An explanation(?) for lack of warming since 1998

by Judith Curry

A new paper has been published in PNAS entitled “Reconciling anthropogenic climate change with observed temperature 1998-2008.”

Reconciling anthropogenic climate change with observed temperature 1998-2008

Robert K. Kaufmann, Heikki Kauppi, Michael L. Mann, and James H. Stock

Abstract.   Given the widely noted increase in the warming effects of rising greenhouse gas concentrations, it has been unclear why global surface temperatures did not rise between 1998 and 2008. We find that this hiatus in warming coincides with a period of little increase in the sum of anthropogenic and natural forcings. Declining solar insolation as part of a normal eleven-year cycle, and a cyclical change from an El Nino to a La Nina dominate our measure of anthropogenic effects because rapid growth in short-lived sulfur emissions partially offsets rising greenhouse gas concentrations. As such, we find that recent global temperature records are consis- tent with the existing understanding of the relationship among global surface temperature, internal variability, and radiative forcing, which includes anthropogenic factors with well known warming and cooling effects.

Link to complete paper [here].

The key argument in their paper is that an increase in coal burning (primarily in China) has increased atmospheric sulfate concentration with a resulting global cooling effect.  The data that they use for coal emissions can be found in this spreadsheet from EIA.  The paper concludes:

Conclusion

The finding that the recent hiatus in warming is driven largely by natural factors does not contradict the hypothesis: “most of the observed increase in global average temperature since the mid 20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthro- pogenic greenhouse gas concentrations.” As indicated in Fig. 1, anthropogenic activities that warm and cool the planet lar- gely cancel after 1998, which allows natural variables to play a more significant role. The 1998-2008 hiatus is not the first period in the instrumental temperature record when the effects of anthropogenic changes in greenhouse gases and sulfur emissions on radiative forcing largely cancel. In-sample simulations indicate that temperature does not rise between the 1940’s and 1970’s because the cooling effects of sulfur emissions rise slightly faster than the warming effect of greenhouse gases. The post 1970 period of warming, which constitutes a significant portion of the increase in global surface temperature since the mid 20th century, is driven by efforts to reduce air pollution in general and acid deposition in particular, which cause sulfur emissions to decline while the concentration of greenhouse gases continues to rise.

The results of this analysis indicate that observed temperature after 1998 is consistent with the current understanding of the relationship among global surface temperature, internal variabil- ity, and radiative forcing, which includes anthropogenic factors that have well known warming and cooling effects. Both of these effects, along with changes in natural variables must be examined explicitly by efforts to understand climate change and devise policy that complies with the objective of Article 2 of the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to stabilize “greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference in the climate system.”

Science News

Science News has is writing an article on this paper (haven’t spotted it yet).  Here is the complete comments I provided to the reporter via email:

This paper points out that global coal consumption (primarily from China) has increased significantly, although the dataset referred to shows an increase only since 2004-2007 (the period 1985-2003 was pretty stable).  The authors argue that the sulfates associated with this coal consumption have been sufficient to counter the greenhouse gas warming during the period 1998-2008, which is similar to the mechanism that has been invoked  to explain the cooling during the period 1940-1970.

I don’t find this explanation to be convincing because the increase in sulfates occurs only since 2004 (the solar signal is too small to make much difference).  Further, translating regional sulfate emission into global forcing isnt really appropriate, since atmospheric sulfate has too short of an atmospheric lifetime (owing to cloud and rain processes) to influence the global radiation balance.

 The alternative explanation is  natural internal variability associated with the ocean oscillations.  Since 1999, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation has been shifting from the warm phase (warm phase since 1976) to the cool phase, and has been mostly in the cool phase since 2007.   A cool PDO is associated with more frequent La Nina events, which are associated with globally cooler temperatures. The climate model studies cited by the authors do not do a convincing job of ruling out natural internal variability as an explanation, either for the cool period since 1998, and the earlier cool period during 1940-1970.

 In summary, the authors have put forward one possible explanation for the lack of warming, but an explanation associated with natural internal variability associated with the ocean oscillations is at least as plausible as the explanation put forward by the authors.

Aerosol forcing

Sulfate from coal burning is but one source of atmospheric aerosol.  AGW Observer provides a recent list of papers on aerosol forcing observations.  See especially the Remer et al. paper, Fig 5, which shows no trend in global aerosol optical depth during the period 2000-2006.    A plot for East Asia also shows no trend regional aerosol optical depth.

I also checked to see what CMIP5 is using for aerosol forcing, see here, but there doesn’t seem to be any simple way to visualize whatever is being used.  I found a paper by Jones et al., see Fig. 10, that appears to be the CMIP5 aerosol forcing.  Looking at the black curves (historical, to 2005), it is seen that sulfur dioxide emissions peaked during 1960-1980, and then have steadily decreased (a tiny uptick after 2005 is seen in some of the future scenarios).  Fossil fuel black carbon has shown a stead increase since 1950, as has fossil fuel organic carbon.   I don’t seen any signal in the total aerosol emissions that resembles the coal emissions with a flat trajectory since 1985 and  an uptick after 2004 (although the historical data ends in 2005).

There is also a big international project called AEROCOM, that is coordinating the preparation, evaluation and application of global aerosol data sets.  However I can’t find anything on their site that provides easy visualization of the global aerosol emissions or forcing.

JC comments:  Their argument is totally unconvincing to me.  However, the link between flat/cooling global temperature and increased coal burning in China is certainly an interesting argument from a political perspective.  The scientific motivation for this article seems to be that that scientists understand the evolution of global temperature forcing and that the answer is forced variability (not natural internal variability), and this explanation of the recent lack of warming supports a similar argument for the cooling between 1940 and 1970.   The political consequence of this article seems to be that the simplest solution to global warming is for the Chinese to burn more coal, which they intend to do anyways.

And finally, with the civil heretic discussion fresh in my mind, I checked the personal web pages of each of the co-authors: Robert K. Kaufmann, Heikki Kauppi, Michael L. Mann (not Michael E. Mann, of hockeystick fame), and James H. Stock.  These authors (individually and collectively) apparently know a heck of a lot less about atmospheric aerosols (i.e. pretty much nothing) than Freeman Dyson knows about climate change.  The authors don’t seem to know much about attribution, either.

This article is listed as a PNAS direct submission, which means that it gets the more rigorous review treatment by the PNAS editors.  I would certainly be interested in knowing who reviewed this paper.  I suspect that this paper will be criticized from both sides of the AGW debate.

442 responses to “An explanation(?) for lack of warming since 1998

  1. The link between flat/cooling global temperature and increased coal burning in China is certainly an interesting argument from a political perspective. [...] The political consequence of this article seems to be

    “These authors (individually and collectively) apparently know a heck of a lot less about atmospheric aerosols (i.e. pretty much nothing) than Freeman Dyson knows about climate change.”

    Wow! You wrote two paragraphs about the paper and managed to avoid discussing it entirely, choosing instead to attack the authors and talk about political consequences.

    • I count ten paragraphs, with lots of analysis.

    • Sharper?

    • ferd berple

      “The post 1970 period of warming, which constitutes a significant portion of the increase in global surface temperature since the mid 20th century, is driven by efforts to reduce air pollution in general and acid deposition in particular, which cause sulfur emissions to decline while the concentration of greenhouse gases continues to rise.”

      so, the cheapest solution to global warming is for the Chinese to not “reduce air pollution in general and acid deposition in particular”.

      This is very good news for the countries of the world that are seeking to industrialize. the AGW problem is largely a result of the EPA clean air policy in the US. There is no problem is Africa burns coal to industrialize, so long as they don’t try and make it artificially clean be adding scrubbers.

      So, global warming is not caused by solely by CO2. It is a result of environmental policy applied to fossil fuel energy production, without first verifying that the environmental policy would not have unintended consequences.

      Have already caused one problem, environmental policy now wants to implement a new solution to solve the problem it created, against without checking first for unintended consequences.

    • You’re right. Curry claims “The authors argue that the sulfates associated with this coal consumption have been sufficient to counter the greenhouse gas warming during the period 1998-2008″ which is simply untrue. The truth is that the authors refer explicitly to “internal variability” and specifically to the well-known [among honest climatologists] reduction in incoming solar radiation, and shift from El Nino to La Nina.

      Abstract. Given the widely noted increase in the warming effects of rising greenhouse gas concentrations, it has been unclear why global surface temperatures did not rise between 1998 and 2008. We find that this hiatus in warming coincides with a period of little increase in the sum of anthropogenic and natural forcings. Declining solar insolation as part of a normal eleven-year cycle, and a cyclical change from an El Nino to a La Nina dominate our measure of anthropogenic effects because rapid growth in short-lived sulfur emissions partially offsets rising greenhouse gas concentrations.

      Curry ignores the fact that Kauffman, et al, deal with three distinct cooling effects, so that she can construct then flame a straw man, that sulfur aerosols from coal combustion in China alone fully negated the warming effect of CO2 from 1998 – 2008.

      Nobody ever said that was the case, until Judith did.

  2. By combining 5 parameters (Fig. 1. page2) and assigning a suitable weighting any fudge can be produced.
    There is no such thing as the global temperature, there are though reasonable approximations of small regions seasonal temperature trends. Here I reproduce one which does show rise after 1998, after distinct departure from the natural causes followed so faithfully in the previous decades.

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/WPd.htm

    A ray of hope for any malcontent AGW reader !

  3. And? Don’t leave us hanging!

    (See last line of the post)

  4. At least these ones recognise the need of some sort of reconciliation between data and models. I see some progress. And the “consistent with” tactic, with aerosols again, is quite predictable.

  5. Typical.

    An article that identifies a lack of global warming was pal-reviewed by pals who refuse to accept that there has been a lack of global warming, and who only allow papers to get published that verify the “consensus” viewpoint that there has been no break in the warming.

    So yet again, they pushed through a paper that goes against the “consensus” because they preferentially approve papers that go with the “consensus” and reject papers that go against the consensus.

    Obviously, they learned at the knee of Alinsky.

    • Huh? The paper would seem to fall within the consensus.

      • Rattus Norvegicus

        Sarcasm Steve, sarcasm…

      • Actually it doesn’t. or does it?
        the jokers who wrote it are the same jokers who did the random walk paper.. if I recall.

      • All I know is what I read at WUWT:

        It is good news that the authors recognise that there has been no global temperature increase since 1998. Even after the standstill appears time and again in peer-reviewed scientific studies, many commentators still deny its reality.

        So it’s “good news” that the authors recognize no global temp increase. That must mean that it’s something unusual, right? Not something commonplace? It’s “news.” So it must be unusual among the “climate establishment.” But it has appeared time and again in peer-reviewed studies. I’m so confused.

        But I guess you’re right and I was wrong, and it is within the consensus. But “many commenters” still deny it’s reality.

        So, it’s “news,” but it’s within the consensus, and been reported time and again, even though it’s “news” – but the concern is that “commenters” deny it’s reality. So we should be concerned about “commenters.” Right?

        Ok. I get it now.

        Oh – but wait!

        This is not an extreme or ‘sceptic’ position but represents part of the diversity of scientific opinion presented to the IPCC that is seldom reported.

        Now it’s really confusing. So – there is diversity of scientific opinion from “consensus” scientists? What? I thought the whole problem is that the “consensus” won’t allow a diversity of opinion. Anyone who disagrees with the party line is censored, or fearful of their funding, or threatened by the cabal.

        Ok – I see now – the problem is that it is “seldom reported.” So, the problem isn’t the “climate establishment.” The problem is “commenters” and the “mainstream media” that won’t report the diversity of opinion. Well except “mainstream media” that isn’t “mainstream media,” like Fox News, or Glenn Beck, or Sean Hannity, or Drudge, or Rush Limbaugh, or Michael Savage, or Laura Ingraham, or HotAir, or Bill Bennett, or Michael Medved, etc.. .

        Oh – but wait!!

        Asia pollution blamed for halt in warming: study.

        (Reuters) – Smoke belching from Asia’s rapidly growing economies is largely responsible for a halt in global warming in the decade after 1998 because of sulphur’s cooling effect, even though greenhouse gas emissions soared, a U.S. study said on Monday.

        Man. Looks like the cabal is running low on conspirators, huh?

  6. And finally, with the civil heretic discussion fresh in my mind, I checked the personal web pages of each of the co-authors: Robert K. Kaufmann, Heikki Kauppi, Michael L. Mann (not Michael E. Mann, of hockeystick fame), and James H. Stock. These authors (individually and collectively) apparently know a heck of a lot less about atmospheric aerosols (i.e. pretty much nothing) than Freeman Dyson knows about climate change.

    REVERSE APPEAL TO AUTHORITY!!!!11!!!1111!!!11!!!

    Beautiful logic.

    After arguing that Dyson’s lack of specific expertise shouldn’t be a consideration in evaluating his views on climate change – Judith smoothly shifts direction to imply that the lack of specific expertise of these authors diminishes the viability of their work.

    Judith – have you ever considered employment as an NFL running back? You shift direction better than Barry Sanders ever did.

    • Joshua

      Hmmm..

      Try this one for “beautiful logic”

      Dyson is quoted in a newspaper article.

      Kaufmann et al. write a supposedly serious scientific study.

      Do you see a logical difference here?

      Max

      • Well, sort of, Max.

        But Judith wasn’t arguing that Dyson’s lack of specific expertise shouldn’t be a consideration in evaluating his views on climate change because his views were being quoted in a newspaper article.

        Her argument was more general – that a lack of specific expertise should not, in general, be a criterion to use when evaluating the views of smart people on climate change.

        Look – I agree, to some degree, with that argument. People’s work should be judged primarily on the quality of their work (although I do think that the balance of highly expert opinion is relevant).

        I just think it should be applied evenly. It’s like when “skeptical un-convinced/deniers” say that a lack of credentialed expertise shouldn’t be used a criterion to evaluate someone’s views on climate change, and then turn around and say that non-peer reviewed work isn’t important enough to be “audited,” or doesn’t count when you evaluate the “monopoly of power” in the climate debate, or that the tribalism of folks like Willis – who are held up by many on the “skeptical un-convinced/denier” side of the debate for his technical analysis – isn’t important in evaluating whether there is some “vast asymmetry” in the impact of tribalism.

    • Joshua, I made a strong argument for why I think this paper is flawed. I then tried to figure out how this got published. I commented that the authors have no obvious expertise or background in either attribution or aerosols, which is the subject of the paper.

      With regards to Dyson, my argument is that it is exactly his expertise and experience in evaluating complex scientific problems and considering climate change which is the reason for listening to him on the topic of climate change.

      • Judith -

        I made a strong argument for why I think this paper is flawed.

        People presented arguments as to why Dyson’s arguments were flawed – and felt that his lack of specific expertise helped to explain the flaws in his argument – and in response you argued that his lack of expertise shouldn’t be a criterion to use in evaluating his views on climate change.

        I get that you disagree with their analysis – and you could have just left it there; but you suggested that the flaws you identified are explained by their lack of expertise, did you not? I think that you aren’t being fully above-board here.

        Do you assume something about the expertise and experience of the authors w.r.t. evaluating complex scientific problems?

        I would say that if you are attributing flaws in their analysis to their (lack of) expertise and experience in evaluating complex scientific problems then: (1) you are making assumptions without having gathered sufficient evidence and, (2) you are employing a tactic that I assume you would object to when employed by others – that flaws in analysis necessarily lead to viable conclusions about the analyzer’s ability to evaluate complex problems. Have you never presented a flawed analysis in a paper? If you have, should we then assume something about your ability to evaluate complex scientific problems?

      • People who are not experts in a specific subject domain can make important contributions to said subject. People who are brilliant and have substantial breadth of knowledge and experience in assessing complex problems can have important insights on that subject. People both with and without established expertise in a particular topic can make errors and mistakes. When an obviously flawed paper is published and the authors do not have established expertise on the relevant topic, then it is not unreasonable to wonder how it got published.

      • Judith- it is not unreasonable to wonder how it got published

        you do like to look at the psychological side of things don’t you. How about applying to warmist-ology then? I surmise that any and all climate science papers of however dubious quality will always find their way to publication, as long as they huff and puff the right way. In the case of Kaufmann et al, for example:

        The finding that the recent hiatus in warming is driven largely by natural factors does not contradict the hypothesis: “most of the observed increase in global average temperature since the mid 20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations.”

        That’s wonderful news and strategically placed at the beginning of the “Conclusions” too, so everybody will see them first. Bingo!!

      • I don’t see her as looking at the psychological side of things here.
        It’s pretty clear. When a paper she sees as flawed gets published our first question should be WHY?
        1. were the reviewers lacking in expertise?
        2. Was the editor?
        3. Is the paper really that bad?

        we can do the same thing with Said and Wegman’s paper.

        We want science to improve. That sometimes necessitates looking at the process. It sometimes necessitates curiousity. Personally I dont think the paper is that bad, especially if it spurs people on to do better work.

      • It’s pretty clear. When a paper she sees as flawed gets published our first question should be WHY?
        1. were the reviewers lacking in expertise?

        This is really quite remarkable.

        So – the fist thing we should look at when we find flaws in a paper is the expertise of the authors? In this case, specifically, the focus of their previous areas of study/publications?

        Please, steven – tell me that was written by someone who stole your screenname.

      • Why would that paper be flawed? Aerosols are not particularly well mixed. If China, a Northern hemisphere nation, was producing enough sulfur dioxide to negate warming the impact should be mainly in the northern hemisphere. What areas have had the most cooling from 1998 to 2008?

        China emits not only sulfur dioxides but also particulates, Black Carbon. http://www.wri.org/publication/content/8416 The WHO data would seem to indicate a good deal of the sulfur dioxide cooling should be negated by black carbon warming.

        I wonder if there are copies of the reviewer comments. They could be interesting.

      • Read much? I said our first question would be WHY?

        Then I listed three possible reasons. let me repeat what I wrote.

        The first question we ask is WHY.. Then I wrote

        1. were the reviewers lacking in expertise?
        2. Was the editor?
        3. Is the paper really that bad

        When we find a flaw, the first question we ask is WHY? or maybe how?
        At least that’s the first question I ask? Then you’ve got a whole list of things to look at? reviewers, editors, WAS THE PAPER REALLY THAT BAD?

      • steven –

        As you look for WHY the paper is flawed, what will differ contingent of your assessment of the authors’ previous areas of study and their previous publications?

        If they haven’t researched and written on that topic previously, do you just assume that their errors are due to their lack of expertise? Seems to me that the “skeptical un-convinced” have been arguing for years against making such tacit assumptions – and that instead you should re-examine your assertions about the flaws, regardless of the authors’ background.

        If they have researched and written on that topic previously, do you just assume that your assessment of flaws was incorrect? Seems to me that the “skeptical un-convinced” have been arguing for years against making such tacit assumptions – and that instead you should re-examine what your assertions about the flaws, regardless of the authors’ background.

        Nothing changes on the basis of the authors’ background. You do the same thing regardless: you re-check your assertions.

        I’m not saying that the authors’ background is irrelevant. I’m saying that you can’t conclude anything on the basis of the authors’ background – including whether or not the paper should have been published, and including whether or not a lack of background explains the flaws you identified, and including whether or not the authors are skilled in evaluating complex problems.

        Essentially, I am agreeing with what Judith was arguing in the Dyson thread. What I’m objecting to is that one day she would disagree with making tacit assumptions about someone’s argument on the basis of their specific expertise, and then the next day imply that (what she sees as obvious) flaws in these authors’ argument is attributable to their lack of specific expertise.

        By all means, if you think an obviously flawed paper was published, ask questions about the reviewers and the editor and spend time re-evaluating your own analysis (that the paper if flawed). But there again, I think that you should be careful about making facile assumptions that confirm your biases. Ultimately, I think you’re best served by noting your objections to the authors’ arguments and asking for (and evaluating) counter-arguments. If you feel that counter-arguments are not viable, then you conduct research and publish analysis that proves your own thesis.

      • One of the reasons why Latin used to be taught was that educators thought that by studying Latin, students would be inculcated with logical thinking by virtue of being exposed to Latin’s logical grammar structures.

        There are a couple of problems with such thinking, but one of them is that logical thinking, or in more educational terms, problem-solving skills, are not as transferable across different domains as educators once speculated.

        If you hung my life in the balance on the basis of a determination to be made within a specific scientific domain, and you have me two people to choose from to make the decision on which my life would depend – one (to just pick some initials at random lets say F.D.) who had a lot of experience in evaluating complex problems and another (let’s just pick some more initials at random – let’s say J.C., or G.S.) who also had a lot of experience in evaluating complex problems but who was also highly educated with a lot of experience in the particular scientific domain related to the question – I would pick J.C. or G.S. (I’m assuming that you could control for conflating variables, such as personal biases, that might influence the thinking of the determination-makers).

        At any rate, Judith – you argued against one line of reasoning last night and turned around, the very next day, and employed that very same line of argumentation in your post. Maybe you should consider if there are any conflating variables at play in your apparently contradictory reasoning.

      • Joshua, you are wrong, logical thinking is only one element of problem solving. It is not the same.

      • The transferability? of logical thinking and problem solving skills are similar in nature. Nitpicking about the terms won’t change that.

        There are plenty of brilliant scientists who lack the real-world context logical skills that a street urchin uses when they swindle the scientist out of his money.

      • There really are two different issues here at play.

        1. Dismissing FD out of hand because of his lack of publishing in the field, and even because of his mistaken arguments.

        2. Trying to UNDERSTAND why a paper you disagree with gets published.

        One one hand Judith argues against dismissing FD out of hand, and on the other hand she seeks an explanation about how non experts gets published.

        I see no contradictory logic here. There are two entirely different issues.
        Utterly distinct.

      • She’s seeking an explanation for how a paper got published on a topic where the authors did not have specific expertise – because specific expertise, and not the content of the paper should be the criterion on which to judge if the paper should be published?

        If she had said that she found flaws in the analysis and that is the reason why it shouldn’t have been published, and left it at that – fine. But she didn’t leave it at that. She went on to imply that a lack of specific expertise is a relevant criterion for whether the paper should be published.

        In other words, reviewers should dismiss papers submitted for publication on the basis of whether or not the authors have specific expertise.

        Got it.

        Oh, and also, don’t judge Dyson on the basis of whether or not he has specific expertise – even though his analysis can be viewed as flawed because he admitted to not knowing much about the specifics.

      • thats really quite a stretch.

