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So much for the “scientific consensus” regarding man-made global warming

As I recall, there’s another consensus in science…something in biology about how we got here…

Myth of Consensus Explodes: APS Opens Global Warming Debate
Michael Asher (Blog) – July 16, 2008 9:35 PM

The American Physical Society, an organization representing nearly 50,000 physicists, has reversed its stance on climate change and is now proclaiming that many of its members disbelieve in human-induced global warming. The APS is also sponsoring public debate on the validity of global warming science. The leadership of the society had previously called the evidence for global warming “incontrovertible.”

In a posting to the APS forum, editor Jeffrey Marque explains,”There is a considerable presence within the scientific community of people who do not agree with the IPCC conclusion that anthropogenic CO2 emissions are very probably likely to be primarily responsible for global warming that has occurred since the Industrial Revolution.”

The APS is opening its debate with the publication of a paper by Lord Monckton of Brenchley, which concludes that climate sensitivity — the rate of temperature change a given amount of greenhouse gas will cause — has been grossly overstated by IPCC modeling. A low sensitivity implies additional atmospheric CO2 will have little effect on global climate.

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28 Responses to So much for the “scientific consensus” regarding man-made global warming

  1. More religious fundamentalists trying to hijack science and put religion in classrooms, no doubt.

  2. This seems at odds with that the APS are saying on their website

    APS Position Remains Unchanged

    The American Physical Society reaffirms the following position on climate change, adopted by its governing body, the APS Council, on November 18, 2007:

    “Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are changing the atmosphere in ways that affect the Earth’s climate.”

    http://www.aps.org/

    Maybe the lens was too darkly here?

  3. Highly recommend reviewing Monckton’s critique of climate sensitivity in the American Physical Society’s Forum on Physics and Society debate on anthropological warming. Monckton extracted the three critical climate sensitivity parameters: Radiative forcing Delta F, the no-feedbacks climate sensitivity parameter kappa, and the feedback multiplier ƒ. He showed that the IPCC relied on only four published papers and that its values are overstated. Monckton found: “our re-evaluated central estimate of climate sensitivity is their product –Delta Tsub lambda= Delta F2x kappa f approx equals 1.135 x 0.242 x 2.095 ? 0.58 °K (30)” (i.e., ~ 1°F). Monckton concluded: “it is very likely that in response to a doubling of pre-industrial carbon dioxide concentration TS will rise not by the 3.26 °K suggested by the IPCC, but by less than 1 °K.”

    This critique of climate sensitivity may become Monckton’s major contribution to the science of climate change. He earlier shows the major climate facts contrary to conventional global warming models.

    Monckton’s paper is well worth pointing to as an insightful technical critique on the essential factors in global warming projections, and a summary of contrary data that need to be explained.

    It is fascinating that the APS immediately distanced itself from Monckton’s article by posting:

    “This newsletter carries the statement that “Opinions expressed are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the APS or of the Forum.” This newsletter is not a journal of the APS and it is not peer reviewed.”

    i.e., casting doubt on the paper WITHOUT addressing the detailed scientific arguments and evidence that Monckton shows.

    This is fascinatingly similar to the THE BIOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF WASHINGTON regarding Richard Sternberg’s publication of Stephen C. Myer’s paper “The origin of biological information and the higher taxonomic categories,” Proc. Biological Society of Washington, Vol. 117, no. 2, pp. 213-239. It will be interesting to follow this “debate” and see whether the editor retains his position.

    Monckton’s other publications also make for “interesting” reading. E.g. see Monckton’s rebuttal to Al Gore’s statements on Monckton. (Gore has so far refused Monckton’s calls to debate.) Gore Gored
    See Monckton’s papers at the Science & Public Policy Institute
    (PS Monckton says he chose to use the non-SI degree symbol to better communicate with the general populus not familiar with K.)
    (PPS can anyone help me in how to post special symbols kappa lambda etc? I have tried to transliterate)

  4. DLH

    This critique of climate sensitivity may become Monckton’s major contribution to the science of climate change.

