Mar 172008


At 10am this morning, the New Statesman finally closed the Mark Lynas thread on their website after 1715 comments had been added over a period of five months. I don’t know whether this constitutes any kind of a record, but gratitude is certainly due to the editor of of the New Statesman for hosting the discussion so patiently and also for publishing articles from Dr David Whitehouse and Mark Lynas that have created so much interest.

This page is now live, and anyone who would like to continue the discussion here is welcome to do so. I have copied the most recent contributions at the New Statesman as the first comment for the sake of convenience. If you want to refer back to either of the original threads, then you can find them here:

Dr David Whitehouse’s article can be found here with all 1289 comments.

Mark Lynas’ attempted refutation can be found here with 1715 comments.

Welcome to Harmless Sky, and happy blogging.

(Click the ‘comments’ link below if the input box does not appear)


10,000 Responses to “Continuation of the New Statesman Whitehouse/Lynas blogs.”

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  1. 2601
    Peter Martin Says:


    You sound like you have some sort of puritanical streak in you. The spirit of the Mayflower living on through the generations maybe? Unlike us Aussies who originally arrived in a strange land under different circumstances and have a roguish reputation for liking a bit of a flutter now and again. Life is full of gambles: marriage, jobs, kids, business. It would be pretty boring otherwise. Even putting your money in the bank isn’t quite as risk free as it used to be.

    What’s $50? It costs me much more than that whenever my kids come to visit:-)

    It just adds a little spice to the argument. Are you and Max prepared to back up your predictions with a little hard cash? Obviously not, and that speaks volumes.

  2. 2602
    Bob_FJ Says:

    Robin Reur 2581…it’s kids that may make it happen… …natural campaigners — no shades of grey, no nuanced arguments, just loads of passion and clarity…

    Yes, it’s a bit of a worry when we are no longer allowed to B the S out of them, like in the good old days, when my early teens headmaster would habitually carry a bamboo cane, and not just for show. (NO REGRETS BTW, ditto my friends.)
    Interestingly the latter comment is I think quite a good partial definition of fundamentalism, as demonstrated with the outgoing USA President in head-shaking statements like: You are either with us or against us, or, various naïve statements from Peter Martin. Everything is so simple and straight-forward to a fundamentalist.

    On the other hand, like with all religions, the newer generation of kids in some advanced nations, especially of non-Catholic European stock, (and outside of the Bible belt in the USA), perhaps have the last laugh. In previous generations they were imprinted by their parents with their particular brand of religion, including schisms and fundamentalist versions, and that all other religions that were imprinted by equally devoted parents of whatever other ethno-religio origin, are false/evil. How come devotion to a particular faith is almost entirely dependent on one’s parents and/or “education“, and that some will even kill for it?

    Will these new kids, imprinted with a new religion from new Mullahs, be able to convert their elders?

  3. 2603
    TonyN Says:

    Re: 2571,Brute

    It’s always good to start Monday morning with a smile, and this cerrainly provided one:

    Fortunately, TonyN and his sponsors have provided
    My emphasis

    If only you could see the head office of Harmless Sky Global Communications Inc at this moment. The chief executive is presently sitting in front of a roaring log fire (the central heating went down on Friday night) with a rather old and battered laptop on his knee. Later, he may – but probably won’t – give some serious thought as to how the enterprise will weather the current financial downturn. Sometime next month, renewal of the domain registration will fall due, but on balance he feels that it will be un-necssary to restructure the finances of the organisation in order to meet this commitment, which amounts to all of £5. WordPress, the software that runs the site, is a free download, but the broadband connection on which Harmless Sky depends – the cheepest available some years ago – does in fact have a sponsor, the housekeeping account, because its used for a lot of other things as well, so that’s OK.

    The miracles of the internet age!

  4. 2604
    TonyB Says:


    So the central heating went down…you are in a remote area so I suspect you use oil. You are saving money by not using central heating… so in effect you are saving yourself £30 or so, which you are using to pay for the costs of this site…

    So in effect you are being supported by Big oil! I think the Barmouth Times needs to hear about this latest example of Big Oil trying to advance their own agenda. For shame!


  5. 2605
    manacker Says:

    Hi Peter,

    Re Arctic sea ice thickness (your 2597)

    A February 2008 press release citing Canadian scientists shows that Arctic sea ice not only expanded its extent by 2 million square km over the average of the past 3 years, it also gained in thickness over last year, resulting in a major increase in total volume.

    “Clearly, we’re seeing the ice coverage rebound back to more near normal coverage for this time of year,” said Gilles Langis, a senior ice forecaster with the Canadian Ice Service in Ottawa. “The cold is also making the ice thicker in some areas, compared to recorded thicknesses last year”, Lagnis added.

    Under the sub-headline “Winter sea ice could keep expanding” the report quotes Langis, “The ice is about 10 to 20 centimetres thicker than last year, so that’s a significant increase”.

    If temperatures remain cold this winter, Langis said winter sea ice coverage will continue to expand. But he added that it’s too soon to say what impact this winter will have on the Arctic summer sea ice, which reached its lowest coverage ever recorded in the summer of 2007.

    [As we saw from the more recent record the summer sea ice also made a major recovery from the all-time low (since 1979) of summer 2007.]

    So much for another “snapshot” report (like the NSIDC press release you cited). One says “thinner”, one says “thicker”. Take your pick. And then wait a month for a new press release.

    Here’s a bit more of a long-range look at things than your NSIDC PR blurb.
    Divine + Dick, “Historical variability of sea ice edge position in the Nordic Seas” (2006)

    “Historical ice observations in the Nordic Seas from April through August are used to construct time series of ice edge position anomalies spanning the period 1750–2002. While analysis showed that interannual variability remained almost constant throughout this period, evidence was found of oscillations in ice cover with periods of about 60 to 80 years and 20 to 30 years, superimposed on a continuous negative trend. The lower frequency oscillations are more prominent in the Greenland Sea, while higher frequency oscillations are dominant in the Barents. The analysis suggests that the recent well-documented retreat of ice cover can partly be attributed to a manifestation of the positive phase of the 60–80 year variability, associated with the warming of the subpolar North Atlantic and the Arctic. The continuous retreat of ice edge position observed since the second half of the 19th century may be a recovery after significant cooling in the study area that occurred as early as the second half of the 18th century.”

    The D+D study suggests the presence of a 60-80 year variability and two- to three-decadal oscillations in ice extent. The authors associate the multi-decadal oscillations “with the so-called low-frequency oscillation found in Arctic climate and possibly associated with the North Atlantic thermohaline circulation variability.” The researchers further conclude that since the last Arctic cold period occurred in the late 1960s, it is likely that the Arctic ice pack is now at the height of its low frequency variability. This, the researchers say, “could explain the strong negative trend in ice extent during the last decades as a possible superposition of natural low frequency variability and greenhouse gas induced warming of the last decades.” So, the recent decreases in ice extent are likely to be only partially related to anthropogenic causes. And there is more. Divine and Dick also note that “a similar shrinkage of ice cover was observed in the 1920s–1930s, during the previous warm phase of the low-frequency oscillation, when any anthropogenic influence is believed to have still been negligible.”

