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January 01, 2005

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Jason Peterson

Also, you do know I'm basically agreeing with you, just kinda not exactly. The only thing I'd say, regarding #3, is that I don't exactly think of misrepresentation (or more like misdirection) is exactly the same as fraud. Statements like those I quoted on the last comment are simply politic-speak in many ways. There should probably be a disclaimer on them, but think about this, pick what you want it to say from the vagueness of the statement!

"...based on a [narrow, normal, wide] range of climate models [which are thought to be .01% 50% 100% correct in total] point [to .01 50 100% certainly] to an increase in globally averaged surface temperature [that number is .01 50 100% significant] of 1.4 to 5.8° C [which we came up from the above total percent of .01 50 100% ] over the period 1990 to 2100 [which assumes that we keep doing what we're doing and that our opinions are correct]... [We're not sure what affect [1.4 2.8 5.6 degree] rise will have, but we have a [.01 50 100%] possibility it will [do thing 1] and a [.01 50 100%] possibility it will [do thing 2] etc] [Here's what to do to fix [thing 1] [list] Here's what to do to fix [thing 2] [list] etc]"

Anyone that parses the statements (or distills what they're really saying) knows they're trying to mislead. I don't know if I'd call it fraud. Like others have said, it's in ways a nuance of language, semantics.

The funny thing to me is that when some of us look at that nonsense and call it out as being BS, we're looked at as the trolls, the Luddites, the ones that are out of touch with reality. It doesn't take a genius to see that "...in a few cases they do not involve any formal analysis..." means just what it says, or that "...are expressed in qualitative terms..." means just what it says. "Some of the scenarios are guesses." Or that others are stories with a component of a somewhat scientific component dervied from models. It's a bit of trickery, but what do you expect from a scientific political international committee with hundreds of authors and reviewers? Diplomatic meaningless statements that are extremely vague on purpose.

Jason Peterson

In an earlier comment (http://gristmill.grist.org/story/2007/1/5/17124/67240/#comment70) over at Grist on this topic of science/fraud, I go into more detail parsing what it is they say and how they say it, btw. Including basically the "proof" of unscience, fraud or not nonwidthstanding. (Or in other words, just paraphrasing what they say as neutrally as possible kinda.)

This part of it is particularly informative:

However, many physical and social systems are poorly understood, and information on the relevant variables is so incomplete that they can be appreciated only through intuition and are best communicated by images and stories.

Pretty clear they're guessing.

Also I'm mainly talking about that one sentence (or claim) over there where you and AD are going back and forth on the projection. I posted basically this there as well:

Clean coal, perhaps nuclear, photovoltaics, hydrogen, hybrids.... These are all things we need to keeping working on, as well as others, in addition to spending rational sums of money to reduce what we can in all emissions, not just one substance. This requires convincing the people that have the power and money. All else is all else.

I believe that "Warming over the next 100 years is likely to lie between 1.4 and 5.8 deg C." was something William Connolley wrote in an FAQ on RealClimate. It's not anything the IPPC said verbatim, at least in the TAR or before.

It would be nice if we were arguing about what to do, instead of not even discussing the same subject. [Yes, likely is 90% but they didn't say likely in the TAR.]

As far as the entire "debate" I think it's clear what the IPCC SPM said:

"The globally averaged surface temperature is _projected to increase_ by 1.4 to 5.8°C (Figure 5d) over the period 1990 to 2100. These results are for the full range of _35 SRES scenarios, based on a number of climate models_ 10,11."

A fairly static statement of fact, making no comment on how much it's projected, nor much about the models. The footnotes are fairly vague as to specifics. Then, guess what? You go see what the scenarios are [scientific fiction].

Other quotes from various IPCC sources Google hits are pretty much (paraphrased) 'Models project this range of a rise, with no direct in-context comment by us on the projection's probabilities in any manner [nor how we actually got them. You need to read every report and dig into all the cross references to find out we're just guessing].'

"Global mean surface temperatures are projected to increase between 1990 and 2100 by about 1.4 to 5.8oC (figure 10d and 11)."

"...Projected by models to warm 1.4 to 5.8°C by 2100 relative to 1990, and globally averaged sea level is projected by models...

