Friday 15 January 2010

How We Used To Deny: 1984

What if increases in atmospheric CO2 have an inverse greenhouse effect? I. Energy balance considerations related to surface albedo
International Journal of Climatology, Volume 4, Issue 4, pp 399-409, July 1984
Sherwood B. Idso

An analysis of northern, low and southern latitude temperature trends of the past century, along with available atmospheric CO2 concentration and industrial carbon production data, suggests that the true climatic effect of increasing the CO2 content of the atmosphere may be to cool the Earth and not warm it, contrary to most past analyses of this phenomenon. A physical mechanism is thus proposed to explain how CO2 may act as an inverse greenhouse gas in Earth's atmosphere. However, a negative feedback mechanism related to a lowering of the planet's mean surface albedo, due to the migration of more mesic-adapted vegetation onto arid and semi-arid lands as a result of the increased water use efficiency which most plants experience under high levels of atmospheric CO2, acts to counter this inverse greenhouse effect. Quantitative estimates of the magnitudes of both phenomena are made, and it is shown that they are probably compensatory. This finding suggests that we will not suffer any great climatic catastrophe but will instead reap great agricultural benefits from the rapid increase in atmospheric CO2 which we are currently experiencing and which is projected to continue for perhaps another century or two into the future

Back in 1984 we were arguing that rising co2 might cause cooling. Why aren't we still arguing that? I hate the way we seem to have watered down our arguments over the years.

We used to claim the world hadn't warmed. Then for some reason we started saying it had, but that the troposphere hadn't. Then for some reason we started saying okay it has, but that the tropical troposphere hasn't warmed enough.

I for one will continue using any arguments I can get away with.


  1. Yes, and I for one will assiduously ignore any indications that my party is going to be over! Nay! Party on, I say, Yay!

  2. but will instead reap great agricultural benefits from the rapid increase in atmospheric CO2

    So, in the interest of humanity, I will not abandon my hummer. Isn't it wonderful how the Lord has provided a solution for everything, so that we can continue to enjoy His great inventions?

  3. Baron von Monckhofen16 January 2010 at 09:53

    "Inverse greenhouse gas" - brilliant! Does that mean that CO2 helps to expel heat from the atmosphere to space?
    Add to that that more heat leads to more CO2 as seen in the ice cores (remember the 800 years delay!) and CO2 serves to stabilize the climate. The more of it, the more stable the climate will be.

    And CO2 does not only make plants grow – it makes your p***s grow too if you are a man! Yes, it is true, it really works. CO2 – the gas of life!

    Vir prudens non contra ventum mingit.

  4. Sledgehammer for the truth17 January 2010 at 09:10

    I for one will continue using any arguments I can get away with.

    Goddamn straight, goddamn it! That's proper argumentation if ever there was.

  5. Sledgehammer for the truth17 January 2010 at 09:12

    Vir prudens non contra ventum mingit.

    Goddamn right on that too, professor Baron. I was thinkin' the exact same thing.

  6. Very nice article. However, we cannot forget about the most important tenet of the blog science:

    We want our data RAW and UNCORRECTED. If fact calibration of any scientific instrument should be forbidden by the federal law. And especially inter-calibration, as a communist concept, should be punished with sending the guilty scientists straight to Gitmo!

  7. Sledgehammer for the truth17 January 2010 at 12:27

    Good point anonymous! Calibration is for PANSIES OR LAZY-ASS BASTARDS who can't be bothered to get good instruments in the first place.

    Jesus these incompetents could frost a cake.

  8. Dr Inferno,

    I really appreciate these retrospective historical pieces of yours. People often forget the history.

    Global warming is just the latest in a long line of scare stories.

    I'm old enough to remember when scientists predicted that the return of Halley's Comet was going to cause tsunamis 1000's of feet high and wipe out all the coastal cities.

    Old Papa Hartog (God rest his soul) gathered up the whole family and we went into the mountains with a year's supply of food and ammo. It wasn't until my little sister Klaartke Hartog got a toothache 10 months later that we ventured down only to discover that all the predictions were wrong. Ever since then, I'm held a healthy disrespect for predictions of doom.