    So, if D+D were right that the Arctic ice pack was at “the height of its low frequency variability” when its extent reached an all-time low end-summer 2007, it could well be that the oscillation has reversed itself for the next multi-decadal cycle and that the record 2008/2007 recovery (since satellite measurements started in 1979) will continue. This is not to say that Arctic sea ice has recovered all the way back to the 1979 initial year extent yet, but it appears to have closed a bit more than half of this gap.

    Guess we’ll have to wait and see.

    For an even longer-term view on Arctic sea ice, see another Scandinavian study:

    This study uses amplitudes of the annual signal in oxygen isotopes in ice cores. “The continentality and melt proxies are validated against twentieth-century instrumental records and longer historical climate proxies.”

    The authors conclude “the degree of summer melt was significantly larger during the period 1130–1300 than in the 1990s”, thereby confirming the independent historical evidence from old sea charts and records of Viking migrations.

    It’s always best to take a longer term look at things, rather than just relying on a snapshot view. And avoid NSIDC press releases, Peter. They are published to “sell” a message. Rely on published data where these are available.

    But I’ll pass on your “wanna bet?” offer (we’ve already got one going on temperatures).



  6. 2606
    Robin Guenier Says:

    TonyB/Max: you may find these data interesting.

  7. 2607
    manacker Says:

    Hi Peter,

    In shifting the topic from floating sea ice to grounded ice sheets, you wrote (2596): “If the Antarctic ice were not perennial it would raise sea levels by around 100 metres”.

    That’s right. And if a bullfrog had wings, he wouldn’t bump his butt with every jump.

    The only comprehensive long-term study on the total Antarctic Ice Sheet (Wingham) showed that this actually grew in mass from 1992 to 2003.

    A similar study (Johannessen/Zwally) for essentially the same 10+ year time period showed that the Greenland Ice Sheet also gained mass.

    More recent short term and spot studies suggest a reversal of this growth.

    Now back to sea ice. This melts every summer (both in the Arctic and the Antarctic) and refreezes every winter.

    On average (since records started in 1979), Arctic sea ice loses around 61% of its winter maximum extent by the end of summer. Due to the different geography, Antarctic sea ice loses on average 75% of its winter maximum.

    These ratios swing considerably from year to year.

    Last year these percentages were: Arctic: 69%; Antarctic: 71%

    Short term “blips” and hypothetical suggestions are to be avoided when it comes to sea ice or ice cap projections for the future, as I believe we both agree.



  8. 2608
    manacker Says:

    Hi Peter,

    One more point to your 2596: “But if we ignore the lessons and let the Greenland or Antarctic ice masses melt in the future, even temporarily, it will of course be a different story.”

    What “lessons” should “we” not “ignore”, Peter?
    (Please be specific.)

    Why did the Vikings partially “let the Greenland or Antarctic ice masses melt” and how can we avoid doing what they did “in the future”?
    (Please be specific.)

    What “lessons” did the people living during the most recent Arctic ice melt of the 1930s “ignore” when they “let” this melting occur?
    (Please be specific.)

    It’s all a bit vague for me, Peter, but please no references to Hansen “wolf!” cries or (1,000 page – yawn!) IPCC reports. I’ve read them and they do not answer my questions.

    There is nothing, Peter, that you, Brute or I (or James E. Hansen, Al Gore or even Barack Obama, for that matter) can do to change anything that may be going on with sea ice or grounded ice sheets in either the Arctic or Antarctic.

    Wait! There may be something Obama could do. If the Arctic ice keeps growing embarrasingly, he could try to pull the plug on the NSIDC budget, so that these “inconvenient” measurements are stopped. But there are always the pesky Skandinavians, so even that wouldn’t help.

    If you are of another opinion, please state specifically what I should do and how this will result in any change with a quantifiable estimate of the impact of this change.



  9. 2609
    TonyB Says:

    I apologise to TonyN in advance for this extremely long post, but hope everyone will take the time to read it as the information is highly relevant to my co2 investigations. I emailed Beck and await an answer. In the meantime I have ploughed my own furrow-I don’t know if the information below is also on Becks list of references or not. Most of it comes from;
    Which is a 1912 document, plus from the two books previously referenced;

    ‘Physiography: An Introduction to the Study of Nature’ by T H Huxley published in 1885, the values converted to ppm are from 327 to 380 The measurements were carried out by Angus Smith and are originally given in his book ‘Air and Rain’ published in 1872.

    So do those early observations match other data?

    The following information comes from the 1912 document, except where stated

    Please note the great historic importance of this 1912 date-if you can’t remember what happened please read on and all will be revealed at the end (no cheating and turning the page)

    It is very obvious the past generations of scientists are much smarter and more meticulous than some give them credit for;

    As far back as March 23 1778 Scheele provided the first definitive reading of the composition of the air and commented on similarity of readings wherever they were made. The following from the document

    “ One figure in this early history of air-analysis shines out above all others that of the scholarly, isolated Scheele. That Scheele may rightly be designated as the pioneer in the study of the chemistry of the air few who examine the literature can deny. His results, while admittedly of no quantitative significance, do nevertheless imply a knowledge of the chemistry of the air, of its composition, and of the possibilities of change in its composition, which was expressed no more clearly by other writers many years later.”

    Around this time Cavendish made some 500 samples of air by nitric oxide eudiometer and de Saussure took daily measurements for 3 years this evolved into the more reliable hydrogen eudiometer. These were very accurate and those scientists taking measurements from around 1800 were well aware of the importance of geography, weather, wind, season, altitude, contamination etc when tasking a reading.

    In due course more sophisticated machines came into general use with market leaders being from Haldane (already extensively covered) and Sonden Patterson of Stockholm.

    Readings from 1790 to 1820 should be considered interesting (and possibly correct) but it is from 1820 or so before the level of reliability increased enough for us to consider them as being useable. In looking at the vast range of sample measurements that follow, it should be borne in mind that they are a fraction of many hundreds of thousands and that many were taken outdoors, indoors or in known contaminated areas –such as a factory- and taken in order to comply with the 1889 factories act of co2 at below 900ppm.

    By the mid 1850’s accuracy was said to be within 0.1%.

    Amusingly there was friction even then between the two sides who had their own way of taking samples and who constantly criticised each others science. Kreusler being said to having taken ‘great exception to his critics’ over his methodology to which he retorted they related to ‘but one set of samples which had already been identified as false and withdrawn.’

    The following co2 samples figures are from well observed locations/times and conditions; (some indoors some countryside)
    Nov 1884 036 037 039 041 050 055 0389 0391 040 044 044 048

    A week later under the same criteria
    049 540 380 410 416 430 400 370 370 400 440

    Feb 1885 a set of consistent samples from a rural area
    350 340 340 340 351
    and a week later 370 350 360 340 350

    In 1902 Krogh took some Greenland samples said to be accurate to .0005 to .01%. measured at 700.ppm

    “In a private communication from Dr. Krogh, he reports that a series of experiments made by him in Greenland in 1908 showed oxygen percentages ranging from 20.895 to 20.980, with an average of 20.945. The unusually high carbon-dioxide percentages of former years were not obtained, (up to 700) although two observations gave 0.055 per cent. Dr. Krogh also writes that in 1907 and 1908 Dr. Lindhard of Copenhagen made observations in northeast Greenland (Denmark Haven) using the identical modified Pettersson apparatus described by Dr. Krogh in a former paper. He reports that Lindhard’s results would be liable to about 0.001 per cent error, and they agreed perfectly with those found by himself on the west coast. Lindhard generally found about 0.035 per cent of carbon dioxide, but on one or two days it was below 0.03 per cent, and on 5 days out of 23,0.04 per cent or more. The maximum value found was 0.062 per cent.”

