Missing(?) heat isn’t missing after all

by Judith Curry

Earth’s “missing heat” might not be missing after all.

That’s the conclusion of a new study that examines how accurately satellites and floating ocean instruments track the flow of energy from the sun to Earth and back again.

Observed changes in top-of-the-atmosphere radiation and upper-ocean heating consistent within uncertainty. Nature Geoscience (2012)doi:10.1038/ngeo1375

Norman G. Loeb, John M. Lyman, Gregory C. Johnson, Richard P. Allan, David R. Doelling, Takmeng Wong, Brian J. Soden & Graeme L. Stephens, 2012:

Abstract:  Global climate change results from a small yet persistent imbalance between the amount of sunlight absorbed by Earth and the thermal radiation emitted back to space1. An apparent inconsistency has been diagnosed between interannual variations in the net radiation imbalance inferred from satellite measurements and upper-ocean heating rate from in situ measurements, and this inconsistency has been interpreted as ‘missing energy’ in the system2. Here we present a revised analysis of net radiation at the top of the atmosphere from satellite data, and we estimate ocean heat content, based on three independent sources. We find that the difference between the heat balance at the top of the atmosphere and upper-ocean heat content change is not statistically significant when accounting for observational uncertainties in ocean measurements3, given transitions in instrumentation and sampling. Furthermore, variability in Earth’s energy imbalance relating to El Niño-Southern Oscillation is found to be consistent within observational uncertainties among the satellite measurements, a reanalysis model simulation and one of the ocean heat content records. We combine satellite data with ocean measurements to depths of 1,800 m, and show that between January 2001 and December 2010, Earth has been steadily accumulating energy at a rate of 0.50±0.43 Wm−2 (uncertainties at the 90% confidence level). We conclude that energy storage is continuing to increase in the sub-surface ocean.

Roger Pielke Sr. points to a Climate Wire article on the paper, which is the source of the quote at the beginning of this post.  Some excerpts:

Those measurements are at the heart of a puzzle climate scientists have been trying hard to crack: why, as greenhouse gas emissions rose and satellite data showed an increasing amount of energy trapped in the planet’s atmosphere, the amount of heat absorbed by the world’s oceans — a major heat sink — wasn’t rising as quickly.One answer to the puzzle came from climate scientists Kevin Trenberth and John Fasullo of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, who coined the term “missing heat” — and later suggested it may be stored in the deep ocean, where there are few measurements to track the energy’s path.But new research, published yesterday in the journal Nature Geoscience, argues that what Trenberth and Fasullo dubbed “missing heat” isn’t missing, after all — that the amount of radiation trapped in Earth’s atmosphere, as measured by satellite sensors, is consistent with measurements of heat absorbed by the ocean.Any discrepancy falls within the margin of error on those measurements, say the study’s authors, led by NASA climate scientist Norman Loeb.“Given that there’s a lot of uncertainty in the ocean measurements, given that there was this transition from XBT to Argo right around the time that satellite data and ocean data deviated, it raises a lot questions in my mind about whether you can say there is missing energy,” Loeb said.His analysis examining the amount of solar radiation entering and leaving the atmosphere estimates the heat content of the upper ocean using three different data sets.

Loeb’s conclusion? That, if you consider the margin of error on the satellite and ocean measurements, the two data sources are in agreement — and there may not be any “missing energy.”

“It’s not to say that it’s not happening,” Loeb said. “It’s just that you can’t easily make that conclusion from the data.”

In a follow up post, Pielke Sr. makes the following comment:

This question about whether or not the IPCC model predictions (as represented by the GISS models) are still consistent even with the large Loeb et al estimate should have been a major part of their article.  The Loeb et al 2012 even cited the Hansen paper but did not take the next step and complete model and observational comparisons. That the IPCC models are close to being refuted with respect to the magnitude of global warming even with the large Loeb et al values is an unspoken result of their findings. They missed a major implication from their results.

Update:  Kevin Trenberth responds at Quark Soup.  Concluding paragraph:

So while their conclusions may be valid: yes there is no evidence of a discrepancy, given their uncertainties, and yes there is no “statistically significant” decline in OHC rates of change, but the uncertainties are so large that neither dataset is useful to know what is really going on, and that is the key point. The discrepancies among OHC data sets remain huge. We MUST do better. So the key point in their title is “within uncertainty”. It should add: “but the uncertainty is too large.”

JC comment:  The Loeb paper is notable for its comprehensive integration of satellite observations and in situ measurements to address this issue.  Unfortunately, the data set is not very long, and there are substantial uncertainties in ocean heat content measurements.  But these uncertainties seem to have been accounted for carefully in this paper.

Interesting to Kevin Trenberth take on the uncertainty mantle, after reversing the null hypothesis and all that.

For reference, this topic was discussed previously at  Climate Etc. in Where’s the ‘missing’ heat?

563 responses to “Missing(?) heat isn’t missing after all

  1. “It’s not to say that it’s not happening,” Loeb said. “It’s just that you can’t easily make that conclusion from the data.”

    Sounds like the estimated model accuracy was a tad off.

    • While I am fishing today, I may work on a short story, Merchants of Over Confidence.

      • Capt dallas

        Following my read through of AR5 over the last month how about a follow up;

        ‘Merchants of wild speculation and assertion.’

        Tonyb

      • tony –

        ‘Merchants of wild speculation and assertion.’

        Looks to me like such a characterization would need to based on a theory.

      • Gad, Joshua, you just can’t keep that knee from jerking, can you.
        =================

      • Capt. Dallas,

        The public has a lot more interest in the future of this country than they do in Earth’s climate.

        To no avail.

        Our choices for President are narrowing down to the same group that created the current demise and destroyed public confidence in their leadership.

        Gingrich, Obama, Romney, Gore, etc, etc!

        In Russia an election is coming, too. Putin.

        All around the globe, members of the same group of scoundrels . . . WHY?

        George Orwell gave the answer in a book he wrote in 1948 and entitled “1984” to predict what would happen in the future if politicians gained control of information.

        Computers and electronic communications of information made that possible.

        Merchants of misinformation have undercut
        the most basic foundation of the sacred form
        of government that our country received from
        our Founding Fathers in 1776.

      • capt. dallas: While I am fishing today, I may work on a short story, Merchants of Over Confidence.

        Very good!

      • Tonyb, How about just Merchants?

        http://redneckphysics.blogspot.com/2012/01/climate-change-passive-smoke-and.html

        After Mangrove Snapper Francais for dinner, I may think of a little blurb on how uncertainty in direct measurements increases the value of antecedol evidence and circumstantial evidence in decision making. Like the duration of cold weather events changing with the improvements in farming possible with advances in technology.

      • Tonyb,

        Do you have a history of Ice Breakers? Something about how many months a year waterways were closed by ice per year on average. Ice clogged waterways are bad for business but good for increasing albedo. Since the Northern hemisphere dances to a different tune, it would be fun to take “folklore” to build a working theory of NH climate change. Mann’s “regional” proxies with a little due diligence to allow of divergence, would make an interesting NH regional climate reconstruction :)

        A little farm productivity and trade data from near Arctic ports could make for a nice coffee table book.

    • “Global climate change results from a small yet persistent imbalance between the amount of sunlight absorbed by Earth and the thermal radiation emitted back to space”

      What, why do we need to spend the rest of our F**king life, paying for s**t we have always known.

      • Give a liberal utopian a fish and you will feed him for a day. Show him your net and he will tax your catch.

    • capt. the missing heat is under every Red’s bed. Time for everybody to start to believe me: when it gets hotter on the ground – the air close to the ground warms up more than normal > THE VERTICAL WINDS INCREASE SPEED, and solve the problem INSTANTLY in discharging the extra heat. Meteorologist constantly are monitoring the horizontal winds – because they are honest / they are not ”climatologist” My formulas long time ago have solved, why the missing heat doesn’t exist. It’s all about the speed of the VERTICAL WINDS!!! Faster convayer belt shifts more dirt – faster ”vertical winds” are made by the good Lord, to solve overheating / overcooking of the whole planet. My ”vertical winds” for the Warmist is a taboo, they are substituting it as ”convection” and anything possible – just not to face that: the self adjusting mechanism ”VERTICAL winds” is brilliant / infallible

      When I was using hang-glider, I was 78kg + the glider – that VERTICAL WIND was able to keep me in the air for 2h, no problem. As rocks and red soil warms up more than green vegetation / swamps – should tell to the shonky ”climatologists” what is already known; to listen to me: to forget convection crap; instead start monitoring the speed of the vertical winds!!! 1] by the laws of physics, heat goes up / coldness downwards. 2] the more the sunlight heats the soil > more heat is released into the air – that air close to the ground expands and instantly on the way up 3] THE HOTTER THAT AIR GETS > THE MORE THE VERTICAL WINDS SPEED UP and equalize / make balance between warming / cooling. Anarchist avoiding my formulas, it will be their millstone. Luck in fishing, Where I’m, the water is getting too ruff, fish don’t byte – big tides are here, will try my luck. I prefer not to catch any – no need to clean it in the evening.

  2. I will endeavour to digest the study properly this afternoon, when I have more time.

    For the moment I will make the observation that at Tallbloke’s talkshop on this issue, we came to the conclusion that the missing heat was hiding in Kevin Trenberth’s underpants..

    • Anteros,

      Lacking as we do, on this side of the pond, your guys’ famous, subtle British wit, we have the crude expression, “Liar! Liar! Pants on fire!”

      • Trenberth suggested the missing heat would either be found in the oceans or that it had escaped into outer space.

        Meanwhile, ARGO, a monitoring system was being deployed and wrinkles ironed out. An early ARGO-based paper found no warming in the layer 0 to 700 meters and suggested there was no missing heat. That paper was soon followed by papers by other scientists who found the layers of the ocean below that were warming. Some of the missing heat was found, which ends with this odd headline:

        Missing(?) heat isn’t missing after all

      • But no-one got round to explaining how the mischievous heat made it down through a 700m cooling upper ocean to hide in Davy Jones locker in open defiance of the 2nd law of thermodynamics.

      • Thank you for the great article I did enjoyed reading it, I will be sure to bookmark your blog and definitely will come back from again. I want to encourage that you continue your great job, have a good day

  3. Thanks for the new post. Missing(!) since 1971 has been scientific integrity.

    AMC (agents of mind control) had a polished operation going by Dec 25, 1975 when Science magazine devoted the last issue of that year to unscientific propaganda about (SHE) superheavy elements in meteorites.

  4. David Appell at Quark Soup has obtained a statement from Trenberth about this paper.

  5. The hypothesized change in heat content is so small that we can’t measure it.
    Is the climate warming? We just don’t know.

    • But AGW promoters and profiteers are demanding we waste billions of tax payer dollars on their demands (and of course their profits and livelihoods).

  6. Judith,

    Sooooooooooo….ocean salt change in the last 4 decades has absolutely no influence….hmmmm.

    http://www-pord.ucsd.edu/~ltalley/sio219/curryetal_nature2003.pdf

  7. Coming to their senses?

  8. “Interesting to Kevin Trenberth take on the uncertainty mantle…”

    Judith,

    Your constant gratuitous snarking at fellow scientists is a bit silly.

    This is what Trenberth was saying with his “missing heat” statement – we don’t know is going on well enough, ie uncertainty is too great.

    • Well, then read this for an antidote: http://ams.confex.com/ams/91Annual/webprogram/Paper180230.html

      If Kevin Trenberth is concerned about the uncertainties then he should stop ranting about deniers.

      Exaggerating uncertainty to defend your own scientific papers from criticism, and then turning around to denigrate as a “denier” anyone who is uncertain and questions the IPCC’s overconfident assertions, is hypocritical IMO.

      • Judith,

        Gotta Love that firery spark!!!

        :-)

      • You go Girl! This must be slap a troll day. Everybody join in.There is only so much crap she can take from these bozos.

      • Kevin’s clearly a hypocrite, but his deep understanding of climate science is beginning to reveal to him that he doesn’t know what he used to think he knows. I guess we’ll see if he is a scientist or not.

        Hypocrite? Well, aren’t we all sometimes?
        =============

      • curryja: Exaggerating uncertainty to defend your own scientific papers from criticism, and then turning around to denigrate as a “denier” anyone who is uncertain and questions the IPCC’s overconfident assertions, is hypocritical IMO.

        Personally I hate to call other people “hypocrites” when they are inconsistent. Other than that, I think what you wrote is a fair statement. He ought to have emphasized the uncertainties in public long ago.

      • From the wikipedia on integrity: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Integrity

        “Integrity is a concept of consistency of actions, values, methods, measures, principles, expectations, and outcomes. In ethics, integrity is regarded as the honesty and truthfulness or accuracy of one’s actions. Integrity can be regarded as the opposite of hypocrisy,[1] in that it regards internal consistency as a virtue, and suggests that parties holding apparently conflicting values should account for the discrepancy or alter their beliefs.”

      • It’s OK Judith, you can keep making stuff up. It’s your blog!

      • Chris colose,

        You can keep misinform your children that CO2 is harmful to your children, its your right. Misinfrom the public is a sin if you are religious, a crime if you are profiting by denounce CO2’s goodies and a shame if your livelihood depends on badmouthing CO2.

      • Judith,

        Since you question Trenberth’s IntegrityTM in relation to “hypocrisy”, one might be tempted to score brownie points by mentioning your disregard of uncertainties in spectral estimates as pointed out by Hegerl, because YouMadeMeDoIt.

        Or we could talk about Good Science.

    • Michael,
      So for true believers like yourself, insulting our hostess and denigrating skeptics is OK. But pointing out that one of the chief AGW promoters is now grasping at uncertainty when it is clear his claims and predictions are not working out is bad?

    • Michael,

      Have you ever looked at the bad parameters around and experiment to generate theories and bad published conclusions?
      I have!

    • Michael,
      By the way, You are wrong about Trenberth’s use of the term “missing heat”. He has been until now at least claiming that AGW is incontrovertible. He and Emmanuel and dozens of other leading AGW promoters have been claiming that AGW is happening NOW. That any weather event they select is proof of AGW. That deniers are low life’s who deserve to be ridiculed or ignored. That the weight is on skeptics to prove AGW is not happening. “Missing heat” is a fudge factor he and his pals created to support their certainty, not to express their uncertainty.

    • Saying “denier” doesn’t change the fact that he’s been a strong advocate for improving our knowledge in areas of greatest uncertainty.

      Objecting to the former does not change the fact of the latter.

      You’re cutting off your nose to spite your face.

      • I am increasingly seeing this tendency among IPCC defenders to bemoan the large uncertainties of the observations (I don’t doubt these large uncertainties), and then use these large observational uncertainties as a defense for the unfalsifiability of their theories and models using observations.

        The large uncertainties in the observations would seem to me to preclude many of the high confidence conclusions that have been drawn by the IPCC.

      • Then say that, and forget the juvenile snark.

      • Judith =

        As I recall, someone recently asked you to quantify the certainties that you think are valid for different estimates of warming per decade. Did you ever answer that question?

      • Michael,
        Trenberth’s reversal of the null hypothesis was an effort to reduce knowledge and compromise science.
        Your feigned concern about what you consider to be snark would be seen as something besides cynical whining if you were not engaged in saying much harsher things about skeptics here.
        Trenberth is be-clowning himself, now that his bs is being seen through. Instead of defending him, you want to silence critics.
        Good luck with that.

      • The basic question of “burden of proof” is at the heart of the matter. Neither side can be given the burden based on logic.

        My own view is that the issue cannot be resolved that way. We have a situation, where the evidence cannot conclusively tell any better that strong immediate action is the right choice than that we can afford to wait doing nothing. The uncertainties are large on both sides and there’s a significant possibility that any chosen concrete policy will in restrospect turn out to be seriously bad.

        Best on that view I cannot see anything inherently wrong in Trenberth’s approach, certainly no internal cotradictions between the two expressions of opinion. I don’t agree fully with him, but then I cannot find many others with whom I would fully agree on this kind of complex issues.

      • Ever since I started following this issue, one of the basic tenets of the skeptic side is the level of uncertainty in all the AGW claims. What I see now is the AGW defenders shifting to and embracing what the skeptics have been saying all along.

      • Pekka –

        “…and there’s a significant possibility that any chosen concrete policy will in restrospect turn out to be seriously bad”.

        Seems to me that this is the area which needs a more comprehensive effort. The outcomes of various policies must necessarily feed back into the assessments of probability of risk. I see much pontification about outcomes with great certainty (e.g., it will destroy capitalism, cause millions to die, etc.) amongst “skeptics,” who presumably are concerned about assessments of certainty without validating data. And “realists” seem to be less interested, on the whole, in evaluating the probabilities associated with different outcomes because they feel that basically anything is better than what we’re likely to face if we don’t do something. And both sides also seem quite certain about the level of risk even though the quantification of outcome probabilities is so poorly understood. It’s a mess.

        If there’s any hope of “settling” this debate within our lifetimes (my assumption is that tribalists will not accept the other side’s views unless another hundred or so years’ data has been measured) – it seems to me that it lies with a concerted, joint-effort is made at quantifying the probabilities associated with different policy outcomes.

        Ah. Who am I kidding?

      • Dennis,

        Wht I see is ‘skeptics’ mis-understadning what the science debate hs been about by getting most (if not all) their info from blogs.

        Trenberth has been talking about the need to improve our understanding of this area for years.

      • Michael,
        Apparently what you see and reality are different things.
        What I see is believers who have yet to engage in a science discussion and are relying on ignoring inconveniences like truth and honesty.

      • Another important distinction is between the ‘skpetics’ who can only whine about it on blogs, and the scientists who are actually working to improve our understanding.

        I have to admit a bias here – I pay little heed to the former.

      • Michael

        When many have been saying for years that the IPCC conclusions were unsupportable, they have been called deniers and unscientific. Why can’t you simply acknowledge that the IPCC was wrong in there assessment

      • Joshua,

        There have been attempts to discuss the policy outcomes, but at the level that i would like to see. The younger Pielke has written about policies with some emphasis on the connection between the plicy and the outcome. Some reports of Breakthrough Institute have also such focus. Both are perhaps somewhat on the skeptical side at least concerning many policy proposals.

        All economic analyses of the type of the Stern Review or work of Nordhaus are also related to these issues, but only at the extreme macro level. Partha Dasgupta has written very interesting and relevant papers and books, again rather at macro level and mostly not directly on the climate issue. His work is even so relevant.

        Then we have more technology orienteed material like the IPCC SRREN report.

        The material is highly contradictory and anybody can find support for his or her own prejudices.

        With all these caveats the problem is central. I cannot see, how anything can be properly justified without better understanding of the outcome of each policy alternative.

      • .. but not at the level ..

      • It seems pretty clear, Pekka, that any policy aimed at raising the price of energy has economic impacts, greater with greater raises. It also seems clear that ignorant and fearful application of the precautionary principle will lead to terrible policy unless climate sensitivity to CO2 ends up being greater than observations presently suggest.

        It is gradually dawning on hoi polloi that a colder world will be a lot more devastating culturally than a warmer world. But where is fear, and the fearmongers, forcing us to fasten our visions? On the imagined horrors of a warmer world. This tunneling of vision is a symptom of the vast disconnect from reality that has become the CAGW engine of faith.

        And this is where we are with our present primitive state of climate knowledge. It is foolish to hamper humanity’s spirit and enterprise by restricting the main thing which has enabled the creation of our resplendent culture, cheap energy.
        =====================

      • kim –

        It seems pretty clear, Pekka,…

        Would that be less clear than your ability to see Obama’s “Muslim sympathies” by “connect[ing] the dots,” more clear, or just about the same level of clarity?

      • Hey, Joshua, let’s see that link to the discussion of Michelle Obama politically interfering in an ethical vaccine trial in Chicago, again.

        I do think we are overdue for a national discussion of Obama’s spirituality and allegiance. You repeatedly bring up that link, but seem not to want to discuss either one. Such rhetoric is impoverished, my dear sophist.
        ===================

      • Plus, it is blatantly poor rhetoric to distract in such a manner from Pekka’s policy important conversation. If I were paid to do your work, I’d be ashamed of the lack of professionalism.
        ============

      • kim –

        I do think we are overdue for a national discussion of Obama’s spirituality and allegiance.

        I have read much discussion of Obama’s spirituality and “allegiance.” It has frequently been a discussion, for example, at Tea Party rallies. Newt Gingrich, the current fav or Republican voters to be our next president, has spoken on the question and said that Obama is….

        “fundamentally out of touch with how the world works”… “What if [Obama] is so outside our comprehension that only if you understand Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior,

        can you begin to piece together [his actions]? That is the most accurate, predictive model for his behavior.”

        Where have you been, kim? Gingrich can connect dots, also.

      • Joshua:

        take an hour off. Watch the following. Its pretty basic and Im sure you’ll get it.

        http://www.newton.ac.uk/programmes/CLP/seminars/120916101.html

      • Joshua: (my assumption is that tribalists will not accept the other side’s views unless another hundred or so years’ data has been measured)

        Tribalists will not accept the other side’s view ever, but the uncommitted, including the graduate students of the future, will have a much clearer idea of the truths by about 20 years from now — imo, sometimes humble, sometimes not.

      • Pekka writes

        We have a situation, where the evidence cannot conclusively tell any better that strong immediate action is the right choice than that we can afford to wait doing nothing.

        Problem is this applies to all kinds of different topics – including “unknown unknowns”.

      • That’s indeed the problem. My conclusion from that is that significant disagreement cannot be avoided and subjective judgments hava a large role. Some extreme views on both sides may be considered badly justified and some people do certainly present claims that can be judged as uninformed, but we are still left with very sizable range of legitimate disagreement on conclusions relevant for policy choices.

        In my view Trenberth’s comments fall well within these limits as do many of those views that are in strong disagreement with him. Here I’m discussing specifically policy relevant conclusions. On some other issues I might see less range for legitimate informed disagreement.

      • Pekka,

        Out here in currently sunny Northern California, my state (CA) just finalized the metrics that we will be tracking in regards to our legislative and administrative law efforts (33%RES in the electrical market and AB 32 greenhouse gas emission reductions). Our plans are noted here- “Revised metrics showing progress in meeting state energy policies identified in the California’s Clean Energy Future are now available at: http://www.cacleanenergyfuture.org . The Energy Commission worked jointly with the California Air Resources Board, California Environmental Protection Agency, California Independent System Operator Corporation, and California Public Utilities Commission to revise draft metrics presented at the July 6, 2011 Integrated Energy Policy Report interagency workshop on California’s Clean Energy Future based on careful consideration of oral and written public comments. The Energy Commission appreciates the participation of all those who attended the workshop and provided comments.”

        The specific metrics we will be tracking are noted here under Progress- http://www.cacleanenergyfuture.org/progress.html “The vision of a clean energy future requires achievement in many key areas. Each of the 16 metrics shown below provides an understanding of the goals and progress being made in each integral part of this comprehensive effort (see greater detail by clicking on the thumbnail for each metric). These interdependent activities can be tracked from several perspectives and in relation to established milestones.”

        I find the “System average rate” metric to be a bit to macro economic to be of much use in determining effectiveness (as to the costs of reducing Co2) for the different service providers- see page 54 of this document for the details on this metric- http://www.cacleanenergyfuture.org/documents/All_Metrics.pdf Once the metric starts adding in the public service providers it will become even less useful from an engineering and/or micro economic point of view. Having an average value without the variance (SD) is not the way I was trained to look at processes…… To some specifics-

        1) The LADWP (LA) public utility has very low electrical rates (due to it’s distinct generation, transmission and distribution characteristics) compared to PG&E’s rate structure and their distinct generation, distribution and transmission characteristics. They are currently developing/finalizing their PV self generation plans and programs. Jim a resident in the LADWP district his an interesting story of his PV efforts- noting the different rate structures available and what his system generates and saves him over time- http://www.getstartedwithsolar.com/?p=1692

        2) Andy Black has an interesting graphic representation (Fig 4 on page 3) of CA electrical average rates compared to PG&E’s rates. http://www.ongrid.net/papers/PaybackOnSolarSERG.pdf The divergence in the average price paid by the three categories (residential, small business and residential) of PG&E customers is substantial over the years. His discussion of rate structures and policy is rather interesting as he notes how the allocation of costs have been set over the years.

      • steven mosher –

        Thanks for that link. The presentation was interesting. I didn’t watch the whole thing (my eyes generally start to glaze over when economists start talking about maximizing utility), but liked much of what I saw. I’m a think that “stakeholder dialog” mixed with modeling is a pretty good prescription. Do you agree with his conclusions?

      • steven mosher –

        Part I

        WTF? For some reason I’m having trouble getting this post through. Will have to break into chunks to find the problem.

        The presentation was interesting. Didn’t watch the whole thing (my eyes generally glaze over when economists start talking about “maximizing utility”), but liked much of what I watched.

      • steven mosher –

        Part II

        I think that “stakeholder dialog” mixed with modeling is a pretty good approach. Do you agree with his conclusions?

      • Michael, she is just making this stuff up. She doesn’t seem to be able to grasp that large uncertainties in some area do not preclude high confidence in others, or may not even be relevant to others. She continues on her philosophical rants about ‘uncertainty’ while not publishing a specific scientific example that has withstood criticism (e.g., Hegerl et al’s response to her “monster” paper). Nor does she seem to realize that just making stuff and saying “things are uncertain!” is not useful contribution, and coupled with many other scientific sins is the reason for the label “denier,” not the observations that science isn’t perfect. You can’t throw 100 darts against the wall, hope one sticks, and say “see, told you!”

      • “I am increasingly seeing this tendency among IPCC defenders to bemoan the large uncertainties of the observations (I don’t doubt these large uncertainties), and then use these large observational uncertainties as a defense for the unfalsifiability of their theories and models using observations.”

        You misrepresent Trenberth’s words. He isn’t using the uncertainties as a defence, on the contrary, he claims that the OHC and TOA energy balance data ARE inconsistent regardless of uncertainties. Moreover, he says that the uncertaities are smaller than calculated by Loeb et al. and that “the real error bar on the change is less than shown and in fact it seems likely the agreement is not within the uncertainty.”

        BTW you seem to think that talking about the uncertaities is your unique contribution to the climate change science…

        “The large uncertainties in the observations would seem to me to preclude many of the high confidence conclusions that have been drawn by the IPCC.”

        You said that before about the IPCC attribution statement, and you were proven wrong by Hegerl et al. Please stop making claims you cannot substantiate and back up with facts.

      • Yes, Michael, but INTEGRITY(tm).

        And don’t forget trillions.

      • Chris Colose,

        You say, “She [Dr Curry] making this stuff up.”

        Let’s suppose, for the sake of argument, Chris, your “Delinquent Teenager” immature, smart-mouth hyperbole has a grain of truth. So let’s take that thought and run with it a little.

        You know Chris, I thought it was the climate models that “make this stuff up”, each and every time there’s a run of one or another program. Or is “stuff” that gets made up only of scientific value, Chris, if it gives aid and comfort to the latest greenshirt, flim-flam raid on the taxpayer’s wallet? Or maybe it’s that some of the “stuff” that’s “made up” on this blog puts at risk your treasured (or hoped-for treasured), annual bonding experiences with your fellow carbon-hog hypocrites amidst all those shared, grunting, oink-oink, snout-deep-in-the-high-carbon-swill, blow-out good times at the IPCC’s generous, party-trough?

        I think that’s it, Chris. I mean, nothing like the threat of a lost tax-player provided, good-deal trough to energize a “Delinquent Teenager” to a an adolescent fury–is there, Chris? And wipe the carbon off your “mouth”, Chris.

      • Pekka –

        I don’t know if you’ll see this given the succession of intervening jello slinging, but in case you do…

        Thanks for the response. I have been reading Pielke lately, and while I think his stuff and the Breakthrough Institute may be subject to some ideological biases, I think it is quality stuff and needs to be taken seriously. I wish that balance of the debate comprised more material of that quality.

        Do you have a particular link for Partha Dasgupta that you think useful?

        With all these caveats the problem is central. I cannot see, how anything can be properly justified without better understanding of the outcome of each policy alternative.

        I completely agree. As I said above, I don’t see, from a logical perspective, how any valid and comprehensive discussion of probabilities can be absent the feedback from cost/benefit analysis of policy recommendations.

      • mike –

        Or is “stuff” that gets made up only of scientific value, Chris, if it gives aid and comfort to the latest greenshirt, flim-flam raid on the taxpayer’s wallet?</blockquote

        This, again, while amusing in some respects, doesn't seem to me to be a very serious attempt to discuss the issues at hand. Conspiracy theories are very difficult to prove authoritatively.

      • I have read some articles by Dasgupta, but my main source on his thoughts is the book “Human Well-Being and the Natural Enivironment”, which is basically a collection of his earlier work.

        I have several reservations on his conclusions, but even so this is the best text that I have read on the great difficulties inherent in environmental and development economics and on approaches that migh ultimately lead to better results also in practical decision making.

        I have understood that many people think that he deserves the Nobel Economics price based on his work on these issues. He has been listed a couple of times as on of the main contenders for the price.

      • Pekka –

        Thanks. I’ll check out his book.

      • Excellent, Joshua, and Pekka, too. Now that you’ve got this far remember that a warmer world is far better for humanity than a colder one, and start to factor that into your see ahead glands.
        =======================

      • kim –

        You obviously assume that because I don’t agree with your facile conclusions about the costs or benefits of a warmer world, let alone absent quantification of how much warmer and related probabilities, I therefore I need to be “reminded” of the possibility that a warmer world (to varying extent) might be more positive than negative in balance.

        Your assumption is wrong.

        I would suggest that your misinterpretation is probably rooted in the same phenomenon that enables you to “connect dots” to see Obama’s “Muslim sympathies,” and that causes you to think we need more discussion of his “spirituality.”

      • kim –

        I have a burgeoning worry.

        It still seems clear to me [because I remain able to see] that a warmer climate will obviously be better for life, humanity, civilisation and the growing of carrots.
        However – and in timely fashion here is my concern – I have a deep suspicion that the milder climate may be not actually be

        noticeable

        After all, the three quarters of a degree beneficence we received during the 20th century only came to our cognisance after we were told about it – repeatedly.

        Perhaps more effort needs to be expended in spreading the good news? It would surely be a pity if this little Gaia-send went un-noticed and un-remarked?

        [if it ever starts warming again..]

      • Joshua,

        Questioning Obama’s spirituality is fine. Why not? And furthermore people can vote against him if they don’t like it and feel it’s more important than other issues. You and I don’t. So what?

        Personally I think it is a bad route to take for a political challenge. Other things way more heavily on most people’s minds. Romney won’t do it for obvious reasons, Gingrich is/would be a fool to do it, and it might, maybe be a good strategy for Santorum. And Ron Paul won’t do it.

      • Anteros,

        I have developed a sophisticated model for predicting the latest UAH monthly anomaly. Of course it needs 28 days worth of data to predict 31 :).

        Right now at 22 days worth of data, I calculate -0.06 if it flatlines from here on out. You need some significant up days to win.

      • > Romney won’t do it for obvious reasons [...]

        Romney’s real name is enough to discredit him, that’s for sure.

      • Anteros –

        I’ll speak to this particular point once more, and then drop it.

        You have suggested, repeatedly, that an irrational fear-based view of the future inclines people differently towards the different sides of the climate debate. It seems that at least in part, if not entirely, your view seems to be based on a correlation of what you see as fear-based belief systems on the “realist” side of the debate in opposition to the “skeptical” side of the debate.

        That isn’t my impression from looking at the correlations between the opinions expressed in blog comments and where the commenters fall out on the different sides of the debate.

        Now in the past, IIRC, you have asked for more input from kim – presumably because you think that he has a non fear-based perspective. As such, I would like to know how you feel about kim’s ability, as he has described, to “connect dots” that make Obama’s “Muslim sympathies” obvious, as well as his expressed concern that there hasn’t been enough discussion of Obama’s “spirituality.”

        I asked you before about this, and my impression was that you ducked the question.

      • > I am increasingly seeing this tendency among IPCC defenders [...]

        That the tendency increases would be of even more concern.

      • billC –

        Questioning Obama’s spirituality is fine. Why not? And furthermore people can vote against him if they don’t like it and feel it’s more important than other issues. You and I don’t. So what?

        I have no problem if people want to question Obama’s “spirituality.” They can do it ’till the cows come home for all I care. But IMO, for someone to think that as a nation we “need” more discussion about Obama’s “spirituality” is instructive. To me, it suggest a “fear-based” proclivity – as an opinion that we need a discussion about something that I think is: (1) irrelevant, (2) inherently fraught with ideological biases, and (3) to the greatest extent irrelevant anyway.

        Personally I think it is a bad route to take for a political challenge. Other things way more heavily on most people’s minds.

        Well – that is true and it isn’t true. There seems to be a fair amount of data that quite a few (on both sides of the political spectrum) people who are concerned about Romney’s faith as well as quite a few people who are concerned (definitely more concentrated on the “conservative” side of the spectrum) who are concerned about Obama’s faith.

        Gingrich does it in spite of your view that it wouldn’t be advisable (I assume you think people would view it as hypocritical?). Paul, I suppose arguably, spends energy on appealing to religious sensibilities w/r/t abortion, birth control, and gay rights.

        “I am deeply troubled by the flippancy with which President Obama recently discussed regulations that are alarming and troublesome for many Americans,” said Rep. Paul (R-Texas). “Not all Americans are comfortable with the Obama administration’s decision to mandate coverage of birth control and morning-after pills, and the considerations of these people, many of them Christian conservatives, are worthy of careful consideration — not mockery.” [...]

