My Struggle – Part 1

By ntrepid Comments (48) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »

Given our collective short attention span and the fact that we live in a shorter-than-ever-sound-bite society, I do fully realize that it is futile to try to convince everyone that individual Annual Global Average Temperature data points are questionable values at best and overall an absolutely meaningless figure of merit in this greater debate. (Just because you can measure / calculate something doesn’t make it relevant.)

My understanding is that those legitimately in the “climate” business have established the 30-year average as a standard for measuring climate status. Given the various multi-year (2, 4, 11, 22, etc.) cycles that we know to have effects on weather patterns, I’d argue that any standard below a 100-year average doesn’t quite capture the essence of the word “climate” and is statistically meaningless. But, once again, whose going to listen to little ‘ol me,

My current issue is with the all-to-common urge by even honest and reasonable people to make statements like this:

I am willing to concede the earth has warmed 1 degree over the past 100 years…

Ultimately that may be true but it is far from established fact so why concede anything at all? The available data doesn’t support anything near that much of an increase (if any at all). I also believe the “consensus” among the general public that things “just seem” warmer now is flat out wrong or that any increase is so negligible that no one could honestly detect a trend over their lifetime.

I tried to show this in an earlier diary featuring 30-year average Mean Temperature data for a random US data collection site (Albany, NY). “Climate” there went from 48.26 degrees Fahrenheit in 1910 to 47.60 degrees in 2000. That would be 0.66 degrees of Negative Global Warming right here in America.

Not all data collection sites (data available at CO2 Science) will fit this nicely into my storyline but maybe, just maybe, looking at enough data presented in a more proper context regarding "climate" will help put thing in some perspective for this little group of friends.

My quest here is to periodically (weekly?) select another random collection site from around the US (care will be taken to avoid locations that may be in the middle of a huge metropolitan area or had one grow up around it over the last 100 to 125 years) and present the maximum range for which I can calculate a reasonable 30-year average Annual Mean Temperature (some years are missing data).

Today’s location is: Manhattan, KS

In 1910 the 30-year average was roughly 53.70 degrees Fahrenheit but this skyrocketed to 54.31 degrees by 1998. That is 0.61 degrees of Positive Global Warming in our little game. However, there was a “rather insignificant” 46-year period (1921 throut 1967) when the “Climate” in northeast Kansas was even warmer (greater than 54.5 degrees – 0.80 degrees of Positive Global Warming).

SUMMARY TO DATE (in degrees Fahrenheit):

Albany, NY ------- 1910: 48.26 --- 2000: 47.60 --- Change: -0.66
Manhattan, KS -- 1910: 53.70 --- 1998: 53.31 --- Change: +0.61

but the Allied Atheist Allegience ain't gonna like this (South Park joke)

Kidding, kidding...

Run like Reagan!

Theres quite a bit of evidence that it has. We have been coming out of the little ice age since the late 1700's so its more a question of not whether but why.

There is also the secondary questions of can we do anything about it and if so what and how much will it cost and do we even want to ?

Veritas magna est et praevalet.

Yes, the Earth's likely been gradually warming for a few centuries now. But the claim of the left is that all that warming has happened in the last century.

That's just silly, based on bad data, and should never be conceded.

Run like Reagan!

how else would you date things? In the left's mindset, there is not history, there is just the perception of history; so history began when I began to perceive it. Understand?

In Vino Veritas

The only thing that does is knock you out of the debate. Its not enough by itself to be right. You have to be right in a manner that people will recognize you are right.

On the other hand you can make fun of the left when they say stupid things.

This pic is one of my favorites

You just have to say you want us to do what ? Based on this ?

Veritas magna est et praevalet.

I'm content with the status quo. I don't NEED to advance the debate.

Nice graph though, heh.

Run like Reagan!

The sheep have learned a new phrase.

Veritas magna est et praevalet.

The ignoramuses all think that global warming is caused by something to do with the ozone layer though. Let them discredit Al Gore's cause, heh.

Run like Reagan!

I'm not sure what point you are trying to make with that graph. The timescale is too long to show the industrial age warming. On the same page, there is a graph with a more suitable timescale:

Are at best questionable and based on the data you can show we have been warmer in the past preindustrialization.

If you take a look at the graph you are using the black line is measured temp the others are reconstructions. If you notice the reconstructions don't agree with each other or the measured data.

Do you really want policy made on that ?

Veritas magna est et praevalet.

Your graph doesn't really show that. The 2004 point marked seems higher than any point on the black average curve.

