Today’s Climate Change Congressional Hearings

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This afternoon in Washington DC, Texas Republican Ted Cruz, who does not believe in global warming yet is chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Space, Science, and Competitiveness, will convene a hearing called “Data or Dogma? Promoting Open Inquiry in the Debate over the Magnitude of Human Impact on Earth’s Climate.” The purpose of the hearing appears to be to reify the false debate of the reality and importance of anthropogenic global warming, and is yet another step in the current McCarthyesque attack on legitimate climate scientists and their research.

This is an important moment in the history of bullshit.

Among the “experts” giving testimony will be the Canadian conservative shock jock Mark Steyn. Steyn’s relationship to global warming is similar to, say, Rush Limbaugh’s relationship to women’s rights. He is a bloviating ignoramus who treats the truth like so much dog poo on the bottom of his shoe. If he actually knows anything about climate science, he is doing a very good job of hiding it. His major contribution to the discussion is a continuous attack on climate scientists based mostly on cherry picked quotes. In fact, he recently self published a book made up, apparently, of cherry picked quotes and related material in an effort to discredit top climate scientists. For a flavor for what he has done, check out this analysis of the quotes he used of several established climate scientists.

I have a copy of Steyn’s testimony. Steyn is being sued for defamation by scientist Michael Mann. I won’t go into the details of that suit, but a very large part of Steyn’s testimony before the Senate is about that law suit or related issues. It appears that the Republicans on the Senate science subcommittee are allowing an anti-science Canadian citizen to use the Senate hearing room to argue his side of a civil law suit. (Part of his argument, by the way, is to say several insulting things about the judicial branch hearing this case, and the judge. Entering these comments into the congressional record.)

One of the interesting things Steyn does is to define a set of “experts” whom he claims make the case against global warming, and whose work has been either ignored or discredited by mainstream climate science. This set includes the recently turned Judith Curry; John Christy, one of the only climate scientists to believe that the Earth’s system is relatively insensitive to increases in greenhouse gas concentration; Meteorologist Lennart Bengtsson, famous for briefly joining the science denier organization “Global Warming Policy Foundation,” only to quit a short time later in what seemed to be a ploy to accuse mainstream science as being McCarthyistic (so yes, there will be irony in Washington DC today); Lord Nigel Lawson, a blue-blood non-scientist science denier which I’m pretty sure is a category (including Lord Christopher Monckton and coal baron Lord Viscount Matt Ridley); the economist Roger Pielke Junior, who is famous for being drummed out of the statistico-rationalist site FiveThirtyEight after he represented his research attempting to show that hurricanes aren’t really a problem, but accidentally let a bunch of actual statistics experts see what he was up to; and the recently discredited Harvard-Smithsonian not-a-professor soft money guy Willie “The Sun Did It” Soon.

Roger is a real life academic who has climate change impacts wrong, in my opinion (and I’m not alone) and has stepped into a fight he was regrettably unprepared for. But otherwise he’s just some guy with a faculty job. Until now. Now, according to Congressional Testimony, he is part of a set that includes a handful of crazy anti-science rantologists. John Cristy and Judith Curry are both testifying today, along with Steyn. Curry was a legit climate scientists who, much to the horror and chagrin of her colleagues, has slid farther and farther into the anti-science abyss, who rarely makes sense any more, and who is probably the last established academic anyone would want to give testimony about such an important issue. But she is apparently very excited about giving this testimony.

The point of these associations? Mark Steyn, who is a spiritual leader of the anti-science movement, has placed a couple of people who might not have wanted to be classified with discredited scientists and ranting yahoos into the same boat with said individuals. Maybe fairly, maybe not. I wonder how they feel about this.

Now, to be fair, Steyn’s testimony, which is mostly him pleading his side of the law suit, is not entirely inappropriate for this particular hearing. The hearing is about the meta-context in which the science is being done, and the law suit is about nefarious accusations made by a guy who looks a lot like a bought and paid for science denier against Michael Mann. Steyn isn’t so much the problem here, but rather, the hearing itself, and the subcommittee, is the problem. Steyn is merely the poster boy.

For those just tuning in, one of the things Steyn will yammer on about today (or at least, enter into the record) is this deal about Michael Mann and the Nobel Prize. According to Nobel, “The Nobel Peace Prize 2007 was awarded jointly to Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Albert Arnold (Al) Gore Jr. for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change.” Mike Mann and others who were on that panel rightfully were credited, thusly, with winning the Nobel Prize. And they did. But technically, the Nobel Committee does not actually use that nomenclature. They say that the panel, not the people on it, won the prize. Once this semantic detail was made clear, the people on the IPCC appropriately adjusted their language to reflect the Nobel construction of things. But Steyn has been yammering about this since, claiming that his arch nemesis, the actual scientist Mann, claimed something that was not true. Apparently Steyn will continue this yammering this afternoon for the benefit of our Senate, and we the taxpayers will be paying for this.

