Climate sensitivity in the AR5 SOD

by Judith Curry

By far the most important debate about climate change is taking place among scientists, on the issue of climate sensitivity: How much warming will a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide actually produce?  – Matt Ridley

Chapter 12 of the SOD includes the discussion on sensitivity (download chapter here).  The main summary conclusion on equilibrium climate sensitivity is stated as follows:

Equilibrium climate sensitivity is likely in the range 2°C–4.5°C, and very likely above 1.5°C. The most likely value is near 3°C. Equilibrium climate sensitivity greater than about 6°C–7°C is very unlikely.

Compare this statement with the corresponding statement in the AR4 (SPM, p 12):

It is likely to be in the range 2°C to 4.5°C with a best estimate of about 3°C, and is very unlikely to be less than 1.5°C. Values substantially higher than 4.5°C cannot be excluded, but agreement of models with observations is not as good for those values.

Essentially no change, other than placing an upper limit.  In the AR5 SOD, refer to Figure 1 Box 12.2 on p 153).  This figure includes substantially more sensitivity estimates than did the AR4.  A quick eyeball of the figure shows substantial density below 2C and even below 1.5C.  What is the rationale for ‘very unlikely’ below 1.5C?  It seems to be tied to the GCM climate model results (second panel from the top on the figure).  Hence it seems that the large coupled global climate model simulations are given the predominant weighting in the assessment. The problems with this strategy were discussed in my Uncertainty Monster paper.

Matt Ridley and Nic Lewis

Matt Ridley has an article in the WSJ entitled Cooling Down the Fears of Climate Change.  Excerpts:

Mr. Lewis tells me that the latest observational estimates of the effect of aerosols (such as sulfurous particles from coal smoke) find that they have much less cooling effect than thought when the last IPCC report was written. The rate at which the ocean is absorbing greenhouse-gas-induced warming is also now known to be fairly modest. In other words, the two excuses used to explain away the slow, mild warming we have actually experienced—culminating in a standstill in which global temperatures are no higher than they were 16 years ago—no longer work.

In short: We can now estimate, based on observations, how sensitive the temperature is to carbon dioxide. We do not need to rely heavily on unproven models. Comparing the trend in global temperature over the past 100-150 years with the change in “radiative forcing” (heating or cooling power) from carbon dioxide, aerosols and other sources, minus ocean heat uptake, can now give a good estimate of climate sensitivity.

The conclusion—taking the best observational estimates of the change in decadal-average global temperature between 1871-80 and 2002-11, and of the corresponding changes in forcing and ocean heat uptake—is this: A doubling of CO2 will lead to a warming of 1.6°-1.7°C (2.9°-3.1°F).

This is much lower than the IPCC’s current best estimate, 3°C (5.4°F).

 Nic Lewis has provided an extensive post at Bishop Hill outlining his arguments, entitled Why doesn’t the AR5 SOD’s climate sensitivity range reflect its new aerosol estimates?   Its an extensive post, here is the key point:
.

Previous IPCC reports have just given estimates for radiative forcing (RF). Although in a simple world this could be a good measure of the effective warming (or cooling) influence of every type of forcing, some forcings have different efficacies from others. In AR5, this has been formalised into a measure, adjusted forcing (AF), intended better to reflect the total effect of each type of forcing. 

The main difference between the AF and RF measures relates to aerosols.  Table 8.7 of the SOD summarises the AR5 RF and AF best estimates and uncertainty ranges for each forcing agent, along with RF estimates from previous IPCC reports. The terminology has changed, with direct aerosol forcing renamed aerosol-radiation interactions (ari) and the cloud albedo (indirect) effect now known as aerosol-cloud interactions (aci).

Table 8.7 shows that the best estimate for total aerosol RF (RFari+aci) has fallen from −1.2 W/m² to −0.7 W/m² since AR4, largely due to a reduction in RFaci, the uncertainty band for which has also been hugely reduced. It gives a higher figure, −0.9 W/m², for AFari+aci. However, −0.9 W/m² is not what the observations indicate: it is a composite of observational, GCM-simulation/aerosol model derived, and inverse estimates. The inverse estimates – where aerosol forcing is derived from its effects on observables such as surface temperatures and OHU – are a mixed bag, but almost all the good studies give a best estimate for AFari+aci well below −0.9 W/m²: see Appendix 1 for a detailed analysis.

To find the IPCC’s best observational (satellite-based) estimate for AFari+aci, one turns to Section 7.5.3 of the SOD, where it is given as −0.73 W/m² with a standard deviation of 0.30 W/m². That is actually the same as the Table 8.7 estimate for RFari+aci, except for the uncertainty range being higher. 

But one expert on the satellite observations, Prof. Graeme Stephens, has stated that AFaci is at most ‑0.1 W/m², not ‑0.33 W/m² as implied by the IPCC’s best observationally-based estimates: see here and slide 7 of the linked GEWEX presentation. 

The main implication is this.  If only GHG forcing is used, without aerosols, the surface temperature in the last decade or so is about 0.3-0.4C higher than observations; adding in aerosols has a cooling effect of about 0.3-0.4C (and so cancelling out a portion of the GHG warming), providing a fairly good match between the climate model simulations and the observations. If the aerosol effect is too large, then it is inferred that the model response to GHG forcing is also too large.

The climate models have an aerosol forcing that is too large.  The aci effect (associated with clouds) is either specified in the model as forcing, or the model allows the aerosols to interact directly with the cloud microphysical processes.  There are problems with both methods.

Here is a quick summary of the issue:  The effects of aerosols on clouds consist of three linked elements.  Increased numbers of aerosols provide additional locations for droplet nucleation and, all else being equal, result in clouds with more and smaller droplets hence being more reflective to solar radiation (a cooling effect).  The increased number of smaller droplets is hypothesized to hinder the formation of rain because more smaller droplets do not collide and coalesce into precipitation as efficiently.  Suppression of precipitation leads to longer lived clouds that reflect solar radiation back to space.  While this sequence aerosol-cloud effects is easily understood and widely accepted, in many cloud systems the cloud dynamics has a dominant effect over aerosol/microphysical effects, and there is scant observational evidence for a large value of aci in real clouds. Climate models that include these aerosol-cloud interactions fail to include a number of buffering responses, such as rainfall scavenging of the aerosols and compensating dynamical effects (which would reduce the magnitude of the aci cooling effect).

So, recent research is narrowing the range of uncertainty of the aci, and overall reducing the magnitude of the aci effect.  But most climate models still include the inappropriately large values of aci.  It is difficult to then avoid the conclusion that the model-based sensitivity analyses (and observationally based analyses that use large values of aci) produce GHG equilibrium sensitivity values that are too large.

Nic Lewis in the post at BishopHill does a very nice empirically based sensitivity analysis following the general methodology of the Gregory et al (2002) heat balance change derived value of the equilibrium climate sensitivity, determining a value of ECS of 1.6-1.7C.  While there are some necessary assumptions in empirically based sensitivity analyses that I am not entirely comfortable with, the qualitative conclusion made by Nic Lewis seems robust:  lower values of ECS seem justified in view the reduce values of aci.

Over juiced cloud and water vapor feedback (?)

While the direct GHG forcing is well understood (the skydragons haven’t come up with anything convincing),  I suspect that the culprits are the water vapor feedback and/or the cloud feedback.  The atmospheric dynamical core treats water vapor and moist thermodynamics in the manner of numerical weather prediction models, where small approximations don’t make much of a difference.  However at longer timescales these errors can accumulate in a systematic direction.

While I need to get around to actually publishing this, here in a nutshell is what I think is wrong with climate model simulations of water vapor feedback.  There are three simplifications  that concern me (note, if better documentation on these issues existed it would be easier to document these):

1.  Oversimplified moist thermodynamics.  A section from my book Thermodynamics of Atmospheres and Oceans on conserved moist thermodynamic variables is posted [here].   As far as I can tell, climate models use the equivalent potential temperature, rather than the entropy potential temperature.  Read the section from my book to see the approximations that are being made here.  While it is difficult to reason through what any change to the equations would actually result in terms of radiation balance given all the nonlinearities, use of entropy potential temperature would tend to cooler upper troposphere and altered water vapor and clouds.

2.  Saturation vapor pressure over ice  at very cold temperatures.  At the cold temperatures of the tropical upper troposphere and stratosphere, it is not clear that correct values of the saturation vapor pressure are being used.  This would influence both the water vapor and cloud water content in the atmosphere.

3.  Atmospheric continuity equation ignores changes in water vapor content.  Note:  this ties into the argument that Anastassia Makarieva has been making.  I don’t know how to reason through in a simple way the implications of this for water vapor feedback since this would tie into the atmospheric dynamics in a fundamental way (both large scale and convective scale).

A post at WUWT by Forest Mims  points out the SOD failed to cite the von der Haar et al. (2012) paper that finds no global trend in water vapor path from satellite data

Thomas H. Vonder Haar, Janice L. Bytheway and John M. Forsythe. Weather and climate analyses using improved global water vapor observations. GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL. 39, L15802, 6 PP., 2012.doi:10.1029/2012GL052094.

One of the more interesting chapters in the AR5 is chapter 7 on Clouds and Aerosols.  Their main conclusion re cloud forcing:

The net radiative feedback due to all cloud types is likely (>66% chance) positive, although a negative feedback (damping global climate changes) is still possible. We assign a very likely range of −0.2 to 1.4 W m–2 K–1 for the cloud feedback parameter. This conclusion is reached by considering a plausible range for unknown contributions by processes yet to be accounted for, in addition to those occurring in current climate models. The cloud feedback remains the most uncertain radiative feedback in climate models. Observations alone do not currently provide a robust, direct constraint, but multiple lines of evidence now indicate positive feedback contributions from changes in both the height of high clouds and the horizontal distribution of clouds. Additional feedback from low cloud amount is also positive in most climate models, but that result is not well understood, nor effectively constrained by observations, so confidence in it is low.

The key point is this.  The cloud forcing values are derived from climate models; we have already seen that climate models have some fundamental problems in how clouds are treated (e.g. aerosol-cloud interactions, moist thermodynamics).  So, climate model derived values of cloud forcing should be taken with a grain of salt.  Empirically based determinations of cloud forcing are needed.  At AGU, I spoke with a scientist that has completed such a study, with the paper almost ready for submission.  Punchline:  negative cloud feedback.

JC summary:  The leak of the SOD was a good thing; the IPCC still has the opportunity to do a much better job, and the wider discussion in the blogosphere and even the mainstream media places pressure on the IPCC authors to consider these issues; they can’t sweep them under the rug as in previous reports.

437 responses to “Climate sensitivity in the AR5 SOD

  1. While many estimates have been made, the consensus value often used is ~3°C. Like the porridge in “The Three Bears”, this value is just right – not so great as to lack credibility, and not so small as to seem benign. Huybers (2010) showed that the treatment of clouds was the “principal source of uncertainty in models”. Indeed, his Table I shows that whereas the response of the climate system to clouds by various models varied from 0.04 to 0.37 (a wide spread), the variation of net feedback from clouds varied only from 0.49 to 0.73 (a much narrower relative range). He then examined several possible sources of compensation between climate sensitivity and radiative forcing. He concluded:
    “Model conditioning need not be restricted to calibration of parameters against observations, but could also include more nebulous adjustment of parameters, for example, to fit expectations, maintain accepted conventions, or increase accord with other model results. These more nebulous adjustments are referred to as ‘tuning’.”
    He suggested that one example of possible tuning is that “reported values of climate sensitivity are anchored near the 3±1.5°C range initially suggested by the ad hoc study group on carbon dioxide and climate (1979) and that these were not changed because of a lack of compelling reason to do so”.
    Huybers (2010) went on to say:
    “More recently reported values of climate sensitivity have not deviated substantially. The implication is that the reported values of climate sensitivity are, in a sense, tuned to maintain accepted convention.”
    Translated into simple terms, the implication is that climate modelers have been heavily influenced by the early (1979) estimate that doubling of CO2 from pre-industrial levels would raise global temperatures 3±1.5°C. Modelers have chosen to compensate their widely varying estimates of
    climate sensitivity by adopting cloud feedback values countering the effect of climate sensitivity, thus keeping the final estimate of temperature rise due to doubling within limits preset in their minds. Had they not done this, the spread in estimates of temperature rise would be much greater. Thus, they have imposed their preconceived notions of the expected temperature rise on the models to make them come out “right”. As we stated previously, this is like the Three Bears children’s story where the porridge was not too hot or too cold; the canonical 3°C temperature rise is large enough to be alarming, but small enough to be be credible.

    • I have a post in draft files entitled the goldilocks principle, and I hadn’t quite figured out the hook. your three bears analogy have given me an idea :)

      • Just remember that Goldilocks gets chased from the bear’s house in the end. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Story_of_the_Three_Bears

      • Yeah.

        But she has a “just right” bowl of porridge and a nice nap in a bed that’s “just right”.

        And she gets out of the place in her skin.

        What more could you ask for?

        Max

        PS Realize that this one was not by the Grimm brothers, but Google tells me it’s the 200th “birthday” of the Grimm fairy tales (and a lot of them were pretty “Grimm”)

      • Hansel and Gretel were led into the forest and abandoned by their parents because they ate too much. I won’t say who I think the witch represents in real life (but it’s not JC).

    • Who is Richard Windsor?

      This reminds me of Feynman’s talk about the charge of an electron.

      “We have learned a lot from experience about how to handle some of
      the ways we fool ourselves. One example: Millikan measured the
      charge on an electron by an experiment with falling oil drops, and
      got an answer which we now know not to be quite right. It’s a
      little bit off, because he had the incorrect value for the
      viscosity of air. It’s interesting to look at the history of
      measurements of the charge of the electron, after Millikan. If you
      plot them as a function of time, you find that one is a little
      bigger than Millikan’s, and the next one’s a little bit bigger than
      that, and the next one’s a little bit bigger than that, until
      finally they settle down to a number which is higher.

      Why didn’t they discover that the new number was higher right away?
      It’s a thing that scientists are ashamed of–this history–because
      it’s apparent that people did things like this: When they got a
      number that was too high above Millikan’s, they thought something
      must be wrong–and they would look for and find a reason why
      something might be wrong. When they got a number closer to
      Millikan’s value they didn’t look so hard. And so they eliminated
      the numbers that were too far off, and did other things like that.
      We’ve learned those tricks nowadays, and now we don’t have that
      kind of a disease.”

      Maybe some of this psychology is in play?

    • AR5 SOD chapter 9 refers to Mauritsen et al. (2012) as a rare exception and confirms that the model tuning process is essentially unknown: “modelling centres do not routinely describe in detail how they tune their models. Therefore the complete list of observational constraints toward which a particular model is tuned is generally not known.”

      They then go on explaining why we can still trust the models. That’s because “models are not tuned to match a particular future”. In other words, “we don’t know how models are tuned, but trust us, they certainly aren’t tuned to produce the expected warming.”

      Looks like an unsourced statement from thin air, and in fact contrary to the literature (Kiehl 2007, Huybers 2010). I thought IPCC was supposed to assess the literature, not invent faith-based claims contradicting it?

      Mauritsen et al. also states the obvious; a model giving “wrong answers” would never see the daylight, which is another way of tuning to fit accepted conventions. They also say the simulated 20th century temperature tells nothing about model performance because of tuning. SPM authors apparently missed this part and bolster the confidence in models by their replication of the 20th century temperature.

      Also… since the temperature trend is more or less, implicitly or explicitly, tuned to fit 20th century with historic CO2 emissions, it’s a no-brainer that the match will be worse without the historic CO2. Yet this is presented as the strongest evidence. It’s another exercise in circularity which serves as the basis for the “extremely likely” attribution statement.

  2. Taking these improved estimates and comparing them to the numbers from Renssen et al 2012 on the Holocene Thermal Maximum, it appears humanity will fall well short of establishing a new date for a global average HTM in the 21st century.

    • wouldn’t you have to “improve” the estimates made in Renssen 2012 given that it was based on a model?

  3. ” As far as I can tell, climate models use the equivalent potential temperature, rather than the entropy potential temperature.”

    That always bugged me. If you use the equivalent potential temperature, a large portion of the Earth is not inside that equivalent potential temperature “envelope” so “average” surface temperature is meaningless if there is no “surface” inside that envelope to be impacted. You have to factor in “surface” cooling outside of the “envelope”.

    It is like they started off badly and went down hill from there.

    Just wait until SOC sinks in :)

  4. Climate sensitivity is a wrong climate metric. First, carbon dioxide warming effect is time dependent. The record shows that glaciation and deglaciation cycles had the same carbon dioxide variations, yet the energy exchanged was not the same. It was much greater during glaciation cycles because the time was in the order of 100,000 years. Whereas the time of deglaciation cycles was barely 18,000 years. Saying “How much warming will a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide actually produce?” is meaningless. Time is required to assess the warming caused by a doubling of carbon dioxide. Second, climate sensitivity does not exist in the real world; it is a result of applying an incorrect climate energy balance that is missing the potential energy of the atmosphere. When this potential energy is accounted for, climate sensitivity vanishes from the equation.

  5. Dr Curry:

    The leak of the SOD was a good thing; the IPCC still has the opportunity to do a much better job, and the wider discussion in the blogosphere and even the mainstream media places pressure on the IPCC authors to consider these issues; they can’t sweep them under the rug as in previous reports.

    Leakers – keeping Climate Science honest since 17 November 2009.

  6. “JC summary: The leak of the SOD was a good thing; the IPCC still has the opportunity to do a much better job, and the wider discussion in the blogosphere and even the mainstream media places pressure on the IPCC authors to consider these issues; they can’t sweep them under the rug as in previous reports.”

    Statements such as that induce in me a sense that I am in some macabre race, best summarised as:

    Yes … but will I live long enough to see it ?

  7. The IPCC will attempt to find a way to worm out the cul de sac in which they have found themselves! :] I do wish you had a google thingy so I could post these great posts on google+!

  8. Dr. Curry – I suggest that you exercise some judgment in quoting results posted at WUWT. The paper cited by Mims (Vonder Haar et al.) states:

    “The results…have not been subjected to detailed global or regional trend analyses, which will be a topic for a forthcoming paper. Such analyses must account for the changes in satellite sampling discussed in the supplement. Therefore, at this time, we can neither prove nor disprove a robust trend in the global water vapor data.”

    Not exactly the conclusion that Mims’ selective quote implies.

    • Hi Pat Cassen–it’s been a while and happy holidays! I’m wondering if you’d care to comment on some figures I looked up over at CDIAC. I think they’re relevant to a discussion of sensitivity.

      I’ve made the argument on blogs and in our book that it is extremely possible for climate change to have decade-long (or longer) periods of quiescence due to a variety of factors.

      However CDIAC shows that about a third of all human emissions of CO2 have occurred since 1998. The idea that earth systems would essentially fail to respond to such a massive contribution startles me, at least, and serves as a strong argument against higher sensitivity to CO2 concentrations.

      It’s a big change. It happened quickly. Temperatures have not reacted. As you made the most cogent summary of the global warming thesis I’ve ever seen over at Bart’s blog, I’d be very interested in your reaction.

      • The following exchange in the comments on RealClimate to an article by Kyle Swanson on a “pause” of AGW:

        …Time will show that the proposed pause in temperature increase is a model artifact… I doubt very much in such an occurrence.

        [Response: Wayne, please note that this is Kyle’s article not mine, though I did encourage him to write it for us. I think the interesting question raised (though not definitively answered) by this line of work is the extent to which some of the pause in warming mid-century might have been more due to decadal ocean variability rather than aerosols than is commonly thought. If that is the case, then a pause or temporary reduction in warming rate could recur even if aerosols are unchanged. Learning how to detect and interpret such things is important, lest a temporary pause be confused with evidence for low climate sensitivity. –raypierre]

      • thomaswfuller2 | December 19, 2012 at 4:22 pm: “…about a third of all human emissions of CO2 have occurred since 1998. The idea that earth systems would essentially fail to respond to such a massive contribution startles me, at least, and serves as a strong argument against higher sensitivity to CO2 concentrations.”
        Now here is someone who suspects that maybe what he has been told about CO2 is not quite right. And it isn’t. First you should know that what you have been told about the late twentieth century warming in the eighties and nineties is a lie. I proved in my book “What Warming?” that came out two years ago that global mean temperature in the eighties and nineties was constant. The only temperature variations for that eighteen year stretch were alternation of El Nino and La Nina phases of of ENSO and they just cancel each other out. That was followed by the super El Nino of 1998 which brought us a brief step warming. In four years global temperature rose by a third of a degree and then stopped. And that was the first and last warming within a 33 year period of the satellite era. Which leaves no opportunity for carbon dioxide to do anything for the last 33 years. In view of this a case can be made that the sensitivity is zero because CO2 is simply is not warming the world. Laws of physics do not permit those “…decade-long (or longer) periods of quiescence…” Why didn’t you do physics instead of bullshitting about quiescence? Get used to the idea that the greenhouse theory has never had anything to do with actual warming of the world and start looking for real causes. I just gave you one – step warming of 1998. That one was of oceanic origin, caused by the huge amount of warm water carried across the ocean by a super El Nino. And read Miskolczi’s 2010 paper if you want to know why the greenhouse effect does not work. His argument follows from actual observations of temperature. That step warming is hidden by a fake warming that Hansen manufactured to justify his 1988 global warming claim. Checking temperature records shows that June 1988 was indeed a warm peak, of the 1988 El Nino. Satellite record shows five El Nino peaks there between 1979 and 1997. The 1988 El Nino is the middle one of these five, but Hansen thought it was global warming and said so in front of the Senate.Six months later a La Nina dropped the temperature by 0.4 degrees Celsius. But to bolster his claim of global warming he manufactured a rising temperature curve for the eighties and nineties that hides the lack of warming for those 18 years. You might want to study my book for how to find those peaks and more.

    • Maybe just a little back up?

      http://www.earth-syst-dynam.net/3/97/2012/esd-3-97-2012.pdf

      Since her point was, ” The cloud forcing values are derived from climate models; we have already seen that climate models have some fundamental problems in how clouds are treated (e.g. aerosol-cloud interactions, moist thermodynamics). So, climate model derived values of cloud forcing should be taken with a grain of salt. ” “Punchline: negative cloud feedback.”

