Climate scenarios: 2015-2050

by Judith Curry

Nature is about to carry out a very interesting experiment

The quote is from the Daily Mail article ‘Forget global warming: its Cycle 25 we need to worry about.’  On the Week in Review thread, I made the following statement in reference to the article:

We don’t know what the climate will be for the next several decades, there are a number of reasons to expect the continue flat trend for the next several decades. In terms of when global warming will come “roaring back”, it is possible that this may not happen for the first half of the 21st century.

I am being asked what is meant by “possible”.  More than 50%?  Well the whole situation is too uncertain to put probabilities on, IMO.  Hence my previous suggestions for looking at a “possibility distribution” rather than trying to guess at probabilities.  And for generating scenarios via scenario falsification.

The nominal IPCC AR4 scenario for the period 2015-2050 has two elements: (1) creation of a suite of emissions scenarios and (2) climate model simulations forced by the emission scenarios.   A range is given for the scenario based on different emission scenarios (which aren’t all that different prior to 2050) and simulations by different models with different sensitivities.  CMIP5 for AR5 has decadal simulations (10 year and 30 year), and the UK Met Office is making ongoing 10 year predictions.  Initialized decadal projections are in their infancy, but these do provide some new model generated scenarios out to 2035.

An alternative method for future scenario generation was described in the previous post:

Modal falsificationism further permits creatively constructed scenarios to be accepted as long as the scenarios cannot be falsified by being incompatible with background knowledge. Developing a suite of scenarios by modal falsification is a two step process:  the first step is coming up with as many potential future scenarios as possible (using inductive as well as other more creative methods) and then submitting these future scenarios to tests in order to see which ones can be discarded as impossible.

So lets generate some scenarios for the period 2015-2050, based upon possible combinations of external forcing and natural internal variability:

Solar forcing (S):

  • I) same as average for 1980-2000;
  • II) higher than average
  • III) lower than average

Volcanic forcing (V):

  • I) same as average for 1980-2000;
  • II) higher than average
  • III) lower than average

Anthropogenic forcing (A):

  • I) same as Representative Concentration Pathways RCP 6 for AR5
  • II) higher than RCP 6
  • III) lower than RCP 6

Natural internal variability (N):

  • I) same as for 1950-2000
  • II) warmer than 1950-2000
  • III) cooler than 1950-2000

For 21st century projections (implicitly including the period of interest here 2015-2050), the AR4 looked only NI-VI-SI with variations in A.  It is obvious from consideration of the list above that there are dozens of possible combinations for the period 2015-2050.

The key scenarios of interest here are those that could counteract the anthropogenic forcing to result in minimal warming, a flat temperature curve, or even cooling.  SIII, VII, and NIII would all contribute to cooling.  There are then two key questions:

  1. To what extent is cooling from S, V, N more likely than not for 2015-2050?
  2. How would the cooling effects interact with anthropogenic forcing to determine the magnitude of the future climate change?

With regards to solar forcing, the balance of evidence that we currently have points to lower solar forcing for ~90 years.

With regards to volcanic forcing, as far as I know, we have absolutely no idea, and I, II, III are equally possible.

With regards to natural internal variability, we are currently in the cool phase of the PDO.  Based upon the recent historical record, we would anticipate several decades in the cool phase, although these oscillations aren’t predictable.  We are currently in the warm phase of the AMO, and based upon the recent historical record, we might expect another decade in the warm phase, although these oscillations aren’t predictable.

—-quick retake of missing text

Previous warm AMO/cool PDO occurred 1946-1964, and cool AMO/cool PDO 1964-1976, both of which were cool periods.

It is a plausible scenario that we will continue to see relatively flat trend in temperature for the coming decade.  The most recent climate shift has been argued (Tsonis et al) to have occurred 2001/2002.  A climate shift would probably occur sometime before 2050, although whether the shift trends warmer or cooler remains to be seen.  At some point a warming trend would likely resume.   To me this seems like a more plausible scenario than the 0.2C/decade projection to 2050 from AR4.

So the crux of the debate is whether S, V, N are minor noise on a substantial trend from AGW, or whether S,V,N will dominate for the next several decades.  We don’t know.  Personally I am not convinced by the AR4 argument that S, N are minor noise for the 20th century attribution.  Until the warming from 1910-1940 and the cool period from 1940′s to 1970′s are convincingly explained, I find it difficult to think than S, N aren’t important in explaining the variability earlier in the century.

So with a change in N and S underway, nature is conducting an interesting experience for us.

501 responses to “Climate scenarios: 2015-2050

  1. Judith! Shhhh! You’re pointing people in directions they weren’t supposed to look at!

    All the international agreements on climate pledge temps not to increase by more than 2C. Crucially the fact that _that_ might as well be naturally reached is not mentioned. So we could get to 2050 and “Nature” will have single-handedly achieved what every world leadet has promised. Congratulations all around.

    In this respect the IPCC cannot include those scenarios lest its audience finds itself not-needed.

    • Climate scenarios are useless unless we know if our world government is already actively involved in changing Earth’s climate.

      I asked a few friends to look at this video on the new, long-lasting “chem-trails” that replaced the old, shorter “condensation trails” behind airplanes, and was surprised to learn that many of them had awaken to this reality long before me!

      Robert and Sharon Ashworth have even published an e-book, “The Toxic Sky – Chemtrails Falling,” that is available from Barnes and Noble.

      Do you have information on these, Professor Curry?

      • I like how this video jumps straight from military jets practicing radar jamming techniques using chaff to a secret conspiracy to create a one-world government with no steps in between.

      • Eric,

        You may want to check out Robert Ashworth’s book. I believe he is a chemical engineer.

    • Nah nah forget that Omno, you’ve missed the most important message in this post.

      Us all conquering species have been put in the same power category as the SUN and VOLCANOS (dunno about natural internal variability, sounds like what happens when one takes ones fibre regularly)
      WOWWWW how about that, I am as powerful as the sun, able to leap tall volcanos in a single bound. Look out planet, or I’ll destroy ya!!

      Sigh! so many educated people………..

  2. there are some plausible scenarios whereby we could see relatively flat temperature trends (or even cooling) in the coming decades
    JK: What about the possibility of a degree or so of cooling?

    Thanks
    JK

  3. I would argue that the climate model projections have already been falsified, so we need not wait a decade. In any case, a decade is not an about to happen event. It takes ten years.

    • I don’t think climate model projections can/ be falsified. I don’t think they are can be ‘true’ either. They can be many other things including useful and interesting and even helpful. I think looking projections as ‘falsifiable’ is to misunderstand what a projection is, and can be.

      Certainly there is a sense (and a degree) to which they can ‘match’ subsequent observations, but that is not at all an implication that a model projection is a testable and falsifiable hypothesis. A model is, among other things, a set of assumptions about variables, which with the passing of time can always be improved.

      See Climate modeller Tamsin Edward’s new blog “All models are wrong

      My perspective very much wants to say that climate model projections are wrong – because I think one of their unrealised inputs is worry so they are bound to be an ‘exaggeration’ or they are always going to ‘run hot’. I think the best we can do is say they are ‘poor’ or ‘rubbish’ or ‘hopeless’.

      Tamsin’s blog title is instructive – models don’t have the capacity to be ‘right’, but they can be a number of other things.

      • The projections can fail to verify with observations. Understanding the reasons for this failure should tell you something about your model. I have been arguing that the global climate models are insufficient at representing natural internal variability on multidecadal and longer time scales. I have also been arguing that climate models do not include indirect solar effects, that may turn out to be important.

      • Re Tamsin’s blog, I very much look forward to this. Re “all models are wrong”, see my previous post on “What can we learn from climate models?” http://judithcurry.com/2010/10/03/what-can-we-learn-from-climate-models/
        which shares pretty much the same perspective as Tamsin’s, as far as I can tell.

      • Supposedly the models are trial runs showing what effect particular variables would have if they interact in a specified way. Somewhere in there, there must be “check points” that can be compared to observation, otherwise said variables and interactions can be said to have whatever values the modeler or programmer wishes, without contradiction.

        So the requirement for falsifiability remains, even if the global output of the model doesn’t constitute the specific checkpoint(s). These relevant predictive bits must, of course, be specified in advance.

        I see none of this being done.

      • Anteros: “All models are wrong”

        That is because they are approximations. The quote from G. E. P. Box continues “Some are useful.” The models for the Golden Gate Bridge and The Tacoma Narrows Bridge had a great deal of science in common, but were useful in the former case and not useful in the latter case, because not accurate enough.

        To apply to climate models, some predict a lot more aggregate warming and heat retention by 2100 than others; if they overpredict by 0.1K or overpredict by 3K, or underpredict by any amount are not equivalent errors. “If present trends continue”, then some of the models will have unequivocally been disconfirmed by 2030, but others will still be credible.

    • Cars / trucks in China increased by 700%, 2] to convert limestone into cement, releases CO2 same as burning coal – their number of high buildings gone by 1500%. 3] Over 50 new coal powered power station a year built ONLY IN China. Other countries are increasing CO2 more than anybody was expecting. Blaming volcanoes / sunspots is exclusively for creating ”back-door exits” for the ”Conspirators”

      If GLOBAL warming doesn’t start happening – the loot money to be returned to the Urban Sheep. Fleecing the ignorant on false pretence is already illegal. Penalty should fit the crime. In civilized society the laws should apply to everybody.. My facts / proofs and formulas are conveniently overlooked by the elite, but the majority on the street want the truth, not extra confusion. They are starting to understand that:: when on the ground gets extra warm, VERTICAL WINDS increase INSTANTLY > COOLING INCREASES. B] water vapour is for better climate; not a GLOBAL warming gas. Those people are already asking: why the experts don’t understand the most obvious? They are 70-80% of the population. No GLOBAL warming – ”truth and reconciliation commission” Never ever lies to be used to rob and oppress the ignorant. Because of radio / TV and internet – it is easier now to brainwash / manipulate / rob larger mass of people than ever before. There is no such a thing as GLOBAL warming / climate never stops changing / climate can change for better also. THE KING IS NAKED!!!

  4. JC

    Very good post.

    Thank you.

    • I agree.

      A very good post. Interesting, provocative and in the prevailing ‘climate’, brave.

      I particularly like the sense of being open to many possibilities. Very refreshing.

  5. I can imagine a reason. If this cooling effects are sufficient to counteract the anthropogenic warming, then the anthropogenic warming may be not enough to …

  6. I would argue that the climate model projections have already been falsified, so we need not wait a decade.

    But David, there are two conflicting sets of projections, one from each side of this debate. Each side is arguing that the other’s climate model projections have been falsified. Is there any way at all for the Man In The Street to choose between them?

    Although they’re so different in their projections, they seem so similar in how earnestly they plead their respective cases. Why should anyone believe any of them? Why should they believe you? (That is what you want, right?)

    In any case, a decade is not an about to happen event. It takes ten years.

    I’d be fascinated to know where you’re going with that line of thought.

    • Vaughan

      I am not aware of any “skeptical” GCM that has been show to state that warming will not be a problem. Do you think someone such a GCM has been developed? I am aware of multiple GCMs that have not been shown to meet observed conditions, but are still being used as the basis of potential governmental policies. I can’t see that makes sense, but it is the current state

      • Rob, you’re using a narrower definition of “model” than I had in mind. Not all models are GCMs. Do you know any skeptic who does not base their claim that warming will not be a problem on some sort of model? If so who, and what is the basis for their claim if not a model?

  7. Here are my predictions until 2100

    http://bit.ly/cO94in

    The global mean temperature (GMT) trend was not affected by volcanoes, human emission of CO2 and aerosols. The GMT trend was a constant warming of 0.06 deg C per decade. The GMT oscillation was a constant swing of about 0.5 deg C every 30 years. These were the properties of the GMT since record begun 160 years ago. I believe this GMT property to continue until the next climate change like the one that ended the little ice age. But this time it will be the one that will end the uniform warming since the little ice age.

    • Interesting model, Girma. What is its r2? If less than 90% it’s not much of a basis for making predictions.

      • r=0.88

        I will find out whether it is valid in this decade.

      • Why less than 90%? R2 is the percentage of variance in the series that is accounted for by the model. There could be 20% or even more additional random variation in annual records, for countless reasons that are easily possible in such a chaotic system as world climate, and the measurement error of global temperatures with their interpolations and fudges, plus UHIs, volcanos and all sorts of things.
        The value given by Girma, r=0.88 implies that the model explains r2=77.4% of the variance, leaving 22.6% unexplained residuals, apparently unrelated to time (i.e. trendless). That is, IMO, a reasonable amount of random variance or measurement error for a regression based on imprecise measurements of global temperature.

      • In addition: given Girma’s R2, the model may be useful for predictions, especially for decadal predictions where most of the random variance of yearly data is averaged away.

      • i like the way Girma’s models hindcasts, especially for the MWP
        and long term forecasts ( 1000 year scale) are interesting too

      • i like the way Girma’s models hindcasts,

        Right, I’ve often made this point myself but Girma seems not to get it. The same point applies to Craig Loehle’s objections to David Hofmann’s raised-exponential formula for CO2: the alternatives Loehle offers hindcast much worse than Hofmann’s formula.

    • Girma knows how to Lie With Charts(C). Notice how the envelope goes outside the noise excursions.

      This follows from the comical physical law that a fluctuation always goes in the direction opposite to the current trend. One can always count on Girma make stuff up, just like many of the other skeptics.

      Each skeptic uses a slightly different rhetorical flourish, thus creating a mighty wurlitzer of FUD. And that’s not the kind of uncertainty that Curry is interested in exploring.

      The propagation of uncertainty should not be influenced by the number of crackpot theories bandied about. If that was the case the only viable current theory would be totally outgunned.

      • Why so rude? It doesn’t help push your message in any way, and turns others off. Counter productive, as any non-zeolot would realise.

      • Steve T
        1. Girma is educated
        2. Girma should know better
        3. We tried to explain nicely
        4. He persisted
        5. He now has hall of shame status

      • WebHubTelescope: Girma knows how to Lie With Charts(C). Notice how the envelope goes outside the noise excursions.

        Those are not lies, they are conjectures, as in Popper’s “Conjectures and Refutations.” They may be refuted by 2030, but not yet.

      • Arguing with Girma is like developing noise cancelling headphones for the sound of a babbling brook, or a shroud to throw over Picasso’s fascinating renderings of the human form. Think of Girma as an artist depicting climate from a surrealist rather than superrealist perspective.

    • Girma, your GMT linear trend (0.06 °C/decade) only looks linear at the short time scale. Over the next decades it will go negative as well as the oscillation.

    • Steven moser

      i like the way Girma’s models hindcasts, especially for the MWP
      and long term forecasts ( 1000 year scale) are interesting too

      http://bit.ly/Aei4Nd

      I believe this GMT property to continue until the next climate change like the one that ended the little ice age. But this time it will be the one that will end the uniform warming since the little ice age.

      Although the GMT trend line is a straight line for the relatively short 130 years data, in a longer time scale, it is part of a very long curve that contains the Little Ice Age, Medieval Climatic Optimum, Holocene Maximum, etc.

      • “I believe this GMT property to continue until the next climate change like the one that ended the little ice age. But this time it will be the one that will end the uniform warming since the little ice age.”

        I think the next climate climate change is possibly upon us- if the solar cycle continues it’s trend, rather just be some sort of short freak blip.
        So I will give it one more year and it’s going to fall off the trend it’s held for a century or so.

  8. Santer et al. have allowed for the possibility of such periods lasting for as long as 17 years in the presence of anthropogenic forcing.

    News to me. I thought they were arguing that trends measured over less than 17 years were meaningless noise. What did they say that could be interpreted as saying that there’s climatological meaning in short-term averages?

    • Good point. I remember ten year periods being possible, but not 17 years.

    • They argue it is meaningless noise in the overall attribution of climate change to humans. However, when you are specifically looking at temperature change on timescales of a few decades, Santer et al. admits that this needs to be acknowledged. This is much more sensible than instilling an expectation of 0.2C/decade warming, as if it will be close to this level every decade

      • Judith,

        You may want to rephrase that 0.2C/decade…
        If I project that back let’s say 4.5 billion years ago…

        Accuracy is very much lacking in science!

      • Dr. Curry,
        It seems rather obvious that the AGW promoters are simply going to move the goal posts when the 17 year horizon comes up.
        Why not go back to the 1988 baseline? The Hansen scenarios are wrong over a >20 year range. It seems that should give the consensus some pause.

      • Hunter, the warmest didn’t move the goal post, the data did. Three years ago, 15 years was enough for a statistically significant trend.

        Starting in 2003, the southern hemisphere decided to start doing its own thing, http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vsh/from:1996/plot/hadcrut3nh/from:1996

        Probably because Brazil increased Ethanol use, ya know. As it stands now, the global is having a little hemispherical spat over who is in charge of things. If both were up or down, there would be a trend. Right now the only trend is don’t know. To some folks, don’t know is a trend, to others, don’t know does not compute. Those folks have been assimilated by the machines. :)

    • That is was pretty meaningless?

      But I’m pretty sure Judith knows this.

      • Anteros-

        “I think a specifically scientifically audience wouldn’t have baulked [or even paused?] at the comment.”

        You have one datapoint (me) confirming your hypothesis.

        In Americanese, “balked”…

    • Surely 17 years was where the 95% confidence level arose?

      I sometimes think scientists get into the habit of thinking there is something profound that occurs at 95% or [as I'm a gambler] a 1 in 20 shot. It doesn’t – it’s a convention! 1 in 19, or 1 in 21 would be – well, you can work out how different they’d be. ‘Not much’ is the appropriate answer.

      But of course, a convention is a convention and it has it’s uses [and origins, obviously].

      Santer et al haven’t disallowed the possibility of periods of non-warming lasting longer than 17 years [in a warming climate] They have merely said something about it happening as a matter of chance. 18 years of no warming doesn’t prove diddly squat.

      • New statistical jargon, diddly squat, pigs flying, monkeys flying, but only out of butts :)

      • Anteros -

        They have merely said something about it happening as a matter of chance. 18 years of no warming doesn’t prove diddly squat.

        That’s what I remember from the discussion of her paper.

        What I think is an interesting question is If what you say is true, then should Judith correct the following statement?

        Santer et al. have allowed for the possibility of such periods lasting for as long as 17 years in the presence of anthropogenic forcing.

      • Sorry. “….what I remember from the discussion of their paper.”

      • Joshua -

        Yes. I noticed that. I think it is either poorly put…..or wrong :)

        I think, on reflection, by saying they have ‘allowed’ something, Judith is quite legitimately implying that they have allowed it to happen……without going beyond [less than] a 5% likelihood that it happened by chance.

        That, in a way, is unproblematic – even a reasonable interpretation. I suppose, though, some people are likely to think that 17 years of no warming is ‘disallowed’, meaning a falsification.
        It isn’t.

        You could say, in every day language, that Santer et al have allowed 17 years of non-warming but that this would happen less than 1 in 20 times by chance.

        Does Judith’s statement need ‘correcting’?

        I’m not sure if that is what you meant..

      • Correct in the sense of “to improve” – to be more accurate, or precise.

        I didn’t mean to imply that she was being deliberately misleading, only that her statement somewhat lends itself to an inaccurate reading.

        And that’s why I asked it as a question of what she “should” do as opposed to saying that I think that she needs to make that change.

      • Joshua -

        I wasn’t sure if I understood you correctly.

        I don’t know. I think a specifically scientifically audience wouldn’t have baulked [or even paused?] at the comment.

        The fact that we both paused is instructive, and therefore I agree with you. The context is relevant.

        Part of my original point was that this misunderstanding is very widespread – that somehow Santer et al [and thus the whole scientific world...] have implied that if there is non-warming for 17 years or more then AGW has somehow been disproved. The phrasing of Judith’s comment certainly doesn’t help to clarify that misperception.

        If you see scores of “skeptics” jumping on that particular bandwagon, in the relevant circumstances they are just being partisans – I don’t think it will be an asymmetry. But OK, in that circumstance I’ll pipe up too..

      • Anteros –

        Part of my original point was that this misunderstanding is very widespread – that somehow Santer et al [and thus the whole scientific world...] have implied that if there is non-warming for 17 years or more then AGW has somehow been disproved. The phrasing of Judith’s comment certainly doesn’t help to clarify that misperception.

        Yes. That is why I wonder if it shouldn’t be corrected also.

        As I recall, Judith wrote something along the lines of an opinion that Santer’s quantification of a 17-year period could come back to bite him on the ass if warming doesn’t jump in the next couple of years. I was struck with how odd that statement was – since any couple of years shouldn’t have a big impact one way or the other on anyone’s perspective.

        When I read that statement of hers, I thought that she missed an opportunity to make it clear how Santer’s paper should not be misinterpreted – and I question whether this isn’t a similar situation.

      • Joshua -

        I have to agree. It’s the kind of opportunity that begs for some clarification. I think my original comment @7.52 is still valid. And the non-science world’s misapprehension of ‘statistically significant’ is even greater.

        And it is partly the misapprehension which means Santer’s statement [completely uncontroversial as it was - just a statistical observation of the data] may well come back to bite him. Perhaps that was part of what Judith meant?

      • billc -
        ‘balked’ – what kind of a word is that!!

        It looks Lithuanian..

        And to think we all once spoke the language of Shakespeare..

      • Why don’t we ask Santer to clear up the 17 year period for us?
        Is his message clear or not clear: Does it say: 17 years are
        needed to detect/not detect the human fingerprint?
        And if temps go down, as they will, then the fingerprint will not be
        contained within these 17 years (CO2-incease annually by 2.09 ppmv) and has abandoned ship….
        Think of the Yeti in the Himalayas: No more footprints for 17 years….
        then he must be dead instead of hiding……
        JS

      • Why don’t we ask Santer to clear up the 17 year period for us?
        Is his message clear or not clear: Does it say: 17 years are
        needed to detect/not detect the human fingerprint?

        Was he saying that 17 years would be a minimum period required for determining statistical significance, or was he saying that 17 years would be a delimiter for determining statistical significance?

        I would appreciate it if someone scientifically literate would clarify that for me.

      • Joshua,

        Here’s the previous thread but if Judith permits I will summarize via excerpts:

        http://judithcurry.com/2011/09/12/santer-on-timescales-of-temperature-trends/

        “Key Points
        -Models run with human forcing can produce 10-year periods with little warming.
        -S/N ratios for tropospheric temp. are ~1 for 10-yr trends, ~4 for 32-yr trends.
        -Trends >17 yrs are required for identifying human effects on tropospheric temp.

        “JC conclusion. Santer et al. have laid down the gauntlet with this paper in terms of providing a method for falsifying climate model simulations for the purpose of attribution of 20th and early 21st century temperature variations. It would be interesting to see the same study conducted for the CMIP5 simulations, but I suspect that there might not be much of a change.

        So, what are your bets for the duration of the current period of “minimal warming” ?”

        Joshua, looking at the following text from the BEST paper on decadal variability, with which I agree and which I suspect Judith had a hand in writing (AMO is Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation):

        “Given that the 2-15 year variations in world temperature are so closely linked to the AMO raises (or re-raises) an important ancillary issue: to what extent does the 65-70 year cycle in AMO contribute to the global average temperature change? (Enfield, 2006; Zhang et al., 2007; Kerr, 1984.) Since 1975, the AMO has shown a gradual but steady rise from -0.35 C to +0.2 C (see Figure 2), a change of 0.55 C. During this same time, the land-average temperature has increased about 0.8 C. Such changes may be independent responses to a common forcing (e.g. greenhouse gases); however, it is also possible that some of the land warming is a direct response to changes in the AMO region. If the long-term AMO changes have been driven by greenhouse gases then the AMO region may serve as a positive feedback that amplifies the effect of greenhouse gas forcing over land. On the other hand, some of the long-term change in the AMO could be driven by natural variability, e.g. fluctuations in thermohaline flow. In that case the human component of global warming may be somewhat overestimated.”

      • To BillC: This is what Santer said in 2005:
        “”-Trends >17 yrs are required for identifying human effects on tropospheric temp. “” -
        I reckon, the background to his work was the flat temp plateau emerging 2001-2005 and he was trying to BUY TIME by saying: Wait until 2017 and
        in the meantime the promissed temp surge will set in, because an annual addition of 2.09 ppmv over 17 years will be 35 ppmv more of CO2, which
        will then translate into an enormous temp hike…..
        ………but the intent of buying time now backfires, because the 17 years
        are almost gone…. (Met-office: 15 years without temp increase….),
        there is 2 more years to go……
        ……..well, in 2 years, when 17 years are up, lets take his analysis
        and look for the fingerprint which should then be obvious to
        detect ……if we detect NO more fingerprint [what means
        fingerprint: The temp increase caused by 35 ppmv] , [again:
        AN ADDITION of 35 ppmv to the atmosphere did not cause a temp
        surge]…….then the AGW-Yeti is dead and not hiding [today still
        circulates the hiding argument: “Hiding In the pipeline”….”.the missing heat hiding…”
        in two more years ….we will know for sure…..
        JS

      • Joshua I meant to leave a few more thoughts.

        The conclusion around the BEST excerpt is the 17-year criterion maybe should have been more like 40 in order to have a “statistically significant at 95%” AGW signal (with lots of hidden uncertainties and caveats).

        17 years being the criterion is basically saying, “if it doesn’t warm for 17 years then our models are more wrong than we think they are”.

      • billc-

        Thanks, but I’m still confused. I just Googled “santer 17 years” and this was from the first hit (my emphasis):

        So with Dr. Ben Santer now solidly defining 17 years as the minimum to determine a climate signal, what happens to the argument when we reach 2013-2014 and there’s still no statistically significant upwards trend?

        That’s a particularly interesting question at the end there. Will the answer be that some “skeptics” will either intentionally or unintentionally use Santer’s paper to argue that AGW is a “hoax?” That’s a question I don’t need to be scientifically literate to answer in the affirmative.

        I’m still struggling to see why Judith’s statement above should remain, if not “corrected,” then unmodified.

      • billc –

        17 years being the criterion is basically saying, “if it doesn’t warm for 17 years then our models are more wrong than we think they are”.

        I’m inclined to trust your scientific chops more than Anthony’s. So unless I see someone say otherwise, I’ll adopt your statement there as my working understanding of Santer’s paper.

      • Joshua, what statement of Judith’s? I see something Vaughn Pratt quoted above but don’t see the source, it doesn’t seem to be today’s post. Since I hate to just ask a question and wait I will throw this in:

        Anteros says above: “Santer et al haven’t disallowed the possibility of periods of non-warming lasting longer than 17 years [in a warming climate] They have merely said something about it happening as a matter of chance. 18 years of no warming doesn’t prove diddly squat.”