The highlight, I say non-sardonically, of the hearings may be the testimony of Rear Admiral David Titley, a PhD in Meteorology who has made significant contributions to understanding and communicating about climate change. I assume he was invited by the minority party. If you haven’t seen Rear Admiral Ditley’s TEDx Talk, you should. He was a climate skeptic, then he looked into it, and realized that climate change is one of the most important issues of the day. He is a great communicator and an honest interlocutor. He’ll be swabbing the deck with the likes of Steyn and Curry.

Steyn’s testimony has the climate science wrong. I am pretty sure the minority members of the committee will be aware of this, and will address these issues in a well informed manner. But the truth is, with Republicans in control in the Senate, and with the current McCarthyesque attack on climate scientists well under way, this hearing will largely be a circus.

In my opinion, the following statement by Steyn, from his written testimony, should be first, because it is the most important thing he has to say:

In that respect, let me close by turning to my area of expertise. I am not a climate scientist, but I am an acknowledged expert in the field of musical theatre

In response, the chair of the subcommittee would appropriately say, “Oh, excuse me, then, Mr. Steyn, we obviously invited you by accident. You may now return to Canada. Thank you for your time.”


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92 thoughts on “Today’s Climate Change Congressional Hearings

  1. …a hearing called “Data or Dogma? Promoting Open Inquiry in the Debate over the Magnitude of Human Impact on Earth’s Climate.”

    Is that ever a misnomer! But it fits right in with the ongoing inquisition of climate science (to borrow from the title of James Lawrence Powell’s book.)

    Meanwhile, a group of about 40 Denialists met in Paris to plan how to counter media coverage of what they think is a hoax. A journalist was present. His report, and the comments that follow, are most illuminating.

    https://www.opendemocracy.net/uk/adam-ramsay/climate-skeptics-agree-their-key-messages-for-journalists-with-journalist-in-room

  2. It appears that the Republicans on the Senate science subcommittee are allowing an anti-science Canadian citizen to use the Senate hearing room to argue his side of a civil law suit.

    And why not? They allowed an anti-Iranian citizen of Israel to testify against President Obama’s deal on Iran’s nuclear program. This is just more of their treason against truth.

  3. “Steyn’s testimony has the climate science wrong.”

    That is like stating Benito Mussolini was a little bit fascist.

    Steyn isn’t “wrong:” lies are not “wrong.”

    1. Brainstorms: “I think most Republicans have chosen dog shit over data.”

      That dog shit pays for their mansions and drugs and shit.

  4. So to sum up if I’m getting this correct? :

    A small group in the US Congress is trying to argue “science” listening to people who (almost always) aren’t qualified to tell them anything or are even deliberately there to misled them and the public.

    Fair summary?

    Government of the Corporations (& their right wing think tank tools) for the Corporations by the Corporations now? Is that really how the US of A is meant to be run?

    Not a great day for US politics which you’d think would have other better priorities and should listen to real climatologists instead.

    Admiral Titley’s testimony at least sounds promising but did this really need to happen?

  5. I find it noteworthy that all of the cities we are told will soon be flooded are run by liberals. Is this not evolution of the species? Those that wish to stay and argue climate change will be the first to drown.

    1. Steve: “I find it noteworthy that all of the cities we are told will soon be flooded are run by liberals.”

      Okay, I assume that is meant as a joke. However, if you are serious, Steve— why do you suppose your gods are flooding cities run by liberals? Do your gods hate fair, generous, honest, kind, just, and friendly people so much they want to drown them? Do your gods also hat fags, Steve? Do exposed womens’ tits cause Earthquakes too?

  6. “…all of the cities we are told will soon be flooded are run by liberals”

    Bllomberg list the 20 cities most vulnerable:
    Miami, Florida, USA; Guangzhou, China; New York and Newark, USA.; Kolkata, India; Shanghai, China; Mumbai, India; Tianjin, China; Tokyo, Japan; Hong Kong, China; Bangkok, Thailand; Ningbo, China; New Orleans, LA, USA; Osaka-Kobe, Japan; Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Rotterdam, The Netherlands; Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; Nagoya, Japan;Qingdao, China; Virginia Beach, VA, USA; Alexandria, Egypt

    Yep- all run by liberals ….. or maybe not. OK, definitely not. More B.S. – which means our Steve is most likely a denier. They do so like to make up their own facts – since reality has a known liberal bias 🙂

    1. Kevin ONeill: “Yep- all run by liberals ….. or maybe not. OK, definitely not. More B.S. – which means our Steve is most likely a denier. They do so like to make up their own facts – since reality has a known liberal bias :)”

      Those damn Saigon Liberals!

  7. Re: “McCarthyesque attack on climate scientists”

    With the fate of all life on Earth allegedly in the balance, you’d think NOAA would WANT to release their emails.

