Monday, May 03, 2010

This is the Environmental Protection Agency, Division of Answering Ignorant Questions from Belligerent Know-it-alls, Climate Sector. Can I help you?

Thanks to MT, for an even better way of labeling the on-going Eli used to be able to retire threads. Today we start the EPA blonks Plimer series

Comment (2-17):
A commenter (11454.1) provided quotes from Heaven and Earth (Plimer, 2009) claiming that CO2 was higher in 1942 than today based on the “Pettenkofer” method, and denigrating the use of infrared spectroscopy in modern CO2 analysis due to a lack of validation against the Pettenkofer method. Another quote provided from the same source disparaged the Mauna Loa data because only 18% of the raw data is used in statistical analyses.

Response (2-17):

We have reviewed Plimer’s book, and find that it has not been peer-reviewed or undergone any objective and thorough evaluation of its claims. The Pettenkofer method is a chemical method for determining CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere. Regardless of its accuracy, if used in inappropriate locations such as in or near towns or other areas that have high local CO2 concentrations, the Pettenkofer method will not result in a measurement of the global background concentrations (in contrast to the current measurement stations such as the Mauna Loa station, which are carefully placed in remote locations). See response 2-4 regarding CO2 concentrations reported by Beck (2007).

We find that the use of infrared spectroscopy for CO2 measurements has been validated extensively. Not only are infrared spectrometers used in scientific laboratories around the world, but the instruments used for measuring global background CO2 concentrations are regularly calibrated against CO2 samples that have been assessed by manometric measurements, involving condensing and separating CO2 and N2O from the remainder of the air and using a gas chromatograph to determine the CO2 to N2O ratio in the liquefied sample. This manometric procedure is estimated to have an accuracy of 0.07 ppm. Therefore, we find no support for the commenter’s objections to the use of infrared spectrometers.

With respect to Plimer’s claim that the Mauna Loa dataset was selectively edited in order to make an upward-trending CO2 curve, NOAA provides a rigorous description of the process used to measure, calibrate, and report the data from Mauna Loa at http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/about/co2_measurements.html (Tans and Thining, 2008). The data are all archived, including any raw data that are not included in the final reporting. In contrast to Plimer, we find that 52% of the hourly data from 2008 were retained, consistent with the statement from NOAA that there is an average of 13.6 retained hours per day (57%) over the entire record. We also find that, with the exception of the 15% of the data that were recorded as “instrument malfunction,” the average of the included data in 2008 was within 0.2 ppm of the excluded data, contrary to the assertion by Plimer that selective editing was used in order to change the trend. These data have been extensively reviewed, published in the peer-reviewed literature, and ultimately also used by the broad climate change assessment community. In addition, the data from Mauna Loa are consistent with data collected at remote sites around the world, as well as with samples collected in air flasks and measured at a central site rather than on location (these flask data are on average within 0.11 ppm of the infrared analyzer data).

The confidence that the modern CO2 record gathered around the world represents accurate measurements of the global background CO2 concentration is therefore extremely high, in contrast to the northern European data collected by the Pettenkofer method in 1942. Therefore, we determined that the assertions of the commenter and the underlying source are not consistent with the current scientific literature.
Gibts nicht mehr

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

I love the EPA,

They publish their responses as a text book. Brilliant stuff. In fact a great resource for countering denialist crap!

MapleLeaf

Eli: Mosher is trying his luck at Bart's place after failing to convince DC and RC that IPCC were naughty when they allegedly tried to hide the decline.

jyyh said...

Thanks for linking to the methods of CO2 measuring. Was not all that clear when I extracted the raw data (for one month!) to check if the method is valid (IMO). I didn't have the capabilities (nor energy) to do the validation for the whole set, but I'm convinced of it. I did environmental gas sampling while in the army (also checking for radiation levels and weather).

crf said...

I'm happy that the EPA is going this extra mile to respond to the skeptics or contrarians. Initially, I was conflicted -- I was not sure it was the EPA's business to school people who, frankly, can at most be charitably referred to as honest skeptics, and all the while spending some of the scarce people's money doing so.

