What Inaccuracies in ‘An Inconvenient Truth’?

In Britain, Stewart Dimmock, a father of two, a Kent school governor and a member of political group the New Party, asked the court to ban the film from the classroom. The Telegraph reports, ‘Mr Dimmock argued the film was unfit for schools because it was politically partisan and contained serious scientific inaccuracies, as well as “sentimental mush”.’

I did not see anything partisan. I agree there is some sentimental mush. However, I watched the film quite carefully and was already fairly knowledgeable about the issue by non-climate-scientist standards. So, I hear a statement like the one by Mr. Dimmock and see no specific inaccuracies listed and say, ‘What inaccuracies is this guy talking about??!!?’

Anyone have a list? Anyone have a single one? If so, please cite them here.

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46 Responses to What Inaccuracies in ‘An Inconvenient Truth’?

  1. tamino says:

    You’ll find a review of the film by climate scientist Eric Steig at the <a href=”http://www.realclimate.org/”RealClimate website.

  2. bobbo says:

    I just saw the film last night. I think it “may” be inaccurate in what it doesn’t say but in what it assumes. Graphs of things may correlate but do not prove causation. I have read several times that carbon levels and temperature do not correlate which Gore showed them doing. Dont know which is right.

    Still, it is “amusing” to see the GOUSA the world leader in carbon pollution demanding that developing countries reduce their carbon before we do?

    Global temperature rise is one major by-product of advancing civilization–something another graph would correlate to as well as your carrying capacity question.

    Gore might be wrong or overstating something here and there, but the overall presentation is powerful and cannot be legitimately ignored by casual counterclaims. Now to that posted website from tamino.

  3. Misanthropic Scott says:

    So, from tamino’s post, here are the inaccuracies. See if you care about these minor details. I don’t. Or, at least they don’t detract from the real point and wouldn’t stop me from strongly recommending the film as highly informative.

    There are a few scientific errors that are important in the film. At one point Gore claims that you can see the aerosol concentrations in Antarctic ice cores change “in just two years”, due to the U.S. Clean Air Act. You can’t see dust and aerosols at all in Antarctic cores — not with the naked eye — and I’m skeptical you can definitively point to the influence of the Clean Air Act. I was left wondering whether Gore got this notion, and I hope he’ll correct it in future versions of his slideshow. Another complaint is the juxtaposition of an image relating to CO2 emissions and an image illustrating invasive plant species. This is misleading; the problem of invasive species is predominantly due to land use change and importation, not to “global warming”. Still, these are rather minor errors.

    And, part of the conclusion:

    For the most part, I think Gore gets the science right, just as he did in Earth in the Balance. The small errors don’t detract from Gore’s main point, which is that we in the United States have the technological and institutional ability to have a significant impact on the future trajectory of climate change.

    Sounds like a rave review to me from at least this scientist.

    And bobbo, it doesn’t sound like anything pertaining to warming was overstated.

  4. bobbo says:

    Just google “co2, temperature, lag” and many sites are there. This is from the 5th one:

    “Throughout the greatest temperature transitions experienced by the planet over the past 420,000 years, atmospheric CO2 concentration has been proven to have been a follower, and not a leader, of climate change, rising from one to five thousand years after major increases in air temperature, and falling in similar manner throughout the course of the past four glacial/interglacial cycles.”

    which was from

    http://www.co2science.org/scripts/CO2ScienceB2C/articles/V4/N14/C1.jsp

    which I have read many times over the years. Climate change is SO complex that the data can be played with consciously or unconsciously.

    Again–dealing in correlations, is no proof. Even AFTER global change, there will still be no proof. Strong inference? Yes. Before global change–inferences a bit weaker.

  5. tamino says:

    bobbo:

    The “co2science” website is completely untrustworthy (have a look at this). The current best estimate of the lag between temperature rise and CO2 rise is 800 years (not “one to five thousand years”), although the latest research indicates this is probably an overestimate.

    The salient point is that CO2 and temperature increase are both cause and both and effect. Temperature increase reduces the solubility of CO2 in the oceans, leading to increase CO2. AND increased CO2 traps infrared radiation, increasing temperature. Only dimwitted denialists refuse to accept this.

    In fact the both-cause-and-effect relationship between temperature and CO2 leads to a rether nasty feedback in the climate system which amplifies the warming effect of man-made CO2. Too bad for us.

  6. BubbaRay says:

    I haven’t seen the film. Does Gore mention anywhere that many prominent solar physicists today think the Sun’s variability accounts for *at least* 30% and perhaps 50% or more of the temp. variations?

    Also, the Solar System’s travels through our galaxy’s dusty arms every 250M years seem to correlate well with past major temperature variations. Where we are now:

    http://www.astrodigital.org/astronomy/solarsystemgalaxy.html

  7. bobbo says:

    I just gave myself a headache. Tamino–your two graphs of Nebraska covering the same time period of 1930 to 2000 don’t match. The Cherry Picked period shows a decrease in temperture whereas the “longer timeframe” graph of the same period shows that small steady increase. ((My rough look says the cherry picking would only work from 1930 to 1955?) Plus–a website YOU create is not very good evidence that some other website is wrong?

    But Al Gore’s presentation was that rising CO2 increases temperature and even you say just above that there is a lag between these events==implying that it is rising temperature that causes a rise in CO2. I understand rising temp releases CO2 which thereby releases the temperature in a feedback loop. I recall reading one website saying that indeed there were complicated lag systems at work that most climate models don’t accomodate. Well, thats all fine and dandy BUT–if you are using “correlations between charts” for your method of proof and the charts show the opposite of what you say===”lag systems” is just too convenient? Like I said==its complicated.

    So, I will say that Gores presentation errors when he says raising CO2 levels in the atmosphere raises the temperature. Certainly, it does in small scale laboratory experiments but the graphs Al uses are “wrong” if there is a lag of some period for some reason?

  8. bobbo says:

    I looked at those charts again. Too hard to see for sure, so I take your analysis as accurate re cherry picking. Apologies offered.

