Open thread weekend

by Judith Curry

Its your turn to introduce some new topics for discussion.

I’m still hunkered down all  working on a proposal.  I will get a new post up Sunday nite.

445 responses to “Open thread weekend

  1. Here in the USA the lame duck Congress is the big show. Sen. Rockefeller will have a vote on legislation to delay EPA regulation of CO2. But the fiscal cliff sequestration legislation takes center stage with all sorts of odd amendments possible. Science funding is a big issue as well.

    After that, Kyoto expires and climate legislation is impossible so EPA regulation is probably the only big climate legislation game in the next Congress. Science funding will also be an issue.

    • It has been 24 hours with about 200 comments since I posted this opening comment on what is actually happening with the US government. No one has picked up the thread, rather we see a lot of abstract and theoretical arguments, which are much easier in their way. This bias for abstraction is not bad but it should be recognized. This blog is a think tank.

      • “This blog is a think tank’ now that is something to ponder!

      • It is a great think tank in its way, compared to the conventional ones like RFF, AEI, etc. The depth of scholarship is good and the breadth of views is great. Most think tanks are pretty narrow. Too bad there is no way to package the running, recurring debate over specific issues. We need new tools to do that.

      • Actually there are semantic thread sniffing tools emerging that are designed to pull out specific discussions. The intelligence community is heavily into this technology.

        For example the discussion below on auto-correlation looks useful and it is apparently an ongoing topic (http://judithcurry.com/2012/11/10/open-thread-weekend-2/#comment-266168).

        Unfortunately no one seems to want to fund seeing the debate, just seeing their side. Advocacy rules.

      • David is right, Professor Curry. Nobody wants to be enslaved in the way George Orwell forecast for our future in 1948 [1]. This blog is a good measure of the success to date in destroying the unalienable rights of US citizens to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness [2].

        http://omanuel.wordpress.com/about/#comment-1743

        Except for a brief hiatus in 1960-1963, the campaign to control and enslave US citizens has progressed well. Stalin himself would be pleased.

        With deep regrets,
        – Oliver K. Manuel
        PhD Nuclear Chemistry
        Postdoc Space Physics
        Former NASA Principal
        Investigator for Apollo

        [1] The future George Orwell predicted in 1948

        [2] The future Thomas Jefferson left us in 1776

        http://www.ushistory.org/declaration/document/

    • David L. Hagen

      The EU backs down on ETS airlines CO2 tax
      UPDATE 2-EU Commission freezes airline emissions law

      * EU flights will still have to comply with EU ETS scheme
      * Non-EU flights get breathing space for 2013

    • David L. Hagen

      Increasing CO2 unexpectedly cools and shrinks upper atmosphere.
      Contrast the headline: Global warming felt by space junk, satellites

      However, in the highest reaches of the atmosphere, carbon dioxide can actually have a cooling effect. The main effects of carbon dioxide up there come from its collisions with oxygen atoms. These impacts excite carbon dioxide molecules, making them radiate heat. The density of carbon dioxide is too thin above altitudes of about 30 miles (50 kilometers) for the molecules to recapture this heat, which means it mostly escapes to space, chilling the outermost atmosphere.

    • Climate always changes. That’s basic education. There can be no understanding in Orwellian language.

    • The problem is Ms Curry, that while the article takes the line that innovation could be a solution in mediating the effects of a changing climate these innovations can’t be seen. By that I mean that the arm waving DEMANDS that something be done, that money be spent and (as with the law) not only must ‘justice’ be done, it must be seen to be done.

      The fact that there is no solid economic justification, let alone the failure to make a meaningful difference to CO2 reduction, in the use of mass wind power generation, turbines provide visual proof that government is doing something. You can’t discuss economics with the proponents of wind; they just don’t get it. All they want to see is proof that someone, somewhere believes the same nonsense as them.

      Until the renewable lobby is removed from its influence on government energy policy then good money will inevitably follow bad. The same applies to the fossil fuel lobby. National energy policy needs to be decided by rational folk with knowledge of large-scale engineering, economists who can see the bigger picture and….

      Who am I kidding?

    • Judith Curry

      On climate change, government is not the answer

      Truer words were never written, for two basic reasons:.

      1- Climate changes, no matter what government does
      2- Government can do nothing to change climate

      What government CAN do, however, is provide the necessary infrastructure (dikes, levees, early extreme weather warning systems, etc.) to reduce the toll of any climate surprises Nature throws at us.

      Max

      • Max.

        There is something else government can do. It can remove the many impediments it has put in place that are preventing us from having cheap, low-emissions energy. The most obvious example is, of course, removal of the impediments that prevent the world from having low cost nuclear power.

        USA is ideally placed to lead the world to get low cost nuclear power. USA has the capacity to innovate, manufacture and ramp up production rates rapidly if the right signals are sent to the market. USA is the de facto regulator of nuclear power station designs. USA citizens are well educated and able to understand the facts about nuclear power if they are provided to them by their government. The US President is in a unique position to be able to lead the world on this.

        But Obama is advised by long-term, renewable energy advocates and anti-nuclear crusaders (like Holdren). Obama could get rid of his team of renewable energy advocates and nuclear haters, remove the impediments to low-cost nuclear power, inform the population, fund education, and send the signals to the private sector that nuclear is needed. The private sector just needs a clear signal that the impediments will be removed so they can invest and get a return on investment. They can get on with the job and compete to develop low-cost, small, modular, factory built, nuclear power plants for use throughout the world.

      • + 1 Peter Lang.
        And don’t forget LFTRs along with conventional nuclear. As usual we are behind the Chinese and Indians in realizing the need for nuclear power.

      • Peter Lang | November 10, 2012 at 7:32 am

        “…USA is ideally placed to lead the world to get low cost nuclear power. USA has the capacity to innovate, manufacture and ramp up production rates rapidly if the right signals are sent to the market. USA is the de facto regulator of nuclear power station designs….”

        “….The private sector just needs a clear signal that the impediments will be removed so they can invest and get a return on investment. They can get on with the job and compete to develop low-cost, small, modular, factory built, nuclear power plants for use throughout the world….”

        Very true and wise words.

        As an example of both capability and safety, bear in mind that the USA has many ships (including submarines) safely carrying its military around the world.

        It seems they are quite experienced at safely producing and using nuclear power in very close proximity to populations.

        The U.S. Navy has accumulated over 5,400 “reactor years” of accident-free experience, and operates more than 80 nuclear-powered ships. Statement of Admiral F. L. “Skip” Bowman, U.S. Navy Director, Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program before the House Committee on Science 29 October 2003. (via Wikipedia)

      • Tomjtx,

        Thank you for your support. I agree that LFTR is on of many potential Gen IV technologies. We have no idea which one of them will emerge as the most economically viable. That is what competition will sort out over time. Competition between manufacturers and countries will allow some to emerge and some will fail along the way – just as has happened over the past 50 years or so with aircraft designs and manufacturers. I am arguing that governments should get out of the business of trying to pock winners, so I’d also argue we should not try to pick and favour one technology over any other. Let the competing companies and countries compete and let the best come to the top.

      • markx

        Yes. And this comment by Rod Adams http://bravenewclimate.com/2012/03/17/economist-nuclear-view-impractical/#comment-154175 adds an insider’s perspective to your comment:

        … there is no physical reason why we cannot build nuclear power stations at a capital cost that is competitive with fossil fuel power stations. After all, they are both thermal power stations. As antinuclear activists are fond of repeating, fission is just another way to boil water.

        What they fail to understand is that it is an incredibly simple way to boil water once the engineers have done their magic.

        My advantage in this discussion is that I once spent some intense years learning to operate small, flexible nuclear reactors and training others to operate them. I can bear testimony to the fact that they can be extremely simple and robust power sources that need very little support from external infrastructure.

        If people look at a gas plant and see a low cost capital investment, they are only looking at a small portion of the overall cost because someone else had to invest the capital into the fuel delivery system that moves the vapor from the deposit to the plant. Methane does not carry much energy per unit volume, so it is not easy to move from place to place.

        In contrast, the submarines on which I used to deploy could be loaded with 14 years worth of fuel (1970s vintage technology). These days, we load subs with a lifetime fuel supply – Virginia class boats deliver with a core rated for 33 years worth of operations and no provisions for refueling.

    • Judith,

      Thank you for posting this article. I agree with it.

      How, then, should we address climate change? Adaptation is probably a better strategy than prevention. Large-scale, top-down solutions are unlikely to work,

      Yes. But, as I mentioned in another comment, there is something else that can be done, but can only be done by government. That is to remove the mass of regulatory and other impediments that governments have imposed on energy industries (to the extent that it is beneficial to do so). These impediments have been imposed by successive governments over many decades, perhaps a century.

      In the case of nuclear power, they’ve been imposed over about 50 years. If the mass of impediments that are preventing the world from having low cost nuclear power were removed and replaced with light, appropriate regulations, the world could decarbonise much of its energy supply over then next 50 to 80 years, and do so in a ‘no regrets’ way. That is, irrespective of any benefits of reducing CO2 emissions, the world would gain from having cheaper, cleaner, better quality more reliable and more secure energy supply.

    • Saying that government is not the answer when government is everywhere in motion is silly.

    • That’s some of the most ianne stuff I’ve ever read.

    • “On climate change, government is not the answer” – JC

      …and that’s as dumb as a bag of hammers.

      There is no ‘the’ answer, and of the many, government will certainly be one, likely an important one.

      • Government is already doing lots of things not very well.

        Andrew

      • Grant A. Brown

        +1

      • John Carpenter

        True, there is no ‘the’ answer…. however, local governement is probably the better place to start and flow up the needs/requirements from there rather than a big government top down strategy. Local governments could work closer with the local private sector as well since they may have common goals. ‘Think globally, act locally” is a good axiom.

    • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

      There is a series of questions that must be answered long before the conclusion can be made as to whether or not government is even part of the answer to climate change.

      1) Is there evidence that climate changing now in a way that represents an existential threat to mankind?
      2) Is there a reasonably high probability that actions that humans are engaging in will lead to a climate change that is an existential threat to human civilization?
      3) If #1 or #2 is true, is there a reasonably high probability that any action humans can take will prevent or mitigate the worst of those effects?
      4

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        4) if either #1or #2 is true, and the answer to #3 is affirmative, then the role of national and international governments is worth discussing. In all other cases it is not, as adaptation to whatever climate change happens is the best course of action and local governments and the marketplace will work best to deal with local adaptation issues.

      • Gates, I’ll add a +5 to your 4 points.

      •  
        1) No. Because within the next century or so the long term (~1,000 year) natural cycle will pass a maximum. Its current rate of increase is only about 0.05 C degree per decade, so it is unlikely that it will rise more than half a degree before the maximum.

        2) No. A correct interpretation and understanding of the physical processes relating to heat transfer from the surface to the atmosphere demonstrates that carbon dioxide has absolutely insignificant effect, most probably a slight net cooling effect. In theory it could have a very slight effect slowing the rate of surface cooling by radiation. But more than twice as much surface cooling results from non-radiative processes over which radiation from a cooler atmosphere can have absolutely no effect. Such cooling will accelerate to compensate, resulting no overall effect. Yes, we do observe water vapor having a discernible effect when there is low cloud cover, but this is balanced by additional. prolonged cooling by non-radiative processes later at night. In any event, because it radiates with fewer spectral lines,and is far less prolific, carbon dioxide can have less than 1% the effect of water vapor.

        3) & 4) not applicable

    • Government is almost never the answer. On any question, a presumption of smaller government is a good starting point.

      • Government should be exaclty the size needed to do what it needs to do, which is to maintain an environment in that gives every individual the opportunity through their own efforts to achieve their maximum potential.

      • Dang, I think that is twice in one day I have agreed with you?

      • Grant A. Brown

        Any government that is big and powerful enough to affect the environment is big and powerful enough to do substantial harm – mostly of the wealth-destroying nature, but also of the liberty-destroying nature. First you have to solve the problem of who guards the guardians and who protects the public purse, then we can talk.

      • We don’t need to talk. We voted, remember?

        Sadly, faith-based hatred of government is often completely deaf to reason. Persuade me that discussing your religious beliefs with you is not a waste of time.

      • R Gates

        +1

      • Robert,

        Yr: “We don’t need to talk”

        Well, Robert, you’ve gotten the right answer for once. I mean, like, why would anyone “need” to “talk” to you–I mean, like, a chit-chat with you, Robert, is a total waste of anyone’s time–like holding a conversation with an anthropomorphized, pathetic, loser blog that no one reads.

        Robert, as you know I’m always striving to build bridges between us “skeptics” and hive-bozo, total retards like you. And my good deed for today is to help you see yourself as others see you:

        As you well know, Robert, from your many years as Loserville’s leading citizen, you can’t find your hind-quarters with both hands a GPS unit in suppository form, a board-certified proctologist as your personal trainer, and a head-up-your-fundament head-start on the quest. And everyone knows that, Robert. So when you show up here on this quality, winner blog that everyone reads with your Mr. Smarty-pants-know-it-all-wannabe, lefty-creep-out, dork-pundit act everyone just laughs at you. I mean, like, you’re a freak-show entertainment, guy, and that’s all.

        So, Robert, some friendly advice–just stick with your pathetic, loser blog that no one reads and just be happy with that. I mean, like, it’s what you do best, guy. You know what I mean, Robert?

    • Cardin says:

      “Consider how governments respond to natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy. They openly defy the laws of the marketplace and impose laws against price gouging. These laws in turn create shortages, which in turn create unnecessary suffering.”

      Cardin sounds like a market worshipper. One who believes the market comes first, the market can do no wrong, and the interfering with the market is a sin.

      I wonder if Cardin ever considered how laissez -faire economics contributed to the starvation of a million Irish during the potato famine.

      • There were no properly-functioning markets operating in Ireland in the mid-19th C, only oppressive English made-conditions. From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Famine_%28Ireland%29 :

        Although blight ravaged potato crops throughout Europe during the 1840s, the impact and human cost in Ireland – where one-third of the population was entirely dependent on the potato for food – was exacerbated by a host of political, social and economic factors which remain the subject of historical debate. … One historian calculated that between 1801 and 1845, there had been 114 commissions and 61 special committees enquiring into the state of Ireland and that “without exception their findings prophesied disaster; Ireland was on the verge of starvation, her population rapidly increasing, three-quarters of her labourers unemployed, housing conditions appalling and the standard of living unbelievably low.” … During the 18th century, a new system for managing the landlord’s property was introduced in the form of the “middleman system”. Rent collection was left in the hands of the landlords’ agents, or middlemen. This assured the (usually Protestant) landlord of a regular income, and relieved them of any responsibility; the tenants however were then subject to exploitation through these middlemen.
        Catholics made up 80% of the population, the bulk of whom lived in conditions of poverty and insecurity despite Catholic emancipation in 1829. At the top of the “social pyramid” was the “ascendancy class”, the English and Anglo-Irish families who owned most of the land, and who had more or less limitless power over their tenants. Some of their estates were vast: the Earl of Lucan owned over 60,000 acres (240 km2). Many of these landlords lived in England and were called “absentee landlords”. The rent revenue was sent to England, collected from “impoverished tenants” paid minimal wages to raise crops and livestock for export.
        In 1843, the British Government considered that the land question in Ireland was the root cause of disaffection in the country.

        Max_OK, if you want to argue against markets, first find a better example of market failure. You’ll probably find that they are quite rare, most so-called market failures have anti-market government regulation lurking in the background or are falsely identified to serve a particular vested interest.

        [Full disclosure: my grandparents were southern Irish, northern Irish, Scottish and Northumbrian (of part-Viking descent). I was born in the centre of England (Coventry), grew up on Tyneside, studied and worked mainly in London before accidentally emigrating to Australia in 1979. Just in case you fear I am biased on the Irish question.]

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Hell yes – socialisms got such an outstanding record at not starving people.

      • Faustino,

        Excellent response to a very silly comment.

        It is easy to see the parallels with the policies of regulation advocated by the Greenies, Progressives, socialists and CAGW alarmists (basically the same mob). The regulation world government etc advocated by these people would have similar effects as they had in Ireland (and Russia).

      • Classic weasel move. Since no market in real world is ever a perfect one, anything that goes wrong with market economics is blamed on such restraints as exist. Meanwhile, economic success by regulated market economies are touted as proving the power of the free market.

        It’s tautological, like many irrational beliefs stemming from a faith-based approach.

      • Robert and Peter Lang

        A “regulated free economy” sounds great.

        And there is no doubt that some “regulation” is required in a “free economy”..

        But “regulation” is like salt in cooking.

        A little bit improves the flavor – but too much ruins the dish.

        Max

  2. All the discussion about temperatures, temperature trends, fires, storms, weather, earthquakes, model capabilities, etc. is all very interesting but down-in-the-weeds. What is the relevance of all this stuff in terms of policy?

    I have a few questions:

    1. What is the latest consensus of impartial experts on the mostly likely climate sensitivity (TxCO2)? What is AR5 likely to say on climate sensitivity?

    2. What is the latest on the economic modelling of cost and benefits of carbon pricing (Cap and Trade, ETS, Carbon Tax)?

    3. What is the consensus on the decarbonisation rate that could be achieved, realistically? Are any competent, impartial research groups looking at what global decarbonisation rate could be achieved, how and at what costs and benefits? Will this be reported in AR5? What is likely to be reported on this?

    4. What are the most significant ‘robust’ policies that are being seriously considered. How significant could they be (what proportion of the perceived problem could they address, realistically).

    5. Australia has announced it will sign up to Kyoto 2. I believe this is seriously stupid policy on Australia’s part. What do others think?

  3. Peter Lang

    Do you live in a democratic system in Australia?

    If so, what does the Australian voter think of Kyoto2?

    Max

    • Max

      There is a massive brain washing and “scary scenarios”.

      Goobles would be proud.

      The no warming for the last 15 years (http://bit.ly/Ttz7O1) is not spoken about in the media at all.

      Here they are still saying “it is worse than we thought”

      • For the last 18 years indeed! You have to take auto-correlation into account. Look http://notrickszone.com/2012/11/09/troposhsphere-and-sea-surface-temperature-18-years-with-no-trend-natural-factors-dominate/ where is shown, that the “Santer postulate” ( 17 years) is complied with some provision.

      • Doesn’t the Santer postulate consider “average” variance? If there is a reduction in variance, which appears to be the case, then the old 15 year (95% confidence) is back in the ball game. Wouldn’t that be a pip?

      • How the hell have they managed to take UAH data since 1994 that shows 0.13C/decade warming and plot a line that only shows 0.04C/decade warming.

        And don’t say “autocorrelation”. That’s not it.

      • lolwot: As far as I can see they took “TLT” from rss, the same as Santer did. And yes: If you want to rule out autocorrelation you can’t take the monthly values, you must make 6 monthly means ( If you don’t believe it make the test http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Durbin–Watson_statistic ).

      • RSS, that explains it.

        Even so according to this calculator the RSS trend since 1994 is 0.069C +- 0.17C/decade taking into account autocorrelation.

        So warming since 1994 could be as high as 0.239C/decade

        How can it be claimed there has been no warming since 1994 then?

      • lolwot, by considering the accuracy of the data. HADCRAPPY for example has an accuracy of +/- 0.1 C period. There is no 0.011 (95% confidence) in HADCRAPPY data, Ax Mosher. When you consider the “UNCERTAINTY” and include the “TRUE” 95% confidence levels, then you can estimate a “STATISTICALLY SIGNIFICANT TREND”. It is one of those minor issues people that work in the REAL WORLD understand.

        So if you are asked, “Has the globe been warming since 1995?” the correct answers are, FIIK, Maybe, can’t say fer ser.

      • No the correct answer is that there is more than 90% confidence that the world has warmed since 1995, according to HadCRUT4.

        0.097C +- 0.115C

      • lolwot: I can’t see how the calculator http://www.skepticalscience.com/trend.php takes autocorrelation into account… When you calculate the “d” from durbin watson so you get a value of near 1 when you use the monthly data from rss. ( strong autocorrelation) After making 6 month-means the d-value is about 1.4, and this means: much less autocorrelation. The best “d” ( no autocorrealtion at all) would be 2. As far as I can see in the 2nd picture is it this what they have done.

      • What value is the ‘how long is enough question’? Why is it even asked? Given the paucity of observations from a statistical point of view, the behavior of a poorly defined variable (global temperature) in the near past (latter 20th century-present), it is very hard to fathom any seriously fundamental strategic decision relying heavily on any such calculation at this time or in the near future. For now this question is an interesting parlor diversion but it only muddies the waters.

      • They don’t seem to understand what autocorrelation is. Autocorrelation is not defined as “how long and how often must the temperature be measured before a significant trend can be established with a sufficient level of confidence”

        Autocorrelation is a measure of the probability that a given present value will recur at some specific time in the future. So the autocorrelation of the sun’s solar output to an observer on some point on the earth peaks every 24 hours. And the autocorrelation of seeing a mile marker on the freeway peaks every mile. Those are trivial applications and of course AC can be used to extract more subtle features of a time series.

        The question is how long does one have to wait to accumulate statistics which will say that some effect is deterministic and not just random? The application of autocorrelation does not by itself tell one how long must need to wait to see changes that are not random.

        I believe that the problem is that these people are using the short-hand that auto-correlation equates to randomness, and the “auto-correlation ” that needs to be taken into account is the random process that can spoof a periodic or deterministic one. The determinism of climate change is the trend of increasing temperatures. The autocorrelation of a linear trend is flat.

      • Web

        “The question is how long does one have to wait to accumulate statistics which will say that some effect is deterministic and not just random?”

        Forget determinism–I suspect you really mean causality. As for determinism, the variables involved are and will remain stochastic (random)–certainly from a practical perspective. To me the ‘how long’ question is simply one that attempts to nullify warming or some lesser variation along those lines. I would presume that to some that ‘going flat ‘ for a period of time would be sufficient to nullify, for example, CO2 causality (to whatever degree). However, because of the number of compounding physical factors, accepted to various degrees, such a simple nullification still would not likely hold. I just don’t think the question is presently a game changer–until politics enter the fray.It is useful to guide efforts but not a game changer.

        That aside, it seems that the small number of observations make even that simple test is just fairly useless. This is particularly so given the structure in the data.

      • lolwot, “No the correct answer is that there is more than 90% confidence that the world has warmed since 1995, according to HadCRUT4.”

        That is the Sander’s deal though, it has to be greater than a 95% chance. 15 years was right at 95%, but could be under depending on the variance and data uncertainty, 17 years would be over 95% with current variance and data quality.

        It is slipping hairs in my opinion, but Santers did it not me.

      • No I mean determinism. You are confusing behavior with attribution.

        If the GHG theory is true and we have an increase of atmospheric GHG that shows a nearly monotonic trend upwards, then the temperature should rise deterministically.

        There are two general categories of behavior, deterministic and stochastic. GHG theory is deterministic in the sense that we can determine with utmost confidence that a change of GHG concentrations will result in an eventual positive change in global temperatures. Natural variations are largely stochastic, as the multitude of internal forcing functions and subtle external forcing functions create close to a random walk variation in potential outcomes. Being stochastic, we can’t say for certain which direction a change will occur in.

        The categories for attribution are causal, unrelated, or unknown or non-specific. Perhaps one can say that at some point that the increased temperatures are causally related to GHGs, and the natural variations are unknown or non-specific in origin.

        The problem with using autocorrelation is that one throws away a lot of information. A linear trend has a flat autocorrelation. A pure random walk also has a flat autocorrelation if measured over a long enough time. That’s not good in being able to discriminate between deterministic and stochastic behaviors, and that’s why the statistical measures have to be treated with great care.

      • Webster, “The problem with using autocorrelation is that one throws away a lot of information. ”

        That is very true. I think part of the problem is the “normal” definition of autocorrelation and the time series analysis definition which is really autocovariance.

      • Web

        Note that I used the verb ‘suspect’ indicating that I was not sure of what you meant. So you made that clarification. I have a little more poking and prodding below but this seems to be a good place for some agreement.

        “the statistical measures have to be treated with great care.”

        Ahem, both in calculation and presentation. A lot of scientists seem way too casual on that. But it is very demanding. Here are a few more comments …

        Regarding the original

        “how long does one have to wait to accumulate statistics which will say that some effect is deterministic…”

        A model can be deterministic or stochastic (e.g.,a MC simulation), the latter being expressed in any number of ways. And observables can be either deterministic or stochastic. However, observed temperature and observed GHG concentrations are and will always be stochastic variables. As far as “how long does one have to wait to accumulate statistics ” — well I suspect :o) you really meant “how long does one have to wait to accumulate data to develop appropriate statistics …”

        In any case statistics in and of themselves will not say a thing about determinism or causality–with autocorrelation or without autocorrelation. And I still take the idea behind the testing to be one of looking for the presence or absence of correlation between temperature and another variable CO2–which some people inappropriately would take to indicate causality. [The most elemental saw is of the kind ‘Well the CO2′ has been increasing but look the temperature hasn’t and…’] If I ascribe the wrong motivation, well that’s on me.

        Note also that in my last comment I made reference to nullifying causality–not establishing causality. There is a certain asymmetry working here. I think that on paper you can do one but not the other. Again implementation, data, etc. are key.

        “GHG theory is deterministic in the sense that we can determine with utmost confidence that a change of GHG concentrations will result in an eventual positive change in global temperatures. ”

        I think that I see what you are saying but the way you say it can be confusing. Is this qualitative determinism? If so then I don’t think it is either deterministic or stochastic in the usual sense of the terms.

        Oh, well. Have fun.

        mwgrant

      • It is a travesty for the alarmist warmists, but it just is not getting warmer.

      • Web

        GHG theory is deterministic in the sense that we can determine with utmost confidence that a change of GHG concentrations will result in an eventual positive change in global temperatures.

        Yeah.

        But as our hostess has emphasized, there is great uncertainty regarding the amount of “positive change in global temperatures” resulting from an increase in GHG concentrations..

        Recent CERES and ERBE satellite observations plus the current “pause” in global warming despite unabated GHG emissions to record concentration levels only help to increase this uncertainty.

        Isn’t that what most of this discussion is all about?

        Max

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘Autocorrelation is a measure of the probability that a given present value will recur at some specific time in the future. So the autocorrelation of the sun’s solar output to an observer on some point on the earth peaks every 24 hours. And the autocorrelation of seeing a mile marker on the freeway peaks every mile. Those are trivial applications and of course AC can be used to extract more subtle features of a time series.’

        Autocorrelation is the cross correlation of a signal with itself over adjacent observations. So that observations of the the sun or the mile posts are autocorrelated at specific intervals but are not a good example.

        The Earths surface temperatures autocorrelates because of the underlying engine of ocean heat content on the scale of perhaps decades.

        But Earth’s climate is not stochastic at all. Everything has a cause as immense energies cascade through powerful mechanisms. Nor is the difference between stochastic and deterministic that which we don’t understand as opposed to that which we do.

        We have a theory (and observations) for why surface temperatures are not increasing for 20 to 40 years from 1998.

        More recent work is identifying abrupt climate changes working through the El Niño Southern Oscillation, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the North Atlantic Oscillation, the Southern Annular Mode, the Artic Oscillation, the Indian Ocean Dipole and other measures of ocean and atmospheric states. These are measurements of sea surface temperature and atmospheric pressure over more than 100 years which show evidence for abrupt change to new climate conditions that persist for up to a few decades before shifting again. Global rainfall and flood records likewise show evidence for abrupt shifts and regimes that persist for decades. In Australia, less frequent flooding from early last century to the mid 1940’s, more frequent flooding to the late 1970’s and again a low rainfall regime to recent times.

        Anastasios Tsonis, of the Atmospheric Sciences Group at University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and colleagues used a mathematical network approach to analyse abrupt climate change on decadal timescales. Ocean and atmospheric indices – in this case the El Niño Southern Oscillation, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the North Atlantic Oscillation and the North Pacific Oscillation – can be thought of as chaotic oscillators that capture the major modes of climate variability. Tsonis and colleagues calculated the ‘distance’ between the indices. It was found that they would synchronise at certain times and then shift into a new state.

        It is no coincidence that shifts in ocean and atmospheric indices occur at the same time as changes in the trajectory of global surface temperature. Our ‘interest is to understand – first the natural variability of climate – and then take it from there. So we were very excited when we realized a lot of changes in the past century from warmer to cooler and then back to warmer were all natural,’ Tsonis said.

        Four multi-decadal climate shifts were identified in the last century coinciding with changes in the surface temperature trajectory. Warming from 1909 to the mid 1940’s, cooling to the late 1970’s, warming to 1998 and declining since. The shifts are punctuated by extreme El Niño Southern Oscillation events. Fluctuations between La Niña and El Niño peak at these times and climate then settles into a damped oscillation. Until the next critical climate threshold – due perhaps in a decade or two if the recent past is any indication.

        We are currently in a cool mode of the Interdecadal Pacific Osciallation – cool PDO and more frequent and intense La Niña. See for instance – http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=8703. The IPO changes the energy budget of the planet by changing cloud cover – as well as changing patterns of biology and hydrology globally.

        Which brings me to a very recent study showing 1000 year ENSO variability in a high resolution Law Dome ice core. These decadal variabilities go way back – but are superimposed on – as I say – millennial variability. More salt equal La Niña and rainfall in the western Pacific.

        Vance et al 2012 – 1000 year ENSO proxy</a

        http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00003.1?journalCode=clim

        http://www.australasianscience.com.au/article/issue-november-2012/east%E2%80%99s-big-dry.html

        Full circle – the satellite evidence shows that most recent warming was caused by multi-decadal variability. Associated cloud changes e.g. Clement et al 2009 – cause changes in the Earth’s energy budget and changes in heat content of the oceans. These changes extend over a very long period indeed.

        Before the webster comes back with some incoherent inanity or other – as he is sure to – you have to realise that the guy is a self opinionated loser with crud for chops.

      • No need for much of a comeback. Swanson and Tsonis themselves disavow what you have to say. They knew that people like you would twist their interpretation and that’s why they put the disclaimers and qualifiers in their 2009 paper.

        Thanks to BBD for pointing this out.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        BVD is a hamster and the webster is an attack smurf with crud for scientific chops. Since neither of these two twerps seem capable of reading a scientific paper – I will give them a few excerpts.

        ‘These shifts are associated with significant changes in global temperature trend and in ENSO variability. The latest such event is known as the great climate shift of the 1970s. We also find the evidence for such type of behavior in two climate simulations using a state-of-the-art model. This is the first time that this mechanism, which appears consistent with the theory of synchronized chaos, is discovered in a physical system of the size and complexity of the climate system.’

        https://pantherfile.uwm.edu/aatsonis/www/2007GL030288.pdf

        ‘Such discontinuities are difficult to reconcile with the presumed smooth evolution of anthropogenic greenhouse gas and aerosol radiative forcing with respect to time [Hansenet al., 2005]. This suggests that an internal reorganization of the climate system may underlie such shifts [Zhang et al., 2007]…

        Assuming a mixed layer ocean depth of 200 m, an anomaly of roughly 1 Wm2 should in principle have been sufficient to drive roughly a 0.2C
        increase in global temperature since 2001/02. That such warming has not occurred suggests an internal reorganization of the climate system has offset this presumptive radiative imbalance, either via an anomalously large uptake of heat by the deep ocean or a direct offset of the greenhouse gas forcing by a shift in cloud forcing…

        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…’ http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2009/2008GL037022.shtml

        This is the RC post BVD keep quoting – http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/07/warminginterrupted-much-ado-about-natural-variability/

        ‘The contentious part of our paper is that the climate system appears to have had another “episode” around the turn of the 21st century, coinciding with the much discussed “halt” in global warming. Whether or not such a halt has really occurred is of course controversial (it appears quite marked in the HadCRUT3 data, less so in GISTEMP); only time will tell if it’s real. Regardless, it’s important to note that we are not talking about global cooling, just a pause in warming.’

        Nothing contentious about it – the Pacific swithced after 1998 for which we have abundant evidence. I refer you again to the NASA article – http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=8703 . But Swanson was talking about 0.1 degrees C. decade and a pause in warming for 20 to 40 years. The latter because this is how long the ‘episodes’ last for.

        These guys seem to need it to be something other than what it is. Swanson was almost disowning his own work in a moral panic on RC. BVD and the webster understand none of the underlying physics of chaos without which the papers have to be a complete mystery. They understand very little at all.

        As I say – crud for chops.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Oh – btw – the webster confuses what Swanson said in the RC for what is actually in the papers. He hasn’t a clue. He is a shameless fool.

      • Chief

        Thanks for the post and links.

        Please include the following paper in your collections.

        http://www.meteo.psu.edu/holocene/public_html/shared/articles/KnightetalGRL05.pdf

        It says:

        Using a 1400 year climate model calculation, we are able to simulate the observed pattern and amplitude of the AMO. The results imply the
        AMO is a genuine quasi-periodic cycle of internal climate variability persisting for many centuries, and is related to variability in the oceanic thermohaline circulation (THC). This relationship suggests we can attempt to reconstruct past THC changes, and we infer an increase in THC strength over the last 25 years. Potential predictability associated with the mode implies natural THC and AMO decreases over the next few decades independent of anthropogenic climate change.”
        ….
        This effect needs to be taken into account in producing more realistic
        predictions of future climate change.

        As a result of this effect, no warming (flat trend) for the next decade.

      • These guys seem to need it to be something other than what it is. Swanson was almost disowning his own work in a moral panic on RC.

        And:

        Oh – btw – the webster confuses what Swanson said in the RC for what is actually in the papers. He hasn’t a clue. He is a shameless fool.

        Still at it then. For the benefit of new readers, CH is engaged in a persistent misrepresentation which has rather boxed him into a corner.

        Here we have Kyle Swanson, the co-author of a rather speculative study about abrupt climate shifts (Swanson & Tsonis 2009) making a statement that CH cannot tolerate because it reveals him to be misrepresenting S&T’s work:

        What do our results have to do with Global Warming, i.e., the century-scale response to greenhouse gas emissions? VERY LITTLE, contrary to claims that others have made on our behalf. Nature (with hopefully some constructive input from humans) will decide the global warming question based upon climate sensitivity, net radiative forcing, and oceanic storage of heat, not on the type of multi-decadal time scale variability we are discussing here.

        Now CH cannot be doing with this at all, so what does he attempt to do? He tries to delegitimise Swanson! This is obviously and painfully hopeless since Swanson’s statement is unequivocal. CH is obliged to insist desperately that Swanson is in a ‘moral panic’ and ‘disowning’ his own work.

        This is the kind of self-destructive dishonesty normally only associated with children, who being young and inexperienced, don’t realise how foolish they are being.

      • Chief-

        “But Earth’s climate is not stochastic at all. Everything has a cause as immense energies cascade through powerful mechanisms.”

        Well, as a practical matter my climate is stochastic:

        A Practical Perspective. ‘Big whorls have little whorls’ is very satisfying and has much value as an conceptual core—I am still fascinated by things like the laminar-turbulent transition, scaling, etc. But as a practical matter at some point in the future we likely will have to be able to calculate, i.e., approximate, some useful (in a bigger policy context) measures; we will be constrained in our choices as to ‘what’ to calculate; and we will have to use those data we have in hand at the time. As is already evident in recent history, policy making is a tough taskmaster with respect to uncertainty. Thus it is a good idea to have viable stochastic approaches in hand at that time. Of course the stochastic picture has to be consistent with the conceptual core at some level, but that is in the future for both.