The main issue for policy seems to me to be this. We have a mechanism, the greenhouse effect, solidly based on known properties of gases and solar radiation, which says that extra CO2 in the atmosphere will trap a lot of heat flux. Predicting how much the temperature will rise is harder, but some rise is to be expected, and was predicted on this basis at least thirty years ago. We know we have that extra CO2, and are now seeing a very steep rise in temperature.

And Five different ways no less.

Whats more all the reconstruction proxies for temperature come out lower in temperature to actual measured temperature implying it was even warmer in the past.

We know we have that extra CO2, and are now seeing a very steep rise in temperature.

We have had consistent increase in the total solar radiation received by the earth over the last century, and the sun is at its most active it has been in the last 1000 years.

So attributing an increase in temperature to CO2 is at best part of the story.

We have a mechanism, the greenhouse effect, solidly based on known properties of gases and solar radiation, which says that extra CO2 in the atmosphere will trap a lot of heat flux.

The devil is in the details. CO2 is hardly the only element in the atmosphere and its not the only contributor. Current models have radiative forcing from CO2 increasing logarithmically with the increase in CO2 concentration. This would require and exponential increase in CO2 concentrations to produce a linear temperature rise. Let alone an exponential temperature rise.

Predicting how much the temperature will rise is harder, but some rise is to be expected, and was predicted on this basis at least thirty years ago. We know we have that extra CO2, and are now seeing a very steep rise in temperature

This is the peril of attributing all of a result to a single cause in a complex system. If you take the time period from 1940 to 1975 we had a significant period of global cooling. Operating on the theory that rising CO2 inevitably leads to higher temperatures you would have to conclude that CO2 levels fell during that time period. Or you would have to concede other factors were at work.

As was the point of the original graph and which is amplified by the graph you presented, there is just far too much uncertainty to bet the farm on.

Veritas magna est et praevalet.

We have had consistent increase in the total solar radiation received by the earth over the last century, and the sun is at its most active it has been in the last 1000 years.

The BBC article that you cite does not support the solar radiation claim, only the sunspot story. The scientist cited, Prof Solanki, and his Institute had these observations:

However, researchers at the MPS have shown that the Sun can be responsible for, at most, only a small part of the warming over the last 20-30 years. They took the measured and calculated variations in the solar brightness over the last 150 years and compared them to the temperature of the Earth. Although the changes in the two values tend to follow each other for roughly the first 120 years, the Earth’s temperature has risen dramatically in the last 30 years while the solar brightness has not appreciably increased in this time.


"Just how large this role is, must still be investigated, since, according to our latest knowledge on the variations of the solar magnetic field, the significant increase in the Earth’s temperature since 1980 is indeed to be ascribed to the greenhouse effect caused by carbon dioxide," says Prof. Sami K. Solanki, solar physicist and director at the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research.

If you take the time period from 1940 to 1975 we had a significant period of global cooling. Operating on the theory that rising CO2 inevitably leads to higher temperatures you would have to conclude that CO2 levels fell during that time period. Or you would have to concede other factors were at work.

I didn't say that increased CO2 inevitably leads to higher temperatures. It adds a substantial heat input into the global system. Other causes of temperature variation remain.

On a few different levels as well.

If CO2 doesn't lead inevitably to increased temperatures and its very hard to predict the changes it causes, just how are you going to make policy on it ? Do you want to force massive restrictions on fossil fuel use on the chance we might have warming ? Especially when there are other potential problems that are considerably more likely but have nothing being done about them ?

The article is pretty clear that solar activity and sunspots are linked. If they weren't why talk about it at all in terms of climate change ? But if you had doubts NOAA has an excellent article on the change in solar output.

I would like to understand how someone can go from x didn't happen so completely unrelated y must be the cause. Is your point its not the sun so it must be CO2 ? Professor Solanki is a solar physicist not a climatologist.

There is the further inconsistency of of comparing disparate timescales. There obviously was a mechanism that caused cooling in the middle of the last century, picking a time frame that begins after that mechanism apparently cut out doesn't say much about anything. It would be as if we were talking about the path of human progress and the dark ages were ignored.

Veritas magna est et praevalet.

That the lines in the graph are different techniques for reconstructing historical temperature. 5 out the 8 showed multiple points where the earth was warmer than now ?

Veritas magna est et praevalet.

Details of the methodology are given here and are alluded to in the caption. Each of the 8 curves represents data at a particular location (Kiliminjaro, Greenland etc), and are aggregated to provide a rough global average (the black curve). As ntrepid is finding above, individual locations are much more variable in temperature than the globe overall.

