Update: September 18 2011 – see Response From Anthony Watts
In response to my post
Skeptical Science posted several specific questions as an update in their post
This is welcome as now we have something to specifically respond to. I will also be asking them questions later in this post.
Their update reads
Update: Pielke has responded, if you can call it a response, since he didn’t actually address anything we said here. A total shifting of the goalposts, once again trying to deny Spencer and Christy’s constant propagation of misinformation. In fact, Pielke’s response simply confirmed what we said in this post – he seems unwilling to read the content of our posts, and is totally unwilling to crtiicize (sic) his fellow “skeptics.”
Dr. Pielke, we once again ask that you answer the question – do you or do you not approve of John Christy’s misleading testimony to US Congress, including his assertion that predictions of global cooling in the 1970s were the same as predictions of global warming today?
As another example, do you agree with Roy Spencer when he said that as a result of addressing climate change, “Jogging will be outlawed. It is a little known fact that the extra carbon dioxide (and methane, an especially potent greenhouse gas) emitted by joggers accounts for close to 10% of the current Global Warming problem“?
And do you agree with Spencer’s assertion that “warming in recent decades is mostly due to a natural cycle in the climate system — not to an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide from fossil fuel burning“?
Please stop changing the subject, stop pretending Spencer and Christy are faultless Saints, drop the charade, and answer our questions, Dr. Pielke.
My Response: Here is their first question
“[D]o you or do you not approve of John Christy’s misleading testimony to US Congress, including his assertion that predictions of global cooling in the 1970s were the same as predictions of global warming today?
I am not aware of John stating that the predictions of global cooling in the 1970s were the same as predictions today. The models were much more primitive than, so clearly they are not the same predictions, and I am certain John knows that. However, this issue is not particularly relevant (when raised by anyone) to the current important climate science questions.
The second question asked is
“Jogging will be outlawed. It is a little known fact that the extra carbon dioxide (and methane, an especially potent greenhouse gas) emitted by joggers accounts for close to 10% of the current Global Warming problem“?
This is a “tongue-in-cheek” statement. Of the comments from Roy, why would one be picked that was intended as a joke?
The third question is
“warming in recent decades is mostly due to a natural cycle in the climate system — not to an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide from fossil fuel burning“?
as you must be aware, I have expressed a different view. We have discussed this, for example, in the posts
My view is that warming in recent decades is the result of a combination of natural climate variations (internal dynamics, solar irradiance) and of human input of greenhouse gases, including CO2, and of aerosols such as soot. This has dominated negative human radiative forcings (e.g. sulphates).
Roy’s seminal contribution on this topic is that variations in cloud cover as a result of long-term temporal variability in atmospheric circulations can result in significant variations in the global annual average top-of-the-atmosphere radiative imbalance. Skeptical Science should recognize this scientific achievement, even though they disagree with his political views.
Now it’s my term to ask Skeptical Science several questions:
1. Of the two hypotheses below, which one do you conclude is correct?
i) “The overwhelming scientific evidence tells us that human greenhouse gas emissions are resulting in climate changes that cannot be explained by natural causes. Climate change is real, we are causing it, and it is happening right now.”
ii) “The overwhelming scientific evidence tells us that human greenhouse gas emissions, land use changes and aerosol pollution are all contributing to regional and global climate changes, which exacerbate the changes and variability in climates brought about by natural causes. Because humans are contributing to climate change, it is happening now and in the future for a much more complex set of reasons than in previous human history.”
“….these two different provocations – two different framings of climate change – open up the possibility of very different forms of public and policy engagement with the issue. They shape the response.
The latter framing, for example, emphasises that human influences on climate are not just about greenhouse gas emissions (and hence that climate change is not just about fossil energy use), but also result from land use changes (emissions and albedo effects) and from aerosols (dust, sulphates and soot).
It emphasises that these human effects on climate are as much regional as they are global. And it emphasises that the interplay between human and natural effects on climate are complex and that this complexity is novel.”
What are your comments on Mike Hulme’s two perspectives with respect to climate policy?
3. What is your preferred diagnostic to monitor global warming?