      Of course, there is always the possibility that CO2 forcing on clouds is lost in the “climate noise”.

    • The PALAEOSENS results published in Nature are an interesting counterpoint to the suggestion that ECS has been over-estimated.

      • BBD-
        With all due respect, the study does nothing to explain how the scientific community has failed to come to grips with the fact that there is now pretty good evidence that we do not understand how the climate system works well enough to accurately determine the impact of additional atmospheric CO2. At least not well enough to make sensible government policy decisions

      • there is now pretty good evidence that we do not understand how the climate system works well enough to accurately determine the impact of additional atmospheric CO2.

        This is just rubbish of the ‘emphasise uncertainty and pretend we know nothing’ variety.

        Reject.

  9. Judith you say ‘Punchline: negative cloud feedback’

    I think that this is something that those of us without PhD’s have long suspected.

  10. Dr. Curry, you write “they can’t sweep them under the rug as in previous reports.”

    I wonder; maybe they have to try.
    It seems to me that the IPCC has a major problem. They have 4 previous reports which, IMHO, have exaggerated the effect of AGW, and created CAGW. They cannot afford the now agree that these previous reports were wrong in the way they exaggerated climate sensitivity. However, there is now solid scientific evidence that the IPCC previous reports were, in fact, exaggerated. So the IPCC is faced with a choice. They can either admit that their previous reports were wrong in that their assessment exaggerated climate sensitivity; or they need to igore the solid science that now shows that the numbers were, in fact, exaggerated. How the IPCC is going to overcome this problem I have no idea.

    It was Union General William Tecumseh Sherman who said, WTTE, “A good genreral gives his opponent two alternatives; both of which are bad”. It seems to me that this applies to the IPCC. They have two alternatiuves; both of which are bad. They can either ignore the science which shows that their previous reports exaggerated the value of climate sensitivity; or they can produce a totally inadequate scientific report which deliberately ignores the science that shows that climate sensitivity was, in fact, exaggerated.

    • Jim, I confess I don’t know exactly how the IPCC works, However, I must presume that there are enough scientists on board who are convinced that the IPCC has indeed been engaging in hyperbole (to be kind), and that by their continued silence they are complicit.

      With respect to skeptics who condemn the leak as unethical..and there are some… I can only shake my head. Absent that leak, who knows how much of what we’ve learned would simply “disappear” in the final report? The stakes are enormously high.

      • pokerguy, you write “However, I must presume that there are enough scientists on board who are convinced that the IPCC has indeed been engaging in hyperbole (to be kind), and that by their continued silence they are complicit.”

        I hope you are correct, but I doubt it. Scientists have been trying to get the likes of the Royal Society and the American Physical Society to agree that the people who run these organizations are complicit, as you suggest. So far, no-one has changed their ideas.

      • “Absent that leak, who knows how much of what we’ve learned would simply “disappear” in the final report?”

        That begs the question, what have we learned from the leak?

        Even if the leaked AR5 draft matched AR4 word for word, drama queens would have still jumped on statements in it and claimed they’d peeked something that would have otherwise been disappeared.

        It’s the same conspiracy theorist mentality behind the analysis of climategate emails. If the material wasn’t supposed to be released then people pretend it has a secret hidden message that confirms the conspiracy they want to believe.

      • lolwot

        But, but, but… you can’t call them conspiracy theorists. You cant use language like that. The poor dears take umbrage.

        You could end up with a nasty case of pseudo-victimhood whining its way up your leg.

  11. Fred from Canuckistan

    My computer models say it is happening.
    My data says it is not.
    Gradually, models yield to the dictates of data.

  12. So I assume if you run Nic’s method over the results of a GCM it accurately calculates the ECS of the GCM?

  13. steve fitzpatrick

    Judith,
    I think falling best estimates for aerosol offsets in the SOD (compared to AR4) and simultaneous continued use of earlier (larger) aerosol offsets in the climate model simulations borders on daft. Surely those involved in AR5 can see that this is going to lead to lots of questions. The climate models should use aerosol offsets which represent current best estimates, if they want people to take the AR5 declarations of model accuracy seriously.
    As to whether they will resolve this conflict in the final version of AR5: yes, but not by improving on the SOD. I note that 1) they can’t easily go back and re-run all the climate model simulations with more accurate forcings, and 2) if they did, the climate models would be biased much too high relative to measured temperatures over the last decade, effectively proving that the modeled climate sensitivities are too high. I don’t think this is something they are interested in proving. So I am guessing that the IPCC TTD’s (technical top dogs) will figure out a way to down-play/inflate/arm-wave away the best aerosol estimates and to ignore empirical studies which indicate low sensitivity. I believe they will maintain the position that very high climate sensitivity is plausible, no matter what. Of course, if that is how it turns out, the loss of technical credibility may mean there will never be an AR6, which may not be such a bad thing.

  14. If the IPCC is smart with the AR5, they will make a robust analysis of all these points and others made as a result of the leak, If they have the goods, then all their rebuttals will strengthen their case. If not, then it is all out there with full transparency for all to see

  15. curryja says:

    …they can’t sweep them [the aforementioned issues] under the rug as in previous reports

    What odds is she giving? even? Ever the pessimist, I suspect that things have gone so far down the path over the past years that there is no turning back. Certainly what comes out in the final report will be an interesting measure of where ‘debate’ stands. My intuition is that any delayed science risks becoming less relevant to any decision making with each tick of the clock. Semper fubar.

  16. I wish climate scientists would use the correct terminology.

    The question should be…. ‘How sensitive is the Earth’s climate system to an increase in Radiative Forcing?’
    There is no seperate greenhouse gas forcing, just an amplification of the radiative forcing of the Sun. Take the Sun’s RF away and I am not left with 33C of greenhouse forcing I am left with zilch.

    So, when phrased correctly, we have empirical evidence of what the answer may be.

    So, is it obvious in physics, that applying increased heat energy to a system, will lead to a long term increase in that systems temperature?

    Well in a non-dynamic system that is absolutely true. If I stick one end of a bar of metal in hot water, the other end will heat up after a time. If I stick the feet of a cadaver in hot water the head will heat up after a time. However, if I stick the feet of a living person in the hot water what happens to the head now?

    Oops, what has happened to the physics? Nothing of course but in a dynamic system, like the human body, the input of heat at one point may trigger dynamic processes that cause no long term heating in the system as a whole. Indeed it is perfectly possible for the human to end up cooler for a time. It all depends on the strength of the triggered feedback processes and whether they are negative or not.

    So we can all agree that increasing energy into one part of a dynamic system does not necessarily lead, automatically, to a general heating of that system.

    Now the Earth’s climate system is a dynamic one, we can all agree on that, changing one process will often lead to a change in a connected process which may be a positive or negative effect.

    So what empirical evidence is there that increasing Radiative Forcing long term on the Earth causes it to warm long term?

    Err… that would be none then!

    We do, however, have irrefutable evidence that the Earth does NOT warm long term in the face of increased RF.

    We actually have a good record of the effect of an increase in Radiative Forcing on the Earth because of the Suns behavior. The Sun has been increasing its output and therefore the RF on the Earth, by about 1% every 100 million years and will continue to do so for billions of years. You could look at the ‘Faint Sun Paradox for starters which shows that three billion years ago liquid water was present on the Earth meaning that temperatures must have been similar to, or warmer than, today’s. It could not have been much colder. So the Earth has not warmed in the face of a 30% increase in RF for 3000 million years. However I do not use these facts, remarkable as they are, as evidence that the Earth does not warm in the face of increased RF, as the Earth was totally different then, different atmosphere, virtually no life etc.

    No, instead let us look at the last 500 million years. If we went back then it would look familiar. The atmosphere was like today’s, life had colonised and exploded across the land, plate tectonics were in full operation etc. We would notice one thing different however. What would that be you might ask?

    http://www.eolss.net/Sample-Chapters/C01/E4-03-08-02.pdf

    Well since that time the Sun has increased its RF on the Earth by about 5%, a very significant sum amounting to about 65 WM2 at the top of the atmosphere

    So what would we notice that was different back then? Well it was lot hotter then. A lot hotter! The global temperature being about 22C compared to today’s 14-15C.

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

    So for hundreds of millions of years the Earth has been cooling long term in the face of significantly increased RF. This is a fact, not conjecture, real empirical, undeniable evidence.

    So the warmists theory, correctly stated as………….. ‘increasing the RF on the Earth, by emitting more CO2, will automatically lead to a warmer Earth’, is not only unproven but flies against hundreds of millions of years of actual evidence.

    Alan

    • The temperature of Earth is regulated by water, in all of its states. Water, Ice, Water Vapor and Clouds regulate the temperature of Earth. Water, in all of its states is abundant. Water and Ice has a set point. Water regulated the temperature of Earth differently when the there was little or no ice and when there was much more ice. Now, the temperature of Earth is regulated in narrow bounds. When Arctic water is frozen, it does not snow enough to replace ice that melts in summer and albedo decreases and Earth warms. When Arctic ice is melted and the Arctic water is exposed to the fierce winds, it snows more than enough to replace the ice that melts every summer and albedo increases and the Earth cools.

      This is the reason that EVERY warm period in the past ten thousand years was followed by a cold period and why EVERY cold period in the past ten thousand years was followed by a warm period.

    • so how much CO2 was in the atmosphere back then? I guess it must have been the same as today for your conclusion to be warranted.

      • No, it is estimated there was about two to three times more CO2 in the atmosphere then. However direct RF from the Sun has increased by about the equivalent of five doublings of CO2 since then. Take away the three doublings reduction from CO2 and you have an increase in RF of about the equivalent of two doublings of CO2.

        This has resulted in a REDUCTION of about 8C in the Earth’s temperature. This is quite contrary to the warmists insistence that physics prove that the Earth MUST warm in the face of such an increase in radiative forcing.

        Alan

      • “However direct RF from the Sun has increased by about the equivalent of five doublings of CO2 since then.”

        I make it about 3.2 doublings. (239 * 0.05) / 3.7 = 3.2

        and CO2 looks like it could have been 4000ppm

        Not seeing an inconsistency

      • I think you will find the average total outward radiation flux is 342 Wm2 not 239.

        Alan

      • but incoming absorbed is 30% lower

      • Why does that matter? CO2 intercepts outward radiation flux which is 342 Wm2.

        Alan

      • lolwot, “but incoming absorbed is 30% lower” No, available is 30% lower +/- some. Without knowing the actual albedo of the atmosphere/surface, there is no way of knowing what was absorbed. Since a large portion of the uncertainty is clouds and aerosols today, assuming knowledge of the past clouds and aerosols gets really strange.

        Now, since the cloud/aerosols issue has reared its ugly head, internal ocean dynamics also can have a profound impact on climate. Since Chief is enjoying the Holidays, Dr. Roy Spencer is filling in :)

        http://www.drroyspencer.com/2012/12/our-chaotic-climate-system/

    • Alan: The sun is not the only thing that has been changing. Carbon dioxide has constantly been removed from the atmosphere by precipitation and photosynthesis. Weathering of surface rock releases calcium and magnesium ions, which precipitate as calcium and magnesium carbonate. Photosynthesis creates organic material and some of this gets buried in geological deposits. (See fossil fuels.) Some of the buried organic and inorganic carbon is returned to the atmosphere by volcanos. As the sun has warmed, radiative forcing due to carbon dioxide has diminished.

      • Have you read my posts? I have accounted for the reduction in RF due to the reduction in CO2. It still leads to an increase in RF and a reduction in temperature.

        Alan

    • Good summary Alan Millar. It would be interesting to see what AGWers say about historical temp and CO2 estimates given the well documented presence of liquid water on Earth 3000 million years ago.

      • So the Sun was unable to explain the warming. If it wasn’t the Sun, could it have been the…greenhouse effect?

      • Which warming are you referring to lolwot? It seems to me the Earth’s temp has moved upwards and downwards around a remarkably stable trend line over the past 500 million years. The current warming that you and other AGWers are concerned about seems unremarkable in the overall scheme of things.

      • the warming necessary to maintain liquid water with a Sun too cool to explain it. how do you explain it?

        I am going with a stronger greenhouse effect back then.

      • I now see what you mean lolwot. I rather think that the presence of liquid water would not have been constant in volume but icing up and de-icing down, in tune with whatever natural influences are present at the time. The CERN cloud nucleation experiments MAY show a mechanism similar to the so-called greenhouse effect which will impact on global climate over time. I suspect that GHG levels moves in RESPONSE to changes in temp and only serving to amplify the radiation effects of the sun, irrespective of its status.

      • lolwot | December 19, 2012 at 7:21 pm said: ”So the Sun was unable to explain the warming. If it wasn’t the Sun, could it have been the…greenhouse effect?”

        Try some truth, for a change: THERE Isn’t ANY ”GLOBAL” WARMING!!!

    • Alan: In your reply, you asked if I read your “posts”. I read your post (not the links) and found it interesting, but incomplete, as it didn’t quantitatively discuss the long term reduction in atmospheric carbon dioxide and its forcing. I would have been interested to see how your analysis would have turned out if that had been included, so I commented. I see others have mentioned this problem too. If you are serious, you probably also need to take into account the albedo forcing that occurred when it got cold enough for glaciers to cover Antarctica.

    • David Springer

      No Alan. Not all radiative forcing is equal. I’ve been belaboring that point for about a year. Water is transparent to shortwave radiative forcing and opaque to longwave. So shortwave forcing from the sun penetrates the ocean to a depth limited by adulterants which eventually absorb it all and thereby thermalize the water molecules. Conversely longwave forcing generated by GHGs are absorbed in the first few microns of the ocean’s surface and largely result in evaporation rather than warming of the ocean bulk beneath. This results in what’s known as the cool skin layer of the ocean which is the topmost 1 millimeter being about 1C cooler than the bulk mixed layer (~300 meters) below it.

      In short sunlight warms the ocean while longwave emission from the atmosphere increases evaporation and does not warm the ocean. The usual suspects in the climate science cwrod know this and they rely on positive cloud feedback to keep the CAGW narrative alive. Observations don’t support positive cloud feedback and this is becoming painfully obvious now to even the more casual observers.

      • Whilst you have a point about the differing nature of radiative flux, I like to just concentrate on the simple and readily understandable. Climate scientists love to try and complicate matters knowing most of the public cannot follow it and will in general trust perceived authority.

        There is only one source of Radiative Forcing and that is the Sun. Greenhouse gases reduce the rate of cooling and they postulate a direct logarithmic relationship They translate this to increased GGs automatically equals a warmer Earth.

        Show that this is unproven and the actual empirical eviidence is strongly against it and they have no case at all, none.

        Just keep quoting the facts, that the Earth, since it entered its current atmospheric and climatic condition, has cooled not warmed in the face of increasng RF. That alone is enough to scupper the good ship CAGW.

        Alan

  17. We see all of the answers. And, this is the question: “How Long is a Piece of String?”

    The Earth has been in cooling trend for 10,000 years. And, 4,000 years. And, 2,000 years. And, there has been no warming for the last 16 years.

    • Except that Ocean heat content has about doubled in the last 16 years.

      http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/

      Doesn’t much support the no warming meme.

      • So the total heat content of the oceans has double in the past 16 years? Damn I must have been sleeping. I miss all the good stuff.

      • Wow, a graph from the highest authority with negative ocean heat content in my lifetime. All bow to the Mighty Lords of Climate.
        =================

      • There has been a downward trend in the top 700′ but perhaps you can support the global warming meme by toasting marshmellows a hell of a lot lower down.

      • Bob Droege | December 19, 2012 at 10:15 pm LIED: ”Except that Ocean heat content has about doubled in the last 16 years”

        Who told you that lie, Bob? When heat content in the sea increases; usually is on part of the ocean ./ oceans.-> evaporation increases / evaporation is cooling process. More evaporation = more clouds / clouds are sun-umbrellas for the sea / land. Equalizes in few months, not years! never doubles!!! Don’t forget about the: ”self adjusting mechanism”!!!

      • Yeah, the amount has doubled, can’t you guys read a simple chart.
        You guys do know about an anomaly, right, can’t have an argument with those who don’t understand the concept, but I see some of you have been sleeping, for almost their entire lifetimes.

        And Stefan, something tells me I should not engange stefan again, but you know that evaporation occurs at a constant temperature, it removes heat but can proceed without lowering the temperature. And warmer air can hold more water in vapor form which means less clouds. Any of you notice that it is usually cloudier in the cooler and colder seasons?
        The data sourced is NOAA
        Wagathon, yes you can roast marshmallows deep underwater, you just have to find a smoker.

      • Sure, Bob, I know about anomalies. The question that comes to my mind is does the highest authority(NOAA) mislead with that graph? If so, ignorantly or disingenuously?
        ========

      • David Springer

        Bob Droege | December 19, 2012 at 10:15 pm | Reply

        “Except that Ocean heat content has about doubled in the last 16 years.

        http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/

        Blindingly stupid misinterpretation of a graph, Bob. That’s the change in heat content not total heat content. The giveaway should have been the negative numbers at the beginning of the graph. How can the ocean have negative heat content, dopey?

      • Kim, why do you think that NOAA is misleading with that graph?

        Any evidence that the data is erroneous?

      • You know David, when battleing blindingly stupid arguments one must make blindingly stupid statements in the hopes that idiots would look at the data.

        Just my personal crusade against the “No warming since 19xx meme,” whhich is a pervasive and blindinly stupid meme.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Bob Droege: Except that Ocean heat content has about doubled in the last 16 years.

        There is an obvious problem with the scaling of the graph: it begins with negative heat content in 1960. You can not infer a “doubling” from the right-hand end of the graph.

      • “Just my personal crusade against the “No warming since 19xx meme,” whhich is a pervasive and blindinly stupid meme.”

        There hasn’t been much warming since 1940, and little of none
        since 1997.
        How is this vaguely stupid as compared idea that we getting hotter,
        that significantly bad things have happen due to insignifcant amounts of warming [barely measurable] and that our future
        includes Greenland melting, or even more ludicrous Antarctic melting.
        That children should fear for their life and the future is doomed.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Bob Droege: Yeah, the amount has doubled, can’t you guys read a simple chart.
        You guys do know about an anomaly, right, can’t have an argument with those who don’t understand the concept, but I see some of you have been sleeping, for almost their entire lifetimes.

        OK. So what you meant to write was that the “anomaly” had doubled, not that the “ocean heat content” had doubled. A simple mistake of the sort that most of us make from time to time.

      • The formulation “the ocean heat content has doubled” is terrible and should never be used. I complained about that to R.Gates (I think it was him) and I complain again.

        The sentence is true only when the absolute temperature roughly doubles. There’s no significant origin at the heat content at 1960. Doubling is a very bad term even in sentence that “the anomaly has doubled” unless there is a real, not only convention based, origin for the value of the anomaly.

      • Pekka – how would you describe the change in the ocean heat content anomaly in that graph?

      • With anomalies based on a period decided by convention one should stick to absolute values. With OHC the problem is that the absolute values tell nothing to most (is 10^22 J a lot?)

        Another possibility is to select two reference periods and compare the increases, but again, who knows, what is significant. That tells, however, about change in the rate of accumulation. Doing that one should avoid cherry picking done easily with these values.

        To reach some understanding it would be necessary to convert the absolute numbers to something comparable to other phenomena of interest. The change in average temperature of ocean water (0-700m or 0-2000m) is not particularly good although certainly informative for some purposes. Most informative might be telling the average heat flux in W/m^2 over the period as denizens are likely to have some experience on such numbers and some ability to compare the value to these other numbers.

      • Bob Droege, since you know that only the “known” anomaly may have doubled with a fairly large range of uncertainty, do you think saying , “ocean heat content doubled in 16 years.” might be a tad disingenuous? Alarmist even? It could inspire the less knowledgeable to drastic, unwarranted action.

      • Pekka,

        Thanks for the explaination.

        And thanks JCH for the question.

        It is stuff like this, where my understanding is expanded, even if only in a small degree, that has me reading this blog.

      • Pekka,
        I see you can be just as ignorant as I can be.

        You should know heat content is not linear with temperature right?
        A pound of ice at 0 C has the same heat content as a pound of water at 0 C right? Cause you just said heat content is linear with temperature. If only true means what I think it means.

        The question is, has it warmed since 1997?
        Which is warmer, a block of ice at 0 C or the same amount of water at 0 c?

        The oceans are warmer since 1997.

      • Captain Dallas,

        If you look at the graph, maybe you can find the button “figures with error bars”
        I would say the uncertainty is not too shabby.

      • That’s why I wrote “roughly”. I did set implicitly the scale of roughness as suitable for the case, which was unrealistic enough for this interpretation.

      • Pekka,
        Same reason I wrote “about”

      • From Levitus et al 2012:

        We use the term “ocean heat content” as opposed to “ocean heat content anomaly” used by some authors because “ocean heat content” is an anomaly by definition. OHC is always computed with a reference mean subtracted out from each temperature observation. Otherwise the OHC compu- tation depends on the temperature scale used. …

        We have estimated an increase of 24 X 10^22 J repre-
        senting a volume mean warming of 0.09C of the 0–2000 m
        layer of the World Ocean. If this heat were instantly trans-
        ferred to the lower 10 km of the global atmosphere it would
        result in a volume mean warming of this atmospheric layer by approximately 36 C (65 F). …

      • JCH,

        I had checked these numbers before, but didn’t save the results.

        The number that I consider perhaps most informative is the average rate of increase in OHC divided by the area of Earth including also land areas, because that number tells in more familiar way about that rate.

        From the NOAA curves we see that the estimated rate of increase in OHC (0-2000m) has been rather steadily about 0.75×10^22 J/year or 0.47 W/m^2. This can be compared with the typical estimate for the present overall imbalance of about 0.9 W/m^2 and with the AR5 SOD estimate on the anthropogenic forcing 2.4±0.6 W/m^2.