        Climate is not stochastic? Are you inferring the alternative, deterministic behavior, to hold—deterministic in the sense that a chaotic system is modeled with a deterministic equation, its evolving state solution initially tracking well with observation, but in time diverging? If so, a stochastic aspect will still creep in: There are initial conditions and parameters that have to be specified and as a practical matter the uncertainty in these conditions parameters have more than a little to say about ‘uncertainty’ in predictions. Perhaps more important, if nothing else, there is at least superficial stochastic behavior in the models that is imposed because of limitations to our observations and perception—matters of precision, sampling bias, etc. Stochastic variables beget stochastic functions (read that dependencies). Like it of not, many observations relating to the climate, for what ever reasons, exhibit a high degree of stochastic behavior. That is our lot, and for now the only practical extensible approaches we have to processing this information for multiple purposes are stochastic—statistics, stochastic simulation, etc.

        A stochastic approach is not a prescribed panecea. There are obvious advantages and disadvantages to adopting a stochastic perspective in a given problem. Often these relate to handling uncertainty in a direct manner, but there are subtler advantages. Among the advantages: a stochastic approach puts uncertainty in a spotlight and not under the carpet; it has one or more models of uncertainty built-in—handling discussions of uncertainty is facilitated; it makes greater use of the data when used for prediction—geostatistics, e.g., kriging, is a good example of this. A big advantage of deterministic approaches over stochastic approaches is easier comprehension (at some level); there is greater focus on the value(s) [intensity, level] of a prediction and uncertainty can be handled incidentally, as deemed appropriate; models for uncertainty in stochastic models are just that—models—and they can be wrong. Then there is ignorance. Both stochastic model and deterministic models are susceptible to errors associated with ignorance in all of its gradations.

        Saying that one knows in principle the the system is deterministic just will not deliver the results needed for making policy in sufficient detail. Nor at any time does one want to give decision makers (and the public) the idea that they can abdicate their responsibility to any model, if it only it was just made good enough.

        Sign me Stochastic and loving it.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I was not talking about modelling at all. The models are a different issue and are deterministically chaotic in themselves – so really be used to predict climate in any but a probabilistic way (e.g. Slingo and Palmer 2011 – http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/369/1956/4751.short – McWilliams 2007 – http://www.pnas.org/content/104/21/8709.full)

        ‘Prediction of weather and climate are necessarily uncertain: our observations of weather and climate are uncertain, the models into which we assimilate this data and predict the future are uncertain, and external effects such as volcanoes and anthropogenic greenhouse emissions are also uncertain. Fundamentally, therefore, therefore we should think of weather and climate predictions in terms of equations whose basic prognostic variables are probability densities ρ(X,t) where X denotes some climatic variable and t denoted time. In this way, ρ(X,t)dV represents the probability that, at time t, the true value of X lies in some small volume dV of state space.’ (Predicting Weather and Climate – Palmer and Hagedorn eds – 2006)

        I have quoted McWilliams before. ‘Atmospheric and oceanic forcings are strongest at global equilibrium scales of 10^7 m and seasons to millennia. Fluid mixing and dissipation occur at microscales of 10^−3m and 10^−3 s, and cloud particulate transformations happen at 10^−6 m or smaller. Observed intrinsic variability is spectrally broad band across all intermediate scales. A full representation for all dynamical degrees of freedom in different quantities and scales is uncomputable even with optimistically foreseeable computer technology. No fundamentally reliable reduction of the size of the AOS dynamical system (i.e., a statistical mechanics analogous to the transition between molecular kinetics and fluid dynamics) is yet envisioned.’

        I have quoted Slingo and Palmer below. ‘Finally, Lorenz’s theory of the atmosphere (and ocean) as a chaotic system raises fundamental, but unanswered questions about how much the uncertainties in climate-change projections can be reduced. In 1969, Lorenz [30] wrote: ‘Perhaps we can visualize the day when all of the relevant physical principles will be perfectly known. It may then still not be possible to express these principles as mathematical equations which can be solved by digital computers. We may believe, for example, that the motion of the unsaturated portion of the atmosphere is governed by the Navier–Stokes equations, but to use these equations properly we should have to describe each turbulent eddy—a task far beyond the capacity of the largest computer. We must therefore express the pertinent statistical properties of turbulent eddies as functions of the larger-scale motions. We do not yet know how to to this, nor have we proven that the desired functions exist’. Thirty years later, this problem remains unsolved, and may possibly be unsolvable.’ http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3270390/

        Are you suggesting that we solve the unsolved problem? You go girl. In the meantime the climate system is deterministically chaotic and stochastics is not behaviour but a statistical property. The behaviour of climate is determined by control variables and multiple negative and positive feedbacks and is, as you suggest, in principle completely deterministic.

        The realisation that it is also deterministically chaotic may suggest other approaches such as this one – http://www.pnas.org/content/105/38/14308.full.pdf

      • Chief-

        Well let’s look at this just a little more.

        * *****
        Chief: “Are you suggesting that we solve the unsolved problem?”

        mwgrant earlier:
        “But as a practical matter at some point in the future we likely will have to be able to calculate, i.e., approximate, some useful (in a bigger policy context) measures; we will be constrained in our choices as to ‘what’ to calculate; and we will have to use those data we have in hand at the time. As is already evident in recent history, policy making is a tough taskmaster with respect to uncertainty. Thus it is a good idea to have viable stochastic approaches in hand at that time. Of course the stochastic picture has to be consistent with the conceptual core at some level, but that is in the future for both.”

        Hmmm, looks like I suggested something quite different: We will have to pursue approximate estimates. Is there something that is not clear about that paragraph?

        * *****
        Chief: “We must therefore express the pertinent statistical properties of turbulent eddies as functions of the larger-scale motions.”

        Can we say this is stochastic? Statistics are highly suggestive of a little randomness somewhere

        * *****
        Chief: “We do not yet know how to to this, nor have we proven that the desired functions exist.”

        Would this suggest there may be some approximations in our future? Could it be?

        * *****
        Chief: “The behaviour of climate is determined by control variables and multiple negative and positive feedbacks and is, as you suggest, in principle completely deterministic.”

        ‘Now in what context did I make that ‘suggestion:

        ”Saying that one knows in principle the the system is deterministic just will not deliver the results needed for making policy in sufficient detail.”

        Chief: “stochastics is not behaviour but a statistical property.”

        That is just a strange statement. I have never seen the noun ‘stochastics’ before and have no idea what that statement means. But I know I didn’t use it. Other than to note that, I can say nothing.

        * *****
        Chief:
        “I was not talking about modelling at all.”

        You referenced model concepts in several places in your comment—including the quoted material. In the paragraph I quoted you do not use the word ‘model’, but you clearly evoke models with terms like mechanism and at a conceptual level, energy cascade.

        Cheers

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Well let’s look at this just a little more.

        ‘Big whorls have little whorls’. The question was rhetorical – little whorls were defined by Lorenz as unsolvable and confirmed as such by Palmer 30 years later.

        “We must therefore express the pertinent statistical properties of turbulent eddies as functions of the larger-scale motions.”
        Can we say this is stochastic? Statistics are highly suggestive of a little randomness somewhere

        ‘We may believe, for example, that the motion of the unsaturated portion of the atmosphere is governed by the Navier–Stokes equations, but to use these equations properly we should have to describe each turbulent eddy—a task far beyond the capacity of the largest computer. We must therefore express the pertinent statistical properties of turbulent eddies as functions of the larger-scale motions. We do not yet know how to do this, nor have we proven that the desired functions exist’.

        Regardless we still don’t know how to do it. What you are doing is extreme bad faith by taking words out of the context they were quite clearly in.

        Chief: “The behaviour of climate is determined by control variables and multiple negative and positive feedbacks and is, as you suggest, in principle completely deterministic.”

        ‘Now in what context did I make that ‘suggestion:

        ‘Saying that one knows in principle that the system is deterministic just will not deliver the results needed for making policy in sufficient detail.’

        Perhaps you mean something different. But every tiny whorl has a proximate cauuse. That is the essence of Navier-Stokes. If only we had both the data and the computer power. Stochastics has a role in parameter evaluation, in parametisation and in probabalistic forecasts. Read the Slingo and Palmer reference. But not in the real world.

        Chief: “stochastics is not behaviour but a statistical property.”
        That is just a strange statement. I have never seen the noun ‘stochastics’ before and have no idea what that statement means. But I know I didn’t use it. Other than to note that, I can say nothing.

        Stochastics – An International Journal of Probability and Stochastic Processes – http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/gssr20/current

        Chief: I was not talking about modelling at all.”

        You referenced model concepts in several places in your comment—including the quoted material. In the paragraph I quoted you do not use the word ‘model’, but you clearly evoke models with terms like mechanism and at a conceptual level, energy cascade.

        Energy is clearly in the climate system – not models – and mechanisms denote systems that do work.

        Such nitpicking is impossible. I will leave you to it.

      • As CH has discovered – but failed to acknowledge – elsewhere, Swanson & Tsonis (2009) has a sting in its tail for crypto-denialists. What they would suppress through misrepresentation is that S&T posits a sensitive climate system:

        Finally, it is vital to note that there is no comfort to be gained by having a climate with a significant degree of internal variability, even if it results in a near-term cessation of global warming. It is straightforward to argue that a climate with significant internal variability is a climate that is very sensitive to applied anthropogenic radiative anomalies (c.f. Roe [2009]). If the role of internal variability in the climate system is as large as this analysis would seem to suggest, warming over the 21st century may well be larger than that predicted by the current generation of models, given the propensity of those models to underestimate climate internal variability [Kravtsov and Spannagle 2008].

        Oh dear. Worse than we thought :-) Not at all what the crypto-denialists want us to hear at all, is it?

        Now, as for a supposedly prolonged warming hiatus – seemingly a done deal according to the misrepresenters – S&T09 is properly scientifically cautious:

        If as suggested here, a dynamically driven climate shift has occurred, the duration of similar shifts during the 20th century suggests the new global mean temperature trend may persist for several decades. Of course, it is purely speculative to presume that the global mean temperature will remain near current levels for such an extended period of time. Moreover, we caution that the shifts described here are presumably superimposed upon a long term warming trend due to anthropogenic forcing. However, the nature of these past shifts in climate state suggests the possibility of near constant temperature lasting a decade or more into the future must at least be entertained.

        This caution is wise. As we have seen, S&T are explicit on the point that the climate shifts they propose cannot occur unless the climate system is sensitive to changes in radiative forcing:

        It is straightforward to argue that a climate with significant internal variability is a climate that is very sensitive to applied anthropogenic radiative anomalies

        This of course is why S&T are so very cautious about the potential duration of the current warming hiatus – and that’s assuming that the climate shift hypothesis is correct. It may very well not be.

        This is why S&T repeatedly caution that the hypothesised climate shifts are *superimposed* on a long-term warming trend. It is evidently why Swanson made the following cautionary statement which CH laughably misrepresents as ‘moral panic’ and ‘disowning his own work':

        What do our results have to do with Global Warming, i.e., the century-scale response to greenhouse gas emissions? VERY LITTLE, contrary to claims that others have made on our behalf. Nature (with hopefully some constructive input from humans) will decide the global warming question based upon climate sensitivity, net radiative forcing, and oceanic storage of heat, not on the type of multi-decadal time scale variability we are discussing here.

        Those who understand what is really being said by S&T understand that a sensitive climate system is necessary for climate shifts to occur and by definition is also *sensitive* to increasing RF from GHGs.

        This crucial point is suppressed by the misrepresenters. Those who understand S&T would not bet on a prolonged hiatus in warming. Nor would they focus entirely on the potential for short-term hiatus and ignore the actual message:

        If the role of internal variability in the climate system is as large as this analysis would seem to suggest, warming over the 21st century may well be larger than that predicted by the current generation of models, given the propensity of those models to underestimate climate internal variability [Kravtsov and Spannagle 2008].

        Perhaps we will now here rather less about S&T and climate shifts from certain quarters.

      • “What you are doing is extreme bad faith by taking words out of the context they were quite clearly in.”

        “Such nitpicking is impossible. I will leave you to it.”

        ‘Bad faith?’ No choice when someone distorts what I write. However, I concur that there is nothing to be gained by continuing. I’ll leave the whorl in your capable hands.

        ctrl-D

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I have quoted this before.

        ‘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.’

        And this.

        ‘Researchers first became intrigued by abrupt climate change when they discovered striking evidence of large, abrupt, and widespread changes preserved in paleoclimatic archives. Interpretation of such proxy records of climate—for example, using tree rings to judge occurrence of droughts or gas bubbles in ice cores to study the atmosphere at the time the bubbles were trapped—is a well-established science that has grown much in recent years. This chapter summarizes techniques for studying paleoclimate and highlights research results. The chapter concludes with examples of modern climate change and techniques for observing it. Modern climate records include abrupt changes that are smaller and briefer than in paleoclimate records but show that abrupt climate change is not restricted to the distant past.’ http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=10136&page=R1

        ‘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.’

        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/

        ‘Unlike El Niño and La Niña, which may occur every 3 to 7 years and last from 6 to 18 months, the PDO can remain in the same phase for 20 to 30 years. The shift in the PDO can have significant implications for global climate, affecting Pacific and Atlantic hurricane activity, droughts and flooding around the Pacific basin, the productivity of marine ecosystems, and global land temperature patterns. This multi-year Pacific Decadal Oscillation ‘cool’ trend can intensify La Niña or diminish El Niño impacts around the Pacific basin,” said Bill Patzert, an oceanographer and climatologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. “The persistence of this large-scale pattern [in 2008] tells us there is much more than an isolated La Niña occurring in the Pacific Ocean.”

        Natural, large-scale climate patterns like the PDO and El Niño-La Niña are superimposed on global warming caused by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases and landscape changes like deforestation. According to Josh Willis, JPL oceanographer and climate scientist, “These natural climate phenomena can sometimes hide global warming caused by human activities. Or they can have the opposite effect of accentuating it.”’ http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=8703

        The cool Pacific mode is certainly with us and these modes last 20 to 40 years in the proxy records. But the essence of the papers – read the other one as well ‘A new dynamical mechanism for major climate shifts’ – concerns dynamical systems theory. What sensitivity means in this context is nonlinear sensitivity. Small changes drive climate past tipping points and climate spontaneously and abruptly reorganises.

        The warming was about 0.1 degree C/decade between 1979 and 1997 – that is outside the ‘Great Pacific Climate Shift’ of 1976/1977 and the 1998/2001 shift. These are ENSO dragon-kings (http://arxiv.org/abs/0907.4290) – extreme events at periods of chaotic bifurcation – and mark points at which the behaviour of ENSO changes. If this is all it was – then it is far less of a problem than many deem. It is not all there is to it however.

        I would suggest that cooling is possible as much as warming after the next shift – and these spontaneous climate re-organisations are unpredictable.

        ‘Thinking is centered around slow changes to our climate and how they will affect humans and the habitability of our planet. Yet this thinking is flawed: It ignores the well-established fact that Earth’s climate has changed rapidly in the past and could change rapidly in the future. The issue centers around the paradox that global warming could instigate a new Little Ice Age in the northern hemisphere.

        Evidence for abrupt climate change is readily apparent in ice cores taken from Greenland and Antarctica. One sees clear indications of long-term changes discussed above, with CO² and proxy temperature changes associated with the last ice age and its transition into our present interglacial period of warmth. But, in addition, there is a strong chaotic variation of properties with a quasi-period of around 1500 years. We say chaotic because these millennial shifts look like anything but regular oscillations. Rather, they look like rapid, decade-long transitions between cold and warm climates followed by long interludes in one of the two states.’ http://www.whoi.edu/page.do?pid=83339&tid=3622&cid=10046

        So we have decades on non-warming and uncertainty beyond that. But we are introducing change in a nonlinear system. Wally Broecker called it poking a stick at a wild and unpredictable beast. That’s why I call myself a climate catastrophist (in the sense of René Thom).

        Trust me – you don’t understand S&T because you don’t have the conceptual framework in complex systems theory.

      • CH

        Off you go again, setting up your pitch with the same irrelevancies about the YD. Misleading comparisons between the last deglacial and the late Holocene are *counter-productive* when you are talking to me and we’ve been over this already:

        Pointing to the abrupt climate change during deglaciation is misleading. These climate shifts were triggered by interruptions in the AMOC resulting from large freshwater fluxes at high NH inhibiting deep water formation. The source was meltwater drainage from glacial lakes. These climate shifts only happen when a major NH ice sheet is melting. They are a feature of deglacial climate conditions. We are 11.5ka into the Holocene.

        Something I particularly dislike about blog ‘conversations’ is the fake amnesia. When you have failed to make a point, don’t repeat the error for rhetorical effect. It’s a pain in the arse.

        Moving on. We agree that climate is complex non-linear etc. We agree that future abrupt climate change is possible, even likely. We do not agree that a sensitive climate system under constant forcing from GHGs will cool because this is unphysical. To get around this little difficulty you again resort to misrepresentation and over-reach.

        For example, the Woods Hole stuff you quote from 2003 about AMOC shutdowns is old thinking. Much in vogue back then; rather less so now. Misrepresentation.

        Also bear in mind that an AMOC shutdown/slowdown decreases the efficiency of the NH ‘heat sink’ and so increases SH warming. *Global* mean temperatures will not fall. Over-reach.

        Trust me – you don’t understand S&T because you don’t have the conceptual framework in complex systems theory.

        You have misrepresented S&T at every turn and I have illustrated this in detail in my previous two comments here on this thread and several in previous threads.

        Are you *still* trying to pretend that Tsonis and Swanson do not understand their own work? Is Swanson in a ‘moral panic’ and ‘disowning’ T&S09?

        You are a case study in dishonesty and serial misrepresentation. Why this is tolerated here is a mystery to me.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        My ‘pitch’ comes from the NAS and by no means is limited to the Younger Dryas. And we are talking about variations in AMOC and not ‘shut down’ which is very much current thinking – even in the model study you link to. And really the major feedbacks from that involve snow and ice.

        A chaotic climate is a system that is characterised by control variables and multiple negative and positive feedbacks. It is the essence of nonlinearity that abrupt warming or cooling is indeed possible – as shown in the current planetary cool mode. How unphysical is that? Not so much.

        You aren’t worth talking to – you are simply a cult of AGW groupthink space cadet.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        My ‘pitch’ comes from the NAS and by no means is limited to the Younger Dryas. And we are talking about variations in AMOC and not ‘shut down’ which is very much current thinking – even in the model study you link to. And really the major feedbacks from that involve snow and ice.

        A chaotic climate is a system that is characterised by control variables and multiple negative and positive feedbacks. It is the essence of nonlinearity that abrupt warming or cooling is indeed possible – as shown in the current planetary cool mode. How unphysical is that? Not so much.

        http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=8703

        You aren’t worth talking to – you are simply a cult of AGW groupthink space cadet.

      • “Goobles”?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Dr Goobles to you crudball…

      • “Dr Goobles” ? You’ve still not got it right. I think you might mean this person:

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

      • Chief Hydrologist

        What do you take me for? Dr Goobles is Australian.

      • What do you take me for?

        Are you sure you want an answer to that?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I was merely suggesting I am not one to make Nazi comparison. You are such a dweeb.

      • “dweeb” You seem to be somewhat better informed that I on these American slang terms. I have to look them up.

        http://laughingsquid.com/nerd-venn-diagram-geek-dork-or-dweeb/

        According to the chart you are crediting me with some intelligence! Thanks. That must be a first.

        I’ll return the compliment by calling you a “nerd” which is intelligence + obsession + social ineptitude.

        Peter Lang is definitely a ‘dork’. As above but without the intelligence.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘A person who leads people to believe they are from a different planet or dreaming of ancestry in other areas of the universe. The person does not respond when directly spoken to, performs odd food rituals and displays complete disregard for commonsense. A space cadet is not necessarily refering to a person of low intelligence or a heavy drug user, but rather a person who typically focuses on all aspects of life except the one currently at hand.’

        Look it up space cadet.

    • Max,

      To answer your question, we first have to divide Australian’s into two categories: rational people and dingbats.

      The rational people agree with me. Here is one of my comments from earlier today:

      We are now in the position we have to singn up to Kyoto2 because this government has committed us to join the EU ETS.

      In effect we are giving over to EU control of one of the most important inputs to our economy – energy. In a way we are agreeing to become a colony of EU; and governed by Brussels bureaucrats.

      We’ve handed over a significant point of control of our economy to Brussels.

      Make no mistake. This has nothing to do with looking after Australia’s interests. This is all about Gillard trying to lock in the Carbon Tax and try to get her government re-elected.

      How can one government do so much damage to us in just 5 years? Unbelievable! Frightening!

      The dingbats agree with the policies of the Green-Labor government (a Progressive/socialist/Left government), no matter how irrational or damaging their polices are.

      • “How can one government do so much damage to us in just 5 years? Unbelievable! Frightening!”
        I am saying the same thing about the Obama Administration and they did their damage in only 4 years and get another 4 years to do even more damage.

      • Peter Lang,

        “The rational people agree with me.” :-)

        And everyone else is an irrational “dingbat”?

        So you think you’re rational? I guess you must do! We all think we are rational. That would include creationists and religious and political zealots of all kinds. Many people who suffer from a mental illness, or who are delusional, also think they, too, are rational but that the world, except of course for them and those who are similarly afflicted, somehow has gone completely mad. They live in their own vacuum.

        They divide the world up exactly have you have done. Those who have somehow escaped being brainwashed and the rest. Dingbats as you’ve called them.

        We should all be concerned about our own rationality, but we should be aware that just thinking we are rational isn’t enough. It it were, there would be no Anders Breiviks in this world. People who commit terrible crimes, for seemingly irrational reasons, but makes total sense to them to draw world attention to what they do sincerely believe is their own unique rationality.

        We all need to have an outside check, and this best obtained by sounding out our ideas on our closest friends and family. They don’t necessarily have to agree with you. Mine often don’t, but I’m pretty sure they don’t think I’m mad either, just as I don’t think they are mad for disagreeing with me. Anders Breivik had no friends or close family and that itself is a significant indicator of rationality, or rather lack of it. It’s easy to lose friends by calling them dingbats!

        If this is at all like you, you need to seek some help.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        et tu dingbat?

      • A dingbat ate my baby.

      • Welcome to politics. We(USA) just re-elected a regime that has caused at least as much damage in only 4 years. One up on you.

        At least your folks appear to be following the law. Our current government just decides to ignore laws is doesn’t like- i.e. delegating legislative functions to the EPA for carbon regulations. Letting agencies ignore inconvenient facts, etc.

      • ferocious20022002,

        With Labor and Greens (Left and far Left) in control of both houses of our parliament they make up laws to embed their ideology in Australian culture forever. This is really seriously damaging. They committed to hold a referendum to change the Australian Constitution to recognise local governments. But what this really means is to allow them to embed UN Agenda 21 agreements. This is committing to UN Agenda21 by stealth.

        Australia already has 87 local councils sighed up: http://www.iclei.org/index.php?id=11454

        From a rough scan down the list, Only US has more. Here is the USA list:

        http://www.icleiusa.org/about-iclei/members/member-list

        That’s what our governments are signing us up to, Agenda21.
        AGENDA 21 IN YOUR AREA, AND COMING SOON TO ALL AREAS!

        http://slavenewworld.ca/index.php/agenda-21/54-agenda-21/1305-agenda-21-in-your-area-local-governments-for-sustainablilty

    • The Australian voter is probably not aware of Kyoto 2, but opinion polls over several years have switched from strong support for anti-emissions policies to strong opposition. Partly to do with costs now being incurred, partly because of government dishonesty on the CAGW issue and consequent loss of trust.

      I’ve lived in four continents, I’ve always been surprised by how much faith Australians have had in their governments, and how a people renowned for “larrikinism” and bush innovation can depend so much on government. The trust and faith seems to have declined in recent years, although the ALP government has sought to increase dependency by increasing the range and reach of government benefit programs (as did the Coalition in the last years of its term). As with Obama, governments and bureaucracies in general tend to seek to increase dependency, the reverse of what is needed.

  4. Joachim Seifert

    I suggest to discuss our new paper on climate change, which identifies
    5 climate macro-drivers over 20,000 years, and puts the micro-drivers
    (defined as “not made visible in Holocene records) aside… paper

    http://www.knowledgeminer.eu/eoo_paper.html

    Here we focus right on the 5 macro-drivers, which IPCC-Warmism
    still hide under the table….JS

    • Kudos to Seifert, as he is the only climate crackpot that has the free-market acumen to ask for money to read his theory. That should make the rest of the free-market people very pleased.

      We should also consider the alternative models from all the other run-of-the-mill skeptics. Just from commenters to the Climate Etc site, there are some 40+ alternative models that have also been proposed.

      What happens if we take the aggregate of the 40 models of these Climate Etc-sanctioned models and see what comes out the other end?

      As suspected, what comes out the other end is a pile of crap. Add in Seifert’s model, which I will not pay to read, and I really doubt that it will move the mountain of crap.

      It takes policing by people that actually care to separate the wheat from the chaff. The owners of this blog do not care , as they seem to actually desire adding more FUD in the mix. This seems contrary to to the objectives of “taming the uncertainty monster”, but it makes perfect sense to those of us who understand the principles of framing. The general idea — borrowed from political campaigning –is that if you take control of the argument, speak as an authority, then you can condone the crap that comes out of your end, while you hammer the opposition as evil wrong-doers (see Rove, Karl). In other words, the controllers of the meme never have to face up to eating their own dog food, or defending their own failings

      So the maintainers of this blog will never ever say anything bad about the crackpot models that come from its dearly beloved “denizens”. You see, the crackpots are the lifeblood that feeds the uncertainty monster.

      • WebHubTelescope

        Put your money were your mouth is.

        I willl put $1000 USD that my prediction will be better than IPCC’s in the next years, i.e. no warming until about 2020.

        Here is my prediction.

        Instead of calling us names, if you believe in IPCC’s projection, put your money where your mouth is.

        Let us bet with a $1000 USD.

        My prediction will outperform IPCC’s prediction.

      • Girma,
        Crackpots have a long history of challenging nay-sayers with an offer of a wager or prize money to those who dispute their theory.
        see The Crackpot Index

        You score very high on the index. Try it on yourself. You would be embarrassed if you had a sense of shame.

      • First you have to get the IPCC projection correct.

      • I’ll not be taking your money even though you got it wrong. My prediction is for a negative slope all the way to 2100.

      • Mosher said “First you have to get the IPCC projection correct”

        Well, don’t leave us in suspense then.

      • Steven

        First you have to get the IPCC projection correct.

        Please explain.

      • My bet is that Mosh will leave Girma Gobbles hanging in the wind. Cruel, but funny.

      • Web

        If you believe in IPCC climate models, why not bet with me?

        IPCC’s projection of 0.2 deg C per decade has failed and will not happen for another decade.

        If you support IPCCC’s claim, why not show your convictions with a bet?

        Statistics tells us with a high correlation coefficient of 0.93 that the global mean temperature data has a multi-decadal oscillation that has an about 60 years period, and we are going through the cooling phase since about 2000 and this should continue until about 2030. This means that there will not be any warming for the next decade or two.

        This pattern is established because of the enormous heat capacity and inertia of the oceans, and nothing will change the pattern of that trajectory as it has existed for the last 140 years. Statistics gives you a high correlation coefficient of 0.93 for this pattern. As a result, no warming for the next decade or two.

      • For that matter I offer a bet of $1000 USD to any one that my prediction for the next decade will outperform IPCC’s prediction as shown here:

        Show your convictions AGW believers. Any takers of this bet?

      • Web– is that a “no dice”?

      • “Web– is that a “no dice”?”

        The best bet is to keep ridiculing the propagandist Dr. Girba Gobbles

        “Girma | April 13, 2012 at 11:48 pm | Reply

        In the following video, the kids in a classroom are all brainwashed to believe they will all die as a result of global warming.

        http://bit.ly/YrBo6

        Gobbles would not have done a better job!”

      • John Carpenter

        You really don’t understand the purpose of this blog, do you. You seem to think that because the ‘maintainers of this blog’ (Judith Curry) don’t refute crackpot theories, they must condone them and therefore are supporting them. Not true. This blog is more of an e-salon where ideas of all sorts, crackpot or well reasoned, are welcomed. It is up to the reader to sort out the wheat from the chaff. In the process of doing so, it becomes clear to the readers who are the ‘wheat’ and who are the ‘chaff’ without having to actually come out and say it. JC offers her insights and opinions through her posts and comments that, at least for me, pretty clearly state her position wrt to the science. You have been paying attention long enough now to have figured that out. The crackpot theories pose no real harm to anyone who can tell the difference, and if you can’t tell the difference, then you probably don’t pose much influence on the topic as a whole. Give this meme of yours a rest, we all know how smart you are.

      • John, I keep track of what you say and you are indeed a reasonable sort

        With that said, would you not agree that a majority of the skeptics that relentlessly comment here are crackpots, and the rest of the skeptics have an anti-green or anti-leftist agenda ?

        All that are left are perhaps you and a handful of others. I would consider that a small pool of sanity.

        If you were to suggest that I not feed the trolls, that may be better advice.

        “Give this meme of yours a rest, we all know how smart you are.”

        What kind of fallacious argument is that? The echo chamber on these sites is one of how dumb the majority of climate scientists are and how brain-dead their models are.

        I liked what this commenter had to say on Real Climate:

        http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2012/11/trying-to-shoot-the-messenger/comment-page-1/#comment-295680

        “One of the major attacks on climate science has been the denigration of models, now in less than two weeks two very public model predictions based upon science have proven spectacularly true. The second was Nate’s polling predictions. Even more remarkably (and relevant to climate science) were the predictions of the strength, path and effects of superstorm Sandy. As early as six days prior to landfall ECMWF had it nailed, and within a couple of days all the other major models had converged on similar solutions. So now the public has seen that mathematically rigorous modeling can in fact beat human gut instinct. So denigrating climate change, by dismissing the models as garbage in garbage out will now fall on a bunch of deaf ears.”

        The Nate he is referring to is Nate Silver

        http://markcoddington.com/2012/10/31/nate-silver-journalism-politics-knowledge-epistemology/

        “They don’t just have a problem with how he knows what he knows, but with how he states it, too. Essentially, they are mistaking specificity for certainty. To them, the specificity of Silver’s projections smack of arrogance because, again, their ways of knowing are incapable of producing that kind of specificity. It has to be an overstatement.

        In actuality, of course, Silver’s specificity isn’t arrogance at all — it’s the natural product of a scientific, statistical way of producing knowledge. Statistical analyses produce specific numbers by their very nature.”

        What we are really seeing in these sites such as Climate Etc and WUWT is a basic attack on science and a virtual war on brains. Nice to see you pile on there John Carpenter.

      • John Carpenter

        Web, I don’t think there is any evidence that I ‘pile on’ wrt to attacks on climate science. On the contrary, I have made it clear several times that my views on climate science have changed over the years in the warm direction. Perhaps my last comment about ‘how smart you are’ was not called for.

        Though weather models are capable of making better and more skillful predictions, to compare them with long term climate models is not an apples to apples comparison. Just because short term models are getting better does not translate to long term climate models getting better…. yet. I agree with Judith’s assessment here. I in no way think long term climate modeling is useless.

        I have to agree a large portion commenter here cling to improbable theories. I also agree that many are resistant to change and are wary of what kind of or how change would come about, their fears are not unfounded.

        Denigrating them will not improve the dialogue.

      • John Carpenter

        Web, btw, here’s another model for predicting presidential elections by popular vote based on ‘stability’ vs ‘upheaval’. You might find it interesting.

        http://www.npr.org/blogs/itsallpolitics/2012/11/09/164711093/what-earthquakes-can-teach-us-about-elections

      • WHT –

        John. BillC. Perhaps a handful of others… open to good faith discussion and not driven by anti-left/anti-green agendas.

        The problem for me isn’t that Judith needs to comment on the “crackpots,” but that she should to acknowledge their prevalence and not try to marginalize them from the works of “skeptics” through some inconsistent, completely unqualified, and unvalidated criteria. My opinion is that Judith undermines her efforts at improving dialog by failing to create accurate distinctions between the various combatants. For example, how serious is her focus on underestimating uncertainty if she only criticizes a failure to acknowledge uncertainty on one side of the debate? How serious is her focus on the political influences and political advocacy of the combatants when she only criticizes those phenomena on one side of the debate – and actually as seen by the article she linked in this thread with praise and her failure to acknowledge the characteristic of overt political influences of many of her “extended peer community”, tacitly endorses political influence and advocacy on one side of the debate?

      • FWIW – even more accurate than Silver in using statistical analysis to predict elections is Sam Wang:

        http://election.princeton.edu/

        And also very accurate through using statistical analysis, in an interesting twist, is hardcore libertarian and well-known climate “skeptic” J. Scott Armstrong.

        http://pollyvote.forecastingprinciples.com/

      • Josh, good interpretation.

        Curry completely ignores the systemic errors caused by gross incompetence on the skeptical side of the fence.

        Like I said, that uncertainty is good from their perspective because it feeds the FUD that everyone is incompetent.

        Yet, as we see with people that know what they are doing, like the Nate Silvers of the world, it is much smarter to hitch your wagon to that crowd. That is, if your goal is to be correct…

        An example of an egregiously bad prognosticator would be someone like Michael Barone who predicted a reverse landslide based on the dearth of Obama signs on Wisconsin college campuses. What a joke. Barone’s objective was not to be correct, but to tell his audience what they wanted to hear.

        Sound familiar?

      • Yet, as we see with people that know what they are doing, like the Nate Silvers of the world, it is much smarter to hitch your wagon to that crowd. That is, if your goal is to be correct…

        Taken at face value, the arguments from Republican pundits and partisans, with their theories about “skewed polls” because of “oversampling,” seemed like they could be logical. So do many of the arguments of our beloved “skeptics” at places like Climate Etc. – most of whom share political orientation with the political poll “skeptics.” Taken at face value, their argument about “bias” on the part of climate scientists or liberal pollsters, or the “biased mainstream media” could seem valid or logical.

        Nate Silver himself estimated that the probability of the polls being affected by systemic bias to be around 9% (Sam Wang had the probability to be at less than 1%). Of course, the potential bias that Silver spoke of wasn’t due to the “oversampling” that Gary and rightwing pundits were so certain about – and which would have been virtually impossible given the size of the randomly generated sample once the individual pools were aggregated – but on other potential methodological biases such as use of cell phones or other factors.

        Seems to me that the situation with climate science is very similar. Sure, there’s a possibility that climate scientists are engaged in a “hoax” as so many prominent “skeptics” and many “denizens” claim. Seems unlikely, though. I wonder if any “skeptics” are looking at how wrong they were about the polls and re-thinking their views on climate science.

