Saturday, July 26, 2008


Particularly Lame 'Debunking'

A reader from Fredericksburg, VA pointed me to Tim Lambert's so called rebuttal of the David Evans article about the disappearing underpinnings of the Global Warming Climate Change Crisis movement. I wasn't that impressed, but there was one part which was pure bullshit. I thought I'd reproduce it here.

The new ice cores from Vostok in the Antarctic show that over the last 500,000 years the global mean temperature and the concentration of atmospheric CO2 have gone up and gone down as they always do. There is a certain similarity, a synching of their respective graphs but (and it's a Kim Kardassian size, important but) the rise in CO2 followed the rise in temperature. Thus, in the real world of cause in effect, the rise in temperature was not caused by CO2. Rather the rise in CO2 was itself caused by the higher global temperature and the higher temperature was caused by something else (I still nominate the Sun). The rise in CO2 was the effect of warming from another cause.

If I pick up something hot and very shortly thereafter I feel pain, exhibit redness and blisters at the exact point of contact of my skin with the hot object, I say I burned myself, the hot object caused the pain, redness and blisters of a second degree burn. However, if 8 minutes before I pick up the hot object, the pain redness and blisters form, something else caused that (a chemical burn ?) and not the contact with the hot object.

Here's what a Climate Crisis supporter says about the CO2 lagging centuries behind the warming:

He starts with quoting Evans:

4 The new ice cores show that in the past six global warmings over the past half a million years, the temperature rises occurred on average 800 years before the accompanying rise in atmospheric carbon. Which says something important about which was cause and which was effect.

Lambert then writes:
This is wrong. The temperature rises started on average 800 years before CO2 levels rose, but most of the warming occurred after CO2 levels started rising. Jeff Severinghaus writes:

Does this prove that CO2 doesn't cause global warming? The answer is no.

The reason has to do with the fact that the warmings take about 5000 years to be complete. The lag is only 800 years. All that the lag shows is that CO2 did not cause the first 800 years of warming, out of the 5000 year trend. The other 4200 years of warming could in fact have been caused by CO2, as far as we can tell from this ice core data. ...

In other words, CO2 does not initiate the warmings, but acts as an amplifier once they are underway. From model estimates, CO2 (along with other greenhouse gases CH4 and N2O) causes about half of the full glacial-to-interglacial warming.

Sorry Jeff, the lagging of the CO2 rise by 8 centuries after the warming does indeed prove the CO2 rise didn't cause the warming, something else caused it to warm and then that warming caused the CO2 to rise. That's how real life cause and effect work.

I'll grant you that the warming period lasted longer than 800 years, but by what mechanism is the original warming nullified by the CO2 rise? What causes the original cause to go away and CO2 to take over? Not explained. The source of the warming is not explained. Lambert and Severinghaus merely assert their belief that more CO2 in the atmosphere must cause warming and so the warming caused by other than increased CO2 must be amplified by the resultant CO2 rise. The reasoning is beginning to circle on them.

If you believe, as I do, that CO2 is merely an innocent bystander to natural warming and cooling, then there is no mystery, no reversal of cause and effect to be explained. Only if you believe that a CO2 increase must cause warming, is there a problem about the cause and, here, a half-assed explanation, which really comes down to 'because we say so.' Its worse because their ilk has programmed the climate models, on which they rely for all the crisis talk, to say increased concentration in CO2 will always cause warming, even though there is plenty of science which tells us the climate is not at all sensitive to CO2 concentration. Oh yeah, one of the scientists saying that was David Evans whom Lambert was trying to debunk.

Sorry, no sale.

UPDATE: The UAH and the RSS numbers for global mean temperature use satellites. Why is the GISS, the outlier in this trio, which is associated with NASA (which at least used to deal with satellites) absolutely satellite data free? Is NASA no longer interested in measurement and observation of the planets from space?


What makes you so positive that it is a simple cause/effect?

Have you considered the possibility that there is more complex relationship between carbon and climate than there is between your hand and a hot pan?
What is immune from cause and effect?
I guess I should have said, "one way cause and effect" instead of simple.

Have you ever heard of symbiosis?

Heat from the sun causes heating which releases carbon which in turn causes more heating, for example.

But if something else started the carbon release, which caused heating......

You see where I'm going.
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