A lot of heat is going into the ocean

deep ocean by gnews pics

Scientists Find 20 Years of Deep Water Warming Leading to Sea Level Rise
[Via NOAA News Releases]

Scientists analyzing measurements taken in the deep ocean around the globe over the past two decades find a warming trend that contributes to sea level rise, especially around Antarctica. Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, such as carbon dioxide, cause heating of the Earth. Over the past few decades, at least 80 percent of this heat energy has gone into the ocean, warming it in the process.


Everyone looks at air temperatures, since we live on land, but the ocean has been picking up most of the increasing heat being trapped on the planet. Luckily for us. If that heat had stayed in the atmosphere, it would be rising at over 5 °F a decade.

But this increased heat, especially in the deep ocean, not only raises sea level by thermal expansion but also has the real potential for disrupting the underwater rivers that move cold, deep water to the surface, and warm, shallow water to the deep.

Warmer deep waters means that it can take a long time to blow off the heat effects in the atmosphere. The human race may have to start learning pretty quick how to adapt to a rapidly changing world.

25 thoughts on “A lot of heat is going into the ocean

  1. Thanks for your reply,

    Yes I have studied Skeptical Science very carefully and have found it contains no empirical evidence supporting the “anthropogenic CO2 causes Global Warming” hypothesis.
    Skeptical science relies on a number of observations and correlations. The problem with this is two fold: 1. Many of the correlations have been “observed” using models that assume the above hypothesis, and 2. (and I dont know what you studied in your PhD) but every freshman in statistics knows that correlation is not any sort of proof of causation.

    Having said that, I am always keen to examine any empirical proof if you have it.




    1. Interesting that you do not chose to respond to the evidence on the page I linked to but chose to simply ignore the site. Asking for data but then refusing to engage that data – seems like you are not really interested in finding out an answer to your question. You did not ask about the “anthropogenic CO2 causes Global Warming” hypothesis”. You asked about evidence for the statement “Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, such as carbon dioxide, cause heating of the Earth.”

      Moving the goalposts is not a way to deal with the fascinating world around us nor for engaging people in a worthwhile discussion. There are a lot of other places to see the data about the greenhouse effect if Skeptical Science does not suit your sensibilities. Somehow, I do not think that is what you really seek.

      I am curious why you believe that statistics is involved in the the wavelengths of light that are absorbed by CO2? Causation and correlation do not appear to have anything to do with the physical characteristics of CO2.

      I answered you request. If you chose to change the subject rather than address the issue in any sort of relevant fashion. then perhaps there is no real opportunity to have a discussion.

  2. With all due respect, I did state that I was very familiar with the skeptical science site.

    Also I think you are muddling the issue some.

    I never and I do not deny the greenhouse properties of CO2 or of water vapour for that matter, but in your blog, you are the one asserting ” Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, such as carbon dioxide, cause heating of the Earth.” by which it is reasonable to interpret that you mean is causing or has caused the current warming of the earth.

    My question is, and I repeat, Do you have any empirical evidence that this is the case.




  3. Roger,

    NOAA stated “Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, such as carbon dioxide, cause heating of the Earth” in the section I quoted. You asked where the evidence was for that. I showed you the data.

    I know these sorts of conversations can be hard so I’m sorry if anything I wrote came across as harsh. It’s after 1 am here and I may not be as coherent as normal.

    It seems you now want me to prove whether AGW is true or provide empirical evidence it is. If that is what you want, there are plenty of very good sites on the Web that can help you with that.

    I don’t really have the time or responsibility to educate you about AGW. If you completely ignore a site that provides good basic explanations/with comments and links to the data, your task will be harder.

    For me, AGW provides the best model to explain all the data that has been generated. Just as evolution and natural selection is the best model for the diversity of life.

    As I am sure you know, science does that until a better model comes along that has better explanatory power.

    We can only work to get the best data possible and generate the best scientific models of the Natural World. At the moment, the best model I know of to explain the changes we see today is AGW.

    Thanks for your comments,


  4. ” At the moment, the best model I know of to explain the changes we see today is AGW”

    So if I showed you a better model you would change your mind?



  5. Richard,
    You have told me the following.

    1. You do not really understand the issues of Anthropogenic Global Warming, but because we have possibly measured some recent increase in temperatures, you think it is the fault of mankind and civilization. This is your “model”

    2. This is your solid conviction because in keeping with the majority of your replies, you have tried to steer clear of the points I have been asserting. Your last comment says to me that no matter what I or anyone else tells you, there IS global warming and it IS caused the CO2 emissions of our civilization.

    And yet you cannot explain to me any evidence at all, and you either do not know what empirical evidence is, or it is too painful for you to go there.

    What is your PhD in then? Politics?

    Anyway it is obvious from our conversation that you have very little to base your beliefs on, but you spend this time promoting these theories as truth and fact. How do you sleep at night?

