Tuesday, July 24, 2007

17 myths demythtified

Brian Angliss provides a thorough demythtification of 17 myths that denialists hold dear. Tip of the ears to Atmoz for the link

  • DENIAL CLAIM #1: The source of all the CO2 in the air is out gassing from the mantle
  • DENIAL CLAIM #2: The source of the CO2 in the air is thermal heating of the ocean causing dissolved gases like CO2 to come out of solution and enter the atmosphere
  • DENIAL CLAIM #3: We don’t know for sure where the added CO2 in the atmosphere is coming from, but it’s not from human consumption of fossil fuels
  • DENIAL CLAIM #4: CO2 rates are rising only 0.38% per year, not the 1% per year called out in the Third IPCC assessment report (TAR)
  • DENIAL CLAIM #5: CO2 is a sufficiently weak greenhouse gas that it could not be responsible for the level of climate change being modeled and observed
  • DENIAL CLAIM #6: There is no correlation between CO2 in the atmosphere and the temperature, since 450 million years ago was the coldest in 0.5 billion years and also had the highest CO2 concentrations
  • DENIAL CLAIM #7: The Medieval Warm Period/Medieval Climate Anomaly (MWP) was warmer than conditions today
  • DENIAL CLAIM #8: The MWP has been ignored in order to produce the desired conclusion
  • DENIAL CLAIM #9: The temperatures we’re experiencing in the later part of the 20th century are a result of the global climate finally coming out of the Little Ice Age
  • DENIAL CLAIM #10: There was a significant period of global cooling between the 1940s and the 1970s. This cooling period existed as anthropogenic CO2 levels were rising significantly. If anthropogenic CO2 is more important than natural drivers, then this cooling period would not exist, yet it does
  • DENIAL CLAIM #11: Cosmic rays (very high energy particles) striking the Earth’s atmosphere is the cause of global heating
  • DENIAL CLAIM #12: The Stefan-Boltzmann Law (the relationship between radiation and temperature of an ideal “black body” radiator) breaks the calculations required to make global heating work
  • DENIAL CLAIM #13: Using computer models is inherently inaccurate, especially of long-term changes in a system as complex as the Earth’s global climate
  • DENIAL CLAIM #14: The Earth hasn’t warmed by the expected amount predicted in the IPCC TAR, and papers have suggested that oceanic storage of heat is the reason. However, the only part of the ocean that matters as a “thermal sink” for atmospheric heating is the top few meters and yet the calculations performed require that 1.25 miles of ocean are available as a “sink” to make the math work out. Unfortunately, deep ocean temperatures haven’t changed at all
  • DENIAL CLAIM #15: The ocean has already begun to cool as expected given recent changes in solar output, cosmic solar rays, etc.
  • DENIAL CLAIM #16: Global heating isn’t actually happening because satellite measurements of tropical temperatures have not been rising like directly-measured temperatures in the tropics
  • DENIAL CLAIM #17: Some deniers don’t directly dispute that global heating is happening or that humans are the cause. Instead, they claim that global heating might just be good for the human race


Horatio Algeranon said...

These just in:

Denial Claim #18

Problems* at a relatively small number of temperature stations in the United States mean that the entire surface temperature record for the world is bunk.

*nearby tennis courts (all that sweating, you know), (stored?) BBQ's, air conditioners in the same neighborhood, "odd" Stevenson screens and screens painted with latex paint rather than whitewash, "odd" people recording the temperatures (just kidding -- sort of), etc

Marion Delgado said...

I wasn't really happy with his solar thing from 1940-70. Glad he mentioned volcanoes and human-sourced particulates, of course you have to talk about solar minimums .... but this is troubling: "First, there is a correlation between sunspots and solar irradiance
(output) on the Earth. During this period, sunspots were less common
and there was less solar energy reaching the Earth, allowing it to cool
slightly," because it implies increased solar radiation is correlated with sunspots instead of faculae. Moreover, this: "Ultimately, though, it is believed that sometime after 1970 the
concentration of CO2 rose to the point that solar forcing was no longer
the dominant climate factor, anthropogenic CO2 was." raises questions for me - for instance, is it really adequate to call volcanoes and human particulates solar forcing? and if there had been no forests cleared by people, no sequestered carbon burned except by wildfires, etc. etc. what would the T have looked like? Aren't we on a long-term cooling trend that has been wiped out by increased C02? And if our T would have been slowly lowering, isn't it plausible to say the combined effects of decreased solar radiation (in a blip, not as a long term trend), particulates, and volcanoes was about enough to balance the cumulative effects of C02 and other GHGs and let the Earth cool naturally according to the long-term solar forcing trend? I would say long before 1940 AGHGs became more important than solar forcing in the medium term - a century or so.

Angliss said...

Thanks for the comments, folks - I'll consider adding that #18 above (I've already got 4 others that comments on other sites have suggested I add, such as the effect of water vapor and "warming on Mars and Pluto") and I'll update the cooling thing to make it clearer.

I'm planning on keeping this updated as I improve it and add new claims as needed.

Marion Delgado said...

I want to say, thanks for dropping by here and responding.