Candid comments from global warming scientists

by Judith Curry

Roger Pielke Sr has a fascinating, even mind-boggling, post that draws from an article by Paul Voosen in Greenwire entitled “Provoked scientists try to explain lag in global warming.”

Update:  Paul Voosen has provided a [link] to the article.

The Greenwire article is unfortunately behind paywall, but read the extended excerpts at Pielke’s blog.  Here I excerpt a few excerpts from Pielke Sr’s blog, with my comments.

There are some interesting quotes from climate scientists in this article that highlight a large degree of uncertainty with respect to the climate system, and the human role in it, even among scientists closely involved with the IPCC reports.  The long article focuses on the question

 ‘Why, despite steadily accumulating greenhouse gases, did the rise of the planet’s temperature stall for the past decade?”

John Barnes:  

Barnes laments the boggling complexity of separating all the small forcings on the climate. It makes Charles Keeling’s careful work identifying rising CO2 levels seem downright simple.

“It’s really subtle,” he said. “It’s hard to track how much is going into the oceans, because the oceans are soaking up some of the heat. And in a lot of places the measurements just aren’t accurate enough. We do have satellites that can measure the energy budget, but there’s still assumptions there. There’s assumptions about the oceans, because we don’t have a whole lot of measurements in the ocean.”

Jean-Paul Vernier:

The same year as the Niger balloon campaign, NASA had launched a laser-equipped satellite aimed at observing aerosols among the clouds. Vernier and his peers suspected, with enough algorithmic ingenuity, that they could get the laser, CALIPSO, to speak clearly about the stratosphere. The avalanche of data streaming out of the satellite was chaotic — too noisy for Barnes’ taste, when he took a look — but several years on, Vernier had gotten a hold of it. He had found an answer.

Mostly, the aerosols didn’t seem to be China’s fault.

Kevin Trenberth:

The hiatus [in warming] was not unexpected. Variability in the climate can suppress rising temperatures temporarily, though before this decade scientists were uncertain how long such pauses could last. In any case, one decade is not long enough to say anything about human effects on climate; as one forthcoming paper lays out, 17 years is required

JC question for Kevin Trenberth:  Please remind me of when you first thought there would be a hiatus in the warming.

Trenberth questions whether the Argo measurements are mature enough to tell as definite a story as Hansen lays out. He has seen many discrepancies among analyses of the data, and there are still “issues of missing and erroneous data and calibration,” he said. The Argo floats are valuable, he added, but “they’re not there yet.”

Susan Solomon:

What’s really been exciting to me about this last 10-year period is that it has made people think about decadal variability much more carefully than they probably have before,” said Susan Solomon, an atmospheric chemist and former lead author of the United Nations’ climate change report, during a recent visit to MIT. “And that’s all good. There is no silver bullet. In this case, it’s four pieces or five pieces of silver buckshot.”

JC message to Susan Solomon:  maybe you should have been listening to what the skeptics have been saying for the last several decades.

Jim Hansen:

These revelations are prompting the science’s biggest names to change their views.

Indeed, the most important outcome from the energy hunt may be that researchers are chronically underestimating air pollution’s reflective effect.

“Less efficient mixing, other things being equal, would mean that there is less warming ‘in the pipeline,’” Hansen said. “But it also implies that the negative aerosol forcing is probably larger than most models assumed. So the Faustian aerosol bargain is probably more of a problem than had been assumed.”

John Daniel:

“We make a mistake, anytime the temperature goes up, you imply this is due to global warming,” he said. “If you make a big deal about every time it goes up, it seems like you should make a big deal about every time it goes down.”

JC comment:  Well somebody had to finally say this, thank you John Daniel.

Ben Santer:

For a decade, that’s exactly what happened. Skeptics made exaggerated claims about “global cooling,” pointing to 1998. (For one representative example, two years ago columnist George Will referred to 1998 as warming’s “apogee.”) Scientists had to play defense, said Ben Santer, a climate modeler at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

“This no-warming-since-1998 discussion has prompted people to think about the why and try to understand the why,” Santer said. “But it’s also prompted people to correct these incorrect claims.”

JC comment:  Too bad this didn’t prompt Santer and others to wonder how much further along we would all be in understanding this if they had paid some attention to the skeptics.

Judith Lean:

Climate models failed to reflect the sun’s cyclical influence on the climate and “that has led to a sense that the sun isn’t a player,” Lean said. “And that they have to absolutely prove that it’s not a player.”

Graeme Stephens:

Recently, the satellite group measuring the energy imbalance has revised its figure, which now sits at 0.6 watts, matching Hansen’s estimate, according to Graeme Stephens, the head of NASA’s Cloudsat mission. It suggests there isn’t a missing energy. Trenberth disagrees with this analysis, and it’s likely to be a question of ongoing debate.

Quotes from the end of the article:

“….many of the scientists sorting out the warming hiatus disagree with one another – in a chummy, scholarly way. Judith Lean, the solar scientist, finds Kaufmann’s work unpersuasive and unnecessarily critical of China. Kaufmann finds Solomon’s stratosphere studies lacking in evidence. Hansen and Trenberth can’t agree on a budget.

It seems staggering, then, that in a few years’ time a new consensus will form for the next U.N. climate change report. But it will, and lurking beneath it will remain, as always, the churning theories and rivalries, the questions, the grist of scientific life.

So, in the end, can anyone say explicitly what caused the warming hiatus?

“All of these things contribute to the relative muted warming,” Livermore’s Santer said. “The difficultly is figuring out the relative contribution of these things. You can’t do that without systematic modeling and experimentation. I would hope someone will do that.”

JC summary:  Well thank you IPCC authors for letting us know what is really behind that “very likely” assessment of attribution 20th century warming.   A lot of overbloated over confidence that cannot survive a few years of cooling.  The light bulbs seem to be just turning on in your heads over the last two years.  Think about all the wasted energy fighting the “deniers” when they could have been listening, trying to understand their arguments, and making progress to increase our understanding of the causes of climate variability and change.

Update:  Email from Paul Voosen:

Hi Judith,

As the author of the Greenwire story, I have to note that it is publicly
available. You can find it here:

http://www.eenews.net/public/Greenwire/2011/10/25/1

You also do it a disservice by stripping out the quotes from their
proper place in the narrative. (Granted, Pielke did this first.) I’d
appreciate restoring some context to these quotes, as I don’t see the
overall thrust of my article supporting the tone of the context-free
quotes.

Thanks.

Best, Paul

JC comment:  When I prepared this post, I looked pretty hard to find an online version, couldn’t find one so I went with what Pielke posted.  At this point, I don’t have time to redo the post.  In terms of the points that I have been making re attribution, Pielke’s selection is relevant.  I encourage you to read Voosen’s article, it is very good, and with a somewhat different overall narrative than what Pielke provided.

Update:  Josh provides a new cartoon

 

560 responses to “Candid comments from global warming scientists

  1. It is the overconfidence of “convetional” climate scientists that I always find so astonishing. It doesn’t take long looking at climate to work out that it’s really complicated, and probably not that well understood.

  2. Hi Judith – Maybe you are forgiven for your BEST involvement.. ;-)

    (and I am joking – BEST is positive in the long run, yes the world has warmed, we know that. and human influence may be overestimated, plus natural variations seen in data)

    Scientific consensus, seems pretty silly now. wonder what the next summary for policymakers will say.

    • Suggestion re: “What the next summary for policymakers” should say:
      mea culpa, mea culpa, mea máxima culpa.
      (This suggestion is only slightly in jest. :-) )

  3. With this post, are you leaving BEST?

  4. If only the scientists had trusted their science rather than torture it into something the policymakers might like! These people have only themselves to blame, having confused the issue at both the temporal and at the spatial level

    • As a lawyer friend of mine is fond of pointing out, the trouble with torture is that it makes the defendant not only sing, but also compose.

      Same with data.

  5. When earth is warm and Arctic Sea Ice is melted, it snows more and earth cools. This did happen last fall, winter and spring and it will happen again this fall, winter and spring. (Ewing and Donn)
    Save this and read it again next summer after more fierce cold and snowy weather in North America, Europe and Asia.

    • Just Like the Bible.
      Are we all to now finally turn back,… to the Bronze Age then for the right answer?:o)

  6. Wait a minute! I thought that I’ve been told that the “climate community” fails to recognize uncertainty.

    Another “skeptical” arguments bites the dust, eh?

    • Well, they admitted they were also skeptical. So whats to argue with that?

      Kudos to Trenberth for recognizing a line in the sand, 17 years, so how many years to go on the current “haitus”?

      • Nothing to argue with there.

        What I argue with is the broad-scale characterization that the “climate community” has been categorically un-skeptical WRT evaluating the science.

      • Yes, I am hearing this more and more these days. Odd that considering I am talking to the , largely, same people.

        The centre of gravity shifts as does the weight of the argument. We will all move back to a less certain standpoint but in time some new certainty will assert itself and off we go again. I see the water idiots are getting louder.

      • I can remember in 2006 when Gavin Schmidt said if the hiatus lasted 10 years, it would be time to reevaluate climate change science. The 10 year limit came and went without any reevaluation. The 17 year figure is just as meaningless.

      • It would be great if we can get a link to that statement.

        Here is a similar direct quote from the climategate emails:


        Yeah, it wasn’t so much 1998 and all that that I was concerned about, used to dealing with that, but the possibility that we might be going through a longer – 10 year – period [IT IS 13 YEARS NOW!] of relatively stable temperatures beyond what you might expect from La Nina etc. Speculation, but if I see this as a possibility then others might also.

      • “Wait ’till next year.” :-)

      • Lubos has an hilarious post attacking that 17 year line of his. Go see it in the reference frame.

    • Not one of your most incisive comments Joshua –

      The climate community sees certainty when it is politically expedient to do so, and when it isn’t, well, there are a lot of unknowns aren’t there?

      Kevin Trenberth has gone as far as saying that we should learn to see global warming in EVERY extreme weather event. But of course, a cooling trend means some heat must be hiding somewhere.

      I would have thought that this kind of thing would provide you with a great deal of analytical amusement – it is ripe for your plucking if you’d only look at both ends of the debate with equally open eyes.

      • Kevin Trenberth has gone as far as saying that we should learn to see global warming in EVERY extreme weather event. But of course, a cooling trend means some heat must be hiding somewhere.

        Is that right? Or has he said that any particular extreme weather event might at least be partially attributable to global warming?

        A serious question. If he said the former, then your criticism is warranted, IMO. If he said the latter, then you should consider reevaluating his perspective.

      • Joshua:

        Or has he said that any particular extreme weather event might at least be partially attributable to global warming?

        So extreme weather events didn’t occur before the industrial age?

      • I do think this is a serious question but I think I disagree with you about the importance of EXACTLY what he said. If he said that there is likely to be SOME influence of warming on every event (which I think he did) what he is saying is trivially true but both disingenuous and obviously un-scientific.
        Firstly Trenberth makes no mention of the much discussed uncertainties about whether warming will make all extreme events more so or whether some will be ameliorated (as proposed by Lindzen among others). Secondly the only message is “This terrible thing is CONNECTED to global warming”. It’s the kind of tactic used by advertisers and political hucksters. Another phrase for it is fear-mongering.
        The reverse association is from global warming to what? What would be encouraged by us thinking of global warming every time we hear of a hurricane or a flood or a drought? Why, that every time we think of global warming we think of terrible events that cause destruction and catastrophic loss of life!
        It tells me something about what he’s trying to sell to the world that he uses this image rather than one involving seeing vigorous health in a tree or an arable crop due to increased CO2 fertilisation and reduced need for water.
        His comment wasn’t about the trivially true, it was about selling fear, and the comments aren’t just buried in a scientific paper, they’re all over youtube and repeated by advocate Gore whenever he can remember them.

      • Joshua,

        Every time a butterfly flaps its wings, it might impact weather somewhere.

        A statement that has about the same usefulness as “any particular extreme weather event might at least be partially attributable to global warming”

      • Anteros –

        The climate community sees certainty when it is politically expedient to do so, and when it isn’t, well, there are a lot of unknowns aren’t there?

        I don’t doubt that is partially true. I don’t think it fits as a categorical characterization. And I think that it is equally applicable to the “skeptical” community.

        I don’t object, in the least, to pointing to tribalism (confirmation bias, motivated reasoning) in the “climate community.” I consider it to be a starting assumption (based on our understanding of how humans reason in the face of uncertainty, all that much more when dealing with highly complex and controversial questions that have large scale political and ideological implications).

        What I find implausible are categorical characterizations, or the assertion that there is some vast asymmetry in the impact of those attributes on the different sides of the debate.

      • I agree with you almost entirely.
        I also find categorical characterisations implausible, but perhaps what I hear most, most stridently and most often are allegations of denialism and fake scepticism. This is particularly true in the MSM, at least in London where I live. Perhaps it is different in the land of Rush Limbaugh.

        I’m quite happy to see motivated reasoning and confirmation bias everywhere I look. If I look at the consensus more than the sceptical fringe it is because the consensus is larger by orders of magnitude (at least in Europe)

        There is also the thought (for someone who is sceptical by nature) that the most important thing for a scientific orthodoxy is for it to be ruthlessly, mercilessly challenged in every way imaginable. I perhaps don’t think it the worst thing in the world if some of those throwing stones are mindless zealots with nothing but political agendas for a motive. There are plenty (if not more) of those defending the orthodoxy for similar reasons.

      • I also find categorical characterisations implausible,…

        Acknowledged – you’ve made that clear in previous comments also.

    • You are being silly again, Josh. Don’t pretend that these examples of candor from the boy’s and girl’s of climate science commonly sees the light of day.

      And I will have to remind you that is the consensus (LOL!) opinion of these folks that you rely on to furnish you with your understanding of the AGW issue:

      Gary M asked of Josh-ua:

      ” What is the global average temperature today; what is the trend of the global average temperature over the last 50 years; what was the global average temperature during the LIA; and what was the global average temperature during the MWP? Please cite your source(s).”

      Josh-ua timidly replied:

      “I don’t know the answers to those questions precisely, Gary.

      My understanding of the viewpoint of the majority of experts in related fields is that analysis shows that relative to 50 years ago, and the LIA, and the MWP, average global temperatures are warmer, and increasing in warmth at an anomalous rate than indicated by the data on previous time periods, including the MWP. I think that you’re probably more familiar with the sources for those analyses that I am.”

      Not only does our friend Josh defer to the opinion of the majority of his chosen experts, he can only furnish a very vague summary of what that opinion he shares with them is, and concedes that Gary M. knows more about it than he does. The very same Gary M. that our Josh was trying to brand as a dummy, in previous comments. This why I find you so damn amusing, Josh.

    • Steven Mosher

      Can’t you distinguish between the statement of certainty made in certain contexts ( like Ar4) and the statements of UNCERTIANTY made behind closed doors ( the mails) and here after the facts are in.

      Let me remind you. In writing Chapter 6 of Ar4 Briffa was given a directive.
      ” I want something more compelling than the hockey stick”
      Over the course of writing the chapter he was pressured further and twoard the end he told Overpeck that they should not give into the pressure from Solomon and Mann. They should not over egg the pudding and that certainty had not increased since the TAR. Overpeck persisted. Rind wrote to briffa and told him not to hide the uncertainties. Over peck suggested ignoring Rinds comments. Mcintyre in reviewing the document suggested showing the decline and explaining it in the text. Briffa responded “that would not be appropriate.

      The upshot was Holland used FOIA to go after briffas closed door communications. Jones obstructed the request, ordered Wahl to delete mails which he did. Later, the mails would be free and we have our traceability.

      • Steve
        A question on another topic. You have written somewhere that people who cite the last 20 years of sea level rise and say it shows no reason for concern are essentially nuts and not considering the future. (you were more diplomatic I am sure).

        I have written a statement something like that and would like your opinion of my reasoning.

        Assessments 20 years ago predicted a rate of warming the corresponded to resultant rate of ice melting. Over that period there has been a temperature rise and ice melting, but the degree of sea level rise did not meet what the models suggested should be expected. I believe there is no data that shows there has been any dangerous sea level rise, and we have no reliable models that can demonstrate the relationship between ice melt and sea level rise. It seems from what I read currently, some are suggesting there was an overall rise in humidity and that is why sea level didn’t rise. (I can’t say that is incorrect, because I don’t know).

        Do you believe we have reliable information to show how much sea level will rise with temperature increases? Is it possible in your assessment that we could have a substantial reduction in arctic ice and a minimal rise in sea level?

      • Steven Mosher

        “A question on another topic. You have written somewhere that people who cite the last 20 years of sea level rise and say it shows no reason for concern are essentially nuts and not considering the future. (you were more diplomatic I am sure”

        Actually I think you are referring to a conversation where some alarmist argued that the current rate of increase in C02 could be extrapolted to the future. I likened that to skeptics who extrapolate current sea rise.

        If you want to know why you cant, head over to Lucias.

        ‘Do you believe we have reliable information to show how much sea level will rise with temperature increases? Is it possible in your assessment that we could have a substantial reduction in arctic ice and a minimal rise in sea level?”

        I believe that to estimate the rise you need a physics based ( semi empirical) model. You cannot use a straight line that’s physically wrong.
        Arctic ice? it’s already floating. Not the issue.

        See below. If you have issues with it talk to SteveF

        http://rankexploits.com/musings/2011/update-to-a-first-order-estimate-of-future-sea-level-rise/

      • Steve

        Thanks for the link. It gave me some interesting reading as I have been stuck at the airport for 12 hours waiting to get back to the States.

        What I have read does seem to support my conclusion that although over the long term (thousands of years) a significant rise in sea level is inevitable, the models are not good enough to tell us with any reasonable accuracy what the rise will be over the next 100 years.

      • Steven has misread you I think. The point is not a volume change from melting but a volume change due to temperature. i.e. if it’s warm enough to melt the ice why isn’t it warming up the ocean?

      • Can’t you distinguish between the statement of certainty made in certain contexts

        Context is not irrelevant, particularly with respect to the magnitude of impact.

        However, magnitude of impact can be hard to measure, and from what I’ve seen, the methodology of measurement is generally highly subjective.

        Further, no matter the context, overstatement of certainty reflects sloppiness, a lack of comprehensiveness, and often, it’s a “tell” for confirmation bias, motivated reasoning, etc., in particularly when someone who is extensively trained and experienced in analytical reasoning makes over-statements of certainty.

        The fact that I don’t distinguish context with precisely the same metric that you use does not mean that I consider context to be irrelevant.

        More specifically, I consider the context you described to be relevant – but I think that the context is broader than is fully reflected in your description. The “tribalism” among climate scientists was not spontaneously generated. It didn’t suddenly appear in a vacuum.

      • “The “tribalism” among climate scientists was not spontaneously generated. It didn’t suddenly appear in a vacuum.” (I will add some context) “and therefore it is justified, and we must embrace it, join the tribe to defend our fellow tribesmen and women, with our little spears.”

      • That would be “Mommy, mommyism,” an ideology to which I don’t subscribe.

        It isn’t justification, but it is at least partially explanatory, and it is relevant. What I’m saying is that if one sees an entire context, but only describes part of the context, then by definition, the confirmation bias or motivated reasoning becomes apparent.

        Take a look at Singer’s absolutely fraudulent quote of BEST as an example. What’s even more amazing is that the same fraudulent quotation has appeared numerous times over the “skeptical” blogosphere over the past few days.

        And I haven’t as of yet, seen any “skeptic” denounce such fraudulence.

      • Steven Mosher

        This is not a tribalism issue although you want to make it one.

        you misrepresent the skeptical argument. by your own standards that you employ with your students you fail.

        you wrote:

        “Wait a minute! I thought that I’ve been told that the “climate community” fails to recognize uncertainty.

        Another “skeptical” arguments bites the dust, eh?”

        Now, you have told us repeatedly that you look to see if somebody can represent the other side fairly. Its something you say you require of your students.

        The argument, the best form of the argument, is the one that I made.
        Publically and in certain publications the climate science community tends to overstate its certainty. Privately, we know, they express uncertainties.

        I think the reason for this is obvious. They have cast the skeptics inthe role of selling doubt and so naturally they are lured into selling more certainty than is justified.

        By your standard, by the standard you employ with your students, you fail. You fail to state your opponents argument clearly, you fail to tackle it in its strongest form.

      • This is actually pretty common in all of the blogosphere, and moreso in those science blogs which aren’t focused (nor do they care too much) on climate science, but whenever some controversy hits the cables they have to put their uninformed hands into it, preferably to state for the nth time why the skeptics and deniers are such fools and shills for the oils and the rethuglicans.

        Yes, I see you mr Phil Plait, mr Myers, et al.

      • Of coarse, Joshua can’t quote an entire statement in context because it would prove his statement wrong, so he just mischaracterizes the and then pokes fun. You see this quite often (not attacking the argument made, but a flimsy strawman), not really surprised that Joshua does it as well since he commonly misses the context in which statements are made (although as a teacher of such things, you would think he would know better than that).

        Joshua loves to poke fun of people who make extreme statements, he then makes up an extreme position and claims that the skeptical movement believes in it and then disparages that group based on it. That is funny.

      • Steven Mosher

        Thank you for the good post again!

    • Joshua,
      You are as dependably trollish as ever.
      The world is expected to spend trillions on this.
      These very same people call those who point out that no warming has happened since 1998 ‘liars’, ‘deniers’, and accuse us of being paid by something called ‘the fossil fuel industry’ for pointing this out.
      But kudos to you, troll, for trying to hide this and to hijack the thread.

  7. son of mulder

    None of this was unexpected.

  8. “If you make a big deal about every time it goes up, it seems like you should make a big deal about every time it goes down.”

    Indeed. The asymmetry in attributing meaning and significance by climate alarmists is very telling.

    It reminds me that I was curious when Phil Jones declared himself to be “Very pleased” that he could just about find some statistical significance in rising temperatures between 1995 and 2010.

    I wonder what his reaction will be if there is a statistically significant decline in temperature between 1998 and 2013 or any other 15 year period. Similarly “very pleased” or “furious”?

  9. Think about all the wasted energy fighting the “deniers” when they could have been listening, trying to understand their arguments, and making progress to increase our understanding of the causes of climate variability and change.

    Let me add to that to make that a little more comprehensive for you, Judith:

    And in addition, think about all the wasted energy the “climate community” spent mitigating the impact of “deniers,” when “skeptics” could have helped out by listening more carefully to the “climate community,” and trying to understand “the climate community’s” arguments, and adding to progress on increasing our understanding of the causes of climate variability and change — rather than apologizing or ignoring the input from scientists like Fred Singer – who deliberately lifts a conditional clause from a larger sentence, divorces it completely from context, and creates a fraudulent quotation in order to deliberately deceive, or Ross McKitrick who slanders other scientists on purely speculative conclusions about their motivations, or guest-posters at WUWT who call BEST “media whores,” or the long line of denizens at Climate Etc. who falsely claim that the “climate community” ignores all uncertainties towards the goal of serving a socialist, eco-Nazi agenda to destroy capitalism.

    If only it were a better world, it would be a better world.

    • Steven Mosher

      Joshua. I agree that we should not listen to scientists who slander other scientists.

      Would you agree to that as a principle?

      • I’m not sure how practical that is.

        How does one “not listen” to something they hear, or read?

        I think that the analysis provided by scientists who slander should be held to a high order of scrutiny for confirmation bias, motivated reasoning, etc. (such scrutiny should always be high). When I see a scientist slandering, my scrutiny of their work increases. My respect for Pielke Jr., went down a notch after reading his recent thread going after RC. Slander from scientists should be considered as a “tell” for bias – although it shouldn’t be considered as sufficient for proof.

        You seem to continuously mistake my argument that those principles should be universally applied. with an argument that they should be applied selectively. At some level, I get why it would appear that way, as my focus is not uniform – but I offer my “idjt” comments as a potential counter-balance to the pervasive “group-think” of Climate Etc. (and as a way to explore my own reasoning with consideration of the possibility that someone might be interested in the opinions of a “troll). But that doesn’t mean that I (necessarily) apply those principles selectively.

        “Not listening” isn’t enough. Crap like what Singer just did needs to be denounced by “skeptics.” That said, to your credit, you regularly denounce “skeptical” crap. My beef isn’t with you, although you seem to have a beef with me.

      • Everybody has a beef with you Josh. Check your personality, or more precisely, the lack thereof.

      • More magnificient murmurs of ad hominems from Monfort.

      • Steven Mosher

        He thinks I have a beef with him. I don’t. I have a beef with his arguments and his general approach to things. Same way I have beefs with stupid skeptic arguments and stupid arguments about FOIA and stupid arguments in general. What is hilarious is that most skeptics who get to spend time in the moshpit actually dont mind and they dont think I have it out for them. That kind of reaction only comes from people who believe in AGW. They seem to expect that I will cut my side slack, when I think the exact opposite. I think I have to be harder on my side than on the other side. We make all sorts of stupid arguments. Holding up the HS was a stupid argument. trying to tie extreme events to climate was a stupid argument. Thats not to say the arguments were not correct. they were just stupid given the mindset one is arguing against. Joshua’s arguments are destined to never work with the mental style he is arguing against. Again, that doesnt make his arguments wrong, they are just terribly in effective. I would rather he spend his time making good arguments. Why? beacuse the planet is at stake and his stupid arguments just cause delay.

      • Thanks willard, you should have seen the one Judith dleted :) I am being rough on the mis-guided but intelligent Josh, because I am a maker of men and I want to help him. You have to break down some of these recruits, before you can build them up.

      • Steven,

        You have actually hurt Josh’ feelings, such as they exist. He knows that he can’t slough off criticism from you, as being ad hom BS from just another evolution doubting flat-earth Tea Partying denier. Poor guy has a lot to learn.

      • Don Montfort,

        There is no reason to believe that flaming Joshua will help him realize the perfection of your sublime standpoint. There are empirical studies that show how this only creates trolls. Trollification is the product of a communal process.

        Perhaps Joshua will never convince anyone by saying what he says and acting like he does. Not unlike Bart R before him, he will learn to take his place, select his fight and find his own voice in due time. He has shown potential to listen and to learn.

        “Denizens” (these are affectionate quotes) should welcome this talented and spirited scapegoat. The most profitable way for everyone would be to tread on him gently. There is nothing to fear by respecting him.

      • willard,

        I didn’t create Josh. Pre-existing trolls are fair game. But I am sure Josh appreciates your concern, even though you really dislike him, and I don’t.

      • willard

        I believe you overestimate me.

        But it’s a sweet thought.

        I personally would have thought many others better candidates for such an observation.

        It’s possible my style’s just grown on you. ;)

      • Bart R,

        Yes, that’s a possibility: people getting used to each other.

        I’ve seen that in many taverns.

        * * *

        Don Montford,

        You’re quite right: you personally have not created Joshua.

        But I never said anything like that either.

        And I never said I dislike him.

        And I never implied I was especially concerned with Joshua.

        And I never said anything to imply I was concerned about you.

        You’re being a tad unfair, now to my comment, and yesterday to Joshua.

        You compact too much irrelevancies in just a few words not to be experienced in these mocking festivals.

        Everything is fair game, as long as it’s fairly played.

        But cheap insults are not fair when made to stigmatize.

      • Steven Mosher

        I generally dont like to denounce a person, but Ive made exceptions in Monktopus’ case and Singer is right up there.

        here’s a hypothetical

        If you found out that a scientist was writing to journalists and claiming that you were a fraud, what would you think of him?
        And what if he wrote people who were going to review your work and called you a fraud? And what if, editors and reviewers, decided that you were not a fraud, cause you aren’t. And what if you were actually an expert reviewer for the IPCC

        what would your opinion be of such behavior? of writing to journalists and potential reviewers and libeling somebody?
        would you bestow an award on this fellow?

        Hypothetically.

        And if your fellow scientists remained silent when they saw this behavior, what would you think of the profession?

        would this behavior want to make you puke?

      • Actually, steven – I said that it seems that you have a beef with me because of the repeated posts where you have questioned my intelligence, and my motivations (one in particular I remember where you wrongly characterized my motivations and said they made you sick – something to that effect), if I remember called me correctly called me a “weasel.”

        I generally interpret those kind of statements as reflective of an attitude towards me personally, which, if that person has never met me or talked to me in person, I then see as evidence of that person’s willingness to draw conclusions without sufficient evidence – in other words, motivated reasoning and/or confirmation bias.

        Personally, I see arguments rooted in motivated reasoning and confirmation bias as being ineffective. But maybe that’s just me.

      • And btw, steven, there are a number of commenter that hang out here who point out flaws in my arguments, most of them “skeptics,” that I don’t interpret as having a beef with me – because they don’t pepper their comments to me with the kind of personally-focused vitriol as you do.

        In the end, it matters little – in fact I find your vitriol amusing as well as informative about your thinking process. But since you addressed the topic, I figured you might like to know what my thinking is.

      • Joshua, Yes your self appointed role as pointing out skeptical errors has value. But, its not that relevant to the main issues. As in any policy question where science is important, there is a lot of nonsense out there. The more important question is what about the science. I try to ignore the inflammatory statements and the clearly wrong stuff. The problem here is that this type of analysis is really just saying “My side may be over the line, but someone else is more over the line.” That’s not helpful to me anyway.

      • David –

        My point is that focusing on where one side is over the line without recognizing the bi-lateral nature of the problems is unlikely to prove useful. Judith has multiple foci. Some regard technical aspects of the science. That is where you concentrate your focus. Some regard the social, political, and policy overlays onto the science. That is were I concentrate my focus.

        But it is rare that any of the foci are mutually exclusive to each other. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen that occur.