    I have an open mind, I have questioned many self promoted “experts” such as yourself, but never got a sensible answer.
    I am sure you know but are unwilling to discuss that there are a number of alternative models or hypothesis’ which describe the current conditions very well. One hypothesis I like which is described in my blog, has a number of irrefutable supporting factors which make it very much more likely than the current “anthropogenic CO2 causes Global Warming” hypothesis and these facts disprove the “anthropogenic CO2 causes Global Warming” hypothesis.
    Needless to say the hypothesis in my blog is not peculiar to me but shared by most people who have used their minds to consider the facts and are able to see through the political and paparazzi cloud.




    1. Roger,

      I certainly appreciate your viewpoint, even though I do not share it. As I wrote, and I am sure you know, there are plenty of very good sites online to get real data describing peer reviewed articles dealing with this subject. That certainly seems to be a sensible answer to me for your questions. That is one way scientists, and others, educate themselves – examining the peer reviewed data and checking to see if the data supports the model. It is not my job nor responsibility to convince other people, especially when there are others that can do a much better job of explaining the data and describing why AGW is the best model. If that really is your interest. From your responses, I gather that is not your interest

      I checked out your website and did not find anything there that presents a better model than AGW does– not one I found convincing in the least. Doing that requires more than throwing brickbats at AGW. Your model seems to be mainly denying warming is occurring at all. Sorry, I do not find that the data support that interpretation.

      As I said, it is not my responsibility to try and convince you. You either can look at the wide range of data examining this question that have been produced over the last 50 years or you can find ways to ignore them. It appears to me that you have decided to do the latter.

      If so, then I really see no need for us to engage each other again. Just as I’d not waste time trying to convince a Young Earth Creationist that the Earth is more than 10,000 years old and that humans and Apes share a common ancestor, I’ll not waste time convincing an AGW-denialist that the Earth is warming.

      Take care,


  6. Richard,

    The reason for these comments has been to check the depth of your convictions, seeing as how you seem to be happy to parade and prosletize your beliefs in the public arena.
    I am sorry to say that you appear to have little foundation for your beliefs as now you are avoiding the question by attacking my person.
    Perhaps you should give me and the readers at least one good reason why we should attach any validity at all to what YOU write.


    PS Where abouts in my website do I deny global warming? I do not recall that at all. Maybe you should actually read my site before you comment about it. Of course it will be painful to read because it points out facts that conflict with your beliefs.
    I have also reproduced this conversation at http://www.globalwarmingsupporter.wordpress.com where my readers will also be interested to evaluate your responses.

    1. Roger,

      I’m am replying one more time since you have stated that you are reproducing this conversation for others. I do not want them to think I am rude.

      1) Sorry. I left out a word. You site seems to be mainly denying anthropogenic global warming. I don’t always proof comments as well as I should.

      2) I would suggest that your previous comment (at 8:15 PM) contained a fair amount of personal attack.

      3) I answered your initial question by pointing you to a website. I’ll try one more time but I have little hope it will alter anything because I’m sure you have seen that data before.

      4) As I said before, science is about finding and using data to create a model that best describes the world around us. I am satisfied that AGW does just that and that, at the moment, there is no other model that does better. Thus I will continue to write about data and research that help us understand the world better by helping create better models. So far, those data support AGW.

      5) I have waited for you to inform me of a better model. Your website failed to present any convincing data (at least to me) of a better model than AGW – both in its explanatory power of what we have seen and also in its predictive power to point us in the direction of further research. Perhaps I missed that part because so much of the page was devoted to throwing things at the AGW edifice. MWP and Greenland are possible arguments against a very small part of AGW, although ultimately those arguments are unconvincing and fail because the data do not support their relevance to global climate.

      6) What do you call your model that replaces AGW, that explains ocean acidification, carbon isotope ratios, oxygen levels, CO2 increases, greater temperature increases at high latitudes, sea level rises, increasing ocean temperatures, arctic ice volume lose, increasing night time temperatures and a lot more?

      7) If you do have a better model than AGW, what sorts of experiments could be done to differentiate between your model and AGW? Because one has to be a better representation of the world than the other. People have been trying to do this for over 20 years and failed. It really would be cool if you could succeed.

      8) Having been part of Usenet wars about all sorts of science topics, I had a pretty good idea of how this could have proceeded. I have tried to respond civilly and only got snarky when I felt you did first. If I misread your intentions from previous comments, accept my apologies.

      9) Unless you can see some way for us to have a meeting of the minds, this will be my last reply. We may just have to disagree.

      Take care,


  7. Richard,
    Thank you for your reply.

    Yes adding that little word “anthropogenic” does alter what you say considerably.

    “6) What do you call your model that replaces AGW, that explains ocean acidification, carbon isotope ratios, oxygen levels, CO2 increases, greater temperature increases at high latitudes, sea level rises, increasing ocean temperatures, arctic ice volume lose, increasing night time temperatures and a lot more?”

    I have to say, although privately I think many of the above observations have their problems, that once again you have read something into my site, and therefore into my reasoning, that is not there.

    I have not attacked these observations, but what I do vigorously attack is the way politicians, websites and commentators such as you, consider that these observations constitute proof in any shape or form.