    1. handjive: “With the fate of all life on Earth allegedly in the balance, you’d think NOAA would WANT to release their emails.”

      There is a mermaid in my refrigerator eating all the sushi.

  8. “With the fate of all life on Earth allegedly in the balance, you’d think NOAA would WANT to release their emails.”

    You need to develop your ideas a bit…. for instance, where is your argument?

  9. handjive:

    “With the fate of all life on Earth allegedly in the balance…”

    Climate science says no such thing, dilbert.

  10. There’s LIBERAL FLOODING going on in Ho Chi Minh City! The city survived General V?n Ti?n D?ng, but now it faces an even more menacing enemy: liberal-caused sea level rise. Oh, damn you Al Gore!

    1. Ted Cruz did the usual “give false testimony under the pretense of ‘asking a question'” scam. Odd how Congress members of one political party love to do that.

      I am making a reply video; I shall not be gentle.

  11. It looks like we have another con-Sensus under way, all in favor of getting paid for shilling Obama initiative to solve Islamic terror by cooling the planet down. Greg Laden is a known community organizer and that is his tribute to alarmists cause.

    1. kurhan: “It looks like we have another con-Sensus under way, all in favor of getting paid for shilling Obama initiative to solve Islamic terror by cooling the planet down. Greg Laden is a known community organizer and that is his tribute to alarmists cause.”

      Consciousness consists of supercharged electrons of quantum energy. “Quantum” means a refining of the non-dual. This life is nothing short of a refining rekindling of perennial understanding. Tarot may be the solution to what’s holding you back from an ecstatic wellspring of hope. Through the Law of Attraction, our lives are enveloped in healing. As you grow, you will enter into infinite karma that transcends understanding.

    2. Brainstorms: “kurhan, does it ever bother you that you’re stupid?”

      He sounds like an Elisa program written in MBASIC running on a TRS-80….. so his answer is probably “Tell me more about that.”

    1. “@Nick, December 8, 2015, #17 “You need to develop your ideas a bit…. for instance, where is your argument?”

      Damn the arguments: we need to deport all the Muslims, then worry about a reason later.

  12. @Desertphile, Santa Fe, New Mexico
    December 8, 2015

    “There is a mermaid in my refrigerator eating all the sushi.”

    Pro tip: If 7 inches of sea level rise per century causes your home to flood, you’re living too close to the water.

    1. handjive: “Pro tip: If 7 inches of sea level rise per century causes your home to flood, you’re living too close to the water.”

      The problem is storm surge. In some coastal regions the flooding ratio is >1,600:1 and in other regions it’s merely 1:1. If it was *ONLY* sea level rise, the economic loss would be vastly smaller.

  13. dhogaza, December 8, 2015, #18

    “Climate science says no such thing, dilbert.”

    It appears Dilbert is in Paris:

    “French President Francois Hollande, as host, said: “Never have the stakes of an international meeting been so high because it concerns the future of the planet, the future of life.
    The hope of all of humanity rests on all of your shoulders.”

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/climate-news/74651362/last-chance-for-world-to-strike-climate-deal

  14. “With the fate of all life on Earth allegedly in the balance…”

    “.. because it concerns the future of the planet, the future of life.”

    And you somehow think these statements are EQUIVALENT?

    Sheesh… ::Facepalm::

    It appears illiterates are in Australia.

  15. Pro tip: If 7 inches of sea level rise per century causes […]

    I didn’t like this either. It is highly likely that future SLR will become increasingly nonlinear because ice sheet dynamics are likely to produce a nonlinear response to future warming. What’s more, the ~17cm SLR across the C20th was in response to a much lower level of forcing than is expected across the C21st (at least under BAU). So you cannot use SLR from the C20th as a guide to SLR from the C21st and beyond.

  16. #37

    You don’t even need a storm surge. High tides are increasingly causing problems.
    https://tamino.wordpress.com/2015/10/27/high-water/
    https://tamino.wordpress.com/2015/11/04/moon-over-miami-boston/

    “Today scores of coastal communities in the United States are seeing more frequent tidal flooding. And as global warming drives sea levels higher over the next 15 to 30 years, flooding from high tides is expected to occur even more often and cause more disruption, particularly on the East Coast and, increasingly, on the Gulf Coast…

    Our analysis shows that many East Coast communities now see dozens of tidal floods each year. Some of these communities have seen a fourfold increase in the annual number of days with tidal flooding since 1970…

    In the near future, higher seas will mean that high tides can reach farther inland, creating flood conditions that last longer and disrupt daily life for growing numbers of people.”
    Encroaching Tides
    How Sea Level Rise and Tidal Flooding Threaten U.S. East and Gulf Coast Communities over the Next 30 Years
    http://www.ucsusa.org/sites/default/…/encroaching-tides-full-report.pdf

    Handjive’s comment, billed as a “Pro tip” no less, is a pure expression of the Dunning-Kruger effect. Handjive, like so many other climate septics, is a wise ass buffoon.

