Man-made CO2 is "the only thing we can think of"

6th grade science FAIL

That’s a wonderfully scientific statement for you, isn’t it? We can’t think of anything else so it must be what we say it is, which just happens to be man-made CO2. A twelve-year-old physics student would be told off for writing something so unscientific in a laboratory experiment write-up, but climate scientists can get away with it.

As The Sydney Morning Herald reports:

A new study says greenhouse gas emissions have caused an increase in the intensity of floods.

Two Canadian scientists say that between 1951 and 1999 the intensity of extreme rains and floods increased by seven per cent in all of the northern hemisphere.

Published in the journal Nature, the research has found that the increase is twice what was predicted by climate modelling.

Dr Xuebin Zhang, a research scientist based at Environment Canada, said it was clear human activity had caused more intense weather.

“Our research provides the first scientific evidence that human-induced greenhouse gas increases have contributed to the observed intensification of heavy precipitation events,” Dr Zhang said in a statement.

Gosh, that sounds pretty conclusive. So let’s read further for the empirical evidence to make such a bold and sweeping conclusion:

Dr Francis Zwiers from the University of Victoria said the evidence led the researchers to a phenomenon that influenced precipitation on a global scale.

“The only thing we can think of is the changing composition of the atmosphere. Warmer air contains more moisture and leads to more extreme precipitation,” Dr Zwiers said. (source)

Right, there isn’t any evidence. then. Just a temporal relationship and a hunch? And the “only thing they can think of” is the changing atmospheric composition? Which just happens to have been all due to man? What if the warmer air were caused by natural, internal climate variation which may cause increased precipitation? Did they think of that, perhaps? No, I doubt it as well.


  1. What horse puckey, mount pinatubo spit out more co2, water vapor and particulate matter in a month than the entire industrial revolution. This is just not statistically significant. Get some science and then spout off. So far the science and the common sense say NO WAY. Redistribute the wealth some other way.

  2. Has anyone yet proved that CO2 causes warming? That;s the bit of “science” that’s missing.

  3. Stewart Sheffield says:

    Is the only fault you can find with this latest research that poorly worded sentance? The best way to discredit the work of climate scientists is to find errors in the research itself. Critisim of a comment in an interview is fine, but it’s doesn’t really achieve anything. In my opinion it simply adds to the perception that most counter skeptic’s arguments are shallow and not able to discredit the science itself. Would be much better to take on the science itself.

    • I’ll give you a criticism. How accurate is a 48 year study on 1/2 of the world (even less when you exclude oceans) indicative of any long-term climate trend?

      You can’t make pronouncements on ‘global’ warming by studying the northern hemisphere any more than you can make pronouncements on sea ice by only looking at the Arctic. 48 years? Come on, my grandmother lived more than twice that long. She could have told you more about global climate than this study.

      I’m also interested to know how they have accurate flood information from the 1950’s. Especialy from places like Pakistan, Russia, China. These places weren’t exactly hotbeds of scientific research in 1950.

      There’s also the long-term BOM data – if you want to extrapolate parts of the earths surface to the globe – it shown virtually no trend at all over the recorded history of Australia.

      • 48 years not long enough to see a trend? Why not? Not sure I agree with that one. Half of the world not big enough? Another fairly weak argument. No decent records in the 1950? Three weak arguments in a row.

        The first graph I plotted just now on the BOM site shows a pretty strong trend. Similar trends if you select “only” half the world too.

        • Surface data is riddled with problems – homogenization (the act of “cleaning up” data from stations) mysteriously results in early years in the record being adjusted downwards (why? There was no Urban Heat Island effect then…). And when you have James Hansen, one of the foremost global warming crusaders, in charge of one of the globe’s main datasets (GISS), try telling me that doesn’t have any effect either! Take a look at the satellite record (only since 1979) for a less distorted view of global temps.

        • Simon selects number 6 from the list, Norma seems to be going for the “its a mass conspiracy” angle (this one is currently not in the top 10 but must be close), Jack goes for number 1.

          Can I suggest you guys have a meeting and decide what angle you are going to take?

          Top Ten Climate Sceptic Positions:
          1. It’s the sun
          2. Climate’s changed before
          3. There is no consensus
          4. It’s cooling
          5. Models are unreliable
          6. Temp record is unreliable
          7. It hasn’t warmed since 1998
          8. Ice age predicted in the 70s
          9. Antarctica is gaining ice
          10. We’re heading into an ice age

        • Ah now I see. We’re just cutting and pasting from the (Un-)Skeptical Science web site. Well done – now go back there and enjoy yourself. You’ll like it there.