        My point is never to say “Mommy, mommy, they do it more.” I agree – such a construct is completely useless.

        My point is that if someone thinks that there is a “vast asymmetry” in the “nonsense,” then more than likely they are allowing confirmation bias, motivated reasoning, etc., to have undue influence in their analysis. When that happens in one domain of the debate, IMO, it represents a “habit of mind” that is likely to play out in other areas.

        So my point is to deconstruct what I see to be a flawed analysis WRT the social, cultural, and political overlays. That in no way detracts from the importance of examining the validity of the science. Ideally, the two domains of analysis can be integrated synergistically.

      • And David -

        Joshua, Yes your self appointed role as pointing out skeptical errors has value.

        I haven’t “appointed” myself to anything. I use this blog to express my opinions, explore my thinking, and examine the thinking of others. The fact that people choose to view me in a particular role is on them, not me.

      • He didn’t walk into that one. You’re going to have to try different bait.

    • Judith is absolutely right, and those who have questioned the AGW promoter’s actions don’t have to apologize for anything. Responding to valid criticisms leads to improvement in a properly functioning branch of the sciences. Remember, for instance, that it took skeptics to expose statistical errors in the hockey-stick studies; AGW was too busy operating a mutual admiriation society to find the time to do it. Reacting to criticism with a level of xenophobia that one would expect to come out of Pyongyang is a sure sign of dysfunction in any scientific community. To say that the AGW side has wasted a lot of everyone’s time with its hybrid science-politics machine is putting it mildly.

      • Bob K.

        Responding to invalid criticisms too can improve the proper functioning of a branch of science.

        I’d much rather, when all was said and done, be remembered as one of the ones with the valid criticisms, but to err is human, and to find a response that leads to a temporary cessation of stupidity is as good for the very bright as for the very dim, if it has a more general application.

        Still, it’s frustrating so few insights illumine for all uniformly. And it’s also a good thing, too.

        No metaphor, no analogy, no simple founding principle restated in clearer terms, is going to twig every skeptic to acceptance.

        Since some apparent insights are wrong, we’re better off to be frustrated by the few who “just don’t get it” than to have everyone agree and not debate or discuss or re-check or seek a better insight.

        All that said, AGW isn’t only acknowledged by team members and mutual admirers. I personally object to much that is said by the brilliant and dedicated, and those who are only one or the other, even where I admit some of the math adds up for me as it does for them, and some of the evidence they use seems to say the same to me as it does to them.

        I see no reason BEST couldn’t have been done a quarter century ago, or more and better data collection could not have begun, and more and better mathematics and communication and organization, too. I find those shortcomings needless and irritating. Doesn’t mean there’s some halo of wrongness that I let confuse me where I disagree with the IPCC about the wrong and toss out the things any rational person must admit the IPCC may be right about.

        I think Phil Spector is a convicted murderer and seriously deranged, but it doesn’t mean I stop listening to the half of the music in the world that he’s shaped.

        Compared to Phil Spector, every person one could name associated with climate science on either side is a saintly picture of sanity. So I’ll keep the good ideas that come out of their mouths. If they have any.

    • Joshua,
      As trollish as ever, you would blame those of us who were right all along.

    • Joshua: “And in addition, think about all the wasted energy the “climate community” spent mitigating the impact of “deniers,” when “skeptics” could have helped out by listening more carefully to the “climate community,” and trying to understand “the climate community’s” arguments, and adding to progress on increasing our understanding of the causes of climate variability and change…”

      Sorry bub, we’ve been listening to the climate community engage in ad homs, gatekeeping, black balling, censoring, FOIA evading, lying, threatening and just plain being immature and unscientific for two decades now. We “skeptics” have been patiently auditing the alarmists work for many years, and pointing out errors, faleshoods, illogic, which the alarmists have steadfastly refused to acknowledge, admit, or apologize for. Don’t even try to blame us.

  10. Judith Lean:
    ……..
    Lean said. “And that they have to absolutely prove that it’s not a player.”

    There is sun in the graphs, but is not what you see trough your sunglasses:

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

  11. Oh, I like this. A little spat amongst Josh-ua’s mentors:

    “This led Hansen to conclude that net energy imbalance was, to be briefly technical, 0.6 watts per square meter, rather than more than 1 watt per square meter, as some had argued.

    (Recently, the satellite group measuring the energy imbalance has revised its figure, which now sits at 0.6 watts, matching Hansen’s estimate, according to Graeme Stephens, the head of NASA’s Cloudsat mission. It suggests there isn’t a missing energy. Trenberth disagrees with this analysis, and it’s likely to be a question of ongoing debate.)”

    What’s a little disagreement among the most prominent consensus experts on a little difference in the energy imbalance of 0.6 vs. 1.0 watts per square meter. That’s not much. Right Josh?

    Are you putting this in your paper, Judy? It’s prima facie evidence.

  12. I think these comments, on the whole, show they are still in the first stage of grief (denial). Some of reached stage 2 (anger), but I don’t think of these people are there yet.

    • Stan,

      I think we are in agreement that the experts in Climate Science haven’t figured out all the details of what makes the climate change. Can you imagine how my former governor; Arnold Schwareneger and Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez would feel after reading the uncertainties noted above in the previously settled Science (of increasing CO2 being the primary driver increasing the temperature on the planet). They were the driving political forces in CA that lead to the passage of of AB 32 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_Warming_Solutions_Act_of_2006- with the goal of reducing CO2 levels by 80% by the year 2050.

      I think they are the group who in private would state their anger and NOT being informed by the experts of the uncertainties (and assumptions) in the science of climate change. One might even say they would want to know who is responsible for advising the political class when the assumptions behind PNS policy are shown to be wrong………………………

  13. It’s rare to see so much anger in a Judith Curry post, because she has usually been remarkably even-tempered and tolerant of dissent from her views. In this case, the dispute over her “Uncertainty Monster” paper seems to have troubled her – maybe because it’s not coming from us but from some of her professional colleagues. I believe her emphasis on uncertainty has made a valuable contribution to the climate science dialog, even though, as she knows, I disagree with her about the merit (as I see it) of the IPCC attribution of most post-1950 warming to anthropogenic GHGs.

    In regard to the contents of this thread, I believe there is more uncertainty about cooling influences than warming ones, particularly because of the difficulties quantifying direct and indirect aerosol effects. There are other factors involved in cooling, of course (e.g., recent La Nina’s), but aerosols are probably the most significant source of uncertainty on timescales longer than a few years..

    • You and the other people cited take the warming for granted and seek cooling factors (aerosols) to explain the (temporary?) hiatus in warming. It never even occurs to anyone that maybe the warming trend isn’t as big as you thought.

    • It is interesting that in response to reading comments by the “climate community” that directly address uncertainty, Judith’s response is a derisive one.

      It almost makes me think she’s more interested in point-scoring than she is in examining uncertainty.

      • The word ‘uncertainty’ appears twice in this lengthy article. Most of the comments don’t address uncertainty at all. They present new explanations, and Trenberth says that this wasn’t unexpected. The interesting thing is the disagreement among the scientists about the actual explanations. And I didn’t hear anyone discussing the implications of all this for uncertainty in the 20th century attribution of the warming.

      • I’m not sure that finding few hits for the word “uncertainty” means that they aren’t addressing uncertainties in their analysis. It seems to me that they are – on more of a short-term scale.

        But it is true that they don’t seem to be addressing the question of overall uncertainty as to whether, or to what degree, increased CO2 emissions will translate into a warmer climate long-term. So your point is taken.

        So maybe that is an important distinction to make when discussing whether the “climate community” recognizes uncertainty. It does seem that every generally, “skeptics” seem to think that short-term uncertainty necessarily implies long-term uncertainty. In a similar vein, “skeptics” think that small-scale inaccuracies in data collection necessarily imply long-term inaccuracy in data trend projections.

        So maybe questioning whether there is recognition of uncertainty In the “climate community” is too broad a focus, and is an approach that is bound to create a response that is correspondingly undifferentiated. A “skeptic” says “You don’t recognize uncertainty!” and a climate scientists says “But yes I do!” – and they are both right.

        I’m not saying that all of your focus is uniformly so undifferentiated – but perhaps some of it is, as suggested by your conclusion that with the quotes that inspire this post, searching for the word “uncertainty” is instructive of anything in particular.

      • Sorry – I should have been more precise:

        Change that to “…..It does seem that very generally, some “skeptics” seem to think that……

      • Joshua, you are missing the point: if the leading alarmists cannot agree between themselves on this, then there clearly isn’t a “climate consensus”.

      • And I didn’t hear anyone discussing the implications of all this for uncertainty in the 20th century attribution of the warming.

        If there are implications, I believe they should be specified by identifying the post-1950 warming influences in addition to anthropogenic ghgs and citing quantitative data on their greater net strength over the entire course of the interval. Factors that resulted in a net cooling or a net effect close to zero aren’t really relevant, nor are climate dynamics that affect the rate of warming as a function of ocean heat uptake, since that does not significantly affect the apportionment of warming among different factors.

      • 3-7 Decade natural variation overlaid on 1-3 century natural variation? (Several of the former.)

      • AK – That doesn’t work for much 1950-2005 warming although it would be more significant for some other intervals.

      • More importantly, you don’t hear any of these scientists discussing whether there are implications for the IPCC’s estimate of climate sensitivity. If observations eliminate the possibility that climate sensitivity is 4 or greater, the low probability/high damage scenarios that inflate the societal cost of carbon emissions disappear. Instead, they discuss new ways of playing around with the aerosol judge factor needed to explain why 20th-century warming is about half of the warming expected for increased in GHGs; and then expand their list of fudge factors to include smaller volcanos, stratospheric water vapor (published with no estimate of uncertainty for the predicted change in Ts), transfer of heat to the deeper ocean (where changes in heat content are hard to accurately measure), etc.

    • There are other factors involved in cooling, of course (e.g., recent La Nina’s),

      There are also other factors involved in warming, of course (e.g. recent El Ninos’)

      We had the monster El Nino of 1982-3 which I remember quite clearly. The terrible drought in Australia, the resultant hardship of farmers, millions of stock killed and Australias GDP adversely affected. Some even hypothesised that that El Nino drought led to the downfall of the Fraser Government.
      That El Nino was followed by numerous others. I list them with the Australian Bureau of Meteorology charactarizations

      82-3: SOI Very strong. SST Very strong
      87-88 SOI Moderate to strong. SST Moderate to strong
      91-92 SOI Moderate to strong. SST moderate to strong
      93-4 SOI Moderate. SST weak
      94-5 SOI Strong. SST Weak to moderate
      97-8 SOI Strong. SST Very strong

      In the above time period (leading up to the global temperature peak of 1998) there was only one La Nina and it was a moderate to strong one.

      88-89 SOI Moderate. SST Moderate to strong.

      Link to the above details: http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/enso/enlist/index.shtml

      The peaks and troughs of the following RSS graph match quite well with the above listed events.
      ftp://ftp.ssmi.com/msu/graphics/tmt/plots/rss_ts_channel_tmt_global_land_and_sea_v03_3.png

      If, as you say “La Ninas’ are involved in cooling”, ergo, El Ninos are involved in warming.
      Unless somebody, anybody, who has access to resources (is there a climate scientist in the room?) can proove that El Ninos are caused by man’s emissions of CO2, colour me sceptic regards “MOST of the warming is attributable to human activity.”

      So I agree with you Fred, there is less uncertainty about warming. It was El Nino wot dun it, and he is not a fossil fuel burning man. He is just a naughty little baby boy.

      • Those El Nino’s are irrelevant to the net warming over the entire interval from 1950 to 2005 or thereabouts.

      • Entire interval? So there were no ups n downs?
        50s to late 70s there was no warming. Most of the warming was in the 80s and 90s, in fact almost all of it. (the coming ice age scare was in the mid to late 70s)

        No warming in the 50s 60s and 70s in the above linked chart.

        I presented links to the possible causes of the warming of the period 80s and 90s (just like the scientists debating the possible causes of “hiatus” of the last 13 years) and you dissmiss that as irrelevant?
        OK, to each his own.

      • There were many ups and downs, but they had little effect on the overall warming of about 0.5 – 0.6 C calculated for the entire interval (compare the black line with the individual red and blue bars)..

      • True, Fred. It’s not like there haven’t been some lengthy cooling periods since the industrial age got underway. And I would expect some more, despite AGW. But I don’t think we have been in one of them over the past 10 years. It looks to me like a temperature plateau.

    • Fred,
      Maybe she is ticked off because the aGW community has been bs’ing us all of these years.
      Face it, Fred: You have been had.

    • The problem Fred is that there is symmetry between cooling and warming influences. A reduction in a cooling influence is a warming influence. The problem with attribution is really quite clear. It like a medical diagnosis. You must first rule out one by one the things that you claim are NOT the cause. So in the case of climate, we know the variability over the last 10000 years is about 2K (see Muller). So, to rule that out is a very complex exercise. Over the last 400,000 years we are talking about wild swings of 10K. It just strikes me that given this history, adaptation is the only viable strategy but also that there are large natural variability things with negative and positive short term feedbacks that are constrained by nonlinear effects and other offsetting feedbacks. I don’t think that CO2 was the cause of the ice ages and the interglacials. It probably had to do with things like albedo feedbacks and possibly solar forcings that we don’t understand yet. This area is another example of scientists slandering other scientists, for example Svensmark is often a target. You know, just because someone is honestly wrong about one aspect of things shouldn’t lead us to totally ignore them. Now for me ethical things like climategate are another thing. To me these lapses are more serious because they show honesty issues that call into question all their work.

      With regard to Judith’s comments in this post, I think they are the result of the attacks on her that have come from some in the community. She on the other hand has shown remarkable restraint. It is sometimes difficult to avoid sarcasm in response to clear cases of errors in prediction and subsequent rationalizations as to the reason. For example, I am very amused by the rationalizations at Skeptical Science about Hansen’s 1988 predictions. I also get even a little upset when I see that they continue to use “Mike’s nature trick” on proxy data. The reason is obvious, almost all proxies show that the last 50 years are not that unusual when viewed against the last 2000 years. You know, a sarcastic response is perfectly appropriate to this nonsense!

    • Fred, One other thing that strikes me as very odd about the current debate is the extremely reactionary view of so many people about climate. One hypothesis is that it is due to the emotional idea that everything that is “natural” is good, while everything due to man is harmful. You know this is a recurring theme throughout history. Many philosophers have embraced this doctrine, including Rousseau. Bertrand Russell has a hilarious section on this in his History of Western Philosophy. Basically, people tend to think that anything that wasn’t around when they were a child is not natural. This tendency I think helps explain the fascination with CO2 at the moment. Somehow, we think that while the ice ages were natural, somehow an anthropogenic forcing must be harmful indeed disastrous. Except in the case of CO2 its even more bizarre because CO2 is natural. Anyway, its all I can come up with to explain the emotional reaction by a lot of scientists to the idea that mankind might affect climate.

      • This is a second try at a reply – my apologies for the duplication if both end up going through.

        Hi David – Two days ago, I gave a Climate Change talk to a college audience that addressed, among other things, the “natural vs anthropogenic” issue as well as the significance for human societies of a changing climate. I didn’t use philosophy or psychology to document my statements but rather climate data and principles. My point is that we can’t philosophize or generalize our way to accurate conclusions, but rather we need to know the evidence. I don’t claim to know anywhere near all the evidence, but because outside of your particular area of expertise, I know much more of the evidence than you do, I’m capable of drawing more accurate conclusions than you are. Given your intelligence and your interest, you could easily overcome that deficit, but you haven’t yet, and you never will if you repeat the kind of misconceptions that abound on the Web rather than approaching the subject as a scholar.

      • Fred, I’d be interested in seeing your presentation, even the slides if you can post them. My problem here Fred is that I think you take the literature too seriously. I do my best, but my list of people I trust is getting smaller by the day. I trust Muller, Judith, to some extent Lindzen, and I take Andy Lacis seriously because he is honest. So, I read their stuff. That’s where I get most of my information for posts here. I’ve also delved a lot into the National Academies summary about climate change from 2008. And I even read Skeptical Science for comic relief.

        You know my brother is an MD as is my sister and my brother in law. My brother has a very responsible position in health care. He tells me that the medical literature is untrustworthy because of the huge amount of money involved. He talks about the vertarbraplasty scam as an example. Perhaps you are familiar with this, He hires independent people to evaluate all proceedures and medications before he lets his people use them. The problem with climate is that the science is more uncertain and the prime authority figures are tainted by climategate. So please Fred, don’t give me this nonsense about being a scholar. The only thing worse in science than an unethical scientist is too much respect for authority, particularly for the peer reviewed literature. You have more common sense than that, I’m sure.

      • David – My hour long presentation is much too condensed a synopsis to including justification for the statements I make with more than a small amount of supporting evidence. I reserve the bulk of the evidence as material to use if someone questions or challenges a point I make. If I talk again, and you’re in the neighborhood, you’re invited to attend and to challenge anything you want, as happens here.

        Having many decades of experience as a scientist, I try to use the literature wisely – biomedical and climatologic. Without knowing what it says in some detail, though, I would simply be left to struggle with ignorance and misinformation. I think that also applies to everyone else interested in these topics. I can’t fathom why you would deliberately choose to ignore the enormity of material outside of the few sources you mention above, and then imply you are therefore arriving at a more accurate perspective.

      • Fred, You didn’t address the medical literature. What about vertabraeplasty, Vioxx, etc. , etc. You know we’ve been around the block so many times on antioxidants, cholestrol, red wine, etc. that you must acknowledge that there is a problem with the literature. The human body is so complex, that most of the small effects measured are questionable in terms of real quality of life or cost/benefit. Talk about it Fred, or you seem to me like you are perhaps unaware of the problems.

        In any case, I will continue to ignore the literature from people who are unethical until it is verified by independent people. See my post concerning Held’s blog below for an example of why I distrust simple models as well as more complex ones. Quite frankly, I would suggest a little perspective on the history of science and why its important to trust independent ethical sources.

      • Fred, I am sure you are an interesting speaker.

        How did you approach the subject? Did you say anything about uncertainty or confidence? Or the reliability of the data? Like degree of error? Did you present any unknowns? How about the “hiatus” in temperature increase?

      • I addressed all those points, Kermit, although a one-hour slot doesn’t allow too much time for details. I hope my audience was made aware of each of those entities, though.

      • Fred, I’m must looking at Held’s blog on radiative convective equilibrium and it looks like to me that they “discovered” that convection is inormously conplex with bifurcation points and possibly nonuniquess:

        “You can get a taste for how these “cloud-resolving models” are compared to data from a variety of observational field programs here. We cannot test them in this homogeneous configuration — you naturally have to simulate the conditions in particular regions in which there have been field programs that provide appropriate data.

        The lower panel in the animation at the top of the page is strikingly different from the upper panel, yet it is generated by simply increasing the size of the domain to 512 x 512 km. The convection now aggregates into a small fraction of the domain. See Bretherton et al 2005 for a discussion of this behavior. Caroline and I are currently re-examining theories of this self-aggregation in homogeneous models. The model has hysteresis for some parameter settings, so its climate is not always unique. I find this sort of thing challenging but frustrating as well. We saw something like this in an early low resolution 2-dimensional (x-z) study (Held et al, 1993), but I was hoping that the 3D case would be free of this kind of complexity, so that we could more easily use it as a stepping stone towards understanding more realistic models. Is self-aggregation in the statistically-steady homogeneously-forced non-rotating model a curiosity, or is it telling us something important?”

        I need to investigate Held more and perhaps will add him to my honest scientist list.

        By the way, you notice that convection is intimately tied to clouds and possible negative feedbacks. The implication of Held is that these things are not included in GCM’s at this level of resolution. What Held is describing has been well knows in fluid dynamics for a long time. Isaac, welcome to the real world.

      • By the way, you notice that convection is intimately tied to clouds and possible negative feedbacks. The implication of Held is that these things are not included in GCM’s at this level of resolution

        The relevance of convection to clouds and also to negative (lapse rate) feedback independent of clouds is not a matter of “implication” but has been well established for decades – it’s a fundamental climatologic principle and is certainly incorporated into GCMs. The issue of resolution is one where the science is constantly trying to improve, but that is not a surprise, and I don’t think Held was claiming that it is.

      • Fred,

        To say that convection has been included in models for decades is of course true but the question of resolution is a fundamental one. It’s like saying that the placebo effect was taken into account in studies of vertabraeplasty. The only problem was that it was not taken into account ACCURATELY. Or to say that turbulence was taken into account in wind tunnel testing for a century. The only problem was that for transonic flow, the way it was taken into account was totally wrong.

        Still no answer on the medical literature? Do you know how many billions have been wasted on worthless procedures? I need an answer for this before I can maintain my high regard for you.

      • Still no answer on the medical literature? Do you know how many billions have been wasted on worthless procedures? I need an answer for this before I can maintain my high regard for you.

        Having been a contributor of dozens of peer-reviewed papers to the medical literature, David, I’m puzzled by what answer you’re expecting, but the one I give may not be the one you want to hear. Science, including biomedical science, struggles erratically toward some semblance of the truth through a process that includes advances, errors, and error correction (usually because a claimed result can’t be replicated). The result in the medical literature in all its forms (including epidemiology and public health) has been characterized by a combination of false leads and true advances that has improved human health to an enormous extent. It’s a story of great success, despite the false leads.

        In biomedicine, as in other scientific arenas I’m familiar with, false beliefs have persisted for long periods only when the area is not subject to intense investigation and challenge. Once credible evidence emerges to challenge an established belief, the acceptance of the change has been remarkably rapid in most cases, the peptic ulcer story being a salient example in the relatively short time taken between the first (at that point inconclusive) evidence and a later Nobel Prize. For the prion story (also a Nobel chapter), Prusiner’s work took somewhat longer because it took longer to gather the evidence, but the possibility he was correct was recognized early and grew in proportion to the amount of evidence gathered. (Outside of biomedical science, Wegener’s work on tectonics was also accepted slowly, but only because of the slowness of evidence, and acceptance over several decades certainly grew from fairly early on, albeit gradually). I am unaware of any important example in any science where a true correction was persistently disregarded by the scientific establishment in an area of very active scientific investigation characterized by an increasing body of evidence over many decades. False corrections have of course been very numerous and ultimately discarded as false after perhaps momentary interest.

        These are reasons why we should step back to gain a proper perspective on the state of a scientific discipline. Mistakes are inevitable. Resistance to new ideas is inevitable. Science has routinely overcome these impediments. History shows that is also inevitable when enough people gather increasing evidence over long periods of time, that established ideas that are false always succumb to the weight of increasing evidence, and that they are held by an increasingly smaller percentage of the active scientists in the discipline as the evidence grows. Maybe some day we will see an exception, but we haven’t yet.

      • Fred, Your comments on the medical literature are generally in agreement with my thoughts except that you I think underestimate the influence of wishful thinking, special pleading and the influence of money. You point to some breakthroughs and yes those occur and have tremendous benefit. I still maintain that a lot of the current medical literature is about pretty small effects that are difficult to document and have little bearing on evidence based medical practice.

        Do you know the story on vertebraeplasty? It’s worth your time to learn about it. My brother as I say, has outside people evaluate the evidence for him. Why can’t we do that in climate science? Perhaps because people like you can’t admit that an outsider can challenge the literature until he has become an expert on the whole body of it. This is the ultimate in the authority ploy, which is deadly to scientific progress. I reject it out of hand.

        In any case, I know of no other field where like climate science the leading researchers in the field have taken a strong position on a political policy question that relies on their science turning out a particular way. I know of no other field in which the leading scientists have been involved in unethical behaviour whose upshot was to hide data and present a graph that would support a political agenda. I know of no other field where someone like Steve McIntyre was treated in such a shabby manner. I know of no other field where a phone call from Trenberth results in an editor resigning over a paper which went through the standard review process. I know of no other field in which a reply to a controversial paper could be accepted the same day it was received. Even you Fred, must admit that this field is one in which the exercise of extreme caution is not only justified but required by the preponderance of the evidence.

      • Ah the anthropocentric problem,where the inability to constrain geometrically ones projections ( without truncation) changes the direction from what is the causal mechanism(s) to who is the causal mechanism eg Jaynes on logic.

        It seems that mankind has always been occupied with the problem of how to deal with ignorance.Primitive man, aware of his helplessness against the forces of Nature but totally ignorant of their causes, would try to compensate for his ignorance by inventing hypotheses about them. For educated people today, the idea of directing intelligences willfully and consciously controlling every detail of events seems vastly more complicated than the idea of a machine running; but to primitive man (and even to the uneducated today) the opposite is true. For one who has no comprehension of physical law, but is aware of his own consciousness and volition, the natural question to ask is
        Not What is causing it?”, but rather Who is causing it?”

        The answer was to invent Gods with the same consciousness and volition as ourselves, but with the additional power of psychokinesis; one in control of the weather, one in control of the seas, and so on. This personication of Nature must have been going on for thousands of years before it started producing permanent written records, in ancient Egypt and Greece. It appears that the adult citizens of those times really believed very literally in all their local Gods.

        This oldest of all devices for dealing with one’s ignorance, is the first form of what we have called the Mind Projection Fallacy”. One asserts that the creations of his own imagination are real properties of Nature, and thus in effect projects his own thoughts out onto Nature. It is still rampant today, not only in fundamentalist religion, but in every field where probability theory is used.

      • Ah the anthropocentric problem,where the inability to constrain geometrically ones projections ( without truncation) changes the direction from what is the causal mechanism(s) to who is the causal mechanism eg Jaynes on logic.

        That is quite the odd association to make. Jaynes is associated with probability so let’s break the problem down.

        1. We see a rise in CO2 from 280 PPM to 392 PPM in around 100 years. This is not a mind projection fallacy as the numbers are verified with 100% probability that this is occurring.

        2. We attribute that rise of CO2 almost completely to anthropogenic fossil fuel emissions. This is not a mind projection fallacy because nothing else makes the least bit of sense. Excess CO2 released into the atmosphere from deep fossil sequestering sites has no where to go and this is the outcome.

        So at this point how exactly is the mind projection fallacy going wrong?

        You are committing the fallacy of making sweeping statements and blanket generalities, which is one of the worst possible mistakes that a scientist can make. Jaynes actually had a great belief in the power of probability, it is no wonder that he titled his last book “Probability Theory: The Logic of Science”. He tried his best at finding common ground between the concepts of subject and objective probabilities, and that is where the mind projection fallacy fits in. People’s subjective notions of probability, i.e. belief systems, are useful, see Bayesian approaches, but they also often don’t hold water. But when it comes to objective probabilities, as occurs in statistical mechanics, Jaynes the physicist was a firm believer.

      • WHT.

        Firstly the argument is (poorly posed admitted) is that the bias is on the anthropogenic centering rather then on what is causing the hiatus in the present T excursion.

        As time is obviously a dissipative process,and in the past velocity inversions do occur,that are either poorly understood,or the mechanisms described incomplete or incorrect with observations.The fundemental problem is the abscence of a reference trajectory,this is testable to some extent with singularities such as volcanics.

        If we see the observations the first remarkable thing is the Krakatau problem.ie it is too warm.If we punch in the peturbations for say Pinatabo,Krakatau,and Tambora (-3.-6-,9wm^2 ) there are obvious problems in scaling.

        There are multilple causes cited in the post above volcanics,aerosols,solar
        ( which by the way the recent minima was only unusual by its longevity not its amplitude) but we can leave Hansen 2011 to rebute your point 1

        In summary, precipitous decline in the growth rate of GHG forcing about 25 years ago caused a decrease in the rate of growth of the total climate forcing and thus a flattening of the planetary energy imbalance over the past two decades. That flattening allows the small forcing due to the solar cycle minimum, a delayed bounceback effect from Pinatubo cooling, and recent small volcanoes to cause a decrease of the planetary energy imbalance over the past decade.

      • In summary, precipitous decline in the growth rate of GHG forcing about 25 years ago caused a decrease in the rate of growth of the total climate forcing and thus a flattening of the planetary energy imbalance over the past two decades. That flattening allows the small forcing due to the solar cycle minimum, a delayed bounceback effect from Pinatubo cooling, and recent small volcanoes to cause a decrease of the planetary energy imbalance over the past decade.

        You are right, Hansen did write that, here http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/1105/1105.1140.pdf

        That is a weak statement because the fossil fuel emissions didn’t really stall, but they reduced accelerating (especially crude oil) around 1970.
        He may be backpedaling from some assumption he was making regarding accelerated emissions.

        Most people can’t comprehend the increase in oil production the world experienced from the late 1950′s to 1970. That was not close to sustainable if it kept accelerating at that rate.

      • You are right, Hansen did write that,

        That was the preliminary paper,there are some subtle changes in H11 at acpd here.

        http://www.atmos-chem-phys-discuss.net/11/27031/2011/

        Very peculiar paper ,we probably have not seen so many longbows drawn since Agincourt.

        This is one of the reasons that the uncertainty in the emission data needs to be closed eg Marland .

  14. The whole story, with context, is available here:

    http://www.eenews.net/public/Greenwire/2011/10/25/1

    • Paul, thank you for the link, and for your important article!

      • JC

        “Already Solomon had shown that between 2000 and 2009, the amount of water vapor in the stratosphere declined by about 10 percent.”

        I’m confused by this. Wouldn’t one expect the atmospheric water vapor content to increase with rising temperatures during that decade? (as per the large positive feedbacks posited by the “consensus”)

        Any way one looks at this article it gives the lie to the mantra that “…the science is settled”.