Ocean Sediment = Ice core = Pollen Sample = Combination of various proxies

I am sorry perhaps I am being slow but I don't see the equivalence especially when 3 of the studies are composites. Also are you trying to say a equatorial mountain ice core is going to be comparable to an artic ice shelf ?

Veritas magna est et praevalet.

All I am saying is that the coloured curves represent data sets for specific locations (some with different methods), and are not supposed to be global averages in themselves. The only figure which has any claim to be a global average is the black curve, and that is always below the 2004 level in your graph.

That goes back to the original point though. The data and models used to push anthropic global warming are at best highly suspect.

Veritas magna est et praevalet.

You need to compare the curves against themselves. If you compare them to current instrument data you come up with the conclusion that today isn't as warm as it is.

Veritas magna est et praevalet.

A time scale too long for discussions on climate? I guess it’s possible but at least it would be erring on the safe side as opposed to the way the issue is presented in popular media forms today.

(I do realize the context in which you said it and I am enjoying the lively debate by those more knowledgeable than me. However, the concept of appropriate scale in both time and temperature is exactly what is needed in this discussion. The wording “time scale too long” caused a slight giggle when I first read it.)

- - - - - -

"Everybody has an agenda. Except for me." - Michael Crichton, State of Fear.

that the industrial period just can't be shown on the graph because of the long time scale. That is why the present value, marked with an arrow, doesn't seem to belong to the black curve at all.

First rule of experimentation: use a control.

Unless you look at pre-industrial climactic fluctuations, you can't say ANYTHING about industrial-age fluctuations.

Run like Reagan!

of pre-industrial. We've been putting a whole bunch of wood/peat/coal smoke in the air since the Bronze Age, and we cut an awful lot of trees to do it. By the time of the Romans, we were deforesting large areas for agricultural land, timber production, and cooking, heating, and industrial fuel. In fact, if one were serious about the viability of much of the Third World, one might start finding alternative fuels for use there; alternatives to wood!

The insanity of the whole "global warming" religion is that even the dirtiest relatively modern coal-fired generation plant is infinitely cleaner than tens of thousands of hearths, flues, and furnaces spewing particulate into the air. And all those wonderful places like Africa where there's little corporate capitalism will become ever more desertified so long as they cut down every tree for cooking fuel. Want to do something meaningful for sub-Saharan Africa and the desertified areas of SW Asia: build a few nuke plants and start planting trees.

In Vino Veritas

Before we started mining, there was about 600 gigatonnes of carbon in the atmosphere, and about another 600 Gt in the biosphere. There's a constant process of transferring from one to the other (photosynthesis, decay, burning etc), so historically the CO2 level varied a bit (in the range 260-280 ppm. What is new is that we've taken about 150 Gt C from under the ground, where it had been for millions of years, and put it into the atmosphere, and the CO2 level has gone to 383 ppm. This is different in effect from burning wood, which just moves around existing carbon. And it doesn't matter how efficient the burning process is; every tonne of carbon mined and used for fuel gets into the atmosphere. Currently we're adding over 6 Gt a year, and of that about 4 Gt a year seems to stay in the atmosphere.

There is a graph here of the history of CO2 and carbon mining.

It shows that there was no fossil fuel burning to speak of before 1850 and very little before 1900.

It might just be interesting to show world population increase over this period and think about the impacts on CO2 output. Is CO2 increase more dependent on fossil fuel use or the increase in CO2 outputters? Is the CO2 increase a cause of “increased” temperatures or a result of “increased” temperatures?

(I so wish I new how to insert data plots into this format.)


"Everybody has an agenda. Except for me." - Michael Crichton, State of Fear.

Well by pliny

sure, more people tend to mine more carbon, although I don't think warmer temperatures are a major cause of population increase.

I do the insertion of plots like this. Find the plot you want on the web, and right click on it, and look at "properties" to get the picture address (as opposed to the page address). Then put in your text:

You should be able to see the picture when you preview.

It's tricky writing html in an html post. What I was trying to put in was:
{p}{img src="address"}{/p}
but using < and > instead of { and }.

I am obviously no expert and don’t have time to look into it right now but I don’t know if I’d be so quick to right off the “warmer temps lead to more people (through support structures like more farmable land, more food, etc.) that leads to more CO2 output” angle.

- - - - -

"Everybody has an agenda. Except for me." - Michael Crichton, State of Fear.

Water vapor contributes over three times what CO2 does to the greenhouse effect so I suppose we should set up a planetary dehumidifier.

