Eden Hill Journal

Comments, dreams, stories, and rantings from a middle-aged native of Maine living on a shoestring and a prayer in the woods of Maine. My portion of the family farm is to be known as Eden Hill Farm just because I want to call it that and because that's the closest thing to the truth that I could come up with. If you enjoy what I write, email me or make a comment. If you enjoy Eden Hill, come visit.

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Location: Maine, United States

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Page 8

On May 24 I posted about Global Warming and in particular about a chart on page 8 of JoNova's The Skeptic's Handbook. Today, someone appearing to be JoNova commented on my blog about that post. The comment was polite but lends little to expand upon that page 8 chart.
So I did some Googling.
First, here is my post and JoNova's comment on my blog. Now mind you I have a hard time convincing myself that important people in Perth Australia stay up at night reading my blog, so maybe someone is spoofing me or is serving as proxy for JoNova's effort. Be that as it may. I am, after all, a skeptic, aren't I?
At her website, JoNova gives references for her Skeptic's Handbook.
JoNova gives this reference as the source of the bar chart on Page 8 of her Skeptic's Handbook. The same chart appears as Figure 17 in this May 2007 presentation by David Archibald.
Archibald references his own work copied here as the source of Figure 17 in the paper listed above. The very same chart appears in this paper as Figure 4. A stacked bar chart showing similar information is shown as Figure 11 in this Archibald paper.
Archibald refers in his text concerning this chart to "the MODTRANS facility maintained by the University of Chicago" which appears to be this online calculator. Reference to this was found in comments here.
An interesting rebuttal to Archibald's use of this calculator is given here by "david" who, it appears, may be Dave Archer who maintains the calculator - reference "Response" to response number 10 on this site.
So the person responsible for maintaining this calculator used by Archibald and referenced by JoNova on Page 8 of her Skeptic's Handbook claims that Archibald is deriving incorrect (deceptive) data by using an unreasonably small conversion factor in the conversion from the calculator's results to temperature change. Archer claims the error to be a factor of 10. The point is that Archer's MODTRANS calculator does not predict the results that Archibald is plotting in this chart and then crediting to MODTRANS.
So I'm thinking maybe I need to keep looking. Maybe this handbook isn't quite what it purports to be.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Skeptical about Common Sense

I've been a greenhouse gas believer for quite some time now. The logic of it seemed obvious to me. Greenhouse gasses capture heat from the sun. We are producing an ever increasing concentration of greenhouse gasses by fueling our industrial age with fossil fuels. Therefore we are putting gasses into the atmosphere that capture the sun's energy as heat and this is causing global warming. Makes good sense to me.
Along comes a little graph in a little booklet from Australia and all of a sudden I'm a skeptic. I suppose I should test this graph before I believe it, but before I do that, I'll share this little booklet with you. The graph is a bar chart on page 8 and it titled "As Carbon Dioxide Increases it Has Less Warming Effect". Combined with the line graph on page 5 showing global temperature variation verses carbon dioxide concentration between 150,000 and 100,000 years ago derived from Greenland ice core samples, the graph on page 8 shakes the greenhouse effect argument right to the core. Yes carbon dioxide causes a greenhouse effect, but the effect significantly - logarithmically - decreases as concentrations of CO2 increase to the point where the increases we are seeing now are insignificant. I had been led to believe that the logarithmic effect was just the opposite of what this bar chart shows.
So the pamphlet is called The Skeptic's Handbook. It is on a PDF file (2.72 MB).