Talk:Global warming/Archive 6

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Reverted addition of the Science magazine article

Are you kidding me? You wrote "There is no evidence that "Science Magazine" reviewed any "papers" as described." in the edit summary and reverted without any discussion on the talk page. That is irresponsible. The article was paraphrased in good faith and the article text itself is evidence that she conducted the review. I did in fact cite it incorrectly as the references in the article do show the review was not done by Science, but apparently Oreskes herself, and the essay was excerpted by Science from another work. Oreskes is a relatively reliable source. u/newsrel/arts/oreskes.asp Because this was added in good faith and does have a well referenced source for the claim, the burden of proof is with the claim that the review was not conducted, not the other way around. It should have been corrected, not removed. - Taxman 16:59, Dec 11, 2004 (UTC)

(William M. Connolley 17:54, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)) I agree with you on this, and think that Silverback goes way too far in criticising Oreskes, based (IMHO) on his dislike of the result. I've said that elsewhere. However I'm now going to argue in favour of not putting this text at the start of the GW page, and perhaps not on the page at all. I think the O piece belongs on scientific opinion on climate change (and it is there too) and sits rather uncomfortably at the start of the GW piece. I've just beefed up the intro of Attribution of recent climate change (partly in response to the extra ammo provided by the O survey) and I suggest we cut the O text on this page and replace it with:
I disagree. The main article on global warming should reflect the current scientific consensus, and provide references for the best material to back that claim up. Leaving it off to another article is all well and good for the background material, but the main claim and references should be in the main article. I suppose I agree that the entire section describing the Oreskes paper is too much for the intro, and what you have written below is closer to what needs to be there. But the larger explanation that is currently in Scientific opionion... should be included in this article. - Taxman 22:34, Dec 12, 2004 (UTC)
The current scientific consensus is that most of the warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities (see Attribution of recent climate change) and the extent of this consensus is discussed at scientific opinion on climate change.
Begin Silverback. You should assume good faith. My problem is with the validity and meaningfulness of the results. If she had reviewed the actual papers, published the standards she used, and had the categorizations checked by independent reviewers for compliance with those standards, and came to conclusions supportable by the methods she used, I would have no problems with it. As it is, there is no way to tell what is meant by support for the consensus especially for papers before 2001 or not directly addressing the more disputed part of the consensus or whether the underlying papers would be classified the same way the abstracts were. The classification, would involve some subjectivity anyway, but there is no sign she attempted to conform to the standards of even her own field. Frankly, I happen to believe there is a consensus, although I doubt it is as complete and as unquestioning of the full 2001 IPCC statement as this essay implies.--Silverback 07:55, 12 Dec 2004 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 10:30, 12 Dec 2004 (UTC)) Hmmm, well, given that you've ripped O out again I've put in my proposed text.
Reverting a valid edit without even discussing it on the talk page and reverting it again after being asked not to hardly qualifies you for good faith, Silverback. In fact, both are examples of very bad wikiquette. That you dispute the validity of Oreskes results is one thing, but the fact is that she does, as published in Science currently make the claim that I added to the article. That means that the text you have reverted twice is better attributed than 99.9% of material on Wikipedia. Do you plan to revert all of that material too, or just the ones you disagree with?
I am asking again, before intervention is needed, do not revert addition of a valid source. Discuss it here, and if consensus agrees with you, then it will be removed. - Taxman 22:34, Dec 12, 2004 (UTC)

The Oreskes reference does belong here and I agree with Taxman that a summary of the report does belong in a prominent position in this page as it has direct bearing on the topic regardless of whether it is on other GW related page, this is the main one and it is pertinent. -Vsmith 17:21, 13 Dec 2004 (UTC)

NPOV disputed

This article has many good sections, but it also has strong POV in many other sections. The following excerpts from the article correctly show that there exists controversy and dispute over the significance of global warming, and in particular, controversy over the human causal nature of global warming.

(the neutrality of these particular excerpts is not being disputed)
  • "the brighter sun and higher levels of so-called "greenhouse gases" both contributed to the change in the Earth's temperature, but it was impossible to say which had the greater impact."
  • "Various other hypotheses have been proposed, including but not limited to:
1. The warming is within the range of natural variation and needs no particular explanation
2. The warming is a consequence of coming out of a prior cool period -- the Little ice age -- and needs no other explanation."
  • "Other scientists theorize global temperature change may in fact be induced by natural causes, such as volcanism and solar activity."
  • "Over the past century or so the global (land + sea) temperature has increased by approximately 0.4-0.8 C"
  • "It is thought by geologists that the Earth experienced global warming in the early Jurassic period, with average temperatures rising by 5 Celsius (9 Fahrenheit)."

But despite this article having these statements showing the scientific controversy and dispute over the significance and human-causation of global warming, the article has a number of strong POV sections where it expresses a view that global warming is an absolute and undisputed certainty. These need to be fixed and brought into NPOV.

Some examples of these areas are:

  • All climate models further predict that temperatures will continue to increase in the future, if human emissions of greenhouse gases continue and there are no significant changes in solar output or volcanic activity.
    • This presents the impression that there are NO theories under which global warming will not occur. This is not the case, and it should be reworded to a more NPOV statement. The word "All" is blatant POV, and the statement should also be followed by a NPOV clarifier which indicates that there also exist theories which claim that observed temperature changes are due to more natural causes.
    • (William M. Connolley 23:16, 16 Dec 2004 (UTC)) The statement - that all climate models predict increases of T if GHGs continue to increase - is correct. *All* is literally correct. If you dispute it, rather than hand-waving about NPOV you should simply produce a counterexample.
      • For the simplest example, any model which includes the sun (kind of a useful thing to include) says that global temperatures can decrease irrespective of GHG changes with a small but significant decrease in solar output.
        • (William M. Connolley 09:46, 17 Dec 2004 (UTC)) Oh good grief, read the text: All climate models further predict that temperatures will continue to increase in the future, if human emissions of greenhouse gases continue and there are no significant changes in solar output or volcanic activity. the all climate models predict... is clearly predicated on (a) GHG increase and (b) no sig changes elsewhere.
      • For another, Global cooling, widely believed in the 1970's, put forth the model that other pollutants would dominate over GHG increase, causing a net decrease in temperature, which for a time they did observe.
        • (William M. Connolley 09:46, 17 Dec 2004 (UTC)) I'm familiar with the cooling page. "Widely believed" is dubious - read the page. But more, you're once again *failing to read the text you complain about* - see above.
      • For a third, there are theories containing feedback mechanisms such as biomass increase which could balance out GHG levels, or feedback mechanisms which could cause temperature to stabilize. So it's complete POV to say "all" models predict human GHG emission will raise temperature. Cortonin | Talk 23:48, 16 Dec 2004 (UTC)
        • (William M. Connolley 09:46, 17 Dec 2004 (UTC)) Thats nice, why don't you find a model incorporating such feedbacks that predicts cooling, then come back.
  • The current scientific consensus is that most of the warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities (see Attribution of recent climate change) and the extent of this consensus is discussed at scientific opinion on climate change.
    • This is not the case. The IPCC report states that "the balance of evidence suggests that there is a discernible human influence on global climate" and that "There is new and stronger evidence that most of the warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities", but it does not claim that there is a consensus that global warming was caused by human behavior. In fact, it states, "our ability to quantify the human influence on global climate is currently limited because the expected signal is still emerging from the noise of natural variability". The summary descriptions need to have a NPOV which takes into account dispute, areas of uncertainty, and that research is still ongoing.
    • (William M. Connolley 23:16, 16 Dec 2004 (UTC)) You're wrong. The text you quote is from the SAR [1] and doesn't reflect the *current* consensus.
      • Please read this page from the article you just referenced, which describes the uncertainties which still exist: [2] In particular, " The precise magnitude of natural internal climate variability remains uncertain.", "Some palaeoclimatic reconstructions of temperature suggest that multi-decadal variability in the pre-industrial era was higher than that generated internally by models", etc. Read the rest. Cortonin | Talk 23:40, 16 Dec 2004 (UTC)
        • (William M. Connolley 09:46, 17 Dec 2004 (UTC)) Uhu, so you're admitting your quote is actually from the SAR? Good, tahts progress. As for your other quotes: yes indeed, they are quite plausible (I haven't checked them, but they sound quite right). So what?
    • In addition, the phrase "most of the warming" implies that the warming which has occured is large. By the evidence later in the article, the warming over the last century is measured to be about 0.4 to 0.8 C. This is small in comparison to natural fluctuations in temperature which have occured before the existence of humans, such as the quote from this same article which refers to a 5 C fluctuation during the Jurassic period.
    • (William M. Connolley 23:16, 16 Dec 2004 (UTC)) This is silly. We're talking about current warming, not stuff that happened millions of years ago. The earth was once molten: are you going to start claiming that the long-term trend is therefore clearly one of cooling?
      • The Earth was not molten during the Jurassic period. The entire point of that refutation is that the current warming is well within the range of fluctuations over the last millions of years, so yes, we are talking about the entire history of the Earth. It doesn't benefit to only look at the dataset which supports ones point, that's selection of fact and that's POV. Cortonin | Talk 23:29, 16 Dec 2004 (UTC)
        • (William M. Connolley 09:46, 17 Dec 2004 (UTC)) If you're prepared to go back 10s of millions of years, why not billions?
  • The observed warming of the Earth over the past 50 years appears to be at odds with the skeptics' theory that climate feedbacks will cancel out the CO2 warming.
    • First, the word "skeptic" implies that all people who question global warming do so out of a habitual questioning of accepted conclusions or religious matters. This is POV, and instead NPOV words like critics, or phrases like "critics of global warming" should be used.
    • (William M. Connolley 23:16, 16 Dec 2004 (UTC)) Oh good grief, go read the arguments over at global warming skeptic over the use of the term "skeptic". But its established practice and won't get changed.
    • Second, this excerpt blatantly ignores the other scientific explanations for temperature increases based on other factors, such as are described elsewhere in the article. It uses a false dichotomy, and it creates strong POV.

Please do not remove the NPOV dispute until these issues are resolved and until the article (in particular the beginning 1/3 of the article) has a NPOV which acknowledges the existence of theories disputing the significance and causal nature of global warming, acknowledges the uncertainties and significance level of existing data, and does not overstate the scientific consensus about the human-causal component of global warming. Cortonin | Talk 22:44, 16 Dec 2004 (UTC)

(William M. Connolley 23:16, 16 Dec 2004 (UTC)) The article, correctly, states that the consensus is what IPCC says it is. You need to put up (find a model that shows cooling).
I refer you to Scientific_opinion_on_climate_change#IPCC and Global cooling. Cortonin | Talk 23:53, 16 Dec 2004 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 09:46, 17 Dec 2004 (UTC)) Again, I'm very familiar with both of those pages and they are perfectly compatible with this page, so (given your failure to find a model for cooling) I've removed the NPOV header.
You do not just "remove" an NPOV dispute because you don't agree with it. That defeats the entire purpose of NPOV disputes, because it's the POV you're influencing here which is being disputed. I see on your user page that you are a GW modeller,
(William M. Connolley 18:47, 17 Dec 2004 (UTC)) Your inability to read does you no credit. I'm a climate modeller, like it says.
which is all fine and good, but then you make the leap of illogic and say that everyone who questions GW is dishonest, in denial, or a liar.
(William M. Connolley 18:47, 17 Dec 2004 (UTC)) I don't say that explicitly, and just for the record I don't believe it.
To make matters worse, you have reflected this view on the text of this article. The NPOV dispute stands until the article does not reflect this strong POV. Cortonin | Talk 18:34, 17 Dec 2004 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 18:47, 17 Dec 2004 (UTC)) I removed the tag because your arguments are all insubstantial. You quote from the SAR when you think you're quoting the TAR. You assert that there exist models predicting cooling but then can't find any.
First, I said "IPCC report", and made no reference to which version.
(William M. Connolley 20:16, 17 Dec 2004 (UTC)) You said *the* IPCC report (my italics). *the* in this context means one not many, and means the most rescent, the TAR. And since we're talking about the *current* consensus, not one of 6+ years ago, its obviously out of order to be quoting the SAR, even if you did it by mistake.
I should hope you already know they are both IPCC reports, and that you are just piddling over details for the sake of argument. The same goes for the Jurassic temperature fluctuations.
Second, you said that global warming critics are just in denial. It's fine if you want to believe that, but you need to stop forcing that POV into the article.
(William M. Connolley 20:16, 17 Dec 2004 (UTC)) Can you source that please?
"I disapprove of the use of the term skeptic ... because I feel its overly generous to them - denialists would be better perhaps." So says William M. Connolley, only a few lines above. Cortonin | Talk 22:19, 17 Dec 2004 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 22:29, 17 Dec 2004 (UTC)) Uhu - so, as you've just proved, I didn't say skeptics are in denial. I said that denialists would perhaps be better. There is no good term (see >here (as ref'd above) for my full opinion).
Third, please take a moment to read the NPOV tutorial. In particular, note the definition of POV there which is, "It's what everybody I know believes." Then read the sections on how to avoid POV and guide articles into a NPOV fashion. We need to work together to establish NPOV, not get into ridiculous edit wars. Cortonin | Talk 19:17, 17 Dec 2004 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 20:16, 17 Dec 2004 (UTC)) I've read the NPOV - skeptics constantly use it to try to force their opinions into various GW articles.
So your argument is that you don't like NPOV because it allows the perspectives of "skeptics" into the GW articles? That of course, is precisely why we DO have NPOV at Wikipedia. Cortonin | Talk 22:19, 17 Dec 2004 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 22:29, 17 Dec 2004 (UTC)) I like NPOV. Its a good idea. But people misunderstand it.
However, WillyC (William M. Connolley Ahem) seems to be correct on at least a few points, which I think you should acknowledge. I.e., you should specify what climate models you believe demonstrate that global cooling could occur along with increasing GHG and no change in solar or volcanic activity. Also, since you are talking about the current consensus, Billiam is correct in that you should be quoting the TAR (third assessment report) and not the SAR (second assessment report). If you feel that you can meet these arguments fairly on the field of battle, then we have grounds for an actual dispute. Otherwise, I'd have to say the balance of the evidence rests in W's camp. Graft 19:24, 17 Dec 2004 (UTC)
"The observed warming of the Earth over the past 50 years appears to be at odds with the critics' theory that climate feedbacks will cancel out the CO2 warming."
  • I note that no one bothered to address the false dichotomy I raised here, even though my edit correcting this was reverted. That is strong POV. Cortonin | Talk 19:37, 17 Dec 2004 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 20:16, 17 Dec 2004 (UTC)) The statement appears to be obviously true. Why do you object to it?
Because it's an obvious false dichotomy. It says that "Either feedback cancels out CO2 warming" or "the earth will warm". This ignores the fact that there are a large quantity of other possibilities, such as alternate variables unrelated to feedback or CO2 which also affect the temperature of the Earth, and also solar fluctuations which have definitely been observed to have a large impact on the temperature of the Earth. So to say that there are two options, and then to draw a conclusion by refuting one of those two options and saying the other is correct is what's called false dichotomy, and it is listed as a logical fallacy for good reason. Cortonin | Talk 22:19, 17 Dec 2004 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 22:29, 17 Dec 2004 (UTC)) But skeptics also attribute all the warming to solar variations. I've never seen a single skeptic argue that solar variation is acting to *cool* the earth. Are you arguing that solar acts to cool?
"Critics have been unable to produce a credible model of the climate that does not predict that temperatures will increase in the future."
  • This sentence still remains in the article, and has no qualifier about solar activity changes, even though no one has disputed that solar activity could potentially dominate over GHG's. Cortonin | Talk 19:37, 17 Dec 2004 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 20:16, 17 Dec 2004 (UTC)) I've never seen a single scientific paper asserting that solar would dominate over GHG over the next century. Have you? Or even a web page?
As for theories which do not predict warming, here are two from the article:
  1. "The warming is within the range of natural variation and needs no particular explanation"
  2. "The warming is a consequence of coming out of a prior cool period — the Little ice age — and needs no other explanation."
These are listed, and then summarily dismissed at other locations, occasionally with the word "credible" thrown in to imply that they are somehow not credible. This of course means, not believable. But not believable by whom? POV. Cortonin | Talk 19:37, 17 Dec 2004 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 20:16, 17 Dec 2004 (UTC)) When these theories are examined, they are found to be wanting.
You may find them "wanting", but they still EXIST. You cannot say "all" say another thing. Leave out the word all, or any similar sweeping generalities. Cortonin | Talk 22:09, 17 Dec 2004 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 22:29, 17 Dec 2004 (UTC)) I've re-inserted "all", since its true, as it says: all-models-predict-warming-given-co2-forcing. You may not like it, but your failure to find a counterexample is becoming rather glaring.
I listed numerous counterexamples in the above discussion, but you didn't like them. Like I said, "models" also means "theories". You cannot say that all theories state a particular thing, that is a false generalization. Cortonin | Talk 22:41, 17 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Fair enough. However, this article is about a scientific argument, and conjecture must be supported by weight of evidence. That is, a "theory" must be a real scientific theory supported by a believable model. Thus, a reasonable climate model demonstrating that the above conjectures are valid and that, specifically, greenhouse gases do not contribute to warming. Does such a thing exist for either of the two above explanations? I'll agree that the two sentences you quote are not appropriate and should be changed, but I think this is bad prose, not POV. The paragraphs in which they lie are pretty damn choppy. Graft 19:49, 17 Dec 2004 (UTC)
I just added a specific example to the external links section which discusses the drastic climate changes 5,200 years ago as coinciding with significant solar fluctuations, and those climate changes far exceeded anything observed this century. I think observation trumps modelling here. [3] Cortonin | Talk 19:59, 17 Dec 2004 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 20:16, 17 Dec 2004 (UTC)) Its terribly vague about what those changes were. Were they global? Did they just affect one glacier? Have they even been published?
In addition, while to a climate modeller the phrase "model" may refer exclusively to simulations, to the rest of the science world and to the wikipedia audience, the word "model" can also refer simply to a "theory" . So when you say no models can account for it, you're not discussing simulations, you're dismissing all possible theories. This is of course wrong by definition, and can only be POV. I apologize if that wasn't clear in the above discussion. Cortonin | Talk 19:46, 17 Dec 2004 (UTC)
In the context of the article, it's obvious that "model" refers to a scientific model of how the climate behaves. This still demands that the model (or "theory", if you will) be robust and conform to the available evidence. Graft 19:49, 17 Dec 2004 (UTC)
I think the evidence shows that any model which ignores solar fluctuations is not a very realistic model. See above. Cortonin | Talk 20:01, 17 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Quoi? The same could be said for any model which ignores greenhouse gases. The article already refers to solar variation models and efforts to reconcile the record of current solar variation with warming, and available evidence indicates that solar variation isn't able to account for all of the warming post 1950. So... what gives? Graft 20:16, 17 Dec 2004 (UTC)
I am removing the following sentence for two reasons. "All Climate models currently predict that, in the absence of changes in solar output or volcanic activity, human emission of greenhouse gases will cause temperatures to increase in the future." One, it's biased and apparently Connolley is unwilling to let a NPOV version stand. Two, it is not part of the definition of global warming, as should be in the first paragraph. And three, it is described in a more NPOV way later in the article with the sentence "All climate models that pass these tests also predict that the net effect of adding CO2 will be a warmer climate in the future.", which is explicitely referring to the appropriate subset of computer models. Cortonin | Talk 22:31, 17 Dec 2004 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 22:48, 17 Dec 2004 (UTC)) Sentence restored. The sentence is accurate, as your failure to find a single counterexample demonstrates. Please stop trying to evade the issue: your task is to find a climate model which, when forced by increased CO2, and other variables held constant, shows a cooling (or no warming). If you can do that, then remove/qualify the sentence you so dislike. If you can't, please leave it alone.
Well THAT is accurate, that's just not what the sentence said. I will correct it to match your statement here. I still think "All" weakens the statement, but I will leave it for now as a compromise with the revised sentence. Cortonin | Talk 23:32, 17 Dec 2004 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 23:43, 17 Dec 2004 (UTC)) Ah, have you finally read what it says rather than what you thought it said? You version is functionally equivalent, though (in my opinion) somewhat on the skeptic POV side. But I'll leave it for now in the hope that someone else will have a look.

0.6 +/- 0.2, not 0.4 - 0.8

(William M. Connolley 20:37, 17 Dec 2004 (UTC)) I've changed the estimate of the T rise from 0.4-0.8 to 0.6 +/- 0.2. See [4] if you need a source. The reason is that the two are not equivalent, though they superficially appear to be. +/- 0.2 are the 95% confidence limits; this means that not all values in the range 0.6 +/- 0.2 are equally probable, as is implied by 0.4-0.8.

Yeah, that's a sensible change. You may want to also correct it later in the article, as that's where I sourced the numbers. Cortonin | Talk 22:33, 17 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Models predict warming...

(William M. Connolley 23:23, 17 Dec 2004 (UTC)) having paused for a think and review, I have realised that (for all my calls for C to put up or shut up) the documentation on wiki that GCMs predict warming is really rather thin. This I take as ironic proof of the strength of my case: we all know its true, so no one has bothered to contest the lack of evidence :-).

So I've just added a para+links to the climate model article to provide some evidence.

I agree that the listed evidence is quite thin. I also think that considering the climate model article says, "Whether these models are sufficiently "correct" to be useful or not is a matter of dispute," that perhaps the global warming article should reflect some of that dispute and uncertainty. It's okay for scientists in a field to be uncertain. Cortonin | Talk 23:29, 17 Dec 2004 (UTC)

"Skeptics unable to produce model that shows temperatures decreasing"

"Skeptics have been unable to produce a model of the climate that does not predict that temperatures will increase in the future."

I am removing this statement for the following reason: The simplest model of the climate which does not predict temperature increases in the future would be solar output significantly decreasing. If you want to put it back, then it would have to say something ridiculous like, "Skeptics have been unable to produce a model of the climate that does not predict that temperature will increase in the future without taking into account any of the other possible variables which could affect the climate." Cortonin | Talk 23:48, 17 Dec 2004 (UTC)

(William M. Connolley 23:56, 17 Dec 2004 (UTC)) Reinserted. Well, you wanted the word "credible" removed, so I did. But then of course that allows you to construct incredible models, like the one you've just mentioned. The point (and its a vlid one) is that despite the fervent desire in some quarters to avoid having CO2 increase T, not one of the credible skeptics has managed to produce a model that does so; nor have any of the skeptics produced a credible model that does so.
The other point is about whether or not CO2 increase is the primary determiner of global temperature. There are many factors which affect global temperature: solar output, water vapor concentration, surface coating (forestation, civilization, etc), etc, etc. Of course CO2 alone will cause an increase in T. Thank goodness it does, as if you subtract it from the thermodynamic balancing equations it shows up as a bit chilly down here. But it certainly is not the dominant contributer, so it is difficult to assess from simple modelling whether the variable of human output of CO2 will cause temperatures to rise given all the other variables which can simultaneously change, some of which change independently, and some of which are related to CO2 levels in a complex fashion. This is a bit too quickly dismissed in the greenhouse gas section with the argument "Well, temperatures went up a bit this century, so clearly it's due to CO2." To establish this scientifically, one needs to do one of two things:
(William M. Connolley 09:44, 18 Dec 2004 (UTC)) I don't suppose you've considered reading the scientific work that has been done, rather than making up your own? Try attribution of recent climate change.
I read it. I see much talk of consensus and opinion, and of course scientific truth is not obtained from consensus and opinion, it's obtained from evidence. When considering the evidence described on that page, it essentially all falls into two categories. One consists of statements that there are significant uncertainties existing about the contributions from internal variability and external forcing. The other consists of climate modelling. I've done enough computer modelling in my life to be a bit hesitant to take simulation results as established truth without extremely strong supporting evidence, and I don't see this being presented here. There is essentially only one significant dataset being used to compare these to, 20th century temperatures. The simulations which match those temperatures are kept, but how do you verify they're correct? You can't rerun the experiment. So greenhouse gas only simulations overestimate the amount of warming. Is it perhaps because there's a competing temperature changing consequence from greenhouse gases that isn't understood yet? Is it because the aerosols aren't included in the simulation? If you add the aerosols and then the results are closer, does that mean you got it right, or does that mean you could have missed the next thing, just like you wouldn't have stopped to add aresols if the first simulation results had matched better? It's hasty to say such simulations are definitive truth unless you can present some sort of solid evidence that's missing from all this material I've been reading. Cortonin | Talk 10:58, 18 Dec 2004 (UTC)
1. Show longterm measurements in which CO2 levels are the only possible variable which correlates to global temperature changes, and other changes do not correlate.
2. Show that in the time that CO2 levels changed and global temperature changed, none of the other variables which can affect global temperature changed.
In the time measured (a century or so), the global average temperature has gone both up and down while CO2 levels have essentially only gone up, every other factor relating to the temperature of the Earth has changed significantly, including deforestation, emission of other gases, surface changes, (has water vapor or cloud cover changed during this time?), and even solar output is reported to have increased (the complete effects of which are only guessed at by modelling). So I think the burden of proof to show causation is a little higher than just showing a small short term correlation.
The point is not that greenhouse theory is wrong, of course greenhouse effects contribute. The point is that the climate is a complex system, at it should not be artificially reduced to simpler descriptions without experimental evidence justifying and quantifying those reductions. Cortonin | Talk 00:16, 18 Dec 2004 (UTC)
The models do artificially reduce to simpler descriptions, and that is part of the reason WMC is correct that they all predict warming. However, there is experimental and theorectical evidence for alot of what the modelers do. The first paragraphs are entitled to present the global warming theory without a lot of qualification, since this is an article about the theory. Balance should be achieved in the latter parts of the article where the opposing views are presented. Keep in mind that even most of the skeptics accept that greenhouse gasses will cause global warming, although based on paleo data and indirect solar effects that the models don't account for, they would argue that a doubling of CO2 would only lead to a temperature increase of approx 0.6 degrees C. --Silverback 07:24, 18 Dec 2004 (UTC)
I would say quite the opposite, that the opening to an article should give the most objectively true summary possible, as by the style guides the opening is supposed to essentially be a definition and quick summary. It is the LATER part of the article which should contain various points of view and interpretations, carefully described as such, to discuss the more complex aspects of the topic. And given the qualifiers you just mentioned, that is sufficient reason to not overstate any claims in the opening section.
The opening section should never "prime" the reader with an opinion from which they should interpret the rest of the article. That's one of the more egregious forms of POV pushing. The opening section should simply present what the topic is by definition, and perhaps also an objective NPOV overview of the major issues involved. Cortonin | Talk 08:12, 18 Dec 2004 (UTC)
YOu aren't saying the opposite, however, the objectively true summary of an article on global warming theory is a presentation of the theory itself, which should pose no POV problems, if it is presented as a theory.--Silverback 21:08, 18 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Right. Phrases like, "Global warming says this", "modelling has shown this", and "climatologists predict", would make for good objectively true summaries of global warming theory. Phrases that sound like, "All theories agree with global warming theory" should be avoided, even if they only "sound" this way. In many cases POV has more to do with presentation than with the actual content of the information being presented. Cortonin | Talk 01:58, 19 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Significance of human induced contributions

If the precise magnitude of human induced contributions to global warming is uncertain, then how is the significance certain? If the significance is certain, what is that significance? Is there an objective answer to this based on evidence? Cortonin | Talk 22:19, 19 Dec 2004 (UTC)

(William M. Connolley 22:38, 19 Dec 2004 (UTC)) That would depend on what you meant by significance - the main reason I deleted the word. If you mean significant in terms of cause-and-effect, then yes of course they are signigicant, by the very construction of the sentence. If you mean significant in terms ot magnitude, thats already covered.
I was reading "significance" in that context in terms of importance or relevance considering other contributing factors, but I can see the confusion about it also being misunderstood as statistical significance within the single variation. Cortonin | Talk 23:54, 19 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Annual increases of CO2

I propose changing the sentence

"Increases in CO2 measured since 1958 at Mauna Loa show a monotonically increasing atmospheric concentration of CO2. "

to "On an annual basis, CO2 measured since 1958 at Mauna Loa has increased monotonically from 315 ppm (parts per million) to 375 ppm."

Basically because there is a ~ 3% seasonal oscillation at Mauna Loa (a smaller one in the Antarctic record, which is also interesting) as can be seen at

And putting similar language on the CO2 graph

(William M. Connolley 10:52, 23 Dec 2004 (UTC)) Thats OK - just go ahead and do it (possibly also put in a mention for the seasonal osc too). BTW, sign your posts with 4 tildas, thus: ~~~~.

Ice Melt

Can I suggest an alteration to the "Potential Effects" section on ice melt to : "Global warming causes the sea level to rise because sea water expands as it warms, and through thinning of the Antarctic and Greenland ice caps and reduction of glaciers."

Melting of the North polar cap and sea ice, as it currently reads, will not of course significantly affect sea levels as they are floating ice masses.

  • I don't think anyone would seriously dispute you on this. Floating ice has no effect whatsoever on water level when it melts, as it displaces precisely as much water either way.
On the other hand, it should also be mentioned that the atmosphere holds dramatically more water when warm, so that a sizable portion of the melt from the land-based glaciers would end up in the air, not the seas, because of the much greater volume of air (which is increasing in storage capacity) versus sea (which is taking up only the leftovers). Kaz 22:46, 31 Dec 2004 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 22:58, 31 Dec 2004 (UTC)) Total moisture content of the air is slight. I don't have the figures to hand but globally it amounts to about 2-4 mm/m2, which is about one years sea level rise at current rates. Forget it. As to ice: the effect is very small but not zero, due to salinity. See sea level rise I think.

This article should at least mention the effect of melting ice on Thermohaline circulation, and thus, climate. --Ben 07:54, 1 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I added it --Ben 01:53, 3 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Global Mean

At the beginning of the article, there is acknowledgement of the fact that most widely accepted global warming models require

(William M. Connolley 22:39, 31 Dec 2004 (UTC)) Require? You mean, "predict"?

a temperature increase in atmospheric and oceanic temperatures...but then the article goes on to repeatedly cite the rise surface temperatures in reference to global warming. There should be a clear demarcation between the measurement of oceanic / atmospheric temperatures and surface temperatures.

(William M. Connolley 22:39, 31 Dec 2004 (UTC)) Surface (of land and ocean) are the best measured and with the longest series. The t rec page should (and does) say more about this.

To talk about the latter in a global warming article is quite confusing, since they have little or no effect, being mostly a result of the increase in urbanization around land-based weather stations.

(William M. Connolley 22:39, 31 Dec 2004 (UTC)) This is completely wrong. See UHI for details.

For example, the surface temperature is described as having risen .15 celcius, right after a reference to /lower/ atmospheric temperature increases (again, not considered nearly as important as upper atmosphere), but nothing is mentioned about the lack of impact of these on the global mean, regarding global warming models.

(William M. Connolley 22:39, 31 Dec 2004 (UTC)) I don't understand what you mean.

It's as if there were an article about percentage of body fat, in which references to someone growing taller were made without mention to the fact that this didn't increase body fat, per se.

We need to clear this warming models call for a climb in upper atmosphere and oceanic temps, and the surface/troposphere should clearly be clearly marked as an aside. Kaz 22:22, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Warming/Dimming & Silverback

(William M. Connolley 19:35, 14 Jan 2005 (UTC)) I can't say I'm terribly keen on this GD stuff myself, but "A further speculation is that an increase in global dimming would prevent such a rise in temperature" doesn't seem to be defensible. I don't know anyone who expects aerosols to increase in such a way... where does this piece of speculation come from?

I thought this section had become a license to speculate. The original idea that dimming somehow would imply an increase in the sensitivity of climate to CO2 was the original speculation, as if the current climate models don't already have a higher sensitivity to CO2 than implied by the paleo data. Perhaps this dimming is the indirect feedback that resolves the discrepency, and eventually gets the doubling prediction down to to 0.5 to 0.6 degress C range. This seemed more likely to me than the counter-intuitive speculation originally presented.--Silverback 05:24, 15 Jan 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 10:33, 15 Jan 2005 (UTC)) I don't agree with you, in essentially everything you write above. In particular, no, the section isn't a license to speculate (and that should be obvious, nowhere in wiki is; if you see stuff that you consider speculative the correct response is to remove it or query it on the talk page, not add counter-speculation): everything in it was from the BBC horizon programme, though toned down somewhat. The bits you added seem to be "personal research". Anyway, this may all be a bit irrelevant since I've subsequently cut much of that section out.

New feedbacks section

(William M. Connolley 21:21, 15 Jan 2005 (UTC)) I dislike the new section on feedbacks. The concept is OK (though I think it would fit better on the climate change page) but the section itself is badly wrong.

  • Firstly, attributing the idea of positive feedbacks to Day-after-tomorrow, or Al Gore, is silly; it come close to arguing-against-by-giving-bad-sources, which is a poor mode of argument.
  • Not everything has to be an argument, nor was that section intended to be. It's information which provides cultural context. Cortonin | Talk 05:21, 16 Jan 2005 (UTC
(William M. Connolley 10:44, 16 Jan 2005 (UTC)) Oh come on. The DAT is simply wrong and has no place in a science article.
  • Secondly, DAT postulates *cooling* in response to GW, which is hardly a *positive* feedback - its a strongly negative one.
  • It's just a movie and not intended to be a source of information, it's mention was intended to provide cultural background. But for the record, a "negative change in temperature" is not the same as a "negative feedback". A system in which fluctuations are reduced is experiencing negative feedback, and a system in which fluctuations are amplified is experiencing positive feedback. I suggest for more information, you read the article on feedback, and you will see things like "Feedback may be negative, which tends to reduce output, or positive, which tends to increase output. ", "Positive and negative don't imply consequences of the feedback have positive or negative final effect. The negative feedback loop tends to slow down a process, while the positive feedback loop tends to accelerate it.", and "The negative feedback helps to maintain stability in a system in spite of external changes. It is related to homeostasis. Positive feedback amplifies possibilities of divergences". Cortonin | Talk 23:08, 18 Jan 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 23:23, 18 Jan 2005 (UTC)) Well thats all very nice, and presumably an attempt to avoid admitting that you're wrong, but why don't we read the text that you actually put into the page which was: Feedback mechanisms involved with global warming can be either positive feedback, where the feedback causes an unstable increase in temperature.... So DAT *isn't consistent with your own text*.
  • Thirdly, +ve feedback, in the conventional sense, *does not* postulate an unstable equilibrium. No one (or at least, not the consensus view) is suggesting that the climate is like a pencil poised on its nose, ready to fall off into a new equilibrium with the smallest push.
  • If a slight increase in temperature causes a greater increase in temperature, this can only occur in the case of an unstable equilibrium. A stable equilibrium, by definition, will not respond with positive feedback. Cortonin | Talk 05:21, 16 Jan 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 10:44, 16 Jan 2005 (UTC)) No.
See above, at reference to feedback article. Cortonin | Talk 23:08, 18 Jan 2005 (UTC)
  • Fourthly, the factor-of-twenty stuff is so badly wrong that I've removed it out of hand.
  • That factor was documented, try reading the source at the end which documents it. If you disagree, provide a different source and we can establish it as a range. Cortonin | Talk 05:21, 16 Jan 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 10:44, 16 Jan 2005 (UTC)) See my comments on GHG
  • Fifthly, the Iris stuff was exploded long ago.
  • Exploded? According to whom? Cortonin | Talk 05:21, 16 Jan 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 10:44, 16 Jan 2005 (UTC)) Anyone paying attention.
I'm going to restore it, as I took great care to write it carefully and document the claims made in that section. You should take equal care to document corrections before rushing to delete every contribution another person makes to one of your pet articles. (I will remove the cultural references if you find cultural background that offensive.) A global warming article which does not discuss the associated feedback mechanisms can hardly be considered complete. Cortonin | Talk 05:21, 16 Jan 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 10:44, 16 Jan 2005 (UTC)) Its over at climate change now, where it fits. The GW page was > 45k long with the extra section: it needs stuff moved onto other pages, not added here. The cliamte change page includes a lot of stuff that the GW page isn't complete without, which is why the GW page links to it a lot.

