‘Pause’ : Waving the Italian Flag

by Judith Curry

The recent articles in the Daily Mail and the Guardian are generating heated reactions – more heat than light.  Lets break down the arguments on both side and assess them systematically.

The big picture

The ‘heat’ surrounding the debate reflected in the articles in the  Mail and the Guardian arises from the context associated with these three statements from the IPCC AR4:

i) Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, as is now evident from observations of increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice, and rising global average sea level.           JC comment:  It is only the surface temperature record that has sufficiently long observational time series on a global scale for credible detection and attribution studies.

ii) Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations.                                                                                JC comment:  the evidence that carries the greatest weight in this assessment is global climate model simulations, conducted with and without anthropogenic forcing.

iii)  For the next two decades, a warming of about 0.2°C per decade is projected for a range of SRES emission scenarios.                                                                                      JC comment: confidence in this statement comes from the following:  “Since IPCC’s first report in 1990, assessed projections have suggested global average temperature increases between about 0.15°C and 0.3°C per decade for 1990 to 2005. This can now be compared with observed values of about 0.2°C per decade, strengthening confi dence in near-term projections.

The implications of the 16 year plateau are this:

a)  the IPCC detection arguments rely on a clear separation between the signals from forced climate change and natural internal variability.  Numerous climate model analyses find that it is very unlikely that a plateau or period of cooling extends beyond 15-17 years in the presence of anthropogenic global warming.

b)  failure of the climate models to predict a >17  year plateau raises questions about the suitability of the climate models for detection and attribution analyses, particularly in terms of accounting adequately for multidecadal modes of climate variability

c)  comparison of the observed temperature trend with the IPCC projection of 0.2C increase in the early 21st century raises issues about the models’ reliability in terms of sensitivity to external forcing and ability to deal with natural internal variability

My criticisms of the IPCC’s detection and attribution argument can be found in these two recently published papers:

What I personally think is going on with the climate system is summarized in my post

Mail and Guardian articles

As I see it, the main issues of contention in these two articles are semantic and related to data quality.  Nuccitelli trusts the climate models, whereas in the Mail article, both Jones and Curry agree that climate models are imperfect and incomplete and did not predict such a long pause (Jones worries once the pause exceeds 15 years).

In the headline of the Mail article, and in the first statement, the following words are used:  “Global warming stopped 16 years ago.”  In the context of the rest of the article, this apparently refers to the 16 year plateau (or hiatus) in global average surface temperature anomalies.  Critics of the Mail article seem to think this statement infers that the anthropogenic forcing of the climate has stopped;  the later context of the article makes it clear that natural variability has been dominating the anthropogenic signal.    That said, an arguably preferable title would have  been ” 16 year plateau in global surface temperatures puzzles climate scientists”. However, such an article should have been written by the climate scientists, they should have owned this issue.  In the absence of that, we get  the inflammatory “Global warming stopped 16 years ago.

The Guardian article brings in additional data:  the Arctic sea ice minimum and ocean heat content.

Observations of global warming

In the IPCC SPM statement cited above, they include evidence of surface temperature, atmospheric temperature, ocean heat content, snow and ice melt, and sea level rise.

In assessing this evidence, we need to consider the quality of each of these data sets in terms of their maturity as climate data records and length of the records, so that we can appropriately interpret the recent variations.  Further, for the purpose at hand (detecting an anthropogenic signal in recent climate change), we need to include confounding factors in assessing quality for purpose.

What do I mean by ‘quality’ and ‘maturity’ of climate data records?

Elements of the climate data maturity matrix (John Bates, NCDC):

  • Software readiness: are algorithms under configuration management and how mature?
  • Metadata:  how full and complete are the metadata and quality assessment?
  • Documentation:  Is the Operational Algorithm Description full, complete, and peer reviewed?
  • Product validation:  How complete is the validation?
  • Public Access:  Are the data, algorithms and softare open and available to the Public?
  • Utility:  How extensive is the peer reviewed literature and how varied are the applications?

Quality indicators include (following Funtowicz and Ravetz):

  • well established theory and method
  • best available practice; large sample; direct measure
  • auditability: well documented trace to method
  • calibration: good fit to data
  • validation:  independent measurement of same variable
  • objectivity: no discerible bias

Let’s assess the individual data sets according to these criteria:

  • Surface temperature:  Meets the maturity criteria.  There are several independent data sets (although they are mostly based on the same raw data).  New methods are still being developed, and past data are being revised.  Post climategate, these data sets are arguably all auditable.  Concerns remain regarding bias in some of the data sets, associated with adjustments and homogenization.
  • Atmospheric heat content:  medium maturity, two independent data sets, extremely complex algorithms that are not easily audited.
  • Ocean heat content: The ARGO data scores low in terms of maturity and auditability.
  • Sea level rise:  The altimetry-based methods scores medium in terms of maturity, the algorithms continue to be revised.
  • Sea ice extent:  The satellite-derived data sets are mature, and there are multiple independent datasets of sea ice extent.  These datasets are auditable and widely used.
  • Ice sheet and glacier mass balance data:  low maturity.

For the purpose at hand (global climate of the last 16 years), all but surface temperatures and atmospheric heat content are associated with confounding factors:

  • ocean heat content:  given the long time scales in the ocean, it is difficult to interpret relatively short variations on the scale of 1-2 decades
  • sea ice extent:  this is a regional (not global measure), that is heavily influenced by natural internal variability, as well as the long ocean time scales described above
  • glaciers and ice sheets:  local to regional (not global), with strong regional influences of natural internal variability.  Snowfall is a counfounding factor.
  • sea level rise:  strong element of natural internal variability, confounding factors associated with coastal land use and geologic processes.

Further, all datasets except for surface temperature decay in quality substantially prior to 1980, making it difficult to interpret the natural background variability.

Based on this analysis, its difficult to get away from the idea that the best (most mature, highest quality) data set for inferring recent climate change is the surface temperature data record.

Italian Flag analysis

To sort through the claims made by both the Daily Mail and Guardian articles, lets adopt the three-valued logic approach of the Italian Flag analysis.  The basics are:

The Italian flag (IF) is a representation of three-valued logic in which evidence for a proposition is represented as green, evidence against is represented as red, and residual uncertainty is represented as white.  The white area reflects uncommitted belief, which can be associated with uncertainty in evidence or unknowns.

Lets apply the Italian Flag analysis to the following proposition:
.
P1:   There is significant (or discernible) evidence of anthropogenic global warming over the past 16 years
.
I will list the basic elements of the evidence for and against, along with the uncertainties.  Elements in bold  indicate a relatively high quality of evidence either for or against.
.
Green (evidence for):
i)  Long term trend of increasing surface temperatures, for at least the past 150 years
ii)  Theoretical support for a warming effect as greenhouse gas concentration increases
iii) Long term trend of increasing ocean heat content
iv)  Decline in Arctic sea ice  since 1979, with record minimum in 2012
v)   Melting of glaciers and ice sheets
vi)  Sea level rise since 1961
vii)  Results from climate model simulations
.
Summary:  The highest quality green evidence is the long term temperature record and theoretical support for greenhouse warming.  However, these provide only indirect support for P1.  The highest quality evidence directly supporting P1 is ocean heat content and Arctic sea ice, although the utility of this evidence in support of P1 is associated with quality issues, confounding factors, and short length of record.  The green evidence arguably provides support for the proposition that the anthropogenic greenhouse effect has not stopped; however the green evidence provides relatively weak direct support for P1 (primarily ocean heat content and sea ice, which are associated with significant uncertainties).
.
Red (evidence against):
i)   No significant increase in surface temperature since 1997
v)   Growth of glaciers and ice sheets
vii)  Failure of climate models to provide a consistent and convincing attribution argument for the warming from 1910-1940 and the plateau from the 1940’s to the 1970’s
viii)  No increase since 1997  in atmospheric heat content  from UAH, RSS
.
Summary.  The red list provides strong direct evidence against P1, in the form of the plateau in surface temperature and atmospheric heat content.
.
White (uncertainties, unknowns):
ii)  The magnitude of the greenhouse effect depends on a large positive water vapor feedback, whose magnitude is disputed
iii)  Ocean heat content measurements are associated with significant uncertainties; even in the recent period with Argo buoys, the data set is still undergoing analysis for systematic biases.
iv)  Uncertain attribution of the sea ice melting, with natural internal variability hypothesized to account for at least 40% of the loss
v)  Calculations of mass balance of glaciers and ice sheets is in its infancy, even for current conditions
vi) interannual and multidecadal variability in sea level rise is becoming increasingly apparent
vii)  climate model simulations are associated with a host of uncertainties, ranging from the models themselves to the design of numerical experiments and the interpretation of the results.
.
Summary:  the white part of the flag is frankly pretty dominant here, with the net impact of these uncertainties acting against the green evidence.
.
Conclusions
.
If the term ‘global warming has stopped’ is inferred to mean that there is no longer evidence of anthropogenic greenhouse warming, then this is not correct.
.
There is direct evidence from surface temperature data and atmospheric heat content data (both data sets with a relatively high level of maturity) of a plateau or hiatus of the warming for the past 16 years.
.
Evidence of warming from ocean heat content measurements comes from a data set that is not mature and interpretation of this warming is confounded by the long time scales of circulation and heat transfer in the ocean.
.
Evidence of warming from the decline in sea ice extent comes from a mature data set.  However, interpretation of this regional impact is confounded by a large signal of natural internal variability in the Arctic, and also the long time scales of circulation and heat transfer in the ocean.
.
Interpretation of climate model simulations has emphasized the existence of plateaus or hiatus in the warming for time scales of up to 15-17 years; longer periods have not been previously anticipated, and the IPCC AR4 clearly expected a warming of 0.2C per decade for the early part of the 21st century.
.
Given that we are in the cool phase of the PDO and a strong El Nino is unlikely for the next decade, the plateau may continue for at least another decade.  Latif has made this argument, whereas most other ‘establishment’ scientists seem either puzzled by the pause or don’t expect it to continue beyond the expected 15-17 year period.
.
And if the PDO and solar factors are sufficient in strength to counter the anthropogenic warming, then we need to ask the question as to how much of the warming in the 1980’s and 1990’s were ‘juiced’ by the warm PDO and transition from cool to warm AMO, plus a solar max.
.
With the IPCC focus on anthropogenic forcing, these other issues have received insufficient scrutiny.  The main ‘war’ with skeptics is over detection and attribution.  The skeptics have raised some valid issues (notably the PDO/AMO and solar); I hope that the ‘pause’ will stimulate some systematic reconsideration of attribution arguments
.
JC note:  this is a technical thread, focus your comments on the points made here.  If you want to discuss this more generally, do it on one of the previous ‘pause’ threads.

882 responses to “‘Pause’ : Waving the Italian Flag

  1. Thanks, Professor Curry, for your continuing efforts to peel back sixty-seven years of deceit (Original Sin):

    http://judithcurry.com/2012/09/27/effects-of-solar-variability-on-climate/#comment-255795

  2. Thanks for “Given that we are in the cool phase of the PDO and a strong El Nino is unlikely for the next decade, the plateau may continue for at least another decade.”. I’m sure you’ve probably said this before, but I didn’t hear it specifically stated this way.

    Related to ocean heat content, what are your thoughts on:

    *Should the trends be more robust than surface temperature, or does it “depend”?
    *In addition to maturity issue for the dataset, what about the fact that large (compared to the rest of the system’s heat capacity) changes can result from tiny changes in temperature measurements arguably within instrumental detection limits?

    • Less and more costly energy is merely a harbinger of the misery, poverty and death that Western civilization will face as America follows the EU in its slide down the trap and that is without the specter of weather events associated with a decade or perhaps 30-50 years of global cooling.

      All of these enviro-whackpot prognosticators of a global warming Apocalypse lack the intellectual curiosity to even wonder how there can be so much evidence-backed, statistically significant research showing that all past and historical global warming is completely explained by ENSO effects and other natural activity. They know so little about statistics they have no understanding that the Sun is the only independent variable and key to climate change, i.e., global warming AND global cooling.

  3. Heinrich the Norwegian Elkhound

    Met Office on David Rose’s piece in the Daily Mail.

    http://metofficenews.wordpress.com/2012/10/14/met-office-in-the-media-14-october-2012/

    Very informative.

  4. Has anyone applied Bernoulli Space modelling to this transition period, if that is what it is? Or would it be too difficult to get some climate scientists to admit to their own ignorance space!

    • My own ignorance space is such that i have not previously encountered Bernoulli Space ideas, which is surprising given all the digging I have done re uncertainty concepts. I am interested in a guest post on this, are you interested? other takers?

      • It’s an extremely new idea with very few adherents.

        This doesn’t speak to its merits, but it is extraordinary abstruse stuff.

        I couldn’t begin to touch it myself, which may mean you’d need a very good communicator to explain it in terms that can be easily accessed by Denizens, who also happens to be well-read and mathematically competent. Vaughn Pratt or Pekka might be able to name someone like that.

      • I came across this a long time ago while interested in the mathematics behind transitions. We need a statistician interested in stochastics. A quick search threw up these folks,

        http://www.stochastikon.com/

        They seem to have done some work on wind power, but I’ve not dug any further as fascinating as it is, my day job insists I complete a paper in a totally different area!

      • That’s not too convincing a reference on a quick pass. They have some odd intellectual history ignoring all of modern probability theory, then they introduce some things that aren’t functions and call them functions. They mandate the use of uniform belief densities over unknown fixed parameters, which seems peculiar, to say the least.

        What is the value-add over any kind of Bayesian modeling?

      • More than Bernoulli is at issue because Gosselin draws on the classical physics of d’Alembert, do you think the MSM will pay attention to him now that the bombshell paper by Marcie Rathke of the University of Southern North Dakota has been accepted for publication in Advances in Pure Mathematics.?

        Although ‘Independent, Negative, Canonically Turing Arrows of Equations and Problems in Applied Formal PDE’ may be a hard reading,
        the abstract is thankfully a model of concision:

        “Let ρ = A. Is it possible to extend isomorphisms? We show that D´ is stochastically orthogonal and trivially affine. [For real atmospheric systems] the main result was the construction of p-Cardano, compactly Erdős, Weyl functions. This could shed important light on a conjecture of Conway–d’Alembert.”

        How many more times must the Turing insufficieny modeling hoax be mathematically demolished before Hansen, Mann , and the rest of the pro-modeling crowd publish a retraction ?

      • I’m intrigued but this is floating over my head. A guest post would be most welcome

      • This appears to be a gag. There is no such university.

      • P D Q Bach went there

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P._D._Q._Bach

        of course he was fictitious too

      • > compactly Erdős

        An Erdős number 2, no doubt.

      • Steven Mosher

        Southern North dakota is in east Virginia

      • http://aperiodical.com/2012/10/advances-in-pure-nonsense/

        http://www.lrb.co.uk/blog/2012/10/17/paul-taylor/stochastically-orthogonal/

        This is rather more telling about the status of mathematics within academia and its own rather closed community of practice, which the hoaxers never the less seem to have strong desire to be a part of.

        Besides as everone knows D’Alembert merely copied from Lagrange!

      • Note Sokal backwards.
        ========

      • curryja | October 18, 2012 at 2:02 pm |

        What people have been elliptically trying to suggest is that, uhm..

        The Bernoulli family, while sometimes scientifically brilliant, were also great bamboozlers.

        Newton famously destroyed their work at every opportunity, and renovating ancient Bernoulli arguments that the planets move by the action of vortices in quintessence may not be the way a serious scientist would want to go.

      • Heinrich the Norwegian Elkhound

        Al Lakos –

        You win. That is all.

      • Having grown up there, I can assure you the University of Southern North Dakota is near Northern South Dakota.

    • I doubt they will admit their ignorance, either way you define it. The Bernoulli space model is interesting. There are recurrent 14-16 year patterns in the surface data that need to be considered I would think before attempting to determine significance of any trend. You can compare the “pause” 1997 to present to the previous period of the same length to the same 1997 Oct end and “see” the pattern. That appears to be a complex settling from solar cycle forcing.

      That can produce 0.2C of “Strong, Significant _______” fill in the blank forcing if you pick your favorite theory.

    • Does anyone besides Elart von Collani have anything of mathematical significance to say about so-called “Bernoulli space”?

      Gauss was von Collani’s great-great-great-great-great-great-grand-advisor (work up eight steps from here) so if that’s any indication there may well be something to this novel idea of a Bernoulli space.

      However within half a dozen years of Einstein’s introduction of his theory of special relativity there were at least a dozen physicists able to explain it.

      In the half-dozen or so years since von Collani introduced Bernoulli spaces, has there been even one single person besides him and his two students since 2000 who could explain what a Bernoulli space is?

      This is not to say that it’s a bad idea, but only that it doesn’t seem to have caught on yet. If it ever does catch on I’ll be very interested in following up on it.

  5. Judith,
    Well balanced and reasonable. I have a couple of questions:
    Does Antarctic ice extent have a voice in your flag analysis?
    How robust is the science concerning the ability of DWIR from CO2 to heat the oceans?

  6. Honestly, sometimes I think all data should be taken away from scientists and handed over to qualified statisticians for refinement prior to returning to the scientists for analyses.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/mean:79/mean:85/from:1912/offset:0.033/plot/hadcrut4gl/mean:79/mean:85/from:1912/plot/hadcrut4gl/mean:79/mean:85/from:1912/offset:-0.033

    That’s all we know to a green standard on the Italian Flag model of HadCRUT4.

    i)

    Notice we know nothing about trend to green beyond 2006. We’re in white and red territory. Any direct statements about trend in HadCRUT4 after 2005 ended begins to rapidly lose confidence. This is the Endpoint Problem of graphical analysis. There are ways to get around it, but they require looking at information entirely disjoint from HadCRUT4.
    “..ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice, and rising global average sea level,” are three disjoint sources of confirmation that give us reliable enough trend information to establish consilience about what we may say after 2005 on HadCRUT4.

    While none of these four datasets alone defeats the Endpoint Problem, taken together they greatly reduce the intensity of the red and white while both increasing the intensity of the green and its span on the Italian Flag model.

    Taken together, we can push back our green level understanding of each of these four datasets in some limited senses almost to the start of HadCRUT4.. keeping in mind that the start itself is also an endpoint. That takes a lot of red and white out of our map.

    ii)

    All and only (given actual data and observations and confirmed rational understanding of fundamental Physics we have from many sources) what IPCC climate models — which are far more advanced in their development for example than the Italian Flag model — need contribute to this understanding is double-checking the “what-if” there were no CO2 or no GHE, which it is both fit to and performs with compelling clarity.

    (Btw, if I were suggesting improvements for the very excellent WfT, which I commend in the strongest possible terms, I’d find a dataset for CO2 to allow plotting its trend back farther.)

    iii)

    On what we know from first principles of Physics was an overall rising temperature trend showed a 40 year ‘pause’ from the 1940’s to the 1980’s. While the probability that we’ll see another 40 year ‘pause’ has fallen greatly, it’s not impossible, nor does it impinge confidence in the GHE.

    No mere assembly of observations without appropriate analyses constitutes disproof.

    Fallacious statements merely vandalize the Italian Flag, in a vain effort to obscure where our knowledge begins and ends.

    Steven Mosher made a valid observation lately, that impartial analysts will consider the possibility that the data is explained by lack of GHE.

    On the data that we have right now in HadCRUT4 alone, that possibility remains below 5%. We have far, far more data than HadCRUT4, and the remaining possible degrees of freedom on the ‘Reject GHE’ hypothesis is vanishingly tiny. We are more sure, given the total data, of GHE and its dominant influence on GMT when taken with aerosols than we are of the Higgs boson, by far.

    The probability that we will see sharp GMT rises (or could even be in the middle of one right now) equal to or in excess of 0.2C/decade is much higher than the probability of a pause. That’s a green fact. In any one span of time up to four decades the explanation for temperature trend will remain red, while we’re in it, if we limit ourselves to HadCRUT4 and CO2 level and models alone.

    If that’s all the IPCC have done, then shame on them. If you’re acting as if the IPCC did only that and no more when the case is otherwise, then this malpensive practice brings shame on you.

    • > No mere assembly of observations without appropriate analyses constitutes disproof.

      John Nielsen-Gammon’s take-home message, in a nutshell.

      Just imagine this accepted as a standard for commenting practice. Even this comment would not meet this standard. I would not mind at all. And I’m quite confident that Bart R would not either. He could then go on with his life. Most of his job at Judy’s would be done, unless he’d wish to entertain us about capitalism.

    • “If you’re acting as if the IPCC did only that and no more” . . .

      The United Nations is the Ringmaster in the ,/i>UN’s IPCC.

    • Bart your reasoning is sound. However, one has to look at what the IPCC did in the SPM. They used endpoint selection and a decreasing time span to support their statement of 0.2C/decade and increasing to 0.3C/decade as evidence that the models and attribution was correct, as Dr. Curry indicated. You can find discussions of this in the SPM, Ch’s 6,9, and 10. In that they used the iconic 1998 as justification, it is hard to not to appear biased about attribution, as your comment appears, if you do not state this in discussions of the IPCC methodology. And yes we could see a trend equal to or in excess of 0.2C/decade, but it too would suffer from the endpoint problem and would have decreased confidence on the order of an additional 7 years. Yes, the IPCC did lots more. However, it does get back to what Dr. Curry stated, it is the attribution where the difference of the accepted natural variability and the measured trend for that time period of 1998 compared with the pause starting around 1940, and the increase including endpoint problems (1998) being used to justify “increased confidence.” By that same reasoning, we now have a case of decreased confidence. I have read others, such as myself, who find both arguments to be weak. But that does not change what was argued in AR4. I tend to remember what Tebaldi and Knutti pointed out about models, 135 years or longer, to know if a 100 year prediction was correct. There seems to be a bit too much confidence in the green when it comes to a quantity for CS. I would also point out that the 1940 is also a cherry pick wrt IPCC AR4 since it was after the increase in temperatures started that the IPCC stated that it showed a clear Anthropogenic influence, and this time period 1940 onward was used in the attribution. One has to be careful of statements less unstated assumptions make one’s argument circular.

      • John,

        The SPM has just a few webpages. Five, I believe. Searching for “0.2″ leads me to this claim:

        > For the next two decades, a warming of about 0.2°C per decade is projected for a range of SRES emission scenarios. Even if the concentrations of all greenhouse gases and aerosols had been kept constant at year 2000 levels, a further warming of about 0.1°C per decade would be expected

        http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/spmsspm-projections-of.html

        As far as I can read, their arguments holds in two sentences:

        > A major advance of this assessment of climate change projections compared with the TAR is the large number of simulations available from a broader range of models. Taken together with additional information from observations, these provide a quantitative basis for estimating likelihoods for many aspects of future climate change.

        So the argument structure is this one:

        (P1) We have more and better simulations from more and better models.

        (P2) We have more and better observations.

        (C) We have a quantitative basis for estimating likelihoods &c.

        I fail to see the circular reasoning in that argument. Perhaps you have another argument in mind? I’ll read again this post and the previous one, and the comments related to the circularity. But my feeling is that it would be better for those who claim that the argument is circular to (a) state the argument as I just did and (b) show how one of the premises is contained in the conclusion.

        Best of luck!

      • As I tried to state, it was respect to the methodology used and Bart’s comment. Sorry if that was unclear. Bart has claimed the flat period starting at 1940 is comparable to the current flat period. This is not what was stated in attribution. I could not be more definite since Bart did not state which assumptions held. I can only re-state what the IPCC stated, and it is a general statement. But one has to be careful that the unstated assumptions in this argument by the IPCC concerning the post 1940 period does not become a circular argument when comparing to post 1980 period. The question that is relevant concerns attribution and confidence in the attribution. More important that the SPM is Chapter 9. For detail about (P1) and (P2) and how this relates to the admitted, by IPCC, circularity one needs to read both 9 and 10. The circularity occurs when assinging value to the attribution of the measured warming. Very briefly and with stick figure statements, there are two variables, CO2E and natural variation from the LIA, but one temperature record. There are two “independent” quantities to be used to assign values, proxies and models. However, as noted by the IPCC in AR4, neither the proxies nor the models are truly independent. This is why such statements as models without CO2E were unable to replicate the post 1940 or so temperatures were compared to proxies for greater confidence. It is why persons such as myself, point to “hiding the decline” is not some minor point. If the proxy, or some proxies fail, the assumptions necessary to support the independence and certainty of the two methods for separating the temperature signal fail as well. It is not a 0 or 100 score, but it directly contradicts the claim of being 90% certain or what ever in an UNKNOWN manner. Another area is that as T&K state we do not know the models are correct and will not know for a long time. The degrees of freedom in assigning a magnitude are too few, and assumptions had to be made. Anything that challenges the assumptions will likely challenge the confidence.

      • John,

        Thank you for your comment. For now, I have two questions.

        First, you say:

        > However, as noted by the IPCC in AR4, neither the proxies nor the models are truly independent.

        Is there a problem with that? I don’t see the need to assume that the proxies and the models are independent. In fact, this criteria seems to run across the fact that models and the proxies are very much intertwined.

        Think about it as a measurement problem. You have data sets and a imperfect measuring tool assigning numbers to the subsets of these data. New data comes in that conflict with your expected result: what do you do? If the data sets were independent from the measuring tool, or if you knew that your measuring tool was correct, you’d knew to check for a problem with the data. But nothing guarantees that: in fact, you know that you could also tweak your measuring device.

        So I would like to understand this idea of independence. Perhaps this means the IPCC should not have talked in terms of likelihoods, but I’m not sure if that’s what you mean, or if that would be warranted to say that.

        ***

        I also presume that you’re referring to this chapter:

        http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch9.html

        Am I correct?

      • Yes, willard to the link.

        You would be correct if one had just one thing to measure. There are ways to test. That is why I made the point of the LIA and CO2E. This is where you need two independent measures to quantify. We have the observed warming, where it is assumed because of the models and physics, that CO2E was not a significant factor; and warming where it is assumed CO2E is significant, and that the other phenomena is still or could be present. If one wishes to qualify, then they do not have to be completely independent. This is one of the reasons, and why the attribution in Ch 9, IIRC, had to be an expert judgement. But as you point out, they are not independent. If it was well defined, then two unknown, two “equations” give THE answer. We don’t have a concrete answer to attribution.

      • johnfpittman | October 17, 2012 at 1:16 pm |

        My assumptions were stated, I believe. Rather, I applied premises to avoid the need to make more assumptions than were minimally necessary.

        To quote myself:

        1. Honestly. (You are invited to contemplate every possible implication of premising statements made in opposition to David Rose in the Daily Mail with this word.)

        2. Sometimes I think all data should be taken away from scientists and handed over to qualified statisticians for refinement prior to returning to the scientists for analyses. (Which is to say, although I am in general agreement with Dana Nuccitelli’s conclusions lately despite a few quibbles over overconfident statements contained in it, and also with most of John Nielsen-Gammon’s much better but still flawed response http://blog.chron.com/climateabyss/2012/10/carbon-dioxide-and-temperature/ etc., I think it would be nice if they demonstrated slightly greater rigor as an example to those utterly lost souls who appear incapable of any at all.)

        3. That’s all we know to a green standard on the Italian Flag model of HadCRUT4. (See graph. Note it ends by the start of 2006.)

        Any other assumptions you imagine are not mentioned because they are not made. I do in places amplify my conclusions with additional statements, such as explicitly accepting three other datasets in a sence Dr. Curry apparently hadn’t considered, and rejecting the uses of any other IPCC product than what I state later — only the model runs, and only to establish “What-if” there were no GHE as a secondary confirmation of what we know from our premises, the data, and strict inference.)

        So the ‘flat period from 1940′ is comparable to the current ‘flat period’ in the sense that it actually exists on the graph. Well, that is, the 1940 one does; the ‘current’ one doesn’t. It’s not available to us from the data we have. It doesn’t exist to a level of confidence we can call meaningful. Unlike the flat period from 1940.

        What the IPCC may have stated, or you may believe the IPCC stated, or have been told by hearsay the IPCC stated, or want others to believe the IPCC stated, as it is not in my premises and I explicitly made a point of excepting them, is pointless. You make the fallacy fallacy — that because at some point somewhere in the IPCC they may have made a fallacious argument about something, and at some point my argument agrees with something the IPCC may have said, therefore I’ve erred. Which is bunkum. I see no point to speculate on irrelevancies.

        As the LIA falls entirely outside of HadCRUT4, there is zero impact on reference to it about what we are discussing.

        Likewise, I do not discuss proxies, except in the sense HadCRUT4, three other datasets, and the models are proxies. Any other proxies are immaterial.

        Please restrict your commentary on my argument to my argument.

      • To quote you Bart, you did bring up the IPCC, and models. By stating fundamantal physics without explanation or stating the assumptions there of, there is the potential of misunderstanding whether you have a point or not.. What fundamental physics, the TOA is a negative feedback as engineers define it, that water vapor is a negative feedback, as engineers define it, in an air column because the accelation due to differences in specific gravity, that to estimate these fundamental effects, parameterization due to these experience phase change, are ODE’s not PDE’s, etc. That one could prpose a system of feedbacks that we do not have to worry about CO2E? Here is the quote I assumed was part of your arguement.
        ii)

        All and only (given actual data and observations and confirmed rational understanding of fundamental Physics we have from many sources) what IPCC climate models — which are far more advanced in their development for example than the Italian Flag model — need contribute to this understanding is double-checking the “what-if” there were no CO2 or no GHE, which it is both fit to and performs with compelling clarity.

      • johnfpittman | October 18, 2012 at 9:43 am |

        I brought up the IPCC in particular and only in restricting the argument to the relevant material from the models, as to exclude nonsense. You keep wanting to bring nonsense back into the discussion.

        Feedbacks esceed the topic. They’re not in the HadCRUT4 dataset. They’re not in the relationship of CO2E to temperature implicitly. They’re certainly necessary for the CO2 change to give the HadCRUT4 outcome, but then their net positive effect is all we have evidence of from HadCRUT4; negative feedbacks may exist in some relatively tiny degree in some part of the actual system, but we’re not discussing the actual system, we’re discussing the HadCRUT4 trendology. In particular, what about any of the things you’ve cited have the least impact other than to reinforce dismissing the utility of IPCC models for anything but the one role you quote me restricting us to using? They’re all individually and collectively arguments to dismiss the IPCC models beyond that one role that we both apparently accept without reservation. Thank you for reinforcing the validity of my point with redundant and needless wordiness.

        And while engineers are useful, since when has anyone ever cared how they define any word, other than in Dilbert?

      • Bart you may think you restricted it, but you said “iii)

        On what we know from first principles of Physics was an overall rising temperature trend showed a 40 year ‘pause’ from the 1940′s to the 1980′s. While the probability that we’ll see another 40 year ‘pause’ has fallen greatly, it’s not impossible, nor does it impinge confidence in the GHE.

        This is incorrect and has a definite assumption. First principles of Physics has enthalpy as its term not temperature, and most definitely not temperature about water vapor in air without defining the state or enthalpy. Temperature was chosen as the metric to talk about. Doing so has intrinsic assumptions you called upon when you posted as you did.

      • johnfpittman | October 18, 2012 at 12:20 pm |

        Wow. You could just talk circles around a corkscrew in a blender on a pedalboat in a tornado. Which would be about the set of circumstances it would take to unpack what you think you mean.

        Simplify.

      • You could just talk circles around a corkscrew in a blender on a pedalboat in a tornado.

        I’m “borrowing” that one.

      • Bart

        Enthalpy is the basic /fundamental physics of energy, not temperature. When you use temperature there are intirnsic assumptions whether you realize it or not. I pointed it out. You are like a cat in the dryer spinning trying to avoid this. I entered into the discussions about the assumptions. That you do not understand this only means you should avoid making conclusions based on physics if you don’t understand the basics. If you do, then you incorrectly addressed my comments.

      • johnfpittman | October 19, 2012 at 2:24 pm |

        Simplify harder.

      • BART read and understand better. Enthalpy is the basic measurement of energy not temperature.You brought it up. You think you restricted the assumptions, but you did not restrict this basic assumption. It was part of your argument. Asking me to simplify a basic concept is just more spinning on your part.

      • johnfpittman | October 20, 2012 at 6:21 am |

        “Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler.” (attributed to Einstein)

        We have no need to go to enthalpy as a term of reference. While enthalpy is more fundamental, it is hardly simplification to invoke it needlessly.

        To illustrate: what is simpler, to express the sum 2+2 as 4, or to express it as a sum of series converging to 5? I ask because I still remember my high school Calculus teacher needlessly expanding the expression “2+2″ into a convoluted equation involving arguments he hoped would exceed the competence of high school students, making an elementary error of substitution at a more fundamental level, and getting 5 as his answer.

        Is that what’s going on here? What is the compelling reason to introduce enthalpy, when we don’t need it?

      • Enthalpy is as simple as you can get the discussion you started if you don’t have assumptions. You took me to task for discussing assumptions, their relevance, and one(s) you did not state. You stated you had elimiated them and I keep pointing out you are in error. Using your analogous misdirection of the conversation, 2+2=5 is not simple, it is simply wrong.

      • johnfpittman | October 20, 2012 at 5:15 pm |

        Again, you’re talking in circles. Your circles are talking in circles around their own circles.

        While it’s true ab initio reasoning requires you go through enthalpy to develop heat and temperature in Physics, once you’ve done the ab initio reasoning, it’s been done and you can accept the rest of the propositions of Physics as accurate or very nearly true until new evidence requires we re-evaluate our conclusions.

        Hence, no assumptions. You just see assumptions places they aren’t.

      • Bart because the measurements have not been made for enthalpy in the time periods you used for your argument, and you used temperature. Your argument is erroneous about no assumptions. The only circles here are the ones you are doing trying to avoid the issue with including Temerpature and fundamental physics in the same argument. My points about assumptions, IPCC, and your statements still stand. You used the argument not me. You objected to me stating about unstated assumptions and I keep showing your complaint was wrong.

      • johnfpittman | October 20, 2012 at 8:48 pm |

        You’re now claiming — which we must accept if we are to credit your line of argument with any validity — that there has been a change in the relationship between enthalpy and temperature specific to the last fifteen years.

        Yeah.. come back when you have evidence for that bizarro Physics.

        Until then, I stand on the accurate or very nearly true inference and evidence for my statements.

      • No Bart. We have to assume that a GHG can’t effect enthalpy because of what you claimed. You get it wrong again.The difference is in what was not measured about 1940 and what we started trying to measure about 1980. Think about it. They cannot be GHG’s without affecting the enthalpy n the system. It is you with bizzaro physics as I have repeated shown..

      • To help a bit, enthalpy is also known as specific heat content. Its integrated form is heat content. In the earth system, the ocean has by far the majority of the climate’s heat content changes, so arguments about enthalpy need to be centered on the ocean heat content changes.

      • johnfpittman | October 20, 2012 at 10:37 pm |

        I swear, it’s like reading G&T.

        If you’re presenting a case on enthalpy, please develop your comments in the form of formal equations to allow them to be evaluated on their merits.

        I believe this can be accomplished in terms of chains of indefinite integrals of six variables.

        Because you’re making an assertion here that does not appear to have any foundation in or relevance to anything you’re responding to in my original argument.

        Not that I intend to entertain comments that represent things that have nothing to do with what I’ve said as things I’ve said.

      • Bart you stated: ii)

        All and only (given actual data and observations and confirmed rational understanding of fundamental Physics we have from many sources) what IPCC climate models —

        and you stated iii)

        On what we know from first principles of Physics was an overall rising temperature trend showed a 40 year ‘pause’ from the 1940′s to the 1980′s. While the probability that we’ll see another 40 year ‘pause’ has fallen greatly, it’s not impossible, nor does it impinge confidence in the GHE.

        Thus you did bring up the models, data and observations, and fundamental physics. Without enthalpy, there is only a defined state of matter that is 0 Kelvin. You making an argument about “observations and confirmed rational understanding of fundamental physics” and bring up the pause of 1940’s to 1980’s where those observations and rational understanding of fundamental physics” means you can’t compare the two without assumptions. In specific, the understanding and observations we have indicate you are making an incorrect argument. I pointed this out , but included that you might could state your assumptions in such a manner I would agree. You want to argue you make no assumptions. This is untrue; your statement had intrinsic assumption(s).

      • Bart, Thank you for today’s chuckle bringing up G&T. The humor is that you are indirectly emulating the nonsense they had in section p 13 to p 23 IIRC. In this part of their paper they start violating known phenomena such as Cp of different gases that they then bring back in at around p 70 or p90, can’t remember, and violate their own basis of that previous section.

      • johnfpittman | October 21, 2012 at 8:06 am |

        Maybe I’ve been going at this with too much enthusiasm.

        Conservation of Energy; Thermomechanical Principle. QED

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      Bart R:

      Steven Mosher made a valid observation lately, that impartial analysts will consider the possibility that the data is explained by lack of GHE.

      On the data that we have right now in HadCRUT4 alone, that possibility remains below 5%.

      How in the world do you conclude that?

      • Brandon Shollenberger | October 17, 2012 at 1:33 pm |

        Parsimony.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Thank you for answering my question about methodology and assumptions with a single word that explains nothing. You just saved me the effort of considering what you said any further.

      • Conciseness is a virtue :)

      • David Springer

        Hey Creepy, could you explain how Occam’s Razor applies to the conclusion in question? Its application seems to make no sense at all but I’d like to give you a fair chance to make sense because there’s a first time for everything. Of course if I apply Occam’s Razor to you the simplest, and thus most likely, explanation is that you’re a dummy who’s in way over his head here.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        David Springer, clearly it applies because the simplest answer is always, “I’m right.” How could anything be simpler?

      • Brandon Shollenberger | October 17, 2012 at 11:52 pm |

        Parsimony.

        See Newton, Isaac, Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica (“Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy”), London, 1687; Cambridge, 1713; London, 1726. (http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/newton-principia/)
        If you’re discussing Science and do not understand what one is told when one gets the one word reply, “parsimony”, then you’ve never discussed Science.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Bart R, repeating stupid claims just makes you sound stupid. By all means, do continue.

      • BartR is just under the mistaken impression that the science is settled and that he should get asphalt reparations.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        I don’t dispute the greenhouse effect, and I’d put the probability of the warming in temperature records not being caused (in part) by it far lower than 5%. I just want to know how in the world Bart R concludes we know from the “HadCRUT4 alone, that possibility remains below 5%.”

        If it were truly as simple as looking at one temperature series, I’d want to know. If I don’t have to look at forcings or radiative physics to know the greenhouse effect is causing these changes, I want to know. That’d make global warming discussions so much simpler.

        But the reality is a temperature record cannot possibly do what Bart R claims it does. His statement was wrong. Perhaps it was just unclear, and he meant something more than what he said. I’d be fine with that. That’s why I asked for clarification. He could have explained some more detailed point, or he could have admitted what he said wasn’t right.

        Instead, he chose to give useless answers that border on insulting. Personally, I find that telling.

      • Brandon Shollenberger | October 19, 2012 at 3:13 pm |

        You really still don’t understand parsimony?

        http://lmgtfy.com/?q=parsimony+science

        Whn demolishing a bad argument, it is preferred to restrict ones cases so close as can be to the original. Sure, I could defeat Rose’ claim with more, but that would be overkill. His own case is self-defeating.

        If you then sneak in things Rose didn’t say in his sneaky points and wonder that my argument with Rose doesn’t also address your own sneaky points , that’s not my problem.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Bart R, I’ve understood what parsimony means for ages. That’s why I know it has absolutely nothing to do with what I said. You made a very specific claim, and I asked how you reached it. You’ve responded, time and time again, by being rude and non-responsive.

        And now you’re implying I’ve resorted to dishonest tactics where I try to change the subject when all I’ve ever done is ask you to explain something you said.

        You can insult me all you want, but it won’t change the fact you have failed, time and time again, to address anything I’ve said.

      • Then illustrate greater parsimony.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Are you trolling me, not reading what I post, or do you really not understand a thing I’ve said?

      • Brandon Shollenberger | October 20, 2012 at 1:09 am |

        “Are you trolling me, not reading what I post, or do you really not understand a thing I’ve said?”

        Well, now that we know you understand the implicit statement in the one-word reply of “parsimony” in the context of its use, why don’t we move on to actual parsimony, as I really don’t care one way or the other whether you are trolling, or just dull.

        Within and strictly confined to the contentsand explicit implications of the David Rose piece in the Daily Mail, what parsimonious and sufficient explanation do you propose that exceeds the parsimony of my comments on those contents?

        If you can provide none, then we are done, as Science dictates the parsimonious explanation to be the accurate or very nearly true one, in the usage of Newton.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Le Pétomane has conered the market in parsimonious intellect – cheap, chintzy, close, closefisted, mean, mingy, miserly, niggard, niggardly, stingy, penny-pinching, penurious, pinching, pinchpenny, spare, sparing, stinting, tight, tightfisted, uncharitable and ungenerous.

        In a world of ‘stadium waves’ it takes a little more than carbon dioxide to decipher climate. Likewise it takes a lot of misdirection to defend the stupidly simplistic.

      • CH, do your “stadium waves” have anything to do with Rossby waves? A couple of weeks ago you mentioned the former in the context of the latter but didn’t go into details. Please clarify.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Rossby waves are implicated in the ocean dynamics of ENSO. As water piles up against Australia and Indonesia – the water is deflected downward and reflected eastward across the Pacific. It is described in a reference given by Bob Tisdale above. – http://lightning.sbs.ohio-state.edu/geo622/paper_enso_McPhaden1999.pdf

        Rossby waves are real – http://www.noc.soton.ac.uk/JRD/SAT/Rossby/Rossbyintro.html

        Stadium Waves is a metaphor – you know – like a Mexican Wave. It descibes a pattern of change propagating through climate network nodes (indices) analysed using a lagged covariance methodology.

      • > Its application seems to make no sense at all […]

        A pondering Chewbacca.

    • lurker, passing through laughing

      Bart R,
      Irony is thy name.
      “Honestly, sometimes I think all data should be taken away from scientists and handed over to qualified statisticians for refinement prior to returning to the scientists for analyses.”

    • steven mosher

      “On the data that we have right now in HadCRUT4 alone, that possibility remains below 5%. We have far, far more data than HadCRUT4, and the remaining possible degrees of freedom on the ‘Reject GHE’ hypothesis is vanishingly tiny. ”

      Yes. for epistemic purity one can, as I would, hold out the possibility of no GHE effect. However, that probability is so small, that investing any time in dis proving the theory, is a fools errand. vast swaths of accepted physics would have to be re written. It’s “settled science”. No thinking man who values his time would waste it trying to replace that physics.

      Let me put it this way. decades of cooling, as we saw in the LIA, say nothing about the GHE effect. We can see decades of cooling and plateaus and STILL the GHE effect is real. That comment usually causes skeptics heads to explode, but the evidence for the GHE effect doesnt rest on the temperature record. We knew it was real without any appeal to thermometers.

      • Remember, man made SO2 = 7 Pinatubo’s in 1980
        and 6 Pinatubo’s in 2000.
        And slightly above 6 right now thanks to China.

        Could it be that if there was no human SO2 in the atmosphere the temperature recovery from the Little Ice Age could have been as high as 4C instead of the .8C claimed?

        Maybe all that coal China is burning is saving our planet!

        http://sunshinehours.wordpress.com/2012/09/14/are-we-cooling-the-planet-with-so2/

        Aerosols easily explain 1980 to 2000 warming and the post 1998 flat line.

      • sunshine

        Pinatubo spewed SO2 high into the stratosphere, where it stayed a while causing global cooling.

        http://www.gfdl.noaa.gov/bibliography/related_files/rama0001.pdf

        Those Chinese smokestacks don’t spew that high. The SO2 gets washed out pretty fast and do not have a large global effect.

        Max

      • Which deflects more solar energy?

        1) A thin layer high in the stratosphere?

        2) A thick layer near the thermometers that was continuously refreshed until 1980 or so?

        Hint … #2.

        “A paper recently published in the journal Weather finds that global summer average sunshine [solar short-wave radiation that reaches Earth’s surface] dimmed during the period 1958-1983 [prompting an ice age scare], but markedly increased from 1985-2010. ”

        “The paper states the increase in sunshine reaching the Earth’s surface is due to a decrease in aerosols including clouds, which are influenced by both anthropogenic and natural factors, and possibly changes in solar activity.”

        http://sunshinehours.wordpress.com/2012/05/15/more-sunshine-in-the-netherlands/

      • Steven Mosher

        Yes. The GHE is “real”.

        But the slight cooling over the past 12 years while GHG concentrations (especially CO2) reached record levels makes one think that the GHE might have been significantly overestimated by the IPCC models and, conversely, that natural forcing (or variability) may have been significantly underestimated.

        It’s all about the “uncertainty” in attribution that our hostess has talked about.

        And the longer this “pause” in warming continues while GHG emissions continue unabated, the more “uncertain” become the model-based attribution estimates of IPCC and, hence, the projections for the future.

        Max.

      • There is a greenhouse effect, caused by the radiatively ‘inactive’ atmospheric gases (N2, O2), which cannot radiate to space and therefore ‘warm’ the atmosphere by insulating it from the cold of space. Just like the roof/walls of a greenhouse stop the convective cooling. The radiatively active gases (H2O, CO2) on the other hand are like the holes (or opened windows) on a greenhouse, enabling the atmosphere to cool by radiation to space.

      • @Edim: There is a greenhouse effect, caused by the radiatively ‘inactive’ atmospheric gases (N2, O2), which cannot radiate to space and therefore ‘warm’ the atmosphere by insulating it from the cold of space.

        By this reasoning, Edim, glass is opaque. Glass cannot radiate visible light to space (or to anywhere else) and therefore “insulates” a brightly lit scene on one side from a dark region on the other. That is, visible light from the brightly lit scene cannot pass through the glass to the dark region, according to your reasoning.

      • Edim is a rank contrarian who will take a diametrically opposing view to any valid scientific explanation.

      • For the acronym-impaired:
        GHE = Greenhouse effect (doh) , http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenhouse_effect

        http://climateaudit101.wikispot.org/Glossary_of_Acronyms#G

        (which needs work, as usual)

      • David Springer

        For you that’s like holding out the possibility that the moon is made of green cheese isn’t it?

      • It always comes back to attribution, and both tribes mangling the consensus for their own purposes.Some can’t even get a zeroth order toy model right without violating known conditions or assumptions.

    • But Bart, statisticians know statistics. If we really want to know who’s cherry picking data – land-based measurements vs geological time scales vs models, the answer is to create a betting market for climate prediction and get the people who think they know put their money where their mouths are.

      • blouis79 | October 17, 2012 at 5:44 pm |

        Forgive.

        I had been trying to be diplomatic.

        Where I used the word ‘statisticians’, please substitute ‘anyone who bothers to do the arithmetic’.

      • Bart,

        When the discussion turns to what should be done, arithmetic apparently gets shown the door. Ignoring it is a prerequiste for anyone proposing action to control or limit CO2 production.

      • timg56 | October 18, 2012 at 1:29 pm |

        Empiricism suggests your head is so screwed around backwards you could drive from Tucson to Timbuktu in reverse gear.

  7. JC comment: the evidence that carries the greatest weight in this assessment is global climate model simulations, conducted with and without anthropogenic forcing.

