Another 10 (+ 1): replies to Dana Nuccitelli.

Anthony Cox

This 10 worst is in response to serial alarmist, Dana Nuccitelli’s response to Roy Spencer’s 10 ( + 1) best sceptical arguments against alarmism. Dana did his little rejoinder some time ago but as far as I can tell no one has taken him to task. Dana’s 10 are so egregious and wrong I had to respond.
Dana previously photoshopped himself as a Nazi
Dana starts with a snide crack about Roy’s comment about global warming Nazis, which is an ironic (not that Dana would appreciate the irony) reversal of the alarmists’ frequent comparison of sceptics with Holocaust deniers. Dana then references the thoroughly discredited consensus of 97%, and goes downhill from there.

1 Dana’s first point is the temperature pause has not happened. But it has as many researchers note and which is easily shown by simply looking at the data as Ken Stewart does:

Dana resorts to the last resort of the scoundrel’s argument that the missing heat is in the ocean. But this bird has well and truly flown as the ARGO data shows no missing heat in the ocean and the satellite measurements show the missing energy has left the planet. Even the IPCC grudgingly concede there is a pause. Dana then refers to Cowan and Way’s much critiqued paper as the best available measurement and finally refers to the lamentable comparison of mankind’s effect on the planet as being like 4 Hiroshima atomic bombs per second. This is a terrible comparison and a terrible start to Dana’s attempt to rebut Dr Spencer.

2 Dana’s second point is to confirm the increase in CO2 in the atmosphere is entirely man-made. As various papers by Knorr and Gloor et al show the idea that all of the increase in atmospheric CO2 is manmade is problematic and scientifically inconsistent. Knorr looks at the airborne fraction, or that part of human emissions of CO2 which remains in the atmosphere. This has been a constant percentage of the increase in atmospheric CO2 since 1850. This must mean that some if not most of the CO2 is coming from nature:

The orange linear line is the percentage of human emissions of CO2 which remain in the atmosphere; the green line is the increase in CO2. Clearly the human CO2 cannot be responsible for all the increase in CO2. Again the facts and data contradict the alarmists’ position.

3 Dana’s third point is that the IPCC is really a scientific body and not political or by inference ideological. As with most of alarmism the very authority which they use to justify their hysteria proves the opposite point. The IPCC was never about the science. It was set up on the basis the
science was settled and the selling of alarmism was the purpose of the IPCC; its foundation document makes this plain. In addition to this the current UN climate chief, Christina Figueres, is blunt in stating the UN and the IPCC’s goal, which is to intentionally transform the economic development model, basically overthrow capitalism with the UN the head of a wealth distribution from the first to the third world. Any pretence the IPCC had to being scientific was dashed by the 2010 audit of its scientific methodology by the IAC which found glaring defects in these methodologies. Finally the idea that the IPCC scientists are pure of heart and deed was well and truly demolished by the email scandal where the private correspondence of the IPCC scientists revealed them to be bullies, liars and at least honest in admitting the science was nowhere settled.

4 Dana’s 4th point is that the climate models can hindcast; hindcasting is basically seeing whether your climate models can predict the past using the assumptions about all the climate variables and forcings.
Dana says the models can. He is wrong. 

Koutsoyiannas, one of the world’s leading hydrologists, climate modeller and expert on stochastic or random qualities in climate wrote two papers in 2008 and 2010 proving the models fails dismally when it comes to predicting the past (see chapter 7 here). And if the models cannot predict the past they certainly cannot predict the future:

5 Dana continues on with his point that models can predict the future because they hindcast the past. But it is plain from point 4 above they cannot hindcast and as the graph above from AR5 draft shows they cannot predict the future. IPCC climate models cannot predict the future and have demonstrably failed:

Dana then goes onto mention climate sensitivity and how the model predictions are consistent with official climate sensitivity. Climate sensitivity is defined here: climate sensitivity is the extent of the change in global average temperature to a doubling of CO2. The problem is the IPCC and alarmism in general do not know what the climate sensitivity is. David Stockwell has prepared a great graph showing how the estimates of climate sensitivity has changed over time:

As shown the official estimates of climate sensitivity range from over 6ºC to less than 1ºC. How can the models be correct when what they are supposed to be measuring is not known?! A further complication in the whole mess is that since temperature is not consistent with the predictions alarmism breaks the climate sensitivity up into a transient climate response (TCR) which is the short term response and an equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) which is what the temperature will be some distant point in the future when the heat which is trapped in the ocean is released (see point 1 for a discussion of the missing heat not being in the ocean and here at the conclusion for a discussion about why the distinction between TCR and ECS is wrong).

6 Dana at this point dismisses any suggestion that alarmist scientists lie about the physics of climate change. Unfortunately the email scandal (see point 3) contradicts this. Until alarmist scientists can admit problems which are manifest in alarmism any meaningful discussion about climate will not occur. The very best we can say about alarmist scientists is that they suffer from noble cause corruption. Basically alarmist scientists believe so strongly in alarmism that they inadvertently produce the scientific results to support their belief. Dana throws in aerosols and whether the cooling effect of aerosols is the reason for the failure of alarmist science in predicting warming. But the role of aerosols is unclear and not the solution the alarmists are looking for to explain the failure of their science.