      • Yes Joshua one problem with Latin and old-school rhetoric is that one might lose track of one’s own reasoning and drown himself and the others in a torrent of meaningless words and false syllogisms.

        For example had you managed to remember that JC started the bit you’re so incensed about with “with the civil heretic discussion fresh in my mind“, you might have concluded that the only logical consequence is that whoever dismisses FD should dismiss Kaufmann and friends. Shouldn’t be that difficult to understand really.

        Sadly, another thing that is not difficult to understand is that like many people before you, you’ve been attempting to hijack the comments section of this blog post with a machine-gun-like barrage of replies. That’s dangerous close to disruptive in my rulebook and definitely lowers the importance of whatever point(s) you’re trying to make (if only due to the inflationary nature of your interventions).

      • No Joshua, you dont have it. Read what I wrote again and try not to put arguments into my mouth. When you can state my argument FAIRLY then i will believe in your fairness. When you openly misconstrue what I write and fail to correct yourself, then we can all see that you cannot be objective.

        there are two separate issues and no LOGICAL contradiction.
        (focus on that)

        1. Issue one: Should FD be dismissed OUT OF HAND, because he has no expertise in climate science, or even if he has said some stupid things about it? Curry argues no. he should not be dismissed out of hand. He should be listened to ( not believed) because he has an proven ability to tackle complicated issues.

        2. Issue two. When you read a peer reviewed paper that contains what you believe to be gross errors, what is a reasonable course of action?
        you Ask yourself why this happens. Curry suggests an explanation rooted in the authors lack of expertise.

        The right question to ask, the logical question to ask, is would curry dismiss out of hand the next thing published by this journal or next thing published by these authors. I suspect Not. Why? because in issue #1 she illustrates a certain intellectual approach called having an open mind.

        I will say that her openmindedness ( she lets all sorts of things get posted here) is sometimes annoying. But that’s just me. You seem unable to judge her fairly. Until you can present her argument fairly for all of us to see, then I think we are within our rights to question your objectivity. where have I heard a form of that argument before?.. hmm let me see.
        Ah yes, from you.

      • 1. Issue one: Should FD be dismissed OUT OF HAND, because he has no expertise in climate science, or even if he has said some stupid things about it? Curry argues no. he should not be dismissed out of hand. He should be listened to ( not believed) because he has an proven ability to tackle complicated issues.

        I am in complete agreement. And I would add, that people identified what they thought as flaws in his statements about climate change, and attributed his flaws to a lack of background on that specific topic. I think that is a mistake. Dyson is obviously a brilliant thinker. However, his logic (in the article I posted) implied that we should listen to “heretics” because hertics have been correct, in contrast to the “orthodoxy” of accepted science in the past. I think that it is fairly obvious that on balance, “heretics” have been wrong on scientific questions than the “orthodoxy” has been. I don’t attribute his (what I believe to be odd logic) to his lack of expertise on climate science. Nor do I attribute it to his lack of ability to evaluate complex problems.

        2. Issue two. When you read a peer reviewed paper that contains what you believe to be gross errors, what is a reasonable course of action? you Ask yourself why this happens.

        Well, I sort of agree. I think that the most reasonable course of action is to deconstruct those errors, investigate counter-arguments, and if you find them lacking and you consider the issue to be of significant importance, publish your assessment of their errors.

        Curry suggests an explanation rooted in the authors lack of expertise.

        And this is what I see as her employing a line of reasoning that she argued against in the Dyson post.

        The right question to ask, the logical question to ask, is would curry dismiss out of hand the next thing published by this journal or next thing published by these authors. I suspect Not.

        I don’t see why you make that assumption. She clearly implied that she thought that the authors made gross errors for two reasons. One reason was because they lack expertise. If she thinks they made errors because of a lack of expertise, then it seems to me that her starting assumption when examining other work by the same authors would be affected by the same lack of expertise. But further, in her comments, she implied that as differentiated from Dyson’s analysis – their analytical ability is not informed by experience and expertise in evaluating complex problems. Do I think that she would dismiss their work out of hand based on those assumptions? I doubt it. I think that she would only dismiss their work if she found flaws in their analysis. However, the problem I have is with her attributions w.r.t. the reasons for the flaws in the work – particularly since in implying that attribution, she is contradicting an argument that she made (and that I agreed with) on the Dyson thread.

        I will say that her openmindedness ( she lets all sorts of things get posted here) is sometimes annoying. But that’s just me. You seem unable to judge her fairly. Until you can present her argument fairly for all of us to see, then I think we are within our rights to question your objectivity. where have I heard a form of that argument before?.. hmm let me see.
        Ah yes, from you.

        By all means, question my objectivity. I would expect no less – and that’s the reason why I post my opinions – to get feedback regarding their objectivity. And absolutely, request that I fairly characterize what she or anyone else says.

      • Sorry – that should be confounding variables.

      • Didn’t you also make the argument before that more statisticians should be engaged in climate research? This paper seems to fit that bill.

      • yes, but avoid those from University of Penn

      • Statistics by itself doesn’t help much, unless the statisticians are auditing someone else’s statistics. I don’t see much evidence of statistical expertise here? Statisticians collaborating with physical climate scientists, now that is something to be desired.

    • Joshua-

      I just wanted to let you know that I always search out your posts first when I visit Dr Curry’s most excellent blog.

      What you type makes me giggle, sometimes almost uncontrollably. You are SO funny it is SICK!

      Please keep typing away here! Don’t let anyone scare you away.

      You are MR ENTERTAINMENT! Awesome!

  7. Not sure what the article is about? Haven’t we been told a million times that ten years are too short to have any meaning from a climate point of view?

    • You know when folks at WUWT look at a trend line and say “Oh that? Natural causes!”

      Well at some point someone has to sit down and figure out what the natural causes are.

      10 years is too short a time on which to base climate predictions, it’s plenty enough to study in terms of “What happened and why”

      • John Crane

        sharper00

        “Well at some point someone has to sit down and figure out what the natural causes are.”

        This is precisely what millions of climate realist are saying. Instead, what
        we see, is a single-minded ideological collective of media, post normal consensus “science” and bureaucracy spending billions to focus on a single trace gas that we know is essential to life as we know it.

        Where is the funding to look at natural causes? It is the responsibility of the funded climate scientist to look at ALL possible causes. You cannot discount natural causes until you know what they are and why changes occurred before humans.

      • Natural sources are MOSTLY the sun (on these timescales).

    • 10 years is way to short for a slowly increasing GHG like CO2 (less than 1% per year globally), I would agree. If sulfate were to increase 15% to 20% in a decade, perhaps a decade would be enough to observe an effect?

  8. I am glad this paper was noticed, as I just saw it too, and thought it was important, given the continuous debate about why the warming has stopped recently.
    It is interesting that coal consumption increased as much between 2003 and 2007 as it did in the years between 1980 and 2002, largely due to China. Certainly you would expect the increased sulphates to have impacts of a similar kind to what slowed warming prior to the 70′s. I had suspected China and perhaps India had contributed to the additional albedo that has been hinted at in observations in recent years. They also explain that 90′s warming was helped by sulphate forcing declining after acid-rain regulations, and that went with a reduction in estimated albedo, which has been mentioned in observations too. They also noted that a large part of reduced forcing came from the solar trend in 1998-2008, which is also something I had suspected.
    AOD is only part of the story since sulphates also have a large indirect effect via increasing cloud albedo.

    • Jim D

      UK Met Office attributed the current “lack of warming” to “natural variability”.

      Trenberth could not explain it, but called it a “travesty”

      Now these guys have shown that nature does not change our climate – it can only be done by humans – this time the wily Chinese..

      Bring out the shovels…

      Max

      • It’s all become like dietology, there’s explanations to every possible phenomenon out there, most of the time mutually-exclusive ones, so anybody can pick and choose the “science du jour” and pretend they know anything about it.

      • Jack Hughes

        I thought the missing heat was “hiding under the ocean” and was going to come out and punish us for our decadent lifestyles if we don’t repent :-)

      • Natural ocean cooling could have contributed too, but it seems that is not needed for the explanation. The explanation is consistent with albedo estimates, which helps it, as clouds don’t spontaneously increase over a decade without an underlying cause.

      • Nebuchadnezzar

        UK Met Office attributed the current “lack of warming” to “natural variability”.
        Trenberth could not explain it, but called it a “travesty”
        Now these guys have shown that nature does not change our climate – it can only be done by humans

        Never have 13 numbers – the HadCRUT3 global annual averages since 1998 – been studied so intensively with such a great expense of effort to so little effect. This is the problem in a nutshell: there are many explanations that are all consistent with the slowdown in warming, but no means are offered for deciding between them. If it was aerosols from southern Asia, surely they’d have a whopping great big fingerprint on global temperature patterns. Solar would maybe show something in the stratosphere.

        This particular explanation is interesting because it makes GISTEMP and NCDC temperatures inexplicable. They’ve warmed since 1998.

  9. from WUWT
    Leif Svalgaard says: July 4, 2011 at 1:15 pm
    Ha ha ha. Poor Michael L. Mann must rotate being mistaken for Michael E. Mann [hockey-mike]

  10. From the swollen sea
    Another red herring surfaces
    Spotting the sulfurous clouds
    It dives to safety

  11. David R Wilson

    “The post 1970 period of warming, which constitutes a significant portion of the increase in global surface temperature since the mid 20th century, is driven by efforts to reduce air pollution in general and acid deposition in particular, which cause sulfur emissions to decline while the concentration of greenhouse gases continues to rise.”

    So let me get this straight. Life on earth as we know is about to come to an end because of our efforts (now obviously faulty) starting in the 1970s to save life as we know it by reducing air pollution!

    David Wilson

    • Yes, this is described by Hansen as a Faustian bargain. It is something that has been realized that sulphates and others aerosols have probably saved us from maybe up to half a degree more warming. On the one hand more warming, on the other, more acid rain. Choose one.

      • A Faustian bargain is a deal with the devil. In a deal with the devil the answer is that you don’t deal with the devil in the first place. Your scenario would be more like choosing the lesser of 2 evils or damned if you do, damned if you don’t or something but not a Faustian Bargain. However, the premise is wrong anyhow – more warming is beneficial if it actually was happening, or that we could actually know why it’s changing, or if it’s actually human cause, or if we could actually stop it if we could.

      • The devil in this case being the sulphates (ironically enough). You do a deal with them to mitigate warming, but the pay-back is acid rain. I expected I would have to explain that.

      • Not to quibble but a the pay-back with the devil is to sell your soul which is much worse than the initial payoff. (as in the Faustian classic movie Phantom of the Paradise with Paul Williams – he wants to be a rock star so signs a pact with the devil for his soul or something like that).

        Is acid rain then so very much worse than warming?

      • I might agree with that quibble. Acid rain=soul is a hard sale to make, but I think Hansen knows how to make a point publicly noticeable through invoking such images. You could also interpret it that if you take the acid rain/sulphates away, you would fry under the extra CO2 heating (more interesting visions there).

      • John Carpenter

        The acid rain ‘problem’ was solved by adding scrubbers to the stacks to remove SO2 and NOx. This fix stopped acid rain… but then temps began to rise due to reduced aerosol effect. Now China is reducing the warming again by spewing more SO2 into the atmosphere b/c they do not employ stack scrubbers on their coal burning power plants.

        according to this paper, it appears the climate is quite sensitive to this SO2 aerosol effect and can be seen in very short term time frames. To test this out, China should put scrubbers on their stacks, we should shortly begin to see warming again. If so, we may have found the magical global temperature control knob.

        Note: This experiment will be most effective if the Chinese begin employing the scrubbers in about a 20 year time period.

      • nutso fasst

        Why is it assumed Chinese coal-fired power plants don’t have scrubbers?

        http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2008/china-energy-1006.html

      • John Carpenter

        Thanks for the link, interesting article. One should never assume and my attempt at toungue in cheek failed. I found this part interesting;

        ” New market pressures encourage plant managers to buy the cheapest, lowest quality and most-polluting coal available, while at the same time idle expensive-to-operate smokestack scrubbers or other cleanup technologies. The physical infrastructure is advanced, but the emissions performance ends up decidedly retrograde.”

        So if they just used the technologies they bought…..

      • Been to China lately? OMFG!! It’s Pittsburg 1925 in nearly every major city. Even floating upstream on the Yangtze in the middle of nowhere is heavy coal induced smog.

        Are China’s sulfate aerosols the reason for flat global temps? I highly doubt it.

      • All warming was caused by the cleanup of sulphates and aerosols which begain very seriously in the 1980s.

        CO2 AGW DEAD!

      • The problem with that theory is that pre-industrial times had small amounts of sulphates, and now we have lots of them, and yet it is warmer. CO2 is needed to explain that difference, not only in temperature, but warming despite the net added sulphates.

      • In 1980, US SO2 Emissions from power plant type sources was 17 million tons per year.

        By 2009 those same sources were only releasing 5.7 million tons of SO2.

        One third as in the USA much is not “lots of them”. Other industrialized countries also had air cleanup laws instituted.

      • What is not often realized is that sulphates are short-lived so emissions rates are proportional to the amount in the atmosphere which is proportional to forcing. Pre-industrial global emission was small compared to now, and therefore sulphate forcing is now stronger globally.

      • The EPA says otherwise.

        Take a look at the data:

        http://www.epa.gov/airmarkets/progress/ARP09_4.html

        Noticeable warming was very recent and matches up withe post-1980 cleanup.

        “Pre-industrial”??

        Have you read any history? Do you know how filthy the world’s air used to be during the industrial revolution? Killer fogs as late as the 1950s in the UK.

      • So your contention is that Britain and the initial industrial countries of the late 1800′s emitted as much sulphate as everyone together does now? Areal coverage depends on where emission occurs, being short-ranged.

      • Coal and wood fires. Vast amounts of them all over industrial countries. Before that was deforestation for charcoal.

        http://books.google.ca/books?id=6dRI2GRTW7cC&pg=PA427&lpg=PA427&dq=deforestation+charcoal+england&source=bl&ots=P8dUcgo245&sig=X0G4NIGAU41QcbfqBfMNX8K1uAE&hl=en&ei=vHkSTv3ZHMPniALCpfGHAg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=6&ved=0CDkQ6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q=deforestation%20charcoal%20england&f=false

        250 million tonnes of coal in the UK per year by 1900.

        http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/coal_mines_industrial_revolution.htm

        Deforestation in Roman times:

        “In the ancient world, fossil fuels were unusual enough to be a curiosity, and certainly did not provide any major heating source. Almost all heating was done by wood and wood products and while it may not seem like such a major factor it becomes a different story if you think about the Roman baths. The public baths were kept constantly at a minimum of 130 degrees Fahrenheit (54 degrees Celsius), and even a very small bath required 228,000lb (103,421kg) of wood per year. The Emperors recognised the importance of the baths in keeping the populace happy, and made keeping them running a primary goal. A whole guild, equipped with 60 ships, was created specifically for the purpose of obtaining bath-heating wood. Large palaces and villas also often had personal central heating systems; one such system has been evaluated and determined to require 2,506,000lb (1,136,722kg) of wood per year in order to properly heat the villa.”

      • Bruce, keep in mind the population of the Roman empire was a tiny amount of what we have today (likely less than 1% at its highest). They also had fewer energy/electricity requirements than we have today. As for charcoal and the others, those are recyclable. A tree grows and pulls in carbon from co2 in the atmosphere. It is this carbon that is eventually released with the burning tree. [I'd even guess it is possible significant net deforestation may have contributed to the medieval warm period. Note, that trees chopped down by humans are trees that won't get consumed in the next forest fire.]

      • Introduction of pollution control worldwide caused global warming!

  12. Kaufmann et al. tell us:

    Because of the resultant increase in anthropogenic sulfur emissions, there is a 0.06 W∕m2 (absolute) increase in their cooling effect since 2002 (Fig. 1). This increase partly reverses a period of declining sulfur emissions that had a warming effect of 0.19 W∕m2 between 1990 and 2002.

    The increase in sulfur emissions slows the increase in radiative forcing due to rising greenhouse gas concentrations (Fig. 1). Net anthropogenic forcing rises 0.13 W∕m2 between 2002 and 2007, which is smaller than the 0.24 W∕m2 rise between 1997 and 2002. The smaller net increase in anthropogenic forcing is accompanied by a 0.18 W∕m2 decline in solar insolation caused by the declining phase of the eleven year solar cycle, such that the sum of modeled forcings increases little after 1998 and declines after 2002 (Fig. 1). This cooling effect is amplified by a net increase in the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) (9).

    So whodunnit?

    The net difference in anthropogenic forcing between 1990-2002 and 2002-2007 is -0.11 W/m2 (+13 W/m2 versus +24 W/m2)

    In addition there is –0.18 W/m2 from reduced solar activity and
    -???? W/m2 from shift in the Southern Oscillation Index

    And, out of the total, Chinese sulfur represents:
    -0.06 W/m2

    Looks to me like Chinese sulfur is a [very hypothetical] small player, with the largest impact caused by natural factors.

    Max

  13. Most articles in PNAS are only there because they would not have passed peer review elsewhere.

    It is odd to claim that the solar cycle has been downwards for the past decade. The last peak was in 2005 so it was upwards until then. Also it isnt the rate of SO2 emissions that would matter – (even if emissions have increased and Judith says they have not). It is the trend in the concentration of SO2 in the atmosphere that could be important. Has SO2 concentration increased or not over the past decade? (They seem to talk exclusively about the rate of emissions, not concentration).

    • Rattus Norvegicus

      Then how do you explain that PNAS is one of the 3 most influential journals in the biz?

      Oh, that’s right, scientists are suckers and can’t recognize bad science.

      • There’s a saying in some industries, nobody’s ever got fired for contracting IBM. That says nothing about the quality of the IBM work, even if it explains the quantity of contracts they receive just because they’re called IBM.

        Analogously no matter how silly their editorial stances on things like climate change, journals such as Science, Nature, the PNAS etc will always be able to maintain a high degree of popularity (=”influence”).

        The name of the game is that you’ve got to get yourself a name. Everything else will flow by itself. After all, all major paradigm shifts in science have happened when an established Name got his/her head around to accept new ideas. Einstein was a curiosity until Eddington came along.

      • “when an established Name got his/her head around to accept new ideas. Einstein was a curiosity until Eddington came along.”
        Actually, not so. Eddington was three years younger than Einstein, and was just getting his first degree when Einstein published his paper on special relativity in 1905.

      • Who said 1905? Eddington was not a nobody when he came back from Principe establishing the “reality” of Einstein’s relativity theory. He was Fellow of the Royal Society, Secretary of the Royal Astronomical Society, awardee of the Royal Medal, etc etc.

      • But by then Einstein was director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Physics (and had been for five years). And president of the Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft. More than a curiosity.

      • You’re right. Einstein’s RELATIVITY was a curiosity until The Establishment Guy took it upon himself to demonstrate it right. Then the paradigm changed.

      • Retired IBMer

        ‘That says nothing about the quality of the IBM work, even if it explains the quantity of contracts they receive just because they’re called IBM.

        That’s a daft statement.

        IBM did not achieve that reputation among their many competitors by being no different from all the others. They got it because they did quality work. On time, to budget and which the client thought represented value for money.

        And they have to retain such a rep by continuing to do so. Good reputations are hard won, but easily lost.

      • Mainstream scientists obviously can’t recognize bad science.

    • Mainstream is misled regarding solar influence. The only factors they accept is TSI and 11-year cycle min/max, at least officially.

      An indicator of solar activity closely associated with climate is solar cycle length. Short solar cycles (~10.5 years) are associated with warming. Almost all 20th century cycles were short (~10-10.5 years), except sc14 (~1902-1914, scl = ~12 years; sc13 was also ~12 years), sc20 (~1965-1977, scl = ~11.5 years) and sc23 (~1997-2009, scl = ~12 years). All of these longer than average cycles were associated with cooling.

      The average scl in the 19th century (~11.5 years) is longer (colder) than the average scl in the 20th century (~10.5 years). This is nicely associated with the 20th century being warmer than 19th century.

      The “butterfly” or how I like to call it, the “heart” diagram:

      Can you feel the heartbeat?

      • Since the scl/temperature correlation is negative (when the scl decreases, the temperature increases), it might be useful to use frequency instead of the period (scl) to see the positive correlation.

        f = 1/scl

        The average (scl = 11.1 years) solar cycle frequency:

        f(av) = 1/11.1 = 0.09009 years^-1 = 90.1 ky^-1.

        Typical long cycle:
        scl = 12 years
        f = 1/0.012 ky = 83.3 ky^-1

        Typical short cycle:
        scl = 10.5 years
        f = 1/0.0105 ky= 95.2 ky^-1.

  14. DeNihilist

    I just don’t get it. Obviously, Ma Nature is way more inteligent then the masses In her infinite wisdom, she mixes sulphates in with the energy mass, we her highest creation need, to protect us from the CO2 bogeyman. Rather then allowing her wisdom to guide us, we scrub the helpful chemical out, and in the process destroy ourselves.

    When will we ever learn…….

  15. “The key argument in their paper is that an increase in coal burning (primarily in China) has increased atmospheric sulfate concentration with a resulting global cooling effect. ”

    If that is true, could no AGW all be blamed on the cleanup of the air of industroalized countries starting with the big acid rain scare in the 1970s?

    Was not 1981 the peak year for SO2?

    This paper just demolished CO2 based AGW.

  16. This paper is consistent with the AGW hypothesis – all weather and climate phenomena are consistent with AGW! That’s the message isn’t it?

    • Jack Hughes

      Pay attention at the back! That is the second law of climatology:

      2. Every observation or event is consistent with climate theory.

      (The 1st law states that “It’s worse than we thought” )

  17. “A peer-reviewed paper published in The Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics finds that natural changes in global cloud cover over the 21 year period 1983-2004 are responsible for at least 3 times as much global warming as has been attributed to greenhouse gases over the 104 year period of 1900-2004.”

    http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2011/05/study-finds-global-warming-from-natural.html

  18. In 1980, US SO2 Emissions from power plant type sources was 17 million tons per year.

    By 2009 those same sources were only releasing 5.7 million tons of SO2.

    http://www.epa.gov/airmarkets/progress/ARP09_4.html

    And that is just US efforts to clean the air.

    If dirty air causes cooling, then clean air = warming.

    CO2 AGW is DEAD.

    Burn more coal, save the earth!

