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April 19, 2008


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Wow! That is some trick! Distinguishing between natural CO2 "fossil fuel carbon dioxide emissions"!

So by some voodoo method of extrapolation from carbon monoxide and nitrous oxide emissions, (Which have no natural source, right?) they can make this distinction!

Well, that certainly answers why they found such high concentrations of "fossil fuel CO2" along the Nevada side of the California Nevada border! Funny how in the wilderness of Idaho and Wyoming levels of 1.89 to 2.91 are recorded. Any explanations for that?

The map is spurious, the methodology is obviously flawed, and the idea of distinguishing "fossil fuel CO2" from any other CO2 is preposterous!


yeah, that Hansen. What a quack. I can't believe a synopsis didn't include a full explanation of the experimental method. Definitely Voodoo. Regarding the wilderness levels...its clearly stated that units are logarithmic and over a 10 km grid during a year timespan. These remote areas have logging or mining activities was well as highways & flight paths. Data is from satellites so you have residents, commercial business, & industry as well as ground, water, & air traffic all being imaged and contributing to the total with the wilderness areas coming in ~ 3-4 orders of magnitude lower than population centers (red). I don't think that is totally unreasonable.


The climate scientists say they can distinguish whether CO2 comes from fossil fuel or from recently grown biomass because they have different proportions of carbon isotopes Carbon-12, Carbon-13, Carbon-14. Pretty neat trick. I don't pretend to understand it myself.

Kit P

For the record, they (Vulcan project) did not measure ghg levels. It is a computer generated model. What is the purpose of this model.

“provides a picture of emission sources in a way that the public and policy-makers can understand, which may be helpful in discussing what we will do about the climate problem”

So Dr Hansen is either stupid or lying. If you do not already know that burning fossil fuels creates ghg, I am think that this model will not help you understand that. This model provides no useful or new information.

As Clee pointed out, we already know from carbon dating that much of the increase ghg is from fossil fuels. Isotopes of carbon are produced by interaction high in the atmosphere with cosmic rays. Since these isotopes have different half lives, we can measure how long ago something died by the ratio isotopes.

The reason for the model is to support Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO).


“These measurements will be combined with data from the ground-based network to provide scientists with the information that they will need to better understand the processes that regulate atmospheric CO2 and its role in the carbon cycle.”

Climate scientist like Dr Hansen do not want to discuss how ignorant they are of the environment. It would look stupid to call skeptics of AGW deniers at the same time you were admitting the degree of your cluelessness. For a long time I was confused about the junk science coming out of NASA. Outrageous fear monger in preliminary press releases follow by release of less alarming reports. In the US Congress, the squeaky wheel gets the oil.

While I am all for spending large sums of money to study the climate, Dr Hansen should not bite the hand that feeds him. We should not forget we have the luxury to pay useless folks like Dr Hansen because of the robust US economy driven by burning fossil fuel.

“wilderness of Idaho”

Can we manage our semi-arid forest and animal waste better? Yes! Will this result in ghg reductions? Yes! Does Dr Hansen agree with this approach? Yes!

Here is what bothers me about AGW and so many environmental issues, they transcend politics. For more than 15 years, I have working on solutions to environmental issues especially AGW. Every bit of environmental legislation that Clinton started Bush finished. It took some compromises on both sides but we are moving forward. Where does Dr Hansen stand now? He is a vocal critic of the Bush Administration while failing talking about all the progress we are making.

Carl Hage

The commentary above misses the purpose of this project-- no it does not try to distinguish between fossil and natural CO2. The purpose is to form a high-accuracy 3D+time accounting of fossil carbon emissions.

To find "natural" CO2, you measure the 3D+time profile of atmospheric CO2 concentrations (with an upcoming satellite), then subtract out the calculated fossil contribution. Besides planning for reductions in fossil CO2, the model allows detailed studies of the natural CO2 cycles by enabling the fossil contribution to be separated from the measured totals.