Veritas magna est et praevalet.

but the source also points out that, so far, we haven't and can't do much to affect the water vapour contribution. It's just there. The CO2 is being affected, and is going up.

what follows from it?

It's unlikely that people are going to give up their cars, central heating, and air conditioning. So shouldn't you be expending your efforts trying to convince the people at Kos to support nuclear power?

It seems that currently there are two main camps - those who doubt CO2-caused global warming is happening, and those who say it is, often with a scary narrative about the consequences. Whether it is really happening is a scientific question, and will be decided as the facts accumulate. I think the second camp will be vindicated on the warming, and unfortunately the scary narrative may then prevail by default.

The genuinely political question is, how bad will we find warming to be, and how much can we adapt to. Some, like Achance, will (eventually) find it beneficial. Others won't, and some balance has to be found. When we've decided how much we can put up with (which has to involve the science), it can be balanced against the alternatives, which have their downsides too.

I do see a pattern of adaptation unfolding. It involves a shift towards non-carbon electricity generation, which could include wind etc, but may well be predominantly nuclear. It will involve more use of electric and hydrogen-fuelled transport. There may be a modest reduction in overall energy usage in western societies, probably driven by the higher costs. Policies will be being formed, and now is a good time to engage with them.

There is always a lot of passive voice involved in these discussions. "Policies will be being formed", "it involves a shift towards non-carbon electricity generation", "When we've decided how much we can put up with".

Let's cut to the chase here.

You are correct that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, although it is not the greenhouse gas. And also that more of it is being released into the atmosphere. It's plausible to suggest that this may lead to a problem in the future if its not a problem now.

But I never seem to hear any concrete suggestions from the believers in global warming as to what to do about it. Yes, a shift towards non-carbon electricity generation is clearly implied. What sources exist that could possibly replace coal and oil? I think you know that the only one that fits the bill is nuclear power, but the same people concerned about warming will blow a gasket at this prospect. How do you expect to get around that?

I also never hear any suggestions as to how countries outside the West are going to be brought on board. China is currently bringing a new coal-fired power plant on line every week, and will continue to do so far into the future. What do you propose to do about it?

I've been saying that we need to separate the political and scientific issues here. I've been expounding the scientific case for CO2 global warming; I don't have solutions for all the political issues. All I'm saying is that the problem is real, solutions can and will have to be found, and it is a good idea to join in the process of finding them. Engaging with China is certainly a big issue. If China and India start burning carbon on a per capita basis like the West, then we'd be looking at 20-30 Gt carbon or more per year, which would be a real crisis for us all.

Is that it happens with or without us. And is more than likely not a problem. So before we should try to solve a problem it would be best to know for certain that it is one. After there was some degree of certainty that it is a problem there still remains the need to actually understand the cause before trying to fix things.

By way of illustration right now we are in the interglacial period of an Ice age. By solving the greenhouse problem we could very well crush our cities under sheets of ICE.

Veritas magna est et praevalet.

On us in the lower 48 ? I suspect you just don't want us to believe in it until anchorage has the climate of Daytona. Well we are onto your game sir.*

Veritas magna est et praevalet.

Just Kidding of course

two or three summers ago; long periods of clear, sunny weather with temps in the 70s and 80s. I actually used the swim step on my boat for its intended purpose once, though in circumstances best not described on a family friendly site.

Then last summer we had the coldest, wettest summer on record and I can't remember the last time I saw the Sun this winter - record snow in November, 85 inches at my house. Record cold average temp in December including a couple of daily record lows.

The weather changes, and the only people who think there is or ever has been any stability are the mindnumbed robots who've spent their lives in air conditioned cities and who deny history.

When Vancouver first mapped this area in the early 19th Century, the Mendenhall Glacier went to tidewater. A hundred years ago, the site of my house was under the glacier. Today, the face of the glacier is 1 1/2 miles inland from my house. So, sure, something is changing, but there weren't any SUVs around when the Mendenhall retreated 2 1/2 of the now four miles from its face to tidewater.

In Vino Veritas

I do appreciate the facts regarding the end of the little ice age but I tend to fixate on overall magnitude, perspective, and things like this:

"Had the IPCC used the standard parameter for climate change (the 30 year average) and used an equal area projection, instead of the Mercator (which doubled the area of warming in Alaska, Siberia and the Antarctic Ocean) warming and cooling would have been almost in balance."

and also pesky tidbits about “average” temperature data being driven primarily by increases in night time temperatures there in Alaska and Siberia.

It’s very easy to be extremely skeptical about the whole thing.