  17. The people of Miami could easily avoid this flooding if they would just covert their faith to Conservatism, as their ideology preaches that “this isn’t happening, it’s just a liberal hoax”.

    They live in a different world. Apparently, that one doesn’t experience global warming. (But it does have an odd characteristic of hordes of wild-eyed Muslim fanatics and impoverished South Americans rushing over the borders to spread death, destruction, homosexuality, and higher taxes throughout the land. At least it’s a world where gun possession never results in unwanted shootings. Except for the threat of those pesky wild-eyed Muslim types, of course.)

  18. The people of Miami could easily avoid this flooding if they would just covert their faith to Conservatism…

    There’s now a religious test for protection from climate change’s influence? The bumper sticker that reads

    Where are we going and why am I in this handbasket?

    has never been more appropriate.

  19. I would be popping popcorn to watch the circus, if it weren’t for the fact that their handbasket happens to also be my f-ing planet.

    (If ever their bent towards military response to everything for self-protection were an appropriate thing, this would be the case.)

  20. Oh, did I say “faith“? Oops, I mean political ideology. I have such a time trying to tell the difference between the two…

  21. handjive rides to failure again:

    ‘dhogaza, December 8, 2015, #18

    “Climate science says no such thing, dilbert.”

    It appears Dilbert is in Paris:

    “French President Francois Hollande, as host, said…’

    In addition to the point made by others above, Hollande is not a climate scientist …

  22. @cosmicomics, Danmark, December 10, 2015

    Quote: “The two statements aren’t equivalent, but rather than illiteracy I would suggest confirmation bias as an explanation for handjive’s misunderstanding.
    Handjive reads into the statement what s/he wants to see. To some extent we all do this, and we have to be aware of it.”

    The awareness didn’t last for long for cosmo, as s/he then posts links to doomsday flooding in the distant future to confirm it’s own bias.

    Maybe desertphile can chime in here, and tell us if the mermaids only eat the sushi on lunar tides in Miami.

    Back on earth, here in Australia, we have a sea-level rise marker that is the oldest in the world.

    The Lempriere-Ross mark.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/467007.stm

    @dhogaza, December 10, 2015 #44, quote:
    “In addition to the point made by others above, Hollande is not a climate scientist …”

    Whoa right there, cowboy!
    Didn’t get the memo?

    The climate change science cop-out
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/capital-weather-gang/wp/2014/05/30/the-climate-change-science-cop-out/

  23. Enough chasing straw men.

    Re: “McCarthyesque attack on climate scientists”

    If indeed there is some sort of climate crisis, which seems in dispute here, how is it some sort of “McCarthyesque attack” to ask for the taxpayer funded data & information, to better inform myself?

    Ask yourself why you don’t want to see it.

    Mann:” … the larger message of urgency; The predictions really are “dire” for the worst case scenarios, i.e. if we fail to act on climate change.
    http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2015/04/30/dire-predictions-understanding-climate-change-must-read-book/

    Some might call it “due dilligence.”

    That is the crux of my original comment/question.
    And, you know it.

  24. Ask yourself why you don’t want to understand it. And why, by not understanding it, you don’t want to believe it. We already know it has nothing to do with you doubting the science or the scientists.

    1. “Ask yourself why you don’t want to understand it. And why, by not understanding it, you don’t want to believe it. We already know it has nothing to do with you doubting the science or the scientists.”

      Almost three weeks ago I made a YouTube video wherein I stated Earth is not flat. This has become my most disliked video in five years. People who believe Earth is flat have left comments for the video wherein they insist they have studied the subject for years and they remain unconvinced that Earth is “a globe” (an oblate spheroid).

      Just like “handjive” here rejecting the evidence that shows human-caused climate change has already been disastrous, people who reject the evidence that Earth is not a flat round disk have emotional investments in believing that which is observed to be false.

      FidoNet’s HOLYSMOKE message echo taught me, decades ago, that these people cannot be swayed by the evidence, and that all attempts to do so are and will be useless. People who communicate science should not bother trying.

  25. BBD: “I didn’t like this either. It is highly likely that future SLR will become increasingly nonlinear because ice sheet dynamics are likely to produce a nonlinear response to future warming. What’s more, the ~17cm SLR across the C20th was in response to a much lower level of forcing than is expected across the C21st (at least under BAU). So you cannot use SLR from the C20th as a guide to SLR from the C21st and beyond.”

    Indeed, but deniers don’t want anyone to understand that fact: no scientists think the current rate of sea level rise will stay the same, yet many deniers insist it will (even if they themselves don’t understand that is what they are claiming).

    20 years ago, how many climatologists thought we would in year 2015 be seeing the ice mass losses of Greenland and Antarctic currently observed? I suspect the vast majority had thought this unlikely for at least another 50 years.