    • As your EPA link points out, the US “acid rain” SO2 control program (Title IV) only began in 1995. I think US emissions were around 35 mty at that time, but could be wrong. (I was very active in that program but it has been a long time.)

      As an aside many people think the acid rain scare was a precursor to the equally scientifically unsupportable AGW scare.

  19. tempterrain

    Judith,

    I’m surprised, as a scientist, that you didn’t post up links to graph(s) showing just exactly what we are all talking about here. I’m sure you must have chided your own students on this point from time to time!
    You could have chosen this link:

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/

    or something like this using hadcrut3 data:

    The point to notice about any so-called global cooling is that there really isn’t anything that it quite as obvious as many of the contributors to this blog would like to believe.

    Yes, it could be that increased coal burning in China is having some effect, and there could well be some additional effect from the recent solar minimum but it’s not quite time to start worrying about a return to ice age conditions just yet!

    • Yeah, what’s science without graphs!

    • I posted links to which i references specific figures and also an xcel spreadsheet. I do not post other people’s figures here owing to concerns over copyright issues.

      • Still the point is well made. It’s hard to look at such a graph and say the obvious feature is that warming is lacking since 1998. Which, despite your headline, isn’t what they said. They said, in not very good English:
        “Data for global surface temperature indicate little warming
        between 1998 and 2008″…”Although temperature increases in 2009 and 2010,”
        .

      • tempterrain

        Judith,

        I’m not even a US taxpayer and Dr Hansen, or anyone else from NASA, has never complained to me about copyright infringement when I’ve used their graphs or diagrams.

        You obviously are, and, as you help pay for their upkeep it would seem quite reasonable that you should make full use, in a responsible way of course of everything they produce.

        Anyway if you ask James and he says “no’, just let me know and I’ll have a word with him :-)

      • did you ask permission to use it? how did you use it? do you have an example?

    • Who’s “we” and what exactly are you “talking about here”?

      I see in your links a GISS graph, which is the most alarming one of all the temperature datasets (where 1998 wasn’t the warmest year ever), and a very disingenuous graph from HADcrut, where the smoothing simply doesn’t seem right (almost always lower than the graph itself), giving the impression that we are really at the cusp of high temperatures.

      However, if you take out the red line, you’ll see where you went wrong there with your impression.

      • tempterrain

        Luis,

        The red line is applied to the graph using Excel’s standard tool for applying an averaging trend line. I can post up the file itself if you’d like to check the ‘disingenuous’ factor! I can assure you that you won’t find anything wrong.

        I’ve already posted up the reference for the data itself so it might be a useful exercise for you to do exactly the same thing, from scratch, yourself.

        I must say I’m very surprised that Judith seems to have become associated with the ‘it hasn’t warmed since 1998′ argument. She knows it’s just nonsense.

      • Where’s the graph since 1998? Or shall we use the one starting before the dinosaurs?

      • Sorry, tempterrain, I missed the line “PAST 10 year rolling average”, which means that the red line will always lag the yearly averages by 5 years. It’s a very bad way to plot trends, and one neatly picked to make sure the end point of the red line coincides with the end point of 2011 temperature.

        It’s merely a trick to hide the current stagnation, but it’s all okay, since tricks only mean techniques ;).

        (I’m just half serious in my tone, btw, I take it lightheartedly)

    • Aw, c’mon, tempterrain.

      You can’t use 10-year trailing averages to determine a trend that goes back barely more than 10 years.

      I’m surprised that you, as a scientist, would try something so silly.

      IPCC uses linear trends for comparisons of defferent time periods.

      The linear trend of the monthly HadCRUT globally and annually averaged land and sea surface temperature anomaly is shown here.

      As you can see, there was a net cooling trend of -0.06°C per decade.

      This compares with an IPCC warming forecast of +0.20°C per decade.

      If one plots the data starting in 1998 one gets a flat trend (no warming / no cooling).

      Those are the observed facts, tempterrain.

      But, hey, cheer up! It may stop cooling again (provided the sun, ENSO, etc. play along).

      Max

      • tempterrain

        Manacker,

        Did you see my prior post of July 4, 2011 at 11:04 pm? I said that you could cherry pick the dates 2001 to 2010 to show cooling and your graph shows , er, 2001 to 2010 .

        Look, if the ‘trend’ only goes back ten years it isn’t really a trend at all! Stick to the ten year averages. If there is a change in the trend, that’s where it will show up first.

  20. I can see that here and at WUWT this paper is not well received by skeptics, because, if it pans out with further research, AGW science will have successfully taken away the but-it-is-not-warming-now issue, leaving skeptics with a small amount of unexplained temperature change to fit their variability theories to. It could be a battleground.

    • Wasn’t but-it-is-not-warming-now issue already a battleground?

      • OK, maybe yes, and the advantage may be shifting to AGW when previously they had been mostly ignoring this battle as a non-climate-scale issue.

      • A finger in the dike. But that mean an admission it was leaky where before they said there was no leak.

    • Not a battleground per se, but a complete distraction, for the likes of John Cook et al to add on their “explanatory” websites on why the missing heat is… well… missing.

      It’s as if this paper was written and approved so that people who have little time to waste in thinking abou these scientific issues, and who unquestionably believe in a certain narrative can answer with a “it’s all about the aerossols and I’ve the SCIENCE to prove it, coz it’s peerreviwd, and if you don’t know this or don’t believe it, you’re just an ignorant denier” to any dissenter of any kind when pointed out to the surprising long stagnation of global temperatures.

      I can almost hear someone appearing on the television hammering away the point that scientists have “found out” that the recent stagnant temperatures are well explained by these phenomena, and that further poiting out the obvious is undoubtedly an oil-paid campaign.

      • It is a common theme among skeptics not to want to talk about the aerosol effects of fossil fuels on climate. I am not sure they have even acknowledged this as a cooling factor yet, so I predict it will not be an area where the sides can get together.

      • No, it’s actually a good physical argument, but the problem with it is that it could range from mild to extremely powerful, and thus you can make any kind of “prediction” or “explanation” with it, depending on what you want the outcome to be. IOW, while theoretically possible physics, there is no quality science “coming out” of this, only “irrefutable” physics that works everywhere in an adoc fashion.

        If the world warms up, it’s CO2, if it doesn’t it’s CO2 masked with aerossols. And we know (or should know) what to do with increasingly tautological explanations…

      • I don’t see that not talking about the total effect of pollutants is a skeptic thing. I am personally all for reducing pollutants, I just don’t think CO2 is a major pollutant at this point in history. For the aerosol effects, it is close to a dead heat as far as climate goes, black carbon basically offsets sulfur.

        I haven’t seen any rational skeptic that is not responsible in advocating reasonable emissions controls, wanting clean air and clean water is a common to both warmer and skeptic. Even Bush the Elder was all for tighter regulation of particulates.

        Skeptics are more for rational legislation that provides the best bang for the buck. We tend to remember the Exhaust Gas Recirculation valve nonsense and the pealing auto paint that resulted from VOC regulation with an unrealistic timetable. There are real economic consequences that result from warm and fuzzy legislation, ethanol is proving to be another.

      • For the IPCC, the biggest error bars in forcing come from aerosols, so maybe this is an area of agreement after all, that more observations are needed to reduce these uncertainties.

      • Definitely, “consensus” or no, there are a lot of uncertainties. Warming being so Northern Hemisphere heavy is an indication that “global” temperature is not responding to a well mixed gas increase as expected. The weak signal in the paleo reconstructions and over smoothing to reconstruct globally, forsaking regional which should be more important to compare with real world changes is an odd approach.

        Water vapor feedback estimates seem to be over estimated, since the majority of the atmospheric layers where CO2 is equally significant to water vapor are not well suited for increasing water vapor. Plus the radiation window in these layers appears to be picture window allowing for more radiative cooling than anticipated, especially where convection overshoots the tropopause.

        While tropospheric warming with stratospheric cooling is evident, the synchronization of the two on shorter time scales is not as evident as I would expect if CO2 was living up to expectations. But then the filtering of the satellite data is too broad to really be confident of the interaction at the tropopause.

        I would say there is more to be figured out.

      • Jim D

        The “aerosol effect” is a red herring, for two reasons.

        IPCC has told us that ALL anthropogenic forcing components except CO2 (aerosols, other GHGs, land use changes, surface albedo changes, etc.) have essentially cancelled one another out (from 1750 to 2005), with the RF for CO2 at 1.66 W/m^2 and for total anthropogenic forcing at 1.6 W/m^2.

        Kaufmann et al. tell us that their model-derived aerosol cooling effect since 2001 was -0.06 W/m^2 while the solar effect was three times this high at -0.18 W/m^2.

        Even if we were to accept the postulations of Kaufmann et al. (which I do not), three-fourths of the cooling would have been attributed to natural variability and only one-fourth to Chinese aerosols.

        Fuggidaboudit, Jim.

        Max

    • “this paper is not well received by skeptics”

      Nonsense. I love it. If the lack of warming is caused by more SO2 and aerosols then the opposite must be true … less SO2 and aerosols caused by various clean air initiatives CAUSED the warming.

      • As I explained elsewhere, no. Clue: compare pre-industrial conditions to now.

      • See my references to vast quantities of wood being burned in Roman times and even the Romans helped deforest Britain.

        And coal smoke etc might explain the LIA. :)

    • Jim D,

      It is obvious that you don’t understand sceptical arguments.

    • Latimer Alder

      I imagine that McIntyre and Eschenbach are already hard at work……..

  21. “Declining solar insolation as part of a normal eleven-year cycle, and a cyclical change from an El Nino to a La Nina dominate our measure of anthropogenic effects because rapid growth in short-lived sulfur emissions partially offsets rising greenhouse gas concentrations.”

    So the models predicting continued warming were wrong because they didn’t adequately account for things like sulfates from burning coal, and natural climate variations? In other words, those creating and adjusting the climate models weren’t capable of accounting for these influences in a ten year period, but trust us, they are much better over longer periods.

    It seems to me that none of the variables listed in this article as influencing the temperature would qualify as known unknowns, let alone unknown unknowns. If the models cannot properly account for the influences of known variables, how is that supposed to increase our confidence in the models as a whole?

    And again we get the “consistent with” argument. Warming is consistent with global warming, static temperatures are consistent with global warming, and cooling temperatures are consistent with global warming. Claiming that everything is consistent with global warming is another one of those arguments that sounds great, but doesn’t really provide any information.

  22. Please delete my previous post.

    VERIFYING IPCC CLAIMS

    Claims by the IPCC of 1) “Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely” man made, and 2) “For the next two decades a warming rate of 0.2 deg C per decade is projected” are not supported by the observed data.

    FIRST IPCC CLAIM

    In its Fourth Assessment Report of 2007, IPCC’s claim regarding global warming was the following:


    Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations.

    http://bit.ly/9Cn3BI

    Let us verify this claim using the observed data from the Climate Research Unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia. In this claim, “mid-20th century” means year 1950. As a result, according to the IPCC, global warming since 1950 is mostly man made.

    To verify the claim that global warming since 1950 is mostly man made, we may compare the global warming rate in degree centigrade (deg C) per decade in one period before 1950 to that of a second period after 1950 to determine the effect of the increased human emission of CO2. To be able to do this, we need to identify these two periods, which may be established from the Global Mean Temperature Anomaly (GMTA) data of the CRU shown in the following chart.

    Chart 1: http://bit.ly/9kpWKp

    In the above chart, the GMTA could be visualized as the sum of a Linear GMTA that has an overall warming rate of 0.6 deg C per century and an Oscillating GMTA that oscillates relative to this overall linear warming trend line. This Oscillating GMTA indicates the relative warming and cooling phases of the globe.

    As our objective is to verify the claim that global warming since 1950 is man made, we need to identify two global warming phases before and after 1950. To clearly see the global warming and cooling phases, we plot just the Oscillating GMTA, which is the GMTA relative to the overall linear warming trend line shown in Chart 1. This can be done by using an online software at http://www.woodfortrees.org by rotating the overall linear warming trend line to become horizontal by using a detrend value of 0.775 so that the Oscillating GMTA has neither overall warming nor cooling trend. The noise from the Oscillating GMTA is then removed by taking five-years averages (compress = 60 months) of the GMTA. The result thus obtained is shown in Chart 2.

    Chart 2: http://bit.ly/c0Jvh0

    The above chart shows the following periods for relative global cooling and warming phases:

    1) 30-years of global cooling from 1880 to 1910
    2) 30-years of global warming from 1910 to 1940
    3) 30-years of global cooling from 1940 to 1970
    4) 30-years of global warming from 1970 to 2000

    If this pattern that was valid for 120 years is assumed to be valid for the next 20 years, it is reasonable to predict:

    5) 30-years of global cooling from 2000 to 2030

    Chart 2 provides the two global warming phases before and after 1950 that we seek to compare. The period before 1950 is the 30-years global warming period from 1910 to 1940, and the period after 1950 is the 30-years global warming period from 1970 to 2000.

    Chart 2 also provides the important result that the years 1880, 1910, 1940, 1970, 2000, 2030 etc are GMTA trend turning points, so meaningful GMTA trends can be calculated only between these successive GMTA turning point years, which justifies the calculation of a GMTA trend starting from year 2000 provided latter in this article.

    Once the two global warming periods before and after mid-20th century are identified, their rate of global warming can be determined from the GMTA trends for the two periods shown in Chart 3.

    Chart 3: http://bit.ly/bx3Ebh

    According to the data of the CRU shown in Chart 3, for the 30-years period from 1910 to 1940, the GMTA increased by an average of 0.45 deg C (3 decade x 0.15 deg C per decade). After 60 years of human emission of CO2, for the same 30-years period, from 1970 to 2000, the GMTA increased by an average of nearly the same 0.48 deg C (3 decade x 0.16 deg C per decade). That is, the effect of 60 years of human emission of CO2 on change in global mean temperature was nearly nil, which disproves IPCC’s theory of man made global warming.

    SECOND IPCC CLAIM

    In its Fourth Assessment Report of 2007, IPCC’s projection of global warming was the following:

    For the next two decades, a warming of about 0.2 deg C per decade is projected for a range of SRES emission scenarios. Even if the concentrations of all greenhouse gases and aerosols had been kept constant at year 2000 levels, a further warming of about 0.1 deg C per decade would be expected.

    http://bit.ly/caEC9b

    Let us verify this projection using the observed data from the CRU. This may be done by comparing the global warming rate between the last two decades as shown in Chart 4.

    Chart 4: http://bit.ly/d29orm

    In this chart, the global warming rate decelerated from 0.25 deg C per decade for the period from 1990 to 2000 to only 0.03 deg C per decade for the period since 2000, which is a reduction by a factor of 8.3, which further disproves IPCC’s theory of man made global warming. If the current global warming trend continues, the GMTA will increase by 0.27 deg C (0.03 x 9) by 2100, not the scary 2.4 to 6.4 deg C of the IPCC.

    Note that the projection for the current global warming rate by the IPCC was 0.2 deg C per decade, while the observed value is only 0.03 deg C per decade. As a result, IPCC’s Exaggeration Factor is 6.7.

    SUMMARY

    As shown in Chart 3 and 4, claims by the IPCC of 1) “Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely” man made, and 2) “For the next two decades a warming rate of 0.2 deg C per decade is projected” are not supported by the observed data.

    According to the CRU data shown in Figure 3, the 30-years global warming from 1970 to 2000, after human emission of CO2 for 60 years, was nearly identical to the 30-years global warming from 1910 to 1940. In the intervening 30-years, there was a slight global cooling from 1940 to 1970. Furthermore, since year 2000, as shown in Figure 4, the global warming rate decelerated by a factor of 8.3 compared to the decade before. This is the story of global mean temperature trends for the last 100 years!

    Does not the observed data in Chart 1 and 2 show a cyclic global mean temperature pattern with an overall linear warming rate of only 0.6 deg C per century?

    Dear bloggers, where is the catastrophic man made global warming they are scaring us with?

    • what a load of nonsense, but hey if you set up a blog you are guaranteed a boat load of gullibles who will avidly lap it up

      • lolwot

        When you write “what a load of nonsense”, are you referring to Kaufamann et al?

        If so, I agree completely.

        I also agree that there will probably be “a boat load of gullibles who will avidly lap it up”

        You aren’t one of them, are you?

        Max

  23. David L. Hagen

    Syun-Ichi Akasofu details the null hypothesis of natural variation:

    We learn that the recovery from the LIA has proceeded continuously, roughly in a linear manner, from 1800-1850 to the present. The rate of the recovery in terms of temperature is about 0.5°C/100 years and thus it has important implications for understanding the present global warming. . . .
    The multi-decadal oscillation of a period of 50 to 60 years was superposed on the linear change; it peaked in 1940 and 2000, causing the halting of warming temporarily after 2000. These changes are natural changes, and in order to determine the contribution of the manmade greenhouse effect, there is an urgent need to identify them correctly and accurately and re-move them from the present global warm-ing/cooling trend.

    On the recovery from the Little Ice Age, Syun-Ichi Akasofu
    Natural Science, Vol.2, No.11, 1211-1224 (2010), doi:10.4236/ns.2010.211149

    Kaufmann’s evidence of flat temperatures from 1998-2008 and from 1944 to 1976 actually supports Akasofu’s model. They say:

    “For example, there is no net increase in anthropogenic forcing between 1944 and 1976; this period is associated with stable or declining surface temperatures (Fig. 1).”
    “Data for global surface temperature indicate little warming between 1998 and 2008 (1). Furthermore, global surface temperature declines 0.2 °C between 2005 and 2008.”

    To support catastrophic anthropogenic climate change, Kaufmann etc. need to quantitatively distinguish anthropogenic changes from the natural trends/null hypothesis clearly documented by Akasofu. Kaufmann et al. fail to even acknowledge Akasofu’s model, let alone refute or supplant him.

    • David L. Hagen

      Other researchers have also predicted the current cooling based on the null hypothesis of natural trends, similar to that of Syun-Ichi Akasofu. e.g.:

      Don J. Easterbrook, in 1998, 2001, 2006, 2007, 2008, predicted the current decline in global temperatures:

      “The IPCC predicted global warming of 0.6° C (1° F) by 2011 and 1.2° C (2° F) by 2038, whereas Easterbrook (2001) predicted the beginning of global cooling by 2007 (± 3-5 yrs) and cooling of about 0.3-0.5° C until ~2035.”

      “Solar Influence on Recurring Global, Decadal, Climate Cycles Recorded by Glacial Fluctuations, Ice Cores, Sea Surface Temperatures, and Historic Measurements Over the Past Millennium” Abstracts of American Geophysical Union annual meeting, San Francisco Dec., 2008 Abstract #GC21A-0725
      (It appears Kaufmann et al myopicly failed to read let alone address the scientific basis of Prof. Easterbrook’s 1998, 2001, 2006 and 2008 formal climate predictions before the American Geophysical Union, for they rhetorically dismiss his work as ignorant hindsight:

      “the lack of a clear increase in global surface temperature between 1998 and 2008 (1) combined with rising concentrations of atmospheric CO2 and other greenhouse gases, prompts some popular commentators (2,3) to doubt the existing understanding of the relationship among radiative forcing, internal variability and global surface temperature.”

      Klyashtorin & Lyubushin 2003 similarly predicted the current cooling of global temperatures with future declines:

      Modelling of roughly 60-years cyclic dT changes suggest that the observed rise of dT will flatten in the next 5-10 years, and that we might expect a lowering of dT by nearly 1-0.15°C to the end of the 2020s.

      L.B. Klyashtorin, A.A. Lyubushin On the Coherence between Dynamics of the World Fuel Consumption and Global Temperature Anomaly Energy & Environment Volume 14, Number 6 / November 2003 ISSN 0958-305X; pp 773-782; DOI 10.1260/095830503322793641
      Kauffman fail to mention Klyashtorin’s prediction.

      Bob Carter discusses such variations and shows Klyashtorin’s graph with the 60 year cyclicity in Global Surface Temperature which leads a similar cyclic variation in earth’s Length Of Day lagged by 15 years.

      For January 1979 through June 2009 satellite date. Craig Loehle finds:

      Beginning and ending segments show a cooling trend, while the middle segment evinces a warming trend. The past 12 to 13 years show cooling using both satellite data sets, . . several published studies have predicted cooling in this time frame. One of these models is extrapolated from its 2000 calibration end date and shows a good match to the satellite data, with a projection of continued cooling for several more decades.

      Trend Analysis of Satellite Global Temperature Data, Energy & Environment, Volume 20, Number 7 / November 2009 pp 1087-1098 DOI 10.1260/095830509789876808
      Loehle evaluates the predictions of Klyashtorin, Lyubushin (2003). See Fig. 5.

      Linear trend is 0.0388° C/decade
      for the entire period. b) Residuals, showing constant good fit over the record and no
      evidence of nonlinearity or recent acceleration of warming. . . .This model and the empirical
      evidence for recent cooling thus provide a challenge to climate model accuracy.

      Loehle cites similar work by Schlesinger and Ramankutty (1994), Loehle (2004), Soon (2005), Zhen-Shan and Xian (2007) and Chylek et al. (2009).

      (See also figures at: Temperature Projections – IPCC / Hansen v Non-CO2)

      Kaufmann et al., fail to recognize or address contrary evidence from other scientific disciplines. They need to quantitatively recognize and distinguish their anthropogenic models from these natural variation models. The scientific method is not based on “popularity”, but on quantitative prediction from empirical evidence tested against subsequent empirical observations.

      Whoever from PNAS reviewed Kaufmann’s paper exhibited a similar abysmal failure of allowing this ignorant dismissal of the long term historical & geological evidence. Does PNAS not represent Geological or Astronomical Science? Or are their reviewers so insular as to not recognize the associated long term natural variations in the historical, geological or astronomical records?

      Whatever has happened to the “null hypothesis” and “peer review” in “climate science”?

      Problems in peer review are the symptom, not the cause, of deeper problems in the modern scientific enterprise. It is these deeper problems that should be debated and solved, so that peer view or a timely alternative can do its job again.

      Professor Michael Kelly (a member of the Oxburgh Committee)

    • Did you actually read that piece of garbage? I liked the parts where they referenced unpublished work of their own. That was funny. And the use of esper, and GISP2, and their argument that the LIA was global? why yes a lake in japan makes it so. If you read that paper with the same skeptical eye that we read Mann’s papers you would not recommend it.

    • The null hypothesis of “natural variation” is already falsified by knowledge that man is altering greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere.

