Clouds and MAGIC

by Judith Curry

Ocean clouds obscure warming’s fate, create ‘fundamental’ problems for models. – Paul Voosen
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Paul Voosen has two extensive articles clouds and climate:
Excerpts from the first article:
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The pressure to resolve the cloud problem has kicked what was once a sleepy corner of meteorology into the center ring of climate science. Ahead of next year’s science report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the influential U.N. summary, researchers have scrambled to advance their understanding. But behind each puff and wisp, they have only uncovered more questions. Which is why, much to their consternation, next year’s report will not reduce the uncertainty in any tangible way.
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“It’s a major, major problem right now that we can’t constrain it better,” said Trude Storelvmo, a climate scientist at Yale University. “It’s not given that we’ll be able to constrain it any better. It’s not obvious how we can go about constraining it better.”

It’s a reality that climate scientists have hinted at for several years. In 2010, Kevin Trenberth, a prominent climate modeler,reported that efforts to improve the predictive abilities of climate models would result in greater uncertainty. And this June, a pair of British scientists warned that more, not less, uncertainty is expected in the next U.N. report, presenting a serious public-image problem for scientists.

Some cloud scientists have grown impatient with the need to frame their work through the global warming rate, which is known in scientific circles as climate sensitivity. It’s a reality that Graeme Stephens, the head of climate science at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab, railed against in a lecture last year. The error in the sensitivity might not be reduced, but if you look past that, real progress is happening, he said.

Beyond the frame imposed by the political debate, scientists now understand clouds, and their response to air pollution, better than ever. Unknown unknowns are now known unknowns. Looking into the sky from observatories like the Sphinx, or down from new satellites above, new contours are visible. But they are not yet in focus.

Among scientists, Zieger continued, there’s a famous bar chart in the IPCC reports. It depicts the current human influence on the climate, both warming and cooling. Almost all the error comes from aerosols and their influence on clouds.

Solving the aerosol-cloud interaction won’t end the uncertainty in climate sensitivity stemming from the response of clouds to higher temperatures. Aerosols are more a derivative of the larger problem. But the field presents tractable problems, rather than a fundamental question of physics, which is perhaps why it has attracted a lion’s share of cloud work over the past decade.

Look at any photo of the low, flat clouds that run along America’s Pacific coast, and bright cotton-ball streamers appear. These are the tails left by ships, steaming across the ocean and releasing pollution — aerosols — as they go. The higher number of cloud nuclei allows smaller, brighter cloud droplets to form, reflecting more sunlight into space.

It’s called the albedo effect by scientists, or the Twomey effect, after the man who popularized it. (For true wonks, it’s also called the first indirect effect.) There’s little doubt it’s real. Early on, it was easy to add into climate models: Simply make the cloud droplets over aerosol-emitting continents smaller and see what happens. The models have improved recently, getting actual physics into them. It remains the only cloud effect that the IPCC has tried to estimate.

If there’s certainty in aerosol and cloud science, it’s that the albedo effect exists, at least in some cloud systems, said Graham Feingold, a scientist at NOAA’s Earth System Research Lab who has spent the past decade knitting together theories on cloud formation, informed by the surge of data from satellites, radar and aircraft, including the first ground-based observation of the albedo effect.

“Nobody argues with the fact that more particles means smaller droplets,” he said.

But the hot debate now, she added, is over the science’s other pillar — the lifetime effect.

“That’s a controversy right now,” she said. “Is the lifetime effect even real?”

The lifetime effect connects back to the cloud seeding experiments of the 1940s and builds off the albedo effect in a simple way. If more aerosols cause smaller water droplets in clouds, then won’t these droplets collide less, causing less rain and, ultimately, more clouds to persist in the sky? It’s an elegant theory, and one that was picked up by much of the modeling community without question.

That has started to change in recent years, partially due to an influential paper published by NOAA’s Feingold. It’s time to stop looking at clouds as single entities, he said. They are part of a system. When aerosols are added, sure, there may be less rainfall, at first. But that cloud may grow deeper and darker, predisposing it to even more rain than before. In effect, the cloud buffers its response to human pollution.

“One could think about this as the resilience of the cloud system,” Feingold said.

Feingold’s theories echo what has been a deficiency in how climate models rendered aerosols. In the past, the programs simulated how pollution could change a cloud, but not vice versa, said Andreas Muhlbauer, a climate scientist at the University of Washington.

“One thing that’s been neglected is the impact of clouds on aerosols,” he said. This was a topic of much discussion at a global modeling workshop this summer in Poland. “If precipitation kicks in, it can clean out the atmosphere.”

There have been reports this summer out of the newest suite of climate satellites that bolster Feingold’s case, if not necessarily his theory. For the first time, these satellites, collectively known as A-Train, allow scientists to make nearly instantaneous snapshots of rain, aerosols and clouds. Combining A-Train data with a traditional satellite, French researchers found support for the albedo effect, but not much for the lifetime effect. Similarly, a study published in August found evidence for a weaker lifetime effect than estimated by climate models alone, a result echoed by NASA’s Stephens, one of A-Train’s leaders, in remarks earlier this year.

There’s still much more to come from the satellites, Stephens added in his lecture last year.

“Raining clouds are a hell of a lot brighter than nonraining clouds,” he said at the American Geophysical Union’s annual meeting last December. “Precipitation has an important radiative signature that we haven’t really considered in feedbacks.”

Still, as these studies admit, satellites and climate models alone won’t crack the aerosol and cloud conundrum. It remains maddeningly difficult to quantify aerosols on a global level. Each method of study has its drawbacks. The Jungfraujoch captures a cloud only as it passes; a plane catches only a pencil line of its prey. Or take satellites. They may snap only two pictures a day of a cloud.

“Someone once likened this to someone completely unfamiliar with the rules of soccer getting snapshots twice a game,” Feingold said. “And after the fact trying to figure out what the rules of the game are.”

To get at aerosols, scientists are going to have to find a way to unify this data: to link the small scales crucial to cloud dynamics with the large scales of the climate. Much of this is a question of statistics and scale, and gets arcane quickly. But Feingold and Allison McComiskey, his co-worker and a geographer, are getting at the question, developing a method to represent strong but variable aerosol effects at coarse global scales. If it is successful, it could be reproduced by scientists across the planet.

Clearly, it’s going to take some Herculean science to sort it all out, Storelvmo said.

“It may look like we’ve made no progress, but that’s far from being true,” she said. “It’s a huge community working on cloud and aerosol interactions. We’ve made a lot of progress. But it hasn’t resulted in a narrower spread of estimates.”

Yes — more uncertainty. There’s a stumbling point any scientist, or anyone, can reach with clouds and climate change. It seems intractable. It’s tempting to move on. Many do.

“It’s almost a truism that we need to understand clouds better,” Chicago’s Pierrehumbert said. “People have known that clouds are a problem for 40 years. It’s been incremental. It’s not that exciting. It’s frustrating.”

——

From the second article:

For decades, scientists have known that clouds, and their response to humanity’s carbon dioxide emissions, would be a roadblock to estimating the speed of global warming. Would feedbacks from higher temperatures cause more clouds, or fewer — and where? Even without considering human pollution, it’s been uncertain. Computers lacked horsepower to model turbulence that drives clouds beyond a small scale, and so climate models have done their best to approximate these nuances at the global level.It hasn’t always gone well.
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Time and again, clouds have provided the most intractable disagreement among models. Over simulated decades, sometimes the clouds accelerated warming; sometimes they were unchanged; and rarely, they dampened the heat. But most of all, they told their creators that they had failed to solve the problem in a convincing way. And the biggest point of disagreement has been low clouds like those off California’s coast.

“This really is the fundamental problem in climate models,” said Joao Teixeira, deputy director of climate science at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab and a collaborator on Lewis’ Spirit project. “How do you represent the clouds?”

There are ways the models do agree. All project that the wispy ice clouds in the upper atmosphere will rise in height, causing more warming, a result seen not just in silicon, but in the real world. But without an accurate handle on low clouds, Teixeira added, it’s impossible to fix on the planet’s exact climate sensitivity, a shorthand used by scientists to test Earth’s warming under instantly doubled CO2 emissions.

Even the primary mechanism of this cloud feedback is in doubt: The change could come from higher surface temperatures, which increase in a laggy, variable way due to the ocean’s heat retention and natural variability, or it could be governed by fast feedbacks, CO2 emissions changing the clouds even before they warm the Earth. Even more likely, both dynamics play together in an irreducibly complex double Dutch.

Still, cloud scientists are game. Using historical records, ground radar, satellite data and advanced supercomputers, these researchers are improving the models and probing for any sign of past change in the clouds. And although this work has not led to a decreased spread in the climate sensitivity, which will remain about the same in next year’s U.N. climate science report, it has been far from for naught.

“The uncertainty in cloud feedbacks hasn’t gone down. It’s sort of stayed the same,” said Chris Bretherton, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Washington. But that’s not the same as stalled progress, he added. “We’re taking what was before uncertainty that lay outside of the models, and putting it into the models.”

These questions pivot especially on marine stratocumulus clouds, sheets of bulbous gray gruel that rest low above a fifth of the Earth’s surface, reflecting the sun. And there are few better examples of those clouds than the transect between Los Angeles and Hawaii, where a remote, eerily stable stretch of stratocumuli slowly dissolves, on approach to coconut trees, into cotton-puff cumulus and open sky.

For decades, scientists have known they’d need to take their cloud tools off the shore and into the ocean, but until last month, those efforts had stalled. Instead, work funded by the Energy Department has been earthbound, based in Oklahoma, or at best on remote islands, where clouds remain shaped by even the dullest contours of the land.

“There are very few measurements over the ocean for any period of time,” Lewis said.

JC background:  The Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program has a new field observation underway, called the Marine ARM GPCI Investigation of Clouds, or MAGIC.  ARM’s feature story on this can be found [here].  ARM is deploying its cloud and radiation research instrumentation on the Horizon Spirit container ship that routinely transits between California and Hawaii.

There is an enormous pent-up demand for the data Lewis and his team will find along the Spirit’s path. The project, nicknamed MAGIC, will provide evidence for teams of climate scientists and modelers waiting to test their theories against reality. A successful, stable voyage is crucial. It is one of the best hopes left to help resolve the cloud enigma.

So far, scientists have found no other shortcuts to solve the problem. But, of course, that doesn’t mean they’ve stopped trying to find one.

If only the world had infinite computing power, there wouldn’t be a cloud problem.

When it comes to clouds, there are two types of computer models, and it’s easy to get them mixed up. There are the global climate models familiar to most, which chop the Earth into 100-square-kilometer grids, simulating the planet for years on end. Much less known, however, are the small-scale cloud models that divide the atmosphere down into boxes of 10 meters square, where the computer can begin to capture the chaotic atmospheric turbulence that rules the clouds.

Those cloud models are so demanding, however, that no computer can run them on anywhere close to a global scale. It’s a dream, but not one to be realized soon.

“If I could run a [cloud-resolving] model globally, or even over a huge area, I might be able to get a result I at least didn’t know was wrong,” said Joyce Penner, a longtime modeling expert at the University of Michigan. “But we can’t do that yet.”

Klein also compared these climate models with their decade-old code, using his test bed to get at how well each re-created observed clouds from the satellite record. For a long time, models have been notorious for having sparse clouds, with the ones they did create reflecting far more light than they do in reality. It’s known as the “too few, too bright” bias. And it’s a problem that’s quietly slipping away.

“Clouds are not as bright as they used to be, and they’re getting more of them,” Klein said.

Indeed, his work has hopeful news for modelers: They’re getting better.

“This is clear evidence that work into clouds has gotten better over time,” he said. They still don’t agree on all the feedbacks, but it’s progress. “Even if we’re not fully reducing the uncertainty, we’re certainly making the clouds we have today better.”

At this point, Klein can only speculate why they’ve improved. He doesn’t write the code. He only tests it. Maybe it’s a better representation of the clouds’ microphysics, the fine-scale process of how vapor becomes a cloud, and back again. The models have also refined their vertical resolution — perhaps fewer clouds are rendered 500 meters thick, when they’re really only 100 meters tall. And it could be they’ve better represented how to get at the uncertainty inherent in grids often half covered by clouds.

Despite these improvements, and the vast political pressure created by the U.N. reports to increase their accuracy every five years, the models, including those tested by Klein, have far to go. They don’t even reflect much current science, Teixeira said.

“While we know much more than we did, we haven’t been able to implement that into models in a way that’s satisfactory,” he said. “That’s as much an engineering problem.”

Teixeira talked with his peers about the problem at a recent workshop, and there were no obvious solutions. Around the world, there are maybe 150 people working on serious climate modeling, to be generous, with 20 or 30 of those doing cloud work. Teixeira compares that with one of JPL’s other projects, the most recent Mars rover, which took hundreds of engineers to create, none of whom was under pressure to publish or perish.

“One of the most important things we learned from doing this work,” he said, “is that I think we understand the reasons there’s a lot of uncertainty. … Basically, there are processes that work both ways — ones increasing clouds and ones decreasing clouds.”

For instance, in a warmer climate, the middle and upper atmosphere heat more than the surface. That will strengthen the “lid” on marine clouds, making mixing harder and increasing cloud cover. On the other hand, increased CO2, even before it warms the surface, will trap more heat in the clouds, weakening the process that drives their formation. Any battle like that makes it difficult for models to get it right, though notably all the simulations agreed that there would be no negative feedback.

JC comments:  I’ve excerpted a small fraction of these lengthy articles, they are both well worth reading in their entirety.  Voosen has done an exceptional job on these two articles, and he provides some genuine insights into the problem.

At the time of the FAR (1990), clouds were identified as the greatest uncertainty.  In subsequent years, attention focused on aerosols and how they influenced clouds, with the aerosol indirect effect being hypothesized to have a strong cooling effect (partially canceling out the anthropogenic greenhouse effect). Over the last few years (e.g. Feingold and Stephens), it is becoming increasingly apparent that the aerosol indirect effect is significantly smaller than previously hypothesized (and represented in climate models).

This finding has important implications both for AGW and also cloud research.  Without a large aerosol indirect effect to counter the the anthropogenic greenhouse effect, the climate model sensitivity to CO2 seems too large.  With respect to cloud research, the attention needs to move away from the more tractable problem of cloud-aerosol microphysical interactions to the cloud-turbulence-dynamics interaction, which is an extremely difficult problem.  And I think it is naive to believe that this problem can be solved by more computing power.

683 responses to “Clouds and MAGIC

  1. “And I think it is naive to believe that this problem can be solved by more computing power.” This is not always true but is usually the case in terms of complex problems. In this case the premise of more data leading to resolution sounds like “if only we had more data we could predict…” Really? Do the current models give any reason at all to support the idea that processing more data faster means that the algorithms driving the models will suddenly align themselves sufficiently to support back testing?

  2. Tell me again why AR5 is being written, and all those people are in Doha. I need a laugh.

  3. Chief Hydrologist

    ‘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 do this, nor have we proven that the desired functions exist’. Thirty years later, this problem remains unsolved, and may possibly be unsolvable.’ S&P2011

  4. Chief Hydrologist

    Simple theory is almost certain to be wrong for such a complex spatio-temporally distributed problem.

    More and better observation is the only way to approach the problem.

    http://s1114.photobucket.com/albums/k538/Chief_Hydrologist/?action=view&current=CERES_MODIS-1.gif

    • David Springer

      Chief Hydrologist | November 28, 2012 at 8:32 pm | Reply

      “More and better observation is the only way to approach the problem.”

      I’m afraid I have to agree.

      Terrified actually.

    • Hydro –
      I don’t know if this comparison applies exactly, but as a mechanical design engineer (especially when I was in R&D) we always approached new problems/systems/functions as simply as we could. Simple is good – but only if it gets the job done. We would add complexity – one step at a time, in order to control what was known and could BE known – only when and where it turned out to be needed. The rest we kept as simple as spossible. In order to add that I personally viewed my work as ‘listening to the design tells me about what I could do and what I could not do.’ The more unified my thinking came to ‘getting inside the head of the machine/equipment/experient’ the more correct my modifications tended to be. I guess in that context, “correct” meant harmonious to the overall. This all may sound a little mumbo jumbo, but design time was normally precious, so we did need to tune as quickly as possible into what COULD be done, to get what would give us the target end results – results that HAD to be in the real world. Dead ends were to be avoided if at all possible, so ‘listening to what it would allow us to do’ was pragmatic, not mumbo jumbo. There were definitely times when we had to go collect data with targeted experiments, so we could be educated enough to move forward one step.

      In cloud modeling as a part of the global models, it seems the most obvious thing in the world to create properly constituted targeted experiments in order to be able to move forward one step. And then another step, until all the steps are known. It seems that in cloud modeling no one really wanted to do the grunt work in order to solidify each specific piece of the puzzle. Everyone, it seems, wanted to be generalists – all chiefs and no Indians. But that is magic wand science. They have to NAIL the details, to get to where – as you (and Lorenz) said above – all “relevant physical principles will be perfectly known.” Trying to take short cuts, how is that science? Oy vey.

      It is a two-fold problem – and neither is terribly connected to the other: Computers need to have the muscle, and all the relevant physical principles need to be identified (and quantified). The climate scientists – NOT the modelers – are the ones who should be working on the latter. The modelers should only be having to receive the principles – in formulas/equations – from the climate dudes. And the modelers should be screaming to high heaven that the problem is put on their shoulders. It is too big a problem for modelers and experimental guys to be one and the same persons. The modelers should be demanding better principles to work with. I’ve heard it so many times before about the models – GIGO – but it is true. To prevent the input from being garbage, that is totally the job of the climate scientist side of the aisle, not the modelers. If they are one and the same, it is the exact wrong approach. People far from the Crays should be nailing the details instead of asking the modelers to work with insufficient science. And that means the non-modelers need to identify and SOLVE those ‘relevant physical principles.’ ONE BY ONE. If they are approaching it in any other way, they are stroking all of us, spinning their wheels and those of the policy makers, and doing really bad science.

      I don’t care how intractably huge the problem is – if they refuse to tackle the details that make up the gestalt, they are completely illogical and off base – and possibly going down one or more dead ends. I don’t know one scientist I’ve worked with who would do things that way. Actually, I DO know one – and he had us spinning our wheels for two years – until they gave the problem to someone else , who tackled the specifics, collected the proper data which soon told us where the solution was, and got us going again. Two scientists, same problem, two different approaches, and far different results. In the real world. Engineers don’t have much patience with researchers who don’t nail things down in the real world as soon as possible.

      • “I don’t care how intractably huge the problem is – if they refuse to tackle the details that make up the gestalt, they are completely illogical and off base”
        feet2thefire,They only refuse to tackle the details and relied on computers to do miracles. It has become a huge problem, actually an evil genie out of the bottle.

  5. Actually Doc, I was just mentioning clouds, aerosols and solar absorption issues to another denizen.

    This is paywalled to me, but the approach sounded interesting.

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2011/2010jd015071.shtml

    Perhaps you could add a tidbit?

  6. Sounds like more guesswork and science combined. Perhaps we should get away from computer models and get back to basic science. To warm the planet 2 degrees must mean warming the oceans 2 degrees. This would require an impossibly large amount of heat taking 2000 years of global warming at present rates. We have only about 100 years of fossil fuel left.
    End of story and end of guesswork.

    • We know it would take a long time to warm the earth ocean, if the only factor was the energy from sunlight.
      And we know the Earth’s oceans have been much warmer today oceans and warmer than if these ocean were 2 C warmer.
      So the factor of energy needed to warm the ocean significant, allows us to toss out the idea of extreme increases of global warming within a century of time. And by extreme, I mean anything over, say 2 or 3 C increase. And such things as 5 C increase are farcical.
      The ocean should, at least, provide someone with this lesson.

      • gbaikie | November 28, 2012 at 9:09 pm said: ” So the factor of energy needed to warm the ocean significant, allows us to toss out the idea of extreme increases of global warming within a century of time. And by extreme, I mean anything over, say 2 or 3 C increase. And such things as 5 C”

        What a political ”back-door” crap!!! oceans are NOT saving the planet from any phony GLOBAL warmings!!!! Oceans are only shock absorbers; they make cooler days / warmer nights. NOTHING MORE!!! Without oceans – days would be much warmer / nights much cooler = OVERALL same temperature!!! That’s why: collecting ONLY the temp for the ”hottest minute” in 24h, is mother of all con! If you take the temp for every minute in 24h, combined on same latitude; would be same in the extreme hot desert – and in rainforest, or pacific island. grow up!!!

        Where is water = upper atmosphere is warmer / on the ground cooler /// in desert, on the ground hotter days – but cooler upper atmosphere. Nobody takes that in consideration / for the Organized Crime – upper atmosphere doesn’t belong to this planet == is same as: calculating the number of people killed ONLY on the second floor in the Trade Center, by the other maniacs; and ignoring the victims on all other floors…?!?!?!

        As soon as part / parts of ocean / oceans get warmer, FOR ANY REASON > evaporation increases /evaporation is ”cooling process”
        b] higher evaporation = more clouds / clouds reflect lots of sunlight = less comes to the ground == clouds intercept some sunlight; where cooling is much more efficient = less heat on the ground === clouds bring rain from high up, to cool land and the sea!!! gbaikie, GLOBAL warming is complete crap – becoming ”semi-honest” is = smaller criminal. Cut the crap!!! Don’t create a ”backdoor exit” Seating on the truth / constipating – it will stink much more… after!!!

    • “Perhaps we should get away from computer models and get back to basic science. To warm the planet 2 degrees must mean warming the oceans 2 degrees. This would require an impossibly large amount of heat taking 2000 years of global warming at present rates. We have only about 100 years of fossil fuel left. End of story and end of guesswork.”

      Really you think that BS you just spouted is basic science? it’s not even guesswork, it’s just lazy ass denial.

      • So the planet can be 2C warmer without the oceans being warmer by 2C?

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Please define “planet”. Lower troposphere seems to be what some prefer to use. The largest solar energy reservoir on earth is the ocean. Do we include this in the overall definition? If so, based on total energy storage, the planet has been warming continuously for 50+ years.

      • “Please define “planet”. Lower troposphere seems to be what some prefer to use. ”

        Yes, about 5 feet above the surface in the shade. The surface of the land and the ocean.
        Of course this also has a relationship to the skin surface not in the shade.

        “The largest solar energy reservoir on earth is the ocean. Do we include this in the overall definition? If so, based on total energy storage, the planet has been warming continuously for 50+ years.”

        Perhaps 150+ years.
        And probably continue for another 1000+ years [hopefully].
        But it’s not likely the average temperature of the skin or air of the ocean
        will increase it’s temperature by much [because deeper water warming- or for any other reasons.].
        Even if deep ocean were to warm at what one might call a “alarming rate”, this “alarming rate” can not be very significant over such short periods as century. Nor even when after centuries of time and you someone got say 1 C increase in the deeper ocean, would it have much affect upon surface ocean temperatures. Though it could have effects in terms sea level rise, other possible effects.

        Unless we land in something like a Little Ice Age, we should not expect deeper oceans to cool [and even in these conditions they may not cool], nor should expect the ocean to remain at an exactly constant temperature.
        Though during the long a cold glacial periods, it seems more probable that the total ocean will cool, though I would think that even during glacial periods, one could get warming- possible even warming higher than today’s temperature [it could be possible it's part of what gets us out of glacial period].

        It seems people tend to worry about the impossible. And the irrelevant- like Antarctic warming and deep ocean warming, which can not be a problem within 1000 years- even if AGW was correct. Though some unexpected and big volcanic activity could affect either of them, and in short time period.
        I guess it’s not any fun worrying about real possibilities.

    • How would the deep ocean warm when the down-welling water at the poles is regulated to 4C by physics.(maximum density)

  7. more, not less, uncertainty is expected in the next U.N. report, presenting a serious public-image problem for scientists.

    A more honest acknowledgement of uncertainty in AR5 could actually go a long way to improving the public’s perception of scientists. But does the crew of the good ship climatology have the sense to stick a hockey-stick-shaped rudder up its backside, and steer itself away from the junk science iceberg.

    • I was going to make a similar remark, but with a slightly different choice of words.

      Also, Chris Bretherton’s words: “We’re taking what was before uncertainty that lay outside of the models, and putting it into the models.”
      It’s quite refreshing to read such candour. Some years ago when I worked in one of the neighbouring buildings, I often walked past a banner emphatically proclaiming: “The Coast is Toast.”

  8. Any insights into changes in cloud formation as pole amplification occurs? Anyone?

  9. I have provided a once over lightly on clouds as the second of two fundamental problems with present GCMs and equilibrium climate sensitivity in my new book, The Arts of Truth, other sections previewed here previously courtesy of our kind hostess. Consistent with the longer and more complex detailed articles. And inconsistent with some of what AR4 dished out as consensus truth.

  10. If one looks at cloud effects as a theoretical microscopic problem, it is so complex as to be nearly intractable. If, on the other hand, one concentrates upon the measured macroscopic effect in situ, it becomes readily evident that the inevitably reduced insolation under cloudy skies leads to lower surface temperatures. Alas, realistic experimental methods have not garnered anywhere near the attention or funding that have been showered upon modeling studies. The academic boondoggle thus rolls on and on and….

    • You have hit upon the real question: Global Warming or Western Fraud?

      Posted on 2012/11/28

      Is humanity destroying Earth? Is a tinfoil hat Leftists’ modern version of Noah’s ark?

    • While I don’t agree with the word “boondoggle’ (I think that though misdirected, the scientist involved are honest in their intent), I like what you say about “realistic experimental [empirical] methods” of inquiry.

      It has not been necessary to nail an underlying understanding of neither gravity nor electricity in order for us to utlilize either of them. We know no more now about what causes masses to attract at a distance than when Newton proposed his Laws. Scientists in the 1950s through 1970s tried to identify how electrons moving from one molecule to another could manifest as electromotive force, which is the basis of the electrical motor, for one. They never did figure it out.

      Still, here we are today, using gravity to walk, to drive to work, to keep from flying off into space. And we use motors everywhere, by the millions or billions. The macro world does not need to stop, just because we don’t know why gravity and electricity make our world the way it is. We just USE them.

      So doing basic field studies to nail down the macroscopic effects is not a bad idea at all. With those in hand, it is very likely we will be ahead of the game. But I believe the physicists in all of this would balk at anyone doing an end around on them. But their approach isn’t working, so someone needs to say let’s get out of this dead end.

      Steve Garcia

  11. THIS DEFINITION IS APPROPRIATE, FOR COLLECTING ”ONLY” THE HOTTEST MINUTE IN 24h:::

    ”Someone once likened this to someone completely unfamiliar with the rules of soccer getting snapshots twice a game,” Feingold said. “And after the fact trying to figure out what the rules of the game are.”

    #1: nothing is difficult about understanding the clouds!

    a] clouds reflect some of the sunlight – never to come to the ground = cooler on the ground during the day. b] clouds intercept some of the sunlight / to keep warm – where COOLING IS MUCH MORE EFFICIENT.
    b] clouds intercept the ”secondary” reflection from the sea-surface = to keep up, until they get over land. Over the land is not mirror effect reflection, as from the seawater = clouds get lower and drop the rain. (apart of sunlight reflection + dry heat from deserts keeps them away)

    #2: CO2 increases condensation = rainmaker!!! Rain /. water is made to wash things from the air – the more CO2 -> the more is washed down.

    #3: aerosols are used as a ”smokescreen” to confuse the ignorant and nothing more, full stop!

    #4: when the seawater temp increases; for any reason -> evaporation increases / evaporation is cooling process === more evaporation = more clouds, clouds are ”the sun-umbrellas” for the sea and land = cooler on the ground during the day!

    #5: then at night; because of smaller proportion in difference in temp between upper atmosphere and the ground -> slows cooling = warmer nights / cooler days – same effect from CO2 / dirty cloud + water cloud = milder climate = the best for growing bigger / denser trees. Warmist & Fakes are against CO2& water vapor. One oak-tree has more knowledge about the climate, than all the government ”climatologist ” + Warmist & Fakes. ”Researches” are for cash; not for the truth!!!

    Bottom line: in Brazil are cooler days / warmer nights than in Sahara – on same latitude if the temp is collected from both places; FOR ALL 1440 minutes = would show same temperature!!! Therefor: monitoring ONLY for the hottest minute in 24h, is the mother of all con!!!

    The truth is in my book – published / copyrighted January 2010. Here is some evidences about their misleading regarding water vapor::

    http://globalwarmingdenier.wordpress.com/2012/07/20/water-vapor/

    Disregarding the real proofs; but saying: ”we don’t know” my ELEPHANT in the room will crap on all of you! Paul Voosen!!!!

  12. And still no mention of cosmic ray interaction with cloud formation.

    • True. It seems that climate science has been segmented to the extent that few people seem aware of what has been happening in all areas of research. Our Judith is one of these people.

      • Peter Davies | November 28, 2012 at 9:50 pm said: ”It seems that climate science has been segmented to the extent that few people seem aware of what has been happening in all areas of research. Our Judith is one of these people”

        Peter, Peter, why don’t you go and find something very heavy, and drop on your foot, to heart yourself?!!!!!!.

      • Stefan your advice is noted but I don’t think that my heart is in any need of this type of stimulus! Your point?

    • The physics are incomplete.
      to simulate it you need actual equations, not arm waving.
      You are welcomed to try.
      go get cosmic ray data. it exists. write the equations governing cloud formation. test the model.collect your nobel. easy peasy.
      gunna be hard since you cant even find clouds effects in the data that are even roughly correlated to cosmic ray counts.

      and spare me the citations to the usual incomplete treatments.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        Steven Mosher: The physics are incomplete.

        I am glad to read that from you. I have written the same over and over in response to you and others. Possibly you mean only the physics of cosmic rays and cloud interactions. But all of the physics relevant to CO2 effects on weather and climate are incomplete.

      • Steven Mosher: The physics are incomplete.

        I am glad to read that from you. I have written the same over and over in response to you and others. Possibly you mean only the physics of cosmic rays and cloud interactions. But all of the physics relevant to CO2 effects on weather and climate are incomplete.

        ——–

        It is worse than we thought –
        1) they are applying rules derived from simple, homogenous static systems to a complex, heterogeneous, dynamic system;
        2) they are using a derivative of finite element analysis without following basic engineering principles to eliminate numeric noise;
        3) they are using logical fallacies to support their folly (circular logic, argument from ignorance, ad hom attacks on those who question them).

        Any one of these would (should) be enough to cause the questioning of their results or methods at the very least, but instead we see a house of cards built with this as it’s base, and assumption and guesswork are piled on top. Then they don’t just move the goal posts, they remove one set completely in an attempt to prevent the other side scoring.

        Is anyone surprised that those who look more closely are more likely to shift to the skeptic side than the believer side?

  13. “Which is why, much to their consternation, next year’s report will not reduce the uncertainty in any tangible way.

    And yet according to the IPCC’s last report, there’s not much uncertainty to reduce. It’s a puzzlement.. A real puzzlement.

  14. I am no expert at all on the subject of clouds. But I think Henrik Svensmark, and the CLOUD experiment have raised a fundamental problem. I am not sure where I read it, but the question is :-
    Do clouds drive climate, or does climate drive clouds?

    It seems to me that until this fundamental question has been answered, then everything else that has been written makes very little sense at all.

    • Clouds are physical entities. Climate is an abstraction. Cloudy reasoning confuses the ontological status of each.

      • +1

      • So the warmers are predicting an abstraction to be dangerous? No wonder there is so much confusion.

      • John S,, you write “Clouds are physical entities. Climate is an abstraction. Cloudy reasoning confuses the ontological status of each.”

        Once again this seems to be a weasel worded way of trying to avoid of what I consider to be a perfectly reasonable question. So let me rephrase the qustion..

        Do clouds drive the rate of change of global temperatures, or does the rate of change of global temperatures drive clouds?

        I must say, I agree wholeheartedly with Martin C. Once again our hostess has chosen two papers which seem to deliberated ignore any possible extraterrestrial effects on clouds. I appreciate that Judith has produced by far the most neutral blog on earth for a scientific discussion of CAGW. But as long as she so clearly believes in the hypothesis of CAGW, and seems to deliberately bias any discussion of this and other subjects, it is difficult to get any enthusiasm for entering into the discourse. I do wish that, just for once, our hostess would introduce a subject in a truly unbiased way. However, I know that is almost certainly impossible.

      • David Springer

        John S. | November 28, 2012 at 10:20 pm | Reply

        “Clouds are physical entities. Climate is an abstraction. Cloudy reasoning confuses the ontological status of each.”

        John S. is an abstraction. He confuses himself.

      • Jim Cripwell:

        I’m not aiming to weasel away your original question, but to sharpen its thrust.

        To answer you rephrased question very succinctly, cloud albedo is central to the determination of the fraction of TSI that gets thermalized; temperature at the dew-point level in the atmosphere is simply a highly variable parameter, important as it may be. Since thermalized insolation is what drives the surface temperature, cloud albedo almost invariably trumps paremetric effects. I say this on the basis not of conjectural theory, but from decades of field measurement experience throughout the globe.

    • Nominally, it’s the sun, stupid. Why are the oceans cooling?

      ■1410-1500 cold – Low Solar Activity (LSA) – i.e., Sporer minimum
      ■1510-1600 warm – High Solar Activity (HSA)
      ■1610-1700 cold – (LSA) – i.e., Maunder minimum
      ■1710-1800 warm – (HSA)
      ■1810-1900 cold – (LSA) i.e., Dalton minimum
      ■1910-2000 warm – (HSA)
      ■2010+ Possibly 3-7 decades of global cooling

      • David Springer

        How can the oceans be cooling and rising at the same time?

      • See the sea level rise? You can always count on the Left to manufacture more scary things to be worried about in their monomaniacal quest to destroy jobs even if it’s just a repeat of an old scare and even if, like the ‘hockey shtick,’ it has been debunked—e.g.,

        {Excerpt}

        • Population Bomb; starvation/crowding (1950s and 1960s)
        • Run out of Oil; (1950 to present)
        • Silent Spring; DDT (1960s 70s)
        • Global Nuclear War (1950s thru 1980s)
        • Global cooling; Ice Age/starvation (1895 to 1930 and 1956 to 1976)
        • Hole in the Ozone layer; CFC‐cause? (1980s)
        • Acid Rain (1980s)
        • Nuclear Winter; nuke‐caused ice Age (1980s 1990s)
        • Y2K; power/communication meltdown (1999)
        • Global Warming; earth burns & seas rise (1929 to 1969 and 1983 to 2003)
        • Climate Change; any change is catastrophic (2003 to present)…

        Lately I have noticed that the big coverage and big focus seems to be only on those scares that can be blamed on us Humans…

        ~Bob Carter

      • Ooops…

        ~ Bob Carter Burt Rutan

      • David, It seems there would likely be a lag of a few years and I believe I have seen that recently the rate of rising either slowed or reversed.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Waggy asked (once more):

        “Why are the oceans cooling?”
        ______
        But of course, once more we need to point out the fact that they are not cooling but are warming, adding somewhere between 0.5. and 1.0 x 10^22 Joules of energy per year over the past 50 years.

        Why does Waggy persist in asking this question? Perhaps because warming ocean destroy his whole paradigm?

      • …once more, is a tinfoil hat Leftists’ modern version of Noah’s ark?

      • David Springer

        Daniel Suggs | November 29, 2012 at 4:20 pm |

        “David, It seems there would likely be a lag of a few years and I believe I have seen that recently the rate of rising either slowed or reversed.”

        If I heat a body of water I won’t observe any expansion for a number of years later?

        How exactly does this imaginary delay in the expansion process seem to work?

    • Your question is inadequate and confuses the issue. Climate is an overall complex system. In any system – complex or not – parts are both causes of some things and effects of others. Clouds are one of the parts. Climate is the whole system. Clouds are affected by some parts and are causes of effects on other parts. No part is THE driver. And that includes clouds.

      Steve Garcia

      • David Springer
        on November 29, 2012 at 2:19 pm
        “How can the oceans be cooling and rising at the same time?”

        Why is rising seas in an interglacial period so hard for the CAGW proponents to grasp? This is a symptom of the same logical error that says solar activity has to be rising for the earth to warm. When in both cases it is a matter of the input not reaching equilibrium yet. The Earth has not yet reach interglacial ice melt equilibrium. So while the earth and ocean may be cooling, they are still warmer than the temperature needed to maintain glacial ice melting since the last ice age. The seas have been rising for 15,000 years and will continue to rise (with natural variation)
        until the Earths temperature dips below equilibrium and into another 100,000 years of ice formation.

  15. Dr. Curry,
    It’s been quite a while since I posted a comment, but with these papers discussing clouds, where is the discussion about the cosmic ray issue (ref the CERN experiments), and the possible effect to clouds? Coupled with the ‘low’ solar cycle we appear to be in?
    What might be the impact on clouds? Well, maybe it’s just a few per cent change in clouds , and that may not be that much . . .

    . .but, . . .

    I recall ( I think a comment by Dr. Spencer . .), that a small reduction in global clouds by a couple of percent could account for the global warming seen in the past 50 years. Let alone any other issues about the PDO, AMO, and other ‘ocean oscillations’ ( . .reference to El Nino and La Nina . . ).

    Seems to me that there is still so much to learn and understand about clouds, and effects to the sunlight reaching the surface of the earth, to atmosphere, and to climate in general, even with climate models ( . . or perhaps it might be better to say, ‘weather models’ . . .) of today, that to be ‘predicting’ or ‘projecting’ expected temperature increases over the next 10, 20, or 50 years even with the CO2 increases seems quite honestly just plain absurd.

  16. The role of clouds would be more readily understood now — and might have been understood years ago — if the reseach started from an acknowledgment of the fact there has essentially been no global warming to speak of for decades and that MBH 98/99/08 (the ‘hockey stick’ graph) is a fraud.

  17. For example…

    Let us clarify the issue from a historical perspective. In 1998 and 1999 Mann et al. [6] published the first reconstruction of global temperature over the last 1000 years. This paleoclimatic temperature reconstruction is known as the Hockey Stick (Figure 5). This graph suggests that before 1900 the temperature of the planet was almost constant and since 1900 an abnormal warming has occurred. From the Medieval Warm Period (1000-1300) and the Little Ice Age (1500-1750) this reconstruction predicts a cooling of less than 0.2 oC. This graph surprised many, including historians and geologists who have consistently argued that the early centuries of the millennium were quite warm (the Medieval Warm Period) while the period from 1500 to 1800 was quite cold (the Little Ice Age).6 ~Nicola Scafetta

    • How would recognizing the MWP and LIA help cloud research?

      • How would acknowledging instead of hiding historical facts help? When honor and integrity can no longer be taken as foundational research is meaningless. The scientific method depends on honesty. Politics is different. There is no honesty in politics and that is why the politicization of science is the death of science. When it comes to global warming we might as well be living in Russia at a time befor the wall came down. Schoolteachers stabbed America for money and because they are driven by self-defeating liberalism and Leftist ideology–AGW alarmism is simply a symptom of that and is representative of nothing more than a culture war over socialism versus individual liberty.

      • David Springer

        David Wojick | November 29, 2012 at 6:22 am | Reply

        “How would recognizing the MWP and LIA help cloud research?”

        Because, given the usual suspects have any shame, they would die of embarrassment and climtology would thus be refreshed. Sort of like what wiping the disk and reinstalling the O/S does on a computer.

  18.  
    Yes, clouds will form “humps” in the atmospheric temperature plot due to release of latent heat and some additional back radiation.

    But energy also enters the atmosphere by a variety of other processes illustrated here. Latent heat plays a significant role, but not a dominating one. In fact much of the energy originally in the oceans returns there in precipitation. Rain can be nearly as warm as the ocean just before it strikes it.

    The natural process which established the adiabatic lapse rate based on gravity continues to act by smoothing out the irregularities which arise from the somewhat random depositing of energy at various levels by all these processes. I am saying that this must happen by gravity acting on individual molecules dragging then downwards, whilst pressure offsets this with an upward push. At equilibrium there is a temperature gradient, even in a closed cylinder of air in a laboratory.

    This can be the only possible explanation for the observed temperatures in the Venus atmosphere, where less than 3 W/m^2 appears at the surface from both above and below it, yet it is 500 degrees hotter than the expected radiating temperature.

    • David Springer

      \mathbb{MISINFORMED}
      \mathbb{BIG}
      \mathbb{TIME]

      • David Springer

        \mathbb{TIME}

        \mathbb{HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAH}

      •  

        The 2nd Law relates to entropy. When a molecule moves between collisions entropy cannot decrease. Likewise when two molecules collide, entropy cannot decrease. Furthermore, without the addition of external energy, entropy cannot increase either. So, in a perfectly insulated tall sealed cylinder of air, when equilibrium is reached, entropy in every small region is the same. This is achieved by diffusion.

        Hence PE + KE = constant for every region.

        Hence KE is greater at the bottom and less at the top.

        Hence there is a temperature gradient.

        Hence the surface gets warmed because of this gradient and no other “reason” (like back radiation) is applicable.

        QED
          

        Loschmidt was right and Maxwell and Boltzmann were wrong.

         
        So the greenhouse is shattered./b>

         
         

      • David Springer

        I believe Loschmidt was correct and Graeff has provided experimental confirmation. However the Loschmidt Gravito-Thermal Effect would not raise the surface temperature higher than it would be without the effect. It merely lowers the temperature at altitude below what it would be without the effect by the substitution of gravitational potential energy for kinetic energy as altitude increases. The temperature at the base of the column where there is no gravitational potential energy is not influenced by the Loschmidt effect. Got it? Write that down.

      • The Loschmidt theory has a couple of unpleasant features.

        Most seriously it leads to contradiction with the Second Law.

        It contradicts also the equipartition theorem.

        It contradicts also kinetic theory of weakly interacting ideal gas. This is almost as serious as all the intuition that has led many people to believe in Loschmidt is based on technically erroneous interpretation of the kinetic theory of weakly interacting ideal gas. The technical error is related to disregarding the significance of vertical kinetic energy of each particle in determining the likelihood that it’s going up or down.

        Agreeing with Loschmidt implies denying essential parts of the present understanding of physics. It’s a step to the direction of dragon slayers.

  19. Judith, thank you for bringing attention to these interesting articles.

  20. Water Vapor accounts for 95% of all greenhouse gases. CO2 accounts for just 3.5% of greenhouse gases and all of that is mostly natural…

  21. The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

    For perspective, the uncertainty about the effects of clouds and about climate sensitivity in general must be put into context. This isn’t a question of whether or not increasing GHG’s are altering Earth’s energy balance. It is a matter of what the degree will be, and our gaining a better knowledge of clouds will hopefully help narrow that down. To quote Stephen Schwartz about the sensitivity issue from the first Paul Voosen article JC linked to:

    “If it’s at the low end, the consequences will be serious,” Schwartz said. “If it’s medium, they will be severe. If it’s at a high end, they will be catastrophic. And I can say that with a lot of confidence.”

    • Held puts the uncertainty in perspective, interesting approach

      http://www.newton.ac.uk/programmes/CLP/seminars/120916101.html

      • I found Held’s presentation extremely idealistic. Whether or not it’s theoretically feasible (which I doubt as many of his assumptions are the basis for skeptic arguments) it’s politically unfeasible. How are you going to get the economies of the world to agree to a drop in production and carry through with your conservation goals? Single governing body with central economic planning? Then you are dependent on successfully deploying renewables on a large scale and actually being successful in doing so. So far renewables don’t have the best track record.

      • Looks like you didnt watch it or missed the main points.

        Let’s ask you a quiz question.

        According to Held we can put a value on information about climate sensitivity.

        1. What figure did he quote
        2. What scientific field did he think was under funded

      • 2-4.5 or 5c per doubling of C02, paleo.
        Now for some quiz questions for you:
        1) How do you plan on getting China, India, and the US to buy into this mitigation scheme? How will you enforce the global policy?
        2) How will you continue to pursue the goals of conservation and energy type distribution if the climate differs greatly from this model? EI the observed temp stays put or decreases.
        3) How do you justify the estimated 2% global GDP cost of mitigation when this model is based on assumptions such as climate tipping points, positive feedback in response to global temperature changes, and that temperature can be controlled by regulating CO2?

      • Steve

        Do you acknowledge that Held’s estimated range of sensitivity:
        a) Is huge to the point of being nearly without value and
        b) may well be inaccurate in that it could easily be lower than 2 C for a doubling

      • Eric.

        You got the first question wrong.
        What value did he put on sensitivity information.

        Next question.

        Does held say anything about limiting production.
        How does an economist measure welfare according to held.

        Currently, your grade is a C.

