Philosophical reflections on climate model projections

by Judith Curry

Should probabilistic qualities be assigned to climate model projections?

Are the approaches used by the IPCC for assessing climate model projection quality – confidence building, subjective Bayesian, and likelihood –  appropriate for climate models?

What are some other approaches that could be used?

The following paper addresses the above questions:

Assessing climate model projections: state of the art and philosophical reflections 

Joel Katzav, Henk Djikstra, Jos de Laat

Abstract.  The present paper draws on climate science and the philosophy of science in order to evaluate climate-model-based approaches to assessing climate projections. We analyze the difficulties that arise in such assessment and outline criteria of adequacy for approaches to it. In addition, we offer a critical overview of the approaches used in the IPCC working group one fourth report, including the confidence building, Bayesian and likelihood approaches. Finally, we consider approaches that do not feature in the IPCC reports, including three approaches drawn from the philosophy of science. We find that all available approaches face substantial challenges, with IPCC approaches having as a primary source of difficulty their goal of providing  probabilistic assessments. 

forthcoming in Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics [link to paper]

This paper covers a lot of the same territory that was covered in my paper Climate Science and the Uncertainty Monster with regards to uncertainties in climate models.  The part of the paper that I focus on here is the articulation of different approaches for assessing climate model projection quality.

Sections 4, 5, and 6 of the paper describe the main methods that have been used by the IPCC:  confidence building, subjective Bayesian approach, and likelihood.  These are summarized in section 7 as follows:

As we have noted, WG1 AR4 often uses expert judgment that takes the results of the approaches we have been discussing, as well as partly model-independent approaches, into consideration in assigning final projection qualities. Insofar as final assignments  are model based, however, the shared limitations of the approaches we have been discussing remain untouched. In particular, insofar as final assessments are model  based, they face serious challenges when it comes to assessing projection quality in light of structural inadequacy, tuning and initial condition inaccuracy. Moreover, they  continue to be challenged by the task of assigning probabilities and informative  probability ranges to projections. 

The main focus of this post is Section 8:

Assessing projections: what else can be done? 

We now examine approaches that differ from those that play center stage in WG1  AR4. The first approach, the possibilist approach, is described in the climate science  literature but is primarily non-probabilistic. The remaining approaches are philosophy-of-science-based approaches. There are currently four main, but not necessarily mutually exclusive, philosophical approaches to assessing scientific claims. One of these is the already discussed subjective Bayesian approach. The other  three are those that are discussed below. 

JC note:  I focus here on possibilistic and severe testing approaches, which I think are the most promising for the climate problem.

The possibilist approach

On the possibilist approach, we should present the range of alternative projections provided by models as is, insisting that they are no more than possibilities to be taken into account by researchers and decision makers and that they provide only a lower bound to the maximal range of uncertainty. Climate model results should, accordingly, be presented using plots of the actual frequencies with which models have produced specific projections . At the same time, one can supplement projected ranges with informal, though  sometimes probabilistic, assessments of confidence in projections that appeal, as the confidence building approach appeals, to inter-model agreement and agreement with physical theory.

Informal approaches to assessing projection quality must address the same  central challenges that quantitative approaches must address. So, insofar as the possibilist position allows informal probabilistic assessments of projection quality, it must address the difficulties that all probabilistic approaches face. However, one could easily purge the possibilist approach of all probabilistic elements and assess projections solely in terms of their being possibilities. Moreover, there are obvious ways to develop purely possibilistic assessment further. Purely possibilistic assessment can, in particular, be used to rank projections. Possibilities can, for example, be ranked in terms of how remote they are.

The purged possibilist approach would still face challenges. Presenting CMPs (climate model projections) as possibilities worthy of consideration involves taking a stance on how CMPs relate  to reality. For example, if we are presented with an extreme climate sensitivity range of 2 to 11 K  and are told that these are possibilities that should not have been neglected by AR3 WG1’s headline uncertainty ranges, a claim  is implicitly being made about which climate behavior is a real possibility. It is implied that these possibilities are unlike, for example, the possibility that the United  States will more than halve its budget deficit by 2015. Thus a possibilist assessment of  projection quality needs to be accompanied by an examination of whether the projections are indeed real possibilities. The same considerations apply to ‘worst case scenarios’ when these are put forward as worthy of discussion in policy settings or research. The threat that arises when we do not make sure that possibilities being considered are real possibilities is that, just as we sometimes underestimate our  certainty, we will sometimes exaggerate our uncertainty.

Nevertheless, the challenges facing purely possibilistic assessment are substantially more manageable than those facing probabilistic assessment. To say that  something is a real possibility at some time t is, roughly, to say that it is consistent  with the overall way things have been up until t and that nothing known excludes it . A case for a projection’s being a real possibility can, accordingly, be made just by arguing that we have an understanding of the overall way relevant aspects of the climate system are, showing that the projection’s correctness is consistent with this understanding and showing that we do not know that there is something that ensures that the projection is wrong. There is, as  observed in discussing probabilistic representations of ignorance, no need to specify a full range of alternatives to the projection here. Further, state-of-the-art GCMs can sometimes play an important role in establishing that their projections are real possibilites. State-of-the-art GCMs’ projections of GMST are, for example and given  the extent to which GCMs capture our knowledge of the climate system, real possibilities.

Severe testing, climate models and climate model projections

The remaining approach to assessing scientific claims that we will discuss is the severe testing approach. The idea behind the severe testing approach is that the deliberate search for error is the way to get to the truth. Thus, on this approach, we should assess scientific claims on the basis of how well they have withstood severe  testing or probing of their weaknesses .

According to Popper, an empirical test of a theory or model is severe to the extent that background knowledge tells us that it is improbable that the theory or model will pass the test. Background knowledge consists in established theories or  models other than those being tested.

A crucial difference between the severe testing approach and the approaches pursued by WG1 AR4 is that the severe testing approach never allows mere agreement, or increased agreement, with observations to count in favor of a claim.  That simulation of observed phenomena has been successful does not tell us how  unexpected the data are and thus how severely the data have tested our claims. If, for  example, the successful simulation is the result of tuning, then the success is not improbable, no severe test has been carried out and no increased confidence in model  fitness for purpose is warranted. Notice, however, that the fact that claims are tested  against in-sample data is not itself supposed to be problematic as long as the data does  severely test the claims. Another crucial difference between the severe testing approach and those pursued by WG1 AR4 is that the severe testing  approach is not probabilistic. The degree to which a set of claims have withstood  severe tests, what Popper calls their degree of corroboration, is not a probability.

How might one apply a (Popperian) severe testing approach to assessing projection quality? What we need, from a severe testing perspective, is a framework  that assigns a degree of corroboration to a CMP, p, as a function of how well the  model (or ensemble of models), m, which generated p has withstood severe tests of its  fitness for the purpose of doing so. Such severe tests would consist in examining the  performance of some of those of m’s predictions the successes of which would be both relevant to assessing m’s fitness for the purpose of generating p and improbable in  light of background knowledge. Assessing, for example, a GCM’s projection of 21st  century GMST would involve assessing how well the GCM performs at severe tests  of relevant predictions of 20th century climate and/or paleoclimate. That is it would  involve assessing how well the GCM performs at simulating relevant features of the climate system that we expect will seriously challenge its abilities. A relevant prediction will be one the accuracy of which is indicative of the accuracy of the  projection of 21st century GMST. Examples of relevant features of the climate the accurate simulation of which will be a challenge to IPCC-AR5 models are the effects of strong ENSO events on the GMST, effects of Atlantic sea surface temperature variations (associated with the MOC) on the GMST and special aspects of the GMST such as its late 30s and early 40s positive trends. That these data will challenge IPCC- AR5 models is suggested by the difficulty CMIP3 models have in adequately 1359 simulating them.

How might the severe testing approach help us with the difficulties involved in assessing projection quality? The severe testing approach allows us to bypass any worries we might have about tuning since it only counts success that does not result from tuning, success that surely does exist, in favor of CMPs. The severe testing approach can thus, at least, be used as a check on the results of approaches that do not take tuning into account. If, for example, the subjective Bayesian approach assigns a high probability to a projection and the severe testing approach gives the projection a high degree of corroboration, we can at least have some assurance that the probabilistic result is not undermined by tuning.

Underdetermination in choice between parameters/available parameterization schemes might also be addressed by the severe testing approach. Substituting different parameterization schemes into a model might result in varying degrees of  corroboration, as might perturbing the model’s parameter settings. Where such  variations exist, they allow ranking model fitness for purpose as a function of  parameter settings/parameterization schemes. Similarly, degrees of corroboration can  be used to rank fitness for purpose of models with different structures. The resulting  assessment has, like assessment in terms of real possibilities, the advantage that it is  less demanding than probabilistic assessment or assessment that is in terms of truth or  approximate truth. Ranking two CMPs as to their degrees of corroboration, for example, only requires comparing the two CMPs. It does not require specifying the  full range of alternatives to the CMPs. Nor does it require that we take some stand on  how close the CMPs are to the truth, and thus that we take a stand on the effects of unknown structural inadequacy on CMP accuracy. Popper’s view is that a ranking in terms of degrees of corroboration only provides us with a ranking of our conjectures  about the truth. The most highly corroborated claim would thus, on this suggestion, be  our best conjecture about the truth. Being our best conjecture about the truth is, in principle, compatible with being far from the truth.

JC comments:  While many of these topics have been covered previously at Climate Etc.,

I like this paper because it provides an integrated framework for assessing climate model projection quality.  The IPCC has been mostly relying on confidence building, subjective Bayesian and likelihood methods.  Of these, confidence building is a keeper (especially if it includes formal verification and validation), and this should be supplemented by possibilist and extreme testing approaches.  The combination of possibilist and extreme testing approaches provides the basis for scenario falsification, which is an approach that I have been arguing for.

Moderation note:  This is a technical thread and comment will be moderated for relevance.

 

 

910 responses to “Philosophical reflections on climate model projections

  1. You realize that there is actually a formal possibility theory? You also realize that you are advocating taking into account extremely improbable but turn off the lights and leave possibilities? How you gonna deal with them.

    • Steven Mosher

      head.sand.bury.

      • Right. Scientists supported by federal research agencies have honed this skill into a fine art.

        1. Neon (Ne) isotopes in dark regions of the Fayetteville meteorite, http://www.omatumr.com/Photographs/Fayetteville_desc.htm ,
        first revealed evidence of severe mass fractionation in the Sun:

        http://www.omatumr.com/Data/1964Data.htm

        2. NASA paid scientists for the next sixteen years (16 yrs = 1980-1964) to manipulate the observations to promote the possibility that data along the dashed line of our 1964 graph might be produced by mixing together alphabetically labeled primordial neon components, Ne-A, Ne-B, Ne-C, . . . .etc.

        D. D. Sabu and O. K> Manuel, “The neon alphabet game,” Proc. 11th Lunar Planet Sci. Conf. (1980) pages 879-899

        http://www.omatumr.com/abstracts2005/Neon_alphabet_game.pdf

        Major participants in the “Neon alphabet game” included scientists at the Lunar Science Institute in Houston, the University of Chicago, Washington University in St Louis, the University of Bern, etc. None responded to our criticism.

        Like modern-day climatologists, they ignored criticism coming from those outside the stream of federal research funds.

      • Instead of looking for the possibility of escape from the reality that is revealed by observations and measurements – no matter how unexpected – the basic precepts of science require us to follow Ralph Waldo Emerson’s advice:

        “Place yourself in the middle of the stream of power and wisdom which animates all whom it floats, and you are without effort impelled to truth, to right and a perfect contentment.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

        http://www.authorama.com/essays-first-series-8.html

        The sad state of society and government today are the direct result of giving pseudo-scientists public funds to promote the possibility that world leaders can control the fate of mankind and therefore do not need to submit themselves to “the stream of power and wisdom which animates all whom it floats”.

        - Oliver K. Manuel
        Former NASA Principal
        Investigator for Apollo

        http://www.omatumr.com

        http://omanuel.wordpress.com/about/#comment-720

      • To avoid experimental evidence that “the entire solar system may have condensed primarily from a single, local supernova”, University of Chicago researchers suggested the possibility that

        a.)in situ decay of a volatile superheavy element 115 (or 114, 113) might explain the enrichment of heavy Xe isotopes in mineral fractions of the Allende meteorite, and

        b.)“isotopic fractionation by an unknown mechanism took place during trapping that enriched the light isotopes of Xe and the heavy isotopes of the other four gases.”

        There are limitless possibilities to avoid reality; None of them work.

      • To avoid inescapable evidence of local element synthesis, when first revealed by these observations from the University of Chicago in 1975:

        http://www.omatumr.com/Data/1975Data.htm

        A well-known Harvard astrophysicist was inserted into the program already scheduled for the AGU meeting in April 1976 to proclaim the possibility that the explosion of a nearby supernova at the birth of the Solar System might explain the enrichment of heavy Xe isotopes in mineral fractions of the Allende meteorite.

        That possibility was in fact falsified by the association of heavy Xe isotopes with primordial helium.

        Here is a copy of my letter to Dr. Frank Press after the AGU meeting:

        http://dl.dropbox.com/u/10640850/LetterToFrankPress26Apr1976.pdf

      • No, PDA, it is important that the public know the sequence of events that produced Climategate – from the time of the sudden deaths of thousands of innocent citizens on 6 Aug 1945 until the the release of Climategate emails and documents in Nov 2009 – but continued axe grinding benefits nobody. That ass the point of my recent comment in the New York Times:

        http://tinyurl.com/9ea7ras

        “John Paily of India is exactly right. Instead of instead arguing about differences of opinion, we should support these common interests of ordinary citizens:

        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.”

        http://omanuel.wordpress.com/about/#comment-720

        Oliver K. Manuel
        Emeritus Professor of
        Nuclear/Space Science
        Former NASA Principal
        Investigator for Apollo

        http://www.omatumr.com

      • Correction: That was the point of my . . .

      • Any animal cornered is extremely dangerous, even naked apes:

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/08/14/wtf-national-weather-service-buying-hollow-point-bullets/

        That is why we all need to support these common interests of ordinary citizens:

        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.”

        http://omanuel.wordpress.com/about/#comment-720

    • I don’t know. What are you going to do when the Klingon warbird decloaks?

      • Steven Mosher

        The mere possibility of an answer different than eli has accepted leads him to question the very dangerous activity of looking at the problem from a different perspective. Almost as if he is certain that the current answer cannot be improved upon. the lack of curiousity is perplexing

      • Perplexing from a science stance. No so perplexing in other ways.

      • “The mere possibility of an answer different than eli has accepted leads him to question the very dangerous activity of looking at the problem from a different perspective.”

        That’s one interpretation. Or you could look at what he actually said:

        “You realize that there is actually a formal possibility theory?”

        . . . in which case you realize ER is questioning not the act of looking at a problem from a different perspective, but the act of invoking a theory you know next to nothing about, which when examined with a modicum of alertness does not seem to support what the author thinks it does; i.e., the WUWT special.

        I second the question.

      • you could actually look at what he says

        ‘You also realize that you are advocating taking into account extremely improbable but turn off the lights and leave possibilities? How you gonna deal with them.”

        Regardless of whether or not Dr. Curry understands all the details of the formal theory, a point which is decidedly besides the point, the fact remains that she does realize that this approach advocates taking into account extremely improbable events. She has said as much, here and in person. His last question, “how are you going to deal with them?” borders on retarded. Dr. Curry is in no position to deal with these issues and has never suggested that she is in charge of dealing with these issues.

        The simple fact is that when anyone suggests an alternative way of looking at problems there is a certain class of people ,heavily invested in the solution they believe with certitude, who question the very notion of looking at things from a different perspective. Anti intellectuals.

        Doctor: we like to test you for polycystic kdeny disorder.
        patient: oh crap, there’s no cure, what are you going to do if I have it?
        I don’t want that test.

        Like i said. head. sand. bury.

      • Steven, differentiate please between solutions and issues. It is irrational to believe that humans are not making massive changes to the atmosphere, the solid surface and the upper ocean, both physical and biological. (you can have a pass on the mantle and maybe as yet for the deep ocean). It is clear that many of these changes are dangerous, locally, regionally and globally. What to do is the question. If you have a better idea than others speak up.

    • David L. Hagen

      Eli
      Re: “extremely improbable”
      What if the projections of the present GCMs turn out to “extremely improbable”?
      If there are other substantially “lights out” scenarios that are more probable, should we consider them? e.g. see Near Earth Orbit

  2. I have several previous threads that discuss possibility theory. See the post with the link scenario falsification. This is how I think it should be done. And yes this provides us a rationale for considering the plausible worse case scenario (as well as the ‘nothing’ scenario)

    • I don’t think there is a plausible ‘nothing’ scenario. It’s in the realms of possibility that we could see a net zero change of a particular variable (say, GMST) over a period of time, but that’s different from nothing happening. Whatever else may be the case, increasing GHGs will significantly alter the thermal properties of the atmosphere, which can’t fail to have some effect at the surface.

      I’ve wondered for a while what would be the consequences of living in Lindzen’s world, where strong negative feedbacks through cloud changes dominate. It sounds like a fairly major alteration of the hydrological cycle, which may carry considerable effects.

      • True on both points. Since there is no plausible nothing or better scenario all possibility theory can do is widen the range of damaging scenarios. That is not exactly reassuring.

  3. I’m going to recommend Fooled By Randomness 2nd Ed. by Nassim Taleb, as its commonsensical and self-effacing approach to the topic of probability and uncertainty with a possibilist point of view.

    That said, possibilism is an extraordinarily hairy discipline, and not preferred in discussion of Policy without some very strong reasons; one such is War Games (all possibilities imagined by a group are contrived, and the strength and weakness of all responses to same are considered to see if there are any responses common to all possible scenarios that do well or poorly).

    • Steven Mosher

      Yup. in war gaming everything is on the table

      • But we would not advocate using the worst case scenarios from war gaming to guide our policies at exorbitant cost. Although some have ……..

        Not directed at you Steven.

      • Bill | August 13, 2012 at 10:07 am |

        And yet, North Carolina’s approach of banning the use of anything other than ‘sunny day’ scenarios is distinctly intellectually unsatisfying, and might I also add fiscally bankrupt. Oh. Wait, am I talking about one single policy of NC, or NC as a whole?

  4. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    It is striking that the assessment methods of Katzav, Djikstra, and de Laat (henceforth KDL) would be unaltered if there were *no* First Law and Second Law of thermodynamics — whose existence is nowhere accounted in the KDL article.

    In practical terms, this means that KDL-type statistical methods are (perhaps!) reasonably suited to the assessment of local climate fluctuations … for the physical reason that in consequence of ubiquitous transport phenomena (like wind and rain and ocean currents) the First Law and Second Law do not hold locally, but hold only globally.

    Conversely, KDL-type statistical methods are poorly suited to the assessment of global balance-type models as described in (for example) Earth’s Energy Imbalance and Implications. The reason is, that by their lower-order postulates, and concretely in consequence of their close-coupling to fundamental thermodynamic principles, balance-style global models are generically more reliable in their global projections, than local models are in their local projections.

    Conclusion  No one style of evaluation criteria suits all styles of climate models.

    Thank you for a fine post, Judith Curry!   :)   :)   :)

    • The Hansen paper you cited claims that they have measured the change in the HEAT content of the Earth, and also of incoming and outgoing flux.
      They claim to be able to measure a change between the influx and efflux of 0.208% +/- 0.042 (an alteration of 0.5 +/- 0.1 W/m2 against a calculated levels of 240 W/m2).

      This claim displays better accuracy than each of the individual components that went into its calculations.

      The result is therefore, bogus.

  5. Eli, the merits of a formal possibility/probability theory is of absolutely no use to those who hid, ignored or manipulated experimental data.

    This is just another smokescreen to try to delay addressing experimental data and observations that were ignored out of fear and a deep sense of powerlessness and guilt for the “nuclear fires” that consumed Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 Aug 1945 and 9 Aug 1945.

    World leaders established the United Nations on 24 Oct 1945 and paid government scientists to obscure the energy (E) stored as mass (m) in the cores of:

    a.) Heavy atoms like uranium and plutonium
    b.) Ordinary stars like the Sun
    c.) Ordinary galaxies, like our Milky Way, and
    d.) Some planets like Jupiter, Saturn, and perhaps Earth.

    World leaders are in fact totally powerless over the “fountain of energy” Copernicus discovered at the center of the Solar System in 1543 to start the scientific revolution.

    This “fountain of energy” – far beyond the control of world leaders – made our chemical elements, sustains our lives, and still exerts dominant control over Earth’s constantly changing climate.

    The scientific method and the Constitutional form of government that we inherited at the birth of our nation in 1776 have both been undercut since 1945 to promote false delusions of grandeur in the minds of frightened world leaders who sought to reduce nationalism and the threat of destruction by “nuclear fires” by building a one-world government.

    That is why the first step to restoring:

    a.) Integrity to government science is
    b.) Constitutional limits on government

    Summary: http://omanuel.wordpress.com/about/#comment-720

    Forbidden Energy: “Neutron repulsion,” The Apeiron Journal 19, 123-150 (2012) http://tinyurl.com/7t5ojrn

  6. David L. Hagen

    Is it possible to validate/invalidate IPCC’s models with “severe tests”? Or will the projections again be published independent of “inconvenient” constraints?
    Natural oscillations: ~20 & ~60 year
    How about applying natural climate oscillations as a severe test? cf
    Testing an astronomically-based decadal-scale empirical harmonic climate model versus the IPCC (2007) general circulation climate models
    Nicola Scafetta, Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics, Volume 80, May 2012, Pages 124–137 (preprint)

    We show that the IPCC GCM’s claim that all warming observed from 1970 to 2000 has been anthropogenically induced is erroneous because of the GCM failure in reconstructing the quasi 20-year and 60-year climatic cycles

    Forecast/Hindcast
    Can the global climate models forecast/hindcast based on tuning from half the data to predict the other half?

    Cloud check
    Clouds appear to have been underestimated by a factor of two. See:
    Observations of stratocumulus clouds and their effect on the eastern Pacific surface heat budget along 20°S Simon P. de Szoeke, Sandra Yuter, David Mechem, Chris W. Fairall, Casey Burleyson, and Paquita Zuidema, Journal of Climate 2012 ; e-View doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-11-00618.1
    Abstract

    Widespread stratocumulus clouds were observed on 9 transects from 7 research cruises to the southeastern tropical Pacific Ocean along 20°S, 75°-85°W in October-November 2001-2008. . . .When present, clouds reduce solar radiation by 160 W m−2 and radiate 70 W m−2 more downward longwave radiation than clear skies. Coupled model intercomparison project (CMIP3) simulations of the climate of the 20th century show 40±20 W m−2 too little net cloud radiative cooling at the surface. Simulated clouds have correct radiative forcing when present, but models have ~50% too few clouds.

    The Hockey Sticht notes that:

    By way of comparison, the 40 W m-2 underestimate of cooling from clouds is more than 10 times the alleged warming from a doubling of CO2 concentrations [3.7 W m-2].

    Can the models be recalibrated to fit this actual cloud data?

    CO2/Energy projections
    Energy use CO2 emissions appear to be similarly exaggerated.
    Höök, M., Sivertsson, A. & Aleklett, K. ”Validity of the fossil fuel production outlooks in the IPCC Emission Scenarios”
    Natural Resources Research, 2010, Vol. 19, Issue 2: 63-81
    URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11053-010-9113-1

    Anthropogenic global warming caused by CO2 emissions is strongly and fundamentally linked to future energy production. The Special Report on Emission Scenarios (SRES) from 2000 contains 40 scenarios for future fossil fuel production and is used by the IPCC to assess future climate change. . . .It is found that the SRES unnecessarily takes an overoptimistic stance and that future production expectations are leaning towards spectacular increases from present output levels. In summary, we can only encourage the IPCC to involve more resource experts and natural science in future emission scenarios. The current set, SRES, is biased toward exaggerated resource availability and unrealistic expectations on future production outputs from fossil fuels.

    Test against >30 year temperature trends
    Lucia Liljegren’s comparisons of the IPCC’s mean 0.2 C/decade projection indicates that it is about 2 sigma hotter than the red corrected satellite temperature trend (UAH TLT) of 0.138 C/decade [0.083, 0.194]. That suggests that the IPCC’s model mean exceeds 97% of all temperature trends based on UAH satellite data.

    When will that count as F for Fail?
    Will the scientific method be brought to bear and assign an R for Reject?
    Or do we continue down the rabbit hole with Alice?

    • Steven Mosher

      If you like scaffettas curve fitting I have a better one

      • David L. Hagen

        Steven Mosher
        I look forward to evaluting your results and how well they have
        withstood “severe testing”.
        Any ref/links? Any physical foundations? Any fore/hindcasting?
        Any validation by more accurate predictions than IPCC?
        Halley’s hypothesis was proved by its accuracy.
        I find the IPCC’s projections unreliable for their inaccuracy.

      • Steven Mosher

        Physical foundation? yep better than scafetta’s: C02 and volcanos.

      • David L. Hagen

        Steven Mosher
        I searched you blog, but nothing came up for CO2 or Volcanos (or volcanoes). Any suggestions for links to your paper/post?

        On CO2, what evidence that the CO2 leads or lags?
        i.e., which is the cause and which the consequence

        What about solar forcing?
        e.g. see David Stockwell Solar Accumulation Theory showing temperature lagging the solar cycle by ~ Pi/2 (90 deg.)

        Until you link to / reference a paper/post, Stockwell and Scafetta are the best I have found for quantitative predictions closer to the data than IPCC’s 0.2C/dec.

        PS compliments on strong Chinese interest in CRUtape letters. September 16, 2010 at 8:31 AM | #2. What languages has it been translated into?

      • David L. Hagen

        Steven
        I found your On Volcanoes and their Climate Response at The Blackboard. I see numerous requests for details of your method, and the code, but no particular response that I saw.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        Steven Mosher: If you like scaffettas curve fitting I have a better one

        “like” is the wrong word in this context. Is Scafetta’s model to be considered one of the “possibilities”? Should its model forecasts be tested by the future data? I think that the answer to both questions should be “yes”.

    • The cloud article is interesting. A quote from it:

      Coupled model intercomparison project (CMIP3) simulations of the climate of the 20th century show 40±20 W m−2 too little net cloud radiative cooling at the surface. Simulated clouds have correct radiative forcing when present, but models have ~50% too few clouds.

      • David Springer

        Yes, that IS interesting and appalling if we’re just learning about the model deficiency this year. The research vessel certainly wasn’t doing anything earth shattering or using recently invented instruments to make measurements that weren’t possible before now. A fuller quote:

        Despite zonal gradients in boundary layer and cloud vertical structure, surface radiation and cloud radiative forcing are relatively uniform in longitude. When present, clouds reduce solar radiation by 160 W m−2 and radiate 70 W m−2 more downward longwave radiation than clear skies. Coupled model intercomparison project (CMIP3) simulations of the climate of the 20th century show 40±20 W m−2 too little net cloud radiative cooling at the surface. Simulated clouds have correct radiative forcing when present, but models have ~50% too few clouds.

    • Markus Fitzhenry

      “Clouds appear to have been underestimated by a factor of two.” Wrong Mr Hagen. Try a factor of 19.

      The Radiation Budget of the West African Sahel.
      Continuous measurements of the shortwave (SW), longwave (LW), and net cross-atmosphere radiation flux divergence over the West African Sahel were made during the year 2006 using the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Mobile Facility (AMF) and the Geostationary Earth Radiation Budget (GERB) satellite. Accompanying AMF measurements enabled calculations of the LW, SW, and net Top-of-Atmosphere (TOA) and surface Cloud Radiative Forcing (CRF), which quantifies the radiative effects of cloud cover on the column boundaries. Calculations of the LW, SW, and net Cloud Radiative Effect (CRE), which is the difference between the TOA and surface radiative flux divergences in all-sky and clear-sky conditions, quantify the radiative effects on the column itself. These measurements were compared to predictions in four Global Climate Models (GCMs) used in the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change fourth Assessment report (IPCC-AR4). Reproducing the SW column radiative flux divergence was problematic in the GCMs and SW discrepancies translated into the net radiative flux divergence. Computing cloud-related quantities from the measurements produced yearly averages of the SW TOA CRF, surface CRF, and CRE of ~ −19 Wm−2, −83 Wm−2, and 47 Wm−2, respectively, and yearly averages of the LW TOA CRF, surface CRF, and CRE of ~ 39 Wm−2, 37 Wm−2, and 2 Wm−2. These quantities were analyzed in two GCMs and compensating errors in the SW and LW clear-sky, cross-atmosphere radiative flux divergence conspired to produce reasonable predictions of the net clear-sky divergence. Both GCMs underestimated the surface LW and SW CRF and predicted near zero SW CRE when the measured values were substantially larger (70 Wm−2 maximum).

      http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI-D-11-00072.1

      Critics will say this study was just one year in one region (2006 over the African Sahel) but if global climate models don’t understand cloud microphysics and the radiative effect of the condensed water vapor that covers 60% of Planet Earth, then they can’t predict the climate anywhere. The pretense that predicting climate 100 years in advance is somehow easier than predicting a single year is illogical. 100 years of climate modeling means adding up 100 years of errors. The errors don’t cancel out, they accumulate.

      • Markus
        The abstract I quoted states:
        “models have ~50% too few clouds”
        In grade school I learnt that 1/2 = 50%.
        When you cite another paper, that is new matter.

        Please explain your 19x, as it is not in the abstract.

      • Markus Fitzhenry

        Yes Mr Hagen, I was spruking to catch your attention. Models not only underestimate # of clouds but also radiative effect. That’s ~19 times larger than the Co2 effect.

        Miller et al 2012 find that some models predict clouds to have a net shortwave radiative effect near zero, but observations show it is 70W per square meter.

      • David L. Hagen

        Markus
        G’ day. Clear statements with sound physics would go over much better.
        Cloud models have the highest uncertainty. See IPCC, and especially Nigel Fox of NPL’s TRUTH project.
        PS Re spruking (sic) see spruik

    • It is impossible to invalidate the IPCCs models, because they don’t come with any statistical confidence intervals.

      IPCC completely corrupts usual scientific standards of confidence by using weasel words insteads of Bayesian probabilities.

  7. Some how we all need to keep in mind that the raw data that all this climate conjecture is based upon values from instruments never intended for or capable of providing that precision or accuracy necessary to measure a degree or two of global temperature change. Assuming that situation can be improved upon in any meaningful way by passing that data through statitical algorithms of any sort is our base falacy. A statitician may know a great amount about statistical methods. That does not qualify him to judge that raw instrument data meets requirements to make his analysis algorithms valid. The real world is not a simple random noise generator.

    The original raw data uncertainty must be carried through to projection descriptions. Instead we continually see historic temperature values described to the nearest tenth or even one hundredth of a degree. Trusting those historic temperature values as a valid comparison to current temperatures is poor judgement at best. Trusting them to provide a basis for climate projections of the magnitudes and precision we are quoted is quite silly.

    • “Instead we continually see historic temperature values described to the nearest tenth or even one hundredth of a degree.”

      Satellites, buoys and land stations agree to within tenths of a degree.

      So quite clearly we can measure the warming to tenths of a degree.

      • lolwot,

        Well, too bad you cannot say the same for historic data that is used as a basis for claiming it is warmer now then way back then. Surely you are not claiming data from 1900 has an accuracy to tenths of a degree.

        Our older manually read and recorded temperature records are remarkably good for their intended purpose. That was to be able to record climatic conditions for different parts of the country. The data collected showed the great variety of climates found around the world. The instrumentation and techniques employed were targeted for monitoring diurnal veratiation of tens of degrees and annual temperature variations in the range of sixty degrees celsius or more over the course of a year. They were never intended for or capable of providing accuracy to tenths of a degree, no matter how many statistical algorithms are run on the data.

        Now if you want to limit your discussion to the few high accuracy stations that were placed in service in recent years, you might have a case for tenths of a degree accuracy. However, you must remember, at thermometer reading tells you only the temperature of the thermometer. Just cuz you intend to measure air temperature, does not mean you have configured it to do that to the accuracy of the instrument itself.

      • I’l just repeat what I said because you didn’t address it.

        Satellites, buoys and land stations agree to within tenths of a degree.

        So quite clearly we can measure the warming to tenths of a degree.

        And here’s a picture to prove it

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/plot/rss/offset:-0.0923176/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1979/offset:-0.247178/plot/gistemp/from:1979/offset:-0.350546

      • lolwot,
        OK, we agree we can make measurements today to tenths of a degree accuracy, in some special cases. My point is that though we can do that today, we could not in the past. It is simply invalid to quote temperatures from a century ago to tenths of a degree. Is that something you disagree with? If you are using a historic temperature value with an accuracy of plus or minus a degree or two to compare with current temperatures, you cannot claim a trend accuracy any better than that one or two degrees per century. Even though you can measure today’s temperature at a good site to a tenth of a degree, that does not make your temperature trend line accurate to one tenth of a degree per century.

      • So you are saying the late 20th century warming happened but the early 20th century warming might not have happened? So the 20th century temperature record might look like a sharp hockey stick?

      • lolwot,
        You must be trying to pull my chain. My statements are about the use of historic temperature measurements for determining LONG range temperature trends. I am pretty sure some warming has happened over the last century. I am enclined to accept the records from newer high accuracy stations placed around the USA at face value. They do, of course, cover a fairly short period of time climate wise. It is the records from those century old stations that I am taking issue with with respect to claiming a CENTURY LONG temperature trend.

    • In 379 at bats I got 130 hits. I like the sound of .400. Say I hit .300, and I punch you in the nose. So lets settle on .343.

  8. The Philosophy of modelling.

    I used to believe years ago, that any complex dynamic system could be modeled accurately enough to provide useful information on its performance under the wide range of conditions to which it could be subjected. Where the system included human action with discretion extra difficulties arose, but non-linearities abound in nature and are included as is stationery randomness, or even defined non-stationarity, although systems with random elements will give probabilistic results. There are other instrumental problems like having a computer with sufficient memory and speed as well as a suitable programming language and a team of multidisiplanary experts.

    In recent years there has been less discussion of computer power. Have we at last reached computer nirvana? As I watch each little cloud float over in the Australian summer I wonder about its effect on our climate. I remember the original Hansen models and reflecting that the smallest cloud would have to be about 300km. How useful was that? How do clouds join up to make larger clouds? Seems like you need to model the micro-climate in every cloud. Cell sizes in the oceans also have to be adequate.

    I used to be known as the father of model validation before it was widely practiced in USA or anywhere else and always insisted that every dynamic process in the model be validated before the whole model was checked. I think that is still an important principle.

    • “I remember the original Hansen models and reflecting that the smallest cloud would have to be about 300km. How useful was that?”

      Pretty useful (http://www.skepticalscience.com/Hansen-1988-prediction.htm). Heck, Svante Arrhenius did a climate model with cell-by-cell hand calculations, and he did pretty well.

    • David Springer

      OT – read your Catalina Tales. Enjoyed them very much. Wished there were more of them. My father was a tail gunner in a B-26 Marauder. He completed his 25 flights over Nazi Germany and returned home. One out of three of all B-26 crew didn’t live to complete their 25 missions. My father didn’t talk about it much. He was an 18 year-old boy full of piss, vinegar, and pride on his first flight and a 21 year-old man humbled and thankful to be alive at the end. His best friend, a belly gunner, caught some flack that blew his body apart all over the inside of the glass turret. My father was the first to find him. For the rest of his life my father, who grew up on a farm, retched at the faintest whiff of sour milk because it smelt like the inside of that belly turret. I have nothing in my life to compare with that for which I am thankful. My hitch in the US Marine Corps 1974-1978 was peaceful and routine.

      • David Springer, Thank you for your comments on my Catalina Tales. It is a coincidence that our first air/sea rescue of the Pacific war was a B26 crew. One of them, a wireless operator, used to attend our reunions in Australia every year. I had a lot of respect for B26 crews – 2 very powerful engines and hardly any wing, so they flew like a brick, but they were fast. more like a rocket than an aircraft. Just taking off and landing were dicey.

  9. Judith, this thread seems weird to me.

    I am a mathematician. Statistics and probability as I know it is derived from basic principles, as all math is.

    Only from deriving it from basic principles can we know that it works and is true.

    I don’t see how we can have a discussion on model projections without it being mostly math. It seems to me that anything else is mostly heuristic (at best).

    Am I wrong? And if so, can someone please educate me as to why I am wrong?

    • Adam,

      You probably aren’t wrong.

      But Judith now clearly feels she was wrong when she wrote: (2007)

      …if the risk is great, then it may be worth acting against even if its probability is small. Think of risk as the product of consequences and likelihood: what can happen and the odds of it happening. A 10-degree rise in global temperatures by 2100 is not likely; the panel gives it a 3 percent probability. Such low-probability, high-impact risks are routinely factored into any analysis and management strategy, whether on Wall Street or at the Pentagon.

      It sounds OK to me though. But I’m more a physicist/ electronics engineer than a mathematician, so what would I know?

      But, if you are more qualified, maybe you could educate Judith as to why she was right then?

      • Perhaps Dr. Curry considered this: Sunstein, Cass R. “Throwing Precaution to the Wind: Why the ‘Safe’ Choice Can Be Dangerous.” Opinion. Boston.com – The Boston Globe, July 13, 2008. http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/articles/2008/07/13/throwing_precaution_to_the_wind

        Main point: “Yet the precautionary principle, for all its rhetorical appeal, is deeply incoherent. It is of course true that we should take precautions against some speculative dangers. But there are always risks on both sides of a decision; inaction can bring danger, but so can action. Precautions, in other words, themselves create risks – and hence the principle bans what it simultaneously requires.

      • “Yet the precautionary principle, for all its rhetorical appeal, is deeply incoherent.”

        I’ve been saying that for several decades.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        tempterrain quoting Dr Curry: may be

        How is it “clear” that she now considers “may be” to be “wrong”?

      • Its clear to me that Judith has changed the tone of her argument. But, Judith may (?) be somewhat more uncertain on the extent of that clarity to others.

    • Paul Matthews

      Adam, perhaps statistics has changed a bit since you learnt it. Rather than using basic principles, probabilities are now sometimes assigned based on the opinions of ‘experts’, so-called ‘subjective Bayesianism’. This paper points out some of the obvious weaknesses of this approach (eg circular reasoning) on page 38.

    • Adam, I think you’re right. As far as I can figure, the most reliable statistical prediction of the future is a linear regression through all available data. Humans being the cognitively biased beings they are think they know better. People using computer models think they know better than everybody else.

      I think bookies would have a better chance of predicting temperature outcomes that climate scientists because they have to put their money where their mouth is.

      Nobody without a significant personal stake in prediction accuracy and the prospect of making a loss has the proper incentives to be right.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        blouis79 asserts  “As far as I can figure, the most reliable statistical prediction of the future is a linear regression through all available data.”

        Blouis79, the history of science provides no support for this assertion, and every theoretical physicist in the world disagrees with it.

        Ouch!   :)   :)   :)

        One way to appreciate the weakness of prediction-centric philosophies of science is to visit the celebrated mathematical website The On-Line Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences (OEIS).

        Enter three-or-four random integers into the OEIS … the OEIS will supply a mathematical relation that predicts the next integer! Amazing!   :)   :)   :)

        Here the point is that the OEIS concretely supplies prediction-stripped-of-explanation … which is useful solely as a supplementary means for discovering true mathematical explanations … and lots of fun too!   :)   :)   :)

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Oops — here’s a working link to the (AMAZING!) predictive-but-not-explanatory website The On-Line Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences (OEIS).

        The KDL philosophy narrowly depicts climate-science very similarly to the way that the OEIS narrowly depicts mathematics — which is to say, a too-narrow focus on KDL/OEIS methods totally misses the meaning, and the fun too, of what’s really going on, eh?   :grin:   :grin:   :grin:

      • blouis79

        You make an excellent point (which “fan” has missed completely).

        Climate researchers in general have “a personal stake” in a high CO2 climate sensitivity.

        The higher the better – for getting the public alarmed, politicians motivated and taxpayer funding flowing for (guess what?): more climate research.

        A low climate sensitivity makes a large part of climate research redundant.

        And which climate researcher would want that?

        Quite simple, actually.

        Max

      • “A low climate sensitivity makes a large part of climate research redundant.”

        Which part?

      • lolwot

        You ask: Which part of climate research becomes redundant with a low climate sensitivity?

        Duh!

        Think about it a bit.

        If the “C” is taken out of “CAGW”, there isn’t much public interest in pursuing AGW-related research, ergo not much political incentive to fund AGW research, ergo funding dries up and AGW-related research stops.

        Pop!

        The bubble bursts.

        Got it?

        Max

      • Latimer Alder

        Follow the Money!

        We know that academia is very money-driven, however much they try to protest about their intellectual independence. Remember the ludicrous defence of Mann:

        ‘He brings a lot of money to us and if he were a bad boy then nobody would give him all that loot. Therefore he’s innocent. The big cheques prove it’

        And no climatologit in their right f…g mind would even think about publishing a paper that finished:

        ‘The consequence of the demonstrated low climate sensitivity is that future worries about climate change/global warming have been wildly exaggerated. There is little need for further research at all’

        They’d be torn limb from limb by the Union of Alarmist Climatologists before having their body fed to hyenas. Then ritually burnt with low CO2 fuel. Hansen might have apoplexy and Romm would likely explode all over a TV studio.

      • Max, more specifically, they don’t have *any* stake in measured prediction accuracy. It’s the same for stock brokers vs share market investors, investment bankers vs banks/governments. Who makes a real loss if the prediction is wrong?

      • Max,

        You obviously are of the school of thought that everything in this world is driven by money. So, maybe you could advise climate scientists on how to maximise their research grants?

        Aren’t they are making a big mistake? Instead of giving the impression of the ‘science is settled’, and advising the world to reduce their CO2 emissions, they should be taking a leaf out of Judith’s book and playing up the level of uncertainty. Of course, they’d also say this would be resolved in they only had a bit more money.

        Wouldn’t you agree?

    • David L. Hagen

      Adam
      The proof of scientific pudding is in the validation, regardless of “expert” probabilities. See above.
      For actuarial and statistical perspectives on more important trends see Gail Tverberg at OurFiniteWorld.com and William M. Briggs
      Keep probing, testing and searching for gold refined by fire.

    • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

      Adam: Only from deriving it from basic principles can we know that it works and is true.

      I think that is wrong. Derivations from basic principles are always based on simplifying assumptions; only by testing the result can we know that the result works, that there was not, paraphrasing Einstein, too much simplicity. The Tacoma Narrows bridge disaster revealed post hoc that there had been too much simplicity. And some results that work were never derived from first principles, such as Kepler’s laws of motion, and Hooke’s law.

    • In climate science, there seems no need to use basic statistics
      or experimental physics or in fact any method which might be too open to scrutiny from outsiders.

      Adam, you might have more fun reading Claes Johnson’s blog and Garth Paltridges book “The Climate Caper”.

    • Mostly because you have to estimate the forcing scenarios and those have physical, biological, economic and political drivers. Even if you had a perfect global model, you would have a wide range of possible outcomes, and some of those drivers are not controllable.

  10. DrJC, OT. I noticed Matt Ridley’s blog isn’t on your blog role. Intelligent, thoughtful, and knowledgeable guy, many thoughts on climate change, and an interesting recent piece on confirmation bias.

    http://www.rationaloptimist.com/blog

  11. Long set of data showing certain repeatability (due to natural oscillation) as the CET is, it can be forward extrapolated by a short period (perhaps 10-15% of its total length) with a reasonable probability of the oscillations reoccurring

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

  12. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    The physicist David Deutsch wrote a book titled The Fabric of Reality that is much-admired by practicing scientists, and is quite respectful of Karl Popper, and yet it is in many respects completely opposed to the philosophical view of climate-change science that is presented Katzav, Djikstra, and de Laat (henceforth KDL).

    The bulk of Deutsch’s book is (rather technically) concerned with quantum dynamics, but the first chapter, titled “The Theory of Everything”, is mush broader in scope, and it is very charming and fun to read … and very fortunately this chapter is freely readable on Google Books.

    Deutsch’s chapter is highly recommended for reading in parallel with the KDL manuscript. Here are excerpts:

    THE FABRIC OF REALITY
    Chapter 1: The Theory of Everything

    Being able to predict things or to describe them, however accurately, is not at all the same thing as understanding them. Facts cannot be understood just by being summarized in a formula, any more than being listed on paper or committed to memory. They can be understood only by being explained. Fortunately, our best theories embody deep explanations as well as accurate predictions.

    A scientific theory stripped of its explanatory content would be of strictly limited utility. Let us be thankful that real scientific theories do not resemble that ideal, and that scientists in reality do not work toward that ideal.

    To say that prediction is the purpose of a scientific theory is to confuse means with ends. It is like saying the purpose of a spaceship is to burn fuel. Passing experimental tests is only one of the many things a theory has to do to achieve the real purpose of science, which is to explain the world.

    In the future, all explanations will be understood against the backdrop of universality, and every new idea will automatically tend to illuminate not just a particular subject, but, to varying degrees, all subjeccts.

    Knowledge does not come into existence fully formed. It exists only as the result of creative processes, which are step-by-step, evolutionary processes, always starting with a problem and proceeding with tentative new theories, criticism and the elimination of errors to a new and preferable problem-situation.

    This is how Shakespeare wrote his plays. It is how Einstein discovered his field equations. It is how all of us succeed in solving any problem, large or small, in our lives, or in creating anything of value.

    According to Deutsch’s philosophical framework, the scientific work that seminally explained climate-change was the justly-celebrated 1981 article by Hansen and colleagues titled Climate impact of increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide.

    All subsequent work, including the IPCC reports, are from a Deutschian point-of-view an extended verification and validation process, that has affirmed that the 1981 scientific explanation of Hansen et al. was essentially correct.

    Can we tighten the confidence limits associated to our predictions of future climate change? Surely the passage of time, and the acquisition of more and better data, and perhaps even the statistical methods that KDL propose, will help us to do this.

    But as for the all-important scientific explanation of climate change … heck … that is a done deal, eh?   :)   :)   :)

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      A quote from Deutsch expresses the above point in one short sentence:

      “Even in purely practical applications, the explanatory power of a theory is paramount and its predictive power only supplementary.”

      The KDL manuscript focuses solely on the assessment of predictive power, and has little to say regarding explanatory power, and thereby misses the essence of what modern climate-change science — indeed all of modern science — is really about.

      • Quinn the Eskimo

        If the predictions are wrong, the explanations are wrong and have no “explanatory power.” The explanations are the guts of how the predictions are generated.

        No amount of post-normal, deconstructionist subjective Bayesian onanism, computer model intercomparison projects, infilling, change point algorithms, urban heat island cover-ups, erasures of the MWP and the 1930’s, late night rewrites of the summary for policy makers, circular reasoning or wishful thinking can obscure this, though it is certainly not for lack of trying every one of those and more.

        Now that more people are noticing the comprehensive failures of prediction, we are being told that in real science, including climate science, “explanatory power” (TM) is more important than accurate prediction in testing theories. As if they were separate and as if this were a seminar in semiotics.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Quinn, as an example of vituperative demagoguery, your post is exemplary.

        As an example of rational analysis, not so much!   ;)   ;)   ;)

        Do you see that, in the last week, Intrade’s Arctic sea ice extent prediction market has increased the odds of record melting this year from 30% – 40% – 50% – 60% – 70%?   :eek:   :eek:   :eek:

        So the odds that “James Hansen is right” are increasing too, eh?   :grin:   :grin:   :grin:

        The market has spoken, Quinn!   :grin:   :grin:   :grin:

      • In a planet of of two halves,asymmetry often gets in the way of a good story.

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/nsidc-seaice-n/from:1990/mean:12

        /plot/nsidc-seaice-n/from:1990/mean:12/trend/plot/nsidc-seaice-s/from:1990/mean:12/plot/nsidc-seaice-s/from:1990/mean:12/trend

        Hansen arguments are to downplay the early 20th century warming,such as the 1930s dust bowl.

        Legitimate scientific debate on the natural variability,cannot unambiguously explain the early 20th century warming and its effects on polar ice. eg Semenov and Latif

        http://www.the-cryosphere-discuss.net/6/2037/2012/

        An interesting property of the ETCW is the antarctic,ie it was coolest 1920-1940 having been warmer prior,

      • Quinn the Eskimo

        Glad you liked it. I am no fan of deconstructionism, least of all in science, and this thread is about philosophical reflections, isn’t it?

        It is a deconstructionist perversion of logic and the scientific method to say that “explanatory power” is more important than predictive validity when predictive validity is the actual test of explanatory power.

        The predictions of AGW theory, including and especially those of Hansen, are so comprehensively refuted by empirical data that the theory can only survive where the refutation of a theory by the failure of its predictions is no longer decisive. Hence the ardent embrace of Deutsch, who lends a patina of respectability to the scam.

        I’m not yet persuaded of Intrade’s explanatory powers or predictive validity. Maybe it’s just a comforting story with no basis in fact – lots of explanatory power, zero predictive validity. Does Intrade have bidding on the increase in antarctic ice? Or when Sasquatch, the Loch Ness Monster and the Tropical Upper Tropospheric Hot Spot will walk into a bar, pull back their chaps and see whose explanatory power is bigger?

        Cheers!

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        As Robert Duvall and Michael Caine said in their family classic film Second-Hand Lions: This-here carbon-selling salesman is *GOOD*!   :lol:   :lol:   :lol:

      • @Quinn the Eskimo

        You write:

        The predictions of AGW theory, including and especially those of Hansen, are so comprehensively refuted by empirical data that the theory can only survive where the refutation of a theory by the failure of its predictions is no longer decisive.

        An excellent observation, which summarizes the current situation and explains the need for “philosophical reflections on the climate model projections” where they have been falsified by the actual observed empirical data.

        Max

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Mackacker, you and Quinn the Eskimo — and many other Climate Etc — sustain by the practice of personal abuse, cherry-picking, sloganeering, and demagogic denialism, a deliberate ignorance of the basic science of CO2-driven climate change that willfully ignores the striking daily verification of Hansen’s 1981 predictions.

        Everyone appreciates that Intrade’s market-driven probability of a record Artic ice-melt in 2012 is looking more like a “hockey stick” every day.   :)   :)   :)

        In striking accord with Hansen’s predictions, of course!   :grin:   2¢   :grin:   2¢   :grin:

        That’s the common-sense reason why (what Robert calls) “industrial grade denialism” is nugatory!   :lol:   :lol:   :lol:

      • Now that more people are noticing the comprehensive failures of prediction, we are being told that in real science, including climate science, “explanatory power” (TM) is more important than accurate prediction in testing theories. As if they were separate and as if this were a seminar in semiotics.