      • Not when the hypothesis being tested is the effect, if any, of this alteration. The null hypothesis for such a hypothesis is always that there is no effect. That is what null means.

      • lolwot

        The null hypothesis of “natural variation” is already falsified by knowledge that man is altering greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere.

        Not so, lolwot.

        There could well be a small human impact on our planet’s climate, superimposed on the larger 30-year warming/cooling oscillations and the underlying warming trend, which began at least in 1850 (when the modern record began), largely without any human CO2 at first).

        Akasofu is right. The record shows that the null hypothesis is that our global climate has changed in naturally-caused oscillations.

        Man has more than likely altered local climate over the centuries.

        Man has also undoubtedly emitted greenhouses gases into the atmosphere over the years.

        However, whether or not man has had a significant influence on global climate is still an open question. Until empirical evidence can be found to support this hypothesis, it remains an uncorroborated hypothesis.

        That’s the way it is today, lolwot. All the arm-waving in the world isn’t going to change that. The only thing that could change it is empirical evidence.

        Max

      • David L. Hagen

        Rather than “natural variation” being falsified, the issue is whether we can detect and then quantitatively predict the anthropogenic variations on top of natural variations. To do so, all components need to be quantified.
        Models of natural variability by Akasofu etc. must first be recognized, quantified and incorporated into larger models. By ignoring this long term trend and superimposed PDO oscillations, current IPCC GWM’s are based on an argument from ignorance with over emphasized anthropogenic components.
        A refinement on Akasofu etc is to model natural variations as cyclic variations such as from a high in the Medieval Warm Period to a low in the Little Ice Age etc., such as driven by solar TSI (both indirect as well as direct). Such cyclic variations would likely be leading us to a declining trend in the underlying natural temperature rise from the Little Ice Age.

        Another article predicting cooling is:
        Empirical evidence for a celestial origin of the climate oscillations and its implications, Nicola Scafetta
        Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics72(2010)951–970

        It is found that at least 60% of the global warming observed since 1970 has been induced by the combined effect of the above natural climate oscillations.The partial forecast indicates that climate may stabilize or cool until 2030–2040.

  24. In-sample simulations indicate that temperature does not rise between the 1940’s and 1970’s because the cooling effects of sulfur emissions rise slightly faster than the warming effect of greenhouse gases. The post 1970 period of warming, which constitutes a significant portion of the increase in global surface temperature since the mid 20th century, is driven by efforts to reduce air pollution in general and acid deposition in particular, which cause sulfur emissions to decline while the concentration of greenhouse gases continues to rise.

    Here is the oscillating pattern in the global mean temperature data.

    http://bit.ly/c0Jvh0

    Who orchestrated the effect of sulphur and CO2 on global mean temperature to swap places EVERY 30 YEARS in order to produce the above oscillation?

  25. TimTheToolMan

    So if the SO2 originated in China (and India) and has a short lifespan then it ought to follow that the global cooling should be more pronounced over China (and India).

    Is this the case? Is China (and India and relevent surrounding areas) cooling more than the rest of the world?

    • Well, hard to say. But generally radiative imbalance warms or cools the Earth on a multi-year timescale, while atmospheric mixing on a China-size length scale is on a multi-day timescale. It’s like a stirred pot of water over a slow flame. Hotter at the bottom, maybe, but not much.

      • A stirred pot is the same temperature everywhere.

      • TimTheToolMan

        From that plot I’d be more inclined to believe the US was the cause of short lived SO2 emissions causing global cooling. Pity thats not what the paper is trying to establish…

    • My analogy would be that when Antarctica froze over, (or maybe the Ice Ages are a better one,) it had a global cooling effect. Albedo can increase locally but act globally by reducing earth’s solar input.

      • TimTheToolMan

        And if you went looking for evidence of the effect the higher albedo was having locally, then you’d have no trouble finding it.

  26. I love it – the solution to the whole agw problem is to build more powerplants, which is not a bad idea after Booker’s item today. England is going to need them.

  27. When they have to blame even a LACK of warming on humans (human cooling is canceling out human warming), things have gone a little too far. Call it Anthropogenic Global Nothing (AGN) theory. ;)

    • “AGN”…yes!!

      Finally a “null hypothesis” everybody can agree with!!

      • No The astronomers have long ago seized ‘AGN’ for Active Galactic Nucleus or Nuclei. Need to find an alternative.

      • Anthropogenic Global Stalemate (AGS)
        Climate Stalemate (CS)

        OMG, humans cause climate NOT to change. It’s unprecedented and worse than we thought.

    • John Whitman

      It used to be supernaturally/superstitiously held that the earth is the center of the universe.

      Now it is man that is held to be the center of the earth’s climate by the supernatural/superstitious scientists . . . . . :^)

      Not a lot of progress there after ~500 years.

      John

  28. Sell natural variation; buy sulphate aerosols.

    The papers of Stephen Schwartz and James Hansen have been saying this for a long time.

  29. DeNihilist

    Question, would these sulfate particals have the ability to seed clouds?

    • They can act as condensation nuclei, so the answer is yes although cloud-droplet nucleating isn’t quite seeding. The results is that droplets are smaller in dirty air, and albedo is higher. Seeding more commonly refers to ice, and there the answer would be no, as far as I know.

      • Thanx Jim. Kinda interesting that one guess about the end of century warming was a drop in cloud cover. Maybe an unintended consequence from our very good enviromental laws from the 70/80/90′s?

      • It seems a part of it was.

  30. tempterrain

    Judith,

    I know that politicians are not always the brightest of people, but surely even they wouldn’t go along with your suggestion that “the political consequence of this article seems to be that the simplest solution to global warming is for the Chinese to burn more coal, which they intend to do anyways.”

    Incidentally, why just the Chinese?

    The climatic effects from burning coal need to be evaluated separately. Increased particulates, which cause cooling, have a short lifetime measured in months at the most. Increase GH gas emissions, which cause a warming, have a lifetime measured in hundreds of years.

    So yes, it is possible that the short term cooling effects can be greater than the long term warming effects. But only temporarily , not permanently.

    Even politicians would understand that. Wouldn’t they?

    • How can politicians understand when even so many consensus scientists don’t understand? It’s indeed impossible to understand when one is climate change denier. Climate change being of course any climate change, including non-anthropogenic.

  31. Attribution of decadal temperature anomaly trends is beset with uncertainties arising from short term fluctuations as well as those of longer duration. This post addresses a putative lack of warming since 1998 (i.e., through 2010). The cited article refers to the interval 1998-2008. The two results are slightly different, in that both the anomalies recorded by GISS and Hadcrut3 show a slight upward trend through 2010 not found when the values end after 2008. In either case, the slope is shallow. Both trends use appropriate statistical averaging to avoid the distortions that result if one starts to compute a trend from the peak or trough of an unusual event (e.g., the strong 1998 El Nino).

    It’s probably a mistake to approach attribution in this case as an either/or phenomenon. Changes in solar irradiance, the frequency and intensity of ENSO events, increases in negative forcing from anthropogenic aerosols, as well as other less well defined phenomena can be presumed to have contributed.

    The aerosol contribution is unlikely to account for more than a fraction of the observed trend flatness, but should not be discounted. Anthropogenic sulfate aerosols from coal burning are a major contributor to total negative forcing from aerosols, and the known substantial increase in coal burning in China will have made some difference. How much is conjectural, but the recent paper by Anthropogenic Sulfur Dioxide – Smith et al 2011 suggests it may be more than negligible despite the quantitative uncertainties. The short atmospheric duration of anthropogenic aerosols is largely irrelevant it they are continuously produced.

    Going back to the GISS and HadCRUT graphs, what I find most noticeable is that the recent interval is typical of many that have punctuated the temperature rise of the past 100 years – there is little about it that is unusual. It may be less useful to try to delineate attribution very precisely for such short intervals than to determine whether they represent a departure from past climate behavior – a conclusion that will require a longer period of observation.

    • I can agree with this statement. I think it is a bit myopic to be looking at one decade, as skeptics are prone to do. The paper notes that there is a parallel between this and the decadal-scale cooling event that led up to the 70′s, and no one would argue that was insignificant, so even though CO2 effects are now stronger, I don’t discount a long term effect that will show in the temperature record but to a lesser degree than the 70′s.

      • “I think it is a bit myopic to be looking at one decade, as skeptics are prone to do.”

        Robert K. Kaufmann, Heikki Kauppi, Michael L. Mann, and James H. Stock are skeptics?

      • They made no future predictions in their paper.

      • Where did I say anything about predictions? I cut and pasted your own words: “looking at.”

        The title of the article is: “Reconciling anthropogenic climate change with observed temperature 1998-2008.”

        I’m no scientist, but I’m pretty sure that 1998 to 2008 is one decade, and if the authors didn’t “look at” that “one decade,” they sure picked a funny title for their article.

      • It is valid to study decadal time periods, but skeptics tend to use them to predict the future (feedbacks, extrapolations, etc.) which is not valid.

      • Latimer Alder

        Ummm

        Is there any evidence that longer periods are more valid (if that was your point)? Or does your assertion come without foundation.

        If the former. how long a period does one need to study before such periods become valid in your opinion. Answers accepted to within +/- 5 years.

        You cannot merely declare that something is not valid, without some discussion of why you think so.

      • tempterrain

        JimD,

        I used the same ” it is a bit myopic to be looking at one decade” argument with sceptics/deniers too.

        But, just wait until Manacker reads that! He’ll do a linear regression on the data for the past 150 years, and will not surprisingly come up with some amazingly small number for decadal warming!

        He can switch from myopia to hyperopia as it suits. Whatever it takes to get the “right” answer.

      • Yes, when I see all these graphs with straight lines over decades, I switch off. The gradient should at least be related to the CO2 increase of that decade, which curves up significantly over the last century.

      • temopterrain

        Since you kindly give me kudos for statistical analyses, let me explain that I am simply using the linear regression method for determining temperature trends (as IPCC does, and as can be plotted in woodfortrees graphs, as Girma has done here).

        This is the proper way to determine trends, whether these be 160 years or 10 years in duration.

        The 10-year trailing average method is worthless for short trends (especially trends that go back barely more than 10 years), for obvious reasons.

        Using the linear trend method, we see that since January 2001 the HadCRUT temperature anomaly (favored by IPCC) shows a cooling trend of -0.06C per decade, as I am sure you will have to agree.

        IPCC had forecast a warming trend of +0.2C per decade, so it is easy to see that the forecast was poor.

        In support of IPCC, Kaufmann et al. are now trying to come up with the old ploy (frequently used by forecasters when their predictions turn out wrong), “well, our prediction was right, except for…”

        [Read Nassim Taleb’s The Black Swan for more on this.]

        It is a boondoggle. Only the very devout believers will fall for this one, tempterrain. Are you one?

        Max

    • It’s also important to note that decadal type fluctuations, in addition to reflecting modifying effects on climate of a variety of factors including ENSO and longer term internal dynamics, solar variation, and aerosols, will also exhibit fluctuations simply due to chaotic responses to even a relatively constant forcing trend – responses that are particularly prominent on these timescales. Above, I linked to graphs showing actual temperature trends with their periodic ups and downs during overall warming. Here is a set of model projections for twentieth century temperature anomalies based exclusively on greenhouse gases, with no interference from these other variables – GHG responses. We see many of the same ups and downs, as well as differences in their timing among different runs of the same model. I think the lesson is that it’s a mistake to overattribute fluctuations of this type, but rather to accept them as an inevitable reality of climate dynamics.

      (Another small point from Isaac Held’s site is that CO2 probably contributed more to early twentieth century warming than is sometimes assumed, although solar irradiance may still have been a more important factor).

      • Fred Moolten

        You wrote about natural climate variability (a.k.a. natural climate forcing):

        I think the lesson is that it’s a mistake to overattribute fluctuations of this type, but rather to accept them as an inevitable reality of climate dynamics.

        I’d say the record shows that exactly the same is true for anthropogenic climate forcings (incl. CO2, of course). IPCC has essentially been guilty of myopically “overattributing” climate changes to anthropogenic forcing, while essentially ignoring natural forcing.

        Now that the IPCC forecasts as not panning out, there needs to be a scramble to find a rationalization, in order to maintain the validity of the postulated “overattributing” of climate change to anthropogenic forcing.

        I must admit that it is interesting to watch. Don’t you think so?

        Max

      • I referred to overattribution of “fluctuations” – the short term ups and downs within the long term record.

  32. Congratulation to all skeptics as the AGW advocates have finally acknowledged:

    …global surface temperatures did not rise between 1998 and 2008

    http://bit.ly/dSA3Ly

  33. tempterrain

    Girma,

    No congratulations to you , I’m afraid.

    This graph, using data from hadcut3, doesn’t quite show the cooling you claim between 1998 and 2010.

    Maybe you’d like to have a try at producing some evidence to back up your assertions, so that you won’t make these kind of blunders in the future.

    • II thought there is a difference between the projected warming of 0.2 deg C per decade, but your graph shows a warming of 0.05 deg C per decade.

      IPCC’s prediction is 4-times than the value in your graph.

      To arrive at the true value, divide every value of the IPCC by 4

      As a result, climate sensitivity is about 3/4=0.75 deg C for doubling CO2

      • It shows 0.05C per decade because of ENSO. If ENSO wasn’t negatively trending the temperature trend would be higher.

        Oh and also the solar cycle has an impact too

        The IPCCs predictions are for the longterm, where the solar cycle and ENSO average out.

      • But as was pointed out below- this would demonstrate that co2 is readily and easily overriden by natural forcings.

        Further- i thought it was just the sunspot activity and total IR that was low- other output was high? Or am i getting muddled here.

      • it only shows that CO2 is easily overriden by natural forcings on short time scales. But we already knew that.

      • but surely this raises the question that the longer term, stronger forcings would also have that effect?

      • Aw, c’mon, lolwot.

        IPCC predicted +0.2C per decade warming.

        The HadCRUT record shows -0.06C per decade cooling (since the new century started in January 2001)

        So this was a lousy forecast.

        You fall back on the rationalization used by all forecasters, when their predictions turn out wrong:

        “well, our prediction was right, except for…[add in anything that comes in handy]

        The impact of CO2 was, indeed, overridden by “natural forcings” (as you put it). But there is no empirical evidence to support your position that this has only been “on short time scales” (think Maunder Minimum, for example).

        The observed added cloudiness since 2000 could have had a natural origin (rather than anthropogenic).

        It could also be that the IPCC forecast was so lousy because it was based on an assumed CO2 climate sensitivity, which turned out to be grossly exaggerated.

        Either explanation is just as viable, lolwot.

        But the basic fact remains that the IPCC forecast of +0.2C per decade warming was lousy.

        Period.

        Max

      • The IPCC forecasts are not supposed to be valid for short time scales. On short time scales things like ENSO events and volcanic events dominate. The IPCC forecasts do not take those into account because they cannot. The IPCC forecasts are therefore a longterm prediction – an average if you will.

  34. Since the pro-AGW/CAGW commenters here all seem to think that the explanation(s) for this cooling trend/lack of warming/statistically insignificant warming (whatever the flavor of the day is) are so obvious, I was just wondering who predicted this prior to 1998?

    • tempterrain

      I would suggest that the only possible prediction to be made in 1998, would have been that the decade of the 00′s was going to be warmer than the 90′s.

      It was. By approximately 0.17 degC.

      • So that’s your way of saying nobody predicted it? I thought so.

      • John Carpenter

        Wait a minute… I thought there was a pause in the warming??? Isn’t that what this paper describes and the reason why?

      • John Carpenter,

        You have to start after 1998, to get rid of the impact el nino had on the temperature record. It is relevant to the prior claims of warming, but irrelevant to the decline in temperatures since.

        Picking the starting and ending dates that make the best graph is what science is all about,.didn’t you know that?

      • tempterrain

        GaryM,

        I’ll give you a tip. If you choose 2001 to 2010 you might just be able to show a slight milli-degree of cooling.

        But we shouldn’t play those silly games. Just look at the longer term graph. Look at Nasa’s 5 year averaging. If there is going to be any significant change in the trend -that’s where it will show up.

      • No thanks, I’ll leave the cherry picking to you. I buy mine at the Wal-Mart.

        But you would think on a thread about an article by Michael Mann, et al., about the temperature record from 1998 to 2008, all you CAGWers could for this thread at least deal with the arguments being made on their own terms.

      • You realize that that’s not “hockey stick” Michael E. Mann, don’t you?

      • Now I do, thanks, but the point remains. This is clearly a defense of the consensus, so you would think consensus defenders would be willing to discuss it on its own terms.

      • Latimer Alder

        I hope somebody takes pity on him and gives him a backhander to change his name…….poor bastard.

      • Latimer Alder

        I;m not interested in ‘the only possible prediction’ viewed from 2011 I am interested in the predictions actually made before 1998.

        Please show a number (even a consensus) that successfully predicted what actually happened.

        Because if there wasn’t such a consensus, we have at least one example where relying on the consensus did not give the right result. We will also have a number of examples of failed predictions.

        Please prove me wrong by posting all the ‘correct’ predictions pre-1998 And all the incorrect ones..

      • noone was dumb enough to try and predict the temperature of 2009 in 1997. At least noone competent.

        The IPCC forecasts are not for specific years, or even groups of years. They are average tracks upon which deviations can be expected.

      • Latimer Alder

        Theman in the street might wish to understand why forecasting the temperature only 12 years away would be dumb.

        And would also wonder why ‘average tracks upon which deviations can e expected’ are any use for anything at all forecast-wise.

        In UK, ‘It’ll be dry during the periods of no rain or snow’ and ‘when clouds disperse during daylight hours, sunshine can be expected’ sound pretty much like ‘average tracks upon which deviations can be expected’

        Please explain why they are any more useful to us than looking at tealeaves or diving from chicken’s entrails?

        Arrhenius made a prediction a hundred years ago. sounds to me that thirty years of climatology has got us not one whit further, if the predictions are no better than he managed,

        Absent any proof to the contrary, I call bullshit.

    • Hansen’s B forecast he made in 1988 for the 1988-2010 period is pretty good, but not perfect. Of course anyone who expects a 20-year forecast to be perfect is naive.

      • Which forecast are you talking about exactly? Your horoscope page in the paper says they make good forecasts too.

      • Scenario B temp and C02 forecasts.

      • Well okay, but let’s not tell the horoscope guys they can do this A, B, C prediction thingy or we won’t know who to believe after that. ;)

      • I assume you mean the forecast he made based on the following assumption:

        “Scenario C drastically reduces trace gas growth between 1990 and 2000 such that the greenhouse climate forcing ceases to increase after 2000″

        That prediction?

      • No, I mean Scenario B.

      • Scenario B got the temps wrong, only C “predicted” the “pause.”

      • Scenario C is closest to the observed 1988-2010 temperature increase, but it was based on an unrealistically low assumption about CO2 levels. Scenario B does a good job of forecasting C02, but overstates the temperature increase by one-third. On balance, I prefer B.

        The average annual global land-ocean temperature anomaly(base 1951-1980) was -0.27 in 1988, the year Hansen made his forecasts, and 0.63 in 2010, the most recent year for which an annual average is available.

        http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/Fig.A2.txt

        Hansen’s three forecasts of the temperature anomaly for 2010 were: 1.1 for Scenario A, 1.0 for Scenario B, and 0.6 for scenario C. (See Figure 3 in the following link.)

        http://www.skepticalscience.com/A-detailed-look-at-Hansens-1988-projections.html

        The forecasts for Scenarios A and B are higher than the observed temperature anomaly for 2010. The observed increase in the anomaly over the 1988-2010 period was .90 (-0.27 to 0.63 = .90), while the forecasted increases were 1.37 for A and 1.27 for B.

        Are forecasts that overstated the observed 22 -year gain in the temperature anomaly by one-third to one-half good forecasts? I think they would be good compared to a forecast of no change in the anomaly, and good compared to a forecast that understated the gain by more than one-half or overstated it by more than one-half.

      • Scenario B did not “forecast” CO2. Hansen expressly stated that the model was run based on three possible CO2 scenarios. “Scenario A assumes that growth rates of trace gas emissions typical of the 1970s and 1980s will continue indefinitely.”

        Assumptions, not predictions.

        The model was supposed to forecast/predict the global warming that would result if no action were taken on CO2 so that the growth rate of emissions “typical of the 1970s and 1980…continue[d]…” (scenario A); if there were a “decreasing trace gas growth rates” in CO2 (scenario B); and if CO2 emissions were “drastically reduced” to the point that growth stopped in 2000 (scenario C).

        CO2 admissions have followed scenario A (http://co2now.org/Current-CO2/CO2-Trend/)(although Hansen later claimed that “forcings” had followed scenario B), but temperatures have followed scenario C. If the model was at least moderately accurate as to all the other forcings and feedbacks involved, the only thing you could infer from the apparent accuracy in forecasting temperature of scenario C is that the actual, accelerating growth rate in CO2 emissions since 1988 has had the same effect as the modeled reduction in CO2 emissions. In other words, increasing the growth rate of CO2 emissions has the same effect of reducing CO2 emissions. Suggesting rather strongly that the increase in CO2 since 1988 has had no effect. on global average temperature.

        I am always amused when CAGWers try to claim that the Hansen 1988 model was accurate. They better hope not.

      • Hansen’s predictions were not only based on CO2, but other greenhouse gases too. Therefore they did not follow scenario A. In fact they even slightly undershot scenario B. Hansen’s prediction was very close to what actually happened with global temperature considering the knowledge at the time.

        When Hansen made the prediction there was no reason to expect any warming at all. In fact why not some cooling? Skeptics at the time were even questioning whether there had been warming since the beginning of the 20th century. Hansen rose above all this and predicted global temperature would increase, which it did.

      • “Hansen’s predictions were not only based on CO2, but other greenhouse gases too.”

        Yes, that seems to be what Hansen wants to claim as well, But then that would mean that GHGs other than CO2 have overwhelmed the effects of CO2 on temperature during the period 1988-2011. If CO2 isn’t the primary thermostat of global temperature, then why tax and regulate it? Either way, if you claim Hansen’s model as accurate (which it wasn’t), then that doesn’t say much for CO2 driven AGW/CAGW. Because either way, the net effect of the increase in CO2 since 1998 was the same as what Hansen modeled for a decline in CO2.

      • “Yes, that seems to be what Hansen wants to claim as well”

        RTFP you fool. This is what he did claim.

