The Golden Horseshoe Award: Jaworowski and the vast CO2 conspiracy

In Dashiell Hammett’s story The Golden Horseshoe, much of the action takes place in a bar of that name in Tijuana. At one point the narrator, an operative for the Continental Detective Agency, kills a few strategic seconds by studying the decorations:

I was reading a sign high on the wall behind the bar:

ONLY GENUINE PRE-WAR AMERICAN AND BRITISH WHISKEYS SERVED HERE

I was trying to count how many lies could be found in those nine words, and had reached four, with promise of more …

Sometimes I come across an article, web posting, advertisement or other statement that makes me feel when I read it just as I imagine the Continental Op did in that Tijuana bar.

How can they possibly pack so much misinformation into such a small space?

To honor exceptional achievement in mendacity, I would like to present the Golden Horseshoe Award to that writer who has out-performed his or her peers in density of false statements per column-inch.
To receive the first Golden Horseshoe Award, I can think of no more worthy recipient than Zbigniew Jaworowski.

First, a few introductory remarks.
There is a robust consensus among climate scientists that the concentrations of certain gases in the atmosphere, most notably CO2, have been rising over the past two centuries, largely due to human activities, and that this increase is causing a general warming of the earth’s climate. Because many scientists also expect this warming to have undesirable consequences, proposals have been advanced to limit emissions of those gases. The most important of these is the treaty known as the Kyoto Protocol. And because those proposals are disliked by a variety of groups for a variety of reasons, there has been a lot of attention lavished by those groups on anyone who will undermine the rationale for emissions-limiting proposals, especially Kyoto. Enter Zbigniew Jaworowski, who claims that the consensus regarding increased CO2 is based on a biased interpretation of the evidence, and purporting to offer evidence to the contrary. Such an argument is hugely appealing to many who do not want to believe that human beings have any important influence on climate. For this reason, the statement has been widely reprinted by climate change contrarians, for example here.

This post is an examination of the Jaworowski statement, and the Golden Horseshoe Award is a celebration of just how mind-bogglingly wrong, from beginning to end, it manages to be.

Jaworowski makes several specific assertions that the methodology used in atmospheric measurements from ice cores is flawed. Each and every one of these assertions is mistaken.

He makes sweeping accusations of data manipulation by climate researchers. Those accusations are unsupported by any evidence, direct or indirect.

These extravagant claims of bias and dishonesty in the scientific community reveal a deep misconception of the state of climate research, and of the scientific process generally.

Jaworowski’s statement is not likely to help the public understand the state of our planet’s climate and the process by which scientists go about investigating it.

In fact, there is so much wrong with this statement that it’s hard to know where to start. Here’s a map:

jaworowski markup

Let’s start at the beginning.
(1) ” …written for the Hearing before the US Senate …”
The statement opens with the following subhead:

Statement written for the Hearing before the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
March 19, 2004

In fact, there is no evidence that Jaworowski gave testimony before the US Senate on March 19, 2004, or at any time in the past two years, or that anyone in the US Senate has ever seen him or the statement.
(2) ” … about 20 [papers] on climate research.”
Jaworowski does not need to have credentials as an expert in gas measurement from ice cores in order to criticize those who do have them; if his arguments are valid, they can stand on their own. But being perceived as an expert elevates one’s credibility, at least at first. To pick up a little of that luster, he leads off with a recitation of his ice-related activities, including 40 years in glacier studies, 11 expeditions to measure “natural and man-made pollutants” in glaciers, and extensive studies of dust and lead in the environment. But when we look for Jaworowski in the literature, he seems never to have done any primary research on the extraction and measurement of gases in ice. Later on, Jaworowski says that climate researchers’ motives are suspect. But when it suits his purposes, he is happy to claim to be a climate researcher.
All this is not to say that Jaworowski’s name has been unknown to print in recent years. He has had an article in 21st Century Science & Technology, published by Lyndon Larouche. Need I say more?
(3) ” … contains liquid water …”
This is just one of many deceptive statements, delivered in rapid-fire. Jaworowski likes to point to some published result, hint at a problem with measurement of gases in ice cores, and move on quickly. He says:

This is because the ice cores do not fulfill the essential closed system criteria. One of them is a lack of liquid water in ice, which could dramatically change the chemical composition the air bubbles trapped between the ice crystals. This criterion, is not met, as even the coldest Antarctic ice (down to –73oC) contains liquid water[2].

Mulvaney, Wolff and Oates were reporting on concentrations of H2SO4 in extremely tiny volumes at the boundaries between ice crystals. Many of Jaworowski’s claims reveal a lack of understanding of the relevant chemistry, but it is unlikely that even he believes that significant quantities of CO2 are dissolved in these interstitial volumes.
(4) ” … 20 physico-chemical processes …
As we sift through Jaworowski’s claims, one striking feature jumps out at us: for his most aggressive claims, he seems to be his own authority.
For example, we have

More than 20 physico-chemical processes, mostly related to the presence of liquid water, contribute to the alteration of the original chemical composition of the air inclusions in polar ice[3].

In peer reviewed publications I exposed this misuse of science [3, 9].

[I]n 1993, glaciologists attempted to prove experimentally the “age assumption”[10], but they failed[9].

An ad hoc assumption, not supported by any factual evidence[3, 9], solved the problem …

Reference [3] is a 1992 article in The Science of the Total Environment, co-authored with Segalstad and Ono. Reference [9] is a 1994 review article by Jaworowski in Environmental Science and Pollution Research. The 1992 article is an ambitious attempt to identify all the things that could possibly go wrong with measurement of gases in ice cores. That is a worthwhile goal in itself — science is supposed to be self-correcting, and defining a problem is the first step toward a solution. But Jaworowski et al. present no solutions. Instead, the list of “20 physico-chemical processes” turns out to be a laundry-list of undefined mechanisms supposed to affect the reliability of ice-core measurements, with no theories offered as to how they might affect results, or suggestions as to how they might be mitigated or compensated. The 1994 paper is a shorter version of the 1992 paper. Its primary virtue is that it elicited a reply by Hans Oeschger, who tore it to shreds.
(5) ” … all air bubbles disappear ..”.
Jaworowski describes the clathrate transformation in a fundamentally misleading way. With increasing depth and pressure, the air bubbles trapped in the ice are steadily compressed. Clathrates appear at depths of several hundred meters (700 - 1300m for GRIP), and coexist with air bubbles over a wide range of depths, until all air bubbles disappear (Shoji and Langway (1983) reported that “air bubbles disappeared completely between 1500 and 1600m”). Upon decompression, the clathrate crystals revert to gas, with the bubbles expanding as the ice relaxes. These physical processes, as well as the fractionation Jaworowski describes, have been extensively studied, and are routinely taken into account (for example, by Indermuhle et al.) in reconstructing atmospheric records from ice cores. The reality is nothing like a mysterious and uncontrollable process of bubbles disappearing only to return as “microscopic grenades.”
(6) ” … contaminates them with the drilling fluid …”
Jaworowski knows perfectly well that drilling fluids, for example butyl acetate, are chosen to have minimal interaction with the studies that will be performed; also, that sample handling is a well worked-out technique and is conducted with excruciating care. Most of these developments were in place long before Jaworowski wrote his 1994 paper, as Hans Oeschger reminded him at that time. That he continues to spread this falsehood is disgraceful.
(7) ” … microscopic grenades …”
Jaworowski lets on that clathrate crystals “explode”, presumably fracturing the samples beyond usefulness. He cites Shoji and Langway (1983) as support for the statement “In the bubble-free ice the explosions form a new gas cavities and new cracks.” But what Shoji and Langway actually observed was the expansion of pre-existing bubbles, and new bubbles from air hydrate inclusions, over a period of days — in what would have to qualify as one of the most languid “explosions” on record:

In fact, the bubbles in ice samples are substantially intact up to the point they are crushed. This is something Jaworowski seems to have gone to a lot of trouble not to know.
(8) ” … values lower than in the contemporary atmosphere …”
It is puzzling that Jaworowski makes claims that are so easily checked and shown to be untrue. CO2 levels vary widely within deep cores, and are well correlated with climatic changes, as indicated by independent measures such as (for example) the type and composition of organic residue in ocean sediments.
(9) ” … a clear inverse correlation …”
The CO2 record from Siple, Antarctica shows an increase from 275 ppm to 315 ppm from around 1750 to 1950 AD. Atmospheric measurements beginning in 1958 agree well with those from the ice cores, reinforcing the conclusion that CO2 has indeed been rising over the last two centuries. But Jaworowski argues that the lower concentrations of CO2 with increasing depth and age should actually be seen as a reduction in CO2 concentrations with increasing depth and pressure. The Siple data to which he refers could be interpreted either way, since CO2 continues to drop all the way down to the lowest level sampled:
Siple plot
But if we look at a deeper core, we can see immediately that there is no “clear inverse correlation” between CO2 concentration and depth:
Taylor Dome plot
Jaworowski’s vague theory of CO2 concentration in ice cores being determined by depth has a superficial plausibility, which is why he invoked it in connection to Siple. But it won’t stand up to scrutiny, which is why he doesn’t dwell on it.
(This point has been modified; see Changelog. Gavin’s correction of this point is gratefully acknowledged.)
(10) ” … CO2 concentration … was ‘too high’ …”
Here, Jaworowski begs meaning with the quotation marks around “too high”, as if one of the researchers had issued a memo complaining about the data. This is just one of the many misleading rhetorical tricks Jaworowski employs in lieu of evidence.
(11) ” An ad hoc assumption …”
Again, Jaworowski imputes base motives to other researchers, and cites (who else?) himself in support. In fact, Neftel et al.’s methods were perfectly sound, and their results have been backed up by multiple independent studies.
(12) ” … but they failed.”
No, they didn’t. The experiments demonstrating the age of the firn-ice transition, and of the air trapped above and below that depth, have been quite successful, a fact Jaworowski has been diligently ignoring at least since 1992.
(13) ” … ignored the evidence …”
Slocum said no such thing. Does Jaworowski think that no one will bother to look up his references?
(14) ” … a biased selection …”
Among Jaworowski’s citations, this is my second favorite. He actually has the spectacular brass to take a figure from a paper that agreed with Callendar’s choice of data, redraw it and offer it as evidence that Callendar was biased! He also fails to cite Fonselius et al. (1956) properly in this statement, and claims that it is a criticism of Callendar (1958), which requires a time warp, but those are venial sins compared to the rest.
(15) “A study of stomatal frequency …”
This is one of the few new arguments — that is, not just warmed over from the 1992 paper — made in this statement. Unfortunately for Jaworowski, it is bogus. In fact, studies of stomatal response to CO2 concentration across several species have shown “Without evolutionary changes, SI and SD may not respond to atmospheric [CO2] in the field and are unlikely to decrease in a future high CO2 world.” In other words, stomatal frequency does not change quickly enough to reveal the rapid changes Jaworowski claims occurred. (Thanks are due to Yelling for the citation, and to Dano for pointing out its significance.)
(16) ” … pre-conceived idea on man-made global warming …”
Jaworowski’s contempt for climatologists, and his true purpose in writing this paper, become clearer as he approaches its end. He offers zero evidence that there has been “[i]mproper manipulation, and arbitrary rejection of readings that do not fit the pre-conceived idea on man-made global warming … in many glaciological studies of greenhouse gases.” In fact, the very papers that he cites afford powerful evidence to the contrary. Yet he feels comfortable in making this blanket condemnation of a discipline, because he has support from … (continued in next comment).
(17) ” … exposed this misuse of science …”
Zbigniew Jaworowski, of course! In citing (yet again) his 1992 and 1994 papers, he displays a certain pride in having “exposed” all the bad behavior in the climate science community. But his pride may be misplaced, considering that the only comment ESPR published regarding his 1994 paper said that it “deserves little attention.”
(18) ” … not supported from the annual pool of many billion “climatic” dollars …”
Among Jaworowski’s citations, this is my very favorite. Jaworowski knows he has a problem when the overwhelming majority of scientists in the field do not believe as he does. He is not the first to notice this, so he does what others have done in the same situation: he implies that climate researchers are all biased in the same direction because they slurp from the same trough. This an implausible accusation on its face (there is more money to be made arguing the other side); moreover, there is no evidence to support it. Nevertheless, Jaworowski asserts boldly that outsiders are far more reliable than the experts corrupted by the fount of government money, and who does he offer as an example? The gang that couldn’t compute straight!
When choosing an authority to counter the accepted ones in an observational science, it is usually smart to pick one that can tell the difference between degrees and radians. Just a suggestion.
(19) ” … methodically poor paper …”
Look who’s talking.
(20) ” … diagnosed and criticized …”
Nature’s editors might be surprised to hear that they had “diagnosed and criticized” the “apparent scientific weaknesses of IPCC and its lack of impartiality.” The theme of the 1991 editorial was that climatologists could have (and should have) seen coming the political storm that swept over their work, and that policy decisions cannot (and should not) be made by scientists alone:

Global warming will affect not simply physical and biological systems (sea level and agriculture, for example), but the whole fabric of society. But who, at this stage, would guess at the extent to which substantially higher costs for surface transport will change the character of industrialized societies, and affect their productivity? Or how far an effective greenhouse convention will require that the world’s population should also be regulated, and how? These, it should be acknowledged, are the real uncertainties.

The subhead for the 1994 editorial was:

If the threat of global warming is serious (which cannot be denied), it deserves more seemly ways of making authoritative public opinion than that followed at last week’s meeting at Maastricht.