  26. how is it some sort of “McCarthyesque attack” to ask for the taxpayer funded data & information, to better inform myself?

    How many times does it need to be pointed out that the data are already available? Scouring e-mails to find things that, when taken out of context, can be twisted to bring the author into disrepute is not the work of an honest person.

  27. #45
    “The awareness didn’t last for long for cosmo, as s/he then posts links to doomsday flooding in the distant future to confirm it’s own bias.”

    Maybe I was wrong. It now seems that handjive really is illiterate. Note the time frame given by handjive and her/his expression doomsday flooding. Tamino writes about what’s happening <b<now, not about apocalyptic visions of a distant future. Here, again, are the excerpts I quoted from the UCS report:

    Today scores of coastal communities in the United States are seeing more frequent tidal flooding. And as global warming drives sea levels higher over the next 15 to 30 years, flooding from high tides is expected to occur even more often and cause more disruption, particularly on the East Coast and, increasingly, on the Gulf Coast…
    Our analysis shows that many East Coast communities now see dozens of tidal floods each year. Some of these communities <b<have seen a fourfold increase in the annual number of days with tidal flooding since 1970…
    In the near future, higher seas will mean that high tides can reach farther inland, creating flood conditions that last longer and disrupt daily life for growing numbers of people.”

    This is from the DOD:
    “In places like the Hampton Roads region in Virginia, which houses the largest concentration of US military sites in the world, we see <b<recurrent flooding today, and we are beginning work to address a projected sea-level rise of 1.5 feet over the next 20 to 50 years.”
    2014 CLIMATE CHANGE
    ADAPTATION ROADMAP

    Conclusion: Handjive is either incapable of understanding what s/he reads, or s/he deliberately misrepresents, i.e. s/he’s a liar.

    1. cosmicomics: “Conclusion: Handjive is either incapable of understanding what s/he reads, or s/he deliberately misrepresents, i.e. s/he’s a liar.”

      C) Both

  28. And:
    have seen a fourfold increase in the annual number of days with tidal flooding since 1970…

    #45

    This is what’s happening now. As we know that sea levels will continue to rise, things will get worse.

  29. Desertphile (#19): Those damn Saigon Liberals!

    Egyptians too! Ten thousand curses on the liberals in charge of Cairo!

  30. handjive (#46): If indeed there is some sort of climate crisis, which seems in dispute here, how is it some sort of “McCarthyesque attack” to ask for the taxpayer funded data & information, to better inform myself?

    Ah, but the data and information are already available to Lamar Smith. And high-level staff of NOAA have already briefed members of his staff on the subject, twice. And the study that the “whistleblowers” claim was rushed into print was actually submitted for publication four months before these “whistleblowers” came forward.

    But of course you’re talking about private e-mails. We know from SwiftHack what happens to scientists’ e-mails when they get into the hands of people like Smith: deliberate distortion aimed at sowing doubt. Would Smith agree to release his own e-mails, and those of his staffers? I doubt it.

  31. What a litany of failed responses.

    Despite links from cosmo that say, “In fact it will get worse because sea level rise continues. It may get especially worse for Boston, because at the moment, sea level rise there is happening faster than the global average, by quite a bit”, cosmo reverts to the Dunning-Kruger effect, using words like “Illiterate”.

    I don’t claim you are ‘illiterate”, though it does seem you don’t comprehend the meaning of the words “it may” as an attempt at future prediction.

    No one addresses the discrepancies presented by The Lempriere-Ross mark.

    The unintended relevance of that link to my original question/comment is found within:

    “The tax-paying public is entitled to be informed about the 1841 benchmark and why there is so much scientific interest in it.
    Little or nothing is being offered in the public domain in spite of large expenditure of public money.
    After all, he who pays the piper should at least hear the tune.”
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/467007.stm

    Inconvenient Truth:
    Capt. Ross also made a marker in the Falklands:

    “In April 1842, distinguished naval officer and polar explorer James Clark Ross (1800–1862) stopped at Port Louis, primarily to make magnetic field and other measurements, but also to make repairs to his ships which had been badly damaged in the Drake Passage. Having set up a winter base, he took the opportunity to make careful measurements of sea level relative to two benchmarks cut into the cliffs and marked with brass plaques.”

    http://noc.ac.uk/news/measuring-sea-level-rise-falklands

    Tamino has no post on this:
    https://tamino.wordpress.com/?s=Lempriere-Ross+mark

    As for the failed catch-cry “not a climate scientist” it seems dhogaza rode outta town on the donkey s/he rode in on.
    The sound of crickets is deafening.

    Again:
    “With the fate of all life on Earth allegedly in the balance, you’d think NOAA would WANT to release their emails.”

    Maybe the emails have the answer to the Lempriere-Ross mark.

    Continue to colour me skeptical.

  32. Continue to colour me skeptical.

    Denialists have the strangest spelling of “unwilling to make an honest attempt to learn” I’ve ever seen.