        Enough people recognising comprehensive failures in the prediction methods necessitated a change in tactics:

        http://www.forecastingprinciples.com/files/WarmAudit31.pdf

        GLOBAL WARMING: FORECASTS BY SCIENTISTS
        VERSUS SCIENTIFIC FORECASTS
        by
        Kesten C. Green and J. Scott Armstrong

        We audited the forecasting processes described in Chapter 8 of the IPCC’s WG1 Report to assess the extent to which they complied with forecasting principles. We found enough information to make judgments on 89 out of a total of 140 forecasting principles. The forecasting procedures that were described violated 72 principles.
        Many of the violations were, by themselves, critical. The forecasts in the Report were not the outcome of scientific procedures. In effect, they were the opinions of scientists transformed by mathematics and obscured by complex writing. Research on forecasting has shown that experts’ predictions are not useful in situations involving uncertainly and complexity. We have been unable to identify any scientific forecasts of global warming. Claims that the Earth will get warmer have no more credence than saying that it will get colder.

        So now to further distract from the IPCC bias to use science terms but not science disciplines to create global warming scares, we’ll get:

        And what of the next IPCC report, due out in 2013 and 2014? The near-final drafts of that report have been circulating for months already. They were written by scientists chosen by politicians rather than on the basis of merit; many of them were reviewing their own work and were free to ignore the questions and comments of people with whom they disagree. Instead of “confidence,” we will get “level of understanding scales” that are just as meaningless. Joseph L. Bast

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/07/16/by-its-actions-the-ipcc-admits-its-past-reports-were-unreliable/#more-67582

        The only true consensus of scientists produced by the IPCC was excised in the 1995 report by Santer.

        The IPCC was set up to create fake fisics for the promotion of AGW and for any who love wisdom, recognising that is the bottom line, is wisdom.

      • Sorry, the Green/Armstrong quote should have been in blockquote; it ends: “Claims that the Earth will get warmer have no more credence than saying that it will get colder.”

      • ““Claims that the Earth will get warmer have no more credence than saying that it will get colder.””

        Sure, if you don’t understand physics.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        lolwot: Sure, if you don’t understand physics.

        Actually, you can understand “the” physics and understand that the claims that the earth will get warm lack credence. All you have to realize and accept is that “the” physics is not complete or accurate. Consider the adiabatic lapse rate: is there an adiabatic process any where on earth, that has been shown to be adiabatic? It is a useful approximation, but it is an approximation, and the resulting quantitative relationship may not be sufficiently accurate to use in understanding what an increase in CO2 will effect, given the earth as it is now.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        A fan of more discourse, quoting Deutsch: “Even in purely practical applications, the explanatory power of a theory is paramount and its predictive power only supplementary.”

        Predictive accuracy is what tests the explanatory power. Neither one nor the other is entirely satisfactory by itself. To my knowledge, no one has an explanation for gravity, but the inverse square law us useful for guiding interplanetary exploration because it is sufficiently accurate. In like fashion, there is no explanation for why like charges repel and opposite charges attract. At bottom, science accepts some things that just are and have been used in accurate prediction without understanding.

      • David Springer

        Predictive power is the only thing of practical concern. We might have a theory that explains how an airfoil generates lift but if it predicts a takeoff distance of 1500 feet and we try it on a 2000 foot runway and find that that the takeoff distance was actually 2200 feet then Houston, we have a problem. Accurate prediction doesn’t prove an explanation but it can disprove it. Karl Popper is spinning in his grave at the lack of basic understanding of philosophy of science around here.

      • stevepostrel

        Deutsch gets it right–Fan is selectively quoting him. Deutsch says that prediction is the only way to establish explanation quality. But he asks for more than prediction, not less, when he demands explanations. Following Popper, he is an anti-inductivist. Deutsch points out that an unexplained data-fitting rule, or even a mysterious oracle that correctly predicted the outcomes of many experiments, would always leave us unsure about its range of validity–would it continue to work in new cases?

        A chicken is fed by a farmer day after day and inductively fits the law “arrival of farmer leads to feeding.” It works perfectly until the farmer decides the chicken is fat enough to be slaughtered. The chicken didn’t have a good explanation of the farmer’s behavior.

      • Excellent analogy, climate skeptics and energy cornucopians are like stupid chickens .They will never realize what hit them when the inevitable occurs.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        Web Hub Telescope: Excellent analogy, climate skeptics and energy cornucopians are like stupid chickens .

        Why does the analogy not apply as well to extrapolators like James Hansen and the “Peak Oil” gang?

        Personally, I almost always write “If present trends continue”, and specify a range such as 5 – 20 years. I think I recently wrote that “a trend continues right up until it ends” — but maybe in an email and not on a weblog.

    • David L. Hagen

      Fan
      So “climate science” has sunk to where prediction errors of > 150% mean “Hansen et al. was essentially correct”?

      • Linking to the “science” of WUWT is an automatic fail.

        Try a credible source next time. ;)

      • “Linking to the “science” of WUWT is an automatic fail.

        Try a credible source next time. “

        One of the great mysteries of the ages is how WUWT ever got crowned as “Best Science Blog”. Naive passers-by can actually lose intelligence by reading that stuff. On second thought, that might be the objective of the blog.

      • Curiuos George

        Dear WebHubTelescope, in May 2012 WUWT found a fatal mistake in a Gergis et al. article that has passed peer reviews. The article was then withdrawn. What is your objective? What are your reading preferences?

      • That even a blind pig can find an acorn every once in a while?

        People actually get stupider by reading most of that stuff.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        WebHubTelescope: Naive passers-by can actually lose intelligence by reading that stuff.

        They generally link to original sources, and they permit anyone to link to original sources in rebuttal. They address their attention to the cavities in the knowledge base. It is not that readers lose intelligence, but that readers risk losing belief.

      • ” They address their attention to the cavities in the knowledge base. “

        Cavties? You may be right. Looking at that WUWT garbage is more like looking at a caveman’s tooth decay.
        If you want to be engaged and challenged, I suggest following John Carlos Baez’s Azimuth blog or something similar. No? You don’t like the fact that smart people have political viewpoints that don’t match yours? Then go to Lubos Motl’s blog.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        WebHubTelescope: John Carlos Baez’s Azimuth blog or something similar.

        I’ll give it a try.

      • John Carlos Baez’s Azimuth blog or something similar.

        He recently “discovered ” Symplectic geometry and suggested that it may have applications to thermodynamics.Next week maybe the wheel and fire and its application to transport solutions.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        WebHubTelescope: That even a blind pig can find an acorn every once in a while?

        What I can’t get from reading your posts is whether you do or do not believe that climate science, and in particular the science of climate effects of CO2, has serious limitations.

      • “maksimovich | August 17, 2012 at 3:57 pm |

        He recently “discovered ” Symplectic geometry and suggested that it may have applications to thermodynamics.Next week maybe the wheel and fire and its application to transport solutions.”

        That remark tells me lots about your character. Baez has recently summed up his approach as trying to reveal patterns and increase understanding via his skills and facility with formal mathematics. He starts from first principles and works his way through the math in the hopes of finding something new. Certainly, he will often get to a place that someone has explored before, and some commenter will point that out. But then again, his path could take him to some unexpected place that actually reveals something novel. The fact that he does that in the open, with a Wiki and many collaborators, makes him very visible to trivial gaps in his knowledge. Big deal.

        I think you are also practicing loads of projection. Baez knows more than anyone what it takes to become classified as a crackpot. His years of moderating the Usenet forum Sci.Math and his writing the Crackpot Index (Google it) puts him in a special position to understand the lay of the land in which the skeptics such as at WUWT inhabit.

        Do the same for Lubos Motl, cause I ain’t going there.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler
      • Certainly, he will often get to a place that someone has explored before, and some commenter will point that out. But then again, his path could take him to some unexpected place that actually reveals something novel.

        There is a deep literature,that is well researched on this from Poincare’s 1889 application to the n body problem,That it is an important aspect of Hydrodynamics and dynamical systems theory is neither a projection nor a novel application,that a mathematician can overlook an entire school of theory is alarming.That it has been set learning at specialist high schools in both the soviet and post soviet eras is also troublesome.

        Whilst exploring new ideas and applications to problems is indeed a worthwhile endeavour, the application to the mapping problems on the rotating planet for example,however constraints are always within any theory (where problems have been clearly identified) it is only then can we state our limitations.

      • Robert – WUWT, in large part, is simply an aggregater. There are original posts, but typically even those link to the source article or data. I can see why you wouldn’t like it as it rejects CAWG religion.

      • David L. Hagen

        Robert
        Since you apparently find it difficult to follow the scientific method or scientific English (?!), here is the original Was ist eigentlich aus James Hansens Temperaturvorhersage von 1988 geworden? Zeit für eine Überprüfungby Prof. Jan-Erik Solheim (Oslo) (c/o Professor Fritz Vahrenholt and Dr. Sebastian Lüning)
        PS Don’t shoot the messenger. Examine all things. Keep what is good.

      • Your link to WUWT’s abortion of an argument is a fail.

        So you think you can redeem yourself with un-reviewed, self-published denialist garbage?

        That’s two strikes. Got anything credible?

      • David L. Hagen

        Robert
        Try a refresher on the scientific method:
        “No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong.”— Albert Einstein
        Science Says Rob Kaplan, or Attributed to Einstein. Quoted in Alice Calaprice, The Quotable Einstein (1996), 224

        The burden of proof rests on Hansen to uphold his assertion of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming over the null hypothesis of the full range of natural climate variations. No amount of ad hominem attacks on the messenger will every change that burden of proof.
        To date Hansen’s hypothesis is Not Proven.

      • “The burden of proof rests on Hansen . . .”

        The burden of proof to support your assertions with evidence rests with you. You have failed to support it. Third strike, better luck next time.

        “his assertion of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming”

        Citation needed. We were talking about the 1988 predictions — you need to cite Hansen asserting in that context that there will be “catastrophic anthropogenic global warming.”

        Since that is a straw man invented by deniers many years later, I suspect you’ll fail. Again.

      • The burden of proof is on Hansen and his ilk.

      • “null hypothesis of the full range of natural climate variations”

        Don’t you think a more narrow null hypothesis would be more appropriate?

        Let’s not do anything until the Antarctic icecap has completely melted.

        “If I can find my truck we could drive out!”

      • Bob
        The Antarctic icecap is always below freezing on the average. It won’t melt in the lifetime of your grandchildren!
        Natural variations includes the rate of change from natural causes.
        Upholding the scientific method is foundational. ”
        A more narrow” null hypothesis is not science.

      • David, whether or not the Antarctic icecap melts in the lifetime of my grandchildren depends on a number of things.

        It depends on the boundary of the Antarctic ice cap, if you include the entire continent and the ice shelves attached to the continent, then parts of the icecap have already melted, as we have witnessed the collapse of the Larsen B ice shelf.

        Depends also on the rate of the mass loss from Antarctica as measured by the GRACE satellites, which is accelerating, and if that acceleration continues, we could well see significant global sea-level rise in the lifetime of my as yet unborn grandchildren.

        If you want to keep the null hypothesis to +5 C to – 10 C from current global mean temperatures, by all means go ahead, but to call anything less unscientific shows your lack of rigor. Shows you don’t know what science is.

      • David L. Hagen

        bob droege
        Always conduct a reality check on alarmist global warming claims.
        The “acceleration” in West Antarctica results in a loss of ice that is now about up to the level of the accumulation of ice in East Antarctica.

        We estimate mass trends over Antarctica using gravity variations observed by the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellite mission during its first 3.5 years (April 2002-November 2005). An image of surface mass trends is constructed from 1° × 1° pixels over the entire continent, and shows two prominent features, a region of mass loss along the coast of West Antarctica, and one of accumulation in East Antarctica. After adjusting for bias due to smoothing and to GRACE’s limited spatial resolution, and removing post glacial rebound (PGR) effects, the rate in West Antarctica is -77 +/- 14 km3/year, similar to a recent estimate of ice mass loss from satellite altimetry and remote sensing data. The prominent East Antarctic feature in the Enderby Land region has a rate of +80 +/- 16 km3/year. Published snow/ice mass rates from remote sensing measurements indicate approximate ice mass balance in this region, suggesting that this feature is either from unquantified snow accumulation in this region or more likely due to unmodeled PGR.

        2006

        http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2006GeoRL..3311502C

        Compare 2012

        Satellite altimetry and Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) measurements have provided contemporary, but substantially different Antarctic ice sheet mass balance estimates. Altimetry provides no information about firn density while GRACE data is significantly impacted by poorly constrained glacial isostatic adjustment signals. Here, we combine Envisat radar altimetry and GRACE data over the Amundsen Sea (AS) sector, West Antarctica, to estimate the basin-wide averaged snow and firn column density over a seasonal time scale. Removing the firn variability signal from Envisat-observed ice-sheet elevation changes reveals more rapid dynamic thinning of underlying ice. We report that the net AS sector mass change rates are estimated to be − 47 ± 8 Gt yr− 1 between 2002 and 2006, and − 80 ± 4 Gt yr− 1 between2007 and 2009, equivalent to a sea level rise of 0.13 and 0.22 mm yr− 1, respectively. The acceleration is due to a combination of decreased snowfall accumulation (+ 13 Gt yr− 1 in 2002–2006, and − 6 Gt yr− 1 in 2007–2009) and enhanced ice dynamic thinning (− 60 ± 10 Gt yr− 1 in 2002–2006, and − 74 ± 11 Gt yr− 1 in 2007–2009) after 2007. Because there is no significant snowfall trend over the past 21 yr (1989–2009) and an increase in ice flow speed (2003–2010), the accelerated mass loss is likely to continue.

        Global sea ice shows a very small trend.
        That does NOT include the bulk of Antarctic ice.
        Total Antarctic ice is about “30 million cubic km of ice”
        ~ 3*10^16 t of ice.
        Taking the W/E difference as about 10 Gt/30,000,000 Gt ~ 2.6 * 10^-6 per year. i.e., If I have my calculations right, it will only take about two million years till the Antarctic glacier melts at current rates.
        (Please check the estimates. )
        I don’t think I will hold my breath or have any nightmares about sea level rise in the near future.

      • Think that’s wrong, I get about 100,000 years and that excludes any acceleration.

      • “Please check the estimates.”

        They’re wrong.

        Please check your own source. It says mass loss from Antarctica is accelerating.

      • David L. Hagen

        Robert
        Re: “mass loss from Antarctica is accelerating”
        Read more carefully. Note:

        “a region of mass loss along the coast of West Antarctica, and one of accumulation in East Antarctica.”

        The 2012 “acceleration” was only:

        over the Amundsen Sea (AS) sector, West Antarctica,

        lolwot
        Please explain your calculation. 1 cu mile ice ~ 1 Gt. 30 million cu mi ~ 3*10^7 Gt. 10 Gt/30 Gt ~1/3*10^-7. or 3 million years – Assuming the difference between East-West Antarctica is actually loosing 10 Gt/year – with the large uncertainties listed, it could equally be gaining.

        PS Whether Antarctica will melt in 100,000 or 1 million, both are well beyond the age of your grandchildren. Plenty of time to adapt – or enjoy.

      • Greenland glaciers naturally flow into the sea. For a dose of reality see:
        Why the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets
        are Not Collapsing

        The accumulation of kilometres of undisturbed ice in cores in
        Greenland and Antarctica (the same ones that are sometimes used
        to fuel ideas of global warming) show hundreds of thousands of
        years of accumulation with no melting or flow. Except around the
        edges, ice sheets flow at the base, and depend on geothermal heat,
        not the climate at the surface. It is impossible for the Greenland
        and Antarctic ice sheets to ‘collapse’.

        2012: The Year Greenland Melted (AKA Alarmists Gone Wild)

        Glaciers are rivers of ice. They flow downhill. When downhill is toward the ocean, they calve icebergs. Increased calving of icebergs is indicative of excess ice accumulation, not melting.

      • “So “climate science” has sunk to where prediction errors of > 150% mean “Hansen et al. was essentially correct”?”

        This same subject came up on the other thread where David Springer, Edim, Girma, and Manacker were all trying to claim the real world followed Hansen’s scenario A and therefore we should have expected scenario A warming.

        WUWT does the same thing. So does Jo Nova and countless other skeptics. Plus they never learn from the mistake. I don’t see any evidence the aforementioned bodies learned their mistake on the last thread and fully expect them to parrot and defend the same false claim in the future.

        It’s wrong, real world emissions were below scenario B. Here’s a direct response to solheim’s same error:

        http://www.skepticalscience.com/news.php?n=1502

      • What then is the basis, if any, for concluding that Scenario B was the more “plausible”? I doubt whether Hansen was really thinking about differences between near-time Other Trace Gas concentrations when he said that Scenario B was “more plausible” for the near-time dispute with Michaels. The 1988 paper strongly suggests that he was thinking about “deep time” differences out past 2025 where exponential versus linear actually matters. … – Steve McIntyre

        The above is why Girma’s 1.9% growth rate is meaningless. The astounding thing here is Max fully understands resource limitation as he often cites data that supports the notion of around 1100 ppm being the cap for the contribution to anthropogenic CO2 from fossil fuels.

        Scenario A is totally implausible and cannot be BAU.

      • The real world more than followed Hansen’s scenario A regarding CO2 emissions only. That was my point and it’s correct.

      • It’s incorrect, not correct.

        But thanks for stopping by.

      • “Edim | August 14, 2012 at 4:00 am | Reply

        The real world more than followed Hansen’s scenario A regarding CO2 emissions only. That was my point and it’s correct.”

        No it is not. You are an incorrect contrarian. You don’t see a divergenence in 2012.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        WebHubTelescope: You don’t see a divergenence in 2012.

        I think a fairer statement is that the divergence is not statistically significant in 2012. If the trend in the divergence continues, then the divergence will become statistically significant. As it is, the divergence shows that there is no reason to think his projections provide a sound basis for policy.

      • You are right, lolwot. The real temperature increase is much less than scenarios A, B, or C.

        http://www.drroyspencer.com/2012/08/fun-with-summer-statistics-part-2-the-northern-hemisphere-land/

    • Fan –

      Thank you for that post. In particular, I think that this quote is very useful:

      To say that prediction is the purpose of a scientific theory is to confuse means with ends.

      This is the problem with the climate debate food fight writ large. I think it relates, also, to the discussion of post-normal science (and to the influence of motivated reasoning on the debate).

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Agreed 100% Joshua.

        Even a perfectly predictive climate-change theory, by itself, would convey no scientific understanding, just as The On-Line Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences (OEIS), by itself, conveys no mathematical understanding.

        It is the understanding of how climate-change works that is the main “deliverable” of climate-change science, eh?   :)   :)   :)

        No amount of “philosophical reflections” can alter this key point!   :)   :)   :)

    • David Springer

      Deutch should probably be spelled Douche. We have no explanation for gravity. Yet we can still make amazingly accurate predictions based upon observations of gravity so consistent and repeatable that we skip the hypothesis of gravity, the theory of gravity, and go straight to a law of gravity. Prediction isn’t everything but it’s the most important thing by far.

  13. David Wojick

    I do not think the models provide a lower bound on possibiliy, not until they show cooling as a very real possibility. Warming is built in at this point, as a certainty, which is completely unrealistic.

    • So in assessing the possibilities for a skydiver who has just jumped, what likelihood would you assign their flying upwards and attaining orbit?

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      David Wojick objects “Warming is built in [to the models]”

      David Wojick, please reflect that warming is built-in to the models because warming is build-in the the physics of heat transport in an enriched-CO2 atmosphere.

      There is not much anyone can do to change that physics — and for the past thirty years, people have looked mighty hard for loopholes — because “Nature cannot be fooled.”

      That is why the explanatory aspect of the climate-change debate is ending. Now attention is focusing (per the KDL manuscript) on refining the nitty-gritty predictive elements of climate-change science. Here there is no substitute for the grind-it-out strategy of more data, higher quality data, longer observational periods, and more refined statistical methods.

      But barring some out-of-the-blue scientific revolution — which happen exceedingly seldom in science — the scientific explanation of CO2-driven climate change is a done deal, eh?   :)   :)   :)

      • David Wojick

        The thing is that this heat transport (?) is just a small part of the physics of climate, much of which is not well understood. The models should be experimenting with possibilities, not making forecasts. This is the institutional problem.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        David Wojick, you are of course correct that there is still much to be learned about climate dynamics. And yet:

        • If the sun’s energy input is relatively stable
                (which is true), and
        • increasing CO2 traps more of that energy
                (which is true), and
        • other processes conserve energy and increase entropy
                (which is true), then
        • the planet will get warmer
                (independent of model details),

        There are still plenty of uncertainties associated to auxiliary factors like clouds and aerosols (as the main examples), yet as our understanding of these auxiliary factors grows, and we observe no shockingly unexpected dynamics associated to them, then confidence in the above basic understanding of climate-change steadily increases.

        It’s not easy, but neither is it complicated David Wojick!   :)   :)   :)

      • David L. Hagen

        Fan
        Earth has also swung between ice ages and warm interglacial periods.
        This raises the issue of how probable it is for earth to descend into the next glaciation in about 1500 years with the long term cooling from the Holocene climatic optimum about 8000 years ago.
        See Determining the natural length of the current interglacial 2012
        Compare
        Did Shakun et al. really prove that CO2 preceded late glacial warming? [Part 1]

        Evaluating these issues will require understanding the causes of natural variations including glacial periods, and of anthropogenic global warming, and of the full uncertainties in both models – including Type II errors with the associated Unknown Unknowns!

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        a fan of more discourse: other processes conserve energy and increase entropy (which is true), then

        Photosynthesis is a process with conserves energy and reduces entropy.
        It seems not to account for a large amount of the total energy flow, but increase in CO2 will probably speed up the rate of conversion of CO2 to high energy carbon bonds in small structures.

        Convection is a process that carries energy from the surface and lower troposphere to the upper troposphere; how CO2 increase will affect the rate of that transport is not known.

      • Far be it for me to take Fan’s side, but photosynthesis does NOT reduce entropy. If you think so, you’re drawing the envelope wrong.

      • “• increasing CO2 traps more of that energy (which is true),…”

        This is far from true, it’s just a speculation. Radiative cooling is not dominant at the surface (evaporation/convection) and the atmosphere is cooled exclusively by radiation. Most of the total outgoing planetary radiation is from the atmosphere, not from the surface…

        On the face of it, CO2 cooling effect is more likely, but probably insignificant and easily overwhelmed by other factors.

      • David Springer

        P.E. | August 13, 2012 at 5:04 pm |

        “Far be it for me to take Fan’s side, but photosynthesis does NOT reduce entropy. If you think so, you’re drawing the envelope wrong.”

        Well, it does reduce entropy on the earth. You have a bunch of molecules rattling around in the atmosphere at random (brownian motion)which photosynthesis and other processes in the plant cell assembles into very orderly botanical structures. That is, by definition, a reduction in entropy.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Very good, David Springer!   :)   :)   :)

        Assignment  Take out your pencil-and-paper, and calculate the entropy change associated to the sun’s incoming radiation (part of which lit the leaves of the plants) and the earth’s outgoing radiation (part of which was emitted by those leaves).

        Prediction  The net entropy change will be positive!   :)   :)   :)

        ———————

        Question  What is the Bayesian probability that the above scientific prediction is correct?

        Answer  If you are applying Bayesian probability theory to answer the question, this verifies that your understanding of mathematical physics and the scientific process needs deepening. The lesson is that late-stage statistical verification cannot substitute for early-stage valid understanding, eh?   :)   :)   :)

        ———————

        Hopefully working this example problem will enlighten you regarding naturality in scientific validation and verification processes, Dave Springer!   :grin:   2¢   :grin:   2¢   :grin:

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        fan of more discourse: Assignment Take out your pencil-and-paper, and calculate the entropy change associated to the sun’s incoming radiation (part of which lit the leaves of the plants) and the earth’s outgoing radiation (part of which was emitted by those leaves).

        There is no doubt that the entropy of the complete Earth/Sun system is increasing. However, the tree splits the C-O bonds in CO2 and stores the energy and C in high-energy C-C and other bonds in compact structures like sugar, lignin and cellulose.

      • It is not a question of “whether”, but of “how much” and “when”. A preliminary question is what happened to the observed data on its way to model tuning and reporting.

      • That is why the explanatory aspect of the climate-change debate is ending. Now attention is focusing (per the KDL manuscript) on refining the nitty-gritty predictive elements of climate-change science. Here there is no substitute for the grind-it-out strategy of more data, higher quality data, longer observational periods, and more refined statistical methods.
        The explanatory aspect is ending so soon? Does that mean the science is all known and settled? I was hoping there were still some details to work out.
        As for refining predictive elements, I’m afraid lots of people are going to be very disappointed. Check back on this after they get fusion working.
        More better data, legit stats, that I can agree with.

        Prepare for this: even if a prediction turns out to be right, you won’t really know if it worked.

    • Steven Mosher

      they do show cooling as a real possibility. Over the short run individual realizations show cooling. Over the long range since the laws of physics must be respected more watts in means a higher temperature.. whether those watts come from the sun or GHGs

      • David Wojick

        The “laws of physics”? Are you nuts? You have no vague idea what is going on scientifically, do you? I rest my case. The models must warm. It is the law.

      • Watts don’t come from GHGs. They all come from the sun.

      • “Watts don’t come from GHGs. They all come from the sun.”

        Trite. Changes in radiation wavelength come from interactions with matter — the earth and it’s atmosphere. Mosh can call it an effective power and be correct.

        A thought experiment. Assume that a thin layer of shiny metal foil instantaneously covered the entire world. The interaction of EM radiation with the conductive skin layer would reflect the photons without heating. This is a change of absorbed power not due to the sun, but all due to changes in the earth’s composition.

        I thought you were an engineer?

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        Steven Mosher: Over the long range since the laws of physics must be respected more watts in means a higher temperature.

        You have decided that increased cloudiness is not one of the possibilities.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        MattStat

        If you design your model to match recent climatology (which includes cloud modelling of summer/winter/tropical/temperate etc. regions) then typically the model will not give you any increase in cloudiness with warming. And you need a lot of increased cloudiness to counteract the increase in humidity caused by the warming.

        So presumably you would only get the necessary increased cloudiness if you “build it into” the models as David Wojick might say.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        MattStat,

        I can’t speak for Steve Mosher, but I suspect you are drawing too many conclusions from unsaid things.

        Technically, Steve Mosher was only saying that it must at least be warmer with more Watts. If it is not even warmer with more Watts there is no change to cause a change in clouds to stop the warming! I think he was making this relatively trite point to undermine David Wojick’s implication that somehow building basic physics into the model is just not cricket. Robert’s skydiver example was similar.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Steve Milesworthy  “[denialists assert that] somehow building basic physics into the model is just not cricket.”

        That is a cogent point Steve Milesworthy!   :)   :)   :)

        Dave Springer, for example, is another exemplar of the burgeoning basic physics into the model is just not cricket school of climate-change denialism.

        Indeed, the article that Judith Curry posted — by Katzav, Djikstra, and de Laat (KDL) — is itself exemplary of “basic physics is no cricket” denialism.

        We have seen Bayesian denialism before in history: “no one knows the true mechanism of lung cancer”  … “the so-called evolutionary chain is missing many links”  … and even “we cannot be confident that the world is round, as no-one has yet sailed around it.”

        The KDL analysis had noble aspirations, but was crippled by the author’s failure to recognize that scientific validation originates in our understanding of natural laws, such that scientific validation is both prior-and-post to scientific verification which *is* (of course) susceptible to statistical analysis.

        So try again, KDL!   :)   :)   :)

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        Steve Milesworthy: I think he was making this relatively trite point to undermine David Wojick’s implication that somehow building basic physics into the model is just not cricket.

        I don’t think that is it. What may be false, though “cricket”, is to limit the model to a subset of the basic physics. For example, to omit mention of the non-radiative mechanisms of heat transfer, or to restrict analysis to the approximate equilibrium cases, or to restrict attention to “adiabatic” approximations.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        Steve Milesworthy: So presumably you would only get the necessary increased cloudiness if you “build it into” the models as David Wojick might say.

        In order for the model to predict cloudiness, some mechanism by which the warmth predicts the increased cloudiness has to be built in to the model. On that we agree. Then the measured response of cloudiness to temperature change (or CO2 change) tests whether the “possibility” of increased cloudiness, represented in the model, remains viable in light of evidence.

        I think that Steven Mosher rules out a priori any model that has increased cloudiness built in. That is, he excludes it from the class of possibilities to be considered.

      • David Springer

        You ought to clam up on the physics, Steve. I think you’ve got some talent for actuarial science but physics not so much. The only energy input of any significance is the sun. That’s where the Watts come from. GHGs are like putting on a sweater. They can only retain heat that is generated elsewhere. And the surface temperature that “must rise” can be the surface of the clouds instead of the land or water below them.

      • I think I’ve never heard so loud
        The quiet message in a cloud.
        ======================

      • “More watts in?”

        From where?

        (Obviously only from the sun – not from CO2.)

        But how about the incoming energy from the sun that is reflected back out into space by clouds (i.e. the “watts” from the sun that never make it to the surface of the Earth to cause warming)?

        Spencer + Braswell 2007 showed, based on CERES satellite observations, that the NET feedback from clouds with surface warming was strongly negative, IOW that the net increase in SW reflection from increased clouds with warming exceeded the added LW absorption from clouds.

        These observations are in direct contrast with earlier IPCC AR4 model-based estimates of a strong positive feedback from clouds with warming.

        IOW it appears that clouds act “as a natural thermostat” (as Kevin Trenberth concluded in a recent interview regarding the unexplained “missing energy” he had referred to as a “travesty”).

        Max

  14. I am sorry, but maybe I am just too simpleminded. The only way to validate any model is to have it predict the future in an unambiguous way, and then get the observed data to see whether the prediction was correct. You do this a sufficient number of times so that any apparent valid projection could not have occurred by chance. Until this is done, we can never actually validate any model.

    We see the problem with Hansen’s predictions which are obviously so weasel worded that people like Steven Mosher can say, when it seems clear that the predictions did not come true, that what Hansen seemed to have said was not actually what he said, and his predictions were completely correct.. The sort of predicitons which we need are like Smith et al Science August 2007. This prediction was clear, unambiguous, and on a sufficiently short time frame that we will know whether it was right at the end of 2014. But we need many more than one such prediciton. If Smith et al turn out to be wrong, then we know the models cannot be made valid by hindcasting. But if the prediction is correct, it could still have occurred by chance.

    • You are way overrating the consequence of a decadal forecast being wrong.

      • JCH you write “You are way overrating the consequence of a decadal forecast being wrong.”

        Why? I am looking at a peer reviewed study that claimed it had validated iit’s model for future forecasting by hindcasting the data. It then used theodel to forecast the future. It claimed that this forecast was valid for the time period considered; namely one decade. So, if the forecast turns out to be wrong, it seems to me that this proves that using hindcasting to “validate” a model is proved to be wrong. Why is this overrating the paper?

      • Steve Milesworthy

        The only way to validate any model is to have it predict the future in an unambiguous way

        So if the rain comes an hour later or earlier than the forecast predicted it the forecast model is invalidated? Not untrue if your validation demands perfection (eg. the Queen is having tea with the US President on the lawn at 2pm when the rain arrives). But untrue (in my view) if your model system tends to reliably predict rain to a certain level of precision.

        The Smith et al paper promises only substantially improved skill by its attempt to predict “internal variability” – certainly it’s prediction is closer to reality than the ensemble mean of IPCC projections.

        The observations are still just within the 90% envelope given by the forecast so technically it has not failed. That most certainly doesn’t rule out some unknown unknowns that have caused the model to go wrong, but it also doesn’t rule out some known unknowns, such as the effects of the weaker solar cycle, differences in emission rates of cooling aerosols.

        So we’re some way off from scrapping the model, but if you don’t put your predictions out there for critical assessment you will probably never improve them, and you won’t have an incentive to continue to tackle the uncertainties.

      • It’s decadal. Described as difficult to impossible to pull off. It’s one of the first attempts. If it’s wrong they will figure out reasons why and go again. And they will ignore you because you are unreasonable and obstinate.

        Smith et al correctly predicted natural variation would swamp the AGW signal in the years up to ~2010. They appear to be correct. Was it skill or was it luck? On the only temperature series that measures the temperature of the planet, they remain in position to be correct about the planet. On the region of the planet covered by HadCrut3, not so much.

      • Thank you steve and JCH. A few points. Smith el al, quite properly, put probability limits on their predictions. This should be true for all predictions. If the observations fall outside the probability range, then the forecast fails.

        It is quite true we dont know, yet, whether Smith el al are correct. We will not know until toward the end of 2014. What we do know is that while Smith el al forecast the return to CAGW would occur around 2010, Keenleyside el al said this would not happen until 2015. Both of them cannot be correct.

        Yes, we will have to wait until 2014 becfore we can make a judgement. I just want to make sure Smith et al is not carefully forgotten before that time. I am sure the proponents of CAGW will have all sorts of wonderful reasons why the forecast was in fact correct, whether it was or not. The religion of CAGW cannot afford to have this sort of prediction NOT be correct.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        Jim,

        The fact that the British government have invested an extra several million in resources for seasonal forecasting will ensure that seasonal and decadal forecasting in the UK will remain in the forefront of many people’s minds. I don’t think you need to worry about it being forgotton if temperatures stubbornly refuse to rise! My impression is that Smith et al is regarded as a better attempt than Keenleyside et al, but that could be because it was easy to see that all of Keenleyside’s hindcasts were biased cool in their early years.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        JCH: You are way overrating the consequence of a decadal forecast being wrong.

        The climate (at least as it is measured) has too much random variability for an incorrect decadal forecast to be statistically significant. If the disparity between the forecast and the measured record continues to grow at about the same average rate through 2050, then we’ll be on good ground for concluding that it won’t be accurate enough for 2100.

  15. Judith Curry

    Thanks for an insightful and interesting post.

    Climate science is a “hairy” topic.

    Philosophy is “hairy-fairy”.

    I prefer things that are more fact-based.

    As you point ou, the “possibilistic approach” you propose can only work if the input assumptions and their remoteness can be quantified objectively.

    GIGO climate model projections, such as an extreme 2 to 11K climate sensitivity range, remain GIGO, no matter how they are analyzed.

    The past 150 years have shown us that the observed temperature rise was around 0.7 degrees C.

    Over that period, CO2 rose from an estimated 280 ppmv to a measured 392 ppmv.

    We know from solar studies that solar activity during the 20th century reach a highest level in several thousand years (and is now on the decline).

    IPCC tells us that forcings from other anthropogenic factors (minor GHGs, aerosols, etc.) cancelled each other out.

    So we can estimate that the observations would lead to an observed 2xCO2 climate response of between 0.8 and 1.4 degC.

    Let’s go along with Hansen’s circular “in the pipeline” logic and assume that up to half of the GH warming is still “hidden in the pipeline” (where we are unable to see or measure it). [Talk about “hairy-fairy”!]

    Even then we end up with a range of 0.8 to 2.8 degreesC, NOT the totally absurd 2 to 11 degrees C.

    You point out that the real threat “arises when we do not make sure that possibilities being considered are real possibilities”.

    That’s what I just pointed out (WITHOUT resorting to “philosophy”).

    Max

    • I don’t know what’s sadder; that you are trying to overthrow climate science with third-grade math or that you got the math wrong.

      So we can estimate that the observations would lead to an observed 2xCO2 climate response of between 0.8 and 1.4 degC. . .

      Let’s . . . assume that up to half of the GH warming is still “hidden in the pipeline” . . .

      Even then we end up with a range of 0.8 to 2.8 degreesC, NOT the totally absurd 2 to 11 degrees C.

      • Robert

        Sorry, but that’s what the physical observations and the math show.

        If you are unable to confirm this for yourself, let me know and I’ll do it for you.

        Max

    • Max, you write “IPCC tells us that forcings from other anthropogenic factors (minor GHGs, aerosols, etc.) cancelled each other out.”

      Most of what you have written makes complete sense. I just dont like you quoting the IPCC as if what they say is valid. It is not. The effects of random noise do not cancel out unless the time constants of the nosie are short compared with the time over which the observation is being made. Since we have no idea of what these time constants are, we cannot know whether they cancel each other out.

      But you are absolutley correct is pointing out that the ONLY valid way of arriving at what the climate sensitivity of CO2 actually is, is to calculate the value from the observed data. The hypothetical estimations are completely meaningless.

      • Jim Cripwell

        I agree with you that there may not be any sound empirical evidence to support the IPCC model-based estimate in AR4 that all other anthropogenic forcings beside CO2 cancelled one another out.

        I accepted this assumption at face value in order to simplify the CO2 to temperature effect. Had I assumed that there was no net negative forcing from human aerosols over this long period, the CO2 climate sensitivity would have come out even lower.

        The other IPCC assumption was that solar (natural) forcing was only 7% of the total. Here IPCC concedes that its “level of scientific understanding” of solar forcing is “low”, so I have checked other sources. Several solar studies agree that around half of the warming (not 7%) can be attributed to the unusually high level of 20th century solar activity.

        So, using the 7% to 50% range for solar impact with the balance from CO2 forcing and the observed changes in CO2 and global temperature, I arrived at the 0.8C to 1.4C 2xCO2 temperature response.

        Using Hansen’s circular “hidden in the pipeline” logic to arrive at the upper end of a climate sensitivity range, I came up with a range of 0.8 to 2.8 degrees C.

        I agree with you that there are already a lot of dicey assumptions required in order to reach an upper climate sensitivity limit of 2.8 degC.

        But it could be considered as an upper limit of the range.

        An upper limit of 11 degC (as Judith mentioned) is obviously a result of GIGO climate model projections and should be discarded as such.

        Max

      • Thanks Max, we agree.

      • “I can give you links to the “several solar studies” which agree that around half of the warming can be attributed to the unusually high level of 20th century solar activity.”

        You’re right to put “studies” in quotation marks. What garbage.

        Please, link to that trash . . . it’s good to laugh. At the end of the day, the reality is still going to be 7% +/- a few percent. And incidentally, you’ve admitted you were lying when you attacked Hansen’s math . . . since the way you came to a different number was by pretending the solar forcing was seven times too large.

      • “So, using the 7% to 50% range for solar impact with the balance from CO2 forcing and the observed changes in CO2 and global temperature, I arrived at the 0.8C to 1.4C 2xCO2 temperature response.”

        In other words, you exaggerated the solar forcing by a factor of five, using the excuse that it was uncertain. You did not, however, follow the logic out, and consider the possibility of a negative solar forcing, along the lines of 7% +/- 43%.

        Another very basic mistake on your part.

        “But it could be considered as an upper limit of the range.”

        Nope.

      • By a factor of seven, excuse me.

      • Robert – In case you’re interested in understanding Max’s approach to accountability:

        http://judithcurry.com/2012/08/11/week-in-review-81112/#comment-228259

      • Robert

        You must learn to do a better job of reading before you post.

        I can give you links to the “several solar studies” which agree that around half of the warming can be attributed to the unusually high level of 20th century solar activity.

        From these and from IPCC’s estimate of only 7%, which it concedes is based an a “low level of scientific understanding” of “solar (natural) forcing”, I got the range of CO2 temperature response.

        Got it?

        It’s really not that complicated if you read what is written before shooting off a silly response.

        Max

      • Max:

        You must learn to do a better job of reading before you post.

        http://judithcurry.com/2012/08/11/week-in-review-81112/#comment-228259

      • Steven Mosher

        there is no secular trend in TSI.

    • Hansen’s circular “in the pipeline” logic and assume that up to half of the GH warming is still “hidden in the pipeline” (where we are unable to see or measure it). [Talk about “hairy-fairy”!]

      If you don’t believe warming can be “in the pipeline” (which is moronic, but you’re a moron, so let’s proceed) climate sensitivity is very easy to calculate:

      Warming since 1980: 0.6C
      Change in CO2 forcing since 1980: 5.35 * ln(392/340) = 0.75 W/m^2

      (+0.6C) * (3.7/0.75) = 2.96 C/doubling

      Wow, I just used your own unrealistic assumptions to derive a climate sensitivity of 3C. Perhaps you need more practice working through the logical consequences of your own arguments . . . maybe some training in logic . . . perhaps a philosophy class?

      • Robert

        You are falling into the “short term” trap.

        It makes you look like “the moron”.

        My longer-term look (using data from 1850 and including Hansen’s circular “hidden in the pipeline” logic for the upper end) comes out at 0.8 to 2.8 degC.

        As I point out to Jim Cripwell, the upper range is based on some dicey assumptions backed by circular logic and low level of scientific understanding, but I showed it anyway as an upper limit, which could be considered in Judith’s “posibilistic” approach.

        Got it? (Or are you the “moron”?)

        Max.

      • “You are falling into the “short term” trap.”

        Nope. I’m taking an assumption I describe as moronic and showing some of the conclusions that follow from it.

        “My longer-term look”

        If there is no warming “in the pipeline” then there is no need for a longer-term look. If there is, then your method fails completely. So: 3C, or you’re just completely wrong. Those are the logical possibilities.

      • Robert

        Sorry. You have not proven anything except that the “moron” label might fit for you.

        The figures/observations still show that a CS of 0.8 to 2.8 degC seems to be a reasonable range and that the 2 to 11 degC range cited in our host’s post is simply a GIGO climate model projection.

        Max

      • Sorry, little moron, but you’ve just proved you don’t understand your own argument.

        You lose, little moron! Thanks for playing!

        :):):):):):):):)

      • Just like Manacker is confused by where half of the CO2 is going, he is also confused by where the excess heat is going.

        Heat diffuses just as CO2 diffuses.
        A deep heat sink is exactly the same in diffusive terms as a deep sequestering site for CO2.
        The math is very similar between the two.
        For heat diffusion, one uses the heat equation. Normalizing the diffusion coefficient, it looks like this:
        \frac{\partial f(x,t)}{\partial t} = \frac{1}{2} \frac{\partial^2 f(x,t)}{\partial x^2}
        For uncharged particle diffusion w/o forces, one used the Fokker-Planck master equation minus the drift term. Normalizing the diffusion coefficient to unity, it looks like this:
        \frac{\partial f(x,t)}{\partial t} = \frac{1}{2} \frac{\partial^2 f(x,t)}{\partial x^2}

        The detailed science behind many of these phenomena is reserved for scientists that know what they are doing. Hansen has used this concept since 1981, as far as I can tell. From my perspective, it looks like he knows what he is doing.

        I also understand why and how a heat sink works on a PC — obviously so that the excess heat doesn’t burn up your computer’s CPU. Manacker doesn’t understand this concept, and prefers to wax philosophically about where the excess heat is going.

        This is all conventional science describing natural physical phenomena . I may sound harsh, but that’s the way it works. If you don’t follow, then you flunk the course. Ask Curry how this works, as I bet she has had to flunk a few.

      • wht,
        “For uncharged particle diffusion w/o forces….”
        You mean perhaps without gravity which causes particulates in a “sink’ to, well, sink?

        And “an uncharged particle” doesn’t apply to a lot of things in the ocean, certainly not CO2 which is present as carbonate or bicarbonate anions.

      • “Michael Hart | August 14, 2012 at 10:25 am |

        wht,
        “For uncharged particle diffusion w/o forces….”
        You mean perhaps without gravity which causes particulates in a “sink’ to, well, sink?

        And “an uncharged particle” doesn’t apply to a lot of things in the ocean, certainly not CO2 which is present as carbonate or bicarbonate anions.”

        In science and engineering you have “sources” and “sinks”. A heat sink absorbs the excess heat.

        I didn’t add the drift term in the Fokker-Planck equation because the force (an electric field for charged particles and gravity for particles with mass) is pretty much non-existent. Heat does not have charge and has no mass. CO2 does not have an electric field forcing it anywhere. One can say that convection currents can carry the heat and dissolved CO2, but eddy diffusion is the main factor and subsumes convection.

        Retaining only the diffusion term is a perfectly acceptable approximation, which.is what Hansen did 30 years ago.

        BTW: What a retarded little Fokker you are.

      • WebHubTelescope | August 15, 2012 at 1:54 am | “Michael Hart | August 14, 2012 at 10:25 am |

        wht,
        “For uncharged particle diffusion w/o forces….”
        You mean perhaps without gravity which causes particulates in a “sink’ to, well, sink?

        And “an uncharged particle” doesn’t apply to a lot of things in the ocean, certainly not CO2 which is present as carbonate or bicarbonate anions.”

        In science and engineering you have “sources” and “sinks”. A heat sink absorbs the excess heat.

        ======

        In science and engineering we have properties and processes.

        For example: Carbon dioxide is fully part of the Water Cycle which cools the Earth around 52°C to bring temps down to 15°C, think deserts, which means that carbon dioxide has the same mean residence time in the atmosphere as water, 8-10 days, in rain – all pure clean rain is carbonic acid.

        For example: carbon dioxide is heavier than the heavy voluminous fluid gas which is our atmosphere, subject to gravity carbon dioxide will always sink to the Earth’s surface if no work is done to change this, it does not readily rise in air.

        Therefore: carbon dioxide cannot accumulate in the atmosphere.

      • Myrhh is scary delusional. I didn’t this was common much past the 16th century. Maybe too much frankincense in his bong.

      • Arfur Bryant

        Robert,

        [“If you don’t believe warming can be “in the pipeline” (which is moronic, but you’re a moron, so let’s proceed)…”]

        This is a polite question:

        Why do you say it is moronic to disbelieve the “in the pipeline” warming? Do you have any real (non-modelled) evidence to support such a belief?

        If so, where is the evidence?

        Thanks in anticipation.

      • “Why do you say it is moronic to disbelieve the “in the pipeline” warming?”

        Because to hold that (dis)belief you have to be not only scientifically ignorant, but profoundly lacking in common sense.

        “Do you have any real (non-modelled) evidence to support such a belief?”

        Yes.

        “If so, where is the evidence?”

        Any undergraduate course in climate science.

        “Thanks in anticipation.”

        Glad I could help.

      • Arfur Bryant

        Robert,

        Take a look at yourself dude. I asked a polite question which you have not only refused to answer (by not providing evidence) but have managed to infer I am scientifically ignorant, something you could not possibly know.

        You mentioned common sense. Would you not agree that common sense would dictate that an inferred (or hypothesised, if you prefer) “pipeline warming” has had well over two centuries to show some sign of existence (the IPCC states that 1750 was the start of anthropogenic emissions). If there was “pipeline warming”, the warming should be increasing at an accelerative rate. In order to speak with any sort of scientific authority about said warming, you will have to produce evidence. Telling me to do an undergraduate course is a cop out. Either produce some real evidence or retract your remark.

        Oh, and by the way, you weren’t any help, and you won’t be unless you can provide something to back up your opinion.

        At least Steve Milesworthy was polite (see below).

      • I asked a polite question which you have not only refused to answer (by not providing evidence) but have managed to infer I am scientifically ignorant, something you could not possibly know.

        Ah, but there’s the rub. If you do not, in fact, believe that there is warming in the pipeline, you could simply state that, and say why you believe that.

        If you are not scientifically ignorant, you are aware of the argument you are asking me for, aware that it is widely accepted by the scientifically literate, and that the burden of proof fails on you to cast doubt on this element of a well-established scientific theory.

        Hence, your question is fundamentally insincere. You want to challenge this aspect of climate, but you do not want to be put to the trouble of formulating an argument and supporting it with evidence. So you ask me to teach you this basic science — without, I might add, offering any compensation — but not because your intention is the learn, but rather to shift the burden of proof away from your challenge to the science.

        This form of “weaponized ignorance” is incredibly common. Some people will play along with you, but unless I am in a very, very generous mood, I prefer not to.

        Let me lay out for you what I think is an honest way of engaging on this question, one that would get a more data-driven response from me:

        Actual Skeptic: I’m aware that climate scientists think there is warming in the pipeline. Their argument, as I understand it, is “x, y, z.”

        Actual Skeptic: I think that argument is dubious, because of “a, b, c.”

        Actual Skeptic: If you are still convinced there is warming in the pipeline, how do you respond to “a, b, c.”

        If you are not scientifically ignorant, you should be able to summarize the state of the science now and explain where and why you disagree. If you pretend to be ignorant of the science in order to avoid the burden of articulating and supporting your own ideas, I will always take you at your word and treat you as ignorant. And this goes for anyone who deploys that “I don’t know of any evidence” crap. Rob, I’m looking at you.

      • Nicely done, Robert.

      • “Nicely done Robert?”

        Are you serious?

        Robert,
        Take away all the “I-just-want-to-win-the-tangential-argument-that-I’m-inventing-because-I-have-actually-no-idea-how-I-can-answer-the-SIMPLE-question-without-making-myself-look-like-a-complete-buffoon.” diatribe and all you are left with is an inability to defend your own position.

        I’m not interested in hand-waving gobbledeygook about what you feel about me; I’m interested in you answering the simple question.
        “What evidence do you have that the “pipeline warming” actually exists?”

        Stop playing silly games and either answer the question or retract the asinine insinuation that someone who disbelieves in “pipeline warming” is a moron.

      • Arfur –

        I could do without Robert’s personalizing – but I think his point is valid.

        IMO, the better way for you to frame your question would be for your to state what the theory is, which parts you disagree with and why, and ask for counterarguments.

        Why don’t you just humor Robert, and go with that? Either he’ll be able to respond or not. If he can’t respond, then there will be no way for him to legitimately avoid that he’s failed your challenge.

      • Joshua,

        Robert’s personality-driven argument is irrelevant to the question. IMO opinion it simply shows he is incapable of carrying out a rational discussion.

        Thank you for your input. I agree that your, had I wanted to discuss a certain theory, I should re-phrase the question. However, the question I asked initially is perfectly valid.

        Robert stated: [“If you don’t believe warming can be “in the pipeline” (which is moronic, but you’re a moron, so let’s proceed)…”]

        I merely asked him to provide evidence of his assertion that [disbelief = moron]. That’s all. There was no hidden agenda. The fact that I may not agree with him is irrelevant to the question. It is a very simple question and, as Robert made the original statement, it is fair that he should be asked to back up his assertion. No deflection of the exchange is required or invited.

        Either he provides evidence to back his assertion up, or he retracts the ad hominem.

        Simples.

        ps, I may not be able to answer for about 8 hours or so as I have to go to work…

        Again, thanks for your input.

      • Joshua,

        Sorry, typo. Second paragraph, second sentence should read “I agree that, had I wanted…”

      • Arfur,

        Actually, I hadn’t read from the beginning of the kerfuffle. So I was missing context. I only jumped in at the level to which I responded – and in that I think that Robert was capturing a problematic dynamic that I often see in these debates – what he describes as weaponized ignorance.