    The fact that the world has been warmer than the present many times before, (a number of those times within history), severely disproves any causation attributed to CO2 to a reasonable mind.
    The only arguments I have seen to counter that, have been attempts to change history.
    Until some evidence of causation comes to hand, which you certainly have not mentioned, why should we ruin our economies and life styles on the account of prophets who tell us that we are going to burn up the world?

    So far you have steadfastly refused to demonstrate any personal reasoning of your own. Are you paid by someone to express their official line perhaps?

    Instead of relying on what politicians and political organisations say, which is what you are doing when you refer me to skeptical science, how about sharing with us, YOUR reasoning on the matter.

    If you want to rely on “faith” well share that fact with us as well.


    1. Roger,

      I’m sorry if I somehow misconstrued your reasoning. I’ve asked you to tell me what your model is and how it differs from AGW several times now. Could you please provide a short explanation?

      Take care,


  8. Richard,

    I am familiar with models from my economics days. However they are useful only when you have properly known parameters, or trying to find parameters to produce a known result.
    So I do not have one of those.
    However we do have some facts to work from.

    What we do know is that the world regularly warms and cools, we can theorise why, but that is not important really, what is important that it does this independantly from CO2 concentrations.
    Now at least three major warmings have occurred in historical times. During the first one of these, the holocene maximum, we know that the Sahara was fertile and stone age man used the pass at Schnidejoch. During the Roman Warming we know that Climate was also warmer than today as roman remains are also appearing from under the glacier at Schnidejoch.
    During the Medieval Warm Period We know it was warmer in Greenland because we have a Viking farm that was under the perma frost. Also the Doomsday book records the growing of grapes and similar in places in Britain where they still will not grow etc etc
    And there are numerous proxies which record similar evidence from Greenland Ice Cores, Antarctic Ice Cores, studies in New Zealand, Pacific Warm Pool and China just to name a few. (links are in my blog).
    We also know there were cooler periods between such as the little ice age etc well recorded in european history and responsible for the most recent advancing of many glaciers.
    This graph is very authorative and indicative of the temperatures during the periods I have mentioned.

    To top it all off there has been warming and cooling in our lifetimes and that of our parents. I remember when there was a mild panic on about another approaching iceage. http://rogerfromnewzealand.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/1974iceagereport.pdf and my grand parents could remember when it was warmer as well. http://rogerfromnewzealand.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/washington-post-1922.jpg
    These fluctuations at times when there was very little or no anthropogenic CO2, disprove the “anthropogenic CO2 causes Global Warming” hypothesis.
    To prove that the current warming is this time caused by Anthropogenic CO2 not only needs a lot more direct proof of causation but also proof that the warming mechanism of previous warmings is NOT responsible.
    To be quite frank, there is no scientific paper or commentary that I have read that can claim the above has been done.

    That is my thinking, and as I have touched on previously, the economic suicide that the IPCC is promoting for western countries makes it very necessary that we do not go down the carbon dioxide reduction road lightly.

    Disagree if you like, but on my blog you will find facts that support everyone of those assertions.



    1. Roger,

      I can tell you have put a lot of thought and work into your view. And I expect that little I can say or write will change them. But I do feel that your views are incomplete because they do nothing to try and get at the explanations for the world we currently live in.

      A major point of constructing scientific models of the world around us is to discover what parameters we do not know about, to find out and understand what the underlying principles are. It starts with simple questions such as “The world is warming. Why?” Any scientific model has to provide answers to that question or show us how to get the data to gain a further understanding in order to answer that question.

      AGW has had 20 years of intense vetting on just these points, with many of the formerly unknown parameters now with hard data. AGW may not be completely correct – no scientific model made by man could be – but it possess tremendous explanatory power, explanatory power that has held up to a lot of scrutiny. Any other answer to the question “Why?” has, so far, not come close to explaining the data we do see.

      AGW might not be perfect but it is the best that anyone has produced to answer the question “Why?”

      I have a couple of questions:

      1) What is your explanation for why the world is warming and how would we go about demonstrating that? You present your view for why AGW is not correct. While I do not want to get into the details of any counter arguments in a comments thread, I think we both agree that the world is warming. “Why?” That is the part of your view or model that seems to be missing. Scientific models have explanatory powers. It is not enough to try and tear down another model. Simply saying “No” will not help us understand the world any better. It must be replaced with a better model, one that has greater abilities to explain the world we live in. If not AGW, than what is causing the current warming event and how might we demonstrate that is the cause? Otherwise we have to go with the best model we have.

      2) Does the increasing CO2 concentration we currently see have any part in warming? We have direct evidence that this time CO2 levels are rising and no need for proxies. If no, why not? If so, how much?

      3) What is your explanation for the drop in pH of the oceans over recent history? This is actually something I am more afraid of than simple warming. Acidification of the oceans, when it has occurred in the past, has devastated sea life. We have data for the current drop. We know from geologic data what happens to calcareous organisms when the oceans get just a little more acid than they are now. AGW provides an explanatory mechanism for this.

      One reason AGW is the current best model is that none of the other possibilities have the same or better explanatory power. Acidification is one example. Over the last 20 years, people have proposed many possible alternative models for the data we see and, when examined, they have all fallen. We can not ‘prove’ a scientific model. All we can do is show that no other models that provide better explanatory power of the world around us have been found.