  33. It’s an abbreviation for “unwilling to make an honest attempt to learn”.

    And handjive obviously never buys insurance — of any kind.

    After all, why should he waste his money protecting against something that only may happen to him?

    It’s hilarious that he seems to think that only one ocean level marker is sufficient to keep records for sea level.

  34. handjive

    John Daly, in 2015? The locker is empty, isn’t it? I’ll come back to the Lempriere benchmark, but first, two quick questions:

    During the last interglacial (the Eemian, ~130 – 115ka), global average temperature was between 1 – 2C warmer than the present. MSL was ~6m higher than the present.

    1/ Why do you think that happened?

    2/ Where did the water come from?

    * * *

    Back to Port Arthur and the Lempriere benchmark.

    Unsurprisingly, it seems that reconstructing average sea level rise from the Port Arthur benchmark is complex and a cautious estimate of 0.8 +/- 0.2 mm/year exists (Pugh et al. 2002).

    But:

    A major uncertainty arises in the estimate of recent vertical land movement, which will be resolved only when our geocentric measurements of the benchmark coordinates are repeated after a sufficiently long interval.

    And:

    Finally, we can compare this observed rise with the predictions of numerical models. Gregory et al (2001) have discussed the results of various atmosphere-ocean general circulation models, projecting global and regional sea level changes. They note that several models show a lower than average sea level rise in the Southern Ocean south of 60o. One reason for this may be the low thermal expansion coefficient at the colder high latitude water temperatures.

    And:

    Figure 8 summarises the historic and present observations. It should be noted that the IPCC figures only relate to the last century and that sea level rise is not identified in historic tide gauge records (primarily from the northern hemisphere) until after 1860. Our figure for sea level rise since 1841 is probably, therefore, an underestimate of the rate of rise during the past century.

    This is all genuinely interesting, but it doesn’t constitute a ringing falsification of everything else known about sea level rise over the last century. Nor does it address my earlier point, which was that it is highly likely that future SLR will become increasingly nonlinear because ice sheet dynamics are likely to produce a nonlinear response to future warming. What’s more, the ~17cm SLR across the C20th was in response to a much lower level of forcing than is expected across the C21st (at least under BAU). So you cannot use SLR from the C20th as a guide to SLR from the C21st and beyond.

  35. #60
    Honesty among denialists is in short supply. So is intelligence. Handjive refuses to admit that her/his comment #45 misrepresented the information found in my links and my excerpts. S/he’s not intelligent enough to understand that warming and its effects won’t stop tomorrow evening, and that some amount of additional sea level rise is an inevitability.

  36. @BBD. December 11, 2015 #63

    Thank you for an intelligent, courteous response.

    In answer to your questions.
    1/ Why do you think that happened?
    As “the CO2 concentration then was similar to the one during the Preindustrial (around 280 ppm, EPICA, 2004) which is lower than the present one (around 380 ppm)”
    [ https://www.ncas.ac.uk/index.php/en/climate-blog/397-warm-past-climates-is-our-future-in-the-past ]
    it would appear CO2 is not the reason.
    Any other reason requires more space & links than here.

    2/ Where did the water come from?
    From the same place it went during the previous ice age?

    “After some more glacial-interglacial cycles during the Pleistocene (the last 2.6 million years), we find another period which was warmer than today: the Pliocene (between 5.3 million years and 2.6 million years). The CO2 concentration was also relatively high (Tripati, 2009).
    It is a very interesting period because it shows a general cooling associated to a decline of atmospheric CO2 and corresponds to the transition towards greater glaciations in the Northern Hemisphere (the increase of ?18O in figure 1 is due to the Northern ice sheets becoming bigger and the climate getting colder).” (quote from link above)
    ~ ~ ~
    The Pugh et al response was controversially years late, though that does not diminish it.

    The question to be answered was:
    “… as knowing whether the mark was originally placed near mean sea-level or high water is crucial to being able to compare sea-levels of 1841 with today.

    This study has concluded that it is almost certain that the benchmark was originally placed near high water.

    The conclusion is based on other estimates of sea-level made later in the 19th century, and on the fact that, if the mark had originally been placed near mean sea-level, then the Penitentiary building would have suffered flooding every few years (there is no record of this having happened).”

    The Port Arthur site is particularly important because of the few long-term sea-level records in Australia and the southern hemisphere.”

    It is not the only marker as I noted above, Captain Ross also created one in the Falklands.
    It is the oldest.

    “So you cannot use SLR from the C20th as a guide to SLR from the C21st and beyond.”

    So, why is it you can use sea level rise from the Eemian period as a “guide to SLR from the C21st and beyond”?

  37. If you do have a serious interest in sea levels and tide gauges and other devices (like fish tanks) used to measure tides over the millennia, this video by Jerry Mitrovica (originally from Melbourne) should interest you.

