3. Are we at an Impasse?

by Edwin Berry

Back to the Scientific Method

Allow me to address Dr. Eric’s comments to my Post “2. The Scientific Method.”

Dr. Eric seems reluctant to agree to using the scientific method to verify the AGW hypothesis. He suggests in “complex systems … the testing of theories … becomes more difficult.”

OK, granted, our ocean-atmosphere-climate is a complex system and no scientist who argues against AGW, as I do, will say that testing a climate hypotheses is simple. But complexity is not an excuse to abandon the scientific method. Why? Because there is no other way to determine how nature works.

Is there an alternative to the scientific method?

Unless Dr. Eric has invented another method to replace the scientific method, has published it, and has the agreement of the body of scientists that his new method is a valid replacement for the scientific method, then I suggest we are stuck with the scientific method whether Dr. Eric likes it or not.

Dr. Eric thinks my description of the scientific method is “simplistic.”

Dr. Eric calls my description of the scientific method “very well known … incomplete and simplistic.” Then he rambles on without ever defining what he might mean by a “complete and non-simplistic” scientific method.

Dr. Eric says:

“The best one can then do is to measure as many of the related variables as one can and try to assess the relative probabilities that the theory is either correct, partially correct, or not at all correct.”

“In that process, one might reach a point at which one decides that the probability of some specific unwanted outcome is sufficient do something about it long before the feared outcome actually occurs.”

Say what? This is not a method! And with no hypothesis, prediction, and verification … what Dr. Eric suggests is not even scientific!

The core of the AGW debate.

Is Dr. Eric saying that if an unproven hypothesis predicts a disastrous outcome that we must weight the probability of its validity by some measure of the magnitude of the predicted disaster?

Such reasoning would turn science up-side-down. It would mean the best way to have your hypothesis “verified” is to have it predict the biggest disaster possible. That, however, is precisely what AGW supporters have done to fool the public. They distort the scientific method … and thereby suggest AGW is true when by proper scientific standards AGW is false.

It is not sufficient that everyone tries to do “the best one can do.” All their hard work says nothing about AGW until they formulate and test a scientific hypothesis.

And what does it mean to “decide that the probability of some specific unwanted outcome is sufficient …” if we don’t even know if our hypothesis is valid?

That statement sounds as if Dr. Eric is recommending we first assume AGW has a high probability of having a disastrous outcome, as he believes, then we adjust the way we verify the hypothesis according to our estimated magnitude of our assumption.

Dr. Eric implied Ido not understand how scientific assessments of complex issues are done.” He says:

“Therefore, if you are suggesting that we should not be concerned about a given environmental possibility simply because one can find one observation concerning one variable that could possibly be used to argue against the larger issue, you do not understand how the scientific assessments of complex issues are done.”

Frankly, whether or not we should be “concerned about a given environmental possibility” is irrelevant to this AGW debate.

And, frankly, how environmental assessments are done is irrelevant to this AGW debate.

In the scientific method, the degree of our “concerns” has no bearing on the verification of a hypothesis, or the truth of nature. “Concerns” are not quantifiable and cannot be used to verify whether the AGW hypothesis is true or false.

Dr. Eric has the task of proving AGW is true without resorting to “concerns” or predicted “disastrous outcomes.” Resorting to “concerns” or “disastrous outcomes” is in the realm of politics. This debate is about science, not politics.

How to use the Scientific Method in a complex system.

Apparently, Dr. Eric did not follow my “simple” description where I said:

“Deduction … is the realm of Mathematics and Probability.”

“Statistics assists in performing verification.”

When I managed the Weather Modification Research Program for the National Science Foundation, I convened a panel of experts, including top statisticians from the University of California, Berkeley, to review the use of the scientific method in verifying cloud seeding hypotheses.

The panel concluded the problem of verifying cloud seeding hypotheses was “the most complex statistical problem” in science (principally because of the difficulty of predicting what a cloud or storm would have done had it not been seeded).

(Note the parallel here: A scientific problem of AGW is the lack of being able to know what the climate would have done absent our fossil fuel burning.)

Yet, no one on the panel suggested we must abandon the scientific method because of this complexity. All of the complexity fits into the Scientific Method as I have described it.

All weather modification research projects I am familiar with used the scientific method. They applied mathematics and probability to perform Deduction (that is, to derive a Prediction from the Hypothesis) and they applied complex statistical procedures to perform verification (that is, to check the Prediction against new Data). And yes, the answers to the verification were stated in statistical terms. All this fits nicely into the scientific method … if you understand the scientific method.