  9. Misanthropic Scott says:

    bobbo,

    You surprise me tremendously posting something from co2science. Why not just post directly from the Exxon/Mobil website?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Co2science

    All,

    In any discussion on global warming, it is best to avoid blogs and questionable websites. In general, stick to peer-reviewed science publications or, if you prefer not to pay for the articles and/or can’t understand the truly technical stuff (both of which match me on occasion), stick to reputable news articles that explicitly reference a peer-reviewed source such as Nature or Science. These will always steer you back to the real facts.

    BubbaRay,

    Solar forcing, according to the four different peer reviewed articles I found a while back, accounts for 5-15% of global warming. One of the four said 5-30%. So, if we take the high end of the three that agree, which is also a reasonable midpoint for the fourth, and call it a whopping 15%, it still leaves us responsible for 85%. I know you have a bias towards astronomy. I hope when you consider solar forcing that you are listening to climate scientists not astronomers though. That solar forcing is happening does not imply that anthropogenic climate change is not. I have not heard any peer reviewed climate science articles citing the numbers you cite. I am also not finding any this morning that specify any percentage of influence. I’ll try again later. I do like to cite sources. Until I find some sources specifying a percentage, feel free to try on your own on Google Scholar

  10. bobbo says:

    Hey–all I did was google as I posted and quote the first site I found that was on point.

    I don’t see any relevent anti-thesis point though–CO2 website says there is a lag of 1000’s of years with temp rise PRECEDING CO2 rise, and Tamino says it is only 800 year lag and all I’m saying is Al Gore says that CO2 rises causes temp rise.

    YOU asked for inaccuracies. Regardless of what the truth is, right now the truth is not proven and the evidence thru correlation is that CO2 lags temps. Al’s use of charts is wrong.

    or–give us the websites that say otherwise. You don’t “merely disagree” and tell other people to look it up.

  11. Misanthropic Scott says:

    bobbo,

    Thanks for keeping me honest. Here are some links about cosmic rays (a.k.a. solar forcing) and their influence on global warming.

    This is the one that peaks at 30%
    This one does not acknowledge any significant influence
    This more recent article also states no significant influence from solar radiation.

    And now to keep you honest. I didn’t say a word about the correlation or time of correlation between CO2 and warming. I have personally not seen anything to back up the claim of 800 year lag. I would like to see the source for this.

    tamino, you have made this claim, but only posted links to your own blogs. Do you have anything peer-reviewed that says this?

    As an aside, this looks like a good book on climate science.

    An interesting looking book.

    I have not read that one though. Here are two that I have read and highly recommend. Neither mentions an 800 year lag. The former is actually a climate science text. The latter is a book with numerous references to peer reviewed papers.

    I’d suggest for anyone posting on this that you clearly feel this is an important topic on which to be legitimately informed. Take the time, read at least one of these.

    Is the Temperature Rising: The Uncertain Science of Global Warming – S. George Philander: A relatively light book and highly readable for a climate science text book.
    The Weather Makers – Tim Flannery: Details the reality of anthropogenic climate change. What is known, what is not, what we must do, and what can and cannot be saved.

  12. tamino says:

    Regarding the lag of CO2 increase behind temperature change (during glacial-interglacial climate changes): Claude Lorius, Jim Hansen and others essentially predicted this finding 17 years ago, before the data showed that CO2 might lag temperature (Lorius et al. 1990, Nature, 347, 139).

    The lag is estimated in many papers, including Monnin et al. 2001 (Science, 291, 5501), Caillon et al. 2003 (Science, 299, 1728), and Stott et al. 2007 (Science, DOI: 10.1126/science.1143791). The latter paper estimates that deep-sea temperatures lead CO2 by ~1000 years, but that surface warming leads by less than previous estimates.

  13. BubbaRay says:

    Scott, “Solar forcing, according to the four different peer reviewed articles I found a while back, accounts for 5-15% of global warming. One of the four said 5-30%.”

    Some research is embargoed for at least another year, yet solar variability as described by research re: the solar magnetic variability correlates nicely with past temperature variabilities. The new STEREO mission and other recent probes have given a lower figure of about 25%, depending on who’s doing the research funding for interpretation. Forget about Mars etc., I’ll try to dig up some better research about solar variability over the past 250M yrs.

    Don’t forget about volcanoes, oceanic methane, — ah, why bother? Everyone listens to Algore and the media anyway.

    My bucks are on 40% astronomical, 60% man, and that may be pushing it a bit. But why argue? The data interpretations by scientists vs. politicians, media and scaremongers are so varied, it makes no sense to take a stand either way. We just don’t have enough data. The telescope is only 400 yrs. old, and Galileo burned out one eye looking at the sun.

    Did you know that the Sun is probably headed for a new Maunder minimum (qv.)? Kiss global warming goodbye, hello little ice age.

    Most humans will pick what they want to believe, swayed by media and money. I capitulate. Last comment on this subject for me.

  14. Misanthropic Scott says:

    BubbaRay,

    why bother? Everyone listens to Algore and the media anyway.

    Would that it were true that people were listening to Gore. Unfortunately, the media and the sheeple are all listening to ExxonMobil.

    I hope you’re right about that ice age. People have survived ice ages before. People have not survived warm periods like the one that’s coming.

    Remember, stick to peer review for the best available information. Also remember, astronomy is a tough field. But, climate science MUST bring together a huge number of fields due to the complexity of the system involved. Astronomers are not the right scientists for this task.

    As Heinlein said many many moons ago, ‘Expertise in one field does not carry over into another. But, experts often think it does. The more narrow their field of expertise, the more likely they are to think so.’

    I hope I got the quote close enough. The meaning is certainly correct and his. If one of his heirs reads this, please don’t sue me. I did my best from memory.

    Also, if you’re right about 40% sun/60% humans, the 40% from the sun being removed will still be hugely overpowered by the 60% human influence, no? 60 is still 50% greater than 40.