    Blog Science Expert Reviewer
    76 posts to Blog Professorship

  9. David Wojick PhD shows those warmists at the Environmental Defense Fund how to interpret data!!! (in two comments, too many characters to fit into one)

    Comment from David Wojick Ph.D.
    January 16th, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    Part of the problem is that skeptics and warmers look at the same evidence and see different things, just like a hung jury. I am reminded of a scene in “Patterns of Discovery” by Norwood Russell Hanson, which has Tycho Brahe and Copernicus sitting on a hill watching the sunrise. Tycho sees the sun moving but Copernicus sees the earth moving. The data is the same for both, but each interprets it differently, based on their theoretical beliefs.

    For example, the surface temperature record for the last 70 years shows a 20 year period of warming, from roughly 1978 to 1998. For the remaining 50 years the temperature is steady to cooling, both before and after this period of warming. CO2 levels rise steadily during the entire 70 year period. That is the data.

    Skeptics see little evidence for CO2 induced warming in this record. Warmers have responded by constructing elaborate computer models, to try to show why the warming that should have occurred as CO2 levels rose, was masked by other factors. Skeptics are skeptical of these models, especially since they disagree with one another. Some of the models project extreme warming in the future, which skeptics see as a weakness in the models and warmers see as a warning. And so it goes.

    The point is that this is not a failure of communication; rather it is a difference of opinion. Rational people of good will can look at the same evidence and come to opposing views. Warmers and skeptics know the science equally well; they just see it differently.

    Comment from a Warmist
    January 16th, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    David Wojick, that is just demonstrably false, it is not a difference of opinion – the science is clear that we have been warming since 1998. Here is just one graph among so many other debunkings of that tired canard.

    Comment from David Wojick Ph.D.
    January 17th, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    Warmist, the graph you reference shows 5 year and 11 year running means. Both mask recent trends, especially the 11 year mean, which takes a long time to respond. The 5 year mean is already showing the non-warming that began after the 1998-2000 ENSO cycle; note the hook on the end. Note too that the GISS estimate is the hottest of the three surface measures. The other two estimates, as well as the satellite readings, show no warming after the 1998-2000 cycle. Temperatures are clearly steady, not rising.

    It gets even more interesting if one argues that these surface temperature estimates are inferior to the satellite readings. The surface estimate is based on a large number of poorly maintained stations, with sparse, unrepresentative global coverage. What is interesting is that the only warming in the satellite record is a step-up during the ENSO cycle. That is, temperatures are steady from 1978-1997, and steady again after 2000, but at a higher level. Looked at this way, the only warming in the last 70 years occurred during the 1998-2000 ENSO cycle. There is then no evidence whatever of GHG warming.

    You may not accept the skeptics' arguments, but they are very real. The evidence cuts both ways, depending on how you look at it.

  10. Comment from Warmist
    January 17th, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    Wrong, David. That's about as sophisticated as claiming the evidence cuts both ways on the theories of gravity, plate tectonics, or evolution.

    Try this one on for size:

    Furthermore, lets just look at this without considering skeptics arguments or physics or chemistry. Let's just look at it from the point of view of people who are not scientists – cause I'm not, and you're not, either, right?

    So what should we do? Probably, listen to what the experts are saying. If a neurosurgeon told you that you had a tumor in your brain that had to be removed, would you keep shopping around for opinions until you found some chiropractor who was going to treat your chronic dizziness with homeopathic remedies? Oops I didn't think so.

    So, in the case of diagnosing what is wrong with the planet, I think we should listen to the people who know something about it, don't you? And what do they tell us?

    Simply put, ALL major science organizations and academies agree that humans are causing global warming that will lead to an uninhabitable climate if we don't stop pouring fuel emissions into the atmosphere, and soon. See this letter to the US Senate, endorsed by the following:

    American Association for the Advancement of Science
    American Chemical Society
    American Geophysical Union
    American Institute of Biological Sciences
    American Meteorological Society
    American Society of Agronomy
    American Society of Plant Biologists
    American Statistical Association
    Association of Ecosystem Research Centers
    Botanical Society of America
    Crop Science Society of America
    Ecological Society of America
    Natural Science Collections Alliance
    Organization of Biological Field Stations
    Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics
    Society of Systematic Biologists
    Soil Science Society of America
    University Corporation for Atmospheric Research

    here’s the link to the letter:

    which says, among other things:

    “Observations throughout the world make it clear that climate change is occurring, and rigorous scientific research demonstrates that the greenhouse gases emitted by human activities are the primary driver.”