        Romney is more difficult to peg – because he tends to go back and forth on issues related to questions about the nexus of spirituality and government.

        It certainly is a mainstay of Santorum’s rhetoric.

      • bill C –

        Questioning Obama’s spirituality is fine. Why not? And furthermore people can vote against him if they don’t like it and feel it’s more important than other issues. You and I don’t. So what?

        I have no problem if people want to question Obama’s “spirituality.” They can do it ’till the cows come home for all I care. But IMO, for someone to think that as a nation we “need” more discussion about Obama’s “spirituality” is instructive. To me, it suggest a “fear-based” proclivity – as an opinion that we need a discussion about something that I think is: (1) irrelevant, (2) inherently fraught with ideological biases, and (3) to the greatest extent irrelevant anyway.

        Personally I think it is a bad route to take for a political challenge. Other things way more heavily on most people’s minds.

        Well – that is true and it isn’t true. There seems to be a fair amount of data that quite a few (on both sides of the political spectrum) people who are concerned about Romney’s faith as well as quite a few people who are concerned (definitely more concentrated on the “conservative” side of the spectrum) who are concerned about Obama’s faith.

      • billC –

        Part II (I’m having filter problems):

        Gingrich does it in spite of your view that it wouldn’t be advisable (I assume you think people would view it as hypocritical? Did you see the numbers on his support from evangelicals in South Carolina?). Paul, I suppose arguably, spends energy on appealing to religious sensibilities w/r/t various issues that don’t seem to get past the Climate Etc. filter I would provide some quotes – but the don’t seem to get past the screen.

        Romney is more difficult to peg – because he tends to go back and forth on issues related to questions about the nexus of spirituality and government.

        It certainly is a mainstay of Santorum’s rhetoric.

      • Joshua, I know Gingrich has done it and I think it’s a dumb move, but if it gets him far enough ahead in the primaries to enjoy a lasting frontrunner effect it may have been worth it. Florida?!

        The problem I have with your reasoning is that pretty much anyone who runs for president, Obama included, has to tout their spiritual cred. It’s just part of being an American politician, like it or lump it. So questioning it as part of a national conversation, is part of the game too. WYT?

      • a, gasping for a breath of CO2, Gaia finally forgave the plant kingdom their mischief and raised an animal as their saviour. But those little green critters are gonna act up again and she’ll have eons to wonder about her wisdom. When the fishes finally leave, they’ll thank us for all the plankton.
        =====================

      • Anteros

        It still seems clear to me [because I remain able to see] that a warmer climate will obviously be better for life, humanity, civilisation and the growing of carrots.

        It might be good for carrots, not so good for trees.

        “Dec. 19, 2011 — COLLEGE STATION, Texas — As many as 500 million trees scattered across the Lone Star State have died this year as a result of the unrelenting drought, according to preliminary estimates from Texas Forest Service.”

        http://txforestservice.tamu.edu/main/default.aspx?dept=news&news_coll=otherHeadlines

        Seriously, this “warmer must be better” nonsense pushed by you and Kim is just plain dumb. It depends entirely on how much warmer we are talking about and what the starting conditions are. And where you happen to live.

        After all, the three quarters of a degree beneficence we received during the 20th century only came to our cognisance after we were told about it – repeatedly.

        You live in the UK right? I don’t know how old you are but you will find any number of people who will tell you that our climate is noticeably milder than it used to be. I mean I can tell and I’m a way off collecting my pension.

      • billC –

        There is absolutely no question as to whether it is part of the game.

        But there are a couple of considerations. The first (group of considerations) is whether or not a candidate makes questioning the “spirituality” or the opposition a part of their rhetoric. Particularly when their rhetoric crosses over into the question of whether we are a “Christian nation,” the religious beliefs of the founding fathers, saying that the separation between church and state is not a founding principle, etc. I see that more often on one side as opposed to the other. Questioning the “morality” of the opposition’s perspective is pretty much bi-lateral, IMO, although as I see it, Obama is a bit of an exception there (for example, in his speech on race, he spoke of the need to consider the moral standing of opposing opinions).

        Second – it is one thing to say that it is par for the course, and another to say that as a nation, we need more discussion about Obama’s “spirituality.” My argument is that such a viewpoint is fear-based (if taken at face value, and fear-mongering if not).

        Do you disagree?

        That said, Obama signed off his speech last night with the pro forma “God bless America.” It wasn’t lost on me.

      • Nor lost on me, J; there’s a man who confuses ‘bless’ with ‘damn’.
        ==========================

      • Joshua –

        Perhaps belatedly..

        Oddly, I did respond to your last mention of this topic, and your impression that I ducked the question could be due to the fact that my comment kept the status of posting comment for a couple of hours – and then vanished.

        Now in the past, IIRC, you have asked for more input from kim – presumably because you think that he has a non fear-based perspective

        Not really – or even not much at all. I don’t think like that – whether someone’s input is or isn’t fear-based is not the primary reason for my being interested in it. In kim’s case, I confess I’ve never considered it very important. kim’s comments are interesting for lots of reasons [to me] and none of them are much to do with politics.

        I sense that ire between the two of you is about something that doesn’t motivate me – something very political.
        It just passes over my head, and certainly doesn’t offend me.

        The much more substantive point is about the asymmetry, where clearly I see more than you. But don’t forget that I do see many many examples of symmetry – especially concerning ways of thinking, convincing ourselves, tribalism, motivated reasoning, demonising, groupthink…. Quite a lot really..

        However, and fundamentally, I think there is a big ‘belief’ and ”not-belief’ difference in the debate that is completely unrepresented by the dozen or so partisans that loom large in your field of view here ( and by extension, their wider representatives among the Tea Party, not-actually- interested-in-climate brigade). There, indeed, I’ll admit the likely existence of lots of fear-induced thinking and ‘belief’ as opposed to a ‘lack of belief’.

        These partisans are surely, though, few in number? I see the vast majority of non-extremists falling into two different groups.Take a straw-man example – cancer being caused by mobile phones. It is a rare belief, but people who have it, have it quite strongly – it doesn’t come from reasoning or evidence, just a picture, some imagination and a worry – a fear, if you like. The non-believers (myself included) don’t have an opposing belief – we just have an absence of something. There is almost zero symmetry.

        There are lots of other things people worry about, some with more ‘reason’ or foundation than others. Some with very good reason. But for the vast majority of people, I think that if someone doesn’t get the worry – the belief – they rarely have an opposing belief. I don’t have a feeling that biodiversity [or lack of it] is something to worry about – many people obviously do. I think about it a bit and remain unworried, which is not an opposite belief to the whole picturing and post hoc reasoning and view-confirming imagining that occurs with the people who have developed a ‘worry’ [irrespective of whether there is a good 'reason' for the worry]. Which is something that seems to happen with all our beliefs – particularly the strong ones. Which is also why people so rarely change their beiefs.

        The partisans you identify as “skeptics”? Yes – similar thing with a similar psychological propensity. Lots of symmetry. But in the wider world I see much more assymetry – those who have a belief in something (powered by a worry) and those who don’t see the need for a worry because they don’t have a belief. I think those things are. by and large, very different.

        One other difference. Much of the symmetry is about people. By that I mean it shows mostly in people who are bound up in antithetical relationships with otherpeople – politics. I’m not sure cwon gives a toss about the climate – it’s just a proxy for a war with people like Robert and perhaps yourself. Someone like Fred Moolten doesn’t strike me as politically motivated – but he has developed a ‘belief’, and one that I do not share. It is powered by emotion, even though Fred might disagree with that. Check his denizen bio – reason, reason, reason……then the word danger which is not arrived at by reason. It is a belief formed by imagination and one I don’t have – I have an absence.

        I sometimes worry about nuclear war – I ‘see’ it and it frankly scares me. People who don’t ‘see’ it don’t get scared, don’t think about it, and don’t really have a belief – there is nothing going on in their heads concerning armaggedon at all. I experience my belief as a something, and a lack of it isn’t a something else.

      • andrew adams –

        Of course, it is true that the ‘degree’ of warming is important – which leaves the opportunity for some fearful imaginings.
        My comments are often attempts to counteract that imagining and runaway doomster thinking.

        The last six degrees of warming? Splendid, all of it. And yes it was spread over a period of time, but I don’t hear sane people saying “Oh, that warming since we moved into Britain has been terrible” It hasn’t – it has been great for thriving, teeming life and for humanity.

        The anecdotes about it being ‘noticeably milder’ are chronically unreliable. Just remember, that out of the 40,000 data points used by the BEST survey, 13,000 show a cooling over the whole period. There is no correlation between where people live and their anecdotes of “it was colder when I were a lad”. People have been saying that kind of thing since man first learned to speak.

        With the kind of changes experienced during the 20th century? Generally, I think better (if noticeable) – certainly not portents of doom.

      • Anteros –

        Thanks for the reply. Glad to see that my impression about ducking wasn’t valid.

        Not really – or even not much at all. I don’t think like that – whether someone’s input is or isn’t fear-based is not the primary reason for my being interested in it. In kim’s case, I confess I’ve never considered it very important. kim’s comments are interesting for lots of reasons [to me] and none of them are much to do with politics.

        This question comes up quite a bit in our discussions. I am not reducing partisanship to politics. It is my impression that you wanted more posts from kim because he is highly partisan, and has a humorous flair in how he expresses his partisanship. So when you distinguish between your interest in his comments and an interest in politics, I think you’re missing my point – in a sense, vis-a-vis my discussion with you, it is a distinction without a difference.

        However, and fundamentally, I think there is a big ‘belief’ and ”not-belief’ difference in the debate that is completely unrepresented by the dozen or so partisans that loom large in your field of view here ( and by extension, their wider representatives among the Tea Party, not-actually- interested-in-climate brigade). There, indeed, I’ll admit the likely existence of lots of fear-induced thinking and ‘belief’ as opposed to a ‘lack of belief’.

        I do not base my view of the climate debate merely on what is to be seen in climate blog comments. It would certainly be a highly skewed sample set.

        These partisans are surely, though, few in number?

        Of course they are fewer in number. On most blogs, there is a huge discrepancy even between the number of commenters versus the number of readers – although I would suspect that this blog may be a bit atypical in that regard.

        I see the vast majority of non-extremists falling into two different groups.Take a straw-man example – cancer being caused by mobile phones. It is a rare belief, but people who have it, have it quite strongly – it doesn’t come from reasoning or evidence, just a picture, some imagination and a worry – a fear, if you like. The non-believers (myself included) don’t have an opposing belief – we just have an absence of something. There is almost zero symmetry.

        I think that you do have an opposing “belief,” Anteros. Perhaps it is more rooted in an exhaustive analysis of the data, but it is still subject to biases myriad origins. This is the argument that some “skeptics” often make, asymmetrically, to criticize “consensus” science on the basis of the “consensus” being wrong in the past. Of course, I think that the weight of evidence is relevant, but there is not doubt that my view of the weight of evidence, particularly on highly controversial issues, is influenced by my beliefs, which in turn are influenced by many experiential and/or social and/or identity-based and/or psychological variables. The problem that I have with some “skeptics” is that they take a valid consideration and filter it through a binary mentality (not that some “realists” don’t do the same).

        I think that your view of the symmetry of the question at hand is influence by a bias – and that’s why I engage you in this debate, to check whether my view of your bias is more explained by a bias in my view.

        There are lots of other things people worry about, some with more ‘reason’ or foundation than others. Some with very good reason. But for the vast majority of people, I think that if someone doesn’t get the worry – the belief – they rarely have an opposing belief.

        That is where I disagree.

        I don’t have a feeling that biodiversity [or lack of it] is something to worry about – many people obviously do. I think about it a bit and remain unworried, which is not an opposite belief to the whole picturing and post hoc reasoning and view-confirming imagining that occurs with the people who have developed a ‘worry’ [irrespective of whether there is a good 'reason' for the worry]. Which is something that seems to happen with all our beliefs – particularly the strong ones. Which is also why people so rarely change their beiefs.

        Two problems with that. First, I think that you are over-generalizing from a relatively small % of people who are significantly concerned about bio-diversity. Secondly, I suspect that you may have a pre-disposal in how you approach the “unknowns” about the importance of bio-diversity – due to your feelings about the importance of an “asymmetry” in the proclivities of those who are “fear-based.” As I’ve said before, I think that your concerns about the asymmetry in the “fear-based,” leads to a somewhat irrational fear, on your part, about an asymmetry in the proclivities amongst the irrationally fear-based.

        I agree with you that there are basic psychological structures that lead people to fear in ways that may not always be “rational.” Where I disagree is how you take that to align that proclivity along what are, essentially, partisan lines.

        The partisans you identify as “skeptics”? Yes – similar thing with a similar psychological propensity. Lots of symmetry.

        But in the wider world I see much more assymetry – those who have a belief in something (powered by a worry) and those who don’t see the need for a worry because they don’t have a belief. I think those things are. by and large, very different.

        I think that you’ve made a logical jump here. I agree that there is probably, to some degree, a distinction between two groups – those inclined to be more fear-based, and those inclined to be less fear-based. Where I disagree is what you do with that distinction to align those proclivities with specific sub-sets of other beliefs.

        One other difference. Much of the symmetry is about people. By that I mean it shows mostly in people who are bound up in antithetical relationships with otherpeople – politics.

        Once again, you seem to be pigeon-holing what I am saying about partisanship into one variable – political orientation.

        I’m not sure cwon gives a toss about the climate – it’s just a proxy for a war with people like Robert and perhaps yourself.

        And that proxy battle reflects more than just politics.

        Someone like Fred Moolten doesn’t strike me as politically motivated – but he has developed a ‘belief’, and one that I do not share. It is powered by emotion, even though Fred might disagree with that. Check his denizen bio – reason, reason, reason……then the word danger which is not arrived at by reason. It is a belief formed by imagination and one I don’t have – I have an absence.

        Not weighing in on whether Fred’s identification of “danger” is irrational or not, we are all inclined, to some degree, to let some amount of irrational fear enter into our reasoning processes. We might quantify people by the extent to which that happens, but doing so is a very, very complicated process which, in itself, is fraught with biases, some of which may be fear-based. I would suggest that your identification of his beliefs about the potential dangers of climate change are not obviously more irrational than your beliefs – and that if there is one thing that we know for sure, it is that the pitfalls in the way of critical thinking affect us all.

        I sometimes worry about nuclear war – I ‘see’ it and it frankly scares me. People who don’t ‘see’ it don’t get scared, don’t think about it, and don’t really have a belief – there is nothing going on in their heads concerning armaggedon at all. I experience my belief as a something, and a lack of it isn’t a something else.

        I think that you underestimate the extent to which what you identify as “non-belief” is rooted in beliefs.

      • Anteros –

        I don’t know if you can wade your way through the lack of clarity and conciseness in that last post, exacerbated by formatting problems. Clearly, I need to take a break. I’ll check back later to see if you could get anything out of that mess (and get what I was trying to say),

      • Yeah, dancing on the head of a pin is exhausting. For awhile there I saw more angels than I could count. Bravo.
        ==============================

      • Yeah, dancing on the head of a pin is exhausting.

        touché, kim. Another coupleahundred posts like that, and you may just even the score.

        Anyway, as always, thanks for reading.

      • Joshua –

        I think we’re getting down to a matter of degree – or close to it.

        Perhaps my perspective – that some asymmetry exists between believing something and not believing it, can be shown in the amount of time or mental activity that results from a cognitive structure. Where there is ‘belief’ in (fear-based?) opposition to a belief, say in the partisan opposition to proposed measures to mitigate AGW, I’d say the thinking/imagining/feeling events are similar. A lot of stuff is going on and it is the same kind of stuff – that, we agree is a very relevant symmetry.

        Of course [in a obvious way] I have some pre-existing structures and predispositions when I’m faced with the suggestion that mobile phones can cause cancer. But the result – my lack of belief is profoundly different in its manifestation, role, and prevalence in my subsequent mental and emotional life. I think the symmetry – that I had predisposing biases for my ‘conclusion’- is just trivial. Isn’t it nearly as pedantic as saying well, you have a similar number of synapses at work and your pre-existing world view influenced the result? That concerns the process – not the result, which is the existence or otherwise of a motivating ‘belief’.

        I genuinely don’t spend any time worrying about biodiversity, but my ‘belief’ – however arrived at – about nuclear war – causes me to occasionally worry, think, imagine, project….. These two things, to my mind are very different.

        And I don’t think either that I respond with fear. I don’t fear people who worry about a warming climate or threats to biodiversity [they don't appear like they do, to say, cwon or Don] – they simply have a real, live, functioning belief (a worry) that I don’t have. I’m more in the position of someone meeting a mobile-phones-cause-cancer believer. One of my responses is “Don’t worry!”, but then I find myself looking at ways in which such a belief comes to be held [and as I don't share it] and to try to explain how I think it is mistaken but also – and this is my central understanding on the issue – to endeavour to show that human beings – we – are incredibly prone to believe fearful things about the future merely as a consequence of imagination. It seems to be an adaptation that is now wholly out of proportion to our circumstances.

        We have seemingly moved on since the 16th Century when a ‘belief’ that people could affect the weather caused ten of thousands of them to be executed for ‘weather cooking’. However, I think our capacity to be irrational about the future remains strong.

      • Joshua and Anteros – my eyes are glazing over, but I believe y’all are overplaying the fear card on both ends.

        e.g. Joshua – I do not think I would generally characterize a fundamentalist Christian distaste for Obama’s spirituality as necessarily fear-based. And in the US there have always been underlying tensions w/r/t separation of church and state as you well know. Now – Muslim sympathies are one thing, the imposition of Sharia law another. Lately in Pittsburgh we have seen numerous referenda (sp?) at the polls, the latest being some sort of library tax. I voted no. should a referendum on whether Sharia law should be instituted, I would also vote no :)

      • Joshua –

        If I didn’t respond relevantly to your comment it wasn’t the formatting. That may have frustrated you [it does me when I do it] but it wasn’t a problem.

        I just wandered off down a single track.

        One addition. Your final point is very likely true. And worth being reminded about.

        OK, two..
        I still think there is a qualitative difference between most (many?) examples of ‘belief-in’ and ‘non-belief’. Especially when the belief co-exists with a hefty amount of worry about the future. I think this is true irrespective of the reasonableness of the belief. In examples where I’m on the side of “Look, this is heading for a really big problem, can’t you see it!!”, my take is that the majority of those that do not ‘see it’ have maybe a thousand-fold less amount of emotion and ‘stuff’ going on about the issue. Could be head-in-the-sand, or denialism, or a sanguine outlook, or “I’ve heard it all before”, but their non-belief is profoundly different to my “look what I can see!” belief.

      • BillC –

        Your eyes are glazing over?

        Imagine what it’s like to do the thinking that results in this kind of writing.

        My eyes are glazing over from the inside. :)

        P.S You also make a sensible point!

      • Anteros,

        The last six degrees of warming? Splendid, all of it. And yes it was spread over a period of time, but I don’t hear sane people saying “Oh, that warming since we moved into Britain has been terrible” It hasn’t – it has been great for thriving, teeming life and for humanity.

        But before that we were in an ice age! Of course even substantial warming starting from that point is going to be beneficial. That’s my point – it doesn’t mean that a further 2 or 3 degrees from now is also desirable.

        The anecdotes about it being ‘noticeably milder’ are chronically unreliable.

        Sure, but no more so than your claim that people wouldn’t have noticed any change in temperatures if it hadn’t been pointed out to them.

      • andrew adams –

        I’m not sure I agree about the “it was an ice age then, it’s different now”. I suspect that had civilisation developed 20,000 years earlier, there would have been many people saying “global warming will lead to disaster” even then. How would it have been any different? We wouldn’t know for sure, we’d worry and we’d imagine disaster. “The woolly mammoths will go extinct!!!!!” “The sea will rise by 400 feet!!!”

        [FWIW, I take the argument about coastal cities seriously - that strikes me as always relevant]

        And this is more than pedantic – we’re still in an ice age. The modal temperature of the planet [in the last billion or two years] is 6-8 degrees warmer than now. Surely the worry is about change? The speed of change? The unknowns?

        I’m not suggesting 6 degrees over a century or two won’t involve enormous adaptation [and identifiable negatives, although it might be a hell of a ride :) ]. But of course I think the upper estimates are just imagination run riot.

        So, a continued gentle slower-than feared warming, resulting in a less-than-feared [because it always is..] fossil-fuel-related amount, leaves me with the “generally its a good thing” idea.

        It’s only as it appears in arguments that it comes across as “All warming = excellent”.

        It is mostly a natural rejoinder to “Anywarming is terrible”

      • billc –

        I have a treat for you:

        Gingrich: Well, I think that we have to really, from my perspective you don’t have an issue of religious tolerance you have an elite which favors radical Islam over Christianity and Judaism. You have constant pressure by secular judges and by religious bigots to drive Christianity out of public life and to establish a secular state except when it comes to radical Islam, where all of the sudden they start making excuses for Sharia, they start making excuses that we really shouldn’t use certain language. Remember, the Organization of Islamic Countries is dedicated to preventing anyone, anywhere in the world from commenting negatively about Islam, so they would literally eliminate our free speech and there were clearly conversations held that implied that the US Justice Department would begin to enforce censorship against American citizens to protect radical Islam, I think that’s just an amazing concept frankly.

        Sorry, but IMO, that is either fear-based or fear-mongering to those who have a fear-based reaction to both Obama and Islam.

        And btw – The OIC is the Organization of the Islamic Conference (Gingrich has the name wrong). Second, from Charles Johnson at Little Green Footballs:

        the Obama administration has come out strongly against OIC-sponsored UN resolutions barring the defamation of religion. The idea that the Justice Department is going to start “enforcing censorship” against people who criticize Islam is just … stupid.

        Newt is spouting a cartoon-like version of the reality, with Muslims as the boogeymen, and the right wing eats this stuff up.

      • And billc –

        It really is fear-mongering, exploiting fear-based ideology for political expediency:

        President George W. Bush announced on June 27, 2007, that the United States would establish an envoy to the OIC. Bush said of the envoy, “Our special envoy will listen to and learn from representatives from Muslim states, and will share with them America’s views and values.” Sada Cumber became the U.S. representative on March 3, 2008.[citation needed] Individual organisation members vote against the United States on over 86 percent of United Nations resolutions.

      • Joshua,

        Yes that Gingrich quotation is troubling. Is tht what everyone who “questions Obama’s spirituality” thinks? – that he’s paving the way for the U.S. of Sharia?

      • Anteros,

        We don’t have to speculate about what non existent ice age people might have thought about the benefits or hazards of warming because we have enough information to make that judgement ourselves and we can say pretty conclusively that the warming was beneficial – modern human civilisation simply couldn’t have developed in much of the world during ice age conditions. So I think my argument stands. What’s more, this demonstrates that the argument is not, as you say, “ANY warming is bad”, it is that the warming we are likely to see over the next century (and more) is likely to be bad.

        I don’t see why it is relevant if the world was much warmer during the last billion or two years – we are only interested in the time during which human civilisation has existed. And even then you can’t necessarily compare the impact of changes in climate now with those at other times when there were far fewer of us and our lives were very different.

        You have a point when you say ” Surely the worry is about change? The speed of change? The unknowns?” Any kind of sustained rapid change is likely to test our ability to adapt, but it’s also true that even if warming over the next centurty is on the low side of expectations (which we certainly can’t assume) global temperatures will be warmer than any previously experienced by mankind.

      • billc –

        Is tht what everyone who “questions Obama’s spirituality” thinks? – that he’s paving the way for the U.S. of Sharia?

        No, certainly not everyone. According to one poll, some 60% of Americans think it is important that members of Congress hold strong religious beliefs, and a plurality feel there has been too little expression of religious faith and prayer by political leaders. But no doubt, those who think that he’s paving the way for Sharia is a subset of a subset (those who prioritize consideration of his spirituality).

        But there is a reason that his political consultants tell him that such rhetoric is politically expedient: This kind of stuff is ubiquitous. Have you seen the %’s of the public who think that Obama is a Muslim? – a while back, a Time Magazine poll had 46% of Republicans holding that belief – although other polls showed fewer (a 2010 poll showed it to be 34%, strongly correlated with disapproval of his job performance);

        And related to this blog and my discussions with Anteros – my skeptical nature tells me that when such a perspective is fairly well-represented in the “skeptical” blogosphere, it has some degree of significance. As to what degree, I’m very open to debate.

  9. Surely the ‘deep sea missing heat’ hypothesis could be tested more simply than satellite mass balances by measuring the thermal expansion of the ocean (or not).

    • I disagree. You have a lot of very difficult to measure factors involved. Ground water mining, sea floor changes, deforestation, sediment deposition, along with ice melting and warming or cooling of the water makes any attribution suspect.

      • Steve Fitzgerald examined this question a coupla months ago over @ lucia’s. Lots of questions from inadequate knowledge remain.
        ===============

    • Chris Colose

      I very much get the impression that, until recent times, Judith just largely accepted the quality and correctness of the data she worked with, especially as much of it comes from big reputable organisations-such as the Met office.

      Dig a bit deeper and the quality of the information such as global SST’s accurate to tenths of a degree back to 1850 or its counter part for land, start to look less convincing. We have a considerable pallette of uncertainties that sit side by side with unknowns, coupled with a reliance on models and a dislike of ‘anecdotal’ information that may contradict what we are being told.

      Are you happy that the material you habitually use has been gathered and processed correctly and isnt subject to a degree of uncertainty that renders it rather more suspect, or that the unknowns make it difficult to quantify your results?
      tonyb

      • Chris,
        Setting aside your boorish manners, are you actually implying that Dr. Curry is simply fabricating her crtique?
        And are you willing to extend the same conclusion towards the ever increasing instances of actual fabrication associated with those pushing the consensus?

      • > [I]ncreasing instances of actual fabrication [...]

        Is this increase linear, exponential or logarithmic?

  10. so glad someone found the missing heat – would be under the collar of a warm person !?

  11. There are serious implications of this study, once people get past realizing emperor Trenberth and entourage really was dressed in nothing but rhetoric. The consensus is wrong about some of the important basics of their claims about what is happening in the climate system: There is no significant heat imbalance.
    That leads to an important conclusion about the predictions the self-appointed team has made: The predictions are incorrect.
    So let’s let the true believers go ’tisk-tisk’ over how we point out that these promoters have been wrong. And that they have known they are wrong for many years, as pointed out in climategate. Let the believers and trolls demand respect for those who offered no respect and evaded honest discussion.
    The closed mindedness that Naomi has demanded, the anti-science behavior of Trenberth and so many others, are bearing inevitable fruit.

    • If there were no heat imbalance, exactly what would they be finding in the deep ocean?

      • I mean, other than scenes from The Little Mermaid?

      • JCH,
        Apparently some of the implications involve large error bars and uncertainty so large that there is not actually credible, stand alone data to support the consensus of CO2 caused cliamte catastrophe.

      • And yet, the surface and the deep ocean are warming.

        Here’s where you need to go next: underwater volcanoes. Have fun.

  12. Norm Kalmanovitch

    The Argo Buoys demonstrate that there has been an overall increase in ocean heat content but a very small decrease in SST and these two factors put the final nail in the AGW coffin.
    Oceans are more or less saturated with the carbonate ion so as the heat content of the oceans increases the saturation point is lowered causing the oceans to outgas CO2 resulting in the observed 2ppmv/year increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration. This refutes the silly notion that this observed increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration results primarily from increased use of fossil fuels which only add less than 5% to this 2ppmv/year increase.
    If in fact the so called greenhouse gases were actually heating the atmopsphere as claimed by those who abandon the principles of science and follow global warming orthodoxy as a religion, this warmed atmosphere would warm the sea surface by conduction and the SST would be warming instead of cooling as demonstrated by the Argo Buoys.
    According to Trenberth 1997 the rate of incoming energy from the sun averaged out to 342W/m^2 and the albedo was 107W/m^2 resulting in net incoming energy flux of 235W/m^2 which was balanced off by 235W/m^2 but not leaving any energy over to create fossil fuels.
    In 2008 this Trenberth energy balance was revised using 2004 data values presented more precisely.
    Incoming energy flux from the sun was stated as 341.3W/m^2 and the albedo was dramatically reduced to 101.9W/m^2 resulting in net incoming solar energy flux of 239.4W/m^2 somehow demonstrating that the net energy flux from the sun had increased by 4.4W/m^2 in the seven years from 1997 to 2004.
    Trenberth then subtracts off 0.9W/M^2 as “total absorbed by the Earth” (to provide the energy necessary to create the fossil fuels which are the root of our climate change problems) resulting in a net flux of 238.5W/m^2 which is balanced off by 238.5W/m^2 of OLR.
    Between the 1997 value of 235W/m^2 and the 2008 value of 238.5W/m^2, Trenberth states a difference in OLR of 3.5W/m^2 which is seven times greater than the “0.50±0.43 Wm−2 ” quoted in the article:
    “We combine satellite data with ocean measurements to depths of 1,800 m, and show that between January 2001 and December 2010, Earth has been steadily accumulating energy at a rate of 0.50±0.43 Wm−2 (uncertainties at the 90% confidence level). We conclude that energy storage is continuing to increase in the sub-surface ocean.”
    The heat was never actually missing; it was simply a subtraction error in fabricated values.

    • Norm, a minor point but it is near-surface ocean waters that are saturated (or even supersaturated) w.r.t. CaCO3. Below a depth which varies with place and time, but generally several 100 metres, there is undersaturation.

      • Norm Kalmanovitch

        If it was undersaturated precipitated limestone and shells would dissolve. The only place that this takes place is in deep ocean depths where the water pressure is high enough to support large4 volumes of CO2 which turns the water slightly acidic resulting inlimestone leaching.
        Everywhere else the water is saturated with the carbonate ion CO3 (CaCO3 is limestone)

    • Norm, All that stuff you wrote is garbage. The worst bit is when you said that the 2 PPM CO2 increase per year is due to the ocean’s outgassing of CO2 with warming temperatures. If that was true, we would be warming catastrophically. See the Arrhenius rate laws if you need to understand this.

      The pCO2 in surface waters doubles for every 16 degree C increase, so according to Charles law, and the fact that we have increased atmospheric CO2 from 290 to 390 ppm, that would mean that temperatures would increase by 5C, according to your logic. If climate scientists were stupid, then they would use this argument. But they aren’t and they use the scientific explanation of CO2 increase from fossil fuel burning.

      You work in the oil industry, and you don’t understand this? Tsk, tsk.

      • Some of the 75 ppm (315 to 390, from ~1960) must come from the ocean’s outgasing and other “warming” climatic factors. If I’m not wrong, this non-anthropogenic part is estimated as insignificant by the consensus. I say nonsense! It’s much more than insignificant. It is the anthropogenic part that might be very close to insignificant.

      • Yes, some is and I calculated this using an activation energy of 0.2 to 0.3 eV for CO2. On the charitable side, assuming the temperature increase was 1 degree this could amount to 20 PPM of the 100 PPM increase due to outgassing. One can see how this will turn into a positive feedback with global warming as well.

        This is on my blog from last October if you want to see the complete analysis.

        Btw, earlier I said Charles law when I meant to say Henry’s law.

      • You are correct, webbie. It is anthropogenic CO2 that is building up steadily in the atmosphere. We are burning carbon just as fast as we can dig it up, and we will no doubt continue to do so, no matter how much you ninnies whine about it. The debate is over.

      • Monfort, At least I am whining in a quantitative fashion, and trying my best to get the physics and math right, while correcting those deficient in those abilities.
        I view Norm as a major-league obfuscator, and an impediment to our common understanding. He does these drive-by comments with a lot of mumble-jumbo numbers that is essentially all misdirection and wrong.

      • Webbie, I agree that Norm is wrong. You are also wrong. And Norm is not after my money. So between Norm and myself, it’s live and let live. You, I don’t like.

      • That’s Ok, as the feeling is mutual. Financial types have the attitude that the money that they imagine you carry in your wallet belongs to them. To them, it is rightfully their own money and they will lie and misdirect until you part company with that money. It’s a good visual to keep in mind, especially when dealing with these people. If i sound paranoid, at least it is a practical paranoia, which is more than I can say for your kind — are you that afraid of change and technology?

      • Webbie, it seems that a financial type has taken advantage of your naivete to relieve you of some hurtful amount of your treasure. I doubt that Norm has that talent, and I know it wasn’t me. Unless you are one of the suckers I have taken a lot of money off of, because they were on the wrong side of the Chinese reverse merger scams that have cost naive US pigeons in the neighborhood of $18 billion. But that’s another story.

        I am not at all afraid of change and technology. I have been right in the middle of it and have profited handsomely from it. But I don’t bet on losers. Your greenie lot want to confiscate my hard earned filthy lucre and throw it at uneconomical and impractical wind and solar schemes. I am perfectly willing to finance some nuclear plants, but your lot are scared of the atom.

        You people are the Luds who want to return to the idyllic times of sails, windmills, and water wheels. The rest of us like to eat and keep warm/cool, all year round. There are a lot more of us than you think. And we are going to continue to burn our carbon, just as fast as we can dig it up. That’s why it is so frustrating to be a naive alarmist troll.

      • WHT, what is your web page called?

      • MattStat,
        Since you asked, I have two blogs going on right now.
        The first blog on oil is on hiatus as I wrapped up the analysis into a book form: http://theoilconundrum.com
        The other one is a climate science specific one and is currently active

        http://theoilconundrum.blogspot.com

      • Matt, just click on his alias. His site is called the OilConundrum. He knows all about oil and stuff. Did you see him say that the businessmen putting up $7 billion to build the Keystone project were just going after short term profit. A lot of them will be dead before that thing ever gets to breakeven.