Nature’s criticism of the IPCC was that the organization was sitting on the details of its Maastricht meeting until its secretariat had reviewed them and Cambridge University Press was ready to publish them.
In both the 1991 and 1994 editorials, Nature leveled serious and legitimate complaints at the IPCC, but “scientific weakness” and “lack of impartiality” are not among them.
(21) ” … IPCC conclusions …”
Jaworowski seems to think that the IPCC consensus on the causes, effects and likely cures for global warming all rest on the assumption of low pre-industrial CO2 levels, and that if he can just kick out that prop, the whole shebang will come tumbling down. Not so. Even if it were impossible to gauge the level of CO2 in the atmosphere before people started changing it, we would still have direct atmospheric measurements showing the increase over the past 46 years, we would still know how much we are pumping out, and we would still know that CO2 is a greenhouse gas. Ultimately, Jaworowski’s campaign to discredit ice-core research is no more than a rear-guard action, but that is all it needs to be.
(22) ” … economically disastrous Kyoto Protocol …”
And so, at long last, we reach the end of this sad exercise — with its reason for being. Kyoto certainly deserves to be debated on its merits, but whether or not its provisions are wise cannot serve as a guide to whether or not the underlying research was conducted properly. Zbigniew Jaworowski is probably sincere in his belief that proposals for emissions reduction are ill-conceived, but his willingness to work backward and conclude that any research supporting those proposals must be wrong verges on self-delusion. He is now in at least the sixteenth year of a campaign to cast doubt on good research because he disapproves of its uses. In the end, it is not only an insult to the scientific community of which he claims to be a part, but a profound disservice to the public.

90 Responses to “The Golden Horseshoe Award: Jaworowski and the vast CO2 conspiracy”

  1. Gavin Says:

    Nice work. I think you make one mistake though (comment #9). The Greenland CO2 measurements originally by Oeschger do in fact show a very strong inverse correlation with the water isotopes (not depth). This was initially thought to be a sign of extremely rapid carbon cycle re-organisations during cold periods, but further analysis (and lack of collaboration from the Antarctic cores) showed that there was contamination in these cores from dust and other contaminants (which have much greater concentrations during cold periods). Thus the Greenland CO2 results are not reliable. However, the Antarctic ones (which have been replicated in numerous cores) do not suffer from this problem due to the much smaller level of contaminants in the ice. That is why all the reconstructions use Antarctic data.

  2. Yelling Says:

    Excellent analysis of Jaworowski. Especially good is the tracking of his Hearing before the US Senate.

    I was not familiar with either 21st Century Science & Technology, or Lyndon Larouche (I blame it on being Canadian). So I actually took a look at his article. While I am not in favor of the idea that one bad piece of work taints other work, I will make an exception for this article. My review of it is in this thread at Quark Soup. Search for the word “21stcentury ”

    http://davidappell.com/archives/00000354.htm

    Regards,

    Yelling

    _________________________________________________________________
    (appended to above comment by jre):
    If Quark Soup happens to be down, you can still find Yelling’s commentary at the Google cache:
    http://64.233.161.104/search?q=cache:9PbRx7HZHnoJ:davidappell.com/archives/00000354.htm
    __________________________________________________________________

  3. TCO Says:

    strawman destruction. You spend time on nits like if the testimony was ever delivered and ignore the main arguments about concern about the methodology. you also mischaracterize your opponent (he doesn’t make a sweeping accusation of fruad…and if he had would you be satisfied with defeating a sweeping accusation and allow a general suspicision to stand?)

    BTW, have you read the papers?

  4. Dave Dardinger Says:

    I can’t comment on most of this, but one thing bothers me. If it’s true, as you admit, that bubbles disappear at a certain depth/pressure, and that they reappear when the ice core is removed, doesn’t this have to meant that pressure is exerted on the crystals as the bubble grows? And doesn’t this result in cracks? This might or might not have any major effect on the contents of the new bubbles compared to the old ones, but I’d think it does.

  5. TCO Says:

    Read some more of this site. Am less negative about it than expressed in post above. Commented in more detail at Steve M’s site.

  6. site admin Says:

    Excellent question. Yes; ice is brittle, and cracks under stress. Shoji and Langway compared the mechanism of base-ring cracking in bubbles to the cracking seen in hardness tests performed with an indenter (that’s what you see at the lower right of the figure in point #7). The mechanics of fracture in ice, and its ductile-to-brittle transition, are of great interest, and are subjects of active research.
    But Jaworowski was not simply saying that ice cracks under stress (duh). He was saying that the ice cracks so extensively around bubbles that the cracks intersect and permit horizontal and vertical diffusion of gas among the bubbles from which gas is extracted for study. This is simply not true. Ice core researchers are intimately familiar with the behavior of cores upon release of pressure, and are extremely careful to select samples with intact bubbles for study:

    Air bubbles were extracted using the “cheese grater” technique. Ice core samples weighing 500-1500 g were prepared by selecting crack-free ice and trimming away the outer 5-20 mm. Each sample was sealed in a polyethylene bag and cooled to -80°C before being placed in the extraction flask where it was evacuated and then ground to fine chips. The released air was dried cryogenically at -100°C and collected cryogenically in electropolished stainless steel “traps”, cooled to about -255°C. Further details on the extraction technique can be found in Etheridge et al. (1988 and 1992) and additional information on the ice and air sample handling are provided in Etheridge et al. (1996).

    This is another example of Jaworowski’s favored argumentative tactic: point to a phenomenon described in the literature, then state that this phenomenon is so widespread and so destructive that it calls into question an entire body of research. Here, as elsewhere, that tactic is deceptive and the resulting conclusion is bogus.

  7. TCO Says:

    With respect to the last site admin comment, are you saying that the practice is falsely said to be overcommon or overdesctructive? These are very different things. Also if the practice is poor methodology (but unrepresentative) will you speak out against those studies that used it? Or are you just a debater with a defense in depth strategy?

  8. site admin Says:

    With respect, TCO: what in the world are you talking about?

    Dave Dardinger asked whether ice cracked when bubbles expand upon core removal, and whether this affected the contents of the bubbles.

    I replied that yes, ice cracks under stress, and no, this does not affect the contents of the bubbles under analysis because ice core researchers know about cracks, and choose intact bubbles to analyze. I went on to say that Jaworowski shows a pattern of pointing to some physical phenomenon reported in the literature (see also H2SO4 inclusions, clathrate fractionation), then complaining that this phenomenon invalidates the results of all ice core research. Read him again and see if that’s not a fair summary.

    Did you understand me to have been referring to some experimental practice (rather than some observed phenomenon), and if so, which?

    Or are you just a debater with a defense in depth strategy?

    You may take whatever attitude you like. However, if I may gently suggest it, you do not seem to have spent much time reading and absorbing the material before making your last few comments. Please spend a bit more time in consideration, or this will be a brief debate indeed.

  9. TCO Says:

    If J commits the sin of generalizing a bad practice in one study to the field in general, then if you feel that this is so, you should indict those studies with poor methodology but point out the general good practice in the field.

    If you think that the methodology is sound, then it’s irrelevant that J generalizes a particular study to the field.

    Capisce?

  10. site admin Says:

    TCO -
    You are missing the point.
    The comment re/ Jaworowski had to do with an observed physical phenomenon (in this case, base-ring cracking in expanding ice bubbles) from which Jaworowski draws an unwarranted inference to challenge the validity of the research.
    You seem to have fastened on the notion that the comment is directed at experimental practice. It is not. Read it again.

  11. TCO Says:

    I thought you were saying that J had a general practice of citing one survey’s flaws and generalizing to the field. Are you saying this is NOT the case. That he only generalized on this particular issue?

    I quote you: “This is another example of Jaworowski’s favored argumentative tactic…Here, as elsewhere…”

  12. site admin Says:

    I thought you were saying that J had a general practice of citing one survey’s flaws and generalizing to the field.

    Yes; you clearly did think that.
    And, as I have pointed out above (twice), you were mistaken.
    It is not to your discredit that you mistook my intention the first time — misunderstandings happen, after all, and perhaps my wording was unclear — but it does seem to be taking an inordinate amount of effort to get my point across to you. Perhaps some examples will help.

    (1) Shoji and Langway’s study was not flawed. It, and Langway’s earlier work on bubbles and cracking, are important and valuable contributions to the discipline. But Jaworowski draws an unwarranted inference from this study:

    In the bubble-free ice the explosions form a new gas cavities and new cracks[4]. Through these cracks, and cracks formed by sheeting, a part of gas escapes first into the drilling liquid which fills the borehole, and then at the surface to the atmospheric air.

    Jaworowski’s statement is wrong, and it is a misrepresentation of the Shoji and Langway paper to cite it in support. Have a look at the expanding bubble in the photographs. In the rightmost photo, the ice sample has been out of the borehole for 86.5 hours, and it is still expanding. It is not only possible to extract gas from intact bubbles in ice cores, it is done routinely.
    (2) Mulvaney, Wolff and Oates’ paper on sulfuric acid inclusions was not flawed. But I will venture a guess that the authors would be astonished to hear that Jaworowski has cited their paper (showing micron-sized sulfuric acid inclusions) in support of his argument that ” …ice cores do not fulfill the essential closed system criteria.” Here’s a suggestion: why don’t you contact Robert Mulvaney, quote that passage to him, and see what he says?
    (3) Indermuhle et al.’sstudy of Holocene CO2 from Taylor Dome was not flawed because of fractionation of CO2 between bubbles and clathrates — just the opposite, since the team took care to test for and exclude those effects, and discuss them in detail. But Jaworowski states that

    This leads to depletion of CO2 in the gas trapped in the ice sheets. This is why the records of CO2 concentration in the gas inclusions from deep polar ice show the values lower than in the contemporary atmosphere, even for the epochs when the global surface temperature was higher than now.

    This is also false. CO2 from deep cores shows a cyclic fluctuation that is explained quite well by CO2 variation from climatic cycles, but not at all by Jaworowski’s theory of CO2 depletion.

    So — to sum up, Jaworowski has cited some very good research, but his conclusions do not follow from the research he cites. For him to claim that ice cores are riddled with cracks, or contain significant quantities of liquid water, or have CO2 depletion that can’t be corrected for, is a distortion of that research. This is the pattern of misleading argument to which I referred.

    Don’t take my word for it. Go dig up the papers on your own, and see if I haven’t represented Jaworowski’s views, and the relevant research, fairly. If you intend to argue that Jaworowski has discovered fatal flaws in ice-core methodology that have somehow eluded thousands of researchers over several decades, I think you have an uphill fight before you.

  13. TCO Says:

    So to nail it down. You contend that the pernicious problem of J is NOT his citing individual flaws and generalizing to the field but IS drawing the wrong lessons from good research (the sulphuric acid example, etc.)

  14. TCO Says:

    BTW, the “voice of God” within the post replies are hard to keep track of as opposed to normal replies.

  15. Jan Says:

    Thank you for your brilliant refutal of Jaworowski s claims.

  16. Eduardo Ferreyra Says:

    Thanks TCO for his rebuttal of site admin’s biased criticism of Jaworowski brilliant work.

  17. z Says:

    You had me at “published by Lyndon Larouche”.

  18. JohnStOnge Says:

    I think you should avoid using the idea that most climate scientists disagree with the guy’s point of view as argument. Since he’s attacking the “consensus,” it’s not surprising that the “consensus” is inconsistent with his point of view.

    Also, your arguments are diminished by ad hominem attacks such as the reference to Lyndon Larouche. Starting a rebuttal of a paper by saying, “It is with great hesitation that I write in reply to the paper by JAWOROWSKI, this paper deserves little attention,” as one of your referenced sources did, is pretty bad too.

    I know Dr. J himself engaged in ad hominem attack in the article you’re discussing, but that doesn’t make the technique any less invalid.

  19. site admin Says:

    You raise an excellent point, and it deserves to be met head-on. It is true, and I suspect fairly obvious, that I have little respect for Jaworowski’s statement — and, by extension, for Jaworowski himself. The reason is that he advances specious arguments, unsupported by any valid science, to attack a large body of successful research (and, by extension, a large group of competent and honest researchers). When Jaworowski misrepresents Fonselius, or claims falsely that ice core research is invalid for a host of factors that he would and should know (had he read the literature) do not apply, he is not just “disagree[ing]” with climate scientists, or “attacking the ‘consensus’”, he is deliberately misrepresenting and distorting the facts. The accusation of deliberateness here is not made lightly; rather, it is the result of taking Jaworowski’s statement as a whole, and asking the following question:
    Could any reasonable person have reviewed the body of knowledge to which Jaworowski refers and come to the same conclusions, without being driven by a desire to arrive at a predetermined conclusion?
    In my view, the clear answer here is “no.” It should be noted that Jaworowski himself levels exactly that accusation at a number of researchers. I have read the papers in question, and will submit that the charge is false in the cases of Neftel, Friedli and Oeschger, but manifestly true in the case of Jaworowski.
    This case is not symmetric. By no rule of argument or logic are we entitled to say “Well, Jaworowski is just challenging the consensus, so naturally they disagree, so they are both entitled to equal credence.” Wrong. Jaworowski’s claims must be judged on the facts alone, and on the facts they are so astoundingly, repeatedly and egregiously false that I can only conclude that he has a hidden agenda. In this light, why shouldn’t Hans Oeschger say that “this paper deserves little attention.”? That seems an awfully mild comment, given the circumstances. And why should it not be relevant that Jaworowski publishes in a conspiracy-theory magazine instead of a peer-reviewed journal? That fact alone says something about his credibility, as I should hope would be obvious.
    In all, I can’t consider this criticism of Jaworowski to be an ad hominem argument. Please do follow the link, if you have not read the definition of “ad hominem” before. Or, if you are pressed for time, accept one perceptive commenter’s executive summary:

    Ad hom: “you are an idiot, therefore your argument is faulty”
    Not ad hom: “your argument is faulty because x, y, z, and by the way you are an idiot”.

  20. Yelling Says:

    Site Admin: I hope you will excuse this use of your blog, but someone posted a link to a Jaworowski article in support of their point. I have asked them to review this and then we can discuss the issue in more detail in the comments here. If you do not wish to have your forum used in this way please feel free to delete this post. Thanks.

    Welcome patrickctrombly, I hope you will read the post above and then comment on it.

  21. Dave Rado Says:

    Hi

    Would it be possible to cite the comments by Jaworowski that you are debunking, as it is impossilbe to follow your article when you only cite a few words from each comment. To give one example, you’ve written:

    13) ” … ignored the evidence …”
    Slocum said no such thing. Does Jaworowski think that no one will bother to look up his references?