        I disagree. 18 years of no warming “proves” in a loose sense (based on the use of 95% as a conventional certainty cutoff) that current models do not depict the situation accurately with respect to attribution. If they did, the chance of there being 18 years of no warming would be less than 1 in 20. Since that is our cutoff, it implies that model predictions of AGW are not accurate.

      • billc -
        I think you partially misunderstood what I wrote.
        If the model [or the distribution of the data] says that a particular something will occur 1 in 20 times, then that something doesn’t prove the model inaccurate. How can it. You expect that something 1 in 20 times.
        I agree you can play fast and loose with ‘prove’ – scientists often do – bit you’re much better off with statistically significant because then there is a small chance {5%?} that you won’t be misunderstood.

        Another way of expressing Santer’s results is to say that over a century, you would expect up to five 17 year periods of cooling in a warming world. None of them, when they occur, show the model as inaccurate.

        It would be less likely that there were no 17 year periods of cooling than more than one.

      • Joshua, what statement of Judith’s? I see something Vaughn Pratt quoted above but don’t see the source, it doesn’t seem to be today’s post. Since I hate to just ask a question and wait I will throw this in:

        Wow! My bad. I just assumed it was a quote from the post without double-checking. My apologies.

        I’ll just be moseying along now…..

        (Thanks for the further clarification on Anteros’ point also, as well as the quote from Watts).

      • Joshua -
        I think you’re amply sci-literate enough to judge the 17 year question. Your comments prove it. And of course there will be a rash of partisans claiming all sorts of nonsense if there is 17 years of no warming.
        I think Judith’s comment could undoubtedly have been better expressed.

      • steven mosher

        Ant,

        What is worse is that Santer used some models without volcanic forcing to establish his S/N. As we see in a recent paper the LIA may have been caused by successive volcanoes triggering a change in circulation.
        basically, Santers selection of model runs to establish a S/N look conservative to me. that is, I think 17 years is short.

      • billc -
        I think we can avoid confusion with ‘prove’, and ‘disallow’,

        I wonder. If 17 passes (just) the 95% confidence level, and you have four cooling periods of 17 years in a century, how do you feel about your model. Do you call it inaccurate?

        Purely by chance, your expectations are that you’ll have up to four periods of cooling – assuming the null hypothesis. Isn’t your expectation just that you would expect (for your model to be accurate) 96 or more 17 year periods of warming? That’s all you need?

        P.S. Assuming 100, 17 year periods…..

      • SM -
        I agree absolutely. I’m off on a tangent with billc and Joshua.

        I don’t have any numbers for this, but even with a background warming of, say 1.5C per century, 17 years strikes me as unrealistically short. There’s, as you say the unpredictability of volcanic forcing as well as the periodicity of all the others.
        Even if his data spoke, of their own accord, that 17 years was significant, it wasn’t politically astute to make a big deal about it.

      • I think the obvious question that is being ignored is, “if 18 years or 20 years or whatever are too short to disprove warming, then how many years does it take to prove it.” Does the 28 year period from 1970 to 1998 prove that AGW exists? The longer the denial that the present hiatus in warming is significant, the less the significance of the warming in the last 30 years. Moreover when comparing the warming from 1910 to 1940 with that of 1970 to 2000 there is no apparent difference. http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1910/to:1940/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1970/to:2000/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1910/to:1940/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1970/to:2000 also http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1910/to:1940/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1970/to:2000/trend
        Does this pause compare with that from 1940 to 1970? http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1940/to:1970/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1998/to:2011/offset:-0.4

      • steven mosher

        CMS

        Good question. what does it take to ‘disprove’ global warming.

        1. It’s never disproved. At some point it ceases to function as a useful tool for making predictions. proof doesnt exist in science. proof exists, perhaps, in logic and math.

        2. To ‘disconfirm’ global warming the following would be required.

        a) show that GHG gases are not opaque to IR
        b) show that increasing the concentration of GHGs does not
        raise the effective radiating level of the atmosphere.
        c) show that fundamental laws of physics are wrong

        No number of cold years, in an of themselves, can disprove global warming. For example, if you had 50 huge volcanoes a year for
        30 years, it would be cold. AGW as a theory would predict it would be cold.

        The difficulty is the core of the science is solid. radiative physics and energy balance. The problem is we cannot do controlled experiments
        to refine the periphery of the science. GHGs cause warming. HOW much warming depends upon many other uncontrollable factors. we can bound
        our understanding ( best case, worst case) and refine that boundary.

      • steven mosher

        capt dallas.

        I knew you would like the monkey bit.

        I suppose people should get a firm grounding in the notions of
        logical impossibility and logical possibility.

      • Steven Mosher said, “I suppose people should get a firm grounding in the notions of logical impossibility and logical possibility.”

        Never underestimate the stupidity of man. Remember where the “China Syndrome” came from :)

      • Chief Hydrologist

        There is another way of disproving global warming – and that is to show that the physics of the system is fundamentally different to the the physics of any component part.

        A small increase in planetary heat content, for instance, leading to a shift to a different strange attractor in the climate phase space. Tomas accuses me of repeating this – and that is true. Numbnut accuses me of techno-babble.

        We are not arguing to overthrow science but to incorporate this strange and difficult idea from theoretical physics. It is a ‘threshold concept’ – one that opens up fundamentally different ideas about how things work.

        Robert I Ellison
        Chief Hydrologist

      • Chief Hydrologist: There is another way of disproving global warming – and that is to show that the physics of the system is fundamentally different to the the physics of any component part.

        A small increase in planetary heat content, for instance, leading to a shift to a different strange attractor in the climate phase space. Tomas accuses me of repeating this – and that is true. Numbnut accuses me of techno-babble.

        We are not arguing to overthrow science but to incorporate this strange and difficult idea from theoretical physics. It is a ‘threshold concept’ – one that opens up fundamentally different ideas about how things work.

        That is a good post, but, … .

        I do not see how there is any proof of the absence of global warming in that approach. The earth climate system is in an attraction set in stae space (say — but surely not a steady-state, that we agree on.) What in that view is in any way discordant to the idea that CO2 accumulation produces increased heat accumulation gradually, in a way that gradually moves the attraction set toward higher values (or perhaps wider swings with the same “middle” region in state space.)

      • Everyone who saw the recent Berkeley analysis (Richard Muller’s BEST project, Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature) of land temperatures since 2000 in the newspapers has absorbed that the temperature in that data has been essentially flat since 2000.

        At a faculty lunch a couple of months ago I showed Sebastian Thrun this graph of the BEST data from WoodForTrees.org, in order to make a point about the impact of Pinatubo in 1991. But as I started to point to 1991 he interrupted me with “That’s wrong, the temperature should be flat after 2000!”

        Sebastian had seen that data before in the press, and it was clear to him then that the land temperature had been flat since 2000. Since what he was looking at on my laptop was clearly not flat for that period, it was clearly not the Berkeley data, or at least something was wrong. He grabbed my laptop and played with it for five minutes before accepting that it really was the same Berkeley data that had convinced him the temperature was flat since 2000.

        How to explain that?

        I would describe it as follows. It’s like that with the Mona Lisa smile. If every shot of it you ever see is a closeup, you would swear she’s not smiling. But if someone shows you the whole face for the first time you’ll say it’s wrong because suddenly you see a smile that you’d never seen before.

        You can apply every one of a dozen different statistical methods to the period 2000-2010 without any of them seeing any increase. Yet if you look at 1970-2010 the rise during 2000-2010 leaps out at you!

        I find it utterly fascinating that the BEST data can simultaneously make it 100% obvious that there has been no warming in the past decade, at the same time as it makes it 100% obvious that the temperature has climbed steadily since 1970!

      • Vaughan asks:

        “How to explain that?”

        Well, BEST series is known to be warmer than the others and it’s also land only.

        http://woodfortrees.org/plot/best/from:1970/mean:12/plot/rss-land/from:1970/mean:12/plot/rss/from:1970/mean:12

        Even RSS-land is ~flat since ~1998.

        This is what the BEST series really says:

        http://woodfortrees.org/plot/best-upper/plot/best-lower/plot/rss

      • Additionally, any trend assessment is dependant on time scale, magnitude and significance. It’s relative.

      • CMS

        Good question. what does it take to ‘disprove’ global warming.

        Sorry Stephen, I certainly opened myself up for that straw man. Having had enough hours of philosophy of science I should have known better than to use the word prove. And then your short discussion of physics was obviously not relevant to my point. That point was that, if you discount a 15 year period as inconclusive, that calls into question other short run periods that are put forward as supporting your thesis. And the longer that counter run lasts, the more dubious the other short run become as evidence for the argument. Now there is nothing particularly insightful in this. But it is the nub of the question. Is not Santer trying to say that the period from the 1970s thru 2000 is demonstrative of what are believed to be the effects of warming. Moreover, that period is the one that the supporters of models point to to show how well they do in predicting warming trends. When confronted with a subsequent period of some length does that not begin to under mine the strength of the previous argument. His response is a weak one I believe, that it is only 15 years and need to be at least 17 years or longer before it become evidentiary. All this is based on the hope that that the period ends in the next two years, if not then every increased year weakens the argument that 1970 to 2000 is a reasonable point from which to project global temperatures forward. My previous posting of showing the absolute congruence between the warming from 1910 to 1940 with that of the later period already weakens that argument. I also realize that much has been written about why the period from 1940 to 1970 is an aberration caused by sulfates, but does not Ocam’s Razor suggest that the present period might be a repeat of that pause. Moreover if these pauses are legitimate do they not effect the mean rate of warming?

      • Steven Mosher; You are proving yourself wrong no need for critique. You cannot manipulative the laws of physics the way you manipulate the fake Skeptics. 2] The ”greenhouse gasses” you and everybody is wrongly calling them are opaque; But the sunlight comes from the other side of those gases!!! They reflect some, intercept some, Where cooling is much more effective ( IT’S CALLED DIMMING) = less heat on the ground; then at night they slow cooling = milder climate. They are the sun umbrella for the earth – stop twisting the laws of physics – pissing against the wind, it only tells about your fanaticism / bigotry, not about those laws.

        When gets warmer, for any reason > VERTICAL WINDS SPEED UP! 2] PLUS Troposphere increases in volume instantly. Steven, how do you say in English: ”in civilized society, should be appropriate punishment, to fit the crime?’

    • Vaughn -

      Where did that quote come from?

    • Vaughan Pratt: I thought they were arguing that … .

      It was a power and sample size type argument that, as is common, has been turned into a strict yes/no or true/false type of statement. If the trend change were to be strong enough, fewer than 17years would be sufficient to reject a “no-trend change” type null hypothesis at a conventional level of statistical significance.

      The text that you quote could be better worded, but no matter how worded, no claim can be sustained that 17 years is the exactly right length of time in all circumstances, either to detect a change in trend, or to confirm that there is no change in trend.

      • This is from a previous version of Judith’s post:

        The bottom line is that there are some plausible scenarios whereby we could see relatively flat temperature trends (or even cooling) in the coming decades. Santer et al. have allowed for the possibility of such periods lasting for as long as 17 years in the presence of anthropogenic forcing. I am saying that such periods could occur for 30+ years from natural internal variability, and longer if solar turns out to have a greater impact than currently accounted for in the climate models.

        Don’t Santer et al. allow for the possibility that longer periods could occur?

        I’m still trying to figure out if there argument was, basically (at the level of someone who isn’t scientifically literate) that 17 years is a minimum requirement for assigning statistical significance. Anthony Watts seems to think that’s what they were arguing.

        Such an argument would not suggest that “17 years is the exactly right length of time in all circumstances, either to detect a change in trend, or to confirm that there is no change in trend.”

        Were suggesting that was their argument?

      • er… if “their” argument was…

      • er…”were you suggesting that was their argument?

      • Joshua -

        I empathise. Santer et al don’t rule out the possibility of cooling periods of longer than 17 years. Indeed not. But they don’t give any probabilities. The 95% significance falls at 17 years – and they don’t give a number of years [unless my memory deceives me] for a 99% significance level.

        I’m not sure how serious your concern about Judith’s statement is – beyond what we discussed earlier about the confusion likely to arise about what 17 years signifies should it occur. There is no confusion in the science, or in Judith’s mind as far as know. Judith – and many others – have merely stated that they think this 95% significance at 17 years is unsupportable. Makes sense to me. Mosher too.

        Now I’ve lost the problem again. Why the concern (beyond the clarity issue)?

      • Anteros -

        There are two issues:

        One is the clarity issue. What are the actual arguments that people make.

        The second is the distortion issue: are there people who milk distortions of the arguments of climate scientists for the purpose of a partisan agenda. I’m not making any specific assertions there – but to avoid giving any credibility to distortions, it is important for people to characterize the arguments of others accurately.

        I was brought back to this comment from Matt because kim told me it was so good; and now I’m trying to understand if he sees the argument of Santer et. al. differently than my understanding.

      • Joshua -

        FWIW I think Matt is right. He is just saying (or reminding) that the 17 years is the 95% level – it isn’t some kind of sacrosanct definitive proof – it’s just a statistical expectation.
        You could get statistical significance from 15 years or 13 – but you wouldn’t expect it more than 19 out of 20 times like you would with 17 years.

      • Joshua, MattStat is right. Tamino did an estimate of the minimum range to determine statistical significant trends a while back and came up with 14.7 years. If I remember correctly, 14.7 years wasn’t 95% confidence but 90%. Perhaps you can persuade him to update that post :)

      • So were people claiming that 15 years was the right number before my “hardworking robot assistant Robbie the Robot” claimed this number here?

        If not then the priority would seem to go to Robbie. (I’d claim the credit myself were I not retired; as it is Robbie needs the credit much more than me.)

      • Vaughan Pratt said, “So were people claiming that 15 years was the right number before my “hardworking robot assistant Robbie the Robot” claimed this number here?”

        I think Robbie beat Tamino by about 6 months :)

      • Joshua: I was brought back to this comment from Matt because kim told me it was so good; and now I’m trying to understand if he sees the argument of Santer et. al. differently than my understanding.

        You and I agree. I was responding to a simplification of their argument (and I did not quote that simplification in its entirety, but referred back to a comment from Vaughan Pratt), not to their argument per se.

  9. I have always considered the human brain to be an extremely effective probability machine – the specific technique I am thinking of is called ‘intuition’.

    Intuition works by subconsciously examining signs, signals and clues and any information and weighing them against existing established knowledge and ‘common sense’.

    I am wondering whether or not there is enough information to make a ‘gut level’ assessment in the absence of hard empirical data about the direction our climate is most likely going to take?

    It might be possible, but the problem is that intuition is highly sensitive to bias, preconceptions and conditioning. For example, people who have a hunch something is wrong with the weird guy at the door, still open it so as not to seem rude.

    There are certain people from whom I would be interested in a ‘gut level’ assessment – and one of those people would be Dr Curry. These are people who have assiduously tried to distinguish between what is known with confidence that which is not. Their language is always couched with acknowledgement of uncertainty, and always re-examining assumptions.

    But they are also surrounded by many signs, signals and clues, that may not make a complete logical picture but might be sufficient for an intuitive assessment, especially about where to look for better information.

    i appreciate this is dangerous territory given the extremely entrenched views and bias’s that know exist on this subject. But I would really love to know what Dr Curry’s intuition is telling her, even if we can probably guess…

    • Anyone with an established track record in reading tea leaves should be able to get a job in the White House on that basis. If Judith can read them better than Santer, Jones, Hansen, Mann, Trenberth, etc. then she’s the one people should be listening to.

    • Vaughan, Chaotic pattern recognition is taking reading tea leaves to new scientific heights :)

      • Thanks for the pointer, cd, hadn’t heard of that before. Are you thinking of Calitoiu, Oommen, and Nussbaum? Anyone brandishing the bonus word “eigenvalue” has my instant respect. ;)

      • Changes in the rate and direction of change. I can slip some eigenvalues in there with vectors and such. I think Chladni started it all.

        http://www.phys.unsw.edu.au/jw/chladni.html

        Find a dominate value, frequency or amplitude and look for the harmonics. 2x is the black swan or rogue wave. May not be the first 2x or the second, but one 2x with signal a shift. Interesting diversion in any case. :) BTW, seems to work in the stock market :)

    • Agnostic, the non-intuitive part of the brain, that conscious, thinking, often-regarded-as-rational, part, is a tiny part of the whole. The so-called unconscious or sub-conscious has far more data and power, which is why it’s often best to follow your intuition, your gut reaction. The rationalising part is unaware of the conditionings and biases which underlie all of its functioning, and can therefore never be taken as gospel in matters (other than, say, 2+2=4) where conditioning and bias may be in play.

      If Judith gives us her “gut feeling,” it would draw on all the below-the-surface accumulated data, consideration and wisdom of her years in the climate field. It would not produce a provable case, but would be a view worth considering. (She might already have done so below, I’ll read on.)

      • The so-called unconscious or sub-conscious has far more data and power

        I’ve noticed that myself. What’s much harder to tell is whether everyone’s subconscious works the same way. Given that the talents of particularly gifted people vary so widely in subject matter, presumably not.

        And does one’s subconscious serve the same talents throughout your lifetime? Might Judith have been a talented radiation physicist 20 years ago and a talented department chair and journalist today?

  10. S Lower
    V Higher. Volcanic also has its cycles and appear to be linked somewhat to wobble and/or geomagnetic field
    A about the same
    N Lower. While the cause of the 63 to 125 years pseudo cycles is not easy to attribute, they exist. They are even evident in tree ring proxies when you look at the changes in growth rates instead of the magnitude of growth. Trees seem to like stability.

    • Captain,

      Scientist really stink at parameter changes and scenario changes.
      Especially in an extremely limited time frame to the rest of the planets time frame.
      Much of our planet is still guesses backed by generalized LAWS that scientists bind themselves to due to “observed science” which does not include unobserved influences.

  11. When you see the amount of uncertainty, it becomes more evident why the people talking about global warming told us we only had 10 years before it was too late. We’ve now entered a period of natural cooling which means for this people, it’s too late.

    • We’ve now entered a period of natural cooling

      I’d be fascinated to know on what basis you can tell we haven’t just now come to the end of a cooling period. Blind faith, or do you have a special talent in that department?

      Is your track record at predicting when bear markets are about to reverse better or worse than predicting when rises and falls in global temperature are about to reverse?

      • Vaughan,
        How can the models possibly be of any use when their are 129,600 grid squares to consider?
        And the majority has absolutely no data in them…an awful lot of smoothing is taking place!

      • Vaughan–I read Judith’s posting.

        “With regards to natural internal variability, we are currently in the cool phase of the PDO. Based upon the recent historical record, we would anticipate several decades in the cool phase, although these oscillations aren’t predictable.”

        So VP, you might actually try reading what you are posting about.

      • So VP, you might actually try reading what you are posting about.

        I was posting about what you wrote, not about what Judith wrote. (I read both.)

        How were you at the game of “Simon says,” or in this case “Judith says”? You forgot to prefix your “We’ve now entered a period of natural cooling” with”Judith says,” making it sound like you were claiming it yourself. If you aren’t claiming it yourself then my apologies for not spotting that you’d accidentally left off “Judith says.” However if you are then isn’t it a bit unkind to make Judith take the heat for things you say without attribution?

      • How can the models possibly be of any use when their are 129,600 grid squares to consider?

        Ok, but did I say anything that would suggest otherwise?

  12. I have been predicting lately that the linear trend for 1990-2020 will be ~flat (weak solar cycles 23 and 24).

  13. John Costigane

    Judith,

    Isn’t climatology a fascinating subject? The real science of natural variability is where the focus should be, not on fear-mongering activism, which seems a total waste of time, and effort.

    The challenge of the science is to advance knowledge, using all available means, to the point where we can reduce the effects of all negative trends ( eg towards Ice Ages).

  14. JC

    The failure of the climate community to acknowledge these possible future scenarios driven by natural variability is laying the ground for their climate model projections to be possibly falsified within the next decade. Nature is about to carry out a very interesting experiment.

    You are brave!

    Thank you.

  15. Judith,

    What of all the policies put in place for “greenhouse gases” that are suppose to be warming the planet?
    What of the careers of the scientists still pushing global warming?

    No doubt they will just fade into obscurity but still have their careers and funding.

    • Joe, it’s our job to see that the Conspirators get the penalty to fit the crime. So that never ever a criminal organisation think to rob / oppress the ignorant as they are doing now with the phony GLOBAL warming. .

  16. In terms of when global warming will come “roaring back”

    Should this be “if”?
    Also, I would not describe a rise in the average of half a degree over 50 years as “roaring”!

  17. JC

    Why don’t you write this piece at WSJ?

    You will have a wider audience there.

    Please do?

  18. We are cooling, folks; for how long even kim doesn’t know.

    Less than a year ago Arthur Smith employed his vast research facilities to track that saying back to its origin around four and a half years ago, and posted it at lucia’s hoping to ridicule me with it.

    Simples, folks. The first clause is informed by the concatenation of oceanic oscillations and the Cheshire Cat sunspots. The second clause is informed by temperospatial chaos.
    ==================

  19. I agree nature is in the midst of a very interesting experiment but I must admit I prefer to see the probabilities defined the old fashion way, in the form of a wager. Joe Bastardi is betting on 0.2 C cooling by 2025 while the models cruze along 0.2-0.3 C warming. As far as predicting what will happen in 2050, more skill needs to be shown on shorter time frames first.

    • As far as predicting what will happen in 2050, more skill needs to be shown on shorter time frames first.

      I believe you have that backwards. If you could show any degree of skill at all on a one-month time frame you could base a profitable company on that ability.

      It’s the long-term predictions that we have a better chance with. I can predict July will be warmer than February for Northern California with my eyes closed, but I can’t predict whether next week will be warmer than this week without at least a little extispicy.

  20. Our hostess continues to be an enigma wrapped up in a riddle as to what she actually believes is happening with respect to CAGW. I find the whole of what she has written is full of internal inconsistencies. Let me select just one. I was intrigued with the paragraph which starts “So both solar and natural”. Here we find, what to me are two apparently contradictory statements. We have the sentenced “I for one do not have much confidence in the AR4 attribution and the conclusions that they have drawn.” But we also have “Will this cooling effect be sufficient to counteract the anthropogenic warming?”

    It seems to me that Judith is contradicting herself. She says she has no confidence in the conclusions of the AR4, but yet she believes in anthropogenic warming, which I take to mean anthropogenic warming that is enough to worry about; i.e. CAGW. The whole point of the IPCC presentations is that CAGW is real, so our hostess seems to be saying first that she does not believe this, and then she says that she does believe it. I am confused.

    I do wish the real Judith Curry would stand up and declare where she stands as to whether CAGW is a real effect or not.

    • No contradiction. I do not question that adding more gases such as CO2, CH4 will warm the planet. The question is by how much, and how much relative to natural variability. with regards to the C (catastrophic), i stated in my testimony that I dont see much support for catastrophic impacts on the time scale of the 21st century.

      • Dr. Curry, your statement reflects the usual conceptual misstatement regarding sensitivity. Presumably adding GHG does not “warm the planet” if the planet does not warm, due to natural factors. Your “will warm” should be will try to warm, or some such. You are describing a tendency, not an occurrence.

      • Ok, somewhat ambiguous statement. Adding GHG increases the IR flux received at the surface; all other things being equal, this will act to warm the surface. So adding GHG is a warming influence, that may by amplified by other warming factors, or countered by cooling factors (such as decreased solar).

    • All to be settled by sensitivity. Here’s where intuition trumps physics. The amazing defense of high sensitivity by the IPCC is exactly that, amazing. And once the amazement passed, the bullshit detectors have needed constant replacement.
      ==================

      • The amazing defense of high sensitivity by the IPCC is exactly that, amazing.

        AR4 WG1:

        Since the TAR, the levels of scientific understanding and confidence in quantitative estimates of equilibrium climate sensitivity have increased substantially. Basing our assessment on a combination of several independent lines of evidence, as summarised in Box 10.2 Figures 1 and 2, including observed climate change and the strength of known feedbacks simulated in GCMs, we conclude that the global mean equilibrium warming for doubling CO2, or ‘equilibrium climate sensitivity’, is likely to lie in the range 2°C to 4.5°C, with a most likely value of about 3°C. Equilibrium climate sensitivity is very likely larger than 1.5°C.

        Amazing? Bullshit?

        Only from you, Kim.

      • Kim,
        Your best best one yet! I dam well fell over laughing with the “bullshit detectors have needed constant replacement”.

        With so much unknown (current sun cycle, GHG’s, solar winds, aerosols. magnetic weaking, atmospheric interactions with GCR’s, ocean interaction, etc.) the observables are only real game in town.

      • Hey, pick on someone your own size.

      • Gary D; if current sun cycle, GHG’s, solar winds, aerosols. magnetic weaking, atmospheric interactions with GCR’s, ocean interaction, etc. Sahara and Brazil would have had SAME CLIMATE. But they don’t!!! Because those things don’t affect the climate; those things affect only Skeptic’s brains. H2O affects the climate, on many different ways full stop

        Skeptics need real bull detectors, not water pistols constantly given to them by IPCC. As long as the Skeptics consume all the crap provided to them by prof Plimer and similar and kept in a darkness, they will keep the back-door open for the Swindlers. The Swindlers know that: in a couple of years when everybody realises that is no GLOBAL warming; Warmist will blame the crap you love and recite. Have a good appetite

    • Jim,

      You have not been reading too closely.
      The answer is just as complex as the question and deceiving in how much knowledge we have on the issue and understanding of our planet.

    • Jim,

      I think Judith has been pretty clear. In a nutshell – she mostly agrees with the IPCC view on the likely impacts of elevated CO2, but disagrees on the issue of confidence levels for those. And that the climate sensitivity is less likely to be around the mean, but at the extremes – very low, or very high (ie super-catastrophic!).

      • Clarification i haven’t made any likelihood statement about the sensitivity, other than that the bounds on both ends should be increased.

      • Your estimate of her beliefs is not likely.

      • Judith -

        An interesting point.
        AR4 use likely (more than 66% chance) that the sensitivity will fall in the range 2 – 4.5 degrees/2xCo2.

        Do you mean that you think the range should be higher at this level of probability or that they should say ‘most likely’ [more than 90%] and for that to be the reason for the extension of the range?

        ……….They do put a ‘very unlikely’ to the bottom end of the range [less than 5% chance]….