    • “According to Lean, the combination of multiple La Niñas and the solar minimum, bottoming out for an unusually extended time in 2008 from its peak in 2001, are all that’s needed to cancel out the increased warming from rising greenhouse gases.”

      Couldn’t an active sun and strong El Nino’s have created the warming in the first place? Occam’s Razor, anyone?

  15. It is quoted–e.g., ‘there’s still assumptions there. There’s assumptions about …’

    Well, how about the really BIG assumption that ‘Charles Keeling’s careful work identifying rising CO2 levels,’ at Mauna Loa — the the site of active volcano where CO2 may swing by 600 ppm in a single day — has been anything but ‘careful’ and perhaps nothing more than a simple work of fiction? We’ve seen that before in the field of climatology where the adjustments to data amounted to simply dropping the sign on negative numbers.

  16. When I read Roger Pielke Sr. blog, linked through a WUWT thread, I thought I heard something familiar: academic discourse. “There is more heat than we can account for…” There isn’t any missing heat…” I also read this morning that there was a 10% attribution for which climate scientists had a very likely confidence in; i.e., >90%. Some disagreement regarding confidence intervals, signal to noise ratios. I read this all this morning discussing a relative pause in the unprecedented rate of global warming for the past decade or so. An academic dialogue because of a very real observation: lack of warming with rise in CO2. The trace gas radiative transfer model is really not in peril but the CO2 model’s importance in driving the air and surface temperatures is increasingly coming into question. The prima facia purpose of the IPCC to develop a consensus forced an ever narrowing number of participants, particularly reducing the diversity of participants, such that differing opinions, perspectives, observations could not be tolerated, leading to “tribal behavior.” So this article by Paul Voosen opens a window on a process of discourse which hopefully will shine in dissent and re-evaluation in an ever amplifying mode. The political and economic consequences are likely to take a back seat for now while climate science emerges from its self-inflcted death spiral into a mature and contributing science.

  17. BlueIce2HotSea

    The curiosity and frank discussion of uncertainty, sans hacking, is fantastic. There is hope, but still room for concern.

    Hansen said. “But it also implies that the negative aerosol forcing is probably larger than most models assumed. So the Faustian aerosol bargain is probably more of a problem than had been assumed.”

    Will Hansen re-discover the old idea that fossil fuels are about to trigger the next ice-age?

    Santer said. “Even if you have the hypothetical perfect model, if you leave out the wrong forcings, you will get the wrong answer.”

    Hmm… hope this is not a reply to criticism that he got the wrong answer because his model is bad and he has put in wrong forcings.

  18. I went to High School with Susan Soloman. Not that one though (mine could have been her twin).

    Personal aside, the comments are very amusing. So in 6 years, is Trenberth going to say 25? 50?

    • If let Trenberth know about your forecast, and tell him about how your wishful thinking model works, he may just give up on any hope of a resumption of warming.

      • Wishful thinking? I do not recall wishing anything. Perhaps you are confusing observation (the constant extension of the length of the hiatus) with your own doubts? Regardless, I will make sure to give Trenberth your regards when we have our next bridge night.

  19. Judith, this is a very good post. But please compare Trenberth’s false confidence he displays publicly to his private admission that they don’t understand natural climate variability or where the missing heat is going.

    I loved your question for Trenberth “Please remind me of when you first thought there would be a hiatus in the warming.” That’s perfect.

    It appears the 17 year warming hiatus in the paper was simply chosen a priori and is not the result of any real research. They want to publish at least two more IPCC assessment reports so they can keep the gravy train going a little longer.

    The IPCC could not survive any real competition from an honest scientific body like the IAC.

    • When I hear about ‘false confidence’, I think of Mr. Hank Paulson. A GS money man who presented our country with ‘do or die’, three typed pages and a bill for 700 Billion Dollars to US. Even today they buy the rope they said they would sell us. Does science know the answer, why?

      • ER, we got our TARP money back, or most of it. AFAIK bipartisan agreement more successful than stimulus (with partisan disagreement on why)

      • There are several areas where politics and ideology intersect science in the broad sense. Economics is clearly another of those areas. In fact, monetary policy is a lot like climate science in that the policy preference creates the temptation to wag the science dog. This is why Keynes was dug up out of his metaphorical grave, and dabbed with metaphorical rouge before being put in front of the metaphorical TV cameras and declared alive. The desire for the policy undid all the economic science that had developed since his day.

      • Politics, ideology, science and economics all intersect with philosophy.

        It’s no coincidence that the far left (materialist) and the religious right (determinist) are more alike than different — why some see parallels between environmentalism and religion.

    • David Holland

      I would not wish to immune the honesty of the IAC, but they were hardly any more “comprehensive, objective, open and transparent” than the IPCC itself, the procedures of which they were examining. The only evidence they have published are the anonymised responses to their questionnaire. They have not published any of the detailed individual submissions from the many critics of the IPCC.

      The IPCC, which according to its rules should be run by our governments, delegated the decision on which IAC recommendations should be accepted and when to very people that run the IPCC on a day to day basis and under whose watch Climategate and Glaciergate happened.

      It should not then be a surprise to find that the Chairman stays, the COI policy is deferred, and the controlling circle sneaked in a confidentiality decision, directly contradicting Item 2 of the IPCC Principles pretending that the IAC had recommended it. You could not make this up.

      My MP asked if the British government voted for this confidentiality agreement. The reply was: “The decision on confidentiality at the 33rd session was agreed by consensus; a vote was not required.”

  20. Judith,

    I appreciate the links and commentary. It does sum up my views very nicely and it gives me hope that some discussion of the possibility of models overstating the problem is coming to light.

  21. For the real trend in climate it is best to live in the present (e.g., see ‘currently’ below):

    –> a coming Ice Age –> global warming –> anthropogenic global warming –> runaway global warming –> climate change –> disastrous climate change –> a ‘warming hiatus’ (currently) –> irreversible and catastrophic climate changes (the future)

  22. I wonder how the writer got these people to confess this stuff. Waterboard?

  23. Post modern science means that scientists can say and do whatever they desire.

    ‘Personal integrity’ is an emotional and subjective sop.

    Bankers use synthesize their own aura by making a public show of oozing ‘personal integrity’. Bankers make mention of the lack of personal integrity in those who struggle to meet their responsibilities.

    Scientists are wholly above the odiousness of ‘filthy self-gain’. They can indulge their ego without regard or limit.

    The Greenwire article is unfortunately behind paywall

    Bully for science.
    Paywalls keep out the ignorant vulgar riff raff that lack personal integrity and would only be mislead by any hint of doubts.

  24. “What’s really been exciting to me about this last 10-year period is that it has made people think about decadal variability much more carefully than they probably have before,” said Susan Solomon,

    Susan is so happy for the opportunity provided by the exciting warming hiatus. This is a Nancy Pelosi type lunatic rationalization.

  25. Judith,

    How are these “revelations” relevant for the “very likely” assessment of attribution 20th century warming?

    • they claim to understand the warming fro 1980-2000, but are stymied by the recent hiatus. Sounds to me there is a lot of uncertainty in attribution what is causing temperature variability

      • Nebuchadnezzar

        You may or may not have a point. It’s unlikely that ‘they’ could attribute changes in any 10 year slice of the 1980-2000 period either.

      • But they are good with 20 year slices?

      • Isn’t 20 years larger than that 17 year minimum?

      • Ah yes the magical 17 years, anyone have confidence in that?

      • Most of the observed hiatus in the increase of the globally averaged temperature since 1998 is very likely due to the observed increase in natural variability in the minds and models of consensus scientists.

      • Ah yes the magical 17 years, anyone have confidence in that?

        Well, it’s long enough for several cycles oscillations of ENSO.

        But now that BEST finds a correlation with the AMO “2-15 year variations“, do you suppose that number will grow to 37 years? Or will they just use peer-review tricks to keep it out. After all, AMO shows a “65-70 year multidecadal oscillation” that would just about kill their whole narrative.

      • that was my point in the uncertainty monster paper, with too little amplitude in the 40-70 time range for the climate models.

      • I know. I posted extensively from it (and AR4) in the Defending… thread.

      • Ah yes the magical 17 years, anyone have confidence in that?

        Trenberth apparently did.

        But once we have reached the magic “17 years” with no warming, I’m sure he’ll figure a way to move the goalpost to “30 years”

      • I have no confidence in the 17 year number. It seems to me that not so long ago the Team was trumpeting a 15 year countdown to falsification. I suppose it will soon move to 19 if 17 will not do. I was also disturbed in the quotes by the ‘data needs to be validated by the models’ mindset that seems to be cropping up recently.

      • Given that there is both a forced trend and unforced variability, it follows that at short timescales the forced trend is smaller than the unforced variability. At long enough timescales, the forced trend will be smaller than the variability. I take it you’re not disagreeing with that basic logic.

        Whether the timescale where the amplitude of the forced trend starts to significantly exceed that of unforced variability is 15, 17 or 20 years I don’t know. But that such a timescale *exists* is a clear. I’d be curious to hear if you disagree (and if so, why).

        Plus, what Chris Colose said.

      • well if you throw solar and volcanic variability into the mix, along with natural internal variability, then you have a substantial natural component. If you lump solar and volcanic with AGW forced variability, then that is a different situation. Separating the direct effects of all this, not to mention the feedbacks (this stuff ISN”T additive, even tho it is convenient to think it is), is something that no one has adequately done, and I suspect that it is an ill posed problem given the nonlinear chaotic nature of the climate system

      • re: 17 yrs

        But wait — it was published. And they announced findings. That makes it “science”. It’s in the literature and everything. Judith, you are obviously anti-science.

      • curryja

        “Ah yes the magical 17 years, anyone have confidence in that?”

        Yes, Dr. Curry.

        I have appropriate methodological confidence in the meaning of a 17-year minimum to distinguish signal from noise on the data for the span in question.

        While the method has its vagueries, and being-data dependent means it may gradually (or even stepwise) shift, it’s a well-established technique used across many fields with fair success when properly interpreted.

        The paper you introduced that discovered the 17-year figure was somewhat naive in application of the method, and there may be equally valid shorter spans with multipass treatments (mindbogglingly advanced stuff that, one imagines), and did not perhaps emphasize enough that a minimum figure is still worse than an optimally chosen figure (which is usually larger).

        So I’m more confident in 30-year spans than 17-year spans, and more confident still of purpose-built analyses with appropriate justification case-by-case than 17-year general broadstroke approaches, but yes, at this time for broad claims of trends of 16 years or lower (and increasingly as that figure gets lower), I have not enough confidence to consider them meaningful on their own, and I do for 17-year trends.

        I do have confidence on trends of trends, for example I can show real patterns in ratios of 4 year or longer rising vs falling trends consistently both in the data (and in BEST, HADCRUT, GISS, etc separately) and in the models, if done correcly too.

        Statistics done right can establish confidence intervals.

        Still fools the eye sometimes, but nothing is absolutely certain.

        17 years is safer, regardless the tempations to go for the 16-and under samples that too many seem unable to resist.

      • Judith,

        When it is warming, the only explanation is the CO2 control knob. When there is an inconvenient warming hiatus, then vague appeals to natural variability carry the day.

      • Nebuchadnezzar

        “But they are good with 20 year slices?”

        The statement in IPCC with which you take issue was “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” so it’s not 20 years either.

        They may underestimate multidecadal variability. That’s one thing, but the model variability at a 10-year time scale encompasses the observed surface trends, even for HadCRUT3 which probably warms too little.

        The thing is, it’s not enough to look at a 10 year period in isolation and I would certainly hesitate to draw conclusions about multidecadal variability based on 10 years of data.

      • Huh.

        Looking at BEST, I’m getting the sense that it’s demonstrating just how dynamical the relationship of dataset to minimum length of meaningful trend may be.

        The first 50 years, far longer than 17 years is needed to get a meaningful signal.

        The last half-century? I’m growing convinced 17 years is somewhat too long for the most recent data.

        Anyone reproduced Santer et al. on timescale for BEST in this way?

      • This is both logically fallacious and wrong. Models all produce natural variability, many of which show temperature flatlines over decadal timescales, and given the wide importance of natural variability over <10 year time scales and uncertain forcings, one can absolutely not claim that this is inconsistent with current thinking about climate. The people who actually care however are looking to dissect the fine details of what produces this variability and where the energy has gone, and it's not obvious that a lot of this work has implications for the multidecadal or centennial scale thinkers who work on other problems. This is just irresponsible.

      • John Carpenter

        If you had to guess…what percentage of model outcomes result in temperature flatlines on decadal timescales? Is it common to see this type of trend or not?

      • “Models all produce natural variability….”

        I notice the present tense (produce, not produced). I am just curious which models predicted such 10 year flat lines around, say, 1998, before the “hiatus” started? And which of those model runs were reported? Surely there must be a cite to somewhere in the voluminous peer reviewed literature prior to 1998 predicting the hiatus that was right around the corner.

        Or do the models now all predict such hiatuses only now after they have been tuned to do so?

      • In being sarcastic, you’re missing the entire point of what climate models have been traditionally aimed at tackling, or what I said.

        There has been a recent emphasis in decadal-scale prediction, and also creating a marriage between climate and fields such as synoptic-dynamic meteorology…something relatively new (and a different sort of problem, than say, estimating the boundary condition change in a 2xCO2 world); as Susan Solomon mentioned in her writing, a lot of people have become much more focused on the nature of the “noise” inherent within the climate system, something which also relates to Kevin Trenberth’s remarks about tracking Earth’s energy budget carefully. Judith’s comment that skeptics have been saying this for decades is wrong, or at least it implies they have been making real contributions in this area which have been ignored, only to be vindicated later on. Laughing behind the scenes that science is not 100% perfect, and then saying “I told you so” when an unexpected forcing turns out to matter, does not count.

        Lastly, deficiencies in a match of models vs. observations (whether a forecast, or a simulation of a past climate event) may not be entirely due to problems inherent within the model, but a problem in the experimental setup, or at least a difference in what the modeler was trying to answer. For instance, perfect initialization of the state of the Atlantic ocean, a correct simulation of the next 10 years of the solar cycle, a proper inclusion of stratospheric water vapor, etc may be important for whether the next 5 years are warmer than the previous 5, but it has nothing to do with climate sensitivity, water vapor feedback, or other issues. Understanding the experimental setup is just as important as anything being discussed here.

      • @chriscolose…

        Laughing behind the scenes that science is not 100% perfect, and then saying “I told you so” when an unexpected forcing turns out to matter, does not count.

        Chris, I have to disagree with you here. It wouldn’t count if there hadn’t been so many people trumpeting that “the science is settled!” when it obviously wasn’t. And so many in the climate community said nothing. If they’d all said “we’re pretty sure but there are many possible sources of error,” and repudiated people trumpeting exaggerations, then you’d be right.

      • My question was not about what climate models are all about. My question was about your statement that “Models all produce natural variability….” I simply did not know if this was a recent phenomenon, though I suspected I was. While you don’t expressly answer my question, I take “There has been a recent emphasis in decadal-scale prediction” to mean that the models did not previously predict such hiatuses.

        I think I understand fairly well what the consensus thinks their models “are all about.” I am just..skeptical about their accuracy and utility.

        As for my sarcastic tone, I can only say I was trying to follow your lead.

        “This is just irresponsible.” Or was that meant as a compliment?

      • “Surely there must be a cite to somewhere in the voluminous peer reviewed literature prior to 1998 predicting the hiatus that was right around the corner.”
        No, this is the same silliness as in Judy’s question to Trenberth. They are speaking of variation. A hiatus is certainly possible. But you can’t predict a specific instance. It’s variability.

        Here is a major study from 1999 of the model’s emulation of natural variability. They say they do it realistically. And no, they don’t spell out how often yo get a 10-year hiatus. But there’s lots of spectral stuff.

      • That’s why trenberth thought it was a travesty etc.?

      • If it’s silliness, it isn’t mine. I was reacting to Chris Colose comment re: “Models all produce natural variability, many of which show temperature flatlines over decadal timescales.”

        “They” may be “speaking of variation,” but Colose was also speaking of decadal hiatuses and proudly declaiming that the models “produce” them.

        I wasn’t asking for a model prediction of a particular hiatus FROM 1998 on, but a prediction of a decadal hiatus MADE BEFORE 1998.

        You write that: “…no, they don’t spell out how often yo get a 10-year hiatus.” My question was not HOW a decadal hiatus was previously predicted, but WHETHER such a model prediction was published.

        The best I can gather from your and Chris Colose’s responses is…no.

        It was an ancillary point in his comment, but one which made me curious. My only point being that his claim that models “produce” them now is perhaps not as impressive as he would like others to believe.

      • chriscolose | October 27, 2011 at 6:11 pm |

        Judith’s comment that skeptics have been saying this [???] for decades is wrong, or at least it implies they have been making real contributions in this area which have been ignored, only to be vindicated later on. … … as Susan Solomon mentioned in her writing …

        Who is Susan Solomon? Checking Wiki

        … served on the IPCC
        Solomon was chosen to lead the National Ozone Expedition to McMurdo Sound in Antarctica to investigate the hole in the ozone layer in 1986 and another in 1987.[2] Her team discovered higher levels of chlorine oxide than expected in the atmosphere, which had been released by the chlorofluorocarbons.[4]

        Solomon also showed that volcanoes could accelerate the reactions caused by chlorofluorocarbons, and so increase the damage to the ozone layer.[4] Her work formed the basis of the U.N. Montreal Protocol, an international agreement to protect the ozone layer by regulating damaging chemicals.[1]

        Fast forward to a current paper published in Nature and pay wall protected

        http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v478/n7370/full/nature10556.html

        Chemical ozone destruction occurs over both polar regions in local winter–spring. In the Antarctic, essentially complete removal of lower-stratospheric ozone currently results in an ozone hole every year, whereas in the Arctic, ozone loss is highly variable and has until now been much more limited. Here we demonstrate that chemical ozone destruction over the Arctic in early 2011 was—for the first time in the observational record—comparable to that in the Antarctic ozone hole. Unusually long-lasting cold conditions in the Arctic lower stratosphere led to persistent enhancement in ozone-destroying forms of chlorine and to unprecedented ozone loss, which exceeded 80 per cent over 18–20 kilometres altitude. Our results show that Arctic ozone holes are possible even with temperatures much milder than those in the Antarctic. We cannot at present predict when such severe Arctic ozone depletion may be matched or exceeded.

        Volcanic ash can be laced with chlorine and fluorine

        http://www.caribic-atmospheric.com/elib/Baker_ea_2011GL047571.pdf

        Seems remarkable that someone could publish a refereed paper in Nature claiming “Our results show that Arctic ozone holes are possible even with temperatures much milder than those in the Antarctic.” and not mentioning the possibility of volcanic origins in the abstract.

        http://www.volcano.si.edu/world/find_eruptions.cfm

        Nature Editor’s comment …

        Editor’s summary
        An Arctic ozone hole in spring 2011

        Since its emergence in the 1980s, the Antarctic ozone hole, the near-complete loss of lower-stratospheric ozone, has occurred every year. The possibility that a similar effect might occur in the Northern Hemisphere has been debated, but despite considerable variation in ozone levels in the Arctic, they had not reached the extremes seen in the south. Until this year. Observations made in the late winter and early spring of 2011 reveal ozone loss far outside the range previously observed over the Northern Hemisphere, comparable to some Antarctic ozone holes. The formation of the hole was driven by an unusually long cold snap and a high level of ozone-destroying chlorine. Although this effect is dramatic, it is difficult to predict whether similar Arctic ozone holes will develop in future.

        Care to explain why volcanic activity (as a contributing factor or otherwise) in 2010 isn’t mentioned?
        Remember … (from Wiki) Solomon also showed that volcanoes could accelerate the reactions caused by chlorofluorocarbons, and so increase the damage to the ozone layer

      • “Surely there must be a cite to somewhere in the voluminous peer reviewed literature prior to 1998 predicting the hiatus that was right around the corner.”

        OK, here’s a 1998 paper from GFDL. Look at Fig 16. The dotted line is the one with CO2 forcing. As it happens, it does indeed have a decadal+ hiatus in the right place. Fig 11 has no AGW forcing, but shows the pattern of 15 year trends over a long period. They frequently go below -2°C/century, which is sufficient to counter the warming trend.

      • Judith’s comment that skeptics have been saying this for decades is wrong,

        To pick up on this a bit:

        It seems that the “climate community” statements in this post are similar in many respects to what “skeptics” have been saying – in that they are talking about “uncertainties” in short-term variability. In that sense maybe Judith isn’t “wrong.”

        It does seem that the “climate community” has become more focused, more recently, on short-term variability. But the implications of that short-term variability to analysis of uncertainty long-term remains a point of contention..

      • Colose, what are you talking about? Apparently, several modeling groups now are acknowledging that warming is pausing and predict various dates for a resumption. One group apparently says warming will reesume in 2030, a lot longer than the Trenberth 17 years. Another group says 2013. Now why do we believe the models inclusion of decadal varations is meaningful if the dynammics are wrong and the forcings are have error bars that are large and we have such a large variation in predictions about when the “pause” will end. And by the way, what caused the little ice age or the Roman climate optimum? Given
        the obvious settled science and the accuracy of the models, you surely have an ironclad explanation by now.

        Your argument about the skeptics saying that science is not 100% right and then saying I told you so, is just ridiculous. The track record of climate science going all the way back to Hansen 1988 is pretty bad. And the sceptics make some good points about uncertainty, unethical behaviour, and political agendas contaminating the science. They also have some good points about possible solar forcings, uncertainties in aerosols and clouds, to mention just a few. They were definitely right about the hockey stick, which even you must see as a fraud. Or maybe I misjudge your insight into what real science is about.

      • Joshua, I agree with Judith that if you can’t model internal variability, you can’t do an attribution at all. By the way, Andy Lacis says that uncertainty about natural variabliity will remain high for the forseeable future. But I guess you and Colose are more knowledgable on this subject. I choose Andy over Colose any day. Andy seems like he is an honest scientist. You guys are just throwing around statements like that models do model decadal variations. So what. The question is whether it is any better than a very costly and carbon generating ouijy board.

      • David Young,

        You need to view the climate science from the proper perspective. Going all the way back to Hansen in 1988, climate science was just learning to walk. It was but an infant science. Now that it has moved a couple of decades along the learning curve, and consumed tens of $BILLIONS$ of dollars, it has become an infantile science. The curve kinda bent back on itself. They call it the consensus climate science learning curve anomaly.

      • Lucia has posted those that did. Its a small number but some did.

      • David -

        By the way, Andy Lacis says that uncertainty about natural variabliity will remain high for the forseeable future. But I guess you and Colose are more knowledgable on this subject. I choose Andy over Colose any day.

        You apparently mistakenly think that I don’t believe that natural variability “will remain high for the forseeable future.” In fact, I tend to trust in the analysis of Mojib Latif. My basic understanding is that short-term variability has always remained high,and always will remain high. That seems to me like a given. What that doesn’t mean (to me) is that short-term trends negate the existence of forces that determine long-term trends.

        One of the pivotal moments in the climate debate for me was when Latif’s commentary on short-term variability was twisted by numerous “skeptics,” Anthony Watts being one of the more prominent, into a statement that the Earth is “cooling,” as an admission that AGW theory is wrong, etc.

        What that showed me is that there is a pronounced pattern on the part of some “skeptics” to invalidly use the reality of short-term variability to “disprove” the analysis of likely long-term projections.

        Your mistaken characterization of my perspective would seem to be somewhat similar in nature.;

        If you could point out where something I said led you to conclude that I believe that short-term variability won’t remain high for the foreseeable future, I would appreciated it.

      • Stirling English

        @chris colose

        I can’t interpret your remark

        ‘deficiencies in a match of models vs. observations (whether a forecast, or a simulation of a past climate event) may not be entirely due to problems inherent within the model, but a problem in the experimental setup, or at least a difference in what the modeler was trying to answer.’

        in any other way than you claiming that the observations must be wrong because the model must be right. And that If only those bloody experimentalists would get the right answer we’d all be happy. When the theory and experiment disagree, we should junk the experiment.

        An alternative – and much simpler – interpretation is that the models are junk.

        But since climatology relies on models, that is a heresy of the greatest magnitude

        FAIL.

      • Joshua, I may have misinterpreted your posts here. I should refer only to Colose who is getting harder and harder to take seriously. Sorry

      • David Y. -

        Not a problem. It happens. Most especially in the blogosphere, it seems.

        Along those lines, you may also want to double-check your assessment of Chris’ viewpoints – not that his rhetoric isn’t sometimes hyperbolic.

      • That’s a relief. For a moment I thought it was logically fallacious and right.

      • The models outputs display all the variability expected of reiterative chaotic computer models — from the simplest to the most complex. What they don’t show, of course, is the same variability at the same points in time, because they have no predictive power. It is, of course, easy to find a similar feature any one or several of the outputs — every possible feature will appear somewhere given a large enough selection of outputs from a large selection of models — I’m sure you can find periods of cooling as well. They just don’t mean anything about the real world. We find these decadal flats, falls, and rises in the real world temperature record as well. We don’t need models to tell us that the climatic system behaves chaotically or that the GMST rises and falls over time.

      • Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

      • Chris, so let’s see. your decade long trumpeting of the “science is settled”, is the responsible position. Who would have guessed.

      • Link to actual quotes of any scientist claiming “the science is settled”?

      • Latimer Alder

        @bob

        And you might want to look for all the climatologists who stood up from the crowd and objected when politicians, alarmists, Greenpeace and all the other hangers-on, snake oil salesmen and mountebanks declared that ‘The Science is Settled’.

        You’ll find it to be a pretty short list.

      • How about these guys?

        http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/12/unsettled-science/

        “Unusually, I’m in complete agreement with a recent headline on the Wall Street Journal op-ed page: “The Climate Science Isn’t Settled””

        by gavin

      • Latimer Alder

        @louise

        Yep. That’d have had a lot more credibility and sincerity if it had been published a fortnight before Climategate broke rather than a fortnight afterwards.

        Looks like a damage limitation exercise to me. Any other citations…Mann, Hansen, Jones, Trenberth…or did they just make Gavin take one for the team?

      • How about the more old fashioned explanation …

        Climate is a complex topic involving multiple processes evolving, coupling and reconnecting, reconfiguring itself over a spectrum of timescales. Many things are not know. Other things are poorly understood. There is much opportunity for variability to bring about unconsidered and unexpected consequences.

        Motivated by a desire to present a robust and convincing demonstration of possible immanent danger, the IPCC and those scientists who back it have seen fit to contract the description of the earth’s climate to a greatly reduced consideration which yields a simple and unequivocal outcome.

        Such premature and over-forced reduction is manufactured while insisting that the veracity of such simplification of the complex has been agreed by consensus. The simplified model is the law. It cannot be changed. It cannot be criticized. Science has passed the test. It is settled.

        Thus a premature and fecklessly inappropriate oversimplification is ordained as being beyond doubt.

        Any person who dares to question the veracity of what they are told to believe are shills, crazies or emotionally crippled malcontents.

        The cadre of science gangs up to jeer denounce and ridicule the ignorant self-interested moron shrilling kook lout deniers.

        I personally consider that any scientist who agrees that a very simplified model provides a reasonable unequivocal representation of a very complex and incompletely understood process is either a charlatan, a fraud, a dunce, a shill, a gutless sheep or else inexcusably incompetent.

      • this is only convincing to people who haven’t read the IPCC report (or understand what they actually claim), or fail to understand the concept of what simpler-than-reality models are actually used for. It is only irresponsible to take a models conclusions outside the scope of what its ability to do is. In fact, simple models go a very long way in explaining a lot of features in both weather and climate, and people who claim otherwise simply haven’t studied the subject.

        See Isaac Held’s recent post about radiative-convective equilibrium, something developed in the 1960′s that goes a tremendous way in explaining a lot of issues in planetary climate. It doesn’t tell you about today’s weather or what the NAO will be doing next year

        http://www.gfdl.noaa.gov/blog/isaac-held/2011/10/26/19-radiative-convective-equilibrium/

      • The models are used to try to convince policy makers to decarbonize the global economy. If the consensus scientists were to acknowledge that climate models are not suited to that purpose, arguments that skeptics are “tak[ing] a models conclusions outside the scope of what its ability to do is” would carry more weight.

      • What does chriscolose’s career path look like, if this dangerous warming story unravels any more than it already has? Botany is a nice quiet branch of science? But I hear it is crowded.

      • We share a common style which drives most people nuts.
        (You change context with every thought)

        Given that I can track you, I can say that I more or less agree with your response.

        In particular I sympathize and appreciate your comment that over-simplified models play a valuable role. Complexity is easy to ponder and well nigh impossible to artificially construct. Put another way, simplicity has a very inconvenient habit or revealing itself when one least desires it.

        Simple models are great! Don’t be foolish enough to presume that they will same the day when things change and continue to depart from expectation.

        I walked away from simulating artificial life and other hopeful complex monsters when I realized that nothing short of a million years of hard experienced evolution could be an effective substitute for a million years of ‘funny time’ computer simulation of evolutionary process

        Modelling climate is far easier than modelling artificial life. Nevertheless, the intricacy of detail and evolution cannot be faked. Too many phase states. Too many easily available bifurcations in behavior are close at hand.

        Am I shooting the breeze somewhat? Sure I am …Just don’t be so arrogant, crass or self servicing .. Don’t concoct a simple model and flaunt it to the public with authoritative Lysenko certitude. You will deserve what you have got coming to you. … scorn rebuke and a complete loss of credibility.

        YIt wasn’t exactly that Lysenkoism was an especially bad crappy pseudoscience idea. it was much more that they were so damn relentlessly insistent that they must be correct.