        • Which from this list is your argument for co2

          1. We can’t possibly think of anything else it could be
          2. The IPCC decided it was so, and they used a computer model to prove it
          3. There is a consensus!
          4. The polar ice is melting
          5. All the science has been peer reviewed
          6. There are more droughts, floods, cyclones, hurricanes
          7. There is warming, and there is a ‘fingerprint’ of co2 on the warming
          8. Man is a cancer on the planet, co2 tax is a good idea even if AGW isn’t real after all
          9. The oceans are rising
          10. The oceans are acidifying

          It might shock you but people can disagree about something (say, anthropogenic co2 is a major driver of climate) and not agree on the reasons why. There is no organised group of sceptics. People can disagree for diferent reasons. Your job, as AGW-believing commenter on this post, is to convince people why AGW is real, and why it is such a problem that economies have to be reconfigured to avoid it.

          ps if you believe it has warmed since 1998 we’d like to know why you believe it has. Just making fun of a data point doesn’t make it false.

        • So S, you’re assuming that the AGW Alarmists can’t have gotten it wrong more than once. Being skeptics, our minds aren’t that closed to the possibility that the AGW Alarmists are capable of being wrong, crooked, deceitful, or just plain incompetent any number of times. Maybe you should open up your mind to the possibility too.

          Clearly you’re just working on the standard AGW MO of slapping your own particular label on skeptics, so that you can attack them with the convenience of not having to deal with reality.

        • The Loaded Dog says:

          @ S. Are you here to waste your time or ours?

        • Yes, cut and paste from SS website. Why not? It’s their list, not mine. I know I am wasting my time on here, but I find it truely interesting reading some of the opinions. No offence, but some of the stuff written here is not exactly well thought out. Climate is governed by solar input, period. What do you think of that one? Anyone agree? How about the conspiracy theories and versions thereof. Anyone? Do you guys really believe that all of the scientists have got together (with governments) and decided to invent all of climate change research, the papers, the data, the model predicitons etc? What for? Job security. Of course. Do you really think they are that well organised? I don’t. Governments are just too clumsy. Let alone a collection of governments.

          BRC, as I see it, the problem for skeptics is, while it’s possible pick on bits and pieces in the whole structure of the climate change argument (in bullet points below), and find badly worded responses in interviews, or a poorly checked IPCC report, or argue that 48 years is too short (in your opinion) to show trends etc, none of those arguments are going to convince anyone that climate change isn’t happening, and that it isn’t very, very, very likely to be a result of human CO2 emissions. They are just not strong enough. Meanwhile the temperature trend continues upwards. Your counter arguments are playing at the edges. The classic example of what I am talking about is the hockey stick. You can argue over the best technique to bring different types and sets of proxy temp data together all you like, but in the end, however you do it, 9 times out of 10, you stick get a hockey stick. Why? Cause the underlying data looks like a hockey stick.

          In basic bullet points…

          1. CO2, from a physics point of view DOES trap longwave radiation as it leaves the atmosphere. It’s just the laws of physics. Sorry, but aint no one gunna argue that one down.

          2. We’ve put large amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere. Sure, there is a natural cycle that even larger amounts of CO2 move through (in and out of the atmosphere) but our C02 is all additional. It is easily proven that the additional CO2 is put there by human activity. No one gunna argue that one either.

          3. The temperature is rising. With normal natural variation on top. You can argue all you like about heat island etc, but that covers a small percentage of data only. So even when you just delete it, the same trend it there. You ain’t gunna convince anyone that the temp isn’t rising. Some one even said it here, “no one is doubting that temp has risen for 150 yrs”

          4. Temperature is rising fast. At a much faster rate than any over the previous hundreds of thousands of years.

          5. The other effects you would expect to go along with rising temperature are also able to be observed: decreases in ice coverage, changes in habitat of some animal, changes in plant seasons, changes in weather patterns etc. Sure, you can argue about each one (is it real? is it made up?), and why there might be another reason for it. But be prepared to spend a long time doing it. The evidence is stacking up and remember, you have to find a non-CC reason for each different data set/trend that supports the climate change theory.