      • Yes, I have previously said something like 1-6C for “likely”

      • Judith,

        I must have misunderstood this;

        “In terms of what happens 50-100 years from now with the climate, I am betting on both ends, against the middle (against 3C based on “likely” CO2 sensitivity)” – JC.

      • That was a rather snarky comment of mine, saying how much uncertainty i think there is in the 3C estimate and how likely it is to be incorrect

      • It’s just gotta be lower. Despite intense search, especially in Yamal, the ACO2 effect hasn’t been detected. What are the odds?
        ================

      • steven mosher

        Michael, given that more than 50% of the PDF falls below the mean, do you believe the true value falls below the mean..

      • steven,

        possibly……obviously.

      • @curryja That was a rather snarky comment of mine, saying how much uncertainty i think there is in the 3C estimate and how likely it is to be incorrect

        @kim It’s just gotta be lower

        I agree with kim. I figure 2.83. That was the number I gave in my AGU presentation on December 8, and in the intervening 2 months I’ve been unable to come up with any plausible scenario that puts it below 2.8 or above 2.85. Numbers outside that range are simply not consistent with the temperature record.

  21. Wow, Dr. Curry. If the AGW cabal was pissed at you before, they will be absolutely apoplectic now! Bravo!

  22. JC

    In terms of global average temperature change out to 2050, the IPCC AR4 anticipates an average of 0.2C warming.

    Do you mean to say 0.2 C per decade?

  23. In the past ten thousand years, earth warmed, melted Arctic Sea Ice, Snowed and cooled again.
    This is what is happening now. The Arctic is open and the snow has started. We will likely cool for a few hundred years, just like the last bunch of times.
    At some point the Arctic will freeze and the snows will stop and we will enter another warming period.

    http://popesclimatetheory.com/page9.html

    http://popesclimatetheory.com/page27.html

  24. JC,

    I think that there are 81 different combinations… +/- (a little early in the morning for high school math for me). [S1,V1,A1,N1], [S1,V1,A1,N2], and on and on. Given that two of the four elements are essentially total ‘unknowns’, and at least one other ‘unpredictable’, we haven’t much (any) chance of making a forecast.

    A very nice observation and a nice post.

    From an ethics point of view, a very necessary fact for Climate Science as a whole to acknowledge.

    • Kip the consensus view is that S, V, and N are noise, of much smaller magnitude than A, so it doesn’t matter if we can’t predict them. I don’t think that S, V, and N are noise, particularly wen we are looking at decadal time scales, much of the signal could lie in S, V, N.

    • steven mosher

      Thats assuming that you want to address the problem as a full factorial.
      As an approach I would Bound the problem FIRST to derive an envelope
      of outcomes and to derive some statistics on variances so I could plan the
      rest of the experiment.

      S2:V3;A2;N2
      S3:V2:A3;N3

      Then, I’d do a fractional factorial design, on the assumption of
      no interaction effects. One question this cant address is whether prolonged
      volcanic activity triggers a change in natural cycles ( see the recent paper
      on the LIA ) that’s effectively an interaction effect.

      • John Carpenter

        Yes Steve, if only one could perform a DOE on the four variables, then we could see which one has the largest main factor contribution. As an added benefit, we could see whether any interactions are significant. Too bad we can’t control the needed experiments to measure the response variable we desire. How often I have dreamed of such experiments…..

  25. Anteros’s intuition or gut feeling is awfully close to Bayes’ Theorem which seems to be popular amongst the climate change crowd; only it uses expert opinion and not The Man In The Street Vaughan Pratt references. As I understand it, Bayes’s Theorem and its application to climate change, we should only listen to the Santer et al group of climate expert’s gut feelings and take that to the White House, or Congress, or the EPA, or Department of Energy, etc. After all, they are putting your money where their gut feelings are. We might ask farmers about their intuition, who put their own money into their Spring plantings, husband their gut feeling bets through the summer, and reap whatever rewards in the Fall. Now I know farmers are not man in the street, usually, but I would prefer to listen to someone’s gut feelings who has some of their own skin in the game. Pencil, paper and abacus are all fun, but I choose carefully to whom I listen. It helps me with my own intuition.

  26. No need for scenarios, just extrapolate what is already in the historical data; the outlook is clear: further cooling to the levels of the 1960-70s:

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/CET-NVa.htm

    the past is behind, learn from it
    the present is here, understand it
    the future is ahead, prepare for it

    • Vukcevic,

      Scientists and politicians are renowned for their whoops, sorry we did not know or change far too late!

  27. Judith -

    For someone not schooled in the science, this seems to be a more clear representation of your view on the uncertainty of climate change than what I’ve been able to get from what else of yours I’ve written. From my experiences in reading your posts, this seems to me to address a criticism I have of much of what I’ve read: that you criticize the work of others in how it quantified uncertainty, but don’t offer much of an alternative quantification to validate your criticism.

    Of course, there’s an issue here because you don’t put numbers to this quantification – but I understand why you don’t want to quantify the probabilities with numbers if you think it can’t be done accurately.

    So the interesting question that remains is how does this analysis of the uncertainty play into policy recommendations? Of course, the probabilities of outcomes from different policy recommendations is a whole other can of worms…. and I’ve seen you critical of many policy recommendations in a similar way that you’re critical of how the “consensus” quantifies uncertainty.

    But what’s your bottom line? Given this analysis, what would your policy recommendations be?

    • Heh. What else of yours I’ve read. Freudian slip?

    • Joshua, the whole point of my uncertainty monster paper is that for areas of ambiguity and ignorance, it is misleading to characterize this using the probabilities, and attempting to do so using “expert judgement” can be fraught with bias. Which is why i talk about possibility distributions, and italian flags.

      With regards to policy options, see my previous post http://judithcurry.com/2011/08/22/can-we-make-good-decisions-under-ignorance/

      • Judith -

        I remember reading that post. I’ll re-read it, but my recollection is that after reading it previously, I still didn’t know where the beef was.

        That isn’t to diminish from the difficulty of reasoning under uncertainty: Sometimes a bit pile o’ uncertainty is just a big pile o’ uncertainty, no doubt.

        But at some point this is all about policy recommendations, either recommendations for actions or recommendations for non-action.

      • As fraught as expert opinion is, it tends to be considerably more reliable than non-expert opinion, which is often little more than an expression of wishful thinking.

      • Michael -
        Have you got any evidence for that assertion?
        There is plenty of evidence to suggest experts’ predictions of the future are no better than that of monkeys throwing darts, except their confidence makes them even worse than non-experts.

      • Micheal -

        As fraught as expert opinion is, it tends to be considerably more reliable than non-expert opinion, which is often little more than an expression of wishful thinking.

        Sometimes I think that this is the crux of the climate debate biscuit

        http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080127104928AA9GkMc

        Much of the “etc.” here at Climate Etc. seems to be a debate about that every question – and it seems to me that a perspective on that issue, to a large degree, shapes how people are viewing uncertainty. .

      • There is plenty of evidence to suggest experts’ predictions of the future are no better than that of monkeys throwing darts.

        For those whose working definition of “expert” is someone who has reliable opinions on the subject in question, your “plenty of evidence” is pure BS. And since you haven’t offered your own definition of “expert” you’re at a disadvantage here. May I suggest for you “x the unknown quantity and spurt a drip under pressure?” It’s about your speed.

        I suppose you picture Warren Buffett as a dart-throwing monkey.

      • I suppose you picture Warren Buffett as a dart-throwing monkey.

        Lost half a billion in the Christchurch earthquake,Coincidently a city where Popper in hIs enforced sojurn in WW2,that not all swans were white ,

    • An amusing slip, certainly :)

      I agree with your first observation Joshua – that this post is a welcome exposition of some substantive thoughts.
      For one, I’d actually prefer the avoidance of numerical values. They not only don’t help, they can never be adequately justified. Western thinking has already been digitised, and binaryfied, and overquantified. I’m not sure we should head towards pure impressionism, but sometimes over-specifying can make things worse.

      And your policy thoughts, Joshua – with or without this extra perspective? Your question forced me to remember that my policy thoughts remain ‘Only if it also makes sense for non-AGW reasons’

      • Anteros -

        ‘Only if it also makes sense for non-AGW reasons’

        I don’t reject that criterion as a primary criterion. In fact, with that as a primary criterion there is much overlap between some “realists” and some “skeptics.” It’s interesting because I think that focusing on that criterion will filter out those who are overly partisan in their orientation (for example, it would be satisfactory neither to “realists” that want to destroy capitalism or “skeptics” who see disproportionate negative consequences behind every form of government action). But at the same time, I don’t think it is an inclusive enough criterion.

        I think that we also need to maintain focus on the probabilities – as messy as they are – of both the science behind AGW and the “science” behind economic projections of what different policies will create. As I’m sure you’ll agree – uncertainty is not something to be feared or avoided (what should be avoided is the belief that uncertainty can be avoided).

      • Joshua -

        There is something important there. Many sceptics I think are anti-windmills because they perceive them to be the product of AGW thinking. Solar power too I guess.
        And something in reverse for the anti-capitalists.

        I wouldn’t be surprised if a concerted focus on “For reasons not only to do with AGW” [but phrased in such a way that sounded like ‘nothing to do with AGW’ for sceptics, and ‘for other things as well as AGW’ for the alarmed] provided a much better response than what we have currently.

        The sceptics wouldn’t be anti, and the warmists wouldn’t feel it was a watered down sop. Win win.

        OK. Lets patent a multi-meaning phrase and wait for the Nobel prize in the post!

      • Anteros,
        I think you area onto something here – if only it were that simple. Too many people (expert and non-expert alike) are dug in too deep (on both sides) to have any hope of resurfacing again. The focus would need to be able to pull together the businessmen and environmentalists (not an easy task), without the appearance of caving in to each others issues. Focal points could include energy independence (always popular), sustainable future supply (this one could be tricky), safe (for people and the environment), and cost effective. The pro-AGW contingent does not care much about the last issue, but it will be a huge selling point for the antis.
        Since the entitities in the AGW debate are so antagonistic towards each other, it may take a breakthrough of monstrous proportions to reign in both factions. Short of such a nobel-worthy breakthough, the other solution would be the continuation of the recent global warming pause to allow incremental technological advances to proceed, and gradually ween ourselves off carbon-based fuels.

  28. I do not need a flawed climate model to tell me that a tiny bit of Manmade CO2 is not going to disrupt the stable climate cycle of the past ten thousand years.
    Earth Ice Core History does provide the best Model for the future temperature.

    http://popesclimatetheory.com/page16.html

    • Joshua

      Most climate scientists-and I suspect Judith has been party to this in the past-express considerable degrees of certainty. Having read AR5 however it is obvious there are large areas of assertion, speculation and conjecture which don’t seem to find its way into the executive summary version of the final document, which is the one the policy makers will read.

      I would hazard a guess that Judith is not as certain as she used to be about various aspects of the science, ranging from sea surface temperatures to hurricanes. That doesn’t mean she has become a sceptic- as judging from her position on the sky dragons she seems fully in agreement with the radiative physics- just that things are not as clear cut as she once believed.
      I wonder if its to do with gaining more experience?

      Both Michael Mann (at the time of the hockey stick) and Chris Colose were/are young and inexperienced. The former has painted himself into a corner but the latter may rein back eventually from his belief that the version of climate science he subscribes to is pretty settled and that aspects of it may after all.not be as clear cut as he believes.
      Tonyb

      • tonyb -

        Most climate scientists-and I suspect Judith has been party to this in the past-express considerable degrees of certainty. Having read AR5 however it is obvious there are large areas of assertion, speculation and conjecture which don’t seem to find its way into the executive summary version of the final document, which is the one the policy makers will read.

        I’m sure there’s no mathematically valid way to do the calculations, but it would be interesting to see some quantification of the degree uncertainties – weighting the uncertainties proportionally in both directions – in the contributing documents in aggregate as compared to the final summary.

        But tony – as near as I can tell, you need to: (1) enlarge your consideration of people who are pretty convinced that some 90% of recent warming has been more than 50% caused by ACO2 – it is more than just those two and, (2) speak to some “skeptics” about their habit of not acknowledging the degree to which the “consensus” does recognize uncertainty.

      • Joshua –

        “..not acknowledging the degree to which the “consensus” does recognize uncertainty”

        Frankly the only uncertainty the AGW leadership (you know who I mean) seems to have in public is how long it will take for the ‘A’ to gobble up the ‘S’,’V’ and ‘N’.

        Of course, they may be far more uncertain in private, but we don’t know about that, do we. :-)

  29. Thanks JC, it is refreshing to see not everyone has given up on the sun and PDO cycles. Indirect (non TSI) solar forcing is the developing area of climate science that will I think, be understood during the weak solar grand minimum we have already entered. The PDO will also be vindicated as a powerful global climate driver that will most likely be driven itself by outside forces.

    • Geoff,

      That is heat changes….what of evaporation and precipitation changes?
      Is not an Ice age precipitation based in order to generate the vast amount of water vapor needed to be redistributed on land?

    • Joshua said in reply to me;

      “I’m sure there’s no mathematically valid way to do the calculations, but it would be interesting to see some quantification of the degree uncertainties – weighting the uncertainties proportionally in both directions – in the contributing documents in aggregate as compared to the final summary.”

      The current document is a draft that will no doubt go through various critical stages and then be edited and refined before it becomes AR5. It will then go through an even greater change as the executive summary is a quite different sort of document to the main paper. If nothing else there needs to be considerable editing as well as ‘simplification.’ Its therefore much too early to know what the final thing may look like and what will get accentuated and what will get minimised or cut out altogether.

      No doubt someone who likes doing that sort of thing will go through the drafts and final documents and come up with the sort of analysis you seek-which I agree woud be very illuminating.
      all the best
      tonyb

      • Joshua

        I only mentioned Michael Mann because of his youth at the time and his iconic status as creator of the hockey stick, and Chris, who is also young and actually posts here on occasions. Obviously there are far more people than that subscribing to the AGW theory but those two were most relevant when referring to Judith who is now, I suspect, just a couple of years older than Chris and has aquired the breadth of expertise he currently lacks. :)
        tonyb

      • Fifteen, like Ca. of Ar., when she set sail.
        ================

      • columbus was only 15?

      • billc, Catherine was 15 when she went to England to marry Prince Arthur, heir to the English throne. He died five months later. In 1509 she married Arthur’s younger brother, Henry VIII.

    • Indirect (non TSI) solar forcing is the developing area of climate science that will I think, be understood during the weak solar grand minimum we have already entered.

      I suspect it won’t be understood, for the simple reason that no one is paying attention to the orientation of the magnetic field in the solar wind. For those who take the trouble to look, it clearly dwarfs the other effects you have in mind here.

  30. I am going to word this a different way.

    The sun warms the earth. The sun melts ice. The sun always does this.
    When water on earth is frozen, it don’t snow much and the sun is always successful in melting ice and warming the earth.
    When the earth gets warm and the ice is melted, it snows like crazy and ice advances and overcomes the warming.
    It is that simple.

  31. Some thoughts:
    1- climate is not simply temperature.
    2- The models, of one goes back to Hansen’s 1988 projections, have failed.
    3- It is interesting that none of the alleged evidence of the idea of climate catastrophe is ever clear and unambiguous. The evidence always seems to be in the range of error and imprecision and requires a great deal of reinterpretation.

  32. Hank Zentgraf

    Judith, I would love to see a financial breakdown of the total research dollars spent on each item broken down by $S, $A, $V, $N.

  33. Because of the problem of nesting, let me start a new piece. Judith you write

    “curryja | January 31, 2012 at 8:40 am |

    Ok, somewhat ambiguous statement. Adding GHG increases the IR flux received at the surface; all other things being equal, this will act to warm the surface. So adding GHG is a warming influence, that may by amplified by other warming factors, or countered by cooling factors (such as decreased solar).”

    Surely, the IPCC has claimed that the GHG warming effect IS amplified by other warming factors. Without this amplification, even the largest values of no-feedback climate sensitivity are not enough to worry about. So, Judith, you are sitting on the fence with the use of the word “may”. The issue is, has the IPCC proved that the amplification is sufficiently great for CAGW to be a problem?

    So, let me emphasise the point. Using the word “may” is a cop out. The question is, does the evidence presented by the IPCC convince you that large amplifications are real?

    • I have not had a reply to my first question. Let me add another. Judith you write “Adding GHG increases the IR flux received at the surface; all other things being equal, this will act to warm the surface.” I know of few people who would disagree with this; certainly I completely agree.

      However, it brings up the really fundamental question. Is it possible, as Andy Lacis claimed on a previous thread, to estimate how much surface temperatures change by only looking at the way energy in transmitted through the atmnposphere by radiation? To put this another way, is no-feedback climate sensitivity a meaningful concept? Or is it necessary to take into accout conduction, convection and the latent heat of water when coming up with an estimate of climate sensitivity?

      • Jim as a fellow unconvinced let me try to take a stab at this.

        I think Lacis is wrong in that assertion and he basically admitted it. That is, he said his characterization of the problem as “purely radiative” was “hyperbole” (the quotes are approximate).

        Use of the word may is the only word in its position which is scientifically justifiable at this point int time.

        I think the no feedback sensitivity is a valid concept, within very tight bounds on how it is defined (because inevitably some part of system response has to be considered in the no-feedback, such as lag due to ocean warming, which is not usually termed a feedback and correctly so IMO). Its value however is not great.

        Some would disagree that even the no-feedback CO2 effect is problematic. It should result in enough sea level rise, at minimum, to require fairly extensive adaptation over the long haul (shifting of settlements). Probably someone has put a number on this, Fred Moolten may know.

        The rest is “may”…

      • ceteris non paribus


        Is it possible, as Andy Lacis claimed on a previous thread, to estimate how much surface temperatures change by only looking at the way energy in transmitted through the atmnposphere by radiation?

        Of course this is possible – it’s been done.

        I think the question you really mean to ask is: “Are radiation-only processes sufficient to make sound scientific predictions?”

        The answer to this question is highly dependent on what you want to predict. Since the earth is currently gaining more energy than it is losing, and since it cannot conduct or convect energy away into space, global energy budget considerations entail that the mean temperature of the earth (its effective global temperature, as viewed from space) must increase.

        This article is relevant – but, unfortunately, the main text is behind a pay-wall.

        JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH, VOL. 114, D17107, 14 PP., 2009, D. M. Murphy, et al.

        Chemical Sciences Division, Earth System Research Laboratory, NOAA, Boulder, Colorado, USA


        We examine the Earth’s energy balance since 1950, identifying results that can be obtained without using global climate models. Important terms that can be constrained using only measurements and radiative transfer models are ocean heat content, radiative forcing by long-lived trace gases, and radiative forcing from volcanic eruptions. We explicitly consider the emission of energy by a warming Earth by using correlations between surface temperature and satellite radiant flux data and show that this term is already quite significant. About 20% of the integrated positive forcing by greenhouse gases and solar radiation since 1950 has been radiated to space. Only about 10% of the positive forcing (about 1/3 of the net forcing) has gone into heating the Earth, almost all into the oceans. About 20% of the positive forcing has been balanced by volcanic aerosols, and the remaining 50% is mainly attributable to tropospheric aerosols. After accounting for the measured terms, the residual forcing between 1970 and 2000 due to direct and indirect forcing by aerosols as well as semidirect forcing from greenhouse gases and any unknown mechanism can be estimated as −1.1 ± 0.4 W m−2 (1σ). This is consistent with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s best estimates but rules out very large negative forcings from aerosol indirect effects. Further, the data imply an increase from the 1950s to the 1980s followed by constant or slightly declining aerosol forcing into the 1990s, consistent with estimates of trends in global sulfate emissions. An apparent increase in residual forcing in the late 1990s is discussed.

      • This is interesting how the energy balance and AGW is being
        calculated: They include the albedo (energy radiation back into
        space) but only RADIATION.! Missing are atmospheric mass losses
        into space and the mass lost in space also contains energy lost….
        ….The mass losses into space are left out on purpose, so adding of
        CO2 ppmv (volume) will increase the heat balance towards WARMING,
        whereelse the mass loss into space+energy lost has to be subtracted….
        Two types of mass loss occur:
        (1) Mass loss, see WUWT post “Giant veil of Cold plasma discovered
        high above Earth”, where molecular mass gets desintegrated…..
        (2) an undisintegrated trail of gases is being pulled behind
        Earth, which will eventually disappear at increasing length….
        ……. These mass losses occur permanently, otherwise the atmosphere would stretch to the Moon since the past millions of years….
        This omission in GCMs is on purpose to avoid any mass deducting
        (more mass – contains more warmth) thus artificially
        increasing AGW with the greenhouse model (with top glass, where no air VOLUME gets lost from within..into space)
        JS

      • billc writes “I think Lacis is wrong in that assertion and he basically admitted it.”

        Thank you for the response, Bill, but if Andy Lacis is wrong (and I am convinced he is), then there is no way, using proper physics, that “Adding GHG increases the IR flux received at the surface” (to use out hostess’s phrase), can be translated into a change in surface temperature. It simply cannot be done. And if it cannot be done, then there is absolutely no basis whatsoever for any value of climate sensitivity. We simply have no idea whatsoever what number to ascribe to climate sensitivity. It is not that there is uncertainly as the what the number is. It is that physics cannot tell us anything about the number at all.

      • certeris non paribus writes “Since the earth is currently gaining more energy than it is losing, and since it cannot conduct or convect energy away into space, global energy budget considerations entail that the mean temperature of the earth (its effective global temperature, as viewed from space) must increase.”

        Do you have a reference that proves that this is true? From what I have read as to what Roy Spencer claims, this is simply not true.

      • Jim -

        Can I ask which bit of it you don’t think is true? Not because I’m sure, but because I don’t know and wonder.

      • ceteris non paribus

        Jim Cripwell asked:

        Do you have a reference that proves that this is true? From what I have read as to what Roy Spencer claims, this is simply not true.

        Roy Spencer is not infallible. In fact, he has been wrong frequently.

        The radiative imbalance has been measured multiple times.

        Apparently, Murphy et al. (2009) doesn’t do it for you.
        Try Loeb et al. (2009) or Harries et al. (2005)

        The rest is basic thermodynamics. If there is a net energy gain by an object, its effective temperature must increase to resume radiative equilibrium.


        We simply have no idea whatsoever what number to ascribe to climate sensitivity. It is not that there is uncertainly as the what the number is. It is that physics cannot tell us anything about the number at all.

        Physics is the ONLY thing that can give us an estimate for that number. The fact that the physics is necessarily complex is no reason to reject it.

        Would you rather that climate scientists do a big “curve-fitting” on historical data and then project into the future, leaving the physics out? IF so, who cares about conduction, convection, latent heat, etc. – that stuff would all be beside the point. This would be the climate science version of the Titius–Bode law.

      • Anteros, you ask “Jim -

        Can I ask which bit of it you don’t think is true? Not because I’m sure, but because I don’t know and wonder.”

        I am not sure if you will find this amongst all the nesting, but here goes. If it is true that the earth is receiving more energy than it is emitting, then this is surely absolutely fundamental to CAGW. I simply do not believe anyone has shown that it is true. There are too many unknowns. Roy Spencer has noted that small changes in cloud cover, which cannmot be measured, can explain observed changes in global temperatures.

        I dont believe it is true that anyone can prove the claim made by certeris no paribus.

      • ceteris non paribus


        Roy Spencer has noted that small changes in cloud cover, which cannmot be measured, can explain observed changes in global temperatures.

        If the changes in cloud cover cannot be measured, then how does Roy Spencer explain anything by them? Science by intuitive guessing?


        I dont believe it is true that anyone can prove the claim made by certeris no paribus.

        The claim is supported by published empirical evidence. I’ve given you citations to three papers already. There are more – but I’m not going to waste my time finding them simply to have you respond that you don’t believe them.

      • dude, you guys are so talking past each other. I don’t know as much about the Spencer Dessler thing as some on here, but the idea, which is valid, is that small changes in cloud cover (which you can detect) can overwhelm any signal in the flux imbalance measurement at TOA, because the uncertainties in the current way of measuring this are relatively large. so you get into “sophisticated” analysis of this, trying to separate it out, which is what Spencer is saying by “On The Misdiagnosis Of….”.

      • CNP you write “The claim is supported by published empirical evidence. I’ve given you citations to three papers already.”

        Agreed. When you show me a reference where someone actually measures the total amount of energy that reaches the earths’s surface in a given length of time, and actually measures the total amount of energy that leaves the earth from wherever in the same amount of time, and then puts error bars on these numbers, I will be preapred to talk. if the difference between the numbers is significant with respect to the error of measurement, I will be convinced. Until then you can quote all the references you like, it will make no difference.

        Today on WUWT there is a discussion of a paper by Jim Hansen claiming, I think, 0.58 Wm-2 difference between radiation in and radiaiton out. Just read some of the comments, and you will know how I feel.

      • cnp said, “If the changes in cloud cover cannot be measured, then how does Roy Spencer explain anything by them? Science by intuitive guessing?”

        Perfect! Problem solved! Let’s go fishing! Small changes in the energy imbalance can’t be measured either! 8-O Lot’s of guessing going on, guess I am going fishing :)

      • ceteris non paribus

        Jim Cripwell wrote:

        When you show me a reference where someone actually measures the total amount of energy that reaches the earths’s surface in a given length of time, and actually measures the total amount of energy that leaves the earth from wherever in the same amount of time, and then puts error bars on these numbers, I will be preapred to talk. if the difference between the numbers is significant with respect to the error of measurement, I will be convinced. Until then you can quote all the references you like, it will make no difference.

        Here’s a suggestion:
        Why don’t you do some scientific research by yourself?

        You are obviously mistaking me for someone who thinks that your personal opinion is important.

      • CNP. You seem to have forgotten that you responded to my post; not the other way around. I am not the least bit interested in your useless references, but out of politeness, I responded to you. My mistake; I am sorry.

      • ceteris non paribus

        Jim Cripwell:

        I am not the least bit interested in your useless references, but out of politeness, I responded to you. My mistake; I am sorry.

        Of course you are not interested. Your position is not called denialism for nothing.

        Judging from the citation indexes, my “useless” references have been accepted by many people who are much less prone to outright dismissal of empirical evidence than you.

        Thank you for being politely uninterested. Apology accepted.

      • Physics is the ONLY thing that can give us an estimate for that number.

        Why physics and not simple observation?

        If you were a 19th century physicist contemplating emission lines from a star, you could observe and record them in detail. But without an understanding of how molecular bonds absorb quanta, much of which gradually accumulated during the first half of the 20th century, your 19th century physics would be dead in the water trying to estimate the locations and strengths of those lines.