    Who does Jaworowski say ignored what evidence? Who is Slocum and what didn’t he say? What references can we look up?

    Dave

  22. site admin Says:

    The link is given at the end of the sixth paragraph, where it reads
    “For this reason, the statement has been widely reprinted by climate change contrarians, for example here.”  The word “here” is a hyperlink.
    Slocum is discussed in the link at “no such thing.”

  23. Uncle Yarra Says:

    I have a question relating to Jaworowski’s article in EIR March 16, 2007, page 40, final paragraph, referring to a supposed omission in the IPCC report ( I say ’supposed’ because I haven’t read the IPCC report - just don’t peer review me).

    http://www.larouchepub.com/eiw/public/2007/2007_10-19/2007-11/pdf/38_711_science.pdf

    He says “Also not mentioned is the FACT that 97% of the total annual emission of CO2 into the atmosphere comes from natural emissions of the land and sea;human beings add a mere 3%.” (my capitalisation).

    Has Jaworowski used this point before? Is it referring to some distorted representation of a real climate mechanism? If the above is true, surely that’s a kicker of an argument for his ’side’ - why not expand on that?

  24. Kyle Says:

    You know, this could (and is usually done) with most hearings before the senate, so plenty of informed people, dedicated enough, could write something like this, about any hearing. I think it is good to know that there is hardly a “scientific consesus” about the cause of the phenomena, unlike the IPCC and others, would have us to believe. Although much smaller (mainly because of the “denier” label that would be thrown upon them, like hippies at a Grateful Dead concert. The denier label is like the label thrown onto people that denied the Holocaust ever occured, that is how nasty, and unscientifical this is.) That being said, Jaworowski does go over the top, and seems a bit radical in his claims of cooling instead of warming, etc…
    Just an opinion, take it easy on me….

  25. site admin Says:

    Actually, the point regarding the Senate hearing is that there wasn’t one. Jaworowski begins the statement with a reference to a fictitious hearing, and calls it Senate testimony, when there’s no evidence he has ever been anywhere near the US Senate. You can check the Congressional Record yourself; see the links.
    That’s just the start. The rest of the statement is not just a little bit wrong; it is breathtakingly bogus, hence the post. The unfortunate thing is that this kind of scientifically baseless hooey is used to justify the claim that there “there is hardly a ’scientific conse[n]sus’” about human influences on climate. Going as easy on you as I can, let me stress that there is indeed a scientific consensus that human activities have significantly affected the earth’s climate. What the IPCC “would have us to believe” is, very simply, the considered opinion of thousands of working climate scientists. One of the most solid elements of that consensus is that human activities have increased atmospheric concentration of CO2 by approximately 100 ppmv since the start of the Industrial Revolution (see here for a start). This fact is so well established, by direct atmospheric measurement over decades, by isotopic analysis, by induction from the amount of fossil fuels known to have been burned –and, yes, by ice cores — that to deny it as Jaworowski has is to unreasonably reject an extremely successful and well-supported body of research. In my view saying so is not “nasty”, it is just seeing the world as it is. There truly is an objective reality out there, and it is our job to figure it out, because it doesn’t give a damn about our political opinions.

  26. Kyle Says:

    Right so you’re saying that there is no record of anyone seen it?
    “Statement written for the Hearing before the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
    March 19, 2004″
    That doesn’t sound to me like he was going to stand before a committee and speak, he just submitted his statements, and proper people would deal with filtering it down to the senators.

    Oh oops, sorry, I had to stop reading (well, I didn’t stop reading actually, but you’ll get what I’m saying) once you listed wikipedia as a source. Besides, that increase in 100ppmv, which wikipedia actually says is 110 ppmv (sorry, you corrected my typo, this does seem a bit worse, however), hasn’t made the global temperatures creep dangerously out of the historical norms.

    Also, I must ask, do you consider Dr. Jaworowski, one of the “deniers”? You know, hopelessly stubborn, like the ones who said the Holocaust never existed? Or something of the sort?

    PS: I’ll be gone, actually going to New York, I’ll be sure to let you know how much the plane that I fly there will ruin the environment and cause destruction to all of us later, but the reason I mention this (of course we don’t really care, though) is so I can save the pride trip you may have.

  27. site admin Says:

    Sheesh.

    Look — if you are absolutely determined not to:
    1) follow the link and see if there was a Senate hearing on or about March 19, 2004,
    2) look up the meaning of the word “approximately”, or
    3) read the post,

    there is nothing I (or anyone else) can do for you.

  28. LogicallySpeaking Says:

    Re: Uncle Yarra
    “He says “Also not mentioned is the FACT that 97% of the total annual emission of CO2 into the atmosphere comes from natural emissions of the land and sea;human beings add a mere 3%.””

    If I’m not mistaken, he has these numbers almost exactly backwards.

    There was a peer-reviewed (sadly it’s true) publication a little while back which (no joking) compared the total emission of CO2 into the atmosphere in all of Earth’s history to the amount sent up there by humankind.

    Anyway, I bring this up because in the subsequent shredding of this paper, I recall hearing it mentioned numerous times that in the last century and a half, humans have emitted about 50 times the natural emission of CO2 into the atmosphere. Now, maybe he’s using some misleading phrasing in terms of total annual, but the basic point is this: the total anthropogenic contribution of CO2 in the atmosphere in the last 150 years is ~50 times the natural emission over that time period.

  29. site admin Says:

    You are right about Khilyuk and Chilingar. They do indeed say that

    Total mass of CO2 degassed from the mantle throughout geologic history is estimated at 4.63×1023 g

    and that

    …the total anthropogenic carbon dioxide emission in grams of CO2, one obtains the estimate 1.003×1018 g, which constitutes less than 0.00022% of the total CO2 amount naturally degassed from the mantle during geologic history. Comparing these figures, one can conclude that anthropogenic carbon dioxide emission is negligible (indistinguishable) in any energy-matter transformation processes changing the Earth’s climate.

    This was, as you’ve noted, a howler of epic proportions. K&C have become something of a laughingstock, and the peer-review process at Environmental Geology has, been, to put it gently, called into question.

    Jaworowski’s comparison of human and natural CO2 fluxes is, as you suspected, misleading. He actually overstates the net human contribution at 3%, but fails to understand its significance. If we add up the human and natural components of the carbon cycle, we find that sources add up to 217.1 gigatons of carbon (GtC) annually, and that sinks add up to 213.8 GtC. The annual difference of 3.3 GtC is what causes the steady increase in atmospheric CO2. Now, human emissions contribute 5.5 GtC annually, and other human activities (cutting trees, etc.) another 1.6 GtC. Of the gross 7.1 GtC caused by humans, 3.2 GtC stays in the atmosphere, and 2 GtC are absorbed by the oceans. That leaves 1.9 GtC unaccounted for. The mechanisms taking up the missing carbon are under study — leading candidates include more rapid absorption than expected into vegetation and soils. Bottom line: it’s not surprising that humans are causing increases in atmospheric CO2, it’s surprising that we are not adding more.

    By the way, the fact that the added carbon is overwhelmingly of human origin has been well established by isotopic analysis, among other methods.

    Jaworowski is, as usual, being deceptive when he points to the fact that human activities contribute a minority of all CO2 emissions. Yes, we contribute around 7.1/217.1 or 3.2% of all carbon emitted annually, but the essential point is that almost half of that amount stays in the atmosphere, causing the inexorable increase in CO2 that we have seen over the past 150 years.

    (Thanks for prompting me to answer Uncle Yarra. My apologies for taking so long.)

  30. Dave Says:

    1) Per peer review journals, it is virtually impossible to publish a scientific paper/study which contains evidence contrary to the Greenhouse Theory. You must be aware of this “political” fact.

    2) Jaworowski & Jaworowski et al have extensively published on the invalidity of CO2 measurements in ice cores for >15 years. While you are at it, why don’t you run down his 1997 comprehensive paper dealing with ice core CO2 measurements?

    3)In the same vein, why not attack Beck and Svensmark whom Jaworowski references in detail in his current article? Better still, why not read Svensmark’s book, The Chilling Stars, where he publishes details of his encounters with radical critics/skeptics like you. CERN thinks that Svensmark’s work is impressive and is planning to verify it.

    4) CO2 levels are related to climate and have nothing to do with global warming. Eventually people will realize that the emperor is not wearing any clothes.

  31. site admin Says:

    1) On its face, this claim appears to be self-serving and more than a little whiny. Of course, I could be wrong. Can you give examples of papers containing “evidence contrary to the Greenhouse Theory” that have been rejected for “political” reasons?
    2) As noted above, Jaworowski’s arguments are specious, and have been for over 15 years. But if you’ll supply a reference for the 1997 paper, I’ll be happy to read it.
    3) Publication of Beck’s and Svensmark’s papers undercuts your argument #1, doesn’t it? OK, I’ll admit that Energy and Environment does not really qualify as “peer-reviewed”, as confirmed by publication of a crankish paper such as Beck’s, but Svensmark has received a serious hearing. Svensmark, Shaviv & Veizer and others believe that galactic cosmic rays are primary drivers of climate. Fair enough — if they can produce convincing evidence of a trend and a mechanism sufficient to produce the claimed effects, their theory will be accepted. So far, they haven’t, and it hasn’t. That’s how science works.
    4) The mechanism by which CO2 and other gases heat the planet (by transmitting more incoming than outgoing wavelengths) is well understood and noncontroversial. You claim it’s not so, and (I presume from your comment #1 above) that such a claim is not “political.” How come?

  32. Dave Says:

    Per reply #
    1) “…, but Svensmark has received a serious hearing.” HAH! If you want an example about difficulties in publishing anti-Greenhouse studies in peer review journals, just read Svensmark’s book, The Chilling Stars (I read it in two afternoons; available as a paperback from BN & Amazon). His encounters with hostile critics/editors/funding agencies are recounted in detail.
    2) Jaworowski in 21st Centery, Spring 1997, pp. 42-52. You can find it at warwickhughes.com on the Internet. I’m sure you will cut it down too. But I find it very interesting that Siple used data fakery, the ice core measurement data has been tweeked, and the pre 1958 atmospheric data has been declared inaccurate. Jaworowski is trying to make a point. Now he is excited because Beck confirms his hypothesis, and Svensmark lurks in the background.
    3) Read Svensmark’s book. A theory, based upon abundant, multidiscipline emperical data + he and his group have already obtained experimental proof for his cloud theory. I don’t know when the actual study will be published — perhaps it already has — there was an abstract published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society last fall. CERN though is planning to verify it. (Clouds + Sun) are the major climate controls in our lifetime; in the Earth’s lifetime, it becomes more complicated.
    4) No, I don’t agree that CO2 and other gases contribute to global warming. A consensus does not = scientific proof. You know that there is no experimental proof to confirm the Greenhouse Theory. The Greenhouse Theory has major flaws: 1) What happens to the oceanic CO2 when the oceanic temperatures rise in tune with global warming? & 2) It doesn’t consider clouds and cloud cover at all. Minor increases in atmospheric CO2 are predicted to cause massive increases in atmospheric H2O which in turn produces the temperature increase, but what happens to the clouds? You’ll tried to bury the thermostat effect once before — but now Svensmark has hit the cloud nail on the head (detailed in his book). His concepts are fascinating. And then enter Beck. Isn’t it amazing that the history of atmospheric CO2 measurements has been completely squelched by the IPCC? You have already referred to Beck’s paper as “crankish” but it hasn’t even been published in English yet — there is a 10 page unofficial extract available at Physorgforum which is detailed with numerous graphs and a lengthy discussion. Pretty convincing data that atmospheric CO2 follows climate temperature. Especially interesting are the very high CO2 levels reported from circa 1935-1950, a recent period where there were temperatures in the US higher than the 1990s — the decade of the 1930s was warmer than the 1990s in the US per the raw data, before Hansen et al at NASA “adjusted” the raw data to hide an inconvenient truth.

  33. peter Says:

    This may seem a slight digression but it has a point to make.

    Every time I hear folks like Kyle & Dave go round and round on their denial carousel, I can’t help but wonder, do these people also believe that our Earth is six thousand years old? It’s the only way I can grasp such thick headedness.

    The question deserves asking because anyone who’s convinced themselves that this creation was created by God saying poof six thousand years ago should excuse themselves from the Global Climate discussion. They have no cause to be here, their God is a trickster and no help in the current dilemna.

    Without an appreciation for the fantastic pagean of creation/evolution these past billions of years you’ll never appreciate the complexities of our weather or biosphere. (I’ll go one step further. Without an appreciate for the past billions of years of creation/evolution you can’t even begin to comprehend true God!)

    I believe the struggle for the hearts and minds of people, won’t get anywhere until both religious and mega-corporate false dogmas are brought to the fore, questioned and argued.
    sincerely, pm

  34. site admin Says:

    My thoughts were much along the same lines. There are certain striking parallels between the creationist and climate-denialist mindsets:
    1) Outright rejection of the entire body of mainstream research, as in Dave’s comment regarding the peer-reviewed literature. Creationists sound the same theme in respect to mainstream biology — where, of course, it is “virtually impossible” to publish papers denying that evolutionary biology even has a subject.
    2) Adamant refusal to learn even a little bit about the topic. There are zillions of good climate journals out there, and it’s possible to access a good deal of that information on-line. In comments to this post, I have yet to see evidence that a denialist has looked up even one of the references supplied. The same kind of willful ignorance is necessary to reject evolution.
    3) Absolute devotion to a handful of conspiracy-oriented sources. I’m kind of tickled when a request for some kind of supporting material elicits yet another LaRouche cite. Sure, it’s just a vast scientific cabal keeping Jaworowski from publishing anywhere but 21st CS&T. And the Queen of England controls the international drug trade. Creationists likewise tend to get their information from Dembski, Wells and Gish.

    If I can find the time to post again, maybe this will bear a little more exploration.

  35. Dave Says:

    Peter and SA, I think you stepped out of bounds. Such commentary was rude and insulting. An apology would be in order.