  15. Misanthropic Scott says:

    Tamino (or anyone else with the knowledge to answer),

    My question regarding the lag is this. When I look at the graphs shown in the Caillon et al. 2003 article (cherry-picked by me for the cheesy reason that I don’t have to pay for that one), I see large periods with tremendous variation and a single 800 year period highlighted out of a much longer time period, in one case, over 20,000 years. So, my question is this. Isn’t picking the only period during which the numbers for the two lines went in different directions a form of cherry-picking of data? If not, why not? Even that 20,000 year period was a select time frame from 250,000 years ago. What happened during the rest of the last 250,000 years? What am I missing here?

  16. tamino says:

    Misantrhopic Scott:

    I wouldn’t call it cherry-picking at all. For one thing, the title of the article makes it clear that the authors are addressing a limited question: the timing of CO2 and temperature changes *across termination III*. That limited time span is of special interest because it is a “termination,” i.e. a transition from glacial to interglacial conditions (such deglaciations tend to be much more rapid than the ensuing glaciation). Most important, studies such as this require very high time resolution, corresponding to very fine depth resolution in the ice cores. Most of the data (for the entire time span) has been studied at a depth resolution of 1 m, but this work focuses on new, more detailed measurements taken every 10 cm, between 2680 and 2800 m depth. That depth interval was chosen because it covers the time period of interest.

    We can expect that in the future, more of the ice cores will be studied at higher resolution and the results will be reported in the scientific literature. But until that time, I’m glad to know what they’ve found in the data they’ve collected so far.

  17. Misanthropic Scott says:

    Interesting. It’s still strange though to take that time period 250,000 years ago when so many ice ages came and went between that one and today. I’ll wait for more data. I’m not ready to assert an 800 year lag from a single data point at a time when we’re already seeing the temperature increase from GHGs today.

  18. tamino says:

    It’s important to emphasize that modern global warming, and glacial terminations, are very different processes. For modern global warming, temperature change is triggered by greenhouse-gas increase, which is due to the release of greenhouse gases by human activity. But for glacial terminations, temperature change is *triggered* by slight changes in the distribution of incoming solar energy caused by changes in earth’s orbital configuration (Milankovitch cycles). Once the initial warming causes the release of greenhouse gases, these warm the planet and amplify the warming sufficiently to cause a full deglaciation.

    CO2 does not increase for *no reason*. In past deglaciations, the cause of CO2 increase appears to be temperature change. In the present era, the cause of CO2 increase is (absolutely no doubt about it) human activity.

  19. Misanthropic Scott says:

    Thanks!! I wasn’t clear on these articles whether they were claiming that the 800 year lag meant that we could ignore our CO2 increase since it won’t happen in our lifetimes. This would, of course, still be a false argument. However, the way we are currently stealing food out of the mouths of our children and grandchildren to feed ourselves proves that we do indeed think this way.

  20. bobbo says:

    Tomino–thanks for your last post above. I love seeing how this subject is that complex. When cause and effect seem to be interrelated like that, and can in a sense swap places, its a thing of beauty.

    Is there proof or only high correlation? Can you prove anything without a control group?

    In my mind, when balloons with higher levels of CO2 get hotter and retain heat longer than balloons with lower levels of CO2==that is proof enough for me==until I read about loop back systems in the atmosphere, and then I think “Well, maybe not–still probably so, but maybe not.”

  21. bobbo says:

    Well, if you poo-poohed my used of the randomly found CO2 website, you will certainly hate my intented posting of who should be your new hero. I first saw him on Daily Show last week, but here he was on Book TV this morning–Bjorn Lomberg. easy to google. Here is one of his most provacative teasers:

    “Save the World, Ignore Global Warming”—and in his extended talks, he makes more sense than anyone else I have heard talk on the subject===BALANCING the good vs bad, cost vs effects. Good stuff.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2004/12/12/do1202.xml

  22. Misanthropic Scott says:

    Sorry bobbo,

    I didn’t mean to “poo-poo” your quote of a particular site. I was actually surprised because I generally have a lot of respect for your opinions. In the global warming debate, if there is one, I had simply expected that you would always research any randomly chosen site to ensure that it is not one of the dozens provided by ExxonMobil.

    I’ll read that article tomorrow. I’m trying to finish up a travel write-up now.

  23. bobbo says:

    OK–small rehash here==don’t be surprised about the amount of work people will do when you often fail at the same task? You still haven’t provided any fact/source that contradicts the Exxon sponsored website’s factoid. Why then complain about the use of such sources?

    My ONLY point was that I thought it was pretty well accepted that historically, temp rises before co2 levels rise. They do not rise and fall uniformly as Al Gore shows in his docudrama. So==I found and posted the first website that stated that “fact.” There were many others with the same point to make. Yes, we need a domain extension like “dot-sprao” (scientifically peer reviewed authorities only) implying the rest of the web is BS, but sadly such does not exist.

    So far, no source from you that my understanding is wrong. Tomino agrees there is such a lag, disagrees only about length of the lag.

    THEREFORE== to poo-pooh the source of my “fact” is worse than irrelevant. You strongly imply the fact that is proposed is wrong because the website is sponsored? If that were a valid method of review, then some might dismiss everything the IPCC has sponsored because their organizing charter requires them to find/produce/publish facts that will support/encourage the signing of the Kyoto treaty.

    and to your point, not YOU, not ME, or generally anyone else is going to search in depth to provide a scientifically peer reviewed cite for a position they take. Generally, they post nothing at all.

    So, get real.

  24. Misanthropic Scott says:

    bobbo,

    Please reread my posts. Find the one where I contradicted that particular statement. Post the quote where you think I did. I expressed surprise at your posting of an ExxonMobil press release. I do not believe I directly contradicted that particular factoid.

    Then, reread the whole conversation I had with Tamino. Find the point at which I contradicted the information when discussing it with him. I already pointed out to you once that I did not contradict that factoid. So, why keep harping on it?

    THEREFORE== to poo-pooh the source of my “fact” is worse than irrelevant. You strongly imply the fact that is proposed is wrong because the website is sponsored? If that were a valid method of review, then some might dismiss everything the IPCC has sponsored because their organizing charter requires them to find/produce/publish facts that will support/encourage the signing of the Kyoto treaty.