    I’ve been hearing that the icecaps are melting far faster then anybody thought possible and causing all the issues with different people fighing over the new trade routes being opened up. If that is in fact the case, does it matter materially if the IPCC are out by <2.26°K if the effect is still the same. I.E bad things happening to the planet? Would it not be sensible to err on the side of caution?

    And the APS, it appears to me, should be applauded for allowing dissent against the majority postion in their own organisation to reach publication. Is this not exactly what Expelled was trying to bring about?

  5. Mats,

    More religious fundamentalists trying to hijack science and put religion in classrooms, no doubt.

    This is either satire of the highest order, or you are deadly serious.

    How do you link religion, science and classrooms to techincal dicussions and papers about global warming?

    DLH,

    He earlier shows the major climate facts contrary to conventional global warming models.

    Just to go back to that, would people not prefer to use the model that gave the most accurate predictions? If a model is shown to be more accurate then another what do you suppose the reasons are for the more accurate model not being taken up? Political? A conspiriacy? Bribery by corporations with a share price to protect?

    Maybe I read too much into this comment of yours, but it seems to me you are implying something beyond standard scientific pratice is at play here.

    What?

  6. DLH, I think you sum it up when you say
    “regarding Richard Sternberg’s publication of Stephen C. Myer’s paper”

    That was, as I understand it the crux of the matter. Sternberg published the paper. The usual process was bypassed, whereby the journal could have been said to publish the paper. It was not the case, I believe any fair reading would show (just look at the other papers published by the same journal, the titles alone indicate totally different subject matters to the Sternberg handled paper and the Sternberg paper thus stands out) that this paper was treated differently and so perhaps no surprise that statement was issued.

    And again, are they not to be applauded for allowing their resources to be used to publicise a viewpoint contrary to the majority position?

  7. M. Baldwin at 4
    Test everything – don’t believe everything you “hear”.

    Icecaps oscillate between north and south. Total remains about the same.
    Journalists probably have not told you that arctic sea ice is about one million square km MORE than in 2007.
    e.g., see: When Graphs Attack at Wattsupwiththat
    and
    Arctic Sea Ice Extent

    On

    Would it not be sensible to err on the side of caution?

    Caution for WHOM?
    Current “caution” is putting agricultural land into bio fuels, with consequent skyrocketing prices of food.
    Wall street (and probably OPEC) is pulling funds from industry and putting it into energy stocks, commodities, amplifying the jump in fuel prices.
    Fertilizer prices are also skyrocketing as a result.
    This is devastating 3rd world economies.

    Consequences
    The poor in the developing world can’t afford the fuel or fertilizer or the food.

    We are seeing the beginning of the largest human caused mass starvation since Mao Tse Tung’s 1958 Great Leap Forward famine caused some 30 million deaths and 30 million fewer born.

    The Copenhagen Consensus exposes climate stabilization as the LEAST cost effective of all the major global challenges.

  8. M.Baldwin at 6

    it seems to me you are implying something beyond standard scientific pratice is at play here.

    That is the crux of the issue. Some, perhaps all of the problems you raised may be at issue. e.g., Que Bono? Who is benefitting from advocating putting trillions of dollars into stabilizing climate?

    Follow the money trail. e.g., Gore Financially Invested in Climate Cause

    M.Baldwin at 6

    And again, are they not to be applauded for allowing their resources to be used to publicise a viewpoint contrary to the majority position?

    Yes – but that is utopian science – not the ugly reality behind the orthodoxy’s control of funds to preserve their reputations and livelihoods.

  9. Thanks, DLH

    M. Baldwin,

    1. Maybe there is a long term trend of global warming and maybe not.
    2. Maybe we caused it and maybe not. (perhaps not relevant to my argument)
    3. Maybe we can reverse the warming and maybe not.
    4. Global warming may be a net benefit.

    If we do as Al Gore etc. want us to do, we guarantee negative outcomes. Costs of everything will increase and there will be unintended concequences that no one can predict. Other countries will not do as we do, largely negating our efforts to stop global warming.