      • An assumption in 1988 about the CO2 level in 2010 is a forecast of the CO2 level in 2010.

        For CO2 alone, Hansen’s B forecast 389 ppmv in 2010, which is nearly the same as the observed 392 ppmv, as was explained in Dana’s skepticalscience article.

      • “An assumption in 1988 about the CO2 level in 2010 is a forecast of the CO2 level in 2010.”

        Maybe we could have a thread on how to read a dictionary. First look up the word, “scenario,” then check out “assumption,” and finish with “prediction.”

        The models according to the very article y’all claim everyone else should read, made three predictions about temperature, based on three different assumption about CO2.

        For those really literarily impaired (and your numbers seem to be growing), in the sentence “If A, then B,” A is the assumption, B is the prediction. “If” is not a prediction.

      • Latimer Alder

        How do you rate Hansen’s A and C forecasts?

      • If you are looking only at the temperature anomaly forecasts, and not considering the scenarios that produce the these forecast, obviously C is better than A.

        In C the temperature anomaly was forecasted to rise from -0.27 in 1988 to 0.60 in 2010, an increase of 0.87, which is almost the same as the observed increase of 0.90.

        In C the anomaly was forecasted to rise from -0.27 in 1988 to 1.10 in 2010, an increase of 1.37, which is about 50% greater than the observed increase.

      • M. carey

        Get serious.

        Hansen’s B forecast is lousy.

        It assumes reduced GHG emissions, which did not occur.

        Hansen’s C forecast is even lousier. It assumed continuation of 1970s/1980s GHG emission rates (in actual fact they were higher from 1988 to today than assumed by Hansen).

        He was off by more than 2:1.

        Hansen’s 1988 study stipulated:

        Scenario A assumes that growth rates of trace gas emissions typical of the 1970s and 1980s will continue indefinitely; the assumed annual growth rate averages about 1.5% of current emissions, so that the net greenhouse forcing increases exponentially.

        Scenario B has decreasing trace gas growth rates, such that the annual increase of the greenhouse climate forcing remains approximately constant at the present level.

        Scenario C drastically reduces trace gas growth between 1990 and 2000 such that the greenhouse climate forcing ceases to increase after 2000.

        The actual emission growth rate increased from 1.5% in the 1970s and 1980s to 1.7% from 1988 to today, so the actual rate of increase was actually greater than that assumed by Hansen for Scenario A.

        Obviously, Scenarios B and C are way off the mark.

        The problem is that Hansen’s Scenario A grossly overestimated the GH warming that would result. This was most likely a result of using a model-derived 2xCO2 climate sensitivity that was grossly exaggerated.

        Actual warming turned out to be the same as Hansen’s Scenario C, based on the complete shut down of GHG emissions in 2000 ” such that the greenhouse climate forcing ceases to increase after 2000”. But this did not happen, did it?

        All-in-all it was a forecast that turned out to be grossly exaggerated (like all of Hansen’s “predictions”).

        Max

      • You are utterly clueless. Here’s a hint: Read Hansen’s actual paper. The emission scenarios weren’t just about CO2 as you seem to think.

      • Max,

        This has been explained numerous times to the troll. But it blithely disregagrds the explanations and keeps making the same claims again and again. Best way is to disregard trolls and not feed them.

      • The other trace gases referred to in scenario B don’t help your case. CO2 emissions have accelerated since 1988. If the decline in emissions of other trace gases causes temperatures to match Hansen’s model for no increase in emissions after 2000, which they do, that still kills CO2 as the primary driver of global temperature that you all so desperately want it to be.

        I don’t think Hansen’s model was inaccurate because CO2 is not the driver of temperature. I think it was inaccurate because he didn’t (and doesn’t) know enough to model the global climate to forecast future temperatures even 20 years into the future.

        But either way, those of you arguing for the accuracy of his model in 1988 are still shooting yourselves in the foot.

      • “The other trace gases referred to in scenario B don’t help your case.”

        Yes they do you are just too boneheaded to understand it. Like I said read the friggin paper rather than guessing what it says.

      • Latimer Alder

        My, you are getting overheated with the insults in the last hour or so. A ‘late night’ perhaps?

        Or are you so lacking in substance that you need to revert to name calling rather than reasoned argument?

      • I not only read it. I quoted it verbatim, as did Latimer Alder. Reading it isn’t enough, you have to actually think about it.

      • If Hansen’s forecasts are gross exaggerations, I would like to invest in some stocks that have similar grossly exaggerated forecast.

        The observed increase in the anomaly over the 1988-2010 period was 0.90, while the forecasted increases were 0.87 for C, 1.27 for B, and 1.37 for A.

        When it comes to investing, putting my money where my mouth is, I would be delighted with those degrees of forecast accuracy.

  35. tempterrain

    “pause in the warming”?

    No, there isn’t. Fred Moolten says “…… there is little about it [the past ten years or so -tt] that is unusual.”

    Nothing unusual at all. AGW as predicted I’m afraid.

    • John Carpenter

      “Given the widely noted increase in the warming effects of rising greenhouse gas concentrations, it has been unclear why global surface temperatures did not rise between 1998 and 2008.”

      First sentence of the abstract, I guess the authors thought there was a ‘pause’ or ‘hiatus’ was the term they used next… I guess they should have consulted Fred.

      • John – They were referring to 1998-2008. The 1998-2010 trend in the GISS and HadCRUT records shows a shallow rise. However, the main point of my earlier comment was encompassed in its last paragraph – these flat or shallow intervals are typical of many observed previously during the overall warming trend of the past century..

      • John Carpenter

        Yes Fred, but the authors seem to indicate that the anthropogenic aerosol control knob is quite powerful… enough to cancel out the warming due to CO2 and allow ‘natural variation’ to play a more significant role.

        Just seems like the authors are trying to explain a lull of a trend as something that most say, including yourself, is difficult to explain on this short of a time frame… conveniently it is due to humans fossil fuel usage. I have difficulty with this type of precise explanation.

      • I do think the paper has a defensive quality to it that detracts from its objectivity. I tried to broaden the perspective beyond this particular paper.

      • Fred Moolten

        …these flat or shallow intervals are typical of many observed previously during the overall warming trend of the past century..

        Show us when in the two past WARMING PHASES 1910-1940 & 1970-2000 the global warming trend was flat for a decade?

      • tempterrain

        1987 to 1986

        It was even more flat for that decade as its been for the last decade.

      • I take it you mean 1987-1996. Well during that time, Mt. Pinatubo……..
        You AGWers are quick to spot anything that might play a role in proving you correct. The eruption caused cooling (as Hansen and others have stated) resulting in the 2000′s being hotter than the 1990′s, don’tcha know! Without the drop due to the eruption, I’d bet there would be no statistical warming since 1990-91! This is true from 1995 anyway, as admitted to by P. Jones.

      • warming since 1995 is now significant. The death of a non-argument.

      • Oh really! Lucia showed that Jones statement that warming was now significant due to 2010 being a warmer year was not true. Read for yourself.

        http://rankexploits.com/musings/2011/statistical-significance-since-1995-not-with-hadcrut/

        Also, with 2011 running cold so far, that will make the run of no statistical warming go another 2 years….1995 thru 2011!

        Like Steve Mosher said, dude, we can do the math, and we keep up and pay attention. You alarmists don’t seem to know who you’re dealing with!

        The death of another alarmist lie!!!

      • tempterrain

        Yes, I did mean 1987 to 1996. And, yes, Mt Pinatubo probably had some effect just like the very deep solar minimum has had a recent effect. There was also a solar minimum in the 90′s which could have had an effect too.

        The key point is that solar minima, volcanic eruptions, strong El Nino/La Lina phases etc all have a temporary effect. We’re not really interested in them. By applying 10 year averages these largely drop out from the picture and the resultant graph shows the underlying warming trend.

        Incidentally Phil Jones has revised his opinion about the statistical significance of the post 1995 warming trend.

      • Gotta love Gentleman Jim. Eleven years of no statistically significant warming should be ignored. Add one year and, voila, now we have significance.

        1998, and 2010 may become known as the Yamal bristlecone pines of the surface temperature records. You just gotta pick the right cherries.

      • Gary Moran

        Yes but you are cherry picking, choosing years that make a flat trend. Its actuallIn reality there was a definiate upward trend from the late 80′s to the late 90s, that simply does not exist in the noughties – the trend for the decade is practically flat anyway you look at it.

    • Latimer Alder

      @tempterrain

      Show me the prediction that was made before it happened.

      Post hoc rationalisation ‘just as we predicted’ is only convincing if you can also produce the original prediction.

      ‘Predicting; the 1-2-3 of the 16:20 at Sandown park is always easy if you do it at 19:00 with the evening paper open at the racing results page. Much, much harder at 15:30

      • tempterrain

        LA,

        OK. The 10′s will be between 0.15degC and 0.2 degC warmer that the 00′s.

        In the year 2020 don’t say I didn’t predict that!

      • Latimer Alder

        Thanks. That’s fair. A definite testable prediction that we can make some observations in the future and definitely say whether it came true or not.

        But for the avoidance of any doubt, please can you explain which climatic factors you took into account in arriving at your forecast? And how you combined them?

        Because with nothing other than graph paper and a ruler, I’d come up with something similar…just extend the plot of the past into the future.I need to know nothing at all about climate to do so. Just about graphs.

    • tempterrain

      Agree that the past decade’s “pause in the warming” (i.e. slight cooling at 0.06C per decade according to HadCRUT) is not “unusual”.

      Even if the cooling continues for another 20 years, it will not be “unusual”.

      It will simply be a continuation of the 30-year warming / 30-year slight cooling oscillation we have seen since the modern record started.

      Looks like we agree.

      Max

  36. Sharperoo said:

    Wow! You wrote two paragraphs about the paper and managed to avoid discussing it entirely, choosing instead to attack the authors and talk about political consequences.

    And you said even less while attacking our host. Perhaps you’ve only just failed to direct us to your biting analysis of this new paper – if so feel free to correct the oversight or be thought a fool.

  37. Judith;
    the delicious political irony you note about China is pertinent, indeed. And a poster child example of how to (try to) have it both ways. Wittgenstein’s bon mot about self-deception comes to mind …

  38. Perhaps I have missed it, but doesn’t anyone see the total irony of one group of “consensus” scientist meeting to discuss the possibility of spewing aerosols into the atmosphere to cool our AGW world, while another group of “consensus” scientist is blaming those same aerosols for the lack of projected warming.

    Perhaps irony is not the proper expression idiocy seems more appropriate.

    • I am as big a fan of irony as the next guy. But I don’t see any irony there. Those two positions seems entirely consistent to me. I don’t think any of the AGW/CAGW proponents want the warming they are predicting, or see a “pause” in the warming as a bad thing.

      • Nice post.

      • I see that climate change deniers see this as a bad thing. They are kind of mad.

      • tempterrain

        GaryM,

        Yes you’re right. I hope all of us who side with conventional science are wrong and that we have overlooked some factor which will mean CO2 levels can be safely doubled this century.

        But hoping we’ll be shown to be wrong and thinking its likely we’ll turn out to be wrong are two quite entirely different things.

    • Logical fallacy time.

      If nature can warm or cool the globe, man’s activities can’t.

      If nature can cause forest fires, man can’t.

      If nature can freeze water, man can’t.

      • Did you reply to the wrong post?

      • My reply was intended for Jerry’s post. People talking about things man can do to warm the climate and cool the climate doesn’t seem ironic to me. But for people who think only nature can warm and cool, it might seem ironic.

      • I have only seen warmists make that argument (as a strawman), nature can warm/cool, man can’t. You already tried few times to use that logical fallacy.

      • tempterrain

        Its not a strawman. I’ve often heard the argument that its arrogant to even suggest that ‘puny man’ is capable of changing the climate. I try to understand most skeptic/denier arguments but that one has me beat, I must admit.

      • Latimer Alder

        The question is not whether man is capable changing the climate at all. It is whether man can change the climate enough to matter. And if he can, whether such changes are ‘good’ or bad’.

        Different thing,

      • Huh?

        Those two are not the same argument. The argument you bring up is ok – I make that argument (and many sceptics).

        It is indeed arrogant (and vain), knowing the scale of natural CO2 fluxes (inputs/outputs) and possible variations of the same, to suggest that anthropogenic CO2 input is significant (it is possible, but very unlikely).

        Furthermore, knowing that global temperature has big effect on atmospheric CO2, it is even less likely that CO2 itself can have any warming effect, without very strong negative feedbacks (limiting factors).

        Furthermore, observations show that CO2 has no warming effect.

        On the other hand, M. carey makes the following argument (as a strawman):

        Nature can warm/cool the globe, therefore man can’t.

        I have never seen a sceptic make this argument.

        Sceptics make following argument:

        Nature warms/cools the globe all the time and on all time scales. Period.

      • A true sceptic is a complete sceptic. While some true sceptics may be skeptical about AGW and/or it’s potential for harm, some people who say they are AGW sceptics are not true skeptics, being skeptical only about what they want to be skeptical about, or are outright AGW deniers claiming to be skeptics.

  39. I wonder if these researchers were on to something:
    http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=aJpjAAAAIBAJ&sjid=N3wDAAAAIBAJ&pg=6824,139587&dq=global +warming&hl=en

    I’m thinking they probably saw a repeating pattern in their data and perhaps around the year 2000, it’ll start cooling down a bit just like they hypothesized.

  40. An explanation(?) for lack of warming since 1998

    Why? What’s remarkable about a decade long (1998-2008) lack of global warming?

    The long-term rise in the hadcrut global temperature anomaly is punctuated by many 10-year pauses(e.g., 1987-97 and 1977-87).

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1880/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1998/to:2008/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1987/to:1997/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1977/to:1987/trend

    The only thing remarkable about 1998-2008 is the large spike in temperature in 1998, which I believe resulted largely from a strong La Nina rather than a lack of atmospheric sulfate.

  41. Yes, well, it’s not the first time the cooling effect of anthropogenic sulfate aerosols has been discussed in the literature.

    Older discussions suggesting a cooling effect of sulfate aerosols left out ocean dynamics, but not the more recent studies. Nor do more recent studies leave out the relative role of other climate forcings. Perhaps we shouldn’t overlook the obvious at this point, namely, a combination of natural variation and anthropogenic factors and a role for sulfate aerosols.

    Regardless, it is worth noting that the most recent IPCC report’s temp range estimates already factor in reductions in sulphur dioxide emissions, in anticipation that China will follow the U.S. and Europe in no small part because of the extreme negative health effects on people in the area of emissions. This study’s (re)evaluation of the role of sulfate aerosols, right or wrong, does not influence the IPCC estimate of the those numbers.

    Perhaps the more interesting question is whether or not this study helps to improve modeling of the longterm trend. The trend is clearly warming (the misleading use of ‘hiatus’ in the abstract notwithstanding, since what it refers to is actually a short-term temp variability and not the climate trend) and it would probably be helpful to get clearer about the role of e.g. sulfate aerosols, to improve modeling. We’ll see.

    “The political consequence of this article seems to be that the simplest solution to global warming is for the Chinese to burn more coal, which they intend to do anyways”

    The political consequence is aid to China (and India) that transfers knowledge and resources to burn cleaner coal, as soon as possible.

    “I can’t find anything on their site that provides easy visualization of the global aerosol emissions or forcing.” Since AeroCom is about global model inter-comparison, it may not provide that. You might do better with current GISS. Or you could go back to IPCC AR4, which included AeroCom experiments; or maybe you could wait for the next report, since AeroCom diagnostics are being contributed directly to AR5. ;-)

    • With all that science that showed aerosols were/are important for climate forcing, I wonder why IPCC chose to use GCM’s that did not include aerosols in the enseme results for AR4.

    • Latimer Alder

      ‘The political consequence is aid to China (and India) that transfers knowledge and resources to burn cleaner coal, as soon as possible’

      And the reason that China and India should wish to avail themselves of this generous offer is exactly what?. It is my impression that most governments are very keen on aid when comes in dollar bills paid directly to the senior members ‘to distribute as they see fit’.

      But if it comes with strings attached, or in the form of knowledge not spondulix., the enthusiasm wanes considerably.

      How is this any different?

  42. If all you have is an anthropogenic hammer…

  43. A C of Adelaide

    I’m not sure this graph is an honest portrayal of the situation.
    It is apparently acceptable to adjust sea level data to account for external factors (like sea bottom fall) so that we can all get a realistic picture of what the sea level might have been if things had been different. Therefore it is a reprehnsible omission to publish a graph of what the temperature situation actually is, without allowing for all the factors that have might have been causing cooling. No one is interested in what the real temperature is outside. What we really want is the adjusted data so we know just how hot it would be if things were different. One cannot base policy decisions on how things are, they must be based on how things might be. The precautionary principle says that I should ignore the polar bear camping on my lawn and prepare for how things might be if they were a lot worse. This graph is not helpful.

  44. I wonder what happened to “Polynomial Cointegration Tests of Anthropogenic Impact on Global Warming” Michael Beenstock , Yaniv Reingewertz and Nathan Paldor that as I recall argued the model used by Kaufmanna, Kauppib, Mann and Stock failed to take account of the different orders of integration in their statistical tests (and came to the opposite conclusion about man made emissions).

  45. Mistake in paper, first paragraph.

    No reference for “Although temperature increases in 2009 and 2010,”

    Sigh.

    • Also- where’s “(SI Appendix: Section 2.4 and Figs S3, S4).” ??

      Would like to see these appendicies.

  46. The idea that the lack of warming might be explained along lines presented in the paper is not new. It has popped up in discussions every now and then and I would guess that most, if not all, climate scientists knew about this possibility. My guess for the reason that nothing has been published is a combination of the fact that everyone knew the idea already and that no good tests have been developed to confirm or disprove the hypothesis. I have read about the fingerprints related to the areal trends – or rather to the lack of obvious fingerprints. Thus something has been written, but I don’t remember, whether that has been printed in some journal or discussed only in net.

    So what changed when the paper was written and published. Perhaps it was written, because the authors were outsiders, who didn’t know that the idea was already well known to everybody. As outsiders they may have also been satisfied with an analysis that everyone deeper in the climate research considers insufficient and providing no additional understanding. It’s rather a trivial exercise than scientific work that adds to the general knowledge.

    This is the problem of outsiders entering an area unfamiliar to them. What they think to be new, is actually well known and little discussed for valid reasons.

    • Pekka

      You write:

      The idea that the lack of warming might be explained along lines presented in the paper is not new. It has popped up in discussions every now and then and I would guess that most, if not all, climate scientists knew about this possibility. My guess for the reason that nothing has been published is a combination of the fact that everyone knew the idea already and that no good tests have been developed to confirm or disprove the hypothesis.

      Thanks for giving us all your “guess” for the reason that nothing was published on “global dimming” (due to human aerosols) during the period, in which the globe was merrily warming according to plan.

      My <em"guess" is simply that this rationalization of why it is not warming was not necessary as long as it was warming. It only became necessary to find a rationalization once the warming stopped despite record CO2 emissions.

      So it is more of a “rabbit out of the hat” explanation out of need rather than anything else.

      Just my “guess”

      Max

  47. This is (natural) climate change denial.

  48. Anthropogenic or natural forcing
    If all of the anthropogenic forcing (sulphur and CO2 radiative) is disposed of and replaced with natural forcing of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation – PDO than similar result is obtained.

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/AorN-F.htm

    • Thanks vukcevic

      In your statment, “PDO than similar result is obtained”, is “than” a “then”?

    • Unfortunately for your argument, there is no PDO climate forcing. Please provide a detailed description of the mechanism/process through which the PDO is responsible for the rises and flattening of Global Surface Temperatures.

      • It is not the PDO data as such that is involved in any way in the graph as shown by black dashed line:

        http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/AorN-F.htm

        it is in fact a process to which PDO most likely is related as shown here

        http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/PDO1.htm

        There are well known physical processes operating in both the North Pacific and North Atlantic, well capable of affecting the climate events in both oceans, through the oceanic currents heat transfer, in the relevant areas (as mentioned above). First differential (difference) of the datasets correlates well with climatic indices known as the PDO and AMO.

        http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/A&P.htm

        How the PDO and AMO are calculated I am not certain and it is not very important to me; one thing is certain that if proved that my unprocessed data are relevant (and subsequently given appropriate numerical weighting), then climate science will have good base from which to start appraising the true natural drivers of the climate change.
        I have collected lot of historical data dispersed through various institutions, all publicly available some on line, some in various printed publications, put it all together and developed the datasets referring to the N. Atlantic and N. Pacific. This is a purely personal effort, at personal expense, so I am under no obligation to release details for time being, since I am preparing a more extensive publication.

      • Vukcevic: Same reply I left you at WUWT:

        Saying there are “well known physical processes” does not describe how the PDO is responsible for the rise and fall in global surface temperatures as your graph represents. Saying there are correlations doesn’t do it either. Also, the North Atlantic is not represented by the PDO, so including it in your discussion appears to be misdirection–smoke and mirrors. What’s the process or mechanism through which the “PDO forcing” could be responsible for the rises and falls? It’s a simple question. Describing the process or mchanism should be just as easy.

      • It might help you understand what I wrote, if you read my posts above more carefully and consult the links provided.
        ‘replaced with natural forcing of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation – PDO’
        not by the Pacific Decadal Oscillation.
        My second post is even more clear:
        It is not the PDO data as such that is involved in any way in the graph as shown by black dashed line:

        http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/AorN-F.htm

        it is in fact a process to which PDO most likely is related as shown here

        http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/PDO1.htm

        Of course you are free to put any interpretation you fancy.
        Smoke and mirrors:
        smoke is very subtle and mirrors are very polished, my posts are neither of two, but my data are very true.

      • vukcevic : Let me start over: First question, have you identified the “driver OF the PDO”? Second question, since the PDO cannot be responsible for the rises and falls in global surface temperatures, why compare it or a “driver OF the PDO” to global surface temperatures?