  38. It seems that the well-named “handjive” is in all likelihood the equally well-named “spangled drongo”, who’s been fisked by all and sundry at Deltoid for many years.

    It’s worth noting that Dwrongo ran just like Brave Sir Robin from a pressing of the significance of the Lempriere mark on the Isle of the Dead. If one can bear it, the conversation starts on this page:

    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2015/06/03/june-2015-open-thread/comment-page-11/

    and meanders for pages more into the future on that thread and subsequent ones.

  39. handjive

    Sorry for the slow response but I have been away for a few days.

    1/ Why do you think that happened?
    As “the CO2 concentration then was similar to the one during the Preindustrial (around 280 ppm, EPICA, 2004) which is lower than the present one (around 380 ppm)”
    [ https://www.ncas.ac.uk/index.php/en/climate-blog/397-warm-past-climates-is-our-future-in-the-past ]
    it would appear CO2 is not the reason.
    Any other reason requires more space & links than here.

    There is some confusion here. My question (1) was not about the cause of Eemian warmth, it was about the reason why mean sea level then was 6m higher than the present. The answer is that global average temperature 1 – 2C warmer than the Holocene melts enough ice to raise global mean sea level by at least 6m.

    Eemian warmth derived from the slightly different orbital dynamics during that interglacial compared to this one, which combined to produce hotter Northern hemisphere summers, especially at high north latitude. Globally, ice sheets were smaller, which reduced the planetary albedo (reflectiveness) allowing more energy to be absorbed by the surface. The boreal forest also increased sufficiently in extent to lower NH albedo enough to have a climatologically significant effect.

    2/ Where did the water come from?
    From the same place it went during the previous ice age?

    The water came from the Greenland ice sheet (about 2m), from the West Antarctic ice sheet (3-4m) and from coastal sectors of the East Atlantic ice sheet (>1m). When the average global temperature increases by 1 – 2C above present levels, these ice sheets melt and raise global mean sea level by about 6m.

    “So you cannot use SLR from the C20th as a guide to SLR from the C21st and beyond.”

    So, why is it you can use sea level rise from the Eemian period as a “guide to SLR from the C21st and beyond”?

    See above. What you are trying to do is make a linear extrapolation from a period of low forcing and low rates of SLR into a future of higher forcing and much higher rates of SLR as ice sheet dynamics increasingly contribute to a non-linear sea level rise. Hopefully by now it should be obvious that your approach is incorrect.

  40. Seasons Greetings to you Bernard J.,December 12, 2015 #69

    Thanks for the response.

    Disappointingly, reported sightings of the rare “spangled drongo” are, alas, just that.

    Much like the the discussion of the “The Lempriere-Ross mark” from your link.

    Vague references are pointless when comments are numbered and time is tight.

  41. @BBD, December 14, 2015, #70

    Indeed, time is flying and life goes on for us souls fortunate enough to enjoy one more day of this inter-glacial period.

    Of glacial and inter-glacial periods, we both agree.

    Also not disputed, “slightly different orbital dynamics” causing “smaller ice sheets,” “which reduced the planetary albedo”.

    That CO2 levels were lower when sea levels were 6M higher, and the planet was 1 – 2C above present levels warmer during the Eemian period, we both agree.

    Yet, when we both look out the window when CO2 levels are 400ppm, we see different things.
    Sea levels are not higher, nor the planet warmer.

    I am not “trying to do” anything other than understand the “Dire Predictions” made by some climate scientists.

    To be best informed, I just seek out all the information.

    This blog site is a known source for the scientists who make “dire predictions”, and so, is a logical place to ask why the dire prediction data is not transparent.

    Though being called names doesn’t faze me at all, no-one has produced the information I seek, and so, I remain un-convinced that any dire predictions requiring extreme CO2 taxes and curbing of lifestyle have eventuated. Or will.

    Nor will I persuade anyone here to question the incongruities as just discussed.

    I wish you all a happy & safe festive season.

  42. handjive

    Yet, when we both look out the window when CO2 levels are 400ppm, we see different things.
    Sea levels are not higher, nor the planet warmer.

    This is incorrect. Sea levels are rising and global temperature is rising. Ocean heat content is increasing. In a century, global average temperature has risen 1C above the late Holocene normal. 2C above would presumably result in the same sea level rise that occurred during the Eemian. Why would it not?

    1. handjive: “Yet, when we both look out the window when CO2 levels are 400ppm, we see different things. Sea levels are not higher, nor the planet warmer.”

      And yet all of the world’s experts working in the related science venues say the opposite; why do you suppose they are doing that?

  43. Greetings adelady.
    Thanks for the video.
    It has many good points.
    And some to question.

    @4.30 he mentions the first of 3 points skeptics say that can be “easily” disputed.

    “2mm per year is not anomalous and can be explained by the slowing of the earth’s rotation from melting ice caps & sheets.”