      • ceteris non paribus


        Why physics and not simple observation?

        Because some things are not simple to observe, and because even the most simple observations are interpreted within the context of a physical theory.


        If you were a 19th century physicist contemplating emission lines from a star, you could observe and record them in detail. But without an understanding of how molecular bonds absorb quanta, much of which gradually accumulated during the first half of the 20th century, your 19th century physics would be dead in the water trying to estimate the locations and strengths of those lines.

        Granted. But I do not see your point. We are not in the position of a 19th century physicist, looking at something for which we have no physical theory.

    • ceteris,

      “The rest is basic thermodynamics. If there is a net energy gain by an object, its effective temperature must increase to resume radiative equilibrium.”

      If there’s a net energy gain by Earth, that means that the Earth’s heat loss decreased (assuming solar input is constant). Since Earth can only lose energy by radiation and the outgoing radiation decreased, it follows that its effective temperature decreased. Hmm.

      • ceteris non paribus

        If one measures the effective temperature of earth – at the wavelengths absorbed by CO2 and CH4, the earth HAS cooled.

        But outside those wavelengths the opposite is true. (Harries 2001, Griggs 2004, Evans 2006, Chen 2007)

        Since the emissivity of the earth with the greenhouse effect is reduced more than the absorptivity is reduced, the equilibrium temperature increases.

      • So emissivity does not equal absorptivity?

      • ceteris non paribus

        No. That is only exactly true for an ideal blackbody – which the earth is not.

      • Since the emissivity of the earth with the greenhouse effect is reduced more than the absorptivity is reduced, the equilibrium temperature increases.

        Without a definition of the vague notion “the equilibrium temperature” I’m afraid I’m unable to agree with this. Please either cite the page number where this term is defined or give your own definition.

        As it stands it could mean anything, and with some of those meanings your claim about it is wildly inaccurate.

    • For what it’s worth, here’s my two-cents on certeris:

      First, what certeris is not: She is not engaged in any sort of reasoned exchange of views; she is not intellectually equipped to engage in any sort of reasoned exchange; she is not engaged in any sort of conventional form of trollery–for example, that tedious, creep-out weirdness Robert made famous; and she is not a sophisticated, thread-jacker in the model of Joshua (though Joshua is not merely that, to be sure).

      No. What certeris is, is she is a NAG! Her special gift is NAGGING! Think about it. You’re a greenshirt big-shot with a sagging CAGW scam to push. But a bunch of conservative-old-white-men seem to be always there jamming up your false-flags; exposing your obscene, carbon-piggie hypocrisies; ditto your tax-payer, rip-off good-deals; panning your edgy, really-cool movies with exploding children; “gonging” your noble fibs (oops, I think I just made Martha’s mistake!); picking apart your green-washed, make-a-buck-schemes; ditto your green-washed make-a-gulag erotic fantasies; and, generally, making the life of greenshirt hustlers everywhere, of both the Big-Green and little-green stripe, a misery.

      So what to does a doom-butt big-cheese do about these conservative-old-white-men? What works with these guys? Enter certeris. NAGGING! works with these guys! Hence the greenshirt NAG-OFFENSIVE! unleashed on this blog. Genius actually. Given her brain-dead comments, certeris is obviously nothing more than, say, an undergrad, work-study temp hire–probably spotted by some youth-master talent-scout biggie from the Women’s Studies Department, in her freshman year. Or, at best, certeris is an intern with a fine arts degree, in the employ of some seedy NGO. Either way, you must realize that certeris has the sort of CV that ensures brain-dead comments, and that because she is incapable of anything but brain-dead comments. Which is exactly the point! In other words, she’s here to wear down the the number-one target on the greenshirts’ enemies-list, conservative-old-white-man. And her weapon?–brain-dead comment-style NAGGING!

      NAGGING! has survived the Darwinian cull through countless generations of mankind for a reason–it works! My recommendation? Unlike most situations in which NAGGING! rears its ugly head, certeris and her NAGGING! can be ignored on this blog (if one has the iron will) with impunity. Give it a try, guys. It’s hard at first, but after a while you’ll find yourself able to steer around certeris’ nag-boogers with no problem.

      Think of it this way. If the thermorrhoids are sending in certeris, then you know they are truly desperate and on the run. I mean they can’t stand her either. And in the beginning, it might help when she hits you up with one of her rapid-fire NAG-BOMBS! to put your fingers in your ears and say: “LA! LA! LA! I CAN’T HEAR YOU! I CAN’T HEAR YOU!”

      • !!!!!! :)

      • ceteris non paribus

        mike,

        Thank you for the pop-psych summary of your opinion of me.

        Since none of my posts have been addressed to you – I must conclude that you have been forced at gun-point to read them.

        I find it mildly interesting that can you conclude from my posts that I am a (nagging) female and do not have any degrees in the sciences.

        After reading your very nice rant about me here,

        http://judithcurry.com/2012/01/26/questions-on-research-integrity-and-scientific-responsibility-part-ii/#comment-162753

        - and now the one above, I can say with confidence that you are the Jedi-master of meaningless ad hominem stereotypes.

        Look – I understand full well that I am ruining your play-time by throwing verbal sand at others’ scientifically vacuous claims. But then, the internet is chock-full of terrible injustices, isn’t it?

      • “LA! LA! LA! I CAN’T HEAR YOU! I CAN’T HEAR YOU!”

      • For what it’s worth, here’s my two-cents on certeris:

        Actually, I’d say that estimate is quite a bit inflated.

      • Josh,

        I see that ceteris is rubbing off on you Josh, ol’ boy (you know, I just wish Don was still with us on this blog so that he could see you really do have a girlfriend). I mean, your last was a NAG-BOOGER! nearly worthy of ceteris, herself. I always suspected, Josh, that your real calling was as a professional NAG! and I can see my surmise has proven correct.

        So I guess the whole hive is on-board with the NAG-OFFENSIVE! It’s the last stage of grief, before acceptance, I understand.

        And, oh by the way, Anteros seems to think he got his money’s worth with that previous comment of mine. But, then, Anteros has a sense of humor (and is a good-sport who can laugh at himself when a joke turns out to be on him). I like that quality in Anteros. And so, if Anteros is pleased with one of my contributions to this blog–that’s good enough for me.

        Otherwise: “LA! LA! LA! I CAN’T HEAR YOU! I CAN’T HEAR YOU!”

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Mike,

        I will have to disagree again. I think ceteris is probably a pimply faced git with smattering of John Cook and – impressed with his own cleverness – one hand on his crutch. Take this very serious claim about emissivity equalling absorptivity being true only for a blackbody – the descriptive perfect is superfluous. It is of course not true as emissivity equals absorptivity for a body in thermal equilibrium by Kirchoff’s law – but it is something a half baked warmist twit would say.

        As the Earth is not in any sense in thermal equilibrium – and there are other wavelengths – we can leave that and other lump headed boners there and look at it differently.

        By the first law of thermodynamics energy is neither created nor destroyed. So there is ultimately an energy balance at the top of the atmosphere – the same amount of energy leaves by thermal emissions as enters from the sun. In the shorter term there are differences in energy in and energy out and these are manifested in changes in the Earth’s energy content – mostly as heat but some as enthalpy, potential and kinetic energies. It’s a hell of a dynamic environment.

        This can be completely expressed as –

        dS/dt = Energy in – Energy out

        Where dS/dt is the change in energy content of the planet in any period.

        So what happens if we add a little carbon dioxide? The energy content of the planet increases – it gets a little warmer – IR emissions from the atmosphere ratchets up exponentially (Steffan-Boltzman) and the energy balance at top of atmosphere is restored. Energy in again equals energy out until the next dynamic change. All this happens rapidly. I argue that the initial response is cooling down as anthropogenic gases are very hot – but the longer term warmth remains. So there is no diminishment in energy leaving in any wavelength as it is compensated for by the increase in temperature.

        The formula is very useful – and as I say it is a complete description of the Earth’s energy dynamic. If we know that oceans and atmosphere are warming – we know for a start that energy in is greater than energy out for the period.

        Here for instance is ocean heat content from Karen von Schuckman et al (2009) to 2000m using ARGO data – http://s1114.photobucket.com/albums/k538/Chief_Hydrologist/?action=view&current=vonSchuckmann-OHC.gif

        To look at the other side of the equation you need to consider energy in – http://lasp.colorado.edu/sorce/total_solar_irradiance_plots/images/tim_level3_tsi_24hour_640x480.png – and it can be seen that energy in decreased in the period. Hmmmm.

        We also need to look at energy out – http://s1114.photobucket.com/albums/k538/Chief_Hydrologist/?action=view&current=CERES-BAMS-2008-with-trend-lines1.gif – and it can be seen that net energy out declined in the period. A ‘net’ upward trend showing – by convention – the planet warming.

        So the CERES data is consistent with the deep ocean data – the lost energy is found – the world is warming – Al Gore is a pig in …. End of message? Not quite. You can see that nothin’ much was happening with LW in the period and the big mover and shaker was the SW. How can that be? The answer is as simple and as complex as a cloud.

        Robert I Ellison
        Chief Hydrologist

      • Chief,

        I must say, you make a compelling case for ceteris as a zit-git.

      • ceteris non paribus

        Chief Hydrologist:

        As the Earth is not in any sense in thermal equilibrium…


        By the first law of thermodynamics energy is neither created nor destroyed. So there is ultimately an energy balance at the top of the atmosphere – the same amount of energy leaves by thermal emissions as enters from the sun.


        Energy in again equals energy out until the next dynamic change. All this happens rapidly.

        Do you ever read what you’ve posted, and realize that you’ve contradicted yourself?
        Probably not.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        If the planet was in thermal equilibrium it would not be heating or cooling – the third term in the 1st order differential global energy equation. It is instead in a dynamic disequilibrium – as suggested by the differential term.

        Over an undefined period Ein must equal Eout – so while the planet heats and cools and tends to move towards energy equilibria at the top of atmosphere – it cannot be said to be in equilibria at any point in time. Other than fleetingly as the planet transitions from heating to cooling or vice versa. Change is the norm as is shown in the dynamic of energy in and out and ocean heat content in the graphs linked to.

        Now, instead of imagining that you have a debating point on global warming twittery – and that old white guys are too stupid to understand – imagine that you have a genuine curiousity and read the rest of the post. I am happy to discuss genuine points – but other than that this is a sidebar discussion between Mike and I on the deluded physchology of warmist zitgits. So kindly bugger off.

        Robert I Ellison
        Chief Hydrologist

      • ceteris non paribus


        I am happy to discuss genuine points – but other than that this is a sidebar discussion between Mike and I on the deluded physchology of warmist zitgits. So kindly bugger off.

        You are happy to discuss genuine points right up until such time as you detect any criticism of them.

        Chief – I detect a little bit of anguish. And the part about the ‘stupid old white guys’ is a great bit of false modesty. It’s a shame you’ve resorted to trying (unsuccessfully, as it happens) to peg my identity politics – this rhetorical tack tends to weaken the more science-like parts of your proclamations.

        You and mike should just get a room together. That way you’d be perfectly insulated from my comments – and everything else but each other.

        Don’t forget to high-five each other whenever someone doesn’t agree with you.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I see you can’t take well intentioned advice. Do you think you have a point with thermal equibrium of the planet, radiation notches in the sky, emissivity and absorptivity being equal for a blackbody? News to me. As for Mike and me – I assure you it is purely Socratic – we have shared interest in f…king over warmist zit-gits like you.

        Why should my claim to be a stupid old white guy be false modesty? I have had bourbon and potato crisps for dinner at least once this week. I love bourbon and I love Coca-Cola – finally figured out after all these years that if you put two great things together the result can be stupendous. God I love America – and I’m Australian.

        But to get to the point. Webby has a great deal of original and totally pointless research averaging just about everything it seems. What have I got – he asks rhetorically I’m sure? The obvious answer is that I have a life. Admittedly – it does involve bourbon and potato crisps for dinner but we won’t go there.

        What do you have? Admit to being a zit-git or declare yourself. I am out in the open. As someone who models himself after Cecil (he spent four years in clown school – I’ll thank you not to refer to Princeton like that) Terwillger – I’m not sure I can state my intent more clearly. This is primarily to ridicule pissant progressive warmist dipsh… like you. The science is clearly there. I found the missing energy – what more do you want? The other thing is to be clearly more right than you – mission accomplished – and to rub it in with more style and verve than you have ever imagined.

        Robert I Ellison
        Chief Hydrologist

      • CH -
        Boy am I glad I’m not a warmist zitgit :)

      • ceteris non paribus


        …we have shared interest in f…king over warmist zit-gits like you.

        I am just shaking with fear, Chief. You want I squeal like pig?

        Really, the term “warmist zit-git” says far more about you than it does about me.


        The science is clearly there. I found the missing energy – what more do you want? The other thing is to be clearly more right than you – mission accomplished – and to rub it in with more style and verve than you have ever imagined.

        Worst case of Dunning-Kruger effect I’ve seen in quite a while.

        And – “… what more do you want?” – You’re hilarious.

        If style and verve were relevant, you’d be a dancer in Vegas.

        Now where have I seen that “Mission Accomplished” banner before?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Cet – buddy – I really don’t mind that everything you said about the radiative physics was wrong – if being wrong was a hanging offense – well…

        It is being an offensive little dipsh.. and lecturing down to conservative old white guys who call your bullsh.. You should thank me for putting you right.

      • ceteris non paribus

        Chief:


        It is being an offensive little dipsh.. and lecturing down to conservative old white guys who call your bullsh.. You should thank me for putting you right.

        You took offense? Why? I am only a “zit-git”, after all.

        I think it’s rather funny that you’ve decided that this is all about the fact that you happen to be white, old, and male, and your presumption that I’m not. Identity-politics is obviously more important to you than science.

        BTW – I have never lectured down to old white guys, just self-infatuated twits with delusions of grandeur. Nothing personal, Chief.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Don’t forget conservative. I am only trying to help out here – Cet – buddy – self identifying with the demographic defined by warmists as too stupid to understand global warming. It was when you said that emissivity equals absorptivity only for an ‘ideal’ (sic) blackbody – that I realised you were clueless.

        Since we are doing quotes – perhaps you are an old white man with short term memory problems.

        ‘If one measures the effective temperature of earth – at the wavelengths absorbed by CO2 and CH4, the earth HAS cooled.
        But outside those wavelengths the opposite is true. (Harries 2001, Griggs 2004, Evans 2006, Chen 2007)
        Since the emissivity of the earth with the greenhouse effect is reduced more than the absorptivity is reduced, the equilibrium temperature increases.’

        3 lump headed boners in three sentences – batting .000 champ.

         ‘Edim | February 1, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
        So emissivity does not equal absorptivity?
         ceteris non paribus | February 1, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
        No. That is only exactly true for an ideal blackbody – which the earth is not.’

        Another embarrassing gaffe and then you topped it off by insisting that the planet is in thermal equilibrium based on my application of the 1st law – after insisting it was not in thermal equilibrium.

        In case you need to read it again – here is the lost energy – http://judithcurry.com/2012/01/31/climate-scenarios-2015-2050/#comment-164814

        I thought it was clear – there is no point talking to lump headed warmists like you – I am talking past you to someone who has a clue.

        Robert I Ellison
        Chief Hydrologist

  34. Judith

    is it your view that temperature can be measured and averaged in any scientifically meaningful way?

    • Temperature can be measured in a scientifically meaningful way with information on precision and accuracy; this is not to say that historic temperatures are measured in this way. Re trying to determine some sort of global average temperature, this in principal can be done with some rigor using satellite data. Trying to develop a global average temperature from historical data should not be attempted via “making up” (via EOFs or whatever) missing temperature data; the approach developed by BEST is better whereby you use the observations you have, then attempt to identify the sampling error and uncertainty associated with attempting to infer a global average from these data.

      The perceived need for a global average temperature time series is in the context of the simple energy balance climate models and in communicating something simple to the public. Looking at regional variability may ultimately be more interesting and informative, as well as more important in terms of impact assessment.

      • Judith

        I very much appreciate your reply and I don’t want to sidetrack this post but can I copy a comment from E M Smith (aka Chiefio I think!) which he made at WUWT as follows:

        “There are problems with the notion of taking a bunch of measurements, and averaging them to get ever greater precision. Unfortunately, I’ve fought that battle for months (years?) and have tired of it. Why? Because their are subtleties to it that folks just do not believe.
        The first issue is that SOMETIMES you can do it, and it works fine. Other times, not so much. What goes into which bucket is hard to list / explain… so just ends up with endless bickering of the “does so / does not” kind. (For that reason, I’m going to say what I have to say then simply ignore any followup. I know where it ends and it simply is not worth the time.)
        The “just do it” folks all had the statistics class that showed how the deviation of the mean could be lower than the deviation of the values. (I had it too). What they didn’t have (or don’t remember?) was the caveats about it not always being applicable.
        So what works?
        Well, measure a thing with an instrument. The more times you do it, the closer the average comes to the real deal. Take a piece of paper 11 inches wide. Measure it with a ruler and you may get 10.9 one time, 11.1 the next, and 11.0 two times. Repeated enough, that first 0.1 error will tend to be averaged out by more 11.0 and offset by the same number of 11.1 measurements. This removes the random error in the act of measuring.
        Measure it with a different instrument each time and you can remove the random instrument errors.
        All well and good.
        HOWEVER: The error has to be random, and not systematic.
        If I always measure from one side (being right handed and right eyed, for example) and have a systematic parallax error in reading the ruler, I will have a systematic error that can not be removed via averaging. If my ruler is simply wrong, all measurements will be similarly biased.
        The requirement of ‘random error’ is often forgotten and the assertion is typically made that the error band on the instrument is known, so there is no systematic error. But if you have a requirement for, say, +/- 0.1 you could easily have, for example, an electronic part that always ages toward the + side, introducing a ++ bias in all measurements, but still being inside the ‘acceptance band’.
        And what if you are measuring DIFFERENT things? With DIFFERENT instruments? it is not 1,000 ‘trials’ of the same thing, but 1000 measurements of 1000 things with 1000 mutually variable instruments. Then it isn’t quite so clear….
        Each of the 1000 things measured is measured only once. You have 11.x +/- 0.1 on it (say) and that is ALL the precision you have for that THING. Taking 1000 different things and finding the average of their measurements WILL tell you an ever more precise report of that “mathematical average”, but that number will NOT be closer to the actual correct average measurement. Each object had only ONE trial. Has only ONE error band. Was done with ONE instrument with an unknown bias. Again, the problem of systematic error comes into it. You don’t know if 1/2 the people were measuring low by 0.1 and the other half measuring low by 0.8 (so in any case you will report low). You can NOT get to a 0.01 accuracy from averaging a bunch of things that are all more than that much in error to the downside.
        Yes, the probability of it is low, but it still exists as a possible (until it is proven that no systematic error or bias exists – which typically can not be done as there are ‘unknown unknowns’…) Again, using the same instrument to make 1000 measurements removes the error in the process of measuring (unless a systematic bias of the instrument or the observer). Also using 1000 different instruments removes the instrument error of randomly distributed instrument errors.
        But doing 1000 different measurements with 1000 different instruments: Each measurement has ONE error. Each instrument has ONE bias. You are assuming that these will all just magically ‘average out’ by being randomly distributed and that is not known.
        A good example of this is calorimetry. Oddly, that is exactly what folks are trying to do with heat gain of the planet. A very lousy kind of calorimetry. What is THE sin in calorimetry? Screwing around with the apparatus and thermometers once it is running. We were FORBIDDEN to change thermometers mid-run or to move the apparatus around the room. What do we do in climate / temperature measuring? Randomly change thermometers, types, and locations.
        ALL of them introducing “splice errors” and other systematic instrument errors that are often unrecognized and uncorrectable. Just the kinds of errors that averaging will NOT remove.
        The basic problem is simple, really: If you do multiple trials you can reduce the error as long as the errors are random. If all you have is ONE trial, while you can find an amusing number (the average of the SAMPLE DATA) to a higher precision, that is NOT indicative of a higher accuracy in the actual value. (Due to those potentials for systematic errors).
        Now, for temperatures, there is another even worse problem: Intrinsic vs extrinsic properties.
        That’s a fancy way to say the air is never the same air twice ( or you can never cross the same river twice). So you can only EVER have a sample size of ONE.
        This is often talked about as an ‘entropy’ problem, or a problem with UHI, or with siting, or… but it all comes down to the same thing: Other stuff changes, so the two temperatures are not comparable. Thus not averageable.
        One example is pretty clear. If you have 2 pots of water, one at 0 C and the other at 20 C and mix them, what is the resulting temperature?
        You can not know.
        IFF the two contain water of the same salinity, have the same MASS, and the 0 C water is not ice; then you could say the resulting temperature was 10 C. But without the added data, you simply get a non-sense number if you average those two temperatures. And no amount of average that in with other results can remove that error.
        Basically, you can average the HEAT (mass x temperature x specific heat ) adjusted for any heat of vaporization or fusion (melting). But just averaging the temperatures is meaningless BY DEFINITION.
        We assume implicitly that the air temperature is some kind of “standard air” or some kind of “average air”; but it isn’t. Sometimes it has snow in it. The humidity is different. The barometric pressure is different. (So the mass / volume changes).
        For Argo buoys, we have ocean water. That’s a little bit better. But we still have surface evaporation (so that temperature does not serve as a good proxy for heat at the surface as some left via evaporation), we have ice forming in polar regions, and we have different salinities to deal with. Gases dissolve, or leave solution. A whole lot of things happen chemically in the oceans too.
        So take two measurements of ocean temperature. One at the surface near Hawaii, the other toward the pole at Greenland. Can you just average them and say anything about heat, really? Even as large ocean overturning currents move masses of cold water to the top? As ice forms releasing heat? (Or melts, absorbing it)? How about a buoy that dives through the various saline layers near the Antarctic. Is there NO heat impact from more / less salt?
        Basically, you can not do calorimetry with temperature alone, and all of “Global Warming Climate Science” is based on doing calorimetry with temperatures alone. A foundational flaw.
        It is an assumption that the phase changes and mass balances and everything else just “average out”, but we know they do not. Volcanic heat additions to the ocean floor CHANGE over time. We know volcanoes have long cycle variation. Salinity changes from place to place all over the ocean. The Gulf Stream changes location, depth, and velocity and we assume we have random enough samples to not be biased by these things.
        Yet temperatures can not be simply averaged and say anything about heat unless you know the mass, phase, and other properties have not changed. Yet we know they change.
        And no amount of calculating an average removes those errors. Ever.”

        Judith it seems to me that even the BEST approach is comparing apples to oranges?

      • I would have to divide the responsibility for this disagreement between Dolphinhead and Judith. Dolphinhead is wrong for thinking that temperature itself matters, and I think Judith could have been clearer about why it doesn’t.

        Temperature doesn’t matter because whatever it is, we’ve learned to live with it.

        What matters is temperature variation. If it varies only a little we can probably live with that too. It’s when it varies a lot that it becomes problematic.

        Dolphinhead criticized Argo as follows:

        For Argo buoys, we have ocean water. That’s a little bit better. But we still have surface evaporation (so that temperature does not serve as a good proxy for heat at the surface as some left via evaporation),

        This is a reasonable criticism if the goal is to measure temperature. But if the goal is to measure temperature variation it is not, since the heat leaving via evaporation is about the same this week as it was a billion weeks ago.

        One measurement suffices when measuring temperature. But if you want to know about temperature variation you can’t get by with fewer than two measurements.

        The fact that HADCRUT and GISTEMP give only anomalies should be a big hint that temperature is irrelevant and only its variation matters.

      • But if you want to know about temperature variation you can’t get by with fewer than two measurements.
        The fact that HADCRUT and GISTEMP give only anomalies should be a big hint that temperature is irrelevant and only its variation matters.

        Anomalus variations are indeed the matter.eg (adding to the “Pratt” model.)

        http://woodfortrees.org/plot/best/from:1970/mean:12/plot/nsidc-seaice-s/from:1970/mean:12/normalise/plot/best/from:1970/mean:12/trend/plot/nsidc-seaice-s/from:1970/mean:12/trend/normalise

      • I don’t think may is required in that last sentence, it will definitely be more interesting and informative :)

    • Dolphinhead,

      That is a great piece of analysis, and I have been waiting for someone to write it for a couple of years. It expresses all my intuitive worry about the notion that ‘average global temperature’ is either conceptually meaningful or actually measurable.

      I am prepared to accept, for want of alternative evidence, that in general the earth has warmed a little over the past century. But to argue that we can put a number to the extent of that warming, and that we can say with confidence that this year was warmer than last year, to three decimal places, is a sign that someone has fallen in love with numbers without thinking of what it is they are supposed to represent.

      Great piece!

  35. Shall prospects of global cooling be considered a disaster? Shall be brand scientists deniers who acknowledge history and the possibility of global cooling in our future? Nikola Scafetta says, “climate may stabilize or cool until 2030-2040,” due to the “collective synchronization of coupled oscillators,” and accordfing to Q. Lu, “a long-term global cooling starting around 2002 is expected to continue for next five to seven decades.”

  36. “You-all git ready for a cold winter. I feel it in mah corns. They is a achin’ sumthin’ terrible!” ~Doc

  37. With regards to solar forcing, the balance of evidence that we currently have points to lower solar forcing for ~90 years.

    Judith, could you point to some sources for this statement?

    I think it would be very useful to incorporate a variety of natural scenarios into the projections for the next hundred years and would hope AR5 does so. There have been a few recent papers assessing the potential impact of a ‘maunder minimum’ period so there should be some material available for assessment.

    Incorporating solar cycles into the projections might be a good idea as well although I don’t think there is any confidence in solar predictions from one cycle to the next so perhaps that would turn out to be a bit misleading/useless.

  38. Judith, your quote:
    curryja | January 31, 2012 at 8:40 am |

    “”Ok, somewhat ambiguous statement. Adding GHG increases the IR flux received at the surface; ALL OTHER THINGS BEING EQUAL, this will act to warm the surface. So adding GHG is a warming influence, that may by amplified by other warming factors, or countered by cooling factors…..”””

    Judith, the smelling dog is “ALL OTHER THINGS BEING EQUAL….” -
    because the atmosphere does not grow in volume when you add
    GHG from below.(and add their forcing)…..but the same amount
    of atmosphere volume gets shaved off at the atmosphere top
    (ATMOSPHERE LOSSES), moves toward the Moon (gravitation),
    gets decomposed by Sunlight -stripping off of electrones and the
    remaining protons form a “Cold-Plasma-envelop” to a distance
    1/4 to the Moon…… Please see one of the latest WUWT-posts :
    “Giant Veil of cold plasma discovered high above Earth”…..

