Hit me with your best shot

This post is your chance to convince me.  It is intended to let you post the most compelling evidence you have come across that supports your view of the global warming issue.

But please, provide me with links to compelling evidence — not something that is just opinion. In other words, no editorials unless the editorial presents compelling evidence, including links, etc.

Also, if you were in a class of mine (yes, I taught university for a few years) I’d expect you to present any contrary evidence and show why it failed to undermine the evidence you did support. So, if you are linking a paper that supports your position, please provide us with any responses in the literature if there have been any and why they didn’t convince you.

Please do a single comment for each piece of evidence. So, if it’s work on GCRs, one comment on that. Another if you find work on UHIs to be really convincing.

Have at it! I really am truly interested in the evidence so will consider all comments. I may reject them, but I will consider them and respond.

About Policy Lass

Exploring skeptic tales.

13 Responses to “Hit me with your best shot”

  1. Not exactly what you asked for, but here is the main reason why me (a non-expert) accepts AGW.

    Bottom line is that when something is accepted by mainstream science, I need a very good reason for me to not accept it.

  2. Susann,
    It is too early for a post like this. You have not yet demonstrated your ability to judiciously examine the evidence on global warming. As a result, nearly a week has passed and no skeptic, myself included, has bothered to comment here.

    When you are confronted with factual evidence you dismiss the facts with a hand wave or comment that someone else disagrees. In global warming, you can always find someone who spouts nonsense.

    For example, you claimed the WWF report cited peer-reviewed literature. I said it mis-cited peer-reviewed literature and your response was classic – “that’s a matter of opinion.” No, it isn’t. Believe me. If the question was asked in a college science course, it would not be considered a matter of opinion.

    If you really want to learn the arguments the skeptics put forward, it would be far better to take them one at a time. Try to nail down some of the basic facts of the skeptical case.

    For example, you could take the compendium paper recently published by Anthony Watts and Joseph D’Aleo based mainly on the work by EM Smith. Go through that paper on the surface temperature record point by point and see what points are valid and which are not.

    When that project is completed, you can go through the evidence on ocean heat content based on the Argo network. These are foundational projects because they will help you understand how much the earth has warmed. Then you can advance into how you attribute the warming to natural variation (internal and external factors) and anthropogenic factors (CO2, other GHGs, land use/land cover changes, etc.)

    By looking at the evidence in more bite-sized pieces, you will be more inclined to understand the skeptical arguments.

    • Ron, there has to be something compelling that drove you to the skeptic side — something that can stand up to public scrutiny. That is, unless you are attracted to the skeptic side for reasons other than the evidence. Perhaps it’s your politics? Your job?

      I mean, the AGW supporters have the vast bulk of the IPCC reports and all the peer-reviewed literature contained within it on their side. The contrarians and denialists have Watts and CA and Pilke and a few others, with few peer-reviewed papers and little real data. They have a few mistakes in method and a few errors in databases and a whole lot of innuendo and speculation but not much else that I can see.

      I’m looking for reasons to be converted. I want it to be a big hoax so I can rest assured that climate change isn’t a threat. I’m waiting for someone to provide me with a sound case the way that AGW supporters have.

      • Susann, I am not convinced you are looking to be converted. I think you are looking for evidence summaries that can be hand waved away. This will only give you a false sense of confidence in the rightness of your position. Far better for you to look at the evidence in detail – try to really wrap your brain around why truly brilliant people are so skeptical.

        Your idea the skeptics do not have much in the literature is wrong. The claim the AGW has a “sound case” is not true. It might be a good starting place to stipulate to which points are undisputed.

        I can tell you my personal story, but I don’t think it sheds any light on the AGW issue really. I do not have any monetary bias in the AGW debate. I work in healthcare, so I have every right to be biased on the healthcare issue.

        I began my study of AGW being somewhat skeptical of the claim that “the science is settled” and “the debate is over.” I kept reading about skeptical scientists who seemed credible to me. I concluded the “debate is over” argument was a lie and that those who used it knew it was a lie.

        I began to accumulate the names of credible skeptics. Once I had the list, I read papers by most of them to learn more about their research and why they were skeptical.

        While in that process I came across the Hockey Stick controversy and ClimateAudit.org. I was very impressed with the approach Steve McIntyre took. As a businessman, his approach made sense to me. His call for climate science to abide by the standards of science resonated with me. I was shocked to learn climate scientists were not archiving or sharing their data. This was, to me, more proof something was rotten and much of the science was biased and driven by a policy agenda. It is understandable to an extent. These people think they are “saving the world.”

        In this process, I learned a lot about the science. I am convinced of the following facts:

        * temps rose in the late 20th century but not as much as CRU and GISS say they did

        * climate scientists have systematically ignored the extent and history of natural climate variability

        * climate models are valuable to help us learn about climate processes but will never have predictive value (because the error bars accumulate)

        * mankind is responsible for some of 20th century warming but the warming will never be catastrophic.

        Why not accumulate a list of credible skeptical scientists and post it here? You don’t have to say you agree with all of their papers. I’m not asking that. Just find skeptical scientists who hold responsible teaching or research jobs in government or academia and post them here. That would give us a starting point.

