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Nov 29, 2009


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I think they are all too busy writing about the Climategate scandal. Others seem less willing for some reason.


Or maybe Acorn did it.

Steve Harrison

Of course they are, Sam. That's what they get paid for.

When you boil it down, though, Climategate amounts to: temperatures are still rising, just (maybe) not as sharply as some of the experts have been claiming. Granted, blocking FOIAs and tweaking the graph higher is f**ked up, and those responsible should be out on their ears, but the basics behind climate change are still valid.

The waters are rising, my awocato friend, and if the denialists decide to meet at Rodanthe for an "It's Not Really Happening" summit, they better get their asses in gear.


"When you boil it down, though, Climategate amounts to: temperatures are still rising, just (maybe) not as sharply as some of the experts have been claiming."

Yeah, right. Ignore the problem, and it ceases to exist, right?

Your premise isn't even accurate, as evidenced here.

"The waters are rising, my awocato friend...."


Anthony Watts thinks otherwise when it comes to NC.

Dave Dobson

Um, dude, your guy with Excel isn't comparing sea level over the same time period (last 17 years) as the scientific paper in question (all of the 20th century). I'm not sure what kind of refutation you're espousing, since he's not using the same data, the same technique, or the same timescale, but whatever.

Steve Harrison

Here's a little background on Bubba's firstexpert up there:

The George C. Marshall Institute (GMI) is a politically conservative think tank established in 1984 in Washington, D.C. with a focus on scientific issues and public policy. In the 1990s, the Institute was engaged primarily in lobbying in support of the Strategic Defense Initiative.

More recently, the Institute has focused on disputing mainstream scientific opinion on climate change. Funded by ExxonMobil and chaired by a former official of the American Petroleum Institute, the George C. Marshall Institute has been described by the Union of Concerned Scientists as a "clearinghouse for global warming contrarians",[1] and by Newsweek as a "central cog in the denial machine."[2] Historian Naomi Oreskes states that the institute has, in order to resist and delay regulation, lobbied politically to create a false public perception of scientific uncertainty over the negative effects of second-hand smoke, the carcinogenic nature of tobacco smoking, and on the evidence between CFCs and ozone depletion.[3]

Stephen McIntyre, Willie Soon and Ross McKitrick are "contributing writers".[7

Matthew B. Crawford, author of Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry Into the Value of Work, left the GMI as executive director after 5 months when he realized that the institute was "fonder of some facts than others". He outlined a conflict of interest in the funding of the institute, claiming that his job "consisted of making arguments about global warming that just happened to coincide with the positions taken by the oil companies that funded the think tank.".[11]

I can do this for the rest of today, but I really don't want to. Steve's tired.


"I can do this for the rest of today, but I really don't want to. Steve's tired.'

You can do this for the rest of your life, and it won't make any difference.

As usual, you have nothing of substance to refute the evidence presented. your response typifies what Climategate represents.


'Um, dude, your guy with Excel isn't comparing sea level over the same time period...."

Um, dewed, the link was presented in answer to Protzman's absurd statement ("Yes indeed, they will live to see the utter collapse of North Carolina's current coastline and barrier islands.') in Little Stevie Wonder's original link, and Stevie's subsequent statement("The waters are rising, my awocato friend....").

You obviously missed Watt's statement from the link you referenced, which was accurately related in his post title("North Carolina sea levels rising 3mm a year? UC sea level data says differently"), and in the body of the thread ("The result was surprising. A slight negative trend").

Get help for your cognitive dissociation problem. It's a rather annoying bad habit that hampers your contributions here.


Who is your source that the sea levels are rising? Where is the proof that it was caused by man? Where was the study taken? What role have the tides, geology and commercial development played in any rising of tides? That's the problem with the Climategate scandal- you can't trust the data because it has been manipulated.

It's real easy to say "man made global warming did it", much harder to prove it. If it was a study of the 20th century, how does it account for cooling periods? Did the tides recede when it was cooler? If not, it would seem that temperature can be ruled out as a factor.

Steve Harrison

Here's one source, Sam:

Global mean sea level has been rising at an average rate of 1.7 mm/year (plus or minus 0.5mm) over the past 100 years, which is significantly larger than the rate averaged over the last several thousand years. Depending on which greenhouse gas increase scenario is used (high or low) projected sea-level rise is projected to be anywhere from 0.18 (low greenhouse gas increase) to 0.59 meters for the highest greenhouse gas increase scenario. However, this increase is due mainly to thermal expansion and contributions from melting alpine glaciers, and does not include any potential contributions from melting ice sheets in Greenland or Antarctica. Larger increases cannot be excluded but our current understanding of ice sheet dynamics renders uncertainties too large to be able to assess the likelihood of large-scale melting of these ice sheets.