    Is that the IPCC’s opinion or your own? I hoping only the former.

  8. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Judith Curry proposes  Lets apply the Italian Flag analysis to the following proposition:

    P1: There is significant (or discernible) evidence of anthropogenic global warming over the past  16  32 years.

    There is a motion from the floor, Madame Chairman!

    Motion: The debate question be amended to: “There is significant (or discernible) evidence of anthropogenic global warming over the past  16  32 years.”

    Grounds: Cherry-picking of questions is comparably harmful to public discourse, as cherry-picking of answers. A careful reading of the much-cited artcle by Santer et al. titled “Separating Signal and Noise in Atmospheric Temperature Changes: The Importance of Timescale” (2011) finds:

    Claims that minimal warming over a single decade undermine findings of a slowly-evolving externally-forced warming signal are simply incorrect.

    Our estimated signal-to-noise (S/N) ratios for global-scale TLT changes were less than 1.0 on the 10-year timescale.

    On the 32-year timescale, however, S/N exceeded 3.9 in all three observational TLT datasets.

    Conclusion: For maximal generation of light as contrasted with heat, the time period of the debate should be 32 years.

    This is a modest, science-driven amendment, Judith Curry!   :wink:   :smile:   :grin:   :lol:   :!:

    • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

      Fan, she already addressed that:

      Green (evidence for):
      i) Long term trend of increasing surface temperatures, for at least the past 150 years

  9. Judith with respect your point (i) for the green flag ‘Long term trend of increasing surface temperatures, for at least the past 150 years’ is nothing more than evidence that the earth has apparently warmed over this period. The warming could all be explained by natural variability. Indeed Bob Carter argues very forcibly that there is nothing in the surface temperature record of the last 150 years that is in any way unusual looked at against the records of geological time. To argue that this is evidence of an anthropogenic component is unsupported.

    • Agree and furthermore, the consensus is that AGW started sometime after the middle of the 20th century (~1960), which would be plausible if ACO2 was the knob or the dominant forcing (I’m not convinced at all). The warming in the first half of the 20th century (before AGW, roughly 1910 – 1940) is almost the same as the AGW.

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/mean:79/mean:85/offset:0.033/plot/hadcrut4gl/mean:79/mean:85/plot/hadcrut4gl/mean:79/mean:85/offset:-0.033

    • I’m glad someone made this point.

      Dr Curry, evidence of a warming planet (ice loss, temperature increases etc) is not evidence of cAGW, but only evidence of a warming planet.

      I think this is an important distinction; it works on both sides of the flag, not just against the theory, but to be accurate i think this needs reflecting in your post.

      Obviously you need a warming world for the theory to work at all, but that’s not the same as saying it is evidence FOR the theory; natural variation could be the overriding factor (given our level of understanding).

      Again of course this applies for the converse too.

    • Judith says as a fact that there has been a warming trend for 150 years. She does not state or imply that this trend has an athropogenic component, but does use it to support the proposition of an anthropogenic component in the last 16 years. It’s not clear how the earlier warming, with no attribution given, supports the proposition.

      • It doesn’t- quite simply.

        Any evidence that can be used to support either argument is not evidence. Merely supportive information.

        It amazes me how many people (and scientists) don’t ‘get’ this.

    • “for at least the past 150 years”. Let’s make it the last ~160 years. That would let us start the trend at the end of the Little Ice Age, and state that the world has warmed since the Little Ice Age.

  10. Boy, is this not the best thread that our hostess has started. It goes to the very heart of the debate. It would be impossible for me to cover everything that is brought up, without waiting for about a week to get all my thoughts clear. So these are a three major points that I think are most relevant.

    First, our hostess stating “(detecting an anthropogenic signal in recent climate change), ” I am not sure when I started talking about this, but it surely must be THE key issue, and I am so pleased to see this in Judith’s comments. Until a CO2 signal has been detected in the empirical data, there is NO evidence at all that CAGW is happening. Zero, nada, zilch. But this is one of the issues that the proponents of CAGW refuse to disuss. Maybe with this statement from our hostess, things might change.

    Now we have “Green (evidence for):
    i) Long term trend of increasing surface temperatures, for at least the past 150 years ”

    This I dispute. This statement ought to be in the red area. The long term trend is definitely not an indication of CAGW; quite the opposite. CO2 levels did not start rising until after WWII, and the trend of around 0.06 C per decade has been clear since around 1850, and possibly before. What would constitute a CO2 signal is a rate of rise of temperature that is significantly above 0.06 C per decade. And this change in trend has not, as yet, been observed. The inportant issue in detecting a CO2 signal is detecting a change in the rate of rise of temperature.

    Finally, there is no mention of the record for Antarctic sea ice extent in the red area of the Italian flag. Arctic and Antarctic sea ice extent are negatively correlated on two levels. Since satellite records became available, Arctic sea ice has been decreasing, and Antarctic sea ice extent increasing. But the annual variations are also negatively correlated. In general, when Arctic sea ice extent is above the trend line, Antarctic sea ice extent is below; and vice versa. Henrik Svensmark has a simple explanation for this; clouds. The albedo is far higher for clouds than land and sea, so more clouds means cooling for most of the world; EXCEPT for Antarcitca. In Antarctica, the ice that covers the continent has a higher albedo than clouds, so more clouds means warming. Thus the evidence from Arctic and Antarctic sea ice extent is that most of the observed changes in global temperatures over the centuries has been caused by changes in cloud extent, not CO2.

    • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

      JIm Cripwell: Boy, is this not the best thread that our hostess has started.

      It is one of the best, if not the best, that is for sure.

      • +1,
        a reprieve from all the psychobable drivel we have been getting lately.

      • Why I keep lurking here. Thanks, Dr. Curry. When you’re at the top of your game, you are awesome. And I certainly agree about the Mail’s unflattering photo. Grrr. Dissing our Scientific Heroine!

    • “Thus the evidence from Arctic and Antarctic sea ice extent is that most of the observed changes in global temperatures over the centuries has been caused by changes in cloud extent, not CO2.”

      Cloud changes are related to the ocean oscillation changes. Funny, the one largest impact on climate is the least understood. A change in the average wind velocity in the 50S range can have the impact of redirecting 50% of the Gulf Stream current with the impact delayed by 50 or more years. .

    • I agree completely on this being an outstanding post.

  11. Steve Milesworthy

    It’s interesting that the IPCC statement quoted above:

    Since IPCC’s first report in 1990, assessed projections have suggested global average temperature increases between about 0.15°C and 0.3°C per decade for 1990 to 2005. This can now be compared with observed values of about 0.2°C per decade, strengthening confi dence in near-term projections.

    already includes more than half of the Daily Mail Pause.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1990/to:2005/trend/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1990/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:2006/trend

    Since then, there has (using the Girma method of picking short periods) been a reduction of about 0.05C over 7 years as compared with a central projection of a rise of 0.14C.

    Given short term variability this is a piddling difference, really. In the context of the referenced 1990-2005 warming having mostly occurred in the 1990s it looks more compelling, but in the longer term context we are still slightly above the trend up to 1998.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1960/mean:12/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1965/to:1998/trend/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1965/trend

    That obviously doesn’t mean that looking through the tea leaves for causes of short term variation is not important. But given that Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations. means that up to 0.3C of that warming *could* be “natural”, the IPCC report has already accepted that there must be room for up to 0.3C cooling should that (potentially) natural variability be reversed.

    Clearly the perception may have been that the IPCC were saying there was no natural warming, but the statement clearly allows for it and presumably reflects the scientific understanding and uncertainties.

  12. and as if summoned up by the devil himself Anthony has just posted this – http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/10/17/new-paper-confirms-the-climate-was-warmer-1000-years-ago/#more-72515

    • steven mosher

      ya. folks need to understand this message

      1. The hockey stick is about the SHAFT not the Blade.
      2. The growing consensus is the shaft has more wiggles than Mann thought.
      3. Steve McIntyre’s position on this is IN THE GROWING CONSENSUS, he is not a skeptic. He was right to criticize the flat shaft.
      4. reconstructions show more pauses and dips than climate models. Both cant be right.

      Just repeat that. The growing consensus suggests that McIntyre ( and others ) was correct about the flat shaft.

      Growing consensus. I like that.

      • You mean it isn’t about the drooping proxy blade after 1960 that was dishonestly replaced by the thermometer blade?

      • ur level of understanding is below palins. submoronic

      • Heh, four years ago, Sarah Palin declared that attribution for warming was uncertain. Run that up your supramoronic flagpole and salute it.
        ==================

      • “ur level of understanding is below palins. submoronic”

        I win. A deranged AND content free “comeback” from Mosher.

        The Hockey Stick is both:

        A fraudulent handle AND a fraudulent blade.

      • Growing consensus. I like that too…

        Mosher, just for confirmation, in your opinion, Held is “the bomb”? !!! as a good guess, as in a post before the “fruit fly model …

      • “fruit fly” Typo.

        More than others opinion, do you accept Held’s estimate ? Mosher.

      • Mosh, there is no blade on the Esper et al reconstruction. It’s just a wiggly line. MBH 1998/2003 eradicated the wiggles on the shaft to emphasise blade. But then you know that. Thanks for giving us Steve Mc’s opinions by the way.

    • My ‘friend’ Mickey Mann was a bit naïve and ended getting it very wrong.
      – Trees grow in the spring and summer, further north you go latter and shorter the growing season. In Yamal that is probably only June-July.
      – Trees don’t grow in the winter, and it is the winters temperatures that have caused warming in the N. Hemisphere, but Mann failed to relies those basic facts.
      Here you can see why Mann has stumbled and fallen flat on his face.

      http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/MidSummer-MidWinter.htm

      By having Dr. in front of a name there is no guaranty that the concerned doesn’t write baloney.

  13. Judith,
    At the risk of being annoying, I continue to wish that you’d write an opinion piece along the lines of a simplified version of this post, and submit it to the NYT’s. Of course they might nor print it, but It’s time. There are legitimate doubts. The public deserves to hear about them. Our politicians too. The bottom line is we just don’t know.

  14. After you account for the tarmac effect there has been no global warming in France in over 50 years.** So, it isn’t surprising to hear that in Italy, “Il riscaldamento globale smesso 16 anni fa.”

    ** The UHI effect there was due to continual snow removal during the winter at French airports where all of the ‘official’ thermometers are located (whereas, all of the surrounding countryside remained blanketed in snow and showed no increase in winter temperatures).

    • @Wagathon: The UHI effect there was due to continual snow removal during the winter at French airports where all of the ‘official’ thermometers are located (whereas, all of the surrounding countryside remained blanketed in snow and showed no increase in winter temperatures).

      If Wag’s ingenious explanation of urban heat islands doesn’t qualify as an urban legend I don’t know what does. UHL = Urban Heat Legend. :)

      • If you were a beagle with a bad, bad, master I bet you wouldn’t appreciate being left in a white instead of a black car. But, then… you’re beagle, right?

  15. Pingback: Still good news: global temperatures remain stable, at least for now. « Fabius Maximus

  16. Judith Curry writes: “If the term ‘global warming has stopped’ is inferred to mean that there is no longer evidence of anthropogenic greenhouse warming, then this is not correct.”
    There is no evidence of an “anthropogenic greenhouse warming” signal in the warming of satellite-era sea surface temperatures. For more than 3 ½ years, I’ve been presenting how sea surface temperature data indicates that ENSO is the primary cause of the warming of the past 3 decades. Two of the recent posts are Revised Post – On Foster and Rahmstorf (2011) and A Blog Memo to Kevin Trenberth – NCAR.
    Judith, if you’d like more detail, I’d be happy to send you a link to free copy of my book. Please email me if you’d like one.

    • steven mosher

      ENSO is not a cause. ENSO is an effect. You havent explained the warming you’ve merely pointed to a pattern and given it a name. Explaining is different than naming.

      • ENSO is not a cause. ENSO is an effect.

        S/B “ENSO is not just a cause. ENSO is also</b an effect."

        Trying to understand complex non-linear systems in terms of simple models of "cause and effect" is a recipe for confusion. Fact is, "cause and effect" is a myth. An artifact of how our brains were evolved to understand the simple situations experienced by monkeys.

      • Steven Mosher says: “ENSO is not a cause. ENSO is an effect. You havent explained the warming you’ve merely pointed to a pattern and given it a name. Explaining is different than naming.”

        Since you are a frequent visitor to WUWT, you are well aware that I have illustrated, explained, and animated cause (ENSO) and effect (the warming of sea surface temperatures, ocean heat content, lower troposphere temperatures, and land+sea surface temperatures) in dozens of blog posts over the past 3 ½ years. Since ENSO is a coupled ocean-atmosphere process, I have presented its impact on and the inter-relationships between numerous variables, including sea surface temperature, sea level, ocean currents, ocean heat content, depth-averaged temperature, warm water volume, sea level pressure, cloud amount, precipitation, the strength and direction of the trade winds, etc. And since cloud amount for the tropical Pacific impacts downward shortwave radiation (visible light) there, I’ve presented and discussed that relationship as well. I’ve presented videos and gif animations to show the impacts of ENSO on ISCCP Total Cloud Amount data (with cautions about that dataset), CAMS-OPI precipitation data, NOAA’s Trade Wind Index (5S-5N, 135W-180) anomaly data, RSS MSU TLT anomaly data, CLS (AVISO) Sea Level anomaly data, NCEP/DOE Reanalysis-2 Surface Downward Shortwave Radiation Flux (dswrfsfc) anomaly data, Reynolds OI.v2 SST anomaly data and the NODC’s ocean heat content data.

        If you’re having trouble recalling all of those posts, I’ve thrown them all together in a book and expanded on the discussions—lots more detail. Refer to the following post for an overview:

        http://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2012/09/03/everything-you-every-wanted-to-know-about-el-nino-and-la-nina-2/

      • “Since you are a frequent visitor to WUWT, you are well aware that I have illustrated, explained, and animated cause (ENSO) and effect (the warming of sea surface temperatures, ocean heat content, lower troposphere temperatures, and land+sea surface temperatures) in dozens of blog posts over the past 3 ½ years. ”

        Bob, you have illustrated.
        Bob you have animated.

        But…
        You have not explained. I can point that out to you but I cannot understand it for you. ENSO is the thing that needs to be explained. It is not the thing that does the explanation.

      • Steven Mosher says: “But… You have not explained.”

        Actually, I have. You may simply have looked at the graphs and not bothered to read the explanations, but I have explained the processes of ENSO in minute detail.

        Steven Mosher says: “I can point that out to you but I cannot understand it for you. ENSO is the thing that needs to be explained.”

        ENSO has been explained. You just haven’t bothered to read the explanations. Also, your further discussion of ENSO with DocMartyn highlights your misunderstandings about ENSO. Therefore it is I who “cannot understand it for you.”

        Adios.

      • Steven, did you ever make a put-put boat when you were younger?
        Take a piece of copper tubing and make a U shape with a loop O, on the arch of the loop. The two open ends go into the water. A candle heats the hoop and the air is heated and ejected. Cold water is drawn into the hoop, heated to boiling and then exits through the open ends (put). The vacuum created sucks in fresh cold water and the cycle repeats.

        Now the various heat/cool cycles look like what one gets when you apply heat non-uniformly to a liquid heat sink. The pulse length will depend on its resonant frequency. Different sized/shaped oceans will have different frequencies, and some times these will be in or out of phase.

      • Too simple Doc, you need to determine the S-B equivalent energy per put forced by the candle and the fluorescent lighting while considering the downwelling longwave radiation mean of the bathroom atmosphere and the rate of energy transfer to the tub bottom before proposing that internal harmonics might impact energy transfer in the put put boat manifold leading to erratic propulsion. Jeez :)

      • steven mosher

        Doc.

        Its pretty simple. ENSO ( which has no physically meaningful units )
        is a description of how energy is distributed and redistributed over space and time. As a mode of natural variation over time its integral is constant. It doesnt explain warming, it is HOW natural warming manifests itself. ENSO doesnt create additional warming. It can’t. Thats because ENSO doesnt exist. It is a description of things that do exist.

        The first thing you can do is a simple dimensional analysis.. opps ENSO is dimensionless. To put it more bluntly

        Somebody looks at temperature over space and time and constructs various indices.. from temperature.. those metrics cannot be used to EXPLAIN the thing from which it was derived.

      • Further to my above reply.

        Steven Mosher says: “ENSO doesnt create additional warming. It can’t.”

        It does and it’s blatantly obvious. The warm water released by the 1997/98 El Niño was created by and during the 1995/96 La Niña. The stronger-than-normal trade winds in the western tropical Pacific associated with that La Nina reduced cloud cover, allowing more downward shortwave radiation to enter and warm the Western Tropical Pacific. ENSO basics. You can refer to McPhaden (1999):

        http://lightning.sbs.ohio-state.edu/geo622/paper_enso_McPhaden1999.pdf

        McPhaden writes: “For at least a year before the onset of the 1997–98 El Niño, there was a buildup of heat content in the western equatorial Pacific due to stronger than normal trade winds associated with a weak La Niña in 1995–96.”

        I’ve included that quote in many of my blog posts for years. I’ve illustrated it’s impacts on numerous variables. The impact of that La Niña actually shows up plain as day in the Ocean Heat Content data for the tropical Pacific, an area where they were actually measuring subsurface temperatures during the 1990s via the TOA Project. That warm water, of course, served as the fuel for the 1997/98 El Niño and was then redistributed to adjoining ocean basins in the years that followed, initially during the 1998/99/00/01 La Nina.

        Steven Mosher says: “Somebody looks at temperature over space and time and constructs various indices.. from temperature.. those metrics cannot be used to EXPLAIN the thing from which it was derived.”

        That’s a wonderful confirmation that you haven’t bothered to read my posts, Steven. But I will ask you to read the rest of this reply. ENSO is a process, not an index. One of the messages of my many ENSO posts for the past 3 years was that an ENSO index does not represent the multiple coupled ocean-atmosphere processes of ENSO. An ENSO index only represents the impacts of ENSO on the variable being represented by that index. There is no single index that captures all of the effects of ENSO. There can’t be. For example, the sea surface temperature anomalies of the NINO3.4 region only represent the effects of ENSO on the sea surface temperature of that region of equatorial Pacific. It cannot account for the warm surface water that’s left over after an El Niño and swept back to the West Pacific and Indian Oceans when the westerlies subside and the trade winds resume. It cannot account for the huge volume of leftover warm water that’s below the surface and returned to the West Pacific and into the eastern tropical Indian Ocean via off-equatorial slow-moving Rossby waves.

        See what you miss by only looking at the graphs. As noted above, I have described the processes; you simply haven’t bothered to read those descriptions. I don’t fault you for that. You and I have different interests. But I do object when you tell me I haven’t described processes and the multitude of interactions between variables, when I have.

        Regards.

      • Steve, is it you belief that events like ‘ENSO’ represent overall changes in heating and cooling of the oceans or represent a change in the movement of warm and cool waters?
        Personally, I am unafraid of cyclical processes, given that the whole of biology has evolved to respond to the daily and annual light/dark and warm/cool cycles.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ENSO is a phenomenon whose behaviour reflects the underlying dynamic of the Earth system. It can and has been analysed as a node in a network – it is a pattern of persistence in a dynamic gloabl mechanism.

        ‘Climate is ultimately complex. Complexity begs for reductionism. With reductionism, a puzzle is studied by way of its pieces. While this approach illuminates the climate system’s components, climate’s full picture remains elusive. Understanding the pieces does not ensure understanding the collection of pieces. This conundrum motivates our study.

        Our research strategy focuses on the collective behavior of a network of climate indices. Networks are everywhere – underpinning diverse systems from the world-wide-web to biological systems, social interactions, and commerce. Networks can transform vast expanses into “small worlds”; a few long-distance links make all the difference between isolated clusters of localized activity and a globally interconnected system with synchronized [1] collective behavior; communication of a signal is tied to the blueprint of connectivity. By viewing climate as a network, one sees the architecture of interaction – a striking simplicity that belies the complexity of its component detail.’

        http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2011/04/21/guest-post-atlantic-multidecadal-oscillation-and-northern-hemisphere%E2%80%99s-climate-variability-by-marcia-glaze-wyatt-sergey-kravtsov-and-anastasios-a-tsonis/

        At TOA however – no one can hear you scream. If you look at the CERES net radiative flux – you can issue a press release to say that you have found the ‘missing energy’. If you look at the details – you will find it is all in the missing clouds.

        Clouds of course respond to chaotical shifts in the dynamical global Earth system – how could they not?

      • Chief, thanks for pointing to this Marcia Wyatt paper, here and below. I’m way behind on this stuff but that looks the ticket. Or just might be. Clouds have to be key. The Cloud of Unknowing, as the mystic once put it. I look forward to Climate Etc delving into the stadium wave.

      • I can’t help but think that these beats will give a clue to mechanism of causation. What’s the frequency, Dan? Fergit that, note the harmonies.
        =============

      • Chief-

        Thanks for your post. I cut and pasted it into a file I keep entitled “philosophy, general scientific method” and I highlighted two sentences as they reminded me of importance of the interactions of variables that use to be the primary drivers in what controlled (as in cause and effect) a few attributes of a couple of products I used to have responsibilities for.

        “Understanding the pieces does not ensure understanding the collection of pieces. This conundrum motivates our study.”

        “By viewing climate as a network, one sees the architecture of interaction – a striking simplicity that belies the complexity of its component detail.’”

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Those 2 sentences did it for me too.

  17. I am curious as to at what point the failed modeling (failure defined as failure to meaningfully predict future temp trending) constitutes a refutation of the premises that underlie the AGW case. We seem to be at a point (indeed, 16 years into a point) at which revisiting ALL fundamental assumptions would be warranted.

    If I was consistently experiencing a system failure in a software component, I had competent talent inspect both my implementation and design with no faults found, I would then have to start considering unexpected inputs, compiler failure or even OS failure. These latter are low probability but I’ve lived on the bleeding edge for 30 years and I have seen them all more than once.

    In short, this is an engineer’s way of saying from the back seat, “GEEZ, aren’t we there yet?”

  18. Willis Eschenbach

    Judith, you’ve done (in all likelihood intentionally) a bait-and-switch. You say you are going to look at evidence for the following proposition:

    P1: There is significant (or discernible) evidence of anthropogenic global warming over the past 16 years.

    I will list the basic elements of the evidence for and against, along with the uncertainties. Elements in bold indicate a relatively high quality of evidence either for or against.

    Unfortunately, you then go on to say the following:
    .

    Green (evidence for):
    i) Long term trend of increasing surface temperatures, for at least the past 150 years
    ii) Theoretical support for a warming effect as greenhouse gas concentration increases
    iii) Long term trend of increasing ocean heat content
    iv) Decline in Arctic sea ice since 1979, with record minimum in 2012
    v) Melting of glaciers and ice sheets
    vi) Sea level rise since 1961
    vii) Results from climate model simulations

    First, other than the “results from climate model simulations”, NONE of that is evidence either for or against AGW. It is merely evidence as to whether the earth has warmed, not whether humans had a hand in it. How, for example, does the fact that the sea level has been rising since 1961 (and in fact rising since 1861, although that’s not mentioned) provide evidence either way for an anthropogenic cause for global warming?

    Second, results from climate model simulations are not evidence of anything but the biases, beliefs, and mistakes of the programmers.

    Third, “theoretical support” is not evidence either. It is theory, it is valuable as a theory, and it can provide support for a hypothesis … but it is not evidence.

    So you haven’t waved the Italian flag over anything at all. If this were a college class, I’d give you a “D” on this assignment. You have claimed to investigate evidence for or against AGW, but you have mostly only provided evidence or against for GW … bad scientist, no cookies. Putting up “sea level rise since 1961″ as an argument either for or against human effects on the climate is a joke. I hate to say it, but this is far and away your poorest post to date.

    w.

    • Willis:

      First, other than the “results from climate model simulations”, NONE of that is evidence either for or against AGW. It is merely evidence as to whether the earth has warmed, not whether humans had a hand in it.

      Don’t quite agree.

      Second, results from climate model simulations are not evidence of anything but the biases, beliefs, and mistakes of the programmers.

      Ah, I see. Totally agree. What I think you needed in your first sentence is:

      First, other than the “results from climate model simulations”, NONE of that even purports to be evidence either for or against AGW.

      How weak is this house of cards.

    • Willis you miss the entire point of this exercise. Evidence ‘for’ means that it is relevant to the problem at hand and that it is not evidence ‘against’. How you reason about this and draw conclusions is a completely different issue. The evidence ‘for’ is characterized as providing indirect support for the proposition. The items listed in the green column surely do not provide evidence against the proposition.

      Further, you misunderstand the proposition that is being examined. it is not proof that AGW controls the climate, but that there is some discernible evidence of some influence.

      And finally, the point of this exercise is to assess the evidence provided by others, including the IPCC, the Mail and Guardian, not to provide proof of anything.

    • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

      Willis Eschenbach: Second, results from climate model simulations are not evidence of anything but the biases, beliefs, and mistakes of the programmers.

      Most of the theoretical claims embodied in the climate models are based on empirical evidence: biases, beliefs and mistakes are only a subset of those. The model output is evidence of the result of the many processes working together, much as the Pythagorean theorem provides evidence about the hypoteneuses of a large set imperfectly studied right triangles; or long term simulations of the planetary movements based on Newton’s laws provide evidence that the orbits are chaotic rather than periodic; or simulations provide evidence that high-dimensional nonlinear dissipative systems are never in equilibrium or steady state even with constant input. Nearly all physical measurements that are collected in large quantities are based on models relating some output (usually electrical current or voltage) to some input, and the model results are evidence of the quantity of the measured attribute.

      What’s lacking is a demonstrated record of accuracy on the required spatial and temporal scales. That is evidence that they are inaccurate, and in turn incomplete or oversimplified (e.g. nonlinearities that are linearized, or Taylor series truncated at the quadratic term.)

      At some time some models may be shown to be accurate enough for the purpose of climate forecasting; then they will be evidence in the usual sense that they tell us what will be there when we have even better measurements. Good enough models may eventually provide an estimate of the effect of CO2 on recent surface temperature changes. Evidence can range from poor (past measures of ocean surface temperature) to excellent (laboratory measurements of the absorption spectra of the greenhouse gases.) I would call the GCM’s outputs poor evidence at this time, but not “not evidence of anything but the biases, beliefs and mistakes of the programmers”.

    • steven mosher

      w.

      “i) Long term trend of increasing surface temperatures, for at least the past 150 years

      ###############

      the theory is that if you increase GHGs the temperature will increase slowly over time. When you look at the evidence you see that the temperature has increased. This is evidence FOR. it is not evidence AGAINST. It is not uncertain. If C02 went up for 150 years and the temperature dropped by 6C, that would be evidence AGAINST. You seem to be confusing the difference between proof and evidence. If you died from a gunshot wound to the head and we found residue on your hand, that would be evidence for a self inflicted wound. Not proof, of course.

      ii) Theoretical support for a warming effect as greenhouse gas concentration increases
      #######################
      This is evidence for the proposition. Having a working theory, even an inaccurate one is evidence FOR. Not proof, because theories can be wrong. Not having a theory is evidence against a proposition. Note: “natural variation is not a theory”

      iii) Long term trend of increasing ocean heat content

      This is evidence for. The theory predicts it and we observe it. Proof? nope. If the ocean cooled over long periods we would call it evidence against ( disconfirmation) of the theory.
      iv) Decline in Arctic sea ice since 1979, with record minimum in 2012
      See above. Ice responding as predicted
      v) Melting of glaciers and ice sheets

      See above.
      vi) Sea level rise since 1961

      see above
      vii) Results from climate model simulations

      Climate simulations provide evidence for. That is, they give a justification for the belief. They are not observations.

      Think of evidence for and against in this way. what would you point to to justify your belief. what counts for your belief and what counts against it.

      And recall that you attributed 30% of the warming in this century to humans

      • David Springer

        150 years of warming is actually evidence against since there are two extended periods of cooling during that time lasting 30 to 40 years each which is far longer than the current hiatus. The party line is only warming since 1980 is anthropogenic therefore warming periods prior to then are evidence of non-anthropogenic warming.

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/every/mean:240

        I used a 20 year rolling average to eliminate any Santer Clause trends (less than 17 years) from showing up in the graph as falling lines (hide the declines).

        The period from 1910-1940 is virtually indistinguishable from the period 1980-2010, What caused the former and why is it not the cause of the latter?

      • steven mosher

        “150 years of warming is actually evidence against since there are two extended periods of cooling during that time lasting 30 to 40 years each which is far longer than the current hiatus. ”

        Wrong. The theory does not entail continuous or monotonic increases.

        Lets keep this simple for you.

        Lets say I have a theory which states that your cars velocity is the result of horsepower applied to the ground through the tires.

        We test that. You apply the horse power and the car speeds up.. then it pauses and slows.. then it speeds up again even faster! beyond what you estimated. Can you conclude that horse power does not effect velocity? Nope.

        WTF? how does that happen. Well, obviously you want to understand more about what is going on. Your clever grad student points out that the car was speeding up just fine on the first part of the journey because the track was flat. Then, the track had a slope up, called a hill, and then a slope down. Your theory about horse power is just fine. The problem lies in understanding ALL the variables. So, pauses in the temperature record do not invalidate the theory because the theory can be expressed in these ways.

        A) all other things being equal ( the road is flat ) more C02 will mean a higher temp. We know this from fundamental physics
        B) the final temp and the temporal and spatial evolution of that temperature is a combination of many factors, some which we understand well ( radiative physics ) and some which we dont understand very well.. clouds aerosols oceanic cycles.

        Put another way: THE THEORY PREDICTS PAUSES. However, the pauses its predicts happen to be shorter and less intense than we observe. That does not entail that C02 doesnt warm. It entails that we dont understand all the hills and valleys.

      • “A) all other things being equal ( the road is flat ) more C02 will mean a higher temp. We know this from fundamental physics.”

        This is not fundamental physics.

      • The IPCC theory does not predict pauses.

        What they do say is:

        “During the past 50 years, the sum of solar and volcanic forcings would likely have produced cooling.”

        Two questions come to min:

        Which of the above caused the downward trend below?

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:1957/to:1977/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:1957/to:1977/trend

        If AGW counteracted the cooling predicted from 1957, should we not be celebrating?

      • David Springer

        Steven, the periods of cooling demonstrate the range of natural variability. The latest period in the record is not outside that range. Thus the record supports natural variability as fully accountable. If warming had not paused 16 years ago I’d be singing a different tune but when I began to look into global warming in the early 2000’s (after I retired and had more time for such indulgences) I noted that there was an approximate 60 year cycle and the warming side was nearing a statistical end. The rest is history. Warming had already stopped by then. As well, right on time, two strong La Nina’s in the past 3 years have knocked global average temperature down a whopping 0.4C. Two more along with no warming in the next 15 years will erase all the warming in the satellite record and pretty much put paid to the CAGW theory. What life is left in the AGW theory won’t be much but CAGW will be deader than a doornail and no one cares about a little AGW especially when it means milder winters in the higher latitudes and little else.

      • David Springer

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/every/mean:240/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1912/to:1942/trend/detrend:0.385/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1975/to:2005/trend/detrend:0.575

        As you can see the two 30-year periods of warming in the 20th century differ by about 0.2C in magnitude. One might reasonably speculate (a difference that small is far from conclusive) that the difference is anthropogenic so we have a background linear increase in global temperature of about 0.07C/decade of anthropogenic warming with natural variation imposed on top of that.

        That’s not scary. What’s scary is the possibility that Svensmark is right and given how quiet the sun has become we may have a repeat of the LIA coming up real soon now. Global average temperature has declined 0.4C since 2010. At that rate the new LIA is about 2 solar cycles away. There could very well be a train of La Nina’s on the track propelled by a quiet sun. This might be how it happens.

      • Pachauri Jones, you better, watch your speed.
        ==========

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        excellent

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        Let me try again.

        Steven Mosher, that was excellent.

    • Willis,

      You must be in one of your argumentative moods. It comes across as nitpicking in this instance. Almost like you don’t agree with what she is saying so you will declare her effort substandard and failing.

      I say this as someone who thinks highly of your inputs and would happily have you as a guest or treat you to dinner next time you head up to Oregon or Washington (I have homes in both).

      • @timg56: I say this as someone who thinks highly of your inputs and would happily have you as a guest or treat you to dinner next time you head up to Oregon or Washington (I have homes in both).

        Likewise. I’d happily have Willis as a guest next time he’s in the SF Bay area or the Monterey Bay area (I have homes in both). He’s a fascinating character as can be deduced from
        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/02/28/its-not-about-me/ .

  19. David L. Hagen

    Thanks Judith for clearly and extensively laying out these knowledge/uncertainty issues.

    Exaggerated Natural vs Anthropogenic
    Zhou and Tung (2012) suggest that at least half the attributed anthropogenic global warming is due to natural trends. See:
    New paper cuts recent anthropogenic warming trend in half (h/t WUWT)

    When the AMO is included, in addition to the other explanatory variables such as ENSO, volcano and solar influences commonly included in the multiple linear regression analysis, the recent 50-year and 32-year anthropogenic warming trends are reduced by a factor of at least two. There is no statistical evidence of a recent slow-down of global warming, nor is there evidence of accelerated warming since the mid-20th century.

    Deducing Multi-decadal Anthropogenic Global Warming Trends Using Multiple Regression Analysis Jiansong Zhou and Ka-Kit Tung, Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences 2012 (doi: 10.1175/JAS-D-12-0208.1)

    Biased Surface Temperature
    Similarly the <a href=http://wattsupwiththat.com/about-wuwt/publications-and-projects/watts-et-al-2012-work-page/working draft by Watts et al. (2012)

    We find these factors, combined with station siting issues, have led to a spurious doubling of U.S. mean temperature trends in the 30 year data period covered by the study from 1979 – 2008.

    Oscillations (”Pauses”) in natural models vs IPCC AGW
    The complement to recognizing a 16 year temperature “pause” is to examine how well the various models predicted that “pause”. E.g., a number of researchers have modeled temperature as a long term warming from the Little Ice Age and superimposed multi-decadal natural oscillations (e.g., PDO, AMO). Some include an increasing anthropogenic component. These have “natural” “pauses” or “plateaus” with corresponding changes in the connecting temperature trends. e.g.

    1) 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 current IPCC vs Scafetta 2000 Forecast graph

    2) D’Aleo, J. and Easterbrook, D.J., 2011, Relationship of multidecadal global temperatures to multidecadal oceanic oscillations: in  Easterbrook, D.J., ed., Evidence-Based Climate Science, Elsevier Inc., p. 161-184. See especially their fit of US main temperatures with PDO/AMO Fig. 17 and PDO/AMO regression in Fig. 19. Note their scenario predictions in Fig. 24.

    3) Syun-Ichi Akasofu, On the recovery from the Little Ice Age Natural Science Vol.2, No.11, 1211-1224 (2010) doi:10.4236/ns.2010.211149. Akasofu provides extensive evidence for natural warming and oscillations.

    These in turn reference earlier papers.

    Can we learn from comparing these various models to the historic data? Hopefully as AR5 models incorporate common starting data with corrected and improved physics they will be able to similarly replicate the major natural oscillations on top of the warming since the Little Ice Age.

    For such reasons, I see much wider Red (natural) and White (uncertain) sections with smaller Green (anthropogenic) in Curry’s flag model.

    • David L. Hagen: I posted this comment on the WUWT thread about the same paper:

      This paper appears to make the same blatantly obvious error as Foster and Rahmstorf (2011). It assumes the effects of ENSO can be removed from the instrument temperature record through linear regression. They cannot.

      http://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2012/01/14/revised-post-on-foster-and-rahmstorf-2011/

      It also fails to account for the very obvious long-term impact of ENSO on the sea surface temperatures of the North Atlantic. Note how the detrended North Atlantic sea surface temperature anomalies do not cool fully during the La Nina events that follow the El Nino events of 1986/87/88 and 1997/98:

      • Bob Tisdale
        Thanks. I would welcome your comments on D’Aleo and Easterbrook’s paper.

      • David L. Hagen: Right from the start D’Aleo and Easterbrook give the erroneous impression that the SOI and El Niño/La Niña have been linked since 1932. The Southern Oscillation was discovered in 1920s by Walker [WALKER, G. T. (1923). Correlation in seasonal variations of weather. VIII. A preliminary study of world-weather. Memoirs of the Indian Meteorological Department 24(Part 4) 75–131], but the SOI wasn’t linked to El Niño and La Niña events until the 1960s. See by Rasmussen and Carpenter (1982):

        http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/1520-0493(1982)110%3C0354%3AVITSST%3E2.0.CO%3B2

        An aside, people see the oscillation at the end of El Niño-Southern Oscillation and assume El Niño and La Niña events are cyclical or oscillatory, but they’re not. It’s said that by Rasmussen and Carpenter coined the term El Niño-Southern Oscillation, so we have them to blame.

        In the first paragraph under the heading of Pacific Decadal Oscillation, D’Aleo and Easterbrook attribute the 1976 Pacific Climate Shift to the PDO, when there is no mechanism for the PDO to have caused the shift. The PDO is simply showing the impact of the shift on the spatial patterns of the North Pacific sea surface temperatures. D’Aleo and Easterbrook continue to fail to acknowledge the PDO is an aftereffect of ENSO and that the PDO represents the spatial pattern of the sea surface temperatures of the North Pacific, not the actual sea surface temperatures there. The spatial pattern of the North Pacific sea surface temperatures (the PDO), in reality, is also strongly influenced by the sea level pressure of the North Pacific, which is why the PDO has a different low frequency component than ENSO.

        And, of course, D’Aleo and Easterbrook mistakenly combine the AMO and the PDO to make a mutant index that has no relationship to actual sea surface temperatures, trended or detrended. The PDO is inversely related to the sea surface temperatures of the North Pacific (north of 20N) minus global sea surface temperatures, while the AMO is simply detrended North Atlantic sea surface temperature anomalies. Yet D’Aleo and Easterbrook combine them.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Surprisingly Bob, I agree with your analysis of D’Aleo and Easterbrook’s paper. Their combining of the AMO and PDO to make, as you call it, a “mutant” index on top of mischaracterizing of those indexes to begin with is a doubly-inappropriate. What is their motivation– or is it just ignorance?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘In addition to evaluating multidecadal behavior – the stadium wave – in a climate network, we also considered interannual-to-interdecadal-scale variability. For this, we evaluated the collective behavior of higher-frequency variability of the residual signal in the fifteen indices, from which the multidecadal signal had been removed. This line of inquiry was motivated by related previous research of Tsonis et al. (2007) and Swanson and Tsonis (2009), whose work identified five intervals throughout the 20th century during which certain high-frequency indices synchronized. Three of these five intervals coincided with multidecadal hemispheric climate-regime shifts, which were characterized by a switch between distinct atmospheric and oceanic circulation patterns, a reversal of NHT trend, and by altered character of ENSO variability. Our results provide a more detailed picture of these “successful” (~1916, ~1940, and ~1976) and “unsuccessful” (~1923 and ~1957) synchronizations among the higher-frequency indices. While a conclusion is far from clear, it appears the “successful” synchronizations tend toward a more symmetrical contribution from both the Atlantic and Pacific sectors. PNA participates in all synchronizations. It is intriguing to note a shared rhythm among the following: successful synchronizations of high-frequency indices, shifts between periods of alternating character of interannual variability, and the stadium-wave’s multidecadal tempo. This similar pacing suggests possible stadium-wave influence on synchronizations of interannual-to-interdecadally-varying indices within the climate network. Future research is required to determine the exact significance of these episodes.

        In closing, results presented in our paper suggest that AMO teleconnections, as captured by our stadium-wave, have implications for decadal-scale climate-signal attribution and prediction. Potential mechanisms underlying the stadium-wave and related interdecadal variability are topics of active and controversial research, reliant upon technological leaps in data retrieval and computer modeling to advance them toward consensus.’ (emphasis mine)

        Index Profile of the Stadium Wave:
        ■Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) – a monopolar pattern of sea-surface-temperature (SST) anomalies in theNorth Atlantic Ocean.
        ■Atmospheric-Mass Transfer anomalies (AT) – characterizing direction of dominant wind patterns over the Eurasian continent.
        ■North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) – reflecting atmospheric-mass distribution between subpolar and subtropical latitudes over the North Atlantic basin.
        ■NINO3.4 – a proxy for El Nino behavior in the tropical Pacific Ocean.
        ■North Pacific Oscillation (NPO) – the Pacific analogue for theAtlantic’s NAO.
        ■Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) – an SST pattern in the North Pacific Ocean.
        ■Aleutian Low Pressure Index (ALPI) – a measure of intensity of the Aleutian Low over the Pacific Ocean mid-latitudes.
        ■Northern Hemisphere Temperature (NHT) – anomalies of temperature across the Northern Hemisphere.

        The “Stadium Wave”:

        -AMO → (7 years) → +AT → (2 years) → +NAO → (5 years) → +NINO3.4 → (3 years) → +NPO/PDO → (3 years) → +ALPI → (8 years) → +NHT → (4 years) → +AMO → (7 years) → -AT → (2 years) → -NAO → (5 years) → -NINO3.4 → (3 years) → -NPO/-PDO → (3 years) → -ALPI → (8 years) → -NHT → (4 years) → -AMO

        http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2011/04/21/guest-post-atlantic-multidecadal-oscillation-and-northern-hemisphere%E2%80%99s-climate-variability-by-marcia-glaze-wyatt-sergey-kravtsov-and-anastasios-a-tsonis/

      • I plan to do a post on the stadium wave at some point, this is very interesting stuff

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        Chief Hydrologist, Thanks for the link to the “stadium wave” paper.

  20. MattStat/MatthewRMarler

    I liked Dr Curry’s summary. If the “apparent” non-warming continues long enough it will become “statistically significant” at one of the customary levels, and some models will be clearly disconfirmed, at that level. Because CO2 continues to increase with no end in sight, the model projections will also be repeatedly upgraded.

    I think that this summary, and the comments posted to date, are worthy of recollecting and rereading some 2 – 5 years from now.

    • David Springer

      Two recent papers using climate model reanalysis showed that only models devoid of anthropogenic forcing could duplicate the pause. It only examines 2000-2010 and global average temperature dropped 0.4C since 2010 so the anthropogenic forcing inclusions are even more f*cked up than anyone has published. I don’t remember the second paper but the first is Dessler 2012 and the preprint is available outside the paywall:

      http://geotest.tamu.edu/userfiles/216/dessler2012.pdf

      Isn’t that just precious?

  21. MattStat/MatthewRMarler

    Off topic, but I came across another book to recommend: Atmosphere, Clouds and Climate, by David Randall. It got a positive review in Science magazine. It is semi-technical, that is with some math equations, lots of graphs and flow diagrams. It describes many of the heat transfer processes of which I frequently say: “No one knows how increased CO2 will affect this process” and “These processes are not addressed by Raymond Pierrehumbert’s book Principles of Planetary Climate “, and “A nonlinear dissipative system is unlikely to have an equilibrium or steady state, but may have a stationary distribution of states.” It is one of a series of semi-technical books by the Princeton University Press:

    The Global Carbon Cycle, by David Archer

    Climate and the Oceans, by Geoffrey Vallis

    The Cryosphere, by Shawn Marshall

    Most people reading and posting here have technical mastery of aspects of climate, but these are overviews for less technical people, or for others to quickly survey information on which they lack technical expertise.

  22. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Which of the following resolutions has the largest light-to-heat ratio?

    Resolved  There is significant (or discernible) evidence of anthropogenic global warming over the past

    • 1 year?  (by consensus, far too short a period)
    • 2 years?  (still too short)
    • 4 years?  (still too short)
    • 8 years?  (still too short)
    • 16 years?  (suggestive evidence?)
    • 32 years?  (strong evidence?)
    • 64 years?  (stronger evidence!)
    • 128 years?  (even stronger evidence!!)
    • 256 years?  (even stronger evidence … )
    • 512 years?  (even stronger evidence … )
    • 1024 years?  (weaker evidence? medieval climate optimum?)
    • 2048 years?  (resume strengthening … )
    • 4096 years?  (very strong: polar ice-shelves form)

    We see that debating any period less than 32 years is statistically likely to be more productive of heat than light … such that 16 years is the *worst* choice of time interval for debate!   :wink:   :smile:   :grin:   :lol:   :!:

    • @FanLess here’s you proof, 2048 proof that man has not contributed to warming.

      http://www.clim-past.net/8/765/2012/cp-8-765-2012.pdf

      http://www.clim-past.net/8/765/2012/cp-8-765-2012.html

      read it and weep.

    • fan

      So 16 years is too short, for a statistically significant trend but 32 years is better.

      OK.

      So let’s wait 16 more years and see what happens.

      Makes sense, right?

      Max

      PS By then, we might have resolved some of the uncertainty in attribution and know much more that we do today, right?

    • An actual on topic contribution. I’m hoping you can conrtinue in this thread.

      Point of 32 tears being a better timeframe / interval – I would agree.

      Point of 16 years being the “worst” interval – I am not following the reasoning. How does going from “suggestive” to “strong” make it the worst?

    • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

      Too bad nobody thought of those questions in 1980.

      This year in the US the number of tornadoes has been way below average, the amount of hurricane damage was way below average, and the number of forest fires has been way below average. That’s only in the US, but claims of extremes have been used as evidence of AGW, even though the claims of extremes turned out to be false. Over the past 50 years rainfall maxima and means have increased somewhat, and since the Dust Bowl the mean and maxima drought indices have declined somewhat. In the US, the non-urbanized areas have shown little temperature trend, making it difficult to separate the UHI signal from the AGW signal. In the US, the coastal regions have shown little evidence of local sea level rise. Again it’s only the US I am talking about, but claims of AGW based on local transient weather in the US have been a prominent feature of the catastrophists’ warnings.

      This might be a good time to review all the potential signs and signals of AGW (all three parts: anthropogenic, global, warming), how to distinguish anthropogenic CO2 effects from natural variability and land use changes, and how long an interval the apparent signal has to persist in order to reach a reasonable conclusion. Since the discovery of the absorption spectra of H2O and CO2 every transient climate extreme has been taken by someone as dramatic and irrefutable evidence of the predicted warming, with little systematic review in advance of what the global signal for anthropogenic greenhouse gas induced warming ought to look like, and how long it should persist before we take it seriously. People demanding such a systematic global description of the AGW signal are called “deniers”, and people who insist that all evidence globally be taken into account are called “cherry pickers”.

      The current apparent non-warming has lasted longer than the warming that initiated the current round of climate catastrophism. Your question is fine. Too bad nobody asked it in, say, 1985. We have experienced perhaps 13 years of warming since then, mostly due to land-use changes, followed by a plateau of 14 years; or perhaps 12 years of warming, an unrepresentative spike, and 14 years of plateau. When was Hansen’s first alarming testimony to Congress — 1988? How many years of observation are required to distinguish the global “land use signal” from the global “anthropogenic CO2 signal”?

      Or

      Resolved There is significant (or discernible) evidence of anthropogenic global warming, distinct from land use effects and natural variability, over the past

      etc.

      I would say that the task of formulating a measurable global signal has hardly even begun. Over no period of time is there a discernible global anthropogenic CO2 signal.

  23. Sounds like a lesson in the best logic to me.

  24. Heinrich the Norwegian Elkhound

    Global warming has often paused before!