      • John Carpenter

        Joshua,

        “My opinion is that Judith undermines her efforts at improving dialog by failing to create accurate distinctions between the various combatants”

        I’m not so sure how easy it is to create accurate distinctions between the various combatants. There are many shades of grey between the extremes. Perhaps we could all benefit from what you think accurate distinctions there are. When you say accurate, upon what metric can be used to determine the differences between the various combatants. I would think only very general and not so accurate subjective representations could be made. I would also say there is a behavioral component to the distinctions as well, i.e. denial is a behavior as is science is a behavior, and the degree that each is present in making a distinction between the combatants is important.

        “how serious is her focus on underestimating uncertainty if she only criticizes a failure to acknowledge uncertainty on one side of the debate?”

        I’m not sure I understand this. This would suggest there is parity between the ‘skeptical’ side and the ‘realist’ side. Do you believe such a parity exists? Doesn’t the ‘realist’ side carry a bit more objective weight to the debate? If so, shouldn’t the failure of acknowledging uncertainty be more focused on that side? Unless I misunderstand what you mean by ‘skeptic’. Certainly skeptics exist on the ‘realist’ side and question (are skeptical about) the certainty boundary between accepted science and new knowledge/theories. I think this is where Judith is questioning the lack of acknowledgement of uncertainty. ‘Skeptics’ who question basic radiative transfer theory or the GHE have been dealt with ad nauseum with the many ‘sky dragon’ threads. She has clearly separated herself from those, gave them a chance to plead their case and found it non persuasive. So why spend more time focusing on their perceived certainty they are right? It’s pointless and really is marginal to the overall discussion.

      • John –

        I’ll answer below to refresh the nesting.

      • Web

        “a virtual war on brains”

        Are you arrogant enough to think you are the only one with a “brain”?

        If so,

        you are not only “arrogant” – but also “ignorant”.

        (And you know what Einstein said about that combination.)

        Max

      • Excellent post, John.

      • WHT –

        Don’t know if you caught this latest post from Silver, but it is fascinating w/r/t evaluating the types of statistical analysis used in polling in this year’s election cycle:

        http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/10/which-polls-fared-best-and-worst-in-the-2012-presidential-race/

        Of course, an interesting side-angle on that discussion is the degree of overlap between “skeptics” and confidence in a view on the polls that was diametrically opposed to reality – as so well seen in the comments of our Climate Etc. friend, GaryM.

        In fact, contrary to GaryM’s confident predictions – based on his “scientific” analysis of the polling methodologies – far more polls had a pro-Romney bias than a pro-Obama bias. Also, please don’t forget the confidence predictions of many of our “skeptics” about what the outcomes of this election would be. If I’m not mistaken, the self-identified “rational skeptic” Max was among them. Because, you know, his “rational skeptic” loyalty to scientific and intellectual integrity and objective analysis led to his conclusions – no confirmation bias or motivated reasoning in his analysis. Nosirreebub.

        Too funny.

      • WHT –

        A bit polemic for my taste – but an interesting take on the “climate denier” “political denier” overlap amongst the rightwing – with specific mention of the attacks on Nate Silver.

        http://nymag.com/news/frank-rich/gop-denial-2012-11/

        Interesting factoid. Climate “skeptic” George Will predicted Romney would win 321 electoral votes.

        Will there ever be a point where rightwingers will think about the nearly uniform self-delusion about the 2012 election, and consider whether it might have any implications to how they approach objective analysis?

        The implications of the rightwing attack on Silver’s statistical modeling to the attacks on the statistical modeling in climate science are fascinating. Certainly not dispositive in my view (especially given Silver’s input specifically on the topic of climate science) but it is information that should be, absolutely, feed into the debate if anyone is interested in a comprehensive analysis of the socio-political elements of the climate debate. I wonder if Judith will write a post about this – it seems very much in line with her focus on the problems and biases in qualifying uncertainty.

        Can you imagine how this would have been spun by climate “skeptics” had Silver’s statistical modeling turned out to be wrong? Can you imagine what would have happened had it turned out to be wrong to the same extent that the rightwing narrative on the election turned out to be wrong?

        It is comical

      • And notice, WHT –

        Among the worst polls were the ones that the GOP were absolutely certain were the most accurate. Notice that instead of their fantasied and conspiratorial theories about biased sampling (when sampling was done through a randomized process), the bias that shows in the results was exactly that which was predicted by Silver – a methodological bias (by virtue of data-collecting methodology). Silver told them that random sampling would not likely produce a bias except by virtue of methodology. He actually calculated the likely uncertainty of bias created by methodological problems But they were absolutely certain he was wrong.

      • Josh,
        One of the funniest responses to Nate Silver’s results was from another stats dweeb, a student at Harvard, who said that Silver’s projected error margins were not up to snuff based on further examination:

        http://www.boston.com/sports/blogs/statsdriven/2012/11/nobodys_perfect_nate_silver_an.html

        But then the guy had to retract what he said as an addendum, because he read Silver’s margins incorrectly, and Silver’s results were then pretty much spot on. One of those “never mind” moments.

      • WHT –

        I’d love to read more discussion of Sam Wang’s analysis – given this:

        Probability of Obama re-election: Random Drift 99.2%, Bayesian Prediction 100.0%

        Notice his probability on the electoral vote predictions. In the previous two elections, his probability range feel exactly on the final outcome.

        http://election.princeton.edu/history-of-electoral-votes-for-obama/

        If ever something would be good fodder for discussion of too much certainty and Bayesian analysis, it would seem given his 100% certainty of an Obama victory, Wang’s work would be it. Especially given the political elements involved: Wang’s a hardcore lefty, the rightwing predicted the opposite, and the public viewed the uncertainty as being much, much higher than Wang’s predictions.

        As you said, sound familiar?

      • Josh,
        Silver has no tolerance for non-scientific polls, which he classifies as those that are voluntary, and thus subject to significant bias.

        The obvious analog to that in the climate science debate is the dependence on unscientific unsolicited opinions amongst most of the skeptics . The anti-AGW side is comprised of a significant number of people given a script to read from and they do the best they can to create a bias by pumping up a huge fake echo chamber. Any echo chamber seen on the pro-AGW side results from a band-wagon effect of decent peer-reviewed research that people rally behind.

        If the anti-AGW side wants to sway the tide, they ought to do better research than the dreck that I have seen published. And, no, it is not a matter of money, as I am sure they can get the research dollars.

        As with eventual polling results, the mounting climate evidence will reveal who is right in their projections.

      • Josh,
        Amongst the skeptics there seems to be a knee-jerk neagtive response to Bayesian criteria. The commenter known as Fan rightly brings up Bayes as supporting evidence and like Dr. Wang he is right.

        The counter-claim that Bayes is a subjective criteria is not at all correct; Bayesian analysis is steeped in information theory and in how to apply entropy as an information content metric. Nature accumulates evidence just as mankind can, and the result of Bayesian rules is to allow one to better estimate various natural processes as the evidence mounts.

        One can read ET Jaynes work on this subject, and see the obvious parallels to statistical mechanics, which just so happens is the basis for all of thermodynamics and of practical applications such as solid-state electronics.

        A prime example of statistical mechanics at work in polling is as simple as the example of random unbiased sampling. In statistical mechanics, random sampling is equi-partition in the state space. Further, one can apply Bayes rule to updating the polling results as more results become available. In statistical mechanics this is obvious as larger sample spaces show better reversion to the mean.

      • Webster, The evidence will prevail.

      • Many of the links above were to GPR papers. Why do you care about crack pot theories when there are peer-reviewed papers available?

  5. Peter Lang

    Does anyone seriously believe that IPCC will come up in AR5 with any specific actionable proposals for reducing CO2 emissions, along with a cost/benefit analysis for each proposal?

    They have not done so in the past, and there is no reason to believe that they will do so in the future.

    The reason is quite simple.

    There ARE NO specific actionable proposals that will have any perceptible impact on our planet’s future climate.

    It’s all just a ruse to put global carbon taxation into the hands of the UN.

    It’s about MONEY (and the power that goes with it) – not about climate.

    Max

    • Max,

      Does anyone seriously believe that IPCC will come up in AR5 with any specific actionable proposals for reducing CO2 emissions, along with a cost/benefit analysis for each proposal?

      I realise your question is rhetorical, but I’ll give a sensible answer.

      The answer to your question is “yes”. Many people, perhaps the majority trust the IPCC. Many people are concerned about CAGW. They want government to fix it. They vote in governments that say they will fix the climate. If any leader of a major political party made a statement that CAGW is nonsense, or insignificant issue, they would have no chance of being elected.

      Therefore, we need to deal with the political realities. Everyone thinks they know the truth but those who don’t share their views just don’t understand. So the debate and education on the substance of the issues needs to continue, but we also have to be pragmatic about how we try to guide politicians towards offering policies that are acceptable to the majority of electors. Otherwise we’ll get nowhere. A politician in Opposition can do nothing. First he has to get into government and to do that he has to offer a suite of policies that the majority of electors want

      • “First he has to get into government and to do that he has to offer a suite of policies that the majority of electors want”

        Doesn’t work that way at all, Peter. Aus elections are always a choice of the lesser evil (however one may see that) and the populace is never offered hard, costed, detailed, accountable policies before (or indeed, after) an election; rather, just arm-waving vacuous rhetoric

      • ianl8888,

        Are you suggesting the Nationalised Broadband Network was not properly costed before it Kevin Rudd offered it to the electorate in 2007 for $4.3 billion. After he won the election he then increased it to $46 billion on the basis of what he heard on a plane trip, and it is now projected it would cost well over $100 billion and be complete long after the whole thing is obsolete if it was to be continued to completion? What’s wrong with that?

        Did you see this: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/opinion/swans-debt-dive-an-act-of-financial-vandalism/story-e6frezz0-1226466722787 including this:

        Over the past four years, the Labor government has lifted the debt ceiling four times, from $75 billion, to $200 billion, to $250 billion and now $300 billion. On each occasion Treasurer Wayne Swan has earnestly promised not to exceed the total debt limit.

        But over the same period Labor has also produced the four biggest Budget deficits on record, totalling $174 billion.

        Read the article. Lots in it.

      • In 1993 John Hewson went to the election with his very detailed and coherent “Fightback” strategy document, released well before the election. He lost the “unloseable” election narrowly, in part because of lies and demolition by Paul Keating, a man who was unfit to be Prime Minister (I attended many Cabinet Room meetings with Keating 1985-91). Since then, no one has been prepared to take such a risk again.

        Hawke was a very good PM, Howard was good but could and should have done better, and eventually lost his way. Otherwise, there have been no good PMs in the post-Menzies era. Generally, as you say, Ian, it is the lesser of two evils, and I am concerned at the lack of supportable policies from the Coalition. It’s much worse at state level. It’s an indictment of the Coalition and the electorate that the government of the two worst Prime Ministers of the last 40-odd years (whose only achievement has been to demote Whitlam from the “worst PM” spot) should be back to 50-50 on the two-party preferred opinion polls.

      • Peter Lang

        Thanks for reply.

        I agree with what you have written, but it did not respond directly to my question:

        Does anyone seriously believe that IPCC will come up in AR5 with any specific actionable proposals for reducing CO2 emissions, along with a cost/benefit analysis for each proposal?

        First, I am talking about IPCC.

        Second, I am asking whether or not IPCC will come up with any specific actionable proposals for reducing CO2 emissions, along with a cost/benefit analysis for each proposal

        Third, I am asking whether or not IPCC will do this as part of the forthcoming AR5 report.

        I do not believe this will be the case.

        A specific actionable proposal is something that can be implemented (like the replacement of all coal-fired power plants with nuclear, for example). Just doing a quick analysis of that proposal shows that it would have a very limited impact on our climate by 2100.

        A specific actionable proposal is NOT a hollow promise by politicians to “reduce CO2 emissions to X% of what they were in year Y by year Z”, or even dumber to “hold global warming to no more than 2C”. These promises are not actionable.

        IPCC has so far shied away from making any specific actionable proposals with cost/benefit analyses, so I assume they will continue to avoid doing this in AR5.

        Let’s see.

        Max

      • Manacker,

        Sorry I didn’t address the question you asked. However, I am struggling a bit to answer it. Although you say you are talking about the IPCC, your following comments are actually about policies that can only be implemented by governments. My previous reply was trying to address that, which is where I see the real action has to take place.

        In my original comment I was asking what is the latest ‘consensus’ position on the three factors that I beleive climate economic modelling is most sensitive to: damage function, climate sensitivity and decarbonisation rate. I asked what is likely to be in AR5 as a way to get sneak preview (or perhaps some leaks) as to what is the latest thinking of those who are inside the tent of ‘consensors’.

        IPCC cannot prescribe policy for governments, as I know you know. So some of your answers to your own question do not really apply. For example, you say:

        A specific actionable proposal is something that can be implemented (like the replacement of all coal-fired power plants with nuclear, for example). Just doing a quick analysis of that proposal shows that it would have a very limited impact on our climate by 2100.

        A specific actionable proposal is NOT a hollow promise by politicians to “reduce CO2 emissions to X% of what they were in year Y by year Z”, or even dumber to “hold global warming to no more than 2C”. These promises are not actionable.

        IPCC has so far shied away from making any specific actionable proposals with cost/benefit analyses, so I assume they will continue to avoid doing this in AR5.

        IPCC attempted economic analyses in AR4 and has attempted to cost proposals to reduce emissions. A year ago it published a report on renewable energy. It is a pile of you-know-what and should be consigned to the garbage bin (see a critique here: http://bravenewclimate.com/2011/08/09/ipcc-renewables-critique/ ) .

        I expect AR5 will include improved cost benefit analyses, probably including advances on Nordhaus, Tol and other research groups’ work on cost-benefit analyses. I expect it will include advocacy for “robust decision making/analysis’ along the lines of the recent World Bank Report (refer to this Climate Etc. post: http://judithcurry.com/2012/10/18/coping-with-deep-climate-uncertainty ).

        I presume they will revamp their ideological rubbish on renewable energy and say some sort of ‘dam with faint praise’ stuff on nuclear energy (something like “nuclear must be part of the mix”).

        I still may have not addressed your question/comment/point, so apologies. I may have another crack at it later.

  6. Climate modelling requires multidisciplinary teams and large software and computer resources. Not the sort of thing a sole practitioner could do.However theoretical or conceptual models are possible for the individual scientist and may be useful. It is not as if climate modelling were a well recognised professional occupation, but best described as a work in progress.

    Accordingly I suggest you might consider publishing on this website theoretical or conceptual models or parts thereof, for comment by any of your contributors. Each contributor of a model or part of a model would retain copyright of their work but provision by agreement for extension of copyright for major contributions could be made. Professor Curry would need to appoint a moderator to settle disputes between contributors. Each contributor would be required to submit a summary of their experience in modelling and a summary of their model or work if it ran to several pages.

  7. HONESTY

    Honesty is the recognition of the fact that the unreal is unreal and can have no value, that neither love nor fame nor cash is a value if obtained by fraud—that an attempt to gain a value by deceiving the mind of others is an act of raising your victims to a position higher than reality, where you become a pawn of their blindness, a slave of their non-thinking and their evasions, while their intelligence, their rationality, their perceptiveness become the enemies you have to dread and flee—that you do not care to live as a dependent, least of all a dependent on the stupidity of others, or as a fool whose source of values is the fools he succeeds in fooling—that honesty is not a social duty, not a sacrifice for the sake of others, but the most profoundly selfish virtue man can practice: his refusal to sacrifice the reality of his own existence to the deluded consciousness of others.

    For the New Intellectual
    p. 129
    AR

  8. max manacker asks about Australians’ reactions to Kyoto.

    Max, who’d know, when our progressive media regularly chorus
    the AGW mantra, our Labor Party government is in bed with
    the Greens, and David Karoly heads a Bureau of Meteorology.
    The BoM has issued the last 8 months temperature outlooks
    headlining a warmer bias even though the country has been
    mainly cooler than average this year.

    http://www.warwickhughes.com/blog/?p=1835#more-1835

    • Beth

      Sorry to hear about the state of affairs in Australia.

      In tiny Switzerland we have a lot of the same problems.

      But there are some differences:

      First, we don’t have a BoM, to spread CAGW propaganda

      Second, we don’t have a Labour-Green government, but the Social Democrats (our Labour) and the Greens are on the same page in our multi-party government (together they have around 35% of the voters and MPs)

      The press is “progressive” (like yours), the CAGW notion is “PC” and all politicians (except the two right-of-center parties, that have around 40% of the voters and MPs) give it lip service. (The remaining 25% is a handful of smaller parties that go either way, but usually support “climate initiatives”.)

      Day-by-day Switzerland is giving up more of its sovereignty to the almighty EU, which completely surrounds it. (It’s surprising for me to hear that Australia seems to be moving in the same direction.)

      And most of the general populace is either totally apathetic (Peter Lang’s “dingbats”?) or has been so brainwashed that it swallows the CAGW story.

      We may live poles apart, but it looks like our politicians and press are cut from the same cloth.

      Max

  9. Peter Lang

    Leaving the bogus “science” supporting CAGW aside for now, I believe the underlying root cause for this hysteria has been political.

    The governing class needs money in order to maintain and increase its political power.

    The principal method of extracting money from the general populace is through taxation.

    Like a shark can “smell” parts per million of blood, an astute politician can “smell” large potential sources of money.

    Of course, there will be many others beside the ruling class that would profit from the increased cash flow: industrialists, environmental lobby groups, scientific organizations, the media, etc. These are already lining up at the trough in order to get their piece of the action.

    CAGW is a potential bonanza: all it takes is to frighten the general populace sufficiently and it will agree to pay whatever taxes are required in order to stop the imaginary hobgoblin.

    That’s where the bogus (“it’s worse than we thought”) “science” comes in.

    I do not call this a “conspiracy” – it’s just the way that the governing class works when large sums of money are at stake. And the others are simply acting in their own interests.

    Max

    PS That is why I think it is extremely important that any falsehoods or exaggerations in the supporting “science” are exposed and made public – the truth loves light.

    • Max,

      I agree with all that. So we have to continue to debate and present well reasoned, correct, accurate, unbiased information to public, media and politicians. But being pragamatic we’ve been doing that for 2o years and so have those who believe in CAGW. So it is not just a matter of telling people CAGW is an exaggeration or whatever is the line. That is balanced by those who present the opposite case.

      Therefore, if we want to make real progress, we have to offer pragmatic policies that the politicians, media and public will support. If the policies will not be supported by the majority of the population, they will go nowhere. In that case, the population votes in governments that implement the sort of damaging policies the Gillard Labor Government has been imposing on Australia. It will take Australia decades to recover from the damage 5 years of Labor-Green government has done to us.

    • Max, you write “I do not call this a “conspiracy””

      Let me add another thought. The politicians can exploit the fear of CAGW, because they can quote the support for CAGW from just about all the learned scientific societies; who have bought in to the hoax of CAGW. What we need to do, as scientists, is to remove this bias that the politicinas are now using.

      However, how we get the likes of the Royal Society and the American Physical Society to change their minds, I have no idea. It is here that I keep hoping our hostess will eventually use her influence to help us out

  10. Hi Judith
    I would like you to comment the latest findings from the Cloud project in Cern. What I understand, they have found some interesting things about cloud ” We know now that we know less than we thought of”. What implications will this have on climate modelling:http://cdsweb.cern.ch/record/1492173

    • Henrik M

      Very interesting.

      Max

    • People at CERN seem to find Kirkby of little interest. Only few seats are occupied in the big auditorium.

      • Yes, that is really strange, as I understand it, what they found out is quite new and fascinating.

      • HenrikM

        CERN have been very cautious not to rattle too many chains and the keep the publicity very low on the CLOUD project.

        It is true, that the empirical data have shown a good correlation between our climate and solar activity over a very long time (a much longer and closer correlation than with GHGs, for example).

        But the physical mechanism to explain this correlation has so far been missing.

        Svensmark et al. were the first to propose the cosmic ray cloud nucleation hypothesis and to do any work on this, but the lab tests were not conclusive.

        IPCC brushed over Svensmark’s hypothesis, stating that “the cosmic ray time series does not correspond to global cloud cover after 1991 or to global low-level cloud cover after 1994″.

        So far the work at CERN has confirmed that cloud nucleation does occur with cosmic rays when certain natural aerosols are present – so the basic mechanism has been confirmed at larger scale than Svensmark could do.

        CERN appears to be cautiously optimistic that further work will confirm how the cosmic ray cloud nucleation process could actually work in our climate system.

        Those, like IPCC (and Pekka), who believe that GHGs are the principal climate “control knob”, are skeptical of Svensmark’s hypothesis (as it represents a “threat” to their AGW paradigm).

        It will be interesting to see what further work at CLOUD will tell us about this hypothesis and its potential impact on our climate.

        Stay tuned. We may witness a “paradigm shift”.

        Max

      • Henrik, you write “Yes, that is really strange, as I understand it, what they found out is quite new and fascinating.”

        It should not be forgotten that Kirkby was FORBIDDEN by the head of CERN labs to do anything other that report the facts of the CLOUD experiment. He was not allowed to do any speculation as to what his results might mean. This might explain the reluctance of people at CERN to get too involved with this work. They might not want to risk their jobs.

      • Isn’t the new findings that is not only solar activity that control the clouds but also the aerosols and they have found they control the clouds much more than thought of.

      • I don’t think that the Cloud experiment has found anything basically new. That radiation causes nucleation has been known for decades etc.

        The experiment has certainly produced more detailed knowledge of the details. That’s what most scientific experiments do. I have followed the work with a little bit additional interests because I have known superficially one of the principal scientists Markku Kulmala who has been describer as the most widely sited Finnish scientist at present.

        I do think that the group does good science but I don’t think that the results have got so far any direct relevance for understanding past climate or making projections to the future. Ultimately their research may lead to better understanding of cloud formation and through that to better climate models.

        That so few people were in the auditorium is certainly in part due to the fact that the scientific interests of people working at CERN are not linked to climate science and only in very few cases to nucleation. There might have been more people based on general interest to the climate issue but for some reason that didn’t materialize. (I worked once at CERN but that was so long ago that I should not let that influence my judgment. Perhaps my guesses are still influenced by that.)

      • Pekka, you write “I don’t think that the Cloud experiment has found anything basically new.”

        I agree. However, the IPCC has always downplayed ANY solar effects. What the CLOUD experiment has done is to confirm the results that Henrik Svensmark reported around the time that the AR4 was published. What will be interesting to see is the extent to which the AR5 takes notice of, or ignores, the CLOUD experiment. If the IPCC continues to ignore potential extraterrestrial effects, then this will merely confirm just how biased they are when it comes to science. If they really take notice of CLOUD, then they must, either impicitly, or explicitly, acknowledge that the TAR was wrong in neglecting potential solar effects.

      • CLOUD has not produced so far anything the would either confirm or disprove Svensmark’s ideas. The results are not directly relevant for that based on all that I have heard of them.

        One of the early clear results was that the impurities present in atmosphere have an essential influence on the nucleation. Thus it’s necessary to know well the local chemistry. There are many other issues to study before climate relevant conclusions can be drawn, CLOUD is just one step in research that requires many more.

      • Pekka, you write “CLOUD has not produced so far anything the would either confirm or disprove Svensmark’s ideas.“

        I did not talk about Svensmark`s ideas; I talked about the results of his experiments. The point I am making is that the IPCC`s claimed, in the TAR, that there is science to conclude that the sun has no effect on climate, apart from a small change in the solar constant. This does not look as solid as it did when the TAR was written. So will the IPCC ignore CLOUD when they write the AR5, or, if they acknowledge CLOUD, how can they still justify the conclusions about extraterrestrial effects that appear in the TAR?

      • Jim Cripwell and Pekka

        Let me repeat what I wrote up-thread, which is my understanding of the current status of CLOUD, based on the paper and press releases (which have been quite limited).

        So far the work at CERN has confirmed that cloud nucleation does occur with cosmic rays when certain natural aerosols are present – so the basic mechanism has been confirmed at larger scale than Svensmark could do.

        How this works in our atmosphere has yet to be demonstrated – but the key finding is that the nucleation mechanism could be replicated experimentally.

        Earlier work by Svensmark and others had already demonstrated a long-term correlation between solar activity and our climate, but the cosmic ray / cloud mechanism had yet to be demonstrated experimentally.

        AR5 will certainly have to give this hypothesis a bit more coverage than AR4 gave it (as an alternate hypothesis, which may explain some of the naturally occurring changes to our climate), but it is doubtful that CLOUD will already have reported conclusive results prior to the AR5 deadline.

        Max

      • Jim,

        I included in “ideas” everything that Svensmark has produced on the subject.

        My guess is that CLOUD is going to be mentioned in the chapter where aerosols are discussed. It’s basic research that’s relevant for the further development of climate science even if it’s results can be used only as input for further research.

      • Pekka

        I see you and I posted simultaneously.

        From the CLOUD press releases it appears that the experiment is scheduled to continue at least to 2014 with an interruption during a shutdown some time next year.

        Whether or not the further work provides the “missing link” between the basic nucleation results and the observed cosmic ray / cloud correlation is still open, but at least the basic cosmic ray nucleation mechanism has been demonstrated experimentally, which is a step forward.

        CERN is being extremely cautious not to overplay the findings to date (even though a few journalists did so).

        I think we all just have to wait and see what further work will bring before we jump to any conclusions.

        Don’t you?

        Max

      • Max,

        It has been well known for decades that the basic effect exists. Thus observing it in a new setup didn’t change the understanding on that at all. The doubts that many people have on Svensmark work were not based on doubting the existence of this effect. What people doubt is that the whole process from cosmic rays to climate is far too weak to be significant. As far as I know the CLOUD experiment has not provided results to show that the effect would be stronger than these people think. The experiment has so far produced results only on the earliest step and much remains open even on this earliest step.

        Kirkby has been supportive of Svensmark but I’m not at all convinced that all or most of the other scientists involved in the experiment share Kirkby’s views on that. They are either experimental physicists knowledgeable on the requirements of making experiments with CERN particle beams and equipment or aerosol physicists who want to learn further details and quantitative knowledge on the nucleation process. At later stage they may participate in the next steps needed in using the results in research of cloud formation.

      • Pekka

        Thanks for your response.

        It may well be true, as you write that:

        It has been well known for decades that the basic effect exists. Thus observing it in a new setup didn’t change the understanding on that at all.

        The key difference, Pekka, is that now the cosmic ray nucleation process has been demonstrated experimentally (Feynman), whereas before it was simply an uncorroborated hypothesis.

        IOW, it has not changed “the understanding” – it has simply strengthened it.

        And that, in itself, is relevant.

        Max

      • Max,

        Cloud chambers are dependent on similar phenomena and so are some other particle detectors. What’s new is a controlled setup that allows for systematic work and through that much more quantitave results on many influencing factors. When that’s done in laboratory it’s possible to proceed in many directions

  11. When you talk to another groundwater modeler you don’t have to choose sides.

    Just for a model-relevant change of pace, below is a link to the 2006 Darcy lecture of Eileen Poeter: “All Models Are Wrong: How Do We Know Which Are Useful?”

    Poeter (Ph.D.,P.E.) is one sharp lady with a long distinguished career in groundwater modeling. She is Emeritus Professor of Geological engineering at the Colorado School of Mines and Emeritus Director of the International Ground Water Modeling Center. She is also Emeritus Head of the Department of Hydrology. Her research focuses on parameter estimation and multimodel evaluation, and she has been at the forefront of groundwater modeling for three decades.

    Her lecture, detailed how the groundwater profession is searching for appropriate approaches to developing conceptual models, evaluating which are useful, and describing the uncertainty associated with their predictions.

    ‘Formulation of a reasonable set of alternative conceptual models coupled with quantitative representation is critical to the process, but is unfortunately more difficult than numerical modeling as it must address the realm of human nature and judgment. In addition, the problem is exacerbated by the dense, opaque character of the subsurface that makes data acquisition expensive, causing the work to be accomplished with sparse, uncertain information.’ (NGWA site for lectures)

    As an only recent observer of climate change I have been surprised at the amount of chafe that confronts the technical newcomer. That is in no small part due to my portal—blog world, now outside of paywalls—and to the politicalization of the topic. But still trying to allow for that bias, when I compare the cohesion in formulation as bodies of knowledge and practice I sense a significant disparity in the ‘maturity’ of the two fields—field that share many similarities regarding uncertainty, complexity, risk, etc. I think the state of the each of the sciences can not help but reflect this. But again I am on the outside (Thank God!). If nothing else Dr. Poeter’s lecture was a nice trip back to my comfort zone.

  12. I have 2 questions that the Scooby Gang can help me with. it concerns the Earth Energy budget style diagrams, one of which Judy hosted

    A while ago I asked Nick Stokes to solve the ‘shell’ type problem where we place a spherical shell around an heat emitting body. After much huffing and puffing he stated that the shell would radiate equally, and symmetrically, on the inner and outer surface.

    1) Now in this energy budget we have 319+/-9 W/m2 of heat in the form of photons being returned to the Earths surface from the atmosphere. Therefore it should be radiation 319+/-9 W/m2 in all directions, including into space. The sum total should be 638 W/m2 .which would give the atmosphere a temperature of 325.7K.
    So where is this band and why does it radiate asymmetrical, unlike a metal shell surrounding a heat source?

    2) My second question is about reflection. I cannot bet help note that of the 165+/-6 W/m2 incoming solar radiation some 23+/-3 W/m2, some 14%.
    However, there is not albedo term for IR radiation. All the incoming IR radiation is deemed to be absorbed by the ground, terrestrial and aquatic. Call me Dr. Suspicious, but that doesn’t ring true, given that the IR albedo has been both measured and modeled:-

    http://www-modis.bu.edu/brdf/userguide/intro.html

    • For IR, there is not much change in albedo, what would change is the heat capacity of the layer absorbing the IR.

      The MODIS/AQUA data shows that there is a variable temperature gradient in the ocean skin layer and that is what an IR photon would “see”. So instead of having an effective temperature of ~17 C, the IR photon would “see” 21C. Since the “Red” Solar increases the gradient and surface winds decrease the gradient, IR has a variable heat capacity not a variable albedo to contend with. Neat little feedback mechanism.

      • IR photons don’t “see” anything, even in speech marks. They just slam into or reflect off whatever they are fired into. If they are absorbed then the energy they represent is transferred to the absorbing body.

      • lolwot, photons like justice are supposed to be blind. However, since it is the net flux that matters, at 17C the ideal surface energy flux would be about 402Wm-2 at 21C the ideal flux would be 424Wm-2. If you are calculating IR impact from a source of 400Wm-2 on 402, you would get one number and for the 400 on 424, you would get another number. That gives you ~22Wm-2 margin of error.

        Then when you over-confidently past your incorrect data to someone like Web, who never bothers checking initial conditions, suddenly you have a humorous, politically charged situation :)

      • lolwot, here is another intesreting little tid bit. Snow is assumed to have an effective emissivity/absorptivity of IR in the range of 0.96 to 0.999. Under sunny conditions, that emissivity/absorptivity can drop to 0.76. I wonder if that has ever reared its ugly head?

      • Lolwot,
        Maybe we should rename him Cappy Dick

        That would be fitting considering the completely inane stuff that he posts, enlivened with prose suggesting that his theorizing is all grade-school stuff that the little kiddies should lap up.

        And then consider how Cappy intersperses his “neat” adjectives with word-salad dreck that can be easily confused with a Professor Irwin Corey comedy routine.

        I know the references are dated but those of us that have been around the block know when we are being snookered. The rest of the Climate Etc denizen rubes are not as seasoned apparently.

      • lolwot.. the locution ‘see’ is often used in these contexts. makes perfect sense

      • Captain, on land the IR albedo changes seasonally, with the seasons, snow and ice are very odd, changing on type of ice and snow.
        The energy style diagram shows a uniform absorbance of all IR radiation.

      • Yes, it changes seasonally on land mainly because moisture changes with season. The difference between wet and dry soil would be big along with foliage. Those should be consider under general albedo changes not just IR albedo changes I would think. So there would not be a great need to specify SW versus LW albedos.

        The heat capacity though does have a different SW and LW impact it appears.

    • I asked ever so nicely.
      Where is the bad of the atmosphere that is at a temperature of 325.7K. and radiates 638 w/m2, 319 down and 319 up ?

      • The relationship between temperature and power is always given for emission from a flat surface to one side. Any two-sided plate radiates that amount twp both directions, i.e. twice that amount as a sum.

        Thus your comment is based solely on misunderstanding the physics.

      • Pekka, the energy diagram shows an atmospheric band radiating 319 W/m2 down. As you state, it must also radiate upward equally and so radiates 319 W/m2 up.
        The total is therefore 638 W/m2; giving it a temperature 325.7K.
        Correct physics Pekka ?

        Look at the diagram Pekka; Earth, atmosphere, space.
        The atmosphere is two sided and radiates in all directions.

        Of course the diagram has an unphysical, asymmetric, radiance with 319 W/m2 going down and 240 W/m2 going up, a total of 559 w/m2; giving it a temperature 315 K.
        So Pekka, the physics, where is this band.at 42 degrees C?

      • Doc, that is the problem they always have trying to show too much on one cartoon. Since both day and night are included, it will always look like it is creating energy somewhere. If you back out the net, which is about 53 Wm-2 +/- about 14 instead of 9, you get 75+88+24+53=240 absorbed in the atmosphere from all sources. At night, the surface is losing more heat so you have the 398 Wm-2 surface replacing most of the latent and all of the solar. 398-319=79 which should be the 53 plus 26 cloud estimate. During the day you have 165 solar surface absorption plus the 240 = 405 Wm-2 at the surface.

        It is much simpler to just say that the effective DWLR is between 200 and 240, pretty much what Angstrom figured out 100 years ago, then you don’t have the attack of the Sky Dragons. Stephens did include large enough error ranges so it makes more sense, but it is still just a cartoon.

        Another way they could do it that would make more sense, is to show a night and a day budget. At night, the effective radiant layer is lower, ~360Wm-2 average and during the day it is higher, ~200Wm-2. Since the Night would be based on Tmin and the Day based on Tmax, you might be a happier camper :)

      • Capt, do you by any chance know if the steady state temperature of the south pole match’s the predicted temperature of atmospheric emissivity?
        Here is a nice and simple test. Does the emission of IR from the South pole match the incoming IR from the sky?

      • Pekka, the energy diagram shows an atmospheric band radiating 319 W/m2 down. As you state, it must also radiate upward equally and so radiates 319 W/m2 up.
        The total is therefore 638 W/m2; giving it a temperature 325.7K.
        Correct physics Pekka ?

        No. The coefficient that you use in Stephan-Boltzmann law is correct for radiation to one side, i.e. for 319 W/m2, not for radiation to both sides 638 W/m2. Thus the resulting temperature is 273.9 K

        Look at the diagram Pekka; Earth, atmosphere, space.
        The atmosphere is two sided and radiates in all directions.

        Of course the diagram has an unphysical, asymmetric, radiance with 319 W/m2 going down and 240 W/m2 going up, a total of 559 w/m2; giving it a temperature 315 K.
        So Pekka, the physics, where is this band.at 42 degrees C?

        The two sides of a plate radiate at the same power if both sides have the same temperature. The atmosphere is not a thin opaque sheet that has always the same temperature on both surfaces. The power down is dominated by the temperature of the lowest atmosphere while the power up is dominated by upper troposphere with some contribution from low clouds and surface as well, because the atmosphere is transparent at some wavelengths. The uppermost troposphere is actually opaque only at those wavelengths where CO2 has its absorption peak, i.e. near 15 um. There’s so little water vapor there that water allows most of IR to pass trough the top kilometers of troposphere.