    As for poo-pooing the source, when the tobacco companies say smoking is good for you, do you believe it or wait for another source? I merely stated, possibly a bit strongly, that I would not accept Exxon’s word for anything pertaining to global warming. So, Tamino’s information is quite good. I accept that. You might also want to reread his post, which you ignored as well.

    He stated, quite clearly:

    CO2 does not increase for *no reason*. In past deglaciations, the cause of CO2 increase appears to be temperature change. In the present era, the cause of CO2 increase is (absolutely no doubt about it) human activity.

    (emphasis mine, of course)

    As for posting nothing at all, what about all the links I posted about the point I do contradict, the point that some people believe that solar radiation is the cause of all of our warming and that an ice age will soon be upon us? Why ignore that?

  25. bobbo says:

    If I’m harping on the subject, BUT responding to what you are posting, is the harping bilateral? “Harping”—yea, I agree that is a bad thing. Diligent sounds better but is how much different?

    OK, I agree you did not expressly disagree about the proposition that temp lags co2 buildup. BUT “logically” if that point is made and you respond that the website used to backup that proposition is industry sponsored and not very trustworthy, then isn’t it reasonable to think you think the proposition is false?? Otherwise it simply doesn’t matter that the website is sponsored or not if the claimed fact is accurate? So, you confused me. Your defense though that you would rather “wait” if a proposition comes from a disreputable source is quite valid FROM YOUR POSITION, and that is what you should have said rather than the collateral rant. I provided the google search words and stated there were many such websites. “IF” you were interested in whether or not Al Gore’s presentation could be faulted on the proof of the link between temp and CO2, then there was much more there to be read. No one can force anyone to look.

    How can one reread and ignore at the same time? I expressly disagreed with Tomino’s post, then apologized for being incorrect on his graph averaging argument. Disagreeing with is not ignoring.

    What I did ignore was your posting of “cosmic forcing” as relevant to the issue of co2 vs temp lag. I read the first cite and saw nothing relevant so I skipped the second two. Perhaps this time I was being too short? Even without looking at those sites now, yes, I can see cosmic forcing as one of the many variables that may confuse the co2-temp link, but in that complexity, I don’t see a contradiction.

    Discuss/harp/blog===we need a smackeral for this!!!!!

  26. Misanthropic Scott says:

    OK, I apologize for my part in the misunderstanding. You are correct. I should have specified simply that I would not accept data from Exxon’s press corps. I was surprised when Tamino backed it up. Then I learned something. I still believe that even the peer reviewed pubs from Tamino need further research as they only point to one particular period in time and ignore then endings of many other glacial periods between then and now. However, since I understand that this is simply more information about what used to happen in the natural process and may not affect what is happening in the anthropogenic process, I’ll probably pay some attention as I hear about new information pertaining to this but will likely not be very active in seeking it out.

    Now you’ve made me reread the thread. The cosmic rays/solar forcing articles were actually in response to an earlier BubbaRay post. They do not pertain to the lag issue.

    Discuss/harp/blog? How about ‘heated discussion’, ‘mutual harangue’, ‘bidirectional rant’? Or, are we just engaging in sadistic equine necrophilia? Nah, definitely not the last, that’s just beating a dead horse.

  27. John Q says:

    “So, I hear a statement like the one by Mr. Dimmock and see no specific inaccuracies listed and say, ‘What inaccuracies is this guy talking about??!!?’

    Anyone have a list? Anyone have a single one? If so, please cite them here.”

    The English court found:

    The film claims that melting snows on Mount Kilimanjaro evidence global warming. The Government’s expert was forced to concede that this is not correct.

    The film suggests that evidence from ice cores proves that rising CO2 causes temperature increases over 650,000 years. The Court found that the film was misleading: over that period the rises in CO2 lagged behind the temperature rises by 800-2000 years.

    The film uses emotive images of Hurricane Katrina and suggests that this has been caused by global warming. The Government’s expert had to accept that it was “not possible” to attribute one-off events to global warming.

    The film shows the drying up of Lake Chad and claims that this was caused by global warming. The Government’s expert had to accept that this was not the case.

    The film claims that a study showed that polar bears had drowned due to disappearing arctic ice. It turned out that Mr Gore had misread the study: in fact four polar bears drowned and this was because of a particularly violent storm.

    The film threatens that global warming could stop the Gulf Stream throwing Europe into an ice age: the Claimant’s evidence was that this was a scientific impossibility.
    The film blames global warming for species losses including coral reef bleaching. The Government could not find any evidence to support this claim.

    The film suggests that the Greenland ice covering could melt causing sea levels to rise dangerously. The evidence is that Greenland will not melt for millennia.
    The film suggests that the Antarctic ice covering is melting, the evidence was that it is in fact increasing.

    The film suggests that sea levels could rise by 7m causing the displacement of millions of people. In fact the evidence is that sea levels are expected to rise by about 40cm over the next hundred years and that there is no such threat of massive migration.

    The film claims that rising sea levels has caused the evacuation of certain Pacific islands to New Zealand. The Government are unable to substantiate this and the Court observed that this appears to be a false claim.

    So perhaps some flaws, but let’s remember:

    ” Albert Einstein got it wrong. Not once, not twice, but countless times. He made subtle blunders, he made outright goofs, his oversights were glaring. Error infiltrated every aspect of his thinking. He was wrong about the universe, wrong about its contents, wrong about the workings of atoms. Yet Einstein’s mistakes could be compelling and instructive, and some were even essential to the progress of modern physics. “Most scientists would give their eyeteeth to make even one of Einstein’s mistakes,” says theoretical physicist Fred Goldhaber of the State University of New York at Stony Brook.”

  28. Misanthropic Scott says:

    John Q,

    I’ll have to do some more research on a few of these. However, I would say that emotive imagery is part of the art of film making for a general audience. It is true that hurricanes like Katrina already are and will continue to increase due to global warming. Such emotive imagery gets the point across. No claim that Katrina in particular was caused by global warming was made anywhere in the film. So I will refuse to call that one an inaccuracy whatever the court stated.