        In their wisdom the IPCC adopted a massively simplified dumbed down ‘consensus’ verified model of world climate. The intention might have been to use it as a theatrical device for the moment. Then again it’s hard to admit that the consortium of experts are faking reality for the sake of dramatic posturing.

        Scientists who agreed to join up and endorse the grand fake dramatization, now seem to have developed a fondness for ridiculing ignorant gormless deniers. … Ensure the scapegoat is helpless.

        Scientists who mock clueless deniers for being so wrong and clueless conveniently ignore that it is scientists job to criticize other scientists work.

        Attacking deniers for producing ineffective criticism reveal how poorly scientists serve their own profession.

        Look at that idiot meteorologist Anthony Watts. He is a retired techie who know next to nothing. Look at him stubble and flounder about to mount pathetic criticism.

        Look at all those scientists who are so gleeful at the hapless performance of deniers struggling to do the scientist job! Their performance is pathetic. They know nothing. They are losers.

        It’s not Watts job to criticize science. It’s the scientists respopnsibility. Everyone is feeling too good at the IPCC peace & love guru love in

        Science disgusts me. You pimped your credibility. I want to puke.

      • Colose, You speak of “what the models are capable of doing.” You have read my previous posts on this. The arguments about model validity are remarkably unconvincing and couldn’t stand in any other field and can’t be really verified because there has been no rigorous validation of the models. There is no theory, there is no rigorous validation, but the “results look realistic.” This is little better than subjective wishful thinking.

      • I just looked at Held’s post. It’s OK, but what in the world makes you believe it? The upper troposphere hot spot is a consequence of these models. And what does the data show? OOps, I forgot, deducing temperature from a noisy thing like wind speed is more accurate than an actual temperature measurement. Forgive my sarcasm.

      • Chris,
        You are perilously close to being in the position of defending the idea there is a wizard even after the curtain has been pulled open showing a gang of cynical manipulators.

      • Chris, Having read Held’s post I think it proves you wrong. What they found was that using a higher resolution model showed some rather unexpected things. This tells me that simple 1D lapse rate theory could be wrong and we need to re-evaluate it. You know convection is turbulent and can have all the nonlinear features Held is finding. Chris, you should read your references first so you don’t look silly.

        “You can get a taste for how these “cloud-resolving models” are compared to data from a variety of observational field programs here. We cannot test them in this homogeneous configuration — you naturally have to simulate the conditions in particular regions in which there have been field programs that provide appropriate data.

        “The lower panel in the animation at the top of the page is strikingly different from the upper panel, yet it is generated by simply increasing the size of the domain to 512 x 512 km. The convection now aggregates into a small fraction of the domain. See Bretherton et al 2005 for a discussion of this behavior. Caroline and I are currently re-examining theories of this self-aggregation in homogeneous models. The model has hysteresis for some parameter settings, so its climate is not always unique. I find this sort of thing challenging but frustrating as well. We saw something like this in an early low resolution 2-dimensional (x-z) study (Held et al, 1993), but I was hoping that the 3D case would be free of this kind of complexity, so that we could more easily use it as a stepping stone towards understanding more realistic models. Is self-aggregation in the statistically-steady homogeneously-forced non-rotating model a curiosity, or is it telling us something important?

      • Raving,

        You have just written the book on the consensus climate science. You have a way with words that I envy. Josh does too.

      • Using consensus to manufacture a simple ‘object’ type solution is a mass marketing coup. It is clear concise and cannot be refuted by critical reasoning. Neat trick to fudge an incoherent incomplete complex model into a simple and irrefutable jewel of an object and get certified as settled irrefutable science fact.

        Eager and gullible the expert scientists rushed to sign on and lend credence to the idealized oversimplified ‘closed solution’ naively. They must have been feted and hugged by marketing savvy legions of special ops tree huggers.

        Those experts must be called upon to give account that justifies the knowing reconfiguring and misrepresenting a complex incomplete distributed situation with large variability in the guise of an oversimplified nonviable illusion. The experts need also to account for representing their oversimplification ( which is in a form that resists refutation) as a credible representation of reality and has been examined to the extent that it should be considered as settled science.

        Maybe it’s acceptable for climate change scientist to deliberately lie about and/or deliberately misrepresent their research and/or expertize

        Perhaps it’s appropriate CC scientist act as researcher advocate architect of what humanity must believe and do?

        (I expect RealClimate would be delighted by this idea)

        Physicians were used to do that sort of thing by playing god

        NHS constitution ends era of ‘doctor knows best

        When your friendly CC scientist informs you that your are scheduled to freeze to death in your home for the crime of the greed perpetrated by your ancestors, take solace in the likelihood that the moderately paid overworked burgeoning middle class worker in the developing economies couldn’t care a rat’s because he’s too busy raising a family and renovating his 2nd investment residence from wood heating into coal stove retro.

      • Nice speech. A little over wrought, totally devoid of facts, and utterly beside the point. I personally consider you to be wasting our time.

      • totally devoid of facts .. I strive to maintain standards. The experts can worry about screwing up the facts. It’s the style that gets up my nose. Yeah, I’m being picky, picky here.

        I ♥ process

        utterly beside the point … right next to bang on. Better lob some live hand grenades and do it right. Thank you

        you to be wasting our time. Yes? What a beautiful dreamer. You are my friend.
        —————————————————
        Candid comments from global warming scientists

        Translation: Certain scientists who originally supported the IPCC now regret lending credence to an unsalable oversimplified dead duck. They didn’t expect the IPCC to leverage and transform their good intentions into an overused and overextended bludgeon.

        —————————————————–
        Facts aren’t needed to describe what has happened. It’s a war of propaganda.

        Scientists are going to get screwed.

      • they claim to understand the warming fro 1980-2000, but are stymied by the recent hiatus.

        Please take the time to read my reply to Fred Moolten at 9:38pm http://judithcurry.com/2011/10/27/candid-comments-from-global-warming-scientists/#comment-128782

        And if I continue on from 1999 to present

        El Ninos:
        2002-3 SOI Weak. SST Weak to moderate
        2006-7 SOI Weak. SST Weak.
        2009-10 SOI Weak to moderate. SST Moderate

        La Ninas:
        1998-01 SOI Moderate. SST Moderate.
        2007-2008 SOI Weak to moderate. SST Moderate
        2008-9 SOI Weak to moderate. SST Moderate
        2010-11 One of the strongest La Ninas on record.

        Why are these scientists stymied?

      • Well, yes, but I doubt any climate scientists expected temperature to rise in a straight line. Sure, the last 10 years is more of a lull than was expected, but given the influence natural variability and some of the temperature declines that have occurred, why have we been seeing some of the cooling we used to see?

      • Correction to my last post: why have we not been seeing some of the cooling we used to see?

      • That is the most sensible question I have seen for a while.

        1. Is the amount of cooling less than expected if you accept the 60 year cycle of mostly warming and then cooling?
        2. Or is it within the bounds of error for this point in the cooling cycle?
        3. What if the cooling is shallower than expected? What does that say about the affect of GHG?
        4. Would we be able to gauge the effect of GHGs by comparing the cooling cycle now to the last cooling cycles? Would the lower rate of cooling give us something close to an empirical estimate of climate sensitivity to increased CO2?
        5. Would it matter?

        One of the most persuasive skeptical arguments (to me) that I have come across but doesn’t get much play is the ‘Impacts’ issue. I can understand that a rapid change in temperature could impact on our climate in a way that would make it difficult or costly to adapt. But it’s hard to see a more gradual change being so problematic. Temperatures have been higher in the past, so it’s hard to see that higher temperatures are such a big deal, and the case working group 2 make does not seem at all strong to me. What matters most is sudden sea level change and precipitation patterns.

        If it’s the case that natural variability constrains the rate of change of any supposed anthropogenic effect, then it is hard to make a case for alarm.

      • M. carey,
        Revisit “hide the decline”.

      • What cooling would that be? The LIA? The BIA? Just what is this magical cooling you are missing?

  26. What’s interesting about these comments is that they largely aren’t about what is or isn’t good science, but rather what is or isn’t good communication tactics. This is all about (euphemistically) “communication”. And no one has been able to answer the question, when did the mission of science and scientists jump the shark from discovering facts to communicating to the public?

    • “….when did the mission of science and scientists jump the shark from discovering facts to communicating to the public?”

      About the same time Galbraith took over for Keynes…..

    • but rather what is or isn’t good communication tactics.
      Networking amounts to haggling politics.

      Scientists are supposed to be above the crass businesslike manipulation of subjective appearance. Maybe that idea is as dumb as believing that bankers automatically possess personal integrity.

      When did the mission of science and scientists jump the shark from discovering facts to communicating to the public?

      It happens whenever some player decides it’s to their advantage to move the wrangling out of house and into the public eye.

      Participating in society requires acceptable political behavior. Denying the obvious creates needless misunderstanding.

      Example: How can it not be blatantly political when a student asks a professor to provide a reference. Could it be more patronizing?

      Scientists play politics with office and work. Same as everyone else

  27. Judith,

    How much cooler was the 00′s that the 90′s?

    • Why don’t you ask those climate scientists who are dismayed by the “warming hiatus” what they are squirming about? Hey, maybe it is inconsequential.

    • Mikel Mariñelarena

      That the 00´s were not cooler than the 90′s does not mean that it kept warming during the 00´s. It could have actually cooled significantly during the 00′s without reaching the average value of the 90′s.

    • Bruce Cunningham

      How many Pinatubos were there in the 2000s?

  28. Lose face – Save face

    Meaning

    Lose face – Be humiliated; lose one’s reputation.
    Origin

    lose face’Lose face’ began life in English as a translation of the Chinese phrase ‘tiu lien’. That phrase may also be expressed in English as ‘to suffer public disgrace’, i.e. to be unable to show one’s face in public. In 1876, the consular official Sir Robert Hart published a series of essays – These from Land of Sinim – Essays on the Chinese question which included this observation:

    “The country [China] begins to feel that Government consented to arrangements by which China has lost face; the officials have long been conscious that they are becoming ridiculous in the eyes of the people.”

    Hart was well-regarded in both Britain and China. In addition to his baronetcy he was awarded the CMG, KCMG, and GCMG. China honoured him with several high status awards, including the title of grand guardian of the heir apparent, an honour never before (or after) bestowed on a foreigner.

    ‘Save face’ comes later. It has no direct equivalent in Chinese and is merely the converse of ‘lose face’. The first known record of it in print is in the June 1899 edition of The Harmsworth Magazine:

    “That will save my face in the City.”

  29. Judith,

    I’m not a climate scientist but I do reckon I can plot a graph. Graphs are good. I’m sure you teach your students to draw them after their lab sessions. If you are going to create the impression that there is some unexplained cooling underway in the 21st century you really ought to explain what you mean in graphical format.

    Cooling? What cooling?

    • ian (not the ash)

      TT, but you didn’t plot that graph, the Met office did.

    • Maybe this cooling?

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:2001/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:2001/trend

      Anyhow, not the point, the reason for the hand wringing is that what has happened in the last decade was not predicted, not expected and todate cannot be explained by the processes and models that were thought to be indicative of this planet’s climate. It now appears that learned and respected people on both sides of this very emotive “divide” accept this to be the case. So lets stop the semantics and the snipeing and concentrate our acumen to learning and moving forward.

      • Green sand,

        If you want to show that the 00′s were cooler than the 90′s you need to show the 90′s , too! You can’t just start your graph at the year 2001!

      • tempterrain:-
        Your question was “Cooling? What cooling?”

        You have just been shown a decade long period of cooling and a very important decade, it is the latest decade, the one we, all of us have just lived through. The one whereby10 year olds know no other.

        It is what is happening now, it has no relevance to what happened prior, all it tells us is that for the last decade this planet has a cooling trend. A fact that is produced not by me but by the Met Office and CRU who GISS admit are better at producing Global temperature data.

      • “It is what is happening now, it has no relevance to what happened prior ”

        This seems a very odd thing to say. Is this how you look at the value of any shares you may own? All that matters is their current value and that doesn’t have any relevance to what they used to be?

        If you are talking about decadal temperatures, 10 years is a reasonable timespan, then of course it matters what they are in the current decade and the previous ones too.

      • tempterrain

        The HadCRUT3 global temperature record shows that there has been a trend of slight cooling since 2001. This is the “hiatus” in global warming, to which Kevin Trenberth and others (including posters here) have referred.

        You appear to be in denial that there has been this 10+ year period of cooling with the statement:

        If you want to show that the 00′s were cooler than the 90′s you need to show the 90′s , too! You can’t just start your graph at the year 2001!

        Let’s do a sanity check on that statement.

        If one wants to show the trend over the period 2001 through 2010, all one needs to do is plot the data over that period and draw a trend line, as Girma has done using “Wood for Trees”. This shows that it has cooled from January 2001 to today.

        This fact has nothing to do with what happened over the previous decade.

        - From 1991 through 2000 it warmed at a rate of 0.18C per decade.

        - From 2001 through 2010 it cooled at a slower rate of only 0.06C per decade.

        So it is obvious that the average temperature over the 1990s was lower than that over the 2000s.

        But this does not change the fact that it has cooled over the past decade.

        Do you understand?

        Max

        PS IPCC had projected warming at the rate of 0.2C per decade (AR4) or 0.225C per decade (mean projected value in TAR), so they missed it pretty badly. Does this mean they will be just as wrong with their longer-term projection? Who knows?

      • http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1970/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:2001/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1987/to:1997/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1980/to:1986/trend

        Look at all the years when people could have looked around and tried to claim that the world was cooling! 1986! 1997! 2011!

        Yes, variability is real, and interesting, and as science improves we can explain more and more of the sources of the variation – solar fluctuations, ENSO variability, volcanic aerosols – but I don’t see the big picture of GHG contribution to warming going away.

  30. I don’t know about all of you, but I do find that the uncertainty around e.g. the various issues related to ocean heat content or issues regarding connecting the Argo float network to other data networks is SO much better covered in Judith’s bizarre and uniquely repetitive mischaracterizations of other scientists’ comments, than by the published science and its critical review.

    No one who reads actual science is able to engage with questions about the recent decades of warming of the ocean and why this has been greater than the older models predicted, by visiting here: instead, it will be necessary to engage with the critical questions presented by the evolving science contributions of hundreds of working scientists on the longterm vs. shorter term energy budget.

    Yes, yes, it’s a drag, but we really must insist on distinguishing between repetitive old nonsense by Judith Curry and freshly open-minded critical analysis of climate science — which, by the way, it turns out does not tell us all is well.

    Far from it.

    • Martha

      You are certainly predictable, if not logical or bright. I would predict you camping out with the Wall Street protesters

    • Martha, do you teach the jitterbug too?

    • @Martha…

      No one who reads actual science is able to engage with questions about the recent decades of warming of the ocean and why this has been greater than the older models predicted, by visiting here…

      Couldn’t you say the same about RealClimate? Don’t people who ask them questions that make sense and undercut their dogma have their posts deleted or edited into gobbledygook?

      For real science, you need something besides a blog open to all sorts of knee-jerk political ideologies, but it also has to be objectively open to any skeptical question that makes sense. How to do it? I dunno. I’d say the blog format isn’t a good one, it’s just the best available (so far).

      …instead, it will be necessary to engage with the critical questions presented by the evolving science contributions of hundreds of working scientists on the longterm vs. shorter term energy budget.

      Do you mean energy, or carbon? WRT carbon, are you talking about geological processes? Ecological?

      AFAIK the geological processes are intimately linked with biological/ecological when it comes to CO2, as well as many other factors. Ditto climate. Has anybody done studies on e.g. the possible effects of increased pCO2 and decreased pH in the ocean on microorganisms that sometimes emit dimethylsulfide (DMS)? Not just on their survival, or species mix, but their complex behavior patterns under different CO2 regimens? Are these studies open access? Are they as badly tainted with ideological glop as many studies of climate science?

      Do we know the difference in how DMS-derived aerosols (SOx) act according to whether they’re emitted during daytime or night? Emitted in the shade from a hot tower vs. in full sunlight? How easy is it to find such research? How easy is it to evaluate circularity in their baseline assumptions WRT climate? How do we distinguish between ideologically motivated junk (e.g. Lindzen 2007) and real science? Even if it’s real science, how do we determine how far outside the paradigm it is, and whether it should be taken seriously? (Do you regard those as connected? Why and how much?)

      It’s easy to criticize because this blog doesn’t do everything needed to solve all the problems in science. But actually trying to set up something that will is much harder.

      • AK- the questions are in the borehole. Read it. It’s boring, and it’s a hole.

      • @JCH…

        Sounds interesting, but I don’t know what you’re talking about. Unless it’s this? I certainly don’t find it boring, although it’s a little oversimplified for some of our snarkier repeaters of talking points.

        At about 14:50 he says: “You cannot deny the simple physics of CO2 dissolving into the ocean.” Man, he hasn’t seen some of the deniers around here!

    • Martha: “No one who reads actual science is able to engage with questions about the recent decades of warming of the ocean and why this has been greater than the older models predicted…”

      Please provide links to the “older” papers that project OHC as you’re describing.

      Thanks.

    • Sorry, Martha. Check the literature. You will see that since the ARGO system has replaced the old expendable XBT devices around 2003 there has been a net cooling of the upper ocean.

      Josh Willis called it a “speed bump”.

      Loehle (2009) stated:

      Ocean heat content data from 2003 to 2008 (4.5 years) were evaluated for trend. A trend plus periodic (annual cycle) model fit with R2 = 0.85. The linear component of the model showed a trend of −0.35 (±0.2) × 1022 Joules per year. The result is consistent with other data showing a lack of warming over the past few years.

      Citing the results of four out of five ARGO records, Knox + Douglass (2010) wrote:

      we find that estimates of the recent (2003–2008) OHC [ocean heat content] rates of change are preponderantly negative. This does not support the existence of either a large positive radiative imbalance or a ‘missing energy’.

      That’s what a “freshly open-minded critical analysis of climate science” shows us.

      All you’ve got to do, Martha, is check the literature out there (with an “open mind”, of course).

      Max

      • You are conflating two things. The speed bump reference was to a paper written by WIllis which found significant cooling. It was later found to be in error.

        As for K-D, it came later and Willis, that I can find, has never commented on it.

      • JCH

        There are not “two things”.

        The ARGO record shows that the upper ocean has stopped warming since it started in 2003. Earlier studies showed warming, but prior to ARGO the records were pretty spotty. The expendable XBT devices were known to introduce a “warming bias” (Willis) and earlier data were even spottier.

        So over the short period since we have a reliable record we see upper ocean cooling.

        And there is nothing “hidden in the pipeline”.

        A “travesty”?

        Not really. It’s actually good news, isn’t it? We won’y fry. Rejoice!

        Max

    • Martha,

      Don’t pay any attention to them. I find your posts entertaining and would like to see more of them. Josh is beginning to bore me.

    • Martha.
      This is not a technical post. If it were a technical post you would see the hint from Judith that it was a technical post. This, rather, is a post about something else. Do you know what the topic is? could you address the topic and chill with the cat fight crap you seem to have with Judith. There can be two intelligent women in the room at the same time. Judith’s one, try to be the second without scratching her eyes out.

    • Martha,
      You are not doing such a good job as you might think you are doing.
      In fact, you are a sad joke.

  31. I’m having a hard time understanding the feeding frenzy over this E&E news article (which is quite well-written and balanced imo).

    What it says to me is that scientists like Hansen and Trenberth are not, in fact, fanatics blinded by dogma. On the contrary, in the face of new evidence (of an unexpected source of aerosols) they are revising their understanding of the climate. The models aren’t wrong (or worse, the tools of an evil socialist conspiracy), they just didn’t include an important piece of observational data. Those data neatly explain why warming hasn’t kept up with the increase of GHGs. I particularly enjoyed Hansen’s usage of the ‘Faustian bargain’ – it helps explain the current situation while cautioning against complacency with respect to the future.

    • Well, these scientists are starting to say the same things that they have denounced the “deniers” for saying. That to me is what is interesting here.

      • And we know from the STOLEN emails of Climategate that they have been saying these things behind closed doors, while pretending in public that we are going to burn up, if humankind doesn’t quickly devolve to the socio-economic level we enjoyed back in the low-carbon footprint caveman days. Now those people knew how to live with nature.

      • Every once in awhile I post this comment:

        Sell natural variation; buy aerosols.

        I didn’t arrive at that by reading skeptic rot.

      • I could buy that, remembering that a large fraction of aerosols are biogenic.

      • JCH,

        Science goes from, Speed Shtick to Right Guard? Does this mean we are Washed-Ones, now? O wow, what’s next I wonder too.

      • Bruce Cunningham

        Bravo! I agree. I am starting to hear many “alarmists” begin saying things that have caused “deniers” to be subjected to abuse in the recent past. i.e. Former Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Brundtland has recently started saying that people in underdeveloped countries need to be provided more modern forms of energy (I agree!) instead of having to rely on things such as animal dung as they are doing now. This is directly opposed to the plan drawn up by the UN just this past spring, where they said that 80% of energy needs could be met using renewable sources by 2050 or so. Contained in their plan was a significant proportion of bio-fuels that were primarily animal dung or food stocks! When skeptics pointed this out, they were vilified.

      • What deniers were saying the powerful GHGs could be temporarily stalled by aerosols?

        Sell natural variation; buy aerosols.

        I got that from James Hansen and Gavin Schmidt – a long time ago.

      • What a picture? I can see the three of you guys out in the barn drinking a few beers while you change out the limited slip differential in that old Duster. All while you guys shoot the AGW (Man-Made global warming)…
        You bet.

    • The models aren’t wrong (or worse, the tools of an evil socialist conspiracy), they just didn’t include an important piece of observational data.

      Models aren’t supposed to contain “observational data”. If you have to do that, it’s cheating.

      • If by observational data, you mean the amount of aerosols in the atmosphere, I think that would be a key piece of information that would need to be included in the models as without it the response to volcanic events cannot be modeled or predicted.

        I think that is reflected in the AR4s description of the forcing and level of scientific understanding with respect to aerosol forcings.

        Have you read it?

      • bob droege, I don’t know if this will help you but Joshua, he lays the blame squarely on the head of a Saul David Alinsky.

      • That is simply incorrect. Models contain all manner of observational data ranging from physical constants (e.g., atomic and molecular transition probabilities, the solar constant, etc.) to observables like the map of the globe, extent of sea ice, and, yes, the composition of the atmosphere. The latter is now known to have failed to include a significant amount of aerosols due, apparently, to coal burning in China. Improvement of the models is part of the scientific process, and in this field, a critical part.

      • Models aren’t supposed to contain “observational data”. If you have to do that, it’s cheating.

        Perhaps the point that you are trying to make is a general one. So that in general, a model can describe either a physics-based behavior, or it could describe a heuristic based solely on the empirical observations.

        Nobody likes to use heuristics as it never improves understanding or allows one to reason beyond what the heuristic is currently describing..

    • Sorry, FiveString, you’ve got it wrong.

      What is happening here is that the two (Hansen and Trenberth) whom you describe as “not, in fact, fanatics blinded by dogma” were surprised by the recent “lack of warming” (i.e. slight cooling) of the atmosphere as well as the upper ocean, despite CO2 increase to record levels, as this does not provide much support for the premise that human CO2 is driving our climate.

      In a rare moment of openness during an interview, Trenberth stated that the “missing energy” might be lost to space with clouds acting as a “natural thermostat”.

      This explanation obviously did not fit in with the “consensus view” that climate is forced only by human emissions.

      So now we have a new (anthropogenic, of course) explanation: “unexpected” Chinese aerosol emissions.

      Duh!

      I ‘particularly enjoyed Hansen’s usage of the “Faustian bargain’”, as well – I almost fell out of my chair with laughter!

      Max

      • So much here is wrong Max,

        The consensus view that climate is only forced by human emmisions is pure bunk, where the heck did you get that? Read the report.

        Can you provide evidence of recent “slight cooling” that is statistically significant?

        Thought not, carry on.

      • bob droege

        Since 1750 total human forcing (per IPCC AR4 WG1) = 1.6 W/m^2 while total natural forcing = 0.12 W/m^2.

        That’s 97% human forcing.

        Read the report. It’s on p.4 of the SPM report.

        Max

      • Sorry. That should read 93% human forcing.

      • Again for various values of “only”

      • HadCRUT3 shows around 0.06C per decade cooling since January 2001.

        Is that “statistically significant”?

        Max

      • Are you saying that it is statistically significant?

    • “Those data neatly explain why warming hasn’t kept up with the increase of GHGs.”

      Did you even read the article? There is no consensus and nothing is “neatly explained”.

      Seriously…..

    • Latimer Alder

      @fivestring

      ‘The models aren’t wrong (or worse, the tools of an evil socialist conspiracy), they just didn’t include an important piece of observational data’

      You mean they are wrong. They do not work. As predictive tools they are no good. Zip, zilch, nada.

      You can wiggle and wriggle as much as you like but ommittng

      ‘to include an important piece of observational data’ means they are wrong.

      • I’m not wriggling at all, nor do I have a dog in this fight.

        If you want to play semantic games, fine. The current generation of GCMs failed to account for a significant piece of data and therefore predicted too much warming – they were imperfect, or if you insist, wrong. I presume that in light of this new evidence of an unexpected forcing they will be improved. This is a good thing and how science progresses.

        My understanding (as a properly skeptical scientist in a non-climate-related field) is that the community was unsatisfied with vague claims of natural variability and thus found themselves searching for missing heat. Nobody ever said that natural variation was impossible; simply that nobody had yet identified a plausible source.

        The broad science of climatology was never claimed to be settled – that would be a great way to put oneself out of a job, don’t you think?

      • For a science that ‘never claimed to be settled’, I didn;t see a whole lot of ‘scientists’ standing up to be counted when a lot of guys were doing their best to tell us that it was.

        Perhaps we shoud add hypocrisy to the charge sheet.

      • Lord Frijoles

        Fivestring says:

        “My understanding (as a properly skeptical scientist in a non-climate-related field) is that the community was unsatisfied with vague claims of natural variability and thus found themselves searching for missing heat. Nobody ever said that natural variation was impossible; simply that nobody had yet identified a plausible source”.

        Are you saying that the ice age, the MWP, the little ice age, those were vague events? Though not a climatologist, I am also a scientist, and I know that in most fields of science, you almost always work with previous evidence, or what is commonly known as the null hypothesis. My understanding of the literature in climatology tells me that the null hypothesis that climate/weather has been changing due to natural and/or unknown causes has been well-established for a long while. Thus, a true scientist should have attempted to falsify the null hypothesis. In the case of climatology, I suppose this should have involved an experiment/investigation showing that recent warming can ONLY or MOSTLY be attributed to human forcings (e.g.; CO2 emissions) and not to natural and/or unknown causes.

        My question to you is: has this kind of experiment ever been performed? In case it has, has it been replicated by others?

  32. Richard Saumarez

    I can only quote Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626), who was an Elizabethan polymath and established the empirical method, (and I’m sorry this is unspeakably vulgar). He made this comment about an ambitious political rival:

    “He doth like the ape, the higher he climbeth, the more doth he show his a**e”.

  33. The article focuses on “Why, despite steadily accumulating greenhouse gases, did the rise of the planet’s temperature stall for the past decade?” But why stop with that. An even more important question to answer would be: “Why, despite steadily accumulating greenhouse gases, did the rise of the planet’s temperature stall for fifty years after World War II ended?” There are some who would argue that it was only thirty years because there was warming in the eighties and nineties that goes by the name of late twentieth century warming. I have proved that this warming is phony in my book “What Warming” and that real global warming did not start until the 1998 super El Nino arrived. But it was only a short spurt of warming that raised global temperature by a third of a degree in four years and then stopped. It was oceanic, not greenhouse in origin, and is responsible for the very warm first decade of our century that included several record years. Such phenomena as wildlife migrations and lengthened growing seasons are due to this step warming and not to any global greenhouse effect as numerous attributions claim. There simply was no warming before it and none after. At present the chief argument in favor of the greenhouse effect rests on observations of Arctic warming. Reduced summer ice cover, opening of the Northwest Passage, melting of permafrost, Greenland glaciers collapsing, and polar bears in trouble are all real effects of this warming and are pointed to as proving the existence of greenhouse warming. Unfortunately Arctic warming also has nothing whatsoever to do with the greenhouse effect. It started suddenly at the beginning of the twentieth century, paused from 1940 to 1970, then resumed, and is still going strong. Before this warming started there was nothing but two thousand years of slow cooling in the Arctic. It is impossible for the greenhouse effect to be its cause because there was no concurrent increase of atmospheric carbon dioxide. The absorptivity of carbon dioxide in the infrared is a physical property of the gas and cannot be changed. If you want to start greenhouse warming you must put more carbon dioxide in the air and this did not happen. The true cause of Arctic warming has turned out to be warm water brought into the Arctic Ocean by currents. It started with a rearrangement of the North Atlantic current system at the turn of the century. Proof of this will appear in a paper in press, scheduled for release in December. Direct measurement of Atlantic water temperature reaching the Arctic Ocean shows that it exceeds anything seen within the last two thousand years. Because Arctic warming is not greenhouse warming it follows that no observations of Arctic warming can be used as proof that carbon dioxide greenhouse effect exists. This eliminates greenhouse warming entirely from the last 31 years but the remainder of the past century still needs to be considered. Twentieth century warming happened in two parts of which the step warming of 1998 was the second and final part. The first part of warming started in 1910 and ended with the beginning of World War Two. A good case can be made that its cause was solar activity. During the fifty years between these two phases of warming global temperature stood still while carbon dioxide relentlessly increased. Anyone wishing to claim the reality of greenhouse warming now will first have to explain this non-warming interval. And don’t try aerosols, they are innocent.

