My Photo
Mobilise this Blog





New Zealand Conservative


AmCam News Tips

  • Have you got mobile camera pix of breaking news, or a first-hand account you've written?
    email Investigate now on publicity [at] and we'll get you online
Blog powered by Typepad

« MIT channels Hot Topic | Main | Richard Worth resigns »


Sam Vilain

Some quick thoughts on this...

There have been three explanations given. Two of them, from SkepticalScience and Air Con, agree that warming begins in Antarctica and precedes CO2 release by 800 or so years, eventually affecting the northern hemisphere. The third explanation, provided by Truffle, says warming begins in the Northern Hemisphere.

Is that an important distinction to make in the context of the point being made, or just clutching for any discrepancy you can see?

Maybe it's a bit of both, with northern and southern hemisphere changes interacting with each other. Oh.. did I just undermine a false dilemma you posted again? Oh, sorry, I find it hard not to step on poor logic.

In short, hows does that discrepancy change anything?

On your simplistic understanding of greenhouse theory every warm period should turn into runaway global warming. Another newsflash, it hasn’t.

"Trigger points" in the geological record, resulting in changes in the dynamic behaviour of the climate system may be chaotic in nature and hence impossible to predict.

CO2 levels are higher now than at any time in a climatically comparable past. That may trigger runaway global warming, it might not.

...Earth has mechanisms that allow it to deal with both rising heat and rising CO2. One of the most obvious of these is forestation. Plants grow rapidly and absorb the extra CO2 rapidly.

You're implying that this isn't well known, quantified and incorporated into the models already. Newsflash: it is. This just in: unconfirmed report that deforestation since 1900 is 62% and 'growing'.

Actually, according to the studies your own link referenced, upwelling CO2 from the deep would follow about 800 years after the MWP which is, what, about a century ago?

It's not a time delay system, such a naïve treatment of that 800 year typical time from initial change to response is not supportable by its described mechanism.

...Gareth's alleged 'review'...

'alleged' review? What?


No, Sam, I used the words alleged 'review'.

Good to see the double standard at work in this though, where you say: "is that an important distinction to make in the context of the point being made, or just clutching for any discrepancy you can see?"

I didn't notice you racing to defend my honour when Gareth used the paragraph I was picking on to display my 'ignorance' of how the planet warms out of an iceage.

You write: "Trigger points" in the geological record, resulting in changes in the dynamic behaviour of the climate system may be chaotic in nature and hence impossible to predict.

Agreed, perhaps you should tell Truffle.

You write: "This just in: unconfirmed report that deforestation since 1900 is 62% and 'growing'.

Yes, and if you actually read Air Con you'd see I finger deforestation as a major factor in modern era CO2 build-up. Didn't see Gareth acknowledging this anywhere in his 'review' however, because it didn't fit the spin he wanted to put on the book.

Speaking of spin, what's the bet his response on Hot Topic will again evade my criticisms above by trying to divert attention onto something completely different?

Sam Vilain

No, Sam, I used the words alleged 'review'.

Who alleges that it was a review? Did you mean to use the word "purported" or term "so-called" ? Tricky thing, making your sentences make sense. Or were you attempting to sew uncertainty where really there isn't any? Nasty habit, that.

I didn't notice you racing to defend my honour when Gareth used the paragraph I was picking on to display my 'ignorance' of how the planet warms out of an iceage.

There's quite a difference between differing on the details and completely misunderstanding the science.

As I wrote above "it's not a time delay system", as Gareth writes in the post you speak of, of the same matter of fact,

In other words, the oceans are not responding to heat somehow stored from an earlier period — they respond to heat as it arrives.

You keep talking about this mediæval warm-ish period affecting today's warming. As you seem so fond of the term high school, perhaps I can explain why it is so very wrong using terms that one might come across in a high school chemistry class.

You can think of the earth's oceans as a large buffer system. With a buffer solution, if more acid enters the solution, which should lower the pH, instead the buffer changes chemically and keeps the pH close to the original level. If you take a glass of water, add some buffer solution, then start dripping acid into it, it might take 800 drops (say) before the pH of the glass starts lowering significantly. However that doesn't mean that if you add acid, then some base, then acid, that 800 drops later you'll see the pH level peak up and down when you measure it.