Large-scale measurements of sea-ice have only been possible since the satellite era, but through looking at a number of different satellite estimates, it has been determined that September Arctic sea ice has decreased between 1973 and 2007 at a rate of about -10% +/- 0.3% per decade. Sea ice extent for September for 2007 was by far the lowest on record at 4.28 million square kilometers, eclipsing the previous record low sea ice extent by 23%. Sea ice in the Antarctic has shown very little trend over the same period, or even a slight increase since 1979. Though extending the Antarctic sea-ice record back in time is more difficult due to the lack of direct observations in this part of the world.

And in case you're wondering, most of that data is Bush-era. I know because I've hit this page a few times over the last couple of years.

Not really sure what you mean about commercial development, unless you're referring to terminal groins and other artifacts impacting neighboring beaches/inlets. Tides are pretty predictable, unless you're not paying attention to the time (been there). While there are (still) undersea rifts and vulcanism taking place, tectonically speaking, the plates have slowed almost to a stop (geologic time). The amount of magma exposed to sea water now is nothing compared to even a few (tens of thousands) of years ago.

Frankly, a better (more useful) debate to have is: what are we planning to do? Is it going to help? Etc, etc.


Steve: are "terminal groins" something that afflicts male athletes who stretch too far?

Andrew Brod

Even worse: a terminal groin is what kills a male athlete who stretches too far.


That would make for an amusing eulogy.

Ged Maheux

New survey by ship finds that earlier reports of "thickening arctic ice" seen by satellites was in fact, dead wrong. There is less ice and it is thinner than ever before. Which is probably one reason why, yes, sea levels are rising.


this started out as a discussion on food stamps, right?

Steve Harrison

Saint Peter: "It doesn't say on your paperwork here, so can you please tell me what happened?"

Steve: "I pulled my groin really bad, and apparently it was fatal."

Saint Peter: "How did you do that?"

Steve: "Blogging, if you can believe it."

Saint Peter: "Right, right. 'Blogging'. I hear that a lot. Just so you're aware, we know exactly which websites you frequented. So lying to me is not really a good idea, Mister Harrison."

Steve: "Okay, I did it...exercising?"

Saint Peter: "Try again, pal."


"New survey by ship finds that earlier reports of 'thickening arctic ice' seen by satellites was in fact, dead wrong."

...says a story by (snort) MSNBC, which states in the headline "Much less stable ice for polar bears....."

Too funny!


Ah, the old shoot the messenger approach, huh Bob?

I should have known you have nothing of merit to add to the comment/discussion. Typical.


"Ah, the old shoot the messenger approach, huh Bob?"

Watch your step, son.

Andrew Brod

That's right, newk. This thread started out about food stamps. Spag redirected it in the very first comment and then Steve fed the troll. And now bubba's threatening people again.

Dave Ribar


I thought the thread was about "picking apart ... numbers."

Dave Dobson

Actually, Ged, thinning of sea ice doesn't change sea level, any more than melting of ice in a glass of water causes the glass to overflow. It's ice grounded on land, in the form of continental ice sheets or mountain glaciers, that causes sea level rise when it melts. Another not-insignificant cause of sea-level rise in a warming scenario is thermal expansion of water - like air, metal, and many other substances, water gets a little bigger when it heats up, and when you heat big parts of the ocean, that small change can mean a measurable rise in sea level.

Thinning of sea ice is evidence of warmer temperatures, along with, say, thermometers, and other myriad neutral sources of observational info these guys don't care about, because of TEH CRU EMailZ!!!1!


And what impending doom does Dave's Science Daily warn just today will befall us if we don't stop this catastrophic global warming? Well a catastrophic ice age, naturally!


Where were the sea levels measured and what evidence is there that any raising of sea level was caused by man? We know for example, that the 2004 tsunami actually altered global sea levels because of the shifting of tectonic plates changing the elevation of the sea floor. We know that hurricanes alter coastlines. We know that volcanoes displace water as they create more land in the oceans. We know that development displaces water. Perhaps a better question would be about the volume of the oceans as opposed to simply measuring sea level. And of course in light of the ClimateGate scandal, how reliable is the data in the first place?


"And now bubba's threatening people again."