"...based on a range of climate models point to an increase in globally averaged surface temperature of 1.4 to 5.8° C over the period 1990 to 2100..."

"...developed in the IPCC Special Report on Emission Scenarios (SRES), the globally averaged surface air temperature is projected by models to warm 1.4 to 5.8 ..."

Jason Peterson

I don't disagree with any of your questions nor the answers in that context. My point I think is that they certainly seem to be trying to give the impression that the scenarios are scientific, and the summary seems an attempt at obfuscation, and the entire report is a (probably) purposely confusing volume of overblown un-succinct writing with numerous interlocking sources. Yes.

But in there, they also tell you they're trying to be controversial and elicit diaglog, not to prove anything. And when they explain how they got the scenarios, they do say they are basically scientific fiction, not that they're science. Although they don't specifically say it directly, they are being purposely vague, I think. So as to the scenarios, on that basis, it's not fraud.

It would have to be science for it to be scientific fraud. :)

If I missed a place where they claim it's anything other than some models that in their opinion are good models, with stories told as guesses that may have some of those models in them, based upon numbers that are mostly guesses, and that basically everything is made up, I appologize. So it's more so that inarguably it's not science!

The bottom line is the projections are fairly useless regardless. I don't trust them and I think it's far more likely you're correct. I also think the 90% part in how sure it will be is up to a 5.8 rise is too high a percentage. And they can't prove that either, so... But of course that makes us nutty, right? lol

I suppose it all depends on how you view their conduct and what they create and how they put it out. They're being vague to the extreme, which means it's leaving it up to the watchers to decide what it is exactly they're doing. And we know what they hope that is (and that they're not going to dispel it). We need to pin them down on what it is, although I don't see it happening.

So given what it seems they're trying to accomplish, it could be called scientific fraud overall. It's really all pretty much the same thing either way, it just depends on how you phrase it.

Mark Bahner

Hi Jason,

In order to determine whether the IPCC "projections" are scientific fraud, several questions need to be asked and answered. I will provide my answers. Let me know if you disagree with my answers.

1) Are the IPCC projections scientifically valid?

ANSWER: No, definitely not. They are not falsifiable, which is a widely accepted fundamental requirement for projections to be scientifically valid.

2) Does the IPCC know that their projections are not scientifically valid?

ANSWER: Of course. How could an organization of more than 1500 people be so ignorant as to not know that projections must be falsifiable in order to be scientifically valid?

3) Does the IPCC misrepresent their projections as being scientifically valid?

ANSWER: Of course. Where in the any of the assessments or IPCC communications to the public have they ever clearly stated that their projections are not scientifically valid?

Based on those three questions and the answers to them, it seems inarguably true that the IPCC projections represent scientific fraud. It is fraud for scientists to pass something off as scientific if they know it's not.

Mark

Jason Peterson

I don't know if it's exactly fraud, at least based upon my analysis of what they themselves basically say in the TAR SRES page 1.2 "What are the scenarios?". (I also posted this today (along with some more detailed analysis of the page) over at Gristmill in "The scientific debate - some thoughts" from back in January.)

Here's what I see that page as saying vis a vis the scenarios and what they are, although in an extensive confusing manner (do they get paid by the page?):

Scenarios are attempts to summarize what might happen under various circumstances, and are mostly variously overlapping combinations of models and stories. In a way, they could be called "scientific fiction." Some contain no models, while others are based mainly upon models and should be more reliable. However, the stories chosen, the interpretation of the story by the authors, and other factors greatly affect the scenarios and their degree of certainty. The primary purpose of scenarios is to illustrate alternative futures on an intuitive level. This is done to create controversy and therefore dialog, the intelligent use of which can hopefully assist in a robust design of policies and strategies.

Dr. Tom Tucker III

I'd say if anyone has any doubt as to the total lack of worth about anything the IPCC says, they should go read this with an open mind about what's actually being said by the IPCC, regardless of what you think of Mark's work or not. And please, everyone (or anyone lol), I'd appreciate no logical fallacy arguments about the source.....