    Dr. Bob Carter, (James Cook University, Queensland), warming “stopped in 1998″.

    Warming paused as of 1998 – Good.

    David Whitehouse, 2001: “global warming has ceased.” and “The fact is that the global temperature of 2007 is statistically the same as 2006 as well as every year since 2001.”

    OK – Warming paused starting in 2001, then.

    Not to be outdone, Christopher Monckton of Brenchley: “warming stopped in 2002″. And he had a graph to ‘prove it’.

    2002. Fine.

    2005. Hottest year on record. Bloggers everywhere celebrated the end of global warming as of 2006.

    2007 was pretty warm – But then 2008 was slightly cooler than 2007.
    Blog-scientist Michael Asher: “So we saw global warming not just stop, but actually ‘reverse’ itself in 2008.”

    But then: 2009 and 2010 were both slightly warmer than 2008. The pause paused.

    Pat Michaels 2011: “Why Hasn’t The Earth Warmed In Nearly 15 Years?” – so the warming paused in 1996, then.

    Steve Goddard seems convinced the pause began in 2002.

    So much uncertainty. Puzzling, no?

    Not really.
    If you rank the DECADES by temperature, guess what happens?

    (Data from NASA)

    Decade Temp anomaly relative to 1951-1980 mean
    1880–1889 −0.274 °C (−0.493 °F)
    1890–1899 −0.254 °C (−0.457 °F)
    1900–1909 −0.259 °C (−0.466 °F)
    1910–1919 −0.276 °C (−0.497 °F)
    1920–1929 −0.175 °C (−0.315 °F)
    1930–1939 −0.043 °C (−0.0774 °F)
    1940–1949 0.035 °C (0.0630 °F)
    1950–1959 −0.02 °C (−0.0360 °F)
    1960–1969 −0.014 °C (−0.0252 °F)
    1970–1979 −0.001 °C (−0.0018 °F)
    1980–1989 0.176 °C (0.317 °F)
    1990–1999 0.313 °C (0.563 °F)
    2000–2009 0.513 °C (0.923 °F)

    But CO2 has nothing to do with it. Right?

    • Henry here’s you proof, 2048 proof that man has not contributed to warming.

      http://www.clim-past.net/8/765/2012/cp-8-765-2012.pdf

      http://www.clim-past.net/8/765/2012/cp-8-765-2012.html

      read it and weep.

      • Read it and weep indeed Sun Spot

        Think I can see a human signal in there!

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        One would think a rebuttal to a 2012 paper would not consist entirely of discussion of results from a 2010 paper. Of course, one would expect a discussion to consist of words, not just pictures, but…

        Then again, any comparison of temperature reconstructions to the modern temperature record that doesn’t consider scaling issue is borked regardless. Temperature reconstructions almost universally involve variance deflation, meaning when they’re scaled to match a temperature series, the past will seem to be more constant than it really is. If you don’t account for that bias, it’s impossible to compare reconstructed values to modern values.

      • @lotnot , you didn’t read the conclusion did you.

      • LOTNot, NOT skeptical science web site, you must be joking.

      • “The level of warmth during the peak of the MWP in the second half of the 10th century, equalling or slightly exceeding the mid-20th century
        warming, is in agreement with the results from other more recent large-scale multi-proxy temperature reconstructions by Moberg et al. (2005), Mann et al. (2008, 2009), Ljungqvist (2010), and Ljungqvist et al. (2012).”

        Hmm what does that suggest then?

        If the MWP peak equaled or slight exceeded mid-20th century warming, then surely this means 21st century warming is higher than the MWP peak and higher than any period in the past 2000 years.

        Looks like a certain Dr Mann was right all along.

      • steven mosher

        lolwot

        There is one issue in the HS. The flat shaft versus the wiggly shaft.
        In the trade this is known as the low frequency variability. Mann underestimated it.

        1. In the climategate mails Tim Osborne tried to point this out to mann
        It also pissed Briffa off.
        2. mcintyre has made this point repeatedly.

        The growing consensus in the community is that previous methods ( read Mann ) underestimated the variance and the past is more wiggly than he thought. Science marches on. The HS is not broken, the shaft just has a few more kinks than Mann thought. He himself has corrected some of his mistakes tucked away in the SI’s of subsequent papers. He pushed his methods a bit too hard. Others noticed and now we have better methods.

      • lolwot,

        You might be interested in this:

        > Montford’s epistle made a big fuss about MBH98 eliminating Lamb’s sacred MWP, rather obviously bending the dates to imply that the MWP extended past 1400 to overlap MBH98. Looking at the stoat’s overlay of figure 7.1c with MBH99, it’s interesting to note that MBH actually shows warmer temps than Lamb between about 1380 and 1470.

        http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/2012/10/10/adoration-of-the-lamb/

      • Williard, you might be interested in this.

        Orsi and Neukom have a couple of Southern hemipshere reconstructions. That is Orsi with a combination of Neukom southern south American and Cook’s Tasmania reconstructions over laid. Pretty good fit.

        Here it the funny part, in the instrumental record, the standard deviation of the instrumental is much lower in the southern high latitudes than in the northern high latitudes. So the fluctuations in the NH reconstructions should be 1.5 to 3 times greater than the SH if comparing reconstructions to instrumental. Weird huh? Kinda like comparing apples in oranges if you don’t allow for that little statistical curiosity.

      • cap’n,

        Interesting indeed. I get the feeling that our neverending (?) audits reenact some Medieval scholars’ activity circa 1398.

    • Heinrich,

      In a climate system that has risen for many years, using the mid-point as the zero will always give you negatives at the beginning and positives at the end. And the -0.3 to -0.5 (roughly) from 1880-1929 is the same within error as the 1980 to 1999 +0.3 to +0.5 That leaves this past decade as being above this 0.5 degree band. But other measures show not much warming for the last 16 years. Personally, I need more data. You can believe what you like.

  25. Pingback: Sexton år utan global uppvärmning | The Climate Scam

  26. My only response is that this post is an excellent Gish Gallop. There’s so much nonsense that I just don’t have the time or motivation to correct it all. Kudos, this post would make Christopher Monckton proud.

    • steven mosher

      hmm where is willard

      If it contains so much nonsense, as did your editorial, then picking one example should be easy. The vast amount of nonsense should ease your task of picking an example and not make it harder. Of course you realize that so are you lazy or lying?

      • > hmm where is willard

        You have a question? Or you want a coffee? A food fight?

        I’m here. Just ask.

      • steven mosher

        I was rather getting use to your helpful hints to folks. Dana is bright but not effective. You should hold classes. MT was unskoolable, but there is hope for others.

      • Oh, well, Dana is young. We can hope he’ll learn.

        But he did raise a good point: where does he claim that he trusts models? I might be biased, since I asked the same question in another thread. I also commented about this strawman elsewhere.

        And speaking of skooling, I will remind you that Judy has yet to acknowledge Neven’s point: Rose’s OP rests on a false claim. I hope you will tell her that this does not look good, both to endorse such an article and to refuse to acknowledge this point.

        Or perhaps will you skool her how throwing squirrels all around to start a food fight? Perhaps we could also ask bender: he’s the master.

      • I’m guessing that Dana gave the impression he trusts the climate models through his words, without actually stating it. The same way he implied that he had read Montford’s HSI by reviewing it at Amazon. It was only after bit of detective work and confronting him with unequivocal evidence of his deceit and that we got him to admit that he hadn’t read it, and then he declared “I never actually said I had read the book, so I wasn’t being dishonest”, or words to that effect.

      • jim west,

        This looks awful. This reminds of this:

        http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/post/7893730275

        ***

        Do you have a question about our prodigal Bishop’s political hit job?

        I have read it.

        My favorite bit is about his check-kiting of the Deming Affair:

        http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/post/15401067079

        Scientific opposition research does not sound quite scientific, doesn’t it?

      • If I pick one example of nonsense to refute then I let the other dozen examples slide, which then gives them the appearance of credibility. That’s the beauty of the Gish Gallop.

        But if you insist, we can start with the comment that I “trust” climate models. I don’t even know what that’s supposed to mean. I view climate models as useful but imperfect tools, as I’m sure Phil Jones does, as I’m sure most people here do.

        The Italian flag is just an absurd representation of uncertainty – James Annan has torn it up several times.

        The claim that glaciers and ice sheets are growing is utterly absurd and can only be described as utter denial.

        I could go on and on, but perhaps I’m too “lazy”. Or perhaps I have better uses of my time.

      • Well, the trashing of the Italian flag by Annan, Tobis et al. was really pretty pathetic. This is not something I made up. Google three valued logic, educate yourself.

        Read my paper recently published in Climatic Change entitled Reasoning about climate uncertainty. Then come back and make a real critique or argument of what I am doing.

        http://www.springerlink.com/content/gg28390v311876w4/

      • Judy,

        You’re running with a talking point.

        Where did Dana say that he trusts climate models?

      • He uses them to make his arguments. If he doesn’t trust models, does that make his arguments untrustworthy?

      • Oh and this was another glaring error:

        “Uncertain attribution of the sea ice melting, with natural internal variability hypothesized to account for at least 40% of the loss”

        40% is the maximum, not minimum internal variability contribution to the Arctic sea ice decline. Day et al. put the natural variability contribution between 5% and 30% from 1979 to 2010, for example. Stroeve et al. (2011) put the external forcing contribution at 60% based on climate model runs, which I presume is where the unattributed 40% figure comes from.

      • Judy,

        I believe that we’re having a communication problem.

        A simple quote should suffice to show that he’s trusting models the way you portray him to do:

        > He uses [models] to make his arguments.

        Dana just admitted not knowing what “trusting” a model means. Clarifying what you mean here would be appreciated.

        ***

        There is also Neven’s claim that you have yet to acknowledge or even address this:

        > GWPF/Rose lie by omission to mislead. What people are taking away from Rose’s disinformation is not: “Oh right, they should improve the models so that they incorporate the off-chance that all factors of natural variability are in negative mode (after a Super El Niño) and thus in the short-term suppress the long-term warming trend”. No, what people are taking away from it – and I’ve heard with my very own ears today listening to a local Dutch radio show interviewing people on the street – is: “There’s no global warming. Scientists are stupid and in it for the money, just like we are.”

        “Yes but hide the decline”, “yes, but the IPCC”, “yes, but Gavin” do not address this claim.

        If you don’t want to address Neven’s claim, there are the first points of Dana’s article. To repeat myself:

        > His first point is that the Rose’s main claim has been fabricated. His second point is that Rose’s OP went viral in the echo chamber. His third point is that focusing on the last 15 years might look like a trick. His fourth point is that the concept of warming should not be reserved to good old atmospheric metric.

        http://judithcurry.com/2012/10/16/pause-discussion-thread-part-ii/#comment-255523

        I thought you were to address those points today. I fail to see where you did. Nor do we see where you address his summary.

        You agreed when I was talking about running with talking points. I agree with your point that everyone needs to step up his game and acknowledge what amounts to be unwinnable points.

        Your turn.

        JC: Willard, I can’t keep up with all the comments, but I agree that Neven’s and Dana’s are more worthy than some others in terms of responding to, for the reason that they have a larger public following than most people commenting here. Rather than argue about little rhetorical points and taking down someone else’s article or points, I prefer to clarify the big picture issues, which is why I did this post rather than continue the argumentation about mainly rhetorical points on the previous two threads. If there is some point of science that is incorrect or unclear in any of my statements, let me know and I will clarify my argument. I hope this clarifies for you what I am trying to do here, which is a function both of my time and my desire to make my own points clearly, rather than respond in detail to points raised by others which are often merely ‘gotcha’ attempts.

      • “I believe that we’re having a communication problem.” – willard

        IMHO, you’re half right..

        Judith has a communication problem.

        It’s hard to keep track of the numberof tmes Judith’s writing leads to – ‘huh, what do you mean’, a query often met with crickets, or something not amounting to clarification.

      • Michael,

        Judy’s not alone. Dana is doing an awful job.

        Either he stays silent and let Judy run with her talking points, or he come here in a dignified manner and defend himself.

        That he comes here to say “I won’t come here to defend myself against this Gish Gallop” makes no pragmatic sense. It only looks worse when he comes back to throw an octopus on the ice:

        All this is transparently juvenile. As if scientists forgot to learn something in their twenties.

        Quite frankly, it is sickening.

      • Heinrich the Norwegian Elkhound


        All this is transparently juvenile. As if scientists forgot to learn something in their twenties.
        Quite frankly, it is sickening.

        Yes. But. Only if you take these sorts of p**ssing matches at all seriously.

        Throwing verbal mud over the ‘issue’ of model-trusting is par for the blog, no?

        Everyone who could possibly care knows that Judith doesn’t trust the models – or anyone who claims to. That’s her business.

        Anyway. Google “Curry Italian Flag”. Educate yourself.

        Start here:

        http://theclimatescum.blogspot.ca/2010/09/many-coloured-flag-of-beliefs.html

        or here:

        http://julesandjames.blogspot.ca/2010/11/wheres-beef-curry.html

        Grab some popcorn.

      • Heinrich the Norwegian Elkhound

        Well – There you are willard:

        If there is some point of science that is incorrect or unclear in any of my statements, let me know and I will clarify my argument.

        So Rose’s main claim has been fabricated – But that does not involve Dr Curry’s “desire to make my own points clearly”. She’s just ‘throwing this out there’, OK?

        My pick for clarification?

        Dr. Judith Curry claims of the Daily Mail piece by David Rose:

        …such an article should have been written by the climate scientists, they should have owned this issue. In the absence of that, we get the inflammatory “Global warming stopped 16 years ago”.

        Tragic, isn’t it? If only he’d interviewed Dr Curry.

        Judith – Can you clarify something?

        Are you now or have you ever been a climate scientist?

      • Climate scientists should be talking about natural variability, instead of pretending it is just ‘noise’ on an overwhelming AGW signal. If they had been doing this all along, we would have a better understanding of how climate science works, and journalists such as David Rose would not need to write articles that are critical of the Met Office and the climate ‘establishment’. They now seem to be ‘discovering’ this issue, after it has been the main concern of skeptics for over a decade now. This whole situation is badly broken, and David Rose is hardly the person to blame here.

        Read my c.v., and better yet my publications. I choose not to parrot the IPCC consensus, nor to to align myself explicitly with the skeptics ‘camp.’ Rather, I think for myself (about the science, the politics of science, and the science-policy interface), and I speak publicly about it.

      • willard,

        referring to your analogy of hockey lines and your interests being akin to the third line of the discussion, I can see why you are making the points above. I would like to point out that when discussing Judith Curry and Scooter Nuccitelli and borrowing your analogy, Dr Curry is on the starting line and a potential All Star selection while Dana is the equipment manager.

      • timg56,

        You made me smile. But as I see it, Judy plays on the second line, while Dana’s trying to become a first-liner, i.e. an amateur climate scientist, like Vaughan Pratt, Nick Stokes or Fred Moolten. If I’d consider her role as a climate scientist, I’d put her as a defenseman, as John Nielsen-Gammon, because one builds an hockey team with the best defensemen your salary cap can buy.

        Both should learn to play like top-six forwards. They do not have the grit to play like power forwards.

      • Heinrich the Norwegian Elkhound

        Dr Curry, a climate scientist at Georgia Tech, wrote:

        Climate scientists should be talking about natural variability, instead of pretending it is just ‘noise’ on an overwhelming AGW signal. If they had been doing this all along, we would have a better understanding of how climate science works, and journalists such as David Rose would not need to write articles that are critical of the Met Office and the climate ‘establishment’. They now seem to be ‘discovering’ this issue, after it has been the main concern of skeptics for over a decade now. This whole situation is badly broken, and David Rose is hardly the person to blame here.

        Dr Curry, I find your use of the word “they” to be very telling.

        I guess you climate scientists don’t really want to “own” this issue after all.

        You’re wearing the anti-establishment ‘skeptic’ tee-shirt right now, aren’t you?

        Or are you wearing your ‘corporate forecaster’ business suit?

        Italian flags everywhere…

        Perhaps you are correct that David Rose is hardly the person to blame!

      • Uh no, I am a scientist, one that didn’t sign up as part of the ‘consensus,’ not part of the 97% that supports the consensus.

      • Steven Mosher

        Dana. you claim not to know what it means to “trust” a climate model.

        let’s review the bidding. Jones and curry and every other person i know who works with models or has built models claim that the models are flawed.

        You wrote that that this view was wrong.

        Curry claimed the models were flawed. You responded that she was wrong.

        That is evidence FOR the proposition that you trust models. You do not have to explicitly claim that you trust models. You dont even have to understand what we mean by that. your behavior. Your responses are EVIDENCE FOR the proposition that you do in fact trust what models say.
        There is no evidence that you doubt models. there is no evidence that you question them.

      • Steven Mosher

        Well dana we are getting somewhere.

        Lets just stick with the “trusts models” point so we dont gish gallop.
        Please note, raising james annan’s misunderstandings about 3 value systems is a gish gallop of sorts on your part. I asked for one example.

        So, lets stick with the claim that you trust models.

        this arises from your comment that where Judith claimed the models were flawed and you responded this was wrong. you then cited MET as an authority.

        This argument on your part is evidence for the proposition that you trust models. trust models “means” your beliefs are warrented or justified by appealing to models. You use models as evidence. I could say you trust MET.. because you refer to them and rely on them in argumentation.
        Of course the models are flawed. When Judith said that, you could not help yourself and you said she was wrong. The right response was to agree with her. the models are flawed but they are still useful. Thats your real position. but when you wrote that Judith was wrong about models being flawed, every thinking person took that for its ordinary meaning.
        You think they are not flawed and you rely on them. That reliance is evidence for the proposition that you TRUST them. Trust is an onobservable mental state that we infer through your actions. You dont need to utter the words “I trust models” for us to rightly infer that you do.

        Now that you have agreed with Judith that models are flawed, what is the problem?

      • Steven Mosher

        So dana, just so that you can be clear that some of us do not engage in gish galloping, I will continue to press on this single point. of course, when I do that somebody will come along and make up a name for that “tactic”

        You agree with Judith that models are flawed.
        You argue that they are useful for some purposes.
        Judith agrees. She also argues that models and useful or suitable for some purposes.

        To the issue at hand. Judith argues that models are not suitable or useful for understanding some forms of natural variability. That is, they tend to miss or not represent certain modes of behavior that can result in short term ( less than 30 years ) plateaus or dips. They are no good for making projections, predictions over short ( less than 30 year) periods.

        What does this “pause”, ‘decrease in rate’ plateau show us? Well it shows us what we knew. the models are flawed and not very useful for the first 15-20 years of a forecast.

        Now, if your tendency is to trust models you will respond by arguing that the models are not flawed in this regard. If you realize that models are just tools you will agree that they havent done a good job in this particular case. Your response to these issue will help us decide the truth of the proposition “Dana trusts models”.

        See. no gish gallop. My bet is that you cannot stay focused on the very topic you selected. My bet is that you will go off on some tangent, while all the time claiming that you wont discuss the issue because you fear somebody else will do (gish gallop) what you have perfected.

      • Here’s the relevant part of Dana’s OP:

        Rose Attacks Climate Models to Downplay the Climate Risk

        Ultimately Rose elicits a quote from Curry to argue that climate models are exaggerating global warming:

        Professor Judith Curry…told The Mail on Sunday that it was clear that the computer models used to predict [Grrr.] future warming were ‘deeply flawed’

        Rose and Curry are trying to argue that because global surface temperatures have not warmed as fast as the multi-model average in the IPCC report (0.2°C per decade), this somehow suggests the models are flawed. However, the Met Office explained to Rose (prior to the publication of his article) why this notion is incorrect.

        The models exhibit large variations in the rate of warming from year to year and over a decade, owing to climate variations such as ENSO, the Atlantic Multi-Decadal Oscillation and Pacific Decadal Oscillation. So in that sense, such a period is not unexpected. It is not uncommon in the simulations for these periods to last up to 15 years, but longer periods are unlikely.

        Over the past decade, aerosol emissions (which cause cooling by blocking sunlight) have risen, solar activity has been low, there has been a preponderance of La Niña events (which also cause short-term surface cooling), and heat has accumulated in the deep oceans. Thus it is entirely unsurprising that these short-term effects all aligning in the cooling direction in recent years have offset much of the surface warming caused by human greenhouse gas emissions.

        This result is in fact consistent with individual climate model runs. Meehl et al. (2011) showed that during “Hiatus Decades,” there is less warming of the surface air and shallow oceans, and more warming of the deeper oceans (Figure 5), precisely as we have observed over the past decade.

        [A figure goes here.]

        I believe that Dana has three arguments in that bit:

        First, Met Office’s explanation to Rose (prior to the publication of his article) why this notion is incorrect.

        Second, the facts that many “short-term effects” align in the cooling direction.

        Third, the citation of Meehl et al. (2011).

        It might be more proper to say that Dana trusts some guys who don’t think that this hiatus is a game breaker. Does that mean that the Met Office trusts their models? Perhaps we should say that they don’t distrust them, while Judy and David do distrust them.

        So what I think these guys would be prepared to say, considering the testmony collided by Dana, is that the hiatus does not suffice (to them) to say that the models are “deeply flawed”. They can still be flawed, but not deeply. Or they could be quite imperfect, while not being flawed at all.

        Let’s not forget that if we adopt a three-valued logic, negating propositions can get cumbersome and that contraposition does not always work.

        ;-)

        Goodbye,

        w

        PS: That’s it for me. Thank you for your comments and for your participation, Judy. I hope you’ll succeed in breaking down tribalism. Please don’t let David get away so easily with his photo and his misquote next time!

      • willard,

        Agree on building a hockey team starting with defensemen.

        Disagree on Dana ever making the first string. In a most optimistic scenario I can see him making the team as the thug you send in to take out a guy who is causing you problems. When I was young my favorite team was the Broad Street Bullies. That was before I understood the rules and the game. After living in Minnesota and becoming a North Stars fan, I discovered what good hockey is like. I still love the physical part of it, but the fighting just detracts from the game.

      • This has nothing to do with “trusting” models. The issue is whether models have accurately simulated the surface warming ‘hiatus’. Curry argues they haven’t (based on the multi-model mean, presumably), and that they are therefore “deeply flawed” (though perhaps that is a misquote). I pointed out that Curry was wrong on this point, that models do simulate ‘hiatus decades’ (pointing to Meehl 2011). Curry’s response was that this means I “trust” models, which is a non sequitur.

        I certainly agree that climate models are “flawed” – there is no such thing as a perfect model. However, climate models have simulated global surface warming quite accurately on the whole.

      • timg56,

        You must know Bob Gainey is, then.

        > Gainey never scored more than 23 goals or 47 points in a single season, yet the Russians once called him the greatest player in the world.

        http://habslegends.blogspot.ca/2007/04/bob-gainey.html

        In case you did not know this site:

        http://www.northstarshockey.com/91run.htm

        Enjoy,

        w

      • Oh, brother:

        Rather than argue about little rhetorical points and taking down someone else’s article or points, I prefer to clarify the big picture issues,

        Judith – you endorse contributions such as the nonsense that Jones “admitted” that models aren’t perfect – at the same time as you take pains to point out rhetorical inaccuracies in how you were quoted.

        Step back from the junior high school cafeteria lunchroom table, Judith.

        IMO, you will not successfully “clarify the big picture” until you reject tribalism and misleading arguments on both sides of the debate. Similarly your monolithic, unqualified, and thus ultimately inaccurate statements about differences between “the climate scientists” and “skeptics” are unhelpful (not to mention, unscientific).

      • Heinrich the Norwegian Elkhound


        Uh no, I am a scientist, one that didn’t sign up as part of the ‘consensus,’ not part of the 97% that supports the consensus.

        Does anyone else laugh out loud when reading stuff like this?

        Judith –
        Do you really imagine that your “I’m Luke Skywalker – I’m here to rescue you!” identity-politics is relevant to anyone but the ‘denizens’ who hang on your every post?

        That was a rhetorical question.

        If you spent half as much time on this blog actually explaining climate science as you do defining and defending your personal affiliations and complaining about how everyone else is doing it wrong, people might learn something.

      • Heinrich the Norwegian Elkhound,

        Thank you for your links. Interested readers need links.

        I’ve read those. Here’s one you might like:

        http://init.planet3.org/2010/10/willard-on-curry.html

        I’m not sure we could say this is a tragedy, but we sure can feel some pathos.

        Judy might litteraly be right when she talks about “pathetic”:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pathos

        Enjoy,

        w

      • Mosher,

        Dana is like my neighbors little chihuahua. Damn thing strains at the leash and barks like a doberman at everything. Just annoying noise.

  27. There is direct evidence from surface temperature data and atmospheric heat content data (both data sets with a relatively high level of maturity) of a plateau or hiatus of the warming for the past 16 years.

    Is there? I’m not sure you have actually demonstrated this. OK, you can plot a linear trend starting 16 years ago and get only a slight warming trend, but then you can pick start dates either side of that and get a stronger one – why aren’t they equally good indicators of the recent trent?

    Now I’m not denying that a plateau, or at least a slowdown in the rate of warming exists, but I’d like more evidence before I’ll accept it started as long as 16 years ago.

    • Hmmm. Where’s Moshpit.

      We need squirrels over here.

      • Steven Mosher

        I try to banish as many as possible to mistress Lucia for a ritual beating, but so few are interested in actually learning something and going through the wonderful process of having their minds changed. Having a change of mind or a change of heart about these things is painful. That tells me this is not about the weather

      • Go forth then and have fun placing straight lines on chaos and endlessly debate verbal minutia with Nick Stokes.

  28. The 10 year mean clearly refutes the idea that warming stopped in 1997.

    A line through the data shows nothing out of the ordinary in terms of deviation

    Global Sea Surface Temperatures are very warm at the moment. Despite being in ENSO neutral SSTs are as warm as during past El Ninos.

    This is going to turn out like when climate skeptics were claiming sea level rise had stopped in 2008 (check that)

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      First I see tempterrain do it, now lolwot. It’s incredible people who like to accuse skeptics of deception would post such obviously deceptive graphs.

      Using a ten year rolling average means the 1997 point on a graph uses data from 1992. lolwot offers this as proof warming didn’t stop in 1997. The worst part of this sort of opportunistic smoothing is how stupid it is. Anyone with the slightest idea of what they’re doing would immediately see through this sort of deception.

      And as though that wasn’t bad enough, lolwot then puts a trend line for a linear regression of smoothed values onto the graph, but he starts that line at 1975 (though since it is a 10 year rolling average, it uses data back to 1970). That’s right. A trend line from 1975 is offered to refute claims about the trend from 1997.

      Maybe it’s just me, but if I were going to accuse people of using deceptive graphs, I wouldn’t go around posting deceptive graphs. I certainly wouldn’t go around posting deceptive and idiotic graphs.

      • “Using a ten year rolling average means the 1997 point on a graph uses data from 1992″

        That’s the entire point of smoothing the data. Global warming is the change over time in the smoothed data. Smoothed to get rid of variation due to ENSO, etc. Scientists say use 30 years for climate. I made the point with just 10.

        The alternative is to do what the Daily Mail did and compare Super El Nino September 1997 with August 2012 to announce they are both the same so there’s been no warming….

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        You used data from 1992 for your 1997 point. You then claimed this proves warming didn’t stop in 1997. That’s deceptive and idiotic. If you can’t figure out why, you really shouldn’t be posting on this matter.

        To state the obvious, If one only looks at the portion of your linked graph from 2002 on, they’ll see a basically flat period. This means when one only looks at the data from 1997 on, temperatures have flattened out. Your argument consists entirely of using data not being discussed as though it is the data being discussed.

      • “This means when one only looks at the data from 1997 on, temperatures have flattened out.”

        You are confusing “flattening out” with warming stopping. Don’t worry it’s a common misconception. Or perhaps do worry because it’s a common misconception.

        If warming had stopped in 1997 it would remain at 1997 level. It doesn’t, it’s far higher

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Wow. That’s a new level of incompetent. You took the endpoint of an OLS trend line as the the “1997 level” for temperatures. Not only does that not make any sense, it isn’t even close to the actual value for 1997 temperatures.

      • If you accept that the 1970-1997 OLS trend is 0.146C/decade and multiplying that out by the total number of years (28) gives the total warming from 1970-1997 (0.4C), then the method is fine.

        Because the implication of the claim “there’s been no warming since 1997″ requires that the warming from 1970 through 2012 is not significantly higher than 0.4C either (ie the trend has to drop to 0.093C/decade)

        I wanted to mark a line on the graph to denote where data since 1997 would have to approximately fall to maintain 0.4C warming since 1997 (or 0.0093C/decade). Assuming the start point of the OLS wouldn’t change much with more data (a safe assumption) the endpoint of the 1970-1997 OLS is therefore a good approximation of the limit. It’s about +0.26C. So if temperature data since 1997 is on average significantly higher (to give wriggle room) than +0.26C then the claim there’s been no warming since 1997 cannot be true.

        This is indeed the case. The data since 1997 is high above the horizontal line I drew. There is a better way: calculate it (1970-2012 trend is about 0.164C/decade or 0.7C warming in total, 0.3C higher than at the end of 1997). But it’s more illustrative conveying it on a graph.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Sorry lolwot, but if you genuinely believe this:

        If you accept that the 1970-1997 OLS trend is 0.146C/decade and multiplying that out by the total number of years (28) gives the total warming from 1970-1997 (0.4C), then the method is fine.

        You don’t have any room to speak about people’s uses of graphs, calculations, or anything else. You have no basis for calling other people’s choices “weird” or their methods “bizarre.” You claim “the method is fine” despite it giving an average value for 1997 of ~.258. From your own graph, the actual values for 1997 are:

        1997 0.206
        1997.08 0.323
        1997.17 0.346
        1997.25 0.287
        1997.33 0.288
        1997.42 0.4
        1997.5 0.369
        1997.58 0.436
        1997.67 0.475
        1997.75 0.553
        1997.83 0.49
        1997.92 0.507

        Average those, and you get a value of .39. That means you’re saying “the method is fine” despite it giving a result that’s off by ~.12.

        The simple reality is your method is not fine, but rather it is weird and bizarre. It’s completely nonsensical, and the fact you promote it displays such a level of incompetence it suggests you haven’t the slightest idea of what you’re doing.

        In fact, it made be the single dumbest graph I’ve seen on this blog.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        To emphasize how stupid that graph is, look at the 1997 values. Only one of the months is lower than what lolwot claims is the 1997 value, and it is only lower by ~.05. Nine of the months are higher than lolwot’s value by more than that much. Half of the months are higher by more than three times as much.

        But no, I’m sure that approach is perfectly reasonable for calculating the 1997 value.

      • “despite it giving an average value for 1997 of ~.258. From your own graph, the actual values for 1997 are:”

        OLS is gives us is the most likely expected value for 1997 according to a linear relationship. According to this relationship temperatures should reach +0.26C by 1997. The temperature records give us the actual value for 1997. The two can differ. It’s completely valid, even expected. After-all the data don’t form a perfect line so why expect the OLS trend to fall exactly on the data? In this case I can even give you a source of the noise that makes 1997 higher than the expected value: The super el nino that began that year.

        If woodfortrees had error ranges for trends Id show those, but it doesn’t.

        This is all besides the point anyway. The point is that OLS shows 0.4C warming over the 1970-1997 period, but shows even more warming, 0.7C, over the 1970-2012 period. Logically the extra 0.3C warming must have happened since 1997 and therefore warming cannot be said to have stopped in 1997.

        As to the horizontal line I drew: For warming since 1970 to have remained at 0.4C temperature values since 1997 would have required the data since 1997 to average approximately no more than 0.26C. Which is why I drew that line you are so opposed to: to show how much higher actual temperature were in order to show just why there has been additional warming since 1997.

        Remember that the “warming as stopped” claim implicitly admits there was prior warming, so I think I am more than justified in starting with OLS upon 1970-1997 to determine the nature of that warming.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        lolwot, you can keep defending it all you want. It won’t make what you’re doing any less stupid. By your position, if temperatures had completely flatlined at the average 1997 temperate level, you would be forced to say they had increased since 1997. In fact, temperatures could have decreased by a total of .1 degrees below the 1997 average temperature, and you’d still be saying temperatures increased since 1997. When you get the same conclusion whether the data goes up, down or stays the same, you know there’s a problem. Or at least, you should.

        But by all means, keep defending your insane approach.

      • Brandon Shollenberger,

        You write ” Using a ten year rolling average means the 1997 point on a graph uses data from 1992.”

        Er, well yes. That’s the point of averaging. It actually uses data from 1988 onwards too. Maybe I shouldn’t be telling you that!

        When we add the next 10 year averaged point on the graph, for the year 2012, we will use data from the year 2003 to 2012 inclusive. That’s 10 years. We add everything up and then divide by 10.

        Unfortunately we can’t use data for 2013 because we don’t have a time machine and so we don’t know what it is yet.

        I know you guys aren’t very bright, but to object to the simplest and most straightforward kind of statistical smoothing makes it quite clear you just aren’t up making any kind of sensible contribution to climate science.

        In future, I’d advise that its better to be thought a dimwit than to speak up and remove all doubt.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        tempterrain, you just responded to me criticizing someone else, without addressing what my criticism actually was, namely: lolwot’s choice of smooth creates a deceptive image. You can act haughty and insult me all you want, but my point is simple and true.

        Anyone can see using a ten year rolling average to create a smoothed graph then claiming it refutes the idea the planet’s temperatures plateaued in 1997 is stupid and deceptive. Of course the 1997 point in that graph won’t show a plateau. It’s using data from 1992! It is insane to argue data from 1992 shows warming didn’t stop in 1997.

        But you won’t admit this. Instead, you’ll just insult me for things I’m not doing while failing to address what I actually say.

      • Brandon Shollenberger,

        ” It is insane to argue data from 1992 shows warming didn’t stop in 1997.”

        No it isn’t! But I must admit that I’m at something at a loss of how to get you to understand that. I know how my wife (who specialises in teaching children with learning difficulties) feels now!

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Seeing as neither you, nor anyone else, has offered any reason to think combining 1992 data with 1997 data makes sense for proving temperatures haven’t stopped warming, I’d say the first step would be to try. It’s silly to express exasperation at something not working when you’ve never tried it before.

        Here’s the kicker. If what lolwot did is reasonable, that means we can keep doing it in the future. That means even if temperatures in the future go up, we can’t say the (apparent) plateau has ended because that method will drag down every point in the near future by combining them with data from now. In fact, that method will most likely ensure the next five or so years come out flat no matter what the temperatures actually are.

        Of course, tempterrain and lolwot would say graphs like that are wrong and deceptive. Because something being “wrong” means, “We don’t agree with it.”

      • I stopped clicking on links to graphs some time ago.

        BTW – you are still one of the best commentators here Brandon.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        timg56, thanks! That’s flattering to hear.

        I really shouldn’t be spending my time responding to these sort of things. I just don’t have a lot of free time to spend on blogs (I’m currently posting while on a city bus). That makes it difficult for me to pursue things in much detail, and thus I’m forced to change my focuses. On the upside, these matters tend to be a much better source of amusement than the ones I’d normally pursue.

      • I hear you on the not really having time thing. I’ve basically wasted 2+ hours today on this, when I have some 250 + active projects I’m dealing with. They are related to the ability of you being able to communicate while riding a bus.

      • I stopped clicking on links to graphs some time ago. ?

        Is that because you don’t understand them? Its just about impossible to say whether there is any evidence of cooling in the temperature record unless you do look at the long term temperature record graphically.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        timg56, I’m not sure if it’s the same situation or not. In this case, I was able to use the internet while on a bus because I accessed the internet through my phone. On the other hand, I’ve been told some places actually have “hotspots” in their public transportation. Either way, it’s very helpful to be able to use the internet in situations like that. If not, I’d barely be online at all for the next month or so.

        tempterrain, that’s a silly thing to say. It’s incredibly easy to determine whether or not there is evidence of cooling (or just a lack of warming) without looking at graphs.

      • Brandon Shollenberger,

        If I were to ask you whether my traffic indicators were working on my car, would you say “yes they are, no they aren’t, yes they are…..”

        I’m sure it’s not that hard to understand that we need to look at the bigger picture than what is happening from one measurement period to the next. Like with the value of a currency like, say, the Euro. It doesn’t really matter if it moves 0.1 cent upwards one day and then goes down by 0.12 cents, the next and then goes down again the next. What matters is what happens over a period of time. So to really know whether it’s changing, or whether its just ‘noise’ in the markets, you need to look back over a period of weeks with all daily rates smoothed out to weekly rates.

        And wouldn’t it be sensible to plot out the data as a graph?

        And would you object that Monday’s data was used in the weekly average just like Friday’s data? That’s five days earlier. If not why not? You’ve objected to 1993 data being averaged with 1997 data which is also five measurement periods earlier.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        tempterrain, that’s a stupid analogy. I wouldn’t combine different points into a single value to determine whether or not your traffic indicators work. That would make no sense. Instead, I’d collect data, then I’d examine that data for a pattern. This is no different than having a number of temperature values. In the same way, I’d take the over 180 data points we have then examine them for a pattern.

        In your analogy, you suggest not averaging data points together amounts to looking at each data point individually. That’s stupid. When you have a series, you look at the series. You don’t have to average values together to be able to do that.

        And nothing you said had anything to do with the fact you don’t need to graph a series to examine it for patterns/signals, the topic we were actually discussing.

        It’s like your plan is to double down on dumb.

      • That would make no sense

        Chewbacca is back at it..

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      I should point out lolwot says there is “nothing out of the ordinary in terms of deviation” from the trend line in the second graph I discuss so it’s not like he was unaware of the difference in periods discussed. The problem is when someone sees a trend line, that’s the point they take away from the graph. They don’t take away some point about the residuals of the graph. That makes the graph deceptive unless you take appropriate measures to inform people what they should pay attention to/ignore, something lolwot couldn’t do with his single sentence description.

      But it’s worse than that. lolwot’s point can only be made if one uses a trend line calculated off his rolling average rather than the raw data. That’s a silly thing to do, and if you don’t do it, you get a period that is “out of the ordinary in terms of deviation.” Look at the data from 1997 on in this graph. Almost all over it is above the trend line. That’s quite different from what lolwot shows, and it is exactly what one would expect with temperatures that have flattened out.

      • “Look at the data from 1997 on in this graph. Almost all over it is above the trend line. That’s quite different from what lolwot shows, and it is exactly what one would expect with temperatures that have flattened out.”

        No if temperatures had flattened out you’d expect the line to go BELOW the trend line, not above.

        Above the trend line shows that the warming has increased since 1997.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        lolwot, you just proved you have no idea what you’re talking about.

      • lolwot, if you continue like that, you will recruit many new skeptics.

      • I agree with lolwot that the warming trend has accelerated, it’s just the direction I take issue with…

        HadCrut4 decadal trends since 1990

      • Edim,

        lolwot, if you continue like that, you will recruit many new skeptics.

        I’ve never quite understood this argument. You are, of course, quite entitled to think what you will of lolwot, or anyone else.

        Its basically: I don’t like person X. Therefore what they say about Y is bound to be incorrect.

        I would suggest that anyone’s opinion on the veracity of Y is pretty much worthless if that’s the ‘working’, if that’s the right word, of their thought process. Wouldn’t you agree?

      • tempterrain, it’s not about lolwot. It’s about his arguments and his logic. When some of the convinced see how weak it is, then maybe some will rethink.

        I don’t dislike warmists, they don’t know what they’re doing.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        lolwot (and my) argument is that if you measured the trend from 1960s to 1997, then measured the trend from 1960s to 2012, the latter gives you a larger trend than the former.

        What’s wrong with that as an argument for an accelerating trend as opposed to a flat trend.

        The “flat trend” argument is just a cleverer way of saying that global warming stopped in 1998. Just because it happened to be unusually warm in 1998 for reasons that seem related to a strong ENSO doesn’t mean that subsequent cooler, or similarly warm years are evidence of cooling or no warming.

        Climate scientists have said for as long as I remember to look to the longer term trends and not get hung up on short term issues, even if they get excited when a new record is broken. At least they’ve been trained to say things like “No individual weather event can be attributed to global warming”.

      • I’d say lolwot has a point. Mind you I would say, even though I haven’t done any tests, that his claim of an acceleration in the rate of warming is almost certainly not statistically significant.

        There’s not a lot in it either way.

        What his graph does show is that there’s no pause though. There’s no evidence at all for that.

      • temp,

        I agree with Edim, it isn’t about lolwot. I know I’ve come to like the guy and even respect his sincerety. But that doesn’t keep me from listening to many of his arguments and concluding that he’s already convinced his position is correct and is willing to believe supporting arguments that suck, to put it bluntly. And that sort of behavior triggers the skeptic in me.

      • Brandon Shollenberger,

        You accuse Lolwot: “you have no idea what you’re talking about ” when you really mean that you, yourself, have no idea of what he’s talking about.

        And judging from you previous comments about graphs and the most basic of statistical techniques you don’t want to have any idea either.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        tempterrain, thanks for being honest and questioning lolwot’s claim. I think when people are clearly deaf to the obvious continuation of the warming, emphasising the higher OLS trend is perhaps justified but claims that it is significant – “a clear acceleration” – are probably a step too far.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Oh my god. tempterrain really just did that. I feel like I’m back in grade school listening to kids think it’s clever to say:

        I know you are, but what am I?

      • Lolwot is saying the evidence is that global warming has accelerated slightly rather than slowed in the past 16 , or so, years.

        So, the main question is why there are some who would interpret evidence of a slight increase in the warming rate as evidence of cooling?

        Its sensible to have a discussion on the question of whether this slight increase is real. Its not at all sensible to discuss whether this slight increase can be interpreted as cooling.

        But we know that’s the way climate deniers work. On the one hand they accuse the scientific community of maintaining a fake consensus. On the other, whenever there is a valid discussion on what the data actually means, they accuse the scientific community of being divided.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        tempterrain, I have a question for you. Do you agree with this statement:

        You haven’t addressed the points I’ve made, but despite that, you’ve insulted me multiple times.

        Because that’s my interpretation/description of our exchanges. If you agree with it, your behavior is despicable. If you don’t agree with it, I’d love to hear your version.

        For laughs. Because I’m sure it’d be insane.

  29. I want to throw this out as additional “evidence for”: the fact that observed trends over the past 16 years are consistent with longer-term trends when one simply controls for the effect of ENSO. See http://blog.chron.com/climateabyss/files/2012/09/fall2012proj1.gif discussed most recently here: http://blog.chron.com/climateabyss/2012/09/global-temperature-anomalies-2012-2013-september-forecast/ where I figure I may as well lay my cards on the table and make testable predictions of global temperatures based on the hypothesis that ENSO variability and an ongoing long-term trend are the dominant climate-change factors at present.

    Statistical significance of recent trend: If I control for ENSO using the simple tercile technique illustrated in my figure, the residual global temperature anomalies for the period 1997-2011 have a trend of 0.012 C/yr, and that trend has a one-sided p-value of 0.0016.

    Methodology for statistics geeks: take the data from the figure I referenced, compute the departure of each data point from the linear regression value corresponding to its ENSO category for the midpoint year (2004), and analyze the resulting time series.

    Time series for not-so-geeks:
    Annual mean GISTEMP anomalies wrt 2004, controlling for ENSO tercile, 1997-2011:
    -0.1606
    0.0094
    -0.1015
    -0.0815
    0.0485
    0.0334
    -0.0106
    -0.0366
    0.0494
    0.1185
    0.0534
    0.0085
    0.0434
    0.0594
    0.0785

    I suspect that other conventional global temperature data sets, when controlled for ENSO in a similar way, will yield a similarly significant recent temperature trend.

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      John Nielsen-Gammon, I’ve only had time to skim the post you linked to (I’m leaving for lunch in a minute), but could you clarify that your argument is the reason we’ve seen a flattening in temperatures is because of frequent La Niñas, and that the underlying trend hasn’t changed?

      I ask because that’s a pretty bold claim, and I don’t think I’ve ever heard it before.

      • Brandon- My analysis is really just a simplified version of Foster and Rahmstorf (2011), discussed here: http://tamino.wordpress.com/2011/12/06/the-real-global-warming-signal/

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Oh. If that’s true, I’m not interested in examining it. What Foster and Rahmstorf did was simplistic and opportunistic curve fitting, so if you’re doing an even simpler version…

      • Foster and Rahmstorf isn’t the first paper to attempt to correct the temperature record for ENSO to see what the picture is without that noise. I wonder why you wouldn’t consider it useful in order to figure out whether the globe is warming.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        It might have something to do with the fact it is simplistic curve fitting that forces a linear component, makes no effort to examine the spectral structure of the data and assumes a coherent relationship between forcings and temperature that has never been demonstrated.

        In other words, it might be because I understand the paper.

      • steven mosher

        Brandon.

        John as an analyst gets to choose the assumptions of his model.
        He gets to assume that the fit will be linear over short periods.
        he gets to assume a cohrent relationship between forcings and temperature.

        There is no analysis without assumptions. Under his assumptions he makes a prediction. If the prediction doesnt hold, then he gets to go back and examine his assumptions.

        If you dont agree with his assumptions then you get to make your own assumptions and derive your own forecast. What you cannot do is analyze data without assumptions.

      • Brandon – What you consider a bug is a feature. Sure I could have done a more comprehensive analysis to identify the spatial SST pattern most strongly correlated with global temperature variability. Sure I could have sought out a functional dependence between ENSO and global temps other than linear. Instead, I don’t mind retaining some extra climate noise, for the sake of (a) simplicity and (b) avoiding overfitting.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Mosher, your response is as useless as they ever are. Of course he can make whatever assumptions he wants. Nobody has said otherwise. But if his work is just a simplified version of Tamino’s, it isn’t going to tell me anything I haven’t already seen, and thus I’m not interested in it.

        John, I don’t consider anything about your approach a bug. Wrong and unjustifiable, perhaps.

      • Brandon.

        “Mosher, your response is as useless as they ever are. ”

        “usefulness is always measured against some purpose. I admit trying to inform you is useless. Other’s however will find my response very useful in judging you and your competence.

        “Of course he can make whatever assumptions he wants. Nobody has said otherwise. But if his work is just a simplified version of Tamino’s, it isn’t going to tell me anything I haven’t already seen, and thus I’m not interested in it.”

        Of course it will tell you something you havent seen. Tamino’s approach, is filled with complications ( his fitting of lags ) that complicate the estimation of uncertainty. John’s approach shows that you can get a similar answer with a simpler more elegant approach. It also tells you that the answer is robust with respect to assuptions. tamino’s approach makes many assumptions, John’s makes two. But as you point out, instructing you is useless.

        “John, I don’t consider anything about your approach a bug. Wrong and unjustifiable, perhaps”

        BS. your assertion is wrong and unjustified. You see how that works? If you think calling an argument “wrong and unjustified” settles the matter, then its easy for someone to say “no brandon, you are wrong and unjustified” The point in having a discussion is to illustrate how the other side is wrong and in the case of analysis to show a better path forward that is LESS WRONG. because everything is wrong to some degree or another.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Mosher, your latest comment is stupid. You insult me multiple times without any basis other than either mind-reading or poor reading comprehension:

        Of course it will tell you something you havent seen. Tamino’s approach, is filled with complications ( his fitting of lags ) that complicate the estimation of uncertainty. John’s approach shows that you can get a similar answer with a simpler more elegant approach. It also tells you that the answer is robust with respect to assuptions. tamino’s approach makes many assumptions, John’s makes two. But as you point out, instructing you is useless.