However, even though AGW is fundamentally a weather modification problem stretched into the climate problem, the AGW promoters have abandoned the proven methods used to verify weather modification hypotheses. No wonder they claim AGW is true. They have circumvented methods of showing the AGW hypothesis is false.

Dr. Eric wishes to move on.

Dr. Eric wishes to move on without further discussion of the scientific method. However, his response demonstrates we must first agree on the method we are going to use to verify AGW. If we are going to measure the size of a house, we must first agree on the “tape measure” we are going to use.

How we use the scientific method is at the core of this debate!

Dr. Eric’s role is the prosecution. He must lead with his case. It is not for me to prove his case. My role is the defense. I will introduce the atmospheric physics necessary to make a good defense against the case he presents. My views on the role of CO2 in AGW are irrelevant until I need to use them to defend against Dr. Eric’s claims.

We have made our introductory statements. You, our readers, are the jury. You have an advantage over legal juries. Here, you can make your comments and ask your questions during the trial.

Now it is time for Dr. Eric to present his case for AGW.

Simply talking about the composition of our atmosphere, elaborating about the conversion of GC to BC, hand-waving about CO2’s absorption of radiation, commenting on how CO2 has increased, etc, is not a scientific hypothesis because these data do not predict anything! These data is still in the Data (#1) stage.

Let’s begin the science!

Does a valid AGW hypothesis even exist?

To prove a valid AGW hypothesis exists, Dr. Eric must do the following:

  1. Describe the AGW hypothesis beginning with one clear sentence, and then expand upon this hypothesis to show it satisfies the following criteria:
    1. Is formulated in a manner that allows scientific invalidation.
    2. Has followed the steps of the scientific method.
    3. Has made valid predictions.
    4. Has made no invalid prediction.
  2. Show how AGW moves from Data to Hypothesis to Prediction to Verification.
  3. Prove his Claims are true.

We may be facing an impasse.

A refusal by Dr. Eric to agree to using the Scientific Method as the one and only method for verifying the AGW hypothesis, will be an admission of defeat. This will be clear evidence that AGW is based upon pseudo-science and is a fraud. The debate will be over.

30 thoughts on “3. Are we at an Impasse?”

  1. Leonard Weinstein

    I agree with Dr Ed that we can use the scientific method here. However we have to be careful. Remember that you can show many supporting facts, but if even one (critical) required piece of data contradicts, you either have to claim the hypothesis wrong, or change to a modified hypothesis that does not require the data that disagreed. I made a list of what I thought were critical points and think I showed that they were either wrong or at least not supportive of CAGW. I have not found a single claim that is critical to CAGW (or even AGW) that is unique to those positions. This is far more than just finding one one disagreeing piece of evidence. I would like Dr Eric to list even a couple of pieces of unique supporting evidence (this is not that the temperature is presently a high decade in 150 years or that CO2 is an atmospheric greenhouse gas, but show evidence for a large positive feedback on the CO2, or something of equal value). Look at:
    http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=dnc49xz_15hmvdn3c9&… (Disproving AGW Problem)

  2. In his post #3, Ed suggests that our debate is at an impasse for which the debate might conceivably be canceled. I, for one, certainly hope it is not – didn’t we just get started? After boasting about this debate for one and a half years on his web site, I would not have expected him to pull the plug so soon. On his web site, he has continuously related how he worried was that I might back out and now it appears that he is considering doing just that after only a couple of days. In response to his suggestion, I say Hell No! I don’t think we are anywhere close to an impasse of that magnitude. Let me provide some comments below that will hopefully enable Ed to hang in there for at least a while yet.

    First, I understood that the format to be used here was to be like that of a civil trial in which I am the Prosecutor and Ed is the Defense. In this country, my impression is that both the Prosecutor and the Defence can use any argumentative methods they choose in order to present their case to the jury. In addition, my understanding is that the Defendant cannot dictate to the Prosecution how they construct their case. Also, unless our model is to be that of Soviet show trial, neither the Defense nor the Prosecution should simultaneously be allowed to play the role of the Judge, who does possibly have the right to terminate a trial.

