So a while back I was debating a climate change denier friend of a friend on Facebook. Now, when I say “debating”, it was only a hole in the ground covered by a piece of twig, but it was a debate to her. As evidence that AGW isn’t real, she provided the following:
- A quote from Christopher not-even-a-scientist Monckton.
- A link to a conference sponsored by the Heartland Institute
- A link to some guy’s blog with his thoughts about the hacked CRU emails.
- A claim that the word “trick” is nefarious
- A link to an unpublished paper by professional curmudgeon Richard Lindzen, in which he whines for 30 pages about how much better science was in the olden days, but no actual science.
- Two links to blogs claiming the IPCC had admitted exaggerating effects. (Yep, the 2035 Himalayan glaciers mistake and the not-actually-wrong-after-all 40% Amazon sensitivity.)
- A link to a lawyer’s blog entry about the same two things above.
- A link to a conservative physicist’s blog entry quote-mining John Houghton.
- A link to Monckton being shredded in a debate with an actual atmospheric scientist. (that was funny)
- A link to the standard quote-mine claiming Phil Jones says there has been no global warming since 1995, by yet another person who doesn’t understand the meaning of statistical significance.
- A quote from Phil Jones in which he accuses McIntyre and McKitrick of getting stuff wrong. As this was later proved to be true, it’s another funny one.
- A claim that it was not up to her to provide actual scientific publications refuting AGW.
- A link to another article about the two one errors in the thousand-page IPCC 4.
- A claim that she had supplied “plenty of info”.
- A claim that the retraction of Siddall et al (2009) actually supports her side
- A link to a blog entry by a materials physicist claiming to falsify Vermeer and Rahmstorf (2009), but not actually published anywhere. And nothing about Pfeffer (2008), which supports Vermeer and Rahmstorf, or the fact that the retraction of Siddall et al was because their sea level rise values were too small.
- A link to a blog discussing the Zorita letter, in which Zorita explicitly says he thinks AGW is real.
- A list of non-climate-scientists who think the APS is too strong in its policy statement on AGW.
- A claim that anything that can be found on realclimate.org is automatically wrong.
- An assertion that I am a wanna-be engineer, and thus not to be believed.
- A second claim that it was not up to her to provide actual scientific publications refuting AGW.
- An assertion that the truth must be in the middle.
- An assertion that I am an alarmist engineer, and thus not to be believed.
- An assertion that I have no science training, and thus am not to be believed.
- An assertion that I am a non-science person, and thus not to be believed.
- A request to Run along now and play with your circuit board. Leave science to scientists.
And, finally, the first link to actual peer-reviewed literature!!
- A list of 500 papers refuting AGW.
I was not impressed by the start, and didn’t have time to look at it much, but here I am trying to stay up late so I can sleep on the plane on my way back to my pitiful miserable little engineering life. So let’s just see how far through that list I can get.
Course the list isn’t in tabular form or anything, so I have to slog through it one at a time. And no summaries of what each paper says. Almost like they don’t actually want anyone to read the papers, just wave the list around.
|A 2000-year global temperature reconstruction based on non-treering proxies, Craig Loehle (Energy & Environment, Volume 18, Numbers 7-8, pp. 1049-1058, December 2007)||Attempts to reconstruct temperatures with 20 very sparse proxies other than tree rings, finds temperature hasn’t risen.||Energy & Environment is listed as a trade journal by Scopus, and isn’t listed in ISI. This paper apparently has zero citations. The paper itself does not show the correlation among the proxies, which is the first thing I (a lowly engineer) would demand were I reviewing it. The reply to a comment on it has no abstract, and I’m not going to pay to download it.
Net: Irrelevant, probably wrong.
|A Climate of Doubt about Global Warming, Robert C. Balling Jr. (Environmental Geosciences, Volume 7, Issue 4, December 2000)||Behind a paywall. From the abstract, it appears to be a review article of denialist talking points, covering everything from “the temperatures aren’t rising” to “the sun is getting hotter”, all in 51 kBytes.||Highly unlikely to contain any new science. Journal is published by the American Association of Petroleum Geologists. According to Harper’s, Balling has recieved more than $200,000 from coal and oil interests over the past six years.
|A comparison of tropical temperature trends with model predictions, David H. Douglass, John R. Christy, Benjamin D. Pearson, S. Fred Singer (International Journal of Climatology, Volume 28, Issue 13, pp. 1693-1701, December 2007)||They claim to run 22 models and get divergent results.||At first I thought this might be a significant issue. But with a little searching I found a more careful analysis by Santer et al (2008) (PDF here) which finds that Douglass et al got it wrong.
Net: would support the no-AGW position if it weren’t wrong.
|An updated comparison of model ensemble and observed temperature trends in the tropical troposphere, Stephen McIntyre, Ross McKitrick (Submitted to the International Journal of Climatology, 2009)||Using the methods of Santer et al (2008) (see paper directly above) on data through 2008 shows a divergence between models and measurements.||Nothing by McIntyre has been published in Intl. J. Clim. in 2009 or 2010. McIntrye and McKitrick have been very wrong in other analyses.
Net: Not published
UPDATE 2: McIntyre has descended to the level of a total crank. I will be quite surprised if this paper is ever published.
|A Critical Appraisal of the Global Warming Debate, C.R. de Freitas (New Zealand Geographer, Volume 50, Issue 1, pp. 30-32, 1994)||Didn’t read.||Not a climatology journal.
|A critical review of the hypothesis that climate change is caused by carbon dioxide, Heinz Hug (Energy & Environment, Volume 11, Number 6, pp. 631-638, November 2000)||Major changes are occurring in the global warming debate. Popular alarmist views are giving way to more balanced assessments of the situation. There is now greater emphasis on the lack of consensus among climatologists on fundamental scientific issues related to climate change.||←That right there is the entire abstract.
Net: No science
|A dissenting view on global climate change, Henry R. Linden (The Electricity Journal, Volume 6, Issue 6, pp. 62-69, July 1993)||The Electricity Journal? Are you serious?
|A new dynamical mechanism for major climate shifts (PDF), Anastasios A. Tsonis et al. (Geophysical Research Letters, Volume 34, Issue 13, July 2007)||“We construct a network of observed climate indices in the period 1900–2000 and investigate their collective behavior.” This is a speculative non-physical (mathematical only) model linking four oscillatory climate structures (ENSO, PDO, NAO, and NPO) and finding they could couple nonlinearly.||Conclusion: “[this work] suggests an alternative hypothesis, namely that the climate shifted after the 1970s event to a different state of a warmer climate, which may be superimposed on an anthropogenic warming trend.”
UPDATE: Turns out Tsonis and a collaborator wrote another paper in 2009 where they looked further at this hypothesis. This model explains decade-ish variability, and when such variability is removed from measurements, there is almost a monotonic increase. So if they’re correct they have an explanation for some of the short term variability, thus supporting AGW.
|A sceptical view of climate change and water resources planning, Geoff Kite (Irrigation and Drainage, Volume 50, Issue 3, pp. 221-226, July 2001)||Another paywalled article purporting to list all the problems with AGW.||Irrigation and Drainage isn’t exactly a top-tier (or any-tier) climatology journal.
So, I didn’t make it through many of the 500, but one would hope they’d put their strongest arguments first. So far we’re 0 for 9. I’ll update this if I’m bored again someday. First update puts it at -1 for 9, since Tsonis turns out to be an own goal.
Second update finds McIntyre going totally off the deep end. I predict the “submitted to” paper above is never approved for publication, at least not in a top-tier journal.