Climate Sophistry In San Francisco; Half-Truths are Twice the Lie


Thanks for Anthony Watts and Willie Soon over at WUWT, we now have the San Francisco Court Documents. My immediate thought was how short and concise the defense’s document was–Click Here and understand the issue–, compared to the prosecution’s–Click — and–Click Here and understand the issues. People that truly understand issues can better simplify the topic, whereas those who don’t often try to impress the audience with endless graphs.

The second issue that caught my eye wasn’t what was in the reports of the prosecution, but what wasn’t. Their presentations are masterful demonstrations of sophistry, leaving out highly important information, and attributing effects to erroneous causes. They even used misleading graphics. In this post, I’ll try to expose some of the sophistry that is happening in San Francisco.


Link to the above Presentation

Graphic #1

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Rebuttal: No one denies the physics of the GHG effect, and that CO2 is a greenhouse gas. CO2, however, is a very weak GHG. CO2’s blanket is more like a thin sheet of tissue paper put over an H20 mummy sleeping bag. H2O’s effect negates anything CO2 does in the lower atmosphere. According to MODTRAN, the CO2 signature isn’t even measurable until you are up 3km in the atmosphere. Additionally, as demonstrated by the SpectralCalc Blackbody calculator, the IR temperature of thermalized CO2, 13 to 18µ is a sweltering -80°C. CO2 doesn’t “warm” the planet, it helps prevent it from cooling below -80°C.

Graphic #2

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As noted above, CO2 is a GHG, but a very weak one. H2O, on the other hand, has a permanent dipole and is a very very very potent GHG.  Dr. Myles Allen points out that CO2 is potent relative to the non-GHGs of O2 and N2, but fails to address H2O. That is like claiming an aspirin cured the pain AFTER being given a huge dose of morphine, and never mentioning the morphine.

Graphic #3

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As the graphic describes there is a logarithmic relationship between CO2 and temperature, and it decays…rapidly. Actually, it isn’t really between CO2 and temperature, it is between CO2 and W/M^2. The models used to associate CO2 with Temperature used by the IPCC all model a linear, not a logarithmic, relationship. Because ground measurements are subject to “adjustments” and the “Urban Heat Island Effect” it is impossible to identify how much warming CO2 has caused since the beginning of the industrial age. If however, if you control for exogenous factors and isolate the impact of CO2 on the lower atmosphere, you find that the increase in CO2 over the past 50+ years has had no impact on temperature. Additionally, changing the concentration of CO2 doesn’t change the absorption spectrum, CO2 still absorbs LWIR between 13 to 18µ. Thermalizing those wavelengths doesn’t change the temperature from -80°C, you just have a few more CO2 molecules vibrating out of 2,500. Hardly enough energy to increase the temperature of the entire atmosphere.

Graphic #4

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This was the graphic the judge found to be misleading. CO2 is 400 parts per million. What that means is that 1 out of every 2,500 molecules in the atmosphere is CO2. If a stadium holds 100,000 sports fans, 40 would represent CO2, about 10 would represent the CO2 attributed to man. The entire AGW theory is based upon thermalizing 1 out of every 2,500 molecules in the atmosphere to an IR temperature of -80°C. The entire AGW Theory is the equivalent of 40 people in a 100,000 seat stadium trying to do a wave.

Dr. Myles Allen uses the same graphic to make 5 claims:

  1. Both temperature and density of absorbing CO2 molecules decrease with height
  2. Increasing CO2 forces energy to escape from higher altitudes
  3. Higher air is colder, and so radiates less energy
  4. So the surface and lower atmosphere have to warm up to restore balance
  5. Successive CO2 doublings have about the same impact on the global energy budget


Temperature and density of CO2 are not related to altitude. Temperature drops in the troposphere in direct relationship to H2O, not CO2. Where there is H2O there is warmth, where there isn’t H2O there is cold. The temperature then “inverts” and warms with altitude in the stratosphere due to the ionization of O2 to O3. It then cools again in the mesosphere where CO2’s true impact on warming is observed by placing a floor on temperatures. The temperature then increases again in the thermosphere. H2O dominates the Troposphere, O2/O3 dominates the Stratosphere, and CO2’s main impact is way up in the mesosphere, far from the surface. Additionally, there is wide difference between measured IR temperature and actual energy. The Thermosphere is warm as measured by IR spectrometry, but an astronaut would freeze to death without insulation and water freezes as well in the “warm” thermosphere.

When the astronauts take a leak while on a mission and expel the result into space, it boils violently. The vapor then passes immediately into the solid state (a process known as desublimation), and you end up with a cloud of very fine crystals of frozen urine.