Dispute Resolution RFC, William M. Connolley

I started an RFC regarding user William M. Connolley, located here: Wikipedia:Requests for comment/William M. Connolley. If you are interested, please comment or sign as appropriate. Cortonin | Talk 12:27, 18 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I had a quick look, but I don't feel I can comment without spending lots more time going through the history. (Except to say that William Connolley's habit of putting his sig at the beginning of his comments is really, really annoying. Rd232 13:17, 18 Jan 2005 (UTC)
However, I note that this topic is covered in Climate change, Global warming, Global warming controversy and Attribution of recent climate change, and looking at Category:Climate change, maybe others. Seems like a lot of duplication to me. The stated split between "climate change" and "anthropogenic climate change" (global warming) doesn't really work IMO, because the discussion ends up covering both anyway. So I would say structure needs clarifying (maybe in Overview section of main article, presumably climate change) and improving. Which might help the ongoing debate which led to RFC.
My suggestion would be
  • Climate change becomes very short introduction to entire topic (see various articles in the Category which might be mentioned), without any substantive discussion.
  • Global warming becomes the main article for climate change discussion, as this largely about the existence/extent of anthropogenic climate change. Global warming itself focusses on lay summary, and links to daughter articles with more detailed discussion. Somewhere in there (maybe as separate daughter article) should be responses to GW (Kyoto, popular culture, political discussion etc). Global warming controversy should be merged into Global warming. If GW ends up too long (as it probably will), then use daughter article structure appropriately (Effects of global warming would be an obvious one). Rd232 13:17, 18 Jan 2005 (UTC)

On the suggestions for re-arranging

(William M. Connolley 19:15, 18 Jan 2005 (UTC)) GW is already too long. I would oppose merging in GWC... some of it is stuff that was spun out of GW in the first place. GWC at one point contained trashy stuff that didn't belong in GW... it may have been cleaned up by now. See also glossary of climate change if you want ot find other stuff.

If it's "trashy" then it either needs deleting or putting in an article with a useful focus (eg popular/political discussion). The point is not that everything should end up in GW - but I think that should be the logical starting-point, with things spun off from GW (in a logical daughter-article structure) only because of the otherwise excessive length. Rd232 23:14, 18 Jan 2005 (UTC)
How about putting your sig at the end of your comemnts? It's really annoying at the beginning, not least because no-one else does it. Rd232 23:14, 18 Jan 2005 (UTC)

My suggestions for re-arranging are on my user pages. The proposal regarding the structural changes needs to be re-done--it's a little too messy and it still needs work and changes, but at least it's an idea.

Ben 20:20, 24 Jan 2005 (UTC)

The Introduction

I think the current version is more NPOV and accurate. First, global warming isn't caused exclusively or even primarily by carbon dioxide. So I think it is more accurate to simply say that "greenhouse gasses" are the culprits. Also, the use of absolute terms (e.g. "all climate models" should be avoided unless there is some way of clearly documentating what every single climate model in existence predicts.--JonGwynne 19:17, 19 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I agree with all those changes you made. It makes the introduction feel much more encyclopedic, and a lot less like someone is trying to pull a hand-waving fast one. I like when the introduction tries to tell me what global warming is about, rather than tries to "convince" me of global warming. Cortonin | Talk 21:39, 19 Jan 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 22:38, 19 Jan 2005 (UTC)) I've reverted to the Silverback version. The assertion about *all* climate models is accurate. Time and again skeptics have tried to weaken it; time and again I've challenged them to find a model that doesn't show warming; time and again they fail. Come up with the goods or leave it alone.
It is safe to assume that all models predict the warming, of course what matters in science is what one is willing to expose to peer review. If someone were defending a model at odds with the consensus we would hear about it and attempts to resolve the discrepency. The skeptics, however, should not be overwelmed by this, the physics in the current models is fitted to the recent historical data, and there is not yet a peer reviewed way to incorporate the indirect effects that skeptics and the paleo data suggest exist. When the science has progress, the most skeptics expect the models will still show warming, just significally less warming than is currently predicted, and hopefully the models will better match each other and the distribution profiles of the various temperature data sets. As to appearance vs documented or published. The data is published and so are interpretations. While this may appear to be an appeal to "authority", it is a scientific "authority", when these are published they have already passed the reviews of some peers hopefully knowledgable in the previous literature, and most important, they have disclosed their data, analysis and conclusions, so that others can also review, repeat or dispute them. Hopefully, with quality work it is the interpretation more than the facts which will be in dispute, although some "facts" such as temperatures measured by specific instruments may be more a matter of interpretation and analysis than raw data than is assumed. Contributers here should not be afraid that in conceding to the terms "documented" and "published" that they are conceding that things are written in stone. Science doesn't work that way. Perhaps we can find some acceptable qualification to the language, but appearance doesn't get us there.--Silverback 22:59, 19 Jan 2005 (UTC)
No matter how "safe" you personally believe the assumption to be, it is still an assumption. The use of an absolute in this case is inappropriate. until and unless you can demonstrate what all climate models predict. Perhaps we should also discuss the inherently problematic tendency of models to simply project current trends into the future. Go read one of Paul Ehrlich's books on the inevitable future starvations of millions (e.g. "The Population Bomb" to see how reliable this technique is for predicting the future)--JonGwynne 10:55, 20 Jan 2005 (UTC)
I don't know how much assurance you need, but modelers and skeptics have performed reviews and searches of the literature and have not found any, they've attended conferences and communicated via email and the web and haven't found any. I think it would be overly cautious to worry about some Captain Nemo out there incommunicado with a model of his own. Note that "all" is no longer in the opening paragraph anyway. "Most" would just beg the question. Search the article for cosmic, and you will see a discussion of some of the model weaknesses more specific than an analogy to the Population Bomb, there are other discussions on wikipedia as well, but the solar activity/cosmic ray/aerosol/cloud link is the one that seems the most plausible to me.--Silverback 11:17, 20 Jan 2005 (UTC)
How do you know what "modelers and skeptics" have done? Are you one? Incidentally, a 2 second search on Google turned up a 1991 article in "Nature" that talks about how an initial rise in global temperatures can cause an overall cooling effect [5]. Without any modifier, the "all" is implicit. It is important for this article to accurately describe the subject at hand. Since we've estabished at least one model which postits an overall decrease in global temperatures as the result of the greenhouse effect, can we put "most" back?--JonGwynne 13:39, 20 Jan 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 17:34, 20 Jan 2005 (UTC)) Nice try bu no cigar. I don't see any mention of climate models in there. Have another go.
Removing the "all" is not about "weakening" the statement. Weakening only applies in a confrontational or persuasive sense, and that's clearly outside of the goals of Wikipedia. It's about making the statement more legitimate as a description by removing the sweeping absolutes. I will issue you the same challenge JonGwynne just did: List all climate models. Then show that they all show that result. You should not restore the word "all" until you can document that "all" climate models show this. Cortonin | Talk 23:40, 19 Jan 2005 (UTC)
I placed a compromise word choice of "observed" instead of "published", as "published" is a needless appeal to authority. When given the choice, we can just document what is, rather than try to justify its strength with rhetorical techniques. Cortonin | Talk 23:40, 19 Jan 2005 (UTC)

(William M. Connolley 23:07, 19 Jan 2005 (UTC)) BTW, after reverting to your version I removed the qualifier about the extent of human influence on the future trends being uncertain. The magnitude of the trends, yes, thats fair enough (well I wrote it myself), but because of the way the scenarios are constructed there is no "attribution" problem for future trends, because you know the forcing that is going into them. I'm fairly sure that future solar (or volcnaic) forcing, for example, is unknown, and therefore not included, so that doesn't muddy the mix.

I also moved the qualifier about uncertainty of human responsibility for future climate changes outside of the modelling sentence to satisfy your concern about the human responsibility being dictated by the model choice. I instead made the sentence about human responsibility for actual climate change, since I believe that was the initial intent. Cortonin | Talk 23:40, 19 Jan 2005 (UTC)
I don't see what is added by the qualifier, it a qualifier is needed, it is about the uncertainties of completeness of the physics n the models, and their lack of agreement with each other in particulars. However, I think this is satisfactorially addressed later in the article, which is why the rest of the article is there. We don't need to squeeze all qualifications into the opening paragraph, details can come later.--Silverback 23:55, 19 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Q: What does the clause "If the only variable considered is the emission of greenhouse gases related to human activity" add to the sentence "climate models predict temperatures will increase in the future; however the precise magnitude of these increases is still uncertain."? WTF does it mean? Rd232 12:45, 20 Jan 2005 (UTC)

(William M. Connolley 17:34, 20 Jan 2005 (UTC)) Its a sop the the skeptics. Its not scientifically justified though. I suggest you remove it...
wMC, is correct about it being a "sop", but it makes the point that the model "predictions" are assuming that only one forcing variable changes in the future, so even if technically their models are correct, the predictions may not be, if one of the variables being held constant, such as solar or vulcanic activity change. There is evidence that the solar "constant" has been varying, and that vulcanic activity is essential to understanding the 20th century temperature record.--Silverback 17:52, 20 Jan 2005 (UTC)
It doesn't make this point, at least for me. The models clearly "consider" other variables, even if they hold them constant. It is not a good formulation of the point Silverback explains above. If the point needs making in the intro, it should have its own sentence, and be clear and understandable to someone who doesn't already know what's what. Rd232 12:11, 23 Jan 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 18:45, 20 Jan 2005 (UTC)) OK, perhaps unnecessary language there. This isn't a good time to have this debate (we should settle the RFC first; starting an edit war here was irresponsible) but just for ref: I'm not going to stir up trouble by trying to remove that qualifier though I'd be happy if someone lese removes it; I don't believe it is justified (any plausible guess at solar forcing is too weak to overcome the GHG forcing).
I did remove it, because the point that it is trying to make it makes very confusingly. But someone put it back. What happened to my suggestion to try to unify the various articles on the topic in a logical structure? Rd232 20:01, 20 Jan 2005 (UTC)
That phrase is a qualifier describing the systems that are being modelled in order to predict temperature increases. It may be a bit awkward to make such a statement in such a small space, but it's necessary if climate model predictions are going to be discussed in the introduction so that we accurately portray the applicability of climate models to prediction. If climate model predictions were removed from the introduction and placed in a section where the qualifiers about climate modelling could be written out in more detail beside them, then that phrase could be written with a little less brevity. Cortonin | Talk 21:36, 20 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Not only was the phrase a "sop" it was compromise language, I believe largely composed by WMC. The original qualifier was far more explicit, here is my language here:
I think the compromise language should be restored, because removing it destablizes the compromise, and we start all over again.--Silverback 11:12, 23 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I removed the phrase ", of which the most significant human contribution is from carbon dioxide" from the introduction. Apart from the grammactical problems, there's no indication of the nature of the contribution or the significanc. The link to greenhouse gas will provide plenty of information on the names and significance of the various gasses - by the way, even though both spelling are considered accurate, I use the "three s" version simply because it is more consistent with the other variations on the word "gas" (e.g. gassing, gassed, gasser - no reason for gasses to be the odd one out).--JonGwynne 14:28, 23 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Incidentally, we're still waiting for someone to demonstrate that ALL climate models predict temperature increases. If no one steps up to show this, we're going to have to revisit the "modifier" controversy. Would you prefer "most climite models predict..." or "the majority of climate models..." or how about "commonly referenced climate models predict...", would that be OK?--JonGwynne 14:28, 23 Jan 2005 (UTC)

(William M. Connolley 14:45, 23 Jan 2005 (UTC)) Anytime you can find a GCM to predict cooling, do let us know.
Oh, how almost-clever of you to try to get someone else to do your work. For someone who claims to have a PhD, you don't seem to understand how this is done... you want to make a claim, you'd best be prepared to back it up. You want to say that ALL climate models predict warming? Then you'd better find every single one of them and post links. Since you've obviously seen every single climate model ever created (otherwise, why would you be supporting the claim?), this shouldn't be a problem. Until then, what sort of qualification do you think is appropriate? Take a look at the list above and pick one - or feel free to offer your own suggestion. Also, why did you remove my discussion of the shortcomings of the Mann graph? Since you know so much more about climate science than the rest of us, why not take second to explain why Mann's numbers should still be considered valid when they fail to register the two largest climate shifts in the last millenia? Perhaps you could also explain why tree-ring data is a valid proxy for year-long climate numbers when atmospheric temperature is only one of many factors which affects tree-growth. This should be simple for someone of your professed erudition. Come on, show us ignorant rabble what you've got. You may have been a good student in school, but so far at least, you haven't proven to be a very good teacher.--JonGwynne 15:30, 23 Jan 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 17:25, 23 Jan 2005 (UTC)) I don't have a PhD. I've said that before, BTW. As to the nonsense above: *you* are making the claim that not-all GCMs show warming. Find one. It should be easy, no?
You don't have a PhD? I beg your pardon. I seem to recall you admonishing someone to refer to you as "Dr. Connolley", but I must have been mistaken - So is it just plain "Mr. Connolley" then? I mean, you're a mathematician, right? You don't practice human or veterinary medicine, do you?--JonGwynne 19:09, 23 Jan 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 20:42, 23 Jan 2005 (UTC)) I have a doctorate, of course, which is why Dr Connolley is correct.
I stand corrected... For someone who claims to have a doctorate, you don't seem to understand how this is done. If you want to make a claim, you'd best be prepared to back it up. You want to say that ALL climate models predict warming? Then you'd better find every single one of them and post links demonstrating what they show. Since you've obviously seen every single climate model ever created (otherwise, why would you be supporting the claim?), this shouldn't be a problem. Until/unless you do, you'd best decide what sort of qualification you think is appropriate? Is that better?--JonGwynne 21:22, 23 Jan 2005 (UTC)
You are making the claim regarding what all GCMs show. It is up to you to document your claim. You can't claim victory by default. If you can't demostrate what all GCMs show, then you shouldn't be making characterizations as to what they all show, should you? --JonGwynne 19:09, 23 Jan 2005 (UTC)
BTW, I notice you utterly failed to address my points about the Mann data. Do you have anything substantive to say on the subject, or was your removal of the legitimate questions regarding the "hockey stick" curve nothing more than petulant censorship? Explain some things to those of us who don't have the benefit of your prodigious insight into all things climatic... explain to us why the Mann data deserve to be taken seriously when they have been so roundly criticized and, from what it appear to me, pretty well discredited. --JonGwynne 19:09, 23 Jan 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 20:42, 23 Jan 2005 (UTC)) You'll have to be more polite if you want me to discuss things with you.
(doffs cap and tugs forelock) Oh please your worship, could you please condescend to pass on your great wisdom to those of us who so unfortunately lack it? (was that good enough?) I repeat: Since the Mann data have been so comprehensively criticized, why should we take them seriously?--JonGwynne 21:22, 23 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I also added some discussion of the shortcomings of the Mann numbers.?--JonGwynne 14:28, 23 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I see that WMC et al are still up to their old tricks of trying to stifle disagreement with their particular POV by violating wikipedia policy and unnecessarily reverting changes rather than discussing them or modifying the changes in order to improve the article. Further, in spite of having repeatedly attempted to engage them on these questions, they have simply refused to address them.


  • There is considerable and legitimate question as to whether the temperature measurements taken are sensitive/accurate enough to definitively establish an increase in temperature.
  • The "Mann data" are particularly at issue since they fail to demonstrate well-established climatic variations which occurred in the past.
  • Carbon dixoide is not the most significant greenhouse gas either in its effect or in the amount that exists in the atmosphere.
  • They still insist on using the absolute statement regarding what they claim "all climate models" show when that have failed to demonstrate how they have established what all climate models show.

Would anyone care to address these issues?

(William M. Connolley 12:41, 25 Jan 2005 (UTC)) Yes indeed:

  • Even George Bush accepts the existence and size of the warming. There is room for quibble about the exact size (which is why , in the NPOV form, its given with error bounds) but not the degree of doubt you want.
Here's a tip, you don't want to offer GW Bush's opinion to me if you hope to convince me of anything. As far as I am concerned, Bush's opinions are of little value on much of anything - particularly a subject like this. If we were discussing how to cause a business to fail and how to get taxpayer money to bail it out, or how to use family connections to avoid military service, then I might be interested in his expert opinion. In the meantime, politicians like Bush, Gore and the rest of these trust-fund babies who have demonstrated that they have no idea how the real world works should play in their part of the yard and leave the rest of us alone. I can't for the life of me imagine why you would mention him in this context.
Sorry, to address your point: I have no trouble with the numbers you posted, I have no doubt that they are as accurate as it was possible to make them. But. what's wrong with pointing out that they are not yet conclusive?

  • Calling it the "Mann data" shows your POV. It isn't, though the skeptics do their hardest to label it as such. The first paper was MBH - three authors. Subsequent papers with different authors show much the same result. Thre is room for debate on this, and indeed it is debated, on the appropriate pages.
I just used the term because it was one I'd heard, it was short and convenient. I know that there are others responsible for the chart in question. If you have a label you'd prefer, I'll be happy to use it. But that doesn't address the fact that the chart in question fails to show significant climate changes that are known to have happened in the past. That fact would seem to call into question the value of the proxies used to determine climate change. If someone showed me a chart that they claimed would predict the actions of the stock market and, when looking at their past data, the proxies in question failed to show the Great Depression, I would be skeptical of the value of the proxies they used. Wouldn't you? BTW, what POV am I supposed to have. Unlike you, I have no personal or professional state in the global warming theory either way. I would consider myself to be non-partisan and NPOV for that reason.

  • CO2 *is* the most signigficant anthro gas; its also the most sig forcing on climate change. Being over-insistent about the role of WV is another piece os skeptic misleading.
That's an interently partisan (POV, if you like) qualification. Whether or not CO2> is "anthro" or not is irrelevant when discussing it as a greenhouse gas. It is also not entirely true. There are many "non-anthro" sources of CO2> - decaying vegetation as just one example. If we're talking about greenhouse gasses, we should talk about them all, not just the ones we can partially blame on human activity. Don't you think? My point is that there is an element of the self-flagellatory about certain aspects of the GW debate. There are those who are only seemingly happy when they're talking about how evil and destructive human industry is. See what I mean? As I said before, I am very much in favor of reducing the use of fossil fuels as much as possible. I'd like to see biodiesel used extensively (and, if possible, exclusively) as a fuel for transport and power-generation. That would go a long way toward reducing "anthro" CO2> generation. Though, there's not much to be done about the few billion tons a year put into the atmosphere as a result of human respiration.  ;-) --JonGwynne 13:42, 25 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Also, I'm not sure what you mean about being "over insistent" about the role of WV. Does WV have a stronger greenhouse effect than CO2>, or does it not? Is there more WV in the atmosphere than CO2> or is there not? It seems a pretty clear issue to me.--JonGwynne 13:42, 25 Jan 2005 (UTC)
  • This point is simply false, as a read of the article will confirm. The all was taken out long ago, at the suggestion of Silverback - very sensible too. Have you really been doing all these reverts because of an error in your reading of the text?
Without any qualification, the "all" is implicit. Taking out the "all" is irrelevant, it doesn't change the meaning of the statement - it requires qualification. Perhaps you could say something like "All IPCC approved climate models", and then list them. Would that be acceptable?--JonGwynne 13:42, 25 Jan 2005 (UTC)
p.s. I'd like to thank you for being more cooperative and dispensing with the objectionable behavior. Perhaps this is the beginning of a cooperative dynamic. I hope that it can continue. --JonGwynne 13:42, 25 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Scientific consensus vs Consensus science

I have fixed what I consider to be a bogus (and sneaky) link to consensus science disguised as Scientific consensus. There is a distinct difference and the attempt to cause an apparent scientific consensus link lead to a made for the moment consensus science page is flat dishonest. -Vsmith 01:05, 21 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I would say that every link to scientific consensus should be named "scientific consensus", and every link to consensus science should be named "consensus science". The terms refer to different (although related) things, and it would not be correct to point one at the other. The goal here is to provide a clear and complete information source to the reader. Cortonin | Talk 21:37, 23 Jan 2005 (UTC)

External links to []

These links have recently shown up on some of the climate change pages. Is an automated wire service/blog an appropriate link in Wiki articles? —Ben 22:42, 24 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Requests for comment/JonGwynne

(William M. Connolley 23:23, 24 Jan 2005 (UTC)) You are invited to view Wikipedia:Requests for comment/JonGwynne and comment thereon.

Overall Cleanup

I've spent a lot of time cleaning up the document. I appreciate that not everyone will agree with all of the changes I've made and that's fine but rather than reverting the whole, I would appreciate it if you would make changes from this version so the spelling/grammar/spacing corrections I made can stay put. Thanks.--JonGwynne 13:03, 25 Jan 2005 (UTC)

(William M. Connolley 13:21, 25 Jan 2005 (UTC)) Your version has your POV pushed into it again. If you want to do grammar cleanup, do it on a separate edit, do the "addressing POV" issues separately. "apparent" rise is unacceptable; significant dispute is unacceptable; none of these match the scientific consensus around the issue.
Well, according to your POV, it is POV. That's fine. I hope that we can resolve this without reverting to reverting. --JonGwynne 13:53, 25 Jan 2005 (UTC)
What's wrong with "apparent rise"? The increase hasn't been definitively established - it has been accepted by consensus and that's certainly something. But to say that it is definitely and absolutely rising ignores the legitimate concern over the methods used to establish the claim. Put another way, saying something is "apparently" true, doesn't change the fact. I could say that you "apparently" have a doctorate, or that you claim to have a doctorate. These statements would be true. I haven't personally validated your qualifications so I don't know for certain whether you have a doctorate or not. When I qualify my statements, I'm not attempting to diminish your credentials, but rather pointing to my own uncertainty. See the difference? --JonGwynne 13:53, 25 Jan 2005 (UTC)
What's wrong with "significant dispute"? There is a dispute and it is significant. That seems pretty clear. Whether that statement "matches" the consensus is beside the point. Those with the dispute are not part of the consensus.--JonGwynne 13:53, 25 Jan 2005 (UTC)
I think you are overstating or mistating what the disputes are. Today most skeptics accept that warming is most likely occurring, and although they may have residual doubts about how conclusive the data and analyses are, and still see problems and incompleteness in them, they are not countering the weight of the evidence with publications. The skeptical focus now is on the mismatch between the models with each other and the temperature distribution data and the models oversized predictions compared with what one would expect from the published paleo data and analyses. So your version is not consistent even with skeptics emphasis, but rather seems to be insisting unreasonably on uncertainty for uncertainty's sake, where there isn't much published research to hang your hat on. One can always say "well it ain't proven", but while trivially true, it doesn't have much persuasive power, especially when it is used to insist on overqualifying so many statements.--Silverback 14:14, 25 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Follow-up on the major issues, JonGwynne, there is already a lot of solar variation in the article so your major addition is duplicative, perhaps you don't recognize that the cosmic ray stuff is a proposed indirect mechanism? Your other addition about the CO2 from the large increase in the human population states a largely insignificant contribution when compared not only to the fossil fuel sources but also insignificant when compared to the methane from cattle. It is not worth mentioning.--Silverback 15:17, 25 Jan 2005 (UTC)
The last papers I read on sea level rise referred to pretty high systematic uncertainties, and to a pretty wide range in values measured, depending on what land mass they're measured from. So I think JonGwynne's edit to "appear to be" rising is a bit more fair to the content of the literature. Cortonin | Talk 19:27, 25 Jan 2005 (UTC)
In addition, the line "There are no known climatologists supporting this viewpoint", even if true, is a crappy phrase to put in an encyclopedia. If you want to have a line like that with a sweeping generalization, then you should document it. So in order to keep it, please list all known climatologists, and beside it place their views. (Since claims like that should always be documented.) Cortonin | Talk 19:27, 25 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Also, the line "The majority of scientists agree that important climate processes are incorrectly accounted for by the climate models but don't think that better models would change the conclusion." is not sufficiently documented. JonGwynne's change of this to refer specifically to the IPCC is more correct. I don't recall anyone ever surveying physicists, chemists, or biologists about their opinions on climate modelling, so lets not make undocumented claims about the majority of scientists. There are also some climatologists who have spoken out saying they don't think the IPCC represents the consensus of all climatologists, so lets avoid such debates by simply making such things "According to the IPCC, the majority of climatologists", or something of the sort. Cortonin | Talk 19:27, 25 Jan 2005 (UTC)
And as for "All models show that the warming occurring from approximately 1975 to 2000 is largely anthropogenic." Are we still debating this??? List all climate models so you can document this claim. Cortonin | Talk 19:27, 25 Jan 2005 (UTC)
"Some skeptics would claim that the warming trend itself is not valid, and therefore does not need any explanation." Jon's elimination of the word "would" is correct. This is not a matter of POV, it's a matter of accuracy. It's not that they "would" do it, they have. They've even published papers on it. Cortonin | Talk 19:27, 25 Jan 2005 (UTC)
"Skeptics have been unable to produce a model of the climate that does not predict that temperatures will increase in the future." How about, "The sun stops shining". Seriously, sweeping generalities are not useful. Cortonin | Talk 19:27, 25 Jan 2005 (UTC)
And regarding the temperature since the ice age, I think for accuracy's sake, "relatively stable" is more useful of a term than "quite stable". After all, it's pretty damn cold outside today, but it's no ice age. (Thus, "relatively stable".) Cortonin | Talk 19:27, 25 Jan 2005 (UTC)
And lastly, "and about half the minor ones, I would dispute" If you dispute half the changes, then only revert half the changes!!! This attitude of reverting everything if you can find something you disagree with is completely counter to the way other wikipedia articles are managed, and it makes the climate related articles extremely annoying to work with. Please follow wiki policy and assume good faith. If someone is going to take time out of their day to voluntarilly read an article and think about changes that might improve it, then you should CERTAINLY take time to consider each change before you undo all of that work. This policy of "glance at it, see if there's anything I don't like, and then revert everything" is instead a sweeping assumption of bad faith, and it's very counterproductive. Try to make an effort here to respect other people's contributions and the time they put into them. Cortonin | Talk 19:27, 25 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Sorry, reverting is the way go with such extensive changes intermixed with POV additions. The language corrections that I agree with are not that remarkable and rather than laboriously edit his version which is more divergent from the final product, it would be easier to just proof read the "original" language myself. You should also bear in mind that some of the awkward language is by "design", since it is not the result single authorship, but a compromise, resulting in point and counterpoint. It doesn't make for beautiful literature, but it is the way wiki is done. An understanding of the history, from having participated in the creation, gives one knowledge of which changes that might seem more concise would actually disturb the stability of a compromise article.--Silverback 22:25, 25 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Reverting may be the "easy" way to go, but it is not the wiki-way to go. Here we assume good faith edits, and we work with contributions and other contributers, not to try to oppose them. Cortonin | Talk 10:39, 26 Jan 2005 (UTC)
I certainly agree. However, good faith edits do not imply good edits. JonGwynne built up such a large difference in his version through persistence, not good faith cooperation.--Silverback 10:45, 26 Jan 2005 (UTC)


Why the insistence on claming that CO2 is "the most significant"? First of all, it isn't. Water vapor is the most significant greenhouse gas. CO2 emissions can't even be eclusively attributed to human activities (like, for example, CFCs can).

What's the point of mentioning human activities with regard to CO2?--JonGwynne 18:38, 27 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Your proposed statement is wrong, because water vapor is the most significant greenhouse gas, humans just make their most significant contribution via CO2. The text you are trying to correct does not imply that humans are the sole source of CO2.--Silverback 18:50, 27 Jan 2005 (UTC)
But you have two problems here. The first is that, in this context, the meaning of "significant" is far from clear. Does it mean that CO2 has the strongest greenhouse effect of all GHG? No, we've already established that. Does it have the strongest greenhouse effect of all the anthropogenic GHGs? No again. It is, in fact, one of the weakest. Is it the most toxic? Certainly not. Is it the most persistent? Nope. So, I ask again, Why? should it be considered the "most significant"?--JonGwynne 21:43, 27 Jan 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 22:15, 27 Jan 2005 (UTC)) Its the most significant for the obvious reason: it makes the largest contribution to the GHG of all human-emitted gases. And the WV stuff is irrelevant, of course. Stop trying to minimise the role of CO2. WV is reactive, CO2 is active.
WV has how many times the strength of CO2? There's certainly a lot more of it in the atmosphere. I'm not trying to minimize anything, I'm simply looking for some perspective. How about talking about the tendency of the oceans to absorb CO2? If you waved a magic wand and all anthropogenic CO2 generation stopped, the CO2 levels in the atmosphere wouldn't just stabilize, they'd start to drop precipitously. Also, how do you explain the cooling trend in the middle of the last century in spite of continually rising CO2 levels? Seems to me that CO2 isn't the key factor in global temperature. Yet, you seem to want to suggest that it is. Can we start by clarifying that question? Do you want to suggest that CO2 is the key factor in determining global temperature?
No. But we do want to suggest it is the key human contribution to changes in the greenhouse effect. The human contribution is not the only contribution to CO2 and methane (attributing cattle methane to humans), but the change in these gas levels is measurable and the human contribution best explains recent changes, and this is net of any ocean absorption. The size of the impact of that change is controversial. Keep in mind that water vapor has a much shorter life in the atmosphere, so short that its local values are highly variable. A global human impact that is less reactive like CO2 will, will likely have a greater global influence on both temperature and water vapor itself, than local human water vapor emissions. Understaning the direction and nature of this feedback through water vapor and its contribution to the greenhouse effect, aerosolsa nd clouds is a central area of research.--Silverback 02:18, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Some questions:
  • OK, its the key human contribution, but where does it sit in the overall picture? What percentage of the CO2 increase is attributable to human activity? What percentage to natural sources (e.g. seismic activity, organic decomposition)?
  • When you say "human contribution best explains recent changes", you mean for the CO2 level only, right? Which brings me to:
Wrong, I also mean for methane levels, where there is much natural variation, a human signal has been teased out.--Silverback 03:56, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)
  • What portion of the observed/projected warming is due to that portion of CO2 generated by the burning of fossil fuels?
Fossil fuel CO2 is indistiguishable from other CO2. The net contribution to warming is the controversy, the models disagree with each other, the temperature distribution data and the paleo inferences.--Silverback 03:56, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)
  • Even though water vapor "cycles through" the atmospher more rapidly than CO2, there still is a great deal more of it in the air at any given time, right? Regardless of how much of that WV was actually generated by human activity...
Yes. --Silverback
I think these issues shoud be adressed, don't you?
Some cannot be addressed now and must await further research, if you will carefully review the articles (not just this one, so that duplication is avoided) you will find most of the current state of the science including sides of controversies are represented, perhaps in ways you have difficulty understanding, since the particular point at issue here, took you quite some time.--Silverback 03:56, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)
It's usually not productive to subtly imply that other contributors "have difficulty understanding" or are slow. It's possible for a person to be intelligent and yet just discussing something out of their expertise. Let's try to keep the commentary civil. Cortonin | Talk 05:20, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)
I've got to say that was about the most circumlocutious way of calling someone "stupid" that I've ever seen... and, yes, Cortonin, I agree.--JonGwynne 13:29, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Perhaps it took you some time, not because you were stupid, but because you weren't carefull, as I highlighted in my statement, although as Cortonin pointed out, it may because you are out of your expertise, which should, of course, call for more care. Some of your comments are quite glib and simplistically obvious, which would also indicate lack of serious application. --Silverback 09:31, 29 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I think it's okay to state that the most significant human contributions to greenhouse gases is the contribution of CO2, but in doing so we just have to be careful not to inadvertently imply that CO2 is the most significant human contribution to global temperature (since that is not definitively established), that CO2 is the most significant greenhouse gas (since almost everyone agrees it isn't), or that human contributions are the dominant factor in CO2 levels (since there seem to be wide discrepancies between predicted and actual CO2 levels). I don't believe anyone has been trying to imply either of these things, but keep those things in your mind while rewording that section to make sure none of them are inadvertently implied. Cortonin | Talk 05:20, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)

The problem I have is with the word "significant". In this context is is effectively meaningless. Let's try to find something that is more clear and informative. Is that OK?--JonGwynne 13:29, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)
It is important that the article discuss the ratios of anthropormorphic CO2 and 'natural' CO2 and the use/misuse of proxy data for pre-Industrial Revolution values at a baseline. -Denise Norris 07:24, Jan 28, 2005 (UTC)
Argh, would you people read the paragraph? The preceding sentence discusses how we are trying to understand the influence of humans on global warming, through greenhouse gases - and CO2 is the main gas introduced by humans. I would MUCH RATHER we not say at all that CO2 is the main anthropogenic gas in that sentence than mangle the introductory paragraph by introducing chains of poorly-linked sentences. This discussion can be very nicely fleshed out in a subsequent paragraph, it does NOT need to happen in that one sentence. Shall we turn the whole article into one giant run-on? Graft 15:52, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)

1000 of NH Temp Graph (Hockey Stick)

In light of the serious questions about statistical process in the work of Mann, et al. brought to light by McIntyre & McKitrick, I think that placing a diagram of the hockey stick without at least a disclaimer is highly POV.

Absoutely, I've been trying to get some sort of qualification in for quite some time, but it is invariably shot down by you-know-who. To present the "hockey stick" graph as the absolute and unqualified truth is irresponsible. --JonGwynne 13:29, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Representing anything in science at an absolute and unqualifed truth is not only irresponsible, but foolhardy as well. History is replete with scholars who have had to eat their words. Imagine the damage to the reputations of the scientists who claimed that traveling fast would be injurious to people and then were proven wrong by the advent of the steam locomotive?
A good scientist is someone who always ready to admit that he might have gotten it all wrong, a second-rater is someone who is sure they know the right answer all the time. --Denise Norris 14:12, Jan 28, 2005 (UTC)
Be careful. While you're exactly correct there with both paragraphs, statements like that will get you eaten around here.  :) Welcome. Cortonin | Talk 15:18, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)
I have been flamed before and I am sure I will be flamed again! ;-) --Denise Norris 15:35, Jan 28, 2005 (UTC)

McIntyre & McKitrick identified non-disclosed statistical processing that amplified the proxy data of the Brislecone Pines in such a way that would produce a similar hockey stick with even random noise.

The work McIntyre & McKitrick has been accepted for publication in Geophysical Research Letters (American Geophysical Union). A pre-publication version of the article is available at

Mann, et al. are disagreeing as expected and have set up a counter point at

Personally, I am in favor of removing graph entirely until there is a resolution concerning the approach used by Mann. Furthermore, the article does not even reference it and without clarification, the graph is misleading to the layman. --Denise Norris 08:46, Jan 28, 2005 (UTC)

(William M. Connolley 09:28, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)) How about replacing it with one of the many others that show the same thing? Why don't you do some howwork and find a PD one from the IPCC site?
Ummm... Perhaps I was not clear. The work of McIntyre & McKitrick shows that the hockey stick is invalid statistically. How about just removing it or explaining it? Why don't you read M&M's work and let me know your opinion? --Denise Norris 09:48, Jan 28, 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 09:56, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)) Perhaps you missed my point. There are other reconstructions which show much the same thing. Oh, and while I'm here, I think MBH are correct and M&M are wrong. M&M's work does *not* invalidate MBH.
Well, your POV is immaterial here as would be any of your orginal work. --Denise Norris 10:08, Jan 28, 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 10:23, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)) And neither is your POV. MM have been assiduous in trying to attack MBH but its not clear why the rest of us should believe them. One paper - not even yet published - doesn't overturn a whole lot of other work just by itself, until people have had a chance to read it, assess it, and either accept or reject it.
M&M's work was orginally published in 2003. Perhaps you need to update yourself on body of work? You know... do your homework.... --Denise Norris 11:42, Jan 28, 2005 (UTC)
You have to be very careful when you criticize or contradict WMC, he's very sensitive about it. For him it seems to be the equivalent of heresy and he behaves towards those who challege the orthodox (i.e. IPCC) view as heretics. If you're not careful, you'll find yourself the subect of an RFC.--JonGwynne 13:29, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 12:59, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)) Indeed it was. But M&M have a history of making mistakes... degrees and radians, that kind of thing... do your homework (no, thats asking too much, I'll do it for you:

(William M. Connolley 10:23, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)) I've just realised that MM05 isn't even published. Wiki is here to reflect the mainstream view, whilst giving space to minor views. There is no way that a paper not even published can affect that.