        You say I will see something new because John Nielsen-Gammon’s approach isn’t Tamino’s. In reality, the fact his approach is different from one I’ve examined in no way indicates it is something I haven’t seen it before. It is perfectly possible for me to have seen more than just Tamino’s approach. Similarly, you make the stupid comment:

        BS. your assertion is wrong and unjustified. You see how that works? If you think calling an argument “wrong and unjustified” settles the matter, then its easy for someone to say “no brandon, you are wrong and unjustified” The point in having a discussion is to illustrate how the other side is wrong and in the case of analysis to show a better path forward that is LESS WRONG. because everything is wrong to some degree or another.

        You claim I made an assertion that his approach is wrong, but I did no such thing. I said I might consider it wrong and unjustifiable. As it happens, I’ve looked at this sort of thing before, both in simple and complex forms. My conclusion was I don’t find it convincing, but I also don’t have the interest to examine it in enough detail to form a strong opinion.

        Here’s a question for you Mosher. Will you admit you just made things up about me and your insults were unfounded? You often talk about the importance of people admitting their mistakes. I’m curious if you’ll do it.

    • John N-G,

      You quote a trend of 0.012C/yr for 1997-2011 using your tercile regression. Fair enough. The graphs on your website however show the regression slopes for 1979-2011. What is the total trend? What is the trend 1979-1997? Are they different? I would also guess that chucking the volcano years completely will result in the trend being biased a little bit high, but it might not be relevant for your forecast.

    • Moshpit,

      Chewbacca’s not scary enough here.

      Please send more squirrels along NG’s way.

    • I want to throw this out as additional “evidence for”: the fact that observed trends over the past 16 years are consistent with longer-term trends when one simply controls for the effect of ENSO.

      Surely this cuts both ways? If the hiatus over the last 15-16 years is consistent with the effect of ENSO dominating the climate, then why would it not have dominated the climate in the preceding 16 years? It’s only the assumption that anthropogenic forcing was entirely or predominantly the cause of that warming that is the cause for concern.

      Looking further back some satisfactory and empirically driven explanation for similar warming and hiatus/cooling patterns ought to be made as well. If you are trying to determine the trend of CO2 warming by removing the ENSO signal you run into these problems:

      – Uncertainty as to how large the signal is
      – Whether the reminder is not some other kind of forcing other than CO2.

      I think Bob Tisdale has some serious objections to removing the ENSO from the warming signal, the reasons for which I only have a faint grasp but might be of some interest to you.

      • Yes it does cut both ways. The same analysis suggests that the rate 1985-2004 warming was enhanced by ENSO variations.

      • Just as the trend that ended in 1940 was being pushed up from underneath by external forcing. Net, they were working together. In the current situation, the enhanced GHE is always pushing up, while the other is, of all things, variable.

    • Holy f! so we can just remove data ’til we find what pattern we want? cool!

      Statistics 323B – Making statistics working for you!

  30. If we take ‘global warming has stopped’ as a plain English statement of fact, then it is correct. When there was a pattern of warming, and that pattern has ceased, then global warming has stopped.’ That is, in fact, how I read the statement. If you interpret those four words to mean ‘the predicted long range climatological phenomenon known as ‘global warming’ is no longer occurring, then yes, it would be unsupported.

    Problems for climate scientists:

    1. So-called natural variation is not just random noise. The yearly up and down of global climate temp averages have physical causes. If they do not have sufficient knowledge of those physical causes to predict their actions, then we can hardly be expected to have confidence in their claim that GCMs contain everything needed to forecast global climate 100 years out.

    2. The Pause. First, they denied there was a pause. Then, as it went on, and they could no longer deny it with a straight face, they said they knew it could happen all along. That’s what real scientists call post hoc special pleading.

    3. The Pause, part II: To account for the failure of global temps to go up as they predicted, they point to natural variation. But that variation has occurred in the past without the forcing provided by CO2. In a CO2-rich system, shouldn’t downward variation be minimized? In a CO2-rich system, I would expect a biasing of ‘natural’ variation, such that long periods without an increase in temps would be far fewer would become shorter, or would disappear.

    4. The Pause ;part III: There is an elementary difference in probability between the odds of an event happening within a SERIES of chances, and the odds of it happening during the FIRST chance. The odds of getting a 7 in ten rolls of the dice is different from the odds of getting a 7 in the FIRST of ten rolls of the dice. This pause occurred in the first decade of the 21st century.

    5. The Pause, part IV: The pause has occurred when CO2 concentration in the atmosphere is actually higher than had been predicted when models were written. The concentration is higher than Jim Hansen’s Worst Case model run. Yet, instead of going up AT A HIGHER RATE in response to theory, world temps have plateaued.

    • Steve Milesworthy

      If we take ‘global warming has stopped’ as a plain English statement of fact, then it is correct.

      Given that the long term trend is now higher than it was in 1998, I would say it is not so.

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1960/mean:12/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1965/to:1998/trend/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1965/trend

      1.So-called natural variation is not just random noise. The yearly up and down of global climate temp averages have physical causes.

      True. Which is why we should worry when a permanent up and up is imposed on top of the ups and downs – unless you have a good physical theory that tells you what the sensitivity is to better than the current range of 2-4.5C.

      2. There’s a bit of “special pleading” true. One always likes the central projection to come true, but the fact that an outlier comes true does not mean the central projection wasn’t a good guess.

      3 But that variation has occurred in the past without the forcing provided by CO2.

      And was there an identifiable physical reason for such variation. In many cases we were not there to observe the reason – maybe it would have been obvious had we been there.

      4. Hmmm…dodgy ground with this assertion given warming has been predicted since the 1970s.

      5. The total forcing is about level with the central estimate of Hansen’s. You have to include all aspects of forcing including, for example, methane which for some reason has tracked lower. Forcings with respect to the SRES scenarios may be tracking the higher scenarios, but this covers too short a time for the higher forcing to make much difference in the projection.

    • Good post Mark B. Re Steve Milesworthy’s retort to your first point, Steve is not taking the plain English meaning but delving into the underlying statistics. He may be right about the statistics, but not about the semantics.

      Besides, why are people criticizing David Rose for this statement? I’m pretty sure he doesn’t write his own headlines. Blame some anonymous sub-editor who thought that was the obvious “hook” for his article.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        I would disagree. The plain English meaning of the following from Mark B has not happened:

        When there was a pattern of warming, and that pattern has ceased, then global warming has stopped.

        The pattern (the decadal trend as expected by IPCC etc.) has continued almost unchanged.

        In essence what I am saying is that “plain English” statements can be deeply and deliberately misleading as many politicians will tell you.

      • Ten years of no increase is ten years of no increase. I don’t know what it is about ten years of no increase you don’t understand. Ten years of no increase is not a decadal trend of increase. Your tortured special pleading just shows that you are willing to embarrass yourself for the cause.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        Mark B, why would I be embarrassed that a load of denizens don’t get my argument. I’m pretty confident in my basic, non-tortured, argument that since the OLS trend of all the major temperature datasets has increased since 1997 one cannot say that “global warming stopped in 1997″. If I am sounding a little “tortured” it is because I’m trying to spell out the point in different ways.

        Going back to 1997, if someone had told you that “mean surface temperature in August 2012 will be about the same as mean surface temperature in September 1997″ would you have expected that by 2012 all of the ten hottest years would have taken place after 1997.

        Of cause the apparent pause is interesting and is suggestive of something unknown in the forcings or in the understanding of the climate. And this something may be critical to our understanding of the climate. But to represent it in some way as good evidence for a ceasing or slowing of the warming is going far too far.

  31. Dear Judith, you state in your conclusions, ” If the term ‘global warming has stopped’ is inferred to mean that there is no longer evidence of anthropogenic greenhouse warming, then this is not correct”. I, along with others, would like you to expand on this statement. Just how do you discern the “anthropogenic” signal in the 16 year hiatus that you so confidently proclaim. Some details here would be helpful.

    • Bob you write “Some details here would be helpful.”

      You are, of course, absolutely correct. However, let me make a prediction. Our hostess, along with all other denizens of Climate Etc. who are proponents of CAGW, will not touch your comment with the end of a barge pole. They know that if they do, they will have to end up agreeing that CAGW has no evidence to support it.

  32. Judith Curry said:

    “If the term ‘global warming has stopped’ is inferred to mean that there is no longer evidence of anthropogenic greenhouse warming, then this is not correct.”

    ______

    Unfortunately, this is exactly the take-away meaning that the majority of the public (and even certain policy makers) will have from the Rose article, and, as I pointed out yesterday, is possibly the sole intention. The specific and very narrow known fact- the rise of tropospheric temperatures has flattend– is quickly made into a broad “global warming has stopped” which is translated directly in the minds of the general public and policy makers to mean that humans are not warming the planet after all, end of story. So now, rather than get on the business of looking at potential outcomes, hazard probabilities, etc, that effort can be significantly slowed down because, what’s the point– there is no longer evidence of anthropogenic greenhouse warming. It’s all just natural variability. Unfortunately, as many professionals in the business of looking at the anthropogenic effects of humans on the climate everyday know, that is complete bunkum.

    • Warmists are to blame – they invented the Orwellian “Global Warming” and “Climate Change”.

    • That’s the entire point of articles like that. To tell the public that global warming isn’t happening/doesn’t exist.

      But look on the bright side, it’ll backlash when the warming continues. Remember what happened to all those Arctic Sea Ice recovery predictions.

      • lolwot,
        I give you credit for fighting the good fight. I don’t believe I’ve once seen you concede a single skeptical point. (Perhaps I’ve missed a few, but I don’t think so.) That should t tell you something right there.

        If I’m wrong about CAGW I’m going to wonder how I could have made such a big mistake and good naturedly admit that you guys were right after all. But I have a feeling it’s not going to be so easy for people like you, and fan. I think a guy like Mike Roddy who seems to spend half his life sneering and hyperventilating on Rekin’s site, will end up with his brain exploding.

      • fan of lolwot

        lolwot,

        In April, OF THIS YEAR!, Arctic Sea Ice RECOVERED to its 1979-2000 average. Then a big storm hit the Arctic and either broke up the ice so that it was too small for measurement or pushed it to lower latitudes where it melted.

        Sure you want to push the current state of Arctic sea ice as a five-alarm, global warming, panic attack issue? Can’t you just settle for a wind driven explanation (in the main) of the event?

        Now I’m back to lurking as I await your edifying reply, Sir!

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        fan of lolwot,

        It sounds like you have no clue about the details of sea ice loss over the past few decades, nor the most critical of all the metrics– see ice volume, which is directly impacted by the warmth of both the ocean water as well as the atmosphere. Suggest (assuming you really want to learn something) that you spend a bit of time over at Neven’s sea ice blog.
        An Arctic that is ice-free in the summer is a very distinct possibility in the next 3-5 years. Natural variability? Possible but less likely than anthropogenic. But let’s not discuss that, right…afterall, the tropospheric temperatures have been flat the last 15 years, and according the some, that’s all that matters…

      • fan of lolwot

        Mr. Gates,

        Well I guess you’ve made it clear you are smart and I’m not. Always glad to make the acquaintance of a lofty intellect with a brusque and officious manner.

        A few questions, I’m sure you can answer off the top of your head, Mr. Gates:

        -What percentage of Arctic sea ice loss/ice volume loss is attributable to warm currents entering, apparently for the first time, a decade or so ago into the Arctic?

        -What is the source of this putative, unprecedented intrusion of warm water into the Arctic sea areas, to include the precise play of global warming in the phenomenon?

        -Why have comparable warm water currents not appeared in the Southern Hemisphere, under the influence of the global warming, to reduce Antarctic sea ice/ice Volume as it has in the Arctic?

      • fan of lolwot,

        You ask some great questions, and the answers are the subject of much ongoing research as the majority (but not all) of the climate models looking at the decline in Arctic sea ice from anthropogenic greenhouse gas forcing did not forsee the extremely rapid decline we’ve seen. Some of this may be due to the fact that natural variation and anthropogenic effects are currently heading in the same direction in the Arctic, or, it is possible that some underlying feedbacks are being missed by the models and that certain thresholds are being crossed that accentuate the melting Arctic sea ice. Either way, the key to it all seems to be warm water entering the Arctic, primarily form the Atlantic side. This warm water brings heat not just to the ocean (melting the ice from below) but that heat is then released to the atmosphere from the ocean and further warms the entire region. Here’s a few interesting articles related to warm Atlantic water entering the Arctic:

        http://phys.org/news/2011-01-north-atlantic-tied-arctic.html

        http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/28/arctic-waters-warmer-than-in-2000-years/

        http://psc.apl.washington.edu/zhang/Pubs/zhang5_15_98.pdf

        But some warmer waters are also coming into the Arctic from warmer rivers that drain into the Arctic ocean, such as the Lena in Siberia. See:

        http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2002/2002JD002542.shtml

        http://www.earthisland.org/journal/index.php/eij/article/baikal_watch/

        But the mighty MacKenzie on the other side of the Arctic is also warming:

        http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120903221118.htm

        http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/03/us-canada-idUSBRE8820M620120903

        It is very hard to put a percentage on how much of the ice is being lost from warmer water versus warmer air versus feedback from less ice and more SW entering the water. The warmth in the Arctic is everywhere, from the atmosphere, to the oceans, to underground, melting the permafrost.

        But this gradual warming of the Arctic ocean did not begin just a decade ago, but has been gradually occuring for many decades. And as to why the Arctic is warming but the Antarctic is not, one needs only to understand the huge differences between the two regions related to how ocean currents travel to and around each, and the difference between relatively shallow Arctic ocean and the large and much deeper Southern ocean,

        I won’t go on, though I could as the subject is quite fascinating and I suspect you might simply have some basic talking points you’d like to get out.

      • fan of lolwot

        Mr. Gates,

        Thank you for your reply. And I especially appreciate the care with which you noted the “uncertainties” of the present understanding of the issues you addressed at my request. And I don’t say that as a “merchant of doubt” ruse, but rather to offer you my respects for your intellectual ethics in that regard.

        As far as my “basic talking points” are concerned, I think the readership of this blog can, in reading your last comment, wrinkle out by themselves any “talking points” I might care to offer. In other words, Mr. Gates, your above response speaks for itself.

      • R.Gates,

        I had occasion to formally complain to the Australian national broadcaster, (the ABC), about unbalanced reporting on climate change issues and here follows a footnote from that concerning your favourite Armageddon canary; arctic sea-ice. The penultimate three points are probably the most relevant here:

        FOOTNOTES:
        [1] Concerning the melting of sea-ice:
        • Firstly it should be noted that the melting of floating sea-ice has no measurable effect on sea-level, per Archimedes and his Eureka moment.
        • The source of the media reports promoting alarm about the Arctic was the NSIDC. (National Snow and Ice Data Center @ Uni’ Colorado). However the mainstream media (worldwide) did not reveal that the same source also reported that in the Antarctic, the sea-ice extent there was at a record high level within the same short satellite observational period.
        • Extract from a NASA report on the previously reported lowest point in Arctic ice extent in 2007: “…the rapid decline in winter perennial ice the past two years was caused by unusual winds. “Unusual atmospheric conditions set up wind patterns that compressed the sea ice, loaded it into the Transpolar Drift Stream and then sped its flow out of the Arctic,” he said. When that sea ice reached lower latitudes, it rapidly melted in the warmer waters…”
        • NASA more recently posted an interesting short video very reminiscent of the point above, textually prefaced with: “A powerful storm wreaked havoc on the Arctic sea ice cover in August 2012…” Incidentally, NSIDC sea-ice extent is not about continuous ice but is given for coverage of more than 15% of the sea, so if such sparse coverage is congregated into a smaller area as a consequence of wind or tide the measured extent is reduced even if the amount of ice is unchanged.
        • There is much scientific and historical evidence that the reported recent warming in the Arctic is not unprecedented, for instance the 1920/30’s are recorded to have been relatively warm as in this 2006 paper, and this newer paper is interesting if challenging, but there are still other similar papers and much widespread history of the Medieval Warm Period.
        • A Google boolean search on 8/Oct for the previous month for: abc + arctic + “antarctic” : found no mention of Antarctic ice levels. (but characteristically did express gloom on other stuff).

        Any comments?

    • Unfortunately, this is exactly the take-away meaning that the majority of the public

      Do you have polling numbers to back that up?

      One article…in the daily mail is going to change the minds of 7+ billion people? If it were that easy I’m sure the soap manufactures would just pay to have one article written in the Daily Mail attesting to how fantastic their protect is and forgo billions in advertising costs.

  33. The world warmed from 1970 to 1997. Did that warming continue since 1997?

    Test #1

    If warming stopped since 1997 as David Rose claims, the data since 1997 should surround a flat line since 1997. It doesn’t. Data is far above flat line.. Conclusion: “warming stopped in 1997″ hypothesis fails test. Hypothesis falsified.

    If warming continued since 1997, the data since 1997 should continue to surround the same 1970-1997 line. It does. Conclusion “warming continued past 1997″ hypothesis passes test.

    Test #2

    From 1970 to 1997 the warming rate was 0.145C/decade.

    If warming stopped, or even slowed down, since 1997 then it would have reduced the warming trend. So the warming rate from 1970 to 2012 should be LESS than 0.145C/decade.

    Result of test: Warming from 1970 to 2012 is 0.164C/decade. Conclusion: “warming stopped or slowed down since 1997″ hypothesis fails test. Hypothesis falsified.

    Conclusion

    Two basic and simple tests of the data falsify the claim that warming stopped in 1997. Any “plateau” since 1997 is an illusion of decadal variation and has little meaning for AGW. Specifically: the start of the 1997-2012 period was AHEAD of trend and the “plateau” is a relaxation of the data back onto trend. Overall the warming trend is unaltered. Don’t be tricked by illusions. A plateau that doesn’t alter the longterm warming trend is irrelevant.

    We might question if the pattern of variation that led to the plateau is caused by a) the timing of the solar cycle or b) timing of El Ninos and La Ninas c) something else. But this question has no bearing on AGW or longterm trends.

    Climate models may not exhibit decadal variation accurately enough to exhibit such plateaus. In particular do climate models contain 1998 style super el ninos and 2007 style long and low solar minimums? No. But it’s irrelevant if decadal variation doesn’t alter longterm trends.

    The prediction of this is obvious: warming will continue at the same rate it’s done since 1970, which means the plateau will not last. In hindsight, in decades time, people won’t even be able to notice the plateau on a graph of ever rising temperatures.

    • You have a point. In fact it wouldn’t be unreasonable to say that since 1997, the rate of global warming has accelerated [0.145/decade to 0.164/decade]
      But this is true even though ‘since 1997′ there has been no temperature increase.
      It’s just Yule-Simpson writ climate style :)

    • David Springer

      Imagine today was your 15th birthday. It may not require any imagination but that’s beside the point. Has the earth been getting warmer during your lifetime?

      Answer: Yes but not much. 0.048C

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/last:180/plot/hadcrut4gl/last:180/trend/plot/hadcrut4gl/last:180/trend/detrend:0.048

      This is the plateau people not much smarter than you seem to have no trouble recognizing. I should think that with all the opportunity you’ve had even you would now recognize it. Is this willful ignorance on your part or just plain old dumbass don’t know your ass from your elbow natural ignorance?

      • We can all see it, but like I said, it’s an illusion

      • David Springer

        Interesting. Is the entire record an illusion or just the sections of it that don’t correspond to your beliefs?

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        David Springer,

        Please stop conflating the troposphere with the “Earth”. Seriously, I know you know better.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Sunshinehours,

        Please stop conflating the troposphere with the “world”. Seriously, I know you know better.

      • I’m not conflating.

        But when did CO2 start warming or cooling the world?

        Pick a year. Quit avoiding it. Commit.

        1950? 1960? 1965.6?

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Sunshinehours,

        CO2 starting warming the world from the very first molecule that entered the atmosphere many hundreds of millions of years ago. By world here, I mean specifically the whole non-tectonic energy system of the planet, from the bottom of the ocean to the top of the atmosphere.

        But, even though your question was non-specific, I will give the specific answer to the question I think you really meant to ask (and please correct me if I’m wrong). You probably meant when did Anthropogenic CO2 start warming the planet beyond some natural background warming in the modern era, right?

        Of course, you misunderstand the nature of CO2 warming if you meant such a question, as human’s (as part of the animal kingdom) have been warming the planet with our exhaled CO2 for many millions of years. But it was always at a rate that could easily be accommodated by natural feedback processes if CO2 levels got too high– usually in the form of increased rock weathering through an acceleration of the hydrological cycle. But to the question you really want to know– when did our massive fossil fuel induced CO2 emissions begin to alter the modern temperature record in a noticeable way beyond natural background variability. Personally, I suspect it was probably around 1900, but the amount at that time was so very slight, that it will be many years before we’ll have the sophisticated enough tools to measure it via proxies. That being the case, I think we can safely now measure the first signals around 1960, with definite signals by the early 1970’s. The fact that a warm-phase PDO was beginning about that time has made it harder to dissect out the CO2 warming, but the fingerprints can be seen in the pattern of warming in the atmosphere and oceans. By 1980 the signal was quite evident, and of course continues through today. Yes, CONTINUES THROUGH TODAY. That signal is somewhere around .15C to .17C per decade in the lower troposphere, but could accelerate a bit in the coming decades, and more in the later 21st Century. Thus, in the 2020’s, to balance out the rather flat tropspheric signal we’ve seen over the past decade, we might see some rather dramatic spikes up in tropospheric temperatures, especially if natural variability flips to the side of aligning in the same direction as increased CO2, methane, and N2O forcing. The ocean of course, will continue to see the largest accumulation of energy from the ongoing energy imbalance, which is currently somewhere around 0.8 – 1.0 w/m2 at the TOA.

      • Your .17C/decade signal died. RIP. So young too. Less than 20 years old.

      • Sunshinehours1

        Yup.

        We can bury it right next to the broken hockeyshtik, that died three years ago – also a premature death.

        RIP

        Max

  34. Steven Mosher:
    Moshpit: That’s arm waving not explanation, you’ve merely pointed to the phenomena and replaced the name.

    Hey Mosher
    Some of us wave both of our arms (sun & the earth) in neat cycles.

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

    • steven mosher

      ah see vuk there is a difference between what you do and what others do.
      you at least have two entities that have different units. And what you hope is that there is physics ( equations ) that take you from one space to another space. you are searching for the mechanism. They are pointing to rise and fall of temperatures and saying that ‘it’ is explained by natural variation. In order words. the variations we see are explained by adding the word “natural” which doesnt explain anything.

      You are saying: I have temperature over here. and I have magnetics over there. and you are searching to explain the temperature IN TERMS OF a different entity. That is explanation. Now you have a huge hole to fill but at least your problem is STRUCTURED correctly. It is structured to render temperature in terms of other variables. It is structured to get down to the bottom of things ( explanatory regress ) They are not structured to get to the bottom of things. They merely rename the phenomena.

      • The dreaded mechanism?
        As you say ‘Simples’
        Think of the ocean as an open pot of warm water with constant heat input (TSI ) at a level where water is held at constant temperature by evaporation and internal convection.
        Leave alone – no natural variability
        Add some GHG above – I’ll leave that to AGWs (never bothered with it)
        Now to the important part:
        Stir for 5 min – the pot’s ST changes
        Leave alone for 5 min – the pot’s ST slowly reverts back
        Result – natural variability, the AMO
        The rest you may guess or already know.

  35. Is the attribution of sea level rise really that mature? I doubt it. We still have not nailed down how much rise is due to aquifer depletion.

    Good Lord, we drained the Aral Sea. Where pray tell did all that water go?

    Some studies attribute up to a third of sea level rise to aquifer depletion. Others claim that the depletion is offset by new reservoirs. In the end, the IPCC dodges the issue because no one seems to know.

    Hardly the mark of maturity.

  36. “Given that we are in the cool phase of the PDO and a strong El Nino is unlikely for the next decade, the plateau may continue for at least another decade. Latif has made this argument, whereas most other ‘establishment’ scientists seem either puzzled by the pause or don’t expect it to continue beyond the expected 15-17 year period.”

    If they’re puzzled now then I wonder how they’ll be if we see a similarly long period, this time of declining temperatures as is widely expected.

    • as is widely expected by idiots.

      • Laugh a Lot.
        We’ll see. We are currently at the top of a very low solar cycle, perhaps a year or two more then it will decline for several years. Temperatures can only go down. The effect of co2 is logarithmic and so co2 isn’t going to turn out to be the miracle gas you and I both wish for, though for very different reasons.
        Your use of the term “idiots” suggests fear on your part that cooling may indeed be the next phase.
        Time will tell.

      • The people predicting cooling and paraded on skeptic blogs are largely self-proclaimed experts who are just guessing using bizarre methods. They invariably have no physics behind their claims. Instead they operate using weird cryptic lines and curves fitted to data with the idea it will predict the future. They believe it so religiously that they produce predictions that are clearly nonsense and at odds with reality.

        Not so long ago we were at the bottom of a very long and deep solar minimum. Much cooling was hyped yet the oceans have continued to accumulate heat. Now we are told we must wait for the next cycle for the cooling. Why? Is there some physical reason for the cooling to lag by a cycle? No, again we are dealing with astrology like “cycles” and “curves” fitted to data. Skeptics buy it because they’ve thrown the actual experts under the bus for daring to report predictions they don’t like.

      • I am not sure why I am replying to this, as lolwot wont believe me anyway. There are two completely different sorts of solar magnetic minima, which get muddled up. There are the minima which occur between every Schwab 11 year cycle. These have a very limited effect on climate. This is what you seem to be referring to.

        The important minima are those associated with the Rz value for each solar cycle (Rz is the smoothed maximum sunspot number approximately). Note there is only one value of Rz for each 11 year cycle. The important driver of climate seems to be associated with Rz, not with the minima which occur between every 11 year cycle. What the mechanism is, no one knows for sure. So if you plot Rz against time, the minima we know about are those associated with the Maunder and Dalton minima, and others with names like Sporer. The next solar minimum of this type has not yet occurred. Should it happen, I hope it will be called the Eddy minimum. However, if Livingston and Penn are correct, we cannot expect this minimum to occur much before around 2070.

        Not that you will take any notice of this lolwot.

      • lolwot, “Is there some physical reason for the cooling to lag by a cycle?” Yes :)

        Actually it is closer to a cycle and 1/2 (~15.5 years), so it inconsistently shows on every other 11 period looking like the 22year Hale cycle. The rate that energy is distributed from the equator is not uniform between the hemispheres at any of the oceans depth layers or in the atmosphere. That causes the funky 15 year steps in temperature instead of a steady rise or fall.

        That is two 15.5 year period of the HADCRUT4 SH data. The orange is 1997 to 2012.7 and the dark red is 1982.3 to 1997. So you have recurrent settling patterns following solar perturbations. It takes a prolonged solar minimum or maximum to have any noticeable impact on climate. Then the impact is proportional to the length of the prolonged cycle.

        The trick is weeding out these natural recurrent patterns and cause, then you can determine other impacts. Or you can just blame something and call it good :)

    • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

      “as is widely expected…”
      ____
      And by widely you mean a few on the edges of climate science.

  37. This is such a good description of the present state as I see it that I hope that you don’t mind if I use it for our Swedish blog “The Climate Scam”.
    I will of course tell that it comes from Climate etc.

  38. Chief Hydrologist

    ‘Using a new measure of coupling strength, this update shows that these climate modes have recently synchronized, with synchronization peaking in the year 2001/02. This synchronization has been followed by an increase in coupling. This suggests that the climate system may well have shifted again, with a consequent break in the global mean temperature trend from the post 1976/77 warming to a new period (indeterminate length) of roughly constant global mean temperature.’ Swanson and Tsonis 2009

    I suppose everyone is an idiot who doesn’t agree with numbnut?

  39. We need better communication–e.g., if the Earth experiences unchecked global warming for the next 100-200 years, the people in Scotland may someday have weather like Germans see when tanning on a French Beach and Italians may have to learn anew what it was like live during the days of the Romans. That is how bad it could get.

  40. The IPCC and the UKMO often cite the WMO classification 30years = Climate.

    If this is an accepted metric then there follows a need to explain why the warming trend in all the 30 year databases has reduced significantly since 2003, GISS by 10%, HadCRUT3 by 20% and its finessed successor HadCRUT4 – 17% all off their highs jointly set some 8 years ago.

    As always DYOR and calculations

    • Aerosols, dear boy, aerosols :-)

      And perhaps SC24 and predominantly La Nina conditions. Let’s not forget that a pause is a hiatus, not a final nail in a coffin.

      • Here is a recent paper on aerosol trends.

        http://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/12/8037/2012/acp-12-8037-2012.pdf

        Here is the change in temperature in the 2000s using the 1990s as a base period.

        http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/do_nmap.py?year_last=2012&month_last=9&sat=4&sst=1&type=anoms&mean_gen=0112&year1=2000&year2=2011&base1=1990&base2=2000&radius=1200&pol=reg

        I don’t see a correlation on a regional level and I haven’t found a paper that claims one. How do aerosols affect global temperatures that much without affecting the regional temperatures trends where the concentration changes the most?

      • Shorter Hsu et al: measurements are short-term and conflicting and it’s hard to be sure, but:

        Our estimated SeaWiFS trend over global ocean is comparable to and has the same sign as the trend derived from the MODIS sensors aboard Terra and Aqua. However, it is in opposite sign to AVHRR data during the overlapping years. On regional scales, the estimated trends in this study suggest that the AOD tendency could be significantly large. We note that there are decreasing trends over the eastern US and Europe, possibly due to a corresponding decrease in manmadeair pollution levels. Yet, over rapidly developing countries such as China and India, significant increasing trends in AOD are seen in these source regions and their surrounding downwind oceans, particularly during the dry winter/postmonsoon months when the atmosphere is relatively stable, thus favoring accumulation of aerosols.

        For the mineral dust-dominated parts of the world, strong positive trends are detected over the Arabian Peninsula and the adjacent waters. In contrast, a negative tendency is observed in the emission and export of Saharan dust over the western North Africa and the North Atlantic. Overall, based on 13 yr of data, a relatively contrasting pattern in trends appears to have emerged in the tropics/subtropics largely modulated by dust emissions and transport processes encompassing the Saharan arid lands and the Arabian Peninsula and their downwind oceanic regions, with downward and upward tendencies, respectively.

        Shorter Hsu continued: we need more and better measurements.

        Note that Hsu only deals with 1997 – 2010 – roughly speaking the period of flattening warming trend. What we really need here is an analysis going a couple of decades further back so we can contrast the last decade or so with previous decades. Wild (2009) provides a detailed review of the evidence suggesting a C20th ‘early brightening’ ~1920 – ~1940, dimming ~1950 – 1980 and brightening ~1980 – ~2000. But Wild goes no further. I look forward keenly to studies that extend this analysis, integrating work such as Hsu12 into the bigger picture described by Wild and updating to the present.

        As you doubtless know, polar amplification is driven by ocean circulation and probably represents a lagged response to forcing. PA is exacerbated in the NH by the presence of large land masses hence the unequal peaks in the LOTI curve you provided. It’s unwise to point to polar amplification in either hemisphere as ‘evidence’ that anthropogenic and/or stratospheric volcanic aerosols have neither regional nor global effects.

      • I was comparing similar latitudes so avoided the polar amplification issue. The regional changes are tropospheric aerosols. If they were stratospheric the changes would be global since they stay in the atmosphere for much longer periods of time. The aerosols showing up in these measurements are primarily changes in dust and industrial in origin. I have heard that my eyeball was not the best measuring device that science had to offer but it is difficult to find papers out there comparing changes in regional aerosols to changes in regional temperatures. I would think it would be high on the priority list of things to measure. If I were interested in being a published scientist I would do one myself (hint to those that are).

  41. Italian flag analysis. Wish I had run across it sooner. Would have been part of newest book. Is a marvelous way of parsing information. Thank you, Dr. Curry.

  42. Judith Curry

    In the “red” column, I would have added “increased Antarctic sea ice extent since the record started in 1979″

    Maybe a minor point, but since “Arctic sea ice decline” is mentioned in the “green” column, it would make sense to add this IMO.

    Also, since rising sea levels “since 1961″ are listed in the “green”column, one could logically put “rising sea levels prior to 1961″ in the “red” column (or leave sea level out entirely in both columns).

    And, finally, there is the problem logically of two statistically indistinguishable warming periods (roughly 1910-1940 and 1970-2000), where the latter period is attributed to a large extent to AGW (because the models cannot “explain” it any other way) while the former cannot be explained by the models.

    I would just list this (in the “red” column) as “statistically indistinguishable early and late 20th century warming despite dramatically different GH forcing.”

    I also see how someone like Jim Cripwell or Willis Eschenbach might take offense with the use of the word “evidence”, which indicates almost the same as “proof” for many people (and certainly none of the items provide specific empirical “evidence” for “AGW”, only for “GW”).

    Perhaps a better word would be “indication” or “suggestion”.

    These are just my thoughts.

    Max

    • Max I did look at this, but not much of a trend in the Antarctic (albeit the trend is positive)

      • Judith

        No question that the trend is much smaller in the Antarctic than in the Arctic, but it is there and is counter-intuitive to CAGW.

        Max

        JC: agreed

      • Manacker, the north Atlantic is under a plume of hot air arising from the heat islands on each side. It would be surprising if the surface waters of the North Atlantic were not a bit warmer as a result. By comparison the Antarctic is pristine.

      • Alexander Biggs

        So the land warms the oceans? Who knew?

      • David L. Hagen

        Max & curryja
        Antarctic + 1%/decade, with record high in Sept 2012 for satellite era.

        the Antarctic was reaching record high levels in the satellite record, culminating in a winter maximum extent of 19.44 million square kilometers (7.51 million square miles) on September 26. . . .
        The September extent trend for 1979 to 2012 is just above the statistical significance level (0.9% per decade, plus or minus 0.6%)

        Poles apart: A record-breaking summer and winter

        One estmate of Mass Change
        West Antarctica -169 Gt/year +/- 46
        East Antarctica + 69 Gt/year +/- 13
        Continental mass change from GRACE over 2002–2011and its impact on sea level

      • Steven Mosher

        Yes.
        in a warming world it is possible for the arctic ice to shrink while the antarctic ice grows. we know it is possible because it is actual.
        the fact that ice can grow in one region while it shrinks in another says nothing about the cause of warming

      • Steven Mosher

        You write:

        the fact that ice can grow in one region while it shrinks in another says nothing about the cause of warming

        Neither do any of the points Judith listed in the “green” column, as she wrote – they all “say nothing about the cause of warming”. Right?

        They are simply indicative of “GW”.

        And, if Arctic sea ice decline is “indicative” of “GW”, and belongs in the “green” column, then it follows logically that Antarctic sea ice increase is “counterindicative” of “GW”, so would belong in the “red” column.

        Max.

      • David L. Hagen

        It appears you are mixing up two separate things: Arctic sea ice extent (floating on water) and Arctic Ice Sheet mass (over land).

        Changes of the former contribute nothing to SL rise, while changes in the latter would do so.

        NSIDC data show that the Antarctic sea ice has grown since 1979.

        The only comprehensive study of the Antarctic Ice Sheet mass was a 10+ year study based on continuous 24/365 satellite measurements over the period 1993 to 2003, covering 80% of the AIS with estimates from other methods for the remaining 20%, which cannot be measured by satellites (coastal areas and polar regions).

        This study showed a slight net gain in AIS mass. [Curiously, IPCC ignored this study and reported a slight loss of mass in AR4 for exactly the same time period.]

        More recently the GRACE measurements show a receding trend, but the time period is short and there are still serious questions regarding the reliability of this method.

        So I’d say the Antarctic is not a continent where there is physical evidence that GW is occurring (let alone AGW).

        Max

      • David L. Hagen

        manacker
        Re: “a 10+ year study”
        Any references/links to that?

        Re: “It appears you are mixing up two separate things”
        Curious interpretation. I summarized the data with links relevant to your post. There are numerous possible causes for each of the north and south pole phenomena. e.g. storms, salinity, temperature, clouds, causing declines in the Arctic or the West Antarctic. Changes in precipitation, wind patterns, temperature, clouds, black carbon, etc in the “east arctic”. Then what causes those?

        Re: “physical evidence that GW is occurring”
        What if increased temperature causes increased humidity and/or wind, and increased precipitation?
        Until we can sort out the causes and intermediate effects, I’m not clear which of red, or green categories I would put the evidence, besides increasing the white – uncertainties as further examples of unpredicted events.

        Keep probing

  43. Judith Curry

    Could another bullet in the “red column” be:

    – Increased urbanization and land use changes since WWII as a possible partial cause of warming of global surface temperature over land.

    Max

  44. “Failure of climate models to provide a consistent and convincing attribution argument for the warming from 1910-1940 and the plateau from the 1940′s to the 1970′s”

    This was the greatest failure of all because it meant that the structures of models from the beginning were wrong. That slug of heat between 1910 and 1940 has been with us ever since, working its slow way through the oceans, unaccounted for by the modellers who have been desperately trying to make up for their omission by postulating natural forcing. Not just the ‘plateau’ but the sharp fall in tempersture after 1940 was not replicated by the modellers. They never had to ask themselves: how could the temperature fall so rapidly in the face of rapidly rising CO2?. Classical Boltzmann ‘black-body’ theory failed, so some new explanation was needed. Could it be something special about the CO2 molecule that had not been encoutered before, like internal vibration? If so we had better call in quantum thermodynamics.

    • Intuitively I consider that the dichotomy between classical physics (for macro events) and quantum phsics (for sub-atomic particle events) is false.

      I have read some of Mary Selvam’s work and consider that climate science should be taking more notice of them.

    • “Classical Boltzmann ‘black-body’ theory failed”

      Could be something to do with the Earth not being a black body.

  45. I don’t think anyone knows what our normal interglacial “average temperature is, though it’s often assumed we do know it. The hockey stick graph indicates we something like 1.5 C above normal temperatures.
    And hockey stick graph isn’t valid, IMO.
    One could look and the entire Holocene, and note the Holocene climatic optimum was significant amount time “9,000 to 5,000 years B.P” and due to it occupying a huge chunk of Holocene that it represents the “normal” temperature. Two problems with that, seem to me that there could some relationship climbing out of very much cooler glacial period and some sort natural variability somehow peaking the temperature. And from this time we have slight and steady decline in global average temperature.
    So the Holocene climatic optimum seems higher than “normal” for the interglacial period.
    Like I said, I don’t think anyone knows what our normal interglacial “average temperature is. Or no clear baseline to say something like the added CO2 from human activity has increased the normal global temperature, by xx.xx C.

    My question is, assume we knew the normal global temperature and assume we know how much say global CO2 level 600 ppm of CO2 would add to this normal global temperature, therefore could fill in the xx.xx C.
    Let’s say it’s some high number like 18 C. So global average temperature reaches 18 C. Is it harder or easier [less likely or more likely] for temperature to increase by, say .5 C. Or does it reach a plateau. Or is it more likely one get steep cooling once you reach “normal temperature”.

    Say you have volcanic event, [normal is 18 C] and it’s 15 C, does same volcanic same erupt have same effect upon temperatures at 15 C as it would at 18 C? Or if lowers it by say . 2 C when at 15 C, how much does it lower it when at 18 C?

  46. The new study of 91 Northern Hemisphere proxies by Christiansen and Ljungqvist, which backs up Loehle’s study, is indication that the MWP was as warm or warmer with significantly lower levels of CO2, than the current warming period, and would appear counter intuitive of the AGW claims. Does get a guernsy under the Italian flag?

  47. Wagathon, do not worry that a warmer climate may lead peat enthused Scots to grape growing, replacing whisky with wine. Scots are well able te whistle Dixie while standing on their heads.

  48. Should have said ‘still’ able }

    …Behind the hill there’s a busy little still
    Where yore pappy’s workin’ in the moonlight…

  49. Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations.

    Let us see whether the above statement is supported by the data.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1884/to:2005/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1911/to:1942/compress:12/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1911/to:1942/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1974/to:2005/compress:12/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1974/to:2005/trend

    Least Squares Trend (LST) for the long-term warming 1884-2005 => 0.06 deg C per decade

    LST for the warming phase 1911-1942 => 0.16 deg C per decade
    From the above result, the warming due to the mulitdecadal oscillation is 0.16 – 0.06 = 0.1 deg C per decade.

    LST for the warming phase 1974-2005 => 0.19 deg C per decade

    Secular warming trend for 1974-2005 = 0.19 – 0.1=0.09 deg C per decade
    IPCC’s Climate Sensitivity = 3

    IPCC’s warming trend = 0.2 deg C per decade
    Actual long-term warming trend = 0.06 deg C per decade
    Actual climate sensitivity = 3 * 0.06/0.2 = 0.9 deg C for doubling of CO2.

  50. “this statement infers”

    Surely you mean “implies”!

    “that the anthropogenic forcing of the climate has stopped;”

  51. Shouldn’t the evidence against include (a) the missing upper troposphere hot spot, and (b) the lack of evidence for the predicted increase in severe weather?

  52. Here’s an interesting article about moving on from trying to cut CO2 to creating successful adaptaion programs:

    http://phys.org/news/2012-10-late-global-emissions-scientists-policies.html

    But, with the help of the Rose article and others like it, the public and policymaker perception will increasingly be, “What’s the point, there ain’t no stinkin’ warming!’, then such thoughful articles like this one will go increasingly into the dustbin. Until of course, the other shoe drops, and the combination of natural variability and anthropogenic warming, will lead to a decade or two of .3 or .4C rise in temperatures, and we’ll realize how foolish we were to have wasted all this time, and how extra foolish (some of us) were to have allowed articles like Rose’s to go unchallenged…

    • Adaption will likely be more effective than attempting to radically change CO2 emissions anyway. That has been one of the more curiously controversial issues. In addition to the conservation farming practices that emphasis soil CO2 restoration, the ~12 million kilometers squared of land that have been severely degraded tend to have greater than 2C degrees higher soil temperatures, deserts tend to get hot.

      BTW, Judith’s pointing out the obvious will likely have little impact on climate science.

    • Latimer Alder

      Might have helped if the assembled masses of climatologists and activists hadn’t spent the last twenty years aggressively gainsaying anybody who didn’t agree that dramatic immediate emissions cuts were the only way to ‘Save the Planet’ and that adaptation was no answer.

      And there’s no point in castigating Rose for reporting on the fact that Mother Gaia is refusing to play ball with alarmist predictions. Don’t shoot the messenger.

      If and when the ‘stinking warming’ does return, we’ll still have plenty of time to react. There is not now, and never was, any need to panic.

      ‘The Boy who Cried Wolf’ has a lot still to tell you guys,

  53. Judith,

    This posting is yet another example of how you say one thing in scientific papers and another on this blog.

    You are, or were, a member of the BEST team. Has the team uncovered any evidence of a “pause” in global warming? Have you distanced yourself (or suggested corrections) from graphs like these which show no evidence of any pause?

    • David Springer

      That’s land surface, sweety. Try global instead.

    • Mr Springer,

      Correct me if I’m wrong but don’t most of us live on land and isn’t on land where most of the weather stations are situated? And if there were a general pause in global warming wouldn’t it show up in the land record too?

      • Tempterrain (Peter Martin),

        Peter, you might be interested in this article from the respected American Meteorological Society; in particular their Fig 1 comparing your favourite Hadcrut3 global compared with their land-only data. If you look carefully, see that there is general conformity between global and land from about 1850 until around the start of the recent warming period at say 1975 or 1980:

        http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/2010BAMS3030.1

        I realize that you have considerable difficulty in understanding graphs and other data, and I’m not going to help you with any hints, but could you please entertain us with your wisdom on this divergence please?

      • Steve Milesworthy

        Bob Fernley-Jones (Robert Fernley-Jones :) )

        From the 1995 IPCC Summary report:

        2.10
        All model simulations, whether they were forced with
        increased concentrations of greenhouse gases and aerosols or with
        increased concentrations of greenhouse gases alone, show the follow-
        ing features: greater surface warming of the land than of the sea in
        winter; a maximum surface warming in high northern
        latitudes in winter…All these changes
        are associated with identifiable physical mechanisms.

        I guess you’d have to dig into the full report for the “identifiable physical mechanisms”, but it seems it was not unexpected.

        Why is it relevant? The relevant point would seem that it is perhaps easy to root around for a metric that shows something that superficially contrasts AGW theory. But if most metrics do not contrast the theory, one questions the reason why there is a contrast in the chosen (cherry-picked?) one. Showing that the plateau is an ocean phenomenon directs one to the longer term ocean cycles such as ENSO which undermines the “global warming has stopped” impression.

        However, even looking at the ocean data, we can see that the long term trend has *increased* since 1997 as with the global and land trend.

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadsst2gl/from:1960/mean:12/plot/hadsst2gl/from:1965/to:1997/trend/plot/hadsst2gl/from:1965/trend

      • Latimer Alder

        @steve milesworthy

        A decent robust theory has to explain ALL the observed phenomena. Not just a subset. If it can only do the latter then it too is only at best a subset and may be completely wrong.

        Getting only 80% agreement with reality might lead you roughly in the right direction. But in what purports to be a serious science you can’t dismiss the other 20% as ‘cherry-picked’ or whatever vacuous term of abuse is ‘insult du jour’ at Climatologues Central this week. You guys should be studying the 20% not shooting its messenger.

        Learn from the master

      • Steve Milesworthy

        A decent robust theory has to explain ALL the observed phenomena.

        So that would reject general relativity, quantum mechanics, genetics, etc. etc.

        There is plenty of research into “the other 20%”. But the other 20% does not *disprove* the theory, and that is what is relevant.

        The other 80% though does disprove the theory that the earth is not warming, that moonbeams are a stronger influence on climate than CO2 etc. etc.

      • Bob_FJ,

        You’ve commented on the ” general conformity between global and land from about 1850 until around the start of the recent warming period at say 1975 or 1980″.

        In other words when there has been a relatively slow warming the global temperature, which is dominated by sea temperatures, has kept pace with the land temperature, but when the warming has been more rapid, the sea temperature has lagged.

        Isn’t this what you’d expect? Go down to your local swimming pool at this time of year and even though the air temperature will be warm the water will likely be quite cold. If you go again at Christmas time the difference will be much less.

      • Tempterrain (Peter Martin),

        Gosh Peter, for a moment there I thought you may have comprehended the graph in the cited AMS article, Fig 1: http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/2010BAMS3030.1

        But no, or at least you contradict both their evidence and yourself. For instance, you claimed that: when the warming has been more rapid, the sea temperature has lagged.
        However, and since graphs are demonstrably not your strong point let me indicate a few things to assist in your deeper cogitations:

        • The warming rate between ~1910 to ~1940 according to this graph and others is very similar to the recent warming, and yet there was no divergence back then as you claim should be the case.
        • You are possibly aware that the land surface temperatures are not actually of the land, but the near surface air temperatures, and I seem to recall that in the past you believed that they are strongly influenced by atmospheric CO2 levels which you claimed are evenly mixed globally including at ~3,000 metres altitude at Moana Loa. (?) (and over the oceans)
        • Population growth on land with increased urbanisation?
        • It’s a pity the AMS graph ends in 2009 and not 2012, what?