    Perhaps you have exposed your mindset? If there is one movement with parallels to religious ideology, it’s the Greenhouse Gases/Global Warming Movement — complete with Armageddon. I presume that anyone who disagrees with your theory is regarded as a heretic, no? Would you also have thrown stones at Galileo?

    Are you afraid to read Svensmark’s book? Would it be considered sinful?

  36. site admin Says:

    Thanks, Dave. I neglected to include another parallel between creationists and climate denialists.

    4) Insistence that the mainstream scientific position is in fact the truly religiously motivated one, as in Dave’s most recent comment above, and as in creationists’ references to “Darwinism” as a “secular religion.”

    For those keeping score, let me note that Dave’s comment

    Would you also have thrown stones at Galileo?

    has earned an automatic 40 crackpot points.

    “Alas, to wear the mantle of Galileo it is not enough that you be persecuted by an unkind establishment; you must also be right.”

    -Robert Park, of the American Physical Society

  37. Burke Says:

    For the record, I’m an atheist and have been for more than 40 years, just getting interested in the idea of manmade GW. Not a scientist.

    As I understand it, manmade co2 comprises only .12% of greenhouse gases when water vapor is included as a greenhouse gas. I have to admit that I have a very difficult time seeing how such a small percentage can cause the climatic devastation predicted even if it is multiplied many times. Contrary to the claims of many, it does not seem to me that this question is settled with the “amplifying” effect argument.

    I’m can remember when no one regarded co2 as the thing driving climate change, and it wasn’t that long ago.

    I’m also impressed by the graphs I see showing temperatures going up and down with the solar cycle, with co2 going about its merry way.

    I’ve read that the Antartic ice cores show temperature LEADING co2 concentrations and that Gore disguised this fact by not showing the graphs of the two overlayed. Is this true, and what is the GW alarmist explanation?

    It looks to me like we were in a warming trend decades before the explosion of co2 emissions began after WWII.

    It appears to me that the claims of GW alarmists are mostly based on computer projections that can be easily manipulated, something even GW supporters (e.g. Professor Wunsch) suggest goes on.

    As a cynical old lawyer, I have NO difficulty seeing that GW alarmists can have monetary and political agendas that affect their objectivity. IMO, damn few people don’t. People were accusing researchers of going after grants for spurious projects long before the GW debate.

    I remember Rachel Carson and the DDT ban that has caused the deaths of millions from malaria, and it doesn’t seem to me that environmentalists care at all. In the Great Swindle documentary, a former Greenpeace co-founder describes modern environmentalists as “anti-human.”

    If anyone wants to respond rationally, go ahead. But forgive me if I seem skeptical about the idea that capitalism, the U.S.A., and modern civilization should be hamstrung on the evidence I see. It’s not the first time anyone has attempted it.

  38. Dana Says:

    Burke,
    I’m a 60-year old deist, as near as I can tell, and I have to agree with your take on this. I’m just trying to get the truth from reading some of these articles I find on the web and it’s nearly impossible to determine where the hidden agendas lie. I never even heard of Jaworoski until I read his articles yesterday. Now, from the responses posted by the “admin guy”, it seems like he’s regarded as an enviro’s version of Darth Vader.

    In any case, I’m no climate scientist, nor an ice core expert, so I can’t tell who’s right about J’s view of the accuracy of CO2 concentrations in pre-industrial age samples. If J’s right, then the whole construct of AGW pretty much falls apart. However, J also refers to contemporary direct measurements compiled and analyzed by Ernst-Georg Beck (also someone I never heard of before yesterday…) from the period 1812-1961. These direct measurements show very different results from the ice core samples, so that makes me wonder who’s right. Then there’s J’s recounting of how the original “hockey stick” graph was “adjusted” to fit a theory of recent unprecedented CO2 concentrations, presumably generated by human activity. I’ve heard from other sources that the hockey stick graph was based on poor statistical data and has since been largely discredited, but this is the first explanation I’ve read. Finally, the fact that CO2 concentration increases have lagged temperature increases, by several hundreds of years, tends to call into question the credibility of a cause and effect relationship where the cause is CO2 rising and the effect is increased temperatures. Seems like the opposite relationship is much more plausible.

    Anyway, I’m sure our mutual web host will have some kind words for both of us about gullibility, etc. I’ve been on this earth long enough to develop a little common sense. This AGW argument smacks of an agenda, rather than a reasonable dialogue in search of the truth. Frankly, J might be a crackpot, but I’m not convinced the other side has it figured out AT ALL.

  39. John Mashey Says:

    Burke & Dana:

    All your questions have nice rational answers well-based in long-understood climate science. But before I take the time to explain them [it takes while to do it simply], maybe you can help me out by citing your sources. Anonymous sources are really not very useful [they're like hearsay], especially talking about unknown charts. I’m trying to better understand how this information gets propagated, although I have a pretty good idea where it originated.

    It seems that lots of reasonable skeptics appear very vulnerable to getting fooled in this one, because it is not the usual 2-way fight between true believers and rational skeptics, but a 3-way fight among 2 opposing sets of believers and one set of rational skeptics with some serious economic interests at stake (but not necessarily the ones that you mentioned).

    The groups can be called:
    A) Alarmists (often extreme environmentalists, often political-left), some of whom exaggerate enough to drive normal skeptics to C).

    B) Rational skeptics (relevant scientists and others who weigh evidence and usually change their minds as needed). [Note: I'm no climate scientist, but my UG work was math.physics, and my phD is Computer Science, and I've spent about an hour a day since 2001 studying this, starting rather doubting AGW. ... because alarmists irritated me.]

    C) Denialists (or deniers), who loved to be mis-called skeptics, and call everybody else alarmists. (Often, but not always, political right).; Some of these run organized disinformation efforts, often paid by fossil fuel organizations, to obfuscate the science for obvious economic reasons, just as tobacco companies paid front-organizations/PR groups/(a few scientists) to obfuscate the smoking-cancer connection. Some of the groups are the same people.
    ======
    So: here’s the fundamental question for you both: of the following 2 groups, which one might be more credible on the science? Which has more financial incentive to skew the science?

    1) Almost all real climate scientists, National Academy of Sciences, masses of peer-reviewed literature, large numbers of studies by thousands of people whose evidence converges, based on fundamental physics and chemistry, most of which is well-understood and has been for years, independent of computer simulations.

    2) A lobbying organization, based on K-Street in Washington DC, which
    - fought recognition of smoking / secondhand smoke / cancer links [RJ Reynolds]
    - fought recognition of CFC/ozone depletion
    - fights recognition of AGW science [funded by ExxonMobil & others]
    I.e., these people get paid explicitly to cast doubt on the science.

    Disclosure: both my parents died of lung cancer (and only one smoked), I’ve read Allan Brandt’s “Cigarette Century”, and people who take money to help keep getting kids addicted to something that will kill many of them, or not high on my list of good people.

    So, if you answer that you believe 2), there’s no point in going further. There are people who repeatedly do postings (usually, anonymously) to propagate the disinformation, but others are honestly looking for information, and I hope you are the latter.

    organization 2) [George C. Marshall Institurte, Federick Seitz, Fred Singer]] is representative of a group of inter-related organizations and people who obfuscate science (and climate science is non-trivial) by:

    - cherry-picking data [Do you know the old book "How to Lie With Statisitics?]

    - generating simple-sounding questions that sound like real anti-AGW zingers, but are well-answered by long-known physics or math. (A real skeptic asks a question, and if they get a solid answer, stops asking it, but the denialists keep asking it over and over, hoping that the unwary will repeat it. It’s an effective tactic.

    - generating theories that sound like the might be plausible, but have actually been considered many times wanting. [Cosmic rays, solar-forcing as the only reason for GW, 1500-year cycles, other planets are warming, etc, etc].

    - and if that fails, attack highly-respected, world-class scientists as money-grubbing alarmists. [Who has more $ a stake? {ExxonMobil, or a lobbyist for them}, or {government researcher, or a tenured professor at Stanford?) if you think the latter is getting rich, you need to meet more scientists, and I hate to say it, if most people were asked if scientists or lawyers were more driven by monetary or political agendas, which do uyou think they would pick? Oops. it is true that a many sensible scientists are getting progressively more seriously worried, and more of them are saying so.]

    Hmmm, does any of that sound familiar? in fact, almost everything you’ve talked about falls into those categories, and if it didn’t originate with 2) above), it came from one of the others.

    So, let me know… but I will give one quick example:

    “I’ve read that the Antartic ice cores show temperature LEADING co2 concentrations and that Gore disguised this fact by not showing the graphs of the two overlayed. Is this true, and what is the GW alarmist explanation?”

    Well, I’m not an alarmist, but the scientific explanation is:

    FACT: ice-cores show temperature leading CO2 [typically by a few hundred years.]

    FACT: this effect was predicted by a *famous* paper in 1990, and then confirmed as ice-cores got better.
    Anyone who has the slightest competence in this field knows about this, so what do you think of the credibility of someone who claims to be an expert and brings this up? Basically, it’s a simple-sounding zinger repeated as a trap for the unwary, and it works.

    WHY: during an ice-age, when Earth’s orbital cycles raise temperature, CO2 comes out of ocean, and then rising CO2 amplifies the temperature rise, which helps more CO2 come out of the ocean (and other effects, like Gore said correctly, it’s complicated.)

    BUT: this has nothing to do with what’s happening now. For what it’s worth, at least since ~1950, the Sun has been at a near-constant high (modulo 11-year sunspot cycles), and Earth’s orbital cycles should have been slowly *lowering* the received radiation over the last 10,000 years, which makes the current temperature rise even more exceptional.

    If known arsonists were setting forest fires, would you say it couldn’t be them, because forest fires can start naturally by lightning?

    Humans pushing CO2 way above any level seen in the last million years is simply a different phenomenon than the natural ice-age cycles

    Anyway, a good discussion of this is in:
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/04/the-lag-between-temp-and-co2/

    But you might want to start with:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/category/extras/faq/
    and follow the first few links.

    (all for now; digest some of this and come back with questions, if you do really care).

    -John Mashey

  40. Dana Says:

    I read Beck’s published article from Energy and Environment and it was very interesting. It clearly showed that there were volumes of scientifically reliable contemporary measurements of CO2 concentration from Northern Europe, the Arctic, India, etc. from the 1850’s to 1961. The data do NOT agree with the ice core data and show a pre-industrial age CO2 concentration averaging roughly 100 ppm higher than the ice core data (in some cases readings as high as 500 ppm). In addition, the data do track reasonably well (FAR better than the ice core data) with temperature variations. Beck’s data from 1942 were particularly interesting because they showed CO2 correlation with a significant recent temperature optimum that is NOT correlated with the ice core measurements. So how come the ice core data don’t correlate with the late 1930’s/early 1940’s heat wave? Beck also proposes the cosmic ray and solar influences on cloud cover as the primary determinant of global temperatures and shows a pretty convincing correlating effect.

    Bottom line:If Beck’s work stands up to close scrutiny, the idea of anthropogenic global warming is toast. Further, because of all the alarmist talk by the climate science “consensus” representatives, this group will be completely discredited. Recall the same community warning us of a coming ice age in the 1970’s…

    My advice would be to step back a few paces and do a really objective analysis of the issue and get away from the agenda-driven rhetoric. If the climate science community discovers they’ve erred and correct the record themselves it would be to their long-term benefit. OR they could ride the sinking ship down with Captain Algore.

  41. Alexander Cockburn and Zbigniew Jaworowski « Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist Says:

    [...] From Jim Easter’s blog: [...]

  42. site admin Says:

    I was away for a few days, and some comments were hung up in moderation limbo; sorry for the delay.
    Two principles on which I’m sure we can agree are that
    (1) there is an objectively true answer, independent of politics, to any well-posed question, and
    (2) arguments must stand on their own.
    I must immediately add a corollary to (2), viz.:
    (2a) The source of a statement doesn’t tell us whether or not it’s true, but it sure as hell can tell us how to bet.

    One consequence of (2a) is that I apply a credibility weighting factor to any citation, depending on its source. For Energy and Environment, it’s 0.01. For 21st Century Science and Technology, it’s 10-14 (limited by buffer underflow).

    Why do I so cavalierly dismiss these publications as unreliable? Easy — look ‘em up.
    Energy and Environment, is not listed by ISI as a peer-reviewed journal, and for good reason — its editorial bias long ago swamped any pretense to scientific objectivity. As a result, the respected (and skeptical) Roger Pielke, Jr. has said that

    On our Energy and Environment paper from 1999, had we known then how that outlet would evolve beyond 1999 we certainly wouldn’t have published there. The journal is not carried in the ISI and thus its papers rarely cited.

    21st Century Science and Technology is an ultra-crankish magazine of pseudoscience run by the Lyndon LaRouche organization. See the reference in the post above.

    In other words — dudes, listen to what you’re saying. If you really think that these sources are on the same continental landmass, credibility-wise, as the community of peer-reviewed climate journals, then, well, you’re fooling yourselves.

  43. climate skeptic? Says:

    I am astonished. The constant character assassinations, comparisons to creationists etc. add nothing to your cause. Quite to the contrary. I’m curious now. I can’t find no rebuttal of Beck’s work. I can’t either find serious rebuttal of Jaworowski’s 2007 piece, which brings together a lot of “skeptical research” from the past years, see http://www.warwickhughes.com/icecore/zjmar07.pdf

    The truth seems to be that more and more scientists, some of them award winning major talents, are starting to question the theory. In China. In Russia. In Israel. In USA. In Poland. etc.

    I read this whole read, and I’m not smarter for it. Rather disappointed. Expected to see Jaworowski debunked, but was left with a cut&paste character assassination job.

    :(

  44. Don Fontaine Says:

    site admin: the 2007 version of Jaworowski is March 2007 EIR Science. EIR stands for Executive Intelligence Report and the EIR Founder and Contributing Editor is Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr. A white paper formatted as a scientific article. For those who might not know the drill a good paper is submitted to a reasonable journal and peer reviewed. The process is difficult and time consuming and is one reason why so few of us have significant publication records.

  45. site admin Says:


    I am astonished. The constant character assassinations, comparisons to creationists etc. add nothing to your cause.