    And therefore, you cannot ONLY ADD GHG-RF, which is only
    HALF of your calculation….. you have to SUBTRACT the same
    air (especially H2O -which has a very low molecular weight)
    volume and the RF – stemming from Atmosphere Losses
    into Space (Proposal for New Post of Natural Climate Effects)

    ……. in order to get your calculation right…….and
    not being follower of CAGW – propaganda with their
    half-calculations…..

    JS

    • You forgot to remember that when you burn fossil fuels to add the CO2 to the atmosphere, you are already subtracting the Oxygen needed to burn same fuels.

      Try again.

      • Try again…..do it as well as I:
        My reply: In China there are perpetual burning coal deposits
        burning in deep in the ground, in Iran, Aserbajan and more places,
        there are gas and oil deposits burning underground….. all cannot be
        put out….
        Message: There is plenty inside and around the fossil fuel and we do not
        have to subtract atmospheric air oxygen volume…..
        The Earth body itself constantly emits lot of gas volume (see black
        smokers in the ocean abyss…) etc…..
        This all has to be compensated on the atmosphere top, otherwise
        the atmosphere would increase too much .
        Then the Earth’s gravitation could not pull the molecules back to Earth….
        The losses are substantial, AGW GCMs trying to hide this, please see
        their variables: No mass losses into space… Great Mistake…..
        JS

      • But the amount of Oxygen in the atmosphere is going down.

        Can you quantify these mass losses into space?

        Thought not.

      • Then the Earth’s gravitation could not pull the molecules back to Earth….

        Venus has 100X the mass of Earth’s atmosphere but less than its gravity. How do you explain that Venus’s weaker gravitation is able to pull the molecules of its atmosphere back to Venus?

  39. There was a firm grasp of the physics, that’s the tail of the dog. And then they tried to was the dog, but the tail broke off. Tail sadness surrounds us.
    ======================

    • er, that was supposed to be ‘wag the dog’, but it all depends upon what the meaning of ‘was’ was. This wag business can get painful.
      ================

      • Maybe they oughta just shoot that old dog and start over. Speaking of shooting old dogs, I’m nearly 61 and hanging around til 2050 to see how this all turns out aint’ very likely. Not with the life I’ve lead. The good news is I strongly doubt I’ll have to. Still looking for a wager with one of you die-hard warmists. Any takers?

      • I’m beginning to like ‘wash the dog’. Fewer nightmare images.
        ====================

  40. I think on balance, and all things considered, there is a very high likelihood that we will still have weather 50 years from now.

  41. Every day on the financial channels there are a host of people who appear bearing charts and graphs with lines tmerrily drawn hrough them and gravely announce that something is about to go up / down / sideways. They claim that the cycles inherent in the time series data gives them special insight into the future.

    Of course, they all contradict each other, depending on how they’re looking at the data and what method they’re using. Yet they claim they are using ‘proven and ‘scientific’ tools.

    If you paid any attention to these people (chartists, or ‘technical analysts’) you’d be broke pretty quickly.

    Best not to dress up predictions as ‘scientific’. Even in demography, where you would think predictions are fairly safe, there were ‘experts’ in the 1960s/ 1970s who predicted huge rises in populations based on the ‘baby boom’ statistics, just before the demographic transition crashed population growth in most of the developed world.

    No-one can predict climate. Too many unknowns, too much uncertainty, too many human biases. Scientists can and should try to explain it, which has taken a back seat to predicting it since the 80s.

    I have 95% confidence that any part of the future is inherently unknowable, and liable to cause significant embarrassment if called out in advance. My horoscope for today said so.

  42. “I have 95% confidence that any part of the future is inherently unknowable, and liable to cause significant embarrassment if called out in advance. My horoscope for today said so.”

    I’m in sympathy with what you’re saying to a degree, and yet I have the sense that the long range climate guys a la Joe Bastardi do make a credible case for the work they do. It’s known that the human mind is especially adept at pattern recognition (of course the patterns may or may not have meaning), and when I see long term graphs showing good correlation over many years with certain natural drivers, it’s hard not to suppose they’re onto something. I find it especially difficult to just ignore the apparent relationship of solar minima with cold climates. If I know nothing else about the climate debate, the breezy way the Agw people just blow off solar influence would make me question their credibility.

    • Pokerguy,

      Over the very long-term (glacial cycles, etc) I’ve no doubt you’re right. But predictions for decades and centuries? I dunno.

      I don’t recall anyone (warmist or not) predicting 10 years ago that we would have zilch warming for the last decade. Perhaps Joe or others did, and I missed it. Still, no-one seems able to adequately explain it (although it’s nice to hurl it at AGW believers once in a while!).

      Meanwhile there are predictions for the next few decades that range from frying to freezing. I don’t believe any of them, but since it’s the AGW crowd that are in the driving seat of policy madness with *their* ultra-confident predictions, I’ll continue to throw the manure in the direction of their fan. :-)

  43. Girma, try this one :
    0.0059*(year-1880)-0.4+0,1*COS(((year-1880)/60)*2*3.1416)
    and with GISS you’ll get a R=0,92. Anyway… something about the physics behind the scene of optimization??

  44. In this post, Dr. Curry discusses the uncertainty that attaches to scenarios for future climate that are generated by computer models. I have no criticisms of Dr. Curry’s work on uncertainty. However, any discussion of the uncertainty that is found in the intellectual tools that we apply to climate runs the risk of fostering circular arguments. The risk exists because the uncertainty associated with intellectual tools exists within the context of our larger expectations about climate and the uncertainty that attaches to them.

    Surely it is obvious that we do not want to argue that our expectations about climate are uncertain on the grounds that our intellectual tools for addressing climate have uncertainty associated with them. Doing so is truly an Alice in Wonderland proposition: having clear expectations about climate we invent an intellectual tool for addressing climate, find that there is uncertainty associated with it, and then conclude that our expectations about climate are uncertain.

    Unfortunately, some climate scientists and many activist groups have embraced exactly this Alice in Wonderland proposition.

    In discussions of climate, uncertainty about future climate or what we should do about it has never arisen from the general population. No politician has found himself/herself struggling to meet demands for CO2 mitigation from the general population of truck drivers, farmers, fishermen, manufacturers, or any similar demographic whose life experience gives them privileged access to organized data about climate.

    All of our uncertainty about the climate, as opposed to uncertainty about intellectual tools, has its origin in theoretical claims. The exemplar of this source is Al Gore. He did more than any other person to popularize the CAGW mantra that dangerous climate change is upon us or maybe our grandchildren. But all that Gore offers in his movie is his take on theory. The activist groups such as GreenPeace employ the same tactics as Gore. They too offer nothing but theory.

    What are the lessons to be learned from all this? There are two. The first is that we must not allow someone to lead us down the primrose path of believing that the uncertainty that attaches to our computer models should lead us to conclude that our very own expectations about the climate should become uncertain. The second lesson is that the uncertainty about climate that is espoused by Al Gore and friends does not arise from hard won practical knowledge of the masses of people who have privileged knowledge about our climate. Rather, the uncertainty that comes from Gore and similar sources is theoretical uncertainty and is the proper topic of Dr. Curry’s work on the uncertainty associated with our intellectual tools for understanding climate.

    • Well said Theo, but I think that there is much deafness about!

      I like the idea that another name for CAGW is a ‘worry’. Worries have a weight and an energy many orders of magnitude greater than the energy in a piece of reasoning – however clear, and robust and persuasive.

      I think that’s true even for those of us that make an effort to allow reason it’s due weight. Do the demagogues of the world stand in front of the millions with little chunks of succinct reasoning? Methinks not!

      And you nail it with Al Gore and his…..his what? What ammo’ did he use? pictures! Lots of big glossy pictures!……of Polar bears!……and graphs [in red] going through the roof!!

      Once people have that worry in place, they can’t [usually] be reasoned out of it – because it wasn’t reason that put it there in the first place!

      I think it is a great blessing that most people somehow connected with the physical world and its realities – especially climate – are reasonably immune to the kind of tub-thumping emotionalism that easily moitivates the more disconnected urban desk-sitters. And they are less prone to make a monster out of the name of a gas that they have never seen harm anyone. Thank God for people whose feet are on the ground!

    • ceteris non paribus


      Surely it is obvious that we do not want to argue that our expectations about climate are uncertain on the grounds that our intellectual tools for addressing climate have uncertainty associated with them.

      How else would you propose to acknowledge and estimate the uncertainty in our knowledge? Our expectations SHOULD be uncertain to just the degree that our “intellectual tools” (i.e. scientific theories) allow. Anything else is just guessing. Our “intellectual tools” are the only thing we’ve got to gauge uncertainty – other than subjective opinion.

      You are, of course, free to be as certain as you wish about the climate – but the climate is under no obligation whatsoever to live up to your confident expectations of it.

      BTW – Al Gore is a distraction.
      He’s not a scientist any more than Christopher Monckton is, and his opinions are just as irrelevant.

      • ceteris -

        What you say about Al Gore is absolutely true [Moncton also] but tens of thousands of people have had their minds made up by his advocacy. Not all in the way he would like, but on a pragmatic level, it makes a difference. I’m not an American but doesn’t Fox news have an ‘influence’, a ‘relevance’?

      • ceteris non paribus


        …but tens of thousands of people have had their minds made up by his advocacy.

        There’s no accounting for personal credulity.

        If people are getting their science from Fox News, they deserve their ignorance.

      • Al Gore is an avatar for The Team.

        Maybe I should have said “supposed theory.” Well confirmed physical hypotheses fall outside of all of our ruminations about climate uncertainties and our intellectual tools for addressing climate. Uncertainties have to do with models and scenarios and such. Climate science has no well confirmed physical hypotheses (aka theories) that go beyond Arrhenius and, for that reason, have no scientific basis to claim that increasing CO2 concentrations can cause dangerous warming. Farmers understand well confirmed physical hypotheses as well as the next Phd.

        You are taking the primrose path.

      • cnp,
        Sorry, but Gore was embraced by the leading consensus scientists, won and shared a Nobel prize with them, and has effectively pushed for AGW community demands in the public square. Monckton has done none of that in the recent period.

      • ceteris non paribus

        Al Gore is not a scientist.

        Neither is Christopher Monckton.

        (Both are politicians).

        You have opined that what either says regarding our planet’s climate is, therefore, “irrelevant”.

        Hey, Gore got an Oscar for what he said – and this was even followed up by a Nobel Peace Prize.

        It appears to me that what the IPCC (a political body) has said about our planet’s climate is just as “irrelevant” (even though they also got a Nobel Peace Prize for it).

        What say you?

        Max

      • ceteris non paribus

        Max wrote;

        Hey, Gore got an Oscar for what he said – and this was even followed up by a Nobel Peace Prize.
        It appears to me that what the IPCC (a political body) has said about our planet’s climate is just as “irrelevant” (even though they also got a Nobel Peace Prize for it).
        What say you?

        Nobel prizes do not determine the truth.
        The fact that the IPCC won a prize is irrelevant to their scientific case.

        The Peace Prize was also won by Henry Kissinger and by Yasser Arafat. Need I say more?

  45. Chief Hydrologist

    Our ‘interest is to understand – first the natural variability of climate – and then take it from there. So we were very excited when we realized a lot of changes in the past century from warmer to cooler and then back to warmer were all natural,’ Tsonis said.

    The periods of warming and cooling in the instrumental record are evident as are the correspondences to cloud, hydrology, fisheries, winds, sea surface temperature and atmospheric pressures. It seems less than likely that these are unrelated phenomenon. Indeed – Tsonis and colleagues in peer reviewed science show that the behaviour of indices of major modes of climate variability – the El Niño Southern Oscillation, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the North Atlantic Oscillation and the North Pacific Oscillation – suggests that the Earth’s climate system is best understood as a chaotic deterministic system. It is currently in a cool phase that may last for a decade or three more – based on elements of the quasi stable regime (hydrology especially) that can be traced back centuries at least. There are indications of the intrinsic variability of the system over millennia and over the past 2.58 million years. Before that it seems to have been a different system. It is called a coherent theory of climate variability – something lacking in simple minded projections or statistical considerations.

    The change in cloud (an increase in reflected shortwave) seen in the latest climate shift at the turn of the millennium is an obvious influence on Earth’s energy dynamic – http://isccp.giss.nasa.gov/zFD/an9090_SWup_toa.gif – leading to less heat in the system.

    The cooling influence over a decade or three seems likely to intensify – as (inter alia) the intensity and frequency of La Niña intensifies in the current cool Pacific Decadal Variation. Beyond that the spatio-temporal chaotic system is intrinsically unpredictable. The idea of global warming is wrong – instead there is abrupt climate change on all scales. Will more CO2 lead to warming? Not necessarily as it interacts with other elements of the climate system leading to unpredictable responses.

    I get called a sceptic for this – it is so unfair. It seems to me that – ipso facto – anthropogenic emissions of 5, 10, 20% (as economies grow) of background emissions are problematic. The reality of the debate is however that many of the most dogmatic of combatants are clueless and continue to pontificate on climate sensitivities amongst other things. Any possible action on emissions – and there are many practical options – is lost as the planet continues not to warm. I am a little bored with it all. Stuff global warming and all of its benighted and delusional adherents.

    • Excellent post. I too am bored with the current state of the debate. I think the reason is the broken record on the consensus phonograph.

      Will they ever address the fact that they have no well confirmed physical hypotheses that go beyond Arrhenius and, for that reason, no scientific basis to predict serious global warming?

  46. “Meanwhile there are predictions for the next few decades that range from frying to freezing. I don’t believe any of them, but since it’s the AGW crowd that are in the driving seat of policy madness with *their* ultra-confident predictions, I’ll continue to throw the manure in the direction of their fan. ”

    Cui, It’s really an amazing juncture we seem to have arrived at. As you point out, the future has a way of humbling prognosticators of all stripes, presumably in proportion to their apparent certainty. Just in terms of poetic justice, it sure seems to me that the AGw crowd surely has some comeuppance due. The solar guys are late to the table, and I don’t see anything like the arrogance on the alarmist side coming from them.

    Just another reason to bet on cold! Call me crazy, but the prospect of another Maunder Minimum has me thinking about moving to south Florida. MAybe even Key West!

    • Pokerguy –

      If it goes that way then may I join you and the Cap’n in the sun? Property is cheap in Florida at the moment, isn’t it? Maybe a nice beachside property. Just a tad smaller than Al Gore’s, of course.

      It may depend on which prediction on hurricanes you believe (AGW / cooling causes hurricanes to increase / decrease / stay the same [delete as applicable] ).

      Maybe not too far South in Florida. According to a story today it’s been invaded by hoardes of Burmese pythons, who are gobbling up the local wildlife. To quote Indiana Jones: “Snakes! Why’d it have to be snakes?”

      • The feral constrictor problem is hitting Florida as hard as the feral hog problem in much of the rest of the US- very badly. Herpetological hobbyists in Florida bear, unfortunately, a great deal of guilt for this fiasco. The one good thing is that it seems, so far, that tropical constrictors will not thrive widely in the US. And if we do get serious freezes into the Everglades, this will largely reduce the constrictor populations. But it will be be difficult to reduce them to zero in the future, sadly. while English sparrows starlilngs and other invasive birds have had detrimental impacts on North American wildlife, hogs, housecats and now pythons represent something much worse.
        Dealing with feral species worldwide would be a good area of cooperation nomatter what CO2 happens to be doing.

      • cui bono said, “Property is cheap in Florida at the moment, isn’t it?” Yep, a double wide in the Keys is only about 250K now. Gives a whole new meaning to the term trailer trash :)

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Central Queensland – lots of work in coal and gas and we can handle a couple of degrees either way no problem. Warming will see crocodiles breeding further south – but that’s just the cute little protected wildlife.

      • And cane toads breeding prolifically in Hobart, relentlessly chased around by the Kimberly Toad Busters :)

  47. “Call me crazy, but the prospect of another Maunder Minimum has me thinking about moving to south Florida. MAybe even Key West!”

    Nooooo, just vacation, bring some extra cash, go fishing :) I know this guy…

  48. In 2005 solar physicists Galina Mashnich and Vladimir Bashkirtsev bet modeler James Annan $10,000 the globe would be cooler in 2012-2017 than it was in 1998-2003. We only have to wait 5.9 years to see who wins.

  49. Chief Hydro writes “It seems to me that – ipso facto – anthropogenic emissions of 5, 10, 20% (as economies grow) of background emissions are problematic.”

    I think one has to do some heavy mental lifting to suppose that dumping vast quantities of gunk into the atmosphere isn’t potentially dangerous. And yet from the reading I’ve done (granted not all that much) Co2 itself is arguably not a pollutant…but a trace gas essential to all life. I’ve read credible sounding arguments that within certain limits….limits we’re not even close to approaching….the more Co2 the better (at least greener) the earth.

    I’m intellectually ill-equipper to wrap my mind around the science that underlies the climate debate.. But I have my fair share of common science, and it becomes ever clearer to me that the IPCC is simply guessing. With all that’s at stake, I find that literally criminal given their claims of “near certainty.”

    • Guessing? Not a good thing to think about the finest scientists in the world, is it? That is pretty much the case though.

      CO2 is a molecule that interacts with energy, like pretty much every other molecule. It has its own distinct electromagnetic spectrum, like every other molecule known. It has to obey the laws of thermodynamics like every other molecule known. Still, the finest scientists in the world cannot agree on what limit it has in the atmosphere. Why? Because somebody is wrong.

      Since the range of sensitivities is a compromise between two lines of scientific reasoning, one that estimates a thermodynamic limit based on our world and another that estimates a limit based on another world requiring perfect conditions, I wonder who may be wrong?

    • Chief Hydrologist

      G’day Pokerguy,

      Carbon is of course essential to carbon based life forms. But the claims to enhanced plant growth outside of greenhouse conditions should be balanced with considerations of the availability of macro and micro nutrients in the environment. A super abundance of carbon makes little difference if other nutirents are limiting.

      Water is commonly a limiting resource. One of the common plant responses to increased – is to limit the size and number of stomata thus reducing water loss. I have degrees in engineering with a hydrology specialty and environmental science. My thoughts immediatley turn to impacts on terrestrial hydrology – but quantifying this is another matter. At any rate – I am not overly convinced by the greener Earth meme.

      Robert I Ellison
      Chief Hydrologist

      • Chief Hydrologist

        One of the common plant responses to increased..(carbon dioxide)

        I have been called recently a f’n genius (pejoratively) and a poet (again pejoratively for some strange reason). Here is a song for Joshua – ‘Change in the Weather’.

        ‘Well! Oh, God!

        High noon, I can’t believe my eyes,
        Wind is ragin’, there’s a fire in the sky.
        Ground shakin’, everything comin’ loose,
        Run like a coward but it ain’t no use.
        Edge of the river, it’s an ugly scene,
        People gettin’ pushed, people gettin’ mean.
        The change is comin’ and it’s gettin’ late,
        Ain’t no survivin’, and there ain’t no escape.
        Change in the weather, change in the weather,
        Somethin’s happenin’ here.
        Change in the weather, change in the weather,
        People walkin’ round in fear.

        Uh huh, you better duck and run,
        Get under cover ’cause the change has come.
        Storm warning, and it looks like rain,
        Be nothin’ left after the hurricance.
        This here’s a jungle, ain’t no lie,
        Look at the people, terror in their eyes.
        Bad business comin’, can’t be denied,
        They’re running with the dogs, afraid to die.’

        Apologies to John Fogarty

  50. This paper states 15 years of no warming creates a discrepancy with the expected warming rate.

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/media/pdf/j/j/global_temperatures_09.pdf

    For those arguing there is a 1/20 chance that the models could be below the expected value and still be correct, I can’t claim to be statistically literate but doesn’t the 95% sit in the middle with only 2.5% on each end? In other words isn’t there really only a 2.5% chance the values could be below the 95% confidence level and still be accurate. If the values were above the 95% confidence range there would be a 2.5% chance they could also still be accurate.

  51. Natural variability needs to be considered over about 2,000 years as the main contribution comes from a cycle of about 1,000 years currently still rising by about 0.045 to 0.52 degree C per decade. The rate of rising is falling and a maximum should occur within 150 to 250 years.

    Superimposed is a 59.6 year cycle with maxima 1998-99 and next in 2058.

    That’s all there is to it.

    Why? Because the Earth’s surface is not insulated and thus loses thermal energy by diffusion, conduction, convection, evaporation and chemical processes – which means there’s not much left for radiation – which means the IPCC calculations based on that -18 deg.C figure are totally wrong because they are based on incorrect application of Stefan-Boltzmann Law..

    And, furthermore, they also used incorrect physics when they assumed that radiation from a cooler atmosphere is capable of warming, or slowing the cooling of a surface which is significantly warmer already.

    Two major errors in the use of physics have led to all this.

    Doug Cotton B.Sc (Physics), B.A.(Econ), Dip.Bus.Admin

    http://climate-change-theory.com

  52. One of the key issues you are pointed out Dr Curry, actually deals with the amplitude of natural variability compared to the one caused by anthropogenic forcing.

    Looking back to the past 130 years, we can observe a global warming trend of 0.06°C per decade. But actually this warming is not constant as we can observe a quite reproducible pattern with alternation of 30 years long (slight) cooling phases (about -0.04°C / decade for [1880 - 1911] and [1942 - 1972] then since 2002) and 30 years long (sharp) warming phases (about +0.16°C / decade for [1911 - 1942] and [1972 - 2002]).

    Hence we can write that the observed warming trend is +0.06 +/- 0.1°C per decade. The +/-0.1°C per decade variability is actually fully natural since quite perfectly reproducible over the past 130 years, i.e. not affected by anthropogenic forcing.

    This +/-0.1°C per decade (natural) variability means a 0.2°C amplitude that is more than 3 times higher than the background trend of +0.06°C per decade, that could potentially be attributed to anthropogenic forcing.

    But only could… If natural variability is powerful enough for fully countering anthropogenic forcing, why couldn’t it also explain the background trend of +0.06°C/decade, manmade warming being actually negligible…? Indeed this background trend is likely to correspond to a long period cycle (about 1 millennium) and to LIA recovery.

  53. I came across this website while debating the societal monolith of GW. The discussion here and particularly Ms. Curry’s contributions and direction is exactly what the topic requires.

    Since the topic of this particular thread seems to be prediction, I have a question (actually I have a lot of them, but one will do). As background, I work in broad band spectroscopy. Light signals have a profound amount of signal noise. This is the case for broadband light certainly but is also true at lesser scale for single wavelength, coherent signals. Practically, a lot of the noise on a coherent light signal is from background (electronic) radiation. At any point on a plot with any noise at all, the up/down direction of the next point is not predictable. Smoothing the signal (we use FFT and Savitzky Golay) helps humans to practically understand the signal but since these (and all smoothing algorithms) inherently degrade resolution, the lack of predictability you had before their application gets still worse. This reality precludes us from predicting state and means that we have to take a few measurements past the time of a threshold event to determine what has already happened in our mfg process, rather than being able to predict future state. (If this latter were the case, I’d be typing this on a solid gold keyboard.)

    The question:
    Surface temp weather data seems to have a good deal of signal noise. How on earth (gratuitous pun) can a meaningful prediction model hope to be created from a data source that is a noisy signal, that has an extreme degree of SDOIC and for which the time data sample is miniscule to the history of the overall data set? I don’t mean to be disrespectful but the premise that models can predict global weather trends meaningfully seems to have been summed up correctly by John Cleese in Monty Python and the Holy Grail as being “Fraught with peril.”

    Thanks.

    • JB – I initially hesitated to respond to your question, because on reading, I concluded that it wasn’t really a question but rather a statement framed as a question. One of the frustrations of the climate blogosphere seems to be that almost everyone has answers and almost no-one has questions, which makes it hard to move things. Without pretending that I have final answers, however, let me address part of the substance of your statement.

      Weather prediction has improved enormously over the past several decades, in considerable part due to improvement in the models. I think most of us find weather predictions valuable (even out to a week or so and particularly for shorter intervals) not because they are perfect but because they are far better than nothing. That perspective on the value of imperfect prediction is a useful one for many types of models.

      Is this relevant to climate models? In part, yes, although it’s not my purpose here to analyze the overall virtues and deficiencies of climate modeling. Rather, let me point out that the atmospheric component of GCM type climate models is very similar to the structure of weather models, and that by itself should provide some encouragement for the notion that these GCMs are not engaged exclusively in guess work. Two major differences are, first, that the weather models can operate at much higher resolution because they are regional and short term, and second, that the weather models seek accuracy through very careful initialization. This is because the chaotic nature of weather requires careful attention to initial conditions. In contrast, GCMs run for long intervals can pay less attention to initial conditions, because ensembles run from a variety of initial conditions tend to converge over the long run toward similar climate behaviors. Observational data tend to support this principle of convergence, at least for some types of behaviors, but that is a subject for a long treatise of its own. For a sense of the concept, see Summer is Warmer than Winter.

      GCMs have a long way to go to match the predictive utility of weather models, but I could make a case that they are already better than nothing, even though others may disagree. In conjunction with energy balance models and models of intermediate complexity, the entire suite of models I believe, already has some predictive value, and recent discussions of transient climate responses and their relationship to estimates of equilibrium climate sensitivity underscore this point. It’s important to realize that prediction is only one of the uses of models – their ability to enhance our understanding of climate variables that are already operating, or have operated in the past, is a different and very useful element of their performance that is probably of more practical utility in the current state of development than attempts to predict the long term future.

      • The unconscious ironies are the best. Yes, Fred, too many answers, not enough questions.
        ===============

      • Weather prediction has improved enormously over the past several decades, in considerable part due to improvement in the models.

        That is a fallacy,the error has increased eg.Nicolis and Nicolis 2007 pg222

        This is evident when seen in the evolution of the weather forecast model ability of the ECMWF.A widely used model producing forecasts in the range for a few days to a number of weeks. The preparation base is a n-day forecast with n= 10 days of the global atmospheric state.

        In any forecast there is an error dependent on initial conditions (due to arbitrary assumptions/estimates of unknown qualities) with the ECMWF model over the last 20 or so years in a paradox the model error has increased.

        In 1982 in a seminal paper in which ECMWF data was first used ,to measure predictive ability. Edward Lorenz found the mean error evolution (doubling time of initial error) was two days, presently has dropped to 1.2 days.

