Andrew Dessler debating Richard Lindzen


Eli Rabett covers the debate between Andrew Dessler and Richard Lindzen (video embedded at the link). Purportedly the former smoked the latter, though I haven’t watched the whole thing yet so can’t vouch for that.

Quoting Eli quoting Andy:

It all fits together (…). The key thing to look at is look for coherence, look for lots of evidence supporting a point and you will clearly see why scientists are convinced that the mainstream view of climate science is right.

The real question I want to address here is this question of how much does carbon dioxide warm the climate [not whether it does at all]. (…) We are going to use a standard measure which is how much warming would occur if we doubled carbon dioxide, so we are going to go through the math and do a very simple calculation that indicates that we might be screwed.


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16 Responses to “Andrew Dessler debating Richard Lindzen”

  1. MapleLeaf Says:


    I have never watched Lindzen talk. I was prepared to be wowed by Lindzen and for him to pose some very convincing and well-laid out arguments. Instead he presented a potpourri of claims.

    Lindzen faired horribly, his lengthy preamble did not help his case, nor did his awful PPT slides, nor did his allusions to conspiracy, nor did his insinuations of scientists changing the data to fit preconceived ides, nor did his condescending attitude, nor did his antics with the scale of the global SAT anomalies– you have to be kidding me on that one. Anyhow, horrible PPT slides are not an excuse to dismiss Lindzen’s science….

    Lindzen clearly had a canned talk, he repeatedly tried to attack the models, when in fact Andrew spoke to the data. Later Lindzen’s excuse was that you can’t trust the data– a very unconvincing argument by Lindzen given that they both use CERES data, and that the independent datasets presented by Andrew gave a very coherent picture. Andrew spoke to and indicated the uncertainty in his data, Lindzen did not.

    And Andrew (and others) critiquing Lindzen and Choi is not a personal attack. It was very unprofessional and rude of Lindzen to keep interrupting Andrew during his rebuttal, and pretty pathetic for Lindzen to try and frame critique from his peers as a ‘personal’ attack.

    To say the least I was not impressed by Lindzen at all. IMHO, Andrew gave a much more professional, scientific orientated, engaging and convincing talk than did Lindzen. I initially thought that Andrew went on a little too much about the tactics employed by the “skeptics”, for example them using doubt– but then Lindzen tried to play that very card during his talk.

    Arthur Smith says they both made some technical errors, so Andrew was not perfect. Andrew’s rebuttal was not great, but Lindzen’s repeated interruptions did not help.

  2. thomaswfuller Says:

    Every skeptic I’ve seen write about this thinks Lindzen kicked Desser’s butt. Every warmist I’ve seen write about this thinks the reverse.
    Without exception.

    So it was probably a draw.

  3. Sean McHugh Says:

    As a sceptic, I was disappointed with Lindzen’s presentation. He would start each new sentence loudly and clearly but the gradually decline into mumbles. It is as if he’d lose interest in what he is saying – as would the listener. He also used the microphone poorly and was less eloquent in making his his points than was his opponent. This might not matter to the informed sceptic, but it would matter to those who were ignorant of the sceptical arguments, those he was trying to persuade.

    I stopped listening half way through Lindzen’s opening statement. I hope he doesn’t do any more live debates till he works on his delivery. He would do well to study Monckton.

  4. Salvatore Del Prete Says:

    Mr. Dessler, you are CLUELESS, when it come to climate and what casue the climate to change.


    1. SUN
    If one really looks at the past climate, not just the past 150 years, one will see the climate has changed both up and down in temp. regardless of what the CO2 concentrations were.

    Co2 ,is NOT a cause of temp change , it is a response to temperature change. It follows temp. does not lead temp.

    I would love to debatee you on this issue.

    Also ,here is my prediction for climate going forward, this decade will be the decade of cooling, due to the sun, soi oscillation, volcanic activity, nao,ao oscillations ,pdo/amo ocean circulations all phasing toward a colder mode, prior to 2005 they were al mostly in a warrm mode and that is what accounts for the temp. rise last century.

    In closing time will tell who is right and who is wrong.

  5. Salvatore Del Prete Says:

    PART 2 , Let me add a little more. Co2, is only 100 parts per million more today then it was 100 years ago, and yet temperatures began to rise from the last Little Ice Age about 300 years ago, with one set back around 1790-1830, the Dalton Minimum.
    Infact the temp. rise from 1700 to 1800 was greater in magnitude then the temp. rise we had from 1900-2000.

    By the way temperatures have been steady to slightly falling since 2002.