    I am sorry you feel that way, but I fear there is not much I can do about it. You see, this entire post is about how wrong the Jaworowski statement is. That’s the whole point. I can’t treat the statement (or, by extension Jaworowski himself) respectfully, because as far as I can tell every single assertion of fact in it is wrong. And not just wrong, but inexcusably wrong, because Jaworowski has had every opportunity to find out that what he is saying (about ice core sample preparation, Fonselius’ and Callendar’s data, base-ring cracking, clathrate transformation, etc., etc.) is false, and he has chosen instead to repeat endlessly the same haggard line of bushwah. If that is character assassination, make the most of it.

    But maybe I’m wrong. Here are a few ways you can show me up. Start by going to your local university library. Look up Jaworowski’s references; that’s what I did. Do any or all of the following:

    1) Find an actual Senate committee hearing at which Jaworowski testified, or even left a statement. I promise I will post a retraction and apology if anything I said above is untrue.

    2) Explain, at any level of detail, how Mulvaney et al.’s paper calls into question the results of ice core analysis.

    3) Propose a model for gas entrapment that explains the data better than the accepted firn-ice transition layer dismissed by Jaworowski.

    4) Point to any recent research (younger than 20 years) showing that ice cores are contaminated by drilling fluid.

    5) Describe how Fonselius’ data are explained better by a model (any model) other than Callendar’s. In other words, did CO2 really vary wildly in the 1800s, then suddenly settle down just as we were developing better methods of measurement? And, if so, why?

    If you cannot do any of those things, then you may have to ask yourself some tough questions, for example: Is Jaworowski perhaps not a bold iconoclast, but a politically motivated crank? And, if so, could that explain why he is not published in peer-reviewed scientific journals? And if I find him more persuasive than actual working climate scientists, what does that say about the way I evaluate information?

    I seem to have hit a nerve with the comparison to creationists, but I can’t help that either. Anyone who accepts crankish theories without even looking up the relevant research looks an awful lot like a creationist to me. I have spent too much time looking up the papers, comparing them with Jaworowski’s claims, and being appalled at what he gets away with, to be very sensitive to your hurt feelings. Go look it up. Tell me where I’m wrong. Then you’ll get some respect.

    Expected to see Jaworowski debunked, but was left with a cut and paste character assassination job.

    In what way, specifically, was Jaworowski not debunked? That’s not rhetorical; I’m really curious.
    On to the next commenter:


    A white paper formatted as a scientific article. For those who might not know the drill a good paper is submitted to a reasonable journal and peer reviewed. The process is difficult and time consuming and is one reason why so few of us have significant publication records.

    Yes. And your point would be?

  46. climate skeptic? Says:

    You seem to attack small bits here and there in the original post, always to be followed up by a snide personal remark. Or that’s how it looks like. Is that science? Or politics? This old man has been studying ice cores on six different continents. Even if he’s a crackpot, or bitter because he feels he has been neglected by his peers.

    In the above mentioned essay http://www.warwickhughes.com/icecore/zjmar07.pdf Jaworowski puts together all of the more common skeptic arguments from Beck to ice cores, to hockey stick to cosmic rays and radiation and the chinese and russian studies on temperature cycles etc.

    If you could systematically debunk it on real climate, you would make a lot of new friends. It includes nearly all the arguments skeptics are circulating.

    Quote full arguments one by one (and not two or three words out of context like you have done now) and give explanations or links to explanations why they are wrong. Concern yourself only with the science. One of the biggest turnoffs with AGW activists are the condescending tone, personal attacks and character assassination. It’s emotionally so infuriating that it’s in itself enough to turn many people into skeptics. Every time an AGW scientist attacks Lindzen’s character, accusing him of being corrupted or some such, it will turn people towards him and people like him and away from you. People don’t like bullies or personal attacks.

    If all the counter arguments (to the skeptics arguments) are out there somewhere then it shouldn’t be more than a 2-3 hour link and paste job. (I tried to search them on real climate, then googling, then looking at IPCC and elsewhere but couldn’t locate them, don’t think I’m the only person encountering these difficulties).

    Jaworowski and friends debunked. All in one place with links to the real data. One article you can then later refer ignorant people (like me) to. Jaworowski has been kind enough to collect all the “nonsense” in one place http://www.warwickhughes.com/icecore/zjmar07.pdf for you to debunk it in one go for and once and for all.

    How about it?

  47. site admin Says:

    This comment was stuck in moderation limbo while I composed the reply above. Please have patience if I have not addressed all your concerns. For now, let me say (if I haven’t already) that my opinion of Jaworowski is formed entirely from the fact that he has said a bunch of really, really wrong things about which he ought to know better. I hope I’ve explained above why I believe that’s so — and it’s from a thorough reading of his argument, not “two or three words out of context.” If, of course, he’s right after all, then my judgment is unfair. Can you offer any reasons why you think he’s right?

  48. climate skeptic? Says:

    I don’t think he’s right. How could I? I don’t know who to believe, that’s the point. But it makes me wonder that more often than not, the criticism of climate skepticism is centered on the characters of the skeptics, and not their arguments. Calling an 80-year old man delusional, dishonest, a liar etc. is not science, it’s politics.

    I tend to believe that the main motivation on both sides of the question is not money (”climate billions” or “CO2 dollars”) but feelings of self-purpose, pride, fulfillment. Both sides are eagerly waiting for the day (which should come before 2020) when they can conclusively say, leaving next to no room for doubt that “we were right”.

    Someone who has been in the field for 20-30 years, and invested so much emotion into the matter, is not likely to switch sides now.

    I can’t see anymore where goes the line between science and politics. Alarmism is better publicity, but why don’t the IPCC reports come with estimations of probability? I can’t find an answer from IPCC to the question, that how much they think the atmosphere is likely to warm if emissions are not curbed. 2-4C and upto 12C on the poles? But antarctica is not getting warmer. In 2001 I recall it was 1.8C - 5.4C. Such figures translate into “we can’t say really, this is too complex to estimate”.

    There are so many factors in play. When it so enormously complex how can we truly say which factors contribute and how much? We can only make estimations. It is a fair question that are personal motives involved in the interpretation process? “If nothing is done, the earth could warm 0.8C - 1.4C” during the century would not be good politics. It would take the public attention away from the climatologists and drop climate change from the political agenda. It would directly affect funding and sense of personal importance and fulfillment.

    I don’t know really. I can’t tell science from politics. Is the source code for the IPCC computer models openly available?

    Where can I find temperature statistics that the assumed “sulfate aerosol effect” actually did cause relatively cooler climate in USA, Europe and Japan in 1950-1970 and that the same is today happening in East Asia.

    What should I think of the nordic scientists Svenmark, Friis-Christensen and co? What should I think of the chinese climatologists Xian and Zhen-Shan? Or the scientists in the Russian academy of sciences? All of whom contribute most of the warming to other causes.

    Then when on the other side there are people who keep saying that the debate is over, that (Catastrophic)AGW is a fact of nature when there is so much uncertainty, so much complexity, so much politics, and so many difficult questions I can’t find answers to, it really begs the question who should I trust and why.

    Have you read the above mentioned essay by Jaworowski from March 2007, do you think all the arguments he has collected there are easily disproven or just nonsense or even worse corrupted lies, or do you have some doubt in your mind, that the whole AGW theory could be if not wrong, at least exaggerated in impact and importance?

    What does “there’s a 10% chance man is not the cause of current warming” mean? Why not 12%? Or 24%? What does such language mean. It is political or scientific language. AGW proponents often get frustrated and personal when people don’t automatically go with the majority, and trust their scientific integrity. I don’t think that’s the question people are asking.
    I think most people are asking were do the borders between science and politics go? Have these two intermixed in this debate?
    The least the IPCC should do is to attach probabilities to their figures.

  49. site admin Says:

    That was a calm and reasoned comment, cs. I’ll keep it in mind next time I start to get overheated. Your questions are reasonable, and have readily available answers. At the moment, I only have time to address your last point. The IPCC does indeed provide an explicit statement of uncertainty for each quantitative prediction. Go here and see the footnote at the bottom of page 4:

    In this Summary for Policymakers, the following terms have been used to indicate the assessed likelihood, using expert judgement, of an
    outcome or a result: Virtually certain > 99% probability of occurrence, Extremely likely > 95%, Very likely > 90%, Likely > 66%, More likely
    than not > 50%, Unlikely < 33%, Very unlikely < 10%, Extremely unlikely < 5%.

    Here is a general discussion and guidance for technical contributors to IPCC reports. You’ll note that the overarching objective is to clearly convey the degree of uncertainty associated with any statement, and avoid overreaching. That’s the way science should be communicated. As to your other questions, more later.

  50. John Mashey Says:

    For site admin (no need to post):

    Climate skeptic just asked a whole bunch of the same questions over in RealClimate, and got lots of answers, but seems unable to look at real papers.
    re: Russians: he’s keen on Abdusamatov, for eample …

    a) Having pointed to him that Abdusamatov didn’t believe in the existence of Greenhouse, and was thus a clear crackpot, despite Russan Academy of Sciences…
    b) He came back that I shouldn’t believe a translation in the Canadian Post…
    c) I pointed out that the source was the Russian NOVOSTI, who presumably can translate Russian fairly well.

    - No reply, but he then pops up here wondering about the Russians, and the sulfates, etc.

    - Evidence is piling up…

  51. climate skeptic? Says:

    Good John Mashey,

    I don’t see how that discredits Abdusamatov. He is a senior scientist who has been studying solar cycles for over four decades. He could say the earth is flar or the moon is made of cheese and it wouldn’t invalidate his research on solar activity. To disprove his theory that solar activity has been the main factor in the 1970- warming cycle, you need to show how his methods or conclusions were wrong. If you limit yourself to “oh but he said that…” it makes you look like you have a political agenda and aren’t even interested in his research. He is a celebrated scientist in Russia and has been leading a group of prominent Russian and Ukrainian scientists who arrived in these conclusions. Curiously enough the results they got are in line with those of the chinese scientists Xian and Zhen-Shan and another group of researchers in the Institute of Solar-Terrestrial
    Physics in Irkutsk. These are all serious scientists in their own field of study, and they are all, independantly of each other, recieving similar results and all saying the same thing: “It’s the sun and the AGW factor must therefore be close to insignificant in comparison”. Instead of concentrating on one moon is made of cheese sentence, that could have been a joke or deliberate provocation, or completely out of context or anything, shouldn’t it be in the interest of the AGW’s to show how their research has been wrong. Another step in strenghtening your position. If you ignore these people, it’s only natural that doubts will remain.

    And I have today read 100+ pages of “real papers” and I should have been more specific in my point about the probabilities. When IPCC assess some scenario as “highly likely” it seems to me that it is highly likely on the premise that the physics and interpretations are error free. How can you otherwise get results like 95% probability with so many feedback mechanisms, uncertainties, unknown data, computer models, different factors…

    In addition to the estimations of probability that are made on the basis of what is thought to be valid data, also all that data and the interpretations involved should come with probabilities attached. How reliable are the ice core CO2 studies? How reliable are the aerol sulfate cooling effect studies and the measurements of the signifigance of this factor? etc. When everything comes with probabilities the final outcome is something less than 95%. That to me presents common sense.

    I should note that on the “Russian roulette” principle I do support curbing CO2 emissions, and it’s wise to reserve oil and coal for future generations, and cleaner air won’t make me sad, but I’m still at a loss where the borders between science and politics go here. And I’m sure I’m not the only one.

  52. John Mashey Says:

    I have occasionally worked professionally with top astrophysicists and appreciate what they do. It is at least plausible that Abdusamatov likely has done fine solar physics work.

    Really, for your own protection, you *must* realize that expertise in one domain does not confer expertise in another. Solar physics certainly has input to climate science, but for some reason, solar physicists seem slightly more prone than most to ascirbing everything to the subject of their expertise.

    But if a scientist wants to opine on cliimate science, and says the Greenhouse Effect doesn’t exist, his credibility regardng *climate science* goes to *zero*. This is not ad hominem, it is not anti-Russian, it simply basic physics.

    Double-Nobelist Linus Pauling was one of the world’s greatest chemists, but then he went off into Vitamin C.

    If you still want to think Abdusamatov, is credible on AGW, well, good luck to you. I tried.

  53. climate skeptic? Says:

    Like you say, we should assume that he is credible in solar physics. He has done a 40+ year career in it and holds a high position at the Russian academy of sciences.

    That makes him indirectly credible on AGW, because solar activity is in direct relation to the importance of the AGW factor. If he believes that with exhaustive study he has shown the current warming to have been caused by solar activity, and there are other groups of scientists in China and Russia who have got similar results, then you can’t just dismiss it as “it’s not their field of expertise”. Because if they are right, that solar activity is the main cause of the 1970- warming cycle, then they are also in all probability right about the relative lesser importance of the AGW factor, and that the IPCC approach has exaggerated it. If they are right.

    So I can’t see how you can just dismiss these scientists, and this direct relation their studies have to AGW, by quoting one translated sentence from one of them, that has NOTHING to do with their studies, and like noted, could be deliberate provocation, or a joke in bad taste, or anything. It doesn’t matter at all really.

    By doing so you are dodging/ignoring the conflict that exists between two groups of credible scientists who both think their theory is the right one.

  54. climate skeptic? Says:

    His full title is: “Chief of the Space Exploration Department of the Central Astronomical Observatory of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the supervisor of the Astrometria project of the Russian part of the International Space Station, Doctor of Physical Sciences, Khabibullo Abdussamatov”

    Habibullo Abdussamatov was born in Uzbekistan in 1940, graduated from Samarkand University in 1962 as a physicist and a mathematician. He earned his doctorate at Pulkovo Observatory and the University of Leningrad.

    For the last 45 years he has worked at the Saint Petersburg’s Pulkovo Astronomical Observatory, which is (and has always been during his time there) one of the best equipped and most respected observatories in the world, at the pinnacle of research in solar physics. He has put his life into research on solar cycles.

    I think we can safely conclude he is not a crackpot in his own field of study.

