John Christy’s EPW testimony

by Judith Curry

John Christy’s testimony to the Senate Committee Environment & Public Works Committee can be found here [christy testimony 2012].

The main summary points:

1. It is popular again to claim that extreme events, such as the current central U.S. drought, are evidence of human-caused climate change. Actually, the Earth is very large, the weather is very dynamic, and extreme events will continue to occur somewhere, every year, naturally. The recent “extremes” were exceeded in previous decades.

2. The average warming rate of 34 CMIP5 IPCC models is greater than observations, suggesting models are too sensitive to CO2. Policy based on observations, where year-to- year variations cause the most harm, will likely be far more effective than policies based on speculative model output, no matter what the future climate does.

3. New discoveries explain part of the warming found in traditional surface temperature datasets. This partial warming is unrelated to the accumulation of heat due to the extra greenhouse gases, but related to human development around the thermometer stations. This means traditional surface datasets are limited as proxies for greenhouse warming.

4. Widely publicized consensus reports by “thousands” of scientists are misrepresentative of climate science, containing overstated confidence in their assertions of high climate sensitivity. They rarely represent the range of scientific opinion that attends our relatively murky field of climate research. Funding resources are recommended for “Red Teams” of credentialed, independent investigators, who already study low climate sensitivity and the role of natural variability. Policymakers need to be aware of the full range of scientific views, especially when it appears that one-sided-science is the basis for promoting significant increases to the cost of energy for the citizens.

5. Atmospheric CO2 is food for plants which means it is food for people and animals. More CO2 generally means more food for all. Today, affordable carbon-based energy is a key component for lifting people out of crippling poverty. Rising CO2 emissions are, therefore, one indication of poverty-reduction which gives hope for those now living in a marginal existence without basic needs brought by electrification, transportation and industry. Additionally, modern, carbon-based energy reduces the need for deforestation and alleviates other environmental problems such as water and air pollution. Until affordable energy is developed from non-carbon sources, the world will continue to use carbon as the main energy source as it does today.

Points 1 and 2 (particularly) contain some new and important analyses.

#1 Extreme events

Regarding extreme events:  Christy presents some analyses of extreme heat and cold events, that I haven’t seen previously.  He also provides analyses of snowfall, drought, and wildfires.  From the narrative:

Recently it has become popular to try and attribute certain extreme events to human causation. The Earth however, is very large, the weather is very dynamic, especially at local scales, so that extreme events of one type or another will occur somewhere on the planet in every year. Since there are innumerable ways to define an extreme event (i.e. record high/low temperatures, number of days of a certain quantity, precipitation total over 1, 2, 10 … days, snowfall amounts, etc.) this essentially assures us that there will be numerous “extreme events” in every year because every year has unique weather patterns. The following assesses some of the recent “extreme events” and demonstrates why they are poor proxies for making claims about human causation.

From the broad perspective, where we consider all the extremes above, we should see a warning – that the climate system has always had within itself the capability of causing devastating events and these will certainly continue with or without human influence on the climate. Thus, societies should plan for infrastructure projects to withstand the worst that we already know has occurred, and to recognize, in such a dynamical system, that even worse events should be expected. In other words, the set of the measured extreme events of the small climate history we have, since about 1880, does not represent the full range of extreme events that the climate system (i.e. Mother Nature) can actually generate. The most recent 130 years is simply our current era’s small sample of the long history of climate.

There will certainly be events in this coming century that exceed the magnitude of extremes measured in the past 130 years in many locations. To put it another way, a large percentage of the worst extremes over the period 1880 to 2100 will occur after 2011 simply by statistical probability without any appeal to human forcing at all. Records are made to be broken. Going further, one would assume that about 10 percent of the record extremes that occur over a thousand-year period ending in 2100 should occur in the 21st century. Are we prepared to deal with events even worse than we’ve seen so far? Spending which is directed to creating resiliency to these sure-to-come extremes, particularly drought/flood extremes, seems rather prudent to me – since there are no human means to make them go away regardless of what some regulators might believe.

#2 CMIP5 IPCC climate model simulations

Ok, here is the blockbuster:

In Figure 2.1 below, I display the results from 34 of the latest climate model simulations of global temperature that will be used in the upcoming IPCC AR5 assessment on climate change (KNMI Climate Explorer). All of the data are given a reference of 1979-1983, i.e. the same starting line. Along with these individual model runs I show their average (thick black line) and the results from observations (symbols). The two satellite-based results (circles, UAH and RSS) have been proportionally adjusted so they represent surface variations for an apples-to-apples comparison. The evidence indicates the models on average are over-warming the planet by quite a bit, implying there should be little confidence that the models can answer the question asked by policymakers. Basing policy on the circles (i.e. real data) seems more prudent than basing policy on the thick line of model output. Policies based on the circles would include adaptation to extreme events that will happen because they’ve happened before (noted above and below) and since the underlying trend is relatively small.

First, I’m trying to figure out exactly how this figure was created.  I went to the CMIP5 web page.  It seems that Christy has somehow spliced the historical simulations (1850 to at least 2005) with the projections (in this case the RCP4.5 scenario).  Given this apparent splicing, I am not sure why all these curves look so smooth.  Until I get a clarification from Christy, I advise not reading too much into the curves beyond say 2005-2010.  Also I am not sure if these simulations include the simulations with coupled carbon cycle.

I have seen results from a few of the individual climate model simulations from CMIP5, but not the synthesis of all the models.  Assuming that Christy’s figure (at least up to 2005) has been put together correctly, we see the models are overall biased high, with a  greater spread than we saw in the CMIP3/AR4 (this was discussed on a recent thread).  Note, all the CMIP3/AR4 models produced results that pretty much matched the observations (see Fig 9.5).   Given that the CMIP5 simulations use better models and forcing data, how do we explain the larger  bias and spread in CMIP5?

In my uncertainty monster paper, I attributed this agreement in CMIP3 to circular reasoning that included selecting forcing data by each modeling group to produce good agreement with the observed time series.  Hegerl et al. heartily objected to our analysis, although the emails seem to support my argument.

Based on what I have heard, their explanation for the larger spread and high biases seems to be related to how the aerosol indirect effect is included (and whether it is included at all).

I look forward to pondering the entire historical simulations back to to 1850.   The CMIP5 has a much better experimental design than CMIP3, and there is less flexibility in selecting the forcings to make your simulations agree with the observations.  Here is what I think is going on with the high bias since about 1985 shown in Christy’s figure. The models are too sensitive to CO2 forcing, because of a hyperactive water feedback (this hyperactive water vapor feedback arises from approximations used from weather models that cause error accumulation in longer climate simulations).   The aerosol indirect effect (negative) can counter this hyperactive postive water vapor feedback by being too strong.  I recall a paper by Rostayn (about 10 years old, can’t find it easily) that said including aerosol indirect effect without including fully interactive aerosol (with sinks) would produce an aerosol indirect effect that is too large.  So in principle, two wrongs (hyperactive positive water vapor feedback and negative aerosol indirect effect) can make a right (i.e. agree with observations).

JC conclusion

The heavy reliance by IPCC on climate model simulations seems less justified with the CMIP5 simulations than it did with the CMIP3 simulations (where I was one of the people that was fooled by the strong agreement between the 20th century simulations and the observations of global temperature anomalies in AR4).

The psychological effect on decision makers of this disagreement and larger spread among the models will be interesting.  I hope this improved characterization of the model uncertainty will lead to greater support for observationally based studies to determine attribution and sensitivity, and more focus on assembling and cleaning historical records and developing new paleo proxies.

And with regards to extreme events, we need to see more of the type of regional analyses that Christy has done.  Christy’s analysis reinforces that many types of weather extremes were more extreme in the 1930′s and 1950′s.

Moderation note:  keep the comments on this thread on the topic of Christy’s testimony.  More general comments can be posted on the previous thread.

689 responses to “John Christy’s EPW testimony

  1. Thanks, Christy, for having the courage to present the truth !

    Oliver K. Manuel

    • May your braver scholarship help us get past the irrefutable evidence of fraud in Climategate emails and documents, without retribution (an eye for an eye) for wrongs, . . .

      so AGW proponents and skeptics may join forces to return our troubled corner to its proper place in God’s beautiful, bountiful universe: http://dingo.care2.com/cards/flash/5409/galaxy.swf

      And work together for our common goals:

      1. We all want world peace.
      2. An end to racism and nationalistic warfare.
      3. An end to the threat of mutual nuclear annihilation.
      4. Cooperative efforts to protect Earth’s environment and bounty.
      5. Governments controlled by the people being governed, including.
      6. Transparency and veracity (truth) of information given to the public.

      Oliver K. Manuel
      http://omanuel.wordpress.com/

    • Probably nothing would better connect the distinguished members of the Senate Committee to reality than a few minutes watching this video about our place in the universe:

      http://dingo.care2.com/cards/flash/5409/galaxy.swf

      May you succeed in this most important endeavor !
      - Oliver

    • Eric Swanson

      Having written about John Christy’s work and followed his efforts with his buddy Roy Spencer beginning with their first report published in 1990, I think Christy is a professional denialist who presents poor science to support the contention that there’s no problem with Global Warming. In my 2003 paper (doi:10.1029/2003GL017938), I showed that his so-called “temperature” data derived from the MSU instruments on several satellites gave a result which was at odds to other data over the Antarctic. Neither Christy nor Spencer have ever addressed this discrepancy in print. They also have created a globally gridded data set which extends to the poles, whereas their calculations can not directly provide these data. They use interpolation to fill in the small area over the poles, which is clearly the sort of fabrication which should be avoided. The other research group which calculates a temperature data set from the MSU/AMSU instruments excludes any data between 70S and the South Pole, the stated reason being that the high elevations over the Antarctic result in too much surface influence in the TLT algorithm.

      After reading a bit of Christy’s testimony, here’s a point of interest. His figure 2.1, reproduced above, shows data derived from both his UAHTLT product and that from RSS. Christy says this about that data:

      “…The two satellite-based results (circles, UAH and RSS) have been proportionally adjusted so they represent surface variations for an apples-to-apples comparison… ”

      For the denialist out in the audience who don’t like models of AGW, Christy has obviously used some sort of model to convert his TLT “bulk averaged” product to surface elevation. As usual, he provides no reference or other description telling us how this adjustment was carried out. As far as I know, Christy has never presented a published description of the method which he and Spencer used to create their TLT algorithm either. Yet, here’s a guy that claims that it’s important to uphold the scientific method, no hand waving allowed. I suppose he will produce a report describing this new data set, which one must assume has not been peer reviewed at this time, else he would be shouting about it.

      I think that Christy is playing to his audience at the Senate Committee Environment & Public Works Committee, especially, specifically, James Inhofe, a man who has repeatedly refused to accept reality, aka, science…

  2. Boxer was such a delight and storehouse of facts(?). Yeah right!

  3. I see what you mean about the splicing. I thought maybe there were integrated runs, but there seem not to be? The most I see is “projection of historical through 2012″.

    • I don’t understand what is going on in the “observations” in Fig 2.1 as it relates to:

      The two satellite-based results (circles, UAH and RSS) have been proportionally adjusted so they represent surface variations for an apples-to-apples comparison.

      From woodfortrees, the linear trends in the satellite and surface data from 1980-present vary about 25% from each other at the most. Eyeballing the chart above it looks like the satellite trends are half of the “NASA” and “HadCrut” trends.

    • Is that land only? It’s too small and fuzzy for me to read.

    • The NASA and HadCrut trends look about right. The satellite trends look downscaled, but I don’t understand the “proportional adjustment”. I hope it isn’t entirely related to tropospheric amplification.

    • Nickel says he used the Watts disaster for his discount.

    • David L. Hagen

      Eyeballing the model mean trend with the model standard deviations, it looks like the model mean is about two standard deviations above the actual UAH temperature data. This is similar to Lucia’s Liljegren’s finding of the model IPCC mean temperature trend of 0.2 C/decade being two temperature trend standard deviations hotter than the actual UAH 32 year temperature trend 0.138 C/decade [0.083, 0.194] (red noise corrected.)

      Both ways of evaluating indicate that the IPCC’s models are still way too sensitive and outside > 95% of the actual 32 year satellite temperature data from 1980.

    • David,

      That may be but the UAH trend in Christy’s plot doesn’t look anything like 0.138C/decade. It looks about half that.

  4. Such analysis is why as POLITICO just reported,

    “Only 21 percent of people think dealing with “environmental problems such as global warming” is extremely important, according to a July 19-22 Gallup Poll surveying what voters want the next president to make a priority. A little over half — 52 percent — labeled it as an extremely or very important priority, just slightly ahead of increasing taxes on the wealthy.” http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0712/79239_Page2.html#ixzz22IpNzPk8

  5. Judy, you describe point #2, that CMIP5 models substantially over-estimate warming, as the ‘blockbuster’. This seems to be much the same result as in your recent paper Kim et al, referred to in your May 17 post “CMIP5 decadal hindcasts”. Is that the case, or is there any major difference between what you said and what he’s saying?

  6. lurker, passing through laughing

    Dr. Christy is offering a choice based on reason.
    Will the extremists be willing to back down and accept that choice?

  7. “To put it another way, a large percentage of the worst extremes over the period 1880 to 2100 will occur after 2011 simply by statistical probability without any appeal to human forcing at all” – Christy.

    This is just daft. It’s not saying anything.

    • It means that the mindless attribution of such extremes to AGW should be stomped on with hobnail boots. Get it yet?

  8. Thanks Christy. Thanks JC

    So in principle, two wrongs (hyperactive positive water vapor feedback and negative aerosol indirect effect) can make a right (i.e. agree with observations).

    “The uncertain strength (and even sign) of aerosol forcing allows the climate modelers to use aerosols as a tuning knob (aka fudge factor) in making their models produce warming more-or-less consistent with past observations. Using an assumed large aerosol cooling to cancel out the GHG warming allows the modelers to retain high climate sensitivity, and thus the fear of strong future warming if those aerosols ever dissipate.”
    http://bit.ly/xFCmnL

    Unless the effect of aerosols is removed from climate models, the effect of CO2 on the climate will remain exaggerated (Climate sensitivity of 3 instead of about 1 deg C for doubling of CO2)

  9. 5. Atmospheric CO2 is food for plants which means it is food for people and animals. More CO2 generally means more food for all. Today, affordable carbon-based energy is a key component for lifting people out of crippling poverty. Rising CO2 emissions are, therefore, one indication of poverty-reduction which gives hope for those now living in a marginal existence without basic needs brought by electrification, transportation and industry. Additionally, modern, carbon-based energy reduces the need for deforestation and alleviates other environmental problems such as water and air pollution. Until affordable energy is developed from non-carbon sources, the world will continue to use carbon as the main energy source as it does today.

    Christy’s claims in point #5. are so badly off as to astound. Atmospheric CO2 is food for plants which means it is food for people and animals, has the gloss of truthiness, without the content.

    Atmospheric CO2 at levels between 180 ppmv and 280 ppmv are in the ‘plant food’ range, with a complex relationship with soil and water microbes that produce and consume, compete for and complete resources in the life cycle of plants. Christy’s statement in contrast to this understanding — taught in every grade three classroom in America (until the Heartland Institute gets its way) — is, to borrow a phrase, very oversimplistic.

    More CO2 emphatically does not mean more food for all. Study after study agree on this. CO2 at and above current levels is in the range more of plant drug than plant food, acting to suppress or amplify the actions of plant hormones. Christy has just become the world’s biggest drug pusher to plants in this testimony, repeated almost word-for-word from Idsos, in turn almost word for word from Micheals and Singer. None of whom have the least qualification in agronomy or plant science, and it shows amply in the ideas they espouse out of an advanced invincible ignorance of the field.

    Today, affordable carbon-based energy is a key component for lifting people out of crippling poverty.

    Another bald and unsubstantiated assertion straight from Singer and the SEPP in the 1990′s. Carbon-based energy right now, today, is _more_ costly (even absent costing for the carbon cycle and any fuel taxes) than wind or solar state-of-the-art. Only natural gas is cheaper than Makani’s current prototypes, which will certainly be production ready and scalable faster than Keystone. Only natural gas and some coal are cheaper than ZenithSolar and a plurality of similar CSV/CSP competitors, also again scalable faster than pipelines. At the top end, the most expensive carbon-based fuel in the world — Arctic, undersea, tar sands — even with every subsidy and tax expenditure and dodge and infrastructure support and government contracts on favorable terms, are far pricier than these alternatives: you could manufacture synthetic gasoline from natural gas more cheaply than exploit these luxury petrochemicals.

    Carbon-based energy as a small part of the mix of an efficient economy is an optional component for providing all levels of the community with potential wealth. The skewed and unbalanced playing field for obtaining wealth from carbon-based energy, however, heavily weighs against the poorest of the poor and clearly disadvantages them, as any expert working in development can show you in study after study.

    The correlation of CO2E emission to CO2 level, CO2 level to AGW, AGW to increase in thunderstorms and dry forest conditions, dry forest conditions and lightning to forest fires, warm winters to devastating pests that leave deadwood as kindling, all well-documented, clearly increases deforestation.

    And his points in #5 are not worse or less true than his remarks throughout, easily identified in the techniques of propaganda Dr. Christy employs.

    Does Dr. Christy really hold congress in such contempt as to lie so brashly and obviously, so readily, before them?

    • My family happens to have a cornfield that has been in the family since ~1836. Back then – maybe 3o bushels an acre. By ww2, still mules, it was up to 40. In the 1970s my father took over its management. He goes all hog: best fertilizer money can buy, best herbicides, best insecticides, best till system, best seed. He gets it up to 170 to 250, depending on weather. This year, probably nothing. 400 ppm. Probably nothing.

    • JCH

      And you point relates to climate change how?

    • His point about anthropogenic CO2 and growing food relates to growing food how?

    • Doug Badgero

      Is it your assertion that corn does not require CO2? Your comments point to nothing but the non-linear response of plants to all required inputs.

      That 400bpa is a record in many states. When I was young (1970s) a good yield was 70-90bpa now a good yield is about twice that. Both grandparents were farmers and my first job was on a farm.

    • Doug look at the 400 number again. You misinterpreted JCH. He implied that even with close to 400 PPM CO2 as excess nutrients, it is close to zero yield. In other words, other factors control yield much more strongly than carbon uptake, e.g. water.

    • Doug Badgero

      Thanks WHT, I stand corrected.

      According to a coworker (MSAg) the CO2 concentration in a healthy cornfield on a sunny day is about zero ppm. It appears that corn is CO2 limited. It therefore seems reasonable that some of the increased yield over the last several decades is due to rising CO2 levels. Please note that I am not suggesting CO2 is the only thing, only that it is one thing.

    • Doug Badgero | August 2, 2012 at 7:07 pm |

      Your friend is correct. Your surmise about limits is incorrect.

      A healthy corn field can at peak reduce the concentration of CO2 below 150 ppmv, in some cases so low as to be almost undetectable.

      However, the corn field remains healthy. If you had a workable method to pump CO2 into fields for the half hour or so that the concentration fell below 150 ppmv, then you’d probably stimulate about 0.3% additional healthy growth.

      This will happen no matter how high the ambient CO2 level is likely to be raised. Plants have enormous capacity to uptake CO2. A full, healthy field or forest is just too powerful an engine to overcome by ambient CO2 rise in the 300-3000 ppmv range.

      The downside, where CO2 levels are above 280 ppmv, is the contribution of CO2 influence on plant hormones tending toward Witches Broom Syndrome, where plants will put on more length and mass in stalks, stems and limbs, but at the cost of brittleness, poorer nutrient production and retention, shorter lifespan, decreased ability to uptake resources, and deformation of sexual organs. Such bolting, turning off of the carefully bred dwarf traits intended to maximize fruiting, and withering of roots is a definite liability, far outweighing the hoped-for gains.

    • LMAO. You take anthropogenic CO2: I’ll take preindustrial CO2 and the things I know grow corn and I will stomp your worthless ignorant butt all over the field.

    • Wait, I thought you just said you weren’t going to get any corn this year? Are you trying to grow it without CO2 maybe? Just trying to help.

    • Dave Springer

      You just said you won’t be getting any output at all from the family farm this year. The only butts you’ll be stomping are those who grow less than zero. How does one go about producing a negative amount of crops? I ask because if anyone knows how to produce less than zero crops it would be you.

    • All that fertilizer and insecticide and you forgot to irrigate?

    • how about, for industrial ecology let’s put some greenhouses next to office parks. let the drones feed the plants.

    • robin | August 1, 2012 at 11:28 am |

      You sir, are no farmer : ).

      The injury is generations deep, yet still stings. He jests at scars that never felt a wound. I’m farmboy enough.

      340–1,000 ppm
      http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/crops/facts/00-077.htm

      _This_ omafra?

      http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/engineer/facts/climatechange.htm

      Under its 2007 Climate Change Action Plan, Ontario is committed to reducing GHG emissions that cause climate change to:
      •6 per cent below 1990 levels by 2014
      •15 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020; and
      •80 per cent below 1990 levels by 2050.

      All sectors of Ontario society must contribute to lowering our GHG emissions, including the agricultural industry, food processors and rural communities.

      Nice cherry-picking of your source, trying to drag out some abstract point about CO2 effect on plants in containment with hothouse care as if it had the least relevance to farms outside of little glassed-in rooms.

      http://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/composition-division

    • Christy has just become the world’s biggest drug pusher to plants in this testimony, repeated almost word-for-word from Idsos, in turn almost word for word from Micheals and Singer. None of whom have the least qualification in agronomy or plant science, and it shows amply in the ideas they espouse out of an advanced invincible ignorance of the field.

      What about, for example, Ontario’s Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs?

      http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/crops/facts/00-077.htm

      Talking about comercial greenhouses:

      Ambient CO2 level in outside air is about 340 ppm by volume. All plants grow well at this level but as CO2 levels are raised by 1,000 ppm photosynthesis increases proportionately resulting in more sugars and carbohydrates available for plant growth.

      The level to which the CO2 concentration should be raised depends on the crop, light intensity, temperature, ventilation, stage of the crop growth and the economics of the crop. For most crops the saturation point will be reached at about 1,000–1,300 ppm under ideal circumstances. A lower level (800–1,000 ppm) is recommended for raising seedlings (tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers) as well as for lettuce production. Even lower levels (500–800 ppm) are recommended for African violets and some Gerbera varieties. Increased CO2 levels will shorten the growing period (5%–10%), improve crop quality and yield, as well as, increase leaf size and leaf thickness. The increase in yield of tomato, cucumber and pepper crops is a result of increased numbers and faster flowering per plant.
      Oh, maybe you mean it is like a “drug”, “evil”, and so on. I see.

    • plazaeme -

      Do you have any links to articles that discuss situations other than commercial greenhouses – particularly with consideration for what changes in PPM will mean to the climate, needs for fertilizer, need for irrigation, growth with some kinds of plants relative to others, growth in some parts of the plant relative to others, etc.?

      How much do you think that what they say about PPM in commercial greenhouses applies to atmospheric PPM?

    • No, my friend. Just a step each time. I was addressing Bart’s R idea:

      None of whom have the least qualification in agronomy or plant science,

      Do you think OMAFRA has the least qualification in agronomy or plant science?

      The rest is pure speculation on your part, and I don’t play this game.

    • “I was addressing Bart’s R idea”

      You didn’t address it successfully.

      For one thing, Bart named specific people, and you haven’t shown that any of them have “the least qualification in agronomy or plant science.”

      Also, you can’t generalize from greenhouses to the atmosphere. In a greenhouse we control the temperature, the water, the nutrients. We don’t grow cereals in greenhouses.

      Find an agronomist who is enthusiastic about raising ATMOSPHERIC CO2 to 700, 800, 900ppm. Then you will have an interesting talking point.

    • - you haven’t shown that any of them have “the least qualification in agronomy – you haven’t shown that any of them have “the least qualification in agronomy or plant science.”

      They are saying the same thing as those who do have pretty good qualification.

      - Find an agronomist who is enthusiastic about raising ATMOSPHERIC CO2 to 700, 800, 900ppm. Then you will have an interesting talking point.

      Found:

      Climate Change and Food Security: Adapting Agriculture to a Warmer World

      David B. Lobell, Marshall Burke.

      Page 180 Table 10.1 (Projected impacts for doubled CO2 on cereal production % change)

      Scenario ….. GISS ….. GFDL ….. UKMO

      CC only ………. -11 …….. -12 ……… -20

      CC + CO2 …….. -1 ………. -3 ………. -8

      —————————————-

      CO2 fert. ……… +10 ……… +9 ……… +12

    • Steve Milesworthy

      plazaeme,

      Your table shows that the effect of CC (climate change?) and CO2 reduce yield by between 1 and 8 percent according to these writers. So you are making Robert’s point for him.

      Elsewhere these writers say:

      Results indicate South Asia and Southern Africa as two regions that, without sufficient adaptation measures, will likely suffer negative impacts on several crops that are important to large food-insecure human populations.

    • Steve | August 2, 2012 at 6:44 am |

      You are mixing speculative effects of “climate change” in general, with direct effects from CO2. Since I don’t have any reason to think they have the climate change part right, I am considering only de CO2 effects they talk about. And, Robert’s point was CO2, as far as I can tell. At least it was Christy’s point, so it should be Robert’s point too.

      Don’t waste our time, please.

    • Steve Milesworthy

      plazaeme,

      This was your challenge. And you failed. You can’t just ignore what your chosen experts say when it suits you!

      Find an agronomist who is enthusiastic about raising ATMOSPHERIC CO2 to 700, 800, 900ppm. Then you will have an interesting talking point.

    • So sorry, Steve. I translated an idiotic challenge into something reasonable. Christy never talked about enthusiasm. I find this conversation somewhat silly. I’m embarrased. Over and out.

    • David L. Hagen

      Joshua
      See CO2Science.org for an extensive collection of evidence:

      Plant Growth Database

      In this section of our web site we maintain an ever-expanding archive of the results of peer-reviewed scientific studies that report the growth responses of plants to atmospheric CO2 enrichment. Results are tabulated according to two types of growth response (Dry Weight and Photosynthesis). To begin, click on the response you are interested in below.

      See C for Corn
      24.1% increase on 300 ppm more CO2.
      33% increase on 600 ppm more CO2.

      NASA provides monthly satellite evidence on Net Primary Productivity since 2000.

      Global net primary productivity increased 2.8%/year from 1980-2010.

      Global changes of remotely sensed greenness and simulated biomass production since 1981 ISRIC Report

      For recent changes see:
      Net primary production of terrestrial ecosystems from 2000 to 2009, Christopher Potter et al. 2012 NASA

      Enjoy the higher agricultural productivity as CO2 increases!

    • David L. Hagen | August 1, 2012 at 6:17 pm |

      Idsos sites are a prime example of spin and propagandization of legitimate research into dissemblage.

      Their persistency, connivance, sophistication and sheer audacity speaks for itself when one takes a little time to disentangle the works they hijack to their ends and objectively approach them with reason and skepticism.

      You can tell when someone isn’t really possessed of skepticism simply by measuring how ready they are to fall for Idsosism.

    • Bart R | August 2, 2012 at 1:24 am |

      This kind of “argument” is the perfect example when any sensible person stops listening.

    • plazaeme | August 2, 2012 at 2:09 am |

      Caught with his hand in the cookie-jar, he stops listening for mommy and starts blaming the cat.

      That kind of sensible person?

    • David – thanks for that link. I’ll check it out.

      In the meantime, I found this at that sight:

      Furthermore, it is highly unlikely that future increases in the air’s CO2 content will produce any global warming;…

      Now I will note that you are referring me to folks that Judith doesn’t listen to.

      And on another note, can you tell me approximately how many people might be associated with that sight? I’m ordering more buses to throw people under, and I need to know how many people we need to make room for.

    • er… site.

    • David L. Hagen

      Bart R
      Re “spin and propagandization”
      I recommend that you reflect and recognize that having to stoop to ad hominem unreferenced rhetorical attacks exposes the flimsiness of your evidence and your anti-scientific approach.

    • David L. Hagen | August 1, 2012 at 6:17 pm |

      “On your own intelligence rely not.”

      Proverbs 3:5

      Look, I get that you like your bible references. They give you comfort, or the gloss of authority, or somehow make you think you appear more moral to someone for flaunting scriptures like a pharisee.

      But it’s old. It’s lame. It’s pointlessly self-lampooning.

      If you feel I’ve wronged the Idsos cites with ad hominem, I’ll remind you I was discussing the cites, the habits of their ideas, the routine make-up of their content, the wrongness of their methods.

      I wasn’t talking about the Idsos themselves. I made no mention of them personally. I don’t know them. I have nothing to say about them.

      So if you can forget the people, and stick to the ideas, if you can throw away your bible for the space of a discussion of science, then we may be able to discuss actual truth.

      Wouldn’t God like that more than what you’re doing now in His Name?

    • Bart R
      Per “love your neighbor”, it appears you were taught by poorly informed educators.
      Re: Bible – “it’s old”. That’s exactly why we should uphold its principles since they are the foundations of Western Civilization including the scientific revolution. The Bible has been by far the world’s best seller over the last century through today.

      To better understand our cultural foundations, study:
      Rodney Stark, The Victory of Reason: How Christianity Led to Freedom, Capitalism, and Western Success. 2005 Random House ISBN 0-8129-7233-3

      Vishal Mangalwadi The Book that Made Your World 2011 Thomas Nelson ISBN 978-1595553225

      James Hannam, The Genesis of Science: How the Christian Middle Ages Launched the Scientific Revolution, 2011 Regnery Publishing ISBN-13: 978-1596981553

      Governments founded on “Nature,red in tooth and claw” and “might makes right” killed 100 million of their own people in the 20th century. That is diametrically opposed to representative constitutional government based on the Rule of Law and Judeo-Christian foundations of “love your neighbor”.
      Re: ad hominem vs Idsos
      Please lean about ad hominem attacks and defamation.
      I understand you post to be explicit character assassination and libel against the Idsos.

      Libel

      is any Defamation that can be seen, such as a writing, printing, effigy, movie, or statue.

      In Grant v. Torstar Corp., 2009 SCC 61, [2009] 3 SCR 640

      [28] A plaintiff in a defamation action is required to prove three things to obtain  judgment and an award of damages:
      (1) that the impugned words were defamatory, in the sense that they would tend to lower the plaintiff’s reputation in the eyes of a reasonable person;
      (2) that the words in fact referred to the plaintiff; and
      (3) that the words were published, meaning that they were communicated to at least one person other than the plaintiff. 

      You provided no scientific evidence. You accuse of:
      spin: “often, though not always, implies disingenuous, deceptive and/or highly manipulative tactics.”
      propaganda : “Information, esp. of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view.”
      Dissemble: “to hide under a false appearance”
      Each term is particularly damaging to the professional reputation of scientists.
      Western civil law is founded on: Do not bear false witness against your neighbor.
      Matthew 12:36-37 NIV

      But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”

    • Joshua,
      You could also check this:
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1692178/

      Seems lots of people have heard of this CO2 starvation idea.

    • Thanks Tamara,

      My sense, as an idiot non-scientist, is that no one “knows” with much confidence what will happen to plants with significantly higher atmospheric CO2 as a controlled variable. My guess is that anyone claiming a high degree of certainty is likely motivated in their reasoning.

      More relevant, IMO, is to assess (as with the impact on plants of higher global temperatures) how to evaluate the risks of different scenarios.

    • And consider further ….

      One of the arguments goes that the more ACO2 the better for plants…

      Many of these same people throw “skeptics” who doubt that ACO2 warms the climate, under the bus (it’s crowded under there).

      Now it seems to me that claims about the “benefits” of ACO2 are widely overstated – but even if they aren’t, let’s play this out a bit….

      Say PPM grow to the extent that it has significant benefit to plants. Along with that dramatic increase in PPM, we also have the concurrent climate change (which “almost all ‘skeptics’ agree will occur”) that may negatively impact plants (or at least some plants, crucial plants like corn)….

      Who – in their arguments about the benefits from ACO2 for plants, also controls for the negative impact of the climate change that they don’t doubt will take place? Discussing the supposed benefits of ACO2 without, in the same discussion, controlling for the impact of climatic change is specious.

    • Who – me!

    • Gotta link?

    • There is no climate change – unless it’s positive, and then it’s undeniable.

    • The more CO2 is good for plants is generally true, but some of the plants that benefit most are not the ones we would rather benefit. Since we live in a sound bite world with tiny attention spans, going into detail is a waste of time, but some “weeds” benefit more which is not good for other crops. The “Round up” resistant weeds especially.

      Then blaming all atmospheric CO2 on burning fossil fuels is about the same type of argument which you tend to not challenge. Think about 2 to 5 tons of carbon per acre. That is the average loss when virgin land is turned into agricultural land. That is not a one time impact, it is an ongoing impact because the carbon uptake of the land is restricted. The plant to add biochar to land really just replaces the carbon that should have been there to begin with.

    • Please define “good,” and which plants described to you what is “good” for them.

      What is “good for plants” is not really the metric we should be using, unless you’re an extremist environmentalists.

      AFAIC, anything that increases feed for pigs is “good.” More bacon, baby.

    • Beneficial to growth under various conditions. Plant uptake is limited by all the usual suspects, but with higher CO2, proper water with other available nutrients, growth is better. More CO2 is not magic, but it will promote more growth under already “good” growing conditions. There are quite a few studies out there just a Google away.