The EIA (Energy Information Administration) keeps tabs on energy usage mainly for economic purposes, so we have totals for coal, oil, and gas extraction, consumption, and import/export. Consumption (emission) is summaried by general area, but not by detailed geography, time of day, or elevation and wind movement.

This study separated the known point sources (power plants, cement plants, etc.), area sources from houses, etc, and roadways (from maps). Once you figure where, then you need to figure when. Hourly electric consumption can estimate power plant emissions by hour/season, for example. For roadways, measuring hourly/seasonal NOx, etc., enables calibration of the time and area emissions (what would the relative emissions be for I-80 at noon in Nevada, vs I-5 in LA at 8am, for example).

Once there is a good 2D accounting of emissions vs time, then add in atmospheric models to compute dispersion through the air, and you get this 3D model.

The researchers were able to cross-check the model with EIA and EPA measurements (including NOx, etc.) to assess the data quality.

The satellite measures CO2 concentrations as a profile of elevation, over the scanned area, e.g. the wilderness of Idaho and Wyoming. With a good model of fossil CO2, the satellite can then be used to study natural CO2.

This study only applies to the US, so fossil CO2 generated in Asia, etc. is not included. Perhaps the distance means the area or time-of-day detail won't matter.

It seems like a similar kind of model would be useful (detailed 3D+time) to account for calculated CO2 update/emissions based on studies of grassland, farms, etc. and correlate with satelitte measurements.

Global Warming Skeptic

This CO2 is bad agument is amazing. In grade school we all learned that plants "inhale" CO2 and "exhale" oxygen. I fail to see how rising CO2 levels are going to destroy the planet.

Benjamin Cole

Plant lots of plants. Burn them in steam turbines, generate electricity. Go to PHEVs. Sequester CO2 from steam turbines. Problem solved. Next Problem.

Bob Wallace

[i]This CO2 is bad agument is amazing. In grade school we all learned that plants "inhale" CO2 and "exhale" oxygen. I fail to see how rising CO2 levels are going to destroy the planet.[/i]

Here's a nice, simple explanation.


"(D)estroy the planet" is a bit strong.

Earth will persist.

Life will just get very uncomfortable for those who live on it.

Think about what life would be like were our hurricanes (they happen all around the globe) were to become significantly stronger.

Think about what would happen if many of our major cities were to find themselves below sea level. (New Orleans type levees anyone?)

Think about what would happen if vast parts of our agricultural real estate became too dry to farm.

The planet and cockroaches will get on with their lives. We humans could be shooting ourselves in the foot unless we figure out some solutions.


Another way to think about the CO2 is good/necessary to life argument: Water is necessary to life, but you can kill yourself by drinking too much. Likewise Oxygen in too high a concentration is a problem, thats why deep sea divers don't simply use compressed air.


"This CO2 is bad agument is amazing. In grade school we all learned that plants "inhale" CO2 and "exhale" oxygen. I fail to see how rising CO2 levels are going to destroy the planet."

1) In grade school they probably didn't cover large scale deforestation and theories around reduced CO2 conversion capacity of the oceans as increased carbon load causes pH to drop.
2) Whether the increase in CO2 is natural or manmade it is not going to destroy the planet, it is going to make it inhospitable (potentially uninhabitable) to man. The earth will remain and some other organism will take our place, and carbon levels will likely return to pre-industrial revolution levels.

If the potential extinction of mankind does not bother you why even take part in the debate; because in reality we are not talking about saving the planet we are talking about saving our species?

Kit P

Considering the intelligence that thinks up remarks like wray's, I am sure that some will not adapt to change. Of course it is the ability to adapt to change is why many species survive. Considering that our species survived several periods of glaciation and interglacial periods hunting with sharps sticks, the reality is that human are very good at adapting.


Kit since we share the same genetic make-up I doubt that you or I are significantly better or worse equipped to adapt to what is ahead than any poster on this board.