      • JCH, that dip post WWII was due to aerosols right :)

      • David Springer

        Pekka says change in heat content measured in Joules x 10^22 is not an informative metric for most people. Good so far. Then the weasel comes out and he carefully avoids the metric which is informative for most people – how much of a temperature anomaly it is. He’s got no problem, mind you, in talking anomaly temperatures for the atmosphere and does it all the time. So why is it not a good measure for the ocean? Because 5 gazillion Joules is a 0.2C mixed layer (top ~300 meters) surface temperature rise (Figure 10, Historical ocean heat content calculated from HadSST and OHC, Levitus, 2009).

        When those 5 gazillion joules are eventually distributed through the entire ocean not just the surface it becomes a 0.02C temperature rise. Be still my beating heart.

      • David Springer

        Bob Droege | December 20, 2012 at 1:11 pm |

        Pekka,
        I see you can be just as ignorant as I can be.

        You should know heat content is not linear with temperature right?
        A pound of ice at 0 C has the same heat content as a pound of water at 0 C right? Cause you just said heat content is linear with temperature. If only true means what I think it means.

        You aren’t even close to Pekka. He might be a weasel but he’s way smarter than you are. Sensible heat content for liquid water is linear, by the way. One calorie (~4 Joules) will raise the temperature of 1 gram of water by 1 degree C. Virtually all of the ocean is liquid so only a moron would try to make the point you did.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Pekka Pirilä:

        The formulation “the ocean heat content has doubled” is terrible and should never be used. I complained about that to R.Gates (I think it was him) and I complain again.

        Yup. R. Gates said the same thing a few weeks back, and you were confused. That’s one of the many times I’ve pointed out it out it makes no sense to say that.

        Bob Droege:

        Yeah, the amount has doubled, can’t you guys read a simple chart.

        Arrogance is such a funny thing. Bob Droege made a bone-headed mistake, and when people commented on it, he derided them for it.

    • Wagathon,

      Earth has been in a cooling trend for 50 million years!
      James Hansen’s Figure 1 here: http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2011/20110118_MilankovicPaper.pdf

      • Withal and one federal climatists out of billions on the planet and literally at the tail of human evolution steps forward and proclaims the current global temperature is ideal. Thank gawd for Western schoolteachers or who knows what would become of the world and all of the polar bears in the wild (not those that rained down on NY City streets from man’s inhumanity to bear and all other species on Earth).

      • Quite a bit of imagination in the paper.

  18. I can’t wrap my head around the meaning of the equation being used to calculate climate sensitivity, which is:

    Climate sensitivity = Total temperature rise / (Radiative Forcing (RF) – Earth heat uptake (HU))

    I can see the equation calculates something in units of C/wm-2 but I can’t understand how and why it is climate sensitivity. I assume I am missing something.

    I ran some examples to try and understand it, but obtained results that seemed counter-intuitive. Imagine this scenario over some 100 year period for example:

    Radiative forcing (RF) is 1wm-2.
    Earth heat uptake (HU) is 1wm-2.
    Total temperature rise is 0.7C
    0.7C / (RF – HU) = infinite climate sensitivity?

    Okay perhaps that wasn’t too great an example because RF = HC is perhaps a bit dodgy (although it seems feasible to me). But what about this:

    Radiative forcing (RF) is 1wm-2.
    Earth heat uptake (HU) is 0.9wm-2.
    Total temperature rise is 0.7C

    0.7C / (RF – HU) = 7C/wm-2 climate sensitivity?

    Why would a period having a radiative forcing of 1wm-2 and a heat uptake of 0.9wm-2 imply that a doubling of CO2 would result in 26C warming? Have I made a math error or am I using the equation wrong?

    I guess the problem is that I cannot figure what RF – HU produces. There was some mention of energy imbalance but I cannot see how energy imbalance can be calculated from radiative forcing and heat uptake.

    Couldn’t a 1wm-2 forcing result in a 3wm-2 ocean uptake before equilibrium is restored? How much higher the surface temperature is at that point provides climate sensitivity, but I don’t see how the ocean uptake and the forcing alone can provide that.

    So anyway, I expect this comment to be corrected.

    • steve fitzpatrick

      Current man-made GHG forcing ~3.1 watts/M^2
      Current heat accumulation ~0.5 watt/M^2
      Current aerosol offsets (AR5 SOD) ~0.8 watt/M^2
      Warming above pre-industrial ~0.85C

      Estimated sensitivity: 0.85/(3.1 – 0.5 – 0.8) = 0.472 C/watt/M^2, or ~1.75C per doubling of CO2.

      • what is the underlying basis for the equation. I can understand taking aerosol offsets from GHG forcing to get total forcing for example. Not sure though how (forcing – heat accumulation) relates to climate sensitivity.

    • lolwot
      Reading the Gregory et al. (2002) paper, which uses an essentially identical method of estimating climate sensitivity to that which I use, may help your understanding.

      http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/1520-0442%282002%29015%3C3117%3AAOBEOT%3E2.0.CO%3B2

      • so if I am reading it correctly the equation is based on the result of climate models. So do you have any confidence in the equation?

      • steve fitzpatrick

        lolwot,
        No, it is essentially a heat balance.
        heat in = heat accumulated + heat out.
        Models are in no way involved…. that is whole the point.

      • Not so, Gregory et al 2002 claim the equation is derived from models. Ie it’s a relationship that holds for all model output.

        If you argue the models are wrong then I don’t see how use of that equation can be supported.

  19. Recent observations suggest global temperature sensitivity to changes in CO2 levels is much less than that preached by climate fundamentalists.

    The problem of vested interests on the relationship between CO2 levels and global temperature is huge.

    Just for fun, let’s suppose the CO2 levels double and we can somehow ‘prove’ beyond all reasonable doubt its exact relationship with temperature, then the public reaction (see below) will respectively be: i) Yawn, ii) Hmm, or iii) Good grief, we have got to do something! So:

    1. 2.5 degrees C – Global Warming Industry’s gravy train stays/goes to full speed ahead.

    So whatever happens, the IPCC has to come up with a figure of >2.5 degrees C – after all, nothing else matters but the gravy train.

    What is clear is the amount we do not know, or understand, about our planet’s climate is an order of magnitude greater what we do know about it.

  20. yes if a cold period is followed by another cold period it tends to be grouped into the same cold period..innit?

  21. Apologies for the repeat post, but somehow some of it was omitted.

    Recent observations suggest global temperature sensitivity to changes in CO2 levels is much less than that preached by climate fundamentalists.

    The problem of vested interests on the relationship between CO2 levels and global temperature is huge.

    Just for fun, let’s suppose the CO2 levels double and we can somehow ‘prove’ beyond all reasonable doubt its exact relationship with temperature, then the public reaction (see below) will respectively be: i) Yawn, ii) Hmm, or iii) Good grief, we have got to do something! So:

    1. 2.5 degrees C – Global Warming Industry’s gravy train stays/goes to full speed ahead.

    So whatever happens, the IPCC has to come up with a figure of >2.5 degrees C – after all, nothing else matters but the gravy train.

    What is clear is the amount we do not know, or understand, about our planet’s climate is an order of magnitude greater what we do know about it.

    • Total warming = CO2 (and other GHGs) emitted x warming per doubling of CO2. Don’t forget the first part because frankly I don’t think CO2 level will stop at 600ppm.

  22. Same error – There is something wrong here – I think there has to be an alarmist worm at this site.

  23. Someone tell the federal climatists that the oceans are cooling. And, when the oceans are cooling there is no global warming.

  24. Pingback: Why doesn’t the AR5 SOD’s climate sensitivity range reflect its new aerosol estimates? | Watts Up With That?

  25. Judith: Certainly you must recognize that a climate sensitivity of 2.0-4.5 degC has been settled science for two decades. Governments are depending on that settle science to restrict CO2 emissions. Isn’t it obvious that the IPCC will need at least 95% confidence that the current range is incorrect before changing it and undermining public confidence in earlier reports? After all, 95% confidence is the normal standard used in science.

    • Frank

      “Settled science” flies out of the window with new scientific evidence (Feynman).

      It appears to me that the new “scientific evidence” is suggesting that water vapor feedback is not as strong as had been estimated by the models previously and that net cloud feedback may be neutral to slightly negative, rather than strongly positive, as predicted previously by the models.

      The net effect of this new information is that the model-derived (2xCO2) ECS may have been overestimated by a factor of 2 or so, and that a more correct estimate might be 1.6 to 1.7C rather than 3.2C.

      IPCC faces a real dilemma. As our hostess has concluded, it cannot simply “sweep this under the rug” without totally losing credibility (since it has been leaked out there); yet, if it concedes that previous estimated of ECS were exaggerated by a factor of 2, it also risks losing credibility for having made such a critical error in the past. And, even more painful, it will be forced to reduce all the future warming projections in the SPM report significantly.

      This one is not going to simply “go away” and either way, IPCC loses.

      I personally think IPCC will lose less by openly conceding that clouds have always been “the largest source of uncertainty” and that it now appears that some of tis “uncertainty” is being cleared up, with the models no longer predicting a net positive cloud feedback as before. In addition, it now appears that water vapor feedback, while still positive and robust, is likely to be weaker than previously estimated by the models. While the resulting ECS as predicted by the models will still be within the previously estimated range, it appears that the mean ECS estimate will now be closer to the lower end of this range.

      Doing this would involve a slight “loss of face” for past exaggerations, but this can be explained away rather easily.

      The more unpleasant part will be
      – to revise the statement made in AR4 that “most of the warming since ~1950 was caused by increased human GHG concentrations”, possibly replacing “most” with “a significant part” and/or revising the time frame to make it fit better and
      – to re-estimate the future warming projections accordingly

      However, if they try to “tough it out” and “sweep this under the rug”, it will backfire IMO, possibly killing IPCC completely.

      Just my opinion.

      Max

      • Max,my previous bombshell reaction was about the implications of all this for latter 20th century attribution

      • Max: My point (written with some sarcasm) was that the defenders of the consensus will require a much higher confidence to report a change in the consensus than was required to create the consensus in the first place. The political repercussion of admitting that it is “likely” that earlier estimates of ECS should have included 1.5-2.0 and that the middle estimate should have been lower means that they won’t mention the subject. If the evidence becomes very “extremely likely”, then they will be forced to say something – but not necessarily something unambiguous. We’ve known for awhile that it is “likely” that the hot spot in the upper tropical troposphere doesn’t exist, but the IPCC doesn’t have to comment on such weak evidence. That’s why Santer et al went to great lengths to prove Douglass et al supposedly miscalculated statistical significance. The current pause in warming makes it “likely” or “very likely” that the IPCC’s models are running hotter than observations. I haven’t seen what the IPCC says about either of these subjects.

        Every phenomena is either “more likely than not” or “less likely than not”. One-sixth of the time, a study will qualify for “likely” merely by a chance arrangement of the data (and this can happen far more frequently when investigator bias slips in). This leaves IPCC great flexibility in what it wants to discuss and especially what it chooses to include in the Summary for Policymakers. Of course, they will tough it out or sweep it under the rug. It’s worked in the past. The true-believers aren’t deserting and the political opposition is dominated by “deniers”, not “lukewarmers”.

      • Never forget the political will; the centralization of power dreamed of by those pushing the CAGW social mania is very attractive and seductive. Sic semper tyrannis.
        =============

      • manacker | December 19, 2012 at 8:00 pm said: ”It appears to me that the new “scientific evidence” is suggesting that water vapor feedback is not as strong as had been estimated by the models previously and that net cloud feedback may be neutral to slightly negative, rather than strongly positive, as predicted previously by the models”

        Max, your new “scientific evidence” is same doo-doo as the previous. The honest ”scientific evidence” which of course comes from me; it always said:: ” water vapor makes days cooler / nights warmer – as a shock absorber! the overall GLOBAL temp stays the same. If you take the temp in Brazil and Sahara, on same latitude; FOR EVERY MINUTE IN 24h, would be the same. without water vapor; days are hotter, but night are cooler – is it so difficult to understand the truth? is the truth so scary???::

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

    • Frank, do you think it fair to say the on-going (accelerating?) leak in the credibility of the IPPC makes this arduous task even more arduous,? ultimately imo successful implementation of mitigation policies and subsequent compliance depends on it, the rot must be stopped and reversed at some point for a “successful” outcome.

      • DMC: For me, personally, the rot must be stopped by some dramatic act(s). I’m a big proponent of Feynman’s and Schneider’s descriptions of scientific ethics, and by their definitions the authors of the IPCC reports are “telling scary stories, etc.; things Schneider claims are acceptable when one wants to make the world a better place. Unfortunately, those things clearly aren’t science and they aren’t acceptable when writing a scientific report – the only justification for the IPCC’s existence. Judith doesn’t want a witch-hunt, but my profession has been corrupted by politics.

        However, the best strategy for successfully dealing with my views (and possibly those of other educated skeptics) may not be the best strategy for passing legislation. I’d guess I’m irrelevant (at best) as an indicator of the right strategy for the public as a whole, if not a contra-indicator. I personally prefer McKitrick’s proposal for a carbon tax that rises as the climate warms and which is fully rebated equally to every citizen. Individuals and companies are free to invest in low-carbon technology as they see fit, following the advice of the IPCC’s scientists or perhaps other scientists whom they find more credible. McKitrick wants a tax which is driven by the environmental damage GHGs are causing; I’d prefer something that increased dramatically as catastrophe approaches (or doesn’t approach). Since I don’t see appreciable damage today, I don’t believe that 1 degC more warming will be catastrophic. At the current rate of warming, we have about a century before a possibly catastrophic warming occurs (2 degC more) so a modest, but not extreme, carbon tax wouldn’t be unreasonable. If it’s 0.8 degC warmer in 2030 and we are 30 years away from possible catastrophe, the carbon tax should have risen to levels that eliminate the rule out the use of fossil fuels for electricity and most transportation.

    • David Springer

      Water vapor is indeed a shock absorber as you describe but it isn’t neutral. Mean annual temperature at the same latitude is higher in arid regions than humid regions. The record high mean annual temperature ever recorded occured in Dullal, Ethiopia from 1960 – 1966. Dullal is an equatorial salt desert at ~8 degrees north latitude, averages about 100 feet below sea level, and has 1-3 inches of annual rainfall making it one of the dryest places on the planet. The record mean annual temperature was 34.5C. No mean ocean surface temperature even approaches that number with 30C being the max. Adding insult to injury the record was set 50 years ago when CO2 in the atmosphere over Dullal was some 20% lower than it is today. All that additional CO2 hasn’t been enough to set a new record. There was almost zero rain in Dullal from 1960-1966 and that was why the record was set back then.

  26. Pingback: Quote of the week | Watts Up With That?

  27. He who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it a second and third time, till at length it becomes habitual; he tells lies without attending to it, and truths without the world’s believing him. This falsehood of tongue leads to that of the heart, and in time depraves all its good dispositions. – Letter to Peter Carr (19 August 1785) Thomas Jefferson

    • “Honesty is one of the better policies”

    • Or as my dad told my brothers and I – There are three things you never want to give people reason for calling you – a liar, a cheat and a thief.

      I’m tempted to make the smart ass remark that being called a climate scientist seems to automatically get you two of the three and if you want to include Dr Glieck as a climate scientist, you could possibly get the trifecta. But that would mean allowing the few to tarnish all of the rest.

      Speaking of tarnish – what’s Stephan Lewandowski been doing of late?

  28. 30% of the Sun’s energy is reflected away (if not we’d all be toast): 2/3s by clouds and a 1/3 by the Earth’s surface. The Sun has been anomalously quiescent for a while now. Acoording to Henrik Svensmark, “global warming stopped and a cooling is beginning,” and that is why Svensmark and Nigel Calder were trying to get the word out that we should, “enjoy global warming while it lasts,” because it ain’t ‘gonna last forever.

  29. Judith Curry

    Although you have not billed it as such, it appears that this post could well be the “bombshell”, to which you alluded earlier – and, yes, I would agree with you that it is good that this story is being “leaked” along with the SOD.

    It appears to me that IPCC is “between a rock and a hard spot”. Enough evidence has been leaked to suggest that the mean (2xCO2) equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) value of 3.2C, as previously estimated, will likely have to be reduced significantly.

    A reduced positive feedback from water vapor and a neutral to negative net feedback from cloud would reduce the ECS to the 1.6-1.7C range.

    This still lies within the current IPCC range of 1.5C to 4.5C, albeit at the very bottom of the range.

    If this new lower value is now adopted by IPCC, the impact on the temperature projections for 2100 in the AR5 SPM would be dramatic. These would be reduced to values below the 2C threshold everyone has been so concerned about.

    You suggest that IPCC cannot just “sweep this under the rug”, but we’ll have to wait and see how IPCC addresses this new dilemma. In any case, I think this is wonderful news for everyone.

    CAGW skeptics should be happy to see their skepticism has been validated, while those who supported the IPCC premise should be relieved that the “C” has been taken out of CAGW and that the failure to agree on global mitigation actions at Doha may not have been such a bad thing, after all.

    A true win-win situation for everyone.

    So let’s see how IPCC decide to handle it.

    Max

  30. The climate models used by the IPCC needs a climate sensitivity of about 3 C because only in this way the chosen readiative forcing functions are able to reproduce the about 0.8-0.9 C warming since 1850.

    However, this same models fail to reproduce the natural cyclical variability of the climate system at many time scales from the decadal to the multidecadal, secular and millennial scale. Because of this failure it is possible to demonstrate that about half of the warming since 1850 is associated to these natural oscillations. As a consequence the real climate sensitivity is less than 1.5 C.

    These issues are discussed in my papers. For example,

    Scafetta N., 2009. Empirical analysis of the solar contribution to global mean air surface temperature change. Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics 71, 1916-1923.

    Scafetta N., 2010. Empirical evidence for a celestial origin of the climate oscillations and its implications. Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics 72, 951-970.

    Scafetta N., 2012. Testing an astronomically based decadal-scale empirical harmonic climate model versus the IPCC (2007) general circulation climate models. Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics 80, 124-137.

    Empirical models based on these oscillations, which I demonstrated to have a very-likely astronomical origin, reconstruct climate change far better than any IPCC GCMs, and properly predicted the post-2000 steady temperature.

    Details are found here:

    http://people.duke.edu/~ns2002/#astronomical_model

    http://people.duke.edu/~ns2002/#astronomical_model_1

    The AR5 SOD is highly misleading and does not correspond to the published literature, but promotes only the AGW one.

  31. So the IPCC have formalized the claim that, were it not for Chinese air pollution, the global temperature rise would be higher than it has been, justifying more actual sensitivity to CO2 than we appear to observe. So the warming aspects of the GCMs are actually correct in their view, but the cooling, aerosol component we have experienced was underestimated in the models. And indicating what WHEN China improves its air quality, global temperature will immediately roast.

    Sounds like a second stage of historical curve matching. The proper, interative approach of science to determine what does and doesn’t count. Requiring more time, more research, a new period of observations to compare with the predicted outcome of the new mix of variables. And giving yourself another 20 years of activity, for surely the new hypothesis needs 20 years of observation before this new set of variables may be deemed falsified.

    Accept the differences noted, deny the value of the differences noted. “That was then, this is now.” All-in-all, like your stockbroker telling you why NOW he’s got your perfect investment strategy.

    Otherwise known as moving the goalposts.

    It’s actually very scientific. Only the iterative process in science generally doesn’t come with such a proposed social cost.

  32. When I see the phrase “equilibrium climate sensitivity”, it’s clear to me the writer has no understanding of the meaning of either equilibrium or climate sensitivity. The latter is no more an equilibrium parameter than the conductivity of a 1M KCl solution. Were I to be generous, I might suppose a steady-state sensitivity was really meant, but steady-states are not equilibrium states and require a steady input of energy to prevent their relaxation towards equilibrium. It is the dissipation of this energy which goes to the heart of understanding climate sensitivity.

    It has been increasingly apparent to many observers that something is wrong with the theory underlying computer simulations – and it’s not just a matter of parametric tunings for aerosols, etc. I can see two worthy questions for technical discussion and resolution wrt to the whole GHG fiasco.

    1. Why is current AGW/CAGW theory wrong and how are its shortcomings manifest in its conclusions?

    2. Is there a better analytical approach?

    As to the first, mathematical descriptions of convection and feedback do not yet rise to the level of even being wrong.

    As to the second, I believe there is. Current models are formulated in terms of the differential calculus – beloved of all programmers. For the analysis of complex problems, the integral calculus has some distinct advantages – e.g. thermodynamics. An elementary example: the Carnot equation for the maximum amount of useful work obtainable from a heat engine operating between two given temperatures. Within such an engine, convection is surely involved. Here we have a rigorous result for a process which has yet to be understood microscopically but can still be described in terms of a functional relation between surface fluxes and potentials.

    Without spoiling your fun, I offer you three postulates:
    Ju = Jf + TJs
    div Ju = 0
    div Js = Ju dot grad(1/T)

    The first is a Helmholtz expression connecting local flux densities of energy, free energy, and entropy. The second, a definition for the steady state. The third, Onsager’s expression for the local creation of entropy.

    From these postulates, one can derive a rigorous expression for the climate sensitivity of any system bounded by two isothermal surfaces through which only energy enters and departs.
    Hint: define sensitivity as the change in free energy dissipation wrt the temperature of the warmer interface.

    IMO: If you want to talk about climate sensitivity show the math, not the rhetoric.

    PDQ

    • looks interesting, do you have any interest on expanding on this in a guest post

    • Whilst I agree with you, that there is something wrong with the assumptions underlying the computer models, your maths don’t work in a dynamic system.

      You are ignoring the temporal element of the reaction to the change in energy and subsequent imbalance in the system. In the Earth’s case feedbacks may run from fairly instant to thousands of years to kick in. Kind of buggers up your math unless you know the exact figures and scale.

      Alan

      • Actually, I think his math will work, but it has to consider the “common” isothernal surfaces of the oceans/atmosphere. There is a system inside a system with dissipation between the two. Alternately, you could consider just the oceans which really drives people nuts, but provides a pretty good estimate :)

    • Quondam,

      There are many kind of equilibriums, full equilibriums and partial equilibriums. A full thermodynamic equilibrium is only one of the uses of the word.