    • I think you missed my point.

      Is it good if there is more growth only with increased fertilizer and water and plants dying if those elements aren’t provided?

      Is it “good” if plants provided those elements are given what enhance their growth with increased CO2 in greenhouse conditions, but providing those elements to prevent the plants from dying has other negative impact?

      Is it “good” for humans or for plants if atmospheric PPM increases in proportions that stimulate sufficiently supported plants in greenhouse environments but that increased PPM is accompanied by other climate changes that occur with increase PPM?

      My guess is that The Google won’t return hits for studies that include those variables. And if it does, they are few in number. (Please suggest a couple if I’m wrong).

      My sense is that the vast majority of the arguments about the benefits of ACO2 are based on experimental conditions in greenhouses and not on data acquired from dramatic increase in atmospheric ACO2. I’ve seen a couple of links to studies conducted under more naturalistic experimental conditions, and from what I’ve seen the findings from those studies do not support strong conclusions about the benefits of ACO2.

    • Joshua, increased CO2 reduces drought stress, plants can grow with less water. CO2 is not magic, plants still need water. With plenty of water and available nutrients, increased CO2 improves growth. That is why it it used in some greenhouses, but if the nutrients are not properly balanced, more CO2 is not going to save a crop. There are no strong conclusions, just in general more CO2 within reason is “good” for plant growth. Some wheat field tests there was no difference good or bad. Corn tests were generally good from what I have read.

      From one report, “The effects of increased CO2 are in large measure positive.” or word to that effect

      The biggest caveat I have seen is the weeds also benefit. I think Rud had a post on the problem with certain weeds.

      I am working on a Bacon and Religion post which is much more “ground breaking” Thus far, (thus sucks but is sounds edumacated), pork consuming nations appear to be much more tolerant and diverse. So we need to religiously protect our right to bacon :)

    • Carbon dioxide is one of the essential ingredients in green plant growth, and is a primary environmental factor in greenhouses. CO2 enrichment at 2, 3 or 4 times natural concentration will cause plants to grow faster and improve plant quality.

      Johnson CO2 Generator

    • Say I have one section of corn. How much will the glass cost?

      Thus model parameterization and validation with summary data from FACE and non-FACE studies show that the quantitative differences in how crops respond to CO2 in the field compared to in chambers has important consequences for global food supply projections. Equally FACE has revealed factors operating in the open field situation that were not or cannot be identified by chamber experiments, for example, increased herbivory and performance of herbivore populations (Holton et al., 2003; Hamilton et al., 2004; Zavala et al., 2008). Most important though will be understanding why our major food crops fail to achieve the improved production under elevated [CO2] that can be achieved in protected environments and by some non-crop species. …

      The crappy grain farmers in the American midwest have managed to somehow bolster world food supplies in material amounts since the first mule and plow drug some astoundingly stupid farmer across the land. That these idiots grew a thing at 280 ppm CO2 is a miracle. Soon we will be able to replace them with greenhouse experts from suburbia. The bellies of the planet will finally be in superb hands.

    • Christy’s claims in point #5. are so badly off as to astound. Atmospheric CO2 is food for plants which means it is food for people and animals, has the gloss of truthiness, without the content.

      Christys argument is poorly posed.It is better to observe as a binary problem ,what is happening at the bottom of the garden.

      The step like increase of efficiency in the carbon sink (by a factor of 4) is an obvious fact eg Beauleu 2012

      http://www.niwa.co.nz/sites/default/files/imagecache/PhotoGallery_ImageNodeFull/images/land-carbon-sink.jpg

    • maksimovich | August 1, 2012 at 3:03 pm |

      Which Beaueu 2012?

      I get over 6 million hits when I Google “Beauleu 2012 scholarly” – this does not speak for a well-posed response.

      ;)

      http://www.princeton.edu/scale/publications/Beaulieu_2012.pdf

      It’s a really mathematically suspect treatment, with large uncertainties and limited applicability.

      However, it’s perfectly plausible that uptake of CO2 could be purposefully geoengineered. Simply choosing to replace deforested or droughtstricken regions with more deeply-rooted native species than dominated previously could — depending on soil microbial response, amplify the carbon sequestration of such regions manyfold. Are you going to convince Suburbia to replace their Kentucky Bluegrass with cocksfoot, timothy and fescue (www.nature.com/nature/journal/v371/n6494/abs/371236a0.html)?

      Replace shallow-rooting pine with oak and deep-rooting juniper, soil-microbe hostile birch replaced with pinyon, replace balsams with tulip-trees? Think you can get that done across the USA?

      Because, sure, there’s a possibility there’s some marginal step response of much hotter soils, surface water and seas to uptake of CO2, but that’s not a response that we can expect to be without side-effects.

    • The mathematical problems with attributions to biological studies are always clearly limited due to the mixture of necessity and chance.

      That the change in the sink uptake,has been attributed to a number of factors such as volcanic,or the reduction in liquid fuels (hanson 2011) etc,

      The uncertainty with ff emissions is well known in both source and type eg Andres et al.2012

      http://www.biogeosciences-discuss.net/9/1299/2012/

      In addition the limitations for international treaties such as the KP were problematic in the use of habitat change and use,due to a rigorous understanding of natural variability in the CC and sinks eg the GSCIENCE Statement,

      The net sum of human and natural sources and sinks can be estimated using atmospheric and/or oceanic measurements (including remote sensing from satellites) of the gases and state-of-the-art mathematical models of air and water flow. These methods offer an opportunity to provide an independent check on inventory estimates. However, they cannot yet be used to estimate greenhouse gas emissions and sinks with sufficient accuracy at the national level, because of: transport error; large and incompletely understood background fluctuations of natural emissions; and the small number and uneven geographic distribution of sampling stations. For example, current atmospheric sampling grids largely avoid major emitters like cities, making it difficult to interpret satellite observations. Moreover, air samples are not analyzed for all isotopes of interest: for example, measurements of radiocarbon [14C] would enable fossil-fuel CO2 emissions to be separated from non-fossil-fuel sources and sinks).

      That there are significant negative feedbacks (by biology to the airborne fraction) to climate warming such as Siberian bogs is well described in the literature how important are the sinks is the question.

    • maksimovich | August 2, 2012 at 5:10 am |

      The propaganda technique you are employing is Projection/Flipping.

      http://truth-out.org/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=1964:fourteen-propaganda-techniques-fox-news-uses-to-brainwash-americans

    • Slight correction, Bart.

      Fred Singer has significant qualifications in agronomy, particularly in tobacco agronomy.

      As always, follow the money.

    • WebHubTelescope | August 2, 2012 at 2:22 am |

      *groan*

    • Interesting that for both crude oil and tobacco, the remaining residue is referred to as “tar”. The crude oil junkies are desperately pinning their hopes on gloppy kerogen. One last toke before all that is left is stems and seeds.

      Christy is no different than Singer and the rest of the lot.

    • Steven Mosher

      Bart. you are putting a large amount of hope into two companies that are not entirely proven. The wind example is kinda kool, but give it another 20 years to be at a point where you have real visibility into the life cycle cost. 25 years of doing new technology tells me thats a good time frame. But I will say it is one of the more interesting approaches ive seen.. lots of things that could go wrong with it. dont bet the farm.

    • Steven Mosher | August 2, 2012 at 2:59 am |

      I’m putting a great deal of speculation into two industries that have a lot of progress yet to make; this is true.

      However, even on spec, top end fossil like tar sands (also not yet fully understood life cycle cost) are no less experimental and no less uncertain, while far more expensive than cutting edge renewables.

      Comparing like-to-like, even after a quarter century of the Canadian government pouring billions into tar sands development toward the day when oil would top $200/barrel and make it viable (their own calculations) to stand on its own as resource, the Makani approach (based on a 1950′s design) is the more mature. If you can call kite-surfers mature.

    • Billions? Recently they calculated the benefits to Alberta if the pipleine though BC goes through.

      Alberta will receive 253.7 billion in incremental tax revenues over 24 years.

      There is no need for 200$/barrel to make money.

    • sunshinehours1 | August 2, 2012 at 11:19 am |

      They who? Link? Cite?

      A bit over $10 billion a year. It sounds pretty impressive.

      Since 1964, Syncrude has received benefits from the Canadian government of over $2 billion a year (much more since the 1980′s).

      It’ll take until the 20th year of that 24 years for all that Canadian tax money to be paid back in tax revenues.

    • Steven Mosher

      where did I mention comparing it to tar sands?

      Is this your version of Joshua’s mommy mommy?

      Looks like it.

      At this stage of the debate I think anybody offering point solutions is probably deciding too early and for motivated reasons. Opps, I do that to by clamoring for nuclear. bad moshpit.

      More to the point. This is a tangled mess. one approach I know is to get some principles in place. let the solution fall out of that.

    • Steven Mosher | August 2, 2012 at 6:12 pm |

      I don’t know Joshua’s mommy. The reference is lost on me, sorry.

      I don’t pretend all solar is better than all petro. That’d be silly. Solar at the North Pole in December is worthless; petroleum produced by sucking on desert sand through a drinking straw just as much of a waste.

      My point is about relative economic benefits on margins. The cheapest-to-extract oil in the world is much better for driving your car than the average oil. But the average is much, much better than tar sands. That product comes out of intensive processing that consumes sizeable energy and uses immense amounts of water — rendering it contaminated industrial waste — at high cost. While — if economies of scale and publicly built infrastructure, and hard-lobbied tax favoritism are all applied — you can sell it and stay in business below $150/barrel, the Canadian plan has always been to hold onto the stuff until $200/barrel was in sight, then rake in the rewards of socialized tar produced by a 4-decade-long government-backed multi-billion-dollar research effort, plus government-sponsored infrastructure specifically built for the tar processing industry (look at a map; why else would Canada build roads way up there?).

      Simply put, all of that money was a state deciding it would suppress the Market internationally by massive funding and political influence. Now that they’re nearing their $200/barrel horizon, Canadians are realizing that they’ve miscalculated, and solar and wind are much, much, much cheaper and more plentiful and no one needs Canadian tar for energy.

      No wonder they’re in a hurry to force the USA to become a tar addict, before Americans realize that they’ve been had.

    • There are no TAR sands in Canada. There are OIL sands though.

    • AllenC | August 3, 2012 at 10:41 am |

      I’ve been there. I’ve seen the stuff. Touched it. Held it in my hand. Walked on it. Have you?

      Tar sand. You can call it whatever industry-approved term you like. Doesn’t make it a rose. http://www2.macleans.ca/2012/04/03/oil-by-any-other-name/

    • http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxprofiles/tp85-c4.pdf

      cf

      http://web.anl.gov/PCS/acsfuel/preprint%20archive/Files/22_3_MONTREAL_06-77_0171.pdf

      To translate for you, tar is no one thing: coal tar, crude oil tar, bitumen all vary in derivation more than in composition.. though they’re not very like tree pitch.

      A MSDS for the three will (or ought, if properly prepared) have virtually identical measures, cautions and handling instructions, and be different from pine tar.

      http://www.sciencelab.com/msds.php?msdsId=9923515
      http://demo.rkmsuk.com/MSDS/5%20bitumen.pdf
      http://www.cenovus.com/contractor/docs/HeavyCrude-DiluentMix.pdf
      http://www.pharmachem.com.au/products/pdfs/stock_tar.pdf

      They even call the precipitate of tar sands, “asphaltene”.

    • Michael Walther

      Thank you for pointing to Justus von Liebig’s Minimum Law, ancient knowledge, but still true.

    • “The correlation of CO2E emission to CO2 level”
      Interesting – Salby finds that correlating carbon isotopes at fine temporal resolution reveals that the isotopic”fingerprint” of fossil carbon is an artifact of averaging – a statistical caveat that is well known and has been warned about by many well versed in stats.

      http://www.thesydneyinstitute.com.au/podcast/global-emission-of-carbon-dioxide-the-contribution-from-natural-sources/

  10. It is popular again to claim that extreme events, such as the current central U.S. drought, are evidence of human-caused climate change. Actually, the Earth is very large, the weather is very dynamic, and extreme events will continue to occur somewhere, every year, naturally. The recent “extremes” were exceeded in previous decades.

    Precisely the same logical fallacy as we saw with the Cato institute excerpt you posted, Judith.

    • Can you remind me what that was?

    • BillC -

      Really?

      I find it hard to believe that you don’t see the fallacies. Seems to me that they are obvious.

      I elaborated a bit on that other thread – no need to clutter up this one with a series of posts.

      Besides, you could just read Bart’s much more explicit and sophisticated post below and extrapolate the those logical principles (or if you’d prefer, the same observations about properties of propaganda) and apply them to the comment I excerpted.

    • Oh you mean this? What you described is a logical fallacy, but I don’t think it applies here (not sure about Cato, didn’t read that).

    • That’s a summary, Bill. I elaborated further down — starting here:

      http://judithcurry.com/2012/07/23/catos-impact-assessment/#comment-221968

      But really, Bart’s analysis is much better (and even though he see doesn’t see much crossover in focus, I think that his comments about propaganda essentially address the same point as mine about fallacious logic and motivated reasoning).

    • Joshua, spending money on mitigating against future extreme events, whether or not caused or exacerbated by AGW is one thing.
      But throwing humungous amounts of money at vain attempts at mitigating AGW, whether or not it causes or exacerbates a proportion (those not attributed to natural causes) of extreme events is altogether something else.
      You’re the one with the logical fallacies.

    • Peter -

      Needless to say, I have never advocated the policy you assigned me to advocate. If you paid me enough, I would consider it, however.

    • Actually, the Earth is very large,…

      Yes, those dang ‘warmists,” always trying to diminish the size of the Earth.

      I’m glad that Christy cleared that up.

      Of course, if no one says as he implies, he would be arguing against a… hmmmm. there must be some term for building false opposing arguments just to knock them down, but I just can’t quite place my finger on it.

    • Joshua

      The point is that many people who fear a warmer world are quick tto claim that any bad weather event is due to more haman released CO2. There is simply a lack of evidence to support that claim and there is no evidence that mitigation actions will result in less severe weather.

    • Rob -

      There is simply a lack of evidence to support that claim and there is no evidence that mitigation actions will result in less severe weather.

      If that’s the argument, then state that as the argument. People can discuss the how to interpret the evidence.

      Don’t employ logical fallacies. It undermines the scientific validity of your argument.

    • Ah, the ubiquitous (but often ill-informed) “many people.”

      If “many people” or their relatives, “Some people” do assert (link?) that “any bad weather event is due to more haman released CO2″ (you really can’t trust those Amalekites) then obviously that assertion would be incorrect. If, on the other, such a view is presented as typical among people doubtful of Rob Starkey’s plan to radically warm the climate with massive releases of GHGs, that would be a straw man.

      “there is no evidence that mitigation actions will result in less severe weather”

      That’s nonsense. Less GHGs, less global warming, fewer heat waves (for example). Done.

      Of course, to get there you need to look at each element of the argument and the evidence for it. In every case in the example above, the evidence is good. In science one is not always gifted with simple one-step experiments (i.e., if we had some other planet we were warming via AGW, stopped, and reduced extreme weather events.) This is where having actual scientists doing the science is really helpful.

    • Robert writes– “Rob Starkey’s plan to radically warm the climate with massive releases of GHGs”

      Sorry Robert, but I have no such plan. What you have written is untrue. What I support is individual freedom unless there is clear evidence that demonstrates that an individual’s behavior is causing net harm.

      People have been emitting CO2 without limitations imposed by government since the beginning of civilization. In order to justify reducing an individual’s freedom, I believe we need to have a clear unambiguous justification supported by solid evidence.

      You wish to see requirements imposed to change human behavior because you fear certain conditions may occur as a result of more atmospheric CO2. You do not know that a warmer world is not better for the USA overall do you? You fear bad things may happen, and you want the rest of us to comply with your wishes because you are so sure that your fears will become reality.

      A simple example to demonstrate your fear based policy is by addressing your position on sea level rise. You acknowledge it has not been rising at an alarming rate but you fear this will change and accelerate “sometime” in the future to more than triple the current rate. What is the evidence to support your fear? When will the rate accelerate? When there is observational evidence to support your fear I would support changes in action, but until then I am skeptical that what your advocate makes sense.

    • Sorry Robert, but I have no such plan.

      Facts are facts, Rob. You’ve proposed that we carry out massive releases of long-lived GHGs into the atmosphere. Yet you haven’t been able to make an argument that this is safe.

      People have been emitting CO2 without limitations imposed by government since the beginning of civilization.

      People have also been committing murder, rape, and robbery since the beginning of time. That is not an argument that what you propose is safe. The whole argument is a fallacy — argumentum ad antiquitam

      your fear based policy . . .

      It’s facing reality that takes guts. Your cowardly denial of the science makes your appeal to “fear” heartily amusing.

      When will you find the courage to deal with reality?

      You acknowledge it has not been rising at an alarming rate . . .

      When? Citation please, or admit you’re a liar as well as a coward. :) :) :)

    • Robert,

      If it were this simple
      “That’s nonsense. Less GHGs, less global warming, fewer heat waves (for example). Done.”

      Then anyone could understand climate science and we wouldn’t have to spend all these millions studying it.

    • Actually Joshua, I think that statement of Christy’s is trivially true and not a logical fallacy. I don’t think it sheds much light on the issue however. And I think you mean an Aunt Sally.

    • My point is that making trivially true statements is a form of rhetoric that equates to a logical fallacy. It’s unnecessary. It has no place in the testimony of a scientist to Congress. When it’s there, it undermines validity and suggests (without proving) motivated reasoning.

    • I agree if you’ll stipulate that no scientist should use any rhetorical trick when testifying to Congress.

    • So stipulated, your honor.

    • Please Josh. Talk about trivially true. Who the hell is going to argue with you that people shouldn’t make mistakes in logic when testifying before congress. “Extreme blowhard-ism shouldn’t be engaged in when testifying before congress.” Maybe we should devote a whole thread to it.

      Poorly phrased or not, there is no proof that global warming has increased extreme events.

    • I should have said “so-called” global warming. Last I checked there’s been no additional warming in well over a decade.

    • Who the hell is going to argue with you that people shouldn’t make mistakes in logic when testifying before congress.

      Ah, I just remembered that term I couldn’t think of before: straw man

      . I never said that anyone would argue that.

      My point is simply that it shouldn’t be done, and when it is done, it is unscientific and undermines credibility.

      Where do you disagree?

    • “My point is simply that it shouldn’t be done, and when it is done, it is unscientific and undermines credibility…Where do you disagree?”

      This is pretty much your calling card Joshua, the immensely annoying way you hammer away ad nauseum on the most trivial stuff imaginable. You drone away, making vapid point after vapid point as if you had nothing better to do. No JOshua, I do not disagree with the above.

      Having settled that burning question of the day, let me ask you: If you took a poll, how many people would you suppose would disagree?

    • PG -

      I’m getting a little tired of you personalizing the debate. And besides, Judith asked that we limit our focus to Christy’s testimony.

      I’m going to spread my wings and fly out of this nest now.

    • That’s fine Joshua. Of course, there was nothing personal in your “thrown under the bus” taunts yesterday. At least be consistent. It’s fine to be “personal” when it suits you, but not so much when it doesn’t.

  11. “Further evidence of the climatic effects of volcanic eruptions was collected after the 1883 eruption of Karakatoa. The titanic explosion of this Indonesian island volcano, audible 2200 miles away in Australia, left 1000 feet of water where there once had been land and destroyed 300 towns. On the other side of the world, in the French city of Montpellier, meteorologists found that solar radiation reaching the earth’s surface was diminished by 10 per cent for three years after the eruption.”

    “Another devastating volcanic outburst, on Bali in 1963, was followed by a drop in solar radiation of 5 per cent at Pretoria, South Africa.”

    “Yet none of these cataclysmic events produced a long-term lowering of global temperatures, let alone an ice age. In each case, the volcanic dust forming the reflective shield was dispersed in no more than 13 years; the reservoir of heat contained in the oceans is capable of maintaining the earth’s temperature for about this length of time, so the long-term effects on global climate proved negligible.”

    Ice Ages
    By Windsor Charlton
    and The Editors of ime-Life Books
    1983

  12. Higher density sources of fuel such as coal and natural gas utilized in centrally-produced power stations actually improve the environmental footprint of the poorest nations while at the same time lifting people from the scourge of poverty… Developing countries in Asia already burn more than twice the coal that North America does, and that discrepancy will continue to expand… So, downward adjustments to North American coal use will have virtually no effect on global CO2 emissions (or the climate), no matter how sensitive one thinks the climate system might be to the extra CO2 we are putting back into the atmosphere. ~Dr. John Christy, August 2012

    • Christy uses two fallacies here.

      First is the non sequitur of arguing against mitigation by appealing to the even more destructive practice of burning wood and brush for cooking and heating. That there is something somewhere even more destructive to the environment than burning coal implies precisely nothing. Back in the real world, people concerned about climate change, deforestation, and human health are all trying to find ways to reduce this burning. It’s part of mitigation, not a counterargument to it.

      Second fallacy is the “must solve everything” fallacy. In other words, the US should not cut emissions unless that by itself solves the problem of climate change regardless of what anyone else does. That argument is dumb on many levels, just doesn’t make any sense at all.

    • Isn’t that just responding to fallacies? With the wide variety of issues, killing coal seems to be the main focus of some as a “silver bullet”. I don’t think Christy started that notion.

    • Humans have always feared climate change and developed myths that our sinfulness is its cause. Accordingly, we always want to be able “to do something” about climate, to sacrifice to the Earth to bring about a golden age of climate stability. Unfortunately, both geology and history show us that the idea of a stable climate is untenable; there has never been, and never will be, a stable climate under human control. All we can do is adapt to constant change.

      Our current obsession with the single factor of carbon dioxide emissions is little different. In a system as complex and chaotic as climate, actions with just one factor out of the thousands involved may even trigger unexpected consequences. It is vital to remember that, for such a coupled, non-linear, chaotic system, not doing something (i.e., not emitting gases) is as unpredictable as doing something (i.e., emitting gases). Even if we closed down every factory, crushed every car and aeroplane, turned off all energy production, and threw 4 billion people worldwide out of work, climate would still change, and often dramatically. Unfortunately, we would all be too poor to do anything about it.

      Basing policies on worries about `global warming’ is a serious threat to us all, but especially to the 1.6 billion people in the less-developed world who have no access to any modern form of energy. The twin curses of water poverty and energy poverty remain the true scandals. By contrast, the political imposition on the rest of the world of our Northern, self-indulgent ecochondria about `global warming’ could prove to be a neo-colonialism too far. (Philip Stott)

    • David L. Hagen

      Robert
      Re: “more destructive practice of burning wood and brush for cooking and heating.”
      Please reread Christy:

      centrally-produced power stations actually improve the environmental footprint of the poorest nations while at the same time lifting people from the scourge of poverty…

      He is saying that more CO2 means more wood and brush for cooking and more food to eat for the three billion people barely surviving on less than $2.50/day. Furthermore coal based electricity is the cheapest electricity and strongly beneficial to raising the poor out of poverty.

      Note also that:

      Around 3 billion people still cook and heat their homes using solid fuels in open fires and leaky stoves. About 2.7 billion burn biomass (wood, animal dung, crop waste) and a further 0.4 billion use coal. Most are poor, and live in developing countries.

      Indoor air pollution and household energy: the forgotten 3 billion

      Are you advocating stopping cooling and thus mass starvation for the 3 billion people who rely on cooling with biomass?

    • David L. Hagen | August 1, 2012 at 6:28 pm |

      Have I mentioned lately how much I despise people taking up the “White Man’s Burden” argument to exploit those they have zero connection to in arguments that have zero connection to the real conditions, aspirations, beliefs or needs of those suffering hardship?

      Oh, yeah. I did when Christy pulled out his Brutal-Short-I-Lived-In-Africa crock. And I’m doing it again. You want credible discussion of those people who cook and heat their homes with leaky stoves, discuss it with Esther Duflo. Not John African-Tourist Christy.

    • David L. Hagen

      Bart R.
      We are commanded to love one’s neighbor is commanded. That is foundation of compassion within Judeo-Christian civilizations regardless of race.

      Lev. 19:18 NIV

      “‘Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.

      Matthew 22:37-40 NIV

      Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

      I spent 12 years in a developing country and saw first hand their hardships first hand.

    • David L. Hagen | August 2, 2012 at 8:33 pm |

      You may be commanded. Some of us just know to do it without an instruction manual.

      In those 12 years in that developing country, did you happen to be there during the election that authorized John Christy to speak on their behalf?

    • David L. Hagen

      Bart R
      Re: “Some of us just know to do it without an instruction manual.”
      I am curious to find out on what basis you “know to do it”?
      None of the four laws of physics nor stochastic variations nor chaos provide a basis for that knowledge.

    • David L. Hagen

      Robert
      You repeat the fallacy of the excluded middle by assuming its catastrophe or mitigation. Adaptation will likely be far less expensive than mitigation.
      Increasing CO2 is likely to be overall beneficial, so only need to make minor changes to some low lying coastal buildings.
      Bangladesh’s land will actually rise with rising sea level by siltation.
      Similarly coral reefs rise with ocean rising.

    • My concern at the moment is that my allocated costs for mitigation (which we are doing out here in CA) are going to effect my ability to adapt.

    • In addition to all of the Left’s lying, and added to that all of the uncertainty about anything that involves the divining of our future, we also have institutional incompetence at the highest and most basic level when see the poor siting of stations used to record temperatures and have evidence of erroneous adjustments to raw data. As Lindzen says, it’s not that we expect disaster, it’s that the uncertainty is said to offer the possibility of disaster: implausible, but high consequence…

      …Somewhere it has to be like the possible asteroid impact: Live with it.

    • David L. Hagen

      kakatoa
      There is a solution:

      That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security

    • The infringement on individual liberty has become palpable and that is what liberal fascism is all about. Let the majority rule, but don’t let them force everybody else to do what they want. ~Greg Lemond

      The Left is welcome to live like Al Gore if they choose to. I have the right to decide whether I will be that hypocritical and I also have the right to choose honesty and truth over superstition over ignorance. I have the right to be skeptical about whether the Left will ever stop lying.

    • David,

      I need to work within the CA system of governance in the near term to try to come up with some rational as to why the use of my well (which uses electrical energy) is not “wasteful, unnecessary, or inefficient”. I happen to think my providing water to keep a lot of vegetation: fruit trees, roses, grapes, etc., alive is a good thing as far as CO2 goes. Unfortunately, the current definitions used to determine what is “fair” are decided by folks who happen to live in the cities, or suburban areas of our state and our particular situation hasn’t make it to the discussion of fairness in the political process yet.

      As it’s Milton Friedman’s 100th birthday I found his discussion of “free vs. fair” worthwhile- “Fair vs. Free” July 4. 1977 article (republished in my Bright Promises, Dismal Performance, An Economist’s Protest book, and reprinted yet again here- http://www.fff.org/freedom/0292d.asp to remind myself how hard it is to work out all the details of what is fair. Which naturally led me to the insights of Garret Hardin on feedback: in the “How To Legislate Temperance” section of “The Tragedy of The Commons.” This led me to another key document from our past- The Bill of Rights. And from the it’s a small world after all I came across a reference by David Friedman http://www.daviddfriedman.com/ on how the legal system seems to work-

      “It is, perhaps, a fact provocative of sour mirth that the Bill of Rights was designed trustfully to prohibit forever two of the favorite crimes of all known governments: the seizure of private property without adequate compensation and the invasion of the citizen’s liberty without justifiable cause…. It is a fact provocative of mirth yet more sour that the execution of these prohibitions was put into the hands of courts, which is to say, into the hands of lawyers, which is to say, into the hands of men specifically educated to discover legal excuses for dishonest, dishonorable and anti-social acts.”

      – H. L. Mencken, Prejudices: A Selection, pp. 180-82

  13. The global warming hoax persists so long as the Left succeeds in treating scientific skeptics like Galileo, Socrates, Einstein and the Jews. “Science is not a democracy. The head count fallacy has been recognized as irrational since Aristotle. Even if science were a democracy, for every scientist who supports the notion of human-caused global warming, there are more than ten who consider that notion pure vanity… No science, just bureaucratic conclusions contrary to science, an excuse for a brand new tax… Both Galileo and Einstein were famous deniers of centuries-old theories. They were right. The consensus was wrong… to question science is called scholarship… Dr. John Christy told us just last week, having lived among the world’s poor, their lives there are brutal and short. Those who kick the poor in the teeth while pretending to soak the rich do not merit the votes from either.” (Mr. Linder, Hearing On Protecting Lower-Income Families While Fighting Global Warming, Thursday, March 12, 2009, U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Ways and Means, Subcommittee on Income Security and Family Support, Washington, D.C.)]

  14. I am not sure that it matters precisely how John Christy has spliced his graphs. The point he is making is crystal clear. The observed data, up to the end of the 20th century was sort of in line with the IPCC predictions. There has been a significant slow down in the rate of rise of global temperatures in the 21st centuries, which the IPCC predictions did not anticipate.

    First Smith el al in Science, and then Keenleyside et al in Nature, tried to explain this lack of warming by suggesting there is a pause in this rise, which will, eventually, stop. Then temperatures will rise at an exaggerated rate until they, once again, are in line with the IPCC predictions. Smith et al said this would start in 2009; Keenleyside et al in 2015.

    It really does not matter what the details are. I would suggest one of two things is going to happen. Either global temperatures are going to have to start rising again at a rate greater than that predicted by the IPCC model outputs, or the proponents fo CAGW will have to agree that these models predictions are wrong. In the next few years we will find out which.

    • Yes, the next few years will be crucial. Only Nature’s phenomena can re-settle this.

    • Actually, the next few years wont’ be crucial. There have already been claims that a 30 year pause in warming would be ‘consistent with’ AGW.

    • Maybe, like I said warmists will fight until the bitter end. IMO, the consensus is already trembling and when we have 30 year pause in warming (~2020), the herd will swing around.

    • Mark B you write “Actually, the next few years wont’ be crucial. There have already been claims that a 30 year pause in warming would be ‘consistent with’ AGW.”

      I suggest this might be a case of “Out of the frying pan; into the fire”. If there really is a 30 year pause in the warming, then both Smith et al and Keenleyside et al are completely wrong. And if this happens, then it will be clear that hindcasting climate models does NOT give the models predictive capabilities.

    • Warmists will of course try to add more epicycles. Until the bitter end.

    • I think the downscaling of the satellite temps needs to be explained in more detail.

    • There is a thread at climateaudit.
      http://climateaudit.org/2011/11/01/closing-thoughts-on-best/#comment-308281

      Short story…the basic physics says the lower troposphere should warm faster then the surface. The ‘models’ and Lindzen agree on this point.

      That fact that the surface trend appears to be warming faster then the satellite lower troposphere trend is one of Lindzen’s main talking points.

      Either
      A) The satellite trend is wrong
      B) The surface trend is wrong
      C) There is something wrong with the basic physics

      /sarc – pick one and join the appropriate religious organization.

    • Or,

      D) The “basic physics” is fine, but incomplete. It appears to be a subtle distinction from C), but it’s important. When people talk about “basic physics”, they restrict that to radiative heat transfer, and ignore all the fluid mechanics and non-radiative heat transport.

    • Yes, it’s a llittle bit of A) and B) plus D).

      D) There’s something wrong with the consensus understanding of the basic physics.

    • For harrywr2 – yes, that was a good CA thread, but the satellite temps in Christy’s latest plot appear to have been downscaled by more than 1.1 or 1.2. I could be wrong as I’m eyeballing it.

    • There is distortions that lowers the satellite trend. It starts in a period of El Nino dominance. If you start the satellite trend in 1982 you get almost an identical trend to that of GISS from 1975 to present.

      If they had launch the satellites earlier, say in time for operation in 1975, the trends would likely be identical.

    • JCH – right, or if you start them both in 1979, you get a slightly lower satellite trend compared to GISTEMP. Doesn’t matter – either way, there is something weird going on with the satellite temps in Christy’s figure. I don’t get it.

    • BillC – I’m talking about the wft version, not the one in graph he presented for congress. It’s always been distorted. I don’t there is any doubt here. If they had gone operational just a few years earlier, or a couple of years later, the satellite trend would identical to GISS.

      He says adjusted to allow apples to apples?

      I think in the last half of 2000s the underrepresentation of the arctic in the satellite series is starting to show. It’s predesigned to flatten. Maybe he gave that process a little boost.

    • JCH, “I think in the last half of 2000s the underrepresentation of the arctic in the satellite series is starting to show. ”

      Compare the mid troposphere of both UAH and RSS. Then again, compare the CONUS UAH, RSS, BEST and GISS. There is something wonky.

  15. Christy’s point about mid-western drought is a touch of slight-of-hand as well.

    “Midwestern Drought
    To put it simply, Andreadis and Lettenmaier (2006) found that for the Midwest,“Droughts have, for the most part, become shorter, less frequent, less severe, and cover a smaller portion of the country over the last century.” In other words, droughts have always happened in the Midwest and they are not getting worse (more on Midwest heat waves below and on Midwest drought in Section 2).”

    By sheer, coindcidence that quote from A&M 2006 is precisely the same as found on the ‘CO2 Science’ site;
    “droughts have, for the most part, become shorter, less frequent, less severe, and cover a smaller portion of the country over the last century.”