7 Dana states that warming is bad and the argument posed by lukewarm sceptics like Bjørn Lomborg that some warming is good is wrong. In fact Dana is dead wrong about this. This issue is all about the fact that warming produces benefits as well as problems and this dichotomy can be looked at in terms of costs and benefits. In Cool It by Lomborg, on page 41, Figure 11 Lomborg looks at the costs and benefits of limiting global warming to the preferred IPCC result of 1.5ºC increase. The costs are $83 trillion (!) and the benefits $11 billion. Doing nothing and having business as usual would cost $1 trillion and have benefits of $2 trillion. The fact that global warming produces more benefits than costs has been verified by leading analyst of the costs and benefits of alarmism, Nordhaus (see also here), Monckton, even the IPCC concedes the benefits of global warming exceed the costs. In respect of the IPCC’s conclusions it is interesting that our friend Dana has misrepresented what the IPCC has said about these costs and benefits of global warming and selectively quoted from the IPCC to make it seem the IPCC was really saying the costs of global warming were greater than the benefits. Naughty Dana.

8 Dana asks is CO2 bad and says too much causes dangerous climate change. In fact there is no connection between CO2 and temperature as Lansner’s excellent article shows:

Lansner uses CO2 ice core proxies to produce the above graph which shows that often CO2 and temperature levels move in opposite directions. The other aspect of this issue is: what is an ideal level of CO2 for life if the connection between CO2 and temperature is tenuous at best? Sage’s seminal paper shows that at levels below 200PPM plant life stops and agriculture is impossible. The NIPPC report shows that at current levels of 400PPM life on Earth is thriving. Plant-life is also thriving. Given these facts all Dana can rely on is the US Supreme Court’s ruling that CO2 is a pollutant. This case has a long history with the US EPA, a thoroughly green, activist and alarmist bureaucracy, using all its resources to demonise CO2, pushing its view through the court and achieving success along the way to have CO2 classified as a pollutant. This was achieved in 2007 when the Supreme Court decreed CO2 was a pollutant and the EPA could prescribe regulations if it had independent evidence that CO2 was harmful under the 1970 Clean Air Act. In 2009 the EPA did this but was challenged. The process of this dispute since 2009 has been about the right of the EPA to arbitrarily decide about CO2. The issue was first determined at a Federal level in 2011 where the full bench of the Supreme Court decided that the EPA could not usurp Judicial Review or legislative containment. In 2012 the Appeals Court of the District of Columbia rejected a challenge to the EPA science on the basis the courts could not second guess the science (for a discussion of the EPA science see here). This decision is similar to the NIWA case in New Zealand where alarmists’ science was upheld by the court. However in 2014 the Supreme Court severely curtailed the right of the EPA to regulate CO2 emissions on the basis that the EPA encroached legislative and governmental power and resources. The fact is if a Republican wins office after Obama the EPA’s powers will be subject to further scrutiny. Hopefully then alarmism, which is so bereft of science it has to rely on the courts and a green government agency, will have its legal power expressed through such agencies as the EPA removed.

9 Dana bemoans the fact that alarmism is rejected because it predicts contradictory things like more rain and droughts. In fact alarmism has predicted and been blamed for just about everything; everything bad that is. Alarmism has been promoted with such arrogance, condescension and bullying who can blame people for disbelieving it. The alarmist scientists have been revealed as liars in the email scandal, alarmism gets most things wrong and is full of hypocrites like Gore, Flannery and every rich actor on the planet who enjoy their wealth and houses by the sea while demanding everyone else pay more and live harder lives. Alarmism threatens the continued prosperity of the West and the potential prosperity of the third world. It is a wretched thing. And all Dana can do is make snotty remarks about Roy Spencer not appreciating that global warming can produce contradictory weather at the same time. Actually all the extreme weather predicted by alarmism has been disavowed by the IPCC SREX Report, Nature Journal prominent alarmists like Professor Muller and genuine scientists like Ryan Maue and numerous studies. Contrary to what Dana thinks alarmism is rejected because it is wrong.

10 Dana really gets into a tangle at this point jumbling regional and global and by implication weather and climate. Dana says the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) was only regional. This is wrong. There is a wealth of studies and data which show the MWP was global and at least as warm as today. 2 very good interactive maps illustrate this well. Dana attempts to gloss over this by suggesting a regional event can have global effects. However nothing has a global effect like a global event. More generally alarmists claim every weather event which conforms to their narrative and ignore every event which doesn’t. Alarmists ignore more events then they claim.

11 Dana responds to the complaint that all temperature adjustments make temperature warmer by noting Roy’s UAH temperature network has made warming adjustments. Dana claims Roy does this because subconsciously Roy knows global warming is real. No Dana, alarmists make warming adjustments because they know global warming is not real. There is no doubt the land based temperature indices make their records warmer by making the past cooler and the present warmer. The Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) is a classic example as this 2010 analysis shows. The BoM’s new ACORN temperature network also shows vast adjustments:

Globally this interactive graph demonstrates the adjustments made to land based temperature records make them warmer. Dana finishes his reply to Roy by claiming that UHI does not exist! In this he echoes BEST, the temperature record from Berkeley which found no UHI. Nor do HadCRUT or GISS, the other major land based temperature records, correct for UHI. This is preposterous. Even the BoM recognises and accounts for UHI. The explanation for why BEST and the other land temperature indices do not accept a UHI effect is because the only non-stationary effect acknowledged by BEST on a temperature series is defined as Global Temperature Change. That is, any effect that doesn’t average to zero over a few years is defined as a change in Global Temperature. Since, in the real world, UHI is non-stationary (populations continue to grow), the BEST methodology” guarantees that UHI will be considered to be “Global Warming” (h/t BobC). Neat eh? Actually UHI is real and has been recognised by genuine scientists for a long time. Perhaps the definitive study on UHI was done by Kauffman who incorporated Goodridge’s famous 1996 graph showing how the size of cities is directly linked to the extent of the UHI effect:

Dana Nuccitelli finishes his egregious nonsense with the usual arrogant dismissal of scepticism: he is not challenged by Roy Spencer’s 10 + 1 arguments and they are based on false premises and trivially simple to answer. Well, closed minds are never challenged and that is a trivial truth about alarmism.