WIki is here to provide NPOV articles, but it is clear you have an agenda to insert your POV into the process. --Denise Norris 11:42, Jan 28, 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 12:59, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)) Trying to find a NPOV for the climate articles is very hard, as most people that care to contribute seem to have rather strong opinions. One way is to keep it focussed on the *published* science, which seems like a rather good idea. When MM05 gets published, then its worth talking about.
Presenting only the hockey stick graph without a discussion is hardly neutral. I don't care if M&M, per se, is discussed, but there should a mention that there are challenges to the MBH work if only so the reader has the opportunity to form an informed opinion.
If the hockey stick graph is on the article, it needs to be discussed in a neutral manner and that it's accuracy not only disputed, buts fails to even indicate that the medieval climatic optimum (700 AD to 1300 AD) or the Little Ice Age (Maunder Minimum). When I was last studying Atmospheric Sciences (granted, it was a long time ago that I received my degree), the Maunder Minimum and the associated years without a summer were pretty much accepted facts. Of course back then, many of the scare mongers were busy getting grants to prove were entering another Ice Age! Or that we would all be starving by the year 2000, etc...
(William M. Connolley 20:33, 31 Jan 2005 (UTC)) That too is wrong. See for details.
All I am advocating is that either the graph has to go or a brief discussion of the implications and controversy around the graph has to be added in order to create a NPOV. My use of M&M was an example that there is controversy - it was not an endorsement of their work.
Stick to debating that point for the moment. --Denise Norris 14:12, Jan 28, 2005 (UTC)
Now count to ten and re-read what I wrote before responding. --Denise Norris 14:12, Jan 28, 2005 (UTC)
Well done. We've been trying to make this point to WMC for some time now.--JonGwynne 14:54, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Well, in the fifteen minutes I've been reading about this debate (I'll read more later I promise) I hardly see the justification for minimizing the graph. In the end one must ask whether M&M are correct, in their analysis of Mann et al, and in their larger point that late-20th century warming is not anomalous. Mann defends his original paper reasonably enough, on the first point, and on the second, Mann is one of scads of papers using different methods to demonstrate that late-20th century warming is unprecedented. So... what discussion do you have in mind? To what purpose? Graft 16:10, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Whether M&M are correct or not is not the issue. The real core problem is if we trust the MBH98 results – often portrayed as the famous hockey stick currently under discussion.
The reason the validity of MBH98 is so important is not what it tells us about the last 100 or so years, but what it tries to tell us about the previous eight or nine centuries.
MBH98 describes relatively benign climatic conditions until 1950 for North America until ‘global warming’ kicks in, leading some to believe that there is a correlation to global warming with expansion of industrialization at the end of World War 2 – This included a switch from coal to petroleum as the primary source of energy. However, if MBH98 is incorrect and there is greater climate variability then shown on the hockey stick, the current trend of global warming may just be climatic change and the entire human race is along for the ride, like it or not.
The consensus for global warming starts to fall apart when we move out of the 1880 to 1950 range. Urban heat islands distort the surface temperature dataset (whose monitoring stations do not represent nearly as much of the ‘surface’ as one could hope) and even appears to influence the Near-Surface dataset.
More importantly, there is a great deal on dissent on the paleoclimatic side of things. The MBH98 data is the accepted model for historical climate and is used to justify Kyoto when selling the Treaty to the public.
Depending on the revert of the minute, there is no discussion of the disagreements with the graph leading the lay reader to assume that it is accepted by all scientists. So, either we need to point out to the reader that there is dissent on the representation of reality supplied by MBH98 and direct them to the proper page for additional information. To knowing exclude such information from the reader is just pushing a POV. --Denise Norris 17:33, Jan 28, 2005 (UTC)

I had added a more detailed discussion of the Hockey Stick figure and its possible mismatch with MWP and LIA. JonGwynne deleted most of it. Before I get into an edit war: Why? --Stephan Schulz 17:14, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)

How about we come to a consensus here on the talk page before editing and reverting repeatly on the article? Give it a few days so all have a chance to be heard. The MBH98 results are the very heart of the arguement for man-made global warming and that belief is near and dear to many.

Well, as far as I can tell, my text was purely descriptive (both of the graph and its interpretation) and should not be contentious. I'm offering it as a starting point:

Over the past 20,000 years the dominant temperature signal has been the end of the last ice age, approximately 12,000 years ago [7]. Since then the temperature has been relatively stable, though with various (possibly local) fluctuations, e.g. Medieval Warm Period or Little Ice Age. The graph "10 centuries of NH temperature" shows a reconstruction of average temperature in the northern hemisphere, computed from proxy data (e.g. tree rings and ice core analysis) and, for recent times, actual temperature measurements. While it shows a slighly warmer climate in medieval time, followed by drop in temperature until the mid 19th century, the effect is not very pronounced. This leads some people to question the validiy of the reconstruction, while others consider it as evidence that the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age were more localized than previously assumed.

At least the description of what the graph shows (reconstructed northern hemisphere temperatures, based on proxies) should be somewhere. --Stephan Schulz 18:23, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)

The basic issue here is not if MBH98 is correct or incorrect, but do we add text stating it is disputed. Let's not end up debating MBH98 itself. --Denise Norris 17:33, Jan 28, 2005 (UTC)
I'm sure we could debate to great length about whether MBH98 is a sensible result or not, and that would be an interesting debate to have somewhere else. But you're right that the fact remains that the statistics used to generate it were legitimately questioned and are still legitimately under dispute. This definitely needs to be mentioned when that plot is going to be used. Let the reader know and let the reader decide. Cortonin | Talk 19:02, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)
There's another issue which hasn't been brought up, and that's the question of the error bars. If you look at the discussion here, you'll see that the original version had much larger error bars, perhaps indicating the systematic uncertainties in the early temperatures, while the later one, currently in use, seems to have been generated by a wikipedian who discarded those error bars in favor of generating new ones simply using statistical error. I believe this may be artificially overstating the certainty and accuracy of the early temperatures. Cortonin | Talk 19:02, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)

(William M. Connolley 18:09, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)) Do you think you might want to address my point that several other non-MBH records show pretty much the same thing? You are aware of that, aren't you?

Yep, but that was not the purpose of my comment here. But if you want to discuss it on the Temperature record of the past 1000 years page, I will be glad to have a reasonable and polite discussion. --D. Norris 18:20, Jan 28, 2005 (UTC)
If the entire source of the dispute is one crappy paper by M&M, to which Mann has responded (although obviously not in print yet), I don't agree that the debate needs to be highlighted. If you have a more definitive dispute you want to describe, I'm unclear as of yet on what that is. Graft 18:26, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Ummmm.... No, it is more than one paper. It is more than just one author. Dr. Hans von Stoch comes to mind as well. BTW, have you read M&M to see for yourself if it is truly a 'crappy' paper?
Oh yes, one more thing... Mann responded and M&M responded, etc... which is how science get done. --D. Norris 18:37, Jan 28, 2005 (UTC)

I think that there is going to be a storm of controversity when MM05 is published in February.

The Financial Post:

Breaking the Hockey Stick - Part 1

The lone Gaspe cedar - Part II

Lets move further discussion on this to Talk:Temperature_record_of_the_past_1000_years under MM05 heading (forgot to sign --D. Norris 16:52, Jan 29, 2005 (UTC))

Unsigned one. When this is published will be the time to get this on one of the main pages. It sounds the like these authors have good responses to the issues raised by the defenders of the original results.--Silverback 16:15, 29 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Agreed... that is why I suggested the talk page for now. --D. Norris 16:52, Jan 29, 2005 (UTC)
Also, thanx for your references above. It looks like the authors of other studies will come under great pressure to make their data available and show that they are not subject to the same errors. To the extent that the hockey stick on this page is dependent on the Mann data, it may have to go. Since it is probably just one component, handling it properly will be problematic. It sounds like what was thought to be the best hockeystick paper has all but fallen. Weaker ones will have to take up the slack if they can withstand the fire.--Silverback 18:01, 29 Jan 2005 (UTC)

See my blog [8] for the MM05 paper, articles about the paper, and my comments. Maybe guys, we should really show our patience and only post the text about MM05 once it's officially published. William can enjoy the last weeks of decent life before his hockey team is recognized as the authors of the most costly scientific fraud in the history of the humankind. Their future is about as bright as the future of Saddam Hussein after he was found in the spider hole. ;-) You know, there may be a huge snowstorm of the people who will show that the rest of the papers supporting global warming is (probably) fraud, too. --Lumidek 21:06, 29 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I assume that version is not the final paper, it will be interesting to see if they incorporate further responses to points already raised by Mann, et al. I would not call the Mann paper a fraud, perhaps a mistake blinded by bias, but instead, unfortunately, it should probably be praised for at least providing enough detail for a critical analysis. It is embarrassing that the raw data is not available for some of the other papers. Open corrections such as this are the way science is supposed to work, and should improve the quality and openness of future work.--Silverback 06:18, 30 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Dear Silverback, I mostly agree with you. But the reasons why I tend to think that this deserves the label "fraud" are the following: Mann et al. have had the directory called "CENSORED" in which they most likely obtained the graph without the hockey stick shape, properly. But they deliberately continued to make various modifications until the shape is obtained. The "standardization" of the period 1900-1980 that they did is perfectly correlated with the "blade" of the hockey stick. I just don't believe that they did not get the idea that the different shape for 1900-1980 and their different treatment of 1900-1980 are uncorrelated. My experience does not suggest that these people are examples of scientific integrity. The money for the research of climate is certainly used highly inefficiently. It's just amazing that for these roughly billions of dollars, they can't make a controllable treatment of this important data. I am sure that a motivated and smart statistician could verify all these statistically based papers for 1/1,000 of the amounts that are normally spent. --Lumidek 17:21, 30 Jan 2005 (UTC)
I agree that the "CENSORED" label is suspicious, and I hope there is a reasonable explanation for this. If it is part of an evidence trail of fraud, what prevented them from deleting it, rather than giving it an attention attracting name? If they are innocent, I hope they have the sense to openly acknowledge mistakes and limitations, and explain for the betterment of science where they went wrong.--Silverback 18:27, 30 Jan 2005 (UTC)

US Record

This is absolutely relevant to the discussion of temperature trends. Even though WMC apparently doesn't like the data because they don't agree with his pre-concieved views, the fact remains that there is no other collection of actual temperature data over such a large geographical area for as long a duration. The reason for this should be fairly obvious: during the time in question, the US hasn't been subject to any world wars, revolutions or any of the other things that make meticulous science and record-keeping impossible. If someone has data from another country or region they'd like to contribute, let's have that posted as well. But the idea that the US record should be removed is simple unacceptable.

There is already language in the article which makes it clear that records for the US don't necessarily reflect the state of the entire globe. What else is needed?--JonGwynne 19:05, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I have no strong opinion on wether the US temperatures should be in or out. But please, whenever someone restores them, please restore a correct version. The graph displayed shows only the temperature record for the lower 48 states, or about 30% of North America, not "most of it". Check the source! --Stephan Schulz 02:23, 29 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Regardless of why Dr Connoll(E)y removed the comment, lets consider the US surface temperature for a moment.
Two major issues cloud the surface record:
1) Urban Heat Island Effect (UHIE) ( and;
2) there are concerns about the coverage and duration of the collecting stations(
If we wish to include the GISTEMP dataset, there needs to be a similar disclaimer as the 1000 yr record.
Perhaps a more interesting group of datasets is the Near Surface, Sea Surface, Balloon and Satellite. I know someone is going to jump on my case for posting a link from this site: --D. Norris 19:41, Jan 28, 2005 (UTC)

(William M. Connolley 11:03, 29 Jan 2005 (UTC)) Junkscience is junk, of course. I removed the US record (and will again) because there is no reason to put in this particular part of the world. The reason the skeptics like it, of course, is because it shows lower than average warming. So we could put in somewhere that shows higher than average, but that would make no more sense. *If* the article developes a section on regional variations of trends, then it would make sense.

You are right, Bill! Localized trends have no place in a global warming article. So lets keep it out. By the same token, we need to remove the 1000yr Northern Hemisphere graph and all references to MBH98 as that is not a global warming trend either. Good point! Glad to have a expert like you on board! --D. Norris 12:59, Jan 29, 2005 (UTC)
It IS a good point - are you seriously suggesting that the US record is on the same par as a hemisphere-wide summary? Can you be less snide, as well? Graft 17:36, 29 Jan 2005 (UTC)
That was sarcasm, sorry you missed it. --D. Norris 17:41, Jan 29, 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 21:22, 29 Jan 2005 (UTC)) Ah, but in that case you shouldn't keep removing the NH record from the page. Your put in an edit comment: Pls, it is important to be consistant... most of the data is really US data anyhow...). The second part is wrong. The first part is correct, but misapplied. We have essentially global data since say 1860: so there is no reason to show one regional record. But we don't have good global data for the last 1000 years, so the NH record makes sense. Please stop this nonsense.
How about we try for a compromise? You stop removing the US record because it disagrees with your POV and amplify the importance of it demonstating the variablity of the GIS record by specific locale. This is the least of the issues you should be worrying about defending. MM05 is coming! --D. Norris 21:38, Jan 29, 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 12:48, 30 Jan 2005 (UTC)) How about you write a nice informative article about regional variations, if you're so interested in them? MM05 appears to be a political stunt, judging from the reations of the various skeptics here.
??? Sorry, but do you realize how insane that last sentence sounds? Cortonin | Talk 18:31, 30 Jan 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 19:52, 30 Jan 2005 (UTC)) Its pretty clear from the comments of the skeptics that they are judging the paper on their prejudices, not its text. I very much doubt that they have read it, or understood it.
I subscribe to Cortonin's definition of insanity. For me it just sounds absolutely incredible that William M. Connolley, as he explains on his talk page, has not read the paper (MM05) yet. I've read not only the paper, but also all articles that comment on this paper, even though it is not my field. Is William really trying to picture himself as an expert, even though he judges the paper by "the reations [sic] of the various skeptics here"? (William M. Connolley 09:52, 31 Jan 2005 (UTC) comment edited for civility) Do you really believe that even after February, your politicized science will continue as "usual"? (William M. Connolley 09:52, 31 Jan 2005 (UTC) ditto) The paper MM05 is a technically excellent paper - something that you and your Mannly friends will never be able to write. --Lumidek 00:53, 31 Jan 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 09:52, 31 Jan 2005 (UTC)) MM05 hasn't been published, but that didn't stop you putting it into the pages. I don't like science by press release, which is what MM are doing. MM haven't realised how little any of what they are doing matters, even in the unlikely event of their being correct.
I think its main impact will be to weaken the fear mongering by putting the current warming in historical perspective, perhaps climatologists who try to reproduce paleo and modern climates with the same model may also have an easier time matching correct data, than incorrect data. Also, other results will now be discounted if their data is not available for reanalysis.--Silverback 15:20, 31 Jan 2005 (UTC)

(William M. Connolley 15:24, 31 Jan 2005 (UTC)) Well, very nice, lets wait till its published (or rather, I will; it really isn't very important). In the meantime, what about the inclusion (or as I'd prefer, exclusion) of the US record?

I don't see a reason to have a revert war here, if there is another prominent climate page where it would be acceptable to you. I personally have not felt that strongly either way however. I think the NH data will come under serious question when the MM05 paper is published, especially since some of the other studies have been unable to allow their analysis to be reproduced due shoddy care of the raw data.--Silverback 15:44, 31 Jan 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 16:40, 31 Jan 2005 (UTC)) This would seem to be where we start to diverge. However, hopefully we can do so in a civilised way. I think its a shame that the people who seem so very interested in regional change spend their time inserting inappropriate pictures and text here rather than starting a proper page about it.
It would of course be wrong to make global arguments on the basis of the US record (which I hope no one is trying to do, although JonGwynne seems to be leaning in that direction in the comment that started this section); it IS illustrative of regional variation, but there's no particular reason to have an extensive discussion of it here, unless it is the basis for a prominent critique of global averages (which I think is being alleged). Is this the case? If so, who advances this critique and is it seriously considered? If not, why discuss the US record in particular here? Would D. Norris or J. Gwynne like to weigh in? Graft 17:15, 31 Jan 2005 (UTC)
The US data is a significant part of the cited northern hemisphere data, since historically much of central and east asia has poor coverage and wars have disrupted European data. Given the significance of the upcoming publication, perhaps there will be an acompanying editorial that helps put it in perspective, including the extent to which the NH data and the IPCC analysis depends upon it and should be reassessed. Any quotes there and from the authors might be of more assistance than asking readers to interpret the US data themselves.--Silverback 18:27, 31 Jan 2005 (UTC)
The US record was in the article until Dr C. unilaterally deleted it without any discussion. I restored and modified it as an example of both the regional variations (to address some of Dr C's objections and to demostrate the difficulties getting a surface trend that accurately reflects reality. My feeling is until there is at least some discussion and the opportunity for all to consider the proposed removal of the US Temp record, it should stay in it's current form or even revert further back and remove my additional text. --D. Norris 17:41, Jan 31, 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 18:14, 31 Jan 2005 (UTC)) There is plenty of discussion here, so don't pretend I removed it without discussion. It a regional record, not a global one. There is no reason to present it here.
Well actually, Graft, the idea that the U.S. data is more representative is actually put forward, and reasonably well argued. See [9] for an example (starting on page 3). He puts forth that care has been taken with the U.S. data set to avoid phenomena such as the urban heat island effect (known to have yielded a temperature rise which exceeds the observed global temperature rise), but that the rest of the global data has not had similar care taken. He also argues that this indicates there may not actually be any net warming which has occurred, but only statistically insignificant fluctuations, since the largest data set which carefully accounts for systematic effects shows no significant rise. He also argues that satellite temperature data corresponds to the U.S. temperature data, but does not correspond to the global temperature data, indicating that accuracy may be higher for the U.S. data set. Whether or not we agree with this as Wiki editors, it IS a reasoned and published scientific argument, it DOES point to the shortcomings of our temperature measurements (and the fact that we can't go back and remeasure past measurement errors), and it not only warrants inclusion here, but also says we shouldn't go censoring out a perfectly good U.S. data set. Cortonin | Talk 18:38, 31 Jan 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 19:03, 31 Jan 2005 (UTC)) The paper you so frequently cite is from 1990 - 15 years ago. In terms of observations and theory, thats a long time. Its obsolete; it was a minority (well, one person) view even then.
I was going to point out that the TAR comments on urban heat islands extensively and specifies their (negligible) contribution, but WMC already seems to have removed it from the article. Does anyone argue against that result? I.e. that UHI is responsible for at most 0.05 deg/century of apparent warming? Graft 19:51, 31 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Are you implying the UHIE does not influence urban stations? Because that is what the article says. No one said that UHIE adds to Global Warming. --D. Norris 20:20, Jan 31, 2005 (UTC)
The contention you are making is that UHIE distorts the temperature record in urban stations, thus suggesting an apparent warming where there is actually no significant warming. This has been studied and reported in the TAR; the contribution of the UHIE to apparent (observed) warming is only 0.05/century. The rest of the observed warming is due to something else (e.g. a real warming trend). Is that clear enough? Does anyone dispute that claim? If not, why the emphasis on the UHIE? Graft 20:48, 31 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Are you saying UHIE doesn't influence urban monitoring stations? Do you have a source on that? --D. Norris 20:55, Jan 31, 2005 (UTC)
Ugh, no. I'm saying the amount by which the UHIE distorts the temperature record is statistically insignificant. That is, the trend is the same whether you consider all data or only non-urban stations. Check out: Easterling et al, Science, 277 364-367. Graft 21:03, 31 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Oh Good, then we agree! I will restore the UHIE affects individual stations and leave in that it is thought not to be significant. --D. Norris 21:20, Jan 31, 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 21:25, 31 Jan 2005 (UTC)) Don't be silly.

(William M. Connolley 21:25, 31 Jan 2005 (UTC)) Of course it was sourced, to the urban heat island page. Its all there you know... a couple of comments: this is one area where the IPCC TAR is slightly out of date: more recent work (its all on the UHI page) from Petersen (for the US) and Parker (globally) suggests a *lower* influence from the UHI than the TARs estimate. And the 0.05 is an upper bound, not a best guess. Perhaps I should read Easterling, too.

Err, right, upper bound - I misspoke. Easterling says nothing as far as that number, but does do comparison of urban vs. non-urban based on a meta dataset defining "urban" stations, and concludes there's nothing of significance.
D. Norris, do you have some purpose here other than FUD? I'm still unclear why you feel all of this needs to be played up so much. Can you clarify the nature of the disagreement in the following sentence? While the accuracy of the collected station data is not in dispute, the records suffer from incomplete coverage, geographically and historically, making the conclusions drawn from the data subject to disagreement. Graft 21:51, 31 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Why I am here is immaterial. If you wish to start resorting to ad hominem attacks and snide comments, I doubt we will have a constructive dialog.
Since pretty much I wrote the sentence to which you refer, I doubt I am in dispute with it. Dr C. seems to be the one who keeps editing it out, so you best ask him the same question! Right now, I am quite satisfied with the text on UHIE as it stands with your recent edits. --D. Norris 22:09, Jan 31, 2005 (UTC)
Sorry - I don't mean "do you have some purpose here" as in "on Wikipedia", i mean, "in pressing this debate". And the disagreement to which I refer is the one mentioned in that sentence: "...conclusions drawn from the data subject to disagreement." What is the nature of the disagreement in question? Simply throwing up a fog around the subject will not do - we should be clear. Graft 22:13, 31 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Apology Accepted. Moving on - If you don't feel that there is any disagreement that the GIS is compromised because of issues with reporting duration and geographical coverage, then perhaps you can explain why NASA specifically states that they exclude stations? I sourced it right there! --D. Norris 22:30, Jan 31, 2005 (UTC)

I'd just like to point out that if there's a problem with the pre-1990 temperatures in 1990, that problem will not be resolved in the pre-1990 temperatures by 2005. We can't go back in time and retake old temperatures, we can simply rehash the old data. Cortonin | Talk 01:09, 1 Feb 2005 (UTC)

(William M. Connolley 09:24, 1 Feb 2005 (UTC)) Not necessarily true, in fact quite likely wrong. There has been an awful lot of work on the T record over the last 15 years - its quite an "hot" topic you know. People have improved the corrections to old data and found old stuff not previously available. Also, L's piece is not a research article on this - more a comment piece. Ie, its not a primary source.

WV is not the dominant GHG

(William M. Connolley 09:42, 1 Feb 2005 (UTC)) This keeps coming up. WV is not the dominant GHG. It is the largest contributor to the effect (60-70%) but it is "submissive" rather than dominant. This comes up so often I wrote about it:

I believe that's more of a semantical argument. We're not talking about sexual dominance, nor are we talking about control. What is really trying to be said is that water vapor is the most significant greenhouse gas in the sense of contributing the largest portion to the greenhouse effect, but the trick is to say that while avoiding the POV of "significance" in terms of "importance". I think there should be no statements at all about which greenhouse gas is most "important", since any assessment of importance would be entirely POV. The word "largest" invokes images of size more than effect size, which just makes it not seem like the best word choice. There are only a few short English phrases I can think of that might describe it: "the most significant", "the dominant", "the major", "the primary", "the principal", and "the most prominent". And the challenge is to pick the best of these. Cortonin | Talk 19:24, 1 Feb 2005 (UTC)
In the process of doing this, we must avoid phrases like, "the greenhouse effect, caused principally by anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide." I think we can all agree that's incorrect, since everyone pretty much agrees that carbon dioxide is not the greenhouse gas with the largest contribution. Cortonin | Talk 19:24, 1 Feb 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 20:49, 1 Feb 2005 (UTC)) If you quote the sentence in full, you objections are resolved: it says: The most common global warming theories attribute temperature increases to increases in the greenhouse effect caused principally by human-generated (anthropogenic) emissions of carbon dioxide.. Which is correct. However, to avoid ambiguity, I've reworded it slightly.
It's sort of like saying, "It can't be concluded, either within or outside of England, that by any reasonable conclusion William M. Connolley kicks puppies." Technically this sentence says that you don't kick puppies, yet it certainly doesn't feel like it's saying that when you read the sentence. Cortonin | Talk 02:49, 2 Feb 2005 (UTC)
It doesn't fix it to say, "increases in the greenhouse effect, those increases caused principally by human-generated (anthropogenic) emissions of carbon dioxide", because the climate models which are predicting significant increases to the greenhouse effect do not receive this principally from carbon dioxide, but instead from positive feedback, and this is too complicated to explain correctly in the opening paragraph. Let's leave the first paragraph simple, outline the topic in the next couple paragraphs, and then provide detail further down. Cortonin | Talk 02:49, 2 Feb 2005 (UTC)

This may help in writing:

B.7 I understand water vapour dominates the natural greenhouse effect. Doesn't this make changes in the concentrations of other greenhouse gases insignificant?

Response: No! While water vapour represents about two-thirds of the natural greenhouse gases, changes in its concentrations are determined primarily by changes in atmospheric temperature and related effects on the hydrological cycle. As increases in other greenhouse gases warm the atmosphere and surface, the amount of water vapour also increases, amplifying the initial warming effect of the other greenhouse gases.

Background: Water vapour is indeed one of the most potent and abundant greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. If the effects of all greenhouse gases other than water vapour were ignored, the natural greenhouse effect would be about 60-70% of observed values, compared to about 25% if only CO2 were present. However, humans have little direct effect on water vapour concentrations. Rather, its concentrations respond to changes in temperature and other natural atmospheric processes. Warmer atmospheric temperatures, whether caused by increased greenhouse gas concentrations or other causes, increase the amount of water vapour that the atmosphere can hold. Likewise, warmer surface temperatures increase the rate of global evaporation of water from land ecosystems and ocean surfaces. Much of the increased evaporation comes down again as increased precipitation, but some remains in the atmosphere as water vapour. During recent decades, for example, a rise in global temperatures has been accompanied by an increase in global precipitation and observations of rising moisture content of the atmosphere over many parts of the world. The increase in water vapour also affects other aspects of the climate system, particularly clouds. Most scientists agree that the overall effect of the direct and indirect feedbacks caused by increased water vapour content of the atmosphere significantly enhances the initial warming that caused the increase - that is, it is a strong positive feedback. However, the magnitude of this effect depends on where the increases take place within the atmosphere. If these occur in atmospheric regions where air is already near saturation levels, the additional effect is small. If, on the other hand, it occurs in dry air like that over deserts or in the upper troposphere, the effect can be very large. Most models suggest that the enhancement effect will be quite large (on the order of 60%). However, this feedback is very complex, and its magnitude remains one of the key uncertainties in climate models.

Reference: IPPC, 1990 WGI, pp 47-48.

Source Metereological Service of Canada

Urban Heat Islands

This statement, "Recent research shows that the US (and global) records are not much influenced by the Urban heat island" seems to be in both versions of this page, but it is quite conspicuously undocumented. The statement appears to be referring to some specific recent research, but I see no external reference to any of that specific research. We have to be careful with statements like that, because the phrase "recent research" is a powerful one to the reader, and so when it is used it should be documented. I would also suggest the word "indicates" rather than "shows", since all recent research is only indicative until it has had a chance to be tested and evaluated by time. Cortonin | Talk 19:28, 1 Feb 2005 (UTC)

(William M. Connolley 20:45, 1 Feb 2005 (UTC)) Its fully referenced in the UHI article. Furthermore, both verions contain " (Peterson 2003; Parker 2004)" which are the references. Just how much more do you need?
First, that's a fairly incomplete referencing style. It's okay to use that in a journal article if the end of the article then contains a more detailed reference. But it's completely ineffective in that form. There are 3.8 million google hits for Peterson 2003. The first environmental researcher listed is this woman [10], but I see no publications from 2003 on this topic (although she does have many publications from 2003, indicating the magnitude of the problem in using a poor reference format like that). One of the hits is this ppt slide [11] which does actually describe research on the topic of urban heat islands, but is quite unimpressive in its description of the methodology. He takes temperature measurements, categorizes them by type of location, then subtracts off differences in temperature by type of location, and then concludes, "Oh look, now the urban heat island effect is smaller. Those silly people who were saying it was significant were simply biased." The mechanism of categorizing temperatures by location and then subtracting off the effects found in locations of a certain type is a fairly sketchy and dubious way of "showing" that there is no contribution from locations of another certain type. If I were sitting at the conference where that talk was given you can bet my hand would be in the air asking about confounding correlations, and yours should be too. Cortonin | Talk 18:30, 3 Feb 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 09:52, 7 Feb 2005 (UTC)) Have you really not taken the trouble to follow the link to the UHI page? Please do that, find the correct references which are, appropriately, listed there; and read them.
WMC: Using that only source commits the Appeal to Authority fallacy. Other scientists ( disagree that it's insignificant.--Atlastawake 02:57, 13 Mar 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 10:16, 13 Mar 2005 (UTC)) The UHI page commits the "appeal to reading published papers" non-fallacy. You however are committing the "appeal to dodgy website" fallacy. I suggest, if you're interested in the UHI, that you read the Parker and Petersen papers (or if you can't be botehred to do that, at least read the descriptions of them on the UHI page). And I don't understand what you mean by "other scientists" in linking to the WH page.

Unspecified disagreement

D. Norris, I'm still unclear on this:

the disagreement to which I refer is the one mentioned in that sentence: "...conclusions drawn from the data subject to disagreement." What is the nature of the disagreement in question? Simply throwing up a fog around the subject will not do - we should be clear. Graft 22:13, 31 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Apology Accepted. Moving on - If you don't feel that there is any disagreement that the GIS is compromised because of issues with reporting duration and geographical coverage, then perhaps you can explain why NASA specifically states that they exclude stations? I sourced it right there! --D. Norris 22:30, Jan 31, 2005 (UTC)

NASA excludes stations to remove distortions from the UHI - this has absolutely nothing to do with the incompleteness of temperature records, so I don't know why you bring this up. Furthermore, I am asking HOW temperature trend estimates are compromised by incompleteness of the record - do you have a source that states this is a substantial problem not allowing reconstruction and accurate estimates? NASA seems to think they can do it okay from 1800 on, if this is the source you're relying on. Obviously spotty data is worse than complete data, but your text implies "Spotty data means we can't really know what's going on." Who makes this claim? Graft 22:44, 1 Feb 2005 (UTC)

NASA excludes an unspecified number of the stations for those graphs. Look at the station graphs: and read the text:
In our analysis, we can only use stations with reasonably long, consistently measured time records.
What remains unclear is defination of reasonably long. Also judging from the graphs, about 50% of the stations have record length of less than 40 years, which would be about 1965. This makes the preceding 85 years represented by less then 50% of the sample.
Let assume reasonably long is 50 yrs.
a) Less then 3000 stations would be included.
b) Less then 80% of the NH and less than 50% of the SE is located with in 1200 km of a station.
Assume reasonably long is 100 yrs.
a) About 1000 stations included
b) Less than 65% of the NE and less than 30% of the SE is located with in 1200 km of a station.
BTW, within 1200 km would out to be about 4.9 million sq km of coverage for a station.

Sounds a little spotty to me. --D. Norris 23:52, Feb 1, 2005 (UTC)
Sorry for the late response... Anyway, you should read Hansen's paper, it answers a good number of these issues, on how the data was cleaned and constructed, as well as the distribution of station coverage for select years. And the relevant question remains: "Sounds a little spotty to me" is not justification for the sentence above. Your opinion is irrelevant; is there a published (or even non-published) paper by a scientist in the field which states clearly why Hansen's paper is incorrect, or what the source of error is? Otherwise, we should not report that it is "subject to dispute". Graft 17:54, 6 Feb 2005 (UTC)

What is the source of the graph of US data?

I looked at the link in the text which pointed to figure 2.9, however those are not graphs.--Silverback 14:29, 2 Feb 2005 (UTC)

NASA. Check the 'graphs' link that page. --D. Norris 18:48, Feb 2, 2005 (UTC)
I have removed this text and its accompanying graph:
The temperature increase has not been uniform over the globe or over time. For example, the chart showing US temperatures from 1880 to 2005 and shows a much smaller overall warming trend than similar global data. This implies that other areas show warming trends larger than the global trend [12].
This discussion of the chart does not appear to be correct. The chart does not show a smaller overall warming trend than the similar global data, in fact, it does not show any global data at all. To my eyes there does appear to be a warming trend, but the chart does not aid one is assessing that trend relative to any global trend. What is the purpose of the chart and this text? Does this data pose a problem for conclusions about the overall global warming trend? Is there a citation for that? How about the word "much", is there a cite for that word, it doesn't seem scientific. Perhaps the original was statistically significant smaller trend, which is quite different than "much smaller". "much smaller" would be saying something about the difference in the absolute size the of trend rather than the strength of the statistics, after all, a slightly smaller trend, can also be statistically significantly smaller, if the statistics are good enough.--Silverback 21:08, 3 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I think perhaps you're just misreading it, which is probably an indicator that it should be worded more clearly. I took the text to mean that the chart shows a U.S.-wide smaller warming trend than other charts have shown for the global trend. And yes, some consider this significant given the different standards of data acquisition between the datasets. See page 3 of [13]. Cortonin | Talk 05:44, 4 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Thanx for the reference. Reading the article, I can see the points that the author makes with the US data. He argues that it is the best data, yet it shows a smaller trend than what is being published as the global trend. He argues that the US data, since it is over a smaller area, should show more variability than the globally averaged data, instead it shows less variability, from which he argues that the global data was not yet of the statistical quality to show the lower variability that it should. While his arguement about variability and smaller area is correct in the statistical sense, such an argument is based upon the statistical assumption of random sampling, which is hardly true here. Arguments can be made that the continental US, lying in the band of westerlies just east of the northern hemisphere's largest body of water, and with weather systems that are also strongly influenced by moisture from the gulfs of California and Mexico and the even the great lakes, could possibly be less a naturally less variable climate area, at least compared to the large land mass of asia and the more northerly and gulf stream dependent Europe. I think the case he makes is a strong one, especially when the global and historical data are included, but his case is for uncertainty and variability larger than any conclusions that can be drawn from the data.
Given the complexity of the case that he is making, using the US data they way that has been proposed in the edit wars in this article is an oversimplification, and correctly using it would be difficult and not germaine to the issues that are most important at this time. At the time of the 1990 analysis you referenced, the skepticism and uncertainty this author argues for had broad support. What changed that were publications such as those by Mann, and it is the repercussions of the criticisms and refutation of the Mann analysis as they play out this month and later this year in the IPCC meetings that will do more to restore the 1990 skepticism than a rehashing of the arguments made at that time. With the hockey stick in dispute, the magnitude of the natural variability is restored to that suggested by the paleo data, and any modern warming falls easily within that variability. I don't think the level of detail required to make the US data useful and in proper perspective belongs in this "Global warming" article.--Silverback 15:39, 4 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I don't think the complete statistical analysis is necessary for this article either. But I think a quick summary of the possible implications of the U.S. data is perfectly appropriate, and a reference can simply be added for those who care to see the more detailed description of why that is. I do hope you're correct that some more skepticism and questioning of conclusions will return to the community following the criticism of the Mann analysis, but it remains to be seen if that will occur. Once conclusions are accepted, it's often very difficult for people to move back toward questioning them, even if critical support for those conclusions is removed. Cortonin | Talk 00:07, 7 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Comparing the two versions

Let's compare the two versions in dispute:

1. The WMC version states definitively that increases in the greenhouse effect are principally by anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide, a complex statement which to document requires extensive supporting arguments involving climate models with significant uncertainty or appeals to consensus, and even with that is stating conclusively the perspective of only one point of view (which by the style guide should be avoided whenever more neutral language is an equal option).