    Second, if I must defend my very extensive knowledge of, respect for, and use of what’s often referred to as “The Scientific Method”, I am happy to do so. I have been continuously active in scientific research and teaching since about age 20 – that amounts to about 46 years (you can inspect my full resume on ericgrimsrud.com). In the process, I have published over a hundred scientific articles in the best journals of chemistry and atmospheric science and have reviewed hundreds of other submissions for those journals. In order to do these things, I had to be exceedingly well aware of and comply with what might be referred to as the “Scientific Method”. As a result of these life-long experiences, I can assure everyone that the “scientific” way of thinking and acting is thoroughly engrained in my personality and character.

    Now what is the “Scientific Method” exactly? In the execution of real science, it takes many forms and, thankfully, not just the cookie cutter rigorous version Ed has described. There is, in fact, even much more rigor to the Method than Ed related – basic western logic go way back to Plato and beyond. We don't always followed this cookie cutter rigorous form of the Method in the real world, however, because if we did, as the saying goes, “we get would only get our boots on and never get out to play”. So, if we ever want to get to the essential points of any scientific discussion and not get weighed down in trivia, scientists have therefore learned to assume that everyone knows and understands the basics of logic and the scientific methods and also know how to use them while GETTING ON WITH IT. Albert Einstein knew all of this, of course, when he said “in discussing and explaining science, one should make things as simple as possible, but not simpler”. This version of the Scientific Method is evidenced in all of his papers.

    Ed has now suggested that he might bow out if I don’t present my case in the manner he prefers. My response is, first, Ed is not also the judge in this trial, is he? Does he have the right to tell the Prosecution how to present his case? If so, this would appear to me to be little more than a phony show being put on for his paying customers. Will I not have the right to present the case in any manner I think might be effective and might win over the jury? I was led to believe that this would be the type of trial I have come to expect in this country and will continue under that assumption until Ed tell me otherwise or pulls the plug and goes home.

    In an attempt to buck Ed up a bit, let me review where we are presently at. After my introductory comments, Ed has posted a list of claims today which I support – but Ed does not. Now that is what I call progress! After only a couple days we already have some specific points over which we clearly disagree. We can now process from there. And when I do, note that I should not have to defend and list supporting references for every single statement I made in my introductory remarks and thereby boor the tears out of you all. Also it means that Ed will not have to similarly verify every statement he makes about the science of AGW – if and when he chooses to provide any such statements.

    In conclusion, I would like to encourage Ed to see the progress he has made over the last year and a half in setting this debate for all of us. So thanks for that, Ed and as far as I am concerned, it ain’t over and is just getting warmed up.

    1. Dr. Eric,

      I too, greatly wish this debate to continue, in that, as you aptly stated, you've only just begun! That said, and I hope you agree, any hypothesis must be falsifiable! I agree the climate is a very complex system, but, so too is the AGW theory. There are very many tenets in which the theory hangs, and if even one is incorrect…….well so much for that. Dr. Ed is correct. Most of what you've stated is already stipulated. Yes, CO2 has increased. Yes, so have our temps.(An agreed upon yardstick is a must.)

      For myself, much of this is of little interest, while of great interest to others. I've never been to this site before, so please don't take me to be representative of this site, nor Dr. Ed. But in the spirit of this discussion and leaping beyond basic atmospheric physics(I'm sure many will wish you to give a lengthy dissertation on it), I pose this question. How is it that a bit of warmth is harmful? The sea levels haven't risen at any greater pace than they have for the last few centuries, historical evidence suggests we've had much less ice than today. Hurricane or other climatic events haven't increased in either frequency or strength. Given that man has throughout history fought the cold and embraced and thrived in warmth, I'm really struggling to see a downside to warming. Please note, I'm not granting anything, but to go through the maths and back and forth about feedback and albedo, and chemical excitation, AMO, PDO, solar variations, this and that ad nauseum, seems frivolous and mundane if you can't make the case for some sort of catastrophic problem the AGW theory presents. The fact is, models, or data input into the assumptions of the AGW theory haven't panned out. Refer back to my second sentence.

      Thanks,

      James Sexton

      1. James,

        As you will see as we get along here, what happens to the world is much more sensitive to small changes in its average temperture than most realize. Consider this, for example. The change in average global temperature between the glacial and interglacial periods is only about six degrees Celcius. We now are at about one degree higher than the last interglacial period. After thinking about what I just (and checking my numbers out yourself by a simple Google search) are you not concerned about the future given that CO2 is still rising and the effects of what we have done already are delayed for a couple of decades?

        Thanks for the excellent question.

