Thursday, December 14, 2006

Gift for John H ....

Eli has observed a bunch of Johns hanging about in the comments, trying to dazzle our arnavoni (didn't know there were so many ways to say rabett, did you?).
Today, for John H. we start a celebratory round fisking the manuscript sent with the OISM Petition, Environmental Effects of Increased Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide, by Arthur Robinson, Sallie L. Baliunas, Willie Soon, and Zachary W. Robinson (RBSR). This will be a long one. For those of you more into the entertainment thing the producers have put out a humble beseeching for Anonymuse bait at the bottom along with a special YouTube video where, for the first time on Rabett Run, interested bird watchers can add Ethon to their life lists as he flies to the Oregon Institute for Science and Medicine (OISM) to attend their gala liver fete.

The RBSR thing appeared no where, but was designed to look like it was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Enough people were fooled that the National Academy was inundated with calls asking if it was their new position and had to issue a news release
The Council of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) is concerned about the confusion cause by a petition being circulated via a letter from a former president of this Academy. This petition criticizes the science underlying the Kyoto treaty on carbon dioxide emissions (the Kyoto Protocol to the Framework Convention on Climate Change), and it asks scientists to recommend rejection of this treaty by the U.S. Senate. The petition was mailed with an op-ed article from The Wall Street Journal and a manuscript in a format that is nearly identical to that of scientific articles published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The NAS Council would like to make it clear that this petition has nothing to do with the National Academy of Sciences and that the manuscript was not published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences or in any other peer-reviewed journal.
The petition does not reflect the conclusions of expert reports of the Academy.
There are many other sources that you can go to for discussions of the chicanery involved in the OISM after dinner entertainment and farago. Scott Church has a nice summary with links, and, of course there is always the Wikipedia . Here, we will concentrate on the RBSR manuscript. Rabett Reviews starts with a letter signed by Sherry Rowland, John Holden, George Woodwell, Harold Mooney, Peter Raven and Jane Lubchenco.
We call this to your attention because of a current massive petition campaign in progress in the United States which calls upon our government not to act on the Kyoto agreement of last December. The request for signatures to this petition was accompanied by a summary view of the situation as expressed in an op-ed article published in The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) on December 4, 1997, and by a pamphlet in scientific format which carries no indication that it has been published anywhere. A computer search for the names of the authors of the op-ed article does not turn up a single publication by either of them in any area of science pertinent to global warming.
that points to a short, but substantive criticism of the Robinson WSJ op ed and the manuscript
We are enclosing with our letter a response to this op-ed article from three of the most distinguished climatologists in the world, which refutes in detail its arguments.
the second letter, by Thomas Karl, Kevin Trenberth and James Hansen, directly addressed the WSJ op ed, which itself summarized the Robinson, et al. manuscript.
The title of the article and the article itself contain many factual errors, unsubstantiated claims, and misleading statements. We enumerate some of these:
listing three of the basic problems in Robinson and various....
  • Robinson and Robinson (and RBSR - Eli) state, "The rise in [carbon dioxide] probably results from human burning of coal, oil, and natural gas, although this is not certain." On the contrary, there is no doubt that the atmospheric carbon dioxide increase is due to human activities.....