        Reading the full context, I have gained some sympathy for your position relative to his.

        Why do you say it is moronic to disbelieve the “in the pipeline” warming? Do you have any real (non-modelled) evidence to support such a belief?

        I think that “burden of proof” arguments in blog debates are mostly just games of confirmation bias (each side says the other side has a burden of proof to avoid having to make their own arguments legitimate) – but in this case, in one sense, I think he does hold the “burden of proof” for his statement.

        In another sense, I think that there may be some truth that your question is insincere? The way that I read your question there is that you are familiar with the theory and think that the evidence in support is invalid. It seems that you are using a gambit here. I think that rather than entering into the “moron” debate with Robert, you’d be better to state your critique of the theory and see if he takes up that challenge. It seems to me that’s where you want to head – why put obstacles in the way or set up options for detours? Just to be clear, I agree it isn’t your responsibility if Robert throws out the moron challenge.

      • Joshua
        “In another sense, I think that there may be some truth that your question is insincere?”

        Insincere question.
        What could be a Insincere question?
        Asking what seems like a simple question?

        The heat hiding in the ocean seems pretty silly.
        But ignoring the ocean is the first place, sets the stage
        for such silliness.
        It’s laziness- if the task to resolve the issue
        of global warming.

        If the task is silliness, why not say the heat could have lost melting all that glacial ice?

        In a warming world, most would assume ice melts and oceans warm.

        So what is missing is Hansen didn’t choose to include these factors- in other words Hansen was *way out line* talking about earth becoming Venus like, because he failed to include basically all factors which were relevant.
        Insincere question: something making it clear that Hansen’s modeling [and all modeling done all the climate geniuses to present] is not a comprehensive model of global climate.

        But that is already a given, and why rub noses in it?

        Hence the case of the insincere question?

      • Vaughan Pratt

        If you wish to discuss the 2005 Hansen et al. “hidden in the pipeline” paper, the I suggest you READ it first.

        Hansen’s logic is as I explained it above.

        It is “circular”, as I pointed out.

        His “arithmetic” is sloppy as well, but that is a minor point.

        Max

      • Arfur Bryant

        Joshua,

        [“Actually, I hadn’t read from the beginning of the kerfuffle. So I was missing context. I only jumped in at the level to which I responded – and in that I think that Robert was capturing a problematic dynamic that I often see in these debates – what he describes as weaponized ignorance.
        Reading the full context, I have gained some sympathy for your position relative to his.”]

        Thank you for having the good grace and integrity to admit that. I would do the same myself, so I appreciate the honesty.

        [“In another sense, I think that there may be some truth that your question is insincere?”]

        I can understand how you could come to that conclusion, and I’m afraid that is the way of the climate blog world! However, I can assure you that, although I am sceptical of cAGW by nature, if someone can provide suitable evidence to support their standpoint, I would welcome the chance to find out whether my scepticism is justified. Hence, there is no point in having a hidden agenda when seeking an answer. “Weaponized ignorance” is a very good term (I like it!) in some cases but, in this case, any ignorance I may have is not being used as a weapon. Why would I, if I genuinely do not know if the requested evidence exists? It would be ‘self defeating ignorance’ to ask such a question as a weapon, as the production of evidence will make me look even more ignorant!

        I have simply never seen any ‘real’ evidence to support the idea of “pipeline warming”. I may have missed it, or forgotten it for some reason, but I ca’t think of any. Which is why the straightforward production of ‘yer actual evidence’ from Robert would have been met with either “Thanks for that Robert” or, possibly, an argument against the evidence because it was not empirical. Whatever.

        Finally, as to discussing with Robert the validity of any theory, that was not the reason for the question. I’m not really into deflecting the point of debate. I saw his statement and simply queried the validity of it, that’s all.

        I repeat, Joshua, thank you for discussing in a mature and honest fashion.

        Regards,

        Arfur

      • However, I can assure you that, although I am sceptical of cAGW by nature, if someone can provide suitable evidence to support their standpoint, I would welcome the chance to find out whether my scepticism is justified.

        It is your responsibility to understand what you are skeptical about, not mine to convince of something you have never bothered to learn.

        I have simply never seen any ‘real’ evidence to support the idea of “pipeline warming”.

        If you have not seen any evidence, then I advise you to study the science. If by claiming you have not seen any “real” evidence, you mean you are familiar with at least some of the evidence but disagree with the science, then you should explain exactly what you disagree with and why. That’s your argument to make, and your burden to meet.

        I’m not interested in hand-waving gobbledeygook about what you feel about me; I’m interested in you answering the simple question.

        Oh, Arty, you got whipped good. You’re out on your feet.

        The simple question is: what is the non-“real” evidence you’re referring to? What is your argument that the scientists are wrong about warming in the pipeline?

        Stop playing silly games and either answer the question or retract the asinine insinuation that someone who disbelieves in “pipeline warming” is a moron.

        Actually, you misquoted me. I said the belief was “moronic,” not that all that held it were morons. You are, obviously, but it’s not necessarily universal.

        So explain to me why I should teach you science. Especially when you won’t explain why you don’t think the evidence presented for pipeline warming is “real” (or maybe saw the real evidence and you’ve forgotten it; you aren’t sure.)

      • Robert,

        [“It is your responsibility to understand what you are skeptical about, not mine to convince of something you have never bothered to learn.”]

        So… no actual evidence to support your statement then.

        [“Oh, Arty, you got whipped good. You’re out on your feet.”]

        Thank you, Robert, for giving me the opportunity to practice the virtues of patience and tolerance.

        Good day to you.

      • “So… no actual evidence to support your statement then.”

        Arty, it’s not my responsibility to support your outlandish claims.

        You claimed there was no evidence (or no “real” evidence) for warming in the pipeline.

        You couldn’t prove that. You were too afraid to even try. Hence we’re left with the science as it was before you embarked on your evidence-free rant.

        You’ve failed to support your claims with evidence, and lost every point.

        Come back soon, an easy target is always welcome. :)

      • ““Nicely done Robert?”

        Are you serious?”

        Serious as a heart attack. I should add, Nice Job, Robert.

        Grade: A

      • BTW, I don’t think Arfur understands the principle of a heat sink.

        He should try detaching the heat sink and fan from his computer’s CPU and see how much longer he can keep typing his ridiculous comments before his PC dies on him.
        ha ha.

      • Arthur Bryant and Robert

        Not to get embroiled in your exchange, but if one reads the Hansen et al. “hidden in the pipeline” paper it becomes clear that it is based on circular logic, to simplify:

        Hansen’s models tell him that he should have seen a GH warming since 1880 of X, yet we have only seen around 0.5X.

        Therefore he concludes NOT that his model was wrong, but that the balance (0.5X) must still be “hidden in the pipeline” somewhere.

        His arithmetic is also a bit sloppy, but that is a secondary problem.

        Max

      • manacker in = manacker out

        You don’t understand your own argument — it’s no surprise your critique of Hansen is worthless!

        I’m sorry to be blunt, but you’re just too ignorant and stupid to grapple with Hansen, and your laughable misreading of him underscores that.

      • Arfur Bryant

        Manacker,

        Don’t worry about getting embroiled – it seems to be catching!

        There is no logic to “pipeline warming” without some evidence. Its about as naff as the “oil tanker analogy”… :)

      • Vaughan Pratt

        Hansen’s models tell him that he should have seen a GH warming since 1880 of X, yet we have only seen around 0.5X.

        Huh? Why would you suppose Hansen’s “pipeline” entails a delay of any more than 15 years, Max? 1880 was 132 years ago, where did Hansen mention any delay remotely that long?

        Or haven’t you noticed that rapidly rising CO2 is a relatively recent phenomenon that in 1880 was still a century away from having even the small impact of 1980-2010, let alone the coming crushing impact during the 21st century?

      • @Vaughan Pratt

        (reposted in the right sequence)

        If you wish to discuss the 2005 Hansen et al. “hidden in the pipeline” paper, the I suggest you READ it first.

        Hansen’s logic is as I explained it above.

        It is “circular”, as I pointed out.

        His “arithmetic” is sloppy as well, but that is a minor point.

        Max

      • 2005 paper? You really have to read Hansen’s 1981 paper first. The concept of a ocean heat sink hasn’t changed for 30 years.

      • JCH
        Yes, the oceans are large and very cool at depth. Do you agree that we have very poor information on heat exchange from the surface of the oceans to the ocean’s depths and that the idea of heat in the pipeline is only a theory? It is just as possible that the heat is effectively lost in the actual system.

      • Absolutely not. The warming/cooling in the pipeline is essentially our earth system interacting with future sunlight. There is nothing hidden about it.

        There is this notion that “warming in the pipeline” is hidden somewhere in the earth’s system. It’s not. Not in the land, not in the sky, not in the water. Not here. Not anywhere here.

        Future weather is in the oceans, and it will have its temporary influences up and down on SAT.

      • Vaughan Pratt

        No one seems to be disputing that the surface temperature rose substantially between 1970 and now. What I understand JCH to be arguing is that the ocean is the heater. The opposite position would be that the ocean is the heatsink preventing the warming from being even greater.

        If the ocean is the heater then JCH is right about no pipeline.

        But if the ocean is the heatsink then it’s going to work like a heatsink on a CPU when there’s no fan. At first most of the CPU heat is soaked up by the heatsink, but after some time the heatsink warms up and stops doing its job so well.

        The pipeline theory is that ocean is not the heater but the heatsink, and that in due course it has to warm up, at which point the surface temperature won’t be held in check so effectively and that will have to go up some more. That in a nutshell is the pipeline.

        JCH may be right that the ocean is the heater, though I believe that among climate scientists this is a distinctly minority opinion.

      • Vaughan

        You wrote what seems to be an overly simplistic comparison of the oceans to a heat sink to the point of being misleading. The oceans would be an exceptionally large heat sink that has the ability to continuously re-cool. Circulating water from the surface to depths where it is heated by the sun to depths of over 1000 M where it is pretty close to 4 C. Are you trying to suggest that the water temperature at over 1000 M will increase to over 4 C due to AWG? This is an interesting issue. The deep oceans seem to logically overwhelm any surface heating.

      • Vaughan Pratt

        Rob, you’re reading things into my comment that I did not say. Just as we don’t have to know how the heat is distributed in a CPU heatsink (which is far from uniform) in order to know that the heatsink can’t cool the CPU forever, we don’t have to know how the heat is distributed in the ocean (which is also far from uniform) in order to know that the ocean can’t keep absorbing surface heat at a constant rate forever without itself heating up.

        How long the ocean can function effectively as a heat sink is not something my comment addressed. It is however an excellent question that has been addressed by a score or more of theoretical ocean models.

        I’m not convinced that we can learn much from such models because it’s very hard to do. A better approach in my view is to look at the Argo data and try to infer the extent to which the oceans can delay global warming.

        My own approach is to look not at the ocean itself but at the HADCRUT temperature, from which I estimate that the oceans delay global warming by a little under 15 years. I’m looking forward to seeing how this stacks up against estimates of this delay based on the Argo data.

        But let’s look at the question theoretically anyway, my misgivings about doing so notwithstanding. It seems to me that the ocean heat content is not relevant to this question, nor is the temperature profile itself since its basic shape is unlikely to change, but rather how that profile responds to warming. You presumably know that the profile goes more or less straight down for a couple hundred meters then at what I’ll call “corner 1″ jogs sideways (to the left in the usual depiction) for the next kilometer down (the thermocline) to around 4 C and then at “corner 2″ reverts to going almost straight down again into the deep ocean, getting slightly cooler but also more saline with each further km of depth.

        Assuming this basic shape remains unchanged, and that the 4 C portion doesn’t change, the curve has three fundamental degrees of freedom in responding to warming:

        1. “Corner 1″ can move right. This corresponds to the surface layer warming (fixed volume of water with temperature increasing).

        2. “Corner 1″ can move down. This corresponds to the surface layer becoming deeper (increasing volume of water with fixed temperature, making the thermocline shallower as depicted).

        3. “Corner 2″ can move down. Similar effect to 2 except that the thermocline becomes steeper as depicted.

        If 2 and 3 both happen then the thermocline retains its slope as the surface layer grows larger (i.e. deeper). If all three happen then the surface layer increases in both volume and temperature.

        Not being a theoretical hydrologist myself I don’t have any thoughts on which of of 1-3 are more likely. If you do I’m all ears.

        None of the concerns you raise rule out any of these three possibilities, which don’t involve any changes at all to the deep ocean. Such changes could happen, which would be a fourth degree of freedom, namely “corner 2″ moving right, corresponding to the deep ocean warming. Even a 0.1 C warming of the deep ocean would profoundly increase ocean heat content, but already the first three possibilities (and their combinations) are a lot for a model to try to predict correctly. That’s why I’d prefer to look at the Argo data rather than try to play favorites with ocean models.

        Note that using HADCRUT without ocean data involves no commitment to any of these profile changes since it is a direct measurement of the delay itself however caused (which moreover need not be 100% ocean).

      • Vaughan Pratt – in terms of 2100, I actually believe the opposite. I think the energy in the oceans can cause weather – natural variation, but it can neither warm nor cool the climate in any long term way because they’re cycles – what they add they eventually take away; what they take away they eventually put back. Pedal the cycles long enough, their tires will always be flat .

        And it very much confuses the issue of the pipeline. Once energy is stored in the ocean it is a part of the earth’s system: its tank, and it most definitely is not in the pipeline. The pipeline brings sunlight, and the existent earth system will determine whether it replaces lost heat, or fails to replace lost heat, or adds additional heat (which is what I think Hansen is calling warming in the pipeline.) Because we’ve changed the atmosphere, the energy brought with future sunlight will be less able to escape, so it will be stored here – an additional amount in the atmosphere and a large amount in the oceans. Weather will slosh it back and forth, which is why so many have allowed themselves to believe there has been no warming since 1998, which is total bullchit. On average, there is additional warming every day.

        When climate scientists say the heat will come back out of the oceans to haunt us, they should also add that cooling will come back out of the oceans to haunt them. Which is sort of what Tsonis and Swanson are saying. The weather is temporary. I don’t hang my hat on it.

        So from our perspective, depending on the makeup and physics of our atmosphere, I think the pipeline can deliver one of three things: cooling, equilibrium, warming.

      • Vaughan Pratt, “My own approach is to look not at the ocean itself but at the HADCRUT temperature, from which I estimate that the oceans delay global warming by a little under 15 years. I’m looking forward to seeing how this stacks up against estimates of this delay based on the Argo data.”

        HADSST2 versus RSS southern hemisphere using 2002 to 2010 baseline in approximate Wm-2 based on the ARGO ocean surface temperature.

        RSS NH versus SH same baseline and approximate Wm-2. During the first half, ~15years, the NH lagged SH in energy/temperature. In ~1995, the hemispheres appear to have become balanced. This coincides with the 1995 Stratosphere shift to neutral from cooling. The “~14.5 year lag” appears to be due to an internal oscillation, not GHE, IMHO

      • Vaughan Pratt

        We may be talking about different lags (easy to do since there are so many things that can lag each other). What I had in mind was the delay between CO2–induced global warming and the resulting rise in global temperature as indicated by HADCRUT. Changing from HADCRUT3 to HADCRUT4 slightly modified other estimates such as climate sensitivity and preindustrial (more specifically c. 1700) CO2, but not that delay, which stayed firmly at 14.5 years.

      • Vaughan, “We may be talking about different lags (easy to do since there are so many things that can lag each other). ” I don’t think so. Using UAH NH land versus Mauna Loa I was getting a very good “signature” of CO2 with the typical noise. When I compared the ocean extratropics and tropics I was seeing a ENSO harmonic with a shorter NH lag than SH lag with what looks like a reflected return complementary wave. 1998 pretty much looks like a rogue wave signature and 1995 had the weird precursor signature. Remember I am playing with the chaotic pattern recognition or super tea leaf reading if you prefer :) You should see the same thing comparing Fourier transforms of the extratropic and tropical oceans.

        That leads me to believe the NH CO2 was amplified by NH ocean lag of the SH oceans and land use. The two would look about the same, but the post 1995 coordination hints that the internal variability is the stronger signal. The major land use and black carbon impact in the NH starts around the time Khrushchev’s Virgin Lands Campaign went south with their version of the dust bowl.

        There are a lot of lags and variables, but the internal natural variability appears stronger than expected with much longer pseudo cycle periods, much like A. M. Selvam predicts.

      • Vaughan Pratt

        cd, let me define the lag I’m estimating at 14.5 years, which has nothing to do with chaos (as far as I know). But first let me set the context with the general methodology.

        I jointly fit a model of CO2 warming, “AGW,” and a model of ocean oscillations, “SAW,” to HADCRUT (3 or 4). But in place of the usual least-squares criterion for goodness of fit, aka minimizing the unexplained variance, I first low-pass-filter the unexplained portion (the residue after subtracting the two models from HADCRUT) and minimize its variance instead. Since the filtered residue has a far smaller variance than the unfiltered residue, I get a more sensitive test for the best fit—the high-frequency components of the unfiltered residue magnify the contribution to unexplained variance of the low-frequency components in a non-uniform way that makes it harder to estimate.

        So where does lag enter? Well, that’s one of three adjustable parameters in my AGW model, the other two being preindustrial CO2 and climate sensitivity. (CAGR of *anthropogenic* CO2 is also a parameter but I estimate that one using CO2 data from CDIAC data on land use changes and fossil fuel emissions and the Keeling curve from Mauna Loa, as a separate estimation task.)

        I model lag by the simple expedient of sliding the non-delayed AGW warming model right to represent delay. Sliding it right 15 years is equivalent to using CO2 from 15 years ago (around 360 ppmv) in a model with no delay.

        Exactly what physical delays are modeled in that way is a good question. I would imagine the time it takes for SST to respond to global warming is a big part of that, but I don’t have a precise answer.

        What I do have is a precise notion of the lag my model claims to measure, namely the best fit achievable by sliding AGW sideways.

        If the AGW model were a straight trend line, as would result by taking the log of an exponentially growing CO2 level, then all lags would yield exactly the same fit and lag in my sense could therefore not be measured even very approximately. But in the model I’m using, due to David Hofmann, CO2 doesn’t grow exponentially, but rather as the sum of a constant natural background level and an exponentially growing anthropogenic contribution. Taking the log of that gives a concave-upwards curve typified by y= ln(1 + exp(x)). Sliding *that* curve laterally gives varying goodnesses of fit, and the best fit then defines lag (along with the other parameters giving that fit).

        With no lag, observed climate sensitivity is around 2.1 C/doubling. With a lag of 14.5 years a slightly better fit is achieved, and the observed climate sensitivity then rises considerably, as one would expect, namely to around 2.8. The 14.5 number is robust at least to the extent that it doesn’t change at all when HADCRUT3 is upgraded to HADCRUT4, though climate sensitivity rises to 2.9.

      • Vaughan Pratt, Interesting on the 14.5 year lag. I don’t have a great deal of confidence in SST prior to 1960, but I do see a northern hemisphere lag that may be what you are seeing. But is that global response to CO2?

        I was playing around with scaling the volcanic forcing that BEST used just to see how much it impact it had on things. The Northern Hemisphere is much more sensitive to Volcanic forcing, probably because the Volcanoes where north of the equator. Using the 2002 to 2010 baseline because of my doubts in the SST record, I still don’t see a strong “global” CO2 signature. The way your model match HADCRU4 with a little higher sensitivity, I am still thinking land use amplification of CO2.

        I will look a little harder though.

      • Vaughan Pratt, Shifting CO2 by 14.5 years does produce a better fit with the global data, but with the Mauna Loa compared to RSS I don’t see a good reason to do that. With the land use flux, I do see the amplification though just as before. BTW, the Soviet Union land use data looks low to me, but there is an experiment in progress.

        http://neespi.org/web-content/meetings/Jena_March_2008/Day2_6_Belelli.pdf

      • Vaughan Pratt, here is a little better explanation why I don;t think shifting CO2 is the right move.

        Since you were focusing on the oceans, that is the HADSST2 plot with the Land Use Flux anomaly. The yellow is a trailing 15 year moving average. Without doing anything fancy you can see a lag correlation. The difference is that using the land use CO2 flux as a proxy, is that land use has a legitimate physical lag, Soil degrades, gets compacted, holds less moisture and over time has a larger warming impact and can have an initial cooling impact.

        Just my 2 cents

      • Vaughan Pratt

        cd, the CDIAC’s estimates of CO2 emissions from fossil fuel and cement production has reached 10 GtC/yr and is (somewhat) steadily climbing while that for land use changes has been hovering around 1.45 GtC and fluctuating. The year-to-year fluctuations of the latter are less than 0.1 GtC, whereas the former add another 0.3 to 0.4 GtC every year.

        These amounts are in the context of a current total of 800 GtC atmospheric carbon. (Conversion: 1 GtC equals 0.47 ppmv based on 5.14 petonnes of atmosphere, so today’s 394 ppmv equals 394/.47 = 840 GtC.) We are currently emitting 1/80 of this per year, of which nature appears to be absorbing about half into the biosphere, land, and oceans (which acidifies them).

        If climate sensitivity is less than 5 C per doubling of CO2 (I estimate 2.8-2.9 based on HADCRUT’s rise since 1850), you are not going to see any sign at all in the temperature record of year-to-year fluctuations of 0.1 GtC in CO2 as caused by land use changes. You need a much larger change over a much longer period. The only known contributor to atmospheric CO2 meeting those conditions is fossil fuel emissions.

        Since 1958, nothing beats direct observation of atmospheric CO2 for inferring its level. For all practical purposes the level is rising perfectly smoothly.

      • Vaughan Pratt, Yes, I know that the forcing due to land use increases in CO2 is small in comparison with fossil fuel Co2 emissions. I was using the land use CO2 flux as a rough proxy of land use impact which is primarily water resource changes, increased soil temperature and changes in the rate of energy storage and release. The land use impacts would be amplified by overall CO2 forcing.

        Admittedly, this is not a main stream consideration since the apparent impact is cooling based on satellite albedo estimates, but based on the conservation farming data, the change from conventional tillage to no-till has a large impact on soil temperature and moisture retention. Conventional tillage increases the length of the growing season by nearly a week and in high latitude farming, spreading peat dust, ash, compost and/or low albedo chemical sprays to melt spring snow can add weeks to the gerowing season. Surprisingly, one of the disadvantages of no-till farming is it reduces the length of the growing season by slowing soil warming too much in some regions.

      • Vaughan Pratt

        I was using the land use CO2 flux as a rough proxy of land use impact.

        Oh, I completely misunderstood where you were going with that.

        So would it be fair to say you’re reverse engineering the analyses that obtained the land use CO2 flux in order to recover the data on which they were based? (It has to be obtained that way since it’s not feasible to measure the flux itself directly—there’s no separate Keeling observatory for it.) If so that’s a creative labor-saving approach, though it has the downside that the results of the analysis lose a lot of the original information.

        If there were regional analyses each on a 5 x 5 degree grid you’d have a lot better basis for drawing conclusions about regions, but I’m not aware of such. What would be the point when CO2 diffuses too quickly within each hemisphere for regional estimates to be of much interest?

        One approach might be to contact the authors of the studies to see what data they’re willing to share with you. This might turn up more of the sort of information you’re hoping to extract from the land use CO2 flux.

      • Vaughan Pratt, “One approach might be to contact the authors of the studies to see what data they’re willing to share with you. This might turn up more of the sort of information you’re hoping to extract from the land use CO2 flux.” That looks well down the road. The model I am working on is an attempt to reverse engineer or reanalysis the data. The plot I made was just to show you that even the rough land use proxy using the CO2 flux estimate can produce close to the same lag you are seeing and attributing to CO2 forcing. That is not really an indication that land use “done it”, as much as, an indication that a longer term natural variability can make land use, CO2 forcing, commodities prices, solar cycles or anything influenced by a non-linear relationship with another system, look like it “done it”.

        V. A. Selvam has a lot of papers on the similarity of nonergodic systems, but not much on the why they are so similar. That requires a little less standard approach than currently used, which is what I am playing with.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        A more polite answer would be to say that shortwave radiation absorbed by the earth (so warming the earth) and longwave radiation emitted by the earth (so cooling the earth) are both being measured. Although there are uncertainties in these measurements, they suggest that the former is bigger than the larger, so warming is still ongoing. Eg.

        http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2009/2009JD012105.shtml

      • Or you could simply ask yourself how long it will take for the oceans to reach thermal equilibrium, since obviously until that point more warming is in the pipeline. Or you could ask yourself what it implies that the aerosols put out by volcanoes influence the climate for only a few years, while CO2’s residence time if measured in centuries. Or you could ask yourself if the ice sheets are in a state of equilibrium at present . . .

      • Arfur Bryant

        Steve,

        Thank you for your sensible reply.

        Please see my reply to Robert. If warming is ongoing, is it cumulative and, if so, why is it not accelerating?

        Regards,

      • Steve Milesworthy

        Arfur Bryant,

        If warming is ongoing, is it cumulative and, if so, why is it not accelerating?

        I think there are multiple sub-meanings of “in the pipeline”. Robert hinted on some of them. Maybe Robert can help me out with which of these he thinks is most likely. Assuming we accept at face value(*) that observations of an energy imbalance are correct, we know that definitely something needs to change to return the planet to balance, and that probably what needs to change is the surface and atmosphere have to get warmer (so it radiates more longwave radiation to space).

        The things that could be stopping the surface from getting warmer *could* be that: oceans are taking up some of the heat at a higher rate than expected; there are a larger amount of aerosol emissions than we think; there is a bigger impact from the low solar cycle; there are other forcing changes that we’re unaware of (stratospheric water vapour?).

        Whether the “warming in the pipeline” will accelerate soon depends on whether these processes are temporary or long term. If the aerosol levels are higher it’s temporary because aerosols don’t last for long in the atmosphere whereas CO2 does – eventually warming will accelerate (within a few years at the very least). If it is related to ocean heat uptake, then the impact *may* be more long term (lots of things affect the rate of ocean heat uptake – some will be short term and some long term).

        * I think the alternatives to taking the observations at face value are that one decides the observations of the imbalance are wrong, or are not the full picture (eg. the imbalance is less or is temporary). One would then require that the climate will somehow adjust to the additional CO2 forcing such that, for example, changes in clouds will cause the reflection of more solar radiation – a negative feedback.

      • Steve,

        Thank you for the post. There is a lot in there to digest!

        The total warming since ‘accurate records started” (IPCC) is less than 0.9 deg C. That is 161 years. The IPCC states that anthropogenic emissions stated in 1750. Obviously the emissions were slight back then. However, any “pipeline” effect would start then, however small. Robert doesn’t say what the length of the pipeline is (decades or centuries?) but, however long it is, there should be some cumulative effect. There is no justification in assuming that ‘some CO2 molecules don’t interact because they are in the ‘pipeline’, so the justification might be that the residence time leads to the CO2 effect being effective for a longer period. Either way, as each year has passed, the effect of the previous year’s CO2 must – if the pipeline theory is correct – be added to the current year’s effect.

        Therefore, the theorised significant warming effect must increase and, logically, increase at an accelerative rate. It was an accelerative rate of warming that was sold to the world with the publication of the MBH98 graph.

        The problem now is… there is no acceleration and there is no indication of “pipeline” warming, unless someone can produce some direct, empirical, non-modelled evidence to support the postulation. To call someone a ‘moron’ (as Robert did) for not believing in said postulation is, at the very least, bad form, especially when the production of evidence could lay the argument to rest immediately.

        If you wish to put forward the argument that the CO2 effect did not start until a later date (c1950 seems to be favourite), then you have to ask yourself why there was an entirely similar warming period just prior to 1950 (1910 to 1945). Any “pipeline warming” would have started at c1950. So, what has happened to that pipeline warming since 1998?

        The logical answer is that any cooling factors (from whatever source) have outweighed not only the initial ‘significant CO2 effect’ but also the ‘CO2 pipeline effect’. Hmmm. This means that the warming period between 1970 and 1998 could have been due to the same unknown(?) factors that caused the 1910-1945 warming. But this would mean that the theorised effect of CO2 is far smaller than theorised. In science, the production of empirical evidence generally either supports or falsifies a theory. All I asked Robert was to provide some supporting evidence.

        My point about the small and non-accelerating warming is in reply to your point about “what needs to change… to bring the planet back into balance…” and your point about “…observations being wrong…”.

        I’m not sure I can see any significant imbalance in the long term data, particularly using coherent datasets. There is no doubt that warming has occurred since 1850 but the overall rate is less than 0.06C per decade with no current sign of acceleration. I would politely suggest that consideration should be given to looking into whether the theory is wrong, not the data.

        Kind regards,

      • Either way, as each year has passed, the effect of the previous year’s CO2 must – if the pipeline theory is correct – be added to the current year’s effect.

        Therefore, the theorised significant warming effect must increase and, logically, increase at an accelerative rate.

        See, when you give your argument in a positive form, it’s much easier to correct it.

        First, the warming has accelerated. You claimed 0.9C of warming in 161 years. That’s 0.055C/decade. The last three decades have warmed at more than three times that rate. So by your own numbers, there has been an acceleration.

        Second, your formulation of what happens to the heat makes a simple mistake: “the effect of the previous year’s CO2 must – if the pipeline theory is correct – be added to the current year’s effect.” The blinding obvious thing that you miss is that if a certain proportion of the additional heating went “into the pipeline” last year, a similar amount will go “into the pipeline” this year.

        You are attempting to apply logic to a process you don’t understand, and make very basic mistakes in the process. This makes your conclusions neither logical nor rational.

        I would advise you to ditch the metaphor and think hard about what’s actually going on in the system: with the oceans, the ice, and the aerosols especially. If you understand what is really going on when you burn a ton of coal, you will understand equilibrium climate sensitivity and not need the metaphor.

      • Robert does not understand that he wishes people to change their behaviors, but is unable to demonstrate to them that there is a valid justification to implement what he supports.

        No valid justification=no behavior change.

        What rate is it warming at due to additional CO2? It looks like a doubling of CO2 will lead to somewhere between 1.0C and 3.0C of temp rise. Somewhere between no problem and a potentially problem.

        What will be the net impacts to humanity of a warmer world? Will it be positive or negative for the world overall and the USA in particular? We don’t know, but Robert believes everyone should still do what he wants.

      • Heat up the grill. Throw on some chicken. If you do not believe in heating in the pipeline, eat it the second it hits grill. Yummy, cold, bloody chicken meat.

      • Are you writing that the sun got hotter but it has not yet warmed the planet?

      • Robert,

        Again, you are being selective. You have selected a short-term period out of a longer-term dataset. If the overall trend is 0.055Cpd (I agree), then your argument of (the last three decades) fails to show overall acceleration. Since 1998, there has been NO warming (and, yes, I am using HadCRUt3). If the overall trend was one of acceleration, then the trend of 0.055 would be the highest. It is not. The highest overall trend was in 1879 at around 0.07Cpd. If the warming was accelerating, the linear trend would be increasing. There would have to be a very significant increase in order to reach that figure.

        For the rest of your post, I will simply ask you to provide evidence to support your postulation. I have politely asked for this before with no result.

        Either produce some evidence or stop making unsupported statements.

      • The sun cycle is what it is. We have slowed the rate at which heat leaves the planet. The oceans are a big pieces of chicken, and they’re still cooking.

      • Since 1998, there has been NO warming

        Again, we see that asking climate “skeptics” to state their arguments pays dividends.

        The idea that “Warming stopped in 1998″ is a discredited fallacy. Let’s find you some links:

        http://www.skepticalscience.com/global-warming-stopped-in-1998-intermediate.htm

        http://ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/myths/global-warming-stopped

        If you have a new argument that warming stopped in 1998 — please present it. For the moment, I’m unconvinced.

        If the overall trend was one of acceleration, then the trend of 0.055 would be the highest.

        This is just nonsense, not even wrong. You aren’t doing your “But I’m not a moron!” case any favors here.

        For the rest of your post, I will simply ask you to provide evidence to support your postulation.

        My position is that you haven’t convinced me the science is wrong. I’ve shown you several places where your argument went wrong — more than enough to falsify your “Instantaneous equilibrium” hypothesis.

        I suggest you correct the mistakes I’ve pointed out in your argument, and then, if you want, try and make a better argument for your “Instantaneous equilibrium.”

      • Robert said, “The idea that “Warming stopped in 1998″ is a discredited fallacy. Let’s find you some links::

        The shift was actually in 1995. The overall impact timing will vary with region. Most of the change should not be obvious in the global “average” surface temperature for another 10 to 15 years. Large capacity non-linear systems don’t turn on a dime.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        Arfur Bryant

        The “forcings” that impact the planetary energy balance are not just from rising anthropogenic greenhouse gases such as CO2. There are many other forcings including those from aerosol emissions, volcanic aerosols, dust and solar changes.

        In the following, the first graph is a plot of all forcings as used in the latest set of runs done for the next IPCC report can be seen. The bit to the left of the 2000 period is the central estimate of all forcings (including volcanic). To me, there is very little change till, really, the 1950s.

        http://www.pik-potsdam.de/~mmalte/rcps/

        Part of the reason for that is put down to the fact that as well as emitting CO2 since the start of the industrial revolution, burning coal has caused emission of sulphate aerosols which act to cool the planet.

        So nothing much was being pumped into the pipeline till fairly recently.

      • Robert, you write “But I didn’t make a positive claim,”

        Garbage. What you wrote was

        Little grammar error here:

        Garbage:

        Fixed!

        ‘Warming since 1980: 0.6C
        Change in CO2 forcing since 1980: 5.35 * ln(392/340) = 0.75 W/m^2
        (+0.6C) * (3.7/0.75) = 2.96 C/doubling
        Wow, I just used your own unrealistic assumptions to derive a climate sensitivity of 3C. Perhaps you need more practice working through the logical consequences of your own arguments . . . maybe some training in logic . . . perhaps a philosophy class”

        If that is not a positive claim that all the warming of 0.8 C was caused by the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere, then would you mind explaining to me why it is not a positive claim. Maybe my science is not so hot [For sure!], but if you are claiming that you do not assume that all the warming is caused by CO2, then you are not being honest [Sorry, wrong].

        I just used your own unrealistic assumptions

        I just used your own unrealistic assumptions

        I just used your own unrealistic assumptions

        So you made two major mistakes: you substituted 0.8C for 0.6C for some reason, and you treated assumptions I described as unrealistic as things I was claiming were true.

        Better luck next time! :)

      • Arfur Bryant

        Robert,

        [“The idea that “Warming stopped in 1998″ is a discredited fallacy.”]
        You attempt to provide evidence from two warmist blogs? Its pathetic.
        Look at the HadCRUt3 graph since 1850. If I was a climber climbing the profile, the highest point I reach would be 1998. It is now 2012. I am currently ‘lower’ than I was in 1998. I have not been higher than I was in 1998 at any point since. Therefore, in the overall route I have taken, I have stopped ‘climbing’. I may be ‘higher’ than I was in, say, 1970 (and that is not disputed) but I am certainly not ‘climbing’. In fact, since 1998 I have ‘descended’ overall. Your attempts to deflect away from the specifics of the debate are puerile. There has been no warming since 1998. Deal with it.

        [“I suggest you correct the mistakes…”]

        I suggest you answer my original question about ‘pipeline warming’. That might get you some respect.

      • Arfur Bryant

        Steve,

        Yes, I understand that that is what the models say, which is why I asked for non-modelled, empirical evidence. Modelling just does’t count as evidence. I’m not sure you read my last post to you fully. Maybe you missed this part:
        “If you wish to put forward the argument that the CO2 effect did not start until a later date (c1950 seems to be favourite), then you have to ask yourself why there was an entirely similar warming period just prior to 1950 (1910 to 1945).”
        If, as you suggest, the forcings did not start until 1950, then you are forced to concede that ‘something’ (or a compilation of factors) caused the earlier warming of the same amount. This being so, it cannot be stated with any conviction that the later warming was ‘due to CO2 etc’. It also cannot be stated with any conviction that any ‘pipeline warming’ exists without evidence to support that postulation, as the later warming (which may have been caused by other factors) has effectively stopped since 1998.

        Like I said earlier, I am arguing from a standpoint of observations, not theory. Unfortunately, the data does not support the theory. No amount of modelling will change the fact that, eventually, the data has to support the theory.

      • “If I was a climber climbing the profile, the highest point I reach would be 1998. It is now 2012. I am currently ‘lower’ than I was in 1998. I have not been higher than I was in 1998 at any point since.”

        not true

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/mean:60/from:1980

      • “You attempt to provide evidence from two warmist blogs?”

        Stevie, all legitimate science is “warmist.” If you disregard evidence because it doesn’t come from climate deniers, you’ve created a little self-deceptive loop for yourself.

        I don’t need to provide evidence that a discredited fallacy is still discredited. I provided some sources purely for your education. You claimed that warming stopped in 1998; the burden is on you to make a convincing argument for that. I would merely warn you that you’re unlikely to succeed, because the notion is bunk.

        “Look at the HadCRUt3 graph since 1850.”

        Cherry-picking a single data set out of several. Fail.

        “If I was a climber climbing the profile, the highest point I reach would be 1998. It is now 2012. I am currently ‘lower’ than I was in 1998. I have not been higher than I was in 1998 at any point since . . .”

        Cherry picking your start date. Elementary fail.

        “Therefore, in the overall route I have taken, I have stopped ‘climbing’. I may be ‘higher’ than I was in, say, 1970 (and that is not disputed) but I am certainly not ‘climbing’.”

        Logic and metaphor fail: you can certainly be climbing, regardless of whether you have been higher in the past. By your logic, anyone who flew to Nepal can’t climb Everest (presumably they descend to the peak?)

        The world has warmed since 1998. Deal with it.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        Arfur Bryant,

        The plot I linked to are the *inputs* to the models. Other than that they are nothing to do with models. They are the central estimates of all the forcings that we’re aware of.

        Aside from that, if you are against the models you are conducting a circular non-argument. The models encapsulate scientists’ understanding of the climate in formulae and algorithm. You cannot claim that scientists have internally inconsistent views and then reject the tools they use to validate those views. Now while I wouldn’t dogmatically claim that the models will be right about 21st century warming, I will claim that they are in the right ball park, and they are certainly good enough to demonstrate the “heat in the pipeline” effect.

      • Arfur Bryant

        lolwot,

        [““If I was a climber climbing the profile, the highest point I reach would be 1998. It is now 2012. I am currently ‘lower’ than I was in 1998. I have not been higher than I was in 1998 at any point since.”

        not true”]

        Yes, true. As a climber, I do not have the luxury of smoothing out five years of my travel. My statement, as it stands, is correct.

      • Arfur Bryant

        Robert,

        [“Logic and metaphor fail: you can certainly be climbing, regardless of whether you have been higher in the past. By your logic, anyone who flew to Nepal can’t climb Everest (presumably they descend to the peak?)”]

        Oh dear. Splicing two datasets (flying and climbing) and coming up with a fallacy. Now where have I seen that before?

        Still no answer to my original question, I notice. Ah, well.

        Thanks for the discussion, Robert. It has been most enlightening. I wish you all the best for the future.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        Arfur Bryant

        If, as you suggest, the forcings did not start until 1950, then you are forced to concede that ‘something’ (or a compilation of factors) caused the earlier warming of the same amount. This being so, it cannot be stated with any conviction that the later warming was ‘due to CO2 etc’.

        The warming at the beginning of the 20th Century is not the same as recent warming as it was preceded by a relatively rapid cooling event and succeeded by another relatively rapid cooling event. It is quite reasonable to assume that the apparent similar trend only exists if you carefully choose end-points.

        http://woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/mean:84/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1960/trend/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1897/to:1948/trend

        Once you try a trend of more than 40-odd years, the earlier warming trend starts to get less steep. Remember also that the recent warming is *on top* of past warming, so “climate cycle” arguments struggle to explain it, and I don’t buy the “recovery from the LIA” claims while no physical reason for such recovery is offered.

        Obviously there are subjective judgements to be made – I’m simply pointing out that you cannot bank on the claim of similarity between the two periods.

        We also have additional evidence that the current warming is less temporary than the previous warming was because it is accompanied by continued rises in ocean heat content – enough heat has gone into the oceans since 1998 to warm the atmosphere by 7 degrees C.

      • Arfur Bryant

        Steve,

        [“The plot I linked to are the *inputs* to the models. Other than that they are nothing to do with models. They are the central estimates of all the forcings that we’re aware of.”]

        The inputs to models are nothing to do with models? Are you sure about that? They are, indeed, estimates – or assumptions. As such, they do not represent evidence.

        [“I will claim that they are in the right ball park, and they are certainly good enough to demonstrate the “heat in the pipeline” effect.”]

        As long as you accept that it is just a claim. That claim is based on either an estimate or an assumption, or both. It still does not represent evidence.

        Thanks for the posts. At least you are able to discuss the subject in a reasonable fashion, for which you have my thanks and respect.

        Regards,

      • “Oh dear. Splicing two datasets (flying and climbing) and coming up with a fallacy. Now where have I seen that before?”

        Poor Arthur. He doesn’t believe that the height of an airplane can be measured and compared to the height of a mountain.

        Those are called facts, Arthur. Sorry if you’re unfamiliar with the concept.

        “Thanks for the discussion, Robert. It has been most enlightening.”

        Arthur, I’m glad you can recognize when you’re licked. Shows good common sense on your part. While you didn’t ever achieve any insight into your own mistakes, you did finally articulate some of them so that it was easy to see where you’re going wrong.

        I hope in the future you can find the courage to face the facts you’re hiding from.

      • andrew adams

        Arfur,

        You attempt to provide evidence from two warmist blogs? Its pathetic.

        Firstly, comments such as this somewhat undermine your “I’m just a guy asking questions” act. Secondly, if you won’t accept evidence from sources on the basis they disagree with your position then it’s rather pointless engaging in this kind of discussion at all.

        I’ll let Robert and Steve continue to address the “heating in the pipeline” argument but I will say something about your “no warming since 1998″ claim. Over the long term it is expected that the effect of increasing levels of CO2 in the atmosphere will result in a steady warming signal, but in the short term there are other influences which can cause temperatures to fluctuate over peiods of a few years or even less. Sometimes this will counteract the warming signal from CO2, sometimes it will add extra warming on top. In 1998 there was an exceptionally strong el Nino event which had a pronounced warming effect and so resulted in that year’s average temperature being higher than it would have been due to CO2 alone. As always this effect was temporary and the following year temperatures dropped back down again and the gradual climb continued.

        Therefore I hope it is clear that making a pronouncement about temperature trends starting in 1998 is misleading, especially when considering the long term effect of CO2, because you are beginning at a point when there was a temporary spike in temperatures which was nothing to do with CO2.

      • and one way of removing the enso spikes is to smooth the data, but arfur don’t wanna do that.

      • “Maybe Robert can help me out with which of these he thinks is most likely.”

        They are all likely in the sense that, by some fairly immutable laws of physics, they “hide” heat from the atmosphere.

        Probably the most important “hiding spot” in the near term is the aerosol forcing.

        The amount of science you need to know to understand how the aerosol forcing puts warming “in the pipeline” is utterly trivial. It shouldn’t be beyond anyone who is not very determined to guard their ignorance.

      • Arfur Bryant

        Andrew Adams,

        [“Firstly, comments such as this somewhat undermine your “I’m just a guy asking questions” act. Secondly, if you won’t accept evidence from sources on the basis they disagree with your position then it’s rather pointless engaging in this kind of discussion at all.”]

        I’ll try to keep this straight and succinct, Andrew.

        Firstly, my question was not an ‘act’, it was just a question. The question was simple, specific and quite polite. The question can be (one would have thought) easily answered by the person to whom the question was addressed. Producing some evidence would have been the easy way to answer the question. If you think that the two links posted by Robert in any way constitutes ‘evidence’, then please tell me why. Please also note that, in my original post, I asked “Do you have any real (non-modelled) evidence to support such a belief?” Where in either of the two links, do you find any such evidence?
        I am perfectly entitled to question non-evidence. Evidence cannot ‘disagree with my position’ if it is factual. You might have an opinion that I cannot accept evidence but I’m actually trying to get to the truth. What I’m not going to do is just accept irrelevant bull because ‘John Cook says so’.

        <["Therefore I hope it is clear that making a pronouncement about temperature trends starting in 1998 is misleading, especially when considering the long term effect of CO2, because you are beginning at a point when there was a temporary spike in temperatures which was nothing to do with CO2."]

        OK, maybe you joined the discussion mid-stream. The only trend that I have espoused is the overall trend. I have used HadCRUt3 because it started in 1850 and was used by the IPCC. I totally agree that short term trends are relatively meaningless but saying that warming stopped in 1998 is not quoting a trend – it is stating a fact (as far as HadCRUt3 is concerned). The overall trend is less than 0.06Cpd, and the steepest trend was c1878/9. Trends are a whole different argument. ‘Warming’, as quoted by the IPCC, refers to atmospheric warming, not ocean heat. Nobody in the climate science cabal quoted ENSO effects as being the reason for the high temperature in 1998 – it was put down to CO2. Now, because the data does not fit the theory, warmists have started quoting ENSO spikes, ocean heat, thermal lag and pipelines as excuses why the theory is unsupported by evidence. If you can provide me with any evidence to support ‘the long term effect of CO2′, as you state, then please do so. But don’t give me models and don’t give me warmist opinion. I’ve seen plenty of both, thanks.

        Ok, so maybe not that succinct! :)

      • Arfur, you completely evaded any discussion of the evidence. You simply resorted to the irrational (and circular) complaint that the evidence came from “warmists.”

        Now you ask, pathetically, for someone else to tell you “Where in either of the two links, do you find any such evidence?”

        It’s your job to grapple with the facts. It’s about your education — if you chose to maintain your ignorance, you can certainly do so.

        By repeating discredited nonsense — “Warming stopped in 1998″ and similar howlers — you have made yourself entirely unpersuasive on the subject of climate science.

        You were given empirical evidence and immediately fled from it in a cloud of mealy-mouthed excuses. It was predicable, cowardly, and honestly, pretty funny.

      • It has been suggested here that “warming in the pipeline” came into being in a paper by Hansen in 2005. This pipeline warming was described as being hidden.

        So do a search for James E. Hansen, “hidden in the pipeline”. Nothing.

        There is nothing to hide, so I do not think he used the word “hidden” in the paper.

        Nor was the concept invented to rationalize model failure in 2005. So far the earliest reference I’ve found using the phrase wrt climate change is 1989.

        So look at this graph. Is this proof that in 1989 there was warming in the pipeline? How would I know? How about Arfur’s 1998 climbing zenith? Looks to me like maybe he should have taken up scuba.

      • Arf, Arf; it is embarrassingly obvious that Robert is in a position where is authority is rarely questioned. Imagine being at his mercy.

        The recovery from the Little Ice Age, and the recoveries into the Minoan, the Roman and the Medieval Optima? Most likely millenial scale forces which we do not understand yet, but are probably solar in origin.

        Three times in the last century and a half the rate of temperature rise was the same and only in the last of these was CO2 rising significantly also. I know this because Phil Jones heself admitted it. Granted, there are volcanoes, variable aerosol forcing and other knowns and unknowns, but the regular rise and fall into climate optima and little ice ages begs for an explanation, so far ungiven. Until these are understood, claiming CO2 for the temperature rise since 1750 is ignorant. It becomes slowly disingenous as the present lack of temperature rise becomes so prolonged.

        And then we note that the temperature rise since 1750 has been accompanied by a great increase in civilization, expected in a warmer world. The next 1.5 C. of temperature rise will also grant similar widespread benefits, but just where is that pony under the Christmas tree? It’s gotta be there. They promised.
        ===========

      • ‘Where ‘his’ authority is rarely questioned’. I once knew a doctor who thought he could change the diagnosis with an exercise of the will.
        ==================================

      • Vaughan Pratt

        @Arfur Bryant: Firstly, my question was not an ‘act’, it was just a question.

        Apparently Andrew understands you better than you understand yourself. A couple of years ago I came to the same conclusion: I got thoroughly fed up with your act, which made all attempts at communication pointless and which hasn’t changed one bit in the intervening two years. I don’t mind David Springer being snarky to me, at least he doesn’t pretend to be something he isn’t.

      • Arfur Bryant

        Robert,

        You have proved yourself to be completely unfit to carry out a rational discussion. Make as much puerile capital out of that statement as you want. You haven’t provided any real evidence, and neither has anyone else. It is not remotely comforting that you and others are now trying to deflect the discussion away from the starting point, which was you saying it is ‘moronic’ to disbelieve in the “pipeline warming” of CO2, and then calling Manacker a moron. Why not comforting? Because, at the end, it serves no purpose to avoid the truth. Models are not truth. Opinions are not truth. Not all evidence may be truth but at least unmolested observational data is as close as we can get at the moment. I feel sorry that you are so immersed in your own mire of self-inflated hubris that you are unable to carry on a civil discourse. If I maybe so bold, I think you should take a real hard look at yourself.

      • Arfur Bryant

        JCH.

        Thank you for that genuinely ineffective input.

      • Arfur Bryant

        Kim,

        [“Until these are understood, claiming CO2 for the temperature rise since 1750 is ignorant. It becomes slowly disingenous as the present lack of temperature rise becomes so prolonged.”]

        One of the more intelligent comments on the subject!

        Thanks for the support. I agree with all that you have said, and I think I have covered the lack of logic (and science) used by warmists when discussing the earlier 20th century warmings in an earlier post.

        Unfortunately, some folk just will not behave when their beliefs are challenged. I thought it was a fair question to ask Robert when he was rude to Manacker. Although Manacker can take care of himself, I was genuinely interested to see if Robert could back his claim up. Apparently not. The factors which have caused either cooling periods or not-warming periods since 1750/1850 (1750 start of IPCC ‘anthropogenic emissions’ and 1850 start of IPCC accurate readings) are obviously easily capable of combating not only the theorised effect of CO2, but also the much-vaunted ‘pipeline effect’. One has to wonder if a reverse of those factors (or different combination) could have caused the warming. No, that would necessitate a revisitation of the ‘theory’ of cAGW. Hmmm, curious.
        ps, Did the doctor ever succeed?
        pps, Still waiting for the Christmas tree! Isn’t it exciting?

      • Arfur Bryant

        Vaughan,

        Again, thank you for a genuinely irrelevant and ineffective input. Your attempt at deflection is duly noted.

      • You have proved yourself to be completely unfit to carry out a rational discussion.

        You keep saying that . . . as you keeping talking and talking . . . about everything except the facts. ;)

        I’m still waiting for you to make a serious argument that “Global warming stopped in 1998.” This discredited nonsense had its moment in the stoplight in 2010 . . . even hardcore deniers rarely invoke it anymore.

