2011-02-13 16:51:39A set of nine climate denier "facts"
John Hartz
John Hartz

The following is post #296 on the comment thread to the article, "CR may slash EPA, W.H. energy office" posted yesterday (Feb 12)on Politico.com.


I have responded to each of the points --except #8 -- primarily by referencing appropriate SkS articles. Is there anything new in the post below that would require adding a new rebuttal article and/or beefing-up exisitng articles?

Please join in this marathon blogging session if you like. I'm certain tthat he professional climate denier crew that The Ville and I have been exchanging pleasantries with all day today (Sat in the US) will be back with a vengence tomorrow (Sun in the US).

It's now 12:50 AM on Sunday (US), and I am shutting down and hitting the hay!  

A few facts for the record:

1) CO2 concentrations in our atmosphere are measured at about 4% of the volume of the (6) primary Greenhouse Gases in our atmosphere. Only 3% of this CO2 total is man-made. That's right - the other 97% is produced naturally. Using basic math, this puts mankind's contribution of CO2 as measured against the total GHG's in our atmosphere at a little over 1/10th of 1 percent. And this is deemed to be catastrophic - Come on! - Let's get real!!

2) Methane, also a contributing GHG, is 25 times more effective than CO2 at absorbing the radiant heat of Planet Earth, which makes methane and it's various derivatives much more sensitive to heat than CO2. Just try lighting a match in a room flooded with CO2 - it will sputter and die - Now try it in a room flooded with methane - you will get a very different result. The largest sources for methane on the planet occur naturally. Our marshlands, tropical rain forests and rice paddies all produce methane - something green dies in water - it rots and viola - Methane!

3) Carbon Dioxide is imperative for the continued survival of the planet - every plant essentially breathes in CO2 - they absorb the Carbon molecule and exhale 02, thus virtually acting as the Oxygen scrubbers for our planet. CO2 is also soluble in water and forms the very foundation of the food chain within our oceans. Without CO2 our oceans would be dead - as would the rest of the planet.

4) Mr. Gore has CO2's relationship to warming exactly wrong. Increasing CO2 concentrations are NOT a cause of warming, these increased concentrations are in fact the result of warming that usually has occurred much earlier. Our Oceans are huge CO2 sinks and are capable of storing vast amounts of Carbon Dioxide. CO2 is somewhat sensitive to heat and is soluble in water. During past glacial ages or even cooling cycles, our oceans have absorbed vast quantities of CO2 - It is only when the planet begins to warm that our oceans begin to release CO2. The warmer the planet gets - the higher the quantities of CO2 to be eventually released. The operative word here is "eventually". With our Oceans representing over 70% of Planet Earth's surface, the transition from absorption to release of CO2 does not happen overnight - In some cases, it takes our oceans 100's of years to warm to the point of where they begin to release the stored CO2.

So!... in short - it warms first and then CO2 concentrations increase. Unfortunately, it was Mr. Gore's scale correlations on his infamous “step-ladder” graph, his commentary on CO2’s relationship to warming and the assumptions he made throughout his presentation that are wrong!

5) What organism consume the largest quantity of CO2 on the planet? (For the answer see #9)

6) The planet is said to be 4.5 billion years old and for 70% of that time CO2 concentrations are thought to be in excess of 4000 ppm (parts per million). In fact during the Late Cretaceous (65-85 million years ago) there were no polar ice-caps on the planet at all - and guess what? - the planet managed to survive just fine. The high concentration of CO2 produced a very lush and verdant environment over most of the planet. - Funny isn’t it... that the Green Movement is so rabid over CO2 emissions and yet it is a major catalyst and contributor to the optimization of chlorophyll and plant growth. It was probably why the Dinosaurs were so big! - So much rich greenery to chow down on and so many large herbivores to be eaten!

7) Just for interest sake: the CO2 figure during the Late Cretaceous of 4000 ppm is 10 times higher than our current measurements of 390 ppm - which is a 100 ppm higher than it was 150 years ago during the Little Ice Age. Given that the Little Ice Age was NOT a glacial epoch - it’s probable that our CO2 concentrations will continue to rise for the near term - but in all reality - our biosphere will absorb and recycle every molecule of CO2 the planet produces in the same manner it has for billions of years with or without the help of mankind.

8) Ever wonder why Global temperatures were on the rise during 90’s? - and have you ever wondered what caused the increase!

Here’s the Answer!... Track the number of International Weather Stations through the 30’s, the 40’s and right into the 80’s. You might want to try the Surfacestation.org site. The number of stations worldwide hit 15,000 in the late 1980’s and dropped back to 9,000 in 1991 and then to a little over 7,000 in 1996. The reason for the drop? - Look at events in Russia in 1989 and most of the 1990’s - Russia virtually went off-line during most of the 90’s during it’s “domestic troubles” - They actually stopped collecting and transmitting weather data from their weather stations during the entire decade during the re-organization of the country.

Now imagine the data sets from the various countries and continents and the average temperatures they had been producing for decades! - And now imagine those same data sets -Minus- the readings from 7,500 surface stations (nearly 50% of the worldwide network) located solely in Russia and - what do you think is going to happen to the Global Temperature Average for the entire decade of the 1990’s.