But I think this excercise in decent and structured communication between the government and populace has been worth it.

I'm glad you are putting this out in the internet area.

Where is the mainstream press? A: Andy Revkin is still slavering for his IPPC/climategate soap operas. Sucks the government has to do his job (and his colleagues') for him. They're so drunk they don't notice that someone's puked in the punchbowl they're drinking out of.

rumleyfips said...

So: is Jeff Superego ( sorry I meant Id ) going to publish a poll asking if the EPA is condescending?
After all they are answering stupid questions with the truth.

Martin said...

> Jeff Superego ( sorry I meant Id )

Freudian slip?

Sorry, sorry...

mol said...

Thanks, Eli. good read.

Now if only they got rid of that horrible woman wasting space as the head of the EPA. She really is the pits.

Horatio Algeranon said...

A commenter (11454.1) provided quotes from Heaven and Earth...

Brings to mind the famous Bill Cosby routine

The Lord to NOAA: "I want you to build an Ark"

NOAA: Right! Whats an Ark?

Martin said...

Hi Eli,

I can't help admiring the corteous and patient (most unrabbit-like) manner in which the EPA has replied to the thousands of comments.

Have you found any non-crackpot comments? Ones which you could take seriuosly?

Cheers,
Martin

wotsupwiththat said...

Surprisingly, and delightfully, the EPA is giving us an epic example of "Pwnage".

Anonymous said...


I can't help admiring the corteous and patient (most unrabbit-like) manner in which the EPA has replied to the thousands of comments.


I'd like to see copies of some of the unreleased drafts! I'll bet a bunch of widdle deniers' feelings would be hurt if those copies were FOIA'd.

Russell said...

Now that DAIQBK has DC matters in hand , bipartisan bunnies may commence gnawing the green grass of Planet Gore.

Rattled by the rumblings along the epistemic closure fault , National Review's Editors have at last opened their peculiar views on climate matters to comment.

http://www.nationalreview.com/planet-gore

David B. Benson said...

I prefer the "can retire" title.

Old-fashioned, I guess.

Douglas Watts said...

Thanks Eli. The NEPA required "comment response" sections of Federal Register notices are, often, models of terseness and citation, as your excerpts show. Fools are not suffered gladly, although with extreme politeness. At best, if you fly in kamikaze style, what you will get is, "comment noted," which means whatever you said was so devoid of substance that they don't believe they have to worry if their lack of response gets carried up to the U.S. Court of Appeals.

John said...

Sorry to have to refer to a Huffington Post article, but:

"GOP Chooses Non-Scientist Lord Monckton as Sole Expert Witness at Climate Change Hearing"

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/brendan-demelle/gop-chooses-lord-hitler-y_b_565126.html

John Puma

Rattus Norvegicus said...

I always knew that the Republicans were closet monarchists!

Horatio Algeranon said...

John,

It's looking like we may get a replay of the final '76 World Series game between the Colonists and the Royalists ( Colonists: 13, Royalists: 0)

Horatio's already stocked up on the beer and peanuts.

..so let the fireworks begin!

Horatio Algeranon said...

Rattus

That's funny we were thinking the very same thing.

Anonymous said...

Betrug!... I don't think that open-minded scientists, flap their ears enough to get the 'Big Picture', like you get from up here. Do scientists like these stand up to your, Peer-Review? They sound smart to me anyway, what do you all think?

http://www.climatedepot.com/a/6451/Team-of-Scientists-Counter-US-Govt-Report-Global-warming-alarm-will-prove-false--Climate-fears-based-on-faulty-forecasting-procedures

Wind is freshening from the south, gotta fly, bye-bye

Rocco said...

Anonymous 0:

Ah, the "scientific" forecasters strike again!

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/07/green-and-armstrongs-scientific-forecast/

Anonymous said...

A quick tweek-of-the-beak.)... I am sorry, I had no eye-dia that Gavin, had already Peer-Reviewed everything? How about the points made in the article though? They are valid, right? I will do as asked, close my eye and walk on bye---

carrot eater said...