2. The version put forth by Denorris, Cortonin, et al. contains an ever so slightly simpler and more NPOV opening paragraph which postpones pushing any particular perspective, contains an explanatory introductory paragraph which correctly summarizes the relationship between CO2, water vapor, and the greenhouse effect while explaining that global warming theories examine the mechanisms of the interaction of these things, contains additional temperature information in graph form, and contains data from NASA documenting the contributions of the urban heat island effect.

Now, let's review. Which version could possibly be more NPOV? Version 1, which removes all the information and states a single perspective definitively in the opening paragraph, or version 2, which does not push a perspective but simply provides more detailed explanation and documented information? Cortonin | Talk 18:03, 3 Feb 2005 (UTC)

(William M. Connolley 18:30, 3 Feb 2005 (UTC)) The above just shows how POV your version is. The UHI effect is fully described on the UHI page. Details like that should be there. The lower-48-US graph is a small region and doesn't deserve prominence - the only reason you want it there is because it shows lower-than-average warming. Had it shown higher-than-avg you would have removed it immeadiately with loud cries of "POV!". The opening statement: that increases in the GHE are caused by emissions of anthro GHG, principally CO2, is the std consensus, so by wiki policy belongs at the start, not your weakened version. Even mentioning WV in this context is POV, because it implies it has some important determining property, which it doesn't. You only want it there to muddy the water.
No need to shout! You (Cortonin) wrote: "NOT NPOV TO DEFINITIVELY SAY HUMAN CONTRIBUTION CAUSED INCREASE.", but the original sentence never did so. It was all qualified by "the most common global warming theories"....
I'll try to create a reasonable version that keeps the links and reads nicer. --Stephan Schulz 12:03, 4 Feb 2005 (UTC)
The qualifier did not in any clear way cover the last clause. See above for where I described this. It is also not sufficiently clear to say that common theories predict carbon dioxide to be the primary cause of temperature rises. At best, common theories attribute carbon dioxide to be the initial instigator, and then invoke an entire host of positive feedback mechanisms to amplify this to a sufficiently scary number. I don't think "primarily cause" is at all the right way to phrase that, because it's complicated. That's why I have been advocating for it to be explained more clearly later. First, there are significant positive feedback mechanisms with water vapor. There are also positive feedback mechanisms proposed with plankton or with polar ice melting (such that the ice will no longer reflect as much incident radiation) that are expected by some to cause accelerating feedback [14]. There are also positive feedback mechanisms predicted involving weather patterns [15]. With all these complex doomsday mechanisms being thrown forth, I don't think it's at all sufficient to just begin the article by saying it's all due to anthropogenic carbon dioxide. If it IS all just anthropogenic carbon dioxide, then we don't have a whole lot to worry about as far as increases in temperature. Cortonin | Talk 19:41, 4 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Clarification of these feedback mechanisms is important, and they are quite notably missing from the article. Every mention I've tried to make of feedbacks has gotten reverted. The only mentions of the word "feedback" in the article (all three of them) are bundled with the word "skeptics" or "critics". Why? The proponents of global warming themselves are the ones who put forth all the positive feedback mechanisms in order to get the predictions they calculate, so why are all mention of these being reverted by the proponents of global warming who are editing the article? This does not make sense. Why is there a push to imply that it's all just directly anthropogenic CO2, when that's not what the theories are proposing, and when that alone is not calculated to produce significant warming? Cortonin | Talk 19:41, 4 Feb 2005 (UTC)

(William M. Connolley 20:30, 4 Feb 2005 (UTC)) "my" version, says, correctly, that the common theories attribute the warming to CO2. There are indeed a host of feedback mechanisms but the root cause is CO2 and this is what the intro should say. If a boulder was poised at the top of the mountain and someone came and gave it a little push that set it bouncing off down to smash into a village, would you quibble that the root cause was the push, or would you insist on a pile of qualifiers about the main force being gravity; and that a detailed investigation of the topography was necessary to trace the path of the boulder?

A couple of questions for WMC: First, are you a climatologist or mathemetician - in what discipline was your doctorate granted?
Stick to the issues, this ad hominem stuff is irrelevant.--Silverback 16:36, 5 Feb 2005 (UTC)
What ad hominem? It is a simple question.--JonGwynne 11:13, 6 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Second, with regard to your "boulder" analogy, is the boulder meant to represent CO2? If so, don't you think that's a rather inaccurate analogy since carbon dioxide only makes up a tiny fraction of the atmosphere and its "greenhouse factor" is a fraction of other gasses? In fact, what direct evidence is there that CO2 is a primary contributor to the apparent increase in global temperatures?
(William M. Connolley 17:38, 5 Feb 2005 (UTC)) Read the IPCC report if you're interested. Or the wiki pages, indeed.
Those documents that I have read don't answer the question, that's why I'm asking. If you don't know the answer just say so. and I'll ask someone else.--JonGwynne 11:13, 6 Feb 2005 (UTC)
How, for example, do you reconcile the claim that CO2 is a major factor with the fact that, for several decades during the 20th century, global temperatures decreased significantly in spite of a rapid increase in the CO2 content of the atmosphere? It seems to me that there are some fundamental questions of causality to resolve before anyone can claim to be certain about CO2's role in global temperature. Wouldn't you agree?--JonGwynne 14:29, 5 Feb 2005 (UTC)
sulfate aerosols of vulcanic origin, solar variation? Both are orthogonal to greenhouse gas warming. You aren't claiming these climate variations are due to water vapor effects. CO2 has more impact on global climate, because its half life is longer allowing time to mix completely in both hemispheres, so is long enough that it is accumulating raising average greenhouse effects. The half life water vapor is short, it is not accumulating, although there is some positive feedback with temperature increases, resulting in more H20 in the atmosphere, countered in some poorly modeled way by the formation of aerosols such as clouds.--Silverback 16:34, 5 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Solar variation isn't relevant to global temperature? That's seems an odd claim to make. The fact that solar activity has increased seems particularly relevant to the discussion of global temperatures, don't you think?--JonGwynne 11:13, 6 Feb 2005 (UTC)
The sentence says: both are orthogonal to greenhouse gas warming (not "global temperature"). I think that's pretty clear, and true. Also, you'll note we have an extensive discussion of solar variation in the text, so I don't know what you're complaining about. Graft 18:25, 6 Feb 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 17:38, 5 Feb 2005 (UTC)) JG has been fooled by Michael Crichton, sadly. Anthro sulphate aerosols, plus a little natural variability, is the answer: its all in the IPCC report. It seems to me that there are fundamental questions of not-bothering-to-read-the-science that some people need to answer.
Ah, so when the change is in the direction you're not trying to predict, then we can attribute it to natural variation, but when the change is in the direction you ARE trying to predict, then we have to say it's primarily anthropogenic. Thanks for clearing that up. Cortonin | Talk 01:13, 6 Feb 2005 (UTC)
WMC's problem is that he's an IPCC "true believer". Everything the IPCC says, in his view, is correct and everything that even questions (much less contradicts) it is automatically wrong.--JonGwynne 11:13, 6 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Well, the relevant question is, what DO you attribute it to? Anyway, (non-volcanic) sulphate aerosols are obviously anthropogenic, so your statement is a bit of a puzzle. Graft 18:25, 6 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Error bars on the global graph

(William M. Connolley 17:15, 5 Feb 2005 (UTC)) Henrygb is correct - good catch - there *are* no error bars on the graph, as is plain for anyone to see. So the Uncertainty bars (95% confidence limits) shown for both the annual and 5-year means, account only for incomplete spatial sampling of data (added by Ms Norris: [16]) is wrong and should be left out.

The correct graph with error bars is available here: [17]. Denorris simply grabbed the pdf without the error bars when she was making the image. Cortonin | Talk 01:19, 6 Feb 2005 (UTC)

water vapor

I'm still unhappy with this "water vapor" bit. The lay reader will conclude that water vapor is responsible for warming the planet, whereas this is not really very accurate, since, well, it precipitates. In the absence of other greenhouse gases, the water content of the atmosphere would be nothing. The page should make this clear, and it doesn't. I appreciate the desire to instruct the reader on the mechanistics of the greenhouse effect, but really I think it's just confusing the way it's presented right now. Graft 18:38, 6 Feb 2005 (UTC)

There doesn't seem to be any question that WV has a much greater effect with regard to warming the planet (i.e. contributing to the greenhouse effect) than CO2. Also, I'm not sure what you mean when you say "In the absence of other greenhouse gases, the water content of the atmosphere would be nothing". Are you suggesting that if there were no CO2 in the atmosphere, then water wouldn't evaporate?--JonGwynne 19:48, 6 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Roughly, yes. Feedback would take care of that, I would think. Anyway, the point is that the presentation is silly. What's important is not how much physical radiance is being absorbed by which gas, but what will happen as a result of incremental changes in gas concentration. Correct? That is, water vapor may be responsible for the "majority of the greenhouse effect", but you do not wish to state that water vapor is responsible for changes in the magnitude of the effect, do you? That's the meaning being communicated by the current form of the text. Graft 21:10, 6 Feb 2005 (UTC)

But isn't the question of what is causing the apparent warming of the atmosphere the central issue? If primary contributor to increased global temperature is water vapor, then what's the point about fretting over CO2 levels? BTW, just so we're clear, I think burning fossil fuels is a bad idea. I am very much in favor of switching to renewables like biodiesel (as opposed to impractical daydreams like hydrogen fuel cells or nuclear power). That being said, I think that the questionable science and questionable conclusions of environmental radicals are actually damaging the cause of environmentalism. Good public policy cannot come from bad science. Water vapor precipitates out of the atmosphere as rain? Sure it does. But then water absorbs CO2 as well. So does new plant growth. To quote the 2001 IPCC report's Summary for Policymakers [18]: "On land, the uptake of anthropogenic CO2 very likely exceeded the release of CO2 by deforestation during the 1990s". Indicentally, the summary also shows graphs comparing temperature trends based on their "best guesses" (see page 11) which even when anthropogenic effects are excluded, still shows a warming trend. p.s. Thanks for having the class to engage in discussing these issues. There are far too many people here who lack the rudiments of civility. Cheers! --JonGwynne 21:53, 6 Feb 2005 (UTC)

(William M. Connolley 22:06, 6 Feb 2005 (UTC)) Not quite: the question is, what is causing the observed temperatue increases. And the answer is, anthropgenic emissions of GHGs, as all attribution studies show. As for WV, see the point, again, is that WV *reacts* to increases in forcing from other quantities. I'm not sure what your IPCC quote is supposed to mean: fossil fuel emissions are much larger anyway.

No, actually, the answer is "you don't know what is causing the observed temperature increases". You guess it is anthopogenic greenhouse gasses but you have yet to demonstrate that solar radiation is able to distinguish between anthropogenic and non-anthropogenic greenhouse gasses. And what's the point about dwelling on the short amount of time that a specific quantity of water vapor may remain in the atmosphere? You're not seriously trying to argue that there isn't more water vaporizing every second to take the place of that which condenses out of the air as rain, are you?--JonGwynne 23:11, 6 Feb 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 09:41, 7 Feb 2005 (UTC)) We don't guess, there is an awful lot of scientific research that has gone into attribution, all of which you are ignorant of, sadly. Look at the attribution page, or in the IPCC report, and stop this nonsense about "guessing". As for WV... I'm sorry that you still don't understand... WV is in dynamic balance, of course.
Just out of curiosity, who is "we"? But getting back to the matter at hand, Of course you guess. Climate models are inheretly guesswork. You claim there is evidence that a direct cause-effect relationship has been established between CO2 levels and climate change and yet you declime to provide a link to that evidence. Hmmmm, this smacks of the 3rd-grade "I know the answer but I'm not going to tell you what it is" school of argument. You say I don't understand about water vapor, then spell it out. If I make a statement that someone doesn't understand, I'm willing to take the time to explain it to them. Why aren't you?--JonGwynne 12:32, 7 Feb 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 14:30, 7 Feb 2005 (UTC)) We is scientists, of course. The links are on the attribution paeg, where they belong. As for WV, I've posted this above, but you're not so good at fnding things, so I'll post it again:
Holy bloated ego Batman! William, are you seriously offering your own blogs as independent scientific evidence, while claiming to speak for all scientists?! I'll give you the benefit of the doubt that not even you are that arrogant and misguided. Still, there doesn't seem to be any other reasonable interpretation of your statements. Maybe you want to provide one.
(William M. Connolley 17:22, 7 Feb 2005 (UTC)) The obvious one: you said that you didn't understand the situation, and wanted an explanation. I've provided one for you. You said: You say I don't understand about water vapor, then spell it out. I've just done so. Now, instead of flinging insults around, why don't you actually study the page and, if you disagree with it, point out some substantive errors?
How about the substantive error that you said CO2 is not reactive. First, every pre-industrial temperature plot I've seen shows temperature fluctuations LEADING CO2 fluctuations, which indicates that CO2 levels may actually respond to temperature more significantly than they drive it. In addition, half of all anthropogenic CO2 has already been absorbed by oceanic or biomass CO2 sinks. Cortonin | Talk 20:40, 7 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Sorry, William, I should have specified that I wanted something more substantive than one of your blogs. I have read the page and there isn't really anything there that warrants a response. It is simply your opinion with no independant corroboration. You're certainly entitled to your opinion but to try to pass it off as absolute truth, must less claiming to speak for all scientists is something entirely different.--JonGwynne 23:03, 7 Feb 2005 (UTC)
In the meantime, perhaps I should have been more specific. Why aren't you willing to provide independently-reproducible, peer-reviewed evidence that anthropogenic greenhouse gasses are the primary cause of global warming?
(William M. Connolley 17:22, 7 Feb 2005 (UTC)) As I've said repeatedly, go look on the attribution page - its all there.
Meanwhile, a quick trip to wikipedia's global warming page reveals that the atmosphere is responsible for absorbing 16% of incoming solar radiation and CO2 is responsible for absorbing 26% of that - or a little more than 4% of the total. --JonGwynne 15:37, 7 Feb 2005 (UTC)
The point WMC has been making is that if you add more water vapor to the atmosphere, it just gets rained out within a few days - it doesn't result in runaway warming. On the other hand, CO2 (and CH4) cannot be rained out of the atmosphere as quickly. It stays there, and causes incremental warming, and positive feedback, resulting in more water vapor in the atmosphere and more CO2 being released by the oceans. Etc., etc. In other words, the behavior of CO2 and H2O in the atmosphere is very different - even though it only accounts for a fraction of the GHE, it can play a far bigger role in shaping the behavior of the atmosphere (like a catalyst).
Also, I'm unclear on your above comment: you have yet to demonstrate that solar radiation is able to distinguish between anthropogenic and non-anthropogenic greenhouse gasses. This is not what anyone is claiming; the claim of climate modelers is that the increase in temperature is a result of increase in greenhouse gas concentrations as a result of human contribution. Obviously sunlight can't tell the difference between "natural" CO2 and anthropogenic CO2. But, if that additional CO2 were not present, climate models show that we would not have had the additional warming we observe.
Finally, can we have less insults being thrown around? They really don't do much to help the atmosphere. Graft 17:00, 7 Feb 2005 (UTC)
First point, CO2 is also absorbed quickly - though both water and plantlife. I don't dispute that CO2 increases the greenhouse effect, but I have yet to see any indication that is is causing more warming that is proportional to the increase. The increase in CO2 since the beginning of the industrial revolution represents 0.01% of the entire atmosphere. The portion of solar radiation absorbed as heat by the entire CO2 content of the atmosphere amounts to 4%. Second, climate models don't "show" anything. They are theoretical - at best an "educated guess". But anyone who knows about computers will tell you that we are still a long way from being able to build one powerful enough to accurately model a system as complex as the earth's climate. To claim that what climate models predict is factual is to blunder into fantasy. Just look at the amount of "tuning" that these models require so that their output will match known trends. Get William to explain about tuning these models. It is techno-jargon for "fudging the data".--JonGwynne 23:03, 7 Feb 2005 (UTC)
WMC, could you please document "all attribution studies"? Thanks. Cortonin | Talk 00:38, 7 Feb 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 09:41, 7 Feb 2005 (UTC)) Try the attribution page.
Well, unsurprisingly, the attribution page strongly corresponds to your POV. So I decided to see precisely how difficult it was to find peer reviewed papers which point to other attributions. I went to ISI Web of Science, the standard starting point for such a literature search, and typed in "global warming". Sure enough, literally the VERY first result returned attributed the bulk of observed warming to sunspot and solar cycle variations. And by following the references within that paper, within a matter of minutes I was able to find a number of other papers which attribute observed warming to solar fluctuations. Cortonin | Talk 20:02, 7 Feb 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 20:41, 7 Feb 2005 (UTC)) The links you put in to Njau are a bit desparate... see my comments on the talk page there. Did you check the citation results for his papers?
"After discarding all data to the contrary, the hypothesis was proven." -- Anonymous. Cortonin | Talk 21:23, 7 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Well, Njau is cited by only himself, which sort of diminishes his credibility. And there are plenty of other papers dealing with the subject of solar variation which pretty handily put it to rest as the source of warming. Graft 21:34, 7 Feb 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 21:45, 7 Feb 2005 (UTC)) Cortonin, this is a rather poor response. You have asserted that you are a scientist, I think: you know that an uncited paper in a minor journal lacks credibility.
That's funny, because in my schooling they taught me that science was assessed by its merits, and not by argument from authority. The paper makes a clear testable prediction, that the temperature will begin to drop, and if it does not, then the paper is incorrect. Cortonin | Talk 22:34, 7 Feb 2005 (UTC)
It is doubly funny coming from someone who cites his own blogs as independent confirmation.--JonGwynne 23:03, 7 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Can you please stop sniping? It's very off-putting. From reading the conversation it's clear he gave that link in response to your plea for clarification on the point about water vapor. You didn't demand a journal article on the subject, and he didn't claim he was giving you one. Stop harassing people. Graft 23:09, 7 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I sincerely apologize to you for my behavior. I know I should be above this sort of thing, but sadly, I'm just not. I know "he started it" is a lame excuse but it is all I've got. I'm sure that others could ignore WMC's provocations, but I'm simply not strong enough. I come from a long line of "puncturers of pomposity" and WMC is too egregious an example for me not to call him on it. You're right, WMC didn't claim that his blog was a journal article, but in fairness to me, I did ask for "evidence". In the scientific circles which WMC claims to inhabit, this usually means something definitive like a journal article documenting an experiment whose results are reproducible and have been independently verified - something that has been subject to scrutiny and, yes William, skepticism. The things that still astonishes me about him is that he claims to regard skepticism as a bad thing. I realize that this may not be everyone's view, but I believe that credulousness is not a positive trait for a scientist. Finally, let me thank you again for keeping things on a civil level and for trying to encourage it in others.--JonGwynne 00:06, 8 Feb 2005 (UTC)


Cortonin, can you provide a reference demonstrating that UHIs significantly distort the temperature record? I have three separate sources (Easterling 1997, Hansen 1999 and Peterson 2003) that say there's nothing to be seen there. Graft 20:53, 7 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Well we know that the UHI effect exists and is much larger than the reported global warming, as the UHI effect is known to make urban air about 6 C hotter than rural air [19], and we know that plenty of temperature sites are located in heat islands [20]. The real question then, is does the heat island effect contribute to a measured RISE in temperature? If you look at Streutker 2003 (Remote Sensing of Environment 85:3), for example, you'll see a satellite analysis of Houston which shows the heat island there is rising by about 0.6 C per decade. Now obviously that localized effect far exceeds the reported global temperature rise. If you want to see a wide assortment of papers discussing the significance of urban heat islands, then you probably wouldn't have to look much farther than the dozen or so papers Peterson tries to dispute in his 2003 J. Climate article on that topic. Cortonin | Talk 22:22, 7 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I'm not disputing the effect exists; that's not the issue. I'm saying, is there anyone who claims that it rubbishes attempts to estimate the global temperature record? In other words, does temperature estimated from all stations differ from temperature estimated from only rural stations? Graft 22:38, 7 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Global temperature change

The change is expressed in degrees celcius difference between what the temperature now is compared to what it should have been. But the actual temperature isn't listed. Can someone add this?--JonGwynne 01:19, 8 Feb 2005 (UTC)


WMC, could you explain your removal? I don't know anything about this commission, but it seems to exist... claims to have a list of members... etc. What gives? Graft 21:25, 8 Feb 2005 (UTC)

(William M. Connolley 21:45, 8 Feb 2005 (UTC)) Morner has long been a loose cannon, using "his" commission as authority to push his weird views. INQUA finally got sick of him, got rid of the commission, and told him to stop misrepresenting himself [21] - see also Talk:Sea level rise.
(William M. Connolley 22:18, 8 Feb 2005 (UTC)) I've re-removed this after Cortonin re-added it in modified form:
Nils-Axel Mörner, the former president of the INQUA Commission on Sea Level Changes and Coastal Evolution disagrees with the IPCC evaluation: "All handling by IPCC of the Sea Level questions have been done in a way that cannot be accepted and that certainly not concur with modern knowledge of the mode and mechanism of sea level changes." [22]
The problem here is that Morner is still orrowing his authority from INQUA, which has rejected him. The website: truncates to which is invalid: this commission doesn't exist anymore. Morner has been told to take this site down and stop misrepresenting himself. This site now has a status lower than some-bods-webpages, because its some bod misrepresenting themselves. If you can find Morners views in a reputable source - ideally a real publication - then fine; but not from this website.
That site is from 2000, when the commission DID exist, and WAS part of INQUA, and DID "borrow authority" from INQUA for whatever that's worth. Look at the News page, there hasn't been an update since 2000, and the commission existed until July of 2003. This is a perfectly legitimate record of the disputes that occurred at that time to the IPCC report. Cortonin | Talk 22:47, 8 Feb 2005 (UTC)
However, if INQUA booted him precisely because they wanted to repudiate his use of his authority to advance views that were at odds with the rest of the commission's membership, it would be a bit disingenuous of us to continue to do the same. If he's going to be quoted, I think he should be quoted as a single scientist, not as the representative of that body, since his views don't seem to be representative. Graft 00:02, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)
The INQUA disbanded the entire commission, rather than simply remove him. The fact remains that he was the head of that commission, and he was clearly speaking from that position at the time he disputed the IPCC's sea level results, and he continued in that position for another three years after doing so. If you look at the current INQUA commissions [23], you'll see that they are no longer actively investigating sea level change, as per their statutes and bye-laws, they change the focus of the things they investigate closely every four years. In fact, if you check here, you'll see that the president of INQUA while Morner expressed his dispute with the IPCC conclusions is NOT the same as the current president of INQUA. It is this person who has spoken up adamantly against Morner, even though it seems this person had very little to do with the commission Morner was serving on. It seems this has much more to do with politics than with disputing Morner's work. Cortonin | Talk 01:23, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I've decided to step in and update the page to try and solve this conflict. Please check the new para. and see if it is to your satisfaction. —Ben 03:59, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Weird. No one noticed the point I was making--that WMC's reasons for exclusion are POV.—Ben 00:27, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  • INQUA finally got sick of him, got rid of the commission, -- Source?
  • which is invalid: this commission doesn't exist anymore.
    • Click on "The Commission" and it says it ended in 2003. SEWilco 08:02, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  • The INQUA disbanded the entire commission, rather than simply remove him.
  • If you look at the current INQUA commissions [25], you'll see that they are no longer actively investigating sea level change
    • Try clicking on Coastal and marine processes and look for sea level. SEWilco
      • Ah yes, it appears there are still two smaller working-groups working on the topic in there. Leaders, and even members, of INQUA commissions are mandatorily rotated on a regular basis (with optional limited renewals for a term or two in some cases, see bye-laws for details). Cortonin | Talk 15:54, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)
The IPCC lists Morner as a TAR reviewer. Anyone know where they published reviewer comments? SEWilco 08:02, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)

(William M. Connolley 17:00, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)) Rather than having duplicate discussions, I suggest that sea level rise is the obvious place to discuss this. IPCC TAR reviewer is a near-meaningless status of itself.

Moved discussion to Talk:Sea level rise, and moved all references to sea level rise to sea level rise. (SEWilco 20:30, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC))


I found this data ([26]) from NOAA, Mauna Loa, Hawaii, can anyone see the "raw" numbers?-- 13:42, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Are you having trouble finding what you want when you click on Data at the top of that page? (SEWilco 20:40, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC))

Methane burps

The possibility of volatilization of methane caltrates is referred to in connection with past warmings, but it also has relevance to the discussion of competing views of feedback effects (damping down versus runaway). I therefore added a comment with a link in the "Greenhouse gas theory" section. This article has obviously benefited from a great deal of scientific expertise, so let me acknowledge that the link I added is to a popularization (from the Baltimore Sun), not a peer-reviewed journal article or the like. This kind of reference can be helpful to readers who (like me) aren't scientists. JamesMLane 07:16, 12 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Comparison of Temperature Reconstructions

I created this figure showing a comparison of temperature reconstructions for the Temperature_record_of_the_past_1000_years page. Since it could plausibly also be used on this page, I wanted to point it out here as well, but I'll let you guys decide whether or not you want to incorporate it.

1000 Year Temperature Comparison.png

Dragons flight 02:24, Feb 13, 2005 (UTC)

Role of water vapour

The artical is factually incorrect in many ways. I'll just touch on a couple of them. 1) Water Vapour is by far the most important green house gas. CO2 is not!

(William M. Connolley 10:11, 14 Feb 2005 (UTC)) You're wrong. This has all been discussed above. See-also:

No - You are the one who is mistaken. I read your blog and your explanation and I also read the other comments on water vapour here and indeed elsewhere as well.

Your argument does not hold water.

Just as in the case of the IPCC, the central part of your argument is that water vapour is short lived in the environment and hense it has its natural variation and any change will be rapidly restored to normal. This is true if you are looking at a single incident. If you look at this from the standpoint of a process then this is not the case.

Changes in the amount of H2O in the atmosphere can be constantly re-enforcing itself and these changes can be either natural or manmade.

(William M. Connolley 19:03, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)) No not really. If humans emit lots of WV it just rains out again. To have a serious effect you would have to prevent evap, or cause excess evap, across substantial areas.

At the bottom of my post I tried to contrast the environment of today verses say the Cretaceous where the polar caps and the greenland ice sheets did not exist. Back then it was about 10C warmer on average than today. In addition there was about 50% more Oxygen than today.

I do not think that you can deny that with a 10C increment in temperature and the loss of the polar ice sheets that the atmosphere will hold a considerably increased amount of H2O. But I will ask - do you deny this?

(William M. Connolley 19:03, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)) If you have some forcing agent - e.g. CO2 - warm the atmos, then you end up with more WV, which acts as a +ve feedback. Thats what I said.

I'm not trying to be personal. I am mearly trying to make my point.

Currently we have massive amounts of irrigatiion all over the planet and we are also releasing directly into the atmosphere a constant stream of H2O vapour. These factors are rather small on a global scale however. I doubt they have much influence but I am sure they do have some and especially we will be creating microclimates near our larger cities as a result. However - I would sort of doubt this might induce global warming.

(William M. Connolley 19:03, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)) Err yes, thats what I'm saying - the anthro WV makes little difference.

That being said I think we should be taking a really close look at the amount of land area at high elevation and what the distribution of this land is. Every one of the previous ice ages ended at some point and it is not well understood why this might have happened. This is also true of the ice cycles of the say last 2.5 million years.

One possibility for the creation and distruction of the ice ages is the distribution of land masses relative to the poles and whether the poles are open ocean which cannot support a thick ice sheet or land which can. But combined with this if we have a large amount of land at high elevation we get a dry cold climate over that portion of the earth with a much greater loss of energy into space. This is the point I wanted to make. Let me be more specific: The Rocky Mountains for instance are anywhere up to 500 miles in width and at the end of the eocene the amount of land above say an elevation of 10,000 feet would have been considerably greater than today. This might represent say 15% of the total North American land mass. Although there was mountain building in the rockies in the Jurassic, the bulk of it came much later as the tropical sea that filled the Rockey Mountain geosyncline of the Jurassic and Cretaceous was replaced with an uplifted and not yet eroded alpine plateau that was destined to be eroded out to form the present ranges.

This would result in a considerable difference in the amount of energy reflected into space from this region. When we consider that europe and especially Asia/India/Tibet were also involved at a similar time with significant mountian building then I think it becomes clear that a considerable percentage of the incident solar energy falling on these continents could be reflected into space simply because a significant percentage of these contenants was at such a high elevation. A major part of this loss is due to the lack of water vapour at high elevation due to the temperature drop and its effect on the dew point. In addition we have the much greater reflectivity of the expected snow caps and glaciers in the high mountain areas.

In general - for a very controversial subject - the artical does read ok. However I feel the role of water vapour as the primary greenhouse gas should have a greater emphasis.

(William M. Connolley 19:03, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)) I disagree, for the reasons stated above.

This does not mean that the role of CO2 as a manmade gas should not also have a promenant position.

(William M. Connolley 19:03, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)) Since CO2 is the primary driver of current change, it should have (and does have) the primary position.

However, if one contrasts the climate of the cretaceous with the 80,000 PPM of atmospheric H2O possible in say a +45C tropical region to the say 30,000 PPM that we might expect today - then the changes in CO2 become insignificant. In fact - during the ordovician ice age the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere was about 19x greater than present and it was also much greater during the Carboniferous.

I think the way the artical reads should reflect this.

Thanx. Terrell

Much of the recent warming trends - if in fact this is a trend - could be due to increased atmopsheric H2O. Furthermore when one gets out of the apparently balenced H2O / climate which we arguably have now - some very powerful feedback mechanisms will cut in. In fact I would suggest the 10C plunge in temperature at the end of the Micocene is probably an atmosphere feedback mechanism which resulted in a cold dry climate in place of the hot moist climate which existed from say the Trassic to the Tertiary. (Many millions of years in fact).

While I have not yet been able to prove this - I'll post it here for discussion in case others wish to look for some proof.

At the end of the cretaceous we had quite a lot of land at very high elevation. The Deccan Traps covered much of western India - millions of square miles in fact. The Rocky Mountains as well as the Andies were pushed up - but not yet eroded away. Furthermore we had the Alps Pyrenes and Hellenic Mountains in Europe and again they were not eroded to the extent they are now.

Then India pushed into Asia creating the tibetian Plateau and the Himalayan Mountains. This was probably what pushed us over the cliff climate wise.

Lets consider the Cretaceous climate.

There was undoubtably more ocean and hense a greater percentage of the planet was able to absorb more incomming radation. Next Antarctica and the Arctic were not covered with ice and furthermore the Greenland Ice sheet would not exist.

The planet was about 22C average temperature at this time. If one checks the Absolute Humidity curves one can see that the dew point temperature climbs rapidly with temperature. This means that for instance the atmospheric H2O of a hot Cretaceous rainforest could be say 80,000 PPM (8%) if the temperature was say 45C.

Then if we look at the polar regions which were not frozen we could easily have say 5C and this could mean atmospheric water vapour at say 5,000 ppm (0.5%)

However consider the Himalayn Orogeny for instance. At an elevation of say 30,000 feet the temperature is going to be about -40C for much of the year. There would be a massive amount of glaciation and the attendant higher reflection of incomming radiation. At a temperature of -40C there is practially no water vapour. The curves of the absolute humidity are not detailed enough to read at these extremes.

What this means is that when enough land was sitting and high elevation and could cause the planet to start to cool - then we went over the cliff quickly and when the poles started to freeze over and hense dry out then the positive feedback of cooling -> lower dew point temperature -> reduced atmospheric H2O -> lower greenhouse gas levels -> more cooling kicked in and created our present snowball earth.

Clearly a large amount of land at high elevation as well as land at the poles can cause this tip into an ice world.

Over the last 30 million years we have lost a great deal of the land at high elevation due to erosion. The Himalain Orogeny is still continuing however.

It is possible that we have once again passed the point of no return - in which case if we start to warm up humidity may start to increase and we may lose the polar ice. I think Anarctica is quite a ways from this point at present mind you. How about the Greenland ice sheet? The North Polar ice cap can go and if so then humidity will rise and the amount of retained energy will increase.

In short we could see a relatively rapid rise in temperature.

If anyone wishes to do a GOOGLE search for say "water Vapour Global Warming" they will see there are over 100,000 articals on line. Here is onc from Physics Web.

Here is a short quote:

"...carbon dioxide has received a bad press for many years and is uniformly cited as the major cause of the greenhouse effect. This is simply not correct. While increases in carbon dioxide may be the source of an enhanced greenhouse effect, and therefore global warming, the role of the most vital molecule in our atmosphere - water - is rarely discussed. Indeed, water barely rates a mention in the hundreds of pages of the 2001 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change."

The IPCC in Chapter 7 explains why they did not include water vapour in the model. The issues is that when the vastly most significant variable is eliminated - which is equivalent to setting it to zero - then the model will have little value.

To summarize what I am saying.

CO2 levels are about 365 PPM H2O levels are as follows:

Eastern Seaboard of North America - mid summer: 35C => 30,000 PPM Western Europe mid summer: 35C => 30,000 PPM South East Asia / India / Amason: 40C => 40,000 PPM

Water vapour is a stronger absorber than CO2 and there is far more of it.

It is my opinion that irrigation will have a pronounced effect as well. Water that would normally flow to the ocean in a thin ribbon is now forced into the atmosphere via transpiration and rains on otherwise arid soil where it once again enters the atmosphere. This will increase the overall absolute humidity which will result in increased heat retention. OTOH, distruction of the rain forests will have the opposite effect - Ie - global cooling.

I don't object to your attempting to discuss whatever issues you feel are appropriate, but in terms of potential changes to the article, I would direct you to the Wikipedia's policy on no original research. Basically, it says that theories and interpretations of facts should only be included in Wikipedia if they are derived from notable external sources. Which in our context basically only means those theories that have been proposed by scientists within the context of the published peer-reviewed scientific literature.
Some of the issues you discuss (e.g. the importance / unimportance of water vapor) obviously have been argued within the scientific literature, and hence may be suitable for discussion in Wikipedia. Other of the ideas you propose (e.g. the importance of uplift) appear to be original to you, at least as far as I am aware, and hence would not be suitable for Wikipedia.
I don't want to discourage you from discussing and thinking about these issues, but I do want you to understand the nature of Wikipedia. If you want to inject unusual minority viewpoints into a scientific article on Wikipedia, it is really only possible if you can provide rigorous documentation of supporters within the published, peer-reviewed scientific community. The physicsweb article you mention is a small step in that direction (at least in the context of water vapor), but it is not adequate since it is not peer-reviewed.
Dragons flight 15:09, Feb 15, 2005 (UTC)
I don't think the uplift theory is original to Terrell. Although it is probably mentioned in the discussion sections of journal articles rather than being the main topic.--Silverback 15:32, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Moberg publication in Nature

Evidently Nature did not want McIntire and McKitrick to get credit for killing the hockey stick. They had to beat them to the punch.--Silverback 18:10, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)

(William M. Connolley 18:58, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)) You're probably premature in that, but no matter for now. I would like to move your nice new text about Moberg over into the last-1-kyr page. With the new pic of the various reconsructions its now clear that there are plenty of versions, so it seems appropriate to have the discussion on that page.
Certainly these results should be discussed in detail on that page, however, I think the signed feature story in Nature [27], where most of the scientist quotes are from (there are more there), make it clear that these results have implictions in the global warming debate. IPCC is criticised for putting so much emphasis on the Mann hockey stick, and there is discussion of how IPCCs credibility will probably suffer. Technically, the scientists are correct that this new understanding does not effect the relative attribution to human influences of the recent warming. However, the credibility of the fear mongering relied heavily on what the hockey stick portrayed as warming unprecedented in human history. I think the text I have in this article should remain. The hockey stick was that central to the political part of the debate, and I think it influenced the level of alarm that scientists raised as well. A note or two on McKitrick should be added when that comes out. There should be some pronouncements at that time or after the may IPCC conference in May of the death of the hockey stick. --Silverback 19:53, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)
OT Remark: This page is getting huge. Maybe it's time that somebody adept at the technical aspects creates a new archive page? On topic again: As far as I can see, Moberg et al are still within the 2 sigma confidence interval of Mann et al. So it is not revolutionary. Of course, the public usually only sees a much simplified version. But, for a moment, assuming Moberg et al are correct, the warming is still unprecedented. The actual temperature may (or may not) have been similar in the MWP, but the rate of change is unprecedented, as far as I can tell. --Stephan Schulz 14:50, 16 Feb 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 16:25, 16 Feb 2005 (UTC)) I've archived about 1/3 of it. I disagree with just about all that Silverback said.
I don't think there is enough precision in the reconstructions to say that today's warming is unprecented, especially when the confidence intervals are taken into account. The key implication of the Moberg, et al, and Von Storch, et al is that centenial scale variability is much larger than previously thought, and with the sample being only 10 centuries, the current warming may well be within the natural variability of the current interglacial period. The statements praising Mann's groundbreaking (if technically incorrect) attempt at a global reconstruction and implying that the post 1990 warming may be greater than the Medieval warm period are SOPs thrown to the climate community to make this bitter pill easier to swallow and spin. Combine this uncertainty with the poor current understanding of possible cloud and aerosol feedback mechanisms, and there is reason to be conservative instead of sacrificing hundreds of billions of dollars of wealth.--Silverback 12:36, 17 Feb 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 13:55, 17 Feb 2005 (UTC)) *You* may not think there is anough precision, but all the climatologists quoted - including von S - think otherwise. Describing them as sops is fine in talk as your own personal POV, but please don't put it into the article.
I don't have any intent to put my personal opionion regarding their intent into the article. I hope it was clear that I was describing the statements and not the persons as SOPs.--Silverback 14:35, 17 Feb 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 17:34, 17 Feb 2005 (UTC)) OK. I disagree, of course: I see no reason to believe that the statements were sops (incidentally, are we talking about the same thing? You are capitalising SOP as though it were an acronym... I mean sop, as in the thing you fling to the dogs or somesuch).
I think that the use of "SOP" as an acronym for "Standard Operating Procedure" originated in the U.S. military, though I'm not sure. Silverback's use, however, appears to be "sop" in the common English word sense. JamesMLane 20:53, 17 Feb 2005 (UTC)
A SOP is wetter, heavier and louder when it hits the dogs than a sop. My bad.--Silverback 14:24, 18 Feb 2005 (UTC)


This should be pretty non-controversial.

