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The Myth of the Climate Change '97%'

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  • The Myth of the Climate Change '97%'

    From The Wall Street Journal [color emphasis added by -JR]:
    The Myth of the Climate Change '97%'

    By JOSEPH BAST And ROY SPENCER
    May 26, 2014 7:13 p.m. ET

    [snip ten paragraphs]

    In 2013, John Cook, an Australia-based blogger, and some of his friends reviewed abstracts of peer-reviewed papers published from 1991 to 2011. Mr. Cook reported that 97% of those who stated a position explicitly or implicitly suggest that human activity is responsible for some warming. His findings were published in Environmental Research Letters.

    Mr. Cook's work was quickly debunked. In Science and Education in August 2013, for example, David R. Legates (a professor of geography at the University of Delaware and former director of its Center for Climatic Research) and three coauthors reviewed the same papers as did Mr. Cook and found "only 41 papers—0.3 percent of all 11,944 abstracts or 1.0 percent of the 4,014 expressing an opinion, and not 97.1 percent—had been found to endorse" the claim that human activity is causing most of the current warming. Elsewhere, climate scientists including Craig Idso, Nicola Scafetta, Nir J. Shaviv and Nils- Axel Morner, whose research questions the alleged consensus, protested that Mr. Cook ignored or misrepresented their work.

    Rigorous international surveys conducted by German scientists Dennis Bray and Hans von Storch —most recently published in Environmental Science & Policy in 2010—have found that most climate scientists disagree with the consensus on key issues such as the reliability of climate data and computer models. They do not believe that climate processes such as cloud formation and precipitation are sufficiently understood to predict future climate change.

    Surveys of meteorologists repeatedly find a majority oppose the alleged consensus. Only 39.5% of 1,854 American Meteorological Society members who responded to a survey in 2012 said man-made global warming is dangerous.

    Finally, the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change—which claims to speak for more than 2,500 scientists—is probably the most frequently cited source for the consensus. Its latest report claims that "human interference with the climate system is occurring, and climate change poses risks for human and natural systems." Yet relatively few have either written on or reviewed research having to do with the key question: How much of the temperature increase and other climate changes observed in the 20th century was caused by man-made greenhouse-gas emissions? The IPCC lists only 41 authors and editors of the relevant chapter of the Fifth Assessment Report addressing "anthropogenic and natural radiative forcing."

    Of the various petitions on global warming circulated for signatures by scientists, the one by the Petition Project, a group of physicists and physical chemists based in La Jolla, Calif., has by far the most signatures—more than 31,000 (more than 9,000 with a Ph.D.). It was most recently published in 2009, and most signers were added or reaffirmed since 2007. The petition states that "there is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of . . . carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere and disruption of the Earth's climate."

    We could go on, but the larger point is plain. There is no basis for the claim that 97% of scientists believe that man-made climate change is a dangerous problem.

    Mr. Bast is president of the Heartland Institute. Dr. Spencer is a principal research scientist for the University of Alabama in Huntsville and the U.S. Science Team Leader for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer on NASA's Aqua satellite.

  • #2
    Amen
    Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

    Comment


    • #3
      This is interesting, thanks for posting.
      "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

      Comment


      • #4
        The C13/C12 ratio of the atmosphere is remarkably unphased by political commentary. It's almost as if human causation of climate change is, well, science or something.

        John, I love you, man. But you're making a fool of yourself looking for reasons to support the fringe on this one. It's time to stop.

        As ever, Jesse

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by lao tzu View Post
          The C13/C12 ratio of the atmosphere is remarkably unphased by political commentary. It's almost as if human causation of climate change is, well, science or something.
          On that subject, please answer the question ― highlighted in color ― posed at the very bottom of this post:
          UPDATED: Roy Spencer on how Oceans are Driving CO2

          Posted on January 25, 2008
          by Anthony Watts

          NOTE: Earlier today I posted a paper from Joe D’Aleo on how he has found strong correlations between the oceans multidecadal oscillations, PDO and AMO, and surface temperature, followed by finding no strong correlation between CO2 and surface temperatures. See that article here:

          Warming Trend: PDO And Solar Correlate Better Than CO2

          Now within hours of that, Roy Spencer of the National Space Science and Technology Center at University of Alabama, Huntsville, sends me and others this paper where he postulates that the ocean may be the main driver of CO2.

