Monday, January 11, 2016

Debating sf9, considering difference between MWP and AGW

I have a bit of hyper-attention syndrome, so I let myself get side-tracked, such as with a fresh comment at a YouTube video of - Stephen Schneider talking to 52 Climate Change Skeptics [PART 3] -\.  which led me to reviewing the comments and finding this precious example of the contrarian mind in action.  I'll start with my comment made a couple years ago, then my new pal's response.  Then I'll follow with my usual collection of information for the interested student who wants to learn about these matters for themselves.
So-Called Medieval Warm Period Not So Warm After All
Study Undercuts Idea that 'Medieval Warm Period' was Global
The Medieval Climate Anomaly: A Myth Debunked
How does the Medieval Warm Period compare to current global temperatures?
Bob Ward thinks that Bob Carter has probably published the worst paper on climate change ever
Bob Carter Does his Business
Bob Carter's Financial Post Gish Gallop of Scientific Denial
Climate Myths as told by Bob Carter compared to what the science says.

Regarding the end of this video
Her question about the reasons for "why we can't have a civil debate" and the hostile reactions of some.

Why not also ask:
Why is it considered OK to endlessly repackage and repeat misrepresentations of the science and Earth observations, up to and included lies?

Why should it be OK to ignore huge aspects of the known evidence?

Why should it be OK for an amateur's "science" to be given equal weight to an educated and seasoned expert (read: much examined and peer reviewed science?
To which a character I'll refer to as sf9 writes: 
"Since mr citizen raises the qualification question, Bob Carter of James Cook University is a Marine Geologist has equal qualification as James Hansen (PhD in Physics) or David Suzuki (PhD in Zoology)  

regardless, Schneider denies volumes of evidence for global medieval warm period, still flogging the dead horse of the hockey stick , unprecedented fairy tale. There are hundreds of proxies from all over the planet that show medieval warming in excess of current temps."

For starters, don't know what my comment has to do with anyone's "qualifications", it was about the dishonestly and reprehensibility of people assuming the right to lie about what scientists are trying to teach us!

I notice sf9 offers no references to support his MWP claim and I suggest sf9 is about 20 years behind on paleoclimate understanding of the past ten millennium.

Scientists do have a good understanding of the various "natural variabilities" that influence weather, an ever so slightly dimming sun, volcanic activity, even the reforestation of the America during the 16th century Indian holocaust in North and South America, that resulting in massive reforestation and pulling massive amounts of CO2 out of the atmosphere, played a role in the subsequent "LIA" - it's a complex dance between many known elements.

What sf9 is missing is that geophysically speaking, CO2 is an atmospheric insulation medium and a major regulator of our Earth's heat holding capacity.  Period.  The science is settled on that one.  It really is that simple, no debate.

It is also settled reality that humanity, through its hydrocarbon driven modern marvels, has been injecting unimaginably massive quantities (of a geologic scale, even.) amounts of CO2 and other "greenhouse gases" into our atmosphere.  
And excuse me for being blunt, but only a fool, or the totally uninformed, could pretend those things won't make fundamental and far reaching changes to the already established global climate engine of this self enclosed planet spinning through the void of space, that we depend on for everything.

The fundamentals surrounding what happened during the 'medieval warm period' and the 'little ice age' are increasingly well understood by scientists! . . .  But, does sf9 bother to catch up on the news?  Nah, instead he's got to change the subject and play a childish name-dropping dog-whistle sort of game.

He waves Bob Carter a marine geologist in my face 
and tell me he's the equal of James Hansen the atmospheric specialist.
What does a marine geologist know about atmospheric physics?
And what's the point of tossing in David Suzuki the zoologist and popularizer of science?

I suggest, it's about "dog whistles" in a game of opinion manipulation.  Name dropping games are nothing but distractions from the real questions and lessons we need to face up to.  How does our global heat and moisture distribution engine operate and how are we changing that?  

This is supposed to be about learning how our physical planet operates and what we are doing to it!  If it's important and honest information, it doesn't matter if it comes from genuine experts you don't like, we still ought to pay attention.  

So-Called Medieval Warm Period Not So Warm After All
  1. Published: October 1st, 2012

The so-called Medieval Warm Period (MWP), a 400-year span from about 950 to 1220 A.D. when the Vikings colonized Greenland, was relatively balmy by the standards of the past 2,000 years, leading some to argue that the global warming we’re now experiencing isn’t that big a deal. But a new report in the journal Geology argues that the MWP wasn’t all that warm after all — and certainly not as warm as the climate is today.