        This graph tells how the atmosphere appears to have the lowest temperature when looked down using the wavelength band near 15 um. The graph is not based directly on empirical data but calculated from US Standard Atmosphere using Modtran. The idea should be easy to understand from this. The lower the corresponding temperature is the more opaque the upper atmosphere is for that wavelength. The highest temperature is seen when the surface radiates directly to space. Low altitude cloudtops are only a little colder.

  13. Just noticed that Ivan Sutherland got the Kyoto Prize for work in the 60’s. Any modern computer user should at least take note of that.

    • wow. I owe that dude a debt of gratitude. He did some of the coolest stuff in my field. Long before Nvidia, long before SGI, there was E&S.. very cool stuff,

  14. Peter Lang

    I agree with your point up-thread that government can help to solve the energy crunch a) by removing many of the (government imposed) impediments to expanding the nuclear sector and b) by supporting long-term basic research into improved nuclear fission as well as nuclear fusion.

    These steps will have little impact on our planet’s climate, however.

    A recent NASA-GISS paper in Env. Sci. Tech., co-authored by James E. Hansen calls for the shutting down of all coal-fired power plants in the USA by 2030, in order to avoid the global warming caused by the emitted CO2.

    http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/2010/2010_Kharecha_etal.pdf

    What effect would this step actually have on global warming?

    The paper tells us that 1,994 billion kWh/year were generated from coal in 2009 and that the average CO2 emission is 1,000 tons CO2 per GWh generated.

    So by 2030 Hansen’s plan would reduce CO2 emissions by roughly 2 GtCO2 per year.

    Roughly half of this “stays” in the atmosphere (with the rest disappearing into the ocean, the biosphere or outer space) so the annual reduction after 2030 will be around 1 GtCO2/year and over the period from today to year 2100 the cumulative reduction would be 80.5 GtCO2.

    The mass of the atmosphere is 5,140,000 Gt.

    So the net reduction in atmospheric CO2 would be around 16 ppm(mass) or 10 ppmv.

    If we assume (as IPCC does) that by year 2100 the atmospheric CO2 level (without Hansen’s plan) will be around 600 ppmv (“scenario B1”), this means that with Hansen’s plan it will be 590 ppmv.

    Today we have 390 ppmv.

    Using IPCC’s 2xCO2 climate sensitivity of 3.2C we have:

    Case 1 – no Hansen plan
    600 ppmv CO2
    ln(600/390) = 0.431
    ln(2) = 0.693
    dT (warming from today to 2100) = 3.2 * 0.431 / 0.693 = 1.99C

    Case 2 – Hansen plan implemented
    590 ppmv CO2
    ln(590/390) = 0.414
    ln(2) = 0.693
    dT (warming from today to 2100) = 3.2 * 0.414 / 0.693 = 1.91C

    So Hansen’s plan will result in a total theoretical reduction of global temperature by year 2100 of 0.08C.

    But that estimate is only for the USA and only for the current coal-fired capacity (i.e. the “Hansen plan”).

    Let me post a the global picture including growth rates separately.

    Max

    • Manacker,

      I agree with your point up-thread that government can help to solve the energy crunch a) by removing many of the (government imposed) impediments to expanding the nuclear sector and b) by supporting long-term basic research into improved nuclear fission as well as nuclear fusion.

      These steps will have little impact on our planet’s climate, however.

      I have no idea how much difference cutting global CO2 emissions would have on the climate. However, allowing the world to have a cheaper cleaner source of energy than fossil fuels for electricity generation, would have many benefits AND would cut global emissions. If the electricity is cheap enough, this act alone (allowing the world to have access to cheap nuclear power) could cut global emissions from fossil fuels by 50% by the second half of this century. Even faster if the world had the option to buy small, modular, factory built, off-the-shelf, nuclear power plants – the equivalent of the gas turbine plants we can order now and have connected to the grid and generating electricity within about 2 to 3 years of placing the order.

      If the industrialising countries and the countries that are yet to start industrialising had these small NPPs available as an alternative to fossil fuel generators, and they were cheaper, then they would be the choice just about everywhere. Global emissions from electricity generation could be cut to about 10% of now, and electricity, if cheap enough, would displace some gas for heating and some oil for land transport. Replacing these fossil fuels would also displace the fugitive emissions caused during production, transport and refining of them.

      Put it all together and nuclear power, if cheap, could avoid about half the global GHG emissions from fossil fuels by the second half of this century. And doing this would provide many other benefits for humanity (e.g. reduced poverty, longer lives, richer world, slowing population growth as a result of increasing wealth, etc.).

      The only potential disadvantage I can see is if CO2 emissions are in fact a net benefit – e.g. if they are helping to reduce the risk or severity of the next rapid global cooling phase or delaying the start of it.

  15. Peter Lang

    We saw that Hansen’s plan to phase out US coal-fired power plants will not have a perceptible impact on global climate by year 2100.

    But what if ALL present and future coal-fired plants world-wide were replaced with nuclear power (an unlikely development, but let’s go through the exercise).

    The USEIA tells us that globally 7.7 trillion kWh are generated from coal today, and that this will grow to 12.9 trillion kWh by 2035.

    http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/ieo/world.cfm

    Wiki tells us that global population will grow to 8.57 billion by 2035 and to 10.5 billion by 2100.

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

    These figures tell us that per capita consumption of coal-fired electrical power will grow from today’s 1,158 kWh/year to 1,505 kWh/year by 2035 or by 30% (or by 1.056% per year).

    Assuming this per capita growth continues to 2100, we end up with coal-fired electrical power plants generating 31.3 trillion kWh by 2100.

    Today’s coal plants generate 1 GtCO2 per trillion kWh generated. Let’s assume there is no breakthrough on energy efficiency between today and 2100 (unlikely!).

    We then end up with a total cumulated CO2 from electrical power = 1,624 Gt

    Half of this “remains” in the atmosphere = 812 GtCO2.

    This equals an increase of atmospheric CO2 of 104 ppmv from all present and future coal-fired power plants from today to 2100.

    IPCC projects (Case B1, A1T) that CO2 will reach 600 ppm with “no climate initiatives”.

    This means we could theoretically reduce this to 496 ppmv by eliminating coal-fired electricity as of 2030 and replacing it with nuclear power.

    Using IPCC’s mean 2xCO2 climate sensitivity of 3°C and the logarithmic relation, we see that:

    Case 1 (business-as-usual) results in warming of 1.86°C
    Case 2 (no coal-fired power) results in warming of 1.04°C

    So the maximum warming we could avert by year 2100 by eliminating ALL coal-fired power and replacing it with nuclear power = 0.8°C.

    If IPCC’s “climate sensitivity” is exaggerated by a factor of 2 (as it appears from past warming), then the savings is only 0.4°C.

    And if we are only able to eliminate HALF of all coal-fired power globally, the savings is only 0.1°C.

    An exercise in futility?

    As far as climate change is concerned, YES.

    As far as energy policy is concerned, probably not.

    Max

    • “And if we are only able to eliminate HALF of all coal-fired power globally, the savings is only 0.1°C.

      An exercise in futility?

      As far as climate change is concerned, YES.”

      But there is no other way to make as much effect as 0.1 C if reducing CO2
      of power use is the means affecting global CO2 emission.
      So, if you want to reduce CO2, nuclear energy is the only
      known way to do this.
      Everything else is an exercise in self-deception.
      And Germany is prime example of such self-deception.
      The Germans have spent hundreds of billions on “alternative energy”
      and have not reduced their CO2 as result of these hundreds of billions
      being spent. Trillions and trillions spent on more “alternative energy”
      will also make very little effect upon CO2. And it’s quite likely doing so
      would increase pollution and increase global CO2 emission.
      Not to mention the fact we simply can’t afford to do it, and global effect
      on the economy- would a general worsening the effect upon billions who now live in poverty. If anything it’s a path to insure, the world poor stay as poor- this would it’s only significant effect. And this is probably the plan- if not at conscious level, at an unconscious level- or not considered serious bug but a feature.

      Now, there are other ways- other than nuclear. But there aren’t on the table for discussion- they considered “impractical” or too costly or different topic entirely. I think the obvious solution to open the space frontier. Become a space faring species. The ultimate effect of achieving this goal make Earth a park- a wonderland for the greenies. Such a direction moves industry off planet Earth- to where there is cheap and endless energy. Off Earth is the true global economy- true Earth global economy- plus an interplanetary economy.
      And other thing about moving into space, is one can fairly easily control sunlight reaching Earth- thereby control climate.

      The reason this idea is not on the table, is 99.9% of the people who consider the idea, immediately assume I mean some HUGE government project.
      And it’s not what I mean. Mostly, what I mean allowing humans to do this- rather paying humans to do this within some socialism construct.

      What mean is continuing the direction that NASA is barely starting to go towards- though strengthen this direction would be a good idea. We are already heading in this direction [very slowly and without any clear plan in this regard. Or stumbling along in this direction- slightly].

      Lot’s of people assume this will happen, but they think it’s centuries into the future. There no reason to wait centuries to make this happen.

      • gbaikie,

        But there is no other way to make as much effect as 0.1 C if reducing CO2 of power use is the means affecting global CO2 emission.
        So, if you want to reduce CO2, nuclear energy is the only known [practicable] way to do this.
        Everything else is an exercise in self-deception.

        I agree.

    • Manacker,

      We saw that Hansen’s plan to phase out US coal-fired power plants will not have a perceptible impact on global climate by year 2100.

      I agree that if only USA replaced coal with nuclear this would have little effect on global emissions, let alone any effect on the climate (the emissions would be exported along with the jobs to developing countries so global emissions would not be significantly reduced, if at all, by just USA changing from coal to nuclear).

      But I never advocated that. I am arguing that USA can make it possible and practicable for the world to substantially reduce global GHG emissions. The USA can make it possible for almost every purchase decision (about which type of electricity generation plant to buy next) to be to buy a nuclear plant not a fossil fuel plant.

      The USA can take the leading role in the world to make that possible. The US President could implement this change in 4 years (if he surrounds himself with the right sort of people).

      The rest of your comment is about trying to make a connection between CO2 emissions/concentrations and global temperature change. As I said in my previous comment, I don’t know what the connection is and I don’t know what the costs and benefits of such a change are. What I am advocating is a pragmatic way for those who believe in CAGW to get what they want – i.e. cut global CO2 emissions – and those who want economically rational policies and ‘no regrets’ policies to get what they want.

      • Peter Lang

        As I wrote above, I do not disagree with your premise.

        Governments can help to reduce CO2 emissions by making it easier for nuclear plants to be built and by supporting selected basic research work on new nuclear technologies.

        Based on published estimates of population growth and increase of coal-fired power stations to year 2100, one can estimate the theoretical temperature impact of replacing ALL coal-fired power with nuclear; the point I made is that this impact is small. And if only a part of the nations do this (or IPCC’s estimated climate sensitivity is too high), the impact is even smaller.

        And I do not believe that “those who believe in CAGW would get what they want” by this action.

        They “want” a carbon tax – not a nuclear solution.

        But let’s see what lolwot, Joshua, R. Gates, BBD, Web Hub Telescope and all the rest say.

        Max

      • Max,

        And I do not believe that “those who believe in CAGW would get what they want” by this action.
        They “want” a carbon tax – not a nuclear solution.

        Yes. I agree that this seems to be the real objective of the died in the wool ideologues, like those you named. I discount those people as having locked brains and therefore cannot be contacted. I am trying to be pragmatic and to influence how we present policy relevant information for the broad group of intelligent, interested, non specialists who want information to help them decide which way to vote in an election.

      • Peter Lang

        Agree that your approach is sensible.

        You probably have an ally in tempterrain, as far as moving to nuclear power is concerned.

        But, judging from his posts, he probably thinks a carbon tax is required to accomplish this.

        And then, if Australia is anything like Germany or Switzerland, you have a general populace that’s been frightened out of its wits against imaginary nuclear hobgoblins by the same green lobby groups that are now using fear mongering to sell CAGW.

        These guys are not looking for solutions – they simply want to kill the coal and nuclear industries for ideological reasons – and they want a carbon tax to throttle evil industrialization.

        But lots of luck, anyway, with your endeavor to introduce some sanity into the equation.

        Max

      • They “want” a carbon tax – not a nuclear solution.

        Who’s “they”?

        There are a few extreme zealots who probably are looking for a way to turn the clock back to some pre-industrial age.

        But that’s only the view of a tiny minority. Most of us are looking for a solution. I don’t shy away from the term ‘progressive’, which I feel is often meant as some kind of insult, but to be progressive is quite the opposite of going back to the horse and cart. We need to progress from a pollution based economy to a high tech and clean economy.

      • Manacker,

        Tempterrain is one of the worst of the Dingbats, so I gave up reading anything he writes long ago, For him the only thing that is important is supporting and arguing for the policies of the Green-Labor government, no matter what they are. Everything he writs is motivated by his politics. He’s an ideologue and a zealot. He’s a total waste of time, IMO.

        And then, if Australia is anything like Germany or Switzerland, you have a general populace that’s been frightened out of its wits against imaginary nuclear hobgoblins by the same green lobby groups that are now using fear mongering to sell CAGW.

        These guys are not looking for solutions – they simply want to kill the coal and nuclear industries for ideological reasons – and they want a carbon tax to throttle evil industrialization.

        I agree 100%.

        judging from his posts, he probably thinks a carbon tax is required to accomplish this [i.e. moving to nuclear power]

        A carbon tax will not move the world to replace fossil fuels with nuclear. It is clear that a carbon tax cannot work world wide for reasons made clear by a careful consideration of cost-benefit analyses by authoritative researchers such as William Nordhaus, Richard Tol. Furthermore, the Australian Treasury analysis has shown what the cost of a carbon tax and ETS would be to Australia if it was allowed to remain in place. The carbon tax and ETS would be very damaging to Australia and would not be adopted across the world. Here’s why it will not be adopted across the world, and therefore will not work: http://skepticalscience.com//news.php?f=nordhaus-sets-the-record-straight-climate-mitigation-saves-money#82373 And here is why it would be very costly for Australia if it remained in place: http://jennifermarohasy.com/2012/06/what-the-carbon-tax-and-ets-will-really-cost-peter-lang/

        Most of those who argue that a carbon tax or ETS will make nuclear power viable are talking rubbish. These people are not motivated by wanting a genuine solution for cutting global GHG emissions. They just want another tax to support their profligate socialist ‘tax and spend’ policies. The same people who argue for the carbon tax are, in the vast majority of cases. The same people who are anti-nuclear. They want renewable energy and want the carbon tax to make renewable energy more viable. But they will continue to do everything in their power to block nuclear by way of regulations and laws. It’s just another dishonest ploy by the same schemers who bring us one scary scenario after another as a way to try to implement their Left wing agendas.

        Adding a carbon tax will not make nuclear viable when it is effectively prohibited by government imposed regulatory and other impediments. If the loony Left seriously wanted to cut global GHG emissions – as distinct from just using CAGW as a means to impose their other agendas – they’d be visibly trying to remove the impediments that prevent the world having low cost nuclear power. They are doing no such thing. So they are no more than dishonest schemers. (IMHO, of course!)

      • Peter Lang,

        Are you sure you live in Canberra and know much about Australian politics?

        You write “For him [meaning me] the only thing that is important is supporting and arguing for the policies of the Green-Labor government, no matter what they are.”

        No matter what they are? Just on a point of information: they, unlike myself, are very much anti-nuclear.

      • Peter,

        The problem with grand government schemes is that they rarely pan out. They get taken over by self-interested parties, cronies, and opportunists. Even IF the correct policies are pursued, they will cost much more than they would otherwise. Often, when you have politicians making decisions, you have favored pet theories, or pet people/industries (for example, those in a politician’s district) that get an inordinate amount of the funding. Since they know they will get a 30% profit instead of the normal 5%, opportunists will enter and not care if they get a product that sells. Just look at all the solar projects in the last 8 years that failed.

        The main thing I would welcome is increased funding for basic AND especially applied research into energy and conservation/efficiency, and a bit into CO2 sequestering. There will be the least waste here and you will at least get some research results.

      • Bill,

        I agree with most of your comment.

        In your last paragraph I agree with “I would welcome is increased funding for basic AND especially applied research into energy”. However, I’m a bit cautious about “and conservation/efficiency, and a bit into CO2 sequestering.”

        There has been as much waste in that directed research as there has in renewable energy over the past 30 years I’ve been involved in this. Stand out examples are the recent Australian fiasco with the ‘Pink Bats’ home insulation program. A massive waste of taxpayer money, 120+ house fires and four fatalities in house fires.

        In about 1992/93, the Australian Government provided funds to support energy efficiency research, development and demonstration and set up a government organisation, the “Energy Research and Development, Corporation” to distribute the funds and monitor and administer the programs. It was just like any other government picking winners programs and with the usual insiders having the ability to write proposals in the way that would get the money where as other much more beneficial programs which did not have the ability to write proposals that suited government requirements, did not get funded. The parent department, the Department of Primary Industry and Energy, ran a program in parallel. It was given huge funding by the then Labor government to promote energy efficiency. All the money was spent within the department and on consultants’ advice to the department. At the last minute they realised the money had run out so they produced a booklet of kids cartoons and distributed to every household in Australia to encourage them to be energy efficient – e.g., turn the TV off before you go to bed!

        Therefore, I agree with your first paragraph, and most of your second but a bit cautious about the last bit. I” restate you first paragraph for the benefit of other readers and because I strongly agree with it and it makes a very important point:

        The problem with grand government schemes is that they rarely pan out. They get taken over by self-interested parties, cronies, and opportunists. Even IF the correct policies are pursued, they will cost much more than they would otherwise. Often, when you have politicians making decisions, you have favored pet theories, or pet people/industries (for example, those in a politician’s district) that get an inordinate amount of the funding. Since they know they will get a 30% profit instead of the normal 5%, opportunists will enter and not care if they get a product that sells. Just look at all the solar projects in the last 8 years that failed.

      • Peter Lang

        Government support for basic research in new energy (including nuclear) sounds very good.

        This work might hopefully lead to new environmentally sound, safe and cost effective sources of energy for the future.

        Spending R+D money on carbon capture + sequestration is wasted money, because CCS is never going to lead to higher cost effectiveness or improved efficiency – only to added (unnecessary) costs.

        Basic research efforts related to carbon enrichment of soils to improve agricultural yields is something else.

        Just my opinion.

        Max

      • Max,

        I agree with all this. I believe CCS has about as much chance of being viable at large scale as that other failure – geothermal (Engineered Geothermal Systems, Hot Fractured Rock, etc). There simply is not sufficient rock with sufficient porosity and permeability to take the amount of CO2 we would need to sequester.

        Furthermore, there will be leaks.

        Furthermore#2, if CCS became a major industry there would be catastrophic failures in surface pipes (or terrorists blowing them up) that will cause far more fatalities than nuclear ever has or could. When a CO2 pipe bursts, the CO2 flows down hill and fills low lying areas. The CO2 would suffocate all animal life – and your cars wont run either! Whole towns would suffocated over night. Such accidents are inevitable if CCS becomes widely adopted. Yet people argue for CCS because they believe nuclear is too dangerous!. How ridiculous. How unbalanced. How driven by ideology are these people.

        I have another concern about CCS. By far the best place to sequester CO2 in Australia would be in the aquifers of the Great Artesian Basin. It has porosity of up to about 30% in some places and is highly permeable. Rainfall enters the aquifers on the eastern highlands of Australia and flows out under most of north eastern Australia (most of Queensland, much of NSW and South Australia) and comes to the surface in mound springs in the desert areas of South Australia and elsewhere (and through bores). It has been a fantastic source of water for stock and mining industry across these areas. Any threat to these aquifers should be prohibited (yes, I support that prohibition!). But, if CCS is allowed to progress, it will sneak up, bit by little bit, on putting CO2 into the aquifers of the Great Artesian Basin.

        Is there any potential for similar to happen in your country?

  16. There is an incredible amount of rubbish written here about how you can trust the IPCC and climate computer models.

    Presumably the writers are either naive youngsters or work in government, or guasi-government, organisations which support the goals of the Global Warming Industry, namely its self-perpetuation and the continuing comfortable lifestyles of its members.

    Anyone have any comments on this? Preferably not alarmist rants or tantrums.

    • John Carpenter

      Maybe if you were to give an example of ‘rubbish written here about how your can trust the IPCC and climate computer models’ along with who wrote it…. you might expect to get a more reasoned reply or else you’ll probably get the ‘rant’ or ‘tantrum’ your looking for. (Anyone who prefaces their question with a negative description of commenters who are familiar with climate modeling and then attach the condition of no ‘rants’ or ‘tantrums’ allowed is a bit questionable to me from the start wrt what your true motivations are for asking for comments)

      • Well, by definition if you request no alarmists rants or tantrums and then you don’t get any, it means that the statement of: “There is an incredible amount of rubbish written here about how you can trust the IPCC and climate computer models” is correct.

        At the top of the IPCC poo heap you will find Patchy and TERI – a very small amount of research will show that TERI has been set up in exactly the same way as one of those weird pseudo-Christian cults in America’s Bible Belt. The guy at the top – that’s Patchy – milks his charitable status organisation for everything he can get. And yes I know there was a KPMG whitewash, but these cults go through the same whitewash treatment – the problem is the questions are asked by accountants looking for fraud, which is different from asking what is the value of travel, goods, services, accommodation etc you receive for doing what you do, i.e. to live like a maharajah/king.

        As for climate models, I refer to the prophecies/promises of the pseudo-Christian cults referred to above.

        Now, please can I have some alarmist rants and tantrums..

      • John Carpenter

        Well, you won’t get an alarmist rant or tantrum from me, but I disagree ‘there is an incredible amount of rubbish written here about how you can trust the IPCC and climate computer models’ which I guess defies your definition that the statement is correct.

        Anyone else?

    • I presume you are an incompetent bureaucrat with an anger issue. That’s the way the projection usually gets traced back. :) :)

    • Peter Miller

      Oops!

      Looks like you got a “tantrum” from Web Hub Telescope.

      Max

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The signal to noise ratio for the webnutcolonoscope is exactly zero.

      • Snotty remarks, equivalent to “Yah boo sucks to you – he, he, he” seem to be an essential pre-requisite for anything contributed by alarmist cult members.

        Well done, I was impressed. Let me try:

        How about ‘alarmabarma’? Hmm, humorous, but not snotty enough, how about: ‘Mannicalarmanista’? Better, but I still don’t get that fuzzy warm feeling that alarmists obviously get from their snotty comments.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        You already made one rookie error below. Here you contribute content less drivel like some lame brained numbskull and complain about a comment I am made in the war against the webster – as lame as he is. In you had any sense you would have noticed that signal to noise is a favourite meme of webby. But then you don’t have enough sense to string together anything more than a tragically inept gothcha.

  17. Chambers, D.P.; Merrifield, M.A.; & Nerem, R.S. (2012). Is there a 60-year oscillation in global mean sea level? Geophysical Research Letters 39, L18607. doi:10.1029/2012GL052885.

    Chambers, Merrifield, & Nerem (2012) are correct to suspect circulatory (wind) integration.

    The multivariate climate attractor is projected onto a single (rotation) axis by the solid earth. Length of Day (LOD) is well-constrained by the Law of Conservation of Angular Momentum.

    In cross-ENSO aggregate (from daily LOD or alternatively from daily AAM) here is how the midlatitude westerlies deviate from gaussian decadal climatology:

    (That plot can be refined further – if/when I can find time.)

    The pitch of the helix compresses & stretches as the solar cycle changes length. A very simple calculation using complex wavelets summarizes (from sunspot numbers) multidecadal wave stretching:

    +

    =

    (slow animation of preceding pair)

    Compare with:

    In brief: We’re looking at a simple solar-pace-modulated equator-pole heat & water pump. Spatiotemporal chaos at interannual timescales is universally constrained in aggregate (determined via Central Limit Theorem).

    Seeing the multidecadal forest for the interannual trees …
    It’s just (a) solar-pace-driven circulatory integration with (b) a bit of nonlinearity during recent decades due to the passing of an arctic water-phase threshold and (c) a very mild secular trend.

    Cautionary note: Those claiming the magnetic field drives climate have it backwards. It is the climate that is destabilizing the orientation of the magnetic field (via redistribution of hydrospheric pressure on the crust and impacts on subcrustal flow). The root mechanism is semi-annual thermal wind. Also watch out for those who obfuscate by falsely suggesting it is being claimed that LOD drives climate when it is climate that drives LOD variations.

    Here’s some recommended background reading:

    Dickey, J.O.; Marcus, S.L.; & Chin, T.M. (2007). Thermal wind forcing & atmospheric angular momentum: Origin of the Earth’s delayed response to ENSO. Geophysical Research Letters 34, 7.

    http://www.agu.org/journals/gl/gl0717/2007GL030846/2007GL030846.pdf

    Sidorenkov, N.S.; Lutsenko, O.V.; Bryazgin, N.N.; Aleksandrov, E.I.; & Zakharov, V.G. (2005). Variation of the mass of the ice sheet of Antarctica and instability of the Earth’s rotation. Russian Meteorology and Hydrology 8, 1-8.

    Ryskin, G. (2009). Secular variation of the Earth’s magnetic field: induced by the ocean flow? New Journal of Physics 11(6), 063015. doi: 10.1088/1367-2630/11/6/063015.

    http://iopscience.iop.org/1367-2630/11/6/063015

    Note: I would strongly recommend that Ryskin read Sidorenkov et al. (2005). I include Ryskin (2009) in this reading list primarily because (A) it’s provocative and (B) it does not shy away from confronting strictly untenable modeling paradigms based on Halley (1692).

    Dickey, J.O.; & Keppenne, C.L. (1997). Interannual length-of-day variations and the ENSO phenomenon: insights via singular spectral analysis.

    http://trs-new.jpl.nasa.gov/dspace/bitstream/2014/22759/1/97-1286.pdf

    Dickey, J.O.; Marcus, S.L.; & de Viron, O. (2003). Coherent interannual & decadal variations in the atmosphere-ocean system. Geophysical Research Letters 30(11), 1573.

    http://trs-new.jpl.nasa.gov/dspace/bitstream/2014/11255/1/02-3203.pdf

    Wyatt, M.G.; Kravtsov, S.; & Tsonis, A.A. (2011). Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation and Northern Hemisphere’s climate variability. Climate Dynamics. doi: 10.1007/s00382-011-1071-8.
    Cautionary note: Be careful with the Eurocentric (AMO & AMOC centric) view. It does not withstand scrutiny. The North Atlantic is the region most easily modulated at high amplitude. Many misinterpret the high amplitude as evidence of a driving role. Aside from this one major flaw & a few other minor issues, Wyatt, Kravtsov, & Tsonis introduce a valuable framework (wave progression in index space) that can potentially be reoriented & refined to play a helpful role in multidecadal climate education.

    More general background reading:

    Sidorenkov, N.S. (2005). Physics of the Earth’s rotation instabilities. Astronomical and Astrophysical Transactions 24(5), 425-439.

    http://images.astronet.ru/pubd/2008/09/28/0001230882/425-439.pdf

    Gross, R.S. (2007). Earth rotation variations – long period. In: Herring, T.A. (ed.), Treatise on Geophysics vol. 11 (Physical Geodesy), Elsevier, Amsterdam, in press, 2007.

    http://geodesy.eng.ohio-state.edu/course/refpapers/Gross_Geodesy_LpER07.pdf

    http://geodesy.geology.ohio-state.edu/course/refpapers/Gross_Geodesy_LpER07.pdf

    Earth has an exponentially damped cumulative memory of past equator-pole gradients. The spacing of terrestrial equator-pole waves on multidecadal timescales is a function of solar cycle frequency changes.

    The sun drives climate and climate drives earth orientation & magnetic field instabilities. Spatiotemporal pattern of hydrospheric pressure modulates flows in concentric earth shells, including the fluid shell between the crust & core.

    “Apart from all other reasons, the parameters of the geoid depend on the distribution of water over the planetary surface.” — Nikolay Sidorenkov

    • There’s a new paper following up on Dickey, Marcus, & de Viron (2003):

      Abarca-del-Rio, R.; Gambis, D.; & Salstein, D. (2012). Interdecadal oscillations in atmospheric angular momentum variations. Journal of Geodetic Science 2(1), 42-52. doi: 10.2478/v10156-011-0025-8.

      http://versita.metapress.com/content/p465r75201664345/fulltext.pdf

      The exposition on pp.49-50 is a little muddled, but still well-worth the read (beginning on p.49 with “However, are these interdecadal oscillations associated with a structure of zonal flow propagation?” and ending on p.50 at “The influence of the Pacific in the origin of these atmospheric modes is apparently vital.”).

      See figure 4 for a (rather crude, not carefully tuned) summary of ~64a equator-pole wave propagation.

      Figure 6 emphasizes coherence with ENSO at high frequency and coherence with PDO at low frequency.

      This makes it crystal clear that there is opportunity for a landmark paper focusing very specifically on longitudinally-localized northern hemisphere continent-ocean (east coast – western boundary — North American – Atlantic & especially Eurasian – Pacific) gradients. (At present I do not have the computing resources to do the needed summaries.)

      It is important to recognize that there is no comparably-scaled longitudinally-localized midlatitude geographic structure in the southern hemisphere (with the current distribution of continents) due to the circumpolar nature of the southern ocean and its relative isolation of Antarctica behind a wall of intense latitudinally relatively-stable gradients & flow.

      The meridional propagation of zonal flow anomalies is strongly modulated by longitudinal continent-ocean boundaries (thermal contrast) in the northern hemisphere. The multidecadal component of PDO is informing us that as solar cycles pile up closer to one another in time, meridional gradients have less time to equilibrate smoothly, whereas when solar cycles stretch out more from each other, flow has opportunity to remain more zonal as equilibration proceeds more gradually.

      The mistake past solar-terrestrial researchers made was focusing on solar amplitude modulation of global temperature while ignoring the effect of solar frequency modulation on equator-pole gradients, particularly those of east coast Eurasia.

      Peripheral note:
      Alert readers with photographic memory will realize that Abarca-del-Rio, Gambis, & Salstein’s (2012) figure 4A shows equatorial coherence with both the solar Hale cycle and Tsonis, Swanson, & Kravtsov’s (2007) synchronization index. I’m not going to address this any further today, but I will note that the shape of the blue & orange curves in this animation [ http://i48.tinypic.com/2v14sc5.gif ] are exactly the same for the solar Schwabe & Hale cycles. (There’s a mathematical reason why I call it a universal generalization.)

      Since misunderstandings are so common (whether deliberate or accidental) in climate discussions, I’ll to close with 3 precautionary interpretive notes:
      1. The period of the “64 year” oscillation is not stationary.
      2. Certainly I’m not suggesting climate drives the whole magnetic field, but via hydrospheric pressure pattern changes (& consequent changes to subcrustal flow) it’s exciting multidecadal waves.
      3. Temperature & pressure gradient driven wind impacts evaporation, wave height & downwelling. We’re talking about multivariate air-sea coupling here, so be careful not to naively misinterpret wind, atmospheric angular momentum, & length of day summaries.

    • h/t to Marcia Wyatt who provided this critically important tip:

      Sidorenkov, N.S.; Lutsenko, O.V.; Bryazgin, N.N.; Aleksandrov, E.I.; & Zakharov, V.G. (2005). Variation of the mass of the ice sheet of Antarctica and instability of the Earth’s rotation. Russian Meteorology and Hydrology 8, 1-8.

      I already knew of other Sidorenkov papers (from 2003 & 2005) illustrating Antarctic Ice Specific Mass, but Marcia pointed out the paper with tabulated estimates. Much appreciated.

      Vukcevic in particular should carefully read this paper, as it brings simple clarity where there has been only intractable controversy — (probably why NASA JPL is getting so much more serious about Antarctic ice mass).

  18. I was watching a David Attenborough documentary on Australia. He visited a high and dry fossil site where there were 15 million year old platypus fossils. Extremely young by dinosaur standards. Why was the water level so many metres higher then?

    Oh, it must have been all that manmade CO2 melting the icecaps that flooded the earth back then.

    Why is that climate predictors are completely blind to the long-term history of earth, as known by geologists and paleontologists?

  19. Svend Ferdinandsen

    It is interesting that UNFCCC and IPCC have different definitions of Climate Change.
    The UNFCCC defines Climate Change as the human part of it only, so in that respect a “denier” would have an other meaning. I.e he denies only that the human part is not important, but not that the climate else could change.
    How could these two organisations understand each other regarding climate?

    • UNFCCC does not tell that climate change is the same as AGW, it tells essentially:

      “In this document we use the words ‘climate change’ to refer to AGW”.

      The implied idea is that no particular need to worry about natural climate change has been noted, but hypotheses have been presented that adding GHG’s may lead to severe changes in environment. That possibility is taken seriously and certain reaction to the situation is proposed.

      • “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less.”
        “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
        “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master – that’s all.”
        Through the Looking Glass.

        For the IPCC to so define climate change places it in Looking-Glass Land. “Climate change” means exactly that – changes in climate, from whatever cause. To give it a different meaning serves only to confuse the issue; I suppose that the IPCC has been successful in that.

      • We need now to distinguish between CC and ACC.

      • “To give it a different meaning serves only to confuse the issue; I suppose that the IPCC has been successful in that.”

        Yes, it already has a meaning and it’s already happening (always has and will).

  20. I mentioned this above. But meant talk about, in reply to, Judith Curry: “Its your turn to introduce some new topics for discussion.”

    Human history has been largely about markets or trade. It’s part of how Humans evolved over the last 50,000+ years. Trade allows specialization.
    And book on subject of anthropology will tell you, specialization was a key aspect of Human evolution.
    Many people assume the Human animal has changed a lot recently- it hasn’t. Most of the change is directly related to technology- or if you like human culture. Birds flying and making nest is bird technology- it affects what birds do and are. Same thing with humans- except humans have vastly more sophisticated technology.
    Markets are ways to exchange goods. Money is a way to improve markets- makes trading easier. You could replace money with list of things people exchange with each other- but money is much better idea. And in many ways, it is far superior. This should be obvious if you know anything about people or life in general.
    To the point. Opening up space frontier.
    We need more markets in space. That is all that is needed to open the space frontier. This is only path to human eventually traveling to stars.
    No only way will work.
    Now there zero need for us to go to the stars at this point in time, perhaps
    it will not happen within a thousand years. But idea will going go to stars from point of living only on Earth is wild fantasy. So star travel is later.
    So space frontier in the near term is interplanetary- including all orbits of planets and dwarf planets and asteroid/comets. There millions of bodies if including anything bigger than house size rocks- and tens of thousands crossing Earth’s orbit most of smaller variety with some bigger than city of Manhattan- which would wreck our world if the paths intersect.
    The human species has no choice regarding space faring, if it doesn’t want to go the way of the Dinosaur- there big rock out there with our name on them. So very long term, it’s matter survival of human life, and even a matter any life on planet Earth. And is part of answer, to Fermi paradox:
    “The Fermi paradox (or Fermi’s paradox) is the apparent contradiction between high estimates of the probability of the existence of extraterrestrial civilization and humanity’s lack of contact with, or evidence for, such civilizations.”- wiki. There are few other reasons also. And I seriously doubt nuclear war is one of those other reasons. Or even war in general terms.
    Though depends what one mean by causes, for example, I believe the Cold War has inhibited our trajectory towards becoming space faring- we probably be there already- wars certainly affects politics.