        So without cherry-picking the data set or the start date, can you prove your claim? And can you prove that the oceans haven’t warmed since 1998? If global warming stopped in 1998, the oceans shouldn’t be gaining heat . . .

        But all its been is ducking and dodging from you. You demand that we educate you in basic science. Why should we? You haven’t shown any willingness to deal honestly with the sources offered you. The logical conclusion is that you’re willfully ignorant.

        It all comes back to your willingness to learn . . . if you are willing to grapple honestly with the facts, you’ll find no end of people to discuss the science with you. But “If you don’t eat your meat, you can’t have any pudding./ How can you have any pudding if you don’t eat your meat?”

      • Arfur Bryant

        [“Again, you are being selective. You have selected a short-term period out of a longer-term dataset. If the overall trend is 0.055Cpd (I agree), then your argument of (the last three decades) fails to show overall acceleration. Since 1998, there has been NO warming (and, yes, I am using HadCRUt3).”] Arfur Bryant

        To anyone who is still reading this tennis match…

        Let me remind you what started the exchange. Robert called Manacker a moron and said it was moronic to disbelieve in CO2 ‘pipeline warming’. I politely asked him if he had real (non-modelled) evidence to support such an assertion. No evidence ensued. Robert did produce a graph from John Cook’s skepticalscience blog which portrayed the increase in Total Heat Content for ocean and land/atmosphere and proclaimed “Voila”… pipeline warming! This, of course, was not evidence at all. There was no explanation of why Robert thinks it was evidence, and Robert has repeatedly avoided answering the direct question. He now tries to deflect the discussion because he can’t find any ‘real’ evidence. So be it.

        As to the ‘no warming since 1998′ tirade, let me clarify things. The context of the discussion, at that time, was about the global atmospheric temperature. I specifically explained to Robert that I was basing my statement on the HadCRUt3 dataset (see quote at the start of this post). Now Robert wants to deflect the discussion toward Ocean Heat Content. I have made no comment about Ocean Heat. I am happy to accept that the OHC has increased but the graph shows that ocean heat has increased MANY times more than atmosphere. How this can be achieved by an increase in atmospheric CO2 of 115 parts per million over 162 years with no corroborating rise in sea surface temperature hardly constitutes proof of ‘pipeline warming':

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadsst2gl/from:1979/to:2012

        In addition, Robert has asked me to provide evidence to support my contention that warming stopped in 1998. Ok, unlike Robert, I will oblige. As previously explained, the context was atmospheric warming and, in particular, HadCRUt3, so here it is:

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3gl/from/to

        In order to avoid any suggestion of cherry picking, I have shown the entire dataset. Why do I consider this evidence of my point? Because, although I know there are other datasets which show a higher temperature after 1998, the HadCRUt3 dataset was the original one used by the IPCC and it is also the only surface dataset which is supported by both of the satellite datasets in showing no higher temperature than 1998:

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/from:1979/to:2012/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:1979/to:2012/plot/uah/from:1979/to:2012

        For these graphs, I have chosen 1979 as the start date of HadCRUt3 for direct comparison. This does not constitute cherry picking as I have previously shown the entire dataset.
        Now, in case anyone feels the need to talk about ‘spikes’, let me remind you that no-one talked about spikes when the MBH98 graph was sold to the world as evidence of anthropogenic CO2-induced warming. The graph was sold as evidence that global surface and near-surface temperature was accelerating and would continue to do so. I certainly didn’t hear any climate scientist put a caveat on the graph to the effect that “it’s just a short term high due to natural factors”. It is quite clear from the graphs linked above that the highest point reached was in 1998. The fact that ALL current global datasets show the present temperature as being several tenths of a degree below 1998 after 14 years of ‘pipeline warming’ and ‘enhanced greenhouse effect’ should make a rational person at least begin to doubt the cAGW theory. I don’t expect Robert to be one of those people.
        I’ve probably said enough. But in case anyone still believes that ‘pipeline warming’ exists, ask yourself how come we have had over 161 years of pipeline and yet the warming is not increasing at an accelerative rate. There have been short periods of acceleration (along with periods of cooling) but certainly not since 1998. The overall trend today is lower than it was in 1879 (hence no overall acceleration):

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:1850/to:2012/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:1850/to:1879/trend/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:1850/to:2012/trend

        Robert,
        I am away on work for the next two weeks. I will not be online except briefly but I will check this thread when I return. Please feel free to make whatever comments you think are appropriate for an adult discussion.
        Bye for now.

      • Very lucid, Arfur; thank you for the precis.
        ========

      • Arfur – first, I think I’m the one who linked to the graph made by somebody at skeptical science from data from the Church et al (2011) paper, not Robert.

        I said I do not know if it proves there was warming in the pipeline.

        The first usage on Google Scholar I found of the phrase “warming in the pipeline” was in 1989, and I’m pretty sure it predates that. The graph indicates the earth has stored a great deal of energy since then, and great deal since 1998.

        Can natural variation do that? I do not think so.

        Imo, HadCrut3 is pretty much a total waste of time. I do not think it measures the surface temperature of a planet called earth. So yes, on the regions of the earth covered by HadCrut3 no year since 1998 has exceeded 1998. Since 2005 and 2010 clearly exceeded 1998 on planet earth, HadCrut3 is…

        Do I think Max is a moron for not thinking there is warming in the pipeline? I think he’s very wrong.

        I’ve read your various debates on blogs. You win. Nonetheless, the earth will continue to warm significantly because of man’s emissions of GHG.

      • Robert,

        Your attempts to provide evidence from warmist blogs and WoodForTrees Kung fu is pathetic.

        To talk about the 1998 meme, here’s how Pat Michaels himself likes that meme:

        > Make an argument that you can get killed on and you will kill us all… If you loose credibility on this issue you lose this issue!

        http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/post/15396965101

        Let us note the us all. Would that be a team?

        Go team!

      • Arfur Bryant

        Just to prove I have kept my word and revisited this thread after my time away…

        Kim Very lucid, Arfur; thank you for the precis.
        Thank you, Kim. Coming from you, who I very much respect, I consider your words high praise indeed:)

        JCH I’ve read your various debates on blogs. You win. Nonetheless, the earth will continue to warm significantly because of man’s emissions of GHG.
        That sentiment, JCH, is a triumph of faith over rationality:) But thanks for your input.

        Regards,

        Arfur

        ps, It was definitely Robert’s skepticalscience link to which I was referring, not yours:

        http://judithcurry.com/2012/08/12/philosophical-reflections-on-climate-model-projections/#comment-229020

      • Arty, there are so many lies and logical fallacies in your screed, one hardly knows where to begin.

        It’s helpful that you admit looking at the evidence for warming in the pipeline, but were unable to understand it. Makes things much simpler.

        I particularly enjoyed your admission that you went to Skeptical Science, but were only able to look at the pretty picture (“Robert did produce a graph”), and completely ignored the article and the list of works cited. Unless you are literally illiterate and dictating these screeds, I’m afraid you’ve indicted and convicted yourself of gross stupidity.

        You continue to reiterate your resentment of the scientifically literate, and declare you will ignore any evidence provided by the scientific literate. Unfortunately, I am scientifically literate, and so it is hard to see what point further discussion serves. Since you have not once but twice stormed out of the discussion declaring it served no useful purpose, and despite multiple attempts have totally failed to produce anything resembling a rational argument, I hereby invoke the mercy rule: you lose. But thanks for playing! :)

      • Robert,

        [“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself–and you are
        the easiest person to fool.”] Richard Feynman

        I wish you all the best, wherever your path takes you.

        Arfur

      • Robert you write “Warming since 1980: 0.6C”

        I know I am wasting my timne asking this question, as you are clearly never going to answer it. But it needs asking. How do you prove that the 0.8 C warmimg since 1980 was caused by the additoinal CO2 in the atmopshere?

      • It’s not all CO2. Some of it is land use changes, black carbon, methane, or other greenhouse gases.

        “How do you prove that the 0.8 C warmimg since 1980 was caused by the additoinal CO2 in the atmopshere?”

        Attribution studies. What have you read so far?

      • Robert you write “Attribution studies. What have you read so far?”

        How about a peer reviewed reference that I can read?

      • “Some of it is land use changes.” Your global attribution studies appear to indicate that land use change have had a cooling impact. Regional studies tend to indicate land use change has a warming impact.

        http://neven1.typepad.com/blog/2012/06/siberia-burns.html

      • Happy to send you some links.

        Just to be clear: you’re saying you know nothing about the science of attribution, have read nothing at all about it.

        Is that correct?

      • Robert, you write “Happy to send you some links.
        Just to be clear: you’re saying you know nothing about the science of attribution, have read nothing at all about it.
        Is that correct?”

        Let me be clear. What I want is a peer reviewed reference that proves that the 0.8 C rise in temperature was definitively caused by the additional CO2 in the atmosphere. That is all. I am not in the least bit interested in the science of attribution. I dont have time for irrelevances.

      • “I am not in the least bit interested in the science of attribution.”

        That’s honest, at least. But if you’re not interested in science, I can’t help you. Try a church. :)

        If you develop an interest in science, I’d be happy to start you on your way. ;)

      • Robert, you write “That’s honest, at least. But if you’re not interested in science, I can’t help you. ”

        Of course I am interested in science. I want to get to the bottom of why you claim that all the rise of 0.8 C from 1980 was caused by the additional CO2. You refuse to provide a peer review reference that shows your claim to be correct. When I have seen the peer reviewed paper that does just that, then I will believe it is correct. Until them I have an expression for your claim. It is complete and utter scientific garbage. There is absolutely no science whatsoever to support the contention that all the warming you note was caused by the additional CO2. Period.

      • Jim, you just said you weren’t interested in the science. It may be the first honest thing you’ve said here.

        Demanding proof, but rejecting science, leaves you with a Catch-22. The proof is scientific in nature.

      • Robert, you write “Jim, you just said you weren’t interested in the science”
        As usual, when a proponent of CAGW loses the argument, he reverts to a personal attack, and neglects the science. You are putting words in my mouth. Of course I am interested in science. I am not interested in irrelevant science. When I ask how you prove that the 0.8 C rise since 1980 is all caused ny additional CO2, I do not consider an answer of “Attribution studies” a satisfactory response. I expect to be told HOW “attribution studies” prove that all the warmign was caused by CO2.

        I know that no true believer in the religion of CAGW is ever going to actually admit that they were wrong. I have learned all I am going to from this exchange, and that is all I am interested in.

        You have no science to show that all the warming you claimed was due to CO2. Period.

      • “As usual, when a proponent of CAGW loses the argument, he reverts to a personal attack,”

        Jim, quoting you is not a personal attack. You said you weren’t interested in the science. Now you’re desperately trying to backtrack. If anything, you’ve insulted yourself.

        What climate deniers are losing the argument, that like to trot out their fake theory of “CAGW,” which they invented when the failure of their attack on plain old AGW got too embarrassing.

        “There is absolutely no science whatsoever to support the contention that all the warming you note was caused by the additional CO2.”

        Now you’ve made a positive claim (an incorrect claim, but still . . . progress!)

        Now all you have to do is support that extraordinary claim with some extraordinary evidence. Remember to show your work (cite and link!)

      • Robert, you write “Now you’ve made a positive claim (an incorrect claim, but still . . . progress!)”

        I have NOT made a positive claim. I have made a NEGATIVE claim. It is inpossible to ever prove a negative claim. I cannot prove that there is no science to support your POSITIVE claim. In scientific circles, which you seem to be unfamiliar with, it is normal when you make a claim to provide the reference to support that claim. This you have studiously refused to do, despite my many attempts to, politley, request a peer reviewed reference to prove that all the 0.8 C rise was due to additonal CO2. This reference does not exist. Now, of course, I cannot prove this either. It is another negative claim. But you couild very eaasily prove me to be wrong. But you will not, because no such refeerence exists.

      • “I have NOT made a positive claim. I have made a NEGATIVE claim. It is inpossible to ever prove a negative claim.

        So you’re saying your argument is impossible to prove?

        Sucks to be you, I guess.

        Still waiting for your argument in support of this assertion:

        “There is absolutely no science whatsoever to support the contention that all the warming you note was caused by the additional CO2.”

        Citation needed. Show your work!

      • In scientific circles, which you seem to be unfamiliar with, it is normal when you make a claim to provide the reference to support that claim. This you have studiously refused to do . . .

        Because you made the claim. I didn’t. You claimed that:

        “There is absolutely no science whatsoever to support the contention that all the warming you note was caused by the additional CO2.”

        Prove your claim. I made no such claim. I offered to link you to some attribution studies, but you weren’t interested in the science. None of that constitutes a claim on my part. You made a truth claim. Prove your claim.

      • Sorry, Robert. You accuse me of not being scientific. If you dont understand the simple truth that it is impossible to prove a negative claim, then it is impossible to discuss anything scientific with you.

      • “If you dont understand the simple truth that it is impossible to prove a negative claim, ”

        So you made a claim. You admit can’t prove it (and don’t want to try). You knew you couldn’t present any evidence for it when you made the claim.

        So you’re both A) On the losing end of the argument, and B) By your own admission dishonest.

        Are you done digging yourself in deeper, or would you like to keep going? :)

      • Arfur Bryant

        JIm Cripwell,

        [“You have no science to show that all the warming you claimed was due to CO2. Period.”]

        Of course. All anyone can say is that an unknown (and currently unknowable) portion of the 0.8C rise may or may not be due to CO2 increase.

        Robert can’t give you an answer because then he would have to explain what caused the similar warming between 1910 and 1945. Then he would have to explain why that warming stopped and why the later warming has stopped since 1998 without invoking specious arguments about pipelines…

        Regards,

      • All anyone can say is that an unknown (and currently unknowable) portion of the 0.8C rise may or may not be due to CO2 increase.

        That’s certainly all the scientifically ignorant can say.

        Of course, to the scientifically ignorant lots of things are “unknowable.”

        If you are claiming that people who know the science can’t say more than this, I wonder what evidence you have for that claim. It seems quite dubious. Why do you think your personal ignorance is a general state of affairs?

        Citations and links, please.

      • Robert, you write “So you made a claim. You admit can’t prove it (and don’t want to try). You knew you couldn’t present any evidence for it when you made the claim.”

        For once, you are absolutely correct. I knew when I made the claim that it could not be proven. That is the nature of negative claims. I made the cliam to show the difference between us. You made a POSITIVE claim, which can be proven. You have provided no proof for your positive claim. All I was trying to do was to demonstrate the difference between us. And you assiduously refuse to prove a reference to support your positive claim.

      • But I didn’t make a positive claim, so your argument fails apart.

        You’ve admitted you made an assertion knowing you were unable to support it with evidence — that’s dishonest.

        Your argument fails, and your integrity meter is reading zero.

        And I suppose that’s where we’ll leave it.

      • Robert,

        Asking me to prove that fairies don’t exist doesn’t excuse you from having to prove they do.

        If you have some real evidence to suggest that the cause of the warming is additional CO2, please provide it.

      • Jim Cripwell

        I read how you are painstakingly trying to get Robert to cite you some specific studies, which demonstrate based on empirical scientific evidence that most of the 0.6 degC warming he claims has occurred since 1980 is caused by CO2.

        Your efforts are in vain. Robert sidesteps the issue with fancy footwork and hot air.

        Robert cannot cite these studies quite simply because they do not exist.

        Max

      • Robert, you write “But I didn’t make a positive claim,”

        Garbage. What you wrote was

        ‘Warming since 1980: 0.6C
        Change in CO2 forcing since 1980: 5.35 * ln(392/340) = 0.75 W/m^2
        (+0.6C) * (3.7/0.75) = 2.96 C/doubling
        Wow, I just used your own unrealistic assumptions to derive a climate sensitivity of 3C. Perhaps you need more practice working through the logical consequences of your own arguments . . . maybe some training in logic . . . perhaps a philosophy class”

        If that is not a positive claim that all the warming of 0.8 C was caused by the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere, then would you mind explaining to me why it is not a positive claim. Maybe my science is not so hot, but if you are claiming that you do not assume that all the warming is caused by CO2, then you are not being honest.

      • Max, you write “Your efforts are in vain. Robert sidesteps the issue with fancy footwork and hot air.“

        Thanks Max. I know that. But Robert has been very rude to me in the past, and it is fun pulling his chain, and seeing him squirm trying to explain the unexplainable.
        He is making a wonderful ass of himself, and I am thoroughly enjoying it.

      • Asking me to prove that fairies don’t exist doesn’t excuse you from having to prove they do.

        The difference being that you’re the one claiming fairies exist — magical energy-eating fairies.

        But you won’t step up and make an argument.

        Why do you believe in energy-eating fairies?

      • “But Robert has been very rude to me in the past, and it is fun pulling his chain . . .”

        Poor little Jimmy! This is his excuse for getting whipped in the argument:

        “I wasn’t really trying to win, I just wanted to waste Robert’s time.”

        Nice excuse for losing, Jimmy!

        Unfortunately to get there you had to admit you weren’t interested in the science and didn’t want to know about it. That’s going to come up again, I would think . . .

      • Doctor, Doctor, give me the news.
        Got a sad case of believin’ youse.
        ===================

      • “Raypierre,
        You wrote that, after an unforced change in climate state, there is

        “a tendency for the state to relax back to an equilibrium with a certain time constant. What’s more, that time constant is proportional to the climate sensitivity”

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

        Non-systems are complicated.

        http://redneckphysics.blogspot.com/2012/07/strangely-attractive.html

    • “We know from solar studies that solar activity during the 20th century reach a highest level in several thousand years (and is now on the decline).”

      De Jager, Cornelis, and Silvia Duhau. “Sudden Transitions and Grand Variations in the Solar Dynamo, Past and Future.” Journal of Space Weather and Space Climate 2 (June 25, 2012): A07. http://www.swsc-journal.org/index.php?option=com_article&access=doi&doi=10.1051/swsc/2012008&Itemid=129

      Watts, Anthony. “Weak Solar Convection – Approximately 100 Times Slower Than Scientists Had Previously Projected.” Scientific. Watts Up With That?, July 9, 2012. http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/07/09/weak-solar-convection-approximately-100-times-slower-than-scientists-had-previously-projected/

      • @Pooh, Dixie

        There are many studies of solar activity from the 19th century to today. Here is a link to one:

        http://www.warwickhughes.com/agri/Solar_Arch_NY_Mar2_08.pdf

        The study shows the average Wolf Number for solar cycles as follows:

        SC 10-15 (1858-1928) was around 90
        SC 18-23 (1945-2008) was around 148 (peaking in SC19 at 190)
        (i.e. a 64% increase over the earlier 6 SCs)

        Other studies have concluded that this solar activity was the highest in several thousand years and that roughly half of the past global warming can be attributed to it..

        SC23 had already slowed down to 120 and current SC24 is starting off very inactive, but who knows what the future will hold?

        The paper you cite by De Jager and Duhau does not expect that there will be another Grand (Maunder Type) Minimum (to throw us into another Little Ice Age), but that SC24 will have a maximum sunspot number of 62±12, IOW be a fairly inactive SC.

        But it’s all speculation and I wouldn’t count on it.

        Max

      • Max: I was too brief. The paper is contemporary, using a technique unavailable for most of our sunspot history. Also, it focuses on what is happening now — no history to it.
        My understanding of this may be faulty, being a bear of little brain. Anyway, here goes. The poloidal component is mostly “vertical” to the sun’s direction of rotation. From the surface, it descends into the interior, picking up heat energy. It then ascends, where some of the energy can be radiated to earth. It stands to reason that the slower the poloidal motion, the less surface energy available for transfer/radiation.
        Although it is true that the authors exclude a Maunder minimum, they do not address the possibility of a Dalton. Having expended reserve capacity on such things as ethanol, that would be bad enough.
        If I have read the paper wrongly, I am open to correction. We live in interesting times.

  16. This is an interesting concept w/r/t thinking about uncertainty.

    It’s would also be interesting to see how some “skeptics” might apply this thinking to their certainty about other various issues, such as:

    Certainty about the positive benefits of increased atmospheric CO2

    Certainty about the economic impact of a carbon tax

    Certainty about the impact of ACO2 emissions on the chemical properties of ocean water.

    Certainty about the cost going into the future of alternative energy sources relative to fossil fuels (especially given the negative externalities in addition to climate impact of fossil fuel – particulates, environmental impact, socio-economic impact of keeping oil flowing, etc.)

    Certainty about the impact of climategate (Judith gets a special call-out for that one).

    Certainty about what drives public opinion on climate change

    Certainty about the motivations of the AGW cabal

    Certainty about whether Muller is a “skeptic.”

    Certainty that the Earth is warming even though – apparently – they feel that the data recording that warming is unreliable.

    Certainty about the universe being created by a supernatural being (Roy Spencer gets a special call-out on that one).

    That should do for starters.

    • Certainty about the motivations of the AGW cabal

      “Meat is a wasteful use of water and creates a lot of greenhouse gases. It puts enormous pressure on the world’s resources. A vegetarian diet is better.” Nicholas Stern. Is there a vegetarian bacon?

      Certainty about the universe being created by a supernatural being (Roy Spencer gets a special call-out on that one). A supernatural “being” is a product of uncertainty. If there were no uncertainty there would be zero possibility of a supernatural entity existing. To some, Microsoft Corp. is GOD.

      • If there were no uncertainty there would be zero possibility of a supernatural entity existing.

        Seems interesting, but I can’t quite follow your point.

        Some “skeptics” are absolutely certain about the existence of a supernatural being (not sure why you have a problem with that word. I’m fine with entity – but it doesn’t accurately describe their beliefs).

        So, I wonder how “skeptics” who, based on the philosophical tenets offered in the article Judith linked think that AGW theory is too uncertain to instill confidence, reach their level of certainty about the origin of the universe.

        I would imagine that some aspect of their certainty about the origin of the universe is because they find other explanations too uncertain. Is that your point?

        But that doesn’t explain why their acceptance of their particular explanation passes a test of skepticism, given the philosophical tenets of the linked article. Further, it doesn’t account for other factors influencing their belief such as faith, the underlying psychology of humans, cognitive biases, etc.

        My point is that these philosophical considerations, like much in the climate debate cafeteria food fight, are applied selectively to confirm biases.

        Along similar lines:

        http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp/2012/08/the-perils-of-reason/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

      • “My point is that these philosophical considerations, like much in the climate debate cafeteria food fight, are applied selectively to confirm biases.”

        Most intelligent people pick their battles carefully. “Never discuss religion or politics at the dinner table.” That is because both subjects require rationalization. To me there is not difference between Spencer rationalizing religion and BartR rationalizing revenue neutral carbon policy. Both fill a void created by uncertainty. Ideology is ideology.

      • The more relevant question, Cap’n, is whether you see any different between BartR rationalizing revenue neutral carbon policy and Spencer rationalizing the economic outcomes of carbon policy, or in rationalizing his skepticism about the impact of ACO2 on the climate.

        Your question reveals much. Give it some thought. My question was whether or not some “skeptics” are selective in their application of the tenets of the philosophical considerations discussed in the article. If they are, why is that? Of course, the same question is applicable to “realists.” I would never, ever, question that.

      • The only difference I see between Spencer and BartR rationalizing carbon policy is that Spencer tends to have a little bit more realistic grasp of the situation. That is likely due to my own biases I.e. I am more certain that land use – natural variability are larger factors than CO2 and that governments are wasteful when they try to usurp markets.

      • Joshua | August 13, 2012 at 10:22 am |

        There’s a difference between rationality and rationalization.

        Also, you overlook some nuance. In mathematics, there’s such a thing as mathematical certainty. We can be absolutely certain 7×13=28.

      • Bart –

        I hope you realize I was only accepting Cap’n’s use of you as an example for the sake of argument.

        In reality, as opposed to “skeptics,” you would never rationalize anything and all your opinions are completely rational.

      • Joshua | August 13, 2012 at 9:51 pm |

        Uh.. there’s a difference between ‘utterly detached from reality’ and ‘cites Abbot & Costello on Mathematics’.

        I readily recognize that to many, my arguments may always, mostly, or sometimes sound like rationalizations. They certainly sound that way to me, but then I’m rabidly hostile to my own opinion. And opinion in general. Though I recognize my fellows’ right to hold opinion, I hope it differs from my own. I know where mine have been.

        A revenue neutral (to government, on first order) Carbon Cycle fee and dividend system is, however, not the rationalization. It’s the conclusion of a set of inferences and reasonable conclusions from the data available and the principles of Market Capitalism.

        The rationalizations I put forward within the proposal are along the lines of, ‘why should I set a price, when the Law of Supply and Demand will do it for us all?’

        That’s a bit of mental laziness on my part. Were I willing to undertake the research, and reconstruct some now long-forgotten upper year Managerial Economics coursework, I could estimate the prices of the fees one would expect the Market to set. I suspect as a ballpark the average US citizen with a paycheck would gross on the order of $200 per paycheck from Carbon Cycle fees. 70% of the dividend recipients would come out ahead by somewhere between $10 and the full $200 per paycheck as the costs of Carbon Cycle fees make their way through the Market.

        Think about the impact on the USA of every wage earner’s taxable income going up $200? Or of the relative growth in the US Economy of GDP when the price of the Carbon Cycle is figured in? Those aren’t rationalizations. Those are hard Economic possibilities. Am I certain of them? I’m above 95% certain this is how things would come about, given the experience of two dozen other sovereign systems implementing some variation on carbon taxes, at least two endeavoring to be partially revenue-neutral, and moreover the experience of every other form of privatization of Commons in history, from Cell Phone Bandwidth on back.

        The rationalization is when I don’t go into those details, or do the work, on the lazy excuse that this stuff is pretty obvious, and only a thick dimwit would need to be led by the hand to understanding because the average person ought see it right off. See the difference between (ir)rational and rationalization? ;)

        Now, the ideology of Market Capitalism, that I agree with you about, somewhat. Except of course for the nuance that many claim the banner, from literal bullionists like Ron Paul, to neobullionists for whom the glitter and spark of burning fossils is as good as gold, to mercantilists and other corporate charity chasers who expect government to hand them everything in exchange for providing a trough for unelectable politicians to sidle up to between campaigns.

      • Bart –

        I think this is one of those occasions where sarcasm didn’t translate over the internet.

        In reality, as opposed to “skeptics,” you would never rationalize anything and all your opinions are completely rational.

        That wasn’t supposed to be your voice, it was supposed to be mine, or a stereotypical “realist” argument, or actually the structure of most blog posts.

        I wasn’t saying that you rationalize your rationalizations. I was mocking myself, really (it’s a Jewish thing) – to suggest that I could never admit that someone on “my side” (whatever the F that means) would engage in the behaviors I was identifying in “skeptics.”

        I was serious about going with your “rationalizations” just for the sake of argument.

        For me, the starting point for evaluating the revenue neutrality of a carbon tax needs to begin with a comprehensive evaluation of the negative exernalities of fossil fuel. If we eliminated those externalities, there would be a lot of room for economic loss over gain before we’d hit a point of neutrality. At that point, then I think that your argument does, indeed, kick in. Who really knows what an honest market price would be? The “concerns” about government interference in the market in the form of a carbon tax ignores the reality that the government has already shaped the market.

        And we see similarly blind arguments about “spending” on public education or transportation, when the returns when viewed comprehensively (fewer people in jail, economic stimulation from transportation hubs, decrease commute times, fewer people on welfare, etc.) are better than we’d ever get in the market unless we were CFOs leveraging our assets 40-1 to buy bad debt and pass if off on someone else.

      • Vaughan Pratt

        We can be absolutely certain 7×13=28.

        Sorry, this is the integers mod 62 club. You’re looking for integers mod 63, next door on your right. :)

      • Joshua | August 14, 2012 at 1:40 am |

        Sometimes I miss irony. Sometimes I miss it on purpose; this may just be a rationalization. ;)

      • I’m not a believer myself, but it seems like bringing belief in god into the conversation is a stretch. Most agree that it requires an act of faith, that it is a belief and not proven that god exists. Therefore it is outside the realm of science and not relevant to this conversation.

      • Bill –

        Most agree that it requires an act of faith, that it is a belief and not proven that god exists.

        I agree with you, but in fact, “most” people disagree with you. “Most” people consider the existence of a creator as proven. Personally, I view it is a product or logical thought – but with one particular starting condition (that the bible is infallable, that a creator must exist, that a creator has spoken to them directly, that they have seen evidence of a guiding hand in their life, etc.).

        Two additional, related, points:

        The first point is that if you read what Spencer says, he doesn’t agree with the dichotomy you are creating. He says that his opinions about the creation of the universe are based on scientific reasoning processes. Our much beloved denizen. David W., says that anyone who thinks that Intelligent Design is not a scientific theory doesn’t know anything about science.

        The second point is that I think that you are creating a false dichotomy between science and faith. The product of human cognition is not so cleanly differentiated.

      • Actually, Dr. Skeptical Gates had a good example of rationalization a while back. He linked to a study that indicated that charred hamburger consumption is linked to cancer. Charring or caramelizing is the more relevant link to cancer. Heat in general causes changes that can lead to cancer. Hot tea is carcinogenic. Hot herbal tea can be just as carcinogenic as passive smoke. Hamburger though appears to hold a special place of bias in Dr. Gates rationalization process.

      • Only Gates does this?

        Or is there some reason that his rationalization sticks out in your mind?

      • Joshua, everyone does it :) It is whether they realizing they do or not than matters.

      • I met Bruce Ames back in 84-5. He was telling us how he developed the ‘Ames’ Test for mutagens and potential carcinogens.
        I asked the question, he must have been asked 1,000 times before:
        Me: What is the most mutagenic thing you have found.
        Bruce: Chinese herb tea.

        Ames is an example of a scientist completely changing his view. In the 70’s many people speculated that man-made chemicals were more likely to be muta/carcenogens than natural compounds; as we had evolved with the latter and not the former.
        When Ames discovered that many ‘natural’ compounds were mutagens, he completely changed his view on mans place in ‘nature’ and the origins of cancer.

      • Doc said, “Me: What is the most mutagenic thing you have found.
        Bruce: Chinese herb tea.”

        Yep, and Chinese green tea supposedly triggers a hormetic response, at least in Asian genetics. A Caucasian health nut drinking copious amount of hot green tea would not likely enjoy that effect. Damn non-linearity relationships are a certainly a challenge for a linear no threshold society…

      • Steven Mosher

        OT.. but you might like him

      • Nice. I like the concept of mixing non-legacy solutions with social capital. I

        It reminds me of managers who fail to realize that the “power” in their company is in their employees. They try to squeeze them as hard as they can to extract as much power out of their employees as possible, thereby debilitating and enervating their most generative resource. Instead, they should be providing nutrients to that resource because if you think things through without over-complicating them, you see that with a little bit of sunlight and water, your employees can very efficiently output huge amounts of energy.

        Such a simple and obvious reality, but for some reason people have such a hard time seeing it.

        The same obstacle applies – the legacy of wrongful thinking.

        Thanks for the clip.

      • No sweat Joshua. The first time I saw his manufacturing curve was years ago when I worked in aerospace so that part of it appealed to my experience.

  17. during 800 k years of ice core data, there were major warming that were relatively short and major ice ages that last about 100 k years. During the last major warming, the ball game changed and since then we have had smaller warming, like the medieval warm period and the current warm period and smaller cooling, like the little ice age. There is nothing in modern data that exceeds the max or min bounds of the past ten thousand years and modern data is not headed toward getting outside the bounds of the past ten thousand years. The largest probability is that the next ten thousand years will follow the pattern of the last ten thousand years inside the same bounds. The only thing that says we have a problem is the Models and they have not been right so far. The past 15 years have not warmed as the Models predicted.

    • Vaughan Pratt

      @HAP: The past 15 years have not warmed as the Models predicted.

      Now that we have Muller’s BEST climate data we can check your claim, HAP. The
      BEST data for 1970-2010 shows not the slightest abatement of global warming during 1995-2010. Where is your data contradicting this?

      Climate skeptics keep repeating the mantra that the world is cooling in the hope that mere repetition will cause it to happen. Lots of luck with that. :)

      • Vaughan Pratt

        BEST data are for land only.

        “The world” (as you put it) includes the sea.

        The “globally and annually averaged land and sea surface temperature (HadCRUT3, for example) has NOT warmed since mid 1997, i.e. over the past 15 years.

        Max

      • Vaughan Pratt

        Gosh, and I’d just upgraded to HADCRUT4. I’ll have to switch back to HADCRUT3 to keep you guys happy.

        The only other alternative I could think of was NASA GISTEMP but that didn’t pan out any better than HADCRUT4. Ok, so HADCRUT3 it is, Max.

        But isn’t this all moot given that the Santer minimum for avoiding cherry-picking is 17 years, not 15?

      • Vaughan Pratt

        (Oops, sorry about that GISTEMP data, it should have been this GISTEMP plot. My bad.)

      • minimum for avoiding cherry-picking is 17 years, not 15
        That works for me. keep a link to this around for a couple more years. If we both live long enough, we can revisit this every 5 years or so. Or, every year.

      • Vaughan Pratt

        I’m all for that, HAP. Every year is fine by me.

      • Vaughan, the lack of a trend in water vapor would seem to contradict warming since 1995 unless there is a reason why I shouldn’t be able to use water vapor as a proxy for temperature?

      • Vaughan Pratt

        @steven: unless there is a reason why I shouldn’t be able to use water vapor as a proxy for temperature

        Certainly if temperature wasn’t available I’d look for proxies for it, while acknowledging that a proxy is rarely as good as the real thing.

        Are you talking about a situation where the temperature itself is not available? If not then I don’t understand the point of substituting a proxy, unless it’s to exploit a difference between the proxy and the real thing, in which case there’s your reason right there.

      • steven is bat crazy. If the ocean did change by 1C then with a heat of vaporization of around 0.4 eV, the partial pressure of H20 would only change 5%. Since 1995, the change is even less. How measurable is that? If the oceans change by 3C, then the humidity would rise by closer to 20%. This is the positive feedback effect that climate scientists are worried about.

        Differential CO2 levels are actually a better proxy for ocean temperature variability:

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/from:1960/mean:12/isolate:60/derivative/plot/hadsst2gl/from:1960/mean:12/isolate:60

        This is also a positive feedback,

        Do the same plot for water vapor and you will see a similar correlation I bet.

      • Vaughan, you toss out a land only series comprised of data that may be contaminated by UHIs, land use, and boundary layer turbulence and refer to that as “the real thing”? You asked for data that would support no warming. I gave you a series that would. What you decide to do with it, like ignore it since it doesn’t fit what you have decided is true, is none of my concern.

      • Vaughan Pratt

        You asked for data that would support no warming. I gave you a series that would.

        You did? Then I have four questions.

        1. When did you give me a series, and where can I find it?

        2. What trend did this series show for 1970-1995?

        3. What trend did it show for 1995-2012?

        4. In the case of temperature, 15 years is not quite long enough to obtain stable values for estimated trends. Is water vapor better or worse than temperature in that regard?

        Without 1 there is no data to work with.

        Without 2 there is no way of interpreting 3. (If there was no change during 1970-1995 then what bearing does your answer to 3 have on warming.)

        Without 3 there is no way of evaluating your claim of no change in water vapor during that period.

        Without 4 there is no way to evaluate your claim that water vapor is preferable to temperature for deciding whether warming has occurred.

      • Vaughan, the IPCC states there should be a 7% increase in water vapor per 1 C increase in temperature. The coverage prior to satellite measurements would not have been global so even if they didn’t show a trend, and I believe at least the majority if not all studies did show an increasing trend, they would have been disregarded as not being global because without a correlation between water vapor and temperature we would be spending all our time arguing over ocean acidification instead of the meager amount of warming that CO2 could cause without an increase in water vapor. I still have no reason to fall back on prior time periods because the only options are the satellite measurements are wrong, the temperature measurements are wrong, or the models are so far out in left field we can ignore them completely.

      • Here is the series

        http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2012/07/16/new-paper-weather-and-climate-analyses-using-improved-global-water-vapor-observations-by-vonder-haar-et-al-2012/

        Since I made no claim for 1970 to 1995 I don’t see where that matters to my argument. Perhaps you have an argument it matters for in which case you should state it and provide your supporting material.

        It showed no trend for 1995 to 2010.

        You say 15 years is not long enough to determine trends for temperature yet this paper states it is long enough to falsify models at the 95% should there be no warming.

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

        I don’t know if water vapor would require more time or not. Preferable or not will only be known when we know which is closer to the truth, water vapor or land temperatures. I don’t know which one is closer but you seem to. I just don’t know why you know. How do you know?

      • The ocean has increased about 0.3 C since 1989, according to HADSST3.
        If water vapor has an activation energy or heat of vaporization of 0.42 eV, then an increase of 0.3C will raise the partial pressure of water vapor by about 1.6%.
        So 1.6% of the partial pressure they show in Torr (or mm Hg) is 0.016 of ~25 mm or 0.4 mm. The question is whether one can detect that small a change when the seasonal fluctuations show noise and can go +/- 2 mm. The water vapor readings have certainly gone up. If it went up too much, I wouldn’t be able to explain it from the thermodynamic properties of water vapor.

        Wolfram Alpha equation of vapor pressure activation

        Does everyone understand this? This is essentially a homework exercise.

      • Are you asking me a question Web? If so I would state that AR4 claimed a 0.4mm +/- 0.09mm accuracy. I assume our ability to measure has not degraded since then.

      • So the uncertainty is about the same delta change expected from outgassing.
        The pieces fit together like a jigsaw puzzle and any one piece can’t deviate too much or something is very wrong. Just have to wait it out.

      • Vaughan Pratt

        @steven: Since I made no claim for 1970 to 1995 I don’t see where that matters to my argument. Perhaps you have an argument it matters for in which case you should state it and provide your supporting material.

        I already gave my argument in the paragraph “Without 2″ above. Putting it another way, if B doesn’t change when A does, B would be a terrible proxy for A. If water vapor changes only a little when temperature changes a lot, and you have no way of defining what “a little” means, no calibration in other words, then it’s a completely useless proxy for temperature. An uncalibrated instrument can’t be relied on.

        Granted the series in the Pielke page does not show an obvious trend between 1989 and 2009. But so what? Had it shown a strong upward trend for the preceding 20 years then we could look at the whole 40 years and declare that water vapor had slowed down (though that would still leave open the question of whether it was an adequate proxy for temperature).

        If on the other hand the previous 20 years were just as flat then the series would have told us nothing.

        @steven: You say 15 years is not long enough to determine trends for temperature yet this paper states it is long enough to falsify models at the 95% should there be no warming.

        I agree with the paper. Moreover, 18 months before Santer et al offered 17 years as a lower bound for trends, I calculated on a different climate blog on Feb. 19, 2010 (well before Climate Etc. began) that 15 years is necessary to determine a trend. This calculation was based on a detailed analysis of 3120 windows of widths between 5 and 17 years within the period January 1979 to December 2009. So I’m not at all opposed to the 15 year figure.

        What I wrote here was “15 years is not quite long enough to obtain stable values for estimated trends” (emphasis added). Without the stability requirement I’m comfortable with 15 years as I calculated 30 months ago. The 95% confidence level means one mistake in every 20 judgments, which I wouldn’t exactly call “stable.” With the stability requirement I’d lean towards Santer’s 17 years.

      • Vaughan, you Say: Climate skeptics keep repeating the mantra that the world is cooling in the hope that mere repetition will cause it to happen. Lots of luck with that.

        Thanks! Earth is providing the data and the data is on our side!
        Pay real close attention during the cold part of 2012-2013 to the massive snow and cold that will occur because the oceans are warm and the Arctic is open.

      • Vaughan Pratt

        Pay real close attention during the cold part of 2012-2013 to the massive snow and cold that will occur because the oceans are warm and the Arctic is open.

        One year? You’re kidding. The only thing I pay attention to is the temperature difference between years that are 15 years apart or more. Less than that is statistically meaningless because the fluctuations drown out the small drift over shorter periods.

  18. EARTHWEEK, in the Houston Chronicle, Sunday, August 12, 2012, “Climate changes heat” quotes Hansen: “severe droughts in Texas last year were caused by our greenhouse gas emissions.”
    There is nothing unprecedented about the modern drought in Texas.
    Look at the actual data. What is likely to happen in Texas is bounded by what has happened in Texas and worse droughts have happened and can happen again with or without manmade CO2.

    Here is some peer reviewed information about drought in Texas that says there were droughts before 1930 and 1950 and 2011 that were worse.

    http://journals.tdl.org/twj

    http://journals.tdl.org/twj/issue/view/199

    http://journals.tdl.org/twj/article/view/2049

    This next link is the PDF

    http://journals.tdl.org/twj/article/view/2049/5840

    Texas Water Resources Institute
    Texas Water Journal
    Volume 2, Number 1, Pages 54–96, December 2011
    Extended Chronology of Drought in Texas

  19. Psychology of Intelligence Analysis
    Richards J. Heuer, Jr.

    This book is easy to understand and uses straight forward examples which a layman/woman can understand. It really helps the individual to analyse his or her own thought processes. It is available for download from the CIA’s website for free, though it would be well worth paying for if it were in the shops!

    https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/csi-publications/books-and-monographs/psychology-of-intelligence-analysis/index.html

    There are intriguingly simple chapter titles including:
    Chapter 1: Thinking About Thinking
    Chapter 2: Perception: Why Can’t We See What Is There to Be Seen?
    Chapter 4: Strategies for Analytical Judgment: Transcending the Limits of Incomplete Information
    Chapter 5: Do You Really Need More Information?
    Chapter 6: Keeping an Open Mind
    Chapter 8: Analysis of Competing Hypotheses
    Chapter 9: What Are Cognitive Biases?
    Chapter 10: Biases in Evaluation of Evidence
    Chapter 11: Biases in Perception of Cause and Effect
    Chapter 12: Biases in Estimating Probabilities
    Chapter 13: Hindsight Biases in Evaluation of Intelligence Reporting

  20. Dr Curry,

    Something seems wrong with the fact that your inital post is ‘Philosophical’, but you are going to moderate for ‘Technical’.

    I know we live is confused times, but this is rather blatant.

    Andrew

  21. Something wrong with just calculating the percentage error?

  22. Morley Sutter

    There is a delightful book that deals with models gone wrong titled “Structures: Or Why Things Don’t Fall Down” by JE Gordon, an engineer. It has many examples of things which failed or did not work even though they were derived from models that showed that thy should be stable structures or function well. Models are not reality, that is why they are called models; no amount of statistics or computer power or statistical manipulation can obviate the need for verification in real time and real life. I recommend that JE Gordon’s book be read by all who work with models including climatologists. It is a good antidote to human hubris.

    • Vaughan Pratt

      The flip side is when you have a simple model that is faithful to reality. Your ability to predict what will happen rises dramatically.

      • Vaughan

        And when models are shown that can accurately forecast the weather 1, 2, or more years into the future it will be easier to not be skeptical about claims that someone KNOWS what is happening in the system

      • WARNING: SCIENCE CONTENT

        Rob, consider a cup of coffee with a temperature of 160 degrees, in a climate controlled room which is maintained at 70 degrees.

        The temperature of the coffee in five minutes turns out to be a non-trivial problem involving fluid dynamics. The equations are non linear and are fairly difficult.

        The temperature of the coffee in 24 hours, however, is easy to calculate: 70 degrees.

        Moral: predicting short-term fluctuations is different from predicting long-term trends. Predicting the equilibrium state can be quite a bit easier than predicting the short-term fluctuations.

      • Robert

        It would not be difficult to calculate what the temperature of the coffee in the cups will be if one understands the volume of coffee, the mass of the cups, the size of the opening exposed to the air and the material that the cups were constructed from. That is science and we could easily test our model to validate the accuracy of our cooling forecast.

        Robert- The earth is a complex system, why should people do what you think makes sense, when you acknowledge that you do not understand the key attributes of the system.
        You do not know how much CO2 is causing the system to warm, but fear it will be harmful.

        You can provide no reliable evidence to demonstrate that a warmer world will be worse for humanity overall, or for the USA specifically, but you want people to suffer by paying higher taxes because of your fears.

        You do not know how much emissions will be reduced due to the taxes you wish to impose.

        You cannot even determine what will happen to the feared conditions as a byproduct of imposing the higher taxes you support.

        Will the conditions you fear be avoided or lessened if we impose the taxes you advocate? You don’t know! All Robert does know is that he has fears and that we should do what he thinks makes sense.

      • It would not be difficult to calculate what the temperature of the coffee in the cups will be if one understands the volume of coffee, the mass of the cups, the size of the opening exposed to the air and the material that the cups were constructed from.

        Actually, it’s not that simple at all. Initially the top of the cup, exposed to the air, will cool faster than the coffee in the interior. This creates a temperature gradient. The rate of cooling at that point depends upon the mixing of the layers:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaotic_mixing.

        Robert- The earth is a complex system, why should people do what you think makes sense, when you acknowledge that you do not understand the key attributes of the system.

        You’re confused; I acknowledge that you do not understand key attributes of the system. This is to be expected, as you’re not a scientist and haven’t learned the science.

        I can’t pick next week’s lotto numbers. It doesn’t mean I don’t know how the lottery works. :)

      • Robert

        You are wrong regarding the temperature gradients impacting the temperature of the cup of coffee during cooling. The effect would be very, very minor and if they developed at all they would redistribute quickly in something the size of a cup. You are no engineer or scientist.
        Robert compares the lottery to the climate. You can’t predict the lottery tomorrow and you can’t predict with any accuracy how much more CO2 will warm the planet or if that is really a bad thing, but you do advocate that CO2 emissions need to be taxed.

      • Vaughan Pratt

        @Rob Starkey: You are wrong regarding the temperature gradients impacting the temperature of the cup of coffee during cooling. The effect would be very, very minor and if they developed at all they would redistribute quickly in something the size of a cup. You are no engineer or scientist.

        Spoken like a true theoretician, Rob. :)

        Since these trivial heat distribution problems present no challenge to you, you should have no trouble predicting the outcome of the experiment pictured here. This photo (whose EXIF info shows it was taken this evening at 10:56 pm Pacific Daylight Time) shows a glass pitcher about 10 cm diameter filled with water to a depth of 20 cm, initially at 25 C, into which has been inserted a thermometer and 300 watt immersion heater, which you can buy for less than $8 if you want to do the experiment yourself.

        The boiling just barely apparent in the photo started 8 minutes after turning on the heater at 10:45 pm (the photo was taken 3 minutes after boiling commenced).

        At 11:10 pm, 25 minutes after turning it on, I read the thermometer. According to your understanding of these things,

        1. Would you expect the thermometer to have registered more or less than 30 degrees C when I read it?

        2. 10 minutes later (i.e. 11:20 pm, 35 minutes after turning it on), would you expect the thermometer to have risen more or less than 50 degrees C during those 10 minutes?

      • Vaughan Pratt

        Your portfolio manager produces outcomes that are better than random?

        Of course not. My concern with DLH would be that they were worse than random.

      • Vaughan Pratt

        @Rob Starkey: And when models are shown that can accurately forecast the weather 1, 2, or more years into the future it will be easier to not be skeptical about claims that someone KNOWS what is happening in the system

        This is an impossible condition.

        1. No matter when you raise it, we will not know what the future holds at the time you raise it.

        2. Even ten years is impossible to forecast, let alone 1 or 2, it is too short a time period to obtain stable values. Models that can forecast 20 years into the future on the other hand are more feasible.

        (This may seem counterintuitive until you consider that we can’t reliably forecast whether next Thursday will be hotter or colder than today. However we can pretty reliably forecast that next February will be colder (or hotter in the case of the Southern Hemisphere) than this month.)

      • @Vaughan Pratt: “… we can pretty reliably forecast that next February will be colder …”

        The reason we can do this reliably is because year after year we, and our ancestors, have experienced colder weather in February as compared to August. We are confident in our prediction because odds are good next year will follow the same pattern that we have seen in the previous thousand years.

        Our confidence in this prediction doesn’t come from an untested hypothesis springing from our imagination.

        Your analogy sucks.

      • Vaughan Pratt

        There is nothing “untested” about my claim. It is an undeniable fact, based not on hypothesis but on direct observation, that for the period 1970-now, trends in periods shorter than a decade fluctuate up and down at random while every trend in periods longer than 15 years points upwards. (The Santer et al paper proposes 17 years for a more robust outcome but the idea is essentially the same.)

        Climate skeptics go LALALALA when confronted with this data. They refuse to accept it and cry “untested hypothesis.” It is no such thing. Anyone who doubts this is invited to submit the results of their own investigation demonstrating otherwise.

        So far no skeptic has ever done this, they simply refuse to accept this easily demonstrated fact. This is pure antiscience.

      • LALALALA yourself. I don’t dispute your data, but I do dispute your calling it the equivalent of test results. In my opinion, all you have in the way of data right now is sparse circumstantial evidence supporting an untested hypothesis.

        Look, between 1970 and now you have at most three independent data points showing 15-year upward trends. (I doubt you even have three.) So you have in effect seen a coin flipped three times and witnessed it come up heads three times in a row. Now you’re saying based on that result you have proven this is a two-headed coin.

        I think you’re jumping to conclusions.

      • Vaughan Pratt

        all you have in the way of data right now is sparse circumstantial evidence supporting an untested hypothesis.

        Recall that my hypothesis was in response to Rob’s remark “when models are shown that can accurately forecast the weather 1, 2, or more years into the future it will be easier to not be skeptical.” My hypothesis was that although short periods like that were impossible to forecast, for the period 1970 onwards, significantly longer ones were.

        Before we can test my hypothesis we need to formulate it more precisely. Let me claim that, starting in 1970, we can reliably predict each year that the annualized HADCRUT3 global land-sea temperature in 20 years time will be hotter than this year’s. You were ok with a forecast that in August of any year we (in the NH) could reliably predict that next February would be a colder month. Moreover your basis for your confidence was that we’d observed this many times in the past. You then claimed that 20 year forecasts of annual climate were an entirely different thing.

        I don’t see much difference.

        If we actually look at HADCRUT3 we find that in 1970, 1990 will be 0.320 C hotter.

        Move on to 1971: 1991 will be 0.384 C hotter.

        Checking every year from 1970 to 1991, the closest our hypothesis came to failing was in 1973 when 1993 was a mere 0.045 C hotter. The biggest difference was in 1978 when 1998 will be 0.590 C hotter. On average for that period, 20 years hence was 0.315 C hotter.

        So we have a well-defined hypothesis, one that can be tested, and one that passed with flying colors, every bit as well as the hypothesis that next February will be colder than this August. (Maybe better for all I know: has there been a recent year in which the NH have an August colder than next February?)

        Look, between 1970 and now you have at most three independent data points showing 15-year upward trends.