      ECS does not refer to full thermodynamic equilibrium states but the states that have the partial equilibrium in Earth energy balance.

      Another question is, which parts of the comments of Nic Lewis do really refer to ECS and which might apply better to TCR (Transient Climate Response), for which AR5 SOD gives the estimated range as very likely larger than 1C and very unlikely greater than 3C.

    • David L. Hagen

      Quondam
      Look forward to your writeup.
      Thermodynamics enables modeling the earth as a heat engine driving the winds by the equator to pole temperature difference.
      Earth as a heat engine
      Reference to this paper should be made as follows: Clausse, M., Meunier F., Reis, A.H. and Bejan, A. (2012) ‘Climate change, in the framework of the constructal law’, Int. J. Global Warming, Vol. 4, Nos. 3/4, pp.242–260.

      Abstract: Here we present a simple and transparent alternative to the complex models of earth’s thermal behaviour under time-changing conditions. We show the one-to-one relationship between changes in atmospheric properties and time-dependent changes in temperature and its distribution on earth. The model accounts for convection and radiation, thermal inertia and changes in albedo (ρ) and greenhouse factor (γ). The constructal law is used as the principle that governs the evolution of fl ow configuration on earth. The model showed that for two time-dependent scenarios, (δρ = 0.002; δγ = 0.011) and (δρ = 0.002; δγ = 0.005) the predicted equatorial and polar temperature increases and the time scales are (ΔTH = 1.16 K; ΔTL = 1.11 K; 104 years) and (0.41 K; 0.41 K; 57 years), respectively. A continuous model of temperature variation was used to predict the thermal response of the Earth’s surface to changes bounded by δρ = δγ and δρ = −δγ. The poleward heat current reaches its maximum in the vicinity of 35° latitude, accounting for the position of the Ferrel cell between the Hadley and Polar Cells.

      Other authors have also examined earth as a heat engine.

      T – Wind – LOD/
      Those wind changes in turn impact the earth’s rotational momentum and consequently the Length Of Day (LOD). That LOD is a hard constraint on “climate sensitivity” (though maybe not that sensitive.) Ocean temperatures/CO2 relationship also constrains

      See Mazzarella A., A. Giuliacci and N. Scafetta, 2012. Quantifying the Multivariate ENSO Index (MEI) coupling to CO2 concentration and to the length of day variations. Theoretical Applied Climatology, in press.
      DOI: 10.1007/s00704-012-0696-9. PDF.

      • Quondam has a write-up and linked to it a few months ago.

        I went through it and recall that it did not mention the radiative spectral properties of GHGs, which basically doom these thermodynamic theories to the dust bin.

        Add to that, the fact that I really doubt this Quandam character will partake in any discussion, as it looks like another one of these stinkbombs thrown in the mix, disguised to look like a brilliant rebuttal to conventional science.

        Google quandam for this site and you should be able to find his paper. Sorry but I have a steel trap for a mind on these kinds of things and am always on the lookout for interesting perspectives.

      • Webster, “I went through it and recall that it did not mention the radiative spectral properties of GHGs, which basically doom these thermodynamic theories to the dust bin.”

        Not really. If he defines his “envelope” or isothermal boundaries properly, the type of transfer doesn’t matter, just the total. Then instead of trying to micromanage CO2 radiant forcing, he just changes the net dissipation to see the impact.

        Non-equilibrium thermodynamics allows some creativity. He could even say, use a static model “balancing” isothermal boundaries or envelopes considering, radiantless, mixed or radiant only transfer. The trick is defining the “envelope” and what is entropy with respect to that envelope. Note his HINT. It is really a matter of bookkeeping.

      • The radiative properties of gray bodies will trump any spatiotemporal layer you put in the mix. Statistical mechanics is laughing at what you are trying to prove with these second order shenanigans.

        I recall it was you that once said that the 33 degree warming was actual something like 60 or 70 C, brought down to 33 by lapse rate arguments. Your problem, Cappy Dick is that you are all over the map, and you can’t deal with people that are onto your charade of constant misdirection and scientific word salad.

        If you actually have something, spit it out in understandable mathematical physics. It can be done if you have the talent.

        Watch how Quondam at least tries. Not successfully imo, but at least he put his thoughts down on paper in respectable math-speak.

      • Webster, ” Your problem, Cappy Dick is that you are all over the map, and you can’t deal with people that are onto your charade of constant misdirection and scientific word salad.”

        You are such a hoot! When I first mentioned thermodynamic boundary layers I could see you eyes glazed over. When I first mentioned “envelopes” to Pekka, he said, “I don’t think in terms of envelopes”.

        It is not rocket science partner, there are two greenhouses, requiring two models, with “envelopes” that change with respect to each other. We don’t live on a billiard ball. Note that latent is now estimated north of 85Wm-2 and relative humidity is not remaining constant. Stick that in your Fickiian pipe and smoke it!

      • Hey Webster, a little thought experiment :)

        Which world do you live in?

      • No one understands your lazy abstractions and no one cares to because they realize they will not be rewarded with any deeper insight than, yes, variations exist and mean value models work surprisingly well.

      • Webster, “yes, variations exist and mean value models work surprisingly well.”

        What limits the models? Wouldn’t that be the absolute values used to determine the means? By assuming that the absolute value of the “average” surface temperature common to both the atmosphere and oceans is 4-5 C lower than the actual, there would be considerable error wouldn’t there?

        Then assuming that the oceans are a sink and not considering that the oceans as system of their own that sink to the poles, you would get more error. You have to consider both systems, period.

        There a quite a few ways you can set models up, but with the wrong initial values you will get spurious results.

    • “…any system bounded by two isothermal surfaces through which only energy enters and departs.”

      The clunker is that water in various forms transits the lower surface in both directions.

      • Exactly, since there is no isothermal boundary that is common to both the liquid and gas phases that includes the estimated effective radiant layer of CO2, you have two models, water and air, moist model and then a dry air radiant model.

        In effect you have two greenhouses to consider which is humorously exactly what we have. Funny huh?

    • For the record, it might be helpful to clear up few misconceptions.

      1. A core assumption is that our system is in a steady-state. If boundary conditions are time-dependent this can not rigorously true, steady-state concepts such as forcings, lapse rates, sensitivity, dissipation, etc. will be time-dependent functions and the quest for ‘constant’ values rather meaningless. This also is relevant to material transport across bounding interfaces. For a steady state, no material transport means there is no net flux in one door and out the other. If there were such a flux, we would have an additional dissipation mechanism to consider. As with equilibrium ensembles, fluctuations in energy, matter, temperature do occur. We think we understand these fluctuations when near equilibrium, but I wouldn’t place any bets for steady states outside this region.

      2. When the word equilibrium is used explicitly in the context of the ratio of an energy flux to a temperature, the default implication is one is talking about thermodynamic equilibrium.

      3. The expression, “two isothermal surfaces”, was intended to mean that each of two surface regions has a given temperature spanning its own bounded area, not that the two regions have identical temperatures. If you can follow the math in the link given, you find we are invoking an integration over the bounding surface of a 3-dimensional object on which there are only two regions through which energy may enter or depart. One could as well write down expressions for n regions, but the physical relevance is not self-evident, e.g. a Carnot engine with multiple I/O’s?

      4. WRT Eggert’s problem, the condition that only radiative energy transport is allowed is a puzzlement. At face value it requires that no energy can be transfered via collisions, i.e. no thermal conductivity, no viscosity, no diffusion… Even for CO2, there is no mechanism for the transfer of energy from rotational/vibrational degrees of freedom to translational motion which has no coupling with a radiation field.

      A more classic problem involves a vacuum containing n parallel plates insulated from each other. The two bounding plates have specified temperatures. Find the steady-state solution for the temperature of each intervening plate and the energy flux between plate i and plate i+1. (Hint: it better be independent of i.)

      5. The notion that radiative fluxes are exempt from thermodynamic limits is a new one. It is well-known that you can not focus radiation from the sun to achieve a temperature hotter than the sun. Ditto for earthly radiation. A less well-known corollary is that there is a thermodynamic limit for an optical system of f/0.5 – the requisite to approach this limit.

  33. Quondam – Reading your comment reminded me of an interesting problem posed by John Eggert on his blog. Please can I point you towards it – I would be interested to see someone post a model solution there. Thanks.

    http://johneggert.wordpress.com/2011/09/24/how-well-do-you-understand-radiant-heat-transfer/

    • Eggert’s problem isn’t, since the temperature, pressure and volume are fixed, the only thing that will change is the specific heat capacity of the gas in the volume.

      A better problem is a balloon inside a balloon. If you change the percentage of CO2 in the outer balloon how much does the volume of each balloon change? What impact does that have on the temperature of each balloon?

      If the inside balloon is filled with water (virtually incompressible) and you add CO2 to the outer balloon while magically maintaining the exact energy flow into the water, then you have the greenhouse problem. The water balloon cannot lose heat as quickly because the outer balloon can hold more heat, the outer balloon volume expands.

      If you stop adding energy to the water balloon and put them in a freezer, it drops in temperature until it hits freezing, then the temperature remains at zero, if it is fresh water, until all of the water is frozen. The inside balloon expands as it freezes while the outer balloon volume decreases as it cools. What CO2 impact has, is totally dependent on the energy flow, it is a steady state system variable.

      So what Quondum is proposing is comparing what happens to both balloons. What the “greenhouse effect” assumes, is that the two balloons are concentric and that the energy applied to both is uniform. That is not the case.

  34. ‘Thought fer Today.’

    “Honesty is one of the better policies.”

    H/T Max Anacker.
    (Not that this means you git the TfT Franchise, Max,
    I pay Tony Brown good money fer it. )

  35. Climate Weemine

    The seasonal response indicates 2.5 C warming corresponds to 3.7 W/m^2 increased emission to space. While this is an analog, it is not an example. But the range of both temperature and IR emission give great confidence sensitivity much more concisely than the IPCC ramblings.

  36. This argument has also been going on for circumstances a few steps away from the present.
    Glaciations in the Ordovician and Devonian were apparently accompanied by high [compared with now] levels of atmospheric CO2. For a good part of the Ordovician CO2 was around 5000-6000ppm. However the problem can be resolved by bringing in modellers who can lower your CO2 at the appropriate times and appealing to lower solar luminosity. 3000ppm CO2 then is worth 500ppm CO2 now.
    Not much discussion of the influence of aerosols though…

    see for example Royer D. 2006 Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 70 pp5665-5675

    Curious point in Fig 3A of this paper. Despite stating that there is no CO2 data near the time of the Devonian glaciation [there are values of 1000ppm and 1300ppm before and after the glaciation], and surmising that perhaps 2000ppm CO2 would be low enough to allow permanent ice to form the graph shows a value of below 500ppm for the late Devonian.

  37. Perhaps there should be some effort to get the IPCC to divide the work ECS and TCS into several sections: Estimates derived from observation, estimates from observations combined with inverse studies, estimates from paleoclimatology, estimates from the IPCC’s official GCMs, and estimates from ensembles of climate models designed to survey “parameter space” and better assess uncertainty.

  38. Manacker writes: “AGW skeptics should be happy to see their skepticism has been validated, while those who supported the IPCC premise should be relieved that the “C” has been taken out of CAGW and that the failure to agree on global mitigation actions at Doha may not have been such a bad thing, after all.”

    You would think so, wouldn’t you? But of course most of them won’t buy it. It’s much too painful for them to admit they might be wrong. Does lolwot seem happy to you? Many of them would rather we all go down in flames.

    • It’s much too painful for them to admit they might be wrong.

      No doubt. They’d be terribly disappointed if millions of people weren’t certain to be displaced by sea level rise, if millions wouldn’t die in droughts and severe storms, if food shortages due to weather extremes never came about, etc. Reminds me of all those libz who wanted all their friends and family to die in terrorist attacks just to make Bush look bad.

      • Joshua, you alarmist you. The 1.5 in the 1.5 to 4.5 assumes that the basic no feedback climate sensitivity is 1.5 period. The 4.5 is basically the missing water vapor feedback. The range was created by averaging the estimates of Manabe and Hansen and has no physical meaning. It is a guestimate. If Manabe were right, the range would be ~0.8 to 3, a lot closer to the current reality. If Hansen were right, the range would be ~2.5 to 5, the range that is more an more unlikely.

        So you are assuming that the guestimate is science. It is not, it is politics.

      • “Roll on the next El Nino! Cheers Phil.”
        Yes, warmists will be disappointed if there’s no AGW. Sad, but true.

      • Josh,

        Your comment would carry more weight if the part about millions being displaced by sea level rise or dying due to drought and severe storms was in fact certain. Or even probable.

        Oh well. Hope you have a good Christmas holiday and/or Hanukah and a happy and healthy new year.

    • Yes, and the fact that the CAGW social mania is a war on the poor flies right past them. I’ve come to realize that there is an unconscious block, because many of the alarmists would otherwise fiercely protest their concern for the poor.
      ============

      • No kim – you’re being too kind. They know full-well that it is a war on the poor. Their specific intent is to starve poor children. Even if they didn’t get pleasure from the prospect (which obviously they do), it wouldn’t matter as the only thing they care about is creating a one-world, communist/socialist/statist/autoritarian/eco-Nazi/Luddite/ government.

        Poor people, schmoor people is the most common refrain heard from those CAGWers.

      • The theme is clearly there, J. The CAGW social mania is a ‘Precious Conceit of the Western Elite’, but I use both ‘precious’ and ‘conceit’ in a somewhat archaic fashion, so I am rarely understood. Too bad, the phrase resonates, and I’m a slave to art.
        ================

      • Kim precious conceit is hubris applied to western civilisations.

      • Tiptoe through the tulips,
        Eyes on the skies;
        Footing is faulty,
        Prat flat fall fat.
        =========

      • Thanks Kim for another great thought to mull over for a day! Beth is also giving some great stuff and filled in handily in your recent absence.

      • David Springer

        Actually they want to reduce the human population to “sustainable” levels. There’s term to describe people like you, Joshua. The term is “misanthrope”. Not to mention you’re another kind of mis – a misogynist. You don’t hate all useless eaters equally. You hate female useless eaters especially thus your stalking horse behavior towards the hostess of this blog.

  39. After all the calculations, climate sensitivity in AR 5 will remain as it has for the past 30 years: so sayeth IPCC. It is imperative that IPCC remains firm on climate sensitivity regardless of the cross winds, because?…EPA made an Endangerment Finding in court filings based upon the science of IPCC. EPA has no science of its own to back the Endangerment Finding. If IPCC goes back on its science “…ahhh….we goofed on the high side kinda…” EPA has no basis to promulgate CO2 limiting regulations. EPA can regulate fine particles from smokestacks and exhaust pipes, but not CO2 if IPCC wimps away. Replacement wind and solar no longer have a reason to be subsidized. Nuclear, gas, coal are all back on the energy table. China won out by being obstinate. Congressional gridlock won out by doing nothing. And, Environmentalism will drift back to walking swamps, counting frogs, spelunking for bats and such things. Not very sexy when your not out saving the world.

    IPCC will remain stoic on its 1.5 to 4.5 C climate sensitivity because it is a governmental and political agency and EPA needs IPCC’s help because it too is a governmental and political agency. A few political heads may role, but the most important thing is that the agency endures.

    Dollars to donuts I’m right.

    BTW the BEST glazed donuts anywhere are in my town!

    • And what town is that?

      I’ve heard that Voodoo Donuts in Portland Oregon has a pretty good claim to best donuts. Although Top Hat Donuts in Seattle is also highly rated.

      Personally, I can’t say as I try to stay away from donuts after being told I was Type II diabetic.

  40. Curious George

    Is there a publicly available dataset of OBSERVED albedo data over the last 20 years or so? I mean the fraction of solar energy over the whole Earth surface immediately reflected back to space, not absorbed .. not sure if albedo is the right term.

  41. Willis Eschenbach

    Classic. The range of the best estimate of the climate sensitivity hasn’t gotten any narrower in the last thirty years or so. In any reasonable endeavor, this lack of progress would suggest some fundamental misunderstanding, and would lead to a re-examination of the basic tenets of the conventional paradigm in the hopes of finding what was wrong.

    Instead, in climate science …

    Crickets.

    w.

    • Scott Basinger

      There’s no profit in narrowing this from ‘certain doom’. I think you’re thinking about the wrong endeavor.

  42. I can remember a time when I was ridiculed @ ClimateAudit, not unanimously though, for suggesting that not only did we not know the magnitude of the water vapor and cloud feedbacks, but that we did not even know the sign.
    ===============

  43. It’s my own tiny, inconsequential tale, but it has meaning to me. I’ve lost 1 close friend over this, and have alienated 2 more, perhaps irreparably. They all think I’m nuts. Of course perhaps they’re right, but not about this issue. The more convinced they are, the more demonstrably clueless as to the most basic stuff. They read the NYT’s and watch MSNBC and consider themselves educated. Sad really. And these are not dumb people. Just deeply misguided.

    • pokerguy – yup. I asked somebody once what they would consider proof that the CAGW meme was invalid and they replied “nothing can do that”. A usually sane, rational, successful, well educated person who has unwittingly found a faith without realising it.

      • An extraordinary popular delusion and a madness of the crowd.
        =================

      • Curious,
        In order to prove the CAGW meme invalid, one would have to prove that CO2 does not affect temperature. You realize that is a tall order. Lots of consensus science on that one. The argument being how much and what is the temperature rise that would be considered catastrophic.

        At least the IPCC still puts error bars on their estimate of ECS, what are the error estimates for the 1.6 or 1.7 figure?
        Even if it is 1.6, that is enough to seriously reduce the size of the Greenland Ice Sheet, and the rate of mass loss from that is still doubling every 10 years.
        Me, I’m skeptical of the evidence that ECS is as low as 1.7.
        So I’m a skeptic.

      • Bob, “In order to prove the CAGW meme invalid, one would have to prove that CO2 does not affect temperature.”

        Yeah, or you could just prove that the majority of alarmists are idiots by quoting their past 95% confidence levels.

      • Scott Basinger

        Bob Droege: No. In order to prove *C*AGW invalid, one only needs to disprove the ‘C’. CO2 definitely increases radiative feedback. The question is how much when you consider the entire earth climate system. A small amount disproves ‘C’ and we can adapt fairly easily. A large amount is what’s being sold as gospel.

        Measurements in nature are rapidly mounting evidence against ‘C’ and undermining the true faith in models.

        Since you brought up the 95% CI, you’ll be surprised to find that the multi-model mean is rapidly falling outside of the 95% CI when compared with measurements in nature over the past 16 years.

      • Bob,

        Though Scott has already shown that you have it wrong, I’ll add that all one has to do to disprove CAGW is point to the lack of any of the C conditions having manifested themselves.

        Inundated coastal plains

        Millions of climate refugees

        Increases in droughts, flooding, tropical storms.

        Vanishing species.

        Disappearing islands.

        Glacier free Himalyas.

        So far, only Arctic ice melt has come close to matching the many predictions of C and to be honest, no one has shown what is exactly catastrophic about Arctic ice melt.

      • Scott,
        Why don’t you look at the uncertainty measurements for the last 16 years, for your so called measurements in nature.

        you got bumpkis

      • Captain,
        I quote 95% confidence intervals knowing that one time in twenty I will be wrong.

      • timg56,
        just one question,
        What time last week were all these calamties predicted to be happening?

        And the vanishing Arctic sea ice has been accused of causing Sandy’s left hook. Trial in progress, would you like to step up and defend?

        If not for AGW, Sandy would have been a fish storm.

      • And one more thing,
        There is a historical correlation between sea level and an ice free arctic.
        The last time the arctic was ice free, sea level was significantly higher.

      • Bob,

        RE trials – my youngest brother is the attorney in the family. formerly a US Attorney. I’ll defer to him.

        But I’m sure I can provide some consulting advice – particularly in demolishing claims that Sandy is a reasonble exhibit for claiming AGW impacts.

        I have a question. After hearing repeatedly that weather is not climate and therefore individual weather events are not proof or even evidence of climate change, how come we are now being told they are?

      • Bob, “Captain,
        I quote 95% confidence intervals knowing that one time in twenty I will be wrong.”

        Then “If not for AGW, Sandy would have been a fish storm.”

        So you just mix in the BS for effect :)

      • Timg56,
        So I can presume you can present evidence that Sandy was a run of the mill storm and can provide examples of simular storms from the historical record?

        I think there is evidence that AGW has caused the decline in arctic sea ice, which may be responsible for the changes seen in the paths of the jet stream, which may be responsible for the blocking high over Greenland which was responsible for Sandy’s left turn.

        I know, too many weasley words, but higher sea surface temperatures caused a stronger (or at least bigger) storm.

        But lets hear your evidence that AGW had nothing to do with Sandy.

      • Scott Basinger

        Hi Bob,
        I wouldn’t call the multi-model mean being right on the edge of the 95% CI if you use NCDC as ‘bupkis’.

        http://rankexploits.com/musings/2012/trends-relative-to-models/

      • Ah,
        Scott,
        You cite evidence that 4 models are underestimating the global temperature trend.
        You make my point, you see Lucia is not showing the error bars for the trends she show on her graphs, just a narrow green line for the NCDC.
        That is my main point about trends for the last 15 years or so, all the skeptics (or quite a few anyway) point to the trends for the last 15 years or so and don’t provide the uncertainty measurements.

      • David Springer

        Hey Bob. Here’s a mind blower for ya.

        Sandy would have been worse without AGW. Prove that wrong!

        Dumbass.

      • Bob,

        What evidence is there that Sandy was any different than previous big storms to hit the NE? Yes it was exceptionally big in area. And while not rated as a hurricane it did have a surge of a medium sized hurricane. But where is the evidence the surge was due to global warming (sea level rise)? What is fact is the storm hit the NE at high tide on a full moon. Unless you are claiming that the timing could only have occurred because of our changed climate, there isn’t much to hang one’s hat on over that.