  • Robinson and Robinson (and RBSR - Eli) state that the global warming hypothesis is no longer tenable, and that scientists have been able to test it carefully and it no longer holds up. A review of the scientific literature reveals this simply is not true. First, there is no question that adding greenhouse gases will change the climate. There is a greenhouse effect. Second, man-made causes play a role.......
  • Robinson and Robinson (and RBSR - Eli) state that the highest temperatures occurred about 1940. They further state that during the past 20 years, satellite measurements of atmospheric temperatures have actually tended to decrease. Unfortunately, the Robinsons' discussion is misleading. There are several salient facts to consider.......
They conclude
We may agree with Robinson and Robinson on one point. There may be more serious issues than global warming that threaten continued advances in the quality of life for humankind. One of these is the attempt by Robinson and Robinson to misinform the general public about the scientific process and what is known and unknown in the frontiers of science.
To this Eli adds a general comment
  • Robinson and Robinson (and RBSR - Eli) cherry pick references, individual observational sites and data to make broad, unsupportable and false claims about global issues including present day temperature and sea level rise and the increase in intensity of major storms including hurricanes. They overestimate CO2 fertilization effects anticipating the recent CEI propaganda campaign "CO2 we call it life"
Consider the first issue, how confident can Eli and you, constant reader, be that the sharp recent rise in atmospheric CO2 is due to what people are up to? There has been great laughter in the Bunny Bar about some recent attempts to deny this, by the Good Diplom Beck and before him by Zbigniew Jaworowski, whose fantasy has become food for the Boojum. But let us descend into the RBTR abyss. Please don you protective bunny suit so that you will not have to be sent to the full body cleaners. RBTR start out well enough
The annual cycles in figure 1 are the result of seasonal variations in plant use of carbon dioxide. Solid horizontal lines show the levels that prevailed in 1900 and 1940 (2).
The figure pictures the Mauna Loa CO2 concentration record with lines drawn for estimates of CO2 mixing ratios in 1900 and 1940. Reference (1) is the cdiac database. But soon small problems appear....
The magnitude of this atmospheric increase during the 1980s was about 3 gigatons of carbon (Gt C) per year (3). Total human CO2 emissions primarily from use of coal, oil, and natural gas and the production of cement are currently about 5.5 GT C per year.
RTBR are writing in 1998, but they use an average figure for the 1980s. Why would anyone do that? What if the CO2 concentration (and thus carbon in the atmosphere) was increasing sharply? (to go from CO2 mass to carbon mass multiply by 12/44, the ratio of the molecular weights). By averaging over an earlier decade, and not considering the change during the eight previous years, they can minimize the stated increase of carbon in the atmosphere. If you look below you will see that that is indeed the case. RBTR go on:
To put these figures in perspective, it is estimated that the atmosphere contains 750 Gt C; the surface ocean contains 1,000 Gt C; vegetation, soils, and detritus contain 2,200 Gt C; and the intermediate and deep oceans contain 38,000 Gt C (3). Each year, the surface ocean and atmosphere exchange an estimated 90 Gt C; vegetation and the atmosphere, 60 Gt C; marine biota and the surface ocean, 50 Gt C; and the surface ocean and the intermediate and deep oceans, 100 Gt C (3).
You have to watch the moving shells. RBTR bring out the mushroom shovel, covering the reader in growth enhancer to seed an image. The relevant numbers for atmospheric exchange with the surface ocean and soils are 90 and 60 GtC respectively, but RBTR want to have some big numbers on the table. The sources of the atmospheric carbon are broken out below (sorry for the quality, you will have to click on the figure to blow it up a bit)