    He says there are three cycles that he has observed and analysed in detail: a 11 year one, a ~100 year one and a ~200 year one, and that the impact of the longer cycles is not (fully) accounted for in the AGW theories.

    And he is pretty serious about his research and there are lot of scientists in Russia and Ukraine who seem to agree with him, and they are very serious about their science, or what do you say of this:

    “Because of the scientific significance of this period of global cooling that we’re about to enter, the Russian and Ukrainian space agencies, under Dr. Abdussamatov’s leadership, have launched a joint project to determine the time and extent of the global cooling at mid-century. The project, dubbed Astrometry and given priority space-experiment status on the Russian portion of the International Space Station, will marshal the resources of spacecraft manufacturer Energia, several Russian research and production centers, and the main observatory of Ukraine’s Academy of Sciences. By late next year, scientific equipment will have been installed in a space-station module and by early 2009, Dr. Abdussamatov’s space team will be conducting a regular survey of the sun.

    “With the data, the project will help mankind cope with a century of falling temperatures, during which we will enter a mini ice age, Abdussamatov says.

    Don’t you think this is something that should be of interest to realclimate?

    It’s so contrary to everything the AGW’s hold true and proven, and this guy and his colleagues have but some serious hours (decades in fact) into this research and the fact that Abdussamatov’s team get a prime and permanent place at the space-station for their research says everything that needs to be said of his standing in the Russian scientific hierarchy.

    Crackpot indeed.

  55. site admin Says:

    Is it possible your information came from this article in Canada’s conservative National Post? If so, let me gently suggest that your choices of information sources thus far have been rather, um, unbalanced. But, to answer your question, it’s my impression that John Mashey has it exactly right. Abdussamatov has made statements directly and radically contradicting the fundamental results of a large body of atmospheric research, without offering any basis in theory or observation for those statements. Choose your own label.

  56. climate skeptic? Says:

    “Is it possible your information came from this article in Canada’s conservative National Post”

    Well to be truthful it’s the first hit you get when you search for Abdussamatov on google. Several other hits give the same story. But I did verify his credentials. Look at wikipedia, for an example. If you google something like ‘Abdussamatov space station 2009 sun’ you will get several hits that has the same information. I think it’s the same part translation from Russian that John Mashey selectively used.

    “Abdussamatov has made statements directly and radically contradicting the fundamental results of a large body of atmospheric research, without offering any basis in theory or observation for those statements.”

    But he DOES have a basis in theory and observation. 45 years in solar physics. He was publishing papers on sunspots and solar cycles 20 years before we started to talk about AGW. The 1970- warming trend has been consistent with his observations and theories, and that is why he is confident. He is leading a team of Russian and Ukrainian scientists, his team will get a place on the spacestation for their research. He is himself co-ordinating the process. If everything goes to the plan, they should be able to start their observations in 2009. This is all real. This man does exist. He is not a crackpot. His research is in direct relation to the AGW. The question is of course that how much of the current warming is due to solar activity. The higher the estimation, the lower the importance of AGW and other factors. The lower the estimation, the higher the importance of AGW and other factors. Now we have two polarised opposites, so even if we move towards the middle, AGW estimations need to be corrected. Abdussamatov definitely looks like a scientist who should be taken seriously. The chinese and another team of Russian scientists at Irkutsk have published similar results. Is it just a coincidence? They are not highschool teachers from Germany, and they are not on the payroll of the “oil industry” to my knowledge.
    If you are just going to dismiss this, by claiming that his research has no relation to AGW, or by attacking his character using a one-off quote, then of course it will look political, and doubts will remain.

  57. site admin Says:

    Surely you’ve noticed, cs, how unproductive this discussion has become? The little you and I both know about Abdussamatov comes from the same source. To you, the fact that he appears to be a respected solar physicist in Russia confers great credibility. To me, the fact that he says things like “Heated greenhouse gases, which become lighter as a result of expansion, ascend to the atmosphere only to give the absorbed heat away.” make him sound like someone with little knowledge of atmospheric science, but a lot of chutzpah.
    Our mutually inconsistent impressions of Abdussamatov are unlikely to be resolved here, but hey — they don’t need to be! If he’s being quoted correctly, Abdussamatov has made a clear and testable prediction, viz.:

    Solar irradiance has begun to fall, ushering in a protracted cooling period beginning in 2012 to 2015. The depth of the decline in solar irradiance reaching Earth will occur around 2040, and “will inevitably lead to a deep freeze around 2055-60″ lasting some 50 years, after which temperatures will go up again.

    This is great, and to understand why it’s great it is useful to review the terms of the dispute. Some contrarians (e.g. Jaworowski, Abdussamatov) say that changes in insolation, from orbital cycles, solar activity or both, dominate climate change, and that increases in methane and CO2, whether you believe they’re increasing or not, may be neglected. Others (e.g. Svensmark, Shaviv & Veizer) believe that galactic cosmic rays (GCRs) dominate climate through their influence on cloud formation, and that green house gases are not a factor. The overwhelming majority of working climate scientists say that the present warming cannot be explained by changes in insolation (as noted above, solar irradiance is actually on a slight downward trend) and that GCR proponents have shown neither a trend in GCRs themselves, nor a realistic mechanism for the effect proposed. In other words, our observations just don’t make sense unless the greenhouse effect is included.
    But wait — here’s a guy who is willing to put his money where his mouth is! If Abdussamatov is right, we will see an abrupt and dramatic cooling trend in just a few years, contrary to the consensus prediction. If that happens, there will be egg on a lot of faces. If it happens and Abdussamatov’s explanation turns out to be the correct one, maybe there’s a Nobel in it for him.
    Here’s my prediction: the warming trend will continue, just as the IPCC predicts. By 2020, it will be clear that there is no cooling, and Abdussamatov will be forgotten. Climate contrarians will be fewer, but those who remain will still be insisting that climate change is entirely due to A, B, C or D — anything other than human activity.

  58. climate skeptic? Says:

    If it’s 0.3C warmer in 2020 than it is today, there won’t be many skeptics left. And it won’t be too late in 2020 to curbe the emissions (although I wish we would start concretely preparing for it today). It’s the Russian roulette principle. It’s not a risk worth taking.

    Abdussamatov doesn’t predict a dramatic cooling trend until the middle of the century, but the warming trend should stop in between 2012 and 2015. Abdussamatov has put his credibility on the line. We will see in a few years time.

  59. John Mashey Says:

    Well, there’s a testable prediction, although it needs to be made more precise, with numbers, since “deep freeze” is not very precise,and if irradiance changes drive temperature down like that, he will deserve a Novbel.

    CS has *his* chance to put his money where his mouth is:

    http://www.longbets.org.

    They already have some predictions regarding AGW, but I tend to agree with shorter-term predictions, so I don’t bet against them, and while there are a few predictions for the year 2100 that I might want to bet against, I’d rather make shorter-term LongBets, i.e., I don’t want to go beyond 2020.

    SO:This is CS’s chance to be famous and put your money behind your fervent beliefs.

    Personally, I would be happy if solar irradiance dropped for a while, but I care more about temperature…. and I believe the cliimate scientists have done a pretty good job of bounding the effects of irradiance jiggles, whereas CS and Abdusamatov think otherwise.

    [Personally, I think that some combination of Milankovitch cycles + Maunder (etc) Minima + maybe Ruddiman's plague hypotheses are much better explanations of the Little Ice Age than theories that try to explain everything by cycles of one factor., but we're not trying to settled that by the bet.]

    =====
    1) We formulate a prediction about *global temperature measurements*, based on what you think Abdusamatov says.

    Note: this is *not* a prediction about solar irradiance, but a prediction :
    - about irradiance drop -> lowering global temperature
    - that is precise
    - that is clearly settlable with no arguments, based on specific public data
    - that ends no later than 2020, which should give Abdusamatov a fair chance, without being so long that I’m really unlikely to be around
    - clearly avoids short-term effects like ENSOs (+), big volcanoes (-), or longer-term effects like S. Asian sulfates (-). The first two are fairly easy, the third will have to get baked in somehow, but I think CS & I have opposing opinions there as well.

    2) We iterate on the wording of the bet until we agree, and we agree on the size of the bet: say BET = $1,000 each.

    3) CS joins LongBets and submit the prediction [costs $50.], and we go off into:
    http://www.longbets.org/procedure
    and if we have formulated the prediction well, what we’ve agreed on in 2) will stick as is, and I will Challenge the prediction, turning it into a bet. [I'm already a member].

    At that point, we’ve each sent a check for BET to LongBets, and whenever the bet is settled, 2*BET goes to the winner’s specified charity.
    We each get a parchment copy of the bet to show up on the wall.

    4) Now, “John Mashey” is a real person, whereas “Climate Skeptic” isn’t, so CS would have to come out from behind the alias. I have zero interest in making a prediction and waiting for some aliasto show up and challenge it.

    I’ve already spent more time than I normally do on anonymous posters, but I have been looking for an appropriate bet, so here’s CS’s chance [assuming SomeAreBoojums is willing to put up with this :-)]

  60. site admin Says:

    You are proposing something useful and interesting, John — unlike the “is too” / “is not” exchanges so lamentably common in forums such as this.[1]
    So you’re entirely welcome to negotiate with cs here for as long as you like. How about it, cs?

    [1]Not pointing fingers. I’m a miserable sinner, too, like everyone else in this debate.

  61. climate skeptic? Says:

    I think I have been misunderstood. My main thesis is that I don’t know anymore who to trust, which I think I repeated many times in my ramblings. I used to trust the IPCC consensus. I was a fervent green activist for some 10 years. The psychology of CAGW caught to me. (C as in catastrophic). You do know that it started as a political movement in the late 1980’s. Ex-marxists ex-trotskyists, ex-socialists seeking a new ideological home found a shared cause. If you have been involved, you do know this. There were people in 1989 yelling you are killing the planet, when the science of AGW was superficial at best. An emotional blow I still haven’t forgotten was how a green parliament member exploited the Asian tsunami, just days after the tragedy, prophetizing more of such scenarios if emissions are not curbed. It was an earthquake you ****.

    Having also ridden myself of the baggage of idealism, I started to look at the CAGW in a new light. All these green movements preaching the mantra, less than 0.1% of the activists actually have a pedigree in science for their views to be anything else but adoptation and imitation.

    So you have to look beyond that. I couldn’t do the parrotting act anymore. How could I know?

    So I have now tried to find out, to the best of my restricted ability.

    And what I have found is increasing uncertainty. Reading through the IPCC papers I can’t avoid the feeling that alarmism and pretence of certainty is better politics. There are too many questions I can’t find answers to. e.g. on realclimate the section “common contrarian arguments” concentrates too much on the crackpots and ignores lof of serious skepticism.

    I mean look at this: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2004/12/co2-in-ice-cores/

    “The lag is only 800 years. All that the lag shows is that CO2 did not cause the first 800 years of warming, out of the 5000 year trend. The other 4200 years of warming could in fact have been caused by CO2, as far as we can tell from this ice core data.”

    “From studying all the available data (not just ice cores), the probable sequence of events at a termination goes something like this. Some (currently unknown) process causes Antarctica and the surrounding ocean to warm. This process also causes CO2 to start rising, about 800 years later. Then CO2 further warms the whole planet, because of its heat-trapping properties.”

    Is that supposed to convince a rational person? Unknown factor warms the earth so much that the planet recovers from an ice age and sea levels raise 125 metres before the CO2 kicks in and explains “the rest of the warming”. So the powerful warming factor of those intense 800 years is unknown, but it is known, that this factor will disappear in year 800, when CO2 will kick in for the rest of the 4200 years. That reads like some Monty Python sketch to me.

    Similar uncertainties, unknown factors, estimations, probabilities, difficulties, problems etc. are encountered everywhere, and yet there are people saying the debate is over. And computer models model unfathomably complex systems, getting specific estimations for temperature increases. And we do know that millions and millions of years ago there were cold periods when atmospheric CO2 levels were multiple times higher than they are today.

    It’s just too complex for establishing certainty, and those who say they have certainty are starting to feel more and more like political ideologues.

    No, I don’t trust Abdussamatov, how could I? Where’s my pedigree?`That would be pretentious of me. But I don’t dismiss him either. I find him interesting. I don’t know anymore and I’m done with CAGW activism.

  62. site admin Says:

    cs, stop thrashing. Pick an issue of fact, and resolve it as best you can. I proposed five candidates above. John is willing to make a bet with you right now. What’s it going to be?

  63. climate skeptic? Says:

    You know what. If, I don’t say when, if CAGW is conclusively proven to be not true by the year 2020, there will be hundreds of severely depressed AGW scientists. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi has studied that feelings of purpose, fulfillment and joy (=”flow”) are more closely related to our work, than our private life. Ideally you’d think the scientists would be happy. The planet survives, there’s a better world than expected in the horizon for their children. But if you have dedicated 35 years of hard work into it and lot of your free time campaigning for the cause, investing such enormous amounts of your life and energy, and in the end you are proven wrong, your professional fullfilment denied, recognition turns into irrelevance, where does it leave you psychologically? This is not a small issue.

    So to conclude, there are three major factors that justify skepticism:

    1) Scientific uncertainty
    2) The politics of CAGW
    3) The psychology of CAGW

    2) and 3) affect 1). -> Explaining uncertainty away becomes a psychological mechanism, in line with the identity and emotional fabric of the CAGW scientist.

  64. Graeme Bird Says:

    James.

    You made a whole swag of lying claims over on bug girls blog. Then you gave them the veneer of plausibility with two links that did not back your claims up.

    So I come over here and find out that not only are you a DDT-Holocaust-Denier…… But that you are also an energy-deprivation-crusader.

    You know damn well you have no evidence in either case.

    But would you like to go back over to bug girls blog and admit that you have misrepresented the book you cited?

    Or could you come up for evidence for the likelihood of catastrophic warming? For the idea that a little bit of human-induced warming is a bad thing during a brutal, pulverising ice-age….. or indeed for the idea that extra-CO2-warming is non-neglible.

    But most of all withdraw your lying claims at bug girls blog.

    50-million-minimum dead black kids is nothing to be flippant about.

