I have a particular interest in this because my papers are included. In the response, various comments are referred to by their submission numbers - mine are 10071, 10071.1, 10071.2, 10071.3, 10071.4. Unfortunately, there does not appear that there is a way to search the site for responses to a specific public comment. As a result, it was necessary to open and search each volume. Out of 11 volumes (pdf files), when searching for 10071, I was able to find only the 4 entries below. This is unfortunate since I was hoping to get a comment on my paper (10071.3) which presents an alternate understanding of the function of Greenhouse gases.
Note: I found out about the EPA responses through a link on climateaudit.org (posted on Jan 30, 2010).
A number of commenters (0289, 3332.1, 3394.1, 3415.1, 3509.1, 3577.1, 3747.1, 7029, 10345, 10524, 10956, 11358.1, and 11466.1) argue that EPA did not make publically available the data, models, and other relevant information used in the studies upon which the endangerment determination was made. Several commenters (3577.1, 3747.1, and 10071.2) state that nearly half of the studies on which EPA relies for the Proposed Findings are unavailable in the docket due to copyright issues.
Make important references free to the public
Point 2 - Price to read the articles
Before the EPA makes a decision, I request that full text copies of all related documents be made freely available to the public. Having to pay $40 or $70 to read the each journal article that the EPA decision is based on is not in the public's interest.
This is a summary of their response.
[From a previous court ruling - the] EPA is not required to obtain and publicize the data underlying all the studies on
which they rely.
Given that some of these reports relied upon thousands of underlying studies, supplying every underlying study in the Docket would be unreasonable and unnecessary.
A commenter (10071.2) submitted a reference to Kawamura et al. (2006) on how air mixes into firn (compacted snow that is becoming glacial ice). The commenter claims that this mixing leads to an averaging of gas concentrations over 1,000 to 5,000 years; therefore, the commenter states, “It is possible, even extremely likely, that peak CO2 values in the past were 2 or 3 times higher than indicated by the filtered values we are shown. Expressed another way, if the same 5,000 year moving average used on the ice core data was applied to the current data, the current ‘highest peak ever’ would, in fact, be about average.” Similarly, a commenter (2818) states that ice core records are unreliable because their resolution is at best 1,000- to 5,000-year averages.
The resolutions of these ice cores range from decades for the Law Dome in the last couple of thousand years (Jansen et al., 2007), to 570 years for time periods more than 650,000 years ago (Lüthi et al., 2008). Therefore, we disagree with the assertion by the commenters that the resolution of ice core records is at best 1,000 to 5,000 years.
IPCC found that “There is no indication in the ice core record that an increase comparable in magnitude and rate to the industrial era has occurred in the past 650 kyr. The data resolution is sufficient to exclude with very high confidence a peak similar to the anthropogenic rise for the past 50 kyr for CO2, for the past 80 kyr for CH4 and for the past 16 kyr for N2O.” Despite the assertions of the commenter, our review of the literature finds no evidence in contradiction to this statement.
A commenter (2818) requests that the derivation for radiative forcing be presented (mentioning the HITRAN [High-Resolution Transmission Molecular Absorption] database). Another commenter (10071.2) requests the same data, claiming that infrared radiation only matters for the bottom 800 m of the atmosphere, and therefore the thickness of the full atmosphere should not be used to compute radiative forcing. The commenter suspects that the forcing numbers are chosen to make the models produce the right results, and that CO2 cannot cause global warming.
The statement that infrared radiation only matters in the bottom 800 m of the atmosphere is consistent with the scientific literature. Radiative forcing is commonly report as top of the atmosphere forcing, not at 800 m. CO2 and other GHGs interact with infrared radiation in the full tropospheric column (and indeed, in the stratosphere as well) both in reality and in the model code.
The last paragraph in internally inconsistent. They probably meant to include a "not".
|The statement that infrared radiation only matters in the bottom 800 m of the atmosphere is [not] consistent with the scientific literature.|
The EPA statement that
|results were consistent with the ±10% uncertainty estimate ... and a similar ±10% for the 90% confidence interval|
On page 39 (pdf 44)
A commenter (2818) states that GHGs cool the atmosphere by 100°C, otherwise the Earth would have the same temperature as the maximum temperature on the moon (121°C). Another commenter (10071.2) claims that “You always hear that GHGs warm the surface by 33° C, but most sources forget to mention that they also cool the atmosphere by more than 100° C. If the atmosphere was just nitrogen, with no greenhouse gases, the temperature of atmosphere would be about 121° C (249° F), well above the boiling point of water. It is the greenhouse gases that cool the atmosphere.”