Another issue is that the average time that it takes to move from one reservoir to the other varies by orders of magnitude. It takes centuries to move CO2 from the surface to the intermediate and deep ocean. This feeds into another common denialist deception (explanation provided at link), confusing the issue of how long an increase in CO2 atmospheric concentration will last as opposed to how long a CO2 molecule emitted into the atmosphere will stay there before being exchanged with one in the easily accessible oceans/soil reservoirs. But I digress (its Eli's blog and he'll digress if he wants to) and here comes the RBSR mushroom growth enhancer hammer

So great are the magnitudes of these reservoirs, the rates of exchange between them, and the uncertainties with which these numbers are estimated that the source of the recent rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide has not been determined with certainty (4).
Now, as constant reader will find out below, exchanges between the relevant reservoirs ARE well enough known to identify the fossil fuel source, AND there are many more strands to the argument which really nail it down. A simple one is, as Stoat pointed out:
The increase in atmospheric CO2 is a good bit less than the amount humans release. Therefore, natural processes are not increasing atmospheric CO2; they are decreasing it
RBSR's reference (4) is a doozy, which will provide Eli and Eth some warm chewies one cold day when we light the fire
Segalstad, T. V. (1998) Global Warming the Continuing Debate, Cambridge UK: Europ. Sci. and Environ. For., ed. R. Bate, 184-218.
The European Science and Environment Forum started as a Phillip Morris astroturf operation to be the over the pond equivalent of The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition (it sounds like science) and is now incestuously tied to the George Marshall Intitute. Tom V. Segalstad is a rock geologist at the University of Oslo and runs a Michaels/Idso like consulting operation with his family, most of which is his wife doing library information systems, astroturf to go-go on the side. In short, not the most authoritative thing you could find. RBTR go on to state that
Atmospheric concentrations of CO2 are reported to have varied widely over geological time, with peaks, according to some estimates, some 20-fold higher than at present and lows at approximately 18th-Century levels (5).
They didn't tell you that when the CO2 was at 20x, the time was at ~600 million years ago, when there was zero fossil fuel was in the ground, pretty much zilch carbon stored in soils, and oh yes, no oceanic biological pump that moves CO2 into carbonate shells at the surface down into the deep ocean where they are be incorporated into the lithosphere. Shortly thereafter, life really took off at the beginning of the Cambrian and created all those carbon reservoirs, which, of course removed most of that 20x carbon. There was even more CO2 in the atmosphere 4 billion years ago, that being a favorite denialist troph, but they forget to tell you that there were no Ipods then either.

Let us now consider the claim that the cause of the rise in CO2 has not been determined with certainty to be caused by us. A good place to start is Jan Schloerer's long ago climate FAQ which was established even before the OISM was a glint in the Exxon eye.
1. Why does atmospheric CO2 rise ?

Time and again, some people claim that human activities are only a minor source of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) which is swamped by natural sources. Compared to natural sources, our contribution is small indeed. Yet, the seemingly small human-made or `anthropogenic' input is enough to disturb the delicate balance. "Anthropogenic CO2 is a biogeochemical perturbation of truly geologic proportions" [Sundquist] and has caused a steep rise of atmospheric CO2.

The vexing thing is that, in the global carbon cycle, the rising level of atmospheric CO2 and the human origin of this rise are about the only two things that are known with high certainty. Natural CO2 fluxes into and out of the atmosphere exceed the human contribution by more than an order of magnitude. The sizes of the natural carbon fluxes are only approximately known, because they are much harder to measure than atmospheric CO2 and than the features pointing to a human origin of the CO2 rise.

*From its preindustrial level of about 280 ppmv (parts per million by volume) around the year 1800, atmospheric carbon dioxide rose to 315 ppmv in 1958 and to about 358 ppmv in 1994 [Battle] [C.Keeling] [Schimel 94, p 43-44]. All the signs are that the CO2 rise is human-made:

* Ice cores show that during the past 1000 years until about the year 1800, atmospheric CO2 was fairly stable at levels between 270 and 290 ppmv. The 1994 value of 358 ppmv is higher than any CO2 level observed over the past 220,000 years. In the Vostok and Byrd ice cores, CO2 does not exceed 300 ppmv. A more detailed record from peat suggests a temporary peak of ~315 ppmv about 4,700 years ago, but this needs further confirmation. [Figge, figure 3] [Schimel 94, p 44-45] [White]

* The rise of atmospheric CO2 closely parallels the emissions history from fossil fuels and land use changes [Schimel 94, p 46-47].

* The rise of airborne CO2 falls short of the human-made CO2 emissions. Taken together, the ocean and the terrestrial vegetation and soils must currently be a net sink of CO2 rather than a source [Melillo, p 454] [Schimel 94, p 47, 55] [Schimel 95, p 79] [Siegenthaler].

* Most "new" CO2 comes from the Northern Hemisphere. Measurements in Antarctica show that Southern Hemisphere CO2 level lags behind by 1 to 2 years, which reflects the interhemispheric mixing time. The ppmv-amount of the lag at a given time has increased according to increasing anthropogenic CO2 emissions. [Schimel 94, p 43] [Siegenthaler]

* Fossil fuels contain practically no carbon 14 (14C) and less carbon 13 (13C) than air. CO2 coming from fossil fuels should show up in the trends of 13C and 14C. Indeed, the observed isotopic trends fit CO2 emissions from fossil fuels. The trends are not compatible with a dominant CO2 source in the terrestrial biosphere or in the ocean. If you shun details, please skip the next two paragraphs.