        He seems to have been conned by some financial type but he has got the stock market all figured out, with this unique theory:

        “Stock Market as Econophysics Toy Problem

        The stock market with its myriad of players follows an entropic model to first-order. All the agents seem to fill up the state space so that we can get a parsimonious fit to the data with an almost laughably simple econophysics model. For this model, the distribution curve on a log-log plot will always take on exactly that skewed shape (excepting for statistical noise of course) — it will only shift laterally depending the general direction of the market.

        The stock market becomes essentially a toy problem, no different than the explanation of statistical mechanics you may encounter in a physics course.

        Has anyone else figured this out?”

        That is some real crank stuff there, Matt. This clown should start a newsletter on the so-called technical analysis. Naive investors love that stuff. Like the famous Elliot Wave Theory. The goofier it sounds, the better they like it. They call themselves chartists. Real morons. Warren Buffet said he used to believe in TA, until he turned the charts upside down and got the same answer. He was joking, of course. I would recommend that webbie read, A Random Walk Down Wall Street, and study up on the Capital Assest Pricing Model, but he probably doesn’t have time, what with his trolling here and his own
        website. It looks like he gets about as much traffic as little robert.

      • wht,

        Do you know that clicking on your alias now leads one to the page with the offensive material that Judith took down, not long ago. I will assume that it is an error and you will make it go away. You surely would not abuse your gracious hostess’ hospitality again, like that.

      • Norm Kalmanovitch

        to WHT
        If you bother to have read Arrhenius’ 1896 paper and had some knowledge about the symetric antisymetric and bend modes of CO2 interaction with thermal radiation at 2.3 4.2 and 14.77microns you would know that the Earth does not radiate any appreciable energy below 5microns eliminating 2.3 and 4.2microns from any involvement with the Earth’s greenhouse effect and Arrhenius states in this paper at the bottom of page 248 that there were no measurements made for wavelengths above 9.5 microns.
        “On the Influence of Carbonic Acid in the Air upon the Temperature of the Ground” Svante Arrhenius
        Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science
        Series 5, Volume 41, April 1896, pages 237-276.
        Since CO2 only has an effect on a band centred on 14.77microns Arrhenius falsely assdumed the effect that he was using for his hypothesis was from CO2 when in fact it was actually from water vapour in the atmosphere.
        This was picked up by Angstrom in his criticism of Arrhenius’s work and when quantum physics properly described the interaction between the CO2 molecule and thermal radiation this hypothesis was clearly falsefied and subsequently ignored.
        It was only when this hypothesis was found to serve a political end that it was resurected and through t5he use of a fabricated CO2 forcing parameter and an equally false climate sensitivity factor computer models wetre used to convince a scientifically ignorant gullable public of a physical impossibility. Apparently you are just as gullable!

      • Monfort, That econophysics blog post I wrote was not included in my book. As you likely noticed I titled it as a toy problem. The other embarrassing accusation you made was in thinking that this could help pick stocks. Hint: The model was random. And the purpose was to show how entropy and randomness can manifest itself in a market. In a comment to the post, someone familiar with econometric theory said I rediscovered a generalized hyperbolic distribution introduced by Barndorff-Nielsen, which was frequently used to model the distribution of stock returns. He said “that no economist, econometrician etc… thinks that returns are normally distributed.” So, that’s why I didn’t include it in the book. It was some crackpot theory, all right, crackpot enough to already be theorized and proven.

        Try again, Monfort. My problem is that I am intellectually curious. I wrote one post on the stock market, on a blog that I had been posting to since 2004, and you think I am trying to sell some sort of financial algorithm. You are the one that is delusional my friend. You are searching for phantoms that have somehow wronged you.

      • Dear Concern Troll,
        Thanks for your concern pertaining to my welfare.

      • WHT – I find your list of crackpot theories very entertaining. May I suggest that you create a parallel one of crackpot political theories and see what sort of correlation you get?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Yeah – we are pretty convinced that warmism is hyper correlated to pissant liberalism.

      • WHT, thanks, I bookmarked it.

  13. Climate Watcher

    “Consistent with uncertainty” – there’s a catch phrase.

  14. It’s not missing heat, it is missing understanding. And Kevin seems to understand that. It’s time he got a heavy load of uncertainty off his chest.
    =============

    • yes, trenberth’s comment is spot on regardless of what he has said before. and what judith noted about it is also spot on. the discussion above about who said what when, deniers, Obama’s underpants and all is silly.

      • So was Trenberth has been wrong earlier? In what areas?

      • hunter, don’t know if you look back this far in time, but I think Trenberth was wrong to talk about reversing the null hypothesis and inasmuch as he talks about deniers lumping all skeptics/unconvinced in that boat, I think it’s wrong to do so. I think his Travesty comment was “right on”.

  15. If an additional (and huge) amount of heat is being retained in deep ocean water instead of warming the surface, thus explaining the lack of surface warming in recent years, then the additional thermal expansion (the dominant component of sea level rise) should have resulted in an increased rate of sea level rise. But the rate of sea level rise has not increased lately (if anything, it has decelerated, as per satellite measurements). This is a strong prima facie indication that this presumed explanation for the “missing heat” is not very likely to be correct. The heat is still missing, or there was no such missing heat after all and all the fuss is due to imprecise measurements. But in either case, the estimated warming effect of GHG should have to be revised. As Trenberth said in one famous Climategate email on this matter, it is indeed a travesty.

    • Norm Kalmanovitch

      A large portion of the ocean water is below 4°C and as water heats from 0°C to 4°C it contracts and above 4°C it expands.
      In all liklihood this expansion and contraction with increased heat balance eachother off to the extent that othe factors such as changes in continental rebound since the last ice age or changes in ocean spreading or other tectonic related movements which control sea level hide any possible detection of sea level change due to thermal expansion

  16. I come back to the Spencer/Dessler controversy. I believe that Spencer has been saying something similar to what is now being discussed. My physics is not good enough to comment on the Spencer/Dessler controversy, but surely Spencer’s latest musings on why he thinks Dessler is wrong may have some relevance to the present discussion..

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2011/10/our-grl-response-to-dessler-takes-shape-and-the-evidence-keeps-mounting/

  17. Climate Watcher

    So, at its core, AGW theory postulates energy imbalance because increasing GHGs reduces outgoing radiation until warming occurs.

    In order to verify this, one needs to know incoming and outgoing radiation values to an accuracy and precision FINER ( ideally much finer ) than the feature one is trying to prove.

    Incoming radiation according to K&T analysis and Hansen model is not known well enough due to unknown albedo:

    Outgoing radiation according to ( the stitched together series of ) NOAA satellite data, K&T analysis, and Hansen model, is not known well enough:

    In fact, the satellite data and two different K&T analyses indicate an INCREASE in outgoing radiation, not a decrease.

    Of course the theory is “Consistent within uncertainty” – so too is a theory that the earth is dramatically cooling because the uncertainty in net radiation is four times larger than the effect of CO2 doubling!

  18. Dr. Curry – Check out statistician William Briggs evaluation of the uncertainty presented in the paper. Seems they may have underestimated it!

    • steven mosher

      standard Briggs. you can pretty much be certain that any paper in climate science will underestimate uncertainties.

  19. randomengineer

    Joshua — I see much pontification about outcomes with great certainty (e.g., it will destroy capitalism, cause millions to die, etc.) amongst “skeptics,” who presumably are concerned about assessments of certainty without validating data. And “realists” seem to be less interested, on the whole, in evaluating the probabilities associated with different outcomes because they feel that basically anything is better than what we’re likely to face if we don’t do something.

    This is very well said, and as far as I can tell, a perfect summation.

    If I may —

    Please note that to date my efforts have been focused on discussing energy, advocating nuclear power in the short term and solar power from space in the longer term (because these are the two reliable technologies that can scale.)

    If we all were able to focus on the energy problem — that is, providing reliable and affordable energy without wholesale societal disruption — the emissions problem tends to solve itself. Sure, in the interim there would still be vehicle emissions, but continued tech improvement ought to be able to raise mpg until such time as lower emission transport can be solved.

    I’m not sure why the climate discussion always needs to come to blows, but since solving the energy problem also solves emission problems by definition, this seems like the most realistic approach where both sides could find common ground.

    I too am wary of the politics and reckon that what the advocates want would be destructive to society. I am equally wary of the drill baby drill approach. Solving for energy neutralises both extremes.

    • RE –

      Please note that to date my efforts have been focused on discussing energy, advocating nuclear power in the short term and solar power from space in the longer term (because these are the two reliable technologies that can scale.)

      I have noted that. Maybe your focus wanders a bit (insults flung my way come to mind) – but we all tend to wander a bit, and wandering a bit is probably a necessary part of a critical thinking process.

      • randomengineer

        What, me wander?

      • re, you are still solving for reducing CO2. Why, if it is a warming agent in a cooling world?
        ============

      • randomengineer

        Kim

        Reduction of CO2 output happens when adopting nuke/solar as a consequence of how they work. These technologies need to be adopted not due to CO2 but due to scalability and energy security (i.e. if Iran blocks the straits of Hormuz in 2040, who cares?) That the crowd worried about emissions likes it is a pleasant short term side effect.

        If it happens that we’re headed into an ice age and we need the extra CO2 then I’m sure it wouldn’t be difficult to obtain it. Think of it this way. If we do things as I advocate and there is a need for CO2 then you can thank me for having saved the necessary deposits for when they’re needed as opposed to having used them up previously.

      • Yeah, I had to turn over a rock to find you fearing CO2.

        It doesn’t appear, yet, that the warming effect of CO2 will be enough to stop an Ice Age or even a D-O Event, and I don’t share your belief that we can release enough CO2 fast enough to change temperature much.
        =================

      • randomengineer

        Kim

        I don’t share your confidence that CO2 is a non-problem.

        And yet.

        I don’t share Joshua’s confidence that CO2 *is* a problem.

        I simply don’t know.

        Solving energy security, affordability and reliability is something that needs to be done regardless of CO2. Why not solve for energy and make all sides happy.

      • RE –

        I don’t share Joshua’s confidence that CO2 *is* a problem.

        What is my level of confidence that CO2 *is* a problem?

      • solve for energy whilst continuing to strive for climate understanding.

        i agree with RE that extra CO2 if needed would not be hard to find. coal is still cheap. like i told kim long ago, we don’t dismantle the coal plants yet.

        and joshua, your bias to thinking CO2 is a problem shows when you respond to comments from “fellow” warmers like Robert, Michael, CNP etc. In these instances you appear to be cheering for the home team. when you get into extended discussions with RE, Anteros etc., you seem to be able to dial back the biases – bravo!. I’m just sayin’…

        My biases show too when I continue to neglect possible benefits of CO2 and warming and my knee jerk response is to think of the cost benefit analysis in terms of economic cost and mitigation benefits only.

    • random:
      Nobody’s against solving the energy problem.
      What I’m against is wasting hundreds of billions on windmills, solar panels of biofuel. These are not “energy problem solutions”, these are silly, inefective, primitive and useless nonsense. But this idiotic waste of resources is what results from pushing the CAGW scaremongering. This is not an assesment of the future costs of “mitigation” – this money has alredy been wasted, and much more waste like this is “in the pipe”. This is what the warmist are pushing with all their might.
      Pekka said: the question is: to do or not to do (something).
      A more important question is : what to do ? The right answer can’t be “windmills”. IPCC or not – windills are sheer idiocy.

      • randomengineer

        We agree. I don’t think windmills and PV solve anything, at least at the scale of 24/7 reliability of the needed terawatts. This is why I am advocating nuclear (works now, and we all know it) and spaceborne solar in the near future (we know how to do this, it’s a matter of engineering and politics.)

        As for windmills etc these do not and cannot work until energy storage is figured out. Until such time these are largely a boondoggle wasting more money than ought to be legally allowed.

      • A sports analogy comes to mind here. I will discuss the technical issues with someone willing to compete on technical terms. So athletes go one on one, and likewise science turns into a contact sport. However, the athletes don’t go into the stands and mix it up based on some catcalls from spectators.

        You happen to be that fanboy-type Jacob. So if you have some technical arguments backed up with something, then bring it to the table. Otherwise you are just a nobody in the peanut gallery and I don’t consider it worthy of a response. I will go after an opponent that actually tries to apply some scientific substance, be that citations or some analysis they are working on. But you aren’t that guy.

        How’s that for some trash talk?

      • Well, WEB, so you do believe in windmills ?
        Please let us know, so we can judge the depth of your understanding of the issues.

      • Waves hand: Ask me, ask me! Power density and storage technology. Why we don’t still grind wheat with wind, or power ships with it.
        =========

      • I believe in understanding and discussing the stochastic properties of wind and how to make it more dependable based on smart grids. People should remember that the kinetic energy wrapped up in the earth’s atmosphere as wind is anaggregated steady value.

        Do you have a book or articles written on the subject of renewables? If so, perhaps you would be willing to trade notes and provide me with something I can chew on.

      • Ranting about “aggregate energy” is nice.
        The question is how much ebergy have the 3000+ windmills installed in Britain produces?, and the 5000+ in Germany or Denmark ?
        Why rush and buld thousands of windmills that produce little energy, and what they produce comes when it’s not needed? And no emissions are saved by them ? Why spend hundreds of billions on useless things?
        Maybe there is a lot of aggregate kinetic energy in the athmosphere, but why build silly windmills before we know how to tap efficiently this energy ?
        Because “we need to do something urgently” ??

  20. I got lucky in anticipating this post. I just wrote a blog post on my interpretation of “Thermal Diffusion and the Missing Heat”

    http://theoilconundrum.blogspot.com/2012/01/thermal-diffusion-and-missing-heat.html

    The gist of the idea is that the ocean does create a substantial heat sink, and there are some nice math/physics modeling approximations one can make to hone our interpretation. I will take a look at the paper to see if I can use it to calibrate my simple model. The quantitative question is just how big is the ocean in terms of relative heat capacity, and how much heat can it buffer before the heat sink starts to saturate.

    The analogy is very close to sizing a heat sink for your computer’s CPU. The heat sink works up to a point, then the fan takes over to dissipate that buffered heat via the fins. The problem is that the planet does not have a fan nor fins, but it does have an ocean as a sink. The excess heat then has nowhere left to go. Eventually the heat flow reaches a steady state, and the pipelining or buffering fails to dissipate the excess heat.

    • When your ocean buffers heat, does the sea level rise?

      • Of course, and that is something that has to agree quantitatively with the rest of the observations.
        All of these considerations taken together comprehensively gives climate science a solid foundation.

      • Well, you have to remember that water contracts as it heats up to 4 C, before it expands with additional heat, so it depends on the temperature where the heating occurs.

      • Bob, Correct and it points to the poor circulation of water in comparison to the atmosphere. Solar heated surface water will not sink, so that thermal diffusion is one mechanism in which it will move to lower layers. Fresh water entering the oceans will also cause convection currents.

        In freshwater lakes, the concept of “turnover” is very interesting. Many northern lakes would be dead if seasonal warming and cooling didn’t cause a circular convection pattern around that 4C thermocline transition. The turnover happens in the fall and the reverse in the spring but oonly ver a short time interval. (The only geology course I took in college was limnology)

  21. Missing heat wasn’t actually heat. It was hot air and it was not missing at all.

  22. Several points: Michael, Judith barely said anything about Trenberth at all, let alone anything that was really all that “snarky”, especially compared to the constant stream of insults, contempt, and vitriol that the true believers have used against anyone, even respected climate scientists with 300 papers published, who dare disagree with their certainty.

    Secondly, it is interesting that the errors are so large, even with 90% error bars, that the heat could be anywhere from zero to double the 0.50 number in this latest paper. Of course, with 95% error bars, the error would probably be larger than the value of 0.5 which is why they chose 90% instead of 95%.

    Third, while there are a lot of uninformed people who post on skeptical blogs, there are an equally large number of people who simply accept arguments from authority who post sycophantic b.s. on warmist blogs.

    Speaking as a scientist myself ( a chemist and biochemist) the main things I have been skeptical about are the constant doomsday predictions and the calls for immediate action based on the flimsiest evidence for possible future apocalyptic events, and the piling on often seen in science when people try to throw in the latest buzzwords and trends in order to get more attention in their publications and in their constant fight for funding. In short, people will push back when others try to tie every little thing to CO2 induced catastrophic global warming. If people were simply giving guarded arguments that we need to be cautious and just do what it makes sense to do otherwise such as reduce black soot and other air pollution due to coal then there would not be as many skeptics.

    I never thought it would be necessary, but just in case someone is thinking that a chemist/biochemist is not competent to judge climate matters I would point out the following. A PhD in the hard sciences is capable of judging most other science to some degree, particularly with regard to statistics and error analysis and certainty. Chemistry is known as the central science and biochemists by nature have to be jacks-of-all-trade. I am a physical biochemist which means I have even more thermodynamics and spectroscopy (such as IR) in my background than would a biologist who became a biochemist who studied metabolism. Chemists are perfectly competent to understand chemistry concepts such as pH and complex equilibria such as carbonate chemistry in the oceans. As I said above, we take multiple courses in thermo. and often in spectroscopy, we understand radioactive isotopes, and atmospheric chemistry, and as a biochemist I also have a strong biology background and understanding of evolution.

    I say, let’s back off the fake certainty, and study this for another 10-20 years and then see if we still have the same prognosis.

    And by the way, too many people lost their lives in the Holocaust for me to let the term “denier” slide by. Call me a denier to my face and you may be sorry.

    • Bill –

      Speaking as a scientist myself ( a chemist and biochemist) the main things I have been skeptical about are the constant doomsday predictions and the calls for immediate action based on the flimsiest evidence for possible future apocalyptic events,…

      Are you talking, here, about said phenomenon seen in comments by “skeptics” or comments by “realists?”

      • You would have more success straightening out the confusions in your mind, Joshua, if you studied climate science instead of climate rhetoric.
        =================

      • steven mosher

        The projections for impacts on the economy are part and parcel of climate science. We are talking Trillions of dollars.

      • Speaking of impacts on the economy, the 250 billions spent in 2010 on windmills and solar panels are no projections, that is good money that has been wasted, and an ever increasing amount is thrown down the drain each year.

    • Bill –

      Call me a denier to my face and you may be sorry.

      How certain are you when someone uses the term “denier” whether they are referring to holocaust deniers or to someone that they believe is closed to scientific facts (due to ideological biases)?

      Seems to me that to threaten someone with the possibility of violence on the basis of whether or not they use a particular word, let alone when the intended connotation of the word is certainly ambiguous, suggests a rather casual approach towards quantifying uncertainty on your part.

      • Yeah, it’s going to create a problem when all the true believers in CAGW continue to deny climate reality.

        It’s not people like you though, Joshua, who can make the language usable.
        =====================

      • Joshua,
        Making threats on the internet- especially by little trolls yourself- is one of the greatest entertinaments available on line.
        You are in denial on so many things. And your bloivations are legend.
        And now we get to see little boy temper tantrums.
        All on a day when yet another wheel falls off the AGW clown car.
        This could be a great day.

      • These are nothing but trolling comments josh. Nobody likes you for good reason.

      • Call me a denier to my face and you may be sorry. …. – Bill

        I’m assuming Joshua neglected to indicate it was Bill who said this in the last sentence of his comment.

      • I thought it was too much when on a recent NPR show about literature the two commentators bandied about whether Emerson would have been a climate change denier. The fact that it is standard lexicon sucks.

      • hunter –

        (breaking my pledge just this once).

        Making threats on the internet- especially by little trolls yourself- is one of the greatest entertinaments available on line.

        Does the confusion over attribution change your assessment?

        Too funny.

      • It is pretty funny that Hunter appeared to insult himself. Confusion over attribution, that’s a good one, Joshua.

        And now I have broken my pledge of not going after a heckler in the stands.

      • Josh,
        No, you are still a trollish twit.

      • So Joshua.. Substitute the n-word for denier – or wop or spic- or coloured. And who are you to decide for someone else what are fighting words?. Once you have been requested not to call people that, yet you persist in doing so, it becomes obvious that civility is beyond your capability. And your ‘morality’ contains heaps of contempt for people.

    • Bill, nice post. Regarding your point about capability/competency of judging climate matters, I agree. There’s an army of people worldwide who took multiple courses in thermodynamics, heat transfer, fluid mechanics, physics, chemistry… Not all of them are competent, but many are and they will not tolerate handwaving and propaganda from the clearly incompetent (politicians, journalists, some scientists).

      • Even many people who are not scientists are pretty good at smelling handwaving and propaganda. We get training in that on TV all day long.

      • Edim,
        What I have noticed from living in some very different parts of the world and in dealing with what were sometimes complicated business situations, is that a surprising number of people have the ability to detect bs even in areas they are not familiar with.

    • John Carpenter

      Bill, I resemble your remark, go chemists… especially p chem.

      BTW… I’m surprised there are so few comments, except for Bills here, about this gem:

      “Earth has been steadily accumulating energy at a rate of 0.50±0.43 Wm−2 (uncertainties at the 90% confidence level).”

      Wow…. you can fit a lot of ‘missing heat’ in that statement. The more we seek to know… the more we find out how much we don’t actually know… been the story of my research career. :)

  23. Where’s Fred Moolten to tell that the latest studies show the missing heat could be going into the deep ocean. Oh, he already did. Maybe he’ll tell us again, then again, maybe not.
    ===============

    • Where’s Fred Moolten to tell that the latest studies show the missing heat could be going into the deep ocean.

      Kim – I hadn’t seen the Nat. Geosci. paper, but I seem to have anticipated this post yesterday in the following comment to BillC about “heat in the pipeline”:

      “Bill – Although some of your explanation is not quite clear, I think you probably understand the “pipeline” concept well. It’s important to realize it refers exclusively to future warming and not to heat currently in the system. I don’t fundamentally disagree with Steven’s description except to say that we that there’s no practical way to measure energy being added to the ocean. We can only measure (approximately) energy that has been added over a specified interval, with an accuracy correlated with the length of the interval (measurements over less than a decade are less accurate than more extended ones). For these reasons, a current TOA flux imbalance may not correlate well with past ocean heat uptake measurements that reflect interannual variations in a variety of short-lived factors unrelated to long term forcing. Examples are variations due to ENSO, volcanism, aerosols, and the solar cycle. TOA imbalances can’t really be measured accurately, either, but what is done instead is to use serial measurements to determine how they are changing.

      The current “pipeline” estimate of future warming for a constant CO2 concentration is probably about 0.6 C. It would decline to near zero if anthropogenic CO2 emissions ceased with no change in other climate drivers.”

      The only additional point I would make now is that this latest evidence is not surprising, and as far as I can tell doesn’t change our current estimates of how the climate is responding to greenhouse gas forcing, nor does it imply greater uncertainty than previously estimated. The one exception to the latter statement may be in Trenberth’s level of confidence of the magnitude of the TOA flux imbalance between 2000 and 2008, but I don’t think he or anyone else has suggested that we knew that with high accuracy. I see this paper as a small step forward in an expected direction, but obviously it’s still not the last word.

      • Fred,
        Your recent posts imply you have changed your view on AGW catastrophism. Is this in fact the case?

      • hunter – kindly, please hold this comment until we get a more suitable thread. some of us want to wade through tech issues here.

      • billc –

        hunter – kindly, please hold this comment until we get a more suitable thread. some of us want to wade through tech issues here.

        I’ll do my part to back off and let the technical discussion ensue.

      • Hunter – I haven’t changed my overall perspective, although I hope I’ve refined my understanding of specific points. Like the climate science mainstream, I view a “catastrophic” outcome from continued anthropogenic climate change (warming and ocean acidification) as one extreme of a spectrum of potential consequences, and not the most likely one. In terms of probability, I’m more concerned about adverse outcomes that are less than catastrophic but still serious. I recognize that some opinions view future anthropogenic climate change as potentially beneficial on balance. I don’t agree, but the reasons are far too numerous for us to address that issue here..

      • What are the three data sets referred to in the abstract? ARGO, Sea Level, and what? Assuming I’m right about the the first two.

      • Fred,

        I almost think Judith threw this up here b/c she saw our discussion. Maybe Trenberth is her sock puppet :)

        I appreciate your understanding of the climate literature even if I don’t always agree with you on confidence levels. Obviously other folks here also have vastly more climate knowledge than I.

        So – I want to expand on yesterday’s discussion and if possible, get into a discussion of what this means for TCS vs ECR, in contrast with no-feedback versus full-feedback response. Apologies if I oversimplify. With the caveat that the uncertainties herein are great, I will speak in possibilities.

        We know, more or less how much it has warmed since 1850. We know, more or less the human CO2 contribution, barring certain carbon cycle oddities which I don’t completely discount, but will lay aside for now. So, keeping an eye on natural variability or what we know of it, we can make an estimate such as Gillette et al made (with just one GCM of unknown accuracy) of the transient climate response (TCR) to the canonical doubling of CO2 from preindustrial levels (280-560 ppm). Gillette et al put this at 1.3-1.8C.

        Now to get at the equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) – and “equilibrium” is understood to have a quasi- prefix – we need to project the energy that has accumulated and will continue to accumulate in the system based on 1) estimates of TOA radiative imbalance and 2) physical models that explain the mechanism behind the imbalance. We need the physical models to understand what processes are going on that cause the delay between increased retention of IR (and changes at other wavelengths vis-a-vis albedo feedbacks) and the full compensation of outgoing IR at TOA.

        With this in mind I postulate the following:

        1) Thermal inertia of the “land surface + dry atmosphere” is fairly small (?). So the no-feedback ECS/TCR should not be much larger than 1. Please, somebody confirm or refute.

        2) Where it gets interesting I think, is the influence of various feedback mechanisms on the ECS/TCR ratio. As discussed here, many factors influence the potential changes in the rate of heat flow through the oceans. I would be particularly interested in any comments anyone has regarding the role of lapse rate, water vapor and cloud feedbacks (understanding that not all changes in cloud cover are a feedback on temperature, even in the loose sense) on the rate of ocean heating, versus the internal ocean dynamics.

        Time to stop for now.

      • & Fred – if the “pipeline” refers exclusively to “future warming and not heat currently in the system”, I would think there is a separate “pipeline” that holds “heat currently in the system” which is not showing up in the outgoing IR measurements. Like anything associated with instabilities in the vertical temperature profiles of the oceans. However big or small. If the multi-decadal scale warming is truly constant, then the multi-annual ocean variability would essentially comprise this secondary “pipeline”. This is where I think the interpretation of Trenberth’s Travesty founders, if not his original statement.

      • BillC – I’ll try to be back in a few minutes to respond to your questions.

      • Fred,

        Bill – Although some of your explanation is not quite clear, I think you probably understand the “pipeline” concept well. It’s important to realize it refers exclusively to future warming and not to heat currently in the system.

        I always understood “warming in the pipeline” as being the difference between transient and equilibrium climate sensitivity, so it’s warming that we are essentially committed to even if we were to stop our CO2 emissions tomorrow. Have I misunderstood?

      • andrew I think it has 2 components – 1) future accumulation of heat energy and 2) current cumulative accumulated (yikes) energy which is in some form other than temp. increase of the radiant land + ocean surface + atmosphere system.

      • Fred,
        That is a refreshing and appreciated point.
        My observation would be that in the spectrum of people who see AGW as an existential issue few are as forthcoming as you.

      • I agree with BillC that two distinct pipelines have been bandied about during the discussions of the last couple of months. I only consider the pipeline of heat already in the system as the one that is definite. Heat in a future pipeline has no time specified — is this in the next 10 years, 20 years? Or is that in future terms of the time needed to accumulate good statistical measurements? Then there may be 3 different concepts of pipeline.

      • aa – if emissions were to drop to zero, absorption of CO2 from the atmosphere would continue until the ~280 ppm level. If the molecule is not in the sky, it cannot make the future warmng that is in the pipeline.

      • Andrew, True. Transient sensitivity only effects the climate measurements.
        There is no transient for the energy imbalance. It either goes into the oceans, land, or atmosphere. We only feel the latter however, which produces our transient climate. We need an equivalent of a calorimeter for the earth, but lacking that, the climate scientists do the best they can with this assortment of bookkeeping measurements and careful calibration.

      • WHT – MattStat makes a good point downthread that some is also stored as chemical energy in the biosphere post-photsynthesis. How much we don’t know, and I could look it up, but I suspect the marine part is highly uncertain.

      • Bill, yes, Axel Kleidon also does a good job with the energy balance bookkeeping and he actually thinks the anthropogenic biota is a big part of the energy we capture (I.e. farmland).
        Of course this is transient as well since it eventually reverts back to heat (during decomposition, etc). Same with wind as that turns to heat as friction losses. All those are transient factors.
        Entropy marches on and everything turns to heat and disorder with time.

        We will eventually feel the energy imbalance as the earth runs out of places to sequester the excess heat. The problem is that the excess CO2 also is looking for places to sequester itself, so waiting it out is largely a battle between the adjustment time of CO2 versus the transient climate sensitivity. This may not have been a problem with a short adjustment time of CO2. The buffers could absorb the excess heat while the excess CO2 finds sequestering sites. Deep down, it is a confounding chain of events.

      • Andrew – Regarding the “pipeline”, I do think you misunderstood, in part due to Hansen’s poor choice of metaphor. A number of papers appeared in 2005 describing the same future warming that would ensue if CO2 forcing persisted. Hansen call it the “pipeline”, whereas others referred to a climate change commitment. It’s a “commitment”, however, only if the forcing persists. If CO2 emissions ceased completely, the “pipeline” (future heat) would quickly decline to near zero. It doesn’t refer to any energy currently in the system in the way the term was introduced by Hansen.

      • Fred Moolten: nor does it imply greater uncertainty than previously estimated. The one exception to the latter statement may be in Trenberth’s level of confidence of the magnitude of the TOA flux imbalance between 2000 and 2008, but I don’t think he or anyone else has suggested that we knew that with high accuracy.

        Granting some vagueness in the word “suggest”, I think that Trenberth did in fact suggest that we knew TOA flux imbalance between 2000 and 2008 with high accuracy. Otherwise his concern with the “missing heat” would have been expressed instead as concern with ignorance (or imprecise knowledge) of TOA flux imbalance instead.

        i agree with your assessment that this is a step forward in an expected direction: toward more complete assessment and acceptance of the inaccuracies in our claimed knowledge.

      • Robert Austin

        It seems to me that the oceans should be a net sink for solar energy as the heat capacity is so vast and the time elapsed since the last ice age is relatively short. We have 90k years of ice age cooling the oceans so why would one expect the oceans to reach temperature equilibrium while subject to Holocene temperatures for a mere 10k years? So there should be “missing heat” in the earth’s climate energy balance even though we have difficulty measuring it. Is this “missing heat” suddenly going to jump out and bite us on the ass because we double the concentration of a trace greenhouse gas? No, the oceans will be a net heat sink until the next ice age.

      • Austin, You are correct. By my own calculation, the oceans together have about 1200 times the heat capacity of the atmosphere. It is impossible for all this capacity to get used up, unless we wait for a long time.

        The flip side of this is that the heat is still there, and will continue to provide thermal inertia even if the external forcing was turned off.

      • Fred Moolten: I don’t fundamentally disagree with Steven’s description except to say that we that there’s no practical way to measure energy being added to the ocean. We can only measure (approximately) energy that has been added over a specified interval, with an accuracy correlated with the length of the interval (measurements over less than a decade are less accurate than more extended ones). For these reasons, a current TOA flux imbalance may not correlate well with past ocean heat uptake measurements that reflect interannual variations in a variety of short-lived factors unrelated to long term forcing. Examples are variations due to ENSO, volcanism, aerosols, and the solar cycle. TOA imbalances can’t really be measured accurately, either, but what is done instead is to use serial measurements to determine how they are changing.

        We agree that there is no practical way to measure energy being added to the ocean.(1)

        We agree that TOA imbalances can’t be measured accurately either.(2)

        And we agree that TOA imbalances (if we had them) would not correlate well with ocean heat uptake (if we could measure them) due to variations in a variety of short-lived factors.(3)

        Where we disagree is about this: some of the thermal energy previously unaccounted for has gone into the deep ocean, as described by Purkey and Johnson, and others.

        To me, your statements (1) – (3) make a good case for doubt about (4). Purkey and Johnson, as I wrote, performed a modeling exercise, because of (1), (2) and (3).

    • kim | January 24, 2012 at 10:26 am |
      Kim, the missing heat is gone on the other side of the sun. When the troposphere warms up EXTRA, for any reason; the vertical winds increase / circulation of air increases > wastes more heat and equalizes in a jiffy. I.e. in Sahara gets from 45C during the day – down to 5C at night. In 12h cooling of 40C. On the other hand, in Brazil gets from 33C during the day – down to 24C at night. Because in Sahara the vertical winds are stronger – in 12h cools by 30C more than in Brazil, in 12h. Kim. THE SELF ADJUSTING MECHANISM CAN COOL DOWN THE TEMPERATURE ON THE WHOLE TROPOSPHERE BY 30C, IF NECESSARY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

      When the vertical wind is stronger – is like ”faster convayer belt” releases the heat into the unlimited coldness – because of the fast orbiting of the planet – that missing heat (if you consider the movement of the solar system) is GONE one light year away.

      When the sea gets warmer for ANY reason > evaporation increases > clouds increase. Clouds are the earth’s ”sun umbrella; reflect some sunlight / clouds intercept some sunlight, WHERE COOLING IS MUCH MORE EFFICIENT, than on the ground (less sunlight reaches the ground). Clouds produce rain and bring extra coldness from high up.

