2011-08-14 08:28:37Settled Science - the Human-Caused Atmospheric CO2 Increase
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
69.230.106.125

It's bugged me for a while that we don't have a specific rebuttal to the "CO2 increase is natural" myth.  I figured with all the Salby hubub, this would be the time to make one.  So I combined some stuff from MarkR and Rob P, and a wiki that Dawei and I put together a while back, along with the RealClimate rebuttal of this myth.  Here's the associated blog post:

Settled Science - the Human-Caused Atmospheric CO2 Increase

2011-08-14 08:52:46
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.92.44.8

You've been busy! Looks good, but I think we can find some more illustrative graphics for figures 1 & 3. I'll see what I can track down - I know I have run across them.

I'm working on some carbon cycle graphics at the moment for our graphics database too. I'll put them in a post when they're ready.

Also:

Still working on the aerosol posts. Nikos Hatzianastassiou tells me he'll have news on a publication date for his paper, on global dimming over the noughties, at the end of August. So I'll try to have them all finished by then.

Just working on a blog post/rebuttal on how greenhouse gases heat the ocean, at the moment. The carbon cycle/ocean/aerosol posts should all tie together nicely.   

2011-08-14 09:07:28
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
69.230.106.125

You sound pretty busy yourself there Rob.  But ouch, way to diss Tasmania!  If you can track down some better figures, I'd be happy to use them.

I've been insanely busy at work this week, and my brain was mush every night by the time I got home.  So today's been my SkS day, catching up on everything.  If John can make his new job focus around SkS, I'll be jealous :-)  I like my job, but damn, it can be a pain in the butt sometimes.  Working on SkS is more fun.

2011-08-14 09:07:58
rustneversleeps
George Morrison
george.morrison2@sympatico...
99.233.133.21
"Atmospheric O2 is DEcreasing"... not increasing....
2011-08-14 09:14:30
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
69.230.106.125

Whoops, thanks rust.

2011-08-14 09:49:01
Andy S

skucea@telus...
66.183.179.249

I don't think that C13 ratios prove that the source is fossil fuels but rather just organic carbon. It's the depletion of C14 that shows that the source of the carbon is old organic matter, rather than young stuff from the current biomass. C14 has a half life of 5730 years, so the depletion of C14 shows that the organic matter that is causing the CO2 increase is older than the Holocene.

See Tamino and the Suess Effect

Added: "The Suess effect holds up only until the early 1950s because after that extra 14C produced during nuclear bomb testing starts to build up again, skewing the overall trend." From here.

Added again: Here's a link to an old paper on carbon isotopes, which I haven't read but seems to cover the ground. (Via Tamino's blog comments)

2011-08-15 04:04:40isotopes
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
69.230.106.125

Thanks Andy, good point about carbon 13 and 14.

2011-08-17 16:45:20More on C14
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
124.177.173.40

That's one of Salby's points - that the C12/C13 ratio is not unique to fossil fuel. But the combination of the C13 ratio and C14 ratio together are a unique fossil fuel "fingerprint". Could you include a bit more about C14? It's kind of tacked on as an afterthought but as Salby avoids the C14 issue, I think it's really worth highlighting.

Dana, I don't think my GCI job will be as simple as getting to play on SkS all day - there are expectations of research, publish in peer-review, producing booklets, books, etc. I'm hoping to make my research centred around two themes - discounting misinformation and new media - so there'll be a big complentary overlap between SkS and my GCI work. But I'll know more next Monday when I go in to find out exactly what I'll be doing.

2011-08-18 01:30:46C14
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
64.129.227.4

Okay, I'll add a bit more on C14 tonight.

Monday will be an interesting day :-)

2011-08-18 04:03:51
Ari Jokimäki

arijmaki@yahoo...
91.154.99.20

Here are some papers on this subject.

2011-08-18 04:07:09
Ari Jokimäki

arijmaki@yahoo...
91.154.99.20

Also carbon monoxide is used as a tracer of fossil fuel CO2, here are some papers on that.

2011-08-18 21:57:09O2
Riccardo

riccardoreitano@tiscali...
93.147.82.152

Don't forget O2 decrease (a video from UCTV here)

2011-08-19 04:04:46
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
64.129.227.4

I got the O2 decrease in there, Riccardo.  Ari thanks, I added more on 14C.

2011-08-19 04:23:30
Riccardo

riccardoreitano@tiscali...
93.147.82.152

Ophs, sorry Dana. I'm just back from vacations and trying to keep up with what happend here in the last couple of weeks :)

2011-08-19 04:32:30
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
64.129.227.4

Not a problem, welcome back!