Does Energy Policy Matter?
by Jesse Ausubel
April 18, 2002
http://www.marshall.org/article.php?id=7

LM

As soon as you guys have sorted out your little lover's quarrel, I'll be happy to help out with the exercise by holding the bet. No charge.

Don't thank me. It's for science.

nevket240

Pardon my interrupting, but

I'm not a scientist , nor engineer but I do have a keen eye for dishonesty and AGW is a criminal scam
Fullstop.
If you trend the rise, faulty data till mid 1950's. in "global temp" with the supposed rise in CO2 over the period, then overlay the economic declines we definetely know about. eg, 1920-1940 depression etc etc there is no human INDUSTRIAL INPUT whatsoever. NONE yet this forthcoming calamitous event is supposedly an Industrial issue, is it not????

What is even better is the FACT that the world wide temperature graph is pure FICTION, not even science fiction. There is more science in an episode of the SIMPSONS. The method of data collection from 1900 to the mid 50's was, mostly amatuerish and illogical. buckets of water for ocean temps, weather boxes in heat islands etc. Science?? Watch the Simpsons and get some.

Mark Bahner

"What is up with your hostility?"

Oh, I don't know. Perhaps this: "However, your work above does not fall into this category. Your conclusions imply or demonstrate (a) faulty logic, (b) poor writing, (c) deliberate deceit, or (d) some combination of a, b, c. Good engineers avoid these."

I have a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering, and a Masters degree in Environmental Engineering (Air Pollution Option), and I've been doing environmental analyses for about 20 years. I don't appreciate "another engineer" accusing me of "(a) faulty logic, (b) poor writing, (c) deliberate deceit, or (d) some combination of a, b, c."

Especially since you were WRONG.

"You, after what you claim was probably fewer than 20 hrs of analysis, were able to dismiss their work (3 yrs, 1250 authors, approx. 1000 reviewers), labeling it nonsense. While it is possible you may be proven right, at the very least your position invites inquiry and some level of scrutiny."

OK, fine. But you haven't inquired into my position at all. Like I wrote, my website is not even relevant to this debate:

Resolved: "The IPCC Third Assessment Report's (TAR's) projections for methane atmospheric concentrations, carbon dioxide emissions and atmospheric concentrations, and resultant temperature increases constitute the greatest fraud in the history of environmental science."

The IPCC TAR's "projections" constitute fraud because they are pseudoscientific nonsense, being passed off as science. The are pseudoscientific nonsense because they are unfalsifiable.

Since you obviously think of yourself as good engineer, I take it you agree that, since the IPCC TAR "projections" are unfalsfiable, they are pseudoscientific nonsense? And you agree that it's fraud to pass them off as scientifically valid?

P.S. You also misunderstood my bet proposition. The concentration in 2004 was 377 ppm.

I was saying that at 2 ppm/year, the concentrations would have to be:

2005: 379 ppm
2006: 381 ppm
2007: 383 ppm
2008: 385 ppm
2009: 387 ppm
2010: 389 ppm

...and so on.

I wasn't proposing that the concentration had to increase by 2 ppm every single year. You don't seem to read very carefully. Perhaps that's one reason why you post anonymously?

another engineer

What is up with your hostility? If you don't like people reviewing your work and testing your claims, then don't put them out for everyone to see.

Now, I am not trying to be an advocate for the IPCC, I am not a climatologist, and I certainly do not play one on TV. In fact, I am not looking (yet) at the IPCC findings. I am looking at yours. You make claims that apparently run counter to those made by many other scientists involved with the IPCC, most of whom have probably spent their professional lives studying the issue of climate change.

You, after what you claim was probably fewer than 20 hrs of analysis, were able to dismiss their work (3 yrs, 1250 authors, approx. 1000 reviewers), labeling it nonsense. While it is possible you may be proven right, at the very least your position invites inquiry and some level of scrutiny.

Upon my review of the CO2 data since 2000 (see previous links), I pointed out that some of the metrics (e.g. those from 2003 rather than from 2000 which you used for extrapolation) could lead to values that would land well within the IPCC projections you list. I wasn't saying your projections were wrong here, just that you can't totally discount theirs.