      • Steve: Held has important contradictions in his data. First, he asserts that to remain within the putative 2°C temperature rise by 2100, he requires that CO2 remain at 450 ppm in 2100. He achieves this with a downward ramp of carbon emissions starting in 2010 at 8 Gt/yr and ending at 1 Gt/yr in 2100. Then, he proposes a scenario whereby energy consumption in the world is provided by various sources in the 21st century. There are several problems with this. One is that if one considers only the period 2010-2050, the sum of biomass, gas, oil and coal actually rises from 2010 to 2020, and then very slowly decreases from 1920 to 1950. The sum in 1950 is not much different than the value in 2010. Hence, Held’s scenario corresponds to a relatively flat rate of carbon emission at 8 Gt/yr from 1910 to 1950. This is quite different from the fast ramp proposed to keep CO2 at or below 450 ppm. Furthermore, according to Held, the sum of coal, oil, gas and biomass in 2100 is about half of the sum in 2010. But the Held’s fast ramp shows carbon emissions in 2100 to be about 1/8 of the value in 2010. Hence, there is no way that Held’s scenario for energy sources is compatible with his own fast downward ramp of carbon emissions. It is also indicated that nuclear power will greatly expand as the century wears on. Whether this can be achieved safely remains to be seen. Finally, there is great emphasis on carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) later in the century. Whether this technology is technically feasible and affordable, remains to be seen. It seems likely that the cost of energy will go up significantly as these changes are implemented, which will impact the world economy, although it will also encourage technology development for energy efficiency.
        THE FACT IS THAT THERE IS NO WAY TO SUPPLY THE WORLD WITH ENERGY AND KEEP CO2 AT 450 PPM IN 2100.

      • I watched Held’s presentation but did not find it nearly as interesting as you. How is it valuable when the NET value of the harms vs. benefits of it being warmer are completely unknown?

      • Steve,
        If you can’t answer my questions then there is no point in discussing the details of this global CO2 regulation scheme. Bottom line, even if you could control temps by regulating CO2 you would never pull this off politically and there would be no way to force compliance with a “climate treaty”.

      • David Springer

        Eric H. | November 29, 2012 at 9:50 am |

        “1) How do you plan on getting China, India, and the US to buy into this mitigation scheme? How will you enforce the global policy?”

        Like this:

        http://www.biofuelsdigest.com/bdigest/2012/10/31/sg-biofuels-expands-jatropha-platform-confirms-99-per-barrel-crude-jatropha-oil/

        We are very near the breakthrough point on an infant technology – synthetic biology – that will do more for productivity increases in manufacturing (including manufacture of synthetic fuels from sunlight, CO2, and water) than anything that has come before it.

        We’re talking a few decades at most. Faster than you could design, test, commission, and construct a single next generation nuclear power plant.

        You don’t need to coerce someone to use biodiesel if it’s cheaper than what can be taken out of the ground. Same goes for any other fuel. Using synthetic organisms designed for the task of producing biofuel will ultimately be the cheapest way to power our civilization.

        Thanks for asking.

      • Rob.
        you miss the point.
        point 1 sensivity matters contra what some alarmists claim.
        point 2 we can estimate the value of that information.
        point 3 paleo is more important than we realize.

        forget everything else held says.

      • @David Springer | November 29, 2012 at 2:54 pm |

        We are very near the breakthrough point on an infant technology – synthetic biology – that will do more for productivity increases in manufacturing (including manufacture of synthetic fuels from sunlight, CO2, and water) than anything that has come before it.

        We’re talking a few decades at most.

        I am old enough to have heard that said about solar energy back in the 1970s. We are still waiting, and solar is what? 1/4% of energy available on the grid? “Very near a breakthrough” is simply not true – not till it actually happens.

        And don’t even mention wind. 30 years from now all those windmill monstrosities will be history. At least China will buy the metal at scrap prices.

        I’ve seen articles about that synthetic fuels from sunlight, and I am not holding my breath. Are you willing to? It is laboratory curiosities until it proves it is not. Hope is a nice quality, but the world’s energy needs can’t be based on hope.

        The only clean energy that is worth its salt is hydro.

        Steve Garcia

      • David Springer

        Steve Garcia

        I’ve never boarded any false bandwagons. Solar-thermal and PV both have a number of deal-breaker problems. Both need energy storage solutions and nothing in that regard holds much promise. Both are doable only from prime locations that are far removed from civilization neccessitating large investments in transmission lines to get from point of origin to point of use. Both only provide electricity where electrical generation isn’t a pressing problem. The pressing problem is liquid fuels. You can’t fill up your gas tank with electricity. Wind power has most of the same problems.

        Fission reactors don’t solve the liquid fuel problem and after 50 years of use and refinement are still not cost competitive with coal or natural gas. No next generation reactors solve enough of the problems to change the equation and it requires decades to get a new design built and adding energy to the grid.

        Fusion power is of academic interest. There are no materials capable of cost-effectively containing the fusion reaction for commercial energy production even if break-even is acheived.

        What people don’t stop to think about often enough is that there are trillions upon trillions of dollars in infrastructure built around the production, distribution, and consumption of liquid hydrocarbon fuels. Electricity, even if it were free, still has vast obstacles in the way of being able to replace fossil fuels.

        Any scheme to replace fossil fuels with any practical chance of success must be a drop-in replacement that can still be distributed by tanker trucks and dispensed from underground holding tanks into the fuel tanks of internal combustion engines. Get used to that idea and don’t waste my time or yours talking about anything else.

      • Rob
        I watched Held’s presentation but did not find it nearly as interesting as you. How is it valuable when the NET value of the harms vs. benefits of it being warmer are completely unknown?

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

        Then you DIDNT watch or listen very carefully. its not a cost benefit analysis. That is explained right up at the start. The approach is used to AVOID the kind of uncertainty in that question.

        Its starts rather from the concept of boundary crossing and uncertainty.

        If you cant get the simplest idea from the start of a presentation, then you flunk

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Th limits of uncertainty have expanded considerably even without without this area of epistemic uncertainty.

      The models require systematic exploration of purpose designed model families to explore the limits of irreducible imprecision and provide probabilistic forecasts. Climate itself is chaotic and may surprise at both ends of the cooling or warming spectrum. Sensitivity is variable and may be negative or positive.

      But it is not warming for a decade or thre more – we are in cool mode. Hanging onto obvious nonsense of portentous predictions – serious, severe or catastrophic – does less than nothing for the prospects of mitigation any time soon. It demands nothing less than reframing of the entire debate – and I doubt that the space cadets are capable of it.

  22.  
    R. Gates says assertively without evidence: This isn’t a question of whether or not increasing GHG’s are altering Earth’s energy balance. It is a matter of what the degree will be.

    So I say equally assertively but with reasonable evidence, the climate is not, never has been and never will be affected in any significant way by clouds, water vapour, water droplets, carbon dioxide or methane. Carbon dioxide on Venus, for example, has no effect on the surface temperature there. For my reasons see this comment above.
     

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Doug – I say it with no respect at all – but you have no data whatsoever merely speculations. I have no problem with speculation but when you start beleiving your own promotions it passes over into madness.

      I commend to you Newton’s 4th rule for natural philosophy.

      ‘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.’

      You have no evidence but a chain of deductive reasoning that you believe makes sense. Good luck with that – you have a hypothesis. But until you derive the result from observation and induction it is not science.

      • You’ll have the opportunity to read the evidence in a new paper soon.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Even then it may not be good science.

      • Well CH let’s hear your “good science” explaining the surface temperature of Venus. You’ve got the result – you just have to explain it computationally, better than Miatello did in Section 8 of this paper.

      • David Springer

        Actually Doug does have evidence. It’s called the Loschmidt Gravito-Thermal Effect and has a long history going back to the golden years of physics and an argument between Maxwell, Boltzmann, and Loschmidt. Loschmidt argued that a gas in gravitational confinement should exhibit a lapse rate due to gravity. Maxwell and Boltzmann dismissed it saying it would violate the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. But the second law is not based upon theory it’s based upon observation hence the continuing quest to this day to find a working incarnation of Maxwell’s Demon, even if only in principle. Gravity does a lot of weird chit. If it can dilate time (proven) then I don’t think it’s unreasonable to believe it can sort air molecules into a neatly ordered temperature gradient. The crux is that this doesn’t seem to me to violate 2LoT because the sorted molecules all still have equal amounts of energy it’s just partitioned differently between kinetic energy and gravitational potential energy. I believe the substitution of gravitatational potential energy Joule for Joule for kinetic energy with increasing altitude in gravitational confinement thwarts any attempt to construct a perpetuum mobile of the second kind with the effect.

        “Challenges to the Second Law”

        http://books.google.com/books?id=-nWyk7jH5_EC&pg=PA202&lpg=PA202

        The GTE is described as the most celebrated challenge to the second law in the above book written by a couple of physicists. They mention an experiment being conducted over many years by an engineer named Graff that shows positive results. Those results are Doug’s evidence. However Doug goes an extra step, a wrong step, by saying that the temperature at the bottom of the column exceeds that which is predicted by conventional mechanisms. There is no evidence of that by Graff. Cotton and his nutty cohorts say Venus, Earth, and IRRC some of the gas giants are the evidence. However Saturn’s moon Titan blows the thesis out of the water as it has a nitrogen atmosphere at 1.5 bar surface pressure and a surface temperature of -175C. According to Douggie’s nutty hypothesis Titan’s surface should be hotter than the floor of Death Valley in July but instead it makes the Antarctic interior look like the Bahamas in comparison.

        Lucy Skywalker visited Graeff (correct spelling) in Germany, toured his lab, and conducted an extensive interview with him. It makes for very interesting reading. The difficulty in isolating a column of gas from the environment sufficiently well to detect the GTE is described very well and goes a long way in explaining why experimental confirmation or falsification of Loschmidt’s hypothesis is still absent even after 160 years.

      • please dont feed the sky dragoons.
        they, re like pigeons. rats with wings.

      • David Springer

        So the only difference between Sky Dragons and Californians is the wings.

        Got it. I’ll write it down.

    • ” Doug Cotton | November 29, 2012 at 1:45 am | Reply

      R. Gates says assertively without evidence: This isn’t a question of whether or not increasing GHG’s are altering Earth’s energy balance. It is a matter of what the degree will be.

      So I say equally assertively but with reasonable evidence, the climate is not, never has been and never will be affected in any significant way by clouds, water vapour, water droplets, carbon dioxide or methane. Carbon dioxide on Venus, for example, has no effect on the surface temperature there. For my reasons see this comment above.”

      Unproven assertions are so much fun.
      I agree with Gates, and the degree of such effects are minor.
      And think clouds and water droplets have large affect in terms on moderating a planet’s average temperature.
      And think snow on the ground all year in Temperate zone has significant
      effect in terms global cooling.
      Water in general creates moderate conditions- basically preventing larger night time and/or winter time cooling- except that snow on the ground greatly effects summer time higher temperature:).

      I think the quantity of atmosphere has significant affect- and I will note the quantity of the atmosphere is another thing ignored in Greenhouse Effect Theory.
      So if Venus had 1/2 of it’s 92 atm of atmosphere, it would be significantly cooler average temperature at surface of Venus.
      So 46 atm Venus would have around the temperature, of current Venus at the elevation where now at that pressure. So instead being 737 K with 1/2 the pressure it be 150 to 200 K cooler [which is I would call significant- though still not conditions one want to live in]. Though I don’t think if you halved again: to 23 atm, one have as significant of a result- maybe 50 K difference.
      With Earth one could the opposite result- double the mass to 2 atm and it seems this would cool the planet- as less sunlight would reach Earth’s surface. But if increased amount atmosphere, one reduce the amount night time cooling- so less temperature differences. But skin surface temperature would be reduced. The ocean skin surface would have not much reduction, but land surface maybe 10-20 C cooler in terms of it’s reach it’s high temperature.
      Whereas 1/2 the atmosphere [7.35 psi] would significantly increase land surface skin temperature, so on land 10-20 C warmer, and maybe ocean skin temperature increasing by 5 C. So perhaps global average temperature increase of around 5 C [one would get cooler nites balancing to some degree the higher daytime temperatures].

      And the major effect upon Earth’s average temperature is dependent on the temperature of the surface skin temperature. And since Earth has 70% ocean, mostly ocean skin surface temperature.
      Which is obvious, but thought I would mention it. :)

    • David Springer

      A column of CO2 a few miles deep at 90 bar on Venus does the same thing that a column of rock a few miles deep does on the earth.

      If you dig down into the rocks on the earth it gets hotter and hotter as you go and after a few miles deep you’re at the surface temperature of Venus. The rocks you dug down through insulate the molten interior of the earth and the farther you dig the hotter it gets. The atmosphere of Venus is so dense and so good at insulating the surface it does the same thing that the first few miles of rock does on the earth.

      The surface temperature on Venus is due to geothermal lapse rate not atmospheric lapse rate.

      Got it? Write that down!

    • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

      Doug, if you think at atmosphere of only nitrogen and oxygen would have a similar climate to ours (assuming the total mass of the atmosphere was the same) you need serious tutoring in basic physics as well as failing to grasp the effects of the biosphere on climate.

      • David Springer

        CO2’s biological activity is a red herring in this context and if you weren’t so intelletually dishonest you wouldn’t have brought it up. Consider the effect of CO2 not having any IR absorption bands but still remaining in the atmosphere and retaining its biological activity. This is what Doug meant and he’s probably quite right that we wouldn’t observe much change in the climate. When the earth is largely covered by a liquid ocean it’s the ocean that generates and sustains the greenhouse effect not the air. If conditions conspire that the ocean ever becomes largely frozen on the surface, which it has several times in the earth’s history, then greenhouse gases very likely become important along with volcanic ash in bringing about a melt. CO2 sinks become inoperative in a frozen environment but volcanoes keep on trucking adding CO2 to the atmosphere so after millions of years it builds up to where it’s a few percent of the atmosphere instead of a few thousandth’s of a percent. Likewise volcanic ash accumulates on the ice and darkens it working to defeat the positive feedback effect of ice’s high albedo. None of these matter when the ocean is unfrozen and so Doug is probably right about CO2 having no significant role at this time in history insofar as its IR absorption properties are concerned.

  23. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Doug Cotton claims  “At equilibrium there is a temperature gradient, even in a closed cylinder of air in a laboratory.”

    LOL … Doug, yah need to read-up on the Zeroth Law of thermodynamics!

    Oh wait, the Zeroth Law (and all the other principles of thermodynamics too) are embraced by those truth-hiding power-grabbing money-loving government-slaving consensus-faking data-revising theory-twisting dole-blodging communism-worshipping Illuminati-serving fluoride-advocating climate-change scientists … that’s the simple reason why climate-change denialists always know, for sure, that consensus thermodymamical theories of climate-change definitely are wrong! \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\ {\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • Yes, and no doubt you would have told Einstein that he needed to read up on Newton.

      When you’re ready to explain the Venus surface temperature let me know.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      And as a follow-up, it’s striking that the same physics principles that are key to climate-change science — namely the fundamental thermodynamical principles, as governing energy transport by radiation and turbulent flow, as regulated by radiative opacity (clouds) — prove to be strikingly successful in explaining both climate variability and stellar variability.

      There can be only one explanation for this success: climate-change scientists are conspiring with stellar astrophysicists, to hide from the public the real facts of transport physics!

      Who wouldda thunk that astrophysicists would be power-grabbing money-hungry truth-hiders, just like the climate-change scientists?

      The Denialist Conclusion  The climate-change conspiracy is hugely bigger than we thought!   \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\ {\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • Maybe you should use some smileys, exlamation points, bold fonts or clownshats in your comments every now and then… They are so cheerfull and really show people you are a fun person! But not too much now, mind you, because then it might get annoying and people will start skipping your comments altogether….oh wait

      • John

        Exactly correct

      • David Springer

        I dunno. I think Sidles might be on to something with the colorful labels. He is wearing a colorful bowtie in the faculty photograph at Washington State Medical School so I’ve unilaterally declared the bowtie to be his icon.

        \mathbb{CLOWN}\bowtie\mathbb{CLOWN}

  24. Good stuff but the environmental advocacy still shines through. The perspective that I am seeing isn’t “we don’t know that much about clouds and we want to know more so we are studying them” it’s “we are x% certain that cloud feedbacks are neutral or positive and we need to prove this so we can prove that CO2 is dangerous and it’s output needs to be regulated”. It causes the questions to be framed as “what has man done to effect clouds” when clouds are still unknown. Or perhaps I am being overly idealistic.

  25. In the reference given by Dr Curry, Dr Trenberth has written:

    quote
    It has been said that all models are wrong but some are useful. A climate model is a tool, albeit a very sophisticated one that includes complexity and non-linearities in ways that are impossible to comprehend analytically. Ideally, a model should encapsulate the state of our knowledge. When that knowledge is incomplete, one strategy is to omit certain complex processes and to assume that they are constant, even when it is known that they cannot be. Adding complexity to a modelled system when the real system is complex is no doubt essential for model development. It may, however, run the risk of turning a useful model into a research tool that is not yet skilful at making predictions.
    unquote

    So it is acceptable to assume, under this argument, that when something (something known to respond to ‘forcing’ in ways which may oppose that forcing) is omitted, the resultant calculation is in some way related to reality and is ‘skilfull at making predictions? A climate model is only useful if it relates to reality, surely? If not then perhaps someone could explain what is its utility and how its predictions can have any value at all.

    He has also written:

    quote
    [climate scientists] are unlikely to make false claims that other colleagues can readily show to be incorrect.
    unquote

    Hmmm. Perhaps some scientists who make, for example, predictions of world food production could comment on how useful one of their forecasts would be if they omitted wheat from their calculation, or an economist can point out the value of a world GDP projection that omits China. I note that ‘unlikely’ does not mean ‘never’.

    Some idea of how critically cloud cover depends on minute changes in surface conditions can be seen at
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/gsfc/6760135001/sizes/o/in/photostream/

    Zoom in on the Mississippi delta and admire the necklace of clouds. What’s going on there? Minor variations of surface temperature, perhaps, reduction of aerosol production by pollution, something we haven’t thought of. Now multiply that effect by the whole surface of the oceans. The second link talks of measuring cloud amounts from observations, the wrong sort of observations. The important aspect of cloud cover is albedo, not coverage, and as such the results of Dessler’s calculations are merely interesting with very limited scientific value as climate data.

    But help is at hand:

    quote
    This paper presents an overview of discussions during the Cloud’s Role session at the Observing and Modelling Earth’s Energy Flows Workshop. N. Loeb and B. Soden convened this session including 10 presentations by B. Stevens, B. Wielicki, G. Stephens, A. Clement, K. Sassen, D. Hartmann, T. Andrews, A. Del Genio, H. Barker, and M. Sugi addressing critical aspects of the role of clouds in modulating Earth energy flows. Presentation topics covered a diverse range of areas from cloud microphysics and dynamics, cloud radiative transfer, and the role of clouds in large-scale atmospheric circulations patterns in both observations and atmospheric models.
    unquote

    This meeting was in July 2012. 2012! Perhaps it would have been better to quantify low level stratus effects before cutting down rain forests to grow palm oil, before turning maize into fuel and raising world food prices to such an extent that the poor starve, before putting up fuel taxes so the old die of hypothermia. before giving power into the hands of those whose values are not those of the West. It would have been better to understand the problem of clouds before imposing a solution which depends critically on understanding that problem.

    Leaving out major things you don’t know means that the predictive value of your model is negligible. Not ‘useful’, negligible.

    JF
    Our gracious hostess will excuse my not running through the Kriegsmarine effect as a major unknown. Those keen to know merely need to Google ‘why the blip’.

    • Trenberth: “A [climate] climate model is a tool.”

      Wrong. Oh, they are USED as if they are tools, that is certain. But genuine tools give repeatable real world results, time after time, in the same way. When a real tool fails to do that, we say it is broken. If a wrench slips off the screw head every time, we throw it away and get a new one.

      Climate models are simulations of what we hypothesize about reality. In very real term,s, they are like cartoons, which depict simulations of life. Nowadays both are created within computer programs, and nothing is necessarily real about either one. In cartoons animals talk, characters receive lethal blows and come back as if nothing had happened. In cartoons characters other than birds fly and do other things that violate the laws of physics or anatomy. Oh, most of the time cartoon characters obey the laws of physics, but when it is a talking rabbit, is anyone here believing the character is real? In a cartoon, as in a model, results CAN be whatever the programmer wants them to be. It is all up to the artists or programmers.

      When the output is not proven to be non-arbitrary, how can a model be considered a tool?

      Steve Garcia

  26. The thermodynamic consequences of clouds touches upon a problem that’s recently attracted my curiosity. Suppose the atmosphere were nothing more than the Godzilla of all steam engines. Inside Godzilla we expect to encounter massive turbulence with inhomogeneities in the distribution of water vapor. While the problem appears intractable, we nevertheless know the maximum amount of work Godzilla can perform given his energy source and surface temperatures – this is the realization that led to the birth of thermodynamics.

    The big IF is can Godzilla’s behavior be described by a steady-state? If not, there’s no point talking about lapse rates, sensitivities, forcings, etc. If one instead pursues this option, I’ll argue that the maximum amount of work Godzilla can perform when acting reversibly is the same as the amount of energy he will be dissipating when functioning at 0% efficiency (no wind turbines depleting his free energy resources)! More to the point, dissipation is an external observable and can be reduced to a surface integral not explicitly dependent on internal distributions. We can determine dissipation without specifying where the clouds are! And climate sensitivity is but the temperature coefficient of atmospheric dissipation! The arguments follow elementary vector calculus, assuming temperature to be a scalar potential and thermodynamic fluxes are vector functions obtainable from a Helmholtz decomposition (scalar plus vector potential). For details:

    http://pdquondam.webng.com/Thermal_Dissipation.pdf

    • David Springer

      The big problem with bringing Carnot to bear on the earth’s climate is your heat source is constantly changing in performance. Phase transitions of the working fluid result in huge changes in albedo. Liquid water with an albedo near zero soaking up sunlight is your primary hot side. But it can be obscured by cloud or covered by ice in less than satisfactorily predictable times and places limiting the temperature of the hot side by making it reflect up to 90% of the energy source. You certainly must know what a heat engine is and how it works to gain some useful insights into climate behaviors, particularly regional behaviors because convective storms are just big heat engines and isolated enough to analyze on a case by case basis as such. Collectively they appear to perform a thermostatic function transporting huge amounts of energy from the surface to the emission altitude where said energy can easily radiate away into outer space.

  27. “Raining clouds are a hell of a lot brighter than nonraining clouds,” he said at the American Geophysical Union’s annual meeting last December. “Precipitation has an important radiative signature that we haven’t really considered in feedbacks.”

    Were we not told the science is settled?

    • Name the person who told you.

      • JCH

        The person who was (I believe) the first to say “the science is settled” was Sir John Houghton, first co-chair of the IPCC.

        Max

      • JCH

        I got that wrong. It was actually Robert Watson, former IPCC president, who said it (at Kyoto)
        http://www.sovereignty.net/p/clim/kyotorpt.htm

        Max

      • Girm, you are gullible.

        Robert Watson
        According to Sovereignty International, in 1997 Robert Watson:

        was asked in a press briefing about the growing number of climate scientists who challenge the conclusions of the UN that man-induced global warming is real and promises cataclysmic consequences. Watson responded by denigrating all dissenting scientists as pawns of the fossil fuel industry. “The science is settled” he said, and “we’re not going to reopen it here.” [6]
        Some GWT supporters suggest the quote is a fabrication, noting that the organization quoting Watson is involved in promoting “global warming skepticism”. No other records of the press briefing have been produced. …

        So you were told, but you don’t even remember by whom. And then you produce a quote which is unverifiable. This is what I think. I think nobody ever said it to you. I think you like to say it because you are nothing but a propagandist.

        Try this. Find a scientist who said into a microphone that “the science is settled,” or who wrote in a document which he signed. An instance that is verifiable.

        You know, as in: EVIDENCE.

      • Lol. It was Max.

        Amazing, my comment still fits the bill.

        I know of one instance, which happened long after deniers had spouted this crap like “millions” of times. A bureaucrat for the EPA said it in a congressional hearing. Verified. Not a climate scientist.

      • JCH

        Name the person who told you.

        Al Gore and Arnold Schwarzenegger

  28. “This really is the fundamental problem in climate models,” said Joao Teixeira, deputy director of climate science at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab and a collaborator on Lewis’ Spirit project. “How do you represent the clouds?”

    Every one is becoming sceptical of climate models. That is a very good news.

    • Girma.
      Regarding your showing a ~ 60 year oscillation on top of an underlying upwardly increasing curve. Recommend examining the 1500 year (or 1200 year) underlying natural oscillation as documented Loehle & Singer (2010). This may relate to the Pleistocene Dansgaard-Oeschger (DO) oscillations. See Craig Loehle and S. Fred Singer, Holocene temperature records show millenial-scale periodicity. Canadian Journal Earth Science Vol. 47 pp 1327-1336 (2010).

  29. It gets hard to explain what I believe happens at the molecular level, but I’ll give it a go.

    Firstly, imagine an atmosphere without convection. Venus gets close to this because it is so dense. There is also very little wind because it rotates so slowly (244 Earth days per revolution) and so we can just about consider it to be a static atmosphere. Yet the (pseudo) adiabatic lapse rate is still observed and the same calculations that work for Earth also work there.

    We know there are many more molecules where the pressure is higher, so we can assume there is a fairly smooth (near linear) decline in the density of molecules with increasing altitude.

    So molecules don’t have to travel large distances up and down. Nor is it any restriction that as many go up as go down, because we already have the distribution we need. Energy can transfer in molecular collisions, without any particular molecule having to travel a significant distance.

    So the temperature gradient is a bit like a concrete road going straight down a mountainside. If you pour loads of sand on it at various points (representing absorbed heat at different altitudes) the molecular interactions get temporarily thrown out of the nice equilibrium state they were in. The sand (heat) spreads out and blows away (energy gets radiated away) and it all settles back down to the supporting road.

    However, if there is a long-term increase in mean Solar insolation levels it is more like adding a thin layer of concrete to the whole surface, creating a new road surface (temperature plot) which is higher but is still parallel to the old one and still has the same gradient. This is representative of what happens during warming periods in the natural ~1,000 (maybe ~1,400) year cycle and the superimposed ~60 year cycle.

    So it’s as if the individual molecules being pulled downwards by gravity and pushed up by pressure from beneath realise they are in the wrong place on top of the pile of sand. So, like grains of sand spreading out, some go one way and some another way until the temperature hump (or dip) levels out and everything gets back to the natural gradient. Or, more precisely, their energy goes in different directions through collisions.

    Hence, on Venus, if too much incident insolation is absorbed at the top of the atmosphere, the extra kinetic energy will be “bounced” down the chain (rather like conduction, but better called diffusion) without the individual molecules actually having to travel very far.

    This creates an apparent heat flow, but it can only ever involve equal interchanges of PE and KE and thus no change in entropy, and so no violation of 2nd LoT.

    Also, while this is happening, each layer in the Venus atmosphere will radiate away whatever extra energy it absorbs and hasn’t sent elsewhere by diffusion, so the temperature falls back to the base line.

    As you go from day to night, I suggest that the whole temperature plot from the Venus surface to the TOA shifts downwards about 5 degrees, whilst retaining the same gradient.

    Whatever happens, it is apparent that the surface itself will remain very close in temperature to the base of the atmosphere and its temperature is in fact at least “supported” by that of the base of the atmosphere, because conduction would prevent it getting significantly cooler. Stored energy beneath the crust would also have a stabilising effect as on Earth.

    The overriding consideration is that, for both Earth and Venus, as well as other planets with thick enough atmospheres – Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune – this process must have happened in the atmosphere first (because of the effect of gravity) and then the surface temperature was established by the that at the base of the atmosphere. The internal conduction plot from the core is then also set by the core temperature and the surface temperature. This of course all took a long time obviously at least millions of years, so, in the short term of just a few thousand years, the mass of energy under the surface changes little and so provides a solid stabilising effect.

    Hope that’s helped clarify my thinking on all this. It leaves the conventional back radiation and feedback concepts right out of consideration – simply because they cannot override the mechanism which maintains the adiabatic lapse rate. So much for the AGW conjecture!

    Doug Cotton

    • David Springer

      Doug Cotton | November 29, 2012 at 8:04 am | Reply

      “It gets hard to explain what I believe happens at the molecular level,”

      Gibberish is like that. Fortunately it’s as easy as falling off a log to believe that you and your little Principia Scientific friends are not playing with a full deck, space cadet.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        David,

        Despite the fact that I disagree with you on many things, we do both agree about Doug Cotton and “little Principia Scientific friends”.

    • ” There is also very little wind because it rotates so slowly (244 Earth days per revolution) and so we can just about consider it to be a static atmosphere. ”

      http://phys.org/news194504586.html

      “A complete rotation of the planet Venus takes 243 Earth days, but the atmosphere, traveling at speeds of around 200 meters per second, takes only four Earth days to go all the way around”

      The atmosphere of Venus has a mass of 4.8×10^20 kg, about 93 times the mass of the Earth’s total atmosphere. Earths oceans are 1.4 × 10^21 kg.

      So roughly 1/3 the mass of Earths is moved around Venus at 200 meters per second.
      Now that is some steam engine.

      • Good get on that. Yeah, that is some inertia, if nothing else. Landing on Venus would not only be HOT, but it would freaking HURT.

        But I think you meant to say,

        “So roughly 1/3 the mass of Earth’s oceans is moved around Venus at 200 meters per second.”

        Steve Garcia

      • David Springer

        Surface winds on Venus are virtually non-existent. This is encyclopedic knowledge that is some 50 years old having been first deduced from Russian radar soundings of the surface revealing it to be rough terrain not polished flat by high winds in the uber-dense atmosphere. Maybe you should try reading at least an encyclopedia article on Venus before deciding to shoot your mouth off about the winds there. Just a suggestion. You may prefer to play the ignorant buffoon here for reasons that are unknown to me.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atmosphere_of_Venus#Circulation

        The winds near the surface of Venus are much slower than that on Earth. They actually move at only a few kilometres per hour (generally less than 2 m/s and with an average of 0.3 to 1.0 m/s), but due to the high density of the atmosphere at the surface, this is still enough to transport dust and small stones across the surface, much like a slow-moving current of water.

  30. David Springer

    “It’s a major, major problem right now that we can’t constrain it better,” said Trude Storelvmo, a climate scientist at Yale University. “It’s not given that we’ll be able to constrain it any better. It’s not obvious how we can go about constraining it better.”

    Some things are simply too complex to predict by calculation and the only way to get a handle on them is through careful observation. Empiricism seems to be anathema to many climate boffins whose reality exists in toy computer models. MoDeLz RuLe, DoOd.

    • Springer

      From the first article Dr Curry links:

      “This is the main source of uncertainty in the predictions of how much warmer it’s going to get,” said Ray Pierrehumbert, a climate scientist at the University of Chicago. “We can virtually rule out the idea that clouds could cancel out any global warming. … But on the other side, there’s almost unlimited possibilities for making it bad.”

      Stephen Schwartz, from the same article:

      “If it’s [climate sensitivity to CO2 forcing] at the low end, the consequences will be serious,” Schwartz said. “If it’s medium, they will be severe. If it’s at a high end, they will be catastrophic. And I can say that with a lot of confidence.”

      I am still chortling over your hilarious comment on the other thread btw. Thanks for brightening up my lunch ;-)

      • BBD

        OK.

        Stephen Schwartz is part of the IPCC “consensus”, so he may not be looking at aerosols (natural or anthropogenic) and cloud impacts fully objectively if these begin to threaten the “consensus” CAGW paradigm, BUT he has said this about clouds and aerosols:

        “We’re not saying that aerosols can counteract the greenhouse effect,” said lead scientist Stephen Schwartz, an atmospheric chemist at Brookhaven, “but rather that we need to know how much of a cooling effect they have so we have a clearer picture of the greenhouse effect. To whatever extent aerosols are offsetting greenhouse warming, then the offset is the unseen part of the greenhouse ‘iceberg,’” he said.

        The “offset from clouds and aerosols” could indeed be “the unseen part of the greenhouse iceberg”.

        The cosmic ray cloud seeding mechanism when certain (naturally occurring) aerosols are present has been validated at the CLOUD experiment at CERN, but the researchers there say more work is needed to demonstrate if and how this actually works in the climate system.

        Let’s see what this work will show.

        Max

      • And what about Prof. Pierrehumbert’s quote, Max? The one where he says:

        “We can virtually rule out the idea that clouds could cancel out any global warming. … But on the other side, there’s almost unlimited possibilities for making it bad.”

        You were somewhat outspokenly wrong about this recently too… if memory serves… ;-)

      • BBD

        I am fully aware of Pierrehumbert’s quote.

        He is an integral part of the “consensus team”, which posits a neutral to positive overall net cloud feedback, as I mentioned in my post.

        New independent studies (one from better parameterization in models, the other from CERES satellite observations) seem to show that Pierrehumbert’s (and IPCC’s) premise may be wrong, and that the net overall feedback from clouds may be negative, instead.

        We’ll just have to wait and see what all this “work to be done” on clearing up uncertainty on cloud feedbacks will show – will it validate the IPCC “consensus” model predictions or the results of Wynant or Spencer?

        “The science is NOT settled” on the overall impact of clouds on our climate.

        Time will tell, BBD, so we have to be patient.

        Max

      • Stephen Schwartz is part of the IPCC “consensus”, so he may not be looking at aerosols (natural or anthropogenic) and cloud impacts fully objectively if these begin to threaten the “consensus” CAGW paradigm

        So he’s ‘not objective’ is he? Because he’s part of the “consensus”-in-scare-quotes. This is pretty much an accusation of scientific misconduct and very nearly a conspiracy theory. Must see how you progress with this line of ‘reasoning’ ;-)

        “We’re not saying that aerosols can counteract the greenhouse effect,” said lead scientist Stephen Schwartz, an atmospheric chemist at Brookhaven, “but rather that we need to know how much of a cooling effect they have so we have a clearer picture of the greenhouse effect. To whatever extent aerosols are offsetting greenhouse warming, then the offset is the unseen part of the greenhouse ‘iceberg,’” he said.

        Well, we’ll find out if the non-OECD nations stop burning all that coal, won’t we? Or at least if the choking pollution compels the widespread adoption of Western-style clean air legislation.

        Of course, the non-OECD industrial boom over the last decade couldn’t possibly have anything to do with the warming hiatus, could it?

      • Manacker, like that fool Springer you don’t seem to get it.

        If the climate system was dominated by negative feedbacks then it would be insensitive and it wouldn’t exhibit the substantial variability that it actually does. So we *know* that feedbacks net positive. Otherwise the climate system wouldn’t do much. That would be a physical impossibility.

        Whatever the sign of cloud feedbacks turns out to be, we can say, with considerable confidence, that cloud feedbacks even if negative, do not dominate the climate system.

        Can you please make the necessary effort to understand this point before saying anything else on the subject? It would be so much easier to talk to you if you understood the basics.

      • Hockey-stick handle as far as the eye can see.

      • BBD

        You write that I “don’t get it” because I have not accepted a priori the notion that our climate is highly sensitive.

        Until you can demonstrate empirical scientific evidence (Feynman) that it is “highly sensitive”, I will accept the more skeptical views and findings of Spencer, Lindzen and others. By empirical evidence I refer to results of real-time observations or reproducible experimentation (Feynman) I do not include model simulations or predictions based on subjective interpretation of dicey paleo climate proxy data taken from selected periods of our planet’s geological past and using the “we can only explain this if we assume…” illogic known as “argument from ignorance”.

        I have not accepted the premise of a “high climate sensitivity” partly based on the Lindzen and Spencer physical observations and conclusionst, but also because it is only logical to me that our planet’s climate has remained within fairly constrained boundaries over a very long time, never reaching a “tipping point” leading to “runaway” conditions (as Hansen imagines), so it is highly unlikely that it is being “whiplashed between extremes by very small forcings and very large feedbacks” (as Hansen posits)..

        Like IPCC, I think the “largest uncertainty is clouds” – and until this “uncertainty” is cleared up, we do not really know whether or not our climate is “highly sensitive” (as IPCC posits) or not.

        It’s just that simple BBD.

        So you see that I definitely “do get it” – even though I may not agree with your personal viewpoint on this.

        The “science is NOT settled” on the climate sensitivity, BBD.

        Got it?

        Max

      • BBD, you write “Whatever the sign of cloud feedbacks turns out to be, we can say, with considerable confidence, that cloud feedbacks even if negative, do not dominate the climate system.”

        Thus is true if, and only if, clouds are a feedback. The warmists simply assume, with no empirical evidence, that clouds are a feedback. But what if clouds are the dominating forcing fot the whole climate system?
        This is the issue that the two references that Judith has chosen, deliberately avoid. These references seem to assume clouds are not a forcing. Until we know whether cloudss are a forcing or not, then we cannot model clouds correctly.

      • As usual Max, you are answering a question of your own choosing rather than addressing the actual points I raised. It’s not helping.

        Nowhere did I say that the climate system was “highly sensitive”. Far from it. All the evidence points to a value of about 3C (Knutti & Hegerl 2008; IPCC AR4 WG1; Annan & Hargreaves (2006); Hansen & Sato 2012).

        What you need to acknowledge is that it is self-evident that the climate system is dominated by positive feedbacks and is *moderately* sensitive to changes in radiative forcing.

        We are clearly going to have to break this down.

        1/ It is important to understand that variability is the climate system response to a change in forcing. That’s all it is. It can be internally forced or externally forced or a mixture of both. For the purpose of this exercise it doesn’t matter. All you have to do is understand that variability is suppressed by negative feedbacks.

        [Do you understand this, yes or no? If not, indicate what you don't understand.]

        2/ If the climate system was dominated by negative feedbacks then it would be insensitive and it wouldn’t exhibit the substantial variability that it actually does. So we *know* that feedbacks net positive. Otherwise the climate system wouldn’t do much. That would be a physical impossibility.

        [Do you understand this, yes or no? If not, indicate what you don't understand.]

        3/ Whatever the sign of cloud feedbacks turns out to be, we can say that negative feedbacks as a whole (including cloud, if negative) do not dominate the climate system.

        [Do you understand this, yes or no? If not, indicate what you don't understand.]

        If you maintain that negative feedbacks *do* dominate and the climate system is therefore insensitive then we have a very serious problem.

        You have to explain how observed climate behaviour, eg interannual, interdecadal and centennial variability can possibly occur in an *insensitive* climate system where *negative feedbacks* suppress the effects of any change in forcing.

        You have to work through this, step by step, until we get the basics sorted out.

      • BBD, you write “3/ Whatever the sign of cloud feedbacks turns out to be, we can say that negative feedbacks as a whole (including cloud, if negative) do not dominate the climate system.”

        Sorry, this is nonsense if clouds are NOT a feedback. If clouds are the dominant forcing, and GHGs have a negligible effect on climate, then this statement is simply irrelevant.

      • BBD,
        You say

        Well, we’ll find out if the non-OECD nations stop burning all that coal, won’t we? Or at least if the choking pollution compels the widespread adoption of Western-style clean air legislation.

        You seem to have forgotten that the widespread adoption of western clean air legislation has only been possible due to the wealth created from cheap energy industrialization. You can just compel it? Wow!

      • John

        Please.

        I said if “the choking smog compels it”. Now, who does the smog choke? Why the metropolitan populations of India, China, Brazil, Indonesia etc. It follows that it would be their governments that would be doing the legislating. Surely this was obvious from what I wrote?

      • Will China clean up its coal flue gases?

        It already is.

        If you were in Beijing before and after the Olympics, you would have noticed a difference.

        Shanghai is also a lot cleaner than it was.

        Other cities are lagging behind and I wouldn’t advise a prolonged stay in a place like Xiamen for an asthmatic, but the Chinese will address this issue in time. For now there are still other higher priorities.

        One thing seems sure. Neither China nor India, for that matter, will slow down their economic growth to satisfy a “rich white man’s guilt-driven folly”. And these will be the largest CO2 emitters of the 21st century by far.

        So anything the EU, Australia or New Zealand might do to curtail CO2 emissions will have zero impact on our planet’s future climate.

        Max

      • Max

        Are you claiming that if in 2050 CO2 concentrations are at 440 ppm vs. 445 ppm that the only thing that would be noticed is the loss of billions and billions from other potential investment? Why that must make you, like a denier or something…like realistic

      • BBD

        Rather than getting into a semantics discussion of what the word “highly” means, when used in conjunction with climate sensitivity, I’ll simply quote what James E. Hansen testified to U.S. Congress in 2007:

        The Earth’s history shows that climate is remarkably sensitive to global forcings. Positive feedbacks predominate. This has allowed the entire planet to be whipsawed between climate states. Huge natural climate changes, from glacial to interglacial states, have been driven by very weak, very slow forcings, and positive feedbacks.

        “Remarkably sensitive” = “highly sensitive”.

        Hansen is a supporter of the IPCC position that the “mean” climate sensitivity is 3.2C (around three times the “no-feedback” 2xCO2 climate sensitivity).

        I’d call this “highly” sensitive.

        It is this value that is being put into question by the studies on clouds, which I cited.

        It appears that the climate sensitivity may be around 1C instead of over 3C.

        If so, this would essentially kill the IPCC CAGW premise, because anthropogenic global warming would never really amount to anything to worry about.

        So a lot rests on the proposed increased level of research work on clouds.

        Of course, this includes, but is not limited to, the research at the CLOUD experiment at CERN.

        I predict that we’ll be a whole lot more knowledgeable on what the climate sensitivity is after this work is done.

        Max

      • Past climate changes just don’t make sense if climate sensitivity is low

      • Rob Starkey

        I confess. Mea culpa.

        I do not believe we humans can perceptibly change our planet’s climate, no matter how much money we throw at it.

        And, if the major CO2 emitters of the 21st century don’t play along with the game, it’s all an exercise in futility to start off with.

        Max

      • manacker

        It appears that the climate sensitivity may be around 1C instead of over 3C.

        No, it does not so appear. This is just nonsense.

        Now, we need to go back to the basics and get your confusion sorted out. There’s no rush – I’m not sitting here all night waiting – but please stop skipping the bits you don’t like. It’s not helping.

        Stop saying stuff. Stop dodging things.

        Go back and answer the questions, carefully and in order.

      • Yes 1C climate sensitivity just makes no sense. No sense with recent changes, no sense with past changes.

        Yet even a 1C climate sensitivity would still mean man dominating climate change in the 21st century.

      • lolwot

        Let’s see if Max has got the *integrity* to meet an intellectual challenge head on, with the necessary intellectual rigour and honesty.

      • lolwot

        You keep repeating the mantra that

        “Past climate changes just don’t make sense if climate sensitivity is low”

        Tell me about those “past climate changes”, lolwot.

        If you are talking about the subjective interpretations of dicey paleo climate proxy data from carefully selected periods of our planet’s geological past, followed by “we can only explain this if we assume a high climate sensitivity” logic, then I’d say “fuggidaboudit”.

        There are way too many uncertain factors to be able to come to any conclusions “what makes sense” on “climate sensitivity” from this stuff.

        We need empirical scientific evidence based NOT on model simulations, but on real-time physical observations or reproducible experimentation (good ol’ Feynman stuff).

        And that is missing, so far.

        Maybe we will come closer to understanding the role that clouds play – this could help resolve the climate sensitivity question.

        But we’re not there yet, lolwot, despite your statement of faith.

        Max

      • BBD

        You write:

        Let’s see if Max has got the *integrity* to meet an intellectual challenge head on, with the necessary intellectual rigour and honesty.

        Just did.

        (See comment #272367 above).

        Max

      • Tell me about those “past climate changes”, lolwot.

        Deglaciation under orbital forcing. Really nothing very subjective about orbital dynamics or about the deglacial events. Both happened.

        Climate sensitivity of ~3C is required. Read Hansen & Sato (2012) which is among the links provided here.

        You will find the questions you need to answer in the same place.

      • Just did

        Don’t be a prat Max. This is another demonstration of your absolute lack of integrity.

      • OK, BBD, I’ll play your game this one time.

        The abstract to the Hansen et al. paper you cited reads:

        Paleoclimate data help us assess climate sensitivity and potential human-made climate effects. We conclude that Earth in the warmest interglacial periods of the past million years was less than 1°C warmer than in the Holocene. Polar warmth in these interglacials and in the Pliocene does not imply that a substantial cushion remains between today’s climate and dangerous warming, but rather that Earth is poised to experience strong amplifying polar feedbacks in response to moderate global warming.
        Thus goals to limit human-made warming to 2°C are not sufficient – they are prescriptions for disaster. Ice sheet disintegration is nonlinear, spurred by amplifying feedbacks. We suggest that ice sheet mass loss, if warming continues unabated, will be characterized better by a doubling time for mass loss rate than by a linear trend. Satellite gravity data, though too brief to be conclusive, are consistent with a doubling time of 10 years or less, implying the possibility of multi-meter sea level rise this century.
        Observed accelerating ice sheet mass loss supports our conclusion that Earth’s temperature now exceeds the mean Holocene value. Rapid reduction of fossil fuel emissions is required for humanity to succeed in preserving a planet resembling the one on which civilization developed.