    Fisrlty, A&M don’t cover the more recent time period of severe drought over the mid-west. Secondly they find that other areas recenty in the spot-light for drought, eg Texas, do indeed show a trend for increasing duration/severity of drought.

    More interestingly, drought severity/duration is increasing in some areas, despite increasing precipition.

    And notably, with regard to Chrsity’s curious state-based (i think i know why) max temp records, A&M also find a trend of increasing temps across the continental US.

    It’s becoming clear that one always needs to check the references with the ‘skeptics’.

    • Michael says: “Christy’s point about mid-western drought is a touch of slight-of-hand as well.”
      Hardly. Slight of hand would be more like “hiding the decline” or using upside down Tiljander proxies and insisting they are correct even after the original author pointed out they were being misapplied. Climate changes and severe droughts have happened throughout human history with no input from man. There is no evidence to suggest that recent events are any different:
      “By 5000 to 3000 BC average global temperatures reached their maximum level during the Holocene and were 1 to 2 degrees Celsius warmer than they are today. Climatologists call this period the Climatic Optimum. During the Climatic Optimum, many of the Earth’s great ancient civilizations began and flourished. In Africa, the Nile River had three times its present volume, indicating a much larger tropical region.

      From 3000 to 2000 BC a cooling trend occurred. This cooling caused large drops in sea level and the emergence of many islands (Bahamas) and coastal areas that are still above sea level today. A short warming trend took place from 2000 to 1500 BC, followed once again by colder conditions. Colder temperatures from 1500 – 750 BC caused renewed ice growth in continental glaciers and alpine glaciers, and a sea level drop of between 2 to 3 meters below present day levels.

      The period from 750 BC – 800 AD saw warming up to 150 BC. Temperatures, however, did not get as warm as the Climatic Optimum. During the time of Roman Empire (150 BC – 300 AD) a cooling began that lasted until about 900 AD. At its height, the cooling caused the Nile River (829 AD) and the Black Sea (800-801 AD) to freeze.

      The period 900 – 1200 AD has been called the Little Climatic Optimum. It represents the warmest climate since the Climatic Optimum. During this period, the Vikings established settlements on Greenland and Iceland. The snow line in the Rocky Mountains was about 370 meters above current levels. A period of cool and more extreme weather followed the Little Climatic Optimum. A great drought in the American southwest occurred between 1276 and 1299. There are records of floods, great droughts and extreme seasonal climate fluctuations up to the 1400s.

      From 1550 to 1850 AD global temperatures were at their coldest since the beginning of the Holocene. Scientists call this period the Little Ice Age. During the Little Ice Age, the average annual temperature of the Northern Hemisphere was about 1.0 degree Celsius lower than today. During the period 1580 to 1600, the western United States experienced one of its longest and most severe droughts in the last 500 years. Cold weather in Iceland from 1753 and 1759 caused 25% of the population to die from crop failure and famine. Newspapers in New England were calling 1816 the year without a summer.”

    • If you must quote ignorant nonsense, don’t forget to cite your source.

    • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

      “From 1550 to 1850 AD global temperatures were at their coldest since the beginning of the Holocene.”

      ——
      Incorrect. The 8.2 ky event was colder and certainly occurred after the start of the Holocene. It seems many are not familiar with this event but it is most interesting and may be related to the so-called Bond Events. See:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/8.2_kiloyear_event

    • NOAA Kansas Palmer Drought Severity Index.
      (Other states are very similar)

      It was a LOT drier in the 30s and 50s

      1930,-0.57
      1931,-0.04
      1932,-0.02
      1933,-2.16
      1934,-4.29
      1935,-4.62
      1936,-2.53
      1937,-3.93
      1938,-3.79
      1939,-2.96
      1940,-4.33

      11 years in a row of negative values

      1941,1.00
      1942,3.79
      1943,3.00
      1944,2.19
      1945,3.71
      1946,-0.92
      1947,2.16
      1948,0.23
      1949,3.00
      1950,-1.29
      1951,2.50
      1952,3.01
      1953,-3.69
      1954,-4.25
      1955,-4.72
      1956,-5.94
      1957,-1.45

      5 years in a row

      2000,-0.29
      2001,1.44
      2002,-1.90
      2003,0.17
      2004,-0.40
      2005,2.54
      2006,-1.33
      2007,2.13
      2008,2.54
      2009,3.83
      2010,4.14
      2011,-1.20
      2012,-1.39

      2 years in a row.

      http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/temp-and-precip/time-series/index.php?parameter=pdsi&month=6&year=2012&filter=6&state=14&div=0

  16. What observation would warmists accept as falsification of the CAGW hypothesis?

    Evidently 10 years of decline at the same rate as the previous 20 years of incline isn’t enough.

    http://woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/to:2002/trend/plot/rss/from:2002/trend/plot/esrl-amo/last:1500/mean:60/plot/rss/every/mean:60

    How many years is enough?

  17. Christy has carefully avoided saying anything about the increasing frequency of extreme events, by focusing on the magnitude alone. Does he not think an increasing frequency would matter, or did he forget this important aspect of the statistics?
    On climate model outputs, yes, the curves are smooth, probably averaging over ensemble members that would have variability of 0.1 degrees in any given decade. Once this is added in, the observations would be inside the envelope. We are currently in a situation where land temps rise faster than this average, together with an increase in deep ocean storage, and the long solar minimum of the last decade, so the total surface temperature is not rising so fast, at least until after the next solar max an El Nino.

    • What increasing frequency?

    • Loaded dice.

    • I guess you miss the part about the statistical flaws in the loaded dice paper. When Tamino agrees, it has to be flawed :)

    • The criticism was on a minor aspect of the interpretation.The histograms speak for themselves.

    • Histograms of temperature anomalies?
      What do you imagine they could possibly be saying for themselves?

    • No, the criticism was quite valid. Apple and orange comparison are still not all that informative.

      http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/events/2011/pdf/water-cycle-presentations/Curry_noaaWaterClimate.pdf

      Extremes for a cold PDO and warm AMO should not be compared to warm PDO and cold AMO. Different climate extremes with have different weather extremes. A valid analysis would compare apples to apples.

    • Jim,

      I don’t agree that it was a minor aspect as the paper was trivial without this result that turned out to be an error.

    • Pekka, OK, the first part by Tamino on the Loaded (?) Dice thread was agreement with the general idea of that representation. What criticism did he have that turned around on this point, which was the major point of Hansen’s paper?

    • Jim

      The errors are most clearly stated in the third post of Tamino on that paper and in the discussion thread that follows.

      There’s a serious technical error in handling of individual weather stations. That’s likely to affect a large part of figures of the paper leaving possibly nothing of interest intact.

    • Pekka, Hansen specifically addressed the broadened variance due to the trend in his paper by also doing a detrended variance to compare. He certainly knew trends increase variance. This does not make the dice any less loaded, only that the loading is changing with time over periods we would like to use for the statistics. I don’t know why Tamino ignored Hansen’s detrended histograms. Also Hansen was not using stations, he was using the gridded GISTEMP data, usually with multiple stations per cell.

    • The trend is not the main issue. The error is due to the fact that extremes are determined at station level but the same warming is applied to all stations rather than the local warming. Tamino explains in detail why this is a serious error.

      One essential point in that is that not only the final average of the station varies significantly but also the initial average may be non-representative due to rather strong stochastic variability of each local temperature. Thus we get spurious excess extreme highs now, if the initial value happened to be exceptionally low.

    • My first chapter above is perhaps not formulated very well, but the second should explain the error better.

    • Pekka, I am not seeing the problem as a significant. The grid cells each have a histogram of seasonal average temperature. These are combined by basically normalizing by the standard deviation. This gives the frequency of 3-sigma anomalies defined from 1951-1980 and how that changes. is changing. However, I do see that increased frequency doesn’t translate so easily to increased area if the variance changes non-uniformly. From his map plots, he did however also show increased area of the 3-sigma perturbation which was along the lines expected. Combined with the area information, the histogram is useful.

    • Jim,

      We know that the average temperatures have risen (even skeptics agree on that if not on the origin of that). As average temperature have risen the natural null hypothesis is that the distribution of the temperatures around the new averages is similar to the earlier distribution around earlier average. Observing that in data is not particularly interesting.

      Hansen et al made the claim that that’s not the whole story but that they can observe significant widening in the distribution. That would be significant if found to be true, but now the analysis of Tamino and similar analysis by John N-G appear to tell that the conclusion was based on an erroneous analysis and unlikely to be true. There may be broadening but it’s unlikely that it can be seen on a statistically significant level, but as far as know nobody has repeated the full analysis without the serious error.

      The comparisons of values from individual stations are all right but making a frequency distribution of the results is not (or at least it does not support the conclusions drawn in the paper). I think that the same error affects seriously also the map based graphics presented in the paper.

    • Pekka, you have put more emphasis on the broadening than I thought Hansen did. I think most of the 3-sigma frequency change is from the shift by a large fraction of a standard deviation even without broadening. At least that is the impression I got from the paper, but maybe I need to look at it again from that perspective.

    • That’s possible but that’s trivial. It’s not worth writing a scientific paper.

      Anyway the analysis should be redone and final judgment on the value of the results postponed to that time.

      We have too many papers with serious errors or badly substantiated conclusions right now. That’s bad for the status of science. Scientists should not be drawn to false competition by the skeptics.

    • We know that the average temperatures have risen (even skeptics agree on that if not on the origin of that). As average temperature have risen the natural null hypothesis is that the distribution of the temperatures around the new averages is similar to the earlier distribution around earlier average. Observing that in data is not particularly interesting.

      This is disingenuous. All around you are deniers arguing that the extremes have not changed, that the globe is cooling, etc. They are using this critique of Hansen to argue that there are no “loaded dice” for hotter temperatures.

      It may not be of interest to you, but it is nevertheless significant in the context of the issues being discussed on this blog on a regular basis, including directly above your post.

    • I saw the purpose of the Hansen paper as drawing attention to the use of local 3-sigma events as an objective metric for extreme events. It was also interesting that climate change showed up more in this metric in the summer than in the winter, because the winter distribution is generally broader in the first place, so a shift has less effect, as he explains. The areal change is a graphic demonstration of how Texas 2011 and Russia 2010 stand out, and so are not just colloquial extremes, but improbable in terms of the baseline climate. There was much of value in this paper.

    • Leaving aside the historical record – do you think that with climate change (and increased mean temps), there is a solid potential for increases in extreme weather?

    • Actually, there is a solid potential for different kinds of extreme weather, more droughts in the US with more flooding where there was droughts. , Oddly, with higher temperatures there should be more extremes. Since the current extremes are not exceptional versus 50 plus years ago, something is kinda weird.

      https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-V-FcPZNaTDs/UBlhS_OugXI/AAAAAAAACvU/cS1mgeBrBMY/s800/best%2520versus%2520UAH.png

      Just comparing the CONUS UAH to BEST, my little Kmart linear regression routine seems to think that the temperature indicated in the surface temperature records might be a touch high. The major difference starts around the time that old school liquid and glass thermometers were replaced with high tech digital with conductive pole shoved up the butt of the tiny plastic housing of the high tech digital thermometers.

      I wonder if anyone else has noticed that?

    • Since the current extremes are not exceptional versus 50 plus years ago, something is kinda weird.

      I don’t know the first thing about statistics or the first thing about the science, but I’ll go back to my standby. That said, my sense of the probabilities is that assuming AGW theory true, unambiguous or dramatic increases in extreme weather may very well not show up for a long period of time. The theoretical construct would say that it could happen sooner. I think it’s rather weird that (some folks) on both sides argue that the sample sizes aren’t sufficiently large to prove anything even as they argue that the sample sizes “prove” one what they happen to believe. That’s why god created CIs and error bars. I commend you on your focus in that regard.

      As I said when the Phillies reached the playoffs with the best record in baseball (happened two years running when they didn’t win the World Series), it’s a crapshoot.

    • Having enough and accurate enough data to come to a conclusion is an issue. That is why you should question any “proof” that current extremes are much worst that former extremes. In order to get the older surface instrumental right with the new instrumental required a few tenths of a degree of adjustment. That should be included in the margin of error. UHI may be removed to compare today’s temperature to the past, but UHI is an increase in temperature. So what do you do?

      The smarter “experts” have the right answer, “I don’t know”, boring but accurate. The ones that are confident are generally idiots.

    • I would like to have seen the BEST land temperature overlaid on his Figure 2.1. You can visualize it as a line that goes linearly between 0 in 1980 and 0.9 in 2010, somewhat above all these curves. Clearly we rely on the ocean holding this back in the global mean, but how long can it continue to do that, and it is the land where people live anyway.

    • Top 10 TMAX 5 year averages
      The current 5 year period is ranked No. 6 for
      contiguous-united-states

      1 2001 – 2006 0.64
      2 1996 – 2001 0.61
      3 1951 – 1956 0.56
      4 1986 – 1991 0.5
      5 1931 – 1936 0.46
      6 2006 – 2011 0.33
      7 1936 – 1941 0.24
      8 1941 – 1946 0.12
      9 1906 – 1911 0.04
      10 1926 – 1931 0.02

      Why did US TMAX fall off a cliff?

    • BEST data by the way.

    • Take some science classes and basic statistics.

      And don’t stuff up your head with things you don’t understand.

    • I understand TMAX falling off a cliff when I see it.

      If you have a problem with the data, blame Mosher and Zeke.

    • “I understand TMAX falling off a cliff when I see it.”

      Except you don’t understand the numbers you’re citing, and you are embarrassing yourself and your fellow “skeptics.”

      Seriously, do your homework.

    • I understand the numbers perfectly well. TMAX fell off a cliff on the west coast.

      Alaska – tied for 3rd. .83C colder than previous 5 year period.

      1 2001 – 2006 1.79
      2 1976 – 1981 1.25
      3 2006 – 2011 0.96
      4 1936 – 1941 0.96

      California – tired for 8th

      1 1956 – 1961 0.54
      2 1991 – 1996 0.48
      3 1986 – 1991 0.48
      4 1931 – 1936 0.47
      5 2001 – 2006 0.45
      6 1976 – 1981 0.35
      7 1926 – 1931 0.28
      8 2006 – 2011 0.21
      9 1996 – 2001 0.21

      Idaho – tied for 11th

      1 1986 – 1991 0.72
      2 1936 – 1941 0.61
      3 1996 – 2001 0.6
      4 2001 – 2006 0.57
      5 1931 – 1936 0.57
      6 1956 – 1961 0.33
      7 1991 – 1996 0.31
      8 1976 – 1981 0.26
      9 1921 – 1926 0.1
      10 1951 – 1956 0.03
      11 2006 – 2011 0.01
      12 1961 – 1966 0.01

      Nevada – 15th
      1 1956 – 1961 0.52
      2 1931 – 1936 0.45
      3 1976 – 1981 0.34
      4 1991 – 1996 0.3
      5 1986 – 1991 0.29
      6 2001 – 2006 0.27
      7 1996 – 2001 0.25
      8 1926 – 1931 0.15
      9 1936 – 1941 0.05
      10 1946 – 1951 0.02
      11 1886 – 1891 0
      12 1951 – 1956 -0.01
      13 1921 – 1926 -0.04
      14 1901 – 1906 -0.04
      15 2006 – 2011 -0.06

    • Yes, as I mentioned on another thread, the US, despite urbanization has not been the fastest warming part of the world. Most warming is occurring in non-urban ares in BEST, which is another reason Watts urbanizing idea won’t spread far in a global context.

    • Dave Springer

      I think you’re going to find the difference between Leroy 1999 which was used for site selection by BEST and Leroy 2010 used for site selection by Watts is that 2010 kicked a bunch of rural airports off the list of top tier sites and moved a whole bunch of small rural stations onto the top tier.

      The primary difference in Leroy 1999 and 2010 is that 1999 uses distance from a heat sink as a factor and 2010 uses the size of the sink as a factor. So a little rural station with a small shed or driveway too close gets bumped down but an airport with a sensor surrounded by runways and hangars that are a couple hundred feet away gets onto the top tier list.

    • Steven Mosher

      Its good that people are finally talking about surface area of artificial areas. When I did that in the UHI debate people said I was crazy and they blathered on about population.

      That said. There is a nice surprise waiting.. nah I wont give any more clues

    • We know that it is the small stations that will be most subject to Tobs trend offset. Fingers on the scale,

    • BEST: The TMAX current 5 year period is ranked No. 15 for washington

      1 2001 – 2006 0.9
      2 1936 – 1941 0.83
      3 1986 – 1991 0.56
      4 1921 – 1926 0.51
      5 1991 – 1996 0.44
      6 1996 – 2001 0.42
      7 1931 – 1936 0.32
      8 1956 – 1961 0.31
      9 1966 – 1971 0.2
      10 1941 – 1946 0.2
      11 1976 – 1981 0.05
      12 1901 – 1906 0.04
      13 1961 – 1966 0.03
      14 1926 – 1931 -0.02
      15 2006 – 2011 -0.04

      Jim D, I think cooling is not warming.

      The current TMAX 5 year period is ranked No. 12 for oregon

      1 2001 – 2006 0.68
      2 1986 – 1991 0.56
      3 1936 – 1941 0.51
      4 1991 – 1996 0.45
      5 1931 – 1936 0.4
      6 1996 – 2001 0.39
      7 1956 – 1961 0.33
      8 1921 – 1926 0.23
      9 1976 – 1981 0.09
      10 1966 – 1971 0.09
      11 1961 – 1966 -0.04
      12 2006 – 2011 -0.05

    • So, what US warming is Watts talking about since 1979? His whole paper is about that.

    • Watts goes to 2008.

      Here is the NOAA TMEAN data (I’m showing TMAX) from Nevada.

      2011 49.6 67
      2010 50.1 84
      2009 50.1 84
      2008 50.1 84
      2007 51.3 108

      The ranking is out of 117. 2011 was 67th out of 118.

      2007 was the last warm year (give or take) on the west coast.

      http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/cag3/nv.html

    • Steven Mosher

      You cant do rankings without confidence intervals. well you can… hansen does. now, your practicing his flaws. please get back to your own original errors. they are funnier

    • Mosher, did BEST chose to graph 10 year moving averages (instead of 5) because they peaked at the US data and knew the last 5 years TMAX had anomaly had fallen off a cliff?

    • Steven Mosher

      you still need that course in stats. 10 year averages are selected for a reason. see if you can figure it out.

    • Mosher, the data published by BEST has 5 year averages. Why didn’t you graph those?

      And what you are saying is, I need a course in stats to rank the data BEST supplied because the BEST data is untrustworthy?

      Or are you just admitting BEST’s own data demolishes the CO2 theory and you and Robert are trying to deflect.

      TMAX … off a cliff. Your data.

    • Paul Matthews

      … except where he says “Droughts have for the most part become shorter, less frequent”.
      And except where he says “extreme high temps are not increasing in frequency”.
      It seems that Jim D has carefully avoided reading what Christy wrote.

    • That wasn’t in the quotes posted at the top, which is what I was discussing. Extremes have become more common (in temperature) when you just look at how the histograms have shifted by a large fraction of a standard deviation. How else would you judge frequency other than by histograms?

    • In case the climate stays unchanged the number of new records since 1895 should go down as the number of earlier years on record goes down. Having a period of exceptionally high temperatures led naturally to a reduction of new record maxima. The recent warming has reduced the number of new TMin records as expected, but the number of new TMax records has not gone down as the two phenomena cancel each other (warming adds to records and increased period reduces).

      To produce a more fair comparison the recent temperatures should be compared to periods of constant length, which could be the most recent years or perhaps the comparison should be done against all decades separately, both earlier and later ones. Such a comparison would tell that the recent years have, indeed, been exceptional, perhaps even more exceptional than those of the 1930′s.

      Everyone can make up his own mind on the validity and honesty of the Christy presentation on this issue.

      Then we have also the issue of his comments related to the recent preliminary manuscript on WUWT and the probably devastating errors of that analysis.

    • If you start generating random numbers, the first number will be both record high and record low. The second number will be a record high or low. after that, records will continue to happen, but, as you say, at a decreasing rate. But if you add a small trend to it, you’ll continue to get records pretty regularly. So the continued production of records trivially indicates a trend, but not necessarily a very large one.

      And that has nothing to do with attribution.

    • thisisnotgoodtogo

      Pekka, would all of that not hinge on the relative height of step change ? That is, if the mean goes way high, lots of new records will immediately be set.
      If it only goes a little high, then old high record highs would still be competitive.

    • On climate model outputs, yes, the curves are smooth, probably averaging over ensemble members that would have variability of 0.1 degrees in any given decade.

      Or about 0.6C in any 3.5 decades.
      http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/GSC1.htm
      Steve Mosher might say:
      ‘Jim D go think’

    • You are showing internal variability of about 0.2 degrees. Individual ensemble members can do this too? Look at Tsonis and his model that the skeptics seem to like. This is exactly why one decade is too short to conclude a trend from.

    • To determine trend you need more like 100 years
      http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/CET-100-150-100.htm
      some climate people often talk lot of nonsense.

    • I would agree ten years is nonsense, but over thirty years trends look quite clear, especially in decadal averages.

  18. 300 Million Without Electricity In India After Restoration Of Power Grid ~The Onion

    • David L. Hagen

      2nd Day of Power Failures Cripples Wide Swath of India

      On Tuesday, India suffered the largest electrical blackout in history, affecting an area encompassing about 670 million people, or roughly 10 percent of the world’s population. Three of the country’s interconnected northern power grids collapsed for several hours, as blackouts extended almost 2,000 miles, from India’s eastern border with Myanmar to its western border with Pakistan.

      India and China will continue to grow coal fired electricity as fast as they can to provide the cheap electricity essential to development.

    • The hypocrisy of the Left respects no boundaries. True, true, when it served their interests to use the anti-Americanism of France to oppose Bush and to demonize capitalism the Left never admits that they never actually wish to follow the example of France by going nuclear.

    • In point of reality, India has recently opened dozens of coal plants, which are idle for lack of coal. If only they had spent that money on a more reliable source of permanent, fuel-independent energy . . .

    • Robert

      There is no global shortage of coal (check Australia, for example).

      In fact, there is no global shortage of fossil fuels, in general, as these are fully interchangeable with today’s technology.

      The WEC estimates that to date we have “used up” around 15% of ALL the optimistically inferred fossil fuel resources that were EVER on out planet, leaving 85% to go.

      Consuming those 15% got us from around 280 to 392 ppmv CO2, so the remainimng 85% could get us to around 1,030 ppmv CO2 WHEN THEY ARE ALL GONE (some day in the distant future)..

      That’s it, Robert – ain’t no’ mo’.

      Max

    • David L. Hagen

      Robert
      That’s because global production has not kept up with the demand, NOT that coal declined.

      Both US and Russian coal exports are transport constrained.

      Global coal use increased 5.8% in 2010 to 7,984,900 tons.
      World Coal Production

      Look Overseas For Growth In Coal

      Liquefied natural gas prices in Asia hovered around USD15 per million British thermal units at the end of May, while the cost of steam coal delivered Australia’s port of Newcastle amounted to less than $5 per million British thermal unit.

      On what basis to you ask developing countries to pay three times as much for LNG over coal?

  19. Dr Curry, Christy refers to Watts’ recent (as yet unpublished) study in his written evidence. Bearing in mind the flaws that one of Watts’ co-authors has pointed out: “I was only on the paper a short time and I overlooked an important issue, which Anthony had paid insufficient attention to”, do you think it was correct of Christy to include reference to this study?

    • NO paper is without flaws. Still a work in progress until published. And there’s little doubt it will in fact be published. Do you suppose Mullet’s paper is without flaws?

    • Do you think that it will published after the authors figure out that they haven’t found any effect at all? My gut feeling tells that no significant effect remains after correcting for the error.

    • https://picasaweb.google.com/118214947668992946731/July312012#5771751376290742642

      I don’t know about that Pekka. The issue is more with the digital not the older readings. That chart is UAH minus Best. There is definitely a changing relationship. BEST also noted that DTR changed, not something I would expect in a warming world with more water vapor and a stronger GHE. It looks like the issue is with the :”good” data used to adjust the old “bad” data. Kinda like the guys from the University of Utah that discovered cold fusion with their new digital thermometers :)

    • Steven Mosher

      a bunch of us are puzzling over the DTR result which got lost in all the shuffle. Your thoughts.. maybe we start a thread at Lucias if you like

    • Do you think that it will published after the authors figure out that they haven’t found any effect at all?

      Actually, maybe it should be: The fact that only papers with positive results are (generally) selected for publication is an unfortunate by-product of our scientific process. Sure – in a scientific sense the a mistake with significant impact may be trivial (in that established science already noted the confounding variable that wasn’t properly controlled), but in the context of the climate debate, the fact that yet again Anthony tried to prove the temp record wrong and failed (assuming that is the ultimate conclusion) is significant.

      In the very least, the entire story should be written about in journals of social science.

    • hm. TOBS correction is about half of USHCN adjustment. That leaves the other half. I leave room for some effect, but probably not half (of Anthony’s halving)

    • BillC, remember the difference is only for 1970ish to present, so all the TOBs would not be involved. It kinda looks like weathering of the housings or local thermal mass, both are real issues but for only a short portion of the record.

    • “Only 1970ish to present” – you mean only the bit that matters most whether it be UHI effect or increasing CO2? Yes of course that bit doesn’t matter much and so won’t have an impact on trends…

    • Louis, oh, is recent the most important? Yes, it would be wouldn’t it.

      http://judithcurry.com/2012/07/29/a-new-release-from-berkeley-earth-surface-temperature/

      There is this chart called land surface diurnal temperature range that has a little hockey stick action starting around 1980. Is that divine intervention or possible instrumentation error?

    • Since this stuff is way over my poor, befuddled brain, I have no way of assessing that. However, I see absolutely no sign of panic on the part of Anthony. As far as I can determine, he remains calm and even cheerful.. I’m betting the paper’s general conclusion (exaggerated warming) survives more or less intact.

    • Maybe he doesn’t understand the huge undermining logic error in the paper then.

    • However, I see absolutely no sign of panic on the part of Anthony. As far as I can determine, he remains calm and even cheerful.

      Like the sociopath he is.

    • Like the sociopath he is.

      I often wonder why you might think that reinforcing a stereotype would accomplish something.

      Of course, no matter what a “realist” might actually say, it reinforces a negative stereotype in the mind of some “skeptics” – but this kind of statement is a head-scratcher for me nonetheless.

    • The idea that he can judge the quality of Anthony’s arguments be looking for overt signs of “panic” is a silly one.

      It assumes he possess a high degree of self-insight, and little talent for deception, and as anyone who has followed him for many years can assure you, neither is the case.

      “Sociopath” is a shorthand description for a gifted liar with a demonstrable lack of self-awareness. I do not think you can literally diagnosis mental illness over the internet.

      Try and lighten up a little.

    • Robert –

      I’m all for politically incorrect humor, and the “outrage” about insults we see in the blogosphere is almost always completely hypocritical, but describing Anthony as a “sociopath” is maybe just a tad heavy-handed. just a smidgeon.

      I dunno – all this blog banter is probably pointless, but that kind of banter seems pointlesser.

    • Steven Mosher

      You can pretty much bet that no effect remains. Every one of these arguments over the past five years has come down to the same
      thing. An effect found in raw, vanishes when you look at Corrected data or TOBS. The next phase is an attack on TOBS. Ive been through this argument half a dozen times. I know, i used to lead the attack against TOBS till I actually read the papers and looks at data.

    • Karsten at Tamino had a useful answer: It’s bounce back
      ————–
      In fact, the strongly decreasing DTR between 1900-1980 goes way beyond what one would expect from a purely GHG-forced response. The additional decrease stems from the increased anthropogenic aerosol loading (namely sulfate emissions) which act to reduce the incoming SW radiation, which in turn leads to decreased maximum temperatures, without a concomitant decrease in minimum temperatures (due to indirect aerosol effects, minimum temperatures may even increase at the same time). If you follow the Sulfate emission trajectory, you can easily identify the two episodes of strongly increasing emissions (1900-1920 and 1945-1975) which coincide with the nose-dive of the DTR (with an eyeballed lag of 5 years). In the aerosol-brightening period post-1987, we witness the recovery of this aerosol-induced excess DTR-reduction.

      If you now follow the trend from 1900-today you’d get probably a bit closer to the expected GHG-induced DTR decrease. To replicate this in the model, a sophisticated aerosol scheme is required which most models currently simply doesn’t provide (HadGEM2-ES is one of those which would surely reproduce this pattern). Hence I am not aware of a paper which addresses this issue (if I missed it, references are always welcomed). As always, things are slightly more complicated as black carbon emissions have to be taken into account as well (or the sulfate-to-BC-ratio as a suitable derivate, respectively), but sulfates are sufficient to demonstrate the principal concept.

    • Pekka

      We’ll just have to wait and see if your “gut feel” is right or not.

      Let’s not jump to conclusions.

      Max

    • Let’s not jump to conclusions.

      Right, Give the erroneous paper zero value until it’s corrected – and do not use it in congress testimony.

    • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

      Pekka Pirilä said:

      “Do you think that it will published after the authors figure out that they haven’t found any effect at all?”
      ____
      Some form of it may get published, but it will resemble nothing like original headline grabber. It can’t. The headline was meant as a counter to Muller, but the reality will be far different. In this end, this will be yet one more episode that just quietly goes away.

    • Doing a proper careful and well documented analysis based on the new Leroy criteria seems a reasonable thing to do and publish. Whether Watts et al will do it with that care is less obvious if and when they notice that it does not serve their goals.

      Applying the Leroy criteria to the existing network of stations in an objective and scientifically acceptable fashion is not a small task.

    • “And there’s little doubt it will in fact be published.”

      There’s lots of doubt it will be published in a peer-reviewed journal.

      E&E, maybe.

    • We shall see.

    • Steven Mosher

      No robert, the paper will be submitted. No changes will be made. it will be rejected. and then the data will never be shared. but the result will continue to be quoted.

      There is something that can be done though. May take a few months. stay tuned.

    • Well yeah, you and Zeke can replicate the paper. OTOH, the only novelty in the paper, and why it could possibly be published is the use of the new Leroy standards. OTOH, Watts has torched his bridges and no one with a brain really trusts his classification of the stations according to those standards which means the whole thing has to be redone. GEAFB

    • Personally my gut feeling is to trust Watts to have classified the stations correctly, I would take them at face value if the station lists were released even if the working for how those stations were classified wasn’t released.

      The only pity with not having the background working and data would be that others couldn’t generate their own classifications and extend things.

    • Steven Mosher

      you like that huh.

  20. Lol. Sorry. Muller. .

    • I like Mullet. I thought it was on purpose.

    • I got lectured by Joshua today for being too personal. Of course it was entirely hypocritical on his part, but his implied point about keeping it civill is a good one..

      That said., I like mullet much better too :-)

    • “civil”

    • Dave Springer

      Or in the case of Capt.Kangaroo, Chief Hydrologist, and however many other names that person uses…

      Let’s keep it Sybil.

      HAHAHAAHAHAHA – I kill me sometimes.

  21. For interest:

    http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2010/12/nasa-warns-global-warming-models-wrong-dont-account-for-cooling-factors.html

    December 09, 2010

    NASA Warns Global Warming Models Wrong -Don’t Account for Cooling Factors

    Top NASA experts say that current climate models predicting global warming are far too gloomy, and have failed to properly account for an important cooling factor which will come into play as CO2 levels rise.

    According to Lahouari Bounoua of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, and other scientists from NASA and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), existing models fail to accurately include the effects of rising CO2 levels on green plants. As green plants breathe in CO2 in the process of photosynthesis – they also release oxygen, the only reason that there is any in the air for us to breathe – more carbon dioxide has important effects on them.

    Most current climate models don’t account for green plants can be expected to grow as they find it easier to harvest carbon from the air around them using energy from the sun: thus introducing a negative feedback into the warming/carbon process, according to Bounoua. Some do, but they fail to accurately simulate the effects – they don’t allow for the fact that plants in a high-CO2 atmosphere will “down-regulate” and so use water more efficiently.

    The NASA group concluded that the increase in precipitation contributes primarily to increase evapotranspiration rather than surface runoff, consistent with observations, and results in an additional cooling effect not fully accounted for in previous simulations with elevated CO2.
    =====================

    • For boredom: (see above)

    • Dave Springer

      What I been sayin’. It’s the water, stupid. NASA says it too. More plants, more evaporation, less runoff. I told y’all this is primarily why urban is warmer than rural. Impermeable ground cover funnels runoff into channels with little surface area. Permeable ground cover allows it to stick around, evaporate as the soil dries out, and let plants suck it up and evaporate it. Follow the water.

      Myrrh | August 1, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Reply

      http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2010/12/nasa-warns-global-warming-models-wrong-dont-account-for-cooling-factors.html

      December 09, 2010

      NASA Warns Global Warming Models Wrong -Don’t Account for Cooling Factors

      Top NASA experts say that current climate models predicting global warming are far too gloomy, and have failed to properly account for an important cooling factor which will come into play as CO2 levels rise.

      According to Lahouari Bounoua of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, and other scientists from NASA and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), existing models fail to accurately include the effects of rising CO2 levels on green plants. As green plants breathe in CO2 in the process of photosynthesis – they also release oxygen, the only reason that there is any in the air for us to breathe – more carbon dioxide has important effects on them.

