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>>> “Some of the climate scientists gathered in Geneva admitted that...natural variability is at least as important (50% influence or higher) as the long term climate changes from global warming.”<<<

When I search for the first part of this in Google I only get you quoting it. Could you provide the link please? That way anyone can check to see that you’re not cherry-picking or misrepresenting.

>>> The Journal of Climate published a study late January noting that natural forcings appear to be outgunning CO2 and methane at present, by a considerable margin, and the study authors note: “Earth’s climate may be less sensitive to rising greenhouse gases than assumed”.<<<

Can you reference the study (same reason as above)?
Again, when I put that quote into Google all I get is you quoting it. Of course it may be that it’s hidden in a paper and nobody else on Earth has quoted that line. But even if that is the case, it’s more of a reason to provide the author(s)/title.

>>> Another study, published in Science around the same time, found a similar effect taking place, and as one report put it, “Susan Solomon, the respected climate scientist who led the research...did point out that the research does allude to human emissions having a much smaller role in climate change than previously thought, and serves as a warning to climate modelers who ‘over interpret the results’.”<<<

“There are a few overly excited interpretations of the paper's results circulating around the blogosphere. This is presumably from readings of media clippings, not the actual paper. To accurately determine the significance of Solomon 2010, the best course is to see what the paper actually says.”

“There seem to be two major misconceptions arising from this paper. The first is that this paper demonstrates that water vapor is the major driver of global temperatures. In fact, what this paper shows is the effect from stratospheric water vapor contributes a fraction of the temperature change imposed from man-made greenhouse gases. While the stratospheric water vapor is not insignificant, it's hardly the dominant driver of climate being portrayed by some blogs.

The other misinterpretation is that this paper proves negative feedback that cancels out global warming. As we've just seen, the magnitude of the effect is small compared to the overall global warming trend. The paper doesn't draw any conclusions regarding cause, stating that it's not clear whether the water vapor changes are caused by a climate feedback or decadal variability (eg - linked to El Nino Southern Oscillation). The radiative forcing changes (Figure 3 above) indicate that the overall effect from stratospheric water vapor is that of warming. The cooling period consists of a stepwise drop around 2000 followed by a resumption of the warming effect. This seems to speak against the possibility of a negative feedback.”

Ian Wishart

I'll dig out the rest later..

Ian Wishart

Except I couldn't resist rubbing your nose in Solomon now.

Instead of going to the horse's mouth, you went to the appalling SkepticalScience site for his spin.

Here's the actual study abstract on Solomon:

Contributions of Stratospheric Water Vapor to Decadal Changes in the Rate of Global Warming
Susan Solomon,1 Karen H. Rosenlof,1 Robert W. Portmann,1 John S. Daniel,1 Sean M. Davis,1,2 Todd J. Sanford,1,2 Gian-Kasper Plattner3

Stratospheric water vapor concentrations decreased by about 10% after the year 2000. Here we show that this acted to slow the rate of increase in global surface temperature over 2000–2009 by about 25% compared to that which would have occurred due only to carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. More limited data suggest that stratospheric water vapor probably increased between 1980 and 2000, which would have enhanced the decadal rate of surface warming during the 1990s by about 30% as compared to estimates neglecting this change. These findings show that stratospheric water vapor is an important driver of decadal global surface climate change.

Now, what does this signify? It shows that stratospheric water vapour changes were having a massive impact on surface temperatures.

And it cut both ways. It goes to explain a sizeable chunk of the warming trend previously attributed to humans during the 'hottest decade'.


There is quite a lot of evidence of a global MWP.

I think even Phil Jones admitted that the MWP needed more research in his famous Harribin BBC interview.

Unfortunately, one tends to get fobbed off with the "how does this affect current global warming" argument.


"“Susan Solomon, the respected climate scientist who led the research...did point out that the research does allude to human emissions having a much smaller role in climate change than previously thought, and serves as a warning to climate modelers who ‘over interpret the results’.”

This Solomon person must be a holocaust denier and probably has lost her funding and her job by now. No one speaks that way about AGW dogma without paying a price.


Thanks for your post Ian - it solved a problem for me. I am currently under attack by four conservative Christian blogs (here, here, here and here) - purely for a comment I made somewhere - not even one of my posts at Open parachute.

While I appreciated the traffic it brought to my blog I felt something was missing.

Now I know what it was - YOU. You should rightfully have joined the attack and I obviously unconsciously noted you were missing.

Anyway, welcome on board - better late than never you devote a whole post to a small comment where I requested the source of your claim:

"the human contribution is only 3.4% of the total planetary emission".

Thanks for providing the source - and as I thought (think - I still haven't added up all the fluxes) it was an apple and oranges problem. We were not comparing like with like.

I should not have taken your word "planetary" literally perhaps.

Well, Ian the figures I quote were fresh in my mind as I had just finished reviewing Hansen's book Storms of My Grandchildren (see Thinking of our grandchildren).