However regarding your "plateau", even in the Vital Signs data you just listed, I think you are/were basing you assumption on too small a data set from 1997-2000 where even the 2000 data was preliminary (which turned out to be too low). If one counts the erroneous 2000 data, yearly emissions drop by 96Mtons over that 4yr span. From the same source, 1991-1993 saw an even larger decrease of 159Mtons, but it was followed by a huge increase of 534Mtons from 1993-1997. If you plotted data going back even just to 1980 (e.g. using ORNL), you'd be hard pressed to say with confidence that emissions had almost completely plateaued.

I did remark that (a) almost every month since Jan 2000 CO2 emission has been over 15ppm/decade, and (b) that within the last year it has approached and even exceeded 20ppm/decade. I did so to contrast the data to your statements that (1) there was no decade in your table where CO2 emission was over 15ppm/decade, and (2) there was "virtually zero" chance increase would average 20ppm/decade over the next 6 decades. While your first statement was not incorrect, your use and definition of a "decade" as starting on a zero-number-year is somewhat arbitrary and limiting also b/c of so few data points.

I (arbitrarily) chose to look at decadal increases on a rolling month basis, comparing the same months 10yrs apart. This gives me more data points and reflects what has happened in the years since 2000 where your data stops. You had not agreed, disagreed, or commented on these numbers. Frankly, I was expecting to get a response along the lines of:
(a) "Yes, that's another valid way to look at the data, with interesting results"
(b) "No, you can't look at the data that way for the following reasons..."

I certainly did not expect you to bet me money! (I don't think that's part of the Scientific Method, but maybe they wrote that in recently as an amendment.)

So while I'm disappointed to discover I've been barking up the wrong tree trying to pursue a scientific discourse with you (I will, for everyone's sake, stop replying), I was terrifically amused by your bet.

There are several problems with the bet, not the least of which is that averaging 20ppm/decade does not require a 2ppm increase each year. But I'll let that pass so that I can move on to the real silliness of your wager.

According to your rules, the ONLY way I could win technically AND monetarily is if no more than 2 (that's two) of the 57years from 2004-2060 inclusive have CO2 increases less than 2ppm/yr. Also, since you want to use the "increase per YEAR", which the data indicates is noisy and has nearly +/-1ppm variation, this pretty much guarantees there is no way this condition could be satisfied. Any technical victory would be a hollow one since I'd be out a lot of cash.

Example: if the next 57yrs oscillated between 1.9ppm/yr (even years) and 3.9ppm/yr (odd years), most people would reasonably argue that this averaged a consistent 29ppm/decade, well over 20ppm/decade (see first problem above). While technically vindicated, I'd be out 29*(20*$20 + $20) = $12180, less what I get from you which is 28*(1*$20+$20) = $1120. So net, I'm out $11060! That's the price for winning on technical grounds? Now THAT is ridiculous!

The most important problem with your wager, however, is that it does not test YOUR projections, which is what I was trying to validate in the first place. Since I was testing your claims (not the IPCCs), I really think we should be testing YOUR projections. Since you do say you're willing to put YOUR money where YOUR mouth is, let's proceed!

As recently as April 2006, your projections for the 95% probability column match IPCC's for year 2010 so let's look at 2020 which is the first deviation. You are 95% sure that the CO2 concentration will be below 413ppm, and you believe there is only 5% chance it will be over. As in your bet, this works out to 2ppm/year.

To be fair, I'll even give you a head start, going all the way back to Feb 2002 when you did your analysis and posted your comments. However, since I'm impatient and don't want to wait a year for results, we'll use existing historical monthly results rather than yearly ones. Specifically, we get concentration data for each month starting from Feb2002 through and including Jan2007 and compare against the same month the year before. For example, CO2 concentrations in ppm for Dec2006 minus the values for Dec2005 yields the yearly increase for Dec2006.

So let's use your same rules. Specifically, if the yearly increase for any given month (as defined above) is equal to or greater than 2ppm/year you give me $20 for every dollar bet. If the increase is less than 2ppm/year, I give you $1 for every dollar bet.

Since it's current up through Jan 2007, we should use the reference I cited earlier: http://www.cmdl.noaa.gov/projects/web/trends/co2_mm_mlo.dat. Unfortunately, you can't back out at any time since the calculations can all be done at once based on the historical data.