      Most current climate models don’t account for green plants can be expected to grow as they find it easier to harvest carbon from the air around them using energy from the sun: thus introducing a negative feedback into the warming/carbon process, according to Bounoua. Some do, but they fail to accurately simulate the effects – they don’t allow for the fact that plants in a high-CO2 atmosphere will “down-regulate” and so use water more efficiently.

      The NASA group concluded that the increase in precipitation contributes primarily to increase evapotranspiration rather than surface runoff, consistent with observations, and results in an additional cooling effect not fully accounted for in previous simulations with elevated CO2.

  22. That Figure 2.1 looks to be the same as such comparisons done by Lucia. Anyone who watches her site should be familiar with it. Although she hasn’t updated the figure for awhile.

  23. People just love their models. Just look at the reaction of a ex-Fed economist when the usefulness of his model was challenged today. The shaking hands and raised voice….. Oh, the humanity!

    http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000105930&startTime=237&endTime=735

  24. What a coincidence.

    Anthony Watts out of the blue announces WUWT will be going down and proceeds to work furiously to release some work by Sunday noon.

    Just 3 days later John Christy happens to be giving testimony to the Senate Committee in which he plugs certain work by Anthony Watts.

    Thank god Anthony managed to rush that work out in time, or Christy wouldn’t have been able to cite it. Not that I am saying that’s the reason why the work was rushed out. I am sure it is just a strangely fitting coincidence and that there’s a far better explanation for the bizarre sudden deadline setting.

  25. Christy’s point #1 is trivialy shown to be false as in St. Louis the month of July was the warmest ever recorded.

    Most days recorded over 105 F occurred this year as well.

    Gotta break the law to get the ice cream home before it melts.

  26. “Atmospheric CO2 is food for plants which means it is food for people and animals.”

    Lets just take a look at this statement. First of all it is debatable whether CO2 is actually a food. Animals obtain their energy by ingesting food which can either originate from plants or other animals. Plants, on the other hand, need a variety of nutrients and, of course water, carbon dioxide and sunlight to survive, and it is from the process of photosynthesis that plants obtain their energy. So carbon dioxide is more comparable to water, rather than a food, as far as a plant is concerned. Yes, some is necessary, but in just the right amount as any farmer will tell us.

    So Christie seems to be repeating the popular denialist argument, if that’s the right word, that if some CO2 is good, or even essential, then more CO2 is better. This might be true for some cultivated plants like tomatoes which can be selectively bred to grow well in an artificial hothouse environment with elevated CO2 levels but it isn’t true of plants generally. Over time plants will evolve to be adapted to different CO2 levels but the ones growing in the forests worldwide upon which we are all dependent , even more so than hothouse tomatoes, have evolved to be adapted to much lower levels of CO2 than in prehistoric times, when levels were higher, or in future times when levels may be even higher again.

    Its just reckless in the extreme for any scientist to suggest that the largely unresearched effects on the world’s plantlife from uncontrolled growth in atmospheric levels of CO2 should be described as beneficial. He can’t possibly know that.

    • Oh great, now the Warmists are not only rewriting temperature records, but also basic science as well!
      CO2 IS plant food, get over it!

    • “CO2 IS plant food” is a scientifically illiterate claim.

      Sunlight is plant food. (Google “photosynthesis.”)

      In their ongoing quest to push the envelope of of human capacity for hypocrisy, climate deniers, in pushing this fallacy, have forgotten all about the sun.

    • Dave Springer

      Yer a moron. No really. I sh!t you not.

    • Why are you ignoring the source of (plant) energy, the Sun?

      Too stupid or too stubborn?

    • Springer believes that one can extract energy out of CO2 alone?

      Wow, all of our problems are solved by the powers of CO2 food!

    • Hahaha! CO2 isn’t plant food, good one!
      So instead we just have to wrap it up in an academic discourse of post modernist mumbo jumbo do we? But no matter how you deconstruct it and weave obscuration around it, CO2 IS plant food!

    • beesaman | August 1, 2012 at 6:06 pm |

      CO2 is plant hormone moderater/amplifier. In that sense, CO2 above 280 ppmv is plant steroid.

      You might say you’re just “eatin’ your Wheaties” (Ben Johnson’s famous euphemism for taking anabolic steroids to become the World’s Fastest Man), but that doesn’t make steroids food. CO2 is a hormone-influencing drug.

      The effects of high CO2 above 280 ppmv that are cited as ‘benefits’ are principally increase in mass (just like testosterone produces) and size of limbs (just like testosterone produces in juveniles). Other changes due CO2 but seldom listed as ‘benefits’ are change in secondary sexual characteristics, shorter lifespan, increased brittleness, change in ability to take up some nutrients (sometimes sold as ‘decreased demand for water’), loss of dwarf trait expression (which shifts resources from desirable targets like fruit to limb growth instead), shrinkage of roots (leading to less robust health)… In other words, side effects that parallel the changes that give steroid use a bad name in athletes.

      John Christy went before a committee of Congress and pushed a performance enhancing drug during the Olympics. That’s some gumption.

    • Hahaha, now CO2 is a drug, you’re so desperate!

    • Did you Google “photosynthesis” yet?

      Why are climate deniers so painfully ignorant of junior high biology?

    • Robert if only you knew what I did for a living you wouldn’t make such cognitively challenged and infantile remarks. Yet another AGW acolyte to ignore.

    • thisisnotgoodtogo

      Bart,
      You use metaphor which may not be so great. You’re comparing CO2 to a hormone or hormone mimic.

      Hormone mimics occur allover the place, Bart, but is CO2 one of them ? Not a mimic ? An amplifier ? Show that please.

      ” Phytoestrogens, or naturally occurring estrogen-mimicking compounds, are found in many human plant foods, such as soybeans (Glycine max) and other legumes.
      …little is known about the occurrence of phytoestrogens in the diets of wild primates, nor their likely evolutionary importance. We investigated the prevalence of estrogenic plant foods in the diets of two folivorous primate species, the red colobus monkey (Procolobus rufomitratus) of Kibale National Park and mountain gorilla (Gorilla beringei) of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park…

      ..At least 10.6% of the red colobus diet and 8.8% of the gorilla diet had estrogenic activity….”

      …AMJ Phys Anthropol, 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals

    • thisisnotgoodtogo | August 3, 2012 at 12:51 am |

      No. Not ‘mimic’ in the sense of a vegetable substitute for an animal hormone. But actual moderator, as in the exact chemical the plant uses to moderate its hormonal activities.

      Why go to a source on zoology, when the topic is botany?

      http://www.planthormones.info/characteristics.htm shows 8 principle plant hormones. CO2 moderates or amplifies auxins, ethylene and the gibberellins directly and the xyloglucan-derived polymers indirectly through auxins.

      But there’s thousands of sources online you can verify this for yourself by checking.

    • I think plants take CO2, sunlight and water and make plant food.

      If someone can show me that plants get energy from CO2, I’ll eat my hat.

      CO2 is fully oxidized carbon, right?

    • No comments from the clown car or sounds from under the buses?

      CO2 is plant food or it’s a trace gas.

      If it’s a trace gas it can’t provide much nourishment.
      If it’s food it can’t be available in trace amounts.

    • Well, I was wrong and have to admit it. For the last two days I’ve been spraying my garden with copious amounts of CO2. This morning I went out and found this sucker.

    • Well, obviously PVC pipe and hairspray are right out, so hows the trebuchet coming?

      I coulda had one like that, but I battered and deep fried it.

    • Dave Springer

      Going by the theory of “you are what you eat” tempterrain’s food is teh stooopid.

    • thisisnotgoodtogo

      Tempterrain says

      “have evolved to be adapted to much lower levels”

      The above is nonsense talk. You’re confusing “adaptable” with “adapted”.

  27. Just think if it wasn’t for the internet we’d have to accept what the ‘team’ tells us. I bet the wish they could shut Watts et al up the way Pope Urban shut up Galileo!

    • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

      Except Watts is no Galileo and his hurried up reactionary approach to answering Muller’s latest paper and op-ed piece may prove to be his undoing. Also, the internet is a two-edged sword meaning that there is also a lot more BS that needs to be weeded through to find the little bits of truth…i.e. the signal is being lost through more and more noise.

    • … may prove to be his undoing.

      That reminds me of the thousands of final nails that have been into the coffin, and final stakes that have been through the heart, of AGW.

      I think that no matter what happens with this paper, Watts will continue undaunted, and his fans (I actually read comments calling him a “hero”) consider his credibility beyond reproach. Either way, it will be same old, same old on that side of the cafeteria lunchroom.

      What will be interesting to see is what will happen should his paper stand up to peer review. Most of the comments I’ve seen from “realist” scientists indicate that if the results hold up to review they would be of limited importance – but they don’t dismiss the work regardless of whether it holds up to review – they would be in a pickle if they did.

    • Awesome that the ‘skeptic’ Christy swallowed Watts ‘paper’ without a doubt.

    • Christy is coauthor on Watts paper, so presumably he looked at it pretty carefully and provided input

    • It would seem not to have been that sort of process:

      Whenever I’m working on my own material, I avoid arbitrary deadlines and like to mull things over for a few days. Unfortunately that didn’t happen in this case. There is a confounding interaction with TOBS that needs to be allowed for, as has been quickly and correctly pointed out.

      http://climateaudit.org/2012/07/31/surface-stations/

    • Did Christy give Watts the deadline, or did Watts promise ‘something’ would be ready in time?

      All smacks of desperate PR.

      Go Team Skeptic!

    • Christy is coauthor on Watts paper, so presumably he looked at it pretty carefully and provided input

      But missed a relatively obvious problem? Doesn’t exactly inspire confidence, now does it?

    • Steven Mosher

      Judith. Its pretty clear what happened. Anthony was tricked into rushing a paper he has been working on for a year. either to counter the leaked berkeley release or to provide fodder for today.
      The paper wasnt finished and he asked Steve mc to do some stats for him at the last minute. Christy and Steve both missed the obvious flaws in the paper. Now, its congressional testimoney. Christy should be aware that one of his co authors is now saying he has to revisit the analysis.

      This is what you see when formerly independent folks take calls from washington.

    • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

      One would have to wonder if Christy did look closely at the Watts paper how we would let the unadjusted data snafu pass by. That was a big error.

    • Judith. Its pretty clear what happened. Anthony was tricked into rushing a paper he has been working on for a year. either to counter the leaked berkeley release or to provide fodder for today.

      “tricked”(?)

      I do not think that word means what you think it means.

    • Steven -

      This is what you see when formerly independent folks take calls from washington.

      Are you suggesting that Christy was “formerly independent?” He has been overtly political for a very long time, has he not?

    • Here’s my take on it

      Anthony: Hey John, I think that Rich is going to be giving evidence too.

      John: Yeah, and showing off his damn pony.

      Anthony:Well, I think Evan and I might have found a pony of our own!

      John: Yeah?

      Anthony: Well, maybe. Evan and me have been working hard on it since last year. Maybe, you could take a quick look?

      John: Hmmmmm….

      Anthony: Just, tilt your head to the side a little…needs the right light.

      John: Oh yeah., could be a pony. Anyway, those jerks at the Senate don’t know a pony from a paper-clip.

      Anthony: We just can’t let that Richard steal the pony show!

      John: I’d need it by next week, is it ready to go?

      Anthony: Sure, sure. Just need to get a stats book out of the library…….and a little help just to finish it off.
      Could you give it a quick brush? I’ll put you on the author list.

      John: OK.

      Anthony: And I’ll get Stevie to plat its tail. What a pretty pony we’ll have for next week!!

      John: Whatever, just get it to me by Sunday, I need to get my PPT finished.

      Anthony: Rich will be just sooo jealous when he sees our pony…….

    • Steven Mosher

      Everyone is political. I’m talking more about the rush job. a subtle switch from being a scientist first and an activist second, to the other way around.
      or the switch from having your science used, to being used and given orders. independent was probably the wrong word..Im searching for something to describe that subtle change.

    • Steve Milesworthy

      Hear hear Steven Mosher.

      And has noone picked up on the queries about the unexplained splicing of model temperatures in the plots. Many here have been trying to hang Phil Jones out to dry for doing this to make a pretty graphic on a WMO publicity document that probably nobody read.

      Doing something similar to directly influence the course of the largest economy in the world is surely far more questionable.

    • Mosher @3:36 –

      Fair enough. I would probably say that Christy’s priorities have been political for a while now (as demonstrated by his discussion of his motivations), but close enough for jazz.

    • Some folk look at the process not the personalities, you obviously fall into the latter camp and so have just failed ontologically in the domain of science.

    • “Just think if it wasn’t for the internet we’d have to accept what the ‘team’ tells us.”

      Yes the internet is great isn’t it? Its not just about AGW either. You can get the ‘real truth’ about lots of other things too.

      http://www.theflatearthsociety.org/forum/index.php

    • Yeah, and Marxism Today:
      http://www.amielandmelburn.org.uk/collections/mt/index_frame.htm
      I like this bit:
      “Not only were writers drawn from many walks of life, but increasingly from the mid-1980s, they also embraced those outside the left, including leading figures on the right. At the time this was unheard of on the left. Not surprisingly, many regarded it to be a heinous crime: today it would not even raise an eyebrow.”

      But I think there are still many old fashion Marxists out there.

    • While on the topic:
      “Ballotpedia has compiled data on the average net worth of our elected officials for the years 2004 to 2010. As the average net worth of Congress has increased since 2004, and held about even from 2007 to 2010, the average American family net worth dropped 40 percent from 2007 to 2010 to an average of $77,300.”
      http://legalinsurrection.com/2012/08/the-congressional-wealth-gap/
      Linked from:
      http://pjmedia.com/instapundit/

  28. Christy also said this in testimony:

    “A new paper by my UAHuntsville colleague Dr. Richard McNider (McNider et al. 2012) looked at reasons for the fact daytime high temperatures (TMax) are really not warming much while nighttime low temperatures (TMin) show significant warming.”

    I keep tellin’ y’all, IT’S THE WATER, STUPID

    Night is when water is condensing on the surface. Day is when it is evaporating. When there is water free to evaporate CO2 can’t warm the surface it just evaporates water. Look for conditions where evaporation is slowed: land vs. ocean, winter vs. summer, night vs. day, low latitudes vs. high, desert vs. jungle, frozen vs. unfrozen, and so on and so forth. You will find the situations where water is least able to evaporate CO2 driven warming is more significant.

    If this is understood and accepted all the observations make perfect sense. If it isn’t understood and accepted you’ll be looking for missing heat til’ the cows come home.

  29. Maybe somebody has already pointed this out.

    I take from the text that Christy got the CMIP5 data fom the KNMI climate explorer, See the listing on the right under “select a field”. I can’t verify what he did with the data though.

    http://climexp.knmi.nl/selectfield_cmip5.cgi?id=someone@somewhere

    • Actually I had a quick look at the model mean data from KNMI climate explorer and it looks about right for data with a 7 year running mean.

    • Certainly the modal mean has an increase of about 0.9oC over the period 1975-2020. And the plot has the right shape with inflections at the right points.

  30. Robert | August 1, 2012 at 3:38 pm |

    Take some science classes and basic statistics.

    And don’t stuff up your head with things you don’t understand.
    ————————————————————————

    Your new nickname is Trebor because you get everything ass backwards.

  31. Christy testimony p18:
    “I’ve often stated that climate science is a “murky” science. We do not have laboratory methods of testing our hypotheses as many other sciences do. As a result what passes for science includes, opinion, arguments from authority, dramatic press releases, and fuzzy notions of consensus generated by a preselected group. This is not science.”

    I think it is time climate scientists got over their “we can’t do lab experiments” mind block. Then we can get real science out of them and answer real questions.

    Still looking for thoughtful answers and preferably real science experiments to the following:
    1. If IR absorbing/emitting gases can thermalise IR radiation outside of an IR reflecting measurement chamber (climate scientists think the “radiative transfer” data used for remote sensing is robustly good for thermodynamics).
    2. If *any* known physical property of any material can be used to change mean temperature of any body when subject to fixed alternate repetitive heating and cooling effects over day-length cycles. (climate scientists can create heat energy from nowhere out of a hysteresis loop)
    3. If presence of IR absorbing/emitting gases accelerate or retard thermal mixing of gas mixtures of different temperatures. (climate scientists think IR absorbing/emitting gases only do absorption)

  32. I have greater confidence in the circled satellite temperatures, Christy presents, particularly in the way they flatten out after 2000. They are closer to what I would expect from my own theoretical model, were it implemented on a computer. See my web site.

    As I’ve written in previous blogs: ‘I note that the Berkeley group have continued the process of subjective labelling of some global temperature ranges as ‘anomalous’ or normal. This makes the 1940 temperature normal while the 1905 temperature was anomalous. Can anyone believe that classification? IMO the IPCC introduced this classification to justify its erroneous conclusions concerning their explanation of climate during that period. Indeed what the IPCC failed to learn from climate changes in that period was that climate could change rapidly from rising to falling temperatures, which could only be attributed to limits on the amount of narrow band earth’s radiation that CO2 could absorb. All resonant systems nave limits on the amount of energy they can absorb. The other lesson from this episode is the decades it takes for atmospheric temperature changes to percolate through to the oceans. See my web site.’

    and: ‘why does the UN’s IPCC support 20 (different?) models (now 34) when all they need is one good one? Surely it is better when tackling an intractable problem to concentrate your resources’!

  33. The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

    JC said:

    “Here is what I think is going on with the high bias since about 1985 shown in Christy’s figure. The models are too sensitive to CO2 forcing, because of a hyperactive water feedback (this hyperactive water vapor feedback arises from approximations used from weather models that cause error accumulation in longer climate simulations). The aerosol indirect effect (negative) can counter this hyperactive postive water vapor feedback by being too strong. I recall a paper by Rostayn (about 10 years old, can’t find it easily) that said including aerosol indirect effect without including fully interactive aerosol (with sinks) would produce an aerosol indirect effect that is too large. So in principle, two wrongs (hyperactive positive water vapor feedback and negative aerosol indirect effect) can make a right (i.e. agree with observations).”

    _____
    This is an excellent observation by Judith, and while I disagree with what it seems to presume about the models and about climate modeling in general, it leads to my main criticism of Christy’s comments. The honest discussion as to why the models seem to be showing high bias and what we might learn from it was painfully missing– other than the general simple suggestion that the models are wrong. Of course the models are wrong! What climate scientists really want to know is why the observed is not matching the models. This tells us whether it is natural or anthropogenic variability that has caused the variance or some intrinsic part of the models that needs to be changed. Toward this end, what Christy failed to mention is the tremendous amount of work that has been done over the past decade to answer this very question. Again, the assumption is that the models must be wrong or “biased high” but this assumption may not be correct in part or in whole. The models as shown were not designed to account for short-term natural variability such as from a cool phase of the PDO which of course favors La Nina conditions, several moderate volcanic eruptions that increased aerosols or the very low solar minimum. Nor were they designed to accommodate anthropogenic variability such as the effects of increased human aerosols as we’ve observed. These sources of natural and anthropogenic variability are real climate forcing factors that are being researched intensively as to their effects on the tropospheric temperatures over the past 10 years. The upshot is that the models may or may not be “biased high” because of what they included (in terms of feedbacks), but rather for what they excluded as they were not designed to accommodate the above mentioned natural and anthropogenic variables.

    Of course, there has been a great deal of the “curve fitting” to accommodate the negative forcing from the above mentioned natural and anthropogenic variables over the past decade, and in adding these variables to the models we see that the model results come much closer to the observed. This is not surprise of course (though it could be for some), and though this is seen as “cheating” in some people’s minds, I disagree with this position, as such curve fitting can yield very important clues telling us that the models may not actually be as biased high as Christy et. al. might like to suggest. When adding in natural and anthropogenic variability (which can only be put in to the models after the fact as “curve fitting”) the models seem to have actually got the basic physics and dynamics fairly correct and may not be biased high at all. Those who don’t like curve fitting should remember that it is the dynamical relationships that models are best uncovering, not the particulars of actual anticipated observations which will be determined only after the fact by natural or human caused variability. If the natural and anthropogenic variability over the past decade were added to the models and the result was still much higher than the observed, that would tell you something is wrong with the dynamics included in the models, but this is not the case.

    It disappoints but does not surprise me that Christy did not mention that models are always wrong but can be useful for uncovering dynamics, nor did he mention how well the models fit the observed climate when observed natural and anthropogenic variability is included.

    • Point taken, but the point that christy was trying to make is that we need to rely more on observations since the models are more uncertain than we have been led to believe.

    • “The models as shown were not designed to account for short-term natural variability such as from a cool phase of the PDO which of course favors La Nina conditions, several moderate volcanic eruptions that increased aerosols or the very low solar minimum.”

      Fine, and yet why not? These natural drivers are well known. The PDO is not difficult to predict given it’s regular cyclical nature. Likewise AMO. And all I hear from the alarmist camp for the most part, is how the sun is just not a very important influence on climate.

      What I see on the part of these scientists is a great deal of over-simplification and sorry to say it, incompetence. I don’t know how we’re supposed to trust these people.

    • “What I see on the part of these scientists is a great deal of over-simplification and sorry to say it, incompetence.”

      Are you looking for scientists inside a mirror?

    • I just read a review of AMO that says there’s still plenty to learn about this phenomenon ( http://icesjms.oxfordjournals.org/content/69/5/706.short ). That’s part of the problem. It strikes me that most people, including the most educated on the subject, use the term internal variability with little more than a vague understanding of what’s driving it. Certainly not enough to have anything but a guess at predicting it.

    • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

      What climate model could predict the number of moderate volcanoes or tonnage of coal burned in Asia or the very low solar minimum over the past decade? Combined these could easily amount to a reduction of 0.25 wm^2 of forcing on the climate, reducing the approximately .6 wm^2 forcing from increased greenhouse emissions. It is quite valid to plug these now known (but formerly unpredictable) negative forcings back into the models and re-run them to see how close they then match observations.

    • Steven Mosher

      That would be a great exercise. The pacing of IPCC reports, however, seem to preclude this kind of approach. its 2012. time to rerun what was just completed with new forcings.

    • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

      It would be a good exercise indeed and while the new output might not (okay, will not) make the new IPCC report, you can be absolutely certain that studies at least similar to FR 2011 will make the report where the underlying warming signal from greenhouse gas increases is found after filtering out the noise from natural variations. Foster & Rahmstorf were not the only ones attempting to do this, and others are even adding in the negative forcing from the increases in Asian coal burning. It is not overly difficult to make a respectable estimate for how much negative forcing was added to the climate system from natural and anthropogenic variability since 2000. Extrapolating how this would have effected the model output is of course the hard part, but if you reduce the .6 wm^2 forcing from greenhouse gases by .25 wm^2 from the negative forcing of volcanoes, increased coal burning. cool PDO, sleepy sun etc. then you can imagine that the model output would have to come much closer to the actual observations. The models may or may not be biased high, but perhaps not by as much as Christy has stated they are.

    • Plenty of good models for oil usage (me) and coal usage (Dave Rutledge at CalTech). Unfortunately, the same climate skeptics question these models as well. Turns out many of them just like to be contrarians.

      But it is true that even though oil and coal production models accurately predict the rise and decline, the yearly fluctuations caused by economics will lead to parametric adjustments in models (of atmospheric CO2 levels, for instance) that depend on their outputs.

    • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

      Judith,

      I agree in relying on observation, and also agree that the models have more uncertainty than some have posited, but I think this all leads back to understanding and correctly communicating what models can and can’t do and what they are designed for. Climate models are not like weather forecasts, though some incorrectly view them as such. You and I know this but policymakers and the public need know that climate models are not just uncertain but are more likely than not going to be wrong about the future over shorter periods because they can’t model natural and anthopogenic variability, but that doesn’t mean that are not correctly modeling the underlying physics and dynamics. In this regard, I feel the post-observational technique of inserting the actual measured natural and anthropogenic variabilty into new model runs is a very valid and powerful tool for further identification of the models that can then come closest to actual observations. Take any of the CMIP5 models and re-run them plugging in the negative forcing from the combined decade of several moderate volcanoes, aerosols from increased Asian coal burning, a cool PDO, and a very quiet sun and see what the model output is. The closer they are to actual observations the more likely they’ve got the underlying dynamics far closer than Christy would allow.

    • I copy here a recent comment that I made in another thread. I formulated that as a question to Steve Milesworthy although I thought that it may fall outside his expertize.

      Steve,

      I have understood that you have spent considerable effort in looking at the software aspects of climate models. Based on your experience, can you comment on the following:

      You write:

      For example, most of the 6 European models are also used by the national met services for doing weather forecasting.

      In a way that’s fine and should convince us that the models can do certain things reasonably well, but that’s also a problem. The use of the models in weather forecasting means that their capability of solving the short term initial value problem has been tested and found to have some reasonably well known accuracy over various time spans. That implies certainly that they are fairly successful also in some other tests related to geographic representation and lack of a tendency to produce significant spurious trends over a few months or perhaps also over a few years. Their use in weather forecasting would, however, allow for the possibility that these properties have been forced upon them by tuning.

      To continue from the above a good weather forecasting model is built in a way that does not guarantee that it has the required level of temporal stability for correct reasons or that it would have any value in studying how changes in long term forcing changes will affect climate. Furthermore the tests that it has been subjected to during the development process may make it very difficult to use the successes in additional tests that can be performed as evidence on the value of the model in climate projections.

      I’m sure all competent climate modelers understand the worries that I present in the above paragraph, but what’s your impression on their capability in resolving the issues and in building evidence on the value of the weather forecasting type of models in producing climate projections.

    • I don’t think he is right to say most of the 6 European models are used for weather forecasting. As far as I can tell only HadGEM of the UK and EC-Earth are related, but not identical, to weather model counterparts. There is an increased effort to use climate models in weather mode to test them, but they are not yet competitive with weather models. Also, ocean coupling and aerosol chemistry are not integral parts of weather models, but are regularly in climate models.

    • Jim,

      The number comes from Steve’s earlier comment, I cannot argue on that.

      The main issue that I worry about does apply to other models as well. It’s the question:

      How well can we test the climate models using a wider range of data over a short period and hindcasting?

      This is the same question that Judith is asking. Comparison with more detailed data of short term tests many features of the models but cannot test at all many of the features important for climate projections. It’s also unavoidable that the information on the past affects the model development and does that also for wrong reasons, i.e. the models are built to agree also such historical data that they should not agree with because the data is exceptional due to a factor that’s not included in the model.

      I have tried to read whatever I can find on these issues. From that reading it’s clear that many climate modelers have the same worries and they seem to be almost as incapable in determining how serious the problems are. This is fundamental for all modeling work of similar nature and the related uncertainty is typically larger than most are willing to admit.

      In general I trust obviously much more the scientists than outspoken skeptics but I cannot avoid getting the feeling that the polarization of the issue has made many scientists less objective that they would be otherwise. Fighting with overblown claims is not a good way for reaching the optimal outcome as such fights measure more the political clout than the validity of the arguments. Every time exaggeration or unjustified simplification is found in the arguments of one perceived or real group all the arguments of that group are weakened. It’s easy to get close to the point where total BS is valued as highly as almost precise facts. That state is not created by those scientists who point out weaknesses in the argumentations of other scientists but in the scientists who make the statements that allow for such critique.

    • Pekka, matching past climate is a necessary condition for climate models to be used for projection. The data limitations are such that this matching does not constrain aerosol and deep ocean mixing, and solar and volcanic forcing are also not known precisely, so it is a challenge not to just have compensating errors. Hansen (in his imbalance paper) has commented on the possibility of model ocean mixing errors hidden by a lack of model aerosol effects, for example. That is, in the real world, maybe aerosols have had a much larger canceling effect on CO2 than models attributed because the models overdo ocean mixing that also opposes warming. This would be a tuning error due to the lack of constraining data.

    • Jim D

      A good point.

      But it could just as well be the other way around and a much weaker aerosol effect could be partially masking a very much weaker GH effect.

      Max

    • Hansen et al. (Earth’s energy imbalance and its implications, 2011, ACP) gives his reasoning why he thinks climate models including GISS have too slow a response function (equivalent to over-mixing in the ocean). This uses the imbalance as a means of getting at the issue.

    • Yes. That’s one possible error and there are many more. Aerosols have been discussed most and may be largest factors, but who can really estimate the strength of unknown unknowns.

      A priori there’s no reason to say that the models would rather overstate than understate the future warming. Using all the information that’s gradually accruing on real changes is the most obvious approach.

      There are certainly opposing statements on that as well. Everything that hints that the warming would be less is certainly publicized very strongly by the skeptic community. From the other side we have statements like this from the testimony of James McCarthy:

      Today there is widespread agreement among specialists who devote their careers to perfecting and deploying the myriad systems that monitor the state of these indicators that trends for all of them point as would be expected if the Earth is warming. This clear global signal becomes stronger with every passing year.

      While this may be his sincere overall assessment my view is that it would be more convincing if he would detail how the additional evidence for strong warming outweighs the indisputable observations that tell about less warming. It’s possible that Christy’s data is not fully objective but I’m pretty sure that the objective data goes to that direction. My experience is that most audiences are more convinced of presentations that tell openly also about the contrary evidence and only then explain why the view of the speaker is what it is and even then admit that it’s a personal judgment shared by many but not by all.

    • JimD, “Hansen et al. (Earth’s energy imbalance and its implications, 2011, ACP) gives his reasoning why he thinks climate models including GISS have too slow a response function (equivalent to over-mixing in the ocean). This uses the imbalance as a means of getting at the issue.”

      BINGO! It looks to me that the ocean stratification layers have several time constants that leads to less than expected heat up take. What I see in the data is a range of sensitivity to different types of forcing less sensitivity to atmospheric forcing and more sensitivity to solar forcing.

      There is not “A” sensitivity but a number of sensitivities with different ranges. That should not be all that unexpected, IMHO.

    • ” Today there is widespread agreement among specialists who devote their careers to perfecting and deploying the myriad systems that monitor the state of these indicators that trends for all of them point as would be expected if the Earth is warming. This clear global signal becomes stronger with every passing year.

      While this may be his sincere overall assessment my view is that it would be more convincing if he would detail how the additional evidence for strong warming outweighs the indisputable observations that tell about less warming. ”

      The statement you quoting is not claiming the there is strong warming, Rather it’s saying the signal is becoming stronger.
      Or the guy imagines that footprints of CO2 are becoming clearer.
      Which seems like wishful thinking.
      There are all bunch sniveling creatures. They want make models show warming, and want you to imagine the models aren’t just crap.
      They want to suggest that Santa Claus could real, but not actually say it, because, they want to look at bad as Hansen or his buddy Al Gore. Who in turn are also non serious, appear as though it’s some kind of duty to warm people of dangers their minds can imagine.
      Who are cowards that give 100 year predictions, and say silly stuff like long range prediction can be more accurate than shorter term.
      And people are expected believe this nonsense.

    • Pekka, I understand your concern that credible opposing data is not easily found, and often masked by non-credible skeptical claims that draw more attention. If there are any credible claims to lower sensitivity than 2 degrees per doubling, the skeptics have done a poor job of advertising them over the others. If the best they have to offer is Lindzen’s that is based on no aerosol effect and exaggerated GHG effects so far, I don’t think the AGW people will not be impressed. What is the best evidence of low sensitivity, and how does it explain the warming so far? Others say the AMO and PDO are somehow in phase now, but the land is warming faster, so I don’t see them explaining that. If they think the warm ocean effect is amplified in the Arctic and that the resulting sea-ice loss feeds back to warming the northern continents, they need to say that, for example, but I haven’t seen them saying that. On the other hand, CO2 (or solar) forcing would warm land faster than the oceans, so it is a fingerprint, and directly explains the warming distribution.

    • gbaikie, I think some people can still look at the graphs posted by BEST with a steep rise at the end, and say it is random and nothing unusual is happening yet, or it has to rise more before they will say it is unusual. It is just how you look at the data. On the other hand, AGW says this is not a random rise and its magnitude is fully explainable by forcing changes.

    • capt. d, yes, you are agreeing with Hansen on response functions. The response function idea says that there is an initial fast response followed by a slower response. You can’t define a sensitivity unless you also take into account a time scale.

    • “Pekka, I understand your concern that credible opposing data is not easily found, and often masked by non-credible skeptical claims that draw more attention. If there are any credible claims to lower sensitivity than 2 degrees per doubling, the skeptics have done a poor job of advertising them over the others. If the best they have to offer is Lindzen’s that is based on no aerosol effect and exaggerated GHG effects so far, I don’t think the AGW people will not be impressed. What is the best evidence of low sensitivity, and how does it explain the warming so far? ”

      Does anyone claim that current global temperature is the warmest in 10,000 years.
      Someone got Noble peace prize for claiming it was the warmest in last 2000 year. Why not 10,000? Why not warmest it’s been in last 1 million years?
      The claim of warmest in last 2000 years years is unsupported. It wasn’t adequately reviewed, instead rubber stamped. No claimed they review it in anyway which could called rigorous. Correct?
      So have said 2000 year, but probably wrong. No one saying warmest in 10,000 years or million years.
      But there claims that CO2 level have been higher in say 100,000 or more years. This said because there is VERY weak evidence to dispute this.
      If you believe that CO2 levels have lower than present level for hundreds of thousands of years, how exactly is it possible that maybe global temperature were warmer, 2000 year ago, or within the last 200,000 year?
      How can say that only CO2 is causing present warming, when lower levels of CO2, had as warm or warmer global temperatures?