        Huh?

        This sounds like an advocate’s call for immediate action to stop burning coal or risk “multi-meter sea level rise this century”, rather than a serious scientific paleo-climate study of climate sensitivity.

        It uses the classical “argument from ignorance”, i.e. the “we can only explain it if we assume…” illogic.

        Fuggidaboudit, BBD.

        Let’s wait until we have some real-time physical data. And not from an advocate like “coal death train” Hansen, but someone who is a bit more credible.

        Max

      • manacker

        OK, BBD, I’ll play your game this one time.

        But you didn’t play. Once again, you dodged. Tut, tut Max.

        Look, we’ve established that you have no integrity. I can live with that. But there must be *something* there, surely? Something more than petty evasiveness and fearful denial? Surely?

        Go on, just demonstrate some balls, Max. I’ll settle for that.

        Here’s the game. Let’s see you play it ;-)

        1/ It is important to understand that variability is the climate system response to a change in forcing. That’s all it is. It can be internally forced or externally forced or a mixture of both. For the purpose of this exercise it doesn’t matter. All you have to do is understand that variability is suppressed by negative feedbacks.

        [Do you understand this, yes or no? If not, indicate what you don't understand.]

        2/ If the climate system was dominated by negative feedbacks then it would be insensitive and it wouldn’t exhibit the substantial variability that it actually does. So we *know* that feedbacks net positive. Otherwise the climate system wouldn’t do much. That would be a physical impossibility.

        [Do you understand this, yes or no? If not, indicate what you don't understand.]

        3/ Whatever the sign of cloud feedbacks turns out to be, we can say that negative feedbacks as a whole (including cloud, if negative) do not dominate the climate system.

        [Do you understand this, yes or no? If not, indicate what you don't understand.]

        If you maintain that negative feedbacks *do* dominate and the climate system is therefore insensitive then we have a very serious problem.

        You have to explain how observed climate behaviour, eg interannual, interdecadal and centennial variability can possibly occur in an *insensitive* climate system where *negative feedbacks* suppress the effects of any change in forcing.

        You have to work through this, step by step, until we get the basics sorted out.

        Show me some intellectual grit Max, or I’m going to have to write you off as a coward along with everything else.

      • And Max, wrt your actual comment on HS12, you need to read the *paper*, not the abstract. If you wish to avoid the authors’ discussion of implications, you can stick to sections 2 and 3. You will find the empirical calculation of climate sensitivity at 3.2, but you need to read both sections for the necessary context.

      • David Springer

        I’m sure your dismal, defeatist view of the future needs some brightening up from time to time. Glad to be of service in that regard.

        In regard to the paranoid proclamations of the sources you quote they are just that – paranoid proclamations and nothing more. Only time will tell if they are correct and as of this moment it isn’t looking good what with no significant warming in the 21st century so far even though anthropogenic CO2 emission has continued and even accelerated during that time.

        Pffffffffffffffffffffffft… I fart in the general direction of your paranoid delusions.

      • David Springer

        BBD | November 30, 2012 at 6:39 am |

        “Show me some intellectual grit Max, or I’m going to have to write you off as a coward along with everything else.”

        Oh that’s f*cking rich coming from an anonymous coward. What are you afraid of?

      • Springer

        Abuse. Boring.

      • David Springer

        @British Bollocks Dispenser

        re; choking on coal fumes in China

        You ever been to China, BBD? I have. Let me clue you in. Those crazy little bastids put on breathing masks and continue to go about their business. It’s the goddamndest sight you ever seen. Dirty, nasty, uncivilized place. Garbage in the streets and dog in the chow mein. Yuck. Your imagination is working overtime again if you think coal power plant pollution is going to bother them.

      • David Springer

        BBD | November 30, 2012 at 7:00 am |

        “Abuse. Boring.”

        Hypocrisy. Amusing.

      • With Springer, its comical abuse. I recall him bragging that he is a former marine, err a marine. In that case, we are all anonymous soldiers to him, just cannon fodder for him to bark orders at. He thinks we will drop down and give him twenty whenever he desires. Hardly.

      • David Springer

        I’m under no illusion that you could do a single pushup nor even if your fat ass could that would do it upon my command.

        Now drop down and give me twenty paragraphs, blowhard.

      • “I’m under no illusion that you could do a single pushup nor even if your fat ass could that would do it upon my command.”

        Sarge Springer,
        I am under no illusion that you could pound on me, but I can run … long distances … and you wouldn’t be able to catch me.

        I don carbon fiber and I am off. Years of Tri training. Ha ha.

      • BBD – It makes sense to me that as the Milankovitch parameters change, that each substantially different configuration could represent a distinct physical system. In this case, wouldn’t it be reasonable to hypothesize that each would exhibit a different climate sensitivity? Any thoughts?

    • I agree with your last sentence.

      “Some things are simply too complex to predict by calculations…” That I think is true NOW, but I think it will be accomplished in the future, as far as climate goes. It may even need to have some breakthrough in math, a 3D or 4D matrix math or whatever. But just because we can’t do it now doesn’t mean that will always be the case. And I think the first steps to take are careful observation and empiricism – to make more and more parts not uncertain. As those parts are reduced in number, one by one, at some point a solution to the math will appear to someone. It MAY even not take more computing power than is available now. It will depend on the empirical results and maybe on that new math. I expect some patterns or families of patterns to show up in the results that may simplify things.

      There is a LOT for us to learn on the way – and I am confident we will learn those things. It won’t be tomorrow, because the empirical work will take time. It won’t do it by itself, that is for sure. Until they begin, your assessment will continue to be true.

      Steve Garcia

  31. Above, I read: If only the world had infinite computing power, there wouldn’t be a cloud problem.

    That would only be true if you also understood everything so that you could model it correctly. That part is not yet true.

    • The article says:
      If only the world had infinite computing power, there wouldn’t be a cloud problem.

      No. No. No.

      Not Even Wrong.

      Fail.

      -1

      The correctness / accuracy / usefulness of all those calculations is solely a function of to what all that power is applied.

      Not to mention the infinite amount of work that would be required to (1) verify that all those numbers have been correctly calculated, and (2) correctly understand an infinite amount of calculated numbers.

  32. At this point, Klein can only speculate why they’ve improved. He doesn’t write the code. He only tests it.

    Despite these improvements, and the vast political pressure created by the U.N. reports to increase their accuracy every five years, the models, including those tested by Klein, have far to go.

    They don’t even reflect much current science, Teixeira said.

    Combine this with a failure to forecast the lack of warming since 1998.

    Stop the War against CO2 until some significant warming occurs AND the theory and models properly project some future warming that actually happens.

  33. Judith Curry

    Paul Voosen’s articles and your comments are interesting.

    The fact that we do not know how clouds act and why is apparently well known. As Ray Pierrehumbert is quoted, “People have known that clouds are a problem for 40 years”.

    The “mainstream consensus” view on this great uncertainty posits that clouds will act either as a neutral or positive feedback, but there are good reasons based on recent work to believe that they could as well exert a strongly negative net feedback – or possibly be an independent climate forcing themselves.

    It is inconceivable to me that IPCC gave clouds such a strongly positive feedback role with so little evidence or certainty. 1.3°C out of the model-derived 2xCO2 climate sensitivity is based on the predicted strongly positive net cloud feedback, yet IPCC concedes that “cloud feedbacks remain the largest source of uncertainty”. IPCC also considers clouds only as a feedback to some other (primarily anthropogenic) forcing, rather than as a natural forcing factor themselves (e.g. Spencer, Svensmark, et al.).

    So, with all this uncertainty, it is good news to read that ”clouds are moving from an academic sideshow to the heart of climate science”. After “40 years”, it’s about high time.

    Voosen writes:

    ”…clouds are unpredictable and heterogeneous. Studies made in one system can’t be applied in another. All clouds, in short, are local.”

    The parameterization of clouds in the global climate models has always been a problem (as you write, when you refer to the “small scale models”) for this very reason.

    The aerosol cloud seeding process was briefly discussed but I found it strange that Voosen did not even mention the CLOUD experiment at CERN, which recently announced that it had validated the cosmic ray nucleation mechanism when certain naturally occurring aerosols are present, but that more work was needed to see if and how this works in the climate system.

    In the second article Voosen writes:

    “The biggest point of disagreement has been low clouds…”

    As I understand it, these are the clouds that reflect incoming radiation back to space before it can warm our planet. Chris Bretherton is quoted as saying, ”The uncertainty in cloud feedbacks hasn’t gone down, it’s sort of stayed the same”. Bretherton co-authored a study (Wyant et al. 2006) that used “superparameterization” to simulate the behavior of clouds better than the GCMs can do. This study showed a net negative overall feedback from clouds with warming at all latitudes, primarily as a result of the impact of low level clouds described above.

    Instead of a strongly positive net overall cloud feedback of +0.69 Wm-2°C-1, as predicted by the IPCC models, the study showed a strongly negative net overall cloud feedback of -0.88 Wm-2°C-1.

    The Wyant et al. model work was more or less validated by the CERES satellite observations of Spencer + Braswell 2006, which also showed a strongly negative net overall cloud feedback with warming over the tropics.

    If these independent findings are correct, it would have a major impact on the entire AGW premise as stated by IPCC. Correcting the IPCC mean model-derived 2xCO2 climate sensitivity of 3.2°C for the net negative cloud feedback would result in a value of around 1°C and a future AGW that is hardly problematic.

    So the work on clouds is urgently needed in order to see whether or not AGW poses a real potential threat to humanity or not – before we start to implement any mitigation actions that could end up being very costly with unknown unintended consequences, but totally useless as far as our future climate is concerned.

    Max

    • Max, possibly be an independent climate forcing?

      • captdallas2

        Yeah.

        IPCC sees clouds only as a “feedback” to other (mostly anthropogenic) forcing – IOW clouds only change when something else warms (or cools) the climate.

        There are several people who do not agree with this posit.

        Notable are Spencer and Svensmark (but there are others). The Chief has posted on this topic.

        IOW,they see clouds as a separate, independent “forcing” factor.

        It is generally known that the overall effect of clouds is one of strong cooling (12 times as strong as the theoretical “forcing” from a doubling of CO2). But it is not known how and why cloud cover changes on a global longer-term scale.

        The observations by Palle et al. 2006 seem to confirm that cloud cover decreased over the period 1985-2000, leading to more incoming heat reaching Earth and, therefore, to warming, and then increased after 2000, leading to the observed slight cooling.

        That clouds seem to be a separate forcing (rather than just a feedback) may seem pretty obvious, but there is still a lot of uncertainty what mechanism makes clouds behave as they do.

        That’s the best I can explain it, if that is what you were asking me.

        Max

      • Nir Shaviv concludes, “The sheer size of the heat flux, and the lack of any phase lag between the flux and the driving force further implies that it cannot be part of an atmospheric feedback and very unlikely to be part of a coupled atmosphere-ocean oscillation mode. It must therefore be the manifestation of real variations in the global radiative forcing .” ~Ken Gregory: “Cosmic rays act to seed clouds which reflect solar radiation.”

      • Max, Clouds have been such a bugger that aerosol “adjustments” have been required to “constraint” climate “sensitivity” in a “range of comfort” :) I love the way scientisst trash talk.

        1. Aerosol and aerosol‐cloud effects are a huge lever ‘constraining’ the climate sensitivity to a ‘range of comfort’.

        2. Observational inferences on indirect radiative forcing do not support the large values of forcings being applied in models. I would recommend model assessments be done with/without IRF [indirect radiative forcing]

        3. Models contain grave biases in low cloud radiative properties that bring into question the fidelity of feedbacks in models.

        4. The presence of drizzle in low clouds is ubiquitous and significant enough to influence the radiative properties of these clouds and must play some role in any feedbacks.

        Let’s play name that scientist

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Max said:

        “The observations by Palle et al. 2006 seem to confirm that cloud cover decreased over the period 1985-2000, leading to more incoming heat reaching Earth and, therefore, to warming, and then increased after 2000, leading to the observed slight cooling.”
        _____
        This all sounds nice until you look at the data and see that ocean heat content (which should show a negative correlation with clouds, increasing when clouds decrease and visa-versa) has pretty much just kept on rising over the past 50+ years, seemingly indifferent to whatever clouds are supposedly doing. Some other long-term external forcing is putting the ocean heat content on “accumulate” and of course, this other external forcing is the highest GHG’s in hundreds of thousands of years (and still rising) which have the inevitable net effect of making the ocean-to-space thermal gradient less steep, and thus, the oceans are losing heat less rapidly and so heat is accumulating. Again– all seemingly unaffected by the supposedly changing status of clouds over the past 50+ years.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Utter nonsense. The ocean heat content follows toa net radiative flux changes which is largely – over decades of the satellite record – driven by cloud.

        It actually doesn’t matter what causes the radiative imbalance – but the larger factor by far is clouds.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        TOA follows troposphere which follows surface:

        http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20120004263_2012004193.pdf

        That’s the net direction of LW heat flow: ocean to atmosphere to TOA to space.

      • Captdallas2 0.8 +0.2 or -0.4 |
        Max, possibly be an independent climate forcing?

        Geological records of the Central Pacific indeed suggest so:
        http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/ENSO.htm
        Climate scientists are very good in explaining climate change by ‘climate change’ but ignore the basic elements of the geo-physics.

    • Cap’n

      None other than Graeme Stephens
      http://gewex.org/2009Conf_gewex_oral_presentations/Stephens_G11.pdf

      [Do I get a prize – not a virtual “group” Nobel Peace Prize, like Michael Mann (and all 500 million citizens of the EU) got, but a real “Crackerjack” prize?]

      Max

    • R. Gates

      You write (of my referencing the work of Palle et al. on clouds):

      This all sounds nice until you look at the data and see that ocean heat content (which should show a negative correlation with clouds, increasing when clouds decrease and visa-versa) has pretty much just kept on rising over the past 50+ years

      This all sounds nice (to put it in your words) until you examine the OHC record of the past 50+ years.

      Immediately prior to the thousands of ARGO devices that now give a fairly comprehensive coverage since 2003, we had expendable XBT devices, which had very spotty coverage and introduced a warming bias. And prior to that we had even more primitive measurements.

      So the “50+ year record” is as full of holes as a Swiss cheese.

      It appears that there hasn’t been any real warming since ARGO started, but the raw data have been “corrected” and “adjusted” ex post facto to the point that even this record is not “squeaky clean”.

      So don’t put too much faith in the “50+ year OHC record” today.

      Maybe we’ll have a 50+ year record that means something by 2053.

      Max

  34. Global warming or Western hoax? Why would anyone perpetrate a hoax with the intent to deceive the public? First of all–unfortunately–fooling Americans is an increasingly easy thing to do (the nationwide high school dropout rate is 25%). In the past an average person with little or no formal education knew enough to be rightly suspicious of something that smells like a hoax (a high school graduate in the 60s knew more about climate change than today’s college professors–scientists outside Western academia have likened modern climatology to the ancient science of astrology). Why would any believe in something that is supported only by science authoritarians in the West and by pathetic, self-defeating losers like Gore, Obama and the Democrat party who loathe America and who pray only for catastrophe as they worship at the altar of the ‘hockey stick’ (despite the fact it is a proven scientific fraud)? How can anyone fall for the hyping of non-existent dangers to manufacture a crisis for the sole purpose of increasing taxes and fees to fuel the bloated, self-serving government bureaucracy and rob individuals of political power?

    • How can anyone fall for the hyping of non-existent dangers

      Prof Sir Robert (Bob) Watson:
      Chief scientist at the Department for Food and Rural Affairs UK
      Former chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
      Adviser to former Vice-President Al Gore at the White House
      Former Senior Scientific adviser to the World Bank
      23 August 2012:
      BBC: “Any hope of restricting the average temperature rise to 2C was “out the window”, the rise could be as high as 5C – with dire consequences.”

      Dante Alighieri:Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch’intrate.

      • Unfortunately, too much government is not the only problem. The most unfortunate thing possible for any society is when institutions founded on truth begin to prefer fiction. For example, from the Huffington Post:

        In the absence of aggressive government policies aimed at curbing greenhouse gas emissions… potentially dangerous temperature elevations… not just a possibility… a near certainty even if things start to change.

    • No, you are a loser and I’m a winner. That’s because I voted for the big winner, Obama, and you didn’t.

      Winners like me are supposed to receive gifts. Romney, the big loser, said so.

      Where do you think those gifts are supposed to come from?
      Well, the gifts are supposed to come from losers like you. That’s the cost of losing.

      So when are you sending my gifts? I want them soon. I want them before Christmas.

      • Max_OK

        With your attitude, I’d be real careful opening up those “gifts” from the those you describe as “losers”. There may be a surprise.

        Max_not from OK

      • That wasn’t by any chance a death threat was it Max?

      • Oh, I don’t plan to open the gifts. I’m a regiver. I’ll just give the gifts to my Republican relatives. That’s why I want to get them gifts before Christmas.

        If you haven’t tried regiving, you should. It’s better for the environment than throwing stuff away. Check your attic for junk you don’t want. Check your wardrobe for items you no longer wear. You may have an old tie you never liked or a sweater that’s now to small. Just remember not to give back what someone gave you, unless it’s money.

      • David Springer

        Scientist saying science is settled

        “Climate Change: Is the Science “Settled”?”
        ~Stephen Schneider

        Not a scientist but is advised by the best money can buy:

        “Obama says the science is settled – Copenhagen Climate Change Conference” ~Barack Obama

        And of course Mister Settled Science himself Al Gore. Has more honorary doctorates than you can shake a stick at. Won Nobel Prize for his work in Climate Science as well as an Emmy, Academy Award, Time Magazine Person of the Year (runner up), and did I mention co-inventor (along with me) of the Internet?

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

      • David Springer

        Ha. Regiving. Good one Max. Sometimes you Oklahomans aren’t as sad and stupid as you look.

        It reminds me of a cat we once had, Smokey Joe. That cat didn’t hunt. But we had a cat that was a great mouser at the same time, Penn Boy. Penn Boy the hunter would bring his kills home and leave the dead bodies laying around in the yard. Smokey Joe the cat that didn’t hunt would retrieve the dead bodies and bring them to the door to present to us pretending they were his kills. We called Smokey Joe the “Rehunter”.

        It’s regifting, by the way, not regiving.

    • David Springer

      US High School Dropout rate 25%?

      Hardly. Try 7.4%.

      http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=16

      Where did you get the 25% figure from, a fundamentalist church revival pamphlet? It probably IS 25% amongst the white trash that you find in those events but in the normal world, not so much.

      • David Springer

        Note that when Bill Clinton took office the US HS dropout rate was 12%. When he left office 8 years later it was 11%. After 8 years of George W. Bush the dropout rate had declined from 11% to 8%. Food for thought.

      • You can’t fix the problem until you admit the problem. That’s why the government-education complex is nothing more than state-run dropout factories.

  35. MattStat/MatthewRMarler

    To find warming’s speed, scientists must see through clouds

    That’s a good way to put it. Even if it is true that doubling the atmospheric concentration of CO2 raises the mythical “equilibrium” temperature of the earth, the speed of the warming depends on the rates of the feedbacks, such as the increased rate at which water evaporation and dry thermals will carry surface heat to the upper troposphere. The albedo of the clouds is only one aspect, because even without albedo increase the effects of temperature on clouds needs better modeling than what has been achieved to date.

    At the risk of being repetitious, I made this point when Dr Curry posted the updated energy flow diagram from Graeme Stephan. Equilibria don’t predict rates.

  36. MattStat/MatthewRMarler

    If only the world had infinite computing power, there wouldn’t be a cloud problem.

    I think it is premature to say that.

    All the equations that are used now are approximations, and I think it likely that prediction of weather and climate changes induced by CO2 increases will require more accurate approximations than what are available now. Pierrehumbert comments in his book that the Stefan-Boltzman equation has an error (in the cases that he mentions) up to 10%. The Clausius-Clapayron equation has an error (because it is an equilibrium approximation), and so on. As computing power increases, I think it will be discovered that these errors make it impossible to model the effects (very slight in comparison to natural variability) of atmospheric CO2 changes.

  37. MattStat/MatthewRMarler

    And I think it is naive to believe that this problem can be solved by more computing power.

    It is nice to have an occasional agreement.

    Thank you for the articles. I hope they enjoy a wide readership.

  38. Clouds:

    I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now….it’s clouds illusions I recall…I really don’t know clouds…at all.

    The climate debate in a nutshell.

  39. Bloke down the pub

    A thought occurred to me, that a means of checking changes in albedo on a global scale may be going unused. Solar panels have sprung up all over the place in the race to produce green energy (or to cash in on the subsidies). If the data from their energy production could be collated, would this not offer a means of determining how the amount of sunlight reaching the surface changes over time?

    • David Springer

      Bloke down the pub | November 29, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Reply

      “A thought occurred to me”

      They have pills you can take to get rid of those now.

      • David Springer

        Hah! Curry recovered my comment using the word P I L L S.

        When I first wrote the comment it didn’t appear. Then I recalled from my years adminstering a wordpress blog that the word p i l l s is in the default list of banned words for the WordPress blog. It’s because of spam advertisements for boner p i l l s. So I used “tablets” instead and it posted right away.

        I probably shouldn’t be entertained by trivia such as this but here I am, chuckling about it.

    • David Springer

      Bloke down the pub | November 29, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Reply

      “A thought occurred to me”

      They have tablets you can take to get rid of those now.

    • Or how often building maintenance cleans the cells?

  40. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Another work that affirms a strengthening consensus:

    Comparing climate projections
    to observations up to 201

    Rahmstorf, Foster, and Cazenave

    We analyse global temperature and sea-level data for the past few decades and compare them to projections published in the third and fourth assessment reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

    The results show that global temperature continues to increase in good agreement with the best estimates of the IPCC, especially if we account for the effects of short-term variability due to the El Niño/Southern Oscillation, volcanic activity and solar variability.

    The rate of sea-level rise of the past few decades, on the other hand, is greater than projected by the IPCC models. This suggests that IPCC sea-level projections for the future may also be biased low.

    Question  How is it that the climate-change models are working so well?

    Answer  Astrophysicists, by their studies of the physics of stellar variability, teach us the following lessons regarding the physics of climate variability:

    Lesson 1  Consensus thermodynamical theory “just works”.

    Lesson 2  Consensus radiative transport theory “just works”.

    Lesson 3  Consensus turbulent transport theory “just works”.

    Lesson 4  Consensus opacity theory (stellar “clouding”) “just works”.

    The lesson of stellar astrophysics is that these four lessons hold true, even when no money is at-stake, and no political ideologies are at-stake, and no religious beliefs are at-stake.

    That’s why the astrophysicists are the realscientific pioneers … whose fundamental ideas the climate-change community has adopted without substantial change, eh? \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\ {\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    Conclusion  (1) James Hansen’s thermodynamically-based models of climate-change are appearing more-and-more likely to be essentially correct. (2) “Outsider” theories of climate-change, not so much, eh? \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\ {\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • When will the rate of sea level rise more than double so that the IPCC could be correct in the amount of sea level rise predicted by 2100?

      What is the climate sensitivity to a doubling of CO2 within .5C?

      If you can’t answer these simple direct questions, do you know enough to advocate actions on the subject?

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Rob Starkey, once we appreciate that humanity is undertaking to drive off a cliff, why does knowing the exact speed that we’re driving matter so much? \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\frown}\ {\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\frown}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

        The world wonders … eh?

        Or at least, foresighted folks do.

      • The fact that you are frightened is of no more concern to me than if you were afraid of monsters in your closet at night. In your opinion, does it make sense to advocate taking expensive actions because of people’s unsupportable fears.

        You write about a cliff, but when I ask reasonable questions about how high is the cliff, you acknowledge that you do not know but you are scared anyway.

        Will you acknowledge that there is a reasonable possibility that the world is warming, but at a rate that is slower than the IPCC forecasted or at near to the bottom of the forecasted rate of change?

        Will you acknowledge that neither you nor anyone else has any reliable data to know that any resulting warming will lead to net harms over the long term or the net sum of harms vs. benefits?

    • David Springer

      A fan of *MORE* discourse | November 29, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Reply

      Answer Astrophysicists, by their studies of the physics of stellar variability, teach us the following lessons regarding the physics of climate variability:

      Lesson 1 Consensus thermodynamical theory “just works”.
      Lesson 2 Consensus radiative transport theory “just works”.
      Lesson 3 Consensus turbulent transport theory “just works”.
      Lesson 4 Consensus opacity theory (stellar “clouding”) “just works”.

      ZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz….

      Wake me when they can predict solar weather. That just doesn’t work.

      \mathbb{DINGBAT}\bowtie\mathbb{DINGBAT}

      • Max_OK | November 29, 2012 at 7:06 pm said: ”You are right about the bottle of water exploding if left in the freezer. I did that once with a warm bottle of beer But you said some more stuff, and because you writing is so bad, I don’t know if I get your point”

        Mate, in beer bottles they leave some empty space, for expansion; in case of change of temp, or going in aircraft, where is less atmospheric pressure.Plus, when the bottle was filled in the brewery, the temp was at 15C (water above 4C in the beer was already expanded But,

        1] water has the greatest density at 4C (39F).
        2] because the sunlight doesn’t penetrate more than 100m deep in the sea, below in the darkness, the water is below 4C (39F).even in equatorial regions. Oceans on average are 2,3km deep, that’s lots of water below 4C (39F).

        3] in beer is a bit of alcohol, as antifreeze, but the salt in the seawater prevents the water of freezing at zero centigrade, gets colder below zero and keep expanding. When water decides to expand, nothing can stop it. a bucket of water used to push a locomotive – no mater if coal powered, or nuclear produced electricity – is used the expansion of water. any water below, or above, or below .4C (39F).as it goes further away -> it keeps expanding. there are detailed explanation on my blog, but my English is not good enough for you…

      • stefanthedenier said in his post on Nov. 29, 2012 at 8:53 pm

        “When water decides to expand, nothing can stop it”
        _______

        Water decides? Water makes decisions? I don’t think so, but even if it did, it wouldn’t have the final word.

        Suppose the water in my teakettle decides to expand. I just turn the burner off, which stops the water from expanding. Who’s making the decision there?

        Suppose I’m heating a pan of water to make a mess of grits, and return to find the pan dry because the water decided to expand out of the pan and go somewhere else. Do you really think it just keeps expanding as long as it likes, and nothing can stop it?

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Question How is it that the climate-change models are working so well?

      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 do this, nor have we proven that the desired functions exist’. Thirty years later, this problem remains unsolved, and may possibly be unsolvable.

      So how much will uncertainties in climate-change predictions of the large-scale reduce if models are run at 20, 2 or even 0.2 km resolution rather than say 100 km resolution? Equally, we may ask whether there is a certain resolution (e.g. 20 km), where it might be feasible to represent small-scale motions using stochastic equations, rather than trying to resolve them? These questions urgently need answering as the pressures grow on the climate science community to estimate, and if possible reduce uncertainties, and provide more reliable and confident predictions of regional climate change, hazardous weather and extremes.

      Nevertheless, however much models improve, there will always be an irreducible level of uncertainty—‘flap of the seagull’s wings’—because of the chaotic nature of the system. Even the climate we have observed over the past century or so is only one realization of what the real system might produce. http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/369/1956/4751.full

      FOMBS question emerges from a fundamental misunderstanding of the complexity of climate and the nature of models themsleves. The models are chaotic and there has been no question about that since Lorenz’s convection model of the early 1960’s. The resolution of the complexity problem in models involves systematically designed model families to explore the limits of irreducible imprecision and expression of non-unique solutions as a probability density function.

      What we have instead is an opportunisitc ensemble of equally likely (or unlikely) results. ‘Simplistically, despite the opportunistic assemblage of the various AOS model ensembles, we can view the spreads in their results as upper bounds on their irreducible imprecision. Optimistically, we might think this upper bound is a substantial overestimate because AOS models are evolving and improving. Pessimistically, we can worry that the ensembles contain insufficient samples of possible plausible models, so the spreads may underestimate the true level of irreducible imprecision (cf., ref. 23). Realistically, we do not yet know how to make this assessment with confidence.’ http://www.pnas.org/content/104/21/8709.full

      Realistically – we may presume that FOMBS is over-egging the pudding.

      • David Springer asked: ” How can the oceans be cooling and rising at the same time?

        This is how: 1: there is more water in every sea / ocean ;;combined;; at below 4C (about 80%), than above (20%) – Water below +4C; when cools more -> EXPANDS! b] when warms more -> it shrinks.

        2] put a bottle of sea / salty water at 4C in your freezer and monitor == by cooling of 1=2=3C, the bottle WILL EXPLODE!!! B] put similar bottle of seawater at zero centigrade – and warm it up by 2-4C -> water will shrink. Can you dig it David?

      • Re post by stefanthedenier Nov. 29, 2012 at 6:27 pm

        You are right about the bottle of water exploding if left in the freezer. I did that once with a warm bottle of beer (I was in a hurry). Every one in the house was peeved at me over that.

        But you said some more stuff, and because you writing is so bad, I don’t know if I get your point.

    • Temperatures are going to fall. How many years of falling temperatures will it take for you to admit you have placed your faith in the wrong horse.

      Your beliefs are as inappropriate as your moniker, ‘fan of LESS discourse’ would be more accurate.

      Also I would appreciate it if you were to dump the children’s crayon set.

      • Just like arctic sea ice was supposed to recover?

        Wishful thinking won’t make it so. There is no signs of any cooling and this is despite a PDO shift, a run of La Ninas and a very low and extended solar minimum.

        You should be thinking what’s holding the temperature up and what will happen when the weight is removed.

      • Lolwat,

        We are at a solar high, low though it is, we are benefiting from the warmth of the previous high(s) and the AMO is still positive.

        You should be thinking what’s holding the temperature up and what will happen when the weight is removed.

        I am, and the answer is that it’s going to get seriously cold.

        Round about 2020 we should hit the solar low and the AMO will be nearer negative territory, sunspots will have fallen off a cliff and may have gone missing altogether and the reality of the consequences of that can be seen in the history books that cover 1810 and the Maunder minimum.

        Just like arctic sea ice was supposed to recover?
        Wishful thinking won’t make it so

        Ocean currents do their own thing and Arctic sea ice is governed more by those than by atmospheric temperatures. Though again, the history books tell us that Arctic ice made big gains during the two previous minimums.

        And no, I do not wish Arctic sea ice to recover, though it will and far too quickly for my liking.

      • Lolwat.

        Hopefully you are right and temperatures will climb. That would be great, we know from history that the Romans grew vines in the North of England and that throughout Europe it was a time of plenty.

        Bring it on. Where is it, I’m still waiting. Are you really confident in the face of a straight line drop in the Sun’s magnetic field, something which is unaffected by the emissions of your SUV. I take it that’s what you drive ?

      • Lolwat.

        Record Arctic refreeze!

        Meanwhile, the media are dead-cold silent when it comes to the massive Arctic sea ice recovery seen since October 1st – a record of almost 6 million square kilometers have been added. Never has the Arctic refrozen so much, so fast. Some experts are calling the scope of the refreeze “unprecedented” and “dramatic”. Even the other hemisphere as been too cold; Antarctica has seen above average sea ice extent for every month for the past year. The 30-year upward trend shows no sign of abating.

        Also New Zealand, where it is now almost summer, is forecast to get snow!

        http://notrickszone.com/

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        J Martin said:

        “Temperatures are going to fall”

        ____
        Temperatures of what exactly will fall and exactly when will that begin and exactly why will it occur and over what timeframe?

      • Gates, you asked:
        <blockquote.
        (1) Temperatures of what exactly will fall
        (2) exactly when will that begin
        (3) exactly why will it occur
        (4) over what timeframe?

        (1) You don’t know ? Daft question, what are we discussing here, the temperature of my morning coffee ? Global temperatures, though it’s likely that Northern Hemisphere temperatures will show a greater fall than the Southern Hemisphere.

        (2) No one knows when. But I think that a reasonable guess is that we will start to see some movement towards lower temperatures over the next 5 to 10 years as the Sun moves towards it’s solar minimum from it’s current half height maximum.

        (3) No one knows why. That’s a bit like asking where did the universe come from, or does God exist. However, a less specious response is that solar activity, may turn out to have an unexpectedly strong influence on planetary temperatures. One of the leading contenders for a mechanism for this being the falling magnetic fields of both the Earth and the Sun leading to a drop in TSI amongst other things along with an increase in cloudiness, causing an increase in albedo. Will a negative phase AMO also play a part ?

        (4) No one knows how long. Starting within less than 10 years and maxing out at about the year 2100 by which time temperatures will have dropped below those seen during the Maunder Minimum. An uncompleted graph for this (not mine) has been published elsewhere. I found it fascinating.

        (5) The question you didn’t ask. What happens next ?
        Temperatures start to climb once more but do not fully recover before the next step down in 200 years time (Landscheidt). Basically we have started the process of temperatures stepping down into the next glaciation.

        – – – – – –

        I would like to think that I am wrong, but I have not been sufficiently convinced by other hypotheses. I am especially not convinced by the idea that co2 might somehow save us from or mitigate the effects of the next glaciation, What is the possible maximum effect of co2 ? Vostok cores show a drop of 10 degrees during the last glaciation, Gisp cores show a considerably larger drop.

        How much impact this will have on mankind will initially be determined by the rate at which it progresses, and later by the extent. But these are perhaps questions for future generations.

        A more immediate concern, at least in the UK where we nowadays seem incapable of coping with 10 centimetres of snow, is how well will an overpopulated island with inadequate food storage cope with a ‘new little ice age’. ?

        I am in essentially no doubt that we will have more pressing concerns, namely, food security.

        Oh, and co2 ? long since forgotten.

        Have a great weekend.

      • “Meanwhile, the media are dead-cold silent when it comes to the massive Arctic sea ice recovery seen since October 1st – a record of almost 6 million square kilometers have been added.”

        That’s just a consequence of the Arctic minimum declining faster than maximum. It’s not, as notrickszone wrongly imagines, a sign of some sort of recovery.

        Recall if you will that climate skeptics made the same argument following the 2007 minimum. “Look!”, they said, “the ice has increased by a record amount over the winter!”, not recognizing that this was just a side effect of the record low. Instead they imagined it was part of a recovery, largely I suspect because that was a very contrarian thing to go around claiming. Needless to say us alarmists facepalmed at all this cherrpicking and anecdotal claims and needless to say skeptics didn’t see the record low in 2012 coming.

        There’s a lesson there about the climate skeptic approach to the Sun and CO2 too.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        J Martin, it’s very puzzling! That web site you linked proudly calls itself “The No Tricks Zone” … yet it never quotes directly from the Rahmstorf, Foster, and Cazenave article Comparing climate projections to observations up to 2011.

        Gosh … why not focus on the science (which is outstandingly interesting!) instead of cherry-picking, personalizing, polarizing, and over-simplifying the discourse?

        The world wonders about these recurrent denialist “tricks”, eh? \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\ {\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • Less.

        The Tamino, Papegeno, Papagena paper was also debunked on WUWT as well as Notrickszone.

        They (TPP) were found to be out of tune, whereas you seem to be out of kilter.

        The next few years will change your tune.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        LOL … it appears that folks who have actually *READ* the Rahmstorf, Foster, and Cazenave survey article — skeptic and non-skeptic alike — mainly with its conclusions

        Conclusions

        In conclusion, the rise in CO2 concentration and global temperature has continued to closely match the projections over the past five years, while sea level continues to rise faster than anticipated.

        The latter suggests that the 21st Century sea-level projections of the last two IPCC reports may be systematically biased low.

        Those folks who *HAVEN’T* read the article for themselves, but instead mainly receive their opinions second-hand from the denialist “bubble/quibblers”, not so much, eh? \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\ {\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • Fan,

        global temperature has continued to closely match the projections over the past five years, while sea level continues to rise faster than anticipated.
        That statement by Tamino and his two cohorts is total rubbish. Their temperature projections show an endless and uninterrupted rise in temperature, whereas we all know (and I suspect they must also know) that temperatures have been flat for some years now, something which Phil Jones now admits.

        Sooner or later they will run out of manoeuvring room to adjust countryside temperatures up to meet UHI temperatures. Up to 3 degrees centigrade in one case in Australia. (Tallbloke’s blog). Combined with the dishonest adjustment downwards of past temperatures that many of these organisations are carrying out, means that they have resorted to fraudulently altering the data to conform with their failed models. But once cooling sets in with a vengeance their cynical data manipulation will leave their fraudulent science exposed for what it is.

        The statement that sea level is rising faster than expected is utter nonsense, sea level rise is slowing, and in 2011 sea level dropped.

        Before long temperatures will be falling so clearly that public support of the co2 obsessed will have fallen away and only the fringe lunatic scientists will be left spouting ever more unrealistic prognostications. Nameless people like you will have long since disappeared from these blogs. You clearly suspect that you might be wrong, why else would you hide behind an anonymous handle / moniker.

      • Fan,

        global temperature has continued to closely match the projections over the past five years, while sea level continues to rise faster than anticipated.

        That statement by Tamino and his two cohorts is total rubbish. Their temperature projections show an endless and uninterrupted rise in temperature, whereas we all know (and I suspect they must also know) that temperatures have been flat for some years now, something which Phil Jones now admits.

        Sooner or later they will run out of manoeuvring room to adjust countryside temperatures up to meet UHI temperatures. Up to 3 degrees centigrade in one case in Australia. (Tallbloke’s blog). Combined with the dishonest adjustment downwards of past temperatures that many of these organisations are carrying out, means that they have resorted to fraudulently altering the data to conform with their failed models. But once cooling sets in with a vengeance their cynical data manipulation will leave their fraudulent science exposed for what it is.

        The statement that sea level is rising faster than expected is utter nonsense, sea level rise is slowing, and in 2011 sea level dropped.

        Before long temperatures will be falling so clearly that public support of the co2 obsessed will have fallen away and only the fringe lunatic scientists will be left spouting ever more unrealistic prognostications. Nameless people like you will have long since disappeared from these blogs. You clearly suspect that you might be wrong, why else would you hide behind an anonymous handle / moniker.

        Sorry, I obviously screwed up the use of blockquote must have missed off the /

  41. Clouds, the latest Great White Hope, will get knocked unconscious by reality, Jack “ACO2″ Johnson.

  42. Chief Hydrologist

    The Arctic environment is changing. Melting sea ice, thawing permafrost, increased rainfall and runoff from glaciers and rivers is increasing the amount of freshwater entering the Arctic Ocean. The rising level of freshwater is increasing the Arctic Ocean’s temperature.

    This freshening and warming of the Arctic Ocean may interrupt the driving and sinking mechanisms of the Atlantic surface water. It could even stop the pull of warm tropical waters past northwest Europe. If this were to happen, it could significantly change the climate and weather patterns of the world and Earth’s ecosystems.

    While current research suggests this scenario is unlikely to happen in the 21st century, a better understanding of the changes taking place in the Arctic will give scientists a better understanding of thermohaline circulation. http://www.catlinarcticsurvey.com/thermohaline-circulation-2011/

    Although you need to think in terms of systems – rather than individual ‘mechanisms’ – in which clouds, snow, ice, orbital eccentricities, solar variability, ocean circulation and biology interact to produce behaviours typical of complex, dynamic systems. Sensitive dependence, noisy bifurcation and abrupt change. Signals propagate through the system making the problem of predicting climate orders of magnitude more difficult than many fervidly imagine.

    ‘Our research strategy focuses on the collective behavior of a network of climate indices. Networks are everywhere – underpinning diverse systems from the world-wide-web to biological systems, social interactions, and commerce. Networks can transform vast expanses into “small worlds”; a few long-distance links make all the difference between isolated clusters of localized activity and a globally interconnected system with synchronized [1] collective behavior; communication of a signal is tied to the blueprint of connectivity. By viewing climate as a network, one sees the architecture of interaction – a striking simplicity that belies the complexity of its component detail.’ http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2011/04/21/guest-post-atlantic-multidecadal-oscillation-and-northern-hemisphere%E2%80%99s-climate-variability-by-marcia-glaze-wyatt-sergey-kravtsov-and-anastasios-a-tsonis/

    The ‘architecture of interaction’ expresses as shifts in climate at all temporal scales and the new frontier of climate science is in understanding the implications of systtems connectivity. One of these is that we are in a cool multi-decadal mode and that appears to constrain both ocean and atmospheric warming. Clouds are seemingly involved in this emergent behaviour.

    http://s1114.photobucket.com/albums/k538/Chief_Hydrologist/?action=view&current=CERES_MODIS.gif

    The second is that shifts in climate seem relatively frequent – around 1910, the mid 1940’s, the late 1970’s and 1998/2001 in the instrumental record. It is unimaginable that the next mode can be predicted and painting scenarios is a pointless exercise. Theoretically the next shift could be to warmer or cooler – with a finite risk of catastropic change in less than a decade.

    • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

      Chief Hydro said:

      “Theoretically the next shift could be to warmer or cooler – with a finite risk of catastropic change in less than a decade.”
      ——–
      This is as close to a meaningless statement as you can get. Essentially you’ve said “anything can happen in the future and there is some risk it could be really bad.”

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Nonetheless – it is true.

        The apparent lack of a proximate cause behind the halt in warming post 2001/02 challenges our understanding of the climate system, specifically the physical reasoning and causal links between longer time-scale modes of internal climate variability and the impact of such modes upon global temperature. Fortunately, climate science is rapidly developing the tools to meet this challenge, as in the near future it will be
        possible to attribute cause and effect in decadal-scale climate variability within the context of a seamless climate forecast system [Palmer et al., 2008]. Doing so is vital, as the future evolution of the global mean temperature may hold surprises on both the warm and cold ends of the
        spectrum due entirely to internal variability that lie well outside the envelope of a steadily increasing global mean temperature.
        S&T09 – Has the climate recently shifted Indeed – it may well be warmer than predicted after the next climate shift according to blah blah duh.

        In a chaotic system the speculation is to the timing of the next climate shift – in a decade or three perhaps. The shift then will be in the global system involving the ‘stadium wave’ of Wyatt et al 2012. – / soon to be reported in AR5. Thus involving a large number of mechanisms across the system resulting in a degree of unpredictability. The degree being total.

        I am – btw – as smart as Lisa Simpson – so you can take that to your fancy smancy Lawrence Livermore.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Chief Hydro said:

        “I am – btw – as smart as Lisa Simpson – so you can take that to your fancy smancy Lawrence Livermore.”

        ——-
        Indeed you are! Exactly as smart as this humorous and fictional animated cartoon. You’ve got my vote for smartest denizen of Climate Etc.!

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I know what I said dingbat. Your reply makes you a humourless, greenshirt, hive bozo with precisely none of the wit and wisdom – and jollies – of The Simpsons. Of course it is fictional – it is animated – you dumbass excuse for a cultured and educated human being. Where do these morons come from? I feel a conspiracy coming on. Is there a factory somewhere spitting out replica Stepford human beings? Are they hive bozo pod people? Is this an invasion of humourless drone people from a parallel universe? Just what is it with these people that they can’t let any excuse for a snark pass? Are they all really just pimply, can’t get a date, smartass nerds in their mom’s basement playing massively parallel computer games? When they want to get creative – do they call a meeting and decide on an agenda? When planning world domination – do they take the bus or bicycle? When they dance – do they actually look like robots even when not doing the robot? Have they ever been on the edge and hung it over the line? Have they loved madly and had crazy adventures? Have they been unwise and defiantly declared je ne regrette rien? What is the point of a linear mind in a chaotic universe? Do they know how to boogy up and shake it all about? Do they know that poetry distills the l’essence de la vie? I am in despair.

        Where is Nobel Laureate (elect) Mike when you need him.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Chief,

        And here I thought you and I were buddies. Lisa Simpson is very smart, says funny things, and lives in a fictional world. I agree that you are very much like her and then you call me a dingbat?…

        Very funny…I approve!

      • Have they ever been on the edge and hung it over the line? Have they loved madly and had crazy adventures? Have they been unwise and defiantly declared je ne regrette rien? What is the point of a linear mind in a chaotic universe? Do they know how to boogy up and shake it all about? Do they know that poetry distills the l’essence de la vie? I am in despair.

        Stop being a self-aggrandising tit. I’ve had my share of fun and I’ve taken risks. That’s why, unlike you, I’ve been able retire at 47 and spend the rest of my life doing it my way.

        Be happy in your career working for someone else.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Dingbats plural hey?

        I work for an international, listed, mid teir consultancy. I have a unique skill set and it let’s me live on the coast in central Queensland. I suppose I could retire – but why would I want to?

        You – blah blah – are an umemployable loser.

      • Of course I’m unemployable. Who wants to work for someone else? You seem to be missing the point. But then, it’s your life…

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I don’t think you get the point dingbat. Work is about challenge, problem solving, team building. I could retire but I don’t want to.

        I have no idea why you think we should be impressed by some 47 year loser who lacks the motivation to work and achieve.

        I don’t know why you insist on making it personal – just what is it you think you need to prove? You are evidently a bit of a sad case.