Here is the relevant quote (pg 161):
"Surely, nature changes carbon dioxide, and climate, by huge amounts. But we must look at time scales. The source of carbon dioxide emissions from the solid Earth to the surface reservoirs, when divided among the surface reservoirs, is a few ten thousandths of 1 ppm per year. The natural sink, weathering, has a similar magnitude. The natural source and sink can be out of balance, as when India was cruising through the Indian Ocean, by typically one ten thousandth of 1 ppm per year. In a million years such an imbalance changes atmospheric carbon dioxide by 100 ppm, a huge change.
But humans, by burning fossil fuels, are now increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide by 2 ppm per year. In other words, the human climate forcing is four orders of magnitude—ten thousand times— more powerful than the natural forcing. Humans are now in control of future climate, although I use the phrase "in control" loosely here."

Now the data in the Fig 7.3 presents a similar story with 0.2 GtC/yr from weathering (Hansen's CO2 emissions from the solid earth to the surface reserviours)and the same amount from sedimentation (Hansen's natural sink,. weathering). (Obviously the figures are too course to identify a net flow above zero and Hansen was using the situation from 50 million years ago when fluxes from the earth were greater than weathering by a small amount.

The release from fossil fuels, 6.4 GtC/yr is obviously very much bigger.

So Ian, you were wrong to claim I wouldn't find a credible climate scientist who agreed. I think Hansen is pretty credible.

By the way - you are obviously mates of Dave Parker (aka Dianne's mum). It's a bit pathetic trawling for comments that way isn't it?

I always notice after you highlight my blog in one of your posts I get a couple of cranks like that calling with manufactured or inept question or just mad ravings. People who have been tempted to wander away from the TBR denier ghetto. I actually appreciate their visit because they do provide some humour and their behavior usually discredits deniers immensely.


I am sure you and Cedric will enjoy playing "good cop bad cop" with the "cranks" that visit your blog after this latest post about that jolly sensible chap Hansen.

Do you have matching uniforms?

Ian Wishart appear to be relying on a non-peer reviewed piece of rubbish from Hansen.

The reason he's wrong is very simple. The planetary budget of CO2 is never in balance per se. At any one moment in time the oceans can release vast amounts of CO2 and it is not being simultaneously soaked up somewhere else. Over a year or two you get a loose equilibrium, but the total emissions of the planet (of which weathering is a tiny amount), are in the region of hundreds of Gigatons a year. The human emissions total somewhere between 6 and 8 Gigatons a year.

All it takes is for a tiny variation in the natural outgassing/ingassing cycle and the CO2 balance for a given year can sway by far more than the entire human contribution. And it was like that in pre-industrial times as well.

Comparing human emissions to rock weathering as Hansen appears to do in your quote is stupid, presumably designed to mislead the gullible.

You yourself look at Fig 7.3 and see his 0.2GtC a year approvingly from weathering, but you ignore the 210 GtC from the much larger biosphere and ocean exchanges.

Lesson in life, don't rely on Hansen, especially when he has given no cite (or you haven't) for the study underpinning his analysis.

Besides which, I would have thought being the scientist your are that the obvious idiocy of "human climate forcing = 10,000 times more powerful" should have rung alarm bells with you when I actually quoted peer reviewed studies showing human forcing struggling to reach 50% of the total, whereas you simply relied on Hansen's retirement fundraiser.

Nothing in my main point changes. All you've done is nailed your own lack of knowledge to the wall with Hansen.



Ian - clearly the oceans, etc. are the surface pools that CO2 goes into. The ultimate origin is almost completely via natural emissions from the solid earth (volcanoes, etc) or man induced emissions from the solid earth (burning coal etc.).

You are dealing with emissions from surface pools (and comparing with what is ultimately a below surface origin). These pools contain CO2 originating both from the natural and fossil fuels sources. This is confirmed by isotope ratio analyses. The natural sources have transferred C to pools over billions of years. Humans have induced emissions from fossil fuels over 200 years.

As, I said - Oranges and apples - confounded by your use of the word "planetary."

Now you are silly to go on about peer review. Hansen's data does not conflict in essence with the figure you quote - except the IPCC show a net zero emission form natural planetary sources (the usual presentation) and Hansen shows a positive net effect because he considers situations where the emissions were higher.

So not only are you confused about the data, treating surface pools as ultimate sources, you are blaming your confusion on Hansen by using a cowardly attack on him. (Reminds me of Mann, Jones, NIWA, etc. Bloody hell, I am in great company!)

I realise this is your normal method of operation, and perhaps you can't break the habit of a lifetime, but it has prevented you from understanding the issue.

And your god can't be pleased with your continual expression of hatred towards honest and respectable people.


Do "honest and respectable people" write emails like this?


Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith re AR4?
Keith will do likewise. He's not in at the moment - minor family crisis.
Can you also email Gene and get him to do the same? I don't
have his new email address.
We will be getting Caspar to do likewise.
I see that CA claim they discovered the 1945 problem in the Nature paper!!


" appear to be relying on a non-peer reviewed piece of rubbish from Hansen."