    The film did not suggest a time frame for Greenland’s ice cap melting. It merely stated that if it does, sea levels will rise 20 feet. (I remember him quoting 20 feet, not 7 meters, in the film, but could be mistaken.) If my memory is correct, this is an inaccuracy because the real number is 7 meters, as you quote, which is about 23 feet or so.

    Current reports are actually showing the Greenland ice cap melting much faster than previously expected. So, millennia for the event seems to be a dramatic overstatement. It will likely be much faster than that. I’ll search later for specific estimates. I’m not even sure anyone has made new estimates yet based on the ice quakes and the amount of water pouring in under the glacier accelerating the break up and movement toward the sea.

    As for the displacement of people, the current IPCC estimate is for a billion climate refugees by 2050, so the film’s inaccuracy may be in the opposite direction as an underestimate.

    Tuvalu is a South Pacific nation that was going to make a huge statement at Kyoto years ago. Unfortunately for them, not only are they already feeling the effects of sea level rise, but their economy is also tied to Australia. Australia threatened them with economic collapse if they made their statement at Kyoto. So, instead, they negotiated with New Zealand for the right to migrate to New Zealand in the event of the loss of their land. This is well documented in The Weather Makers. Since I don’t remember the statement from the film, I’ll have to ask, could this be what he was referring to?

    I’m going to continue researching the claims of inaccuracies. In short though, from this list, it sounds like I will disagree strongly with the court that found these.

    Thank you for posting them though. At least now I know what the hell people are talking about.

  29. bobbo says:

    I thought one of the more dramatic facts Al Gore showed was the new information about those “glacial moralees” (?–could easily be the wrong word) ==those ponds of water that are forming now. The old thought that they refroze at night and had little impact is incorrect==they melt the glaciers like drills down to and lubricate the glacier’s foundation. Scary stuff.

    Funny thing about “court cases.” Ruling that there is no proof for a claim doesn’t mean its true or false–just no admissable evidence was submitted. To that point, I think there is very little “proof” regarding any of the climate science. Court will not accept “the best evidence” or a climate model, or the growing consensus.

    I saw a special about Tuvalu or some similar case. average 2 feet above seal level and the ocean was rising–with water seeping up and flooding the airport runway. They were making plans to move in the next 20 years or so.

    So, it is only a gut feel, but I think there will be mass migration due to ocean rise much closer to 50 years from now rather than 1000 years, but just my hunch.

  30. Misanthropic Scott says:

    John Q,

    WRT Kilimanjaro, it was believed to be caused directly by global warming until March of 2004. The news that it now appears to be not necessarily caused by global warming may have made it to Gore a tad late. This should not be surprising since even after the March 2004 paper that showed this, some papers like this one still claimed that it was caused by global warming.

    I’ll keep checking on the other points as time allows. This is not my profession and I do have real work I must do.

  31. DearEditor says:

    * French geophysicist Dr. Claude Allegre. “The ecology of helpless protesting has become a very lucrative business for some people!”

    * Canadian geologist Bruno Wiskel. “Glaciers have been coming and going for billions of years.”

    * Israeli astrophysicist Dr. Nir Shaviv. “Each one of us realized that things just don’t add up to support the AGW (Anthropogenic Global Warming) picture.”

    * Australian mathematician Dr. David Evans. “The new ice core data shows that past warmings were not initially caused by rises in atmospheric carbon.”

    * Canadian climate researcher Dr. Tad Murty. “If, back in the mid-1990s, we knew what we know today about climate, Kyoto would almost certainly not exist.”

    * British botanist Dr. David Bellamy. “The world is wasting stupendous amounts of money on trying to fix something that can’t be fixed.”

    * New Zealander climate scientist Dr. Chris de Freitas. “Although it makes for a good story, it is unlikely that the man-made changes are drivers of significant climate variation.”

    * U.S. (hey, an American!) meteorologist Dr. Reid Bryson. “The temperature has gone up since the early 1800s, before the Industrial Revolution, because we’re coming out of the Little Ice Age.”

    * Dutch economist Hans. H.J. Labohm. “Global climate changes all the time due to natural causes and the human impact still remains impossible to distinguish from this natural ‘noise.’”

    * Canadian paleoclimatologist Tim Patterson. “We were astounded to find that paleoclimatic and paleoproductivity records were full of cycles that corresponded to various sun-spot cycles.”

    * Polish physicist Dr. Zbigniew Jaworowski. “We thus find ourselves in the situation that the entire theory of man-made global warming is based on ice core studies that provided a false picture of the atmospheric CO2 levels.”

    * Canadian paleoclimatologist Dr. Ian D. Clark. “In fact there is no evidence of humans being the cause.”

    * Canadian geochemist Dr. Jan Veizer. “The past record strongly favors the solar-cosmic alternative as the principal climate driver.”

  32. DearEditor says:

    I believe man plays a part in global warming, but I’m not sure. And I don’t think we’ve had a real debate on this yet.

    I’d like to see five scientist on one side and five on the other meet on C-SPAN (American cable television) for at least two days to debate the big points in this controversy. And in the middle, with C-SPAN’s Brian Lamb, there should be two undecided engineers and two undecided statisticians acting as moderators posing questions.

    That would help reveal what the evidence is, what the questions are, what we know and what we still don’t know.

    Right now, there’s too much politics in this controversy, too many people believing one side or the other because they belong to a certain political party or align themselves with a certain political philosophy.

    Put the facts on the table. Let’s have that debate.

  33. Misanthropic Scott says:

    DearEditor,

    First and foremost, these are all sound bites and have nothing to do with any peer reviewed article. Always always always stick to peer review on this subject.

    Second, climate science is a highly complex subject that requires knowledge of a very broad range of fields. Expertise in one field does not carry into another.

    * French geophysicist Dr. Claude Allegre. “The ecology of helpless protesting has become a very lucrative business for some people!”