        For the record I repeated the above for 15 years instead of 20. The closest my hypothesis came to failing was in 1981 when 1996 was only 0.029 C hotter. The average was 0.246 C hotter in 15 years time.

        For the latter test, that’s 27 data points, 1970 to 1996 inclusive, not three. (22 points for 20 year forecasts.) I don’t know what you mean by “independent,” but is there any sense in which the annual temperature from year to year fails to be independent in a way that does not apply equally to the temperature in August from year to year?

        If there’s a relevant difference from the hypothesis that February will be colder than August, I don’t see it.

        So you have in effect seen a coin flipped three times and witnessed it come up heads three times in a row.

        The way I see it, I flipped a coin 27 times and it came up heads 27 times in a row. Calculate the odds of that!

      • Vaughan

        It is not impossible, it is simply not within our current capability today using the current approaches.

        I won’t write that your forecasting approach is wrong. Let’s see how well you do over time. Will your approach be more accurate than Girma’s? Time will tell

      • Vaughan Pratt

        @Rob Starkey: Let’s see how well you do over time.

        Well, assuming say the 15-year forecast (which has a higher chance of throwing tails than the 20-year one), so far we’ve flipped heads 27 times in a row. I like the idea of continually flipping the coin year after year to see whether we ever flip tails. Based on the Laplace Law of Succession applied to the specified period, 1970 onwards, the odds of tails for next year are 1 in 29. And if it’s heads the odds of tails for the following year drop to 1 in 30.

        Will your approach be more accurate than Girma’s? Time will tell.

        The nice thing about my approach is that it lets you flip the coin annually to see if it keeps on coming up heads. Assuming temperature from year to year varies randomly instead of climbing steadily, which the temperature record bears out pretty well, next year’s flip of the coin should be independent of this year’s.

        What exactly is “Girma’s method”? He keeps coming up with all sorts of arguments why global warming doesn’t exist, or isn’t serious, etc. And how do you define “accuracy” for the method you have in mind? I have yet to see even one statement from Girma that could be called “accurate.” Girma creates curve fits with WoodForTrees the way artists create paintings with Photoshop. He clearly has never encountered the concept of R2 in connection with his fits, which invariably have uselessly low R2 values, making them the antithesis of “accurate.”

      • That might be interesting. It is a plot of all 15 year trends for HADSST2, GISS LOTI, GISS Land only, RSS NH and RSS SH. There have definitely been a lot of heads tosses. The problem with coin tosses though is there are only two options.

      • Vaughan Pratt

        The problem with coin tosses though is there are only two options.

        That doesn’t seem to have been a problem for computers. 27 bits corresponds to a numerical precision of 8 decimal places. That’s already more than 3 times the amount of data that the world’s largest quantum computer to date can represent, and at the present rate this ratio looks like it’s only going to increase.

      • @Vaughan Pratt | August 20, 2012 at 12:38 pm |

        “I don’t know what you mean by “independent,” …”

        By independent, I mean don’t count the same coin flip more than once. I believe your method counts the same coin flip many times more than once. Calculate the auto-correlation coefficient for a one-year time step on 15 years of temperature data. If you get a value quite different from “0”, then your two flips are correlated and you need a bigger time step to get an independent flip.

      • David L. Hagen

        Vaughan Pratt
        Re: “next year’s flip of the coin should be independent of this year’s.”
        Ah, but next year’s weather isn’t independent of this year’s weather because of climate persistence, technically known as Hurst-Kolmogorov dynamics. See Koutsoyiannis et al. at ITIA
        e.g.,
        Hurst-Kolmogorov dynamics in paleoclimate reconstructions Markonis, Y., and D. Koutsoyiannis, Hurst-Kolmogorov dynamics in paleoclimate reconstructions, European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2010, Geophysical Research Abstracts, Vol. 12, Vienna, EGU2010-14816, European Geosciences Union, 2010.

        With persistence, the natural standard deviation evaluated using Hurst Kolmogorov dynamics is about double that of classical statistics. Thus Hansen’s 3 sigma turns out to be 1.5 sigma taking into account the full range of natural variations with persistence.

      • Vaughan Pratt

        @DLH: next year’s weather isn’t independent of this year’s weather because of climate persistence

        I don’t understand. Are you saying that the average temperature for next year is not independent of this year’s, yet the average temperature for this year’s August is independent of next year’s August? Is this because Hurst-Kolmogorov dynamics applies to climate averaged over 12-month periods but not over one-month periods?

        Recall that willb was fine with predictions of monthly weather six months into the future, with the tests being spaced 12 months apart (from one August to the next), but objected to predictions of annual weather made 15 years in advance, with the tests again being spaced 12 months apart (from one year to the next). We seem to have narrowed the difference down to that between monthly averages and annual averages, there being no other difference here.

        Is this difference studied and/or explained in some article or book about Hurst-Kolmogorov dynamics that you can refer us to?

      • You are replying to your own post with superstitious babble Pratt. If today’s weather was not even is some small way related to yesterday’s weather then a monkey throwing darts would be as good predicting future weather as any climatologist. While that is true, still, knowledge of the past does make for more accurate predictions of the future–at least among those who are not ideologically motivated to appreciate nothing more than their own preconceived notions about reality.

      • @Vaughan Pratt

        If there is persistence in a time series, consecutive time steps won’t be independent. And there is all kinds of persistence in the year-to-year temperature record. The low-frequency patterns over time are plain to see without doing any rigorous statistical analysis. What you are doing with your year-by-year 15 year delta measurement is counting virtually the same data point over and over again. You see a head come up on the coin flip, you blink rapidly 15 times and then you say “Wow, 15 heads in a row! Amazing!”

        Look at your example of August to February temperatures. What if you applied your technique on a day-by-day basis to predict the temperature six months into the future? Temperatures from one day to the next look somewhat random and unpredictable. So you compare Aug 1 to Feb 1, Aug 2 to Feb 2 and so on for 20 consecutive days. At the end of twenty days you say “Holy sh*t! It’s always colder than today if we wait six months! I have twenty data points! What are the odds of that! I confidently predict that it’s going to be colder than today in six months!” Alas, it is now Feb 20. In six months it will be August and you’re going to have egg on your face.

      • Vaughan Pratt

        (Oops, should have come back here sooner, sorry.)

        @willb: In six months it will be August and you’re going to have egg on your face.

        But you were the one who accepted the August-to-February prediction while rejecting the y to y+15 year prediction. Now you’re arguing against what you previously accepted. How does that shoot down my y to y+15 year prediction?

      • (No need to apologize. It’s a blog.)

        @Vaughan Pratt: “But you were the one who accepted the August-to-February prediction while rejecting the y to y+15 year prediction. Now you’re arguing against what you previously accepted. How does that shoot down my y to y+15 year prediction?”

        What do you mean? I still accept the August-to-February prediction and I still think your 15-year prediction is nothing more than a wild guess. Why do you say I’m arguing otherwise?

        Look, you made the rather bold statement that you could confidently predict temperatures 20 years into the future. You went on to support this prediction by applying some butchered statistical analysis. I’m simply trying to point out why your statistical analysis is crap.

        To paraphrase Vaughan Pratt (August 19, 2012 at 2:08 pm above): You are going LALALALA when confronted with this and you refuse to accept it. This is pure anti-mathematics.

      • Vaughan Pratt

        You went on to support this prediction by applying some butchered statistical analysis.

        But your statistical analysis was just as butchered. In response to my “we can pretty reliably forecast that next February will be colder …” you said “The reason we can do this reliably is because year after year we, and our ancestors, have experienced colder weather in February as compared to August.”

        The objection that 1970 and 1971 are not independent applies equally to one August and the next. The August-February example consists of examining the temperature difference T(m) − T(m+6) for a number of values of m corresponding to August. You argued thousands, but suppose I’m 30 years old and haven’t read the literature but have observed that this difference between August and February had been positive for every one of the 27 values I could remember. It seems to me that it would be reasonable to expect that next February would be colder than this August on the basis of those 27 values. In fact an extreme skeptic would only trust the evidence of his own eyes. Yet it seems to me you would have to argue that this extreme skeptic is committing a statistical fallacy on the ground that this August is not independent of last August.

        I don’t see how this independence thing can demolish one argument without demolishing both. Please explain how statistics distinguishes these two situations.

      • To paraphrase you again: “Suppose I’m 7 months old, born August 1, and haven’t read the literature but have observed that this difference between six months ago and today had been positive for every one of the 28 days in February? It seems to me that based on these 28 values it would be reasonable to expect that six months from now it would be colder than today.”

        This is in effect what you are doing, except you have spread out the prediction time from six months to 15 (or 20) years and the sampling interval from one day to one year.

      • Vaughan Pratt

        Yes. I agree that comparing August 1 with February 1, then August 2 with February 2, and so on, is closer to comparing 1970 with 1985, then 1971 with 1986, and so on. Provided, that is, that every such comparison goes the same way (there is no n for which February n is warmer than August n).

        But explain to me what statistical fallacy I’m committing if I find that February n is colder than August n for every n from 1 to 27, and infer that February 28 is therefore extremely likely to be colder than August 28. How does the lack of independence between the days of August invalidate that inference?

        If anything, any lack of independence should strengthen it, not weaken it. As an extreme failure of independence, August 1-27 might be the same temperature every day, and likewise February 1-27. In that case I’d be willing to put more money on my prediction, not less.

      • David L. Hagen

        Vaughan Pratt

        There are natural cycles to weather. e.g. the annual cycles you observed. So to a 1500 year cycle from which we see about a linear increase from the Little Ice Age. See Loehle & Singer Holocene temperature records show millennial-scale periodicity. Thus next years climate is more likely to show this underlying cycle than stochastic variations (noise).
        See the predictions of Nicola Scafetta at Duke U. showing that natural cycles dominate. e.g., Scafetta N., 2012. Testing an astronomically based decadal-scale empirical harmonic climate model versus the IPCC (2007) general circulation climate models. (Science and Public Policy Institute).

        See publications on Hurst-Kolmogorov dynamics. by by Koutsoyiannis et al. at ITIA.
        Hurst Kolmogorov Koutsoyiannis c/o Google Scholar
        Koutsoyiannis clearly show that climate is not “white noise” about the annual cycle.
        Koutsoyiannis is working seeks to establish a mathematical/physical basis for HK dynamics: Hurst-Kolmogorov dynamics as a result of extremal entropy production Demetris Koutsoyiannis
        On the credibility of climate predictions

        Note also: Koutsoyiannis, D., A. Efstratiadis, N. Mamassis, and A. Christofides, On the credibility of climate predictions, Hydrological Sciences Journal, 53 (4), 671–684, 2008.

        Geographically distributed predictions of future climate, obtained through climate models, are widely used in hydrology and many other disciplines, typically without assessing their reliability. Here we compare the output of various models to temperature and precipitation observations from eight stations with long (over 100 years) records from around the globe. The results show that models perform poorly, even at a climatic (30-year) scale. Thus local model projections cannot be credible, whereas a common argument that models can perform better at larger spatial scales is unsupported.

      • Predicting the Feb 28 temperature on Feb 27 is a one day prediction. That is not the equivalent of your original claim. The equivalent of your original claim is that, on Feb 27, your series of 27 6-month data points would allow you to confidently predict the future temperature 6 months ahead. That would be Aug 27, not Feb 28. Unfortunately, your methodology predicts that Aug 27 will be colder than Feb 27.

      • Vaughan Pratt

        Predicting the Feb 28 temperature on Feb 27 is a one day prediction. That is not the equivalent of your original claim. The equivalent of your original claim is that, on Feb 27, your series of 27 6-month data points would allow you to confidently predict the future temperature 6 months ahead. That would be Aug 27, not Feb 28. Unfortunately, your methodology predicts that Aug 27 will be colder than Feb 27.

        My original claim concerned the following comparisons where year y was 1970.

        y + 0 — y + 15
        y + 1 — y + 16
        y + 2 — y + 17

        y + 26 — y + 31

        and I claimed that if all 27 of these comparisons were the same then the comparison
        y + 27 — y + 32
        could be reliably predicted.

        The comparison I thought you were describing was day d being August 1 in the following:

        d + 0 — d + 183
        d + 1 — d + 182
        d + 2 — d + 183

        d + 26 — d + 209

        allowing the reliable prediction of the comparison
        d + 27 — d + 210
        meaning the comparison of August 28 with February 28.

        Please explain how you were able to turn this into a prediction of August 27. You seem to be scrambling two different things by taking bits out of one and bits out of the other, which makes no sense.

      • Vaughan Pratt

        @David L. Hagen: There are natural cycles to weather. e.g. the annual cycles you observed.

        Say, aren’t you the one who was claiming recently that probabilities had to be computed from infinite series? You clearly have no idea what a sample space is. Thank god you’re not managing my portfolio.

      • Your portfolio manager produces outcomes that are better than random?

      • Vaughan Pratt

        Your portfolio manager produces outcomes that are better than random?

        Of course not, at least after his commission. My concern with DLH would be that they were no better than random before his commission.

      • @Vaughan Pratt

        When you say ‘forecast’, what exactly do you mean? In the comment of yours that I keep replying to, you say:
        “Models that can forecast 20 years into the future on the other hand are more feasible.”

        Does this not mean you are talking about making a prediction 20 years into the future? In your time series, if
        y + 31
        is the present, is that not equivalent to
        y + 31 – y + 46
        and not as you suggest
        y + 27 – y + 32 ?

        What do you mean by ‘forecast’ when you say this?:
        “However we can pretty reliably forecast that next February will be colder … ”

        Does this not mean you are talking about making a prediction 6 months into the future? In your time series, if
        d + 209
        is the present, is that not equivalent to
        d + 209 – d + 392
        and not as you suggest
        d + 27 – d + 210 ?

      • HK statistics are simply fat tail, caused by a variant in the denominator. That’s why mainstream science is not interested in it and why DK can’t get his papers published. He is barking up the wrong tree. How else to explain it? You tell me? He certainly can’t, other than magically pulling a magic power-law exponent out of the air, which is the essemce of HK.

      • Vaughan Pratt

        @willb: In your time series, if
        d + 209
        is the present, is that not equivalent to
        d + 209 – d + 392

        It would be if (a) the previous observation had made the comparison
        d + 208 – d + 391,
        and the one before that
        d + 207 – d + 390
        and so on back for 27 comparisons, and
        (b) if all 27 of those comparisons had turned out the same.

        If that was the case then I’d feel very confident predicting the outcome of the comparison
        d + 209 — d + 392

        But you seem to have something else in mind, whose relationship with what I described earlier is unclear to me.

      • Another arrogant, nasty comment from Vaughan Pratt who has a habit of accusing others of being rude. What a hypocrite.

      • Ok Vaughan Pratt, just how far down the rabbit hole do you live?
        When I asked you if, in your time sequence example, Day 209 represented the present, you replied:

        “It would be if … the previous observation had made the comparison
        d + 208 – d + 391 …”

        So you are claiming you can get an observation from Day 391 when Day 209 is the present? Through what sorcery are you acquiring this observation from 182 days into the future? And if you can in fact observe the future, why are you even bothering with models for predicting future temperatures?

        Or am I misinterpreting what ‘Observation’ means down here at this level of the rabbit hole?

      • Vaughan Pratt

        Another arrogant, nasty comment from Vaughan Pratt who has a habit of accusing others of being rude. What a hypocrite.

        Peter, if you would kindly indicate the offending sentence you had in mind on this occasion (or the most offending if several) I will try to do better in future.

      • Vaughan Pratt

        Through what sorcery are you acquiring this observation from 182 days into the future?

        Ah, I see the problem now. It’s equally a problem for my original statement when worded as, knowing that the temperature 15 years hence would be hotter than this year for the 27 years 1970 through 1996, one could very reliably predict the same thing in 1997.

        To remove the element of sorcery bothering you, simply say the same except taking the present to be the 27 years 1985 through 2011, with the observation being that it was colder 15 years ago than this year. Having made that observation correctly for all 27 years, I would feel extremely confident predicting in 2011 that next year would be hotter than 1997, even though I had not yet seen a day of 2012.

        The corresponding modification to the August-February thing is that on February 27, having observed that every day this month had been colder than 183 days ago, I would be very confident in predicting the same thing for tomorrow, even though February 28 had not yet begun.

        That’s equivalent mathematically, but without the sorcery.

      • Vaughan Pratt: “Having made that observation correctly for all 27 years, I would feel extremely confident predicting in 2011 that next year would be hotter than 1997 …”

        No doubt.

        On the planet surface, where I normally reside, what you are doing is called making a one-year over-under prediction, relative to an adaptive threshold. Only at depth would this be considered a 15-year forecast.

      • Vaughan Pratt

        On the planet surface, where I normally reside, what you are doing is called making a one-year over-under prediction, relative to an adaptive threshold. Only at depth would this be considered a 15-year forecast.

        While “over-under prediction” is common in sporting circles, the idea of measuring anything relative to an adaptive threshold has only emerged within the last half decade as far as I know, though I’d be happy to learn of earlier uses of the idea.

        But your terminology and its provenance is beside the point here. I think we agree on the basic concept. If I’ve understood you, what’s at stake is whether it’s reasonable to refer to T(y) − T(y − 15), namely the difference in temperature between two years that are 15 years apart, a “15-year forecast.” I will readily agree with you that it is different from the notion of making a prediction of an event 15 years in the future, and that some other term for the concept I had in mind would be preferable.

        Looking back at my original informal comment, it occurs to me that I may have formalized what I originally had in mind wrongly, leading us up a garden path. I think what I may have had in mind is something quite different from a mere sequence of 15 observations, namely a model based on all the data solely up to 1970, going back to 1850, that actually did predict that T(y+15) − T(y) would be positive for all y from 1970 onwards. Given that there was little hint of this happening in 1970, such a model would seem extremely unlikely at the time, if not so unlikely now in 20/20 hindsight.

      • Fair enough.

  23. Possibilistic approach requires judging what is “real possibility”. What does that mean? The only way of making that relevant for practical considerations is to give effectively a lower limit for the probability of the outcome. That’s the only way I can imagine of making a difference with alternatives that cannot be proven to be impossible but that are obviously so unlikely that everybody agrees on their irrelevance.

    Severe testing requires judging what is severe. That has a natural role in Bayesian approach but what is severe if we do not want to discuss probabilities.

    We are bound to consider probabilities, also prior probabilities. All approaches come back to that when a serious attempt is made to apply them in practice. It’s not necessary to search for precise values of the probabilities but without some feeling on them we cannot get anywhere.

    The paper of Katzav et al discusses many important issues but for me those fall rather in the questions of methodology than philosophy of science. They are issues that are considered by competent scientists independently on their interest in the philosophy of science.

    I like to read philosophical considerations but reading this paper I get irritated when very many things that I would not classify as a philosophical problems are discussed as such.

    • David Wojick

      Pekka, I still cannot figure out why you think that a human judgement about an unknown future event, such as it being “very unlikely”, must be translatable into a probability. There is no basis in mathematical probability theory for your claim, as probabilities are based on infinite series if identical random events. This mathematical model simply does not apply to scientific guesses about the future. It applies if you are playing poker, or worried about your house burning down, because these are part of a large set of random events, which at least roughly approximate the mathematical case of an infinite series. It does not apply to scientific speculation.

      The human concept of likeliness is hundreds of thousands, if not a million, years older than probability theory. That the latter should explain the former is a wild guess, and a bad one at that.

      • David,

        My argument is that no decisions can be made that don’t imply a preference and the preference can be translated to a inequality which involves a combination of values and their probabilities.

        Decisions provide an ordering. That’s mathematically less than providing values but a larger number of orderings bring us closer and closer to having numerical values.

        I’m perfectly aware that the process is not precise and that intuition is involved, but my claim is that all progress towards more reason and less random and unjustified choices implies also more understanding and better estimates of the expectation values.

        There simply is no other alternative as long as the concepts are not forced to something more restrictive than what I try to explain.

      • Vaughan Pratt

        @David Wojick: There is no basis in mathematical probability theory for your claim, as probabilities are based on infinite series if identical random events.

        So when you took Statistics 101, David, they taught you to compute the probability of snake eyes in rolling two dice using an infinite series? You and I should shoot craps sometime to see whether the finite approach they taught us works faster or slower than the infinite approach they taught you.

  24. I was re-reading some of Issac Held on the S&B paper and I think he stated something that I think should be used as a way of looking at the post Dr. Curry has given us. He stated to the effect high frequency noise is not necessarily a problem if the model is well constrained and behaved. I am reminded of the Tebaldi and Knutti Royal B paper examining what possibilities existed for showing that attribution and respone had been done correctly. I think some of these could be used in severe testing, or should be considered.

  25. Cooling has been predicted. Some look to when no if.

    Question: Shall prospects of global cooling be considered a disaster too?

    Answer: Note: Nikola Scafetta believes that, “The partial forecast indicates that climate may stabilize or cool until 2030-2040.” Scafetta’s forecast is based upon, ‘physical mechanisms’ and ‘the phenomenon of collective synchronization of coupled oscillators,’ such as for examples, ENSO effects and solar activity. Qing-Bin Lu believes that, “a long-term global cooling starting around 2002 is expected to continue for next five to seven decades.” Humanity will adapt and global cooling need not necessarily be considered a disaster for everyone. Even so there will be many challenges, as for example, Canadian wheat production. And, there always is the possibility of disaster. Walter Starck noted that if only humans really were able to heat the globe, “and it helps to prevent another ice age, this would be the most fortunate thing that has happened to our species since we barely escaped extinction from an especially cold period during the last ice age some 75,000 years ago.”

    http://evilincandescentbulb.wordpress.com/2012/04/06/answer-key-to/

  26. “Should probabilistic qualities be assigned to climate model projections?”

    Disappointing to see this question even being asked.

    Answer:
    Only as a form of creative ART.

  27. The idea behind the severe testing approach is that the deliberate search for error is the way to get to the truth.

    Here is an example of searching form error:

    IS THE NON-FEEDBACK CLIMATE SENSITIVITY 1.2 OR 0.6 DEG C?

    Using the Stefan-Boltzmann equation

    Q = kT^4 (Equation 1)

    Where Q is the radiation energy emitted by the surface of the earth and k = 5.67 x 10^(-8) W/(m^2 K^4)

    Differentiating Equation 1 with respect to T gives:

    dQ/dT = 4kT^3 = 4*(kT^4)/T = 4Q/T (Equation 2)

    Taking the reciprocal of the above equation gives:

    dT/dQ = T/(4Q) (Equation 3)

    From the above equation, the small change in global mean temperature dT as a result of change in the emitted radiation energy dQ by the globe may be calculated using the equation:

    dT = T*dQ/(4Q) (Equation 4)

    At equilibrium condition, the radiation energy Q emitted by the earth is assumed to be equal to the solar energy absorbed at the earth’s surface:

    Q = (1-a)Sp/2 (Equation 5)

    In this equation, Sp is the solar constant of 1370 W/m^2 at the mean distance of the earth from the sun distributed on its projected area Ap = Pi*r^2. Instead of the projected area, the solar energy from the sun is actually distribute around half of the spherical surface area As = 2*Pi*r^2. As a result, the solar energy distributed around half of the spherical surface area is given by Ss = Sp* Pi*r^2/(2*Pi*r^2) = Sp/2. The solar energy Ss does not reach the surface of the earth because part of it given by a*Ss is reflected by the atmosphere, where “a” is the albedo of the atmosphere. Therefore, the solar energy that reaches the surface of the earth is Ss-a*Ss = (1-a)Ss = (1-a)Sp/2.

    Equation 5 could also be written as:

    4Q = 2*(1-a)Sp (Equation 6)

    Substituting Equation 6 into 4 gives:

    dT = T*dQ/(2*(1-a)*Sp) (Equation 7)

    The increase in forcing for doubling of CO2 is estimated to be dQ = 4 W/m^2. The global mean temperature is T = 288 K, the earth’s albedo is a = 0.3 and the solar constant Sp = 1370 W/m^2. Substituting these values into Equation 7 gives an estimate for the non-feed back climate sensitivity:

    dT = 288*4/(2*(1-0.3)*1370) = 288*4/(2*0.7*1370) = 0.6

    This means that the non-feed back climate sensitivity of the earth is 0.6 deg C for doubling of CO2.

    • Do you mean that somebody should point out, where you made the error that resulted to the wrong result of 0.6?

      • Why? Isn’t that simple enough for everybody – and more instructive to figure out independently?

      • OT – Pekka, Tamino has a new post on Hansen.

      • JCH,
        Thanks. I checked Tamino not long before that post, but didn’t know about this yet.

        I have tried to make it clear that my strongest criticism is on the value of the paper as a scientific contribution and on it’s claims on the change in variability. On these points Tamino’s new post tells that he agrees that the problems remain. It’s understandable that Tamino is careful in his wording, I don’t have the same need to moderate my statements but I try to my best to avoid exaggerating the problem. Doing that, I continue to believe that the paper should not have been published as it is, the authors should not have written it that way and the reviewers should have stopped the publication. Tamino obviously agrees that the new discussion paper does not answer at all his main criticism.

        Tamino notes then exactly the same point I mentioned in one of my recent comments. (Point 1) here ). Whether it’s true that the heat waves have got stronger and increased regional differences or not is not studied properly by Hansen et al. Neither has Tamino made any studies on that. Tamino just observes the same one or two incidents as I did. My second point notes that such few episodes have very little statistical significance. We have the opposing evidence that tells about more warming at high latitudes and specifically more warming in the coldest periods (winter nights) even there. Is there some increase in the frequency of heat waves at middle latitudes is not answered by any of these observations.

        Concerning Tamino’s disagreement with Cliff Mass I see some merit in that but I see also very much merit in the argument of Cliff Mass. Tamino is correct in noting that the likelihood of events of some fixed high temperature has increased by a large factor. At the same time Cliff Mass is right in stating that there’s no evidence that the temperature of an one-percent event would have increased more than the average temperature has risen.

        Every reasonable person should agree on Tamino’s point (and he writes at the beginning of the new post that there’s nothing new in that). The paper of Hansen et al is supposed to show the opposite of of what Cliff Mass tells, but it doesn’t because an severely erroneous analysis cannot say anything on that until it’s corrected. Tamino probably agrees on this, but does not like the way Cliff Mass states his points.

      • Vaughan Pratt

        @Pekka August 13: Why? Isn’t that simple enough for everybody – and more instructive to figure out independently?

        Ding. Girma, you’ve had a week to find your error and you still haven’t. If no one else is going to clue you in then I’ll give a hint.

        The problem comes where you say “the radiation energy Q emitted by the earth is assumed to be equal to the solar energy absorbed at the earth’s surface: Q = (1-a)Sp/2 (Equation 5)”

        Since the earth’s surface is 4 times that of the surface intercepting the insolation, Equation 5 should be Q = (1-a)Sp/4.

        In your explanation you reasoned incorrectly that the Earth’s surface is only twice the surface intercepting the insolation. Perhaps you were thinking that you shouldn’t count the part of the surface that the Sun wasn’t shining on, but why would you ignore the half of the surface that is getting no sunlight at all? That would make no sense.

    • Hansen et al, 2011
      Earth’s energy imbalance and implications

      If the CO2 amount in the air is doubled, the forcing is F = 4W/m^2. The opacity of a greenhouse gas as a function of wavelength is calculated via basic quantum physics and verified by laboratory measurements to an accuracy of a few percent. No climate model is needed to calculate the forcing due to changed greenhouse gas amount. It requires only summing over the planet the change of heat radiation to space, which depends on known atmospheric and surface properties.

    • I am wrong.

      In Equation 5, I equated W/m^2 instead of W. A tricky mistake. Non-feed back climate sensitivity is 1.2 deg C for doubling of CO2 concentration.

      • Vaughan Pratt

        Sorry, didn’t see this before I posted the above. I deduce from your agreement that nonfeedback CS is 1.2 that you figured out where you lost a factor of 2, even though you didn’t say so. (W/m^2 instead of W does not explain a factor of 2.)

  28. Joachim Seifert

    A philosophical remark is that “modellers are entrenched and
    obstinate”…”.they do not want to go one step BACKWARD although
    their results of simulating around is only probabilistic… ”
    this is “post-normal”…..

  29. “I like this paper because it provides an integrated framework for assessing climate model projection quality.”

    The paper and post in question are simply on large Question Begging exercise. In science one assesses ‘projection’ quality by empirical replication. Full stop.

    If there is any manner — with any sense of propiety — to establish ‘correctess’ or ‘quality’ outside and completely separate from empirical affairs? Then that needs to be proven. But this post and paper are starting with the assumption that we do not need empiricism at all. That we may assume our way to The Truth by avoiding empiricism, relying on Authorities and Priests, or by using our Biases circularly to show our Biases are Acceptable. Or any of the above. But this isn’t anything passing as rational, and so not acceptable to Pure Philosophy either.

    For I should sorely like to see you demonstrate that you can demonstrate truth without demonstration… by failing to demonstrate it. The entire notion is absurd even if we’re not having contentious arguments about thermometers. But better to have the right argument about the right topic rather than skip two paces ahead and obfuscate it.

  30. dT=255*4/(2*.7*1341)=0.54 ?
    dT = 288*4/(2*(1-0.3)*1370) = 288*4/(2*0.7*1370) = 0.6 ?

    Notice something?

    You can estimate TOA emissivity all day long, but there is latent, convective and conductive energies from substances with different thermal capacities that are not part of the radiant only estimates.

  31. Given that GCMs have not been tested and shown to be reliable at projecting future climate – an elementary requirement in science – I don’t see how you can hope to quantify uncertainty. And spare me the hindcasting – you tune and retune until you get correlation, and then you claim you understand something?

    I think the best they can say today is that they’ve done their best to understand the working of planetary climate, and that GCMs are the field’s best guess as to what will happen decades in the future. That statement would be reasonable, rational and properly constrained by the existing level of uncertainty. Anything beyond ‘best guess based on the evidence and our current level of understanding’ is just pseudo-quantification.

    • David Springer

      MarkB | August 13, 2012 at 12:53 pm | Reply

      “Given that GCMs have not been tested and shown to be reliable at projecting future climate”

      Not even close to reliable. What makes you think that?

      • David Springer

        Sorry. Misread that. Thought you wrote GCMs are tested and reliable.

        I agree with half of that. The models ARE tested. That’s the part I disagree with. They’re not reliable. That’s the part I agree with.

      • Running a model doesn’t test a model. Models are not tested/verified against what they purport to project – future climate. We are told by climate scientists that not enough time has passed yet to test whether models are wrong yet.

    • Steve Milesworthy

      you tune and retune until you get correlation, and then you claim you understand something?

      That would be silly wouldn’t it. Good thing that’s not the way it is done.

  32. If I ever post on here again, I will change my user name, so as to avoid confusion, as I am not the same person as you.
    Good post though!

    • Yes, I ‘m quite sure that you are not the same person as me. Unless it was true what they said about those drugs I took back in the 70s. ;-)

  33. Scientists can’t write for crap. Judith excepted.

    • Mark B (number 2)

      Don, I know what ;you mean. I am not a scientist and I have just been here for a few days. There have been some good posts by knowledgeable people, but the majority are made by people who just want to win arguments and ridicule people who disagree with themselves, or by people who stray completely away from the subject in question. Both of these are of things that Judith specifically asked people not to do.
      Compared to other forums, message boards etc., this one fails to meet its objectives by more than any other that I have seen, which is a shame because the concept of it is so good and the subject manner is so important. And furthermore Judith is working so hard to put new material on here everyday.
      This forum makes the contributors on some other forums, such as chess.com and betfair, seem like gentlemen and saints, when we know that this is not the case with most chess players and gamblers.

      • David Springer

        Mark, this is what it’s always like when the projections are based on just-so stories and believers want policy decisions that effect everyone are made based upon the stories. Big money is at stake based upon the strength of the narrative. Narratives aren’t science. At least not the science that policy decisions are based upon. Policy decisions need to be based on experimental science – stuff that doesn’t need a “consensus” but rather rests on repeatable experiments. The earth’s climate isn’t amenable to experiment and there’s nothing that can change that fact.

      • Well, I’m just saying that the prose excerpted above is just poorly written regardless of its content. Perhaps they should always take their papers and pass them through the English departments before publishing.

        Then, “How might one apply a (Popperian) severe testing approach to assessing projection quality?” might become “How can projection quality be rigorously tested in a manner consistent with Karl Popper principals?”
        or something even more straight forward.

  34. How do you falsify something without a quantitative value?

  35. One more thing: determining how something relates to reality before you test it is circular. The question of the models already affirms what it is looking for.

  36. David Springer

    Run it by disinterested (good luck finding them) people with PhD’s in probability. I know one. Double PhD in fact – one in probability and another in Philosophy of Science. I already know what he’s going to say. There’s not enough data nor understanding of the system being modeled to provide probability estimates. What’s the probability for instance, that solar magnetic fields throttle cloud formation? Multiply the level of uncertaintly in that by the probability that you know the polarity of feedback from clouds.

    It’s a joke, Curry. Global warning science is a cottage industry for academic rent-seekers and opportunists in politics and business. It’s all about money and power. The science is nothing but narrative. Just-so stories.

  37. “when a proponent of CAGW loses the argument, he reverts to a personal attack”

    Welcome to Robert.

  38. JC

    What are some other approaches that could be used?

    Correlation data analysis as shown below:

    This pattern is established by the oceans and has lasted since 1895 and with a high correlation coefficient is not going to change in the next two decades.

  39. Lolwat

    Is not CO2 AGW’s villain?

    Has not the mean CO2 concentration growth rate per year increased from 1.5ppm in 1988 (Senario A of Hansen et al.) to 2.1 ppm now? For CO2, isn’t the observed growth rate now greater than that for Scenarion A of Hansen et al, 1988?

    Here is the graph that shows atmospheric CO2 concentration growth rate now is greater than that in 1988 => http://bit.ly/PlhcsI

    CONCLUSION:
    For CO2, the current observed annual CO2 concentration growth rate is greater than that for Scenario A of Hansen et al, 1988.

    • #—————————————————-
      #Data from NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory
      #http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/
      #—————————————————-
      #
      #File: co2_mm_mlo.txt
      #
      #Time series (esrl) from 1958.21 to 2012.62
      #Selected data from 1978
      #Selected data up to 1998
      #Least squares trend line; slope = 1.47795 per year For 1988
      1978.04 335.107
      1998.04 364.666
      #Data ends
      #Number of samples: 2
      #Mean: 349.887

    • #—————————————————-
      #Data from NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory
      #http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/
      #—————————————————-
      #
      #File: co2_mm_mlo.txt
      #
      #Time series (esrl) from 1958.21 to 2012.62
      #Selected data from 2002
      #Selected data up to 2012
      #Least squares trend line; slope = 1.96214 per year NOW
      2002.04 372.897
      2012.04 392.518
      #Data ends
      #Number of samples: 2
      #Mean: 382.707

  40. As engineer working for both European and French Space Agencies, I recently attended a conference given by 2 NASA veterans, dealing with “Lessons learned”. They described and “husked” 42 cases of failures in huge programs (mainly NASA ones of course) trying to extract from those failures the main keys for success. One of those few keys lays in these 3 words : TEST TEST & TEST !

    All NASA successes in space exploration have been built upon extended testing experience and on models that have all been anchored on these test data, and thus duly validated. NASA has developed strict and powerful technics, rules and standards for assessing the quality / reliability / confidence level of models and of their projections, and of course for verifying and validating those models. They mainly consist in confronting and rescaling models outputs for different “test cases” using various sets of initial / limit conditions, with the test results obtained with the same conditions.

    Those technics and standards are widely recognized and used in almost all fields of science… Almost because climate science remains the only but remarkable exception! As a travesty it may appear, none of the nice climate models has even been subjected to any verification and validation process. And none of them is even close to pass such a process since none of them is able to hind-cast / reproduce past climate data and patterns.

    Even NASA/GISS totally failed applying the agency’s own standards for assessing and validating its own GISS-E model ! This is exactly why NASA “49ers” wrote to C. Bolden, just asking GISS to make real good science and to apply the rules and standards on which NASA has built its successes and reputation, especially bringing Man to and safely back from the Moon.

    • Model consistency is important.

      http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/04/29/tisdale-on-the-17-year-itch-yes-there-is-a-santer-clause/

      Since Bob Tisdale picked the 1995 starting point because of Santer’s 17year trend requirement, you can’t tell how skillful the models were prior to the 1995 climate shift from those graphs, but since then they seem to pretty consistently run warm. some might think that the shift is due to the ocean heat uptake slowing as a thermal capacity limit is approached.

      http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2012/06/29/are-climate-models-spatially-consistent/

      Then building model consistency would probably require a better understanding of past climate. Some might think that flat and then a hockey stick blade might not accurately represent past climate unless you lived under or near an ice sheet. Possibly using tropical or ocean reconstructions could be of use.

      Then that might require considering natural variability with cycles on the order of hundreds maybe even1470 +/- 500 years.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bond_event

      An ocean model could have some advantages since the majority of the heat is absorbed and contained in the oceans, if anyone was curious. Curiosity though doesn’t seem to be a climate science forte..

      • Vaughan Pratt

        Hey, cd, would you buy 14.5 years for the delay attributable to the ocean for the impact of radiative forcing on surface temperature?

        If you ignore this delay the climate sensitivity seems to be around 1.8 C/doubling. Taking it into account gives somewhere between 2.8 and 2.9 C per doubling.

      • Vaughan, There are several lags or delays that make the puzzle interesting. The 14.5 appears to be a combination of the ~11 year solar cycle and ~3.5 year ENSO harmonic. The ENSO harmonic varies with the OHC of the northern versus the southern oceans. If I use 1900 as initial conditions, I would get around 3C, 1951-1981 about 1.8C. If I use 21.1 C average SST, I get about 0.8C. In other words, natural variability appears to be 1.9C with harmonics.

        The 1.9C appears to be due to salt versus fresh freezing sink temperature. Ice amount and location appears to be a fairly critical energy budget consideration :)

      • Vaughan, since Tamino has a post on the issue of whether there is a trend or not, here http://tamino.wordpress.com/2012/07/14/fifteen/
        I thought I would play.

        That is 60 year, 45 year, 30 year and 15 year trends for HADSST2. Of course, a fifteen year trend is just below the cutoff of being “significant”. The last 30 years would be significant but the variation between that trend and the 45/60 year trends is not significant.

        Notice though that with the exception of the 1998 El Nino, the variance in the last 30 years is significantly less than the variance in the first 30 years. That could be because the early data is crap compared to the later data. That also could be because the oceans are approaching a heat capacity limit.

        ARGO hasn’t been around long enough to be of much use yet, but
        http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o252/captdallas2/climate%20stuff/WabbitsFolly.png since the ENSO cycles is kinda important NOAA has about 30 years of ENSO region heat capacity that is pretty flat.

        Personally, I am pretty sure that land use change has a grossly underestimated impact making the “global” temperature average nearly worthless for estimating climate change due to CO2 enhancement, so I tend to use the oceans and southern hemisphere for a base line for attempting to predict future climate.

        Breaking the more politically correct RSS into similar lengths for comparison, the 1996 to present flatness seems to agree quite well with the HADSST2 and the ENSO region data. That could also be a remarkable coincidence :)

        In order to get the ~2.8C of sensitivity you estimate, it would seem that rate of ocean heat uptake reducing rather dramatically might tend to be an issue. I am sure you have a good deal of confidence in your model, but what margin of error do you think is appropriate for your estimate :)

      • Since there seems to be some newer paleo versions getting archived at ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo

        ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/paleo/icecore/greenland/summit/gisp2/isotopes/gisp2-temperature2011.txt

        According to the authors, -29.9C is the 2001 to 2010 average temperature at the site. So it was warmer for around a century during the MWP and about as warm as today during the Roman Warm Period . Notice that the coldest temperatures precede the modern warm period and the Roman Warm Period appears cooler than the MWP in Greenland at least (interesting huh? tonyb might get a chuckle out of that. ).

      • “So it was warmer for around a century during the MWP”

        I hope you aren’t calling that bump around 700AD the MWP. A bit early isn’t it?

        According to that data Greenland was cooler than today when the Vikings settled in the 10th century AD.

      • That “bump” is before the “MWP” as it is defined, “Evidence has been accumulating in many fields of investigation pointing to a notably warm climate in many parts of the world, that lasted a few centuries around A.D. 1000–1200″ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medieval_Warm_Period

        That may indicate that the MWP wasn’t all that exceptional, the Little Ice Age may have been the exception.

    • Steve Milesworthy

      Eric Ollivet

      Input from another NASA veteran: from 1995-1999 – lead scientist at the NASA Independent Verification and Validation Facility in Fairmont, WV, USA:

      http://www.easterbrook.ca/steve/?page_id=2

      He’s rather more complimentary than these unnamed veterans you cite.

      As a travesty it may appear, none of the nice climate models has even been subjected to any verification and validation process.

      Wrong.

      And none of them is even close to pass such a process since none of them is able to hind-cast / reproduce past climate data and patterns.

      Suggests you don’t really understand V&V. Did Curiosity fail in its mission because it missed its target by 2.4km?

      • Eric Ollivet

        Steve Milesworthy

        “unnmed veterans” are not as anonymous as you claim.

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/04/10/hansen-and-schmidt-of-nasa-giss-under-fire-engineers-scientists-astronauts-ask-nasa-administration-to-look-at-emprical-evidence-rather-than-climate-models/

        S. Easterbrook is a well known AGW activist. But he remains unable (as well as you are) to provide any reference of a validation report for any climate model, because none of them has ever been duly validated.

        I will be definitely wrong once someone would have provided with a validation report for any of these nice climate models : I know I can wait for years and even decades.

        As you obviously have no idea about what could be a relevant pass / fail criterion, I guess you are even more understand what V&V means.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        Eric Ollivet

        S. Easterbrook is a well known AGW activist.

        Do you have a substantive criticism of his review of the V&V of climate models, or only unsubstantiated ad hominem.

        As you obviously have no idea about what could be a relevant pass / fail criterion, I guess you are even more understand what V&V means.

        Your idea would fail even a perfect replication of Earth, because our knowledge of forcing data is imperfect, and because internal variability would result in differences. So clearly your idea is not adequate – unless you’d like to provide more details.

      • Steve Milesworthy,

        That seems rather hypocritical of you. You refused to consider what Roger Pielke Jr says claiming he is an untrustworthy source. You weren’t even prepared to consider what the the Kaya Identity demonstrates because Pielke Jr. had used it.

        Aren’t you being rather hypocritical calling out others for making ad hominem comments?

      • Steve Milesworthy

        Peter Lang,

        I did not say he was an untrustworthy source. I said that I thought that you linking a lot to Pielke Jr was an indication of not being objective – remember that at the time you were criticising someone else for not being objective.

        If we were specifically discussing a view expressed by Pielke Jr I’d be happy to address the particular view if I felt able to and I wouldn’t summarily reject him. If I recall a recent discussion, I disputed a plot you linked to (on rates of decarbonisation) because there was no explanation of how one calculates what a measure of decarbonisation was, not because it came from Pielke Jr.

        Steve Easterbrook as discussed quite clearly and openly the methods for validating and verifying climate models, why these methods have led to quality codes, and why other methods for V&V would not be appropriate. There is plenty for Eric to get his teeth into if he could be bothered.

      • Steve Milesworthy,

        I did not say he was an untrustworthy source. I said that I thought that you linking a lot to Pielke Jr was an indication of not being objective.

        Now you are being untrustworthy. You said “I do not trust Pielke”. I’d referred you to these two links:

        http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com.au/2010/07/decelerating-decarbonization-of-global.html

        http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com.au/2011/02/reality-check.html

        and you would not read then or take any notice of them because you did not trust Pielke.

        So much for your credibility and integrity.

        So much for you calling out others for ad hominem attacks.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        Peter Lang,

        You would seem to be as untrustworthy as Pielke. One you missed off the second part of the sentence where I said why I did not trust the decarbonisation link and two saying that I do not trust Pielke is different from saying Pielke is untrustworthy for some unsubstantiated reason. Further, Pielke is a a well-known political operator whereas Easterbrook is not, so I’m entitled to distrust him.

        If you want to know why I don’t trust him is because he is completely US-centric. If the rest of the world loses 20 billion and the US gains 1 billion, he will be happy. That’s a succinct summary of my first interaction with him some 5 year ago.

  41. One of the most commonly used technic for probabilistic analysis / assessment of complex processes is the Monte Carlo approach. But you need a probabilistic law characterizing (quite faithfully) each of the parameters… Not easy…

  42. David Springer

    What observations would be sufficient to serve as falsification of anthropogenic global warming?

    What’s the climate science equivalent of the Precambrian Rabbit?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Precambrian_rabbit

    • Too much is at stake here, and agw is not even wrong to be falsified like that. The ghg/aerosol game can be played for a long time. IMO, a rapid cooling in this decade (and the next) will do it – they cannot postulate increasing aerosols (or whatever negative forcings) ad nauseam.

      For the record, I expect rapid cooling at the latest after the sc24 plateau (2014/15).

      • And we come full circle, as if we’d made no progress in a year.

        http://judithcurry.com/2011/09/18/climate-models-as-ink-blots-2/#comment-113686

        Correct me if I’m wrong, wasn’t your prediction last year rapid cooling at the latest by this year? Wait. I am wrong. I was thinking of Mr. Orssengo’s not dissimilar claims, two years ago. Or Mr. Ellison’s.

        It’s so hard to keep track of all the people predicting cooling; if only some journalist or website did it for us. http://www.durangobill.com/RogerCohen.html

        But here, let me help you research how to get rich with your confidence in solar cycles: http://lmgtfy.com/?q=climate+derivatives

        Good luck.

      • I think we’ve made some progress. The paradigm is getting weaker. Yes, you’re wrong about my prediction.

      • Edim | August 14, 2012 at 2:26 am |

        The paradigm is getting weaker.

        The paradigm. It surprises you even know Solow and Hartwick’s paradigm of weak sustainability. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weak_sustainability_(ecological_economics) ); how it relates seems.. dubious, however.

        Still, this is important philosophical stuff. Carry on.

        Yes, you’re wrong about my prediction.

        Which makes two of us!

      • David Springer

        Edim

        I’m more interested in what “The Team” would accept as falsification not what skeptics will accept. It’s their hypothesis and as such they get to set the criteria for falsification. Inability to define what constitutes falsification disqualifies the hypothesis as scientifically valid.

        Lack of falsification criteria is best summed up IMO by the expression “A theory that explains everything explains nothing.” If the AGW hypothesis encompasses and explains all possible observations then it is not valid science. As analogy God is an unfalsifiable hypothesis through the definitive statement “Through Him all things are possible”. Any observation can be explained as an Act of God. If any observation of climate can be explained by anthropogenic causation it ceases to be scientific and becomes a belief system not unlike religious belief systems. I believe for many AGW pundits it has already crossed that line which is why I’m asking for specific falsification criteria. Curry wanted philosophy of science and I’m well prepared to provide it. She may not like what she gets. One should be careful what one wishes for.

      • @ David Springer | August 14, 2012 at 11:06 am
        “I’m more interested in what “The Team” would accept as falsification”

        “The Team” have *zero* interest in falsification.
        1. Propose a testable hypothesis for a physical mechanism of greenhouse warming – The Team: the atmosphere is so complex we can’t possibly perform any valid experiments on parts of it (JC is still in this camp)

        2. Propose proper statistical tests for prediction accuracy and assess the GCM predictions statistically over time – The Team: GCMs provide projections, not predictions, so they can’t be formally assessed, but we know they’re liell to be reliable.

        3. Propose an experiment to demonstrate: the thermalization of IR by GHGs, or the radiative blanket effect, or surface IR emission delay in the atmosphere or whatever – The Team: It’s already been done in the radiative transfer data and radiative transfer models.

        Progress will only be made when people *not* on the team propose hypotheses for how they think The Team’s greenhouse effect might work and test them experimentally. When The Team’s chairs and tables have no legs left to stand on, those not on “The Team” will be able to declare “The Team” was wrong. “The Team” will forever proclaim the models are right but we need to further refine the parameterisations (fudge factors).

    • David Springer | August 14, 2012 at 1:24 am |

      What observations would be sufficient to serve as falsification of anthropogenic global warming?

      There we must get into philosophical definitions. Do you mean to falsify all hypotheses of AGW, or just one particular one?

      If you can rigorously state the hypothesis (es) you wish to falsify in the language of strict inference, then you only need to decide on the appropriate type of test.

      For some types of inference, there are simply applicable tests that rely only on a single outcome of the experiment to falsify a particular hypothesis. This is what Rutherford was referring to when he is said to have asserted, “If your experiment needs statistics, you ought to have done a better experiment.”

      If you can show a thin film of gold reflects back some alpha particles and lets some through, then you’ve disproven a great many hypotheses about the structure and nature of the atom.

      However, to get to the real interesting details of that structure, statistics become a powerful toolset to apply, and in the substructure of the substructure, CERN for example is almost all statistical inference in the search for the Higgs Boson. It would be inappropriate to dismiss the results of CERN simply because there is currently no Boolean test for the Higgs particle.

      So, which AGW do you mean? What’s it’s strict inferential description? I’m unaware of any interesting AGW hypotheses that haven’t exhausted the available straightforward tests (thereby ‘passing them’) without falsification; the ones that remain have the problem that we only have one planet, and it looks like the lapse rate for CO2 and other climate-related parameters and dependencies combine to require about two decades to entail a single observation, on top of which we have horrible data gathering.

      Paleo reconstruction that combine higher precision than is currently available (for the most part) over many more regional climate basins (at least 30) than currently produce usable paleo proxies for 600 years at a granularity of monthly observation could get you enough temperature observations for the feat. If the observations were so far out of line with your AGW hypothesis as to falsify it statistically (ie, in a Bayesian sense, reduce your confidence in your belief below some threshold value). But then that’s always hairy.

      More to the point, Newton addressed the real import of this question. Until so much new data is available as to unseat the current hypothesis, we ought treat the best of the AGW mechanisms as accurate or very nearly true, in order to avoid falling into the trap of standing for nothing and becoming susceptible to all untested hypotheses, that Richard M. Nixon so succinctly characterized as, “who stands for nothing will fall for anything.”

      • David Springer

        Bart R | August 14, 2012 at 1:53 am | Reply

        David Springer | August 14, 2012 at 1:24 am |

        What observations would be sufficient to serve as falsification of anthropogenic global warming?
        ——————————————————————–

        “There we must get into philosophical definitions. Do you mean to falsify all hypotheses of AGW, or just one particular one?”