According to William D’Andrea of Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and his co-authors, summer temperatures in the Svalbard Archipelago, a group of islands in the Arctic Ocean about 400 miles north of Norway, have been between 3.6°F and 4.5°F higher over the past 25 years, on average, than the summers the Vikings enjoyed.

Study undercuts idea that 'Medieval Warm Period' was global
Vikings may not have colonized Greenland in nice weather
December 4, 2015
Source: The Earth Institute at Columbia University
Summary:  A new study questions the popular notion that 10th-century Norse people were able to colonize Greenland because of a period of unusually warm weather. Researchers say the climate was already cold when the Norse arrived -- and that climate thus probably played little role in their mysterious demise some 400 years later. On a larger scale, the study adds to building evidence that the so-called Medieval Warm Period, when Europe enjoyed clement weather, did not necessarily extend to other parts of the world.

The Medieval Climate Anomaly: A Myth Debunked 
by Christopher J. Mignano

The Myth
Global Climate change skeptics erroneously point to data regarding the Medieval Warm Period as evidence that the current warming observed by scientists globally is part of a natural, cyclical climate phenomenon and therefore not anthropic. These sceptics often use a practice known as “cherry picking” to mine data that support their arguments while ignoring the remaining data that could potentially refute it (Mandia, 2014). 

The climate change skeptic’s invalid argument often goes; the Medieval Warm Period was warmer than today; historical records and modern proxy data prove this. Since we know it to be true that medieval period humans lacked SUVs and large scale fossil fuels based industry and agriculture, it must follow that the warming observed in the Middle Ages was natural and not human caused therefore the warming we observe today must also be non-anthropic.

At the very core of all science is the scientific method. The scientific method demands that every hypothesis be tested rigorously to determine its merit and anthropogenic climate change is no exception. Although the evidence is overwhelming, there does still exist a small cadre of scientists who question human caused global climate change (Mandia, 2014). As is the case in all aspects of scientific discourse, scholarly debate and careful investigation should be both encouraged and welcomed. 

However, the motives of many skeptics who hang their hats on the myth that the Medieval Climate Anomaly was warmer than today are disingenuous, fundamentally incorrect and motivated more by their world view than any data which refutes it (Mania 2014). Acknowledging human activity as the driver of modern climate change places the burden of action squarely on the shoulders of people living today and their direct descendants. If this is true, then it stands to reason that our current generation and subsequent generations must bear the costs of said actions which many find to be inconvenient or in direct conflict with their sociopolitical ideology, particularly adherents of the hierarchal-individualist worldview (Mandia, 2014).

In the following paragraphs I will debunk the myth that the world was warmer during the Medieval Warm Period. I will briefly describe the modern consensus of the Medieval Warm Period’s causes; namely higher than average solar activity (sunspots), decreased volcanic activity, and changes in the North Atlantic Oscillation (Skeptical Science, 2014). Finally, I will make the case that in fact, global temperatures are warmer now than at any time during the Medieval Climate Anomaly or the last 20,000 yrs. and that the current warming is 100% attributed to anthropogenic greenhouse gases.

The Data ...

How does the Medieval Warm Period compare to current global temperatures?
What the science says...
While the Medieval Warm Period saw unusually warm temperatures in some regions, globally the planet was cooler than current conditions.

updated on 9 July 2015 by pattimer

Posted by Tim Lambert on October 7, 2010

Bob Ward on the Science Show says:
...  But the more I looked at the paper, almost on every sentence there was a question over its accuracy, and I went through one by one, and in the end I couldn’t write a paper short enough for publication that detailed all the problems, so I just had to identify the most serious. 

And he goes from making claims about a correlation between temperature and the Sun, he quotes a paper that’s been shown to have used inaccurate data but he forgets to mention that, it’s got dodgy statistics about the impact that carbon dioxide has on temperature, and he actually cites for his calculation a website about fossils of West Virginia. That is not science, that’s just desperately seeking bits of information to back up a theory. ...

Bob Carter Does his Business

Posted on July 13, 2011

A certain blogger decided to inform us all that Bob Carter does the Business, referring to the this presentation to the Sydney Mining Club. Others have praised Carter’s presentation at the Heartland conference. There’s a lot of similarity between two presentations. And what, you wonder, does Bob Carter have to say about global warming?

