My previous post took the IBD to task for misrepresenting the views of one scientist – Ken Tapping – in its article on global warming. Dr Tapping had responded to my email by saying the article was “rubbish” and explaining that in his view CO2-caused climate change is the biggest challenge facing us today, and that solar cooling might only mask the effects for a few years.

There was a second scientist quoted in the paper – Tim Patterson. Unlike Dr Tapping he apparently doesn’t check his work email late on Friday nights or over the weekend and so only responded this (Monday) morning. His response – as I had assumed from what I’ve read/heard about him elsewhere – was that his positions had indeed been accurately characterised in the article.

He attached to his email two papers from colleagues (which I’ve posted here and here) which support his thesis. So it appears that not every source quoted / cited by IBD in this case was misrepresented, which is a small mercy.

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6 Responses to “Dishonest journalism – part 2”

  1. Bill Crites Says:

    Just read the Tapping/Rays Theory and followed with the
    Gerard Bond Study – both are quite interesting ………esp
    as to the cyclical nature of temperature swings before CO2
    became an issue.

  2. Michael Gersh Says:

    Why is it so hard to understand that (solar) insolation is a greater driver of terrestrial climate than CO2, which is present in our atmosphere in miniscule quantities?

    Certain scientists and politicians saw an opportunity to advance their careers using junk science, which played right into some unconscious need of some to blame humanity for SOMETHING. Now we may see the truth of the situation.

    We will not have long to wait. If insolation really is key, this summer will be unusually cold, and southern hemisphere winter will be unusually cold as well. Not too long to wait at all. Meanwhile, there is no reason to get shrill about it. Unless you see your opportunity for great career advancement fading, and thus have a need for action very quickly. The rest of us can wait a few months.

  3. skierpage Says:

    Michael Gersh, you’re confusing what drives climate with what’s changing climate. Obviously all accepted models already incorporate solar variation, see e.g. http://data.giss.nasa.gov/modelforce/

    The big change in the earth’s climate is the rapid and continuing rise in greenhouse gases, primarily CO2, in the last 150 years. The greenhouse effect is elementary high school physics, so it would be amazing if this didn’t increase temperature. As to how much, the IPCC report is the consensus.

    The big problem for the few proponents of solar variation is the cycle is only 11 years and it’s already peaked, yet average worldwide temperature has gone up for longer than that cycle and continued to rise after it ended. And most climate scientists don’t agree with the attempts to postulate additional big climate effects from solar magnetism, cosmic rays, etc.

    Even if some natural effect counteracts global warming from anthropogenic greenhouse gases, the increase in CO2 is causing ocean acidification right now. And when that natural effect ends, what then?

  4. skierpage Says:

    Another claim in the IBD editorial is
    “researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Solar Research in Germany report the sun has been burning more brightly over the last 60 years, accounting for the 1 degree Celsius increase in Earth’s temperature over the last 100 years.”

    That sure is bouncing around the IntarTubes. Unfortunately, the press release from that institute includes the first part, but DIRECTLY CONTRADICTS the conclusion. http://www.mpg.de/english/illustrationsDocumentation/documentation/pressReleases/2004/pressRelease20040802/ says
    “solar activity affects the climate but plays only a minor role in the current global warming”

    In other words, a bald-faced lie from that editorial is now been regurgitated ad infinitum.

  5. Timothy Birdnow Says:

    Skierpage, you are making an assumption that isn`t necessarily true; Greenhouse gases have in no way been confirmed to be driving the blistering 1* warming we have seen. Direct solar forcing accounts for anywhere between 10 and 30 percent in the climate models, but there are solar related issues not accounted for, the most famous of course being cosmic rays and variations in ultraviolet. Furthermore, the sensitivity of climate to radiation is not fully understood, and The idea of anthropogenic global warming is based solely on computer models and circumstantial evidence. By circumstantial evidence I mean that there is an observed temperature rise and a CO2 rise which is then used to prove the point, when the two may be related in a different way; correlation does not prove causality, and it may be the warming trend is causing the CO2 rise, not the other way around.

    It should be pointed out that all of the models argue for an increase in temperatures in the troposphere, something that has not happened appreciably. In that regard, AGW can be said to have been falsified.

    This isn`t a matter of basic physics; feedback mechanisms are critical, as this piece explains http://www.worldclimatereport.com/index.php/2008/02/21/global-warming-not-so-fast/ We do not understand the sensitivity of the world`s climate to CO2. We do not understand the effects of water vapor-the primary greenhouse gas. We don`t fully understand Milankovich cycles. There are secondary effects of a hot sun-for example, there is evidence that during warming periods the Arctic develops negative pressure as the atmosphere is energized, sucking warm air (and driving warm ocean currents) north while a weak solar period reverses this.

    Recently an attempt was made by Douglas et. al to simulate the current climate using the models that are predicting catastrophe based on past data. They failed miserable.

    How many molecules of CO2 are in 10,000 molecules of air? 3-4. It is a trace gas.

    The point is, as Roger Revelle noted before he died, CO2 driven global warming may raise temperatures by 2*, so we are at the halfway point now, and any effort taken to stop this “runaway train“ is probably pointless. Revelle thought his brainchild more a curiousity than a danger.

    The IBD editorial did indeed have a couple of mistakes, but those in no way invalidated the basic premise of the piece.

  6. Jessica Jones Says:

    I am real uneasy about the upcoming election. With everything that is occuring in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Middle East (not to mention the economy) we badly need a experienced leader. I’m not at all convinced that Barack Obama or any of the Republican contenders thus far have the experience or skills it takes to get the job done the way it has to be done. Being president of this country is an immensely challenging job. Do you think there is someone out there with the experience, skill, and moral courage to do the job?