    But what about those apparently absurd Greenland figures? The analysis at the time says;

    “x The one inexplicable phenomenon is the abnormally high percentage of carbon dioxide found in the air of Greenland by Krogh.”

    Independent Sets of samples from another scientists made in Paris in 1903 300ppm

    1910 Bay of Genoa .Naples; cloudless sky; temp, on Moist 0.034

    Equipment evolved quickly throughout the period;

    “Eudiometric observations were exclusively relied upon during the first 50 years of the development of air-analysis, but later gravimetric methods were introduced by Brunner and Dumas in which the oxygen was absorbed by copper or phosphorus, and was subsequently weighed. Then there followed a return to the hydrogen-explosion method, which was advanced to the highest degree of accuracy by Bunsen, Regnault, Frankland and Ward, and Morley. Meanwhile the interesting method of Liebig, employing an alkaline solution of pyrogallic acid, and the copper eudiometer of von Jolly made their appearance. “

    “Of particular significance is the fact that analyses made on the same samples sometimes showed extremely high values for carbon dioxide, ranging at times from 0.025 to 0.07 per cent.”

    The document referenced provides hundreds of pages of equipment, techniques, samples readings and tips on ensuring maximum accuracy of readings.

    “While the investigation was started primarily to study the oxygen-
    content of the outdoor air, it was necessary to determine beforehand the carbon dioxide, since an alkaline absorbent for oxygen was employed; hence practically all the analyses are accompanied by simultaneous determinations of the carbon dioxide in the air. In the especially exact apparatus designed by Sonden and Pettersson, the carbon dioxide is determined to the third or fourth significant figure, but as the amounts of carbon dioxide that were to be used in our apparatus might at times reach 1 per cent, it was impossible to secure this degree of fineness in the calibration of the carbon-dioxide pipette, hence readings can be taken only to one-thousandth of 1 per cent. Consequently, since other methods are better adapted for securing accurate carbon-dioxide determinations, little stress has been laid upon the determinations made in connection with this research, although they are probably accurate to within 0.002 in all cases. The routine outlined was followed with practically no modification from April 5 up to Nov. 3, 1909. The details of an analysis made on April 5 at ll h 45 m a. m. and carried out with this routine are given in table 50.”

    There then followed a long series of hourly and daily recordings a fraction of which are reproduced here; Many of the lower ones were selected by Keeling to base his 280 pre industrial level on;

    Table 50. Results obtained on sample of outdoor air with
    first routine, April 5, 1909, ll h 45 m a. m. 0.029 0.031

    Table 51. Analyses of outdoor air made at the Nutrition Laboratory. 1 Series
    Apr. 5 onwards almost daily to June 3 and virtually every hour
    Then Oct. 18 to December

    0.031 .032 .028 .026 .029 .030 .027 .030 .027 .029 .030 .029
    .030 .031 .032 .030 .031 .031 .031 .032 .032 .030 .030 .032 .030
    .028 .028 ‘.028 .029 .029 .031 .028 .030 .029 .029 .029 .031 .029
    .028 .030 .029 .031
    another series
    .031 .032 .028

    another series
    Table 52. Results obtained on sample of outdoor air with
    second routine, November 4, igog, g b /o m a. m.

    0.035 0.036

    1909 Pleasant, warm and sunny.

    0.034 .033 .034 .031 .029 .028 .029 .031 .032 .033 .032 .030 .030
    .031 .031 .031 .032 .034 .032 .029 .031 .032 .030 .030 .028 .033
    .031 .031 .030 .028 .028 .028 .028 .029 .030 .028 .031 .031.030
    .030 .031 .030 .028 .033 .032 .032 .034 .030 .032 .033 .030 .029
    .028 .030 .028 .030 .029 .030 .028 .030 .029 .030 .031 .031 .033
    .030 .030 .033 .031 .032 .031 .031 .031

    An experiment had to conform to strict criteria;

    “…. would be thoroughly mixed and have a fairly constant composition. Employing precisely the same technical routine, samples of the cylinder air were frequently analyzed as a control on the analyses of the outdoor air. The results of these analyses made between December 3, 1910, and February 9, 1911, are given in table 54.

    1911. Dec. 9 2 56 p.m..032
    Jan. 21 2 32 p.m. .031
    Dec. 10 10 14 a.m. .031 3 43 p.m. .033
    Dec. 13 12 02 p.m. .034
    Jan. 23 9 37 a.m. .032
    Dec. 15 11 52 a.m. .031 10 52 a.m. .033
    Dec. 22 2 31 p.m. .033
    Jan. 31 10 03 a.m. .032 3 43 p.m. .033
    11 30 a.m. .033 4 52 p.m. .034
    Feb. 9 .034

    At this stage it became pointless to continue recording the information of thousands of samples as the figures consistently show readings of .034 or so throughout the daily readings made in Dec 1911 through to 1912- the measurement records can all be seen in the document referenced;

    The results of the long series of samples;

    “The results of analyses of air taken near the laboratory showed no material fluctuation in oxygen percentage during a period extending from April 15, 1911, to January 30, 1912. This constancy was maintained in spite of all possible alteration in weather conditions, changes in barometer, thermometer, humidity, and wind direction and strength; furthermore, the experiments were made before, during, and after the vegetative season. The average result of 212 analyses showed 0.031 per cent of carbon dioxide and 20.938 per cent of oxygen. The analyses of air collected over the ocean, at two different times of the year, and on the top of Pike’s Peak, gave essentially similar results. The average results of all the analyses made in this research of outdoor air are summarized in table 72.

    The IPCC chart suggests only 285ppm at this time.

    That readings were commonplace can be seen here;

    “It will be seen, therefore, that since there are a number of simple and accurate methods for determining carbon dioxide, so the time-consuming and complicated determinations of oxygen are entirely unnecessary.”

    Comment on Methodology

    “The wisdom of taking samples dry is seen from these results, since in all dry samples the percentage of carbon dioxide was found to be always normal.”

    These apparently higher than expected co2 figures are confirmed by this separate study in 1981;

    “Abstract from articles The longest continuous record of measurements of atmospheric CO2 concentration available to date, that was made between 1877 and 1910 at the Montsouris Observatory in the outskirts of Paris, is presented and the methods used and the site are described…..

    ….Mean decadal values of the Montsouris series show a marked rise in concentration from 283 ppm in the first decade to 313 ppm in the second, with a small and non significant drop to 309 ppm in the third decade of the series. The results of the measurements are thus compatible with the hypothesis that a major and variable non-fossil fuel source of atmospheric CO2 was active during the last quarter of the nineteenth century.”