    We would be giving control of much of our lives and economy to the same people, environmentalist and liberals, who brought us the current price of oil. For us the price of oil is a bit painful, but in third world countries it is a disaster. In Ethiopia, for example, the price of teff has tripled. We are enriching the oil producing nations, many of whom do not like us, and some of that money will find its way to terrorists.

    So, you suggest that we ignore the three uncertainties above and err on the side of caution thereby guarantying negative outcomes?

    No, there is probably not a conspiracy, but there is a convergence of interests among enviros, socialists, the UN and enemies of the US.

  10. OT:

    Hey, Bill…HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

    Have a great one…

  11. I think that this ‘opening’ up for discussion may help pave the way for an opening up on ID as well – if the public is made aware of it by the mass media. But they won’t be so quick to admit their reporting was sensationalist and biased.

  12. M. Baldwin, “I’ve been hearing that the icecaps are melting far faster then anybody thought possible and causing all the issues with different people fighing over the new trade routes being opened up. If that is in fact the case, does it matter materially if the IPCC are out by <2.26°K if the effect is still the same. I.E bad things happening to the planet? Would it not be sensible to err on the side of caution?”

    It was not all that many years ago, certainly since the last ice age, that the earth was much warmer than it is. I have pictures of full-sized tree stumps coming out of the glacial ice of the columbia ice fields. (Fields that have been shrinking for a hundred years.) These tree stumps demonstrate that sometime since the last ice age there was a mature forest there. We know that Greenland was so named because it used to be a productive agricultural area.

    Therefore — a warmer earth is not a problem!

    The proposal by the “global warming” crowd is that the pace of change is too fast — that nature will not be able to keep up. If the issue is pace, then the difference between 1 degree and 3.2 degrees is HUGE.

  13. M.Baldwin at 6

    “it seems to me you are implying something beyond standard scientific pratice is at play here.”

    Mr. M. Baldwin,

    Please correct me if I am wrong. It seems to me from reading your comments, that you are probably not a scientist and have probably never published in the scientific field. I am always astounded how much faith people put in the “peer review scientific establishment”. They seem to believe things like ego, monetary sources, rivalry, political and religious beliefs etc. never get in the way of “scientific” results. In the long run, science does correct itself. In the short run, like we have had on the study of MMGW, many bad results are published with authority. Please do not take as gospel something you “hear” just because it was in a “peer-reviewed” journal. Its surprising how many papers are just plain wrong.

  14. Thanks FtK. Nice of you to remember. –Bill

  15. Happy B-day, Doc.

  16. Heh heh, this is beautiful.

  17. The APS’ rhetoric is ratcheting up. APS just posted the following under both the Forum for Physics and Society contents, AND below the title on Monckton’s article Climate Sensitivity Reconsidered:

    This article has not undergone any scientific peer review. Its conclusions are in disagreement with the overwhelming opinion of the world scientific community. The Council of the American Physical Society disagrees with this article’s conclusions.

    What else can a respectable science executive do when the foundations of the ruling paradigm are crumbling?
    - How about adding a link to Monckton’s paper from the APS home page so readers can more easily see what all the hullaboo is about?

    In the mean time, the Technorati are noticing. See:
    American Physical Society
    Global Warming
    climate sensitivity

  18. I expected science to be, in Carl Sagan’s memorable phrase, “a candle in a demon haunted world.” And here, I am not so pleased with the impact of science. Rather than serving as a cleansing force, science has in some instances been seduced by the more ancient lures of politics and publicity. Some of the demons that haunt our world in recent years are invented by scientists. ~ Michael Crichton

  19. Bevets,
    Of the demons that haunt the world how many would you say were

    a) Invented by scientists?
    b) Invented by people who believe in the literal existence of demons whose home is hell, where they await sinners?

    Just wondering.

  20. First:

    Happy birthday, Dr Dembski!

    Now, MB:

    A footnote or two (I had hoped someone else would have correctively taken up your points, especially on 1 jut below . . .):

    1] Sternberg

    Before further accepting at face value and/or propagating onward the PR message on Mr Sternberg you reproduced in 6 above, kindly first read here.