    “For the United States, climate change impacts include sea level rise for coastal states, greater threats of extreme weather events, and increased risk of regional water scarcity, urban heat waves, western wildfires, and the disturbance of biological systems throughout the country. The severity of climate change impacts is expected to increase substantially in the coming decades.”


    “If we are to avoid the most severe impacts of climate change, emissions of greenhouse gases must be dramatically reduced.”

    And that is just a list of organizations from the US. Every international scientific group also endorses reducing emissions to avoid catastrophic climate change.

    It's comparable to the situation where every reputable medical authority advises that smoking is dangerous to your health, and a few corrupt charlatans, funded by the tobacco industry, testified that the link is too uncertain for government regulation, thus sowing confusion amongst the pubic and legislators, delaying action and causing untold illness and death. But of course that didn't happen, did it? Oh, wait…

    Now, can you come up with a list of scientific organizations that claim the jury is out on climate change. How about ONE? And the US Chamber of Commerce doesn't count…

    I thought not.

    As soon as David Wojick PhD responds, which of course he will, maybe sometime today, with hundreds of peer-reviewed skeptical papers and a long list of blog scientists who agree with him, I'll post it here!

  11. Baron von Monckhofen18 January 2010 at 12:14

    David Wojick actually believes in the temperature record? He should have replied: "the temperature record is all fake (CRU, "hide the decline in global temperature measurements", NZ, Darwin etc) - in reality it has gotten colder the last 70 years and we are heading towards an ice age with the speed of an express train on crack!"

  12. While we were all crowing about the unmistakeable signs of the imminent ice age over the past weeks, it seems the warmies won't give up that easily.

    It has been reported by His Lordliness Lord Monckerton that far from biding their time, Greenpeace has been amassing a fleet that dwarfs the Royal Navy!

    Obviously, their intentions are clear...

  13. " is a difference of opinion..." Good Lord, I shall remember that! Next time the wife complains I didn't clear up my socks I can paraphrase David Wojick and say: we can look at the same evidence and come to opposing views. We both know my socks equally well; we just see them differently.

  14. Exactly, POEslaw! Let us be civil, and respect one another's point of view, and be fair, and recognize the disparate interpretations of data.

    That is how blog science progresses!

  15. i forgot to add..and socks get picked up!

  16. You've been scooped:

    "A blogger who struggled through high-school math has completely debunked the theory of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Climate Change, otherwise known as "Global Warming".

    "It was easy, really," said Barney Schtupnagel, "I knew it was a lot of hooey because, you know, how could people change the climate? It just didn't make sense. But I needed proof."

    And proof Schtupnagel found, by cruising internet forums and thinking about the evidence in new ways.

    "I found three ways in which scientists had accidentally increased reported temperatures," Barney posted on his Blog. "First, and of most importance, as scientists start using more computerized temperature measuring gadgets, they started recording more digits of temperature. What had been 58 degrees on a mercury thermometer would become 58.4 degrees on a digitial thermometer and then 58.4569392 degrees on a high-precision CCD device. The inevitable result is a reported increase in temperatures, when there's really been no change at all."

    "A secondary issue is the increased use of Centigrade instead of Fahrenheit. As Mrs. Tofula explained to our class last year, Centigrade degrees are bigger, so of course the temperature is going to be reported as bigger. The third and final piece of the puzzle fell into place when I read that scientists were deploying more temperature gauges than ever, all over the world. It's like when you use a metal detector to look for pennies in the park; the more instruments you use, the more stuff you find. Now that there is more temperature being measured, you're going to find more temperature!"

    Scientists were astounded, yet full of praise for this discovery. "My goodness! We certainly never thought of this! One insight of this magnitude is customarily rewarded with a Nobel Prize," said Nobel Prize winning physicist Richard Linden. " But young Schtupnagel scored a trifecta! He is definitely in the running for next year's prize in Physics."

    A few scientists were not so sure. "An announcement of this sort should not lead to a Nobel Prize in Physics," demurred Christopher Walter Monckton, 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley. "I think it would be more appropriate to award an entirely new Nobel Prize in Global Warming Denial."

    Climatologist James Hansen, "Storms of My Grandchildren", on the long-run impact of Global Warming, was unavailable for comment.

  17. Ragged Edge of Reality18 January 2010 at 21:38

    To summarize rewin's breathtaking post:

    Not only are Centigrade degrees bigger, but there are more of them than we previously thought. That's pretty much it in a nutcase. I mean nutshell.

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