    • Arno Arrak,

      WW2 ended in 1945. Since then, each decade since has been over 0.1 deg C warmer than the previous decade.

      • tempterrain

        Your statement that each decade has been 0.1C warmer than the previous is false.

        The average decadal temperature anomalies (HadCRT3) were:
        1940s: -0.086C
        1950s: -0.173C
        1960s: -0.124C
        1970s: -0.077C

        So there was less than 0.01C difference between the 1970s and the 1940s.

        Just to set the record straight.

        Max

      • tempt,

        If you are not careful, Arno will serialize his book here for you.

      • Manacker,

        You’ve taken issue with my 0.1 deg C per decade since WW2 claim. Lets go to the latest BEST paper whose second author is our host Judith Curry. What does she say? Or should that be: What does everyone on the team, except her, say?

        Looks like they say, like everyone else, that the anomaly in 1945 was -0.2 deg C whereas the latest figure is +0.7 deg C

        Any objections on my ability to read a graph fairly and accurately?

        That’s 0.9 deg C in 66 years or 6.6 decades. Or 0.136 degC per decade.

        So if I’m being criticised it should be for understating the actual warming

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        No tempterrain, you should be criticized for not being able to keep your story straight. The comment manacker took issue with said:

        WW2 ended in 1945. Since then, each decade since has been over 0.1 deg C warmer than the previous decade.

        This does not say what you now seem to suggest it claims, that there has been a 0.1C/decade trend. Having a positive trend does not mean every decade is warmer than the previous decade by that amount. This is an obvious truth, and it is one manacker pointed out. You’ve now disputed his comment by saying a 0.1C/decade (or higher) trend does exist. The only way this could make sense is if those two claims were the same, which they obviously are not. You’ve simply changed your story but pretended to be discussing the same thing. You definitely deserve criticism for that, and for your initial comment which was obviously false.

        As a side note, I have no idea why you would use preliminary findings from BEST when they just published their full results, nor do I know why you would use a linear comparison between two points. Neither has any bearing on the dispute between you and manacker, but they are both things you should avoid doing. You should certainly avoid using preliminary results while claiming they are from “the latest BEST paper.”

        Given the graph you linked to specifically says “Preliminary” in the bottom right corner, and given the legend labels BEST’s line as “Berkley (2%),” I think I will have to object to your “ability to read a graph fairly and accurately.”

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        I always forget it has three e’s in it’s name. I think it must be something about how I hear the name pronounced.

      • Brandon,

        So what you are saying is that temperatures were relatively flat from 1945 to about 1970?

        And instead of dividing the 0.9 deg C by 6.6 , I should only be dividing by 4.

        That makes the warming 0.225 degC per decade if we do it your way.

        I’m surprised you prefer this approach, but you definitely have a point. Don’t let it be said I’m not open to rational argument !

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        No tempterrain, that is not what I’m saying. In fact, there is no way anyone could possibly take that from anything I have ever said. It is so not what I’m saying, you’d have to be delusional to read my comment and think it is what I’m saying. This gives us three possibilities. One, you’re delusional. Two, you didn’t bother reading my comment. Three, you read my comment, understood it, and choose to flagrantly misrepresent.

        So guess what? I’m going to say it. You aren’t open to rational argument.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        My life for an edit/preview feature. Obviously the first paragraph should have ended with “misrepresent it.”

      • tt,
        Your claim that each decade has been 0.1 C warmer than the previous is false.
        Have you even read the history, or at least the article this thread is absed on?

  34. This really bothers me: (From Hansen)

    “Less efficient mixing, other things being equal, would mean that there is less warming ‘in the pipeline,’ But it also implies that the negative aerosol forcing is probably larger than most models assumed.”

    Why would this imply greater aerosol forcing and lesser smaller climate sensitivity?

    The answer, I’m afraid, is the models. The models can be easily corrected simply by changing their assumptions about aerosols. No such quick fix would be available if the models are consistently underestimating climate sensitivity.

    • Jason

      It bothers me, too.

      Hansen’s key operative words were “other things being equal”.

      They weren’t, as the record showed.

      This is a classical case of circular logic: my models tell me it should have warmed X degrees, but we have only seen a warming of X/2 degrees. Therefore there are still x/2 degrees hidden “in the pipeline” (and the “pipeline” is the upper ocean).

      But wait, the “upper ocean” has cooled instead of warming.

      Must be due to Chinese aerosol emissions.

      Occam’s razor would have told Hansen from the start that since the observations only showed half as much warming as his models had predicted, his models were obviously wrong (assumed climate sensitivity = too high).

      And, when the record showed that the ocean is not warming, Occam’s razor would again have shouted that the basic problem is that the models have overestimated climate sensitivity.

      But again Hansen rationalizes that it must have been some other compensating anthropogenic forcing rather than an exaggerated climate sensitivity assumption in his model.

      Dogmatic belief is a strong thing, it appears.

      Max

  35. Voosen’s report ends with this quote from Barnes “Maybe when coal burning triples,” he said, “then we might sort it out.” Why so? SO2 is quite easily removed from coalfired power station emissions, having fallen from from 14.28 million tons to 5.5 Million tonnes in the US between 1990 and 2009, and similarly for NOx (7.1 million tons to 2.4), while coal’s CO2 emissions increased by nearly 200 Billion tons over that period.

    Kaufmann et al 2011 similarly fail to notice the difference between Millions of tonnes of SO2 (according to them 65 p.a.) and Billions of tonnes of CO2 (over 30 GtCO2) globally.

  36. Now the science is MAYBE settled .
    That was the real situation in the first place and if climate science had stuck to the scientific approach rather than become as much about advocacy and ego it would have remind the case with no dropping of the MAYBE.

  37. As long as the trend from global GISS is still positive for the last 10 years, what is all the fuss?

    It is still warming, the trend for the last 10 years may be less that what the contributors to the IPCC predicted, but the uncertainty for a 10 year trend is quite large n’est pas?

    Isn’t that what you have been going on about?

  38. “Well thank you IPCC authors for letting us know what is really behind that “very likely” assessment of attribution 20th century warming.”

    Child, please. Where was this sentiment 5 or maybe 10 years ago?

    Andrew

  39. Latimer Alder

    AN undercover agent has managed to discover the following document by using repeated FoI requess. His identity must remain secret, but this extract seems very relevant. The document has been dated to about 1997.

    The Creed of Climatology:

    PARAGRAPH 1. Proof of AGW and its influence on weather and environment.

    1.1 If its extreme warm it is 100% conclusive proof of AGW .. and it is far worse than we ever imagined.

    1.2. If it is extreme cold, it is just natural variation in weather masking the 100% proven rising trend of warming becasue of AGW that is far worse than we ever imagined

    1.3. If it is extreme dry, it is 100% proof of AGW ..the hotter it is the drier it gets! And it is far worse than we ever imagined

    1.4. If it is extreme wet, it is 100% proof of AGW as warmer air can hold more water, hence more intense precipitation. And it is far worse than we ever imagined

    1.5. All other circumstances are 100% due to AGW and consistent with our models. And it proves that AGW is far worse than we ever expected.

  40. Having raised the question of “Why, despite steadily accumulating greenhouse gases, did the rise of the planet’s temperature stall…” I would now like to explain it all. It seems that something is very wrong with the assumption that putting more carbon dioxide in the air will cause global temperature to rise. The key to it is the work of Ferenc Miskolczi, a Hungarian scientist who quit NASA when they attempted to muzzle him. We all have been told that the greenhouse effect is due to the absorption of outgoing infrared radiation by greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. But Miskolczi was able to show, using NOAA database of weather balloon observations that goes back to 1948, that atmospheric absorption IR radiation has been constant for the last 61 years. During this same period of time the amount of carbon dioxide in air increased by 21.6 percent. This means that this added carbon dioxide had no effect whatsoever on the absorption of infrared radiation by the atmosphere. And no absorption means no greenhouse effect, case closed.

    • Links to peer-reviewed literature?

    • Aerosols are not our friends. Just when you think there is no GHE, they’ll stab you in the back, twist the blade, and pull your guts out like a string of spaghetti. And then you will be truly screw’d.

      • If, in fact, they’re responsible for “suppressing” a high sensitivity to CO2. OTOH, couldn’t the sensitivity to both could be much lower, with most of the variation being natural and internal?

      • AK – I’m just a cowpoke and a gearhead. I can’t go as fast as you do. But I read your website the other day and found it very interesting. I am going to spend some time going through what you laid out here step by step.

      • You mean the azolla post? Thanks, I’m glad somebody read it. I’m still working on the technology. Somebody else(?) from Texas once mentioned farming in multi-story greenhouses (at another blog) in desert areas such as west Texas, and I thought azollaculture would probably be much easier and cheaper than corn or whatever. (I don’t comment there, been there, done that, threw away the t-shirt.) I bet it would be pretty cheap to build long (1-story) azolla factories in otherwise desert areas. Roof them with pressure supported plastic (transparent but it doesn’t have to be optically flat or anything), put them on stilts so they’re level, and float a layer of water a few inches thick. You could do your early development and proof-of-concept floating in a swamp, I’d guess.

        Each factory unit could be maybe 5 meters wide, with a cylindrical inflated roof, and perhaps a kilometer long. Introduce a seed culture at one end, harvest the appropriate amount each day from the other, and depend on growth to spread it. You might need a slight current, or waves, to help the spread along. You’d need pumping systems and exchangers and cooling, but I bet you could use solar power for that, long term.

        Early development could depend on selling the output as fodder, for which I’d guess there’s a semi-infinite market in that part of the world. If a start-up subsidy (or grant) is needed, try the Charles Koch Foundation, or something like that who needs green development kudos. Or the government, although I can’t recommend depending on a government grant. (or anything else.)

        Once you’ve worked the bugs out of the greenhouse system, prototype the transplant to desert landscape (which would just have to have similar relief, not actually be in desert areas). Once all the pieces are put together, roll it out in the desert, and push for economies of scale.

        If somebody sets up a cap/trade or subsidy system, you could bundle it up and drop it in an anoxic ocean trench for the credits. Else you could sell it for fodder. Eventually you could probably just carbonize it using solar power, and pump it into a solar power plant.

        Of course, this’s all hand-waving. I’m still working on the economics post(s).

        Btw, there might be synergies with concentrated solar power (CSP) and distillation, working the processes together. One popular system for CSP is to combine it with fossil-fired, using the fossil-fired only at night or when solar’s not available.. As your azollaculture technology matures and the price comes down, you might end up growing huge amounts of azolla for fodder, pumping part of it back into nighttime power, and using your CSP/bio-coal “waste” heat for distilling water. Result: large outputs of fodder, energy, and fresh water, and a maturing technology that could potentially be rolled out for carbon remediation if necessary.

    • Arno,

      This seems to tie in to something I remember from my Athmos Physics course. At the time (~93) , the “ozone hole” was the big story and “global warming” was just starting to gain notice.

      In looking at GHG’s it was noted that each absorbs radiation within a specific band of the spectrum. The width they absorbed in varied. Methane covered a bigger chunk of the spectrum than CO2 and CFC’s in particular had a wide band, one that wasn’t covered by other gases. Also covered was the concentration of each gas as it pertains to the portion of the spectrum it absorbs in. At the time, CO2 appeared to close to saturation – i.e. the particular part of the spectrum it absorbed in was close to 100% with regard to getting absorbed.

      The conclusions I came to at the time were:

      It appeared to be a good thing to limit CFC’s regardless of the issue of ozone holes.

      and

      CO2 is a non issue. You could quadruple the concentration and you would get little or no increase in IR absorbtion.

      I haven’t taken a physics course since graduating (and strongly hope I never have to). So I really don’t know how far off base my understanding and conclusions are. But your comment and posts I’ve read about the CO2 / temperature relation being logrithmic rather than linear seem to support what I concluded more than 15 years ago.

  41. Paul Voosen has sent the url for his excellent full article. it is available at http://www.eenews.net/public/Greenwire/2011/10/25/1.

  42. Judy and Paul – Regarding my use of excerpts, the full article was not available to post as a url. I could not, of course, copy and post the entire news report, and, moreover, the quotes from the different individuals are scattered through the article and it does provide a coherent summary to organize them as I did.

    I would be interested in hearing from you as to how the organization by individuals as I did provides “a somewhat different overall narrative than what Pielke provided.”

    • Roger, I like what you did, your emphasis was on what individual scientists were saying. Paul wrote a narrative that was mostly about uncertainties in dimming and brightening. The narrative that you provided I then excerpted to provide a narrative about attribution. So three different articles. All three worth reading IMO.

      • Yeah, three articles.

        One was about science and two were about juvenile point-scoring.

      • Well, given that I was working on the reply to my uncertainty monster paper, where the IPCC grand poobahs were telling me that they did it right in AR4 and they had natural variability figured out, I was rather surprised to see these comments, especially since one of the persons quoted was a coauthor of the reply criticizing the attribution arguments in my uncertainty monster paper. Juvenile point scoring? I don’t think so. Lets try exposing overconfidence, and in this particular case, hypocrisy.

      • The overconfidence is pretty amazing. I think Richard Lindzen is more poking fun at them with the low ball estimates,

        http://redneckphysics.blogspot.com/2011/10/330-watt-weirdness.html

      • Paul Vooson wasn’t too impressed, hence his very polite rebuke.

        You should re-consider your penchant for personalising professional differences of opinion. It might be satisfying, but is rarely productive.
        Adding the inane Josh cartoon just compounds the initial questionable judgement.

        And there is a cost – this thread of petty point-scoring and ridicule approaches 400 comments, while the much more productive thread on your review reply, where the ‘denizens’ could actually contribute something to a real scientific discussion, languishes in near silence.

        A sort of Pyrrhic victory?

      • Climate scientists and their behavior has been a big part of the climate story and controversy since the emails.

      • Michael,

        You think that Judith personalized professional differences of opinion. You must have just started paying attention.

      • “Lets try exposing overconfidence”

        See Figure 1 of http://stephenschneider.stanford.edu/Publications/PDF_Papers/Morgan_KeithSM.pdf. The “skeptics” (like “Expert 5″ in the Figure) are the ones who have historically been overconfident about the impacts of greenhouse gases (namely, that there will be no impacts). The scientists have always acknowledged uncertainties and natural variability – not perfectly, perhaps, but they have done so.

        Also, could you please provide the quote where an IPCC poobah told you that they had “natural variability figured out”?

      • That would be in the Reply to my uncertainty monster paper, which is in press. stay tuned.

      • I personally like petty point:

        http://www.trocadero.com/gdinteriors/items/671870/item671870store.html

        As for point scoring, how about that World Series!

      • Judith,

        Well, given that I was working on the reply to my uncertainty monster paper, where the IPCC grand poobahs were telling me that they did it right in AR4 and they had natural variability figured out, I was rather surprised to see these comments, especially since one of the persons quoted was a coauthor of the reply criticizing the attribution arguments in my uncertainty monster paper. Juvenile point scoring? I don’t think so. Lets try exposing overconfidence, and in this particular case, hypocrisy.

        I think you should not use an article composed by somebody else for a different purpose as a source for judging third parties. Paul Voosen has chosen some excepts to his article to serve the needs of that article. You may have your justified prejudices of the people, but you cannot use this article as additional evidence for them. It’s too indirect. Going one step further and using Pielke’s selections is still worse.

      • Oh I see, no one is allowed to to think critically about someone else’s writings or use someone else’s writings as a spring board for their own essay? I stopped doing book reports in the 6th grade.

        And by the same token, no one should be criticizing Mullers WSJ essay and putting it in a broader context?

        If somebody says two different things (opposite really) within the same week, that is not worth commenting on?

      • Judith,

        I agree on very many issues with you, but I cannot avoid the impression that the animosity in both ways between you and some of the other climate scientists is due to unwillingness to understand, what the other side is really saying. It’s clear that you have been subjected to unjustified attacks, but sometimes I feel that you also draw unjustified conclusions from their writings.

        I may sometimes be naive, but tend to see all too much animosity between people around me as caused mainly by lack of willingness to understand, why the other party is behaving as it is and by interpreting ambiguous messages choosing the most negative interpretation compatible with the message. The academic institutions seem to suffer from this even more than many others.

        A large fraction of argumentation in numerous threads of this site are also largely fighting on, whose interpretation of some ambiguous wording is correct. When spoken words are written up or excerpts taken from longer texts, ambiguity is very often created even, when the meaning might have been clear in original setting.

      • Pekka, exactly which quote is bothering you so much and is so out of context?

      • Looking at the AR4, at least there is estimates of the natural variability and estimates of the uncertaintly of the forcings, but in your paper numbers are conspicuously absent.

        Show your work or come up with a better estimate of the forcings and uncertainties.

      • Michael, what “points” do you think are scored?

      • The big point is that lack of warming is causing warmers to consider natural variability as a theory saving measure. Too funny, but hardly juvenile (our noticing that is). Mind you Solomon has been doing this for some time.

    • rpielke,

      Thank you very much for kicking off a series of major blog discussions.

      That is what we {nor royal we . . . yet : ) } need.

      I sense a quickening of skeptical contribution to our climate dynamic.

      John

  43. Could the areosols in the stratosphere be cosmic?

  44. Dave Springer

    Hansen just about has it figured out. He’s realizing that the ocean isn’t absorbing heat as efficiently as the models assume. It shan’t be long before he figures out why.

    I’ll tell you why. It’s because both land and ocean surfaces are heated by shortwave solar radiation and where aerosols reflect SWR equally well over land or water and where greenhouse gases work by retarding the rate of radiative cooling which is not equal over land and water. Land surfaces cool primarily via radiation. The ocean however cools primarily via evaporation. About 75% of ocean cooling is latent, 20% radiative, and 5% conductive. This is abudantly clear in any of a number of studies of ocean heat budgets.

    Greenhouse gases don’t do jack diddly squat to retard evaporation. In fact they accelerate evaporation in any situation where the surface is exposed to non-saturated air which is most of the time even over the ocean.

    A body of water cannot be warmed by downwelling far infrared radiation if the water surface is exposed to non-saturated air. It just doesn’t work.

    So the missing heat isn’t in the ocean. It’s carried aloft in latent heat of vaporization and released when it condenses into a cloud. A fog bank is an exception but generally the cloud will be far above the surface and the sensible heat released upon condensation now has an easier radiative path out to space and greenhouse gases between the cloud and the surface then retard the downwelling FIR from getting back to the surface! It’s not rocket science.

    There’s not enough egg in all of Tyson Farms to cover all the faces of all the climate boffins that should have figured this out decades ago.

    • I am probably just expressing my ignorance here, but what is it about a water surface being exposed to non-saturated air that makes it unable to be warmed by downwelling radiation?

      • dont get him started on his hobby horse.

      • Oh dear. Has he got previous with this stuff?

      • Dave Springer

        The energy in DLR is carried away by evaporation. If evaporation is hindered by saturated air then the energy can be entrained beyond the skin layer via conduction. On dry land the only possibility is absorption and conduction which is precisely why GHGs are more effective over land.

  45. Norm Kalmanovitch

    Lets go back to the beginning of all this with Hansen’s June 23 1988 presentation to Congress.
    Hansen warned of catastrophic global warming if we didn’t reduce CO2 emissions from fossil fuels. Based on Scenario A we are already about 10% over the predicted emissions if we did nothing in spite of the fact that $billions have been spent on Kyoto initiatives and carbon trading, so in spite of our efforts to slow down the rate of emissions because China and other rapidly developing economies are politically excluded from Kyoto; this has served no purpose in reducing CO2 emissions.
    On the other hand the Atmospheric CO2 content did not rise as predicted by Hansen and even though the world has exceeded the emissions level of scenario A; the concentration has not followed suit and is below the scenario A projection.
    The primary danger from global warming was supposed to be the sea level rise from melting ice caps but this hasn’t occurred either and satellite measurements show that the rate of sea level rise has in fact decreased in 2004 to 0.37mm/year in the Atlantic and 0.15mm/year in the Pacific. This is opposite to the prediction and since this was the only actual problem predicted to result directly from the predicted global warming; global warming should be of no concern.
    The 1988 prediction also called for continued and accelerated increase in global temperature as a result of the enhanced greenhouse effect from increased CFO2 emissions.
    31 years of satellite measurements show that no such change in OLR occurred so the prediction of the greenhouse effect enhancement was wrong as well.
    The final and singularly most important point in all this is the actual global temperature. According to the 1988 Hansen projections this was supposed to increase with increasing CO2 emissions which is why so much was spent trying to reduce CO2 emissions. While it can be shown statistically that global warming ended by 1998 no statistics are required to show that there has been no detecable global warming since 2002 because all that is needed is the application opf a best fit straight line.
    If there is no global warming there is no danger from global warming so it doesn’t matter what the explanation is for the end of global warming :
    Jim Hansen:

    These revelations are prompting the science’s biggest names to change their views.

    Indeed, the most important outcome from the energy hunt may be that researchers are chronically underestimating air pollution’s reflective effect.

    “Less efficient mixing, other things being equal, would mean that there is less warming ‘in the pipeline,’” Hansen said. “But it also implies that the negative aerosol forcing is probably larger than most models assumed. So the Faustian aerosol bargain is probably more of a problem than had been assumed.”

    The only point that needs to be stated is if and when catastropic global warming from fossil fuel emissions will return and what will be thye extent of the damage caused. Until such a proclamation is made and this time confirmed by the greater scientific community and not just by a small group of ideologically driven climate modellers; we do not need to, continue with these economically crippling energy wasting initiatives to reduce CO2 emissions

    • On the other hand the Atmospheric CO2 content did not rise as predicted by Hansen and even though the world has exceeded the emissions level of scenario A; the concentration has not followed suit and is below the scenario A projection.

      Global oil production has peaked or at best plateaued. Hansen could have predicted this but didn’t (along with many others that don’t worry about oil depletion).

  46. “.many of the scientists sorting out the warming hiatus disagree with one another”
    Such “consensus” is an (amazing) “affirmation” of the (huge uncertainty) in the IPCC reports.

  47. You earn yet another halo, Saint Judith. Thanks again for your fine work. (Also, everyone please check out the posts at WUWT.)

  48. Summary:

    “The science is not settled”

  49. “Hansen now believes he has an answer: All the climate models, compared to the Argo data and a tracer study soon to be released by several NASA peers, exaggerate how efficiently the ocean mixes heat into its recesses. Their unanimity in this efficient mixing could be due to some shared ancestry in their code. Whatever the case, it means that climate models have been overestimating the amount of energy in the climate, seeking to match the surface warming that would occur with efficient oceans. They were solving a problem, Hansen says, that didn’t exist.”

    “exaggerate how efficiently the ocean mixes heat into its recesses.”

    Yep, the empirical nature of science scorns even the best theorist or computer modeler. Wonderful that Hansen could undergo such an epiphany.

    “Their unanimity in this efficient mixing could be due to some shared ancestry in their code.”

    Yep, computer code has its own peculiar characteristics and no matter how hard scientists try to work around them, those peculiar characteristics will assert themselves sooner or later. No computer model can substitute for scientific theory.

    Another huge epiphany for Hansen. Maybe now he will lead the way in explaining to climate scientists that physical theory must be formulated in the traditional way, the way followed by Newton and Einstein. Rigorously formulated in the language of physics, itself a specialized part of some natural language, physical hypotheses have cognitive content of their own and become falsifiable, in some cases individually and in other cases as groups of physical hypotheses. Then they can be used for prediction and explanation of natural phenomena.

    To those who do not understand that physical hypotheses must not only yield successful predictions but explain the phenomena predicted, look up Kepler’s Three Laws and learn how they were used by Kepler, Galileo, Newton, and everyone short of Einstein to explain predictions of observable phenomena such as phases of Venus. No computer model has cognitive content and, for that reason, no model can offer explanations of natural phenomena. For that reason alone, no model can substitute for physical theory. However, models can be highly useful analytic tools that theorists use to investigate the nooks and crannies of their theories.

    Bravo for you, Dr. Hansen, and the spirit that brought you the epiphanies.

  50. There are a whole host of things that come to mind when you read Voosen’s article. After reading the opinions of all the climate scientists the first thing that comes to mind is do any of the these people speak with meterologists? One of the biggest mistakes that I see in the climate science community is that the meteorologists were relegated to second class citizenship in the climate debate and the physicists took over. The meterologists who make seasonal predictions seem to have at least some handle on many of the rythms and cycles in weather patterns and climate. They recognize that if A happened before it could lead to B. They recognized the PDO and the AMO and the influence these changes in the decadanal ocean state could have on the weather and on the climatic warming trend. In othe words, they know how the oceans can drive the weather and the climate.
    The second thing are the solar affects on the upper atmosphere. In 2008-2009 time frame, NASA found that the height of the atmosphere was lower than they ever measured and this correlated to the quietest sun they had seen in the satellite, instrumental age. During this time, the very short wavelength UV was 10% lower than it was during time of high solar activity and now even the climate modelers are beginning to find that this can lead to negative polar oscillation and cold winters in the temperate lattitudes. (There are a lot of seasonal forecasters that could have told the modelers to expect this.) The effects of very short wavelength UV on photochemical reactions in the stratosphere leading to heating at very high altitudes is something that is under appreciated in the climate science community but the meterologists would have likely let them know when to look for these affects.

    • The link between climate science and weather forecasting has never IMO been clearly made.

      It seems to me that extrapolation of localised weather conditions into regional climate forecasts has many hurdles to clear before it can be regarded as settled science.

      Furthermore, the extrapolation of regional climate forecasts into global climate change trends would seem to be even more specious.

  51. Thanks, finally, as expected, some AGW scientists have started to say the emperor has no clothes regarding AGW:

    “If you look at the last decade of global temperature, it’s not increasing,” Barnes said. “There’s a lot of scatter to it. But the [climate] models go up. And that has to be explained. Why didn’t we warm up?”

    That is the first step.

    The second step is to stop giving excuses and wait for the actual evidence of observed further warming.

  52. C. C wrote: “In fact, simple models go a very long way in explaining a lot of features in both weather and climate, and people who claim otherwise simply haven’t studied the subject.”

    Since you mention weather, I ask you how well the UK MET people have done over the last 4 or 5 years using some of these models in their seasonal forecasts? Funnily enough, but the best long range forecasters tend to be rabid skeptics…if not outright deniers.

    Whatever one’s position in the climate wars, I don’t see how one can look at the machinations of Trenberth, Mann, Jones et al with anything less than disgust.

  53. JC message to Susan Solomon: maybe you should have been listening to what the skeptics have been saying for the last several decades.

    tempterrain message to JC (2011): maybe you should be re-reading what your previous personality was saying in previous decades too.

    • tempterrain | October 27, 2011 at 10:03 pm

      While that may be fair comment, is it not unkind to taunt someone with having once held an opinion from which one now resiles. JC should surely, at this point, be regarded for the views she currently argues. At least she, and a very few others, have had the courage to publicly stop defending the indefensible. This cannot be said of the “mainstream” scientists quoted in the article.

    • I’m not sure if its kind for Judith to take these kind of quotes out of context either. I’m certainly not questioning Judith’s abilities as a climate scientist. What does irk though, is her apparent desire to drive on both sides of the road. Mainstream scientist by day, writing on such topics as warming in Antarctica and helping the BEST with their confirmation on the veracity of the temperature record. Friend and ally of AGW deniers by night, stirring up doubt and uncertainty as we have all seen in post after post on Climate etc.
      It is, of course, fair enough to change one’s opinion if the scientific evidence has changed. If that’s the case, Judith should present her case for how it has changed, in scientific papers, as well as on this blog.

      • Judith is expressing her doubts and uncertainty. Don’t you want climate scientists to communicate? You don’t seem to object to the consensus good ole boys expressing their opinions, outside of scientific papers. Do you know what realclimate is? That’s the blog where consensus climate scientists who are sucking at the government teat by day, are also running a blatant propaganda blog, at the very same time they are supposed to be working for us. Maybe you would be happier there, They don’t allow the kind of scary heretical free speech that you see around here.

      • You don’t seem to object to the consensus good ole boys [The Realclimate group] expressing their opinions, outside of scientific papers.

        Well no. But, the difference is: they are consistent. What they say on their blogs follows naturally from what they write in their scientific papers.

      • Have you read the post that started this thread? Also remember, that a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds. You need to regroup. Try a little introspection.

      • Latimer Alder

        @tt

        ‘Friend and ally of AGW deniers by night, stirring up doubt and uncertainty’

        Strong stuff. Especially your use of the ‘d….’ word.

        But I really can see no substance in your post other than the tribal idea of shooting the messenger who brings Inconvenient Truths.

      • tt,
        It is very hard to credibly claim an entire paragraph is ‘out of context’.
        But leave it to the AGW community to try.

  54. Dr. C., this is completely OT, but tangentially ties in with a lot of the talk about modelling here:

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=finance-why-economic-models-are-always-wrong

    I have a comment, but will sit on it until this is part of a proper thread (if ever).

  55. Bob D. wrote: “As long as the trend from global GISS is still positive for the last 10 years, what is all the fuss?It is still warming, the trend for the last 10 years may be less that what the contributors to the IPCC predicted, but the uncertainty for a 10 year trend is quite large n’est pas?Isn’t that what you have been going on about?”

    Then over what are your people pulling their hair out? If the heat isn’t missing, why are they looking for it?