        This suggest that there is a limiting of predictive capabilities for long range weather forecasting with models of increasing sophistication ,owing to interconnected complexity in the atmospheric dynamics.

        Sensitivity to the initial conditions-the principle signature of deterministic chaos-is thus not an artifact arising from when lower order models are used but is, rather, deeply rooted in the physics of the atmosphere.

        Similar findings ( although antropogenic)in Orrell 2002

        The atmosphere is often cited as an archetypal example of a chaotic system, where prediction is limited by the models sensitivity to initial conditions (Lorenz, 1963;Pool, 1989). Experiments have indeed shown that forecast errors, as measured in 500 hPa heights, can double in 1.5 days or less. Recent work,however, has shown that, when errors are measured in total energy, model error is the primary contributor
        to forecast inaccuracy (Orrell et al., 2001).

      • Latimer Alder

        @fred

        ‘It’s important to realize that prediction is only one of the uses of models – their ability to enhance our understanding of climate variables that are already operating, or have operated in the past, is a different and very useful element of their performance that is probably of more practical utility in the current state of development than attempts to predict the long term future.’

        Would anybody care to explain what the ‘practical utility’ is of ‘understanding climate variables that are already operating or have operated in the past’ with some actual examples of that utility? What we have learnt and how we have practically used that information for benefit?

      • As a brief reply to Maksimovich, i would say that anyone familiar with weather forecasts 40 years ago is aware that weather prediction has improved enormously. The increase in error as the forecast interval is extended is not a refutation of that observation.

      • Fred,
        Living where I do, I was falling for the idea that there was meaningful information in an 8 day local forecast.
        I had to make a decision about preparing a major overhaul of my front yard, which includes stripping out the dead sod that was raosted in last year’s infamous drought.
        Based on a forecast that showed no rain this coming week, I commited to using an expensive sod cutter (~$200 per day) to strip it out. It has rained now since Monday, and is likely to rain through Saturday. I will be unable to finish the job this coming weekend due to the ground being too wet. It is ill advised to try and spread fresh soil and new sod in the rain.
        Additionally, I am losing soil to rain erosion now.
        The workers I had lined up will not be needed.
        This is obviously anecdotal, but it is still a pesky fact.
        Weather reporting in many ways is improved, but it is not yet very useful.

      • Food crises from cold and drought appear a far greater threat than warming with increasing precipitation. e.g.
        Food Crisis as Drought and Cold Hit Mexico

        MEXICO CITY — A drought that a government official called the most severe Mexico had ever faced has left two million people without access to water and, coupled with a cold snap, has devastated cropland in nearly half of the country.
        The government in the past week has authorized $2.63 billion in aid, including potable water, food and temporary jobs for the most affected areas, rural communities in 19 of Mexico’s 31 states.

        Aside from skeptics’ models based on major ocean oscillations and solar cycles, have any of the GCMs predicted Mexico’s cold and drought?

      • Latimer Alder

        @fred moolten

        Should I conclude by your lack of a reply to my challenge to demonstrate with practical examples your assertion that:

        ‘their ability to enhance our understanding of climate variables that are already operating, or have operated in the past, is a different and very useful element of their performance that is probably of more practical utility in the current state of development than attempts to predict the long term future’

        has no foundation or supporting evidence?

        You found the time to respond to Makismovich, so why the reluctance to share the basis for your opinion on this matter?

    • JB, I substantially agree with Fred’s response but my emphasis would be different. Weather forcasting has gotten better but the models are still not very good beyond 48 hours, based on unscientific observations of National Weather Service forcast discussions. These are very informative about the models and when they diverge from each other. I believe that we may have reached a plateau, just because of the noise inherent in any measurements used to establish initial conditions. Ensemble runs can only get you so far. Sensitivity analysis is far cheaper computationally but is going to be harder to do rigorously. As far as climate models go, I believe they are a lot more problematic from a rigorous point of view. To argue that they work, you need to assume the attractor is both pretty strong and relatively simple. There are theoretical indications that the attractor dimension is very large and not simple. The behaviour used by Fred and by Schmidt to argue that the models are meaningful is simply that “every time the model is run, it always seems to settle down to basically the same climate.” Schmidt also argues that results have not changed much over 30 years even though spatial resolution has increased. Neither is a strong argument. Such behaviour could also result from excessive numerical dissipation in the models. You can see that the results are very sensitive to some of the details as shown by the range of model estimates of climate sensitivity. My speculation is that the range may be larger than usually stated if one also varies numerical resolution. But we won’t I fear get the straight scoop out of the modelers because of the politicization problem.

      There is a lot of work being done on numerical solutions of the Navier-Stokes equations that examines these questions in simpler settings that could be very useful to modelers. The problems of stability, sensitivity, etc. are still difficult but at least doable with massive computer power and good methods for the simple situations.

  54. “Yep, a double wide in the Keys is only about 250K now. Gives a whole new meaning to the term trailer trash”

    Heh. And yet while we’re on the subject, can you imagine what would happen to the price of real-estate down there in the event of another LIA? I don’t know what the climate in south Florida was like during those years, but knocking 1-2 degrees centigrade off the average highs would still leave a very nice overall climate. it seems to me. SUmmers might even be better, a bit cooler and less humid perhaps.

    • If it is colder that a couple years ago, you can have my lot, I’ll be moving south, I don’t do 38F very well. I even had a crew from Chicago that wanted to come back in for breakfast that morning. Didn’t break my heart none at all to have another cup of coffee :)

      Fishing was easy though, just dip up the fresher looking ones floating.

  55. Chief Hydrologist writes: “At any rate – I am not overly convinced by the greener Earth meme.”

    Greetings right back atcha C.H. This is helpful information and it’s appreciated. All goes to underscore the most inconvenient truth of all…Beware simplistic arguments.

  56. Can I lay out a scenario

    Modelling is a developing science in which newer generations of models replace older one’s, each time becoming better approximations of the climate. it takes a decade or two or three to get a good idea whether projections are matched by future observations. By the time we have these future observations there are new generation (or two) of climate models. If the older models match observations then everything is great for the science. If they fail they can be dismissed as crude approximations and attension is drawn to the newer, better models. Move forward another decade or two or three and the process can happen all over again.

    So my questions.

    1) Has this happened? Do 1970/1980 models fail? Does the modelling community dismiss faiure in this way?
    2) If this does go on what is the merit when model projections and observations do match?

    (if anybody does argue modellers do this can they provide evidence/link were it has occurred)

    thanks

  57. Judith -

    Up-thread, there was a question to you about the following text:

    Santer et al. have allowed for the possibility of such periods lasting for as long as 17 years in the presence of anthropogenic forcing.

    It seemed from Vaughn Pratt’s comment that the text in question was a quote directly from the top post that you put up.

    http://judithcurry.com/2012/01/31/climate-scenarios-2015-2050/#comment-164256

    A discussion ensued about the accuracy of that statement. At some point later, it was noted that text was not actually in the top level post.

    But if you go to this link, you will see that at one time, indeed, that text did exist in the top level post:

    http://www.webcitation.org/6573EngtG

    Can you explain this turn of events? Did you take that text out of the top post after the discussion of its accuracy started – without noting the deletion anywhere?

    Judith – I really want to be careful about this. My first guess that there must be something going on here that I don’t understand. I find it very hard to believe that you would just, after-the-fact, delete a section from your top level post without providing an explanation up front.

    Can you clarify what happened?

    • Judith -

      At around 10:00 AM, EST – this thread on your blog went down while the other threads remained accessible.

      Is there any connection between this thread going down and the absence of the text I quoted above from the top-level post?

      In the previous thread, you had this to say about this thread going down:’

      curryja | January 31, 2012 at 10:09 am | Reply

      no idea how that happened, i republished it and it came back with the comments.

      ]

      Is it possible that the text in question was somehow missing when the thread got republished?

      • which text is missing? I am travelling today, at an airport, slow to respond and fix things. I will try to figure it out

      • oh no, definitely missing a lot of text at the end, i will try to recover it before i have to catch my plane

      • No hurries – It was just odd that there was an entire discussion of text that seemed like it was from the post, and then billc later noted that the text in question was not part of the post??!!??

        I’m wondering if it might have something to do with this thread crashing at around 10:00 AM or so. The cached version of the post I linked had comments up through right around 9:00 AM (77 comments).

      • apparently what got restored was a previous draft, seems the final version is lost in the ether. I fixed a few things in the text and added some stuff, too bad since i think the original was better but this is all i have time for at the moment

      • joshua not time right now but despite all the back and forth after my latest comment of this morning, anteros mostly, i still think what i said is more or less right…judith’s quote seems to loosely fit as well, the loosely part being what’s the difference between a 1 in 20 chance we got a greater than 17yr flat spot if the models are right, and the models being “more wrong than we think”

    • I think Al Gore did it.

  58. Modal falsificationism further permits creatively constructed scenarios to be accepted as long as the scenarios cannot be falsified by being incompatible with background knowledge. Developing a suite of scenarios by modal falsification is a two step process: the first step is coming up with as many potential future scenarios as possible (using inductive as well as other more creative methods) and then submitting these future scenarios to tests in order to see which ones can be discarded as impossible.

    I like that. Some models make predictions about the future that are contingent on other events that may happen between now and then, such as volcanic eruptions, CO2 changes, land use changes, and so on. As computing power and data accumulate, those models can be recomputed to produce updated predictions. As the years go by, we can develop metrics (spatio-temporal sum of squared errors, for example, or sum of absolute errors — standardized and averaged across measures [rainfall and temperature principally]), and keep running scores or rankings of which models consistently suffer reality diverging away from them.

    I think that the intellectual ferment of the next 20 years will be exciting, both as to the evolution of climate science, and as to the evolution of the energy economies. I am hoping that I remain alive enough and alert enough to follow it.

    • That is about what I was thinking with the Bucky Sphere model. Using a multi-layer model in three dimensions with standard baseline calculations for each segment of each layer. Then compare the model error to the observations in order to hone in on areas of greatest uncertainty. If the model is going to be wrong anyway, use how wrong and where as a metric.

      Using a common point, the center of Earth mass, the model would better fit the chaos math guys, who can be pretty anal :)

    • What does impossible mean here? In modal logic impossible means logically impossible, a contradiction, rather than physically impossible. For example, it is not logically impossible that the moon is made of green cheese. What then is modal falsification?

  59. Is it only me who noticed change in the text of JC’s “Climate scenarios:2015-2050″ post from the original?

  60. I’ve heard for years that where there is challenge there is opportunity. How about ice skate rentals on the Thames? Ice fishing in in Paris anyone? Studded tires tear up roads so…invest in asphalt repair? How about new digital thermometers that spec out for recording temperatures below -40°F it’s a shame that records in AK pegged out -79°F because the battery froze)?

    • I was wondering when we were going to have the first weather post over at WUWT this winter. Sure enough – it happened as soon as there was some abnormally cold weather in the U.S. Funny how there weren’t posts about the unusually warm weather many places in the U.S. this winter.

      Coincidence. I’m sure.

  61. Stephen Pruett

    Falsifying AGW wouldn’t require breaking the laws of physics if there were negative feedbacks. Have negative feedbacks been decisively ruled out? If so, what is the evidence?

    • No they are not ruled out and they are every where. Falsification is a problem because it is not one theory, but a blend of two with error ranges covering both. Powder puff science, ya don’t want to leave any scientist behind, they might get their feelings all hurt :)

    • incandecentbulb

      Only if you believe in breaking the laws of thermodynamics and perpetuum mobiles…

  62. UK Met Office is making ongoing 10 year predictions

    MET OFFICE

    Over the 10-year period as a whole, climate continues to warm and 2014 is likely to be 0.3 deg C warmer than 2004.

    http://bit.ly/zhfjrp

    1) 0.3 deg C per decade warming prediction by Met office (Blue Line)
    2) -0.1 deg C per decade cooling observation (Green Line)

    Observation shows Met office predictions are wrong.

    • Very good, see that is not cherry picking. You can also use James Annan’s bet. :) Also with bets, since they normally use just one temperature record, you can compare temperature records for the same time period as the bet, since they are likely to change, as unscientific commentary or course.

    • incandecentbulb

      What does the Farmers Almanac say: their prediction record is a LOT better… Ooooh, they predict global cooling–time to sell air conditioning stocks short?

  63. Eric Olivett:

    I’m glad to see you also agree that the mean warming rate over the last 100 to 130 years has been about 0.06 deg.C per decade. I have noted that this rate is declining and now down to 0.05 C/decade.

    But I stress this is a mean rate and, as you say, varies with the 60 year cycle. You can see a plot of the rate and its trend (the yellow line) at the foot of my Home page http://climate-change-theory.com

    It is, however, the mean rate that is important in predicting that the 1000 year cyclic trend will increase by 0.5 deg.C by 2100. This is way below IPCC predictions of course, because carbon dioxide cannot produce backradiation which would warm the surface.

    The more you all talk about carbon dioxide, the more I think you don’t all yet understand that it can have zero (0.00000…) warming effect. Backradiation (if it existed) could not warm the surface and any warming of the atmosphere just leads to more energy being radiated away, eventually getting to space because the surface won’t accept it.

    • incandecentbulb

      Let’s not neglect to note that we have to throw out traditional levels of statistical relevance to determing the significance of the findings and because of the use of perameters we have no idea of the degrees of freedom to apply and you have to believe in reductionism and forget about the fact that temperature is an intensive variable and an average of it is meaningless and that the data with adjustments to it and adjustments to the adjustments without any research or acknowledgement about the reasoning for such adjustments is completely lacking–and, for the most part–the raw data has itself gone missing… not to mention the fact that we’ve been in a period of global cooling for years and some expect that to continue for three to seven decades…

  64. If you look at the BEST land temperature for since 1970, the running mean 10-year temperature continues to rise at nearly 0.3 degrees per decade.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/best/from:1970/mean:120

    I don’t see any unprecedented flattening or reason to think it will change soon. Simple extrapolation gives us over a degree (for land temperature) by 2050. I don’t think global temps will rise more than 0.2 degrees per decade, but you can see that the land is already outpacing the ocean by warming at twice the rate, and I am sure this will have climate consequences in the direction of hotter drier continents, and fairly soon.

  65. Children are the last to know what snow is => http://bbc.in/xw7GWU

  66. Please tell me what qualifies one to be a ‘climatologists’.

    As of few years ago, you could not get a Climatology degree. None of the people who claim to be ‘climatologists’ have such degrees. However, anyone who disagrees with the ‘climatologists’ is unqualified to comment.

    Many universities are now establishing such degrees. Why? Gettin’ paid.

    I support making ‘JudithCurryIsm’ a degree. A return to scientific investigation without ‘political scientists’.

    • incandecentbulb

      To be a climatologist that lives on government grant money you have to stay way clear of statisticians.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Qualifications in astrophysics?

    • Latimer Alder

      Can anybody post a syllabus for a university 1st degree in ‘climatology’? And what qualifications are prereqs?

      • A couple of O levels – with at least one in doomism. Preferably also an ‘ology of some sort. Armaggedonology is looked upon quite favourably.
        No practical understanding or common sense required!

  67. incandecentbulb

    People like Mann and Wegman go together like oil and water.

  68. Bob Fernley-Jones

    Hi Judith,
    About five hours ago I read through this thread, and formed a number of impressions, that I intend to comment separately on.

    Until recently, my favourite site was WUWT, but I feel the quality there has recently deteriorated, particularly with the Willis, (he who knows everything), worship by Anthony, and that I should go elsewhere. I guess it may be that Anthony adores the controversy that Willis creates, which results in high traffic in comments. (but whether that helps net traffic from mainstream readers/lurkers is another question).
    What has partly restrained me from coming here before is your format of nested or in-line comments. Why should I have to plough through all of the above comments to try and find any developments since I looked some five hours ago?
    I wish you would change the format, preferably with numbered comments that are easily referred to.

    • Hi Bob

      Good to see you posting here. Yes, the nesting can be a nuisance especially when there are a number of separate convesations going on.

      There is someone who frequently posts here called Pekka. You can find him in the ‘denizens’ link in the top bar section. He said that he had developed a program that enabled a user to put posts into their timeline order. I don”t know if anyone here has tried it but it could be worth checking out.

      Willis does post over here on occasions and makes some interesting comments, but as far as I’m aware has never posted an article here.

      My last article here was ‘the long slow thaw’ which I think you would enjoy, as it deals with temperature reconstruction back to 1538 and compares the work of Hubert Lamb and Michael Mann.
      all the best
      Tonyb

    • Bob Fernley-Jones

      Greetings. I have a similar impression of WUWT, but my main reason for not spending much time there is the tribalism. I don’t think it is as extreme as, say, SkS on the other side of the fence, but it is almost as closed minded. Most viewpoints will get an airing here without vast amounts of abuse.
      Oddly I’ve got used to the nesting here and, by and large, prefer it. It works particularly well if there is a conversation between a small number of people – a hopeless idea if there are 5 or 6 hundred comments.
      I’ve learned to find my way through the updates without endless scrolling. One thing I’ve noticed I do is just click on the name of one of the people I was ‘conversing’ with previously (in the recents comments section) and it usually takes me straight to where I want to go.

      On WUWT, do you ever get a reply to a post buried amidst 500 others? I don’t think it works very well for that – people seem to read the post, make their comment (for what purpose?) and leave – maybe saying the same thing that 20 others have done. Here, there is at least as much interest in the discussion as the article itself – often it just kicks off a topic and the interest develops from there. The nesting is great for people to find their own nooks and crannies and other people interested in the same perspective. Of course, it can get a bit cumbersome.

      For instance. When I get back from lunch [UK time] if I see your name on the new comments I can instantly find out if you’ve taken huge offence at my comments by coming straight here…. Also, I guess I know roughly where on the thread I’ve made comments, so I can head there too without much difficulty. Lastly, because I’m starting to ramble :), I’ve noticed that scrolling through comments has become very swift for me because I’ve worked out who spouts garbage, who speaks sense, and who can produce a bit of both – I use my prejudice to speed my scrolling!

      • Anteros, “The nesting is great for people to find their own nooks and crannies and other people interested in the same perspective.”

        Some people need bigger nests

      • Anteros,

        What is your basis for saying WUWT is “less extreme” than SkS?

      • Capt Dallas -
        Too right. I for one need a bloody palace for all the verbiage.

        andrew adams -
        Because I can read?
        Go find some other non-partisans and you’ll find the same thing. SkS is a byword for frothing fundamentalism and all the closed-minded dogmatic that goes with it.
        It’s repugnantly dishonest too.
        Anything else?

      • Well you have to love the way that a site which defends the mainstream scientific position using arguments based on actual published papers is labelled as “fundamentalist” whilst you apparently have no problem with a site which will push any dubious argument with zero factual basis which some crank has pulled out of their ar*e as long as it claims to contradict “CAGW”.
        I guess any “non-partisan” would agree with you as long as “non-partisan” means not making a distinction between actual science and bullsh*t.

      • aa -

        If you think SkS bears the slightest resemblance to what was once meant by science you know little about SkS, or about science. It is a parody of dishonest, brain-washing cultism.

        And followed by mindless cheering zombies.

      • Anteros,

        I’m familiar enough with SkS and I don’t just take their arguments at face value, I often follow the links to the papers they cite and they invariably support those arguments, which is more than you can say for certain people on the “skeptical” side. I doubt that they are always 100% right, who is, but they are right a lot more than they are wrong, and a lot more than the people whose arguments they regularly debunk.

        And given that elsewhere on this thread you have described David Archer, who is a highly respected scientist who has made a great contribution to climate science as “completely mad” I’m not really convinced that your judgement on these things is reliable.

      • aa –

        The comment about D. Archer was, I thought, rather humorous. It wasn’t meant to be serious. He is actually [from his writings] very un-mad. Seems rather dull, if anything – which I know isn’t a great sin.

        My point came from the extraordinary claim of his that I read in his book ‘the Long Thaw’ that most people would prefer it to get colder rather than warmer. His reasoning was that glaciers are attractive and he liked climbing in the Alps.

        It struck me as divorced from reality – the worst thing in the world would be a descent into another glacial period.

      • If you think SkS bears the slightest resemblance to what was once meant by science you know little about SkS, or about science. It is a parody of dishonest, brain-washing cultism.

        And followed by mindless cheering zombies.

        Thanks for reminding me about that site. They link to a brand new Nature (behind a pay-wall) commentary that suggests that oil depletion is a much more important issue than AGW. The author has a press release describing the contents:

        http://www.washington.edu/news/articles/commentary-in-nature-can-economy-bear-what-oil-prices-have-in-store

        “Stop wrangling over global warming and instead reduce fossil-fuel use for the sake of the global economy.

        That’s the message from two scientists, one from the University of Washington and one from the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, who say in the current issue of the journal Nature (Jan. 26) that the economic pain of a flattening oil supply will trump the environment as a reason to curb the use of fossil fuels.”

        This all goes into the AGW uncertainty bucket. A likely declining production of oil matched with an increased use of lower grades of fossil fuel energy may keep the emissions from changing too much, but the effects on the global economy are worth monitoring.

    • Bob, unfortunately wordpress.com does not allow for numbered comments, that would be my preferred format also. I have been very impressed with the simplicity of operating a blog via wordpress.com, and its stability (apart from losing the original version of this post yesterday), but it does not have some of the features i and others would like.

      • Judith 10.04

        It would greatly help if posters actually directly addressed themselves to the person they are responding to by name, and if the comments from that person were frequent, perhaps mention a time as well. Sometimes who is being addressed is not at all clear, and when someone else breaks into a thread it can look like that person is responding to that sub thread when they are not.

        That is not to say that nesting doesn’t have its advantages-it does mean that a variety of conversations can be carried out in different parts of the room, but in the absence of numbered comments can I make a plea that people address themselves clearly to the person they want to speak to, always assuming of course their comment wasn’t just a general one.
        tonyb

      • tonyb [a couple of minutes ago :)]

        I agree.

  69. Judith Curry

    The comments here on recent MetOffice press releases have been very interesting, and it looks like the “ice age threat” rhetoric has popped up in the USA, as well.

    http://washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/op-eds/2011/07/ice-age-threat-should-freeze-epa-global-warming-regs#.TyjNQHB4B-8.mailto

    OK. So something’s happening out there. You have commented on it, as an interested observer with enough climate science knowledge to have some meaningful opinions on what it might mean.

    But let’s go through it step by step, from the IPCC “mainstream consensus” viewpoint.

    Let’s say that the primary objective is to defend the current “consensus” estimate on (2xCO2) “equilibrium climate sensitivity” of 3.2°C on average (the basis for all the model projections of future warming and potentially serious climate impacts).

    So the logic goes as follows in bullet form (as I would imagine it):

    • Our models all projected warming for the past decade – with an average projection of +0.2°C/decade warming.

    • This is important, because it leads to our longer-term model projections of +2°C to even +6°C warming by the end of this century.

    • The projection was based on our estimates from modeled scenarios and storylines on GHG emissions, which assumed that atmospheric CO2 would continue to rise as it has in the past.

    • The CO2 levels rose as projected – but inexplicably the temperature did not rise (in fact there was a slight – but statistically insignificant – cooling trend over the period).

    • An unexplained travesty. How could this have happened?

    • Solar scientists are telling us to look at the sun for the explanation. Following a period of unusually high level of solar activity (highest in several thousand years) the sun is now very inactive; solar scientists are telling us that this is likely to last through the current as well as the next solar cycle (probably to mid-century), so that the lack of warming is likely to continue and even result in significant cooling.

    • But our models had told us that the impact of the sun is limited to the forcing from measurable changes in direct solar irradiance alone, so that the solar impact on past climate change was minimal (only 7% of the past warming since 1750 was caused by solar forcing according to the models).

    • Several solar scientists had cautioned that our models were underestimating the magnitude of the solar impact; these studies showed on average that around half of the past warming could be attributed to solar forcing.

    • The current lack of warming presents us with a real dilemma.

    • We can stall a bit by rationalizing that 11 (or 15) years of no warming is not long enough to be statistically significant, but we’ll soon run out of time with that rationalization.

    • On the one hand, we have to come up with an explanation why it has not warmed (even cooled slightly) despite CO2 levels reaching record heights.

    • On the other hand, if we now concede that the low level of solar activity is responsible for the lack of warming, as solar scientists are telling us, we have a problem with the attribution of the past warming.

    • This could be serious, because it would seriously undermine the corner-stone of our CAGW argument: the model-based (2xCO2) climate sensitivity.

    • All the projections of serious or even alarming future greenhouse warming depend on this one key indicator – a figure, which we cannot measure in real life, but which our computer models have estimated based on the theoretical physics of the greenhouse theory.

    • Our models tell us that this should be 3.2°C on average, but if the sun actually played a much stronger role in past warming than we assumed, it would be much lower.

    • The actual physical observations on CO2 and temperature indicate that the observed 2xCO2 temperature response would be around 1.5°C assuming the sun was responsible for only 7% of past warming, as our models have estimated based on direct solar irradiance alone.

    • We can cover the rest with the speculation that greenhouse warming has a long equilibrium time, in other words that half of the warming from the past increase in CO2 is still “hidden in the pipeline” somewhere

    • This becomes even worse – only 0.8°C, if we attribute 50% of the past warming to the sun; this would mean we would need three-fourths of the warming still “hidden in the pipeline”, which might be tough to sell.

    • This is more than a dilemma and worse than a travesty, since it would mean that there is no future danger from greenhouse warming.

    • What to do?

    • Hey! Here’s an idea.

    • Let’s first downplay the possibility of significant cooling by telling the world that our models show there will be some cooling, but this will be minor; let’s say no more than -0.08°C.

    • Then, if it really does start to cool significantly, let’s blame it on human aerosols (let’s say from China – everyone knows how they are polluting the air with SO2 from all that coal they are burning).

    • This will save our climate sensitivity estimate and we can predict with confidence that global warming will come back “with a vengeance” once China gets it’s SO2 emissions under control.

    • Problem solved! OK, let’s put some lipstick on this pig and go to press.

    Max

  70. Bob F-J

    Nice to see you on the thread,

    Here is the link to Tony’s “long, slow thaw article”, which extended the CET record back by around 100 years based on various historical data, and revealed some interesting surprises.

    http://judithcurry.com/2011/12/01/the-long-slow-thaw/#more-6022

    Max

  71. Chief Hydrologist

    Ahhh – that’s better. Airconditioning, ice in your drink, Jack Daniel’s and Coca-Cola. I love America and everything it stands for.