      AGW could be superseded if another scientific model had better explanatory and predictive power. If AGW is wrong, then there has to be another explanation for what we are seeing today. If someone is able to provide that explanation, they would be as historically famous as Galileo, Darwin and Einstein.

      Personally, I am glad AGW is the best model we have because it means that we can do something about it. Humans have an incredible ability to alter the world around them and with AGW, we can fix it. If it had turned out to be the sun, or lack of volcanic activity, there would be nothing we could do. The oceans would get hotter, more acid, and a possible world-wide massive extinction event would occur that we would have little power to control. That is what happened in the past when CO2 got high enough. With AGW, disaster is not a foregone conclusion.

      Take care,


    2. Roger,

      I’m going to hijack my own thread here for a second.

      What part of New Zealand do you live in? My wife spent a few weeks on the South Island a few years ago and was just thunderstruck with the beauty. I’m hoping to visit next summer.

      We may disagree about AGW but I hope we can agree that New Zealand is an amazing place.


  9. Richard,

    Here is a small selection of the many peer reviewed scientific papers that do not agree with various aspect of the current “model”. If you really want to do some serious thinking these will be better than the Skeptical science website.
    A few of your points.
    1) What is your explanation for why the world is warming and how would we go about demonstrating that?

    Because as I demonstrated earlier, we know the climate warms and cools naturally. There are a number of hypothesis’ around, that attempt to explain them. However what we do know is the only anthropogenic CO2 around during those times was from itinerant sword sharpening, starting from stone swords during the Holocene Maximum – bronze swords during the Roman Warming and Steel swords during Medieval Warm Period, so we can safely conclude that these warmings were NOT caused by Anthropogenic CO2 because there was effectively none at that time.
    So simply the hypothesis’ that seek to explain these warmings are different from the unproven “Anthropogenic CO2 causes Global Warming” hypothesis.
    So the body of research that is going into supporting the “Anthropogenic CO2 causes Global Warming” hypothesis is largely misplaced because the first task is to prove conclusively that the current warming is NOT caused by the causes of the previous warmings.
    This is not rocket science to most people, this is simple logic.

    2) Does the increasing CO2 concentration we currently see have any part in warming?

    For the reasons explained above, there is no proof of this and barely a suggestion. The current warming is still well within the parameters of history.

    3) What is your explanation for the drop in pH of the oceans over recent history?

    I have no idea. All we have are observations (sometimes disputed) about this. All they show is that there is a drop in ocean PH. One could hypothesize that CO2 is causing this, but just as easily hypothesize that rising temperatures or industrial pollution are the cause.

    Sorry that I disagree with you about whether humans control CO2 and thereby the climate. King Canute tried to command nature it seems and I think we are still in the same boat(excuse the pun). Personally I would rather man did not try to control the climate. If they had some influence it would probably be uncontrolable and if it was controllable, just imagine the social disruption it would cause.
    However I would fear the excesses of the UN, IPCC and their CO2 emission reduction demands far more than I would fear any burning up of the planet. The economic consequences of that are far far close to fact.

    Here are the peer reviewed papers for you :
    I would hate for you to think I am the only person who thinks this way. Good reading!



    A Climate of Doubt about Global Warming
    (Environmental Geosciences, Volume 7, Issue 4, December 2000)
    – Robert C. Balling Jr.

    A comparison of tropical temperature trends with model predictions (PDF)
    (International Journal of Climatology, Volume 28, Issue 13, pp. 1693-1701, December 2007)
    – David H. Douglass, John R. Christy, Benjamin D. Pearson, S. Fred Singer

    – Addendum to A comparison of tropical temperature trends with model Predictions (PDF)
    (Submitted to the International Journal of Climatology, 2007)
    – David H. Douglass, John R. Christy, Benjamin D. Pearson, S. Fred Singer

    – An updated comparison of model ensemble and observed temperature trends in the tropical troposphere (PDF)
    (Submitted to the International Journal of Climatology, 2009)
    – Stephen McIntyre, Ross McKitrick

    A Critical Appraisal of the Global Warming Debate
    (New Zealand Geographer, Volume 50, Issue 1, pp. 30-32, 1994)
    – C.R. de Freitas

    A critical review of the hypothesis that climate change is caused by carbon dioxide
    (Energy & Environment, Volume 11, Number 6, pp. 631-638, November 2000)
    – Heinz Hug

    A dissenting view on global climate change
    (The Electricity Journal, Volume 6, Issue 6, pp. 62-69, July 1993)
    – Henry R. Linden

    A natural constraint to anthropogenic global warming
    (Energy & Environment, Volume 21, Number 4, pp. 225-236, August 2010)
    – William Kininmonth

    A new dynamical mechanism for major climate shifts (PDF)
    (Geophysical Research Letters, Volume 34, Issue 13, July 2007)
    – Anastasios A. Tsonis et al.