        1. To James again,

          What the heck, in this side bar you and I are having, let me express my bottom line opinion. This might not fit into the "debate" that Ed and I are having here, but it might be useful to you and others who happen to see my following comment here.

          Given the present state we are in with respect to our present CO2 levels and given the great difficulty in getting off our addiction to fossil fuels, I think we are already TOAST. I think it will take people who are a lot smarter that I am to figure out how we can get out of this mess. Nevertheless, if there is any chance of addressing this problem, as always the first step is to acknowledge that we do, indeed, have a huge problem. As Yogi Berra is reported to have said, we are "enormous underdogs" in this battle.

    2. Dr. Eric,

      Thank you for agreeing to use the scientific method. We are looking forward to your next post so we can move forward in this debate.

  3. Perhaps the difficulty in defining the AGW Hypothesis is because the hypothesis actually has two or three components which might need to be addressed separately.

    The AGW Hypothesis claims that:

    1) The present warming trend since the end of the last Little Ice Age is largely due to the increasing levels of CO2 in the atmosphere created by the burning of fossil fuels by humans.

    2) If the Base level of CO2 doubles, it will cause an increase in the temperature of the surface of the earth that will result in catastrophic climate related events.

    3) Man can and should institute the Precautionary Principle by suppressing the level of CO2.

    Parts 1) and 2) can be argued scientifically.

    If 2) is true, we need to know if 1) is true because that will affect how to address the Precautionary Principle.

    If 1) is true, we need to know if 2) is true to decide whether or not the Precautionary Principle is necessary.

    If 1) and 2) are likely to be true (90% estimate by the UN-IPCC?) what is the most economical and humane way to provide the necessary energy that is essential to freedom and a decent standard of living while instigating the Precautionary Principle?

    I'm not sure how 3) can be answered by applying the scientific method, but there will be a lot of science involved if the Precautionary Principle is necessary.

    Perhaps there is a better way to break down the AGW hypothesis into several components. Perhaps Dr. Eric should consult with a few colleagues to arrive at a scientific hypothesis that is acceptable to Dr. Ed.

  4. First time on this site and my first post here.

    Congratulations to both of you for starting this much needed debate.

    Having said that, I am starting to feel really uneasy at Dr Eric's refusal to address the basic point about the scientific method. The last post by Dr Eric (above) appears to avoid answering the direct question posed by Dr Ed.

    As background, I am a BSc (Hons) in Mechanical Engineering and 53 years of age. I am not a scientist, but I know how important the scientific method is to this debate. Having read up on the subject of AGW for several years now, I remain unconvinced by the hypothesis. The reason for this is precisely because no protagonist of AGW has yet been able to explain to me how it complies with the scientific method.

    I await the next installment with great interest.

  5. Hans, please read Dr. Eric's Claims #5-10. He is saying we have significant temperature danger. My disagreement with these claims pretty well defines my position which is:

    1. There is nothing unprecedented about today's climate.
    2. Today's climate falls within the normal range of climate fluctuations.
    3. The earth has been as hot or hotter than now in the last 10,000 years.

    1. Ed (and Eric of course),
      fair enough. But if the question whether or not there is global warming is not settled between you, then why bother discussing its potential causes like CO2?

      There are temperature data for the last 10000 years (and longer (Vostok etc.) although obviously most of it is reached by proxies. The methods and results have been hotly debated, especially those over the last 1000 years. I appreciate that you both want to move on, but that means that one or the other of you will have to work with premisses he not really beliefs in.

      Paai

  6. Dr. Eric, what we have done in 3 days of Climate Clash is to expose the fundamental reason for the belief in AGW among scientists like yourself. The reason lies in the misinterpretation and misuse of the scientific method, as you have demonstrated by your comments.

    Any further discussion of our mutual "experiences" is irrelevant.

    This Climate Clash exposure of your misinterpretation of the scientific method has taken the AGW debate out of the arena of climate data and climate models and put it into the arena of the philosophy of science.

  7. Dear Dr Eric

    Yes, that's all well and good but I think the debate would move forward if you were to agree that it should be framed around the scientific method. As someone else said on this thread, if there's no scientific method then there's no science. If the debate stalls on this point, you will have lost, in my eyes anyway.

  8. One question that I have never received an answer to is, what would have to happen in the real (observed) world for the AGW hypothesis to be falsified? For example, would a 0.8 C drop in global average temperature over two decades invalidate the AGW hypothesis?

