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C4ís debate on global warming boils over
Times Online ^ | March 15, 2007 | Sam Coates, Mark Henderson

Posted on 03/21/2007 7:56:56 AM PDT by cogitator

Two eminent British scientists who questioned the accuracy of a Channel 4 programme that claimed global warming was an unfounded conspiracy theory have received an expletive-filled tirade from the programme maker.

In an e-mail exchange leaked to The Times, Martin Durkin, the executive producer of The Great Global Warming Swindle, responded to the concerns of Dr Armand Leroi, from Imperial College, and Simon Singh, the respected scientific author, by telling them to “go and f*** yourself”.

The tirade has caused Dr Leroi to withdraw his cooperation from another Channel 4 project with Mr Durkin on race, The Times has learnt.

The programme, broadcast by Channel 4 last Thursday, featured a number of scientists who disputed the consensus on the causes of global warming.

Dr Leroi was particularly concerned about a segment that featured a correlation between solar activity and global temperatures, which was based on a 1991 paper in the journal Science by Eigil Friis-Chris-tensen. He was surprised that the programme failed to mention that while these findings look convincing superficially, they have been revealed as flawed by subsequent research by Peter Laut.

Dr Leroi e-mailed Mr Durkin about his use of data, concluding: “To put this bluntly: the data that you showed in your programme were . . . wrong in several different ways.” He copied Mr Singh into the exchange.

Mr Durkin replied to both later that morning, saying: “You’re a big daft cock.” Less than an hour later, Mr Singh, who has worked for the BBC, intervened to urge Mr Durkin to engage in serious debate. He wrote: “I suspect that you will have upset many people (if Armand is right), so it would be great if you could engage in the debate rather than just resorting to one-line replies. That way we could figure out what went wrong/ right and how do things better/ even better in the future.” Mr Durkin replied nine minutes later: “The BBC is now a force for bigotry and intolerance . . . Since 1940 we have had four decades of cooling, three of warming, and the last decade when temperature has been doing nothing.

“Why have we not heard this in the hours and hours of sh*t [edited by poster] programming on global warming shoved down our throats by the BBC?

“Never mind an irresponsible bit of film-making. Go and f*** yourself.”

Last night Dr Leroi said that he was amazed at the rudeness of Mr Durkin’s reply.

“It was rather a shocking response,” Dr Leroi said. “It was my intention to make a film with Martin Durkin and [the production company] Wag, but that is something I am seriously reconsidering now. I am no climate scientist, but I was very concerned at the way that flaws in these data were brushed over.”

He said that the global warming film had glossed over flaws in data that it used to make its case, and that it was critical that a documentary about a subject as controversial as race and biology did not make similar mistakes.

“As the subject of our proposed film was race, it is such a sensitive topic that it requires great care and great balance. That he has shown so little respect for scientific consensus and such little nuance is a cause for great concern. I cannot imagine it will go ahead now.”

The film would have addressed Dr Leroi’s thesis that race is a biologically meaning-ful and medically valuable concept, a view that is highly controversial among scientists.

Last night Mr Durkin apologised for his langauge. “As far as I was concerned these were private e-mails. They arrived when I was quite tired having just finished the programme in time for transmission,” he said.

“Needless, to say, I regret the use of intemperate language. It is so unlike me. I am very eager to have all the science properly debated with scientists qualified in the right areas and have asked Channel 4 if they will stage a live debate on this subject.”

Where Channel 4 got it wrong over climate change

Claim: Ice core data shows that carbon dioxide levels rise after temperatures go up, not before

Fact: This is correct, but climate scientists have a good explanation. There is a substantial feedback effect – initial small rises in temperature lead to substantial release of carbon dioxide from natural reservoirs in the oceans, which then produce much steeper warming later on

Claim: Temperatures in the troposphere, the lower part of the atmosphere, have not risen as predicted by the models

Fact: This was once the case, but it has been resolved now that initial measurement errors have been corrected

Claim: Temperatures rose for the first part of the century, then cooled for three decades before warming again. There is no link to carbon dioxide

Fact: Temperatures did follow this pattern, but again there is a good explanation. The mid-century effect fall came about chiefly because of sulphate aerosols – particles that have a cooling effect on the atmosphere. These are no longer produced so heavily by industry because of environmental regulations to combat other problems, such as acid rain


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: change; climate; climatechange; globalwarming; media; science
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To: Osage Orange
How did they measure C02 emission during/after the Krakatoa eruption in 1883?

Ice core bubbles. The ash from Krakatoa (and for any major eruption) is a well-defined time marker in ice cores. The atmospheric CO2 concentration doesn't change measurably. QED.

41 posted on 03/21/2007 8:55:02 AM PDT by cogitator
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To: Ragnar54

"And what is the explanation for CO2 continuing to increase after temperatures start to decline?"