          In the flurry of emails that followed, Joe D’Aleo provided this graph of CO2 variations correlated by El Nino/La Nina /Volcanic event years which is relevant to the discussion. Additionally for my laymen readers, a graph of CO2 solubility in water versus temperature is also relevant and both are shown below:

          See images here

          Additionally, I’d like to point out that former California State Climatologist Jim Goodridge posted a short essay on this blog, Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Variation, that postulated something similar.

          UPDATE: This from Roy on Monday 1/28/08 see new post on C12 to C13 ratio here
          I want to (1) clarify the major point of my post, and (2) report some new (C13/C12 isotope) results:

          1. The interannual relationship between SST and dCO2/dt is more than enough to explain the long term increase in CO2 since 1958. I’m not claiming that ALL of the Mauna Loa increase is all natural…some of it HAS to be anthropogenic…. but this evidence suggests that SST-related effects could be a big part of the CO2 increase.

          2. NEW RESULTS: I’ve been analyzing the C13/C12 ratio data from Mauna Loa. Just as others have found, the decrease in that ratio with time (over the 1990-2005 period anyway) is almost exactly what is expected from the depleted C13 source of fossil fuels. But guess what? If you detrend the data, then the annual cycle and interannual variability shows the EXACT SAME SIGNATURE. So, how can decreasing C13/C12 ratio be the signal of HUMAN emissions, when the NATURAL emissions have the same signal???

          -Roy

          Here is Roy Spencer’s essay, without any editing or commentary:
          Atmospheric CO2 Increases:

          Could the Ocean, Rather Than Mankind, Be the Reason?

          by

          Roy W. Spencer

          1/25/2008

          This is probably the most provocative hypothesis I have ever (and will ever) advance: The long-term increases in carbon dioxide concentration that have been observed at Mauna Loa since 1958 could be driven more by the ocean than by mankind’s burning of fossil fuels.

          Most, if not all, experts in the global carbon cycle will at this point think I am totally off my rocker. Not being an expert in the global carbon cycle, I am admittedly sticking my neck out here. But, at a minimum, the results I will show make for a fascinating story – even if my hypothesis is wrong. While the evidence I will show is admittedly empirical, I believe that a physically based case can be made to support it.

          But first, some acknowledgements. Even though I have been playing with the CO2 and global temperature data for about a year, it was the persistent queries from a Canadian engineer, Allan MacRae, who made me recently revisit this issue in more detail. Also, the writings of Tom V. Segalstad, a Norwegian geochemist, were also a source of information and ideas about the carbon cycle.

          First, let’s start with what everyone knows: that atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations, and global-averaged surface temperature, have risen since the Mauna Loa CO2 record began. These are illustrated in the next two figures.

          See images here.

          Both are on the increase, an empirical observation that is qualitatively consistent with the “consensus” view that increasing anthropogenic CO2 emissions are causing the warming. Note also that they both have a “bend” in them that looks similar, which might also lead one to speculate that there is a physical connection between them.

          Now, let’s ask: “What is the empirical evidence that CO2 is driving surface temperature, and not the other way around?” If we ask that question, then we are no longer trying to explain the change in temperature with time (a heat budget issue), but instead we are dealing with what is causing the change in CO2 concentration with time (a carbon budget issue). The distinction is important. In mathematical terms, we need to analyze the sources and sinks contributing to dCO2/dt, not dT/dt.

          So, let us look at the yearly CO2 input into the atmosphere based upon the Mauna Loa record, that is, the change in CO2 concentration with time (Fig. 3).

          See image here

          Here I have expressed the Mauna Loa CO2 concentration changes in million metric tons of carbon (mmtC) per year so that they can be compared to the human emissions, also shown in the graph.

          Now, compare the surface temperature variations in Fig. 2 with the Mauna Loa-derived carbon emissions in Fig. 3. They look pretty similar, don’t they? In fact, the CO2 changes look a lot more like the temperature changes than the human emissions do. The large interannual fluctuations in Mauna Loa-derived CO2 “emissions” roughly coincide with El Nino and La Nina events, which are also periods of globally-averaged warmth and coolness, respectively. I’ll address the lag between them soon.

          Of some additional interest is the 1992 event. In that case, cooling from Mt. Pinatubo has caused the surface cooling, and it coincides in a dip in the CO2 change rate at Mauna Loa.

          These results beg the question: are surface temperature variations a surrogate for changes in CO2 sources and/or sinks?