The six-page bottom section of this page is really ugly. Can some of these links be cleaned up? Are all of them really necessary?

Also, it's pretty obvious that this is a super-meta-topic, and ought to be organized that way. Anyone want to put together a topic template for global warming/climate change topics? Graft 06:07, 16 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Note the controversial label at the top. The way to reach consensus is to be able to cite supporting literature and let everybody have their documented say. The scientific field is going through a lot of turmoil right now, so it is best to wait until things shake out before reorganizing. There is the possibility that there may be lull this summer.--Silverback 08:54, 16 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Recent edits by JonGwynne

Hi Jon. There is not enough space is the summaries, so let me explain my position here. There are three different things in your edit, all of which I disagree with. First, you insist on the "steadily falling" temperatures in the mid-20th century. Looking at the temperature graph, there is nothing steady about it. Of course you can cherry-pick start and end dates to get a "long" downwards trend, but the longest steady drop is about 10 years. The overalll trend is clearly and overwhelmingly upwards, and stating something different is at least misleading.

Secondly, you inserted the water vapour in a way that suggests that CO2 does not matter. Your addition is not technically wrong, but again misleading, and adds no useful information.

Finally, you removed the - in my opinion - relevant and useful information on the climate model.

I will revert you again now (unless someone else preceded me), please discuss these points. --Stephan Schulz 02:30, 17 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Reverted JGs revert. Come on Jon, discuss a bit - what are your reasons. I agree with Stephan. Vsmith 03:29, 17 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Sorry, I thought I'd commented on this. My repy seems to have vanished. Oh well, I'll try to remember what I said...--JonGwynne 20:57, 18 Feb 2005 (UTC)
If I described the temperatures during the cooling periods in the 20th century as "steadily falling", then I apologize. I shouldn't have, because they didn't fall steadily from year to year (though, to be fair, the cooling trend over the 30+ years of the event was a steady one). I have no problem with coming up with compromize language that we can all agree on - that's what I always thought the point of wikipedia was. Occasionally, you get guys like WMC who ruin it by adopting the "revert-boy" mentality. But that's beside the point. The point is that we should work together and come up with a description of the cooling trend that we can all agree is accurate. Tell you what, if one of you want to "take point" on this and replace my description with one of your own, that would be fine with me. Or if you would prefer to edit mine, that's OK too.--JonGwynne 20:57, 18 Feb 2005 (UTC)
re CO2. I don't believe I implied that it "does not matter", but it is important to put CO2 in its place as regards the effect it has on global warming. It is not the most powerful greenhouse gas and I think it is important to say that clearly because there are a lot of people who think that it is the sole cause of global warming and that simply isn't correct.--JonGwynne 20:57, 18 Feb 2005 (UTC)
The paragraph that begins "if the only variable considered" is worthless. It doesn't mean anything to only consider the one variable so there's no point in talking about what would happen if someone did.--JonGwynne 20:57, 18 Feb 2005 (UTC)
p.s. Hey Marco! Read the damn talk section BEFORE you revert. You might learn something.--JonGwynne 20:57, 18 Feb 2005 (UTC)

(William M. Connolley 22:07, 18 Feb 2005 (UTC)) I see that JG is now calling for discussion before reversion - what a nice idea. So:

Global average temperatures have risen steadily (0.6 ± 0.2°C) since that time apart from a period in the mid 20th century in which global temperatures fell just as steadily

This is wrong. Its perfectly clear from the record that the fall was much milder.

I agree. So, let's stay away from characterizing the nature of the changes and simply note that they took place.--JonGwynne 22:52, 18 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Though the majority of the greenhouse effect is caused by water vapor which is non-anthropogenic.

This is true, but misleading and irrelevant, so shouldn't be there. This point may not be immeadiately obvious: so (to others; JG knows this already) see my

Explain how something can be true but misleading... The fact is that the majority of the greenhouse effect is caused by water vapor. You may not like that fact but it remains a fact. Your blogs are irrelevant. and articulates many problems with the IPCC's use of climate models . Your editorial views are of no interest to anyone who doesn't already agree with you.--JonGwynne 22:52, 18 Feb 2005 (UTC)
The fact is that the majority of the greenhouse effect is caused by water vapor is correct. But that paragraph deals with global warming, not the greenhouse effect. According to all remotely scientific models, the root cause for the current global warming is an increase in CO2. Since many people confuse these two concepts, mentioning the relatively small direct part of CO2 in the greenhouse effect is misleading. It belongs into the greenhouse effect article.--Stephan Schulz 23:55, 18 Feb 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 23:02, 18 Feb 2005 (UTC)) True but misleading is an easy concept. The link explains it in detail. Blogs are irrelevant... no. Not at all reasonable. That blog contains reasoned argument, which you don't like, but can find no counter to.
If it is an easy concept, they it should be easy for you to explain here. I've read your blog. It was unremarkable. There was nothing to counter, it was simply idealogical wool-gathering - assumptions and musings without foundation... useful for chatting up an Greepeace babe at a party but not much else. Sorry. --JonGwynne 23:20, 18 Feb 2005 (UTC)
If the only variable considered is the emission of greenhouse gases related to human activity, then climate models predict that temperatures will increase in the future; however, the precise magnitude of these increases is still uncertain [28], with a range of +1.4°C to +5.8°C for the temperature change between 1990 and 2100. Much of this uncertainty results from not knowing future CO2 emissions, but there is also uncertainty about the accuracy of climate models and it is not clear if they under- or overpredict future climate change.

This paragraph explains that T is predicted to rise in the future; an article on GW that didn't mention that, and give a range of values, right at the start would be very odd indeed.

It is still a meaningless paragraph. First, there is no way to "only consider anthropogenic greenhouse gasses"
(William M. Connolley 23:02, 18 Feb 2005 (UTC)) Of course there is, because the para is about models, where you can do exactly that.
How? Explain how the percentage of greenhouse gasses are accurately determined and what that number is.--JonGwynne 23:20, 18 Feb 2005 (UTC)
because there is no way of determining which portion of greenhouse gasses are anthropogenic. Each CO2 molecule doesn't come with an identifying tag. The best that can be done is to guess about what percentage of the greenhouse gasses are anthropogenic and, to quote Michael Crichton just because it annoys you, "guesses-just so we're clear-are merely expressions of prejudice". Perhaps you can explain why we should take the word of scientists who can't predict what's going to happen next week for what is going to happen in a hundred years.
(William M. Connolley 23:02, 18 Feb 2005 (UTC)) Confusing weather and climate won't help you.
Just as confusing "glib" and "cogent" won't help you. A guess is a guess and climate models aren't fact.
You're falling into the classic Paul R. Ehrlich trap. He was another scientist who made all sorts of doom-laden predictions by projecting current trends into the future with no real understanding of what controlled those trends. He isn't taken seriously anymore as a prognisticator (at least not by anyone with an ounce of common-sense) so why do you think it is going to be different for the IPCC brigade? --JonGwynne 22:52, 18 Feb 2005 (UTC)

(William M. Connolley 23:02, 18 Feb 2005 (UTC)) As to credibility: please note that JG made this edit [29] and labelled it "copyedit" - a clearly deceptive edit comment.

Please note that WMC refused to address the issue at hand, preferring to whinge about complaints that exist only in his head.

Note - the read in my recent edit summary was an ambiguous usage, could mean two different things. I meant that I have read the above discussion and still see no reason for JGs changes. Sorry about the ambiguity. -Vsmith 00:51, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/JonGwynne

(William M. Connolley 00:10, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)) Note: I have filed Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/JonGwynne, in part for his edits to this page.

(Terrell) Please note that I have expressed an opinion in support of JG in the request for arbitration. I have placed more technical information there and I will encourage all to read it and follow up on the facts.

With Ordovician CO2 levels fully 19x now (about 7,000 PPM) the Ordovician went into an ice age: Andean-Saharan ice age from 450-420Ma. This is correlated with the Taconic Orogeny: Middle-to-Late Ordovician.

Please note that the dew point curves for a hot humid world such as the Cretaceous point to about 80,000 PPM of water vapour in the atmosphere. If we could get rid of the Himalayan mountains, the Tibetian and Colorado plateaus then we may well revert to the hot humid climate of the Cretaceous. However I suspect this is not too likely to happen any time soon.

What finds distressing

What I find most distressing is that we seem to have people getting emotional and reverting other people and when I suggested that climate change is correlated with orogenic developments I was accused of original research. Sorry folks. Tim Patterson's course on climate change discusses the issue of mountains and the distribution of land masses as well as the importance of ocean currents.

Sorry, if my comment about original research offended you, and thank you for the reference. I hope you can appreciate that comments about orogenic effects are not usually part of the global warming debate, so it felt suspicious. Dragons flight 05:14, Feb 20, 2005 (UTC)

I'll post a quote from Tim's course here:

"Since the Miocene, mountain ranges and plateaus have risen to the sky in southwestern North America and central Asia. The elevation contours are labeled in kilometers. The appearance of these giant barriers across the planetary circulation of the northern hemisphere may have given the final push to the northern hemispheric glaciation."

You can find an online outline of the course here:

What distresses me is that those who wrote the artical should know this. I can see why Greg Benson who is a professional research geologist made the comments he made to me about this artical. However, I will let Greg speak for himself.


Hi Terrell, have you actually looked through the material at that website? I took a cursory overview today, and as far as I can tell, Tim Patterson is not at all challenging or disagreeing with the scientific consensus (Global Warming is real, and man-made CO2 is responsible for it). In his course he outlines other influences that have an effect on the climate over geological time periods (millions of years and up), but he seems to accept the IPCC consensus for the current, short term climate change quite well. --Stephan Schulz 12:29, 20 Feb 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 19:26, 20 Feb 2005 (UTC)) I am rather less sure that the course itself is correct. For example says that water vapour is 98% of the GHE. This is wrong. He makes the analogy between the GHE and greenhouses This too is wrong.
(William M. Connolley 21:34, 20 Feb 2005 (UTC)) Also... Tim Patterson himself seems to be a skeptic (so I think I'm disagreeing with SS above): [30], [31] (and see also [32]).
Hey! You cannot do that. Have you forgotten about the secret conspiracy? No public disagreement! ;-) As I wrote, I only glanced at the material, and found a lot of links to reasonable material. And the rest is not nearly as breathlessly pathetic as usual for "skeptics". But I grant your point. --Stephan Schulz 21:52, 21 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Stirling Newberrys edits

SN recently made some huge edits to the page, with no discussion on the talk. I didn't think they were particularly necessary, but some of them were obviously not (we don't need another description of the greenhouse effect, because thats covered on the GHE page). However, Sn has now "done the big revert" in his rather curious phrase, which rather seems to show a lack of collaborative editing. So I've reverted back to Vsmith/WMC, and I suggest that he discusses his very large edits here before reinserting them.

Unsigned one (sorry - twas I - William M. Connolley 17:36, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC)), this does not seem like the Stirling Newberry I know from other articles. Perhaps his account has been hijacked.--Silverback 15:10, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I have made large changes to the page for the following reasons.
  1. Crucial assertions of current "climate forcing" models were not covered - namely the role of methane and water vapor.
    1. The relative role of the various GHG's belongs (and is) on the greenhouse gas page (William M. Connolley 17:36, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC)).
  2. The organization of the page buried the description of the model and the data. Since the model and the data are what all discussions must be based on (and that includes POVs which dispute one or both) these should be at the top.
    1. This is a reasonable point, and worth discussing. Howeer, there is a link to climate models right at the top as it stands.
  3. The description greenhouse gasses, as it relates to Global Warming is relevant here. After all - without greenhouse gases the earth would be much colder than it is, the question of global warming is whether there is an augmentation of this effect, and whether that augmentation requires response.
    1. Yet the subject of GW is very large. It is not possible to have all the material on one page, which is why sub pages exist.
  4. There are other aspects of the data not covered, including paleoclimatology data, which are often used in this debate. These should be covered as well.
    1. Have you looked at the links to temperature record of the past 1000 years?

I am believe that the theory of anthropogenic global warming is backed by the preponderance of the evidence. However, preponderance of evidence has been wrong about major issues before, and, as importantly, the area of climate modelling is still in its infancy, and therefore our current understanding, even if it is correct in the general thrust of the data, could very well be wrong in its modelling. After all "continental drift" was right in its grand sweep, but wrong in the mechanisms proposed to explain it. Numerous other important examples from the sciences could be listed.

The inclusion of water vapor as contributing to the "run away" effect, even if H20 vapor levels are not directly associated with human activity is cited by many. Even if this model is incorrect, or incomplete, it is important to cover it.

(William M. Connolley 17:36, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC)) The "run away" effect has essentially no scientific credibility (does that get me any not-an-extremist points?). It could be covered though, in order to make this point.

I protest WMC's actions. I also feel that JonGwynne has violated best practices. I edited the page "blind", without checking edit histories, specifically because I did not want my own feelings about the POVs of the editors to influence what I wrote. Instead I went to the sources, many of them cited on this page, and included the information which was not here.

(William M. Connolley 17:36, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC)) The page is too big already. Inserting info from sub-pages is definitely not helpful.

Again - while anthropogenic global warming is supported by the preponderance of evidence, and is explained best by the models mentioned, it is our responsibility to our readers to lay out the cases involved - both between the "sides" and within the sides - since estimates of global warming and its effects vary from those which have it as a minor inconvenience, to those which would require sweeping actions immediately. There is also the political relationship - since many of the activities that would be directly effected by steps to reduce anthropogenic global warming - such as food and energy production - have far reaching economic consequences. The range of questions suggests that the main page should be broken into subsidiary articles once there is consensus for the page. According to what is currently involved this should take into account

  1. The theories of global warming
  2. The data on global warming
  3. The debate over 1 and 2.
  4. The economic and political controversy, with references to Kyoto and other political disputes.

It is our responsibility to give enough context to understand the article. As with many articles that have been in the middle of long edit wars, this one is not in particularly good shape. This is not an accusation, I could say the same thing about articles which I was involved in an edit war over. Since this situation has boiled over to arbcom and to some rather personal accusations, I don't pretend to be able to plead for peace.

Instead I am going to argue strongly for the edits I have made as notable, documentable and NPOV, in that they help describe the general nature of the theories of AGW and the data and arguments marshalled in their support. The failure to present the AGW case clearly - "we can measure it is getting hotter, we can measure that human generated ghg are increasing, we can model that the second is casually linked to the first" is essential. If we haven't told our readers that, they cannot make sense of what follows, whether pro or anti.

This page should be escalated to the community, it has become a "hot house" where hot air has raised the temperature beyond the range which is conducive for good wikipedia articles. I hope other editors, who are not directly involved in this dispute as individuals, will read the page from the perspective of asking "what is notable, documentable and required for comprehensibility".

Stirling Newberry 16:15, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I look at the page quite differently. It appears to be quite balanced with considerable info about the conroversial stuff. It is also mainly about the current science of global warming with the emphasis on the scientific consensus of what we know about a challenging and inherently uncertain subject. Various editors have been trying to keep the focus on the science while at the same time acknowledging the controversial points. I feel they have done a good job keeping it balanced and away from POV extremism. The page is rather long already so more perhaps needs separating out (as WMC mentions below) rather than including more. -Vsmith 16:50, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC)
(In response to SN) You are right in some points. However, I cannot see an attempt to block out the wider community - in fact, I've only started editing here regularly three weeks ago (my previous edits were in March 2004 and November 2003), and most of my changes stand. I think the page suffers from overly much editing and to many fishy compromises, though. I know that I'm partially guilty of that - when fixing a wrong or misleading edit, I often try to preserve content-neutral parts just to demonstrate my willingness to compromise. But as a consequence, the page loses internal coherence. A large-scale rewrite would probably be good. But doing such a rewrite in the middle of a very contentious edit conflict, without any consideration for past edits and any discussion on talk is not the way to do it. I do agree that a controversial tag is justified, but your complaints about mobocracy are outlandish. And if you look at the talk pages, you will see who is discussing, and who is not. Of course, re-raising a point that has been refuted umpteen times already will weary people out eventually.--Stephan Schulz 17:24, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC)
According to the testimony before arbcom there was no edit war going on. Which is it? Stirling Newberry

Stirling Newberry (2)

I am here by protesting the bad faith removal of dispute tags as simple vandalism. I further assert that this page has degenerated into mobocracy

(William M. Connolley 17:30, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC)) nb: SN created the mobocracy page just now.

where editors are attempting to block out the wider community. I am protesting the censorship of material and the behavior of the editors of this page in attempting to simply squash dissent and by not engaging in discussion of points raise. I am protesting the use of gang reverting as a means of avoiding discussion. These are gross violations of wiki standards of NPOV and procedure.

Stirling Newberry 16:49, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Mobocracy?? The wider community is represented here. The controversial onfo and discussions of them are here. I removed the dispute tags simply because I had seen no discussion about them here. I think you need to carefully read what the article says about solar variation theory and other theories and criticisms. Dissent is here. The science of the theory is here. Minor criticisms do not need to have equal coverage. And the attitude of your post above is notfriendly or conducive to civil debate, it in fact comes close to flaming. If you want to discuss, be civil, we've dealt with more than enough incivilitly around here. -Vsmith 17:04, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I dispute this, tags were removed in minutes.
I am a bit astonished by you behavior. You knew that this article is disputed, but nevertheless made a lot of changes to it in one big step instead of carefully taking a step by step approach. Now you are protesting against "gang reverting" and call others "vandals", the latter is an expression Wikipedians in general use carefully. You also wrote you "edited the page 'blind', without checking edit histories,[...]" - did you at least read some of the discussion? We surely have not the problem of too few persons that read one or two articles or a Crichton book, have no scientific background and then come here and start editing--which doesn't necessarily mean you belong to this category. What about doing it step by step and start with the H20 vapor impact that is cited "by many"? best regards -- mkrohn 17:13, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 17:17, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC)) Flinging wild accusations of mobocracy around won't help you. This is a controversial page, as it says, and if you want to make major changes (or even "minor" changes that you find people are reverting) the thing to do is to discuss them first. Generalisations are hard to discuss: if you dislike whats on the page, start at the first bit you think is clearly wrong and discuss it. For my part, I'll note that what I thought was a fairly innocous diff [33] seems to have provoked charges of Protesting connolly's censorship and dictatorial behavior on this page. Reporting user in arbitration which seem quite unreasonable. My major removal was of your discussion of the GHE: which, as I explained, is covered elsewhere. Why do you see that as censorship? And... if you want to impress people with your carefulness then... why not slow down a bit and learn how to spell my name? Not to mention "satellite". Otherwise you'll look slapdash.
I dispute your good faith, given your statements to arbcom about the nature of this page. I dispute the good faith of this discussion. You have not substansively addressed my comments but instead engaged in a revert war and nit picking. This is bad faith. I support your being banned for lying to arbcom, and what has happened since shows that while JonGwynne's behavior was wrong, yours is even worse. Stirling Newberry 17:43, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 17:47, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC)) And I'm beginning to have my doubts about your good faith. But lets try and talk a bout the page instead. You confused things by putting a comment in the wrong place, below the page-is-too-long section, so I lost track of some of your comments. I've put in answers, above, now. So, how about you answer my point about the GHE explanation?

(Munnin)I will post here before re-inserting the dispute tags. Clearly this page is devolving into a food fight. The simplest and best response is to add dispute tags so we can get it sorted out. That some one would consider my adding of the tags malicious seems odd to me.
(William M. Connolley 18:30, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC)) If you want to help NPOV the page, thats great. But I don't see you discussing things. Just re-inserting the tags is *not* helpful. Also, you are showing distinctly suspicious knowledge of the ins-and-outs of wiki, for someone with only a handful of edits: this brings inevitable suspicions of sockpuppetry.
(Munnin) Fair enough, I tend to hang around an area well before joining discussions and making contributions. Some one else pointed out to me that I should create a user page and edit another area of interest to be a good Wiki citizen. I think that is also a fair suggestion and will do so this weekend.

This page was greatly in need of major rewriting. Incremental changes won't do it when massive edit warring has severely hurt the structure and flow of the article, and has kept the page from coherently reflecting the major issues involved with global warming. Cortonin | Talk 19:16, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC)

(William M. Connolley 22:26, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC)) I am less convinced of the need for a re-write. But I'm willing to be persuaded. But if you keep trying to force through the new versions *before* discussion, that will inevitably lead to conflict. Having now looked at your proposed re-write, I find that it fairly closely follows the strucutre of the existing page. I don't understand your kept the page from coherently reflecting the major issues involved with global warming. Which major issues are missing, in your view?
The two which jump out are
# The effects of other trace gases, particularly aresols and methane
# The effects on climate systems (which the IPCC report spends a good deal of time on), including ocean currents, weather effects, average sea level air pressure and humidity, etc. All of which have significant implications for human economic and social activity
# The range of predictions (which according this chart run roughly from "bad to worse".
# Other evidence for global warming - including deglaciation, rise in mean sea level temperatures.
# The "feed back" question, which is a crucial area of uncertainty - will anthrogenic processes be countered by feedback mechanisms, or will the augmentation by human activity produce "runaway" effects without tendency towards temperature equilibrium in human time scales. Or as the IPCC report referenced puts it:
A variety of feedback processes operate in the climate system (Chapter 7) to determine the response to changes in radiative forcing. The climate sensitivity (see Section 9.2.1) is a broad measure of this response. Ideally, a coupled AOGCM’s climate sensitivity would be obtained by integrating the model to a new climate equilibrium after doubling the CO2 concentration in the model atmosphere. Since this requires a lengthy integration, climate sensitivities are usually estimated with atmospheric GCMs coupled to mixed-layer upper ocean models, for which the new equilibrium is obtained in decades rather than millennia. Equilibrium climate sensitivities for models in current use are compared with the results reported in the SAR. A related measure, the effective climate sensitivity, is obtained from non-equilibrium transient climate change experiments.
As importantly, or even more so in my view, the page's organization at present is not a good encyclopediac reference: a reader who does not know the subject will be lost quickly. Much of the page seems drawn from the one IPCC report, which was created with a purpose: namely to buttress Kyoto, and therefore its focus is on CO2 which is the target of the Kyoto Protocol. It does not focus on other climate forcing effects, even though they are implicitly referenced in their range of models.
My reorganization did not cut any of the previous material - it did however bring the issues of measurement and theory - which should be the foundation of any scientific discussion - to the top of the page. We must explain this to a reader, even if it requires exposition of material which is treated in broader range or greater detail elsewhere. After all "the greenhouse effect" is hardly limited to human activities on earth: Venus and Titan are both examples of the Greenhouse effect, and other than Hugyen's landing and the Venera landings, which are beneath infinitessimal in their effects, these bodies have not been touched by human intervention of any kind. And "climate modelling" is a subject that goes far beyond the effects of climae forcing. Stirling Newberry 17:59, 26 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I agree with almost everything you listed there. I would like to see much of that. I would only add that I think the speculative effects on the climate system should be primarily summarized, and if more detail of those ideas could be referenced on a page called "Potential Climate Changes due to Global Warming", which I think could provide more detail about those. Cortonin | Talk 18:43, 26 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I think we should try to reorganize the page into something like the following outline. Cortonin | Talk 19:16, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC)

  • Introduction
    • Summarize greenhouse gases are measured as increasing, temperature records are measured as increasing, and climate modeling proposes a link between the two.
    • Summarize that there has been significant controversy about the seriousness, severity, and appropriate response to global warming. (significant *political* controversy William M. Connolley 22:26, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC))
There is, within the range of scientific research, a wide range of opinion on the causes, and severity, of the anthropogenic contribution to global warming. The current page, if anything, undersells the scientific consensus of the severity of the problem. While giving sceptics due coverage, the real controversy in the scientific community is not between "sceptics and non-sceptics", but between those who assert how much climate forcing is occuring, and what the effects will be. This should be mentioned, again, with an article which goes into more detail.
    • Greenhouse effect summary.
    • Greenhouse gas records.
    • Temperature record summary.
      • Pre-industrial
      • Industrial
    • Theories to explain temperature change
      • Climate modeling proposing a causal link between GHG and temperature increase.
there should be sufficient exposition so that readers can understand without having to run around wikipedia, with further information on the main page for those who want more detail. Stirling Newberry 17:59, 26 Feb 2005 (UTC)
        • Feedback mechanisms
        • Watar vapor, clouds, and other areas still being worked on
      • Solar variation (should be mostly on solar variability)
  • The economic and political controversy about global warming. (should be on global warming controversy)
    • Possible effects (sub page)
    • Kyoto (has its own page, why add it here?)
Again, enough so that someone referencing "global warming" understands that the Kyoto protocol is an attempt to address global warming, and on what basis the treaty works.
    • Other examples
I think this is essentially a good outline, and would support good faith attempts to improve the page. The excessive tendency to exile crucial information, bury important data and leave unexplained the theoretical backdrop of the controversy is, to my view, one of the key flaws in the current article. The second key flaw is that reference to both methane and water vapor as part of models of global warming was not covered previously, for reasons which I cannot in the least fathom - measuring of both is part of the scientific study of global warming, and many models have both playing increasingly important roles in climate change over the next century. Any article which does not mention why these two atmospheric components are tracked and their role in climatic change is doing a disservice to the readers.

This page is too long...

(William M. Connolley 16:26, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC)) Wiki warns that the page is too long, and I'm inclined to agree. I propose that we try to agree how to prune it (assuming we can agree its too long). Suggestions:

  • Remove the "potential effects" section to its own page, on the grounds that this is (a) a reasonably self-contained subject (b) not terribly well done at the moment and might get more attention as its own article
  • Perhaps prune the vast reference list and see-also's? glossary of climate change can replace many of them.
  • Put the "the relationship between GW and ozone depletion" onto the OD page? Ditto GD?
  • Prune the climate models section onto the climate models page
  • Prune the temperature records section, which largely duplicates stuff on sub-pages
The article should comply with the summary style conventions. This article should cover, in summary, all of the most important facets of the topic, then refer to detailed subarticles using the Main article: foo, convention. That way this article contains all of the most important info and further detail is quickly available. The references list should never be moved out I'd think, but I suppose I could support a references main article that is linked to. That is very nonstandard. As a related note, the page size limit issue is more and more being ignored. A number of recent featured articles have been promoted that are well over the limit, with many people feeling the length limit is outdated. - Taxman 16:43, Feb 25, 2005 (UTC)
A lot of readers coming to the global warming page, would be coming because of the fear mongering, so the potential effects should stay here. Perspective on and implications of temperature record relative to global warming should be discussed here. Ozone should only be discussed here to the extent that it is a key component of any theory explaining temperature/model disparity issues that are part of any points of contention. In general it is a peripheral issue, the nuances of which should be on some other page. Overall, I think there does not need to be a general pruning. The state of flux in the science needs to be represented and pruning will occur naturally over the years as the outstanding issues are settled by further publications of research.--Silverback 12:56, 26 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I agree about the effects and ozone. But with that said, the "potential effects" section should be small. Perhaps even smaller than it is now. The entire section is highly speculative, and as the "fear mongering" is part of the phenomenon of global warming, this warrants mention, but we should not clutter up the page with too much detail about those speculations. Cortonin | Talk 17:43, 26 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Water vapor is not a forcing

Stirling seems to have the same misunderstanding of the science that JonGwynne had. yes H2O is the most important greenhouse gas, but it is not a "forcing". It is a dependent variable whose levels and effects must be predicted by the models, just as clouds, temperature and precipitation must be. So although H2O is the most important greenhouse gas, CO2 is the most important greenhouse gas for the "global warming" issue, because of its persistance and mixing in the atmosphere and predicting its future levels must take predictions of human activity into account outside the models and applied to the models as a forcing. Yes, some human activity such as irrigation and changing of ground cover vegetation results in human forcing via water vapor, but these effects are short lived and thus local, and small compared to the indirect modulation of water vapor as a dependent variable responding to the incremental temperature effects of CO2 and other persistent, globally mixing greenhouse gasses. Stirling and JonGwynne not only confuse the issue by trying to imply that H2O is more important on this page, but the apparently also confuse themselves.--Silverback 12:42, 26 Feb 2005 (UTC)

What you're missing is that the relative "importance" of CO2 and H2O is entirely part of the POV of each side. (This is not surprising since the word "important" is a subjective assessment.) To the strong believers in anthropogenic global warming, obviously CO2 is the most important greenhouse gas to them. To those who are looking at just the existence of the greenhouse effect (which is a natural phenomenon), obviously H2O is the most important greenhouse gas. For this reason we need to avoid assigning "importance" to a particular greenhouse gas, since any attempt to do so is an expression of POV. Instead, what we need to do is describe the existing state of the greenhouse effect and the proposed feedback mechanisms in more detail for the reader, rather than trying to summarize this as a particular gas's importance level. We have the option of simply describing the model instead, so we should do so. Cortonin | Talk 17:38, 26 Feb 2005 (UTC)
No this is not the subjective "importance", this is importance in the causal or statistical sense. H2O is so short lived that despite its larger overall contribution to the greenhouse effect, it would not be enough to keep earth out of a snowball earth result. It takes some minimal persistant greenhouse gases to moderate desert and winter nights, and to keep some h20 in the air. h2o is the gas which is near its freezing point and has low vapor pressures at earth temperatures. When was the last time you had CO2 or methane condensation or frost on your car or lawn, or either "rain" from clouds? h2o vapor is a dependent variable, albeit positively reinforcing variable through the greenhouse effect, it is not a forcing variable, and furthermore it is not altogether clear that when the total water cycle is considered that h2o's moderating effects through clouds don't significantly reduce any positively reinforcing effect.--Silverback 06:46, 27 Feb 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 18:28, 26 Feb 2005 (UTC)) This page is about *global warming*, which is to say *changes* in temperature, and is not about the GHE. This is why the forcings are important. This is why the page *should* say where the most important forcing is from: viz: CO2.
Uhm, if you remove the greenhouse effect from global warming, all you have left is solar variation. Now if you're proposing that solar variation has potential to account for much of the observed warming, then I think that's certainly worthy of consideration, but that doesn't seem to match well with your previous posting history. And perhaps you neglected to read where I described that ascribing importance to a particular greenhouse gas is POV. Of course, you usually define your POV as NPOV, resulting in a twisted discussion everytime someone tries to discuss NPOV with you. There's a reason we have the idea that the first step toward NPOV is understanding that we each have POV. Cortonin | Talk 18:53, 26 Feb 2005 (UTC)
In this instance, it's not so much that different people have different POV's about the answer to the question, but rather that they're answering different questions. To resolve the dispute and lift the protection, we should be able to explain in the article that there's a distinction between, on the one hand, the ongoing greenhouse effect, and, on the other hand, the change observed over the last century or so. What about this as the opening paragraph:
Global warming is a term used to describe an increase over time of the average temperature of Earth's atmosphere and oceans. Global warming theories attempt to account for the rise in average global temperatures since the late 19th century (0.6 ± 0.2°C) [34] [35] and assess the extent to which the effects are due to human causes. The most common global warming theories attribute temperature increases to increases in the greenhouse effect caused primarily by anthropogenic (human-generated) carbon dioxide. Other gases (such as methane, water vapor, nitrous oxide and ozone) are considered greenhouse gases because of their ongoing contribution to the greenhouse effect, but are generally thought to be less important in explaining the comparatively recent change in temperature that is addressed by global warming theories.
This version includes no wikilink to the carbon cycle article but it's linked later on anyway. JamesMLane 19:17, 26 Feb 2005 (UTC)


Please settle the dispute on talk. 172 20:39, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC)

(William M. Connolley 15:00, 26 Feb 2005 (UTC)) I belive that your protection is unhelpful. I ask you to lift it.
And what will you do as soon as he lifts it? That's right, start up a revert war again. Cortonin | Talk 17:28, 26 Feb 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 18:30, 26 Feb 2005 (UTC)) In case you've forgotten, the edit war was started by SN amd the Wikiwarming sockpuppet.
And what will you do as soon as the protection is lifted? Cortonin | Talk 18:54, 26 Feb 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 21:27, 26 Feb 2005 (UTC)) Take it back to the state it was before SN made his huge and contested changes. Of course.
Hence continue the edit war. This is exactly why the page has to remain protected for the time being. 172 00:30, 27 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/JonGwynne/Proposed decision

(William M. Connolley 18:34, 26 Feb 2005 (UTC)) Note that the arbcomm is currently working on findings of fact and proposed remedies at Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/JonGwynne/Proposed decision. So far, JG is doing badly and SN's request that I be banned for a year doesn't seem to have been taken seriously, how surprising. There is space on the discussion page for people to comment on the proposed remedies.

