2011-11-12 01:13:36Is there a case against human-caused global warming in the peer-reviewed literature? Possible Part 3
Jim Powell

jpowell@usc.edu
207.154.96.107

I have edited the arguments for each of the peer-reviewed skeptic papers to match the SkS database of arguments and rebuttals. I sometimes used a more specific argument than I had originally, in effect promoting the argument up one notch. I don’t think I unfairly distorted the argument of any paper, but if you get a chance, pull down the abstracts and see if you agree. It may be that a few papers do not quite fit the SkS arguments and I need to go back and add new arguments to cover them. The papers classified by argument are here. Note that all but two headings link to an SkS rebuttal: “Infrared Iris will reduce global warming” and “It’s planetary movements.” Maybe someone will be moved to write a rebuttal for each of those. We need those rebuttals so that I do not have to qualify what I say in item 1 below. 

John has also produced a page that lists the papers by year; see it here. I had thought that the listing by year might show some interesting trend, but nothing jumps out at me. Do any of you see anything there? Even if not, it is useful to have them sorted this way.

Please let me know if you think these two listings justify another post--Part 3.

Here are two takeaways from the list sorted by argument; please add any that you see.

  1. It is not just that these papers are largely speculative and provide no “killer argument,” as reported in Part 2; the major claim of each has been thoroughly rebutted in the scientific literature, as summarized on SkS. This is further evidence that there is no case against human-caused global warming in these papers.
  2. If you review the list of myths on SkS here, some of those that rank highly by popularity are conspicuous by their absence among the peer-reviewed skeptic papers. Unless I missed it, none of these papers argues that (1) climate’s changed before, (4) there is no consensus, (8) animals and plants can adapt, (9) it hasn’t warmed since 1998, (10) ice age predicted in the 70s, (11) Antarctica is gaining ice, (12) CO2 lags temperature. Evidently it is not possible to back up any of these claims with evidence that will pass peer-review. There is no reason anyone should pay attention to these unsupported claims. 
2011-11-12 03:19:42
Jim Powell

jpowell@usc.edu
207.154.96.107

I had one further thought. Recall that Oreskes looked for papers that rejected human-caused global warming; she did not count those that express doubt. Since I did count those that “cast substantial doubt,” and tried to err on the side of incusion, I came up with some 60 or so against her zero. Now I am wondering if the following is worth saying: since as I state, none of these skeptic papers makes a successful case against human-caused global warming, and since hundreds and hundreds of papers by mainstream scientists do make that case, or take human-caused global warming as their guiding paradigm, is it fair to say that this examination of peer-reviewed skeptic papers is a further demonstration of the overwhelming scientific consensus? 

2011-11-12 03:20:31
Jim Powell

jpowell@usc.edu
207.154.96.107
2011-11-12 03:22:16
Jim Powell

jpowell@usc.edu
207.154.96.107

Hit by mistake and don't know how to delete!

2011-11-14 14:47:27
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
130.102.158.12
There is plenty of resources on Infrared Iris at http://www.skepticalscience.com/resources.php?a=links&arg=111 - anyone want to tackle a rebuttal or is there an off-the-shelf rebuttal elsewhere that we could contact to see if they're interested in reposting on SkS?

Dana, is your Scafetta climastrology post related to planetary movement?

I like point 2, that many of the most seen climate myths don't even get a look in in the peer reviewed literature. That's worth mentioning in a post.

Re comparing your results to Naomi, but do you both use the same criteria? Many of your 60 papers are about side issues like polar bears. Isn't Naomi's criteria on the central issue of whether humans are causing global warming? If you were to restrict your list to match Naomi's criteria, then what would you get?

2011-11-14 15:29:42
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
69.230.101.55

Yeah, the planetary movements paper is Scafetta's.  At some point in the relatively near future I'll try to adapt what I've got into a rebuttal for that one.

2011-11-14 15:46:41
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
130.102.158.12
Sweet. Jim, would your post #3 be better if infrared iris and planetary movements were already rebutted? We can always fast track them if so.
2011-11-15 02:15:06
Jim Powell

jpowell@usc.edu
207.154.96.107

John, 

I think it would be better if all the papers--100%--were rebutted on SkS and I don't think it would require a full, original post from scratch, since so much has been written about the Iris effect for example as you say above. 

Let me think more about Naomi's criteria and paper. In her 2004 classic she  counted papers that "disagreed with the consensus positiion." A few lines above she used "rejection of the consensus position." I interpret this to mean that she did not include papers that expressed doubt, or suggested improved methods, etc., but only peer-reviewed papers that said that human-caused global warming was wrong--and she found none that did. I included papers that I felt attempted to "cast substantial doubt" and found some 60 or so. I have a feeling and will look to see, that none written since say 2000 "reject" the consensus position. Certainly none in the mainstream journals do, but it is possible that some of the more obscure papers do. I'll take a look.

Meanwhile I am writing the post of Part 3 and will have it up for review in a day or two, after people react to these suggestions and comments, which I need and appreciate.

2011-11-15 02:27:19
Kevin C

cowtan@ysbl.york.ac...
144.32.72.165

Jim: I think your first list would make a stunning post. It shows how inconsistent the skeptics are - how there is no alternative theory, but a set of mutually inconsistent theories.

To exploit this to its full potential would require more work, but that could be done for a later version. The extra work would be to identify which papers contradict others. That's easy in some cases: e.g. it's not warming vs it's not us. Others are hard, but not impossible. For example if onee paper attributes all recent warming to once natural source, that would contradict a paper attributing it to another.

The messy stuff will be a large residual of papers saying 'part of recent warming is due to this natural cause'. Unfortunately, that residual may be large enough to make the exercise pointless. You're in a better position to judge that than me.

2011-11-15 03:48:30
Jim Powell

jpowell@usc.edu
207.154.96.107

Thinking of another possible project, may I ask how many of you have access to the Web of Science? If you do, please let us know below. Thanks.

Jim.  

2011-11-15 09:21:31I should have academic access to WoS
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
143.238.130.246

But can't test it atm, am working from home today (my laptop is on the fritz so have to work off the old PC beast at home)

2011-11-15 09:43:11
Jim Powell

jpowell@usc.edu
207.154.96.107

Kevin,

Thanks for the input. Your statement that "there is no alternative theory, but a set of mutually inconsistent theories" is important. It's not just that their arguments have been falsfied, but that there are so many and some are inconsisent. A shotgun blast that failed to hit anything. 

A related idea that I have not looked into but have a feel for is the number of different arguments that the deniers have made, showing that they cannot settle on one (because none really work.) Baliunas and Soon have said its not warming, it's the Sun, and climate models don't work. 

 

Jim.

2011-11-15 21:59:46
Kevin C

cowtan@ysbl.york.ac...
144.32.72.165

I've got WoS. My e-mail address is in the addresses thread.

2011-11-16 00:57:10
Jim Powell

jpowell@usc.edu
207.154.96.107

Thanks Kevin. I'm going to start a new thread on a possible update of Orekes's study.

2011-11-20 05:38:16
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
69.230.101.55

Ok I created a planetary movements rebuttal.