Dark Warming. (See "dark matter" and "dark energy".)


42 posted on 03/21/2007 8:59:23 AM PDT by PreciousLiberty
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To: james500

Interesting. I'd have to read the paper to see if they are suggesting an actual effect on global atmospheric temperatures (i.e., up or down), or just a redistribution effect. Given the meteorological and ocean linkages described, I suspect the latter. But we also know that reduced sunspot numbers indicate lower solar activity, most noticeably for the Maunder Minimum/Little Ice Age.


43 posted on 03/21/2007 8:59:35 AM PDT by cogitator
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To: cogitator
Are you saying all the C02 was deposited in ice bubbles?

Seems there's lots of variables..in coming up with a concrete conclusion.

44 posted on 03/21/2007 9:02:00 AM PDT by Osage Orange (Diplomacy is the art of saying 'Nice doggie' until you can find a rock. - Will Rodgers)
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To: avacado
Is this true about the last decade? All I ever hear is that each year broke another record for warmest. Can someone point me to the data for this? Thanks.

1998 was the hottest year on record, since then the temps have been slightly lower and relatively stable.

The year 2006 BTW would be +.18 on the graph

45 posted on 03/21/2007 9:06:58 AM PDT by qam1 (There's been a huge party. All plates and the bottles are empty, all that's left is the bill to pay)
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To: cogitator
There is a substantial feedback effect – initial small rises in temperature lead to substantial release of carbon dioxide from natural reservoirs in the oceans, which then produce much steeper warming later on

If there is such a feedback effect then this is required to be proved: the article cannot merely assert it. And on the face of it it is unlikely: here's why. The increase in greenhouse effect from CO2 is much weaker than from (e.g.) water vapour, as CO2 traps only a small band of wavelengths. Double the amount of CO2 and the amount of greenhouse trapping due to CO2 does not double - still less does the amount of total heat trapped by all greenhouse effects. Therefore the climate system is fundamentally stable with respect to CO2. How then can there be a runaway feedback?

Fact: This was once the case, but it has been resolved now that initial measurement errors have been corrected.

It's been "resolved". Uh-huh. The article needs to post some graphs: temperature at height with a time variation. Remember the requirement of AGW is that the warming should happen at height first, then transmit to the ground.

Claim: Temperatures rose for the first part of the century, then cooled for three decades before warming again. There is no link to carbon dioxide

Fact: Temperatures did follow this pattern, but again there is a good explanation. The mid-century effect fall came about chiefly because of sulphate aerosols – particles that have a cooling effect on the atmosphere.

The programme showed an excellent correlation between solar sunspot activity and temperature change. Unless earth's temperatures are driving sunspot activity its difficult to see why this correlation ocurrs.

MY QUESTIONS:

Why did the temperature rise above current levels in the Mediaeval warm period? Was it perhaps the effect of Henry the First's heavy industrialisation of Britain?

Why did Europes "little ice age" coincide with the period of the Maunder Minimum (1645 to 1715 AD). Was it perhaps due to the effect of sulphur aerosols? Or is it directly correlated to solar activity? Note to Freepers: the Maunder Minimum is named for a prolonged period of zero sunspot activity - of reduced heat output by the sun.

46 posted on 03/21/2007 9:08:53 AM PDT by agere_contra
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To: qam1

Thanks for the graph!


47 posted on 03/21/2007 9:09:47 AM PDT by avacado
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To: cogitator
The mid-century effect fall came about chiefly because of sulphate aerosols

A good example of what's wrong with AGW theory. That you can always make a model fit the data better by adding more parameters does not validate the model.

Public policy should not be based on science of unknown reliability and the only true test of reliability for a theory like AGW is that it make predictions which are then verified and compared to the predictions of other theories. To avoid subtle selection effects, these predictions should be about future temperatures, but AGW advocates won't make them - they don't really trust their theory.

48 posted on 03/21/2007 9:12:10 AM PDT by edsheppa
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To: Ragnar54

Climate fluctuates. Temperatures and CO2 levels have varied greatly without human contribution over millions of years. So, obviously, there are major forces other than human activities at work. Ignoring these other forces and implying that some Kyoto-type intervention will resolve unwanted climate change seems ill-conceived.

The tip-off that Gore's case is weak is his insistence that climate change is a "moral issue" rather than a scientific one. The implication is that it is human influence that is BAD in and of itself. And that stopping this BAD behavior is the important objective. The other side of this idea is that natural climate change would be okay.

The "natural = good and unnatural = bad" notion is simplistic and, in my opinion, idiotic. The civilization we currently enjoy is highly unnatural. Yet, virtually every human being (even so-called "greens") strives to enjoy the benefits it provides.

If the climate is changing in unfavorable ways what does it matter whether the cause is natural or unnatural or some combination? Wouldn't preventing the unfavorable change by the most efficient means be the most sensible policy?