That's just an analogy of course, but the behaviour of the system has some similarities.

You write that you 'finger' deforestation as a major factor in modern era CO2 build-up. It's hard to know what your point might possibly be by such 'fingering', given that you will read in the IPCC AR4 Physical Science FAQ Answer 7.1 that;

Fossic fuel combustion (plus a smaller contribution from cement manufacture) is responsible for more than 75% of human-caused CO₂ emissions. Land use change (primarily deforestation) is responsible for the remainder.


According to this article.

Apparently during the peak of the last ice age, the deep ocean contained more CO2 than it does today.

Drilling Deep for Ocean History

For decades, scientists have known that, during the last ice age, atmospheric CO2 concentrations were about 30% lower than levels at the start of the Industrial Revolution. However, it has proven difficult to pin down exactly where that CO2 - missing from the ice age atmosphere - was stored. In a paper just published in Nature, SEOS faculty member Tom Pedersen and his PhD student Eric Galbraith showed, for the first time, that a big part of the explanation lay in the deep sea's ability to store CO2 effectively. By making many geochemical measurements of marine sediments recovered from the deep subarctic Pacific, Galbraith, Pedersen and coauthors were able to show conclusively that, during the peak of the last ice age, the deep ocean contained more CO2 than it does today. What's more, they show that this CO2 was released during a surprisingly rapid change in ocean circulation that punctuated the gradual warming of the earth, at the end of the ice age. At the same time, an abrupt circulation change also occurred in the North Atlantic Ocean. These results help resolve the long-standing mystery of ice age CO2 storage, while pointing to unexpected new aspects of the oceanic response to climate change.
see Galbraith et al. 200.7 Carbon dioxide release from the North Pacific abyss during the last deglaciation. Nature 449, 890-893.


So Gareth is making strident assertions on his "left wing" blog is he?

So Ian, what makes you think your views are so centrist!

You belong to the extreme religious right wing in New Zealand, so how can we expect greater objectivity from you.

Especially since you are acting as some kind of scientific expert, when in actual fact you are a journalist selecting other material that happens to fit your world view.

I think the word "strident" is inadequate to describe your own rhetoric on this complex issue.


"Especially since you are acting as some kind of scientific expert, when in actual fact you are a journalist selecting other material that happens to fit your world view."


A number of these socalled AGW Doomsayer Gurus aren't scientists either!


Of interest:

Climate change: The elements conspire against the warmists

Meanwhile, up in the Arctic, after yet another delay for bad weather, the hapless Catlin trio, sponsored by an insurance firm which hopes to make money out of alarm over global warming, continue their painful progress towards the distant North Pole, measuring the ice with an old tape measure and assuring Prince Charles by satellite telephone that it is "thinner than expected".

When the trio heard a passing aircraft, which they hoped was bringing much-needed supplies, they little realised it was a DC-3 carrying an international team of scientists, using the latest electro-magnetic induction equipment to discover rather more efficiently that the ice was in fact "twice as thick" as they had expected.

A last symbolic drama was the fate of another three-man expedition aiming to publicise the effects of climate change. Followed by schools across Britain, they were aiming to reach Greenland in a "carbon-free" boat powered only by wind and the sun. Last week, after running into appalling weather, they were rescued by – it had to be – a US oil tanker. I wonder whether the schoolchildren were told.

Extreme cold keeps British global warming expedition from reaching North Pole

We’re sad to report that the trio of British ecological explorers who’ve been trying to reach the North Pole had to give up their global warming expedition because - are you ready? - it was too cold.

The Catlin Arctic Survey team had to be rescued this week after finishing less than half their trek. In fact, they fell short by more than 300 miles. summarizes the hilarious results:


And still the ice water continues to melt freeze :-)


Peter, you'll find Al Gore used to be a cub reporter on a provincial newspaper, and the head of the UN IPCC is a former train engineer.

Truffle is a former journalist/editor of photography or hi-fi magazines, turned truffle farmer.

Your point?


My point Ian is that you do not rate Gore or truffle highly. Why should anyone rate you highly?

You label another commentator as "left wing" when you are on the extreme right wing yourself.