    I don’t think Max was serious. We are in the midst of a 67 year and counting climate experiment – counting from the start of catastrophic anthropogenic CO2 emisions after WW2. How’s that experiment working out for you? Warming for 23 years out of 67? Maybe Max has a point after all.

    Robert I Ellison
    Chief Hydrologist

    • Chief Hydrologist: We are in the midst of a 67 year and counting climate experiment – counting from the start of catastrophic anthropogenic CO2 emisions after WW2.

      I think that is a very interesting comment that deserve repeated mention. The climate scientists always say that picking the proper starting point is important, but they do not (afaict) provide a solid argument for any particular starting point. They have picked what they call the start of the most recent warming trend (ca 1979), and criticize any other choice as cherry-picking. I think that you are on to something. If anything identifiable as a sudden increase in anthropogenic CO2 can be identified, WWII would be it. As a criterion for choosing a starting point, that one is hard to beat.

      • MattStat

        As the Chief wisely suggests, the end of WWII is a good starting point as far as human CO2 emissions are concerned.

        That is when human CO2 emissions really began to rise. [According to CDIAC the cumulated CO2 emissions over the three decades after 1945 were over two and a half times those for the three decades prior to 1945.]

        As far as global warming is concerned, there is a problem, however.

        The 30 years prior to 1945 showed warming, which is statistically indistinguishable from the most recent 30-year warming cycle starting in 1975 (the IPCC AR4 poster period).

        Yet the following 30 years starting in 1945 showed slight cooling with two and a half times as much CO2 emitted.

        There are rationalizations for all this out there, but these sound pretty hollow.

        The fact of the matter is that there is no real correlation between human CO2 emissions and global temperature.

        Max

      • If anything identifiable as a sudden increase in anthropogenic CO2 can be identified, WWII would be it

        If anything identifiable as a sudden increase in anthropogenic CO2 can be identified, CDIAC would be the agency to do so. How come they haven’t, and who is this greater authority that has?

      • The 30 years prior to 1945 showed warming, which is statistically indistinguishable from the most recent 30-year warming cycle starting in 1975 (the IPCC AR4 poster period).

        This is only broadly true in a superficial sense. A closer inspection of the data reveals that the details are quite different. The main difference being that warming is almost equal over land and sea surfaces from 1915-1945, whereas sea surfaces have warmed about half as much as land over the past 40 years.

        This suggests that the warming in the latter period is mostly driven by ‘external’ radiative forcing changes, whereas warming in the earlier period was to a greater extent driven by ‘unforced’ internal ocean changes.

  72. Steve Milesworthy

    Judith,

    These two statements could be regarded as inconsistent. I can see that 2-3C may be argued as not proven “catastrophic” but find it hard to see how 5-6C could not have a big impact on a lot of people and environments:

    JC: “I dont see much support for catastrophic impacts on the time scale of the 21st century.”

    JC: “I have previously said something like 1-6C for “likely””

    Maybe it depends what you mean by “much support”…more than 50% :-)

    • Steve -
      I tend to agree with you. Especially because I find myself thinking the same thing.
      In the end I have to observe that I don’t actually think 6 degrees is within a ‘likely’ range. Observations are stubbornly refusing to support it.

      • dude you are both missing the issue of the 21st century time frame vs. “eventually”. what if it warms 4C over the 21st century and for some reason we haven’t got the technology to stop suck the excess CO2 out of the air by the time we invent, say, cheap fusion by 2070 (h/t Vaughn Pratt) and it warms an additional 2C after 2200?

        Fantastic speculation to be sure, but all within the realm of “may” and would tend to reduce your perceived dichotomy…

      • billc -

        That is sort of my point. To get 4 degrees in a century, you really [I know cos I added it up :)] need to get 0.4 degrees per decade.
        That’s what I mean by observations stubbornly refusing to support worrying scenarios. The real world is struggling to keep up to 0.15 per decade.
        I not ruling out the future being different from the past, but while the present is the same as the past I’ll try to keep my imagination from straying too far.

      • bill c and Anteros

        The first decade of the 21st century was supposed to warm by 0.2 degC according to IPCC.

        It didn’t warm at all (maybe even cooled slightly).

        By the same IPCC model forecasts that missed the first decade, the entire 21st century is supposed to warm on average by 1.8 to 4 degC, with a peak value of 6 degC.

        Based on these actual observations, I have a real hard time seeing even 2 degC within a “likely range”.

        But 4 deg C (or even 6 degC) are definitely well outside that range.

        Max

      • The first decade of the 21st century was supposed to warm by 0.2 degC according to IPCC. It didn’t warm at all (maybe even cooled slightly).

        If you look at too short a time frame, extrapolation to 10x that time frame is meaningless.

        If you look at the last 40 years of BEST data it’s pretty obvious where that will end up in 2100.

        Notice that between 2007 and 2010 the temperature went down substantially. So certainly there have been recent declines. But in the context of the whole graph, how meaningful would you say that latest decline was? There were plenty just as severe before it over the past 40 years.

  73. Anteros | January 31, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    said “Another way of expressing Santer’s results is to say that over a century, you would expect up to five 17 year periods of cooling in a warming world. None of them, when they occur, show the model as inaccurate.”

    So, in your opinion, Santer says that we would need (17×5)+1=86 years of cooling in the next century to prove that AGW is wrong?

    Great!

  74. By the way, irt “‘Nature is about to carry out a very interesting experiment’”,
    My understanding is that this experiment has been underway for a ~ 4 billion years.

  75. JC

    (sorry)

    You wrote:

    The most recent climate shift [to cooling] has been argued (Tsonis et al) to have occurred 2001/2002. ….

    [Evidence=> http://bit.ly/oZgufE ]

    To me this seems like a more plausible scenario than the 0.2C/decade projection to 2050 from AR4. [ http://bit.ly/x2NQ7q ]

    JC, does not this statement of yours require the IPCC reduce its average climate sensitivity value of 3 deg C?

  76. Does anyone know where the GISS temperatures database
    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/work/gistemp/STATIONS//tmp. (station.number)/station.txt
    has moved to?

  77. theendisnighnot

    Anteros as a long time lurker on this blog I’ve noticed lately you and Joshua seem to be getting on swimmingly especially when it comes to “dissing” WUWT……. fine if it rocks your boat but feel i have to point out you and him seem to really miss the point … AW who you both accuse of bias/agendas etc fail to mention the posts hosted at his site where he has specifically disagreed with the points made but hosted them anyway! You ever see that on SKS or RC?? Joshua what with his “asymmetric and confirmation biases syndrome” not too mention his stalking of the host of this blog perhaps i can understand but you have made some good points so what is this? are you just luring him to an elaborate trap or have you fallen for “Stockholm Syndrome” ?? Just a friendly inquiry and as the song goes “don’t worry be happy”

    • theendisnighnotindeed -

      Thank you. There is certainly something in what you say..

      It is true that I read WUWT less than I did – particularly the comments, which are just a bit too tribal and shrill for my liking. I don’t think I’ve ever dissed AW – he has done much to be admired.
      I do read interesting posts there, and agree entirely that it is profoundly different from SkS or Joe Romm’s hate shop.

      I’m surprised you think I’m particularly anti-WUWT but see where it might come from. It tends to get used as an easy example of ‘tribalism’ in debates with Joshua and I do often find myself saying “OK, yes, that sort of thing goes on at WUWT too….” because, strictly speaking, I do see tribal behaviour on both sides of the debate and to have a conversation with Joshua I think it helps to acknowledge that. It helps me too. I certainly don’t want to be just part of a partisan crowd throwing stones who have forgotten why they started the fight in the first place.

      Isn’t it true, though, that if you fervently believed AGW threatened civilisation, you would view WUWT and, say, RC in a very different way?

      When it comes down to it, my complaints about RC are mostly because I think they are ‘wrong’. Gavin Schmidt has been unfailingly polite, thoughtful and helpful. I’ve only had one comment there ‘deleted’ and to be fair it was crass and obnoxious. Had I been the moderator, I would have deleted it myself!
      The comments of course are a different kettle of fish and I find most of them pretty unpleasant. But then again, if you were a staunch ‘believer’ how would it feel to read the majority of comments/abuse at WUWT.? It would be intolerable.

      ***

      Just thinking – if you were prompted to comment because of what I said to Bob Fernley-Jones upthread, I see your point.
      One thing I do sometimes is exaggerate! By agreeing with Bob’s problem with WUWT I was partly just making him feel welcome, and partly making the point (which is true) that Climate Etc is better than WUWT for conversations.

      But thanks for your thoughts, and like you say – ‘don’t worry, be happy’ and enjoy the interglacial :)

      • Anteros,
        I tned to agree with you the different sites. I avoid both WUWT and SKS because of the comments. RC seems to be getting a little testier lately, which may be due to the many recent articles questioning the whole AGW theory. Gavin is alright, as long as you do not attack his models, but I find some of the other moderators less friendly. My biggest beef however, is the censorship used by some of these sites to remove challenges to their tightly-held beliefs. Tamino wrote an entire article on why he felt that my analyses were wrong, and then prevented me from responding. I whole-heartedly welcome challengers, but equally despise those who refuse rebuttals. I have not witnessed any of that here, fortunately.

      • The worst is when they (RC, Tamino, SKS…) let you reply only once. Grrr.

      • Tamino wrote an entire article on why he felt that my analyses were wrong, and then prevented me from responding.

        Were I on the WUWT side of this debate I’d be as grateful for Tamino and Greenfyre as Obama is for Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich, respectively.

  78. Mydogsgotnonose

    4 basic mistakes in the physics, 2 elementary, 2 more subtle.

    ‘Back radiation’ is bunkum as any process engineer knows,

    No mechanism for 100% direct thermalisation of absorbed IR, so thermalisation is indirect at clouds and bare aerosols.

    Hansen’s 33 k claimed present GHG warming is really ~9 K GHG including the shielding by clouds, the rest lapse rate.

    An astonishing failure to consider a second optical process affecting nearly half low level clouds which makes the net AIE slightly positive now, much more so when leaving ice ages and in the presnet Arctic.

    Nature is bringing poor quality science back to earth: read this: http://arxiv.org/abs/0707.1161v4

  79. Norm Kalmanovitch

    At its formation in 1988 the IPCC was faced with two possible explanations for observed global temperature increases.
    CO2 emissions were increasing and so was global temperature so one explanation could be that this resulted from increased CO2 emissions.
    This notion should have been immediately rejected because the warming was overprinted by a 65 year cycle of warming and cooling represented by the rapid warming from 1910 to 1942 and the slight cooling from 1942 to 1975 that did not conform to the unidirectional increase in CO2 emissions or the unidirectional increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration over these 65 years.
    Since a unidirectional driver is incapable of forcing a cyclic event (without the influence of outside factors) CO2 emissions could not possible be the prime driver for the observed cyclic global temperature change.
    The second possible explanation was that changes in solar activity were responsible and this correlated perfectly with the 65 year cycle as depicted in this 1991 paper by Friis-Christensen, E., and K. Lassen:
    Reference: Friis-Christensen, E., and K. Lassen, Length of the solar
    cycle: An indicator of solar activity closely associated with climate,
    Science, 254, 698-700, 1991).

    http://www.tmgnow.com/repository/solar/lassen1.html

    Correlation is not causation but if there is no correlation there is no possible causation yet the IPCC rejected solar influence which correlated and accepted CO2 influence which did not.
    The only basis for the IPCC support for CO2 theory was projections from climate models but these models are completely incapable of discerning the influence from CO2 without a CO2 forcing parameter and incapable of projecting temperature without a climate sensitivity factor.
    Both these factors were fabricated to make the models fit historical data but since neither of these factors have any actual physical basis the 1988 climate models have yet to produce even a single valid temperature projection in the 23 years of projections.
    On the other hand solar activity continues to correlate with global temperature and the current global cooling since 2002 is fitting in very well with the observation of solar cycles 23 and 24 with the projection of solar cycle 25 to mimimck the Dalton Minimum that brought an extension of the Little Ice Age with peak low temperatures in 1811.
    So today we sit here with global warming officially ended by 1998 with the world cooling since 2002 and solar cycle observations predicting that solar activity is mimicking that of the Dalton Minimum that brought an extension of the lLittle Ice Age as CO2 emissions continue to increase at unprecidented rates and somehow there is some overwhelming scientific consensus that CO2 emissions are still causing the world to warm to catastropic levels by 2050 and we must cripple our economy and cause a global food crisis (turning basic food staples into feedstock for biofuels) to stop this from happening!

    • Norm wrote, “At its formation in 1988 the IPCC was faced with two possible explanations for observed global temperature increases.”
      Not only did the IPCC choose the forcing which had less evidence, but they based their confidence on only 10 years of warming. Now, we have had 14 years without warming, but IPCC’s Santer has said we need at least 17 years for any confidence of model falsification. Don’t you feel like “beating the crap out of” people who have one standard for tribe and another for their critics!

      • I don’t think 17 years will falsify anything. But look at the money we are saving. We have already avoided the BAU scenario, being the good stewards that we are and are closing in on the hoped for Scenario C. :)

        Now that the do not exceed is recommended as 2C, we have that in the bag. Hey, what can I say, they were right all along, now we just have to deal with the extra 2C, let’s build some nukes and call it crisis over :)

      • At its formation in 1988 the IPCC was faced with … Now, we have had 14 years without warming,

        Given that the IPCC was formed 24 years ago, and given that we’d like to know what the temperature will be in more than 24 years from now, it is highly suspicious that you’ve cherry-picked a mere 14 years for your projections to … when? Next week perhaps?

        During the 24 years since the IPCC was formed we have experienced this rise in temperature.

        Kindly explain why the last 14 years is a better predictor of the next 24 years than the last 24 years.

        Is it because 7 years is an even better predictor than14 years?

        You guys are so full of wishful thinking.

  80. theendisnighnot

    As a non-scientist I have some questions for the scientists amongst this blog and those that think they are (no names no pack drill) ……

    (1) How does one measure the average temperature of the earth?.. what time of day are these measurements taken? and do they cover the whole planet?
    (2) If past temperatures in the record go back to 1850 or thereabouts who calibrated their instruments?
    (3) How do we know prior to satellite data (around 70′s??) what the dreaded CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere were?
    (4) Has extreme weather got worse since say 1970 or not?
    (5) I live in China and on some days the temperature can and does increase by probably 15degc in the space of a few hours I’m sure it;s the same the world over (excepting probably the polar regions) I and 1.3 billion people seem to adapt so why would 2degc cause a problem?
    (6) Where is the sense of western economies spending billions on “renewable energy” which at the moment is unproven and unreliable when they could spend that money on alleviating poverty in the third world with simple tasks such as clean water and education?
    (7) Has anyone on this blog (and be honest) ever met anyone or heard of anyone who wants to be colder rather than warmer?
    (8) Finally if all of this was such a problem why have our “wonderful” governments actually done nothing about it??

    Don’t worry be happy!!!

    • Has anyone on this blog (and be honest) ever met anyone or heard of anyone who wants to be colder rather than warmer?

      Does any one say “coldest greetings”?

      We say, “warmest greetings”!

    • Norm Kalmanovitch

      I can answer the first question and if you go to:
      http://www.climate4you.com/ you will find the answers to all the rest of your questions.
      By 1850 there were enough thermometers making temperature measurements scattered around the world to get the first semblance of global temperature.
      By around 1900 there wer enough weather stations around the world collecting daily temperature profiles for reasonably accurate averages of global temperature.
      The northern hemisphere has a significantly larger landmass in the temperate zone affected by seasons and the net result of this is that absolute temperature measurements of the Earth show a seasonal variation over the course of a year of about 3.9°C which is far too large to see the year to year variations which are only in the order of 0.01°C.
      To circumvent this problem daily global temperatures are averaged over a month and this average for the month is compared to a reference for that month with the departure from this reference recorded as a monthly temperature anomaly.
      The temperature graphs that you generaaly see are these monthly temperature anomaly graphs which are often displayed as annual averages and smoothed over linger time frames.
      There are three landbased global temperature datasets HadCRUT, NCDC, and GISS and two satellite based global temperature datasets MSU UAH and MSU RSS.
      The satellite datasets are much more precise and do not suffer from either sampling bias due to the lack of stations over the oceans and do not suffer the distortion from heat island effect that is prevalent in the land based data collection with many stations in cities where this influence is prevalent.
      In spite of these differences both the satellite data and the land based data show identical patterns and differ only in the details as you can see in the composite graph of all five datasets posted on http://www.climate4you.com/
      I will leave you to figure out the answers to your remaining questions yourself.

    • theendisstillnotnigh -

      Some good questions – and good to observe that some of us are less scientists than we think! But science isn’t everything, even if some scientists think they are more like high priests..

      (7) Yes. Strangely enough, some of the warmists have developed such a crazy antipathy to anything ‘warm’ that they have decided cold would be better. David Archer from RC is one. He is, of course, completely mad.
      However, in some places where it is already damn hot individuals may have a point. But overall? You’re right – warmer is better!

      (6) Very well said. Spot on. For those people pretending to worry about the people of the future, it would be sensible to actually be concerned with the 25,000 children who die every day from easily preventable causes.
      They are bothered about imaginary fears, not real people.

      (2) Google ‘The history of the thermometer’ Its fascinating – really!

      (4) No it hasn’t.

      (5) One of the ‘alleged’ problems of 2 or 3 degrees warming is that it would be enough – over a few decades – to melt lots of ice (Greenland for eg) and expand sea water to raise sea level enough to cause problems for all the cities near the sea. And Bangladesh.

      (1) Good question. There are nearly 50,000 ‘weather stations’ around the world and they take temperatures twice a day, at the same time of day. Then a vast amount of averaging, extrapolating, smoothing and fudging occurs to guess at a global ‘average’. To be fair, if it is done in the same way all the time, the number (or the change) might have some meaning. It’s complicated by the thermometers not being spread round the world very evenly, for obvious reasons.
      Don’t forget satellites – using microwave sensors they can make an estimation of the temperature of the atmosphere. So there is something to check the thermometers against. The good news is that there is a strong agreement between the two.

      (8) Governments are interested in three things. a) Their own citizens, not the world b) The short term, not the distant future c) Getting re-elected.
      Not all governments have fallen for the hype, and replacing carbon based energy is a nightmare of a problem. It’s all about money :)

      (3) Direct Co2 measuring started in the 19th century but became systematic in 1958, but there are various methods of estimating previous concentrations. The best for the last million years worth of history are samples of ice cores in Greenland and the Antarctic – which have been frozen all that time. Bubbles of air trapped in the ice can be analysed for their Co2 content and because the ice is laid down in layers like tree rings, it is possible to also match the Co2 content to the year (roughly speaking)

      I hope that helps and you’re not too suspicious about credentials – I only have one degree related to science!

    • theendisnighnot

      To your questions (to add to comments by Anteros and others):

      (1/2) Others have answered. I have nothing to add.
      (3) Mauna Loa measurements of atmospheric CO2 concentrations began in 1957, prior to that we had several chemical analyses, some of which showed higher CO2 levels in late 19th century and early 20th century than today (summarized by Ernst Beck). These were rejected by IPCC at outliers in favor of ice core data, which showed a smooth increase starting around 1800.
      (4) No. Extreme weather has not “gotten worse” since 1970.
      (5) No one can say whether or not a 2°C warmer world on average would be better or worse for humanity (nor can anyone say that we will have a 2°C warmer world antime in the future)
      (6) No sense at all for western nations to be “chasing windmills” (as in the UK) or trying to prop up bankrupt solar companies with government funding (as in the USA); the more urgent problems you cite are vying for the same taxpayer money, but the real difference is simply that it is going to company profits in one case and alleviating poverty in the other.
      (7) I have never met anyone who wants to be colder. The optimum ambient temperature for humans has been estimated to be around 23°C (we are now at 15°C). AGW is supposed to warm Arctic regions in favor of tropical ones. Most studies show that slightly warmer climate will increase growing seasons and crop yields in many northern temperate zones, where a bulk of the world’s grain is grown. Higher CO2 levels also increase yields of all major crops. There were crop failures and famines across much of the world during past periods of colder climate. All-in-all, warmer appears to be better for humanity.
      (8) The governing elite uses taxpayer funding to do what it thinks is best for the governing elite. The taxpayers’ only recourse when it believes its tax money is being squandered is to elect a new governing elite.

      Max

      • I have never met anyone who wants to be colder.

        One infers from this that you don’t yourself live in a particularly cold climate. If you lived in Alaska I’m sure you’d meet more people who don’t mind the lower temperatures there.

        The optimum ambient temperature for humans has been estimated to be around 23°C (we are now at 15°C).

        Then you should rewrite this article, which disagrees rather strongly with you. According to them a room temperature of 23 °C is bordering on discomfort. It certainly would be for us — we’re 67 years old and find 19-20 °C about right for us.

        You may be looking at it from the point of view of a retiree looking to move to Florida, San Diego, or Hawaii for the warmth. One would expect that if everyone felt that way the hubs of the universe would be at those latitudes.

        How do you reconcile your theory of ideal human warmth with the fact that the hubs of the universe have at various times been at much higher latitudes?

      • It’s a silly comparison anyway. I’m presuming the 23C ideal ambient temperature mentioned by Max is the daytime temperature (otherwise it would be ridiculously hot during the day).
        But 15C is the global temperature averaged over the globe and between day and night. So if there was an “average” location on the planet (which of course there isn’t) with an average temperature of 15C then the daytime temperature would obviously be higher than that.
        And that’s before you consider variations between locations and between summer and winter. It’s totally meaningless.

    • theendisnighnot | February 1, 2012 at 10:06 am

      keep asking those questions. People that are avoiding your questions know that they are lying. Ignorance is not a crime; but mercilessly lying to the public is the mother of all crimes. Go to my website and arm yourself with lots of similar questions. Because is practically impossible to monitor the temperature in the whole troposphere; all the lies that 98 was warmer, another year cooler, medieval ages warmer … created lots of coo-coos. Those that created them, will have to be brought to justice. Crime shouldn’t pay! Keep up the good work; the truth will win.

      Look at their Global temperature charts. .They know when one year temp is gone up or down by 0,2C…? It’s same as categorically stating that they know if Sahara has this year 50 grains more sand or less than last year; by counting the grains of sand in a shovelful. Those temp charts for the Whole planet are Swindler’s ”smoking gun” read all 8-9 pages on my blog – you will know million times more than what the propaganda dishes.You will know the correct version, you will know to recognise all the bull that cooks the D/H brains

      • People that are avoiding your questions know that they are lying

        Either that or they’re smarter than you. If the question was a truly stupid one I’d go for the latter.

  81. Does any one say “coldest greetings”?

    We say, “warmest greetings”!

    Well, that settles the debate! AGW is a hoax.

    Only a hothead would question that.

  82. UNPRECEDENTED COOLING
    in the South Atlantic SST 60 year record

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/SA-SST.htm

    data: link

    • That’s unprecedented! Now you have just messed with people’s minds. How could that possibly happen? Let’s see, Increase average surface wind velocity increases the turbulent heat exchange at the ocean surface/atmosphere thermal boundary layer. That can’t be happening. My radiant model doesn’t even consider boundary layer thermal coefficients.

    • Vuk

      How many observations does that cover and over what area.
      tonyb

    • vukcevic

      Your graph shows that the South Atlantic SST hasn’t warmed for about 20 years now (in addition to the current cold spike).

      Is that what is happening?

      Max

      • I checked it. Unless the 2011 data is bad, it is a significant drop. The slope from 1990 to 2011 is still slightly positive. The trades must have picked up a bit.

      • capt. dallas

        South Atlantic SST shows slight warming from 1990 to 2011, as you write.

        But it appears to show no warming at all if you start the series in 1986.

        So this is why I asked vukcevic if this was really the case.

        Max

      • Manacker, that was just the 20.5s x 20.5w lat lon block. It stays fairly stable, so a 1 C change is a pretty big deal for fisherman. It is the equivalent of a so. atl la nina.

    • G’day Vukcevic
      That ”unprecedented cooling” in south Atlantic is on the surface / tidal water only. And has NOTHING TO DO WITH ANY PHONY GLOBAL COOLING!!! A year ago some Brazil’s rivers went dry, because of decrease in evaporation. 2] when evaporation decreases; the water below changes ration in heat / coldness. I.e. if is 400m thick layer of water at 10C, but 4m of water at 2C – then next few months changes to 400m of 2C and 4m at 10C, that heat has same value, BUT AT COMPLETELY DIFFERENT AMOUNTS. Without taking those things into count, makes it very ”inaccurate” will use the word for now.

      It started rapidly cooling in 2010. Reason is: 5-6 weeks after the Copenhagen flop; chunk of ”permanent ice” as large as Texas has bracken of the Antarctic beaches and floated north. My theory is: (and I’m seldom wrong) because of the spectacular flop in Copenhagen; the Conspirators panicked – went into damage control. Possibility 100%, probability 95%; they drilled few holes sporadically and simultaneously dropped down some explosive – that creates big waves under the ice and the end result was announced with big noise: ”large chunk of permanent ice the size of Texas has broken off Antarctic – will float north and cool everything, to prevent global warming. It was their ”smoke screen”

      In reality, before that ice was broken; when currents bring warmer water from north – goes under that ice and ends up on the other end still relatively warm on the way to south Atlantic; BECAUSE THAT ICE WAS SHIELDING THE WATER FROM THE UNLIMITED COLDNESS IN THE AREA. Minus that ice, currents bring constantly warmer water; was shielded by the ice – lots of critters were prospering and multiplying even in winter there under the ice. By water cooling much more than normal without ice as shield / insulator, most of krill / plankton dead. Krill / plankton is food for lots of fish and for the whales. I have given in my book the name of the ice around Antarctic and on Arctic’s waters that the shonky scientists are demolishing with ice crusher ships: ”the whale’s white greenhouse” Those scientists are ”protecting” the few whales that Japanese kill – but by crushing the ice and destroying their greenhouse – they are starving most of the whales… does it make sense to you?

      Vuk, ice is full of air, same as polystyrene = perfect insulator. Get involved in protecting the ice on the polar waters from those ice crusher ships for the hordes of bias reporters / shonky scientists and other spectators.to get where they shouldn’t be; you will be doing good.

      On the patch where ice was demolished by the Russian nuclear ice crusher ship, to go to the north poll with rich spectators every 2 weeks – lots of ice was bracken by the exposed ruff water – then cumulated extra coldness – that extra coldness started coming south as ”Sirocco / koshava winds, all the way to Greece. In Moscow the temperature is colder by 9C, than normal, in Ukraine people frozen. Those things have nothing to do with any phony GLOBAL warming / cooling; just aggressive misleading, by both camps, and silencing the truth from me.