    That the co2 levels can vary considerably in a year (readings taken weekly and averaged at Mauna Loa) might be surprising, but it happens;
    see the above study by Keeling, for example a location in Canada ranges from 360 to 378 (seasonal changes amongst others)
    this diagram also shows the startling amount that co2 levels can change in a very short time . The long article the above diagram comes from is here

    The variation in co2 is truly astonishing and puts the earlier variable figures from longer ago into context

    The IPCC icon is Mauna Loa so it is instructive to go to the oracle so see what that says about variability;-this link
    shows how observations are made in general

    The following one
    is much more interesting and goes into specifics. In particular look at figure 4 and the wide range of the mole fraction in ‘scatter’ measurements figure 5a demonstrates real world conditions and the variation of co2 in the atmosphere shown in the top part of that graph, and in the bottom section the effect when averaged out over a day, so the 335ppm to 368ppm again puts the observed variability in the historic samples in much better context

    The overall effect of taking measurements on an active volcano at over 3000 m altitude I shall leave others to debate but the averaging disguises the considerable daily variability

    Now I’m getting into very technical area here but looking at the unaveraged 2008 daily figures and looking at my graph it seems to me that the scatter graphs have shown a small drop, indicating a co2 drop of 2 or 3ppm -is this a blip or is it responding to lower temperatures, or perhaps the cooler pdo could be having an localised effect here- cooler waters absorb more co2.


    *The Victorians and others took readings more widely than we currently do
    *they are very accurate
    * Levels consistently show around 310 and above
    * Co2 levels vary considerably
    *European co2 levels at the commencement of the Keeling data in 1958 appeared to be around 30ppm higher than he recorded
    *Averaging disguises the ranges.
    *The current levels are not unprecedented
    * Beck was right

    To conclude (at last!!) interestingly the above 1911 readings had the note as follows;

    “When the air-analyses were resumed in the fall, after a summer of unprecedented heat in Boston…”


    The interesting expedition to the top of Pike’s Peak made by Haldane,
    Yandell Henderson, Douglas, and Schneider, in the summer of 1911, was
    utilized in that these gentlemen kindly consented to collect samples of air for this research….possibly resulting from the extreme heat of the summer, which had been abnormal for this section.”

    Which at last brings us back to the teaser referenced at the start of this document as the references to unprecedented warm weather in Boston mentioned above (mirrored in my graph) allows me to wrap up this post. The date is of huge significance as that warm weather in 1911 continued and caused….

    This is a back up report written by someone who was there on the ship

    Yes the unprecedented warm summer of 1911 and the warm winter of 1912 caused the sinking of the Titanic-see how interesting history is Peter?

    Hmm… I seem to remember posting something from a passenger on the 1930’s arctic voyage with Bob Morrissey who said much the same thing in her diary, and talked of glaciers a mile wide falling into the sea. How many times does ‘unprecedented’ warming in the Arctic need to happen to persuade some people that its nothing of the sort- oh yes 1934….and 1912….and 1894…. and 1817…. and 1790 and the Vikings and…


  10. 2610
    Brute Says:

    Trying to make out that there isn’t any danger when scientific opinion is overwhelmingly against you.

    Yep, we are all in danger of burning to a cinder from global warming………28 degrees here overnight, Arctic ice increasing and global temperatures plummeting. 47 inches of snow last week in the upper Midwest plains states……a blizzard in early November……ahhh, but this is simply a “regional anomaly” yes? (just wait until next year Peter?) The cards are stacked against the Alarmist, (to coin a gamblers phrase). Hansen and Gore should have chosen the “manmade global cooling” route to exploit…..the odds are more likely to show global negative temperature anomalies historically than positive. “Heat” is energy, “Cold” is simply the absence of heat. Being that our planet is surrounded by a universe of extremely cold temperature, the chances are that the planet will lose heat much faster than it will retain/gain heat, (my automobile or spending habits withstanding).

    Robin I believe, described your demeanor best as the hysterical person in a movie theater…..instead of calmly requesting the patrons to exit the theatre through the nearest egress at the outset of a potential emergency; you’d be the guy that screams FIRE! FIRE! FIRE! as he pushes and tramples old ladies and children on his way out the door.

    Puritanical streak? No……but I do recognize obsessive compulsive personality traits when I see them. Of course, it’s up to you to decide if your particular vice has made your life unmanageable……I just don’t remember anyone else on this thread offering wagers three times and droning on and on about it through several comment periods. We all have character defects…..recognizing one’s own and dealing with them is virtuous.

    Here’s an idea, it seems to me that with $50.00 to wager that you’d have some “extra” cash lying around. Wouldn’t humanity be better served if you simply “donated” this excess cash to some poor, unfortunate, oppressed individual as opposed to flagrantly risking your hard earned dollars on frivolous, cheap thrills? Maybe donate the $50.00 to Greenpeace or some other worthy organization…..really do your part to save the planet from imminent doom……put your money where your mouth is Peter. If the “consensus” is so strongly on your side, wouldn’t the prudent, more responsible thing to do with the 50 bucks be to send a cheque to Al Gore?

    God knows he could use every penny.

    Or even better, send it to TonyN to help get his furnace repaired………

  11. 2611
    TonyB Says:

    In my long post above I see the second to last link didnt work so here it is again-


  12. 2612
    Robin Guenier Says:

    Peter: I see from your post 2600 that you’re reiterating your view about “scientific opinion” being “overwhelmingly against you”. You seem to have overlooked my post 2500 where, having said that I didn’t understand what you meant by your regular distinction between “deniers”, “contrarians” etc. and the “overwhelming scientific consensus”, I invited you to complete a simple survey. As I said then, by defining the views of some contributors here and comparing them with your view, we could establish clearly where you think the line is drawn between a “denier” and the “consensus”. It would be interesting and helpful.

    So Peter, please go back to 2500 (here) and complete the survey. I look forward to the result. Thanks.

  13. 2613
    TonyB Says:

    Exciting news!

    I have had a response from Ernst Beck who was very interested in my graph and comments. I will be sending him all the background information I have and the various sources they have come from. I will keep you up to date


  14. 2614
    Brute Says:

    Russian submarine’s fire safety system kills 20 in Sea of Japan

    Naughty Russia is still using CFCs…..

    Haven’t they heard about the ozone hole and the Montreal treaty?,27574,24627532-401,00.html

    Here’s another idea Pete………you should catch the first flight to Red Square and display your displeasure regarding this flagrant environmental abuse.

    My suggestion to you would be to pack a toothbrush as I’m certain that the “open-minded” Socialist officials will “come for you” extending your stay with them indefinitely.

  15. 2615
    JZ Smith Says:

    Max, your 2565:

    Thanks for this great post. I know you’ve posted on this before, based, I think, on some of my even earlier posts about energy efficiency as a percent of GDP.

    As we discussed previously, another important factor in your equation, in my view, is population density. Japan has a population density of 339/km², the EU comes in at 112/km², and the USA is 31/km².

    The cost of moving goods and people over such longer distances (compared to Japan and Europe, for example) in the USA is a factor in carbon efficiency, though I’m not sure how you account for that in your table.

  16. 2616
    manacker Says:

    Hi JZSmith,

    You are right. Population density is another very important factor directly affecting the “carbon efficiency” of various nations or groups.

    The USA, Canada and Australia all have lower “carbon efficiencies” than the EU and Japan.

    So does Brazil, even though it uses a lot of sugar-cane ethanol for transportation (which does not count as carbon emission), and therefore has a slightly higher “carbon efficiency” than the other three.

