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

Alfio Puglisi alfio.puglisi at gmail.com
Thu Aug 6 09:27:15 UTC 2009

On Wed, Aug 5, 2009 at 9:47 PM, Rafal
Smigrodzki<rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Mon, Aug 3, 2009 at 10:43 AM, Alfio Puglisi<alfio.puglisi at gmail.com> wrote:
>> 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.
> ### Random processes average out, yes, but the systematic errors of
> the model (such as CO2 sensitivity pulled out of thin air) compound.

CO2 sensitivity is estimated looking at past climate trends,
especially from ice core data, and how the variation of the CO2 level
influenced the temperature (taking into account external forcings like
solar irradiation, etc). The numbers come out at around 3°C /
doubling, but there's a disturbing tail of low-probability results of
6°C/doubling or more, that does not want to go away.

>> 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
>> "cooling".
> ### What do you mean by "statistically significant"? The year 1998 was
> the warmest in recent history, right? It follows logically that no
> year since then could have been warmer (or else it would become the
> new record year). It then follows that for the last 11 years there was
> a period of cooler weather, compared to 1998.

A single year is not enough to establish a trend, nor a "period of
cooler weather". The current period 2000-2008 is warmer than the
period 1990-1999, despite the latter period including the record year.
Tamino's page I linked earlier shows clearly (look at the residuals
graph) that neither 1998 nor the following years were anything out of
the ordinary - just random variations over a constant warming trend.
If a new record year is what you want, just wait a few more years.

> --------------------------------------
>>> ### 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?
> ### Honestly? I just made it up.
> Actually, once you start looking at other estimates, it pales in
> comparison - for example, Kyoto protocol cost 670 billion already, and
> it might reduce warming by 0.07C.

Given that most nations didn't even follow the Kyoto protocol, I find
it difficult to understand how one could measure its cost. Can you
give me a link for that number? How was it estimated?

> As for the cost of adaptation (i.e. do nothing, even assuming global
> warming is real), it has been estimated at 50 billion dollars in the
> US - essentially invisible in an economy worth 50Tdollars.

That depends heavily on how much warming you are expecting, and the US
is among the least impacted states. Also adaptation cost goes up with
time. What is the scenario for that estimate? and what year?

>>  why you are also sure that adding CO2 to
>> the atmosphere will change nothing?
> ### I am sure there is insufficient data to make precise predictions
> about climate 100 years from now.

"precise" is a term that can be qualified. If you mean "precise to
0.1°C in 2100" then no, we can't to that. If you mean "precise" as
discriminating between cooling, stationary and warming of at least a
few °C then yes, we can do that.

> Did you read something else into my statements?

Since you seem convinced that we cannot reliably predict warming for
the next century, and since current CO2 levels are known to have a
forcing of a few watts/m^2, it follows that you somehow assume that
this forcing will have no measurable effect.

> -----------------------------
> Why do you think that the change
>> will be smaller than the IPCC says and not, for example, much higher?
> ### The IPCC is a political body, not a scientific one, therefore
> their results can be treated as propaganda rather than science.

IPCC reports are a summary of current scientific research. If you
don't believe it, there's nothing I can do, except encouraging you to
read it and cross-check its statements with current scientific


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