    • gbaikie, CO2 levels are already higher than in about 20 million years. This may have an effect on temperature which was certainly warmer 20 million years ago. Later CO2 may rise to levels last seen 70 or more million years ago. That this may also affect climate seems reasonable to assume. At that time, the earth was an iceless hothouse with sea levels 70 m higher, so it could head back to that over a few centuries.

    • Jim,

      Pekka, I understand your concern that credible opposing data is not easily found, and often masked by non-credible skeptical claims that draw more attention.

      What I’m worrying most is that that scientists cannot convey the message that they make their best that they are objective, and partly because some of them are indeed not as objective as possible.

      Steven Schneider discussed this in his often misunderstood paper. When a scientist concludes that his findings are important and not given enough weight, he may feel it right and even a moral responsibility to concentrate in convincing people. That’s very often a mistake as the short term gains are often lost in longer term. Furthermore that approach increases the likelihood that he errs on the science as well.

    • Jim D, if the ocean oscillations are affecting land temperatures to any great extent, I would be more suspicious of changes in weather patterns than I would be of Arctic ice conditions.

    • Pekka, the scientists have expressed a consensus range of 2-4.5 degrees per doubling, which is enough for some idea of climate change effects. To me this is a fair representation of both certainty and uncertainty. It is always tempting to say current events are signs of climate change, but they have to be careful to draw the distinction between the long-term statistics of climate and individual events. It makes the need for preparation less compelling, however, and I think there won’t be any action in some countries until the climate-change effects are even more locally evident to them, e.g. a succession of drought years.

    • Yes, and even the limits 2 – 4.5C are given only as the likely range.

      Adding to that the uncertainties of the consequences of any particular warming, lacking understanding of adaptation at all levels and the uncertainties of the effects (both positive and negative) of various proposed mitigation actions and policies means that few people if any are justified to claim that they understand enough to base their conclusions on that.

      It really goes to the problems of decision making under extreme uncertainty. It’s easy only for people “who know” without the need for solid justification.

      One related observation is that of Roger Pielke Jr who considers the situation from the other side: There are limits on what’s politically possible, attempting politically impossible solutions fails in democracies. If the strongest politically possible actions are rather weak there’s no good reason for not implementing them, but insisting that they are not worth anything may lead to the outcome that even those are left undone.

    • steven, looking at the BEST record, it is very hard to make the case for a mere 0.2 degree ocean oscillation causing this 0.9 degree land warming at the end, so that is a non-starter for me however they want to explain the land-warming. Some scientist for whom this appears credible needs to explain their idea, and make a forecast how this compares with CO2 going forward.

    • Jim D, you guys always want to think in absolutes. It seems quite unlikely to me that any one thing will explain all the warming and that people need to get out of the mind set that either it must explain everything or it explains nothing.

    • “Jim D | August 2, 2012 at 7:04 am |

      gbaikie, I think some people can still look at the graphs posted by BEST with a steep rise at the end, and say it is random and nothing unusual is happening yet”

      And they would be right.

      “or it has to rise more before they will say it is unusual. It is just how you look at the data. On the other hand, AGW says this is not a random rise and its magnitude is fully explainable by forcing changes.”

      Anything is explainable. The Soviet Union was explainable. Explainable has near zero value.

      If 1997 to 2000 had continued it’s trend, and we were trending say .4 C higher than we are, then it might seem like good evident that CO2 was having some affect.

      I am certain had that been the case, that lots of people would be pointing to such a trend as definite proof, and not talking about such brief period as being too short a time period.
      Back around 1990′s, this was the story of the future- the story that without any doubt we would much warmer than we are today. And people were berating the IPCC for having such low conservative model projections of the future.

      So, time has proven it.
      And will continue to prove it.
      And if you were to simply read climategate, you might know I am not alone in such conclusions.

    • One related observation is that of Roger Pielke Jr who considers the situation from the other side: There are limits on what’s politically possible, attempting politically impossible solutions fails in democracies. If the strongest politically possible actions are rather weak there’s no good reason for not implementing them, but insisting that they are not worth anything may lead to the outcome that even those are left undone.

      I think that’s true, Pekka, and something that “realists” need to contend better with – but political viability is a moving target, a subjective determination, and subject to influence. As such, picking one particular goal on the basis of determined political viability may result in lost opportunity.

      My experience is that most audiences are more convinced of presentations that tell openly also about the contrary evidence and only then explain why the view of the speaker is what it is and even then admit that it’s a personal judgment shared by many but not by all.

      I agree with you completely here. A hypothesis may be correct without refutation of counterarguments, but particularly within a rhetorical context, a thesis isn’t proven unless you address obvious counterarguments. It is astounding to me how many people ignore that reality.

    • Pekka, and the uncertainty in regional climate is even greater, so I don’t see any prospect for action until it is known what to guard against (water, food, energy shortages). However, planning ahead can involve saving for adaptation using carbon taxes which is better than deficit spending. Adaptation can have a broader meaning such as subsidizing those things that are becoming more costly due to climate change. I have no hope for mitigation doing anything regarding future CO2 levels except for a minor deterrent effect from a carbon tax.

    • There’s something that can be done to improve general resilience. That’s one of the no-regret choices that is commonly available. You are fully right in noting that it’s difficult to prepare against specific threats as long as they are unknown.

      It’s common that a natural catastrophe leads to a willingness to prepare against the repetition of exactly the same although that remains extremely unlikely but with good planning it’s possible to improve resilience against a much wider set of risks.

      This is related to my negative views of many proposed action of mitigation as they are in my view also likely to be misdirected enough to be of little value, quite possible far lower than their costs.

      A modest carbon tax is a rather safe choice in the sense that the negative side effects are likely be very low. Thus it’s a low-regret choice even if it’s not effective in promoting its set goals. The problem is that it’s, indeed, not likely to be effective in reducing emissions and the effect may get negligible if it results in significant carbon leakage. The additional production in the new location does often have higher emissions than the closed one at least when the original location is in one of the European countries which have for long worked to improve energy efficiency.

    • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

      In a very real sense, climate models are almost the exact opposite from a weather forecast, the former is more accurate over the longer term while the later is more accurate over the shorter term, and this makes sense when you consider their functions are so completely different. No weather forecaster is going to say, “my forecast is wrong, but it is useful…”

    • Steve Milesworthy

      I only have a minute to say that the point I was making on the other thread concerned the difficulty of focussing effort on fewer models – because of the issue of “national pride” in the individual model.

      Arpege and ECHAM models are weather models that form part of two of the 6 models – off top of head can’t remember what the other two models are.

      I’ll have a look at Pekka’s comment tomorrow – but he’s right it’s probably not my expertise. I suppose I’ve made the argument from a validation point of view that the software quality needs to be good enough to create a good NWP model, so should be good enough to create a good climate model – the scientific testing of a climate model is obviously harder because of the fewer sets of obs.

    • JIMD, “capt. d, yes, you are agreeing with Hansen on response functions. The response function idea says that there is an initial fast response followed by a slower response. You can’t define a sensitivity unless you also take into account a time scale.” Time scales.

      https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-JetNuc4BIgQ/UBbhjA1G-VI/AAAAAAAACus/-A4K5S4C1lc/s912/strangely%2520attractive.png

      The oceans have natural time scales. Warming due to CO2 would be super imposed on those natural variations and may change the time scale of the natural variations.

      http://redneckphysics.blogspot.com/2012/07/there-are-no-steps-it-is-constant.html

      The stratosphere and ocean surface temperatures appear to indicate that one of the natural heat capacities has been met.

      Now think about where the warming due to additional CO2 should be most noticeable, in roughly the mid troposphere. Currently the land surface is warming faster than the mid and even lower troposphere. Either the data is totally screwed up or something else is responsible for a significant portion of the warming.

      Now consider BEST noticing that the diurnal temperature range changed sign circa 1980. That would be inconsistent with CO2 warming.

    • capt. d., land warming relative to the ocean is a fingerprint of rapidly increasing forcing, whether solar or CO2. The tropospheric temperature is not an independent variable from the surface.

    • JimD,” the troposphere is not an independent variable from the surface.”

      That is not completely true. The troposphere temperature is dependent on both the land surface and the solar absorbed in the atmosphere. This is where the Tropopause frame of reference becomes and issue. Increased Greenhouse gas forcing should decrease the diurnal temperature range by retaining more heat at night. The mid troposphere rate of heating should be close to the same or slight greater than the surface warming. Combined, those two divergences are extremely interesting.

    • capt. d., if you visualize the troposphere as having a vertical circulation connected to the surface (known as convection), you will see that no influence stays at one level for long, and the surface governs the whole profile. This is the lapse rate constraint.

    • JimD, I think you are missing the point. Convection doesn’t have to be initiated at the surface.

    • capt. d., the important convection is from the surface. It serves to distribute surface energy upwards.

    • JimD, “The “important” convection is from the surface. Actually, all convection is important. Upper level convection can create a heat pipe effect.

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/best/from:1995/trend/plot/uah/from:1995/trend/plot/rss/from:1995/trend/plot/hadsst2nh/from:1995/trend

      Something is wonky.

    • I think that the underlying problem of why the models are wrong, always going to be wrong is actually quite simple, so much so that it probably has not occurred to people.

      I had to do some work (about 8 years ago) involving terrain data for a 3d mapping probram.
      The problem was that, where there was only partial data for the area being mapped the map would show huge sink holes, and if the blank areas were near the edges then the maps would curlloff into oblivion.

      The project also involved turning random ly positioned data into gridded data so that you could tile slice to map sub areas.

      (All this has some distinct similarities to the problem faced with temperature records.)

      I had to basically fill in the blank areas. I used a widely available formula which found the 8 closest data containing areas for any blank, and weighted the average (towards 0) based on the distance away of each point.

      Due to the sparse nature of the data in places this was pretty slow, so I also produced examples of the program where you could fill the blanks in gradually (if there was no close data it would skip), so by the end you were using filled in data to calculate more filled in data.

      The way hills appeared and disappeared depending upon the fill in method was quite illuminating. It was a real visual representation of the problem we face with computer models (and I certainly would never have flown blind over the area based on the computer map).

      But I only recognised the main problem recently.

      The highest points on the map could only ever be the actual sampled data.The algorithm had a built in bias towards whatever value was the non data default (0 or sea level in this case). What that means is that, if you had put the data on an ascending scale of the % that it was made up of actual measured data you would pretty much have had a hockey stick shape.

    • Peter S, You probably did the terrain extrapolation naively. Many techniques are available to fill in terrain relief based on available statistical data. Look up power spectral densities for example. Even game designers can do this.

      Once again, one can see how some engineer comes along and acts as if they have all the answers and can’t admit that the scientists devoting their careers to a discipline have useful knowledge and skill.

    • I guess you missed the point of what I was saying completely, though, as someone who has followed this blog from the start that surprises me not one bit.

      Actually, as I stated, I used what was, at that time, the commonly accepted algorithm, so you are probably completely wrong in the first part of your statement.

      The program and the algorithm did their job perfectly well for what they were being used for. The maps worked and the 3d program displayed the data.

      The problem is that, if your blank spots are sufficiently large to hold a fair sized mountain (as was the case with the data I was working with), it does not matter how good the algorithm is, there might or might not be a mountain in there and you can never be sure one way or another. The model produced by the algorithm will only ever be completely useful in a cosmetic sense.

      What was really useful was being able to literally see (based upon terrain diifferences) the effect that changing some of the parameters or assumptions used had on the end result.

      The concept of gridding and filling in data is remarkably similar for terrain and for temperatures. I am a programmer, and much of this is really a software and data processing issue, and that is something I have spent most of my career developing useful skills and knowledge in, something most climate scientists could hardly argue, so cut the crap appeals to authority.

      Once the raw data goes into a program to be processed it is not a science issue it is a statistics and data processing problem, and so in that area you have a different set of experts.

      Sure, scientists have plenty of skill in their discipline, but as to whether that skill extends to understanding the fine points of of computer modeling- colour me less than convinced.

    • Steve Milesworthy

      Peter S, as someone with some knowledge of the software and some of the science, what you say does not seem to connect at all with my experience.

      I don’t understand whether you are saying that temperature reconstructions are wrong, or whether you are saying that models are wrong, though you started out with a complaint about models.

      As it happens, the two problems can be viewed independently (eg. obtaining statistical relationships between nearby temperatures to help fill in the “blank spots”) but the two can help each other – a global model using limited and imperfect observations can help you understand what is likely to be in the “blank spots” and help you understand the uncertainty of your (historical) observations set.

      These days of course we have global coverage of obs from satellites etc. which reduces uncertainty and removes a lot of the blank spots.

    • Steve has it absolutely correct, in that one uses statistical relationships to fill in the gaps. The fact that one misses a mountain is irrelevant in the statistical sense as long as the distribution of terrain elevations and slopes is obeyed.

      Peter S admitted to being a programmer. Perhaps that is the problem. A typical programmer codes according to what he is told or what the requirements are, and if he is told wrong, then you get garbage out.

  34. Point taken, but the point that christy was trying to make is that we need to rely more on observations since the models are more uncertain than we have been led to believe.

    When was it ever claimed, for instance, that model runs done years ago would predict the lengthy *solar* minimum we’ve experienced? These are climate, not solar models.

    And given that the model consensus on the sensitivity of climate to a doubling of CO2 lies within the rather large range of about 2.5C to 4C, just how “certain” do you think we’re being told the models are? That’s quite a wide range of uncertainty …

    • “That’s quite a wide range of uncertainty …”

      Sez who? Seems like a lot of people who lack basic knowledge of climate science have strong opinions about how much uncertainty should exists . . . I wonder what you base that opinion on.

      These are idle thoughts, but the critical point is this: would a climate sensitivity of 2.5C/doubling imply that we can safely emit GHGs on a BAU pathway?

      No. Obviously not. The question of what exactly the climate sensitivity is is very scientifically interesting, but totally irrelevant policy-wise.

      These observations frustrate the heck out of lukewarmers, who tend to want to exalt climate sensitivity to the be-all and end-all. The reality is that the realistic estimates of climate sensitivity range from bad to worse, and in either case we need to cut GHG emissions.

    • Steven Mosher

      A sensitivity of 2.5 would be worth trillions in saved mitigation costs.

    • Steven Mosher

      thanks…

    • A sensitivity of 2.5 would be worth trillions in saved mitigation costs.

      How so?

      Where are your savings if instead of 4C in warming by 2100, you expect 3.2C?

      That difference might effect your decision making on the high end — after you have undertaken serious mitigation, and society has to decide whether to escalate it further. It makes no difference when we are deciding whether or not to undertake serious mitigation, but in either scenario it is necessary.

    • It’s likely that the optimal paths (those maximizing human well-being in long term whatever one means by human well-being) would be very different for the different levels of sensitivities.

      It’s possible but not proven at all that the difference in the long term paths would not affect the optimal choice for the immediate action.

      Those who have a deep belief (like you or like some strong skeptics) know in either direction the rest don’t know.

    • Robert

      Are you insinuating that John Christy “lacks basic knowledge of climate science”?

      Hmm.

      Who the hell are you?

      Max

    • Are you insinuating that John Christy “lacks basic knowledge of climate science”?

      I usually just say what I mean — I don’t need to insinuate. Did I say that? There’s your answer.

      Who the hell are you?

    • Steve Milesworthy

      Robert,

      Leaving aside that dhogaza’s “opinion” is the IPCC range, I think you should re-read dhogaza’s post. dhogaza is saying that the models cannot be dismissed *even if* they are running hot (now). Even putting aside unforced natural variability (ocean heat uptake etc) and uncertainties in (natural and anthropogenic) aerosol forcings, there may be good physical reasons why models are not mirroring obs perfectly such as a combination of differences in forced natural variability (eg. solar) and the possibility that the real sensitivity may be at the lower rather than the upper range of the models.

    • “When was it ever claimed, for instance, that model runs done years ago would predict the lengthy *solar* minimum we’ve experienced? These are climate, not solar models.”

      It doesn’t seem to me that present solar activity has had big effect upon global temperature. It’s significant is it indicates it’s possible for decades of time with lower solar activity [which could make noticeable impact on global temperatures]. Or up to this point I doubt it’s effect has more than .1 C to global temperature. And don’t expect it’s likely it will have much more than .2 C effect in lowering [unless it becomes a much longer period and/or current levels are the new "highest it gets" and/or even lower levels of solar activity for the next century or two].
      So the way generally look at it is, there were “abnormally” high solar activity
      during 20th Century- this may added .1 or .2. They are also normal levels of sun activity in 20 century. Currently we are much lower “than normal”, but we could return to normal levels,or also possible of getting even lower or of course possible to surge to 20th century high levels [or higher].

      I don’t think consistent to think this relatively short period of low solar activity could have had much greater affect than .1 C. And say the higher solar activity of late 20th Century didn’t have +.2 C are higher affect upon global temperatures. Whereas I think the late 20th Century solar activity was +.2 or less.

      So it was within the modelers realm of knowledge to note lower levels of solar activity within the 20th Century, note the relation to high temperature and higher solar activity, and not assume such higher solar activity would continue in the future.

  35. Via email from John Christy:

    Judy:

    I saw a question you had about the CMIP5 model runs. These are the runs
    archived in the KNMI Climate Explorer. All runs have historical forcing
    to 2006, then continue on with one of the RCP forcings. I took the 34
    one-per-model run for RCP4.5 (one of the lower forcings.) The basic
    idea behind these runs is that they are identical in terms of forcing to
    2006, then the extra forcing continues until it hits the given RCP
    value, then levels off or declines a bit (see attachment). In truth,
    there is not much difference at all between the RCPs in my chart,
    because the forcing kept rising in all RCP scenarios through to 2030.

    John C.

    • Steve Milesworthy

      Why the choice of the 1980 start point. While the models are running a bit warmer than the data over the past 30 odd years, the choice of start point really skews the picture.

      The observations have a local maxima with respect to the model mean at 1980, presumably due to the ENSO state at the time.

      Pretty much any other choice would have put the observations comfortably within the pack of models (barring the last few years).

  36. pokerguy, allways be civill when talkin’ ter mullett.
    Fish have feelings too, yer know. Be kind ter animalls.

  37. Can we get John Christy’s impression of the hearing?

    Was any headway made in resolving the debate?

    1. Softening of Democratic, pro-AGW opinions?
    2. And/or Republican anti-AGW opinions?

    If politicians and world leaders are unwilling or unable

    a.) To get “right-sized”, and
    http://tinyurl.com/cznxuwu

    b.) To re-establish contact with “reality, God, truth”
    http://dingo.care2.com/cards/flash/5409/galaxy.swf

    The US Declaration of Independence grants us the right

    c.) To alter or to abolish it and to institute new government . . .
    http://www.ushistory.org/declaration/document/

    • I speak very bluntly now, because society is in crisis and world leaders seem to be paralyzed !

      I regret that my bluntness may be mistaken for racial bias; It is not. One of my long-time friends and colleagues from the University of Tokyo was miffed when I suggested that the roots of the Climategate scandal sprouted from the ruins of the Second World War when talented scientists from opposing sides reported misleading models of energy (E) stored as mass (m,/b>) in the cores of atoms [1] and stars [2]:

      1. Hideki Yukawa’s model of thecores of atoms [1]

      2. Fred Hoyle’s model of thecores of stars [2]

      Actually, it was policies adopted in a third country for evaluating proposals and distributing research funds [3] that allowed these misleading models of energy (E) stored as mass (m,/b>) in cores of atoms [1] and stars [2] to survive, despite a multitude of measurements and observations from the nuclear and space ages that falsified both models [4].

      Oliver K. Manuel

      References:

      1. Hideki Yukawa, Introduction to Quantum Mechanics (1946); Introduction to the Theory of Elementary Particles (1948) http://www.nndb.com/people/759/000099462

      2. Fred Hoyle, “The chemical composition of the stars,” Monthly Notices Royal Astronomical Society 106, 255-59 (1946); “The synthesis of the elements from hydrogen,” Monthly Notices Royal Astronomical Society 106, 343-83 (1946)

      3. J. M. Herndon, “Corruption of science in America,” The Dot Connector Magazine 2, 25-32 (2011).
      http://nuclearplanet.com/corruption.pdf

      4. Oliver K. Manuel, “Neutron repulsion,” The Apeiron Journal 19, 123-150 (2012) http://tinyurl.com/7t5ojrn

  38. Averaging model runs is like averaging the path of photons traveling through a lens and calling that result the image you would expect to see at the object.

    Why are people putting up with this technique?

  39. ‘The earth is very large- the earth is very dynamic, and extreme events will continue to occur somewhere, every year, naturally.’
    … makes me think of a song-

    ‘Interpolation is the name of the game,
    weather conditions across distance, the same.
    Guessing ‘same patterns and particulars,’
    though data’s uncertain, seems, somehow,
    … ridiculous.’

  40. Just in case anyone is curious,

    The main problem is the definition of Sensitivity. As it is defined, it forces use of an improper frame of reference, the tropopause or TOA. The oceans have to be treated as a separate system, the land/oceans a second system and then the TOA can be considered. The starting point is the oceans, not the atmosphere.

  41. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Shocking headline on Anthony Watts/WUWT …

    John Christy’s stellar testimony today: ‘The recent anomalous cancer rates can’t be blamed on smoking.’

    “During the post-WWII increase in smoking, high lung cancer rates became newsworthy. Claims that there were thousands of people dying each month and that “this is what cigarette smoking looks like” got a lot of attention.

    However, these cancer-scare headlines were not based on medical science. It is scientifically more accurate to say that diseased lungs are what Mother Nature looks like, since lung tumors even worse than these have been observed in the past before smoking rates were increasing like they are today.

    Were the parallels between tobacco/cancer denialism and CO2/climate-change denialism ever more clear than in Christy’s deplorable testimony?

    As for Anthony Watts/WUWT, it is hard to conceive of a more consistently imbecilic vehicle for disinformation.   :sad:   :sad:   :sad:

    • Fan

      Are you being satrical? Here is the written testimony.
      http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/christy-testimony-2012.pdf

      I haven’t listened to the talk so perhaps the stuff you put in speech marks is in there? If so please give us some timings as Christy and Inhofe arent really on my radar.
      tonyb

    • Tony,

      Fan’s lampoon of the logic employed in Christy’s testimony is spot on.

    • lurker, passing through laughing

      cliamtereason,
      Fan is not being satirical, he is demonstrating why we should sincerely hope he never gets to work in a clinic.

    • thisisnotgoodtogo

      Compared to normal cancers, recent decades show extreme lung cancers that civilization has never seen before.

    • Really? Where are your detailed records of all the lung cancers in the history of civilization?

      I know for a fact that the Medieval Cough Period and the Roman Dyspneic Period had lung cancers even more extreme than today’s.

    • thisisnotgoodtogo

      “Really? Where are your detailed records of all the lung cancers in the history of civilization?”

      Please educate yourself. Expert analysis of lupin growth at archeological sites unequivocally shows it.

    • Nonsense. Show me a detailed record of all the lung cancers that ever occurred. And that record must be contemporaneous — I know all about your “experts” who look a few tree rings or a handful of dusty mummies and pretend to be able to recreate the past.

      Where are the autopsy records?

    • thisisnotgoodtogo

      It’s allthere in the science should you care to look. Cancer Denialist

    • Denialism is fun!

    • Steven Mosher

      Robert,
      I have the detailed records, but I cant release them to you because of a confidentiality agreement. sorry.

    • andrew adams

      Well clearly we wouldn’t want you to violate a confidentiality agreement so posting a summary will be fine.

    • thisisnotgoodtogo

      so is making stuff up and then callng you names when you demand some evidence : )

    • lurker, passing through laughing

      Robert,
      It is great to know that as seldom as I am able to drop by, here you are still being an entertaining idiot.
      Thanks for the chuckle,
      vty,

    • thisisnotgoodtogo

      Smoking going up while cancer going down ?
      Natural variability. Less aerosols perhaps.

    • thisisnotgoodtogo

      New study from the University of Melbourne shows why cancer is decreasing as smoking increases; many pretending to smoke – but do not inhale,

    • Nice post, fan.

      It’s sad that people who view themselves as “rational skeptics” accept the kind of rhetoric you lampoon here.

      I will also point out that even if no one ever smoked another cigarette, people would still die of lung cancer.

  42. Judith,

    I see a mix up with heat generation and CO2 being blamed.
    We generate heat in many forms but it is scientists that claim we cannot get rid of this excess heat due to the rising CO2.
    Heat generation has many avenues in which it is stored and released…it is just how much time that process has before the next heating catches up.
    A drying planet will generate far more heat storage than one in complete water environment.
    Water in space is ice and is under very cold conditions. If not for our pressure, evaporation would be rampant.

  43. Christy’s analysis of Rocky Mountain snowpack is the usual cherry pick. In the words of Mike Dettinger who is a a climatologist and research hydrologist at the Scripps: “Christy is picking and choosing data while misleading people about what climate change scientists are actually saying”
    ————————-
    Recent studies by Scripps scientists have found that over the last 50 years the southern Sierra snowpack has gotten larger while the northern Sierra pack has shrunk. Although they have predicted the overall state snowpack would decrease over time as a result of climate change, nobody has claimed that it has happened yet, Dettinger said.

    What’s significant in terms of global warming, he said, is the fact that the snowpack has declined over three quarters of the western United States, an area that includes Montana, Wyoming and New Mexico. Scripps researchers, in coordination with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory scientists, have concluded that 60 percent of that downward trend is due to greenhouse gases.

    • thisisnotgoodtogo

      Hi Eli.

      So…since you raise the issue….what HAS the overall state snowpack done ?

    • thisisnotgoodtogo

      I didn’t manage to find it from following your link.

    • thisisnotgoodtogo

      Eli, does that mean that 60 % of the upward trend in the Southern Sierras is due to GHG’s ?

    • Hi Eli,

      “Christy’s analysis of Rocky Mountain snowpack is the usual cherry pick.”

      Could you please point me to where John Christy analyzed Rocky Mountain snowpack? The reference to the Rocky Mountains in his testimony was to total moisture in the Colorado Basin, which seems more comprehensive than just snowpack. How is it cherry-picking?

      Thanks,
      Dave

  44. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    ClimateReason, all I did was substitute “tobacco smoke/cancer” for “CO2/climate change” in prose that was cut-and-pasted from Anthony Watts/WUWT‘s lead story.

    This result was recognizable as a brand of disinformation that the American public has heard plenty of times before, eh?   :sad:   :sad:   :sad:

    • Fan

      I know what you did. However, those less diligent than me at following up your links (you being an old friend with a Hansen fixation) might have thought that a personal quote encased in speech marks might actually be a direct quote of the person concerned due to the speech marks.

      tonyb

  45. Some background on Christy’s Africa claims:

    http://discovermagazine.com/2001/feb/featgospel/

    Religious zealotry and leaping to conclusions, Christy was in Kenya as a Baptist missionary when he saw and heard some truly sad things during the first Oil Crisis, and he leapt to the conclusion that the price of oil was the root of all Evil. This is a man with a religious conviction who’s trying to turn Science to serve his sermons.

    He comes to the whole field with a bias and an agenda, and confirms his bias over and over by reprocessing data until it fits his preconceived notions and his personal faith.

    This is not how Science works.

    • A fashionable delusion can indeed become so cherished and widely held that it becomes a religion. That is perhaps why Nobelist in physics, Ivar Giaever, has correctly termed the belief in CAGW/CACC a “religion.”

      In my view, calling it a religion gives it undo respect. Regarding it as neo-scientological, doomsday cult would, in my view, be closer to the truth.

      I should add the caveat that that is an observation-derived conclusion, and models are, as all faithful and fashionable scientists know, todays diviners and oracles of fundamental truths.

    • Doug | August 2, 2012 at 2:16 pm |

      To be a delusion, fashionable or no, AGW would need to lack substantial evidence, or given that AGW is proven to an extraordinary level of confidence, the inference of costs and risks of AGW would need to be improbable or irrational.

      Now, curmudgeonly dissent of atmospheric physics by a retired electrician, that certainly qualifies as fashionable delusion.

      So, any other views on religion you want to share, there’s a Baptist blog just up the Intertubes I’m sure would love to hear them. Cross the web at the corner and turn far right. You can’t miss it, it’s just beside the Chick-Fil-A.

    • Hysterical conjecture that is neither testable nor falsifiable is not only nevertheless capable of being proven true, but, in the case of CAGW/CACC, it has already been proven true, huh? That’s a view of PNS that I haven’t heard proselytized before.

      It’s also not your run of the mill codswallop. It ranks right up there with post normal alien abduction science.

  46. Please. Spare us the Joshua style pomposity. It’s clear to me that there’s profound bias on both sides of the debate. I take the points raised with respect to Christy’s claims, but come on.. I haven’t see one of you discuss Christopher Field’s testimony in which he wildly exaggerates/distorts some of the IPCC’s conclusions. Is lying to Congress a crime? If so, he should be in trouble.

    • Check out Roger’s blog. I attempted to distract with pomposity and blowhardism there, as well.

    • (on the subject of Field’s testimony).

    • pokerguy | August 2, 2012 at 10:38 am |

      I haven’t see one of you discuss Christopher Field’s testimony in which he wildly exaggerates/distorts some of the IPCC’s conclusions. Is lying to Congress a crime? If so, he should be in trouble.

      http://judithcurry.com/2012/07/31/senate-hearing-on-the-latest-climate-change-science-and-local-adaptation-measures/#comment-224801

      Your propaganda technique is Projection/Flipping.

      Please detail specifically the wild exaggerations and distortions. You see, I looked particularly for this, before you even mentioned it, and couldn’t find evidence of such. I’d be very pleased to see what exactly you mean.

    • Sure Bart. I doubt you’ll get through all the points because immersing yourself in information inimical to one’s own entrenched beliefs is physically painful. Since I do it..though not as much as I should, I know. Bill Wilson (founder of AA) called it “contempt before investigation.” Very hard to get past those a priori feelings of superiority and contempt.

      From Pielke Jr.s blog:

      “The politicization of climate science is so complete that the lead author of the IPCC’s Working Group II on climate impacts feels comfortable presenting testimony to the US Congress that fundamentally misrepresents what the IPCC has concluded. I am referring to testimony given today by Christopher Field, a professor at Stanford, to the US Senate.

      This is not a particularly nuanced or complex issue. What Field says the IPCC says is blantantly wrong, often 180 degrees wrong. It is one thing to disagree about scientific questions, but it is altogether different to fundamentally misrepresent an IPCC report to the US Congress. Below are five instances in which Field’s testimony today completely and unambiguously misrepresented IPCC findings to the Senate. Field’s testimony is here in PDF.

      1. On the economic costs of disasters:
      Field: “As the US copes with the aftermath of last year’s record-breaking series of 14 billion-dollar climate-related disasters and this year’s massive wildfires and storms, it is critical to understand that the link between climate change and the kinds of extremes that lead to disasters is clear.”

      What the IPCC actually said: “There is medium evidence and high agreement that long-term trends in normalized losses have not been attributed to natural or anthropogenic climate change”
      Field’s assertion that the link between climate change and disasters “is clear,” which he supported with reference to US “billion dollar” economic losses, is in reality scientifically unsupported by the IPCC. Period. (More on the NOAA billion-dollar disasters below.) There is good reason for this — it is what the science says. Why fail to report to Congress the IPCC’s most fundamental finding and indicate something quite the opposite?

      2. On US droughts:
      Field: “The report identified some areas where droughts have become longer and more intense (including southern Europe and West Africa), but others where droughts have become less frequent, less intense, or shorter.”

      What the IPCC actually said: “… in some regions droughts have become less frequent, less intense, or shorter, for example, central North America …”
      Field conveniently neglected in his testimony to mention that one place where droughts have gotten less frequent, less intense or shorter is … the United States. Why did he fail to mention this region, surely of interest to US Senators, but did include Europe and West Africa?

      3. On NOAA’s billion dollar disasters:
      Field: “The US experienced 14 billion-dollar disasters in 2011, a record that far surpasses the previous maximum of 9.”

      What NOAA actually says about its series of “billion dollar” disasters: “Caution should be used in interpreting any trends based on this [data] for a variety of reasons”
      Field says nothing about the serious issues with NOAA’s tabulation. The billion dollar disaster meme is a PR train wreck, not peer reviwed and is counter to the actual science summarized in the IPCC. So why mention it?

      4. On attributing billion dollar disasters to climate change, case of hurricanes and tornadoes:
      Field: “For several of these categories of disasters, the strength of any linkage to climate change, if there is one, is not known. Specifically, the IPCC (IPCC 2012) did not identify a trend or express confidence in projections concerning tornadoes and other small-area events. The evidence on hurricanes is mixed.”

      What the IPCC actually said (p. 269 PDF): “The statement about the absence of trends in impacts attributable to natural or anthropogenic climate change holds for tropical and extratropical storms and tornados”

      Hurricanes are, of course, tropical cyclones. Far from evidence being “mixed” the IPCC was unable to attribute any trend in tropical cyclone disasters to climate change (anywhere in the world and globally overall). In fact, there has been no trend in US hurricane frequency or intensity over a century or more, and the US is currently experiencing the longest period with no intense hurricane landfalls ever seen. Field fails to report any this and invents something different. Why present testimony so easily refuted? (He did get tornadoes right!)