I shouldn't warn him about stepping on thin ice?'re some kind of an expert in something, aren't you?

It sure isn't symbolic interpretation, is it?


It's back to the old tricks. Go against the prevailing winds, and you are a troll.

I made a one sentence sarcastic comment about ClimateGate because Cato, Heartland, et al (the subjects of Ed's post) have been on the forefront of skepticism regarding anthropogenic global warming. Someone else mentioned ACORN immediately after that, yet the discussion did not become about ACORN.

The second part of my sentence was about the lack of mention of the growing scandal on the blogs, something I find quite puzzling considering all of the furor when George W. Bush was President about him not relying on science. In ClimateGate the very integrity of science in one major area is being called into question, yet there seems to be such little concern locally. Parallel that with the previous furor over whether Iraq ever had WMD or not, Bush "lied" etc. Here, skepticism and potentially huge, trillion dollar lies are being ignored. Puzzling.

Keep trying, Andrew.

Dave Dobson

Cheri - there are many feedback cycles in global atmospheric and oceanic circulation. The Younger Dryas was one of those, a severe cold spell brought about ironically by warming which melted Greenland ice and created a fresh-water lid on the north Atlantic, blocking deep-sea circulation, which prevented a lot of heat transport, which led to much colder poles and a brief resurgence into ice ages. That's a historical fact, well supported by geologic evidence, and pretty well understood. It was the basis for the not-very-scientifically-grounded movie The Day After Tomorrow.

Whether you believe humans are causing global warming (although the evidence for that is also extremely strong), it's incontrovertible fact that the earth is warming to a degree and at a pace that we haven't seen for hundreds of thousands of years. Weird things happen to the Earth when it warms fast; the Younger Dryas is one, and the intense warming due to methane ice melting in the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum is another. Ergo, if we can slow down the warming, it would probably lead to a more stable Earth. Since the things we have to do to slow down warming would also shut off funding to Middle Eastern terrorist states, prevent pollution, increase national security, and save us money, it seems to me like we should do them, rather than continuing to send $190 million a day to Iran to buy oil.

Sam, you haven't given any links to your stuff, but it sounds very weird. Tsunamis don't cause any long-term sea level rise - they're just really big waves. The single event that produced the tsunami wouldn't have changed the shape of the sea floor enough to do anything to global sea level, although sustained changes in sea-floor spreading and plate boundaries can and do affect sea level over long (geologic) periods of time. Development on coastlines doesn't do anything measurable to global sea level. Marine volcanism couldn't change global sea level much, unless it's sustained and over a big area, and even then, it wouldn't do it on human timescales.

One thing you learn studying geology is how long stuff takes and how hard it is to change. That's one of the reasons the CO2/global warming issue is so interesting to us - it's a rare case where we can see change happening on a global scale in our lifetimes.

Jim Caserta

What I hoped this article would show is that people's opinions about gov't assistance change once they start getting it. "Like many new beneficiaries here, Mr. Dawson argues that people often abuse the program and is quick to say he is different." I guess to a large degree it isn't. People are fine taking assistance but would readily vote to eliminate the program. This is the Joe the Plumber phenomena - decry welfare programs after benefiting from them yourself.

Unfortunately this permeates the health care debate also. People say they are happy with their employer sponsored coverage, but you'll only be happy about it as long as you've got that job. How secure is that really? If you look at what people really like about employer coverage - universality, pre-existing conditions don't matter, everyone pays the same - it looks a lot more like a public option than the individual health insurance market. But the biggest example of this is the 'keep government out of my medicare' idea.

Food stamps show how we are not a 'broke-ass' country, but one with wide wealth disparities.


"......although the evidence for that is also extremely strong"

What evidence might that be?


"But the biggest example of this is the 'keep government out of my medicare' idea."

....which is a concoction from the fertile imaginations of the "public option" cheerleaders.


"it's incontrovertible fact that the earth is warming to a degree and at a pace that we haven't seen for hundreds of thousands of years." Except that one only needs to go back and look at the 1930's, which were followed by a cooling period.

Dave, I'm surprised at your comment about the 2004 tsunami. The size of the shift of the ocean floor was enormous, and it is a fact that the ocean floor rose 42 feet along a 740 mile stretch. Places in Indonesia that were once land are now in the ocean to this day. Commonsense will tell you that a displacement of that size will raise the sea level. Overall, the global sea level was raised by one tenth of a millimeter permanently.