Having said clearly more than once that you put your money where your mouth is (other readers can confirm), I take that as an acceptance of my proposed wager at $20 bets.

I'll save everyone the trouble of importing the data and performing the calculation: 40 out of the 60 months between Feb2002 and Jan2007 inclusive have increases over 2ppm/year (as I have define above). In fact, the average yearly increase over the 60months of this 5yr period is 2.2ppm/year. For your $20 bets, I win 40*(20*$20+$20)=$16800 from you, less what you get from me which is 20*(1*$20+$20)=$800. Therefore you owe me $16000.

For me, it's reward enough knowing that I've made my point about how ridiculous your bet was, and I do feel bad for taking your money as easily as I did, especially since they were your rules to begin with. Tell you what... I would ask that you write the check out to the American Red Cross. That way, we can all feel good about the outcome.

Cheers.

Mark Bahner

"However, I still find your statement -- that the percentage change in CO2 emission have almost completely plateaued -- a rather tenuous one to make. To be sure, this is not an incorrect statement based on the historical data you present in Table 1."

That statement was made in January 2002. Here are the Worldwatch Institute Vital Signs emissions listed for 1990 through 2001 (from the 2001 edition of Vital Signs):

1990 = 5,931 tons
1991 = 6,020
1992 = 5,879
1993 = 5,861
1994 = 6,013
1995 = 6,190
1996 = 6,315
1997 = 6,395
1998 = 6,381
1999 = 6,340
2000 = 6,299 (preliminary)

So when I wrote that in January 2002, the emissions in 2000 appeared to be even LESS than in 1996 (6,299 tons in 2000 versus 6,315 tons in 1996). To you, that may not seem like "almost completely plateaued." But it does to me.

"Since you are clearly maintaining and monitoring your site,..."

That may seem "clear" to you, but it's completely false. I did the analysis that's posted on my global warming website in January-February 2002, as part of a HTML programming course I had at a local community college. My total analysis time was probably less than 20 hours, since I mainly did the analysis so I'd have something for my website.

Though I finished the analysis in February 2002, I could not figure out how get the website uploaded to the Internet until my brother showed me how to FTP the material to the free 50g.com website hosting service in 2004. At that time, I made no changes at all to the analysis. So everything you see on the 50g.com website was done in January-February 2002.

I *have* subsequently done further analyses. Specifically, in January 2005, I did this analysis:

http://markbahner.typepad.com/random_thoughts/2005/01/prujections_ipc.html

http://markbahner.typepad.com/random_thoughts/2006/04/complete_set_of.html

You conclude, "Therefore, I would hardly call the IPCC CO2 estimates "nonsense", "bunk", or "unrealistic". They seem almost conservative by recent data."

OK. I said in January 2002 that the CO2 concentration projections were "bunk." You say they aren't. Would you be willing to put you money where your mouth is? I'm willing to put MY money where MY mouth is.

According to my website, the IPCC says there is only a 5 percent chance that the concentration will increase by less than 2.0 ppm per year from 1990 to 2060. And the IPCC says there is a 50 percent chance that the concentration will increase by more than 3.2 ppm per year from 1990 to 2060.

Here is a website with concentrations at Mauna Loa.

http://cdiac.ornl.gov/ftp/trends/co2/maunaloa.co2

For example, the annual concentration is given at 377.38 ppm.

How would you like to bet on each year from 2004 to 2060? Anywhere from $1 to $20.

If the concentration increases by less than 2.0 ppm/year from that 377.38 value, you give me 20 times the bet amount. If it increases by more than 2.0 ppm/year from that 377.38 value, I give you 1 times our bet amount.

Similarly, if the concentration increase by less than 3.2 ppm/year from that 377.38 value, you give me 1 times the bet amount. If it's more than 3.2 ppm/year from that 377.38 value, I give you 1 times the bet amount.

For example, let's say we bet $20. If the value in 2005 was less than 379.38 ppm (i.e., 377.38 plus 2.0 ppm), you would give me 20 times $20, plus 1 times $20...or $420, total. If the value was more than 382.58 ppm (i.e. 377.38 ppm plus 3.2 ppm), I'd give you 1 times $20 plus 1 times $20, or $40.