- - - - - -

"Everybody has an agenda. Except for me." - Michael Crichton, State of Fear.

by itself is to not accurately represent my point.

If asked directly I would not concede anything to these Doom-Pushers™ because I don't believe any of it.

But as a means to further the discussion and for the sake of that discussion I was willing to acknowledge the point as to move on to the next.

Good post btw - I like your passion!

Founder and contributor to The Minority Report and Senior writer for The Hinzsight Report

I understand and appreciate your use completely. Within the context of that very good discussion it was perfectly fine.

My concern is with the more casual readers – not really engaged in the greater debate – that see those who are give so much ground so easily. I’m afraid that that subtle message will seep deeper into the “public consensus” and become very hard to reverse.

I keep coming across similar quotes more and more these days. Yours was just one of the more recent occurrences and was easy for me to find.

- - - - - - -

"Don't let a suitcase full of cheese become your big fork and spoon." - Marie

Founder and contributor to The Minority Report and Senior writer for The Hinzsight Report

with the exception of the occasional start appears to be SOLID ICE.

The earth revolves on it's axis, giving us daily fluctuations in climate (night/day), the earth revolves around the sun, giving us seasonal fluctuations in climate (summer and winter) the sun revolves around the milky way, giving us epic fluctuations in climate.

Oh, wait, what are those epic fluctuation? Could they have an effect, such as say, the long history of Ice Ages here on earth? Could it be that there are forces at work we don't understand? Or, did the dying of all those dinosaurs, along with the death of all those trees precipitate the ice ages?

After all, if pumping carbon into the atmosphere is the main cause of warming, taking it out must be the main cause of cooling, right? The dinosaurs ruled the earth for billions of years. Man has been around for a few thousand. For all the carbon that must have been present to create the vast flora and fauna of those ancient ages it doesn't seem to have had a negative impact on their long term success. But wait, who let all that carbon out in the first place?

I figure on a planet nearly 70% water, I can always find a way to make an arid land livable. I can even figure out how to make all that water support human life. I can't quite figure out what to do with land cloaked in glaciers. Can you farm land hidden under hundreds of feet of moving sheet ice? Is there some economy that can prosper on a large scale atop of that ice sheet? Can large quantities of life forms live and and prosper within the ice sheets as happens in the seas? I think not.

Global warming is just another socialist conspiricy to deprive independent people of their freedom, and advance equality by reducing everyone's standard of living.

Of course, if the seas rise, the east and west coasts of America could be swallowed up by the sea. But then all those liberals will probably end up moving inland, ruining the neighborhood.

Typcial liberal hysteria, making a big hullabaloo over something no one can actually do anything about, forcing millions to rely on the power of a few people who are "selected" by the impotent masses to "solve the unsolvable problem". Then the selected declare themselves KING, or what ever socialist construct of the same meaning is the fad of the day, Comrade Chairman.

Support the Mission - Honor the troops
Exsolvo Orbis Terrarum

Make that occasional star....
Support the Mission - Honor the troops
Exsolvo Orbis Terrarum

If you go by the IPCC's own data (and note that this is made up of liberal scientists as a demographic matter and is sponsored by the UN), the Earth has warmed .6 degrees C in the last 100 years. Approximately .3 of that has been in the last 50 years, when we really started emitting lots of CO2. The IPCC estimates that somewhere in the neighborhood of 25-30% of the warming is due to CO2 influences. I forget in that report whether this 25-30% proportion is alleged for all 100 years (which sounds fishy) or not. Thus, we are talking about .05-.15 degrees C increase that can be attributed to CO2 emissions.

This is straight from the horse's mouth. There is NO way we should enact an international governmental regulatory scheme over a hypothesized .1 degrees C change, especially given that even the more far-reaching proposals will only have a small effect on the total amount of CO2 emitted.

This is before we even get into other issues, such as the established proposition that the relationship of CO2 concentration to heat absorption is inversely logarithmic (i.e., the more concentrated you get, the less increase in temperature), whether the hypothesized environmental damage will even materialize, or whether humanity would actually reap a net benefit from warming due to expanded agricultural output and so on.

moral absolutes related to personal behaviors they enjoy. Let's have a vote on gravity.

Mike Gamecock DeVine @
The Charlotte Observer
"One man with courage makes a majority." - Andrew Jackson

that the whole GW debate is a political attack on the USA's wealth and that all we can do about the weather is deal with it? We do all understand that, right?

Mike Gamecock DeVine @
The Charlotte Observer
"One man with courage makes a majority." - Andrew Jackson

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