    I have not figured a way to factor this in without complicating things too much.

    Population density figures are published for each group. I suppose one could take the automotive fuel portion of total energy and adjust the index for this.

    Just taking a rough look at it, this would put the USA (plus Canada and Australia) at roughly the same efficiency level as the EU and Japan, which makes sense. These countries certainly have the same incentives to increase energy efficiency and cost.

    I’ll take a look at it.

    I don’t suspect the IPCC folks or other more avid AGW-supporters / carbon slashers will consider either the population density or the per capita GDP as important factors; they are totally fixated on CO2 (and that’s it). If we all have to go back to the economic development level of Malawi or Haiti to reach lower CO2 levels, so much the better.

    I have noticed that some AGW sites have just recently switched their thinking from absolute CO2 emissions (when the USA was #1) to “per capita” CO2 emissions (when China surpassed the USA as #1), in order to keep the USA on top of the “sinner” list. But getting them to think outside the box to include relative economic development (whazzat?) or population density differences (huh?) is probably asking too much. It would be interesting to get Peter’s thoughts on this.

    But thanks for reminder; I’ll see how this can be factored in.



  17. 2617
    manacker Says:

    Hi TonyB,

    Reur 2609. Very interesting post. It looks as though you are getting close to exposing a previously generally accepted “sacred cow” (the Keeling curve) as flawed. I will be very interested in seeing how your study all fits together.

    Also congratulations on getting Ernst Beck interested.



  18. 2618
    Brute Says:

    I’m gonna go out on a limb here…….. If the 2008 Arctic Sea Ice level intersects with the 1979-200 average, how long do you think it will be before the CO2 levels begin to be “adjusted” downward?

    The spin will be that the Gore/Hansenist policies are working thus lowering CO2 and saving the polar bears and the world from calamity……more “proof” that the world must “repent” from its evil capitalist ways…….

    What do you think?

    I don’t remember…….did the sea ice surpass the 1979-2000 average last winter at it’s peak?

  19. 2619
    JZ Smith Says:

    Hi Max,

    I’m sure you are correct about how the IPCC/AGW crowd views CO2 “mitigation”; population density would not likely be an important factor for them.

    But arguing against that view we should ensure the facts are well understood. Japan, especially, would likely always have excellent carbon efficiency, due to the large population and small land mass. As you write, Australia, Canada, and the USA would always appear lower on the list due to transportation expense (both in cash and CO2) than more densely populated countries.

    I think it is important. Thanks for looking into it for me.

    Also thanks to whomever posted this link. Great info. (Sorry, I couldn’t find the original post.)

  20. 2620
    TonyB Says:

    Max 2617

    I have put together a complete record of my information and other input on the subject, so in effect Ernst Beck has a complete record of the various data collected. You were very instrumental in supplying useful material and trust you have no objection to my including your comments-no names are mentioned- although I have made it clear they were not my comments.

    The material together with other stuff I didnt post is the size of a small book, and it is very interesting to see how it developed over the week.

    Hopefully tomorrow I will have the revised Zurich Fluntern figures to show you


  21. 2621
    JZ Smith Says:

    EU global warming limit may not be possible -IEA

    LONDON, Nov 6 (Reuters) – A European Union target to limit warming of the planet to no more than 2 degrees Celsius may not be technically achievable, the International Energy Agency said in a report to be published next week.
    “Even leaving aside any debate about the political feasibility … it is uncertain whether the scale of the transformation envisaged is even technically achievable, as the scenario assumes broad development of technologies that have not yet been proven,” said the IEA’s World Energy Outlook.


  22. 2622
    JZ Smith Says:

    Note on my post 2621 above:

    Hat tip to Greenie Watch.

    Sorry for the omission.

  23. 2623
    Brute Says:

    I don’t remember…….did the sea ice surpass the 1979-2000 average last winter at it’s peak?

    Nope, it didn’t.

    Does anyone else here have lapses of memory as they are getting older? Completely off topic, but I just don’t find my memory as crisp as (I remember) it used to be. Maybe Pete’s correct and I’m getting senile.

  24. 2624
    Brute Says:

    Global Warming and Nature’s Thermostat

  25. 2625
    Bob_FJ Says:

    Pete, Reur 2601, you wrote concerning your proposed bet:

    What’s $50? It costs me much more than that whenever my kids come to visit:-)
    It just adds a little spice to the argument. Are you and Max prepared to back up your predictions with a little hard cash? Obviously not, and that speaks volumes.

    Yawn…. but Brute joked in part on this in his 2610:

    Here’s an idea, it seems to me that with $50.00 to wager that you’d have some “extra” cash lying around. Wouldn’t humanity be better served if you simply “donated” this excess cash to some poor, unfortunate, oppressed individual as opposed to flagrantly risking your hard earned dollars on frivolous, cheap thrills? Maybe donate the $50.00 to Greenpeace or some other worthy organization…..really do your part to save the planet from imminent doom……put your money where your mouth is Peter. If the “consensus” is so strongly on your side, wouldn’t the prudent, more responsible thing to do with the 50 bucks be to send a cheque to Al Gore?
    God knows he could use every penny.

    Pete, I wonder if you properly comprehended Brute’s comments, in that there was an element of satire/sarcasm/ humour in them, and I’ve noted that fundies in general do not “pick-up” such oblique stuff too well. (can only read black OR white)

    May I recommend, (if that is your leaning), that rather than you donate to Al Gore….. (The guy is already rather comfortable financially)…. Please consider this truly worthy cause:
    Have you heard of Austin Health, down in Melbourne Oz? In a mailed report I received from them today, I see that professors M. Woodford and C, Rowe are heading research there, including use of Positron Emission Tomography (PET), that is looking very promising in early detection and complementary improved treatment of Alzheimer’s.

    I recently donated AU$500 to Austin Health for a different very worthy project that interests me.

    C’mon Pete….. It’s tax deductible…. Connect, and go for it via Email:

    Al Gore does not need your help!

  26. 2626
    Peter Martin Says:


    Yes you are right in suggesting that Freons (there are a range of different types) have largely been banned. However there are a few exceptions for ‘essential uses’, where no acceptable substitutes have been found, and these do include submarine fire suppression systems. I would expect that the US navy uses them too.

    Don’t you keep up with world history? Russia is just as capitalist as anyone else these days. It is debatable if they have ever been anything else. You can’t have socialism without democracy.

  27. 2627
    manacker Says:

    Hi Peter,

    You wrote Brute:

    “You can’t have socialism without democracy.”

    This is not correct, Peter.

    The communists in the Soviet Union, China, Cambodia, etc. called it international “socialism”.

    The Nazis called it national “socialism”.

    The Cubans and North Koreans still call it “socialism”.

    None of these are or were democratic states. Instead they are a collection of ruthless dictatorships based on bureaucratically planned economies controlled by the state.

    What you are referring to is not “socialism”, it is “social democracy”, as most of the socialist parties in democratic nations call themselves.

    “Socialist” parties in democratic nations usually identify themselves as an alternate to “capitalism”, yet they almost all operate in more or less capitalistic societies.

    Those states that have replaced free market capitalism with economies planned by the state are, in fact, the true socialists (i.e. anti-capitalists). None of these are democratic. A justification often used by socialists is that global capitalism causes greater disparity of wealth and greater suffering, so that a “dictatorship of the proletariat” is a preferable system.