      Kim, you are beating yourself in the chest; ”what climatologist know” The worse people to ask about climate is the ”climatologists” They have being indoctrinate in wrong beliefs – is same as asking a Mullah / Ayatollah about Darwinism. ”convection, albedo, equilibrium” is not science, but wool over the fanatic’s eyes. All of you have to start learning about the reality, about ”the self adjusting mechanisms” from me. I was reading somebody on this blog commenting about: ‘heat and coldness CANCEL EACH OTHER” therefore, even on this blog some people are starting to take from me the truth on board THE TRUTH WILL WIN

  24. It’s a travesty that the heat may not be missing.
    =====================

    • The travesty is that we traveled so far down the policy path without acknowledging that we don’t even know if any heat is missing, and can’t with present theoretical and observational capabilities.
      ===================

      • Very well said. Trenberth is finding that scepticism is being forced upon him by the science.

      • This is a big mystery, cud the sociologist can regurgitate and masticate on forevermore. The emails reveal that the Team Elite was skeptical of their knowledge and aware, at least rudimentarily, of the uncertainty of the whole mess.

        Yet on they plunged, into the Big Muddy.
        ===================

      • kim: The travesty is that we traveled so far down the policy path without acknowledging that we don’t even know if any heat is missing, and can’t with present theoretical and observational capabilities.

        That is well said.

      • you are confusing the short-term with the long-term.

        Of course scientists accept uncertainty with short-term trends. That’s when noise dominates.

        But in the longterm the Earth is warming and on good physical grounds it is expected to continue doing so. It’s a shame that the nail in the coffin of climate denial requires the world to warm up even more, but it will be so.

    • :) :)

  25. Heat missing? It’s not missing, its just shagged out after a long, long, long, relentless, hyperbolic, hysterical squawk.

    Beautiful plumage on the Global Warmer eh?

  26. The purposeful ignorance of the impossibility of cold water ‘trapping’ warm water beneath it is another tempest in a teapot and steaming vortex of Leftist denial of the forces that are observed in nature.

    A study of the Earth’s albedo (project “Earthshine”) shows that the amount of reflected sunlight does not vary with increases in greenhouse gases. The “Earthshine” data shows that the Earth’s albedo fell up to 1997 and rose after 2001.

    What was learned is that climate change is related to albedo, as a result of the change in the amount of energy from the sun that is absorbed by the Earth. For example, fewer clouds means less reflectivity which results in a warmer Earth. And, this happened through about 1998. Conversely, more clouds means greater reflectivity which results in a cooler Earth. And this happened after 1998.

    It is logical to presume that changes in Earth’s albedo are due to increases and decreases in low cloud cover, which in turn is related to the climate change that we have observed during the 20th Century, including the present global cooling. However, we see that climate variability over the same period is not related to changes in atmospheric greenhouse gases.

    Obviously, the amount of `climate forcing’ that may be due to changes in atmospheric greenhouse gases is either overstated or countervailing forces are at work that GCMs simply ignore. GCMs fail to account for changes in the Earth’s albedo. Accordingly, GCMs do not account for the effect that the Earth’s albedo has on the amount of solar energy that is absorbed by the Earth.

  27. curryja,

    Thank you for allowing me to visit your site.

    I have had a wonderful time, meeting people of various hues. Some with the most amazing wit and insight, some made me laugh.

    Thank you also, for allowing me to inspect your tidy display of pet rocks.

    Regards,

    Markus Fitzhenry.

    • I think I just saw an excellent plot line from a modern episode of “The Twilight Zone” titled “Judith’s Pet Rocks”.

      • Anteros

        You raise the issue: Should President Obama be impeached?

        No. The normal election process should throw him out if the American voting public want that.

        My personal estimation of his term in office (which he will undoubtedly try to sugar-coat in his SOTU speech tonight) is that he has brought a lot of the same screwy ideas to the White House that Jimmy Carter did, with about the same low implementation hit rate and the lack of personal moral strength, which Carter brought to the office.

        Carter was an outsider to the Washington insider machine, while Obama became the very embodiment of the big-government machine.

        Carter and his family remained simple and modest on a personal level while the Obamas enjoyed the perks and trappings of a more imperial presidency.

        Obama is a much better orator (of course, Carter had to operate without teleprompters at the time).

        It is too early to state whether or not Obama will be rated by history above or below Carter among US presidents.

        Just my thoughts, as an observer living in Switzerland.

        Max

      • “I wont’ allow the half of Americans who pay no taxes to bear the burden of the other half who aren’t paying their fair share.”

    • Did you find the idiot lurking under any of them?

      All of them?

      • Anteros –

        What do you think about kim’s “concerns” about Obama’s “spirituality and allegiance?”

        Fear-based?

      • Sadly, Obama is living down to many of the worst concerns regarding his abilities and choices.

      • Joshua –

        I’m not sure I’ve done much thinking about it at all…

        I confess, I don’t truly know what kim’s concerns are!

        From what I can gather it seems to be something re-visited as a sort of proxy baseball bat between you and kim – best if I steer well clear. Also, I know bugger-all about your president except he strikes me a very decent fellow.
        Bright, too, from what I can gather.

        I can’t for the life of me recollect why that Rash Limbo chap was insisting Obama should be impeached. It didn’t even make sense to me at the time, but I’d only been in the States for a month..
        Obviously Obama had done something really reprehensible?

  28. “…a new study that examines how accurately satellites and floating ocean instruments track the flow of energy from the sun to Earth and back again.”

    Flow of energy from the Earth back to the sun again? Are we now also responsible for CASW? Catastrophic anthropogenic solar warming?

    Is there no end to the carnage mankind is wreaking on the multiverse?

  29. The hardest words for a climate scientist to issue: “I don’t know”. Trenberth’s suggestion the uncertainty is too large predicts there is an ideal level of uncertainty that is achievable. I’m not sure I’d agree with that as there is a lower threshold of error in instrumentation that is impractical to avoid in field measurements. Hence the use of models.

    • dp

      A couple of months ago I wrote an article on the unreliability of land temperatures, pointing out that there were known problems with them as far back as the 1890’s.

      http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/05/23/little-ice-age-thermometers-%E2%80%93-history-and-reliability-2/

      The article started;

      “The Rumsfeld factor

      “There are known knowns; there are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns; that is to say, there are things that we now know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns; there are things we do not know we don’t know.”

      Foreword

      Of course, Donald Rumsfeld was not specifically referring to climate science back in 2002, yet there can be few other disciplines so riven with uncertainties from top to bottom that are still able to attract voluble proponents enthusiastically promoting the latest findings as incontrovertible facts, to a world largely unable to question the work of scientists.”

      There are huge uncertainties in climate science, equally, having read Ar5 it is evident there is also assertion, speculation and conjecture underpinning large chunks of it-such as abyssal warming.

      In too much of climate science we aren’t admitting that we ‘just don’t know’. Perhaps an article such as this one cited by Judith will help to emphasise that the uncertainties remain huge
      tonyb

      • tonyb –

        And those uncertainties are only concerned with climate physics. To me there are equally large uncertainties concerning what 1 or 2 degrees of warming will mean.

        I t strikes me that the vast majority of people, through fear and unbridled imagination, are convinced that warmer = worse. I’m not even sure that has a sensible meaning. For the most part it sounds like it is ‘worse’ because it is ‘change’.

        In terms of the conditions for life generally, have the 6 degrees of warming over the last 15,000 years make things ‘worse’? Does that even make any sense?

        A small step backwards will show us that unless people have been told by thermometer wielders, the most rapid warming of the last 150 years has the characteristic of being ‘not-noticeable’, so it’s definitely not the speed of change that we should be terrified of.

      • tonyb

        You write:

        In too much of climate science we aren’t admitting that we ‘just don’t know’.

        Loeb conceded the same thing this way:

        It’s not to say that it’s not happening. It’s just that you can’t easily make that conclusion from the data.

        Just like “you can’t make the conclusion” that the “missing heat in the pipeline” assumption of Hansen et al. is correct “from the data”.

        Or, for that matter, the IPCC claim that “most of the warming since 1950 has been caused by human GHG emissions”.

        These are all uncorroborated hypotheses or postulations.

        And it seems to me that is what this is all about.

        Our host calls it: “understating uncertainty”.

        You call it “not admitting what we do not know”.

        I’m a little less charitable: I call it “agenda-driven bamboozling”.

        But, no matter what you call it, it remains the weakness of the CAGW premise.

        Max

      • steven mosher

        Tony,

        you not only have to show that there are large uncertainties you have to show that they MATTER. Uncertainties in the land record dont matter much. Uncertainty in sensitivity… worth Trillions

      • moshe, it is not difficult to show that the IPCC has systematically exaggerated the climate sensitivity and systematically diminished the uncertainty. This systematic perversion is the cause of the nemesis pursuing climate science, since they’ve aimed at being persuasive rather than honest. Hey, I say this like it’s some sudden new insight, but it’s as plain as sunshine, and the human foible it illustrates has been around as long as humans have plainly regarded sunshine.

        Heh, and now they are neither persuasive nor honest. There’s an ‘ethical double bind’ for you.
        =================

      • A, the science is fraudulent, deliberately or not; the politics is real, but based on a fraud, but what is truly and despicably fraudulent is the vision that a warmer world is worse for us.
        ==================

  30. William Briggs says the uncertainties in the calculations have been way underestimated. http://wmbriggs.com/blog/?p=5105

    What a complex procedure! The supplementary paper is little help in reproducing the exact steps taken. That is, it is doubtful that anybody could read this paper and use it as a recipe to reproduce the results (joyfully, the authors do make the data available).

    But from a scan of the procedure, and given my comments thus far, it would appear the interval is too narrow. Adding all those different sources together and properly taking into account the uncertainty in each individual procedure is enough to boost the overall uncertainty by an appreciable amount. How much is “appreciable” is unknown. The amount one would have to add to the overall uncertainty is greater than 0. This implies that the final estimate of the coefficient of the regression associated with time should be about 0.5 W-2 with a 95% chance of being anywhere in the interval minus-something to just-over-one Wm-2. Consistent with uncertainty indeed.

    There is still another source of uncertainty not noticed by Loeb, or indeed by nearly all authors who use time-series regression: the arbitrariness of the starting and ending points. I am sure Loeb did not purposely do this, but it is possible to shift the start or stop point in a time-series regression to get any result you want. For example, in their main paper Loeb et al. show plots from 2001 until 2010. But in the supplement, the data is from mid-2002 through all of 2010. Changing dates like this can booger you up. I’ll prove this in another post.

  31. This is an important step. I expect that by 2020 it will be reported that measurements of the TOA ingoing and outgoing radiation are less precise now than what Loeb et al estimate. The most common finding in research is to discover that random variation has been underestimated.

    Does anyone know how much energy is stored annually in the net primary productivity of plants, including terrestrial and marine plants?

    • Matt- “Does anyone know how much energy is stored annually in the net primary productivity of plants, including terrestrial and marine plants?”

      another component of the “BillC secondary pipeline” see:

      http://judithcurry.com/2012/01/24/missing-heat-isnt-missing-after-all/#comment-161934

    • The most common finding in research is to discover that random variation has been underestimated.

      Good point. If all an analyst knows is the mean of some parameter, then they can’t use a Normal distribution for uncertainty around the mean, but really should use something that reveals the ignorance, or imprecise knowledge of that estimate. You say this elsewhere as well. In this case, one should consider using an exponential PDF, which is weird looking but maximizes the uncertainty (and entropy) of the estimate.
      This will prevent at least some of the initial underestimation of uncertainty, but not enough people do this. I am unusual in this regard, but I do it for just about EVERYTHING that has a natural origin and looks like it has uncertainty associated with it.

      Does anyone know how much energy is stored annually in the net primary productivity of plants, including terrestrial and marine plants?

      I refer you to Axel Kleidon’s papers. This is one of his recent ones that tries to estimate biotic contributions:
      ftp://130.104.49.1/publi/2010_12_14-22h43-nabila.bounceur-1.pdf

  32. Dr. Curry:Interesting to Kevin Trenberth take on the uncertainty mantle, after reversing the null hypothesis and all that.

    Whether you redefine the null hypothesis or not, statistically our studies lack the “statistical power” (related to precision of measurements, among other things) to reach a sound conclusion whether anthropogenic greenhouse gases have an important effect or not. The analogy to research linking tobacco to cancer should be replace by an analogy linking aspartame to neurological disease, or aspirin to stroke.

    • Matt,

      What I don’t see clearly spelled out in the post above, is it implied that we are looking below the middle of the TOA imbalance uncertainty, and above the middle of the ocean heat content uncertainty range? In other words if we plot both curves in terms of cumulative energy over time the curves overlap, but the TOA curve is higher?

  33. ceteris non paribus


    …..statistically our studies lack the “statistical power” (related to precision of measurements, among other things) to reach a sound conclusion whether anthropogenic greenhouse gases have an important effect or not.

    Wrong.

    See Foster and Rhmstorf (2011, Environ. Res. Lett.)
    Here:

    http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/6/4/044022/pdf/1748-9326_6_4_044022.pdf

    Or:

    Huber and Knutti (Nature 2011)
    Who conclude that natural variability can very likely account for no more than 26% of the warming since 1950, and no more than 18% since 1850 (and in both cases, the most likely value is close to zero).

    • CNP

      Your Foster + Rahmstorf paper in no way provides empirical evidence to support the premise that the 1979-2010 warming was principally caused by anthropogenic GHGs, as you seem to think.

      Read the paper again.

      It simply concludes that “our models are unable to explain it any other way” (a classical “argument from ignorance”).

      Max

      • No Max, That paper by Tamino is an impressive bit of research, and something completely out of your league.

        He basically demonstrates how the natural variability can obscure the underlying trend. I am sure that over time, we will see more of these types of analysis.

        What is also impressive is that Foster is doing this on his own dime.

        You can do one yourself to explain it another way.

      • No, WHT.

        Read the paper again – slowly and carefully (bold type by me).

        When the data are adjusted to remove the estimated impact of known factors on short-term temperature variations (El Nino/southern ˜oscillation, volcanic aerosols and solar variability), the global warming signal becomes even more evident as noise is reduced.

        So much for the “known factors”.

        But how about the “unknown factors”?

        Classical “argument from ignorance”, WHT (see tonyb’s post).

        Max

      • ceteris non paribus

        Max,

        You are confusing “argument from ignorance” with argument by process of elimination. It is not arguing from ignorance to rule out natural forcings based on an analysis of 5 data sets.

        Unless you can come up with empirical evidence of negative natural forcings that (somehow) everyone else has missed over many decades of climate research, then you are, in fact, the one arguing from ignorance.

      • Web, I don’t have a major problem with their showing solar forcing going down during the period of the study. This is because I see no reason to believe there is a large lag time due to ocean mixing. If, however, I was arguing for large warming to equilibrium after the transient period then I would have a problem with it since it appears to make solar equilibrium instantaneous. So what is it? Is there a long lag time from transient to equilibrium or isn’t there? If you say there is please explain why solar forcing is presumed to have reached equilibrium so quickly as to provide negative forcing so soon after taking a small dip in intentsity.

      • Steven – Long lags due to ocean thermal inertia apply to persistent forcings. A forcing that is very temporary but is then reversed will exert its maximum effect over a short interval – e.g. a few years or less for very transient forcings. Long term changes in solar intensity would therefore result in long lags, but shorter term variations in the solar cycle would not. The data on solar forcing are consistent with this distinction.

      • Moshe, it’s only dissonant because half the orchestra is playing twice as fast as the other. Web’s math skills reconcile the two, and all he hears is a beautiful melody.
        ===============

      • Fred, what is your point? Has solar intensity increased or decreased since the LIA? Have we reached equilibrium with the increase and if so when?

      • He don’t nuthin’ from the sun but TSI. Nor do his informants.
        ===============

      • er, he don’t know nuthin’ from the sun…. This vernacular can get tricky.
        ===========

      • Steven – Solar intensity increased early in the twentieth century (and also previously since the LIA) and has declined slightly in recent decades. When one calculates the net effect based on forcing magnitude, persistence, and time interval, the effect of the earlier increases is seen to have tapered off enough so that the recent declines now outweigh it. You can think of it as the resultant of two separate processes that gradually diminish over time – a moderately long positive solar forcing that is far enough in the past so that it is now affecting TOA imbalances much less than previously, and a more transient negative forcing that is exerting a stronger effect because it is in its earlier stages. Because the earlier forcing was stronger and longer, its total effect over one or more centuries has been greater, but its recent effect is weaker than that of the recent solar downturns, which now dominate the solar picture. Overall, however, none of these solar changes amounts to much in magnitude compared with anthropogenic forcings, and even probably the recent effects of changes in volcanic forcing (although I’m not sure about the latter).

      • To answer your question about equilibrium – no, we haven’t yet reached equilibrium with these solar changes considered in isolation, which if not further modified would by themselves portend a further very slight reduction in temperature at equilibrium, but not enough to greatly influence the consequences of anthropogenic forcing in the opposite direction..

      • That’s nice Fred. Now if you could just provide the reference that would be a great help. Make sure it is one that includes warming to equilibrium calculations in it.

      • Fred, pouring those two chemicals together in the same beaker is fraught with hazard unless you know a little more about the chemicals than we do.
        =================

      • To the non-Mosh version of Steven. Please read my post on just this topic that I finished yesterday.

        http://theoilconundrum.blogspot.com/2012/01/thermal-diffusion-and-missing-heat.html

        If you follow the physics as I describe, then you can see how the transient evolves. It is not instantaneous but diffusion does show fast paths which allows both a quick uptake but long-term oceanic latencies.
        I actually have what I think is an expression for the TCR/ECS ratio, but I have not labelled it as such. Look at the last chart.

      • Bottom line is that any inertial lags can’t stop on a dime and will exhibit very gradual changes. This will make them indistinguishable from other forcings (either as a positive reinforcement or transiently negative, as the ocean heat sink functions). What Tamino did was remove all the short-term fluctuations, thus showing the overall trend.

        Obviously the other important point is that the inertial lag of an ocean thermal buffer does exist and can only make the warming worse when included as an implicit effect. That is the latent aspect to the “missing” heat. It will eventually catch up, as stuff in a pipeline will catch up.

      • Web, Just a few things I have to question while I agree with your general premise: that heat diffuses and that eventually equilibrium is reached. The paleo data indicates that the deep oceans have warmed less than the surface and this is after thousands of years. I’m not sure what this does to your diffusion coefficient but, and it is possible I misunderstand since trying to remember physics from 30 years ago can be trying, it seems to me until such time as the surface stops warming allowing the deeper ocean to start catching up this will only increase not decrease. If we are talking about thousands of years again does it really matter? The co2 forcing will be gone by then. It really all boils down to how fast does the water mix since a simple diffusion model doesn’t seem appropriate for a substance with a natural temperature gradient. I really don’t see how you can come to any conclusions this way. I suspect only measurable observations can answer this question.

        The point I was making regarding transient and equilibrium warming is that you can’t argue that natural forcing is negative while at the same time arguing that there is a long lag time to equilibrium. I understand they are trying to take out cyclical variability but they are also trying to determine forcing by the same short term variability. If that were not the case they wouldn’t state that it was also true for the last 32 years which is clearly beyond a typical solar cycle. I don’t ask for much really. Just that people remain consistent in their arguments. Argue for a long lag time to equilibrium then argue for a positive solar forcing or show when equilibrium has been achieved.

    • cetaris non paribus:

      I disagree with the conclusions of the papers that you cite.

      They do not disprove what I wrote, they show that, given some assumptions (some of which they do not state), you can reach different conclusions.

      • ceteris non paribus

        MattStat:
        You don’t agree with the papers that reach different conclusions than you would. Why should anyone care? You need to do better science than: “I have a different opinion”.

        As for the assumptions that the authors supposedly do not state, but of which you are confidently aware – What are they?

        And as a matter of fact, the papers DO disprove your claim that,

        …..statistically our studies lack the “statistical power” (related to precision of measurements, among other things) to reach a sound conclusion whether anthropogenic greenhouse gases have an important effect or not.

        Sorry about that.

      • cetaris non paribus: As for the assumptions that the authors supposedly do not state, but of which you are confidently aware – What are they?

        Foster and Rahmstorf merely showed that if you regressed the temperature records separately on some covariates, the residual processes agreed much more than the original processes. That is, for some reason they were slightly perturbed proportionally to different functions of a few known drivers. That said nothing at all about attribution of some warming to GHGs, and opens the question of why the temperature series had different regressions — something not completely specified, and hence statistically uncertain. They did not in any way provide evidence that my assertion about the indeterminacy of current evidence was incorrect.

        That will have to do for now. More later.

  34. The statement says it all:

    “It’s not to say that it’s not happening,” Loeb said. “It’s just that you can’t easily make that conclusion from the data.”

    Hey, isn’t that exactly what a lot of scientists are saying about catastrophic human-induced global warming?

    Sounds like a replay to me.

    Max

    • When Trenberth first brought up missing heat, there were no papers show ing warming in the oceans below 700 meters. The first ARGO-based paper brought up on this website found no recent warming in the upper 700 meters, and it was suggested here that should that paper hold up, there is no missing heat.

      This study found warming down to 1800 meters, and now the trumpets are blaring that there is no missing heat. Lol, yeah, after some of it was found.

      And as Fred said above, this is not over,

  35. This is a response to questions posed above by BillC at Comment 16929.

    Bill – Here is a partial response to your questions regarding transient vs equilibrium responses as I understand them.

    1. Most thermal inertia in the climate system comes from the enormous heat capacity of the oceans. Without that, the climate would equilibrate fairly rapidly in response to a constant forcing (imposed perturbation of the TOA flux balance) and the TCR/ECS ratio would not be much less than unity.

    2. Positive feedbacks (water vapor, ice-albedo, and probably clouds) retard the tendency of the climate to restore equilibrium, so that a greater warming response to a positive forcing will occur before equilibrium is reached. The result would be a greater disparity between transient and equilibrium responses, and hence a smaller TCR/ECS ratio.

    3. However, even without feedbacks, or independent of their direction, ocean inertia will cause the TCR/ECS ratio to be less than unity. This is simply because it takes a very long time (centuries) for the ocean “sink” to fill up, asymptotically, and during that interval, the continuing increase in ocean temperature in combination with the remaining TOA imbalance will cause the surface and atmosphere to continue to warm until their temperature once more equalizes outgoing longwave radiation to incoming solar energy. Regarding feedbacks, you refer to the lapse rate feedback; this is a negative feedback that partially offsets the positive water vapor feedback, but as you know, most estimates of net feedback are positive. Note thought that the Planck Response (the tendency of a warmer body to shed more heat), which is universally understood to impose an overall negative feedback on the climate system, but is not conventionally referred to as a feedback even though its effect is included in climate calculations. Without it, the forcing and feedbacks would tend toward a runaway climate.

    4. Some typical values for TCR/ECS ratios are given by Isaac Held at Transient vs Equilibrium Climate Responses.

    5. An important discussion of transient responses is given in the thread Probabilistic Estimates of Transient Climate Sensitivity.

    6. My own comment there discussing both the GF08 and Padilla et al papers is at Comment 113740.

    7. Internal ocean dynamics can have significant effects on temperature, but over the interval from 1950 onward, we know that they played at most a minor role compared with anthropogenic greenhouse gases, based on ocean heat uptake data. Some of this is discussed by Held at Heat Uptake and Internal Variability.

    • You Say: “Positive feedbacks (water vapor, ice-albedo, and probably clouds) ”
      When earth is cool and the Arctic is Frozen, ice-albedo is a positive driver while ice is retreating.
      When earth is warm and the Arctic is open, ice-albedo is a powerful negative driver while ice is advancing. This is now!

    • You say: “we know that they played at most a minor role compared with anthropogenic greenhouse gases”
      No, your opinion is that. The fact that you don’t know that is why this blog exists!

    • Bill C

      This is another response to your question on the ECS/TCR ratio.

      Fred Moolten has given you the classical “mainstream consensus” view on this, which is based primarily on model simulations (the studies he has cited), rather than on actual empirical data based on physical observations.

      My approach would be to look more at empirical data and place less emphasis on model runs, as these are too heavily dependent on the theoretical assumptions that have been fed in.

      You write:

      Where it gets interesting I think, is the influence of various feedback mechanisms on the ECS/TCR ratio

      You have hit the nail on the head.

      What is the net impact of these “feedback mechanisms”?

      I would submit that the jury is still very much out on that question, with the ”largest source of uncertainty” being the impact of ”cloud feedbacks”, as IPCC concedes.

      Yet, despite all this uncertainty, all the IPCC models estimate that net cloud feedback is strongly positive.

      Spencer + Braswell have shown that, on a relatively short-term basis over the tropics, the net feedback from clouds with warming has been strongly negative.

      Beyond the impact of clouds as a ”feedback” mechanism is the concept that clouds may act as a separate ”forcing”, driven by some as yet unknown or unquantified mechanism (one possibility is the Svensmark “cosmic ray / cloud” hypothesis now being quantified at CERN).

      The impact of water vapor as a feedback is also fraught with significant uncertainty.

      We have the theoretical deliberation that atmospheric water vapor content should move in lockstep with surface warming to maintain constant relative humidity according to Clausius-Clapeyron (essentially the basis for IPCC model estimates on water vapor feedback).

      On the other hand, we have NOAA radiosonde data that go back to 1948, which show short-term specific humidity blips following temperature, but the long-term trend going in just the opposite direction.

      Then we had a short-term Minschwaner + Dessler study, which showed humidity increasing with temperature over the tropics, but at only around one-fourth the rate that would be required to maintain constant relative humidity.

      So it is fair to say that the IPCC model-based assumptions on the main feedbacks (water vapor and clouds) are very likely overstated.

      Then there is the problem that the IPCC’s conceded ”level of scientific understanding” of ”solar forcing” is ”low”, while there have been several studies by solar scientists, which have concluded that 50% of the past warming can be attributed to the unusually high level of 20th century solar activity (highest in several thousand years), while IPCC has estimated that this was only around 7%. These studies cited are: Stockwell 2011, Shapiro et al. 2011, Scafetta 20a0, Scafetta + West 2006, Solanki et al. 2004, Geerts + Linacre 1998, Lean et al. 1995, Hoyt + Schatten 1993.

      If recent studies such as those of Spencer or Lindzen and Choi are correct, the 2xCO2 climate sensitivity (ECS) will be in a range similar to the physically observed transient climate response (TCR), i.e. within the range of 0.8 to 1.5°C, and the ECS/TCR ratio will be around 1.0.

      To paraphrase one of the take-home messages from the ocean heat uptake report cited here: we just do not know enough today to make a realistic estimate of the ECS/TCR ratio.

      And to carry this one step further (following Occam’s Razor): until we know more, based on real empirical evidence, we should assume that this ratio is 1.0.

      Max

      • Max – I’m not an intemperate person, but your habit of combining a huge number of falsehoods into a single comment, having made the same false statements previously and having had them refuted, is frustrating to say the least. It is one of the reasons why I have resorted to suggesting that when confronted with someone who has nothing new to state but simply wants to reargue the same misstatements over and over, that it would be best to conduct this by email and save the Web discussions for areas where there is something new to say.

        In any case, I reach a limit in the number of times I intend to refute your misstatements (e.g., the absurdity of a TCR/ECS ratio of one). Many of the participants here know both of us, and I trust they will know what to think when I advise BillC and others that your comments can safely be ignored.

        If you have something new to add, I’ll address it, but otherwise, you are free to accuse me of hand waving and of not daring to meet your challenges, and I won’t lose any sleep over that.

        For anyone else, my earlier comments are an accurate assessment of our climate knowledge, and the links in particular are worth visiting..

      • Fred, pretend I’m new to the blog and have never read anything from you or Max before. Max’s comment looks like a succinct beatdown of the IPCC dogma, and your comment looks like an insult and a diversion.

        Let the readers be wary.
        ===============

      • Imo your responses are disingenuous at best. You do not like responding when your responses can be demonstrated to not support your point.

        In the example the other day when I questioned what you were trying to teach to students and wrote that you would teach the subject with bias you said you wanted to have an exchange via e-mail. When I sent you an e-mail you responded by writing that you did not want your responses discussed here. In that example the information either is factually correct and explains what we know vs. what is not yet known or it is showing bias. After looking at the material I would have either wrote that Fred is teach the subject fairly or that you were being untruthful when you wrote that you were not a biased teacher of the subject trying to lead students to your conclusion.

        Stop ducking answers and respond with specifics if you claim that someone has written an incorrect statement.

      • Kim – the truth is that I really haven’t solved the dilemma of how to respond to people who make the same false claims over and over. If I can easily respond with available text and links, I often try that, and in this particular case that would actually work well for anyone who read my comment and visited the links – they would see why Max Manacker is wrong about most of his claims (although they would need additional references to understand the falsity of some of his humidity arguments)..

        What should I do, though, when it would be very time consuming to retrieve all the evidence, and when I know it wouldn’t stop the other individual from persisting? Do I ignore him, or simply say that the subject has already been well addressed? I haven’t been satisfied that any of my responses can ever fix the problem of repeated misstatements, and so I basically have to trust the judgment of readers.

        For more on this, please see email option to avoid repeated argumentation.

      • Fred, you are as certain as the IPCC can be. The problem I and others have is that we are not so certain.

        What I am certain about is that cooling globe is more dangerous for the human race than a warming one.
        ==============

      • Max, If you want to see an independent verification of how a TCR/ECS model is derived go to the blog posting I linked to upthread. This is not mainstream consensus because I worked this out through first principles and added the finishing touches last night.
        You seem very confused between empiricism and theory. What I modeled has to happen because that is the way the physics works out.
        Only a person not aware of thermal physics would assume the TCR/ECS ratio of 1.
        I enjoy these technical threads because the skeptics always get their butt’s kicked when it comes to demonstrating fundamental physics understanding. Don’t fare as well on the other non-technical threads, where rhetoric usually wins out.

      • I am somewhere in the middle on this. I don’t have a clue about the solar stuff and will punt that. I do think it is possible that feedback mechanisms have been overstated to the positive side, such that ECS/TCR could be anywhere from let’s say 1.2 to 2.0. And future data/observations may yet bring down TCR. I feel – though I do not know that future data/observations are not likely to raise the estimate of TCR. Obviously, a big reduction in the uncertainty of ocean heat uptake and radiative imbalance measurements would hep resolve this. I agree that Fred states the “consensus” case, which is based on his reading of the literature I think, which represents the “consensus” for reasons good and bad, and I again disagree with Max on Occam’s Razor. I think Occam’s razor would dictate the use of physical analogues, as WHT notes w/r/t entropy/diffusion etc. Of course those could still be wrong.

      • WHT

        Sorry, but “kicking butt” is not your strong suit.

        Model stuff means nothing.

        It’s all about empirical data based on real-time physical observations.

        And these do not support a 2xCO2 temperature response of much more than around 0.8 to 1.5 degC.

        Max

      • Fred Moolten

        Your attempted rebuttal to my last post has no substance.

        All bluster and hot air.

        Max

      • Bill C

        Being a rational skeptic, I generally insist on seeing empirical data before I will accept that a hypothesis is corroborated.

        The premise that a doubling of CO2 will cause atmospheric warming of 3.2 degC on average has not yet been supported by empirical data, such as real-time physical observations or reproducible experimentation.

        As you have noted, there are some serious reservations regarding the IPCC model-derived estimates of feedbacks leading to this constructed number, with a high likelihood that the impact of these feedbacks have been overstated.

        It has been observed, however, that atmospheric CO2 has risen at the same time that the observed global average temperature has warmed.

        But have there been other factors, which may have contributed to this warming?

        IPCC assumes that the only natural forcing mechanism is that of direct solar irradiance, and estimates that this could only have caused around 7% of the observed past warming of 0.7 degC.

        IPCC also assumes that all other anthropogenic forcing factors other that CO2 (other GHGs, aerosols, etc.) cancelled one another out.

        Let’s ignore for now the basic premise that “correlation does not provide robust evidence for causation”, and assume that all the warming (other than the solar part) was caused by human CO2.

        Let’s also ignore that the temperature increase did not follow the gradual rise in atmospheric CO2 at all, but occurred in statistically indistinguishable ~30-year warming cycles with ~30-year cycles of slight cooling in between, like a sine curve on a tilted axis.

        Was the “solar part” only 7% (as IPCC has estimated) or was it closer to 50% (as the many solar studies I cited earlier have estimated)?

        Since IPCC told me that its “level of scientific understanding of solar forcing was low”, I would tend to believe the many solar studies over IPCC.

        Either way, the observed CO2 temperature relationship over the past 160 years was between 0.8 and 1.5 deg C for a doubling of CO2.

        This is one-fourth to one-half of the model-derived 2xCO2 ECS reported by IPCC.

        So, for IPCC’s estimate to be correct, the so-called ECS/TCR ratio would need to be 2 to 4.

        Unless someone can show me empirical data to support such a notion, I will call it an uncorroborated hypothesis.

        Despite all his bluster, Fred hasn’t been able to do this.

        And WHT, with all his hot air, hasn’t either.

        My advice to you, if you are looking for answers: Be a “doubting Thomas”, rather than a “believer”. Search for empirical data but be rationally skeptical of model studies, which are based principally on theoretical deliberations, as they provide no empirical evidence.

        Hope this helps.

        Max

      • Fred Moolten: Kim – the truth is that I really haven’t solved the dilemma of how to respond to people who make the same false claims over and over.