        You say that there is evidence that AGW has caused the decline in arctic sea ice, which may be responsible for the changes seen in the paths of the jet stream, which may be responsible for the blocking high over Greenland which was responsible for Sandy’s left turn. My response would be yes to the first point. There is most certainly evidence for the first and the rest of the chain is plausible, even if mostly theory. There is also both theory and evidence that hurricanes will be less likely to hit the US in a warming climate.

        I would not argue that AGW had no effect with regard to Sandy. I would argue that to use Sandy as the reason for taking immediate and perhaps drastic action on carbon emissions is weak. Sandy was particularly damaging because of the state of major infrastructure and lack of preparedness of New York and New Jersey. That such storms hit the region every 40 -50 years allowed people to forget about them. (Speaking of such storms, growing up in Maryland we would go to OC every summer. I can’t remember the exact year 62 or 63 perhaps, but a winter hurricane / tropical storm hit the east coast. That next summer for sale signs were everywhere as hundreds of beach cottages and rental apartments were destroyed by the storm. I believe the city even changed its zoning rules, requiring structures to be much further back from the beach. )

        As for your higher sea surface temperatures, where is that data? What I’ve seen does not show this. And if you can provide data showing the suface temp along Sandy’s track was higher, please provide the mechanism by which the higher SST’s strengthen hurricanes. Last I checked that is still theory. )

    • “Most men … can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it obliges them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven thread by thread into the fabric of their lives.”

      Tolstoy

    • I rarely watch news channels, but while visiting my dad back in August (who seems to have Fox News on all the time) I caught some of the election coverage among the different channels. I was stunned by how far Chris Mathews has slipped into blithering idiocy. Almost like a dog with rabies.

      These days it appears that one’s only choice is to select the channel that has a spin you like. Spin free just isn’t there. Even PBS and NPR are accelerating their’s.

  44. KIm, good point as to the poor. I think the poor, climate ravaged folks in Africa are more important to them than the poor in the U,S, and U.K. I dunno. Maybe a case of familiarity breeding contempt.

    • Expensive energy is hard on the poor in Africa and in every other continent except perhaps Antarctica(insufficient data for statistical significance).

      Climate ravaged? The last 2 degrees of warming produced massive social benefit, and so will the next 2 degrees, if we are lucky enough to get it. Make that ‘deserving’ enough.
      =================

      • JUst joking around miss Kim, as to the “climate ravaged.” You know, tongue in cheek kind of deal.

      • Hey, ‘climate ravaged’ is still the dominant meme, and perhaps the reason the war on the poor, this holocaust of guilt and hopelessness, is masked for so many of the fundamentally good hearted people who fill the ranks of the warmista.
        ==================

      • Yes, well, that’s part of the problem right there. I’m a bad person, a “climate denier,” not to mention an imperialist pig eager to exploit the climate ravaged poor so I can fill up my Hummer’s gas tank for less then 200 dollars.

      • The ugly part, just as it was with the Joos, is the procrustean classification of a diverse body into a single malodorous entity. Evil loose in the world, with green undergarments and a coat of many false colors.
        ==============

  45. It appears that AR5 efforts have been mainly to fill in the gaps after AR4. The AR5 authors did not, in general, challenge findings of earlier AR’s so they had no real answer for the lack of global temperature rise from 2000 or earlier.

    They also clung to the fiction that climate change started in about 1961 and were able to ignor the 0.5C rise between 1910 and 1940. Had they not made that mistake, they would have had to explain the rapid climate fall after 1940, which could not be explained by classical physics, but was consistent with quantum thermodynamics. See my website at: http://members.iinet.net.au/~alexandergbiggs .

  46. Matt Ridley is impressed with the climate science of semiretired financier Nic Lewis who has a background in mathematics and physics. The following quotes are from Ridley’s WSJ article titled Cooling Down the Fears of Climate Change:

    “Mr. Lewis is an expert reviewer of the recently leaked draft of the IPCC’s WG1 Scientific Report. The IPCC forbids him to quote from it, but he is privy to all the observational best estimates and uncertainty ranges the draft report gives. What he has told me is dynamite.”

    DYNO — MITE !
    Holy smoke, that got my attention !
    WATCH OUT !
    BOOOMMM …… !!!

    Now that the smoke has cleared, let’s go to Ridley’s next paragraph where he continues to quote Mr. Lewis.
    “Given what we know now, there is almost no way that the feared large temperature rise is going to happen. Mr. Lewis comments: “Taking the IPCC scenario that assumes a doubling of CO2, plus the equivalent of another 30% rise from other greenhouse gases by 2100, we are likely to experience a further rise of no more than 1°C.”

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323981504578179291222227104.html

    Does Matt Ridley know Nic Lewis is right? No, but he wants him to be. Isn’t that what counts to deniers and skeptics?

    BTW, is this the same Matt Ridley who was involved in a banking scandal?

    • Max_OK,

      Yes, it’s the same guy – he was in charge of Northern Rock and almost caused the first run on a British bank for a very long time.

      • I guess when you’ve got nothin’, attack the man.

        No. The problem here is that Ridley’s loudly shouted claim rests on the *slimmest of pedestals* – mischief-making by Nic Lewis. There is a great deal of evidence that contradicts Mr Lewis. One needs to be objective and balanced here.

        And Ridley is risible. Do, please, read this.

    • Scott Basinger

      I guess when you’ve got nothin’, attack the man.

      • Well some I guess it’s fair enough to say that his disastrous banking career does not in itself mean that we should not take his views in climate change seriously. But then I see nothing whatsoever to indicate that we should take them seriously.
        Those who are less charitable than me might also not be inclined to trust someone on a subject outside their particular area of expertise when they don’t even have credibility within their own field.

    • Matt Ridley is a libertarian. What a surprise! But he’s not a good advertisement for libertarianism. The following excerpts are from a June 2010 article on Ridley by George Monblot.

      “A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a column for the Guardian exploring the contrast between Matt Ridley’s assertions in his new book The Rational Optimist and his own experience. In the book, Ridley attacks the “parasitic bureaucracy”, which stifles free enterprise and excoriates governments for, among other sins, bailing out big corporations. If only the market is left to its own devices, he insists, and not stymied by regulations, the outcome will be wonderful for everybody.

      What Ridley glosses over is that before he wrote this book he had an opportunity to put his theories into practice. As chairman of Northern Rock, he was responsible, according to parliament’s Treasury select committee, for a “high-risk, reckless business strategy”. Northern Rock was able to pursue this strategy as a result of a “substantial failure of regulation” by the state. The wonderful outcome of this experiment was the first run on a British bank since 1878, and a £27bn government bail-out.”

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cif-green/2010/jun/18/matt-ridley-rational-optimist-errors

    • “Schlesinger sees the papers, taken together, as providing good news, implying that the task of limiting warming could be more feasible than many analyses have concluded.”

      Feasible? The man obviously is not in the climate mainstream. :)

    • Schlesinger is still hung up on too strong a CO2 effect, and even worse, on the idea that warming is bad. When will they ever learn? And Revkin is filling sandbags demonically but the levee is being overtopped.
      ======================

      • I’ve gotten to know revkin a bit via emails, and he’s not a bad guy. Well intended, and willing to entertain doubts. His main problem is he really doesn’t make the effort to wrap his mind around the science. He’s also a bit naive. He can’t believe people would just essentially make this stuff up.

      • I have long defended Andy’s curiosity and intellectual integrity. He has occasionally given me pause. He should get on with adapting 9 billion souls to this harsh mistress, Gaia, and understand that warming is better than cooling.
        ===============

    • Judith Curry,

      The NYT article says (I didn’t watched the video):

      to find a way for established and emerging industrial powers to divvy up the task of cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

      and

      The paper on a “fair plan” for climate action describes a timetable for emissions cuts in established and emerging industrial powers that could keep warming beneath the two-degree (Celsius) threshold that many countries have deemed unacceptably hazardous.

      This is more of the failed, ‘big brother’ approach. It hasn’t worked in 20 years. It is the wrong approach.

      Any form of carbon pricing or regulations means we would have to measure GHG emissions. Eventually, we would have to measure them accurately and everywhere. That means we would have to accurately measure and report all twenty four Kyoto gasses, from all emissions sources in all countries. The compliance cost would be huge. It is never going to work

      There is a much better way. Simply remove the impediments that are preventing us having cheap nuclear power so that zero-emission electricity is cheaper than fossil fuel electricity. That could address 50% of the emissions from fossil fuels and could be achieved by around mid century.

    • THat post from a few weeks ago elicited some pretty hilarious responses from his usual coterie of warmist climate zombies. If we aren’t talking about the coming apocalypse, they’re just not happy.

  47. Pingback: The IPCC gets better. Climate alarmists freak-out! « Fabius Maximus

  48. I git yer archaic meanings Kim and I’m a slave to ‘it’ too.

    Didn’t want ter say ‘art’, preferred ‘git’ ‘it’ fer
    art”s sake.

  49. It doesn’t mention it here, but in Lewis’s article at Bishop Hill, he assumes the net forcing is 2.09 W/m2, with CO2, other GHGs, other forcings and aerosols all included. This is equivalent to a CO2 rise to about 410 ppm already, with no opposing aerosols. Presumably this comes about from the other GHGs and positive forcings (e.g. solar) far exceeding the aerosol effect to make up the difference that the CO2 didn’t provide. It is about ten times the size of an 11-year solar cycle change, but the temperature change is not consistent with that scaling. It looks like his forcing is an overestimate and an outlier.

  50. RIHo08 , 19/12 @ 9.14pm says: ‘It is important that the IPCC
    remains firm on climate sensitivity, regardless of the cross
    winds, because …’

    Uh ohh … otherwise an infinite regression might bet set in
    motion. “The dog begins ter bite the cat , the cat begins ter
    chase the rat …. the rat begins ter ….

    • …more of a Realpolitik. Lines of argument are immaterial.

    • Beth,

      Right on. RIHo08 has confirmed again it is all about the politics, not the truth

    • Hence, my earlier remark that ‘the science’ is becoming less relevant. From that perspective it may be a waste of time, i.e., people arguing the ‘science’ on both sides have dropped the ball for their respective team–not unexpected.

      • mwgrant,

        I agree. There is no point in arguing the science any more. We need to focus on a robust policy – a policy that can cut GHG emissions, at no cost or negative cost and as provide other benefits as well. It is available, but blocked by ideology. All we need to do is allow it to happen.

        What would a robust policy give us?
        1. ‘No regrets’ policies
        2. economically beneficial (for all the world)
        3. improved health (reduced toxic pollution) everywhere
        4. greater energy security (for all the world)
        5. fresh water supply
        6. improved education for everyone (and improved communications for all)
        7. reduced black carbon
        8. reduced GHG emissions

      • Peter Lang,

        That’s a good list with which to start. Maybe ‘restart’ is a better, more positive, useful verb. How to do that is not a trivial question.

        All parties find some reason to hide behind ‘knowing the science first’. I suspect leaders’ want ‘science’ to hide behind or provide a dramatic impetus, special interests use its incompleteness to advance their respective causes/careers, and the different publics use it to rationalize their situation vis-a-vis potential policy decisions. Time does not waver or hesitate and has no stake in the matter.

      • mwgrant,

        That’s a good list with which to start. …. How to do that is not a trivial question.

        I am not sure what you mean “How to do that [the items on the list] is not a trivial”? Do you mean it is not trivial to get people to allow it to happen? Or do you mean it is not trivial technically?

        I believe it is definitely doable technically. It’s simply a matter of getting electricity to everyone – i.e. low-cost, low-emissions electricity. That is doable. The developed world has already demonstrated how to get electricity to everyone. Transmission is costly and little opportunity to reduce that cost by much. But the generation part can be low-cost and low-emissions. No carbon pricing or regulator control of emissions is necessary if we allow low-cost, low-emissions electricity to be cheaper than fossil fuel generated electricity. We just need to remove the impediments that are preventing it. The impediments are regulatory, not technical, so they can be removed. The right signals can be sent to the market and the market will respond. No ‘big-brother’ government intervention is required.

        Here’s how:

        Nuclear power could be far cheaper than fossil fuels for electricity generation if we removed the impediments. With nuclear cheaper than fossil fuels it could replace 50% of CO2 emissions from fossil fuels by around mid 21st Century.

        We know that coal fired electricity generation is considered to be safe enough. That sets the benchmark for the communities expectations of the acceptable level of safety. We know that nuclear is about 700 times safer than coal http://nextbigfuture.com/2012/06/deaths-by-energy-source-in-forbes.html. Therefore, if we could get the message out, most people would act rationally. In that case, safety of nuclear power would not be a block to progress.

        The real impediment to nuclear is the current costs. Bernard Cohen (1990) http://www.phyast.pitt.edu/~blc/book/chapter9.html explained that regulatory ratcheting increased the cost of nuclear power by about a factor of four by 1990. I expect further regulatory ratcheting since then has increased the cost by at least a factor of two. The regulatory ratcheting has given us little or no increase in safety compared with what would have been achieved if nuclear hadn’t been prevented from developing like other industries. Therefore, it is conceivable that the cost of nuclear could be reduced by a factor of eight (over time, of course) and then continue to reduce thereafter.

        There are at least 43 small, modular, nuclear power plant designs in various stages of development from concept through to in-production. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) licensing process takes about 5 to 10 years and they can handle only two or three designs at a time. The NRC is a massive constriction blocking progress on development and roll out of small modular nuclear power plants. No other industry has to get its designs approved by a government regulator.

        Therefore, if we want to cut global CO2 emissions, we need to free up the development and roll-out of cheap, small nuclear power plants. We need to allow these to be developed in a commercial environment like other technologies. We need to allow the commercial sector to compete.

        If we remove the impediments to nuclear, the cost of nuclear generation could be well below the cost of fossil fuel generation by 2030.

        The US President could make this happen. The anti-nukes could facilitate the change in public opinion. The change in public opinion could be achieved in less than a decade if environmental NGO’s decided it was in their interest to lead the way on this.

      • Peter Lang,

        Sorry I was not clear on the how to

        I meant that “it is not trivial to get people to allow it to happen”.

        I should have been more clear about the list too. When I say your list is a good starting point I mean it is a good starting point for discussion–the items are benefits and not the how(s). Agreement has to begin somewhere why not start with desired outcomes?

        On the topic of nuclear power: At this time I consider nuclear power to be an essential component in future energy plans, but I have some serious reservations. I have I spent 30+ years in environment work–most of the dealing with some aspect of nuclear waste disposal: uranium mill tailings, LLW, TRU, HLW, mixed waste and NORM. Still, that was as a career technical niche player–no need for details.

        Why reservations on nuclear? In my opinion the nature of the nuclear power production requires an extraordinary level of technical, managerial, and ethical competence to be both safe and successful. In a sense technology is secondary–less difficult to solve. The problem is not that such people do not exist in the various private sector or governmental nuclear energy institutions–indeed they do exist, but they do not permeate every pore of the institution. We should but probably will not revamp both the private sector and government sector institutions.

        The rules for individual advancement are not consistent with selfless behavior under pressure and influence. This is human nature so it then seems that part of a resolution lies in with re-aligning public expectations on little things like risk. Not just lists of what can happen and the corresponding likelihoods, but acceptance of the idea that despite our best endeavors–and they could be ‘perfect’–some bad things will occur.

        Roll the dice.

      • Mwgrant

        Sorry, for delay in responding. I only just saw your comment.

        I meant that “it is not trivial to get people to allow it to happen”.

        I understand. I agree it’s not trivial. However, it could change quickly if a few leaders of the environmental movement led the way and the US President led the way in the USA.

        the items are benefits and not the how(s). Agreement has to begin somewhere why not start with desired outcomes?

        Yes. I agree.

        I strongly agree with your main point – accidents will happen.

        This is human nature so it then seems that part of a resolution lies in with re-aligning public expectations on little things like risk. Not just lists of what can happen and the corresponding likelihoods, but acceptance of the idea that despite our best endeavors–and they could be ‘perfect’–some bad things will occur.

        I agree that the emphasis needs to be placed on not that things wont happen but the consequences (fatalities and illnesses and pollution) are no worse than for other industrial accidents. In fact, the statistics for the past 57 years, indicate that the risks (the real consequences and probabilities of accidents) are much lower than for the realistic alternatives (fossil fuels) and a little better than for renewable energy.

        I’d also make the point the risk of nuclear power accidents per unit of electricity generated will reduce as we increase the amount of nuclear power. That is what has happened with all technologies, e.g. cars, plains, coal and gas fired electricity. The risk of aircraft fatalities per passenger-mile has greatly reduced over the past 60 years.

        Smaller plants would also be safer for two reasons. First, the consequences of accidents that do happen would be less. Second, small nuclear plants will evolve and improve much faster than large plants because many more would be produced and lessons learned in each model would be incorporated quickly in the next model.

        Why reservations on nuclear? In my opinion the nature of the nuclear power production requires an extraordinary level of technical, managerial, and ethical competence to be both safe and successful. In a sense technology is secondary – less difficult to solve. The problem is not that such people do not exist in the various private sector or governmental nuclear energy institutions–indeed they do exist, but they do not permeate every pore of the institution. We should but probably will not revamp both the private sector and government sector institutions.

        I agree with all that. We are humans. Humans will make mistakes and some will do bad things. The organisations you refer to will occasionally make mistakes (e.g. Tepko, Chernobyl, Three Mile Island). We will not remove humans from the equation. It is totally unrealistic to assume we will improve the organisations much. But we can improve the systems and make them more resistant to human error. Consider again the comparison with the aircraft industry. Many decades ago flying a plane was a really art only a few mastered, and many were killed. Now we have tens of thousands of people who can fly planes and accidents are rare. Passenger aircraft systems are close to not even needing a pilot. The whole system is far more robust that in was 50 years ago and is continually improving. We have pilotless drones. The same evolution will happen with nuclear power plants. Importantly, it will happen faster with small, mass produced units built largely by robots in factories.

        We don’t need large, >1 GW scale nuclear plants, any more than we need 1 GW size gas turbines. 30 MW to 200 MW gas turbines are ideal size for many reasons. 200 MW nuclear plants would be ideal too, IMO. Here’s one (just announced by DOE for support through to commercialisation):

        http://www.babcock.com/products/modular_nuclear/

        http://www.uxc.com/smr/Library/Design%20Specific/mPower/Presentations/2012%20-%20Reactor%20Design%20Overview.pdf

        Some info on estimated costs here: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2012/11/20/obama-doe-fund-modular-nuclear-reactors/1717843/

        The item on mPower says “under $6000/kW’: http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf33.html

  51. JC summary: The leak of the SOD was a good thing; the IPCC still has the opportunity to do a much better job, and the wider discussion in the blogosphere and even the mainstream media places pressure on the IPCC authors to consider these issues; they can’t sweep them under the rug as in previous reports.

    Thank you, internet, for helping to make an honest woman out of climate science.

  52. I think both warmists and skeptics accept a general correlation between temperature and CO2. From the correlation it follows that global climate shifts from warming to cooling at the highest CO2 concentrations and from cooling to warming at the lowest concentrations. Roughly. Not much of a (warming) knob.

    • What a dishonest jerk you are Edim.
      Not only do you represent a completely contrarian stance in your own views, you now try to misrepresent the conventional view.

      The conventional view is NOT that it starts to cool at higher levels of CO2.

      I suppose you have your own definition of what “to be a dishonest jerk” means.

      • Webby, the conventional view is that there’s a good correlation between T and CO2. That means the two time curves closely follow each other. That means climate shifts from warming to cooling at the highest concentrations and vice versa, by definition.

      • “the two curves”

      • That’s the incantation to make brooms.
        ================

      • So
        – add some CO2, temp goes up.
        – add some more CO2, temp goes down.

        Eh? How does that work exactly?

      • Consider how a pendulum on a clock works. It swings between extremes set by the energy barrier. Slight forcing functions can incrementally push it higher, or a lowered energy barrier can accomplish the same effect.

        These are long periods of time so the increases of CO2 will gradually sequester out, and the limiting positive
        feedback will diminish.

        This metastable environment of CO2 and temperature, working in a manner similar to a pendulum can tell us what the sensitivity is. These are considered homework problems in many a physics class.

      • Web, I agree a pendulum is a good analogy.

    • Edim
      Web’s usual ad hom melodrama aside, where do you get the idea that adding more CO2 will at some point have a cooling effect ?

      • Memphis, I don’t claim any CO2 effect with any certainty, but looking at the Earth’s energy budget, it seems that a cooling effect is more likely, I don’t know how significant.

        The Earth’s surface is free to cool non-radiatively and it does so pre-dominantly. The atmosphere on the other hand can cool only by IR radiation to space. This atmospheric radiation is more than 90% of the total terrestrial cooling power, less than 10% is surface radiation. The so called GHGs (and clouds) do the atnospheric cooling job, the bulk of the atmosphere (N2 and O2) is the dead end and insulates the surface.

        Furthermore, like I said, global climate shifts from warming to cooling at the highest CO2 concentration and vice versa. Now we can observe it.

      • What do you think is happening right now Memphis? CO2 levels are steadily increasing but temp has not increased much at all! Suggests to me that something else is driving CO2 levels, not temp, unless there are lags due to OHC movements. One thing seems as certain as one can get in this climate game: CO2 levels ain’t driving temp!

      • Edim can’t do the math so he fabricates these intricate wordings of how he thinks the physics works.
        Kind of like Myrrhhh and all his larrikin buddies do on this site — pick some bit of physics and beat their misinterpretation into the heads of gullible skeptics.

    • Edim
      Like I said, where do you get the idea that adding progressively more CO2 will at some point have a cooling effect ?

      • Not at some point and not progressively. I get the idea from the Earth’s energy budget – increased CO2 results in increased atmospheric emissivity.

      • What about the increased absorption of longwave ?

      • Punksta, increased absorption is, IMHO, not that important because there is the predominant non-radiative surface cooling. The net effect should be increased atmospheric cooling. Colder atmosphere results in better surface cooling. Maybe.