* The unstable carbon isotope 14C or radiocarbon makes up for roughly 1 in 10**12 carbon atoms in earth's atmosphere. 14C has a half-life of about 5700 years. The stock is replenished in the upper atmosphere by a nuclear reaction involving cosmic rays and 14N [Butcher, p 240-241]. Fossil fuels contain no 14C, as it decayed long ago. Burning fossil fuels should lower the atmospheric 14C fraction (the `Suess effect'). Indeed, atmospheric 14C, measured on tree rings, dropped by 2 to 2.5 % from about 1850 to 1954, when nuclear bomb tests started to inject 14C into the atmosphere [Butcher, p 256-257] [Schimel 95, p 82]. This 14C decline cannot be explained by a CO2 source in the terrestrial vegetation or soils.

* The stable isotope 13C amounts to a bit over 1 % of earth's carbon, almost 99 % is ordinary 12C [Butcher, p 240]. Fossil fuels contain less 13C than air, because plants, which once produced the precursors of the fossilized organic carbon compounds, prefer 12C over 13C in photosynthesis (rather, they prefer CO2 which contains a 12C atom) [Butcher, p 86]. Indeed, the 13C fractions in the atmosphere and ocean surface waters declined over the past decades [Butcher, p 257] [C.Keeling] [Quay] [Schimel 94, p 42]. This fits a fossil fuel CO2 source and argues against a dominant oceanic CO2 source. Oceanic carbon has a trifle more 13C than atmospheric carbon, but 13CO2 is heavier and less volatile than 12CO2, thus CO2 degassed from the ocean has a 13C fraction close to that of atmospheric CO2 [Butcher, p 86] [Heimann]. How then should an oceanic CO2 source cause a simultaneous drop of 13C in both the atmosphere and ocean?

Overall, a natural disturbance causing the recent CO2 rise is extremely unlikely.
Real Climate has discussed the isotope ratio evidence in sciencespeak, and simplified sciencespeak. Finally, again in Real Climate, Corinne Le Quéré presents a new simple argument, pointing out that the only carbon reservoirs which can exchange CO2 rapidly enough to be consistent with the observed rise (a few years at most) are atmosphere, the upper oceans, and soils.
Why are the ocean and land taking up carbon, when we know that warming of the oceans reduces the solubility of CO2 and warming of the land accelerates bacterial degradation of the soils? The answer is that warming is not the only process that influences the oceans and land biosphere. The dominant process in the oceans is the response to increasing atmospheric CO2 itself. If the oceans had not warmed, they might have taken up even more carbon, although we cannot say for sure because warming may have other impacts, for example on marine biota. On land, bacterial degradation of the soils may have increased in response to warming, but for the moment this effect is smaller than the land response to other processes (for example fertilization by CO2 and nitrogen, changes in precipitation, etc).
And so to bed. We will revise this a bit tomorrow to polish it up and build better snark and then on to Part II: What have you done Dr. Robinson?

Which kind of brings us to Eth's guest appearance


and the lyrics to be filled in later Lyrics have been provided by Anonymuse as holiday Christmas gift for the two Johns. You can hear the original on YouTube or search under "sloop John B". With great trepedation and due humility (take that as read), Eli has made some minor editorial changes, he can be convinced that we are wrong. UPDATE: Made some more changes to lighten up the tone a bit. In this sort of thing you really have to be ironic rather than angry (or at least hide the anger well:)
We debunk the John-nies tales
The Lambot, Rabett and me,
'Round climate blogs we did roam
Blogging all night, got into a fight
The denialists are washed up, run along home.

So debunk the John-ny tales
See how incensed they get,
Send for James Hansen and more,
Run along home
Run along home
Run along home
The denialists are washed up, run along home.