Since you appear to be claiming superior intellect, please share your insight into the point in human history where there was an equal population load burning fossil fuels and depleting CO2 sequestering resources at today's rate in combination with whatever natural cycles are taking place?

My point was that we do need to be resourceful and take action now, not put our heads in the sand and think that plants are going to suck up the increasing CO2 all the while mankind is clear cutting and paving the planet and acidifying the seas. Like it or not the earth doesn't give a crap whether it is covered with slime algae or stick wielding primates, dominate life forms come and go and the earth finds a new equilibrium point. You have evidence of something different?

Al Fin

Yes, and high CO2 will acidify the oceans and destroy phytoplankton and corals and kill the ocean itself.

Unless Debora Iglesias-Rodriguez is right when she says that "doing better experiments is likely to reveal more of reality than doing phony experiments." (paraphrased)

Of course if you add concentrated HCl to living corals and phytoplankton you are going to kill them!

Climate hysteria is contagious. You have to be exceptionally smart to have a chance to ever recover.


NIce link Al Fin thanks


"This CO2 is bad agument is amazing. In grade school we all learned that plants "inhale" CO2 and "exhale" oxygen. I fail to see how rising CO2 levels are going to destroy the planet."

"Plant lots of plants. Burn them in steam turbines, generate electricity. Go to PHEVs. Sequester CO2 from steam turbines. Problem solved. Next Problem."

What's more amazing is that you people apparently think scientists have never considered these ideas, and that you're some sort of singular genius who will raise their collective consciousness and solve the world's problems. You're almost as bad as the creationists. Almost.

Sequester CO2? Where? How? Regardless of your particular answer, it will take energy ... which produces CO2 when its generated! Whoops. Guess they didn't project that far down the line in grade school.

Plant and burn lots of plants? Well, that would be carbon neutral ... until you consider the energy it takes to transport, tend, and fertilize plants. Also, have fun dealing with the non-CO2 combustion products (sulfur compounds, especially), which will take more energy (=CO2) to deal with.

Actually, go ahead and ignore this post. You're right, any third grader could solve these problems. Thanks for showing us that, we were lost without you.


...Listen to Kit...

Wray, how are clouds incorporated into the various models? What is a cloud's effect on global warming? Will the haze moderate the planet and the only people upset are those who can't get a natural sun tan?

Global warming is an issue that is all about funding allocations for science. It is very similar to the old eugenics rage that surfaced in the 1920's and 1930's.

Bob Wallace


Are you suggesting that climate researchers don't include clouds/water vapor in their models?

Or you simply summarizing the data to date?

That the role of clouds is not completely understood yet. That they can both reflect heat back out of the atmosphere and trap heat into the atmosphere.

Or as bob asks another poster - do you think scientists are stupid?


If you google the impact of water on global warming, you will find many issues that are not completely understood or generally accepted. Some of these relate to the role of the oceans (through their temperature) regulating carbon dioxide.

...the research team developed a method to extract the CO2 information by transforming data on local air pollution, such as carbon monoxide and nitrous oxide emissions, which are tracked by the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Energy and other governmental agencies...

Bob, this is energy-eugenics. This approach smacks of the ole' Kevin Bacon degrees of freedom argument. Who is to say the EPA and DOE sensor grids are robust and accurate? Tracking and measuring a political hot potato are two entirely different things. Any errors found in this methodological approach can be chalked up to "background CO2 levels".

Put on your science cap for a moment and think of things that use this research. Other than a monitoring scheme for taxation/penalty purposes, what use is this approach with an undisclosed methodology?

Would this system accurately measure a hydroelectric project's impact throughout it's life? Do the changing seasons impact the findings of this methodolgy?

In answering your question, sometimes some scientists are stupid...


So, we're supposed to trust your opinion that scientists are stupid as you compare global warming to eugenics and allude to unspecified conspiracy theories? I'm going to go ahead and trust the scientists, thanks.

Bob Wallace

Are you saying that because science has yet to tuck in all the small pieces that the study of climate science is bogus?