    (Churchill’s comment on the 2 systems has been posted earlier on this site, but I will tell a personal experience I had on this.)

    Several years ago (before the Soviet Union imploded) I noticed a sign in a German taxi, in which I was riding to the airport, that read (translated from German): “under capitalism 5% of the people hold 95% of the wealth”.

    I asked the driver if he believed this statement. He immediately agreed. I then asked him whether he would agree that “under communism far less than 5% of the population hold 100% of the power”. He had no answer.

    The recent and current leaders of the “People’s Republic of China” have figured this one out slightly differently than the true socialist states. China has moved away from true socialism (under Mao) to a system that allows and rewards capitalism. It is by no means a democratic system, however, but in making this shift away from socialism the leaders of China have been able to increase the standard of living of the Chinese population immensely.

    To “terminology”: The name “communist” has fallen into almost as much disrepute worldwide as the words “Nazi” or “fascist”, so the governments of these states prefer the name “socialist” to “communist”. What’s in a name?

    But neither capitalism nor its opposite, socialism, require a democratic system to exist.



  28. 2628
    manacker Says:

    Hi Brute,

    Reur 2624

    Thanks for link to latest information from Roy Spencer.

    There is more real factual information in this article “Global Warming and Nature’s Thermostat” than there is in 1,000 pages of IPCC AR-4 computer-generated pseudoscience.

    It shoots down the “positive feedback” assumptions of all IPCC climate models (and therefore the 2xCO2 climate sensitivity of 3°C) very effectively, by demonstrating that these are simply not supported by the physically observed facts.

    Too bad the AGW-controlled scientific journals are censoring this information, in order to withhold it from the public.

    But I’m looking forward to Spencer’s planned book, “The Great Global Warming Blunder”, when it is published.



  29. 2629
    Brute Says:


    Freon is a trade name…..a manufacturer name… Xerox. Halon 114B2 has been banned in the US (and on US boats) thanks to knuckleheads such as Al Gore. US Subs rely on manual firefighting techniques employing portable fire extinguishers and water, (pre-action systems), not Halon.

  30. 2630
    manacker Says:

    Note to Brute regarding the Spencer article.

    In a sideline footnote Spencer gives a critique of a YouTube video, “Most Terrifying Video You’ll Ever See”, in which an Oregon high school teacher, Greg Craven, uses logic “to convince viewers that the only responsible course of action on global warming is to act as if it is manmade and catastrophic. In other words, the potential risk of doing nothing is so high that we must act, no matter what the science says.”

    What Craven does as a private citizen is his business, but I sincerely hope he is not spreading his personal beliefs and fears to his high school students as “fact”.

    I used the link to try to view this video but only saw the note, “This video has been removed by the user.”

    Indoctrination of children is one of the more insiduous ways that totalitarian regimes (or philosphical movements) have tried to gain support for their agendas. (Goebbels was an expert at this.)

    Fortunately, the success of this approach is short lived. It probably was not much more than a few months after the end of WWII that most of the children who had been brainwashed with the pseudo-scientific “master race” hypothesis realized that it was BS.

    I predict that, if things keep cooling down as they have been for the past decade, most of the schoolchildren that are now being brainwashed with the pseudo-scientific AGW hypothesis will also realize very quickly that this is BS.

    Kids are more intelligent than people (especially eco-activist high school teachers) give them credit for.


  31. 2631
    Peter Martin Says:


    Of course, it is only natural that the name of socialism is misused by those who wish to attain power and use it for their own ends. Lets just take a look at a dictionary definition of the word:

    “a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole.”

    How can it be possible for the “community as a whole” to be vested with with control, or ownership, without democracy being involved?

    I would put more emphasis on the control aspect than the ownership. Whether people realise it or not, all western governments, under the pressure of democracy have moved to control their economies ( or the means of production and exchange if you prefer the Marxist jargon), and not necessarily in the interests of the owners. The last twenty years or so have seen the balance shift back towards the owners, but I would say that 2008 will turn out to be the high water mark for Reagan-Thatcherite economics.

    Are the capitalist classes the ruling classes in the way that conventional Marxists would suggest? I’m not sure that they are. In many ways the class struggle is between the democratic process on the one hand and capitalism on the other. Of course they, the capitalits, try to manipulate the process to secure a favourable outcome for themselves, and they have the money to do it of course. Capitalism is tolerated by the working and middle classes providing it is working well. But what if it isn’t? We might well see the answer to that question emerge in the next few years.

  32. 2632
    Brute Says:

    Kids are more intelligent than people (especially eco-activist high school teachers) give them credit for.


    Well said, (written), although it is still aggravating. It takes quite a bit of time everyday to “de-program” my nieces after spending the day at their public school. My other niece has a much better grasp of things and all in all a much broader view of topics, (private school). She is also far more advanced than her public school cousins.

    It was especially interesting to note that the Spencer paper was rejected twice. What is the criterion for acceptance/rejection of papers such as this and what is the standard process?

    Committee vote?

  33. 2633
    TonyB Says:

    Bruce et al

    Sunspots. As a natural sceptic I have always queried the idea of sunspots being the sole climate driver, but liked the symetry of the idea.

    My attempt to graph them by hand in previous years seemed to show there was a fit- but not a perfect one. However I have always believed that the vast majority of our climate and temperatures are driven by solar activity of some kind-sunspots, cosmic rays, Pdo etc.

    The atached graph should be read that the sun spot numbers (in green) that show the lowest concentration i.e. nearest the bottom of the chart, should reflect low temperatures. Those with the highest peak are the ones with the highest numbers, and should reflect greater temperatures.

    There is no doubt that there is some correlation in both high and low temperature spikes, so all in all it looks to me to be a reasonable-but by no means perfect-fit.

    You will note the graph now has vertical date lines to make it easier to read. Previously the 6 notes* along the bottom line were drawn on by ‘eye’. This will mean I can now position the 6 notes more accurately.

    I was replying to max’s #post 2355 when I commented the co2 spikes were in 1825 1857 and 1942 (amongst others).

    Consequently I will relook at the graph and the co2 spikes in this context to see if I can see any correlation between co2/temperature/sunspots.


    Tony B

  34. 2634
    Peter Martin Says:

    Max, On the question of indoctrination.

    “Indoctrination of children is one of the more insidious ways that totalitarian regimes (or philosophical movements) have tried to gain support for their agendas”

    It has been said that the Jesuits are the masters of the science of indoctrination. Though I’m not sure if they are any worse than all those who suffer from the delusion of religion. The only young Americans I seem to meet over here are Mormons. And why are they Mormon? Because they were born and raised and indoctrinated in Mormon families in Utah. If they had been born in India they would be Hindus. If they’d born in Iran they’d be Muslim. In Israel they’d be Jewish.

    Children seem to be defined as Christian , Muslim or whatever, long before they reach an age which would enable them to make sense of what these religions really mean.

    What are schools supposed to do? If there is one thing that the founding fathers of the USA got right it was the decision to keep religion and schools separate. Not science and schools though. Schools should be tasked with teaching secular and progressive scientific objective opinion. And if that upsets people like you and Brute, well that’s just too bad.