    Geophysicists are not climatologists. And, what the hell does this mean?

    * Canadian geologist Bruno Wiskel. “Glaciers have been coming and going for billions of years.”

    Yes. True. But, usually over thousands of years. The temperature is changing faster than at any time we know of in the history of the earth. Certainly faster than at any time since humans evolved.

    * Israeli astrophysicist Dr. Nir Shaviv. “Each one of us realized that things just don’t add up to support the AGW (Anthropogenic Global Warming) picture.”

    Astrophysicists are not climatologists. How many people is the man speaking for? Who are these others? What peer reviewed publication is this in?

    * Australian mathematician Dr. David Evans. “The new ice core data shows that past warmings were not initially caused by rises in atmospheric carbon.”

    Mathematicians are not climatologists. Perhaps true. Look at the posts on this site by Tamino. He details this quite well, and appears to actually be a climatologist. He also concludes that we are definitely responsible for the current warming, despite this data.

    * Canadian climate researcher Dr. Tad Murty. “If, back in the mid-1990s, we knew what we know today about climate, Kyoto would almost certainly not exist.”

    Finally, a climate scientist!! Yay. However, I’m going to need a lot more context for this statement. What does he mean? Does he mean that they would not have made the same mistakes in the way that they arranged the agreement? This statement alone says nothing about the individual’s opinion on climate change, only about the Kyoto agreement. Perhaps he means it would be much more stringent, as it most certainly needs to be.

    * British botanist Dr. David Bellamy. “The world is wasting stupendous amounts of money on trying to fix something that can’t be fixed.”

    Botanists are not climatologists. And, this says nothing at all about the cause of climate change. We are causing it. We cannot wholly prevent it. But, we can do our best to mitigate the damage.

    * New Zealander climate scientist Dr. Chris de Freitas. “Although it makes for a good story, it is unlikely that the man-made changes are drivers of significant climate variation.”

    Another climate scientist. That makes two so far. Good. So, please point me to this person’s peer reviewed work to show me why s/he thinks so.

    * U.S. (hey, an American!) meteorologist Dr. Reid Bryson. “The temperature has gone up since the early 1800s, before the Industrial Revolution, because we’re coming out of the Little Ice Age.”

    Meteorologists have a lot of knowledge about weather systems. I’m not sure that makes them climate scientists, however. Again, the rate of temperature increase has been unprecedented in prior emergences from ice ages.

    * Dutch economist Hans. H.J. Labohm. “Global climate changes all the time due to natural causes and the human impact still remains impossible to distinguish from this natural ‘noise.’”

    Economists are definitely not even anything close to climate scientists and can and should be completely ignored on the subject.

    * Canadian paleoclimatologist Tim Patterson. “We were astounded to find that paleoclimatic and paleoproductivity records were full of cycles that corresponded to various sun-spot cycles.”

    Yes. That is what historically caused us to go in and out of ice ages. However, again, the rate is unprecedented. You may wish to be aware that the surface of Venus gets hit by LESS sunlight than Earth due to it’s high albedo. However, it is broilingly hot there because of runaway GHGs. We KNOW CO2 causes warming. We know that the level is presently 50% higher than it was because of human activity. There is simply NO WAY that it might not be having an effect. And, the effect is already documented and noticeable.

    * Polish physicist Dr. Zbigniew Jaworowski. “We thus find ourselves in the situation that the entire theory of man-made global warming is based on ice core studies that provided a false picture of the atmospheric CO2 levels.”

    Physicists are not climatologists. Based on what is this guy making this statement? Have you a peer reviewed article?

    * Canadian paleoclimatologist Dr. Ian D. Clark. “In fact there is no evidence of humans being the cause.”

    Again, I’d like a peer reviewed version of this to know what he is talking about.

    * Canadian geochemist Dr. Jan Veizer. “The past record strongly favors the solar-cosmic alternative as the principal climate driver.”

    Geochemists are not climatologists. The past record certainly shows this. How could it not? The past record is from before the industrial revolution. Duh. Current peer reviewed work, as shown above my post from October 4th, 2007 at 08:44, cosmic rays account for a maximum of 30% and probably less than 15% of the current climate change. This leaves us responsible for a minimum of 70% and more likely over 85% of the current warming.

    I’d like to see five scientist on one side and five on the other meet on C-SPAN (American cable television) for at least two days to debate the big points in this controversy. And in the middle, with C-SPAN’s Brian Lamb, there should be two undecided engineers and two undecided statisticians acting as moderators posing questions.

    Such a debate would be interesting. However, to keep the numbers balanced, we should have them proportional to the numbers of actual climate scientists on each side. This would probably leave a stage full of scientists on one side and one or two deniers on the other side. It would be quite comical.

    One lecturer on the subject stated that you could find more doctors willing to state that the link between smoking and cancer has not been proven than you could find climate scientists willing to deny that global warming is human caused. True that does not make a consensus. But, it’s pretty overwhelming.

    I confess that I have been unable to find the source of the quote. If anyone can either confirm or deny it, I would appreciate it tremendously.

  34. bobbo says:

    CONTEXT and FRAMES OF REFERENCE. Difficult to really discuss ideas without some time spent in definition, and defintion that is adhered to?

    So, yes, glaciers come and go.

    So, yes, humans “must” have some impact on atmosphere chemistry/physics–but how much, how fast, how correctable at what expense, etc.

    I liken this a bit to like “war.” The first information is always wrong. It rasise issues, but always wrong.

    Trying to have an unbiased view, it sure looks to me that humans are exacerbating natural warming cycle that would take place anyway, so the question is what difference would decreasing the human contribution make?? Hard to say since the experts mostly aren’t looking at this.

    One expert who is is Bjorn Lomberg ((all over google!)) who even does cost analysis on various proposals including Kyoto. Bottom Line–total waste of money while much better results can be achieved much more cheaply with other approached. His logic is impecable. Gore refuses to debate him for some reason.

    tempus fugit.