          First, let’s look at the strength of the trends in temperature and CO2-inferred “emissions”. If we compare the slopes of the regression lines in Figs. 2 and 3, we get an increase of about 4300 mmt of carbon at Mauna Loa for every degree C. of surface warming. Please remember that ratio (4,300 mmtC/deg. C), because we are now going to look at the same relationship for the interannual variability seen in Figs. 2 and 3.

          In Fig. 4 I have detrended the time series in Figs. 2 and 3, and plotted the residuals against each other. We see that the interannual temperature-versus-Mauna Loa-inferred emissions relationship has a regression slope of about 5,100 mmtC/deg. C.

          There is little evidence of any time lag between the two time series, give or take a couple of months.

          See image here

          So, what does this all show? A comparison of the two slope relationships (5100 mmtC/yr for interannual variability, versus 4,700 mmtC/yr for the trends) shows, at least empirically, that whatever mechanism is causing El Nino and La Nina to modulate CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere is more than strong enough to explain the long-term increase in CO2 concentration at Mauna Loa. So, at least based upon this empirical evidence, invoking mankind’s CO2 emissions is not even necessary. (I will address how this might happen physically, below).

          In fact, if we look at several different temperature averaging areas (global, N. H. land, N.H. ocean, N.H. land + ocean, and S.H. ocean), the highest correlation occurs for the Southern Hemisphere ocean , and with a larger regression slope of 7,100 mmtC/deg. C. This suggests that the oceans, rather than land, could be the main driver of the interannual fluctuations in CO2 emissions that are being picked up at Mauna Loa — especially the Southern Ocean.

          Now, here’s where I’m really going to stick my neck out — into the mysterious discipline of the global carbon cycle. My postulated physical explanation will involve both fast and slow processes of exchange of CO2 between the atmosphere and the surface.

          The evidence for rapid exchange of CO2 between the ocean and atmosphere comes from the fact that current carbon cycle flux estimates show that the annual CO2 exchange between surface and atmosphere amounts to 20% to 30% of the total amount in the atmosphere. This means that most of the carbon in the atmosphere is recycled through the surface every five years or so. From Segalstad’s writings, the rate of exchange could even be faster than this. For instance, how do we know what the turbulent fluxes in and out of the wind-driven ocean are? How would one measure such a thing locally, let alone globally?

          Now, this globally averaged situation is made up of some regions emitting more CO2 than they absorb, and some regions absorbing more than they emit. What if there is a region where there has been a long-term change in the net carbon flux that is at least as big as the human source?

          After all, the human source represents only 3% (or less) the size of the natural fluxes in and out of the surface. This means that we would need to know the natural upward and downward fluxes to much better than 3% to say that humans are responsible for the current upward trend in atmospheric CO2. Are measurements of the global carbon fluxes much better than 3% in accuracy?? I doubt it.

          So, one possibility would be a long-term change in the El Nino / La Nina cycle, which would include fluctuations in the ocean upwelling areas off the west coasts of the continents. Since these areas represent semi-direct connections to deep-ocean carbon storage, this could be one possible source of the extra carbon (or, maybe I should say a decreasing sink for atmospheric carbon?).

          Let’s say the oceans are producing an extra 1 unit of CO2, mankind is producing 1 unit, and nature is absorbing an extra 1.5 units. Then we get the situation we have today, with CO2 rising at about 50% the rate of human emissions.

          If nothing else, Fig. 3 illustrates how large the natural interannual changes in CO2 are compared to the human emissions. In Fig. 5 we see that the yearly-average CO2 increase at Mauna Loa ends up being anywhere from 0% of the human source, to 130%.

          It seems to me that this is proof that natural net flux imbalances are at least as big as the human source.

          See image here

          Could the long-term increase in El Nino conditions observed in recent decades (and whatever change in the carbon budget of the ocean that entails) be more responsible for increasing CO2 concentrations than mankind? At this point, I think that question is a valid one.

          Update:
          More CO2 Peculiarities: The C13/C12 Isotope Ratio

          Roy W. Spencer

          January 28, 2008

          In my previous post, I showed evidence for the possibility that there is a natural component to the rise in concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere. Briefly, the inter-annual co-variability in Southern Hemisphere SST and Mauna Loa CO2 was more than large enough to explain the long-term trend in CO2. Of course, some portion of the Mauna Loa increase must be anthropogenic, but it is not clear that it is entirely so.