        I’ll stop there and see if you can enlighten us with some more of your wisdom

      • Steve Milesworthy

        Bob,

        That is a bit of a weak argument when people do not think there is such a parallel between the 1910-1940 period and the recent period.

        There is however some evidence for a lag:

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/crutem4vgl/from:1900/to:1945/mean:12/plot/hadsst2gl/from:1900/to:1945/mean:12

        One of the answers may be in the IPCC snippet I included. The snippet talks clearly about models forced by radiative effects. If part of the 1910-40 warming was, say, the atmosphere being warmed by the ocean (because, say, the ocean had not yet cooled down since the warmer period prior to 1900) then one wouldn’t expect to see a lag.

      • Steve Milesworthy,

        Steven, I had difficulty understanding your two comments above, but let me cherry-pick your following great wisdom:

        The other 80% [in mainstream climate science] though does disprove the theory that the earth is not warming, that moonbeams are a stronger influence on climate than CO2 etc. etc.

        I’m actually unaware of any empirical evidence that illustrates that the observed warming is caused other than a little by us evil mankind. Could you please furnish some detail to support your claim. (other than computer modelling employing intuitive input assumptions by the modellers)

      • Updating my comment to Steven M above, I was unaware of his third obfuscation, which crossed mine. Yawn.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        Bob, I don’t know what you get out of being sarcastic and patronising to people. You raised an interesting question which has a good answer (I think). If you have a rebuttal please offer it without being without being obnoxious and we might get somewhere.

    • Yes, while the oceans surfaces are apparently in a “cool phase”, the land is in a warming phase of roughly 0.3 C per decade. How do the proponents of the pause explain this part? Can the land continue to warm by itself when the ocean around it is cooling? Maybe there is a mechanism they have for that to happen, or maybe it is just GHG forcing making itself obvious.

      • Land will follow. Where I live, winters have been cooling for at least a decade.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Warming is overwhelmingly from cloud cover changes. Get used to it space cadet. What goes up comes down.

      • “Warming is overwhelmingly from cloud cover changes. Get used to it space cadet. “

        Spontaneous cloud cover changes?

        The issue that we are dealing with is classifying a real signal.

        Is the observable a fraction of a degree fluctuation on top of a 300 K baseline, or what we would ordinarily refer to as internal noise?

        Or is what we observe the result of an external forcing function that will raise the steady state level (i.e. a real external energy difference) beyond one degree?

        Consider the Ornstein-Uhlenbeck process. The earth’s climate in the last several hundred thousand years has always been best described as a long-term random walk with reversion-to-the-mean characteristics. Now, over the last 100 years give or take, thanks to GHG emissions and perhaps other human-caused side-effects, we have a strong external forcing function that is pushing the mean to a new level. The climate will noisily respond just as it has in the past, by fluctuating in value as it tries to adjust to the new mean set by the current forcing function.

        Just as with any kind of noise, a wide enough temporal filter (15+ years) is needed to detect the signal.

        On the other hand, here you have civil engineers such as Chief Hydrologist spouting off who know very little about signal processing of noisy data and the origin of the aleatory uncertainty. They just make assertions that the earth will cool for a decade or three, as if they know.

        And then you have blank slates such as Edim who provide anecdotal data of recent warm winters in their neighborhood as proof of a coming trend.

      • And then we have sunspots, going out of the visible spectrum.
        ==============

      • Chief Hydrologist

        More like secular cloud changes webby. Just my field as a hydrologist and environmental scientist. As opposed to an electrician who simply makes assertions about ‘signal processing’ based on no data at all.

        http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/figure-3-23.html

        In summary, although there is independent evidence for decadal changes in TOA radiative fluxes over the last two decades, the evidence is equivocal. Changes in the planetary and tropical TOA radiative fluxes are consistent with independent global ocean heat-storage data, and are expected to be dominated by changes in cloud radiative forcing. To the extent that they are real, they may simply reflect natural low-frequency variability of the climate system.’ IPCC 3.4.4.1

        We are in a cool phase for a decade or three more. http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=8703

        ‘This paper provides an update to an earlier work that showed specific changes in the aggregate time evolution of major Northern Hemispheric atmospheric and oceanic modes of variability serve as a harbinger of climate shifts. Specifically, when the major modes of Northern Hemisphere climate variability are synchronized, or resonate, and the coupling between those modes simultaneously increases, the climate system appears to be thrown into a new state, marked by a break in the global mean temperature trend and in the character of El Nino/
        Southern Oscillation variability. Here, a new and improved means to quantify the coupling between climate modes confirms that another synchronization of these modes. This suggests that a break in the global mean temperaturetrend from the consistent warming over the 1976/77–2001/02 period may have occurred’ Swanson and Tsonis 2009

        Simple hey? :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool:

        Try reading little more webster.

      • ” kim | October 18, 2012 at 9:55 am |

        And then we have sunspots, going out of the visible spectrum.”

        There goes that little Einstein by the name of Kim, who can’t figure out that the sun goes through the same reversion-to-the-mean fluctuations as the earth. If the sunspots were to ever go through real extremum, I doubt there would be anyone left here to talk about it.

        Chiefy and company are so very entranced by energy spikes spontaneously coming from nothing, whereas those of us that live in the real world no better.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The tedious little attack smurf – can’t even understand the quote from the IPCC or accept that we have moved on from doubting low frequency climate variation – if we ever did.

        The most accurate CERES/MODIS data we have.

        The simple global energy equation – (1-α) H/4 = σT^4 – where α is the albedo.

        Is there any reason I should bother any more with a dimwitted troll who can’t read a simple graph?

      • WHT describes Earth climate (and the Sun) as being best approximated as a random walk with a reversion to mean characterisics over the long term.

        This assumes that these systems are stochastically amenable for prediction purposes, but only for much longer periods than that under discussion in this thread.

        Edim was referring to cooler winters being experienced but the point is still valid: personal experience is anecdotal at best and not suitable evidence for warming or cooling.

        The problem with the current AGW hypothesis is that people cannot relate to any alarmist predictions simple because they are not seeing or feeling any different. That seems a bit like the frog in the cook pot that is gradually warming.

      • Oh, sure, WHT, sunspots have left the visible spectrum before. It got cold then, too. The isotope trail is too thin and the vulcan forces have dissipated. So, you puts down your money and you takes your chances.
        ==============

      • CH, so your cloud cover changes favor the land. Mechanism please? There is a positive feedback whereby relatively cooler oceans lower relative humidity and cloud cover which increases warming over the land. Is that what you mean? So, yes, maybe cloud cover changes contribute, but are a response not spontaneous.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Jim,

        I am not really sure what you are on about. First of all I said nothing about nothing. Just the facts. What I showed was a global comparison – clouds and SW reflection are related as one would expect.

        If you have a good look at the graph – it is probably closer to the case that low sea surface temperatures result in lower atmospheric temperature and more cloud condenstation. But the story is a lot more complex – involving both wind speeed and atmospheric humidity. You shouldn’t expect clouds to stay still.

        Clouds change naturally as conditions in the oceans and atmiosphere vary – why would one expect anything different?

      • Chiefy links to a plot that is completely obscured in noisy fluctuations, and then complains that “electricians” have no business discussing this topic.

        You, oh Great Chief, are probably completely clueless as to the amount of epistemic versus aleatory uncertainty in that trace. And beyond that, what it even means. As Mosher has so keenly observed, many of the radiative measurements have an implicit assumption of the same GHG principles that skeptics try to deny.

        Really, what the Chief does with his relentless word salad is known in other circles as the Gish Gallop.

        http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Gish_Gallop

        It is all so fascinating to watch how these Gallopers such as Chief and Springer try to drown out the discussion with their own brand of unrelenting noise.

      • OK, consider that you were looking down from space onto a large ancient lava field.

        Your eye would perceive blackness because the lava field is absorbing all the visible light and is only radiating infrared, which the eye can’t pick up. Certainly, when a large bank of clouds comes along and obscures the lava field, our eye picks up white, because that is the visible light that is being reflected.

        Why Chief has to show noisy plots that essentially demonstrate the same kind of obviousness is beyond me. Is the plot of cloud cover measured by an instrument other than a proxy of the same detected back-scattered light that is shown in the other plot?
        Err, it’s probably the same one, knucklehead. See Mosh’s arguments on how skeptics misapply the same radiative properties that they are trying to disprove .

        So the issue boils down to extracting the trends out of the noise. And that requires characterizing that noise. (As a rhetorical aside, I wonder if there is anyone else commenting here that has taken graduate level courses devoted entirely to the study of noise? )

        So be warned that the proxy measurements that the Chief and others relentlessly push are demonstrating nothing more than FUD. The genius in the FUD is in how Chief can show how 1=1 by blindlessly crowing about some uncited nosiy plot that he copied and placed on a PhotoBucket site.

      • “kim | October 18, 2012 at 10:11 pm |

        Oh, sure, WHT, sunspots have left the visible spectrum before. It got cold then, too. The isotope trail is too thin and the vulcan forces have dissipated. So, you puts down your money and you takes your chances.
        ==============”

        No, the correct answer is that the sun’s sunspot fluctuations comprise less than 1 part in 1000 of the sun’s total output.

        Sure, these solar variations can work as a fluctuating forcing function which can modify the earth’s climate, but this is but just one of the many small reversion-to-the-mean perturbations that we deal with.

        The question is whether the earth’s natural variability is on the same order of this 1 out of 1000 fraction that the sun operates on. No doubt the earth’s natural fluctuations are real; but when a real forcing function comes along, like the release of tremendous amounts of GHG stored up over hundred’s of thousands of years in a relatively short time, will that overcome the natural variation?

        That is the issue we are dealing with, and tiresome quips don’t cut it.

      • Webster said, ” but this is but just one of the many small reversion-to-the-mean perturbations that we deal with.”

        But reversion to what mean? 5 year, 30 year, 60 year, 120 year, 1500 year?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The stupid attack smurf Webhubcolonoscope could quite easily find out about CERES and MODIS – but instead choose to waffle on.

        http://modis.gsfc.nasa.gov/about/

        http://ceres.larc.nasa.gov/index.php

        Defining climate signals as measured from space is dimwitted.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        …defining climate energy signals measured from space along with cloud cover as noise is dimwitted… par for the course for webby the electrician. Proxies? The guy is a total moron.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Looking down from space and dark absorbs light and white reflects. Duh.

      • Chief is the guy that thought the majority of climate warming is due to the actual heat produced by the burning of fossil fuels. With Google indexing back in place, I can dig this stuff at any time and parade it around to show that he lacks any fundamental understanding of the most basic quantitative physics.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        You are a nutty little attack smurf with no redeeming features at all – the intellect of a gnome and no particular charm.

        This must be exception – that satellites that measure SW radiative flux at TOA can tell the difference between clouds and dark earth – in which you are tight but trivial. You are usually worng and trivial.

        I am still right about energy imbalances – but I won’t trouble you with difficult details. The essential idea with carbon dioxide molecules is that they are definitely as hot as they are ever going to get when emitted in smokestacks and tailpipes – bar being reinterned and then mined and burnt again in some distant future. That should be simple enough for you. Burny – hot. Moron.

      • Chief is evaluated by what he says, and there is a record that he can’t walk away from.

        “Chief Hydrologist | June 8, 2012 at 7:09 am |
        It is of course a calculated value with no physical meaning – an index only. With additional CO2 in the atmosphere the troposheric temperature increases and I have been wondering for some time why there should be a ‘lag’ in warming as these molecules are emitted at hundreds to thousands of degrees. Do these molecules cool down – transfer energy to cooler oxygen and nitrogen molecules – and then absorb photons to complete the average warming of the atmosphere? Regardless – once the atmosphere warms sufficiently there is of course no flux imbalance at TOA from this source. “

        and this is not an isolated incident, consider that before this Chief wrote::

        “Chief Hydrologist | September 10, 2011 at 3:28 am |
        Extra CO2 is added to the environment making the atmosphere more opaque to IR. This simply means that there are more molecules to absorb and re-emit IR. The gases from fossil fuels are hotter – but the whole atmosphere warms because of the increased absorption/emission in the atmosphere. I am not sure if I am right about this. The flame temperature is about 2000 degrees C for coal. The atmospheric temperature increase for the atmosphere as a whole is a fraction of a degree. Simple mass balance suggests that there Is no point when the atmosphere is cooler and then warms to a new equilibria?”

        In this case, Chief doesn’t have the ability to calculate that the initial combustion of fossil fuels is a small fraction of the warming and which can only effect the thermal balance transiently. If one read what Chief says, you really have to doubt his intuitive grasp of physics. He mostly copies & pastes from other scientists writings, and he selectively chooses only those scientists who have a viewpoint that advances some specific agenda. We have no other choice but to dismiss Chief’s viewpoint, as we are left with his record as the only evidence to evaluate whether he is worth his salt discussing anything technical.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        webster – if I were incorrect I would admit it . A radiative imbalance exists only so long as it takes for the balance to be restored at a higher temperature.

        This is far different to the repetitive idiocy that characterises your comments.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        And as for quoting science? Reading widely is not to be frowned upon – making it up as you go along is.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘In the easiest case, we’ll consider what happens when you only increase some forcing (say double CO2) and allow the outgoing radiation to increase (according to the Stefan-Boltzmann law) to re-establish a new radiative equilibrium. Here, nothing else changes with the climate state (no cloud cover changes, no ice melts, etc) except for our forcing. This is the so-called Planck response. In a simple way, we can assume that the surface and emission temperature are linearly related, in which case the Planck-only feedback response can be computed as the inverse of the derivative of Stefan-Boltzmann with respect to temperature…’ Chris Colose

        SB is not strictly applicable. Nonetheless – the ‘imbalance’ – such as it is – is at most transitory as these molecules cool after emission. The attack smurf has a limited understanding – doesn’t read or reference – and lauds his intuitive understanding of atmospheric physics. The guy is a total moron.

      • Hint: You can’t make much headway if you don’ t accept what established science says. Crackpots have a common style in that they create their own universe, often disconnected from math and instead totally reliant on ornate rhetorical arguments.

        You can watch this played out by the two Captains Courageous on this blog commenting area, along with the 40+ other wackos that contribute here.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The order of the day is distracting from the stupid comments made just above on noisy ‘proxies’ for cloud and radiative flux at TOA.

        The idea of radiative imbalance is that as greenhouse gases are dded to the atmosphere an imbalance in energy flux at TOA is created resulting in warming of the gas – at which point the conditional balance is restored.

        But wait a second. These gases are emitted at a flame temperature of hundreds to thousands of degrees. Does this mean that the gases cool down and then warm again? Of course not. They cool to form the new local thermodynamic equilibrium at the new higher temperature. This is standard physics about which the webster seems to have very little understanding but much aggressively misguided opinion.
        It is a minor point of mere interest concerning the intitial condition of gases emitted to the atmosphere.

        The discoursive standard of this stupid little attack troll leaves much to be desired. To make an idiotic song and dance about a minor point of speculative interest that he doesn’t understand is par for the course for this particular space cadet. Mind you – he is usually spectacularly wrong about just about everything.

        Except for cloud and dark earth reflecting light differently – but that is so spectacularly trivial as to belie belief. Yes that is the point of measuring it – it changes from season to season, year to year and decade to decade and drives the energy balance of the planet in fundamental ways. The guy is a moron in a dozen different ways and a dozen and 1 on Sundays. His mouth is engaged but his brain seems in an alternate reality.

      • “Can the land continue to warm by itself when the ocean around it is cooling? ”

        http://redneckphysics.blogspot.com/2012/10/10-raised-to-22nd-is-big-number.html

        That has the amount of land and water per 5 degree latitude band with a rough estimate of the surface ocean heat capacity. Once I do some double checking, you should be able to “see” how the slow and relatively small changes in SST are amplified by the lower capacity land masses and the atmospheric effect, to produce larger temperature swings with the same energy. Making a statement like that without actually “looking” at the oceans around the lands that are warming, is not particularly impressive.

      • So, the land warming has shot ahead of the oceans, and you think this will reverse when it has been steadily doing this for 30 years already? How does the land sustain this warming internally? Might it be external? Just putting it out there to contemplate.

      • JimD, “So, the land warming has shot ahead of the oceans, and you think this will reverse when it has been steadily doing this for 30 years already?” Yes, the question should be how much will it reverse.

        The lead/lag between land and oceans is not that hard to explain. When a land mass initially is warmed, in has more moisture and gradually losses that moisture over time. The initial heat capacity fo the land mass would be between 2 an 4 kJ per kg, as the moisture evaporates, soil degrades etc., the heat capacity would drop to the 0.8 to 1.2 range. So you start with an amplification of the warming of about 2 and end with an amplification of about 3 to 5.

        So the water vapor feedback is as much or more dependent of the available moisture of the land mass being warmed or cooled. Then we discussed this before with the soil moisture/temperature changes cause by agriculture.

        Remember, a desert is generally hotter than a lush pasture even though the desert has a higher albedo. You have to consider heat capacity.

      • JimD, Here is a Handy Dandy Thermal Capacity Gain cheat sheet for your BS detector.

        That is the ideal gain, changes in soil moisture, ground cover, snow and ice have impacts of course. Once Dr. Curry does the Stadium Wave post, you can be prepared to show the class how thermal capacity differences amplify the waves.

        You could be the next Bill Nye the Science guy :)

    • tempterrain

      BEST shows temperature over land only (around 1/3 of globe).

      Global measurements agree that there is a “pause” since 2001.

      Let’s not confuse BEST temperature over land with the “globally and annually averaged land and sea surface (or tropospheric) temperature” measured by the 4 or 5 main indicators: HadCRUT3, GISS, UAH and RSS (plus HadCRUT4 most recently). These show a slight net cooling (i.e. a “pause” in the warming) since 1/1/2001.

      The “pause” is there, TT.

      Don’t be a “climate denialist” and “deny” it. Get used to it.

      It probably won’t last more than a few more years or decades.

      In the meantime we have lots of breathing space before we need to rush off in panic to try in vain to mitigate our planet’s climate.

      Max

    • Temp.

      The final touches are being put on several things
      1. A couple of short memos on extreme events.
      2. a couple of memos on methods ( very relevant to this issue )
      3. a update to the software and data so that monthly updates happen automagically
      4. Err.. gridded data ( which I promised to check ..opps need to get busy)
      5. Ocean data.

      So, item number 2 on methods is going to show people why CRU’s method is the worst method you could use to estimate a global average. You get bigger biases and in some cases more data makes your answer more biased. Odd but true and provable. That is to say, the IPCC and the climate science community persist in using a method that has never been been tested and when tested doesnt really do a great job.

  54. JC

    Further, all datasets except for surface temperature decay in quality substantially prior to 1980, making it difficult to interpret the natural background variability.

    JC, I think you mean “1880”.

  55. Given that we are in the cool phase of the PDO and a strong El Nino is unlikely for the next decade, the plateau may continue for at least another decade.

    Amen.

  56. JC

    What is your opinion on IPCC’s claim that the secular GMST trend has shifted from the long-term warming trend of 0.06 to 0.2 deg C per decade?

    I feel this is the main question that must be answered.

    Has the long-term trend shifted?

    Or is the recent warming trend of 0.2 deg C per decade for the period 1970-2000 is just the warming phase of the multidecadal oscillation similar to that for the period 1910-1940?

  57. In the absence of that, we get the inflammatory “Global warming stopped 16 years ago.“

    Inflammatory … to whom? The question remains whether any “inflamed” response is reasonable or justified. Or is it merely upsetting to them that their claims appear to have been demonstrated by events to be wrong?

    • John Kannarr

      You ask (of the “inflammatory” statement “Global warming stopped 16 years ago.“

      Inflammatory … to whom?

      Let’s forget for a moment that CAGW (as promoted by IPCC) has become a tax-payer funded multi-billion dollar big business with all sorts of actors (corporations, environmental lobby groups, past and present politicians, climatologists, the media, etc.) all lined up at the trough, and look only at the “science”.

      Here there is the problem of the “paradigm” (Kuhn). Partly as a result iof the IPCC “consensus process”, CAGW has become the climatological “paradigm” within which climate science is currently “stuck”.

      It feels good.

      So statements which speak against it are unpleasant – even “inflammatory” to those who are stuck in the “paradigm”.

      The “paradigm” tells us that human GHG emissions are the principal “climate control knob”, by which we humans can control our planet’s climate. If we do not reduce human GHG emissions, our planet will continue to warm in lockstep with the added GHG concentrations, leading to irreversible climate change and a potential threat to humanity and our environment.

      Hundred of studies are published, all in support of the CAGW “paradigm”. The “paradigm” becomes a “dogma” for many.

      Data points or studies, which lie outside the box of this paradigm are blocked from being published, ignored or rapidly “refuted”, in order to defend the “paradigm”.

      Climate science is, unfortunately, in a “paradigm paralysis” (as geology was in the many years before Alfred Wegener’s “continental drift” hypothesis finally broke the old “paradigm”, eventually leading to the current geological “paradigm” of plate tectonics).

      According to Wiki, “one problem [with the acceptance of Wegener’s hypothesis] was that a plausible driving force was missing” .

      There is no doubt in my mind that a “paradigm shift” will occur regarding CAGW, just as it did with “continental drift”.

      Will it come from additional data from the CLOUD experiment at CERN?

      Henrik Svensmark and others have shown a long-term correlation between solar activity and global temperature and have hypothesized that this results from changes in galactic cosmic rays leading to changes in cloud cover.

      The defenders of the CAGW “paradigm” have been quick to respond that there is no plausible mechanism for this hypothesis (as they did in Wegener’s day).

      Yet, first results at CERN do demonstrate the cosmic ray / cloud nucleation mechanism postulated by Svensmark et al.

      Will Svensmark be the “paradigm breaker” of CAGW, as Wegener was for the static continent paradigm?

      Or will it be something totally different (a “black swan” from “left field”)?

      Who knows?

      As Yogi Berra said, “predictions are tough to make – especially about the future”

      (Stay tuned.)

      Max

      • > Here there is the problem of the “paradigm” (Kuhn). Partly as a result iof the IPCC “consensus process”, CAGW has become the climatological “paradigm” within which climate science is currently “stuck”.

        Since CAGW is not scientific, it can’t be a paradigm in Kuhn’s sense:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paradigm

        Since CAGW gets inflated by manacker’s imaginative sloganeering, we should not mind much.

  58. “If the term ‘global warming has stopped’ is inferred to mean that there is no longer evidence of anthropogenic greenhouse warming, then this is not correct.”

    There is never any evidence of anthropogenic greenhouse warming (AGW).

    Regarding the evidence:
    “i) Long term trend of increasing surface temperatures, for at least the past 150 years”

    Don’t just put unknown natural temperature variations as evidence of AGW.

    “ii) Theoretical support for a warming effect as greenhouse gas concentration increases”

    That theoretical support were full of holes.

    “iii) Long term trend of increasing ocean heat content”

    It could be within natural temperature variations or other unknown factors.

    “iv) Decline in Arctic sea ice since 1979, with record minimum in 2012″

    There were always local weather variations driven by the wind and water systems.

    “v) Melting of glaciers and ice sheets”

    Local weather variations driven by the wind and water systems.

    “vi) Sea level rise since 1961″

    Local sea level variations. Isle of Grain at Southern England was marshland in 1930s. Power stations now sit right above it.

    vii) Results from climate model simulations

    GIGO!

  59. Judith

    I dont know which section you should enter it under but should you not record the increasing body of evidence from recent reconstructions that the temperature has been increasing for 350 years or s. It appears that Hadley and Giss are merely recording a staging post of tempeature movement and not its starting post. This then should start an intersting dscussion which seems to me to be lacking as to the causes for this long slow thaw.
    tonyb

  60. Has global warming stopped?

    Uncertainty remains but arguably, the trend of 10 year trends is worth more than 1000 words

    http://tinyurl.com/hadCrut4hadSST2decadal1990on

  61. When I first saw that our hostess had started this thread, I had high hopes that it really went to the heart of the scientific differences between the two sides of the CAGW debate. After seeing what 24 hours or so has produced in the way of discussion, it is obvious that all that has happened is a “dialogue of the deaf”; there has been no real discussion at all, just both sides stating their well known and well established positions. Maybe this sort of blog is simply unsuitable for a proper scientific discussion.

    Pity.

    • It takes time Jim.

    • Jim,
      It’s not the blog. It’s us. (I really mean it’s them, but I’m trying to rise above for the moment :-)

    • Jim Cripwell

      The “Italian flag” concept is a good one to get people to thinking.

      Unfortunately, as a result of the IPCC “consensus process”, AGW (with significant consequences) has become the prevailing climatological “paradigm” – for many even a “dogma” that must be defended at all cost.

      We see it here on this thread.

      Any suggestion that AGW may not be significant (or catastrophic) is quickly rejected by the defenders of the paradigm.

      The “show me” side (rational skeptics of the IPCC “significant AGW paradigm”) insist on empirical evidence to support the paradigm before they will accept it as real.

      The defenders of the paradigm are unable to cite such empirical evidence, because it does not exist.

      Instead they rely on model simulations, which are based on theoretical deliberations and are only as good as the data fed in. For them, this is “empirical data”. (But in fact it isn’t).

      And, instead of addressing the empirical evidence challenge of the skeptics, they get into all sorts of side tracks, such as Arctic sea ice decline, etc. (A good example was willard on the other thread).

      There is no doubt in my mind that a new climate “paradigm” will emerge to replace AGW (and CAGW), which will end up on the ash heap of history.

      But this will take time, plus a major “paradigm shift” – and they do not come easily.

      Max

      So there is no wonder that there is an impasse.

      It all boils down to the point you have made all along: as long as there are no empirical data, which validate the premise that AGW is real and significant (potentially even catastrophic), this premise is uncorroborated and can be rejected.

      You and I (and many other rational skeptics of CAGW) agree to the above statement.

      But the supporters of the “paradigm” do not.

      • Models are based on empirical evidence, you dumb ass.

      • All your model are debase on us.
        =========

      • “Models are based on empirical evidence”

        So are fictionalized history stories. And poker wagering strategies.

        Andrew

      • willard

        Models are based on empirical evidence, you dumb ass.

        Huh?

        What empirical evidence?

        Please try to be specific, willard; otherwise YOU might look like a “dumb ass”.

        Got it?

        Max

      • manacker,

        For what exactly do you thing models are projectors? What do you think are scenarios? You’re sloganeering against something you show no evidence to grasp.

        Here’s a bit where simulations are said to be experiments:

        > Model experiments show that even if all radiative forcing agents were held constant at year 2000 levels, a further warming trend would occur in the next two decades at a rate of about 0.1°C per decade, due mainly to the slow response of the oceans.

        Here’s a quote showing that models help provide estimates:

        > Advances in climate change modelling now enable best estimates and likely assessed uncertainty ranges to be given for projected warming for different emission scenarios.

        http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/spmsspm-projections-of.html

        If you have a problem accepting this into the empirical method, you might have problems accepting the “replication” made in the Wegman report.

      • Bad Andrew,

        Here’s something about models and poker:

        > Poker is an interesting test-bed for artificial intelligence research. It is a game of imperfect knowledge, where multiple competing agents must deal with risk management, agent modeling, unreliable information and deception, much like decision-making applications in the real world. Agent modeling is one of the most difficult problems in decision-making applications and in poker it is essential to achieving high performance. This paper describes and evaluates Loki, a poker program capable of observing its opponents, constructing opponent models and dynamically adapting its play to best exploit patterns in the opponents’ play.

        http://webdocs.cs.ualberta.ca/~darse/Papers/AAAI98.html

      • willard I repeat (in bold this time):

        What empirical evidence?

        [Not model simulations, which are only as good as their input assumptions, but empirical evidence i.e. based on actual physical observations or reproducible experimentation (Feynman)]

        Max

      • The empirical evidence lies in what you call the “input assumptions”, manacker.

        Thick as a brick.

      • You say “So why do many people not believe the Earth’s surface has been warming, and what further evidence or predictions would convince them?” Actually most people are way beyond that question and are focused on the proportionality between AGW and natural variability. Your assertion is out of date

      • Willard

        You do not cite any specific empirical evidence to support your CAGW premise, but instead tell me:

        The empirical evidence lies in what you call the “input assumptions”, manacker.

        Thick as a brick.

        and cite a blog post by Roger Pielke Sr. stating (among other things):

        The fundamental issue, however, in my view, is the relative role of this added CO2 with respect to othe human (and natural) climate forcings. You seem to accept that the radiative effect of the added CO2 will emerge as the dominant climate change forcing, yet other human forcings, such as due to land use/land cover change are emerging as possibly larger effects.

        Hardly “empirical evidence” to support the notion of GAGW.

        Don’t be “thick as a brick”, willard. Try again.

        Remember: empirical scientific evidence (Feynman) (not what someone said on a blog site, and certainly not model simulations, which are only as good as the input assumptions).

        Max

      • Oh, willard always passes the ball perfectly; you’re the brick with all left feet.
        =========

      • Jim Cripwell

        The second point (after the “empirical evidence” requirement) is the question of “falsifiability”:

        See:

        http://fabiusmaximus.com/2012/10/14/climate-global-warming-44028/

        scientific theories must be falsifiable. We should know in advance what data will disprove a model’s forecast. This pause is significant because the major models failed to predict it, and because it’s duration has reached the durations some prominent climate scientists previously said would be significant. With no boundary conditions, or ones that are extended as they’re reached, forecasts of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming become a matter of faith — not science.

        Here willard + co. are also unable to state what it would take to “falsify” CAGW, as the long post exchange with him (and a couple of others) confirmed.

        Max

      • 1. Projections are not forecasts.

        2. Here’s where manacker left the discussion:

        http://judithcurry.com/2012/10/02/rs-workshop-on-handling-uncertainty-in-weather-climate-prediction-part-i/#comment-248950

        3. CAGW is mostly a figment of manacker’s imagination.

        4. Even if we granted that it refers to something, that AGW might lead to dire outcomes for the human race is not a premise, nor a conclusion of a scientific argument, but a pragmatic consequence of inaction.

        5. Let’s recall John Nielsen-Gammon’s examples of testable hypotheses:

        Observation: analyses of global surface temperatures indicate a long-term warming trend.

        Hypothesis: the surface of the Earth is warmer than in the past.

        Testable prediction: phenomena sensitive to Earth’s surface temperature will reflect that increase.

        Results: satellite temperature measurements show similar warming; most glaciers are shrinking; lakes and rivers are freezing later and thawing sooner; oceans are expanding; plant and animal communities are mostly moving poleward.

        Conclusion: the Earth’s surface has been warming.

        So why do many people not believe the Earth’s surface has been warming, and what further evidence or predictions would convince them?

        Observation: Tyndall gas concentrations are increasing in the atmosphere.

        Hypothesis: The rate of increase of such gases is sufficient to cause global temperatures to rise by a couple of degrees by the middle of the next 21st century.

        Testable prediction: A substantial portion of temperature changes so far should be quantitatively attributable to Tyndall gases.

        Results: Spectral radiance emitted to space consistent with Tyndall gas concentrations (confirms ability to calculate radiative forcing); magnitude of Tyndall gas radiative forcing larger than that of all other known forcing agents; observed temperature changes similar in magnitude to those estimated from forcings (confirms ballpark estimates of climate sensitivity); observed pattern of temperature changes match Tyndall gas pattern better than that of all other known forcing agents.

        Conclusion: Anthropogenic global warming is real and significant.

        http://blog.chron.com/climateabyss/2011/08/roger-pielke-jr-s-inkblot/

        Instead of addressing these points, manacker runs with his talking points. Not unlike Judy, but less subtly.

      • willard

        You appear to be demonstrating again why you have become “willard the waffler”.

        Lots of words about the semantics of “forecast” versus “projection”, whether “CAGW” (as it was laid out in previous posts) is really the issue and discussions of “testable hypotheses” (where the “test” is a model simulation), but

        NO empirical evidence to support the premise a) that most of the past warming (since ~1950) has been a result of increased human GHG concentrations and b) that this demonstrates a high climate sensitivity, which leads to the conclusion that c) AGW represents a potential threat to humanity and our environment.

        Nada. Zilch.

        Just waffle words, willard.

        Max

      • Smoke and mirrors. Aerosols and clouds. It’s all about the albedo.
        ==============

      • manacker is yet again thick as a brick.

        He asserts with the lone proof of his own ignorance that:

        > NO empirical evidence to support the premise a) that most of the past warming (since ~1950) has been a result of increased human GHG concentrations and b) that this demonstrates a high climate sensitivity, which leads to the conclusion that c) AGW represents a potential threat to humanity and our environment.

        These are not premises. The first two are conclusions not unlike John Nielsen-Gammon’s:

        http://blog.chron.com/climateabyss/2011/08/roger-pielke-jr-s-inkblot/

        Readers that are not as thick as a brick like manacker that there are empirical evidence for at least (a) and (b) in NG’s post.

        ***

        The semantical problem manacker waives off as unimportant has been underlined by authors Judy cited approvingly:

        > One problem is the tendency for some stakeholders to perceive and treat projections as forecasts. Indeed, it is difficult to communicate exactly what climate projections mean from a decision standpoint— they simulate what might happen under some conditions but do not preclude other outcomes.

        http://judithcurry.com/2012/10/15/alternative-approach-to-assessing-climate-risks/

        Perhaps manacker should submit his grievances to Judy.

        ***

        It would be interesting to know if manacker consider the Principal Components as an empirical technique or mere waffle. For some background:

        http://moyhu.blogspot.ca/2011/06/effect-of-selection-in-wegman-report.html

      • Willard

        Your latest waffle of 220 words again misses the point, getting into a discussion of whether CAGW is a “premise” or “conclusion”, musing about the semantic difference between a “forecast” and a “projection” and citing a post on a Roger Pielke Jr. blogsite about “predictions”, but NOT citing the empirical scientific evidence to support the IPCC premise of CAGW.

        You are, indeed, beginning to look “as thick as a brick”, Willard.

        Max

      • manacker thickens.

        Here’s what we already quoted in this very subthread:

        > Analyses of global surface temperatures indicate a long-term warming trend. Satellite temperature measurements show similar warming; most glaciers are shrinking; lakes and rivers are freezing later and thawing sooner; oceans are expanding; plant and animal communities are mostly moving poleward. Tyndall gas concentrations are increasing in the atmosphere. Spectral radiance emitted to space consistent with Tyndall gas concentrations (confirms ability to calculate radiative forcing); magnitude of Tyndall gas radiative forcing larger than that of all other known forcing agents; observed temperature changes similar in magnitude to those estimated from forcings (confirms ballpark estimates of climate sensitivity); observed pattern of temperature changes match Tyndall gas pattern better than that of all other known forcing agents.

        Perhaps manacker will be so thick as to prove his point by asserting that this is not empirical evidence, or that this is not like Feynman would like, or that his own ignorance is better than any of this.

        We may make manacker feel but we can’t make him think.

      • Willard

        There has not any change in the climate pattern since record begun 162 years ago as shown => http://bit.ly/S0otl3

      • Here we go again, the manacker hypothesis

        Proposal: AGW is Junk science.
        Definitions:

        Empirical evidence: that evidence which does not support global warming.

        also

        True science:that which uses only empirical evidence.

        QED

        Repeat ad nauseum.

        Blinkered (adjective)
        1. Narrow-minded
        unable or unwilling to understand anything outside a very narrow range
        (my emphasis)

      • VeryTall,

        We could call this sloganeering procedure Thick as a Brick algorithm. The specification should be left as an exercise to readers. It’s a simpler algorithm than the Can’t Get No Satisfaction.

        Do you think they are reducible to something even simpler?

      • It may be irreducible.

        However, one can try, and remember that images are more powerful than words.

        The “La la algorithm”

        I see no empirical evidence

        I fear however that the only real way to call it out is to call upon the ghost of Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, and that only requires one word.

        Unfortunately it tends to cause offence

      • Ah, embedded images don’t work.

        The “La la algorithm”

        I see no empirical evidence

        Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

        And on further reflection perhaps best of all,

        Nelson Syndrome

      • VTG, you write “True science:that which uses only empirical evidence. ”

        This is a gross distortion of the position that Max and I espouse. We do not claim that true science uses only empirical evidence. Far form it. What we do claim is that true science has a place for hypotheses, untested theories, flights of fancy of people trying to imagine new and wonderful things, etc. etc. Yes, we need all the strange and weird ideas some scientists think up. These are the things that, in the end, lead us to completley new and wondeful things that science has produced in the past.

        But what we claim emphatically, is that when all the hypotheses have been stated, then we can only know that these hypoteses have a basis in physics if they are supported by the empirical data. Without the support of the empirical data, all hypotheses will always remain just that; unproven hypotheses. And without the empirical data to support it, CAGW is just another unproven hypothesis.

      • Jim

        And without the empirical data to support it, CAGW is just another unproven hypothesis.

        That’s it Jim, you see. I can’t speak for you, but Max claims the evidence is “Nada. Zilch.” – the la la algorithm.

        There is ample evidence. AR4 has nearly 1000 pages of it! You can claim alternative evidence pointing the other way, emphasise the uncertainty of the evidence, but to claim there is “zilch”? That’s Kubler-Ross territory.

      • VTG, you write “That’s it Jim, you see. I can’t speak for you, but Max claims the evidence is “Nada. Zilch.” – the la la algorithm.”

        It is not clear what you are claiming. If you are claiming that Max is stating that there is no empoirical data to support CAGW, then I am in complete agreement with him. I agree zero, nada, zilch; 100%.

        You say there are a 1000 pages of support for CAGW. This is a gross underestimate. There are millions of pages claiming there is support for CAGW. But none of them have any EMPIRICAL data that supports CAGW. Where is there any empirical data that shows that adding CO2 to the atmosphere has had any effect at all on global temperatures, ocean temperatures, ocean heat content, or anything else relating to more heat in the global system? Show me the empirical data that proves that adding CO2 to the atmosphere has any effect on any thing to do with global heat, and I will agree that CAGW is real.

      • Willard

        Again, you miss the point entirely.

        But let me go through your response in detail
        a) Analyses of global surface temperatures indicate a long-term warming trend.
        b) Satellite temperature measurements show similar warming.
        These data provide empirical evidence that it is warming overall and has been at the surface since 1850, in multi-decadal fits and spurts of ~30 years of warming followed by a ~30-year period of slight cooling. However, they provide NO empirical evidence to support IPCC’s CAGW premise.

        c) Most glaciers are shrinking
        d) Lakes and rivers are freezing later and thawing sooner
        These data provide evidence that it is warming overall – see a) and b)
        However, they provide NO empirical evidence to support IPCC’s CAGW premise.

        e) Oceans are expanding [and sea levels are rising]
        Tide gauge records show that sea level has been rising slowly since the 19th century (and even earlier), at a slightly higher rate in the first half of the 20th century (~2.0 mm/year ave.) compared to the second half (~1.4 mm/year). The decadal rate of sea level rise swings up and down significantly, with the highest rate (~5 mm/yr) and the lowest rate (-1 mm/year) and an average of around 1.7 mm/year. These data indicate that the ocean is probably warming along with the atmosphere.
        However, they provide NO empirical evidence to support IPCC’s CAGW premise.

        f) plant and animal communities are mostly moving poleward.
        Huh? I have seen no “plants moving poleward”. Have you? (What were you drinking – or smoking – at the time?). IF “animal communities” are really “moving poleward”, this might be explained by several factors, including – of course – that it is getting warmer (see a) and b) above)
        However, this provides NO empirical evidence to support IPCC’s CAGW premise.

        g) Tyndall gas concentrations are increasing in the atmosphere
        h) Spectral radiance emitted to space consistent with Tyndall gas concentrations (confirms ability to calculate radiative forcing); magnitude of Tyndall gas radiative forcing larger than that of all other known forcing agents
        We know that concentrations of the principal GHG, CO2, have rise,at least since Mauna Loa measurements started in 1959. Prior to that we must rely on ice core data. We are not yet able to physically measure the net forcing impact of increased CO2 concentrations, however, and must rely on model simulations to estimate this. IOW we have no empirical measurement of the magnitude of GHG radiative forcing
        This point is the ONLY one you have raised that even comes close to providing empirical evidence that CO2 is a GHG (which I am not disputing), BUT this provides NO empirical evidence to support IPCC’s CAGW premise.

        So that you understand it well, I will repeat the IPCC claim from AR4 that is known generally as the “CAGW” premise.

        – Human GHG emissions have caused most of global warming since 1950.
        – Models calculate that (2xCO2) climate sensitivity is “high” (3.2°C)
        – As a result, models project that the following changes will result to our climate from AGW:
        1. Temperature increase up to 6.4°C
        2. Extreme high sea levels
        3. Increased heat waves
        4. More heavy precipitation events, floods
        5. Increased droughts
        6. Increased intense tropical cyclone activity
        This will lead (among other things) to:
        7. Crop failures
        8. Disappearing glaciers, which now provide water for millions
        9. Spread of vector borne diseases
        10. Many more deleterious changes to our environment and for our society

        That, Willard is the IPCC “projection” (or prediction) of “CAGW”.

        And you have not been able to cite any empirical evidence to support this premise

        Keep trying.

        Max

        PS Your snide remarks only make you look silly and juvenile, Willard.

      • manacker,

        You really do seem to be asking for empirical evidence about future events.

        Since empirical evidence is something that comes from the sensory experience, please tell me how any human could ever satisfy this demand. I mean, come on, you’re sloganeering about since I don’t know when, at least since the non-stationarity thread at Bart’s:

        http://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2010/03/01/global-average-temperature-increase-giss-hadcru-and-ncdc-compared/#comment-3336

        > The falling of a pebble may, for aught we know, extinguish the sun; or the wish of a man control the planets in their orbits. It is only experience, which teaches us the nature and bounds of cause and effect, and enables us to infer the existence of one object from that of another.

        — David Hume, **Inquiry into Human Understanding**

        http://18th.eserver.org/hume-enquiry.html

        I really don’t mind if you sit this one out.

      • Willard

        OK. So here is part 2

        i) observed temperature changes similar in magnitude to those estimated from forcings (confirms ballpark estimates of climate sensitivity);
        j) observed pattern of temperature changes match Tyndall gas pattern better than that of all other known forcing agents
        The above is completely meaningless if natural factors are unknown (which is the case today, as even Phil Jones has conceded). IPCC itself concedes that its ”level of scientific understanding of natural (solar) forcing is low” and, in a separate paragraph that ”cloud feedbacks remain the largest source of uncertainty”. Any child knows that the sun warms and clouds cool. If you don’t know by how much or why, you don’t know enough to make any sensible attribution estimates. Then there is ENSO, for example, which was the principal cause of the all-time record warm year, 1998, plus other ocean currents, which contribute to natural variability but whose impact and root cause is not known. Finally, climate models have been weak in “projecting” future rates of temperature change as “estimated from forcings”: Hansen’s 1988 projection was off by a factor of 2:1, IPCC’s 0.2°C per warming per decade projected versus 0.06°C cooling per decade observed for the most recent period (the “pause”).
        So this provides NO empirical evidence to support IPCC’s CAGW premise.

        Keep trying.

        Max

      • Willard

        Your latest:

        You really do seem to be asking for empirical evidence about future events.

        Since empirical evidence is something that comes from the sensory experience, please tell me how any human could ever satisfy this demand.

        This sounds like it may just be a waffle to avoid the real topic here, but I’ll assume for now that it was an honest question.

        IPCC has sold a bill of goods to “policymakers” and the general public, which states that most of past warming was caused by human GHGs (AGW) and that this represents a serious potential threat to humanity and our environment unless human GHG emissions (principally CO2) are curtailed dramatically.

        You can call this a model-based “projection”, “prediction”, forecast”, or you can simply say that it is a “premise” or a”hypothesis”. I don’t care what you call it. It is generally known as “CAGW”.

        It is this premise, which is NOT supported by empirical scientific evidence (Feynman).

        You have also been unable (or unwilling) to tell me how it can be falsified (Popper).

        And these are the two key questions I (and others) have asked you.

        They have remained unanswered.

        You have given me a lot of verbiage and most recently a list of items, which I have gone through point by point to demonstrate to you that you have provided no empirical evidence to support the IPCC CAGW claim (as I outlined it for you, based on the AR4 report).

        Max

        PS I’m going to bed now. It’s late here and I have the feeling that I am wasting my time.

      • manacker,

        Falsification is an ideal condition for scientific theories.
        CAGW is not a scientific theory [1].
        “Falsifying CAGW” makes no sense whatsoever.

        Empirical evidence comes from the past while projections are
        Future-oriented: they don’t add any empirical evidence,
        But they still can project its empirical input.

        Clarifying concepts can dissolve inexistent problems.
        Sloganeering can be based on inexistent problems.
        No wonder you refuse to clarify your concepts.

        As if asking and asking and asking
        And demanding again and again and again
        Would solve these two conceptual problems.

        You’re asking and when
        You’re being answered,
        You’re not listening.

        You’re just thick as a brick.

        [1] It’s not a premise, nor an hypothesis either: it’s the estimate of the consequences of AGW, which in this context is a conclusion.

      • Willard

        At the risk of boring lurkers here by continuing this fruitless exchange with you, I will respond to your latest post.

        You are again getting into waffles about semantics.

        Falsification is an ideal condition for scientific theories.
        CAGW is not a scientific theory [1].
        “Falsifying CAGW” makes no sense whatsoever.

        The model-based hypothesis that climate sensitivity is high (mean value of 3.2°C) is a key underlying part of IPCC’s CAGW premise. IOW, if you can falsify this hypothesis, you can falsify CAGW. Tell me how this hypothesis can be falsified.

        Your treatise on the difference between “empirical evidence” and “projections” is nothing new for me, Willard.

        You write:

        Empirical evidence comes from the past

        Precisely! And it is this “empirical evidence” from past actual physical observations or past reproducible experimentation I have asked you in vain to cite.

        You then opine:

        Sloganeering can be based on inexistent problems.
        No wonder you refuse to clarify your concepts.

        Willard, if you cannot understand my simple request (or challenge) to you, after all this time, I really cannot help you.

        But, hey, even though you tend to juvenile ad hominem outbursts displaying poor manners, I believe you are, in fact, not “thick as a brick”.

        Instead, I think you are simply unable to cite the empirical evidence I have requested (and this apparently frustrates you and makes you react emotionally).

        You add:

        You’re asking and when
        You’re being answered,
        You’re not listening.

        Yes. I am asking.

        But your responses do not “answer” my request (or challenge) to you to cite the empirical evidence that supports the (3.2°C mean value for the 2xCO2 climate sensitivity, which is the key hypothesis underlying the) IPCC CAGW premise.

        They have also not answered my request to you to tell me how the above hypothesis (or premise) can be falsified.

        That’s what I’m challenging you to do.

        So far, in vain.

        Max

      • The Revolution will not be RadioHeaded.
        ================================

      • manacker,

        You’re asking something that makes no sense.
        You’ve told you so many times now.
        You refuse this answer.

        You’re demanding something
        That makes no sense and
        Will not listen.

        You sloganize and sloganize
        About your will to see the future
        Not realizing this makes no sense.