    My response:

    http://www.theguardian.com/science/2015/dec/11/climate-change-longer-days-glaciers-north-south-pole
    2015: “[W]ater from shrinking glaciers slows Earth’s rotation”
    —–
    http://www.livescience.com/53071-melting-glaciers-change-earth-spin.html
    2015: “Earth May Spin Faster as Glaciers Melt”

    And, whilst we are down this cul-de-sac:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/1816860.stm
    2002: “[I]ncreasing levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere will slow the Earth’s rotation.”
    —–
    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn11555
    2007: “Global warming will make Earth spin faster”

    Here is a link for those interested in sea levels:
    Lost city ‘could rewrite history’
    This 9,000 year old city is submerged under 120 feet of water.

    It is believed that the area was submerged as ice caps melted at the end of the last ice age 9-10,000 years ago.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/1768109.stm

  44. BBD.

    Eemian period CO2 level = 280ppm, sea levels 6M higher than now.

    2015 CO2 level = 400ppm, sea level 6m lower.

    2C rise could cause icecaps to melt, but CO2 is not the culprit on evidence presented.

    How high will CO2 be when sea level is finally 6M higher?

    It doesn’t make sense.

  45. How high will CO2 be when sea level is finally 6M higher?

    Who knows. But this is an arse-about question. The real question is how high will sea level eventually be even if we stop increasing the CO2 in the atmosphere?

  46. handjive

    It doesn’t make sense.

    Then I have failed to explain it clearly, which is on me.

    CO2 was not the main driver of Eemian climate. Orbital dynamics did the heavy lifting and albedo and GHG feedback did the rest.

    So Eemian CO2 levels are largely irrelevant to modern warming. Eemian temperature and sea level *are* relevant to modern warming as they provide an indication of what will happen if we get back to Eemian global average temperatures. And we don’t have that far to go now.

  47. Handjive:

    This blog site is a known source for the scientists who make “dire predictions”, and so, is a logical place to ask why the dire prediction data is not transparent.

    Huh? Climate science is published in peer-reviewed venues. I’ve found that Greg summarizes those pretty faithfully, but he doesn’t claim to be a primary source. If you read the peer-reviewed literature directly, and avoid fooling yourself by cherry-picking, you’ll have the same view of the consensus case for AGW as anyone. Whether the projections of climate science are “dire” or not is a value judgment of your own making.

  48. #78
    “Then I have failed to explain it clearly, which is on me.”

    No. Your explanations are clear. To use your own expression, handjive doesn’t argue “in good faith.” No matter how good your evidence, no matter how clear your explanations, handjive will argue around them. Denialists don’t discuss. They distort and they evade. That’s all they have.

  49. Here is an update fwiw.

    The show is ABC Catalyst
    Thursday, 17 July 2014
    Sea Level Rise

    It should be noted that the ABC is tax-payer funded, and never presents, or questions Doomsday Global Warming. Never.

    Also note there is evidence of Port Arthur inundated.
    What is not noted is this is a predictable spring tide and not “Global Warming.”
    http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/4045476.htm
    Enjoy.
    Have a safe festive season.

  50. It should be noted that the ABC is tax-payer funded, and never presents, or questions Doomsday Global Warming.

    handjob, there is no such thing as “Doomsday Global Warming” being pushed by science – even your hyperbolic lies are stupid.

  51. Quote Dean@#84:
    “handjob, there is no such thing as “Doomsday Global Warming” being pushed by science – even your hyperbolic lies are stupid.”

    They are not my “lies”.
    Where have you been for the last 30 years?

    “Beginning in a decade or two, scientists expect the warming of the atmosphere to melt the polar icecaps, raising the level of the seas, flooding coastal areas, eroding the shores and sending salt water far into fresh-water estuaries.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/1985/05/12/weekinreview/ideas-trends-continued-a-dire-long-range-forecast.html

  52. More on the Lempriere-Ross mark for those interested.

    Tasmanian Sea Levels:
    The `Isle of the Dead’ Revisited
    by John L. Daly
    2nd February 2003

    http://www.john-daly.com/deadisle/

    “However, the man responsible for putting the mark there, explorer Sir James Clark Ross stated explicitly and several times in his 1846 book [3] that the mark was placed at MSL (as he estimated it to be), not at a point 44.5cm above, near the high tide point, as claimed by the study.” (Mean Sea Level)

    Name callers can do what they like.

  53. He’s way too busy focusing on ONE gauge, in Tasmania, blinded to seeing anything else that might shatter his world-view.

  54. You give him too much credit Brainstorms. handjob is busy repeated misinformation he soaks up from others, not gathering any “data” on his own.

  55. “handjob, there is no such thing as “Doomsday Global Warming” being pushed by science – even your hyperbolic lies are stupid.”

    To point out the obvious, if there is no “catastrophic” Global Warming, why is there a need to do anything?

    Debate: Over.

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