          Well, now I’m going to provide what appears to be further evidence that there could be a substantial natural source of the long-term increase in CO2.

          One of the purported signatures of anthropogenic CO2 is the carbon isotope ratio, C13/C12. The “natural” C13 content of CO2 is just over 1.1%. In contrast, the C13 content of the CO2 produced by burning of fossil fuels is claimed to be slightly smaller – just under 1.1%.

          The concentration of C13 isn’t reported directly, it is given as “dC13″, which is computed as:

          “dC13 = 1000* {([C13/C12]sample / [C13/C12]std ) – 1

          The plot of the monthly averages of this index from Mauna Loa is shown in Fig. 1.

          See image here

          Now, as we burn fossil fuels, the ratio of C13 to C12 is going down. From what I can find digging around on the Internet, some people think this is the signature of anthropogenic emissions. But if you examine the above equation, you will see that the C13 index that is reported can go down not only from decreasing C13 content, but also from an increasing C12 content (the other 98.9% of the CO2).

          If we convert the data in Fig. 1 into C13 content, we find that the C13 content of the atmosphere is increasing (Fig. 2).

          See image here

          So, as the CO2 content of the atmosphere has increased, so has the C13 content…which, of course, makes sense when one realizes that fossil-fuel CO2 has only very slightly less C13 than “natural” CO2 (about 2.6% less in relative terms). If you add more CO2, whether from a natural or anthropogenic source, you are going to add more C13.

          The question is: how does the rate of increase in C13 compare to the CO2 increase from natural versus anthropogenic sources?

          First, lets look at the C13 versus C12 for the linear trend portion of these data (Fig. 3).

          See image here

          The slope of this line (1.0952%) represents the ratio of C13 variability to C12 variability associated with the trend signals. When we compare this to what is to be expected from pure fossil CO2 (1.0945%), it is very close indeed: 97.5% of the way from “natural” C13 content (1.12372%) to the fossil content.

          At this point, one might say, “There it is! The anthropogenic signal!”. But, alas, the story doesn’t end there.

          If we remove the trend from the data to look at the inter-annual signals in CO2 and C13, we get the curves shown in Figures 4 and 5.

          See images here

          Note the strong similarity – the C13 variations very closely follow the C12 variations, which again (as in my previous post) are related to SST variations (e.g. the strong signal during the 1997-98 El Nino event).

          Now, when we look at the ratio of these inter-annual signals like we did from the trends in Fig. 3, we get the relationship seen in Fig. 6.

          See images here

          Significantly, note that the ratio of C13 variability to CO2 variability is EXACTLY THE SAME as that seen in the trends!

          BOTTOM LINE: If the C13/C12 relationship during NATURAL inter-annual variability is the same as that found for the trends, how can people claim that the trend signal is MANMADE??
          Last edited by John Reece; 05-29-2014, 12:39 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            http://bbickmore.wordpress.com/roy-spencer/
            http://www.skepticalscience.com/Paci...scillation.htm
            “Natural oscillations like PDO simply move heat around from oceans to air and vice-versa. They don't have the ability to either create or retain heat, therefore they're not capable of causing a long-term warming trend, just short-term temperature variations. Basically they're an example of internal variability, not an external radiative forcing. If PDO were responsible for warming the surface, the oceans would be cooling, which is not the case.
            These results are expected. The long term warming trend is a result of an energy imbalance caused primarily by an increase of greenhouses gases in the atmosphere. In contrast, the PDO is an internal process and does not increase or decrease the total energy in the climate system.”
            “I think God, in creating man, somewhat overestimated his ability.” ― Oscar Wilde
            “And if there were a God, I think it very unlikely that He would have such an uneasy vanity as to be offended by those who doubt His existence” ― Bertrand Russell
            “not all there” - you know who you are

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by firstfloor View Post
              [snip] The long term warming trend is a result of an energy imbalance caused primarily by an increase of greenhouses gases in the atmosphere. [/snip]
              See here re question of what the trend is when the latest period of no warming exceeds the most recent period of global warming (which ended September 1996).