CO2 left to be emitted

So... Most of the climate models seem to be making an assumption of CO2 doubling due to emissions over the next 100 years. But fossil fuel counts show that we only have about 40 years worth of fossil fuels left in known reserves. It seems that one of these two numbers has to change. 40 more years of fossil fuel emissions would peak out at a 20% rise in CO2 levels before we run out of CO2 to emit. Cortonin | Talk 19:04, 26 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Obviously people disagree about the available oil reserves. I've seen numbers from 20 years to more than 80 years, and I won't pretend to know what the most reliable number is. However, I am pretty sure that everyone agrees that there are sufficient alternative fossil fuels (e.g. coal and natural gas) to meet energy demands till well beyond 2100. Obviously, if coal or natural gas is the primary energy supply then we would have to find ways to avoid or limit the need for gasoline (e.g. electric cars or hydrogren economy). However, there is no resource limitation that would prevent a fossil fuel based economy from persisting till well after we are all dead. Dragons flight 20:24, Feb 26, 2005 (UTC)
I concur. There's arguably a marginal propensity factor that could come into play though: less use of fossil fuels not directly to avoid global warming, necessarily, but due to rising costs, 'strategic' considerations, or indeed other environmental factors. But that's somewhat speculative, and is hard to factor out from 'deliberately decreasing use of fossils for carbon emissions reasons' if it serves that purpose as well. Alai 20:53, 26 Feb 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 21:25, 26 Feb 2005 (UTC)) DF is right. There is loads of coal left. And tar sands. And...
There's definitely a reasonable argument to be made that fossil fuels will not continue to take up the fraction of the energy load that they do today, mostly because oil and natural gas won't last much longer and coal and tar sands can't really substitute for them. Coal is ridiculously polluting, and tar sands are very expensive and difficult to produce - both of these are mined energy-sources, much more expensive than oil and natural gas, which literally shoot right out of the ground. I'm unclear on how this should be commented on, anyway. Graft 01:27, 27 Feb 2005 (UTC)
There are coal gasification projects, that are doubly troubling as far a CO2 because they burn some coal to provide energy for the process. I don't have a cite, but coal is evidently plentiful, I heard figures like 700 years worth. It fossil fuel usage goes down it will probably be due to reasons other than scarcity. --Silverback 06:56, 27 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Given the numbers on coal for world coal reserves, systematically finding and burning every drop of that would give us from 2100 to 2150 if it replaced all other fossil fuel use at that point and consumption rates remained constant, which could at most contribute about another 0.25-1.3 C of warming in the extreme case. (You have to remember that predicted warming is logarithmic with rise in CO2 levels.) This is almost a negligible contribution, and would take great effort to accomplish. Cortonin | Talk 09:45, 27 Feb 2005 (UTC)
The question is has anyone made it in a notable and documentable form. Stirling Newberry 02:41, 27 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Even if, by some miracle, 150% more oil reserves than the known reserves are discovered, such that we can continue using them until 2100, then that would be it. This means that the cap on CO2 levels is essentially that it could grow from its current level of 377 ppm to 450 ppm, or up to an extreme maximum of 750 ppm. This means that the maximum warming that could ever occur given the most extreme of the commonly accepted models is between 1-5 C, assuming we find that gigantic amount of oil reserves in some undiscovered part of the planet, and then we'd be completely out of CO2 to spit out. There can be no cataclysmic rise beyond that, because we don't have the resources to do it. It might be a good idea if these constraints were mentioned somewhere on the page, so that people don't get unrealistic ideas about what could happen. Cortonin | Talk 08:57, 27 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Cortonin, I think you missed the point of most of the comments made in this section. There are roughly 1.5 * 1015 m3 of natural gas in the ground, which we use at a rate of 2.6 * 1012 m3 per year. [36] For coal there are 9.8 * 1011 tonnes in the ground [37], of which 5.0 * 109 tonnes are consumed each year [38]. So, at modern consumption rates we have 200 years of coal and 575 years of natural gas. Coal and natural gas each amount to about 23% of world energy consumption. [39]. Even if such fuels have to largely replace the 40% of world energy consumption derived from oil AND the energy consumption continues strong growth to say 4 times present levels, there would still be about a century's worth of energy to be had in coal and natural gas. In short, there is no way we will be out of fossil energy by 2100. Dragons flight 10:03, Feb 27, 2005 (UTC)
Your figures for natural gas are wrong (I didn't check coal) - reserves are 6,800 tcf (192e12 m3). Annual global consumption is 91 tcf (2.6e12 m3). Which means gas lasts 75 years until every last bit is gone, at current consumption rates (which, obviously means it will be abandoned long before that for economic reasons). Additionally, though coal can substitute for oil in some areas and one might imagine that somehow, it could replace oil's principal usage (liquid fuel for transportation), all of these conversions require an additional energy burden - i.e., it takes energy to gasify coal, to convert it into hydrogen, say, and the like. Oil is convenient - it takes almost no energy to accumulate and only needs to be distilled in order to provide a high-quality liquid fuel. The burden placed on coal increases at a rate greater than the depletion of other fossil fuels, because coal is a poor replacement. Finally, there is 200 years of coal in the ground, yes, but getting it OUT of the ground is a different proposition. The amount of coal that is reasonably accessible is the key question; if it becomes increasingly difficult to mine, the deeper you have to dig the more energy you must consume, the more coal you must burn, and your "200 years" diminishes rapidly. And there are other burdens associated with coal mining - sulfur and mercury pollution, for example - that people are less willing to tolerate than CO2 in the air. So I think it's very reasonable to say that fossil fuels will not last out the century at current consumption rates. It's also reasonable to say that fossil fuel consumption will go UP, and the time will be concommitantly decreased. The relevant question is, if we burn all (or 70%) of our oil and gas (which will probably effectively mark the end of the fossil fuel era), what does this do to global warming under current models? Someone has probably approached this question, at least. Graft 19:05, 27 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Could you give a source for natural gas reserves? The source I have linked clearly gives the number I quoted. Dragons flight 19:40, Feb 27, 2005 (UTC)
I think Graft accidently grabbed the number, 6,800 tcf, for natural gas reserves located in the Rocky Mountains. But regardless, the analysis below holds with the full world supply. Cortonin | Talk 20:26, 27 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Actually, I didn't. The numbers are from EIA, available here[40]. They quote four different sources on proven gas reserves, which range from ~6200 tcf to 6800 tcf, which I thought was the most charitable figure. DF's source might be talking about projected gas, or total gas-in-the-ground, which is different than recoverable reserves. Rocky mountain region is lucky if it contains 175 tcf of recoverable gas. Anywho. Graft 06:19, 28 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Hmm, interesting. This quotes 6800 tcf as the amount in the Rocky mountain region. However, I think the big difference is that the source you're quoting from is listing "estimated quantities that analysis of geologic and engineering data demonstrates with reasonable certainty are recoverable under existing economic and operating conditions" This seems to make a huge difference in the quantity. Perhaps only 1/7th or so of the known supplies of natural gas are recoverable. Cortonin | Talk 07:51, 28 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Those estimates of 200 years and 575 years are somewhat illusory, because they depend on continual usage of those at their current rates, which are quite small. For estimating the total pollution which can occur, we have to scale those to replacing our total energy supply. If we, by miracle, find 150% more petroleum than is currently known to exist, then we can continue to burn each fuel at our current rate until 2100. Then if we switch over to coal, and burn all of that, that's about 50 more years. And if we switch over to natural gas and burn all of that, this gives about another 80 more years at our current total world energy need (but you also need to remember that natural gas emits 1/2 as much CO2, so that's the equivalent of 40 years worth of pollution). So if we take that assumption of finding 150% more petroleum than is currently known to exist, then this yields a pollution equivalence of about 190 years worth of our 2001 pollution rates before we're out of known fuel plus that huge amount of unknown petroleum. Since almost all these numbers are from 2001, if you take the rise rate in atmospheric CO2 from 2001 pollution levels, given a fit of the Mauna Lao data, you get 1.83 ppm / year. And if you do a little multiplication, you get a 348 ppm rise before we're out of fossil fuels. This is almost a doubling, and you can take another 44 ppm off of there if we don't locate all that extra petroleum. Given our consumption rise of 2.2% per year, we very well could be out of all those fossil fuels by 2100 (which itself is obviously a serious problem needing a long term solution), but the total CO2 rise that can be produced by the total quantity of fossil fuels is still not cataclysmic. Cortonin | Talk 20:02, 27 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Ignoring the question of how long it will take to actually use it all up, I am prepared to concede the point that if the modern increase rate in CO2 can be extrapolated to burning all known reserves then that would put us at about 700 ppm or less (2.5 times preindustrial levels). Now, there is a big if in there since we don't really know how existing carbon sinks like soils, forests, and the oceans will respond to increasing CO2. Right now, these systems buffer the atmosphere so that the annual increase at Mauna Lao is actually significantly lower (by about 50%) than if you just calculate the increase expected from all the CO2 humans dump into the atmosphere. Basically because CO2 has increased, these systems draw down more CO2 than they did in preindustrial times and hence partially offset our pollution. Some scientists think this buffer will become ever more effective as CO2 rises, others think it will saturate and a substantially lower fraction of our waste will be absorbed. Obviously, such uncertainties are important for figuring out max CO2.
Taking for the moment a value of 700 ppm as a reasonable end point, that still seems potentially bad. How bad probably depends on how sensitive things like thermohaline circulation are to multiple degree changes in temperature, and how big a feedback is associated with retreating sea ice and permafrost. Not exactly a risk I am eager to take given existing climate uncertainties. However, at face value it would seem to take some disasterous scenarios off the table. For example, it is estimated that the wholesale deglaciation of Antarctica won't occur till 3-3.5 times preindustrial CO2 levels. (This was presented at a conference of the American Geophysical Union, but I am having trouble finding a reference).
I think your consideration of how high can CO2 levels really get is a valid one, and potentially very intersting. However, given the uncertainties involved in such estimates, I would really like to see if we can find something published on the issue. An academic paper would (hopefully) have spent more time thinking through these issues and work out what kind of a range of values is possible.
Dragons flight 21:14, Feb 27, 2005 (UTC)
I would very much like to see the contents of a paper on this myself, so if anyone finds one please let me know. It unfortunately seems fairly difficult to locate articles urging caution in climate journals these days. Cortonin | Talk 23:00, 27 Feb 2005 (UTC)
As for the carbon sinks, there are huge unknowns involved with the mechanisms and feedbacks of those, and there is really only one comprehensive experiment, and that's the atmosphere. If you consider that energy consumption has been rising by about 2.2% a year, then you could presume that CO2 emissions are also rising by about the same rate (if there's a significant difference, please correct this). Yet when you look at CO2 levels, you find that the increase in CO2 levels only seems to go up about 1.6% faster each year. So that seems to indicate that whatever CO2 sinks we have operating seem to be accelerating their sinking rates as CO2 levels rise, rather than decreasing it. So for right now, CO2 sinks seem to operate more effectively the more CO2 we have in the atmosphere, in contrast to the theories which propose them as becoming saturated. This is no guarantee that this functional relationship will continue, but observation is the best we have to go on for right now. Cortonin | Talk 23:00, 27 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Unprotection requested

(William M. Connolley 21:30, 26 Feb 2005 (UTC)) I've put a request for unprotection on Wikipedia:Requests for page protection.

The page still needs to be protected. There is no evidence that any of the parties are closer to reaching a compromise in order to avoid another edit war the minute the page is unprotected. 172 00:28, 27 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Why compromise? This is a science page, so the decisions should be evidence based. Perhaps we need a more scientifically literate admin to intervene?--Silverback 06:29, 27 Feb 2005 (UTC)
172, I'm afraid that will be the case until some attitudes and approach to editing Wikipedia change around here. It's not a matter of just reaching a compromise, it's has to be about changing the way people operate here. Edit warring has sadly become the standard operating procedure in response to any change, and all discussions on the talk page are approached with the subconscious attitude of, "Well fine, then I'll just revert it." Very little effort is made to reach compromise, gain understanding, or work together, and instead it is almost entirely replaced with persistent attempts to persuade by fiat and the continued presence of reverting. You've been around this community for a long time, so if you can find a way to fix this problem for these climate related articles, that would be much appreciated. Cortonin | Talk 08:43, 27 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Incidentally... 172 has just been blocked under 3RR himself [41]. How amusing. But that still leaves us stuck with his protect, which is less amusing.

Request granted. -- Uncle Ed (talk) 21:48, Feb 28, 2005 (UTC)
For the record, 172 was blocked for trying to remove statements effectively calling Russia a prison labor camp. I have difficulty faulting him for this. Cortonin | Talk 23:53, 28 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Emigration is a basic right, and it was the USSR not Russia. The USSR did kill people trying to escape. Given the marxist emphasis on workers and labor, what else was the USSR from the time Stalin through early Gorbachev? I know, just a different culture with its own quaint inscrutible ways. After all, people are the mere private property of the leaders of "their" nation. Perhaps, the USSR was so large, that being denied the right to emigrate was only a minor limitation on one's options? You perhaps did not know that papers were required for travel or even changing jobs within the USSR.--Silverback 00:58, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Temp Page

I have moved the current, protected version of the page onto Talk:Global warming/temp so that people can have something to work on while trying to agree on a version of this page. Dragons flight 06:18, Feb 27, 2005 (UTC)

The trouble with doing it that way is that then the temp version has no talk page. I've moved it to Global warming/temp so that Talk:Global warming/temp will be available on the wild off-chance that anyone wants to engage in constructive discussion about how the article should read. JamesMLane 06:55, 27 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Fine by me. I just put it on the talk page because it had previously been used for that purpose. Dragons flight 07:30, Feb 27, 2005 (UTC)

Hydrologic Cycle

I am going to try and nail down what the data says.

  1. Among natural greenhouse gases, water vapor is responsible for more of the heat retained than any other natural greenhouse gase. There is no significant dispute of this.
    1. But there is dispute as to whether this should be mentioned prominently.
  2. The warming caused by water vapor is heavily concentrated near the equitorial band, that is sunlight drives water vapro concentrations. There is no serious dispute of this either.
    1. Yes, but you don't want to make too much of it. It shifts north and south with the seasons. Simplifications are OK as long as you stay within the limits of their validity.--Silverback 08:05, 28 Feb 2005 (UTC)
    2. (William M. Connolley 09:53, 28 Feb 2005 (UTC)) I don't see any evidence for this at all. Can you provide some?
  3. The hydrologic cycle has water vapor molecules remain in the atmosphere for a relatively short time - 9 days on average.
  4. #Water forms the most important transport mechanism for heat, both atmospheric and for ocean currents.
  5. Most models of AGW have the contribution from water vapor to be as much, or more, than CO2. That is, in all models for AGW I can find, Water vapor is a positive feedback effect.
    1. There is no significant mechanism for a negative feedback effect, however, water vapor may well effect aerosols and clouds, which do have significant negative feedback mechanisms.--Silverback 08:05, 28 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  6. In order to be the driving factor behind recent global temperature trends, water vapor requires an outside source of heat, that is, taking all direct human and potential natural effects on the hydrologic cycle, none of them would increase the amount of water vapor. This means geothermal warming or solar warming. There is no plausible physical mechanism for the first, and there is no evidence of the second.
    1. I object to your langauge, not your concept: WV is not the *driving* factor, it is a feedback factor.
    2. Taken more generally as "solar activity" rather than "solar warming" there is evidence for the latter, suggestive correlations and a theory proposing an effect on cloud cover mediated by solar magnetic field effects on cosmic ray flux.--Silverback 08:05, 28 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  7. In the early 1990's there were models that argued that increases in temperature from CO2 would create negative feedback from water vapor. The models argued that increased evaporation of water vapor near the surface would dry the middle and upper layers of that atmosphere, and thus cancel out the increased warming effect. Since 1992, all measurable data has indicated that this effect does not take place, and instead that increased evaporation increases ambient surface temperatures.
    1. Not sure what you mean here, unless its Lindzens iris stuff. That wasn't really a model, in the GCM sense.

We aren't here to offer speculations of our own. We are here to document the state of measurement. At the present time, there is no plausible model which correlates current global warming to increases in solar output or any other possible source of increased evaporation - except the increase in CO2 and other trace gases attributable to AGW. Stirling Newberry 00:01, 28 Feb 2005 (UTC)

It depends on what you mean by "current", if you encompass the whole of the 20th century within "current" then the consensus is that most of that part of the warming that occurred early in the century was due to solar activity, and thus "all" plausible models incorporate it. Of course, further evidence for and developement of the indirect solar effects theory, may require further modification of the models.--Silverback 08:05, 28 Feb 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 09:53, 28 Feb 2005 (UTC)) I disagree with you on that.
I don't think anyone's claiming that water vapor is anthropogenically forced. I've heard a lot of people sound like they're arguing against that, but I'm not sure who they're arguing with since I think pretty much everyone agrees that there is no anthropogenic forcing of water vapor. What's at issue is that there should be a proper description of the ROLE of water vapor as a strong positive feedback in the climate models used to make the predictions. This role is important to a proper description of the theories behind those predictions, and that description is insufficient in the current article. The role of water vapor feedback is particularly important since, for example, water vapor feedback occurs more prominently in tropical areas than in polar regions, and thus water vapor feedback is more likely to warm the tropics than melt the ice caps. CO2, in contrast, has a notably different atmospheric distribution. (There's a nice 3D plot somewhere of CO2 w.r.t. latitude.) Cortonin | Talk 07:23, 28 Feb 2005 (UTC)
As for solar warming, you should not be so quick to dismiss it. Before replying I just did a quick literary search of the recent solar research relating to global warming. I found 10 articles discussing the effect of solar variability on global temperature. Of those, 1 article says they are unable to find a significant link between solar variability on global temperature, 1 article says the link between solar variability and global temperature is being exagerated and that solar variability can only account for between 33% to 50% of the forcing, 1 article discusses the matter without drawing a conclusion about the significance, and 7 articles claim that the effect of solar variability is underestimated in climate models, that solar variability can account for much of the observed temperature fluctuations, and that the contribution of solar variability exceeds anthropogenic forcing. So from my attempt to search for the consensus of solar researchers working on global warming, it seems that most of them seem to think that solar variability is the primary cause. I think the tendency in this article to dismiss the solar variability contribution is a bit misguided, and not in touch with the mainstream research in this area. See below for references. Cortonin | Talk 07:23, 28 Feb 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 09:53, 28 Feb 2005 (UTC)) You're probably better off looking at the IPCC
It would appear that the literature itself is more insightful than a selective summary of the literature chosen for political purposes. So no thanks. I'd rather see the articles for myself. Cortonin | Talk 10:03, 28 Feb 2005 (UTC)
...and some of the articles are more recent than the TAR's creation. — SEWilco 21:59, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 18:36, 28 Feb 2005 (UTC)) Quite why I should prefer a careless and biased selection by you, to the careful work of the IPCC, is a mystery.
Yes, the careful work of the IPCC. Which carefully changes the supporting report to match the Summary For Policymakers, thus "restricting the liberty of the author teams to adjust the assessment in light of the scientific literature and their preferences". Is "inadequate literature referencing" relevant to selecting literature?,%20Rev.pdf 21:55, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 22:19, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC)) Could you be a bit more cryptic please?

If anyone should care to check for themselves, the 7 articles I found supporting solar variability as a significant forcing are these (they all discuss different aspects of the issue) Cortonin | Talk 07:23, 28 Feb 2005 (UTC):

  • Global warming: Are we confusing cause and effect?
Khilyuk LF, Chilingar GV
Energy Sources 25 (4): 357-370 APR 2003
  • Solar total irradiance variations and the global sea-surface temperature record
Reid GC
Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres 96 (D2): 2835-2844 Feb 20 1992
  • Do models underestimate the solar contribution to recent climate change?
Stott PA, Jones GS, Mitchell JFB
Journal of Climate 16 (24): 4079-4093 Dec 2003
  • The effect of solar activity on carbon dioxide concentration in the lower atmosphere
Mironova IA
Geomagnetism and Aeronomy 42 (1): 128-131 Jan-Feb 2002
  • CO2-induced global warming: a skeptic's view of potential climate change
Idso SB
Climate Research 10 (1): 69-82 Apr 9 1998
  • Role of time-delay concept in understanding mechanism of total solar irradiance variation and its effect on the climate of the Earth
Yoshimura H
Solar Physics 177 (1-2): 329-342 Jan 1998
  • Solar physics: Sunny side of global warming
Parker EN
Nature 399 (6735):416-417 Jun 3 1999

Carbon sinks

Increased natural carbon sinking absorbs approximately 40% of anthrogenic green house gas activity. In order to slow global warming it would be required to more than double the natural carbon sinking effects that occur. [42].

The over all carbon intensity of energy production has been falling by approximately 1.8%, according to baseline projections, this trend is projected to slow, as most of the GDP growth is going to occur in economies which will go through a heavily carbonized period of development. [43]

For a "carbon sink" model to balance global warming at acceptable levels, some kind of strong postive feedback loop would need to be shown between carbon sinking and AGHG - there's no paper in the literature which suggests a plausible mechanism for doing this. The best you will find is that given stiff enough economic penalties, short term "carbon sequestration" becomes economically viable, Basically, nature is sinking carbon as fast as it can, and while there are advocates of "carbon sequestration" as part of the role of climate control.

In short, no one is currently projecting that human beings can become "global warming neutral" based on "decarbonization", except the very, very, very most optimistic scenarios (5% or less probability of occurance). Stirling Newberry 23:59, 27 Feb 2005 (UTC)

We could easily become CO2 neutral. Starting today we could begin building fission reactors in huge quantities, mandate a transition to hydrogen powered cars (which is environmentally beneficial given fission as the initial power source for electrolysis), and put down 20 to 50 billion USD in a Manhattan-project sized attempt to build working fusion reactors. Of course, we won't do these things, but those are for political reasons rather than technological. Cortonin | Talk 07:37, 28 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Only if by "political reasons" you mean, "what would we do with the waste". Anyway, a discussion of carbon sinks and especially sequestration probably belongs on Kyoto Protocol, not here. I remember reading a study that said sequestration strategies based on, e.g., cedar plantations were doomed to failure because they actually released more CO2 via plowing than they ended up sequestering; that is, only after 50+ years of old-growth do you actually get a net sequestration. Chee. Graft 01:10, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC)
What we would do with the waste is the same thing we do now with most of the waste. Stuff it in a barrel that will outlast the radioactivity, and store it in a concrete building out behind the reactor. Those things make surprisingly little waste, and most of the waste a reactor will ever make can simply be stored on site. There seems to be some big fear of radioactivity that keeps people afraid of ideas like this, but the technology is fairly safe and well understood. The DOE has been funding research projects on this question for quite some time, and has come up with very good solutions. Cortonin | Talk 07:05, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I always find it one of the greatest ironies of contemporary environmentalism, that the people who are most afraid of carbon dioxide, are usually the ones most opposed to the only scalable solution to its rise. I'm not the least bit afraid of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, given the evidence that has been gathered to date, but I do hate smog, and I think it damages the living quality in most populated areas. Nuclear energy with hydrogen solves this, but it's the environmentalists that keep it from happening. Cortonin | Talk 07:05, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Edit Wars

It would be nice if someone would make a list of the several disputed points over which contributors are "edit warring". From this, non-partisans might be able to craft fair descriptions of these disputes suitable for inclusion in the article itself. -- Uncle Ed (talk) 21:51, Feb 28, 2005 (UTC)

(William M. Connolley 22:55, 28 Feb 2005 (UTC)) Thanks for Ed for the unprotect. I have restored the page to the state it was in before the most recent edit war; or (the same thing another way) to before the state before the presumed sockpuppet WikiWarming's edit. Then I've added a few minor changes that I made on the /temp page.

(William M. Connolley 22:55, 28 Feb 2005 (UTC)) As to the subject of the dispute: there is talk above about this, but as usual it has grown so long it is pretty hard to follow. From my POV the problem was:

  • Stirling Newberry made a huge edit, with no reference to the delicate compromises that a reading of the past history would have shown up. Inevitably, this upset people, including me.
  • I made some minor revisions to his text - including removing his description of the GHE, which is elsewhere - and what appeared to me misleading statements concerning water vapour. Note that I did *not* complain about POV - as far as I could tell on a quick look, much of his reshuffling was POV neutral.
  • SN violently objected to this (edit comment Protesting connolly's censorship and dictatorial behavior on this page. Reporting user in arbitration; he suggested on RFA that I be banned for a year; hardly good-faith actions, and completely over the top given that my changes were minor compared to his), and reverted my changes. I thought: OK well, if you won't be nice, we'll go all the way back and reverted to the pre-SN version, by Vsmith.
  • We then had a little revert war, which SN inevitably lost, as most people disagreed with him.
  • Sn then got huffy and put in the NPOV header, which is bizarre, because as far as I could tell his changes were POV-neutral w.r.t. the existing page.
  • There was a bit of stuff that looked like sock-puppetry (possibly Munnin, though he denies it and may be right; more likely WikiWarming.
  • SN went off to 172 to get the page protected and he obliged.

But as to exactly what *content* we are disputing, I am really rather unsure. If SN can start making his edits but in much smaller goes, we can discuss them happily. The specific points I recall:

  • He wanted what seemed like a self-contained page: complete with description of greenhouse effect, etc. I (and others) disagree: the mechanism of the GHE is better explained on the GHE page. I think the GW page is too long and should be shortened.
  • He is rather keen on the role of water vapor, whereas I have argued long and hard that it is inappropriate to mention this prominently here, though its there on the GHE page.

BTW1: I think recall a comment from Silverback (I forget where) saying that this was rather odd behaviour for SN, and wondering if the account was hijacked. I certainly found SN's behaviour very odd.

BTW2: Ed: are you a dev? can you do the base-level checks on Munnin and more particularly WikiWarming as possible socks?

(William M. Connolley 23:57, 28 Feb 2005 (UTC)) Although you're generally keen on not muckraking. So unless they decide to come back, its more a trivia question than a current problem, and may not be worth it.

Water vapor

As noted above, one answer to Ed's question is that there's a dispute about how to address water vapor (and other gases that aren't carbon dioxide). Looking just at the part of the introductory paragraph that comes after the links, we've seen three versions that I remember:

Version 1 The most common global warming theories attribute temperature increases to increases in the greenhouse effect caused primarily by anthropogenic (human-generated) carbon dioxide.

Version 2 The most common global warming theories attribute temperature increases to increases in the greenhouse effect caused primarily by anthropogenic (human-generated) greenhouse cases, including carbon dioxide and methane, and perhaps water vapor, nitrous oxide and ozone as well. The most important are generally thought to be those associated with the carbon cycle.

Version 3 The most common global warming theories attribute temperature increases to increases in the greenhouse effect caused primarily by anthropogenic (human-generated) carbon dioxide. Other gases (such as methane, water vapor, nitrous oxide, and ozone) are considered greenhouse gases because of their ongoing contribution to the greenhouse effect, but are generally thought to be less important in explaining the comparatively recent change in temperature that is addressed by global warming theories.

Version 3 was my attempt at compromise. As a nonscientist, I think that many readers will come to this article with an imperfect understanding of the different meanings of the terms "global warming" and "greenhouse effect". For those readers, it's useful to draw the distinction in the opening paragraph. I departed from Version 1 by mentioning gases other than carbon dioxide, but I departed from Version 2 by making the distinction more explicit.

Of course, this doesn't yet address how the subject should be addressed later in the article. JamesMLane 01:43, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Version 4
The most common global warming theories attribute temperature increases to changes caused primarily by anthropogenic (human-generated) carbon dioxide. Although the conjectured amounts of carbon dioxide do not cause most of the predicted greenhouse effect warming, the predictions claim there would be an increase in water vapor which will cause most of the expected warming. Other gases (such as methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone) are considered greenhouse gases because of their ongoing contribution to the greenhouse effect, but are generally thought to be less important in explaining the comparatively recent change in temperature that is addressed by global warming theories.
SEWilco 08:03, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Questioning: "Much of this uncertainty results from not knowing future CO2 emissions"

Correct me if I am wrong, but isn't the range of predictions discussed in this paragraph from different models and NOT different CO2 forcing scenerios? I thought for the purpose of furthering the science, the modelers agreed to model the same future scenerios and therefore the differences in the predictions were differences in how the models were internally handling the physics, with the key areas of concern being aerosols and clouds. If my recollection is correct that would make the attribution of uncertainty for these figures wrong.--Silverback 01:16, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC)

(William M. Connolley 09:37, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC)) Its certainly true that much of the uncertainty comes from not knowing emissions. If you follow the link I added for that range (now lost in the SN version, alas) you'll find The estimated range for the six final illustrative SRES scenarios using updated methods is +1.4 to +5.6°C. The range for the full set of SRES scenarios is +1.4 to +5.8°C. [44]. Which I think is your answer.
Thanx, these aren't the figures I would have used, since they are from the simple model that is in a sense of a model of the responses of the coupled models, that was chosen out of necessity for computational reasons so that the scenerios could be run to 2100. I prefer the CO2 doubling ensembles of the coupled models, even thoough those only get us to the middle of the century. The IPCC report does appear to be an excellant review of the literature at that time, although, the conclusions and summaries don't seem to incorporate all the uncertainties of the component parts.--Silverback 11:25, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 11:33, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC)) If you poke around in the modelling chapter you'll find a lot of detail about the different model responses and different scenario responses from the coupled models: e.g. [45] [46]. I don't think its right to worry about the "simple" model, since its tuned to the AOGCMs (I think). But personally I prefer the AOGCM results.

Here we go again?

These massive structural reverts are making it very hard to even follow what the specific points at issue are. And Stirling, isn't it ironic you reverted, losing an additional set of interrim changes to boot, on the basis that there'd been no prior discussion -- while having yourself having contributed nothing to the talk page your for the last three days, and not even bothering to do so now? Do we need to carry out something so tedious as a poll to determine which is the preferred version of the two, as a basis for editting to happen at a useful level? Alai 02:02, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC)

JonGwynne's pettiness was actually easier to deal with than Stirling, because Stirling envisions himself has somekind of rewrite artist. Strangely he is wanting to use THIS article to rewrite the basic greenhouse science page. He wants us to adopt massive revisions all at once, while naturally the existing community has invested heavily in the compromises represented by the legacy page, and wants to continue to work through incremental changes. Already the existing community has spawned off subpages on various topics such as greenhouse gasses, sattelite data, etc. Stirling is trying to revisit old decisions without bringing anything new to the table, other than a propensity to write voluminously. He wants us to volunteer to be copyeditors again for subjects we've already visited dozens of times on other pages. Some of his text may be improvements on what exists on the appropriate pages, but some also contains subtle errors. After seeing two or three of those that would have to be individually addressed and are less correct (although sometimes more eloquent) than the existing text, the inclination is to dismiss it wholesale, based on that sample rather than wading through the rest of the text. But that is the way he works, all or nothing.--Silverback 02:22, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC)
To be fair, Stirling did provide some comments at Talk:Global warming/temp. It certainly did not rise to the level of appropriate discussion, but it also is not "nothing". Dragons flight 09:28, Mar 1, 2005 (UTC)
That is AFTER he requested the page be protected because is massive rewrites were being reverted.--Silverback 09:38, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC)

What the...?

Am I going mad, or did Stirling Newberry just made another revert -- this time, without even so much as troubling to fill in an edit summary, and then 'get' the page protected? And yet, there's nothing listed on this talk page, or on requests for page protection, or on the list of protected pages. Is there a log someplace of 'protection' events? 'Only to be used in limited circumstances', eh? Alai 03:27, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Looks like he pulled a fast one - didn't even bother to use his socks. Hmm... methinks it's time for an rfc or arbcom on this out of control egomaniac. Vsmith 03:31, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Protection Log: Special:Log/protect. 172 locked it down again.
Dragons flight 03:34, Mar 1, 2005 (UTC)
Thanks. Well, that's pretty outrageous. Are either 172 or SN even pretending to follow procedure here? They seem to be developing a remarkable history of acting in silent collusion here. Alai 03:41, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC)
172 unblocked himself from a 24hr 3rr block - then proceded to relock this page before being reblocked on 3rr. There would definetly appear to be some behind the scenes collusion going on to the detriment of wiki. Vsmith 04:07, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Oh, great. I notice there's already a rather old RfC already; and these seem like exercises in venting and getting steamed up (to mix my metaphors) anyway. Is there any point in starting a new one? (And if so, what's the procedure as to where to put it?) Alai 04:24, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Did it ever occur to anyone to try discussing the issues and to try to reach a compromise here on the discussion page? Or are we all just upset because the edit war toy has been taken away? All I see in response to new information, new proposals for ways to describe things, or any suggestions whatsoever is either, "No, that doesn't match the IPCC", or "No, we wrote that before you got here, why do you want to change it?" I have several pieces of news flash. First, the IPCC is one organization, and has one POV. It does not represent everything, nor is its content equal to NPOV. Second, the fact that you came to a conclusion in the past about how to arrange or describe something does not mean it has to continue to be the way you decided before. Wikipedia doesn't work that way, articles are supposed to undergo both incremental changes and major rearrangements with time, and thus they improve. This article reads in a nightmarishly disorganized fashion because everyone is too afraid to let go of their previous wording. We need significant change here, the question is how to do it. The protection at least offers an opportunity by halting the strategy of edit warring for a time, since obviously edit warring was not getting us anywhere. Cortonin | Talk 07:33, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC)

So far as I could tell the person 'edit warring' and refusing to discuss anything here is SN; if he's going to completely subvert all norms of protocol to revert-and-protect his own version, and not bother engaging with any discussion, I'm not really seeing the "opportunity" this offers. Major rearrangements are fine and dandy, but they need to be done with consensus, not fiat. Alai 08:07, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Cortonin, I really don't think this qualifies as an edit war. Stirling is just persisting in trying to push his bloated rewrite in, as some kind of new draft document which would have to be reviewed from scratch. The existing document represents dozens of compromises, many of which both sides support, so those are pretty good compromises. I agree that it doesn't make for the smoothest reading document, it is terse and much qualified. I think what you have here are patient editors that can whittle down contributions in the article and communicate through the edit summaries, and only go to talk for those situations where more detail is needed. While agree with the truth of many of your contributions, I usually wonder why you are trying to put a side issue in, or worse trying to get it into the introduction. Sometimes I see and agree with the point you are trying to make, but I think you are premature. More conclusive evidence is needed, and furthermore the point you are trying to make is not quite on point. I don't know if you were involved in the attempts to get somekind of reference to H2O vapor into the introduction area, but that is one point I did not understand at all. I could see no purpose for it other than to obsfuscate. Yes there were some ways to phrase it that were true, but it wasn't an issue in global warming science. No scientists are arguing that global warming has problems because H2O is a more significant contributer to the greenhouse effect than CO2, that is a given, as is the well established theory that it is the more persistent and globally mixed greenhouse gasses that will drive climate change. The complex mileau of water vapor, aerosols and clouds is at issue, but the problem is the net impact of extra CO2 on this complex system. I questioned the meaning of a one of the opening statements a couple of sections above. It is hard enough checking what we have without having a massive rewrite in the way.--Silverback 10:15, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC)

(William M. Connolley 11:44, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC)) I've just looked at the timings of the protects. 172 re-protected the page only 4 mins after SN's revert. His first protect at 20:33 was only 2 mins after sock WikiWarming reverted. This looks to me like collusion between 172 and the SN side. I don't think 172 is acting as a neutral admin here. I suggest protesting 172's actions/partiality... anyone know the correct place to do so?

Informal complaints would go to Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents, more formal ones to RFC or RFAr. Silverback has already commented on this issue on the noticeboard. Dragons flight 13:19, Mar 1, 2005 (UTC)


(William M. Connolley 09:46, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC)) It seems to me that we need to establish a basis for the editing of this article, and that SN's insistent reverts to his version are the major problem. There is some dodgy admin stuff here too: in particular 172. So, to guide the admins, I propose the following polls:

Page protect?