        You’re just thick as a brick.

      • Willard

        Your latest post (yawn!) tells me:

        You’re asking something that makes no sense.
        You’ve told you so many times now.
        You refuse this answer.
        You’re demanding something
        That makes no sense and
        Will not listen.
        You sloganize and sloganize
        About your will to see the future
        Not realizing this makes no sense.
        You’re just thick as a brick.

        I am simply asking you to

        cite the empirical scientific evidence (Feynman) that supports the IPCC “CAGW” claim
        a) that most of the warming since 1950 was caused by increased human GHG concentrations,
        b) that the (2xCO2) climate sensitivity is a mean value of 3.2°C and
        c) that AGW therefore represents a potential threat to humanity and our environment
        , as specifically postulated in AR4 as follows:
        1. Temperature increase up to 6.4°C
        2. Extreme high sea levels
        3. Increased heat waves
        4. More heavy precipitation events, floods
        5. Increased droughts
        6. Increased intense tropical cyclone activity
        This will lead (among other things) to:
        7. Crop failures
        8. Disappearing glaciers, which now provide water for millions
        9. Spread of vector borne diseases
        10. Many more deleterious changes to our environment and for our society

        Empirical scientific evidence = actual physical observations or reproducible experimentation (Feynman).

        Then I have asked you to tell me how this premise can be falsified (Popper)

        To simplify it for you, the key underlying IPCC hypothesis I am interested in seeing the empirical supporting evidence (Feynman) for is the model-based climate sensitivity of 3.2°C.

        I have also asked you to tell me how this underlying hypothesis can be falsified (Popper)

        Example: 17 years of no warming despite unabated human GHG emissions. (20 years? 30 years? 50 years?)

        Do not hide behind words and slogans, but simply cite the empirical scientific evidence I have requested. If you cannot provide what I am asking you for, admit it.

        Max

      • Feynman and Popper
        Laid down some rules
        Followed by scientists
        Ignored by fools

      • > how this premise can be falsified (Popper)

        Citation from Popper’s work needed.

        Not only manacker is thick as a brick,
        But he’s a serial misrepresenter.

      • From: Sir Karl Popper, “Science as Falsification”, 1963:

        http://www.stephenjaygould.org/ctrl/popper_falsification.html

        “One can sum up all this by saying that the criterion of the scientific status of a theory is its falsifiability, or refutability, or testability.”

        [IOW if it’s falsifiable, it’s science- if it isn’t, it isn’t.]

        Max

      • I will just make one brief point.

        we have no empirical measurement of the magnitude of GHG radiative forcing

        Yes we do, this is proven by measurements of outgoing longwave radiation.

      • manacker,

        Thank you for this quote. We might be going somewhere.

        Let me repeat that quote:

        > One can sum up all this by saying that the criterion of the scientific status of a theory is its falsifiability, or refutability, or testability.

        A THEORY, manacker.

        Not a premise.

        Not an hypothesis.

        A theory.

        Let me repeat this answer I already gave you:

        > Falsification is an ideal condition for scientific theories.
        CAGW is not a scientific theory .

        http://judithcurry.com/2012/10/17/pause-waving-the-italian-flag/#comment-256878

        Don’t you get it, now? I agree with you, manacker. CAGW is not a theory.

        I never said otherwise. It never was. You’re not beating a dead horse. You’re beating an imaginary horse.

        That’s why I say that “falsifying CAGW” makes no sense whatsoever.

        That’s why you keep switching from premise to hypothesis, and from hypothesis to theory. I tell you it’s not a theory and then you say that you don’t care to call it anything else.

        You’re invoking Popper’s ghost with no good reasons, manacker. If you continue, he’ll wake up and chase you down with a fire poke.

        ***

        From this imaginary horse, you are then telling us that CAGW is not a scientific theory. I agree with you. CAGW is not a scientific theory. CAGW is not even a theory.

        Let me remind you why I believe talking about Kuhnian paradigms is beside the point:

        > Since CAGW is not scientific […]

        http://judithcurry.com/2012/10/17/pause-waving-the-italian-flag/#comment-256446

        CAGW is not a theory, nor is it a premise, nor is it an hypothesis, nor is it a paradigm.

        ***

        Incidentally, AGW might not even be a theory:

        > Hypotheses, organizing principles, of this sort emerge from the fabric of a science as a consequence of a search for unifying principles. The organizing principles of climatology come from various threads, but I’d mention the oceanographic syntheses of Sverdrup and Stommel, the atmospheric syntheses of Charney and Lorenz, paleoclimatological studies from ice and mud core field work, and computational work starting with no less than John von Neumann. The expectation of AGW does not organize this work. It emerges from this work. It’s not a theory, it’s a consequence of the theory.

        http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/post/8960561626

        We could say that CAGW are impacts of these consequences.

        These impacts are estimated with projections.

        These projections have no predictive power.

        Only the theory does. And that theory is based on physics. Good luck with that one.

        ***

        If you ever have a better explanation of all this, please go submit it to

        http://scienceofdoom.com

        Many thanks!

      • Willard

        With your last post you have truly earned your name of “willard the waffler”.

        The truth of the matter is that IPCC’s CAGW premise as stated in AR4, which is based on a climate sensitivity of 3.2C, is not supported by empirical scientific evidence (Feynman)

        In addition, you have not been able to state how it could be falsified (Popper)

        IOW it is based on “pseudo-science”, rather than “science”, and can be ignored.

        Thanks for confirming this by your inability to refute it.

        *GAME OVER*

        Max

      • steven mosher

        manaker.

        “The truth of the matter is that IPCC’s CAGW premise as stated in AR4, which is based on a climate sensitivity of 3.2C, is not supported by empirical scientific evidence (Feynman)”

        The truth of the matter is that AR4 summarizes the empirical evidence for the estimation of climate sensitivity. That summary states that climate sensitivity for a doubling of C02 is anywhere between 1.5C and 6C. The mean of these estimates is close to 3.2. This figure is estimated using the following kinds of studies.

        A) deep paleo studies. we estimate the temperatures in the past.
        we estimate the evolution of forcing over time. we estimate the
        temperature today. From these observations we can estimate a climate sensitivity number. Those numbers center around 3 C with
        uncertainty bounds of +- 1.5C.

        B) near term paleo. So for example the MWP and the LIA. here again,
        we estimate the temperature, we estimate the forcing and we estimate a change in temp due to forcing. These studies tend to give
        much wider confidence intervals on the high side.

        C) Surface record. using the surface record as the data, one can aslo estimate the response due to changes in forcing. For some details on how thats done see Lucia’s blog. Here too we see numbers that fall
        inside the range.

        D) Volcanic response. The response after a volcano, how quickly the system recovers, gives you an estimate for the relaxation response. From this you have an estimate of sensitivity. Again, the numbers fall within the range I describe above.

        E) satellite work. You must be familiar with Lindzen and Dessler and Spencer. Each of them uses observations to estimate sensitivity. Lots of interesting debates there.

        F) first order estimates from physical law.

        G) models.

        Note I put F and G last because they can really only tell you that you are in the right ballpark.

        So Feynman would be very happy that the theory is being investigated from the empirical standpoint. The principle theory ( that C02 blocks IR ) is something that Feynman knew. The principle theory, ( that blocking IR will warm the planet ) is something that Feynman knew. What we dont know so well is HOW MUCH. that number, climate sensitivity, isnt a theory. Its a quantity that must be estimated.

        “In addition, you have not been able to state how it could be falsified (Popper)

        1. You dont falsify the estimate of a parameter. Let me give you an example. The gravatational constant. This number is not something you falsify it is something you estimate or measure. The climate sensitivity is a parameter. basically if you increase forcing by 1 watt how much warmer does the earth get. That’s a constant NOT a hypothesis or a theory. The AGW Theory, which is really just a collection of science, uses this parameter.

        2. You can use the parameter to create a hypothesis.
        If you double C02 , then the world will respond by warming between 1.5C and 6C. This hypothesis is testable. We are testing it NOW, we are slowly but surely doubling C02. This passes the “falsifiable” principle. “Falsifiablity” refers to the feature of having observable consequences. Nothing more. Popper and those in his school of thought ( which itself was not falsifiable ) were concerned about separating science from metaphysics. Metaphysical “theories” have no observational consequences. Let’s take a old metaphysics. Reality consists of absolute ideals. Nice idea. Too bad there are no observations that count for it or against it.

        3. You could falsify the science by going to the TOA measuring outgoing IR. If you saw that C02 did not block IR, then key tenets of the science would be undermined.

        However you want to construe the science it is testable. we are testing it now. The key parameter, sensitivity, is estimate from several lines of empirical evidence. Nobody is reading tarot cards.

      • manacker,

        God you’re thick.
        Thick as a brick.

        My words but a whisper —
        your deafness a SHOUT.

        I thought Oliver was in a league of his own.
        Now I’m not sure anymore.

      • Steven Mosher

        Thanks for posting a rational response (I was getting a bit weary with “Willard the waffler”).

        Let me start off with the last sentence in your post:

        Nobody is reading tarot cards.

        No. But the subjective interpretation of dicey paleo proxy data taken from carefully selected periods of our geological past A) and B) is not much better. And, as you say, the result is based on ‘estimates’.

        we estimate the temperatures in the past.
        we estimate the evolution of forcing over time. we estimate the
        temperature today. From these observations we can estimate a climate sensitivity number

        (Bring out the tarot cards.)

        Your point C) gets closer to “actual physical observations”, but there is a major problem here. In order to ”estimate the response due to changes in forcing”, you have to distinguish between natural forcing and anthropogenic forcing. And there is great “uncertainty” regarding the magnitude of natural forcing (as our hostess here has pointed out, and as IPCC, itself concedes). Was solar forcing responsible for 50% of the observed past warming, as several independent solar studies have concluded? Or only 7% as the IPCC models have “estimated”? The estimated CO2/temperature response for the two alternates translates to a 2xCO2 response of 0.8°C or 1.5°C (both a long way off from 3°C). Were human GHGs really responsible for most of the observed warming since 1950, as IPCC claims? Why pick “1950”? What about natural variability (which is blamed by Met Office for the current “pause”, despite unabated GHG emissions)?

        D) is not convincing, Steven. The unknowns are too great again to be able to state that volcanoes give us the answer to the magnitude of GH forcing.

        With satellite work E) you are beginning to get closer to reality. But the problem here is that Lindzen and Spencer both come up with a climate sensitivity of around 0.6° to 0.7°C using these data. Dessler (who critiques Spencer) uses essentially the same raw data to come up with a much higher estimate, although his method has, in turn, been critiqued by Steven McIntyre.

        http://climateaudit.org/2011/09/23/the-dessler-2011-regression/

        Who’s right? Who’s wrong? Who knows? (And that’s the point, Steven).

        F) is theoretical, not empirical (Feynman)

        G), models, is an area where you are undoubtedly more qualified than I am. The only point I would make is that made repeatedly by Willis Eschenbach (my simplification): Model outputs are only as good as their input assumptions. Model outputs per se are not empirical scientific data. And their record is not so good. The dismal results that Hansen 1988 had with his model-based forecast is one bad example. The IPCC forecast of 0.2°C warming per decade that ended up being slight cooling instead is another

        So you can see why I am still rationally skeptical.

        “Empirical scientific evidence” is a strong set of words. But it is all that really counts. (Feynman).

        “Falsifiability” separates science from pseudo-science (Popper)

        And you have been unable to demonstrate to me that the IPCC model-derived estimate of climate sensitivity and the CAGW premise (as I outlined in detail to Willard, based on AR4) meets either criterium.

        You write that ”the science it is testable. we are testing it now. The key parameter, sensitivity, is estimate from several lines of empirical evidence.” Let’s hope that this key parameter can be defined more closely in the future, based on empirical scientific evidence derived from actual physical observations or reproducible experimentation. And that someone defines exactly how it could be scientifically falsified.

        We’re not there yet, Steven.

        But thanks for your post, anyway.

        Max

      • Excuse me friend
        Can you tell me when
        There’s only friends
        And innocence, there’s no conflicts to resolve?

        Just close your eyes
        Enjoy the ride
        We’re getting closer to the sun

        H/t Guy Sebastian.
        ========

      • Steven Mosher

        To come back to your very last point:

        3. You could falsify the science by going to the TOA measuring outgoing IR. If you saw that C02 did not block IR, then key tenets of the science would be undermined.

        Sure. This would “falsify” the premise that CO2 is a GHG.

        But that is not the point. I do not doubt that CO2 is a GHG.

        However, I am rationally skeptical of the IPCC CAGW premise (which is based on a model-based mean climate sensitivity estimate of 3°C).

        And that’s what the debate is all about, Steven.

        Max

      • Moshpit:

        > You dont falsify the estimate of a parameter.

        manacker:

        > I am rationally skeptical of the IPCC CAGW premise (which is based on a model-based mean climate sensitivity estimate of 3°C).

        Spin me back down the years and the days of my youth.
        Draw the lace and black curtains and shut out the whole truth.
        Spin me down the long ages: let them sing the song.

  62. Judith Curry

    The “Italian flag” approach is a good one. (A picture is worth…)

    It can be balanced a bit to include some more things in the “red” column, as posters here (including me) have indicated.

    And it should be clearly stated up front that “evidence for” means evidence of global warming, which lends credence to AGW, while not providing any specific evidence for (or against) the anthropogenic cause of GW.

    The logic here is: anything that demonstrates GW need not necessarily demonstrate AGW, BUT anything that refutes GW also refutes AGW by definition.

    I’d say those are the rules in logic. Wouldn’t you agree?

    And CAGW is another dimension entirely.

    Max

  63. The content of debate on this is disappointing and I think mostly off-topic. I also think that it fails to “honestly” engage the points Dr. Curry made.
    This should not be a discussion on the Daily Mail article, whether the greenhouse effect is real, your own pet theory of what might be happening or the politics of AGW. It should definitely not be about rhetorical arguments or point scoring. To me at least this is the central question we should be tackling.
    What this discussion should be about is the IPCC hypothesis and whether the warming plateau in the surface temperature trend weakens its underlying assumptions and conclusions?

    I understand that the hypothesis is, in layman’s terms, based on the following:
    1. Proportion of atmospheric CO2 is steadily increasing, primarily due to industrial activity. [empirical]
    2. Temperature is steadily increasing over the instrumental record. [empirical]
    3. GHE. [theory accepted as essentially factual]
    4. Over climatic time periods (> 30 years) internal variability is cancelled out. [assumption]
    5. We can account for all forcings: solar, GHG, aerosols (less certain), volcanos [assumption]
    6. For forcings the transient response is fast (years), the equilibrium response is slower (decades, centuries). [physics?]
    7. The GHE could only start to dominate the temperature trend in the latter part of the 20thC (earlier “trends” are due to natural forcings with a small GHE effect). [model]
    8. The 160 year temperature record can be explained by the known forcings, the trend from the 1970’s onwards can only be explained if we include the forcing of GHGs. This is achieved by modelling with a number of GCMs. [models, assumption]
    9. There was a pause in warming from the 1940s to approx. mid 1970s, this was probably caused by an increase in industrial aerosols. [assumption]
    10. The climate system will react to forcings to either dampen or amplify the effect, this is termed climate sensitivity. Based on the modelling of the 20thC the climate sensitivity amplifies the forcing, for a doubling of CO2 it is believed there will be a global mean temperature increase of greater than 2’C, probably 3’C. [conclusion]
    11. It is expected that in the early part of the 21stC that temperatures should rise at approximately 0.2’C per decade. [conclusion]

    So what s the significance of a warming plateau of approximately 15 years in terms of the hypothesis?
    It calls into question the assumptions: 4.internal variability, 5. Forcings, 8. Late 20thC temperature GHG and 9. Aerosols pause.
    It weakens the hypothesis that climate sensitivity is high, and suggests that the projected early 21stC trend may be significantly too high.
    It suggests that it may be premature for the IPCC hypothesis (high climate sensitivity) to be so widely accepted and that not enough work has been put into investigating alternative explanations for the surface temperature trend. In particular: internal variability (including chaos and long term persistence) and indirect solar forcing.
    I find most arguments rejecting these sorts of conclusions to be revisionist attempts to state the hypothesis is still consistent with the observations, without the honesty (IMO) to appreciate how fundamentally the hypothesis may have been weakened.

    • Gary Moran

      Excellent summary!

      Max

    • A good comment but would prefer these comments about the AGW Hhypothesis to be categorised in terms of the Italian Flag analogy. For – Not certain – Against. Your points mainly seem to focus on the negatives.

      • Peter Davies

        It appears to me that Gary Moran has succinctly listed the items in the “green” column.

        He has then demonstrated that the recent temperature record (the “pause”) works to negate some of these, i.e. moving them to the “red column”

        That’s what this thread is all about: “waving the Italian flag” with relation to the recent temperature “pause”, and I think Gary summarized this very well.

        Don’t you?

        Max

      • Max the points that Gary made wrt the “pause” seemed to me to be mainly from the negative POV. I would have liked to see mention of uncertainty that inherent in examining short term data, whether the end points used introduces an element of bias, whether the “pause” is on a much higher plateau of warming than in the past, whether decadel cycles in ocean heat displacement may have interacted with the the known minimum levels of solar activity (not modelled) to cause this “pause”. In a series extending over many years, such a pause may have weakened the hypothesis of steady temperature increase but the base temperature levels are still higher than in recorded history and there is still room for temperatures to continue to rise in the longer term.

        Sorry about the long paragraph.

      • Peter you write “and there is still room for temperatures to continue to rise in the longer term.”

        Of course. But to me, this is not the issue. As I have noted before, global temperatures seem to have been rising ever since the LIA. The rate of rise since around 1850 has been steady, linear, and around 0.06 C per decade. See. http://bit.ly/V19Im8 There is no reason to believe this trend of rising temperatures has ceased.

        The issue, to me, is whether there has been a change in the rate of rise of temperatures, due to increased levels of CO2 in the atmosphere. In order for temperatures to rise to levels which are “too high” by the end of the century, at some point the rate of rise of temperature must be significantly above 0.06 C per decade. This has not happend yet, and what, to me, the pause indicates, is that the more rapid rise at the end of the 20th century was wrongly ascribed to CAGW, since we now have the pause which is, once again, returning the rate of rise to the steady 0.06 C per decade.

        So the issue is not what temperatures, per se, are doing; but what the rate of rise of temperatures is doing.

      • Peter Davies

        Agree with your point that the pause is a “short term” phenomenon at this point (2001-2012), and that it therefore has less weight that a “longer term” record showing significant warming (1970-2000, for example).

        Even more significant in my mind would be the entire HadCRUT3 record, which shows warming since 1850 at an average rate of ~0.05-0.06 per decade.

        And, to repeat a point made by tony b: even more significant is the long-term record of warming since the early 17th century (or even earlier), as demonstrated by the CET record (the “long thaw”, as he puts it).

        The dilemma is this:

        Any warming observed prior to WWII is indicative of “global warming” (GW), but (since there were no significant human GHG emissions yet) is counterindicative of anthropogenic greenhouse warming (AGW), since something other than human GHGs caused it, raising the question: if non GH warming caused this warming, could it not also have caused the most recent extended warming period?

        So if warming past ~1950 goes into the “green” column, would warming prior to ~1950 go into the “red” column?

        Or would it go into the “white” column?

        These are valid questions, but here we are supposed to be talking about the “pause” (i.e. the current “short-term” period of slight cooling), and that definitely goes into the “red” column.

        Max

      • Max, you write “These are valid questions, but here we are supposed to be talking about the “pause” (i.e. the current “short-term” period of slight cooling), and that definitely goes into the “red” column.”

        As usual, you and I are writing the same sort of thing from different aspects. I do wish someone who supports CAGW would discuss the science we are discussing, and either agree we are correct, or show us where we are wromg.

    • Gary

      Thanks for an excellent summary.

      We’ve learned from experience that the truth will come out. Other experimenters will repeat your experiment and find out whether you were wrong or right. Nature’s phenomena will agree or they’ll disagree with your theory. And, although you may gain some temporary fame and excitement, you will not gain a good reputation as a scientist if you haven’t tried to be very careful in this kind of work. And it’s this type of integrity, this kind of care not to fool yourself, that is missing to a large extent in much of the research in cargo cult science.
      Feynman

    • Steve Milesworthy

      Gary Moran,

      Only minor issues with your points. Point 8 might best say “can plausibly be explained” since one needs to make assumptions about some of the forcings.

      The weakness of your summary arguments are
      a) assumption 4 doesn’t come into play over 15 years (and is still a little dangerous over 30 – restate to say net effect of internal variability has small compared with expected 30 year trend perhaps). The trend since 1965 is higher than the trend from 1965 to the start of the “plateau” which suggests the plateau may be an artefact of internal variability.
      b) 5 Forcings. It is a poor assumption to say forcings are accounted for. There is a potential issue with aerosols and stratospheric water vapour over the short term period of the “plateau”.
      c) The observational record is still too short to constrain climate sensitivity (in part because of lack of knowledge about some of the forcings), so weakening evidence from this record doesn’t change the result.

      I think the only significant revisionism in play relates to those who were concerned that 1998 was an indication of a worse case scenario. If there are genuine new findings that have come about due to the rapid warming followed by plateau, I’m not sure they are “revisionist”. If the warming had happened monotonically, for example, it might have been hard to hypothesise why other non-changing influences hadn’t changed.

      • Revisionist and/or “still consistent with observations”: in terms of changing the assumptions, changing the amount of time necessary for a pause to be significant, changing tack to OHC, comparing real earth to the spread of all models, etc. This should not be a matter of disproving the IPCC Hypothesis, instead a re-evaluation of how good the fundamental evidence of that is now in light of the temperature plateau. Hope this makes sense.

      • Steve, you write “c) The observational record is still too short to constrain climate sensitivity (in part because of lack of knowledge about some of the forcings), so weakening evidence from this record doesn’t change the result.”

        I take issue with this statement. It seems to assume that there are valid estimates of what climate sensitivity is, as compared what might be inferred from the empirical data. This is simply false. Terry Oldberg and I approach this from completely different start points, but we both come up with the same conclusion. The numeric estimates of climate sensitivity have no basis whatsoever in physics, and are completely meaningless. The only valid estimate of climate sesitivity comes form the negative empirical data, that no CO2 signal has been observed. We cannot conclude that no CO2 signal will ever emerge, but until one does, then the clear indication is that the climate sensitivity of the additional CO2 added to the atrmopshere from recent levels, is indistinguishable from zero.

        If you want to read the discussion on this, go to http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/10/11/environmentalist-air-pollution/#more-72284
        and scrol down to the discussion Terry and I had with Richard Courtney.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        I take issue with this statement. It seems to assume that there are valid estimates of what climate sensitivity is, as compared what might be inferred from the empirical data.

        Jim, an inference from empirical data is an estimate, so I’m not sure what the problem is. For the record, I was talking about inferences (about sensitivity) from empirical data.

        The only valid estimate of climate sesitivity comes form the negative empirical data, that no CO2 signal has been observed.

        Since we’ve had this discussion before, there is no point in rehashing it. But in summary I think there is strong evidence that enables us to estimate the forcing from increased CO2, so I am happy that the forcing amount (which can be calculated with good obs) coupled with the sensitivity (uncertain) gives us the warming. All discussions on sensitivity can then take place without worrying too much about what precisely caused the forcing.

    • Gary, you write “I find most arguments rejecting these sorts of conclusions to be revisionist attempts to state the hypothesis is still consistent with the observations, without the honesty (IMO) to appreciate how fundamentally the hypothesis may have been weakened.”

      I notice that, to date, none of the supporters of CAGW have commented. It will be interesting to see if any of them do. It is precisely the scientific discussion of what you have written that, to me, needs to be addressed. What, I suggest, is required, is for the proponents of CAGW to do two things.

      1. One of them should write a similar summary which gives their side of the argument.
      2. The proponents of CAGW should address the SCIENCE of what you have written, and discuss your points on a purely scientific level. Then maybe, just maybe, we can start to have a civilized scientific discussion.

      If 1.is produced, then we skeptics might, hopefully, also respond in a sober, scientific manner.

      I am not holding my breath.

  64. Dr Curry
    I’d very much like to know your views on what’s going on in the climate system. Unfortunately, the link “Change points, trends, and hypotheses” seems to link to the previously cited uncertainty pdf instead, And googling Change points, trends, and hypotheses only finds this post. Assuming that the link is wrong and that I’m not missing something obvious, would it be possible for you to fix the link when you get a chance?

    JC: thx will do.

  65. David Springer

    Jim D | October 18, 2012 at 1:25 am | Reply

    “Yes, while the oceans surfaces are apparently in a “cool phase”, the land is in a warming phase of roughly 0.3 C per decade. How do the proponents of the pause explain this part?”

    The pause is a fact obtained from satellite observations not an opinion and thus doesn’t require ‘proponents’. Land warming sea cooling is not paradoxical. Sea ice is increasing in the SH while decreasing in the NH. All regions across the whole planet do not warm and cool in concert. But to your point I’ll offer an explanation for the global divergence between land/sea trends. GHGs don’t have much effect on water because of different physics between rocks and water. Downwelling longwave infrared, the modus operandi of greenhouse gases, is incapable of warming a body of water which is free to evaporate in response resulting in no warming. Rocks can’t evaporate in response so they get warmer. So where there’s less water there is more greenhouse effect and vice versa. Thus we find the highest mean annual temperature over deserts not oceans or jungles. Thus we find the most global warming over land not over water. Thus we find more global warming over higher latitudes where evaporation is retarded by freezing temperatures part of the year versus lower latitudes.

    “Can the land continue to warm by itself when the ocean around it is cooling?”

    For a time. Longer the farther inland you go.

    “Maybe there is a mechanism they have for that to happen, or maybe it is just GHG forcing making itself obvious.”

    GHG is the mechanism.

    • I agree about the land part. It is directly affected by GHG downwelling radiation. The same forcing is more effective at warming the land surface because of its low thermal inertia. The ocean lags due to a higher thermal inertia. We see this lag every season over the globe, but it also plays out on longer time scales.

  66. The phrase from the post which resonated most with me is this one:

    “Summary: the white part of the flag is frankly pretty dominant here, with the net impact of these uncertainties acting against the green evidence.”

    We may be in a situation in which one side is so convinced (alarmed) about possible dangers that they are willing to discount uncertainties quite dramatically. This is a very contentious thing to do, not least because it is liable to trigger others vulnerable to such fears into precipitate actions or statements, and thereby spiral up into a major political force if there are enough of them in the political class, or enough others who see political or financial advantage in the alarums. This seems to have happened in many countries.

  67. Willis Eschenbach

    curryja | October 17, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    Willis you miss the entire point of this exercise. Evidence ‘for’ means that it is relevant to the problem at hand and that it is not evidence ‘against’. How you reason about this and draw conclusions is a completely different issue. The evidence ‘for’ is characterized as providing indirect support for the proposition. The items listed in the green column surely do not provide evidence against the proposition.

    Judith, you miss the entire point of my objection. Much of the stuff that you list is neither evidence for nor evidence against humans having a hand in the recent warming. It is only and solely evidence of recent warming.

    Further, you misunderstand the proposition that is being examined. it is not proof that AGW controls the climate, but that there is some discernible evidence of some influence.

    No, I understand the proposition quite well … but I fear that you have not thought it through as regards what might be evidence to support the proposition that humans have been affecting the climate in the last 16 years.

    And finally, the point of this exercise is to assess the evidence provided by others, including the IPCC, the Mail and Guardian, not to provide proof of anything.

    And my point still stands. Much of what you are calling “evidence” that humans have a hand in the warming, whether provided by yourself or the IPCC or the Mail and Guardian, is merely evidence of warming and says nothing about any human effect on the climate. Why is this so hard to understand? Here is your list:

    Green (evidence for):
    i) Long term trend of increasing surface temperatures, for at least the past 150 years
    ii) Theoretical support for a warming effect as greenhouse gas concentration increases
    iii) Long term trend of increasing ocean heat content
    iv) Decline in Arctic sea ice since 1979, with record minimum in 2012
    v) Melting of glaciers and ice sheets
    vi) Sea level rise since 1961
    vii) Results from climate model simulations

    Let me take just the first item on the list, the “Long term trend of increasing surface temperatures, for at least the past 150 years”. This is certainly evidence that the earth is warming. But it says NOTHING about your proposition, which is:

    P1. There is significant (or discernible) evidence of anthropogenic global warming over the past 16 years.

    Perhaps you can explain to us, Judith, just how warming in the period 1875-1900 gets magically transmuted into “evidence for anthropogenic global warming over the past 16 years”?

    Again I say, this is your most risible post ever. Look at the pile of junk that you are calling “evidence” for the existence of human effects on the climate in the last 16 years. The sea level has been rising, not just since 1961, but for a couple of hundred years … perhaps you can explain to us how a couple hundred years of sea level rise is evidence that humans have been affecting the climate in the last 16 years, because I sure don’t see how they are even vaguely related. And climate models are not evidence of anything but the beliefs (both correct and incorrect) of the programmers.

    If you truly believe that increasing surface temperatures 1875-1900 are evidence for a human effect on the climate in the last 16 years, as you clearly state above, you desperately need to reconsider your definition of “evidence”.

    w.

  68. So, why has there been no reduction of heat content in the air and sea, despite natural fluctuations, like a double-dip La Nina and low solar output, being largely downward?

  69. “Climate scientists should be talking about natural variability, instead of pretending it is just ‘noise’ on an overwhelming AGW signal. If they had been doing this all along, we would have a better understanding of how climate science works, and journalists such as David Rose would not need to write articles that are critical of the Met Office and the climate ‘establishment’. They now seem to be ‘discovering’ this issue, after it has been the main concern of skeptics for over a decade now. This whole situation is badly broken, and David Rose is hardly the person to blame here.”

    Dr. Curry, yes it’s badly broken, but you’re fixing it. Thank you very much. I think you deserve a Nobel prize. And you look good, even on that picture.

    • Edim,

      AGW signal, natural variability, and noise are not mutually exclusive. All three will have an impact on the temperature record.

      The tricky bit can be separating them all out of course.

      • AGW signal is only a speculation and very unlikely IMO. What’s noise? What remains is natural variability, which is multifactorial.

      • Natural variability depends on the same physics which render the climate system sensitive to increased forcing from GHGs. You seem to think you can decouple the two but this is physically impossible.

        Since the climate system is evidently sensitive enough to changes in internal and external forcing to exhibit short term noise and longer term natural variability (both internally and externally forced) then it is *by definition* sensitive to increased forcing from GHGs.

        It is impossible to speak in the same breath – as you do – of the implausibility of AGW and yet ascribe known climate behaviour, including modern warming, entirely to natural variation.

        You get both, or neither.

      • “What’s noise?” Its mainly sampling error due to a finite number of data points.

        You’ll see more noise in monthly figures than yearly figures. Then more noise in yearly figures than decadal. As the number of data points increase so does the noise decrease.

        That’s why you can’t say much about one year’s figures. You need to look at least a running five year average and preferably a decadal average. They don’t show any real evidence of a pause.

        Ms Judith is strongly hinting there is a pause, but Dr Curry knows there isn’t, and that what I’ve just written is perfectly correct.

      • So you mean mainly sampling error. Noise (statistical) is also unexplained variation.

      • Edim

        While there is an element of sampling error within noise, noise ≠ sampling error. The climate system is inherently ‘noisy’ because it is sufficiently sensitive to radiative perturbation to be pushed hither and yon on a daily basis by a myriad of changing influences. These average out over time unless a sustained forcing is applied, in which case a sustained response emerges from the noise.

        The current warming hiatus may be caused by a change in the rate and depth of energy accumulation within the oceans (Trenberth et al. 2011), or by increased sulphate aerosol loading from both anthropogenic and natural sources (Hansen & Sato 2011 Earth’s energy balance and its implications; Vernier et al 2011), or by the ‘quiet’ Solar Cycle 24, or by predominantly La Nina conditions putatively arising from a ‘cold phase’ PDO, or by an increase in stratospheric water vapour (Solomon et al, 2011) or by a combination of some or all these influences. It’s enough to have even real scientists scratching their heads.

        What it is not is evidence that the physics of radiative transfer are incorrectly understood. GHG forcing is real and it will continue to increase as the atmospheric fraction of GHGs continues to rise. On a century scale, this is still cause for the gravest concern.

        These are the facts and the mysteries non-partisan, non-political investigators have to work with.

      • “The tricky bit can be separating them all out of course.” It is even trickier with a stacked deck. Since CO2 is considered a well mixed gas and “sensitivity” is assumed to be “A” number, a natural oscillation that changes the “sensitivity” is not allowed. The southern polar has little “amplification” and the southern hemisphere has higher annual solar insulation, a natural oscillation that shifts clouds to were they have greater reflective impact and energy where it has less atmospheric resistance, doesn’t qualify as a climate impact, only a weather impact.

        If “sensitivity” were defined by hemisphere or region so that amplification could be considered a regional feedback, then it would be easier. You could just say the NH land mass amplifies ORL by 2.5 and that the lower SH land mass and thermal isolation of the Antarctic causes the SH to have a gain of 1, then natural oscillations could be included in the game plan. As it is, the redistribution of surface energy is not a “forcing” or “feedback” even though it impacts “sensitivity”.

        The natural internal oscillations though do change the efficiency of ocean heat uptake and by changing the distribution of surface energy, “sensitivity” of climate to “forcings”.

  70. Dr. J Curry said:
    Climate scientists should be talking about natural variability, instead of pretending it is just ‘noise’ on an overwhelming AGW signal. If they had been doing this all along, we would have a better understanding of how climate science works, ….They now seem to be ‘discovering’ this issue, after it has been the main concern of skeptics for over a decade now.
    ………………….

    Ah, well yes skeptics , pseudo-scientists and lunatics
    I am only a recent member of this incongruent social phenomenon
    If science eventually accept this:

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/GSC1.htm

    than it has to accept this too:

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/SST-NAP.htm

    and then no scientist would contemplate ruining his career by even considering this

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/SSN-NAP.htm

    but then how to explain this

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

    Natural variability requires more than acquiring new understanding, it necessitates some degree of disposing and rearranging of the current understanding.
    Sane scientists do not do that readily.

    • vukcevic

      How do you determine your “Geo-Solar Cycle”?

    • David Springer

      “Natural variability requires more than acquiring new understanding, it necessitates some degree of disposing and rearranging of the current understanding. Sane scientists do not do that readily.”

      Ah. The understanding used to be that climate variability was all natural. That was readily abandoned. So all the scientists who abandoned it so readily are insane.

      Perfect. You nailed that one.

      Oh wait. Maybe they have a religious-like belief that humans are harming the planet though excess consumption, they are filled with guilt because few scientists live in poverty, and then confirmation bias driven by deep-seated emotion explains what happened to the science.

      Which seems more likely?

  71. JC

    Could you please give me your opinion for the cause of the long-term warming of about 0.06 deg per century since temperature record begun in 1850 shown below?

    http://bit.ly/S0otl3

    Are you saying this warming is due to CO2 emission instead of IPCC’s 0.2 deg C per decade?

    Thank you.

  72. The strongest argument for the AGW hypothesis is the physics argument that says the partial derivative of temperature with respect to CO2 is positive. We have wide upper and lower enhancement bounds on this partial derivative based on water vapor and cloud effects, including the possibility of negative feedbacks.

    The argument that the GCMs without CO2 fail to simulate modern warming but adding CO2 makes them fit better is suspect because we have multi-decadal upward and downward trends that appear to be poorly correlated with prior CO2 levels. Of course, pre-instrument temperature estimates are very uncertain, but the MWP and LIA seem well-established to me based on a host of separate measurements. And the 1910-1940 warming is also well-established.

    What’s odd is that the evidence from the past could be read to be alarming or reassuring no matter how the past data are interpreted. Past warming trends without CO2 could mean that current trends are less likely to be caused by CO2 (yay!) or they could mean that similar upward excursions in the future would be compounded by the greenhouse effect (yikes!). This interpretive problem means that the wrangling over the existence and magnitude of past temperature trends is mostly beside the point. 1910-1940 could be evidence that sensitivity to CO2 isn’t a good explanation for modern warming or it could be evidence that we also need to worry about “natural” warming episodes which CO2 will then supercharge.

    The attempts to fit aerosols and solar shifts to make the GCMs fit better has a very post-hoc feel to me. Taking ENSOs and other oscillations out of the picture to make things fit is wildly unprincipled–Mosher’s critique cuts both ways, and the simulators should be generating the oscillations if in fact their equations are adequate. Possibly we could back off this critique by accepting the oscillations as unpredictable system attractors that also change the earth’s albedo (cloud cover, ocean’s foaminess, etc.), but the level of understanding we have seems unsatisfactory for parsing out an AGW signal.

    • 1910-1940 was likely solar. Sunspots increased threefold, and the length of the solar cycle reduced to ten years for several decades, both signs of increased activity.

      • JIm D

        The cooling from 1940 to 1970?

      • A combination of solar and aerosols.

      • A combination of solar and aerosols.

        The greatest science fiction of IPCC.

      • You don’t believe solar variation could ever have done or ever will do anything, even a couple of tenths from 1910-1940? That is a new idea here, I think. Care to elaborate on why you think that?

      • Jim D

        Observations suggest the warming of the 20th century global mean surface temperature has not been monotonic, even when smoothed by a 10–20 year low-pass filter. Temperatures reached a relative maximum
        around 1940, cooled until the mid 1970s, and have warmed from that point to the present. Radiative forcings due to solar variations, volcanoes, and aerosols have often been invoked as explanations for this non-monotonic variation (4). However, it is possible that long-term natural variability, rooted in changes in the ocean circulation, underlies much of this variability over multiple decades (8–12)

        http://bit.ly/wt0DCo

      • It is very interesting that you support model papers like this, when at the same time you don’t believe their projections. Yes, models have natural variability. The evidence for a forcing change is stronger given various estimates for the solar changes in that period.

      • It was a period of low volcanic activity so that probably made a contribution as well.

    • Stevepostrel

      Good post.

      Thank you.

    • stevepostrel, you write “but the level of understanding we have seems unsatisfactory for parsing out an AGW signal.”

      The thing I find most interesting about your post, is that this is another way at looking at the same problem, namely where is the CO2 signal in the temperature/time graphs? And once again, the same conclusion is reached. Basically the signal is not there. I wonder when the scientific community is going to wakw uo to the fact that no matter how anyone looks at the hypothesis of CAGW, the physics is simply inadequate to tell us what happens when we add more and more CO2 to the atmosphere.

    • stevepostrel

      The strongest argument for the AGW hypothesis is the physics argument that says the partial derivative of temperature with respect to CO2 is positive. We have wide upper and lower enhancement bounds on this partial derivative based on water vapor and cloud effects, including the possibility of negative feedbacks.

      I’m not aware of any widely accepted studies that provide support for negative or only weakly positive WV feedback to CO2 forcing. Cloud feedback may be weakly negative or neutral, but cannot be strongly negative or it would suppress both internally and externally forced variability. Known climate behaviour rules this out. What studies did you have in mind here?

      The argument that the GCMs without CO2 fail to simulate modern warming but adding CO2 makes them fit better is suspect because we have multi-decadal upward and downward trends that appear to be poorly correlated with prior CO2 levels.

      This is mistaken thinking: nobody argues that CO2 was the dominant climate forcing during the early C20th. The argument is that it is emerging as the dominant forcing now and will become strongly dominant over the course of this century unless emissions are reduced.

      Consider past climate variability simply as evidence for a moderately high climate sensitivity. Why? Because if the climate system were dominated by negative feedbacks, then it would be insensitive and incapable of responding as observed to what all agree were modest changes in forcing.

      The attempts to fit aerosols and solar shifts to make the GCMs fit better has a very post-hoc feel to me.

      So investigation of the causes of climate change pre-1970 is disallowed?

      Taking ENSOs and other oscillations out of the picture to make things fit is wildly unprincipled–Mosher’s critique cuts both ways, and the simulators should be generating the oscillations if in fact their equations are adequate.

      Isolation of ENSO, solar and volcanic influences the better to reveal an underlying hypothesised anthropogenic trend is disallowed?

      There is some confusion here about models too. While some simulations actively seek to reproduce Earth-like climate systems with Earth-like behaviours such as ENSO, many do not. This does not invalidate them as tools for investigating forced climate behaviour.

      the level of understanding we have seems unsatisfactory for parsing out an AGW signal.

      This contradicts the scientific consensus. Reviewing your argument here, do you still feel that this statement is justified?

      • BBD you write “This contradicts the scientific consensus.”

        This goes to the very heart of why I dont believe the proponents of CAGW. It is a completely unscientific statement. Nullius in verba. Or any other way you want to state the same thing.

        I never was, am not, and never will be, interested in just anyone’s opinion; no matter how many degrees he/she has, and how well respected in the scientific community she/he might be. That is what my mentor Prof. Sir Gordon Sutherland taught me when I started to study Physics 101 at Cavendish Labs. Any scientist who merely offers an opinion is not to be trusted. Any proper scientist knows that there is an absolute requirement to back up any opinion with empirical facts. If there are no empirical facts to support some consensus or other, then, to put it bluntly, it is as uselss as tits on a bull.

        And as long as the proponents of CAGW, led by the Royal Society and the American Physical Society, continue to spout this nonsense that because there is a consensus on CAGW, therefore it must be correct, then the scientific community is doing itself a very bad disservice by not crying out from the mountain top that this is a load of nonsense.

      • I never was, am not, and never will be, interested in just anyone’s opinion; no matter how many degrees he/she has, and how well respected in the scientific community she/he might be.

        Science ≠ opinion
        Scientific consensus ≠ ‘opinion’.
        You are voicing an opinion.

      • BBD you write “You are voicing an opinion.”

        You are absolutely correct. Unfortunately it is a negative opinion. I cannot, and never will be, able to prove that CAGW is wrong.

        All I can state is that, in my opinion, no-one has proven CAGW to be correct. I believe it always was, still is, and probably will be into the indefinite future, an unproven hypothesis.

        As unproven, I have absolutley no objections whatsoever to the hypothesis of CAGW. It is a perfectly reasonable hypothesis, and has it’s proper place in physics. But it is merely a hypothesis. What I object to is people like yourself claiming that it is more that a hypothesis, by producing reasons which are themselves, purely hypothetical and meaningless.

        What the proponents of CAGW, including our hostess, refuse to admit is that there is no empirical data to support the hypothesis of CAGW. This is so obvious to me, that I cannot understand why this fact is not universally accepted.

        Let me ask you. Where is the empirical data that proves that when you add CO2 to the atmopshere it causes temperatures to rise?

      • All I can state is that, in my opinion, no-one has proven CAGW to be correct.

        And I will ignore you because I must when you contradict the scientific consensus, which is *not* based on opinion. You need to understand that your opinion is scientifically weightless. It counts for nothing at all. If you wish to challenge the scientific consensus you can only do so through the scientific process: research, peer review, publication.

      • BBD you write “If you wish to challenge the scientific consensus you can only do so through the scientific process: research, peer review, publication.”

        Here is the problem. What you state has merit. However, the problem is the expression “scientific consensus”. There is no such thing as a scientiifc consensus. I suppose that is my opinion, but it is what I have always understood that physics is all about.

        You are right. This discussion is going nowhere. You cannot produce any empirical evidence that adding CO2 to the atmosphere causes global warming, and you won’t admit that there is no such empirical evidence. I will never accept that CAGW is anything more than an unproven hypothesis until the empirical evidence is produced.

        It is a sort of Mexican standoff. Neither of us will change our opinion, and one of us is wrong. In the end the emipirical data will prove which of us is wrong.

      • There is no such thing as a scientiifc consensus.

        Really?

        Given the implacable nature of physics, I suspect the existing scientific consensus to be better founded than contrary opinion. The physics of radiative transfer has been exhaustively investigated and described and never shown to be invalid.

        You cannot produce any empirical evidence that adding CO2 to the atmosphere causes global warming, and you won’t admit that there is no such empirical evidence.

        Empirical evidence including the increase in OHC, SSTs, GAT and cryospheric shrinkage demonstrates that energy is accumulating in the climate system. Scientists have predicted that GHG forcing resulting from the physics of radiative transfer will cause energetic imbalance for over a century.

        There comes a point when contrarianism tips over into denial.

      • BBD: the empirical evidence is not any ocean and air temperature increases nor ice melting or polar bear homelessness. Those data are all circumstantial evidence that can and do have other causal mechanisms.

        The empirical evidence would be measured increases of downward IR in the CO2 band with increasing CO2 atmospheric concentrations.

      • Those data are all circumstantial evidence that can and do have other causal mechanisms.

        The accumulation of energy in the global ocean from the second half of the C20th onwards is held by many to be unequivocal evidence that the climate system is in radiative disequilibrium. If not increasing GHG forcing, what explains this increase in global OHC since the mid-C20th?

        It needs to be stressed that this is a global phenomenon. See Levitus et al. (2012) supplementary information, p.2 Fig. S1 for all individual basins 0-2000m and p.3 Fig. S2 for individual basins 0-700m.

        Levitus 2012 key points as stated in the abstract:

        – A strong positive linear trend in exists in world ocean heat content since 1955

        – One third of the observed warming occurs in the 700-2000 m layer of the ocean

        – The warming can only be explained by the increase in atmospheric GHGs

        I am not aware of any widely supported study or studies that provide an alternative explanation for the increase in global OHC. Which study or studies did you have in mind?

      • BBD says: “Your papers, please”

        What caused the 1910-1940… the uber-rapid sooper-scary warming period just before the last 30-year *pause*?

        What do your paper tigers say about that?

      • Responding to a question with a question is the standard tactic used by those without an answer to the original question.

        But rather than simply ignore your question as you have mine, let’s say that it is hypothesised that an increase in atmospheric transparency (‘global brightening’)might have been at least partially responsible. See Wild (2009).

        TSI seems likely to have been another factor. The fact that TSI peaked ~1960 during the cool period spanning the mid-C20th could be seen as support for the hypothesis that negative aerosol forcing was dominant at this time.

        Now, what has caused global OHC to increase since the mid-C20th if not GHG forcing? Please include references to published studies.

      • BBD:

        The OHC and GMT and MSL increases are empirical evidence of global warming. They are not empirical evidence of the cause or source of the warming.

        The empirical evidence that CO2 might possibly be the source of extra heat is the field data that actually measures the increases in downward longwave in the CO2 bands and the global increases in atmospheric CO2.

        These pieces of empirical data are then used to support mathematical models that correlate CO2 increases to increasing heating of the atmosphere and oceans.

        I don’t care what *studies* you cite, these are the cold hard facts: there is no direct field measurements that empirically relates temperature and CO2. It takes math. This is why empiricism and modeling, by themselves, are dead ends.

        Correlation is not causation is not empirical evidence.

      • “radiative disequilibrium.”

        A sign the person doesn’t know what the heck he’s talking about.

      • I don’t care what *studies* you cite, these are the cold hard facts: there is no direct field measurements that empirically relates temperature and CO2. It takes math. This is why empiricism and modeling, by themselves, are dead ends.

        Ah yes, if only we’d had the foresight to install a global network of monitoring stations at least 30 years ago.