    How do you account or sq. the rapid temperature rises of the past, such as the one from 1700-1800, or better yet the one at the end of the Younga Dryas? The answer is you can’t account for it due to man/co2 effect.

    Your whole argument is really BS, if one goes into the past and examines all the temperature swings both up and down.

    Infact during the Ordovician period the CO2 concentrations were 4000 ppm, and yet earth had an Ice Age, explain that, I bet you can’t.

    You also fail to mention that the sea ice in the southern hemisphere has been on an increase for the past several years. I wonder why.

    I can go on and on with this , but I think I made my point. Anytime, anyday you want to debate , I would be mor ethen happy to take you up on the subject.

  6. Salvatore Del Prete Says:

    PART 3- If one examines the correlations between total solar geomagnetic activity and temperatures ,the correlation are much ,much stronger then that with Co2. There is a lag time that has to be applied, like with everything when it comes to climate.
    Infact from 1940 to 1970 and beginning now ,there is a negative correlation between temp. and Co2.

    That just cannot be according to what you believe in, which is Co2 concentrations determine temp. and that earth’s climate system is highly sensitive to it. It has to be, if just 100 ppm increase could cause what you claim, oh that is right I forgot to mention ,the phony positive feebacks, such as clouds as an exampe, which in reality are a negative feeback.

    Your climate models in a word SUCK, and where is the famous upper tropospheric hot spot they all claim near the equator in response to more co2 /it’s postive feedbacks. Where is it, the answer is NO WHERE to be found. The models are worthless, and the data that is put into them is worthless.

    I am doing all of this at the spur of a moment, and despite that,I can still make a very convincing argument ,that shows everything you think and say is wrong.

    Again time will tell who is right and who is wrong.

  7. Salvatore Del Prete Says:


    Starting NOW, not ten years from now ,or sometime in the future but now, one will see a steady decline in global temperatures. This decline will be due to the items that control the climate, the sun, volcanic activity, soi oscillation, pdo/amo,nao,ao all phasing toward a cooler mode. The co2 concentrations will have NO effect.

    One little fact, is to obtain another one degree rise in temp. due to co2 increase ,co2 ,has to double itself in concentration from the prior time ,to get the same effect. Anotherwords ,co2 would have to go to 780 ppm from the 390 ppm it currently is, to result in another 1 degree increase in temp.
    The sun ,if it remains as is , will set the tables for what I think will happen to the climate going forward. The sun throughout last century was the most active it has been during the last 8000 years, and thus the warming last century.

  8. Salvatore Del Prete Says:

    LAST- Let’s see where the temperatures go, going forward. I will post again ,and let’s see who is right and who is wrong. If temperatures should rise, while these items I mentioned are in a colder mode, only then will I admit to being wrong. Unlike the man made global warming co2 scam crowd, I will admit if I am wrong ,and will not try to make up reasons why that is not the case. The man made global warming crowd, in contrast,always comes up with a reason why they are still correct regardless of the temp trend.

    I had to rush to get all of this in, it is very hectic.

  9. salvatore del prete Says:

    Mr. Dessler, as expected never responded when I emailed him personally. I was fair and honest with him in my email.

    In any event ,guys like him, and the global warming crowd give opportunities to guys like me.

    I made my climate prediction based on various natural cycles which should continue to phase more into a colder mode as time goes by, I am quite sure I will be correct.


    In climate there are so many items one can use to make a case. I will give an example of two ,that I don’t think are well known and don’t have much acceptance, but still data does suggest a connection.

    One is the length of day versus climate. Data shows infact ,the correlation is better then is CO2 to temp., although that is not saying much. Data shows ,that as the length of day(earth’s rotation ) decreases the temperautre of earth goes down and vice versa. We are talking fractions of a second.They say changes in the earth’s rotation rate may effect the oceanic circulations ,causing them to phase from cold to warm etc. I don’t know ,but it is interesting and one can make a case for this.It is more realistic then the CO2 theory ,which is the worst theory I have ever come across, as an explanation for climate change.

    The second one ,which I buy into more, because the data is pretty solid, is during periods of low solar activity ,volcanic activity (major volcanic activity) increases. Infact, if one goes back to 1600 and graphs all major volcanic eruptions against high /low solar activity one will find that 88% of all major volcanic eruptions have happend during periods of low solar activity.

    Is this a chance happening? Who knows.

    I had time today ,unlike last week.

  10. salvatore del prete Says:

    Specifics – Global temp. by early 2011 ,should be near normal, in contrast to the .5C or so above normal they have been running for most of 2010, due to the rather strong El Nino earlier this year.