For one thing, Carter goes to some length to claim that the surface temperature record (according to institutions like NASA GISS) is unreliable. In fact he implies that it’s downright useless. Yet he also states that the satellite record is reliable (and he uses the version from UAH). Which makes me wonder — if the satellite record is so reliable but the surface record is so useless, why do they agree so closely?

One also wonders — why is it that when the influence of exogenous factors (like el Nino, volcanic eruptions, the solar cycle) is accounted for, the match is even better, not just between NASA GISS and UAH satellite data, but among all five best-known global temperature data sets?

It looks like Carter’s characterization of the surface temperature record is just fake criticism from a fake skeptic.

Carter also repeats his common claim that we’ve seen cooling over the last decade. Which makes me wonder — has he actually looked at the data? Because both the surface temperature record from NASA GISS and the satellite data from UAH show positive trend rates up to the present for all start years from 1990 through 2004 — no matter how you define “the last decade,” it hasn’t shown global cooling; Carter’s claim is a fake trend from a fake skeptic. ...

I’ve got to credit Carter for his ability to plumb the depths of fakery — it’s hard to imagine a more fake portrayal of the data than Carter’s 3 dots. All he has shown is that because the data show noise in addition to trend, it’s easy to find an extra-high point early and an extra-low point late, put big red dots on them, and imply that there’s been no real change. It’s called “cherry picking,” and it’s yet another fake trend from a fake skeptic.  ...

There's plenty more, including the graphs at


Posted on 29 May 2012 by dana1981

Bob Carter: Fake Climate Expert

The first characteristic of scientific denialism Carter checks off is that of Fake Experts:
"These are individuals purporting to be experts but whose views are inconsistent with established knowledge."
In this article, Carter peppers out one wholly unsubstantiated claim after another.  We'll look at the accuracy of these claims below (suffice it to say most of Carter's assertions are false), but just as importantly, Carter makes no effort to support his assertions.  The article contains no references, no links, just seemingly factual statements which the reader is expected to believe, ...

Misrepresentations and Logical Fallacies
Another characteristic of scientific denialism involves misrepresentations and logical fallacies, and Carter's article has both in spades. ...

Radios-Own Goal
Carter proceeds to try and convince his readers that the planet hasn't even warmed significantly. ...  

Step Dysfunctions
Next up, Carter misrepresents the temperature data once again. ...

Cherry Sun
Carter proceeds to illustrate a third characteristic of scientific denial, cherrypicking. ...

Bob Carter (Robert M. Carter), born 1942 (age 73–74), is a retired Australian marine geologist and a paid AGW denier. He is also an adjunct (unpaid[1]) Research Fellow at the Marine Geophysical Laboratory at James Cook University" in Australia,[2] and on the academic advisory council of the denialist front group, the Global Warming Policy Foundation.[3] Carter is on the payroll of the Heartland Institute, which itself is funded by polluting industries (Exxon, Scaife Foundations and Koch Family Foundations, etc).[4]

According to the Sydney Morning Herald in 2007, Carter was "on the research committee at the Institute of Public Affairs, a think tank that has received funding from oil and tobacco companies, and whose directors sit on the boards of companies in the fossil fuel sector" and believed, SMH said, that "the role of peer review in scientific literature was overstressed."[5]

Climate Myths as told by Bob Carter
compared to what the science says.

Bob Carter:  "“Pollution” they say ….. when carbon dioxide is the elixir of life, and the base of most of the food chains on our planet."
22 August 2011 (Source)

Bob Carter: "If (and it’s a very big if) implementing the new tax actually does result in a cut of 5% in Australian emissions, which is the government’s target, then the theoretical amount of global warming averted would be much less than one-thousandth of a degree; even cutting Australia’s emissions altogether would avert warming of only 0.02 deg. C (two one-hundredths of a degree)."
22 August 2011 (Source)

Bob Carter: "Would more warming, if it occurs, be beneficial or harmful? Both, depending upon geography, but overall the net benefits may well exceed the harm. For it is no accident that text-books call a warmer period that occurred about 8,000 years ago the “Holocene climatic OPTIMUM”."
22 August 2011 (Source)

Bob Carter: "Currently the planet is cooling, and we have a quiet sun – which indicates that more cooling is likely."
22 August 2011 (Source)

Bob Carter: "In reality, the great majority of independent scientists are agnostic rather than sceptical about the hypothesis of human-caused warming – it is the likely magnitude of human-caused warming, not the existence of a warming tendency in the first place, that is under debate."
22 August 2011 (Source)