Again, is there any evidence of a substantial change in volume of the sea? Where were the measurements taken? Where is the proof that it was caused by man? And let me throw in a new one- why hasn't the earth warmed in the past 11 years?


my fellow subsidites:

who of us has not profited from a little government handout. military bases, new prisons, no-bid contracts, WMD's, food stamps, payments not to produce something, payments to produce something that will not work the way it was designed, landowners, builders, homebuyers and engineers who design crappers to stay intact while the plane and passengers disintegrate. The wonderful thing about this addiction is that we can stop any time we want, unlike the Chinese in the opium dens who were subsidized by the employer of FDR's maternal grandfather, the Russel Company. Any fix can be our last fix. Any time we want. The colors on the pretty map prove it. We are so much smarter than the opium dealers who, by our grace, remain incumbents. How did we get this smart? The opium dealers sent us to schools where the answers were in the back of the book. No wonder the government is a slave to us.

Andrew Brod

Since this thread is a grab-bag, I'll join in. bubba thinks that the "keep government out of my medicare" idea is "a concoction from the fertile imaginations of the public option cheerleaders."

If he means that public-option supporters invented the idea and lied about it being uttered by opponents of healthcare reform, then he's wrong. It was reported. But even then, it's not clear how widespread this belief is. Come up with just about any outrageous statement and you'll always find a few cranks believing it.

So bubba's probably right if he means that the left has blown this out of proportion to serve their horrid partisan agenda.Yes, there was that August PPP survey showing that 39% of Americans--and 62% of Republicans!--said yes to the question, "Do you think the government should stay out of Medicare?" Of course this was trumpeted as evidence of how clueless Republicans are.

But that's not a great question. In principle, someone could answer yes while knowing that Medicare is a government program, but wanting it to be privatized. And it's reasonable to argue that this accounts for the differential response across party lines. Unlike some on this blog, I don't think people of one particular political persuasion are stupid. I doubt that Republicans are fundamentally dumber about this than Democrats.

It would have been better if there'd been a question asking, "Is Medicare a government program?" The proportion answering no to that would have been informative. It might not be a big number, but apparently economist Arthur Laffer would have been in that group.


"If he means that public-option supporters invented the idea ....."

Public Option supporters turned it into a meme, which was used for agenda exploitation.

Ever notice how Brod needs to use lots of words, to little additional effect, when only a few are needed to get to the essential point?


Yeah, Andy! You and your annoying words!

Ed Cone

Reform foes created meme, which turned on them.

(Eight words, though built on Brod's fact-filled comment.)

Jim Caserta

Thinking more, the idea I brought up above is motivated by selfishness. As long as I'm getting the money, the program's good, but when it's my money going to someone else, not so good. Even when my benefit has outweighed my overall contribution to the program. To a large degree there is no way to change that sentiment.


"Reform foes created meme, which turned on them."

Alternate realities don't tell the story accurately.

Dave Dobson

Sam -

I haven't heard of the major fault offset you're describing in relation to the tsunami. It seems too large to me, but I'm not an expert in that part of tectonics. If you can refer me to a source, I'd be interested to look at it.

Here's evidence of sea level rise. If you refuse to believe that this rise is due to the observed concurrent warming and observed reduction in global ice volume, then you're not even trying to understand how the Earth works.

You consistently try to evaluate global warming on decadal scales - e.g. your comment on the 1930's, and your comment on the last 11 years. That's dumb - climate is extremely variable over short timescales (e.g. days, seasons, 3-7 yr. El Nino cycles). Global warming is occurring over longer timescales, hundreds of years, as this shows. The "last 11 years" thing is silly; 1998 was the warmest year in recorded history, so saying that we've failed to break that record in the short time since then is kind of like saying that runners are getting slower now because nobody broke the world record in the 100 yard dash this year. Saying the 1930's showed cooling is likewise silly, because there was sustained warming before and after that was far bigger than the cooling that happened in the 1930's.

This is about the strongest case I can make. CO2 levels are nearly double what they've been at any time in the last 500,000 years, because of us. CO2 is a greenhouse gas. The increase in CO2 correlates directly with the pronounced increase in global temperature we've seen in the last 120 years. This isn't from climate models or tree-ring reconstructions - it's measurements from thermometers, satellites, ice cores - the data are real. You have to be in complete denial not to see the connection.

And, like I said before, reducing our dependency on largely foreign-sourced fossil fuels is good for American economics, business, trade, air quality, and national security. Why not get started?