    A null hypothesis for CO2 (PDF)
    (Energy & Environment, Volume 21, Number 4, pp. 171-200, August 2010)
    – Roy Clark

    A sceptical view of climate change and water resources planning
    (Irrigation and Drainage, Volume 50, Issue 3, pp. 221-226, July 2001)
    – Geoff Kite

    A Surfeit of Cycles (PDF)
    (Energy & Environment, Volume 20, Number 6, pp. 985-996, October 2009)
    – William M. Schaffer

    A test of corrections for extraneous signals in gridded surface temperature data (PDF)
    (Climate Research, Volume 26, Number 2, pp. 159-173, May 2004)
    – Ross McKitrick, Patrick J. Michaels

    – Are temperature trends affected by economic activity? Reply to Benestad (2004) (PDF)
    (Climate Research, Volume 27, Number 2, pp. 175–176, October 2004)
    – Ross McKitrick, Patrick J. Michaels

    – A test of corrections for extraneous signals in gridded surface temperature data: Erratum (PDF)
    (Climate Research, Volume 27, Number 3, pp. 265-268, December 2004)
    – Ross McKitrick, Patrick J. Michaels

    Altitude dependence of atmospheric temperature trends: Climate models versus observation (PDF)
    (Geophysical Research Letters, Volume 31, Issue 13, July 2004)
    – David H. Douglass, Benjamin D. Pearson, S. Fred Singer

    An Alternative Explanation for Differential Temperature Trends at the Surface and in the Lower Troposphere (PDF)
    (Journal of Geophysical Research, Volume 114, November 2009)
    – Philip J. Klotzbach, Roger A. Pielke Sr., Roger A. Pielke Jr., John R. Christy, Richard T. McNider

    – Correction to “An alternative explanation for differential temperature trends at the surface and in the lower troposphere” (PDF)
    (Journal of Geophysical Research, Volume 14, January 2010)
    – Philip J. Klotzbach, Roger A. Pielke Sr., Roger A. Pielke Jr., John R. Christy, Richard T. McNider

    An Alternative View of Climate Change for Steelmakers (PDF)
    (Iron & Steel Technology, Volume 5, Number 7, pp. 87-98, July 2008)
    – John Stubbles

    An assessment of validation experiments conducted on computer models of global climate using the general circulation model of the UK’s Hadley Centre
    (Energy & Environment, Volume 10, Number 5, pp. 491-502, September 1999)
    – Richard S. Courtney

    An empirical evaluation of earth’s surface air temperature response to radiative forcing, including feedback, as applied to the CO2-climate problem
    (Meteorology and Atmospheric Physics, Volume 34, Numbers 1-2, pp. 1-19, March, 1984)
    – Sherwood B. Idso

    An upper limit to global surface air temperature
    (Meteorology and Atmospheric Physics, Volume 34, Number 2, pp. 141-144, June 1985)
    – Sherwood B. Idso

    An upper limit to the greenhouse effect of Earth’s atmosphere
    (Theoretical and Applied Climatology, Volume 40, Number 3, pp. 171-174, September 1989)
    – Sherwood B. Idso

    Analysing Hydrometeorological Time Series for Evidence of Climatic Change (PDF)
    (Nordic Hydrology, Volume 24, Number 2-3, pp. 135–150, 1993)
    – Geoff Kite

    Analysis of trends in the variability of daily and monthly historical temperature measurements (PDF)
    (Climate Research, Volume 10, Number 1, pp. 27-33, April 1998)
    – Patrick J. Michaels, Robert C. Balling Jr, Russell S. Vose, Paul C. Knappenberger

    Ancient atmosphere- Validity of ice records
    (Environmental Science and Pollution Research, Volume 1, Number 3, September 1994)
    – Zbigniew Jaworowski

    Ancient atmospheric C02 pressures inferred from natural goethites
    (Nature, Volume 355, Number 6385, pp. 342-344, January 1992)
    – J. Crayton Yapp, Harald Poths

    Anthropogenic Warming in North Alaska?
    (Journal of Climate, Volume 1, Issue 9, pp. 942–945, September 1988)
    – Patrick J. Michaels et al.

    Are Climate Model Projections Reliable Enough For Climate Policy? (PDF)
    (Energy & Environment, Volume 15, Number 3, pp. 521-525, July 2004)
    – Madhav L. Khandekar

    Are observed changes in the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere really dangerous? (PDF)
    (Bulletin of Canadian Petroleum Geology, Volume 50, Number 2, pp. 297-327, June 2002)
    – C. R. de Freitas

    Are there connections between the Earth’s magnetic field and climate? (PDF)
    (Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Volume 253, Issues 3-4, pp. 328-339, January 2007)
    – Vincent Courtillot et al.

    – Response to comment on “Are there connections between Earth’s magnetic field and climate?, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 253, 328–339, 2007″ by Bard, E., and Delaygue, M., Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., in press, 2007 (PDF)
    (Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Volume 265, Issues 1-2, pp. 308-311, January 2008)
    – Vincent Courtillot et al.

