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Climate Deniers: Merchants of Doubt “Man-made global warming is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people.” Senator James Inhofe (R-OK)

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Presentation on theme: "Climate Deniers: Merchants of Doubt “Man-made global warming is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people.” Senator James Inhofe (R-OK)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Climate Deniers: Merchants of Doubt “Man-made global warming is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people.” Senator James Inhofe (R-OK)

2 You’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts Patrick Moynihan

3 What do scientists know that the rest of us don’t? Doran and Zimmerman, 2009

4 Read it: How doubters doubt

5 Comparing Science and Policy people Scientific enterprise –Inquisitorial system Data collection, interpretation, revision Data --> hypothesis --> theory --> law –Search for “truth”, following physical “laws” –“Truth” through data collection, estimates of certainty –Medium: Published papers –Motivation: Recognition and advancement –Accountability: Peer review –Time-frame: Open-ended

6 Science and Policy, con’t Policy-makers: –Adversarial system –Search for compromise, not “truth” –Compromise through negotiation –Medium: Instruments: Convention, Protocol, Frameworks, MOU’s –Motivation: Legal compliance, achieving settlement –Accountability: Legal and public opinion –Time-frame: Usually fixed, rigid

7 A recent experience Prof. William Happer Cyrus Fogg Prof. of Physics, Princeton NAS member, former DOE Director of Research Invited lecture at investment conference in NYC, Oct. 25, 2010. “friend of Columbia” send me his talk and asked for my comments.


9 Claim: The temperature of the earth is mainly determined by CO2. Fact: In the past, the temperature of the earth was only weakly correlated with atmospheric CO2 levels. Fact: Temperature changes seem to cause CO2 changes, not vice versa. Happer - Slide (April 2010)

10 Ice core record of CO 2 and Climate Vostok (Antarctica) CO 2 and CH 4 measured in Antarctic ice gas bubbles Temperature from  D isotopic composition of Antarctic ice water. thennow CO 2 CH 4 T°C

11 This is “weak” ?

12 Antarctic Temp changes occur before CO2 changes ? Happer - Slide (April 2010)

13 New study (Shakun et al., 2012)

14 Result: 90% of the world warmed after CO2 rise

15 Claim: The temperature of the earth has risen at an alarming rate in the last century. Fact 1: Some of the claimed Temperature rise is natural Fact 2: Some of the temperature rise is bogus Fact 3: What’s left is due to CO2 Happer - Slide (April 2010)

16 a. b. Climategate CRU record from merging surface temperature data sets from across the world. Raw data not available, lost or destroyed. US data (public record) shows 1930’s about as warm as the last decade. Happer - Slide (April 2010)

17 b. US data (public record) shows 1930’s about as warm as the last decade. Happer - Slide (April 2010) You guys answer this one …

18 Deconstruct this one too Willie Soon (Harvard) Congressional Staff Briefing (April 13, 2010)

19 Take your pick of four independent data compilations

20 What global warming really looks like Data source: NASA / GISS

21 Max/Min sensor near John Martin Reservoir, CO (Davey 2005) Tucson, Arizona in a parking lot on pavement. The urban heat island problem: Heat trapping structures tend to surround temperature-monitoring stations over time. Happer - Slide (April 2010)

22 Claim: At 390 ppm we are already above the optimal level of atmospheric CO2 What is the optimal level? the 280 ppm pre-industrial level? the 1000 ppm used in greenhouses? the 2000 ppm of the eocene? Happer - Slide (April 2010)


24 You guys answer this question: What is the “optimal CO 2 level” ? thennow 385 It’s a false premise.

25 When was the last time CO 2 was near 600 - 1000 ppm? a long, long time ago... 25-35 million years. warm cold Data source: Zachos et al., 2001 nowthen

26 35 million years agoToday Arctic Antarctic 6-8°C warmer; Sea level was +60 meters Ice free Ice free

27 Claim: CO2 increases will cause catastrophic global warming. Fact: The alleged catastrophic warming from CO2 is due to large positive feedback from water vapor and clouds. The feedback is probably small or negative. Happer - Slide 4 (April 2010)

28 Clouds are a positive feedback The issue: Low level clouds have a net cooling effect on climate (reflective). The debate: In a warming world will low-level clouds increase or decrease ? Clement et al, Science 2009

29 Claim: We can already see the world coming to an end because of CO2 Fact: None of the claims are true sea level continues its historical rise no increase in storms no increase in droughts no trend in sea ice Happer - Slide (April 2010)


31 Happer - Slide (April 2010)

32 What happens when you show all the data Arctic Sea ice: three independent estimates Why September ? Nearly 50% sea ice loss in 40 years

33 Arctic sea ice Models vs. Observations 2007 Data source: National Snow and Ice Data Center

34 A current canard: “Global warming has stopped” UK Daily Mail

35 Remember… oceans take up 90% of heating

36 A note on Happer’s credibility Happer hasn’t published a single research paper on climate change (lots on “spin relaxation of Xe”). He is chair of Marshall Institute - funded in part by Exxon-Mobil ($715K) Matthew Crawford (U. Chicago PhD) resigned from GMI because “the trappings of scholarship were used to put a scientific cover on positions arrived at otherwise. These positions served various interests, ideological or material. For example, part of my job consisted of making arguments about global warming that just happened to coincide with the positions taken by the oil companies that funded the think tank”.

37 Amuses-bouche of other skeptic challenges 1)The Hockey stick is broken. 2)It’s the Sun. 3)Global warming ended in 2000, no rise since then. 4)Climate is always changing. 5)Fraud and deception: ClimateGate.

38 Top 10 denialist arguments Skeptic ArgumentWhat the Science Says 1"It's the sun" The sun’s output has barely changed since 1970 and is irrelevant to recent global warming. 2"Climate's changed before" Climate reacts to whatever forces it to change at the time; humans are now the dominant forcing. 3"There is no consensus" 97% of climate experts agree humans are causing global warming. 4"It's cooling"The last decade 2000-2009 was the hottest on record. 5"Models are unreliable" Models successfully reproduce temperatures since 1900 globally, by land, in the air and the ocean. 6"Temp record is unreliable" The warming trend is the same in rural and urban areas, measured by thermometers and satellites. 7"It hasn't warmed since 1998" 2005 was the hottest year globally, and 2009 the second hottest. 8"Ice age predicted in the 70s" The vast majority of climate papers in the 1970s predicted warming. 9"Antarctica is gaining ice" Satellites measure Antarctica losing land ice at an accelerating rate. 10 "We're heading into an ice age" Worry about global warming impacts in the next 100 years, not an ice age in over 10,000 years.

39 I’m on “The List” 500 Scientists Whose Research Contradicts Man-Made Global Warming Scares Written By: Dennis T. Avery Published In: Heartland News Release Publication date: 09/14/2007 Publisher: Hudson Institute

40 "Despite their knowledge of the results of these many investigations, the defendants have nevertheless accused Dr Mann of academic fraud and have maliciously attacked his personal reputation with the knowingly false comparison to a child molester. The conduct of the defendants is outrageous, and Dr Mann will be seeking judgement for both compensatory and punitive damages," Mann's Facebook page said.

41 July, 2013 update

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