        Instead, we are forced to rely on:

        – robust radiative physics
        – ground-based instrumental evidence that CO2 absorbs and therefore emits IR exactly in accordance with the physical theory
        – satellite data confirming this
        – satellite data apparently indicating a radiative imbalance at TOA
        – robust measurements of the fraction of atmospheric CO2
        – increasing global OHC since the mid-C20th

        You can hammer the empirical nit into the table but it doesn’t get around the unanswered question: if not GHG forcing, what caused the increase in global OHC?

        Parsimonious reasoning points to GHG forcing. Unless you can account for the increase in OHC by another mechanism, this is where we are, like it or not.

        So why is global OHC increasing?

      • 1. All the WV feedback studies I’ve seen are inferential/residual-type things. “We need the feedback to make the theory fit the data so that must be it.” If somebody has actually directly shown to high precision how much evaporation and precipitation changes as a result of CO2 forcing then I think we all would have heard about it and the sensitivity debate would be over.

        2. We know that some clouds increase the earth’s albedo and have a cooling effect. If any of these clouds are formed when the air has more moisture as a result of evaporation, and CO2 forcing causes more evaporation, then that is a channel of negative feedback. It may be outweighed by positive WV and cloud effects, but if so, by how much?

        3. You completely skipped over my point about interpreting the pre-anthro multi-decadal temperature swings. On the one hand, if the climate can make moves that look just like the moves now attributed to CO2 even when there is no rise in CO2, then it calls into question today’s CO2 sensitivity estimate. On the other hand, if the climate can make moves like that without CO2 then maybe we should be quite worried about what happens when we add a CO2 effect on top of possible “natural” upward movements in the future. Perception of this issue is like perception of a Necker cube.

        4. It is an unproven assumption that pre-anthro swings in climate were caused by forcings. That is exactly what is at issue between the believers in spatio-temporal nonlinearity and the “linearists” (a better word perhaps than “warmists” in this context).

        5. On the pre-1970 (and also post-1970) studies that try to account for multiple forcings, we see incomplete lists of inaccurately measured forcings applied to dodgy temperature data by motivated researchers with many degrees of freedom in their choices. If the researchers’ motivations or priors were opposite, they could generate papers giving opposite results using the same methods. The issues and data here are no clearer than in a field like macroeconomics; there probably is more consistent publication bias in climate science than in macroeconomics, though.

        6. Taking out ENSO from a climate regression is different from taking out volcanic aerosols, because we don’t know if ENSO is itself a forcing, an endogenous response to forcings, a temporally varying exogenous shift in the response of the climate to forcings, or what. The same goes for the other “internal” modes of variation. I would think that getting to the bottom of this issue would be the A1 scientific puzzle for anyone trying to understand how climate works, but priorities often appear different to a layman than to a professional.

      • 1/ Which ones did you have in mind?

        2/ You can infer the answer from known climate behaviour. If the climate system is dominated in the short term by net negative feedbacks from cloud and WV then it would be unresponsive. Small changes in forcings would not be capable of driving the observed variability during the first half of the C20th. There is no evidence that there were large changes in forcing over this period.

        3/ I’m sorry, I thought I had addressed your points, but let me try again:

        – If the climate system is sensitive to radiative forcing it will be sensitive to RF from increased CO2. The start point is that C20th climate behaviour cannot be explained adequately unless the climate system is responsive to radiative forcing. So a pronounced response to increased RF from, say, insolation in the early C20th is evidence that the climate system will also be sensitive to increased RF from CO2.

        – Agreed, there is a strong likelihood that natural variability will periodically suppress and periodically augment anthropogenic forcing.

        4/ Climate change not caused by forcing? Also known as energy? Even spatio-temporal nonlinearity needs something to get the work done. Rather that ‘linearist’ call me an Occamist on this.

        5/ I’m not going to argue about ‘dodgy’ temperature data and supposedly ‘motivated’ researchers. There is no evidence whatsoever to justify this:

        If the researchers’ motivations or priors were opposite, they could generate papers giving opposite results using the same methods.

        6/ ENSO is an oscillation, hence the O. Its effects largely cancel out over time. It’s very hard to see how ENSO could be responsible for an increase in global ocean heat content spanning half a century.

      • stevepostrel:

        Very nice summary of the state of things. I like your use of “linearist” for warmist, however, it seems the Lukewarmers&#0153 (&#0169 S. Mosher, 2006) are fixated on straight lines as well.

      • Lukewarmers™ (© S. Mosher, 2006)

      • Howard,

        You have a quote from 2006?

        And it’s ™, btw.

  73. Smoking Frong

    I don’t see anything wrong with “Global warming stopped 16 years ago.” Consider “Harry stopped at Jim’s house an hour ago.” In the absence of additional information, there’s no implication or suggestion that Harry is or is not on his way to somewhere else.

    • Seriously?

      You honestly don’t think that the implication of the “Global warming has stopped” doesn’t imply that GHE theory is invalid?

      Tell me, what does it mean when “skeptics” talk about “global cooling?” How about when “skeptics” talk about the AGW hoax perpetrated by eco-Nazis intent on destroying capitalism and installing a one-world government?

      • Latimer Alder

        @joshua

        For once I agree with you.

        It is kind of hard to reconcile a increase of Co2 from 360 ppm to 390 ppm over 16 years with both the observed zero temperature increase and GHE theory.

        How do you propose to go about doing it?

        I have popcorn.

      • First of, the temperature increase over the last 16 years is not zero. Bad start, Latimer.

        As for the scientific puzzle, at the risk of repeating myself:

        The current warming hiatus may be caused by a change in the rate and depth of energy accumulation within the oceans (Trenberth et al. 2011), or by increased sulphate aerosol loading from both anthropogenic and natural sources (Hansen & Sato 2011 Earth’s energy balance and its implications; Vernier et al 2011), or by the ‘quiet’ Solar Cycle 24, or by predominantly La Nina conditions putatively arising from a ‘cold phase’ PDO, or by an increase in stratospheric water vapour (Solomon et al, 2011) or by a combination of some or all these influences. It’s enough to have even real scientists scratching their heads.

        What it is not is evidence that the physics of radiative transfer are incorrectly understood. GHG forcing is real and it will continue to increase as the atmospheric fraction of GHGs continues to rise. On a century scale, this is still cause for the gravest concern.

        These are the facts and the mysteries non-partisan, non-political investigators have to work with.

        Claims that ‘AGW is falsified’ aren’t remotely scientific. Which means they are motivated by politics or emotion or both.

      • Latimer – It’s not hard. A decades-long natural cycle would do the trick; it wouldn’t mean there was no anthropogenic warming. And Joshua would probably think of that. I’m far more concerned with the fact that he’s smearing the skeptics.

      • Latimer Alder

        @bbd

        And there was me looking at the HADCRUT data and seeing that it was zero. Silly me. Perhaps they have got it wrong?? Please the data you are using and indicate the error of my ways.

        Lots of ideas there about what might have/would have/could have happened.. Any reliable evidence for any of them? Given the nature of the academic reward system, having had a paper published about something does not of itself constitute ‘reliable evidence’.

        What crucial observations/experiments would you propose to undertake to sort the wheat from the chaff in this case?

        I note that you now have AGW down as a gravest concern ‘on a century scale’. That ain’t going to get them throwing money and wailing and gnashing their teeth in Hicksville, Anystate.

        ‘Listen up folks – it might be a bit warmer for your great great great grandchildren if you don’t do what I say’ is hardly a hearts and minds winning proposition when the big questions today are jobs, energy bills and feeding today’s kids.

      • Latimer Alder

        @smoking frog

        Non-alarmist Joshua smearing sceptics is what he does..It is the nature of the beast. Not worth complaining about it. Just ignore it like everybody else does. He probably doesn’t even know he’s doing it. Bless.

        But OTOH I’ve always thought ‘Care in the Community’ was a flawed policy.

      • Latimer

        It’s interesting that during this supposed hiatus, land surface temperatures are still rising from 2000 – present. Annoyingly, CRUTEM4 is not yet available either through WfT or MCP, but I can show NOAA Land and GISS Ts, which respectively trend at 0.18C/decade and 0.16C/decade over this period. Very much not zero.

        Land surface measurements are by far the most numerous and accurate available. It makes sense to look at them once in a while.

      • Sorry, I should have said CRUTEM4 *updated to the present* is not yet available.

      • Smoking Frog –

        I’m far more concerned with the fact that he’s smearing the skeptics.

        How do you see me as “smearing the skeptics?”

        Perhaps I should explain. Usually I qualify the term “skeptics” with “some” or something along those lines.

        I didn’t do it this time in part out of carelessness, and in part to make a point out of Judith’s near complete failure to make such qualifications when she talks about “the climate scientists”‘ and “the skeptics.” I do that because I think that she is very unscientific in the selective nature in how she, say, throws many “skeptics” under the bus to characterize “skepticism” by some completely unvalidated association between some ill-defined rhetoric from some ill-defined group.

        But “Mommy, mommy, they did it first” is invalid, IMO. And so while I don’t agree that I was “smearing the skeptics,” I do agree that I should go back and qualify my earlier comment:

        Tell me, what does it mean when some “skeptics” talk about “global cooling?” How about when some “skeptics” talk about the AGW hoax perpetrated by eco-Nazis intent on destroying capitalism and installing a one-world government?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Changes in solar and aerosols forcing are quite small –

        And going in the wrong direction more recently.

        Given the choice between believing data and not? The oceans probably warmed in ARGO.

        The warming is too strong to be other than cloud.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Oh and the world is not warming for a decade or three at least and some eco-socialists are intent on bringing down capitalism and installing a world government.

      • Lattimer Alder

        It is kind of hard to reconcile a increase of Co2 from 360 ppm to 390 ppm over 16 years with both the observed zero temperature increase and GHE theory.

        The above statement in a chart => http://bit.ly/TyvGWH

      • Joshua – I think I accidentally didn’t use the “Reply” link for my last message, which was a reply to you. Scroll down and you’ll see it.

      • David Springer

        Global warming has not stopped, it has paused. I believe that latter is the more accurate conveyance. The ocean isn’t becoming acid it’s becoming less alkaline. The latter in that case too is the more accurate conveyance. If you value consistency and objectivity over political agenda you should agree. Do you agree?

      • David Springer – Who, me? I don’t agree or disagree that AGW has merely paused, except in the case that AGW is very small, in which case I’d say, maybe it has only paused.

        If you are addressing me: Your idea that I should agree if I “value consistency and objectivity over political agenda” does not even make sense. I should agree if I think AGW has merely paused, and I should disagree if I don’t think so. I tend to think that AGW is quite small.
        .

      • BBD

        If increase in CO2 concentration had effect on the global mean temperature, why is its trend constant since record begun in 1850 as shown? => http://bit.ly/S0otl3

      • Girma – A trend (linear regression) line is always “constant.” There is no other possibility.

      • Smoking

        I mean all the peaks of the global mean surface temperature (GMST) approximately lie on a straight line since 1850. All the troughs of the GMST approximately lie on a straight line since 1850. And these two lines are parallel to the overall trend.

      • GIrma

        We’ve been through this before. You seem stuck on a simple and incorrect assumption. The fraction of atmospheric CO2 only began to rise sharply in the second half of the C20th. Forced response in GAT is only discernible since the mid-1970s.

      • BBD

        Forced response in GAT is only discernible since the mid-1970,

        That is a huge assumption.

      • So you are claiming that the physics of radiative transfer is incorrectly understood? Can you prove this?

      • There is only evidence for a warming of 0.06 deg C per decade as shown => http://bit.ly/S0otl3

        IPCC’s 0.2 deg C per decade warming is contrary to the climate pattern of the last 162 years (the upper boundary lines have never been crossed for long)

        You may say the 0.06 deg C per decade warming is due to CO2 concentration increase in the amosphere, not 0.2 deg C per decade.

      • There is only evidence for a warming of 0.06 deg C per decade as shown

        CO2 concentrations were not fixed over this period. As previously stated, they rose *sharply* in the second half of the C20th. Your extrapolation is meaningless and worse, misleading. Deliberately so, IMO.

        As I said, we’ve been through this. No further response.

      • steven mosher

        Joshua.

        “You honestly don’t think that the implication of the “Global warming has stopped” doesn’t imply that GHE theory is invalid?”

        Some people have in fact read it as follows.

        “saying that it has stopped is admitting it is real to begin with”

        So no the statement ” global warming has stopped” does not and cannot imply anything about the theory. People can draw inferences from one statement, but typically they dont draw inferences in a logical or disciplined fashion.

    • Right. And ithere is nothing wrong with saying the expected global cooling phase did not start 16-years ago due to increasing CO2 levels and WMGHG warming.

    • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

      Smoking Frong | October 19, 2012 at 8:28 am | Reply
      I don’t see anything wrong with “Global warming stopped 16 years ago.”

      _______
      Except, that it’s not true, and has taken a specific measurement of a specific part of the planet, and conflated it to a more broadly based truth, which is not supported by the evidence.

      The very specific “level tropospheric temperatures over the past 15 or 16 years” (the measurement) does not equate in any way to “Global warming stopped 15 years ago”. And those who try to conflate the two, either wittingly or unwittingly, would be only serving political purposes to do so, either wittingly or unwittingly.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Unlike all those people who constantly talked about the planet warming because the same things showed warming for a while. It was okay for them to not talk about the planet as a whole.

        But if you discuss the exact same thing they did, it’s not okay. By not changing the subject, you’re serving political purposes.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Speak to me of facts and specifics. I don’t know anyone named “those people” or “them”.

        The facts are that tropospheric temperatures have stayed essentially flat for about 15 years. Flatter at the highest levels on instrument record. Tropospheric temperatures do not represent “the Planet” or “the Globe” nor does the troposphere even have as much energy as the oceans. These are the facts. To say “the Planet” or “the Globe” or “the Earth” has been cooling over the past 15 years or even holding steady in temperatures is not factually correct, and saying it is, both obscures the true scientific facts, and wittingly or unwittingly, serves certain political interests.

  74. Joshua – You’re missing the fact that I said “in the absence of additional information.” Skeptics will tend to see the hiatus as evidence that, in general, that there is little or no AGW, while believers will tend to see it as being of little or no importance for the question; but this is because they (both of them) are using additional information. By your standard, far less provocative statements should be criticized because skeptics would take them as confirming their skepticism. That’s the standard of a propagandist.

    • Smoking Frog (btw – what’s up with the nic?),

      You’re missing the fact that I said “in the absence of additional information.”

      If there is any one thing that can absolutely be confirmed with certainty in the climate debate, it is that combatants on both sides will: (1) willfully invalidly dismiss, undermine, or ignore “additional information,” to confirm their biases and (2), selectively highlight information to confirm their biases. To say “in the absence of additional information” becomes, essentially, meaningless, as their is no objective arbitrator for what comprises “additional information.”

      That’s the standard of a propagandist.

      Along those lines, here’s what we know. The statement “global warming has stopped” when provided in inappropriately qualified reports (say reports that fail to note what the difference is between “stopped” and “paused – which was what the term “stopped” meant in your example) becomes the statement of a propagandist. But even if there is “additional information” provided – the propagandistic effects remain. For example, I have seen rightwingers turn right around and post (on non climate change specific sites) that “Global warming has stopped.” I can provide examples if you like.

      When a combatant fails to note the insufficiency of such a statement (which in this case was presented devoid of appropriate context) they essentially become a propagandist. But we’re all propagandists in this debate. We’re all trying to use rhetoric for the purpose of influencing others. So being a propagandist in and of itself is not particularly notable.

      What is notable is when someone like Judith willfully ignores propagandistic strategies and tactics selectively on one side while focusing heavily on such tactics on the other side. It is easy to predict exactly how input such as the Rose article will function as propaganda.

      Again, I go back to Judith’s praise for an article that says that Jones “admitted” that climate models aren’t “perfect.” Such a characterization of Jones’ perspective is obviously the work of a propagandist. To say that Jones “admitted” that models aren’t perfect puts propaganda on display. And Judith repeats her pattern with how she treats propaganda – paying lip service to the notion being even-handed even as she fails to step up her game on occasion after occasion to call out propaganda among “skeptics.”

      IMO, the point is to call out the facile nature of statements such as “global warming has stopped,” rather than to argue how, if you squint just so in the exactly right kind of light, it might not look exactly like propaganda.

      • @joshua

        ‘Global warming has stopped’ is the only sensible expression until something different happens. You can only know it the stop was really just a pause in hindsight.

        Example. You are on a bus. It draws to a halt. In the absence of any further information all you can say is ‘this bus has stopped’. Only if it continues onward again can you say ‘the bus stopped, but it was only a pause’

        We do not have any information. We may hope or expect or dread or pray for it only being a pause but for the moment ‘Global warming has stopped’ is the only reliable statement we can make.

        FWIW I find it very surprising that those who have been most anxious to tell us how horrible the warmed future will be, how ghastly the lives of future generations and how negligent we are all being without emissions cuts are the first to condemn the welcome news that the warming has stopped and do their best to persuade us all that it’s really worse than ever. Seems a strange set of priorities to me…….The cynic (who me??) might think that their agenda was about something other than ‘global warming’ all along.

      • The cynic (who me??) might think that their agenda was about something other than ‘global warming’ all along.

        Are you a conspiracy theorist Latimer?

      • Latimer Alder

        @BBD

        You ask

        ‘Am I a conspiracy theorist’?

        Nope. Absolutely not.

        Two main reasons.

        1. I prefer cockup to conspiracy every time. Seen too many, been directly involved in a few cockups to know that conspiracy usually requires far too much brains and organisation than is available to any but a very small (<5) band of people. As the number of conspirators increases, the difficulty increases as the factorial of the number of participants and soon gets to scary numbers.

        2. There is far too big a premium for the first guy to betray the conspiracy..to break the omerta. Example. If the moon landings had really been faked it would have taken a lot of people to do it. The first one to break silence would make a mint from the details…the 100th guy might get only 100 bucks. Or in a criminal conspiracy, betraying your mates would usually get you better treatment than being the mug who hangs on till last.

        Both these arguments are persuasive to me. But neither of them mean that Groupthink isn't a powerful motivation. You need only to look at any religious institution to see that it often composed of people who think substantially alike to realise that it is a powerful force. You;d need to work very hard to persuade me that climatology is uniquely immune from its charms.

      • Groupthink:

        You;d need to work very hard to persuade me that climatology is uniquely immune from its charms.

        The premium for the first young dogs to rip up the groupthink is a Nobel. Scientists are people, and many are ambitious and combative people. Pulling down the scientific consensus is the way to go. Unsurprisingly, this is the way science has always worked. You will need to try much harder to persuade me that this has changed. Or that climatology is specially exempt.

        Imagine being the author of the paper that blew it all away. Seriously. Acclaim to rival if not surpass Einstein.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘Recent scientific evidence shows that major and widespread climate changes have occurred with startling speed. For example, roughly half the north Atlantic warming since the last ice age was achieved in only a decade, and it was accompanied by significant climatic changes across most of the globe. Similar events, including local warmings as large as 16°C, occurred repeatedly during the slide into and climb out of the last ice age. Human civilizations arose after those extreme, global ice-age climate jumps. Severe droughts and other regional climate events during the current warm period have shown similar tendencies of abrupt onset and great persistence, often with adverse effects on societies.

        Abrupt climate changes were especially common when the climate system was being forced to change most rapidly. Thus, greenhouse warming and other human alterations of the earth system may increase the possibility of large, abrupt, and unwelcome regional or global climatic events. The abrupt changes of the past are not fully explained yet, and climate models typically underestimate the size, speed, and extent of those changes. Hence, future abrupt changes cannot be predicted with confidence, and climate surprises are to be expected.

        The new paradigm of an abruptly changing climatic system has been well established by research over the last decade, but this new thinking is little known and scarcely appreciated in the wider community of natural and social scientists and policy-makers.’ http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=10136&page=1

        Already happened – but paradigms don’t die off all that easily.

      • Latimer Alder

        @bbd

        Re Groupthink

        You strain my credulity too far! Climatology is (AFAIK) about the only ‘science’ where adherence to ‘the consensus’ is valued so highly that scientific decisions are apparently made by consensus and not by evidence. it is the only field where those not adhering to consensus (Michaels, Singer etc) are routinely denounced as ‘deniers’. It may not be the only field where senior members work to prevent publication of papers that do not conform to their views, but it is certainly notable for that unpleasant trait.

        All the above are hugely characteristic of Groupthink. I can see few reasons why a young scientist with the talent and the drive to be capable of winning a Nobel Prize would want to join such a field. Nonconformists are definitely unwelcome…and it doesn’t even seem as if he would have congenial and/or stimulating colleagues. Such an individual would look elsewhere for his glory. Only conformists need apply here..

        ISTM that climatology is just about the spiritual and academic true home of Groupthink..not its nemesis.

      • I responded to the groupthink nonsense here. Just popping back up and repeating this evidence-free smear of an entire field is a waste of time. Both yours as well as mine.

        The reason Singer and Michaels and the rest are dismissed is that their public statements are junk. Public statements, note; not published studies. Those are very rare and only then in obscure or junk journals. While it pleases contrarians to imagine that is because of a conspiracy (which you don’t believe in, remember) it is in fact because the papers are exceptionally weak. This is easily demonstrable by the way each and every contrarian paper gets shredded after publication. You can deny this, but it is a very public *fact*.

        The only Groupthink I can see is that amongst contrarians.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Again it has already happened. The inability to process anomalous information is quite telling.

        ‘I use the term groupthink as a quick and easy way to refer to the mode of thinking that persons engage in when concurrence-seeking becomes so dominant in a cohesive ingroup that it tends to override realistic appraisal of alternative courses of action.’ Irving Janis

        I call it the cult of AGW groupthink space cadets. It is quite real.

      • Again it has already happened. The inability to process anomalous information is quite telling.

        Stop wittering and get your hypothesis written up and submitted. Either that or you will be dismissed as just another mouthy blog crank. Final warning.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Groundhog day again – space cadet? It is all there is the peer reviewed literature – http://www.image.ucar.edu/idag/Papers/Wong_ERBEreanalysis.pdf – indeed – indeed as reported in s 3.4.4.1 of AR4.

        So if you have nothing but an idioitic refrain – then you’ll excuse me.

      • More evidence for a sensitive climate system. The Younger Dryas appears to have been triggered by high latitude meltwater flux from the NH ice sheet interrupting deep water formation and halting the AMOC. Which messed with the *radiative balance* of the climate system…

      • Yeap, the Younger Dryas was strong in the NH, weak in the SH and a tiny blimp in the tropics., strong evidence of a non-linear sensitivity.

      • You are right of course, but it makes no difference. The YD shows strongly up in GRIP but is much less pronounced in the Antarctic cores because interrupting the AMOC turns poleward ocean heat transport on and off causing abrupt NH climate change. How could that happen if the climate system is insensitive to changes in radiative forcing?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Oh for God’s sake the system is chaotic – it is a system of control variables and multiple negative and positive feedbacks – nonlinearly and abruptly shifting on decadal to millenial scales. This is the new paradigm advanced by the NAS but very little recognised by natural or climate scientists.

        It is hugely stupid however to keep going back ad nauseam to the sensitivity meme as if this has escaped our attention.

        They are wrong but the climate is still sensitive? Duh – these guys are really thick.

  75. Since IPCC’s first report in 1990, assessed projections have suggested global average temperature increases between about 0.15°C and 0.3°C per decade for 1990 to 2005. This can now be compared with observed values of about 0.2°C per decade, strengthening confidence in near-term projections.

    Observed data=> http://bit.ly/TBBcIb

    Least square trend for the 15 years period 1990-2005 => 0.2 deg C per decade

    Least square trend for the 15 years period 1996-2011 => 0.07 deg C per decade

    The observed trend of 0.07 deg C per decade for the latest 15 year period is BELOW IPCC’s “suggested global average temperature increases between about 0.15°C and 0.3°C per decade”.

    IPCC’s near-term projection has failed just in five years.

    • IPCC’s Trend Multiplication Factor = 0.2 /0.07 = 2.8

      Actual climate sensitivity = IPCC’s Climate Sensitivity/ IPCC’s Trend Multiplication Factor

      Actual climate sensitivity = 3/2.8 = 1.1 deg C for doubling of CO2.

    • BBD, “How could that happen if the climate system is insensitive to changes in radiative forcing?”

      I guess you haven’t notice that climate is a tad complex. No surface can emit energy any faster than energy can be transferred to the radiant surface. If there is an event in the NH, the NH oceans will lose energy quickly at first, then the rate of flux from the oceans to the atmosphere has to reduce, limited by the rate of convection in the oceans. Just like there is a ln curve for forcing with increased atmospheric forcing, there is an ln curve for decreased surface “feedback” Since land has lower thermal capacity (thermal mass) it losses energy more quickly than the oceans. The impact of CO2 actually increases under the “stressed” condition. The difference between the GRIP core and the Tierney or other equatorial core, would give you you a reasonable estimate of the maximum rate of internal heat transfer.

      So you have two hemispheres with different “sensitivities” because land mass amplifies changes in forcing/feedback.

      Now if you can follow that, imagine there is a thermal equator. If the equator shifts north, that is amplified, global warming, if it shifts south that is also amplified, global cooling, but total global heat content doesn’t change that much unless the shift is prolonged. The 400 to 600 years prior to 1900, might be considered, prolonged. Interestingly, the ~1500 years of the Younger Dryas is pretty similar the ~1500 years of the Bond Events. Could that be related to internal energy transfer?

  76. Dr. Curry – Do you know the joke about the man who went to prison…? At lunch on his first day, he found that various prisoners were calling out numbers, whereupon everyone would laugh; a man said “53,” and everyone laughed; another man then said “17,” and everyone laughed. The new man asked someone what was going on, and he was told that these were the numbers of jokes; everyone had been there for so long that they knew all the jokes, so, to save time, they had numbered them and memorized the list; to tell a joke, you simply called out the number.

    Never mind the rest of the joke, but I think some of the arguments in comments threads here are so familiar that you should create a similar list and post it. That way, a person could simply post a number instead of making an argument. :-)

      • We could enlist David Wojick, it would make the Issue Tree more compact if each of these arguments had a number.

      • Judith

        Yes, there is a considerable amount of repitition and circularity of argument here, especially amongst a small group of salon customers. A ‘menu’ of familiar discussion points and rebuttals by number would save a lot of time.

        Mind you, when modern CAGW is shown to be nothing more than a continuation of a 350 year warming trend what will we find to talk about?.

        Oh! That can be number 18.
        tonyb

      • If you abandon nesting system (e.g. WUWT) one could scroll down and only read comments from certain contributors. Long repetitive comments get ignored and they eventually go away. Here I first I search for ‘curryja’ using ‘Ctrl F’ and than only 3-4 others.

      • Another approach would be that anyone making a scientific claim must reference at least one published study in support of that claim. That would whittle things down pretty sharply, would it not?

      • Bob Fernley-Jones

        Judith,
        I agree with Vukcevic!
        I find the nesting system to be very annoying, especially if the thread becomes lengthy. It actually discourages me from coming here.

      • It actually discourages me from coming here. Do you have any examples of its disadvantages too?

    • My brother worked out a time-saving numbering system for repeated behavioral admonishments for his children.

      For example, #4 was “Shut the door.”

      Of course, the kids reversed the technique and used it against their parents: #39 became “Stop embarrassing me in public.”

    • Smoking Frog,

      We’ve already done that. We’re up to 173 so far.

      http://skepticalscience.net/argument.php

  77. … So the new prisoner reads the tattered joke book
    and one day he decides to ‘tell’ his favourite joke.

    ‘Number forty two,’ he says.
    Nobody laughs … So he tries again.
    ‘Number forty two.’
    Nobody laughs.
    A bit louder … ‘NUMBER FORTY TWO!’
    Silence.
    So he asks, ‘ Why aren’t y’all laughing?
    ‘Because,’ says one of the the prisoners,
    ‘Yer didn’t tell it right.’

  78. When this thread started, I thought it was the best one our hostess had produced. For myself, I was right. I never dreamed I would learn such an important lesson. I have discussed CAGW with my MP, David McGuinty, who is a lawyer, and he had one argument I could not counter. How could I be right when there was a consensus of the world’s leading scientists that I am wrong.

    Now BBD, who I assume considers himself to be a scientist, argued that he was right because a scientific consensus exists. However, he refuses to discuss empirical evidence to support this supposed consensus. Now in the whole history of physics, there has never been an occasion when a scientific consensus emerged, unless there was overwhelming empirical evidence that the physics was correct. It has never happened before.

    Our hostess seemed to think she could have a forum where both sides of the debate on CAGW could discuss the issue on a scientific basis. As long as there are scientists who can argue that a scientific consenus exists, with no empirical data to support that consensus, then Dr. Curry’s hopes are going to be dashed. There is absolutely no chance of any proper scientific discourse as long as there are people who claim they are scientists, and who believe that there is such a thing as a scientific consensus with no empirical data to supprt it. That chasm can never be bridged.

  79. Now BBD, who I assume considers himself to be a scientist, argued that he was right because a scientific consensus exists. However, he refuses to discuss empirical evidence to support this supposed consensus.

    I consider myself to be a rationalist. I did not ‘refuse’ to discuss empirical evidence. Please do not mischaracterise my comments like this. Why should I do such a thing when there is an embarrassment of data demonstrating the accumulation of energy in the climate system? I point to the robust radiative physics providing the mechanism driving this accumulation. I point to the absence of any *empirical evidence* for any other energetically sufficient forcing that could account for the observations.

      • Chief, Let me make a general statement. You can show all the temperature/time graphs you like. Until you can prove that adding CO2 to the atmosphere has caused any particular change in temperature, then there is no empirical data to prove that adding CO2 to the atmospehre causes a change of temperature.

      • You obviously don’t understand the meaning of the term empirical data.

      • Chief, you write “What do you want? ”

        Very simple. I want some empirical data that proves that when you add CO2 to the atmopshere, it causes global temperatures to rise.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Jim – not really sure what your point is. Usually you just rabbit on some nonsense about sensitivity that I have stopped reading. There is no temperature/time graph unless you count the third panel in Dessler – which is more a comparison of ENSO and temperature.

        What do you want? A confession from greenhouse gases? Try this one – http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v410/n6826/abs/410355a0.html

        BBD – it has all been published. Refusal to acknowledge the evidence is not the same as there being no evidence.

      • You are advancing a view not heard within the mainstream scientific position. So why not publish your synthesis of these results? Make a scientific argument if you have one. What is stopping you? I’m not taking the piss here. I mean this.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Rubbish.

        ‘The overall slight rise (relative heating) of global total net flux at TOA between the 1980’s and 1990’s is confirmed in the tropics by the ERBS measurements and exceeds the estimated climate forcing changes (greenhouse gases and aerosols) for this period. The most obvious explanation is the associated changes in cloudiness during this period. ‘

        http://isccp.giss.nasa.gov/projects/browse_fc.html

        http://www.image.ucar.edu/idag/Papers/Wong_ERBEreanalysis.pdf

        ‘n summary, although there is independent evidence for decadal changes in TOA radiative fluxes over the last two decades, the evidence is equivocal. Changes in the planetary and tropical TOA radiative fluxes are consistent with independent global ocean heat-storage data, and are expected to be dominated by changes in cloud radiative forcing. To the extent that they are real, they may simply reflect natural low-frequency variability of the climate system.’ IPCC AR4

        And in CERES –

        There is nothing new in it at all – just because you don’t understand doesn’t mean that there is any great mystery.

      • There is nothing new in it at all – just because you don’t understand doesn’t mean that there is any great mystery.

        You are blustering. If you have something serious, then get it written up and submit. Or we will have to start wondering aloud why you do not. The obvious explanation is that your hypothesis is extremely flimsy and you know it.

        Disagree? Publish. Want to challenge the scientific consensus? How else are you going to do it? Posting bollocks here does not cut it. You know this as well as I do.

      • Chief, you write “What do you want? ”

        Very simple. I want some empirical data that proves that when you add CO2 to the atmopshere, it causes global temperatures to rise

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘Our results provide direct experimental evidence for a significant increase in the Earth’s greenhouse effect that is consistent with concerns over radiative forcing of climate.’

        Already linked to.

      • Chief, you write “Our results provide direct experimental evidence for a significant increase in the Earth’s greenhouse effect that is consistent with concerns over radiative forcing of climate.’
        Already linked to.”

        Where on earth does this come from?

      • Chief, on second thoughts, I think I know where this comes from. This is a reference to radiative forcing. I have agreed that when CO2 is added to the atmosphere, it causes a radiative imbalance. This is, quite properly, a greenhouse effect. And, yes there is empirical data to support that adding CO2 to the atmopshere causes a greenhouse effect.

        But that is not the issue, and that is not my question. My question does not relate to a “greenhouse effect”. It refers to change of temperature. These are not the same thing. What no-one can show is how much global temperatures rise as a result to the agreed radiative imbalance.

        Temperatures are the issue. Not greenhouse effect.

      • Jim Cripwell, by “temperature”, do you also include ocean heat content? It is not the same thing, but also an important part of the budget.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Except that the ocean gains heat in an El Nino – and it because of the cloud changes as described by Zhu. In Wongs Fig. 7 the OHC and net ERBS peak at the same time along with the 1997/98 El Nino. Both then decline to the 1999/2000 La Nina – in the big shift in cloud that occurred at the end of the century.

        It is not known what happens to latent and sensible heat losses from the ocean – but smething is known about losses to space and that’s what’s important.

        You are still armwaving about energy transfers between ocean and atmosphere – we don’t know and I don’t especially care.

        Reading the Wong paper as something other than ‘rapid warming of the ocean during the 1997–98 El Niño event’ is a bit ornery.

      • JIm D. you write “Jim Cripwell, by “temperature”, do you also include ocean heat content? It is not the same thing, but also an important part of the budget.”

        Of course, ocean heat content, and any other meaasure of the global temperature and heat content. But the point is that whatever measure is chosen, it is necessary to prove that adding CO2 to the atmosphere cause this measure to increase. It is this proof that is the issue.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        This is so funny. I quote the IPCC and NASA/GISS – as well as others and it is simply not so. So we descend into the nether world of cult of AGW groupthink space cadets.

        This is why the oceans warmed.

        Publish that? Oh wait – it is already published.

        http://www.image.ucar.edu/idag/Papers/Wong_ERBEreanalysis.pdf

      • It is interesting that this 2005 study was able to confirm that the ocean heat content change was consistent with the magnitude of anthropogenic forcing on decadal scales, and that has actually continued in the years since their data.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Limited data from sea surface levels. But we have already seen that the flux anomalies in the tropics were a 1.4 W/m^2 net warming trend consisting of 2.1 W/m2 warming in the shortwave and 0.7 W/m^2 cooling in the IR between 1983 and 2000.

        OHC as far as we can see rose after 1970. These clouds changes I say are related to SST in the Pacific especially (eg Burgman et al 2008, Clements et al 2009) – observed in COADS to shift (in the Great Pacific Climate Shift – google it) in the 1970’s.

        We have seen as well that all of the ocean warming in the CERES record is in the shortwave.

        It all fits together in a pattern of evidential consilience. More frequent and more intense La Nina over the next decade or three is as certain as anything in climate and will create a cooling influence. Someday we might even get good at numerical prediction. ‘A negative tendency of the predicted PDO phase in the coming decade will enhance the rising trend in surface air-temperature (SAT) over east Asia and over the KOE region, and suppress it along the west coasts of North and South America and over the equatorial Pacific. This suppression will contribute to a slowing down of the global-mean SAT rise. ‘ http://www.pnas.org/content/107/5/1833.full

        So please – I am a little bored with this so if you have no evidence at all to the contrary I will have to end this dicussion.

      • La Nina leads to an increase in OHC, so a higher La Nina frequency will cause OHC to increase. It can only do this for so long before the bubble bursts (as in 1998) releasing the OHC to the surface. La Nina is not a sustainable position.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        There are several points on which you interpret the evidence to suit your preconceptions Jimbo.

        First of all – there should not be a lasting radiative imbalance from greenhouse gases. The increased temperature results in increased emissions (to the 4th power of T) to tend restore the energetic balance – if ever an imbalance existed given the temperature that greenhouse gases are emitted at. The Harries experiment captures data through an aperture – in which the scattering of photons in the atmosphere can be seen. A different thing entirely to a radiative imbalance.

        Secondly – you will find the changes in TOA radiative flux are dominated by SW – 2.4 W/m^2 warming in the shortwave and 0.5 W/m^2 cooling in the infrared. This pattern indeed continues in CERES.

        Thirdly – you will find that clouds change – http://s1114.photobucket.com/albums/k538/Chief_Hydrologist/?action=view&current=Dessler2010Figure1.png – being negatively correlated to sst in ENSO leading to exactly the reverse of what you claim.

        :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool:

        But we also have decadal to millennial changes in this system that are quite natural. What does that mean for the future?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        And it was in fact a 2006 study. One that was relied on in the AR4

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Please to show some evidence that La Nina lead to OHC increase or I shall be pleased to ignore your handwaving.

      • CH, your posted Wong paper says that the 1998 El Nino corresponded to a decrease in OHC (see their graph for clear evidence). Conversely a La Nina reduces the radiative loss of energy of the ocean, increasing OHC relative to neutral periods.
        Greenhouse gases first cause a radiative imbalance then warming. The imbalance leads largely to the OHC increasing. During periods of limited surface warming like now the OHC still increases if GHG forcing increases. Land warming is proceeding too (0.3 degrees per decade for the last three) as a result of this same forcing. It is all self-consistent and self-evident.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The Wong reference says –

        ‘The drop in the global ocean heat storage in the later part of 1998 is associated with cooling of the global ocean after the rapid warm-
        ing of the ocean during the 1997–98 El Niño event (Willis et al. 2004).’

        I have evidence not narrative.

      • That is what I said. Do you dispute that El Nino is associated with a change in OHC, or are you agreeing with the paper?

      • Maybe a picture will help.

        There was some sea level rebound after 1998, but the trend does appear to be decreasing with temperature. I would think that continuing ocean heat uptake associated with la nina would show a little different trend.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        You – CH, your posted Wong paper says that the 1998 El Nino corresponded to a decrease in OHC (see their graph for clear evidence). Conversely a La Nina reduces the radiative loss of energy of the ocean, increasing OHC relative to neutral periods.

        Me – The Wong reference says – ‘The drop in the global ocean heat storage in the later part of 1998 is associated with cooling of the global ocean after the rapid warming of the ocean during the 1997–98 El Niño event (Willis et al. 2004).’

        youThat is what I said. Do you dispute that El Nino is associated with a change in OHC, or are you agreeing with the paper?

        Here is the graph – http://s1114.photobucket.com/albums/k538/Chief_Hydrologist/?action=view&current=Wong2006figure7.gif

        What you said was that a decrease in OHC was associated with El Niño and an increase during La Niña – misrepresenting first the paper I cited and then – after I quoted it – altering your position blatantly, dishonestly and shamelessly.

        As if I needed any more proof that you are a cult of AGW groupthink space cadet. It is all a dishonest and idiotic narrative.

      • CH, did you notice that a reduction in OHC followed the El Nino like the paper and I said, or not? Conversely, La Nina would have the opposite effect on OHC relative to neutral conditions. This should be simple enough to deduce. Read what I said again. You say we are tending to La Nina. OK, so we expect OHC to increase faster.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        What I noticed was a La Nina following the 1997/98 El Nino.

        ‘Zhu et al (2007) found that ‘the change in low cloud cover in the 1997-1998 El Niño came mainly as a decrease in optically thick stratocumulus and stratus cloud. The decrease is negatively correlated to local SST anomalies, especially in the eastern tropical Pacific, and is associated with a change in convective activity. During the 1997–1998 El Niño, observations indicate that the SST increase in the eastern tropical Pacific enhances the atmospheric convection, which shifts the upward motion to further south and breaks down low stratiform clouds, leading to a decrease in low cloud amount in this region. Taking into account the obscuring effects of high cloud, it was found that thick low clouds decreased by more than 20% in the eastern tropical Pacific…’ (emphasis mine)

        The OHC heat content peaked in early 1998 in strong warming in the 1997/98 El Nino – as the paper said. It then lost heat as the 1998/99 La Nina developed. The oceans lose (gain) heat in a La Nina (El Nino) as cloud cover increases (decreases).

      • CH, they don’t mention La Nina as the cause for loss of OHC. What happens is that El Nino puts more warm water at the surface, which then radiates to space more efficiently, and OHC is lost. It doesn’t require a La Nina.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘The drop in the global ocean heat storage in the later part of 1998 is associated with cooling of the global ocean after the rapid warming of the ocean during the 1997–98 El Niño event (Willis et al. 2004).’

        Rapid warming during the 1997/98 El Nino and then cooling as the La Nina emerged later in the year. Read wider and don’t just make it up.

      • Rapid surface warming (El Nino) leads to the ocean heat content loss in an obvious way, without having to have a La Nina. El Nino comes with its own cooling phase which happens to be radiative restoration towards the equilibrium state. The Planck Response in action.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Does it fit here – I am strarting not to care.

        Except that the ocean gains heat in an El Nino – and it because of the cloud changes as described by Zhu. In Wongs Fig. 7 the OHC and net ERBS peak at the same time along with the 1997/98 El Nino. Both then decline to the 1999/2000 La Nina – in the big shift in cloud that occurred at the end of the century.

        It is not known what happens to latent and sensible heat losses from the ocean – but smething is known about losses to space and that’s what’s important.

        You are still armwaving about energy transfers between ocean and atmosphere – we don’t know and I don’t especially care.

        Reading the Wong paper as something other than ‘rapid warming of the ocean during the 1997–98 El Niño event’ is a bit ornery.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘In the easiest case, we’ll consider what happens when you only increase some forcing (say double CO2) and allow the outgoing radiation to increase (according to the Stefan-Boltzmann law) to re-establish a new radiative equilibrium. Here, nothing else changes with the climate state (no cloud cover changes, no ice melts, etc) except for our forcing. This is the so-called Planck response. In a simple way, we can assume that the surface and emission temperature are linearly related, in which case the Planck-only feedback response can be computed as the inverse of the derivative of Stefan-Boltzmann with respect to temperature…’

        Is is also an unrealisable ideal state – and not true. The temperature changes but the emissions stay the same – it is not a new equilibrium but the old one at a higher temperature. Thus SB is not strictly applicable.

      • Chief and Jim D

        The Wong et al. study shows that the major change between the 1980s and the 1990s was in the reduction of reflected SW radiation (i.e. reduced albedo, primarily from reduced cloud cover), thereby resulting in more incoming radiation and net ocean warming.

        The Pallé et al. study showed pretty much the same using a different method.

        Something caused decreased cloud cover, less reflected SW and global warming in the late 20th century.

        The GHE (change in outgoing LW) was relatively small (and in the opposite direction, i.e. outflow increased). Without making an overall energy balance, it is hard to tell what the GHE really was in all this.

        After 2000 this trend has apparently reversed itself (Pallé).

        This hardly looks like it was caused by AGW, does it?

        Max

      • What caused global OHC to increase from the mid-C20th? A snapshot of OHC vs global net flux anomalies from 1993 – 2003 does not answer this question.

      • David Springer

        The average temperature of the global ocean is 4C. What made it so cold should be of primary interest.

      • Shub says:

        “Global OHC has increased since the mid-C20th.”

        Is there any way of making people who don’t know what they are talking about keep quiet?

        Apparently not.

        What a deeply odd thing to say. Global OHC has increased since the mid-C20th. See for yourself.

        Perhaps Shub doesn’t have a clue?

    • BBD, you write “I consider myself to be a rationalist. I did not ‘refuse’ to discuss empirical evidence. Please do not mischaracterise my comments like this. Why should I do such a thing when there is an embarrassment of data demonstrating the accumulation of energy in the climate system? I point to the robust radiative physics providing the mechanism driving this accumulation. I point to the absence of any *empirical evidence* for any other energetically sufficient forcing that could account for the observations.
      `
      Precisely. There is nothing in your claims that comes anywhere close to discussing the absence of empirical data to support CAGW. I am not mischaracterising you. You refuse to discuss the empirical data that proves that when you add CO2 to the atmosphere, it causes global temperatures to rise. That is the one and only issue. Unless this issue can be proven by empirical data, then CAGW will remain an unproven hypothesis.

      • Rather than repeat myself… how do we account for half a century of OHC increase?

        The physics of radiative transfer has not been falsified. THere is no empirical evidence for any other energetically sufficient forcing to account for the accumulation of energy in the global ocean. Use parsimonious reasoning.

      • BBD, you write “Use parsimonious reasoning.”

        As I suspected. You refuse to acknowledge the obviious, by bringing in a whole host of red herrings. You refuse to acknowledge that there is no empirical data to prove that adding CO2 to the atmosphere causes global temperatursds to rise. It is just that simple. Obviously, if you agreed to this obvious statement, it would prove that CAGW is an unproven hypothesis, so I must recognize that you will never agree that I am correct.

      • As I suspected. You refuse to acknowledge the obviious, by bringing in a whole host of red herrings.

        Radiative physics stands. It has not been falsified. This is not a red herring.

        Global OHC has increased since the mid-C20th. This is not a red herring.

        Parsimonious reasoning leads us to the question: if not GHG forcing, what else could be causing the rise in global OHC?

        I am acknowledging the obvious and you are dodging the question.

      • “Global OHC has increased since the mid-C20th.”

        Is there any way of making people who don’t know what they are talking about keep quiet?

        Apparently not.

      • BBD you write “I am acknowledging the obvious and you are dodging the question.”
        Everything you have stated is perfectly valid. It is a red herring because it has nothing to do with my question.
        I am not dodging anything. I have no idea at all what causes any changes in the earth’s various measures of temperature and heat content. There are dozens of potential reasons; changes in clouds being my favorite. But there is no proof in physics as to what is causing any of these changes. It could be CAGW; CAGW is a perfectly valid, unproven hypothesis.

        Now that I have not dodged your question. How about your not dodging mine. Where is there any empirical data that proves that when you add CO2 to the atmospehre it causes global temperatures to rise?

      • Response to Shub misthreaded here.

      • I have no idea at all what causes any changes in the earth’s various measures of temperature and heat content. There are dozens of potential reasons; changes in clouds being my favorite.

        The increased forcing from an increased fraction of CO2 is the most likely cause Jim. Denying this is essentially unscientific thinking because you are rejecting parsimonious reasoning.

        But okay, let’s look at the ISCCP low cloud cover data. No doubt you know that low cloud is hypothesised to be the strongest influence on surface warming. More low level cloud = reduced warming.

        VIS-IR Low-Level Cloud Amount Global

        VIS-IR Low-Level Cloud Amount Global – ocean only

        VIS-IR Low-Level Cloud Amount Global – land only

        Low cloud cover has *fallen* since the mid-1990s. It was high during the rapid warming phase at the end of the C20th and low during the cool hiatus now. In other words, it is the opposite to the claims of some sceptics.

        Where is there any empirical data that proves that when you add CO2 to the atmospehre it causes global temperatures to rise?

        Asking for a minimum of 30 years of global surface based monitoring of DLW when you know it does not exist is pointless. Understanding the way scientific conclusions are drawn from *available* evidence – as opposed to things that do not exist – is essential if you are going to get anywhere at all.