      • CH

        You are a treat:

        You – blah blah – are an umemployable loser.

        Swiftly followed by this:

        I don’t know why you insist on making it personal

      • Chief.

        R. gates notes that your statement is meaningless.
        Your statement is meaningless. It’s meaningless to say.
        It could be warmer. it could be colder.
        It is meaningless because nothing could prove the statement wrong.
        While I tend not to agree with everything verificationists say or with everything that popper said, it is clear that statements void of empirical content are meaningless.

        Basically, by saying that it could be warmer or it could be colder, you insulate yourself from changing your mind. If it gets colder, you were right. Warmer? you are right. If you have no possible chance of being wrong, you havent said anything.

        Further there is no convincing you. which means in your mind you have no doubts about your science. its settled

      • Steven Mosher and R. Gates

        I have to disagree with what you just wrote the Chief, i.e. that his statement below is meaningless:

        “Theoretically the next shift could be to warmer or cooler – with a finite risk of catastrophic change in less than a decade.”

        It reflects what his personal knowledge and experience related to our climate tells him, namely that our climate has always changed in the past and will continue to do so in the future, sometimes even abruptly and in rare cases even with local or regional catastrophic results, BUT there are too many uncertainties to be able to predict which way it will go in the future and when.

        This seems like a very reasonable conclusion.

        You may not agree with it personally, but to say it is “meaningless” is false.

        Max

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Well gee whiz mosh – I did back it up with quote from a peer reviewed study that said exactly the same thing.

        If it warms I am right – if it cools I am right – if the … hits the fan (that would be funny) and temperatures plummet in less than a decade I can say I told you so and watch the climate refugeees stream into central Queensland.

        Pretty cute eh?

        But this is the nature of a chaotic climate system that shifts every few decades. It has precisely the meaning ascribed to it – there may be surprises at both ends of the warming and cooling spectrum.

        We are in a cool mode for a decade or three more – but what is to say we will not move from augmenting the warming to hiding the warming to more hiding of the warming. It is nonsense to suggest otherwise – and therefore to say that the future evolution of the system is unpredictable has the meaning that it is unpredictible.

        If we had some proper probabilistic forecasts we might be able to assign some probablilities to possibilities – but as it stands we ain’t got nothin’.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        One more thing mosh – that climate is a chaotic system seems as likely to me as anything in science. So if you have figured out why it works that way there is a chance at figuring out how.

      • A bird in the hand…

      • Chief Hydrologist

        You have tried nothing but being an abusive and repulsive cult of AGW groupthink space cadet with no scientific chops at all.

      • The Skeptical Warmist

        Max,

        Perhaps it would be better to say that Chief’s statement is scientifically devoid of meaning. Moreover, it implies that there is a kind of “random walk” involved in the climate, which is misleading at best. So I guess I would rephrase might statement to be:

        Chief comment is scientifically devoid of meaning and potentially misleading.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Appopos of absolutely nothing at all – ‘Stop being a self-aggrandising tit. I’ve had my share of fun and I’ve taken risks. That’s why, unlike you, I’ve been able retire at 47 and spend the rest of my life doing it my way.

      Be happy in your career working for someone else.’

      You have quite the lack of self awareness expected of space cadets. And then they seem quite upset when I fire back.

      • Previously you asked:

        I have a question. What kind of malcontent dickwad retires at 47? Careers and intellect don’t start peaking until 50 at least. That is when you have sufficient knowledge, experience and confidence for peak achievemenWe t. Frankly I regard a 47 year old retiree as an unemployable loser. How’s that working out for you?

        And I was pissed off, which led directly to the taunt your quote.

        ***

        Let’s down machetes for a minute.

        Freedom from work and financial worries is wonderful for me.

        Fine, it’s not how you want to live your life.

        Fair enough with me. Fair enough with you?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        We can go into an infinite regression further and further back to with insults. It is not just me you have abused and attempted to bully and you commenced your invidious behaviour from the start. You have shown yourself to be a protagonist of the highest order and the lowest type.

        Being at a stage in my life where work is not about money – I find it difficult to understand why life is not all about work. But really – to keep bringing it back to money is a bit vulgar don’t you think blah balh?

      • Okay CH, you are an irredeemable pillock incapable of recognising your own malignant nature. Goes with the selective denial of other inconvenient things, doesn’t it?

        But I tried.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      You are such a dingbat gatesy – and why would you ever assume we were friends? What on earth would induce me to be friends with a dingbat such as you? I should have thought that would be clear.

      The shift is not a random walk but a shift between attractors on the topology of the climate phase space. Simple? It has the scientific meaning that climate is in principle and in fact a dynamically complex system and a member of that broad class of systems identified in complex systems theory.

      If you don’t understand that – I suggest you do some homework rather than hanging about here making nosensical comment.

  43. Why are clouds such a problem.

    Surely all we need are better measurements. Isn’t this what NASA is (was) good at ?

    A few satellites designed to measure everything about clouds and radiation coming from Earth would be invaluable.

    For at least 365 days from both the sunlit and night time side of the Earth we need to measure the average radiation leaving Earth, we need to focus in and measure the radiation from clouds, we need to focus again and measure the radiation from unclouded areas. These 6 measurements would be a great start, we can then refine things further and look at the effects of different types of clouds, distribution of clouds, differences between area and extent, and so on.

    Don’t we have satellites that do this ? and after 100 billion dollars why not ?

    Isn’t measuring the input energy from the sun and the output energy from the sunlit and night-time sides of Earth basic science, essential knowledge that we don’t seem to have. Instead we have speculation from models.

    Understanding the interaction of clouds with our environment is crucial if we are ever to understand climate.

    What’s the problem ?

    • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

      J. Martin asks:

      “Why are clouds such a problem?”
      ——
      An unhappy family life. The Hydrogen Twins and Oxygen would be just fine living as a nice Ménage à trois in the town of Water Vapor, but that troublemaker Aerosol has to come along and clouds things up.

      • mancker

        So there are some empirical observations out there, which do support Lindzen’s hypothesis.

        Just for the record.

        Except that this all went nowhere, didn’t it? Evidence supporting the Lindzen Iris is effectively non-existent, and Spencer’s attempts to push his own cloud negative feedback claims imploded on scrutiny.

        Further references:

        Replies to Lindzen & Choi (2009)/Spencer & Braswell (2009):

        Trenberth et al. (2010)
        http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2010/2009GL042314.shtml

        Lin et al. (2010)
        http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022407310001226

        Murphy et al. (2010)
        http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2010/2010GL042911.shtml

        Dessler (2010)
        http://www.sciencemag.org/content/330/6010/1523.abstract

      • Cont:

        Replies to Lindzen & Choi (2011)/Spencer & Braswell (2011):

        Dessler (2011)
        http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/pip/2011GL049236.shtml

        Trenberth, Fasullo & Abraham (2011)
        http://www.mdpi.com/2072-4292/3/9/2051/pdf

      • BBD, you crack me up. TF and A shifted through models to find a couple that happen to suit their POV instead of considering the ensemble. That must have lit their light bulbs since they also selected models that happen to more closely match RH again neglecting the ensemble, for a recent paper promoting high sensitivity.

        Lindzen’s iris theory needs work, even Spencer pointed out some issues with Lindzen’s interpretation of the satellite data, but the atmosphere is responding differently than expected. The tropical ozone depletion was a bit of a surprise and the Arctic ozone “hole” was not on the expected list either.

        I think even Gates was a little surprised by the potential pseudo-cyclic NH SSW events. With a new climate regime in place, there are likely to be more surprises, since water vapor does not play well with ozone.

        BTW, the Dessler link is broke, but this debate is kinda fun.

      • capn

        BBD, you crack me up. TF and A shifted through models to find a couple that happen to suit their POV instead of considering the ensemble.

        Isn’t the point here about emergent behaviours in the models? Sensitivity is an emergent value. ENSO-type variability is most pronounced in models exhibiting higher sensitivity. We have ENSO in the real world…

        Strongly negative cloud feedback don’t seem to fit the picture. Not so much confirmation bias as a reasonable choice of models.

      • Well, it is more an emergent behavior of the modelers.

      • Well, it is more an emergent behavior of the modelers.

        And here was me thinking the serious discussion was about emergent behaviour of the models and the best match to observed behaviour of the climate system ;-)

      • BBD, In order to change the intent of the models from ensemble to discrete models you don’t just say “Hey look this one looks better than the others!” All the literature uses the ensemble to predict sensitivity. Now TF and A decide that the ensemble standard maybe should be dropped for one or two models with higher sensitivity that happen to get close to RH. That is called Texas Sharp Shooting.

        If the models are to be useful the more consistency the better, then emergent behavior can be discovered based on the models. The models don’t have to be right, just consistent with a consistent procedure to be useful. If TF and A what to change the procedure, that is a different subject. They could set verification and validation standards and start weeding out models, which would make for a very interesting AR5.

      • BBD

        You have just demonstrated with all the many hastily scrambled together replies to S+B 2007, L+C 2009 (corrected by L+C 2011) that these physical observations from ERBE and CERES satellites hit a lot of raw nerves in the “consensus community” because they challenged the “consensus” paradigm on cloud feedback and climate sensitivity.

        But that’s about all you’ve demonstrated.

        The studies and their conclusions still stand until they can be scientifically falsified (which has not happened yet).

        Max

      • mancker

        1/ You are factually wrong. Read a selection of the links

        2/ *You* have just demonstrated that you are a denier!

      • L+C 2009 (corrected by L+C 2011)

        More selective blindness Max!

        Replies to Lindzen & Choi (2011)/Spencer & Braswell (2011):

        Dessler (2011)
        http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/pip/2011GL049236.shtml

        Trenberth, Fasullo & Abraham (2011)
        http://www.mdpi.com/2072-4292/3/9/2051/pdf

        Face the facts Max. Neither Lindzen nor Spencer has withstood scientific scrutiny. Trying to frame this as some sort of evil conspiracy by the hated and corrupt “consensus” against a couple of champions of true science is simply fatuous. Not to mention teetering on the edge of a conspiracy theory…

      • Capn

        BBD, In order to change the intent of the models from ensemble to discrete models you don’t just say “Hey look this one looks better than the others!”

        One of the several serious criticisms levelled at S&B11 was the highly selective use of data, time periods and results from an over-simplified model.

        It is borderline funny that you are trying to point the finger at Dessler when the truly egregious offender in this respect is Spencer himself.

        Don’t waste time defending the indefensible. There are better arguments to devote your energy to.

      • BBD, “One of the several serious criticisms levelled at S&B11 was the highly selective use of data, time periods and results from an over-simplified model.”

        I wouldn’t say S&B11 was :”highly” selective as much a sloppy. But if I recall correctly, S&B 11 was a rebuttal and T’s picking out a couple that S&B11 didn’t include was a rebuttal of a rebuttal. Both crews managed to show their ‘buttals pretty well.

        TF & A I believe was suppose to be a scientific paper capable of standing on its own and providing some new scientific insight. I apply different standards, but that is probably just me.

      • capn

        You apply different standard all right.

      • BBD, whatever you say. I think though that others reading might note a distinction.

    • J Martin, the Japanese have a stationary satellite which allows scientists to observe changes in cloud formation over time. Richard Lindzen of MIT used that system in his discovery of the “IRIS effect”. The data from the satellite is available. However further study of the natural forces in the climate system is not a priority in the funding of climate science. With the vast amounts spent on models, programmers and policy promotion, there is little resource left for observation. One would think after a 16 year pause in global temperature rise, that climate scientists would demand more funding for understanding clouds. It is a sorry state of affairs.

      • Lindzen failed to make a scientific case for his hypothesised Iris effect. Let’s not forget that. The most recent observational rebuttal came from the much-quoted Wong et al. (2006):

        1) The new results do not support the recent Iris hypothesis (Lindzen et al. 2001; Lin et al. 2004). As tropical and global SST warms in the late 1990s during the 1997–98 El Niño, the Iris negative feedback predicts net flux to decrease (ocean cooling) as opposed to the increase (ocean heating) seen in Fig. 7.

        Other studies demonstrating flaws in the Iris hypothesis:

        Hartmann & Michelsen (2002)
        http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/1520-0477%282002%29083%3C0249%3ANEFI%3E2.3.CO%3B2

        Lin et al. (2002)
        http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/1520-0442%282002%29015%3C0003%3ATIHANO%3E2.0.CO%3B2

        Harrison (2002)
        http://ams.allenpress.com/perlserv/?request=get-abstract&doi=10.1175%2F1520-0477(2002)083%3C0597%3ACODTEH%3E2.3.CO%3B2

        Fu et al (2002)
        http://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/2/31/2002/acp-2-31-2002.html

      • BBD

        It is correct, as you write, that Lindzens “infrared iris” hypothesis raised some flak in the “consensus community”, because it raised a question on the model-predicted strongly positive net cloud feedback used by IPCC.

        Based on CERES satellite observations over the tropics, Spencer + Braswell 2007 observed a negative overall feedback from clouds with warming, largely related to increased reflection of incoming SW radiation from low-level clouds:

        Our measured sensitivity of total (SW + LW) cloud radiative forcing to tropospheric temperature is -6.1 W m-2 K-1.

        adding this remark regarding the change in LW absorbing ice cloud coverage:

        During the composite oscillation’s rainy, tropospheric warming phase, the longwave flux anomalies unexpectedly transitioned from warming to cooling, behavior which was traced to a decrease in ice cloud coverage. This decrease in ice cloud coverage is nominally supportive of Lindzen’s ‘‘infrared iris’’ hypothesis.

        So there are some empirical observations out there, which do support Lindzen’s hypothesis.

        Just for the record.

        Max

      • manacker

        Apologies for the threading error. My response appears above, here.

      • @bbd

        Last time I made a ‘threading error’ you accused me of running away from the discussion.

        Glad to know that you now see that it can happen to anyone without requiring ulterior motives.

        I imagine an apology would be beyond you?

      • LA

        You imagine correctly. You were taking the piss.

  44. I think Dr Hansen’s approach makes the most sense. Use all three lines of evidence: paleoclimate, present day observations and models in that order.

    • David Springer

      Or he can try using the red pill.

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

    • lolwot

      Forget paleo climate stuff, especially if it comes from “coal death train” Hansen.

      Paleo stuff has the inherent problems I mentioned. And Hansen is not credible as an objective, unbiased scientist – he is a dedicated advocate.

      Forget models – they are only as good as the assumptions that are fed in.

      The only thing that counts is empirical evidence from real-time physical observations or reproducible experimentation (Feynman).

      And that’s what is still missing “after 40 years” (as the lead article laments).

      Max

      • Actually you can check hansens paleo work for yourself. the data is all there.

        WRT Feynman, he would disagree with your assessment and he is no authority on what counts as “empirical”. No observation is free of theoretical structures. The whole notion that you can separate theory from observation is itself a theoretical construct.

        We have proxy information that sets a envelop os estimates for past temperature. The MWP existed, the LIA existed, the LGM existed.
        Feynman would agree.

        We have information that sets an envelop for forcing over time.

        Using these you can calculate a envelop for the climate response to forcing.

        That envelop is fairly wide. it can be narrowed by focusing on a few key geological periods. That work is under funded

      • Steven Mosher

        The topic here is “Clouds”.

        The underlying premise is that there is far too little empirical evidence to support the notions espoused by IPCC:

        a) that clouds only act as a “feedback” to other already defined (principally anthropogenic) forcing
        b) that the net overall feedback from clouds with warming is positive

        I would agree with this underlying premise.

        Paleo stuff is dicey for the many reasons that are well known, which I have stated. Hansen’s is no different. And Hansen is an outspoken advocate of the CAGW premise rather than an objective, open-minded scientist, which makes his interpretation of already dicey data suspect.

        The argument “we can only explain it if we assume…” is a basic fallacy known as “argument from ignorance”, because it ignores the unknowns and assumes a priori that they are not important enough to make a difference in the conclusion.

        That is my reasoning here, Steven.

        You may disagree with my conclusions, but you cannot show that my reasoning is false.

        Max

      • manaker.

        1. you raised the issue of paleo.
        2. of course I can show your reasoning is false.

        You objected to hansens paleo work because you claimed he was biased.
        I pointed out that his data and methods are clear. We remove “bias” by
        testing whether the answers change when we do the work ourselves.
        If hansen said 2+2 = 4, a charge of bias could be countered by showing that other people add 2 and 2 and get 4. you yourself can test for bias.

        Hansen does have a bias. But he has shown his work. If you can find an error then find it.

        The error in your thinking was this.
        A) hansen is biased.
        B) Hansen says the LGM shows a ECS of 3C
        Therefore, the ECS is not 3C

        That is not logical. the charge of bias means that we should not take the claim At face value, but we should check the data and check the math.
        If we dont find an error in the data or the math.

        the bottom line is we all are biased. that is WHY we demand that people share their data and methods. That way we can see if the result is actualy true or if it is a result of bias.

        Hansen also says the sky is blue. If he is biased and we are logical in rejecting all his claims without checking, then we must conclude the sky is not blue.

        Again, the fact of past bias does not entail in any logical manner the falsity of everything the biased agent says. It does suggest that we should check for bias in the present case.
        It is, as you see, quite easy to show flaws in your thinking. you are not logical, you are emotional. you are not skeptical of your own positions.
        That is, you are not properly skeptical of our position that hansen is always biased. In your mind this is a “settled science” you think that by uncovering someones bias that you can count on them to always be biased. in that regard you are as shallow as Joshua

      • Steven Mosher

        I believe we are beating a dead horse here.

        You are talking about the transparency of Hansen’s data.

        I am talking about

        a) the inherent poor quality of paleo proxy data and
        b) the conclusions Hansen draws from these data by applying an “argument from ignorance” and his personal bias, which already knows what the correct answer is.

        Two different subjects.

        Two different arguments.

        Max

        .

    • The paleo data shows different correlations between temperature and CO2 in warming vs. cooling. Moreover, changes in CO2 follow changes in temperature, whereas changes in dust levels precede changes in temperature and log(dust) is far better at tracking temperature than CO2.

      • Step up and show your work using dust back to the LGM.
        collect your nobel prize.
        Until such time I think science where somebody shows his work BEATS a blog comment every fricking time.
        Note, i said nothing about peer review.

        Hansen has shown his work. It stands. blog comments are meaningless in that conetxt

      • Mosher, what is it you always say when someone asks you a question about your work?

        Do it yourself.

    • Surely, recent observations are far more reliable than either paleoclimate or models. You really think proxies such as tree rings or isotope ratios are reliable? After the Mann et all fiasco. Tree rings are poor thermometers. They measure a lot of other things too. I would rather spend more money on trying to look for the tropospheric hot spot than on more and more and more complex models. We need a lot more data on cloud formation and aerosols. You need this stuff to have any hope of calibrating the models.

      • The problem of recent observations ( say 150 years ) is that there is no assurance that you see the full effect from the forcings due to lags.
        The problem with models will be missing physics.

        Are tree rings reliable? well we are talking about deep paleo not the last
        2000 years, so the reliance will be on isotopes.

        Basically with paleo you have data uncertainty and some physics uncertainty.
        with models you have potential physics gaps which are hard to estimate from an uncertainty standpoint

  45. Clouds take away heat from the surface – put back the Water Cycle and there is no “Greenhouse Effect”.

    http://judithcurry.com/2012/10/28/climate-change-no-consensus-on-consensus/#comment-272216

    And please see: http://judithcurry.com/2012/10/28/climate-change-no-consensus-on-consensus/#comment-272344

    If clouds are reflecting visible light then how can visible light be heating the water and land on Earth’s surface?

    And anyway, you don’t have clouds in your world because you don’t have gases buoyant in air because you have no air, you just have empty space.

  46. Max,

    Hansen is a supporter of the IPCC position that the “mean” climate sensitivity is 3.2C (around three times the “no-feedback” 2xCO2 climate sensitivity).

    I’d call this “highly” sensitive.

    If all the CO2 were removed from the atmosphere the GH effect, of 33 degC, would collapse. So we can perhaps consider ourselves fortunate when the IPCC say that if the pre-industrial levels of CO2 were doubled the most likely warming is 3deg C. Although, of course, it’s still quite possible that the warming would be much greater and that anything above 6 degC would be catastrophic.

    A figure of 1deg C or less would mean that climate sensitivity is low. 3 deg C would correspond to a moderate or medium climate sensitivity. Whereas 6 degC, or higher, would indicate that climate is highly sensitive.

      • tempterrain

        Actually, the recent observed trend is flat, so expect little warming in the next decade or so.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Because near surface tropospheric temperatures (representing less than 1% of Earth’s non-tectonic energy storage) have been flat for the past decade at the highest levels in centuries– from this Girma et. al are suggesting that somehow the Earth’s energy system has not been accumulating energy over this time, despite the solid evidence from pole to pole that a great deal of energy has been accumulating in the system. This energy accumulation is seen in declining sea ice, rising sea levels, rising ocean heat content, melting permafrost, etc.

        Has it occurred to Girma et. al that a cool phase of the PDO and a quiet sun might disproportionately affect near-surface tropospheric temperatures, showing a flattening or even very slight decline in these, while the overall continued increase in GHG’s over the past several centuries might continue the overall increase in energy that the rest (the majority) of the Earth system has been consistently seeing over the past 50+ years?

        Probably not…

      • Girma, I have some questions about your choice of a base year for your chart.

        1. Why did you start with 1998?

        2. Are there other years you would like to start with, and if so, why?

        3. Are there years you would not like to start with, and if so, why?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        What we have in the ocean heat content data – ubiquitous in global climate records generally – is evidence of multi-decadal variability.

        xhttp://s1114.photobucket.com/albums/k538/Chief_Hydrologist/?action=view&current=heat_content55-07.png

        Not only hasn’t natural variability been disentangled from the climate record – the satellite record shows shows cloud changes to be by far the biggest factor in the last 30 years.

        We are in a cool mode – and there are 2 questions. How cool can it get? Could we get some more ‘hiding of the heat’ at the next climate shift?

    • tempterrain

      You are arguing “semantics” here.

      Based on the very limited evidence at hand, I have concluded that the observed 2xCO2 climate sensitivity is very likely a bit over 1C (see post to lolwot)..

      So I would say that 0.7C (as calculated by Spencer or Lindzen + Choi based on CERES observations) would be on the “low” side.

      1.5 to 2C would be on the “medium” side.

      And anything exceeding 3C would be on the “high” side.

      But, again, that’s just “semantics”.

      It’s hardly worth arguing about it.

      More important is to find out what the impact of clouds REALLY is and, from that to get a better estimate of the REAL 2xCO2 climate sensitivity.

      Don’t you think?

      Max

      • Max,

        So you’ve “concluded” have you in your uneducated opinion?

        Its odd then that you seem quite enamored of Judith Curry who’s put the likely range of warming at anything between1.0 -6.0 deg C. That’s her educated opinion and if she could publish a peer-reviewed scientific paper to back that up, it would carry even greater weight of argument.

        She’s not saying that its “very likely a bit over 1C” .

        Though, if she were, and if she did agree with you, her position against the need for CO2 emission controls would make quite a lot more sense than it does.

      • tempterrain

        As the lead article here explains quite clearly, there is great uncertainty on the climate impact of clouds and, hence, on the 2xCO2 climate sensitivity with all feedbacks.

        Spencer puts this at around 0.7°C.based on CERES observations

        Lindzen + Choi (2011 corr to 2009) put it at around 0.8°C based on ERBE and CERES observations

        Shaviv + Veizer estimate 1 to 1.5°C per CO2 doubling based on model simulations and cosmic ray cloud nucleation plus GH theory

        IPCC puts is at 1.5 to 4.5°C based on model simulations and GH theory

        As I pointed out to lolwot the actual temperature and CO2 record since 1950 (or since 1850) tells us that it is around 1.2°C

        So we have a wide range, from 0.7°C to 4.5°C,a range so high to be essentially meaningless.

        As the lead article says: we do not know .

        I personally lean more toward physical observations (Spencer, L+C, actual record) than simply model simulations (IPCC), so that is how I have come to the conclusion I stated.

        Of course, if we get new empirical data that show me something different, I’m open to change my mind.

        Understand now?

        Max

      • Max,

        You’re incorrect in thinking the IPCC base their reports solely on theory and computer models.

        There have been a number of studies that calculate climate sensitivity directly from empirical observations, independent of models.

        Lorius (1990) examined Vostok ice core data and calculates a range of 3 to 4°C.
        Hoffert (1992) reconstructs two paleoclimate records (one colder, one warmer) to yield a range 1.4 to 3.2°C.
        Hansen (1993 )looks at the last 20,000 years when the last ice age ended and empirically calculates a climate sensitivity of 3 ± 1°C.
        Gregory (2002) used observations of ocean heat uptake to calculate a minimum climate sensitivity of 1.5.
        Chylek (2007) examines the period from the Last Glacial Maximum to Holocene transition. They calculate a climate sensitivy range of 1.3°C and 2.3°C.
        Tung (2007) performs statistical analysis on 20th century temperature response to the solar cycle to calculate a range 2.3 to 4.1°C.
        Bender (2010) looks at the climate response to the 1991 Mount Pinatubo eruption to constrain climate sensitivity to 1.7 to 4.1°C.

      • manaker?

        so you are certain that its just a little over 1?

        please show me the evidence which indicates values over 3C are impossible or highly improbable.

    • tempterrain

      Not to get into an argument about “how many angels can dance on the head of a pin”, but you made a strange statement:

      If all the CO2 were removed from the atmosphere the GH effect, of 33 degC, would collapse

      As I recall, most estimates have around two-thirds of the “natural GHE” (or ~22°C) coming from H2O (in its various forms), ~20% from CO2 (~7°C) and the rest from other trace GHGs.

      This is apparently based on an estimate by Kondratjew and Moskalenko. An independent estimate by Lindzen puts the CO2 effect at a bit more that 5°C.

      I have seen no figures attributing the entire natural GH effect to CO2, as you state.

      But, again, we are arguing about the “angels”, not about real life.

      Max

      • Max,

        I have seen no figures attributing the entire natural GH effect to CO2, as you state.

        You’ve not seen this then?

        http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/briefs/lacis_01/

        Pretty close to “entire” as you can get I’d say!

      • tempterrain

        I had seen Lacis’ “CO2 control knob” suggestion.

        But, in view of all the other much lower estimates out there (and the fact that natural CO2 is only 280 ppmv of our atmosphere, while water vapor is many times this high) Lacis’ argument that “everything” is simply a feedback to CO2 sounds a bit screwy.

        Let’s leave it where most sources put it: at around 20% of the natural GH effect (not 100%).

        But, like I say, we are discussing a hypothetical “angels on the pin” topic, which is senseless in itself.

        Max

      • Max,

        Angels on a pinhead? You’ve mentioned this a couple of times recently. I thought we were discussing how much effect CO2 has on the GH effect? Of course, those with a simple mind might claim that 80% (or whatever figure they’ve read at WUWT) of the GH effect is caused by water vapour, either as a vapour or clouds. So why all the emphasis on CO2 they’ll ask?

        Those of us who think it might not be as simple as that, would also ask what would happen to water vapour concentrations if CO2 were to either rise or fall. We tend to think that everything is dependent on everything else and that feedbacks do predominate.

      • tempterrain

        It requires a stretch of imagination to conclude (as you apparently have) that ALL of the natural GH effect is caused by the 280 ppmv CO2 that is supposedly the “pre-industrial” (i.e. “natural”) CO2 level.

        Several estimates put the “natural “CO2 impact at around 20% of the total, with the largest factor being H2O (in its various forms).

        The water cycle plays a major role in our planet’s climate, so it is reasonable to assume that water also impacted the so-called “natural” GH effect, which itself is a theoretical figure.

        But this is all a purely hypothetical discussion. No one knows what the GH effect of “natural” CO2 really is and there is no way of physically measuring it.

        Let’s break it off – it’s getting repetitive, and we are not going to agree, so let’s leave it there.

        Max

      • tempterrain

        You cited several studies allegedly providing “empirical data” to support a 2xCO2 climate sensitivity of 1.5 to 4.5°C (and a mean value of 3.2°C , as predicted by the IPCC model simulations. I have gone through each in detail. These are all interesting studies, but they do not provide “empirical data” to support a mean 2xCO2 climate sensitivity of 3.2°C.

        Let’s go through them.

        Lorius et al. 1990 examined Vostok ice core data and show a CO2/temperature correlation, suggesting that this provides some indication that greenhouse forcing also participated in the amplitude of the temperature changes. Yep, but what’s that saying about “correlation not providing evidence of causation”? Then comes an alternate possible forcing that was not considered in the “argument from ignorance”:

        The astronomical record cannot easily explain the rapid events recorded in the ice cores. Rather, although the mechanisms are still unknown, rapid changes could be connected to a flip-flop mechanism in the North Atlantic Ocean

        The study calculates a 2xCO2 CS range of 3 to 4°C, closing with a caveat about all the data that are still missing to come to any real conclusions on climate sensitivity from the ice core data.

        —————————————————————————————–

        Hoffert + Covey 1992 use two paleoclimate records (one colder, one warmer) to estimate 2xCO2 CS at 1.4 to 3.2°C. The problem here (in addition to the questionable quality of proxy paleo data) is the “we can only explain it if we assume…” logic used (an “argument from ignorance”, because it ignores all other factors that are not known – especially the impact from clouds).

        —————————————————————————————–

        Hansen et al. 1993 uses paleo climate data of the past 200,000 years. The ice core data confirm that CO2 lagged temperature (instead of acting as the climate driver), to which the authors add:

        Probably, as the climate warmed, the ocean or land released more CO2, implying that CO2 was a positive feedback on these long time scales.

        The study suggests a 2xCO2 CS of 3 ± 1°C. The problem here is that there is too much uncertainty a) in the paleo data themselves and b) in other factors that may have contributed to the estimated climate change but were not considered in the estimates (and the fact that the warming preceded the CO2 increase does not help).

        As the authors state:

        Climate change during the next decade may help confirm knowledge of climate sensitivity, if global forcings are accurately observed.

        Indeed! (And the past decade has shown no warming, despite unabated CO2 emissions.)

        ————————————————————————————–

        Gregory 2002 is based on model work using different methods plus observations of ocean heat uptake and focusing on the difference between the models, arriving at a 2xCO2 CS of <strong<1.31 to 2.15°C It’s nice “model work”, but the OHC data prior to ARGO in 2003 are highly suspect.
        —————————————————————————————-

        Chylek et al.2007 is not based on paleo stuff but on analyses of actual satellite and surface measurements of aerosol optical depth. These data suggest a 2xCO2 CS range of 1.3°C to 2.3°C. (same as the Gregory model study above)

        —————————————————————————————–

        Tung + Camp 2007 use solar irradiance measurements since 1978, concluding:

        From solar min to solar max, the TSI reaching the earth’s surface increases at a rate comparable to the radiative heating due to a 1% per year increase in greenhouse gases, and will probably add, during the next five to six years in the advancing phase of Solar Cycle 24, almost 0.2 °K to the globally-averaged temperature, thus doubling the amount of transient global warming expected from greenhouse warming alone.

        Solar impact (from measured direct solar irradiance alone) is estimated to be “comparable” to the forcing from GHGs, adding warming of ~0.2°C during the next five to six years.

        We’ll see if that prediction is right or not (the past 5-6 years showed net cooling).

        By difference, 2xCO2 CS is estimated to be 2.3 to 4.1°C .

        Since the authors assume that the solar impact is only that of direct solar irradiance (as IPCC models also assume), it raises questions concerning the conclusions reached (if some other solar mechanism is at work, this would reduce the estimated 2xCO2 CS).

        —————————————————————————————–

        Bender et al. 2010 are model studies related to the 1991 Mount Pinatubo eruption, arriving at a 2xCO2 CS of 1.7 to 2.4°C.

        The data used are real-time observations so can be trusted more than dicey paleo proxy reconstructions, but the authors concede:

        Several sources of uncertainty reside in the method applied, and it is pointed out that additional model output, related to ocean heat storage and radiative forcing, could refine the analysis, as could reduced uncertainty in the observational record, of temperature as well as forcing. ,/blockquote>

        —————————————————————————————–

        So, forgetting the first study, which leaves too many open holes, we have six estimates of 2xCO2 climate sensitivity, which average: 1.67 to 3.02°C or 2.35°C±0.68°C

        If we take only those based on recent observations (rather than paleo data), we have a slightly lower 2xCO2 climate sensitivity range of 1.63 to 2.85°C or 2.24°C±0.61°C

        So these studies tend to confirm the lower end of the IPCC range of 1.5°C, but neither confirm the upper end of the IPCC range of 4.5°C nor a mean value of 3.2°C.

        And they leave too many open holes (as the lead articles here on clouds indicate).

        You see, tempterrain, when you look at things a bit more closely, you get a better picture (than when you just recite what you read on climate skeptic or other sites like that).

        Max

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        manacker, you over-simplify things so much it’s hard to believe you spend so much time discussing climate change. CO2 and water vapor have dramatically different life spans, and the two affect each other in a myriad of ways. Your argument overlooks so many basic points it suggests you have an extremely limited understanding of what you talk about.

        It’s akin to how you calculate climate sensitivity by assuming instantaneous response to forcings.

      • Steven Mosher | November 30, 2012 at 3:09 pm said: ”please show me the evidence which indicates values over 3C are impossible or highly improbable”

        If it warms up by 3C -> troposphere would expand by 2km upwards = LARGER volume troposphere, would release any extra heat in less than 10minutes.

        2] .O&N don’t wait to warm up to 3C, to start expanding – they start expanding, instantly; when get warmer by 0,00001C. Mosher, find something wrong in my proof – or brown paper bag over your head

  47. lolwot

    Up-thread you state that a 2xCO2 climate sensitivity of 1C “does not make sense” based on recent climate change.

    Let’s do a sanity check on that claim.

    IPCC tells us that “most of the observed increase in global average temperature since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations”.

    Let’s assume “most” means between 2/3 (67%) and 80%.

    IPCC tells us that (since start of industrialization) the greenhouse radiative forcing was (Wm-2):
    1.66 (CO2)
    1.33 (all other GHGs)
    2.99 total GHGs

    So CO2 was 1.66/2.99 = 56% of total.

    But let’s assume that since 1950 CO2 forcing was 75% of total GH forcing.

    Temperature (HadCRUT3 linear)
    1950: -0.28°C
    2005: +0.34°C
    dT: 0.62C

    CO2 concentration was
    1950: 311 ppmv (extrapolated from Mauna Loa 1959)
    2005: 379 ppmv (Mauna Loa, when IPCC AR4 was written)
    C1/C0 = 1.2187
    ln(C1/C0) = 0.1977
    ln(2) = 0.6931

    Case 1: “Most” means 67%
    2xCO2 temperature response

    = 0.67*0.75*0.62*0.6931/0.1977 = 1.1°C

    Case 2: “Most” means 80%
    2xCO2 temperature response

    = 0.8*0.75*0.62*0.6931/0.1977 = 1.3°C

    So we have an observed 2xCO2 temperature response of between 1.1°C and 1.3°C.

    Doesn’t look that far from 1°C (and a long way from 3.2°C, as predicted by the IPCC models).

    Max

    PS Running the same calculation over the entire period of the modern HadCRUT3 record since 1850 gives a similar 2xCO2 temperature response.

    • manacker | November 29, 2012 at 6:30 pm said: ”Let’s do a sanity check on that claim”

      manacker, if one believes that: monitoring on few places; they know in a hundredth of a degree precision the GLOBAL temp, even for last two centuries = sanity left you many, many moons ago!…

      If you rely on data given to you by people that you are trying to prove wrong, you need a shrink; not data collected from thin air..

  48. Chief Hydrologist

    Attribution studies such as Foster and Rahmstorf (2011) are quite obsolete and profoundly incorrect.

    Much more profound insight can be gained from looking to space –

    Advances in Understanding Top-of-Atmosphere Radiation Variability from Satellite Observations (2012) – Norman G. Loeb • Seiji Kato • Wenying Su • Takmeng Wong • Fred G. Rose • David R. Doelling • Joel R. Norris • Xianglei Huang

    TOA radiative flux anomalies from cloud change are at least an order of magnitude greater than theoretical changes from CO2 on both interrannual to decadal scales.

    For satellite era TOA LW flux anonalies.

    http://s1114.photobucket.com/albums/k538/Chief_Hydrologist/?action=view&current=Loeb2011-Fig1.png

    And for tropical and global SW and LW flux anomalies through CERES.

    http://s1114.photobucket.com/albums/k538/Chief_Hydrologist/?action=view&current=Loeb2011-Fig2.png

    LW ans SW are positive for outgoing flux (cooling) – net is by convention positive for planetary warming.

    Cloud is the major driver of recent global warming. Space cadets are just going to have to rethink many of their cherished delusions. So sad – too bad.

    • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

      Chief Hydrologist:
      “Attribution studies such as Foster and Rahmstorf (2011) are quite obsolete and profoundly incorrect.”
      _____
      You are forced to say this by the rather narrow paradigm and delusions that you’ve adopted, because to admit that there might be some validity to these attribution studies would be to admit that your entire view of AGW is what is profoundly incorrect. You’ve mistaken the cart for the horse, and correlation for causation. I tend to think the rather bright minds at Lawrence Livermore are a tad bit smarter than you:

      http://phys.org/news/2012-11-human-caused-climate-emerges-noise.html

      • Gates, speaking of horses and carts, what would you estimate the wall energy flux through 45S and 45N to be? Just curious since there are a few interesting papers on the circumpolar current. An average flow range of 100 to 150 Sverdrup, surface wind average velocity between 15 and 24 knots. Average temperature about 3C with an average of -1C along the coast of Antarctica. There is even an apparent correlation with ACC warm/cold pool eddies and 5 to 7 years precipitation cycles in Aus and NZ that might be more influential on climate than ENSO according to some. Something called the Antarctic circumpolar wave. I wonder if that is strong enough to change the average 45S and 45N wall energy flux.

        Interesting stuff.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        There is no correlation here but the root of causality in the ever changing radiative imablance at TOA. The huge variability over years to decades is quite unmistakable and you may readily compare to CO2 forcing without my needing to interpret it for you.

        It is abundantly clear in the satellite record that almost all of the variability in outgoing TOA radiative flux was due to changes in cloud cover. This is not subject to another interpretation – this is a fact.

        You may argue about the accuracy of the record. That is a seperate issue. My feeling is that it is as accurate as anything else, the results keep accumulating and accuracy keeps improving.

        I get the feeling that you look at the graphs and don’t know what to make of them. Here’s a clue – this is not 0.85 W/m2 constant radiative imbalance.

        And AGW is profoundly incorrect in principle. The proof of that is that it is not warming for a decade or three more at least. Climate sensitivity is variable depending on the region of pahse space you are in, it may be negative or positive and there may be surprises at both the warm and cool ends of the spectrum.

        You need to start selling it as ‘tipping point’. Oh wait – that’s already happening. No one send you the memo? Typical corp of space cadets SNAFU? All the sceptics will be laughing at you – but is that my fault? I tried to warn you.

        Basically – if you wish to be dumb as dog doo about this go right ahead.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Chief Hydro,

        Again, you are wrong about correlation. There is one, but you’ve the the cart before the horse. TOAnet follows surface net LW, as found clearly on this research:

        http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20120004263_2012004193.pdf

        Where the specific find was:

        • TOAnet energy loss follows max T-trop. SFCnet leads because of LW emission.

        Energy flows from ocean to the TOA, and even more interesting, during El Niños the heat in the 0-100m layer of the ocean goes up as the heat in the 300-100m layer goes down. The reason why of course is the energy is flowing from the deeper layer to the upper layer to the atmosphere to the TOA and then out to space. Quite interesting and just the opposite of what you Chief Hydro have been postulating.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        You have clearly been driven mad by worms invading the brainpan and eating your cerebral cortex.

        ‘TOAnet follows surface net LW, as found clearly on this research’.

        TOA net is of course the addition of SW and LW components. It follows as noght follows day that anything emitted at toa must first have been emitted by land or ocean. It is the epitemic equivalent of one foot after the other – or in your case one foot in the mouth after the other. That energy flows from the oceans to the atmosphere is also baby physics that we expect everyone but the webster to know.

        I thnk you will find that the Loeb reference is a more complete exposition. Indeed there you will find the comforting idea that – after cloud is taken into account – La Nina is net warming and El Nino is nett cooling. Look closely and you might be able to see that energy losses in the LW spike in El Nino and and least in La Nina. This is because of the associated cloud changes as cloud decreases in El Nino and increases in La Nina. This if course has implications for the the SW flux.

        Over the satellite era most of the very large interannular change LW and SW is the result of secular changes in cloud cover. Most of the decadal change is also related to cloud cover – and these also are very large and considerably in excess of the theoretical change in LW radiation from greenhouse gases and muc, much more than any mooted change in sulphates. Indeed for much of the record they go in the wrong direction – because of the countervailing cloud effect.

        Now we must remember that the change in ‘heat’ in the planet is the result purely of the radiative imbalance at toa.

        ΔE = energy in – energy out

        Energy in changes minimally – but we can follow that from SORCE as well.

        http://lasp.colorado.edu/sorce/total_solar_irradiance_plots/images/tim_level3_tsi_24hour_640x480.png

        It is expressed as absolute values – but only the change is accurate and of much interest.

        Energy out changes considerably from year to year and seemingly over decades because of cloud dominantly but also other factors of course. As I say this is not correlation but a relatively precise – we could add a number of minor factors such as enthalpy and internal planetary heat – formulation of the global energy dynamic. It is in fact a first order differential global energy formula.

        By looking at trends and frequencies you can tell pretty neatly why the planet warms or cools. This is where you get to when you look at the big picture and don’t grovel about with the worms.

        Now as I say – you might quibble about the quality of the data – as I am sure Pekka might. However, it is what it is and it tells a story aout clouds.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Thanks Chief, but I’ll believe the real science as opposed to your cartoon Lisa Simpson view of the world…as witty and funny as it may be!

  49. The Swiss laboratory at 11,000 ft is doing interesting work, but shows how intractable the problem is. I have always regarded the two latent heats as being the planet’s air conditioning system.

    When I see pictures of European snow covered mountains and glaciers I expect them to be blindingly white. But they are not, they are grey. Why? I attribute this to the huge numbers of inefficient or overloaded diesel engines belching out clouds of soot into the atmosphere. Modern diesel engines meeting the European standards don’t do that.

    • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates) | November 30, 2012 at 10:48 am said: ”Thanks Chief, but I’ll believe the real science”

      That means: that you don’t believe in the crap that you are trumpeting.. That’s cool

  50. The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

    Article on some recent finding on human attribution– will be included in the next IPCC report:

    http://phys.org/news/2012-11-human-caused-climate-emerges-noise.html

  51. “…Thus, using several fundamentally different mathematical techniques and many different data sets, seven scientists all forecast that climatic cooling will occur during the first decades of the 21st century. Temperature records confirm that cooling is under way, the length and intensity of which remains unknown.

    “Yet in spite of this, governments across the world ‐ egged on by irrational, deep Green lobbying ‐ have for years been using their financial muscle and other powers of persuasion to introduce carbon dioxide taxation systems…

    “… All will welcome a new source of income based on an invisible, colourless, odourless, tasteless and often unmeasurable gas. No commodity changes hands during its trading, and should carbon dioxide emissions actually decrease because of the existence of a carbon dioxide market (which is highly unlikely), the odds are that it will have no measurable effect on climate anyway…”

    (Bob Carter, Facts debunk global warming alarmism, The Australian, January 20, 2009)

  52. The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

    More reigning in of past uncertainty in terms of the contribution of melting ice sheets to sea level rise, and also more confirmation that the models are not as far off as some might be claiming:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-20543483

    This new information (to be included in the next IPCC report) combined with this new information:

    http://phys.org/news/2012-11-human-caused-climate-emerges-noise.html

    Also to be included in the next IPCC report, combined with this new information (also to be included in the next IPCC report):

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn22549-arctic-permafrost-is-melting-faster-than-predicted.html

    Starts to paint a very consistent story that is quite hard for a real skeptic to deny, unless they really aren’t a skeptic at all, and makes this quote from Stephen Schwartz make perfect sense:

    “Whatever the warming rate, it is a consequential global problem, he hastened to add.

    “If it’s at the low end, the consequences will be serious,” Schwartz said. “If it’s medium, they will be severe. If it’s at a high end, they will be catastrophic. And I can say that with a lot of confidence.”