  35. 2635
    manacker Says:

    Hi Peter,

    To defend the inherently democratic nature of “socialism” you write (2631), “How can it be possible for the “community as a whole” to be vested with with control, or ownership, without democracy being involved?”

    It depends on the definition of the “community as a whole”.

    Your idealized definition might be totally different from mine or from that of a leader of a truly “socialist” country.

    I’m sure Stalin would have defined the “community as a whole” differently than you might.

    All the truly “socialist” (i.e. anti-capitalist) states I have seen have somehow defined the “community as a whole” as “the state”. This is where the power and wealth is “vested”.

    As I noted earlier, China is moving away from being a truly “socialistic” state to more of a “capitalistic” one, without doing much, however, to become a “democratic” state.

    Throughout her thousand of years of history China never had a good grasp of “democracy”.

    The move appears to be working, in that the standard of living of the Chinese population has improved immensely on average.

    The move has undoubtedly increased the disparity between the wealthiest and poorest, which would represent a real ideological problem for socialist purists, who believe in income leveling.

    And, to be sure, there is still a lot of abject poverty in many rural Chinese provinces.

    But one can argue that all Chinese have benefited from this (non-democratic) move away from pure “socialism” to a more “capitalistic” society, even if some have benefited more than others.

    I believe that the Chinese leaders are wise (or crafty) enough to realize that it is not the disparity between rich and poor that make people dissatisfied (and therefore ready to demonstrate or revolt against their governments). It is the trend in their own plight: “am I better off than I was last year, five years ago?” If the answer to this question is resoundingly positive, most people do not really care if someone else is doing even better.

    But back to your intial statement. I have seen no practical example of a long-lasting society (in the modern, industrialized world) that has successfully practiced your idealized version of “socialism” (i.e. an anti-capitalist society based on democracy and communal ownership of all property. Can you name such an example?

    The concept appears to go against basic human nature and, therefore, would seem to have no long-term future in a truly democratic society.



  36. 2636
    Brute Says:

    If there is one thing that the founding fathers of the USA got right it was the decision to keep religion and schools separate. Not science and schools though. Schools should be tasked with teaching secular and progressive scientific objective opinion.


    Science? My 10 year old niece was taught that CO2 is pollution. She had no idea that it is essential to sustain plant life which in turn sustains life that requires oxygen.

    The US founding fathers and the Constitution guarantees freedom of religion…..not freedom from religion.

    Were drifting off topic again……….

  37. 2637
    Brute Says:

    Also Peter, “separation of Church and State” does not appear anywhere in the Constitution.

    However; many references to God do. And if that upsets people like you Peter, well that’s just too bad.

  38. 2638
    manacker Says:

    Hi Peter,

    Re indoctrination you write, “It has been said that the Jesuits are the masters of the science of indoctrination.”

    If you are referring to the ability to masterfully use logic in order to convey the desired message, you may be right.

    But if you are referring to forced “brainwashing”, the Soviet Communists and German Nazis certainly had the Jesuits beat. And the reason for this is so simple it hurts: “they had the complete political control” (which the Jesuits did not).

    The “mullahs” in totalitarian states run under Sharia Law have this same absolute level of control.

    The Spanish Inquisition was also administered by an all-powerful (nominally) secular government (to “convert” or get rid of Jews, Muslims, and “heretical” Christians).

    It’s different in our modern, democratic societies.

    If we, for example, hear from our children that they are being “brainwashed” in the classroom by ideological extremists of any ilk (who happen to be their school teachers), we can complain to the school management and get these ideologists muzzled or fired.

    This may be an uphill battle if we are trying to muzzle a strict “creationist” science teacher in a “Bible Belt” community or an “AGW alarmist” who is spreading his hysteria to the school children in New York City or San Francisco.

    In the worst case, we can pull our kids out of that particular class or school. After all, it is a democratic society.

    That is the difference, and as they say “vive la difference!”



  39. 2639
    manacker Says:

    Hi TonyB,

    To your 2633 (solar activity as a climate driver), there have been many studies out there showing a relationship.

    I have posted links to several of these (posts # 87 to 98 on page 1 of this site).

    Most of these conclude that one cannot relate all of the late 20th century warming to (our current knowledge of) solar irradiation alone. The mean reported impact of solar activity on 20th century temperature in the cited studies was around 0.35C (out of a total observed warming of around twice this amount). The individual studies reported values of 0.2C to 0.7C and the arithmetical average of all studies was 0.37C.

    The main point is that the radiative forcing from total solar irradiance (TSI) as assumed and reported by the IPCC is understated by a factor of around 10.

    The other point is that we see fairly robust correlation between solar activity and globally averaged temperature but cannot completely identify the mechanism (one of the objectives of the current CLOUD study at CERN, Geneva).





  40. 2640
    TonyB Says:


    I think you’re agreeing with me-its the sun thats very largely responsible -but in what form is still unclear.

    Sun spots? Clouds? PDO? Cosmic rays? A little bit of several things plus co2?

    I dont think I could say there is anything like a 100% correlation between temperature spikes and sun spots, although there is clearly a relationship of some sort in many of them. Perhaps they need to be extremely high or extremely low concentrations to have the maximum effect, and anything in between is much less clear?

  41. 2641
    Brute Says:


    What is the primary source of heat, (energy), impacting Earth?

  42. 2642
    manacker Says:

    Hi Peter,

    You seem to think that belief in a religious tenet is inherently different from belief in a scientific hypotheses or a political premise. In theory, you might be correct.

    But it is my observation that the difference is not so clear, when it comes to “isms” (in the sense of doctrine, theory or cult).

    This would include, “socialism”, “environmentalism”, communism”, “creationism”, etc. as well as a new “ism” I will call “AGW-ism”.

    Science is based on theories that are either substantiated or refuted through actual experimentation and by physical observations, whereas “isms” are deeply held beliefs, which are often based on scriptures, prophesies or oracles, even if they are contradicted by the science of actual physical observations.

    A fundamentalist believer in every word in the Bible “knows” that the world is only around 6,000-years old (because the Bible says so, based on the chronological lineage from Adam to Abraham), despite any scientific observations that demonstrate clearly that it must be much older.

    In the case of “AGW-ism”, the oracles are computer models. These reinforce the basic quasi-moralistic “belief” that man is guilty of destroying our planet by burning fossil fuels. When actual physical observations show that the “oracles” have been wrong in their predictions, these are rejected in favor of the computer prophesies.

    Science requires rigorous discipline and, most of all, an open mind. There is no room for “glossing over” inconvenient facts that happen to disprove a “belief”.

    This is where AGW has drifted away from being a science and has become an “ism”.

    Just two simple examples: “it has not really stopped warming, just because all temperature records tell us so, because our computers tell us it must be warming”; “feedback from clouds cannot be strongly negative as physical observations have demonstrated, because our computer models all tell us this feedback must be positive”.

    So it is my opinion that “AGW-ism” with its prophesies of doom and gloom should no more be taught to schoolchildren as “scientific fact” than any other of the “isms” .

    Any thoughts on this Peter?

    (Please refrain from referring to “mainstream consensus of over 2,500 scientists” as a defense of “AGW-ism” as a real science.



  43. 2643
    manacker Says:

    Hi TonyB,

    One of the studies I cited in post #97 is that of K. Georgieva et al. I would recommend that you look at this study (plus all the others as well), as it answers one of your questions regarding the suitability of sunspot number as an index for solar activity.