    Anyways. How does one start markets in space?
    First, we already have a market in space. And the satellite market is more critical than most people imagine.
    A direction could be to simply improve the satellite market- lower costs and get more products/services.
    I can’t argue against such an approach.
    But some think that is *all* we should focus on:
    “The end of the Space Age
    Inner space is useful. Outer space is history ”

    http://www.economist.com/node/18897425

    And this would argue about. I would say in many ways NASA has been disappointing. But compared to any other US government agency, as metric of comparison, it’s actually doing a lot of great things. And in practical terms, politically, it’s almost suicide to want to end NASA.

    Under funding it, is another matter, that has had near zero political cost. Decades of suffocation has been rule rather than the exception- and all of it been self-inflicted by NASA. And hence, my main disappointment.
    One could say, NASA is like a bunch of excited school girls. Rather pathetic, actually. Excited women would be completely different matter.

    Anyhow, I think the start of more markets isn’t in Outer Space, but in inner space, or Cis-lunar space, and part of what these market do would to enable activity in Inner space and Outer space.
    What is needed in inner space and outer space is rocket propulsion- rocket fuel. We need a rocket fuel market in space.
    If we had a rocket fuel market in space, this would make NASA’s job of exploring space, cheaper. And it would lower costs for inner space.
    It would open the space frontier.

  21. I’d like you to describe/contrast the differences between the way you approach prediction in your business vs. the way it’s done in academia. Both the social and the scientific contexts can be addressed. I’m going to guess there’s a world of difference.

    Note that your “inner engineer” may be tempted to say that the types of predictions are not comparable. Consider though that there’s a level at which prediction is prediction and the similarities in the various types of weather prediction may be greater than first blush would indicate.

    I confess, it would interest me. I would anticipate recognizing at some level the commercial process while perhaps rolling my eyes a good bit in going over the academic process. However, I’m always up for a surprise.

  22. AGW is a hoax.

    Discuss.

    Andrew

  23. Web

    What we skeptics are saying is published in article co-authored by Mann himself:

    http://www.meteo.psu.edu/holocene/public_html/shared/articles/KnightetalGRL05.pdf

    The simulated temperature changes associated with THC variability cannot fully explain the 0.6 deg C of 20th century warming seen in both global and Northern Hemisphere mean temperature [Folland et al., 2002], but are large enough to modify estimates of the rate of anthropogenic climate change.

    This natural reduction would accelerate anticipated anthropogenic THC weakening, and the associated AMO change would partially offset expected Northern Hemisphere warming. This effect needs to be taken into account in producing more realistic predictions of future climate change.

    Translation: No warming for the next 10 to 20 years.

    That supports my prediction => http://orssengo.com/GlobalWarming/GmstModel.png

  24. John,

    I’m not so sure how easy it is to create accurate distinctions between the various combatants.

    Yes, it is hard – but part of my point is that Judith claims that those clear distinctions exist but she doesn’t use any systematic or consistent way of doing so.

    There are many shades of grey between the extremes.

    Again, that is my point. But Judith some “skeptics” claim categorical differences exist even as they object to how “skeptics” are characterized by others – and claim that “skeptics” aren’t monolithic.

    I would think only very general and not so accurate subjective representations could be made.

    Again, I agree – certainly about the subjective part.

    I would also say there is a behavioral component to the distinctions as well, i.e. denial is a behavior as is science is a behavior, and the degree that each is present in making a distinction between the combatants is important.

    I’m not sure I understand – but if I do I disagree. I think that the distinction of “denier” or “science” is a false veneer that covers over the more relevant metrics such as motivated reasoning and confirmation bias. Those other metrics are endemic to how we all reason. What I find specious are selective use of those metrics to characterize the behavior on one side of the debate and not the other.

    I’m not sure I understand this. This would suggest there is parity between the ‘skeptical’ side and the ‘realist’ side. Do you believe such a parity exists?

    Yes. Everyone is human and everyone is affected by the same proclivity towards motivated reasoning. We know this from study of human psychology and human cognition. It flies in the face of what we know to claim some lack of parity, IMO.

    Doesn’t the ‘realist’ side carry a bit more objective weight to the debate?

    I don’t think so. One of the fascinating aspects of the arguments of some “skeptics” is that they claim how powerful they are in getting the public to see the “hoax,” and they talk about “last nails” and “final stakes” and the “crises in climate science” and then they play the victim card and claim lack of parity.

    If so, shouldn’t the failure of acknowledging uncertainty be more focused on that side?

    Again – a failure to acknowledge uncertainty is a matter of science, and a reflection of motivated reasoning. It doesn’t take sides, it doesn’t affect those on one side more than the other.

    ‘Skeptics’ who question basic radiative transfer theory or the GHE have been dealt with ad nauseum with the many ‘sky dragon’ threads. She has clearly separated herself from those, gave them a chance to plead their case and found it non persuasive.

    I do not see the distinction Judith makes in that regard to be valid. We see “sky dragon” type folks throughout these threads, and they comprise people with scientific expertise and backgrounds in engineering, but then Judith speaks about her “extended peer community” of people with expertise in science and backgrounds in engineering. So she uses descriptors that describe a large group and then selectively just weeds some out as she thinks convenient – without ever establishing objective selection criteria. . We see “skeptics” who say they don’t doubt the basic physics of the GHE but then present arguments that can follow logically only from premises that doubt the basic physics of the GHE. We see “skeptics” who say they don’t doubt that the Earth is warming, and in part due to ACO2, but who then claim that the warming has “stopped” or “paused” – which again is a logically inconsistent argument.

    And in comment after comment we see a lack of acknowledgement of uncertainty in the arguments of some “skeptics.” We can see it most obviously in their political arguments, but through their political arguments we can see the kind of inability to control for motivated reasoning – an inability that logically would likely transfer.

    So why spend more time focusing on their perceived certainty they are right?

    I’m not suggesting that more time be spent on them, but on identifying the flawed logical structures that lead to an over-evaluation of certainty – in their arguments as well as the arguments of others – and extending that analysis objectively to combatants on all sides of the debate. Judith applies double standards.

    • What Josh says is scary true.

      I would look at the entire set of skeptical climate theories and note that there is little rhyme or reason to any of it … just a mishmash of delusional thinking mixed with likely intentional FUD production. Throwing the occasional SkyDragon under the bus is just for show.

      • “What Josh says is scary true”

        Josh is an admitted Tribal Warmer with no understanding of climate science.

        Keep that in mind when he scares you, Webby.

        Andrew

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The webster is a tribal warmer with no understanding of climate science.

      • “The webster is a tribal warmer with no understanding of climate science.”

        Chief,

        Touche.

        Andrew

      • David Springer

        What scares the both of you is associating your names with your idiotic opinions.

      • Think about the alternative. Assume that Judith starts to act as a judge or that she presents a strong judgment and then goes on to defend it using her status as the “owner” and moderator. Would we have a site like this, i.e. a site that’s clearly not either WUWT or “Open Mind” – or a science site with a rather small audience and a few comments per day or month.

        There are certainly occasions when I do wonder why she has written a particular comment or formulated her comment in the way she has done. It’s also likely that her views do genuinely differ from those of mine or of any other denizen. Some attitudes come trough that I don’t like – but what could be expected.

      • Pekka, As usual you are correct. I would much rather engage in a place such as the Azimuth blog, which is way more serious than this circus, yet that is typically quiet as everyone seems to put their nose to the grindstone. It also has threaded comments, which I rather like, and why I stay away from Real Climate and its lack of threading.

        I am out of here the minute I find a place that has the right mix of activity and allows math markup and posting of charts and figures.

      • Pekka –

        Think about the alternative. Assume that Judith starts to act as a judge or that she presents a strong judgment and then goes on to defend it using her status as the “owner” and moderator.

        That is not what I would want Judith to do. I think that Climate Etc. is improved to the extent that Judith is less overtly biased than other bloggers. I think that her balance, in a relative sense, promotes better dialog. It creates something more of an atmosphere where good-faith exchange (as opposed to tribal drum beating) is more likely.

        What I am saying is that when Judith does weigh in to the tribal aspects of the debate – which she does so frequently – it would further the goal of creating good-faith exchange if she were more scientific and balanced in her approach. Her opinions are her opinions and as such they are valid. I’m not suggesting that she not have opinions or express them directly or indirectly even.

    • John Carpenter

      Joshua, I think we disagree on the issue of parity between the sides. I see asymmetry in the power between the sides. I see layers of the debate, many of which are red herrings. One of the layers is climategate. I see the issues surrounding climategate as an unresolved festering wound that hasn’t healed properly within climate science. Climategate gets used the wrong way by many on the ‘skeptical’ side to advance the idea that climate science is a hoax. I find most who use this argument as pretty uninformed and not worth much time and effort but it did allow one side to gain traction it didn’t have. Climategate still has an important part to play in the debate about who has the power to disseminate the ‘right’ science for policy making. Judith has been clear that this was a watershed moment for her and how the message was controlled. This is where she sees the asymmetry in the power of the message. Climategate revealed what many knew to be true but were stonewalled and belittled by those who held the power to keep them and their inquiries down. The inquiries are largely inconsequential to the whole of climate science, which makes it doubly stupid for such a hard line to have been drawn by those in power. It invited more inquiry and gave the ‘skeptical’ side an arsenal of material to use against climate science. It backfired in the face of those who could have quelled it by not allowing dissent about a minor aspect of climate science to be heard and rationally discussed. Egos got in the way and the whole image of climate science has suffered the consequence. The lack of foresight by the ‘team’ on how this would play out was astonishing. What was so important that a smidgeon of founded uncertainty could not be allowed into the dialogue? Because the message could not have any uncertainty… it had to be dead certain, otherwise policy would become messy. None of them stood up to defend the scientific process and yet they wonder why there is a ‘communication problem’. Who really has had the power all along Joshua? Who has had the power to fix this problem but has allowed it to fester?

      I acknowledge the power on the ‘skeptical’ side to influence climate policy after climategate did get stronger, though used and abused the wrong way IMO, it has done some good. The extent of that power is yet to be seen and I still believe the real power is still in the same hands. I’m not saying that it shouldn’t be, but how it is wielded is the important question. In part, by Judith selectively pursuing her battle with uncertainty aimed at the side who has the power… that side has started to be more open to discussing the real uncertainties that should be discussed in order to make hopefully better assessments that inform policy. Make no mistake Joshua, the skeptical side really has no power compared to the ‘realist’ side, despite all the phony statements of ‘last nails’ and ‘final stakes’. It’s just bravado by those who largely hold little power. There is no parity.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Such discontinuities are difficult to reconcile with the presumed smooth evolution of anthropogenic greenhouse gas and aerosol radiative forcing with respect to time [Hansenet al., 2005]. This suggests that an internal reorganization of the climate system may underlie such shifts [Zhang et al, 2007]., Swanson and Tsonis 2009.

        The future belongs to those who have grapsed the paradigm.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        This I have just read – but I prefer Renate’s version.

        Finally, Lorenz’s theory of the atmosphere (and ocean) as a chaotic system raises fundamental, but unanswered questions about how much the uncertainties in climate-change projections can be reduced. In 1969, Lorenz [30] wrote: ‘Perhaps we can visualize the day when all of the relevant physical principles will be perfectly known. It may then still not be possible to express these principles as mathematical equations which can be solved by digital computers. We may believe, for example, that the motion of the unsaturated portion of the atmosphere is governed by the Navier–Stokes equations, but to use these equations properly we should have to describe each turbulent eddy—a task far beyond the capacity of the largest computer. We must therefore express the pertinent statistical properties of turbulent eddies as functions of the larger-scale motions. We do not yet know how to to this, nor have we proven that the desired functions exist’. Thirty years later, this problem remains unsolved, and may possibly be unsolvable. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3270390/

      • “Make no mistake Joshua, the skeptical side really has no power compared to the ‘realist’ side, despite all the phony statements of ‘last nails’ and ‘final stakes’. It’s just bravado by those who largely hold little power. There is no parity.”

        So, you don’t buy the big corporation conspiracies theories?

        Then, you must not be a hopeless Lefty.

        It seems to me what is driving this whole thing is the temperature record.

        And as I see it, the truly massively powerful “deniers” are in government- none of them are taking this issue very seriously.
        At least not at the moment.
        Not that the US government has ever taken it seriously, a Senate vote which was 97 against should give some people a clue. Assuming they were looking.
        It seems the only countries which have been somewhat serious are those that think money could shower down on them.

        Money for free- who could blame them?

      • Well, let’s look at some of the facts:

        1. Us denialists (Definition: Those who deny that bad science should dictate economic and political policy) are outspent by the Global Warming Industry by a factor of at least 1,000 to one. You guys have a machine continually spewing out huge amounts of scary research findings supported by manipulated data. Despite the huge quantities of this ‘research’ and outspending on your part, public support for sceptic views continues to grow.

        2. Governments love you guys, because you provide a new source of revenue – and it’s green, so it’s good for you! – to support their welfare dependency schemes and bloated bureaucracies. On the other hand, by supporting ‘renewable energy’ schemes, which are both very expensive and very unreliable, they are: i) savagely raising energy prices and damaging fragile economies (politically unpopular), ii) increasing budget deficits (politically unpopular), and iii) supporting Chinese manufacturers, as opposed to their own manufacturers (politically unpopular).

        3. The job of the sceptics today is to keep the Global Warming Industry honest. Just in case you did not catch that the first time around, I will repeat it. The job of the sceptics today is to keep the Global Warming Industry honest. Obviously, this is no easy task, but it is slowly starting to work. Unsubstantiated scary research papers on climate are now much more likely to be withdrawn/never see the light of day than a couple of years ago, because of the fear of their findings being sliced and diced by sceptics. Very simply, we want ‘climate science’ to become climate science and we do not want the subjects of AGW (it exists) consistently muddled up with CAGW (it does not exist).

        4. All sorts of alarmist theories are constantly being dreamed up to explain the mild global warming phenomenon of the past century. Yet – unless you are a fan of Mann’s bogus Hockey Stick – the same magnitude of warming has occurred several times before in the Holocene, the so called ‘climate optimums’ of 6-8Ky: 4-5Ky, 3Ky, 2Ky and 1Ky ago. The existence of these past warm periods is extremely inconvenient for conventional alarmist theory, so a huge amount of effort has been spent on denying/explaining away their existence, extent and magnitude. Similar mildly warmer warm periods happened during the other Pleistocene inter-glacial events, such as the Eemian and Holsteinian when temperatures peaked at levels higher than those experienced today.

        5. There are undoubtedly some very good climate scientists out there, but the majority are required to sing from the official song sheet or there are employment and/or grant availability consequences. As a sceptic, I am suspicious of anyone whose views/research is motivated by self interest about maintaining their comfortable lifestyles and/or grant addiction.

        6. Finally, why is the subject of natural climate cycles – after all, they have only been around for the last four billion years – such a heresy amongst the alarmist cult?

      • + 1

      • Peter

        The job of the sceptics today is to keep the Global Warming Industry honest.

        I agree.

        Thanks Peter.

      • Finally, why is the subject of natural climate cycles – after all, they have only been around for the last four billion years – such a heresy amongst the alarmist cult?

        That is what I have been banging on for more than four years. CAGW believers don’t listen.

      • John –

        I see asymmetry in the power between the sides.

        Yes. This is our point of disagreement. I think that the “deniers” vs. the “climate scientists” is basically a false argument. It is no more valid than the “racist rightwingers” and the “statist lubruls.” Of course there are combatants involved at the extreme ends who fit those descriptors, but those descriptors do not really describe what is going on. IMO, what is going on is that people are engaged in tribal wars, and what is important to do with that, IMO, is to look at the mechanics of how tribal wars function. I don’t think you can just say “But they are a tribe” and make any real progress. Along the same lines, I don’t think you make progress by denying the tribal behaviors in your own tribe, or by creating false distinctions to conveniently pare off some members of your tribe in some situations and not others.

        I read carefully, a couple of times, through your discussion of climategate – and I find it to be accurate in all ways except I don’t think that your conclusion follows from the description. I don’t think that climategate represents some asymmetry in power. Climategate represents, IMO, tribalism. Judith’s discussion of the tribalism shown through climategate is what interested me in her site. But tribalism is everywhere – it isn’t something unique to climategate. It existed specifically w/r/t AGW prior to climategate and it was part of the antecedents that lead to climategate. It exists in the reactions to climategate. It exists in myriad other debates that similarly overlap with science and cultural, political, and social identifications. I take seriously the related problems with peer review and funding for research but there are countering influences. I understand the meaning of climategate for Judith’s orientation personally, but my feeling is that she unscientifically generalizes from her own experiences and extends that personally-biased analysis out into the debate context by selectively applying various metrics and drawing distinctions w/o validating or qualifying her criteria/metrics.

        In part, by Judith selectively pursuing her battle with uncertainty aimed at the side who has the power… that side has started to be more open to discussing the real uncertainties that should be discussed in order to make hopefully better assessments that inform policy.

        Two reactions to that. The first is a counterfactual. I think that Judith would get further if she were more balanced in her identification of uncertainty and acknowledgement of uncertainty. A lack of balance, IMO, creates defensiveness on one side and counterproductive triumphalism on the other side. Both sides get further entrenched on either side of the battle lines. The second is that it would be interesting to find some way to attempt to scientifically assess the casue-and-effect that you describe between Judith’s efforts and some, at least in your view, increase in the acknowledgement of uncertainty. Now Judith may have insight into that which I could never assess. I have no idea of what feedback she has gotten from people who are really on the front lines. She certainly has indicated that she has gotten such feedback. I don’t doubt her there, exactly, but given what I see as an imbalance in her approach, I am “uncertain” as to how much to weigh her statements in that regard. I’m not implying that she’s dishonest – just that what I see as an imbalance and an unscientific approach to dealing with the non-technical aspects of the tribal war, I can’t take her assessment at face value. That is why I ask for objective data and evidence for her conclusions – and her reluctance to provide that information doesn’t help me to gain any insight.

        At any rate, again, I think balancing the power will not occur by buying into the tribal lines. Focusing on the tribal lines will only advance the struggle for power, not the balance. The power will not be balanced through tribal struggle. Both sides will go on forever, most likely, proclaiming victories and defeats in ways that only reflect their biased orientation. The power struggle can only be decided decisively if there are a series of off-the-scale extreme weather events in a relatively short-term time horizon (something the science indicates is not probable) such that the public is fully convinced, or there are no such evens over a long-term time scale (at which point it will matter to neither of us because we will be long dead). The power can be balanced, however, if people focus on what lies beneath the power struggle: tribalism and the related phenomena of human psychology and cognition – motivated reasoning, confirmation bias, etc. Judith frames those phenomena in an inaccurate and tribalistic manner, IMO,and that detracts from looking at the real power dynamics.

      • John Carpenter

        Joshua, I appreciate the time you have taken to further explain your position. I don’t think there is any major flaw in your argument. I agree people come to the debate as members of different tribes, but again, we are stuck with the problem of defining who belongs to which tribes and in the end…. is it really necessary to do so?

        IMO, power struggles can also be stemmed through humility. Each side has to come to terms with their own shortcomings in an open manner in order for the power struggle to recede. I can see where we could apply this idea with yours about Judith’s own ‘tribal’ biases… if only we really knew what tribe she belongs to. If only she knew herself and if only we all fit into neat little definitions of which tribe we belong to. Is this likely in the climate debate? I am not hopeful. But, if it were to come about, then perhaps the sides would begin to see the common ground shared and work together from there. Compromise is often seen as ‘caving in’ to the other in such highly polarized situations when in fact it is the bedrock upon which solutions to problems are built upon. Where is the compromise in this debate? I can’t and don’t claim to be a scholar in the climate debate. I do not spend enough time on it…. but from what time I have spent and do spend, I find what Judith offers for consideration to be the most comprehensive and balanced information available. It is the closest thing to compromise between the different sides. I’m pretty sure you said as much in your last reply. I personally find you are asking too much from one person…. your questions and observations are noted, however IMO they are more aptly applied to many others actively participating on both sides who are far less balanced in their perspective.

      • John –

        however IMO they are more aptly applied to many others actively participating on both sides who are far less balanced in their perspective.

        Yes. The are more aptly applied to others in the debate. No question.

        But those folks are a “sunk cost” IMO. The question for me is where might the questions and observations by most usefully applied? Where is the greatest potential upside? I don’t think that Judith is a sunk cost, although I must admit, my lobbying with Judith has not been very “useful” so far :-)

      • John Carpenter said about the considerations for this blog:

        “It is the closest thing to compromise between the different sides.”

        Science, as practiced correctly, is not and has never been about compromise.
        OTOH, politics is the art of compromising.

        I will chalk your statement up to naivete.

        If this site was about actual science, in terms of discussion on detailed uncertainty quantification and other important yet arcane topics, the number of commenters would drop to a few people. I would still be here until the lack of activity would move it off my radar screen.

      • John Carpenter

        Web, good catch, I did mean the policy side in that comment. I understand there is no compromising in fact based discussions. But, the idea of compromise in considering counter science ideas is a valid one. Please let’s end that here and not get back into ‘crackpot’ theories.

    • It seems to me that you are not being 100% honest with your self, Joshua.

      Maybe you are trying to characterize too wide a range of skeptics. After all, there are some unique opinions that get posted here and even more so on WUWT.

      But to argue that the pro-AGW side does not have the upper hand when it comes to the traditional sources of power, prestige, and persuasion makes no sense to me. They have the UN and IPCC (and Nobel committee) on their side, most of the media, many politicians, and get huge amounts of government funding and have the entire environmental movement with all of its money on their side.

      Ordinarily the science funding, peer-reviewed papers, and Nobel prize would take precedence for me and be reassuring. However, the media gets things wrong all the time, particularly science and it seems that they have moved even more toward sound bites and partisanship over the last 20-30 years in all areas, not just AGW. The UN is a political body (and the IPCC has been politicized to some extent) and I don’t care what politicians think about science (although they can obviously affect its funding). In my view, the environmental movement is a mixed bag. There is always some science there, but also a lot of emotion and they have been wrong in their apocalyptic predictions many times before.

      The skeptical side that I and other scientists represent simply thinks that the uncertainties are too numerous and too large to make confident predictions. We urge that we not take drastic action in the face of uncertainty but rather, as Hansen suggested in his 1998 Science paper, do only what it makes sense to do any way.

      So here are the two issues on which I think you are fooling yourself (or perhaps you just don’t understand, which is ok):

      1. The skeptical side says they have RECENTLY been winning the public relations battle among ordinary citizens and (I think) among many technically literate people who do not have their livelihood dependent on CAGW claims. The fact that climate was barely mentioned in the election cycle is proof of this to some extent. So it is not a contradiction to say that you don’t have the power of the media and money but that you do have public opinion on your side. (I do agree that the stake through the heart arguments are silly and premature) I do Not think most climate scientists are dishonest but when writing grants you do have to “market” your claims as to why your research is so important. And we saw from the climate-gate e-mails that there are those afraid of backlash if they deviate too far from the party line. I think that over the next ten years or so this will change as more diverse views slowly begin to appear. This happens in many fields of science but this one has become so politicized that it has been many times worse.

      2. The other thing is that you say “but who then claim that the warming has “stopped” or “paused” – which again is a logically inconsistent argument” All one has to do is to go back about 100 years. We have about 30-40 years where the temperature climbed steeply almost 0.5 degrees and then a period of about 25 years where it was fairly flat. And this is before CO2 levels were much above 280 ppm. So it is not a contradiction to say one knows that CO2 can cause warming and probably is and that the planet has been warming for several hundred years but now is not warming as fast. No one said the warming has been linear or constant unless one forces a fit to a straight line just to get an estimate. So when we have 20-25 years where the temperature goes up 0.7 degrees followed by 12-15 years where it is a bit flatter, it is fair to ask how well we know what fraction of the 0.7 degrees is natural and what fraction is AGW given a very similar pattern ~60 years earlier. And it is NOT a contradiction to say that it has been flat recently but that the planet is probably warming due to CO2. It was flat in the 60’s and 70’s as well but it warmed in the 20’s and 30’s so if someone in the 70’s had said they knew the planet was warming (based on past temperatures) but now had flattened, would they have been wrong?

      All it may take for these estimates to be off by an order of magnitude (I believe) is for there to be more mixing with deep ocean than portrayed by the climate models. Then what is feared will happen in 100 years could take 1,000 years. Am I correct in this assumption, Mosher and Judith Curry?

      • John Carpenter

        Nicely worded Bill

      • And it is NOT a contradiction to say that it has been flat recently but that the planet is probably warming due to CO2.

        If you take it as a fact that adding ACO2 to the atmosphere creates warming (but you just don’t know to what extent), then it is logically inconsistent to say that the warming has stopped. It is even inconsistent to say that it has paused.

        You might say that our methodology is not sufficient to measure the warming. You might say that natural variability has temporarily overwhelmed the warming signal. But it is illogical to say that the warming has stopped or paused if you don’t doubt, as Judith has said she doesn’t doubt, the GHE.

        This is in some ways merely a semantic point – but the reality is that kind of inaccurate rhetoric is used to drive an agenda. It is important for us to ferret out the agenda-driven rhetoric, not to contribute to it or even further, as Judith has done, sign on to it.

        The claims about what is or isn’t affecting public opinion is rife with confirmation bias. The data we have show that opinions are primarily driven by the economy and short-term weather phenomena. People read all other kinds of stuff into it – public opinion is driven by Fox News, public opinion is driven by oil companies, public opinion is driven by MSM bias (both sides, ironically, make this claim). I don’t doubt that there are some valid influences there – but the validity of those influences is exploited greatly on both sides.

        The skeptical side that I and other scientists represent simply thinks that the uncertainties are too numerous and too large to make confident predictions

        Here, again, I see a selective characterization of “the skeptical side.” I see lots of stuff on “the skeptical side,” much of it in contradiction to your characterization of what you identify with. But what is even more amusing to me, is that I often see objections from “skeptics,” when a “realist” tries to characterize “skeptics,” that “skeptics” are not monolithic, and that attempts to characterize them are bogus. In fact, I agree with that final perspective – but what I note is the inconsistent way that fact is used, and that inconsistently is a reflection of confirmation bias.

        The fact that climate change was barely mentioned this election cycle is “proof” of nothing, IMO. It is evidence of a number of different things – perhaps worthy of discussion.

      • Joshua, “If you take it as a fact that adding ACO2 to the atmosphere creates warming (but you just don’t know to what extent), then it is logically inconsistent to say that the warming has stopped. It is even inconsistent to say that it has paused.”

        It is not at all. Adding CO2 would create warming. However, if the degree of warming due to CO2 is less than the degree of cooling possible by other influences, the net can be a pause, less warming or cooling. You are confusing the warming influence of CO2 with the net response of the system to all variables. Since CO2 should cause a known amount of warming, “all things being equal.”, the “pause or less than expected warming is just an indication of the impact of all those unknowns.

        In fact, since a doubling of CO2 should add 3.7Wm-2 of resistance to heat loss and 1 degree of warming should increase latent heat loss by 3 Wm-2, sensible heat loss associated with the latent cooling could produce zero impact at the “true surface”. while property values in the upper troposphere take a nose dive.

      • It is not at all. Adding CO2 would create warming. However, if the degree of warming due to CO2 is less than the degree of cooling possible by other influences, the net can be a pause, less warming or cooling

        Except that’s not how Watts, and Judith, and countless others characterize “skeptics” (when they aren’t arguing that “skeptics” aren’t monolithic).

        They say that they don’t doubt that ACO2 warms the climate, and that the Earth is warming, and that ACO2 is contributing to that warming – they just don’t know the extent.

        You can say that temporary cooling overwhelms the signal of the warming – but the statement that the warming has “stopped” or “paused” is inconsistent. Because wants that temporary cooling influence is no longer in effect, the warming that took place all along will become evident.

      • Phew! “because once that temporary…” not “wants that temporary….”

        My mind is really bizarre sometimes. Well…most of the time.

      • Joshua, “You can say that temporary cooling overwhelms the signal of the warming – but the statement that the warming has “stopped” or “paused” is inconsistent. Because wants that temporary cooling influence is no longer in effect, the warming that took place all along will become evident.”

        What is temporary? According to Santers, 17 years is a meaningful trend. I disagree, but it is entirely possible that the “pause” and/or cooling could be 20 to 60 years.

        The elephant in the room is whether or not the little ice age caused a significant reduction in global ocean heat capacity. Depending on if it did and how much, the contribution of CO2 alone, could be less than 20% of the warming from 1950.

        There is the Elephant’s trunk. Diurnal temperature range shifted in 1985, not 1950 or 1976, but ~1985. That is inconsistent with the majority of warming since 1950 being caused by CO2. Land use possibly, CO2 not likely.

  25. Chief Hydrologist

    ‘The “inconvenient truth” overhanging the UN’s Copenhagen conference is not that the climate is warming or cooling, but that humans are overpopulating the world.

    A planetary law, such as China’s one-child policy, is the only way to reverse the disastrous global birthrate currently, which is one million births every four days.

    -Doing nothing, by contrast, will result in an unsustainable population of nine billion by 2050.

    -If only one child per female was born as of now, the world’s population would drop from its current 6.5 billion to 5.5 billion by 2050, according to a study done for scientific academy Vienna Institute of Demography.

    -By 2075, there would be 3.43 billion humans on the planet. This would have immediate positive effects on the world’s forests, other species, the oceans, atmospheric quality and living standards.

    China has proven that birth restriction is smart policy. Its middle class grows, all its citizens have housing, health care, education and food, and the one out of five human beings who live there are not overpopulating the planet.

    For those who balk at the notion that governments should control family sizes, just wait until the growing human population turns twice as much pastureland into desert as is now the case, or when the Amazon is gone, the elephants disappear for good and wars erupt over water, scarce resources and spatial needs.

    The point is that Copenhagen’s talking points are beside the point.

    The only fix is if all countries drastically reduce their populations, clean up their messes and impose mandatory conservation measures.’ http://www.financialpost.com/story.html?id=2314438

    Global warming always translates into need to take draconian action – world government, economic ‘degrowth’, curtailing personal freedoms, limiting markets. The global warming argument is proxy for a battle between these values and the values of our enlightenment heritage. Freedom, free markets, democracy and the rule of law. It matters little the details of the arguments that play out superficially in the objective idiom of science. It is mostly ignorance and specious reasoning on both sides – this is probably the human conditon – but there is no moral equivalence. There are proto-fascist space cadets on one hand and defenders of freedom on the other. They need the fear to drive deeply unpopular political, social and economic agendas. If the fear evaporates then so do their gloabl ambitions. Mostly this fear drives their own millennialist proclivities and they try to sell it to the rest of us with greater and lessor success.

    Skeptics assert that there is no existential threat to humanity. Warming is minimal and is mostly natural. All well and good. Frankly – the distinction is between the utter failure to achieve anything of any significance on conservation, human development and even carbon reduction and practical and pragmatic solutions.

    •  

      Looks like “Chief Hydrologist” has really turned on the waterworks. But he did utter one truth: “Warming is minimal and is mostly natural”
       

      •  

        PS For reasons see this post above.
         

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I had decided not to comment on your repetitive nonsense above. The simple radiative physics of the atmosphere change the temperature of the atmosphere. It changes the average energy state of all molecules in the atmosphere. This heats the surface of the oceans by conduction and by changing the net energy lost from the surface in the IR. Warming in the oceans continues until a thermal equilibrium is acheived at the boundary. It matters little how the energy leaves the oceans – although one of these is as latent which is carried by convection into the troposphere. This creates the immediate feedback from the initial of increased water vapout in the atmosphere and the atmosphere warms again.

        This is exactly what you said – except that you then make the astonishingly idiotic leap of illogic that this means that CO2 has no effect. I am a bit tired of idiotic leaps of illogic.

        What I was referring to is data – something of which you have not the slightest clue. Something else I was referring to above was dynamical complexity.

        Greenhouse gases are accumulating in the earth’s atmosphere and causing surface air temperatures and subsurface ocean temperatures to rise. It is now the consensus of the science community that the changes observed over the last several decades are most likely in significant part the result of human activities and that human-induced warming is expected to continue (NRC, 2001). As discussed in Chapters 2 and 3, the abrupt climate changes of the past were especially prominent when orbital processes were forcing the climate to change most rapidly during the cooling into and warming out of the ice age, consistent with the results from modeling that forcing of climate increases the possibility of crossing thresholds that trigger abrupt change (e.g., Boxes 3.1 and 4.1). Given our understanding of the climate system and of the mechanisms involved in abrupt climate change, this committee concludes that human activities could trigger abrupt climate change. Impacts cannot be predicted because current knowledge is limited, but might include changes in coupled modes of atmospheric-ocean behavior, the occurrence of droughts, and the vigor of thermohaline circulation (THC) in the North Atlantic. More research is needed to better understand the relationship between human influences on climate, especially global warming, and possible abrupt climate change.

        http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=10136&page=107

        But I suppose you don’t have a fracking clue about dynamical systems theory either. This is actually much more important than your stupid little evaporation theory. The oceans will get warmer and lose more energy through evaporation? Great breakthough in theoretical physics. Duh.

    •  
      By the way, governments don’t need to control child birth rates. Yes. they can and should control land zoning so that agricultural land is preserved and perhaps expanded with population growth. However, multi-storey agriculture is a possibility, as with multi-storey dwellings. If agricultural land is not relinquished for hpusing, then residential land will increase in price, so higher costs of living will lead people to voluntarily reduce family size – simply because they cannot afford a large family. Surely we see that happening already – my grandmother was one of eight children, my father one of five, myself one of four … land my parents bought in Sydney for $300 would now be close to $3 million.
      .

      • Chief Hydrologist

        You have a bit of a math problem don’t you. The difference is between a modest population increase and a world government pissant progressive wet dream. We are going to 8 or 9 billion unless some global pandemic wipes a lot of us out.

        It is actually easy to increase agricultural productivity by the 70% required by 2050 – along with conserving water and soil and improving downstream environments. About 15 % of Australian farmers are ‘conservation farming’ and that number is expanding rapidly because it is so economically rewarding. Increasing soil organic content is also the best way to reduce atmospheric carbon in the short term.

  26. Me topic fer discussion?
    Hmm, a hypothetical ‘Why -is -it -so?’

    Say, ‘alors,’ (comme on dites en francais) …

    ‘Why, on the basis of claims
    ( by apocalyptian CAGW,
    climate modellers
    in cloud towers,
    whiling away the tenured hours
    modelling misty, windy climate,
    dreaming …projecting… imagining,
    (tirra lirra….)
    they understand…

    Why, alors, should we
    Step up subsidies fer inefficient
    energy sources, shut down fre
    enterprise, ‘enterprise’ that increases
    wealth and opportunity fer all.
    Step up top – down guvument regulation
    by philosophers on the hill,
    (politicians cui bonu,)
    don’t yer jest luv Cicero!
    Shut down bottom up citizen action,
    no – till farming,
    real environmental initiatives.
    Why, these are jest a diversion
    ter the real power – game ,
    “Long live the green statist
    rev – o – lu – shun…y – a-a-a y.”