        No, the philosophy ends at the point where we agree that any hypothesis must be falsifiable, at least in principle, for it to be considered a valid scientific hypothesis. The second sentence there is a valid question. The specific hypothesis is that continued anthropogenic generation of CO2 through fossil fuel combustion without abatement or mitigation will result in catastrophic warming.

        “If you can rigorously state the hypothesis (es) you wish to falsify in the language of strict inference, then you only need to decide on the appropriate type of test.”

        Yeah okay. I did. Unfortunately we can’t test. We can’t take one earth and put in experimental controls to isolate the variable of interest (anthropogenic CO2) and compare the climate change results at different CO2 levels. So given we can’t perform repeatable experiments with the planetary atmosphere we can only make predictions based upon the hypothesis and say that these predictions, if they don’t happen, falsifies the hypothesis.

        So what observation or set of observations would constitute falsification?

      • David Springer | August 14, 2012 at 10:44 am |

        .. the philosophy ends at the point where we agree that any hypothesis must be falsifiable, at least in principle, for it to be considered a valid scientific hypothesis. … The specific hypothesis is that continued anthropogenic generation of CO2 through fossil fuel combustion without abatement or mitigation will result in catastrophic warming.

        A couple of dubious points here. There’s going to be philosophy throughout, no matter how we try to avoid it. And you’re blurring the distinctions between ‘scientific’ and ‘experimental’ an awful lot. There are Mathematical hypotheses, Aesthetic hypotheses, Philosophical ones and so forth, I’m sure. The standard of their validity varies; almost none of the hypotheses of String Theory are experimentally falsifiable. Does this make all of Physics after CERN non-Science or invalid?

        Also, you don’t demonstrate much rigor in your statement of your hypothesis. What do you mean by catastrophic? If one person’s death is to them a personal catastrophe, or the death of their favorite garden plant to be ludicrous, does that count?

        ..Unfortunately we can’t test.” | “We can’t take one earth and put in experimental controls to isolate the variable of interest (anthropogenic CO2) and compare the climate change results at different CO2 levels.

        These two statements are far from equivalent. We can — and people have exhaustively — test the underlying mechanisms and assumptions of hypotheses, in particular the AGW hypothesis you have proposed, and competing or contradictory ones. And AGW still stands. What you’re talking about appears to be a form of proof by exhaustion, also known as brute force and ignorance. We don’t need to take the most ignorant possible approach to science to achieve confidence. That’s the whole point of having Science in the first place.

        So you set an impossible standard, knowing you’ve already seen sufficient and necessary proof by the accepted standards, as a way to avoid the logical outcomes of the decision process. For shame.

    • Vaughan Pratt

      What’s the climate science equivalent of the Precambrian Rabbit?

      Excellent question, Dave. How about the core-mantle slip of 1960?

      It is well-known that tidal friction has been continually transferring angular momentum from the Earth to the Moon, absorbed by the Moon by moving away from the Earth so as to increase its moment of inertia without changing its angular velocity. However the tidal forces slowing the Earth’s crust need to be transmitted to the Earth’s core via the mantle in order to slow the whole planet, which over time builds stress in the mantle.

      Eventually that stress results in a seismic event at the core-mantle boundary that results in a temporary redistribution of heat in the mantle, raising the temperature of the upper mantle. Such a slip happened in 1960, resulting in a dramatic rise in surface temperature over the next half century. We’ve now hit the peak of that rise and can look forward to a restoration of the default distribution, which will cool the surface back to its pre-1970 temperature.

      Good enough?

      (Between you and me, I suspect the slip actually happened around 1900 and is responsible for the impressive rise between 1910 and 1940.)

      • The slip that happened in 1960s was solar system wide:

        http://sidc.oma.be/html/wnosuf.html

      • David Springer

        I don’t think that answers my question, Vaughn. The Precambrian Rabbit is an allusion to what physical evidence the AGW believer would accept as falsification of the AGW (CO2-causation) hypothesis. Evidently the satellite record showing no global warming at all since the year 2000 despite unabated growth in production of anthropogenic CO2 during that time. Evidently the lack of warming at all in Antarctica in the decades of measuring temperatures there is not sufficient despite the rise of CO2 in Antarctica matching the rise elsewhere on the planet.

        So I’m just curious as to what observation or observation they would accept as falsification of the CO2-driven AGW hypothesis. If no falsification criteria can be stated then the AGW hypothesis is no hypothesis at all and is nothing more than a just-so story which is immune from the consequence of failed predictions.

      • Vaughan Pratt

        The fallacy in your objection to my example, David, is that you are asking AGW believers to accept your argument based on a mere 10 years of temperature data. That would be fine if one could see global warming in a single decade. To see that you can’t, look at the land temperature for 1980-1990 (smoothed to 1/40 the width of the plot, namely 3 months, for the clearest possible picture). Then change the From-To dates to see the other three decades. You cannot tell them apart, they all look equally flat.

        But when you look at all four together (again smoothed to 1/40 the width for a clear picture) it becomes obvious that each of the four decades is rising, and by the same amount: 2000-2010 is not the slightest bit different from the other three decades when seen in context. Every decade is clearly rising.

        Focusing on one decade at a time is the climate debate equivalent of an art historian arguing that the Mona Lisa is not smiling based solely on the relevant corner of her mouth, without showing the context of the rest of her face.

        A more immediately relevant example would be Benjamin Wells’ ten arguments against evolution, which are too easily refuted by those familiar with the science. Evidence for a precambrian rabbit on the other hand would (so that argument goes) constitute legitimate evidence that would not be as easily refuted as Wells ten arguments.

        (Actually Wells’ second argument is that all major animal groups appeared fully formed at the Cambrian explosion, which he apparently believes. This is about as close as anyone’s come to actually asserting the existence of precambrian rabbits, not counting the biblical literature. So far no one’s found a rabbit anywhere near the first three hundred million years of the Cambrian explosion, but if one were to be found Wells would suddenly be the proud owner of a strong argument against some core aspects of evolution. Such a rabbit would not need to be strictly precambrian to support Wells’ case, just early Cambrian.)

        The point of my seismic event in 1960 was that evidence for such would constitute a scientifically plausible explanation for why the temperature rose thereafter. To shoot it down you would need to refute the evidence itself, just as you would need to shoot down the evidence for a precambrian rabbit were such to be adduced. This is because if the slip had actually happened and stirred up the mantle, you would have a scientifically valid explanation of the last four decades of rise as an alternative to the hypothesis that CO2 caused the rise.

        In contrast, your evidence against AGW consisting of a single decade is too easy to shoot down. That you cling to such an easily refuted argument shows how weak the supposed scientific evidence against global warming is. You flatly refuse to accept that you can’t see global warming in a single decade, it happens too slowly for that. Muller made this point in his interview. Ben Santer et al made this point in their paper calculating 17 years as the minimum window needed to see global warming. The graphs above should make the point vividly clear.

        But as long as your 10-year argument remains your strongest one I predict you will continue to cling to it, no matter how many people point out to you why your argument doesn’t work.

      • Vaughan, I agree somewhat, but you”ll need a lot of warming to catch up in the next few decades. What will you say when we have 30 years of no warming? The same argument? Don’t forget, the alleged anthropogenic forcing is highest ever and it will increase further.

      • Vaughan Pratt

        @Edim: I agree somewhat, but you”ll need a lot of warming to catch up in the next few decades

        Regarding “catch up,” which dataset did you have in mind, Edim? If you agree that more than a decade is needed to make a meaningful forecast, is there a dataset whose last say 20 years does not show a strong warming trend? Or even last 17 years (the Santer minimum)?

        What will you say when we have 30 years of no warming? The same argument?

        I would say “thank god climate science got that wrong.” There are a lot of people out there, particularly those much younger than me, who really do not want any more of this damned global warming.

        It would also be great if climate science had overstated the impact of increasing CO2 on decreasing ocean pH.

        I suspect a lot of climate skepticism amounts to projecting those kinds of wishes onto reality. Wouldn’t it be great if climate science was seriously wrong on global warming and ocean acidification?

      • “If you agree that more than a decade is needed to make a meaningful forecast, is there a dataset whose last say 20 years does not show a strong warming trend? Or even last 17 years (the Santer minimum)?”

        I see no logic here. Forecast? I forecast rapid cooling after ~2015 and 30 years of no trend (flat) by ~2020.

      • three records since 1997.9-1998.9

        And we’re likely going to get another one 2012.9 to 2013.9.

    • David Wojick

      As I have said before, I think the UAH satelite data is already sufficient to falsify AGW. It shows no GHG warming for the last 32 years, just a single step warming coincident with the 1998 super ENSO. But the believers are simply not prepared to disbelieve. Under such circumstances, theory saving is always possible. In the short run there is always a way around the data. Falsification takes time.

      • I disagree about the step. It’s arbitrary.

      • David Wojick

        There is no warming before, and none after. How is this arbitrary? Science is about specific observations. This pattern is clearly there.

      • These steps do seem to be real, but I don’t know how to explain them.
        I assume one gets if cooling also.

      • David,

        The data has far too much variability to provide any credibility for your view. The oscillating line that Spencer shows on his page looks a little better but that and your step are just two alternatives out of very many that agree equally well.

        Only two things can really be concluded from that amount of data:
        – there has been warming of some kind
        – there’s a lot of variability on the time scale of a few years (certainly affected by ENSO, but the data alone does not tell that).

        Everything beyond that requires supporting data from other sources or is empty speculation as your step interpretation clearly is.

      • All of the warming is in the discontinuity between the flat trends. The timing of the step(s) is arbitrary. Here for example there’s some cooling until 1994 and strong warming since:

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/plot/uah/to:1994/trend/plot/uah/from:1994/trend

      • David Wojick

        Pekka, I do not agree. The first flat period was about 20 years, the second over ten. Of course it is an oscillator as well, but the step pattern is clearly there. Something happened in the super ENSO and it does not look like GHG warming.

        Edim, sorry but I do not understand your point.

      • The usually excessively verbose gbaikie says this:

        “These steps do seem to be real, but I don’t know how to explain them.
        I assume one gets if cooling also.”

        Now we know his thought process. He doesn’t understand science but that doesn’t prevent him from making unwarranted assertions.

      • How can an El Nino in 1998 heat the SAT in 2000, or any other year? You analysis is hopelessly flawed. You are saying an El Nino instantly heated the SAT, and then the heat essentially stayed there. It obviously did not. It mostly goes to outer space. The 1998 El Nino made the atmosphere very hot in 1988. Making trend lines from that crest is like getting lost in the woods.

        Both prior to the 1998 El Nino and after it, AGW marched ever upward.

        The UAH series starts in a period of El Nino dominance, and it totally distorts the trend to 1998. Starting the trend in 1982 clearly shows it is little different than GisTemp.

      • Vaughan Pratt

        Even if we only allow at most one step every 25 years on average, we can use the “it was just a step” argument to show that except for the occasional step the world has been steadily cooling ever since 1850. This can be seen from this graph. Moreover the cooling is accelerating, with the (barely visible) yellow line starting in 2001 being the steepest!

        This exploits the fact that by picking the start of the decade appropriately one can find plenty of decades that support any trend hypothesis you want.

        In bygone times this also worked for periods much longer than a decade. But once we embarked on the period of strong global warming, over the past half century, there ceased to be any 20-year periods showing a decline, only single decades, half of which go up and (slightly less than) half go down.

        @gbaikie: These steps do seem to be real, but I don’t know how to explain them.

        Well, all five steps in the above graph certainly seem to be real, though I’m sure explaining them would be an easy exercise for a creative writing class. :)

      • David Springer

        David,

        You can see the step change from the 1998 ENSO occur in Arctic sea ice about 18 months later. The pulse of warm water took about 18 months to make its way along the conveyor belt and began an accelerated ice melt at that time which culminated in about 1 million square kilometers less ice several years later. Ice extent then settled in moving marginally above or below that new point.

      • David Springer said, ” The pulse of warm water took about 18 months to make its way along the conveyor belt”

        And the “reflection” of that pulse can be seen in the tropics 18 months later. A 36 month pseudo-cycle. The southern hemisphere “pulse” is smaller and with a longer period. The internal harmonics of the system are fascinating

      • David Springer

        Yes, they are fascinating. The speed and volume of the conveyor belt in all directions isn’t well enough characterized IMO but certain sections of it, especially the surface currents like the Gulf Stream, are well studied.

        One of the biggest questions I have in this regard is how did the global ocean acquire an average temperature of 4C, taken top to bottom, without that being the long term average of the surface temperature. The lower 90% of the ocean’s volume is a pretty constant 3C from equator to pole. Sea water reaches its greatest density at -1.9C which also happens to be its freezing point. Most people don’t happen to know that the salt content of the ocean alters its temperature/density profile. So given that the bulk of the ocean below the mixed could be colder than 3C because that’s not its point of greatest density then how did it get that way? And what keeps the mix rate between the warm surface layer and the frigid deep from accelerating in a positive feedback scenario which causes a rapid end to the interglacial warmth? That frigid ocean and the fragile transient nature of the warm mixed layer is what worries me more than anthropogenic CO2. I consider any warming of the surface due to anthropogenic CO2 a hedge against the day the Holocene interglacial begins to end.

      • The 4C appears to be heat capacity and density phenomena. The energy of an object at 4C degrees is ~ 334Wm-2 and the heat of fusion is 334 Joules per gram. That is more than just an odd coincidence to me. Adding salt negates the fresh water maximum density at 4C, but doesn’t change the actual heat of fusion, the best I can tell.

        That makes 4C a more “likely” temperature not a solid reference temperature. I am not particularly sure how to proceed with that, but a prolonged solar minimum should have about twice as much impact as estimated. If it does, then I may have a better handle on what is really happening.

      • David Springer

        Even more interesting;

        4C radiant emittance = 334Wm^2 verified here:

        http://www.spectralcalc.com/blackbody_calculator/blackbody.php

        334 * 4 = 1336 which is within half a percent of the solar constant currently measured at 1366W/m2. And of course the ratio of the surface of a disk is one fourth that of a sphere of the same diameter.

        I believe this is what I’d call a BINGO moment. The above is very very unlikely to be a coincidence.

      • David Springer

        So what are the implications of this? I think we can reasonably say that the average ocean temperature is fixed and set by the solar constant. Given that the atmosphere is heated mostly by the ocean then the whole ballgame is about the rate of diffusion between ocean mixed layer and the bulk of the ocean below it. Sound reasonable to you?

      • David, yeah, but I have been stuck on BINGO for about two years now :(

        I have a model that I was working on where I stayed with S-B energy values and was looking to incorporate permittivity to use the Relativist Heat Conduction to connect all the energy transfers. That is complicated but should work. Proving stuff is the bitch.

      • David” I think we can reasonably say that the average ocean temperature is fixed and set by the solar constant. Given that the atmosphere is heated mostly by the ocean then the whole ballgame is about the rate of diffusion between ocean mixed layer and the bulk of the ocean below it. Sound reasonable to you?”

        Ocean mixing layer and sea ice balance. Most of the surface temperature variation is due to the imbalanced land mass percentage. The properties of salt water limit the SST range to 21.1 C +/- 1 approximately. It kinda blows the “faint young sun paradox” out of the water because if there is any liquid water near the equator, the oceans will warm to ~21 C. Pretty neat I thought.

      • “The above is very very unlikely to be a coincidence.”

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Numerology

      • David Springer

        Someone better with probability and statistics might be able to say what the odds are of average ocean radiant emittance of 334W/m2 being almost exactly the same as the solar constant projected onto a sphere to within about a quarter of a percentage point. Offhand I’d say the odds are about 400:1 in favor of there being a fixed relationship between average ocean temperature and solar constant. You don’t find numbers in the real world that line up that well very often. I’m chagrined that I never noticed it before. Has this relationship been noted in the literature anywhere?

      • David, “Has this relationship been noted in the literature anywhere?” Not that I am aware of. It really makes it a challenge when you may be onto something new. It could be a complete waste of time or “ground breaking” In either case, you are a whack job until you either prove or disprove the relationship on your own.

      • David Springer

        captdallas2 0.8 +0.2 or -0.4 | August 14, 2012 at 12:36 pm |

        “David, “Has this relationship been noted in the literature anywhere?” Not that I am aware of. It really makes it a challenge when you may be onto something new. It could be a complete waste of time or “ground breaking” In either case, you are a whack job until you either prove or disprove the relationship on your own.”

        The relationship itself only depends on a few well-established givens:

        1) S-B emitted power of a 4C black body is 334W/m2
        2) solar constant is 1366E/m2
        3) solar constant projected onto a sphere is 341W/m2
        4) average temperature of the global ocean is 4C

        I would venture to say it’s not possible for a 1366W/m2 solar constant to keep the average temperature of the global ocean above 4C. So basically what we’re dealing with is probably something like Ferenc Miskolczi’s saturated greenhouse and the surface air temperature is largely a reflection of how much mixing occurs between main body of ocean and top 300 meters. Top layer of ocean at the equator can reach much higher than average temperature and because it’s bouyant over colder water and can spread away horizontally. At the equator we can get 668W/m2 at the surface which equates to 59C if it could be captured in the top few centimeters of water (which it can’t). Interestingly 58C is the highest air temperature ever recorded over land which CAN capture that much in the top few centimeters. Izzat a coincidence too?

        I’ve never been really suspected the atmosphere is more than the tail on the dog and the brunt of its effect is providing enough pressure so liquid water can exist in a 100C range at sea level.

      • Vaughan Pratt

        I’ve never been really suspected the atmosphere is more than the tail on the dog and the brunt of its effect is providing enough pressure so liquid water can exist in a 100C range at sea level.

        I think the phase diagram of water answers the question of what happens to the oceans when the atmosphere is removed. The triple point is at 612 Pascals, corresponding to removing 99.4% of the atmosphere. Down to that pressure water freezes at essentially 0 C. Even if what remains is 100% water vapor, that won’t be enough greenhouse effect to prevent the oceans from freezing over.

        But if the pressure were to drop below that, the frozen ocean would gradually sublime away, the same way dry ice does.

        However this would tend to maintain the water vapor in the atmosphere. I would guess that, with all other gases gone, it would take relatively little of the ocean to sublime in order to maintain the pressure above the triple point, which would prevent further sublimation. The atmosphere (all water vapor at that stage) would then stabilize at a tad over 600 Pascals.

        Were Ming the Merciless to then steal all of Earth’s atmosphere for the benefit of Mars in one massive heist, the atmosphere should fairly quickly return to 600+ Pascals, still all water vapor.

        (This all assumes that no other gases are emitted by anything, of course.)

      • Vaughan Pratt

        Added complication: the noonday sun in the tropics should melt the top layer of ice to slush. However the pressure at sea level should be the same around the globe including the poles. I would guess the tropics would be the main contributor to keeping global sea level pressure at very close to the triple point of 612 Pa, but that’s just a guess. Nice question for your physics and climate science friends.

      • David Springer, “1) S-B emitted power of a 4C black body is 334W/m2″ Check
        “2) solar constant is 1366E/m2″ Actually for the Faint Sun Paradox I was using 70% of 1341Wm-2 and considering only a local albedo of 0.08 for liquid water. For the Faint Sun Paradox I could have used 1380Wm-2 available during perigee. Since the problem only requires maintaining liquid water, the global albedo is irrelevant initially.
        “3) solar constant projected onto a sphere is 341W/m2″ Approximately 341Wm-2, but 431Wm-2 minimum for a the day half cycle is more important than global average. Because of the Mpemba effect and ice insulation, that would allow a net energy gain for a 24 hour period. As water vapor is increased in that atmosphere, that additional heat capacity/insulation potential would help with the increase in albedo as a trade off. Remember, I started this because of the faint young sun paradox conference which I did not attend.
        “4) average temperature of the global ocean is 4C” Roughly. The main thing is the salt density stratification which allows 21C average surface temperature with roughly 4C average volume temperature. The depth of the mixing layer would vary with heat content and salinity with the ~4C maintained by -1.9C sinking water at the ice formation boundary. If the oceans weren’t saline, we wouldn’t be here.

      • David Springer

        Vaughn – ah, that explains why there’s a water vapor atmosphere on the moon and mars.

        No, wait. I seem to recall something about photodissociation of water vapor bombarded by high energy particles at TOA, the hydrogen is lost, and the free oxygen oxidizes the f*ck out of whatever it touches until there isn’t any more of that gas either. Then you’re just left with water ice below the surface.

        http://thesis.library.caltech.edu/3940/

      • David Springer

        Vaughn

        No, wait. Even better. Venus has virtually no water left because it couldn’t remain liquid and the vapor photodissociated. Something was nagging at the back of my mind that Mars and Luna couldn’t hold much of any atmosphere (water vapor or otherwise) because gravity was so weak solar wind could blow it all away. But I was pretty sure that earth gravity isn’t enough to hang on to hydrogen so sure enough, Venus is the example I wanted because of similar gravitational constant as Earth:

        http://www.astronomynotes.com/solarsys/s9.htm

        The water Venus originally had is now gone because of a process called dissociation.

        The water Venus originally had is now gone because of a process called dissociation.

        Venus’ water was always in the gaseous form and could reach high enough in the atmosphere for ultraviolet light from the Sun to hit it. Ultraviolet light is energetic enough to break apart, or dissociate, water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen. The very light hydrogen atoms were able to escape into space and the heavier oxygen atoms combined with other atoms. Venus’ water was eventually zapped away. The Earth’s ozone layer prevents the same thing from happening to the water here.

        As always, thanks for playing. There’s a consolation prize waiting as you exit stage left. :-)

      • David Springer

        @capt dallas

        I never heard of no global average SST of 21C. Range is 14-16C that I’ve read. 21C would substantially raise average temperature above 4C which is widely accepted and/or it would drastically decrease the average depth of the mixed layer. I’m not buying it.

      • David Springer, the 21.1C SST average is based on the Aqua satellite data which is the only one I have found not in anomaly,

      • Vaughan Pratt

        The water Venus originally had is now gone because of a process called dissociation.

        Good point. Ming the Merciless’s cunning disguise. :)

        However you’re considering only the limit when all the water is gone, while I was considering what happens as long as there’s any water left to sublime. Until persuaded otherwise I’m sticking to my claim that the atmospheric pressure at sea level will hover around 600 Pa all around the world as long as any water/ice remains somewhere on the surface of the planet, dissociation of the atmosphere notwithstanding. Only when no surface water remains will dissociation due to UV then be able to reduce the pressure below 600 Pa. Getting to that point could take a while.

        The point about the solar wind is well taken though. Unlike UV which is mere energy that can only dismantle H2O molecules but not push them around perceptibly, the solar wind also has significant momentum that could easily blow intact H2O (and don’t forget O2) molecules off the planet without any assistance from UV.

        When both mechanisms are in effect in this scenario, it’s a good question what proportion of the dissociated oxygen atoms escape being blown off the planet by the solar wind before they have time to oxidize some heavier atom (presumably metal) resting (relatively) safely on the surface. And even those are at risk of being dissociated by UV, since the binding energy between oxygen and metals is in the same ballpark as for both H2O and O2 molecules, in the range 4-8 ev.

        I would guess that in this scenario of a planet whose only atmosphere is water vapor, only a miniscule fraction of the dissociated oxygen atoms would escape being blown off the planet. To escape that fate they would need to find refuge deeper than the top layer of molecules resting on the surface before the UV dissociated them again, a tall order statistically speaking.

      • Vaughan Pratt, “Added complication: the noonday sun in the tropics should melt the top layer of ice to slush. However the pressure at sea level should be the same around the globe including the poles. I would guess the tropics would be the main contributor to keeping global sea level pressure at very close to the triple point of 612 Pa, but that’s just a guess. Nice question for your physics and climate science friends.”

        When I started looking at this I did assume that the Young Earth would have more geothermal activity to initiate equatorial open water to start the process. Without out that, there is still current geothermal, tidal forces and the weak solar absorption.

        With current geothermal at the ocean floor of about 1Wm-2 and a temperature of +2C degrees, there is up to 4 C leeway for liquid water under the surface of an ice layer. Depending on the thickness of the equatorial ice, if it did exist, with liquid below and tidal forcing there would likely be openings in the ice that would allow solar energy to penetrate to some depth. That would allow some conductive and latent energy transfer to an atmosphere with a much smaller radiant spectrum and add to the stored energy of the oceans.

        It doesn’t matter if it is only a few milliwatts per meter squared retained, the atmosphere would warm somewhat and with O2 in the atmosphere there would be a tropopause with a stratospheric inversion. The conditions are there to drive the system over some time period to a liquid water world.

        Of course, with volcanic activity, the surface ice would be dirty decreasing albedo helping the whole process along. What is interesting it that even though the surface average temperature may be close to 255K degrees, the oceans would still be about 277K degrees which is close to the ideal black body temperature without any greenhouse effect with the current solar constant.

      • Vaughan Pratt

        Yes, cd, these are all reasonable points if one is seriously contemplating exactly what would happen if the atmosphere were removed. I was treating it more as an idealized puzzle question, minimizing such complications so as to make it easier to solve.

        Not sure if you had it in mind, but the points you raise are relevant to the question of how to melt a SnowBall Earth, which I’ve found very interesting. Some you mention, like geothermal activity (radioactivity being perhaps the main contributor) and dirty snow, are ones that Ray Pierrehumbert didn’t consider in his 2005 paper “Climate dynamics of a hard SBE” in JGR. A high albedo indeed prevents the sun from melting the ice, but by Kirchhoff’s law of thermal radiation it also prevents the ice from radiating to space the heat it receives through the crust from the mantle.

        If the albedo were 1 the surface could not radiate at all, and the temperature gradient from there to the core would gradually decrease. Since the radioactivity in the mantle and crust would maintain the temperature lower down, this would have the effect of raising the ocean temperature until the ice melted.

        This would be a slow process as the crust is a good insulator, but with billions of years to spend on it, melting SBE by that mechanism shouldn’t present a problem.

        Dirty snow would shift some of the heating task from below to above, which I would imagine would only accelerate the melting.

        Unfortunately for the above argument it depends on the surface being a perfect insulator. In reality an albedo of 2/3 (the ballpark used by RPH and others for SBE) is high enough to freeze the Earth without being high enough to trap geothermal energy, whose flux is only a few hundred milliwatts per m2. That small amount should be easy to radiate to space when the albedo is 2/3, preventing it from melting the ice.

        If so, that would seem to make dirty snow a better answer than geothermal energy.

      • David Springer

        @pratt re; snowball earth

        Volcanoes don’t stop belching CO2 & ash. Eventually the surface darkens, CO2 goes through the roof, and positive feedback melt starts. Atmosphere is super fertile with CO2 and ground with nutrient-rich volcanic ash. Environmental niches mostly empty. Free for all for evolution with so little competition & so much food from primary producers, but I digress. Geothermal is only about 100mW/m2. A single percentage point increase in albedo is 1000 times greater than geothermal. It’s millions of years at most before a runaway melt. Probably first supervolcano does it as soon as the ash settles out. You either need more earth science facts at your disposal or need to spend more time correlating them or both.

      • David Springer

        @pratt re; snowball earth

        mibad above – every percentage point in albedo is closer to 100x geothermal than 1000x – dropped a decimal point there – one point albedo is worth about 130W/m2 and geothermal is well under 100mW but isn’t well known so I usually just round it up

      • David Springer

        @pratt re; snowball earth

        mibad above – every percentage point in albedo is closer to 100x geothermal than 1000x – dropped a decimal point there – one point albedo is worth about 130W/m2 and geothermal is well under 100mW but isn’t well known so I usually just round it up

        good grief – it’s past my nap time or something I just can’t get that decimal where it belongs – 1 albedo point worth 13.0 W/m2

      • Vaughan Pratt

        Eventually the surface darkens, CO2 goes through the roof, and positive feedback melt starts.

        According to Pierrehumbert in his 2005 JGR article, even 200,000 ppmv of CO2 (200 mbar or 1/5 of an atmosphere) is not enough to melt SBE.

        I would think darkening the surface with volcanic ash has a better chance. However this could just as well happen as a result of some precambrian microbes (microrabbits?) evolving on or just below the surface and soaking up all that lovely sunshine.

        Geothermal is only about 100mW/m2.

        Right, my recollection of 300 was too high. 60-80 is about the right range. In either case nowhere near enough for less than 100% albedo.

        1 albedo point worth 13.0 W/m2

        I would agree with that if peak insolation (at high noon) was the appropriate value to use in that tradeoff. Wouldn’t the average value (1/4 of that amount) be a more appropriate value?

        But if it suffices to get the melting started just at the equator, then maybe the ratio should the diameter of the Earth divided by the length of the equator, namely 1/pi, slightly more than 1/4. With that ratio, one albedo point would be worth 13.67/pi = 4.35 W/m2. So even an albedo of 0.999 would render the geothermal leakage through the crust useless for melting the ice even at the equator, it would escape to space too quickly. You’d need around 0.99999.

      • Vaughan,

        A high albedo indeed prevents the sun from melting the ice, but by Kirchhoff’s law of thermal radiation it also prevents the ice from radiating to space the heat it receives through the crust from the mantle.

        The snow has a high albedo (low emissivity and absorptivity) at visible wavelengths, but it’s almost black for LWIR. Measured emissivity is 0.97±0.08 according a 1985 paper of Kondo and Yamazawa. MODIS tells similar values for all wavelengts from 3.34 to 14.5 um. They stop at that wavelength but continuing a bit further is not likely to change the results. (It’s possible that their experimental setup would have been influenced by the CO2 absorption peak and that may have limited their range of measurement.)

      • That was me again. Forgot to change the name and link proposed by WordPress.

      • Vaughan Pratt

        Thanks for the MODIS table for ice emissivity, Pekka, silly of me not to look for it myself.

        In his 2005 JGR paper I cited above, PierreHumbert takes the albedo of “bare sea ice” to be 0.5 independent of wavelength. He might well have gotten quite different results with 0.95, especially with CO2 at 0.2 atmospheres (the top level he considered)! I wrote to him a couple of years ago to ask him about what had happened since his work back then but he didn’t respond—probably doesn’t know me from a bar of soap.

      • People, show me experimental proof that changing albedo (or material composition) has any effect at all on equilibrium temperature when exposing the material to alternating heating and cooling cycles.

        What goes up must come down. If it heats faster, it will cool faster. If it heats slower, it will cool slower.

        Hand wave all you want. I want to see a real laboratory experiment.

        The null hypothesis: changing albedo or material composition (without the addition of work) will make no difference.

        On the “snowball earth” hypothesis: if we consider the case of an earth with no sun and no ability to radiate. In such conditions, the earth would be isothermal. Isothermal earth would not be a snowball, it would be rather hotter because of the molten core. It is the ability to radiate and lose heat to space (there is no other mode of heat loss to space of note) that results in the real earth surface including a sun warming it being cooler than an isothermal radiatively insulated earth with no sun.

        Show me a model that can correctly predict these boundary conditions.

      • Vaughan Pratt

        @blouis79: On the “snowball earth” hypothesis: if we consider the case of an earth with no sun and no ability to radiate. In such conditions, the earth would be isothermal. Isothermal earth would not be a snowball, it would be rather hotter because of the molten core. It is the ability to radiate and lose heat to space (there is no other mode of heat loss to space of note) that results in the real earth surface including a sun warming it being cooler than an isothermal radiatively insulated earth with no sun. Show me a model that can correctly predict these boundary conditions.

        You already have one: the one you used to determine what you think will happen.

        Furthermore every model that predicts the same outcome as yours would need the same feature as yours: a surface with zero emissivity. Other details would then be largely irrelevant.

        As a picky point, from a real-world physics standpoint your question is purely hypothetical. If we take “surface” to mean the top layer of molecules, zero emissivity is not remotely approachable physically. The thickness of such a surface would be 0.0001 of the wavelength of emitted radiation. That layer, and for that matter several thousand such layers deeper, would have essentially unit emissivity. This is because such layers are largely transparent to the thermal radiation they emit. You need a thickness on the order of a wavelength to even begin blocking thermal radiation.

        But in that case conductivity kicks in to warm the top molecular layers from below. That is, the outgoing thermal flow is weakly conductive up to the top few microns, and strongly radiative thereafter.

        This conductive flow from the core up to the top few microns can be estimated at around 60-80 mW/m2. Without the Sun to keep it warm, the surface of the Earth would lose heat at essentially that rate. As it cooled, practically all of the atmosphere would freeze and settle on (and hence become) the surface.

        When equilibrium with the 2.7 K temperature of space was reached, the temperature of the surface would be roughly 35 K, while the core would remain molten, kept warm by the decay of radioactive elements, for the order of their half-life anyway.

        I computed the 35 K surface temperature as sqrt(sqrt(.09/sb)) where .09 W/m2 is is a tad more than the current rate of heat flow from the core to the surface, and sb is the Stefan-Boltzmann constant 5.67 x 10^-8. The outgoing heat from the core dwarfs all incoming heat from space whence the latter can be neglected.

        35 K under the real-world assumption that a wavelength of thermal radiation is thousands of molecules wide is a very different outcome from a model that assumes exactly zero emissivity.

      • @VaughanPratt

        What would be the surface temperature of an earth with no sun and completely covered by water?

        What would be the surface temperature of an earth with no sun and no IR emitting GHGs?

      • David –

        As I have said before, I think the UAH satelite data is already sufficient to falsify AGW. It shows no GHG warming for the last 32 years, just a single step warming coincident with the 1998 super ENSO. But the believers are simply not prepared to disbelieve.

        I will always give you credit for being a “skeptic” who is consistent in his argument about whether there is or isn’t warming.

        But let’s be clear here. I am told over and over that “sketpics” don’t doubt that there has been warming, and that to some degree it is due to ACO2.

        Now aside from the fact that now I need to make room for you under one of the already very packed spaces under buses, you need to be clear that it isn’t only “believers” who are “simply not prepared to disbelieve” — unless under the label of “believers” you include both “realists” and “almost all” “skeptics.”

      • David Wojick

        Sorry Joshua, but I do not understannd your comment. Are you asking me a question? If so what is it? If not, what is your specific claim?

        My point about preparedness is simply that in the cacophany of the debate no one has noticed my simple point about AGW already being falsified. Nor are they likely too. It is very funny if I am right. I laugh more than I cry.

      • David –

        My main point was to make sure that realize you need to include many “skeptics” under your label of “believers.” In fact, according to Watts and many other “skeptics,” you have to make space under that label for “most” “skeptics.” Typically, in climate blog vernacular, “believers” is reserved for “realists” (often derogatorily referred to as “warmists”).

        My secondary point was to ask whether you’d prefer an aisle or window spot in your location under bus #55? Judith doesn’t listen to “skeptics” who doubt that the ACO2 has warmed the climate – so you must be thrown under the bus. Don’t worry – you won’t be lonely under there, I can assure you. The group under buses is much larger than it seems Judith estimates.

      • Joshua is concerned about who on the bus. As in:
        “To throw (someone) under the bus is an idiomatic phrase meaning to sacrifice another person (often a friend or ally), who is usually not deserving of such treatment, out of malice or for personal gain.

        The phrase has been widely popularized by sports journalists since 2004 and was picked up by the mainstream media during the 2008 primary season. It has frequently been used to describe various politicians distancing themselves from unpopular or controversial figures.”

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Throw_under_the_bus

        I personally don’t like buses.
        But in terms of a metaphor, being on the bus is “where the money is” or suppose the bus of pros of Dover- the professional climate and golf club.
        And Joshua has courageously volunteered to be the bus bouncer.
        I am guessing one needs a validated bus ticket.
        So the Jewish bouncer has very moderate demands- all you need to say is that CO2 may caused some warming. But if you claim CO2 doesn’t cause any warming, Joshua will have throw under the bus.
        So, the bus ride is pretty cheap.

      • Interesting:

        So the Jewish bouncer has very moderate demands- all you need to say is that CO2 may caused some warming.

        Not sure how my cultural heritage is even remotely relevant.

        Whatever, the point is for your noting my cuture, gbaikie, I’m not the one who developed the criterion for determining who should be thrown under the bus. That was Judith and other “skeptics.” They have said that people who think that CO2 cannot warm the climate are not “in the room,” are not worth “listening” to. They are the ones who say that “skeptics” don’t doubt that the Earth is warming and that ACO2 is contributing to that warming.

        It weren’t I.

        My point is to highlight the hypocrisy in those statements, by noting the number of “denizens” who must be thrown under buses. In my observation, there is a very inconsistent standard being applied by some “skeptics.” Some “skeptics” claim that climate “skepticism” is not monolithic, but selectively disregard, at some times and not others, those “skeptics” who have some views they find to be “inconvenient.” They do this as they contradict their own arguments about “skeptics” not being monolithic – because they, themselves, exclude some “skeptics” from their in-group.

      • Joshua

        I agree it was inappropriate for anyone to mention that your heritage is Jewish. Imo that is meaningless.

        Imo, you also frequently disparage Judith because you believe she reacts to other people’s opinions or positions in a manner differently than you believe is appropriate. My point is that nobody appointed you to decide how others should behave. Your reactions in regards to Judith seem immature at best.

        Regarding the positions of “skeptics”, imo; if a skeptic is defined as someone who is skeptical as to whether some or many of the conclusions of the IPCC make sense; there would logically be a wide range of skeptical positions. Some of these would logically be in conflict and some will be found to be inconsistent with validated science over time. Is there some type of duty for skeptics to spend time discussions invalid skeptical positions?

      • “Interesting:

        So the Jewish bouncer has very moderate demands- all you need to say is that CO2 may caused some warming.

        Not sure how my cultural heritage is even remotely relevant.”

        Just seemed a bit strange. Sort of reminds me of something out of Seinfeld.

        “Whatever, the point is for your noting my culture, gbaikie, I’m not the one who developed the criterion for determining who should be thrown under the bus. That was Judith and other “skeptics.” They have said that people who think that CO2 cannot warm the climate are not “in the room,” are not worth “listening” to. They are the ones who say that “skeptics” don’t doubt that the Earth is warming and that ACO2 is contributing to that warming.

        It weren’t I.”

        And bouncer doesn’t set the rules either :)

        As for the point about CO2. I don’t have much opinion on the matter.
        But if CO2 cools to any great degree, I need explanation for planet Venus.

        “My point is to highlight the hypocrisy in those statements, by noting the number of “denizens” who must be thrown under buses. In my observation, there is a very inconsistent standard being applied by some “skeptics.” Some “skeptics” claim that climate “skepticism” is not monolithic, but selectively disregard, at some times and not others, those “skeptics” who have some views they find to be “inconvenient.” ”

        “They do this as they contradict their own arguments about “skeptics” not being monolithic – because they, themselves, exclude some “skeptics” from their in-group.”

        {{ Ah. I didn’t understand what you saying [for some reason}. But after
        broke your paragraph [above] I understand. As I say below- it is political.
        So, yes Judith and etc are making political choices.
        This blog is a political choice made by Judith.
        Also probably an experiment. :)
        In my opinion a significant *thing* Judith has done is political. The politics involved is getting people engaged.
        And so it would make her happier, if people reduce the amount name calling, and other versions of spamming. As her recent interest limiting to 25 posts a day, sort of indicates.
        As I posted awhile ago [months], it seems to me Judith trying to end a war- thru diplomacy [which of course, is a political activity] }}

        Originally what was saying-
        It seems to me that skepticism applies to every thing science.
        And in general in terms regarding climate science, it seems more hopeful that with robust skepticism there could be progress.

        And I think the flag waving for the team has been encouraging an enormous waste public dollars and public time.

        But I believe what you generally discussing is political in nature, rather about science. Judith and etc are talking political aspects or personal preference [which seem reasonable] which of course we can all respect but not necessarily need to adopt. And I can see how it’s sort of waste of time, quibbling over much of the warming in last century or so, has been due to CO2- the evidence isn’t clear. Though If anyone wants to argue that CO2 has caused 99.97% of the warming, then it might worth the bother. But what has been asserted is rather vague and within realm of possible.

        To continue:
        So a monolithic [or peaceful relations] is something which is reasonable to want. But what been claimed is there is a “denier movement”. And this is fantasy.
        But a movement for real skepticism- is just, science.
        Skepticism is the badge or clothes of science.

      • Rob –

        Imo, you also frequently disparage Judith because you believe she reacts to other people’s opinions or positions in a manner differently than you believe is appropriate.

        My perspective is that I criticize Judith for selective reasoning and selective application of standards – not because she reacts to opinions differently than I.

        My point is that nobody appointed you to decide how others should behave.

        I never suggest that I have some exalted status in that regard. I comment on the reasoning of others in this arena, just as does virtually everyone else here. What I find interesting is why, sometimes, I get selected out for that behavior.

        Your reactions in regards to Judith seem immature at best.

        Perhaps. I will say not as a defense but in simple response to your argument that it is interesting that you would single out some folks for immature behavior but not others.

        Regarding the positions of “skeptics”, imo; if a skeptic is defined as someone who is skeptical as to whether some or many of the conclusions of the IPCC make sense; there would logically be a wide range of skeptical positions. Some of these would logically be in conflict and some will be found to be inconsistent with validated science over time.

        The determination of what is “validated science over time” seems to be in much dispute in these threads. I read smart and seemingly knowledgeable people debate those issues all the time here and elsewhere in the blogosphere. I think it is hypocritical for some “skeptics” to object to their beliefs being, what they see as arbitrarily, excluded from the “validated science club” on the one hand and then turn around and just as arbitrarily exclude others from that group.

        Is there some type of duty for skeptics to spend time discussions invalid skeptical positions?

        No. I don’t think that anyone has a “duty” here. I think that everyone would be better served with more consistent application of standards and less tribalism/motivated reasoning. That goes for me. For you. And for Judith.

      • “WebHubTelescope | August 14, 2012 at 8:21 am |

        The usually excessively verbose gbaikie says this:

        “These steps do seem to be real, but I don’t know how to explain them.
        I assume one gets if cooling also.”

        Now we know his thought process. He doesn’t understand science but that doesn’t prevent him from making unwarranted assertions.”

        Web:
        Assertions would be:
        These steps are real. One also has cooling steps.
        And Web doesn’t understand science.

      • gbaikie not only doesn’t understand science, he makes a mess out of it and essentially fouls the scientific discussion with gibberish word salad.

    • What observations would serve as falsification of the germ theory of disease?

      Or the theory of natural selection?

      Or the law of gravity?

      In the case of AGW, you could falsify the greenhouse effect in any garage with a little CO2 and a heat lamp. If it were false — which it isn’t.

      • David Springer

        I suggest you try heating a body of water that’s free to evaporate with downwelling infrared at 10 microns. There is a new family of lasers that operate in that frequency range.

        http://www.boselec.com/products/irtun.html

        Let me know how it turns out.

        But that doesn’t answer the question. I asked what real world observations would falsify the CO2-AGW hypothesis. It’s a given that CO2 absorbs energy in wavelengths emitted by the earth. What’s not given is the response to that at the surface of the planet where latent fluxes on average dominate radiative fluxes. In general hypotheses aren’t proven correct by experiment. Math offers proofs. Science offers tentative explanations that are always open to falsification through contrary observations. The point at which no contrary obervation can falsify a scientific theory is the point at which it ceases to be a scientific theory and becomes dogma.

      • Let me know how it turns out.

        Why should I do an experiment, when you are the one trying to falsify the theory?

        I await word of your experiment falsifying AGW. If you have the guts to try it.

        But that doesn’t answer the question. I asked what real world observations would falsify the CO2-AGW hypothesis.

        That’s a lie, David. Your quote is right here:

        What observations would be sufficient to serve as falsification of anthropogenic global warming?

        I guess you know you’re beat — since you’re lying about what you wrote above.

        Suppose we embrace your weaseling and ask “what real world observations would falsify the CO2-AGW hypothesis.”

        Are you suggesting that your garage is not part of the real world? That lab experiments do not take place in the real world? All the science done at the bench is not “real”?

        That’s very funny. But not at all persuasive. I gave you one way to falsify the theory of AGW. There are many others. But you can only falsify things that are false. Tough luck! :)

      • David Springer

        Replace “real” world with natural world. That would exclude my garage.

        Why don’t I do the experiment? Because it’s not cheap or easy for an individual without a lab to perform and my taxes in part pay for academics in public universities with well equipped laboratories and graduate student slave-labor to do things like that. This is not to mention doing more than my financial fair share footing the bill for NASA and NOAA.

      • Replace “real” world with natural world.

        One of the most basic ideas in science is that the same physical laws apply across space and time. The idea that there is one set of physical laws for your garage, and another for your back yard, is utterly silly.

        Because it’s not cheap or easy for an individual without a lab to perform . . .

        Demonstrating the greenhouse effect is incredibly easy and can be demonstrated experimentally with a fraction of the time and energy you’ve spent expressing strong opinions about science you don’t understand.

        This is not to mention doing more than my financial fair share footing the bill for NASA and NOAA.

        I’m skeptical you pay more than your fair share; but please feel free to link to your tax returns. Data and code, remember!

        There are a myriad of science experiments immortalized in peer-reviewed papers whose results confirm the theory of AGW. Papers falsifying it do not exist, because it isn’t false. You might as well complain that there’s no proof you’re the king of England. There isn’t — because you’re not.

        If you want to give money to someone to produce comforting myths about the world, try the collection plate. It’s even tax deductible!

      • lurker, passing through laughing

        The answer of course is the confusion the believers have between AGw/climate change and climate science.
        Germ theory vs. the idea that we can use anti-biotics endlessly to fight disease or Evolution vs. eugenics.
        The fanatical believers in the climate consensus confuse their apocalyptic clap trap with basic science.
        It would be more entertaiing if so many idiots like robert were not tracking it so closely and demanding so much money for their sad examples of acting out.

      • lurker – are you hunter?

      • David Springer

        Robert | August 14, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Reply

        “What observations would serve as falsification of the germ theory of disease?”

        Observation of diseases caused by genetic abnormalities, viruses, nutritional deficiencies, toxic chemicals, and so on and so forth. The germ theory of disease doesn’t explain all disease so I’m not sure exactly what you’re asking about.

        “Or the theory of natural selection?”

        The Precambrian Rabbit according to Haldane.

        “Or the law of gravity?”

        Monkeys flying out of your ass and attaining low earth orbit.

      • “Observation of diseases caused by genetic abnormalities, viruses, nutritional deficiencies, toxic chemicals, and so on and so forth.”

        None of those things falsify the germ theory of disease, sorry. Gosh, you really don’t know very much about science, do you?

        “Or the theory of natural selection?”

        The Precambrian Rabbit according to Haldane.

        When you find it, let me know. ;) But that would not falsify the theory of natural selection.

        “Monkeys flying out of your ass and attaining low earth orbit.”

        Basically, then, you don’t know what it means to falsify a scientific theory. You’re simply repeating words you’ve heard other people say without understanding them. I imagine the flying monkeys you stuff up your ass could do better.

      • David Springer

        JBS Haldane said a Precambrian Rabbit was good enough falsification for him.

        J. B. S. Haldane

        From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

        Jump to: navigation, search

        Not to be confused with John Scott Haldane.

        This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (September 2010)

        J. B. S. Haldane

        J. B. S. Haldane

        Born

        November 5, 1892
        Oxford, England

        Died

        December 1, 1964 (aged 72)
        Bhubaneswar, India

        Residence

        United Kingdom
        United States
        India

        Nationality

        British (until 1961)
        Indian

        Fields

        Biologist

        Institutions

        University of Cambridge
        University of California, Berkeley
        University College London
        Indian Statistical Institute, Calcutta

        Alma mater

        University of Oxford

        Doctoral advisor

        Frederick Gowland Hopkins*

        Doctoral students

        John Maynard Smith

        Known for

        Population genetics
        Enzymology

        Notable awards

        Darwin Medal (1952)
        Linnean Society of London’s Darwin–Wallace Medal in 1958.

        Notes
        *Cambridge did not have PhD degrees when Haldane was there,[citation needed] but he worked directly under Hopkins, who was the equivalent of a doctoral mentor.[citation needed]

        John Burdon Sanderson Haldane FRS (5 November 1892 – 1 December 1964[1]), known as Jack (but who used ‘J.B.S.’ in his printed works), was a British-born geneticist and evolutionary biologist generally credited with a central role in the development of neo-Darwinian thinking (popularized by Richard Dawkins’ 1976 work titled The Selfish Gene)

        You sir, are no JBS Haldane. If a Precambrian Rabbit is good enough for Haldane it’s good enough for me. At least he had the courage to drive a stake in the ground and unlike you he attached his real name to his opinion.

      • There’s no way a precambrian rabbit would falsify evolution. That the rabbit itself was actually precambrian would be more in doubt. If it was genuine it would create a paradox. We’d have to seriously entertain the idea that the rabbit time traveled.

      • Vaughan Pratt

        @lolwot: There’s no way a precambrian rabbit would falsify evolution.

        Unintended (?) subtext: we’re all prone to confirmation bias, no matter which side we’re on.

      • David Springer

        Actually a physicist named R.W. Wood

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_W._Wood

        did the only real test of the greenhouse gas theory and found it wanting. Wood was an extremely accomplished physicist in the relevant fields:

        Wood studied and earned numerous degrees from Harvard, MIT and the University of Chicago. He taught briefly at the University of Wisconsin and eventually became a full-time professor of “optical physics” at Johns Hopkins University from 1901 until his death [in 1955 ~ds].

        I looked for serious efforts to replicate or improve upon his experimental work with modern equipment and found none. A couple amatuers using Saran Wrap and cardboard boxes, including Mythbusters, with flaky disagreeable results from one to another not suitable for publication in a reputable physics journal. To date Woods experimental results have simply been dismissed by hand waving. Welcome to climate science.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        David Sprinter, the part of your post that *IS* correct is not about climate science, and the part of your post that is about climate science is *NOT* correct.   :grin:   2¢   :grin:   2¢   :grin:

        Thank you for this teaching opportunity, David Springer!   :grin:   :grin:   :grin:

      • Vaughan Pratt

        To date Woods experimental results have simply been dismissed by hand waving.

        Actually it’s the other way round. You seem to think that cardboard boxes are the hallmark of an amateur. Well, Wood’s 1.5 page note in the Feb. 1909 issue of Phil. Mag. said only that he’d measured 65 C in his two cardboard boxes, didn’t like that, added a sheet of glass which reduced it to 55 C, and that was enough to satisfy him that infrared trapping had no heating effect. The only numbers in the note were the above two: in particular he gave no dimensions, making it impossible to duplicate his experiment (were his cardboard boxes 1 inch cubes, 1 foot, 1 yard, shallow or deep, were his windows 1/16″ thick or 1/2″, was the extra glass over one box or both, etc. etc.).