Are you saying that eugenics was not a valid topic for scientific investigation?

Do you really think that large groups of scientists conspire to create fields of inquiry which they somehow "know" to be bogus simply so they can get their hands on research money to spend?

Do you realize that you can find out what that "undisclosed methodology" is by simply reading the methodology section of research papers?


(Are you concerned about black helicopters and secret codes on stop signs? ;o)

(I will agree that one would be cautious in their use of EPA/DOE information released in the last 7 or 8 years. Far too often it's not the scientists who have been telling us what the science says.)

Kit P

“do you think scientists are stupid?”

Some are not very honest (or the journalists who write the stories) allowing those who lack a questing attitude and a high school chemistry class to be duped.

Wray wrote, “acidifying the seas”

Al fin provided a link. I think his remarks were 'tongue in cheek' but let me provide some quotes and then discuss them.

“resulting in a drop in pH levels and ocean acidification”


“says that the study represents "good news and a rarity in the often sobering discussions" about the challenges to marine organisms by ocean acidification. "Nature is full of surprises," he adds.”

So what is really happening. The measured alkalinity of the ocean has deceases 0.01 pH units. I looked up in my graduate level environmental chemistry text the chapter on water with a basic pH or a pH greater than 7. The correct terminally is alkalinity.

So then why would anyone use 'ocean acidification' to describe an insignificant decrease in alkalinity. It is simply dishonest scare mongering. That is how journalist Phil Berardelli makes a living.

It is a rarity that good news is reported. However good news about the environment is not a rarity.


Holy semantics, batman! Why would anyone use the term ocean acidification? Uh, because if the pH keeps dropping your "graduate level environmental chemistry text" (oooooh, aaaaah) will tell you to call it an acid. This is a downright pathetic straw for even you to grasp at.

I also like how you called 0.01 pH units insignificant. In a test tube, yes that's pretty small. In the ocean, that's an astronomical amount of extra H+ ions. Changing the pH from 7.01 to 7 gives you about 2.28 nM more free [H+]. Multiply that by the volume of the ocean, and by my calculation that's around 3 teramols (3*10^12 mols) of extra hydrogen ions. Insignificant my ass.

You are completely unbelievable.

Al Fin

Blind faith and blind skepticism are both unfortunate traits.

A commenter above seemed to imply that scientists are not stupid. That is wrong. Scientists are indeed stupid, in the same ways that other people are stupid. They focus on certain issues at the expense of a wider perspective, they wear ideological blinders, and they jump to conclusions ahead of the evidence. They let their personal well-being influence their judgment. Just like normal people everywhere.

Don't put your faith in someone just because they wear a label "scientist." If you don't have ways to verify or falsify what someone says, you are at a loss. Better to stay on the sidelines in that situation.

Cyril R.

A commenter above seemed to imply that scientists are not stupid. That is wrong. Scientists are indeed stupid, in the same ways that other people are stupid. They focus on certain issues at the expense of a wider perspective

No, that's what blog-village-idiots like you make of it. Most scientists are rational and modest. It's the global warming denialists that are arrogant non-sequiturists.

Al Fin, most of your last posts on this blog were acts of delusional propaganda. You have your own blogs. Go spit your venom there.

Kit P

Al Fin, I will take stupid over very clever lies any day. The purpose of the lie is to manipulate folks like Bob and wray who do not understand chemistry. The best I can tell is that the scientist in your link is both honest and smart. Blame the journalist for calling a base an acid.

So what is the main point of this example. Increase CO2 and organism that like to eat CO2 will grow faster eating up the CO2 removing faster.

So what is the environmental impact of a 25% increase in CO2? It is too small to measure. The ocean is alkaline. The reason is all the minerals that are dissolved in the ocean. The ocean will stay alkaline because CO2 produces a weak acid and is not significant in the system.