  35. Misanthropic Scott says:

    So, yes, humans “must” have some impact on atmosphere chemistry/physics–but how much, how fast, how correctable at what expense, etc.

    Well, the temperature is rising many times faster than at any time recorded in ice cores, lake cores, or any other means by which we can determine the past to the best of our ability.

    How correctable? Well, we must do whatever we can even though we are already committed to many years more warming. If we cross a tipping point, we will reach temperatures our species has not previously survived.

    What expense? Why assume there is an expense? In Britain, changing to renewables has sparked a whole new industry that is improving their economy. Why let ExxonMobil have all the fun?

    If the first information is always wrong, well that was over a hundred years ago.

    Everything I’ve read, as posted above in peer reviewed links shows that the natural process is responsible for at most 30%. And, only one article shows it that high. All others say 5-15%. So, we are responsible for the lion’s share, at least 85% by my reading.

    Re: Bjorn Lomberg, bobbo, you did not let me get away with that. Post some links to either peer reviewed articles or reputable (i.e. not Fox) news sources summarizing peer reviewed journals.

    Re: Gore debating Lomberg, what a silly concept!! Why should a politician debate a scientist. That’s like me fighting a boxer. Why not ask Lomberg to debate Hansen? That would make sense. Politicians can’t hold a debate against scientists. Gore is just reporting science, not performing it.

  36. bobbo says:

    Fiesty this morning? Yea, I thought about providing a link, but I’m still smarting about not using Scott approved, peer reviewed sites, so, leave it to those interested enough. His issues don’t go to the scientific so I doubt peer reviewed anything is involved.

    Its more the strength of his logic/argument. He might even be an economist rather than a scientist.

    Why assume there is an expense? Because there always is and THAT is Lombergs point. What he does as you pie-in-the-sky presume, is balance the cost vs the benefits off one another with of course new revenue streams/technology being only one potential benefit.

    From my faulty memory for instance==full compliance with Kyoto would cost xxx billion and only delay 3 degree rise in temp by 5 years==or something like that. Meanwhile, much less than that amount of $$$ spent elsewhere could delay it much longer or with other funds then made available, avoid it all together===although if there is even a 5% cause by “nature”, then ocean rise will come naturally in 5000 years rather than 100 years, so the future challenge is to create global cooling, and then be ready to go into reverse in 15K years as the earth cools off? Fun stuff when we can’t even get out of Iraq.

    He’s been on Book TV the last two weekends. That will probably be it until his next book?

  37. Misanthropic Scott says:

    bobbo,

    Even if we look to economics rather than science, renewables make sense. They improve the economy rather than harming it.

    http://www.windaction.org/documents/5776
    http://www.ruralenergy.co.uk/
    http://www.cla.org.uk/Policy_Work/Renewable_Energy/

    The U.S. government is currently subsidizing fossil fuels in a huge way and all we see from it is record profits to huge multinational conglomerates like ExxonMobil and zero real benefit to our economy. If we spend exactly that amount on renewable energy, it will not cost us a single extra dime. And, we’ll get good jobs in new technologies. This is a win all around. If you make the claim that there are always costs, back the claim up.

    I claim that we just blew half a trillion on Iraq with nothing to show from it. That is a cost of fossil fuels. I claim that Exxon and BP destroyed a huge chunk of Alaska coast line. That is a cost of fossil fuel. When look at the costs, fossil fuels are devastating to the economy as well as to the environment. I have backed up these claims with links to articles on the economy as well as to science articles on the environment.

    You have made claims. When your claims are scientific, I ask that they be peer reviewed because of the active disinformation being paid for by ExxonMobil and others. When the claims are economic, I’ll probably have to take non-peer reviewed economic papers. Unfortunately, most are likely to talk about the GDP, which as you know, I find to be a complete non-indicator of anything.

  38. bobbo says:

    Just to do my bit then. I googled “lomberg kyoto” and found the following short article in NY Times.

    with the theme being “The environmentalists are wrong, the focus should be on development, not sustainability.” Also fun to read the “treehugger” website that negatively reviews Lombergs position.

    So “as usual” everybody wants to do the right thing, nobody can agree on what the right thing is?”

  39. Misanthropic Scott says:

    bobbo,

    I’ve heard that argument before. The problem is we have to worry about sustainability at the same time. We simply can’t support the number of people on the planet at anything like the lifestyle to which you are accustomed.

    I’m not sure if this is the same quiz that told me that we’d need 3.8 earths if everyone lived like me.

    http://ecofoot.org/

    Either way though, it’s worth trying this one. The one think I don’t like about these is that you actually get a better score for having kids than not because there are more people in your home. This is far wrong IMHO because if everyone lived like me, we might need 3.8 earths. But, we’d only need them for one generation. Then the rest of the species would get their planet back.

    P.S. I hope you don’t mind, I moved your link to be part of the text since it was very long. Otherwise, I left your post unchanged.

  40. bobbo says:

    Thats an excellent point–a rational approach requires the evaluation of sustainability AND development==otherwise how do you balance one off the other and make a real choice?

    So much depends on the assumptions one makes. I’ve heard that once oil hits $40 per barrel that tarsand was supposed to become economically viable–and as so often the case, more oil in tarsand than has yet been pumped? That would be “good” for energy sources, and bad for continued carbon fouling.

    Assumptions and modelling. How do we know what we know, and how do we change our minds? Always good to review that.

    How many earths do we need? How does the formula change if I don’t even want to drive my car?

  41. Misanthropic Scott says:

    bobbo,

    Take the quiz multiple times to play what-if scenarios. That might be interesting. If you don’t want to drive your car, you’ll need to make sure to live in a place like NYC with excellent public transportation or better yet, someplace like Amsterdam or Copenhagen with really good bike lanes. NYC is just starting to get the idea on bike lanes.

  42. BubbaRay says:

    Scott, you realize that all data I quote is peer reviewed by the some of the most published theoreticians in Solar research (one of which is a friend and colleague).