Graphic #5

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Note how the graphic Y-Axis is labeled “Brightness Temperature,” and is measured from far above the earth. The X-Axis isn’t even labeled, but I assume it is wavenumber. It demonstrates a slight difference between wavenumber 800 and 1000. CO2’s impact is at 13 to 18µ or wavenumber 667, outside the area showing the difference. The graphic is showing a difference occurring in the wavenumbers associated more with O3 and H2O than CO2. Once again, I’m assuming the X-Axis is wavenumber. Any competent lecturer would have known to label the axis.


Graphic #6

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Temperatures clearly follow H2O in the troposphere, O3 in the stratosphere, and CO2’s only observable impact is to establish a temperature floor in the mesosphere—THE COLDEST LAYER IN THE ATMOSPHERE. CO2 is 400 ppm in the Troposphere where temperatures cool with altitude, CO2 is 400 ppm in the stratosphere where temperatures increase with altitude, CO2 is 400 ppm in the mesosphere where temperatures decrease with altitude, and CO2 is 400 ppm in the thermosphere (at least to 80km) where temperatures increase with altitude. There simply is no relationship between CO2, Temperature, and altitude.

Graphic #7

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Yep, CO2 has increased at a nearly linear rate since measurements began in 1959. Problem is, temperatures are anything but linear, and they track ocean temperatures, not CO2. Satellite temperatures are cooler today than they were in 1998, and are at the level reached in 1987. Ground measurements don’t measure the impact of CO2, they measure the impact of H2O. If you isolate the impact of CO2 on the lower atmosphere you find no warming. BTW, note the slope of CO2.  The trillions of dollars wasted on fighting CO2 have done absolutely nothing to alter that slope. Trillions of dollars poured down a rathole.

Graphic #8

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Cherry picking at its best. CO2 has been as high as 7,000 ppm and NEVER caused catastrophic warming or ocean acidification. Life has thrived through all levels of atmospheric CO2. Coral Reefs formed during periods where there was much higher CO2. The globe fell into an ice age when CO2 was 4,000 ppm, 10x what it is today. BTW, plants die when CO2 falls below 180 ppm. We are near the lowest level in geological history for CO2, and we are dangerously close to the level where plants starve to death. Warming is infinitely preferable to an ice age. Funny how Dr. Myles Allen forgot to include the longer-term CO2 graphic. BTW, that CO2 graphic follows standard of living far better than temperatures.

Graphic #9

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I personally can’t believe Dr. Myles Allen would mention climate modeling. Nothing discredits the CO2 AGW theory more than the computer models. If something is understood, it can be modeled, and the Climate Alarmists can’t model the climate using CO2. Climate models are epic failures.

Graphic #10

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Epic mistake here. Dr. Myles Allen establishes that the oceans are controlling the energy balance…which they do. The problem is, once you’ve established the oceans are the main driver, and you attribute the change to CO2 you have to explain how CO2 warms the oceans. It doesn’t, and can’t. To explain global warming, you have to explain ocean warming, and CO2’s only defined mechanism to affect climate change is through the thermalization of LWIR between 13 to 18µ. Those wavelengths do not penetrate or warm water. Huge amounts of high energy visible radiation are required to warm the oceans. If the oceans are warming, it means we have clearer skies allowing more solar radiation to reach the surface of the earth. CO2 has nothing to do with it.

Graphic #11

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Research from 1975 & 1979? Ranges of 1.5 to 4.5°C. Words like “may” and “could” are hardly the terms used for a “settled” science.

Graphic #12


First, warming is not evidence CO2 is causing the warming. Warming ended the ice age without the aid of CO2. The rate of change between 1900 and 1942 is nearly identical to the rate of change in temperature between 1979 and today. Most CO2 was produced post-1970, yet the rate of temperature change remained unaltered from the natural rate. CO2 increased between 1940 and 1979, yet temperatures FELL. Lastly, the ground measurements used to make this graphic are highly “adjusted.” Properly constructing a temperature graph controlling for the Urban Heat Island Effect shows far less warming.

Graphic #13

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1 molecule out of 2,500 absorbing low energy LWIR can increase the temperature a full 4°C? Really? Since the end of the last ice age, temperatures have been above where we are today with much lower CO2, and even when CO2 was 7,000 ppm we didn’t have significant warming. Once again, life has thrived for billions of years on earth, especially over the past 600 million years, when CO2 was much higher than today.

Graphic #14


No argument there, but what does that have to do with CO2? Climate alarmists are supposed to discount the sun. In reality, we are likely headed for a cooling phase, and it is due to the sun, and CO2 won’t be able to prevent it.

Graphic #15

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60 million years ago, Antarctica wasn’t the South Pole, it was up near Australia. Lack of ice had nothing to do with CO2 any more than CO2 has to do with the lack of ice in Australia today. BTW, note the error bars. “Settled” sciences don’t allow for such uncertainty.