    Atmospheric Oscillations do not Explain the Temperature-Industrialization Correlation (PDF)
    (Statistics, Politics, and Policy, Volume 1, Issue 1, July 2010)
    – Ross McKitrick

    Atmospheric CO2 and global warming: a critical review (PDF)
    (Norwegian Polar Institute Letters, Volume 119, May 1992)
    – Zbigniew Jaworowski, Tom V. Segalstad, V. Hisdal

    Atmospheric CO2 residence time and the carbon cycle
    (Energy, Volume 18, Issue 12, pp. 1297-1310, December 1993)
    – Chauncey Starr

    Can increasing carbon dioxide cause climate change? (PDF)
    (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Volume 94, pp. 8335-8342, August 1997)
    – Richard S. Lindzen

    Carbon dioxide and climate in the Vostok ice core
    (Atmospheric Environment, Volume 22, Issue 10, pp. 2341-2342, 1988)
    – Sherwood B Idso

    Carbon Dioxide and Climate: Is There a Greenhouse in Our Future?
    (The Quarterly Review of Biology, Volume 59, Number 3, pp. 291-294, September 1984)
    – Sherwood B. Idso

    Carbon Dioxide and Global Temperature: What the Data Show
    (Journal of Environmental Quality, Volume 12, Number 2, pp. 159-163, 1983)
    – Sherwood B. Idso

    Carbon dioxide and the fate of Earth
    (Global Environmental Change, Volume 1, Number 3, pp. 178-182, 1991)
    – Sherwood B. Idso

    Carbon dioxide forcing alone insufficient to explain Palaeocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum warming (PDF)
    (Nature Geoscience, Volume 2, Number 8, pp. 576-580, July 2009)
    – Richard E. Zeebe et al.

    “If the temperature reconstructions are correct, then …forcings other than atmospheric CO2 caused a major portion of the PETM warming.”

    Case for Carbon Dioxide
    (Journal of Environmental Sciences, Volume 27, Number 3, pp. 19-22, May/June 1984)
    – Sherwood B. Idso

    Changes in Snowfall in the Southern Sierra Nevada of California Since 1916 (PDF)
    (Energy & Environment, Volume 21, Number 3, pp. 233-234, July 2010)
    – John R. Christy, Justin J. Hnilo

    Climate as a Result of the Earth Heat Reflection (PDF)
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    – J. Barkāns, D. Žalostība

    Climate Change – A Natural Hazard (PDF)
    (Energy & Environment, Volume 14, Numbers 2-3, pp. 215-232, May 2003)
    – William Kininmonth

    Climate Change and Its Causes, A Discussion About Some Key Issues (PDF)
    (La Chimica e l’Industria, Volume 1, pp. 70-75, 2010)
    – Nicola Scafetta

    Climate Change and the Earth’s Magnetic Poles, A Possible Connection (PDF)
    (Energy & Environment, Volume 20, Numbers 1-2, pp. 75-83, January 2009)
    – Adrian K. Kerton

    Climate change: Conflict of observational science, theory, and politics (PDF)
    (AAPG Bulletin, Volume 88, Number 9, pp. 1211-1220, September 2004)
    – Lee C. Gerhard

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    – Lee C. Gerhard

    Climate change: detection and attribution of trends from long-term geologic data
    (Ecological Modelling, Volume 171, Issue 4, pp. 433-450, February 2004)
    – Craig Loehle

    Climate-change effect on Lake Tanganyika? (PDF)
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    Climate change in the Arctic and its empirical diagnostics
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    Climate Change is Nothing New! (PDF)
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    Climate change projections lack reality check
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    – Michael J. Economides, Xie Xina

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    – Raymond Sneyers

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    – David H. Douglass, Robert S. Knox

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    1. Roger,

      I hope you’ll forgive me if I answer your comment before reading all those papers ;-) I don’t expect anything I say to change your mind but I have enjoyed discussing our viewpoints. Our conversation may have run its course but simply because we find ourselves on opposite sides of an issue does not mean we can not have valuable things to exchange. Here are some of my thoughts, here late at night. Hope they make sense.

      Saying it warmed or cooled in the past and leaving it at that is unsatisfying to me because it does not attempt to understand why the climate changed in the past or whether today’s changes are due to the same thing. Or something else. I want to know what is causing the change and why. Something forces the climate to change. The world does not warm or cool on a whim ;-)

      I feel we actually have pretty good ideas for why it warmed in the past and why it cooled. There are often very different reasons for these climate changes and what caused one period does not necessarily cause another. The Little Ice Age, for example, can be explained quite well by lower solar radiance and increased volcanic explosions. There are convincing data to demonstrate both of those things occurred. But they do not adequately explain the current regime we are in.

      So what does? Something is forcing the world to get warmer. Scientists want to find out what that is. I want to understand. Simply saying that it ‘has happened before’ does not explain that. We (I) want to know why.

      The world is heating up. There have been many possible explanations over the last 30 years or so. CO2 levels are rising. Human burning of fossil fuel is driving much of that CO2 increase. But all the other models and explanations for the current warming do not fit the data we are seeing. They do not provide enough force to explain a warming world. The increasing CO2 does provide an explanation, one that does fit the data. It provides the greatest explanation for all the data we see.It makes predictions that we see upheld, such as ocean acidification and greater warming at higher latitudes.

