Richard Alley – The Biggest Control Knob: Carbon Dioxide in Earth’s Climate History

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13 responses to “Richard Alley – The Biggest Control Knob: Carbon Dioxide in Earth’s Climate History

  1. Excellent lecture! But he should still be fired for his crimes – using crappy PowerPoint fonts! :-)

  2. Seldom have I seen such dreadful news delivered with such a cheerful demeanor!

  3. I posted a link to this lecture over at the San Diego Union Tribune on-line forum ( Here’s the first response I got:

    It looks like caerbannog liked Alley’s sermon.

    One might note that he offers no insight into why anyone other than the warmers should think that CO2 in the atmosphere would make the surface temperature increase, he simply states that it is physics, which is incorrect. There is no basic science that suggests CO2 in the atmosphere will cause warming.

    Alley uses the models that presume CO2 causes warming to try to validate the notion that CO2 causes warming.

    Alley’s case isn’t convincing though, especially since he even states that there were CO2 increases centuries after temperature increases.

    Interest can also add to savings.


  4. Maybe Alley assumed his audience is familiar with the basic physics of the greenhouse effect and didn’t feel the need to explain something most 8 year olds can easily grasp?

  5. For those of us who don’t have time to investigate deeply the state of the physical science because we’re working on, say, the economics and public policy dimensions of the global warming problem, this kind of synthesis is extremely helpful.

  6. Great talk about the “BIG” knob . . . and a good example of how a career focused on the dynamics of such a knob can blind one to knowing when a fine tuning knob is making all the difference (i.e. Arctic methane—framing for answer to last question).

  7. Steve Easterbrook’s synopsis of the Alley AGU talk, for those short on time, is at

    Also, Alley did a public outreach video for NSF on this –

  8. Pingback: money makers for the media - Climate Alarmism - Page 3 - U.S. Politics Online: A Political Discussion Forum

  9. Pingback: So what happened to all the Climate Change? - Page 4 - U.S. Politics Online: A Political Discussion Forum

  10. Just have a look at the absorption spectrum for CO2. CO2, methane and water vapor absorbs in the infra red spectrum–radiation reflected as heat once solar radiation has struck earth´s surface. Water vapor absorbs more in absolute terms, but anthropogenic warming (CO2, methane, etc.) causes the otherwise stable concentration of water vapor to increase–a warmer atmosphere can hold more water vapor.

  11. Thor: correct in all respects except one: the infra-red radiation is not “reflected as heat”, it is emitted. I don’t know why so few people seem to understand this.

  12. melty: Yeah… Fair ’nuff.

  13. Pingback: Lessons from Past Climate Predictions: J.S. Sawyer in 1972 | Gaia Gazette

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