Saturday, February 28, 2015

Considering the silliness of Dr. L.W. at SoD #2



Here's my last post regarding the denial games over at SoD.  I actually started with this review, but then Florifulgurator's comment came along and since it was much more interesting I took that digression.  Now I feel I still owe RD a rational accounting of Dr.LW's many fallacies since RD puts so much store in his spoof.
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The Holocaust, Climate Science and Proof 
February 4, 2015 by ScienceofDoom

RD wrote on February 12, 2015 at 11:47am

The questions have appeared, as have two very thoughtful comments from L.W. Based on what he’s written, and your definition, and any additional concern you would have given because he’s Jewish, would you call him a climate change denier?
{...}
{CC: never did find any questions...}
RD wrote  February 12, 2015 at 3:54 pm
 ...    The questions have appeared, as have two very thoughtful comments from LW ...
This strikes me as a good question, because it’s precise. You’re responses have been very general. I’d like you to consider this very specific question. Thanks.
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LW wrote: February 12, 2015 at 1:26 am
I started out conditionally accepting the AGW position because many experts claimed it was so. 
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
And I started out learning about our planet's geophysics and its atmosphere...

For the more complete response see:
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LW wrote: However, I am a scientist, and looked in far more detail before I would accept it fully. 
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
The discussion is supposed to be about discussing those details, not about self anointed authority.
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LW wrote: I do not deny the basic science as stated by SoD and others. 
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
Words are cheap.
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LW wrote: With me, the issue is how much the human burning of fossil fuel affects the net result, and what is the supporting evidence of consequences.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
To understand any of that one must first understand our planet's CO2 cycle.  
As for supporting evidence, one must make the effort to become familiar with it, not hide from it.

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IPCC Working Group 1, the physical basis
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SkepticalScience.com explaining the science
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The Carbon Cycle
~ ~ ~
The Global Carbon Cycle
University of Michigan

Linking rising CO2 levels to increased radiative forcing


Time for a short break from my virtual dialogue to do a reality check.  There's some interesting news that reflects on the continuing progress of climate scientists in refining their understanding.  It's about a new study who's title says it all. "Observational determination of surface radiative forcing by CO2 from 2000 to 2010" it documents in situ measurements of the atmospheric greenhouse gas effect.

At first I was going to post highlights and a link, but it's such an interesting story there's nothing I want to cut out, or could add, except for highlights.  With a call to Dan Krotz to double check, and a tip of the hat to Seth Borenstein, I'm happy to reproduce the Berkeley Lab's news release in it's entirety.
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Berkeley Lab researchers link rising CO2 levels from fossil fuels to an upward trend in radiative forcing at two locations

Berkley Labs News Center | Dan Krotz  |  February 25, 2015

Scientists have observed an increase in carbon dioxide’s greenhouse effect at the Earth’s surface for the first time. The researchers, led by scientists from the US Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), measured atmospheric carbon dioxide’s increasing capacity to absorb thermal radiation emitted from the Earth’s surface over an eleven-year period at two locations in North America. They attributed this upward trend to rising CO2 levels from fossil fuel emissions.

The influence of atmospheric CO2 on the balance between incoming energy from the Sun and outgoing heat from the Earth (also called the planet’s energy balance) is well established. But this effect has not been experimentally confirmed outside the laboratory until now. The research is reported Wednesday, Feb. 25, in the advance online publication of the journal Nature (2/25/15).

The results agree with theoretical predictions of the greenhouse effect due to human activity. The research also provides further confirmation that the calculations used in today’s climate models are on track when it comes to representing the impact of CO2.


Friday, February 27, 2015

Considering the silliness of Dr. L.W. at SoD #1


I'm home alone and have been musing so instead of finishing my review of L.W.'s much commended comments, a reread had me turning my response
 to his opening gambit into a full length editorial of sorts.
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The Holocaust, Climate Science and Proof
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L.W. wrote February 12, 2015 at 1:26 am:I started out conditionally accepting the AGW position because many experts claimed it was so. 
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Well there's the first mistake.  How about this:  

I started out learning about our Earth in high school (early 1970s) science classes, that led to the atmosphere, which inevitably led to learning about AGW.  The instructors with their text books laid out the fundamentals of our atmosphere and how greenhouse gases behave.  That is, by allowing short-wave ultra-violet rays enter and warm Earth's surface and then catching the outflowing long-wave infrared rays.  Or more accurately slowing down their escape.

We also learned about the incredible amounts of fossil fuels our society (we) were burning.  This stuff was/is increasing our atmosphere's Heat Retention Ability.  That extra CO2, plain and simple was going to warm our planet.  Like putting on extra layers of clothing when you're already comfortable.  Simple down to Earth logic!

This atmospheric property doesn't turn on and off at will.  So when an incredibly complex  globally (actually, excluding polar regions) averaged surface temperature data set jogs up and down or stays down a little longer than most expected, I understood the place to look was within natural and manmade variability, not in pretending that the physics of greenhouse gases had gone on a vacation so that global warming could go on a "hiatus".

Considering the defensive offense at SoD, (R.D.)

One reason I'd have made a lousy scientist is that I get easily distracted, it's such a big fascinating world out there.  In any event, my Florifulgurator post was actually an offshoot of my review of one L.W.'s "highly recommended" comments.  Here's another offshoot of that since RD brings up a point of etiquette.