      At the moment, I believe it the best model for all the data. We see the impact of that model everywhere we look for data. No other scientific model at the moment provides as powerful an explanation for what is happening right now. A lot of people have looked at other possibilities over the last 30 years and failed to find anything that made a substantive change.

      Scientific models can not really be proven. They can just be falsified, shown not to adequately describe the world around us. And they must be replaced by another model that does a better job. Until that happens – if it happens –, we must work with the best model we have, which is AGW.

      Under normal circumstances, the two of us could just carry on a nice collegial discussion about scientific models, global warming, acidification, Arctic sea ice volume, etc. Unfortunately we are not living under normal circumstances.

      The problem we all seem to have has little to do with this or that model. It has to do with implications for policy and economic changes that are being proposed based on this model. I think that if these were not being proposed there would be little conflict about the model itself. You and I would be having a discussion about something few people really cared about ;-)

      Here we enter a very unscientific realm, one with very different rhetorical tools and tricks. I certainly can understand your fears – government regulation is a blunt sword – as I hope you can understand mine if the globe continues to warm – the extreme difficulties we humans may be placed in and the effects on global environments.

      I would think it likely that where we differ most is the likelihood of disaster from governmental regulation compared to the disaster of too warm a climate. On bad days, I think both are too likely so I’ll just go to my happy place – a nice, long, warm bath with a stack of magazines. Usually 2-3 hours is enough to calm me down.

      I wish I was smart enough to propose the perfect set of policies. I personally do not think that top-down approaches will be effective. But I also think doing nothing will be problematic. Perhaps there is a middle, more personal, way.

      I do know, however, the best solutions will come from people of good will with diverse views who can find ways to work together. People and events that act to divide us one from another will not lead to an effective solution.

      Now I am off to bed. As you can see, I get much wordier as the evening goes on.

      Take care,


  10. You wife liked NZ?

    We certainly have a sample of almost every scenery possible.

    I live in Christchurch which is the largest city in the South Island of New Zealand.

    If you visit the South Island, in my opinion the absolutely must do activity is to choose a fine day (we get at least two a week) and take a 40 minute plane flight over the Southern Alps. Make sure you have spare rolls of film with you or extra memory cards. These flights which are in a light plane can land you on a glacier, so you can get out at about 9,000 ft. They go from Mt Cook and the towns of Franz Josef and Fox Glacier.
    Unfortunately the beautiful city of Christchurch is looking more like a bomb site at the moment as all the historical buildings (built to British standards) fell down in the recent earth quake.



    1. Yes, my wife loved New Zealand. Sorry to hear you are in Christchurch. I imagine it will take some time to get it back into shape. Earthquakes can be real life changing events. I know the one we had here in the Seattle area in 2001 had a huge effect on the course of my life.

  11. Richard,
    Thanks for your reply and I do appreciate the fact that you are willing to discuss your beliefs.
    A couple of points here.
    “Saying it warmed or cooled in the past and leaving it at that is unsatisfying to me because it does not attempt to understand why the climate changed in the past or whether today’s changes are due to the same thing.”

    Of course I am familliar with many if not most of the theories about why the world heated and cooled in the past, but to worry about that when we are considering the “Anthropogenic CO2 caused Global Warming” hypothesis clouds the issue.
    All we need to conclude which is easily done ,is that it was NOT from Anthropogenic CO2.
    If this current warming is from CO2 then it will be the first in more than 11,000 years. http://rogerfromnewzealand.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/holocene_delta_t_and_delta_co2_full2.jpg
    Therefore in order to give some definitive proof, as I have mentioned earlier, climate scientists need to 1. Conclude the causes of these earlier warmings and 2. Show that the current warming is NOT from one of those earlier reasons.

    ” But all the other models and explanations for the current warming do not fit the data we are seeing. They do not provide enough force to explain a warming world.”

    Bear in mind that the previous warmings that I have mentioned were all warmer than the current. If one of these forces is in effect there is definitely enough force to warm the world to current temps.

    Yes of course if the “Anthropogenic CO2 causes Global Warming” hypothesis was not going to cost us all very dearly, of course I would not be on here demanding some yet to be produced, definitive evidence.
    I mean think of the theory of evolution, some people got upset, but the fact is it costs us nothing no matter what you believe or whether it is right or wrong, the same with the techtonic plate theory, dosnt cost anything if it is right or wrong, earthquakes are going to happen anyway (something I know a little about:)). But the “Anthropogenic CO2 cause Global Warming” hypothesis is quite different. Like I mentioned before, as an economist, I can see the IPCC CO2 emission reduction demands costing more than a few dollars every week for everyone, I can see it killing western economies.As I found out recently ,shortly after the quake here, with the power off the economy stopped we couldn’t buy food or petrol, trucks werent running, supermarkets werent trading. Had that lasted more than 2-3 days we would all be getting pretty hungry. Our economies are fragile things and killing the economy means people starve.
    So it is important that we get this AGW thing right before we set ourselves up to see our families and communities starving.

    Glad you are prepared to use your own brain to think about it.