      • For the record, at this point, I only ‘believe’ in the null hypothesis. That means no effect. I am also skeptical of the consensus GHG 33 K effect. The Earth’s actual surface temperature is not equal the planet’s idealized effective temperature precisely because the surface loses more than half of its energy by the non-radiative heat transfer.

    • Edim and WHT

      In the reconstructed 400,000 year CO2 temperature correlation (for what it’s worth) there are:

      http://www.daycreek.com/dc/images/1999.pdf

      – Three periods where CO2 was at a high level, and temperature started a long decline

      – Three periods where CO2 was at a low level, and temperature started a long increase.

      [This same chart (which was misrepresented by Al Gore in “AIT”) shows that CO2 lags temperature, i.e. is not the “control knob”.]

      Max

      • Not really that impressed with what you are trying to tell me. I already incorporated the weak positive feedback effect that CO2 would have in this model:

        http://theoilconundrum.blogspot.ch/2012/03/co2-outgassing-model.html

        The conventional Arrhenius temperature dependence of the CO2 outgassing will exaggerate the swings measurably. It would be strange if it didn’t.

        Anyone that has operated an industrial furnace in the open-loop configuration understands the significance of the limit cycles. Surely as a chemical engineer analyzing this behavior was part of your training.

    • Edim. Certainly not. Carbon dioxide has nothing to do with global warming. The entire edifice if warming is built upon the theory of greenhouse warming. In 2007 IPCC used greenhouse warming theory to predict that warming in the twenty-first century shall proceed at the rate of 0.2 degrees Celsius per decade. We are now in the second decade of this century and there is no sign of this predicted warming. In science there is this esoteric custom you may not have heard of according to which theories that make false predictions are cast into the trash pile of history. The greenhouse warming, having wrongly predicted twenty-first century warming. belongs in this trash pile of history. And don’t try the Supreme Court to pull it out – they have no jurisdiction over laws of nature.

  53. The mouse’s sorry tale:

    The ends justify the means,
    …Skin-in-the-game,
    …..Say, cui bono?
    …….O where is
    ……..Socrates
    ………When u
    ………. Need
    …………Him
    ………….Eh?

    ( Or Thos. Jefferson, or George Orwell, or Feynman, or
    Karl Popper? At least we have the savoir-faire of Nassim
    Taleb and the fidelity ter critical honesty of Saint Judith.)

    * If there are any typos in this comment please do not
    complain as i am heavily bandaged due to Two clashes
    with metal doors ( and no references ter Oscar Wilde
    and carelessness.).

  54. Surely the real bombshells here are that skeptics are starting to finally acknowledge man will dominate climate change of the 20th and 21st century. That’s the real headline.

    Of course it does rely on skeptics accepting Nic Lewis’s point. But I don’t see much disagreement in the comments.

    Look at the conclusion in the article above: The conclusion—taking the best observational estimates of the change in decadal-average global temperature between 1871-80 and 2002-11, and of the corresponding changes in forcing and ocean heat uptake—is this: A doubling of CO2 will lead to a warming of 1.6°-1.7°C (2.9°-3.1°F).

    Surely it hasn’t escaped anyone’s notice that a climate sensitivity of 1.6-1.7C per doubling of CO2 means net positive feedback in climate. This is a bombshell because traditionally skeptics have been loathe to accept positive feedback.

    The second bombshell is that at 1.6C per doubling of CO2, the primary climate driver of the 20th and 21st century will almost certainly be man. Man stands to more than double CO2 (esp given the additional contribution of other greenhouse gases like methane, n2 and halocarbons), so at least 1.6C warming over the 20th and 21st century is almost certain according to this article.

    That’s easily more than nature is feasibly going to produce.

    Even the somewhat flawed graphs climate skeptics like to push show natural variation has been typically much much smaller than 1.6C per two centuries.

    So the real bombshell here from my perspective is that the promotion of Nic Lewis’s work by skeptics represents a shift in skeptics attitudes towards that of accepting CO2 and man are the prime control knob for recent and ongoing global warming.

    Furthermore Nic’s conclusion contradicts all the prior claims by skeptics of incoming global cooling. If sensitivity to doubling CO2 is 1.6C/doubling, that’s too strong for the Sun or ocean cycles or whatever skeptics think is going to cause cooling to be able to compete.

    • lolwot

      Naw.

      You’ve got it all wrong.

      The “bombshell” was just the opposite of what you suggested.

      It is that, in all likelihood, the model-based mean ECS estimate of 3.2C, as used by IPCC in the past, is exaggerated by a factor of 2 (to 1.6-1.7C instead).

      This does not sound like that much of a “big deal”, until one looks at its implications, in particular on projections of future warming (e.g. like those made by Vaughan Pratt on the earlier thread, which got so much attention – yet appear to be “outdated” already).

      If we reach a CO2 level of 600 ppmv by 2100, this means than we would theoretically see around 1.0C warming above today’s temperature.

      Hardly anything to get very excited about, right?

      And, if we accept the WEC 2010 estimate of the inferred total amount of remaining fossil fuels on our planet, the maximum possible human-caused CO2 concentration that could ever be asymptotically reached is around 1020 ppmv.

      At current fossil fuel usage rates, we could theoretically reach this level in 300 years or so.

      And, if and when we do, we will theoretically see around 2.4C warming above today.

      It looks like the “C” has disappeared from “CAGW”, lolwot.

      Rejoice! (And let’s get on with life.)

      Max

      • 1.7 c per doubling co2 means man ‘s influence dominates the climate. That’s contrary to the message that has been pushed by climate skeptics and so it represents a significant climb down.

        Do you manacker now admit that with sensitivity of 1.7c, human ghg emissions must dominate foreseeable climate change?

      • lolwot

        You asked me sort of a loaded question, but let me answer.

        NO. Even with an ECS of 1.7C, I have not concluded that AGW will “dominate” future climate any more than it “dominated” our climate over the past 15 years or so. Natural factors will continue to be important.

        With the new ECS estimate, the absolute maximum AGW impact we could ever theoretically see from human CO2 is around 2.4C warming above today, when all fossil fuels are 100% used up.

        This constrains AGW within an acceptable range and the “C” in “CAGW” appears to be gone.

        I’ve concluded that it now appears that even IPCC is backing off from its past “CAGW” premise – but we’ll have to wait and see how IPCC reacts.

        What have you concluded from all this new information?

        Max

      • How can 1.7c from co2 NOT dominate? Do you really think nature will produce more than 1c total temp change to 2100? Why? It hasn’t produced more than a few tenths of a c per 200 years over any period in at least the last 2000 years. Even the 20th century saw 0.8c and a good deal of that must have been co2 if cs is 1.7 leaving nature in the dust.

      • lolwot,

        People who have doubts or are skeptical about various aspects related to global warming / climate change / extreme climate are not a monolithic lot.

        While i may harbor some doubts as to how much human activity impacts global climate, I do not doubt that we do. Therefore, at least on my part, there is no contradiction from any previous stance or opinion. The planet is warming. Check. CO2 is a primary cause. Check. Increasing CO2 concentrations are primarily from human activity. Check.

        The next question (or statement) in this line is; The impact to global temperature will be _______. If the number is low, it is unlikely we are facing potential catastrophy. If the number is high, then we should be as worried as you are.

        What is the importance of man’s influence on climate if the impacts of such change are of little import?

    • Isn’t science supposed to be all about predicting what’s going to happen, and testing those predictions, rather than apportioning blame?

    • lolwot, you write “Surely the real bombshells here are that skeptics are starting to finally acknowledge man will dominate climate change of the 20th and 21st century. That’s the real headline.”

      I cannot speak for all skeptics, but that is not my position. I still believe that the empirical data shows that the true value of cliamte sensitivity is indistinguishable from zero. But what the leak of the AR5 has shown is that previous pronouncements on the value of climate sensitivityby the IPCC have been exaggerated. It matters little what numbers some skeptics now seem to accept. If the previous numbers from the TAR and AR4 are exaggerated, then the IPCC has a major problem in writing the AR5.

      As I have noted before, the IPCC seems to have two options, both of which are bad. They can either agree that their previous reports exaggerated the value of climate sensitivity, or they can attempt to write a document which has little basis in science that says their previous numbers were right.

      • So I take it you don’t find nick Lewis’s argument for 1.6c sensitivity compelling. But you demand the ipcc should? Staggering.

      • We see you’re staggered, but do you know why?
        ===================

      • I do. It’s because climate skeptics are complaining the ipcc is ignoring X but then I uncover they don’t accept X themselves.

      • lolwot, you write “So I take it you don’t find nick Lewis’s argument for 1.6c sensitivity compelling. But you demand the ipcc should? Staggering.”

        I assume you are referring to my message. You completely ignore what I have written. I find Nic Lewis’s estimate of 1.6 C for climate sensitivity as a strong indication that previous estimates by the IPCC were exaggerated. That is all. If you want to claim that if Nic is correct, then previous IPCC estimates were not exaggerated, I would like to see your logic for this conclusion.

        So that is all I deduce from Nic’s estimation. I maintain that the way Nic did his estimations results in a maximum value for climate sensitivity; not an accurate estimate.

        Please address the issue as to whether previous IPCC estimates of climate sensitivity have been exaggerated. That is the issue. Nothing else.

      • You are absolutely right, sensitivity is actually zero. There has been no warming for the last 16 years while atmospheric carbon dioxide relentlessly increased. That by definition sets sensitivity to zero. There is another period of 18 years, from 1979 to 1997, when global mean temperature was constant while ENSO oscillations ruled. That is in the satellite record but ground-based records have blotted it out with a “late twentieth century warming” that is phony. Between these two no-warming periods there was a brief step warming that raised global temperature by a third of a degree and then stopped. That was the only warming during the 33 years of satellite temperature measurements. This leaves no time at all for carbon dioxide to do any warming during the satellite era. And no reason to think things would be any different before that. The reason CO2 can’t do any warming is explained well in Ferenc Miskolczi’s 2010 paper. It is based on actual temperature measurements by radiosondes.

    • Nic’s work is putting a number on transient climate sensitivity and comparing it to ECS, a non starter.

  55. lolwot,

    So the real bombshell here from my perspective is that the promotion of Nic Lewis’s work by skeptics represents a shift in skeptics attitudes towards that of accepting CO2 and man are the prime control knob for recent and ongoing global warming.

    That’s not how I see it. The issue from my perspective is that AGW is not CAGW. That’s what I’ve been arguing all along. I was not persuaded AGW is catastrophic at ECS = 3C so it is even less likely to be catastrophic at a lower ECS.

    Also, I’ve been convinced all along that the ‘Progressives will eventually see the light and stop blocking progress – i.e. preventing the development and roll out of low-cost low emissions electricity (i.e. small modular nuclear power plants). Once the ‘Progressives’ stop blocking progress CO2 emissions will decrease so the emissions this century will be less than the alarmists’ projections. If ECS = 1.7C or around that, it is possible/probable CO2 emissions this century will be net beneficial.

    • Yes but the bulk of climate skeptics haven’t reached your position. They are still disputing human ghg emissions will dominate 21st century climate change. Some of them are even disputing co2 has more than an insignificant role and a lot of them are predicting cooling until 2050. So their newly revealed acceptannce of 1.6c per doubling of co2 is a bombshell turnaround in their position.

      Not that I expect them to realize this. What we’ll discover i suspect is theyll argue 1.6c sensitivity is compelling and the ipcc should accept the argument, but they’ll refuse to accept it themselves.

      • lolwot’s “analysis” is just the world as seen by those as ignorant of reality and skepticism as he is.

      • Oh come now Memphis, what result do you think we’d have got if self proclaimed skeptics on climate etc were polled last week?

        Would the majority have agreed that man’s ghg emissions stand to dominate 20th and 21st century global temperature change?

        I think not.

        But now they do given they accept this argument for 1.6-1.7c warming from doubling co2 is compelling.

        That’s a bombshell change in position.

      • lolwot

        You are speculating on how “the bulk of climate skeptics” will react to revised ECS estimate of 1.6C.

        I cannot speak for “the bulk of climate skeptics” (I presume you do not really mean “climate skeptics”, but rather “CAGW skeptics”), but I have always concluded that the IPCC model-derived predictions for ECS were exaggerated by a factor of 2-3, and this position now seems validated.

        It effectively removes the “C” from “CAGW”, and that is what I have been arguing against all along.

        My conclusion on the CO2 temperature response came from looking at the past CO2/temperature record since 1850 as well as the IPCC claim since 1950.

        Evidence of a lower ECS began mounting after AR4 with several studies based on physical observations (Spencer + Braswell 2007, Lindzen + Choi 2009,2011), and it now appears that this will soon become the “consensus” view, even if there remain a few holdouts, like Kevin Trenberth.

        The real question now is NOT how “the bulk of climate skeptics will react”, but how IPCC will handle this new information AR5 hasn’t been finalized yet – so there is still time to make some changes.

        Max

      • It has long been said the non-feedback 2xco2 is about 1C. That lolwot has only now had to stop pretending that skeptics didn’t know this, is the real bomshell in his mind.

      • I truly feel sorry for the mass of alarmists who lolwot represents. It is very comforting to believe that we understand climate, and that those who don’t are shills of powerful malevolent forces. An opiate for the people.
        =========================

      • It has been often said by climate skeptics that the modern warming peaked in 1998 and we are entering a period of decades of global cooling. Impossible if climate sensitivity to doubling co2 is as high as 1.6c.

        Until I see skeptics now admit man’s ghg emissions dominate global temperature changes, I think they are just up to their old contrarian tricks.

        It’s a bit rich to claim an argument for 1.6c warming from doubled co2 is so compelling the ipcc shoud accept it but then not believe it yourselves

        And when Kim argues for ignorance about climate is she saying she doesn’t accept 1.6c sensitivity?

        Who wants to go on record first admitting that human ghg emissions dominate global temperature changes? Let’s have your agreement or disagreement with Lewis’s cs figure in record.

      • “It has been often said by climate skeptics that the modern warming peaked in 1998 and we are entering a period of decades of global cooling. Impossible if climate sensitivity to doubling co2 is as high as 1.6c.”

        Not really impossible, it is the net ‘forcing’ that changes the global climate, not the CO2 forcing. The warmists have made their GHG bed, now they have to lie in it. They’ll need much more epicycles.

        “Until I see skeptics now admit man’s ghg emissions dominate global temperature changes, I think they are just up to their old contrarian tricks.”

        lolwot indeed.

      • Edim do you really believe its feasible for some natural phenomenon to produce more than 1.6c warming or cooling over the 21st century?

        Hasnt happened in previous centuries in the last 2000 years. Nothing in nature is typucally that strong.

        I see you are holding out against human ghg emissions dominating 21st century warming. You can’t if you accept 1.6c per doubling of co2.

      • lolwot, I can’t follow you. Nature is very strong, human is puny.

      • not if a doubling of CO2 by man causes 1.6C warming. Nature becomes puny in the face of that.

      • lolwot

        Let’s play your “CO2 is still the control knob” game.

        (2xCO2) ”equilibrium climate sensitivity” (ECS) is defined as 1.6C.

        Ice core data tell us that “pre-industrial” CO2 level (back in ~1750) was 280 ppmv, and in 1850, when the temperature record started, it was ~290 ppmv (by extrapolation).

        Today’s CO2 level is 392 ppmv (Mauna Loa).

        So the warming we should have seen since 1850 from CO2 (at equilibrium) is:

        ln(392/280)*1.6 / ln(2) = 0.7C

        HadCRUT tells us that it warmed by about 0.7C from ~1850 to today.

        So that checks out pretty well for your “CO2 control knob” premise.

        But wait! Not so fast!

        IPCC (AR4) has figured that 0.6C of warming is still “in the pipeline”. This was based on an ECS of 3.2C, or twice the latest revised figure, so we would presumably only have 0.3C still “in the pipeline” on the new basis.

        This means that observed CO2 warming should have been 0.7 – 0.3 = 0.4C.

        IPCC also tells us (AR4) that 93% of the past warming can be attributed to anthropogenic forcing. However, it concedes that it has a ”low level of scientific understanding of solar (natural) forcing”.

        So we look elsewhere, and find that several solar studies conclude that around 50% of the past warming (instead of 7%) can be attributed to the unusually high level of 20thC solar activity.

        IPCC also tells us that all other anthro forcing beside CO2 (other GHGs, aerosols, et.) cancelled one another out so CO2 forcing = total anthro forcing.

        OK. If we go back to the theoretical warming, CO2 should have caused 0.4C of the observed warming.

        But we saw 0.7C warming.

        So “something else” caused the difference. Was this the natural (solar) forcing?

        IOW, CO2 caused 0.4 / 0.7 = 57% of the observed warming, and “something else” caused the other 43%.

        So CO2 (at a 2xCO2 ECS of 1.6C) is still a major “control knob”.

        But not the only one.

        [Of course, there is a bit of conjecture in the above calculation.]

        Max

  56. The rate at which the ocean is absorbing greenhouse-gas-induced warming is also now known to be fairly modest.

    A quick sample confirmed my suspicion that 17 times as many people know that the world ends this Friday as know that the ocean is not absorbing heat, contrary to the claims of climate scientists.

    I expect this ratio to drop dramatically on Saturday.

    Once the ‘Progressives’ stop blocking progress CO2 emissions will decrease.

    Progressives are very keen to see CO2 emissions increase to higher levels. That’s why they’re called progressives.

    • Vaughan Pratt

      All joking about the “end of the world” aside, I believe what we are seeing here should give you good reasons to re-evaluate your 4.3C warming by 2100 horror story from the earlier thread.

      In addition to overestimating the rate of future CO2 growth by ignoring expected changes in human population growth rates (as I pointed out to you), you are also using a 2xCO2 ECS, which is apparently exaggerated by a factor of 2.

      So we are down to around 1C warming by 2100 – not 4C, as you projected.

      Cheer up. The “C: in “CAGW” appears to be gone.

      Max

      Max

      • you are also using a 2xCO2 ECS, which is apparently exaggerated by a factor of 2

        Max, you may have missed my point that what I’ve been calling Hansen delay for want of a better name (oceanic thermal delay perhaps?) has to be estimated somehow before one can say anything about what the climate sensitivity has been this past century. I haven’t until this week been able to quantify this, but I can now. Each decade of error in estimating it translates to an underestimate of 20%. So underestimating the delay by two decades is a 36% error (0.8 * 0.8 = 0.64 = 100 – 36) in the temperature rise for one doubling of CO2. For the purpose of error analysis delay is thus logarithmic in sensitivity. And since sensitivity in turn is logarithmic in CO2 level it follows that, again just for that purpose, delay is doubly logarithmic in CO2.

        In plainer language, if the delay is 20 years and the prevailing climate sensitivity is 3.0, then underestimating the delay by 20 years (that is, simply neglecting the delay altogether, as those estimating observed climate sensitivity almost invariably do) will lead to the erroneous conclusion that the prevailing climate sensitivity is 2.0.

        This is only relevant to the past century, which is what I mean by “prevailing climate sensitivity”.

        On the other hand this is just me babbling here, and is nowhere near the status of a peer-reviewed estimate. So you would be well-advised to reciprocate my responses to you by taking what I say with a grain of salt. ;)

        I have no idea what ECS might mean in practice. Saying E stands for “equilibrium” doesn’t improve matters for me. Nor does saying it’s the rise in Earth’s temperature resulting from suddenly doubling atmospheric CO2 and waiting for convergence to sufficiently close to equilibrium.

        For any given level of accuracy GCMs can tell you how long to wait, but the absence of any practical way of confirming empirically what the GCM predicts requires putting blind faith in the modeler’s ability to model the relevant geophysics accurately.

        “Relevant” needs to be emphasized. If geophysicists are now agreed on which parts of geophysics are the most relevant to centennial modeling, that agreement should be more widely publicized. For without it I don’t see how any practically minded geophysicist could possibly accept the concept of “equilibrium climate sensitivity.”

      • Dr. Pratt
        Only oceanic delay that can be positively identified is in delay of the AMO to the sub-polar atmospheric pressure (Reykjavik- summer leg of the NAO)

        http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/AP-AMO.htm

        It is made up of two partial delays:
        6 year just before 1920
        and 5 year around 1950
        both leading to a sudden change in the AMO trend. The first one you may know as ‘something else’.
        The AMO1 (compressed) time sequence is a bit perplexing, but it is to do with North Icelandic Jet current, major player in the Nordic Seas summer oceanic heat release into atmosphere.

        http://www.grida.no/climate/ipcc_tar/slides/04.18.htm

    • The one thing we can say for certain is the absolute number of believers will decline.

  57. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Lolwot posts  “So the real bombshell here from my perspective is that the promotion of Nic Lewis’s work by skeptics represents a shift in skeptics’ attitudes towards that of accepting CO2 and man are the prime control knob for recent and ongoing global warming.”

    That’s a terrific insight, Lolwot! \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    There are multiple respects in which irrational denialism is evolving into rational skepticism:

    • abandonment of demagogic rhetoric based on personal abuse, and

    acceptance of Bayesian priors from physics and medicine, and thus

    • acknowledgement that AGW is real, serious, and accelerating.

    To complete the triumph of Enlightenment science, it is necessary only for skeptical economists to extend their discount rates to millennial time-spans.

    Peter Lang, are you listening? \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • A Fan

      You have it back-to-front. It is becoming steadily more difficult to deliberately miscategorize rational skepticism as irrational denialism. The mainstream isslowly evolving towards being proper science.

      • Its becoming more difficult only because skeptics are shifting toward the ipcc position. 15 years ago skeptics disputed whether the world had warmed in the late 20th century. Today they accept it had and now even argue that 1.7c per doubling of co2 is compelling. 1.7c of course is much larger than the estimated difference between little ice age and medieval warm period.

      • No, it’s becoming more difficult only because alarmists are finding it harder to misrepresent skeptics, as you try above.

  58. Jim D
    ” in Lewis’s article at Bishop Hill, he assumes the net forcing is 2.09 W/m2, with CO2, other GHGs, other forcings and aerosols all included. … It looks like his forcing is an overestimate and an outlier.”