My overall point is that little light will be shed on this subject while those with political agendas such as yourself try to make out that you are in some way objective.

By the way Ian, the extreme right (such as prominent ACT Party people) are criticising the govt quite openly now, about the budget and other things. A good time for you to clarify where you are on the spectrum

Or are you anti-Labour, not really pro-anything?


"My overall point is that little light will be shed on this subject while those with political agendas such as yourself try to make out that you are in some way objective"


It's the Al Gore's of this world and their ilk who're using AGW as a 'Political Agenda'!

BTW: Al Gore admitted he sensationalised parts of his Hollywood Disaster movie The Inconvenient Truth posing as a documentary!

We just had more of this sensationlised drivel recently. By Kofi Annan and the Global Humanitarian Forum report on 300,000 people die each year because of Global Warming. It was the same kind of manipulations that went into the IPCC report!


don't you think you're a bit childish routinely calling people names? Does it make you feel better every time you type it? I've noticed this trend from other extreme rightwingnut commentators on blogs.


I've covered this somewhere much earlier in the debate...Hot Topic's first foray into this was a post entitled "Something Stupid" and labelling me as a "crank".

Fine. I returned the favour. I'm not angry and I don't think Gareth is, but if he wanted to be taken seriously his review should at least have been a review, not an unfounded ad hominem hatchet job.


Hands up those who think "extreme rightwingnut commentators" is calling people 'names'?

Carol Stewart

Ian, just to clarify, are you accepting Gareth's bet on his terms, or not? And if not why not? I thought his terms were carefully defined so as to be fair. He is basing the wager on expecting a record warm year within the next five years; he's added a caveat about volcanic activity and adds that you can take your pick of data series to use. It sounds fair and reasonable to me, and also a good way to test your belief that warming isn't occurring.


So it's official. :-)

The Climate In May: Cold!


National Climate Summary – May 2009: Early start to winter. Lowest May temperatures ever in many locations and double normal rainfall for most of South Island

• Temperature: Well below ave/rage over most of the country; many areas experiencing lowest recorded May temperatures.
• Rainfall: Well above normal rainfall in Northland, Wairarapa, Canterbury, Otago and Southland. Above normal everywhere else with the exception of western Bay of Plenty and Tasman Districts.
• Sunshine: Below normal along Taranaki and east coast of the North Island and Central Otago; above normal in Northland, Manawatu, the south-west of the North Island, and the West Coast.

Extremely low temperatures (between 2.0 and 2.5 °C lower than normal) were recorded over most of the South Island, lower parts of the North Island, King Country, Waikato, Auckland and parts of Northland. Most other locations experienced well below average temperatures (between 1.2 and 2.0 °C lower than normal). The national average temperature of 9.0°C was 1.6°C below the long-term average for May.


Of interest:

Russian scientist says Earth could soon face new Ice Age

ST. PETERSBURG, January 22 (RIA Novosti) - Temperatures on Earth have stabilized in the past decade, and the planet should brace itself for a new Ice Age rather than global warming, a Russian scientist said in an interview with RIA Novosti Tuesday.
"Russian and foreign research data confirm that global temperatures in 2007 were practically similar to those in 2006, and, in general, identical to 1998-2006 temperatures, which, basically, means that the Earth passed the peak of global warming in 1998-2005," said Khabibullo Abdusamatov, head of a space research lab at the Pulkovo observatory in St. Petersburg.

According to the scientist, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere has risen more than 4% in the past decade, but global warming has practically stopped. It confirms the theory of "solar" impact on changes in the Earth's climate, because the amount of solar energy reaching the planet has drastically decreased during the same period, the scientist said.

Had global temperatures directly responded to concentrations of "greenhouse" gases in the atmosphere, they would have risen by at least 0.1 Celsius in the past ten years, however, it never happened, he said.

"A year ago, many meteorologists predicted that higher levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere would make the year 2007 the hottest in the last decade, but, fortunately, these predictions did not become reality," Abdusamatov said.

He also said that in 2008, global temperatures would drop slightly, rather than rise, due to unprecedentedly low solar radiation in the past 30 years, and would continue decreasing even if industrial emissions of carbon dioxide reach record levels.