    2] Moncton

    I took time to read the paper.

    It is consistent with what I — as a physicist myself, who has had to look at environmentally related issues tied to the CC controversy — have known of the serious limitations of the GCM models, questions that have long been raised. For instance, the H2O amplifier on CO2 forcings debate has been in the literature for years, e.g. cf Lindzen 2001. (And the institutionally politically charged way this participant in the IPCC process was treated was telling.)

    Where Moncton breaks new ground is in laying out at a reasonably accessible level the basic modelling framework and issues on the related parameters. In so doing, he is in part summarising inputs from Lindzen, and Spencer et al. Serious questions have attached to the so-called Hockeystick graph, and even to the datasets (I am especially concerned on urban heat island effects and changes in collection procedures.) The point that there is a significant divergence between GCM projected temperature-altitude-lattitlude profiles and the observed, is telling on the credibility of the models; and this has long been raised.

    His summing up here is serious and needs to be cogently answered:

    We have set out and then critically examined a detailed account of the IPCC’s method of evaluating climate sensitivity. We have made explicit the identities, interrelations, and values of the key variables, many of which the IPCC does not explicitly describe or quantify. The IPCC’s method does not provide a secure basis for policy-relevant conclusions. We now summarize some of its defects.

    The IPCC’s methodology relies unduly – indeed, almost exclusively – upon numerical analysis, even where the outputs of the models upon which it so heavily relies are manifestly and significantly at variance with theory or observation or both. Modeled projections such as those upon which the IPCC’s entire case rests have long been proven impossible when applied to mathematically-chaotic objects, such as the climate, whose initial state can never be determined to a sufficient precision. For a similar reason, those of the IPCC’s conclusions that are founded on probability distributions in the chaotic climate object are unsafe.

    Not one of the key variables necessary to any reliable evaluation of climate sensitivity can be measured empirically. The IPCC’s presentation of its principal conclusions as though they were near-certain is accordingly unjustifiable . . . .

    The IPCC overstates the radiative forcing caused by increased CO2 concentration at least threefold because the models upon which it relies have been programmed fundamentally to misunderstand the difference between tropical and extra-tropical climates, and to apply global averages that lead to error.

    The IPCC overstates the value of the base climate sensitivity parameter for a similar reason . . . .

    The IPCC overstates temperature feedbacks to such an extent that the sum of the high-end values that it has now, for the first time, quantified would cross the instability threshold in the Bode feedback equation and induce a runaway greenhouse effect that has not occurred even in geological times despite CO2 concentrations almost 20 times today’s, and temperatures up to 7 ºC higher than today’s.

    The Bode equation, furthermore, is of questionable utility because it was not designed to model feedbacks in non-linear objects such as the climate. The IPCC’s quantification of temperature feedbacks is, accordingly, inherently unreliable. It may even be that, as Lindzen (2001) and Spencer (2007) have argued, feedbacks are net-negative, though a more cautious assumption has been made in this paper.

    It is of no little significance that the IPCC’s value for the coefficient in the CO2 forcing equation depends on only one paper in the literature; that its values for the feedbacks that it believes account for two-thirds of humankind’s effect on global temperatures are likewise taken from only one paper; and that its implicit value of the crucial parameter ? depends upon only two papers, one of which had been written by a lead author of the chapter in question, and neither of which provides any theoretical or empirical justification for a value as high as that which the IPCC adopted.

    The IPCC has not drawn on thousands of published, peer-reviewed papers to support its central estimates for the variables from which climate sensitivity is calculated, but on a handful.

    On this brief analysis, it seems that no great reliance can be placed upon the IPCC’s central estimates of climate sensitivity, still less on its high-end estimates. The IPCC’s assessments, in their current state, cannot be said to be “policy-relevant”. They provide no justification for taking the very costly and drastic actions advocated in some circles to mitigate “global warming”, which Eqn. (30) suggests will be small (<1 °C at CO2 doubling), harmless, and beneficial.

    Perhaps Moncton is wrong, but he needs to be answered, not caricatured and dismsissed.