Also, I floated an idea to John about doing a 'settled science' series, covering climate issues which are indeed "settled", even if the "skeptics" keep denying it.  This would make for a good first entry.  Then we could add things like the planet is warming, the planet is still warming, glaciers are melting, arctic ice is receding, etc.  Subjects we've covered, but it would be good to consolidate them into a single 'settled science' resource, so that when "skeptics" say "the science isn't settled", people can reference that resource and say "all these issues are settled".

I know repeating stuff we've already covered isn't exciting, but at least it's easy to do, and I think would make for a very useful resource.  Plus as John always says, the more repetition, the more likely the message will stick.

2011-08-19 06:19:45
Riccardo

riccardoreitano@tiscali...
93.147.82.152

I like the idea of a settled science series. It is the starting point of any meaningfull discussion, i.e. the known facts.

2011-08-19 06:32:46
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
64.129.227.4

Exactly.  We could also make use of the "skeptic" quotes that actually support the settled science.  Like Christy admitting that humans are causing some warming, Michaels saying that the "warming stopped in 1998' myth is dumb, and that sort of thing.

2011-08-19 14:49:38
Glenn Tamblyn

glenn@thefoodgallery.com...
144.131.29.79

The Settled Science idea is a great one. But it should not just focus on just the settled science of observing warming but also the settled science aspects of why. And perhaps how long it has been settled for. Particularly when it can be referenced to other branches of science rather than just Climatology - detailed radiative heat transfer, ocean carbonate chemistry etc - so it isn't just presented like a bunch of these 'Climate Scientists' cooked these ideas up in a back room somewhere, its all grounded in the whole corpus of science.

Instead of being a negative rebuttal style this adds a positive "This is what we know, and how we know it". For most of the public, they don't know that we know this, so AGW all sounds far more speculative than it actually is.

2011-08-19 21:59:473 thoughts
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
124.177.173.40
First, do we need to mention Watts at the start? Part of me doesn't want to give him the satisfaction of acknowledgement. In truth, I wasn't in conniptions - I thought it was hilarious that Watts was wetting himself with excitement over such a ridiculous premise. But he doesn't deserve the mention. Just a thought though, totally up to you.

Second, what about a simpler headline? "Settled science - humans are raising CO2 levels"?

Third, another optional idea, don't know if it fits or not but recently both Muller and Judith Curry hosed down this idea, rebutting Bastardi's reaffirmation of Salby's talk. Maybe citing these two is useful... Or not :-)

And a comment - nice button!

2011-08-19 22:26:56
grypo

gryposaurus@gmail...
108.34.130.66

Honestly, the term 'settled science' is going to turn off people.  And those peope might be gettable.  I know that we can't always taylor our message to the crazies, but this term speaks to people on many different levels of skepticism.  Unfortunately we can't fit "the science is settled enough in certain areas that we can move forward in policy in accordance with our ethics and risk assesment" on a button.  but I think we need to explain to people in a short paragraph on each post (under this heading) what we mean by "settled".

 

Otherwise it's an outstanding idea.  See my post on Denning's speak for his great take on communicating common ground.

2011-08-20 00:07:21
Dikran Marsupial
Gavin Cawley
gcc@cmp.uea.ac...
139.222.14.107

how about "Settled BY science: humans are raising CO2 levels" ?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

... although, to be honest, a bit of common sense ought to be sufficient! ;o)

2011-08-20 01:33:25
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
64.129.227.4

I don't think 'settled science' will turn off anybody who's not totally closed-minded.  For example, most people would agree that the science is settled on evolution.  We're not saying all the science is settled, we're saying the science is settled on these very basic aspects of climate science.

John - I'll probably keep the Watts bit, but good suggestion on the title.  Curry and Muller were speaking specifically to Bastardi's discussion of the First Law of Thermo, not his comments about Salby, so I don't think those quotes will work in this case.

2011-08-20 01:35:41
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
91.33.120.144

I haven't been keeping up, but I have been waiting for Muller's BEST results to come out. Has he been saying anything either useful or harmful recently?

2011-08-20 01:36:55
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
64.129.227.4

I haven't heard anything about BEST in quite a while.  The only thing I've heard from Muller is a quote obtained by Media Matters that Bastardi's comments on Fox News (mainly about the First Law of Thermo disproving man-made warming) is stupid, and he shouldn't be considered a climate expert.

2011-08-20 01:44:07
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
64.129.227.4

Oh John's right, Muller did specifically say the CO2 increase is anthropogenic as well.