"Gibts nicht mehr "

Meaning, this treasure trove has been exhausted? Or you're done for now?

bill said...

Thanks for that. Happy to see yet another rousing demolition of my fellow Adelaidean's magnum opus.

You may also enjoy Australian Broadcasting Corporation's recent MediaWatch take on Plimer's 'interesting' views on the recent Icelandic volcanic eruption.

(As well as hosting the reproof-prone Prof the city of Adelaide is also the home of the first newspaper - imaginatively titled The News - that dad Sir Keith Murdoch gave son Rupert, trivia fans. Yes, we're sorry.)

Anonymous said...

Arbeit macht uns frei... Betrug Sie sagen? Es muss etwas für den Star. bekam zu fliegen jetzt, bye bye.

Nothin like a good German lesson early in the morning, right Eli? If we ever need lessons on Marxist thought or german talking, we can alway turn to scientists. Even a PNS guy like me can figure that out... you know me though?

a_ray_in_dilbert_space said...

Oh my, a certain stupid starling has linked to a "paper" or the type normally fund on a roll and noted for its softness and absorbency. Gee, now why would someone think that a "paper" on climate science is credible when none of the authors are climate scientists?

Stupid starling...I might have to start letting the cats patrol more.

a_ray_in_dilbert_space

bluegrue said...

@Anonymous 5:59
Haben Sie überhaupt eine Ahnung, was Sie da von sich geben? Was soll hier ein solcher KZ-Spruch?

Cthulhu said...

The EPA even have a response to Steve Goddard's recent WUWT post about how Venus is hot because of atmospheric pressure, not the greenhouse effect.

Anonymous said...

Que?

"Do you have any idea what you give because of it? What is here is one such camp saying?"

Martin said...

Anonymous, KZ = KonZentrationslager. Remember what it said over the entrance gate? Bluegrue kennt seine Deutsche Sprache -- und Geschichte.

Anonymous said...

"Bluegrue knows his German language - and history".... Bluegrue, I do not speak the language. The point I was trying to make is that the powers that be, are using AGW to tax and enslave the world. They see folks like me just like the Jews. We are Unter's and they are the Uber's... Eli likes to use german from time to time. Gotta go with the flow...

bluegrue said...

Riiight. World domination via taxation and enslaving the people in the name of AGW. Next you are going to tell me, that the Protocols of the Elders of Zion are genuine.

And in case you did not notice, I despise people who abuse the Holocaust for making cheap shots.

bill said...

'The point I was trying to make is that the powers that be, are using AGW to tax and enslave the world.'

so you're not a paranoiac nutcase then? glad that's settled...

auf wiedersehen

Anonymous said...

Bluegrue,
The Jews that could not get out of Gemany, because they had no money to pay for the passage out... were they paranoid too? For a person who knows so much German stuff and says, "I despise people who abuse the Holocaust for making cheap shots." You are the one using the cheap-shot. I said 'us' not 'you' as I understand things... You do not see it huh? Would you say the Greek people today are now a,"paranoiac nutcase". I am sorry for you, finding out that you, 'despise' people. But you being a scientist, it does not surprise me, you are all saving the planet Earth from AGW(people). Hitler had a 'Big Idea' and he had the Scientists to back him up too, didn't he(where would the world be today without science(knowers)?... As to Light reading, try the Bible, for a change, do you need the fruits of the Spirit? Read Galatians 5:22-24; ask in faith, you will recieve. I believe in the God of Abraham & the words of the prophets. This is all part of His plan and purpose, not mine or yours. He will reveal all, to all, at a time of His choosing... That is all.

Don't worry, be happy:)
Flap on dudes & dudettes...

a_ray_in_dilbert_space said...

Oh, dear, I had best not let the cats eat that particular starling. It is diseased. Just flying around and around in ever decreasing circles until the vortex cauxes it to desappear up its own ass. Sad.

EliRabett said...

Dear Anon, 8 am. The first rule when you start digging a hole to bury yourself in is stop digging. Bluegrue knows what he is talking about. You don't. Stop digging.