It is also not a matter of semantics to talk about the basicity of something that has a pH of 8.1 since hydroxide ions (OH−) is predominate. Bob should keep in mind that pH is a negative log scale. A point .01 change is less significant at 7.0.

The reason scientist use specific terms is to communicate. In 1968 I was a chemistry major at Purdue taking their hardest chemistry class. I got an 'A'. Before I discussed alkalinity, I checked a reference. So why would any scientist discuss 'ocean acidification'? Bob they are lying and you are wrong. The correct and accurate description is less alkaline. It is not becoming more acidic.

Okay then, what if the pH of the ocean was 6.00 and became more acidic at 5.99. I would still not be concerned. Environmental systems are robust and complex capable of adapting to slow change and rapid change like summer and winter.


Humans have personal biases that might cloud your judgment? What a fantastic insight ... you're only 400 years behind the time on that one (Francis Bacon, look him up). That's why we have the scientific method, the peer review process, and scientific conferences with conflicting presentations and debates. Your denialism is hopelessly transparent.

And, Kit P, I also have impressive academic credentials (obtained over thirty years more recently than yours), I just don't feel the need to brag about them anonymously on blog comments. It is indeed a matter of semantics to describe something as "more acidic" vs "less basic." The pH of the ocean is decreasing. It is becoming BOTH more acidic (because the pH is dropping) AND less basic (again because the pH is dropping). This is true because H+ + -OH -> H2O ... what on earth is your problem?

I can't believe I'm still wasting my time replying to your drivel. If only I'd listened a few weeks ago when someone suggested just ignoring your comments ...

Al Fin

Yep. Nature is far more robust in adapting to miniscule changes such as this, than the brittle minds of alarmists. They have no choice but to call minor fluctuations "alarming trends." It is in their makeup.

Of course you are more correct than the fear-addled alarmists on the chemistry, KP. But run-away alarmists have nothing but fear and stupidity with which to confront their phantom fears. They provide them with a reason to live.

Peak oil, catastrophic anthropogenic global warming, Y2K, DDT, overpopulation, and all the other overblown phantasms of the troubled mind.

Cyril R.

Peak oil, catastrophic anthropogenic global warming, Y2K, DDT, overpopulation, and all the other overblown phantasms of the troubled mind.

No, we were lucky to have clever, vigilant people that worked hard to make a difference and to solve problems, and that's why a small group of delusional people now thinks that they were overblown.

Interestingly, it is because of the intelligent, concerned people with a pragmatic problem-solving attitude, that idiots like you exist today.

Cyril R.

Thus, it is wrong-headed to think we can rest on our laurels. It is highly plausible that global warming is a very manageable issue, but it does require significant effort.

Al Fin

KP, have you read about some interesting trends in atmospheric CO2 recently? Possibly tracking recent cooling of the oceans reflecting the tendency of cooler waters to absorb more CO2.

Anyone who has formed his "quasi-religious belief in catastrophic anthropogenic global warming" on pronouncements of Hansen and Gore based upon the misleading GCMs of the 90s, has several shocks in store for them.

Science won't sit still and let them enjoy their religion in peace!

Kit P

“KP, have you read about some interesting trends in atmospheric CO2 recently?” The incessant fear mongering takes all the fun out keeping up with AGW. So no. As an engineer, I am more interested in holistic solutions.

The is a segment of environmental engineering that looks at how nature solves problems. It is called industrial ecology. If you produce excess CO2 you look for ways in nature that use CO2 and enhance those processes.

Some want to solve problems by banning something without think about the consequences. Smash the problem with a sledge hammer and it will go away. Now I like a systematic approach because it gets better results.

Bob Wallace

I wonder how a rational person could believe that the oceans are cooling?

If one looks at the data there has been a little downward blip in the last year or two, but not enough to indicate a change in direction over what we've measured for the last several decades.

We've seen lots of these blips, but they pass and temps keep on an upward slope.


Is this a new branch of science that operates under the supposition that one swallow now makes the summer?

Probably the same group that declared global warming over because 1998 (El Nino year) hotter than the years that followed it.