  53. Perspective 101: Sea level rise–11 mm vs. 36 meters.

    “Thirty miles west of Holmes Reef and sixty miles east of the Great Barrier Reef lies an underwater mountain or seamount whose peak is 120 feet below the surface. During the last ice age when sea level was as much as 300 feet lower than at present this was a high island. Today it is an unnamed circle of dotted line on the chart surrounding the number 36 representing the depth in meters. With satellite navigation receiver and echosounder we find it and drop anchor. Accompanied by prolonged rattling and clanking most of a hundred meters of chain disappears down the hawse pipe and I lock the winch. In a minute the dangling chain draws out ahead to a taut forty-five degrees and we swing to, headed into a two knot current…” ~Walter Starck

    • Did Walter Starck actually believe he used to be Jesus? Read the following quote from his web site:

      “You are not here to bridge the gap between your humanity and your divinity as though they are two. You are here to close the gap so that what you have considered your human-ness is revealed as being the perfect expression of your divine Christ-self. That is what my life symbolized when I was Jesus.”

      Wag, I think it highly unlikely Walter Starck was ever Jesus, but I suppose anything is possible, so I don’t blame you for sucking up to Walter by quoting him.

      I was going to say Walter Starck is just another old codger, a member of the shrinking demographic of global warming deniers. But I just found out Walter has passed on.

      • If I see him I’ll try to remember you said he was dead.

      • Walter Starck’s home page says:

        “A great Light now shines even brighter from the many realms of Heaven, as Walter Starcke soars free of his earthly body.”

        http://www.walterstarcke.com/

        I think that means Walter Starcke is deceased. But I’m no expert. I do know I’ve never soared free of my earthly body.

        I guess it could also mean he’s a vampire.

      • Max_OK

        You’ve “never soared free of your earthly body”?

        Strange.

        Most of the IPCC “consensus team” do it every day – with computer models.

        Try it – it’s real fun (you can visualize all sorts of magical and mystical things).

        Sort of reminds me of your (late) fellow Oklahoman, Oral Roberts, who “made a dramatic appeal. If his supporters did not send donations totaling $8 million dollars within three months, he warned that God would ‘call me home’.”
        http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1677098,00.html#ixzz2DhM9KI9D

        it apparently worked – he got his millions and was allowed to live a few years longer before finally being “called home”.

        Max

  54. I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now
    From up and down, and still somehow
    It’s cloud illusions I recall
    I really don’t know clouds at all

  55. It is reasonable to consider the whole sequence, from about the time of Christ, through the early medieval warm centuries and the cold climate that followed, to our own times, as an oscillation on the same time scale, and possibly of basically the same nature, as the Bolling & Allerod oscillations in Late Glacial Times, the Piora oscillation [around 3000 BC], and the Bronze Age and early Iron Age changes in the last 4000 years. ~H. H. Lamb

    • Wagathon | November 29, 2012 at 11:36 pm proudly quoted a lie: ”It is reasonable to consider the whole sequence, from about the time of Christ, through the early medieval warm centuries and the cold climate that followed, to our own times, as an oscillation on the same time scale, and possibly of basically the same nature, as the Bolling & Allerod oscillations in Late Glacial Times, the Piora oscillation [around 3000 BC], and the Bronze Age and early Iron Age changes in the last 4000 years. ~H. H. Lamb”

      HUBERT LAMB PREDICTED: NUCLEAR WINTER BY YEAR 2000, BECAUSE OF CO2 DIMMING EFFECT. Only liar is proud of professional liars as Hubert. Now the building in East Anglia, where your brain-trusts are; is called ”Hubert Lamb Building” the English ”Building of Shame!”

      That psichopat Hubert is the precursor of today’s phony GLOBAL warming. Instead of taking in consideration my proofs, that: since the invention of artificially starting fires, climate kept changing from bad to worse == improved by opening of Gibraltar — after improved from opening of Bosporus ==== but that is for Europe & Mideast – north Africa only; yes for that con and similar – the rest of the planet didn’t exist. shame, shame, shame!!!

  56. Why for the FAKES: EVERY DAY OF THE YEAR IS FIRST OF APRIL::

    ”Wagaton | November 28, 2012 at 10:50 pm said: ”Nominally, it’s the sun, stupid. Why are the oceans cooling?
    ■1410-1500 cold – Low Solar Activity (LSA) – i.e., Sporer minimum
    ■1510-1600 warm – High Solar Activity (HSA)
    ■1610-1700 cold – (LSA) – i.e., Maunder minimum
    ■1710-1800 warm – (HSA)
    ■1810-1900 cold – (LSA) i.e., Dalton minimum
    ■1910-2000 warm – (HSA)
    ■2010+ Possibly 3-7 decades of global cooling”

    by that, Wagaton has proven that: human CAN get lower than the snake’s belly = Fakes gone cuckoo

    1] the sun is warming – O&N are cooling it = overall, same every year!

    2] the oceans are warming / cooling constantly – otherwise wouldn’t be evaporation and rain; Wagaton is hallucinating

    3} Wagaton was watching at 1411 -12-13 the sun activity and recording it…? Well, nobody else is so stupid, to look at the sun; so that the Fakes can blame the sun for imaginary phony past GLOBAL warmings, to cover-up their sick lies; must have being him, in person… 1411- 2005, WOW. No wagaton, it’s not the sun, the butler did it; all the pagan phony warmings made the sunspots!…

    B] For the first time, powerful enough filter was made, to see sunspots, was made in 2005 AD – improved the fallowing 2 years; the filter used now. Before 10y ago, nobody was aware that ”sunspots” existed.

    C] Sun-flares were observed since 1900’s, by covering up the sun with cardboard and looking at the corona – BUT the flares from the corona affect where earth was 6months ago / or where is going to be in 6 months (those flares travel in 8 minutes to earth’s orbit = nothing interesting…

    D] If human looks at the sun for 2 seconds, will damage the eyes as exposed from welding; but will recuperate. If looks for 7-8 seconds at the sun = guarantied, will not see any sunspots on the sun – but will ”see sunspots” even in dark room – and will never see anything else in his life

    FAKE’s CAMOUFLAGING PAGAN LIES; BY FALSIFYING SUNSPOTS

    1] when you look at the Fake’s ”past GLOBAL temp charts – those charts look as seismographs / as if the earth had constant hi-fever…? So, they pined blank paper against those charts and filled it up with their sun-flares / sunspots = ” Grotesque falsifying con” ”JUMBO CON”

    2]Why did the Desperadoes had to do that?::::: The ”Skeptics” of the lower genera and IQ, needed to keep them in darkness, with DOUBLE LIES” Some of them were realizing that: all those past ”GLOBAL” warmings, with precision to a hundredth of a degree were CON, CON … -> so they pined / moulded/ pressed the sunspots to fit against those sick misleading ”GLOBAL” temp charts… as THEIR double proof…?! How desperate the leading Fakes become.. Would Hansen, or politicians believe that ”Wagaton’s Brains-trusts” had so many people getting blind every 7-8 seconds for the last 1000years, to monitor sun activity? No, but that’s being only made / falsified, for the nutters on the net…

    3] some records say that: in Yorkshire, England 1412 was 12 bushels per acre = it was ”hot year” for the WHOLE planet… WOW!- next year was 11,5 bushels per hectare; proof that was the WHOLE planet cooler by 0,05C… another WOW!!! Was it maybe less,because locust and other pest / was no pesticide…? NO, it sounds more ”scientific”, if the locust put another 1000 spots on the sun… – year after was good rainfall in Yorkshire / 12,4 bushels = the WHOLE planet instantly warmer by 0,08C … – next year was good rain, but came when was harvest and made damages instead = ..- next year the neighbor’s goats damaged the grain, only 6-7 bushels per acre was salvaged -> because of those naughty goats – the WHOLE planet started freezing… WOW

    Because the neighbor had one bottle too many in the tavern / neglected his goats… that one bottle changed the sunspots set-up on the sun, miracle… == then Thames river had frozen for 12days – somebody made paintings / no bull === that painting created LIA… Ice Age for 200y!
    (do you remember last January, Danube river had frozen in Serbia, Romania = 1000- miles closer to the equator and 10 times larger than Thames == that would be made by the ”Original Criminals” as ”300y of Midi Ice Age, but because you see it on TV, they are avoiding. Shell we name last January freezing on the Balkans as: ”Midi Ice Age for 300years” (MIA) Eat your guts out Wagaton – we now have LIA + MIA. P.s. because now is double production of grain per acre = must be double temperature and sunspots… ?…?…? Mama mia… science…

    Ladies and gentlemen; the sunspots miraculously molded themselves onto their con / phony GLOBAL temp charts, as hot chocolate on a cake…. And they call Hansen, Al Gore liars…?…?…?!!!

    • After receiving your honorary degree from Penn State perhaps you can share a nobel with your soul mate Michael Mann since you have so much in common.

      • Wagathon | November 30, 2012 at 12:07 am said: ”After receiving your honorary degree from Penn State perhaps you can share a nobel with your soul mate Michael Mann since you have so much in common”

        You couldn’t be more wrong!!! Mann lies about one phone GLOBAL warming in 82y from now. You are lying about 1000 phony GLOBAL warmings in the past.

        on the other hand; I stick to the truth: ”warmings / coolings are always localized – the laws of physics don’t permit GLOBAL warming for more than 10 minutes – therefore: big ”Warmistas” like you, and smaller ones as Mann, Hansen don’t have a case!!!”

        For the ”Flat-earthers” like you; believing that: ”the planet is warmer by 12C at noon, than before sunrise -> helping Mann &Hansen; should end up in same jail cell.

      • Facts are facts: The Little Ice Ages and Solar Minima in 1440-1460, 1687-1703 and 1809-1821 …(Professor Nils-Axel Mörner)

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  58. Tomas Milanovic

    Chief

    The shift then will be in the global system involving the ‘stadium wave’ of Wyatt et al 2012. – / soon to be reported in AR5.

    This paper you referred should be read by everybody and rather twice than once (http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2011/04/21/guest-post-atlantic-multidecadal-oscillation-and-northern-hemisphere%E2%80%99s-climate-variability-by-marcia-glaze-wyatt-sergey-kravtsov-and-anastasios-a-tsonis/)

    I must requote their very important introduction :
    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.

    By reading (rather overflying) the posts of most people trying to argue with you, I am under a very strong impression that they have never outgrown the belief most children have – namely that reductionism works all the time.
    Or even worse – that there is nothing else than reductionism.
    Then, of course paraphrasing Dante, they must abandon all hope of ever understanding.

    Btw not being of the anglo-saxon culture and persuasion I am sure that I am missing much in the meaning of space cadets.
    But having read Heinlein, it always makes me laugh whne you use this term :)

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Tomas,

      The quote is profoundly true. It is a different and much more difficult way of thinking about climate as a system rather than knobs and linear responses.

      As for space cadet – http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=space%20cadet&defid=1504702

      ‘The exact origins of a space cadet are unknown but rumor has it that their home planet was destroyed due to pollution caused by poor house keeping. Following this disaster they proceeded to disperse themselves throughout the universe and litter the gene pool. Space cadets are known for their poor skills in common sense areas such as coordination, food preparation, basic cleaning and processing simultaneous coherent thoughts.’

      Cheers

  59. Tomas,

    The quote from Wyatt et al is true. I cannot imagine any serious climate modeler to disagree. Thus the question is not its validity as a qualitative statement but its importance on quantitative level. Here the views of knowledgeable people start do diverge.

    The argumentation on a web site like this is almost invariably between two sides, each of which has a strong belief that the quantitative significance is either extremely high to the point that all present projections are totally worthless or almost negligible (the latter may even think that the qualitative statement is wrong).

    Based on what I have read from various sources most of the modelers are somewhere in the middle. They admit that the issue is also quantitatively important but they do still think that it’s possible to make useful projections that should form part of the basis for climate policy decisions. The range of views that fits this description is wide and there are active climate scientists all around this range.

    • The focus on sensitivity as a number is an example of quantitative reductionism, as though the abstract impact of CO2 doubling tells us something important when it does not.

      • David,

        I clearly does tell very significant information as part of the overall picture whose part the concept is.

        We see here so often claims of the type you present, i.e. stating that some particular concept is worthless as concept. That’s a false way of arguing and never convincing by itself. Whether any particular concept is useful or not cannot be determined without reference to all uses of that concept (and it must be sure that all uses are considered). If it’s useful in one way then it’s useful.

      • David Springer

        \mathbb{WEASELBOY}\ncong\mathbb{WEASELBOY}

      • As part yes and that is what reductionist means. But abstract sensitivity is not the prediction it is often taken to be.

    • Pekka

      They admit that the issue is also quantitatively important but they do still think that it’s possible to make useful projections that should form part of the basis for climate policy decisions.

      Would this be the same as arguing that short-term variability (“a decade or three”) has no significant influence on the long-term forced trend over a century or more?

      • It’s related to that but the most important question expressed with concepts of chaos theories concerns the relative importance of unpredictable variability within the attractor to the changes in the attractor and to the predictability of the changes of the attractor.

        In other words. It’s not possible to make projections for the future weather and it may be impossible to do that fully for what can be considered climate but it may be possible to project PDF*s for future climate well enough to make the projections useful.

        It’s obvious that no-one would work with climate models without hope that they have a change of producing ultimately useful results, but some of the modelers may think that the present models are still of little practical value. Some of them may be even uncertain on the future value of the models. This kind of skepticism is typical for a major part of scientists but we have always also scientists are more willing to trust their results before they can objectively justify their belief. Many of the most successful scientists have been so successful because they belong to this second group, but then this second group includes also those known for the worst mistakes.

        The most straightforward arguments are least prone to serious errors and mistaken group-think but the most straightforward arguments alone cannot carry very far. In case of climate they cannot tell much about the actual climate sensitivity. (Your claims that the observed variability would be evidence for sizable sensitivity is simply false. That’s not one of the valuable simple arguments.)

      • (Your claims that the observed variability would be evidence for sizable sensitivity is simply false. That’s not one of the valuable simple arguments.)

        Please don’t misrepresent me Pekka. I get enough of that from the idiots.

        What I actually said was that observed variability is evidence that the feedbacks net positive, not negative. The consequence of this is that the climate system is sensitive to radiative anomalies. Such as CO2 forcing for example.

        Do you actually dispute this, or did you mis-speak here?

      • Blah Blah Duh, “What I actually said was that observed variability is evidence that the feedbacks net positive, not negative.”

        Observed variability is evidence of responses to a variety of forced and unforced changes on many different time scales. Your Parsimonious reasoning makes quite a few assumptions.

      • BBD,

        The problem is that it’s very common that I largely agree with conclusions while I disagree strongly with the arguments presented in support of the conclusions. When that’s the case I criticize the arguments. Sometimes I do emphasize that I do still agree on the conclusion, sometimes I don’t comment on that at all.

        I do believe that the only good way forward is to insist on the quality of both of the conclusions and of the arguments used to support them. When issues are too complex to be fully understood by the wider audience one has to be very careful in choosing the right way of explaining the situation. Simplifying in a wrong way or exaggerating the case will backfire as far as I can judge.

        The adherent skeptics make it even more sure that all kind of misjudgments will backfire. If both sides of an argumentation use similar style and both sides simplify to the extent that the other side can pinpoint errors then how could one side expect to maintain better credibility than the other.

      • Pekka

        I do agree. However, you used the word ‘false’. Does that describe my (not your) statement of what I (not you) said I said below?

        If so, could you explain exactly why? Because I am somewhat puzzled.

      • That wasn’t very clear. Let me try again:

        Is this ‘false’?

        What I actually said was that observed variability is evidence that the feedbacks net positive, not negative. The consequence of this is that the climate system is sensitive to radiative anomalies.

        Moreover, is it false to assert that deglaciation under orbital forcing is evidence of a moderately sensitive climate system?

        I wouldn’t normally bother following this up with you, but your use of the word ‘false’ is troubling me.

      • capn

        Observed variability is evidence of responses to a variety of forced and unforced changes

        Can you define what you mean by ‘unforced change’ here?

      • Blah Blah Duh can I define what is meant by unforced variations? Kinda, unforced variability is basically not understood variability. Since the Earth is not a flat disc or ideal black body, internal energy transfer which depends on conduction, convection, eddy diffusion, and advection, all subject to the chaotic whims of the Navier-Stokes equations could be “Unforced Variability”. Since clouds are impacted by those whims, you can add the cloud “forcing” versus “feedback” argument to that the “unforced variability” mix.

        Just for you Blah Blah Duh,

        http://redneckphysics.blogspot.com/2012/11/thermodynamic-reference-layers-visual.html

      • BBD,

        You cannot use natural variability as test of sensitivity when the variability is not driven by a well identifiable factor that influences the climate in the same way as CO2 forcing and which is in addition has a known forcing. Much of the natural variability lacks all the required properties. The strength of the mechanisms that drive natural variability at rather short time scales is not necessarily related at a significant level to the feedbacks that operate on the climate timescale of several decades and longer.

        There are some partial exceptions to the lack of knowledge of forcing that drives variability. The best case is probably the variability in solar irradiation. It’s size is empirically well known and it’s regular enough to allow use of regression to determine the ratio of change in average surface temperature and the forcing. A straightforward analysis without any corrections leads to the conclusion that TCS to doubling in CO2 is about 2. That’s the best case I know but there are some problems in that as well, most importantly in that the change is TSI affects always only the illuminated side and even that non-uniformly while the forcing of CO2 is much more uniform. Thus the influence on cloud formation and some other important factors is certainly different. How serious this problem is, I really don’t know.

      • capn

        FFS give the ‘blah blah duh’ crap a rest eh? It’s very tired and wasn’t exactly the pinnacle of wit to start with.

        Everything you discuss is energy transfer. Chains of causality lead back to forcing, so are we really not simply talking about lagged responses to forcing?

      • Pekka#

        You cannot use natural variability as test of sensitivity when the variability is not driven by a well identifiable factor that influences the climate in the same way as CO2 forcing and which is in addition has a known forcing.

        That’s not what I said. I wasn’t attempting to *quantify* sensitivity.

        What I actually said was that observed variability is evidence that feedbacks net positive, not negative. The consequence of this is that the climate system is sensitive to radiative anomalies. Such as CO2 forcing for example.

        Is this false or not? Please state clearly.

      • If I were to amend the wording to “variability on inter-decadal and longer scales demonstrates that feedbacks net positive” would that in your view be more correct?

      • BBD,

        What I wrote about sensitivity is directly related to feedbacks including the sign of overall feedback. The statement that the total feedback is net positive is equivalent to saying that sensitivity is higher than no-feedback sensitivity. To find out what evidence you have for that you must check what evidence you have for a climate sensitivity that’s significantly larger than than 1C. There’s a variety of evidence for that but no single proof. The variability is not part of the set of significant evidence.

        Many people seem to overstate the significance of the sign of the net feedback and that occurs in both directions. Nothing special changes at zero feedback, a slightly positive feedback results in very similar behavior as a slightly negative. The value of +1 is special as that’s the point of divergence of a linear system. The value of -1 is also special as that means canceling all effects. Between these two values there’s only gradual change.

      • Non-linear lagged responses. If it were just lags it would be simple. Say you have a response to solar forcing that produces a 0.15C change in average surface temperature with a 5 year lag. Remember solar is absorbed below 10 meters with currents and all that. With an average solar cycle of 11 years, that response fades before the next cycle. Solar cycle lengths vary from about 10 to 12 years with the weaker cycles typically the shorter ones. The shorter cycle starts before the lag fades, you end up with a larger than expected solar impact. That is one of the reasons that the 22 year Hale cycle is more apparent in the temperature record than the 11 years cycle. Timing is very important.

        The efficiency of internal heat transfer changes the timing, CO2 forcing will change the timing, land use will change the timing and all on different time scales that may or may not overlap. Without knowing the timing and where the force is applied, accuracy suffers and you get unexpected events, which really should never have been unexpected, like SSW. The wall energy transfer or internal energy transfer is not insignificant. That is why ENSO, AMO, PDO and all the other Os impact climate.

      • Pekka

        The variability is not part of the set of significant evidence.

        Really? If we are simply talking about significant evidence that the climate system is moderately sensitive then I’m having trouble squaring this with, for example, what Swanson wrote in the much-quoted RC article:

        A climate that is highly sensitive to radiative forcing (i.e., responds very strongly to increasing greenhouse gas forcing) by definition will be unable to quickly dissipate global mean temperature anomalies arising from either purely natural dynamical processes or stochastic radiative forcing, and hence will have significant internal variability. The opposite also holds. It’s painfully easy to paint oneself logically into a corner by arguing that either (i) vigorous natural variability caused 20th century climate change, but the climate is insensitive to radiative forcing by greenhouse gases; or (ii) the climate is very sensitive to greenhouse gases, but we still are able to attribute details of inter-decadal wiggles in the global mean temperature to a specific forcing cause. Of course, both could be wrong if the climate is not behaving as a linear forced (stochastic + GHG) system.

        I appreciate proper scientific caution but I wonder if you aren’t taking it too far in this instance. Or is what Swanson argues incorrect, in your view?

      • capn

        So can we dispense the concept of unforced variability in favour of lagged response to forcing?

      • Only if “WE” can accept that the concept of unforced variability was created by overly confident linear non-threshold goofballs that use aerosol forcing to tune model output a “range of comfort” :)

        Then “WE” would be facing non-linear non-equilibrium thermodynamics in an attempt to find the timing of forcing and delayed responses. Something “WE” might have difficulty with since this leads to paleo data and isolating recurrent patterns in past climate. Which I believed caused one of us to label the other a Fraud and Buffoon?

      • CaptnDallas

        I like your Phun Physics.

        Did I miss something re: Paragraph 3 line 6: …altitude decrease…Might that read ..as altitude increases there is a decrease in air density? I read it twice but as you know with me, repetition is needed.

      • Rih008, oops, thanks, I threw that together a little too quick. Back to proof.

      • Can I take that as a yes?

      • During a Christmas truce anything is possible, but it depends on if you are talking about a model, which only considers a limited number of allowable forcings or the real world. There is no unforced variability in the real world, only ignorance.

      • BBD,

        Without explicit reference to models the argument lacks quantitative basis and the relationship between variability on time scale of a few years and the climate sensitivity on the time scale of several decades is difficult to justify. It’s justification comes from present GCM type climate models which have a strong correlation between the variability and climate sensitivity.

        As an example of what some well known scientists think about that issue I pick on sentence from the 2008 paper of Knutti and Hegerl:

        Requiring that climate models reproduce the observed present-day climatology (spatial stricture of the mean climate and its variability) provides some constraint on model climate sensitivity.

        This is not very strong and many well known climate scientists have presented comparable views.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I have tried to explain sensitivity in a chaotic system to blah blah duh but he just don’t get it.

        Here’s a picture – http://s1114.photobucket.com/albums/k538/Chief_Hydrologist/?action=view&current=bifurcations.png

        Small changes push the system past a tipping point and there is abrupt change as the changes propagate through multiple mechansims with the system flucuating wildly until it settles into a new and emergent configuration. This is the meaning of sensitivity in a chaotic system such as climate. The knob around here is blah blah.

      • Pekka

        Without explicit reference to models the argument lacks quantitative basis and the relationship between variability on time scale of a few years and the climate sensitivity on the time scale of several decades is difficult to justify. It’s justification comes from present GCM type climate models which have a strong correlation between the variability and climate sensitivity.

        Isn’t the point of K&H’s summary that multiple lines of evidence suggest that ECS (2xCO2/equivalent forcing) is somewhere close to 3C?

      • BBD,

        Yes, it is.

        Your latest formulation is certainly not an overstatement.

        I have stated in various occasions that there’s quite a lot of good evidence on climate change. People can make subjective judgments based on that evidence and may feel quite certain about them. (I do subjectively consider the evidence strong for many of the conclusions of climate science, I have only a few reservations on the formulation of the AR4 WG1 report, but I’m often skeptical when I read conclusions that go far beyond AR4.)

        The problem is that the evidence is sparse in the sense that it’s many details do not form a solid core. It covers very many issues while no direct evidence is available for many intervening issues. There are no well understood formal approaches for estimating the strength of this kind of evidence. In short:

        We have a lot of evidence but don’t know how far it’s strong.

        Even less can we prove the validity of that evidence to skeptical audience. Many of the climate skeptics are skeptics exactly for this reason and essentially for this reason only. (Many others have different reasons for their skepticism and are skeptic also about issues on which the evidence is strong beyond reasonable doubt.)

        To me the most important open questions relate to the best ways of acting. Accepting that the evidence is strong enough for the conclusion that we should act doesn’t tell, how we should act. The “how” is the problem.

      • Pekka

        A very fair summary.

      • BBD said “Isn’t the point of K&H’s summary that multiple lines of evidence suggest that ECS (2xCO2/equivalent forcing) is somewhere close to 3C?”

        Pekka Pirilä said “Yes, it is.”

        Only if you cherry pick your dates.

        You conveniently ignore the current temperature standstill which has a co2 temperature sensitivity / forcing of zero not 3.

        Your simplistic co2 based climate models have no facility to explain this standstill, despite the fact that mankind’s contribution to co2 increased by 25% during that time frame (thomaswfuller2).

        And then there’s this whole thing about a temperature sensitivity for a doubling of co2, such a figure can only be for the first doubling, the second doubling must be lower as co2’s effects are logarithmic.

        So your simplistic climate models include a linear sensitivity when in fact is is not linear, but a declining logarithmic factor. Nor do your models make sufficient allowance for other factors because the IPCC thinks they are too complicated, yet those other factors likely dwarf co2 in their impacts.

    • There’s a reality check to be had here. One quarter of all human emissions of CO2 have occurred since 1998. I can believe in lagged responses. I can believe in variable responses. I can believe in counter cyclical phenomenon that dampen atmospheric response.

      But I find it pretty amazing that one fourth of all human emissions have occurred without producing any impact on temperatures.

      • I find leprechauns pretty amazing. Don’t you?

      • It’s amazing, but warmists have a few more fine tuning knobs, like aerosols and “natural variability” and you can fit a lot in there. Still, it won’t be enough for the strong cooling, which is ahead.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        I guess thomasfuuler2 that you only want to look at near surface tropospheric temperatures, eh? Despite the fact that the majority of non- tectonic energy on earth is in the ocean.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        But we have looked at oceans – gatesy – and do not believe you.

        The world is in a cool mode for a decade or three more at least. Ocean temperature seems likely to decrease from the very modest rate seen in ARGO – and all of that was cloud changes in the period.

        Th multi-decadal signature is everywhere in ocean temperature, surface temperature, biology, arctic temperature. There are none so blind…

      • thomaswfuller2 said

        “But I find it pretty amazing that one fourth of all human emissions have occurred without producing any impact on temperatures”

        Precisely. That’s a big hole in co2 driven climate models right there. Time to reduce the co2 sensitivity figures in climate models and introduce some additional equations that involve oceans, clouds and that puzzling round yellow thing that can be seen from time to time in the sky almost everywhere apart from Finland and England.

        R Gates said

        “Despite the fact that the majority of non- tectonic energy on earth is in the ocean.”

        Last time I checked, the majority of mankind was living on land and not in the ocean.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Pekka,

      The systems approach to climate – change propagating through multiple mechanisms – is one thing.

      The models are another. It is known without any doubt at all that the methods of exploring irreducible imprecision in models is through systematically designed model families – and the results reported as a probabilistic forecast.

      Instead ‘the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report (21) shows the spread among climate models for global warming predictions. One of its results is an ensemble-mean prediction of ≈3°C increase in global mean surface temperature for doubled atmospheric CO2 concentration with an ensemble spread of ≈50% on either side. The predicted value for the climate sensitivity and its intermodel spread have remained remarkably stable throughout the modern assessment era from the National Research Counsel (NRC) in 1979 (22) to the anticipated results in the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (foreshadowed, e.g., in ref. 3) despite diligent tuning and after great research effort and progress in many aspects of simulation plausibility. An even broader distribution function for the increase in mean surface air temperature is the solution ensemble for a standard atmospheric climate model produced by Internet-shared computations (23), but there is a question about how carefully the former ensemble members were selected for their plausibility.

      In each of these model–ensemble comparison studies, there are important but difficult questions: How well selected are the models for their plausibility? How much of the ensemble spread is reducible by further model improvements? How well can the spread can be explained by analysis of model differences? How much is irreducible imprecision in an AOS?

      Simplistically, despite the opportunistic assemblage of the various AOS model ensembles, we can view the spreads in their results as upper bounds on their irreducible imprecision. Optimistically, we might think this upper bound is a substantial overestimate because AOS models are evolving and improving. Pessimistically, we can worry that the ensembles contain insufficient samples of possible plausible models, so the spreads may underestimate the true level of irreducible imprecision (cf., ref. 23). Realistically, we do not yet know how to make this assessment with confidence.’ http://www.pnas.org/content/104/21/8709.full

      Cheers

  60. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Among ardent skeptics here on Climate Etc, paranoia levels are rising faster than sea-level:

    J Martin claims  “[Climate scientists] have resorted to fraudulently altering the data to conform with their failed models. But once cooling sets in with a vengeance their cynical data manipulation will leave their fraudulent science exposed for what it is.”

    J Martin, your posts deserve credit for predicting that “cooling will set in with a vengeance” … a skeptical prediction that contradicts Hansen’s et al.acceleration of sea-level rise rates this decade.”

    This direct skepticism-versus-science confrontation is why everyone’s looking forward eagerly the soon-to-come tranche of satellite altimetry data.

    Prediction  Within the climate-change denier community, the following rates will accelerate in the coming decade: cherry-picking, slogan-shouting, semantic quibbling, short-sighted economics backed by amoral market-first reasoning, “outsider” physics, personalization, abuse, paranoia, and conspiracy theories.

    Does any thoughtful person disagree with this common-sense prediction regarding the already-evident acceleration of denialist-style climate-change skepticism? \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\ {\displaystyle\text{\bfseries???}}\,\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Prediction  Within the climate-change denier community, the following rates will accelerate in the coming decade: cherry-picking, slogan-shouting, semantic quibbling, short-sighted economics, “outsider” physics, personalization, paranoia, and conspiracy theories.

      Note  The above prediction is a common-sense corollary to the following proposition:

      Proposition  The climate-change worldview set forth in 1981 by James Hansen and colleagues is proving to be essentially correct.

      That’s not complicated, eh skeptics?   \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\ {\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.5ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • David Springer

        \mathbb{DICKWEED}\bowtie\mathbb{DICKWEED}

      • Fan, You seem to have missed some of the subtle points of the discussion. This post is on clouds and MAGIC. A recent post was on model “tuning” The “tuning” is done by using aerosol forcing to “constrain” “sensitivity” to a “range of comfort” By itself, a doubling of CO2 would produce 1 to 1.5 C of “surface” temperature increase. The Graeme Stephans’ Earth Energy Budget estimates the temperature of that “surface” to be between -24 and -30 C degrees. At that temperature, a doubling of CO2 would produce ~ 1.1C impact which is less than the “noise” in the data at that Effective Radiant Layer (ERL).

        Water vapor, the other greenhouse gas, has an ERL at a higher temperature and because water exists in all three phases on Earth, the interaction of the CO2 ERL and the H2O ERL is somewhat complex and varies with heat capacity of the true surface and availability of water in any of its three phases. This adds complexity to determining the CO2 portion of global and regional warming. For example; land and water use impacts can be amplified by CO2 “forcing”, reduce positive or negative “feedbacks” to all forcing causing internal energy imbalances that may impact natural internal variability. Land and water use as well as CO2 can amplify the regional temperature response to natural “unforced variability”.

        Since clouds are made of water vapor with some not easily determined influence of natural and anthropogenic aerosols, the variety of direct and indirect effects of natural and anthropogenic change creates a tad of uncertainty. So it is possible that instead of spend multi-trillions of dollars attempting to produce a carbon free energy environment, that changes in land and water use that provides other needed future benefits, might be a more cost effective methods of proceeding, not only to meet pragmatic soil and water conservation goals, but to provide a new “adjustment” that could help reduce some of the over whelming uncertainty.

        Since one of the author’s mentioned in this post noted a few years ago the “constraining” of models using “aerosol” forcing to produce “a range of comfort” in climate sensitivity and then took it upon himself to independently redo the iconic Earth Energy Budget published by one of his peers, it would seem that some real “climate scientists” question the validity of a number of your favorite references.

        I find that amusing :)

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Captain, close study of works like Katharina Lodders’ and Bruce Fegley’s Condensation chemistry of carbon stars will repay your effort with a greatly increased scientific appreciation of the interplay between clouds, aerosols, radiative transport, and turbulent flow.

        You see, sometimes in stellar atmospheres it doesn’t “rain” H20 … it rains particle of carbon! And the resulting interplay of advective and radiative energy-transport physics is very similar to the energy-transport physics of clouds here on earth.

        The advantages of studying variable star physics include:

        (a) tens of thousands of examples against which to tune the theory, and

        (b) zero quibbling from willfully ignorant, predestined-by-ideology denialists

        The latter is a significant advantage, eh Captain?

        Conclusion  The thermodynamical principles that govern James Hansen’s models of climate variation have been outstandingly well-validated in tens of thousands of variable-star studies.

        Ain’t that interesting, Captain? \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\ {\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • Fan, the thermodynamic principles extend beyond radiant physics. It is generally the scientists and engineers that are more grounded to surface thermodynamics that have pause with some of the stellar comparisons.

        Hansen’s “surface” is ambiguous. A good estimate of the Effective radiant temperature is roughly -30C. From the equator to the poles, the true surface temperature decreases about 1 degree C per degree of latitude. Once the true surface temperature reaches about -30 C degrees, it is outside the effective radiant layer at a higher density. The poles of the Earth and many other objects in space hold most of the surprises.

        Without the option of increasing the surface density and thermal mass near the poles, the response to CO2 forcing decreases dramatically. Look at the difference between Arctic amplification and the Antarctic’s lack of amplification. It is a shame that the Antarctic data is so poor, because its response to CO2 forcing should really be inversely correlated to global forcing, like the Amundsen Scott record is from 1957.

        Now if the Earth were covered with a uniform layer non-condensable gas so the true surface could be closer to iso-thermal, there would be a different punchline. As it is though, internal transfer of energy is non-uniform and overly complex to fit with the simplistic view through a telescope.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Who is the real denier?

      How can you deny the correlation between El Nino to increase and La Nina to decrease CO2 concentration in the atmosphere shown below?

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/compress:12/derivative/scale:0.2/detrend:-0.45/offset:-0.4/plot/hadcrut3vgl/compress:12

      How can you deny that the strength of El Nino are greater than La Nina during the warm PDO phase?

      How can you deny that during the warm PDO the global mean temperature has a warming trend that result in increase in CO2 concentration in the atmosphere?

      Who is the real denier?

      • As the sea temperature has increased, so has the carbon dioxide level. This reflects the normal solubility relationship between carbon dioxide and water. As the sea temperature increases, the oceans breathe out carbon dioxide into the at- mosphere. Thus, if sea surface temperatures now continue to fall, we may expect carbon dioxide levels to decrease.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Girma,

        Tropospheric temperatures increase during El Niños because additional energy is released from the oceans– mainly the Pacific. I’d be glad to tutor you on these basic thermodynamic principles if you’d like. Also you can here to learn about the energy flow:

        http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20120004263_2012004193.pdf

        Sorry, but CO2 has nothing to do with this.

    • Yes, your depiction of “short-sighted economics backed by amoral market-first reasoning” as being part of a common sense evaluation or prediction is incorrect. This is because to date, the system of economic gain and communication that is expressed by the market is the only system humans have found that approaches the needs of humans in their trade, work, and potential that allows for effecient expression. Other forms have been tried and have failed because of “market ineffeciencies.” Instead you should have had as part of your prediction that “within the climate change alarmist community the following rate will accelerate: calls to replace the working world markets with statist command structures that have always failed to realize human potential, and always increase misery and death at the expense of freedom.” Then you could claim the use of common sense. Perhaps even thoughtful.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        johnfpittman asserts: “[various ideological dogmas, not backed by verifiable references, concluding that] … statist command structures have always failed to realize human potential, and always increase misery and death at the expense of freedom.”

        johnfpittman, upon checking your claims against The CIA World Factbook: Life Expectancy at Birth, we observe the USA ranked 51st.

        The 50 nations ahead of the USA in life expectancy (1) all have substantially lower health-care costs, and (2) all carefully regulate their health-care markets.

        Conclusion  Two hundred years ago, America’s founders devised a successful system of politics that was based upon well-conceived checks-and-balances. Nowadays, the world’s successful health-care markets similarly are based upon well-conceived checks-and-balances.

        So the economic facts are not complicated, are they johnfpittman?

        And because the overwhelming weight of practical experience shows us plainly that the moral and economic advantages of well-managed health care systems both are exceedingly great, it follows rationally that the long-delayed evolution of America’s health-care system in this direction is … well … unstoppable, eh johnfpittman?

        And so the great opportunity for American conservatism, is to influence the evolution of ObamaCare in a Swiss-type direction, as contrasted with a Canada-type direction (although Swiss-type and Canada-type systems both deliver far superior health-care, to more people, at lower costs, relative to America’s present system).

        Gee … even the political debate isn’t complicated, because conservative (Swiss) versus liberal (Canadian) systems both are pretty good, eh johnfpittman? \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\ {\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • Fan, as I stated it, it was somewhat tongue in cheek. You have shown an economic benefit, but have not shown the moral one, so that statement is wrong. Your and their insight is also suspect because of the number of those with managed care that face bankruptcy at current spending levels, or are supported by the owning nation. In which case, these countries have a health bubble going, and it will mean in the long run, their life expectancy is less than ours. The other is to confuse the ability to afford health care with our ability to afford energy.

        Overlaying a model of health care which may be affordable and using it to claim that running an unaffordable energy system can work is a model failure. Nor does “”Life expectancy at birth is also a measure of overall quality of life in a country and summarizes the mortality at all ages”” only reflect the economics of a managed health care system. In fact, the implication is that such items as a market based economy can impact quality, or number of miles driven in a car can effect life expectancy, depending on the country.

        The difference is the degree. Energy use is required by all humans. All that is modern requires energy. Health care is not required; it is desirable. How we get that, sun, nuclear, or what ever, requires that it be economical. The problem is that the proposed solutions use the state controlled model without addressing the economic cost and the morality of choice of all parties. That is my real bone of contention. But I do predict that we see some clamouring for state control. But it is somewhat of a cheat, because I saw it last night on the national news, someone already using Sandy and melting ice to claim the need of the state approach.

        I guess I could make it even shorter: There is a large demand for better health care and a system(s) to acquire it; there is a great demand for improving the human condition and a system to improve it; there is a great demand for an affordable energy system to stop CO2, but it does not exist. The state model is to force it on the population regardless of cost. I deem that immoral, as an affordable non CO2 energy system does not exist, except for nuclear, maybe, and it has real problems of notable consequence.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Hmmm … the fifty nations ahead of the USA in life-expectancy all</i enjoy lower per-capita health-care costs … and that simple economic fact utterly invalidates ideology-driven arguments to the effect “America can’t afford it”, eh johnpittman?

        Because plain facts-on-the-ground *do* trump political theories, eh?

        At least, most voters think so! \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\ {\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • Fan asserts “”Hmmm … the fifty nations ahead of the USA in life-expectancy all</i enjoy lower per-capita health-care costs … and that simple economic fact utterly invalidates ideology-driven arguments to the effect “America can’t afford it”, eh johnpittman? " No, fan. You ignored that you are presenting a static economic picture that I called your attention to. Plain reality is just not facts that have been presented by you or me with our biases. An argument that we can afford to address climate change has to be made on our ablity to afford it; and not just for the few years that subsidized health care has been on the books, but potentially forever, according to some. With the bankruptcy and debt of your 50 nations, it is not a sure fact that the health care they enjoy is affordable. Your assertations to avoid this point continue. Your assertations that we can afford mitigation continue. Your lack of specifics continue. Voters = argumentum ad populum. I will raise you with another= voters only want to pay about $200/year each to solve AGW. I agree to support a carbon "neutral" total tax on all carbon equal to $200/voter/year for 126 million = $25.2 billion/year for all programs including research. See easy.

  61. Tomas Milanovic

    Pekka

    It’s related to that but the most important question expressed with concepts of chaos theories concerns the relative importance of unpredictable variability within the attractor to the changes in the attractor and to the predictability of the changes of the attractor.

    One of the best and shortest statements that indeed resumes everything.
    At least to me. 1000% agreement.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Tomas and Pekka, your “outsider” theories of chaos need to do a better job of explaining the observation that:

      • the great majority of stars are not appreciably variable (in good accord with well-understood physical principles).

      • of variable stars, the great majority vary regularly (again in good accord with well-understood physical principles).

      After all, the flow of heat in stars shares with the flow of heat on earth the properties of radiation transport, accompanied by turbulent fluid flow, regulated nonlinearly by chemistry-and-condensation-associated opacity (clouds).

      Indeed, each body of science — climate variability and stellar variability — substantially informs the other, eh?

      Principle  Variations in the “climate” (luminosity) of stars and variations in the “climate” (heat content) of the earth, both can be understood reasonably well, by careful application of well-tested principles of dynamical fluid flow and thermodynamics.

      Isn’t this principle entirely reasonable, Tomas and Pekka? \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\ {\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.5ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • David Springer

        \mathbb{STARSTRUCK}\bowtie\mathbb{STARTSTRUCK}

        \mathbb{MOONBAT}\bowtie\mathbb{MOONBAT}

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Chaos is indeed at the core of our current understanding of climate – indeed has been for a decade or 2. I was reading just yesterday a Wally Broecker article – ‘The end of the current interglacial: how and when?’ – from 1999. The NAS Committee on Apbupt Claimet Change has gone so far as to call it the new climate paradigm.

        ‘Abrupt climate changes were especially common when the climate system was being forced to change most rapidly. Thus, greenhouse warming and other human alterations of the earth system may increase the possibility of large, abrupt, and unwelcome regional or global climatic events. The abrupt changes of the past are not fully explained yet, and climate models typically underestimate the size, speed, and extent of those changes. Hence, future abrupt changes cannot be predicted with confidence, and climate surprises are to be expected.

        The new paradigm of an abruptly changing climatic system has been well established by research over the last decade, but this new thinking is little known and scarcely appreciated in the wider community of natural and social scientists and policy-makers.’ http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=10136&page=1

        The literature is quite extensive and the argument for the application of complex systems theory to climate is compelling. This ‘new thinking’ is certainly little known or appeciated by FOMBS – and a number of other space cadets in this forum. Complex systems theory is difficult but well worth studying – eh FOMBS.

  62. No the physics of stars and climate are very diffrent.

  63. ThIs is addressed to no individual in particular

    Over the last few months the amount of vitriol, bile and personal abuse on this blog -coming from a small number of individuals- has escalated sharply. Many people from both sides make interesting comments only to be met with a hail of derogatory comments. Its no way to examine a subject in detail.

    Can I therefore suggest the warring sides of Climate Etc call a Christmas truce for the duration of December?

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

    This will hopefully enable us to discuss matters in an atmosphere where nothing more toxic than friendly banter or amusing put down’s will be aimed at anyone. I don’t have much hope that anyone will agree with me, but thought I would make the point that a science blog such as this works better when denizens are not constantly at reach others throats.

    tonyb

    • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

      Tony,

      An excellent suggestion and would agree to such a truce, though I think you and I are not very good examples of the launchers of the most extreme of the personal attacks.

      • Gates,

        Since it’s not yet December, and I’m inclined (but not absolutely committed–depends on the behavior of the crusher crew) to go along with tonyb’s idea of a truce, I want to get one last one in.

        You are a real trip, Gates, playing the little suck-up, weasel-sneak with tonyb’s suggestion. I mean, like, what is it Gates that attracts former, grade-school tattle-tales and teacher’s-pet brown-nosers, like you, to throw in your lot with the hive’s lefty, make-a-buck/make-a-gulag, gravy-train, taxpayer rip-offs? Or is it that you were sought out by the hive’s youth-masters precisely for those qualities that, in grade-school, marked you out as a creep-out, geek-ball, dumb-asp-wannabe kiss-ass among your classmates? I don’t know which is worse with you lefties, Gates, your jerk-off, sanctimonious personalities or your stink-bomb neglect of your personal hygiene.

        I mean, like, you, Gates, are the master of passive-agressive, Taoist-Maoist bigot-boogers when it comes to Christianity, your whiteboy elders, and others uncongenial to your tenured-trough, do-as-say-not-as-I-do, watermelon-brain, group-think, I’m-the-snake-and-you’re-the-rat agenda items.

        Test question time, Gates–Christian evangelical proselytizing has no place in the classroom (a position with which I agree, by the way) or even in the Ivory Tower at all, but your little guru-on-the-cheap, brainwash-the-kids, hubble-bubble-and-hash-pipe-third-eye-substitute, hopped-up Gaism is Galileo-quality, truth-to-power, protected, academic speech, right Gates? I mean, I want to get this distinction deal you have going in that hive-bozo, goobered-up pea-brain of yours as to why it is O. K. with you that our so-called “institutions of higher learning” are the most viciously censorious, PC, though-controlled, snake-pit venues in the whole of American Society, on the one hand, while, at the same time, hive-chekists, like you, Gates, are allowed to freely dispense your noxious, greenshirt-flake agit-prop and, incongruously, simultaneously pitch your phony-baloney, hyped, “I’m offended!”, “I feel threatened”, “the deniers are so uncivil”, “my free-speech is threatened” spastic-dork, victim-act eco-hysterics.