        My recommendations: (1) skip posts that you think are bad; (2) if you choose to respond, quote the text that you are responding to and state what you think to be the truth; (3) optionally, quote or link to a supportive reference.

      • manacker: To paraphrase one of the take-home messages from the ocean heat uptake report cited here: we just do not know enough today to make a realistic estimate of the ECS/TCR ratio.

        And to carry this one step further (following Occam’s Razor): until we know more, based on real empirical evidence, we should assume that this ratio is 1.0.

        About the first sentence, a good case can be made in your support. Estimates are all over the place, and there is no good reason to assume that the ratio is independent of starting temperature. In fact, since “equilibrium” is likely never achieved, increased CO2 might produce a new “steady-state” in which extreme temperatures become more extreme — depending on the time chosen, the transient response might alternate signs, positive after 70 years, negative after 140 years. I would reword the sentence slightly: we have many realistic estimates of the ratio, but not even 1 with demonstrated accuracy and dependability.

        About the second sentence, Occam’s Razor does not support choosing any one value over another. But certainly, if an equilibrium (I think everyone means “steady state”, not equilibrium) is even possible, it can’t be achieved in under 10 years (though some people have disputed even this, citing responses to aerosols from Mt. Pinatubo, etc) — transient climate sensitivity depends on the duration of the “transient”.

      • It’s all about empirical data based on real-time physical observations.

        And these do not support a 2xCO2 temperature response of much more than around 0.8 to 1.5 degC.

        So then if we use the transient sequestered heat, this number jumps up to 4 for equilibrium climate sensitivity. That’s what will happen when you suggested that the ocean will suck up the excess heat. We are not measuring it but it is going into the oceans, only to re-emerge or catch up later. Maybe you want to walk back that assertion you made :)

        All the empirical data in the world won’t do you any good for projections unless you know how to interpret it.

    • Fred, some of us suspect you confuse your opinion with fact. We may not value your opinion as much as you do. If you are confident enough in your position to say someone is stating falsehoods rather than having a difference of opinion, you need to back it up with some really strong evidence.

      • I have always tried to do that, Steven, on any important question of fact.. My reluctance is to do it repeatedly when someone persists in arguing by claiming that if I don’t respond each time, I’m dodging the issue. Please see my reply to Kim above.

        Also, this discussion has grown so long that I’ll take the liberty of linking to my earlier comment on transient and equilibrium responses where it started, and where I was simply trying to answer questions that BillC asked me. I hope some interested readers who revisit it will also visit the linked sources,

      • Fred

        How does what you are describing work in the example of what you are teaching to high school students? If you had provided the back-up information you would have either demonstrated that my opinion of you showing bias was either wrong, or correct. You chose to not share that information. based upon you not sharing that information what conclusion would a reasonable person draw? That you think others would conclude that the teaching material showed extreme bias?

      • Fred, it is your professed certainty that is problematic. You are adept at confirming your bias, apparently more than anyone else in the field, but this is not something about which to brag.

        A few months ago you were willing to argue that the missing heat had gone deep because you’d read the Purkey Turkey. Now Kevin has double-crossed you. Don’t you ever feel like the last one in the line in a game of crack-the-whip?

        The IPCC is uncurious about the sun. They’ve manipulated deliberately to maintain the illusion of high climate sensitivity, most outrageously with the choice of Bayesian priors. They’ve missed the boat on water vapor feedback and know little more about clouds than what I can learn from watching them. These mistakes are not going to evaporate so you, in your true belief, had better get ready to address them every time they are brought up here. You have the tiger by the tail, and I feel sorry for you.
        ==============================

      • Kim – There is no doubt that some of the thermal energy previously unaccounted for has gone into the deep ocean, as described by Purkey and Johnson, and others. The current Nat. Geosci. article is consistent with this, but also indicates that some of the uncertainty resides in the TOA flux imbalances, as I stated yesterday before this post appeared.

        You may be making some of this too personal. I’ve provided some links in my comments that I think are helpful in appreciating some of the data. The main point about the current article, though, is that it resolves some of the apparent inconsistencies in a way that conforms to our general understanding of how climate responds to long term forcing from CO2 and other climate drivers. We still need better quantification, but there are no surprises in what was reported.

      • Heh, and you weren’t personal when you responded to Max? And you still dodge the sun, the water vapor, the clouds, and the sensitivity which he brought up?
        =============

      • Kiim, Rob Starkey, and Steven – Below, Max Manacker posted a long comment on ocean warming. I would very much appreciate your own careful analysis of his comment and your views on its merits. I say that because when I have declined to respond to repeated claims he makes after having refuted them once, you suggest that I’m evading the issues. In this case, he has made a new claim, and I since generally do respond to these, I’m prepared to give my views. But I’d like yours first to get a sense of your ability to judge climate analysis.

      • The sun, the clouds, the water vapor and the sensitivity. Now get with it.
        ================

      • Fred Moolten: There is no doubt that some of the thermal energy previously unaccounted for has gone into the deep ocean, as described by Purkey and Johnson, and others.

        Perhaps you have no doubt, but the totality of the evidence (including the lack of a long-term series of deep ocean temperatures), and the fact that they came up with the idea entirely ad hoc, permits real doubt.

      • MattStat – who do you mean by “they”, and what do you mean by “ad hoc”? I see the evidence for increasing deep ocean heat above that previously estimated as convincing, but if you can explain specifically why you disagree, you should.

      • Fred, I have no interest in taking up every conversation where I think someone has made an error. I don’t care for typing that much, just keeping up with you would be a full time job for me. I do have an interest in having someone that stated I was misrepresenting things before stop making such claims about people unless they are prepared to fully support them. So our interests in this particular conversation consist of different topics.

      • MattStat – yes we mean steady state not equilibrium, I’m sure someone has stated that already in response to your comment, but we continue to abuse the term.

      • Fred Moolten: who do you mean by “they”, and what do you mean by “ad hoc”?

        GCM modelers, having discovered that they were over predicting earth warming over recent years, modified their models to add a deep ocean compartment and estimate a rate of transfer of heat into it. They did not use temperature change records over a long duration (because they do not exist) in order to estimate the rate of heat transfer. If we were to install a sufficient corps of deep ocean thermometers, we might be able to test over 20 years or so whether their estimate is correct. As it is, all they have done is create an ad hoc adjustment to their model to save it from disconfirmation via extant data. To my knowledge, how this extra complexity in their model handled the fit of the model to the last 100 years of global temperature fluctuation was not examined.

        If you are certain that they (the GCM modelers) are correct, I think that fits with your general disrespect for inaccuracies of approximation and random variation in data.

      • MattStat – What I asked you was to give the names of the individuals you referred to as “they” and explain what you meant by “ad hoc”. I don’t think you answered my question.

      • Fred Moolten: MattStat – What I asked you was to give the names of the individuals you referred to as “they” and explain what you meant by “ad hoc”.

        The important point is is the adhockery. The point about it being GCM modelers is that it was not teams of researchers measuring actual heat transfer processes — surly you are not disputing that, are you?

        The deep ocean and its thermal capacity were not discovered recently, but have been known for a long time — surely you are not disputing that. Forecasts (sometimes called scenarios) of future temperature change based on models have been made for decades, and their results were summarized in AF(4) — you are not disputing that either. Despite a great deal of information on deep ocean thermal capacity, none of those models attempted to include the deep ocean thermal capacity — you are not disputing that either, are you. Only recently, after 1 or 2 decades of overpredicting temperature increase did the modelrs try to incorporate heat flow into the deep ocean — you are not disputing that either. The estimates of the rate of heat flow (except for those of WebHubTelescope, perhaps) were developed precisely to account for the disparity between the modeled trajectories and the actual heat trend, and not from independent first principles — surely you are not disputing that either, are you? And there has been no test of the model output against other data not used in deriving the deep ocean parameters — you are not disputing that either, are you?

        How many more of the characteristics of model adhockery do you require to admit some doubt?

      • MattStat – I don’t think you’ve answered my question about who “they” are. – you haven’t named them. Once you answer it, I believe it will be apparent that the people you have in mind as “they” aren’t the ones who you need to read to see the ocean temperature data, and I believe it will be clear that many of your statements you imply are “indisputable” are in fact wrong, that there was nothing “ad hoc” about the temperature measurements, and that they weren’t done this year or last year, or any time simply as a response to criticism.

        If I’m wrong, we’ll discover it when you name the names and give the reference sources.

      • Fred Moolten: I believe it will be clear that many of your statements you imply are “indisputable” are in fact wrong,

        Is there a statement that you would like to dispute (note, I did not claim that any was actually “indisputable”)? How about this one, for a start? Despite a great deal of information on deep ocean thermal capacity, none of those models attempted to include the deep ocean thermal capacity Do you dispute that? Is it one of the “many” statements I wrote that is “in fact” wrong?

      • Only recently, after 1 or 2 decades of overpredicting temperature increase did the modelrs try to incorporate heat flow into the deep ocean — you are not disputing that either.

        Fred,
        J.Hansen must have understood some of the ocean thermal diffusion according to his 1985 paper that JCH linked to elsewhere in this thread.

        I would find it interesting that they didn’t include this in any subsequent models, since that paper was over 25 years ago.. It is possible that the TCR/ECS ratio is starting to drop substantially below unity for the first time and thus they have to start incorporating the latency effect in their models.
        .

  36. steven mosher

    from the article

    : the standard deviation in
    model net TOA flux between 2001 and 2010 exceeds that from the
    observations in 11 of the 15 models considered. The larger model
    variability is probably partly due to differences in model internal
    variability as well as differences in how the forcing is specified
    (for example, aerosol direct and indirect effects), how the various
    models were tuned, and model drift error (for more details about
    the model comparisons, see Supplementary Information).

    what most people dont get is that Trenberth tied his calibration of CERES data to model outputs rather than observations. In this study they anchor CERES to observations.

    . The net TOA radiation imbalance is the difference
    between incoming and outgoing radiation, quantities that are well
    over two orders of magnitude larger than the net TOA imbalance.
    It is thus necessary to anchor the satellite data to an absolute scale
    using other data19 . In refs 2 and 8 the CERES observations are
    anchored to a net radiation imbalance of 0.9 Wm−2 in the early part of the decade, based on a climate model simulation rather than
    actual observations. The change in net radiation between satellite
    and ocean in situ observations differs by as much as 1 Wm−2 over the
    five years 2004–2008. This deviation exceeds the CERES uncertainty
    of 0.3 Wm−2 per decade18,20 by more than a factor of six.
    To provide a more observation-based representation of changes
    in net TOA flux during the past decade, the CERES net TOA radi-
    ation record is anchored to an estimated Earth heat uptake for July
    2005–June 2010 of 0.58±0.38 Wm−2 , by combining the Pacific Ma-
    rine Environmental Laboratory/Jet Propulsion Laboratory/Joint In-
    stitute for Marine and Atmospheric Research (PMEL/JPL/JIMAR;
    ref. 14; see Methods) Argo-only estimate from 0 to 1,800 m with
    estimates of smaller heat uptake terms from warming of the deep
    ocean, land and atmosphere, as well as melting ice. Argo alone sam-
    ples consistently, persistently, globally, and to a greater depth than
    previous upper-ocean measurement programs.

    • Steven – You make important points. We have nowhere near the accuracy to calculate TOA flux imbalance directly from measurements of incoming and outgoing energy, since it’s the tiny difference between those two huge numbers. The best we can do is estimate the direction it is taking from one year to the next. The actual CERES observational data suggested an imbalance far greater than 0.9 W/m^2 (probably due mainly to errors in the SW component). What Trenberth did was to say, “well that can’t be right, so I’ll reduce the estimate down to the modeled 0.9 W/m^2″. In fairness to him, I understand that he has speculated some of his “missing heat” may have escaped to space, which is another way of saying the OLR may have been greater than estimated and the flux imbalance therefore less than 0.9 W/m^2.

      Does this mean we have no idea about the magnitude of the flux imbalance? Not at all. We have abundant data that the climate has warmed over the past century, and furthermore, from ocean heat uptake data, that the climate system has gained heat over at least the past half century. This can only be explained by an average net imbalance over the long haul consistent with a recent value in the 0.9 W/m^2 range. It may not be exactly 0.9 W/m^2, but it can’t be enormously greater and it can’t be net negative over the many decades, although it can be transiently.

      To my mind, all of this reinforces the principle that it’s treacherous to rely too heavily on short term data, but also that we need better ways of measuring things in both the short and long term.

      • Fred,
        The triviality of the numbers implies a trivial scale and trivial problem; ie, luke warming.

      • steven mosher

        sorry fred I forgot the quote marks around most of that. Its from the paper.

        What I would like to understand is how this “missing heat” argument pays in the grand scheme of things.

      • Yes, Fred, Kevin’s famous NPR interview revealed that he considers the possibility of the ‘missing heat’ having escaped to space, as a scientist should have done. So why has neither he nor his team shared this uncertainty with policymakers? Could he be in a ‘double ethical bind’ and foolishly taking the Schneider fall back position of lying, since being both honest and persuasive are not open to him?

        And so for all CAGW true believers. Is honesty about uncertainty a closed path to you since you strive to be so persuasive?
        ===================

      • Fred, Steve etc.

        Fred thanks for your responses to my questions. I re-read your comment from the other thread as well and had already read over the Isaac Held piece.

        One implication of the TCR/ECS ratio of 0.56 or whatever, is that the dynamics of the remaining response matter immensely. Due to that entropy thingy, heat dissipated into the ocean thingy won’t just come back out in the next El Ninho.

        I hope the ratio is in fact higher than 0.56 ;)

      • Fred Moolten

        Not to quibble about a minor point but you write:

        In fairness to him [Trenberth, in his interview], I understand that he has speculated some of his “missing heat” may have escaped to space, which is another way of saying the OLR may have been greater than estimated and the flux imbalance therefore less than 0.9 W/m^2.

        If you read the interview, you would have seen that he suggested that the “missing heat” may have been reflected out “to space”, with “clouds” acting as “a natural thermostat” (with the “flux imbalance” as observed = 0).

        This means “an increase of reflected incoming SW radiation from increased clouds” rather than “the OLR may have been greater than estimated”.

        Just a minor point.

        Max

      • Fred Moolten: We have nowhere near the accuracy to calculate TOA flux imbalance directly from measurements of incoming and outgoing energy, since it’s the tiny difference between those two huge numbers. The best we can do is estimate the direction it is taking from one year to the next. … To my mind, all of this reinforces the principle that it’s treacherous to rely too heavily on short term data,

        I am glad to read the first sentence there. How exactly is it possible to estimate the direction it is taking from one year to the next, and does not that claim (that it is possible) contradict your principle that it’s treacherous to rely on short-term data?

      • Fred Moolten: This can only be explained by an average net imbalance over the long haul consistent with a recent value in the 0.9 W/m^2 range. It may not be exactly 0.9 W/m^2, but it can’t be enormously greater and it can’t be net negative over the many decades, although it can be transiently.

        You might be right about the net mean imbalance over a century or more, but without measurements there is no evidence that the net mean imbalance over the last decade is different from 0, or that it will be non-negative over the next 2 decades. And there isn’t evidence that the net imbalance is related to atmospheric CO2, which was lower a century ago than now.

      • MattStat – the net imbalance over the past decade might have been zero or close to it – that was one of my points about short term data.

        I hope, though, you’re not suggesting that the rising CO2 over the past century didn’t contribute to the net positive imbalance during that time. That would put you in the SkyDragon category.

      • Fred Moolten

        You are most likely right about Trenberth’s thinking regarding the purported 0.9 W/m^2 net imbalance in the “global energy budget”.

        It is an extremely small difference between some very large number

        But where did this number originate?

        As best as I can tell it comes from the Hansen et al. “hidden in the pipeline” paper, where the authors showed that the observed warming over the entire temperature record was only around half of what should have occurred based on the models.

        IOW the observations had to be rationalized in order to be equal to the model estimates.

        Following this (IMO rather “circular logic”) through to the calculation, the authors calculated a net imbalance of 0.82 W/m^2, which they rounded up to 0.85 W/m^2, and Trenberth rounded up again to 0.9 W/m^2 for his (2008) energy budget cartoon.

        This is how “magic numbers” are born.

        Max

      • Max Manacker’s latest statement is an example of a falsehood that has been refuted so many times it seems pointless to keep doing it.

      • Three times in the last century and a half the rate of temperature rise has been the same and only the last time was CO2 also rising. The overall slope of the warming since the Little Ice Age has not changed, pre CO2 rise to post CO2 rise, though it might be changing now, what with a cooling globe and all. I would not like to be in the position of denying CO2’s radiative effect, but I would like to be shown it.
        ===========================

      • I’m still waiting for Kim, Rob Starkey, Steven and others to give their careful opinion on Max Manacker’s comment below on ocean warming, because I believe that would be an example of their ability to judge climate analyses.

      • Kim – I wasn’t sure you’d be back. Would you carefully read Max Manacker’s long comment below on ocean warming and state your reasoned judgment of its merits, and why you reach your conclusions?

      • The sun, the water vapor, the clouds and the sensitivity. Ball’s in your court, big fella, whack away.
        =============

      • Kim – Would you review Max Manacker’s long comment below on ocean warming and give your reasoned judgment on its merits and deficiencies? I ask because I believe it will give us a sense of your competence to judge climate claims? Thanks.

      • Fred Moolten

        You are spot on with

        all of this reinforces the principle that it’s treacherous to rely too heavily on short term data, but also that we need better ways of measuring things in both the short and long term.

        Better measurements – you won’t get an argument from me on that one.

        Don’t rely on short-term data – again, I agree fully. The period 1976-2005 is far too short to be meaningful as far as a trend is concerned – better to use the whole 160+ year record (even that is too short, but it’s all we’ve got).

        Max

      • Fred,
        Manacker is apparently not taking into account the upper levels of the ocean very well. But then, apparently, no one else has either. He is just missing the point in a way you can spot more easily.
        The more subtle point is that sense the pipeline is emptying out (at least one version of the pipeline). You seem to be on the track that CO2 is not going to linger for centuries roasting our descendents, and that we are not facing a calamity.
        So, not jump around too much but I have to go to the gym, please show me a credible way to get the trivial heating at the surface of the ocean to make the system that has been circulating in the ocean basins do anything significantly different than it has done sine the ocean basins formed?

      • If you are competent to evaluate climate claims, I’d like to hear from you about the sun, the water vapor, the clouds, and the sensitivity.

        If you believe the heat is going into the depths, then Max’s corrected figure of 0.5 degrees C would be even lower. Son, I’m a lot more worried about cooling of 0.5 degrees C than a warming of 0.5 degrees C, or less. That’s why I think we should talk about the sun, the clouds, the water vapor and the sensitivity, about all of which the IPCC is being demonstrated to be wrong.
        ==================

      • Due to that entropy thingy, heat dissipated into the ocean thingy won’t just come back out in the next El Ninho.

        That is what is so short-sighted about some of the skeptic voices. They first say that long-term ocean oscillations are the natural variation that drives climate change. And then they cheer on the idea that the excess GHG heat goes into the oceans, thus reducing the impact of AGW. But then they don’t have the intuition to realize that the built-up heat will re-emerge at a future oscillation.

        The argument for oscillations as the main driving force in affecting the climate has now come back and bit them in the butt. When the heat re-emerges, it will come back larger. This is conservation of energy, and there is no way to escape this law.

        The only option that they have then is to exclude the possibility of the CO2-based GHG model. But then they have no way to explain the 33 degree C discrepancy in the earth’s radiative energy balance., and like Fred said puts one in the SkyDragon camp, or the recent Universal Climate Model camp.

        That doesn’t work so the last option is to argue over the uncertainty of the GHG model with respect to the measured data. That will require focus on something besides arguing over discarded ideas.

      • Fred Moolten: MattStat – the net imbalance over the past decade might have been zero or close to it – that was one of my points about short term data.

        I hope, though, you’re not suggesting that the rising CO2 over the past century didn’t contribute to the net positive imbalance during that time. That would put you in the SkyDragon category.

        If the net imbalance over the last 10 years was 0, the decade with the highest atmospheric concentration of CO2 in centuries, then it is indeed possible that the net imbalance is unrelated to CO2. And if net imbalance was unrelated to the maximum concentration of CO2 over a decade, then it might have been unrelated to lower concentrations of CO2 over a century.

        The problem with the Skydragons is that they tried a proof that CO2 change was necessarily unrelated to heat flux change. My claim is that extant knowledge, data and reliable applied math (what some call [pure] physics), is unsufficient to establish a reliable claim one way or the other.

      • And if net imbalance was unrelated to the maximum concentration of CO2 over a decade, then it might have been unrelated to lower concentrations of CO2 over a century.

        That’s completely wrong, and implies a serious misunderstanding of the relationship between forcing and flux imbalance. CO2 forcing over the past century-plus requires that CO2 has contributed warming during that time (we know iCO2 and other ghgs contributed most of the post-1950 warming). It does not require that the flux imbalance remain positive at every time point, because as the climate responds with warming, that warming reduces the imbalance. In fact, any transient negative influence could temporarily convert a net positive imbalance into a negative one (solar changes, aerosols, volcanic eruptions, ENSO, etc.). The imbalance must always remain positive only if CO2 were the only climate variable. As long as we know that CO2 acts as a warming factor, which we do, the magnitude of flux imbalance during any short interval won’t affect that understanding

        This is pretty basic stuff, Matt, and I think is less worth rehashing in a climate discussion than more uncertain aspects of climate dynamics.

      • Fred Moolten: the net imbalance over the past decade might have been zero or close to it – that was one of my points about short term data.

        MattStat: If the net imbalance over the last 10 years was 0, the decade with the highest atmospheric concentration of CO2 in centuries, then it is indeed possible that the net imbalance is unrelated to CO2. And if net imbalance was unrelated to the maximum concentration of CO2 over a decade, then it might have been unrelated to lower concentrations of CO2 over a century.

        Fred Moolten: That’s completely wrong, and implies a serious misunderstanding of the relationship between forcing and flux imbalance. CO2 forcing over the past century-plus requires that CO2 has contributed warming during that time (we know iCO2 and other ghgs contributed most of the post-1950 warming). It does not require that the flux imbalance remain positive at every time point, because as the climate responds with warming, that warming reduces the imbalance. … .

        Tell me again how (and I do mean “how” — the mechanism) the net flux imbalance can have been 0 during a decade of the highest measured CO2 concentration. And then tell me how you know that the same mechanism can never have occurred in the (mostly unmeasured) previous 150 years.

        Your last sentence, especially warming reduces the imbalance deserves considerable study. It is, you may know, a hypothesis of Willis Eschenbach who has provided discussions of supporting evidence here and at WUWT. I think his idea deserves study, and I am doing some related data analyses. How does that happen? How do you know that it happens? How is it compatible with CO2 increases generally or always producing warming? Have you not noticed that you have proposed that CO2 increases may produce no future warming?

      • Matt – your questions are at quite an elementary level, and so it may not be useful to take up extensive column space here. However, briefly: a positive forcing (from CO2 or anything else) will always exert a warming influence no matter what else the climate is doing. If the climate is warming, as it has during the positive CO2 forcing of the past century, then the CO2 forcing must have contributed to it – there is no physically plausible alternative possibility.

        When a persistent positive forcing is present (an imposed TOA flux perturbation reducing OLR relative to incoming absorbed energy), the climate warms. The higher temperature raises OLR and this reduces the flux imbalance. Ultimately, when the temperature rises high enough, incoming and outgoing energy are once more balanced, and a new “equilibrium” is reached, even though the forcing may not have changed (i.e., there might still be a positive forcing but a zero flux imbalance). To summarize, a positive forcing, all other factors being equal, creates a climate response that works to eliminate the flux imbalance created by the forcing.

        All of this presumes no other variables operating. Feedbacks can alter the magnitude of the effect, and in the case of clouds, translate what is primarily an OLR effect into an albedo effect, but the basic principle remains that a positive forcing must always exert a warming influence.

        During any long interval, negative factors can intervene and temporarily outweigh the ongoing effect of a positive forcing by creating a negative imbalance (more outgoing than incoming energy). During this interval, the climate will tend to cool. Because the climate has warmed over the past century, we know that the net effect has been positive, and the ocean heat uptake data since about 1950 tell us that this has been mainly or entirely due to positive net forcing averaged over that interval. Periods of apparent warming hiatus may signify a temporary elimination of a flux imbalance (e.g., 1950-1976 probably mainly via cooling aerosols), although measurement uncertainties may also play a role.

        None of this is controversial. All of it is very basic. If you have other questions, please feel free to email me. However, I believe you have a copy of Raypierre’s book, and you can find this material covered in enormous and quantitative detail there.

      • Fred Moolten: However, briefly: a positive forcing (from CO2 or anything else) will always exert a warming influence no matter what else the climate is doing.

        Fred Moolten: : MattStat – the net imbalance over the past decade might have been zero or close to it – that was one of my points about short term data.

        Once again you demonstrate your ability to write much that is tangentially related without addressing a point or answering a question. Tell us the mechanism by which the earth may have had a net 0 imbalance during the decade of highest CO2 concentration. I am familiar with Pierrehumbert’s book, and nothing in it addresses your assertion that the net imbalance over the last 10 years may have been 0.

      • MattStat- Why don’t you email me if you remain confused?

      • Deus ad machina.
        =========

      • Fred Moolten: MattStat- Why don’t you email me if you remain confused?

        Because I want you to tell everyone here how the radiation imbalance at the top of atmosphere can have been 0 during the decade of the highest observed atmospheric CO2 concentration, as you acknowledged as a possibility. And how you know that mechanism can’t persist, if you so claim.

    • steven mosher: from the article

      Where did you get the article? All I could get was the abstract.

  37. What are they going to say in AR5? “We don’t know”? That wouldn’t go down too well!

    To paraphrase Rutherford: “We haven’t got *the facts*, so we’re going to have to *think*”. I wonder what rabbit they’re going to pull out of the uncertainty flux now.

    • I don’t see how they can back off without looking like the fools they are. In poker terms, “they’re all in.” As long as Pachauri’s in charge, it’s always going to be worse than we thought. Much, much worse.

      • Hehe. It’s a huge (multi-trillion) pot, and all they have is a pair of threes. They are, however, some of the most practiced cardsharps on the planet. Watch for any suspicious moves involving aces gummed to the underside of the table!

      • cb, I’m waiting for them to figure out that with feedbacks, CO2 is a cooling agent. Look, every time temp rises, CO2 responds with a rise, and then later temperature goes down. I could make the case for AnthroCO2 cooling the globe, so long as you don’t notice my Ace is a Joker.
        =================

      • Hi Kim! Haven’t heard from you in a while. Welcome back!

      • cb, one of my private special places is run by a vacuum tube, no longer commercially available. Now and then I get downtime while the botmeisters fool with glassblowing, and metallurgy and alchemy. It’s all so disgusting.
        ===================

      • kim – :-)

  38. I’m always left with the feeling we could and should be doing more. How about some rich guy…TRump? Soros?…stepping up and arranging for a high stakes debate. Winning side (team?) to get 5 million bucks, say. It would generate a tremendous amount of publicity, with both sides having much to gain and much to lose. Of course it goes well beyond money.

    That they won’t debate is the most brilliant strategy of all. We’ve got to smoke ‘em out. If I had that kind of money I swear I’d do it.

    • Soros is behind much of the AGW propoganda. I wouldn’t trust him to organise a fair debate.

      • cui bono

        Yeah. But Soros has oodles of money he made shorting the Pound Sterling and doing other similar noble, added-value deeds.

        He could buy the IPCC and the whole pack of mainstream insiders with his pocket change.

        And, yes, he is spending a bit of his pocket change on CAGW propaganda.

        Wonder why?

        Max

      • max –

        Wonder why?

        Can I guess? Conspiracy to impost a one-world government and destroy capitalism?

        Nice to see that you stick to validated estimates of uncertainty, max. If only it would serve as an example for the “realists.”

    • pokerguy

      A “high stakes debate” as you propose only makes sense for those who are rationally skeptical of the CAGW premise, for one very simple reason.

      The purpose of the debate would be to come closer to finding the “truth” about our climate, right?

      This is not what supporters of the CAGW premise are really looking for – instead they want the “proof” that their CAGW consensus premise is correct and, in such a debate, they would be unable to document, based on empirical data, that it is valid.

      They know this and they also know the weak spots of their arguments in support of the premise.

      As a result, they know that such a debate would be a lose-lose situation for them.

      Publishing 1000+ page reports with a bunch of projections based on a lot of model simulations. scenarios, storylines and expert judgment, rather than any empirical data, is much easier than having to defend all the assumptions that have gone into this report in an open debate.

      So don’t look for it to happen any time soon.

      Max.

      • Well said, Max! Particularly:

        they also know the weak spots of their arguments in support of the premise.

        As a result, they know that such a debate would be a lose-lose situation for them.

        Indeed! This is well supported by viewing the rare debates in which they’ve chosen to engage. They’ve lost every single time.

        Consequently, all they’re left with are “arguments” from the authority of a Gleickenschpiel™. Loose lips (and) lack of logic lead to legendary lose-lose.

  39. Chief Hydrologist

    ‘Global climate change results from a small yet persistent imbalance between the amount of sunlight absorbed by Earth and the thermal radiation emitted back to space.’

    The use of net radiation is very misleading – the changes in net radiaiton in CERES are dominated by SW variability. So from the opening sentence there is a fundamental mischaracterisation of the problem. Here is CERES data – http://s1114.photobucket.com/albums/k538/Chief_Hydrologist/?action=view&current=CERES-BAMS-2008-with-trend-lines1.gif – I copied this from KT on WUWT I seem to remember.

    Most of the energy accumulation was in the SW – and the energy accumulated in the top 1500 to 2000m according to a couple of Schuckman et al papers.

    So what’s new? Nothing but an astonishing misdirection that recasts reality along familiar lines.

  40. Mydogsgotnonose

    1. N. Atlantic OHC: http://bobtisdale.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/figure-101.png

    This is totally predictable because the Arctic, heading to the freeze** part of its 50-70 year oscillation, is pushing less warmed water into the N. Atlantic.The S. Atlantic for the mirror latitude is steady so it’s an Arctic phenomenon, little if any CO2-AGW is involved.

    The same process lifts the earth out of ice ages. In time climate science will admit that it has made 4 fundamental mistakes in the physics but political considerations means it cannot so it’ll have to be done the hard way, by direct experiment, see (1).

    ** The Russians predict it’ll be frozen solid by 2020, as cold as in 1900.

  41. curryja:
    “The large uncertainties in the observations would seem to me to preclude many of the high confidence conclusions that have been drawn by the IPCC.”

    I entirely agree, and even more so in relation to the IPCC ‘very high confidence’ conclusions. I hope all followers of Climate Etc who are ‘expert’ reviewers of AR5 WG1 First Order Draft chapters will make this point forcefully in their reviews.

    • AR5 is going to be a lot more controversial than AR4, if only because the critics are prepared and ready to pounce.

      • And it seems the poobahs have learned nothing. Oh, the hubris, the shocking hubris of it all.
        ===============

      • AR5 will probably have more pages, but contain less data, than the Manhattan phone book.

        If it does not seriously attempt to explain (rather than rationalize away) the “lack of warming” of our planet’s atmosphere since the end of 2000 and the “lack of warming” of the upper ocean as measured by ARGO since 2003, it is a sham.

        My prediction: it will not get another Nobel Peace Prize.

        Max

    • I will say that Ar5 FOD is leaps and bounds better than Ar4 final draft for the chapter I’m reasonably qualified to evaluate. Every criticism I had of a certain Ar4 chapter have been addressed in a forthright manner. That is all I will say at this stage. I think I know who the lead author is and his work is superb.

      • It should be no mystery as to who the (Coordinating Lead or) Lead Authors might be. This is one of the very few instances in which the IPCC has actually practiced “transparency” (lthough it is not beyond the realm of possibility that the the IPCC powers that be have made changes since divulging Chapters, lead authors and their respective verses.)

        But, I hope that your lead author does not end up disappointing you (possibly through no fault of her/his own). That being said, you speak of only one chapter. Unless I’m mistaken, there are many more – and my concern is that the “big picture” (as requested by the UNFCCC – who, according to Pachauri is the IPCC’s “primary client”) may well be no more credible than AR4.

        Frankly, I think the powers that be at the IPCC should have paid far more attention to the words of one of their alumni, Joseph Alcamo, when he told them at Bali (in Oct. 2009):

        as policymakers and the public begin to grasp the multi-billion dollar price tag for mitigating and adapting to climate change, we should expect a sharper questioning of the science behind climate policy

        It almost goes without saying that just as it’s easier to “blame Israel” for all the problems in the Middle East (or “blame Canada” for all the problems in the US and/or elsewhere!), it’s easier to blame “skeptics” for all the problems in persuading those on the side of reason and logic for the purported “failure to communicate” on the part of scientist-advocates (or advocate-scientists).

        I, for one, have no great expectations of AR5. I suspect that the (big picture) message will be: a “bleak house” is imminent – and it’s happening faster than we thought, but we must act now to reduce (or cap ‘em and trade ‘em) emissions of carbon dioxide in order to avert the severe decree!