Guess we could call them the "Anti-Aristotle Cherry Pickers".

Al Fin

Interesting, KP. I like your approach better as well. These nitwits have only the one hammer so everything looks like nails to them. So they miss the important things happening all around them.


It's very clear that you like a systematic approach, Kit P ... that is the systematic ignoring of anything that doesn't agree with your unfounded, preconceived, irrational, and frankly moronic beliefs. I'd be much less upset, but you seem to be attracting followers. I've always wondered how people end up believing ridiculous bullshit, now I see that at least some of them do it by listening to ignorant yet persistent cranks talking out their ass on blog comments.


bob, you shouldn't be upset over these discussions. If you study science you will see that progress came from a few "strong hands". The majority of scientists did not contibute as much to quality of life as those few "strong hands". This is a result of scientific ability being normally distributed amongst the general population.

Use your head... don't wag the tail...
Test the hypothesis... don't denigrate those who do not see the issue as they do. Do a better job communicating your reasons for your beliefs or state that you have these beliefs because of faith.

Kit P

I call it the Berkly School of free speech. I have a great deal of respect for alternate views. You never know where a good idea is going to come from. AGW is an interesting topic. I would never expect such a complex theory to reach consensus in such a short time. However, never, never express a different alternated view than the one that has politically correct.

There is clearly a systemic and organized lie. Bob Wallace provided a graph. His graph starts when temperatures were below normal and show an increasing trend. When I was growing up, temperatures were much cooler than the previous 20 years. The only logical conclusion was that we were entering an ice age. If Bob Wallace was honest he would have provided a graph that showed a much longer time scale. The only logical conclusion then would be that there is a normal pattern of variation of within a stable climate.

The consensus hold that burning fossil fuel is changing the climate. Well how much is the climate changing? The scientific answer is that the change is too tiny to measure. Wade through all the BS and that is the answer. Not very scary and certainly not worthy of the cover of TIME.

I called my systematic approach 'Sustainable Energy Integration'. Looking at the environmental problems of my area, the first step was to identify the root causes. Then potential solutions would be evaluated using LCA. If energy was a byproduct of fixing environmental problems, then there was the potential make a profit. While there were large reduction in ghg, the major benefits were reduction of soil erosion and nutrient loading of surface waters.

The basic problem is with AGW fear mongers is that they are one topic environmentalists. They focus on ineffective but sexy solutions like EVs and PV. While improving surface and ground water and improving habitat for endangered species is great, it is also a very effective way to reduce ghg.

Bob Wallace

Bob Wallace is honest.

He might be poorly informed. He quite likely could be poorly informed as climate issues are outside his area of expertise.

But his intentions are pure. His intention is to better understand what is happening to our climate and what we might do to mitigate any hurt that might befall us.


The graph that I presented coverts the years 1880 to 2007, the Industrial Age.

The graph that I presented is very adequate to demonstrate that there is no obvious downward turning of ocean temperature which was the assertion that was being addressed.

Whether there were hotter periods in the Earth's past is irrelevant to today's warming.

Just because the Earth might have been hotter in the past does not mean that there is some sort of "magic" that causes the Earth to periodically heat up (or cool down).

Heating/cooling cycles are caused by natural (not magical) and discoverable forces. Climate scientists have looked for evidence that those past causes were currently operating and no evidence of them has been found.

We are observing a significant warming over the last 120+ years and that warming is starting to change the environments in which we live and starting to threaten our food and water supplies.

This is not looking like it will be any "normal" warming trend. We are facing the first total loss of Arctic ice in 1.2 million years. We've never lost the "old ice" during that extended period of time.

That would indicate that some very strong force has been unleashed. Something far stronger than what caused the Medieval Warm Period, for example.

Those who say that global warming is not happening need to bring data to the table that shows that it is not.

Those who say that global warming is not due to increases in greenhouse gases with possible additional input from polar pollution darkening need to bring reliable data to the table that shows other variables which are causing the warming.