    • Maybe Trenberth thought our observations lacked a few data points, for example at the time he wrote that email, the observational evidence for seawater temperatures below 700 meters was, shall we say scant.

  56. From the 1950s to the late 1970s, it is now widely agreed that the smog and particles from fossil fuel burning, by reflecting some of the sun’s light back into space, masked any heating that would be felt from increased greenhouse gases. As clean air laws began to pass in the United States and Europe, this pollution began to disappear in the 1990s, a process known as “global brightening.”

    This is pure propaganda.

    The cooling from 1950 to 1970 is due to the cooling phase of the ocean cycle as shown in the following paper (Figure 4):

    http://bit.ly/nfQr92

    • Dave Springer

      I don’t think so. While there’s obviously warming and cooling cycle of approximately 60 years in each of the last two cycles there was more warming on the warm side than cooling on the cool side. We actually should be well into the cooling side of AMDO right now but instead of cooling all we have is a cessation of warming.

  57. Previously, some scientists compared the sun’s changing heat solely to the warming added by greenhouses gases and not the combined influence of warming gases and cooling pollution. And if air pollution is reflecting more sunlight than previously estimated, as Hansen suspects, the sun will indeed play an important role, at least in the upcoming decades.

    How about if the effects of both air pollution and greenhouses on the climate are minuscule? Is there a climate model without these man made variables?

    • Dave Springer

      Warming over land is rapid and pronounced. Over the ocean not so much. Compare BEST or GHCN land instrument record to UAH or RSS land + sea satellite record. The land-only record shows a much larger anomaly.

      This makes total sense in light of greenhouse gases having less efficacy over water. The only other explanation that makes sense is entrainment in deep water and that’s ruled out (at least in Hansen’s opinion) by ARGO.

      I suppose someone might try to argue that aerosols act differently over land vs. water but I can’t imagine how. Ther’s a mechanism for CO2 having different effect but not for aerosols.

  58. Interesting, today I was listening to Minnesota Public Radio today. It was an interview with Dr. Michael Osterholm (infectious disease expert) discussing a recent study that he was involved with regarding the effectiveness of flu vaccine. In summary, flu vaccine in only about 50% effective.

    http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2011/10/27/midday1/

    The thing that struck me was that there were some callers who questioned the study or publicity because it sent the wrong message in that it provided fodder to those opposed to vaccines and the information may discourage people from getting the vaccine. He repeatedly said that telling the truth is the best thing that you can do. And that those who want to suppress the truth because the timing or the message might conflict with a desired outcome, are really a deterrent to real progress.
    This is an hour long program, and interesting, but the parts I am talking about happen at about 9 minutes to about 16 minutes and 39 minutes on.
    I wonder if anyone else hears a parallel to climate science here. If I know climate science some will hear it to support their own veiw.

  59. “….many of the scientists sorting out the warming hiatus disagree with one another .It seems staggering, then, that in a few years’ time a new consensus will form for the next U.N. climate change report. But it will, ”

    What seems staggering to me is the confidence Voosen expresses that all this uncertainty and contradictory explanations will all evaporate, and all the scientists will again speak with one voice in the next edition of the climate bible. It kind of makes you think he knows something about the process, doesn’t it – even with all this confusion and debate, the conclusion is already written.

    • Latimer Alder

      ‘even with all this confusion and debate, the conclusion is already written’

      Further work form our intrepid underground agent has allowed us to bring to the public’s attention, an early draft of the SPM for AR5

      ‘Dear Policy Makers

      It is much much worse than we thought.

      Love

      Some Climate Scientists, self-certifed to be Trustworthy.

      PS More research is needed. Keep sending the grant cheques.’

      Now all that remains is to write the text so that it roughly agrees with the conclusion……..

  60. Mauna Loa was the site for Charles Keeling’s work demonstrating rising CO2 levels in the atmosphere. A careful experimentalist, within five years Keeling had identified the trend. “It was an amazing data set,” Barnes said. “Here we are out in the middle of the Pacific, 4,000 kilometers from [major] cities, and we’re seeing the atmosphere being affected by fossil fuels.”

    How about if the increase in CO2 concentration in the atmosphere is due to the release of CO2 from the sea as a result of global warming that started 160 years ago?

    http://bit.ly/qGcD9M

  61. “Kevin Trenberth: The hiatus [in warming] was not unexpected.”

    Yes it was.

    I sense an attempt by the climate establishment to re write history, here. Just when, in all the clamor to outdo each other in “it worse than we thought” headlines over the 15 years prior to climategate, has any mainstream climate scientist suggested a pause in warming was likely, or even possible.

    If they did, they kept very quiet about it. But actually, they didn’t, did they.

    • Latimer Alder

      This is the old ‘consistent with our models’ trick as in the following dramatic scene:

      Alarmist: ‘Completely unexpected event x is entirely consistent with our models and – if anything – strengthens our belief in AGW

      Joe Public: Show us the models then – and the earlier output confirming this

      Alarmist: No we will never do that. It would be far too dfficult to explain to a layman how our models work and how to correctly interpret our output to show the link between event x and AGW

      But trust us, we are Climate Scientists.

      Joe Public: Whatever

  62. Thanks JC.

    The article (Provoked scientists try to explain lag in global warming) is great.

    Unfortunately, my public holiday Friday morning is all gone.

  63. “It’s hard to track how much is going into the oceans, because the oceans are soaking up some of the heat. And in a lot of places the measurements just aren’t accurate enough. We do have satellites that can measure the energy budget, but there’s still assumptions there. There’s assumptions about the oceans, because we don’t have a whole lot of measurements in the ocean.”

    Amen!

    Yes, AGW science is not settled.

    • Indeed, many of the scientists sorting out the warming hiatus disagree with one another — in a chummy, scholarly way. Judith Lean, the solar scientist, finds Kaufmann’s work unpersuasive and unnecessarily critical of China. Kaufmann finds Solomon’s stratosphere studies lacking in evidence. Hansen and Trenberth can’t agree on a budget.

  64. Today will be a field day for skeptics at Climate Etc.

    That is for sure.

  65. Thanks Paul Voosen for your article.

    http://bit.ly/rzPw9f

  66. When it’s said sun’s output increased by .1 %, is it meant the sun output- as in at the sun, or the sun’s output at earth distance?

  67. Judith, are any of the reviewers of your current paper among those who exposed themselves in the article we are discussing? That would explain at least some of your recent celebratory mood :) Congratulations.

  68. Look at the amount of mealy mouthed excuses, contradictory statements and total BS put forward by these leading lights of the AGW scam and weep. These are the idiots based on whose work entire world economies are being made to change by sleazy politicians and untold losses, misery and suffering are being inflicted on the general public.

    • I originally though that these were just guys rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

      But now I see that they are in fact scrabbling to get their stories straight so that they have a possibility to be shielded from the worst of the blame if they survive to the Board of Inquiry for the disaster.

      ‘Not me’ they claim
      ‘I knew all along that we were on a dangerous course and I tried to warn the others but they didn’t listen’.

      ‘And anyway it was those horrible sceptics who didn’t show us enough respect..we couldn’t stand for that’

      ‘We never thought we’d need audit trails and traceability and replication to save our reputaions becasue it was predicted to be a calm voyage. Nobdoy ever said there would be storms.’

      etc etc

      • Stirling English

        ‘What freaking iceberg? There are no icebergs in these waters……and anyway our ship is unsinkable’

      • Steve Milesworthy

        Latimer, What is the difference between your Stirling persona and your Latimer persona? I find that one pseudonym is enough to ensure my ignorant contributions are not mistaken for the views of my employer.

      • I was thinking the same thing.There is too much similarity in the style of writing between Latimer Alder and Sterling English to be purely coincidental, IMO.

      • Funny,

        I had the same impression. Has anyone seen the two of them at the same place at the same time?

      • and Joe Sixpack?

      • Stirling English

        I guess we just had the same excellent writing coach…Terry Nash. A fine wordsmith and excellent teacher.

  69. What most strikes me about these various statements is their acknowledgement of how difficult it is to actually find and measure the things like aerosols that mainstream climate science says is holding back global warming. If they are so hard to measure, presumably they are fairly weak effects. This in turn suggests that CO2 induced warming must also be a fairly weak effect, unless I am missing something.

    The other thing that stands out is how a more nuanced understanding of climate and the influences on it is starting to emerge. About time.

    • Dave Springer

      CO2 is strong over land, weak over water. Earth’s surface is 71% water. Do the math.

      Aerosols are equal in effect over land or water.

      The problem with the models isn’t aerosols stronger than expected it’s in treating CO2 equally over both land and water.

      Hansen’s right on the brink of figuring it out for himself when he voiced the suspicion that all the models are overestimating the efficiency of ocean mixing heat downward. It’s really only the skin layer that isn’t mixing downwelling infrared from GHGs downward as well as the models presume. They’re treating it the same as land and it’s completely different interaction with water because water, unlike land, has an additional cooling method called evaporation.

      • Dave Springer,
        You ever heard of winds? They blow hard at times and do a pretty good job of blowing away our industrial and automobile pollution. They also mix up GHG’s too. There is no significant difference in CO2 concentrations over land and sea.

      • Latimer Alder

        @dave springer

        ‘CO2 is strong over land, weak over water’

        Please elucidate. Do the radiative properties of the life giving plant food CO2 change dependent on whether it is 30,000 feet above teh plains of the Mid West or 30,000 feet above the stormy waters of the North Atlantic briny? Is there evidence (experimental or observational) for this effect?

        If so, I’d love to hear what physical mechanism you propose to explain it. ‘Teleconnections’ perhaps?

  70. 1) I puzzle to find a reason behind Voosen’s article – WHY did these people consent to discussing these issues as candidly as they did to a reporter ? Are they engaging in pre-AR5 skirmishes with each other ?

    2) What will the MSM (the “meeja”) make of it all ? Dead silence, is my expectation

  71. ian,

    It looks like the reverse bandwagon effect. Some of the smarter ones see the bandwagon/gravy train about to crash and they are getting ready to jump off. It’s CYA time.

    • Thanks, Don, but I doubt it. These people are ferociously bright, so when they play politics they take no prisoners and bayonet the wounded

      My best guess is skirmishing for the next “big” research funding area – but that’s just a guess

      • Latimer Alder

        @ianl8888

        ‘These people are ferociously bright’

        H’mmm

        I’d settle for

        ‘these people are ferocious’.

        But I see mo reason for the ‘ly bright’ at the end. Seems to me that they are mediocre scientists who found themselves by pure chance at the receiveng end of a fire hose of cash from the pollies. And quickly learnt how to keep the hydrant turned on.

    • ” These people are ferociously bright” But not bright enough to the science right, eh?

  72. UAH and Gistemp show a little warming since 2001, and RSS and Hadcrut show a little cooling (see linked chart).
    I doubt any of the four are showing statistical significant change.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:2001/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:2001/trend/plot/uah/from:2001/plot/uah/from:2001/trend/plot/gistemp/from:2001/plot/gistemp/from:2001/trend/plot/rss/from:2001/plot/rss/from:2001/trend

  73. We know that carey. That’s why the eminent consensus climate scientists are agonizing over the missing heat and jockeying for position near the rear exit of the bandwagon.

  74. JC question for Kevin Trenberth: Please remind me of when you first thought there would be a hiatus in the warming.

    Judith, do you remember the period 1980-1987 when the temperature declined at a rate of 0.6 °C/decade? Kevin surely does, and if he didn’t see that as a “hiatus in the warming” he must have been on LSD at the time.

    We aren’t seeing remotely near that fast a drop in temperature in this decade. Girma is hard pressed to do better than a decline of one tenth that amount, and that only by cherry-picking the starting year as 2002, prompting WebHubTelescope to comment, “I don’t know if I have ever seen a more blatant example of someone actually advocating the cherry-picking of data.”

    If this decade is a hiatus, what would you call 1980-1987 when the temperature was dropping ten times as fast? Superman may be able to leap a modern hiatus with a single bound, but he would surely need ten bounds to leap an atus as high as the 1980-1987 one.

    They just don’t make them like they used to.

    • Vaughan Pratt
      Seriously you take the prize for being the king of the cherry pickers. You picked a time period (1980- 1987) where the beginning was influenced by the volcanic eruption of El Chichon in 1981. Temperatures plummeted.

    • El Chichon and the decline of solar cycle 21 were Concomitant in this time period in addition there was a sustained la nina 84-86/87 as it seems legitimate to invoke monsters and demons it is also legitimate to invoke the almighty

      http://www.worldscibooks.com/physics/0862.html

      In an inverse perspective Ghil 2001 was asking the “Gretchenfrage” of the “des Pudels Kern” eg.

      To conclude, we briefly address Problem 9. More precisely, we ask whether the impact of human activities on the climate is observable and identifiable in the instrumental records of the last century-and-a-half and in recent paleo climate records? The answer to this question depends on the null hypothesis against which such an impact is tested.
      The current approach that is generally pursued assumes essentially that past climate variability is indistinguishable from a stochastic red-noise process (Hasselmann, 1976), whose only regularities are those of periodic external forcing (Mitchell, 1976). Given such a null hypothesis, the official consensus of IPCC (1995) tilts towards a global warming effect of recent trace-gas emissions, which exceeds the cooling effect of anthropogenic aerosol emissions. Atmospheric and coupled GCM simulations of the tracegas warming and aerosol cooling buttress this IPCC consensus.

      The GCM simulations used so far do not, however, exhibit the observed interdecadal regularities described at the end of Sect. 3.3. They might, therewith, miss some important physical mechanisms of climate variability and are, therefore, not entirely conclusive.

      As northern hemisphere temperatures were falling in the 1960s and early 1970s, the aerosol effect was the one that caused the greatest concern. As shown in Sect. 2.2, this concern was bolstered by the possibility of a huge, highly nonlinear temperature drop if the climate system reached the upper-left bifurcation point of Fig. 1.
      The global temperature increase through the 1990s is certainly rather unusual in terms of the instrumental record of the last 150 years or so. It does not correspond, however, to a rapidly accelerating increase in greenhouse-gas emissions or a substantial drop in aerosol emissions. How statistically significant is, therefore, this temperature rise, if the null hypothesis is not a random coincidence of small, stochastic excursions
      of global temperatures with all, or nearly all, the same sign?

      or as Dr Pangloss observed

      ‘‘There is a concatenation of all events in the best of possible
      worlds; for, in short, had {many apparently unrelated and accidental events not happened} you would not have been here to eat preserved citrons and pistachio nuts.’’

      ‘‘Excellently observed,’’ answered Candide; ‘‘but let us cultivate our
      garden.’’

    • Not to mention the 1987-1996 warming hiatus.

      I think Judith Lean’s comment is most relevant to what’s being discussed here. Ensemble means will inherently smooth out internal variability of models, and the lack of a solar cycle in projections creates an impression that a fairly monotonic progression is expected. This is fine for people who understand what they’re looking at but for people who don’t it provides false expectations.

      To give people an idea of what should really be expected from looking at GCM results: the AR4 model cast exhibits a range of decadal trends for 2000-2010 projections between about 0.0ºC/Decade and 0.40ºC/Decade. To give an idea of how much this is meaningful: the model with the highest rate of warming evens out to ~0.18ºC/Decade over 2000-2020 and the one with the zero trend ends up the warmer of the two at the end of the 21st century run.

      • This implies to me what Licas says namely that uncertainty in decadal variation will remain high for the foreseeable future. But I would be cautions about drawing any other conclusions. Judith’s point is that given this fact, attribution becomes pretty dicey. Paul, what caused the little ice age and the Roman climate olptimum?

  75. ‘Why, despite steadily accumulating greenhouse gases, did the rise of the planet’s temperature stall for the past decade?’

    Because CO2 accumulation in the atmosphere helps to dissipate the Earth’s atmospheric heat content into the space.

    To say aerosols affecting sunlight reflection is equally as ignorant as the AGW theory.

  76. The lag is a little bit more than a decade.
    There has been no warming since October 1997 i.e. 14 years : have a look there.

    Note that this 14 years lag without warming starts before 1998 super El Nino, and is quite close to the minimum 17 years periode required by K. Trenberth.

  77. ‘The hiatus in warming was not unexpected’
    Hey Jude great question to Trenberth?

    The sentence is a typical Fiddlestick Team statement that is regularly repeated for lots of things at UNReal Climate.

    Smugness of the first order.

  78. Mydogsgotnonose

    For heaven’s sake, won’t any of you ‘climate scientists’ accept that your understanding of basic radiation physics, which professional engineers and physicists like me who have worked decades in practical heat transfer, know very well. is pathetic.

    The concept of ‘back radiation’ apparently introduced by Trenberth who apparently did not attend a formal physics’ course, is plain wrong. What you measure when you point a radiometer upwards is ‘Prevost exchange energy’. Because it is exactly offset by part of the IR going up, it can do no thermodynamic work. it is our century’s equivalent of phlogiston and the Marxist -fascists like Gore and the bankers have transformed it into a new Lysenkoism.

    For those who want to check out the physics, read up the statistical thermodynamics which leads to Kirchhoff;s law of radiation and realise that ‘Prevost exchange energy’ is needed to connect the IR density of states in the two objects in radiative equilibrium and maintain absorptivity = emissivity. Also realise that because the CO2 IR absorption bands near the earth’s surface are saturated, the phenomenon of self-absorption means incremental CO2 climate sensitivity is probably slightly negative.

    Will Happer knew this is 1993 and left Gore et. al. to stew in their pseudo-scientific juice but they have caused awful damage to science since.

    The key experiment to prove that ‘back radiation’ does not exist was done recently by a Dutch post-grad. He shinned up an 800 foot high radio mast at night and plotted [Up-Down] IR vs height; it showed an exponential decay to zero as would be expected for Beer’s Law for the IR from the ground.

    Hansen of course claims that the 1st AIE which hides recent CO2-AGW increase has doubled to account for temperature stabilisation. The climate models further hide the ‘back radiation’ energy by using double the optical depth for low level clouds compared with reality.

    The aerosol optical physics in the climate models is very wrong. in a 2008 paper, it was shown that measured optical depths of low level clouds is 25% higher than predicted. There is a second optical process.

    Basically, climate science needs to be rebuilt under new leadership without Marxist/Banker political control.

  79. Until a climate scientist can tell me what weather denotes no significant man made global warming, then they can’t tell me what does.

  80. The word ‘lag’ in the title of the article is interesting. It appears nowhere else in the article, and seems to indicate an assumption by the reporter.

    Nobody has yet quoted RP’s key summary of what this shows:
    These extracts from the Greenwire article illustrate why the climate system is not yet well understood. The science is NOT solved.

    I nominate JC and RP as co-chairs of IPCC WG1.

  81. With respect to the hiatus in the warming trend, may I bring to people’s attention the following :-

    http://discover.itsc.uah.edu/amsutemps/execute.csh?amsutemps+002

    This shows that, since records were available in 2002, the current daily global temperature is the lowest on record. Not only has there been a hiatus in the rise of global temperatures, this hiatus shows no signs of disappearing. The forecast for the next few months is for a super La Nina. How long this will last is anyone’s guess. But, at least for the immediate future, say the next 12 months or so, there is absolutely no sign that global temperatures are going to start on any sort of alleged steep rise due to the “heat in the pipeline”.

    JCH mentioned Smith et al. They “discovered” the hiatus in 2004. Results to date indicate that their model has a 75% chance of being just plain wrong.

  82. Continue with your skeptical comments reading feast below:

    http://bit.ly/sqkNKL

  83. Was the variability of climate known already before the hiatus of last decade?

    It certainly was.

    Have GCM type climate models always produced qualitatively similar periods?

    Most of them have.

    Did main stream climate scientists predict this particular hiatus?

    Definitely not.

    Was the variability belittled and the recent rapid warming overemphasized around year 2000 and for few years after?

    In general, yes.

    In general I see the article describing nicely differences in views between scientists. Most of the views seem reasonable, when taken as personal views of working scientists. Even when the word “uncertainty” is not used much, the whole setting of the article tells about uncertainty and also on the fact that scientists acknowledge that there are differing views and through that that there are uncertainties – or even ignorance.

    To me it seems that many scientists really do believe that they have acknowledged properly large uncertainties, and that claiming that they haven’t is just misinterpreting them. Uncertainties are an issue that can be approached from both ends (how much is known or how much is unknown) and choosing the approach differently leads to misinterpretations. Two persons, whose actual estimates of uncertainties may be similar, may disagree violently on the way they should be stated.

    A related point is that one person may think that others assume everything well known, when the uncertainty is not specified, while another has the view that everything is taken as deeply uncertain unless its certainty is explicitly stated. Tho former feels discussing large uncertainties much more important than the latter. There might be a difference of this type between Judith and those other scientists, who appear to disagree strongly with her.

    The only logic among those described that I really cannot follow is that of Hansen, when he uses his estimate of a smaller net energy flux as part of an argument that claims the situation is even worse. There’s the possibility that the role of aerosols has been estimated erroneously, but his observation can be used as evidence for that only in combination with other unjustified assumptions. Negative cloud feedback would be a more natural explanation. His approach seems really to be such that every news is bad news, whatever it is.

    • Pekka – on predictions, predicted it when?

      During the past decade there have been many predictions of cooling, which have failed so far, and Smith et al predicted natural variation would overwhelm AGW in the first few years of theirs, which is looking fairly good so far.

      • JCH Smith el al predicted that after 2009, half the years would have temperatures higher than 1998. 2010 was not higher than 1998; and 2011 shows no signs that it will have an average temperature higher than 1998 either. So what is so “fairly good” about their predictions?

      • Latimer Alder

        Just wondered how many papers apart from Smith et al were published that didn’t make a predicition even as good as them?

        If you have thirty papers and only one gets it even vaguely right, you should also report on the 29 that failed completely.

        And for any practical purposes, you haev to knwo well in advance which one you can rely on…not just in hindisght. I can always tell what the climate was like yesterday. It is knowing what it’ll be in the future that is hard.

      • 2011 is done. According to NOAA, it was hotter than 1998. Given the BEST results so far, can you give me a reason why I should ignore NOAA and favor HADCRUT?

      • Sorry, that should be 2010.

      • JCH writes “can you give me a reason why I should ignore NOAA and favor HADCRUT?”

        Two. First, the NCDC/NOAA data set did NOT say 2010 was higher than 1998. GISS did, and the difference was not significant. Second, Smith et al used the HAD/CRU data to calibrate their model, and all the predictions in the paper are what is expected that the HAD/CRU data will be. For example, the final value in 2014 is the difference between the temperature in 2004 given by HAD/CRU, and what is forecast for 2014. (I am going from memory. I am on holiday, and I am away from my reprints and own computer. I know all this stuff is on line, but I have not been able to track it down). If you have the URL for the NCDC/NOAA data, and I am wrong, I would be grateful for the URL.

      • The GISS site says 2010 tied with 2005, and they are the warmest years one record.

        The NOAA website says 2010 tied 2005, and they are the warmest years on record.

        According to NOAA, ytd, 2011 is currently ranked as the 11th warmest year. Even if ENSO stays neutral throughout 2011, it’s doubtful it will break into the top 10. But it ain’t over ’til it’s over.

        When are they gonna fix HADCRUT? Anyway, whenever I read something that only uses HADCRUT, I go to woodfortrees and get the facts.

      • JCH. You are correct. I found the URL. We will have to wait until 2014 to know whether Smith et al have made a correct forecast.

    • Pekka

      Was the variability of climate known already before the hiatus of last decade?

      It certainly was.

      Yeah. But it was grossly underestimated.

      Was the variability belittled and the recent rapid warming overemphasized around year 2000 and for few years after?

      In general, yes.

      Indeed (see above comment).

      New questions (on same topic):

      Did IPCC project warming of 0.2C per decade (AR4) and previously 0.225C, (i.e. 0.15 to 0.3C) per decade (TAR) for first decades of 21st century?

      Yes.

      Did the HadCUT3 temperature record show a net cooling trend over the first decade of the 21st century of around 0.06C per decade?

      Yes.

      Do the “mainstream consensus” group of IPCC scientists have an answer for why the projection was so far off?

      Not really, but they are scrambling to find a rationalization for this “travesty”.

      Why did they not simply follow Occam’s razor and conclude that their model assumptions on climate sensitivity were wrong?

      Shame on you! That’s a sacred cow!

      Max

      • Did IPCC make predictions for the decade 2001-2010 that excluded the observed hiatus?

        I don’t think that they made such a prediction, because they should not have done any predictions for a period of 10 years.

    • I applaud your having figured Hansen out. May I quote you?

  84. at the end of the post i’ve added a new cartoon by Josh

  85. David Spurgeon

    Hope Judith has read….Donna’s excellent book. Find out about the real IPCC.

  86. Steve Milesworthy

    Seems to me that the “Most of the 50 years of warming is likely caused by CO2″ statement is a touchstone for sceptics that I don’t understand. Yes it’s an interesting question but it is much less meaningful than, for example, “Will warming cause damaging climate change to my particular country?”

    I’ve always gone with the idea that there *could* be other sources of warming or cooling such that CO2 is just one extra thing that, as it happens, won’t go away. I guess politically it is important to ramp up the certainty a little bit each time a report is released, and that is perhaps validated by the continuing warmth (on top of the 1920-40 warmth) and/or small improvements in levels of understanding of some of the known forcings.

    Surely, given the knowledge of the climate and seeing the variability of models, the backstop for climate sensitivity has been mainly the evidence from past climates and the basic physics understanding/expectation (radiative forcing and feedbacks) that happens also to be reflected in the model outputs.

    I don’t really understand why one would say “maybe you should have been listening to what the skeptics have been saying for the last several decades”. I don’t really recall many sceptics making statements in a constructive way, mostly arguments emphasised doubt in an unqualified way (eg McKitrick’s alternative AR4 SPM).

    • I would point to Lindzen and Spencer as positing a serious alternative. Its true that the team regards them as anathema and has manipulated the literature to make it seem that they are not serious. I personally think that internal variability is much larger than generally acknowledged. The variations over the last 10000 years are at least 4K. You can look at Muller’s book on paleoclimate. Given this fact, you have a great deal of difficulty justifying the attribution of AR4 against this large variability. If climate was really that sensitive, it strikes me as unlikely that life would have survived the last 4 billion years of variations. Another telling thing for me is the “hot spot” which the data does not seem to show. Lindzen makes the point that you could show a hot spot if the surface temperature was overestimated on the high side.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        Lindzen has IIRC variously argued that it has not warmed as much as the AGW theory suggests it ought to have, and that there is a negative feedback. Spencer’s work is too recent to be included in Judith’s comments about previous decades. So I don’t think they count.

        The variations over the last N thousand years are what they are – we don’t really know what happened to aerosols/solar/etc. N thousand years ago. We know (better) what is happening now, and have not *yet* identified a strong alternative contender for the cause of warming.

      • Steve, What caused the little ice age and the Roman warm period? I would be sceptical that it was CO2.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        Arguing that climate has changed in the past therefore current warming is probably natural is legitimately regarded as being a weak, unconstructive, unphysical argument.

      • No Steve, it is called the null hypothesis and is part of the very foundation of the scientific method.

  87. Pekka

    Further to previous post you wrote:

    His [James E. Hansen] approach seems really to be such that every news is bad news, whatever it is.

    Pekka, you are spot on – “bad news”, i.e.doomsday has been Hansen’s business for well over 20 years.

    Early in the game (1988), he predicted drastic warming. These never occurred (he was off by more than 2:1), despite the fact that CO2 emissions were higher than he estimated.

    Then (2004) he saw that his model predictions on warming were not happening (they were exaggerated by 2:1), so he used “circular logic” to come up with the “hidden in the pipeline” postulation.

    In 2007 he told US Congress that (at around 375 ppmv CO2) we were close to reaching “tipping points” (450 ppmv) that would result in “deleterious” changes in our climate, extinction of species and sea level increases that could be measured in meters, unless we phased out coal burning now.

    He later revised his “dangerous” CO2 level to 350 ppmv (we are now at 390 ppmv and the “deleterious” changes are not occurring).

    Then (2009) he informed us that “coal trains” were like the “death trains” of WWII and coal-fired power plants were “death factories”.

    Now that the atmosphere has cooled for the past 10 years (and the upper ocean – his “pipeline” – is also not warming), he is scrambling to find the rationalization that will keep his model-based doomsday predictions alive.

    The problem is that people have seen Hansen in action for too long. His continuous “every news is bad news” approach, as you describe it, has caused him to lack all credibility, except with a few die-hard doomsday believers.

    He has become an activist – and is no longer a credible scientist.

    Max

  88. Mind boggling indeed (the JC summary, that is).

  89. Shall we finally agree that the global mean temperature pattern since record begun 160 years has not changed at all?

    http://bit.ly/pxXK4j

    It shows a long-term global warming trend of 0.06 deg C per decade.

    The oscillation of about 0.5 deg C about every 30 years is due to ocean cycles as described in the following paper:

    http://bit.ly/nfQr92

    The recent lack of warming is due to the first decade of three decades long cooling cycles of the oceans. In this cooling ocean cycle, La Nina become more frequent, cooling the globe.

    Because there was no variation in the global mean temperature pattern for the last 160 years, the effect of human emission of aerosols and greenhouse gases must be insignificant.

    Now the job for climate scientists is to study and explain the cause of the constant global warming of 0.06 deg C per decade that started 160 years ago. The oscillation has been explained to be due to ocean cycles.

    Josh, thanks for your excellent pertinent cartoon

    http://bit.ly/v6QusK

    • Shall we finally agree that the global mean temperature pattern since record begun 160 years has not changed at all?

      http://bit.ly/pxXK4j

      Girma, Why everyone isn’t all over you as a serial statistics abuser, I haven’t a clue. Layer upon layer of obfuscation does not hide the fact that you lack any cogent analytical skills.

