[ExI] [wta-talk] Richard Lindzen on climate hysteria

Alfio Puglisi alfio.puglisi at gmail.com
Mon Aug 3 14:43:18 UTC 2009

On Mon, Aug 3, 2009 at 2:21 PM, Rafal
Smigrodzki<rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Mon, Aug 3, 2009 at 6:17 AM, Alfio Puglisi<alfio.puglisi at gmail.com> wrote:
>> It would be too short if you where just fitting a line to a series of
>> point. But climate models rely on physics.
> ### Not quite. Climate is so poorly understood that the models are
> actually exercises in curve fitting (you know that term, right?). They
> do not know the CO2 climate sensitivity, and are yet completely
> incapable of predicting climate over periods of a few years, much less
> decades (not a single published model predicted the current period of
> global cooling when it started in 1998)

I see various wrong things in that paragraph:

1)  If you want to criticize models, you better make sure that you
know how they work. Current climatic models *cannot*, by design,
reproduce the climate signal over a time span as short as 10 years.
The weather is just too chaotic for that. To get a feeling of what is
the output of a climate model is, check out the picture in this


The single lines are individual model runs with different starting
conditions, and the black line is the average. Notice how one single
line is extremely variable and goes over and under the mean for many
years straight. The "real" Earth climate would be like one of those

2) "and are yet completely incapable of predicting climate over
periods of a few years, much less decades"

You have it backwards. It's easier to predict climate over decades
than over a few years, because random processes (weather) and
oscillations (ENSO, etc) will average out.

3) "the current period of  global cooling when it started in 1998"

can you please provide a reference (with numbers) for a "global
cooling started in 1998"?   Plotting GISS data from 1998 to 2008 I get
a positive slope of  +0.0106 °C/year, too small to be statistically
significant given the variation of the period, but hardly evidence of

> ### Our infrastructure cannot deal with destroying fifteen or more
> trillion dollars that would be necessary to stop anthropogenic CO2
> emissions.

Can you please give a reference for that $15T number? Did you also
find the cost of not stopping the CO2 emission (that is, the cost of
adaption), and compared?

>But both our infrastructure and all ecosystems can easily
> deal even with the grossly exaggerated changes predicted by the IPCC.

IPCC predictions are *explicitly* underestimated, because they don't
include most of the ice feedbacks. The reason is that, at the time of
the IPCC report, the predictions were too uncertain. The next IPCC
report will include some of the known ice feedbacks, and the numbers
will be higher.

To conclude, a point about logic. You write:

"Climate is so poorly understood...."

If you think this is true, why you are also sure that adding CO2 to
the atmosphere will change nothing? Why do you think that the change
will be smaller than the IPCC says and not, for example, much higher?


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