  65. site admin Says:

    Oh, boy. Graeme, hang on a second while I reply to cs, OK?

    Look, cs, the whole point of this post was to examine Jaworowski’s claims regarding the record of CO2 in ice cores. Those claims, as I’ve explained in detail above, are false from beginning to end. If you were really interested in the truth or falsity of those claims, as opposed to the broader politics of climate advocacy, or the psychology of opposition, I would have expected you to address at least one factual issue, and tell me if you think I’m right or wrong. As it is, you’ve given me nothing of substance to discuss. The Abdussamatov question was interesting (even if a bit off-topic), and I was kind of hoping you would get down to brass tacks with John on a long bet, but you have declined to do that as well. I’m interested in discussing the science here. If you are not, I fear we may be wasting your time and mine.

    Now, Graeme, you still there? I recall your comments on Bug Girl’s blog to the effect that environmentalists and population control advocates had knowingly and deliberately fostered policies that caused millions of deaths in Africa from malaria. If that is not a fair paraphrasal, you are invited to restate your position, but that’s how I read it. That position is, to put it bluntly, wacky and paranoid on its face — but I decided to go the extra mile and treat it as if it were worthy of reasoned discussion. Now, I have read the book by Gordon Harrison that I cited. I assume you have also read it, since you claim that I have misrepresented it.
    You will find an account of DDT’s introduction and early use in malaria vector control in chapter 24 “An Almost Perfect Insecticide”, pp. 218-227. Chapter 25, “Eradication”, describes how DDT resistance emerged in Anopheles where it was used against malaria. Chapter 26, “India — Model for the World” deals with the modifications to antimalarial strategies made after resistance emerged, and chapter 27, “Relapse” gives some of the mixed results of those strategies.

    Please explain how my brief summary of recent antimalarial history misrepresents any part of Harrison’s book, and specifically the portions I have just cited.

    As to my links, one was to the Harrison book, and one was to a WHO map of malaria vectors. The way I came up with my numbers on resistant species was to consult a database of insecticide resistance and carefully count the resistant and the nonresistant species. Granted — I neglected to supply the database link in my comment, a deficiency I’ve just corrected. Now do you have any material objection to my summary of DDT-resistant species?

    Now, if you would care to dispute any of my statements in detail, I will be happy to discuss this with you on the basis of the facts, and will cheerfully correct any errors I might have made. But if you see this as a vehicle for polemics and name-calling (and you are already on the edge with your comment above), you will be history.

  66. site admin Says:

    Graeme -
    You have just posted five rambling, vitriolic, content-free and insult-rich comments in a row. You’re banned.

  67. Michael T Says:

    Sorry to be joining this a couple of years too late, but the heading about the essay being “written for the hearing before the US Senate…” is obviously consistent with never having shown up there. I do A for B, or in order to do B, or in hope of doing B all the time, and B doesn’t happen. Sometimes it does!-otherwise I wouldn’t even have done A…
    If he had in fact presented the materials, he would have said “Statement presented before the US Senate…” or something like that.
    So the very first much emphasized and laboriously investigated point, is basically silly. How can one trust the other apparently laboriously investigated stuff that’s over one’s head.
    The way to approach the matter is to as ZJ what he was talking about. Or is he always incommunicado? That he says “prepared for” not “presented to” suggests that there was some idea amongst his crackpot friends that he had hope of appearing at some point. This is not too implausible, since on the evidence of this site, he is much discussed by global warming skeptic cranks and Interested Parties.
    In the end, nothing came of it, and he gave it over to his LaRouchie friends. Is there any evidence that he understands the dementia of the LaRouchists? I note that Yelling in one of the earliest comments on this page,
    May 26th, 2005 at 7:39 am
    says “I was not familiar with either 21st Century Science & Technology, or Lyndon Larouche (I blame it on being Canadian). So I actually took a look at his article.”
    ZJ is probably dug in too deep to admit it by now, but if this had been coming out a bit earlier, why shouldn’t he have said
    “I was not familiar with either 21st Century Science & Technology, or Lyndon Larouche (I blame it on being Polish, having somewhat lame English, and having lived under the soviet system for so many years when LaRouche was a big topic in the US). So when they asked me for popular accounts of my views, to appear in English, I actually published with them, and repeatedly.”
    By now he’s probably dug in and hostile and on the take, but I don’t see what’s wrong with a scientist thinking he smells a rat in a “consensus” that seems to need the sort of vilification exhibited on this blog to maintain itself. So he tries to go one man against a thousand climate experts, of course it is going to be easy to pick holes in what he says. Try to imagine yourself as an honest person in this position for a minute! Surely it shouldn’t be his mistakes but his sound points - if there are any - that one should be looking for, but unfortunately no one seems to be in that line of work.

  68. site admin Says:

    Thanks, Michael. You are obviously paying attention, but you seem to have missed a few key points. There was no hearing held by the Senate committee in question on March 19, 2004, or anywhere around that time; nor does Jaworowski appear in its records or those of the US Congress generally. The whole thing appears to have been made up. Also, his supporters interpret the statement as actual testimony, and resent any suggestion that the hearing was fictitious. Steven Milloy even threw inverted commas around whole passages and reported them as if he had heard them himself, for example

    “More than 20 physico-chemical processes, mostly related to the presence of liquid water, contribute to the alteration of the original chemical composition of the air inclusion in polar ice,” Dr. Jaworowski told Senators.

    Granted, Jaworowski has no control over what use people make of his words. But he has given those words, over and over again, to Lyndon LaRouche (most recently just three months ago), and I have a hard time picturing him as an old man who just keeps getting repeatedly fooled.
    Now, let me say something I have tried to say repeatedly, in response to your comment

    …a “consensus” that seems to need the sort of vilification exhibited on this blog to maintain itself.

    I don’t represent any “consensus”, with or without quotation marks, and all the vilification on this blog is my responsibility alone. I do believe that it makes a difference whether one’s statements are true, and whether one knows them to be true. If you figure that Jaworowski’s many wrong statements are simply “mistakes” and that someone should be looking for his “sound points”, bravo for you! Go find them. I’ve tried, and I’ve come up dry.

  69. John Mashey Says:

    Michael T:
    I thought Site Admin’s analysis was pretty good,.

    “Surely it shouldn’t be his mistakes but his sound points - if there are any - that one should be looking for, but unfortunately no one seems to be in that line of work.”

    If one studies the history of science, and looks at cases where:
    - a bold new hypothesis appear that contradict an existing consensus
    - it is at first rejected, but then, evidence builds for it
    - and then, it becomes the new consensus

    Breakthroughs usually come from people who are experts, and happen to be able to see a little further; sometimes, they speculate a little beyond the data [like Wegener for continental drift, where people took a while to figure out mechanisms]. Occasioinally they happen when someone from one discipline brings methods from there into another. BUT

    In general, once it is clear that someone is:
    - clueless about the basics
    - or worse, generating disinformation

    hunting for useful nuggets in their work is generally a useless task. Life is short. The world has numerous people who generate pseudo-scientific nonsense and believe it fervently, and are convinced that mainline science just doesn’t understand and is conspiring against them.

    n this particular domain, AGW, it’s worse than usual, in that there is a whole industry of lobbyists, think-tanks, PR agencies that promote disinformation for economic or political reasons, and patterned after the tobacco-disinformation efforts.

    Scientists who confirm an existing consensus get a few brownie points, but nothing like what they get for creating major new hypotheses or finding major errors in an existing consensus, so there are lots of qualified people looking hard at people’s results, and errors do get noticed sooner or later.

    We just went through this with Climate Skeptic, who became absolutely convinced that a Russian solar physicist was also a climate scientist whose hypothesis must be accorded great weight … but not quite convinced to take up a proffered Long Bet.

  70. John Cross Says:

    Wow, just when you think that a zombie is dead and buried, up they come again. I know that I am going to get criticized for that statement since it seems like I am not keeping an open mind, but really, how many time do you have to kill a document to make it go away (I know the pen is mightier than the sword, but this is ridiculous).

    The above-referenced document was an egregiously bad bit of work. Unfortunately it seems to be all too much like his normal work. C. Skpetic, you say he has a new work out, well and good, but before we go there I think we should agree on this piece.

    However, here is a tid-bit that I came across. While I respect that most of the people who post here seem to have an understanding of the basics, I can not say the same for others on other sites. This really hit home. However it is off-topic so Admin, feel free to delete this post.

    Regards,
    John

  71. site admin Says:

    Far from being off-topic, that reference is entirely apropos to the subject at hand; especially to some of the turns this discussion has taken.
    Here is a recent post that I thought nicely captured the difference between mainstream science and some of its more, um, creative critics.

    As to the recent Jaworowski article in LaRouche’s EIR, I have had a look at it, and …

    Wow, just … wow.

    Just when you think the man has reached his peak, he goes and writes an encyclopedia of wrongness. It clearly requires a response, but to do it justice will not be trivial.

  72. climate skeptic? Says:

    If you are not going to publish it, could you at least forward my comment to John Mashey.

    Thanks

  73. site admin Says:

    cs - I don’t see a recent comment from you in the moderation queue. When did you post it?

  74. climate skeptic? Says:

    OK, I’ll try to re-send it:

    John Mashey? I hope to be able to put my point across to you via this blog. I know it’s bizarre, but I don’t know your email and it seems I’m not welcome at RC anymore, and you brought up this blog I had forgotten about.

    To cut the story short, it seems that I had three long posts on RC “screened”. In other words censored. Writing in a foreign language it did require bit of an effort on my part, so I am a bit disappointed, but I will come back to that later.
    Having spent a decade on the CAGW wagon, approaching the question from the other end is a balancing act. Of course this doesn’t mean siding with crackpots for the sake of it, but trying to understand the genuine criticism of the theory of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming. To widen one’s perspective.
    Eventually (and I did spend around two hundred hours on this in the last 4 weeks) I arrived at, in my feeble opinion the core question, of uncertainty, numeric values of different climate forcings and computer modelling. You are aware that the AOGCM models were completely off the mark on ocean rainfall as proven by recent NASA satellite studies?

    For this reason I came back to RC, because for political reasons (I’m not a scientist) I want to understand this question with an open mind, and as well as it is possible for me. I think the questions I posed were relevant, important and logical. I don’t know why there still haven’t been even one reply to this core issue and why the discussions seems to be going in circles? On the other hand I can count countless of ad homs, couple of them from you. Why do you do it, and I don’t mean you, but in general folks on RC? It’s not an argument, and it doesn’t increase one’s trust in you.

    I’m not one to stick around, if I am not wanted, so 3-4 long posts censored is enough for me. I asked them why they were censored, and gavin replied to me in an email that the reason was to do with the “tone of my posts”. I will stop there, I don’t want to argue these things. It’s their forum fair enough. And not a one for me to post on anymore.

    But looking at the several ad homs from “commie conspiracies” to numerous others, I really don’t see my posts as somehow threatening or flaming in tone, but I leave it upto you (one of the censored posts to follow later on).

    How do you expect a person to react, when the discussion goes in circles and the main two arguments are argument from authority and ad hominem, and the central points are not assessed. Are you a scientist? How can you as a layperson know who to trust and with such conviction?

    Aren’t you bothered by the difficult questions? Why isn’t the IPCC discussion process publically available for one? The discussion process in which the validity of different studies and resulting conclusions is evaluated and reached? Aren’t you bothered by questions that never seem to be answered.

    Don’t you agree with the rationale of skepticism? What is it deep down that we differ on this subject?

    Can you explain to me how to assess the uncertainty hanging over climate forcings, numeric values and computer modelling, the very process in which the numeric value of the anthropogenic CO2 forcing is derived? Why do we never hear of these parameters and their numeric values? Doesn’t it bother you?

    I don’t know. You don’t know. You choose to strongly believe A, I’m not so sure anymore. Other than that, what’s different really?

    And finally, let me quote you one of the posts (one that I saved) which was presumably censored for the reason it would rather “heat” than “light” the discussion because of its “tone”: (the two or three other posts were similar in content and nature, although more to do with the scientific side of this question, this one was more political)

    *****

    “It probably would be too late, because of the time-lags involved. That’s one major flaw in your logic.”

    Can you give a source for that claim? Most of the goal posts are set at 2050 (by far the most common) or 2080 or 2100. We will be doing research into alternative energy (we are running out of oil anyway), and energy efficiency is advisable in any case. China, India and other developing countries are bound to increase their emissions enormously. The developed western countries would in any case stay relatively close to the 1990 levels. What we would effectively do with the alarmist route would be to put restrictions on business - with a rather inconcrete effect on reducing CO2 emissions. Let me show this by the following simple calculation:

    EU CO2 emissions 1/8 of world total.

    Scenario one: EU to cut emissions by 20%

    Scenario two: EU to cut emissions by 30%

    Scenario three: EU emissions to stay at current level

    By 2020 China, India and others will grow so strongly that EU 2007 CO2 emissions will be about 1/11 of world 2020 total. World total 2020 = 110 units. EU total =

    Scenario one: 10-2
    Scenario two: 10-3
    Scenario three: 10+/-0

    The impact on total global CO2 2020 emissions: 108-111. The cost to EU businesses and GDP? Potentially hundreds of billions.

    The developing countries are in any case going to increase their emissions until 2020. 2-4 new coal plants (God knows how many) pop up in China every week.

    Arbitrary restrictions on western CO2 emissions, in the case of EU, is not going to mean more than the difference between say 108 and 111.

    Is it logical from you, to assess that this small global difference would present a “probable” turning point of “too late” with all the uncertainties involved?

    (Research and energy efficiency will happen anyway, let’s not forget.)

    ****

    Do you expect me to trust people who arbitrarily end discussions by censoring such posts (which I can’t in any way see as offensive) in a middle of a long going discussion, while allowing around it and AFTER it the ad homs of the following type to remain:

    climate change turns climate skeptics into Albert Schweitzer

    So I guess you would check out of the hospital and go play golf [in case if you had horrible chest pain]?

    CS is clearly not very happy here and is not at all likely to get the satisfaction he is seeking.