    Mr. Dessler’s theory is, as CO2 increases ,the temperatures increase, that is what they claim, so any pullback in temp., in the face of C02 increasing shows they are wrong. Don’t forget they claim the earth’s climate is highly sensitive to CO2,with it’s feedbacks, because look at what they are saying CO2 is doing to the climate ,with it’s mere 100 parts per million increase. They have boxed themselves into a corner where any temp. stagnation or better yet fall, in the face of CO2 concentrations increasing ,shows they are wrong. They did it to themselves through their false claims as to how sensitive the earth ‘s climate is to CO2 increases.

    That is why I say in the next six months or so we should have a clearer picture here, providing the natural forces keep ,phasing toward a colder mode, which I think will be the case.

    I can’t believe ones that believe in the global man made warming CO2 hoax, are not defending Mr. Dessler, or making climate predictions. At least I have the confidence and courage to lay out what I feel will happen.

  11. co2isnotevil Says:

    Andrew Dresser’s assumptions of positive cloud feedback are fundamentally flawed. He fails to recognize that the incremental power reflected away from clouds is greater than the surface power trapped by them, or at least this is the case when the temperature is greater than 0C and the ground is snow/ice free. This plot shows how clouds behave and if you understand the counter intuitive behavior of a feedback control systems response to change, you may be able to understand how Dressler can be so wrong, yet think he’s not. Clearly, feedback is out of the realm of his expertise.

    The inflection point at 0C is caused because the surface becomes less reflective than clouds above that temperature. Above 0C, as clouds increase, more power is reflected than trapped, and the planet cools. As clouds decrease, less power is reflected than untrapped and the planet warms. This relationship is undeniable in the measured response.

    The inflection point at 300K is caused by water vapor saturation, where water is evaporating so fast, removing so much heat from the surface, providing so much moisture for more clouds, that cloud caused cooling overwhelms incremental solar forcing.

  12. SteveF Says:

    “Clearly, feedback is out of the realm of his expertise.”


    ps, look up dunning-kruger

  13. Hank Roberts Says:

    It’s AGU week, the scientists are mostly busy doing science.

    For anyone who doesn’t recognize the talking point Salvatore is posting here, he is confused because he doesn’t understand the math used to determine a trend. There’s a high-school-level explanation here:

    For Salvatore — Which side of the Equator are you on? Where I live, it’s predicted to be cold for three or four months then get warm again, but with ups and downs. You need more than six months to detect a trend in global average temperature. If you don’t know that, you can look it up.

    For those new to this who found something they think is devastatingly clever to disprove climate change: I’m tired of seeing the same old stuff pasted in by new people. If you want information, you can find answers already typed many times by many people in many places — cut and paste from the denial sites into Google search instead of into Bart’s blog.

  14. Bart Says:

    Also relevant to Salvatore’s point:

    There’s more to temperature trends then just CO2, and the shorter the time interval is, the more that’s true. Six months is not a climatically relevant timescale by any stretch of the imagination.

  15. Salvatore Del Prete Says:

    UPDATE – still say once my low value solar parameters are realized the global temp. trend will be down. My problem is the low value avg solar parameters has of today have yet to be meant..

  16. cassidy421 Says:

    This is incredibly dishonest manipulation that wouldn’t fool anyone with any knowledge of science. The two graphs show the dependence of the same two variables.
    The first graph is constructed using altered GISS,
    HadCrut3 and probably NCDC data.
    You only have to look at the graph to see this: HadCrut3 data on the first graph shows higher temperatures than on the second graph. Temperature increased from 1998-2008 on the top altered graph, but decreased on the second graph.
    The description of this deception is

    “A very popular graph that purportedly falsifies the whole “AGW dogma” is the following, showing unrelated trends of temperature and CO2 for a recent 11 year period. It’s been carefully crafted to create a certain impression:
    There are more factors than only CO2 that influence global average temperature.”

    Truth: Regardless of the period of time graphed, of course there are other factors that influence temperature – a diversion.

    –” The expected trend in temperature does not necessarily rise above the expected level of yearly variability over the course of a decade.”
    Truth: Another strawman argument- thumbing his nose at people who don’t understand science or math.

    – The graph purposefully starts at a record high temperature (1998) to maximize the visual impression of “falling temperatures”. It also strongly depends on the specific datasets used. This is a clear example of cherrypicking.”

    Truth: 2008 was the minimum over the time period graphed
    If the starting point was any year, the ending temperature was still lower, so the starting date doesn’t matter.

    This really sounds like John Cook.

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