Similarly, in 2006, if the value was less than 381.38 ppm (i.e., 377.38 ppm plus 4.0 ppm), you'd owe me $420. If it was more than 383.78 ppm (i.e. 377.38 ppm plus 6.4 ppm), I'd give you $40.

And so on, until 2060...with the exception that whomever is the net LOSER can call off the bet (i.e., the person who has made a NET gain can't call off the bet).

How about it? Care to put your money where your mouth is? Like I said, I'm willing to put MY money where MY mouth is. I say the IPCC CO2 projections are "bunk."

P.S. This whole discussion is actually irrelevant. The reason I wrote that, "The IPCC Third Assessment Report's (TAR's) projections for methane atmospheric concentrations, carbon dioxide emissions and atmospheric concentrations, and resultant temperature increases constitute the greatest fraud in the history of environmental science" is because the "projections" are not falsifiable.

Here are a set of assertions:

1) The IPCC thinks that there is an approximately 50/50 chance that the warming will be less than 3.6 degrees Celsius.

2) The IPCC thinks that there is an approximately 50/50 chance that the warming will be less than 3.1 degrees Celsius.

3) The IPCC thinks that there is less than a 10 percent chance that the warming will be less than 1.4 degrees Celsius.

4) The IPCC thinks that there is less than a 10 percent chance that the warming will be more than 5.8 degrees Celsius.

5) The IPCC thinks that there is more than a 50/50 chance that the warming will be less than 1.4 degrees Celsius,

6) The IPCC thinks that there is more than a 50/50 chance that the warming will be more than 5.8 degrees Celsius.

7) The IPCC thinks that there is more than a 99 percent chance that the warming will be less than 1.4 degrees Celsius.

8) The IPCC thinks that there is more than a 99 percent chance that the warming will be more than 5.8 degrees Celsius.

If the IPCC TAR "projections" were scientifically valid (i.e., not the pseudoscientific rubbish that they are) you could label all those assertions as "true" or "false" from the material in the IPCC TAR.

another engineer

Thanks for responding. Glad to see you are actively monitoring your blog. Since you are, you should also be aware of the latest data. Perhaps you can point your readers there. I refer to these sources below:
http://www.cmdl.noaa.gov/ccgg/trends/co2_data_mlo.php
http://cdiac.esd.ornl.gov/trends/emis/glo.htm (only goes to 2003; perhaps there is a better source?)

I did misinterpret your use of "emissions" for "concentrations" as you say; my apologies. However, I still find your statement -- that the percentage change in CO2 emission have almost completely plateaued -- a rather tenuous one to make. To be sure, this is not an incorrect statement based on the historical data you present in Table 1. However, your "plateau" is shaped by the high emission increases of the 1950s and 60s (from ORNL data, liquid fuel is the big contributor, so probably rapid rise of cars/transportation). It also assumes this won't happen elsewhere, e.g. in rapidly developing China where they expect to be sellling, among other things, a lot of cars.

Having read more of your argument, I understand that you are not claiming there is no CO2 increase in the atmosphere, but rather you believe that the emission increase is so low that the projections made by IPCC are unrealistic. I do not believe the data bears this out. On the contrary, the IPCC CO2 projections in seem fairly good if not conservative.

Oak Ridge Nat'l Labs shows Carbon Emission up through 2003. The numbers are only a little different from the ones you cited from WorldWatch (ORNL shows 8.6%/decade in 2000; you report 6%) but the last three years, which you don't have, show higher numbers:
9.4% in 2001
13.9% in 2002
19.2% in 2003
Note also that they are increasing. The value for year 2000 which you used just happens to be particularly low.

If we use 19.2%/decade (the value for 2003), assuming even that it is constant going forward, this yields 18Billion tons and 36Billion tons for years 2060 and 2100 using your lower WorldWatch 2000 carbon number. 18Billion and 36Billion tons are much closer to and even exceed the 95% probability column you report in your Table 4.