The page should not be protected

  • Agree strongly (William M. Connolley 09:46, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC))
  • Disagree strongly The edit warring habbits need to be replaced with cooperative editing and discussion, and I haven't seen people lining up to do that yet. Instead you just keep trying to find ways to remove the protection so you can go back to edit warring. Cortonin | Talk 10:12, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • Agree The community can handle Stirling's reverts on its own. Even if more sock puppets show up, the correct response should be to identify and block them and not punish the whole community. These are exciting times in this science and we need to be able to update the page as new developments arise. I think Stirling can learn how to edit by making his contributions in smaller increments and on the appropriate pages.--Silverback 10:21, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • Disagree Weakly This community does have a tendency to revert war, as evidenced by 35 declared reverts in the last 100 edits (going back to Feb. 10th). I tend to fear that unprotecting the page right now will just lead to more the same and increasing tension. Even though his methods have been abrupt, I think SN and many of the other editors have been well-intentioned. I would not consider it a great tragedy to keep the page locked for a while longer if it provokes discussion among the interested parties. Because I view many of the people involved as well-intentioned, I am optimistic that that could happen, and am willing to wait a while to see if it does. Dragons flight 11:40, Mar 1, 2005 (UTC)
Just to clarify, it doesn't make me tense. Stirling's behavior is not that much of a problem as long as the page isn't protected. This happened on the George Bush page, it was being worked so intensively that even though it was a frequent target of vandalism, everyone was happy to just revert and continue working. The lifetime of vandalism on the page was measured in seconds and minutes. There was considerable protest when some concerned admin protected the page. We aren't as large a community, but the problem was quite managable.--Silverback 12:13, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I would not view SN as a vandal by the standards of Wikipedia:vandalism. Adding "Global Warming is a farce" would be a vandal. Trying to clarify the issues and improve presentation is not a vandal, even if the results of those efforts are inadvertently deleterious. It is important that the efforts of well-intentioned editors be treated with respect even if those efforts are ultimately found to be wanting or inappropriate. Dragons flight 12:43, Mar 1, 2005 (UTC)
  • Agree. The only protection needed is from SN & allies massive rewrite w/out discussion then rv & lock immediatly w/obvious admin collusion. -Vsmith 12:34, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Base version

The base version should be the WMC/Vsmith/MK/Sb version [47] that was in place before the sockpuppet WikiWarming reverted:

  • Agree strongly (William M. Connolley 09:46, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC))
  • Disagree strongly This is not about "base versions", and you really need to get over the whole alleged sockpuppet thing, as it doesn't much matter at this point. Cortonin | Talk 10:12, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC)
The sockpuppet thing and other highly questionable tactics used by SN are a serious problem and an interference with normal editing. It seems you are allying with his questionable behavior here and this does not set well. Think back a bit about your alliance with our previous problem child, JG. Vsmith 12:54, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC)
??? Why is it that I make a call for people to focus more on the issues and less on unrelated things like that which had little impact, and you reduce it to a high-school level clique-like social order where people must pick sides? I have no sides, and no alliance, and anyone who does have a side or an alliance is probably not doing a good job as a Wikipedia editor, because that can only cloud their judgment. Cortonin | Talk 18:30, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • Agree the base version is already a product of community review and compromise, the Stirling extensive rewrite is an unreviewed imposition on the community. let's get this thing unprotected, and back to the base version and get to work.--Silverback 11:13, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • Comment: I haven't yet decided decided what to say about base versions, but I would like to challenge the notion that Stirling's version is a major rewrite. The diff between WMC and SN's versions is very messy, but that is mostly because SN majorly reorganized large chunks of material. SN also added a significant section on water vapor and methane, and a variety of other small changes, but very little material seems to have been removed. Most of the changes are just his moving things around. I want to take some time to consider whether his organization of the page might be worth keeping before voting on this issue. Dragons flight 11:24, Mar 1, 2005 (UTC)
I don't like such massive all at once changes, since it does make it difficult to compare and determine what has been deleted or added or altered. Making changes one at a time, and with the edit summary or talk page assurance (presumably upon one's honor) that there has been no change or rewording would be a more polite way of making such changes. He should take the greenhouse gas stuff to the appropriate page and compare it there to make sure he has not missed some previously captured nuance.--Silverback 11:31, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Just to clarify, I agree with you that there are more user friendly ways to go about making changes. Dragons flight 11:49, Mar 1, 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 13:04, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC)) Also to clarify: I am not trying to preclude using SN's material. As I said above, most of his changes were, to me, POV-neutral, and I *didn't* revert them first off: I tried to work with them. Only when he refused to accept any changes did I revert to our previous version. But so far, this unhelpful protect, and SN's edit warring, has meant we spend a lot of time talking around the subject and very little time working on whether his chages were worthwhile or not.
So what you're saying is you didn't have an edit war with SN because you didn't like his changes (as you initially accepted them), but instead because you didn't like his behavior. And now that you've determined you don't like SN as a person, you want to keep all of his changes out. Did it ever occur to you that this is not how it's supposed to work here? Cortonin | Talk 18:30, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC)
The above are not guidelines for editing, which is what's missing here. It's a behavioral problem, not a "which version" problem. Cortonin | Talk 10:12, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Yes, it is a behavioral problem. The questionable tactics of SN & co. and the previous childish behavior of one JG. Whose behavior are you agreeing with? Vsmith 13:05, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • Agree, strongly. Vsmith 12:54, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • Agree. I have nothing against the inclusion of some of the parts that SN has written and I also favour a reorganisation of the content. On the other hand there should be zero-tolerance for using sock-puppets in a disussion. A version that is the result of a policy violation can not and should not be the base for an article. As said this should not prevent us from using material of SNs version though. -- mkrohn 13:23, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • Disagree and further disagree with the asking of the question. Focus on "which version is the baseline version" (which presumably enjoys some kind of preferential status as a result) is a diversion. The same is true of the personal attacks from both sides. I agree with WMC's implication that we need to spend less time on peripheral issues and more time focusing on the wording of the article. As I look over this talk page, I find a low percentage of material that says "here's what's wrong with the present wording for this passage" or "here's a proposed alternative wording" or "what if we moved ___ into the next section" or the like. Everyone should remember that this talk page isn't to determine what the truth is about global warming. Still less is it to determine who has what agenda. The purpose of this talk page is to work out the best wording for an encyclopedia article about global warming. JamesMLane 13:54, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Admin intervention

I used Excel to generate a random number between 1 and 250.

=RAND() * 250

Then I went back to the 158th previous version and reverted to that one, while the page was still locked - and added the NPOV dispute tag.

As far as I'm concerned, this is the new "base version". I suggest you all discuss the precise wording of each change you want. I will determine consensus and make changes accordingly.

I will bow out (and unlock the page) if:

  • anyone can convince me I'm introducing my own biases into the article; or,
  • enough people think I'm being heavy-handed; or,
For the record, I think you are being heavy-handed. I also think there are two seperate things going on here that you may not recognize. First, there was an edit conflict primarily between User:JonGwynne and many others (most prominently WMC). In my opinion, JonGwynne has no understanding of the science and clumsily tries to introduce his misunderstood POV. However, that had already cooled down a lot. Then, User:Stirling Newberry came to the "rescue", decided we have a bad case of edit conflict, and rewrote the article without any prior discussion or even without looking at the existing discussion. I think he is well-meaning, but he seems to have a very limited understanding of the science, and did disturb the carefully hashed out balance of the article. Most people working on the page are quite reasonable. I find it indeed heavy-handed and inappropriate to revert to "a random version". Indeed, it pisses me off. --Stephan Schulz 15:54, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • another Administrator (in good standing) raises a valid objection to this way of handling the current dispute.
It is wrong of you to favor administrators, we are all equal here. I agree with Schulz's explanation of what was going on above, this page should never have been protected. The only reason it is protected is a cozy relationship between 172 and Stirling, or haven't you noticed 172 protecting right after a Stirling revert (twice), and that 172 has unblocked Stirling in the recent past when Stirling was blocked for violating the 3RR rule. If you will accept an objection from an admin, you should also accept one from Schulz or myself. WMC and I already have requested unprotection. When unprotect, we will immediately revert to the legacy version and get to work. --Silverback 17:30, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 17:57, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC)) Ed, I'm sorry, but what you've done isn't going to work. *Please* just unprotect the page, and let us work on it. I think there is evidence that Stirling Newberry and 172 are working together on this, and using sock puppets, and that 172's conduct is far below the level to be expected of an admin (see his bad-faith unblocking of himself for 3RR). This page has already generated truely vast quantities of discussion. It doesn't need more. We all know where we stand on these issues. What we need is a page that we can work on. SN is running to 172, and Cortonin is arguing for the protect, because they know full well that the majority here won't accept their views.

Here's are some things that have worked on other pages:

  1. chop up the article temporarily into its major sections, one "page" per section; leave each section unlocked as long as possible.
  2. If a sub-article needs protection, perform "step #1" on it, too!


  • Identify EVERY dispute which Wikipedian contributors are having about the article.
  • For each such dispute, write down an explanation of the REASONS the contributors have given for wanting their particular versions.
  • Incorporate those reasons into the article itself!

Good luck! -- Uncle Ed (talk) 15:03, Mar 1, 2005 (UTC)

Ed, you did not go back 158 versions, but 157. After your reversion it is now 158 versions. According to your procedure [48] is the "correct" version, i.e. 18:57, 3 Feb 2005 Kazvorpal "removed pov" ;-) -- best regards, mkrohn 15:41, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC)

apparently it is not Ed but 172 that has the page protected.

I apologize to the rest of you, I have had run ins with 172 on other pages, and this is apparently his revenge. --Silverback 18:06, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC)

(William M. Connolley 18:17, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC)) Note that 172 is now on Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents and is also subject to a proposed Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration.

Unity at last!

Okay, now that I have brought some unity to this discussion (you are united in objecting to my latest effert) what are you all going to do to get this article back on track towards NPOV? -- Uncle Ed (talk) 18:12, Mar 1, 2005 (UTC)

(William M. Connolley 18:15, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC)) When you unprotect it so we can work on it :-). BTW, please note that this vast stupid mess *is not* primarily an NPOV dispute - most of SN's over-large edit was POV-neutral, as I've repreatedly said.

Okay, anyone else want the page unlocked? User:172 can't toggle the protection bit, because I've de-sysopped him. (Yes, I know I might get in trouble for that... but that's how much I care about you guys and about the climate change series.) -- Uncle Ed (talk) 18:57, Mar 1, 2005 (UTC)

yes, I just put in another request to that effect on on the protection page, because I thought you had put yourself in purgatory. Are you considering one more good deed before you go?--Silverback 19:08, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC)
BTW, we had a vote above and it was 3 to 1 in favor of unprotection, and the one opposed listed his as weak. We know there are others also in favor of unprotection, they just haven't had a chance to vote yet.--Silverback 19:12, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Your counting is inaccurate. Cortonin | Talk 00:40, 2 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Purgatory has many levels. Let me think about this a few more minutes.... -- Uncle Ed (talk) 19:19, Mar 1, 2005 (UTC)
I checked the logs and here haven't been any protects or unprotects for an unusually long time. I think the mechanism may be broken.--Silverback 19:34, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I'm not sure what you consider an unusually long time but here are the last couple dozen protect/unprotect's
20:18, Mar 1, 2005 Ed Poor unprotected Global warming (Dr. C, et al. request)
17:14, Mar 1, 2005 Dbenbenn protected Department of Ship Technology (pending deletion) per Wikipedia:Votes for deletion/Department of Ship Technology)
07:44, Mar 1, 2005 Dcoetzee unprotected Main Page (table free) (Not the main page itself, not as big a vandalism target; not listed correctly on Wikipedia: Protected pages)
04:06, Mar 1, 2005 BrokenSegue unprotected Keith Wigdor (both parties in the dispute request unprotection- dispute resolved)
03:09, Mar 1, 2005 172 protected Global warming (It looks like the edit war has resumed without abatement.)
00:21, Mar 1, 2005 Joy Stovall protected Delphic of Gamma Sigma Tau Fraternity (block compress error; pending deletion)
00:08, Mar 1, 2005 Dbenbenn protected Image:DSCF0045.JPG (tomorrow's featured article picture)
00:08, Mar 1, 2005 Dbenbenn protected Wikipedia:Today's featured article/March 2, 2005 (tomorrow's featured article)
00:08, Mar 1, 2005 Dbenbenn protected Wikipedia:Today's featured article/March 1, 2005 (now on Main Page!)
00:06, Mar 1, 2005 Dbenbenn protected Image:Titan2.jpg (on Main Page now!)
00:05, Mar 1, 2005 Dbenbenn unprotected Image:John Wesley.jpg (yesterday's selected anniversary picture)
00:05, Mar 1, 2005 Dbenbenn unprotected Wikipedia:Selected anniversaries/February 28 (yesterday's selected anniversary)
23:54, Feb 28, 2005 Dbenbenn protected Image:Ho Chi Minh.JPG (selected anniversary picture for March 2)
22:38, Feb 28, 2005 PFHLai protected Image:Lebanon flag large.png (on MainPage already)
22:38, Feb 28, 2005 PFHLai protected Image:Fmi.gif (on MainPage soon)
22:25, Feb 28, 2005 Dbenbenn protected Cassar Desain (per Wikipedia:Votes for deletion/Cassar Desain)
21:42, Feb 28, 2005 Ed Poor unprotected Global warming (Because a British Antarctic Survey scientist requested it)

Is 9 1/2 hours a long time on the Internet? -- Uncle Ed (talk) 20:54, Mar 1, 2005 (UTC)

I thought 3 hours during N. American morning when Europe is still editing also, was long.--Silverback 15:03, 2 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Page unprotected

(William M. Connolley 22:11, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC)) Hurrah. The page is unprotected again. I have (of course) reverted it to the version preferred by WMC/Vsmith/MK/Sb/... Changes to this are welcome, but any major changes are inevitably going to meet with resistance unless they are done incrementally with discussion here.

Your behavior of promoting edit wars as a control mechanism detracts greatly from Wikipedia. I think most of the people here would edit in a more productive and cooperative fashion if you weren't continually promoting this strategy. Cortonin | Talk 00:44, 2 Mar 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 09:21, 2 Mar 2005 (UTC)) One of the problems we have here is unproductive comments and edits from you. Settle down, respect the science, and edit productively.
I respect science. But when we try to include science, you erase any of it which you happen to disagree with. Whatever happened to the INQUA commission's work? It seems to have completely disappeared in a flurry of edit wars, and for no better reason than that you didn't like it or the people who worked on it. It's kind of hard to work productively in an environment where this is the dominant action. Cortonin | Talk 10:10, 2 Mar 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 10:28, 2 Mar 2005 (UTC)) "you erase any of it which you happen to disagree with" is a direct lie. Oddly enough, I don't like you writing stuff like that and it doesn't lead to cooperative editing. As for INQUA - that wasn't science, it was Morners misleading stuff trying to boost his own pet ideas by tying them to a respectable group.

Personal remarks like the following are impermissible here. Let's all stick to discussing the article, not each other, shall we?

  • his misleading stuff
  • trying to boost his own pet ideas
  • I don't like you writing stuff like that
  • Your behavior detracts greatly from Wikipedia
  • [You are] promoting edit wars
  • [your remark] is a lie
  • disappeared ... for no better reason than that you didn't like it or the people who worked on it
  • you erase any of it which you happen to disagree with
  • unproductive comments and edits from you
  • [You are] continually promoting this strategy

Next violator gets a one-hour time-out. -- Uncle Ed (talk) 14:51, Mar 2, 2005 (UTC)

This is not a Kindergarten, and I don't even condone such tactics in Kindergarten. I repeat my sentiment from above (especially the "pissed off" bit). I appreciate your effort at peacekeeping, but I think your methods are "inadequate". --Stephan Schulz 16:37, 2 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Obviously not: Kindergartens have better-behaved inmates; this is more like a lunatic asylum run by its own patients. Thank you for setting an example of restraint and courtesy, though. -- Uncle Ed (talk) 19:18, Mar 2, 2005 (UTC)
Well, it helps to spend some time
                 /           \  
    ---------   /_____________\ 
   | Outside |   |           |  
   |   the   |   |  OO  O  O |  
   |  Asylum |   |__OO_______|  
You are welcome here, too ;-) --Stephan Schulz 12:28, 3 Mar 2005 (UTC)

(William M. Connolley 17:49, 2 Mar 2005 (UTC)) Hi Ed. I see you're stressed. But... at the moment, we have peace here. Of course I may be speaking too soon. By the standards of JG's insults (I think you were out of the loop for his period) the C/WMC exchange is pretty mild. Perhaps I've been coarsened. But I'll be extra-careful for a bit anyway. BTW, judging from his page, 172 is gone.

It seems that JG is absent for the time being, but I think if we're going to obey behavior standards of not making personal comments, then they should apply to not making personal comments like that about JG either (whether he is currently present or not). Thank you. Cortonin | Talk 23:41, 2 Mar 2005 (UTC)

(William M. Connolley 09:37, 3 Mar 2005 (UTC)) Suddenly you've become terribly sensitive. How nice. Do keep it up, and apply it to other people too. You could even apologise for your comment above which I objected to, if you like.

Please review Wikipedia:avoid personal remarks while you are blocked, Dr. Connolley. -- Uncle Ed (talk) 15:44, Mar 3, 2005 (UTC)

(William M. Connolley 17:12, 3 Mar 2005 (UTC)) Hmm. Well. If you're prepared to do that even-handedly, I'll support you.
LOL, what an odd remark: I've only got two hands! ;-) -- Uncle Ed (talk) 17:38, Mar 3, 2005 (UTC)
The question is not how many hands you have, but what you do with them....--Stephan Schulz 17:51, 3 Mar 2005 (UTC) (supressing the urge to include 2 obvious jokes)

Rv'ing 12...'s changes

(William M. Connolley 10:01, 4 Mar 2005 (UTC)) 12... made a pile of changes I disagreed with, so have reverted. Because:

  • switching a term used to describe an increase to the theory that is excess skepticism
I disagree. The bottom line is global warming is a theory. Calling it as such is not "excess skepticism". "Theory" is a more descriptive word than "term" and it's accurate, thus the change is valid. (I'm 12... by the way.)
(William M. Connolley 10:58, 5 Mar 2005 (UTC)) Nope, otherwise everything in the phyisical sciences gets qualified that way. The article describes how GW is used.
As far as I am concerned, in a science article, theory should be used in the scientific sense or not at all. That is, a scientific theory is a self-consistent set of statements that explains a set of observations, allows preditions, and is falsifiable (in practice often refinable) if new, incompatible observations are made. Global warming is not a theory, but an observation (that very few experts and some more lay people still call into question). Why and how it happens is the field of theories. --Stephan Schulz 18:11, 7 Mar 2005 (UTC)
You mean everything like special relativity, quantum mechanics, quantum electrodynamics, and plate tectonics? Most of the theories from the physical sciences are described in the definition as a "theory", because that's what they are. Why are you so afraid to call GW a theory? It's either an assumption or a theory, and I think it's a lot better to call it a theory. Cortonin | Talk 04:16, 6 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Are you sure the analogy is to "plate tectonics"? It seems to me that "global warming" could be analogous to "continental drift", which has been measured, I don't think "continental drift" is called a theory.--Silverback 18:50, 6 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Only if you take it to the most literal definition of "theory." (Like the theory of gravity.) But GW is no where near as air-tight.
  • saying that the consensus is mixed makes no sense. If its mixed, there is no consensus. I will argue that there *is* a consensus, with (of course) a minority who disagree
Good point, but then I would agrue that there is no consensus, just a popular belief.
(William M. Connolley 10:58, 5 Mar 2005 (UTC)) Feel free to argue it, but at the moment you are just asserting it. You could try reading the linked scientific opinion on climate change.
I will.
  • Most climatologists accept that the earth has warmed recently. - again, unreasonable. Even GW Bush accepts the std version of the recent T rise.
Again, I disagree. If some or a few or even a small minority disagree, "most" the is the proper word. And citing what Bush believes is immaterial unless the article is about Bush.
(William M. Connolley 10:58, 5 Mar 2005 (UTC)) Nope, if the overwhelming majority agree, "most" is inappropriate. Even those quite hostile to GW - GWB - are obliged to accept the evidence.
17,000 scientists signed a petition questioning the science behind global warming (and thus their disapproval of the Kyoto Treaty). "Most" acknowledges that fact..."vast majority" is unreasonable.
I hadn't heard of this petition before you mentioned it, but you are completely right that given the size, this needs to be included as a component of any assessment of consensus that we do here. The signers are here. Cortonin | Talk 04:23, 6 Mar 2005 (UTC)
This fraudulent and deceptive "petition" was debunked seven years ago, but continues to be trotted out again and again. The size of this petition (a poll in fact, not science) has nothing to do with the consensus in the scientific community on global warming. The majority of people listed have no expertise in climatalogy and many of them are dentists, nutritionists, opthalmologists, gynecologists, veterinarians, pharmacologists, and experts in animal science, machine tools, and mechanical engineering. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, "...the Petition Project was created to undermine and discredit the scientific authority of the IPCC and to oppose the Kyoto Protocol. Early in the spring of 1998, thousands of scientists around the country received a mass mailing urging them to sign a petition calling on the government to reject the Kyoto Protocol. The petition was accompanied by other pieces including an article formatted to mimic the journal of the National Academy of Sciences. Subsequent research revealed that the article had not been peer-reviewed, nor published, nor even accepted for publication in that journal and the Academy released a strong statement disclaiming any connection to this effort and reaffirming the reality of climate change. The Petition resurfaced in 2001." [49] --Viriditas | Talk 10:21, 6 Mar 2005 (UTC)
So, when it was "debunked" as you say, how many signatories asked to be removed? If those on it still wish to be on it, then I'd hardly call that a debunking, simply a difference of opinion. Cortonin | Talk 17:51, 6 Mar 2005 (UTC)
If those on it still wish to be on it.... If they are aware of the original misleading campaign, and have reasserted their commitment to be on the list, then you have a point. Given that the original solicitation was mass-mailed, while even you, as someone with a lot of interest in the topic, has neither heard of the petition or its debunking, makes it clear that it is unlikely that the average signers has ever heard about this after the signing. Moreover, havin a B.Sc. in ophtamology does not make you a scientist, let alone one qualified to evaluate the science of climate change. Typically, you do not do any real scientific work until after a Master's degree (some people do Science for a Master's, but doing for a Bachelor is extremely rare). If you check the petition project web site, you find no mentioning of a wayt to remove your signature, or to contact the signers to inquire about their current opinion. To summarize: The petition is obvious junk. Sticking to it does not improve your position in the argument.--Stephan Schulz 18:11, 7 Mar 2005 (UTC)

This was news to me too, so I did a little research to learn about it. Apparently, it was begun in 1998 and more than half of the names were collected during the first month. Commentary in 2000 gives the same number of signers as today so it probably stopped being updated at or before then [50]. Apparently the only requirement for being a "scientist" is to have earned a BS or better [51], however they did recruit a sizable number of PhDs to join and were targetting legitimate scientists with mass mailings. I used excel to count how many PhDs were listed on the page of names starting with S and it came to 31% (679/2175). Assumming that is reasonably representative, then presumably about 5300 of their "scientists" had PhDs. They also admit that only 2260 of their signatories are "physicists, geophysicists, climatologists, meteorologists, oceanographers, and environmental scientists" [52], with most of those being physicists [53]. If the same 30% applies then they would have not more than 700 PhD climate scientists. There are also a number of commentaries being made about the petition having been presented in a deceptive way. In particular it was accompanied by a unpublished paper critical of climate science [54] that was formatted and typeset to resemble a PNAS preprint. The cover letter was written by a "past president" of the NAS which apparently further confused people. All in all, this would not seem to be the kind of clear and objective survey that would affect my opinion of the "consensus" surrounding global warming. Dragons flight 07:10, Mar 6, 2005 (UTC)
It doesn't seem that it was an attempt at a survey, but rather a petition. If you estimate there are only 700 PhD climate scientists included, then how does that compare to the hierarchical arrangement of the IPCC, where experts are only permitted to be selected off of government generated lists of government approved experts? [55] Cortonin | Talk 17:51, 6 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I called it a survey because the mass-mailing tens of thousands of scientists evoked a similar image in my mind as mass-mailed surveys on TV viewing preferences, but you are right it does have political content and advocate a particular point of view (i.e. petition), as well as being open to people whose opinion wasn't explicitly sought. As noted the 700 includes physicists as a substantial share and hence is perhaps exagerrated with respect to what the typical person would regard as a "climate scientist", though I don't have any firm way of telling by how much. You are certainly free to form a different opinion of the importance of the 700, but given deceptive way in which the petition seems to have been described and presented to scientists, I'm not prepared to give it a lot of weight. If there really is a significant body of specialists advocating the position of the petition [56] then I would expect to see a significant body of scientific work being produced that advocates that position as well, and as far as I am aware there are virutally no scientific papers that take that positon.. Dragons flight 18:37, Mar 6, 2005 (UTC)
The idea that there are no scientific papers is thrown around a lot here on the talk pages, and thrown around a lot in environmental blogs or mainstream opinion pieces, but if you go do a literature search yourself, you'll see that there is still dispute over numerous issues, and it would be quite incorrect to describe the science as done or concluded. Given the political fury over climate research, and the passionate feelings involved, I wouldn't be surprised if it were a lot more difficult to get things questioning the severity of global warming conclusions through the peer review process. Peer reviewers don't always act as objectively as society might like, since it turns out scientists are human too. But regardless of this, there is still plenty of literature out there raising counterpoints. Everytime I've gone to look for it I've found it fairly easily. Cortonin | Talk 01:12, 7 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • They argue that weathermen can't accurately predict temperatures more than a few weeks in advance but some scientists claim their computer models (predicting temperatures decades or centuries in advance) are accurate. They also point out that computer models aren't evidence because they are built on guesses and assumptions. - this is the traditional confusion of weather and climate. Some people make this argument, but not anyone scientifically respectable, and its only those we're talking about. Ditto the models bit.
Perhaps it is, but that's what they argue and that's the fact.
(William M. Connolley 10:58, 5 Mar 2005 (UTC)) Are you talking about pop culture, or scientific papers? I'm talking about the latter, and this is a science article.
Using an analogy is prefectly resonable to illustrate the shaky science of global warming. The bottom line is predictions vary widely--far outside the realm of scientific acceptence. Considering the populat belief that global warming is a fact, I agree you're more concerned with pop culture other than science. Regardless, eliminating parts of the counter argument illustrate your POV.
  • Excess UHI details can go on the UHI page if desired
I wouldn't call basic evidence "excess." By deleting evidence that skeptics use, you're letting your POV sink through. I also would argue that while they're are differnces between climate and weather, the two are inherently linked so the argument is still worth considering.
Climate/weather might be worth mentioning in order to dismiss it, if other people share your confusion. I notice that your envirospin thingy shares this confusion.
Again, you show your POV. You're only willing to bring up a counterargument to dismiss it. That's not scientific!
  • Changing the header above greenpeace to Sponsored by the environmental industry does not seem reasonable. AFAIK GP is mostly paid for by individual donations.
That change was an attempt to neutralize the tone of original language. "Environmental" suggests the are immune to the bias that environmentalist claim industry always use. The same idea for the other change you reverted ("industry-sponsored" has a negative tone, and suggests industries don't care about the environment, which isn't true). The bottom line is, environmental groups are an industry: they are "A specific branch of manufacture and trade" ( Conventional industries produce things like oil, TVs and clothes. The environmental industry produce studies, books, articles and (you're going to hate me for this) fear. Because donations to environmental groups is a form of trade, the description is valid. (David Youngberg | Talk 11:35, 4 Mar 2005 (CST))
(William M. Connolley 10:58, 5 Mar 2005 (UTC)) I can't agree with your interpretation there.
Why not?
I know you hate the weather prediction analogy, but it has its wisdom. It's not that weather and climate are the same thing, it's that computer simulations intrinsically introduce inaccuracies. Every scientificially respectable person I've seen outside of climate research who works with computer simulations accepts the introduced inaccuracies as a normal event in computer simulation, and tries to verify results experimentally (usually noticing significant differences between prediction and result for complicated systems). It's just that experimental verification is a little tricky when you have only one planet to use, and so climate research places more emphasis on the conclusions of computer simulations as "evidence" than you find in other fields. I consider this to be one of the significant challenges to be overcome in climate research, and it's certainly worthy of mentioning when describing objections to global warming, as 12. was alluding to. Cortonin | Talk 04:52, 5 Mar 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 10:58, 5 Mar 2005 (UTC)) If you're fond of analogies, here is another one: consider waves (weather) and tides (climate). Would you add to a page about predicting tides, over years and centuries, the qualifier that individual waves can't be predicted? And I don't know what the everyone-tries-to-verify-except-in-cliamte-research crack is supposed to be anout, unless to demonstrate your ignorance of what CR people actually do.
I also think that the analogy weather / climate prediction is bad and cannot be taken serious. It is always easier to make a statement about an average value than about a single value. The whole statistical physics is making statements about average values (ensemble of particles) and never about the behavior of a single particle. Or to give an example: it is almost impossible to predict the way a single car (particle) takes during the day, but giving a prediction about traffic jams (statement about the ensemble) is possible nevertheless. -- mkrohn 12:08, 5 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Will there be a traffic jam on Wednesday? If individual cars are like weather, then you can't just average the cars to determine traffic. That's the tricky thing when systems are not statistical averages, but instead are complex systems with emergent behavior, such as traffic or climate. You can't predict when traffic jams will occur without understanding the emergent behavior which arises from their complex interaction, as well as the external influences, such as holidays. For the purposes of climate change, this includes full and accurate understanding of feedbacks and the mechanisms of forcing. Full understanding of feedbacks is admitted to be quite absent for a number of important feedbacks. Cortonin | Talk
Testing accuracy requires fitting to data, and the available data is sparse. Mathematically speaking, the degree of the function which is accurately fit must significantly exceed the number of parameters to the model (including numerical and model choice parameters). Otherwise, there is little going on beyond the fact that any model of any system which produces any output of that degree can be fit to the existing data by adjusting the parameters. The fourth degree polynomial e*x^4+d*x^3+c*x^2+b*x+a produces as good of a fit (if not better) to temperature records as the best existing climate models [57], and it only requires 5 parameters. From that equation's fit, I would conclude that temperature will go up by the fourth power until the Earth disolves in a ball of plasma, yet obviously this is not correctly modelling the system. Cortonin | Talk 19:10, 6 Mar 2005 (UTC)
In other fields of study this fitting problem is resolved by comparing your model to different data sets, since you can't parameterize a model to fit all data sets unless you're modelling all of those data sets. (Mathematically speaking, each different data set you compare to adds the degree of that function which the model matches onto the degree represented by the model, which causes the total degrees of freedom matched to significantly exceed the degrees of freedom of parameterization.) Every single modelling choice, such as "How strong are aeresols?", "How strong are cloud effects?", "How strong are CO2 effects?", "How do changes vary by latitude?", "How strong are water vapor effects?", and "What's the functional relationship for water vapor feedbacks?" adds one or more adjustable parameters to the model. Clearly the number of adjustable parameters far exceeds the degree of the fit to existing temperature data. Mathematically speaking this means there is no real system modelling occuring, only fitting to a single data set. This is why you see scientists from fields other than climate research complaining about the state of climate research, because of the conclusions it tries to draw from fits of this caliber. Cortonin | Talk 19:10, 6 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I am also going to disagree with the weather / climate analogy but for a different reason than WMC and MK have stated. There is abundant comparison of the models to "experiment", i.e. records of past climate. In fact, the climate literature is absolutely littered with such papers. If from simple principles the models can predict emergent properties similar to those seen in actual climate then the models would seem to reasonably reliable in the context of those properties. I'm sure WMC can provide examples and references for this. On the other hand there are times when the model results are laughable (e.g. cloud cover, where some models even have trouble getting the sign of the changes correct, let alone their magnitude. Groisman PY, Bradley RS, Sun B (2000) The relationship of cloud cover to near-surface temperature and humidity: comparison of GCM simulations with empirical data. J Clim 13:1858-1878) There is more than enough room to have healthy scepticism about GCMs but such criticism needs to be based on their ability, or lack thereof, to predict climate changes and not a straw man attack related to the weather. Dragons flight 17:13, Mar 5, 2005 (UTC)

(William M. Connolley 11:19, 5 Mar 2005 (UTC)) I've also reverted the Atlast/C "other theories" section. This section has always been a bit dodgy... its unsupported (in either version) and full of weasel words like "some say...". Anecdotal evidence from a few stations is evidence of local not global change and is not relevant here; I suggest at least reading the UHI article. Evidence (from actual papers ideally) of people actually believing any of this would be useful.

Please stop reverting. I've been trying to meet you half way on this but you constantly marginalize others' views and trumpt your own POV. Eliminating evidence from the discourse is not the scientific way and always ending the all-too brief sentances with "needs no further explanation" is flatly wrong. Because the current data is so shady (and sometimes sloppy), GW needs a great deal more study. Skeptics are just demanding higher standards.
(William M. Connolley 10:34, 6 Mar 2005 (UTC)) I'm not sure what you're talking about here. And please sign your posts. You haven't been trying to meet half way - you've been re-instering the same old tired POV stuff. The current data is not shady or sloppy. If you think that it is, I can see why you're complaining. But where are you getting your opinions from? Obviously not from examining the data. Perhaps if you could discuss your sources here on the talk page.

I assume the currenting reverting is still over 12's changes?, based on that assumption, I prefer the WMC supported version, I have little opinion on the "term"/"theory" debate, it doesn't seem that important. In terms of the "Other theories", I find expanding detail there unnecessary, especially since the climate variability point is made much better in the Moberg and von Storch references above in this article, since those have broken the hockey stick and put today's warming in perspective. Like 12's version, I want further qualification of the "consensus", however, I think the proposed language misses the point. While the skeptics and the most recent literature no longer consider the current warming to be significantly outside the natural variability, there is a consensus for a signficant human contribution to the warming that is occurring now, even if the current warming is not as exceptional as it was once thought to be. The most significant dispute, is whether those models that are tuned to the climate data and used to attribute the human contribution and to make predictions of future climate change are reliable. There is a consensus that the cloud and aerosol physics are poorly understood and implemented. Also, although there is no consensus, preliminary evidence suggests that solar influences may be underrepresented, which would lead to an overestimate of past and future human contributions to the climate.--Silverback 18:30, 6 Mar 2005 (UTC)

You're right that the consensus section is trivializing the dispute as to whether or not there is a consensus about global warming, for whatever that means, when in actuality there are various subsections that require examination of the consensus. For example, the degree of consensus should be considered for the following things (of which there are probably many others) Cortonin | Talk 00:05, 7 Mar 2005 (UTC):
  • Warming has been measured which exceeds measurement uncertainty.
  • Warming has been measured which exceeds natural variability.
  • Anthropogenic CO2 can be expected to cause the level rises used in climate simulations.
  • CO2 rise induces a warming effect on the climate.
  • CO2 rise induces a warming effect on the climate which is significant with respect to natural variability.
  • CO2 induced warming exceeds variability due to solar fluctuations.
  • Aerosol effects are accurately represented in climate models.
  • Cloud effects are accurately represented in climate models.
  • Water vapor effects are accurately represented in climate models.
  • Climate models accurately represent the climate.
  • Climate model predictions match future temperature changes with high certainty.
If we consider the general consensus, disputes, and problems left to be solved about each of those, then we might more accurately represent the state of the science, rather than artificially reducing it to a binary question. Cortonin | Talk 00:05, 7 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I agree, and I think many of these are represented on the various pages. I would not be surprised if ALL of them were covered. I don't see the point of mentioning them without substantiating them, but that would probably have to be on the appropriate page. With a couple of climate modelers leaving the consensus fold (at least partially), and the fall of the hockeystick, I think a good compromise would be to softent he consensus statement, by qualifying it as to date and source.--Silverback 11:01, 7 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Since both versions mention the model predictions out to 2100, I have written text to reflect more of the skepticism in regards to them, based on criticisms of the physics, and conflict with expectations from the paleo data. Even though there may still be room for uncertainty in the measurement of global warming because of the reliance on trends and adjustments for heat island effects and coverage effects, I don't think this rises to the level to merit mention in the introductory paragraphs.--Silverback 11:54, 7 Mar 2005 (UTC)

(William M. Connolley 09:46, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)) Looks like wiki is back in working order, good. Nice to see Ed doing his bit to cut the Talk page size down :-). Last night I stripped some stuff out and promised to discuss it here but then saves stopped working - sorry. I decided the intro was too big. I cut some text from the climate models para, and will move it into the CM page. Ditto Kyoto para (if it isn't there already). That tilted the balance ever-so-slightly to "warming" pov so to balance I removed the awkward one-line attribution para. OTOH I re-inserted the intro para to sci.op. Because (much as I might like it otherwise) leading so baldly with the IPCC view isn't right. Just for balance, I've rm'd The reports reflect the consensus of the published science. which isn't really needed.