      This entire site is full of fantasy-land clowns; it’s a full-time task of trying to stuff them back in the clown car from which they emerged. How’s that for a cartoon? I don’t even have to draw it for you.


      • Why everyone isn’t all over you as a serial statistics abuser, I haven’t a clue.

        For the same reason that Judith Curry can get away with saying that running averages introduce aliasing…

        BTW – There are no clowns here.

        The people that appear here with red noses, big shoes, and noise-makers, are the True Climate Scientists.

      • WHT,
        Anyone who is still promoting the idea that we are facing a petroleum or gas shortage has no business talking to anyone about abuse of statistics.

      • WHT,
        Anyone who is still promoting the idea that we are facing a petroleum or gas shortage has no business talking to anyone about abuse of statistics.

        That is so rich. Of course, we will not have a shortage; the price will rise to the point that demand will equal supply.

        The problem with the statistics abusers is that they work in a model-free environment. I invariably work within the context of some foundational model that comes about from first principles. So when I work out an oil depletion model, I actually consider that the earth’s crust provides a finite volume to search through. Wonder of wonders, I actually make a perfectly valid assumption, that of a finite constraint, that the cornucopians cannot wrap their head around.

        Statistics is about the numbers. Probability is about the model. Probability and statistics is the complete package, something you and your buddy Girma fail to appreciate.

      • WHT,
        You claim that abusers of stats are working without models, yet here we are on a thread based on statistical abuses by people who depend on models for their very livelihood.

      • WHT,
        You claim that abusers of stats are working without models, yet here we are on a thread based on statistical abuses by people who depend on models for their very livelihood.

        Girma is a model-free abuser of statistics.
        Hunter, I don’t know what you are because all you do is crank out abuse.

    • Girma,
      “Shall we finally agree that the global mean temperature pattern since record begun 160 years has not changed at all?”

      Wouldn’t the real question be, Should it have changed?

  90. Latimer Alder

    So you think the leading lights of climatology would have paid greater attention to the sceptics had they approached them as lickspittles begging a favour from the Great Gods?

    Somehow I find that hard to believe. The leading lights do not appear to me to have suffered from any lack of certainty in their own work or the complete correctness of their consensus narrative. Nor to accept any criticism from outside the climatologists inner circle, however diplomatically phrased. Remember ‘we’ll keep this out of the peer-reviewed literature, even if we have to redefine what peer review means’?

    Maybe you can point to some examples where I am wrong?

  91. Latimer Alder

    pls define ‘solar penetration’ and explinan how it is affected by the velocity of rotation.

    • How much sun does any pole actually receives over a year?
      3 months at most and the suns penetration has to go through vast amount of atmosphere through the angle of solar penetration.
      So 9 months are in dark at a slow rotational speed. Absolutely no solar absorption except by way of circulation.
      Very little friction in a dense air mass of cold gases.
      The rotation at the pole is 150km/hr and at the equator is 1653.6km/hr. So, what area receives the most friction?
      The faster moving object.

      • Umm no. I think you’ll find that it’s called ‘The Land of The Midnight Sun’ for a reason.

        And the big surprise is that the atmosphere is whirling about at the same rate as the earth. So the friction from that source is zero in both cases. Ever been outside on a still day? Ask yourself how that can be.

      • I agree with you Latimer. Many are not able to notice this but I’m glad your one of the ones who did.

      • Latimer,

        Are you stating their is only one layer of atmosphere?
        There are many layers and some gases enjoy the density of hovering at a certain layer.
        Pressure is the one factor you are missing that holds the planet into a calm and less violently active wind speeds.

  92. Dr. Pielke Sr. has an interesting, related Post this morning.

    The papers are available online. See the blue Free Access to the right edge and under the titles.

    http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02626667.2011.610759 ======== Abstract
    http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/02626667.2011.610759 ======== Paper

    http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02626667.2011.610758 ======== Abstract
    http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/02626667.2011.610758 ======== Paper

  93. Over all shines Sol;
    Were wishes clouds aerosols
    Would cool us just right.
    =============

  94. Explaining the temperature hiatus’ is a merely inconvenient. Giving account of the inexcusable failure and backfire of mitigation efforts will be insufferable and ultimately impossible.

    The technocrats will be disgraced and purged within the next 5 years. Scientists won’t be believable.

    Thank the IPCC and the UN culture which spawned them for your legacy.

    • What passes unnoticed and ignored is the exponential rise in efficiency of lowered manufacturing cost and improved durability. …

      WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Incomes for the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans nearly tripled from 1979 to 2007, far outpacing income growth for all other groups, said a new report that underscored sharply increased U.S. income disparity.

      http://news.yahoo.com/income-top-1-percent-far-outgrew-others-report-015302336.html

      The greatest hardship is the loss of employment. The developed world is midway through committing economic suicide, being encouraged as it goes by the emotional sop of … “think of your children and those defenseless poor animals who cannot speak for themselves”.

      Climatologists are up to their necks and in bed with this ugly destabilizing propaganda. It is your choice to participate with this quiet deceitful agenda.


    • The technocrats will be disgraced and purged within the next 5 years. Scientists won’t be believable.

      Water will freeze and thaw at random temperatures, gravity will cease to be a force to be reckoned with – and the world will finally be free from those “laws of physics”…

      Thank goodness we’ll still have retired electrical engineers to believe in.

      Credit where due – - most appropriate user-name of the thread.

      • Water will freeze and thaw at random temperatures, gravity will cease to be a force to be reckoned with – and the world will finally be free from those “laws of physics”…

        Subjective opinion is a formidable persuader.

        Thank goodness we’ll still have retired electrical engineers to believe in.

        Hallelujah! They’ll be yanked from retirement to pick out tweet meat on wind farms.

  95. Ban Ki-moon
    Secretary-General of the United Nations
    September 2009


    …climate change is accelerating at a much faster pace than was previously thought by scientists.

    http://bit.ly/v8QxSn (pdf)

    Two years latter:
    (October 2011)

    Indeed, many of the scientists sorting out the warming hiatus disagree with one another — in a chummy, scholarly way. Judith Lean, the solar scientist, finds Kaufmann’s work unpersuasive and unnecessarily critical of China. Kaufmann finds Solomon’s stratosphere studies lacking in evidence. Hansen and Trenberth can’t agree on a budget.

    http://bit.ly/rzPw9f

    Skeptics, time to celebrate: http://bit.ly/qAXJ60

    The world might have been saved from moving to pre industrialisation.

  96. I’ve noticed the markets don’t hold out much hope for a continued hiatus. They predict a 98% chance that 2019 will be at least 0.2ºC warmer than 2009.

    • Yes, the markets are agreeing with the IPCC.

    • Which data set? HADCRUT3GL had 2009 at +.433 and 1999 at +.297 and 1989 at +.102 so that .2 degrees would a ballsy bet.

      i.e. If they mean >+0.633 degrees c average in 2019 with that data set, then that would be a very good bet to take someone up on because it is very unlikely. Does 98% mean you would get 50:1 odds?

    • “Markets predict unlimited prosperity ahead”.
      - Wall Street Journal, September 1929.

    • nandhee jothi

      Market is a voracious collector and processor of information. If the information is crap… we have market bubbles & crashes.

      Would you not say the current informations coming from those great modelers is pure bilge?

  97. “As Lean notes, such a trend would require the sun to brighten more in the past century than any time in the past millennium, a dynamic unseen during 30 years of space observation. ”

    So their pointless defense of the hokey stick, and unquestioning acceptance of the result led them to rule out the sun as a player in climate?

  98. This is amazing:
    Evev admissions by major AGW opinion leaders that they have been wrong and that they do not understand what is happening in the climate and that there has been no significant warming in over ten years is ignored by the believers here.
    They instead parse the message and find a way to blame the skeptics who have been correctly pointing that the science is not well understood and that there has been no significant warming in over ten years.
    Even now, as nations commit to spedning literally hundreds of billions on policies that are obvioiusly not going to work because the science underlying those policies is weak, they still demand we go forward.
    It is clear that whatever is motivating the AGW movement is, it is not good science or a desire to actually help people.

  99. The failure of even one of these authors to apologize, to disavow prior positions of promoting climate apocalypse for decades, of their massive and coordinated character assasination and career destruction of those with whom they disagree speaks very poorly of their sincerity and integrity.

  100. That these AGW promoters still do not think to look at their models and their assumptions, but seem to imply it is a problem of the reality they claim to have mastered is damning.

  101. [Getting ready for a flight and not time to read the other comments right now, but will later.]

    So, in the end, can anyone say explicitly what caused the warming hiatus?

    Putting it in perspective of that question, then it means we also need to be said out loud:

    Can anyone say explicitly what cause the warming?

    “All of these things contribute to the relative muted warming,” Livermore’s Santer said. “The difficultly is figuring out the relative contribution of these things. You can’t do that without systematic modeling and experimentation. I would hope someone will do that.”

    NONONONONONO

    You can’t do that without modeling??? That is his reaction???!! My god! What ever happened to going out and getting empirical evidence? NO model ever does anything that is not in the mind of the researcher/modeler, and it can NEVER find contradictory results.

    A model has the same blind spots as its creator.

    Before they create a model (write the code), they need to already have figured out the relative contributions AND have solid data to input. Data equals hard science, not program writing.

    It is amazing how much these people believe that their models are reality itself.

    Shame on them. Science is supposed to be our path OUT of imaginary reality (as in religion and metaphysics), and what do they do when it gets a little complicated? Create their own imaginary reality. It makes one’s head spin, doesn’t it?

    • It is amazing how much these people believe that their models are reality itself.

      That is the outcome of allowing the human race to become intellectually curious.

      Shame on them. Science is supposed to be our path OUT of imaginary reality (as in religion and metaphysics), and what do they do when it gets a little complicated? Create their own imaginary reality. It makes one’s head spin, doesn’t it?

      So mathematics applied to physics is your idea of imaginary reality? Just checking, as many scientific breakthroughs come via this route.

      • nandhee jothi

        “mathematics applied to physics”?

        what physics are they applying the mathematics to?

        They are claiming that there has been an increase in aerosols that is causing the “hiatus”. But the decrease in “aerosols” caused by All those spanking new scrubbers we installed from the 70s to 90s all over the world could have been the big contributors to the increase in temp in those decades. If you back that off from the “measured temps” may be we will get the slope back to 1 dec C per century mark.

        That sir, would be “applying mathematics to physics”

  102. These comments also vindicate the skeptics who formed strong opinions regarding Climategate:
    The science was not sound and the people exposed in Climategate were deliberately suppressing that information and seeking to deceive the public by disparraging skeptics and the arguments skeptics were making.

  103. Judith: Would you consider asking Paul Vossen to tell your readers more about the organization, Greenwire (and its “fellow travelers” ClimateWire and E&E), that produced this article? ClimateWire seems to have a monopoly on recent climate articles (from journalists) published in Scientific American and their articles have appeared in the NYT. Does all of their funding (for 52 journalists) come from subscriptions or are they a “journalistic front” for interests with a political agenda?

    Their website: http://www.eenews.net/eep/learn_more/

    According to Wikipedia: “E&E was founded on October 1, 1998, by Kevin Braun and Michael Witt following their purchase of Environment & Energy Weekly (E&E Daily’s earlier iteration) and Land Letter from the nonprofit Environmental and Energy Study Institute. Braun and Witt had managed these publications for a number of years before buying out EESI’s ownership interest.”
    “The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) is a non-profit organization based in Washington DC which promotes environmentally sustainable societies. Founded by a bipartisan and bicameral group of Congressional Members, EESI seeks to be a catalyst that moves society away from environmentally damaging fossil fuels and toward a clean energy future. EESI advances policy solutions that will result in decreased global warming and air pollution; improvements in public health, energy security and rural economic development opportunities; increased use of renewable energy sources and improved energy efficiency; and the protection of areas such as the Arctic and coastal regions.”

    From Columbia Journalism Review: “Though E&E’s editors have considered it, Braun said, “Our goal isn’t to write for a mass-market audience. We’re covering a lot of incremental stuff, it’s a lot of minutiae; it’s stuff that’s very important for people who are lobbying these issues and following these issues-the regulators and the legislators who are dealing with it; it’s really not very important or very interesting to the man on the street-some of the stuff we do is, but not the bulk of it.”

    Perhaps I’m overly suspicious, but the organization reeks of Al Gore and his cronies.

  104. You have to love this though: Paul Voosen writes by way of introduction to his piece:

    “It is a mystery that has given cover to forces arrayed against the reality of human-driven global warming. And it is a question that can be easily stated: Why, despite steadily accumulating greenhouse gases, did the rise of the planet’s temperature stall for the past decade?”

    The “forces arrayed against the reality of AGW?” These people are so lacking in self-awareness it’s laughable. It still does not even occur to them that it’s just remotely possible they’re wrong/.

    And I love the “forces arrayed.” Of course those forces are evil. That goes without saying.

    Some of these folks could use a heavy dose of anti-psychotic medication.

  105. Candid comments from Dr. Richard Muller:

    http://www.grist.org/article/lets-get-physical

    “Al Gore flies around in a jet plane — absolutely fine with me. The important thing is not getting Al Gore out of his jet plane; the important thing is solving the world’s problem. What we really need are policies around the world that address the problem, not feel-good measures. If [Al Gore] reaches more people and convinces the world that global warming is real, even if he does it through exaggeration and distortion — which he does, but he’s very effective at it — then let him fly any plane he wants.”

    I believe that this is a viewpoint that is shared by most consensus climate scientists. And it informs me that they are hypocrites. They scream bloody murder about exaggeration and distortions from deniers.

    • I believe that this is a viewpoint that is shared by most consensus climate scientists. And it informs me that they are hypocrites. They scream bloody murder about exaggeration and distortions from deniers.

      Speaking candidly, I can’t help but putting a Lord in front of your name.
      Lord Monford.
      Then when you go off the rails, I imagine this guy with these huge bug eyes pounding away on the keyboard.
      Blame the cartoon, not me.

      • Webhub,

        Do you disagree with the statement that you quoted? If so, attempt to articulate your disagreement. By the way thanks for the publicity. And you spelled the name wrong. It’s Monfort. Used to be Montfort. Look it up. I do have some royals in the woodpile. But I happen to be tall, blond, and handsome. It’s the Viking blood.

      • Lord Monckton is actually a creation of comedy genuis Sacha Baron Cohen who was interviewed recently on Australian TV.

      • There is another guy named Andrew Montford, who I believe is also known as Bishop Hill. So we have Monckton’s, Montford’s, Monfort’s parading around as Lords and Bishops and descendants of Vikings and royalty. Being an inanimate object myself, it’s all very confusing to me.

      • Web – he was not attacking, he was correcting. One of the most common grammatical errors is with possession or when not to use it. Consider it a gift of his time to give you the proper spelling. I once won a contract at a State Library because I knew the difference between its and it’s.

      • > … Monckton’s, Montford’s, Monfort’s parading around ….

        Moncktons, Montfords, Monforts.
        Please .

      • please, this is standard disambiguation, whether you think it is grammatically correct or not, punkster.

      • Making schoolboy grammar errors is ‘standard’ ?
        And what risk of ambiguity do you see here ?

      • Making schoolboy grammar errors is ‘standard’ ?

        The grammar is debateable. Do you write “Don’t forget to cross your ts and dot your is” or do you write “Don’t forget to cross your t’s and dot your i’s” ???

        Attack the inane, good strategy, Punksta.

      • Some grammar is debatable, Web, but not that bit.

        The plural of “Monckton” is “Moncktons”, not “Monktons”. How would you write about a dog that belonged to the Monckton family – the “Monktonss dog” ?

      • Who is this guy Moncktons of who you speak?
        I know of a Lord Christopher Walter Monckton, 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley who looks like a crazy Marty Feldman, but not of a Moncktons.

        You all are a bit pretentious aren’t you?

      • I confess I don’t think of elementary grammar as pretentiousness, no. More as of facilitating communication.

        And whatever gave you the impression I called the guy Moncktons (with an ‘s’), as opposed to Monckton ? Of course in princple there could be a surname Moncktons, but then the plural would be Moncktonses I imagine.

        Or would you dispense with clarity and say something like “There are lots of Moncktons” ? But then if you were discussiong a group containing both the Monckton family as well as the Moncktons family, would have to say somethkng like “There were Moncktons there as well as Moncktons” ?

        Even then, still no grocer’s apostrophe.

        And you still haven’t answered my question about a dog.belonging to the Mokckton family. And how about, also, a dog beloning to the Moncktons family ?

      • And you still haven’t answered my question about a dog.belonging to the Mokckton family. And how about, also, a dog beloning to the Moncktons family ?

        Clean up the punctuation and spelling mess and maybe I will answer you. Throw it right back at you, you betcha, Punksta.

        I learned this years ago in college when I misspelled misspelled in trying to correct someone. You have no argument so you deal in the inane and trivial and then it ends up biting you. I got over it, you will to.

      • Yes, haste did let some typos creep there, for which I apologise.

        This though should not be confused with the strain of militant and unrepentant illiteracy you clearly espouse.

      • Oh, and you’re still ducking the simple questions I posed.

    • From the link,

      Dr. Muller: “The bottom line is that there is a consensus –”

      lol

      Andrew

    • That interview was before climategate. Like others, he probably felt rather betrayed when it came out.

      • AK,

        What has Climategate got to do with Muller’s acceptance of Al Gores profligate consumption of fossil fuels and his exaggerations and distortions, in furtherance of the cause? Do you believe that Climategate must have changed Mullers’ ‘ends justify the means’ attitude?

      • Latimer Alder

        Betrayed? Or just foolish for associating with a bunch of mendacious bullies?

        If so he has swallowed his disappointment well enough as to have made no public condemnation of the malefactors. As have nearly all other climatologists – to their eternal discredit.

    • Latimer Alder

      The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

      The end justifies the means

      We had to destroy the village to save it

      Keep sending the grant cheques

  106. Jim C. writes: “The forecast for the next few months is for a super La Nina.”

    This isn’t quite true Jim. It’s one model only (I assume you’re talking about the CFS ENSO forecast Anthony posted.) It’s widely recognized as a deeply flawed model and this particular forecast received quite a lot of derision from the long range guys I respect. And in fact, the model is already backing away from that extreme outlook.

    Look for a at most moderate La Nina doing a slow fade over the winter. All that said, there seems little doubt the last thing we have to worry about right now is a global warming trend. And as we see above, the longer this goes on the more uncomfortable the team becomes. Look for them to start attacking each other as more and more of them start ‘fessing up to doubts/uncertainties…I can hear the cries of “turncoat” and “traitor”
    already..

      • Well and good – except for that fact that all forecasts are based on models that, by definition, cannot have been validated.

        Ironic, isn’t it?

      • Major Tom, you write “Well and good – except for that fact that all forecasts are based on models that, by definition, cannot have been validated.”

        Wrong. Short term forecasts CAN be validated. We will know if in a few months whether the forecast correct. It is the long term forecasts that can only be validated when we have the actual data on which to validate them. So, if you are making a 30 year forecast, we will have to wait 30 years until we know is the forecast is valid.

      • Latimer Alder

        And the corollary of that is that climatologist should also wait the 30 years before making any remarks about what ‘models show’ or ‘experiments tell us’.

        A forecast from an unvalidated model is as much use as my forecast for the 3:00 race this afternoon at Sandown Park.

        And I do not often gamble because I am so bad at it.

  107. The models have completely neglected ocean cycles!

    Look at the comparison of the observed and model global mean temperatures. For the 1940s peak, the mean of the models is not equal to the observed value. That is, the models underestimate the observed temperature.

    http://bit.ly/sBzUkU

    No wonder their predictions are now wrong.

    Now it makes sense why they want to contain the 1940s warming blip

    The models so far are useless!

  108. Voosen’s article is also misleading.

    Look at his discussion of Hansen’s contribution regarding the “Faustian bargain”:

    “Recent data has forced him to revise his views on how much of the sun’s energy is stored in the oceans, committing the planet to warming. Instead, he says, air pollution from fossil fuel burning, directly and indirectly, has been masking greenhouse warming more than anyone knew.”

    The article implies that the data forced Hansen to conclude that air pollution is the culprit. But the phrasing doesn’t specifically say that. For all we know, the data may have forced Hansen “to revise his views” but bore no specific evidence regarding the culprit. The language spin turns the lack of evidence for a bad situation into IMPLIED (but non-existent) evidence for a worse situation.

  109. Political Junkie

    Believers in certain religions have a hell of a time letting go of their prophets in spite of seeing repeated failures in predictions.

    It’s hard to think of a prominent individual who has been repeatedly and demonstrably wrong on so many issues as Paul Ehrlich. Has this damaged his standing among “environmentalists?”

    Not a bit! He’s still a big draw as a speaker and an honorary member of the Suzuki Foundation board.

    • There is nothing in the article that would shake anything. Nothing. Which is why no climate scientists are shaking.

  110. Latimer Alder

    ‘Some gases enjoy heh density of hovering at a certtain layer’

    I doubt you’ll find density has too much to do with it. For example ozone (O3) has a much hgher molecular weight (48 from memory) than ‘normal’ diatomic oxygen (O2, MW = 32). And yet we find all the heavier ozone at the top of the atmosphere, not at the bootom.

    Care to explain that using pressure and density arguments?

    • That is where that dreaded word “centrifugal force comes in.
      Can you explain why the salt started to come in higher concentrations on the ocean surface at the equator starting in the 1970′s?

      • Latimer Alder

        If centrifugal force were much do with it, then would you expect to find all the heavier molecules at the top of the atmosphere and the lighter ones at the bottom..or vice versa? Just want to make sure we are singing from the same hymn sheet.

        As your salinity question, please show the data and your explanation of what changed abot the earth’s rotation to alter the salinity in your opinion.

  111. In fact, we do not know but we believe that we khow. Therefore, Socrate is not a IPCC climate scientist…

  112. Judith

    As this is a non technical discussion I have a short parable to offer, please make yourself comfortable

    A year or three ago a younger colleague returned to his Oxford alma mater a decade after graduating having read Economics. His former tutor welcomed him to his study with an apology that an urgent issue had arisen which would occupy him for 10 minutes or so. While drinking his tea my colleague noticed a pile of examination papers awaiting marking, on top of which was a copy of the examination itself.

    Unable to resist the temptation he opened the paper only to discover to his dismay that it was, word for word, exactly the same paper that he himself had sat a decade earlier.

    On his former tutor’s return he queried the re-use of the paper only to receive a somewhat surprising response, his tutor offered no apology saying “Not to worry, the questions may be the same but in the decade that’s passed all the answers have changed”.

    Would that all those involved in the very young science of climate had the same maturity!

  113. The consensus/settled scientists are not so respectable & coordinated in their current retreat as they appeared to be (as shown in the climategate emails) in the advancing manipulation of the IPCC AR4 process & report.

    The high discipline of an army is not as clearly shown in advance as it is in retreat.

    “Turning and turning in the widening gyre
    The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; [ . . . ]”
    { From ‘The Second Coming’ by William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) }

    About the MSM, they knew the IPCCist climate science smelled suspiciously fishy. They were complicit in the promulgation of its fishy nature.

    John

  114. Now, why the climate models are wrong makes sense.

    IPCC AR4 interpreted the global mean temperature data to have accelerated warming:

    http://bit.ly/b9eKXz

    This interpretation ignores the temperature oscillation due to ocean cycles: http://bit.ly/nfQr92

    That is, the models ignore the 1940s temperature peaks:

    http://bit.ly/sBzUkU

    This wrong interpretation resulted in the now obviously wrong accelerated warming prediction:

    http://bit.ly/nz6PFx

  115. a new consensus will form for the next U.N. climate change report … but … lurking beneath it will remain, as always, the churning theories and rivalries, the questions, the grist of scientific life.

    How very thoughful and considerate of the UN. No matter how undecided scientists might be about climate, the IPCC will faithfully always mask this so as to deliver up the apparent certainty on which tax hikes and other political interferences can be justified.

  116. Some more candid quotes:

    http://www.c3headlines.com/global-warming-quotes-climate-change-quotes.html

    Paul Watson, a founder of Greenpeace: “It doesn’t matter what is true, it only matters what people believe is true.”

    Jim Sibbison, environmental journalist, former public relations official for the Environmental Protection Agency: “We routinely wrote scare stories…Our press reports were more or less true…We were out to whip the public into a frenzy about the environment.”

    Sir John Houghton, lead editor of first three IPCC reports: “If we want a good environmental policy in the future we’ll have to have a disaster.”

    David Suzuki, award-winning scientist, environmentalist and broadcaster: 1990 quote: “More than any other time in history, the 1990s will be a turning point for human civilization.”
    David Suzuki: 2011 quote: “Humanity is facing a challenge unlike any we’ve ever had to confront. We are in an unprecedented period of change.”

    Jeffery Sachs, Columbia University, Director of The Earth Institute: “Free-market ideology is an anachronism in an era of climate change.”

    Robert Watson, former Chairman of the IPCC: “The science is settled, we’re not going to reopen it here”

  117. Alexej Buergin

    ” During the 1980s and ’90s, the rapid decline of air pollution in the United States and Europe dominated the world’s aerosol trends. While those emissions have continued to decline in the West … coal combustion ramped up in Asia. It’s not that the world is getting dimmer again; it’s that it’s no longer getting brighter.
    “It’s not an obvious overall trend anymore,” said Martin Wild, a lead author of the United Nations’ next climate assessment at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich. But, he added, “it fits quite well with [coal power] generation. For me, it’s quite striking that it seems to fit quite nicely. But it could still be by chance.” ”

    So when pollution went down and CO2 went up, temperatures rose.
    Now that pollution is constant and CO2 rises, temperatures stay the same.
    That would make aerosols, and not CO2, the main driver of the climate, would it not?

    • No. They’re not up there very long, so the little atmospheric devils depend upon us to burn additional fossil fuels to replenish and build upon their numbers.

      On the geo-engineering side, they have talked for decades about engineered aerosols having a pronounced cooling effect. Somewhere I read that engineers are perfect and never make mistakes and know more about other people’s stuff than other people, so this might be true.

      My plan to test all of this is to talk China into shutting down all fossil fuel consumption for two years. This should cause significant warming. In exchange for suffering through this atmospheric test, we would give them the state of Texas. That way the USA would be safe forever from having another Texan become President. Two wins.

      • Alexej Buergin

        That does not refute the theory that aerosols must be the cause of AGW since 1980 if the above reasoning is correct.
        And since Texas is already being given to Mexico (do not mess with those, remember the Alamo), how about China getting Illinois. Three wins.

      • Lol, you can’t give away the land of Lincoln.

  118. I think this is a staggering – a forced consensus, of no scientific value but emense political value:

    “It seems staggering, then, that in a few years’ time a new consensus will form for the next U.N. climate change report. But it will, and lurking beneath it will remain, as always, the churning theories and rivalries, the questions, the grist of scientific life.”

  119. A little off topic but a helpful contribution – “The New Einsteins Will be Scientists Who Share” by Michael Nielsen in the WSJ 29 October 2011 – http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204644504576653573191370088.html?mod=WSJ_LifeStyle_Lifestyle_5

  120. There is nothing that is particularly surprising regarding the ‘candid comments’ from global warming scientists. Those who have been studying the climate system for the past several decades have a fairly good idea what is well understood about global climate change, and also where the principal uncertainties are.

    Of those mentioned, none is more knowledgeable about global climate change than Jim Hansen. He does climate modeling with one of the premier global climate models. He analyzes observational data to see how the climate system is changing, and uses observational data to assess climate model performance. He does paleoclimate research to place the current climate changes into the geological context. And, he keeps busy explaining all this information in the public forum.

    It is important to keep in mind that if some things are uncertain in climate, it doesn’t mean that everything is therefore uncertain. Likewise, the converse, if some things are certain in climate, it doesn’t mean that everything must therefore certain. A good part of our research effort goes into identifying and assessing different aspects of the global climate change problem according to their degree of certainty or uncertainty.

    A good part of the climate problem is also one of semantics. Many words that are used to describe changes in global climate often have differently nuanced lay and technical meanings. What precisely does the term ‘global warming’ mean. Is it the whole surface temperature record showing that the global-mean surface temperature has increase by about 1°C over the past century? Is it just the warming part of that record? If the temperature record shows a decrease, is it still global warming, or is it now global cooling? And, can ‘global’ sometimes actually mean ‘regional’?

    In my earlier posting, I tried to make the distinction that global climate change (all that is changing in the climate system) can be separated into: (1) the global warming component that is driven primarily by the increase in greenhouse gases, and (2) the natural (externally unforced) variability of the climate system consisting of temperature fluctuations about an equilibrium reference point, which therefore do not contribute to the long-term trend.

    The most certain aspects of global climate change are the radiative forcings due to the greenhouse gas increases. This is the largest of the current climate radiative forcings, and also one that is being precisely measured and monitored. The greenhouse gas increases, CO2 in particular, are also clearly demonstrated to be the result of fossil fuel burning by humans. That is why I found it necessary to criticize the IPCC AR4 Report as being unnecessarily wishy-washy by stating that it was very likely that humans were contributing to global warming. Sticking in uncertainty where none is warranted is simply misleading.

    A more accurate characterization of human contribution to global warming would be: Damn right! Humans are contributing to global warming, and very likely are responsible for most of the measured increase in global surface temperature.