      5. On attributing billion dollar disasters to climate change, case of floods and droughts:
      Field: “For other categories of climate and weather extremes, the pattern is increasingly clear. Climate change is shifting the risk of hitting an extreme. The IPCC (IPCC 2012) concludes that climate change increases the risk of heat waves (90% or greater probability), heavy precipitation (66% or greater probability), and droughts (medium confidence) for most land areas.”

      What the IPCC actually says (p. 269 PDF): “The absence of an attributable climate change signal in losses also holds for flood losses”

      and (from above): “in some regions droughts have become less frequent, less intense, or shorter, for example, central North America”
      Field fails to explain that no linkage between flood disasters and climate change has been established. Increasing precipitation is not the same thing as increasing streamflow, floods or disasters. In fact, floods may be decreasing worldwide and are not increasing in the US. The fact that drought has declined in the US means that there is no trend of rising impacts that can be attributed to climate change. Yet he implies exactly the opposite. Again, why include such obvious misrepresentations when they are so easily refuted?

      Field is certainly entitled to his (wrong) opinion on the science of climate change and disasters. However, it is utterly irresponsible to fundamentally misrepresent the conclusions of the IPCC before the US Congress. He might have explained why he thought the IPCC was wrong in its conclusions, but it is foolish to pretend that the body said something other than what it actually reported. Just like the inconvenient fact that people are influencing the climate and carbon dioxide is a main culprit, the science says what the science says.

      Field can present such nonsense before Congress because the politics of climate change are so poisonous that he will be applauded for his misrepresentations by many, including some scientists. Undoubtedly, I will be attacked for pointing out his obvious misrepresentations. Neither response changes the basic facts here. Such is the sorry state of climate science today.”

    • “From Pielke Jr.s blog”

      wait isn’t this the same guy who didn’t spot the flaw in Watts paper and instead claimed it was “game-changing”

    • no, that was his dad but you know what they say, like father like son

    • The Very Reverend Doctor Jebediah Hypotenuse

      The Watts et al ‘co-authors’ are so convinced that Anthony has changed the climate science ‘game’ that they want to give him all the credit.

      Pielke Sr.

      To be very specific, I did not play a role in their data analysis. [Anthony] sent me the near final version of the discussion paper and I recommended added text and references.

      - but fear not:

      Anthony Watts clearly understands the research process in climate science.

      Steve McIntyre:

      Anthony sent me his draft paper. In his cover email, he said that the people who had offered to do statistical analysis hadn’t done so (each for valid reasons). So I did some analysis very quickly, which Anthony incorporated in the paper and made me a coauthor though my contribution was very last minute and limited. I haven’t parsed the rest of the paper.

      Pielke:
      I trust Tony. He ‘gets’ climate science.

      McIntyre:
      tl:dr

    • Thanks to both you and Louise for your most impressively persuasive rebuttal arguments. Great minds think alike.

      (lowlot, Pielke *Sr.* and Pielke *Jr.* aren’t one and the same person)

    • Back pedalling at Pa’s place

      “The inclusion of the TOB may eliminate the differences in trends in the means, maximum and minimum temperatures between well- and poorly-sited locations.”

      http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2012/08/02/more-on-the-best-ncdc-cru-and-giss-analyses-of-multi-decadal-land-surface-temperature-trends/

    • pokerguy | August 2, 2012 at 11:37 am |

      Sure Bart. I doubt you’ll get through all the points because immersing yourself in information inimical to one’s own entrenched beliefs is physically painful. Since I do it..though not as much as I should, I know. Bill Wilson (founder of AA) called it “contempt before investigation.” Very hard to get past those a priori feelings of superiority and contempt.
      I’ve taken a few days to go through all the points you offer, and the information contained therein, such as it is.

      I’m perhaps fortunate that I know my beliefs to be tied up in a potent and immediate gut reaction of “NO! THAT CAN’T BE RIGHT!” about everything I hear, see or read, including things I myself say and write. I that sense, all information (or in the case of what you’ve provided, largely opinion) is inimical to my beliefs.

      It’s how I learned to handle this visceral reaction as an adult, to evaluate and examine, analyse and appreciate, seek the nuance and the meaning of those things I always initially reject — every idea, statement, claim, assertion, observation — and from first principles find if they stand or fall as true, or false, or undecideable, or as yet undecided.

      Which is where my entrenched beliefs begin and end. I don’t ‘believe in’ any particular idea with any special emotional attachment out of sentiment; when my initial reaction to every idea I have come to believe out of rigorous methodical testing was one not merely of doubt but of violent rejection, how could I have such attachments?

      So you’re barking up the wrong tree in your little poisoning-the-well exercise. You don’t get to paint me with the True Believer brush, because it just doesn’t stick.

      Shame on you if you routinely pull that tired old trick out of the rhetoric trunk whenever you’re caught lacking for valid things to say.

      From Pielke Jr.s blog: (I know it’s an ungenerous point, but could you _LINK_ to things you refer to, if they’re handy? http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.ca/2012/08/ipcc-lead-author-misleads-us-congress.html)

      “The politicization of climate science is so complete that the lead author of the IPCC’s Working Group II on climate impacts feels comfortable presenting testimony to the US Congress that fundamentally misrepresents what the IPCC has concluded. I am referring to testimony given today by Christopher Field, a professor at Stanford, to the US Senate.

      Well, that’s a suspect assertion right there. Christopher Field, a professor at Stanford, is misrepresenting what the IPCC said? In a fundamental way? To the Senate?

      This Dr. Christopher Field (http://fsi.stanford.edu/people/christopher_b_field/), founding director of the Carnegie Institution’s Department of Global Ecology, Professor of Biology and Environmental Earth System Science at Stanford University, Faculty Director of Stanford’s Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve, Senior Fellow of the Woods Institute for the Environment, and the Precourt Institute for Energy, FSI Senior Fellow, co-chair of Working Group II of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which produced (along with Working Group I) the IPCC Special Report on “Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation”; a recipient of a Heinz Award, a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences?

      I think when the co-chair of Working Group II presents the IPCC before a committee of the US government, one would rather term what he says as REPRESENTING the IPCC, as perhaps the most credible interpreter of what the IPCC means when it says things.

      And Pielke, Jr., on a blog somewhere? I think if I must give credence to one interpretation or another, I’ll be viewing Pielke, Jr.’s interpretation with the usual skepticism I apply to all things I hear, see or read. Which is to say, “NO! THAT CAN’T BE RIGHT!” and try to build up from there. (Yeah, I did it to Field too, anyway, because I can’t help myself, but the difference is, when I did it to Field’s testimony, I didn’t come up with a total crock of nonsense like Pielke’s blog.)

      This is not a particularly nuanced or complex issue. What Field says the IPCC says is blantantly wrong, often 180 degrees wrong. It is one thing to disagree about scientific questions, but it is altogether different to fundamentally misrepresent an IPCC report to the US Congress. Below are five instances in which Field’s testimony today completely and unambiguously misrepresented IPCC findings to the Senate. Field’s testimony is here in PDF.

      Uh huh. Pull the other leg.

      1. On the economic costs of disasters:
      Field: “As the US copes with the aftermath of last year’s record-breaking series of 14 billion-dollar climate-related disasters and this year’s massive wildfires and storms, it is critical to understand that the link between climate change and the kinds of extremes that lead to disasters is clear.”

      What the IPCC actually said: “There is medium evidence and high agreement that long-term trends in normalized losses have not been attributed to natural or anthropogenic climate change”
      Field’s assertion that the link between climate change and disasters “is clear,” which he supported with reference to US “billion dollar” economic losses, is in reality scientifically unsupported by the IPCC. Period. (More on the NOAA billion-dollar disasters below.) There is good reason for this — it is what the science says. Why fail to report to Congress the IPCC’s most fundamental finding and indicate something quite the opposite?

      Wow. I’ve been through Field’s testimony (http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Files.View&FileStore_id=fe138741-9ce8-4444-9912-c2004ae9e955) with a fine-toothed comb. I’m trying to find where in it Field attributes the clear link of disasters to AGW to any particular IPCC report; Field instead appears to be referring to more current peer-reviewed studies that Pielke Jr. apparently forgot existed, because there’s a whole world outside the IPCC and a period between IPCC reports during which things in the world happen.. and Field is allowed to talk about those when supporting what he does actually say about the IPCC: “Overwhelming evidence supports the conclusion in the latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that “A changing climate leads to changes in the frequency, intensity, spatial extent, duration, and timing of extreme weather and climate events, and can result in unprecedented extreme weather and climate events.” (IPCC 2012).” It would be strange indeed for Field to cite as overwhelming evidence for a report only the report itself.

      And Field himself explains that he’s doing this, in his testimony, “Thousands of scientists are carefully studying the data about climate change. Their observations are published in thousands of papers in the scientific literature. These scientists also participate in assessments of the state of knowledge, often coordinated by national academies of science or scientific societies.”

      So it seems the one making 180 degree misrepresentations is Pielke Jr. Let’s look at the other four Pielke Jr. misrepresentations, now that we’re onto his game:

      2. On US droughts:
      Field: “The report identified some areas where droughts have become longer and more intense (including southern Europe and West Africa), but others where droughts have become less frequent, less intense, or shorter.”

      What the IPCC actually said: “… in some regions droughts have become less frequent, less intense, or shorter, for example, central North America …”

      Uh what? This report? http://www.ipcc-wg2.gov/SREX/images/uploads/SREX-All_FINAL.pdf Pielke Jr.’s cherry-pruner sheared awfully close, to miss where the report says what Field says it says on page 8 of the Summary for Policymakers, “There is medium confidence that some regions of the world have experienced more intense and longer droughts, in particular in southern Europe and West Africa, but in some regions droughts have become less frequent, less intense, or shorter, for example, in central North America and northwestern Australia. [3.5.1]“

      So Pielke Jr.’s quibble is that North America got left out of part of a quote where the point was about something else?

      Field conveniently neglected in his testimony to mention that one place where droughts have gotten less frequent, less intense or shorter is … the United States. Why did he fail to mention this region, surely of interest to US Senators, but did include Europe and West Africa?

      Uh, what? Look, I’m as US-centric as any red-blooded American, but even I can’t fault a guy for leaving out something about the USA that is right in the summary for policymakers in a room full of US policymakers. Field’s point is that AGW affects extremes like droughts, and we have enough evidence to for medium certainty in Europe and West Africa. What could happen in other places can happen in the USA. This is one of the principles of Physics espoused by Newton in Principia. Is Pielke Jr. really ignorant of the fundamental principles of Physics?

      So the USA has enjoyed, in that very uncertain terrain of extremely rare events, a spell where it hasn’t had a verifiable increase in droughts overall. Until the past year or so. If I’m a policymaker, then I’d want to know that extremes like the recent droughts have a dimension in AGW.

      I don’t find Pielke Jr.’s quibble substantive or fundamental, either in science or in policy. Field showed no intent to mislead; Pielke Jr. OTOH, appears to exaggerate profoundly.

      3. On NOAA’s billion dollar disasters:
      Field: “The US experienced 14 billion-dollar disasters in 2011, a record that far surpasses the previous maximum of 9.”

      What NOAA actually says about its series of “billion dollar” disasters: “Caution should be used in interpreting any trends based on this [data] for a variety of reasons”
      Field says nothing about the serious issues with NOAA’s tabulation. The billion dollar disaster meme is a PR train wreck, not peer reviwed and is counter to the actual science summarized in the IPCC. So why mention it?

      Uh, what?! This from the guy who repeats uncritically Jo Nova and Bjorn Lomborg multi-trillion-dollar guesstimates pulled out of thin air as if they’re fact? Or is that Pielke Sr. who does that? Huh. Checked his book, looks like it’s him. The NOAA cautions against applying trend analysis to the cost, not against the veracity of the costs themselves. As Field isn’t participating in trend analysis of costs here, it’s irrelevant.

      4. On attributing billion dollar disasters to climate change, case of hurricanes and tornadoes:
      Field: “For several of these categories of disasters, the strength of any linkage to climate change, if there is one, is not known. Specifically, the IPCC (IPCC 2012) did not identify a trend or express confidence in projections concerning tornadoes and other small-area events. The evidence on hurricanes is mixed.”

      What the IPCC actually said (p. 269 PDF): “The statement about the absence of trends in impacts attributable to natural or anthropogenic climate change holds for tropical and extratropical storms and tornados”

      Hurricanes are, of course, tropical cyclones. Far from evidence being “mixed” the IPCC was unable to attribute any trend in tropical cyclone disasters to climate change (anywhere in the world and globally overall). In fact, there has been no trend in US hurricane frequency or intensity over a century or more, and the US is currently experiencing the longest period with no intense hurricane landfalls ever seen. Field fails to report any this and invents something different. Why present testimony so easily refuted? (He did get tornadoes right!)

      Uh, what? Field reports correctly what the IPCC position is. As proof of a negative is difficult, absence of trends in samples does not constitute proof. Pielke Jr.’s got his Type I/Type II attribution errors completely wrong. Field’s again glossed over a thing because he wasn’t talking about that other thing. Hard to fault him for that, or I’d be criticizing him for leaving out the kitchen sink.

      5. On attributing billion dollar disasters to climate change, case of floods and droughts:
      Field: “For other categories of climate and weather extremes, the pattern is increasingly clear. Climate change is shifting the risk of hitting an extreme. The IPCC (IPCC 2012) concludes that climate change increases the risk of heat waves (90% or greater probability), heavy precipitation (66% or greater probability), and droughts (medium confidence) for most land areas.”

      What the IPCC actually says (p. 269 PDF): “The absence of an attributable climate change signal in losses also holds for flood losses”

      and (from above): “in some regions droughts have become less frequent, less intense, or shorter, for example, central North America”
      Field fails to explain that no linkage between flood disasters and climate change has been established. Increasing precipitation is not the same thing as increasing streamflow, floods or disasters. In fact, floods may be decreasing worldwide and are not increasing in the US. The fact that drought has declined in the US means that there is no trend of rising impacts that can be attributed to climate change. Yet he implies exactly the opposite. Again, why include such obvious misrepresentations when they are so easily refuted?

      Let’s get some context. Field also said, “Understanding the role of climate change in the risk of extremes is one of the most active areas
      of climate science (Peterson et al. 2012). As a result of rapid progress over the last few years, it is now feasible to quantify the way that climate change alters the risk of certain events or series of events. For example, climate change at least doubled the risk of the European heat wave of 2003 (Stott et al. 2004), a high-impact extreme that led to tens of thousands of premature deaths, especially among the elderly or infirm (Robine et al. 2008). On the other hand, there is no evidence that climate change played a role in the serious flooding in Thailand in 2011 (Van Oldenborgh et al. 2012). The primary causal agent there was altered land management. For the 2011 Texas drought, La Niña (cold water in the eastern Pacific) played a role, but recent research by David Rupp and colleagues concludes that, in a La Niña period, extreme heat is now 20 times more likely than in the 1960s (Rupp et al. 2012).”

      Field presents a balanced picture of what at the cutting edge climatology can and cannot affirm; Pielke Jr. hurls together bits and pieces of selected documents to through FUD into what is in point of fact a clear and concise summary.

      Field is certainly entitled to his (wrong) opinion on the science of climate change and disasters. However, it is utterly irresponsible to fundamentally misrepresent the conclusions of the IPCC before the US Congress. He might have explained why he thought the IPCC was wrong in its conclusions, but it is foolish to pretend that the body said something other than what it actually reported. Just like the inconvenient fact that people are influencing the climate and carbon dioxide is a main culprit, the science says what the science says.

      Field can present such nonsense before Congress because the politics of climate change are so poisonous that he will be applauded for his misrepresentations by many, including some scientists. Undoubtedly, I will be attacked for pointing out his obvious misrepresentations. Neither response changes the basic facts here. Such is the sorry state of climate science today.”

      Undoubtedly Pielke Jr. has learned that when he exaggerates, he gets called on it? When he cherry picks, he gets caught out, and when he lies he’s found out, and he’s trying to turn that into the virtue of martyrdom?! What unimpeachable gall.

    • Which is where my entrenched beliefs begin and end. I don’t ‘believe in’ any particular idea with any special emotional attachment out of sentiment.

      Not to doubt your intent, or to question in any specific way about your success in achieving that state, I would respectfully suggest that such a categorical statement is probably inflated, and that reaching such a state would be in conflict with what we know about human psychology and cognition.

      Along those lines, I was just reading some back and forth between Mooney and Dan Kahan, where Kahan noted that motivated reasoning is probably positively associated with (Kahneman’s) “system 2″ thinkers. It seems to me that you are creating a false dichotomy between system 2 characteristics and motivated reasoning.

    • Bart –

      Please note, where I said “system 2 thinkers,” I should have said “system 2 thinking.” (or system 2 reasoning).

    • Joshua | August 3, 2012 at 2:05 pm |

      You rational people who don’t have voices shouting in your head things like “NO! THAT CAN’T BE RIGHT!”all the time have it so easy.

      You get whole systems of thinking and reasoning.

      I just get by with recognizing that some things sometimes can be right, if I work hard enough at it.

    • Bart -

      i hear those voices (among many, but let’s not get into that) all the time.

      I think you are exactly right about the need to talk back to those voices. When you hear them, it is a clue about motivated reasoning.

  47. Just to add Bart, I said “I haven’t *seen* any discussion.” Of course if I’m wrong, that is to say if there has been, then I apologize. My main point about a profound bias to the point of blindness existing on both sides of the argument, remains.

    Something else I hardly ever see…admissions of being incorrect about any point. That again applies to both sides, though in my own admittedly deeply biased opinion, I see it even less on the true believers side.

  48. It would be nice to turn the temperature of bias accusations & fighting down to facts and articles. A good report is the Durations and Severity of Medieval drought in the Lake Tahoe Basin, Kleppe, JA; Brothers, DS etal Quaternay Science Reviews Vol 30, Issue 23-24 Nov 2011, The paper shows the deep droughts in the Sierra mountains. So instead of accusing people of fraud and slandering, them we could push the thread back to articles and useful information. This drought from 800 to 1200 damaged indian civilations in the southwest and maybe the Mayans. But it allowed the Vikings to settle Greenland and Vinland. Christy is a reputable scientist as is Muller and linking to papers is more productive than attributions of malfeasance. People telling about articles vs opinions is informative.

  49. The Very Reverend Doctor Jebediah Hypotenuse

    Christy sez (to Congress, 8 March 2011):

    We do not have laboratory methods of testing our hypotheses as many other sciences do. As a result, opinion, arguments from authority, dramatic press releases, and notions of consensus tend to pass for science in our field when they should not.

    Climate science pwned! by one of its own.

    That part about “dramtic press releases” seems especially ‘au courant’.

    Teach the controversy.

  50. You make this blog site worse with nasty little comments. Cite articles that provide information.

  51. wow cryosphere today ice area has shot past the minimums of all years before 2007 and it’s only the beginning of August. The recovery continues.

  52. Judith:

    First, I’m trying to figure out exactly how this figure was created.

    If you get a clarification from Christy, or you find out, will you remember to tell us, please? It’s interesting.

    • i think i saw his reply posted above ^^^

    • The Very Reverend Doctor Jebediah Hypotenuse

      IOW:
      The same way Dr Frankenstein created his (uncertainty) monster.

    • I posted a clarification earlier in the thread. Here it is again (note he also send me the data file he used to make the plot)

      Judy:

      I saw a question you had about the CMIP5 model runs. These are the runs
      archived in the KNMI Climate Explorer. All runs have historical forcing
      to 2006, then continue on with one of the RCP forcings. I took the 34
      one-per-model run for RCP4.5 (one of the lower forcings.) The basic
      idea behind these runs is that they are identical in terms of forcing to
      2006, then the extra forcing continues until it hits the given RCP
      value, then levels off or declines a bit (see attachment). In truth,
      there is not much difference at all between the RCPs in my chart,
      because the forcing kept rising in all RCP scenarios through to 2030.

      John C.

    • Thanks a lot, curryja, lolwot. Excuse me, I missed it. Was searching by [figure] [2.1], this sort of thing.

    • He chose 79-83 as a base period, but that was 0.1 degrees warmer than the average around that time, so it displaces his observational curves downwards relative to the model averages that don’t have those El Ninos at that time. Neat trick.

    • Jim D
      I think if you actually read the documentation, Christy chose that time period so that it matched the start of the satellite record. I always thought that people did that to get accurate comparison correct – It might be a novel concept to you, but it could be a neat trick.

    • It’s always nice to have a reasonable sounding excuse for a misleading choice that enhances the own argument.

      The start of the satellite period has used in this spirit by both sides of the argument and some of the worst examples come from the other side.

    • Why zero the values using that short period that included two El Ninos, rather than around a decadal average that cancels them out with La Ninas? He even plots seven-year running means, but didn’t even do that for his baseline which was 5 years. Very strange choice.

  53. From http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2012/08/02/august-2012-open-thread/comment-page-1/#comment-126897

    How to be a Blog Scientist*

    1) Accuse real scientists of not properly accounting for biases in their data.

    2) Conduct ‘analyses’ wherein you do not account for any biases or systematic errors in the data.

    3) Complain that real scientists do not release their data or code, even when they have.

    4) Do not release your data or code.

    5) Accuse others of ‘improperly’ releasing papers prior to publication.

    6) Release your paper prior to submission for publication.

    7) On releasing your paper, expect that others on the internet will do the hard (and no-so-hard) intellectual work for you.

    8) Bugger it, ask your ‘scientific’ mates to do the work for you, but don’t tell them exactly what you have and haven’t done to clean your data.

    9) ‘Teach’ yourself statistics two days before you release your first draft.

    10) Add your mates as authors to your paper, without asking them, or telling them where the paper is to be sent, or with supplying authorship statement forms.

    11) Disseminate a press release that is at odds with both your draft paper, your coauthors, and with the real scientific literature.

    12) Dig and delve

    [* Qualifications, training,and experience not prereqisite.]

    • “Science is the belief on the ignorance of experts.”

      “It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are. If it doesn’t agree with experiment, it’s wrong”

      Verily.

    • And AGW is not even beatuiful and warmists don’t seem very smart.

    • “It doesn’t matter how wise your quotes are when their context is not understood.”

    • The Very Reverend Doctor Jebediah Hypotenuse

      13) Tell everyone how ‘wicked’ the problem is.

      14) Provide instant relief by unlocking the scientific mystery in a way solves the problem in a way that no one can make sense of.

      15) Revise the paper – hundreds of times – in light of salient blog-commentary from esteemed key-strokers.

      Watts (http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/08/02/update-on-watts-et-al-2012/):

      The authors are performing detailed reanalysis of the data for the Watts et al. 2012 paper

      16) Reference the original ‘paper’ in your testimony to Congress, along with many other great works co-authored by yourself, and mention ‘climategate’ for good measure.

  54. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    In recent years James Hansen and his colleagues have routinely posted preprints of their articles on Cornell University’s arxiv server.

    Here Hansen and colleagues are following good scientific practice in that: (1) Arxiv preprints are archived permanently, (2) *ALL* arxiv preprint versions are available on-line forever (not just the latest version), and (3) all peprints are available free-as-in-freedom, and (4) the posting of supplementary material is encouraged.

    Anthony Watts and co-authors, take note! Aye laddies, that’s how it’s done!   :)   :)   :)

    • I’m a big fan of posting drafts of papers on the web for comment. However, issuing a press release on a draft paper isn’t a fabulous idea IMO.

    • I’m a big fan of posting drafts of papers on the web for comment. However, issuing a press release on a draft paper isn’t a fabulous idea IMO. – curryja

      Oh yeah, let’s just see how your capital IMO holds up to the pressure once you’ve written an authentic game changer.

    • Dude, it was “tectonic,” clearly “unprecedented” and of “international interest.” I think perhaps it was second to only how the world was never the same after 9/11.

      Sometimes a press release for an unpublished paper is simply a needed public service.

    • “Dude, it was “tectonic,” clearly “unprecedented” and of “international interest.” I think perhaps it was second to only how the world was never the same after 9/11.

      Sometimes a press release for an unpublished paper is simply a needed public service.”
      That is true.
      And the idea that more 1% of population ever hear it is amusing.
      Any press release simply helps spread news, and only become marginal in terms public awareness if all the press takes it up as a headline for days.
      Something like Curiosity attempting it’s landing on Mars, Aug 5 to 6th,
      is somewhat known by the public probably known by small percentage of people.
      Whereas Monica’s blue dress- “everyone knows” :)
      :Probably a topic in a lost primate tribe in New Guinea.

    • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

      Except the Watts paper is not going to be a game changer. His motivation was purely to upstage and give a big “in your face” to Muller. Anthony’s failure to wait and to address the serious issues of the proper handling of unadjusted data was a severe mistake. It changes the entire context of his paper.

    • Time of observation bias is a can of worms. I’m glad someone found the can opener.
      ==========

    • R Gates

      I am baffled as to why he shut down the web site then rushed the paper out. More haste less speed. I think it may still be significant (not a game changer) but there is tioo much smoke surrounding it at present to be sure

      tonyb

    • The Very Reverend Doctor Jebediah Hypotenuse


      I’m glad someone found the can opener.

      One person’s can opener is another person’s hatchet-job.

    • Perhaps one cannot be absolutely sure, but until the analysis is redone and checked the only reasonable assumption is that there’s nothing significant beyond the error in analysis.

    • I love the scientist in you, Pekka, but fear the craven policy wonk.
      ===================

    • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

      Tony,

      I think there were two reason Anthony shut down the blog for a few days:

      1) To hastily cobble together his draft paper and the announcement of same.
      2) To draw attention that something “unprecedented” was forthcoming.

      Haste makes waste. He should have taken his time with his “unprecedented” paper, kept the blog open, and gone on vacation with his family. As is stands, based even on the public feedback. let alone the private feedback. his paper won’t be unprecedented, won’t add much to the science, and probably gave even more attention to Muller. But of course, if Muller is a “trojan horse” as some are suggesting, then the game worked perfectly.

    • Judith,

      On general principle, you are of course right. Consider for a moment, though, the simple-minded comments savaging Christy (a climate scientist regarded as competent and perfectly respectable by his peers) that have been posted here by the CO2 doomsday cult’s faithful.

      What kind of reception do you expect the final Watts et al 2012 paper to receive in an environment in which even Christy’s quite respectable views are met as they are? That’s a question with an already obvious answer, of course.

      In such an environment, a draft paper release seems, while not customary, wise. It affords Watts and the paper’s co-authors the ability to note perceived weaknesses and address them before final and formal release, if they can.

      If the conclusions in the Watts el al paper, or any paper, end up more robust as a result of a draft release, science is the better for it, no?

    • There’s usually nothing wrong in posting a draft version of a paper, but there’s much wrong in referring to that draft in a congressional testimony. And there’s still very much more wrong in doing that when a possibly (and probably) devastating error has been found in the draft one day before presenting the testimony.

    • Oops, I misread your comment. My quick-read bad. Sorry.

    • Despite the penchant for dismissing the web on the part of many true believers, posting drafts for comments will soon be standard.

      Perhaps the press release was a bit overweening, but in the end my strong sense is this is going to be a major paper. If it turns out I’m wrong, I’ll certainly admit it…which I suspect is a lot more than all you contemptuous true believers will be able to muster

    • C’mon, the thing was wired into the FOX News megaphone. That was the whole point, and even then they had to use uncalibrated data to force the headline.

      The blather about the different Leroy standards is just that blather. Menne, et al, get about the same difference btw the Cat 1 uncalibrated (unadjusted) and calibrated (adjusted) trends with the 1999 standard as Watts, et al. do for the new standard.

      Talk to Christy about him using the raw data from the MSU without the on board calibration (adjustment).

    • Fan

      I agree that this is a useful practice. Michael mann’s articles are also usually fairly easy to find. It is frustrating when authors hide their work behind pay walls. Three cheers for Hansen. :)

      Tonyb

    • Steven Mosher

      I’m always at a loss to find the supplementary material ( data and code ) for hansen’s papers. Am I just not looking closely enough?

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Yes your surmise is correct Steven Mosher: you are not looking closely enough for Hansen’s supplemental material.   ;)   ;)   ;)

      As a bonus, today on Slashdot NASA investigator Bryan Killett is answering technical questions about GRACE. (a Google search for “Ask Dr. Bryan Killett About Climate Change and GRACE” finds it).

      Yes, Dr. Killet does supply analyze-it-yourself code for GRACE data. This code is a recommended resource for super-mega-ultra-hard-core climate-data analysts!   :)   :)   :)

  55. Thanks for the link.

    If there is anyone who does not yet understand just how badly politicized climate science has become, the titles of the linked articles will make it abundantly obvious and clear.

  56. fan @ 02/08 8.52 am, yer add inserts with poetry too, eg Alexander Pope’s poetry. It’s misrepresentation, fan, a propoganda device and it ain’t honest.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Beth Cooper, I am shocked … shocked! … at even the most modest intimation that science might partake of poetry:

      The Proper Study of Mankind

       … Man’s superior part
      Uncheck’d may rise, and climb from art to art:
      But when his own great work is but begun,
      What Reason weaves, by Passion is undone.

      Trace Science then, with Modesty thy guide;
      First strip off all her equipage of Pride,
      Deduct what is but Vanity, or Dress,
      Or Learning’s Luxury, or Idleness;
      Or tricks to shew the stretch of human brain,
      Mere curious pleasure, ingenious pain:
      Expunge the whole, or lop th’ excrescent parts
      Of all, our Vices have created Arts:

      Then see how little the remaining sum,
      Which serv’d the past, and must the times to come!

          — Alexander Pope

      Hopefully this poetic interlude has refreshed us all Beth Cooper!   :)   :)   :)

    • Both must alike from Heav’n derive their Light,
      These born to Judge, as well as those to Write.
      Let such teach others who themselves excell,
      And censure freely who have written well.

  57. Judith,

    I have seen results from a few of the individual climate model simulations from CMIP5, but not the synthesis of all the models. Assuming that Christy’s figure (at least up to 2005) has been put together correctly, we see the models are overall biased high, with a greater spread than we saw in the CMIP3/AR4 (this was discussed on a recent thread).

    I’ve just plotted realisations from the full set of 36 CMIP5 models at Climate Explorer using RCP45, and also realisations from the 23 CMIP3 models using SRESA1B. Set against the 1901-1950 baseline (same as AR4 20th Century plots) there is, if anything, less spread in the anomalies up to 2020. Unfortunately I’m unable to post them up at the moment but, at a glance, it looks like observations in the past few years (NOAA global land-ocean) are below the ensemble mean, though not by much. The appearance of Christy’s graph is mainly a function of the baseline he chose.

    • less spread in the anomalies up to 2020

      To clarify, that is less spread in CMIP5 compared to CMIP3.

    • It may be more the surface amplification factor he chose, see for example the nonsense that went back and forth about Klotzbach from Pielke Jr when Gavin Schmidt pointed out they had used a wrong factor telephoned by McKitrick from Schmidt’s modeling (McKitrick agreed with Schmidt, but the idiocy remained in the paper). In essence cherry picking the scale lets you move the UAH curve any which way.

    • eli, can you fix the link? thx

  58. That was not my intimation, fan. ‘Dishonesty,’ fan.

  59. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    For non-obvious reasons, Anthony Watts/WUWT have switched to a new head-line story.

    No, it’s not about Christy’s Senate testimony. And it’s not about Anthony’s preprint. It’s not even about the Neven’s fascinating satellite views of the now-open Northwest Passage.

    WUWT‘s new headline story focuses upon dumpster fires in Oklahoma.

    Just to be clear, Beth Cooper, the above assertion is objective fact … it is *not* any kind of satire or lampoon … although to be sure, the difference is getting to be mighty hard to tell nowadays!   ;)   :)   :grin:

    • A fan of *MORE* discord

      Fanny, you left a little something out. Like the part about Bill McKibben buying into a loony tale about plastic melting at 115 F (that’s 32 C for any real scientists here) and tweeting it. It has echos of the 9/11 truthers and their “steel doesn’t melt” argument.

      BTW, do you believe that 9/11 was a controlled demolition? Just curious.

    • For real, real scientists, 115F is 46C

    • The Very Reverend Doctor Jebediah Hypotenuse

      Meh.

      For real, real, real scientists it’s 319 K.

    • Lots of plastics go soft and start to flow (technically they become glassy) at 115 C, and it would not be the first time someone confused C for F.

    • Heat buckles bridge closing Oklahoma Highway 33

      Dumpster fire suspected.

      http://newsok.com/buckled-bridge-closes-oklahoma-highway-33-near-downtown-guthrie/article/3697532

    • Fan

      is the ‘now open’ NW passage’ the same one as Nevens ‘As good as open’

      Tonyb

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Climatereason, the reference is to Neven’s post:

      “Note in the right bottom of the animation how the ice in the Northwest Passage just vanishes overnight.

      It’s not transported, it just melts in place (or in situ, as the Romans liked to say). An astonishing sight.”

      This plain-as-day evidence, which is affirmed by every space-faring nation in the world, is 100X more convincing than Christy’s quibbles and Anthony’s dumpster tales put together. For this reason Neven’s entire web-site is highly recommended.