    This study demonstrates that “the index commonly used for quantifying long-term changes in solar activity, the sunspot number, accounts for only one part of solar activity and using this index leads to the underestimation of the role of solar activity in global warming in the recent decades. A more suitable index is geomagnetic activity which reflects all solar activity, and is highly correlated to global variations in the whole period for which we have data.” [The period studied was 1856-2000.]

    The authors show graphically that geomagnetic activity correlated very well with global temperature anomalies over the entire study period.

    In the discussion the authors state “The geomagnetic activity reflects the impact of solar activity originating from both closed and open magnetic field regions, so it is a better indicator of solar activity than the sunspot number which is related to only closed magnetic field regions. It has been noted that in the last century the correlation between sunspot number and geomagnetic activity has been steadily decreasing from 0.76 in the period 1868-1890, to 0.35 in the period 1960-1982.”

    Three mechanisms are listed for solar climate forcing:
    1) variations in total solar irradiance leading to variations in the direct energy input into the Earth’s atmosphere
    2) variations in UV irradiance causing variations in stratospheric chemistry and dynamics
    3) variations in solar wind modulating cosmic ray flux which affect the stratospheric ozone and small constituents and/or the cloud coverage and thus the transparency of the atmosphere”

    It should be noted that IPCC considers only a fraction of the first mechanism listed here.



  44. 2644
    TonyN Says:

    For those of you who are discussing co2, there may be something interesting in this edition of the BBC Rsdio4 Material World programme. First item at about 00:30secs. Probably only available until Thursday.

  45. 2645
    TonyB Says:


    I think we are in total agreement.

    From obsereving the sunspots data there appears to be a reasonable- but not pefect- fit. Therefore whilst i think the theory is interesting it is not the whole answer-other factors are obviously at work that are connected with the sun.

    I have looked at the studies you cite-I know nothing about geo magnetic activity but it makes sense. That there are a variety of solar drivers that are by far the most important factors that drive our climate and temperatures, I have no doubt. Solar activity in one form or another is absolutely fundamental to everything that happens on earth and it is bad science to minimise its overwhelming impact.

    So although sun spots are important-especially in the popular imagination-they need to be looked at in their proper perspective.

    THe IPCC got it wrong with Dr Mann and Charles Keeling so it is no surprise if they have done the same with solar activity.


  46. 2646
    Peter Martin Says:


    I’m not sure that there such a thing as a scientific ‘fact’. Nevertheless there is as much mainstream scientific support for the general position of the IPCC, viz that AGW is real and is a problem to be taken seriously, as there is for AIDS being caused by the HIV virus or smoking tobacco being a serious health risk.

    If you would like to collect ‘ism’s. How about denialism, contrarianism, defeatism?


    It is your constitution, so you should know that the first amendment says ‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.’ Seems clear enough to me.

    If people like you choose to interpret that as meaning that it does not guarantee freedom from religion, well I’m sure we could all could find something. I quite like the pre-Christian European religions with their ideas of respect for earth and environment. Would they be OK if I were to live in America?

    The famous ‘one nation under God’ line that is part of the pledge of allegiance is quite a recent addition and against the spirit of the original constitution. It strikes me that the US religious right who are very keen to make the most of the US constitution where it suits them, are happy to try to whittle it away where it doesn’t.

    But that is for you guys to decide of course.

  47. 2647
    manacker Says:

    Hi Peter,

    You wrote: “Nevertheless there is as much mainstream scientific support for the general position of the IPCC, viz that AGW is real and is a problem to be taken seriously, as there is for AIDS being caused by the HIV virus or smoking tobacco being a serious health risk.”

    Your statement sounds good, but is fully unsubstantiated and incorrect, as well.

    The HIV-AIDS connection has been scientifically proven. The smoking health risk has been proven by many clinical trials and case studies. AGW has not.

    “Mainstream scientific support” is a version of the old bogus “2,500 scientists” argument. Forget it, Peter. It’s a fraud.

    What counts are physical observations, not computer model outputs or “mainstream scientific support” postulations.

    And the physical observations do not support the suggestion “that AGW is real and is a problem to be taken seriously”. Instead they show us that the AGW hypothesis is tenuous at best, and that there is no physical evidence that it “is a problem to be taken seriously” at all. And there are many scientists who agree with this.

    But, hey Peter, if you want to “believe” in it, that’s your free prerogative. Just don’t try to “sell” it as “science”.

    Others “believe” in creationism: you “believe” in AGW-ism.

    As the French say “chacun à son goût” (everybody according to his own taste or to each his own).

    I personally believe they’re both goofy (and not really that different).



  48. 2648
    manacker Says:

    Hi Peter,

    A tip.

    You’re losing on the “philosophical” debate on the pros and cons of “AGW-ism” and defending it as a “science” rather than a “belief”.

    Your defense of idealized “socialism” is interesting, but not really on topic for this site.

    Why don’t you try to go back to the specific scientific debate on the topic of AGW?

    As a starter, why are you afraid to answer Robin’s questionnaire?

    You have not been able to defend the Hansen “hypothesis” of delayed equilibrium and disappearing heat, the physically disproven concept of positive feedbacks from clouds, the unsubstantiated IPCC assumption of constant relative humidity with warming, etc.

    In other words, you have not been able to defend the IPCC model assumptions supporting a 2xCO2 climate sensitivity of 3C (rather than around 0.5 to 0.8C).

    These assumptions are a cornerstone for the suggestion that AGW is a serious problem for the future.

    Take them away, and it all implodes in irrelevance.

    You have neither been able to explain why temperatures have risen and fallen prior to human CO2 emissions nor why they are now cooling despite record human CO2 emissions.

    Your “wanna bet it won’t warm up again after 2009″ or “wait’ll next year on Arctic sea ice” proclamations do not lend any real credence to the AGW hyspothesis.

    To be honest, you are doing a rather poor job in defending the AGW paradigm, Peter.



  49. 2649
    Peter Martin Says:


    I’m not sure that ‘proven’ is the correct word for the link between AIDS and HIV. Certainly the overwhelming evidence is in favour, though.

    The sceptics on the AIDS issue have their ‘Lindzen’ too in the shape of Henry H. Bauer, Professor Emeritus of Chemistry & Science Studies, Dean Emeritus of Arts & Sciences, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University. Sounds impressive?

    And there are plenty more like him.

    Fortunately for AIDS sufferers, AIDS/HIV deniers don’t seem to have been able to put a spanner in the works to the extent that AGW deniers have. Particularly in the USA the public have been quite systematically misled.

  50. 2650
    Peter Martin Says:


    I’m not sure that ‘proven’ is the correct word for the link between AIDS and HIV. Certainly the overwhelming evidence is in favour, though.

    The sceptics on the AIDS issue have their ‘Lindzen’ too in the shape of Henry H. Bauer, Professor Emeritus of Chemistry & Science Studies, Dean Emeritus of Arts & Sciences, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University. Sounds impressive?

    And there are plenty more like him.

    Fortunately for AIDS sufferers, AIDS/HIV deniers don’t seem to have been able to put a spanner in the works to the extent that AGW deniers have. Particularly in the USA the public have been quite systematically misled.

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