    3] Of the demons that haunt the world how many would you say were . . . . Invented by people who believe in the literal existence of demons whose home is hell, where they await sinners?

    This reflects a now increasingly common pattern of hostility to and suspicion of people of faith that needs to be very seriously addressed.

    I would ask you MB: do you know — per warranted, credibly true belief [as opposed to question-begging assumptions and assertions, often in the name of "science"] — that beings that could be with some justification called “demons” are either logically or physically impossible and/or are in fact non-existent?

    And, given the sad and as yet unfinished history of C20, with 100+ millions slaughtered through democides in the name of ideologies that claim to be sceintific in their roots, we need to think very soberly about, say the point raised by Provine in his 1994 debate with Phil Johnson:

    . . . There is no intelligent design in the natural world. When mammals die, they are really and truly dead. No ultimate foundations for ethics exist, no ultimate meaning in life exists, and free will is merely a human myth. These are all conclusions to which Darwin came quite clearly. (Stanford University Debate with Phil Johnson, April 30, 1994)

    Evolutionary materialism-anchored “scientific” secularism has a lot to answer for. Starting with the self-referential incoherence and reduction to absurdity implied by such claims.

    GEM of TKI

  21. I would ask you MB: do you know — per warranted, credibly true belief [as opposed to question-begging assumptions and assertions, often in the name of "science"] — that beings that could be with some justification called “demons” are either logically or physically impossible and/or are in fact non-existent?

    If you are asking “do demons exist”? then of course the answer is no, I don’t believe that they do but I can’t prove that they don’t exist. Just like I can’t prove that invisible unicorns don’t exist either. If this is the best argument you have for their existing (i.e I can’t prove they don’t exist) then you’ve won this argument simply by using a tatic 10 year olds have been using for time immemorial. Congratulations. As you evidently believe in deamons, I guess you also believe in exorcisms, ghosts, fortune telling, horoscopes and so on? You can’t prove they *don’t* work right?

    RE: Sternberg. A simple question for you KF – was the article in question in keeping with the other articles that the journal published? A simple question, but I don’t expect a simple answer. You tatic appears to be pointing people towards links rather then addressing the actual argument itself.

    Perhaps Moncton is wrong, but he needs to be answered, not caricatured and dismsissed

    You make much of your credentials as a scientist concerned with similar issues. Don’t you know if Moncton is right or not from your experence in the field? If you don’t know if it’s right or wrong then why are you supporting him before you’ve determined that?

  22. 1. Regarding global warming:

    Here is a link to a recent article in “The Australian” (18 July, 2008) by Dr. David Evans, a scientific consultant to the Australian Greenhouse Office from 1999 to 2005.

    http://www.theaustralian.news......80,00.html

    Dr. Evans was once a firm believer in global warming. He has since changed his mind. Here is an extract from his article:

    “I devoted six years to carbon accounting, building models for the Australian Greenhouse Office. I am the rocket scientist who wrote the carbon accounting model (FullCAM) that measures Australia’s compliance with the Kyoto Protocol, in the land use change and forestry sector… I’ve been following the global warming debate closely for years.

    “When I started that job in 1999 the evidence that carbon emissions caused global warming seemed pretty good: CO2 is a greenhouse gas, the old ice core data, no other suspects…

    “But since 1999 new evidence has seriously weakened the case that carbon emissions are the main cause of global warming, and by 2007 the evidence was pretty conclusive that carbon played only a minor role and was not the main cause of the recent global warming. As Lord Keynes famously said, ‘When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?’”

    Here’s another link to an article in “The Hindu” (10 July 2008) about Russian scientists who question global warming.

    http://www.hindu.com/2008/07/1.....521000.htm

    It seems the Russian Academy of Sciences is pretty sceptical of the man-made global warming theory, too:

    “When four years ago, then President Vladimir Putin was weighing his options on the Kyoto Protocol the Russian Academy of Sciences strongly advised him to reject it as having ‘no scientific foundation.’ He ignored the advice and sent the Kyoto pact to Parliament for purely political reasons: Moscow traded its approval of the Kyoto Protocol for the European Union’s support for Russia’s bid to join the World Trade Organisation.”