Hansen is a laughable Iconic Charalatan along with the fraud GISS Data he puts out. He's in the back pockets of George Soros and Co.

Another failed chicken little. Like so many of is ilk.


>>>There is quite a lot of evidence of a global MWP.<<<

The point is - if it didn't happen globally at the same time, then how can you chart it on a single graph which shows global average temperature?
All your link does (if the information is accurate) is show that it occured at different times in different places.

>>>I think even Phil Jones admitted that the MWP needed more research in his famous Harribin BBC interview.<<<

He said the same thing as I did.

"For it to be global in extent the MWP would need to be seen clearly in more records from the tropical regions and the Southern Hemisphere. There are very few palaeoclimatic records for these latter two regions."

"We know from the instrumental temperature record that the two hemispheres do not always follow one another. We cannot, therefore, make the assumption that temperatures in the global average will be similar to those in the northern hemisphere."

>>>Unfortunately, one tends to get fobbed off with the "how does this affect current global warming" argument.<<<

I agree, that is a separate, although very important, point.
You should instead be asked where is your evidence that it happened at the same time everywhere.



I'll dig out the rest later.. <<<

No "50% influence or higher there".

On really short timescales, natural variability is at least as important as the long-term climate changes from global warming. No kidding. That's kinda the whole point about warming not being linear.


>>>Instead of going to the horse's mouth, you went to the appalling SkepticalScience site for his spin.<<<

Um, your quote seems to be from a political blog called "Angry in the Great White North". At least mine is a science blog. Hypocrite much?

>>>Now, what does this signify? It shows that stratospheric water vapour changes were having a massive impact on surface temperatures.

And it cut both ways. It goes to explain a sizeable chunk of the warming trend previously attributed to humans during the 'hottest decade'.<<<

Solomon's paper doesn't go into the reasons for it. Is it from natural variability alone, or is it part of enhanced greenhouse feedback? This would seem to be the most significant question.

"Despite the decrease in water vapor, the study’s authors said, the overall trend is still toward a warming climate, primarily caused by a buildup in emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases from human sources.

“This doesn’t alter the fundamental conclusion that the world has warmed and that most of that warming has to do with greenhouse gas emissions caused by man,” said Susan Solomon, a climate scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the lead author of the report, which appears in the Jan. 29 issue of the journal Science."

"Dr. Solomon emphasized that the study focused on the atmosphere’s middle layer, not to be confused with the troposphere, Earth’s first layer. It has been known for years that water vapor in the troposphere amplifies the effect of greenhouse gas emissions."

Hang on though, this paper can't be considered legitimate if it's been peer-reviewed and has been written by an IPCC author. Surely it must be considered suspect?




(specifically, check out the detail in Brendon's comments below the main piece)

Same old same old. Misleading graphs is the hallmark of the science denier.


" hallmark of the science denier."

Are you calling me a science denier?


Of course, the same thing could be said of the infamous "Mike's nature trick"

What is that if not misleading?


>>>Are you calling me a science denier?<<<

I think those who put up misleading information as 'science' are more often than not anti-science.

>>>Of course, the same thing could be said of the infamous "Mike's nature trick"

What is that if not misleading?<<<

Who did it mislead and how?


Geoff - re the emails - humans are human.

The fact is that several inquiries have found that none of the scientists Ian wishes to defame have been found to have committed any scientific demeanor.

In that respect they get glowing endorsements. Actually any unbiased reading of the emails would have supported that conclusion anyway.
Criticism have been made that they didn't always use the latest statistical methods - but this hasn't effected the quality of the results. As a scientist I am not surprised and I could say the same thing about most of the papers I have reviewed.

I hope these scientists get the financial resources to involve professional statisticians in their teams as this will increase their output. They deserve all the help they can get.

There is one inquiry left to report on the CRU scientists (dealing with FOI requests). I suspect, and have heard other sensible commentators also say, that this inquiry will find some faults. Whether they are serious enough for disciplinary action, I couldn't say.

However, the question of making scientific data openly available is one in transition. There are all sorts of issues - not the least of which is responsible use of data.

For example, I think that NIWA should have a condition that their data is only made available to people who keep it as open source, undertake proper scientific review of any publication and make their methodology freely available. That is to carry on the same requirements that are placed on NIWA by the FOI Act.

Then I could have demanded that the local denier groups (Climate Science Coalition, Climate Conversation Group) and that crook Richard Treadgold make their data and methodology available to me. Despite many requests they refused to do so (see email correspondence).

Treadgold's slanderous report (the one Wishart helped distribute internationally) has been discredited scientifically. There are problems with the data he used, or its treatment, and they obviously do not feel confident with it - hence their secrecy.

Treadgold himself is scientifically illiterate and admits his purpose is political rather than science. He claims to have a "scientific team" but "they wish to remain anonymous". Yeah, right.

Now, I ask you do honest and respectable people behave like Treadgold, or Wishart.

They both distort and lie about the science. I would love to see their emails, their correspondence with the ACT party, Hide, Bosawen, etc., and amongst themselves.

Just imagine what they would be like?

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