        And, in conclusion, Gates, though a bit early, Gates, I do not want to miss the opportunity to wish you a very Merry Christmas, Gates!

        Stay civil, good buddy

      • Captain (Retired) Kangaroo

        Mike,

        My best thoughts for the season. I note that you are in fine form and are continuing your work in bringing peace to the climate war – for which you gained your well deserved Nobel Peace Prize nomination.

        The whole thing is otherwise a bit unrewarding. They’re a bit like a Fidel Castro bop doll. You bop them and they go down but then they bop right back up again snarling and clenching a metaphysical cigar between the butt cheeks. It is a move that was pioneered by Bill Clinton but I can’t see Hilary putting up with any of that nonsense. When you get bopped by Hilary I would lay odds you stay bopped.

        I couldn’t find a Fidel Castro bop doll or it would be destined for your Christmas stocking. The best I could do was a Fidel Castro bobble head – http://www.sears.com/the-bobblehead-castro-bh-fidel-castro-cuban-cigar/p-SPM6197543603P – is there a market for any cr@p at all? Makes my head bobble.

        God knows I’m a reasonable, civilised and cultured type. I’ve got 2 wine lists – count them. James Halliday’s top 100 white, red and sparkling wines and his top 100 Christmas selection and I am working my way through them in turn. I have interests in science, literature, maths, physics, fine art and dancing. In the usual Australian way I can ride a horse and lasso a cowgirl. I even turned my hand to house painting recently on the principle that if you want something done right…although it did almost end badly. As I bounced down the stairwell on my butt I could see the funeral in my head. He was houseproud they would say. That steeled my determination to live. If and when I go it will be disgracefully.

        But these fervid religious types. If you dare to disagree at all with any their high and mighty moral and intellectual superiority – their instinct is to snarl vociferous abuse. And they are of course repulsive moral reprobates with all the intellect of slime mould – so disagreement is bound to come up. But what the hell – I will give it a go for the sake of peace in the climate war .

        Hi Ho Shibboleth.
        Captain (Retired) Kangaroo

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Mike,

        I can see this is going to be the beginning of a long friendship with you. Your perspective on what the world is all about is a refreshing and entertaining break from reality– much like any great piece of fiction. I also wish you a genuinely joyous Holiday season.

    • tony b

      I agree with you and R. Gates.

      We can debate the many open scientific and political questions related to AGW without getting emotional or irrational.

      The problem is that this takes a bit of self-control and maturity.

      I once heard it said that in the political debate those on the “right” often believe that those on the “left” are “stupid”, while those on the “left” often think those on the right are “evil”.

      It appears to me that we often see this mentality played out here.

      I promise to do my best to try to stick to the topic of discussion and not fall into the trap of accusing others of being dishonest or stupid, just because they disagree with my viewpoint.

      Max.

      • R gates and max

        So far we have several of those on board with the truce, but they are far from the worst offenders. Let’s hope others will tone it down even though they may not directly comment on this post
        Tonyb

      • The Bible says that mankind is both evil and stupid, so you are right on your count too. Merry Xman

      • R Gates

        Can I commwend R Gates for the restrained reply to Mikes (deliberately) ascerbic attack on him immediately prior to the truce? This should encourage Mike to decorate his own trench, put up the Christmas decorations, dig out his grainy old cassette of Christmas Carols and think nice thoughts before his no doubt reasoned and civil response to the next denizen whose views he disagrees with.

        tonyb

  64.  

     
    Question 4
    Are sea levels are rising dangerously at a rate that has accelerated with increasing human GHG emissions, thereby threatening small islands and coastal communities?
    Expert Answer by Professor Nils-Axel Mörner:

    …Conclusions: The claims of the IPCC and related persons with respect to sea level changes is deeply biased and not based on actual observation. A total revision is necessary. Its purpose appears to simply be to scare people in advance of the Copenhagen climate change meeting in December 2009.

    • Wagathon | November 30, 2012 at 11:20 am said: ”Are sea levels are rising dangerously at a rate that has accelerated with increasing human GHG emissions, thereby threatening small islands and coastal communities?”

      Wagathon, I just made a post on sea rising: if you want to learn factual things, what makes the sea to rise, and what doesn’t -; instead of stumbling in the dark, here: http://globalwarmingdenier.wordpress.com/2012/12/01/sea-rising-or-not/

      • No need to make it hard–we dont’ need tectonic plates to understand climate change… ok?

        http://evilincandescentbulb.wordpress.com/2012/11/30/do-high-seas-lift-taxes/

      • Wagathon | December 1, 2012 at 1:13 am said: ”No need to make it hard–we dont’ need tectonic plates to understand climate change… ok?”

        Of course not, no need phony GLOBAL warmings, the climate to change also. Climate never stopped changing for one day in 4 billion years! summer / winter climate, dry / wet climate, high / low altitude / latitude climates.

        mate, I was telling you: what effects makes the sea to rise, and what not. The last big ice age is the best example. where your narrow-minded brains-trusts declared that: the sea-level was lower during the last big ice age / because of more ice on land, and ignored the real factors, to prove how stupid they are = they are completely wrong; the sea-level was higher then,for ”REAL” reasons, and overflowed and cut over Gibraltar.

        mate, you started confusing everything; take a big long Christmas holiday and recharge. P.s. make your brain-trusts, to look at the sun and demonstrate to you and to the world; how did people observed the sun activity in the past, before invention of powerful filter. Hansen loves those lies, to have bigger liars than himself around. They even ”know date and who made those filters” for the first time; that declared in the media on time (media is on his side) Hansen, Mann are keeping the Fakes forgings of sun activity under their sleeve, for when they need, to put the liars from your camp down. The ”Fake Skeptics” conmen own you an explanation. Otherwise, you are getting bananas from the crap they are feeding you.

        They falsified the sun’s activity – to cover up for their mountains of lies about the past ”DAILY” GLOBAL warmings / coolings Charts. Wagathon, just cool down, and don’t spread Fake’s crap, without thinking, if something makes sense or not, I’m pointing your weackneses; we are friends, remember? .

      • For you weather is a coin flip and you would extend that into the past as well as the future such that all trends — i.e., climate — are illusory.

  65. The simplified english version:

    Our models suck, we don’t agree on how they are wrong or how to fix them, but we insist that our models should be trusted more than actual measured data.

    My climate models say it is happening.
    My data says it is not.
    Gradually the lunacy, fear mongering and hysteria promulgated by belief in climate models will yield to the rational belief in the data.

    Thus endeth the lesson, because life is a series of lessons that are always repeated until learned.

    Again.

  66. Graeme Stephens (NASA JPL) wrote: “[...] cloud changes [...] are not determined by global mean temperature changes [...]“

    … in just time: agree.
    But in concert with changes over space? …

    Look at GRADIENTS (equator-pole) and the aggregate circulatory evolution they induce:
    http://i49.tinypic.com/2jg5tvr.png

    Here’s (in orange) the changing pitch of the solar-terrestrial helix you see there: http://i46.tinypic.com/303ipeo.png.

    Yuri Barkin says Earth’s shells “galloped” in 1997-98. Ben Chao shares insights:

    Chao, B.F. (2006). Earth’s oblateness and its temporal variations. Comptes Rendus Geoscience 338, 1123-1129. doi:10.1016/j.crte.2006.09.014.
    http://www.earth.sinica.edu.tw/~bfchao/publication/eng/2006-Earth%E2%80%99s%20oblateness%20and%20its%20temporal%20variations.pdf

    Mass flow direction reversed ~1997/1998. This can be deduced (by the process of elimination) from the following concert of observations:
    1. polar motion.
    2. QBO.
    3. aggregate decadal variations in the amplitude of annual-timescale LOD.
    http://i50.tinypic.com/11he49z.png

    The only physical way to get the observed 3.2 year shift in the late 1990s is with a semi-annual (directional dominance) shift on the 2 year subharmonic.

    I (rather strongly) suspect that the task of making this spatiotemporal geometry understandable for mainstream climate scientists will fall to agencies such as NASA JPL.

    Stevens demonstrates commendable judgement in directing the most serious attention towards sea-air coupling and atmospheric water flow.
    http://i50.tinypic.com/2v2ywzb.png

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

    • Thanks, Paul, for directing attention to reality instead of MAGIC.

      Reality scared world leaders in 1945; Funds shifted to MAGIC.

      • 12k years ago the earth’s north pole would be tilted towards the sun in the summer, when its orbit puts it closest to the sun. This favored the loss of NH ice to trigger things.

  67. @BBD | November 29, 2012 at 12:20 pm |

    If the climate system was dominated by negative feedbacks then it would be insensitive and it wouldn’t exhibit the substantial variability that it actually does. So we *know* that feedbacks net positive. Otherwise the climate system wouldn’t do much. That would be a physical impossibility.

    That isn’t quite true BBD. Climate with a net feedback of zero will follow whatever forcings exist, such as solar insolation, eg the Milankovitch cycle. So zero or close to zero feedback would still vary. Therefore, climate variation isn’t proof of positive feedbacks. I dare say, a climate with a negative feedback that is small in effect compared to the forcing would also exhibit variation. You seem to be assuming any negative feedback is forceful and overwhelming. How do you justify that?

    • jim2

      The fault lies with my wording. I did not state that variability is greater than expected from net neutral feedbacks. The MWP/LIA are suggestive of this, but orbital forcing is perhaps the best example. Total insolation change is slight, but increased summer insolation at 65N latitude engages a cascade of positive feedbacks sufficient to terminate a glacial (Shakun et al. 2012).

      This is presumably impossible unless we accept that the climate system is moderately sensitive, eg moderately strong positive feedbacks dominate.

      • That’s a good point, it seems to me, BBD. The most obvious feedback in the ice house scenario is the ice itself. When it comes to ice, it has a lot of exposed area to cover at the moment, as most of it is relegated to the poles. Therefore, the feedback from melting ice is limited to the current area of the ice in a warming scenario. However, when insolation decreases, the ice has a lot of room to extend its grip. That is, there is a higher capacity of a feedback ice effect under a cooling scenario than a warming one. What say you?

      • It seems to me that the “ice area” argument would argue for a limited ice feedback in a warming scenario, whether by more CO2 or more intense Sun light. Ice changes would have a minimal effect in the warming scenario compared to the cooling one.

      • During interglacials you have roughly stable insolation and atmospheric GHGs but much reduced ice albedo feedback compared to glacial maxima.

        At glacial maxima you have roughly stable insolation and GHGs and large ice albedo feedback compared to interglacials.

        To go from one to the other – and back again – apparently requires only modest changes in forcing. It’s food for thought.

      • It seems likely that the “back again” would be triggered by the tilt of the axis of the Earth relative to the Sun. The trigger would be that the tilt changes in such a manner to expose more land and less ice to the Sun’s radiation.

      • jim2

        Certainly NH summer insolation declines from its peak as the interglacial progresses. The high latitude ice sheets gradually begin to grow again. Positive ice albedo feedback is engaged. The progressive cooling accelerates the draw-down of GHGs (CO2 dissolves more efficiently in cooler ocean). GHGs are a positive feedback and they amplify the cooling. As a consequence of both, temperature falls. Positive ice albedo feedback increases further, amplifying the cooling.

        A quasi-equilibrium glacial state results when insolation, ice albedo feedback and GHGs balance out.

      • BBD – I re-read the paper – I did skim it the first time. The paper does appear to be a step forward. It would be better if the orientation of the Earth to the Sun were included during the time period covered by the paper.

      • my 5:42pm reply to this is above a little.

      • jim2

        It would be better if the orientation of the Earth to the Sun were included during the time period covered by the paper.

        This is a given. Deglaciations have occurred at periods of high obliquity for ~700ka (Huybers & Wunsch 2005).

        I sense confusion.

      • Thanks for the papers. This is beginning to make sense to me.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      The feedbacks are instinsic to the system and consist of multiple negative and positive feedbacks. If we assume that insolation is the control variable for glacials/interglacials – the system is pushed past a tipping points and flucuates wildly involving both negative and positive feedbacks before emerging in a new state determined by the strength of the attractors. Which is simply to say that the system is free to shift between limits. The limits for the past 2.58 million years appear to be glacials/interglacials.

      But it is multiple feedbacks that drive the system into abrupt change and to dynamic flucuation.

      • Chief Hydrologist | November 30, 2012 at 3:36 pm said: ”The feedbacks are instinsic to the system and consist of multiple negative and positive feedbacks”

        Positive / negative ”feedbacks” are actually ”starvebacks” from common sense. Clouds make cooler days / warmer nights – the more clouds = better / milder climate. Minus clouds; days hotter / nights colder – what’s so complicated for your twisted little mind? If you can’t compare the climate in Cairns, against the climate in Mt. Isa === you also should find something very, very heavy, to drop it on your foot, to heart yourself, and wake up

  68.  

    Do High Seas Raise Taxes?

     

    “We are told that the sea level is rising and will soon swamp all of our cities. Everybody knows that the Pacific island of Tuvalu is sinking. Al Gore told us that the inhabitants are invading New Zealand because of it.

    “Around 1990 it became obvious that the local tide-gauge did not agree — there was no evidence of ‘sinking.’ So scientists at Flinders University, Adelaide, were asked to check whether this was true. They set up new, modern, tide-gauges in 12 Pacific islands, including Tuvalu, confident that they would show that all of them are sinking.

    “Recently, the whole project was abandoned as there was no sign of a change in sea level at any of the 12 islands for the past 16 years. In 2006, Tuvalu even rose.” (Dr. Vincent Gray)

  69. Berényi Péter

    Is not it somewhat ridiculous? It is known for ages that clouds are fractals. And of course if one starts to study objects, the very first thing to do is to describe their shape using appropriate metrics.

    But these guys do not even mention fractal dimension of clouds (a number somewhere between 2 & 3), much less try to measure it. This way it is impossible to set up any relation between fractal dimension and other parameters, which is a good thing after all. As long as you do not have verifiable propsitions, they certainly can’t be falsified and what is not falsified, must be true. That’s how smart climatologists have become.

    Cloud Modeling for Computer Graphics
    Gustav Taxén
    February 23, 1999

    The great danger to be avoided at all cost is of course to acknowledge fractal-like nature of water vapor distribution in the atmosphere. Surface separating clouds from transparent, droplet-free air masses is only a single instance of many equal relative humidity surfaces, the only visible one among them. But all the others have similar structure.

    Now, average optical thichness of a fractal-like absorber has (almost) nothing to do with average density of said absorber, much less with optical thickness of the same amount of absorber distributed uniformly.

    To calculate those numbers faithfully, one has to know the fine details of the distribution’s geometry, that is, at least its fractal dimension. And fractals, being scale invariant, are poorly represented on grids of any cell size substantially larger than the radiation wavelength optical thickness should be calculated at.

    Now, even 10 meters is some 6 orders of magnitude larger than characteristic wavelength of thermal IR. Which would require 18 orders of magnitude more cells in a computational model. That much computing power will never be available, so it is better to abandon computer games for a while, go back to physics and find genuine variational principles for these phenomena.

    • But consider that cloud sizes are not fractals. T. Yuan from NASA last year looked at the distribution of cloud sizes and found the usual maximum entropy variation in sizes that also occurs in lake areas and in oil reservoir volumes.
      http://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/11/7483/2011/acp-11-7483-2011.pdf
      Nearly the same distribution in cloud sizes occurs over land as over water.

      The science is in how the variation comes about, and that has to do with the great diversity in growth rates.

      • Captain (Retired) Kangaroo

        ‘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 do this, nor have we proven that the desired functions exist’. Thirty years later, this problem remains unsolved, and may possibly be unsolvable. ‘

        http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/369/1956/4751.full

        The statisitics of clouds in the paper you refererence have to do with a power law – with which you should be right at home. Although we have discussed the production of entropy in a nonequilibium system before and reached the reasonable conclusion that maximum entropy is not an applicable concept.

        I have saved the paper for later perusal.

      • Berényi Péter

        As clouds are actually fractals, one can only give an arbitrary definition for “cloud size”, and that’s what Yuan does. Individual “clouds” are defined as connected sets of “cloudy” pixels in 1 km resolution satellite images, using four-neighbor connectivity. Then “size” of said cloud is the number of pixels in this set.

        Observed scale invariant behavior of size distribution is exactly what one expects from fractals.

        Please note the statistics Yuan uses can’t give a full statistical description of this fractal set, the less so because he only uses a 2D projection of fractals in 3D.

    • Ha, ha, ha, this one looks like a big white pig…

      “It is known for ages that clouds are fractals. And of course if one starts to study objects, the very first thing to do is to describe their shape using appropriate metrics.”

      from where I sit.

  70. Nonexistent global warming cannot cause the seas to rise. Just yesterday, 125 125 signatories to a November 29, 2012 ‘Open Letter’ to H.E. Ban Ki-Moon of the UN brought to the Secretary-General’s attention ”recently released data [U.K. Met Office] showing that there has been no statistically significant global warming for almost 16 years,” proving ”models are wrong by their creators’ own criterion.”

  71. ” BBD | November 29, 2012 at 12:20 pm |

    If the climate system was dominated by negative feedbacks then it would be insensitive and it wouldn’t exhibit the substantial variability that it actually does. So we *know* that feedbacks net positive. Otherwise the climate system wouldn’t do much. That would be a physical impossibility.”

    Let’s go about this simply. The Earth absorbs heat and comes to a steady state temperature. At this steady state the emission of heat of the Earth is equal and opposite to the heat absorbed. As a rule of thumb, all things being equal, we know that emission is proportional to the fourth power of temperature.
    Now at steady state influx equals efflux, but it is heat that is being balanced, and it is ‘average’ temperature which determines efflux.

    Now, all very simple stuff. Whereas your comment:-

    “If the climate system was dominated by negative feedbacks then it would be insensitive and it wouldn’t exhibit the substantial variability that it actually does. So we *know* that feedbacks net positive. Otherwise the climate system wouldn’t do much. That would be a physical impossibility.”

    We know that the climate system is dominated by negative feedbacks, cool the Earth and efflux goes down, heat it and efflux goes up. The input into the system is solar, and that’s about it. This is a classical negative feedback; drop influx (clouds/aerosols/quiet sun) and the Earth cools; increase the influx, (large continental land masses and deep ocean, little intrastella dust, little DMS) and temperatures rise.

    There are no steady state systems you can model in which ‘positive feedback’s’ dominate. Indeed, this is quite obvious and the basis of all modeled steady state systems. Systems in which there are negative feedback loops are stable, but subject to perturbations, and sometimes oscillations.
    Stable systems are stable because they are stable. Systems that look like an elephant balancing on its trunk atop a pyramid, are intrinsically subject to positive feedback’s and only observable for short periods of time.

    Your description of Earths climate as ‘the substantial variability’ is laughable and shows your quite, human, bias.
    The Earth has maintained a steady state temperature of about 284 K +/-4K for the last 800,000 years. In that time every single ecosystem on the planet has changed more than once.. 800,000 years ago the Aorounga impact crater’s were formed. The Yellowstone Caldera formed 640,000 years ago and last covered the lower 48 states. Yellowstone erupted some 70,000 years ago, as did a volcano in Sumatra, leaving behind Lake Toba. This one-two left the Earth with only 2,000 humans, the closest we came to an extinction level event.

    Now the only case I know where positive feedback’s have been extensively modeled is in nuclear device design. Here the designers wish to get the highest possible neutron breeder and neutron flux. After the initial chemical explosive compression stage X-Ray/Gamma-Ray flux is used to form a plasma in the packing surrounding the pit. I cannot think of a non-explosive system that has positive feedback.
    Huge volcano’s, massive impacts, and 284 K +/-4K. Positive feedback my arse.

    • DocMartyn is the guy with the crazy space-iron-dust/algae theory.
      He posted Part 1 on Climate Etc but never got around to Part 2.
      http://judithcurry.com/2011/12/21/a-biologists-perspective-on-ice-ages-and-climate-sensitivity-part-i/

      In contrast, BBD is simply describing an evolution towards a meta-stable system, which is conventional scientific analysis.
      Look at all the pieces that show positive feedback effects:
      1. Increase heat, which increases water vapor partial pressure which increases GHG effect
      2. Increase heat, increase outgassing of CO2 which increases GHG effect.
      3. Increase heat, decrease average reflectivity of the ice/snow surface area.
      4. Increase heat which increases the metabolism and breakdown of organics; these go into short-term methane and long-term CO2. Since warming occurs more in northern latitudes, this may have a large influence on frozen peat bogs and methane clathrates.

      Plus lots of man-made influences which could have some effect. Clear-cutting forests, UHI effect, etc.
      Some of these could be negative, but no one has described a significant feedback besides the Planck response. We have the equivalent negative feedback on electronics that we try to keep cool, but this does not disallow the possibility of thermal runaway should the design parameters get perturbed.

      That is the conventional view just as BBD has described, free from crack-pottery.

      • Tub O’ Lub, You sir, must love science when you can say…

        “Plus lots of man-made influences which could have some effect.”

        Warm & cozy

      • David Springer

        WebHubTelescope | November 30, 2012 at 10:42 pm | Reply

        In contrast, BBD is simply describing an evolution towards a meta-stable system, which is avoiding conventional scientific analysis and repeating the warmist narrative.

        Fixed that ya!

      • 1. Increase heat, which increases water vapor partial pressure which increases GHG effect but also increase the rates of surface cooling and the rate of atmospheric absorption of both SW and LW. Since the vast majority of the increase evaporation is over the oceans which have a higher average temperature and much smaller diurnal temperature range, the impact of addition GHG forcing is less than over land surfaces.
        2. Increase heat, increase outgassing of CO2 which increases GHG effect. Since the oceans are less impacted by GHG forcing (see 1., the rate of additional CO2 outgassing due to additional ocean warming is limited. With a measured rate of warming of roughly 0.018 C per decade down to 2000 meters, ocean outgassing due to temperature increase will be excruciatingly slow.
        3. Increase heat, decrease average reflectivity of the ice/snow surface area. Since the ocean is a sphere and the majority of more permanent ice/snow is above latitude 65 the albedo area that can be impacted decreases rapidly. Because the southern high latitudes are thermally isolated by the ACC, it is unlikely there will be any SH albedo reduction for a few millennia.

        4. Increase heat which increases the metabolism and breakdown of organics; these go into short-term methane and long-term CO2. Land based impact on CO2 and CH4 are much more of a factor than very gradual ocean warming. Some have taken the position that land and water use anthrogogenic impacts are much more significant that previously estimated. Imagine that?

      • Warmer area can hold more water vapor.

      • Web said, “warmer area can hold more water vapor.” Yes it can, if there is water vapor available. For land masses that would require melting ice/snow. or more precipitation, which has a cooling initial impact. With diurnal temperature ranges increasing something is not going according to plan. The total area between 60N and 65N is about 2% of the total global surface area and 7/10 of that is land. 75N to 80N is less than 1% of the surface of the Earth. Running out of ice/snow feedback area.

      • You lose. Several other GHGs as well contribute to positive feedback. The aggregate combines to make the effect significant.

    • This shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the term ‘negative or positive feedback’ in the context of climate change. The Planck response is not considered part of the feedback, because that is of course negative. The earth will warm when forced positively and then stop warming when in a new equilibrium. The negative and positive refer to the warming relative to the plain Planck warming, of course.

      • “This shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the term ‘negative or positive feedback’ in the context of climate change”

        How odd. Surely you mean

        “This shows a fundamental misuse of the term ‘negative or positive feedback’ in the context of climate change, where the terms mean quite different things from the classically accepted usage in other scientific fields”

        The odd thing is that commonly understood terms used in science mean quite different things in ‘climate science’.

        Web describes a classical elephant balancing on its trunk on a pyramid.

        We start with the blessed Earth, in serene ‘equilibrium’. When, for what ever reason, there is a slight increase in the heat into the system. Temperatures rise causing;
        1) A rise in water vapor.
        2) An out-gassing of CO2
        3) Melting of ice

        The result of 1), according to WHT, is an increase in ‘GHG forcing'; the result of 2), according to WHT, is an increase in ‘GHG forcing’ and the result of 3), according to WHT, is an increase in polar heating due to a change in the albedo.
        Thus, a small change in an initial heat input is amplified, we have water and CO2 ‘GHG’ effects and the melting of reflective ice.
        Round two has a warmer Earth, the increased water/CO2 heats the Earth, along with an increase in heat absorption at the poles. So the Earth’s temperature increases. The increase in temperature causes; 1) A rise in water vapor., 2) An out-gassing of CO2 and 3) Melting of ice; Thermogeddon.
        And so on, classical positive feedbacks.The Earth is a microphone in front of a speaker, the slightest sound causes a huge increase in noise.
        Therefore, these positive feed backs mean that the Earth is poised on the abyss, and a slight increase in heat will induce a catastrophic runaway heating scenario, rather like heating gasoline vapor.
        However, the Earth is also on a second cliff edge, the Earth can die of cooling.
        We start with the blessed Earth, in serene ‘equilibrium’. When, for what ever reason, there is a slight decrease in the heat into the system. Temperatures drop causing;
        1) A drop in water vapor.
        2) A sequestration of atmospheric CO2
        3) formation of polar ice

        The result of 1), according to WHT, is a decrease in ‘GHG forcing'; the result of 2), according to WHT, is a decrease in ‘GHG forcing’ and the result of 3), according to WHT, is a decrease in polar heating due to a change in the albedo.
        Thus, a small change in an initial heat input is amplified, we have a decrease in both water and CO2 ‘GHG’ effects and an increase in the area of reflective ice.
        Round two has a cooler Earth, the decreased water/CO2 cools the Earth, along with a decrease in heat absorption at the poles. So the Earth’s temperature drops. The decrease in temperature causes; 1) A drop in water vapor., 2) A sequestration of CO2 and 3) Formation of ice; Iceball Earth.

      • Doc Martyn

        Yeah.

        And the really scary part is that all that can happen as a result of an itsy-bitsy-teenie-weenie climate forcing plus all those really humungous positive feedbacks.

        Question to Webby: Why didn’t it happen before?

        Duh!

        Max

      • Global climate shifts from warming to cooling at the highest atmospheric CO2 concentrations and from cooling to warming at the lowest concentrations.

      • David Springer

        Jim D | November 30, 2012 at 11:12 pm | Reply

        “This shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the term ‘negative or positive feedback’ in the context of climate change.”

        This is what happens when you have a bunch of clowns that are ignorant of basic hard sciences and engineering making chit up as they go along.

      • DocMartyn, Manacker, and Edim,
        The unholy trinity of a creative crackpot, a liar, and a rank contrarian. It’s almost too easy to destroy your arguments.
        When are you people going to bring in some big guns to make the discussion at least competitive?
        Oh, now I see, you have Springer. I am quaking in my boots, a real devil’s advocate. It’s suddenly become a powerhouse squad, approaching the level of a high school debate team.

        Actually you could learn something from Springer. Try to calculate what the effective black-body radiation of a globe completely covered with water is. The water is not allowed to evaporate, which makes it hypothetical. But try to do it anyways. Write down your answer and give it to Springer.

      • There has been a lot of discussion of what’s “the right”, “a right”, or a wrong interpretation of the concept of feedback.

        The search function of this site brings to the top some threads where this issue was argued extensively.

      • Web

        It appears that you have run out of logical arguments and have to resort to childish name-calling.

        If your Mommy knew, Webby, she’d wash your mouth out with soap.

        For shame.

        Max

      • I think it is generally understood that no feedback means the Planck response alone which means a certain amount of warming is expected if the forcing changes. This would be roughly what the earth would do without an atmosphere in response to a change in forcing, or with an atmosphere without greenhouse gases. In climate science, positive and negative feedback go on either side of no feedback. If other fields do different, that would be both interesting and a source of major confusion.

      • ‘creative crackpot’

        I have a B. Sc., M. Sc. and Ph. D. I work as a full time researcher in neurochemistry, specifically working on chemotherapeutic’s, and have an H-Index of 26.
        I sold my first drug last week, the press release will be out next week.
        Almost all the modeling I have done is steady state modeling, although my work on nitric oxide and Fenton chemistry is well cited.

      • Pekka said, “There has been a lot of discussion of what’s “the right”, “a right”, or a wrong interpretation of the concept of feedback.”

        There will continue to be a lot of discussion. What is a feedback depends on the model used and the boundaries of each model. The “sensitivity” to SW forcing is about 0.16C per Watt or 0.59C per 3.7Wm-2 increase in solar forcing which impacts mainly the 30N-30S band of the Earth containing 1/2 of the surface area which also has the vast majority of marine clouds. Since the models “define” the feedbacks and don’t deal with clouds very well, it is a chicken and egg issue.

      • capt. d., the issue is that some people think a positive feedback is automatically a runaway effect, and others think a negative feedback is cooling in response to positive forcing. Both equally wrong, of course.

      • ” Jim D | December 1, 2012 at 10:55 am |

        I think it is generally understood that no feedback means the Planck response alone which means a certain amount of warming is expected if the forcing changes.”

        Here is the Solar spectrum and the 5777K BBR simulated spectrum.

        http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/55/Solar_AM0_spectrum_with_visible_spectrum_background_%28en%29.png

        Now the fit in the near uv and the visible is actually quite crap, The Sun is not a black body radiator with a single, ‘equilibrium’ temperature of 5777K.
        Now I am quite prepared to accept Boltzmann/Planck descriptions of process that are good to +/- 5%; same as the ideal gas laws. These are very good until you hit phenomenology, the bugger is that phenomenology is the thing that makes the universe a nice place to live. The problem is that the ‘Thermogeddonists’ suggest that they can calculate things at +/-0.15% and frankly, that’s bollocks.
        Now, why should I have faith that one can use ‘the Planck response alone’ to make predictions about the Earths ‘average’ temperature when I know one cannot use ‘the Planck response alone’ to describe the Sun?

      • DocMartyn, are you confusing the Planck response with the Planck black-body spectrum? They are not the same thing. The Planck response only cares about integration over the spectrum. It is the amount of IR something has to emit to lose all the heat it gains from an external source. This IR can be converted to an equivalent black-body temperature because degrees are easier for most people to understand than W/m2.

      • JimD, “capt. d., the issue is that some people think a positive feedback is automatically a runaway effect, and others think a negative feedback is cooling in response to positive forcing. Both equally wrong, of course.”

        That is part of it of course, but the general definition of “sensitivity” and the common use definition gets conflated by the modelers and others. Ultimately, “sensitivity” to depends on the oceans and changes in long term surface air temperature would be a response to the ocean “sensitivity” to SW. Since CO2 does not provide a source of energy only response to surface energy that changes with concentration, you have to figure out the CO2 feedback to natural variation before you can figure out how a change in CO2 concentration “forces” the system. In a complex system, what is a feedback depends on what is the true force causing the response which is not always easy to determine.

        It is a matter of semantics that is unavoidable.

      • DocMartyn’s thermageddon/snowball earth scenario assumes Planck’s Law doesn’t exist.

        Climate scientists on the otherhand are well aware of Planck’s Law and take it into account.

      • Sorry I meant the S-B law.

      • Manacker,
        Did you not carefully read DocMartyn’s response?
        He essentially explained why the earth’s climate was highly sensitive, due to the positive feedbacks.

        Paleoclimate data suggests that the earth’s climate exist within an energy well bounded on the sides. There definitely is what is referred to as a “reversion to the mean” tendency. There is also the possibility that we exist within a bi-stable environment characterized by a “hump” in the middle of the energy well. See this figure:
        http://subtle.fisica.unipg.it/sr.png

        There are two ways that the long-term and short-term climate can bounce around in this energy well, and they have equivalent results. The first is that various amounts of noise in a forcing function can lead to a random walk back and forth across the hump, and to what is referred to as a “stochastic resonance” over a long enough time. In this case the paleoclimate data reveals pseudo-periodic “resonances” in the form of red-noise in the earth’s temperature (red noise is white noise filtered by reversion to the mean processes).

        Red noise and regime shifts

        “We do, however, believe that our results show that the existence of changes deemed significant by the composite
        analysis is not evidence for anything more than Gaussian red noise with stationary statistics.”

        REDFIT: estimating red-noise spectra directly from unevenly spaced paleoclimatic time series

        The second way that the climate can be perturbed is by internal modifications to the slope or gradients of the energy wells. The positive and negative feedback that we are talking about is the modification to these slopes. A positive feedback will decrease the gradient of the sides, thus allowing larger excursions to the stochastic random walk. A negative feedback, on the other hand, will increase the gradient of the sides, preventing any extended wandering from the mean.

        So the positive feedback acts as a catalyst to whatever noise is already there. That is why the two processes show equivalence. One can either have more noise, or have a “design” that is more susceptible to noise. In fact, we are re-architecting our earth by increasing the GHG levels to allow the atmosphere to be less immune to run-of-the-mill noisy forcing functions.

        This is nothing innovative, just solid scientific understanding that one can glean from the literature if one desires to read up on it.

        What if the GHG was actually a negative feedback? In this case, water would need to turn black when it freezes, and the Arrhenius rate laws would need the opposite slope, i.e. the ocean would need to outgas less with increasing temperature.

        The title of the top-level post is the wish beyond hope that the clouds are the negative feedback process that all the climate skeptics think will become their savior. They are disciples of the great cloud god, and act as the vigilantes on the lookout for any hint of negative feedback to help stabilize the climate. The most delusional of the lot can’t understand that the clouds will never reverse the process, only to reduce the amount of positive feedback, in line with the uncertainties that climate scientists full well understand.

        So the rest of us non-kooks are just performing due diligence, working out the science. Vigilante or diligente? Look at yourself in the mirror, Manacker. You decide.

      • Yes, the S-B law relates the Planck response to a temperature.
        I would add that the Planck response is not immediately going to balance a forcing change, especially as fast as the CO2 forcing is changing. The imbalance is what goes mostly into the ocean heat content, and the earth does not emit as much as it receives while the forcing is increasing.

      • I referred to the earlier discussions rather than commented directly because I have on this issues similar views with Captdallas. There are no unique best answers, rather the best that can be done is to help the reader to understand what the author means by the concept.

        One of the problems is that most of the climate discussion uses static feedbacks but the only stationary state that might even in principle be attained is the full-feedback one. The no-feedback case is always an imaginary one and some rather arbitrary choices must be made to define it. (The range of ambiguity is not large in terms of numerical values but we have no unique natural definition.)

        Referring to the Planck response the problem is that even the simplest case involves something in addition to uniform warming to make it a little more realistic than uniform warming would be. But then, what to include in making it a more realistic “no-feedback” case and where do the feedbacks start to enter?

        Real feedbacks of the Earth system are always dynamic and they start to build up much faster than the no-feedback warming would be.

      • Jim D, are you making this stuff up as you go along?

        “DocMartyn, are you confusing the Planck response with the Planck black-body spectrum? They are not the same thing. The Planck response only cares about integration over the spectrum. It is the amount of IR something has to emit to lose all the heat it gains from an external source.”

        The integral of the BBS gives one the total emission, the efflux, from the system. If atmospheric CO2, amplified by water, is really increasing the steady state average temperature of the Earth, then the efflux of radiation will be unchanged. The efflux, or integrated radiative emission, from the Earth in 1712, in 1812, in 1912 and in 2012 are identical, IF there has been now change in the cloudiness of the planet.
        The putative effect of the ‘GHG’s’ CO2 and water alter the emission spectrum of the Earth. As outgoing photons are absorbed, and half of them recycled, the Earth warms, until the total outgoing flux is restored to the incoming flux, again.

        “This IR can be converted to an equivalent black-body temperature because degrees are easier for most people to understand than W/m2″

        Why not use units of ‘splogees’, use sign inversions so that plus means minus and minus equals plus?
        Why not describe photonic fluxes as ‘forcings’, or something equally as laughable.

      • “DocMartyn | December 1, 2012 at 11:01 am |

        ‘creative crackpot’

        I have a B. Sc., M. Sc. and Ph. D. I work as a full time researcher in neurochemistry, specifically working on chemotherapeutic’s, and have an H-Index of 26.
        I sold my first drug last week, the press release will be out next week.
        Almost all the modeling I have done is steady state modeling, although my work on nitric oxide and Fenton chemistry is well cited.

        Fine and good for you, Doc Martyn Sharpe, but you still have that crazy post on iron space-dust and algae with your name on it. That’s why I referred to you as a creative crackpot.

      • In response to Pekka and DocMartyn.
        The idea of a positive feedback is whether the surface of the earth warms more than a reference amount or not. The reference amount is a construct as Pekka says, but basically assumes that the atmosphere and surface warm enough as a whole, while maintaining a realistic lapse rate, to counter the increased forcing with the consequently increased radiated IR: the no feedback response. While the atmosphere warms, other things happen: water vapor increases, clouds may change, ice melts. These lead to the feedbacks. A positive feedback means the surface temperature has to change more than the reference to provide the same outgoing IR at the top of the atmosphere as the reference. It can be seen as an amplification factor. These were clearest with the albedo changes going through the ice ages, but also occur with GHG changes that help explain the temperature differences that were seen.

      • JimD, “While the atmosphere warms, other things happen: water vapor increases, clouds may change, ice melts. These lead to the feedbacks.”

        Feed backs to what? Since the Earth has Asymmetrical heat capacity due to ocean land distribution, it has asymmetrical atmospheric resistance to surface energy flux. An internal oscillation like a shift in the mean energy from the SH to the NH or vice versa produces different responses. since the models consider a uniform surface, this produces the wonderful “unforced variations” not considered in the models.

        You can compare the GISS LOTI regional and easily see than there are internal psuedo-cyclic oscillations that impact “average” surface air temperature. The impact of those oscillations are amplified by the lower heat capacity land masses. That land amplification varies with available regional moisture. There is a CO2 “signal” but that has to be teased out of the internal variability which is much more than just ENSO and PDO.

      • capt. d., you probably noticed that you changed the discussion from a global to regional one. The global average energy output is a critical concept to understand. Internal variability is captured well by models as CH keeps telling us with the Tsonis, Swanson, etc. papers that he likes to cite. Do internal variations change global decadal averaged temperatures more than a couple of tenths of a degree, more than solar changes or aerosol changes? From a global average perspective they can’t. However, maybe you believe, like Tisdale, that El Ninos have a ratchet effect on the global temperature, which is contrary to energy conservation.

      • JimD, “capt. d., you probably noticed that you changed the discussion from a global to regional one.” You can’t know one without understanding the other. Face it, “global” warming is predominately in the northern hemisphere. Web mentioned ice albedo feedbacks, where? The northern hemisphere. Land is more “sensitive” to forcing and the majority of land is in the Northern Hemisphere. Where would clouds have the greatest impact on ocean heat uptake, the Southern Hemisphere. Where would clouds have the greatest impact on surface temperature, the Northern hemisphere.

        The only way to equalize temperature global is internally which is not a TOA radiant forcing problem but an internal “Wall” energy transfer problem which would be based on regional heat capacity differences and non-radiant means of heat transfer. Since most of the heat is in the oceans, Tisdale has a point, but I am not in complete agreement.

  72. Witnesses to the US House Subcommittee Review on Solar and Space Physics said on 28 November 2012:

    _ 1. The United States is Vulnerable to space weather
    _ 2. Policy-makers Need Improved Knowledge for
    _ 3. Improved Ability to Forecast Space Weather

    http://science.house.gov/press-release/subcommittee-reviews-solar-and-space-physics-program

    Are AGW modelers aware of space weather?

    Do they know the Sun’s sphere of influence extends more than 120 AU out from the Sun, far beyond the most distant planets [Nature 489, 20-21 (2012)]?
    http://www.nature.com/news/voyager-s-long-goodbye-1.11348

  73.  
    The adiabatic lapse rate is established by molecular collisions (diffusion) which must retain entropy. The Second Law is not violated just because it appears that heat is transferred downward in the atmosphere. It’s not. All that happens is that PE converts to KE, and entropy becomes uniform over the whole system, be it a small room or the whole atmosphere.

    If, as is generally the case for perhaps over 99% of Earth’s surface, there is a small “step down” in temperature from the surface to the atmosphere at the interface, it is not possible for KE to be conducted (diffused) back from the cooler atmosphere to the warmer surface.

    Yes, the base of the atmosphere has, over the life of the Earth, autonomously achieved an equilibrium temperature determined by mean Solar insolation and the effective adiabatic lapse rate which is proportional to the gravitational force.

    However, where the surface is warmer its temperature is merely “supported” by that of the base of the atmosphere. It cannot fall significantly below that temperature in calm weather over a flat surface, but as the temperatures approach, the rate of conduction (diffusion) from the surface to the atmosphere will slow down – that’s standard physics. Rates of evaporative cooling do likewise.

    The slowing of these non-radiative processes depends on temperature differences right at the interface. In contrast, the slowing of radiative cooling (less than a third of all surface cooling) depends on the temperature of the source of radiation (which may be much higher in the atmosphere) and the proportion of the total potential Planck curve for that temperature which is actually “filled in” by the spectral lines of radiation. This is why carbon dioxide has less effect per molecule than water vapour, and WV less than a solid surface which may be close to a true blackbody if it has a wide range of elements in its composition.

    But, as I have said, any slowing of radiative cooling will be nullified by a compensating effect in non-radiative cooling. The pre-determined lapse rate is the main player in adjusting this compensation process.

    • Joe's World {Progressive Evolution}

      Doug,

      At your feet, to your head IS a slight difference in ATMOSPHERIC pressure.
      Not the pressure we measure on water but the actual molecular make up density and space. Now, add in heat and cold changing molecular density.

      • Sorry – you’ll have to be less laconic for me to follow your point. I’m always happy to discuss a reasoned argument based on sound atmospheric physics which is the subject of my papers.

      • Joe's World {Progressive Evolution}

        Doug,

        Quite simply, molecules are balls and the shape of our planet and various velocities change with parameters presented. You can measure the difference sizes which also have different numbers of balls in the density difference of size. Compression is part of this equation.
        Science is 1000 times more complex than the simple tracking of temperature data and projecting based on history.

        If you want to understand the planet, then each process MUST be included observed and not observed.

    • David Springer

      Doug Cotton | November 30, 2012 at 11:04 pm | Reply

      “Yes, the base of the atmosphere has, over the life of the Earth, autonomously achieved an equilibrium temperature determined by mean Solar insolation and the effective adiabatic lapse rate which is proportional to the gravitational force.

      Fixed that for ya.

    • The Skeptical Warmist

      Doug Cotton said:

      “The adiabatic lapse rate is established by molecular collisions (diffusion) which must retain entropy.”

      ____
      Nope. During every molecular collision overall entropy increases slightly as there is a slight loss of energy to waste heat– unless of course you’ve found a way to reverse time’s arrow. Please return to Physics 101 for a refresher.

      • You made your statement too general. Molecular collisions do not change entropy if the system is in equilibrium. It’s, however, true that entropy increases in diffusion.

  74. …numerous CO2 results were scrapped from 1900 to 1940 on the basis that something was wrong with them. In one report, every test scrapped showed higher historic levels than are comfortable for Global Warming scientists.

    http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2008/12/06/ten-global-warming-myths/

    The recent correlation between CO2 and temperature indicates that this correlation must exist before 1950’s.
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/compress:12/derivative/scale:0.2/detrend:-0.45/offset:-0.4/plot/hadcrut3vgl/compress:12

    It is the warming that causes the increase in CO2 concentration.

    It is the warming that causes the increase in sea level.

    It is not the increase in CO2 concentration that causes the increase in the sea level.

    • IPCC have been softened to the point that in this way the IPCC is not any more an assessment of published science (which is its proclaimed goal) but production of results

      Essentially, I feel that at this point there are very little rules and almost anything goes. I think this will set a dangerous precedent which might mine the IPCC credibility, and I am a bit unconfortable that now nearly everybody seems to think that it is just ok to do this. Anyways, this is only my opinion for what it is worth.

      http://www.assassinationscience.com/climategate/1/FOIA/mail/0968705882.txt

      • Chief Hydrologist

        In reality the oceans are a carbon sink – other than at areas of deep water upwelling. So does the little less or more uptake matter in the least?

      • Joe's World {Progressive Evolution}

        Chief,

        Carbon happens to be heavier and goes to the lowest point…which happens to be sea level.
        Mining, pressure and gases have a bit of history with sacrifices from the unknown until understanding of effects became known on human and animal life.
        Same could be said for the parameters of heat and cold on plant and animal life until man adapted and changed their parameters.

    • Science fail, Girma. You are running the carbon cycle backwards. Remember the ocean also receives carbon in the real world.

      • “running the carbon cycle backwards”

        CO2 is a biotic gas and has a half-residency time in the atmosphere of about a decade. Atmospheric CO2 isn’t in equilibrium with the aquatic CO2, nor has it been in equilibrium since water splitting occurred.
        Argon isn’t a biotic gas and is in equilibrium in the aquatic/atmospheric reservoirs.
        Thus, one can examine the levels of Ar and CO2, or better yet the Ar/N2 and CO2/N2 ratios, in the ice cores to see if CO2 causes temperature changes or changes due to temperature. A change in Ar/N2 without a change in CO2/N2 would show that ocean warming occurs before CO2 levels in the atmosphere change.