        Five months later Charles Abbot, the Director of the Smithsonian Astronomical Observatory, published a careful 5-page rebuttal of Wood’s 1.5-page hasty note referring to a similar experiment done 12 years earlier at the observatory, using wooden boxes, not cardboard, that attained a temperature of 118 C. (I was surprised Abbot did not also refer to the much earlier work on such boxes in the 1780’s by Horace de Saussure.) Abbot also worked out much of the theoretical basis for what Wood should likely have seen in Baltimore, which Wood seemed incapable of doing, which Abbot summarized with “it would seem strange that [Wood] observed no difference at all.”

        Four months later Wood published a second paper in the same journal, on Talbot’s fringes, which attempted unsuccessfully to be more theoretically grounded. Embarrassingly for Wood it was shot down by the reviewer, Sir Arthur Shuster, in the same issue (at the reviewer’s request and with Wood’s permission, all very gentlemanly), who pointed out that Wood’s main error in arriving at his wrong conclusion was failure to distinguish between coherent and incoherent light. As the author of the textbook “An introduction to the theory of optics” published several years earlier Shuster was much better qualified than Wood in theoretical optics.

        Your characterization of Wood as the professional and his critics as mere amateurs is exactly backwards. And if I were being introduced as a speaker whose main qualifications were that I had “numerous degrees” and had became a “full-time professor” I’d feel rather insulted.

      • David Springer

        Feel free to point to the the superior version of Wood’s work in a peer reviewed journal and preferably replicated somewhere. Or wave your hands around some more if that’s more your speed.

      • “Five months later Charles Abbot, the Director of the Smithsonian Astronomical Observatory, published a careful 5-page rebuttal of Wood’s 1.5-page hasty note referring to a similar experiment done 12 years earlier at the observatory, using wooden boxes, not cardboard, that attained a temperature of 118 C.”

        Have reference?

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        David Springer gets sarcastic: “Feel free to point to the the superior version of Wood’s work in a peer reviewed journal and preferably replicated somewhere. Or wave your hands around some more if that’s more your speed.

        Ouch! Oh dear, David Springer!   :sad:   :sad:   :sad:

        Professor Vaughn Pratt maintains a web page that describes a thorough, modern replication of Woods’ experiments including many futther references (it took less than one minute to locate this page by Google). Yes gbaike, the Charles Abbot, reference you seek is there.

        Summary of the Springer-Pratt Exchange

           • Vaughn Pratt’s posts are entirely in the right, and

           • David Springer’s posts are entirely in the wrong, and

           • David Springer’s abusively insistent ignorance provides perhaps Climate Etc’s clearest-ever example of the Dunning-Kruger effect in action.

        Score  Vaughn Pratt wins the debate by a smashing knockout!   :lol:   :lol:   :lol:

      • David Springer

        Dear John Sidles,

        I spanked Vaughn Pratt in private email before that blog exchange happened. Ask him where the promised results are for his improved experiments with rock salt windows. Go ahead, I dare ya. I won’t repeat what he wrote to me in private unless he denies it or says something different now.

      • Seriously? Dave gets utterly spanked in a public forum, and his response is:

        “Uh, I won another debate . . . uh, it was earlier . . . in private, and nobody was around, but I beat him good . . .”

        Fun excuses, Dave! But you still lost the big show!

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Gbaike asks: “Have reference? [to Charles Abbot’s refutation of Woods’ experiment]”

        The redoubtable Professor Pratt’s web page provides a scanned image from Volume 18, Number 103 of “The Philosophical Magazine” (July 1909, pages 32-25), of Charles Abbot’s:Notes on the Theory of the Greenhouse .

        For his thoughtful, factual, sharing discourse with regard to this historical treasure, Vaughn Pratt deserves appreciation and thanks from everyone at Climate Etc.. Thank you, Vaughn Pratt!   :grin:   :grin:   :grin:

        We can all appreciate Dave Springer too … although this is a considerably tougher contract, as Mark Twain might say!   :grin:   :grin:   :grin:

        Conclusion  References to Wood’s experiments in the climate-change denialist literature thus stand revealed (needless to say) as being utterly and inexcusably bogus.   :grin:   :grin:   :grin:

      • David Springer

        gbaike

        Abbot’s Gedankenexperiment in reply to Wood’s real experiment.

        http://boole.stanford.edu/Wood/AbbotReplyToWood.pdf

      • David Springer

        Oh, and Vaughn. After you write up the results of your rock salt window experiments (in due time of course, it’s only been two years) please relay the further results of my suggestion of what happens when instead of making the inner surface a solid black body making it a body of water free to evaporate which is, after all, what we’re interested in.

        I might also suggest you round up a grad student there at Stanford and cut to the chase by using a 12 micron CW laser to simulate downwelling infrared from CO2 and see if you can warm water with it when the water is free to evaporate in response.

        Here’s a source for the lasers. New stuff. Woods couldn’t do this. You can. See if you can do better than cardboard, scotch tape, and saran wrap to construct it and maybe in a laboratory at Stanford instead of next to your geraniums on your back porch.

        http://www.boselec.com/products/irtun.html

      • David Springer

        It’s been suggested by the description that Wood’s setup was a cold frame although “packed in cotton” implies something smaller to me. The way he describes the secondary glass pane suggests it covers both of the primary panes but why don’t you just do it both ways?

        Or just modernize the whole shebang by illuminating water with a 12 micron CW laser and see if evaporates or warms or both in response in increasing power. Woods did his experiment in 1901. He’s got a good excuse for using cardboard and cotton wadding. So would a third grader at at science fair. One presumes Stanford PhDs and their grad students can do better than kiddie science fair projects. One might expect it would be so much better it would be unfair to compete at the same level. But maybe I’m grossly overestimating Stanford is all.

      • Vaughan Pratt

        I should apologize for allowing other projects to push lower on my stack my duplications of Wood’s experiment, to which I had attached insufficient importance. After working with glass-vs-saran-wrap I decided that glass-vs-salt was going to be the only way to properly duplicate Wood’s experiment, not because saran wrap isn’t a good substitute for salt but because skeptics want to see all the i’s dotted and the t’s crossed. (Not that I expect skeptics to pay the slightest attention to these results, like alarmists they’re confirmation-biased.)

        Optically clear salt being much more fragile than glass, commercially available salt windows tend to be very small—I had to buy two 2″x1″x1/4″ windows to assemble a single 2″x2″ window sitting on a 2″x2″x2″ box. No one knows what size box Wood used, but I would be surprised if different sizes gave dramatically different results. I would be even more surprised had he found a 12″x12″ salt window in his physics department’s supply store.

        The experimental setup I built two years ago (and haven’t had time to play with since) had three TMP05B digital temperature sensors on each box daisy-chained together and sampled every 5 seconds with a microprocessor. The three sensors measured the temperature at the top and bottom of the interior of the box, and the top (exterior) of the window.

        My first attempt at box fabrication pointed up various flaws that are on my list to correct on the next build whenever that happens. That said, here are the numbers in Celsius I have to date for the three thermometers top to bottom using the two windows, based on averaging 40 readings for each box taken over two 100 second periods during the early afternoon of a cloudless summer’s day in Northern California. Between the two periods I swapped the windows but not the thermometers and boxes so as to reduce any biases that might favor one type of window over the other. (I have thousands more readings but too scattered to compare properly.)

        Glass
        38.7
        54.4
        75.4

        Salt
        36.5
        48.2
        74.3

        Conclusion based on this very limited and flawed experiment (therefore to be taken with a grain of glass and salt respectively):
        At the bottom of the boxes “there was now scarcely a difference of one degree between the temperatures of the two enclosures” (Wood’s exact words without the location qualifier). At the top of the interior of the boxes the difference was over 6 degrees.

        Most shocking however was the observation that the top-to-bottom difference was 21 degrees for glass and 26 degrees for salt!

        By far the biggest flaw in Wood’s experiment is his assumption that “the temperature inside the box” was a well-defined number. Had he placed the thermometers at the bottom of the boxes he would have found some consistency between them, but not at the top.

        With readings of 65 C, then 55 C with extra glass, for both boxes, it may have been that Wood put the thermometers somewhere in the middle. But in that case one could get any result one wanted simply by not putting both thermometers at exactly the same height, since the variation within each box is so huge, 21 degrees for glass and 26 for salt. (The top-to-bottom temperature is more uniform for the glass window because less heat is leaking out through it, hence less of a difference across the height of the box.) Wood was apparently oblivious to this effect and therefore would not have realized that thermometer height was crucial.

        It should be borne in mind that 1 cm of glass has very close to the IR absorptivity of atmospheric CO2 at 1000 ppmv. So today’s 400 ppmv level corresponds to 4 mm of glass, in the sense that if all the atmosphere’s CO2 froze and settled out on the surface of the Earth as solidly packed dry ice it would form a layer 4 mm thick. This is not far from the 6 mm (1/4″) I was using for both kinds of windows. So whatever difference glass makes to temperature when trapping IR, CO2 could make a similar difference.

        How to translate altitude within a box to altitude in the troposphere is a separate question since lapse rate matters in the atmosphere but is immaterial in a 2″ box. Also the glass is concentrated in the top of the box while the CO2 is uniformly mixed into the atmosphere.

        The real conclusion here is that skeptics and alarmists should pay attention to respectively the bottom and the top of Wood’s boxes. :)

      • David Springer | August 15, 2012 at 12:01 am |

        gbaike

        Abbot’s Gedankenexperiment in reply to Wood’s real experiment.

        http://boole.stanford.edu/Wood/AbbotReplyToWood.pdf

        To quote from pdf:
        “It may interest some to know that much higher temperatures
        can be reached within a “hot-box” than observed by
        Professor Wood. if precautions are taken to diminish the
        loss of heat by convection from the warmed outer surface of
        the cover. On November 4, 1897, the thermometer recorded
        118°C within a circular wooden box 50 centimeters in
        diameter, 10 centimeters deep, insulated with feathers, covered
        with three superimposed and separated sheets of plate glass and
        exposed normally to the sun rays in yard of the astro-
        physical Observatory at Washington. The temperature
        outside was 16°C.”

        Seems 118°C was probably mistyped or something. Probably meant
        118° F.

      • At this point, I’m not sure it’s worth participating further in David Springer’s parade of disproved fallacies. It appears in his mind he considers each of these insufficient, wrong, inaccurate, disproven, contrived ‘possibilities’ to be counterexamples to AGW, be they the experiments of Wood (which had unexplained discrepancies in observations, poor methodology, insufficient grasp of theory and mechanism, and irreproducibility going against Wood), or the far too short and variable satellite record of the UAH, or the faith-based argumentation of Spencer, or whatever fossil rabbit he can drag out of the fertile ground of blogospheric junk science from the past 30 years.

        The quality of evidence matters in falsification. The question of how much evidence is necessary to falsify AGW isn’t a question of listing possibilities (which when examined turn out to be fictions) and seeing who has the biggest list. This is exactly what Newton warned about in Principia, the practice of manufacturing alternate hypotheses.

        In that sense, not because AGW can’t be posed in a falsifiable form for experimentation, but because it’s a gross misreading of Popper and of the basics of the Scientific Method to hold to the pretense that it is enough merely to propose (feign) hypotheses.

        From http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/newton-principia/#MetPri :

        ..Newton saw the Principia as illustrating a new way of doing natural philosophy. One aspect of this new way, announced in the Preface to the first edition, was the focus on forces:

        For the whole difficulty of philosophy seems to be to discover the forces of nature from the phenomena of motions and then to demonstrate the other phenomena from these forces. It is to these ends that the general propositions in books 1 and 2 are directed, while in book 3 our explication of the system of the world illustrates these propositions. For in book 3, by means of propositions demonstrated mathematically in books 1 and 2, we derive from celestial phenomena the gravitational forces by which bodies tend toward the sun and toward the individual planets. Then the motions of the planets, the comets, the moon, and the sea are deduced from these forces by propositions that are also mathematical. If only we could derive the other phenomena of nature from mechanical principles by the same kind of reasoning! For many things lead me to have a suspicion that all phenomena may depend on certain forces by which particles of bodies, by causes not yet known, either are impelled toward one another and cohere in regular figures, or are repelled from one another and recede. Since these forces are unknown, philosophers have hitherto made trial of nature in vain. But I hope that the principles set down here will shed some light on either this mode of philosophizing or some truer one. [P, 382][2]

        A second aspect of the new method concerns the use of mathematical theory not to derive testable conclusions from hypotheses, as Galileo and Huygens had done, but to cover a full range of alternative theoretical possibilities, enabling the empirical world then to select among them. This new approach is spelled out most forcefully at the end of Book 1, Section 11:

        I use the word “attraction” here in a general sense for any endeavor whatever of bodies to approach one another, whether that endeavor occurs as a result of the action of the bodies either drawn toward one another or acting on one another by means of spirits emitted or whether it arises from the action of ether or of air or of any medium whatsoever — whether corporeal or incorporeal — in any way impelling toward one another the bodies floating therein. I use the word “impulse” in the same general sense, considering in this treatise not the species of forces and their physical qualities but their quantities and mathematical proportions, as I have explained in the definitions. Mathematics requires an investigation of those quantities of forces and their proportions that follow from any conditions that may be supposed. Then, coming down to physics, these proportions must be compared with the phenomena, so that it may be found out which conditions of forces apply to each kind of attracting bodies. And then, finally, it will be possible to argue more securely concerning the physical species, physical causes, and physical proportions of these forces. [P, 588]

        A third aspect of the new method, which proved most controversial at the time, was the willingness to hold questions about the mechanism through which forces effect their changes in motion in abeyance, even when the mathematical theory of the species and proportions of the forces seemed to leave no alternative but action at a distance. This aspect remained somewhat tacit in the first edition, but then, in response to criticisms it received, was made polemically explicit in the General Scholium added at the end of the second edition:

        I have not as yet been able to deduce from phenomena the reason for these properties of gravity, and I do not feign hypotheses. For whatever is not deduced from the phenomena must be called a hypothesis; and hypotheses, whether metaphysical or physical, or based on occult qualities, or mechanical, have no place in experimental philosophy. In this experimental philosophy, propositions are deduced from the phenomena and are made general by induction. The impenetrability, mobility, and impetus of bodies and the laws of motion and law of gravity have been found by this method. And it is enough that gravity should really exist and should act according to the laws that we have set forth and should suffice for all the motions of the heavenly bodies and of our sea. [P, 943][3]

        During most of the eighteenth century the primary challenge the Principia presented to philosophers revolved around what to make of a mathematical theory of forces in the absence of a mechanism, other than action at a distance, through which these forces work. By the last decades of the century, however, little room remained for questioning whether gravity does act according to the laws that Newton had set forth and does suffice for all the motions of the heavenly bodies and of our sea. No one could deny that a science had emerged that, at least in certain respects, so far exceeded anything that had ever gone before that it stood alone as the ultimate exemplar of science generally. The challenge to philosophers then became one of spelling out first the precise nature and limits of the knowledge attained in this science and then how, methodologically, this extraordinary advance had been achieved, with a view to enabling other areas of inquiry to follow suit.

        If we allow the Springers of the world to invade Science thus, armed with all the salvos Cato and Heartland and the GWPF and SEPP can furnish, generating FUD endlessly, then we will end up in a world much like it was before Newton waded into the fog that held the world in ignorance and scythed down the practice of feigning hypotheses relentlessly. A world where more adults believe angels are real than do not. A world where decisions of policy are made at the behest of wealthy patrons for their interests against the commonwealth. A world where we do not do great deeds for just causes informed by great thought. We will end up living in the USA as it is right now.

        And not one single US patriot wants that.

      • I don’t know the optical properties of rocksalt glass.
        But I think the point of Wood’s experiment is to show
        that it wasn’t the optical properties of normal glass
        which causing the trapping of radiant energy of sunlight
        But rather it simply that a transparent materials allows
        energy of sunlight in enter, and it blocked the convection
        of heat. And it was the blocking of convection of heat that
        permitted the air temperature [and surface temperature] to
        get warm.
        It seems possible that rocksalt glass may have been more
        available to professor Wood in his time and situation.

        And in modern world in which a lot more in known one could
        find something better than rocksalt glass.
        An example:
        “IR Optics

        There are numerous glass types available for the visible spectrum, but there are only a small number of materials that can be used in the MWIR (mid-wave infrared) and LWIR (long-wave infrared) spectral bands.

        Germanium is a crystalline material. It is one of the most common infrared materials, and it can be used in the MWIR and the LWIR band. Germanium has a very high refractive index (n = 4.0243), which makes elements with long radii feasible. It has a large dn/dT (396 ppm/K) which can cause large focus shifts with temperature changes. This could make athermalization difficult.”

        http://www.elcan.com/Capabilities/germanium.php

        Somehow I doubt the rocksalt glass is used for infrared goggles.

        But I think the issue that convection is the main loss of heat- it’s why the interior of cars are hot if the windows rolled up in a parking lot on sunny day.
        So Wood was simply proving this and that there wasn’t any significant amount infrared energy was trapped [and something like few degrees- wouldn’t be considered significant].
        So it seems the convection correct, and perhaps an issue can be about how significant radiant trapping of glass [or CO2 or whatever can be].

        Now, I don’t one can trap much radiant energy- using kind of glass or any amount of greenhouse gas [water vapor, CO2, Methane, super greenhouse gases, whatever].
        If you make any kind greenhouse exceed 80 C [surface or air] then one going prove that radiant trapping properties are significant.

      • Vaughan Pratt

        @gbaikie: If you make any kind greenhouse exceed 80 C [surface or air] then one going prove that radiant trapping properties are significant.

        Exactly so. And no, Abbot’s 118 C was not a typo for 118 F, which would have been a very feeble 48 C, well below the 65 C and 55 C temperatures observed by Wood.

      • Vaughan Pratt

        And not one single US patriot wants that.

        You mean not one single true US patriot wants that.

      • Vaughan Pratt | August 16, 2012 at 10:52 pm |

        I never deny using fallacies myself, as anodyne, in humor, educationally, or when I slip up and fall into bad habits..

        In this case, the irony is so many self-proclaimed patriots do seem to want exactly a world where more adults believe angels are real than do not, where decisions of policy are made at the behest of wealthy patrons for their interests against the commonwealth, where we do not do great deeds for just causes informed by great thought.

        I’m not just saying this because I look at the USA and see Mitt Romney selecting the closest substitute for Sarah Palin he could find without offending those who believe women shouldn’t have careers outside the home, and Joe Biden forgetting which millennium we’re in. After all, I have a great deal of sympathy for someone from a northern state who wants less taxes and less snow, and for anyone who doesn’t trust the businessmen who crookedly wrecked the entire world’s economy and laughed all the way to the, excuse the expression, bank.

        I’m saying this because being informed by great thought requires us to learn great thought, and while everywhere the tools and technologies that should allow us to do this blossom, we find technical solutions for social problems do not always work. I see Udacity and EdX offering courses in introductory Physics and Statistics and that develop logical thinking, so tens of thousands of people have freely acquired certified competency in these qualifications, and yet the Climate blogosphere every hour reveals how sorely needed an Climate Literacy Online University Degree program is.

        David Wojick, would it hurt you to raise your aim a little from the brainwashing of defenseless kiddies into writing an outline for adults instead? Professors from five countries visit Climate Etc. — likely more — who could easily set out a curriculum of Physics, Statistics, Critical Thinking, Earth Sciences, that would serve far better than raising the question, “Have you read six journal articles?”

        Any takers to found a free CLOUD for certifying competency?

  43. Berényi Péter

    The possibilist approach ha no merit whatsoever, except when something is deemed impossible, like creating/destroying energy, decreasing entropy of a closed system, deciding if gravitational pull in a small enclosed cabin is due to acceleration or a nearby mass concentration, measuring both location and velocity of a particle with arbitrary precision, transmitting information faster than the speed of light in vacuum, etc. This kind of reasoning is called physics.

    Otherwise literally anything is possible, which is not terribly informative in itself.

    And yes, the probabilistic approach is doomed to failure, whenever the sample space is not readily given. Without it one can’t even start to define a probability measure.

    It can get quite serious in case of nuclear accidents or plane crashes, where sophisticated probabilistic failure models are set up in advance, but ex post facto analysis regularly reveals there was an event involved in the actual scenario which was missing from the model, therefore no probability was assigned to it.

    In real world applications one always has to take into account the law of fat tails: rare events happen often. That is, a significant portion of events unfolding in complex systems is a once-in-a-lifetime event. Each one is easily dismissed in an a priory analysis as next to impossible, still, collectively they make up the bulk of our daily experience. Most of these possibilities are so weird, they do not even come to mind in advance.

    The only reasonable way to deal with this phenomenon is to keep your eyes open and retain flexibility.

  44. Quinn (13/08 10.59am) and max, ( 14/08 6.17am) re explanation, prediction and empirical data. It’s the scientific method isn’t it? Explanatory power in science jest can’t be assessed on whether there are questions to which a theory gives a seemingly plausible answer, but whether the explanation offers opportunities to learn more about the facts in future and that means testability. Explanation isn’t explanation w/out predictability.
    Guess models’ hindcasting doesn’t fit the bill.
    .

    http://theresilientearth.com/?q=content/extinction-climate-change-modeling-mayhem

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Beth Cooper reminds Quinn the Eskimo  “Explanation isn’t explanation w/out predictability.”

      Beth Cooper, that is a good point!

      As an example of how verification, validation, and understanding operate in climate-change science, please note that Hansen and colleagues in their 2011 article Earth’s Energy Imbalance and Implications concretely predict:

         • sustained planetary energy imbalance, and

         • acceleration of sea-level rise this decade.

      Moreover, Hansen and colleagues call for larger, longer, higher-quality observational datasets for all planetary heat reservoirs and radiative transport processes, most especially those reservoirs and transport processes relating to clouds and aerosols. They predict that these augmented data sets will show

         • substantial negative forcing by human-made aerosols.

      These concrete predictions serve to verify the valid scientific understanding of climate-change, founded upon simple energy-entropy principles, that Hansen and colleagues affirmed in their seminal 1981 article “Climate Impact of Increasing Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide.”

      Hopefully this simple explanation of the slow, steady process by which verification, validation, and understanding are achieved in climate-change science, will be helpful to you Beth Cooper, and also to Quinn the Eskimo!   :)   2¢   :)   2¢   :)

      And thank you especially, Beth Cooper, for your many fine posts, poems, and questions, which are a wonderfully good-spirited contribution to Climte Etc!   :grin:   :grin:   :grin:

  45. The global warming monster… will continue to scare people as long as it can. It will continue to devour billions of dollars until it ultimately chokes of its own gluttony. Unfortunately many innocent people may be hurt before the beast is dead. The threat of massive sea level rise has been the primary weapon of fear for those looking to control how we make energy and who rules the world. ~Art Horn, Meteorologist

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Unless, of course, Hansen’s scentific understanding of CO2-driven climate change is verifiably valid (V&V).

      In which event, James Hansen’s strategy of climate-change V&V amounts to plain-and-simple, old-fashioned conservative, ordinary common-sense, eh Wagathon?   :grin:   2¢   :grin:   2¢   :grin:

      • Common sense says we look at historical data. Hansen would argue that we accept his speculations about the future even though there is no evidence that his understanding of what the future holds is even remotely true. The Earth has been cooling since the time of Jesus (that’s about 2,000 years for the secular socialists).

        The real inconvenient truth is that the earth’s temperature has been falling for 3,000 years as revealed by the Greenland ice core data. Current temperature changes are but tiny blips in the overall cooling. The temperature has dropped some 3.75 degrees Fahrenheit since the Minoan Warm Period some 3,300 years ago. The ultimate irony will be that if the long term trend continues shivering future generations may look back and wonder why we saw warming when the next ice age was staring us in the face. ~Art Horn, Meteorologist

      • What evidence do you have for a “Minoan Warm Period”? 2C warmer than today? Verrry unlikely.

        You mention the Greenland ice core data. The last time the EPICA site was warmer than present was about a hundred and twenty thousand years ago:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:EPICA_temperature_plot.svg

        Global reconstructions using many different proxies (i.e., not just Greenland) also do not find any evidence of a “Minoan Warm Period” warmer than the present:

        (For the sourcing of those graphs, see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temperature_record)

        Google scholar comes up with some blog posts and comments by deniers, and one paper, cited only six times since publication, that alludes to a “Minoan Warm Period” during a discussion of how global warming is caused by natural “cycles,” but without discussing where that notion comes from.

        I’m skeptical of this “Minoan Warm Period.” Evidence please.

      • he’s no doubt talking about GISP2.

        it’s the usual case where some climate skeptic falls over themselves backwards to incorrectly interpret central greenland proxy as global temperature.

        SkepticalScience have a good series of articles debunking such incorrect advocacy of GISP2 and in particular have produced this chart:

        You can see the Minoan warming on there. This is central greenland not the globe though, so what skepticalscience have done is add the instrumental warming from central Greenland in thick blue to the end (plus marking 2010), something skeptics usually neglect to do or do incorrectly.

      • Nice catch.

        Thanks for interpreting the denierspeak.

        I dub thee, “The Pseudoskeptic Whisperer.”

      • This is kinda interesting.

        Kobashi et al. show a warmer MWP than Roman warm period?

        ” The current decadal average surface temperature (2001–2010) at the GISP2 site is -29.9°C. The record indicates that warmer temperatures were the norm in the earlier part of the past 4000 years, including century-long intervals nearly 1°C warmer than the present decade (2001-2010). Therefore, we conclude that the current decadal mean temperature in Greenland has not exceeded the envelope of natural variability over the past 4000 years, a period that seems to include part of the Holocene Thermal Maximum.”

        ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/paleo/icecore/greenland/summit/gisp2/isotopes/gisp2-temperature2011.txt

        So is this Kobiashi guy an idiot or is Skeptical Science living in the climate science past?

      • andrew adams

        But that’s just Greenland. You know who else says it was warmer in Greenland during the MWP? Michael Mann (see Mann et al 2009)

      • Robert

        Forget Wiki

        Greenland was as warm as today in the 1930s

        http://meteo.lcd.lu/globalwarming/Chylek/greenland_warming.html

        http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2006/2006GL026510.shtml

        We provide an analysis of Greenland temperature records to compare the current (1995–2005) warming period with the previous (1920–1930) Greenland warming. We find that the current Greenland warming is not unprecedented in recent Greenland history. Temperature increases in the two warming periods are of a similar magnitude, however, the rate of warming in 1920–1930 was about 50% higher than that in 1995–2005.

        The Medieval Viking farmhouses found buried in today’s permafrost are clear physical evidence that it was warmer there during Medieval times.

        The current temperature in Greenland is not unusual “over the past 4000 years” (Kobashi et al. 2011)

        http://www.leif.org/EOS/2011GL049444.pdf

        The record indicates that warmer temperatures were the norm in the earlier part of the past 4000 years, including century‐long intervals nearly 1°C warmer than the present decade (2001–2010).
        Therefore, we conclude that the current decadal mean temperature in Greenland has not exceeded the envelope of natural variability over the past 4000 years, a period that seems to include part of the Holocene Thermal Maximum.

        Max

      • “The Medieval Viking farmhouses found buried in today’s permafrost are clear physical evidence that it was warmer there during Medieval times.”

        And yet your reference to Kobashi et al. 2011 shows it was colder during the MWP than today.

      • lolwot, The red line is -29.9C or the 2001 to 2010 average that Kobashi used in his paper.

        So the MWP proper was about the same as “today” and it was warmer longer than generally thought in Greenland. This is getting more interesting every day.

      • Art Horn is flat out wrong.

        3.75 degree F cooling in Greenland is not 3.75 F global cooling.

        So many skeptics like Art Horn create a facade that they know what they are talking about, but really they don’t have a clue.

      • lolwot – What is your opinion of Muller’s idea to transfer fracking technology to China? His is the first workable idea I’ve heard. What say you?

      • surely they can just steal it

      • lolwot – your reply makes you look disingenuous.

      • Flat wrong? Siberia and the American NW are the Earth’s coldest continental airmasses. The atmosphere there is very dry due to the bitter cold–i.e., not much ‘greenhouse’ going on. If the temperature changes there “from -40° C to -38° C” would that be global warming?

      • my problem with fracking is I don’t think it’ll reduce CO2 emissions

      • That’s an astounding statement, lolwot. Methane H:C ratio 4:1.
        Hydrocarbons, such as oil: ~ 2:1
        Coal: very little: 1

        This isn’t too hard to understand. What’s the problem you see?

      • I suspect it just makes coal and oil cheaper for other countries to burn more. Ultimately in the longrun I suspect the same amount of coal and oil ends up being burnt, and the fracking merely adds to that.

      • lolwot

        Your logic is flawed.

        More fracking for CH4 = more available CH4 = less need to burn coal (plus possibility to convert some transportation from petroleum to CH4)

        Jim Cripwell has already shown you the chemical reason why this would result in less CO2 generated (as Professor Muller has suggested for China).

        Max

      • The Cninese National Oil Company owns 30% of Chesapeke Energy, the 2nd largest gas producer in the US.

        They don’t need to steal the technology and they don’t need a ‘freeby transfer’.

        If they see a company with an interesting technology they just buy it.

      • “More fracking for CH4 = more available CH4 = less need to burn coal (plus possibility to convert some transportation from petroleum to CH4)”

        I tell you what will happen: we won’t burn CH4 instead of coal. We’ll end up burning both.

      • lolwot

        I repeat: your logic is flawed.

        Sure, we’ll “end up burning both”.

        But we’ll end up burning a higher percentage of CH4 and a lower percentage of coal.

        There is no reason to believe that the overall energy consumption will increase as a result of fracking

        Therefore there will be less CO2 generated than without fracking.

        Pretty simple, actually.

        Max

      • Why would we not, in the long run, burn coal until there is no more coal? I don’t get how that is obvious at all.

      • “There is no reason to believe that the overall energy consumption will increase as a result of fracking”

        Yes there is. It makes coal cheaper.

      • Muller also suggested converting coal to liquid fuel. The good thing about this is that it is doable now. It is acceptable to conservatives because it does not involve more government controls and taxes. Muller also states that the half life of CO2 in the atmosphere is such that changing the quantity of CO2 emissions will lower the concentration. He targets China – the primary problem. If, over the longer term, we develop nuclear, then the need to burn the rest of the coal decreases. Like almost all workable solutions, it isn’t perfect, but it is workable.

      • lolwot

        Your logic is still flawed.

        There is absolutely no reason to believe that more fracking will increase the total amount of energy our planet consumes.

        Sorry.

        Max

      • manacker look up supply/demand and markets

      • Actually, if you reduce the price of anything consumption will tend to increase. That is basic economics.

        The concern lolwot raises is valid, but I don’t think it is the primary issue with fracking. The primary issue is that fossil fuel burning (either of coal or natural gas) affects the climate in three major ways:

        Carbon dioxide is released (coal more than gas)
        Methane is released (gas primarily)
        Cooling aerosols are released (coal only)

        So the question is; allowing that coal causes more warming over the course of a thousand years, which one of these causes more warming over the next century? Or the next fifty years? Or twenty?

        It’s a complicated problem and an active area of scientific debate. But long story short; if you are looking at the climate of 2100, it’s not at all certain whether shale gas electricity, joule for joule, gets you less warming than coal (although it is better for people in other ways).

      • OK, so obviously the only solution lolwot likes is to drive up energy costs until the economy collapses. I think we’ve heard enough of that particular brand of drivel.

      • I don’t know, Jim, you sound a little . . . what’s the word? . . . alarmist.

        Why is the economy going to collapse if we tax carbon as opposed to, say, property? Or payrolls?

        Citation needed.

      • Robert – So you believe a carbon tax in the US will retard global warming? Citation needed.

      • “OK, so obviously the only solution lolwot likes is to drive up energy costs until the economy collapses. I think we’ve heard enough of that particular brand of drivel.”

        Must have flunked economics.

        Rare materials with a high utility cost more than abundant materials of little utility. When that useful material becomes more rare, as in crude oil, the energy cost will go up. That cost increase cannot be avoided because free market economics is dependent on exploiting the commons until they disappear.

      • Robert said:

        “It’s a complicated problem and an active area of scientific debate. But long story short; if you are looking at the climate of 2100, it’s not at all certain whether shale gas electricity, joule for joule, gets you less warming than coal (although it is better for people in other ways).”

        Absolutely correct. The concept of EROEI (energy returned on energy invested) needs to be addressed. Hydraulic fracturing for oil and tar sands processing uses up lots energy and natural gas. No such thing as a free lunch, especially when we start scraping the bottom of the barrel for second-rate fossil fuel sources.This adds additional carbon as a multiplier.

        Will high oil costs permanently ruin world’s economy?

        WASHINGTON — For President Barack Obama and Republican rival Mitt Romney, the race for the White House seems indisputably centered around one issue: Who can do more to bolster the sputtering U.S. economy.

        But to some experts, spikes in oil prices over the last several years have signaled an ominous turn that could make it nigh on impossible for any president to expand the economy as it has in the past.

        Unlike previous oil price jumps stemming from turmoil affecting Middle East oil producers, prices surged over the last eight years because tightening supplies couldn’t keep pace with Third World demand, researchers have concluded. “

        Fossil fuel depletion analysis is critical for estimating future carbon emissions as well as monitoring its effects on the global economy.

        This one is for Lattie => North Sea output drop sends key Brent oil to 3-month high

        ” As a result, supply from the 12 North Sea crude streams tracked by Reuters will average 1.573 million barrels per day (bpd) in September, down from 1.905 million bpd in August, according to Reuters calculations on Monday based on loading programmes. “

        I predicted the combined drop in depletion spot on
        UK North Sea : http://mobjectivist.blogspot.com/2005/10/uk-north-sea-simulation.html
        Norway North Sea: http://mobjectivist.blogspot.com/2006/01/norway-offshore-depletion.html

        Both UK and Norway are seeing their North Sea production falling like rocks as natural depletion sets in. There will certainly be new discoveries but the course is set.

      • OK, Robert. Nice link. It has nothing to say about carbon taxes. You have just confirmed, once again, that you have nothing of value to add to the discussion.

      • WHT – you are correct that useful materials that are rare demand a higher price. However, that has zero to do with a carbon tax or what I was talking about. Do you have Attention Deficit Disorder?

      • “WHT – you are correct that useful materials that are rare demand a higher price. However, that has zero to do with a carbon tax or what I was talking about. Do you have Attention Deficit Disorder?”

        The fact that you are an insufferable bore has nothing to do with the number of topics that get raised in a thread. I can still bring it up though :)

      • Vaughan Pratt

        @lolwot: my problem with fracking is I don’t think it’ll reduce CO2 emissions

        Lolwot, US CO2 emissions over the past four months have fallen to 1992 levels? The explanation given is that the recent drop in price of NG to below coal has driven the market from coal to NG. If shifting to NG doesn’t reduce CO2 emissions, then what’s your theory for why US CO2 emissions have fallen so much?

        @jim2: That’s an astounding statement, lolwot. Methane H:C ratio 4:1. Hydrocarbons, such as oil: ~ 2:1 Coal: very little: 1 This isn’t too hard to understand. What’s the problem you see?

        The problem I see is that these numbers have no obvious relation to whether NG produces fewer moles of CO2 per kJ of energy extracted than either oil or coal, since they don’t mention the respective bond energies. As it turns out NG does produces less CO2, but is the reduction any more than 25%? That much would hold the fort for a few years, but only a few—it doesn’t get us off the CO2 treadmill.

      • Based on the lower heating values (enthalpies of combustion with water as vapor in the flue gases) burning natural gas releases CO2 about 58% of the release of burning typical hard coal. The qualities of coal vary widely, thus the number is not accurate but typical. Including the heat of condensation the difference gets even larger but few power plants condense the water effectively.

        In power generation the ratio is improved to approximately 1:2 due to the higher efficiency of modern combined cycle gas fired plants (or diesel engine driven generators) in comparison with modern coal fired plants.

      • Andrew Adams, 2 degrees warmer? There is a big difference between the reconstruction posted on skeptical science and that Kobashi reconstruction.

      • andrew adams

        capt,

        Figure 2 of Mann et al (2009) has the southern part of Greenland up to 1.4C warmer than the 1961-1990 reference period.
        I’m not saying the Koyabashi reconstruction is directly comparable, I haven’t really looked at it, I was just pointing out that the notion that Greenland was warmer than today during the MWP is not particularly controversial and does not contradict the maintream position.

      • Actually, even though I’m still skeptical that man-made CO2 is a problem, I can get on board with Muller’s solution – transfer fracking technology to China. It would be even better if companies could make a little money in the process, thereby creating jobs. But still, Muller’s idea is a good one and acceptable as a non-governmental solution to CO2 emissions.

    • “. . . those looking to control how we make energy”

      By that logic, traffic laws are made to control our movements, cigarette taxes to control our breathing, and vaccinations to control our immune systems.

      Sound public policy “to promote the general welfare” as the Founders put it, is just not that big a deal. You want to be worried about something, worry about the fact that our government can now carry out extrajudicial killings of American citizens via robot. That has some bearing on the questions of freedom, power, and control — switching to lower-carbon energy sources simply doesn’t justify that sort of hyperventilating conspiracy theory nonsense.

      • Robert
        How about proving that your ideas are actually “promoting the general welfare” and not just providing additional revenue for a bloated government!

      • Right after you meet your burden to show the radical geoengineering of the climate you propose is safe.

        While you’re at it, why don’t you demonstrate how the US government, with tax revenues as a % of the GDP at their lowest in sixty years, is “bloated.” I know that that is a religious belief on the right, but I’d like to see some evidence.

      • There are 3 billion capitalists in the world living in China, India and Brazil who are not listening. All you can do is use ‘sound government policy’ to steal from your neighbor.

      • Poor Robert

        You wish to see a change in other people’s behavior, but can not show that they should make the changes you wish they would. I, on the other hand am not trying to change behavior so I have no need to make a case.

      • and fyi Robert-

        I am not a republican and consider a government bloated when it is spending 40% more than it is generating in revenues. Will taxes need to be raised? Imo, absolutely yes. Will government spending also need to be dramatically cut- obviously yes.

      • “Poor Robert”

        Poor Rob. He can’t make an argument for what he proposes, so his solution is “I’ll hold my breath and you can’t make me!”

        Fortunately climate deniers, for all their wacky media-friendly antics, are a small minority of the electorate. One need not overcome their denial to act responsibly in declining to radially geoengineer the climate.

        Rob, I don’t need you to change your behavior. You’re very useful in driving people to the opposite of whatever side of the argument you’re on. But whatever the politics, if you want to argue that what you propose is safe, you need to support that argument with evidence. Otherwise you lose. It’s as simple as that.

        Why not try? With a fraction of the effort you’ve wasted complaining bitterly about having to meet your burden, you could have already made an argument to the best of your ability.

      • Will government spending also need to be dramatically cut- obviously yes.

        Saying something is obvious is not an argument. Why cut spending? You could easily close the budget gap — which makes the government indebted, not bloated — by raising more revenue. You could cut spending — but why?

      • “While you’re at it, why don’t you demonstrate how the US government, with tax revenues as a % of the GDP at their lowest in sixty years, is ‘bloated.’”

        http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2012/05/liar-obama-im-not-over-spending-im-running-to-pay-down-our-debt/rising-us-deficit-2/

        Now that’s a hockey stick we can believe in.

      • “There are 3 billion capitalists in the world living in China, India and Brazil who are not listening.”

        You’re off by over 500 billion people.

        You don’t have a clue how many of them there are, but you know they think just like you — in spite of the surveys that find them to be much more concerned about climate change than Americans.

        I understand your temptation — you’re losing the argument in America, so you want to shake your little fist and say “Next time — you won’t be so lucky!”

        Unfortunately for you, your neofascist idiocy is even less popular abroad than it is at home. ;)

      • To look at the raw numbers of tax receipts vs. outlays, including in current dollars, inflation adjusted numbers and as a percentage of GDP, see here.

        http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxfacts/displayafact.cfm?Docid=200

        It isn’t what progressive Huffington Post/MSNBC/ThinkProgress drones don’t know that makes them look ridiculous – it’s what they think they know that just ain’t so.

      • Meh, correction, not 500 million, about two hundred million. Still quite a bit for the person who claims to know their every thought and wish!

      • Love the arguments that end “…so I have no need to make a case.”

        http://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/burden-of-proof

  46. Robert | August 14, 2012 at 3:22 pm |

    “You don’t have a clue how many of them there are, but you know they think just like you — in spite of the surveys that find them to be much more concerned about climate change than Americans.”

    So that is why China has built more coal fired plants in the last year then the US has built in the last 30 years? Why Germany has 23 GW of coal fired plants under construction?

    Opinions given in surveys ‘cost nothing’.

    • Yeah, why talk to people to find out what they think?

      No country with coal power plants could ever agree to action on climate change . . . LOL.

  47. lolwot | August 14, 2012 at 6:27 pm |

    Yes there is. It makes coal cheaper.

    Apparently you are unfamiliar with the concept of costs of production. I.E. A product can never be sold for an extended period of time below the cost of production, production will contract. The price will be ‘temporarily’ cheaper while the production capacity adjusts to the new reality.

    • Harry –

      Just wondering if you might have some comment. (It was you that I discussed “irrational” fear about nuclear energy with over at Keith’s, wasn’t it?)

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-19245818

      • Michael Hart

        We’ve been here before with other claims. It used to seem like every time somebody counted some frogs with too many legs, or seals dying in the North Sea, it was loudly proclaimed as being due to pesticides or radio-isotopes or “chemicals”, etc. Only later did people hear the less alarming explanations that it could be due to regular population dynamics and/or viruses etc.

        I’m confident that if they hadn’t had the nuclear problems then these authors would now be publishing something damning about what climate-change was doing to the butterflies.

        Perhaps it was due to the weather because that could also coincide with rain-out of radioactivity. They say the butterfly is found in [human affected] environments like gardens and parks….well perhaps economic disruption and the presence of a huge fricking Tsunami affected the human environment a little bit….

      • Michael Hart

        and yes, viruses can cause genetic mutations….

    • Just like how the whale oil producers couldn’t compete with that newfangled Pennsylvania oil out of the ground, huh?

  48. Thx fer kind message fan. Re uncertainty, I’d say it’s what I live by, and love of nature… and music :-)
    Re uncertainty and feedbacks in climate, say…

    The cherry blossom’s burstin’ inter bud,
    The frogs are crickin’ in the creek bottom mud.
    Start again, they seem ter say, see what’s comin’ down, convectin’ up,
    Eiin, eout,
    In the compluh … compluh… compluh… cated
    Compluh… cated, climate change debate.

  49. Er fan, concrete predictions are in the nature of science, yes, but predictions still have ter be put to the test, only then may verification or falsification of a theory occur.

  50. David Springer

    gbaikie | August 14, 2012 at 10:33 pm |

    “Five months later Charles Abbot, the Director of the Smithsonian Astronomical Observatory, published a careful 5-page rebuttal of Wood’s 1.5-page hasty note referring to a similar experiment done 12 years earlier at the observatory, using wooden boxes, not cardboard, that attained a temperature of 118 C.”

    The keyword is “rebuttal”. Read 5-pages of careful “handwaving” by Abbot. I’m not sure Vaughn knows the difference between experiment and narrative. In that regard he appears to resemble a great many climate boffins.

    • David Springer

      Tell us all what you told me via email this year, Vaughn Pratt, about the stuff you promised to report “in due time”. It’s going on three years since you updated that web page. Surely that’s enough due time. What’s up with that? LOL

      http://boole.stanford.edu/WoodExpt/

      Current work

      More recently I have been studying Wood’s experiment more closely to find out whether there might have been some rational explanation of his failure to observe warming resulting from trapping of heat, which is at odds with the results of others performing similar experiments starting with Horace De Saussure in 1767. To this end I’ve replaced the saran wrap with an optical quality salt window, and instrumented the boxes with multiple TMP-05B chips, tiny thermometers the size of a matchhead, to better understand the onset and distribution of warming throughout the box and across the window. Since salt windows of the kind typically found in optics laboratories are small for reasons of mechanical strength, the boxes are sized accordingly.
      I’ve gathered a considerable amount of relevant data and will report on these experiments in due course.

      Vaughan Pratt
      Professor Emeritus
      Stanford University
      Stanford, CA 94305-9045

    • “Five months later Charles Abbot, the Director of the Smithsonian Astronomical Observatory, published a careful 5-page rebuttal of Wood’s 1.5-page hasty note referring to a similar experiment done 12 years earlier at the observatory, using wooden boxes, not cardboard, that attained a temperature of 118 C.”

      “The keyword is “rebuttal”. Read 5-pages of careful “handwaving” by Abbot. I’m not sure Vaughn knows the difference between experiment and narrative. In that regard he appears to resemble a great many climate boffins.”

      I mainly interested in any surface temperature on Earth that exceed 80 C.
      Wasn’t convinced that solar ponds typically exceed 80 C, though 70-80 C
      seems quite possible.

      Of course I am not talking using magnifying lenses.

      Above 80 C seems possible and interested what material and other conditions are involved.
      Above 90 C or 118 C seems unlikely, but if done, would like to know if applies for some freakish conditions or whether this can done anywhere assuming one using the correct kind of box.

      http://boole.stanford.edu/WoodExpt/

      Vaughan Pratt
      Professor Emeritus
      Stanford University :
      “At 2 pm on 12/03/09 the box with the double-glazed Saran wrap window reached 65 C while the box with the two 3/8″ perspex sheets reached 80 C. (We subseqently recorded 82 C with the latter.) ”

      Why did gain to 2 C? Why in winter- or this in southern hemisphere?

      • David Springer

        The highest air temperature recorded on the earth’s surface is 58C. The highest solar pond temperature is under 100C (not by much) but of course that’s at the bottom not the top. The highest surface temperature recorded by an ARGO bouy is 35C. Interestingly very very few ARGO bouys ever see over 30C. There’s a lot of 30C surface temperatures then like a ghost town above that. The highest annual mean surface temperature ever recorded over land is 34.5C over a six year stretch in 1960 in Dullal, Ethoipia, a salt desert at about 8 degrees north latitude and about 100 feet below sea level.

      • “The highest solar pond temperature is under 100C (not by much) but of course that’s at the bottom not the top. ”

        I don’t believe it. Reference.

      • David Springer

        P.S. Perspex is not considered IR transparent at thickness exceeding 2 mil which is why people use Saran Wrap instead althoug Saran Wrap has its own problems which Vaughn tried to fix with double glazing then ran into problems trying to keep two sheets of saran wrap separated. I bet that was a real bitch. No wonder he decided to go with rock salt. Unfortunately he clammed up about the results with the rock salt. Ask him why. I already know why he isn’t making it public but since I was told in private I’ll let him make the decision about going public. In the meantime there’s nothing but gedankenexperiment to dispute RW Wood. Welcome to the new AGW science, same as the 1909 AGW science, pure unadulterated just-so stories.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      It goes without saying — or it should go without saying — that Vaughn Pratt does not merit the vile abuse that certain posters are spewing.

      Now is a good time for Climate Etc folks to speak out in appreciation and thanks to Vaughn Pratt, for his many positive contributions to Climate Etc.

      To be silent is to acquiesce in abuse, which is plain wrong.

      Thank you, Vaughn Pratt.

      • David Springer

        [crickets]

      • David Springer

        You’d be wise to first ask Pratt why he doesn’t disclose the results he got with rock salt lenses before deciding what level of respect he deserves here. One might expect a scientist with no agenda would have published the results whatever they were – contrary, supporting, or inconclusive. Go ahead and ask. I double dog dare ya.

      • Vaughan Pratt

        @DS: One might expect a scientist with no agenda would have published the results whatever they were – contrary, supporting, or inconclusive.

        Scientists with no agenda should be grateful you aren’t Emperor with the power to chop off the head of any scientist who doesn’t adjust his schedule to suit yours. :(

        WordPress has this bad habit of moving related posts miles apart as new material gets inserted in between. Your imperious request for my results to date (such as they are) is answered way above by now.

        @gbaikie: Above 90 C or 118 C seems unlikely, but if done, would like to know if applies for some freakish conditions or whether this can done anywhere assuming one using the correct kind of box.

        The “correct kind,” known since the 18th century, is a very well insulated box with several (circa 3) windows with air gaps between them for insulation. Wood is traditional for the box but other materials with low thermal conductivity and adequate heat resistance should work.

        The Wikipedia article on solar cookers cites temperatures way above 118 C, namely around 150 C, though earlier it says “One or more reflectors of shiny metal or foil-lined material may be positioned to bounce extra light into the interior of the oven chamber.”

        If this ever became an Olympic event there’d be a dozen categories for different ways of amplifying the sun’s heat, though probably not one for a 50 foot woman holding a 10-foot magnifying glass over the oven, which might well meet some of your criteria for “freakish conditions.”

      • “The Wikipedia article on solar cookers cites temperatures way above 118 C, namely around 150 C, though earlier it says “One or more reflectors of shiny metal or foil-lined material may be positioned to bounce extra light into the interior of the oven chamber.”

        Yes they work by adding the power of sunlight by basically collecting a large area of sunlight and focusing/reflecting into a smaller area.
        Using reflecting or magnifying one can get very hot temperatures.
        Solar collector, solar tower:
        “In June 2008, BrightSource Energy dedicated its Solar Energy Development Center (SEDC) in Israel’s Negev Desert. The site, located in the Rotem Industrial Park, features more than 1,600 heliostats that track the sun and reflect light onto a 60 meter-high tower. The concentrated energy is then used to heat a boiler atop the tower to 550 degrees Celsius, generating steam that is piped into a turbine, where electricity can be produced.”

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_power_tower

        So using mirrors directed towards a tower one getting over 550 C.
        And with Fresnel lens or magnifying lens one could much higher temperatures- you can melt brick:

      • Vaughan Pratt

        Excellent. We can now focus on those ovens that don’t collect insolation from a cross section any larger than that of the oven itself.

        Physics question for you: state and prove an upper bound on the temperature achievable within a solar oven heated by nothing more than the sunlight falling directly on it, with no assistance from reflectors or magnifying glasses, just infrared trapping by the glass within it.

        I bet you won’t even be able to prove an upper bound of 150 C.

      • Vaughan Pratt

        Thanks, fan, but if it was appreciation I was looking for I’d be posting at RealClimate.org. I prefer to subject my thought processes to the best arguments against them the skeptics can muster. The arguments that survive here have a better chance of surviving elsewhere.

        Abuse goes with the territory, and I don’t mind responding in kind occasionally if they don’t. David Wojick’s politeness is at the other extreme, keeps things on an even keel I guess.

      • “David Springer | August 15, 2012 at 12:53 am | Reply

        [crickets]”

        No crickets. Waiting in anticipation. Pratt is the go-to idea guy.