      To what further sources of scientific knowledge may we usefully direct your attention, ClimateReason?   :)   :)   :)

    • Fan

      No,you ssaid ‘now open’ which is different to Nevens ‘almost open’ which is what you linked to.. This melting was commented on in the 1820-1860 period and from 1918-1939. I have referenced them before

      Also WUWT changes their headlines very frequently so what point are you trying to make?

      in my view they change them too frequently which does not allow a discussion to develop fully, but I suppose the formula works.
      tonyb

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      ClimateReason, the ground-truth reality of the Arctic ice-melt runs ahead of official acknowledgement of that reality.

      The NorthWest passage is open. Count on it. Look for the official acknowledgement … within a week or two!   :)   ;)   :grin:

      By precisely the same mechanism, the accelerating reality of AGW runs ahead of John Christy’s and Anthony Watts’ acknowledgement of it.

      AGW is a reality. Count on it. Look for acknowledgement by Christy and Watts … within a decade or two!   :)   ;)   :grin:

    • Fan, you write “AGW is a reality.”

      A few comments on your post. First, you are correct; AGW is a reality. As you add CO2 to the atmopshere, it will warm. The question is, how much does it warm? The empirical data indicates this warming is negligible, and catastrophic AGW is simply a myth.

      Second, you are still seem to be trying to claim that because there is some melting of sea ice in the Arctic, therefore CAGW is real. You have no explanation as to why the Antarctic is showing more sea ice than the average of the early satellite readings. We went over this before, and you produced no science that explains why CO2 molecules can differentiate between the north and south poles. You produced no such science, because there is none. So your logic is completely false.

    • Fan

      You can waffle all you like, but what you said and what the link referred to are two different things,(something you have done several times in recent days) and to say that you are only predicting what will happen is also not the same.
      tonyb

    • A fan of more smileys

      AGW is real. [Yes - and yawn]

      NW Passage is open [Yes. Open again - yawn.]

      accelerating reality of AGW runs ahead of John Christy’s and Anthony Watts’ acknowledgement of it [Huh? Whazzat?]

      You score two out of three, fan.

      Better than your running average. Keep up the good work.

      Max

    • As you add CO2 to the atmopshere, it will warm. …The question is, how much does it warm? The empirical data indicates this warming is negligible,

      This is interesting.

      Could you define “negligible” here, please?

      If you find evidence of the extend of AGW negligible, then how do you know that ACO2 will warm the climate? Merely because you think that the theoretical construct behind the physics involved is correct?

      And what empirical evidence are you using to determine “negligible” warmth?

    • And as regards Antarctic sea ice: your ignorance is not a superpower.

      Educate yourself as to why Antarctic sea ice behaves differently from sea ice in the Arctic. Once you understand the science, then you will be in a position to critique it (perhaps). While your scientific understanding is on the level of “CO2 molecules can differentiate between the north and south poles” you aren’t going to be able to frame an intelligent question.

      But just asserting your ignorance in the matter reflects on your credibility, not climate scientists’.

    • Joshua you write
      “Could you define “negligible” here, please?
      and
      “And what empirical evidence are you using to determine “negligible” warmth?”

      Certainly. “Negligible” means that one cannot determione what the warming is against the background noise.

      The empirical data is that there is no CO2 signal in any temperature/time graph with data from the 20th and 21st centuries. If a CO2 signal were present, one can readily calculate and measure total climate sensitivity. Since no signal has been detected, no measurement of total climate sensitivity is possible, so we conclude that we cannot detect any warmth generated by adding CO2 to the atmosphere, against the background of natural noise..

    • Robert, you write “Educate yourself as to why Antarctic sea ice behaves differently from sea ice in the Arctic.”

      I have been trying to. I have searched all I can, and can find no science that claims there is a distinction between Arctic and Antarctic ice. I had a discussion with Fan, and asked him for references, but he could not provide any. I am always willing and anxious to be educated. Can you give me a reference which explains why adding CO2 to the atmosphere somehow makes LESS ice in the Arcitc and MORE ice in the Antarctic?

    • The Very Reverend Doctor Jebediah Hypotenuse

      Jim Cripwell:

      Your references are here:
      http://www.skepticalscience.com/antarctica-gaining-ice-intermediate.htm

      Just to address your predictable rejection:
      No – these references do not walk you through every causal link between added atmopsheric CO2, recent temp increases, and the recent behavior of Antarctic ice.

      If you have questions after reading the refs, then I suggest you take a graduate-level course in climate science.

    • Correction. I wrote “LESS ice in the Arcitc and MORE ice in the Antarctic?”

      This should read “LESS sea ice in the Arcitc and MORE sea ice in the Antarctic?

    • Reverend, you point me to skeptical science. Thanks, but no thanks. I note at the end of your reference the following

      “In summary, Antarctic sea ice is a complex and unique phenomenon. The simplistic interpretation that it must be cooling around Antarctica is decidedly not the case. Warming is happening – how it affects specific regions is complicated.”

      When someone can write “Warming is happening”, and there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that this warming is caused by increased amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere, I am unlikely to believe very much of what the author writes. From what I can see, it is merely hand waving, with no solid science behind it at all. The warmists know this is a problem, and just do their best to rationalise this problem away. Sorry, I don t work like that.

    • The Very Reverend Doctor Jebediah Hypotenuse

      Jim Cripwell:

      I am unlikely to believe very much of what the author writes. From what I can see, it is merely hand waving, with no solid science behind it at all. The warmists know this is a problem, and just do their best to rationalise this problem away. Sorry, I don t work like that.

      I’m not sure who your personal “warmist” antagonists are – but I strongly suspect that they do not regard your “I am unlikely to believe” and “from what I can see” as a problem requiring any attention at all, much less rationization.

      Sorry, science doesn’t work like that.

    • Reverend you write “Sorry, science doesn’t work like that.”

      Science, physics, works from hard, measured, independently replicated, empirical data. Nothing else. When someone shows me empirical data that proves that adding CO2 to the atmopshere causes surface temperatuyres to rise as much as the proponents of CAGW claim such temperatures are going to rise, I will be a believer. Not one second before.

    • NW passage is not significant more open today, as compared to conditions 90 years ago.
      But like the fervent warmer, I hope, and I believe it’s possible that before say 2050 or 2100 it will be noticeable better.

    • By then it will be the Arctic Ocean that will be open.

    • That would be nice.
      That would mean getting rid of all the old and rotten ice.
      Maybe someone will ice skate the arctic.

    • Jim D

      By then [before say 2050 or 2100] it will be the Arctic Ocean that will be open.

      Where did you get that crystal ball?

      “before say 2100″ might be kind of tough to check, Jim D – are you planning to be around then?

      BS is BS, no matter how you parse it, Jim.

      Max

    • Fan, you write “(Gbaikie, there are nowadays so many small-boat transits of the now-open NW passage, that boat-by-boat statistics are no longer maintained).”

      You are correct. However, it depends on what you mean by “open”. Canada, for decades, has used it’s Coast Guard icebreakers to escort cargo vessels to remote ports in the Canadian Arctic. This culminates each year with a convoy reaching Eureka, usually early in September.

      In recent years, a number of shallow draft, nimble vessels have navigated the NW passage successfully. This has resulted in a lucrative passenger traffic. I notice this year, there is an ice hardened, steel hulled yatch which advertises such passenger traffic. I am sure this vessel will complete it’s voyage.

      However, ocean-going, commercial, unescorted cargo vessels are another issue. The waters are treacherous even without any ice present. You need an experienced captain, or pilot, to get you through. Canada has meagre resources in this area, and they are all in use for our business. If there is an accident, the nearest help is St. John’s, Newfoundland. There is evidence the ice may change the sea bed, A few years ago, an oiltanker went aground in waters where such naviagation is routine. So far as I am aware, no explanation was found.

      So will the NW passage resemble the English Channel with respect to shipping? No way. I doubt whether any unescorted cargo vessels will attempt the passage in the near future. It was a long time ago that the Manhatten made a political statement.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      gbaikie asserts: “NW passage is not significant more open today, as compared to conditions 90 years ago.”

        :)   :)   :) It’s hockey-stick time!   :)   :)   :)

      (Gbaikie, there are nowadays so many small-boat transits of the now-open NW passage, that boat-by-boat statistics are no longer maintained).

  60. Facts weren’t the issue here, fan, it was the tricky insertian :-) Hmm… tricky methodology appears ter be somethin’ of a characteristic of climatology in general. :-) ;-) :-)

  61. I see that Real Climate trolls dropped in today to slam Christy for his statement that CO2 is net benefit. Good god, you’d think that none of these Yamal tree nitwits had ever heard of the Cambrian, a climate epoch not only known for its explosion of life forms, but for having an atmospheric CO2 concentration of 7,000 ppmv.

    Will the model-driven conjecture and drivel from these folks never end?

    • Correlation is not causation.

      “Conjecture” and “drivel” are good terms for the idea that “CO2 is a next benefit.”

    • Sorry, the idea is out of the box. You can show it’s a net negative?
      ================

    • lurker, passing through laughing

      Nic,
      The climate trolls cannot deal with complex thoughts. CO2 is their version of sin, and sin is bad. Thinking in context, much less from a well informed perspective, is far beyond minds committed to a pseudoreligion like climate.

    • Ha you think Nic’s claim was complex? try mundanely illogical instead.

    • Also I think everyone knows you are Hunter. I thought you said you were leaving?

    • There are very few commenters in common between the two blogs.

  62. Christy #4 ‘Widely publicized consensus reports … of scientists rarely represent the range of scientific opinion that attends our reatively murky field of climate research,’
    Appropos the above, there’s an interesting discussion at Climate Audit “Gergis and Watts Delayed” in which Anthony Watts joins in. I can’t help making a comparison between adherents of an open society and a closed society, as revealed by the climate science community. Anthony W and Willis E put out their research, acknowledging and accepting criticism as part of the process. Gergisand Karoly, as Mann and Jones before them …well… ?

    • “part of the process” involved a breathless press release pushing the conclusions as fact, accusing NOAA of wrong-doing, and citing those conclusions in senate testimony.

      That’s the actions of advocacy, not the actions of putting research forward to some kind of “blog-review”/draft process. A blog review draft process would not push the conclusions as fact, but as untested and uncertain. It wouldn’t reach the media let alone senate testimony.

      Personally I don’t have a problem with such advocacy, I’ve always felt science is about advocating your theory. But I know climate skeptics are outspoken against such advocacy when others do it.

      What I have a problem with is hypocrisy. At least Gergis and co haven’t been advocating for years the complete opposite of their own behavior. But Watts would be the last person to accept his own behavior if a climate scientist had done it.

      What I see happening now is historical revision by skeptics to try and pretend what was blatant advocacy and agenda-pushing was just a case of “blog review”.

      To that end the idea that in the future all papers will undergo review online by bloggers is laughable. How many of the hundreds of papers published over last few months have these bloggers even covered let alone read? The only reason Watts paper gets reviewed in the first place is that various skeptics advocated it.

    • lolwot

      What I have a problem with is hypocrisy

      Huh? Howdat?

      Max

    • lolwot wots not
      wot beth
      saith

  63. The bottom line of all of this, is climate science fit for purpose? The purpose of understanding what the planet’s climate may be in the near future. Can we trust our measurements and models? If our models are deviating from our measurements which is in error, the model or the measurements?
    Can we trust those tasked to do the science? To the shame of us all, bickering and back stabbing on blogs etc…especially those seeking power and influence via the billion dollar industry climate science has become, it seems that we have lost sight of the science. Partially to blame is the process of peer review.
    Peer review became part of the dissemination of knowledge via journals, it did not preceed it but became part of it as science grew. Peer reviewers became gatekeepers only recently and even more recently it would appear, as cliques grew, censors. This is intolerable in the world of science and the sight of different scientists presenting differing views to the peoples’ elected politicians must be an indication that the methods and practices within climate science are not fit for purpose. If the scientists can not even agree on the basic measurements then how can we trust the rest of the science?
    No doubt some cognitively challenged people will cite this or that statistic to say that there is consensus, but there is not, because from such debates it is evident that climate science is obviously not settled no matter how shrill the calls otherwise. Now that basic fact might give some here massive cognitive dissonane, but deal with it don’t deny it. Ultimately the real deniers are those who think climate science is settled. If they could move on from there then maybe climate science could drag itself out of the hole it’s dug itself in.

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

      “The phrase “the science is settled” is associated almost 100% with contrarian comments on climate and is usually a paraphrase of what ‘some scientists’ are supposed to have said. The reality is that it depends very much on what you are talking about and I have never heard any scientist say this in any general context – at a recent meeting I was at, someone claimed that this had been said by the participants and he was roundly shouted down by the assembled experts.”

    • “The phrase “the science is settled” is associated almost 100% with contrarian comments on climate

      That is an outright lie – in fact it’s associated almost 100% with alarmist politicians. I have heard it pass the lips of many a politician – the one instance I remember well being from John Prescott, the UK’s ex-deputy PM.
      Just because evidence of these instances cannot be easily found with a Google search doesn’t mean they didn’t happen – although finding them is generally a case of trawling through TV and newspaper archives.

    • It’s been said on this blog alone significantly more times than it has ever been said by politicians in the United States. When it comes to spewing “the science is settled” this blog eats American politicians for breakfast.

      The big gigantic monstrous lie is that it was ever said by any climate scientist of any significance at all.

    • JCH

      “The science is settled” is a quotation, which first came from John Houghton, first co-chair of the IPCC and lead editor of the first three summary reports.

      Others (politicians, CAGW advocates, etc.) have repeated it since then.

      It has come under heavy attack and is now claimed (by the CAGW faithful, such as William Connelly, formerly of Wikipedia) to be a “myth”..

      Max

    • JCH

      Sorry. That’s William “Connolley” (not Connelly).

      Max

    • This is hilarious, Max.

      So you claim that it was said one time by one climate scientist?

      This is what you offer in response to the charge, that you have read no doubt hundreds if not thousands of times, that “climate scientists,” “they,” etc., say that the science is settled.

      You speak of what the first co-chair and and lead editor with the IPCC said once, and ignore the official language of the report, which speaks to the probabilities of GW being A.

      And then you turn around and refer to yourself as a “rational skeptic?”

      Please explain how you distinguish a rational skeptic from an irrational skeptic.

    • Can you please show us where on this blog that anyone has accused any climate scientist of any significance of using that particular phrase?

    • That is an outright lie – in fact it’s associated almost 100% with alarmist politicians.

      Really? You’ve never read or hear “skeptics” saying something on the order of “Climate scientists say that the science is settled?”

      First Google hit, first Google search.

      http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/06/11/scientists-claim-greenhouse-gases-largely-to-blame-for-warming-oceans/

      Dude.

      Please find mention of the politicians that are being associated with the term in that article.

      Tell me something: Do you consider yourself a “rational skeptic” or an irrational skeptic?

      Because it seems to me that one distinction between those two would be that a “rational skeptic” would recognize and separate himself from illogical or overtly inaccurate statements made, often and prominently, by other “skeptics.”

    • Because it seems to me that one distinction between those two would be that a “rational skeptic” would recognize and separate himself from illogical or overtly inaccurate statements made, often and prominently, by other “skeptics.”

      They used to have a national meeting, but Steve Mosher got tired of spending a week in a hotel ballroom by himself.

    • Joshua, do you actually read things before sprouting off?

    • Really? You’ve never read or hear “skeptics” saying something on the order of “Climate scientists say that the science is settled?”

      That would be as opposed to commenting that certain people behave as if the science really were settled?

  64. I do not understand why Dr. Christy limits his analysis to the 1975 – 2012 period. The inability of climate models to correctly hind-cast past climate patterns is much more blatant in the 1rst half of 20th Century.
    I also do not understand how Dr Curry could claim that “all the CMIP3/AR4 models produced results that pretty much matched the observations”. Actually they never did.

    IPCC AR4 FAQ 8.1 Figure 1 provides the global mean surface temperatures over the 20th century from observations (black) and as obtained from 58 simulations produced by 14 different climate models driven by both natural and human-caused factors that influence climate (yellow). The mean of all these runs is also shown (thick red line).

    Actually a quite simple analysis shows how poor is the ability of climate models to reproduce past observations :

    Observations show :
    (a) Warming of 0.16°C/decade over [1910 – 1940] period (Note that during this period, the increase of CO2 concentration was only 0.1 to 0.2% per year).
    (b) Slight Cooling of -0.03°C/decade over [1940 – 1970] period
    (c) Warming of 0.17°C/decade over [1970 – 2000] period. Note that during this period, the increase of CO2 concentration was 0.4 to 0.6% per year i.e 3 times higher than during [1910 – 1940], whereas warming rate is almost identical.
    (d) Slight cooling since roughly 2000 while CO2 concentration keeps increasing by more than 0.6% per year.

    Models show :
    (a) Continuous warming of 0.06°C/decade over [1900 – 1960] period.
    (b)- Brief and sharp T° drop corresponding to Agung eruption in 1963
    (c) Warming of 0.18°C/decade since 1970… (with still sharp and brief drops corresponding to El Chichon and Pinatubo eruptions respectively in 1982 and 1991)

    This comparison confirms Dr Christy’s conclusions w.r.t climate models that are :
    (a) Unable to catch and reproduce obvious climate patterns such as PDO 60 years cycles.
    (b) Too sensitive to CO2 concentration. This is exactly why the warming rate they produce for [1910 – 1940] period is 3 times lower than observed, and 3 times lower than calculated for [1970 – 2000] period, during which the increase of CO2 concentration was 3 times higher than during the former period…
    (c) Too sensitive to volcanic eruptions and subsequent aerosols emissions

    • Eric Ollivet

      Excellent analysis!

      Max

    • A qualifier on this statement: “all the CMIP3/AR4 models produced results that pretty much matched the observations”

      Figure 9.5 of the AR4 http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/figure-9-5.html
      provides the ‘appearance’ of matching the observations, whereby the mean modeled global temperature anomaly provides a pretty good match to observed global surface temperature anomaly.

    • Eric Ollivet

      Dear Dr Curry,
      Actually the matching is correct over [1970 - 2000] period but not before and not after. Furthermore there are obvious and huge discrepencies between models and observations over [1900 - 1970] period. 30 years of correct matching over 110 years is a little bit short to claim that models are correctly correlated and validated. Indeed they are not and they are even far to reach such a status.

      And the most inconvenient truth is that models, since driven by CO2 concentration that has steadily increased for the past 150 years, remains totally unable to reproduce any cooling as observed from 1940 to 1970 and since 2000… Except by playing with their over-sensitivity to volcanic aerosols’ forcing…

      Regards

    • The Very Reverend Doctor Jebediah Hypotenuse


      (d) Slight cooling since roughly 2000…

      Fail x 2.

      On the internet, garbage lives forever.
      Even non-statistically-significant garbage.

      http://www.aussmc.org/documents/waiting-for-global-cooling.pdf

      - also:
      Fawcett 2007
      Foster and Rahmstorf 2011

    • Eric Ollivet

      Foster & Rahmstorf is indeed the best example of garbage and data manipulation.

  65. Is there any other science that gives greater weight to the results from computer models than to real world data?

    • Steve Milesworthy

      It is a false dichotomy that you have been led into believing. Computer models and data are complementary in many areas of science (comparing microwave background signals with cosmological theories comes to mind).

      Computer models, both climate models and the generic sense of a numerical model, are derived from and are tested on real world data. A lot of real world data requires other computer models to interpret them.

      Even if you believe Christy’s distorted and cherry-picked plot, real world data tells you that in a period starting with an El Nino and ending in a double dip La Nina, that the globe warmed at 0.1C per decade which is not out of line from the models even if you ignore other potential confounding effects such as weak solar cycle.

      Remove the Christy distortion (aligning a high point in the data with the average of the models), account for the effects of differing ENSO state, and the observations are well in model territory.

    • Eric Ollivet

      “Computer models, both climate models and the generic sense of a numerical model, are derived from and are tested on real world data.”

      Steve,
      The very inconvenient truth is that none of the nice climate models has ever been subjected to any Verification & Validation process, and that none of them would be able to successfully pass such a process since none of them is able to correctly reproduce past climate patterns and observed data…

  66. Eric Ollivat

    Your above post highlights precisely the key point John Christy made in his testimony, namely that we should rely more on observations than on model simulations.

    And you point out that these do not show good correlation. This means, of course, that we should take any projections based on these model simulations with a large grain of salt.

    Quite simple, actually.

    Max

    • Eric Ollivet (sorry for misspelling your name)

    • Sunday morning coming down. Your eyes are not deceiving you.
      =======================

    • Your above post highlights precisely the key point John Christy made in his testimony, namely that we should rely more on observations than on model simulations.

      Two points about this:

      1. Once you have your observations, you need to try and organize and explain them via a theory with predictive value. This has been true since Arrhenius spent several years calculating climate sensitivity one hand-drawn cell at a time. Nowadays, we do a lot of that work with computers.

      You need both data and hypotheses to have science. A hypothesis is a model, whether or not you put it in a computer.

      2. If you seek to answer the question “What will 2100 or 2200 look like?” with data strictly, and no climate model simulations, you are left with the paleoclimate record. What did the earth look like when temperatures were last that high? Or when CO2 was last that high?

      The results of the climate model simulations are tea and sympathy compared to what the paleo record has to say.

    • The paleo record has a lot to say, most of which we’ve not ears to hear, yet. You, apparently are looking through one myopic eye.
      =============

    • The paleo record has a lot to say, most of which we’ve not ears to hear, yet.

      Truer words were never spoken. You’re not ready to hear the truth — which is why you’re a climate denier.

      Fortunately your ignorance is not a general state of affairs. The scientifically literate have lots to teach you, when you are ready to open your ears! :)

    • Eric Ollivet

      Robert,
      Actually you missed a step.
      1) Of course Science shall be based on both experimental data and a theory (i.e a model) intending to explain and organize those data. But before issuing any predictive assessment, with a sufficient degree of confidence, you first need to anchor the model on real world i.e to test / validate the model against observed / experimental data.
      The very inconvenient truth is that none of the nice climate models has ever been subjected to any Verification & Validation process, and that none of them would be able to successfully pass such a process since none of them is able to correctly reproduce past climate patterns and observed data…

      2) There is no need for powerful computer and/or complex model to issue a reliable prediction about future climate in 2100. Just looking on past data since 1880, and related climate patterns such as PDO 60 years cycle or Schwab 11 years cycle, one could easily assess that temperature shall not increase by more than 0.6 or 0.7°C by the end of the century…
      Just have a look on Scafetta’s papers for instance
      http://www.fel.duke.edu/~scafetta/pdf/scafetta-JSTP2.pdf
      http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/reprint/astronomical_harmonics.pdf

      Even if he has built quite a sophisticated “celestial” model to support his prediction, he also did a similar prediction with a very simpler one just based on observations. Look page 24…
      http://arxiv.org/pdf/1003.1554.pdf

    • If we had observations from the future we would of course use it instead of models. Unfortunately such observations are lacking.

    • Eli

      If we had observations from the future we would of course use it instead of models. Unfortunately such observations are lacking.

      But we DO have observations from the present and recent past.

      Christy’s point is that we should be relying more heavily on these, rather than on model simulations.

      Max

  67. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Forget Christy, forget Muller, forget Watts. It’s time to heed America’s common-sense farmers:

    Climate change is real — just ask my cows
    Arkansas Times — Gene Lyon

    The countryside is dying. There’s nothing green in my pastures except inedible weeds.   … Pretty much nobody whose livelihood depends upon the weather denies it: The climate hereabouts is changing, mostly for the worse.

    The underlying fear, of course, is that the scientists are right: that what we’re experiencing is the knife-edge of worldwide global warming.

    Farm Bureau and Cattleman’s Association publications tend to be filled with strident climate change denial, and regional newspapers with predictable right-wing boilerplate. However, it’s never clear who actually reads such editorials. News stories find agriculturalists matter-of-factly acknowledging reality.

    Scientists invariably warn against overreacting — drawing sweeping conclusions about climate change from discrete weather events, even the deadliest drought in a century.

    But that’s not how human beings normally work. Sometimes it takes a disaster to focus people’s attention.

    Yeah, it’s looking like game-over for climate-change skepticism. `Cuz once you’ve lost credibility with midwest farmers, you’ve lost credibility with the heart of America.

    • Heh, next year’s flood will flush the memory, but the guilt floats on.
      ===================================

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Just to be definite, the final paragraph of the above post is my own summary of Gene Lyon’s column … whose entirety is well-worth reading.  :)   :)   :)

      Denialists need to understand that folks mainly care about what they see in their own back yards … not so much about Christy-style quibbling and Watts-style spinning.

      And what folks are seeing in backyards everywhere on earth, is a planet whose climate is getting hotter and whose seas are starting to rise.

      That’s why ordinary folks have less-and-less patience with ideology-first slogan-shouting demagogic climate-change denialism. Very good!   :)   :)   :)

    • Do they see the last two centuries of rising temperatures and seas. Do they recognize the blessings?
      =====================

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Kim asks: “Do they [farmers] recognize the blessings [of AGW]?

      No.   :sad:   :sad:   :sad:

      Kim, what is your next question?

    • Farmers Fan? AGW?

      You are allowing your desire to see climate change everywhere to overcome the scepticism you should be showing as a scientist ( I assume you are a scientist rather than a history scholar?)

      Farmers have been commenting on the changing climate for thousands of years. You will be pleased to receive instruction in this matter from my recent article;

      http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/11/01/a-short-anthology-of-changing-climate/

      These brief extracts are taken from it. There were very many more that I didn’t have room for;

      —— ——– —–

      Saint Cyrian was Bishop of Carthage around 250AD.* (see Note 1) He was talking about the huge increase in Rome’s population which had caused wars against Carthage and the building of 500 towns in North Africa to satisfy the eternal city’s ever increasing needs for timber, cereal, and exotic animals for its gladiatorial contests. Here is an account of lack of sustainability and climate change caused by a variety of factors, with the hints of a decline in the warm climate that had sustained Rome now starting to work against them as it intermittently turned cooler

      ‘The world has grown old and does not remain in its former vigour. It bears witness to its own decline. The rainfall and the suns warmth are both diminishing. The metals are nearly exhausted the husbandman is failing in his fields. Springs which once gushed forth liberally now barely give a trickle of water.’

      Around 1560 the Rev Schaller, pastor of Strendal in the Prussian Alps wrote;

      “There is no real constant sunshine neither a steady winter nor summer, the earth’s crops and produce do not ripen, are no longer as healthy as they were in bygone years. The fruitfulness of all creatures and of the world as a whole is receding, fields and grounds have tired from bearing fruits and even become impoverished, thereby giving rise to the increase of prices and famine, as is heard in towns and villages from the whining and lamenting among the farmers.”

      This next excerpt comes from the extensive weather records of Thomas Jefferson; (the warm weather of the early 1700’s has given way to intense cold then another period of warmth)

      http://xroads.virginia.edu/~HYPER/JEFFERSON/ch07.html

      “A change in our climate however is taking place very sensibly. Both heats and colds are become much more moderate within the memory even of the middle-aged. Snows are less frequent and less deep. They do not often lie, below the mountains, more than one, two, or three days, and very rarely a week. They are remembered to have been formerly frequent, deep, and of long continuance. The elderly inform me the earth used to be covered with snow about three months in every year. The rivers, which then seldom failed to freeze over in the course of the winter, scarcely ever do so now. This change has produced an unfortunate fluctuation between heat and cold, in the spring of the year, which is very fatal to fruits. From the year 1741 to 1769, an interval of twenty-eight years, there was no instance of fruit killed by the frost in the neighbourhood of Monticello. An intense cold, produced by constant snows, kept the buds locked up till the sun could obtain, in the spring of the year, so fixed an ascendancy as to dissolve those snows, and protect the buds, during their development, from every danger of returning cold. The accumulated snows of the winter remaining to be dissolved all together in the spring, produced those over flowings of our rivers, so frequent then, and so rare now.” (From observation 1772 to 1779)

      Our modern bouts of amnesia regarding previous climatic conditions can be seen to be nothing new by reading the comments from the annals of Dumfermline Scotland from 1733/4, when it recorded that wheat was first grown in the district in 1733. Lamb wryly observes that was not correct, as enough wheat had been grown further north in the early 1500′s to sustain an export trade (before the 1560’s downturn).

      A farmer from Buchan in North East Scotland, one of the snowiest parts of lowland Britain, wrote in the agricultural section of the local newspaper during the exceptionally mild winter of 1933/34.

      “1934 has opened true to the modern tradition of open, snowless winters. The long ago winters are no precedent for our modern samples. During the last decade, during several Januarys the lark has heralded spring up in the lift from the middle to the end of the month. Not full fledged songs but preliminary bars in an effort to adapt to our climatic change.”

      It then goes on to say;
      “It is unwise to assume that the modern winters have displaced the old indefinitely”
      and also; “Our modern winters have induced an altered agricultural regime”
      Nice try Fan but context would be useful
      tonyb

    • Attribution, she’s a bitch.
      Don’t know why, just scratch that itch.
      Puff the Magic Carbon
      Lived by the C. degree.
      Nature turned and bit him, some place rich.
      ================

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      ClimateReason, in medicine there is a saying “The plural of anecdote is not data.” In which regard consider this instructive historical anecdote:

      History of Tobacco Use

      James I of England (reigned 1603-1625), who succeeded Queen Elizabeth, was strongly opposed to tobacco use and wrote the first major antitobacco treatise, entitled “Counterblast to Tobacco,” in 1604. King James described tobacco as “a custome loathsome to the eye, hateful to the nose, harmful to the brain, dangerous to the lungs, and in the black stinking fume there of nearest resembling the horrible stygian smoke of the pit that is bottomless.”

      As it turned out, medical science eventually proved King James to be correct, eh?   :)   :)   :)

      Similarly, climate-change science provides substantial reason to expect that Arkansas farmers are correct in apprehending that AGW-induced climate-change very substantially increases the changes of heat-waves and drought.

      Summary The history of tobacco/cancer connection — with its rich interaction of rigorous science, non-rigorous anecdote, rational skepticism, ideology-driven denialism, and commercial disinformation — provides numerous instructive parallels to the CO2/AGW connection.

      Isn’t that correct, ClimateReason?   :)   :)   :)

    • Fan

      No.You must stop believing that Tobacco and climate scepticism are related. I also note that you have now inserted the word ‘expected’ into your latest irrational climate change story..’

      King James was interesting as he lived through considerable periods of climate change from warm to cold to warm again so I am glad you brought him up. :)

      However in citing his quotation approvingly you presumably also believe in the philosophy behind this saying of his?

      ’Kings are justly called gods for they exercise a manner or resemblance of divine power upon earth’ – King James I

      You haven’t been in top form the last few days Fan, I hope you are not sickening for something?

      tonyb

    • Naw, kim, some farmers are just looking for a “gumment handout”.

      Fan, what’s YOUR next question?

      Max

  68. Science settled? I think not. Policy action settled? I know not.
    ================================================

  69. Beth write:
    “Gergisand Karoly, as Mann and Jones before them …well… ?”

    Right. Not so much Beth. That by the way is exactly why I switched teams a few years ago. It became quickly apparent to me as I delved into the blogs that the skeptics were much more open. The true believers? Nasty, arrogant, and intolerant of criticism…or even polite questions.

    • The urge to suppress curiosity is astounding, and very ancient.
      =====================

    • The Very Reverend Doctor Jebediah Hypotenuse

      I’ll take “argumentum ad confortatio” for 1,000 points, Alex.

  70. I wonder if the problem is our post modernist education? We now place more value in deconstruction than data, look at how much more valued system science has become with its probabilites rather than previous forms of empirical or critical rationalist science.
    Maybe we’ve forgotten the importance of verfiable data (replication)? Maybe that is coming back to haunt us?

    • The Very Reverend Doctor Jebediah Hypotenuse

      “We”, Kemosabe?

      Introspection can only lead to a soul-crushing loss of self-esteem.
      Avoid it at all costs.

    • Introspection can only lead to a soul-crushing loss of self-esteem.
      Avoid it at all costs.

      Brilliant.

    • Is that the gnosis of gnomic like minds?

  71. I know I shouldn’t but :-)

    A Catalogue of Categorical Denial.

    *Category of Censoring:
    Keep quiet!
    Shut up!
    Yer on our list …
    I know where yer live …
    Sack that editor!

    *Category of Nomenclature:
    Denialist!
    Evil oil shill!
    Idiot!
    Republican brain!
    Capitalist swine!

    *Category of Authority:
    The consensus is …
    10,000 scientists say …
    The science is settled.
    What would you know?
    Catastrophe is imminent!

  72. Christy:

    A climatologist looking at this heat wave would not be alarmed because the number of daily high temperature records set in the most recent decade was only about half the number set in the 1930s as shown in my written testimony.

  73. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    ClimateReason demands: “No. You must stop believing that tobacco [skepticsm] and climate scepticism are related.”Uhhh … why is it, exactly, that you demand everyone “must” stop believing that, oh ClimateReason?   :)   :)   :)

  74. Muppets out performing Queen, who would have believed ( predicted) that? Lol.

  75. “You must stop believing that tobacco [skepticsm] and climate scepticism are related”

    WHy? Because Joy, they are essentially different. If you list your reasons for drawing an equivalency, I’ll do my best to explain why I disagree. Let’s have a conversation..