      • May be not the PDO directly, since the PDO is an index , but perhaps one of its principal causes of the oscillation, of course that has to be verified.
        For the PDO I think I know why and how the northern section is controled.
        In my research of the North Atlantic I found a function which correlates well with the actual temperatures in a specific locality (CET), and subsequently showed that its differential correlates also with the AMO, which of course is the index relating to the sea surface temperature (SST). This made me think that the North Pacific behaves in similar manner, which was confirmed as soon as I managed to assemble enough data.
        I should point that data I have, in both cases shows rising trends, but when these are removed either by detrending or calculating time difference (delta t) correlation to the above mentioned indexes becomes obvious. Correlation is not perfect but it is sufficiently high to indicate a degree of underlying connection as it is shown here:

        http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/A&P.htm

        My most recent investigation showed (surprisingly and unusually high) correlation between the NAO and the North Atlantic precursor (1950 -2010)

        http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/Contents.htm

        which may indeed confirm that my data may be more than just coincidence.
        If it is so for the N. Atlantic then the N. Pacific is also a possibility.
        Have I got drivers for the AMO and the PDO ?
        Possibly, but it will be up to the experts to decide, when I eventually make my findings available to the wider audience.

      • vukcevic: Let me rephrase my first question, since you have apparently identified for yourself what you feel to be these drivers. Have you written an explanation and posted it at your website so that others can be informed?

        And I’ll re-ask my second question, which you have not answered: since the PDO cannot be responsible for the rises and falls in global surface temperatures, why compare it or a “driver OF the PDO” to global surface temperatures?

      • - Not since damnant quod non intelligunt.
        and
        - see here

  49. New paper:

    The solar influence on the probability of relatively cold UK winters in the future

    http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/6/3/034004/pdf/1748-9326_6_3_034004.pdf

  50. As David Whitehouse pointed out months ago the unexplained miracle is why AGW cooling would exactly balance AGW warming every once in a while and for years and years

    • Because it is a fruad.

    • Noone is saying it has.

      The recent pause in warming for a few years is mainly due to the solar cycle and ENSO.

      • Do you understand now how insignificant and easily overwhelmed “CO2 forcing” is?

      • It’s only easily overwhelmed on the short term edim.

        The temperature trend from 1998 to 2000 was -2C/decade for example. That was due to ENSO. But ENSO cannot have such an effect on longer timescales. In fact over 20 years ENSO’s temperature influence is close to 0. CO2s is not.

      • I expected that answer and I strongly disagree.

        I guess we will have to wait for a bit more cooling to kill that CO2 error.

      • I don’t see how you can disagree. The data doesn’t lie. ENSO has trended negatively over the last decade, as has the solar cycle. Both of those cancel out some of the expected ~0.2C/decade warming, but they aren’t going to keep doing so. In fact when they reverse they will complement the warming. The solar cycle is already on the up and ENSO can’t keep trending lower.

        So your position is actually due to be falsified.

      • Latimer Alder

        JFI. did you predict this ‘cancelling out’ before it happened? Or is it only with hindsight that you can be sure of it?

        Because if you don’t, then why should we believe your latest prediction?

      • only in hindsight once you know what ENSO has done

      • Latimer Alder

        @lolwot

        ‘only in hindsight once you know what ENSO has done’

        So how come you didn’t know what ENSO was going to do already beforehand? I thought that all the forcings were known years ago and because of this perfection of knowledge, the only factor that could explain anything else was CO2?

        And yet you didn’t know about ENSO in advance? How can this be?
        Either all the forcings are known or they aren’t. Which is it? It can’t be both (unless they are remarkably feline and living bei Herr Doctor Schroedinger, which is likely outside the scope of this discussion dv)

      • are you really that clueless that you don’t understand why ENSO can’t be predicted in advance?

      • Latimer Alder

        Why not explain in your own words for anybody here who might be so ignorant?

      • Solar cycle 24 is on the up (it will be weakest maximum in decades), but that’s not how it works. It’s the frequency of solar cycles that is associated with warming.

        We had weak sc23 (scl = ~12 years) and sc24 seems to be even weaker. This will cause further cooling. You ain’t seen nothing yet.

      • there’s a 11 year cycle in the temperature records. It did have a cooling impact since 2002. It will have a warming impact over coming years.

      • tempterrain

        “but that’s not how it works. It’s the frequency of solar cycles that is associated with warming.”

        Can you supply a reference ?

      • tempterrain

        Only the last reference has any scientific validity and the word “climate” doesn’t show up in a Word search of the actual paper.

        You can’t be serious about “icecap” surely?

      • Tempterrain,

        OK. I don’t think the sources/conclusions are important. I am only interested in data. Some time ago I did my own analysis regarding scl/climate. I used the “butterfly” diagram to obtain my own scl for sc12-sc23, because there were different scl data.

        My conclusion is that scl is definitely associated with the global temperature. Longer (weaker) cycles are associated with cooling and shorter (stronger) with warming. Taking into account that there are many other factors affecting global temperature, the correlation scl/temperature is VERY interesting.

        From the last reference:

        “The four historic minima since 1200, all occurred
        during the rising phase of our derived 188-
        year sunspot cycle when the length of the sunspot
        cycle was increasing. Figure 8 shows that, on average,
        the length of the sunspot cycle was highest
        when the actual number of sunspots was lowest.
        According to our model, the length of the sunspot
        cycle was growing during the Maunder Minimum
        when there were lower than average reduced temperatures
        on Earth.”

      • amen!

        No seriously how many excuses can one make up? how to tell climatology from Nostradamus studies?

      • What you call “excuses” are actually valid explanations that you just don’t want to accept for some reason.

      • Latimer Alder

        OK

        Here’s an easy one.

        Plot a simple graph that shows all the ‘forcings’ that you know about…all the linear ones and all the cyclical ones and any others …positive and negative.

        Plot it by year, then use whatever technique suits you to combine these various influences (but you must publish the exact method you decide on) . You are allowed to work backwards as well as forwards. Using this, predict the GAT in 1 year, 3 years, 5 years, 10 years and 25 years. Publish it.

        Repeat the exercise each year for the next 25.

        We will watch with bated breath whether you in fact know enough about the way the climate works to make useful predictions. Because so far, you haven’t been able to do so.

        Deal?

        If not, please explain your reasons for being unwilling/incapable of doing so. Making accurate predictions of the future is the only real test of a forecaster. Otherwise it is just handwaving bullshit.

      • Latimer Alder

        @lolwot

        In reply to my

        ‘If not, please explain your reasons for being unwilling/incapable of doing so. Making accurate predictions of the future is the only real test of a forecaster. Otherwise it is just handwaving bullshit’

        you opined

        ‘Do your own homework fool’

        My case rests, It is just handwaving bullshit.

        Thanks for so emphatically proving my point.

      • “you opined

        ‘Do your own homework fool’”

        No I didnt

      • Your argument defies logic.

        The recent pause in global warming can be explained through negative trending ENSO and solar cycle.

        That does not mean I should be able to predict ENSO in 5 years time.

      • Latimer Alder

        @lolwot

        Re Homework. Obviously something very odd going on here. Maybe somebody is pretending to be you? There was a malefactor pretending to be our host a while back…..And I didn’t write my reply out of thin air.

        But of it wasn’t you, my challenge stands. Make some forecasts that ae of practical use and can be verified in a reasonable time. Otherwise thirty years of climatology have got us no further than Arhhenius. And we can make Arrhenius level forecasts using log paper and a ruler.

  51. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-14002264

    Richard Black is in usually good form…

    • Labmunkey

      I would like to think that when Judith reads the BBC report that you linked to, that she will be glad that she decided to start questioning the sometimes perverse, irrational, contradictory, and imaginative methods of AGW affirmation that her peers like to indulge in.

      tonyb

    • It’s worrying at times isn’t it. There’s a sort of blind push on these things followed by ‘quotes’ that leave the reader in no doubt that anyone disagreeing with the thrust of the article is a dangerous denier.

      Richard Blacks one of the worst for it imo- so much for BBC impartiality; also explains the new, HIGHLY restrictive comments sections now too. It completely stifles any decent rebutal to Mr Blacks frequently misleading and factually incorrect articles. Though predictably, the articles like this have NO comments section, just to make sure that the message isn’t diluted.

      Hell, i wouldn’t care if he was posting pro-cAGW stuff if it were accurate and his conclusions sound- but they’re not they’re SO far wrong it’s infuriating to read.

      /rant.

    • Yes, I score him…..
      8 out of 10 for grammar and spelling
      2 out of 10 for facts.
      3 out of 10 for spin.
      I mean, seriously, is that the best they can do?

    • The last couple of paragraph’s of Black’s article are just appalling.

      It’s always the same question, the same question: Incompetent, or disingenuous?
      ==================

    • Black quote’s Kaufman thusly:
      “People can choose not to believe in [man-made] climate change – but the correct term here is ‘belief’ – believing is an act of faith, whereas science is a testing of hypotheses and seeing whether they hold up against real world data.

      “Even before this paper there wasn’t much scientific evidence for denying climate change, and now I don’t see any credible scientific contradiction – if people don’t believe it, it’ll be because they choose not to believe it.”

      Black sees the need to insert the [man made] clause. This is progress of a sort. Kaufman is channeling the Trenberth reversed null hypothesis meme.

      “science is a testing of hypotheses and seeing whether they hold up against real world data.”

      Very true. When will we see the AGW promoters starting to do this?

  52. Joe Lalonde

    Judith,

    Have you ever made wine?
    When doing the process incorrectly, it can generate a huge mess with the expanding gases exerting outward. They cannot go through the wine but do expand outward for an interesting pressure build-up. If you use collapsible plastic container, they expand.
    Hmmm….Just like the atmosphere.

  53. As predicted by Dr. Curry, the press is all over this story. See http://old.news.yahoo.com/topics/climate-change-and-global-warming Conflicting pollution is a source of confusion.

    We even have one of my favorite scams with this Reuters story: http://ph.news.yahoo.com/asia-pollution-blamed-halt-warming-study-190810714.html

    They show a Chinese coal fired power plant apparently pouring out smoke, but it is just water vapor from the cooling towers. It could be worse; for years they used the cooling towers from a nuke when they wrote about power plant pollution. Now that is a true hoax.

  54. Latimer Alder

    Since these sulphate thingies look they are going to save the world from thermageddon far more cheaply than all the other measures proposed, I propose a vast public subsidy for all those who do their duty by their fellow man and create more of them. In the UK this can replace the Feed in Tariff currently used to pay for windmills.

    I also propose to found the Latimer Alder Sulphate Corporation to exploit this opportunity. Please send your e-mail address and money now to be in on the ground floor of this exciting opportunity.

    ‘This is unprecedented’ (Michael Mann)
    ‘They’ve found the answer!’ (K Trenbeth)
    ‘Told you so’ (Phil Jones)
    ‘I knew voodoo would come up with the goods’ (R Pachauri)
    ‘Panic’ (J Hansen)
    ‘Oh F….g Heck,’ (The IPCC)

    • Joe Lalonde

      Latimer old buddy,

      You think you have seen snow before. You have no idea what amounts this planet can generate. In the right conditions. Like shifting ocean heat to the cold Arctic.

      • Latimer Alder

        Joe me old mucker

        Do I hear the sound of distant centrifuges starting up? And the crash as conventional Newtonian mechanics falls in a heap around my ears?

        Or is one of us hallucinating? I restrict myself to nothing stronger than espresso nowadays. You?

  55. Joe Lalonde

    Judith,

    Have you ever studied the BOOM and BUST cycle of planetary life?
    We call them Ice Ages which prevents accelerated life from overheating this planet with changes to salt content of the oceans which then cools the oceans by blocking more solar radiation penetration. This is generated by pressure changes.

    Suns heat has not changed, just it’s activity.
    The oceans heat has shifted around this planet which has created vast amounts of evaporation and precipitation.

  56. If the Chinese can save the planet from frying by polluting their local air to the point that it is barely breathable for their own population, I think this is a heroic deed that deserves not only world-wide recognition, but also remuneration

    .Let’s start off by handing out some Nobel Peace Prizes to the coal-fired power plant managers (provided they have not installed flue gas cleanup systems).

    Then I think that at least half of the net revenues from “carbon taxes” in the developed world should be gathered into a fund for paying back to the Chinese government (a portion of which could go to providing gas masks for its population). The UN, who has a long record of handling large sums of money efficiently, could be the administrator of this fund.

    We finally have a SOLUTION!

    • Latimer Alder

      @manacker

      Max

      There’s still time (just) to get in on the early issue of the Latimer Alder Sulphate Corporation (see above). Just send money. :-)

    • Forgot about the Latimer Alder Sulfate Corporation (LASC) – see post above..

      This group could ensure that the proposed global sulfate fund gets collected from the various donor governments and transferred to the new UN agency, which will be responsible for the efficient distribution of the funds to China, based on its year-to-year performance as an aerosol polluter.

      • Latimer Alder

        The clue is in the name. (Latimer Alder SC) There is no proposal to transfer funds anywhere other than as indicated therein.

      • I had assumed that LASC would charge a “handling fee” (still to be negotiated), and some of the money might get stuck in the UN agency (finding its natural way back to the Bahnhofstrasse in Zurich), but that a portion would be left over for the Chinese government, who would, in turn, release a portion of that portion to buy gas masks for its heroic population.

      • Latimer Alder

        Your proposition is starting to sound strangely interesting……..a win win situation……….just send your bank details and we’re in business…. :-)

  57. The masking of CO2-induced global warming by short term sulphur emissions is well known – it’s believed that the flattening off of global mean temperatures in the 1950s was due to European and US coal burning, and just such a mechanism could be operating today from Chinese coal,” he told BBC News.

    http://bbc.in/kYusdf

    According to the Occam’s Razor principle, given a choice between two explanations, choose the simplest one that requires the fewest assumptions. Instead of applying the Occam’s Razor principle by assuming the cause of GMTA turning points to be natural, the IPCC assumed the cause to be man-made (CO2 and sulphur).

    IPCC fails the Occam’s Razor principle test.

    Also, their projections are all wrong.

    http://bit.ly/iyscaK

    http://bit.ly/cIeBz0

    • Using Occam’s razor the simplest explanation is you don’t understand Occam’s razor.

      • lolwot

        I understand “Occams’s Razor” pretty well, and the interpretation of the Kaufmann et al. postulation (that human aerosols have played the major role in recent cooling) sure as hell does not fit.

        First of all, the whole thing is contrived, as there is no empirical evidence to support it..

        And second, even Kaufmann claim only one-fourth of the negative forcing after 2001 came from Chinese aerosols (-0.06 W/m^2), while three-fourths came from changes in the sun (-0.18 W/m^2).

        Duh!

        Max.

  58. Doug Allen

    Pekka says that perhaps the paper was written because the authors were outsiders and didn’t reaiize that that their hypothesis of sulfate cooling was well known to everybody. I think there is another explanation- the funding and/or publication of studies that support the “concensus.” I have a background in field biology and am amazed how many studies are funded and peer reviewed papers are published about flora or fauna distribution and colonization/migration patterns that attempt to show the effects of global warming. All of this has been known and written about for decades, long before the Hansen published in 1988. Even worse are the NSF and other funded “global warming may” papers. There’s a very low bar for getting funding for and for publishing any thing that supports the consensus.

  59. Well, if the globe continues to cool, such that people get worried about the cooling, then blame will start to accrue to China, and all those poor dung burning people.

    This will either be an excuse to continue to demonize CO2 and/or to wealth transfer to the poor so they can quit burning dung. Where temperature actually goes will become immaterial.

    Nobody seems to care about the science anymore; it’s all about sustaining the narrative. Fortunately, the narrative is a lot easier to control than the climate. And it’s a lot easier to control than human curiosity.
    ===========

  60. Doug Allen

    After switching from the Hansen adjusted temperature record (go and take a look at how he adjusted and readjusted the US 1934 temps, for instance) to the Hadcrut temp record, Tempterrain finally agrees “the past decade pause in warming…is not unusual.” Now take a look at the 1978 – 1998 twenty years of significant warming and compare it to other pre-AGW periods (according to the IPCC). Not unusual!

  61. I have not seen anyone mention this idea. Many industrial nations went through a phase of producing lots of pollution, such as is now happening in China and India. As the economies of these nations strengthened, it became both possible, and desirable, to remove the pollutants. The Chinese economy is expanding rapidly, and, for purely selfish reasons, I am sure that, in the not too far distant future, the Chinese will greatly reduce the amout of aerosols, and other pollutants, that they are now producing. After all, the technology for doing so is readily available. When this happens, it will be interesting to see what happens to global temperatures.

    Of course, when this happens, and global temperatures still dont go on rising, the proponents of CAGW will find just another excuse as to why global temperatures are not rising. “Oh what a tangled web we weave; When first we practice to deceive.” (Sir Walter Scott)

  62. With this paper, they are doing what they planned to do “in case the prediction is wrong”!

    Read…

    I think we have been too readily explaining the slow changes over past decade as a result of variability–that explanation is wearing thin. I would just suggest, as a backup to your prediction, that you also do some checking on the sulfate issue, just so you might have a quantified explanation in case the prediction is wrong. Otherwise, the Skeptics will be all over us–the world is really cooling, the models are no good, etc. And all this just as the US is about ready to get serious on the issue.

    …We all, and you all in particular, need to be prepared.

    http://bit.ly/iVMCWY

    • Latimer Alder

      Interesting that the author of that e-mail is

      Mike MacCracken, a Director of the Climate Institute, which is not an academic institution but a pressure group.

      Of course, he is entitled to send e-mails to whoever he pleases, but the tone of this one to Phil Jones suggests a closer relationship of joint action than is surely appropriate between an ‘independent’ CRU and a pressure group.

  63. tempterrain

    ” and global temperatures still dont go on rising” ?? Was that a typo?

  64. Alexander Harvey

    What does Freeman Dyson know about climate change?

    Possibly rather a lot, or should I say a lot about the essentials and he has done for rather a long time.

    What do we know about his analysis?

    Not as much as I should like, but he is on record on some narrow points.

    He is sometimes creditted with co-authorship of JSR-79-04 “Long term impacts of increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide levels” aka the “MacDonald Report” but he is not on the reports authorship list. However there seems to be little doubt that he was in attendence at the 1978 get together probably in San Diego (La Jolla) as he gets a special mention in the report:

    “One of our colleagues, Freeman Dyson, has a deep concern about the consequences of a carbon dioxide increase. He has made numerous helpful comments on the draft report.”

    So he was both engaged and concerned, some thirty odd years ago.

    Around that time he was at Oak Ridge studying the carbon cycle, a subject area that he felt and possibly still feels is under researched.

    Since then he has moved on, by ~1998, he was still concerned with the lack of instrumentation and the level of research effort into the carbon cycle and the small amount of money going to the ARM project.

    About a decade later he was writing and speaking about climate change to a wider audience. Here is an example from Edge:

    http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/dysonf07/dysonf07_index.html

    In my opinion the “Civil Heretic” article is not all that informative when it comes to Mr Dyson’s thoughts on climate science, it deals in very short quotes and much hearsay. Better to read Dyson directly as in the Edge link above.

    I will draw attention to one non-climate part of the article which deserves some background.

    Freeman studied under Hardy at Cambridge and Hardy worked with Ramanujan. These are all number theorists and arguably listed in ascending order of brilliance.

    Ramanujan’s health was poor and Hardy used to visit him at the hospital. Hardy wirtes:

    “I remember once going to see him when he was ill at Putney. I had ridden in taxi cab number 1729 and remarked that the number seemed to me rather a dull one, and that I hoped it was not an unfavorable omen. “No,” he replied, “it is a very interesting number; it is the smallest number expressible as the sum of two cubes in two different ways.”

    From the Civile Heretic article:

    A group of scientists will be sitting around the cafeteria, and one will idly wonder if there is an integer where, if you take its last digit and move it to the front, turning, say, 112 to 211, it’s possible to exactly double the value. Dyson will immediately say, “Oh, that’s not difficult,” allow two short beats to pass and then add, “but of course the smallest such number is 18 digits long.” When this happened one day at lunch, William Press remembers, “the table fell silent; nobody had the slightest idea how Freeman could have known such a fact or, even more terrifying, could have derived it in his head in about two seconds.” The meal then ended with men who tend to be described with words like “brilliant,” “Nobel” and “MacArthur” quietly retreating to their offices to work out what Dyson just knew.

    Ignoring some unlikely aspects in the construction of this tale, perhaps the most surprising point, is that no one seemed to know that Freeman is a number theorist and that a knowledge of such things (parasitic numbers) was not at all surprising.

    That Freeman and Ramanujan would know such things, and that others might think it surprising can be viewed as an effect that occurs when a subject that people think they are familiar with, in this case arithmetic, is in fact almost completely hidden from them unless they have spent many years studying the subject and happen to be brilliant arithmeticians.

    Freeman is correct, on a scale of arithmetic complexity the result is trivial. How it must have pleased him to have people credit him with unfathomable brilliance for a result accessible to any child capable of long division.

    Alex

    • Brian G Valentine

      Well, Alexander, you can’t knock Dyson too much for seeing a solution to a Diophantine immediately (if that’s what he did).

      Recently, Dyson has pondered why no more complete studies of CO2 effects in the stratosphere have been made – since hydrodynamics are simpler there than in the tropsphere.

      A reasonable question; I would first like to know how the addition of a substance to the atmosphere can have the net effect of warming the troposphere and cooling the stratosphere without the expenditure of work.

      Since the tropospause conducts heat at about the same rate that the troposphere is expected to warm by the “greenhouse” effect, it isn’t clear to me that the second law is not violated

      • It’s indeed easy to see that there are no solutions with less than 18 digits (just check which of the numbers consisting of all nines is divisible by 19).

      • Brian G Valentine

        That’s true.

        It is also true that the above argument rejecting the “atmospheric greenhouse effect” has existed for more than 100 years and thereby every “global warmer” since Arrhenius at least given scant attention.

        Until Al Gore needed something to be recognized for, anyway, and then all of a sudden people’s brains turned to “pudding.”

        I have no explanation, excepting possibly connecting this with CO2 in the atmosphere. I am sure I can make a compelling case for this scenario, and enhance the possible truth value of this argument considerably – depending on my ability to castigate “deniers”

      • I got just curious enough to check, what the smallest number is. It’s
        105’263’157’894’736’842 or 2 * ((10^18-2)/19+1). Somebody fluent in number theory could indeed make the whole calculation with very little effort reaching the second way of expressing the number.

        This is a good example of a problem that appears difficult, but is much easier at least for people with appropriate knowledge.