    There is a couple tenths of a W/m2 of long-term solar forcing (warming) that is inferred the observed changes in the sunspot cycle (which we include in our climate simulations, including the UV variations). There is also radiative forcing due to increases in black carbon aerosols (warming) and sulfate aerosols (cooling) with substantial uncertainties in both forcings, but, uncertain or not, they are the result of anthropogenic activity.

    Small forcings due to changes in desert dust aerosols and the pseudo-forcing due to changes in stratospheric water vapor might to some extent be non-anthropogenic in nature. The short-term cooling imparted by volcanic aerosols is clearly non-anthropogenic, but these forcings are reasonably well known from relevant observational data.

    Some moderate uncertainty begins to arise when we go beyond the radiative forcings and start looking at the climate response time as to how quickly the climate system approaches equilibrium. There is also a moderate degree of uncertainty associated in determining the precise magnitude of the climate system feedbacks. Far greater uncertainty is encountered when we look at the regional and interannual variability of climate change.

    The uncertainty is largest on the regional scale because the horizontal transports of energy (latent heat, sensible heat, geopotential energy) dominate over the radiative transfer of energy. These horizontal energy transport eddies span a wide range of spatial scales, the vast majority of which cannot be resolved within the capabilities of existing computer resources.

    This is why it is important to distinguish between uncertainties that pertain to regional as opposed to global climate changes. Large uncertainties in surface temperature change may exist at every single grid point of the Earth. But, when integrated over the entire globe, the uncertainties that are associated with advective energy transports must average out to zero, since the global energy balance of the Earth is maintained only by radiative energy transport means.

    There is a direct relationship (the terrestrial greenhouse effect) between the global mean surface temperature of the Earth and the global mean outgoing LW flux at TOA. All the convective and advective goings on in the atmosphere act to establish the global distributions of water vapor, clouds, and temperature. As long as these distributions are good representations of the current climate, we will have a good measure of the terrestrial greenhouse effect and how it is changing in response to increasing greenhouse gases. This aspect of global climate change is not at all that uncertain.

    • A Lacis

      The most certain aspects of global climate change are the radiative forcings due to the greenhouse gas increases.

      Let us see the data instead of just a claim.

      http://bit.ly/vmblrv

      It shows an increase in CO2 of about 2 ppm per year. In 13 years, the total increase is about 26 ppm.

      The above result also shows zero change in global mean temperature (It is flat at about 0.4 deg C).

      Your “more certain” claim is not supported by the data.

      Unless you say I should not believe my own eyes!

      • For the radiative forcing due to a 26 ppm increase in CO2, I get about 0.4 W/m2, using the radiative forcing formula in Hansen et al (1988) http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/abs/ha02700w.html

        During the past 5-6 years the solar radiation decreased by about 0.2 W/m2 since the sunspot cycle was in its decreasing phase. The sunspot cycle is now in the upswing phase.

        Both of these forcings are accurately known, and are included in the modeling of current climate change. How aerosol forcing may have changed during this time span, we don’t know for sure, since definitive measurements are not available.

        Also, there is natural (unforced) variability going on such as El Ninos and La Ninas, which impart a tenth of a degree or two year-to-year fluctuations in the temperature record. Climate models also exhibit similar unforced variability, but there is no real way to “phase lock” the GCM variability with that of the real world.

        Also, keep in mind that the heat capacity of the climate system is very large. The climate system realized only about 40% of the applied forcing in the first 5 years, and about 60% within 100 years. See Hansen et al. (2008) http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/abs/ha00410c.html

      • Dr. Lacis,
        The toothpaste is out of the tube.
        It seems your colleagues admit, however unwillingly, that the focus on radiative physics and the obsession on CO2 has not produced a complete understanding of the climate system.
        In most areas of human endeavor, when the predictions do not fit the data, the predictions are revised, and the data studied further.
        In climate science as dominated by AGW, the data are ignored and the predictions repeated, more loudly.

      • Despite factors against warming in the 2000s, Smith et all predicted natural variation would suppress GHG warming in the initial years of their prediction, 2005 and 2010 were both warmer than 1998 on the two American temp series, both of which do well in comparison to the BEST land series.

        A. Lacis, I’m a layperson. I’ve read the climate sensitivity papers written by Stephen Schwartz, who is taken to be a skeptic by many who comment on this blog. I read him differently. To me he seems to be agreeing with James Hansen in that aerosols are an unknown that could be significantly suppressing global temperature, which might mistakenly lead people into underestimating climate sensitivity.

        Why is it that aerosols are so difficult to understand, and what are the prospects for better understanding them in the near future?

      • hunter –
        Obsession with CO2 is your interpretation of how you look at climate change. We take all forcings into account when we do climate modeling. CO2 is still the most important climate forcing both because of the large magnitude of its forcing and the fact that the CO2 residence time in the atmosphere is measured in centuries, while that of aerosols is typically days or weeks.

        JCH -
        We can calculate the aerosol radiative forcing accurately enough, provided we know the aerosol amount and composition. Aerosols, with their short atmospheric lifetime, and highly variable geographic distribution, are difficult to observe quantitatively from space with currently available satellite instrumentation which only measure the spectral intensity of reflected solar radiation. Such ‘intensity-only’ satellite detectors can’t tell if the reflected photons that they see came from the ground surface, the aerosol, or quite possibly, from sub-pixel cloud contamination. Also, such measurements cannot differentiate between a decrease in observed intensity due to an increase in absorbing aerosols, or a decrease in non-absorbing aerosols. A lot of assumptions need to be made to interpret what these satellite measurements are actually seeing – hence the big uncertainty in the radiative forcing by aerosols.

        What is needed to sort out the aerosol situation are polarimetric measurements such as those that were supposed to take place by the NASA Glory (APS polarimeter) mission, which, unfortunately, wound up in the South Pacific (due to a repeat of inexplicable incompetence). Since aerosols, clouds, and the ground surface have very different polarization spectral signatures, it is possible to sort out the aerosol radiative properties from changes in surface albedo and cloud contamination.

      • Dr. Lacis,
        I would respectfully point out that you claimed CO2 was a thermostat for climate even though historically it has acted in response to temperature changes, unlike any other thermostat.
        It would seem reasonable as well to point out that while water in its three forms moves in and out of the atmosphere dynamically, it is certainly more significant and abundant than CO2 has been in the last several hundred millions of years.
        I believe that the policy demands of the AGW movement regarding climate all have to do with seeking to somehow use CO2 to mitigate ‘climate change’, even though not one mitigation method actually exists. you and many of your colleagues state plainly that CO2 is the most important part of the climate. I do not believe I am alone in calling the importance the AGW community gives to CO2 an obsession.
        And this obsession is ironically maintained in the face of admissions that the climate system is in fact not well understood.
        If that is not an obsession, I would hate to see a real obsession.

      • I will repeat loudly that I am a strong believer in the role of first-order physics. Lacis points out that only outgoing radiation can balance the global energy budget of the Earth; as clearly the convection and conduction ends at the boundary of the atmosphere. All spectroscopic measurements show the notch due to H2O and CO2 in the outgoing radiation. From statistical mechanical principles, the containing disorder of the energy levels gets redistributed from the Stefan-Boltzmann black body profile (conservation of energy!) and this means that the overall temperature must increase. That much is predicted from statistical physics and it forms the basis of my understanding.

        Changing concentrations of CO2 will impact the temperature and if it is an increase the positive feedback of drawing out more water vapor will contribute to the average climate getting warmer. All the climate variability is second-order (although spatially strong) and will not make any difference on the future sustained average temperature levels.

        If that is repeating dogma and doctrine, shoot me as that is how I understand it in my own mind’s eye. The main thing in all these complex physical models is in how they seamlessly fit together. This is just a beautiful piece of scientific work, IMHO, as I look at this spectrum:

        http://acd.ucar.edu/textbook/ch15/fig3.html

      • WHT,
        If the mechanism you describe was the entire mechanism that influences climate, you would be on track.
        But it is clear from the data that this is not so, and it is clear from the comments this thread is based on that the climatocracy knows it is not so.
        Which raises the questions:
        - why are they so publicly claiming it is well understood?
        - why are we being pressured into spending huge sums of money on policies and technologies that not only do not work, but are not actually linked to achieving what the climatocracy claims is needed?

      • Thanks for your reply.

        Here is the global mean temperature (GMT) data since record begun 160 years ago.

        http://bit.ly/pxXK4j

        1) Why does a single line pass through all the GMT peaks?

        2) Why does a single line pass through all the GMT valleys?

        3) Why do these two lines are parallel with a slope of 0.06 deg C per decade and are separated by 0.5 deg C

        4) Why does the slope of these two lines is equal to the global warming rate of 0.06 deg C per decade for the GMT from 1880 to the 2010?

        5) As the above GMT pattern was valid for the last 160 years, why should not it be valid for at least the next 20 years?

      • Girma, Please stop with this compression and manipulation of the data. You show gross incompetence when it comes to doing any kind of useful analysis. With this chart you essentially break all sorts of basic rules set forth by Tufte in his book “The Visual Display of Quantitative Information”. Tufte suggests that there are ulterior motives for people doing this, and it fits you to a T. You are either a naive abuser of stats and graphs, or a devious manipulator doing this to further your own agenda. The longer you go on with these comments with no admission of guilt when pressed, the more I suspect the latter.

      • WebHubTelescope

        You have not directly addresses any of my five points. To say Girma is wrong does not mean anything. Address the five points individually and show how I am wrong.

      • You have not directly addresses any of my five points. To say Girma is wrong does not mean anything. Address the five points individually and show how I am wrong.

        It’s quite pitiful actually, you essentially compressed the data by placing a large offset on the chart and then you have the nerve to talk about yourself in the third person like you are the Incredible Hulk.

      • I have a couple of questions that I hope you can answer.

        The first regards energy transport as having to balance out. Over what time period does this have to happen? If the THC were to shut down there would be cooling at the poles and albedo would increase. This is an example of energy transport affecting the energy balance and a valid argument by itself that the paleo records aren’t a reliable way to estimate current climate sensitivity, isn’t it? On a shorter time scale energy transport can also affect albedo altering the energy balance through such mechanisms as the change in phase of the AMO, couldn’t it? Does your knowledge of natural variation in energy transport enable you to rule in or out these sort of transport causing variations and to place quantifiable values on any effect there may be?

        The second question I have is in regards to the large warming to equilibrium you argue for. If this is the case the forcings from the warming of the late 19th century and early 20th century would account for some portion of the warming of the latter half of the 20th century. Can you quantify how much of the warming in the recent time period was actually warming to equilibrium from previous forcings and thus not the transient warming from concurrent forcings?

    • I agree almost totally with Andy’s comment.

      Concerning more specifically the attribution of observed warming, I agree on the basic notion that there is no reasonable doubt on the existence of anthropogenic global warming at a level that’s not insignificant in comparison with the observed warming of the last 50 years. The certainty on that is more than “very likely”. I’m more uneasy with the question of the share of AGW in the total. The wording I chose above allows for less than 50% share, but not less than 20% in my interpretation. When we start to set the threshold at 50% or something similar, we start to be sensitive to the precise choice of the period and many other details that reduce the clarity of the message.

      For me the details of the attribution are not essential. I’m not interested in the certainty of some lower limit. To me only the upper part of the uncertainty range has any relevance. The important questions are related to what’s the upper limit of warming and warming related damages with 80%, 90%, 95% or 99% certainty, i.e. I’m interested in, what can happen with a likelihood of a few percents or so. The 99% certainty / 1% possibility starts to be at the upper end or perhaps even beyond, of what I see as possible to consider, the 90%/10% and 95%/5% cases are perhaps more important, but most definitely not the 50% case.

      In the first longer paragraph I discuss attribution of history, in the second views on the future. The latter is the important one, the history is significant only as one factor affecting strongly the estimates about the future, but not the only factor.

      I repeat again, what I have written before. The uncertainty can be considered from both sides:

      What do we know in spite of uncertainties?

      What’s uncertain in views discussed in various publications or presentations (or thought to be contained in them)?

      The first question relates to the way of thinking that everything is uncertain and all knowledge is just some islands in the infinite ocean of unknown.

      The second question starts from the notion that an overconfidence in knowledge is ubiquitous and that emphasizing uncertainties is very important to counter that. This could be described as “Swiss cheese” of a sold block of knowledge with a number of holes in it.

      Concerning the role of active scientists and skeptics in the present climate discussion, the paradoxical thing is that a very large part of scientists subscribe the first model of thinking. They are true skeptics that know the incompleteness of the knowledge, and try to find and extend the small islands of knowledge in the huge ocean, while the skeptics think that everyone follows the second model and that they are in the vanguard, when they emphasize the holes in the “Swiss cheese” model of knowledge.

    • Dr Lacis

      “He analyzes observational data to see how the climate system is changing, and uses observational data to assess climate model performance.”

      I once asked you to provide us with the reference of the verification & validation report of the nice Climate Models that Hansen & al have created and used to support their AGW theory.
      Verification & Validation of models is a standard process in NASA as in most fields of science…
      Except obviously in climate science!

      Actually you never answered to my question for the very good reason that none of the climate models has ever been formally validated. And the very inconvenient truth is that none of them would be able to pass such a validation test since all of them fail reproducing correctly observational data.

      You so called (climate) scientists are just pushing dangerous political agenda based on junk science and on flawed & formally invalidated models.

  121. A Lacis | October 29, 2011 at 7:48 pm states

    “The most certain aspects of global climate change are the radiative forcings due to the greenhouse gas increases. This is the largest of the current climate radiative forcings, and also one that is being precisely measured and monitored.”

    I find this statement to be somewhat difficult to understand. It is my understanding that changes in radiative forcings cannot be actually measured. They can only be estimated. So, while the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere can be precisely measured, the change in radiative forcing can only be estimated.

    Further, there is no physics, so far as I am able to make out, that enables anyone to estimate the change in surface temperature which results from a change in the estimated radiative forcing. Dr. Lacis has previously claimed that this process can be carried out by only considering the radiation transfer of energy in the atmosphere, but has not been able to justify this assumption in my judgement.


  122. Why, despite steadily accumulating greenhouse gases, did the rise of the planet’s temperature stall for the past decade?

    Because, based on the data, the global mean temperature (GMT) has its peaks and valley that are bounded by two straight lines as shown in the following graph.

    http://bit.ly/uQEq8M

    Once the GMT reaches its peak, it reverses and moves to its valley. This happens about every 60 years. For example, in the 1880s and 1940s, the GMT reached its peaks and reversed and moved to its valleys in the 1910s and 1970s.

    Similarly, in the 2000s, after 60 years from its previous maximum in the 1940s, the GMT reached its peak and reversed and is moving to its valley by about 2030s.

    The data shows early evidence of these cooling as shown in the following graph:

    http://bit.ly/nz6PFx

  123. There are new data available @Wood for Trees.
    This includes BEST preliminary data but also AMO index records.

    Then we can improve our understanding of how T° and [CO2] evolves with respect to the variations of PDO and AMO indexes. Here are the curves :

    =>[1960 – 1976].

    => [1976 – 1992].

    =>[1992 – 2010].

    This shows how variations of PDO, that seem mainly driven by ENSO considering the 3 years average period, are preceding variations of AMO, themselves preceding variations of Temperature, [CO2] just ranking good last.. CO2 is definitely not Earth Thermal knob.

  124. The emperor has no clothes regarding Anthropogenic Global Warming.

    According to the data from NASA and the Hadley Center, the global mean temperature pattern has not changed since record begun 160 years ago.

    This single pattern has a long-term global warming rate of 0.06 deg C per decade and an oscillation due to ocean cycles (http://bit.ly/nfQr92) of 0.5 deg C every 30 years as shown in the following two graphs.

    Before the 2000s: http://bit.ly/sKUfTx

    After the 2000s: http://bit.ly/szoJf8

    It is a travesty that the educated class has not yet said the emperor has no clothes regarding Anthropogenic Global Warming

  125. The full paper highlighted for me Trenberth’s condundrum of “missing heat”. Sounds to me like climate scientists should go back to school and think a bit harder about energy and temperature. No heat is missing……nor is there any “missing energy”, they are just not thinking nor counting properly what there is and where.

  126. L. T. Josserand

    How can anyone say there has been no significant warming over the past decade? Does this also mean that there has been no additional melting of ice at the polar regions and the major glaciers? I really thought that there had been unprecedented melting of the polar ice since the year 2000, at unexpectedly fast rates which reportedly shocked many climate scientists. And there has been recent discussion of an anticipated year-round opening of the fabled “Northwest Passage” through the far north of Canada for the first time in recorded history. Has all this melting actually stopped over the last decade? Has the Northwest Passage actually been freezing back over with thicker ice than ever?

    How can both of these claims be correct?:
    1) no significant warming in the last decade
    AND
    2) unprecedented melting of polar ice and major glaciers.

    I’ve actually seen videos of the melting polar ice and a sheet of ice the size of (was it Delaware?) breaking off the polar ice cap and crashing into the ocean. Was that all concocted with video trickery? Seems doubtful…

    What I have not seen is the precise method by which someone (or anyone) claims that there has been no significant warming over the last decade. Yes, herein lies the rub. Is there really a universally accepted method of computing the temperature of the Earth? Do you place thermometers on a one mile spacing in all directions? What about the oceans: do we measure at the surface or underwater some depth? Do we measure the temperature of the ground itself? – that is “the earth” after all? Do we follow all mountains as they rise, or just go around? If we follow the mountains, then we have taken measurements at altitude, don’t we need to also measure at various levels of altitude where there is no mountain? Or what about in the crater of a volcano? That’s the earth too… What about measurements taken in the shade vs in direct sunlight?

    Yes, if something is amiss here, I would place my bet on the methodology behind the finding that the earth”s temperature has not risen significantly over the past decade. I think the devil is probably in those details…

    • “How can anyone say there has been no significant warming over the past decade? Does this also mean that there has been no additional melting of ice at the polar regions and the major glaciers? I really thought that there had been unprecedented melting of the polar ice since the year 2000, at unexpectedly fast rates which reportedly shocked many climate scientists. And there has been recent discussion of an anticipated year-round opening of the fabled “Northwest Passage” through the far north of Canada for the first time in recorded history. Has all this melting actually stopped over the last decade? Has the Northwest Passage actually been freezing back over with thicker ice than ever? ”

      It appears that we have been in warming period for 150 to 200 years, that warming is recovering from a cooler period which is called the Little Ice Age.
      It seems likely to me that the level warming we have had in many periods of this interglacial period are likely to occur again in the future centuries:

      And it seems during most the current of the interglacial temperatures have as warm or warmer than current temperatures, therefore it seems as warmer or warmer is most likely.
      Most glacier melting during last 150 years can not be said to due to human CO2 emission, nor most of the measured increase in average temperature.
      The most accurate measurement of global temperature seems to be measurements make from satellites. A problem with satellite measurement is the rather short period that this as been done.
      It possible that by understanding the possible warming bias and inaccuracies in surface weather stations that can gain more confident in using these records, thereby have longer accurate record of average temperatures. But this this is current satellite measurements:

      And according to temperatures stating from 1979, it appears there is a modest amount of warming, but doesn’t appear that CO2 has been responsible for a significant amount of it,

      • L. T. Josserand

        “Most glacier melting during last 150 years can not be said to due to human CO2 emission, nor most of the measured increase in average temperature.”

        Do you realize that the gist of what you are saying is that ice cannot be melting due to increased temperature? Really? Ok, I guess someone could have sprinkled rock salt over the north pole, but otherwise I think that the unprecedented (in recorded history) melting of large masses of polar ice can only be due to significantly warmer temperatures at the polar regions. If it’s just a re-distribution of heat across latitudes, then this would mean that it must be getting significantly cooler in the sub-arctic areas of the world, and I don’t think anyone is making much of a case for that scenario.

        “It appears that we have been in warming period for 150 to 200 years…”

        And don’t you find it at all interesting that this time span lines up quite closely with the modern era of greatly increased burning of fossil fuels by humans, first coal and peat, and later oil and gas? .And this same period saw the expansion of fossil fuel burning from the traditional family needs like heating/cooking, then on to quickly power-up both modern modern agriculture and also the industrial-mass production revolution in manufacturing industries, and finally the large-scale generation of ubiquitous electrical power, eventually distributed into nearly every home and business in the industrialized societies, with close to 24x7x365 availability. And finally to the explosion of petroleum liquids-based transportation around the world – with gasoline/diesel passenger cars, mostly diesel commercial trucking and railroads, heavy/bunker fuel oil-powered container shipping, and kerosene-based jet fuel for fast air travel to anywhere in the world. Just for internal-combustion road vehicles the world recently passed the 1 billion automobile mark (1 car for every 7 humans on earth!). And the most intensive portion of all these developments has occurred in just the last 60 or 70 years.

        If polar ice melting is increasing and CO2 in the atmosphere is also increasing (both are now well established) then how is it that you are so sure they are unrelated? Theoretically this is possible, but it seems like a unlikely conclusion to draw from the known facts. Or is there some other set of facts that lead you to such an unexpected conclusion? There have been very good studies associating past increases in CO2 (most likely from large increases in vulcanism) with past episodes of extreme global warming (like those extreme warming episodes that are now believed to have initiated the creation of the oil and gas deposits we extract and burn today)..

      • Ice melting is not due to increase temperature. It really does not work that way. Ice melts and albedo decreases and that causes temperature increase. Known facts and known data and known theory is distorted to show things happen that defy the laws of common sense and basic physics. The ice chest does not warm and cause the ice to melt. You can add extra heat, but you cannot warm the ice water mixture until the ice is mostly gone. The ice melts and when it is mostly gone, then the ice chest warms. That is how ice works. You do not warm the ice chest while it has plenty of ice. You do not warm the earth while it has plenty of ice.

      • You missed a bit. What you should have said is :

        If polar ice melting is increasing, and CO2 in the atmosphere is also increasing, but global temperatures are constant constant (all are now well established) then how can you be so sure CO2 and temperature are related?

      • L. T. Josserand

        Because the idea of global temperatures being constant is not at all well established, and I think you are probably aware of that. At a minimum, there is divided opinion, but it’s fairly clear that the majority of climate scientists around the world believe that it is increasing.

        Is there any quibbling over the issue? Obviously there is, but as I tried to say before, there are probably a million different ways you could go about calculating a “global temperature” and some climate scientists (with possible financial encouragement from ExxonMobil or others intent on creating uncertainly as a stalling tactic) have apparently found a few of those million ways that don’t happen to show much increase in temperature.

        But, it’s beyond obvious that polar temperatures are increasing both significantly and quickly, and the same is true (but possibly less extreme) in sub-arctic areas, as witnessed by the unprecedented melting of glaciers around the world. How else would you explain this extremely fast polar melting that is being seen for the first time in recorded history?

        And there is very good evidence that the increasing CO2 in the atmosphere and warmer temperatures are closely related – both in terms of chemical theory, and also in several studies of CO2 levels and prehistoric episodes of extreme global warming.

        The conflict here may be mostly the result of some very wealthy business interests who have a hidden agenda on this issue, and they are known to be spending a lot of money to confuse this issue in any way they can, often by involving a small number of otherwise fine scientists and others to spread doubt on their behalf.

      • The idea of global temperatures roughly being constant now is very well established, and I think you are probably aware of that. Hence the panic amoung scaremongers to find the ‘missing heat’.

        99.9% of climate science is politically funded, and hence mainly geared to try and ‘prove’ CAGW so as to justify more taxes and other political aggression, yet even they cannot show warming of late.

        And it is far from obvious that polar temperatures are increasing both significantly and quickly, as the thermometers attest, The melting of glaciers, as you keep ignoring, can be due to wind and currents.

        There is further no actual evidence that increasing CO2 in the atmosphere and warmer temperatures are closely related. CO2 has being going through the roof of late while temperatures haven’t budged. There is a lot more to the issue than just the Tyndall effect, eg feedbacks.

        The science is far from settled.

      • L.T

        it is clear that many climate scientists do believe that temperature is increasing.
        It is also clear, that for the past sixteen years, there is no actual real data to support this opinion.

      • “How can anyone say there has been no significant warming over the past decade?

        Look at the actual data. That is a very easy question to answer.

    • How can both of these claims be correct?:
      1) no significant warming in the last decade
      AND
      2) unprecedented melting of polar ice and major glaciers.

      Melting can be due to the redistribution of heat, by means of currents and winds.

    • What I have not seen is the precise method by which someone (or anyone) claims that there has been no significant warming over the last decade. Yes, herein lies the rub. Is there really a universally accepted method of computing the temperature of the Earth?

      If there is no reliable method of taking the earth’s temperature, this scuppers the claim that there IS warming – which is obvioulsy where the burden of proof lies

      • L. T. Josserand

        Burden of proof is really more of a legal concept to handle principles like everyone being presumed innocent until proven guilty. In science, everything has to be proven or deduced. There are many ways to show proof of global warming and photos with satellite images can be especially persuasive and memorable, and images are much more resistant to the typical ‘death by drowning in stats’ approach favored by some people. Nearly all of the world’s year-round ice is rapidly melting and shrinking at astonishing rates. Yes, there has been warming before, but never as quickly in the polar areas as it has in the last few decades.

      • The problem you continue to ignore, is that we are not even close to a way of deducing CAGW. Hence the reliance on mere models. And as previosly mentioned, melting ice does not prove global warming – heat being redistributed around the globe by winds and currents is also involved. Which, given that the various thermometers are not budging, seems very likely.

  127. Their comments and reactions are consistent with my model of Climate Science, which it that it’s wall-to-wall bullscheisse fairy tales.

    English version ran afoul of the spam filter, I wot.

  128. Latimer;
    JL has a Theory, of which he is Intuitively Certain. Discussion is pointless.

  129. Another candid comment, in a post on the Keystone pipeline, RealClimate casually refers to a model tuned to match IPCC sensitivity.

  130. This issue is so muddled with political/corporate influence it’s extremely difficult to tell the difference between ‘creative’ science and factual science..

  131. Earth temperature data follows a stable cycle. Ocean levels follow a stable cycle. What happens next is what happened when Earth went from the Medieval Warm Period into the ice age. The best model for the future is the data from the past. Earth warms, earth cools, earth warms, earth cools. If manmade CO2, or anything else, attempts to warm the earth, it will melt more Arctic Sea Ice and that will cause more snow. More warming causes more cooling. Sea level goes up a little during the warming and down a little during the cooling. The snows have started and the cooling has started and the oceans have started going back down. This is all in the data.

  132. The lag in warming is very simple. When the oceans are warm and the Arctic is open, it does snow like crazy and that does increase ice albedo and earth does stop warming and does start cooling. It is this simple. Look at the ice core history for the past ten thousand years in the Antarctic and in Greenland. EVERY WARM TIME IS FOLLOWED BY COOLING. EVERY COOL TIME IS FOLLOWED BY WARMING. FOR SEVEN THOUSAND YEARS, CO2 WAS RISING WHILE TEMPERATURE WAS GOING UP AND DOWN IN THE SAME RANGE. When the oceans are cold and the Arctic is frozen, it does not snow much and that does allow a decrease in ice albedo and earth does stop cooling and does start warming.
    This obeys the laws of simple physics and simple common sense.

  133. Well over at WUWT the story unfolds a little further . .

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/10/21/update-and-confirmation-of-global-warming-stopped-16-years-ago/

    It is good that all hands are to the pump as this whole sorry saga has gone on long enough. I fully expect to see our host smeared by the team but that is par for the course I suppose.

  134. Doug Proctor

    Re: http://judithcurry.com/2011/10/27/candid-comments-from-global-warming-scientists/

    Re: Candid Comments paper by Paul Voosen

    http://www.eenews.net/public/Greenwire/2011/10/25/1

    The original article by Voosen is excellent. I recommend all read it. His complaint that you/Curry twist the direction of his article is both correct and incorrect: he was writing, essentially, from a pro-warmist point. He wished to put a nuance to the planetary problem of carbon dioxide emissions. This/your treatment turned his position on its head. This is where he is wrong: the comments he selected demonstrate that the science is not settled, and the questions of forcing “force” are fundamental to whether we have a crisis of not.

    Voosen makes the mistake many non-technical people make about technical matters. Details are often the substance, not the peripherals. For CAGW to be “catastrophic” or largely irrelevant, the questions of parts of a degree per decade count.

    In the article, I pick out the following in particular:

    “During the 1980s and ’90s, the rapid decline of air pollution in the United States and Europe dominated the world’s aerosol trends. While those emissions have continued to decline in the West, returns, from a brightening standpoint, have diminished, just as coal combustion ramped up in Asia. It’s not that the world is getting dimmer again; it’s that it’s no longer getting brighter.”

    This is a critical comment. If the world were getting “brighter” during the ’80s and ’90s as a result of non-Chinese aerosol controls, then the temperature rise during that time is, indeed, largely solar. The modelling done claimed that CO2 was responsible for the majority of that, perhaps meaning >90%. If the brighter factor is true, then actual CO2 influences are not what shown even for that period.

    Taking the aerosol – or volcanic emanation, it doesn’t matter which – as cooling factor, means that CO2 forcing was overestimated during the post 1975, pre-98 period, and overestimated during the post-98 period. The difference in model vs actual radiative forcing is equal to the reduced reflectivity of the atmosphere of pre-98 and increased reflectivity of post-98.

    Two equations, opposite directions, which should limit the range of possibilities nicely. At the same time we could include the post-9/11 data over the USA due to all flights being shut down for several days. During this time contrail and aerosols in the atmosphere noticeably decreased, leading to brighter skys and increased ground-level insolation. That gives us three equations to consider for aerosol cooling, three that subtract from the IPCC radiative forcing model(s) for CO2.

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