      Surface water temperature in the oceans is not instant proof of content of heat in the water below. Stop with eny GLOBAL warming / cooling lunacy

  83. theendisnighnot

    Anteros…. really appreciate your reply and yes you are right my confirmation bias (go on Josh) probably shows wrt to WUWT vs SKS/RC but what I’ve found lately and actually inspired me to respond is not actually from you and the ever lovable Joshua it was actually a comment from i think Michael (apologies if it wasn’t) on a previous thread berating AW for posting the Unified Climate Theory thread he/she basically said it was an insult/disgrace that AW had posted this …. why? it seemed to me AW/Willis profoundly disagreed with it along with the likes of Joel Shore/Nick Stokes and probably 70% of the commentators surely that’s a good thing? Yes there are and always will be Dragon Slayers about and I listen to them and either regard or disregard what they say but isn’t that the essence of a good blog/debate (like this one) IMHO if we didn’t here from alternative theories the debate would be poorer for it

    • Vuk

      The reason I ask is that historically I discovered how few readings were made within a grid square and how inconsistent they were as regards depth etc. I suspect that there is inconsistency within the Atlantic SST you cite , if not that is a huge drop. Might be worth running it past Bob Tisdale
      tonyb

    • Capn Dallas

      Following your link on The long slow thaw I had a little look at your pages and Russian agriculture. I came up with these two intriguing links.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agriculture_in_the_Russian_Empire

      http://american_almanac.tripod.com/russia1.htm

      The trouble is of course that there were such huge changes due to the revolution that I suspect it might be impossible to draw any scientifcally valid conclusions on wheat.
      tonyb

      • Tonyb, I don’t think there is any way to find one thing that will allow a “scientific” conclusion. It is a preponderance of evidence issue. Russian wheat was big up to the 1910s, happy frolicking peasants working their butts off, but well fed. Bad times started which lead to disgruntled peasants and political change. So there should be reasonable records of wheat production up to 1910. There is a pretty good run of nice growing temperature from 1810s up to 1910, then the downturn, ten years of not very nice times. Hurrah for the communists! Things turned nice again in the 1920s. Communism changed the weather. In the 1950s, things started going south, by 1980s things were back in the dumper. Boo communists!

        anecdotal, circumstantial, but totally plausible. So there is a general upward trend with the natural variation bumps and bruises.

        As of 2009, just over 1% of the surface of the Earth was devoted to the big three grains, corn, wheat and rice. Even without “scientific” evidence, that can be used for a “rough” estimate of the change in albedo due to food production acreage per population change.

      • Dallas [just fishing today]

        Is that 1% of the whole damn earth, or just the dry bits?

      • WDE, the whole damn thing. Coincident? Think there might be 100Wm-2 of average forcing change in there somewhere in the 1% of plowed black earth part of the WDE?

      • Anteros, according to the CIA world fact book, https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/xx.html

        3,245,566 km^2 was IRRIGATED. So I have never denied that mankind has changed the climate. My little joke about irrigating the Sahel as an experiment :)

      • Capt D

        No idea – I’m not an albedoist (I promise) but I’m thinking 1% is a reasonably hefty chunk if there’s a big difference ‘tween the reflectivity of a field of wheat and a field of ‘what-was-there-before’, which, come to think of it was Oak forest – at least until Henry six-wives cut them all down

        A wheat field is only wheat coloured for a couple of months where I live. Relevant?

      • Anteros, I worked in a tobacco fields and bean fields as a kid. It gets PDH. In the Russian confederation area, the black earth should be a lot like the US plains, only in with a colder average climate. You spread ash or compost over a few million metric acres of winter wheat to prevent snow mold, there will be an albedo change. In the US and Canada, they spread fertilizers with black colorant the melt the snow. If a little bit of black carbon can cause warming, imagine what a butt load of manure, real or synthetic spread over snow would do. It is like albedo killing monkeys flying out of your butt :)

      • good christ.

        If you boys want albedo data I have a terabyte +
        nasty nasty stuff
        historical cropland? got that too.

  84. theendisnighnot

    Joshua you lovable rogue you have as always miss interpreted what i said! I didn’t say it was all a “hoax” did i be honest?? I just said can’t think of anyone I’ve ever met who wants to be colder …..end of

    • theendisnightnot -

      I realize that I deposited my comment in the wrong nest, but I did assume that the fact that I quoted Girma’s post would indicate that my response was directed towards him, and not you.

      So I don’t think that my response indicates a misinterpretation (or even a miss interpretation) of what you said.

      And I love you too, theendisnighnot. – if I do misinterpret anything you say, I hope you realize that it is misinterpretation with love.

    • Cap’n Dallas

      A lot of Russian records were destroyed during the revolution at national and local level as the past was erased and history rewritten, many surviving records were also lost in the second world war. I doubt if sufficient data can be gathered to prove anything either way, although some of the regions might have something worthwhile so it might be worth focusing on them
      Tonyb

      • Probably the same thing in China too, damn communists. I can use the market information and the average production per acre, but that starts to sound like work :(

  85. theendisnighnot

    And by the way Joshua you only replied to question 7

    • theendisnighnot -

      I did try to read your list – but I couldn’t get past #1.

      I kept finding myself wondering whether or not you are one of those “skeptics” that questions whether the Earth is warming. Now I don’t remember the exact wording, but I recall AW saying something along the lines that hardly any such “skeptics” exist – so when I read your #1, I couldn’t get past wondering whether your view is inconsistent with his statement.

    • I think Joshua didn’t actually answer any questions at all!!
      The lovable rogue was just having a gentle pop at friend Girma for excessive jumping on the ‘warm is good’ idea.

      However, I think there is a little bit of something in what Girma says. Warm thoughts to you!

      • Anteros -

        So, if I call you a “warmist,” then it is an expression of admiration?

        I don’t know – I’d say that your logic there is rather tepid, but that might be acting like a hot dog.

      • No Joshua..

        The ‘warmist’ idea is something really very different as I think you know.

        In everyday language – particularly of European origin, ‘warm’ plays a part in the context of cold being ‘bad’ [winter, death, frostbite] and the opposite being good [summer, life, thriving, alive]

        It just gives a little [remember, I said little] cultural hint as to the prevalent concerns of people who for thousands of years had effectively no heating. Warm is good!

      • Anteros -

        I have to say, I think that your comments are very heated, hard-boiled I might say, burned beyond the recognition of anything logical, they are stewed and half-baked. Perhaps your brain is cooked or fried? Why are you so steamed? I think you may be burned out, or perhaps you’ve blown up like a geyser or an erupting volcano that could no longer contain the seething and boiling inferno of fires raging in your soul? Maybe the devil who inhabits the scalding depths of hell has wilted your better self?

        Whereas I think that my opinions are coldly analytical. They show a cool disposition towards the truth. They represent a kind of thinking best analogized to a soft snow drift on a crisp winter’s day. They are as clear as ice, and sparkle like icicles reflecting the sun, although sometimes the heat from that sun can certainly be harsh.

      • Joshua -

        Communication arrived on a warm thermal, with no frosty reception. Free of any cold-hearted denial I meltingly accept your icicle-sharp point. Mild temperatures remain.

        P.S. Are you entirely happy that your thoughts are like snow drifts? They would give me shivering goose-pimples :)

      • Anteros -

        Actually, I realized that my “half-baked” characterization might work against my point. I guess saying that they are “fully-baked” as opposed to only “half-baked” might be complimentary.

        :)

      • Anteros -

        Then again, saying that you are “baked” as opposed to “fully-baked” wouldn’t work to your favor:

        http://onlineslangdictionary.com/meaning-definition-of/baked

        Maybe it all depends on one’s bias?

      • Joshua –

        There’s an interesting colloquialism I’ve not heard before.

        Been there, just not heard the word..

      • Anteros

        AGW is hot!

        But it’s cool to be a skeptic.

        This may sound like a lot of hot air, but it’s the cold facts.

  86. theendisnighnot

    Joshua .. Love you too!! don’t with all due respect understand how (1) questions that “the world is warming” I didn’t say that what i said was (1) “How does one measure the average temperature of the earth?.. what time of day are these measurements taken? and do they cover the whole planet?” you should appreciate as a fellow “non-scientist” what I’m saying. And BTW I don’t agree with AW on everything just like I don’t agree wit any other person on the planet on everything chap

    • theendisnighnot -

      It is with love that I must tell you that if we’re going to exchange views in the future, you’re going to have to adapt a bit more to the standard customs of punctuation. I’m not a prescriptivist – but sometimes punctuation does serve a very useful function.

      My point is that I interpret you question #1 to mean that you feel that the problems with how global temperatures are measured means that an assessment of global temperature trends is not valid due to poor methodologies employed.

      That then led me to wonder whether or not you think that the Earth is warming, because you, apparently, reject the methodologies used to measure global temps. And that led me to wonder whether or not you are accounted for in AW’s description of “skeptics.”

      It isn’t that I expect that you would agree with him on all issues. Not at all. The question I have is not even related to whether you agree with him – but it is related to the accuracy of his assessment.. It seems that you may have misinterpreted my point.

      • Joshua, stop avoiding the question! I gave you same question 2 months ago, answer to the boy! Admit that reporting of warmer / colder planet for any month / year is a COMPLETE SHAMELESS LIE!!! Nobody is monitoring the temperature on the whole planet ; nobody knows what is the temperature to save his or your life! Monitoring on few places and declaring it as GLOBAL is the mother of all crimes! Planet’s temperature today is exactly the same as 150y ago – extra heat in the troposphere is not accumulative! Joshua is a liar, liar with the pants on fire!!!

        Don’t you have any human dignity? It’s noble thing to admit guilt – half is forgiven. Still trying to muddy the water, is double crime instead. Even pick-pocketers have some dignity – You, Anteros, Don Monfort, Robert, Steven Mosher don’t. Answer the question: how the whole planet’s temperature are you monitoring, if not – IS ADMISSION of lying and you know that you are lying. I’m organising lots of people in the society that are not into the GLOBAL warming hysteria / con; to start asking that and other questions. Start preparing answers now, or for the witness stand, under oath. Your dream of rebuilding the Berlin Wall will backfire on you

  87. Has anyone on this blog (and be honest) ever met anyone or heard of anyone who wants to be colder rather than warmer?

    I reckon there were quite a lot of people in Texas last year, or Moscow the previous year. And rather a lot of people in Africa generally.

  88. theendisnighnot

    Norm thanks for that but excuse my ignorance does that mean you can measure the average temperature of the whole globe? and what does it actually mean? I.E. if we had the internet 200 years ago would this make any more sense? 500 years ago 10 million years ago?

    • Norm Kalmanovitch

      All it means is that we are certain that there was overall warming from 1910 to 1942, overall cooling from 1942 to 1975 overall warming from 1975 to 1998 and no global warming since with the world cooling since 2002.
      Our daily weather states the temperature in full degrees without decimals and the official rate of global warming for the 20th century as stated by the IPCC was just0.6°C so “what it actually means” is that if our daytime temperature today is 20°C without 20th century warming it would be just 19.4°C!!
      The only people that this trivial amount of temperature change has any meaning for is academics who study climate and for the rest of us it is nothing more than a tempest in a teapot (to use a weather metaphore)
      Climate change is a political issue not one of science and the only concern the general puiblic should have is the current cooling trend and the inaction on the part of the government which is too busy trying to stop global warming to address the needs of the population in coping with the effects of the current cooling trend

  89. theendisnighnot

    andrew adams | February 1, 2012 at 11:02 am | Reply

    Fair point but surely you could if you didn’t have a bias match that up with people who suffered cold? Also thought NASA had said Moscow was a “blocking event” not related to CAGW and “Texas” ever heard of the the “1920′s in the US? It seems to me when it get warm it’s climate but when it gets cold (Europe ATM) it’s weather WUWT?

    • theendisnighnot,

      The point about the heatwaves in Texan and Russia is to demonstrate that warmer is not necessarily better, I’m not saying they were (or indeed were not) related to AGW, although in a warmer world such heatwaves will be more likely.
      I don’t deny that there are people who live in cold climates who will benefit, although the coldest parts of the globe are either not or only sparsely inhabited. In the end we have to look at the overall picture and judge whether where the balance lies between those who will benefit and those who will suffer. Also, we have to look at the wider effects of a warmer climate (such as changes to rainfall patterns, sea level rise etc) apart from just the warmth itself.

  90. theendisnighnot

    Joshua your interpretation of my question (1) actually says so much about your confirmation biases more than i could ever say! It was honestly a genuine question.. what are you afraid of a genuine question? I’m still learning are you?

    • theendisnighnot –

      I didn’t assume it was anything other than an honest question.

      Do you think that the methodological problems associated with measuring global temperatures means that the assessments that have been made based on those records are not valid?

      That really boils down to a yes or no answer.

      Now I suppose that you could say “I don’t know,” but from where I sit, that would be tantamount to saying that you don’t find an assessment of warming to be valid. Such a viewpoint would put you outside of Anthony’s description.

      Of course, you might say that you don’t think that the methodology for assessing global temps from satellite or thermometer readings is valid, but you do think that there are other metrics that confirm warming – but: (1) that would lead me to ask why your wording of your question #1 wasn’t more specific, and (2) what other metrics you use to base a judgement that the Earth is warming.

      In all honestly, I don’t particularly care what your assessment is, per say, w/r/t satellite or thermometer readings. My interest is in evaluating the validity of Anthony’s assessment, and those of other “skeptics” who, IMO, downplay the number of “skeptics” who doubt that the Earth is warming — for partisan reasons.

      • Joshua

        Here is an article I wrote about the reliability of temperature reading, methodology and of the instrument itself

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

        This was part two and early on there is a link to part 1. The accuracy of the global record back to 1850 is severely flawed-at best we can see the direction of travel but the idea that we can discern a global temperature to tenths of a degree is absurd.

        To this must be added the periapetic nature of many of our records, with stations migrating many miles from a cool field often to an urban environment miles away, thereby introducing the problem of a change in the micro climate.

        If Mosh sees this he will argue otherwise but that doesnt mean to say I don’t accept the world is warming, its just that we don’t know by how much (depends on location and the location) and also conveniently forget the third of stations that are cooling
        tonyb

      • tony -

        The accuracy of the global record back to 1850 is severely flawed-at best we can see the direction of travel but the idea that we can discern a global temperature to tenths of a degree is absurd.

        What criterion do you use to base trust in the direction of travel but not measurements down to the tenths of degrees?

        What increment of measure do you think delimits the validity of determinations of global temperatures?

  91. theendisnighnot

    Joshua no no you seriously didn’t understand my question (1) stop looking for reasons to evaluate “skeptics” views i genuinely want to know how any one can measure the average temperature of the globe thats all call me Mr Thicky if I’ve missed something but I have never had it explained to me that I can understand Yours Mr Thicky

    • theendisnighnot,

      One cannot really measure the average temperature of the globe, however the various instrumental (and satelite) records, in spite of the problems and biases (confirmation bias, local warming…), DO show somewhat real trends and variations. It’s kind of like Dow Jones and other stock market indices. I consider global temperature anomalies not real average global temperature anomalies, but simply indices of climate change. So, we can say that there was the early 20th century warming, mid-century cooling, 80s/90s warming, LIA and so on.

    • Joshua

      I said above; (depends on location and the location) Last location should be ‘timescale’
      tonyb

    • Joshua, if you read my articles you will see that until digital stations came in, that instrumental readings more accurate than 1 degree C -or half a degree in great circumstances- are the most we can hope for, but if there are a bunch of readings all saying much the same we can then top and tail them with other observations Snow fall/ glaciers/wheat crops/droughts etc
      tonyb

      • Everyone- click on climatereason, then click on NYC on his map and take a look at the temperature trend at Central Park, NYC, and also at West Point, up the Hudson, on the same graph. There has been very little urban growth at West Point. Is this juxtaposition one of the best examples of UHI (Central Park) or not!?

  92. theendisnighnot

    I’ll give you an example I live in Shanghai right in the center by the Hangpu river in Puxi (west of the river) not Pudong (east of the river and the dark side as far as most people are concerned) why is it I can drive maybe 15 miles from where i am and the temperature is appreciably different? What I’m trying to say which has nothing to do with satellite data/tree rings etc etc etc is how can anyone measure the average temperature of the planet?? Forget UHI or whatever it just doesn’t make sense to me I guess what I’m really asking is gLOBAL WARMING REALLY gLOBAL?

    • I agree with Edim above. Sure there are problems, but generally speaking most people think the ‘average’ for the globe is reasonably meaningful – ar as Edim says, the change is meaningful.

      Another way to look at it is just the temperature for a single place – like central England for the last 350 years. The temperature record there doesn’t say anything at all about Australia, almost nothing about Greece, a little about France (possibly) and so on. 50,000 records added up gives quite a lot of coverage, and the differences you notice – day to day, or place to place average out.

      To confuse it further, of the 40,000 records for the whole of the 20th century, one third of them showed cooling temperatures! So ‘global’ just means average. Its like saying there is a bit more energy in the system as a whole but it isn’t spread around very evenly..

  93. theendisnighnot

    Edim thanks about the most rationale reply to a simple question (probably silly i know ) at least you don’t assume I have an agenda!!! Anyhoo it’s late in the Middle Kingdom and I need to get up in the morning and do my bit in polluting the atmosphere … Oh to be a human !!!!

  94. theendisnighnot

    andrew adams | February 1, 2012 at 11:50 am | Reply
    theendisnighnot,

    Andrew before i go you make a good point but just so I understand it to the full are you saying the extreme events in Texas or Russia would be permanent? or maybe just more likely? if more likely at what percentage? And following on from that could not the good people of both places adapt or would they be incapable of doing so as the change would come so fast? Just asking?

    • theendisnighnot,

      No, not permanent, just more likely. I’m not qualified to put and particular percentage on it – you might find the following interesting –

      http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2011/11/on-record-breaking-extremes/#more-9643

      As for adaptation, well I understand the authorities in Texas are examining how they might cope with such events in future and I don’t doubt there will be things they can do – forewarned is forearmed as they say. But I don’t think there will be any easy or cheap or completely effective solutions. Hundreds of millions of trees died in last year’s drought for example – how would you prevent that next time?

  95. Bob Fernley-Jones

    TonyB & Max,
    After doing battle with Joel Shore and Willis over at WUWT, it’s nice to be amongst friends.
    Thanks your comments.

  96. Bob Fernley-Jones

    I see there has been a lot of discussion about Santer’s proposed measure of a 17 year trend. I’ve not read his paper, but I guess he means a straight linear trend, which given the underlying shape and noisy data in the temperature record, is, I think rather pointless. Some prominent statisticians have also criticised such practice
    Back in 2003, Klyashtorin & Lyubushin noted that there was an underlying sinusoidal cycle in the data of approximately 60 years. Furthermore, they extrapolated to show a sinusoidal trend that to this day has interesting correlation with the current plateau, and that of around 1940.
    I submit that straight linear trend considerations should not be considered in this case. (and are probably dodgy on much time series data). See K & L 2003 graph extract:

    http://bobfjones.wordpress.com/2012/02/02/linear-trends-on-noisy-data/

  97. Joshua & Anteros

    Thanks for the humor among you two whether people like warm or cold.
    However, Joshua why don’t you accept what the data says:

    http://bit.ly/ADRqpM

    IPCC’s climate models are wrong because observed global mean temperatures are LESS than model projection for CO2 emission held constant at the 2000 level.

    AGW is not supported by the data (so far).

  98. I have been reading climate blogs for at least 3 years now. From real climate to climate audit. I will stop now. It is a dead horse. It is a waste of money and a waste of human brain power. Leave your stupid Notebooks and take a look at your neighborhood. You people are arguing about things that might -or might not happen in 50-100 years. Meanwhile one percent of the world population own 80% of the planet. They laugh at you. They keep you separated. Get a life and ask yourself why your work is taxed while money is allowed to circulate freely and genarate profit without beeing taxed at all. Ask yourself why YOU need the Cayman Islands.

    • “Meanwhile one percent of the world population own 80% of the planet. They laugh at you. They keep you separated.”

      The more things change the more they stay the same. There just is a new 1% from time to time. The 50 percentile ain’t too bad though :)

  99. Stephen Pruett

    JimD, BEST shows 0.3 degrees per decade from 1970, but the annoying flattening from the turn of this century to now isn’t shown. I saw a graph prepared from BEST raw data, and it shows the same flat trend from about 1998 to present as HadCrut. I suppose this could have occurred by chance, but the longer it lasts the less likely that become.

    • The recent flat trend is not seen when you take a ten-year running average as I showed. I think this is because it was preceded by an unusually rapid rise in the 90′s, and it would not have occurred without that. The ten-year average smooths these things out, which is good because they can be misleading when not take in the longer term context.

  100. Bob Fernley-Jones

    Jim D wrote @ February 1, 10:22 pm

    The recent flat trend is not seen when you take a ten-year running average as I showed. I think this is because it was preceded by an unusually rapid rise in the 90′s, and it would not have occurred without that. The ten-year average smooths these things out, which is good because they can be misleading when not take in the longer term context.

    I did a page search on ‘Jim D’, and traced your reference to this source:

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/best/from:1970/mean:120

    Frankly, I don’t see that a ten-year running average is actually specified in that source but perhaps you can help me here. Are you implying it is a 10-point or 11-point average? Is it a CPA (centre point average as required with time series data), or PMA (prior; as typically used in Finance and Productivity). Is it Gaussian, pyramidal, or what? If it is properly a CPA average for time series data, how on earth do they get the data for the final five years that have not yet happened beyond the centre point? (the smoothed CPA line should end five years short of the end of the time series)

    • wood-for-trees allows you to make your own plots and post them as links. In the coding the “mean:120″ is the average over 120 monthly values for each point, so it is a ten-year running average. It would be a flat average in this case, as they don’t have other options that I see.

    • Also, it ends in 2005 because it is a center-point average.

  101. Bob Fernley-Jones

    Anteros @ February 1, 8:17 am (nested above) AND curryja @ February 1, 10:04 am (nested above)
    Thank you for your responses, concerning my personal antagonism for nested comments, especially on long threads. I hope you don’t mind if I don’t nest my comments, and BTW, I think I’ve found a tool that works quite well in my MS browser, which is simply to do a ‘page search’ on the names of authors, including abbreviations such as Bob in my case.
    Doing that, I was surprised to find that my first post here has resulted in 13 follow-on comments, and without that search capability, I may not have bothered to go back there! Perhaps I should smack my wrist, but maybe you can understand my impatience?

  102. Bob Fernley-Jones

    Jim D @ February 2, 12:22 am & 12:26 am

    wood-for-trees allows you to make your own plots and post them as links. In the coding the “mean:120″ is the average over 120 monthly values for each point, so it is a ten-year running average. It would be a flat average in this case, as they don’t have other options that I see. Also, it ends in 2005 because it is a center-point average.

    Thank you for that Jim, but I don’t think a ten-year flat smoothing is sensible. (for a start, the centre point should surely be in an 11-point thingy). A flat 10 or 11 year smoothing is far more savage than GISS at 5 years, or HADCRUT at 21-years with simplified Gaussian distribution.
    Many of the published smoothed data sets rely on somewhat arbitrary time spans and weighting, that can be manipulated to credit a particular point of view.
    Also of course, you admit that the latter 6 years of your analysis are missing. (= unknown)…. Ho hum!

  103. Bob Fernley-Jones

    I see that according to the “Recent Comments” list that Mosh’ and Max have contributed somewhere in the 443 comments above at this moment. I deeply respect both these guys, but why should I have to go searching for their nested comments!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Bob

      For heavens sake, where’s your spirit of adventure :)

      Seriously, that sounds a doddle compared to ploughing through the 500 articles I have aquired for my next piece on the Arctic, some 350 of them scientific papers. All very worthy no doubt, but many are as dry as dust and set out in a very tedious manner.

      Do scientific papers need to be boring? Discuss.
      tonyb

    • I use the “find” feature in the browser to speed up the search

  104. Leonard Weinstein

    Professor Curry,
    I have read many claims in the not too distant past that except for prolonged strong volcanic activity occurring, that serious warming would continue unless there was a large reduction in CO2 production. As the temperature flattening started, statements started coming out that it takes longer that just a decade or so of no continual heating to be meaningful, and 17 years was quoted as possibly a reasonable minimum. Now that forecasts indicate that it might continue level or even downtrend for several decades, new issues are being promoted as this is just a pause in serious heating. Skeptics kept saying, there is no falsifiable supporting evidence for the claim of a serious problem, and kept saying show me the supportable evidence. All models have shown no reasonable skill, and a little bit more level or cooling temperature would totally falsify all of them. My question is: Why do you still keep trying to show somehow that the case for serious global warming is likely due to human caused CO2 increase, when the actual data in no way supports that? It is likely that human activity (deforestation, farming and building activity, dam building, etc.) do cause local and even regional modification in weather and climate, but not much global average change.

    • Leonard -

      Why do you still keep trying to show somehow that the case for serious global warming is likely due to human caused CO2 increase

      Do you think this is what Judith is doing? Really?

      I think what Judith has been doing – in the main – for a goodly long time, is to investigate a number of questions concerning the uncertainty of that statement.

    • As the temperature flattening started,

      Temperature flattening never “started,” it’s been happening for centuries. You seem to think there was some period when there was no flattening but there isn’t.

      • True, even a flat tire is mostly round :)

        Isn’t the stratosphere like the radiant only zone? With no conduction, convection and little latent to worry about, seems like it might be the place to go if someone wanted to determine the radiant impact of CO2. Of course it is just data, and is likely incorrect to some degree.

  105. I am going to say the same thing again, using some different words.
    Every summer, the sun melts a considerable amount of ice. This always happens. This happens when earth is in a warm period and this happens when earth is in a cold period.
    In the fall, winter and spring, it snows and ice is replenished, more or less, based on available moisture.
    The data on NOAA’s website clearly shows that snow accumulation is much higher when earth is warm and much lower when earth is cold. When earth is cold and water is frozen, there is not enough snow to replace the ice that melted in summer. When earth is warm, when oceans are warm, when there is less sea ice and lake ice and when the arctic is open, it snows more than enough to more than replace the ice that melted in the summer.
    THIS IS THE THERMOSTAT OF EARTH. THIS WILL CONTINUE WITH EARTH TEMPERATURE IN THE SAME STABLE CYCLE THAT IT HAS BEEN IN FOR TEN THOUSAND YEARS.

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