    Barkeep! One for me, and one for the lady while we work this out :-)

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Universal techniques Merchandise Doubt.

      What shall our next debate topic be, pokerguy?   :)   :)   :)

    • Tony B,

      The use of the words “must stop” sounds like a demand to me, as I’m sure you would agree if I insisted you “must stop” being so obtuse.

      The level of smoking in the world affects the profits of the tobacco companies. The levels of fossil fuel combustion affects the profits of, amongst others, the oil and mining companies. So, anyone with any intelligence can both appreciate the difference and the parallels.

    • Tempterrain

      My goodness you’re spoiling for an argument today.Must stop, within a qualifying context has a completely different meaning to ‘demand’

      You used to use the silly smoking argument yourself but never got anywhere as the apparent connection you apparently saw always eluded everyone else.
      Tonyb

    • The parallels end with the bit: nobody needs to smoke

    • “Nobody needs to smoke?” Agreed.

      But, we do “need” to double CO2 atmospheric CO2 levels this century (from pre-industrial levels)? So because we “need” to do this, the climate effects have to be relatively minor or even no-existent?

      Is this what you are saying?

    • “Smoking in the People’s Republic of China is prevalent, as China is the world’s largest consumer and producer of tobacco: there are 350 million Chinese smokers, and China produces 42% of the world’s cigarettes.”
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smoking_in_the_People%27s_Republic_of_China

      “Smoking is on the rise in the developing world but falling in developed nations. Among Americans, smoking rates shrunk by nearly half in three decades (from the mid-1960s to mid-1990s), falling to 23% of adults by 1997. In the developing world, tobacco consumption is rising by 3.4% per year. ”
      http://quitsmoking.about.com/cs/antismoking/a/statistics.htm

      It seems there are 350 million Chinese who need to smoke.

    • Temp, people do not need to smoke, and I speak as an ex-smoker.
      However, people need to eat and make a living – and that involves burning fossil fuels – like it or not. And until we either develop commercial-scale fusion reactors, or tone down our resistance to conventional nuclear power, not much is going to change. Anything else is merely (expensively) tinkering around the edges.
      As for fossil fuel companies, like tobacco companies, wanting to protect their profits, sure. But so do other companies, like those producing food and other essentials. Should we be drawing parallels between these and tobacco companies as well?
      Additionally, when it comes to profits, I’m sure the fossil fuel companies welcome any measures which push up the price of their products.

    • tempterrain

      The level of public climate change hysteria affects the taxpayer funding of the multibillion-dollar CAGW industry.

      So, anyone with any intelligence can both appreciate the difference and the parallels.

      Right?

      Max

    • TonyB and Manacker,

      So not only are you denialists on the AGW issue itself, you also seem to be in denial over the obvious parallel between tobacco and coal mining companies wanting to protect their profits. In Tony’s own words the link seems to have “eluded” him and he thinks it’s “eluded everyone else” too.

      If I were arguing from your side, I would say: yes there is an obvious parallel. However, the tobacco companies being in the wrong on the smoking issue doesn’t mean the fossil fuel industry are wrong about AGW. And it doesn’t, does it? I couldn’t fault anyone for saying that. Doesn’t that sound a more intelligent argument? Or does that one “elude” you too?

    • Tempterrain

      In order to have a full basket of red herrings isn’t this your cue to introduce creationism?
      Tonyb

    • I could say “creationism” is to fundamentalist religion as AGW denialism is to right wing politics. But would you understand it? I think that one may well “elude” you too.

      But if you do understand it and you can’t think of anything else to say then you can always cry “red herring”, I suppose.

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      I understand your analogy perfectly well. That’s why I know it’s ignorant, offensive and wrong. Do I get a prize?

    • Brandon,
      Its good you say you understand it. Except you don’t really. For a start, it’s not really an analogy. Its just another one of those cases where those with a strong attachment to an ideology prevents them from thinking rationally about a particular issue. Those on the political left have their own problems with issues like nuclear energy and genetic engineering, so I’m not claiming that its just about right wing politics and religious fundamentalism.
      So no prizes just yet I’m afraid.

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      tempterrain, your mind reading skills are as terrible as your writing skills. Not only do you not have the slightest idea of what goes on in my mind, you are apparently incapable of understanding what an analogy is, Not only do you deny that what you said is an analogy, you do so despite using the exact phrasing taught to students to use with analogies when studying for SATs.

      I think until you learn what an analogy is, or at least learn you can’t read minds, we’re not going to make any progress on this topic.

    • tempterrain:

      It seems to me that your argument is illogical. Creationism is a pseudoscientific theory of fundamentalist religion. AGW is a pseudoscientific theory of left wing politics. It logically follows that creationism is to fundamentalist religion as AGW is to left wing politics. It does not logically follow that creationism is to fundamentalist religion as AGW denialism is to right wing politics.

    • Terry Oldberg,

      Except that Darwin’s theory of Evolution by Natural Selection, the science underpinning the consensus position on AGW, the medical evidence that smoking is harmful to health, are all part of the mainstream scientific position.

      Sure, if they weren’t, and it was just the political left, and in the face of scientific opposition, who were saying there was a problem with GH gas emissions, you could equate AGW with them in the way you say. But sadly, that is not the case.

    • tempterrain:

      I take exception to your claim that the mainstream position is scientific. As its claims are not falsifiable, this position is not scientific.

    • Brandon Schollenberger,

      I could say you’re out of your depth in this argument. It doesn’t mean that you are actually in any water, you obviously aren’t, but it’s an analogy to show that you are finding certain concepts too difficult to cope with.

      If there were any water involved you’d be the fish who found himself out of it. :-)

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      tempterrain, your response to me seems to make no sense. You just offered a new analogy where you indicate a literal interpretation may not be correct when someone is offering an analogy. Presumably, this means I should have interpreted what you said as an analogy rather than a literal statement. Seeing as the only thing in our exchange that could be interpreted as an analogy is the thing I interpreted as an analogy, that’s baffling.

      The only other possibility which comes to mind is you are suggesting I should have interpreted the statement, “[I]t’s not really an analogy,” as an analogy. That seems all sorts of silly.

      You might consider trying to say what you mean in a more direct fashion. Or, if you prefer, you can continue to say things that defy any sensible interpretation while acting as though the fact others fail to understand your meaning is anything other than perfectly natural. That approach does have at least one major benefit: it’s polarizing. Nobody should have any difficulty telling which of us is saying things that make some sort of sense.

      On an unrelated note, there is no “c” in my name.

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      Terry Oldberg, a word of caution. People often conflate creationism with right-wing fundamentalism, but in reality, the term covers far, far more. In effect, creationism covers any belief which involves any sort of intervention from outside forces in humans having come to exist. This could cover Young Earth Creationism, Intelligent Design, alien DNA seeding programs, or many other possibilities. While people would understand your intended meaning, it is best to try to be more clear.

      For the record, the fundamentalists criticized as creationists are the ones who started this conflation. They intentionally took a term with a rich history in philosophy and theology as their name. By co-opting the term, they hoped to gain a veneer of credibility. It’s nothing more than a cheap trick that happens to have caught on.

      Personally, I prefer to call fundamentalists what they are, but if you do want to use that word, you may consider at least capitalizing it. Many people have taken to using Creationism as distinct from creationism. I find it unnecessarily confusing, but it’s better than nothing.

    • Brandon:

      I concur with your call for avoidance of the conflation of ideas through disambiguation of the terms that reference these ideas.

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      Terry Oldberg, thanks! I know most people probably don’t care about the distinction, but I hate seeing creationism as a whole smeared because some opportunistic jerks decided to co-opt the name. Even if we don’t agree with someone’s views, we ought to accurately represent them.

      (Before anyone asks, I’m not a creationist. I just respect the fact humans are in no position to claim to know how everything came to be when science can’t even hope to answer some of the most basic questions in that subject.)

  76. Yer haven’t finished tne first ‘conversation’ yit, fan.

    • Beth

      Fan gets too enthralled with his own verbiage and his “smiley button” to logically finish a conversation.

      In engineering parlance we’d say that his mouth overloads his brain.

      Max

  77. I think Beth has a point, Joy. No links, just you and I. If I’m wrong, I’ll promptly admit it. I think it’s an important conversation, because it’s an analogy you see a lot, and I don’t think it’s accurate or fair. I could just make a list of the reasons I think that, but I have the sense I’ll learn more by doing it this way.

    Meanwhile, I’m 2 Budweiser’s ahead of you. Already you’ve got the advantage :-)

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Pokerguy, I couldn’t explain the tobacco-denial/climate-denial link any more clearly than Naomi Oreskes.

      So listen to Naomi, and learn, pokerguy!   :)   :)   :)

    • A fan of *MORE* discord

      Seriously, Fanny? That kook?

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      “Discord,” your one-line post successfully demonstrated both “ingroup/outgroup thinking” and “anti-intellectualism”, which are (of course!) pathognomonic of demagogic denialism. So far, so good.

      But to earn a top score in demagogic denialism, you need to add some “motivism”, “scapegoating”, “conspiracy theories”, and “bad science.”

      Please try again …   :)   :)   :)

    • WisconsinitesForGlobalWarming

      Your tobacco analogy is well worn, and frankly, way off the mark.

      Where are the deaths caused by global warming that are analogous to the lung cancer deaths?

      The studies I’ve seen, including from the IPCC, specifically state that: a) there is no increase in extreme weather events; and b) more people die from cold weather than warm. Not to mention that no one has shown a link between extreme weather events and global warming (or cooling for that matter).

      That’s like saying that there was no increase in lung cancers among smokers and that smokers actually lived longer than non-smokers. Would have been a much more interesting discussion.

      Find a better analogy – one where the world “acted” without first seeing the negative impact of what they acted against.

  78. Stephen Pruett

    Is Robert really serious?

    “Did you Google “photosynthesis” yet?
    Why are climate deniers so painfully ignorant of junior high biology?”

    Sorry Robert, but if there is any painful ignorance here it is not among the deniers. Photosynthesis is the process by which energy (not matter) from light is used to synthesize biomolecules. What matter are these biomolecules synthesized from? That would be mostly CO2. Nitrogen and various trace elements are also needed, but cellulose, the most abundant biomolecule on the planet, is made entirely carbon-by-carbon using CO2 using energy provided by light. Plants cannot grow or survive without CO2. They take it in and incorporate it into their biomolecules. That sounds remarkably similar to what happens when people eat food. So, please explain again why CO2 should not be considered plant food, and please provide again your rationale for the statement that deniers are ignorant of junior high biology.

    • Cause humans get energy from food, and plants get no energy from CO2.

      Plants have to add energy to the CO2 when they synthesize it into more complex molecules which they then use to power their metabolism.

      It is as simple as that.

    • “Cause humans get energy from food, and plants get no energy from CO2.”

      Both humans and plants get energy from oxygen.

      “Glucose is a ubiquitous fuel in biology. It is used as an energy source in most organisms, from bacteria to humans. Use of glucose may be by either aerobic respiration, anaerobic respiration, or fermentation. Glucose is the human body’s key source of energy, through aerobic respiration, providing approximately 3.75 kilocalories (16 kilojoules) of food energy per gram. Breakdown of carbohydrates (e.g. starch) yields mono- and disaccharides, most of which is glucose. Through glycolysis and later in the reactions of the citric acid cycle (TCAC), glucose is oxidized to eventually form CO2 and water, yielding energy sources, mostly in the form of ATP.”
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glucose
      Glucose: C6H12O6

      So glucose + oxygen gives energy plus CO2 and Water.
      And CO2 and water plus energy gives glucose

      Glucose is way to store energy, and energy is needed for all life.
      Plants needs to store energy for when there isn’t sunlight to give energy.

      So CO2, water and sunlight are needed to make the energy needed for plants.
      Plants produce an excess of oxygen- plants need the carbon to build plant structures, and us the oxygen to provide energy to live [powers life processes]. So Plants use CO2 for structure and to make glucose
      which stored to later to recombine with oxygen.
      Plant “inhale and exhale” both CO2 and oxygen. Animals inhale O2 and expel CO2

      Plants eat CO2, or you say they breath it, either way it as much food as a steak is food for the humans.

    • bob droege

      “Food” is not only a source of “energy”, it provides the material required for “growth”.

      No “food” for animals (plant or animal matter) = no growth = death

      No “food” for plants (CO2) = no growth = death.

      CO2 = plant food.

      No CO2 = no plants = no animals = GAME OVER

      Simple.

      Max

    • Plants don’t get energy from CO2 because there is none to be had. Its energy depleted.

      Neither do they get energy from water. There is none to be had. That too is energy depleted.

      But, as we all know, both water and CO2 are necessary for successful plant growth even though neither of them can be termed a “food”. But both have to be in the right amounts. Too little water or too much water and the plant doesn’t do well.

      I’m sure Everyone knows that. So why do people claim its any different for CO2? Why do they claim the more the better?

    • “But, as we all know, both water and CO2 are necessary for successful plant growth even though neither of them can be termed a “food”. But both have to be in the right amounts. Too little water or too much water and the plant doesn’t do well. ”
      Plants like animals like water, but both can drown in water, if roots can get enough oxygen, lots of water is not a problem.
      “Take care when watering. Roots at such an early stage of development can be drowned easily. When over water, plant root-hairs cannot take in any oxygen. Microscopic root-hairs will only absorb water and nutrients in the presence of oxygen. Over watering a plant at any stage of growth will not only mean that the plant is denied any nutrients, but water as well. ”
      http://www.hydroponics.com/howtoinfo/hydroponics%20articles/basic_root_care.html

      “I’m sure Everyone knows that. So why do people claim its any different for CO2? Why do they claim the more the better?”

      Because it is.
      Plants need water and CO2 and sunlight [and they make oxygen, which they also need]
      Plants also need other things- their things [other than humans] eat them and things other than humans that help them grow [symbiosis]

    • It is obvious that Robert does not understand agronomy nor the implications. Most plants seem to have evolved when CO2 was in the 1,000-1,400 PPMV era.
      One of the main benifits of higher level of atmospheric CO2 is the length of time the plants pores are open to absorb the CO2. Under low moisture conditions,The ability of plants to absorb ENOUGH CO2 to continue to grow is greatly enhanced.

      Dr. Christy is spot on in his analysis concerning CO2 levels and enhanced biota. That is just how it is.

    • Camburn

      Your analysis is spot on.

      Unfortunately, CAGW believers like “Fan”, lolwot or bob droege will remind you that CO2 is also required to grow tobacco and therefore that higher CO2 levels will mean more tobacco growth leading directly to higher incidence of respiratory and cardiovascular disease in humans.

      Max

    • “CO2 is also required to grow tobacco and therefore that higher CO2 levels will mean more tobacco growth leading directly to higher incidence of respiratory and cardiovascular disease in humans”

      +1

    • “Most plants seem to have evolved when CO2 was in the 1,000-1,400 PPMV era.”

      The selective pressure for adaptation to 1000ppm-1400ppm has been missing for tens of millions of years.

      Without maintained selective pressure an adaptation can be lost in time as there is no reason for it to be kept. It can either be lost as part of adaptation to lower CO2 conditions, or just lost by chance – it not being needed anymore.

    • Camburn,

      Which are these “most plants” you talk about? You could say “most animals” evolved in the same period except that they’ve all changed due to evolutionary processes in the meantime.

      Plants have evolved too. They aren’t the same either.

  79. lurker, passing through laughing

    The extremist need to pretend tobacco is related to skepticism of the climate consensus is one of the mroe dependable laughs in the blog war.
    Thanks to the many trolls for their contribution to the start of a nice weekend.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      There’s a name for folks who pass through, always laughing, without any discernible rational reason …   :)   :)   :)

    • “lurker, passing through laughing” is Hunter
      “A fan of more discord” is P.E

      Mike and Hunter seemed to be different people but somehow connected. They both left (at the same time!) just as it was getting interesting trying to figure it out.

    • lolwot

      “lurker, passing through laughing” is Hunter
      “A fan of more discord” is P.E

      How sure are you of this – particularly the second claim?

    • Very. 99%

    • Fascinating. The “skeptosphere” never ceases to amaze.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Poor chaps. Born with neither a sense of humor nor any mathematical talent … their sole inheritance some Florida beachfront property … their sole heritage ever-lengthening enemy list!   ;)   ;)   ;)

    • I have come to the conclustion that the Extremists all smoke tobacco. They do seem to have a fixation on that product. Their arguemens provide nothing to the discussion, but they do provide a laugh as their arguements are so weak that they attempt to divert the topic.
      This style of diversion has been attempted so often that it is now a red flag type of event. When one sees that as part of a rational discussion thread, one just discounts what they have been atempting to display.

  80. fan @03/08 7.06pm: yer mean instead of yer own particular style of demagoguery argument, broad appeals to authority, argumentum ad hominem, conspiracy theory and bad science …. oh, and inappropriate argument from analogy?

    • Fan, while bathing in the glory of his copious words, tripped and fell
      The smileys turned serious, while pondering
      Had another flawed analogy caused the fall?

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Beth Cooper, some stuff ain’t complicated.   :)   :)   :)

      —————————–

      • The earth is billions of years old  So be skeptical of creation myths.

      • Evolution is real  Ditto.

      • Unregulated markets destroy commons  Prudently regulate markets.

      • Abstinence programs fail  So teach kids about sex.

      • Smoking causes cancer  Therefore, quit smoking.

      • HIV virus causes AIDS  Avoid infection, otherwise take meds.

      • CO2-burning causes AGW  Switch to a non-carbon energy economy.

      —————————–

      Grown-ups don’t deny these facts, eh? :)   :)   :)

      Although historically, all of the above have been denied. Sometimes out of ignorance, sometimes out of fear … but most commonly, denial has been embraced in service of greed and/or the lust for political power.

      Doesn’t history teach these lessons plainly, Beth Cooper?

      You wanna hear grown-up talk, try Naomi Orestes. :)   ;)   :grin:

      Beth Cooper, it’s time for our planet to grow up! :)   ;)   :grin:

    • Fan

      You missed a key step in your argument between:

      CO2-burning causes AGW

      and

      Switch to a non-carbon energy economy

      And that is an analysis of whether AGW is good, bad or immaterial for human welfare and our environment.

      So far it looks like there are no potential serious consequences, while “switching to a non-carbon energy economy” could have serious negative consequences, especially for the poorer inhabitants of our planet.

      Max

    • Negative economical consequences happen all the time in boom and bust cycles. Thus concerns about negative consequences of switching to a non-carbon energy economy should be dismissed. We can simply adapt to the negative consequences as we have always done.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Manacker, thank you for plainly illustrating how the Good-Reuveny Effect that is pathognomonic of denialistic economic theory naturally dovetails with the Dunning-Kruger Effect that is pathognomonic of denialistic climate-change skepticism.

      As explained in Good and Reuveny in their “On the Collapse of Historical Civilizations”, your analysis discounts future harm associated to present benefit, to sufficient effect as to ensure future collapse.

      That brand of denialism — which is getting to be pretty common — ain’t smart and ain’t good, Manacker.   :sad:   :sad:   :sad:

      There’s not much sense in replacing bad denialism with worse denialism, is there, Manacker?   :sad:   :sad:   :sad:

    • Fan,

      Interesting reference- the Good and Reuveny paper. I located a open source reference for the paper:

      http://webmeets.com/files/papers/EAERE/2008/763/collapse55%20no%20names.pdf

      The items in the paper that caught my attention:

      1) “Realizing that real world social institutions are not perfect, we assess their impacts as bounded by the best case scenario (planners possess infinite foresight and have perfect institutions with costless enforcement) and the worst case scenario (planners have neither foresight nor institutions to implement social plans).”…………

      2) “Given our focus on historical societies, we look at
      growth theory through a lens that does not focus on capital or technological progress, the mainstay of current economic growth models, but rather applies it to renewable resources as commonly borrowed by the optimal social resource management literature (e.g., Heal, 1998; Mäler, 2000; and Arrow et. al, 2000).”………..

      3) “We try to avert social collapse with resource management institutions. Finding that these methods fail, we must also conclude that some alteration of the population dynamic is necessary if the
      social collapse is to be averted….”

      4) …”We find that even if they would have had institutions, understanding,information flow over time, foresight, and social welfare functions commonly used today, the historical societies would still have collapsed. With the aggregate social welfare, they would have collapsed spectacularly, yet even this collapse would have been socially optimal.”

      Are these the thoughts of the authors that you found the most insightful?

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Kakatoa, please let me say that I very much appreciate your careful reading and well-phrased question.   :)   :)   :)

      For me the key passages include:

      Sacrifices that have long-term benefits are unlikely to be undertaken unless the social discount rate is much lower than any rate we can currently motivate empirically. … a discount rate of below 0.5% is necessary to prevent a collapse in population.

      A discount rate of 0.5% corresponds to a look-ahead time-frame of two centuries.

      Who looks ahead centuries and more? America’s founders. Wendell Berry. James Hansen. The Pope. Your mother and father.

      In contrast:

         • Senators look ahead 6 years.
         • Presidents 4 years.
         • Representatives 2 years.
         • Business CEOs 1 year.

      Is it any wonder that the former group regards climate-change seriously, and the latter group does not?   :eek:   :sad:   :cry:

    • “Abstinence programs fail. So teach kids about sex.”

      Yes, of course. Everyone would agree that unplanned teenage pregnancies are undesirable. So, wouldn’t you think the rational approach to minimising the number would be to copy the methods of countries who are doing the best in this regards? In this case, the Netherlands.

      It may be rational but we all know it just isn’t going to happen! Not when ideology is involved. No amount of evidence will change the opinion of those who are presently telling kids to “just say no”. It’s not just on the AGW issue that strong ideology, of a certain type, and rational thought are incompatible.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epidemiology_of_teenage_pregnancy

  81. Argumentum ad illogicalem analogem?

  82. I love it when yer speak Latin, Max! Lol.

  83. Joy, you really need to learn how to think for yourself. You’re the queen of links, not to mention facile thinking. I’ve had no need to have the tobacco analogy explained to me. It’s weak on its face. For one thing, tobacco “skepticism” was clearly motivated by economic interests. If you’re going to don your size 6 tin foil hat and tell me skepticism re climate is paid for by the fossil fuel industry, go right ahead. It won’t make you right. It will only make you delusional.

    • Oreskes spirit haunts this fiasco. Tobacco tar causes lung cancer, but fossil fuel use may increase CO2 which is clearly good for the plant kingdom and derivatively so for the animal kingdom. Any warming effect of AnthroCO2, presently apparently so weak as to be invisible, would be good for both kingdoms and for human culture, sustaining an increased total burden of living things and increasing the diversity of life. Her error is livid.
      =====================================

    • A warming effect for AnthroCO2 would also provide a buffer for the inevitable cooling ahead. There probably isn’t enough recoverable stored energy in fossils to prevent the next ice age.
      ===============

    • However, thankfully, there is technology able to import energy that otherwise wouldn’t reach the earth, and may, if done skillfully ameliorate the next ice age. This year, high school students debated the use of microwaves for this purpose.
      =============================

    • “A warming effect for AnthroCO2 would also provide a buffer for the inevitable cooling ahead”

      Unlikely. The beginning of the next glacial period will probably occur long after the anthroCO2 impact which is going to have it’s biggest impact in the next few hundred years.

    • We’re prematurely ejectulating earth’s protective sheath?

    • There is a descending temperature trend throughout the Holocene. Near, middle, and long term cooling is more likely than warming.
      ================

    • Have you ever consider lolwot, that you never, ever, ever take a position that in any way weakens the alarmist case. Your bias is so entrenched, you might as well be a robot. Or a human climate model. GIGO

    • Your bias is so entrenched you couldn’t even bear to accept that Mullet was never a skeptic, despite his own statements that he never was, because i it ruins the conversion story.

    • kim | August 4, 2012 at 10:35 am | There is a descending temperature trend throughout the Holocene. Near, middle, and long term cooling is more likely than warming.

      As the Sun churns out its energy, eventually, it will emit less and the Earth will cooler gradually leads to a frozen Earth and dooms to all lives on the Earth.

    • “Have you ever consider lolwot, that you never, ever, ever take a position that in any way weakens the alarmist case.”

      I am merely a mirror. I bounce back errors in what I see you guys say….

    • Or vaporized as the sun matures into corpulence.
      =======

    • lolwot, oddly you can’t have a glacial period without having room for glaciers. If you check past estimates of glacial extent, you will find a lot of currently populated areas where once under glaciers. Who would volunteer to be under the next glacier?

      A major part of the orbital cycle theory of the glacial/interglacial periods is wobble. That produced an ~14,000 year cycle where the orientation of the Earth switched from SH toward sun at perigee to NH toward sun at perigee. Without space to grow huge glaciers to imbalance the spin of the Earth, there is no wobble.

      Since CO2 tends to lag glacial and interglacial, because it is a response to, not a driver of glaciations, what would cause past temperatures like this?

      https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-JetNuc4BIgQ/UBbhjA1G-VI/AAAAAAAACus/-A4K5S4C1lc/s912/strangely%2520attractive.

      I think Joshua still has some room under his buses :)

    • Tasrach vershack and Tangandego in our present fiery furnace. Cooler ahead, I spect.
      ===========

    • Kim “Tasrach vershack and Tangandego in our present fiery furnace. Cooler ahead, I spect.”

      Not much cooler. More stable. Almost perfectly opposite of what the geniuses expect. Non-linear systems tend to make linear thinkers look silly.

    • kim, you have expressed a warm fuzzy feeling about the future. However, even amounts of CO2 near 600 ppm are inconsistent with polar glaciers, so we would be on borrowed time until sea-level rises 70 meters.

    • There is a descending temperature trend throughout the Holocene. Show me there is enough recoverable fossil fuel energy to prevent the next ice age. Show me that we can recover and use that fossil energy fast enough to cause sea level rise disasters.
      ==================

    • Antarctica didn’t even have a glacier the last time CO2 was at 600 ppm. The ice ages didn’t start until it dipped below 300 ppm a few million years ago. The general CO2 decline of the last 100 million years is what we are reversing at a rate of about a million years worth per year.

    • You have CO2 control knob fixation. Can you twiddle that knob and bring a little heat for us? I need more convincing that CO2 is as puissant as you imagine.
      ===========

    • The paleo evidence is just a separate line that supports AGW. I haven’t yet seen anything that explains this independently of CO2. The skeptics are a bit short of ideas on the paleo front, I think, and that is a major weakness they have.

    • @JimD

      Please explain what the temperature was when the Grand Canyon was formed. Was is human activity that melted the ice caps causing water levels to rise?

      Geology has innumerable examples of conditions on earth of which we are rather unfamiliar and which we didn’t cause.

    • Jim D If you have not seen a Theory that explains Major Ice Age and Global Warming without using CO2 to drive I will give you a link. Warming and cooling cause CO2 to go up and down and a trace of CO2 only does a trace of driving temperature. There is not enough of it to make much difference.
      http://popesclimatetheory.com/

  84. fan is an artist in argumentum ad facilium. pokerguy )

    • Beth

      You’re purty good at that Latin talk, yerself, but ah’d say fan’s latest wuz more like:

      aurgumentum ex ignoramus (er wud that be “ignoramum”?)

      Max

  85. Say, lolwot @ 03/08 6.45pm, regardless of who they are, comments by lurker laughing and fan of discord are always worth reading. Hope Hunter has returned, it’s sad when denizens go missing.

  86. “Computer models, both climate models and the generic sense of a numerical model, are derived from and are tested on real world data.”

    Steve,
    The very inconvenient truth is that none of the nice climate models has ever been subjected to any Verification & Validation process, and that none of them would be able to successfully pass such a process since none of them is able to correctly reproduce past climate patterns and observed data…

    • Steve Milesworthy

      …since none of them is able to correctly reproduce past climate patterns and observed data…

      Eric Ollivet, your definition of V&V is inappropriate – even if we had the perfect forcing datasets that would enable you to attempt the reproduction of past climates.

      If a model passed your test it would *not* be properly validated any more than tossing a 10p and a 5p coin and getting heads both times proves that the two coins are identical. Climate is a chaotic process so cannot be predetermined.

    • Climate does repeat cycles. You can predetermine the next cycle because it will be much like the one before. The Roman Warm Period followed a cool time and another cool time followed the Roman Warm Period. Same with the Medeival Warm Period. It will be the same this time. A cool period will follow this warm period. Look at the data. It has been doing this for ten thousand years within plus and minus 2 degrees of the average. This chaotic process is well bounded and very consistent. Look at the data.
      http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/pubs/alley2000/alley2000.html

  87. In comparing projected to observed temperatures and concluding that the associated models make false claims, Dr. Christy is guilty of the ubiquitous climatologist’s error of conflating projections with predictions. In truth, one cannot conclude that the models make false claims because these models make projections but no predictions.

  88. Terry

    In truth, one cannot conclude that the models make false claims because these models make projections but no predictions.

    pro•jec•tion (pr-jkshn)
    n.
    1. The act of projecting or the condition of being projected.
    2. A thing or part that extends outward beyond a prevailing line or surface: spiky projections on top of a fence; a projection of land along the coast.
    3. A plan for an anticipated course of action: “facilities [that] are vital to the projection of U.S. force . . . in the Pacific” (Alan D. Romberg).
    4. A prediction or an estimate of something in the future, based on present data or trends.

    ["prediction" is one of the synonyms of "projection"]

    Max

    • I’ve long been amused by this projection/prediction sophistry because it is clearly speaking with forked tongue.
      ==========================

    • Steve Milesworthy

      Make it simple for you kim.

      What if you make, say, three “estimates of something in the future based on present data or trends” plus three different choices of future trends?

      What unsophistricated name should be used for them?

      (If they all result in a warmer world where lollipops grow on trees and the lambs and lions walk together then perhaps it doesn’t matter.)

    • Steve

      Does it matter what you call someone’s forecast of future conditions?

      If someone predicts future conditions, but their prediction is found subsequently to be inaccurate then it would seem reasonable to discount their future predictions unless you have a clear understanding of why their new predictions will be of better quality.

    • kim

      The only sophistry is on the part of those who conflate the distinct ideas that are referenced by “prediction” and “projection” by treating the two words as synonyms.

    • Terry, are projections claims?

    • Edim:

      To disambiguate the terms of the discussion, I’ll rephrase your question to read: “Terry, is either a ‘prediction’ or a ‘projection’ an example of proposition?” My answer to the rephrased question is “A ‘prediction’is an example of a proposition but a ‘projection’ is not an example of a proposition.

    • Manacker:

      Thank you for taking the time to respond. As I’ve used the terms “prediction” and “projection,” a “prediction” is an extrapolation from an observed state of a system to an unobserved but observable state of the same system. Conventionally, the former state is called the “condition,” for it is a condition on the Cartesian product of a model’s independent variables.The latter state is called the “outcome” and is a condition on the Cartesian product of a model’s dependent variables. When “prediction” is defined in this way, the predictions of a model bear a one-to-one relationship to independent events that exhibit the two states. The condition is exhibited at the start of the associated event while the outcome is exhibited at the end of it. The complete set of these events form a statistical population.

      A predictive model states claims about the relative frequencies of the various possible outcomes. These claims are susceptible to being tested by reference to a sample that is drawn from the population. That they are susceptible to being tested in this way lends the property of falsifiability to the claims of the model, rendering it “scientific.”

      You’ll search AR4 in vain for a description of the statistical population underlying the claims that are made by the climate models for the methodology of the research references no such population. It follows that these models do not merit the descriptor “scientific.”

      That this is so is obscured by a practice that is common among climatologists, both professionals and amateurs. This is to conflate the idea that is referenced by the word “projection” with the idea that is referenced by the word “prediction.” The word “projection” is drawn from the field of ensemble forecasting wherein it acquires precise semantics. These semantics differ from the semantics that I have attached to the word “prediction.”

      As I’ve pointed out, a model that makes “predictions” is susceptible to being tested. If it passes this test, it is said to be “validated” by the evidence. Otherwise, it is said to be “falsified” by the same evidence.

      In writing its 2007 report, the ethical couse for IPCC Working Group I was to call readers’ attention to the fact that none of the referenced climate models were validated or susceptible to being validated. The course it in fact took was to muddy the waters via the claim that the models had been “evaluated.” In an IPCC-style “evaluation,” one or more model projections are compared to a global surface temperature time series. Though the term “evaluation” sounds like the term “validation,” the two words have differing semantics.

  89. Yer multi lingual, Max )

  90. Never did no Latin at school, Max, I jest make it up (

  91. Dr. Curry,

    I am a little bit confused about your comment about aerosols. You wrote that the aerosol impact is helping to contribute to have temperatures to be lower than the CIMP5 Mean. I’m not sure how they can do that, considering that aerosoles have actually been declining, and have dropped 20% from where they were in 1986.

    http://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/news/topstory/2007/aerosol_dimming.html

    http://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/images/content/171624main_aerosol_dim_2sm.jpg

    Shouldn’t this provide an overall warming effect, since aerosols reflect sunlight, thus proving a negative forcing?

    • Snowlover, the issue is how aerosols are treated in the models, particularly the aerosol indirect effects. I am just citing what the modelers have said in terms of their interpretation of the results. Personally I think the overall impact of aerosols on the climate is smaller than that simulated by climate models

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