    Big news:
    The Swedish Goverment has donated their 22 inch evacuated Solar Telescope located on La Palma in the Canary Islands (which was replaced by the 1 meter evacuated Solar Telescope) to an amateur group near Oakland, California. I may get to consult in both its installation and use. There is some talk about moving it to Mt. Wilson, where the seeing is probably the best in North America. Using it only for imaging is like using my Ferrari (I wish) commuting back and forth to the grocery store.

    Therefore, my colleagues are designing a spectrograph (maybe a Littrow system) that will be fed by the 22 inch. The money is available to build the spectrograph which can cost 1-2 million bucks. Research plans: study Solar granulation and Solar oscillations at the meter level with the new system.

  43. Misanthropic Scott says:

    BubbaRay,

    Congrats on the telescope. May you and your group get many hours of enjoyment from it.

    Regarding solar research, I agree that it plays a part in global warming. I just keep reading that it is at most a small portion. Are you aware, for example, that Venus actually gets LESS sun than Earth does at the surface. Due to its higher albedo, most sun is reflected back to space. And yet, the planet’s surface is much hotter than ours. Why? Because it has runaway GHGs, mostly in the form of CO2.

    Further, Earth would be an iceball without it’s GHGs. I don’t remember the exact temperature for each of Earth and Venus with and without GHGs. It’s quite well documented in the relatively light reading climate science text book, Is the Temperature Rising: The Uncertain Science of Global Warming

    We must assume (and we already see the evidence of the fact) that increasing our CO2 will also increase the temperature of Earth. We only get to run this experiment once. And, the survival of our civilization and possibly our species are on the line.

  44. BubbaRay says:

    Scott,

    It’ll be a couple of years before “first light” on the new scope. Thank goodness it’s not my money, just a little time.

    You do realize that the surface temps of Venus and Earth are uncoupled wrt Solar variability. Venus’ temp is mainly a function of trapped infrared, Earth’s temp is still mainly a function of direct solar irradiance. The following is a summary of our results from many different studies and ongoing data collection.

    In general, until about 1999, contemporary solar activity has reached historically high levels as measured by sunspot number and isotope concentrations. The rise since the last Maunder Minimum period 300 years ago has roughly paralleled the climb in global temperatures from the depths of the Little Ice Age; whether or not this trend will continue remains to be seen.

    Even small irradiance fluctuations seem to have large measurable effects on greenhouse gas loading. Now we enter a period of relative solar inactivity.

    The past 2 years inactivity, predicted in the late ’80s and early ’90s would seem to suggest a “leveling-off” of temps and greenhouse gas loading, but this is not the case, thus anthropogenic causes must account for a significant percentage of the increased gas loading and rising temps.

    In recent years, through the work of K. Labitzke in Germany and H. van Loon in the United States, a remarkable periodic oscillation in a number of meteorological parameters appears to be well synchronized with the 11-year solar cycle.

    The relationships appear to meet statistical significance criteria, although the applicability of standard significance tests to data with a strong periodic component is not completely clear.

    The predictions from a decade ago (and from the last 100 years) correspond nicely with observations of solar maxima/minima recorded and suggest that we are, indeed, headed for another Maunder minimum. The last Maunder minimum corresponded with the “little ice age” of the 1700’s. It seems as if we’re headed for another “cooling off” period, a new Maunder Minimum.

    All data I and colleagues reviewed show the correlation of solar variability and global temps such that the Sun accounts for, directly and indirectly, at least 25% of the current warming trend, and more likely 30-40%. The rest is, most likely, anthropogenic – a result of man’s energy exploitations – coal, oil, gas etc. and their uses, generation of electricity, transportation etc.

    FSM help us if some moranic crackpot venture decides it would be wonderful to disturb the billions of tons of methane frozen beneath the oceans for exploitation of a “natural resource.” If so, I’ll be teaching small children the meaning of “adios, muchachos.”

    Hope this helped, we seem to agree on most points. If it’s as clear as mud, let me know and I’ll give it another shot.

  45. Misanthropic Scott says:

    BubbaRay,

    Interesting info. The 30-40% range surprises me. If that’s what the data shows, great! As you stated though, it still leaves us responsible for the other 60-70%. I do think the astronomer/astrophysics community may be estimating a bit higher than the climate scientists. I don’t know whether that is significant or who is right. However, climate science takes many fields into account and is modeling an extremely complex system.

    One thing is certain though, the IPCC has been overly conservative in all of their estimates. The data we are currently seeing is near the high range or beyond the range altogether of every prediction they’ve made. Perhaps their newer predictions will be closer, but I tend to doubt it.

    Have you heard Tim Flannery’s latest? If not, I’m going to redirect you through two levels rather than putting the link here. That way, there’s a place to discuss that article in particular. So, check out my new post Greenhouse Gases Already Worse Than Predicted.

    You do realize that the surface temps of Venus and Earth are uncoupled wrt Solar variability. Venus’ temp is mainly a function of trapped infrared, Earth’s temp is still mainly a function of direct solar irradiance.

    Interesting. However, the reason I bring up Venus is precisely that. The trapped infrared is trapped by GHGs. As we increase our GHGs, our lower albedo puts us in danger of similar effects. Even if they are far less pronounced than Venus’, they may still be quite severe for many species on this planet, including us.

    I’ll be teaching small children the meaning of “adios, muchachos.”

    You don’t have to teach my kids. I saved them the trouble.

  46. bobbo says:

    So, Bubba–you give detailed facts but make no conclusions.

    To wit==in your opinion, is the sun’s activity significant enough that what we humans do is irrelevant, or, is the human contribution siginificant enough that it should be controlled?

    Also, it seems to me you minimize human impact by saying we are about to enter another Maunder (cooling) period “but” when is that period to be upon us==compared to the impacts of humans increasing GHG?

    My “impression” is that the next Maunder may be in 1000 or even 10,000 years, but human caused global catastophe (ie–20 foot rise in sea level) could be upon us in 50-100-200 years?

    So, even if everything you say is correct, is there a time gap in the various effects so that we should take action to avoid the catastophe==or not?

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