Answer: You get the second warmest decade in “recorded history” (the last 150 years) based on the anomaly of the implosion of Soviet Russia and the loss of their temperature data sets. Check it out - it’s very well documented.

Try running the same scenario on a Global Income Average by suddenly taking away all of the data sets for Africa, and then see what happens to your Global Income Average?

- Get the Picture!! And yet the cry continues - It’s CO2 - It’s CO2 - It’s the CO2 stupid!

9) Answer to #5: If you said that the organisms that consume the largest quantities of CO2 on the planet were plants and trees - you’d be partially right but on terra-firma only. The real workhorse consumers of CO2 are the algae and phyto-plankton that exist in our oceans. These organisms occupy the very base of the food chain in our oceans as they feed on CO2 and in turn are consumed by the miniature shrimp, krill and the like which are then themselves eaten by the small bait fish - and nature takes its course from there.

2011-02-13 23:52:46
Mark Richardson

The guy's an idiot. For #8:


Surface station datasets are 'gridded'. You don't take an average of all the stations, you take an average based on the locations. If you have a hundred stations measuring one grid spot, or 10, you get approximately the same result so you can safely drop 90.


Imagine I pay people to watch 3 football ('soccer' to them, perhaps) matches and record how many goals are scored. They end 1-0, 2-0 and 3-0, so the average goals scored is 2.

Imagine I started by paying 20 people to attend each game and they report back an average of 2 goals.  But I could save money by cutting 15 people from the 1-0 game. Climate 'skeptic' maths is that now you have (5*1)+(20*2)+(20*3)/45 = 2.33 goals. I've 'artificially warmed' the results by 0.33 goals!

But climate scientists aren't as stupid as the 'skeptics' - they don't just average the observations. They put them into 'grids' (e.g. one grid region could be roughly equivalent to central England), which in this analogy would be to make a grid of 3 points representing the 3 games. I would average the 20 results from the 3-0 and get 3 for that game, then the 20 for the 2-0 and get 2 then the 5 from the 1-0 and get 1. Then I would average (1+2+3)/3 = 2 and get exactly the same result. More observations of the same thing are good for narrowing the measurement uncertainty, but you can drastically improve cost effectiveness with station dropouts.




You can download the source code in Python to calculate the effect of station drop out. There is no jump. Iirc Spencer got the same result too... it's just another case of the climate liars kicking up a fuss about something they don't understand and ignoring the analysis because reality disagrees with them.

2011-02-14 01:08:02Mark R
John Hartz
John Hartz

Muchos gracias!

How about transforming your excellent explantion into a SkS rebuttal? 

2011-02-14 02:54:33
Paul D

I actually suggested that some of the Politico posters were telling porkie pies.

I'm not sure they understood what it meant.

One of them said he or she had been posting on message boards with the same name for 20 years, which I thought was amusing.
You would have been hard pushed to find any message board or database driven site 15 years ago let alone 20.
2011-02-14 03:21:35The Ville
John Hartz
John Hartz
Like clockwork, hoplite has shown up this morning (Sun-US) to challenge my most recent positngs. You may wnat to rejoin the fray. i'm certain that Dahun will show up later in the day. He and hoplite are a tag team.  
2011-02-14 03:25:21MarkR
John Hartz
John Hartz

I posted your comment above as a "friend had to this to say about..."

Here's hoplite's retort.

"Eco-wacko argument for cooking the books.

"Your data is unreproduceable, therefore we must start the investigation again. Voters are unwilling to take the Warmer agenda on trust any more because it is rotten with fraud and corruption. Why did they destroy the East Anglia data base? That is the one that killed you with the public."

2011-02-14 06:01:58
Ari Jokimäki


Here I describe NOAA's Thomas Karl's take on the issue (but also do watch Karl's lecture, it's excellent):


Here's an interesting bit:

"The removal of northern stations actually causes a cooling bias when anomalies are being used, because there has been most warming in the northern areas so the removal of northern stations actually removes stations that have warmed the most."

2011-02-14 10:26:43Lost weather stations in the USSR
John Hartz
John Hartz

I just found an excellent rebuttal to myth #8 as spelled out in my initial post on this thread.

"Are Temperature Trends affected by Economic Activity?"

 Filed under: Instrumental Record— rasmus @ 8 December 2004 Real Climate 


Would it be kosher to transform the rasmus post into a SkS rebuttal?

2011-02-14 20:30:50
Mark Richardson

He's lying about it being unreproducible. What they mean is that they don't have the ability or they can't be bothered. Ned wrote a good article on this.


They can do it themselves if they can be bothered to - all the program equipment they need is available freely on the internet. You can get Python with scientific libraries from Python(x,y), WinRAR free opens .tar files and the NASA page includes C extensions to Python to speed up the processing. (or if they want, they can write the extensions themselves in Python or Matlab (slow), C or Fortran (quick). Plato IDE is free and allows you to produce Fortran)



As well as ClearClimateCode, Ned mentioned 6 other reconstructions people did by themselves. You can add Dr Roy Spencer (a 'skeptic') and one of the climategate inquiries to that list.

The problem isn't that it's impossible, it's that your 'skeptics' are either incapable or simply in denial about the available data.