        • The facts you list are not facts, but claims (and often patently false).
          a) Temperatures likely rose MORE than CRU and GISS say. CRU does not include the fastest warming region, GISS has lost a lot of stations in the poles the last decade, which just happen to be the most rapid warming, too.
          b) Climate scientists have studies extent and history of natural climate variability like crazy. In fact, the 3 degrees climate sensitivity comes from studying natural climate variability
          (cf. http://julesandjames.blogspot.com/2006/03/climate-sensitivity-is-3c.html)
          c) GCMs do not provide predictions, but forecasts. They indicate where we are going under certain scenarios. That makes them very useful to ‘predict’ the future.
          d) This will depend on what you consider “catastrophic”. But let’s see what your evidence is that it will not be “catastrophic”

          • Marco,
            I misspoke. I should have written I am convinced of the following conclusions, because they are my conclusions.

            a. Temps are very likely less than CRU or GISS shows because the atmosphere should be warming faster than the surface, not the reverse.
            b. Climate scientists may have studies natural variability but they have discounted it. Look at the claims made regarding the opening of the Northwest Passage in 2007. The same thing happened in 1944 but climate scientists act like they do not know it.
            c. Yes, GCMs provide forecasts which most people describe as predictions even though they are not technically the same. But GCMs do not follow the scientific forecasting method. Scott Armstrong and Kesten Green did an audit of forecasting methods used by IPCC and found them wanting. See http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1153120
            d. Evidence AGW will not be catastrophic is seen in the lack of expected warming (lower than expected climate sensitivity), existence of warming factors like land use/ land cover changes which are not related to CO2, negative feedback recently observed by Roy Spencer over the tropics, recent evidence that aerosols have less cooling impact than originally thought.

            This is not the extent of my reasons, but is more than enough to begin a search into the peer-reviewed literature by skeptics and non-skeptics which support the skeptic position.

            • @Ron:
              a) This claim is often made, and relies on very strong belief that the satellites (and in particular UAH) are 100% correct. Oddly enough, this involves a huge amount of modeling, which most ‘skeptics’ claim is unreliable. Note also that the satellites don’t take the arctic into the equation, whereas especially GISTEMP does.

              b) You again make rather large claims about the northwestern passage being open in 1944, which are substantiated only by one single reinforced ship sailing it (with loads of trouble). This is rather different from a REAL opening of the northwestern passage, allowing normal ships to go through on a regular and assured trip.

              c) Armstrong and Green unfortunately based their criticisms and understanding solely on ‘skeptics’ who had no experience with GCMs. As a result, you get this embarrassment:

              d) We know for decades that natural climate variability is much larger on a decadal scale than any expected warming from CO2. We’ve had shorter periods (7-8 years) of stasis and even cooling from the 1970s to 2000. Where we also happened to have seen the largest warming ever. Land use changes can actually also introduce a COOLING effect (didn’t know that, huh!). And are you sure you meant Roy Spencer? The supposed negative feedbacks over the tropics is a typical Lindzen-story (and once again falsified). And finally the cooling effect of aerosols: there has been a range of proposed effects for years, and in several cases the current estimates are actually higher.

              And what exactly is the “skeptic” position? No warming effect of CO2? (Hopefully) negative feedbacks taking over? Just a little bit more warming?

              • Marco,
                a. Models have value for learning about climate processes, but do not have predictive value and are therefore no good for forecasts.

                b. The Northwest Passage was sailed in just three months in 1944, not the 28 months or longer of previous voyages. It probably could have done it even faster with navigation equipment we have today. The ice came roaring back in 1945-46, just like it did in 2008-2009. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,801448,00.html

                c. That is not an embarrassment. That is just a hatchet job by the disinformation website Realclimate.pr.

                d. Climate scientists routinely ignore natural climate variability. For example, the Bratcher and Giese paper of 2002. How many climate scientists have stopped to consider how this projects out to 2100?

                There is no singular skeptic position because that is the way science works.

                Marco, you are attempting to do Susann’s dismissive hand-waving for her. I’m trying to get her to look at the evidence honestly. Anyone can point to something and say it is not important when they do not understand its importance.

                I am intrigued by your claim land use changes can introduce a cooling effect. Can you provide a link to a paper? If true, why isn’t this being discussed as a possible solution to AGW instead of carbon sequestration of salting the atmosphere with aerosols?

  3. I have seen many people claim that the earth has not warmed as much as predicted.

    Can you please provide references. Both a prediction and an estimation of how much we have warmed, also a reference that indicates what this means for climate sensitivity.

  4. The onus is on believers to explain why they think the Earth is warming.

    If it were easily proven, then Mann and anothers would not fudge data and hide it, to hide the decline.

    AGW is a secular cult that preys on the fears of people that they are changing the earth. It uses some limited data about a massive topic and then claims that this proves something and the world’s economy needs to be drastically changed.

    Climate Depot is a great web site. Hilarious for just letting alarmist politicans and scientists be themselves and reveal themselves as full of hot air.

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