You write: "...there has never yet been a decade when the concentration has increased by more than 15 ppm. So the odds of the concentration increase averaging 20 ppm/decade over the next 6 decades is virtually zero; yet, the IPCC is saying that there are 19 chances out of 20 that atmospheric CO2 concentration will increase by at least 20 ppm/decade for the next 6 decades. That's just complete nonsense. One wonders why IPCC scientists would even be paid to generate such complete bunk."

Yet the data from NOAA (which is consistent with your data through 2000) indicates that the rolling decadal increases are ALL over 15ppm and increasing:
15.6ppm/decade in 2001
16.3ppm/decade in 2002
18.2ppm/decade in 2003
19.0ppm/decade in 2004
18.7ppm/decade in 2005
19.6ppm/decade in 2006
21.0ppm/decade in 2007

Since you are clearly maintaining and monitoring your site, why do you not include the last 7 years in your analysis? Looked at another way:
Jan 2000 (369ppm)
Jan 2007 (384ppm)
At this rate of 15ppm over 7years, it would not be surprising if it exceed 20ppm/decade in 2010.

So 4 years ago in 2003, the decadal emission increase (ppm/decade) had ALREADY EXCEEDED the rate given in the 5% probability scenario for year 2030.

These are January numbers which I believe match your numbers through year 2000. You should be aware that 3 recent months show decadal increases greater than 20ppm:
April 2006 (20.4ppm/decade)
December 2006 (20.5ppm/decade)
January 2007 (21.0 ppm/decade)

Should decadal emission of CO2 "freeze" at Jan 2007 levels for the next 60 years (no increase at all), then indeed the odds of an average of 20ppm/decade over 6 decades is zero... That's because it'll be higher (21ppm/decade). Therefore, I would hardly call the IPCC CO2 estimates "nonsense", "bunk", or "unrealistic". They seem almost conservative by recent data.

Mark Bahner

"another engineer":

You quote me as saying, "If CO2 emissions have reached their peak..."

You respond, "By your wording, you are presenting a condition where no more CO2 (ppm) goes into the atmosphere."

No, that's not what my wording says at all. My wording says that "IF CO2 EMISSIONS have reached their peak..." It's *emissions*, not CO2 concentrations.

Then you quote me further as saying, ""...it means that CO2 concentrations can be expected to go up by a smaller and smaller percentage each decade....Future decades will have even smaller percentage increases, if emissions have truly plateaued."

And you respond, "Same problem. You jump from emissions to percentage change and back again. This is either deliberately misleading or poorly written."

There is no problem, except in your understanding of what I wrote.

I wrote that, "IF CO2 EMISSIONS have reached their peak..."

".....it means that CO2 concentrations can be expected to go up by a smaller and smaller percentage each decade....Future decades will have even smaller percentage increases, if emissions have truly plateaued."

That is absolutely correct. IF emissions have plateaued (i.e. aren't increasing), THEN concentrations will go up by a smaller and smaller percentage each decade. That is very basic environmental science.

another engineer

One engineer to another: Having only gone through your CO2 analysis, I have to call your attention to faults in your conclusions. You write:

"What can we tell from Table 1 and Figure 1? Well, first notice how the percentage change in emissions of carbon dioxide have almost completely plateaued."

This is an odd statement. If something increases linearly -- steadily over time -- of course its percentage increase gets smaller and smaller as measured against the previous year. If you were in a small room filling up with CO2 at a constant 10 liters/min, it doesn't help that the "percentage change" in CO2 is getting ever-smaller, approaching zero, with each passing minute... the amount of CO2 is still increasing and you will eventually pass out and die. (Note also that the percentage change from having no CO2 in the room to 1ppm is infinite/undefined. It has to decrease after that).

You then write: "If CO2 emissions have reached their peak..."
By your wording, you are presenting a condition where no more CO2 (ppm) goes into the atmosphere. How do you get here? I believe what you meant to say is "if the PERCENTAGE INCREASE in CO2 emissions has peaked" While it is certainly fair of you to SPECULATE this, there is no basis to conclude this, considering rapid expansion and industrialization of China and India in coming years). You go on to write:

"...it means that CO2 concentrations can be expected to go up by a smaller and smaller percentage each decade....Future decades will have even smaller percentage increases, if emissions have truly plateaued."