      • Brian G Valentine

        Similarly, as is problem of finding the number of ways of changing one US dollar in coins

        (given that various US coins have values $0.01, $0.05, $0.10, $0.25, $0.50)

      • Hey, I was intrigued and worked on this. You got the same answer I got, but your earlier comment stated to test the first all 9 digits number divisible by 19. While you might have solved the problem differently than I did, did you mean to say instead to test the smallest number that has every digit 9 except the last which would be an 8? So the smallest 9..9998 divisible by 19 occurs when there are 16 9s in front of the 8. [Then, (10**17-2)/19 r = (10**16) a + (10**15) b + (10**14) c + .. (10**1) p + (10**0) q, with the condition that a must be nonzero. For r = 0 or 1, we have a 16 digit number on the left and 17 variables on the right (implying a=0). So r=2 gives the smallest 17 digit number on the left, and we just read off the digits for a, b, c, .. q. The answer is the literal number "abcde..qr", noting that r=2. I did not realize (know, figure out, etc) that we would only have to check 19 such cases since every 19th case we get an even division (I think). FWIW, I wrote a tiny command line perl program to print out the first 50 divisions ( perl -e 'use bignum; for ($a=0; $a<50; $a++) {printf +((10**$a)-2)/19 . "\n"}' ).]

      • Alexander Harvey

        Brian, I don’t knock Dyson, far from it, I was saying that the sort of information that some people have to hand can be vastly different to that which others might have or believe possible.

        I cannot know but it is the sort of trivial fact that number theorists remember. Similarly I and others here might know the answer for 5 i.e. that 714285 = 5*142857, and are never likely to forget it. Somethings just stick.

        Dyson is indeed concerned about co2 induced stratospheric cooling. Back in 1998 (ish) he characterised the development of an Artic ozone hole by such means as a “major disaster”. Something he saw as far more worrying than tropospheric warming. Something that may be coming to pass.

        I do not see the problem with statrospheric cooling with respect to tropospheric heating. I do not think it is suggested that the cooling is caused by transference of heat to the troposphere but by enhanced IR emission into space and possibly a reduction in stratosperic heating if the ozone is in fact depleted. Both would affect the energy balance of the stratosphere in the same sense.

        I suspect it be a forlorn hope, but I do wish that more people would listen to Dyson directly and in depth rather than tokenize him in the crude way that some seem to. I thought the “Civil Heretic” piece did him little justice. You have probably read him and listened to him, as have I. We may have very different views but I suspect that we both find him to be worth listening to.

        Alex

      • Brian G Valentine

        Aren’t we talking about a “net” effect of the addition of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, Alex? Isn’t the free energy a state function of the atmosphere and changes of it thereby independent of the path from initial to final values?

        The formation of ozone from molecular oxygen warms the stratosphere above that expected from the “lapse” in temperature with altitude, certainly. So, either a reduction in UV or the presence something terminating free radical chains would deplete stratospheric ozone.

        What is the role of CO2 in this?

      • Brian – CO2 increases the emissivity of the stratosphere (its ability to radiate energy to space) due to its high emissivity in the infrared, which is the predominant wavelength of radiated energy at stratospheric temperatures. However, it increases stratospheric absorptivity (the ability to absorb energy) by a smaller fractional amount,because stratospheric absorptivity is dominated by ozone absorption of solar UV, and CO2 absorbs almost not at all in the UV. The result is that emissivity increases more than absorptivity, and the stratosphere cools. CO2 can be thought of as an escape valve for ozone-absorbed heat.

        The principle is described in standard geophysics texts, including Hartmann and the recent Pierrehumbert book.

      • Brian G Valentine

        Yes i did know that. The stratosphere does cool with the presence of CO2 – although not as a result of ozone “depletion.”

        It is the free-radical reaction of molecular oxygen in the stratosphere, by the way, that results in the increase of average k.e. of stratosphere air molecules (i.e., the increase in temperature) – not “absorbing” heat

        I do understand the proposed model of the “atmospheric Greenhouse effect,” although, like Gerlich and Tscheuschner have concluded there is no phenomenological method to distinguish the proposed mechanism from a second law violation.

        Note that the possible change in altitude of the tropopause in response to the “atmospheric greenhouse effect” results in work done by the atmosphere that is opposite in sign to the work needed to transfer heat from the stratosphere to the warmer troposphere (maximum work that could be accomplished by the R&A expansion of an ideal gas)

      • My above comment wasn’t quite accurate, although it provides a good overview of the principle. At stratospheric temperatures, almost all emission is in the infrared (IR). Adding CO2 increases emissivity in the IR and thereby increases emission rates. By Kirchoff’s Law, emissivity and absorptivity are equal (at equilibrium). Therefore, adding CO2 also increases absorptivity in the IR. However, most stratospheric absorption is in the UV, due to ozone’s absorption of solar UV – IR absorption by CO2 plays a lesser role. UV absorption is unaffected by CO2, and so emission rates increase without an equal increase in absorption rates, until the temperature cools to the point where emissions decline to match the continuing absorption of solar energy.

  65. Brian G Valentine

    I would like to see a rational explanation why “aerosols” of any kind are no a correction between satellite temperatures (in the IR) and the ground-based receiving stations that compare measured values.

    “Aerosols” turn out to be a convenience for fables about “global warming.” They are a magical device that prevent PC-gamers from abject losses in computer games

  66. Brian G Valentine

    By the way “aerosols” have more magical properties associated with them than you might have expected.

    Indeed, carefully examine Trenberth’s digram of the “balance” of radiant energy impinging on the Earth’s disc from the Sun. You will note that “aerosols” serve to “store” radiant energy over an unspecified period of time, much like storing water in a bottle.

    I will bet no one knew radiant energy could be “stored” in such a manner!

  67. Received via email from Roger Pielke Jr:

    Just FYI … Kaufmann uses sulfur data from Smith et al. 2004, but
    there is a recent update with different values:

    http://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/11/1101/2011/acp-11-1101-2011.pdf

    In particular:

    “The annual global emissions estimate in this work is
    similar before 1970 to the previous estimate using similar
    methodologies (Smith et al., 2004), with an average absolute
    difference of 4% from 1900–1970. After 1970, the current
    global emissions estimate is consistently lower than Smith et
    al. (2004), and the difference increases to 13% over 1995–
    2000.”

    Would a 13% difference 1995-200 matter?

    Here is the Kaufmann SI:

    http://www.economics.harvard.edu/faculty/stock/files/PNAS_SI_Apendix_Final.pdf

    • Brian G Valentine

      When grasping at straws, a few of them take on a significance not placed upon them before.

  68. UK research suggesting more frequent cold winters regionally has found that weather predictions are more accurate when account is taken of solar activity:

    Using the Central England Temperature (CET) record, the world’s longest instrumental data series that stretches back to 1659, the team said that average temperatures during recent winters had been markedly lower than the longer-term average.

    “The mean CET for December, January and February for the recent relatively cold winters of 2008/09 and 2009/10 were 3.50C and 2.53C respectively,” they wrote.

    “Whereas the mean value for the previous 20 winters had been 5.04C.

    “The cluster of lower winter temperatures in the UK during the last three years had raised questions about the probability of more similar, or even colder, winters occurring in the future.”

    Last year, Professor Lockwood and colleagues published a paper that identified a link between fewer sunspots and atmospheric conditions that “blocked” warm westerly winds reaching Europe during winter months, opening the way for cold easterlies from the Arctic and Russia to sweep across the region.

    Professor Lockwood, while acknowledging that there were a range of possible meteorological factors that could influence blocking events, said the latest study moved things forward by showing that there was “improvement in the predictive skill” when solar activity was taken into account.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-14029995

  69. “The move of the populations of China and India from poverty to middle-class prosperity should be the great historic achievement of the century. Without coal it cannot happen.” — Freeman Dyson

    • I’m still waiting for the day greenies will embark in their feelgood tour to explain in person to the poor of India and China how important it is not to emit CO2.

      • Brian G Valentine

        Throughout history, it is has been an obligation of those who “have” to devise reasons for the “have not’s” – not to have anything.

        The UN has tried to temper the situation a bit, however, by devising ways for wealthy nations to turn over fortunes to less-developed nations for their “imposed” inability to elevate their standard of living on their own.

        This, so that anger and recrimination for being told to remain impoverished will be directed at others for not “giving it to them” and not the UN. By and large the ploy isn’t working

  70. Today’s learning point: never engage in a discussion with anybody whose comments could have been taken straight out of a Nostradamus apologetic text.

  71. Judith Curry

    You ask (regarding aerosol emissions):

    Would a 13% difference 1995-2000 matter?

    Apparently not much, according to the cited Kaufmann study:.

    Aerosols were responsible for a forcing of -0.06 W/m^2, while change in solar activity was -0.18 W/m^2.

    So very roughly a 13% reduction in a forcing that represents 25% of the total would reduce the overall forcing by around 4% (no big deal).

    Realize this is a simplified calculation and the time periods do not match exactly, but aerosols do not appear to be the primary cause of recent “lack of warming” (i.e. observed slight cooling) according to Kaufmann.

    Max

  72. We know Eyjafjallajokull shut down EU airspace. Realistically though, what are human-produced aerosols compared to the next Eyjafjallajokull which caused more pollution than all of the automobiles that have ever been driven on the face of the Earth. Realistically, a dozen modern 5,000 lb SUVswith ULEV V8s put out less pollution than a 67 VW. The Sun realistically is the only independent variable of any consequence that is nominally involved in all climate change and humans cannot realistically do anything about it except adapt to change.

  73. GaryM said on July 5, 2011 at 8:08 pm in reply to my
    “An assumption in 1988 about the CO2 level in 2010 is a forecast of the CO2 level in 2010.”

    Maybe we could have a thread on how to read a dictionary. First look up the word, “scenario,” then check out “assumption,” and finish with “prediction.”

    The models according to the very article y’all claim everyone else should read, made three predictions about temperature, based on three different assumption about CO2.

    For those really literarily impaired (and your numbers seem to be growing), in the sentence “If A, then B,” A is the assumption, B is the prediction. “If” is not a prediction.
    _______
    Maybe we could call a spade a shovel.

    Forecast B (the temperature) depends on forecast A(the CO2 level).

    If I assume a future CO2 level for a particular scenario, the assumption is a forecast for the purpose of that scenario.

    • Philip Shehan

      mct: No. The paper says that SO2 emissions are one reason, along with a decrease in “natural’ the small rise in global temperature in the last decade.

      The action of arosols as a cooling forcings is one of the factors affecting climate. The problem with adding aerosols to the atmosphere is that they are short lived in the atmosophere, SO2 returning to earth as sulphuric acid.

      The elevated CO2 levels will persist for centuries.

    • M. carey

      If you are referring to Hansen’s LOUSY 1988 prediction of GH temperature rise, you are waffling.

      Scenario A assumes that growth rates of trace gas emissions typical of the 1970s and 1980s will continue indefinitely; the assumed annual growth rate averages about 1.5% of current emissions, so

      Scenario A assumes that growth rates of trace gas emissions typical of the 1970s and 1980s will continue indefinitely; the assumed annual growth rate averages about 1.5% of current emissions, so that the net greenhouse forcing increases exponentially that the net greenhouse forcing increases exponentially

      In actual fact, CO2 increased by 1.7% per year (rather than 1.5% as assumed by Hansen), yet the actual warming was only HALF of that predicted by Hansen. IOW Hansen used a model-based 2xCO2 climate sensitivity that was exaggerated by more than 2X.

      OUCH!

      (Back to the computer, Jim.)

      Max

      • M. carey

        [Message reposted with formatting correction - please delete previous post]

        If you are referring to Hansen’s LOUSY 1988 prediction of GH temperature rise, you are waffling.

        Scenario A assumes that growth rates of trace gas emissions typical of the 1970s and 1980s will continue indefinitely; the assumed annual growth rate averages about 1.5% of current emissions, so that the net greenhouse forcing increases exponentially that the net greenhouse forcing increases exponentially

        In actual fact, CO2 increased by 1.7% per year (rather than 1.5% as assumed by Hansen), yet the actual warming was only HALF of that predicted by Hansen. IOW Hansen used a model-based 2xCO2 climate sensitivity that was exaggerated by more than 2X.

        OUCH!

        (Back to the computer, Jim.)

        Max

      • No, the actual warming is two-thirds of the predicted warming, not ” HALF ” of the predicted warming.

        In Hansen’s A scenario the anomaly was forecast to rise from -0.27 in 1988 to 1.10 in 2010, an increase of 1.37. The observed increase was 0.90, which is two-thirds of the forcasted increase of 1.37.

        BTW, trace gas and CO2 are not one and the same.

      • M. carey

        Sorry. Your analysis is false. We are talking about warming rates and not spot checks of individual annual values.

        Let’s look at the linear rate of warming projected by Hansen’s 1988 Scenario A and the actual record.

        We see that Hansen projected a warming rate of 0.32C per decade, whereas the actual was 0.15C per decade, so he was off by 2:1.

        On GHG increase he projected an increase at the rate of 1.5% per year, whereas the actual increase was at a rate of 1.7% per year..

        So he projected twice the actual warming rate despite the fact that the actual CO2 rate was considerably higher than the rate he projected.

        No matter how you slice it, M. carey, that is a LOUSY forecast.

        The reason his forecast was so LOUSY is very simple: he assumed a model-derived w2xCO2 climate sensitivity that turned out to be exaggerated by over 2:1.

        Yet he has still to admit his mistake.

        Max

  74. Not having read the 300+ comments, forgive me if this has been said… indeed, delete the post!

    Isn’t this paper doomed to disappear up it’s own logic?

    It seems to say that the lack of warming is because of China burning more coal? So that coal warms the planet by adding CO2, but counteracts not only that CO2, but other rises in CO2 as well???

    So we ought to be burning coal like crazy, and this will halt warming…

    My brain hurts.

    • Yes, sulfur emissions from coal burning in China counteract not only CO2 from coal burning in China, but the total anthropogenic (rising) CO2 emissions. But that’s not all.

      It also counteracts the rise in other ghg, positive albedo feedbacks, positive water and clouds feedbacks, Arctic and permafrost methane (72x warming power of CO2) release and other positive feedback loops.

      Wow!

    • mct,

      The linked article may help.

      tp://m.theglobeandmail.com/news/technology/science/sulfur-emissions-from-chinese-coal-linked-to-global-warming-pause-in-2000s/article2086918/?service=mobile

      • M. carey

        Sorry. The linked article does not help at all. It is simply more of the silly rationalization that global warming resulting from increases in CO2 concentrations to all-time record levels is being overwhelmed (not by “natural variability”, as the UK Met Office had concluded, but) by Chinese aerosol emissions.

        Huh?

        Sorry, M. carey, this one does not pass the “sanity test”.

        Max

  75. Wow… Climate change is such a complicated phenomenon. Not sure that even with this coming from a respected journal that one can make any definitive conclusions… At best, “who knows” is the right answer!

  76. Philip Shehan

    The black curves Curry refers to Fig 10 of the Jones paper.

    The reason that SO2 emissions dip after 1985 and other carbon emissions continue to rise is because of the installation of SO2 scrubbers to smokestacks and other anti acid rain measures taken at that time in the west.

    The black line in Tons of SO2 per year of the Jones paper matches the purple curve in Fig 1 of the Kaufmann paper. The purple curve is the inverse of the black curve because the less atmospheric SO2 the greater the warming in W/m2 .

    That figure shows that the flattening of the temperature rise is due to a decrease in solar output, a large upswing in the southern oscillation index and the increase in SO2 emissions.

  77. The authors use an error-correction model. Minimizing the sum of squared residuals, the model is forced to pick the best candidate explanation for the recent lack of warming. Sulfur emissions is the only feasible explanatory variable, and the regression duly identifies this as the “cause”.

    In other words, the conclusion follows immediately from the assumptions.

    Unfortunately, the authors did not consider other potential explanations, such a solar minimum or internal dynamics.

    • Bruce Cunningham

      I can just hear the various pundits that would say with a straight face, “the computer models say that it must be sulfur emissions!”, without the slightest doubt that it could be anything else. GIGO, such a simple, straightforward principle, yet so hard for some to seemingly understand.

    • Philip Shehan

      You are incorrect in writing that the authors did not include other explanations. From the abstract:

      We find
      that this hiatus in warming coincides with a period of little increase
      in the sum of anthropogenic and natural forcings. Declining solar
      insolation as part of a normal eleven-year cycle, and a cyclical
      change from an El Nino to a La Nina dominate our measure of
      anthropogenic effects because rapid growth in short-lived sulfur
      emissions partially offsets rising greenhouse gas concentrations.

      Figure 1 shows the effects of these forcings.

      • @Philip
        Indeed.
        They include the sunspot cycle, that is, the short-term variability in the sun. They did not include the longer solar cycles that lead to the Maunder and Dalton minima.
        Similarly, ENSO is short-term variability in the oceans. They omitted longer ocean cycles.

      • Philip Shehan

        Richard Tol, but surely if they are considering variations of a decade Maunder and Dalton and longer ocean cycles are not important

      • @Philip
        If the current decade happens to be on the bottom of a long cycle, then sure such cycles are important.

      • Philip Shehan

        Richard, It does not matter where on the long cycles we are, they cannot contribute to short term variations, which is what the paper is attempting to reconcile. The long term variations are effectively a constant over such a short period.

      • @Philip
        We seem to be talking at cross purposes.
        Kaufmann et al allow for secular trends and for short-term variability. They do not include decadal cycles. As they try to explain the trend since 1998, this is a serious omission.

      • “They do not include decadal cycles. As they try to explain the trend since 1998, this is a serious omission.”

        What decadal cycles? There is no evidence any other cycles are involved. They factored in ENSO and the 11 year solar cycle and found that those two alone explain quite a bit of masking of recent warming. Any additional influences are guesswork and speculation and cannot be quantified.

      • @lolwort
        You may want to read Ramankutty and Schlesinger (1994) and the papers that refer there.

      • Indeed. The authors do concede that “natural factors” (-0.18 W/m^2 ) played a much greater role than aerosols (-0.06 W/m^2).

      • Bruce Cunningham

        It’s hard to model causes and effects that you don’t even know exist! i.e. It was discovered for the first time in 1981, and not really accepted that it was true until years later, that x-rays were created by lightening. The temperature in a bolt of lightening was thought to be far too low to generate such a high energy wave. See here;

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X-rays_from_lightning

        Years later, it was discovered that lightening also generates gamma rays, the highest energy rays of all. The first good study of this was done just 4 years ago in 2007. See here;

        http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/10/071011-lightning-rays.html

        I was told by an physicist friend that gamma rays and x-rays do not act in the same way as LW radiation, and do not warm the atmosphere. They simply radiate into space, their energy lost forever. This is an energy transfer mechanism that could not have possibly been included in Hansen’s or anyone else’s climate model, for obvious reasons.

        I’m sure there are many other things left to discover, as Dyson has pointed out many times.

        Next issue.

    • ferd berple

      “Sulfur emissions is the only feasible explanatory variable, and the regression duly identifies this as the “cause”.”

      This is faulty logic. There is another feasible explanatory variable. The unknown variable.

      Did the authors in their model test if it was possible that some other factor currently not recognized in their model might have a better correlation?

      It appears that they did not, and thus were left to conclude (in error) that sulfur emissions were the only explanation possible.

      It should be standard on every model to include “unknown” as one of the explanations tested.

      In Superman III, Gus finds one of the ingredients in kryptonite is “unknown” and substitutes “tar” from the ingredients in cigarettes, because it is harmful. Are the authors in this case doing the same? SO2 is also harmful.

      • @Fred
        The error term does not allow for decadal cycles.

      • ferd berple

        “Sulfur emissions is the only feasible explanatory variable, and the regression duly identifies this as the “cause”.”

        A classical logical fallacy known as “argument from ignorance”.

        Here is another one:

        A. Our models cannot explain the early 20th century warming

        B. We know that the (statistically indistinguishable) late 20th century warming was caused by human GHGs

        C. How do we know this?

        D. Because our models cannot explain it any other way.

  78. ferd berple

    The authors are saying that correlation is causation. That since they found the best correlation between temperature and aerosols, aerosols must drive temperature.

    Strange that no one in the IPCC, none of the mainstream climate scientists, none of them saw a leveling off of temperatures as likely post 2000. The predictions were all for continued warming.

    Surely they knew that China and India were increasing emissions due to rapid industrialization. And they had said that emissions were the reason for the post 1945 cooling. So why did they not account for this in their predictions?

    Isn’t this a gross error on the part of the IPCC and mainstream climate science? Or was the IPCC and mainstream climate science trying to create an atmosphere of panic to raise funding levels?

  79. Brian G Valentine

    The authors are saying that correlation is causation.

    The application of this “method” of understanding the physical world weakens by the day in the hands of people associated with the IPCC.

    Unfortunately there’s no end of it in sight

  80. “Measured climate sensitivity is less than one-sixth of the IPCC’s central
    estimate. Its models all predict that as the Earth warms less radiation will
    escape to space, but the measured reality is that more radiation gets out, so
    less warming arises. Climate sensitivity of 0.5 C is thus determined.” (Lindzen & Choi, 2009).

    End of scare.

    • Brian G Valentine

      It is interesting, that Lindzen and Choi’s result is unchanged for a sign change of “climate sensitivity.” I have absolutely no problem (from a thermodynamic standpoint) with a “climate sensitivity” assuming negative value(s).

      If this parameter has any significance at all in the physical world the (geologic) evidence suggests that the possible influence of it is buried within the “noise” of natural variation of the climate.

      • –> “…the possible influence of it is buried within the “noise” of natural variation of the climate.”

        True, true… teasing out any human influence would be extraordinary even if the reliability of data was not in question. And, that is why for me the mathematics of McShane and Wyner should be thought of as the chalkboard squeak heard ’round the world.

        We all doubtless could debate whether mathematics is a necessary or an optional tool in the field of climatology. The debate over the AGW hypotheses, I think, favors the view that without a ‘mathematical realism’ that is independent of the intuition and beliefs of researchers, all of the conclusions about global warming amount to nothing but dogma.

        The M&S paper sets out to debunk yet again MBH98/99/08 (aka, the `hockey stick’ graph). M&S probably also wanted to inspire other statisticians to examine the ‘science’ of Mann and his sycophants.

        And, that is where I believe mathematics the M&S and other inspired statisticians make their greatest contribution. These statisticians do not even have to take sides.

        There are so many ways to kick this cat it should become a fun and favorite pastime for geeks. That global warming is a hoax is not even the issue because the math shouldn’t be a debate. Just pick up the chalk and outline the dead bodies.