    1. Craig, you have nailed the reason we must agree to use the scientific method as I have described it for this debate to proceed. Without this agreement, Dr. Eric could forever avoid having to produce a valid, testable scientific hypothesis for AGW, and if produced, he could avoid having to subject it to verification.

      So far he has not stated a valid, testable scientific hypothesis and he seems to be refusing to do so. Lacking this, there is no basis for any scientific debate.

  9. Who we are is irrelevant. Science is impersonal. No scientific argument can be supported by "authority." It would not matter if either of us had 0 or 1 million publications, etc. Readers are not here to learn about us.

    The only thing that matters here is whether the predictions of the hypotheses you introduce can be verified with data. This is the whole point of Richard Feynman's description of the scientific method.

    We can talk about ways to do verifications in the context of each hypothesis you may introduce. I accept statistical formulations of verifications. So long as we agree the final test of a hypothesis will be in its verification, we should be OK to proceed without wasting any more time on this discussion.

  10. Corianne, a key to science is that scientific credentials play no part in the evaluation of a scientific hypothesis. Read the quoted remarks of Richard Feynman, or even his book. The only thing that matters is whether or not a hypothesis can be validated.

    Our goal in Climate Clash is to help you understand how this verification process is done. While it is very difficult for a non-expert to create a successful hypothesis, you do not have to be an expert to determine if a hypothesis has failed. You have the ability to determine whether or not a hypothesis is valid once you are shown the numbers.

    For example, suppose a medical hypothesis says the a certain pill will remedy a particular disease, but some doctors say the pill is dangerous. We could spend forever attempting to evaluate the credentials of the medical doctors on each side of the issue, all to no avail. But, if among those who take the pill, 50% die, then we as amateurs can decide for ourselves which doctors were right and which were wrong.

    We hope we can show you how you can make a similar decision for yourself about global warming. I cannot tell you what the result will be. But in the end, it will be your decision and it should have nothing to do with your evaluation of scientist's credentials.

    All scientists can sometimes be right and sometimes be wrong. And there is no dishonor in being wrong. The important thing in science is to play the game honestly and fairly.

    You will find at times that Dr. Eric and I seem to be fighting with each other over various points. Ignore how it may sound. In our personal life, Dr. Eric and I are friends. We both like sailing, etc. But both of us are natural competitors and our competitive nature will show through in our remarks because we are human beings like everyone else. You should take nothing that either of us says as a proven truth.

    We hope you learn for yourself how to weigh global warming evidence just as if you were on a jury. Among your fellow readers are some very good scientists and they will provide some very good input for you to consider.

    Hang on and enjoy the show.

  11. I for one am eager to learn about the formulation of the hypothesis at last. Nevertheless, every word and minute spent here over the issue of the scientific method is well worth the trouble. That's actually what I like about this debate (but then, philosophy is my hobby). What happens if you haven't got the basics (or the court rules) right, is illustrated in the famous O.J. Simson trial. The judge in case failed to keep the defense tied to a basic rule, that no arbitrary assumptions were allowed (isn't it "possible" that ….). O.J. was acquitted of murder due to this technique if the face of overwhelming evidence.

    Surely, it must be possible to formulate an acceptable hypothesis after so many years of 'making the case'? Dr. Eric has the advantage of retrospection, all the way up to using supporting facts from satelite measurements which the originators like Guy Stewart Callendar did not have available in 1938.

    I am looking for truth and objectivity and hope to see some here. Gentlemen, please do make the most of it!

  12. Leonard Weinstein

    Dr Eric,
    I have looked at the CFC issue also, I agree that CFC's reduce ozone over Antarctica. However, I also understand that is almost the only location in the world that can happen significantly due to the unique temperature distribution, altitude of land (including glaciers), and trapped air circulation. It turns out it is not, and was not a major world problem. I find it appalling that major issues such as the CFC and DDT are not corrected when facts show they were not as bad as claimed

    1. Leanard, We caught the CFC problem in its early stages. We now know that if there concentrations had been allowed in double every 7 years as they were until the alarm was sounded in 1975, the ozone holes would have now stretched nearly to the Equator from either pole every springtime for each pole. In addition, the CFC's would by now have been the most powerful GHG's. If you are looking for mistakes that have been made so the sake of environmental protection, you should probably look elsewhere.