    I am not qualified to judge which side is right in the dispute about anthropogenic global warming, but it seems to me the tide is turning.

    2. Regarding demons, readers might be interested in having a look at this article by Dr. Mark Roberts, entitled “Do Demons Exist? So What?” at http://www.markdroberts.com/ht.....demons.htm

    However, the best article on the subject that I have come across is this one by Glenn Miller, entitled “Is there evidence for the existence of ‘spirits’ and some ‘spiritual dimension’?” at http://www.christian-thinktank.com/eyesopen.html

    Read these articles… if you dare!

  23. The IPCC overstates temperature feedbacks to such an extent that the sum of the high-end values that it has now, for the first time, quantified would cross the instability threshold in the Bode feedback equation and induce a runaway greenhouse effect that has not occurred even in geological times despite CO2 concentrations almost 20 times today’s, and temperatures up to 7ºC higher than today’s.

    Sometimes a little bit of common sense can go a long way. If the earth’s climate were unstable regarding CO2 concentrations and temperature, a runaway greenhouse effect would have occurred in the past and we wouldn’t be here.

  24. M.Baldwin at 21
    “You make much of your credentials as a scientist concerned with similar issues. Don’t you know if Moncton is right or not from your experence in the field?”

    Two false assumptions: Appeal to authority and appeal to experience for a theoretical paper.
    Monckton’s paper systematically lays out the key parameters critically foundational to model climate sensitivity. Those should be laid out clearly enough so that anyone with high school level calculus or college physics or chemistry should be able to follow through the derivations, parameter evaluation and results.

    Some background logic and uncertainty analysis should be suffice to understand Monckton’s important point that the IPCC is relying on four papers for its results and that its results are substantially above what those sources justify.

    It will be interesting to see what the 50,000 APS members and the scientific community at large conclude from his scientific “gauntlet” compared to the lock step response of their executive officers.

    M.B. at 6
    “The usual process was bypassed,”
    As kairosfocus directed – go read Sternberg’s description. He clearly lays out that the process was followed. (PS Did you mean to state opposing arguments in the same paragraph?)
    See: Richard Sternberg

  25. DLH

    Thanks.

    MB:

    Please, read and respond to the above remarks and the above linked by myself and others.

    You may also find this helpful on a common intellectual pathology today: selective hyperskepticism. (On Sternberg, on AGW — and BTW Monckton [pardon!], as I noted, lays out his case point by point in ways that are consistent with my own fact-check findings when I had to work with AGW on projects — and even on the possibility of a spirit-world.)

    Please, show us that you have done your homework, and have something substantial rather than merely assertive [and party-line], to say.

    Gil and VJT:

    Thanks also!

    Think about a feedback loop that goes into runaway . . .

    GEM of TKI

  26. UPDATE

    Check out this letter today from Monckton to the president of the APS:

    http://corner.nationalreview.c.....M0NjQyMWU=

  27. KF

    Please, show us that you have done your homework, and have something substantial rather than merely assertive [and party-line], to say.

    I have done my homework, and it is amusing that you assume I have not.

    Now, will you make an honest attempt to answer the simple question I posed, namely was the paper in question atypical for the journal?

  28. Mr Baldwin

    You plainly have either not read or else have decided not to pay attention to the specifically linked page at comment no 20 above. That article specifically addresses the question of scope, with significant citational details.

    You will therefore find there a serious answer on the scope of the journal in question, and also on the linked the peer review and editorial-consultative process. (I beg to remind you that on checking the peer review file was found in order, and that the paper in question was sucessfully peer reviewed by “renowned” scientists, as the external legal review found. A read of the OSC letter here would also help you to see what was manifestly going on, and what in effect your behaviour/ attitude is enabling.)

    The ball, sir, is — and has long been — in your court. (It would also be wise for you to reflect on your basic responsibility of respect towards the reputation of others when making assertions, starting with Mr Sternberg.)

    GEM of TKI

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