Graphic #16


Solar activity isn’t what matters, the amount of solar radiation that reaches the oceans is what matters. On a hot day with open shades, my room gets very hot. If I draw the shades, even though it is still hot outside my room cools. The sun’s output isn’t what matters, what reaches the oceans to warm them is what matters. To define that, you have to define the impact of clouds and cosmic rays. Guess what? This “settled” science hasn’t bothered to do that.

Graphic #17

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Few frauds in this one. First is that they show temperatures increasing linearly. That wouldn’t happen with an increase in CO2. The problem is, they have a linear CO2 concentration graph and they have to tie it to a non-linear temperature chart. What do they do? They simply “adjust” the temperatures to make them more linear. The second is that they rely on “adjusted” ground measurements, not on far more reliable satellite data. This is the only time I know of when NASA chooses to use 16th-century technology over its modern satellites.

Graphic #18


These claims are not supported by the evidence. First, the climate models don’t match satellite temperatures and only match the highly “adjusted” ground temperature data. Ground temperature measurements don’t measure the impact of CO2, they measure the urban heat island effect and water vapor. Climate models “provide one line of evidence.” That is completely inconsistent with the claims of this science being “settled.” The physics understood in the 19th century doesn’t imply a linear relationship between CO2 and temperatures, and certainly can’t explain the “pauses” that have occurred. The scientific hypothesis “man does not cause climate change” is not rejected at the 95% confidence level if the scientific method is applied to ice core data. There is absolutely nothing abnormal about the temperature variation over the past 150 years when compared to the entire Holocene. Just look at Al Gore’s charts.

Graphic #19


Both the Antarctic and Greenland Ice are melting FROM BELOW. Greenland is a volcanic island and the localized warming of the West Antarctica ice shelves takes place above active volcanos. Many of the other glaciers are “melting” at altitudes where there is no documented warming. CO2 is evenly distributed over the globe and can not cause a localized warming.

Graphic #20


CO2 doesn’t cause volcanos and thermal expansion of the water. If CO2 is being blamed for thermal expansion of the oceans, you have to be able to explain how LWIR between 13 to 18µ can warm water. That can be tested in a lab. Where is the evidence? The physics of the CO2 molecule does not support CO2 and  LWIR between 13 to 18µ warming water.

Graphic #21

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One suspicious aspect of the presentation is that it avoided the poster child Mt. Kilimanjaro glacier. The Climategate emails revealed that the climate alarmists were aware that there was no warming in the vicinity of the glacier, and that the disappearance of the glacier was due to sublimation, and had nothing to do with CO2. Instead, Dr. Myles Allen chose to focus on Glacier National Park. Problem is, he forgot to see if there was any evidence of warming in that vicinity. There isn’t. Temperatures have actually been in a slight downtrend since 1994. Dr. Myles Allen must think this San Francisco judge is a complete fool. Glaciers have been disappearing long before the spike in CO2. The following article published in 1923 predicted the glaciers in Glacier National Park would be gone by 1948.


Notable Charts “accidentally” left out of Dr. Myles Allen’s presentation:

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Please suggest any edits, corrections and/or additions in the comments.

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29 thoughts on “Climate Sophistry In San Francisco; Half-Truths are Twice the Lie”

  1. Thanks for a thorough, but not necessarily (since the original exposition also contains a number of errors that for want of space that you have not included) demolition of professor Allen’s submission. Only one correction, please, he is Myles Allen not Allen Myles.


  2. On graphic 8 ( CO2 and corals ). Before coral reefs there were stromatolite reefs, serving the same function of converting CO2 into free oxygen and carbon deposits a billion years before corals came along. Stromatolites are now virtually extinct, but the reef of stromatolites in Hamelin Pool of Shark Bay in West Australia survives only because of the high temperature and salinity of the water, the result of a sand bar and extremely high atmospheric temperatures. That makes it hard to resist the thought that stromatolites virtually disappeared because of cooling ocean temperatures, and that the ancestry of corals belongs in these gradually cooling but still very warm seas. So much for corals now disappearing on account of moderate warming.


  3. A fundamental flaw is that Allen makes no mention of the theory of Henrik Svensmark & Nicola Scafetta that solar variation can, through its influence on the cosmic ray flux hitting our atmosphere, alter average cloudiness and hence the climate


  4. No one denies the physics of the GHG effect, and that CO2 is a greenhouse gas. CO2

    I wish that people would stick to the science. CO2 is a radiative gas, the radiative properties of which are well known, and the reasons for those radiative properties likely well understood, but whether it is a GHG is moot.

    I suspect that when this edifice fails, both the physics of the conjectured (radiative) GHE and whether CO2 is a GHG will both be seriously questioned, and one or other, or possibly both, will be found to be wrong.