          I don’t have an iphone and I’m not religious. I’m not going to start calling people dickhead either just because they hold a certain opinion. I’ll leave that for you guys to do. That’ll do me. In offer to look at websites that I might learn from. Ciao.

        • The Loaded Dog says:

          “In offer to look at websites that I might learn from. Ciao.”

          What like deltoid? Don’t make me laugh.

          Try Watts Up With That genius, you might actually learn something, although I very much doubt it.

          I apologise for calling you a dickhead but I for one am sick to death of your kind wasting everyone’s time (including your own) by coming onto skeptic blogs and religiously trotting out the same tired old non-arguements.

          Here’s a newsflash. Most if not ALL of the commenters on these blogs have been following the AGW arguement very closely for years. I am one of them and we do NOT dispute “Climate Change”

          The following statement (of yours) shows just how ill informed you are about the sceptics position.

          Where did you learn about sceptics? From “sceptic alerts”? If so I would have to reconsider my apology above and label you not only a dickhead, but a fool.

          none of those arguments are going to convince anyone that climate change isn’t happening, and that it isn’t very, very, very likely to be a result of human CO2 emissions.


          Sorry, NO DEAL.

          Sceptics do NOT think that climate change is not happening (for the thousandth time) We dispute the half arsed theory that links catastrophic changes in the climate to human carbon dioxide emissions.

          I can provide countless links from reputable scientists to support this dispute, but why bother, you will just dismiss them – just like a true religious zealot.

          And before you claim I am being dogmatic. For years and years I too used to believe the theory. It made sense UNTIL I saw the other side of the story, at which point I changed my mind…indicating that I actually have one to change.

          The onus of proof is on your camp oh enlightened one, not ours.

          PROVE the link BEFORE you tax the hell out of us and destroy our already weakened economy thanks.

          “likely to be” a term used by those who have no clue, is just not good enough I’m afraid.

        • The Loaded Dog says:

          Oh, and one more thing “S”

          you state with breathtakingly naive ridicule above:-

          How about the conspiracy theories and versions thereof. Anyone? Do you guys really believe that all of the scientists have got together (with governments) and decided to invent all of climate change research, the papers, the data, the model predicitons etc? What for? Job security. Of course.

          You surely aren’t so intellectually blunt that you believe governments can’t unduly influence the entities they fund in certain directions?

          In western democracy Governments are of the people are they not? Have a read of this and then try to THINK about it. It’s really not that hard.

          Physicist Dr. Denis Rancourt, a former professor and environmental science researcher at the University of Ottawa, has officially bailed out of the man-made global warming movement.

          he has bailed out because, in his own words:-

          “the entire man-made global warming movement is nothing more than a “corrupt social phenomenon.” “It is as much psychological and social phenomenon as anything else,” Rancourt, who has published peer-reviewed research, explained in a June 8, 2010 essay. (Rancourt’s email:

          Please note the “Professors” use of the following:-

          “psychological and social phenomenon”

          he also makes this claim:-

          “Global warming is strictly an imaginary problem of the First World middleclass,” he stated.

          Can you join dots here or are you too dull?

          If governments are of the people, does it not follow that by their very existence they are representing the “psychological and social” trend of the electorate?

          And if this “trend” is corrupted, as outlined by the learned Professor, then bingo, who needs a conspiracy?

          Here’s the link oh learned one. Oh and by the way he’s a leftist.

        • Ok, you think half the world is good enough for global warming. Fine, I say there is no loss of ice because the Antarctic continent is cooling. Projecting out as a global trend, that must mean the arctic is cooling as well. Would you not call that cherry picking? If I highlighted the fact that from the late 1930s through the mid 1970s the world was cooling, indicating the temperature trend was down (I’m not, just using an example) would you not call that cherry picking a small subset of years? 48 years is enough to declare a trend in 48 years, it’s certainly not enough to declare a trend in climate change.

          And then we move onto the linked BOM graph – and what do we find? A temperature graph that goes up! Well praise to Gaia, I’ve renounced my skepticism. Except that I, or anyone here, has never said that it hasn’t been getting warmer for 150 years. The extent might be under question due to bad surface records, but the overall trend is up.

          Now, back to the actual argument, I’m talking about rainfall records and you produce a graph of temperature records. I can only assume this was a mistake of comprehension as nobody is silly enough to try and put forward their arguments against apples by bringing in oranges statistics.