    I am glad that you looked at my forcing numbers, but they are by no means an outlier – they come from the IPCCs own best estimates. I have simply adjusted their current “composite” aerosol forcing estimate of 0.9 W/m^2, which is distorted by GCM-simulation results and a misrepresentation of inverse estimates, to their best observational estimate thereof of 0.73 W/m^2, as I stated.

    Making that adjustment, Total Anthropogenic adjusted forcing per Table 8.7 of the SOD becomes 2.41 W/m^2. Figure 8.18 indicates that 2010/2011 solar forcing slightly exceeded and volcanic cooling: the total adjusted forcing figure I use for 2011 is accordingly 2.42 W/m^2. My 2.09 W/m^2 figure is the difference between mean forcing over the decade 2002-2011 and the mean over the decade 1871-1880, calculated using adjusted data taken from Figure 8.18 as set out in my blog article.

  59. The only real ‘forcing’ in the climate system comes, of course, from the sun. All other factors merely modulate it, be they cosmic rays affecting cloud formation rates, carbon dioxide affecting cooling rates, or volcanoes affecting warming rates, or various other factors affecting albedo. Only in computer models using the ‘external forcing’ wheeze of a step change in emitted radiation at the top of the model atmosphere can these factors be regarded as forcing agents. In the real world, the toa radiation imbalances are effects not causes.

    In a recently published thesis [2011, http://www.mpimet.mpg.de/fileadmin/publikationen/Reports/WEB_BzE_95.pdf%5D, Klocke reports on his attempts to find ways to reduce the spread in climate sensitivity estimates. [hat-tip O. Bothe, comment at 7:39am December 20 here http://www.bishop-hill.net/blog/2012/12/19/why-doesnt-the-ar5-sods-climate-sensitivity-range-reflect-it.html#comments%5D. Amongst his conclusions are:

    “Physical radiative feedbacks from idealized climate simulations are quantified in Chapter 3 using four different methods, with different levels of complexity. The results differ between the methods and differences are largest for the cloud feedback. The spatial and temporal variability of each feedback are used to estimate the averaging time scale necessary to satisfy the feedback concept of one constant global mean value. We find that the year-to-year variability of each feedback process
    in this single model is comparable to the model-to-model spread in feedback strength of the CMIP3 ensemble. The strongest spatial and temporal variability is in the short-wave component of the cloud feedback. Even in our very idealized simulations, where many sources of natural variability are neglected, multi-year averages are necessary to get a reliable estimate of the simulated cloud feedback. Considering the large natural variability and relatively small forcing present in the
    real world, as compared to the forcing imposed by doubling CO2 concentrations in the simulations, this implies that using observations to constrain the cloud feedback is a challenging task and requires reliable long-term measurements.” (pages 79 & 80)

    “Climate model errors are dominated by errors in fast physical processes on the sub-grid scale such as the ones related to clouds.” (page 80)

    Which seems to me that he is calling for more ‘reliable long term measurements’.

    Sounds like a great idea to me. If only let’s say 90% of the budgets spent on computer modeling had gone on more extensive, more detailed observations since 1979 (the date of that sensitivity of 3 plus or minus 1.5 which seems to have so influenced the modelers and proven so hard for them to improve upon much). [hat-tip Donald Rapp, comment above at 2:52pm December 19].

    • If only let’s say 90% of the budgets spent on computer modeling had gone on more extensive, more detailed observations since 1979

      Unfortunately, facts, like the laws of physics, are stubborn things and are generally impervious to rhetoric.

      If you were actually interested in facts, as opposed to rhetoric, you might do 30 seconds research before spending 5 minutes regurgitating prejudices.

      To help you, just for instance, here’s a link to a presentation on NOAA’s budget.

      http://www.corporateservices.noaa.gov/nbo/fy12_budget_highlights/FY12_Constituent_Briefing.pdf

      Read slide 9. Report back on how much is spent on measurement vs modelling (clue: satellites don’t do modelling).

      Building on this, once you’ve achieved some degree of self knowledge as to what is driving your beliefs (clue: it’s not the facts) why not spend some time on understanding the laws of physics. You could report back on how your interpretation of climate science has changed.

      [if only]

      • While you clearly do sarcasm and provocation quite well, you do seem to have a blind spot for irony.

      • VTG

        Based on the data you cited, the NOAA budget proposal by (outgoing) director, Lubchenco, requests a 16% increase (added $749 million) over the past enacted budget of 2010, to a new level of $5.5 billion.

        There is a “reorganization” to “advance climate services and to strengthen science”

        Satellites take the lion’s share of the requested increase at $620 million, while “research + climate” is up by $110 million (and “weather” is unchanged).

        Of course, it’s only a budget proposal and Lubchenco’s on the way out, so anything can change.

        But it seems strange to me that in a time of financial crisis NOAA is asking for more money.

        Max

      • “But it seems strange to me that in a time of financial crisis NOAA is asking for more money.

        Max”

        Hardly strange. Normal would be more accurate.
        As in the main effort of all bureaucracies from
        dawn of time is to increase their turf.

        And government folks don’t believe there is a financial crisis,
        and if there was, they are at least a major part of the solution to
        any financial crisis.

      • Great stuff guys. First off all you complain bitterly about how the focus is all on modelling and not measurements. When it turns out that they’re not only spending far more on measurements, but trying to increase it, you actually complain about it! Irony indeed.

        Meanwhile conveniently ignoring the fact (pesky, those little f words) that the original accusation was flat wrong.

    • blockquote removed, apologies

      • 2:54pm, which ‘original accusation was flat wrong’, ‘verytallguy’? I take it you are referring to my first comment since your remark is below it, and I note your first comment on mine missed a nuance entirely. I suspect this time you have not so much missed a nuance as invented a straw man.

  60. Peter Lang

    Your 8-point plan (comment #278383 above) makes sense, and I’ll repeat it here:

    What would a robust policy give us?
    1. ‘No regrets’ policies
    2. economically beneficial (for all the world)
    3. improved health (reduced toxic pollution) everywhere
    4. greater energy security (for all the world)
    5. fresh water supply
    6. improved education for everyone (and improved communications for all)
    7. reduced black carbon
    8. reduced GHG emissions

    In light of the much lower 2xCO2 ECS, which is now most likely, I’d replace #8 “reduced GHG emissions” with “shift energy requirements away from dwindling fossil fuels” (in order to emphasize what’s really more important now) and I’d add a “#9: plan and prepare for any local or regional climate changes that may occur if and when it becomes apparent that they will occur”

    Under “no regrets” and “greater energy security”, I presume you mean switching away from coal to nuclear in most cases (where this makes economic sense). Here the “governments” of the world can help by removing the bureaucratic regulatory maze that now keeps new nuclear plants from being built (for example in the USA).

    However, Peter, I think we should not “bet the farm” on “top-down” mandated “robust policies”. These rarely bring any real progress.

    An example: Germany now has such a top-down government mandate to get rid of all nuclear power generation. Other European countries (beside France) have the same, officially or unofficially.

    So the major problem here is not a “robust policy mandate”, but to overcome the irrational fear of nuclear that was hammered into a gullible population and weak-kneed politicians over the years through effective fear mongering by green lobby groups like WWF and Greenpeace.

    It would help if these very organizations dropped their anti-nuke fear mongering and helped “sell” your plan as a way to keep from using up our fossil fuel resources too quickly. But this would require a major change in “mindset” (and, most likely, personnel).

    Helping the poorest nations gain a reliable source of low-cost energy, clean drinking water, improved education, etc, will take some continued government input but, other than that, we need to let the market do as it always does, without a lot of government interference.

    IOW, keep the ivory tower “central planners” away – they only screw things up.

    Max

    • Manacker,

      Thank you for your response. I agree with all you say, with some minor modifications:

      I’d replace #8 “reduced GHG emissions” with “shift energy requirements away from dwindling fossil fuels” (in order to emphasize what’s really more important now) and I’d add a “#9: plan and prepare for any local or regional climate changes that may occur if and when it becomes apparent that they will occur”

      I’d leave #8 as is, because it is politically essential to have it included. I think your replacement #8 is not necessary and is actually an example of what the market will work out for itself. We don’t need big brother to make that happen. I’d add your points #9.

      Under “no regrets” and “greater energy security”, I presume you mean switching away from coal to nuclear in most cases (where this makes economic sense). Here the “governments” of the world can help by removing the bureaucratic regulatory maze that now keeps new nuclear plants from being built (for example in the USA).

      Yes. The purpose is to free up the commercial sector world wide and allow it to get on with the job. This includes allowing the commercial sector to take responsibility for the designs (as is the case for all other industries) and to design and build small plants on a fully commercial basis.

      However, Peter, I think we should not “bet the farm” on “top-down” mandated “robust policies”. These rarely bring any real progress.

      I totally agree. I was certainly not advocating “top-down” mandated “robust policies”. I am advocating removing the impediments that are preventing progress by the commercial sector. What I am suggesting is the US President shall set the scene by saying the world needs to move as quickly as possible to remove the impediments to low cost nuclear power. The President then leads the way by removing the impediments that have been imposed top down on nuclear power in USA. As quickly as possible the NRC will be revamped to take a regulatory role like the regulator of air safety. Responsibility for designs will be moved from the government to the commercial sector (like all other industries).

      keep the ivory tower “central planners” away – they only screw things up.

      I totally agree!

    • Max,

      Following is some additional explanation as to how I see the robust policy being achieved.

      Nuclear power could be far cheaper than fossil fuels for electricity generation if we removed the impediments. With nuclear power cheaper than fossil fuel generated electricity it could avoid 50% of CO2 emissions from fossil fuels by around mid 21st Century (and achieve the other objectives in the list).

      We know that coal fired electricity generation is considered to be safe enough. That sets the benchmark for the publics’ expectations of the acceptable level of safety. We know that nuclear is about 700 times safer than coal http://nextbigfuture.com/2012/06/deaths-by-energy-source-in-forbes.html. Therefore, if we could get the message out, most people would act rationally. In that case, safety of nuclear power would not be a block to progress.

      The real impediment to nuclear power is the current costs. Bernard Cohen (1990) http://www.phyast.pitt.edu/~blc/book/chapter9.html explained that regulatory ratcheting increased the cost of nuclear power by about a factor of four by 1990. I expect further regulatory ratcheting since then has increased the cost by at least a factor of two. The regulatory ratcheting has given us little or no increase in safety compared with what would have been achieved if nuclear had been allowed to develop like other industries (with appropriate regulation). Therefore, it is conceivable that the cost of nuclear could be reduced by a factor of eight (over time) and then continue to decrease thereafter.

      There are at least 43 small nuclear power plant designs in various stages of development from concept through to in-production http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf33.html . The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) licensing process takes about 5 to 10 years and they can progress only two or three designs at a time. The NRC is a massive constriction blocking progress on development and roll out of small modular nuclear power plants. No other industry has to get its designs approved by a government regulator.

      Therefore, if we want to cut global CO2 emissions, we need to free up the development and roll-out of cheap, small nuclear power plants. We need to allow these to be developed in a commercial environment like other technologies. We need to allow the commercial sector to compete.

      If we remove the impediments to nuclear, the cost of nuclear generation could be well below the cost of fossil fuel generation by 2030.

      Removing the impediments to development of low cost nuclear power will reduce the cost of electricity, make it near zero emission, make it available for all regions of the world and facilitate the roll out of electricity to everyone in the world. Cheap, clean, reliable, safe electricity will enable the nine objectives of a robust policy (listed in earlier comment) to be achieved.

      • Peter Lang

        We are in agreement.

        And, yes, the US administration could take the lead in making life easier for new nuclear projects there.

        We’d still have the problem of turning the European nations (except France) around. Possibly France could help there, by demonstrating how nuclear has been safe there. Since France now has a “left-leaning” administration, this could help (most of the opponents to nuclear in Europe are also “left-leaning”).

        And the ultimate goal must be to provide or maintain ready access to a reliable, low-cost, environmentally friendly source of energy.

        As you wrote:

        ” Cheap, clean, reliable, safe electricity will enable the nine objectives of a robust policy (listed in earlier comment) to be achieved.”

        Max

      • Matthew R Marler

        Peter Lang: Removing the impediments to development of low cost nuclear power will reduce the cost of electricity, make it near zero emission, make it available for all regions of the world and facilitate the roll out of electricity to everyone in the world. Cheap, clean, reliable, safe electricity will enable the nine objectives of a robust policy (listed in earlier comment) to be achieved.

        On this we agree.

        “Removing the impediments” however will be a long and arduous task, with inconsistent success and with setbacks. I’d recommend a more diversified strategy.

      • Matthew R Marler

        “Removing the impediments” however will be a long and arduous task, with inconsistent success and with setbacks.

        In a US-Eurocentric context I would agree.

        The US and European electricity markets are quite mature and the growth rates are almost non-existant. In addition the markets are fractured between many different players. Absent specific government policies there is little or no motivation among electric utilities to ‘chance’ a FOAK technology. All that anyone wants to consider buying is a proven technology with a proven track record of successful commercial operation. Not exactly an environment conducive to ‘innovation’.

        The Chinese need to build 50GW per year of something. There is plenty of room to have some small portion of their budget committed to trialing ‘FOAK’ technology. If you are building 50GW of power plants per year and 1 GW ends up being a ‘failed experiment’ no one will notice. Of course if the experiment is successful then next year you can build 50GW of the ‘cheaper,faster,better’ technology. The potential rewards outweigh the potential risks.

      • Scott Basinger

        1. ‘No regrets’ policies
        (SB: I guess this depends on what the policy is. If you’re looking at an overall decrease in energy costs, I’d agree)
        2. economically beneficial (for all the world)
        (SB: Only if we stop using ‘alternative energy’ solutions that are more costly than conventional coal + gas, _and_ can be maintained just as easily. Molten salt thorium nuclear reactors sound promising as they can be exported without proliferation issues.)
        3. improved health (reduced toxic pollution) everywhere
        (SB: This has nothing to do with CO2. CO2 is not a pollutant. Particulate matter will go down with electrification / natural gas infrastructure in developing nations as they stop burning wood / etc. for their cooking fires.)
        4. greater energy security (for all the world)
        (SB: Not sure what this means. Do you mean secure within US sphere of influence? The US already has energy security.)
        5. fresh water supply
        (SB: Not sure how this relates at all. Perhaps you can explain.)
        6. improved education for everyone (and improved communications for all)
        (SB: Not sure how this relates either.)
        7. reduced black carbon
        (SB: Electrification of developing nations will help with this as well.)
        8. reduced GHG emissions
        (SB: I’m guessing that this is the primary goal. This makes sense only if the additional costs to achieve this goal outweigh the costs of mitigation. Thorium reactors could be a game changer here for power generation and heat with serviced buildings; but we’ll still a long way off of good electrical storage in transporation – aircraft, trucks, ships, and cars will continue to burn oil products until that eureka moment)

      • Scott Basinger,

        Thank you for your interest in robust policy and thank you for the excellent questions. See my responses below:

        1. ‘No regrets’ policies
        (SB: I guess this depends on what the policy is. If you’re looking at an overall decrease in energy costs, I’d agree)

        Yes. An overall decrease in electricity costs and ultimately electricity is cheap enough that it partly displaces gas for heating (both industrial and residential) and partly displaces oil for transport (e.g. electric vehicles and energy carriers produced using low cost electricity and or high temperature reactors). So while the primary focus is on lower cost electricity than we have now, I envisage lower cost electricity will be replacing fossil fuels currently used for other than electricity generation. In short, the answer to your question is: Yes, an overall decrease in energy costs compared with fossil fuels.

        2. economically beneficial (for all the world)
        (SB: Only if we stop using ‘alternative energy’ solutions that are more costly than conventional coal + gas, _and_ can be maintained just as easily. Molten salt thorium nuclear reactors sound promising as they can be exported without proliferation issues.)

        I am not advocating any one of the many different nuclear designs or fuels. There are many nuclear fuel options: thorium, unenriched uranium (e.g. in heavy water reactors), enriched uranium in many different types of reactors, depleted uranium, ‘spent fuel’ / used fuel’ / ‘nuclear waste’. Breeder reactors can potentially use the 99% of energy that still remains in ‘nuclear waste’. It can consume most of the waste and could run the world on the nuclear waste produced so far. US ran such a reactor for over 20 years until it was shut down by President Jimmy Carter for political reasons. The UK is looking at buying them now. UK environment journalist, George Monbiott, says: “The UK’s stockpile of nuclear waste could be used to generate enough low-carbon energy to run this country for 500 years.http://www.monbiot.com/2012/02/02/nuclear-vs-nuclear-vs-nuclear/ In short, I do not advocate any one design. Instead, I suggest we establish the business environment that gives the commercial sector the incentive to compete.

        3. improved health (reduced toxic pollution) everywhere
        (SB: This has nothing to do with CO2. CO2 is not a pollutant. Particulate matter will go down with electrification / natural gas infrastructure in developing nations as they stop burning wood / etc. for their cooking fires.)

        Yes, that’s what I was driving at. A robust policy that delivers cheaper and cleaner electricity than fossil fuels could achieve the nine outcomes listed. Most of the benefits cheaper and cleaner electricity would provide have nothing to do with reducing CO2 emissions. Humanity has been using robust policy analysis for 20,000 years. We’ve been designing projects to maximise benefits for multiple onbjectives since we first started to divert water for crops, domestic lives stock and human consumption. There is a discipline of engineering called ‘Value Management’ that addresses this: http://www.value-management.com.au/a_profile/a1.htm

        4. greater energy security (for all the world)
        (SB: Not sure what this means. Do you mean secure within US sphere of influence?)

        No. I mean for all countries, and especially the poorest countries. One of the great benefits of nuclear power is that the energy density of nuclear fuel is 20,000 to 2 million times greater than fossil fuels (20,000 in light water reactors and up to 2 million in breeder reactors). The high energy density of the fuel has many benefits, including greater energy security. The reason it allows greater energy security is because countries can stockpile fuel in a small space that can power their country for years or decades or longer. For example, UK already has enough once-used-used-fuel (‘nuclear waste’) to provide all UK’s electricity for 500 years f used in a breeder reactor like and IFR. Historically, every time humans have transitions to higher energy density fuels, there has been a significant improvement in human well being. Consider how human well being improved when we moved from cows pulling ploughs, to wood to coal and then to oil.

        5. fresh water supply
        (SB: Not sure how this relates at all. Perhaps you can explain.)

        Lower cost electricity makes desalination cheaper and pumping cheaper. Also, the waste heat can be used for flash distillation. The high energy density of nuclear fuel provides the opportunity to substantially reduce the cost of electricity.

        6. improved education for everyone (and improved communications for all)
        (SB: Not sure how this relates either.)

        Electricity for those who don’t have it (i.e. several billion people) gives them the opportunity to communicate, to get better jobs, better transport, get to schools, better schools, etc. Chart UN Human Development Indexes (UN HDI) against per capita electricity use here: http://www.gapminder.org/world/. Some UN HDI to look at are: life expectancy, fertility, child mortality, health, population growth rate and others.

        7. reduced black carbon
        (SB: Electrification of developing nations will help with this as well.)

        Yes. The robust policy I am advocating is electrification, with cleaner electricity generation. Cheaper electricity will speed up electrification. Removing the impediments that are preventing the world from having cheap nuclear power will speed up the electrification. And cut black carbon emission.

        8. reduced GHG emissions
        (SB: I’m guessing that this is the primary goal. This makes sense only if the additional costs to achieve this goal outweigh the costs of mitigation. Thorium reactors could be a game changer here for power generation and heat with serviced buildings; but we’ll still a long way off of good electrical storage in transportation – aircraft, trucks, ships, and cars will continue to burn oil products until that eureka moment)

        Yes to all that, but I don’t suggest we try to pick winners, such as thorium, from the many potential designs and fuels. Let’s just allow the market to find the best solutions for the many different applications. Electrical storage in vehicles is potentially one part of the solution for displacing fossil fuels for transport. It can work for city commuters. However, some argue energy carriers (transport fuels) will be produced by electricity and high by temperature reactors. This is not an area I know much about. The NRC and WNA sites have information on these, e.g. http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf33.html.

        Thank you again for the questions. I agree with all your points and appreciated the opportunity to elaborate on my previous post.

      • Re-post with corrected formatting (sorry)

        Scott Basinger,

        Thank you for your interest in robust policy and thank you for the excellent questions. See my responses below:

        1. ‘No regrets’ policies
        (SB: I guess this depends on what the policy is. If you’re looking at an overall decrease in energy costs, I’d agree)

        Yes. An overall decrease in electricity costs and ultimately electricity is cheap enough that it partly displaces gas for heating (both industrial and residential) and partly displaces oil for transport (e.g. electric vehicles and energy carriers produced using low cost electricity and or high temperature reactors). So while the primary focus is on lower cost electricity than we have now, I envisage lower cost electricity will be replacing fossil fuels currently used for other than electricity generation. In short, the answer to your question is: Yes, an overall decrease in energy costs compared with fossil fuels.

        2. economically beneficial (for all the world)
        (SB: Only if we stop using ‘alternative energy’ solutions that are more costly than conventional coal + gas, _and_ can be maintained just as easily. Molten salt thorium nuclear reactors sound promising as they can be exported without proliferation issues.)

        I am not advocating any one of the many different nuclear designs or fuels. There are many nuclear fuel options: thorium, unenriched uranium (e.g. in heavy water reactors), enriched uranium in many different types of reactors, depleted uranium, ‘spent fuel’ / used fuel’ / ‘nuclear waste’. Breeder reactors can potentially use the 99% of energy that still remains in ‘nuclear waste’. It can consume most of the waste and could run the world on the nuclear waste produced so far. US ran such a reactor for over 20 years until it was shut down by President Jimmy Carter for political reasons. The UK is looking at buying them now. UK environment journalist, George Monbiott, says: “The UK’s stockpile of nuclear waste could be used to generate enough low-carbon energy to run this country for 500 years.http://www.monbiot.com/2012/02/02/nuclear-vs-nuclear-vs-nuclear/ In short, I do not advocate any one design. Instead, I suggest we establish the business environment that gives the commercial sector the incentive to compete.