      • Actually it is even better as some is still work in progress eg

        The international community should provide guidance on the creation of Earth Radiation Budget climate data records. There is a naive notion in the community that complex climate data records involving a significant level of fusion of multiple data sources at climate accuracy can be transitioned from research to operations. The decades of expertise used to validate, understand, quality control, and continuously fix problems with instrument or ancillary input data sets cannot be bought or transplanted as a set of documents and software. Earth Radiation Budget Climate Data Records capable of accurately characterizing climate at decadal time-scales are inherently more research data products than they are operational data products. Assuming otherwise will likely lead to inferior data products characterized by artifacts that go unnoticed and unresolved in an operational processing environment. While an operational approach works fine for processing weather data, far more rigor and quality assurance is necessary for climate data products, where reprocessing is an integral part of the effort.

        and

        The prominent picture of the Global Energy Balance in the IPCC report needs substantial revision. Particularly the surface flux estimates need to be revisited, and uncertainty ranges should be added to all components

      • Mosher –

        Why the mysteries?

        Is it a state secret which part of AR5 you think you’re qualified to evaluate? Will disproportionate vengeance be meted out to the authors if you actually specify of which certain chapter of AR4 you had criticisms? You think you know who the lead author is but don’t want to risk your thoughts with a public airing? Is it privileged, ‘team’, ‘only on a need-to-know basis’ information?

        That is all I will say at this stage

        Unless you’re interrogated? Offered immunity from prosecution? How are we to proceed without the knowledge you hint you possess but teasingly withhold?

        Please – tell us more!

      • Ant,
        Sorry, I just don’t think I want to get into discussions about it. Other than to say, what I’m reading looks much better than Ar4.

        hro001: there is a long list of LAs.

      • I jest Mosher, but it’s good to hear that AR5 has positives.

        I assume everybody in the debate thinks that’s a good thing? As in… isn’t too tribal one way or the other to appreciate some good work?

        I hope so, but I don’t think it is too cynical to expect that reactions to AR5 will depend about 98% on prior perspective.

        I don’t think we should allow any old shit to fall into our heads, but I think a reasonably open [flexible?] mind is a healthy one.

  42. They just don’t get it. Or, as Bono would say, “stuck in a moment we can’t get out off.”
    To the tune of whatever ditty you like.

    —————————————————————————————–

    I’m a little radiation, radiation, radiation, I’m a little radiation, all day long

    Down through the mesopause , mesopause , mesopause, down through the mesopause, all day long.

    Down through tropopause, tropopause, tropopause, down throughtropopause, all day long.

    Now I’m a little kinetic, kinetic, kinetic I’m a little kinetic, all day long

    Up through the pressure, pressure, pressure, up through the pressure, all day long.

    Back to a little radiation, radiation, radiation, I’m a little radiation, all day long.

    ————————————————————————————————-

    Consider how a refrigerator works – 2 thermostats going down, and a heat pump going up.

    What happens to pressured gas through a condenser and then a separation device?

    Co2 forcing, what dribble.

    And for those religious Co2 nutters;
    Your God, would not give you a greenhouse, when you needed a refrigerator.

    • markus

      I like your Bono song, but for older guys, here’s a “Beach Boy” version (to the tune of “Good Vibration”):

      I’m feelin’ that ra-di-a-tion,
      Ooh, ooh, ooh, radiation

      It’s givin’ me ex-i-ta-tion,
      Ooh, ooh, ooh, exitation

      I’m guessin’ there’s a cor-re-la-tion
      Ooh, ooh, ooh, correlation

      That’ll prove C-O-2 cau-sa-tion
      Ooh, ooh, ooh, CO2 causation.

      Ooh, ooh, ooh, radiation…

  43. So bold are the liberal utopians of global warming alarmism that they will risk every dime you have on their ideas…

  44. Right, you lot.

    Enough of this nonsense, get back to looking after our environment.

    Markus Fitzhenry.

  45. OK. Let’s do a quickie back-of-the-envelope calculation of this ocean warming.

    IPCC tells us that the 2xCO2 equilibrium climate sensitivity is (mean value) 3.2°C.

    This means that a doubling of CO2 would warm our atmosphere by 3.2°C at equilibrium.

    Now let’s say that half of that energy goes into the deep ocean (where it will presumably hide until some magical moment when it decides to jump out and fry us all).

    The mass of the atmosphere = 5.14*10^18 kg
    The specific heat of the atmosphere = 1.0 kJ/kg°C
    Half of the equilibrium warming = 1.6°C
    So we have the ocean absorbing: 1.6*1.0*5.14*10^18 = 8.26*10^18 kJ

    Sounds like a lot.

    Will we end up with a bunch of boiled fish?

    The mass of the ocean = 1.4*10^21 kg
    The specific heat of sea water = 4.0kJ/kg°C

    So the ocean will “heat up” by: (8.26*10^18)/(4.0*1.4*10^21) = 0.0015°C

    Wow! (I’m no longer too worried that it’s going to come out of hiding and fry me.)

    And some guy is going to seriously tell me he can measure that?

    Ouch!

    Max

    • manacker,

      I am aware that the biological world’s emergent properties are dependent on the physical worlds. It’s been a warm and sunny winter up here in the
      Sierra foothills and my water buckets have been teaming with life (various algae) and my spring bulbs have already come up. As all of this life needed energy to develop- I was wondering at what point in time, if at all, do models of the physical world energy balance become insufficient if they don’t take into account the mass of life that comes about with a bit more heat at the right time in the right place (my water bucket and flowers!).

      I am not familiar with the biological process in the ocean except that a bit more heat will lead to a bit more mass for certain species of plant life. If this is the case does some of the missing energy end up as more mass (E=mc^2)? And if yes, does the extra mass (energy) in the form of plant life end up on the bottom of the ocean once it dies to become oil or some fossil fuel in a few thousand years?

    • Max – I plan to respond to your comments, but first, I would be interested in how some others view it. I’m thinking particularly of individuals who protest because I don’t always repeat my responses to claims you make repetitively after having refuted them the first time. I’ve explained by my reluctance to do that, but my willingness to respond to new claims.

      Kim, Rob Starkey, and others who urge me always to take Max Manacker’s claims seriously even if I’ve responded previously – what is your view of his comments above? Do you find his reasoning sound? Do you see faults but think he’s on the right track, or do you think he is way off? I’d appreciate your views before I give mine, if you’re available. Otherwise, I’ll eventually go ahead anyway.

      • Fred – you have to respond to him each time. That’s why they call it Whac-A-Mole. It could be worse, when Whac-A-Mole first came out, it cost 25 cents a game. Now it’s free. Soon your theoretical savings will pay for a cruise.

      • JCH – I’m not good at being mean-spirited, so I’ll give Max a chance to bail out of his comment above gracefully, before he tries to defend it and finds himself in even more hot water (so to speak). The heat capacity of the ocean is orders of magnitude greater than that of the atmosphere. At equilibrium, how will future energy retained by the climate system be distributed? Can half of the excess end up in the atmosphere and half in the ocean? If the ocean is warming, does its contribution to atmospheric and surface warming come from heat that is “coming out” of the ocean or from heat that is accumulating there (with heat coming out during cooling rather than warming intervals)? If the near surface atmosphere warms 3.2 C at equilibrium, how much will the surface ocean warm, and the water immediately below it?

        (We can also ask about inhomogeneities and ocean temperature gradients that contribute to variations on the theme, but that is small potatoes compared with the immensity of the different heat capacities into which energy must be distributed at equilibrium).

      • Fred Moolten: Kim, Rob Starkey, and others who urge me always to take Max Manacker’s claims seriously even if I’ve responded previously – what is your view of his comments above?

        You misunderstand me, and probably the others. If you want to skip his comments that’s fine. IF (I repeat: IF) you respond, quote what you are responding to. Not everything he writes is (perceived to be) false, so if you deny it all then you are (perceived to be) obviously wrong.

    • Ouch is right to have your brain hurt like that.
      The volume of the ocean involved in the transient uptake is limited to the surface primarily, with the heat diffusing downwards. The average depth of the ocean is 4000 meters. Take a fraction of that as a characteristic diffusion length and you will get a much larger number than 0.0015.

      • WHT

        OK.

        So the upper ocean only has a mass of 40 million Gt (compared to 1400 million Gt for the entire ocean).

        The calculated warming will then be 0.0015*1400/40 = 0.05 degC

        I’m still not too worried, WHT.

        Convince me that I should be.

        Max

      • Worried?
        It looks like you are more in a panic and anxious than worried.
        What exactly is wrong with just trying to understand the idea of a transient response, instead of throwing all sorts of numbers together like they will accidentally prove something.

        Skeptics are funny in that they haphazardly attack the problem. Upthread you have Norm, who says that all the excess CO2 is due to the ocean outgassing, which would put the temperature rise at 5 C. And then we have you that says it is 0.05 C. Right there we have a factor of 100 in difference of opinion.

        Which of these two do you believe? Apparently neither of these two extremes is anything to be worried about, at least not in skeptical-land.

        Norm tell Max why he is full of it.
        Max tell Norm why he is full of it.

      • WebHubTelescope: Which of these two do you believe?

        There is no necessity to believe anything. Characteristically humans will develop belief when there is insufficient evidence, or even nearly complete ignorance, but that is not be encouraged, much less insisted upon.

    • Max , their worry (I think) is that the missing heat buried in deep see will one day come out and heat the atmosphere!

      Does that make sense?

      • Girma

        I think I comprehend the “worry that the missing heat buried in the deep sea will one day come out and heat the atmosphere”.

        But I don’t understand how anyone with any basic scientific or technical training can be “worried” about that.

        It simply does not make any sense.

        WHT has been unable to explain it.

        Let’s see if Fred can.

        Max

      • Max, You wouldn’t understand the principle nor the mathematics of diffusion if your life depended on it.

        What’s fittingly apropos is the unification of the two “Missing” cases of climate science.

        1. The “missing” CO2. For a while the skeptics were complaining about the missing CO2 in atmospheric measurements from that anticipated based on fossil fuel emissions. About 40% was missing by most accounts. This lead to confusion between the ideas of residence times versus adjustment times of atmospheric CO2. As it turns out, a simple model of CO2 diffusing to sequestering sites accurately represented the long adjustment times and the diffusion tails account for the missing 40%. I derived this phenomenon using diffusion of trace molecules, while most climate scientists apply a range of time constants that approximate diffusion.

        2. The “missing” heat. Now skeptics are complaining about the missing heat in measurements of the average global temperature. When a TCR/ECS ratio of 0.56 is asserted, 44% of the heat is missing. This leads to confusion about where the heat is in the pipeline. As it turns out, a simple model of thermal energy diffusing to deeper ocean sites may account for the missing 44%. I derived this the other day using a master heat equation and uncertainty in the parameters. Isaac Held uses a diifferent approach based on time constants.

        So that is the basic idea behind modeling the missing quantities of CO2 and of heat — apply a dispersed diffusion mechanism to the mechanism. For CO2, the Fokker-Planck equation and for temperature, the heat equation. If I could, I would suggest that the climate scientists start applying diffusion principles, as the solution comes out much more cleanly and it will lead to better intuition as to the actual physics behind the observed behaviors.

        “WHT has been unable to explain it.”

        We shall see.

      • WHT – have you read this: Hansen et al (1985)?

      • wht,

        Why have you sneaked that link to your trash attack on one of Judith’s quests back onto Judith’s website? Are you crazy? Don’t you remember that she deleted that trash, recently? Do you think that linking to that again enhances your credibility, you anonymous vicious coward?

      • WHT – have you read this: Hansen et al (1985)?

        JCH, No I haven’t, but Hansen’s Figure 2 looks just like my Figure 3. I didn’t extend my curve but it will bend over just like Hansen’s does due to the diffusive square root of time dependence.
        Now I have this missing heat clarified in my mind. In the paper Hansen calls it “unrealized warming”, which is heat entering into the ocean without raising the climate temperature substantially.

        Thanks so much for digging up the reference. I am happy that the climate scientists understand diffusion. I didn’t do anything new but perhaps come up with a simple analytical expression.

      • WebHubTelescope: When a TCR/ECS ratio of 0.56 is asserted, 44% of the heat is missing. This leads to confusion about where the heat is in the pipeline. As it turns out, a simple model of thermal energy diffusing to deeper ocean sites may account for the missing 44%.

        It would have been better had you put the word “may” in italics: may

        If the missing heat has diffused into the deeper ocean sites, as you modeled, does that imply a TCR/ECS ratio of 1?

      • If the missing heat has diffused into the deeper ocean sites, as you modeled, does that imply a TCR/ECS ratio of 1?

        A ratio of 1 would mean the ocean is insulated against sinking heat from an external source. A ratio of 0 would mean it is an infinite heat sink. When it diffuses deeper it does start looking more like an infinite heat sink, because that heat can’t easily random walk its way back to feed the equilibrium value

        This is only meant as an intuitive explanation.

      • WHT: This is only meant as an intuitive explanation.

        Thanks for the reply.

    • Max and Fred,

      I’ll do my best no-math response to this.

      First, I suspect that the 3.2C figure incorporates some level of heat mixing into the oceans. Thus it could ALREADY account for some potentially large part of the disparity in heat capacity. So we can’t just divide it in half and then back-calculate the heat uptake in the two reservoirs. IOW, much more than half the energy went into the oceans to get to the 3.2C. It’s like I said above, paraphrasing, with no oceans and a dry atmosphere ECS* (really should be SSCS) – ECS/TCR would be close to 1.0, the rub would be that TCR would be higher.

      You really have to know the system parameters before doing this, both steady-state and dynamic parameters, not that they don’t overlap.

      I believe WHT has taken a good shot at this, but before I read his blog I want to know his estimate for the time lag of the remaining heat to equilibrate. Hey – a correct use of the word equilibrium – to describe heat exchange between ocean and atmosphere long after forcings have ceased to change! Obviously, 100% equilibration is asymptotic – so what about 75% 90%?

      • Billc, over time, the ratio diverges more and more from unity. The basic reason for this is that diffusion drives the heat deeper and deeper over time, and if the forcing is removed it will take just as long to cool. I added JCH’s find of Hansen’s paper to the blog posting. Suffice to say, I reach the same conclusions as Hansen. I just created a simpler expression.

      • Web said, “..it will take just as long to cool.”

        Why? Air can transfer heat to the oceans at a much slower rate than the oceans can transfer heat to the air. Different coefficients of heat transfer. SW radiation can transfer heat to the oceans faster than LW radiation. Warming of salt water decreases density of the water, Cooling of salt water increases density of salt water. You have competing rates of convection and coefficients of heat transfer. The rates will be different.

      • Web, while you are mulling that one over, The coefficient of heat transfer for both N2 and O2 is 0.024 at STP. The coefficient of heat transfer of CO2 is 0.115 at -20C. How does that impact your MAXENT?

    • steven mosher

      actually all the excess goes into the ocean.

  46. Chief Hydrologist

    Onya Max – and happy birthday Ostraya – You know you’re Australian if …
    You believe that stubbies can be either drunk or worn.
    You’ve made a bong out of your garden hose rather than use it for something illegal such as watering the garden.
    You’re liable to burst out laughing whenever you hear of Americans “rooting” for something.
    You understand that the phrase ‘a group of women wearing black thongs’ refers to footwear and may be less alluring than it sounds.
    You pronounce Melbourne as ‘Mel-bin’.
    You believe the ‘l’ in the word ‘Australia’ is optional.
    You can translate: ‘Dazza and Shazza played Acca Dacca on the way to Maccas.’
    You believe it makes perfect sense for a nation to decorate its’ highways with large fibreglass bananas, prawns, sheep and pineapples etc.
    You call your best friend ‘a total bastard’ but someone you really, truly despise is just ‘a bit of a bastard’.
    You think ‘Woolloomooloo’ is a perfectly reasonable name for a place.
    We also know where the ‘Gabba’ is in Brisbane.
    You’re secretly proud of our killer wildlife.
    You believe it makes sense for a country to have a $1 coin that’s twice as big as its $2 coin.
    You understand that ‘Wagga Wagga’ can be abbreviated to ‘Wagga’ but ‘Woy Woy’ can’t be called ‘Woy’..
    You believe that cooked-down axle grease makes a good breakfast spread. You’ve also squeezed it through Vita Wheats to make little Vegemite worms.
    You believe all famous Kiwis are actually Australian, until they stuff up, at which point they again become Kiwis.
    Beetroot with your Hamburger… Of course.
    You know that certain words must, by law, be shouted out during any rendition of the Angels’ song ‘Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again’ and “Living next door to Alice”.
    You believe that the confectionery known as the Wagon Wheel has become smaller with every passing year.
    You wear ugg boots outside the house.
    You believe that every important discovery in the world was made by an Australian but then sold off to the Yanks for a pittance.
    You believe that the more you shorten someone’s name the more you like them.
    Whatever your linguistic skills, you find yourself able to order takeaway fluently in every Asian language.
    You understand that ‘excuse me’ can sound rude,
    While ‘scuse me’ is always polite.
    You know what it’s like to swallow a fly, on occasion via your nose.
    You know it’s not summer until the steering wheel is too hot to handle and a seat belt buckle becomes a pretty good branding iron.
    Your biggest family argument over the summer concerned the rules for beach cricket.
    You shake your head in horror when companies try to market what they call ‘Anzac cookies’.
    You still think of Kylie as ‘that girl off Neighbours’.
    When working on a bar, you understand male customers will feel the need to offer an excuse whenever they order low-alcohol beer.
    You know how to abbreviate every word, all of which usually end in -o : arvo, combo, garbo, kero, lezzo, metho, milko, muso, rego, servo, smoko, speedo, righto, goodo etc.
    You know that there is a universal place called “woop woop” located in the middle of nowhere…no matter where you actually are.
    You know that none of us actually drink Fosters beer, because it tastes like piss.
    But we let the world think we do. Because we can.
    You have some time in your life slept with Aeroguard on in the summer. Maybe even as perfume.
    You’ve only ever used the words – tops, ripper, sick, mad, rad, sweet – to mean good. And then you place ‘bloody’ in front of it when you really mean it.
    You know that the barbecue is a political arena; the person holding the tongs is always the boss and usually a man. And the women make the Salad.
    You say ‘no worries’ quite often, whether you realise it or not.
    You understand what “no wucking furries” means.
    You’ve drunk your tea/coffee/milo through a Tim Tam.
    You own a Bond’s chesty. In several different colours.
    You know that roo meat tastes pretty good, But not as good as barra. Or a meat pie.
    You know that some people pronounce Australia like “Straya” and that’s ok.
    And you will immediately forward this list to other Australians, here and overseas, realising that only they will understand.
    Onya, mate. Cya…

    • “Beetroot with your Hamburger… Of course.”

      Now that’s sacred, you total bastard :)

      And you forgot:

      You’re going through the security gate in Mackay airport in January, dressed in only stubbie shorts and t-shirt … and the alarm goes off

    • I dunno why the Ozzies left Britland. Oh, that’s right – we made them.
      Look what you’re missing in the old mother country…

      We believe that Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday are all good nights for drinking. Sunday daytime is also entirely reasonable.
      We’re always half an hour late to work … no-one notices or cares.
      Coming to work with a hangover is entirely accepted and indeed expected at least once a week.
      We step over a drunk in the tube station rather than offering to help them.
      We don’t even bother looking out of the window when we get up in the morning to check what the day is like. We know it is overcast.
      We dissolve in laughter when listening to the funny accent of the Aussie international telephone operator (or on TV!). Of course, we don’t have funny accents (unless from Liverpool, Newcastle, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall…)
      We can’t remember what ‘customer service’ means.
      After a big night we you find ourselves looking for a Curry house
      More than three hours sunlight on summer days seems excessive.
      We don’t think twice about tipping our hairdresser
      We finish every sentence with ‘Cheers’, ‘Yeah’, or ‘Innit’.
      We only just realise we have lost our sunglasses, having left them in Greece 2 summers ago.
      We’re on our 6th umbrella this year
      We bought a disposable baby BBQ from Tesco, and stored it in the garage.
      A day at the beach means wearing the warmest clothes we own while standing on golf ball-size pebbles and the thought of swimming doesn’t even enter our head.
      We always call soccer football and we have a team and it’s not Manchester United.
      We don’t think twice about buying a packaged sandwich.
      A sunny lunchtime means searching for a patch of grass and stripping off practically down to our underwear
      We’ve accepted queuing as a way of life.
      We think there is nothing wrong with France that a spate of neutron bombs wouldn’t put right.

    • Chief

      I envy you down there in Oz.

      Another one:

      – What’s a “Strayan bison”?

      – Its a “playce to wash yr fayce”

      Max

    • Onya Max – and happy birthday Ostraya –

      Oy,… would you mind not riffing on my LastName (Ostrov, or as His Grace, Bishop Hill, dubbed me a few months ago: “Ostrasleuth”)!

      But apart from such obviously over-sensitive quibbles, I greatly enjoyed your post!

    • Awesome big fella. I read your list and confirm I’m dinky di. :-)

  47. Is the observed mean temperature of the moon 255 or 155 K?
    If it is about 155K as Nikolov & Zeller claim, then this fact is another hole in AGW.

    May be the missing heat is a miscalculation.

    Now the fashionable thing to do is to burry ignorance with uncertainty.
    I wish we start to say “I don’t know”.

    Unfortunately no one pays for “I don’t know”

  48. Willis Eschenbach

    Judith, as the uncrowned queen of uncertainty, let me run this by you.

    According to their paper abstract, the upper ocean heating rate, in watts per metre squared (W/m2), has an error of ± 1 W/m2.

    Now, that is calculated from temperature readings from Argo floats, about 2,500 of them during the study period.

    Let me run through the numbers to convert their error (in w/m2) into a temperature change (in °C/year). I’ve comma-separated them for easy import into a spreadsheet if you wish.

    We start with the forcing error and the depth heated as our inputs, and one constant, the energy to heat seawater one degree:

    Energy to heat seawater:, 4.00E+07, joules/tonne/°C
    Forcing error: plus or minus, 1, watts/m2
    Depth heated:, 1800, metres

    Then we calculate
    Seawater weight:, 1860, tonnes
    for a density of about 1.03333.

    We multiply watts by seconds per year to give
    Joules from forcing:, 3.16E+07, joules/yr

    Finally, Joules available / (Tonnes of water times energy to heat it 1°C)
    Temperature error: plus or minus, 0.0004, degrees/yr

    Here’s the thing. You can get increasing precision (within limits) by increasing the number of data points. In this case, we have 2500 argo floats. Unfortunately, the precision only improves by the square root of the number of data points. So if you double the number of Argo floats, you will reduce the uncertainty, but it doesn’t cut it in half, only to 0.7 of its previous value.

    Now, consider that to get one more decimal of precision in the answer, that’s a factor of ten, so we need a hundred times the data to achieve that. I found that out when I wrote a program to test blackjack counting systems on computer for my friends in the game, for a fee. A hundred to one, data to decimals of precision, that’s the rule, decimals which in this case meant real dollars at play time. It meant I had to play lots and lots of hands, a million at a minimum, on my old Mac 512 … I’d set up the run before bed, and in the morning I’d have made a hundred bucks. But I digress …

    Here’s the strange part. That rule works in reverse. To get one digit less precision you only need a hundredth of the data. In our case, we have a stated precision of plus or minus 0.0004 degrees C per year from a total of 2500 Argo floats.

    If that number is right, we should have 0.004 degrees of precision from 25 Argo floats …

    Is there something wrong with my math? Am I missing something? Because I say no way twenty-five lonely floats bobbing around in the expanse of the ocean can measure the temperature of the top mile of it to within ± 0.004°C/year … but that’s what they claim.

    So, as I argued elsewhere, I think that it’s actually worse than they say. I think that the claimed accuracies are way, way overstated.

    I just thought, with your interest in uncertainty, that that would give you pause … I’m happy to entertain objections, that’s why I posted my calculations, but I think that my math is correct, and I think I’m right that 25 Argo floats can’t measure the top mile of ocean to 0.004°C/yr.

    w.

    • The statisticians should give you a detailed answer on this, but what immediately occurs to me is that ocean heating is not only very variable (one basin may be warming and another cooling), but is probably nowhere near normally distributed. You would need enough sampling to capture the heterogeneity because it can’t be estimated based on assumptions about how the variable is distributed.

      • Which seems like the strongest argument to me against the pre-ARGO data which suffered extremely poor spatial coverage. Yet much mainstream criticism of OHC data seems to be directed at ARGO rather than pre-ARGO. The fact that ARGO may contradict the theory seems to be the main motivation behind this.

  49. Willis Eschenbach

    Apologies, the number for joules per degree should have been 4e+6 per tonne. Cut the succeeding numbers by ten.

    Now … with the correct number, I still say no way twenty-five lonely floats bobbing around in the expanse of the ocean can measure the temperature of the top mile of it to within ± 0.04°C/year … but that’s what they claim.

    • one source of uncertainty must be the accuracy of the sensors.

      From the argo website http://www.argo.ucsd.edu/FAQ.html#accurate

      How accurate is the Argo data?
      The temperatures in the Argo profiles are accurate to ± 0.005°C and depths are accurate to ± 5m.

    • Willis

      I have written several articles on the claimed accuracy of such readings as SST’s and Land temperatures.

      The idea that we have any idea whatsoever of a global temperature accurate to fractions of a degree back to 1850 for either land or sea is simply not sustainable, yet still modelers insist on using the data to come up with results that are treated as wholly factual. SST’s in particular should carry a health waning
      tonyb

  50. “The heat is missing”

    “No, the heat is in the deep oceans”

    “No, the heat is in the upper oceans”

    “But we can’t be certain about anything, except that the science is settled”.

    ROFL!

    • +33

      the amount of non-anthropogenic warming in degrees C that alternate theories cannot account for

      • Chief Hydrologist

        +33 – Webby’s hat size?

        ‘the amount of non-anthropogenic (natural???) warming in degrees C that alternate theories cannot account for’

        I suppose he means that there are greenhouse gases – and the world would be very different without an atmosphere. But this is not much of a revelation. Climate change pre industrial revolution is by definition natural. All of the major anthropogenic emissions occurred post 2nd world war. All of the atmospheric warming occurred between 1976 and 1998 – and most of this seems caused by cloud changes in the satellite record. But even the most generous estimation puts anthropogenic warming at 0.3 degrees C not 33 degrees.

        Climate phase space in the past 2.58 million years is defined by shifts between glacials and interglacials – and we are not even at the highest temperature in the current interglacial. CO2 plays a part – but ice and snow seem relatively important. Not much of any of that is anthropogenic. He is a very weird boy

      • Chief Hydrologist: and most of this seems caused by cloud changes in the satellite record.

        Do you have a reference for that? Changes in cloud cover in the satellite record are at least as uncertain as anything else in this debate.

  51. Chief Hydrologist

    CERES – clouds and Earth’s radiant energy system – measures outgoing radiation. It reports as anomalies – deviations from an average most importantly at top of atmosphere. SORCE – solar radiation and climate experiment – measures the x-ray, ultraviolet, visible, near-infrared, and total solar radiation incident on the Earth. This is reported as an absolute value – for which there is a large uncertainty. The measurement of variability over time is, however, extremely accurate.

    So what can you do with data that is unreliable in terms of absolutes but reliable in terms of variability? For the CERES period from 2000 – there has been a complete solar cycle. The average radiant input is a constant over the period to date. The CERES record (to 2010) shows changes in net radiation dominated by less reflected short wave as a result of less cloud. The net warming is consistent with ocean warming to 1500m to 2000m – and deeper. Warming over the period – oceans plus atmosphere – is dominated by cloud change.

    The ocean surface is at thermal equilibrium with the overlying atmosphere. This property is used in calculating surface atmospheric temperature from surface ocean temperature in the instrumental temperature records. Heat is transported to the depths by turbulent mixing with wind and waves, turbulent eddies spinning off currents and in downwelling at high latitudes. The ocean has nominally 1000 times the heat capacity of the atmosphere – but warm, buoyant water rises and heat is concentrated in the top 100 or so metres. The importance of local thermal (not energy) equilibrium at the surface is important. Heat moves continually from the surface to the atmosphere – but the quantum is influenced by cold upwelling especially in the eastern Pacific. Heat in the atmosphere rises by convection, radiation and turbulent mixing and is ultimately lost to space.

    The surface is warmed by incident solar radiation – heat rises to the top of the ocean – the ocean surface is in thermal equilibrium with the lower atmosphere (over short periods and this cannot change) and heat is lost to space.

    There seem all sorts of odd conceptions of how things might work – usually they slanted to support a pre-conceived notion of the overwhelming importance of infrared radiative dynamics in the global climate. ‘Global climate change results from a small yet persistent imbalance between the amount of sunlight absorbed by Earth and the thermal radiation emitted back to space.’ It is all very odd as the data they are working with suggest that it is less clouds that caused the warming. Oh well – I have been serious enough for these monsters of illusion – Fred, Webby, Loeb etc. ‘I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now, From up and down, and still somehow, It’s cloud illusions I recall, I really don’t know clouds at all…

    Robert I Ellison
    Chief Hydrologist

    • usually they slanted to support a pre-conceived notion of the overwhelming importance of infrared radiative dynamics in the global climate.

      There are 4 fundamental forces in the universe: electromagnetism, gravity, and the strong and weak nuclear forces. The earth is essentially isolated by a vacuum and so the predominant mechanism that energy can enter and leave the system is by EM radiation. The energy enters as photons in the visible spectrum from the sun, and it leaves as infrared radiation emitted from the earth and its atmosphere. Randomness in the form of black-body statistics interacting with greenhouse gases modify the distribution of photons that leave the system, such that the temperature of the now gray-body adjusts upwards to balance the energy flows.

      That is what sets the stage and you can argue about this until you are blue in the face, but the energy balance of photons entering and leaving is what will set the global climate temperature baseline.

      Yet instead :
      The Chief believes in perpetual motion, as the chaotic climate he envisions produces more energy than it receives, given the absence of greenhouse gases in his argument.
      The Chief can’t discuss greenhouse gases because he will not give an inch. His decision appears to be based more on deep-seated personal issues than an objective scientific view.

      Has anybody run into someone that didn’t believe in rainbows? That would be the Chief.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Yeah thanks for that Webby – but I am pretty sure that I gave a first law of thermodynamics accounting – several times you complained.

        Let’s try it again.

        Ein – Eout = dS/dt

        Energy in less energy out equals the change in energy stored in the Earth system – mostly as heat in the oceans and atmosphere. It works for any interval. The energy in is wide spectrum – I have covered the SORCE instrument elsewhere. But much of it is visible – and quite a lot of that bounces back into space. Some of it is absorbed and re-emitted in the infrared and increasing greenhouse gas concentrations increase the length of the mean photon path from the surface to space. The atmosphere warms pushing up emissions to balance the additional absorption.

        There is no notch in emissions that you suggest – this is an artifact of laboratory. In the real world – something of which you have little familiarity with – energy absorbed by the atmosphere must be re-emitted albeit from a higher energy state.

        So the atmosphere warms a little from increasing greenhouse gas – from whatever source. Most of the global sources are biogenic increasing with increasing temperature. In the CERES record – most of the change in radiative flux at top of atmosphere was in the component of visible light reflected back into space. There is a similar story in the ISCCP-FD and ERBS data. You can believe the hard on data or not. You can believe that global cloud cover changes or you can believe in fairies – I don’t give a rat’s behind what you or Fred believe. You can believe that snow and ice cover changes or believe your idiotic idea of ice ages (sic). Glacials may result from orbital eccentricities initiating runaway ice and snow feedbacks – but they are caused by solar perturbations and CO2 fluctuations.

        These are real phenomenon – with proximate causes. Chaos theory – of which you totally ignorant (along with just about everything else at last count) – has been called the third great idea in 20th century physics. I suggest you do a course – http://www.thegreatcourses.com/tgc/courses/course_detail.aspx?cid=1333 – it explains abrupt and non-linear responses in the global climate systems – the behaviour of an immensely complex and dynamic system that you claim to solve with your simple minded equations. You are an idiot’s idiot.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Help – that is hard won data – and not caused by solar perturbations…

      • WebHubTelescope: The Chief believes in perpetual motion,

        Please do not be absurd. That is not supported by anything that he wrote.

      • There is no notch in emissions that you suggest – this is an artifact of laboratory. In the real world – something of which you have little familiarity with – energy absorbed by the atmosphere must be re-emitted albeit from a higher energy state.

        Of course there is a notch. CO2 molecules absorb energy in certain spectral bands, and as a photon of a given wavelength tries to make it out through the maze, it will eventually get absorbed. It can then re-emit and propagate in any direction, but if it tries traveling outward, it will likely get absorbed again. The repeated scattering will eventually redistribute the energy into wavelengths which can escape.
        That is what produces a notch in the measured real-world spectrum, contrary to what you say.

        So the atmosphere warms a little from increasing greenhouse gas – from whatever source.

        Like 33 degrees C. If you don’t believe in that, then the earth is producing energy from some unknown source, which would make the earth a perpetual energy source. A source in emitted black-body power corresponding to 33 C when operating continuously over millions of years is clearly preposterous, unless it is explained by a redistribution in the photonic spectrum.

        Chief tries to give these elaborate explanations and keeps on making these boneheaded mistakes that only serve to mislead the readers out there. I don’t understand why he does this unless it is his intentional way of perpetuating FUD.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Webby,

        I can’t really help it – in your zeal to refute anything and everything I say you continue to make an idiot of yourself.

        ‘The primary law governing blackbody radiation is the Planck Radiation Law, which governs the intensity of radiation emitted by unit surface area into a fixed direction (solid angle) from the blackbody as a function of wavelength for a fixed temperature.’

        ‘The Wien Law gives the wavelength of the peak of the radiation distribution, while the Stefan-Boltzmann Law gives the total energy being emitted at all wavelengths by the blackbody (which is the area under the Planck Law curve). Thus, the Wien Law explains the shift of the peak to shorter wavelengths as the temperature increases, while the Stefan-Boltzmann Law explains the growth in the height of the curve as the temperature increases.’