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by John Reece View Post
                See here re question of what the trend is when the latest period of no warming exceeds the most recent period of global warming (which ended September 1996).
                New Scientist Article:-
                http://www.newscientist.com/article/...l#.U4eLsSjyRQQ
                “Even so, the fundamental physics about how greenhouse gases trap heat in the atmosphere hasn't changed. And we know that, even as atmospheric warming stalls, the oceans are continuing to warm. That may explain why Arctic sea ice melted so dramatically last summer, even though air temperatures were not exceptional.
                So press reports that global warming is at a standstill are not true, even in the short term. Right now the oceans are taking up almost all the extra heat. That is most unlikely to persist.”
                “What's the outlook?
                Scary. If oceanic cycles do what the Met Office and others expect, then global average air temperatures will stay fairly stable – though still hotter than they have been in the past – until later this decade. The cycles will then flip into a new phase and the oceans will probably start releasing heat instead of soaking it up. Combined with continued accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, that could mean that sometime round 2020, warming will start to race away again as the atmosphere makes up for lost time.”
                “I think God, in creating man, somewhat overestimated his ability.” ― Oscar Wilde
                “And if there were a God, I think it very unlikely that He would have such an uneasy vanity as to be offended by those who doubt His existence” ― Bertrand Russell
                “not all there” - you know who you are

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by firstfloor View Post
                  New Scientist Article:-
                  http://www.newscientist.com/article/...l#.U4eLsSjyRQQ
                  “Even so, the fundamental physics about how greenhouse gases trap heat in the atmosphere hasn't changed. And we know that, even as atmospheric warming stalls, the oceans are continuing to warm. That may explain why Arctic sea ice melted so dramatically last summer, even though air temperatures were not exceptional.
                  So press reports that global warming is at a standstill are not true, even in the short term. Right now the oceans are taking up almost all the extra heat. That is most unlikely to persist.”
                  “What's the outlook?
                  Scary. If oceanic cycles do what the Met Office and others expect, then global average air temperatures will stay fairly stable – though still hotter than they have been in the past – until later this decade. The cycles will then flip into a new phase and the oceans will probably start releasing heat instead of soaking it up. Combined with continued accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, that could mean that sometime round 2020, warming will start to race away again as the atmosphere makes up for lost time.”
                  The same dire crap they predicted for the year 2000 back in the 1980's. It's always just around the corner. If we don't do something now, we are all doomed! The end is nigh! but strangely enough, the doomsday keeps moving along about 10 to 20 years in the future.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Sparko View Post
                    The same dire crap they predicted for the year 2000 back in the 1980's. It's always just around the corner. If we don't do something now, we are all doomed! The end is nigh! but strangely enough, the doomsday keeps moving along about 10 to 20 years in the future.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Sparko View Post
                      The same dire crap they predicted for the year 2000 back in the 1980's. It's always just around the corner. If we don't do something now, we are all doomed! The end is nigh! but strangely enough, the doomsday keeps moving along about 10 to 20 years in the future.
                      Most of us will be pushing up daises by the time this stuff really hits the fan. It comes down to a matter of stewardship. Have we been good stewards of God’s creation or not? Will we leave our home as tidy as we found it? If God’s green earth is not sacred, I don’t know what is.
                      “I think God, in creating man, somewhat overestimated his ability.” ― Oscar Wilde
                      “And if there were a God, I think it very unlikely that He would have such an uneasy vanity as to be offended by those who doubt His existence” ― Bertrand Russell
                      “not all there” - you know who you are

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by firstfloor View Post
                        Most of us will be pushing up daises by the time this stuff really hits the fan. It comes down to a matter of stewardship. Have we been good stewards of God’s creation or not? Will we leave our home as tidy as we found it? If God’s green earth is not sacred, I don’t know what is.
                        That isn't the question at all.

                        The question is, will you allow fear-mongering politicians to pick your pocket and line their own with their scare tactics, and bankrupt this planet trying to fix something that isn't broken, by selling idiot solutions like "carbon credits"?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Sparko View Post
                          That isn't the question at all.

                          The question is, will you allow fear-mongering politicians to pick your pocket and line their own with their scare tactics, and bankrupt this planet trying to fix something that isn't broken, by selling idiot solutions like "carbon credits"?
                          I miss the "amen" button.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by John Reece View Post
                            I miss the "amen" button.
                            me too.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Sparko View Post
                              me too.
                              This article has a picture of one of the horrible men that owns your soul.
                              http://www.salon.com/2014/05/28/wsjs...is_not_a_myth/
                              “I think God, in creating man, somewhat overestimated his ability.” ― Oscar Wilde
                              “And if there were a God, I think it very unlikely that He would have such an uneasy vanity as to be offended by those who doubt His existence” ― Bertrand Russell
                              “not all there” - you know who you are

                              Comment

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