        Caillon et al. (2003) Figure’s 1 and 4 shows a lovely warming of the ocean surface and atmosphere, without a change in CO2, with the Ar peaking at 244,000.

        http://icebubbles.ucsd.edu/Publications/CaillonTermIII.pdf

        Ar is an aquatic temperature sensor, but CO2 may or may not be.

      • Girma wasn’t talking about the Holocene transition. Elsewhere here you see the discussion of the Shakun paper which calls for CO2 outgassing to explain the temperature rise in the early Holocene. Is that happening now? You say yes? Yet, if the ocean was net outgassing, when you add it to manmade CO2 we would have 500 ppm by now, wouldn’t we? This is why that theory dies. Data.

      • Jim D – also, under Girma’s delusion, what would be happening to ocean pH?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I doudt very much that the oceans are ever a net source of CO2. We would need to be reversing both the biological and solubility ‘pumps’ for that. Conceptually – the oceans outgass only in the regions of upwelling of carbon rich deep ocean water.

        On the other hand respiration and hydrology respond to higher temperatures increasing the flux of carbon to the atmosphere. Reduced solubility decreases the uptake by the oceans.

        Shakun et al suggest that carbon dioxide increase followed the initial warming caused by ‘something else’ – which then caused further warming. OK – so what?

      • CH, a warming ocean will outgas CO2. It is only about 10-15 ppm per degree C, but it is there from chemical equilibrium. This assumes the air has low enough CO2 to allow the ocean to be a source.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘Even so, the expected outgassing of natural CO2 for the 1990s may amount to not more than perhaps 2 Pg C, which is less than 10% of the total anthropogenic CO2 uptake over this period (Table 1).
        http://ecco2.jpl.nasa.gov/menemenlis/articles/co2_source-sink_pp.pdf

        Not disputing the idea that warm water holds less CO2 – just that other processes dominate such that the oceans are still a net sink for CO2. Is outgassing an appropriate concept or a reduction in uptake? Molecules are always moving in both directions of course.

  75. http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Golden_Bough/The_Magical_Control_of_the_Weather

    The magical control of weather, chapter 5, in James Frazer’s
    ‘The Golden Bough,’ describes the magic art of weather –
    prophecy and influence over rainfall in early societies. This
    was seen to be the domain of a man-god whose soul was so
    delicately attuned to nature that he was set apart from the
    manual labour of the tribe, and as magician expected to
    regulate the weather, forecast the future, heal disease and
    perform other public goods.

    Rain dances, spraying water on the earth, rituals with sacred
    stones, maidens, the foreskins of boys, the beating of drums
    to represent thunder, these were the early hypotheses that
    preceded science. In their day they were legitimate hypotheses,
    though they may not have stood the test of experience. Seems
    the study of the behaviour of clouds, today, has its uncertainties

  76. Wagathon | November 30, 2012 at 12:07 am said: ”Facts are facts: The Little Ice Ages and Solar Minima in 1440-1460, 1687-1703 and 1809-1821 …(Professor Nils-Axel Mörner)”

    Mate, little ice age and Solar Minima are facts, as much as Santa and Rudolf / imaginary facts.

    1] 1440 was 350y before Cook discovered Australia, New Zealand. He didn’t spread thermometers on every kilometer and stayed to monitor. Did yo get there 350y before him? and in mid pacific, and Antarctic ocean / continent????!!!! Liar, liar, pants on fire!

    2] to demonstrate how they monitored, ”OR FORGED” the sun’s activity: you go out tomorrow, and count the sunspots. For that, no need to go to Antarctic, Greenland – just out in your backyard – tell us the number of spots you saw on the sun’s surface; or admit that: you are more shameless CON, than all the Warmist combined. Demonstrate how they did it, or brown paper bag over your head. Every Plimer’s excrement should look at the sun, for the good of humanity. Mann, Hansen take drivel like yours; as indicator – to know that they are safe.

    Lying about the ”GLOBAL” temp for distant past ; when nobody knows what was last year’s GLOBAL temp , is the precursor of all Warmist evil. Admit the truth – half will be forgiven; for blindly supporting the Warmist phony GLOBAL warmings. Don’t tell lies that kids wouldn’t believe – because: Hansen &Co are pointing what crap to the politicians, what the Fakes like you are dishing. Shame, shame!!!

    • … you don’t seem to have the slightest appreciation for simple facts like, early Canadian ecnonomics was based on the hunting and trapping of animals for their fur. Unfortunately, not even Americans have an appreciation anymore for extant conditions when George Washington crossed theDelaware so don’t feel bad about your ignorance of history.

  77. Say, tony, like others here, I shall try ter herewith mend me ways,
    even send feahers from me book of feathers fer a fan ter fan,
    and maybe Father Xmas will send me …tsk, Beth… Virtue is
    it’s own reward. Tony, I would send you tomatoes as a Xmas gift
    if only they were better travellers over time and space. Hmm …I’ll
    send a card instead, with snow on it, the kind the little children
    were not supposed ter ever see again!
    yrs sincerely,
    Beth.

  78. Beth

    A small outbreak of peace is taking place.Let’s see how long it lasts. Also lets hope that the level of scientific discourse will be taken to a new level of excellence if people on either side are not frightenred of a grenade being lobbed into their midst for expressing ideas and opinions.

    Perhaps Judith can drape some Holly round the Climate Etc Banner?

    tonyb

  79. Tom, It’s raining here in Melbourne down down under and Ive
    jest come back from walking in the rain by the river, it’s risen
    again (biblical) and has become …..this is the YARRA RIVER
    I’m talkin’ about … not the Rhine or the blue Danube or the
    Amazon or Mark Twain’s Mississippi …no lhe lil’ ol’ muddy Yarra,
    and it’s a mass of silver shimmering sheets and por-ten-tious ripples
    in time, oh the gravitas, the gravitas! And fish are jumpin’ and birds
    are singin’ in the tree and summer is icumen in and smale fowles
    maken melody that slepen al the nyght with open ye’ and clouds
    are heapen and rollin’ in the sky and whether it’s warmin’ or ….
    weather it’s coolin’ down the track, who knows?….
    ( I saw a tortoise come out of a billabong :)

    • Pity about the global warmin affectin our weather!

      • It’s possible Mount Shasta could break it’s own world record of snowfall in in a storm.
        “According to the National Weather Service, the mountainous region could get between 171 and 213 inches of snow over the next four days. For mathematically challenged people, that translates between 14 to nearly 18 feet of snow by Sunday night.”
        http://www.examiner.com/article/california-s-mount-shasta-could-set-world-record-with-18-feet-of-snow-4-days?cid=rss
        And:
        “And that previous world record, according to Weather Underground, was 189 inches. But that took place in a six-day period. Not surprisingly, it happened at Mount Shasta Ski bowl (now Mount Shasta Ski Park) in February 1959, which was the first year that the ski resort opened.

        The previous four-day high, according to the National Climatic Data Center, took place at Sierra-at-Tahoe ski resort near Lake Tahoe, where 145 inches fell during a March-April period in 1982.

        Another epic four-day total was 163 inches that accumulated in Alaska’s Thompson Pass (December 1955).”

  80. Yes Peter and I ‘ve read yr kind message re poet laureate,
    thx, but of course no one replaces Kim non pareil, but I have
    written another poem which I’ll post on open thread.

  81. Trenberth (Nature Jan.’10): Is it not a reasonable expectation that as knowledge and understanding increase over time, uncertainty should decrease? But while our knowledge of certain factors does increase, so does our understanding of factors we previously did not account for or even recognize.

    So, you were over confident in your certainty in prior IPCC reports. Good to let policy makers know. I’m sure you’ll set the record straight in AR5.

  82. Joe's World {Progressive Evolution}

    Judith,

    Recording and projecting is statistical analysis.
    This path in no way researches the cause and effect of planetary changes nor does it understand the complex interactive processes in play.

  83. I find this key paragraph puzzling: “For instance, in a warmer climate, the middle and upper atmosphere heat more than the surface. That will strengthen the “lid” on marine clouds, making mixing harder and increasing cloud cover. On the other hand, increased CO2, even before it warms the surface, will trap more heat in the clouds, weakening the process that drives their formation. Any battle like that makes it difficult for models to get it right, though notably all the simulations agreed that there would be no negative feedback.”

    First of all I thought the increasing cloud cover mentioned was one of the negative feedbacks we have been looking for, so how is there no negative feedback? Have they moved the goalposts again?

    Second the midlevel warming greater than surface warming called for here has not happened. According to UAH the only midlevel warming over the last 33 years occurred coincident with the big 1998-2001 ENSO. There was no warming whatever 1978-1997 but this is the period when the surface statistical models show their warming.

    • The paragraph follows what is seen in the models wrt the “hotspot” (warmer climate) with cloud formation at certain levels for the description of clouds, and the second part recognizes that CO2 spreads throughout the air column. It is unsuprising that the models show no negative feedback since a good case can be made that they are literally programmed this way. Whether it is physically true is a bone of contention with evidence on both sides due to the usual lack of measurements and errors associated with what measurements we do have.

    • “That will strengthen the “lid” on marine clouds, making mixing harder and increasing cloud cover.”

      I guess they modeled the “lid” wrong. When the “lid” is in a lower cooler altitude it is more effective than at a higher less dense altitude. The pot boils over more often.

    • This comment is from the discussion with Bretheton from UWa in the last part of the article. The comment is based on the single column and large eddy model comparison of the CGILS project.

      Thus the statements refer to rather detailed and physics based models that are presently being used to learn about cloud formation. Such models have their own limitations and they are not supposed to answer to the same questions as GCM,s. To judge the statements properly it’s necessary to read the paper, the quotes of the article don’t tell enough and the two paragraphs taken from the article to Judith’s post even less.

    • From the key paragraph: Any battle like that makes it difficult for models to get it right, though notably all the simulations agreed that there would be no negative feedback.

      Then I submit that the models and the modelers do not yet have it right. There IS negative feedback. More precisely, there are elements in the system that contribute negative feedback that fight it out with other positive feedback elements. The sign and magnitude of the NET feedback in that very complex system is what is doubt. I do not feel that I over-parse the quote. It is the quote itself that claims excessive and unwarranted certainty.

      “all the simulations agreed”
      This is such an over confident statement regarding the underlying admitted uncertainty that it effectively flashes, “TILT!”. Occam’s Razor suggests this says more about the modelers assumptions and faith than it does about the Earth.
      “while our knowledge of certain factors does increase, so does our understanding of factors we previously did not account for or even recognize.” (Trenberth Jan 2010) Simulations are not data. Simulations are not the Giver of Truth. Simulations do not agree — people agree, disagree, evaluate, consider, and reconsider.

  84. Joe's World {Progressive Evolution}

    Judith,

    You should do a study on how to buy a societal mindset to keep scientists careers secure no-matter how outdated or grouped minded the peers are set up by NASA and other groups.
    https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/331527300

    Cloned scientists with no permission to venture outside the confined spaces of created science for mankind.

    Not a single one even doing simple measurements of velocities or motion.
    Unobserved science but VERY measurable!

  85. “But while our knowledge of certain factors does increase, so does our understanding of factors we previously did not account for or even recognize.” (Kevin Trenberth)

    Yes, KT: one of those uunrecognised facts might just be that a natural adiabatic lapse rate develops due to a natural propensity for diffusion in the atmosphere to equalise the entropy throughout, rather than develop an entropy gradient with more at the top – something you assumed would happen without WV, CO2 and its colleagues. Love to see some empirical evidence supporting your guess!
     .

    • Joe's World {Progressive Evolution}

      Is not ASSUMPTION, the mother of ALL screw-ups?

      Scientists do great deal of this by shelving and not including MANY factors that are not temperature based in a climate science that strictly rely’s on temperature for statistical analysis.

  86. The observed change in CO2 concentration has no correlation with human emission of CO2. However, it has direct correlation with global mean temperature as shown:

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/compress:12/derivative/normalise/from:1978/plot/rss/compress:12/normalise

    CAGW is not supported by the observed data.

    • Joe's World {Progressive Evolution}

      Girma,

      Your right about CO2.
      But what about all the heat we generate?
      It does effect density of hot and cold ONLY in the immediate areas along with the land changes. But our planet adapts with weather changes as circulation is always in motion with planetary tilting and rotation.
      Can’t observe that in a square lab that is fixed and under atmospheric pressure.

  87. And it took them until 2012 and countless hundreds of millions (if not probably billions) to realise the blindingly obvious. When is all this tea leaf reading going to stop? Chaotic systems are well known and well understood. I’ve said this many times before but I’ll say it again. These climate scientists need to be forced back to the School of Mathematics! And not a dollar more should be going to their research until they know what a Lorenz attractor is and know how to calculate it’s position in a domain.

  88. David Springer

    BBD | November 30, 2012 at 5:10 pm |

    During interglacials you have roughly stable insolation and atmospheric GHGs but much reduced ice albedo feedback compared to glacial maxima.

    At glacial maxima you have roughly stable insolation and GHGs and large ice albedo feedback compared to interglacials.

    To go from one to the other – and back again – apparently requires only modest changes in forcing. It’s food for thought.

    The tastiest food for thought is what happens at the beginning of each interglacial.

    http://www.rosssea.info/pix/images/Ice-Core-Temp.gif

    Above shows temperature record going back 400,000 years from isotope proxies in Vostok ice core.

    Note how at the end of each glacial period the temperature shoots up like a f*cking rocket then bounces off essentially the same ceiling temperature each time and never approaches that temperature again until the beginning of the next interglacial.

    That ceiling is determined by negative feedback from clouds. Ice turns to water, average temperature climbs fast, clouds billow into sky until they reach equilibrium point where there’s too much shade to allow evaporation rate to increase any more, and then temperature stops rising.

    Gradually as orbital mechanics shift to favor ice formation in northern hemisphere feedback from rising albedo slows the hydrologic cycle and the glaciers return. Lather, rinse, repeat.

    • Your graph shows the relation of methane and CO2 to temperature. It is interesting that the warmest interglacials also had a lot of methane, isn’t it? I would interpret this as GHGs determining the ceiling.

    • You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. There is no point in discussing paleoclimate with you unless and until you make the effort to read. Start with Shakun et al. (2012). This is your free, bonus copy. Don’t say I never do anything for you.

      • My response was to David Springer Jim. Sorry for any ambiguity there.

      • The problem with Shakun is it relies on models. You can either have faith they work or not, but they have not be proved to be reliable.

        More than that, why wouldn’t the temperature at the location of the ice core vary with the global temperature – on the average? It appears Shakun wasn’t happy with what the ice cores are saying, so constructed a more complex scenario that correlated with his expectations.

      • David Springer

        Literature bluff.

      • Ignorant prat. Read the reference.

      • jim2

        I see you haven’t read S12 either. Here’s a clue from the abstract itself (never mind bothering to read the actual paper):

        Here we construct a record of global surface temperature from 80 proxy records and show that temperature is correlated with and generally lags CO2 during the last (that is, the most recent) deglaciation. Differences between the respective temperature changes of the Northern Hemisphere and Southern Hemisphere parallel variations in the strength of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation recorded in marine sediments. These observations, together with transient global climate model simulations, support the conclusion that an antiphased hemispheric temperature response to ocean circulation changes superimposed on globally in-phase warming driven by increasing CO2 concentrations is an explanation for much of the temperature change at the end of the most recent ice age.

      • David Springer

        I read it. It makes no reference to why the start of interglacials is a rapid heating to the same ceiling temperature on each iteration nor why that initial peak temperature is not touched again until the beginning of the next interglacial.

        As I said, it’s a literature bluff. If you had read the article you would have known it didn’t speak to my point. The bluff didn’t work because I went ahead and read the article. Too bad. So sad. Imbecile.

      • BBD – I did read it. Like your quote of it says, it uses models. So, what’s your point? The fact that it also uses proxies does not mean it didn’t use models.

      • Interglacial peak temperature is determined by orbital dynamics and it varies. That’s why the Eemian was ~1C – 2C warmer than the Holocene. Go and check your facts before shooting your mouth off.

        As I have said, you *obviously* haven’t got a clue when it comes to paleoclimate.

      • jim2

        Tonight, I cannot be bothered to ‘debate’ with ‘model deniers’ who cannot be bothered to RTFL. And no, I don’t believe that you have read S12. Because if you had, you would not be popping up with more nonsense like this. Take a hint.

      • The model is only used to make sense of the observations. The observations themselves are interesting, and if you can interpret it different ways, you are free to, but they make a good case that CO2 outgassing helps with the warming out of the glacial period.

      • Thank you Jim D. You shame me into some semblance of a response.

        S12 brings *clarity* to the processes involved in deglaciation.

        Very quickly:

        High latitude NH summer insolation begins to rise about 21ka

        Initial melt of NH ice sheets results in freshwater flux at high NH latitude which inhibits NADW formation and halts AMOC.. The NH ‘heat sink’ is shut down.

        NH *cools* again.

        Now SH warms, as it must. SH deep water warming appears to trigger substantial release of CO2.

        Increased CO2 forcing globalises the SH warming and NH ice sheet collapse resumes, sharply reducing ice albedo. This drives T even higher.

        A new *quasi-equilibrium* state is reached when insolation, ice-albedo feedback and atmospheric fraction of GHGs balance and warming stops.

      • BBD, good summary. The data give a well resolved sequence of events in temperature, ocean circulation, and CO2 levels that makes the explanation compelling. If other explanations are consistent with this sequence, we need to hear them.

      • The Skeptical Warmist

        BBD,

        Thanks for the Shakun et al. link and the nicely done summary of the paper. You can only try to bring some understanding, eh?

    • “That ceiling is determined by negative feedback from clouds. Ice turns to water, average temperature climbs fast, clouds billow into sky until they reach equilibrium point where there’s too much shade to allow evaporation rate to increase any more, and then temperature stops rising.”

      “Gradually as orbital mechanics shift to favor ice formation in northern hemisphere feedback from rising albedo slows the hydrologic cycle and the glaciers return.”

      If clouds “billow into the sky” as it warms, they must be “sucked out of the sky” as it cools. Negative feedback works both ways, but I don’t see you taking that into account.

      Orbital forcing and ice albedo feedback alone are not sufficient to explain the magnitude of cooling from interglacial to glacial. Especially when you have clouds as a negative feedback, ie reducing the cooling even more.

      You might have more luck with clouds as a positive feedback, but that has unfortunate implications for climate sensitivity.

      Or you might want to factor in the GHG rises and falls.

      • David Springer

        loltwat

        We have a semantic problem. Clouds are a thermostat. There is a set point and variation about that point caused by other factors. As temperature rises more clouds form which shade the surface and prevent the temperature from rising further. As temperature falls fewer clouds form allowing more sunlight to reach the ocean which warms it and prevents the temperature from falling further. The effect isn’t instaneous so there is overshoot. In engineering terminology the extent of the overshoot is called hysteresis. Climate boffins may have invented new terms for these long established engineering terms. The first thing you want to do when muddying the waters (obfuscation) is repurpose words with different meanings and/or invent new language so others don’t know what the f*ck you’re talking about. In simple terms that everyone understands clouds turn on the heat when it gets too cold and turn off the heat when it gets too warm.

        This would work just peachy if it wasn’t for ice. The earth’s northern hemisphere is balanced on a knife edge where conditions can conspire to give ice formation the upper hand. When temperature falls clouds become fewer allowing more sunlight to reach the surface. With ice as temperature falls it produces more ice which reflects more sunlight and temperature falls even further. That’s a positive feedback.

  89. Clouds:

    – reflect some of the incoming solar energy,
    – absorb some of the solar energy,
    – absorb some of the surface radiation,
    – radiate a significant part of the total atmospheric LW radiation to space.

    Now that’s something.

  90. Wake up call courtesy of dead and dying Old Europe about what is important when the death rattle is palpable — and after revenue enhancements to a bloated government have resulted in a clinkered society that is being dragged down the swirling porcelain vortex — as they approch the fiscal cliff and their lesson is: “no issue of global urgency has tanked quite as quickly as the warming of the earth’s climate.” (according to the Spiegel staff)

  91. Max, 1st December, 8.43am,

    I’m jest gettin’ into the Xmas spirit like Tony said. I’m makin’ a list
    and checkin’ it twice …because Santa Claus is comin’ ter town.
    Hmm … gifts fer, not ‘climate clowns’ at JC, but me ‘circe du soleil’
    friends at JC, so ‘clever,’ ‘ learned,’ ‘observant’, ‘witty,’ and
    (occasionally) ‘naughty.’ There’s a Xmas carrol about the first
    day of Xmas … the second day and on , now, what shall I send yew
    Max? It’s likely gettin’ cooler as the sun moves into its solar minimum
    with a likely increase in cloudiness so over in chilly Switzerland,
    perhaps some French brandy, mebbe a St Bernard dog to carry it?

    I’m afraid, WebHub gets nothing this year unless he’s a lot, lot nicer
    and changes his spots, and I’m not talking about sun spots here.

    Beth

  92. WebScope
    energy well, random walk, humps, stochastic resonance….
    You are daydreaming.
    Simple calculation shows elementary forces interaction
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/EarthNV.htm

  93. To WebHubTelescope | December 1, 2012 at 12:01 pm |

    Manacker,
    Did you not carefully read DocMartyn’s response?
    He essentially explained why the earth’s climate was highly sensitive, due to the positive feedbacks”

    Liar. You are lying about my position.

    “We do, however, believe that our results show that the existence of changes deemed significant by the composite analysis is not evidence for anything more than Gaussian red noise with stationary statistics.”

    REDFIT: estimating red-noise spectra directly from unevenly spaced paleoclimatic time series”

    Now this was interesting. I had a look at the warm ages and ice ages and initially ran into all sorts of trouble. The major problem I found with an analysis was the non-random sampling rate. Recent ice has suffered less compression than earlier ice. It is possible to get high resolution data from the recent past, but as one goes backward in time the bands get narrower and narrower. Not only do we lose resolution, but we also get binning. So each band in the initial period can describe 200 years +/- 50 years and 400,000 years ago each reading my be 5,000 years +/- 12,500 years.
    This intrinsic smearing of past time signals quite defeated my intellect. I could not come up with an algorithm that would smear the ‘modern’ layers to the same extent as the ‘old’ layers, so that I could do frequency analysis.
    It never occurred to be to just do frequency analysis even though the averaging and the signal to noise ratio of both the abscissa and the ordinate are variable, in an unknown manner.
    These climate scientists are allowed to do frequency analysis on binned data when they don’t know what the extent of binning is, by ignoring the concept; cool.

    • It’s difficult, or rather impossible, to explain the glacial cycles without positive feedbacks.

      According to present understanding the transitions are initiated by changes in forcing that are far too small to explain the transition without strong positive feedback, but the transitions stop and that’s hardly possible without negative feedback or at least a major reduction in the positive feedback. Thus the Earths system has domains of strong positive feedback and domains of weak or negative feedback. Many nonlinear systems behave in a similar way.

      The feedbacks that I discuss are real dynamical feedbacks, not theoretical constructs. The static feedbacks that are defined with the help of models have close relationship to the real dynamic feedbacks but they are not the same thing.

      The real feedbacks are also spatially nonuniform. The Shakun et al paper described a possible structure of such spatial nonuniformity as they found great differences for the behavior of the two hemispheres. Understanding feedback processes requires simultaneous consideration of dynamics of many processes, the standard division to a few summary values may give a very misleading picture of what the feedbacks really are.

      The CGILS project discussed by Bretherton is one example of trying to learn about the local processes that must be known to get a real handle on feedbacks.

      • Pekka Pirilä, could you state if this postulate is correct or not:-

        One could model the changes in the Earths 800kyr temperature record, by changing the distribution of heat in the system, without changing the solar influx.

        A simple yes or no would suffice.

      • I don’t give such answers.

        The present understanding seems to be that the principal thing that changes is the distribution, but that a strong positive feedback is needed to get glacial cycles out of those changes.

        ===

        Your other comment where you make yourself a judge on how feedback must be defined is nothing more than your preference for the use of the word. That’s a valid use in many cases but the concept of feedback is used in very many fields differently and in line with the practice used in climate science where the limit of stability is at +1 rather than 0.

      • David Springer

        Pekka Pirilä | December 1, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Reply

        ” Thus the Earths system has domains of strong positive feedback and domains of weak or negative feedback. Many nonlinear systems behave in a similar way.”

        Yes. I said that in the comments in either this article or the one immediately before it. It also applies to so-called sensitivity. There is no single number for either sensitivity or net feedback.

        You’ll need to weasel out of this somehow in the future. It will be interesting to see exactly when and how you’ll back pedal.

      • David Springer

        DocMartyn

        Weasels avoid yes/no answers. But I think you knew that already and just wanted to illustrate the point by asking a weasel for a yes/no answer.

      • Attribution of the glacial cycles to Milankovitch forcing is based on a crude correlation for which no mechanism has yet been found despite extensive effort. Moreover the glacial cycles are geologically brand new while the M-cycles are as old as earth itself. In contrast the glacial cycles look like chaotic oscillation with abrupt oscillations between two relatively stable states. In that case only negative feedbacks are required. This is a known unknown.

      • The Skeptical Warmist

        DocMartyn asks for a yes/no answer to this postulate:

        “One could model the changes in the Earths 800kyr temperature record, by changing the distribution of heat in the system, without changing the solar influx.”
        _____

        No, there are no known processes or cycles under which one could ACCURATELY model the changes in the Earth’s 800kyr temperature record without including changes in the amount of NH solar insolation brought about by Milankovitch astronomical solar forcing.

      • The Skeptical Warmist

        Pekka says:

        “It’s difficult, or rather impossible, to explain the glacial cycles without positive feedbacks.”
        ____
        Absolutely correct, and those positive feedbacks involve a variety of mechanisms from increased GH gases to reduction in ice cover.

      • The net solar flux doesn’t have to change, but the distribution of solar influx changes and that affects the summer NH ice albedo, and the albedo change acts as a forcing in the conventional sense of the word. This is a way that forcing can change even when the sun itself doesn’t.

      • Pekka

        According to present understanding the transitions are initiated by changes in forcing that are far too small to explain the transition without strong positive feedback, but the transitions stop and that’s hardly possible without negative feedback or at least a major reduction in the positive feedback. Thus the Earths system has domains of strong positive feedback and domains of weak or negative feedback. Many nonlinear systems behave in a similar way.

        Isn’t the standard position that the peak interglacial temperature is determined by orbital dynamics? If we accept this, then reduction in positive feedback rather than *negative* feedback determines the peak climate response.

        If that is so, then is this perhaps a step too far in a description of the determinants of interglacial peak temperatures:

        Thus the Earths system has domains of strong positive feedback and domains of weak or negative feedback.

      • The Skeptical Warmist

        One very significant feedback that is little mentioned here but quite important is the rock-carbon cycle. The acceleration of the hydrological cycle and the weathering of rocks are important negative feedbacks to the accumulation of CO2 in the atmosphere. This negative feedback process is essential to understanding the full range of feedbacks working during the glacial-interglacial cycle. Finally, we must also not forget the role of plankton and other biospheric processes in controlling CO2 levels and providing feedbacks to the climate.

      • Regarding SW’s statement that “there are no known processes or cycles under which one could ACCURATELY model the changes in the Earth’s 800kyr temperature record without including changes in the amount of NH solar insolation brought about by Milankovitch astronomical solar forcing.”

        It should be noted that that there are also no known processes or cycles under which one can ACCURATELY model the changes in the Earth’s 800kyr temperature record by including changes in the amount of NH solar insolation brought about by Milankovitch astronomical solar forcing.

        This is simply a known unknown. I am sure that given a small grant I can get the system to do something like the glacial cycles without the Milankovitch forcing, but it would take more than the known processes. It would take some hypothetical processes. Appeal to known processes when something cannot be explained is an argument from ignorance.

      • David Wojick

        Appeal to known processes when something cannot be explained is an argument from ignorance.

        But the deglacial cycle *can* be explained: by orbital dynamics and positive feedbacks. Your argument breaks on this.

        The 41ka obliquity cycle emerges ~2.8Ma at the Pliocene Transition. The ~100ka cycle becomes dominant after the Mid-Pleistocene Transition ~700ka. That’s a very long correlation between orbital dynamics and major temperature change. Correlation does not prove causation, of course. But we are allowed to make rational deductions here.

      • Lawrence K. T et al. 2010,

        During the Plio-Pleistocene, the Earth witnessed the growth of large
        northern hemisphere ice sheets and profound changes in both North
        Atlantic and global climate. Here, we present a ~3.2 Myr long,
        orbitally-resolved alkenone sea surface temperature (SST) record
        from Deep Sea Drilling Project (DSDP) Site 607 (41°N, 33°W, water
        depth 3427 m) in the North Atlantic Ocean. We employ a multi-proxy
        approach comparing these new observations with existing bottom water
        temperature (BWT) and stable isotope time series from the same site
        and SST time series from other sites, shedding new light on
        Plio-Pleistocene climate change. North Atlantic temperature records
        show a long-term cooling with two major steps occurring during the
        late Pliocene (3.1 to 2.4 Ma) and the mid-Pleistocene (1.5 to 0.8 Ma),
        closely timed with intervals of major change in northern hemisphere
        ice sheets. Existing evidence suggests that the late Pliocene cooling
        may have been caused by a thresholded response to secular changes
        in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2). While an explanation for the
        mid-Pleistocene cooling may involve glacial-interglacial changes
        in atmospheric CO2, it seems to also require a change in the behavior
        of the ice sheets themselves. North Atlantic climate responses were
        closely phased with benthic oxygen isotope (d18O) changes during the
        41 kyr world, indicating a strong common northern hemisphere high
        latitude imprint on North Atlantic climate signals. After the mid-
        Pleistocene transition (MPT), North Atlantic SST records and the
        Site 607 benthic carbon isotope (d13C) record are more closely
        phased with d18O, whereas BWT significantly leads d18O in the
        100 kyr band, suggesting a shift from a northern to a southern
        hemisphere influence on North Atlantic BWT. We propose that the
        expansion of the West Antarctic ice sheet (WAIS) across the MPT
        increased the production and export of Antarctic Bottom Water
        from the Southern Ocean and subsequently controlled its incursion
        into the North Atlantic, especially during glacial intervals.
        It follows that the early 100 kyr response of BWT implies an
        early response of the WAIS relative to the northern hemisphere
        deglaciation. Thus, in the “100 kyr world,” both northern
        hemisphere and southern hemisphere processes affect climate
        conditions in the North Atlantic Ocean.

        hmmm? Changes in internal energy transfer might be important to follow.

      • Wojick said

        “I am sure that given a small grant I can ….”

        What a POS. That would be money down the toilet.

      • There’s nothing to disagree with here. And it fits the big picture of a 50Ma cooling trend from the peak Eocene hothouse all the way down to the present. Largest single forcing change? CO2.

        PT and MPT?

        Existing evidence suggests that the late Pliocene cooling may have been caused by a thresholded response to secular changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2). While an explanation for the mid-Pleistocene cooling may involve glacial-interglacial changes in atmospheric CO2, it seems to also require a change in the behavior of the ice sheets themselves.

        Changes in CO2 might be important to follow too. Especially if the polar ice sheets grew as steadily reduced CO2 forcing resulted in a slowly cooling climate.

  94. Process
    A goes to B.

    Negative feedback
    The rate constant of reaction A to B is dependent on [B], so that as [B} increases the rate AtoB falls.
    Positive feedback
    The rate constant of reaction A to B is dependent on [B], so that as [B} increases the rate AtoB increases

    Negative Feedback
    Take a classical reaction:-

    2(H2O2) + Pt -> O2 + 2(H2O)

    Initially when Pt is added to the degassed peroxide the rate is constant. However, as the surface concentration of molecular oxygen reaches saturation bubbles form and the catalytic surface area falls. The reduction in the area of the platinum in contract with the peroxide solution slows the overall rate.

    Positive Feedback
    Take a classical reaction:-

    2H2 + O2 + Pt -> 2(H2O)

    Initially when Pt is added to a hydrogen/oxygen gas mixture water is generated on the surface of the platinum. As the reaction proceeds the platinum catalyst is heated until it reaches ignition point. At this temperature the collision of hydrogen and oxygen atoms is, on average, fat enough to cause bond breakage. The formation of a plasma allows and expanding sphere of reactive reactant to generate water. This is an explosion, as all positive feedback processes are.

    When one describes a system one must describe the overall system or ALL the individual steps.
    People cannot jump from describing heat to describing temperature and back again, nor can one jump from descriptions of kinetics to thermodynamics when describing a system.
    For some processes we have to have an understanding of thermodynamics and kinetics; whether we like it or not.
    Some things one can average; I have no problem in averaging atmospheric heat content.
    I cannot understand what an average, sea level, annual global temperature is. I can however select data-sets that allow me to make the average annual global temperature dance to whatever tune I pick.

    • “Pekka Pirilä | December 1, 2012 at 1:29 pm |

      Your other comment where you make yourself a judge on how feedback must be defined is nothing more than your preference for the use of the word. That’s a valid use in many cases but the concept of feedback is used in very many fields differently and in line with the practice used in climate science where the limit of stability is at +1 rather than 0.”

      ‘I don’t know what you mean by “glory”,’ Alice said.

      Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. ‘Of course you don’t — till I tell you. I meant “there’s a nice knock-down argument for you!”‘

      ‘But “glory” doesn’t mean “a nice knock-down argument”,’ Alice objected.

      ‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a 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.’

      Humpty Dumpty in Through the Looking Glass, by Lewis Carroll

      where the limit of stability is at +1 rather than 0.”

      Have you no shame?

      This is the state of ‘climate science'; words are taken from fields where these words have defined, and constrained, meanings and hijacked, mutilated, distorted and forced into grotesque shapes.
      An equilibrium has a definite meaning, independently of the field it is used in EXCEPT in ‘climate science’.
      A feed back, and the modifiers positive and negative, have common meanings in electronic, signals analysis, chemistry, physics and biology and a completely different meaning in ‘climate science’. Thus, these bastards can never be proven wrong. Instead the word they used means something different from what you think it means and only the ‘climate science’ priesthood understand what forcing, feedback and average mean in ‘climate science’.

      • A definition of feedback is ‘the modification of a process by its results or effects.’ This is the way it is used in climate science too.

      • “Instead the word they used means something different from what you think it means and only the ‘climate science’ priesthood AND THOSE WHO BOTHER TO READ BASIC INTRODUCTORY TEXTS OF THE SUBJECT OR ARE CORRECTED BY OTHERS understand what forcing, feedback and average mean in ‘climate science’.”

        Fixed That For You.

        Given you have been corrected on the subject and now know what feedback means in context of climate, what’s the friggin problem?

        Stop acting so butt hurt just because one of your arguments against AGW no longer works. It was legitimately called out for being wrong, surely you shouldn’t be upset about that it suggests you were unduly wedded to the conclusion.

        And the idea that these little semantics are some kind of trap set by devious climate scientists to catch the likes of you out is preposterous so don’t even go there.

      • The process that is considered in climate science has a forcing as input and change of temperature as response.

        Without feedback the response is what is called the no-feedback response.

        With feedback f the response is 1/(1-f) times the no-feedback response. That diverges at f=1.

        This is exactly analogous with the first use of the concept of feedback that learned when I was building transistor radios as a schoolboy. (In those applications the feedback was negative because that was needed to make the amplifier more linear, but the formula was the same and the instability would have been reached at +1).

      • Doc Martin:

        You’re entirely correct! But I’m encountering strange posting problems here.

      • The whole idea that natural physical systems are all somehow subject to “feedbacks” that can arbitrarily alter conservative energy fluxes by a factor of 1/(1-f) is a pseudoscientific miscreant. That factor is nothing more than the binomial series sum of terms with increments f<1, i.e., an expression of accumulated storage, rather than true flux. A true feedback systems' output is necessarily in the same phyical units as the input. olar energy and terrestrail temperatures clearly are not.

      • Nobody thinks that the system can be changed simply by a multiplicative factor. Arguing against that is a strawman argument.

        The simple numerical values are just summarizing values that give a glimpse to the results of various analyses. They are not primary results to scientific studies but only a tool in communicating on their results.

      • So let me see if I have this right:-
        An increase in heat to the system, ‘a forcing’ or increase in photon recycling ‘another forcing’ generates a rise to an ‘average equilibrium temperature'; if the rise in the ‘average equilibrium temperature’ is greater than that calculated for the size and sign of the ‘forcing’ then we have positive feed back, whereas if the rise in the ‘average equilibrium temperature’ is less than that calculated for the size and sign of the ‘forcing’ then we have negative feed back.
        However, we cannot measure the size of any forcing in isolation, because of feed backs, we cannot measure the ‘average equilibrium temperature’ because we do not know what the lag of the system is and we don’t have a value for the relationship for ‘forcing’ vs ‘temperature’, because we do not know the lineshape.
        Thus, any aspect of the weather, atmosphere or physics of aquatic systems may be deemed to be a positive or a negative feedback at any time or in any location, to support any model, as there is no possibility of falsification.
        There is no point in actually attempting to study the system as it is quite complicated, so modeling it is.

      • It’s physics, Doc. A change of about 3.7 W/m2 in the steady input to an object initially at equilibrium at an equivalent black-body temperature of 255 K will warm it by about 1 deg C. Conversely reducing its output by 3.7 W/m2, as doubling CO2 does, means it has to warm by 1 C to return to equilibrium with its forcing. The 1 C is the Planck response, true of any object subject to these changes. However, earth is a little more complicated because warming also introduces water vapor and albedo changes (feedbacks) that mess with that 1 C change, and the surface has to warm by 3C (from the IPCC sensitivity) to get back to equilibrium. That’s the feedback factor in action.

      • Doc M:

        You encapsulate the essential misconstruction of the warmist concept of the climate system very well. The very fact that a partial recycling of photons by backradiation is treated as a “forcing”–on even footing with the TOA solar irradiance–is prima facie evidence of confusion between external input and internal storage. Yet the AGW camp incessantly insists that skeptics “deny basic science.”

      • “Jim D | December 1, 2012 at 5:14 pm |

        It’s physics, Doc. A change of about 3.7 W/m2 in the steady input to an object initially at equilibrium at an equivalent black-body temperature of 255 K will warm it by about 1 deg C. Conversely reducing its output by 3.7 W/m2, as doubling CO2 does, means it has to warm by 1 C to return to equilibrium with its forcing. The 1 C is the Planck response, true of any object subject to these changes. However, earth is a little more complicated because warming also introduces water vapor and albedo changes (feedbacks) that mess with that 1 C change, and the surface has to warm by 3C (from the IPCC sensitivity) to get back to equilibrium. That’s the feedback factor in action”

        Let me respectfully reply, bollocks.

        Let us take just one tiny piece of your doggerel;

        ‘a change of about 3.7 W/m2 in the steady input’

        Now if i increased the solar input, so that on average, the global increase in influx was 3.7 W/m2 I would get a rise in temperature, T1, from a global average after all the lags had ended.
        Do we agree?

        Now if i increased the back radiation by adding a low density gas (GHG) to the upper atmosphere, so that on average, the global increase in influx was 3.7 W/m2 I would get a rise in temperature, T2, from a global average after all the lags had ended.
        Do we agree?

        Now there is absolutely no reason for the uniform radiation of the Earth by 3.7 W/m2 of IR radiation to produce the same change in temperature as an increase in the mostly equatorial solar spectrum.

        Some things you can average and somethings you can’t.
        Temperature from different reservoirs can’t be averaged.
        The amount of energy converted into sensible heat by a equally sized energy packets, that have different wavelengths, cannot be averaged.
        Temperature is real, energy is real, but you cannot average two masses at different temperatures and having different energy contents by simple addition and division by 2.

      • I agree the temperature would initially rise one degree (before feedbacks) if the energy input or output changed by 3.7 W/m2 as I stated before. But feedbacks affect it. I didn’t say the feedback was the same for solar or GHG forcing changes. For solar changes it seems quite strong if you look at how much the sunspot cycles affect the temperature for forcing changes that are only a couple of percent of what we are talking about here. GHGs seem to have more effect over land an in polar regions and less immediate effects in the tropics.

      • “Jim D | December 1, 2012 at 6:03 pm |

        I agree the temperature would initially rise one degree (before feedbacks) if the energy input or output changed by 3.7 W/m2 as I stated before. But feedbacks affect it. I didn’t say the feedback was the same for solar or GHG forcing changes”

        So a forcing of 3.7 W/m2 may, or may not, raise the Earth temperature by 1 degree; its a bit of a crap shoot isn’t it?

        “For solar changes it seems quite strong if you look at how much the sunspot cycles affect the temperature for forcing changes that are only a couple of percent of what we are talking about here. GHGs seem to have more effect over land an in polar regions and less immediate effects in the tropics”

        Unless it is say; solar uv output or magnetic filed interactions at the poles which change the height at which clouds form, or cosmic rays seeding clouds, or something else.
        No data, no experiments, lots of hand waving and lots of models.

        But the take home is that actual numbers, equations and descriptions in ‘climate science’ mean whatever ‘climate scientists’ want them to mean.

      • You can only hope that the feedback to solar cycle forcing is something exotic, because it implies a high sensitivity if it isn’t exotic.

      • many a climate skeptic thrives on believing some unknown exotic mechanism exists in climate while rejecting the known CO2 GHG forcing as guesswork.

      • “lolwot | December 1, 2012 at 7:22 pm |

        many a climate skeptic thrives on believing some unknown exotic mechanism exists in climate while rejecting the known CO2 GHG forcing as guesswork.”

        Indeed? Science depends on quantification and falsification. Pekka shows that there is no quantification in ‘climate science'; everything is based on post-hoc justification of magic.
        So listen lolwot, there is no such thing as a ‘forcing’. There photons coming from the sun and from the atmosphere which are absorbed by different molecules and cause localized heating. Although 3.9 W/m2 of photons of 400nm the same as 3.9 W/m2 of photons of 1200nm have the same energy content, they are no equal in their interaction with matter. They will be absorbed or reflected by different molecules. To explain a difference in the heating induced by 400 nm photons, when compared to photons with a wavelength of 1200 nm in terms of ‘feedback’ is intellectually dishonest.
        The fact people still defend these inaccurate terms, and ignore all mainstream physical terms demonstrates that the field only survives by propagating bullsiht.

      • DocMartyn,

        There’s a lot of quantification in climate science.

        Determination of the CO2 forcing is accurate enough and that alone tells a lot. Empirical data adds in many ways to the quantitative understanding. It’s true that interpreting the data is not as straightforward we all should hope, but that doesn’t mean that “there’s no quantification”. Science is science also when it’s not easy – and perhaps even more then.

        Climate science is more about quantification than about falsification. The issue is usually not whether some particular phenomenon is true, it’s about its size and significance.

        3.7 W/m2 forcing corresponds to a change of almost 1C in effective radiative temperature of the Earth as whole. Many factors contribute to the change but the overall sets always the scale.

        Calculating the change in the average surface temperature is a well defined mathematical operation. The concept makes perfect sense. It’s not the ideal measure for following the warming of the Earth because some of the areas have a more volatile temperature than some others. That adds noise to the average and makes identifying the persistent changes more difficult. The existing GST time series are not based on 100% of the Earth surface but that’s not a significant problem, the present coverage makes them essentially as good indicators as they would be with 100% coverage. (They might be even better as the polar regions might add more to the noise than to the signal. I cannot tell which way it goes.)

        Averages cannot tell everything but it’s certainly not right to say categorically that “Temperature from different reservoirs can’t be averaged” or that “The amount of energy converted into sensible heat by a equally sized energy packets, that have different wavelengths, cannot be averaged.”.

        It’s not uncommon that quantitative indicators of climate are misused but that doesn’t mean that they couldn’t be used properly as well or that they would be worthless.

      • There’s a lot of unproven and often baseless quantification in “climate science.” SB equation simply does not apply universally–and certainly not to a planet 70% of whose surface is subject to evaporation.

  95. David Springer

    Kevin Trenberth says clouds are natural thermostats. Wikipedia uses the thermostat as an example of negative feedback control system.

    I feel like I’m trying to teach this chit to a bunch of kindergartners. Is it really so far f*cking far above your heads that the pedagogical challenge is truly insurmountable?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negative_feedback#Control_systems

    Control systems

    Examples of the use of negative feedback to control its system are: thermostat control

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=88520025

    The Mystery of Global Warming’s Missing Heat

    Kevin Trenberth at the National Center for Atmospheric Research says it’s probably going back out into space. The Earth has a number of natural thermostats, including clouds, which can either trap heat and turn up the temperature, or reflect sunlight and help cool the planet.

