[ExI] Richard Lindzen on climate hysteria

Alfio Puglisi alfio.puglisi at gmail.com
Tue Aug 4 20:25:23 UTC 2009

On Tue, Aug 4, 2009 at 9:36 PM, John K Clark<jonkc at bellsouth.net> wrote:
> "Alfio Puglisi" <alfio.puglisi at gmail.com>
>> all known physics tells us that, if you put enough CO2 in the atmosphere,
>> global warming will result.
> If it were that simple making good climate models would be easy. It isn't.
> During the late Ordovician period, 450 million years ago, there was a huge
> amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, about 4400 ppm verses 380 today, and yet
> the world was in the grip of a severe ice age.

I should have added "all other things being equal". 450 millions years
ago conditions where different enough that you are speaking of another
Earth. And you forgot to mention that the ice age was triggered by a
rapid reduction of CO2 from 7000 to 4000 ppm. Sure the absolute level
was high, but the change and the rate of change is what matters.

By the way, you seem to have a lot of faith in what science says about
a period 450 millions years ago, for which scraps of evidence are far
and between, and things are derived by long chains of reasoning.
Instead you don't believe models based on reliable historical records,
ground and satellite measurements, and direct observation, for a mere
100 years onward. Peculiar logic yours.

>>  we are seeing a clear rise in temperature.
> It hasn't been very clear during the last decade!

I have already shown, numerically, why it is so. You haven't brought
any new arguments.

>> we know that the current rise in CO2 and temperature would be a
>> *vertical line* on any climate graph of the known Earth history,
>> unlike anything we have seen before.
> That is simply untrue. During the last 600 million years the atmosphere has
> almost always had far more CO2 than now, abut 3000 ppm on average. The only
> exception was a period that lasted from 315 million years ago to 270 where
> there was about the same amount of CO2 as we have now. The temperature was
> about the same then as it is now too, and during the late Ordovician that I
> mentioned before it was much colder, but other than a few very brief ice
> ages during the last few million years the temperature has always been
> warmer than now, or at least during the last 600 million years it has.

Ah, now we go to 600 million years. In the next post you'll talk about
the CO2 level of the solar system's precursor nebula? :-)

The vertical line description is another reference to the speed of the
change, an argument that you seem unable to grasp from the kind of
rebuttals you are making. Who cares what the CO2 level was 600 million
years ago? A planet with a weaker Sun, a short day, different
continents and no land plants or animal! Are you seriously comparing
that world with our present times?

>> Can you show this numerically? If you can show, quantitatively, that one
>> or more of the current unknowns in the models are enough to mask the
>> cumulative (in the time axis) effect of CO2, water wapor and other
>> GHGs, you will have a point, but not yet.
> Can you show me a climate model that has accurately predicted anything?
> These things have no track record but you expect us to stake our lives on
> them.

Two I get from memory:

- Hansen et al. 1988 prediction,  verified in 1996, refenced some
posts ago: http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/abstracts/2006/Hansen_etal_1.html
- Hansen et al 1992 predictions about the climatic effects of the
then-recent Pinatubo eruption - for this i don't have a link handy.

>> Somehow the clouds have failed to materialize to save the situation.
> I'm not saying clouds are going to save us, for all I know they could make
> things worse,

But you consistently talk like they'll make things better than expected.

Your constant minimization of the models quality speaks of a
fundamental misunderstanding of what they are. I can't do much better
than quote Gavin Schmidt in a realclimate blog post. From

" There is a world of difference between acknowledging that models are
imperfect (which they are) and claiming that they are fundamentally
unreliable without mentioning what is being talked about. Do models
reliably match the cooling during subsequent to the Pinatubo eruption?
Yes. Do they reliably predict a northward shift in tropical rain bands
during the mid-Holocene? Yes. Do they predict last glacial climates as
cold as observed based on their included physics? Yes. etc. etc. Do
they reliably project rainfall changes in the New York in 20 years
time - probably not. Thus statements that are absent of nuance as in
the 'sceptic' point put forward by Singer are indeed false, and not
just a matter of opinion. What is being implicitly asserted is that
modelling is a dangerous waste of time, rather than the fundamental
way in which our theories of climate and climate change can be
quantified and evaluated."


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