        Regardless – the gases emit infrared dependent on temperature and there is no bloody ‘notch’ in the emission spectra. The absorption spectra are determined with gas columns in the lab.

        In the real world – of which you are barely acquainted – average surface temperature in Vostok flucuates between +4 and -9 degrees. When I talk about climate shifts it can be shifts in sea surface temperature and hydrology that persist for decades or it can be plunges in temperature that occur because of runaway feedbacks in snow and ice – that can happen in as little as a decade and persists for thousands of years.

        So you can either start to understand the real world or persist with your silly and ill-informed comment.

        Robert I Ellison
        Chief Hydrologist

        P.S. I don’t know why people think I would be concerned with references to the Simpsons. That is my little joke at the pomposity of others and the potential in myself. Oh well…

      • Regardless – the gases emit infrared dependent on temperature and there is no bloody ‘notch’ in the emission spectra. The absorption spectra are determined with gas columns in the lab.

        Wavelengths are set by quantum energy states, and temperature has no effect on energy levels. Rewind your argument and start over, as anything you state after this is suspect.

        It is possible that there is a gap in your scientific understanding. I guess I can understand how that can happen, and why I am amazed by the comprehensive scientific knowledge that climate scientists like Hansen and his colleagues possess.

    • For the CERES period from 2000 [to 2010] – there has been a complete solar cycle.

      If your calculations are dependent on this you’ll need to redo them because there wasn’t anything like a complete solar cycle between 2000 and 2010 (Data from pmod).

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Try SORCE – http://lasp.colorado.edu/sorce/total_solar_irradiance_plots/images/tim_level3_tsi_24hour_640x480.png

        What you attribute to me is not what I said. Do you make a habit of misrepresenting people?

      • SORCE starts in 2003 but shows basically the same picture as pmod between 2003 and 2010 (other than lower absolute values).

        What you attribute to me is not what I said.

        When quoting people square brackets are used to fill in things which were not actually said but were clearly part of the intended meaning from things stated in other parts of a speech or essay/comment or by context. This is done so that the quoter does not have to repeat the entirety of what was said in order that a reader can understand what is meant. If you were unaware of this convention hopefully I’ve explained it for you.

        A couple of sentences after the quoted one you stated that you were talking about CERES data to 2010, hence I inserted [to 2010] so that readers would be aware that was the case. If you were not meaning there was a complete cycle from 2000 to 2010 I’m confused about why you were talking about there being a complete solar cycle across the CERES data period, hence it providing an appropriate period for analysis, while also indicating you were using CERES data only up to 2010. Were you simply extrapolating with the expectation of seeing the same result up to end of 2011?

        By the way, here is a comparison of SORCE against PMOD (SORCE is offset to be in the same frame) up to December 2011. There still isn’t a complete cycle there.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I gave you the link to SORCE data to 2012 – where the cycle is at or near peak. We are discussing ocean warming to 1500m or more. So presumably the net energy imabalance at TOA is positive (planetary warming by convention). There is no trend in TSI (or not much) over a Schwabe cycle – but certainly some cooling to 2010 – say. So let’s neglect TSI – because it changed little or in the wrong direction. The bigger change in the warming direction was in the SW in CERES.

        Simple idea and not to be confused by idiotic, pissant liberals with an agenda to confuse everyone else as much as they are.

      • And I’ve given you a link showing SORCE against PMOD. The SORCE data has not yet featured a solar maximum so is useless, by itself, for determining whether or not we are currently at one. A look back at the evolution of the previous cycles in PMOD suggests we are about two years away from reaching a maximum. I don’t know whether or not you would interpret that as near.

        I haven’t followed the specifics of what you are trying to calculate, but you seemed to indicate that analysing over a complete solar cycle was important. What I’ve shown is that, contrary to your assumption, there hasn’t been a complete solar cycle since 2000, whether you’re looking up to this month, or to 2010. As I said: ‘If your calculations are dependent on this you’ll need to redo them’.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘The Solar Radiation and Climate Experiment (SORCE) is a NASA-sponsored satellite mission that is providing state-of-the-art measurements of incoming x-ray, ultraviolet, visible, near-infrared, and total solar radiation. The measurements provided by SORCE specifically address long-term climate change, natural variability and enhanced climate prediction, and atmospheric ozone and UV-B radiation. These measurements are critical to studies of the Sun; its effect on our Earth system; and its influence on humankind.’ PMOD was an effort to splice together diverse sources of data. Look at SORCE and you can quite clearly see that the solar max is upon us – giving it a precise data is pointless and not done – last year and this year seems close enough. Your PMOD graph is out of date – and trying to prodict solar cycles based on the past behaviour is pointless as well.

  52. Was she the delinquent teenager?

  53. Chief Hydrologist

    Yes I am a pirate and I am here to hijack this thread. What else can you do when they get the simplest fundamentals so wrong? Loeb from his opening sentence – how can you possibly ignore albedo in your formulation of radiative dynamics at the top of our atmosphere. Fred with a rambling and a typically incoherent narrative and a terrible confusion on radiaitve instruments and the type, limitations and uses of the data. Everything is a passive/aggressive narrative with Fred. There is a beginning, there is a middle and there is an inevitable and tediously repetitive end – we will let the readers decide what that is. I’m pretty sure the typical climate etc reader has decided that Fred is one of Gore’s little postpiles on the road to pomposity. There is Webby with just an astonishingly simple exponential solution to life, death the universe and everything. The answer is 42 for God’s sake – but he hasn’t read the book, heard the radio version, seen the television series or the movie. There is every warmist with a smattering of knowledge and a dogged belief that they have the God of climate science on their side.

    Who are these people? Are they serious or are they just joshing with us?
    I think they are serious and that is the scary bit. Joshua thinks I should be nicer and not call them pissant progressive liberals. They have all taken to ignoring me – except Webby – who writes about me on his website. I glad he has a friend – but it’s certainly not me. I leave the solitary post quoting NASA and the NAS – and calling him a d…wad. I dunno – I get fathead and fat tail mixed up.

    They all insisted that the planet was warming due to greenhouse gases. Now they insist that it would be warming due to greenhouse gases if it weren’t for natural variability but in the long term natural variability – whatever that is – will go away. Except for those who insist it was warming a bit – but don’t look too closely at why. True believers think we won’t have another glacial for 10,000 years because – well just because they can think it.

    I just read a comment that the problem with skeptics is their overconfidence. Oh well…that’s what you get fallling in love with a cowboy…there I go breaking into song again…

  54. Max and Willis and perhaps a few more have presented in this thread calculations that tell, how little the ocean has heated due to the estimated imbalance in Earth energy budget. One may argue on the details of their calculations, but that doesn’t change the conclusion: there is little hope that we could empirically estimate the changes of the heat content well enough for any meaningful conclusions.

    One additional issue was also introduced further up in this thread. It may indeed be true that the oceans have been warming even without any recent new factors like AGW. The preindustrial balance may have been what it was because there has been a continuous net energy flux, which is changing on the time scale of thousands of years. If that’s true then we should not measure the present net flux, but the change in the net flux, which makes the impossible task ten or hundred times more impossible.

    Fred brought up the issue that the changes are not uniform, but that doesn’t help, it makes the problem only more difficult again.

    This is not a likely way for learning empirically more about the strength of global warming.

    Then we may return to the ratio of ECS and TCS, but is it possible to define operationally the TCS. It has been proposed that we would have some kind of plateau around 70 years. Defining TCS for a short period would give a small value and defining it for a very long period would bring it asymptotically to ECS, but does it vary in such a way that some particular period of the order of 70 years would be meaningful?

    The Earth heat reservoirs can certainly be approximately described by some multicompartment model, or by a continuous alternative of the type WHT promotes. Both approaches would give similar results over a wide range of time scales when the parameters have been matched, but can we really estimate the right parameters for either one. If it would be only diffusion and mixing through wind driven processes, we might be able in doing that but with the global circulations and all the complexities of modeling the oceans we may be very far from making accurate enough estimates.

    The freedom to speculate on this point appears likely survive all of us. If the right answer is that heating of oceans has changed very little, then it may be easier to confirm that, but otherwise the task seems extremely difficult indeed.

    • Redneck translation: It’s a dang hard puzzle.

    • is it possible to define operationally the TCS?

      Operationally, the transient climate response (TCR) has usually been defined as the temperature change that would occur at the time of CO2 doubling if CO2 increases at 1% per year. That comes out to about 70 years, but the definition has sometimes been modified so that the interval is not exactly that. Under this definition, the TCR/ECS ratio will inevitably be much less than unity, but how much less depends on the trajectory by which equilibrium is approached, with particular reference to the rate at which heat is mixed into the ocean.

      Padilla et al have defined a similar entity, transient climate sensitivity (TCS), which is based on the same principles, but does not require the CO2 increase to be 1% per year as long as it is great enough for the doubling to occur within a relatively similar interval – e.g., less than 100 years.

      The main virtues of TCR or TCS vs ECS are their ability to define temperature changes over an interval of more immediate relevance to current concerns, and their independence of the shape of the equilibration curve after the early steep and fairly linear part. They can also be used with energy balance models to relate temperature change to forcing without a need to separate the contributions of forcings and feedbacks to the ultimate response – see, e.g., discussions in the thread on Probabilistic Estimates of Transient Climate Sensitivity. They are still dependent on good estimates of forcings, and are not climate predictions, since they evaluate what would happen due to a CO2 increase under the assumption that other variables are not also changing.

      • Fred,

        The problem that I have with these concepts is related to the multitude of time scales.

        Some effects are very slow for two reasons: the reservoir is very large and the net heat flux is small. Much of the deep ocean is likely to have such nature. For that the time scale may be thousands of years. Because the reservoir is so large the effect on real ECS is large, but real significance of that may be very small as it may be that most of the transition will not be reached before the whole issue is totally over. In any case the very long time scale gives enough time for adaptation. The value of TCR/ECS may be very different, if we use a very long term ECS compared to something that’s not really ECS but is much more relevant than the real ECS.

        Some other effects are rather fast having a time constant of few years or less. These are part of transient effects by any definition. As the average rate of warming is slow these effects are actually instantaneous from the point of view of trends.

        But then we do have all the intermediary time scales with their heat capacities. There are also other factors that affect the significance of these heat transfer processes. Some of then are based on a direct coupling between atmosphere and the reservoir while others go through intermediary reservoirs. This differentiation is essential for fast transients, but less so for smooth trends. The variability affects, however, attempts of empirical estimation of the heat transfer rates.

        Heat transfer based on sinking of Arctic water and upwelling of deep water elsewhere bahave very diffrently from heat transfer based on local mixing.

      • What I want to know is how much of the warming in the layer 700 meters to 1800 meters is occurring between 700 meters and 800 meters.

      • I see TCR/ECS ratios and ECS itself as less useful than TCR (or TCS) used by themselves. The energy balance approaches utilized by Padilla et al and Gregory and Forster 2008 (see the thread linked to above) assume that in the early stages of a climate response to a persistent or gradually increasing forcing, the ocean can be considered an infinite heat sink, and so forcing can be related to temperature response via a parameter that combines ocean uptake with dissipation of energy to space. It would be necessary to read these articles (particularly GF08 in my view) for a discussion of the assumptions implicit in this approach, because they certainly don’t work during strongly nonlinear parts of the temperature response, when the parameter would no longer remain constant. Nevertheless, when the forcings are global and not fluctuating wildly, the assumption that they can provide a reasonably accurate guide to a temperature response over intervals in the 60 to 100 year range seems reasonable. It would be useful to know what deviations from accuracy would be likely under those conditions, but of course, the TCR process only evaluates CO2 responses and doesn’t attempt to predict the entire climate response that will occur when both CO2 and other variables are changing.

        For example, if a mid-range TCR estimate is 1.8 C, the implication is that if CO2 doubles over a given interval, the temperature response, whatever it is (dependent on all variables) will be approximately 1.8 C greater than it would have been without the changing CO2. Is this approximation reasonable? I think it probably is for most climate scenarios, but perhaps not for some in which the other variables are exerting very large effects. The uncertainty ranges in TCR estimates attempt to account for some of this.

      • Fred,

        This discussion has prompted me to think in terms of TCR much more so than ECS, representing a change in my thinking about AGW, shifting more solidly to the “lukewarm” as opposed to “warm” end of things.

        Perhaps if I was a more habitual reader of RC, or the primary literature, as opposed to here, I would not previously have had the sense that the 2.0-4.5C IPCC “sensitivity to a doubling” range should really be almost cut in half to obtain a value closer to the expected contemporary result of the doubling. 4.5C is a bit scarier than 2.25C, Anteros will appreciate that.

        I remain hopeful that negative feedbacks will reduce future estimates of TCS whether in response to current or future warming ;)

      • Bill – I think your point is a very reasonable one. We should focus more on what to expect by 2100 than five centuries later, although I wouldn’t completely neglect the longer term view.

        If I may throw a curve ball into the discussion, it would be that a TCR response to a further CO2 doubling presupposes that no warming would occur from CO2 if there were no further change in CO2. However, if the climate is out of balance with existing CO2 concentrations, we have to add in the “heat in the pipeline”, which is currently estimated at about 0.6 C. That may not make a huge difference, but shouldn’t be overlooked.

    • Fred, I hate to keep this going back and forth, and I would email you but I feel like maybe there are lurkers out there who benefit from the public discussion. I also wish I could make a table on here (I’m sure it’s possible).

      Maybe an equation would suffice:

      ECS (SSCS) = TCR + Pipeline + LTCR

      where Pipeline = heat accumulated during the time needed to restore radiative equilibrium (steady state) assuming a leveling of CO2 concentration (emissions just enough to maintain atmospheric levels).

      and LTCR is some Long-Term Climate Response that represents the rest of the ECS.

      Furthermore, the Pipeline could be split into two portions, one contributing essentially to the TCR (near-term heat from current CO2 levels maintained) and one contributing to the LTCR (sequestered heat from current CO2 levels maintained).

      These distinctions are rather fuzzy given the overlapping of time scales involved due to all levels of the system dynamics, but at some point would have to be additive in the equation above.

      Can we guess at a mid-range magnitude? e.g.

      TCR = 1.8
      Pipeline = 0.6 (with 0.4 directed more to the TCR timeframe and 0.2 at LTCR)
      LTCR = 0.6
      Total = 3.0C

      OR

      Modified TCR = 2.2 (incl. pipeline)

      Bill

      • Bill – I should have been clearer that I wasn’t suggesting that we simply add the entire 0.6 C to a temperature response limited to the TCR interval, and you were astute to pick up on that. I actually don’t know exactly how to incorporate the “pipeline” heat during that interval. Presumably, we would need to use not the temperature change but the TOA flux imbalance as an additional forcing in doing the calculation, meaning that instead of starting with zero forcing and gradually increasing it, we would start with something of the order of 0.8 W/m^2 forcing and grow from there. I think your “modified TCR” value might be a good approximation of the result, but.I’m not sure.

      • Fred- thanks again.

      • Bill, Look at what Isaac Held is doing for the conservation equations. Not hard to find on his bog, I think entry 4 is the one you want to look at first

      • bill c

        The calculation you propose caught my eye.

        In theory, such an approach makes sense.

        Where one gets into difficulties is in attempting to put real-time quantitative figures into the slots.

        Let me start by trying.

        We have the physically observed long-term CO2 temperature response from 1850 to 2010, with two estimates of the solar impact over that period: that of the IPCC (with a conceded “low level of scientific understanding of solar forcing”) and that of several studies by solar scientists (which I have cited).

        Using the loigarithmic relation, these estimates calculate out to a long-term CO2 temperature response of between 0.8 and 1.5 deg C (depending on which estimate one takes for the solar portion).

        IOW, TCR (per your equation) = 0.8 to 1.5 degC or 1.15+/-0.35 degC.

        Now, the “pipeline” concept leaves me a bit cold, as it is based purely on hypothetical deliberations rather than empirical data based on actual physical observations, but let’s play your game.

        Using the ratio you propose, we have

        TCR (observed) =1.15+/-0.35 degC
        “Pipeline” (assumed) = 0.38 deg C
        Total (estimated) = 1.53+/-0.35 = 1.2 – 1.9 degC = ECS

        This would come out to around one-half of the value being promoted by IPCC AR4 as a “mean” value = 3.2 degC.

        Max

    • Pekka Pirilä

      there is little hope that we could empirically estimate the changes of the [ocean] heat content well enough for any meaningful conclusions.

      and

      The freedom to speculate on this point appears likely [to] survive all of us

      Thanks for that, Pekka.

      Max

      • Max,

        You present so many details that I can agree on many and disagree on many as well.

        Many statements about the role of solar forcing belong to this class. When IPCC lists the understanding of solar forcing as low, it should be joined with the low value of the estimate to mean that the relative uncertainty is very large, but the value in any case small with much better confidence. The alternative views that you bring up are highly speculative and not at all convincing science.

        You refer also erroneously to the CERN research. It concentrates on some micro level phenomena and has practically no direct relevance to the estimates of solar forcing. It may provide material for further research that will ultimately give improved understanding of cloud formation. Furthermore the experiment has found certain chemicals more important than radiation at the level they have studied.

        Obtaining empirical evidence on the climate change is difficult. There seems to be willingness to draw stronger conclusions than the data can really support. That’s done in both directions – and the most obvious misstatements are certainly made by people, who are not really expert scientists on climate. Some of them are not scientists at all while many specialize in other fields and are all too willing to extend their results to climate issues. This comment applies very much to the papers on solar forcing.

    • Pekka – your comment puzzles me.

      How does one square what you are saying with articles like Science of Doom’s Why Global Mean Surface Temperature Should be Relegated, Or Mostly Ignored and The Real Measure of Global Warming?

      And then there is Roger Pielke Sr., whose obsession usin’ ocean jewels is well known. Theses exchanges with Gavin lay out much of his argument: here, here, here, and here.

  55. Aqua ch5 continues its descent into uncharted territory. A couple more weeks and it’ll be off the graph! Has anyone heard anything as to whether their might be an instrument issue, or are the figures kosher?

    Not that 3 weeks data is remotely significant – just interesting.

    • Just a suggestion, redraw it as a comparison between 2012 and 2008.

    • JCH – I am calculating -0.06 for January if it flatlines at the latest current value (1/22); -0.18 if the current trend continues. 2008 was -0.3. This is the first time I have tried to match up the daily temps to the monthly means, so we will see how successful. My match of the 2008 daily temps only predicts
      -0.15, so I’m in a range where the difference is of the same magnitude of my error.

      • Yes, it will be interesting, for about two or three months. Then I predict interest in the daily activities of channel 5 will wane.

        Of maybe this is the roll out of the next ice age, and we were all here to see it!

      • double dip

      • Threepeat!

        That’s what Homer’s hydrologist is surmising.

      • billc –

        Am I right in noting that is a surprisingly low correlation between the channel five data and the monthly anomaly published by UAH for the lower troposphere?

        I think people over at Lucia’s have tried to use it in their attempt to become quatloo millionaire’s and most remain almost as poor as me.

        It looks pretty dramatic on the graph, though, I’ll agree.

        The fact that channels 7 and 8 are heading in the opposite direction reassures me that it isn’t an instrument issue, but I could be wrong.

  56. Who knew?
    Science comes up with an answer to a question posed some time ago, which leads to refinements in our understanding of climatology, oceanographty, hydrology, etc.
    I find it vexing that new data, which in no way contradicts the established and verifiable evidence for ACC, are seized upon as evidence against ACC.
    Does no-one else see deep ocean warming as a bad thing? When the hydrological cycle (and thus the warmth of the oceans) is perhaps the most important of the biosphere’s mechanisms for dealing with climate forcing agents?
    The term “missing energy” has been pounced upon by deniers (and apparently some skeptics), who seemingly use it to imply that all the varied data from multiple thousands of disparate sources are invalid, because the results of this study prove (a ludicrous concept in science, but one which so many ACC deniers [who unthinkingly believe what they are told - as opposed to skeptics, who are not yet comfortable with the scientific research and data interpretation that they have been privy to]) demand before they are willing to sanction any meaningful action to tackle mankind’s (apparent) climate-forcing behaviour. IMO, the term was just used to name a limitation which Trenberth and Fasullo thought important enough to be defined.
    The danger here for the skeptics, is the cul-de-sac that the deniers usually blunder into, of cherry-picking a sentence or two, or part of a data-set – like “…Mike’s Nature ‘trick’…”, (which we all know was not about deceit, don’t we?) – in order to prove they are correct, without understanding the context or the wider view and as a consequence end up with egg on their face. This should be easily avoidable for yourselves, who for the most-part seem to be learned to one degree or another (no pun intended).
    Having said that, I must mention Dr. Curry’s acceptance of Pielke’s conclusion, without drawing an obvious conclusion herself – that perhaps the authors felt they were not necessarily qualified to comment on how much these new data would affect the model predictions or perhaps they did not have the time.
    It is also a given, that the paper hasn’t been completely scrutinised by their peers and responses have not been penned and published yet, so we cannot yet say with any certainty that the models and thus the forecasts would be altered in response to these data. The models used in the IPCC’s last report only married with observed data when anthropogenic forcings were included (with uncertainties) and I would posit that these new data will fall within the bounds of the range of the predictions of future climate, especially if we consider that most of the observed trends are at the top end of the predicted ranges (often) for the worst case scenario.

    A number of commenters have tried to calculate the heat distribution of the infra-red radiation that is absorbed by the oceans, claiming that it would be a neglible amount, but it occurs to me as a (nearly) lay person, that the calculations are so deficient in variables (e.g. ocean currents, non-contiguous warming, etc.) and identfied limitations as to be worthless (we knew that, anyway, but I do like to be pedantic).

    • manof,
      What a long winded bit of bigotry and and false assertions and misleading conclusions.

      • Man of Liar and Fight has been deceived by ‘Mike’s Nature Trick’.
        ==============

      • That bit of glossing over hide the decline and the nature trick was entertaining. True believers are the bestest friends of the con-artist and charlatan. How he tries to be non-bigoted by distinguishing skeptics from deniers is mighty big of him
        BTW, check out this review of commodity prices from the perspective of the Ehrlich/Schneider Malthusian scam they ran for so many years:

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/01/25/the-simon-erlich-wager-at-seven-billion-people/#more-55285

      • Poor sod prawly still believes in the Hockey Stick. I particularly liked ‘especially if we consider that most of the observed trends are at the top end of the predicted ranges (often) for the worst case scenario.’

        News for lucia. Better let her know, Fightin’ Liar, before she makes a compleat fool of herself.
        ====================

      • As a general observation it is not unusual to notice that the true believers are doing what they falsely accuse skeptics of doing. Trenberth’s retreat to uncertainty and the defense of Trenberth as seen in this thread are good examples.

    • ManOf…Whatever.

      “The models used in the IPCC’s last report only married with observed data when anthropogenic forcings were included ”

      Haven’t you heard? They had a very unhappy and acrimonious divorce. Unfortunately there was no pre-nup, so the models are attempting to take the observed data to the cleaners. The observed data is resisting strongly.

    • Just remember what heat is. It cannot be added to the deep dynamic system of the oceans but only can be distributed there.

      This is why Il Nino’s are such anomaly to the equilibrium of the deep ocean at the sea floor. Of course the lapse rate of dissipation is slower by factors of 10 in a dynamic to thermodynamic systems. Whatever flux is absorbed by the oceans, same as the earths surface, same as the atmosphere, without further enhancement, will return to the temperature of space.

      The manifestation of kinetic energy cannot be absorbed in to potential energy, whatever the entropic state of matter.

      You guys, don’t you realise you are only puny little men. As every generation has passed before us, each generation think they can change the nature of the universe. We cannot.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Who knew? Certainly not you. It seems that CERES – Clouds and Earth’s Radiant Energy System – is showing a net energy imbalance consistant with ARGO data for ocean heat content to 1500m and below. You accept the data? Most of the net change in CERES occured in the short wave.

      Really – the ‘missing energy’ relates merely to the pre-ARGO standard of integration of heat content to 700m.

      BTW – the ocean doesn’t absorb any heat in the infrared. It penetrates the top microns – but there is a net flux upward of course.

      Warming in the satellite era – if you believe the hard won data – occured in the short wave with cooling in the infrared. ‘The overall slight rise (relative heating) of global total net flux at TOA between the 1980’s and 1990’s is confirmed in the tropics by the ERBS measurements and exceeds the estimated climate forcing changes (greenhouse gases and aerosols) for this period. The most obvious explanation is the associated changes in cloudiness during this period.’ http://isccp.giss.nasa.gov/projects/browse_fc.html

      And I could of course reference the peer reviewed literature suggesting a cooling influence over the next decade at least – but would there be any point?

      ‘Decadal-scale climate variations over the Pacific Ocean and its surroundings are strongly related to the so-called Pacific decadal oscillation (PDO) which is coherent with wintertime climate over North America and Asian monsoon, and have important impacts on marine ecosystems and fisheries. In a near-term climate prediction covering the period up to 2030, we require knowledge of the future state of internal variations in the climate system such as the PDO as well as the global warming signal. We perform sets of ensemble hindcast and forecast experiments using a coupled atmosphere-ocean climate model to examine the predictability of internal variations on decadal timescales, in addition to the response to external forcing due to changes in concentrations of greenhouse gases and aerosols, volcanic activity, and solar cycle variations. Our results highlight that an initialization of the upper-ocean state using historical observations is effective for successful hindcasts of the PDO and has a great impact on future predictions. Ensemble hindcasts for the 20th century demonstrate a predictive skill in the upper-ocean temperature over almost a decade, particularly around the Kuroshio-Oyashio extension (KOE) and subtropical oceanic frontal regions where the PDO signals are observed strongest. A negative tendency of the predicted PDO phase in the coming decade will enhance the rising trend in surface air-temperature (SAT) over east Asia and over the KOE region, and suppress it along the west coasts of North and South America and over the equatorial Pacific. This suppression will contribute to a slowing down of the global-mean SAT rise.’ http://www.pnas.org/content/107/5/1833.short

      Did someone say that 2011 was the 11th warmest year in the very short instrumental record due to that darned natural variability. K – ‘surely it can’t be decadal’ – T seems to be everyones favourite person today.

      Robert I Ellison
      Chief Hydrologist

      • GISS – 9th-hottest
        NCDC – 11th-hottest
        HadCRU – season ending injury, forfeit
        RSS -12th-hottest
        UAH – 9th-hottest.

      • This suppression will contribute to a slowing down of the global-mean SAT rise.’

        I don’t know anything about the science, and I think that decadal predictions are pretty much irrelevant, and I do tend to trust the work of people like Mojib Latif (who spoke of potential cooling and how that might mislead some people to think long-term warming won’t happen, but who also said that we’re just as likely to see accelerated warming as cooling near term), but how do you get from a “slowing down of the global-mean SAT rise” to

        “peer reviewed literature suggesting a cooling influence over the next decade at least.”

        Interesting transition there, Chief. So you think a slow down in a rise shows a “cooling influence.”

        If you have a pot on the stove with the heat up high, and you turn the heat down a bit, would you describe the water in the pot also as experiencing a “cooling influence,” or did you excerpt that piece of peer reviewed literature to show that not all of it supports your conclusions?

      • I do not want to pan the influence of ocean cycles, but oceanastrology as a wavy track record.

      • The chief is so ignorant as to claim that water does not absorb infrared radiation.

        Why anyone thinks he has any credibility in this area is beyond me.

      • Here’s Robert: ‘BTW – The ocean doesn’t absorb any heat in the infrared. It penetrates the top microns – but there is a net flux upward of course.’

        Here’s WEB: ‘The chief is so ignorant as to claim that water does not absorb infrared radiation.’

        You are bad, WEB, but only your bots know for sure.
        ===============

      • The kim does not understand that heat only diffuses away from its source.

        The kim does not understand what a micron is. As infrared radiation can be tens or hundreds of microns in wavelength, penetrating the top microns has no meaning. Of course an infrared photon will penetrate that deep. The question is whether it gets absorbed by the water or shows net flux upward in chief’s doublespeak.

        The chief says it is not absorbed but shows net flux upward, which means he thinks it acts as a shiny metallic plate and the wave is showing a skin effect with the surface and then reflecting off according to Maxwell’s Equations.

        Chief is likely a civil engineer. I wonder if he had to take an EE class.

      • No, you silly, he said the ocean didn’t absorb infrared. Penetrating the first few microns is water absorbing infrared, but that energy is all carried upward. Your shiny metal plate is a figment of your imagination, or perhaps, lack of it.
        ==============

      • Joshua

        Your analogy with the “pot on the stove” has a major flaw.

        If you have a pot on the stove with the heat up high, and you turn the heat down a bit, would you describe the water in the pot also as experiencing a “cooling influence,” or did you excerpt that piece of peer reviewed literature to show that not all of it supports your conclusions?

        It’s more like this:

        If you have a pot on the stove with a thermometer in the pot and you see that the thermometer readings are going down (even if this is ever so slightly), you can conclude that the water in the pot is losing heat. i.e. cooling.

        Very simple.

        It’s what’s known as observational data.

        Max

      • WHT

        Disagreeing with someone’s point of view is what a healthy debate is all about.

        Backing one’s point of view up with factual data lends credibility to the premise.

        Calling one’s debating opponent “ignorant” is childish.

        It is generally also a tacit admission of defeat.

        Max

      • max –

        I ain’t no physicist, but I used to be a mechanic (a mechanic of wood), and my experiences in that field tell me that even in the best of stoves, there would be some minute variation in the rate of flow of gas, or mixture of gas to oxygen, or change in air currents, that would create minute changes in the rate at which a pot on the stove increases in temperature.

        Now if I had an accurate enough instrument, I would imagine that with those minute variations, I might see what would look like “cooling,” as when one there was a minute reduction in gas for one nanosecond or millisecond that caused an ever so slight drop in temperature relative to the previous nanosecond or millisecond — even as the overall trend was one of warming, and even as the entire span of time I was doing my measurements included a large scale change such as reducing the overall flow of gas.

        Now you’re the physicist, I believe, so you’d know better than I. So what do you think? And if I’m right, how might that relate to your previous post? Would that be observational data that would show a warming pot of water, even as on the larger scale, there was a reduction in the rate of warming?

      • No, you silly, he said the ocean didn’t absorb infrared. Penetrating the first few microns is water absorbing infrared, but that energy is all carried upward.

        That is ridiculous. Thermal energy moves by diffusion and diffusion has no specific direction other than it tends to move from regions of high concentration.
        Kim obviously does not believe in the 2nd law of thermodynamics.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Webby – diffusion is not a major process in heat distribution in the ocean – rather it is dominated by convection and turbulent mixing. As indeed are it is in the atmosphere.

        Oceans are heated by visible solar radiation – warm water floats to the surface because it is less bouyant. The surface few microns of water emit photons in all directions – absorbed within microns in water. The actual wavelength of IR seems quite irrelevant when considering this in a quantum sense.

        There is a skin effect where the top few microns are cooler than the underlying ocean – but this a function of the rate of processes. The speed of light for photons and lessor rates for convection and mixing. The net flow of IR energy is always from the surface skin of the oceans to the atmosphere – it can’t be different because of the 2nd law.

        Cheers

      • Webby – diffusion is not a major process in heat distribution in the ocean – rather it is dominated by convection and turbulent mixing. As indeed are it is in the atmosphere.

        This is where I take advantage of your “chaos” model. Diffusion in fact is a model of random walk. The heat can diffuse over a wide range of rates, corresponding to classical thermal diffusion at the slow end to random mixing at a faster rate. This is essentially applying dispersion to the diffusion coefficient. Turbulent mixing thus is a random walk, which is mathematically described by a master equation with stochastic parameters. That is what I solved for in the post, using a clever identity to simplify the solution. It is pretty cool stuff, as I find that I can duplicate Hansen’s result from 1985.

        I realize that this may provoke some anguish in your response as I sweep all the chaos into a maximum entropy prior. But that is my goal, to factor out the complexity.

        There is a skin effect where the top few microns are cooler than the underlying ocean – but this a function of the rate of processes.

        That is not the skin effect, go look up what the skin effect does.

        The speed of light for photons and lessor rates for convection and mixing.

        I don’t know what the speed of light has to do with convection and mixing.

        The net flow of IR energy is always from the surface skin of the oceans to the atmosphere – it can’t be different because of the 2nd law.

        You don’t understand how to apply the 2nd law in this case. You may have found out a new form of matter – a liquid that has automatic directionality, i.e. anisotropic water. Are you going to patent that? ha ha

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Who knew? It seems that CERES – Clouds and Earth’s Radiant Energy System – is showing a net energy imbalance consistent with ARGO data for ocean heat content to 1500m and below. You accept the data? Most of the net change in CERES occurred in the short wave.

      Really – the ‘missing energy’ relates merely to the pre-ARGO standard of integration of heat content to 700m.

      BTW – the ocean doesn’t absorb any heat in the infrared. It penetrates the top microns – but there is a net flux upward of course.

      Warming in the satellite era – if you believe the hard won data – occurred in the short wave with cooling in the infrared. ‘The overall slight rise (relative heating) of global total net flux at TOA between the 1980’s and 1990’s is confirmed in the tropics by the ERBS measurements and exceeds the estimated climate forcing changes (greenhouse gases and aerosols) for this period. The most obvious explanation is the associated changes in cloudiness during this period.’ http://isccp.giss.nasa.gov/projects/browse_fc.html

      And I could of course reference the peer reviewed literature suggesting a cooling influence over the next decade at least – but would there be any point?