      1. Leonard Weinstein

        Dr. Eric,
        I would be interested where you get those facts on CFC's. I do not have the reference available, but I read an analysis that made the points I stated, and it was made by an impartial person seeking the truth. It convinced me. This study was made to demonstrate what effect CFC's did have, but concluded after extensive study, that it was limited to the zone over Antarctica, no matter the concentration. Since I do not have the reference, I can't back my claim up, and I would be interested if anyone else has info on the subject. I am not referring to the error filled book that volcanoes did it. I am sure that I have run across recent papers that show that some of the atmospheric chemistry assumptions are in error. Due to my lack of reference, you may disregard my comment, but I am convinced you are in error.

      2. Leonard,

        Of course, there are no such facts concerning what business as usual with the Freons would have done. Since their production was slowly cut back and was finally eliminated in about 2000 all there would be are projections of what would have happened if action had not been taken. With doubling production every 7 years since 1975 the sum of F11 and F12 would be about 5 ppb today instead of about 0.7 ppb, which it is.

        The Antarctic hole that appears every spring will persist throughout most of this century. You might not mind it so much as Australians and New Zealanders do. The size and duration of the hole has tracked with the amount of Freon in the atm over the period from the late '50's when ozone was first measured over Antartica until the present when the Freons have finally started to decrease. Since their atm lifetimes are about 100 years, their effects will be with us for a long time.

        A smaller and different type of hole was noted over the Arctic as well and it also would have also increase with increase Freon concentration.

        As far as the effect of these on ozone, that point is clear. In the stratosphere of the Antarctic ozone goes to near ZERO every spring and then this dimunition effect slowly speads to higher latitudes.

        As GHG's, the two Freons would have caused additional problems if their combined conc had been allowed to reache 5 ppb (billion). This is because on a per molecule basis the Freons absorb a great deal more IR radiation than CO2 or methane.

        I don't know at this moment what calculations / predictions there are out there in the literature concerning what I have just said, but it would indeed be interesting to look them up. I'm sure some have been done because this system would be easier to model than CO2 effects for which Mother Nature is plays the major a part. When and if I find calculations of this nature I will let you know and I'm sure you can do that search as easily as I.

        1. Leonard,

          I have now done those calculations concerning the Freons myself. They required only some basic calculus, the know measurements (mine) of the Freons in 1975 and the question at hand of what if the production of the Freons had continued to double every 7 years as they were prior to 1975.

          The result is that the two major Freons, F11 and F12 would have had a combined conc of 15 ppbillion in the background atm by today. The Global Warming Potential of the Freons is known to be about 6,000 times that of CO2 on a molecule to molecule basis (see Daniel, Soloman and Albritten, JGR, 1995). That would have made the Freon's effect on AGW equivalent to an increase in CO2 of about 100 ppm – and that is equal to the current excess of CO2.

          So, yes, the Freons would now be heating the atm just as much as the Excess CO2 is. Also, of course, that heating effect would be multiplies by some factor (about 3) by that heating effect on water vapor concentration, just as CO2's heating effect is.

          As of this, of course, would be in addition to the effects of the Freons on stratospheric ozone – which would have been sobering, to say the least – as I explained above.

  13. Leonard Weinstein

    Dr. Eric,
    I have read that in fact the ozone hole expands in the late winter over the Antarctic and is reduced again as more sunlight occurs. That in fact the presence of the ozone hole has little effect on surface UV level due to the fact that there is little sunlight at that time. I don't mean to distract further on the basic issue of this debate, but can you refute that fact.

    1. Leonard,

      The reason why the world first noticed that springtime ozone was being lost in the Antarctic was because the Brits recorded a steady decrease in their UV measurements in the Antarctic springtime since, I believe, the last 50's. When they finally reported these observations in about 1985, only then were the pieces of that puzzle put together.

      For your additional information, I have an entire Chapter 5 in my book entitled "Thoughts of a Scientist, Citizen and Grandpa in Climate Change" describing my experiences within the CFC story – which I feel have relevance to the AGW story. As this public book adventure of mine has nothing to do with my personal income, I am please to send an e-copy of it to anyone that requests one via the contact button of my web site, ericgrimsrud.com.