To simply post "NO"-type comments is nothing but bullying behavior.

It has no place in a civil discourse.


Slow your roll, champ. I'm the one basing my opinions on faith? Really? I'm the one following every step in the denialist handbook? I'm the one anomaly hunting? I'm the one citing lone cranks instead of widely accepted science? I'm the one nitpicking semantics instead of addressing main points? I'm the one citing guys guilty of science by press release? I'm the one fancying myself a twenty-first century Copernicus? Really?

I hope you realize the company you're in with these methods. Do you know some of the other beliefs that are only supportable with your tactics? Intelligent design, homeopathy, UFOlogy, grand conspiracy theorizing, ESP ... I could go on, let me know if you would like me to.

No worries, though. I'm sure you'll be basking in your own glory soon. Just look at how confident Saint Crichton was at the last AAAS meeting:

"Dr. Crichton, do you actually believe that your understanding of this matter is superior to that of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences?"


Boy. Tough to argue with that! "Valid science? Respected scientists? The scientific consensus? Pfft. I know what I'm talking about."

Al Fin

Science is about constant skepticism, constant re-working. But CAGW is about faith, about shutting down debate, about "a consensus from above".

Science is about testing falsifiable hypotheses, not about tautological models of the GIGO persuasion.

Just because the Argos ocean buoy system shows ocean cooling, and satellite temp readings show a flat temperature decade, a few folks are getting their feathers ruffled.

That's not a reaction of scientists. It's a reaction of religionists. Calm down, cool it, chill out. You'll feel better.

Bob Wallace

Here's a quote from Josh Wills, the scientist who produced the Argos data....

"It is a well-established fact that human activities are heating up the planet and that global temperatures will continue to rise for decades to come. Climate change skeptics often highlight certain scientific results as a means of confusing this issue, and that appears to be the case with Mr. Gunter’s description of our recent results based on data from Argo buoys.

Indeed, Argo data show no warming in the upper ocean over the past four years, but this does not contradict the climate models. In fact, many climate models simulate four to five year periods with no warming in the upper ocean from time to time. The same is true for the warming trend observed by NASA satellites; it too is in good agreement with climate model simulations. But more important than agreement with computer models is the fact that four years with no warming in the upper ocean does not erase the 50 years of warming we’ve seen since ocean temperature measurements became widespread…. "

It seems to me that some people have a strong desire to deny global warming. Their desire goes far beyond the natural skepticism of a trained scientist. It seems to be a political stance and leads them to extreme interpretations of cherry picked bits of data.

These people seem to be operating as do fundamental religionists who pick the bits and pieces that serve their goals and damn to hell the bits (possibly huge bits) that don't.


This if for my brother bob, and my other brother Bob...


This link relates to the Solar Radiation and Climate Experiment. It's well written with lots of loose ends. Consider them building blocks for a debate. Try to use some of that information in a manner different than Gary Larsen's dogs would hear.

Al Fin

Yep, the climate orthodoxy wants to enforce the "consensus from above," but it just isn't working. The only people who buy into it are those whose mother's skipped their pre-natal vitamins. ;-)

The rest of us look at the science and make up our own minds.

Bob Wallace

That's an interesting site.

Do you know if it has been updated since 2001?

We've gathered a lot more data since then. And, I would guess, our science has progressed quite a bit....

It would be nice to see everything pulled together in a current version. After all, 2007 was the second warmest year in this current warming cycle and at the same time we had La Nina conditions which tend to cool things down along with being in a "cool phase" of the 11 year solar cycle.

Something strong seems to be operating to overcome those two naturally occurring cooling influences.



... loose ends Bob. Remember the loose ends... Don't fall down that slippery slope. You may not be able to get back up.

Bob Wallace

Loose ends ....

I really don't know what you mean by that.

Are there some bits of data that don't fit a straight line? Of course. That happens in essentially any complex system.

We've got a lot to learn.