    You’re clearly posting to the wrong forum

    this seems akin to someone who replaces a strong religious faith with equally ardent atheism.

    Again, you are perfectly willing to do nothing on the strength of unproven “what ifs,” yet unwilling to take action based on real, concrete data

    I’m sorry, but I don’t believe that you are a skeptic.
    Your willingness to grasp at things that only hint at supporting some other causation suggests that you are little more than a denialist posing as a skeptic.

    Yeah, climate science is a big ‘ole commie conspiracy dedicated to driving humanity back to the stone age.

    etc. etc. These are just some of the comments from the last 20 or so posts. And because of the tone of the post quoted above, it got censored?

    I ask again, the core of what this is all about, an honest and open minded inquiry (which has taken me over 200 hours during the past four weeks, for the sole purpose of understanding this question better), who to trust and why?

    Why have you personally answered this question in the way you have answered it? What are the underlying reasons? When you can’t know, and can only imitate “knowledge”. And please reply to this without using parallels.

    That’s all.

  75. site admin Says:

    OK, cs, I did check the post at RealClimate where you engaged in a sustained dialogue with the site’s authors and with other commenters. I think I can understand why they started to be somewhat frustrated with you. You posted twenty-five comments to that one post, some as long as the one you just posted here. Many of those comments received thoughtful inline replies from RealClimate authors, often with links to useful information. That’s an extraordinary amount of attention for one person, and a lot of extremely valuable guidance from some awfully knowledgeable people. Yet, at the end of that process, your comments were the same as in the beginning. I see zero evidence that you have done as gavin helpfully suggested, and read the literature. If you will not do your homework on this issue, it is not surprising that those who have done their homework will tire of taking you seriously. I suspect that, and the fact that you were taking up a lot of bandwidth, are the reasons RealClimate bumped you. Speaking of bandwidth, I think I will move your thread to another location here, so as to reduce the clutter in this post.

  76. Dana Says:

    Dear Site Admin,
    I actually did check the Congressional Record for the 106th congress and there was a climate change hearing held on 3 March 2004. It was chaired by John McCain, but J was not one of the witnesses at the hearing. Having said that, he may have prepared testimony for the committee and not presented it in person.

  77. site admin Says:

    Dana - In comments here, you are the first person to actually look this one up. I salute you! Yes; the hearing to which you refer was on climate change, and it was in March 2004. It is one of the hearings I listed in the reference post[1] linked to by point #1. I wondered if Jaworowski might have, as you suggest, prepared a statement and left it with someone, to be read into the record, or referred to in some way. So I searched the Record for any mention of Jaworowski, and asked a legislative research specialist to look for him as well, in case I’d missed something. We both came up empty-handed. If you can do better, please do. I will be happy to amend point #1 if anyone can come up with any concrete evidence that Jaworowski was invited to testify, or was consulted by the US Senate. As it is, speculation that Jaworowski thought he was going to testify, or prepared a statement that never made it into the record, seems beside the point. A reasonable person reading the heading of Jaworowski’s statement would assume that someone in the US Senate asked for the statement, or at least read it, in connection with a committee hearing. If that’s not the case, the heading is at best misleading.

    [1]I note that you have the date right — March 3rd, not 6th. I’ve fixed the typo with an acknowledgment.

  78. Al Tekhasski Says:

    On June 14th, 2007 at 6:05 pm, John Mashey Said:

    “I have occasionally worked professionally with top astrophysicists and appreciate what they do. It is at least plausible that Abdusamatov likely has done fine solar physics work.

    Really, for your own protection, you *must* realize that expertise in one domain does not confer expertise in another. Solar physics certainly has input to climate science, but for some reason, solar physicists seem slightly more prone than most to ascirbing everything to the subject of their expertise.”

    I think you have the whole issue backwards. You must realize that the scientific disciplines are of somewhat different quality, in terms of rigor of methods, techniques, and proofs. It is not that the solar physics or hydrodynamics or nonlinear dynamics have “inputs to climate science”, but the whole so-called “climate science” is an inseparable conglomerate of applications from those more precise disciplines. Now, you must realize that the climate “science” relies on those concepts from other fields way beyond proven ranges of applicability, and mostly in areas that have been known as being unsolvable from the scope of respective disciplines, take the problem of turbulence as an example. Unfortunately, it is apparent that certain “climate scientists” are not familiar with those limitations, and tend to believe that their use of “formulas from Physics” is an absolute truth. As result, the “climate science” (or the CO2 theory of greenhouse warming) is more like a house of cards, with all implications. Therefore, if a solar physicist (or computational fluid scientist) tells you that one or two cards are broken, the whole house collapses, regardless of whether those scientists possess or not inherent knowledge about other fine and cherishable constituents of the climate system.

    Regards,
    - Al Tekhasski

  79. site admin Says:

    Al, you seem to have fallen prey to a common fallacy — the notion that the scientific consensus regarding climate change rests on a single chain of contingent assumptions, or, as you put it, a “house of cards.” This is not true at all. In fact, multiple independent lines of evidence all support the conclusion that human activities are affecting the earth’s climate. There are no “one or two cards” that, if removed, would cause the whole house to collapse.
    As to the relative rigor of various scientific disciplines, this discussion quickly descends into an academic pissing match, so I would like to steer clear of it (but may not be able to). Let me just note that climate scientists need to possess a sound working knowledge of multiple branches of physics and chemistry, and a keen awareness of their methods’ limitations, to be successful. Your comment that

    [T]he climate “science” relies on those concepts from other fields way beyond proven ranges of applicability …

    may be wasted here. Why don’t you try it out at the next AMS conference, and see how it goes over?

    I think John Mashey’s comment is more useful in connection with Abdussamatov specifically than solar physicists generally. Abdussamatov is quoted as saying “Heated greenhouse gases, which become lighter as a result of expansion, ascend to the atmosphere only to give the absorbed heat away.” That statement is either trivial (if he is saying that there is convective heat transport in the atmosphere) or simply wrong (if he is saying that radiative equilibrium is unaffected by the presence of greenhouse gases). Either way, it’s a clueless statement.
    However, even if Abdussamatov has said something dumb about atmospheric physics, this should not tar the reputations of all solar physicists. Every discipline has its loose cannons.

  80. John mashey Says:

    Sorry, I should have been more precise; I certainly didn’t mean to imply that this applied to solar physicists in general. I was thinking of Sallie Baliunas and Willie Soon, and (sort of), Henrik Svensmark, and of course, the term “solar physicist” is not as preciese as one might like.

  81. Dana Says:

    Site Admin,
    Thanks for the acknowledgement. I have some familiarity with congressional testimony, so I can say that it includes much more than what is provided in hearings and may not include everything submitted. With that, I request unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks, and I yield the floor.

  82. a biologist Says:

    just one sentence (which u can tear out of context as much as u like but still remains true)
    CO2 is the basis of visible life on earth

  83. Ben Says:

    I am sorry to engage so late into this discussion, but I only today stumbled across J’s article and was quite impressed by your brilliant analysis, though it seems you and J at least share your affection for the odd polemcis.

    I am not a natural scientist so please do excuse if it takes time for me to undestand certain issuses. I took the liberty to look up certain extras you posted in your first article. And am for the beginning left with some questions:
    In his reply to J’s ESPR article (however small and well hidden it might have been) Hans Öschinger drawing attention to some misunderstandings or misinterpretations from J’s side states: “Another example concerns the gas-occlusion process in firn and young ice. This process has been studied in detail theoretically and experimentally. The theory of diffusion of gases in firn and the occlusion at the firn-ice transition has been confirmed impressively by the detection of a gravitational enrichment of the heavier gases and of the heavier isotopes of a gas. This enrichment depends, in the first instance, on the depth of the firn-ice transition.” He seems to be referring to to J’s claim that : “The age of the gas recovered from 1 to 10 grams of ice was arbitrarily decreed to be exactly 83 years younger than the ice in which it was trapped! This was not supported by any experimental evidence, but only by assumptions which were in conflict with the facts.” (Quoted from the 2007 EIR article, p. 43 - see as well: Figure 2 (a) and (b) p. 44) Does Öschinger thereby agree to the fact that gas in ice probes is 83 years younger than the surrounding ice?
    For if he would, it does seem slightly “contradictory” to Geerts and Linarce (Ice cores, CO2 concentrations and climat) claim that “It appears that the air bubbles trapped in the ice represent the atmospheric composition at the time of snow deposition , [in other words gas diffusion through the ice is negligible.]” It is clear as daylight that the decisive point for the authors is the fact that ice probes are a legitimate source of information about past times’ climate, but they never the less seem to implicit contradict Öschingers statement (if he wasn’t argueing the 83 years thing and “snow deposition” by chance does not take 83 years).

    My second point refers to Peter’s, Dave’s and admin’s 8th/9th May discussion on creationists and denier of climate change.
    I think it is a rather backfiring business to compare those two ideas, especially if you are supportive to the idea of climate change. Why is that? Because, looking at the theory of evolution we are presented with a very plausible explanation of how life on earth could have formed and I believe it an brilliant hypothesis for scientific working, but applying hard standards - and I am strictly refering to Karl Popper (Logik der Forschung 1934 and Der Elend des Historizismus 1936) - can not be classified as a scientific theory (just like psychoanalysis or historic marxism), because it does not allow falsification.
    Whereas the theory of climate change very well allows falsification. After all that’s on of the reasons there’s this blog.

  84. site admin Says:

    Ben - You deserve credit for reading and thinking about the issue.
    The depth of the firn-ice transition is dependent on the deposition history of the location where the core is taken. Many heavy, dry snowfalls result in a deep snow layer above the point where pressure closes off the gas bubbles in the ice. Wet snow will close off more quickly, and results in a lesser depth for the transition. It all depends on the particular circumstances of that core, and so it is determined experimentally. There is nothing special about the 83 year lag. For example, in another core Neftel and Friedli measured a different lag:

    On the basis of porosity measurements, investigators determined that the time lag between the mean age of the gas and the age of the ice was 95 years and that the duration of the close-off process was 22 years (Schwander and Stauffer 1984).

    NB: Neftel & Friedli determined the depth and age of the firn-ice transition independently of any assumption about what the “right” age might be. There has been a great deal of good research on gas mixing in snow columns, some of which Jaworowski cites, so he is obviously aware of it. Yet he persists in claiming that estimates of the firn-ice transition age are “arbitrary”, a claim he knows to be false.

    Your second point is off-topic, but worth a brief response. It is simply not true that evolution is not falsifiable. Evolutionary theory has made many, many specific predictions, the failure of any one of which would have falsified its central proposition. Yet, every one of those predictions has been borne out. Do we see ancestors and descendants in the same strata? Nope. Do we see the same fossil sequence in columns from widely separated areas, dated by independent means? Yep. Most tellingly, when DNA was discovered, the genetic evidence confirmed relationships already observed from fossils and the morphology of living species. Any way you cut it, evolutionary theory is falsifiable — and is not false. It is an old, old criticism, and has been flogged to death, so enough of that. See the FAQ for a thorough discussion.

  85. dhogaza Says:

    Because, looking at the theory of evolution we are presented with a very plausible explanation of how life on earth could have formed and I believe it an brilliant hypothesis for scientific working, but applying hard standards - and I am strictly refering to Karl Popper (Logik der Forschung 1934 and Der Elend des Historizismus 1936) - can not be classified as a scientific theory (just like psychoanalysis or historic marxism), because it does not allow falsification.

    I assume you’re unware that Popper some time afterwards recognized that he was wrong, and agreed with biologists that evolutionary theory is indeed falsifiable.

    For some reason which I have a hard time understanding (cough cough) creationists are always eager to quote Popper’s initial conclusion, but never point out that later, Popper recanted.

  86. Jeff Swanson Says:

    I just found your site today and tried to scan quickly. As a geologist (and Lutheran), who sometimes hunts for responses to take on creationist arguments, I really appreciate reading some of the comments above by you and others.

    Keep up the good work!

  87. Gwynne Dyer Says:

    I have read right through this correspondence, and several time reference is made to Ernst-Georg Beck’s recent paper on the values for atmospheric CO2 reported by scientists using chemical measurement methods in the 19th and early 20th centuries, which are quite different from those that underpin the IPCC assumptions. I have read the ten-page translation of the draft on several sites, and to a non-scientist it looks as though there is a case to answer there, but the answer is never given. The discussion just slides past it, which makes me uneasy. (In one instance, it is called a “crank” paper, but without explanation.)

    Can someone tell me why Beck’s paper should be ignored? What are the flaws that invalidate the observations of all these scientists?

  88. site admin Says:

    Perhaps the best introduction to why Beck is mistaken was given by Eli Rabett.

  89. JamesG Says:

    I’ve just discovered this post. In reply to the last comment, I must say it’s comical in retrospect to see Rabett now claim that some observations can be assumed to be bad after his spirited defense of obviously bad measurements in the GISS global temperature reconstruction. Not much evidence there of his “theory of large numbers” or his “we can correct it with software” defenses. Not much evidence either of the line taken at realclimate.org that it was just “bad science to throw out data”. Instead we get a fly-by attack of why this particular data should have been thrown out - because they were taken in large towns and might therefore be contaminated. Shock horror! Like the vast majority of temperature measurements you mean Eli? Just a coincidence we had a peak in the 40’s and it went back down until the 60’s - exactly like the global temperature trend.

    It’s also illuminating to see that neither Callander, nor Keeling had a clue about the carbon cycle - in Keelings own words. He even thought there was less CO2 contamination on an island in the middle of the pacific on top of a volcano. Really funny!

    What is absolutely clear is that many people start with a theory then they find ways of confirming it by excluding data that doesn’t agree and keeping data that does.

  90. site admin Says:

    Zowie, JamesG, you really blew the lid off the Keeling curve with that comment! Even now, Charles David Keeling’s ghost is slapping his forehead:

    Holy COW! Mauna Loa is a volcano? Who knew? And volcanos emit CARBON DIOXIDE?? Jeez, how could I have been so stupid?

    As you say, “Really funny!” — though not, perhaps, in the way you intended.

    Try reading this. Or, more generally, this.

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