The denialists they got paid,
for the nonsense that they made,
Men in labcoats came and took them away,
Lambots and Rabetts, don't let them alone
The denialists are washed up, go run along home.

So debunk the John-ny tales
See how weird they are,
Send for James Hansen and more,
Run along home
Run along home
Run along home
The denialists are washed up, run along home.

The Tuvaluans they got screwed,
Forced-to another latitude,
The rescue boats had to come and take them away
Carbon emitters, please let them alone.
The denialists are washed up, run along home.

So debunk the John-ny tales
See how bizarre they get,
Send for James Hansen and more,
Run along home
Run along home
Run along home
The denialists are washed up, run along home.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

We dump on the stupid Johnnies
The Lambott, Rabett and me,
'Round climate science blogs we did roam
Blogging all night, we got into a fight
The deniers are washed up, now they should get along home.

So debunk the Johnny tales
See how incensed they get,
Send for James Hansen and more,
Get along home
Get along home
Get along home
The deniers are washed up, now they should get along home.

Anonymous said...

We dump on the stupid John-nies
The Lambot, Rabett and me,
'Round climate science blogs we did roam
Blogging all night, got into a fight
The deniers are washed up, now they should run along home.

So debunk the John-ny tales
See how incensed they get,
Send for James Hansen and more,
Run along home
Run along home
Run along home
The deniers are washed up, now they should run along home.


The denialists they got paid,
for the nonsense that they made,
Men in labcoats had to come and take them away,
Lambots and Rabetts, don't let them alone
The deniers are washed up, now they should run along home.

So debunk the John-ny tales
See how assinine they get,
Send for James Hansen and more,
Run along home
Run along home
Run along home
The deniers are washed up, now they should run along home.

The Tuvaluans they got screwed,
Forced-to another latitude,
The rescue boats had to come and take them away
Carbon emitters, please let them alone.
The deniers are washed up, now they should run along home.

So debunk the John-ny tales
See how bizarre they get,
Send for James Hansen and more,
Run along home
Run along home
Run along home
The deniers are washed up, now they should run along home.

Anonymous said...

Thats informative and useful, so thanks.
BUt I really want to know what the animation is from.
guthrie

Anonymous said...

Eli's comin'
Hide yer poems girl

EliRabett said...

The video is from Final Fantasy IX, a Play Station game. Eli is a young bunny at heart.

Anonymous said...

You mean Eli is a "Playboy Bunny" at heart?

EliRabett said...

Eli is a "Playstation Bunny", now Ms. Rabett.....:)

Anonymous said...

Why lighten up the song Eli?

It may not be pretty, but every whore has Johns.

EliRabett said...

As said in another thread, Eli is by disposition more inclined to the subtle sword thrust than the club. In writing, Eli tries to be biting, very biting, but not dour and never scatological. When we earn our ears, Rabetts also take a lifelong pledge never to harumpff.

Anonymous said...

poets can be subtle as well, but (perhaps unlike rabetts), mincing words is not their strong point.

John A said...

We can expect Rabett to show a single ice core record which shows carbon dioxide rise to precede temperature rise, oh, any century now. You know, one of those pesky "put-up-or-shut-up" scenarios.

As opposed to the witness of every single ice core record which shows uniformly that carbon dioxide and methane rise is a centuries-delayed response to temperature rise and not a forcing. Ever.

Of course, to point out this gaping black hole in Rabett's pet assumption would be denialism as well as completely accurate.

That the petition which is supported by many thousands of concerned scientists should be opposed by the greatest vested interests of all: Trenberth, Hansen and Karl. The only thing that distinguishes these three is their willingness to play politics with science.

All in all, its been a shitty year for alarmists. Two separate expert reports have vindicated Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick's work on the Hockey Stick and the closely related multiproxy paradigms that, natch, use the same discredited proxies and utilize the same statistical fallacies. Peer review took another public kicking with the exposure of Hwang woo Suk and the embarrassing withdrawals of papers from Science and Nature. Of course, the fact that Hwang was found out by bloggers who went through his stuff and found what none of those vaunted anon reviewers found, is another of those fun moments in science that Dano can write about in the next edition of Galileo under the title: "Why can't these bloggers do their own stem cell lines instead of just criticizing real scientists?"