Latest changes

Silverback re-inserted the lines:

if the only variable considered is the emission of greenhouse gases related to human activity, then climate models predict...


but there is also uncertainty about the accuracy of climate models, chiefly in the areas of clouds and aerosols which have the potential significantly reduce the net effect of CO2, although the uncertainty is such that it is not known if they under- or overpredict future climate change. The paleo climate data, suggests that the predicted impact of CO2 should be lower than the models predict, although the paleo data reflects long term equilibria and cannot rule out higher temperature increases within the lifespans of humans living today. (I know, there's a bit s/he didn't add for the sake of context).

While the caveat is appropriate at some point, I think that it doesn't belong right at the start. The article needs to clearly present the arguments for GW before it presents caveats. As is, it seems to say - climate models predict x, but we all know that's nonsense. Even if they are nonsense, for the sake of logical clarity and NPOV you need to present the idea first. AFAIK (and please correct me if I'm wrong, I may be out of date) most climate models do predict a 1.4-5.8 C rise in temperature - you can criticise them for focussing too much on CO2 and not incorporating enough in terms of clouds, aerosols, etc., but this is what they predict. So an NPOV statement should say: Models predict X (and then rebut them) rather than saying If you only look at CO2, Models predict X. The latter statement implies that there is a large subset of models that incorporate the other features, and that they differ from these. If that is the case, the differing predictions should be presented. If that is not the case, then these changes make the article NPOV by editorialising in the presentation of the info. Guettarda 15:49, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I would agree if the climate models attribution of the current warming were all that was mentioned in the intro, but what is mentioned instead is the future predictions, not just the 2050 numbers produced by the actual models themselves, but the end of the century numbers produced by the simplied approximation to the coupled models. If you object to caveat nature, perhaps along with the model, predictions, we can just include paleo data based predictions, and a straight forward extrapolation of current trends as alternatives. Why single out the models? BTW, note that the paleo reference itself that I put in, also has a caveat, it is often more correct in science to have caveats. WMC's shorter version had a caveat too. Caveats increase credibility, by serving as an admission that not all is settled, and giving the impression (usually true) of intellectual honesty. --Silverback 19:18, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)

As I understand it, the article starts out by saying:
  1. What GW is (and how it differs from the more neutral term, CC) [para. 1, 2]
  2. Models predict a 1.4-5.8 C increase in temp [para. 3]
  3. Palaeo data, and predictions from that [para. 3]
  4. Other things (not just warming - weather patterns, etc.) [para. 4]
  5. Kyoto [para. 5]
I think this is a nice, concise Intro, covering the issue, differentiating it from related issues, and introduces some sense of the uncertainties. Assuming that you agree with my synopsis of the Intro, you could describe it as follows:
  1. The initial premise
  2. Argument 1 in support of the matter (i.e., where these ideas/predictions came from)
  3. Argument 2, which differs somewhat
  4. Additional aspects, context
The outputs of the models are there to support the initial premise. You could also have said: "scientist predict a 1.4-5.8 C rise in temperature" - saying that "models predict" rather than "scientists say" reduces subjectivity in the matter. Right or wrong, our current predictions are based on these outputs. To present the caveats up front is to say "Some say they are wrong, but this is what the models say". I would argue that it would be more NPOV (and make for easier reading/a more clear article) to say "This is what the models say. Some say they are wrong because...". Presenting the caveat first is an editorial rejection of the idea. Doing it the other way round is not necessarily an editorial acceptance - it's normal to state the idea first before you take it apart. At least that's how I see it.
[caveat:I'm writing this under the assumption that what I said about models is correct, i.e., that there isn't a wealth of models which incorporate aerosols, clouds, etc.] ;)
Guettarda 21:19, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)
The intro starts with what global warming is, talking about 19th century to the present, and the theory that some of it is attributable to human causes. Up to that point it does not say anything about this trend being expected to continue in the future. More supportive of the initial premise would be models and other data attributing some portion of the warming to date to human causes. Instead we shift into the future predictions, where more caveats are needed, because the uncertainties and controversy increase. The model predictions have to be caveated no matter what. Note that, their assumption that the only variable changing is CO2 levels must be noted, because they only make predictions based on assumptions. The models could models the direct and indirect effects of CO2 completely correctly and their predictions still be wrong, because of vulcanoes and solar variability that they didn't predict.
If you are proposing multiple predictions, I can see where they might serve as caveats on each other, with detailed caveats reserved until later discussion. I don't think it reads poorly now, although it may be written to a higher audience than newspapers target.--Silverback 21:50, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)
No, you miss my point. It's a matter of word order in the paragraph. The article currently says: if the only variable considered is the emission of greenhouse gases related to human activity, then climate models predict..., and I think it would be more neutral to say something along the lines of: climate models predict...(if the only variable considered is the emission of greenhouse gases related to human activity). Putting the caveat before the assertion implies that the models are wrong to do so. Putting the caveat after the model implies "this is how they do it, some think this is wrong". The former inserts an opinion, while the latter reports on the situation. And with respect to the way it reads, again, it reads better if you get to the point first and then elaborate. True for newspaper writing, true for scientific writing. Guettarda 22:07, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)

(William M. Connolley 22:22, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)) I think there may be some confusion about the models here. The models doing the predicting are coupled AOGCMs. They include clouds. The forcing they are using (IPCC TAR) includes aerosols (obviously, a best-guess projection thereof, or rather different projections in different scenarios) (at least the direct albedo effect). I've made another attempt to hack the models section down to size. In particular, Silverbacks unsupported chiefly in the areas of clouds and aerosols which have the potential significantly reduce the net effect of CO2 is not acceptable to me - and it appears best to just remove this. OK, so what I did was to rv to my version and insert forced mostly by estimates of increasing CO2,. I don't understand Silverbacks bit about numbers to 2050 from GCMs and to 2100 from simpler models. The GCMs are run to 2100 (and beyond, sometimes).

No the models that made the predictions included in the introduction are not coupled AOGCMs. The coupled AOGCMs only made predictions out to 2050 at the time of the TAR, the extension of the predictions to 2100 was by a simpler model, that IPCC stated represented their aggregate behavior. Yes, the AOGCMs do attempt to represent aerosols and clouds, but they don't do it well, and they don't agree with each other. It is an acknowledged weakness. I don't doubt that some AOGCMs have been run to 2100, but the IPCC numbers being quoted are not from them, I assume a lot more work has been done since the TAR.
(William M. Connolley 09:38, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)) I don't understand you:
One of the paleo based predictions is from Veizer and Shaviv and they predict a doubling of CO2 from present levels would result in in low-latitude sea temperatures of about 0.5C and a global temperature rise of only about 0.75C. Patterson a paleoclimatologist a Carleton U states that this is similar to predictions based on extrapolation of 22 years of sattelite data and with that made by MIT's Richard Lindzen in 1997.--Silverback 19:56, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I assume you are referring the Shaviv and Veizer (2003) (I'm not aware of a Veizer and Shaviv paper). In which case, it should be mentioned that the authors explicitly disclaim that their result is only relevant to mulit-million year time scales in the presence of ice and geological feedbacks. After other people started using their number in discussions of recent global warming, they renewed this disclaimer (Eos, Vol. 85, No. 48, 30 November 2004) saying that without long-term ice sheet feedbacks, a response of 1.5-4 °C was a plausible result of CO2 doubling. You can of course interpret the author's findings differently, but you should first state the context and the authors' full conclusions whenever those conclusions disagree with the ones you intend to draw. Dragons flight 20:37, Mar 9, 2005 (UTC)
I had such disclaimers in my wording. However, I was not aware of the authors have spoken out on the issue. Do you have some cites? Thanx.--Silverback 23:40, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Simple models, not AOGCMs

WMC, This is the section I have been relying upon, perhaps I have been misinterpreting it?

"AOGCMs can only be integrated for a limited number of scenarios due to computational expense. Therefore, a simple climate model is used here for the projections of climate change for the next century. The simple model is tuned to simulate the response found in several of the AOGCMs used here. The forcings for the simple model are based on the radiative forcing estimates from Chapter 6, and are slightly different to the forcings used by the AOGCMs. "[58]

This seemed to be the source of the numbers being used. The link is to the summary, but I believe I read more details on the simple model, later in the section.--Silverback 11:23, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)

(William M. Connolley 15:20, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)) Yes, but the point you are missing is that the simple model is tuned in between AOGCM runs - betwwen, say 0.5% and 1% increases, if you want to know what 0.75% is like, you might trust the simple model. I don't think its used to extrapolate in time (nor in forcing, only interpolate). The IPCC page you ref'd says: For the end of the 21st century (2071 to 2100), for the draft SRES marker scenario A2, the global average SAT change from AOGCMs compared with 1961 to 1990 is +3.0°C and the range is +1.3 to +4.5°C, and for B2 the mean SAT change is +2.2°C and the range is +0.9 to +3.4°C.
Yes it looks like your right. The paragraph above discusses AOGCM results for 2050, the paragraph that talks about the simple model give the results for all the scenerios including the one we quote in the article, which is what mislead me. But the very next paragraph talks about the AOGCM runs for the 30 years at 2100. So the simple model must just be filling in some gaps or scenerios, although the summary doesn't provide the details. I am at section 9.3.3 right now when I have to quit until tomorrow. --Silverback 18:53, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)

recent ocean computer models

I just did a quick glance and I didn't see anything in the article about the recent study that used computer modeling which seems to prove that man made green houses gasses are to blame for the rise in ocean temperatures. Scientists are basically saying made made (green house) gasses is the only explanation that matches the computer model of ocean temperature rise, no other explanations fit the actual recorded ocean temperature data. I think this info should be added to this article. [59] [60] [61] zen master T 01:56, 13 Mar 2005 (UTC)

(William M. Connolley 10:04, 13 Mar 2005 (UTC)) This is the Barnett (et al) study. I haven't put it in because its not yet published, as far as I can tell. But when it is, it looks like being appropriate
If there is an article(s) about it then it is already acceptable for wikipedia inclusion. zen master T 05:38, 15 Mar 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 09:40, 15 Mar 2005 (UTC)) As far as I can tell, the Barnett study is strongly supportive of my "POV" so I should be very much in favour of putting it in here. But nonetheless I am, personally, unkeen on having material that cannot be traced back to the scientific press. A suggestion: it might well fit into the climate models page, which tends also to be rather less controversial, for now. Nb: I'm not saying that if you put it in here, I'll take it out.
Someone's POV should not be judged by words on a talk page but by edits to actual articles. Regardless, the issue should not be about POV. The scientists that issued the report in question claim to have *definitively* concluded that man made green houses gasses are to blame, nothing else comes close to fitting their ocean temperature computer models. Such a discovery is actually huge. zen master T 18:32, 15 Mar 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 19:24, 15 Mar 2005 (UTC)) Yes indeed, I agree (re POV). The scientists have indeed made those claims - or so various newspapers and so on tell us. But we can't examine those claims, because they haven't been properly published yet, as far as I'm aware. I argued this strongly re the M&M GRL article.
If it's in an article it is an acceptable source for inclusion in a wikipedia, please cite specific wikipedia guidelines if you countinue to disagree. 90% of the "evidence" presented by conservative (in many cases subtle) POV pushers on wikipedia have not been peer reviewed. Ironically, all peer reviewed scientific journals on global warming conclude man made green house gases are to blame. zen master T 22:35, 15 Mar 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 23:12, 15 Mar 2005 (UTC)) Well its up to you and your judgement to add it if you want to - I am somewhat busy tryng to keep the page non-POV - see Cortonins stuff below.

POV tag

(William M. Connolley 09:32, 14 Mar 2005 (UTC)) Atlastawake inserted a POV tag, with the comment I tired of constantly changing this article only to have new ideas censored. Fallacies run thick here, not the least of which is an ad hominem against me by WMC. That is entirely deceptive. A's last edit was 5th march, and he hasn't made many others before then. He isn't involved in active discussion here. Hence, I removed the tag. Cortonin reverted it back in, presumably on A's behalf, so I've removed it (same reason). If C wants to add it for himself, and say *why* here, then fine.

I haven't been active because I've had major computer problems and I left to visit some friends from college. But more importantly, WMC and Vsmith aren't interested in asking the tough questions. Every time I make an edit and add new ideas, you simply revert it with barely a thought. (Read the section on reversion, please.) You also commit the appeal to authority fallacy a frightening number of times (by claiming there is no other valid opinion but yours and your colleauges). I'm tired of repeating myself and the reader must know that there's dispute. Because I don't control Cortonin, his addition of the dispute after you deleted it means that's his opinion, too. Please be more considerate.--Atlastawake 02:43, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 09:12, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC)) Your comments remain deceptive. With Every time I make an edit and add new ideas... you seem to be trying to give the impression that you are a frequent contributor with many new things to say. You aren't. You've said one thing, a few times, and it was wrong.
Incorrect. I may not be as active as you, but my contributions (and it has been more than a "few" times and it has been more than one thing) are always censored. And you rarely offer evidence--only vauge claims and character attacks, if that--before you delete. --Atlastawake 21:15, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)

By the way, WMC, I noticed in previous talks that you demand computer models for global cooling as evidence. Computer models are not evidence. Thinking they are is sloppy science.--Atlastawake 02:48, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC)

(William M. Connolley 09:12, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC)) Your inability to read doesn't further your credibility. Try re-reading the section. To summarise, the point at issue was: should the page say "climate models predict warming..." or should it say "most climate models predict warming...". Cortonin, of course, wanted the weaker form, although he was unable to produce a physically valid model showing cooling. So I demanded a model as evidence of his assertion. In such a case, a model *is* evidence.
Please show more civility on the talk page. We are all merely human and prone to mistakes, as I was. But saying that I can't read is just childish.
(William M. Connolley 23:07, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)) Ho ho ho - are you really so un-aware that you can call for civility whilst accusing me of childishness? But, you are making progress: you have admitted to making a mistake about the text re the models. Well done. Now you need to realise all your other mistakes. And of course you could apologise for the "sloppy science" tag which you'll now admit is unjustified.

As for Cortonins addition of the tag: he appears to be trying to use it as a bludgeon to get his favoured text in place. He has added it with the edit comment: This page is in NPOV dispute until it contains description of solar variation theories and climate model criticisms. This is not acceptable: one (or more) editors can't hold the page to ransom by *insisting* on their text being put into place. Amusingly, the reason the solar variation text is not on the page is that you (AlA) created a page with the text. Carelessly, you didn't remove the duplication from this page, so I did it for you. Note that there seems to be general agreement (well no one has altered it) that DF's model text is an acceptable compromise; no-one has spoken in favour of Cortonins biased text; and I've pointed out one gross error in his text and one clear case of bias.

Water vapor, clouds, and climate models. (revisited)

If anything is wrong with that paragraph, it's that it begins with "Critics point out" when it says that climate models do a poor job of handling water vapor and clouds. This is one thing most critics and proponents seem to agree on. I don't think it's at all appropriate to remove that and call these "weasel words" of a "political scientist". There's far too much dismissal of ideas through ad hominem going on here, when the ideas being dismissed are perfectly reasonable and mainstream. It's also true that changes to estimates of the effect of solar variation will change how much must be attributed to that, which in turn will change how much can be reasonably attributed to anthropogenic greenhouse gas forcing. Marzeion et al. just published an article this January in the Journal of Climate on the topic of solar related bioclimate feedbacks. This is not a dead area of research. In addition, Sonnemann and Grygalashvyly just published this January in the Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics that variations in solar radiation (in particular, fluctuations in the Lyman-alpha output) can have a direct impact on atmospheric water vapor levels. This is important, and an active area of research. July, 2003, Journal of Climate, Sun et. al. analyze the CCM3 model over the pacific cold tongue and conclude that negative feedback from solar forcing of clouds is significantly weaker than observation, and the positive feedback from the greenhouse effect of clouds is significantly larger than observation. The result is that the model is off by 10.5 W/m^2. This is an enormous error, larger than any presumed effect. Douglass and Clader published in Geophysical Research Letters in 2002, reporting their calculation that the sensitivity to solar irradiance should be twice the amount predicted by simple radiation balancing because of strong positive feedback, and they confirm their results by comparison with paleo data. Baran just reviewed the state of research on the scattering and absorption of cirrus clouds in the Journal of Quantitative Spectroscopy and Radiative Transfer in Nov/Dec of last year, and stated that it is "still an open question" which is "vital" to the earth-atmosphere radiation balance. Cortonin | Talk 03:47, 15 Mar 2005 (UTC)

So maybe we could stop pretending around here that the only people who question the accuracy of current climate models are fools and politicians. Cortonin | Talk 03:47, 15 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Who's pretending? The only ref in the section is a politician! Why not rid the section of the weasels and put in some real scientific references rather than all that rant above. Vsmith 04:14, 15 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I absolutely agree that a sceptical perspective on climate models belongs in that section, but it needs to be better documented than referencing The Skeptical Environmentalist. Based on what you wrote above, I believe you can provide that. While we are at it, how is it that the article has a section on "climate models" and never actually says in that section what climate models predict about the future. Dragons flight 04:16, Mar 15, 2005 (UTC)
Or better in the climate models article, this one is too long already. Vsmith 04:20, 15 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I would be happy to discuss ways to reduce the length of the article (for example cutting the parts that discuss the history of our understanding of greenhous gas theory), but climate models aren't just some detail, they are a central aspect of our predictions for what higher CO2 will do to the environment. The section ought to say, in short form, what climate models predict for the future, that uncertainties and problems exist, but that most climate scientists believe that they are basically correct. And then we direct them to the detailed article discussing what climate models actually are and how they work. Dragons flight 04:39, Mar 15, 2005 (UTC)

(William M. Connolley 10:13, 15 Mar 2005 (UTC)) I sense a feeling that things not in the main article aren't important. This is understandable but regrettable, because it leads to bloat of the main page with stuff that could be on the sub pages. Part of the problem lies in producing a short summary of the sub pages that people would accept as reflecting the balance of those pages, without feeling the need to continually add stuff to. Note that the CM section doesn't talk about predictions but the article intro does. Also, I've just noticed that much of the climate models para is about attribution.

I suggest we kick around a *short* para here, something like:

Coupled ocean-atmosphere climate models reproduce the global temperature change over the last century, and can be used to study the causes of the change, and to project future change. The accuracy of the models used, and the degree to which they represent difficult processes such as clouds, is described on climate model.

As it stands, the climate model page is a bit unfortunate to link to, because it begins with simple models that aren't very relevant. It might be better to start a coupled ocean-atmosphere cliamte models page to link to. There is HadCM3 if you haven't noticed :-)

I would like to suggest that the entire section be rewritten with something like:
{{seemain|Climate model}}
As noted above, climate models have been used by the IPCC to anticipate a warming of 1.4°C to 5.8°C between 1990 and 2100 [62]. They have also been used to help determine the causes of recent climate change by comparing the observed changes to those that the models predict from various natural and human derived forcing factors.
The most recent climate models can produce a good match to observations of global temperature changes over the last century. These models do not unambiguously attribute the warming that occurred from approximately 1910 to 1945 to either natural variation or human effects; however, they suggest that the warming since 1975 is dominated by man-made greenhouse gas emissions.
There is general agreement that existing models do not adequately account for cloud cover variability [63], and ongoing discussions regarding whether such models are neglecting important indirect and feedback effects of solar variability. Further, all such models are limited by available computational power, so that they may overlook changes related to small scale processes and weather (e.g. storm systems, hurricanes). However, despite these and other limitations, the IPCC considers climate models "to be suitable tools to provide useful projections of future climates" [64].
In addition to this, I would suggest that expanded information on the debated aspects of climate models be added to the climate model page.
Dragons flight 18:12, Mar 15, 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 22:26, 15 Mar 2005 (UTC)) I agree with the POV balance in your version, but would like to see it shorter.
You're welcome to try to make it shorter, but I am not comfortable with the version currently in the article and I don't see any natural to shorten what I have written. This in part because, as you've already noticed, the climate model page is not really directly on topic. Climate modeling is too central to the global warming debate to handle in a cursory way. Beyond that, in terms of reducing the article length, I would think the section misleadingly labelled "Greenhouse gas theory" is ripe for restructuring and much of that information could be moved to other articles. Dragons flight 00:25, Mar 16, 2005 (UTC)
The climate model section of this page should also contain the following information Cortonin | Talk 19:48, 15 Mar 2005 (UTC):
According to the IPCC, the majority of climatologists agree that important climate processes are incorrectly accounted for by the climate models but don't think that better models would change the conclusion. Critics point out that there are unspecified flaws in the models and unspecified external factors not taken into consideration that could change the conclusion above.
Some solar effects may be very important and are not currently accounted for by temperature-prediction climate models, such as the feedbacks due to direct changes to water vapor caused by solar variation (Sonnemann and Grygalashvyly, Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics, 2005), or feedbacks due to complex changes to the scattering and absorption of cirrus clouds (Baran, Journal of Quantitative Spectroscopy and Radiative Transfer, 2004).
(William M. Connolley 22:44, 17 Mar 2005 (UTC)) Note that the S+G reference appears to be to mesospheric water, not trop or strat, and is thus of no relevance to GW. There seems to be a danger of Cortonin uncritically pulling in references of dubious relevance purely because they contain keywords that he likes.
I wouldn't exactly consider the work irrelevant. (You have a habit of dismissing the research of others very quickly.) Atmospheric chemistry is a major component of feedbacks (there's a frequently cited paper out there somewhere on atmospheric chemistry and radiative forcing). Studies have shown solar variations can affect water vapor levels, ozone levels, methane levels, and even CO2 levels. It's better to seriously consider studies than to discard anything as "dubious" if it has an unwanted conclusion. Cortonin | Talk 06:35, 18 Mar 2005 (UTC)
So once water gets in the mesosphere it has no relevance to climate? I thought water mucked up ozone layer chemistry and contributes to what happens when mesospheric NO and CO mix into the stratosphere. NO+O3 -> N2O+O2 and N20 is... um... is it 270 GWP or 310 GWP? (SEWilco 21:26, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC))
(William M. Connolley 21:56, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC)) The mesosphere is terribly thin. There is no way that a reference to a mesospheric WV paper was relevant where Cortonin put it. There may be some slight effects, probably too small to notice, but remember this is supposed to be a *summary* section of important results - not fiddling details.
There are areas in which current climate models due a significantly poor job of predicting feedback due to solar forcing of clouds and the greenhouse effect of clouds. In 2003, CCM3 was found to differ from observation by 10.5 W/m2 in the pacific cold tongue region due to an underestimate of the negative feedback due to solar forcing of clouds, and an overestimate of the positive feedback due to the greenhouse effect of clouds. (Sun et. al., Journal of Climate, 2003)
(William M. Connolley 13:47, 18 Mar 2005 (UTC)) Somehow you overlooked this The results show that the positive feedback from the greenhouse effect of water vapor in the model largely agrees with that from observations. from the Sun abstract. Isn't that strange? The abstract is at: [[65]]
The four sentences in question say, and I quote: The results show that the positive feedback from the greenhouse effect of water vapor in the model largely agrees with that from observations. The dynamical feedback from the atmospheric transport in the model is also comparable to that from observations. However, the negative feedback from the solar forcing of clouds in the model is significantly weaker than the observed, while the positive feedback from the greenhouse effect of clouds is significantly larger. Consequently, the net atmospheric feedback in the CCM3 over the equatorial cold tongue region is strongly positive (5.1 W m−2 K−1), while the net atmospheric feedback in the real atmosphere is strongly negative (−6.4 W m−2 K−1). Now if you'll check what I said, you'll see that it matches perfectly (except that I typed 10.5 instead of the larger 11.5 difference which it actually is), since the point of the paper was the difference between calculation and observation of the two feedbacks relating to clouds. If you read what I wrote, clearly I do not use the word "water vapor", as the paper is about cloud feedbacks, and thus I am discussing clouds. My summary is correct and summarizes the major point of the article. I suggest you read the abstract more carefully. Cortonin | Talk 19:47, 18 Mar 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 20:11, 18 Mar 2005 (UTC)) Your summary is hopelessly biased, because you ignore the good points and pick only the bad. Are you really incapable of understanding that?
I'm summarizing their paper, which in their own description is that the deviations from observation dominate over the parts that match observation. The significance of the deviations from the incorrectly modelled feedbacks is so large that it amounts to an 11.5 W/m^2 deviation from observation. This is a huge amount (more than twice the magnitude frequently used for CO2 forcing over the next 100 years), and has nothing to do with "bias". Cortonin | Talk 21:26, 18 Mar 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 22:17, 18 Mar 2005 (UTC)) You really are hopeless - no wonder all your edits are so POV. You really can't see that extracting only negative information, and omitting The results show that the positive feedback from the greenhouse effect of water vapor in the model largely agrees with that from observations, amounts to bias. This, in a nutshell, is whats wrong with your editing - your biases are so strong you can't see the obvious.
Once again, when the magnitude of the total error (adding both the "bad" and the "good" components) exceeds the magnitude of the signal, calling that a problem is not "bias". On the contrary, it would be complete lunacy to consider it acceptable for the magnitude of the total error to exceed the magnitude of the signal. It's just plain wrong for that system, and needs serious fixing to be correct. There is no other way to dice it, it has nothing to do with "interpretation", "perspective", or "bias". Cortonin | Talk 07:15, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Accurate predictions of climate effects due to solar forcing and its associated feedbacks are important to prediction of effects due to anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, because models which fit observed temperature data but underestimate effects due to solar forcing will overestimate effects due to anthropogenic greenhouse gases, and vice versa.
Current climate model predictions match observed recent temperature fluctuations to within a four or five degree of freedom fit [66] [67]. Research is continuing to improve the degree of fit to observed data, and to improve certainty and confidence in the predictive power of climate models.
This was just erased with the excuse "page bloat". Wikipedia is not running out of space. We have a responsibility to describe an assortment of issues involved with the topics of articles, and in the case of global warming, the claims of global warming have almost everything to do with the predictions of various climate models. First, the entire solar variation theory was removed to an isolated page because it is challenging to the AGHG theory, and then all criticisms of climate models were removed. The page size suggestions are NOT an acceptable excuse for censorship of a specific point of view. This page is in NPOV dispute until it contains description of solar variation theories and a description of the criticisms which exist about the climate models which have been used. Cortonin | Talk 19:48, 15 Mar 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 22:26, 15 Mar 2005 (UTC)) It was erased with the reasoned comment "page bloat", backed by the talk page. Left to yourself, you would stuff the CM section with more and more biased bloat. As well as bloated, your additions are POV. See also Wikipedia:Article size

I agree with Dragons flight's suggested version, maybe shortened a bit, but essential info needs to be included along with a concise definition of what a climate model is and does. The details and discussion should be referred to the climate models page (which is in need of some serious revision). Valid info and refs from C's strongly POV discussion should be included on that page (though it seems he is insisting on including a predominance of skeptical views here as is typical). I do see some progress being made, at least the weasels and the politician is gone :-) Vsmith 03:32, 16 Mar 2005 (UTC)

The view being spouted here that climate models are somehow "done" ignores a wealth of research to the contrary. The only reason this is considered POV is because there is a political desire to have climate model research be considered comprehensive and conclusive so that political actions can be taken. This is a political desire, not a scientific one. Cortonin | Talk 04:53, 16 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I don't think that the climate models are done either, but if the IPCC said that the majority believes they are good enough, then that is worth reporting (regardless of any motivations). However, that line has been in the article for a while without citation. Can someone show where it comes from? Dragons flight 05:19, Mar 16, 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 22:44, 17 Mar 2005 (UTC)) A fair point. I was wondering the same. In fact, its a somewhat un-IPCC-ish thing to say. The bottom of says: Coupled models have evolved and improved significantly since the SAR. In general, they provide credible simulations of climate, at least down to sub-continental scales and over temporal scales from seasonal to decadal. The varying sets of strengths and weaknesses that models display lead us to conclude that no single model can be considered “best” and it is important to utilise results from a range of coupled models. We consider coupled models, as a class, to be suitable tools to provide useful projections of future climates.
Hmmmm, the sentence The majority of scientists agrees that important climate features are incorrectly accounted by the climate models, but these scientists don't think that better models would change the conclusion. (Source: IPCC) actually appears in the very earliest entry in the history - Dec 7, 2001. In light of the quote WMC found, I have revised my proposed version for the climate model section of the page (unless of course someone else can find a stronger statement?) Dragons flight 23:43, Mar 17, 2005 (UTC)
And Vsmith, your continued labelling of opposing views as "weasels" is disappointing. The term weasel implies that one is being intentionally deceptive, and I see no such thing going on here on anyone's part, including the previous section (whoever wrote it). Cortonin | Talk 04:53, 16 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I think the weasel words refer to skeptics this and skeptics that, and not to the scientific points which should be able to get in on their merits without the weasel words. I don't have time to work on it for a few days, so I have just been looking in occasionally. But I'd like to get the model predictions out to the appropriate page, or else balanced with paleo and satellite data predictions. The unmodeled enhanced correlation with solar variability and other issues deserve space in the article, etc.--Silverback 08:49, 16 Mar 2005 (UTC)
It's not the skeptics who choose or want the article to say, "Skeptics say XXXX". It's just that if we just write well documented facts, such as, "There are areas in which current climate models due a significantly poor job of predicting feedback due to solar forcing of clouds and the greenhouse effect of clouds,"
(William M. Connolley 22:44, 17 Mar 2005 (UTC)) If the point is well documented, then you should have no problem in documenting it. In fact what you say is not well documented and may well not be true/garbled. Were you to say that there are uncertainties in the basic physics, or indeed evidence for, solar/cloud connections, that would be fine. But it doesn't have a strong link to climate modelling. And I don't think you mean "predicting"; talking about historical simulations would make more sense.
If I write a statement, you call it "skeptical POV". If I present documentation, you call it dubious.
(William M. Connolley 13:43, 18 Mar 2005 (UTC)) If you present dubious or irrelevant documentation, yes. If you present a paper about *mesospheric* water as though it were relevant to an assessment of GCMs, then you are demonstrating your ignorance (it could have been a simple mistake, but since you continue to defend it here, it clearly isn't).
If I present lots of documentation, you call it uncritical or random. If I present a prominent individual, you call him a dubious radical. If I present a clear scientific explanation, you call it "flat-earthing". And when you accept basic problems like significant uncertainties in the basic physics, including uncertainties in solar and cloud contributions, then you call that unrelated to climate modelling? Exactly what WOULD it take for you to consider something reasonable which disagreed with your perspective? To keep ourselves honest as scientists we need to always keep in mind what it would take to make us change our minds. If our beliefs aren't falsifiable, then it's not science that we're doing. Cortonin | Talk 06:35, 18 Mar 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 13:43, 18 Mar 2005 (UTC)) Why not look at the contributions from the skeptical side that I have accepted? There are many. The common factor in your contributions is overly skeptical POV. You are now using a NPOV tag as a bludgeon to say: "accept my changes or the POV tag stays". Thats not acceptable.
(William M. Connolley 13:47, 18 Mar 2005 (UTC)) Also your description of the Sun et al paper is hopelessly biased. The section we're trying to write is a short section, giving a balanced but brief description of climate models - not a place for dumping selective negative quotes. Somehow you overlooked this The results show that the positive feedback from the greenhouse effect of water vapor in the model largely agrees with that from observations. from the Sun abstract. Isn't that strange?
Yeah, strange that I would read an article and understand what it says, rather than just pick an unrelated sentence to support your view. Did you even read past sentence three of the abstract? Cortonin | Talk 19:47, 18 Mar 2005 (UTC)
then they are erased by the people who want to believe everything is perfect. That's why things end up written, "Skeptics say XXXX." It's a situation which evolves BECAUSE of the obsessive reverting of simple descriptions that goes on in this place, and it makes no sense for the people inducing it to turn around and criticize it. It'd certainly be much better the simpler way, but then everybody has to stop erasing it when it's done as simple description. Cortonin | Talk 10:00, 16 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I agree that scientific points should be able to get in on their own merits, like in most of the rest of Wikipedia, but the atmosphere is so politically charged here that this hasn't been happening. Cortonin | Talk 10:00, 16 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I haven't seen mention of the new Sun paper; is it relevant? (SEWilco 16:56, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC))
  • Sun, D.-Z., T. Zhang, C. Covey,S. Klein, W. Collins, J. Kiehl, G.A. Meehl, I.Held, and M. Suarez, 2005 : Radiative and Dynamical Feedbacks Over the Equatorial Cold-tongue: Results from Seven Atmospheric GCMs J. Climate , submitted. [68]

climate commitment results

I added the climate commitment results, even though I only read the Nature news article. I knew that physically there must be some ocean lag like this, but hadn't seen it discussed before. If anyone reads the actual journal articles, it will be interesting to know whether they attribute any of the past century's warming to "lag". If not, it is probably an oversight on their part. Since some of the last centuries warming is probably due to lag, climate models tuned to that data without accounting for it probably attribute attribute too much net warming to greenhouse gasses and underestimate the negative feedback response of the climate system. I also wonder whether, the models used in the climate commitment studies themselves are similarly improperly tuned because of failure to include previous lag.--Silverback 10:48, 19 Mar 2005 (UTC)

FYI, here are the cites at the end of the Nature news article.

Meehl G. A., et al. Sciencexpress, 10.1126/science.1106663 (2005).
Wigley T. M. L., et al. Sciencexpress, 110.1126/science.1103934 (2005).

--Silverback 10:52, 19 Mar 2005 (UTC)

(William M. Connolley 21:37, 19 Mar 2005 (UTC)) Your text was correct (I changed it slightly); I've added a page that you wiki'd to. Transient climate runs start in 1860 (or thereabouts) to avoid the "cold start effect", which is a manifestation of the same effect: that if you start from say 1950 and add extra CO2 there is a lag and your simulations are unrealistic. AFAIK the forcings are small at 1860 so its OK to start then. I don't know any reason to believe that any of the last centuries warming was due to lag: you could even argue the opposite, especially if you believe in a deep LIA, as I think you do.
If a substantial part of the warming pre-WWII was due to solar variation, there should be a lag intruding into the more strongly greenhouse influenced latter half of the century.
(William M. Connolley 09:03, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC)) This doesn't seem to show up in the 20th C runs, as seen in the famous "climate models reproduce 20C trends graph". Furthermore there is the 40-60s type cooling period in between... your argument could as plausibly be made to say that current forcing is underestimated.
I don't know how generalizable the climate commitment studies' temperature equilibrilation within 100 years is. Persumably larger changes take longer to equilibrate. I suspect that some residual equilibrilation is occurring even in their cases after 100 years that may be too small a signal to extract from climate variability without a more runs to achieve statistical significance. What most suprised me was that temperature equilibration was so quick, perhaps it is just a temporary artifact of ocean circulation. It could act like a buffer with limited capacity, perhaps after a few centuries of the size of certain layers increasing that are responsible for the sea level rise, there will have to be further temperature equilibration. The sea level expansion shows that further heat is being stored. I wouldn't be surprised if there were still ice age lags in the system.--Silverback 22:54, 19 Mar 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 09:03, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC)) I would be fairly sure that 100y isn't full equilibrium, but it may be most of it, as far as the surface is concerned.
BTW, what these publications call "climate commitment", is the concept I called "historical forcing" on the page back in the Nov 16 time frame. I thought of it as the effects of past forcing which had not yet been fully equilibrated in the system due to the heat capacity of the ocean.--Silverback 23:47, 19 Mar 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 09:03, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC)) Ah... different names are confusing.


(William M. Connolley 22:49, 19 Mar 2005 (UTC)) It may be of interest to some that Cortonin has started an RFA against me: Wikipedia:Requests_for_arbitration#User:William_M._Connolley.

(William M. Connolley 21:01, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)) The RFA is now open at Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/William M. Connolley. Note that the RFA was accepted specifically on the condition that it examine the behaviour of both Cortonin and myself; your comments are welcomed.

"Global mean surface temperatures"

The "Global mean surface temperatures" image should be pulled. It has long since been discredited.

(William M. Connolley 20:43, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC)) Please sign your contributions (four tildas). And please provide some valid reason and references for your assertions.

the WROLD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (talk) 20:59, 15 March 2009 (UTC)

the world jacked up IF ANY COMENT"S TYPE HERE!!!!!!!!!!:);)