    Mon Dieu!

  27. pardonnez moi por multilpe errors in above. i am but a flawed
    human being, lean. mean and of limited capacities … but i am
    a verg good dancer )

    • Beth, on a day on which Les Bleus thrashed the Wallabies 33-6, your excursion into French might be considered treasonous.

      (signed) a tres bon danseur de les 60s et 70s.

    • What kind of dancing? Are you a good follow? Ever been to New Orleans?

      • 1. Generally all my own free-form – we’re talking early-60s to mid-70s here, though I did dance in the opening program of the London School of Contemporary dance in ’67, and occasionally on tv. 2. A good “follow”? If you’re thinking ball-room, no. If you mean “fellow,” I hope so. 3. Sadly, no, the nearest I got was on a four-day 17-state bus ride from Mass to LA via the Rio Grande in 1978. En route to a non-dancing spell in Hollywood.

  28. Encore ‘mon dieu’ “pour”.

  29. The last 14 years of world climate records clearly indicate that there has been no net warming since this time in 1998. That is, there has been no net accumulation of energy in the Earth system – probably a slight loss in fact. So net radiative imbalance at TOA must also have been in accord with a cooling climate, not a warming one.

    But all those energy diagrams and models “predicted” carbon dioxide would cause extra warming. If this fails to happen in 14 years, it can also fail to happen in the next 600 years, by which time I predict the world will be back at a minimum similar to the Little Ice Age.

    The reason the energy diagrams are wrong is because they assume (and clearly indicate) dual heat flows between the surface and the atmosphere. They imply that radiation always transfers heat in the same direction. They assume that, if the net heat transfer is from hot to cold, then all is OK. But the two processes they assume happen are independent. A heat flow by radiation from the cooler atmosphere to the warmer surface does not force a greater flow of radiation out of the surface which is due to the surface being warmed more. Any such preliminary warming, no matter how infinitesimal, would be a violation of the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

    The only possible correct physical explanation is that which I have summarised starting on p.47 of Joseph Postma’s October 2012 paper. My reasons for such are also therein.

    Unless and until scientists understand when and by how much radiation transfers heat, they will continue to fumble with hypothetical, invalid concepts which mislead the world with their carbon dioxide hoax.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      ‘The last 14 years of world climate records clearly indicate that there has been no net warming since this time in 1998. That is, there has been no net accumulation of energy in the Earth system – probably a slight loss in fact. So net radiative imbalance at TOA must also have been in accord with a cooling climate, not a warming one.’

      So not true – von Schuckmann ocean heat content

      • Chief Hydrologist

        CERES show an decrease in reflected short wave in the period.

        Sea level has increased until recently.

        Nothing at Watts is inconsistent with this. I am not wrong – you are.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Sea levels have increased – http://sealevel.colorado.edu/files/2011_rel4/sl_ns_global.png – CERES net has increased and ARGO heat content to 2000m has increased as in the von Schuckmann graph.

        As of the CERES increase is in the SW – here’s another one –

        CERES/MODIS.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        All of the CERES increase…

      • The Skeptical Warmist

        Thanks for keeping them straight there Chief.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The warming – modest as it is – was in the SW. But CERES misses the climatologically significant increase in cloud cover after 1998. The ARGO period doesn’t cover this either.

        Clement et al 2009 – cloud in the region of the PDO.

        It shows up in both ISCCP-FD and ERBE data – as well as Earthshine.

        Extension of this analysis to the entire 20th century as shown in Figure 1 (bottom) reveals three climate shifts marked by breaks in the temperature trend with respect to time, superimposed upon an overall warming presumably due to increasing greenhouse gasses. Global mean temperature decreased prior to World War I, increased during the 1920s and 1930s, decreased from the 1940s to 1976/77, and as noted above increased from that point to the end of the century. Insofar as the global mean temperature is controlled by the net top-of-the-atmosphere radiative budget [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2007], such breaks in temperature trends imply discontinuities in that budget. Such discontinuities are difficult to reconcile with the presumed smooth evolution of anthropogenic greenhouse gas and aerosol radiative forcing with respect to time [Hansen et al., 2005]. This suggests that an internal reorganization of the climate system may underlie such shifts [Zhang et al.,
        2007].
        Swanson and Tsonis 2009

        A big part of the internal reorganisation involves Pacific SST – http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=8703

        The importance of the original 2007 study – A new dynamical mechanism for major climate shifts – is in showing the spontaneous reorganisation of climate on decadal scales. This is a property of dynamically complex systems which has implications for such things as sensitivity and the future trajectory of surface temperature. Dynamical complexity implies large sensitivity in the region of a chaotic bifurcation (climate shift) but the world is not warming for another decade or three at least.

    • The Skeptical Warmist

      Doug Cotton said:

      “The last 14 years of world climate records clearly indicate that there has been no net warming since this time in 1998.”

      ____
      Wrong again Doug. Please be accurate, precise, and scientific in your statements and perhaps someone can take you seriously.

      • The Skeptical Warmist

        Just one small example of how your statement is complete nonsense Doug Cotton– tell me exactly how much energy is involved in reducing the Arctic sea ice to the lowest levels on record in addition to the Arctic ocean being the warmest on record. That’s a lot of energy that is involved in converting all that mass of Arctic Sea ice from solid to liquid. We certainly have much less overall mass of Arctic sea ice than we did in 1998. For your nonsensical statement to even come close to making sense, you would have to know exactly how much energy all that melted sea ice represents.

  30. In a secret meeting of the Grand Lodge of UK Sceptics, Deniers and Big Oil Funded Fry the Planeters held this week in a bunker deep beneath the benign English countryside (*), there was general agreement that the whole ‘climate change’ industry and scare story had entered its terminal phase of long slow decline.

    Popular concern about it has fallen to new lows, political will to address it is dwindling rapidly, and even the most alarmist commentators have to make ever-more apocalyptic and ever-less plausibe predictions to get noticed.

    It hit its peak just before the hugely over-hyped Copenhagen conference which turned out to be a total fiasco, and has been on a downward phase ever since.

    Few are scared, few care and even fewer are sufficiently motivated to do anything about it. If I were a young ‘scientist’ or activist looking for a vibrant and growing field in which I could make my name, anything to do with climate would be a complete non-no right now. A moribund field with no future and few career prospects.

    Just like every other apocalyptic scare story we’ve had since humans first appeared.

    (*) For invite see here

    http://judithcurry.com/2012/11/03/open-thread-weekend/#comment-263401

  31. Faustino 11/11 4.50am:
    Good summation of the ‘Irish problem’ unsolved despite 114
    commissions etc. My background i s similat to yous w/out the Irish. Scotland also suffered its lean years, 1169-1703,
    when thousands died.

    What lifted the Scots out of the mire was the contested Treaty
    of Union with England in1707. While the seat of government
    resided in England, Scotland retained its legal system, and,
    importantly, Scottish merchants now had access to England’s
    sea lanes and markets and this made all the difference,

    Scotland, unlike Ireland, ended up with the best of both worlds,
    they gained peace and order from a strong adminaistrative state
    and freedom to develop w/out undue interference from England.

    • All they needed was the access to the sea lanes and markets which did not require any union. It was blackmail pure and simple. Scots then got 60 votes on Scottish issues which were constantly voted down by 600 English votes. Some union! It took another 400 years to get some purely Scottish issues dealt with by Scots alone.

      One thing I have noticed about the English parliament is that despite several issues where the Scots have obviously taken the correct decisions eg property law, the education system and not selling off the public water supply; the English seem to resolutely refuse to copy them. So that vaunted leadership seems prideful and self-serving. For example, the English have changed their system of high school qualifications 3 times in 20 years without somehow noticing that the Scots had a well-working system already in place. Talk about bloody-minded: The b**tards now aim to copy the complex and disfunctional French system rather than the simple and well-proven Scots system. I don’t call that leadership. Especially as they have led us all into a disastrous debt pit that was based on a purely English property price boom/bust.

  32. Mon dieu, Faustino, guilty aussi of treason!
    je vous demande pardon.
    Say, Faustino, you may, or may not , be a very good dancer, but you do write very good letters to ‘the Australian’ newspaper.

  33. Chief Hydrologist 11/11 @ 4.51am:

    ‘Yes’ ter bottom up conservation initiatives, soil and water
    conservation, carbon management, growing more food.
    Projects like these are THE WAY TER GO.
    Listen up, climate modellers in cloud towers, whilin away …
    Come down and see fer yerselves!

    ( Pesky climatologists, don’y want ter know, different agenda …)

  34. Final correction, ‘1697 -1707,’ and bonne nuit..

  35. Yesterday, George Entwhistle resigned as head of the BBC. This was a result of a misreporting on Newsnight about sex abuse. It follows a similar scandal relating to sex and Sir Jimmy Saville. However, back in 2006, there was a secret meeting between the BBC and 28 unknown people where the BBC’s editorial policy on CAGW seems to have been decided.

    see http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-20286198
    and http://www.thegwpf.org/christopher-booker-david-cameron-backing-eus-green-design-energy/#

    To quote from the latter
    @@@
    The BBC Trust does not hide the fact that a “high-level seminar” in 2006, attended by “expert scientists”, led to the decision that the BBC should take a highly proactive line in pushing alarm over global warming, while ignoring or ridiculing anyone who dares question it. This was done in full knowledge that it ran counter to the BBC’s Charter commitment that its coverage of controversial issues must be impartial.
    Everything about this seminar, held in secret at TV Centre and attended by the BBC’s top brass, was odd. It was organised by a little lobby group set up by the BBC journalist Roger Harrabin to promote the global-warming scare in the media, financed by public money and other climate pressure groups.
    So obviously did the BBC do all it could to push the scare, from that time on, that a great many people asked to know who was present at the seminar and in particular the identity of the “expert scientists” on whose advice such a significant policy change was made. It did eventually emerge that one speaker at the seminar was Lord May, an unashamed climate alarmist who had just stepped down as President of the Royal Society, but no more would the BBC disclose.
    @@@

    One can only hope that the inquiries which would appear to be going to happen into editorial policy at the BBC, will include some sort of investigation as to why the 2006 meeting needs to be kept so secret. Surely BBC editorial policy on CAGW needs to be investigated as well. Unfortunately the chances of this happening must be close to the value of the total climate sensitivity of CO2 as indicated by the empirical data, namely indistinguishable from zero.

  36. Jim Cripwell

    Looks like Entwhistle is leaving for the wrong reason.

    But whether or not this will result in BBC becoming a more objective and impartial source of information on AGW issues is doubtful in my mind.

    There’s always “Fox News” if you want another slant.

    Max

  37. MATT RIDLEY: CAN MEDIEVAL HEAT COOL WARMING WORRIES?

    Date: 11/11/12Matt Ridley, The Wall Street Journal
    A flurry of recent scientific papers has tried to measure the warmth of the “Medieval Warm Period” (MWP) of about 1,000 years ago. Scientists have long debated whether it was cooler or warmer than today, and whether the warmth was global or regional. The point for nonscientists: If recent warming has precedents, some might find it less alarming.

    Until the late 1990s, researchers generally agreed that the MWP was warmer than today and that the “Little Ice Age” of 1500-1800 was colder. Then in 2001 the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change adopted the “hockey stick” graph devised by Michael Mann at the University of Virginia and colleagues.

    Using temperature indicators such as tree rings and lake sediments, the graph rewrote history by showing little warmth in the 11th century and little cold in the 17th, but a sharp spike in late-20th-century temperatures. That graph helped to persuade many people (such as me) that recent temperature rises were unprecedented in scale and speed in at least 1,400 years.

    But critics of the graph pointed out that it used a statistical technique that overemphasized hockey-stick shaped data from unreliable indicators, such as tree rings in bristlecone pine trees and Scandinavian lake sediments influenced by 20th-century land-use changes. Four recent studies have now rehabilitated the MWP as a period of unusual warmth, though they disagree on whether it was as warm or warmer than today.

    Jan Esper of the University of Mainz and his colleagues looked at pine wood densities from Sweden and Finland and found “evidence for substantial warmth during Roman and medieval times, larger in extent and longer in duration than 20th-century warmth.” Bo Christiansen of the Danish Meteorological Institute and Fredrik Ljungqvist of Stockholm University looked at 32 indicators across the Northern Hemisphere and found the level of warmth during the peak of the MWP “in the second half of the 10th century equaling or slightly exceeding the mid-20th century warming.”

    Thomas Melvin of the University of East Anglia and colleagues reanalyzed one of the tree samples from Sweden used in the “hockey stick” and concluded: “We can infer the existence of generally warm summers in the 10th and 11th centuries, similar to the level of those in the 20th century.”

    A fourth study of creatures called diatoms in Chinese lake sediments found that the period “between ca. A.D. 1150 and 1200 was the warmest interval of the past 1,000 years.”

    Taken together, these studies cast doubt on the IPCC’s conclusion in 2007 that “the evidence is not sufficient to support a conclusion that [Northern] hemispheric mean temperatures were as warm, or the extent of warm regions as expansive, as those in the 20th century as a whole, during any period in medieval times.”

    But was the medieval warm period confined to the Northern Hemisphere?

    I consulted a database of papers collated by the climate-skeptic website CO2Science.org, run by the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, a nonprofit research center in Tempe, Ariz. The database contains numerous published studies of isotopes and other indicators in caves, lake sediments and other samples from Chile, New Zealand, South Africa and Antarctica that find the MWP warmer than today. Two Antarctic studies, for instance, concluded that current warming “is not yet as extreme in nature as the MWP” and that “the present state of reduced ice on the western Antarctic Peninsula is not unprecedented.” A far smaller number of studies, such as one from Lake Tanganyika, found the MWP cooler than today.

    It remains possible that today’s warming is different from that of the Middle Ages. For example, while summers might have been warmer then, winters might be warmer today (if today’s warming is caused by carbon dioxide, that should be true). And of course, it is the future, not the past, that scientists expect to be dangerous. Nonetheless, the evidence increasingly vindicates the scientists who first discovered the Medieval Warm Period.

    http://www.thegwpf.org/matt-ridley-medieval-heat-cool-warming-worries/

  38. Reblogged this on evilincandescentbulb and commented:
    Trade creates wealth, and free trade among nations is a rising tide that lifts all boats. In spite of this, few things are as unpopular as free trade (on the Left) and open immigration (on the Right)…

  39. It may too late for America (Greece, California, EU) with the impossibility of the 47%’rs to reckon with, but perhaps in later centuries and perhaps different cultures in different countries that speak a different language, it must be remembered that government employees must always share the risk that the productive faces or you have what we have today: a liberal fascism. Those in the free enterprise system have become nothing more than cows earmarked for ritual bleeding by an immoral majority.

  40. Pingback: evilincandescentbulb

  41. Chief Hydrologist

    Now things are getting really serious – http://www.kew.org/news/arabica-coffee-could-be-extinct.htm

  42. The Skeptical Warmist

    For those who endlessly prattle on about Antarctic sea ice growing while the Arctic sea ice is shrinking, here’s a some new findings:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/nov/11/poles-scientists-antarctic-sea-ice

    Bottom line: Global sea ice is shrinking in line with general increase of ocean heat content and other positive feedback factors.

    • “Kwok said: “The Antarctic sea ice cover interacts with the global climate system very differently than that of the Arctic, and these results highlight the sensitivity of the Antarctic ice coverage to changes in the strength of the winds around the continent.”

      Tuggwielder, “Abstract-The Ekman divergence around Antarctica raises a large amount of deep water to the ocean’s surface. The regional Ekman transport moves the upwelled deep water northward out of the circumpolar zone. The divergence and northward surface drift combine, in effect, to remove deep water from the interior of the ocean. This wind-driven removal process is facilitated by a unique dynamic constraint operating in the latitude band containing Drake Passage. Through a simple model sensitivity experiment WC show that the upwelling and removal of deep water in the circumpolar belt may be quantitatively related to the formation of new deep water in the northern North Atlantic. These results show that stronger winds in the south can induct more deep water formation in the north and more deep outflow through the South Atlantic. The fact that winds in the southern hemisphere might influence the formation of deep water in the North Atlantic brings into question long-standing notions about the forces that drive the ocean’s thermohaline circulation.</b"

    • SW, the report you reference states
      @@@
      “The Arctic is losing sea ice five times faster than the Antarctic is gaining it, so, on average, the Earth is losing sea ice very quickly. There is no inconsistency between our results and global warming.”
      @@@

      Sorry, this is nonsense. See

      Up until this year, total sea ice has remained constant. How could this be true if the Arctic is losing sea ice 5 times faster than the Antarctic?

      A far more logical explanation of the difference between Arctic and Antarctic is clouds. All over the world, except Antarctica, the albedo of clouds is higher than that of the earth`s surfce, so more cloud means colder temperatures. The ice of Antarctica has a higher albedo than clouds, so more clouds means warmer temperatures.

      • The Skeptical Warmist

        Jimmy Crispwell said:

        “Up until this year, total sea ice has remained constant.”

        ____
        Clearly Jimmy wishes this was the case so that his view of the world could be preserved. For the rest of us, we know this is not the case a global sea ice has showing a more negative than not anomaly for at least the past 8 years:

    • Sure, sure… give an ice shelf a name and it’s like you just lost every member of your family living in Rhode Island to the ravages of American plenty when it gets pushed into the sea. That’s how the 47% think because that is what government handouts have paid them think.

  43. > There is no such thing as a global average temperature. We now have a good understanding of ocean temperature trends based on ARGO data covering a large part of the world but only since 1978 (Argo is an international collaboration of over 3,000 buoys installed throughout the word’s oceans whereby 50 scientific institutions in 26 different countries share crucial sea temperature data). And the oceans have been cooling for a decade. And, there is no end to the cooling in sight. And, when the oceans are cooling, there is no global warming. However, in the White Mountains of California, for example, there has been no global warming for over 100 years.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Waggy,

      ARGO has been operational since 2003 – but does show warming at depth since. This is in fact consistent with CERES which shows about the same change in TOA flux – the missing energy that was found in the ocean depths – in the period as a result of reduced albedo.

      Cheers

      • Yet, most if not all temperature datasets show little or no global-average warming recently, either in the atmosphere, at the surface, or in the upper 700 meters of the ocean.For example, here are the tropospheric temperatures up though a few days ago:

        ~Spencer

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Yet here is Trenberth’s chart with trend lines added by Spencer.

        CERES SW, LW and Net TOA flux.

        I have seen Spencer argue that warming this century was clouds – as seems pretty evident from the graph. The oceans show modest warming to 2000m but not 700m – always stick with the data and not any simple narrative about why the data can’t be right.

      • You believe then that n iaddition to finding his missing heat Trenberth has also negated the laws of convection and the dynamics of swirling vortices. Someone had to do it. Maybe he’ll tackle gravity next.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Either you are grounded in data or off with the pixies – there is no middle ground.

      • What kind of data Garbage in garbage out. Corrupted data is worthless. But, it is not limited to that.

        I am thoroughly sick of politicized so-called facts that simply aren’t true. It isn’t that these “facts” are exaggerations of an underlying truth. Nor is it that certain organizations are spinning their case to present it in the strongest way. Not at all–what more and more groups are doing is putting out is lies, pure and simple. Falsehoods that they know to be false. ~Michael Crichton

      • Chief Hydrologist

        What data? ARGO, CERES and MODIS. Don’t like or understand it? Neither do the warministas – but it is what it is.

        ‘In experimental philosophy, propositions gathered from phenomena by induction should be considered either exactly or very nearly true notwithstanding any contrary hypotheses, until yet other phenomena make such propositions either more exact or liable to exceptions. This rule should be followed so that arguments based on induction be not be nullified by hypotheses.’

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Newton’s 4th rule for Natural Philosophy.

        More intent on not being seen to be wrong than in correcting your ideas? See if I give a rats arse.

    • “There is no such thing as a global average temperature”

      Well yes there is. You measure the temperature in as many locations as you can, in as frequent a time interval as you can over the course of a year, then add up all the readings and divide by the total number of readings.

      That’s your average.

      PS Strictly speaking you do need to make a gridding correction to give extra weight to readings in regions where there are fewer measurements and various groups do handle this problem slightly differently.

      • A global average temperature is as meaningful as an average of all of the telephone numbers in NYC–strictly speaking.

      • Wagathon,

        First you say it doesn’t exist and now you say its not meaningful.

        That’s a small measure of progress in your understanding!

  44. NaturalCyclist

    RichardSCourtney gives a detailed explanation in this post explaining how there may be slight net warming of oxygen and nitrogen molecules resulting from prior absorption of IR by carbon dioxide molecules. Clearly he agrees that the effect is only slight.

    But what then happens to the additional kinetic energy in the oxygen and nitrogen molecules? Well, firstly, assuming they are cooler than the surface below, the thermal energy cannot be transferred back to the surface by non-radiative processes. One way or another it must eventually escape to space.

    But why to space? Don’t the energy diagrams show (more than) half being returned to the warmer surface by radiation? This is where the biggest misunderstanding occurs. Radiation from a cooler source can do one and only one thing when it strikes a warmer surface. It slows the rate of that portion of surface cooling which is due to radiation. It does not do this by transferring heat to the surface. Because there is no heat transfer, there can be no slowing of non-radiative cooling processes. In fact, these processes can and do accelerate to compensate for the slower radiative cooling. What happens is that the energy in the radiation from the cooler atmosphere can only be used to supply equivalent energy to the surface which can only be used for the purpose of creating equivalent upwelling radiation with the same frequencies and intensities. This energy is thus used by the surface (instead of some of its own thermal energy) to meet some of its Planck “quota” of radiation. Its own Planck curve always fully contains the Planck curve of the radiation from the cooler atmosphere. But the radiation corresponding to the area above the cooler Planck curve, but under the warmer one will transfer heat. This is an empirically confirmed result, demonstrated over and over again. The area between the Planck curves represents the one-way heat transfer from the warmer body to the cooler one. There is no physical heat transfer the other way. The radiation from the cooler body is immediately re-radiated without any of its electro-magnetic energy ever being converted to thermal energy in the target.

    Hence most of the observed (or calculated) upwelling radiation from the surface is not actually transferring heat from the surface. Rather it is merely sending back the energy that was in the backradiation. The whole process is very-similar energy-wise to diffuse reflection.

    What then are the consequences of this discussion? Well, firstly the heat that is transferred from the surface to the atmosphere is mostly transferred by non-radiative physical processes such as molecular collisions which may be called conduction or diffusion. Using K-T energy diagrams, and remembering that that the amount of backradiation should be deducted from the upwelling radiation from the surface (because this amount is not transferring energy from the surface) then we can calculate that less than 15% of all energy transferring from the surface to the atmosphere does so by radiation.

    Now we start to see the role of carbon dioxide in perspective. For a start it probably has less than 1% the effect of all the water vapor which radiates with far more spectral lines and thus slows radiative cooling much more effectively. (Yes, low clouds do slow radiative cooling noticeably, but that doesn’t mean carbon dioxide’s effect will be noticeable.)

    But, more importantly, the non-radiative cooling processes significantly dominate the actual transfer of energy from the surface to the atmosphere. Any slowing of radiative cooling will leave a bigger temperature “step down” between the surface and the adjoining air. So non-radiative cooling processes will simply accelerate (as physics tells us) and have a compensating effect. So there will be absolutely no net overall effect on surface cooling. That is reality.

    • “RichardSCourtney gives a detailed explanation in this post explaining how there may be slight net warming of oxygen and nitrogen molecules resulting from prior absorption of IR by carbon dioxide molecules. Clearly he agrees that the effect is only slight.

      But what then happens to the additional kinetic energy in the oxygen and nitrogen molecules? Well, firstly, assuming they are cooler than the surface below, the thermal energy cannot be transferred back to the surface by non-radiative processes. One way or another it must eventually escape to space.”

      Without including any warming or cooling effects, the velocity of each molecule of O2 or N2 is random.
      Individual velocities of molecules have nothing to do with the temperature- one molecule could have high velocity or low velocity and that has nothing to with the temperature of the gas.

      So one can’t consider that a molecule is warmer or cooler than surface.

      What determine temperature of gas is average velocity of a group of molecules.
      So by adding velocity to one molecule, one could increase the temperature of group of molecules. If this occurs, the group molecules are less dense, and they rise [they have higher buoyancy]. Also a group of molecules can add velocity to other groups of molecules. And the sum of all the groups of molecules warming, can/will result “eventually” in warming the surface- via kinetics energy of a gas at surface which warmer than surface.
      So, air warming the ground at night. Or inhibition of convection because warmer air does transfer as much heat, thereby slightly increasing the surface temperature during the day.
      It seems to me this can only be a very slight effect, and that most of effect
      in terms warming occur at nite- slowing the rate of skin surface cooling.

      • NaturalCyclist

        No! What you describe would be a clear-cut violation of the Second Law of Thermodynamics. The law relates to “regions” and of course I agree that one needs a “region” in order to determine temperature. (A “region” of a few picograms is usually sufficient.)

        Not even the IPCC propagates concepts of sensible heat transfer against the temperature gradient. That was why they invented radiated heat transfers back to the surface years ago – but such cannot happen, as explained in the rest of my post – which perhaps you will read sometime?

      • “Not even the IPCC propagates concepts of sensible heat transfer against the temperature gradient.”

        Ok, but IPCC are idiots.

        “That was why they invented radiated heat transfers back to the surface years ago – but such cannot happen, as explained in the rest of my post – which perhaps you will read sometime?”

        I did read it.
        Basically the molecules in a vertical column of the atmosphere are all going the same average speed. And average speed defines temperature of gas. But other than velocity one has the density- or how mass per volume gas.
        Or it is Kinetic Energy
        KE is 1/2 mass times velocity squared. So equals joules of Kinetic Energy- if mass is kilograms and velocity is meters per second.

        If part or packet of air has higher velocity, it rises and expands until it’s same temperature as surrounding air. Of course the air also mixes and heats surrounding [causing this warmed air to also rise].
        But I was saying that this evenually gets “translated” in warming entire column of the air. Or the immediate result [occurring in minutes] is some hot air rises and eventually the result is all the atmosphere is warmed.
        Or if the atmosphere was 100 K [instead about 288 K], and then you turn on the Sun, the air temperature takes a while [days- weeks] to warm up. Or all the heated air rises in atmosphere and colder air would replace it. This process [though not as dramatic as would be with air temperature at 100 K] occurs daily- air rises in day, falls at night.

        And one aspect of what the makes air in atmosphere have lower temperature due elevation is the air has lower density. Or the lapse rate of 10 C per 1000 meters is about the different of the density of air. But one does have different lapse rates- it is large influenced humidity of air, so more typical lapse rate is about 6 C per 1000 meters of elevation.
        Wiki:
        “Although the actual atmospheric lapse rate varies, under normal atmospheric conditions the average atmospheric lapse rate results in a temperature decrease of 3.5°F/1,000 ft (6.4°C/km) of altitude.

        The measurable lapse rate is affected by the moisture content of the air (humidity). A dry lapse rate of 5.5°F/1,000 ft (10°C/km) is often used to calculate temperature changes in air not at 100% relative humidity. A wet lapse rate of 3°F/1,000 ft (5.5°C/km) is used to calculate the temperature changes in air that is saturated (i.e., air at 100% relative humidity). Although actual lapse rates do not strictly follow these guidelines, they present a model sufficiently accurate to predict temperate changes associated with updrafts and downdrafts. ”

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

        So the extent that atmospheric lapse rate is divergent from 10 C per km it’s not in accordance to air density- humidity or and other factors affects it.
        But other these factors, it’s about air density.

        Or the atmosphere is more or less, adiabatic:
        “Of, relating to, or being a reversible thermodynamic process that occurs without gain or loss of heat and without a change in entropy.”

        http://www.thefreedictionary.com/adiabatic

        But as was saying heating a molecule or increasing velocity of gas molecule is only relevant in terms heating a bunch of gas molecules- or the average velocity of gas molecules. A molecule changes it’s velocity every nanosecond- it’s velocity in an instant of time is not related to temperature of the gas. A molecule can going in one instant 1 m/s, then 1000 m/s, then 200 m/s, etc, etc. it’s velocity is dependent on the velocity of the billions of other gas molecules.

      • The second law of thermodynamics doesn’t stop clouds keeping the Earth warm at night even though they are cooler than the Earth’s surface!

      • Yep, clouds reduce the rate of surface cooling, that they do :)

      • Doug Cotton (NaturalCyclist)

        Clouds radiate and this slows the radiative rate of cooling of the surface. We notice warmer temperatures because there is not enough time at first for non-radiative processes of cooling (which dominate) to catch up. But they do tend to do so, at least late at night, so there is no net overall effect. Here we are talking about local weather events, not climate. Note also that the effect of water vapor on the rate of radiative cooling is far greater than that of carbon dioxide – perhaps at least 100-fold. Water vapor (and clouds) also have a cooling effect during the day, as you will have noticed standing in the shadow of a cloud. There is evidence that increasing water vapor world-wide would have a net cooling effect, and indeed this may happen if carbon dioxide levels increase.

      • Doug Cotton,

        There is some confused thinking on your part. Clouds, both by day and night block the radiation of IR from the surface. It is easy to see that this leads to warming at night. This is offset during the day because solar radiation is reflected from the clouds, so the Earth is effectively shaded, so the total net effect, over a 24 hour cycle, is probably close to neutral but will vary according to cloud type.

        But their behaviour at night should be enough to convince anyone that any blockage of the outward IR radiation path is going to cause a surface warming.

        More water vapour will cause cooling? Doesn’t it go against a long standing denialist argument that most ( >95% ? ) of the GH effect is caused by water vapour? You can’t say increased water vapour will then cause cooling.

        But as denier, maybe you can?

  45. from the academic English literature. “Novelization” creates scenarios that make predictions vivid. Note the association between frightening scenarios and fascism. Also note that the critique of Bush’s “Weapons of Mass Destruction” scenario is leftist in tone. To question the use of scenario– “The East Coast under twenty feet of water,”– shouldn’t brand one a right-winger. There is a legitimate, not necessarily political, questioning of melodrama in predicting possibly serious but not necesarily probable future events. It becomes an asymmetric discussion when the colorized fright scenario is juxtaposed to the colorless “That’s unlikely to happen” scenario.

    http://muse.jhu.edu/login?auth=0&type=summary&url=/journals/symploke/v017/17.1-2.mcclanahan.html

  46. “But why to space? Don’t the energy diagrams show (more than) half being returned to the warmer surface by radiation? This is where the biggest misunderstanding occurs.”

    The biggest misunderstanding occurs due to the focus on radiant energy of Earth. Considering that, this the dominate factor. And the idea that one could do much in terms affecting photons traveling at speed of light- that one could catch or trap photons. Add to this is that photons one obsessing over have very little energy or potential to warm.

    The basic idea that Earth would be some frozen hell without greenhouse gases is wrong. The most significant greenhouse gas is H20. And the most significant aspect of H2O in terms to Earth average temperature is not H2O’s radiant properties. Why water is important is because it evaporates.
    It’s important also because it has a high heat capacity. It’s slow to warm and
    slow to cool.
    The next thing important is the large quantity of N2 and O2 of the atmosphere.
    And once finished with the obvious, you can then one can looks minor details: such things as CO2 as greenhouse gas.

    • NaturalCyclist

      Perhaps you might also read beyond the first 2 or 3 paragraphs of my post above.

    • The Skeptical Warmist

      gbaikie,

      Without greenhouse gases, especially the non-condensing ones like CO2, the Earth goes back to snowball earth very fast (within 50 years or so). As the planet cools, all the water vapor is condensed as rain and snow, and then just as snow, and the oceans freeze over nearly to the poles. The entire planet would be much like the interior of Antarctica is now (classified as one of the the driest places on earth in terms of precipitation). Very little water vapor in the atmosphere, very dry air and very cold.

      • “gbaikie,

        Without greenhouse gases, especially the non-condensing ones like CO2, the Earth goes back to snowball earth very fast (within 50 years or so). As the planet cools, all the water vapor is condensed as rain and snow, and then just as snow, and the oceans freeze over nearly to the poles. The entire planet would be much like the interior of Antarctica is now (classified as one of the the driest places on earth in terms of precipitation). Very little water vapor in the atmosphere, very dry air and very cold.”

        Yes, I am quite aware of this theory- but it’s wrong.
        But I will point out you may be reciting the doctrine in proper way- but missing an aspect of the theory: without clouds and according blackbody idea, the average temperature of Earth would 5.3 C. Which last time I checked was not freezing. So for snowball earth you need the clouds which suppose increase the amount of sunlight reflected. Less warmth, less clouds, no snowball earth.
        Again, I will go along according to the theory, and suppose their less clouds but still some clouds, and this make the global temperature 0 C,
        instead of 5.3 C.
        This is average temperature- which easily allow liquid oceans at the tropics. One could have average temperature at tropic being say 5 C and have New York with average temperature -5 C. And even at since temperatures, one has average summer time temperature and average winter temperature which are different. So New York winter could minus 20 C winter and average summer being 10 C. And so quite possible the ocean near New york, could not be frozen- at least during the summer,
        likely not most of the winter.

        But this is according to this theory. A theory I believe is wrong.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        You forget that a very big part of the snowball Earth is the very high albedo from all the snow and ice. Albedo would be certainly over 70%. There would be fewer clouds as the colder air would not support the kinds of convection and evaporation we have. Yes, there might be some open water near the tropics, but this’d be very cool water, just barely warm enough to keep ice from forming.

      • “You forget that a very big part of the snowball Earth is the very high albedo from all the snow and ice. Albedo would be certainly over 70%. There would be fewer clouds as the colder air would not support the kinds of convection and evaporation we have. Yes, there might be some open water near the tropics, but this’d be very cool water, just barely warm enough to keep ice from forming.”

        Between Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn or what called the Tropics is 40% of surface area of Earth. It you said 60%, it could more believable.
        But whether 50, 60, or more 70%, it doesn’t fit description of: “The entire planet would be much like the interior of Antarctica is now”.

        With all the greenhouse gases [not doing removing the “greenhouse effect”] we get glacier periods, similar to your version of snowball Earth.
        And I don’t think, nor I am making the case that greenhouse gases or the “greenhouse effect” as described in greenhouse theory are causing significant amounts of cooling.

        But this brings up another point which is flawed about the greenhouse theory- no where is there included the actual cause of the recent cold period that we have been in the last 10 million years or so.

        And this has do, mainly with position of land masses on Earth.

        The greenhouse effect and the idea that CO2 is a cause warming is old theory, which predates the theory of tectonic plates- and that can move continents over time.
        How mythology of CO2 began was an attempt to explain causes of glaciation and interglacial periods. And that is now widely known to be wrong- rising CO2 levels follow warming rather than cause warming.

        So, I would say configuration of land masses would the primary cause of episodes of snowball Earth- periods where significantly larger portion of land and possibly ocean regions are ice covered.