Dave, ALL of that supposed data has now been seriously called into question. ALL of it. The CO2 levels DO not coincide with temperature changes.

In your own chart, what caused the cooling between 1880 and 1940? You pick and choose your own time-frames to make your case. You say 10 years is too short. Fine. So is 100 years.

Re: Tsunami and see level, according to Roger Bilham in the May 2005 issue of Science, the raising of the sea bed significantly reduced the capacity of the Indian Ocean, producing a permanent rise in the global sea level by an estimated 0.1 mm.

Volume does matter, because if the raise in sea levels is being attributed to land ice melting, then we would expect the volume of the oceans to increase. However, if there is no significant change in volume, then it appears that temperature would not be the cause of changing sea levels. Rather, the cup is getting bigger or smaller although filled with the same amount of water.

I don't disagree with you about reducing dependency, and I'm all for nuclear energy. But there is no reason to lie about things to justify those changes nor spend trillions of dollars in the name of slaying a phantom menace. It appears that there has been a lot of lying going on among the top echelon of so called global warming experts. I'm surprised you and others aren't more concerned.


"The increase in CO2 correlates directly with the pronounced increase in global temperature we've seen in the last 120 years."

As much as you might wish that to be the case, it simply isn't so:

"The last 5,000 years are trivial compared to the 420,000 years of the Vostok record; of even less significance are the last 1,200 years. However, climate science has put great emphasis on the features of this interval, even though they fit within the noise-envelope. The 'medieval warm period' spanned 800 CE to 1,200 CE; Vostok shows it wasn’t really warm, but wasn’t really cold either. The 'little ice age' followed (although average T was barely lower), and ended after the low of -1.84 °C around 1,770 CE. By the early 1800s, T was higher than it is at present, and it has fluctuated within levels typical of the last 11,000 years since then.

It is remarkable that climate hysteria should be based on noise-level changes in T over the last 200 years, which is an eye-blink in the Vostok record. It seems to be the superstition of our time.

In summary, the Vostok record indicates that CO2 is in lagged equilibrium with T and that, for the range of T in Vostok, the dependency of CO2 on T is essentially linear. Unnaturally high CO2 for the last 5,000 years has had no apparent effect on T. This empirical evidence supports a conclusion that there cannot be any significant feedback between CO2 and T. Such feedback would cause predicted T and CO2 to show fundamental disagreement with the lag, spectrum and amplitudes evident in the Vostok record.

It is impossible to say how enduring the feedback fallacy will be. However, any such model proposed in the future can be regarded as qualitative if it does not specify lag, characteristic amplitude and period, and as speculative if it cannot be compared to the Vostok record. Accordingly, any such model can be ignored.

If we may depart for a moment from objectivity, any such model should be ignored if its proponents declare that it shows polar bears are in peril, and you can save them by painting your roof white and burning nuts and corn in your car."


What is interesting about this thread is that there is a debate on global warming occurring with both sides presenting data, and yet we were told that the debate was over- mainly by people who are actually afraid to debate.

Andrew Brod

Not afraid, Spag, just tired. As for the notion that "both sides" are presenting data, it's worth noting that the authority whom bubba quoted copiously (pot, meet kettle) is "a former television meteorologist who spent 25 years on the air and who also operates a weather technology and content business, as well as continues daily forecasting on radio, just for fun." No comment needed there--it snarks for itself.

If bubba is looking for experts, why not these guys? Oh, right, I forgot. As actual climate scientists, they're obviously part of the conspiracy.

Wait, didn't I say I wouldn't comment on this topic any more? Okay, this time I mean it.


I don't know how you can be tired considering none of the GW alarmist leaders have ever debated the skeptics. Tired of lying, perhaps? Tired of carrying on this charade? Tired of hiding emails? Tired of coming up with ways to have your opposition censored?

You discredit a meteorologist, who I submit has been far more accurate than the climatologists, will you do the same for Al Gore?

P.S. the integrity of "those guys" and the data they use to support their arguments has been called into considerable question. Maybe if you pulled your head out of the ideological sand, you might actually show some concern about that.


"If bubba is looking for experts, why not these guys? Oh, right, I forgot. As actual climate scientists, they're obviously part of the conspiracy."

Are you not aware that RC is a Gavin Schmidt site? Are you also not aware that Gavin Schmidt is culpable in the CRU fraud?

Or is that just a little too much of an inconvenient truth for you to handle?

"Experts"! Yeah, right.

We understand too well how that works when there's a discredited world view to be supported at any cost.

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