      1. Leonard Weinstein

        Dr. Eric,
        I am using my work computer, so my symbol will look different. I found the papers on both Ozone and CO2 in sea water. Please read the following:

        I do not believe the ocean pH was measured accurately enough at enough locations 160 years ago to make a fair comparison with the present level. I am even not sure about the global average at present (and I don’t think you should be). While I do accept that there has been some increase in H+, I would take the 0.1 change in pH level over 150 years with a tablespoon of salt. Please look at the following for my main source of information. The points he makes are regarding accuracy of present level, linear extension of level change (not a good idea), and deep-sea mixing speed. You need to look on the web for:

        SEAWATER pH AND ANTHROPOGENIC CARBON DIOXIDE.
        By Gerald E. Marsh.
        If you click on the site a pdf will download

        The point we are discussing here was what if the CO2 input from humans stopped. How long would it take to remove the excess atmospheric CO2. The replacement surface layer in <100 years would not be at the present level of dissolved Carbon, but lower, so it would remove the atmospheric CO2 more rapidly. There is no reason it would take 1000 years. There is not enough oil, gas and coal to continue adding for much longer, so the issue is misleading, and CO2 will level off and start coming down in a reasonable time.

        I also found the article on the Ozone hole effect. This seems to be solid. Please comment. https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=1nNI6cgA0… (Ozone hole effect)
        A separate article on the chemistry (which I am less certain as being valid) is at: http://www.nature.com/news/2007/070924/full/44938… (comments on the chemistry)

  14. To Dr. Ed and Dr. Eric,
    Your debate, from my perspective, is centered on one single point, whether measurable increases in CO2 is the cause of increased global surface temperature measurements, or the result of it. If the former is true, as Dr. Eric claims, and he can defend, by the Scientific Method, that mankind's burning of carbonaceous fuels is solely responsible for the phenomenon as the IPCC has proclaimed, then he wins the debate. However, if Dr. Ed can prove that either a cyclical change in solar irradiance or other natural phenomenon is primarily responsible for measurable elevations in surface temperature or that the consequential warming is causing the release of naturally sequestered CO2 and other greenhouse gasses from the oceans into the atmosphere, then Dr. Ed will prevail. The debate should review claims that historical charts of data prepared by Michael Mann and relied on by the IPCC and Climate Exchange investors like Al Gore, were purposely distorted to show CO2 levels rising prior to increases in global temperature, where in fact, just the opposite occurs. If Dr. Ed can scientifically prove any of these latter points, then he will convincingly show that global warming is nothing more than a fraud.
    Every argument of the debate should be restricted to just the core argument. If the discussion drifts into descriptions of starving polar bears or melting glaciers then the debater will demonstrate his ignorance of the purpose of the debate. Whether the earth's temperature has increased one degree or ten degrees is irrelevant! Please limit all discussion to 'cause' and leave discussions on 'effect' to the Al Gores and other business investors.

    1. Leonard Weinstein

      Johnmerlette,
      In science you do not (and can not) prove a negative. The only thing Dr. Ed has to do to win the debate is show that Dr. Eric has not made his case scientifically. He does not need a counter hypothesis. The proponents of CAGW made a hypothesis with a corresponding set of claims. Showing that even one critical claim is falsified demonstrates the hypothesis invalid as stated. The issue is not even that CO2 does or does not cause some heating, or which came first. It does depend on a supportable set of claims on the result of levels and problems.

    2. Dr. Eric,

      That's interesting indeed: from your previous entries, I anticipated your case to rest on observations from 1850 to the present. Now that a 750,000 years time span is involved, I am all the more curious to learn about your final formulation of the hypothesis and the supporting data.

  15. Leonard Weinstein

    @62 Paai,
    First to the Jones interview. You are correct to Jones comment, which was 1995 to 2009. However, that 90% is the threshold IPCC claimed, and it is not reached by definition. However, more important, the 2002 to present is statistically flat, and even with the hot 2010 summer, the present temperature is dropping rapidly, and the best projection is for several decades of cooling. You can pick and choose any pairs of dates and get anything you want, but that is called cherry picking and is of no scientific value.

    If you read my write up, (which, by the way, is http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=dnc49xz_0fb228shr&a… ), that was not the one commented upon by Brett. That one was: http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=dnc49xz_15hmvdn3c9&amp;… Read that and then read Brett's comments, and if you still conclude he is correct, I would be glad to discuss it with you. He has either misquoted me, used others opinions which are wrong or at best unsupported, or used bad logic on most points. In several cases I did not use optimum wording, and I stated the lower troposphere rather than upper troposphere for the hot spot issue, but I corrected that in my response. Please tell me my errors. Especially tell me how any of Brett's claims are valid. I think we did agree there were some points which were not able to be resolved, but a hypothesis does not stand on "it may be possible", it requires something that can be falsified, and that is not.

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