        There may ways in which configuration of land masses may more optimized to create better snowball type conditions on Earth, but currently we are in configuration which causes cooler conditions.

      • A further note regarding:
        ” Very little water vapor in the atmosphere, very dry air and very cold.”

        First if Antarctica was sea level it would be warmer:
        “Antarctica has an average elevation of 2500 metres, the highest of all the continents. Australia’s average elevation is only 330 metres. The height of the South Pole is 2830 metres and the highest point on the icecap is in Australian Antarctic Territory, at 4093 metres”

        http://www.antarctica.gov.au/about-antarctica/fact-files

        So each 1000 meters lower increase temperature
        By some number between 5 to 10 C. Lets pick the low number:
        it would be 12 C warmer.
        And what is obvious, but perhaps needs to said- the average elevation of earth can not be higher.

        So you could have drier air. But water planet have much drier do you imagine it could be? With planet covered with 70% ocean, you still have 100 % humidity at certain times and certain location. 100% humidity in cool air is no where near the amount water in air in the average temperature tropics of around 28 C. But say, England good example of high humidity and cool conditions.
        So tropical ocean will have fair concentration of H20 water vapor- perhaps it will be on average less than 1 % of the atmosphere- or less than 10,000 ppm. So in terms greenhouse gases H20 on water planet will always be the dominate greenhouse gas. Particular in regions where the greenhouse gases should the most important- in regions getting the most amount solar energy.
        Mars is nothing remotely resembling a water planet- and it has about 210 ppm of water vapor:

        http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/factsheet/marsfact.html

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Gbaikie,

        Your arguments about Antarctica are not logical. The thick layer of ice there formed when the elevation was lower and it is higher because of all the ice that formed! Antarctica is an excellent model for a snowball planet as it cold and very dry things get generally when you condense all the moisture out of the air. If you’ve spent any time in a desert, you know how cold it gets at night for this very reason. Models have shown very clearly what happens of you take CO2 away and the general strong importance of non-condensing CO2 to prevent or limit snowball Earth episodes:

        http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v4/n12/full/ngeo1330.html

      • “Your arguments about Antarctica are not logical. The thick layer of ice there formed when the elevation was lower and it is higher because of all the ice that formed!”

        Yes, but it gets 6 months of night. It is an unique location on Earth and though it about size of US, it’s small portion of total Earth surface.

        If this region was open ocean- no ice cap. Seasonal polar sea ice, yes, but not build up of snow, that stacks up miles over tens of thousands of years. Making it the highest continent on Earth.

        “Antarctica is an excellent model for a snowball planet as it cold and very dry things get generally when you condense all the moisture out of the air.”

        No, not good model. 6 months of night and during the summer not much solar energy reach the surface per square meter. It’s a good model for an alien world, perhaps.

        I can’t find solar map for Antarctica. But during the summer though one has constant sun above horizon it’s low above horizon and depending weather for area, could be really low solar energy. Example:

        “The typical citizen initially may have difficulty putting Fairbanks’ solar irradiation level of 3.4 kWh/m2/day into perspective. For comparison, in Germany, where there are more installed solar panels per capita than anywhere else in the world, the level averages only 3.0 kWh/m2/day. The United States is blessed with much better irradiation, as the annual amount is linked more closely to weather patterns than geographic latitude. At similar latitudes, sunny Phoenix receives 6.6, but Atlanta only 4.8. Seattle gets 3.3, but Bismarck, North Dakota scores 4.7. In Alaska, clearer weather accounts for Fairbanks at 3.4 beating Anchorage at 3.1. Bethel, at 3.8, outshines most of the state, while Juneau, with the most southernly location but persistent clouds, averages only 2.6. ”
        Not sure how accurate the above is.
        But one should keep in mind that with solar panels, you are tilting them at an angle so to to receive the most solar energy. And on average the ground is level [lol].
        And this is far more significant when the angle of sun is low.
        Mars gets more solar energy on it’s surface. And at Mars distance there 60% less sunlight as compared to Earth.
        [And note: just because Germans are crazy, doesn’t make Fairbanks a good place to put solar panels.]

        “If you’ve spent any time in a desert, you know how cold it gets at night for this very reason.”

        Yes.
        But 70% of earth is ocean.
        If one is talking global temperature you can’t forget how much surface area is ocean- and all of it is at sea level.
        So two things about water. Water itself, a large body of water, will have regional affects on temperature- without even counting the fact it evaporates. And two, with large body water, even if quite cool, one has high humidity, regionally.
        And one can feel a creek, before one sees or hears it.

      • Doug Cotton (NaturalCyclist)

        You say “the Earth goes back to snowball earth very fast” but you are mistaken. Backradiation does not keep the surface warm: the Sun does, and the atmosphere keeps it cooler by day (by absorbing and reflecting some of the incident solar radiation) and warmer by night due to a blanket effect created by the adiabatic lapse rate (which is a function of gravity) and not by backradiation.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Take away non-condensing GHG’s and the Earth begins to cool. As it cools, more and more water vapor in condensed out of the atmosphere, and it even cools faster. The albedo increases as more snow is on the ground for longer periods and more sunlight is reflected. We have ourselves not just a glacial period however, we have a new snowball Earth, and if no non-condensing GHG’s are added to the atmosphere, Earth stays in this condition for a very very very long time.

  47. MBH98/99/08 (aka, the ‘hockey stick’ graph), which is a proven scientific fraud, there is more concerning the ‘nature trick’ and the attempts by CRUgate conspirators ‘to hide the decline’. Steve McIntyre of M&M repute noted (30-Nov-2010) said, as follows:

    “While the term ‘trick’ can be used to denote a sophisticated mathematical method, it can also denote something as simple and unscrupulous as deleting adverse data. It is necessary to investigate the facts of the matter and the context… the Climategate correspondents did not use a sophisticated mathematical method; they simply deleted data that didn’t accord with their expectations. The `investigations’ ought to have denounced/renounced such methods and their failure to do so is to their shame.”

  48. “Radiation from a cooler source can do one and only one thing when it strikes a warmer surface. It slows the rate of that portion of surface cooling which is due to radiation. It does not do this by transferring heat to the surface. Because there is no heat transfer, there can be no slowing of non-radiative cooling processes. In fact, these processes can and do accelerate to compensate for the slower radiative cooling. ”

    Ok, thought experiment. Suppose you had a ball iron which had a mass
    of 1000 kg. This would be diameter of slightly less than .64 meters or around 2 feet in diameter. And surface area of about 1.28 square meters.

    And the temperature of ball will be 15 C or 288 K.
    So specific heat of iron is 0.45 kJ/kg K:

    http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/specific-heat-metals-d_152.html

    So the iron sphere’s energy is 450,000 joules per K
    Or 4.5 million joules per 10 K increase or decrease in temperature- and this temperature range is all we care about.
    We going to imagine this iron sphere will radiate the same energy per square meter as blackbody. But iron sphere actually can’t radiate this much energy. One way one could make iron sphere get closer to a blackbody is to cover the sphere with spikes [silver spikes which were also driven into the sphere would help get it closer- increase surface area and increase heat conduction of iron- but we aren’t going to do this. We just have plain iron sphere and imagine to works as well as a blackbody- to keep it simple. Oh, and diamond would better than silver in terms of conducting heat.]

    Now, I want to sphere in space. But first I will note putting an sphere in a bath liquid air would be really good way to cool down fast. Or just use cold water instead. Either these might cool it by 10 K in a few minutes- limiting factor is iron’s conduction of heat.
    So, put the iron sphere into void of space with no sunlight shining on it- and how long does it take to cool 10 K [or 10 C].
    So 288 K for blackbody is 390 watts per meter per second. Or 390 joules per second radiated heat. Since have about 1.2 meters it’s 468 joules per second. And 4.5 million divided by 468 is 9615 seconds or 2.67 hours.
    Real iron ball this size take much longer to cool by 10 C. And larger ball takes longer to cool- more volume compared to surface area. Painting the ball any color makes little difference- color is related to visible light and one could only see this ball, because blocks starlight or if looking at with far infrared sensors.
    The amount energy this ball radiates is dependent upon distance from it. If you 10 meters away from it, it’s energy is evenly spread out upon this bigger sphere. So 10 meter sphere has surface area of 314 square meters, so about 1/300th of energy per square meter- a couple of watts.

    Now, if we change it so the iron sphere had heater which adding 468 watts of heat, the iron sphere remain at 15 C [again assuming to was blackbody- iron would become hotter than 15 C].

    Now, we going to put up walls around our sphere- at distance of 10 meters from sphere- walls can be spherical in shape, too. And lets make walls cover 3/4rd of area entire area. And make walls from 1″ plate iron.

    So we have sphere 15 C and walls 15 C- and no heaters. What happens? In simple terms the walls are going to cool much faster than the sphere [iron walls are also imagined to function as blackbodies].
    Walls surface area is 3/4 314 or 235 square meter- so radiate more 300 times more energy on it’s outer surface than the iron sphere. And radiate 300 times more energy in on their inner surface of sphere.
    Though I made quite massive walls- 1 inch thick or 2.54 cm/.0254 meters. Or about 6 cubic meters of iron- which is 46,680 kgs. 46.8 times more thermal energy- in terms of joules- as the sphere. So compared to sphere is cooling only about 60 times quickier. Or instead hours it’s minutes. Though I am counting the amount radiated on outer part of sphere. There is the inner part which we mainly interested in. And twice the rate. So hours to minutes times 1/2- instead of 2.67 mins it’s 1.34 minutes. But the important aspect is would sphere receive 60 times more energy than it’s losing- getting much warmer. Or not being affected
    by the sphere by any significant amount.
    Remember the sphere is only emitting a couple watts per square meter at wall’s distance, and likewise the walls are only emitting couple watts per square meter at the sphere’s distance from walls.
    So leave there, with a puzzle.

    • NaturalCyclist

      Nothing (sphere or whatever) will “receive energy” from spontaneous radiation from a source which is cooler than itself.

    • Doug Cotton (NaturalCyclist)

      Another error you make is to assume that the rate of cooling relates directly to the amount of radiation being emitted. That is not the case. The amount of radiation is a function of T^4, yes, but not all of it is necessarily transferring energy to the immediate vicinity. If you have parallel metal plates, one at 300K and the other at 299K there will be plenty of radiation between them, but not much cooling of the 300K one due to that radiation which flows from the 300K one to the 299K one.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Eventually (and very rapidly) the two plates are the same temperature. The 300K plate is not just sending radiation toward the 299K plate, but both are sending energy in all directions and will reach equilibrium with the local region of the universe.

      • Doug Cotton (NaturalCyclist)

        Yes of course. But the 300K plate would cool a lot faster if it were out in space in the shade of the Moon, say. Yet the radiation from it would be the same in each case, filling out the same Planck curve.

        Think about what is happening. When the 299K plate (still at about that kind of temperature) is radiating towards the 300K one, the energy in the radiation is used to supply nearly all the energy required by the 300K plate to allow it to radiate its full Planck “quota” of frequencies and intensities. It cools much more slowly than in space because a far smaller proportion of the radiation from it is actually using up its own thermal energy. But whilst in a nice shady spot in space, nearly all its radiation is in fact using up its own thermal energy, so that radiation is nearly all transporting the plate’s own energy into space.

        So it is with the Earth’s surface. Because of the presence of low level air at nearly the same temperature, the majority of the radiation coming up from the surface is not actually transferring thermal energy from the surface to the atmosphere. The energy for most of the upwelling radiation comes from the energy in the backradiation. This leaves other non-radiative processes to dominate with the surface cooling process.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        It cools faster in space because the surroundings are cooler. No magic.

        The energy all comes from the sun. The warm oceans heat the overlying atmosphere. Downwelling radiation from the atmosphere slows the cooling of the ocean and the ocean warms. A warmer ocean emits move energy in various forms and the atmosphere warms. But the net radiation is usually upward at all levels in the atmosphere – this is the 2nd law.

      • The Skeptical Warmist

        Chief, Thank for trying to educate Mr. Cotton, but as you know, he is beyond education. It would seem that the notion of thermal gradients mean very little to him.

      • The Skeptical Warmist

        Doug Cotton said:

        “But the 300K plate would cool a lot faster if it were out in space in the shade of the Moon, say”

        _____
        If you remove the 300K plate from the vicinity of the 299K plate, then the local temperature of the region of space around the 300K plate would be cooler and thus the thermal gradient between the 300K plate and the surrounding space would be steeper and the 300K plate would cool faster. The 299K plate would also of course cool faster. Anything in the “shade of the moon” (i.e. blocked from solar radiation) will of course cool faster as the thermal gradient is much more steep in such a region of space. Entropy (time’s arrow) seeks to equalize the energy across the universe leading ultimately to a homogenous universe exactly the same temperature throughout and all activity ceases. The only real force countering entropy is the relatively localized effects of gravity, which ultimately is what allows stars to form and fusion to begin. Overall though, it seems dark energy (or antigravity) seems to be stronger and is slowly spreading everything out and is the source of entropy. Dark energy seems to be guaranteeing the ultimate heat death of this universe.

      • Take a flat plate and cut it in half so you have 2 thinner plates.
        Stick them back to together so they are like the one fatter plate.
        So the two thinner plates stuck together act just like the one plate.

        Now separate the two plates by 1 mm. The two plates will act different
        than the 1 flat plate.
        Radiation will now be emitted from the 1 mm space which separates it. Increase the distance of separation [say by 1 cm] and more energy will emitted through all the sides.

        Let’s make the width and length of the plate, big. So say, 1 km square.
        And compare to plates 1 meter square.
        With everything about them identical- save width and length.
        There should difference of how energy is leaving thru the crack, per say meter of length. The 1 square has perimeter of 4 meters and the 1 km has perimeter of 4 km [4000 meters]. So per meter length I think there more energy from the 1 km square plate as compared 1 meter square plate. How energy would depend upon material used and the surface condition at a microscopic level. What did to surface of plate could have big effect- reducing it or increasing it.
        And of course the total output thru this crack would the total amount emitted from both plates. If same temperature- 50%- %50.
        If one plate hotter, then it loses more energy or higher proportion of total energy is coming from the hotter plate.
        If using magic blackbodies, the type surface would still make difference.
        Though it seems the type of surface would matter less the further the plates were separated.

      • “Another error you make is to assume that the rate of cooling relates directly to the amount of radiation being emitted”

        It’s does; IF it’s a blackbody. That is because a blackbody is defined this way- not because there any blackbodies in existence. You know, ones you actually measure. Blackbodies are theoretical – not something that actually exists.

        You could do the actually math with Iron:

        http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/thermal-conductivity-d_429.html

        and:

        http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/conductive-heat-transfer-d_428.html

        I think the slowest of iron conductivity will be more important than it’s emissivity.
        But emissivity:

        http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/emissivity-coefficients-d_447.html

        Of course metal practically defined by their high ability to conduct heat- though Iron not very good.

        ” The amount of radiation is a function of T^4, yes, but not all of it is necessarily transferring energy to the immediate vicinity. If you have parallel metal plates, one at 300K and the other at 299K there will be plenty of radiation between them, but not much cooling of the 300K one due to that radiation which flows from the 300K one to the 299K one.”

        My example [and using blackbody- but if iron it might take 2 or 3 times longer] I would assume the walls will rapidly cool down- 288 K to 278 K-
        in couple minutes.
        The sphere simply lacks the energy to have any significant on the wall’s rate of cooling- unless you think delaying it by one second is significant.

        One way looking at it, would be for the walls cooling, you could completely ignore sphere. So you have the exterior radiation and interior radiation which can radiate to open space because it’s only 3/4 a sphere.
        If was sphere instead- it could only radiate from exterior surface.

        With the sphere, one half of sphere is facing open space. Or you looked into the opening, you could see 1/2 the surface area of sphere.

        So roughly at best the sphere perhaps has only 1/2 of it’s energy radiated, if not surround by the walls [which sort of like box with open top].
        Earth tropics is 40% surface area, leaving 30% to each hemisphere poleward. So a 3/4 or 75% sphere. So 70% sphere is southern or northern hemisphere plus up to the tropic of Cancer or Capricorn.
        So 75% is cutting off everything above, say Los Angles northward.
        Or other way, everything south of southern part of Africa.
        Or it’s a big hole in the sphere.

        So it starts with more half of energy of sphere and walls going directly into space.
        As theory, I would predict more radiation leave thru the hole as compared leaving the same area of solid walls- and it will be more directed radiation. And so it would more powerful at further distance from sphere as compared what is radiated from iron surface.
        And basically sphere and walls will not have much affects on each other in terms reduction of heat loss.
        Or sphere without walls radiates to 187 K in 2.67 hours and with walls
        it might take about 2.68 hours.
        Walls without sphere inside will radiate to 187 K in 1.34 minutes and with sphere inside take about 1.35 minutes

      • gbaikie, It is kinda fun to put the real numbers to the test. BEST provides the absolute temperatures Tmin (3.4 C) and Tmax (15.2 C) for the global land (wrt 1951-1980) for 11.8 diurnal temperature range (~60 Wm-2 diurnal variation). The oceans are a little trickier, but 21 C Tmax and 17 C Tmin seems pretty close, ( 4 C dtr and 22 Wm-2 variation).

        So land, with lower thermal capacity, loses about three times the energy loss of the higher capacity oceans. The global average diurnal flux change is about 33 Wm-2 from the day peak to the dawn valley and doubling CO2 from some point should reduce the rate of heat lost by about 3.7 Wm-2. Obviously, that would have different impacts on the land and oceans. So you can estimate roughly what the change would be without having to make very many assumptions.

      • “gbaikie, It is kinda fun to put the real numbers to the test. BEST provides the absolute temperatures Tmin (3.4 C) and Tmax (15.2 C) for the global land (wrt 1951-1980) for 11.8 diurnal temperature range (~60 Wm-2 diurnal variation). The oceans are a little trickier, but 21 C Tmax and 17 C Tmin seems pretty close, ( 4 C dtr and 22 Wm-2 variation).

        So land, with lower thermal capacity, loses about three times the energy loss of the higher capacity oceans.”

        That seems to broadly tell the story.
        I doubt one could say if earth was all land one would have Tmin (3.4 C) and Tmax (15.2 C).
        And/or Earth all water would be but 21 C Tmax and 17 C Tmin.
        But I don’t how close it would be to being, right.

        Most land is not in tropics and there all kinds of other factors.

        But it clearly it shows that ocean are better at moderating temperature, and I tend to think Earth completely covered with ocean would be warmer than: 21 C Tmax and 17 C Tmin.
        But not certain.
        I think it be interesting to model earth with land masses in different locations and varying amount total land and ocean.

      • “The global average diurnal flux change is about 33 Wm-2 from the day peak to the dawn valley and doubling CO2 from some point should reduce the rate of heat lost by about 3.7 Wm-2. Obviously, that would have different impacts on the land and oceans. So you can estimate roughly what the change would be without having to make very many assumptions.”

        Well, I would agree CO2 should not have much effect upon oceans.
        And tend to think biggest affects would be on land and night and winter.
        The claim is reduce the rate of heat lost by about 3.7 Wm-2- and this has to be global. It would seem better to understand the rate of heat loss for specific regions. I assume CO2 would greatest effect on drier colder regions?
        Is this a correct assumption?

        I remember reading something about how CO2 is related to cloud formation.
        I didn’t find it.
        All found claims CO2 is reducing cloud formation and Interesting article:
        “The net effect of clouds on the climate today is to cool the surface by about 5°C (9°F).”
        “If all of the cloud water in the atmosphere were placed on the surface, the layer depth would only be 0.05 mm on average. If all the water vapor in the atmosphere were reduced to a liquid water layer on the surface, the depth would be about 2 cm on average.)”

        http://isccp.giss.nasa.gov/role.html

      • gbaikie, The impact that CO2 has on the oceans seems to be at the mercy of the surface winds and the average time for ocean layer over turning.

        Which is kinda funny, since the “unforced variability” crew have no concept of time and seem to be in charge of the current state of the science.

        You can compare the southern hemisphere Tmin with the Northern and it is pretty obvious that shifts in the southern hemisphere weather patterns, SOI – ENSO are the strongest drivers of ocean heat uptake. A change in the southern hemisphere average surface winds of 25% above average to 25% below average is like turning the Gulf Stream on and off with a 150 year lag time. If BEST ever finishes the oceans projects, we may be able to get rid of about 15 Wm-2 of uncertainty and actually have enough information to make an informed decision.

    • I said:
      Ok, thought experiment. Suppose you had a ball iron which had a mass of 1000 kg. This would be diameter of slightly less than .64 meters or around 2 feet in diameter. And surface area of about 1.28 square meters.”

      If instead solid iron, it hollow and filled water water- it would slight more heat capacity:
      specific heat of iron is 0.45 kJ/kg K
      And water 4.186 kJ/kg K
      Iron is 7.8 the density, so 0.45 times 7.8 is 3.51 kJ/kg K.

      So instead being in the darkness of space, what temperature
      would hollow iron sphere filled water be, if in say 200 Km high
      earth orbit.
      There could different kinds of orbits- one always be in sunlight, for
      example [I think has be higher orbit- like 400 km]. But assume in something
      like ISS orbit [51 inclination] Or an equator orbit [0 inclination]. Either
      should not make much difference. It’s about 90 min orbital time with
      a bit more than 1/2 the time in sunlight.
      Any guesses?

  49. Chief Hydrologist

    ‘Now CH cannot be doing with this at all, so what does he attempt to do? He tries to delegitimise Swanson! This is obviously and painfully hopeless since Swanson’s statement is unequivocal. CH is obliged to insist desperately that Swanson is in a ‘moral panic’ and ‘disowning’ his own work.

    This is the kind of self-destructive dishonesty normally only associated with children, who being young and inexperienced, don’t realise how foolish they are being.’

    What I said was that Swanson was almost disowning his own work in a moral panic on the realclimate posting. I stand by it.

    Here is the comment – http://judithcurry.com/2012/11/10/open-thread-weekend-2/#comment-266378

    Swanson’s comment at RC was that the paper had nothing to do with global warming – something BVD has repeated several times. The reality is that Swanson removed the ENSO dragon-kings of 1976/77 and 1998/01 from the recent warming to discern a warming trend between 1979 and 1997 of about 0.1 degree C/decade – which he presumed to be the true global warming signal. As well and good. A warming of 0.1 C/decade? Where is the need for panic? The fact that both ERBE and ISCCP-FD say it was albedo change dominating post 1984 is another factor indeed. Swanson said as well that warming would not resume until 2020.

    Here is what the paper the subject of the post said. ‘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.’

    Here is what Tsonis said.

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

    So for Swanson to suggest in an RC post that the paper had nothing to with global warming is a trifle ingenuous at best. We are best to gloss over a few other of the inanities there and pass straight to the papers.

    Especially the first one – A new dynamical mechanism for major climate shifts. The essence of both papers is the identification of dynamical complexity in the Earth’s climate system at multi-decadal scales. Complex dynamical systems shift abruptly and nonlinaerly. They used a mathematical network approach to analyse abrupt climate change on decadal timescales. Ocean and atmospheric indices – in this case the El Niño Southern Oscillation, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the North Atlantic Oscillation and the North Pacific Oscillation – can be thought of as chaotic oscillators that capture the major modes of climate variability. The network model sees the nodes as expressions of the underlying dynamic system. Tsonis and colleagues calculated the ‘distance’ between the indices. It was found that they would synchronise at certain times and then shift into a new state.

    ‘It has been hypothesized that the planetary radiative budget in recent decades has been out of balance due to radiative forcing by greenhouse gasses and lags in the oceanic response, with absorption exceeding emission by roughly 0.8 Wm2 around the turn of the century [Hansen
    et al., 2005]. Since then, by itself increasing CO2 concentrations of roughly 20ppm should have further added roughly 0.2 Wm2 to this top-of-the-atmosphere excess of absorption over emission. Assuming a mixed layer ocean depth of 200 m, an anomaly of roughly 1 Wm2 should in
    principle have been sufficient to drive roughly a 0.2C increase in global temperature since 2001/02. That such warming has not occurred suggests an internal reorganization of the climate system has offset this presumptive radiative imbalance, either via an anomalously large uptake
    of heat by the deep ocean or a direct offset of the greenhouse gas forcing by a shift in cloud forcing.’

    Neither webby or BVD understand the implications of this at all. I know webby is too stupid to understand. Is there hope for BVD.

  50. Say, Faustino, yer can dance.

  51. Beth, less structure and more energy in my case. Jefferson Airplane music rather than Latin-American – don’t be misled by my nom-de-net! But people often cleared the floor and watched when I danced. A great dance film is the 1983 Spanish version of “Carmen,” SBS & World Movies used to show it often.

    (And for the last three months, I can hardly walk, never mind dance!)

  52. Faustino, some yoga or tai chi might help you to become,
    once again, that god like figure on the dance floor.) Yes,
    I have watched the Carmen and danced to it too.
    All the best,
    Beth.

  53. Doug Cotton (NaturalCyclist)

    Chief Hydrologist, R.Gates and others here obviously like to repeat the “standard” explanations of the supposed GHE as if they were Gospel truth. These arguments are countered in my paper published back in March, so I won’t waste time rewriting the paper here. There are posts such as this one above where I have explained what happens, but those who have no desire to learn, or have a vested interest in maintaining the carbon dioxide hoax, will be more comfortable not reading material that may change their mind if they understand the processes described.

    • Captan Kangaroo (retired)

      Imagine a filament that is surrounded by an opaque film which is radiating to a vacuum. The heat flow from the filament to the film is at rate x. Now warm the film. The heat flow is now x – y and the surrounding body is radiating more energy both inward and outward. There is negligible difference in a photon emitted by the atmosphere and one emitted by the surface – there is really only the difference in the net radiant energy.

      You can look at Weins Law – but do the calc.

    • The Skeptical Warmist

      Doug, would you really like to be (once more) humiliated in public? It can be done rather easily. It seems almost at though you are begging for it.

  54. “……as if they were Gospel truth.” ??

    This phrase isn’t normally considered to be a good simile for scientific discussions!

  55. Doug Cotton (NaturalCyclist)

    Below is a copy of a post I have just written on Roy Spencer’s blog. The content could be considered an appropriate response to some of the above comments in this thread, so please pardon me for taking this shortcut in copying below ….

    Salvatore claims that “reflecting back Earth’s infra-red radiation emissions” causes warming. Not so. It only slows radiative cooling of the surface: it does not slow non-radiative cooling which will compensate in due course. (See my paper and my posts above.) There is no GHE created by either water vapor or carbon dioxide. The surface temperature is controlled by the adiabatic lapse rate, not backradiation which does not transfer heat to a warmer surface or slow the rate of non-radiative cooling thereof.

    Christopher Game still thinks that “the greenhouse gases absorb more radiation from the land-sea body than they emit to it” and, in so thinking, he implies that there is heat transfer wherever radiation is “emitted” to the land-sea body. Not so. The mediation he talks about actually starts further down – like in the huge amount of energy stored in the whole Earth system in the oceans, the land surfaces and mostly below the crust right down to the core. The surface is at the temperature it is because of the effect of the mean solar radiation over billions of years, the mass of the atmosphere and the acceleration due to gravity which, along with that mass, determines the adiabatic lapse rate. Any effect of water vapor or carbon dioxide will be compensated by non-radiative transfers and adjustments to other radiation from the whole Earth and atmosphere system. Compared with the energy below the crust, that in the land and oceans is a real drop in the bucket. A few molecules of carbon dioxide are not going to affect that huge amount of energy which provides a stabilising effect. That’s what physics tells us when applied correctly.

    RW Do you not know anything of what I have explained over and over again? The slowing of radiative cooling is balanced out by an acceleration of the non-radiative cooling which totally dominates radiative cooling. No, the surface has to stay at the same temperature to maintain equilibrium. If you think you can warm the surface long-term and establish a “new equilibrium” without warming the whole mass of the Earth right down to the core, then you are mistaken, like most climatologists whose “physics” is blatantly naive.

    All of you overlook the fact that, of all the energy transferred from the surface to the atmosphere, less than 15% is transferred by radiation. Non-radiative processes completely dominate and readily compensate for any modification of the rate of surface cooling due to radiation. The vast majority of the upwelling radiation from the surface (in fact, an amount about equal to the downwelling radiation from the atmosphere) is not transferring any energy from the surface to the atmosphere – it is merely “pseudo scattering” the same energy that was in the backradiation – energy which never makes it into the surface and so never transfers heat to the surface, not even momentarily. The only exception is in rare situations when the air is actually warmer than the surface below. On a world-wide basis, such events are insignificant.

    If you could cover the whole Earth’s surface with a special mirror which reflected all the radiation from a cooler atmosphere, but none of the Solar radiation, then you would emulate quite well what actually happens energy-wise.

    There is no world-wide permanent greenhouse effect brought about by water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane or any of their colleagues.

    Doug Cotton
    Sydney

    http://climate-change-theory.com

    http://earth-climate.com

    • The Skeptical Warmist

      This statement by Mr. Doug Cotton:

      “There is no world-wide permanent greenhouse effect brought about by water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane or any of their colleagues.”
      _____
      Based on modern understandings of physics this is patently false. Mr. Cotton seems to want to be publicly challenged and humiliated. Is that that case Mr. Cotton? Are you just itching for another public flogging?

      • Doug Cotton (NaturalCyclist)

        When you, anonymous “Skeptical Warmist” have studied my peer-reviewed paper and those of Prof Claes Johnson and Joseph Postma – all on the Principia Scientific International website, and when you show that you understand the physics we are talking about in unison, even if you don’t believe it, then I am quite willing to explain anything you find difficult to comprehend in the detail of the physics involved. But i don’t respond to verbal abuse or non-physical arguments. I am also fully aware of the standard arguments, but can tear holes in them with standard physics. So you’d better know your physics.

    • I believe that the principal misunderstanding in Doug Cotton’s above message is still shared by many others and for that reason is worth a comment.

      What he is writing is mostly correct but he misses the most essential point.

      It’s true that convection compensates for changes in radiative energy transfer within the troposphere, but the energy transfer within the troposphere cannot be stronger than the energy transfer from the troposphere up. This is where CO2 affects the energy transfer. The more CO2 there is the further up it limits direct radiation to space. That in turn means that the radiation to space is from higher altitude. At higher altitude the temperature differs more from the surface temperature.

      If the surface temperature is unchanged the temperature at the (average) point of radiation is lower and the Earth radiates less. That leads to warming. With warming the radiation increases and the warming ultimately stops, but then the whole atmosphere as well as the surface have warmed. That’s the effect. That is not contradicted by the balancing influence of convection in the troposphere.

      When we start to discuss what happens near surface then none of us knows precise answers, some can avoid outright errors while some others make such errors. Making such errors occurs both among those who agree with my above argument and those who don’t understand it. Many people who accept the main stream view on warming should avoid discussing the surface and lower troposphere claiming understanding. They make a disservice to their cause by that. Everybody is, of course, free to discuss those issues to improve his or her understanding, but claiming superior knowledge is risky. (I try to remember that myself even if that leads to weaselish comments.)

      • Doug Cotton (NaturalCyclist)

        Pekka. We live on the surface. We measure “climate” just 1.5 to 2 metres above the surface. What matters is not the rate of convection somewhere up in the troposphere, but the rate at which the surface cools after being warmed by the Sun.

        The non-radiative processes I am talking about between the surface and the immediate adjoining air are not convection, but rather molecular collisions (conduction – sometimes called diffusion between a solid and a gas) and evaporation. Sure convection takes over, but it mostly affects air above that being measured for our climate records. Once the energy gets into the atmosphere it does not, under normal circumstances, return to the surface. So it does not matter how long it takes to get to space. All we have to focus on is the effect, if any, on the overall rate of energy transfer at the surface/atmosphere interface. that rate cannot be affected by typical carbon dioxide levels.

      • Doug,

        When energy is transferred to the atmosphere but doesn’t get to space the atmosphere warms. When it warms convection from surface diminishes and the surface warms.

      • Doug Cotton (NaturalCyclist)

        No Pekka.

        Firstly it is not convection from the surface at all, as I have explained elsewhere. Please demonstrate that you know some physics by using the correct terminology. The atmosphere itself will always cool down to its “base trend line” which is determined by the adiabatic lapse rate. It simply can’t stay at warmer levels without just radiating more away to compensate for any extra warming.

        If water vapor or carbon dioxide molecules absorb radiated energy they move up one or more energy levels in rotational and/or vibrational modes. They don’t gain kinetic energy (resulting in warming) though they may warm other air molecules by diffusion. They may also have a greater propensity to radiate sooner than if they had not absorbed such energy. Likewise the warmer air molecules have a greater propensity to rise by convection whilst they are still in the troposphere. It’s like emptying a bucket of water into a steep flowing creek – the water just escapes more quickly and the creek reverts to its former level.

        If what you claim actually happened, then you would have to see the air which adjoins the surface actually getting warmer than the surface. Only then could there be a heat transfer back into the surface. But we don’t see this, even with low cloud cover. There is nearly always (in calm conditions) a step down in temperature of about 1 to 3 degrees going from the surface to the adjoining air. So we can conclude from this empirical evidence, that there is no passage of thermal energy back into the surface because the step down is (nearly) always evident.

        As I have said all along, it is only backradiation that can affect the radiative rate of cooling of the surface, but other non-radiative processes nullify the effect by themselves accelerating.

      • I didn’t expect that you’ll ever learn. Some others might.

      • It’s convection Doug. Heat transfer by bulk fluid motion between a solid surface and fluids is convection, in most scientific/engineering fields. However in some cases, convection is taken to mean only (strictly) advective phenomena, but it’s rather exceptional.

  56. Pekka

    Pardon me, but I am rationally skeptical of what you have written above.

    How do we know from empirical data that what you are saying is correct?

    Can we physically measure with any precision exactly from which altitude the radiation to space is taking place?

    Have we physically measured with any precision by how much this altitude has increased as a result of AGW?

    If so, how was this physically measured and where are the results of these measurements reported?

    Or is this all simply based on model simulations?

    Max

    • Max,

      First of all this is an issue that’s really basic physics, nothing more than simple textbook formulas is needed. This is a place where no on-site measurements are needed to be sure.

      It should also be relatively easy to measure the strength of CO2-peak in IR from satellites. I’m not a specialist on that but I’m pretty sure that measurements are well accurate enough to see the change over the satellite era.

      What makes the overall effect more complex is the influence of clouds. Changes in cloud cover and cloud altitude influence also OLWR but not so much what happens near the 15 um peak as at other wavelengths. Clouds affect the balance also through albedo. These effects make the overall accuracy of the satellite measurements of energy balance poor even when the direct GHE signal is probably easy to observe reliably.

      • Doug Cotton (NaturalCyclist)

        I wonder if you realise that the 15 um line for carbon dioxide corresponds (by Wien’s Displacement Law) to temperatures of about minus 90 degrees C, which are only found way up in the mesosphere, which is above the stratosphere. Only there will that spectral line in the radiation (and absorption) of carbon dioxide be at the top of its Planck curve. Anywhere lower down that spectral line will be way off to the side of its Planck curve and thus have significantly reduced intensity and effect.

