensitivity based on energy balance considerations and historical data consistently estimate equilibrium sensitivity near 2 °C per doubling. That is, they all give much lower sensitivity to a change in forcing than studies based on GCM response. These studies use various methods but generally depend on certain overlapping types of data, including estimates of solar forcing, greenhouse forcing, ocean heat content, historical temperature data, and Earth radiation balance estimates."

The problem with most other models, specifically the models that only look at the above parameters is that they generally underestimate heat transfer between equatorial regions and polar regions. Thus they predict larger temperature gradients than what should correspond to reality. And if you have a larger temperature gradient then due to the T^4 nature of black body radiation, the Earth would be expected to emit more radiation to space due to the larger predicted temperature gradient then what should actually occur for a given global temperature. Thus these other models most likely underestimate climate sensitivity.

Edited by -1=e^ipi
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The problem with most other models, specifically the models that only look at the above parameters is that they generally underestimate heat transfer between equatorial regions and polar regions.

All climate models depend on numerous non-physical simplifications. The connection to the real world is dubious at best.

Thus these other models most likely underestimate climate sensitivity.

I don't really care what models say about climate sensitivity since it is so easy to fiddle with the non-physical paramterizations so they can produce answers that are heavily biased towards the modellers' preconceptions.

I thought this paper was interesting because it was an attempt to estimate sensitivity from empirical data rather than computer models. That said, any such effort requires assumptions which are not necessarily reasonable. I would treat this paper as a lower bound on sensitivity - i.e. it may be higher but the chances of it being lower is extremely unlikely.

Lastly, whatever the sensitivity is that does not make CO2 mitigation a sensible policy choice nor does it mean that a warmer world is a worse world. All it means is we should expect temps to rise over the next 100 years and governments need to adapt to the changes as they appear.

Edited by TimG
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