It's also been an impressive year for fatwas including George "Moonbat" Monbiot calling for the execution of airline executives and Grist magazine calling for Nuremberg-style trials for climate skeptics (presumeably with Nuremberg-style punishments, no doubt)

Merry Christmas, Eli. Another fun year is just around the corner and personally I can hardly wait for "IPCC IV: Hiding under spaghetti".

I'm sure you'll be parading your doggerel poetic skills once again to your tiny audience.

And, you're welcome to them.

Anonymous said...

you know johnny is incensed when he starts responding to poetry postings.


"Trenberth, Hansen and Karl. The only thing that distinguishes these three is their willingness to play politics with science."

that and the fact that -- unlike blogentists like john a -- the above three are well respected by fellow scientists throughout the world.


the only thing that distinguishes john a is his unwillingness (or is it simply inability?) to play science with politics.

John A said...

"Trenberth, Hansen and Karl. The only thing that distinguishes these three is their willingness to play politics with science."

that and the fact that -- unlike blogentists like john a -- the above three are well respected by fellow scientists throughout the world.


You mean like Mann, Schmidt and Connelley? I'd rather be disrespected by them.

Other than that, the comments I get from real scientists who are incredulous at the behavior of the Hockey Team continues to grow.


the only thing that distinguishes john a is his unwillingness (or is it simply inability?) to play science with politics.


Quite. I play science with science. How nice of you to mention this "failing".

As I said, its been a shit year for the Hockey Team and judging by the poor standard of the poetry, its going to be more unoriginal, derivative nonsense next year as well.

Should be another good year for auditing. I'm looking forward to it.

Oh and Eli, thanks for the tribute to my tenacity. "The Cerberus of CA" - I like it.

Anonymous said...

John a says: "I play science with science.'

Unfortunately, I've seen your "science".

AS Tim Lambert has pointed out, your knowledge of thermodynamics is at the junior high level (if that).

EliRabett said...

Cerberus decided who got into Hell. Enjoy.

Anonymous said...

john a says: "We can expect Rabett to show a single ice core record which shows carbon dioxide rise to precede temperature rise, oh, any century now.
"

Andrew Dessler cites the "CO2 preceded warming
" argument
as a good example of politicization of science:

According to Dessler:
'A good example [of politicization of science] can be found in the last Inhofe hearing. There, Bob Carter pointed out that during the past few hundred thousand years, changes in temperature have preceded changes in carbon dioxide. Carter concluded that the relation between carbon dioxide and temperature is unclear.

"This is hogwash, of course. While Carter is correct that temperature changes precede CO2 changes, this is well understood and in no way undermines the idea that increasing CO2 will lead to global warming. By presenting a misleading account of this physical phenomenon, Carter is acting to politicize science.'
[end Dessler quote]

The one thing that can be said for the denialists is that they present a unified front. When one adopts an "argument", they all do, not unlike a flock of parrots.

johnny want a cracker?

Anonymous said...

oops

above should read:

Andrew Dessler cites the "warming preceded co2
" argument as a good example of politicization of science:

EliRabett said...

Please John A., this is a family blog, with little bunnies hopping about. No profanity allowed.

EliRabett said...

Oh well, need a marker here for the lurkers.

The scientific consensus is that:

a. ice ages end due to warming brought about changes in the Earth's orbit that (slightly) increase the amount of solar radidiation reaching the earth. This increase is an external forcing.

b. it brings about other changes including increases in greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, water vapor) emitted from warming oceans. This is not an external forcing, but a positive feedback.

c. the positive feedback produces more warming, which further increases the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Go to b until a new equilibrium is reached.

Today, we are injecting additional carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The injected CO2 is an external feedback. Go to b above.

Which is why John A. gets his Gift.

Marion Delgado said...

John A has always been well below the engagement line for me.