The Holocaust, Climate Science and Proof
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RD wrote  February 13, 2015 at 7:04 am:

     cc wrote: If that’s the best you have for a “question” I’m sorely disappointed.
You were expecting something good from me then? Where did that expectation come from? You’ve given me the impression only of having complete contempt for me. Am I wrong? Did you have some previous experience with me that was positive? I’ll single out, if I may, my latest question, lightly edited. I don’t know when it came out of moderation and therefore when you may have seen it.     The questions have appeared, as have two very   thoughtful comments from L.W. ...
This strikes me as a good question, because it’s precise. You’re responses have been very general. I’d like you to consider this very specific question. Thanks.
        _____________________________________________________

I didn't know RD from Adam, I was commenting on his words, the ideas he was sharing.  Rather than responding to my comments RD played the offended victim card.  I know it all too well, it's a rather typical defensive strategy (right up there with sarcastic dismissal) that deflects attention away from bankrupt arguments and affords an easy escape from considering the substance of the dialogue.

What ever happened to honest curiosity, grappling over the issues themselves, striving to understand what's being discussed on both sides?

What's wrong with being told: "you're 'wrong' and here and here is why I believe you are mistaken!"  Then slink off to examine and think about the here and here.  It's nothing personal.  It's about the desire to learn and understand, even to take learning from mistakes in stride.  Our egos, mighty important though they are, shouldn't supersede our honest desire to understand the world around us and our place in it.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Peter Miesler Helps Expose WUWT Homogenization Insanity, USHCN #2



Although I've been temporarily diverted from my Steele climate science horror story project, I haven't forgotten about it.  For instance, responding to Steele's outlandish Jan 7th WattUpWithThat post claiming to "expose USHCN Homogenization insanity" I had promised more information, but there are only so many hours in a day.

Fortunately, today there were a couple posts over at SkepticalScience.com that give an excellent review of this topic.  In one Dr. Kevin Cowtan, a bona fide expert in the field explains weather station calibration adjustments, the why and how they're done along with comparing adjusted to unadjusted data.  

The second "bulletin inventories rebuttals to two recent articles by Christopher Booker published in the UK's Daily Telegraph claiming that climate scientists have nefariously manipulated temperature data in order to propagate the "myth of manmade climate change".

With thanks to SkepticalScience.com I'll check this off my list and let Dr. Cowtan and John Hartz take it from here:
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Telegraph {and Jim Steele} wrong again on temperature adjustments
Posted on 24 February 2015 by Kevin Cowtan

There has been a vigorous discussion of weather station calibration adjustments in the media over the past few weeks. While these adjustments don't have a big effect on the global temperature record, they are needed to obtain consistent local records from equipment which has changed over time. 

Despite this, the Telegraph has produced two highly misleading stories {that are bouncing around the echo-chamber} about the station adjustments, the second including the demonstrably false claim that they are responsible for the recent rapid warming of the Arctic.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

"Denying denial at Science of Doom #1c Flori's comments" only links

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Summary of key points:

Why trust scientists?
CO2 saturation?
Political leaders and public's right to learn without malicious interference!

Serious science is not about "tolerance of diversity" 
Science is about pinning down the facts as well as possible
and always learning. 

Good prima facie evidence?
Syria, conflict and drought?
Do full bellies dictate a people's sense of wellbeing and satisfaction?

It's not about relying "only on what others are telling us."   
It's about trusting a huge community of experts 
who keep each other honest !

Moral "equivalence" and coming catastrophe.
What is Catastrophic Climate Change?
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Naomi Oreskes: Why we should trust scientists
Richard Alley: Who says CO2 heats things up?
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An Essay Concerning Our Weather 1995
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"EXPOSED - The RealClimate.org's "McKitrick and McIntyre" Files"
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Forcing, feedback and internal variability in global temperature trends
 Nature by Jochem Marotzke and Piers Forster
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1956 American Scientist Gilbert Plass article explores AGW
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Is the CO2 effect saturated?
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"Denying denial at Science of Doom #1b Flori's comments" condensed version

The condensed version of
Questions for SoD plus other observations.  


The following still isn't for the faint of heart and though I've cut out a third of my origin version only a serious student of "Republic/libertarian attack on science tactics" will find it interesting.  I cut out all the fat I could and got it down to main points and links, though I can see I need to make a third version with links only.

I've undertaken this project because Science of Doom's shockingly naive "The Holocaust, Climate Science and Proof" article, along with its following 'smoking guns' comments thread, provided an excellent vehicle for my struggle to grasp the proclivity of humans to lie to themselves about Earth sciences.  
{...}

The issue is the public's right to honestly learn about our planet's geophysics and 
what climate scientists and Earth scientists have learned!
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The following gets a bit complicated so here's an introduction.

Prelude: SoD wrote a blog post bemoaning the use of the term "climate science denialist" because there are also "Holocaust Deniers" and he feels that's worse than denying geophysical facts; or dishonestly interfering with scientists' ability to teach our leaders and the public.  

SoD also makes a vague argument implying: 'we still don't know enough to make certain conclusions about basic global warming physics' - such as the cascading consequences of injecting 500 gigatons of extra manmade greenhouse gases into our thin atmosphere, in a geologic blink.
The Holocaust, Climate Science and Proof
Posted February 4, 2015 by scienceofdoom
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{...}
“Smear by association” ? No. ...