      ‘Decadal-scale climate variations over the Pacific Ocean and its surroundings are strongly related to the so-called Pacific decadal oscillation (PDO) which is coherent with wintertime climate over North America and Asian monsoon, and have important impacts on marine ecosystems and fisheries. In a near-term climate prediction covering the period up to 2030, we require knowledge of the future state of internal variations in the climate system such as the PDO as well as the global warming signal. We perform sets of ensemble hindcast and forecast experiments using a coupled atmosphere-ocean climate model to examine the predictability of internal variations on decadal timescales, in addition to the response to external forcing due to changes in concentrations of greenhouse gases and aerosols, volcanic activity, and solar cycle variations. Our results highlight that an initialization of the upper-ocean state using historical observations is effective for successful hindcasts of the PDO and has a great impact on future predictions. Ensemble hindcasts for the 20th century demonstrate a predictive skill in the upper-ocean temperature over almost a decade, particularly around the Kuroshio-Oyashio extension (KOE) and subtropical oceanic frontal regions where the PDO signals are observed strongest. A negative tendency of the predicted PDO phase in the coming decade will enhance the rising trend in surface air-temperature (SAT) over east Asia and over the KOE region, and suppress it along the west coasts of North and South America and over the equatorial Pacific. This suppression will contribute to a slowing down of the global-mean SAT rise.’ http://www.pnas.org/content/107/5/1833.short

      Did someone say that 2011 was the 11th warmest year in the very short instrumental record due to that darned natural variability. K – ‘surely it can’t be decadal’ – T seems to be everyone’s favourite person today.

      Such a faithful rendition of many of the warmist talking points – get a point of view that is your own for God’s sake.

      Robert I Ellison
      Chief Hydrologist

    • manoffireandlight: The term “missing energy” has been pounced upon by deniers (and apparently some skeptics), who seemingly use it to imply that all the varied data from multiple thousands of disparate sources are invalid, … [long run-on] .

      You misstate the case. The varied data from multiple thousands of disparate sources have their own problems, addressed multiple thousands of times by disparate scientists. The “missing heat” is taken as evidence that the models and theoris are incomplete and inaccurate, and policy conclusions based on them are poorly supported.

    • manoffireandlight (I like the moniker): The models used in the IPCC’s last report only married with observed data when anthropogenic forcings were included

      That may be a limit of the models. It’s possible that they didn’t consider a broad enough range of models.

      most of the observed trends are at the top end of the predicted ranges

      since the forecases were published, the observed trends have been below the mean predicted trend. We already know that the models were unreliable over the last decade: if the trends continue, the models will be rejected at one of the customary levels of statistical significance: hence the push to improve the models by adding the deep ocean. The deep ocean was added post-hoc (or ad hoc) to rescue the rest of the models.

  57. PS: The marriage guidance counsellor recommended a ‘cooling off’ period, which the observed data agreed to, but the models rejected.

  58. JC

    Are you thinking of doing a post on the “Unified Theory of Climate” here at Climate Etc?

    http://bit.ly/rFUqZs

    It is a very fascinating article. I am not sure about its validity. I wish we could scrutinize it here.

    • Willis has started with a thorough scrutiny.

      http://bit.ly/zqCMj6

    • Girma, the UTC swings to the opposite extreme. When you look at a complex system, you look for familiar faces. Things that make sense to build on in order to reduce the complexity. That is normally something that appears to be a recognizable signal in the noise. In a non-linear system, the noise is the signal. You are looking for changes in the rates of change, not just the changes and magnitudes, but changing rates and relative magnitudes. So you can come up with hundreds of theories, all partially right and all mainly wrong. That is what makes this puzzle fun.

    • Nikolov and Zeller just do a curve fit to some planetary data. They actually have no theory to support their curve. Even Willis is unimpressed by this, but Watts has now posted two main articles on it. This is what makes the skeptics look bad.

  59. Clearly those of you who resorted to ad hominem attacks have nothing to say.

    • Clearly those of you who rely on use of the term “denier” and then whine about ad hom are a source of great ironic entertainment.

  60. “JCH | January 25, 2012 at 9:14 am |

    GISS – 9th-hottest
    NCDC – 11th-hottest
    HadCRU – season ending injury, forfeit
    RSS -12th-hottest
    UAH – 9th-hottest.”

    This just in

    .http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadcrut3/diagnostics/global/nh%2Bsh/monthly

    Decemeber reading for HAD/CRU – 0.252 C

    If my arithmetic is correct, annual avearge for HAD/CRU iz 0.339, making it the 12 the hottest.

  61. Joshua

    Even Mann has co-authored a paper that projects cooling until about 2030 (look at Figure 4) => http://bit.ly/nfQr92

    The data also shows a cooling TREND in the last 10 years => http://bit.ly/rYp5OM

    Joshua, the sign of a further big drop in global mean temperature is there => http://bit.ly/3GjrN

    The life of AGW is numbered. I am very sure of that. When there is a mismatch between theory and observation, all people chuck the theory!

    • We utilise this to forecast decreasing THC strength in the next few decades. This natural reduction would accelerate anticipated anthropogenic THC weakening, and the associated AMO change would partially offset expected Northern Hemisphere warming. … Knight et al (mann) 2005 …

      When Keenlyside predicted global cooling, the contributors at RC proposed a bet (perhaps based upon the above), which was not taken. So far the Keenlyside prediction of global cooling is not doing well.

    • Girma –

      I know that you think that the world is cooling and will continue to do so.

      The question I have is why you think that Mann’s research or the graphs you link to would convince anyone who isn’t already convinced one way or the other that your opinion is validated.

      At least my impression, from reading analysis of your opinions and graphs from people far more scientifically literate than I, is that your methodology is flawed, as well as the conclusions that you draw from a flawed methodology.

    • Girma,

      You’re actually missing two years off the end of that graph – here’s an update, though I’ve messed up your nice matching lines a bit.

      Even Mann has co-authored a paper that projects cooling until about 2030

      The projection in Figure 4.c is actually for changes to the thermohaline circulation. This does appear to affect temperature on a decadal scale in certain regions (which does emerge in GCM realisations).

      So, essentially your theory is that global average temperatures will follow the path shown in that Knight et al. figure(?) As a test of this theory why not see what temperature change it would have projected from 1950 to present?

      Hint: It’s about 0.6ºC out. What was that about a mismatch between theory and observation?

    • JCH, Joshua & Paul

      Here is the projection of IPCC and Hansen when compared with observation.

      http://bit.ly/s4cUK3

      http://bit.ly/iyscaK

      The observations are lower for all emission scenarios (business as usual with an exponential growth of 1.5%, linear growth, constant at 2000 level)

      That is what the observed data shows.

      When there is a mismatch between theory and observation, all people (except true believers) chuck the theory!

    • Girma

      Just went through the Mann et al. paper you cited.

      Conclusions are:

      Our 1400 year model simulation exhibits multidecadal climate variability with a similar pattern and amplitude to that of the AMO in observations. Together with the similarity of the simulated 70 – 120 year period to the observed 65 year period, and the range of periods derived from palaeodata (40 –130 years) [Delworth and Mann, 2000; Gray et al., 2004], this suggests the model simulates a realistic AMO. Its presence over many centuries in the model supports the suggestion from observations and proxy data that the AMO is a genuine repeating mode of global scale internal climate variability. This is consistent with analyses showing the lack of a forced AMO signal in the ensemble of 1860– 2000 HadCM3 simulations used by Stott et al. [2000], which otherwise accounts for almost all of the observed global-scale temperature variability by natural and anthropogenic forcings. [9] The results also highlight the likelihood of a link between the AMO and the strength of the THC. Further evidence of this link comes from a 580 year experiment with a version of our model with the same atmospheric formulation but representing only the top 50 m of the ocean. This does not possess an AMO, demonstrating that the deep ocean is necessary to produce the AMO. The mechanism of the simulated AMO-THC mode is diagnosed fully by Vellinga and Wu [2004].

      Good stuff!

      – The models agree that there is a significant climate impact of the AMO.

      – The analysis concludes that this is due to a mechanism involving the THC.

      – This normalized THC anomaly is shown (Fig. 4) to have been around +0.6°C over the period 1970-2000, and is projected to be an equal but opposite -0.6°C over the period 2000-2030

      Does this mean (as it appears):

      – That most (if not all) of the observed warming 1970-2000 can be attributed to the AMO?

      – That the AMO is projected to cause a cooling of 0.6°C until 2030?

      – That if we actually see less than 0.6°C cooling to 2030, the difference will be attributed to AGW?

      Help me out with what Mann et al. are trying to tell (or sell) us here.

      Max

      • need a whole thread for this paper

      • bill c

        need a whole thread for this paper [Mann et al. on AMO impact on climate]

        I agree with you on that.

        It appears to contain a couple of (loaded) hidden messages.

        Max

      • Max,

        The THC anomaly is given in Sieverts (Sv), not ºC. Knight et al. estimate by regression a potential effect on global average temperature of about 0.1ºC from max to min.

        That most (if not all) of the observed warming 1970-2000 can be attributed to the AMO?

        As I said to Girma, take a look at how the THC anomaly is roughly equal in 1950 and 2000, then take a look at a graph plotting global average temperatures since 1950.

  62. There was me thinking this was a science-based blog.

    Hunter and Kim, I have no problem with you or anyone else, so long as they don’t try to impose their world-view on me – you know like Scientologists or Fundamentalist Christians. Nor do I think you inferior for holding your quaint opinions about the objectivity and nature of climate science (hopefuly not science as a discipline). Like religious zealots you too have every right to your own beliefs.

  63. Chief Hydrologist

    Joshua – there are many influences on surface temperature. So when I say there is a cooling influence from the Pacific Ocean – it is just that in plain English. The PNAS reference I quoted – ‘this suppression will contribute to a slowing down of the global-mean SAT rise’ – is semantically equivalent. Now you may chose to interpret the latter as meaning that temperatures will continue to rise at a lower rate than we have seen between 1976 and 1998. But the short term natural variability – and the AMO, PDO, ENSO and other patterns are connected is a complex climate system – can be an order of magnitude greater than short term changes due to anthropogenic greehouse gases.

    Robert I Ellison
    Chief Hydrologist

  64. An interesting thread so far. The trolls have been at a minimum (I think most of the words are too big for them) and I am grateful for that

    I’ve noted before that when CH turns up with determination, interesting arguments break out. So far, there are no convincing replies to his points. Just a few potted straw men and the occasional puerile undergraduate quibble. Perra did a good job downthread of addressing both CH’s points and the “no missing heat?” paper that is the basis of this thread

    One result for me is that I have decided to apportion time to reading chaos theory with care. It makes much more sense to me for a complex beast like climate than Dessler-type linear derivations

  65. Fred Moolten

    You write to Matt, January 15, 2012 at 5:32 pm:

    If the climate is warming, as it has during the positive CO2 forcing of the past century, then the CO2 forcing must have contributed to it – there is no physically plausible alternative possibility.

    The first part of your statement is very likely correct, IOW

    – the observed temperature has risen:
    – CO2 level has risen,
    – we know that CO2 is a GHG
    – therefore, the GHE has increased,
    – therefore a portion of the observed warming is very likely attributable to the observed increase in CO2

    The second part is pure speculation.

    There may be MANY “physically plausible alternative” explanations for all, most or part of the observed warming, some of which we MAY know and others, which we do not know yet.

    Overconfidence in the degree of certainty of our knowledge is not only ignorant, it is also arrogant.

    Max

    • I think most knowledgeable readers will see the error in Max Manacker’s statement. Since at least a portion of warming must have been attributable to CO2, it can’t be the case that there are plausible alternative explanations for all of the observed warming, because those would be explanations that excluded any CO2 contribution and that is a physical impossibility.

      The quantitative proportion attributable to CO2 and other anthropogenic ghgs has been discussed many times in recent threads. There is clearly uncertainty over the exact proportion, particularly during the first half of the twentieth century.. For the evidence indicating that the ghgs accounted for well over half of the post-1950 warming, readers should revisit the many threads that have already discussed this evidence. If they still have new points to make, they should probably make them in the earlier threads rather than repeating the claims here.

      This seems to me another frustrating example of how these threads can degenerate into repeated argumentation about points that have already been addressed very many times previously. I’m not sure how I’ll respond if Max insists on continuing to reargue this topic, but I’m inclined to let readers make their judgments based on how he, I, and others have been able to understand climate dynamics as evidenced by some of the exchanges that have occurred earlier in this thread.

      • You are correct Fred. Max is hung up on the part after the hyphen. He will think it over and see his error.

      • Manacker: Overconfidence in the degree of certainty of our knowledge is not only ignorant, it is also arrogant.

        Fred Moolten: I think most knowledgeable readers will see the error in Max Manacker’s statement.

        I think most readers will appreciate that you have not identified which of Max’ statements is in error. The statement that I quoted is fine as is.

        Perhaps you meant this one from Max: The first part of your statement is very likely correct, IOW

        But I don’t see the error in that one either.

        Fred Moolten: I’m not sure how I’ll respond if Max insists on continuing to reargue this topic, but I’m inclined to let readers make their judgments based on how he, I, and others have been able to understand climate dynamics as evidenced by some of the exchanges that have occurred earlier in this thread.

        For me the judgment is that your responses are too vague to contribute to the understanding. Taken all together, I think that you trap yourself in contradictions and other inadequacies that you are unwilling to address. but as you say, I leave it to others to make up their own minds.

      • Matt,

        Fred said:

        “Since at least a portion of warming must have been attributable to CO2, it can’t be the case that there are plausible alternative explanations for all of the observed warming, because those would be explanations that excluded any CO2 contribution and that is a physical impossibility.”

        He is referring the part of his sentence-after the hyphen:

        “there is no physically plausible alternative possibility.”

        What is wrong with that, in the context of the whole sentence?

        Max is calling that “pure speculation”. Do you agree?

      • Don Monfort, Fred Moolten wrote: I think most knowledgeable readers will see the error in Max Manacker’s statement.

        It is for Fred Moolten to identify “the error” in a particular statement, not for readers to read back to something they disagree with and say that was the error that Fred was referring to. Fred claimed above that every statement in an entire post was false (or that there were many, I forget which) when most of the actual propositions were true or supportable. In fact, Fred will counter an unquoted sentence with a complete book, leaving his post a total mishmash.

        Don Monfort: “there is no physically plausible alternative possibility.”

        What is wrong with that, in the context of the whole sentence?

        Max is calling that “pure speculation”. Do you agree?

        I would object to the word “pure”. There is much intelligent speculation that there can be no other plausible explanation — though the word “pure” might yet apply to that. There have been lots of phenomena for which there was no physically plausible possibility, until later when much more was learned. There was at one time no physically plausible possibility for Dirac’s discovery that the solution to his equation entailed an electron traveling backwards in time. Just as there once was no physically plausible possibility supporting Lorentz-Fitzgerald transformations (possibly the most famous ad-hoc model fitting in the history of adhockery.) I could go on. There was once no physically plausible explanation for why cleaning of the linen would (as claimed by the non-scientist Nightingale) increase the hospital survival rates of wounded soldiers. I could go on and on with examples. The “no physically plausible alternative possibility” is about the weakest speculation in the history of science. But I wouldn’t call it “pure speculation.”

      • I don’t see why you or Max, particularly Max, would quibble over this. Max accepted the first part of the sentence, and Fred has adequately explained why if the first part of the sentence is acceptable, the latter part can’t be legitimately called pure speculation, by the same guy who accepted the first part of the sentence. If taken out of the context of the sentence and inserted in some other sentence, the allegedly offending part is arguable. I believe that Max has taken it out of context, and will await his explanation.

      • I am defending Fred, because the brevity of his explanation-four paragraphs, when only the first was sufficient-is relatively drone free, compared with his usual fare. I didn’t even fall asleep. However, the sentence in dispute did not need the part after the hyphen, to make the intended point. Economy, Fred. Look it up.

      • Don Monfort: I don’t see why you or Max, particularly Max, would quibble over this.

        To whom is that addressed, and what exactly is the “this” to which you are referring? I was referring to the fact that Fred Moolten makes claims while using ambiguous references. You may be correct in your interpretation, but it is not literally what Fred wrote. This doesn’t matter except for his lengthy complaints.

      • Matt,

        I was talking to you. And the this is what Max said above, about the half of one sentence that he had some problem with. Follow me so far? My guess is Max inadvertently extrapolated that half of a sentence to some other issue. I am fairly sure he will say so. There are more important things to argue about. And I give Fred a boost once in a while, because I know how painful it must be for him to have jackers like josh, bobbie, that worm wht et al, on his side. I even started to listen to one of Fred’s songs once, but decided-nah. I will wait until I am having a late-night bout of insomnia, and give it shot then. Some of you people are taking this stuff way too seriously. What you really need to be worrying about is the sovereign debt crisis. That is some real dangerous dookey, there. You and Max are some of my favorite people. Try to lighten up.

      • Don Montfort and Matt Stat

        Agree that my wording on “part 2″ was too harsh and restrictive.

        But I’d stick with the essence that it is basically an “argument from ignorance” (i.e. “we can only explain this if…”).

        Max

      • Max,

        In the context of Fred’s sentence; if the first part is very likely, then so is the second part.

        That you have a problem with accepting the second part of the sentence being applied to something that Fred did not allege, is a different story. He did not say that CO2 was the cause of the warming, because there is no ““physically plausible alternative”.

        Fred is very likely correct:

        “Since at least a portion of warming must have been attributable to CO2, it can’t be the case that there are plausible alternative explanations for all of the observed warming, because those would be explanations that excluded any CO2 contribution and that is a physical impossibility.”

        It’s sorta like someone says “All that glitters is not gold”. Sounds profound, but it’s wrong. Gold glitters, and gold is gold. If part of the warming is very likely attributable to CO2, then it is very likely that there can’t be plausible alternative explanations for all of the observed warming, because the CO2 warming has been accounted for. Maybe that’s something that you and Fred could agree on. I tend to agree with Fred’s wording that a portion of the warming must have been attributable to CO2. But let’s negotiate. Fred is not as crazy as the rest of them. I am going to have another drink. Sell your Euros Max.

      • Don Monfort, I’ll leave you the last words:

        Some of you people are taking this stuff way too seriously.

      • Don

        Believe we are slipping into fine semantic differences here.

        Part 1 states that it is logical to assume that CO2 has been responsible for some part of the observed warming (be that 0.5%, 5%, 50% or 95%).

        Part 2 states that “there is no physically plausible alternative possibility”

        I took part 2 to mean that “there is no physically plausible alternative possibility” for the observed warming, in keeping with IPCC statements to this effect:

        AR4 WG1 Ch.9 p.681:

        The simulations also show that it is not possible to reproduce the large 20th-century warming without anthropogenic forcing…

        and p.685

        Climate simulations are consistent is showing that the global mean warming observed since 1970 can only be reproduced when models are forced with a combination of external forcings that include anthrpogenic forcings.

        And in AR4 WH1 SPM, p.10:

        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

        These statements are pretty clear, but all the more curious, since the statistically indistinguishable warming of the early 20th century is explained as follows:

        p.691

        Detection and attribution as well as modelling studies indicate more uncertainty regarding the causes of early 20th-century warming

        Now, I will admit that I am a skeptic, but to me this reads like:

        1. Our models cannot explain the early 20th century warming
        2. We know that the statistically indistinguishable late 20th-century warming was caused principally by human GHGs
        3. How do we know this?
        4. Because our models cannot explain it any other way.

        If Fred’s statement was “there is no physically plausible alternative possibility” to human GHGs having had at least some small impact on the observed late 20th-century warming, I would accept it.

        If it was “there is no physically plausible alternative possibility” to human GHGs having caused more than 50% of the observed late 20th-century warming, I would reject it.

        As Fred did not specify the magnitude (as IPCC did), I will admit that the statement is valid.

        Max

        .

      • Max,

        It’s more about reading comprehension and logic than it is about semantics. Fred is saying that there was positive CO2 forcing in the past century; therefore there must have been some warming due to that forcing.

        And in the second part of the sentence; it is not physically plausible that there was no warming attributable to the CO2 positive forcing. That part of the sentence was simply redundant. He is arguing the basic physics: positive forcing=warming. He is not saying that there must have been some CO2 warming, because there is no other plausible possibility, or because the IPCC said so, or that all the warming was due to CO2 .

        It’s like if I said, “It is going to hurt if I hit you hard on the head with this hammer-it’s not physically plausible that it won’t hurt.” I didn’t have to tell you that second part, but it’s sure enough true.

        Matt,

        It really is not serious, but I never pass up an opportunity to point out the errors of those who are better educated than myself. I do it to the warmistas, so I gotta ding my own once in a while, to be fair. Greece is going to default. Get ready, Matt.

        Fred,

        Stop being redundant.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      ‘In the first row, the slow increase of global upwelling LW flux at TOA from the 1980’s to the 1990’s, which is found mostly in lower latitudes, is confirmed by the ERBE-CERES records…

      The overall slow decrease of upwelling SW flux from the mid-1980’s until the end of the 1990’s and subsequent increase from 2000 onwards appear to caused, primarily, by changes in global cloud cover (although there is a small increase of cloud optical thickness after 2000) and is confirmed by the ERBS measurements…

      The overall slight rise (relative heating) of global total net flux at TOA between the 1980’s and 1990’s is confirmed in the tropics by the ERBS measurements and exceeds the estimated climate forcing changes (greenhouse gases and aerosols) for this period. The most obvious explanation is the associated changes in cloudiness during this period…’

      http://isccp.giss.nasa.gov/projects/browse_fc.html

      Is the best that can be said of greenhouse gases is that the rate of cooling in the IR was reduced and all of the warming happened in the shortwave? I am willing to entertain the possibility that the NASA ISCCP-FD data is of some interest. Could it possibly be better than no data at all? It is tolerably close to the 2006 Wong corrected ERBS data – but it does tell exaxctly the wrong story.

      Obviously I am not a knowlegable reader because it seems there may be another explanation for all of the warming in the satellite era.

  66. Chief Hydrologist

    Webby,

    It is hard to keep up with your silly wiggles – so I have copied them to reply in some order.

    ‘Wavelengths are set by quantum energy states, and temperature has no effect on energy levels. Rewind your argument and start over, as anything you state after this is suspect.’

    http://casswww.ucsd.edu/archive/public/tutorial/Planck.html

    ‘It is possible that there is a gap in your scientific understanding. I guess I can understand how that can happen, and why I am amazed by the comprehensive scientific knowledge that climate scientists like Hansen and his colleagues possess.’

    whatever

    ‘This is where I take advantage of your “chaos” model. Diffusion in fact is a model of random walk. The heat can diffuse over a wide range of rates, corresponding to classical thermal diffusion at the slow end to random mixing at a faster rate. This is essentially applying dispersion to the diffusion coefficient. Turbulent mixing thus is a random walk, which is mathematically described by a master equation with stochastic parameters. That is what I solved for in the post, using a clever identity to simplify the solution. It is pretty cool stuff, as I find that I can duplicate Hansen’s result from 1985.’

    http://casswww.ucsd.edu/archive/public/tutorial/Planck.html

    I am not really sure what this means. Chaos theory is not a model of randomness or diffusion of molecules or anything else of the sort. It is a theory of emergent – self organising properties – in complex and dynamic systems. It has nothing to do with random processes at all but of the potential for topological shifts in the solution space – something your simple minded equations cannot encompass. I have suggested that you find out something about this previously.

    Heat diffusion – conceptually similar to particle dispersion from areas of high pressure to low pressure – is classically different to turbulent mixing and to convection. The first is described by the heat equation – which is used in probability and describes random walks. The latter are defined by conservation of mass in the three dimensional equations of fluid flow.

    ‘I realize that this may provoke some anguish in your response as I sweep all the chaos into a maximum entropy prior. But that is my goal, to factor out the complexity.’

    You’re confusing me with someone who cares – and factoring out complexity without ever having understood it is a bit irresponsible.

    “There is a skin effect where the top few microns are cooler than the underlying ocean – but this a function of the rate of processes.” quoting me

    ‘That is not the skin effect, go look up what the skin effect does.’

    You are confusing electrical concepts with no application in the current context with temperature profiles in water columns.

    “The speed of light for photons and lessor rates for convection and mixing. ”
    quoting me ‘I don’t know what the speed of light has to do with convection and mixing.’

    You need first of all to understand temperature profiles in water columns.

    “The net flow of IR energy is always from the surface skin of the oceans to the atmosphere – it can’t be different because of the 2nd law” quoting me
    ‘You don’t understand how to apply the 2nd law in this case. You may have found out a new form of matter – a liquid that has automatic directionality, i.e. anisotropic water. Are you going to patent that? ha ha’

    You don’t understand the concept of net flux in the context of the 2nd law?

    I would like to get onto something interesting – but I am taking a personal interest in filling the many gaps in your understanding.

    • The important point that Web is obscuring here with his misunderstandings and misrepresentations is that re-radiated IR from CO2 is not warming the ocean. Poor fella, any climatologist can tell him that that energy is going into the tropospheric hot spot. That’s why we have one.

      Oh, no, don’t tell me there isn’t one.
      =========

      • I am discussing photonics while you are talking something else. An infrared photon absorbed by the water cannot produce more energy when it leaves.

        Astonishingly obvious misdirection on your parts.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Kim,

        Webby doesn’t get humour or poetry – so really there is no basis of communication between you. I suspect an autism spectrum disorder – and that is something not to make jokes about or get into at climate etc.

        We understand – Webby – that photons are a quanta of energy related to the energy states of discrete electron orbits. The quantum idea. The statistics of energy related to heat is given by the Steffan-Boltzman equation.

        Energy enters the ocean as both visible light and infrared – although infrared is absorbed in the first few microns of the surface. Diffusion probably doesn’t get a look in as the dominant are probably best described by mixing and convection. Energy is emitted by the oceans in the infrared – again from the top microns. The net movement of energy from the ocean in the infrared is upward to the atmosphere. There is not more energy – just the conversion of visible light to heat.

        Robert I Ellison
        Chief Hydrologist

      • Webby, are you trying to say that the amount of energy from IR absorption exceeds, on average, that of IR emission from the water surface?
        Because the point I believe CH is making is that the net energy flux bwo IR is upwards away from the surface layer.
        If you’re not disagreeing with that perfectly valid point, then what exactly is your argument?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The energy quanta is related to the frequency by the Planck constant – f…… amazin’.

      • The issue is one of communicating clearly apparently. This is what the chief wrote in one paragraph, which was repeated twice in this thread:

        “BTW – the ocean doesn’t absorb any heat in the infrared. It penetrates the top microns – but there is a net flux upward of course.”

        So upon reading that passage, one learns that:
        (1) the ocean doesn’t absorb infrared radiation.
        (2) yet it penetrates the top microns
        (3) this penetrated radiation turns into a net flux upward.
        Put these 3 statements together and a science student would infer the infrared radiation is reflecting off the water. But the student will get confused when he then learns that water has a very low albedo, less than 10%. Which means that scientific common knowledge holds that the radiation is absorbed by water. The student asks, Is there something special about infrared?

        Now we learn that chief did not mean to infer this when he wrote that paragraph. It in fact has to do with the energy balance over the entire spectrum, something that we could only mindread.
        So what we do is continue to school chief until he starts to communicate clearly. At that point we won’t have to correct him.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Webby,

        I try to be nice and offer some humour. Thinking differently to others is not a problem. It is in fact a very good thing. But you have to try to understand the social context. The norms and conventions that other people understand through cues in social interactions – and then bring to the blogosphere.

        We apply logic to social interactions and I don’t really see any huge problem – it is mostly idiotic social conventions that we can do without and use the time for other obsessions. Like spending too much time in the blogosphere. I can be deliberately provocative – but it is all calculated and none of it is spontaneous. I work at family and work relationships and am not very good at friendships.

        You really just have to let some things go. Everyone thinks you are a bright boy – but you just miss the cues a little bit. The boy who knows everything about dinosaurs – and says out loud that they are the smartest person in the room. Think Sheldon in Big Bang and you are getting closer. The obsession with dinosaurs is harmless – but sometimes the obsessions take too much time away from work and relationships for instance or are just pursued for too long and become destructive.

        You can get me at robert.indigo@hotmail.com

        Catch you later

      • Heh, Robert, Web inferred something you didn’t imply. My inner grammar Nazi exposes itself.
        =================

      • If the thermometers can’t expose it, let’s try finding it with wind shear.

        If that doesn’t fly, let’s just say it isn’t important, anyway.

      • Webby, he said the ocean doesn’t absorb heat in the infrared. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t absorb infrared, but rather that it doesn’t gain heat from it.
        It might not be the best of grammar, but I understood what he meant by it.

      • Kind of weird when you’re the only guy in the room that understands that water absorbing a quantum of radiation turns into a thermal excitation. Radiation can’t de-excite a volume so the heat content can only rise. So on this case, infrared radiation equates directly to a heat increase.

        Chief will get you going with his little misdirections and the next thing you know, he will have convinced you the moon is made of green cheese. I recall some classic ones he has tried to pawn off.

      • Webby, are you just being argumentative for the sake of it, or is there a point in you trying to teach us how to suck eggs?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        It seems such a simple idea. The ocean is warmed by the sun and cools by convection, by emitting infrared from the surface and a little bit by conduction.

        “BTW – the ocean doesn’t absorb any heat in the infrared. It penetrates the top microns – but there is a net flux upward of course.”

        That’s seems to be the quibble – there is nothing imprecise about it. Should I go into great detail on a minor point to instruct an imaginary student? Or assume some background understanding? I quite clearly said heat. The oceans receive radiation from the sun and infrared radiation from the atmosphere and loses energy in the infrared. The net of infrared radiant flux is a heat (or thermal) flux. There is a net loss of energy in the infrared as heat moves from the ocean to the atmosphere and it all happens in the top few microns.

        ‘Right at the ocean surface in the top few millimeters, a cool ‘skin’ exists with lowered temperature caused by the combined heat losses from long-wave radiation, sensible and latent heat fluxes. The cool skin is always present and is the actual sea surface temperature (SST) measured by airborne infrared radiometers.’ Sprintall and Cronin 2001 in…

        Everyone understands this but Webby – and I am certainly over snarky (and wrong) comment from him and his ilk. I have given him every opportunity to just go away – it is such a minor point. But how can they understand anything if they can’t understand the energy budget? And then want to be obnoxious about it. I insult them because they are idiots. I notice he argued with Tomas about complexity – him and Matt… – the idiot savant and the just plain idiot. And I’m the bad guy here? Go figure.

      • Afraid that is what you will have to do to make yourself clear. Notice that you had to write a few more paragraphs to elaborate on your point.

        You could have just said that the earth receives most of its radiation energy from the sun in the visible spectrum.

  67. I read this whole post a few days late, and finish with two increasingly frequent feelings about the AGW debate.

    The first is that critics of any proposition are not required to have another theory on which to base their criticism. It is enough to be able to point out flaws in logic, or the mismatch between theory and observations. Nor is the critic required to improve the hypothesis or theory — that is a task for the proponents.

    The second is the apparent determination of some participants to find reasons to explain the mismatch referred to above. The temperature data suggest cooling? It must be aerosols. Where’s the heat gone? The missing heat must be deep in the ocean. The critic is then required to show why this new hypothesis is wrong! It’s very reminiscent of the Feyerabend thread a little while ago. It makes me feel that such people are simply believers, reluctant to modify, let alone abandon, their belief.

    And without getting into philosophy of science arguments, ‘belief’ is not what science is about.

  68. If they had used the ARGO data from 2004 they would have got a better match between TOA balance and ocean heat content. It’s all been explained a while ago here:

    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2010/12/20/working-out-where-the-energy-goes-part-2-peter-berenyi/

    Upshot: Earth isn’t gaining heat, it’s losing it. The spurious jump in OHC at the junction of xbt and ARGO data is misleading people.

    • Tallbloke

      Thanks for posting link to a very good explanation of the “missing heat that never was”.

      I had read earlier that the old XBT devices had a calibration error that made them introduce a spurious warming signal (according to team leader, Josh Willis), but I never saw how this affected the entire record when XBT devices were replaced with the more reliable ARGO measurements, as Berényi’s study shows.

      Will the “consensus mainstream” pick up on this analysis or will they continue to either deny the “lack of ocean warming” or call it a “speed bump” while searching frantically for where the :missing energy” might be hiding?

      Let’s bring out Occam’s razor and cut this one off before too many folks beat themselves to death chasing a mirage.

      Max

  69. Thank you for your good posting. Can I copy it to my blog at http://tin.bennghe.vn and http://tuvan.bennghe.vn? Thank you again.

  70. I totally agree with you here.. could not have said it better myself.

  71. This information give me a knew acknowledgment about Nature Geoscience..thank you for sharing,,I hope this article will be useful for readers here

  72. Hello just wanted to give you a quick heads up.
    The words in your content seem to be running off the screen in Chrome.
    I’m not sure if this is a format issue or something to do with web browser compatibility but I thought I’d post to let you
    know. The layout look great though! Hope you get the problem fixed soon.
    Kudos

  73. Two engine options for these cars include the Volkswagen Polo BlueMotion,
    Volkswagen Passat and the Volkswagen car battery 2006 honda civic Magotan.
    Somee of them are environment-related whereas a few are driven bby miniature engines which run on electricity at highway speeds.

    I think the more you ddo to that car, which will have eight
    toll stations. Notee that these ten vehicles are all pure-electric
    vehicles as opposed to owning a car is price.