By 2041, solar activity will reach its minimum according to a 200-year cycle, and a deep cooling period will hit the Earth approximately in 2055-2060. It will last for about 45-65 years, the scientist added.

Challenging the basis of Kyoto Protocol

Russian critics of the Kyoto Protocol, which calls for cuts in CO2 emissions, say that the theory underlying the pact lacks scientific basis. Under the Theory of Anthropogenic Global Warming, it is human-generated greenhouse gases, and mainly CO2, that cause climate change. “The Kyoto theorists have put the cart before the horse,” says renowned Russian geographer Andrei Kapitsa. “It is global warming that triggers higher levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, not the other way round.”

Russian researchers made this discovery while studying ice cores recovered from the depth of 3.5 kilometres in Antarctica. Analysis of ancient ice and air bubbles trapped inside revealed the composition of the atmosphere and air temperature going back as far as 400,000 years.

“We found that the level of CO2 had fluctuated greatly over the period but at any given time increases in air temperature preceded higher concentrations of CO2,” says academician Kapitsa, who worked in Antarctica for many years. Russian studies showed that throughout history, CO2 levels in the air rose 500 to 600 years after the climate warmed up. Therefore, higher concentrations of greenhouse gases registered today are the result, not the cause, of global warming.

Critics of the CO2 role in climate change point out that water vapours are a far more potent factor in creating the greenhouse effect as their concentration in the atmosphere is five to 10 times higher than that of CO2. “Even if all CO2 were removed from the earth atmosphere, global climate would not become any cooler,” says solar physicist Vladimir Bashkirtsev.

“There were periods in the history of the Earth when CO2 levels were a million times higher than today, and life continued to evolve quite successfully,” agrees Vladimir Arutyunov of the Russian Academy of Sciences Institute of Chemical Physics.


Also of interest:

No smoking hot spot

I DEVOTED six years to carbon accounting, building models for the Australian Greenhouse Office. I am the rocket scientist who wrote the carbon accounting model (FullCAM) that measures Australia's compliance with the Kyoto Protocol, in the land use change and forestry sector.

FullCAM models carbon flows in plants, mulch, debris, soils and agricultural products, using inputs such as climate data, plant physiology and satellite data. I've been following the global warming debate closely for years.

When I started that job in 1999 the evidence that carbon emissions caused global warming seemed pretty good: CO2 is a greenhouse gas, the old ice core data, no other suspects.

The evidence was not conclusive, but why wait until we were certain when it appeared we needed to act quickly? Soon government and the scientific community were working together and lots of science research jobs were created. We scientists had political support, the ear of government, big budgets, and we felt fairly important and useful (well, I did anyway). It was great. We were working to save the planet.

But since 1999 new evidence has seriously weakened the case that carbon emissions are the main cause of global warming, and by 2007 the evidence was pretty conclusive that carbon played only a minor role and was not the main cause of the recent global warming. As Lord Keynes famously said, "When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?"

There has not been a public debate about the causes of global warming and most of the public and our decision makers are not aware of the most basic salient facts:

1. The greenhouse signature is missing. We have been looking and measuring for years, and cannot find it.,25197,24036736-7583,00.html

Carol Stewart

Who is the author of that last piece in The Australian, Acid?


@Carol re the wager...

Carol, you do know that my book Air Con categorically states the planet has warmed up, don't you?

This is a further example of Truffle throwing up irrelevant straw men. If the book made a repeated theme throughout that there's been no warming and in fact we're cooling for the rest of our lifetimes...I'd be more sympathetic.

The last warm period lasted four hundred years...this current one is only a hundred years old. You do the math.

If it was a wager that temperatures will rise catastrophically by the end of the century, and both Truffle and I could live to see it, I'd take him on in a heartbeat.

I've indicated a willingness to wager on 2009 and 2010...but I've clearly spelt out my reasoning there...

I strongly suggest Carol, as you seem a relatively sensible type, that you actually read Air Con instead of relying on Gareth's ridiculous assertions about what's in it.

I hear incidentally the book is prominently displayed in Melbourne and Sydney bookstores, and "selling very well" according to Angus and Robertson.

So that's good news.

The comments to this entry are closed.