Bob Carter: "The late 20th century warming of half a degree, and the current pause or cooling, fall well within the bounds of previous natural temperature change; they are therefore not necessarily alarming, nor necessarily of human causation."
22 August 2011 (Source)

Bob Carter: "A gentle warming of up to about 0.5 deg. C occurred between 1979 and 1998; but since 1998 global temperature has now been static or cooling gently for ten years, despite continuing increases in CO2 emissions."
22 August 2011 (Source)

Bob Carter: "Closing down the whole Australian industrial economy might result in the prevention of about 0.02 degrees of warming. Reducing emissions by 5 per cent by 2020 (the government's target) will avert an even smaller warming of about 0.002 degrees. Ergo, cutting Australian emissions will make no measurable difference to global climate."
27 June 2011 (Source)

Bob Carter: "Between 2001 and 2010 global average temperature decreased by 0.05 degrees, over the same time that atmospheric carbon dioxide levels increased by 5 per cent. Ergo, carbon dioxide emissions are not driving dangerous warming."
27 June 2011 (Source)

Bob Carter: "A mild warming of about 0.5 degrees Celsius (well within previous natural temperature variations) occurred between 1979 and 1998, and has been followed by slight global cooling over the past 10 years. Ergo, dangerous global warming is not occurring."
27 June 2011 (Source)

"there is no demonstrated problem of “dangerous” global warming"
9 May 2011 (Source)

Bob Carter: "eliminating even all of Australia’s emissions might prevent planetary warming of only about 0.01 degree by 2100"
9 May 2011 (Source)

Bob Carter: "For Australia to introduce a carbon dioxide tax ahead of the large emitting nations would be to expose our whole economy to competitive and economic disadvantage for no gain whatsoever....For Australia, the total cost for a family of four of implementing a carbon dioxide tax is likely to exceed $2000 a year "
9 May 2011 (Source)

Bob Carter: "At its mooted introductory level of $20 to $30 per tonne, a carbon dioxide tax is unlikely to effect any reduction in emissions. As the price is ratcheted up, as is intended, to the point at which energy-intensive industry is forced offshore, Australian emissions will decline, as will Australia’s standard of living, but world emissions will remain the same. Such a policy is senseless"
9 May 2011 (Source)

Bob Carter: "Taxing the emissions of [large emitters] will cause them to move offshore, or destroy them....To levy an unnecessary tax on [coal] is economic vandalism that will destroy jobs and reduce living standards for all Australians"
9 May 2011 (Source)

Bob Carter: "no evidence exists that Australian climatic phenomena—including droughts, floods, storms, heat waves and snowstorms—differ now in intensity or frequency from their natural historical and geological patterns of strong annual and multi-decadal variability"
9 May 2011 (Source)

Bob Carter: "global sea-level rise has not accelerated (although the climate models predict that it should)"
9 May 2011 (Source)

"ocean heat is declining"
9 May 2011 (Source)

Bob Carter: "Earth’s temperature is currently cooling slightly"
9 May 2011 (Source)

Bob Carter: "Increasing carbon dioxide makes many plants grow faster and better, and helps to green the planet."
9 May 2011 (Source)

Bob Carter: "Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant"
9 May 2011 (Source)

Bob Carter: "One thing is known for certain about these computer models, and it is that they are wrong as tested against the last twenty years of elapsed global temperature."
9 May 2011 (Source)

Bob Carter: "that we can’t identify and measure [an anthropogenic warming signal] indicates that the signal is so small that it is lost in the noise of natural climate variation....Global average temperature at the end of the twentieth century fell well within the bounds of natural climate variation"
9 May 2011 (Source)

Bob Carter: "Since [the 1980s], with the formation of the IPCC, and a parallel huge expansion of research and consultancy money into climate studies, energy studies and climate policy, an intensive effort has been made to identify and measure the human signature in the global temperature record at a cost that probably exceeds $100 billion. And, as Kevin Rudd might put it, “You know what? No such signature has been able to be isolated and measured.”"
9 May 2011 (Source)

Bob Carter: "...there was indeed a warming – a mild, gentle warming, nothing alarming at all - in the late 20th Century for about 20 years and that warming reached a peak in the El Nino year in 1998. Since then, it's been very gently cooling."
17 May 2010 (Source)

Bob Carter: "There's no evidence at all that any of these changes had anything to do with human activity or influence. These are natural climatic changes."
17 May 2010 (Source)

Bob Carter: "Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant but a naturally occurring, beneficial trace gas in the atmosphere. "
26 November 2008 (Source)

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