        This is some of the available evidence that scientists use to conclude that warming during the second half of the C20th was predominantly caused by human activity:

        – robust radiative physics

        – ground-based instrumental evidence that CO2 absorbs and therefore emits IR exactly in accordance with the physical theory

        – satellite data confirming this

        – satellite data apparently indicating a radiative imbalance at TOA

        – robust measurements of the fraction of atmospheric CO2

        – increasing global OHC since the mid-C20th

      • Look , Jim, why don’t you go away and read up just what empirical data actually means and how science works on available evidence not proof.
        You make the same point ad nauseum.

      • TT you write “Look , Jim, why don’t you go away and read up just what empirical data actually means”

        I have known what empirical data means for nearly 70 years, I dont need to go and read up about it. Why do I keep coming back to empirical data? For the simple reason that in physics, you cannot prove anything without empirical data. Until someone actually measures something, and then someone else measures the same thing, and the results match within the +/- limits, then you have no idea what any particular hypothetical numerical value actually is. This is the whole meaning of the scientific method, as eloquently illustrated by Rikchard Feyneman.

        And until the proponents of CAGW acknowledge that they cannot be certain of anything until they have produced some empirical data to prove that when you add more CO2 to the atmosphere, this causes global temperaturs to rise, I will continue to harp on the fact that, to date, this empirical data is missing.

        The issue is not whether the avaibale evidence indicates indicates that CAGW is correct. The issue is, is the available evidence good enough to prove that CAGW is correct? You may believe it is, I am convinced it is not. No-one has proved that CAGW has any validity; it is merely an unproven hypothesis.

      • “I have known what empirical data means for nearly 70 years”

        I don’t think so.

        You seem to be laboring under the misapprehension that it’s the same thing as experimentation and repeatability. Yes, sure, when experiments are possible, and repeatability is checkable, then that’s exactly what scientists do. But sometimes they aren’t possible. If so, does that mean scientific principles can never be applied? If we can’t do experiments, do we just throw our hands up and say that we just don’t know, and furthermore, we can never know?

        It might help you understand how science works, if you look at other fields where this issue arises, and study how the difficulty is resolved.

      • TT you write “But sometimes they aren’t possible. If so, does that mean scientific principles can never be applied? If we can’t do experiments, do we just throw our hands up and say that we just don’t know, and furthermore, we can never know?
        `
        I am very pleased to see you write this, as here we come very close to complete agreement. There are, indeed, times when we do have to say, we just dont know. The classic recent example is String Theory. This was progressing nicely, until it weas realized that there never could be any experimental data. Then String Theory just disappeared.

        Whether you like it or not, in the immediate future we are simply not going to be able to collect the necessary empirical data to prove that CAGW is true. The earth`s atmosphere is so complex and chaotic, that we do not understand it is sufficient detail, so the normal methods of doing physics dont work. We both seem to agree on this. We cannot do proper experiments. We cannot control the system we are trying to study. We seem to agree on this.

        Where we disagree is what we conclude as a result of this observation. Should we continue to do the best we can, and try to learn as much as possible? Of course we should. Should we conclude that the situation is so complex that we cannot make accurate predicitons? Here is where we seem to disagrree. As I see the position of people like yourself, and the rest of the proponents of CAGW, is that they claim that the physics can do more than it is capable of doing. We can only go so far without proper empirical data. There is a limit as to what the physics can tell us.

        I believe the physics has told us as much as we can get, and the results show that CAGW has not been proven. You seem to believe the opposite. But dont claim that I dont know what I am talking about, just because I insist that we need proper empirical data before we can come to any conclusions.

        The question, I suggest, is, how good are the conclusions that the proponents of CAGW have come to, in the absence of proper empirical data?

        It is on this question that we differ.

      • Jim Cripwell,

        You keep misusing the term “empirical data”. The meaning is that data is taken either by observation or experiment. Obviously, in increasing CO2 levels in the way we are, we are conducting one unintentional experiment but, equally obviously, there is a limit to what experimental results can be obtained.

        So, that leaves observation. If you are saying there is no empirical evidence then you are saying that there’s no observational evidence which is clearly a nonsense.

        Have you taken the trouble to look up other scientific fields which can’t rely on experimentation too? If you do that you’ll see, and not to put too fine a point on it, you have little or no understanding how the scientific process works in general and that you’re consistently writing a load of crap!

      • TT you write “You keep misusing the term “empirical data”. ”

        Fair enough. Using your definition of what “empirical” means, where is the empirical data that proves that the climate sensitivity for a doubling of CO2, caused by a change on radiative forcing of abouit 3.7 Wm-2, is any particular number you like to claim?

      • See Hansen & Sato (2012) Paleoclimate implications for human-made climate change.

        You are getting tedious btw.

      • BBD you write “See Hansen & Sato (2012) Paleoclimate implications for human-made climate change.
        You are getting tedious btw.”

        I am not sure if this refers to me, but I went to the reference. I could find nothing about empirical data. In the abstract is says “Paleoclimate data help us assess climate sensitivity”. Nothing about emprirical data, nothing about observations. Just it helps us assess. Not very helpful.

      • BBD, the Hansen and Sato paper was published in 2012; the TAR was published in 2001, the AR4 in 2007. So it would appear that the conclusion that the warming in the 20th century was most likely caused by increased levels of CO2 in the amtopshere was not based on any empriical data at all. Interesting.

      • I am not sure if this refers to me, but I went to the reference. I could find nothing about empirical data. In the abstract is says “Paleoclimate data help us assess climate sensitivity”. Nothing about emprirical data, nothing about observations. Just it helps us assess. Not very helpful.

        Of course it refers to you. Your comment is a redundant further example of just how tedious you can be.

        You clearly didn’t bother to do more than read the first line of the abstract. Had you persevered you would have come to section 3.2, helpfully entitled Fast-feedback climate sensitivity. There, you would have read the following:

        The empirical fast-feedback climate sensitivity that we infer from the LGM-Holocene comparison is thus 5°C/6.5 W/m2 ~ ¾ ± ¼ °C per W/m2 or 3 ± 1°C for doubled CO2. The fact that ice sheet and GHG boundary conditions are actually slow climate feedbacks is irrelevant for the purpose of evaluating the fast-feedback climate sensitivity.

        This empirical climate sensitivity incorporates all fast response feedbacks in the real-world climate system, including changes of water vapor, clouds, aerosols, aerosol effects on clouds, and sea ice. In contrast to climate models, which can only approximate the physical processes and may exclude important processes, the empirical result includes all processes that exist in the real world – and the physics is exact.

        Not only are you demonstrably limited in your understanding, you are locked into a denialist mode of ‘thinking’ and worst of all, you are lazy.

      • BBD, you write “you are lazy.”

        Probably guilty as charged. I have difficulty believing that the Hansen and Sato paper actually proved that global temperatures rose as a direct result of adding CO2 to the atmopshere. I notice the word “infer” in the quotes you make. No sign of the word “calculate”.

        However, I come back to the other point I made after your reference. If this is the empirical data on which CAGW is based, then clearly the conclusions on the IPCC in the TAR and AR4 were NOT based on empirical data. I wonder what they were based on. Probably guesses.

      • I have difficulty believing that the Hansen and Sato paper actually proved that global temperatures rose as a direct result of adding CO2 to the atmopshere.

        And there it is in a nutshell. You are arguing both from ignorance (you did not read the study) and from incredulity simultaneously.

        This conversation is a waste of time. Good luck on your voyage into darkness.

      • Hey, Buddy, take Hansen with you on your scuba tour of lower Manhattan.
        ================

      • Let’s give it until mid-century and see who has the last laugh.

        Of course all that energy accumulating in the world ocean could just magically disappear. Or OHC could continue to increase as GHG forcing continues to increase. Do you ever think about boring old physics, kim?

        Do you ever reflect on why you have been reduced to facile cheeping from the sidelines?

      • Jim Cripwell

        In your exchanges with BBD and tempterrain you keep emphasizing that the CAGW premise (which they both support ideologically) is not supported by empirical scientific evidence and that you, hence, remain rationally skeptical of its validity (Feynman) until such evidence can be presented.

        I am surprised, though, that neither BBD nor tempterrain have even attempted to cite such empirical evidence.

        They must surely believe that it exists – or they would not accept the validity of the premise, would they?

        [Unless, of course, they are accepting it as “dogma”, rather than as “science”.]

        Max

      • max, you wrfite “They must surely believe that it exists – or they would not accept the validity of the premise, would they?“

        max, this is the 64 trillion dollar question. I am operating on negative evidence. I cannot prove that there is no empirical evidence to prove that as you add CO2 to the atmopshere it causes some global measure of heat or temperature or whatever, to rise; anymore than I can prove that a CO2 signal does not exist in any temperature/time graph This is my opinion, but I cannot prove it. If I try to claim it is true, I am told, quite rightly, that this is only an opinion.

        What I am trying to do is to corner one or other of the proponents of CAGW, so that they are forced to admit that this evidence does not exist. This is like trying to nail Jello to a wall, or handling the most slippery of fishes. You cannot corner these people into admitting something, which if they admit to it, shows conclusively that CAGW has not been proven, and is merely a very reasonable hypothesis.

        `I do not believe I will ever succeed in doing this, but I am going to keep on trying.

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      It’s disturbing you seem to believe your graphs prove a point. It’s even more disturbing nobody on your “side” calls you out on them.

      I guess it goes to show, people suck, not just people on one side of an argument.

      • I guess the point of the graph is that the data fits within an ever increasing envelope. Can hardly conclude global warming has stopped from that. Yet some people evidently do!

        Here’s another one showing that the rate of warming from 1970-2012 is GREATER than the rate of warming up to 1998. How can global warming have stopped since 1997 then?

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        But oh my God, the rate of warming from 1970-2012 is LESS than the rate of warming up to 1999. Clearly, they were just off by a year or so!

        Or, it could be that cherry picking endpoints to get differences in trends of, I kid you not, less than a thousandth of a degree per year, is stupid.

        I’ll let you pick which you want to go with lolwot.

      • I wasn’t the one to choose the end point. The Daily Mail and climate skeptics choose 1997.

        I agree they are stupid.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        That’s a stupid comment lolwot. You choose endpoints (1970 and 1998) and you promoted arguments based upon those endpoints. This means you are just as guilty as anyone else for cherry picking.

        Even dumber? Neither endpoint you chose was used in that article, yet you say you weren’t the one who chose it. In fact, you explicitly acknowledge they chose to use 1997, yet for some reason you chose 1998 and claimed it was their choice.

        But the dumbest part is you argue what you did is the same as what that article did even though it obviously isn’t. What I suggested was stupid is:

        Or, it could be that cherry picking endpoints to get differences in trends of, I kid you not, less than a thousandth of a degree per year, is stupid.

        The article in question did nothing of the sort. Only you did it. Despite that, you claim I call them stupid.

        It’s incredible how much you got wrong in just ~20 words.

      • Don’t be confused by 1998 in the URL. To:1998 in woodfortrees means up to December 1997.

        They claimed there had been no warming since 1997. Which ever way you look at it they were wrong.

        The fact is that the warming trend from 1970 to 2012 is higher than the trend from 1970 to 1997. Which shows warming did not stop in 1997. If it had stopped the 1970-2012 trend should be lower not higher.

        This also works with 1980 as the start point. In fact I notice the Daily Mail article header specifically states: “the previous period when temperatures rose, 1980 to 1996″

        Lets see then. Yes indeed the Daily Mail climate skeptics are talking BS

        .

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        lolwot, do you even read what people say? The very first line under the headline in that article says:

        The figures reveal that from the beginning of 1997 until August 2012 there was no discernible rise in aggregate global temperatures

        Look at what I made bold. The beginning of 1997 is not December 1997. You tell me I shouldn’t be confused, but in reality, you just need to learn to read.

        That the only point in my comment you responded to was this one (ignoring at least one other), and you got it wrong, is very telling.

      • The Daily Mail text you quote is in fact wrong. They don’t start from 1997, the first hadcrut4 data point they plot on the graph is September 1997. Their graph axes and commentary claiming they started in January 1997 is simply wrong.

        The result I get is robust to the endpoint being january 1997, september 1997 or december 1997. In all cases there has been more warming up to 2012 than up to any of those dates which means warming did not stop since 1997.

        Any comment about this result?

      • September 1997 to Aug 2012 is exactly 15 years. 180 months.

        The trend is ,033C/decade, 1/6th predicted by the IPCC.

        All HADCRUT4 did was add in some more warming stations and ignored most of the southern hemisphere.

        September 2001 to Aug 2012 is 11 years and the trend is -.044C/ decade

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        lolwot, I’ve already told you the method you’re using is stupid and demonstrates nothing other than your incompetence. I find it amusing to point out other problems with what you say, but none of them matter beyond showing you have even less idea of what you’re doing than you claim.

        I mean, we can take what you just said to be true without examining it, and you’ll still have been wrong. You say that article’s graph started in September 1997. Despite that, you claimed to have not chosen your 1998 endpoint because it was what the article used. Clearly, whether or not the article was wrong about when it started its graph, your comment was wrong.

        And for some reason, you haven’t just admitted you chose a different endpoint.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Er, editing caused a problem I missed when proofreading. That should have been “you have even less idea of what you’re doing than it seems.”

      • good job for correcting that, you wouldn’t want to make an inconsequential error

  80. Here’s some artificial data showing an overall warming trend

    But this is how climate skeptics see it:
    No warming since 1988!

  81. Obviously you’ve failed to consider the possibility of a spatula chaos-type regime shift.

  82. Total warming since 1980 for each year X calculated by OLS trend from 1980 to X.

    X=1980: +0C

    X=1996: +0.185C
    1997: +0.243C
    1998: +0.327C
    1999: +0.33C
    2000: +0.328C
    2001: +0.364C
    2002: +0.404C
    2003: +0.44C
    2004: +0.455C
    2005: +0.488C
    2006: +0.506C
    2007: +0.518C
    2008: +0.507C
    2009: +0.517C
    2010: +0.534C
    2011: +0.523C
    2012 (aug): +0.518C

    This clearly contradicts the claim that global warming stopped in 1997. In fact the best such claim that can be made from this data is that global warming stopped in since December 2010.

  83. Lets trend the data since 1997 up so that it has a trend of 0.17C/decade. This is the kind of warming trend the climate skeptics demand global temperature should have taken since 1997 to qualify as a continuation of warming. So it would be very useful to take a peek at just what they expect global temperature should have done.

    Here’s a graph with post 1997 data trended up so it exhibits 0.17C/decade warming

    It is visibly obvious from this graph that the climate skeptics are using a false test. Their test doesn’t simply demand that global temperature continue it’s 1970-1997 path (continued warming). No, it actually demands global temperature takes a running jump much higher (a step jump). No-one predicts such a jump so there is no justification for such a demand as part of a test for continued warming. It’s a case of applying the wrong test to the question.

    The problem is their test, which is simply plotting an OLS trend since 1997, is not a valid test for determining if global warming has continued or stopped. If you are talking about *continuing* or *stopping* you are actually testing a prior trend (in this case 1970-1997) so you MUST extrapolate that trend as part of the test.

    A proper test (some which I and others have outlined above) would show global warming has continued well past 1997.

    • Brandon and lolwot

      The current “pause” is real, although its magnitude can be shifted slightly by changing end points, as you have both shown.

      Did it last 16 years? Or only 12?

      I believe the key question is, “how many years does it have to last despite unabated human GHG emissions in order to falsify the IPCC model-base climate sensitivity (mean 3.2C) and the IPCC ‘CAGW’ premise as outlined in AR4?”

      Is this 17?, 20? 30? 50?

      Ben Santer told us that it would need 17 years to be “statistically relevant” (but that’s not quite the same as “falsifying CAGW”).

      What do you two think?

      Max

      • It would have to be over at least 30 years to rule out countering factors like the recent solar minimum.

        My point though was that 15 years flat OLS isn’t the same thing as warming stopped 15 years ago.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        manacker, I don’t think any reasonable length of time can falsify a sensitivity of 3.2 degrees. That’s because I don’t think climate science has even gotten close to understanding what goes into figuring out everything that goes into calculating Earth’s sensitivity. If I say things like natural variability have been greatly underestimated, I can’t turn around and then say I’m sure the recent pause in warming indicates much of anything.

        That said, largely from following discussions of this matter over at The Blackboard, I think if temperatures stay relatively level for a couple more years, we can be pretty sure the models have gotten things way wrong.

        That would provide strong evidence climate sensitivity is much lower, but it won’t be proof. I accept the possibility the models could be wrong yet still manage to get a reasonable estimate of the sensitivity by chance.

      • Brandon

        Thanks for your answer. It makes good sense.

        Max

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        ^.^

      • Yes, but you know two more years is practically no different than 0 or 4 more years. Hey, how did Prez politics get into this?
        =====================

  84. Robert Bristow

    Thanks for the Italian flag – it has put things into perspective for a layman like me, at least I can understand the arguments for and against and also understand this is a very slow process, needing decades or centuries to understand what is actually happening. You seem pretty sensible about global warming.

  85. lolwot

    Let us compare apples to apples.

    To objectively test whether global warming has stopped let us consider the least squares trend (LST) for two 30-years periods:

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1974/compress:12/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1974/to:2005/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1981/to:2012/trend

    LST for 1974-2005 => 0.19 deg C per decade

    LST for 1981-2012 => 0.15 deg C per decade

    The drop in trend from its maximum of 0.19 deg C per decade to 0.15 deg C per decade shows global warming has stopped. But it stopped in 2005, seven years ago.

  86. Lolowt

    Here is the declaration of the GMST trend since 2005

    http://bit.ly/RP0oyr

  87. Brandon Shollenberger

    I had some free time at home tonight, and since stupid graphs have been a subject of discussion, I decided to contribute. lolwot has been using, or rather abusing, OLS regressions from Wood for Trees to try to claim people are wrong to say there has been no warming in the last 16 years. Now then, OLS is not suited to test such an idea, a fact lolwot ignores. In fact, if lolwot calculated the error margins for any of his calculations, he’d seen none of his results are meaningful.

    To demonstrate this, I wrote a program to calculate the OLS trends from 1970 (the year lolwot first used) to each successive month and then graph the 30 most recent years worth of results. I also went ahead and added error bars for the OLS calculations. Mind you, these bars are far too narrow. They (under)estimate the error in the OLS reconstruction, but they do not account for any other uncertainty. Even so, they are still large enough to show the futility of lolwot’s approach.

    To show what I mean, look at the maximum estimated trend for 1970 to the end of 1997.* OLS’s own margin of error shows lolwot’s claims are meaningless. If you account for further sources of error, it’ll get even worse. And if you shift the starting point to 1980 instead of 1970, the reduced amount of data will further increase the error margins. Or you could look at 1999 instead of 1998. There are any number of small things that can influence the results.

    And it’s all stupid because OLS isn’t designed to test for things like this, and it sucks at doing so. The only reason to use it is because it’s available through Wood for Trees so it’s easy to toss together. It requires no real effort or knowledge of what one is doing.

    So people, let’s remember the fact anyone can make stupid graphs and misinterpret their meaning does not mean everyone should do so. It certainly does not mean people who accuse others of making deceptive graphs should be allowed to make deceptive graphs of their own. Instead, we should all agree that stupid graphs, no matter who they’re from, are stupid and should be treated with scorn.

    *Ignore the filename. When generating some images, I had a typo in my code that shifted the name by one.

    • “I decided to contribute. lolwot has been using, or rather abusing, OLS regressions from Wood for Trees to try to claim people are wrong to say there has been no warming in the last 16 years. Now then, OLS is not suited to test such an idea, a fact lolwot ignores.”

      The very claim that there’s been no warming in the last 16 years is based on OLS. Surely I can use the claim’s own method to test it!

      As I’ve explained before, my argument is that the trend from 1970-2012 shows more warming than the trend from 1970-1997 which indicates warming has occurred since 1997, falsifying the claim that warming stopped in 1997 which is based on the same method.

      In your comment above you point out the OLS trend uncertainty and assert that they are “large enough to show the futility of lolwot’s approach.”. You didn’t calculate that. I suspect you compared the trends up to 1997 with the trend up to 2012. But that isn’t what I am claiming. I am calculating the total warming over a period, that depends not only on the trend but also the number of years.

      You reference “the maximum estimated trend for 1970 to the end of 1997″, which looks like it’s about 0.175C/decade. 1970 to the end of 1997 is 18 years. 18 * 0.0175C/decade = 0.315C maximum warming from 1970 to 1997.

      Meanwhile the lowest estimated trend for 1970 to 2012 looks like it’s about 0.16C/decade. 1970 to August 2012 is 22.67 years. 22.67 * 0.016C/decade = 0.36C total minimum warming from 1970 to 2012.

      So it looks like my claim that there’s been more warming from 1970-2012 than from 1970-1997 is statistically significant.

      I hadn’t actually expected that. I think I pointed out at some point that I wasn’t using uncertainty ranges, but neither was the original claim about no warming in 16 years. Perhaps you could calculate the maximum estimated trend over the last 16 years. Then we can see whether the claim of no warming for 16 years is statistically significant…

      No, don’t bother. We know it isn’t.

      • lolwot

        For trend comparison the duration of the trend period must me the same, say 30 years.

        You can not compare trend periods 1970-2012 (42 years) with 1970-1997 (27 years).

        The trend period goes in the denominator and the longer value gives you a smaller value. You must choose identical period length for your comparisons.

        Here is the correct way of comparing trends:

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1992.6/to:1998/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1992.6/to:1998/trend

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        lolwot, you say:

        The very claim that there’s been no warming in the last 16 years is based on OLS. Surely I can use the claim’s own method to test it!

        First off, that’s a fascinating claim. The Daily Mail article never mentions OLS. In fact, it doesn’t mention calculating a linear trend at all. Given that, how do you figure the claim is based on OLS? And even if they had, how does that indicate everybody is using it?

        Second, learn to read. I never said OLS is bad at figuring out if there is a trend. I said OLS cannot be used the way you did, directly comparing the value of two OLS trends and claiming it proves whether or not warming has stopped. Your method is nothing like anything anyone else here has done, even if they have used OLS.

        In other words, you’re making things up again.

        In your comment above you point out the OLS trend uncertainty and assert that they are “large enough to show the futility of lolwot’s approach.”. You didn’t calculate that. I suspect you compared the trends up to 1997 with the trend up to 2012.

        Here you make things up about what I did. You claim I “didn’t calculate” something, and you claim to suspect what I did calculate. This is silly as I described exactly what I calculated. In effect, you’re just calling me a liar without any basis.

        As I’ve explained before, my argument is that the trend from 1970-2012 shows more warming than the trend from 1970-1997 which indicates warming has occurred since 1997, falsifying the claim that warming stopped in 1997 which is based on the same method.

        But that isn’t what I am claiming. I am calculating the total warming over a period, that depends not only on the trend but also the number of years.

        First off, you just contradicted yourself. You described what you called your argument, then in your very next paragraph, you said it wasn’t what you are claiming.

        Second, your argument is stupid because you’re doing the exact same thing you did before. You’re taking a single point from a linear regression as the average value for a year. That’s insane. The last time you did it, you claimed the actual value for 1997 was ~.12 cooler than the temperature record actually showed.

        That’s right. You performed a linear regression on a temperature series, then you multiplied the calculated slope by the number of months to… get the temperature values.

        As though that wasn’t crazy enough, you’ve now shown (for the nth time) you have no idea what you’re doing as when you implement your stupid approach, you ignore the fact different OLS regressions have different offsets.

        And… I think that was it. I might have missed some other stupid things in your comment though. You say so many of them.

      • “First off, that’s a fascinating claim. The Daily Mail article never mentions OLS.”

        It would be less fascinating if you were familiar with the history of the subject that goes back years to a question posed to Phil Jones about the significance of warming since 1995. The Daily Mail article is obviously not going to use a term like OLS that confuse it’s dear readers.

        “Your method is nothing like anything anyone else here has done, even if they have used OLS.”

        At least one other commenter has used the method on this thread and a similar method was used months ago in this post.

        Rather than nitpicking irrelevancies and disputing the grand picture, perhaps you could get specific and explain exactly which part of the method you have a problem with and why. To help you I’ve broken down the method into 4 parts. Please point to the part you disagree with and explain why.

        1) The use of OLS to determine the rate of warming over a given period in degrees C/decade.

        2) Multiplying the rate of warming over a given period by the period length to determine the total warming over that period.

        3) Comparing the total warming over two different periods to see which has shown more total warming.

        4) Concluding that if the period 1970-2012 has more warming than the period 1970-1998, therefore the additional warming in the period 1970-2012 must have occurred since 1998.

        “First off, you just contradicted yourself. You described what you called your argument, then in your very next paragraph, you said it wasn’t what you are claiming.”

        No contradiction at all. I said: my argument is that the trend from 1970-2012 shows more warming than the trend from 1970-1997

        and: I suspect you compared the trends up to 1997 with the trend up to 2012. But that isn’t what I am claiming.

        That isn’t a contradiction. The first sentence is talking about total warming over a period measured in degrees C. The second is about comparing the rate of warming measured in degrees C/decade.

        Your graph only compared rates of warming, it didn’t factor in total warming over the length. I saw no calculation on your part for that. It seems clear you didn’t do it and therefore you didn’t actually test my method at all.

        “Second, your argument is stupid because you’re doing the exact same thing you did before. You’re taking a single point from a linear regression as the average value for a year. ”

        No I am not. I am not doing anything with single points. I am comparing the total warming over 1970-2012 with the total warming from 1970-1997.

        Lets say, as an example, the warming over a 20 year period is 0.1C/decade. Can we not calculate from that the total warming of 0.2C (2 decades x 0.1C/decade)? Why not? You seem to have a problem with doing it but you have at no stage explained why.

        The overall warming trend over the 20th century was 0.063C/decade. Can we not calculate from that the total 20th century warming of 0.63C? Why not? If you disagree, as your comments suggest you do, you disagree with far more people than me. How do you think the total warming over the 20th century is and should be calculated if it can’t be calculated by OLS?

        “That’s right. You performed a linear regression on a temperature series, then you multiplied the calculated slope by the number of months to… get the temperature values.”

        Sort of true, except the value I was calculating was the expected value for the year according to the linear regression model. Your confusion is because you don’t understand there are two values for 1997: the observed value and the expected value from the linear regression model. You thought the two being different meant something was wrong. All it actually means is the linear regression model doesn’t fit the data perfectly, but of course not, that’s to be expected given temperature data doesn’t follow a perfect line.

        But in any case that describes a different method and argument I used elsewhere on this thread. That isn’t what I am doing here that you objected to. Please stick to what I did here, as laid out in points 1 through 4 above.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        lolwot:

        It would be less fascinating if you were familiar with the history of the subject that goes back years to a question posed to Phil Jones about the significance of warming since 1995. The Daily Mail article is obviously not going to use a term like OLS that confuse it’s dear readers.

        It’s interesting to hear you “know” what was done by one person because the “history of the subject” tells you. Because clearly, nobody ever does different things, or even just eyeballs a graph. You don’t even have to consider the possibility.

        At least one other commenter has used the method on this thread and a similar method was used months ago in this post.

        I haven’t seen anyone do it here, and if I had, I’d call them out on it too. As for the post you linked to, it does nothing like what you do. First, it doesn’t ignore offsets. Second, it doesn’t ignore uncertainties. Third, it doesn’t take single points from OLS regressions as true values. You did all three.

        Not only are you making all sorts of things up about what Tamino did, you ignore the fact he found his test couldn’t conclude anything about whether or not the trends have changed. In other words, he disagrees with your results!

        Rather than nitpicking irrelevancies and disputing the grand picture, perhaps you could get specific and explain exactly which part of the method you have a problem with and why. To help you I’ve broken down the method into 4 parts. Please point to the part you disagree with and explain why.

        I’ve already been done exactly that. Your 2 makes no sense as it ignores a parameter of the regression and all ignores uncertainties. And it’s the entire basis for your 4.

        That isn’t a contradiction. The first sentence is talking about total warming over a period measured in degrees C. The second is about comparing the rate of warming measured in degrees C/decade.

        Uh… no. You referred to a trend showing more warming in the first sentence. A trend is a rate. It cannot show total warming. If one trend shows more warming than another trend, the rate must be higher.

        Lets say, as an example, the warming over a 20 year period is 0.1C/decade. Can we not calculate from that the total warming of 0.2C (2 decades x 0.1C/decade)? Why not? You seem to have a problem with doing it but you have at no stage explained why.

        Actually, I have. Multiple times. When we have actual data, it is ridiculous to use data extrapolated from a regression. Beyond that, if you want to look at values from a regression, you have to account for the uncertainties in the regression. You also have to account for the fact linear regressions have more than one parameter.

        Or, to put it simply, your approach said if every temperature measurement after 1997 was a tenth of degree below measured 1997 temperatures, it’d have warmed since 1997. That’s right. A cooling of a tenth of a degree would be proof of warming via your methodology.

        Your confusion is because you don’t understand there are two values for 1997: the observed value and the expected value from the linear regression model. You thought the two being different meant something was wrong. All it actually means is the linear regression model doesn’t fit the data perfectly, but of course not, that’s to be expected given temperature data doesn’t follow a perfect line.

        I understand that perfectly. That’s why I pointed out your method is stupid because it ignores uncertainty. How in the world do you conclude I don’t understand that a regression doesn’t fit the data perfectly when your method requires that it does?

      • “I’ve already been done exactly that. Your 2 makes no sense as it ignores a parameter of the regression”

        Unfortunately you don’t expand on what this “parameter of the regression” is that is supposedly being ignored. That is unfortunate because Id have thought if you knew you were correct you’d want to be as clear and specific as possible.

        Let me help by repeating a very simple example of #2 you didn’t address in my last comment. It’s an example which I think a lot of people are familiar with and understand the logic behind. So it would be very helpful if you could point out specifically why it can’t be done.

        #2: The overall warming trend of the 20th century calculated from OLS is 0.063C/decade. From this we can calculate total 20th century warming of 0.63C.

        That’s it. Can that not be done? Why not? What’s the “missing parameter of the regression” you claim is being ignored in the context of this example?

        You argued there was no uncertainty. Okay, but ultimately this only helps me. Larger uncertainty makes it easier for the data to be compatible with a continuation of pre-1997 warming and so falsifying the claim that warming stopped since 1997.

        But lets add uncertainty as well. Perhaps total 20th century warming works out 95% significance is 0.63C +- 0.05C. Happy with that? Or would you still insist this is wrong for some reason?

        If you don’t have a problem with it then why can’t I apply the smae method to the period 1970-1997 and 1970 to 2012 to calculate the total warming of each of those periods? And why can’t I compare those values according to point #3 and #4 to test the claim of no warming since 1997?

        “Not only are you making all sorts of things up about what Tamino did, you ignore the fact he found his test couldn’t conclude anything about whether or not the trends have changed. In other words, he disagrees with your results!”

        You are clearly confused because you linked to a comment of mine in a different branch of the thread that is about a different argument using OLS.

        I recommend you read my points #1,#2,#3 and #4 real close to understand what I have done instead of assuming what I’ve done.

        What I have done is similar to what Tamino did with GISTEMP. In his post Tamino says: “there is no evidence that the trend rate was any different after 1998 than before.”

        That agrees with my result that the claim of no warming since 1997 (or 1998 in this case) is falsified. The problem is you are expecting uncertainty to help you here. You think that if only lolwot calculated the uncertainty ranges of the 1970-1997 and 1970-2012 total warming it would make him wrong. What you are failing to grasp is that uncertainty damages the claim of “no warming since 1997″, it doesn’t help it. Uncertainty makes it easier for me to falsify the claim. The more uncertainty in the trends, the more likely the data is compatible with a continuation of pre-1997 warming.

        “How in the world do you conclude I don’t understand that a regression doesn’t fit the data perfectly when your method requires that it does?”

        Because it doesn’t.

        Again you are refering to the method used in the other comment, which is not #1,#2,#3,#4 outlined above. Which of the steps 1-4 requires the regression to fit the data perfectly?

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        lolwot:

        Unfortunately you don’t expand on what this “parameter of the regression” is that is supposedly being ignored. That is unfortunate because Id have thought if you knew you were correct you’d want to be as clear and specific as possible.

        It’s a linear regression. You’ve talked about trends. There’s only one parameter left! Why would anyone need me to say the name of the only thing I could possibly be talking about? Everyone learns what I’m talking about in high school algebra.

        Let me help by repeating a very simple example of #2 you didn’t address in my last comment….
        That’s it. Can that not be done? Why not? What’s the “missing parameter of the regression” you claim is being ignored in the context of this example?

        I ignored that because it’s a stupid example as you’re not comparing that period to another, thus you’re not doing what we’re discussing. In fact, the change in context renders the second parameter meaningless, thus your example is a red herring.

        If you don’t already know this, you obviously have no room to talk about linear regressions. If you do know it, you’re dishonest, and thus you don’t have any room to talk at all. Either way, you’re flaunting some negative trait. But as though it wasn’t already obvious:

        You argued there was no uncertainty. Okay, but ultimately this only helps me. Larger uncertainty makes it easier for the data to be compatible with a continuation of pre-1997 warming and so falsifying the claim that warming stopped since 1997.

        This is about as stupid a comment one could possibly make. You just said if uncertainty is larger, we can be more certain of your results. Literally, you’re saying the less reliable our data, the more certain we can be of what trends are in it. And it’s not like you just say it once. You also say:

        What I have done is similar to what Tamino did with GISTEMP. In his post Tamino says: “there is no evidence that the trend rate was any different after 1998 than before.”

        That agrees with my result that the claim of no warming since 1997 (or 1998 in this case) is falsified….
        What you are failing to grasp is that uncertainty damages the claim of “no warming since 1997″, it doesn’t help it. Uncertainty makes it easier for me to falsify the claim.

        That’s right folks, you heard it here first! We know the planet hasn’t stopped warming because there’s too much uncertainty in the data!

      • “I ignored that because it’s a stupid example as you’re not comparing that period to another, thus you’re not doing what we’re discussing. In fact, the change in context renders the second parameter meaningless, thus your example is a red herring.”

        Comparing a period to another is not part of point #2

        You specifically said “Your 2 makes no sense as it ignores a parameter of the regression”

        Here’s 2 again: 2) Multiplying the rate of warming over a given period by the period length to determine the total warming over that period.

        Where does that mention comparing that period to another? It doesn’t.

        The example you call “stupid” was exactly an example of 2. You claimed you had a problem with step 2. You seem to have changed your mind. Now you are saying the problem is in comparing one period to another. That’s step 3, not 2.

        Here’s step 3 again: 3) Comparing the total warming over two different periods to see which has shown more total warming.

        Now why is that a problem?

      • Lolwot,

        When the question is: “Has there been warming from 1997 to 2012?” we need only look at the data. We can discuss whether we pick 12 months from each end to compare or use a linear fit to data, but basically we need only to look at the data. The answer is clearly that the warming is close to zero on the scale given by earlier variability. This is a fact, not an interpretation.

        The above question is directly about the data, not about anything else like the longer term behavior or about the factors that affect the temperatures.

        We may continue to ask what the period since 1997 tells about the longer term behavior. It tells two things:
        – It tells that the warming up two 1997 was not a short term peak like that around 1940.
        – It tells that warming has not proceeded at the pace of the previous 15 or 20 years.

        Interpreting these observations further we do have more evidence of global warming by the first observation, but based on the second observation we do have evidence that the longer term trend is likely smaller than many thought based on data up to 2000.

        The 2011 paper of Foster and Rahmstorf presents a possible further interpretation where the period 1977-2010 is presented as a combination of effects due to ENSO, solar irradiation and aerosol optical depth (volcanic events) and a linear trend. All the three other components are sure to influence the temperature. Thus their fit has some real justification. The period is, however, so short that the data cannot tell reliably about the longer term effects that are described by a linear trend. In particular the analysis cannot prove much about the linearity of this warming development as the warming might as well be caused in part (or even in total based on this data alone) by a multidecadal oscillatory behavior. While the paper does not prove anything about the long term behavior, it does present a plausible breakdown of the temperature history since 1977. (It must also be remembered that the apparent linear trend started around the beginning of the period considered while the temperature had been close to constant over the precious decades. Thus the picture given by the paper is incomplete.)

      • Pekka Pirilä

        - It tells that warming has not proceeded at the pace of the previous 15 or 20 years.

        I agree => http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1990/to:2005/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1997/to:2012/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1990/to:2012

        Thank you.

      • “When the question is: “Has there been warming from 1997 to 2012?” we need only look at the data. We can discuss whether we pick 12 months from each end to compare or use a linear fit to data, but basically we need only to look at the data. The answer is clearly that the warming is close to zero on the scale given by earlier variability. This is a fact, not an interpretation.”

        Here’s my argument:

        The total warming from 1970 to 2012 is higher than the total warming from 1970 to 1997. The extra warming must have occurred since 1997. Therefore the answer to the question “has there been warming from 1997 to 2012″ must be yes.

        In any case the real question being asked is “has warming stopped since 1997?”.

        When people plot an OLS trend from 1997 to 2012 they might imagine they are answering that question, but they are not. Inherent in the question is that it’s a test of whether a pre-1997 warming trend has continued past 1997. A proper test therefore must include the pre-1997 warming as part of the test. An OLS trend from 1997 to 2012 ignores the prior warming and so cannot get the right answer.

        The simplest method would be to define the warming up to the end of 1997 and then define the test in context of that. The test being:

        Does the data since 1997 follow an extrapolation of the 1970-1997 trend.

        With the result being It appears to. Indeed the longterm trend remains a good match

        Contrast this with the common and I argue flawed test of simply drawing an OLS line from 1997 to 2012.. The OLS slope since 1997 is taken as being low so a conclusion is made that there has been a pause in warming since 1997. Yet how can that be when the data since 1997 is compatible with a continuation of the 1970-1997 trend?

        Furthermore lets examine what the data would have to look like to pass the 1997-2012 OLS test. I have trended up the hadcrut4 data since 1997 so it has a trend of 0.14C/decade. Is that really the goal being demanded for a “continuation of warming since 1997″? The test demands far more than a continuation of warming since 1997, it demands average temperatures since 1997 to be on average 0.1C higher still. The test demands the overall trend from 1970-2012 to be higher than the trend from 1970-1997. how can that be right?

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Holy… lolwot is incredible:

        Does the data since 1997 follow an extrapolation of the 1970-1997 trend.

        With the result being <a href="http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1970/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1970/to:1998/trend/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1998/trend/detrend:-0.16/offset:-0.12"It appears to. Indeed the longterm trend remains a good match

        Look at those graphs. Heck, just look at their URLs. Either way, you’ll see lolwot modifies the trend from 1887 by adding “detrend:-0.16/offset:-0.12/.” That’s right. He actually modifies the OLS regression!

        To figure out what offset and trend modifications to make, he’d have to plot the <a href="http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1970/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1970/to:1998/trend/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1998/trend/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1970/trend"actual OLS results. That means he saw that graph, then he modified it without any reason, to get results he likes.

        Seriously. He changed both the slope and intercept of the OLS regression to get results he likes. You can get any results you want from any OLS regression if you do that. All you have to do is modify your results however you need to get the results you like!

      • Pekka Pirilä

        Lolwot,

        If you want to know whether there has been warming in the period 1997-2012 look at that period.

        Adding to that some earlier periods means only that you introduce new opportunities for errors in the analysis – and making an error in the analysis is, indeed, what you have done.

        Misuse of statistics is ubiquitous in climate discussion. Unfortunately both sides appear to be equally guilty in that.

        At the time of the First Assessment Report the expectation was that it will take a few decades to build up enough empirical data to clearly and unambiguously observe AGW. The next 10 years did, however, show so much warming that the evidence appeared stronger than expected. The last 15 years tell that this fact was most probably due to combined effect of AGW and natural variability. This does not invalidate the evidence as the overall warming happened to be strong enough to be difficult to explain without AGW, but equally well it might have happened that the natural variability and AGW would have largely canceled each other leading to total lack of evidence for AGW over that period.

        The alternation of periods of rapid warming and little or no warming is in full agreement with expectations. What we have seen over last 40-50 years is clear evidence for AGW (not full proof, but clear evidence). What we have seen is also clear evidence for significant natural variability, which makes it difficult to estimate accurately the strength of AGW (or the climate sensitivity or transient climate response).

        In my previous post I referred to the analysis of Foster and Rahmstorf and mentioned briefly my reservations on it. Higher up in this thread Bob Tisdale criticizes that analysis much more strongly but his critique is beside the point and unjustified. ENSO may influence the accumulation of heat in the oceans but that does not to the least invalidate the Foster – Rahmstorf analysis. ENSO does clearly contribute to the variability in the global surface temperature time series and removing that variability linearly is fully justified irrespectively of all the comments that Bob Tisdale makes. His comments may be relevant for some other issues, not for this analysis.

        The main problem with Foster and Rahmstorf is that the period is rather short and taking into account the autocorrelations has too little independent data to allow for reliable analysis with so many parameters fitted to the data (strengths and lags of the components). For this reason it doesn’t prove much else than that a fit of the kind they present can be made. That the fit can be made tells that the data is consistent with an essentially constant warming trend over the whole period 1977-2012, while it doesn’t prove it’s constancy. (We know that a constant rate of warming is not consistent over periods that start significantly earlier that 1977.)

  88. lolwot has put up, what? Maybe 5000 posts since he’s been here? I’ve never once seen him concede anything. Not a fraction of an inch of ground has he given up even when shown to be demonstrably wrong…which is often. You must know you’re full of crap sir. How do you keep it up? How do you live with yourself?

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      This is actually a common thing in any discussion. There are some people who just refuse to admit they’re wrong. Normally, the trick is for people to not put up with it and thus make that person change his/her behavior or leave. Instead, lolwot seems to get encouragement for his behavior.

    • “I’ve never once seen him concede anything.”

      Okay I concede that I’ve never once conceded anything, but maybe that’s because I have never had reason to?

      No. That can’t be it can it? That would be impossible!

      “even when shown to be demonstrably wrong…which is often”

      pokerguy can you give a figure for “often”. Be aware that Brandon will expect you to provide an upper and lower figure for uncertainty.

  89. True Brandon. And yet lolwot does the skeptical side a great service. I’d hate to see him leave.

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      I’d rather him leave than keep posting the way he does right now. As it stands, he, willard, tempterrain, WebHubTelescope, R. Gates and a few others seem to be making up most of the dialog on one side for this site, and they’re doing a terrible job of it. In a sense, that’s good for PR purposes, but it sucks for people who actually want a real dialog.

      It might just be because I haven’t been visiting as much, I’m biased, or something else, but it seems to me the reasonable voices on the “alarmist” side have mostly vanished from this site.

      • It might just be because I haven’t been visiting as much, I’m biased, or something else, but it seems to me the reasonable voices on the “alarmist” side have mostly vanished from this site.

        Interesting. So folks who are on the “alarmist side” are at the same time “reasonable voices.” Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the “logic” of a “skeptic” (as distinguished from the logic of a skeptic).

        Not to mention, we often see that anyone who is not a “skeptic” has regularly been trashed by “skeptics” (Including Brandon) at Climate Etc – even those such as Fred M. and Pekka, who along with being mild-mannered and basically non-political, were also clearly excellent analysts and possessed extensive background knowledge.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Since I’ve been slumming recently, I’ll start responding to you again Joshua. You, as you so often do, make an issue where none exists. I said it seems “reasonable voices on the ‘alarmist’ side have mostly vanished.” You put both alarmist and reasonable voices in quotation marks, implying I did the same, but in reality I only put the latter in them. What that means is I’ve found people who are reasonable on the “alarmist” side in the past, but I’m not seeing them around here anymore.

        Alarmist is in quotation marks because I’m not really talking about alarmists. That word implies exaggerated claims, and I’m not saying that’s the case for the people in question.

        The only logic there is to discuss is that I said there are reasonable voices on the side of a discussion I was talking about. What possible reason would there be to take issue with that?

      • What that means is I’ve found people who are reasonable on the “alarmist” side in the past, but I’m not seeing them around here anymore.

        Brandon – I pointed to the illogic of saying that “reasonable voices” are on the “alarmist side.” The point was clear, no matter the specific use of quotation marks. By focusing on the location of quotation marks, you try to hide your illogic. But it doesn’t work.

        To be logical, you should say something like you think there are reasonable voices on the “realist” side, or perhaps even the “consensus” side (using quotation marks or not). Reasonable voices would not be on the side of “alarmists” whether you put the term in quotations or not.

        Such illogic is typical of a “skeptic” – and not consistent with the logic of a skeptic. And Brandon, you seem to mistake me for someone who hasn’t read your posts. I have, and I’ve seen how you treat all variety of “non-skeptical” posters at this site – independently of whether or not you use quotations when you describe them as being on the “alarmist side.”

        Along with that, I have also seen how you are blind to your own behavior – so FYI I don’t expect you to acknowledge your illogic. You would need to be open to evaluating your own logic for that to happen. I made my post for the entertainment of watching you predictably flail away with typically weak argument. Thanks for performing as expected.

        However, I will remain open to the possibility that you might change in the future.

        And Brandon – I do love how you repeatedly read and respond to my posts but need to add some kind of qualifier when you do so as some sort of bizarre excuse. Will you do so yet again in response to this post?

        If you’re not proud of your behavior, brandon, I would suggest that you just change it. Trying to defend your behavior by insulting me is transparent and it also fails a basic logical scrutiny.

      • Oh, and Brandon –

        IFWIW, I just wanted to add that despite your weak arguments, I do find you to be one of the more “reasonable voices” on the “Nazi/Fascist” side of the debate (please note the quotation marks).

        Too funny.

        .

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Joshua:

        Brandon – I pointed to the illogic of saying that “reasonable voices” are on the “alarmist side.” The point was clear, no matter the specific use of quotation marks. By focusing on the location of quotation marks, you try to hide your illogic. But it doesn’t work.

        That’s silly. I only focused on the location of quotation marks because you changed them. I assumed you changed them for a reason, and thus I assumed the change had to do with what you said. You claim I’m being dishonest and trying to hide something, but in reality, I was just trying to respond to you in a straightforward manner.

        To be logical, you should say something like you think there are reasonable voices on the “realist” side, or perhaps even the “consensus” side (using quotation marks or not). Reasonable voices would not be on the side of “alarmists” whether you put the term in quotations or not.

        It’s fascinating you dictate what a word can and cannot mean when put in what are basically air quotes. Those quotation marks indicate I’m using the word in a non-standard way. I have no idea why you feel you can dictate what non-standard way I was using the word in.

        And Brandon – I do love how you repeatedly read and respond to my posts but need to add some kind of qualifier when you do so as some sort of bizarre excuse. Will you do so yet again in response to this post?

        What possible reason would I have for doing so? I specifically said “I’ll start responding to you again.” The word responding means a continual action, thus it means I’ll do so for an indefinite period. If you’re going to criticize me for word choices in my comments, please try to make sure you understand simple sentences.

        By the way, “repeatedly” would be what, three times now? In what, nine months? Ooh yeah. I do it so often.

        If you’re not proud of your behavior, brandon, I would suggest that you just change it. Trying to defend your behavior by insulting me is transparent and it also fails a basic logical scrutiny.

        I’m perfectly content with my behavior, and I think your descriptions of me are baseless and ones only the most biased of individuals would likely believe.

      • A measure of the mustard mess; whistle ‘reasonable