    1. Roger,

      As you state, I think the big reason for much of the animosity regarding AGW comes from the implications for economics rather than the science itself. Part of the difficulty for me is that large groups of people may starve and die, wars may rage and economies may die no matter which way we go, if we make poor decisions.

      If AGW is right and we do not move, people and economies will die. But if we move improperly, based on premises that are not totally accurate, then people and economies will die. And if we move too slow, then people and economies are likely to die.

      I’ve spent quite a bit of time and thought looking at finding a decision point that allows forward movement. Unfortunately, we can not do a nice experiment to check out what proposals and processes are best. I am not very convinced that top down approaches will ever be effective here. They seldom are unless the societies have already decided that those policies are worthwhile. We are a long way from that possibility.

      We are in this period where choices are critical. So, whether AGW is a complete description of what is happening, is only an incomplete description or is completely wrong, we will have to make some choices and changes. But which are the right ones, considering that any incorrect choice can kill?

      There are, however, many things that can be done for their own sake that will be helpful, no matter what is going on. We can argue when peak oil will occur but the fact is that the world’s use of fossil fuels is not sustainable and will one day end, killing economies and people. And the world’s use of fossil fuel is full of inefficiencies. Slowing our usage of them will also lessen the production of many pollutants, including mercury and radon. Also, at least in my opinion, there are more important things for using fossil fuels than for energy production, such as plastics and fertilizer.

      It seems to me that making decisions that decrease these inefficiencies – that reduce fossil fuel usage and extend the time for peak oil – have important national security and economic ramifications. They provide us with greater flexibility when making decisions.

      And as a side note, they also decrease CO2 emissions.

      Take care,


  12. Richard,
    Thanks for your answer.

    Astoundingly enough I sense a certain meeting of the minds here.

    “We are in this period where choices are critical. So, whether AGW is a complete description of what is happening, is only an incomplete description or is completely wrong, we will have to make some choices and changes. But which are the right ones, considering that any incorrect choice can kill?”

    We seem to agree that on one hand, if the world is going to burn up, we had better break our economies and do what is necessary to stop this happening if we can.
    On the other hand, if the world is not going to burn up, or will burn up in spite of anything we can do, then it is not sensible to break our economies for a cause that is erroneous or completely outside our control.

    And this comes to my point about demanding a good standard of evidence regarding the “Anthropogenic CO2 causes Global Warming”.
    There is still little if any evidence for this hypothesis, and even the “best” climate scientists argue correlation as evidence of causation.

    Now you may not have realised it, but I am absolutely in favour of using the world’s resources, including carbon, sensibly. This is what sustainability is in my view.
    I am also absolutely in favour of looking after mother earth including freeing her of “mercury and radon” as you mention.
    But be aware that one thing this current recession has done, (is there still a recession where you are?) is slow down the use of energy and therefore CO2 emissions, but on the other hand there is a warning in that observation that supports a fact that we both seem to have agreed on.:- CO2 Emission rates are directly and inexorably linked to the health or otherwise, of our economies.

    Certainly no easy answers in all of this.



    1. Roger,

      If there were easy answers we already would have solved it ;-)

      I think many people may be able to meet their minds if we were could have more rational, personal discussions rather than shouting matches. But that is what seems to drive the media narrative – rationality is very low on their scale. Bullying and screaming make the news. The science seems to be pointing one way but we are all – scientists, economists, politicians, just plain folk – ill-prepared to deal with the question of what to do then. So the extremes get all the publicity, they do all the screaming and rationality goes out the door.

      We then split up into camps – ‘the science is wrong and we have to do nothing”. “the science is right and we have to completely remake out economies”. etc. Climatology is complex enough but the decisions we might have to make all deal with things that are even more complex. I’d rather do science than economics any day ;-)

      Cap-and-trade efforts were quite successful here in the US for dealing with acid rain so I can see why some politicians will just fall back on that as a default. But the acid-rain dealt with a relatively few companies doing one specific sort of thing. Here we are talking about huge proportions of the economy doing many different things. So much harder to predict what will happen.

      And then we have things like this article that make climate change seem real ivory tower stuff.

      The recession is over for the guys on Wall Street but the numbers indicate that we may be in for another 10 years of extremely high unemployment. Productivity keeps going up but little of that added wealth is ending up in the hands of citizens. I expect that we may not have to worry as much about cap-and-trade destroying the economy as I am becoming more and more convinced we will do that all by ourselves.

      The world-wide recession has actually put us on the lowest CO2 emission path of the IPCC. So, even without cap-and-trade we are making progress, although, as you and I know, it has been at a tremendous cost. It would be a nice policy, though, as we begin to recover from the economic debacles that we use more non-fossil fuel sources rather than carbon as we increase energy usage. Now would be a good time. Getting a more sustainable energy policy would be wonderful. The US has such an old and inefficient power grid that only 10% of the energy in the original source of fuel makes it to the consumer. Fixing that would help a lot. Increasing energy efficiency and green energy have direct payoffs to customers as well as being good policy.

      It is certainly going to be a traumatic few years.

      Take care,


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