    Whether CO2 is a GHG can only be determined by its impact in Earth’s atmospheric climate system, and that is the fundamental issue, on which there is no evidence that withstands scientific scrutiny, and this is why when one looks up the properties of CO2 in the standard texts that it does not list one of the properties of CO2 that one mol of CO2 causes X degC of warming.

    I suspect that if we were to properly measure temperature, eg. we werre to select the best 100 or 200 sited stations which are wholly unaffected by UHI. land change, station moves, and hev the best practice and procedure for record keeping, and if we were to today to retrofit those stations with the same enclosures, painted with the same paint and equipped with the same LIG thermometers as used by those stations in the 1930s/1940s, and then today observe using the same practice and procedure as used by each station in the 1930s/1940s such that historic unadjusted RAW data could be directly compared with unadjusted RAW data collected today, and compare each station with itself (ie., do not seek to create some global construct with spatial and area weighting) we would find that (within measurement error) the temperature today at these stations is not significantly warmer than it was at those stations in the late 1930s/early 1940s.

    There are multiple lines of evidence which suggest that the temperature today is not significantly different to the late 1930s/early 1940s and the reason fro the apparent warming is a facet of the way the temperature record (not data) is worked and presented,

    Now if the temperature today is no warmer than the late 1930s/early 1940s given that about 97% of all manmade CO2 emissions have taken place since the late 1930s, it would suggest that the climate sensitivity to CO2 is zero or close thereto. One could not rule out the possibility of some GHE since it is possible that natural variation is a downward forcing exactly cancelling out the radiative warming of CO2, but that would be a long shot.

    Indeed it is difficult to understand why Mars has no measurable (radiate) GHE if CO2 is a GHG giving rise to the (radiative) GHE. After all the significant difference between Earth’s atmosphere and the Martian atmosphere is that Earth’s atmosphere has large quantities of Nitrogen and Oxygen. If one were to remove from Earth’s atmosphere all the so called non GHGs (ie., remove the Nitrogen and Oxygen etc) one would be left with an atmosphere very similar to that of Mars, ie., one which would have little pressure and little density.

    There is an order of magnitude more molecules of CO2 in the Martian atmosphere than there is in Earth’s atmosphere. Even if one includes molecules of water vapour there are still, on a numerical basis, more molecules of so called GHGs in the Martian atmosphere than there are in Earth’s atmosphere, and yet there is no measurable (radiative) GHE on Mars.

    It is far more likely that a photon being emitted from the surface of Mars will interact with a molecule of so called GHGs in the Martian atmosphere then be absorbed by that molecule and then reradiated only to once more interact with another molecule of so called GHGs in the Martian atmosphere, than is the position on Earth. This is not simply because numerically there are more molecules of so called GHGs in the Martian atmosphere but also because those molecules of so called GHGs are not as widely spread out as much and are closer together because Mars is a significantly smaller sphere and the atmosphere therefore takes up less volume.

    There is yet a lot to learn and understand and the present claims are simply hubris unsupported by hard data and hard science.


  5. The graphics here should be used, as they juxtapose quadratically rising CO2 with straight-line linear sea-level changes. Graphic #10 (Slipshavn, DE) is particularly useful!

    /Users/Tom/Library/Containers/ Downloads/0C627442-E91B-497B-B969-6169781133E6/(10-03-17) Hedke Ten Cities Report.pdf


    1. I’ll take a look. That is a problem all over. CO2’s rate of change doesn’t fit the variables it is claimed to be affecting.


  6. Thanks for writing this excellent article. My comment isn’t at all technical. Rather it’s just high school science.
    Seems to me the Scientific Method which is supposed to apply to any scientific inquiry is conspicuously absent from this debate. This entire debate should have begun with a literature review. That would have turned up the Medival warming period, little ice age, etc. but evidently that wasn’t done; instead the proponents just plowed ahead. So here we are. What specific & refutable hypothesis have they proposed linking anthropogenic activity including fossil fuel use to “climate change”? How can there even be such a hypothesis let alone test it since no matter what the outcome (e.g. warmer or cooler; excessive rain or drought) it can be cited as evidence of “climate change”? Of course this began in 1970s as “global cooling”, then in 1990s became “global warming”, and then more recently when measurements showed no further evidence of “global warming”, it became “climate change”. That’s wordsmithing. Not science.


    1. You can test the AGW Theory yourself in a classroom using the Ice Core Data. Test the variability of the temperatures over the past 150 years compared to the entire Holocene and you will discover that there is absolutely nothing abnormal about the temperature variation over the past 150 years, absolutely nothing. The Scientific Method is never applied to the Ice Core Data because it doesn’t reject the Hypothesis that “Man Does Not Cause Climate Change.” That is why they turn to computers and models. The data debunks their theory, even the “adjusted” data doesn’t help.


    1. No, but I know some people out there are aware of it. I don’t have many connections, so if you have some, please pass it on.


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