Suppose a comet were projected to collide with the Earth. This would be a 100% natural event. Does that mean it's okay? No action needed? Or should we try to avert the collision by unnatural means?

What we need to come to grips with is that, absent any human action, the climate will change. If we want to ameliorate, offset or avert this change we need to think about effective methods of trying to accomplish this. Effective methods are going to have to go beyond the minuscule impacts to be achieved by the Kyoto protocol approach of reducing human-caused emissions. The fact that such effective methods are not part of Al Gore's prescription is pretty convincing evidence that it is control of humans rather than control of climate that is his real agenda.

Whether the BBC program was "right" in every regard isn't the issue. It presents a different interpretation of the data than Al Gore does. In my opinion, it persuasively refutes the idea that controling CO2 emissions will be sufficient to prevent climate change. The issue then is whether there is something else that can (or should--not everyone agrees that warmer would be worse than cooler) be done to deal with this change. Since there is no evidence that Gore understands the magnitude of the issue, it is clear that following his advice would be the wrong course to take.


49 posted on 03/21/2007 9:19:07 AM PDT by John Semmens
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To: cogitator

So then it would be fair to say that we compounded the problem by being so proactive and successful in ridding the atmosphere of man-made aerosols that we have now come a cropper, eh?

Aren't there eminent scientists proposing even now that we re-release aerosols in controlled amounts rather like we do controlled burns to prevent forest fires?

What will satisfy the young and the restless; to constantly tinker with this huge machine or to simply pull the plug?


50 posted on 03/21/2007 9:19:51 AM PDT by Old Professer (The critic writes with rapier pen, dips it twice, and writes again.)
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To: cogitator

"initial measurement errors have been corrected"

Anytime I hear weasel words like this I'm reminded of the old saying about torturing the evidence until it confesses.


51 posted on 03/21/2007 9:23:04 AM PDT by Old Professer (The critic writes with rapier pen, dips it twice, and writes again.)
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To: cogitator
Actually, the systems that contribute to the glacial-interglacial change (temperature and CO2) are known; quantification of their total effect is still being worked on. But since in the glacial-interglacial period atmospheric CO2 has been between a minima of ~180 ppm and a maxima of ~280 ppm, there are negative feedbacks that restrain the entire range (and also therefore keep temperature in defined range -- speaking only about the natural system here).

There is an analytical method in system engineering called "sensitivity analysis". It's essentially an analysis of the "strength" of the coupling between any two parameters. It utilizes a scale of 0 (no coupling) to 1 (100%) coupling.

Until science can quantify the sensitivities of temperatures to both natural causes and "unnatural" causes we are just spinning our wheels..

52 posted on 03/21/2007 9:24:15 AM PDT by Donald Rumsfeld Fan ("Fake but Accurate": NY Times)
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To: cogitator

Stockholm Syndrome?


53 posted on 03/21/2007 9:25:21 AM PDT by Old Professer (The critic writes with rapier pen, dips it twice, and writes again.)
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To: agooga

I only hope that they don't blow up the world trying to save the planet.


54 posted on 03/21/2007 9:26:35 AM PDT by Old Professer (The critic writes with rapier pen, dips it twice, and writes again.)
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To: cogitator
"Fact: This was once the case, but it has been resolved now that initial measurement errors have been corrected "

Yea, we sent AlGore back in a time machine and he's re-checking the temperatures....

55 posted on 03/21/2007 9:28:41 AM PDT by brotherWesUpNorth
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To: Osage Orange

Tree rings; ice cores; all pristine and willing reservoirs of all past events if you but know how to read them.

Chicken entrails are way too messy but show promise.


56 posted on 03/21/2007 9:32:02 AM PDT by Old Professer (The critic writes with rapier pen, dips it twice, and writes again.)
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To: Hostage

cogitator is our Eric Hoffer; what he lacks in sophistication he makes up in single-minded dedication.


57 posted on 03/21/2007 9:37:23 AM PDT by Old Professer (The critic writes with rapier pen, dips it twice, and writes again.)
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To: cogitator

Has any study taken ice cores from years since we have been measuring CO2 and then compared those directly to the recent records of CO2 data?


58 posted on 03/21/2007 9:40:46 AM PDT by Old Professer (The critic writes with rapier pen, dips it twice, and writes again.)
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To: P-40

"From a scientific standpoint, isn't that pretty much impossible? :)"

Just as impossible as the premise that global warming and/or climate change are a result of human activities this century. (or for that matter, at all)


59 posted on 03/21/2007 9:44:03 AM PDT by roaddog727 (BullS##t does not get bridges built)
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To: cogitator

Have you seen the Doco yet?


60 posted on 03/21/2007 9:48:14 AM PDT by ARA
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