  51. David Springer,

    By the way. http://discover.itsc.uah.edu/amsutemps/execute.csh?amsutemps That should be a true SST which is what I want. The direct measurement via engine intakes should lower that the surface skin layer. Most of the sites listing “about” 17C appear to be interpolating to the engine intake measurements which should only be a degree or two less than the skin layer, but looking at the satellite data, I tend to doubt that is very accurate. I am open to suggestions if you have a better estimate of the true average surface temperature.

    but that looks closer to 21 than 17 to me.

    • David Springer

      Is that global average SST before or after SHAP (Supertanker Homogeneity Adjustment Procedure) and TOBS (Tanker Observation BiaS) pencil whipping adjustments?

      Sorry. Couldn’t hep meself.

    • David Springer

      Actually capt the engine intakes are going to be higher than the surface temperature. There’s something called a cool skin layer on the ocean. It’s about 1mm deep and is about 1.5C cooler than the water below it. It’s caused by evaporation. When it is broken up by white water in a breaking wave it reforms within about 10 seconds. It’s ubiquitous and totally escaped notice for a very long time due to the fact that noboby sampling the ocean surface temperature was doing it with water skimmed off the top 1mm.

      So right off the bat subtract 1.5C from whatever average SST you derive from engine intakes.

      • David,

        http://disc.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/oceans/science-focus/modis/MODIS_and_AIRS_SST_comp.shtml

        Engine intake should be the same or cooler. What temperature the satellite actually “sees” is a good question though. In order to sense the surface temperature is should see through the window portion of the spectrum to avoid water vapor noise. That link compares MODIS to AQUA. According to the link, MODIS is using the sub skin temperature with a slightly narrower band than AQUA, so AQUA may be a little higher than actually or more accurate. In either case, you always have to allow for instrumentation error.

      • When I started “guestimating” sensitivity I used the higher end of that range. If you assume AQUA is reasonably accurate, you can calculate the average land temperature and compare. Kinda interesting results using what may be the “real” numbers. Since that information is only a decade old or so, it is not covered in many of the “big” papers. That should be a loud shoe when it falls.

      • John Kennedy

        Hi David,

        1.5C is quite a bit larger than other estimates I’ve seen of the cool skin effect. Do you have a reference for this number?

        Thanks,

        John

  52. How about models that don’t fall off observed toward infinity?

  53. An interesting post, and it is connected to a post on my website on how we argue in the global warming debate. And once again, it fascinates me that people think that all the temperature data we have, from1900 or even earlier, are of the same reliability and validity. It would be nice to be able to say that warming since before the Industrial Revolution has been 0.6 degrees C, and many do, as on this thread. But the errors around that estimate are surely so large that they exceed the figure itself. I have a post on measuring temperature, too. (www.donaitkin.com)

    • “…people think that…”

      A conveniently vague assertion serving as the platform for your strawman.

  54. Greenhouse gases delay radiation heat loses, but they don’t cause warming.

    • Markus Fitzhenry

      Considering the heating of atmosphere is diurnal your statement means atmospheric gases do not change climate. Lets add to it, atmospheric gases combined with gravity determine the pressure gradient of atmosphere. Atmospheric pressure determines heat retention and changes climate.

      • Let the two Aussies believe what they want. Their views are irrelevant delusions.

      • Markus Fitzhenry

        You’re just angry at us because Capt’n Kangaroo has been making a goose out of you.

      • Ahh, now with Cap’n Kangaroo on the ticket, we now have the Aussie climate skeptic trio of Larry, Moe, and Curly. woop, woop, woop.

      • Aw, c’mon, Webbie.

        The opposing team of lolwot, “Fan”, Robert and you is like the “Keystone Cops”.

        Good for lots of laughs.

        Max

      • “The opposing team of lolwot, “Fan”, Robert and you is like the “Keystone Cops”.

        Good for lots of laughs.

        Max”

        Well, you guys have the clown car filled to the max and overflowing. Max isn’t in the car (yet) because he hasn’t proposed an alternate climate theory, and instead skates a fine line between sticking to the science and spreading FUD.

      • Yes, we’ve managed to produce quite a fine crop of cranks.

        But there is a strong anti-intellectual tradition in Oz.

        Oi, oi, oi!

    • Vaughan Pratt

      Greenhouse gases delay radiation heat loses, but they don’t cause warming.

      Girma, your reasoning applied to Ohm’s Law would say that resistors delay current flow but they don’t affect voltage, which is false. GHGs are to thermal radiation as resistors are to current flow. Just as higher resistance results in a bigger voltage drop across the resistor when the current is constant, so do more GHGs result in a bigger temperature difference between the surface and the Top Of Atmosphere when the heat flow is constant, as it must be in order for the Earth to shed to space the heat it absorbs from the Sun.

    • Delay or not delay is irrelevant, it is a steady state problem. Cooling rates CAN be reduced and a reduction in colling rate can warm objects or systems. However, I don’t see how the so-called greenhouse gases (radiatively active, like H2O, CO2…) can reduce the Earth’s surface cooling rate.

      The surface is cooled predominantly by the non-radiative fluxes (evaporation/convection) while the atmosphere is cooled exclusively by radiation. Most of the planetary radiation is from the atmosphere (and clouds), not from the surface. Increased atmospheric emissivity should reduce the total thermal resistance and enhance the planetary cooling rate. This should increase the surface cooling rate too.

      • Vaughan Pratt

        @Edim: I don’t see how the so-called greenhouse gases (radiatively active, like H2O, CO2…) can reduce the Earth’s surface cooling rate.

        Long term it can’t. When the Earth is in thermal equilibrium the rate of heating by absorption from the Sun exactly equals the rate of cooling by radiation from Earth to space.

        The bonus word here is not “cooling rate” but “surface temperature.” If an observer on the Moon estimates the temperature of the Earth on the basis of the heat radiated from the Earth, the observer should see a temperature of 255 K (-18 C) or thereabouts. This is completely consistent with the surface temperature being 300 K (27 C) or more, but also with it being 400 K. It all depends on the resistance to heat loss put up by the atmosphere.

        Venus radiates far less infrared energy to space than Earth, giving the appearance of an extremely cold planet. Most of the energy we receive from Venus is reflected sunlight that Venus does not absorb in the first place—Venus has an albedo in the vicinity of 0.9. Yet the surface of Venus is an inferno at 740 K! The 16 KW/m2 of radiation at the surface is essentially all absorbed by the bottom few km of Venus’s 90 km thick atmosphere. An observer in space receives essentially none of that intense radiation.

        Earth today is the same, albeit on a vastly reduced scale. An observer in space cannot directly measure the temperature of the surface of the Earth using an IR thermometer because a lot of the radiation is absorbed by the atmosphere. If you point an IR thermometer downwards, then at sea level you will register something like 288 K, whereas if an orbiting UFO does the same thing above the atmosphere it will register closer to 255 K. The Earth’s surface radiates much more heat upwards towards the atmosphere than is radiated from the Earth to space.

      • “It all depends on the resistance to heat loss put up by the atmosphere.”

        We agree here and my point is that the evaporative and convective fluxes predominate over radiative exchange at the surface-atmosphere interface. The atmosphere on the other hand can only cool by atmospheric radiation. The nonradiative bulk of the atmosphere (N2 and O2) put up the resistance to heat loss (to space) and are the real surface insulation. This is of course simplified without taking into account the lapse rate and other phenomena.

      • Vaughan Pratt

        my point is that the evaporative and convective fluxes predominate over radiative exchange at the surface-atmosphere interface

        Fully agree. But you’re talking about the static situation. The dynamic situation is that the radiative flux to space is decreasing, causing the Earth to warm until radiation is back in equilibrium. This warming may also result in increased evaporative and convective fluxes, as Peter317 pointed out above (though not necessarily linearly as I pointed out in response), But the warming is being driven by the change in the radiative flux. Whether the radiative flux is more or less than the other fluxes is immaterial when it’s the change that matters.

      • “Long term it can’t.”

        I said Earth’s surface.

      • Vaughan Pratt

        @Edim “Long term it can’t.” I said Earth’s surface.

        Sorry, Edim, my bad. In fact increased GHGs should warm the surface and therefore increase the ULR (upwelling longwave radiation) from the surface.

        For a proper accounting however one would like to know the net upward flux at the surface, namely ULR – DLR. If global warming raises both the ULR and DLR (“back radiation”) then one must ask which changed more.

        In equilibrium, ULR = DLR. So if we started in equilibrium, raised the CO2 a step, and waited for things to settle down, ULR = DLR once again, whence both increased by the same amount.

        So ignoring the period between the two equilibrium states, the surface did not cool in the sense that there was no change in net upward flux.

        What happens during the transition? That would depend on whether during global warming the warmer surface caused a warmer atmosphere or vice versa. That is, what drives what? Wikipedia and other popular accounts have been claiming the latter. However it seems to me that global warming is such a slow process that no experiment could possibly decide this question. In that case the net upward flux from the surface does not change perceptibly during global warming.

        Ok, but at least is there an imperceptible difference between ULR and DLR? Since it is hopeless to try to measure this we can only pose the question as a theoretical one. During the transition between the two equilibrium states, assuming DLR = ULR only at the beginning and end but at no time in the middle, which should dominate?

        The answer on reflection is obvious. If ULR exceeded DLR throughout the transition the surface would cool, and would end up colder at the final equilibrium state. Since the opposite happens DLR must exceed ULR, which is to say net upward flux must decrease.

        Another way to argue this is to observe that the Earth’s total heat content increased during global warming. This could only happen by pumping heat down through the surface of the Earth.

        But as I said, this effect is miniscule and therefore not observable: the daily and even decadal fluctuations in DLR and ULR swamp that tiny trend by many orders of magnitude. It is therefore academic to say that the net upward flux is decreasing, other than when averaged over two decades or more at a time.

      • Vaughan, ULR – DLR is just one (smaller) part of the heat exchange at the surface-atmosphere interface. Also, only a small part of the surface radiation is directly transfered to space (the window). If the Earth energy budgets (like the NASA one) is sufficiently accurate, the planetary cooling is predominantly via atmospheric radiation, not surface radiation. On the face of it, the cooling bottleneck is atmospheric radiation to space. How does the more CO2 (increased atmospheric emissivity) affect this thermal resistance?

      • This MODTRAN-based presentation from Wikipedia gives a rather good view of the roles of radiation from the surface and from the atmosphere.

        When the intensity corresponds to the blackbody radiative temperature of over 280K we have radiation from surface, when the temperature is around 220K the radiation comes from the altitudes near tropopause, the intermediate cases represent either radiation from lower troposphere (clouds and water vapor) or a mixture of surface and atmospheric radiation.

      • Pekka, this is the energy budget:

        Radiated from atmosphere (and clouds): 64% of the incoming solar.
        Radiated from the surface: 6% of the incoming solar.

        So, the planet is cooled by:
        – atmospheric radiation: ~91%
        – surface radiation: ~9%

      • My conclusion from this is that the radiatively active gases cool the planet. Water cycle also cools the planet.

      • Edim,

        You are certainly right in noting that radiatively active gases cool the Earth. What may seem paradoxical, but is not, is that they cool the surface the less the more we have of them.

        The explanation is that the more we have of GH gases the further up they do their cooling and the larger is the temperature difference between the altitudes of radiation and the surface of the Earth. When we add that the radiative power must continue to be equal to absorbed solar some major explaining factors are put together.

      • Edim said, “My conclusion from this is that the radiatively active gases cool the planet. Water cycle also cools the planet.” They do but both at a cost. Water transfers heat from the surface to the atmosphere, the atmosphere would be warmer, reducing radiant and conductive lost from the surface. At some point there is an optimum balance, either maximum heat loss or minimum heat loss depending on your perspective. Then any change from that optimum also has a cost.

        CO2 impacts the heat loss/retained in the atmosphere. Water evaporation impacts the surface heat loss/retained. So you have to compare the impact on both layers

        The water vapor is a radiant gas, it increase heat loss above a layer while retaining heat below that layer and the water vapor layer is not the same as the CO2 layer. So there are at least three layers that have to be considered, surface, H2O and CO2 radiant layers.

        The H2O radiant layer does not have the same geometry as the CO2 radiant layer. At the poles, H2O is lower than at the tropics. CO2 is more uniform, but is higher in the tropics due to rain out and lower near the poles where there is less rain out. So once you get your rough 2 dimensional estimate, 1 to 1.2C for doubling CO2 you would have to look at the three dimensional impacts on that estimate. Now it gets fun.

        Since the estimated change due to CO2 doubling is only about 1% of the total energy, assumptions are much more critical.

        While exaggerated, that is roughly the minimum geometry that has to be considered. Where CO2 and Water Vapor share a radiant altitude you would have the maximum heat retention. Where the CO2 radiant layer is below H2O, CO2 would enhance upper layer convection increasing heat loss. Where CO2 is above H2O, the heat retention would also decrease with separation. There are Sweet Spots and not so Sweet Spots. Since one change impacts another, all things do not remain equal.

        If you happen to know the “actual” temperatures and locations of the critical layers, then you are onto something.

      • Here is the scientific logical consequence of the fact that energy passed through an effective vacuum (outer space) can only occur through radiation.

        When lower wavelengths are partially impeded (by GHG, for example), then the temperature of the emitting body has to increase to provide more shorter wavelength photons to make up for the shortage of long wavelength photons. This has to happen to satisfy the law of energy conservation. When the radiative properties of the increasing temperature body (the earth) match that of incoming solar energy, then we have reached steady state and all is square.

        Someone could ask why the temperature has to increase. Well that has to do with quantum-based statistical mechanics. Say that the earth could try to make up for the blockage of the GHG-impeded low wavelengths by emitting even lower wavelengths (which are outside the spectral notches in the GHG filter). However, these are less numerous in the QM/SM state-space and also less energetic, which is the wrong direction for maximizing entropy.

        Thus the only possible mechanism is for the earth to generate more shorter wavelength radiation, which necessarily increases the body of the emitting radiation source. This is the fundamental basis to explain the 33 C increase of the earth above the naive transparent-atmosphere steady-state Stefan-Boltzmann solution. When we add more GHGs to the atmosphere, the temperature has to increase because it will provide greater filtering — logarithmic asymptotic-limit saturation notwithstanding.

        Physics is like this. It consists of all these interlocking pieces which have to fit together like a jigsaw puzzle, otherwise the model premise will fall apart. People may not like this because it does not match their intuition, but I say, tough nougies. You don’t get to pick and choose what works and what doesn’t when it comes to physics.

        One can certainly get the same result by invoking MODTRAN or doing the slab spectral radiation calculations by hand, but what I described is a standard way that physicists think when they need to operate from first principles or to guide their own learned intuition, gained from years of study.

        Most of the fake or poseur skeptics loaded into the clown car have problems with advanced physics. Whether they are just naive or are aggressively agenda-driven, likely from having flunked out of an engineering or science curriculum, it doesn’t matter. This is the state of scientific modeling and to cure oneself of advanced crackpot-ism and whacko-dom, its time to crack the books — it’s shape up or ship out time.

        As for alternate mechanisms, someone can suggest that the albedo can gradually change to make up for the increase of GHG concentrations. The general idea is that more of the incoming radiation will get reflected to make up for the heating that would occur without the extra reflection coating.

        First of all, the initial albedo estimate is taken into account for the 33C calculation. Beyond that, something has to trigger the change in albedo. It has to either be a heating or a cooling. It can’t be a cooling as there is nothing to provide a cooling forcing function — we have already established that with the GHG physics. If it is a warming, then the GHG will trigger this and the best that an albedo change can do is provide a negative feedback (at best) to the warming trend.

        Yet, an albedo change could also go the other way. Melting of ice sheets will cause greater absorptivity of the incoming radiation, and of course higher ocean temperatures will also lead to greater outgassing of H20 and CO2 (not to mention short-term outgassing of methane from both ocean and land). Both of these create a positive feedback situation that will lead to a different steady-state situation (at least) or unpredictable growth ala CAGW (at worst).

        Those are my philosophical reflections on climate model projections. The only thing to be resolved is how much the average steady state temperature will rise, and how long it will take to go through the transient phase. Because of the thermal mass properties of the ocean, it will require some patience to observe the warming above statistical noise, but the end result will have to occur. The ocean covers 70% of the surface of the earth and so it will have to adjust temperature to provide the necessary fraction of the emitting source. The other option is for the land mass or atmosphere to increase in temperature, but that also goes against the maximization of entropy. Clouds can do something as well but the entropy of the spatial cloud organization and density has to be modeled to get a handle on that.

        The entry for acceptance into the sane scientific world is to get labelled a “warmer”. Then you will deserve your philosopher diploma.

      • Vaughan Pratt

        @Edim August 17, 2012 at 8:44 am: So, the planet is cooled by:
        – atmospheric radiation: ~91%
        – surface radiation: ~9%
        My conclusion from this is that the radiatively active gases cool the planet. Water cycle also cools the planet.

        Quite right. At the same time, the Sun heats the planet. In thermal equilibrium these two balance.

        Global warming is not governed by the ratios you mention, but by departures from thermal equilibrium. The departures are an increase in surface radiation (so you might infer greater cooling on that basis) and a decrease in atmospheric radiation.

        Yes, the increase in surface radiation results in greater surface cooling. However the reason for the increase is that the surface got hotter, causing more radiation by S-B. Instead of increased surface radiation driving more cooling, increased surface temperature drives more upwards surface radiation.

        And atmospheric radiation decreases because with more CO2 to block it, the photons that do escape from the atmosphere do so from a higher altitude, which being cooler does not radiate as strongly, again by S-B.

        The net effect is that the surface gets hotter, even though the net cooling from Earth to space remains the same, namely exactly that needed to balance the heat from the Sun.

        The thermal flux will surely increase, and the evapotranspiration flux might also increase (there’s a lot of things I’m not and hydrologist is one of them). However Earth as a whole can only lose heat by radiation. Hence the only way increasing thermal and evapotranspiration fluxes can help cool the whole Earth is by raising the temperature of the atmosphere so that it radiates to space more strongly, offsetting the above-mentioned effect of radiating from a higher and hence cooler altitude. That offset could be quite large, but if it were sufficient for increased CO2 to cool the planet one should be able to use that to build a perpetual motion machine.

      • David Springer

        That’s pretty far from correct, Pratt. If you actually do look down at the earth from space through a clear sky you’ll see the spectrum in the IR window follow a blackbody curve characteristic of the surface temperature. You’re making things up on the fly and a lot of it is just wrong.

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/03/10/visualizing-the-greenhouse-effect-emission-spectra/

        Visualizing the “Greenhouse Effect” – Emission Spectra
        Posted on March 10, 2011by Ira Glickstein, PhD

        Many thanks to Dave Springer and Jim Folkerts who, in comments to my previous posting Atmospheric Windows, provided links to emission graphs and a textbook “A First Course in Atmospheric Radiation” by Grant Petty, Sundog Publishing Company.

        Study the illustrations. Read the article. Learn something. Sheesh.

      • Vaughan Pratt

        @David Springer: That’s pretty far from correct, Pratt. If you actually do look down at the earth from space through a clear sky …

        I’m sorry, Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that. I’ll just have to imagine it.

        …you’ll see the spectrum in the IR window follow a blackbody curve characteristic of the surface temperature.

        Nope, not seeing it.

        You’re making things up on the fly and a lot of it is just wrong. http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/03/10/visualizing-the-greenhouse-effect-emission-spectra/

        Perhaps it would help if you explained to me how the TOA OLR can track the spectrum of black body surface radiation when less than 10% of it is coming from the surface and more than 90% is coming from narrow GHG emission lines from the atmosphere. (Ok, clouds are broadened, so add them to the surface and you’re still a long way from a spectrum that tracks surface black body radiation.)

        @DS: Read the article. Learn something. Sheesh.

        You left out the middle step: understand the article. It doesn’t say what you think it does.

      • “Physics question for you: state and prove an upper bound on the temperature achievable within a solar oven heated by nothing more than the sunlight falling directly on it, with no assistance from reflectors or magnifying glasses, just infrared trapping by the glass within it.

        I bet you won’t even be able to prove an upper bound of 150 C.”

        I think you won’t get an air temperature that reaches 80 C- if at sea level on Earth. For substances I doubt over 85 C.
        If you get above these numbers I would suspect there is some kind amplification of sunlight. If one has deep “hotbox” the possibility of such amplification of sunlight from the box itself seems less likely. Another possible “explanation” would the amplification of sunlight could possibly be from the sky itself- due to some kind phenomena. Providing measurable of solar energy per square meter in same general area of hotbox would an interesting aspect to include.
        I generally assume one going to get around 1000 watts per square of sunlight in the best conditions.
        It should also be kept in mind that buildings or terrain could reflecting sunlight [though may not “look” reflective].

      • Sea level includes any location less than 1000′ in elevation.

        “Providing measurable of solar energy per square meter in same general area of hotbox would an interesting aspect to include.”

        I meant: Providing a measurement of solar…..

      • gbaikie,

        How do you explain the well known empirically observed fact that flat plate solar collectors may overheat to temperatures as high as 180C when idle in bright sunshine?

      • David Springer

        They are collecting diffused as well as direct sunlight. Fashion them so they only collect parallel rays directly from the sun and not diffuse light coming in from the sides and see how hot they can get.

      • Not much less, I’d say.

      • “gbaikie,

        How do you explain the well known empirically observed fact that flat plate solar collectors may overheat to temperatures as high as 180C when idle in bright sunshine?”

        It’s not known to me. I assume if you talking PV panels, they might slightly warmer if they not idle, but are doing work.
        If you mean thermal solar panels, I say you must using reflectors.
        Though one use reflectors with PV panels, also. A problem with using reflector is PV panels can overheat and they lose efficiency if they do this. Here graph of lost efficiency for PV:

        http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijp/2009/732093/fig1/

        And:
        ” 2.3.1 Thermal losses. It has been shown that the open circuit voltage will decrease proportionally to optical concentration, due to the increase of cell temperature. As a result, increasing temperatures are known to decrease PV cell efficiency, and further, long-term degradation is seen for cells if temperature exceeds a certain limit. Previous work has shown a temperature difference between operating panel temperature and ambient of 40-45C and 50-55C with concentrations of 1.6X and 2.2X respectively with no active cooling, compared with a temperature difference of 28-32C for panels at 1X concentration. Reis et al. demonstrated that as long as a maximum ambient temperature of 40C was not exceeded, it was possible to have 2X concentration without surpassing maximum cell temperatures of 80 C without cooling. Following these system designs, no cooling system was considered here.

        http://mtu.academia.edu/JoshuaPearce/Papers/1850930/Model_of_Loss_Mechanisms_for_Low_Optical_Concentratioon_on_Solar_Photovoltaic_Arrays_with_Planar_Reflectors

        Has graph shows significant loss for PV at 80 C, and really bad at 90 C.

        If not for the heat issue, PV would all use reflectors- reflectors are cheap compared to PV panels

      • gbaikie,

        I’m discussing thermal panels without any reflectors. The consist of an absorbing surface coated by a selective layer that makes them almost black for SW radiation from sun but reduces their emissivity. The panels have also some glazing, possibly double glazing. The effect of selctive coating of the absorbing surface is very closely related to the selective influence of the atmosphere and of glazings of materials and coatings that make them highly transparent for solar SW but not as transparent for LWIR.

        The overall effect is very similar to the GHE of the atmosphere. It’s difficult to say how high temperatures it’s possible to reach by such techniques when maximizing the temperature is the goal. My guess is that significantly more than 200C is possible, but what I have seen discussed is the unwanted overheating of solar thermal panels that are constructed to produce efficiently hot water at ambient pressure. I.e. the useful temperature does not exceed 100C but making the devices efficient for that makes them also capable of reaching much higher temperatures when idle and not cooled by some safety mechanism.

      • “gbaikie,

        I’m discussing thermal panels without any reflectors. The consist of an absorbing surface coated by a selective layer that makes them almost black for SW radiation from sun but reduces their emissivity. The panels have also some glazing, possibly double glazing. The effect of selctive coating of the absorbing surface is very closely related to the selective influence of the atmosphere and of glazings of materials and coatings that make them highly transparent for solar SW but not as transparent for LWIR. ”
        Ad for thermal panel:
        “Green Energy Solutions SunTrac Solar Thermal panel is distinct and the highest performing solar thermal panels on the market because it is a tracking concentrating panel in a flat plate design.”

        So it’s using reflectors. [And tracks the sun.]
        “The SunTrac Solar Thermal panel is the first to combine low installation cost characteristics of flat plate designs with proven high temperature yields of tracking parabolic concentrating panels. Operating at temperatures up to 250 of degrees, the SunTrac solar thermal panel has a much faster payback than flat plate or evacuated tube panels.”

        http://masteringgreen.com/Solar-Thermal

        It say has operating temp of 250 degrees- I think it’s F rather than C.
        So if F, it’s 121 C. Which I think is fairly impressive. Could be 250 C?
        Maybe but seems unlikely. Let’s see what is boiling pressure of water at
        250 C:
        water: 250 C 3.976 MPa 39.24 atm
        So 39.24 atm is 576.8 psi.
        House pipe are around say 90 psi.
        This pressure of 576.8 psi fine for commercial operation- in fact more pressure can be used. But seems pretty darn dangerous in a residential
        application. And need special license to construct such system.
        And ad brags about low costs. Not likely.

        “The overall effect is very similar to the GHE of the atmosphere. It’s difficult to say how high temperatures it’s possible to reach by such techniques when maximizing the temperature is the goal. My guess is that significantly more than 200C is possible, but what I have seen discussed is the unwanted overheating of solar thermal panels that are constructed to produce efficiently hot water at ambient pressure.”

        200 C 1.55 MPa 15.297 atm

        http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/kinetic/watvap.html

        So 15.297 atm is 224.8 psi. Which is bit more reasonable, but standard home pipes would burst at such pressures- and it purpose is provide hot water. Hot water heaters temperature should set:

        “Almost every checklist of energy-saving tips includes the recommendation that you turn the temperature of your water heater down from 140°F (60°C) to 120°F(49°C), including on TreeHugger and Planet Green. Yet up in Canada if you look for recommendations, they will tell you not to set your heater below 140F, as it can become a sort of petri dish for Legionnaires Disease….
        * 70 to 80 °C (158 to 176 °F): Disinfection range * At 66 °C (151 °F): Legionellae die within 2 minutes * At 60 °C (140 °F): Legionellae die within 32 minutes * At 55 °C (131 °F): Legionellae die within 5 to 6 hours * Above 50 °C (122 °F): They can survive but do not multiply * 35 to 46 °C (95 to 115 °F): Ideal growth range * ”

        http://www.treehugger.com/green-food/is-it-safe-to-turn-down-your-water-heater-temperature.html

    • David Springer

      GHGs cause a higher equilibrium temperature if the surface is cooled exclusively by conduction and radiation. That’s true where the surface of the earth is very dry or frozen. Elsewhere, not so much. Evaporation and convection is a less resistive path than radiation and conduction. Latent heat transport dominates at the earth’s surface in most times and most places if not for any other reason because the surface is liquid water in most times and most places.

      You can make an analogy with resisters and current flow in this instance. The resister with the lowest value is the one labeled “evaporation and convection”, one with a higher resistance is labeled “radiation”, the highest value resister is “conduction”. The amount of current (analogous to heat) flows in inverse proportion to the resistance of each.

      Latent flux doesn’t heat up the air or the surface. Downwelling infrared is translated into latent heat in the first few microns of the ocean surface. In fact the vapor temperature rising off the ocean is about 1.5C cooler than the water. This effect generates what is known as the cool skin layer which is a layer of water about 1mm thick at the ocean surface that is about 1.5C cooler than the water below it. It’s created through latent cooling. Latent cooling is powerful stuff. It’s why we sweat water instead of sand. Because the vapor temperature is not higher than the water temperature this latent cooling causes no rise in temperature of the air at the surface. The heat becomes sensible when the vapor condenses.

      This is why the so-called fingerprint for GHG warming is a tropospheric hot spot in the tropics where evaporation and condensation runs like a raped ape. The signature for GHG warming is more warming at altitude than at ground or sea level. If the cause of warming is something else (like fewer clouds) there will be more warming at the surface than at altitude.

      There isn’t a whole lot that’s “settled” in the global warming charade but this much can be considered settled. Where it goes off the rails is failure to take into consideration that latent flux dominates at the surface and insensibly removes heat to the cloud deck. The result of GHGs on a water planet is a smaller lapse rate from surface to cloud and a higher lapse rate from cloud to space. All the observations of spatially and temporally heterogenous temperature anomaly distribution (see wonderful global illustrations here http://oceanworld.tamu.edu/resources/ocng_textbook/chapter05/chapter05_06.htm ) make perfect sense in light of this. Until it is understood it won’t make any sense at all.

      • David, “Latent flux doesn’t heat up the air or the surface.” While that is basically true, you can’t have a latent heat flux without sensible heat transfer. That is one of the issues with the K&T EEB. they attempt to show latent, thermals and radiant, but the latent would have a sensible heat ratio of about 0.59.

      • Vaughan Pratt

        @cd: you can’t have a latent heat flux without sensible heat transfer…the latent would have a sensible heat ratio of about 0.59

        Come again? Sure you’re not an HVAC designer masquerading as a hydrologist, cd?

        Dave’s point is that water vapor rising off the water and condensing in the clouds carries heat from the water to the clouds. This is in K&T’s original Figure 7 and if you calculate that flux solely on the basis of a global precipitation of 105 cm/m2/yr (IIRC), as K&T did, then their figure of 78 W/m2 is spot on. While that process doesn’t carry that heat out to space, it does get it closer, which helps. There is no such thing as SHR in that process.

      • “Dave’s point is that water vapor rising off the water and condensing in the clouds carries heat from the water to the clouds. This is in K&T’s original Figure 7 and if you calculate that flux solely on the basis of a global precipitation of 105 cm/m2/yr (IIRC), as K&T did, then their figure of 78 W/m2 is spot on. While that process doesn’t carry that heat out to space, it does get it closer, which helps. There is no such thing as SHR in that process.”

        Rather the warmer water droplets radiating energy, wouldn’t larger effect to warm surrounding water- little droplet water which has been warmed condensing H2O gas should huge surface area. Plus you get sort of machine which draws up more H2O gas, which warms more air.

      • grr:
        Rather the warmer water droplets radiating energy, wouldn’t larger effect to warm surrounding [AIR]- little droplet water which has been warmed [BY] condensing H2O gas, should [HAVE a] huge surface area.

        Though you do get addition radiant energy, the driving force is warming the air- or most of energy is converted into warming the air.

      • Actually, I am the HVAC guy not the hydrologist. H20 until is still a molecule with a specific heat capacity. It will collide with other molecules and transfer heat. Using K&T’s 78Wm-2 latent and 0.59 SHR the total heat transfer would be 190Wm-2. The sensible portion would be 112Wm-2, that would include thermals as K&T put it and the energy transfer to the moist air.

        Now that doesn’t fit with the K&T budget at first glance, but if you consider a nearly radiantless moist air layer or quasi-radiationless moist air boundary layer, basically an HVAC approach, you end up with a multi-layer model that produces close to the same results as K&T (except it doesn’t miss 20Wm-2 :) ) for surface energy transfer to the atmosphere. Of course you would have a radiant boundary layer starting near the dry air portion of the atmosphere which would be the “Effective” radiant surface.

      • Vaughan Pratt

        Yes, though I would put it slightly differently: condensation converts all of the latent heat to sensible heat, warming both the air and the droplets forming the cloud. The additional radiation is a consequence of that higher temperature.

      • Vaughan Pratt

        (I should have indicated that my previous reply was to gbaikie, cd got in between while I was typing.)

        @cd: Actually, I am the HVAC guy not the hydrologist.

        Gosh, I guessed right. Explains a lot. :)

        H20 until is still a molecule with a specific heat capacity.

        Correct me if I’ve misunderstood, but I think you’re making the point that water vapor has translational and vibrational energy and gives up only the former when it condenses, correct?

        If so then your analysis is ignoring that the water vapor cools as it rises due to the lapse rate, and the reverse happens when it falls as precipitation (by contact with the warming air), netting out to zero, whence it can be ignored. What K&T’s 78 W/m2 measures is confined to the translational component of water vapor molecules that is converted to sensible heat by condensation. The vibrational component is (AFAIK) not affected by evaporation or condensation except to reflect temperature changes, which unlike the translational component net out to zero in (the K&T understanding of) the hydrological cycle. The math for this should be the same as for heat transport in a heat pipe, which exploits the same principle as the atmospheric hydrological cycle.

        But it’s a nice point, and my analysis could well have a hole or two in it.

      • Vaughan, “Latent converts all..” Yes it does. And like in an HVAC application, the SHR, is basically a fudge factor that includes the radiant “net’ heat transfer.

        If there is energy available to evaporate or condense that moisture in a near radiantless environment, you can use that old fashion psychrometric chart to verify your calculations.

        It is actually an interesting approach, different, but not without some logic to it. By itself, it is worthless, but with a radiant model you have a simple lower troposphere model layer and a simple upper troposphere/tropopause model that together remove most of the chaotic mid-troposphere issues.

        So I can compare a moist air envelope bounded by a fixed temperature and relative humidity, (I use -1.9C, the freezing point of average salt water) and an approximate effective radiant reference temperature envelope, 240K , then I can use the AQUA data for the oceans and get pretty good estimates.

        My estimates that are close to K&T are well within the range of Stevens and Schwartz.

        http://www.mpimet.mpg.de/fileadmin/staff/stevensbjorn/Documents/StevensSchwartz2012.pdf

      • Vaughan Pratt, “If so then your analysis is ignoring that the water vapor cools as it rises due to the lapse rate, and the reverse happens when it falls as precipitation (by contact with the warming air), netting out to zero, whence it can be ignored.”

        Sorry I missed that. Actually my model attempts to consider when and where the reverse happens. I consider the system to be dissipative and reversible. The water vapor mass and energy can end up on a glacier or in the Antarctic. Ice advance and retreat are part of the natural cycle and there should be a normal amount of temporary energy imbalance. So Ein actually should not equal Eout unless you predict the perfect time frame.

        Non-equilibrium thermodynamics. My attempt is to model within model to locate things like hemispherical heat capacity imbalances. Less heat capacity or ice mass in the one hemisphere than normal is an imbalance. That is why I mentioned natural fluctuation likely being the cause of your 14.5 year lag.

      • Vaughan Pratt

        Looking forward to the conclusions of your analysis.

    • You mean “greenhouse gases magically delay heat flow from earth to space at night and don’t have any impact of heat flow from sun to space during the day” or some such thing that climate scientists are into?

      Show me experimental proof of any of:
      a. thermalization of IR by IR absorbing/emitting gases
      b. magnitude of time delay of IR passing through IR absorbing/emitting gases compared to IR transparent gases (hours, minutes, seconds, msec, microseonds, nanoseconds)
      c. some other physical mechanism by which climate scientists think the greenhouse works

      • Vaughan Pratt

        @blouis79: Show me experimental proof of any of:
        a. thermalization of IR by IR absorbing/emitting gases

        The first experiments that discovered this effect were done by the 19th century physicist John Tyndall, who of course was an early conspirator in this global conspiracy to defraud innocent fossil fuel users, as should be clear from the shifty eyes in his photos in that article.

        To hide this conspiracy Tyndall claimed to have invented the ratio spectrophotometer and stated that he’d used it to measure the amount of heating caused by IR for a wide range of gases. By way of corroborative detail to make his story more plausible he made up a list of several dozen gases no one had ever heard of before, along with the extent to which each warmed when subjected to IR. He died of natural causes before the authorities were able to hang him for this massive fraud.

        These fraudulent experiments were then repeated to much higher accuracy and compiled as the massive HITRAN Database giving a line-by-line account of the amount of thermal energy absorbed by radiation at 2,713,968 spectral lines by 39 different molecules with a great variety of isotope combinations, so they claimed. As can be seen here for example, vast numbers of scientists have been suckered into believing that this data is real, or are themselves part of this gigantic conspiracy, it’s hard to tell which. The HITRAN tables themselves are a central part of this conspiracy which started long before fossil fuels came into use and has continued now for 160 years.

        The surviving conspirators should all be rounded up and hanged by their toes until they cry uncle.

      • David Springer

        Actually Tyndall had a thermopile at one end of his device measuring the strength of the calorific rays (as infrared was called in those days). He didn’t measure the temperature of the gas inside the test chamber. So once again, Pratt, you’re wrong. Tyndall observed a lower reading at the thermopile with calorific gases.

        Now Pratt, think about a non-contact infrared thermometer which is essentially what Tyndal had aimed at the gas in the test chamber. A lower voltage means a lower temperature. If the gas was hotter he should have observed a higher temperature. In fact what was happening was the gas was absorbing a fraction of the infrared illumination coming from the opposite end of the chamber and was emitting about half of what it absorbed back in the direction it came from depriving the thermopile of those photons.

        Your mental model of the real world is missing more than it contains. Please stop. We’re in the same profession and you’re embarrassing me.

      • Vaughan Pratt

        @DS: Actually Tyndall had a thermopile at one end of his device measuring the strength of the calorific rays (as infrared was called in those days). He didn’t measure the temperature of the gas inside the test chamber. So once again, Pratt, you’re wrong.

        David, that’s a bit like saying the Wright brothers did not invent the airplane, they invented the airplane engine. Tyndall’s ratio spectrophotometer, which he used to quantify the amount of absorption by a great many greenhouse gases (including perfume!), has a thermopile as one of its components. It can be seen in this picture (about 40% down the page).

        The thermopile is the T-shaped thingy slightly left of center, which is looking more or less directly at a reference IR source on the left and (through the tube containing the gas) at an equal IR source on the far right. It measures the ratio of heat received from each heat source using a galvanometer (lower front, connected to the thermopile via two coiled wires).

        If the gas in the tube absorbs nothing (his experience with oxygen, nitrogen, and hydrogen) then the ratio is 1, which the galvanometer registers by not moving (he zero-indexed it in air). The stronger the absorption, the more the galvanometer moves. Originally Tyndall noted the galvanometer deflection in degrees of angle, which he later converted to amount of absoprtion.

        So you are correct that he did not measure the temperature of the gas inside the test chamber directly, but I didn’t say he did, he inferred the heating of the gas from the amount of heat lost when the remaining IR arrived at the thermopile.

        In the days when Amazon’s Kindle was monochrome, I didn’t buy one because (a) Amazon’s Kindle didn’t fit in my pocket but my Vaio P did, and (b) Kindle for PC and for smartphones let me read Kindle books in color (of which there were a few even before color Kindles came out). One of the first books I downloaded was the Works of John Tyndall. In II.4 he lists the results of his experiments, giving the absorption of CO2 (aka carbonic acid) relative to air as 972 along with a number of other gases. Anyone who thinks Tyndall did not obtain detailed quantitative results would appear to be unfamiliar with the works of Tyndall.

        Your mental model of the real world is missing more than it contains. Please stop. We’re in the same profession and you’re embarrassing me.

        David, you’ve deserved the right to be embarrassed. Wish I could claim some of the credit but this time you’ve managed it entirely on your own.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Dave Springer, elementary radiation transport physics considerations, as affirmed by in-depth calculations, establish that Vaughan Pratt’s physics is correct.

        How may we further improve your physics understanding, Dave Springer?   :?:   :?:   :?:

      • Fan –

        How may we further improve your physics understanding, Dave Springer? :?: :?: :?:

        You get a lot of grief around here, but I just want to say that I think that many of your comments are hilarious.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        For me the three greatest philosophers are:

        Fred Rogers … who teaches kindness, and

        • Baruch Spinoza … who teaches cheerfulness (Latin: hilaritas), and

        Herschel Shmoikel Krustofski … who teaches funnyness!

        Hey! Hey! Hey!   … Climate Etc posts should reflect all three virtues, eh?   :)   2¢   :grin:   2¢   :lol:

      • @VaughanPratt, just to clarify the sarcastic comments:

        a. As mentioned by @DavidSpringer, Tyndall did not measure thermalization. He demonstrated absorption/emission/scattering and specifically did *not* quantify the emission/scattering part.

        b. the Hitran data has been measured within IR reflective chambers and therefore is great for remote sensing and has no relevance to thermodynamics because of the measurement method ie if one measures IR absorption within an IR reflective chamber, one has no idea at all about emission/scattering.

        c. there is no consensus on a specific physical mechanism for greenhouse warming amongst warmists and no experimental demonstration of what the mechanism is

        I have elsewhere in this blog posted some simple experiments which might demonstrate or refute an effect and only need a real physicist with access to a lab and some research funding to have a go. Warmists haven’t even dared to predict the outcome of the experiments.

      • Vaughan Pratt

        In response to blouis79’s a/b/c/d above (I supplied the “d”):

        a. Tyndall measured absorption quantitatively. He obtained a figure of 972 for the relative absorptivity of CO2 (taking air to be 1, namely no perceptible absorption). If by “measure thermalization” you mean he did not insert a thermometer into the gas, I didn’t say he did. There is more than one way to measure the heating influence of absorption, and Tyndall used one of them.

        b. From the horse’s mouth: “HITRAN is a compilation of spectroscopic parameters that a variety of computer codes use to predict and simulate the transmission and emission of light in the atmosphere.” (Emphasis added.) I strongly recommend that people actually read and interpret each column of the HITRAN tables before making up their own theories as to what they might or might not contain.

        c. That’s one mantra. The other is that science cannot be decided by consensus. From time to time two groups of climate skeptics chanting these contradictory mantras collide in the street and annihilate each other.

        d. What experiments? It’s no wonder people don’t bother to predict the outcome of your proposed experiments if you don’t bother saying where they are. My understanding is that the locations of hardly any comments on Climate Etc. are engraved on the memories of its denizens, though perhaps they’ve carved out an exception in your case. Google is no help here.

      • @VaughanPratt, from the thread http://judithcurry.com/2012/07/30/observation-based-attribution/#comments

        (Yes this blog is really hard to search for things.)

        Real laboratory physics experiments can simply settle the basic science behind the greenhouse fantasy, eg:
        1. If IR absorbing/emitting gases can thermalise IR radiation outside of an IR reflecting measurement chamber.
        2. If *any* known physical property of any material can be used to change equilibrium mean temperature when subject to alternate heating and cooling effects over day-length cycles.
        3. If presence of IR absorbing/emitting gases accelerate or retard thermal mixing of gas mixtures of different temperatures.

  55. That thread getting long:

    “Vaughan Pratt | August 15, 2012 at 3:46 am |

    @gbaikie: If you make any kind greenhouse exceed 80 C [surface or air] then one going prove that radiant trapping properties are significant.

    Exactly so. And no, Abbot’s 118 C was not a typo for 118 F, which would have been a very feeble 48 C, well below the 65 C and 55 C temperatures observed by Wood.”

    So this was Washington, DC, November 4 with 15 C air temperature.
    And tripe panel glass [no vacuum between panes]. 1/2 meter in diameter- so less 20″ diameter and 10 cm deep [4″] . And feathers.

    DC is low elevation and 38.8 N latitude. Looks it’s in middle town:

    http://siarchives.si.edu/history/exhibits/pictures/smithsonian-astrophysical-observatory

    So Nov, DC, sun will not rise as much as 45 degrees above horizon [or will be more 45 degree below zenith. Put some insulated box at 45 degree angle and face towards the sun. Starting before noon.
    One use say 3 panes which are 1/16″. And seems an improvement would have it elongated rectangle 20″ by 40″. It’s on an angle so heat should rise, so measure temperature near top to get warmer temperature.
    And you would expect the temperature to above boiling point of water?

  56. Joanne Nova has an article about the large cloud negative feedback.
    Yet another paper shows that the climate models have flaws, described as “gross” “severe” and “disturbing”. The direct effect of doubling CO2 is theoretically 3.7W per square meter. The feedbacks supposedly are 2 -3 times as strong (according to the IPCC). But some scientists are trying to figure out those feedbacks with models which have flaws in the order of 70W per square meter. (How do we find that signal in noise that’s up to 19 times larger?)

    Remember climate science is settled: like gravity and a round earth. (Really?)

    Miller et al 2012 [abstract] [PDF] find that some models predict clouds to have a net shortwave radiative effect near zero, but observations show it is 70W per square meter. Presumably, cloud shortwave radiative effect means the sunlight bounced upwards off the surface of the clouds and out into space.

    What’s especially interesting about this paper is the level of detail. They test shortwave and longwave radiation, precipitation flux, integrated water vapor, liquid water path, cloud fraction, and they have observations from the top of the atmosphere and the surface. With so much information they can test models against short wave and long wave radiation, to see how well the models are really simulating clouds.

    We can also see how four models appear to do well on one parameter, only to invariably fail on another. It is easy to see how a not-so-diligent researcher could “verify” some aspect of each and every model but without testing and comparing all the aspects, these single point “successes” are meaningless.

    Even though the models are tested below with one year (2006) as the dotted blue line, the blue bands are envelopes of model outputs for 2001-2010, and we would hope that even if the models got the year wrong, the observations would at least fall within the extremes of the decadal predictions, but frequently they didn’t. Indeed the authors note that the decade itself was not that critical saying “virtually the same results are obtained when the GCM solution envelope is stretched to thirty years.”

    The four global models tested are: CM2, HADGEM1, CCSM3 & GISS-EH

    http://joannenova.com.au/

    • Jim 2

      The study you cite (plus other CERES and ERBE satellite observations by Spencer + Braswell 2007 and Lindzen + Choi 2009/2011, etc.) tell us that one crucial weak spot in the IPCC model simulations is the impact of clouds in reflecting incoming SW radiation.

      This is the explanation Kevin Trenberth gave in a recent interview for the “missing heat” and the “unexplained lack of warming”, which he had referred to earlier as “a travesty”.

      Here we have IPCC conceding on one hand that “cloud feedbacks remain the largest source of uncertainty”, yet the model simulations used by IPCC to arrive at a 2xCO2 CS all estimate that the net feedback from clouds with warming is strongly positive.

      And we have the more recent physical observations cited above which show a strongly negative net cloud feedback.

      How important is this discrepancy?

      The 2xCO2 climate sensitivity of CO2 alone (without any feedbacks) as estimated by IPCC (Myhre et al.) is somewhere around 1.0°C.

      IPCC estimates that the WV feedback constitutes the strongest positive feedback at 1.80±0.18 W/m^2K, followed by the closely related (negative) lapse rate feedback of -0.84±0.26 W/m^2K. The net sum of the two is 0.96±0.44 W/m^2K.

      Surface albedo feedback is estimated to be 0.26±0.08 W/m^2K.

      Net cloud feedback is assumed to be 0.69±0.38 W/m^2K.

      With a doubling of CO2 this brings the total temperature impact (°C) to:
      1.9±0.15°C – 2xCO2 plus all feedbacks, except clouds
      1.3±0.55°C – net cloud feedback
      3.2±0.70°C – 2xCO2 with all feedbacks

      In other words, the net feedback from clouds is assumed by all models to represent 41% of the total 2xCO2 temperature impact on average, but with a fairly wide spread between models.

      As IPCC puts it:

      The large spread in cloud radiative feedbacks leads to the conclusion that differences in cloud response are the primary source of inter-model differences in climate sensitivity. However the contributions of water vapor/lapse rate and surface albedo feedbacks to sensitivity spread are non-negligible, particularly since their impact is reinforced by the mean model cloud feedback being positive and quite strong.

      But how realistic are the assumptions leading to the “quite strong” positive cloud feedback?

      Replacing the impact of a model-based net positive feedback with that of a net negative feedback as more recently observed would reduce the 2xCO2 climate sensitivity to somewhere around 1°C (or around one-third of the IPCC model-based estimate).

      Will IPCC make this correction to its earlier model assumptions in its new AR5 report?

      If not, this would truly be “a travesty”.

      [But don’t hold your breath.]

      Max

      • Max, you write “The 2xCO2 climate sensitivity of CO2 alone (without any feedbacks) as estimated by IPCC (Myhre et al.) is somewhere around 1.0°C.”

        You and I agree on almost everything that has to do with CAGW. This is why I cringe whenever I see you write the sort of thing I have quoted. The empirical data very strongly suggests that the total effect of adding CO2 to the atmopshere on surface temperatures is so small that it cannot be measured. So, if the total climate sensitivity of CO2 is negligible, then the IPCC estimations are radically wrong somewhere.

        It is possible that the feedbacks are so strongly negative that the 1 C claimed for the no feedback climate sensitivity is completely eliminated. I suspect that this is very unlikely. So the error the IPCC has made must be in the estimate of the no-feedback climate sensitrivity itself. This is why I cringe when I see what you have written.

        Therefore, I strongly suspect the estimate of no-feedback climate sensitivity is completely wrong. Where it is wrong, I dont know, but I suspect it goes back to the assumption that the lapse rate does not change in order to arrive at 1C. If the lapse rate changes, as I am sure it will, then I suspect that the 1C is a gross overestimate of the proper value, which I would suggest is, itself, negligible.

      • Jim Cripwell

        You may well be right (that the hypothetical entity called “no-feedback climate sensitivity for 2XCO2″ is well below the IPCC estimated value of around 1.

        There is no empirical way to measure this hypothetical entity.

        I’m simply stating that even if we accept this value to be correct the overall CS including all feedbacks is likely to be no more than 1, since the net negative feedback from clouds, as observed by Spencer er al., will cancel out any net positive feedback from water vapor, lapse rate and surface albedo.

        In its AR4 report (using data from 2006) IPCC conceded that “cloud feedbacks remain the largest source of uncertainty”.

        Spencer and Braswell subsequently cleared up some of this “uncertainty”, finding that the net cloud feedback with warming is strongly negative rather than strongly positive, as had been estimated by all the IPCC model simulations.

        I hope IPCC will include this new knowledge in its AR5 report, with a resulting lower estimate of 2xCO2 climate sensitivity.

        But I fear that IPCC will continue to favor the result of model simulations (which show high CS) rather than base its estimates on empirical data derived from actual physical observations (which point to a much lower CS).

        Max

      • How is lapse rate supposed to cause feedback?

      • Steve Milesworthy

        But I fear that IPCC will continue to favor the result of model simulations

        I suspect that the IPCC will recognise that the Spencer and Braswell paper covered a limited period of observations during which the climate was dominated by changes in ENSO state (whereas the particular models chosen were not so dominated). So it will not trump the many model-based and observation-based assessments of sensitivity.

        PE

        How is lapse rate supposed to cause feedback?

        As I understand it, a lapse rate change means essentially a different warming at the surface as compared with the upper troposphere. For a given amount of forcing, then, if the upper troposphere warms more than the surface then it means that equilibrium would be reached for less surface warming than if the upper troposphere warmed the same as the surface. This is termed the “lapse rate feedback”.

      • Steve, you write “and observation-based assessments of sensitivity.”

        Whar are these observation based assessments of sensitivity? Do you have some references?