        The “Medium is the Message,” and that message is now very clear. There is absolutely no ‘signal’ in Mann’s proxy data. The ‘consensus’ is shot to hell. Global Warming Theory is essentially a ‘science’ without mathematics: sort of like the sun without the heat and vice versa.

        AGW is not a problem it is a symptom of a problem. The claimed ‘consensus’ concerning global warming is really just the opinion of those who have been destroying the culture, society and science all along and all who sign onto the AGW bandwagon are really outing themselves as science pariahs.

      • Brian G Valentine

        I did notice something about the methodology applied to derive the “Hockey Stick” – that is, the statistical method employed weighted (variables proportional to) time rate of change of temperature, proportional to temperature.

        Doesn’t that define an exponential function of temperature in time? That is, the method yielded a “hockey stick” by tautology. [This has been independently verified.]

        I’m sad about the whole situation. In all my sixty years I have witnessed nothing comparable in “science”

      • See Brian and Wagathon, you folks have some knowledge and you are already skeptics. We need to teach people science the indoctrination way. Too much free thinking is bad for AGW funding.

  81. It’s called cherry-picking. 1998 was a peak year, and we’ve had higher peaks since 2008. In other words, if you look at, say, 1991-2010, you’ll see a clear warming trend, not a phony hiatus.

    For more on that deceptive analytical technique see Proofiness: The Dark Arts of Mathematical Deception by Charles Seife. See my review at the linked website or http://www.scienceshelf.com/Proofiness.htm

    • Fred Bortz

      Agree with you that 1998 was a record year (with a major ENSO event) so is a poor place to start a trend .

      1991 is still part of the 30-year late 20th century warming cycle, so is too early to start the trend.

      2001 (the beginning of the new century) is not a bad place to start. A linear trend of the HadCRUT surface temperature anomaly since January 2001 shows a cooling trend of -0.06C per decade, as opposed to the IPCC warming projection of +0.2C per decade.

      The “hiatus” is not “phony”, anymore than the “hiatus” in the 1950s was “phony”.

      The only thing that is unsure at this time is whether or not the current cooling will continue long enough to become a significant trend (as the 30-year cooling cycle from the 1940s to the 1970s was).

      The point that is overlooked by IPCC is the cyclical nature of our planet’s global surface temperature (since the modern record started in 1850). It resembles a sine curve, with an amplitude of +/- 0.2C and an overall cycle time of 60 years, all on a tilted axis with an underlying warming trend of 0.04C per decade. Far too much emphasis has been placed on the late 20th century warming cycle, without even realizing that it (like the statistically indistinguishable early 20th century warming cycle before it) are simply part of a long-term cyclical trend.

      Max

      .

      • Max

        The only thing that is unsure at this time is whether or not the current cooling will continue long enough to become a significant trend (as the 30-year cooling cycle from the 1940s to the 1970s was).

        Completely agree with you.

        We do think alike Max.

        Thank you.

    • “The trend in the ENSO-related component for 1999–2008 is +0.08±0.07°C decade–1, fully accounting for the overall observed trend. The trend after removing
      ENSO (the “ENSO-adjusted” trend) is 0.00°±0.05°C decade–1, implying much greater disagreement
      with anticipated global temperature”

      Cherry picking also?

      http://www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/cmb/bams-sotc/climate-assessment-2008-lo-rez.pdf

      rise.

    • Fred, there are cycles longer than ENSO.

      Just because there are short cycles like ENSO that can move the temperature up and down by as much as 1C (more than all claimed CO2 warming) that are not understood doesn’t mean we should ignore the longer cycles.

      Lets see what happens if the PDO stays negative for another 10,20 or 30 years.

  82. Max

    Agree with you that 1998 was a record year (with a major ENSO event) so is a poor place to start a trend .

    1998 is not the only record. Relative to the overall warming trend of about 0.5 deg C per century, the residuals show similar records for 1880s. Without the downward adjustment of 0.15 deg C done for the 1940s (Climategate emails), there is a similar record maximum for the 1940s. As a result, we have record maximums every 60 years as shown below. There is also global cooling about every 60 years (1910s and 1970s)

    http://bit.ly/nCltim

  83. Tempterrain: “Increased particulates, which cause cooling, have a short lifetime measured in months at the most.”

    If that is the case, then it means that we only have a few months of those particulates in the air at any time. All of the stuff that the Chinese put in the air more than a few month ago should already be gone. If that is the case, how can the small amount of particulates that are there from the most recent months have such a strong effect.

  84. “This particular explanation is interesting because it makes GISTEMP and NCDC temperatures inexplicable. They’ve warmed since 1998.”

    Haven’t looked at NCDC. If you remove the poles from GISTEMP it looks very much like HadCrut3. But it’s not really due to rising temperature in the Arctic. Hanses uses shore stations around the Arctic to extrapolate across the Arctic. The problem is that these stations reflect a shore ice effect. When the shore ice opens, they get a huge boost in temperature from the newly exposed water. Then Hansen extrapolates that across the ice where the temperature is not nearly as warm as the shore stations. In other words, GISTEMP is wrong. All of it’s divergence is a product of incorrect extrapolation across the Arctic.

    • Rattus Norvegicus

      In fact, HadCRU has warmed at the rate of .003C/year over the same period. It should be noted however that the driving force behind the “hiatus” or “slowdown” is the change in natural forcings, not the change in anthropogenic forcing.

      • The slope is even less. When I plot HadCrut3 from the beginning of 98 to the present the slope is y = 2E-05x. On a chart it looks like it’s flat as a billiard table.

        “It should be noted however that the driving force behind the “hiatus” or “slowdown” is the change in natural forcings, not the change in anthropogenic forcing.”

        The change in natural forcings is not enough to overcome the change in anthropogenic forcing unless climate sensitivity is very low. The flattening cannot be explained in terms of ENSO or volcanoes. And anthropogenic forcing did change. It increased.

        Blaming the flat trend, which is now more than thirteen years long, on natural variation is just handwaving if one cannot identify the natural variation. And most of the Kaufman paper is hand waving.

      • Rattus Norvegicus

        The big change was solar because of the move towards a solar minima. I am unhappy with their attempt to assign a forcing to SOI. This is the weakest point of the paper. Figure one is a mess…

      • I tend to agree that it was solar. But the warmers claim that the effect of solar is very small and that the effect of CO2 overpowers it. But now it looks like they need help from solar in order to explain the flat trend. Personally, I think that Svensmark is on target and that solar induced changes in cosmic radiation causes much more variability than just TSI.

      • The effect of solar only has to be small. If the solar cycle downturn causes a 0.1C cooling, that’s a small effect, but it’s still going to knock out half the expected warming over the period.

        The other big effect is ENSO. The trend from 1998 to 2001 is a staggering 2C/decade cooling for example due to ENSO. That swamps any expected warming from AGW. Rightly so noone argues that the cooling from 1998 to 2001 falsifies the climate forecasts for manmade global warming.

        Yet people are happy to cite 10 years of flat temperature to claim the model forecasts are falsified, even though they haven’t taken into account ENSO. The ENSO impact will not be as significant as 2C/decade over a 10 year period, but it doesn’t have to be. Just 0.2C/decade would mask out all the warming expected by AGW.

        ENSO has trended negatively in the past 10 years and so has the solar cycle. I am quite confident that the recent “flat period” of temperature is largely due to ENSO and the solar cycle masking the warming. As the solar minimum is now past and ENSO probably isn’t able to keep trending down much longer, we should see temperature step upward. In fact I think it’s already in the process of doing so.

      • Have a reference for ENSO causing decreasing temperatures? It would appear to be a direct contradiction of the reference I linked a few comments above.

      • Do you mean the move from the sc23 peak (~2001) towards the end of sc23 (~2009)? If yes, that’s insignificant. I know there is allegedly the 11-year solar cycle signal in the temperature record, but that’s not what caused the shift from warming to cooling.

        The real impact (and physical explanation) from the 11-year solar cycles is of course FAR from understood, but there is a very interesting correlation between solar cycle length (or frequency of the 11-year solar cycle) and global temperature. Longer (weaker or lower frequency) cycles are associated with cooling and shorter (stronger or higher frequency) with warming.

        So after short (~10.5 y) sc21 and sc22, which correlate well with the late 20th century warming, frequency slowed down and sc23 was much longer (~12 y). The weak sc23 correlates with the cooling after ~1998. Since sc24 sofar looks even weaker than sc23, the cooling is likely to continue and accelerate.

      • Rattus Norvegicus

        Yes, but I was plotting (via woodfortrees) the period used in the paper. Apples to apples and all that.

  85. During the whole global mean temperature record, the data lie between the two envelope lines (Blue & Pink).

    http://bit.ly/ncPMmZ

    Why should don’t this also apply at least for the next 10 years?

  86. If the cooling for the period 1940-2000 is due to sulphates, what is the cause of the cooling for the period 1880-1910?

    http://bit.ly/poBe2n

    • Brian G Valentine

      Sulphates, again. This was the inadvertent use of Pennsylvania crude oil for fuel and Eastern US coal for steel – very high in sulphur content.

      Sulphates are the only thing that cool the Earth and carbon dioxide is the only thing that heats it up, everyone brighter than a platypus knows that

    • Holy cow, there was an interruption, a “shift”, in global cooling.

  87. Worshipers of the god Zagg prayed for warming. But worshipers of the god Zogg prayed for cooling. Now the climate stayed flat. So the clear explanation is that the prayers to the two respective gods cancelled each-other out.

    Unfortunately for this tidy explanation however, there exists this inconvenient principle “Occam’s razor”, that an explanation and mechanism should involve the minimum number of factors, i.e. be economical or parsimonious. It is in fact a powerful and important scientific principle. Climate science in general and this paper in particular drive a coach and horses through Occam’s razor.

    The overwhelming probability is that the flat global temperature over the last decade is neither the mutual cancellation of the prayers to Zagg and Zogg, nor of the effects of CO2 and smokestack particulates, but instead, the operation of other natural factors.

    How on earth have we come to the situation in climate science when the word “natural” provokes a hostile reaction? Where the operation of “natural” factors is the nemesis of our pet theories?

    What’s wrong with natural? Why dont we like natural? Did we forget that CO2 itself is natural? It did not come into the world like sin, with the fall of man (i.e. industrialisation).

    • Natural dilutes the AGW message and is very dangerous for the agenda.

    • Previous climate model projections of climate change accounted for external forcing from natural and anthropogenic sources but did not attempt to predict internally generated natural variability. We present a new modeling system that predicts both internal variability and externally forced changes and hence forecasts surface temperature with substantially improved skill throughout a decade, both globally and in many regions. Our system predicts that internal variability will partially offset the anthropogenic global warming signal for the next few years. However, climate will continue to warm, with at least half of the years after 2009 predicted to exceed the warmest year currently on record.

  88. How on earth have we come to the situation in climate science when the word “natural” provokes a hostile reaction? Where the operation of “natural” factors is the nemesis of our pet theories?

    In that case, there is no MONEY in it!

  89. Mango Chutney

    Richard Black refers to Judith as a “prolific commentator” instead of Professor Curry presumably because she questions the Kaufmann paper instead of agreeing with it

    /Mango

    • oh please you are too easily offended

      • mango chutney

        not really, but it does pee me off when Richard Black insists on pushes his agenda, whislt not extending the courtesy of ackowleding Dr Currys qualifications

        /Mango

  90. ‘The Beijing plumes had the highest ratio of black carbon to sulphate, and exerted a strong positive influence on the net warming. Compiling all the data, we show that solar-absorption efficiency was positively correlated with the ratio of black carbon to sulphate.’

    Warming influenced by the ratio of black carbon to sulphate and the black-carbon source: M. V. Ramana, V. Ramanathan, Y. Feng, S-C. Yoon, S-W. Kim, G. R. Carmichael and J. J. Schauer – NATURE GEOSCIENCE j ADVANCE ONLINE PUBLICATION j http://www.nature.com/naturegeoscience

    An interesting wrinkle from China. Sulphates bounce light around in a black carbon haze causing warming rather than cooling in China.

    Everything but the models is so broadly quantified as to be effectively useless – and the models are chaotic. What to do? A qualitative theorem around which the culture wars fulminate? Argue on.

    We have a putative warming from greenhouse gases or cooling and warming from aerosols – of indeterminate effect. Offset against natural variations – again of indeterminate effect but of decadal scope at least. And again – as the Royal Society points out that in principle – internal climate variations happen because climate is an example of a chaotic system. That is, characterised by shifts, noisy bifurcation, dragon-kings, catastrophe in the sense of René Thom, abrupt and nonlinear change in the sense of the NAS committee on abrupt climate change, the Pentagon, the WHOI, etc. To not understand that is to miss the essential characteristic of climate as a dynamically complex system – limiting your conceptual framework to a misleading simple causality. The ‘statistics of weather’ is a non-Gaussian and non-stationary moving target on a timeline.

    I struggle with the concept of adding a linear effect (global warming from greenhouse gases) to what are in principle deterministic but incalculable nonlinear changes involving wind, wave, cloud, ice, vegetation, dust etc. It seems a matter of attempting to add a back of the envelope estimate to an unknown – although a few here (and the authors) have absurdly attempted this using an intuitive pattern recognition process. The only way it might work is if natural variation is negligible – which is probably not the case and more to the point – not shown to be the case.

    If we concentrate on recent warming – 1976 to 1998 – about half of the warming occurred in 1976/1977 and 1998 as a result of ENSO events. If we looks at COADS cloud observations in the Pacific and ERBE, ISCCP and AIRS satellite data from 1985 – most of the rest seems to be due to cloud cover changes.

    If we look at ERBE and ISCCP data after 1998 – the effect of changes in cloud cover in the 1998/2002 climate shift can be dramatically seen. This is seen also in Project Earthshine results showing a climatologically significant change in Earth albedo after 1998.

    If we look at the radiative balance in CERES from 2000 – the cloud changes associated with ENSO are – both plus and minus – larger than any imputed forcing from greenhouse gases. Until cloud radiative forcing is factored in – fig 1 of this study and therefore the rest of the paper is on the wrong track.

  91. Given the lack of trend in optical thickness (Hoyt, Miskolczi) I should think the increase in cloud albedo since 1998 (Palle et al) is the main factor in the flattening of the global temperature over the last decade.

    An old post worth a re-read, especially the comment linked:

    http://www.warwickhughes.com/blog/?p=87#comment-4663

    • G’day Tallbloke,

      The change in albedo from Project Earthshine after 1998 is equivalent to a couple of Watts/m2 – same as the ISCCP globally which is the same as ERBE in the tropics.

      Here’s CERES data from BAMS 2008 via Kevin Trenberth -

      http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2010/04/27/april-26-2010-reply-by-kevin-trenberth/

      It is funny that there is no evidence at all of a greater sulphate effect from 2000 to 2008 – and I do wish that there were up to date sources of calibrated CERES data.

      Planetary cooling and warming is very simple really.

      Ein/s – Eout/s = d(H)/dt – the average unit energy in less the average unit energy out equals the change in global heat content. Ein decreased a little in the Schwabe cycle – Eout decreased a little most evidently in the shortwave. Hence – very little warming.

      What are they thinking of? Does the inability to process conflicting information strike you as pathological?

      Cheers

  92. Hi Chief, It’s difficult to assess the (lack of) response of those on the warm side of the debate without ascribing motivation, which is something I try to avoid. When I was invited to a conference in Lisbon in January which was set up to provide a venue where sceptics and pro AGW people could communicate directly with each other, there was a very clear reluctance on the part of the AGW proponents to discuss any other hypotheses about causation. So much so that when a one hour discussion was proposed, the IPCC author present complained he was too tired to participate, and the meeting was abandoned for the day. :)

    Whenever I try to discuss cloud albedo caused temperature change on the net with AGW proponents either the subject gets avoided, or I’m told ISCCP data is no good. I’m sure that the consensus climate scientists are nice people with good intentions. Having been paid with public money for so long to build up a corpus of theory around the assumption of carbon culpability, the possibility they have got it completely wrong must be hard to contemplate, let alone discuss with the people who have been telling them for years that their theory is no good.

    • If you want to use ISCCP cloud data then you are committed to the physics MODELS that are used to calculate the data product. That commits you to sensitivity figure of about 1.2C per doubling.

      • Huh?

        Most of the recent warming happened in 1976/77 and 1998 – ENSO dragon-kings at periods of climate bifurcation. ISCCP (and ERBE) says that all of the rest was the result of changes in low level cloud cover.

        I would say that the sensitivity of climate to CO2 is zilch – but for one thing. The system is chaotic and C02 is theoretically a control variable. Sensitivity is potentially very large in the region of a chaotic bifurcation.

        The ISCCP model is of a different order than the atmospheric and oceanic simulation models. The latter use the same partial differential equations that Edward Lorenz used in his 1960′s convection model – to discover chaos theory. They are subject to ‘structural instability’ and ‘sensitive dependence.’

        The calculated sensitivities are the results of chaotic systems. There are no right or wrong answers for the models but simply plausibility based on the verisimilitude of the model formulation and – a posteriori – the ‘plausibility’ of the solution itself. At this time – the way these models are used is an utter nonsense.

        Really – Steven – if you haven’t got a polite question (or a substantive point) for someone much your elder please refrain. I expect better from you.

    • First para: “It’s difficult to assess the (lack of) response of those on the warm side of the debate without ascribing motivation, which is something I try to avoid”

      Second para: “Having been paid with public money for so long to build up a corpus of theory around the assumption of carbon culpability, the possibility they have got it completely wrong must be hard to contemplate, let alone discuss with the people who have been telling them for years that their theory is no good.”

      I think you need to work harder on your avoidance technique – it’s clearly a little faulty.

      • The assumption on my part that “the possibility they have got it completely wrong must be hard to contemplate” is predicated on the part of the second para you chose not to quote:
        ” I’m sure that the consensus climate scientists are nice people with good intentions.”

        I could make a far less charitable assessment based on the opposite view.
        But being the cheerful and generous optimist I am, I won’t. :)

        Maybe you should reflect on the kind of assumptions you made about my character back in February that Judith set you straight on and do a little work of your own.

    • Dear Tallbloke

      The ISCCP data agrees with ERBE (in SW and LW ) and HIRS (LW) in the tropics and with ‘Earthshine’ data in the late 1990′s as well as having surface observational evidence in the Pacific. To be honest – they were all (other than Earthshine) off by a large margin in the past. Complexities of orbits, equipment failure and degradation, shuttles blowing up, etc.

      I think that to assume cloud doesn’t change other than as GW feedback is one of the 2 great mis-assumptions of out times. The other one is the dynamical complexity issue. Climate I think is in reality – and not simply in principle as the Royal Society says – chaotic. Near bifurcation points it is hugely sensitive – not so much away from those points.

      The warmists are sensitive little creatures. They don’t like to be called social democrats or in any way admit to a social and economic agenda. It does seem to be a neat little dilemma. A tribal psychological profile built around a complex, new and uncertain science. Interesting times indeed.

      Cheers

      • “I think that to assume cloud doesn’t change other than as GW feedback is one of the 2 great mis-assumptions of out times. ”

        Agreed. Using one of the other datasets Steve Mosher doesn’t like but won’t put an estimated error on, I found an interesting correlation between specific humidity near the tropopause, and solar activity. I would appreciate your thoughts on the way changes in S.H. at 300Mb might affect high cloud and LW radiation.

      • I’ll think about it.

      • Excellent, thanks.

  93. For information, a staff columnist in The Weekend Australian referred to the Kaufmann et al paper and referred readers to Climate Etc as follows:

    “For a critique of the paper and a lively debate on it, readers should visit Judith Curry’s blog, Climate Etc.”

  94. An important new paper on this topic was just published:

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2011/2011GL047563.shtml

    Major influence of tropical volcanic eruptions on the stratospheric aerosol layer during the last decade

    Abstract. The variability of stratospheric aerosol loading between 1985 and 2010 is explored with measurements from SAGE II, CALIPSO, GOMOS/ENVISAT, and OSIRIS/Odin space-based instruments. We find that, following the 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo, stratospheric aerosol levels increased by as much as two orders of magnitude and only reached “background levels” between 1998 and 2002. From 2002 onwards, a systematic increase has been reported by a number of investigators. Recently, the trend, based on ground-based lidar measurements, has been tentatively attributed to an increase of SO2 entering the stratosphere associated with coal burning in Southeast Asia. However, we demonstrate with these satellite measurements that the observed trend is mainly driven by a series of moderate but increasingly intense volcanic eruptions primarily at tropical latitudes. These events injected sulfur directly to altitudes between 18 and 20 km. The resulting aerosol particles are slowly lofted into the middle stratosphere by the Brewer-Dobson circulation and are eventually transported to higher latitudes.

  95. Only peripherally related as far as I can tell from the abstract above, but by the same lead author and a great read for those interested in convection and chemistry transport model arguments.

    http://www.atmos-chem-phys-discuss.net/11/163/2011/acpd-11-163-2011-print.pdf

  96. Major influence of tropical volcanic eruptions on the stratospheric aerosol layer during the last decade

    The variability of stratospheric aerosol loading between 1985 and 2010 is explored with measurements from SAGE II, CALIPSO, GOMOS/ENVISAT, and OSIRIS/Odin space-based instruments. We find that, following the 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo, stratospheric aerosol levels increased by as much as two orders of magnitude and only reached “background levels” between 1998 and 2002. From 2002 onwards, a systematic increase has been reported by a number of investigators. Recently, the trend, based on ground-based lidar measurements, has been tentatively attributed to an increase of SO2 entering the stratosphere associated with coal burning in Southeast Asia. However, we demonstrate with these satellite measurements that the observed trend is mainly driven by a series of moderate but increasingly intense volcanic eruptions primarily at tropical latitudes. These events injected sulfur directly to altitudes between 18 and 20 km. The resulting aerosol particles are slowly lofted into the middle stratosphere by the Brewer-Dobson circulation and are eventually transported to higher latitudes.

    J.-P. Vernier et al. GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL. 38, L12807, 8 PP., 2011 doi:10.1029/2011GL047563

    New NASA paper contradicts Kaufmann et al saying it’s volcanoes, not China coal

    test them all; hold on to what is good

  97. A new paper claims to remove a number of periodic factors from current temp trends http://tamino.wordpress.com/2011/12/06/the-real-global-warming-signal/ . You can see the main graph sloping upwards here http://tamino.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/figure05.jpg?w=500&h=499 .

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