      • Doug Cotton (NaturalPseudoCyclist) “I wonder if you realise that the 15 um line for carbon dioxide corresponds (by Wien’s Displacement Law) to temperatures of about minus 90 degrees C, which are only found way up in the mesosphere, which is above the stratosphere.”

        Or way down in the Antarctic or way up in the Arctic (pretty close anyway). I have seen radiosonde readings from the subtropics of -95 C and if you look at Venus, the ~184K average BB temperature is about -90 C and the diurnal temperature range of Mars is from ~184K to ~242K. The stratosphere is not a fixed altitude in the atmosphere and CO2 has more than just a single 15 UM spectrum. With more energy, its active spectrum broadens. How much is the question not how little.

        Then as the “wings” of the 15 um spectral line broaden and the other lesser peaks grow, the overlap with the H2O spectrum increases and there is a change in the interaction of the two gases. It is like a Lava Lamp of dynamics changes in spectral overlap and effective radiant altitudes which all boil down to a change in the resistance of energy flow through the atmosphere that will never be uniformly distributed.

        So we have guys like you that think you have it all figured out versus guys on the other side that think they have it all figured out. Who to believe? The ones that respect the complexity I reckon.

      • “I wonder if you realise that the 15 um line for carbon dioxide corresponds (by Wien’s Displacement Law) to temperatures of about minus 90 degrees C,”

        I didn’t realize this.
        Doesn’t a living human’s blackbody peak at around 10 um?

        “Or way down in the Antarctic or way up in the Arctic (pretty close anyway). I have seen radiosonde readings from the subtropics of -95 C and if you look at Venus, the ~184K average BB temperature is about -90 C and the diurnal temperature range of Mars is from ~184K to ~242K. ”

        Average temperature of Antarctic is about -50 C.
        -90 C would be a unusual temperature and quite rare
        anywhere other than Antarctic.
        And I can not see any problem with limiting Earth temperature to say
        -50 C :)
        But maybe I am biased against the cold.

        The temperature of gas at higher elevation should not matter.
        It’s at that temperature because it has low density. It’s temperature as gas doesn’t affect it’s radiant properties. Though there frozen ice up there.
        Though again, I don’t know if it matters if that ice is -90 C or -50 C.

      • Doug Cotton
        Captain Dallas
        Gbaikie

        The stupid, it hurts.

        3 clueless gits discussing a subject that requires a grounding in statistical mechanics is painful to watch.

      • Pekka

        Thanks for answering my question.

        You have confirmed that the basis is “textbook physics” (i.e. theory) rather than empirical evidence based on physical observations.

        The fact that clouds also play an ill-defined role is an added complication.

        As a result, I remain rationally skeptical of the premise.

        Max

      • Max,

        Theory is powerful when it’s thoroughly confirmed and when the case being considered is one where the theory can be applied directly.

        The whole success of physics and it’s great applicability in engineering is based on the process where the theory is first created and confirmed and then applied widely in a range of applicability. That requires judgment on the limits of applicability which depend on the range of empirical confirmation. When the results of the theory are unambiguous it’s not necessary to verify each of them separately.

        It’s pointless to hint that this would not be a sufficiently certain way for having full confidence in many conclusions including that on the influence of CO2 in the high troposphere.

        I know that you didn’t say directly the opposite but you were hinting in a way that a consider insincere because you are likely to understand and agree on what I write above.

      • Yes, Pekka, theory is great. It is the basic starting point for knowledge.

        But equally important (Feynman) is empirical evidence to support the theory.

        When this is lacking, especially in a “loosey-goosey” yet highly politicized discipline such as climatology, this leads to rational skepticism.

        The premise that added GHGs result in a higher average altitude of the radiation of LW energy from Earth to space thereby increasing average global temperature is well thought out, perhaps, but unless it can be demonstrated by empirical evidence it remains an uncorroborated hypothesis.

        As you point out, this cannot be done because of the interference of clouds and other complications.

        “Tant pis”, as the French say.

        I remain rationally skeptical that the mechanism you describe plays a significant role in our planet’s climate until it can be physically demonstrated..

        Max

      • Feynman has written much valuable but his writings are used more commonly against the message that Feynman had in mind than in support of it. He was a scientist not a false “skeptic”.

        You do that again. You continue to use words in an insincere way. I don’t accept your claim that you are a rational skeptic.

      • Fascinating how skeptics rally around Feynman as a religious cult figure, something akin to Jesus. I studied Feynman’s physics teachings as background for understanding quantum mechanics in college. Like Jesus’s disciples, the skeptics have probably attached themselves to the legend that Feynman didn’t write his classic “Lecture Notes” but that others largely did it for him, transcribing his lectures in the printed form. (it’s actually true)

        Feynman was smart, agreed, but he is also dead, and can’t speak for how his words are being misrepresented. Why doesn’t anyone ever mention living colleagues of Feynman’s at CalTech such as David Goodstein and Murray Gell-Mann? Feynman was also known as a teacher of teachers and his colleagues have kept up the tradition.

        Read Goodstein’s books on our precarious fossil fuel situation.
        Read Gel-Mann’s writings on complexity. They also have videos that you can watch.

        Of course the skeptics won’t because they are fake skeptics and they mythologize their beliefs around a dead man who was associated with a bible written by his disciples. Isn’t that special.

      • Web

        You miss the point.

        It’s not whether Feynman is alive or dead. His words are alive and well.

        A hypothesis is only that until it can be supported by empirical data, i.e. from physical observations or reproducible experimentation.

        The CAGW premise of IPCC has not yet met this standard, and is thus still an uncorroborated hypothesis.

        Got it?

        Max

      • Pekka

        Leave aside the personal slurs.

        Bring empirical data instead.

        If you are unable to do so, simply admit that the data do not exist to support the hypothesis – but that you have concluded that the hypothesis is still valid nonetheless.

        Simple enough without attacking me personally by saying I am not rational.

        I don’t say such things about you, do I?

        Max

      • WebHub

        Good remarks on the Feynman cult. I have always felt that when someone wraps the mantle of authority on his- or herself own thoughts by referencing the dead, then they are on losing. That indirect appeal to correctness is very different than referencing the actual work or history of the ‘authority’ and while appealing, it carries no authority. It is a fair game over a beer, but can not really be taken seriously outside the pub.

        A couple of related notes: Goodstein’s remark on Ehrenfest, Boltzmann, and ‘our turn to study’ statistical mechanics in the first pages of ‘States of Matter’ has stuck with me for years. Perhaps there are consensus lessons the the experience of Boltzmann. BTW I still have and enjoy the book–its scope and perspective.

        Regarding others at CalTech, there was this summer:

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/colleges/ncaa-hammers-caltech-but-other-schools-deserve-to-be-nailed/2012/11/11/c3f200d2-2919-11e2-96b6-8e6a7524553f_story.html

        I guess there are wonderful little corners in this world.

      • manacker

        Just to be relly clear. My Feynman comment is in reference to the ‘Feynman WOULD say…’ comments one so often sees. I don’t have a dog in the present fight….

      • Web

        Richard Feynman is just one brilliant individual, that’s true.

        And he’s no longer with us.

        But he did make some statements on the scientific process
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYPapE-3FRw

        A key statement from this lecture, which has been paraphrased often as a description of the scientific method is:

        In general we look for a new law by the following process. First we guess it. Then we compute the consequences of the guess to see what would be implied if this law that we guessed is right. Then we compare the result of the computation to nature, with experiment or experience, compare it directly with observation, to see if it works. If it disagrees with experiment it is wrong. In that simple statement is the key to science. It does not make any difference how beautiful your guess is. It does not make any difference how smart you are, who made the guess, or what his name is – if it disagrees with experiment it is wrong. That is all there is to it.

        The statement itself is probably not novel, but it does summarize how “science” works.

        The second person often cited is science philosopher, Karl Popper.
        From Wiki:

        Falsifiability is considered a positive (and often essential) quality of a hypothesis because it means that the hypothesis is testable by empirical experiment and thus conforms to the standards of scientific method.

        The concept first popularized by Karl Popper, who, in his philosophical criticism of the popular positivist view of the scientific method, concluded that a hypothesis, proposition, or theory talks about the observable only if it is falsifiable. “Falsifiable” is often taken to loosely mean “testable.” An adage states it loosely as “if it’s not falsifiable, then it’s not scientific”

        We’re not talking “religious dogma” here, but the constraints put upon science by Feynman and Popper still stand today as essential parts of the scientific method:

        A hypothesis is only valid if it is supported by empirical evidence and if it is defined clearly enough to be falsifiable.

        The CAGW hypothesis of IPCC fails on both counts.

        Max

      • Scientific knowledge can be developed and applied. When developing scientific knowledge new hypotheses are made and tested and the hypotheses are nothing more than hypotheses until they have been tested using methods that have skill in separating the hypothesis from alternative hypotheses.

        In applying preexisting scientific knowledge many new results can be derived and in many cases the results can be considered reliable and almost certainly true. No real scientist would disagree on that, most certainly Feynman wouldn’t either. Implying that there were not many issues of atmospheric science that fall in this category is without merit.

        It’s always important to be careful in deriving new results and no-one should be overconfident in that, but then it’s also essential to take advantage of this possibility as it would be total waste of time and resources to verify by new experiments all details that are already known to be almost certainly true.

      • Feynman was picked one specific reason: he’s dead. He can do nothing to defend himself from an intellectual kidnapping.

        Dyson can’t find a Feynman. As for himself, he’s declared himself unfit for the job because he’s too old and too easily shown to be wrong. He’s also violated one of Feynman’s rules, and admits it. Dyson has no interest in learning climate science, or whether or not his hunches about climate science are right or wrong. He just wants to snipe at something that offends his world view.

      • JCH

        “Feynman was picked one specific reason: he’s dead..”

        What a dumb statement.

        Feynman’s message goes well beyond his life, as Wiki and many other sources indicate.

        The message is crystal clear, JCH – whether you happen to like it or not.

        Max

      • Grant,good reference to Goodstein’s classic States of Matter. Read his intro to the book where he points put the folly on studying the history of science at the expense of moving forward. He is essentially saying we can learn from the past but science does not use it as a crutch. Move on, been there, done that, is the implication.

        Also read the Wikipedia article on Feynman’s lectures and you can see Goodstein’s take.

        Glad to see that a few are able to see through the cult of personality.

      • Right,

        It’s crystal clear that you misrepresent it.

  57. Doug Cotton (NaturalCyclist)

    Maybe this analogy will help people to understand the stabilising effect of the huge amount of energy stored in the crust and all the matter right down to the core. There is a small net flow of energy out of this region, but in fact it is just that – a net flow. Much more energy flows in a small distance during sunlight hours, and back out at night in normal calm conditions.

    Think of a rock platform by the sea. At high tide, let’s say some sand washes up onto the rock, raising the top surface with a layer of sand. Let the height of the rock and sand represent temperature. As low tide approaches the sand washes and/or blows off the rock, so the level falls again to the “base” level of the rock itself.

    So it is with the various cooling mechanisms which transfer energy from the surface to the atmosphere. At night the surface will usually cool back to the base “supported” temperature. If the wind is radiative cooling, and the water non-radiative cooling, what doesn’t get washed away may well get blown away. The analogy is that, if the radiative surface cooling is slowed by radiation from low cloud, then the temperature will still drop (maybe a little later at night) with more non-radiative cooling. I know this is oversimplified, but I suggest it is still a realistic analogy.

  58. Doug Cotton (NaturalCyclist)

    Footnote:

    I offer the following empirical evidence that non-radiative cooling (notably evaporative cooling) accelerates to compensate for any slowing of radiative cooling caused by backradiation:

    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2011/08/25/konrad-empirical-test-of-ocean-cooling-and-back-radiation-theory/

    QED
     

    • Yes, it does. That’s in full agreement with mainstream understanding of atmosphere.

      As I wrote above it’s not at all an argument against GHE and warming influence of CO2. Where I mentioned only convection adding evaporation to that changes nothing in the argument.

      • Doug Cotton (NaturalCyclist)

         

        You’re just talking in circles. and still referring incorrectly to convection rather than conduction or diffusion. Evaporation, by the way, takes place on over 70% of the Earth’s surface. The linked experiment is strong evidence against any GHE, but you just haven’t spent the time to try to understand the logical physics explained by myself and several others on the Principia Scientific International website – physics which is supported by empirical evidence.

        In contrast, there is absolutely no empirical evidence to support the GHE conjecture. It is all thought experiments, supposedly backed up by expensive computer models which are just based on the same thought experiments. Climate itself is not evidence, for it follows natural cycles probably controlled indirectly by the planets.
         
        Oxygen and nitrogen are the only “blankets” because they accumulate energy transferred by conduction (or diffusion) at the surface/atmosphere interface. Water vapor and radiating gases such as carbon dioxide are cooling the atmosphere by radiating away that energy trapped by oxygen and nitrogen, as well as some radiated energy they capture. They are the holes in the blanket. Even the radiation which strikes the surface is merely “pseudo scattered” and eventually gets to space.
         

         

      • Doug Cotton (NaturalCyclist)

        There is a fallacy in the assumption that, in the absence of water vapor and any radiating/absorbing gases, the Earth’s surface would cool to 255K by radiation. Engineers will tell you that radiation only starts to dominate non-radiative cooling at temperatures around 100 deg.C. The fact is that conduction (diffusion) at the surface/atmosphere interface would continue to play a dominating role, warming the colliding oxygen and nitrogen molecules, which would then rise by convection. There is a natural temperature gradient set up by this process and the adiabatic lapse rate is created. A continuous declining temperature trend is evident from the hot core, through the surface and then to the top of the troposphere. The 255K will be found at some elevation up in the troposphere, and so the surface has to be warmer because of this trend, which is held in place by the “blanket” effect of the oxygen and nitrogen.

        All should read Konrad’s comment and his experiment which supports what I have been saying all along. You will also find a summary I have contributed to Joseph’s Postma’s October 2012 paper on pp. 47 & 48 therein.

  59. Check out this new blog, started by a group in Netherlands, called Climate Dialogue http://www.climatedialogue.com.

    The inaugural post is up on Arctic sea ice, which includes essays by myself, Walt Meier and Ron Lindsay. There are two separate comment threads, one for the 3 experts to discuss, and the other for general comments.

    Check it out and participate if you have an interest in sea ice.

    • Judith, that’s a commercial site. As per Marcel, it’s .org not .com

    • Judith Curry

      Interesting link (with the “.org” ending).

      Your article on Arctic Sea Ice is very informative.

      Whatever the “reasons” for the current reduction in late-summer ice, your assessment of its overall “impact” on our global climate if it recedes to 0%, i.e. below the arbitrarily set 1 million square kilometer extent, is far less alarming than others I’ve seen:

      I am not seeing a big rationale for climate catastrophe if the sea ice melts.

      Max

      • Max, my comment at climatedialogue:

        Judith writes: “So . . . what is the bottom line on the attribution of the recent sea ice melt? My assessment is that it is likely (>66% likelihood) that there is 50-50 split between natural variability and anthropogenic forcing, with +/-20% range.”

        That is, there is at least a 2 in 3 chance that the contribution to sea ice melt will be in the range of 30nv-70af to 70nv-30af. And perhaps a 1 in 3 chance that it will be outside that range. In short, anthropogenic forcing could be a very minor element (say 20%) or a very major element (say 80%). We don’t know; as Ron Lindsay says, it “is rather uncertain.”

        The bigger question is: does it matter? Is the extent of Arctic sea ice a great concern? Should we fear or celebrate a reduction? If the latter, then the question of attribution is of only academic interest; we should be pleased if human emissions are accelerating ice loss.

      • Faustino

        Thanks for that.

        Max

  60. Hi Judith
    thanks for mentioning our platform. The url however is:
    http://www.climatedialogue.org
    Marcel

  61. Since CO2 acts like a blanket making warming more uniform it should make storms less violent shouldn’t it ?

    Thermodynamics says that the amount of work a system can do is proportional to the temperature DIFFERENCE not the absolute temperature !

    • Doug Cotton (NaturalCyclist)

      Oxygen and nitrogen are the “blankets” and WV and CO2 etc are holes in the blanket – as explained in this and the following comment above..

      • Oxygen and Nitrogen do _nothing_ to outgoing LWIR …

        Have you ever done ‘dew’? Seen ‘dew’? Know how or what it takes to form ‘dew’?

        One wonders …

        _Jim

  62. Counter programming to Al Gore’s ‘Dirty Weather Report’ will be on WUWT-TV Live starting Wednesday Nov. 14 at 8PM EST

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/11/13/counter-programming-to-al-gores-dirty-weather-report-will-be-on-wuwt-tv-live-starting-wednesday-nov-14-at-8pm-est/

    Mr. Gore’s program is yet another transparent politically based attempt to link climate and weather, and to make people fearful of common weather events that we’ve seen all throughout history.

    Tune-in Wednesday Nov. 14 at 8PM EST to get the facts.

  63. Chief Hydrologist,

    There is a new article on the Conversation advocating biochar. The researchers are advocating $2 billion government funding for it.
    https://theconversation.edu.au/backing-biochar-the-australian-governments-role-10513. I’ve posted two comments arguing for rational economic analyses before trying to pick winners.

    Your thoughts?

    • It seems 2 million is proper scale for research.
      2 billion seems like wasteful subsidy. If it’s economic
      viable it should attract investors.
      The spend 2 billion dollars to lower costs in terms of government
      program don’t work.
      Socialism does not work. Socialism with new technology works
      even worse.

      • gbaikie,

        I’d suggest the first step should be $200,000 to do a first step cost benefit analysis to see if it is worth going any further. We need a pre-feasibility study then a feasibility investigation before committing to expenditure on it. Once money begins on research programs like this it is very hard to shut them down. Look at the enormous amount of money being wasted on renewable energy for example. It’s impossible to shut that down.

        A simple cost-benefit analysis can be done as a first step to see if there is any hope of it being viable. Here an example which shows how easily these can be done: http://judithcurry.com/2012/08/24/a-modest-proposal-for-sequestration-of-co2-in-the-antarctic/#comment-233330
        This simple analysis shows that the proposal is not close to being viable. On that basis it should not be funded. What is the situation with the biochar proposal?

  64. To Judith Currt and others interested,

    I would very much like to hear opinions of Nicola Scafetta’s presentation and models.
    There is a video presentation given at the EPA:

    http://yosemite.epa.gov/ee/epa/eed.nsf/vwpsw/360796B06E48EA0485257601005982A1

    The link contains links to a high-res video presentation and pdf slides.

    +

  65. Interesting exchange at Climate Resistance. A certain J Curry is mentioned.

    • Mike Haseler says: November 11, 2012 at 7:42 am
    Just noticed your motto “CHALLENGING CLIMATE ORTHODOXY” and I fear you may well have to change this. Because scepticism is fast becoming the new orthodoxy!

    I was at a meeting of the Royal Society and happened to meet Josh (the cartoonist) who was also attending. At the end of the two day meeting we were discussing the way that the only mention of the CO2 warming was in the talk by prof Judith Curry when she said “the models are not fit for purpose”.

    At first, I had assumed she was a bit of an outlier in the climate world and had expect quite a bit of hostility not only toward her but towards sceptics in general. In contrast that was almost missing (except for one individual). But by the end of the meeting we had both reached the same conclusion … most of them did not disagree with Judith Curry. That’s not the same as saying they want to swing from the rafters of parliament shouting: “WE GOT IT WRONG”. But it was very clear that no one involved in climate research was at all enthusiastic about the CO2 warming predictions.

    Indeed, I would say that most climate researchers are now close enough to our position to be called “sceptics”. I know that sounds bizarre, but most sceptics accept 20th century warming and accept CO2 causes around 1°C. Both amateur sceptics and “climate science sceptics” also know that there have been few discernible impacts (again no something they want to shout about).

    So, in reality I felt sceptics and researchers had a lot more in common than e.g. researchers and the NGOs pushing climate nonsense or the idiot politicians who only listen to the few climate researchers who are eco-nutters and not the bulk who are quite sensible.

    Ben Pile says: November 11, 2012 at 2:18 pm
    Mike: ‘scepticism is fast becoming the new orthodoxy!’

    I would make a distinction between orthodoxy and forms of agreement. Debate is anathema to orthodoxies. Meanwhile, the complaint of most sceptics is not that there’s no climate change, but that a political consensus excludes dissent from the scientific and political discussions. So while there is a sense of the word ‘orthodoxy’ which means ‘consensus’, what worries us more is the sense which implies ‘dogma’, or the policing of opinion.

  66. Faustino,

    Thank you for that comment. Very interesting.

    A suggestion: it would make it easier to read if you put the bits you are quoting in blockquote. It’s difficult to work out what others said and what is your comment on it in the above.

    BTW,

    Have you any opinion on the costs and benefits of biochar and storing carbon in soils? Did you see the thread on this on The Conversation today:

    https://theconversation.edu.au/backing-biochar-the-australian-governments-role-10513

    • Peter, I signed up to contribute to The Conversation when it was first floated, but was never able to post. I gave up as it didn’t have the merit I thought it might. Earlier this evening I sought to sign up again to comment on biochar, I’m still awaiting the confirmatory e-mail.

      The article said: “Targeting biochar application on high value-added crops such as coffee and olives will achieve quick pay-backs.” If that is so, why is there a need for intervention? Few successful industries have sought or required government assistance, many non-viable ones have. I can’t see a need for a “national strategy” for this or any other industry. Except a withdrawal-of-all-assistance strategy for the car industry.

      The last post was all quotes. I usually seek to distinguish with quote marks, part preference part technological inadequacy.

  67. Doug Cotton (NaturalCyclist)

    If you write anything on The Conversation” which is contrary to “the consensus” then expect your posts to be deleted. I’ve lost count of how many times that has happened to mine. But at least a few people get them in emails if you post in the early hours of the morning well before dawn.

    • Doug, I didn’t persist with it because of its inherent bias. As I said, I signed up at the outset but could never post. I still haven’t had a confirmatory e-mail after re-signing earlier this evening. Perhaps they read my letters in The Australian. :-)

    • Yes. You have to be very careful how you write. Many get deleted unless you support the Editor’s views. The Editor is of the far left. About a week ago she wrote an article vigorously defending Professor Stephan Lewandowsky (cognitive scientist in the School of Psychology at UWA) and his biased studies of climate skeptics.

  68. Obama wants to reduce ‘carbons’. But he kinda makes more sense later, after the obligatory AGW verbiage.

  69. Doug Cotton (NaturalCyclist)

    Click here to see a net energy budget diagram which is on page 2 of my first website. Note that conduction is shown as 7% of incoming solar radiation, latent heat as 23% and the total from the surface is 51%. So this diagram implies (7+23)/51 or about 59% of energy from the surface is by other than radiation. I say 60% to 70% in fact because I believe, from other reading, that the diagram understates conduction and evaporation.

    Either way, it is clear that a lot of energy is not radiated from the surface but, instead, finds its way into the atmosphere via oxygen, nitrogen and water vapor molecules, not by photon capture in carbon dioxide molecules.

    Non-radiating molecules, mostly oxygen and nitrogen, thus act like an insulating blanket. Carbon dioxide does the opposite..

    When CO2 molecules do capture, they are more likely to then radiate that energy away, or transfer it by diffusion to cooler oxygen or nitrogen molecules. It can then diffuse to water vapor and be radiated away. Without radiating molecules (the holes in the blanket) things would get very hot up there. I assure you.

    • Doug Cotton: ” Either way, it is clear that a lot of energy is not radiated from the surface but, instead, finds its way into the atmosphere via oxygen, nitrogen and water vapor molecules, not by photon capture in carbon dioxide molecules. ”

      So … you have managed to completely divorce this theory of energy exchange in the wavelength (frequency) domain, which is linked inextricably linked to the moving charges (which creating radiating fields in the first place) by the simplistic notion of ‘photon’ capture?

      Is that right?

      No consideration of Faraday or Maxwell?

      Electric fields or magnetic fields and the energy exchange seen in an oscillating dipole with its varying ‘moments’ over a cycle?

      Do you even have ANY idea what you are working on?

      _Jim

      • Doug Cotton (NaturalCyclist)

        Sorry Jim, but Maxwell was mistaken in assuming two way heat transfer. I am not unaware of his writings – in fact I refer to such in a post below. But you will need to read my paper for more detail, or an article of mine being published next week.

      • Doug Cotton (NaturalCyclist)

        Furthermore, Jim, I quote your site: “Chief molecular absorbers in the atmosphere are water vapour and carbon dioxide, with contributions also from ozone, methane, nitrous oxide, and others. “

        You are writing only about absorbers of radiation. In contrast, I make the statement that in fact, of all the energy being transferred from the surface to the atmosphere, more transfers by way of non-radiative processes than by radiative processes. I don’t ignore the radiation or dispute its existence: I just put it in its rightful place.

        Do you seriously dispute that? I have linked a net energy diagram in the very first line of the above comment.

        You tell me how you think the oxygen and nitrogen molecules (which acquire thermal energy by diffusion from the warmer surface) subsequently cool.

  70. I seem to have been banned from accessing the ‘Policy, rhetoric and public bewilderment’ thread. Yesterday, I could not access any of Climate Etc. I though Climate Etc was down. But now I have access to all other threads. I see that comments are being posted on ‘Policy, rhetoric and public bewilderment’. I am wondering why I’ve been banned, apparently by WordPress.

    I’ve asked WordPress and they have not replied. I can only guess it is because of my second comment on the thread. If that is true I suspect ‘The Conversation’ must have complained about my criticism of their suite of alarmist and extremist articles by Australia’s top climate scientists here:

    https://theconversation.edu.au/the-false-the-confused-and-the-mendacious-how-the-media-gets-it-wrong-on-climate-change-1558

    This was arranged by the Conversation’s editor and Professor Stephen Lewandowsk.

    The though police are really gaining control if we’ve got to the stage where they can prevent people writing comments on a blog site criticising the corruption of climate science and their part in it.

  71. RobertInAz,

    Thank you for your reply to my comment on the “Policy, rhetoric and public bewilderment” thread. I can no longer access the thread for some reason, although I see many comments have been added by others. So I’ll post my original comment below, then your response and then my reply to you.

    I said:

    [The] issue is that climate science has clearly been corrupted. It’s been corrupted by government funding, grant selection and influence of governments in directing how money is to be spent and which research proposals should be funded.

    On top f that we’ve had a very large number of the most senior and influential climate scientists, as well as the heads of the heads of United Nations, acting like used car sales men and/or high priests. Their credibility is in tatters and so is the discipline of climate science.

    You responded:
    RobertInAz @ Nov 15, 3:03 pm said:

    “Then issue is that climate science has clearly been corrupted.”

    Skeptical as I am of CAGW theory, I must issue a nuanced challenge to this assertion. I believe the overwhelming majority of climate researchers are earnest seekers after truth with great integrity. Indeed, to the extent climate science is corrupted, most of the corruption originates in non-scientist gate-keepers of funding and publication. My recent reading of several Hansen papers does not convince me that he and his co-authors are corrupt even though I strenuously disagree with their conclusions and Hansen’s extra-curricular methods.

    I agree. IMO, the corruption of climate science has been caused by and led by:

    • so called ‘environmental NGO’s’

    • alarmist scientists

    • politicians – because they see the political advantage they can gain from the scaremongering opportunities it gives them

    • journalists and media – because scare stories and bad news always sell

    • Editors of the science journals (especially the most highly regarded ones like Nature and Science)

    • Peak science bodies (Royal Society, NAS, Australian Academy of Sciences and virtually all the other peak science bodies like APS, etc.) – these have been taken over by activists and true believers within the membership of these organisations

    • The funding bodies who hand out the research funding, with strings attached, so the funding is overwhelming for research to confirm the orthodoxy.

    In summary I agree with your comment. But the situation now is that the corruption is embedded throughout all our systems.

  72. Could someone please tell me if my second comment on the ‘Policy, rhetoric and public bewilderment’ thread is still there or if it has been deleted? It begins:

    The thirteen part Clearing up the climate debate written by Australia’s top climate scientists, demonstrates they are up to their necks in activism.

    ‘Part One’ provides links to the thirteen Parts (scroll to the end of the article). And a list of the signatories that endorsed this compendium. It’s a list of who’s who of Australia’s top climate scientists.

    https://theconversation.edu.au/climate-change-is-real-an-open-letter-from-the-scientific-community-1808

  73. Doug Cotton (NaturalCyclist)

    In Maxwell’s Theory of Heat on pages 244 & 245 he describes how a gas only absorbs radiation when it is cooler than the emitter. This is what Prof Claes Johnson has established computationally. It is the reason why energy in backradiation from a cooler atmosphere is not converted to thermal energy in a warmer surface, so there is no heat transfer. You can read Maxwell with these links p.244 and p.245

    • Doug,

      Read again what Maxwell writes:”.. the sodium-vapour now radiates exactly as much light as it absorbs ...

      That’s exactly what others are saying and you are denying when you write: “.. gas only absorbs radiation when it is cooler ..”.

      The science has proceeded very much since Maxwell, but it’s nice to see that this great physicist got it right already 140 years ago. You don’t get it even today. (There are many other things that Maxwell couldn’t get right because quantum mechanics is needed to understand them.)

  74. Doug Cotton (NaturalCyclist)

    Maxwell was talking about the situation when the temperatures are equal. There is then equivalent radiation in each direction. I can’t see any disagreement between us on that point, but I may need to clarify what I mean by “absorb” – namely that there is a conversion of EM energy to thermal energy. When the target is warmer you could say there is momentary absorption (without conversion to thermal energy) and immediate re-emission of identical frequencies and intensities. This process is very different from the absorption process which is associated with heat transfer. Claes Johnson explains it in more detail, with computational proof.

    My paper on Radiated Energy (on the PSI site) should clarify for you when the energy in radiation is converted to thermal energy and how much. I explain in detail in the paper why Maxwell and others have been mistaken in assuming there is two-way heat transfer.

    Prof Claes Johnson, Joseph Postma and myself are all in agreement on this. The only heat transfers occur one-way when one body is warmer than the other. That goes back to Rudolf Clausius in 1854, and I’m glad to say he is still right about the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

    Please consider reading my paper and/or the fairly comprehensive article I have written for publication next week.

    • “Maxwell was talking about the situation when the temperatures are equal. There is then equivalent radiation in each direction. I can’t see any disagreement between us on that point, but I may need to clarify what I mean by “absorb” – namely that there is a conversion of EM energy to thermal energy. When the target is warmer you could say there is momentary absorption (without conversion to thermal energy) and immediate re-emission of identical frequencies and intensities.”

      So at a certain temperature for a specific spectrum, a material re-radiates
      rather than absorbs [or gains heat]?

  75. Don’t try to twist my words. Read what I did in fact actually say back in March in my paper, and/or read what Claes Johnson, Professor of Applied Mathematics has shown computationally in his “Computational Blackbody Radiation” paper which can’t be linked here, but is easily found on Google..

  76. Please also read this comment.

    Perhaps I should paste a copy below …

    I’d like the opportunity to answer Tim’s question “So how do we get from a ~ 288 K BB as seen looking down from ground level to a ~ 255 K BB as looking down from space?”

    Firstly, there is in fact far more energy transferring from the surface to the atmosphere by non-radiative processes than by radiation – eg evaporation and conduction. So, on first impressions, that makes the whole thing even more way out, because all that radiation isn’t even doing all the transferring that would seem necessary.

    The answer to the dilemma lies in the fact that the majority of the radiation observed (or calculated) as coming from the surface is not actually transferring energy that was in the surface to the atmosphere. There is an analogy with light reflecting back and forth between two mirrors.

    The only feasible explanation for the dilemma lies in the conclusions drawn by Prof Claes Johnson. You simply cannot explain reality without accepting what he says as being valid. He makes it quite clear that the radiation from the surface includes re-radiated energy from all the backradiation. So the S-B “quota” of radiation that the surface is in fact radiating gains much of its energy from the EM energy in the backradiation, none of which gets converted to thermal energy. It follows that only a small portion of the energy which was in the surface in the form of thermal energy is actually being transferred to the atmosphere by the radiation. Some radiation transfers energy direct to space, but, overall, something like 60% to 70% or more of the thermal energy that is transferred from the surface to the atmosphere is in fact transferred by non-radiative processes.

  77. The dimensions of the ‘Climate Change industry’ are incredible: This compilation of economic activity related to climate change shows that monetary incentives to support the climate change hysteria are immense:

    http://www.climatechangebusiness.com/sites/default/files/u1/CCBJ%20Complimentary%20Chart.pdf

  78. Yes David, and if the developed countries start investing $100 billion a year (from 2020) into “green energy” for developing nations, one wonders how many lives could have been saved if that money had been re-directed into humanitarian aid.

  79. Conclusion

    In response to a question about the article published today (to which I contributed) I will summarise what would happen in a hypothetical Earth with no water and an atmosphere of only nitrogen and oxygen, assumed not to radiate or absorb.

    If this were the case the Earth’s surface would receive more radiation during the day because there would be (virtually) no absorption of incident solar radiation. When you then apply S-B (using integration on a real-world spherical surface) the majority of the radiation would take place directly from the surface at these hotter temperatures.

    But there would still be an adiabatic lapse rate ensuring that the nitrogen and oxygen are much warmer at the base of the atmosphere than at the top, even if no energy flows in and out of the atmosphere. Thus is because an adiabatic lapse rate is just that – adiabatic – and so requires no energy input to maintain the temperature gradient. Thus the surface would not cool anywhere near as much as the Moon’s surface does at night. In fact, the surface temperature would be stabilised by conduction both from the atmosphere and the mass below the surface. There is no reason to believe its mean temperature would be much different, even though its temperature would vary more between day and night.

    In a nutshell, this is why the accusation that radiating gases produce a GHE and raise the mean surface temperature is all garbage.

    You can’t raise or lower the mean surface temperature significantly (within a few thousand years) without transferring an impossible amount of energy into or out of the whole Earth system, including all the mass beneath the crust, right down to the core.

    That is the core of my argument.

    See the big picture!

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  83. Where are the computer models that model natural climate cycles starting with milennial timesales? (paleo/Milkanovitch data from IPCC AR5 WG1 fig 5.3)

  84. Predictions of planetary temperatures could be completely wrong from the beginning.

    What is the core temperature of a disc shaped blackbody of infinite thermal mass (size doesn’t matter)? The side in the sun tries to be in radiative thermal equilibrium with the sun computed at about 391K (Stefann-Boltzmann equation). The side in space tries to be in radiative thermal equilibrium with space at zeroK. The core termperature of such a body should be the mean of the two surface temperatures, 195.5K or -77.5C.

    However, the core temperature of earth is about 6000K. The core temperature of the moon is about 1400K. So the mean surface temperature ends up being somewhere higher than core but less than radiative thermal equilibrium temperature. More complex calculations could quantify this…..

    So what happens to the temperature if we expand the very thin object into a thin lens shape? or a sphere? Should shape make any difference?

    Size, material, refelctivity, etc should have no impact on the “core temperature” of the object in the sun because anything that enhances/reduces absorption of the sunlight also reciprocally enhances/reduces emission to space.

    This phenomenon could easily be demonstrated in space by very simple experiment. The hypothesis is that material composition makes no difference to the “core temperature” of an object with half in the sun and half in space.

  85. sorry – last 2 posts in the wrong thread, please delete, along with the spam ones preceding

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