    • The Mystery of Global Warming’s Missing Heat

      Kevin Trenberth at the National Center for Atmospheric Research says it’s probably going back out into space. The Earth has a number of natural thermostats, including clouds, which can either trap heat and turn up the temperature, or reflect sunlight and help cool the planet.

      If “sunlight” is so good at heating the surface land and water, why isn’t it
      heating the clouds on the way down?

      • Myrrh | December 1, 2012 at 7:29 pm said: ”If “sunlight” is so good at heating the surface land and water, why isn’t it heating the clouds on the way down?”

        IT DOES!!! The clouds intercept big part of the sunlight / radiation. Clouds are LESS transparent than water. When is cloudy -> on the ground is cooler!!! Don’t smother your gold nugget with crap!

      • Stefan – I’m showing how illogical the fisics connections in the AGWScienceFiction memes whenever they’re brought together.

        Water is a transparent medium for visible light in real physics, which means that it does not absorb water but passes it through unchanged.

        AGWSF claims that “visible light from the Sun heats the land and heats the water in the oceans on being absorbed”,
        and,
        it claims that “visible light is not absorbed by the atmosphere which is a transparent medium for it, but passes through to heat the surface land and water on being absorbed”.

        AGWScienceFiction is a con creating a fantasy world of impossible fisics for its fictional Greenhouse Effect. Because it is a con there is no joined up logic between it fisics claims and this can be seen when contradictory memes are juxtaposed.

        The sleight of hand begins with their giving the properties of heating up physical matter of land and water to visible light and taking out the real heat from the Sun, (as I’ve explained elsewhere visible light cannot heat matter so this means they have no heat from the Sun..). So, they say both that the ocean is heated by visible light because it is absorbed and that clouds which are water don’t absorb it, but reflect it back out.

        What they are claiming in the first half of the disconnected memes is that “visible light heats the ocean because it is absorbed, blue light travelling deeper heats the water further down”, but, this is fake fisics because water is a transparent medium for visible light, which means it is not absorbed but transmitted through unchanged.

        One has to go to the well established real world science field of OPTICS to understand light, because light is not a thermal energy, it is not heat, the study of Heat transfer is in THERMODYNAMICS, which studies radiant heat which is longwave infrared, aka thermal infrared.

        So, what they are doing in the first half is lying that visible light heats water, pretending that this is in Thermodynamics, and in the second half of the fake fisic claiming that “clouds reflecting back visible light are contributing to the cooling of the Earth, because they can’t get to the surface to heat it”, using a property of light which comes from Optics.

        Putting them together shows the disjunct in logic of their fake fisics. If they claim the “water of the ocean is heated by visible light being absorbed” then they should also be claiming that “clouds are heated by absorbing visible light”, because, clouds are water, water and particles of matter.

        As in the disjunct between their claim that “visible light passes through the atmosphere which is transparent to it to reach the surface to heat land and water on being absorbed”. If visible light is heating land and water then it is heating the water in the atmosphere, it is heating the clouds.

        In the real world in real physics it is the direct heat from the Sun which heats water, but they have excised this direct radiant heat from their energy budget, this is longwave infrared, aka thermal infrared. Water is a great absorber of heat including radiant heat, i.e., heat in transfer by radiation. This is what we feel as heat from the Sun as it heats our skin and flesh and which penetrates several inches into our bodies easily heating up the water in us, heating our blood. This is what makes us sweat when we get too hot. We are mainly water and around 20% carbon. Water has a very high heat capacity, which means it absorbs a lot of heat energy before it shows a change in temperature. Slow to heat up, slow to cool down, ‘trapping’ heat.. (Carbon dioxide has practically no heat capacity, releasing heat practically the instant it absorbs it, no heat trapping capability.)

        The mistake AGW/CAGWs make is they believe that the AGWSF fake fisics isn’t fake, so they go into all kinds of contortions to try and get it to make sense. It only makes logical sense when it is measured against real physics and the fake bits seen clearly, that water is a transparent medium and so visible light cannot be heating it, and the logical disjuncts, they’re using the properties of light from Optics to describe visible light not heating the surface because it’s being reflected back out by clouds, but visible light should be heating clouds according to their fisics..

    • lolwot | December 1, 2012 at 7:22 pm lied: ”while rejecting the known CO2 GHG forcing as guesswork”

      WRONG! .CO2 GHG forcing is NOT a ”guesswork”; it’s a complete blatant, destructive lie!!! Don’t use loaded comments!!!

    • David Springer | December 1, 2012 at 1:27 pm said: ”Kevin Trenberth says clouds are natural thermostats”

      NO, it wasn’t Trenberth, it came from me!!! My book published / copyrighted January 2010. I repeated it throughout the blogosphere 100’s of times, BUT, ”inferiority complex” sufferers like you; cannot notice many other things, that clever people are adopting from me, one by one

  96. Some activist pretended to give Valerie Jarrett, the brains behind Obvama, to the extent there are any, a hard time on Obama’s failure to say much about globalclimatewarmingchange.
    http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/valerie-jarrett-climate-activist-speech-grassroots-organizers_664311.html

    Wanna know why Obama isn’t doing anything himself on climate? (Albeit he is using the EPA to enact the CAGW agfenda by the back door.)

    CAGW is about power. It is a political movement designed to accumulate power over the energy economy in the government, a government run by progressives.

    Well, the government in the U.S. is already there. Obama does not need to make speeches or propose legislation that might wake people up and cause another 2010 style rejection of his policies.

    He can just sit back and let the EPA do all the heavy lifting. There is no way for Republicans to stop any EPA regulations because they only control one house of Congress. Why should Obama take any heat, when his EPA has the power already and is on the move?

    The bureaucrats don’t have to stand for election, and Obama can act as though he has nothing to do with the agenda. Bedsides, the 2012 election made Obamacare a done deal, It will take the progressives a while to assimilate all the patronage jobs and implement the massive regulations of the healthcare economy over the next couple years. There are only so many progressives available to assume the power arrogated by the Democrat party. CAGW was always a weak step sister to the takeover of the healthcare economy.

    All those “conservatives” who think CAGW is dead, are in for a rude awakening. And all those progressive drones fretting about the lack of speeches and legislative proposals from the White House, just don’t understand how the game is played.

    • “CAGW is about power”

      Power in the sense of a 1887 terawatt imbalance caused by a doubling of CO2.

    • The Skeptical Warmist

      Gary M. (good friend of The Skeptical Warmist) said:

      “CAGW is about power.”

      ____
      CAGW is just one outcome, but really, AGW is about energy rather than power per se. Earth’s energy balance specifically. Currently we probably have somewhere around a 0.8 to 1.0 w/m2 TOA energy imbalance– with that much more being stored in the Earth system in various places, but mainly the ocean. It would take several years (of not increasing GHG concentrations) for the system to reach a point of equilibrium and reduce this energy imbalance back to 0. The system responses we are seeing in the oceans and cryosphere are the system feedbacks to changes in atmospheric chemistry from prior decades. Today’s GHG levels will be seen in changes over the coming decades. Even freezing GHG levels at today’s amounts will give us many more decades of climate change before all feedbacks, fast, slow, and Earth system, all the system to reach full equilibrium. We are just getting started.

  97. David Springer

    Pekka Pirilä | December 1, 2012 at 1:29 pm |

    “The present understanding seems to be that the principal thing that changes is the distribution, but that a strong positive feedback is needed to get glacial cycles out of those changes.”

    The feedback, you insufferable twit, is the phase transition from ice to water and vice versa. It goes from an albedo of essentially 1.0 as a solid to 0.0 as a liquid. Increasing ice is a positive feedback fostering more ice and melting ice is a positive feedback fostering less ice. This occurs around a fixed temperature point so once the transition is made further changes in temperature past the transition point are moot.

    There’s a turnip truck somewhere in Finland that lost a turnip yesterday.

    • ice albedo feedback is not great enough to explain the magnitude of warming

      • David Springer

        Yes it is. The difference in how much solar energy is absorbed by a frozen ocean surface and a liquid ocean surface is about 80%. The former absorbs close to none and the latter absorbs close to all of it.

      • David Springer

        Moreover because of the large amount of latent heat of fusion once the phase transition is made it’s hard to go back the other way. There’s a huge resistance to temperature change right at the transition point.

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

      • The Skeptical Warmist

        You are correct lolwot. It is only a combination of multiple feedbacks that gives the necessary magnitude of interglacial warming. If CO2 didn’t rise from 180ppm to 280ppm, we would get a whole different kind of interglacial as in barely any one at all.

      • David Springer

        No, that’s wrong. There’s nothing about orbital mechanics that changes CO2. That’s entirely due to changing ocean temperature following change in albedo. Water vapor is more important and albedo is way more important. The difference between snow & ocean or even snow & rocks is huge insofar as how much power the surface absorbs.

      • They all matter. CO2, water vapor and ice albedo, They all feed back on each other. The extra warming from rising CO2 for example both drives water vapor levels higher (more warming) and albedo lower.

      • David Springer | December 1, 2012 at 2:03 pm | The difference in how much solar energy is absorbed by a frozen ocean surface and a liquid ocean surface is about 80%. The former absorbs close to none and the latter absorbs close to all of it.

        You’ve just said that water is transparent to “solar”, which means it doesn’t get absorbed at all.

        “For all intents and purposes for heating things near infrared is the same as visible light. The atmosphere and pure water is as transparent to near infrared as it is to visible light up to about 1250 nanometers wavelength.” http://judithcurry.com/2012/10/28/climate-change-no-consensus-on-consensus/#comment-271880

        p.s., if you have’nt already seen it, I’ve replied to the first part of that post

      • lolwot | December 1, 2012 at 7:29 pm lied: ”’CO2, water vapor and ice albedo, They all feed back on each other. The extra warming from rising CO2 for example both drives water vapor levels higher (more warming) and albedo lower”

        CO2 increases CONDENSATION, you moron! More CO2 = more condensation = rain!!! Obviously, you are NOT just born via wrong exit (everything you say is offensive to the nose); BUT, you are back to front on everything, also. It has being already proven that: CO2 increases condensation. (after bushfires – rain follows) If you want more details, how; I’ll tell you, but stop lying!!!

  98. No great chorus of demands that NASA get some cloud satellites up there that can settle the matter of the role of clouds once and for all.

    I guess that’s because the warmists and the lukewarmers realise that those satellites might well put paid to speculation that co2 has any role in planetary temperatures.

    You would all rather have uncertainty than knowledge, that way you don’t endanger your entrenched positions, status or anything much else.

    Ignorance is bliss.

    • That’s a real “Hmmmm I notice that XYZ, I guess that’s because the conspiracy theory is true” comment.

      • Conspiracy ? Certainly Climategate showed that there was some of that. But for the most part I think that self delusion explains a fair few entrenched positions.

    • OK, if you ignore that Trenberth, Stephens and Hansen have all called for better observations to close the global energy budget or understand the role of clouds in it. I think their view is quite common, however.

      • Perhaps if James ‘Yogi Bear’ Hansen didn’t spend so much time getting himself arrested on his way home and instead spent more time actually campaigning for better scientific tools, ie satellites then we might get somewhere.

        But the Hansen has stated that satellite data is “obviously wrong” and so he has adjusted it to suit his, as ever, failed models. Last thing Hansen wants is more better satellites.

      • even though Jim D just told you that he has called for better observations, you still persist with the lie/conspiracy theory that they don’t want better observations.

        That in itself is an interesting observation.

    • The Skeptical Warmist

      J Martin,

      If you don’t understand that every climate scientist would love to have ten times the satellites in orbit giving us tens times the data then you really are not cognizant of the reality of field of climate science. Furthermore, to suggest that anyone welcomes having more uncertainty in order to protect “entrenched positions” displays not just a lack of understanding but a certain degree of unfortunate paranoia.

      • So why don’t we have more, better satellites ? The US has spent $100 billion on how co2 may have affected the sex life of some beetle in a small patch of forest and other similarly enlightening papers. Yet they haven’t spent anything useful on “constraining uncertainty”, to use a climate scientist buzz phrase.

        And arguably, the biggest uncertainty of all are clouds.

      • The Skeptical Warmist

        J Martin said:

        “The US has spent $100 billion on how co2 may have affected the sex life of some beetle in a small patch of forest.”
        ____
        I missed out on that research. Could you direct me to data on both the funding numbers you quoted as well as the research findings?

      • lolwot | December 1, 2012 at 7:32 pm said: ”even though Jim D just told you that he has called for better observations, you still persist with the lie/conspiracy theory that they don’t want better observations”

        lolwot, soon one day, the ”shonky climatologist” will do their ”observations” from inside their jail cells. REMEMBER: crime doesn’t pay!

      • There’s no uncertainly about clouds, AGWScienceFiction doesn’t have them because they’ve taken out the Water Cycle.

    • The satellite and ocean data are gradually pushing the skeptics into oblivion as the energy budget becomes more constrained with each new observation. They are already denying the ARGO data and surface temperature record because these don’t help their cause. UAH is even moving into their doubt circle as warming continues.

      • Jim D said : “.. as warming continues.”

        What planet have you been on for the past 16 years ?

        Temperatures are not going to go up, they can only go down from here.

      • You believe it has stopped for good? Just like the last three times it did in the last three decades. Maybe this time is the charm then. Some just don’t learn from history.

      • The Skeptical Warmist

        J Martin said:

        “Temperatures are not going to go up, they can only go down from here.”
        _____
        Temperatures of what? Near surface troposphere? Oceans? Also, what physical law are you referencing to imply that temperatures can “only go down from here.”?

        Earth has continuously accumulated energy over the past 5 decades, with no evidence of a slowing down when looking at the broadest measures of energy accumulation.

        Wrap yourself in a thicker blanket on a cold day, and you’ll stay warmer than if you were in a thinner blanket. CO2, Methane, and N2O levels continue to rise, thickening up our happy little GHG blanket. Probability is high that we go higher from here over the coming century, and likely by several degrees C.

      • Your viewpoint is too narrow, you attribute everything to greenhouse gases, which do not generate heat. You ignore the only thing that governs life on earth, the sun. Indications are good that we are close to or at a low maximum and that solar activity will decline to the next solar minimum, the next solar cycle may effectively be absent.

        During the Dalton and Maunder minimums this has led to lower global (land) temperatures. Regardless of the fact that science doesn’t yet understand the mechanism for this.

        You put your faith in greenhouse gas models, but there are other models (no co2 involved) which produce a better match for past temperatures and suggest cold for the rest of the century, perhaps going below Maunder minimum temperatures.

      • The Skeptical Warmist

        J Martin said: (to The Skeptical Warmist)

        “You attribute everything to greenhouse gases, which do not generate heat. You ignore the only thing that governs life on earth, the sun.”

        ____
        1. My nice down jacket does not generate heat, yet it keeps my body very warm on a cold day. Why? Because it alters the thermal gradient between my body and space, just as GHG alter the thermal gradient between ocean and space.

        2. I hardly ignore the sun. 99.99% of all the energy used in driving the key processes of the atmosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere come from the sun. Tiny changes in solar energy reaching the Earth can have profound effects on the climate. When a large volcano erupts it cuts sunlight and earth cools for a period. But neither can I deny the potential that a 40% increase in CO2, and similarly large increases in methane and N2O will have an effect as well. Put more down in the jacket, and amazingly…you’ll stay warmer!

      • Jim D said

        “You believe it has stopped for good? Just like the last three times it did in the last three decades. ~ Some just don’t learn from history.”

        Not your overly short history. You haven’t learnt from sunspot history what happened in 1810 and during the LIA / Maunder minimum. We have the buffering effect of the last solar cycle which was high and we have just climbed to this half height high in this solar cycle and yet the best that temperatures can do is to flat line.

        Over the next few years we lose the buffering effect of the previous solar cycle and this cycle heads down with possibly the next cycle going missing and the AMO going negative to boot. I don’t see co2 holding temperatures up.

        Warmer temperatures I would like very much indeed, Mediterranean temperatures in the UK. In the past the Romans grew vines in the North of England, we can’t do that today, and yet for Europe it was a time of plenty. Warmer temperatures World wide will not be catastrophic. However, warming is not going to resume, the sleepy solar cycles will lead to long term cooling all the way to 2100.

      • Skeptical Warmist. As an insulating layer water vapour is 7 times more effective than co2 and many ppm greater than co2. Net result, a 40% increase in co2 is essentially irrelevant.

      • Indeed, if the AMO slows down, Europe gets colder, despite global warming. The AMO slowed down during the rise out of the last ice age causing similar cooling (as discussed with the Shakun paper’s observational evidence). It is easy to connect melting ice with an AMO slow-down. You could be in trouble there.

      • David Springer

        ROFLMAO

        Bizzaro world.

      • “You believe it has stopped for good? Just like the last three times it did in the last three decades. ”

        He also believes arctic sea ice is now recovering. He probably believed it was recovering after 2007 too.

      • Jim D you haven’t seen nothing yet. Wait for the implosion when we get a large dose of warming in coming years.

      • The Skeptical Warmist | December 1, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
        J Martin said: (to The Skeptical Warmist)

        “You attribute everything to greenhouse gases, which do not generate heat. You ignore the only thing that governs life on earth, the sun.”

        ____
        1. My nice down jacket does not generate heat, yet it keeps my body very warm on a cold day. Why? Because it alters the thermal gradient between my body and space, just as GHG alter the thermal gradient between ocean and space.

        …But neither can I deny the potential that a 40% increase in CO2, and similarly large increases in methane and N2O will have an effect as well. Put more down in the jacket, and amazingly…you’ll stay warmer!

        You can wrap yourself up head to foot in a down coat, carbon dioxide will be around 1 square inch of that. Double, treble, quadruple carbon dioxide, your analogy is still full of holes.

        AGWScienceFiction has destroyed any sense of scale you might have had.

  99. Chief Hydrologist

    The difference between blue-green Earth and Snowball Earth is a change in albedo of 0.25 to 0.5 – about 85W/m2 change.

    We don’t know what albedo was at any time in the past. More recently we do have some idea of changes in refected shortwave – as well as emitted infrared.

    http://s1114.photobucket.com/albums/k538/Chief_Hydrologist/?action=view&current=Loeb2011-Fig2.png

    The short term changes in LW and SW are all cloud cover changes. The decadal change in SW in CERES is sufficient to explain the change in ARGO heat content to 2000m.

    http://meteora.ucsd.edu/~jnorris/reprints/Loeb_et_al_ISSI_Surv_Geophys_2012.pdf

    Earlier changes in SW and LW in ISCCP-FD and ERBS suggest that cloud changes caused all recent warming.

    ‘The overall slight rise (relative heating) of global total net flux at TOA between the 1980’s and 1990’s is confirmed in the tropics by the ERBS measurements and exceeds the estimated climate forcing changes (greenhouse gases and aerosols) for this period. The most obvious explanation is the associated changes in cloudiness during this period.’ http://isccp.giss.nasa.gov/projects/browse_fc.html

    ‘In summary, although there is independent evidence for decadal changes in TOA radiative fluxes over the last two decades, the evidence is equivocal. Changes in the planetary and tropical TOA radiative fluxes are consistent with independent global ocean heat-storage data, and are expected to be dominated by changes in cloud radiative forcing. To the extent that they are real, they may simply reflect natural low-frequency variability of the climate system.’ IPCC 3.4.4.1

    We are in a cool mode as result of cloud cover increase in the 1998/2001 climate shift. These last 20 to 40 years in the proxy records.

    I am sure you have all seen this – http://www.bbso.njit.edu/Research/EarthShine/

    • The Skeptical Warmist

      Chief said:

      “The short term changes in LW and SW are all cloud cover changes.”
      ______

      Well, there you go again Chief. I assume by the word “all” you mean all, yet in this very paper that you cited, in the conclusion it says:

      “During El Nin˜o conditions outgoing LW flux increases, and decreases during La Nin˜a conditions. Net incoming TOAflux was positive during the 2007–2009 La Nin˜a conditions, primarily due to a pronounced decrease in outgoing LW TOA flux in the tropics in both cloud-free and all-sky
      conditions.”

      Note that last line there Chief, “…in BOTH cloud-free and all sky conditions.”

      Hard for clouds to be modulating that LW TOA flux during cloud-free conditions I’d say. As I’ve been saying all along, the decrease in LW TOA flux during La Nina’s is not from clouds specifically (as the conclusion above demonstrates), but because there is less net LW flux from the ocean surface.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Burgman et al (2008) use a variety of data sources to examine decadal variability of surface winds, water vapour (WV), outgoing longwave radiation (OLR) and clouds. They conclude that the ‘most recent climate shift, which occurred in the 1990s during a period of continuous satellite coverage, is characterized by a ‘La Niña’ SST pattern with significant signals in the central equatorial Pacific and also in the north-eastern subtropics. There is a clear westward shift in convection on the equator, and an apparent strengthening of the Walker circulation. In the north-eastern subtropics, SST cooling coinciding with atmospheric drying appears to be induced by changes in atmospheric circulation. There is no indication in the wind speed that the changes in SST or WV are a result of changes in the surface heat flux. There is also an increase in OLR which is consistent with the drying. Finally, there is evidence for an increase in cloud fraction in the stratus regions for the 1990s transition as seen in earlier studies.’

        I did say that they suggested tha El Nino were net cooling and La Nina were net warming when I referenced this study earlier. A bit slow on the uptake? To quote it back to me as if it means squat in the bigger picture is a trifle disengenuous.

        There are a large number of factors involved – but the overall trend of the data is clear. There is a cooling change in LW flux of 0.7W/m2 and a warming of 2.1/m2 in the SW between 1984 and the late 1990’s in ERBS data as reported and interpreted by the IPCC (s3.4.4.1). There is a similar pattern in ISCCP-FD – as in the NASA/GISS link provided. The warming in CERES this century was also all in the SW.

        All of the warrming was in the SW – and over these periods it is predominantly cloud change. It is what it is.

        There is a slight difference between starting with data and drawing inferences and starting with words and drawing conclusions based on a self sustaining narrative superficially in the objective language of science.

        http://s1114.photobucket.com/albums/k538/Chief_Hydrologist/?action=view&current=Clementetal2009.png

      • The Skeptical Warmist

        NIce dodge there Chief. How about answering my post directly and the specific finding of the study related to clear-sky (i.e. NO clouds) and LW TOA flux? Recall the statement you made that:

        ““The short term changes in LW and SW are all cloud cover changes.”

        If LW TOA flux decreases under clear-sky conditions (i.e. no clouds) during La Nina’s, which it does, then clouds can’t be modulating these short-term LW changes. If not clouds, then what might be? Well, as we see in this study, which I’ve linked before for you, we see that TOA flux follows troposphere which follows surface:

        http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20120004263_2012004193.pdf

        Specifically, this article says:

        “Net input of energy from ocean to the atmosphere results in lagged rejection of energy to space (TOAnet )”

        “Substantial evidence that restratification of upper-ocean heat content associated with the “recharge oscillator“ mechanism dominates SST forcing with TOAnet (via surface fluxes) playing a much smaller role.”.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        It is your dodge gatesy – until and unless you address the bigger picture. All of the recent warming in the satelite data happened in the SW. This and increases in longwave out (planetary cooling) in the 80’s and 90’s are the result of declining cloud cover in the period.

        To take a minor component – an increase in outgoing OLR in a La Nina in cloud free conditions because of drying of the atmosphere – and try to score a silly debating point on an almost totally irrelevant issue is pathetic.

    • David Springer

      Clouds are self-regulating so long as the ocean is warm enough so it presents liquid surface. Ice is the monkey wrench. Frozen water doesn’t evaporate well.

      Another positive feedback with ice is that as ice accumulates on land the area of the ocean reduces because the water gets locked up in ice. Land surface has higher albedo than ocean and it’s a lot easier for ice to perch on it raising the albedo even more. That’s also a positive feedback when a melt gets started as the landlocked ice melts we get sealevel rise and higher albedo land gets covered by low albedo ocean.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        As the Earth dries out during glacials desertification advances increasing the albedo. As the deserts advance winds pick up dust that dirties surfaces and absorb heat in the atmosphere. As the rainfall diminishes deep water formation increases shifting heat from the equator to the Arctic causing melting of snow and ice. These sorts of scenarios are literally endless.

        That clouds are ‘self regulating’ is a truism and means nothing at all. So is everything else in climate. In recent times they seem to have changed modulating the Earth’s energy balance.

      • Chief Hydrologist | December 1, 2012 at 6:56 pm said: ”All of the recent warming in the satelite data happened in the SW. This and increases in longwave out (planetary cooling) in the 80′s and 90′s are the result of declining cloud cover in the period”

        Decreasing cloud cover makes days hotter / nights cooler = overall is same. Reason monitoring only for the hottest minute, is the second biggest con. If you monitor for every minute in 24h, and put all together; would be same in Brisbane and Alice Springs. Too complicated for your twisted little mind? Their crap is your basic diet…

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Stefan,

        Go away. You are Australian. I have told you before that you have ‘roos loose in the top paddock – and you know perfectly well what that means. Is not same and the minitoring is done continuously in a swathe across the planet. Is not highest anything. Is not all same – depend on areal coverage and cloud height. Is just crazy talk

        Regards

    • Chief

      We are in a cool mode as result of cloud cover increase in the 1998/2001 climate shift. These last 20 to 40 years in the proxy records.

      I agree.

      This means that the long-term linear warming of 0.06 deg C per decade global warming since 1850 (for the last 162 years) has not changed as shown:

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/compress:12/plot/hadcrut4gl/compress:12/detrend:0.01/offset:-0.03/plot/gistemp/compress:12/offset:-0.1/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1884/to:2004/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/scale:0.00001/detrend:-0.96/offset:-0.71/plot/hadcrut3vgl/scale:0.00001/detrend:-0.96/offset:-0.46/plot/hadcrut3vgl/scale:0.00001/detrend:-0.96/offset:-0.96/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1884/to:2004/trend/offset:-0.03/detrend:0.01/plot/gistemp/from:1884/to:2004/trend/offset:-0.1/plot/hadcrut3vgl/scale:0.00001/offset:1.5

      IPCC’s 0.2 deg C per decade warming includes the warming rate due to the warming phase of the multidecadal oscillation.

      IPCC has exaggerated the warming by a factor of 0.2/0.06 = 3.33

      Therefore IPCC’s climate sensitivity of 3.2 must be modified to give the true climate sensitivity of 3.2/3.33 = 0.96 deg C for doubling of CO2.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Girma – I no more believe in a constant sentsitivity than I believe in fairies at the end of the garden. Actually fairies are probably higher on the list of the feasible.

        What we had was 10 degrees C warming in as little as a decade at times. Let’s see – that’s about a sensitivity of 296,000.

        That seems about right.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘Nevertheless, however much models improve, there will always be an irreducible level of uncertainty—‘flap of the seagull’s wings’—because of the chaotic nature of the system. Even the climate we have observed over the past century or so is only one realization of what the real system might produce.’ Slingo and Palmer 2012

        ‘The apparent lack of proximate cause behind the halt in warming post 2001/02 challenges our understanding of the climate system, specifically the physical reasoning and causal links between longer time-scale modes of internal climate variability and the impact of such modes upon global temperature. Fortunately, climate science is rapidly developing the tools
        to meet this challenge, as in the near future it will be possible to attribute cause and effect in decadal-scale climate variability within the context of a seamless climate forecast system [Palmer et al., 2008]. Doing so is vital, as the future evolution of the global mean temperature may hold surprises on both the warm and cold ends of the spectrum due entirely to internal variability that lie well outside the envelope of a steadily increasing global mean temperature.’ Swanson and Tsonis 2009

        You don’t agree Girma? I am not surprised. Only the smartest climate scientists agree with me.

      • CH

        Girma – I no more believe in a constant sentsitivity than I believe in fairies at the end of the garden. Actually fairies are probably higher on the list of the feasible.

        What we had was 10 degrees C warming in as little as a decade at times. Let’s see – that’s about a sensitivity of 296,000.

        That seems about right.

        Would that be 10C in Greenland?

        You aren’t suggesting that global temperature fluctuated by +/-10C during the YD are you?

        If you are, I’ve missed something and references would be welcome.

      • Chief Hydrologist | December 1, 2012 at 8:35 winged: ”Stefan, Go away. You are Australian. I have told you before that you have ‘roos loose in the top paddock – and you know perfectly well what that means”

        Does that mean that: you don’t want to be anymore ”Captain Kangaroo”? I know that: ”schizophrenic” is when there are two of you; BUT, Chief, Hydrologist, captain kangaroo, Eli Rabet, Robert Ellison.. how many of them are you? Sounds as, you are becoming a whole cricket team, all by yourself. If schizophrenic is two of you; what that makes you, when are half a dozen of you? please enlighten us.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I’d guess you miss a great deal blah blah duh.

        Sensitivity is time varying and and evolves from regional feedbacks.

        http://earthweb.ess.washington.edu/roe/GerardWeb/Publications_files/Armouretal_EffClimSens.pdf

        Even if the global temperature change were only 7 degrees C – so what?
        Not going to question my 286,000 factor for sensitivity? You take an obviously flippant remark and try to make something of it. Please

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Please Stefan – I am certainly not Eli Rabet. Captain Kangaroo is a masked climate warrior on a blue horse called Shibboleth. I can neither confirm or deny the true identity of Captain Kangaroo. Robert I Ellison is my name as everyone knows and Chief Hydrologist is my sacred vocation styled after Cecil Terwilliger. Simple?

        But you are still as crazy as a cut snake as we say in Oz.

      • CH

        What we had was 10 degrees C warming in as little as a decade at times. Let’s see – that’s about a sensitivity of 296,000.

        That seems about right.

        You aren’t going to wriggle out of this.

        Either you mistook the local temperature change on the GIS at the end of the YD for *global average temperature* or you misrepresented the GIS core data as GAT.

        Which was it?

        Space cadet or liar?

    • lolwot | December 1, 2012 at 7:49 pm said: ”Jim D you haven’t seen nothing yet. Wait for the implosion when we get a large dose of warming in coming years.”

      WISHFUL THINKING JimD &Lolwot, keep dreaming!!

      TRUTH: 98 wasn’t warmer, or cooler than any other year. Reason they made it as ”the hottest”; was because was the year after the Kyoto conference -> they were hoping to make people to pay carbon rip-off – so that the Swindlers can clime that: they prevented the phony GLOBAL warming. Instead; CO2 emission increased beyond anybody’s expectation + to many people started scrutinizing the data -> they had to ”admit” that warming stopped. In reality: warming never started, didn’t stop!!!

      Avoiding to recognize my proofs, that: the self adjusting mechanism is perfect; makes both camps a shameless liars!!!

  100. Imagine we have a system where we can measure the overall change in A and B, and can measure
    A -> B at a rate of 1 per day.
    Now we increase that rate at which A is converted to B by 10%, and then measure the rate and find
    A -> B is 11 per day.
    How can an increase in the rate of A to B by 10% increase the rate of measured rate of A to B by >10 fold?

    Simple; the fluxes through the system are, initially,
    A -> B a rate of 101 per day.
    B -> A at a rate of 100 per day.
    So the overall flux is 101-100.
    If we increase the A to B flux by 10% we have an overall flux of 111.1-100 = 11.1.

    In climate science an increase in the A -> B rate would be thought a huge positive feedback., based on nothing more than pig ignorance.

    Biology loves such dynamic pairings, but they are common in many systems. Measuring the total flux doesn’t tell you the elasticity of the system. The ability to analyze flux control, through flux control theory has completely changed the way we look at dynamic, steady state systems.
    If you don’t know how to examine steady states, if you don’t know how other scientists (and economists) use flux control theory to examine dynamic, holistic systems, why look at climate at all?

    • In the case of climate, a 1% increase in incoming energy leads to about a 1% increase in absolute temperature at the surface with feedbacks included. It just works out that way by coincidence, but is quite understandable when put in those terms.

  101. Some musings on ‘clocks and clouds,’ hoping that the season
    of charity prevails and yer don’t go me,, but if yer do, well so be it. (Hopefully like one of those bop dolls i ‘ll bounce back, lol.)

    Nassim Taleb writes in ‘The Back Swan that our emotional
    apparatus is designed for linear causality, platonic belief that relationships between variables are constant, even though non-
    linear relationships are ubiquitous in life. In class-rooms and
    text books, however, we focus on linear relationships because
    they are easier to understand. (Ch 7)

    Karl Popper in ‘ Objective Knowledge’ considers linear and non-
    linear paradigms pf national processes, ‘clocks and clouds’ in
    relation to the problems of rationality and the freedom of man.
    (Ch 5) Popper places natural processes, represented by clocks,
    on the extreme right of a continuum, physical systems that are
    regular, orderly and highly predictable in their behaviour. On
    the left are clouds, non-linear systems that are difficult or
    impossible to predict. Other natural processes lie between
    the two extremes, part clock, part cloud.

    Newton’s theory treating the movement of planets, tides, cannon
    balls and pendulum clocks, explained by simple laws of nature,
    allowed some physicists to conclude that all natural systems
    ought to be placed on the right Charles Saunders Peirce was
    among the dissenters who rejected the belief in perfect clocks,
    that physical determinism assumed. He argued that the world
    was not only ruled by Newton’s Laws but also by laws of chance,
    clocks are not really perfect, (friction,) to some degree all clocks
    are clouds, a view compatible with Einstein’s special relativity
    theory and the new quantum theory.

    So where do we figure in all this? If determinism is true then
    the whole world is a running flawless clock, including all clouds,
    all organisms, animals and us.By this, the idea of human
    creativity is destroyed, we become ‘nothing but cogwheels or
    sub atomic particles’ in a clockwork universe.

    But as Popper asks, is perfect chance the only alternative to
    perfect determinism? Isn’t it dogmatic to claim that there
    can be nothing in between? Clocks aren’t ‘really’ perfect,
    we also know that our clouds aren’t ‘perfectly’ chance-like,
    since we often predict the weather quite well over short
    periods.

    So I dunno, is it unsatisfactory to look upon the world as a
    closed physical system whether clockwork or due to chance?
    In such a world human creativity and human freedom can
    only be illusions. The attempt to make use of quantum
    theoretical indeterminanncy leading to chance rather than
    determinancy, to snap decisions rather than deliberate
    decisions, like determinency implies denial of human creativity
    and ingenuous problem solving, human invention of the wheel,
    tools, computers, rockets and travel into space.

    • This is a sandbox Beth and your thoughts are always welcome.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Well said Beth – but might I suggest a different interpretation.

      Newton works perfectly well with cannonballs. Where it goes awry is when you add just one more body to form the classic three body problem. This is then a complex system and the behaviour analytically at least is unpredictable.

      http://www.scholarpedia.org/article/File:3body_problem_figure6.gif

      This then is the origin of climate uncertainty – rather than quantum indeterminacy – as the orbit diverges unpredictably over time. It is an example of chaos theory where the orbit is in principle determinant but in practice incalculable for any but the clockmaker god who made quarks and clouds at the beginning and end of the universe.

      There are three great ideas in 20th century physics. Quantum mechanics – the very small – relativity the very large – and chaos theory – the very complex. Time is very different in all three. In chaos theory it is as linear as Newton for the most part, in relativity it depends on relative velocity and in quantum mechanics it can cease to exist at all in quantum entanglement. In relativity it is time dilation and in quantum mechanics it is spooky action at a distance. The first leads to the realisation that time is an illusion and the second leads to the idea of the illusion of space. Are we far enough down the rabbit hole yet?

      ‘Since there exists in this four dimensional structure [space-time] no longer any sections which represent “now” objectively, the concepts of happening and becoming are indeed not completely suspended, but yet complicated. It appears therefore more natural to think of physical reality as a four dimensional existence, instead of, as hitherto, the evolution of a three dimensional existence.’ Albert Einstein

      The universe exists as a mote in a four dimensional God’s eye – everything forever and eternal. If the universe were not perfectable this could be a horror of unimaginable proportions. Every crime, every torture, every horror in every moment preserved like insects in amber in the space/time continuum. But we have the power to do good and the light we shine expands through all space and time in the ultimate triumph of light. ‘Within a man of light there is light and he lights the whole world. When he does not shine, there is darkness.’

      • David Springer

        Nice exposition on time. Sometimes I get the feeling you’re not as dumb as you look. But the feeling passes quickly.

      • The Skeptical Warmist

        Chief said:

        “But we have the power to do good and the light we shine expands through all space and time in the ultimate triumph of light. ‘Within a man of light there is light and he lights the whole world. When he does not shine, there is darkness.’”

        ____
        Wow Chief, just in time for Christmas, you’re making us all feel warm and fuzzy.

    • David Springer

      The clockwork God would be bored to death if he knew everything that was going to happen ahead of time. To solve this problem he created us in his own image with a mind capable of indeterminate action.

      Or maybe not. Either way predicting the actions of people is like herding cats. It doesn’t work.

    • Beth

      “So I dunno, is it unsatisfactory to look upon the world as a
      closed physical system whether clockwork or due to chance?
      In such a world human creativity and human freedom can
      only be illusions. The attempt to make use of quantum
      theoretical indeterminanncy leading to chance rather than
      determinancy, to snap decisions rather than deliberate
      decisions, like determinency implies denial of human creativity
      and ingenuous problem solving, human invention of the wheel,
      tools, computers, rockets and travel into space.?

      Don’t sweat it. There is still plenty of wriggle-room.

      http://andreas.schamanek.net/w/phi/not-knowing/taxonomies_of_the_unknown

      • Add-on: Besides from a practical perspective: the end of physics is not in hand, and the supply of philosophers is inexhaustible.

  102. David Springer

    Myrrh | December 1, 2012 at 7:42 pm |

    “You’ve just said that water is transparent to “solar”, which means it doesn’t get absorbed at all.”

    I also said solar was absorbed by impurities in the water which is what determines how far light penetrates. The effect is the same – sunlight warms the ocean.

    • David Springer | December 2, 2012 at 6:02 am | Reply
      Myrrh | December 1, 2012 at 7:42 pm |

      “You’ve just said that water is transparent to “solar”, which means it doesn’t get absorbed at all.”

      I also said solar was absorbed by impurities in the water which is what determines how far light penetrates. The effect is the same – sunlight warms the ocean.

      Which is physical nonsense. It takes intense heating of land and water at the equator to get us our huge equator to poles winds and dramatic weather systems.

      How much does visible light heat up the “impurities” in the ocean to then heat the water to the intensity this is heated to get us our huge equator to poles winds and dramatic weather systems?

      Water with its huge heat capacity which means it swallows up lots and lots of heat energy before it shows any change in temperature, how does visible light do this by first heating “impurities” in the water?

      How and how much is visible light heating the “impurities” in the ocean to get the ocean to the ocean to the heat it is at the equator?

      If this is what AGWSF claims, let’s have the figures for the cooking of water by heating impurities in the water. Can you show empirical science for this?

      For a start, you have to show how visible light heats these “impurities”. How does visible light heat land? How long do you have to shine visible light on a rock to get it to heat up, to raise its temperature 1°C?

      Why hasn’t anyone pushing AGW and CACW got any sense of scale or know what heat does?

      The land and water at the equator is heated intensely by the Sun, this is turn heats volumes of the fluid gas ocean of real gas nitrogen and oxygen which is our atmosphere, this is what makes these volumes of real gas expand when heated, makes them lighter than air, makes them rise up and flow to the poles from where volumes of cold real gas Air sink beneath being heavier and flow to the equator. This is a HUGE wind system, created out of intense heating. A huge system of hot air rising and cold air sinking, globally.

      Visible light heating “impurities” in the ocean which in turn heat the ocean to this intensity can do all this?

      How?

      If I shine an led light onto the stew in a pot, how long before I can eat my dinner?

      An incandescent lightbulb radiates around 95% heat, thermal infrared the real heat energy.., and 5% visible light. Light emitting diodes, LED’s produce more light with minimum of heat, and the manufacturers know the difference between light and heat:

      “Efficiency and operational parametersTypical indicator LEDs are designed to operate with no more than 30–60 milliwatts (mW) of electrical power. Around 1999, Philips Lumileds introduced power LEDs capable of continuous use at one watt. These LEDs used much larger semiconductor die sizes to handle the large power inputs. Also, the semiconductor dies were mounted onto metal slugs to allow for heat removal from the LED die.

      “One of the key advantages of LED-based lighting sources is high luminous efficiency. White LEDs quickly matched and overtook the efficacy of standard incandescent lighting systems. In 2002, Lumileds made five-watt LEDs available with a luminous efficacy of 18–22 lumens per watt (lm/W). For comparison, a conventional incandescent light bulb of 60–100 watts emits around 15 lm/W, and standard fluorescent lights emit up to 100 lm/W. A recurring problem is that efficacy falls sharply with rising current. This effect is known as droop and effectively limits the light output of a given LED, raising heating more than light output for higher current.[43][44][45]”

      The quotes from : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LED_(Light-emitting_diode)

      “Because LEDs emit less heat than incandescent bulbs, they are an energy-efficient technology for uses such as in freezers and refrigerators. However, because they emit little heat, ice and snow may build up on the LED luminaire in colder climates.[51] Similarly, this lack of waste heat generation has been observed to sometimes cause significant problems with street traffic signals and airport runway lighting in snow-prone areas. ”

      Gosh, the great heating power of visible light which AGWSF, and you,
      claim is so powerful heating matter can’t cope with a little cold..

      “In response to this problem, some LED lighting systems have been designed with an added heating circuit at the expense of reduced overall electrical efficiency of the system; additionally, research has been done to develop heat sink technologies that will transfer heat produced within the junction to appropriate areas of the luminaire.[55]”

      It takes the great power of heat, thermal infrared, direct from the Sun to heat matter, to raise its temperature, because, heat power moves the whole molecules of matter into vibration, which is heat, kinetic heat energy.

      Visible light can’t do this. Visible light works on the electron level, because visible light is tiny, tiny, tiny. It it isn’t big enough to move molecules around. We can’t even feel visible.

      Rub your hands together, that is mechanical energy causing the molecules in your skin to vibrate and so heating them up. Visible can’t do this, it takes real heat power to do this. Heat in transfer by conduction, convection or radiation. Direct, continuous beam heat from the Sun is what heats Earth’s land and water, directly heats water intensely at the equator..

      AGWSF has excised from the its fantasy Greenhouse Effect this direct continuous power of heat from the Sun, the Sun’s great heat transferred by radiation, thermal infrared.

      You have no heat from the Sun in your world David Springer, and your visible light can’t heat matter. You live in a cold world.

  103. Say Chief, I get yr first bit re 3 body problem and incalculable orbits
    but have difficulty with the last bit. Can jest rely on you ter offer
    another challenging point of viewv can’t we ? :) I’ve read yr
    interpretation, and poem, before and have trouble comprehending ‘happening and becoming not completely suspended but complicated.’ Better get meself ter clown school :)
    If ‘happening,’ and ‘ becoming,’ (evolving?) are suspended, sort of, everything’s eternal, where does free will come in and therefore
    ‘ the power to do good? ‘ Human experience, birth, death, seasonal change, ice ages, black swans, how do these fit with happenings
    suspended? Don’t even know if these are appropriate questions (
    Thx fer yr reply.

  104. Pingback: Impair and Deception | Adeel Ahmed

  105. Pingback: Clouds and Magic trick - Randomized Data

  106. Max,
    Haven’t made a wish list, got most of what I need, so I’ll wish now for a clement winter fer my circe du soleil friends in the northern hemisphere.

  107. Good news:the end of physics is not in hand … say, a supply of
    inexhaustible philosophers, mgw?

    • “”a supply of inexhaustible philosophers

      inexhaustible,
      the philosophers piled on.
      Beth, you now scare me…

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  109. Tomas Milanovic

    Note that the series solutions to the 3 and n-body problems are analytic, not numerical.

    Well this statement might be very misleading.
    Since Taylor and Fourier we know how to express in certain cases a function as an infinite power series.
    However saying that and being able to compute the series coefficients in a general case are 2 very different matters.
    For Sundman let’s just say that the series is much too complicated to allow any insights and converges much too slowly to be of any practical interest.

    What stays is that the solutions of the 3 body problem are elliptic integrals and that we know that they cannot be expressed by elementary functions (a possible infinite series development non withstanding).

    Besides the 3 body problem being chaotic, it is clear that only numerical methods can be used because there is no reasonably finite analytical algoritm.
    From that follows that we are unable to predict stability or blow ups of orbits in the general case.
    Actually for the practical case of the earth, and regardless of the numerical accuracy and power of the computers, we are unable to predict (or retrodict for that matter) any orbital parameter beyond some 8 millions of years. This is quite much on the scale of a human life but it is only about 0.1% of the earth’s life.

  110. Boy it was hot in my parked car yeterday in this Sydney summer – at least 55 deg C I would say.

    I can’t see why Solar insolation would have too much trouble warming the oceans to 20 odd degrees over the course a a billion years or more, Myrrh. Of course that trickle of heat from the core would also have helped. And the base of the atmosphere, also kept warm by the Sun, would have helped a little. Can’t see where else the energy would have come from.. Myrrrrrh