          So, once more, I’ll say it again:
          48 years of rainfall records in land based portion of the northern hemisphere isn’t sufficient to discern a global trend of flooding, then make the logic leap that co2 emissions are responsible. Even if the data is good (unlikely), Correlation is not causation.

          Here’s the rainfall trend data for Australia if you’re so interested.

        • The Loaded Dog says:

          brc, I think “S” has a “fully sic” application for his Iphone.

          What a dickhead!

          It’s all part of the religious dogma eh S?

  4. Poe widdle scientists – awe upset wit nufting else to bwame duh scaywee stuff on but peeples.

    Are the fascists finally being reduced to excuses?

  5. Simon, take a look at WUWT on the link between US Government debt and US warming. It evens matches the peak in the 1930’s, which CO2 doesn’t. Wonderful!

  6. The other thing the paper said was that the study only covered the Norhtern Hemisphere they had no information for the Southern Hemisphere.
    I read somewhere the other day that there had been no increase in the worlds average precipitation.So increased global warming causes increased rain.Keep that in mind for when it doesn’t.

  7. Has anyone noticed how many of these folk come out and state that they have the “first scientific evidence that human-induced greenhouse gas” affects whatever is their claim-du-jour?

    From this I can only reach 1 of 3 possible conclusions:
    1) They don’t read any other scientific literature on the matter,
    2) They don’t believe that any of the other publications actually contain the stated scientific evidence, or
    3) They are just going for a bit of shock value, to get their particular claim noticed.

    To be honest, nope of these three conclusions gives me any comfort in the reliability of said “scientist”.

  8. Mervyn Sullivan says:

    Correlation does not necessarily mean causation, so the scientists tell us. But we do know that to prove a causation there must be a pretty good correlation.

    So lets look at CO2 emissions from human activity… claimed to be responsible for catastrophic global warming:

    … no correlation with temperature
    … no correlation with atmospheric pressure
    … no correlation with humidity
    … no correlation with cloud cover
    … no correlation with sea ice extent
    … no correlation with precipitation
    … no correlation with droughts
    … no correlation with melting glaciers
    … no correlation with adverse effects on the Amazon jungle
    … no correlation with sea levels
    … no correlation with global hurricane activity
    … no correlation with ocean currents
    … no correlation with volcanic activity
    … no correlation with freezing winter weather
    … no correlation with tropical flooding
    … no correlation with solar magnetic activity
    … no correlation with cosmic rays

    Damn … does the increasing level of CO2 correlate with anything?

    • The Loaded Dog says:

      Damn … does the increasing level of CO2 correlate with anything?

      It correlates with an increase in government spending to find a correlation.

  9. A few things actually change the climate.
    1. Eccentricities in the earths orbit.
    2. Polar wobbling much like a spinning top.
    3. VERY large and long term solar sunspot activity.

    All of the rest of the global warming stuff like water vapor and co2 are merely slight, VERY slight bumps on the temp curve for the last zillion years.

    Climate is governed by solar input, period.

    Weather, which is what most people mistake for climate, is a diffy matter.

  10. The BOM data for Australia from before 1920 to now shows a trend that looks remarkably similar to the global trend…

    Does it not?

  11. A good article by Professor Roger Pielke Jr on the two papers that have excited the warmists:

    Flood Disasters and Human-Caused Climate Change

  12. Dave Spencer says:

    @ S

    “none of those arguments are going to convince anyone that climate change isn’t happening, and that it isn’t very, very, very likely to be a result of human CO2 emissions.”

    Hey, S! have you noticed how global temperature anomalies have now dropped out of the bottom of Hansen`s Scenario C? Plot that against the rise in CO2 and explain the correlation, please.

    “Temperature is rising fast. At a much faster rate than any over the previous hundreds of thousands of years.”

    You show me the trend that supports this load of bollocks. Have you been watching since 1998?

    “The evidence is stacking up and remember, you have to find a non-CC reason for each different data set/trend that supports the climate change theory.”

    Ever heard of the null hypothesis? Are you trying to do a Kevin Trenberth on us?

    Do you know what La Nina is? Ever heard of SC24? What about the NAO going negative?

    Your statements are full of holes, and you are basically here to troll. You fill your staements with hypotheses that are not falsifiable, so they have nothing to do with science.

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