Same problem. You jump from emissions to perentage change and back again. This is either deliberately misleading or poorly written. You imply carbon emissions have plateaued when you mean "PERCENTAGE INCREASE" has plateaued, but even this is erroenous. As long as carbon emissions increase (more tons added), percentage increase NEVER plateaus (goes flat); it's still increasing! And just because "%increases in CO2" get smaller DOES NOT mean CO2 concentrations (ppm) increase by smaller "amounts" each decade which your phrasing implies.

Strong technical arguments and discussions are good for the scientific community. That's the basis of peer review. However, your work above does not fall into this category. Your conclusions imply or demonstrate (a) faulty logic, (b) poor writing, (c) deliberate deceit, or (d) some combination of a, b, c. Good engineers avoid these. As an engineer, you owe it to your training, your teachers and your fellow engineers to the take time to perform honest and accurate analysis, something you have not done above.

Neal J. King

Looking at your Figure 1 and Table 1 at the "What will happen to us?" link, I see that you are trying to pull a fast one:

- In every decade, the emissions increase is positive.
- Nonetheless, you interpret a reduction from 29% to 7% (still a pretty hefty rate of increase) as an inexorable decline to 0. There is no reason whatsoever to believe this.
- Thereafter, you talk about "CO2 emissions having plateaued", as though that projection from 7% to 0% were an accomplished fact.
- Everything else in your page depends upon that unwarranted assumption.

Terrible, just terrible.

Sam Grove

"Members of the Academies of Sciences, the American Geophysical Union, the AAAS, etc."

The problem with political funding of science (as is the case with much climate research) is that science becomes corrupted.
The tendency to think that government sponsered anything is uncorrupted because the "profit motive" is absent is erroneous.

The coin of the realm in politics is political gain (power), a most venal kind of profit.

An observer

Speaking of scientific fraud, the Mann Hockey Stick has now been exposed for what it is.

See http://www.climate2003.com

simon

Basically I'm with Hugh. Though there are some skeptics I would give the time of day to, many lose their credibility when they also question any detrimental impact by humans on the Earth’s ecosystems. I acknowledge that science does on occasion get it wrong, but as a lay person I’d rather go with those qualified in those fields and respected science journalism than listen to those with ideological or commercial conflicts of interest, or take extreme positions that ignore overwhelming evidence.

I’m currently discussing this on another thread.
http://www.enlightenedcaveman.com/2005/01/evolution-versus-creationism-part-3.html#comments

AKA neohuman

Mark Bahner

Hi, Tim:

Regarding your beefs with the IPCC stuff:

"1) Even if it is happening their proposed solution is too costly."

It seems to me that the key qestions are:

a) How much warming will occur, in the absence of intervention by governments,

b) Will that warming be "dangerous," and

c) What will it cost to avoid to avoid "dangerous" warming (i.e. will the cost incurred be even greater than the costs associated with the "danger."

Based on my analyses, I think that there's a 90+ percent chance that the warming will be less than 2.5 degrees Celsius even without intervention by governments. And my 50 percent probability value is about half that. Though I haven't conducted a detailed evaluation of the problems versus benefits, I think there's a good chance that the warming associated with my 50 percent probability value (i.e., now about 1.3 degrees Celsius) would be a net *benefit.* When I add in the fact that I think that people in 2100 are going to be 100+ times richer than we are today, it seems absolutely crazy to think about doing anything to "solve" what likely won't even be a problem for them.

Regarding your comments on wealth and population...as I've written on this blog, I think the IPCC underestimates the likely worldwide wealth in 2100 by about a factor of 100. So I think they're way low, there. Regarding population, I think you may be failing to factor in longetivity increases. If Ray Kurzweil is right, no one will ever die after a certain point in the 21st century. That would result in huge populations! Even if he's wrong, and life expectancy "only" rises to over 100, it seems to me that could result in very large populations. (I haven't done the math, though.)

Mark

Tim Worstall

I have two major beefs with the IPCC stuff.
1) Even if it is happening their proposed solution is too costly.
2) Right back in the beginning, in the SRES, they specifically state that population is exogenous to their models. Yet everything we know about fertility is that wealth has huge effects upon it, so models that show high wealth and high population just don’t cut the mustard.

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