But we're pretty sure that the sun comes up once every 24 hours. Tends to rise higher in the northern sky in the summer than it does in the winter. (For those in the northern hemisphere.) Tends to warm us up in the summer and let us cool off in the winter.

And we're pretty sure that the planet is warming on average and we have a very short list of possible reasons why. (And, no, I don't include the Warming Fairy on my list.)

Lots of details left to learn? Absolutely.

An undisclosed variable that's causing global warming? Possible (while fairly unlikely).

Hopefully if there is some yet to be disclosed cause it will be one that we have some chance of controlling. If not, we all may be crowding into the polar regions. The higher elevation portions of the polar regions....

Will holding our breath and screaming "NO! NO! NO!" to global warming keep our beans out of the fire?

Dream on.


Don't agree that the Earth is warming?

Show me some good data.

Data makes me into a believer.


Don't agree that greenhouse gases and/or pollutants are causing the warming?

Show me another reason and some data to support your position.

Data makes me into a believer.


I belong to the Church of Data.

One of the Commandments of the Church of Data is "Keep your mind open to new data and resulting changes in theories.".

And I'm very willing to be converted to a different branch if someone can produce the data.


Bob, getting back to that Solar Radiation and Climate Experiment webpage, do you have any concerns with the page's presentation of data? Does this fit with the way you understand the cause & effect of solar energy falling on the earth? If you don't agree with the premises of that article, can you explain where your differences lie?

Bob Wallace

Sorry, either you're being obtuse or I'm being dense.

Please point out to me where you think there's a problem in the page and I'll take a look at it. Not that I can sort it out one way or another, I'm not a climatologist.

But I do know how to look for more recent data if I know the data I'm seeking....


I think the very idea of environmental systems being robust is an assertion in need of references. Sounds more like optimistic opinion than fact, although it is grounded in a long held belief that weather, climate, the air we breathe, the bounty of land and ocean are beyond puny humanity's power to change. Beyond all the local examples of long term damage to ecological systems all around us, the best efforts at scientific inquiry into the effects of humanity on the atmosphere and climate are saying consistently that they are deep, widespread and likely to far exceed the environment's adaptability to deal with. Of course if people who want to maintain their old belief that human activity is inconsequential in the greater scheme of things, you can of course believe the scientist are self-serving liars devoted to doing a bad job in order to cause concern and fear - and get research grants. Meanwhile from where I sit it looks like the people who are determined to believe the "puny man can't change the climate" line who are most inclined to be dishonest in promoting this belief. I suspect in large part, framing the issue entirely in terms of political ideology makes it easy to impute political motives as the basis of AGW. This requires no discerning efforts to distinguish sound science from popular misconception. Easy in fact to dismiss the work of thousands of scientists and the world's most respected and prestigious institutions in favour of anyone who says they are wrong.

Kit P

There is a reason I do not like getting sucked into discussions with AGW zealots. Lets take a little survey. How many have read past the first paragraph NAS report to get to the part of climate change that states the amount of warming that is attributed to humans and the accuracy of measurements?

Kit P - yes
Bob Wallace – no
little bob – no

I watched a nightly news commentary show the night the NAS report was released. The first journalist declares the debate is over. The second journalist asks the first if he read past the first paragraph.


Sigh. I see your response to my charge that you're practicing blind denialism was to brag again about your mad reading skills (did you read the second paragraph of that report before or after you read your graduate environmental engineering textbook?). I like that you called me a little zealot, though ... very clever of you to throw my argument back at me in a word, without actually addressing any of my points.

You win, Kit P. I won't be responding to your bullshit anymore, at least not in the near future. You have officially taken the fun out of reading about energy topics on this blog for me. I only wish I wasn't as skeptical as I am, so that I could just read your blather and not be bothered by it. I only hope, for your sake, that your denialist bullshit doesn't extend to other parts of your life, so you don't do things like not get vaccinated or turn to quackery to avoid medical "zealots."

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