        3. improved health (reduced toxic pollution) everywhere
        (SB: This has nothing to do with CO2. CO2 is not a pollutant. Particulate matter will go down with electrification / natural gas infrastructure in developing nations as they stop burning wood / etc. for their cooking fires.)

        Yes, that’s what I was driving at. A robust policy that delivers cheaper and cleaner electricity than fossil fuels could achieve the nine outcomes listed. Most of the benefits cheaper and cleaner electricity would provide have nothing to do with reducing CO2 emissions. Humanity has been using robust policy analysis for 20,000 years. We’ve been designing projects to maximise benefits for multiple onbjectives since we first started to divert water for crops, domestic lives stock and human consumption. There is a discipline of engineering called ‘Value Management’ that addresses this: http://www.value-management.com.au/a_profile/a1.htm

        4. greater energy security (for all the world)
        (SB: Not sure what this means. Do you mean secure within US sphere of influence?)

        No. I mean for all countries, and especially the poorest countries. One of the great benefits of nuclear power is that the energy density of nuclear fuel is 20,000 to 2 million times greater than fossil fuels (20,000 in light water reactors and up to 2 million in breeder reactors). The high energy density of the fuel has many benefits, including greater energy security. The reason it allows greater energy security is because countries can stockpile fuel in a small space that can power their country for years or decades or longer. For example, UK already has enough once-used-used-fuel (‘nuclear waste’) to provide all UK’s electricity for 500 years f used in a breeder reactor like and IFR. Historically, every time humans have transitions to higher energy density fuels, there has been a significant improvement in human well being. Consider how human well being improved when we moved from cows pulling ploughs, to wood to coal and then to oil.

        5. fresh water supply
        (SB: Not sure how this relates at all. Perhaps you can explain.)

        Lower cost electricity makes desalination cheaper and pumping cheaper. Also, the waste heat can be used for flash distillation. The high energy density of nuclear fuel provides the opportunity to substantially reduce the cost of electricity.

        6. improved education for everyone (and improved communications for all)
        (SB: Not sure how this relates either.)

        Electricity for those who don’t have it (i.e. several billion people) gives them the opportunity to communicate, to get better jobs, better transport, get to schools, better schools, etc. Chart UN Human Development Indexes (UN HDI) against per capita electricity use here: http://www.gapminder.org/world/. Some UN HDI to look at are: life expectancy, fertility, child mortality, health, population growth rate and others.

        7. reduced black carbon
        (SB: Electrification of developing nations will help with this as well.)

        Yes. The robust policy I am advocating is electrification, with cleaner electricity generation. Cheaper electricity will speed up electrification. Removing the impediments that are preventing the world from having cheap nuclear power will speed up the electrification. And cut black carbon emission.

        8. reduced GHG emissions
        (SB: I’m guessing that this is the primary goal. This makes sense only if the additional costs to achieve this goal outweigh the costs of mitigation. Thorium reactors could be a game changer here for power generation and heat with serviced buildings; but we’ll still a long way off of good electrical storage in transportation – aircraft, trucks, ships, and cars will continue to burn oil products until that eureka moment)

        Yes to all that, but I don’t suggest we try to pick winners, such as thorium, from the many potential designs and fuels. Let’s just allow the market to find the best solutions for the many different applications. Electrical storage in vehicles is potentially one part of the solution for displacing fossil fuels for transport. It can work for city commuters. However, some argue energy carriers (transport fuels) will be produced by electricity and high by temperature reactors. This is not an area I know much about. The NRC and WNA sites have information on these, e.g. http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf33.html.

        Thank you again for the questions. I agree with all your points and appreciated the opportunity to elaborate on my previous post.

      • Scott Basinger

        Peter Lang,

        Thanks for the reply. I can’t say that I disagree with a single thing that you’ve written.

        Are you a member of a specific organization advocating this plan? I’m a professional engineer specializing in electrical power distribution and control.

        If you are looking for volunteers to assist, I’d be willing to spend some time.

      • Scott Basinger,

        Thank you for that comment. I am retired and not in any organisation and have no financial interests in anything other than my superannuation. I have a number of articles posted BraveNewClimate here: http://bravenewclimate.com/renewable-limits/ and also this:

        http://oznucforum.customer.netspace.net.au/TP4PLang.pdf

        I am in a loose network of people who have similar interests and opposing interests. We help each other.

        Right now, you might be the ideal person to help me with something that is probably very simple for you, but I don’t have sufficient knowledge to do myself. It is for high level estimating (concept level) for transmission lines, but specifically building the estimate using only the ‘blocks’ and costs defined here: http://www.climatechange.gov.au/en/government/initiatives/aemo-100-per-cent-renewables/~/media/government/initiatives/aemo/APPENDIX2-AEMO-transmission-cost-assumptions.pdf

        The purpose is to improve the estimates on the ‘Transmission’ tab on the Excel file you can download from here:

        http://bravenewclimate.com/2012/02/09/100-renewable-electricity-for-australia-the-cost/

        I would like to email you, but I don’t want to publish my email address on the web. Can you suggest how we might get in contact?

      • Scott Basinger

        Email me at boodadaoc(at)yahoo(dot)com.

      • Scott Basinger

        You have far too little spinning inertia for grid transient stability in the article you wrote.

      • Scott Basinger,

        “You have far too little spinning inertia for grid transient stability in the article you wrote.”

        Thank you for that. It may be an important point I hadn’t recognised before you mentioned it. That could be a really important deal breaker preventing a high proportion of PV and wind generating capacity. Can you give any rough rules of thumbs for the limits (this is not my area of expertise, so no point getting down into the weeds, just high level rules of thumb would be great).

        Can I assume solar thermal has approximately the same spinning inertia as coal, combined cycle gas turbines and nuclear plants? Does the distance from the generator to the demand centre affect the amount of spinning inertia needed? Does it matter that the solar thermal plants would be located up to thousands of kilometers from the demand centres? (e.g. Nullabor to Melbourne (1,900 km), Sydney (2,600 km), Brisbane (3,600 km),

        I’ll send you an email. Great input. Thank you?

      • Peter Lang,

        In regards to the question of ‘spinning inertia’ in your ‘maximum renewables’ scenario.

        A formal paper here attempts to deal with the spinning reserve issue

        http://www.ewp.rpi.edu/hartford/users/papers/engr/ernesto/farrew2/Project/research/7E440736d01.pdf

        It includes this rather sobering real world occurrence
        In Fig. 10 a–c, the effect of very high winds in Denmark on the 8th January of 2005 is shown (source: ELTRA Danish grid operator http://www.eltra.dk). At 11:45 most of the wind farms are operating and extracting great amounts of power. For this hour, the planned
        power output was 1843MW and the real output was 1847MW. At 16:30 the planned power output was 1782MW. Instead of this, the wind went so high that most of the wind farms where shut down and the real power output was 126MW. In order to avoid a collapse in the grid, a spinning reserve of 1656MW (1782 - 126 = 1656MW)

        To plan spinning reserve you need to be able to make an estimate of the maximum probable excursion from intra hour scheduled supply and demand.

      • Matthew R Marler

        harrywr2,

        I basically agree, but I picked up something to disagree with: If you are building 50GW of power plants per year and 1 GW ends up being a ‘failed experiment’ no one will notice.

        The US lost 1 of 104 reactors when the unit at 3 Mile Island suffered a partial meltdown. To me, loss of 1% of a reliable and cheap source of energy can be tolerated. At Fukushima, the loss was greater, and Japan is having another of their discussions, which seems to be resolving in favor of keeping and restarting all of the nuclear power plants, especially as people are reminded of the value of electricity and the lives lost in handling fossil fuels. Isolated large losses like those dominate the discussion more than I think is healthy, but the public reactions are not going to go away. Despite my personal endorsement of more nuclear power, I expect the politics to remain perplexingly difficult.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Peter Lang: Lower cost electricity makes desalination cheaper and pumping cheaper. Also, the waste heat can be used for flash distillation.

        California is starting to use waste heat from power plants to desalinate water. San Diego recently approved construction of a desalination plant so powered (the complete review and litigation process will take a while yet) and the plant at Carlsbad has been constructed.

        With its long coastline, many coastal power plants, and need for more water, California is a good place for this use of waste heat, and the last I read the plans are in for about 20 desalination plants.

      • Scott Basinger

        Harrywr2,

        Although your paper does give one scenario where wind can cause instability, the other stability issue is when you have a high amount of non-inertial generation and a fault on the transmission network. Inertia is required to ‘push through’ the fault and maintain voltage and frequency stability and keep all the connected sources on the grid from ‘blacking out’ completely on a voltage / frequency protection trip.

        As the Eastern US saw a few years ago, a complete grid collapse takes quite a lot of time to recover from. This scenario becomes much more likely if you use non-inertial generation sources.

        The ‘best’ plan would be to build a coal/gas plant of equal nameplate to all wind/solar sources and have them running as spinning reserve. This still becomes a complex problem in transient stability, but I’m thinking it’ll be an interesting engineering problem. Cost is another issue – there’s no doubt in my mind that a large quantity of wind on a power generation network will have a cost that is more than the value of its input.

      • Matthew Marler,

        If you are building 50GW of power plants per year and 1 GW ends up being a ‘failed experiment’ no one will notice.

        Yes, some projects will fail. But it is stupid to set out to purposely fail. It makes no sense to purposely add more guaranteed failures to the ones that will fail anyway. You are advocating building plants that are almost certain to fail.

        What politician is going to tell the voters he wants the taxpayer to spend $300 billion on something that wont work and will never work just to satisfy the ideological beliefs of a few crazies.

        Please try to think about ho silly is this advocacy of solar power (as being able to contribute to global GHG emissions reduction) before you post such silliness.

      • Matthew Marler,

        Thank you for the comment on California’s progress with desalination from waste heat from power plants.

        United Arab Emirates is building 5,400 MW of nuclear power (in the richest oil and gas region in the world!). They considered including using the waste heat for desalination, but the nuclear plants would need a major redesign to make the desalination plants commercially viable. They couldn’t wait for that to happen so proceeded with the standard Korean APR1400 power plants, But using the waste heat from nuclear power plants is something likely to be commercialised in the future.

  61. If only let’s say 90% of the budgets spent on computer modeling had gone on more extensive, more detailed observations since 1979

    Or better still, on a robust (no regrets) policy response.

  62. “Its becoming more difficult only because skeptics are shifting toward the ipcc position. ”

    Utter rot, even for you lolwot.

    • pokerguy

      Well, now, IF IPCC concedes
      -that ECS is very likely 1.6-1.7C
      -that expected warming by 2100 is projected to be around 1C rather than 2-6C, as previously estimated)
      -that the model-predicted changes in “severe weather” from AR4 are no longer likely to occur, as a result.

      Then “skeptics (of IPCC’s previous CAGW position) could shift toward the (new and improved) IPCC position”.

      Right?

      Max

      • Yes Max, I take your point. Big “if” however.

      • IF is the biggest word of all, Pokerguy.

        No one can predict what the “wily” decision-makers at IPCC will choose to do.

        Our hostess believes they “can’t sweep this new data under the rug”.

        I would guess that if they do so, their already tarnished credibility will be totally shot (except with those “believers” who are not really interested in the science anyway).

        On the other hand, Pachauri + co. have a history of stonewalling.

        And all they need are a few “rabbits out of the hat” to rebut or attempt to discredit the latest studies.

        But, either way, IPCC will lose.

        Pandora’s box has been opened.

        Max

    • I can back up my claims with evidence. Evidence in the form of hundreds of posts and comments by skeptics on blogs belittling the significance of human co2 emissions. Including posts and comments claiming the warming is natural and to expect decades if cooling from pdo or the sun.

      You now all claim to be convinced that a doubling of co2 causes 1.6c global warming.

      1.6c means human co2 emissions will dominate 20th and 21st century temperature change.

      If you think skeptics accepted that all along you are either playing games or deluding yourselves.

      • Take it easy lolwot, Rome wasn’t bult in a day. Step by step, science will prevail.

      • lolwot, you write “You now all claim to be convinced that a doubling of co2 causes 1.6c global warming.”

        Garbage. I am not in the least bit convinced. IPCC has claimed that there are no other natural forcings, other than those they have written about in previous reports. So there is no natural forciong that had a negative effect on temperatures in the late 20th century. Alec Rawls, on the other hand, points out that if his criticism of Chapter 7 of the AR5 is valid, and it has been accepted by the authors of Chapter 7, then the value of climate sensitivity estimated by Nic Lewis is a MAXIMUM value, which could be less depending on the effect of clouds.

        Sorry, lolwot, you are trying to spin this that somehow, this latsest leak shows that CAGW is real. No sale on my part.

      • Alec Rawls, on the other hand,

        This Alex Rawls?

        http://www.nps.gov/flni/parkmgmt/upload/briefingpaperattachment1.pdf

      • And on the substance…

        The most interesting aspect of this little event is it reveals how deeply in denial the climate deniers are,” says Steven Sherwood of the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia – one of the lead authors of the chapter in question. “If they can look at a short section of a report and walk away believing it says the opposite of what it actually says, and if this spin can be uncritically echoed by very influential blogs, imagine how wildly they are misinterpreting the scientific evidence.

        care to comment vs your “accepted by the authors of chapter seven” ?

      • VTG

        Regarding Sherwood’s statement (to quote Mandy Rice-Davies):

        “Well, he would say that, wouldn’t he?”

        More important than “what Sherwood said” is how IPCC will respond to these new data.

        Our hostess has opined that IPCC “can’t sweep them under the rug as in previous reports”, and she is most likely right.

        But it will take some “eating of crow” to back off completely from the “CAGW” premise, which has been the “golden thread” of IPCC reports since the beginning.

        Of course, IPCC can simply state that the lower end of the previous range for 2xCO2 ECS of 1.5 to 4.5C is still OK, but that the upper end has come down as uncertainties on clouds (always “the largest source of uncertainty”) have been cleared up, and there won’t be too much “loss of face” there.

        But the painful part, VTG, will be if they are forced to substantially reduce the warming forecasts for year 2100 to reflect the new data (or, alternately, totally lose credibility).

        A tough dilemma to face, and I wouldn’t want to be in Rajendra Pachauri’s shoes today.

        But he still has time to “pull a new rabbit out of the hat” before AR5 publishing time.

        Max

      • “You now all claim to be convinced that a doubling of co2 causes 1.6c global warming.”

        Sorry to disappoint you lolwot but I’m not convinced of this. If you think “all” sceptics share the same views and make the same claims, I’m afraid you are the deluded one. Or maybe you are playing games.

      • VTG

        I havent been following this thread closely but wonder why you felt it necessary to mount an Ad Hom attack on Alex Rzawls that seems to mention his home address? What was the piurpose?
        tonyb

      • So we now have two climate skeptics voicing dissent from nic Lewis’s result (but only after I challenged them), but skeptics (including perhaps the two mentioned) demand the ipcc should be convinced.

      • I havent been following this thread closely but wonder why you felt it necessary to mount an Ad Hom attack on Alex Rzawls that seems to mention his home address? What was the piurpose?
        tonyb

        Dunno Tony. I had this crazy notion that the fact that Mr Rawls has a history of promoting bizarre conspiracy theories might have some bearing on how seriously anyone might take his current bizarre conspiracy theory.

        Your implication that my reason for posting it was to identify his home address is, frankly, also bizarre but has an interesting hint of the conspiracy about it.

        Finally, a thought that Dr Lewandowsky’s hypothesis that <blockquote endorsement of a cluster of conspiracy theories predicts rejection of climate science could be relevant here, certainly to Rawls, and maybe to you too?

      • @andrew adams

        Wow.

        Question is, why do “skeptics” take someone with this history seriously? Any suggestions

      • VTG,

        RE: Question is, why do “skeptics” take someone with this history seriously?

        I’d say the same question could be asked about anyone taking Stephan Lewandowski seriously. If searching for loons, he’s an excellent starting point. A Dr Kelly Anspaugh sure looks like another excellent candidate. A person apparently so bitter over losing his job due to (in his own words) his “environmental activism” and the obviously heart felt conviction that he had to “educate folks on global warming” at his institution, that he recently felt the need to damn certain people to hell.

        Some of my opinions on this subject may be strongly felt, but certainly not to the point of generating the hate Anspaugh displays.

        I doubt either side of this debate has a monopoly on strange folks.

      • timg56

        …the same question could be asked about anyone taking Stephan Lewandowski seriously. If searching for loons, he’s an excellent starting point. A Dr Kelly Anspaugh…

        Great insight into the psychology of denial here, methinks.

        You’ve nothing to say on Rawls, whose lunacy seems beyond question. (or do you want to defend his conspiracy theories?). Ansbaugh posted an unpleasant tweet (which I’d repudiate btw). You really think that compares to Rawls? Here’s what the chair of the Flight 93 National Memorial Advisory Commission had to say to him “You continue to harass, intimidate, and slander our members and family
        members.”

        Lewandowsky is a respectable professor who you can’t point to saying or doing anything remotely comparable. He just hit a sore nerve. Maybe because he was obviously correct – Rawls fits right into his hypothesis, no?.

        Meanwhile, Rawls shows up again today on WUWT with a new guest post which is remarkably similar in style to his weird Islamic fantasies. It’s absolutely clear the “sceptic” community don’t care a jot about the reliability of information – anything of any quality posted by anyone, however poor is just fine as long as it fits the necessary prejudices.

      • VTG,

        On insight into the psychology of denial – doesn’t that require me denying something? Could I ask what it is you think I’m denyimg?

        Have I denied that Mr Rawls is anything other than an upstanding gentleman whose views on all subjects are reasonable and accurate? Not that I recall. I didn’t know anything about the man until a couple of days ago (and really don’t know much about him still). I only skimmed the article you linked to, but it was enough to at least get the impression that Rawls has some strange opinions, with distasteful being one of many adjectives that could be applied. On the specific topic of the leaked report I agree with Willis. One’s word should mean something. I don’t believe kudos are due him in this case. I also believe that those making the argument that the leaked report should not be dicussed are simply arguing from weakness.

        As for Prof Lewandowski, it is also pretty easy to see that he has some distasteful opinions and manners. Even easier to see is the shoddy and incrediably inept paper he produced about denialism and conspiracy theorists. That some one of Prof Lewandowski’s obvious intelligence and level of professional accomplishmnent could put out that paper and then try to defend it should be the real insight. Just as looking into what could drive Dr Glieck to risk his reputation by misrepresenting himeslf in an attempt to find “dirt” and possibly falsify documents or motive an English professor to the point of losing his job trying to educate his peers on a matter of science might.

        My point was that I see little to be gained in claiming the other side is nothing but oddballs, nutcases and loons, all with motivations having little to do with science. The statement applied in both directions. Believing it doesn’t is itself a form of denialism.

      • tim –

        I’d say the same question could be asked about anyone taking Stephan Lewandowski seriously.

        “Mommy, mommy, they did it fiiiiiirrsst”?

        Really?

        Say it ain’t so, tim, say it ain’t so!

      • The fact that even when faced with Rawls’ obviously lunatic views, WUWT continues to push new posts by him and you farcically continue to draw any kind of parallel with Lewandowsky shows just how far into denial you are.

        The sad reality appears that most “sceptics” will support any “analysis” that backs up their prejudices, regardless of provenance or accuracy.

      • Yeah tim, state the obvious.

      • josh,

        let’s be a bit more accurate – nowhere did I say who did what first. Without that your comment has no bearing or merit. All I say is that you can find similar behavior on both sides. Hell, I didn’t even try to claim that such behavior on one side justifies it on the other. Bottom line Josh is I basically said the exact opposite of what you claim. My point is “quit crying to mommy, you both are guilty”.

        VTG,

        Whatever.

      • Fair enough, tim. I stand corcted. You didn’t say “Mommy, mommy they did it first.” No you did not. You used the oft’ used variant: “Mommy, mommy, they do it toooooouuuu.”

      • Josh,

        Take whatever literary license you want in interpreting what I said.

  63. Descartes,

    Parents’ Identical Black Swan events? Your’e the mathematician,
    you tell me the odds? Re sympathy, I’m lookin’ fer sympathy, lol,
    anybody’s aunt will do.

    Tony , Two days after ‘Door One’ I shut the car door on me finger.
    I fainted. Minus a fingernail, could’ve been worse.

    Beth

    • Beth

      Sorry to hear about your second “door” encounter – but glad to hear it wasn’t worse.

      Fingernails grow back; fingers don’t.

      So you’ll have to salute Santa and his reindeer with a bandaged hand, but that’s better than a stump.

      (Always look at the bright side of life…)

      Max

    • Beth

      Well, some would see this as retribution for using A CAR. What were you thinking of?

      I hope this won’t be used as an excuse to prevaricate further on your thought for the day franchise, which currently resembles more an ‘occasional musings from sundry sick beds.’

      Pull yourself together, wrap thick duvets around your extremities and write something profound that perhaps mirrors the sad decline of the IPCC as their troops desert and their followers are left in disarray.

      Hmm reminds me of 410AD. And we all know what then happened to the great empire and its climate. I see myself as Alaric.

      So, your suggested thought for the day theme in prose or poetry;

      ‘Rise and fall of the warmist empire.’
      tonyb

  64. ECS is a misleading abstraction at best since climate is a far from equillibrium system. Abstractly I can throw a potato chip as far as a baseball. Reality is quite different.

  65. “The conclusion—taking the best observational estimates of the change in decadal-average global temperature between 1871-80 and 2002-11, and of the corresponding changes in forcing and ocean heat uptake—is this: A doubling of CO2 will lead to a warming of 1.6°-1.7°C (2.9°-3.1°F).

    This is much lower than the IPCC’s current best estimate, 3°C (5.4°F).”

    So, if you believed that, one could say politicians will have achieved less than 2 C of global warming before 2100.

    And they have stopped the oceans from rising.

    I have said, that most warming I expect is 2 C increase by 2100.
    And that basically fits a warming of 1.6°-1.7°C due to doubling of CO2.
    We unlikely to double global CO2 [800 ppm] by 2100.
    And it doesn’t make me a CAGWer because I think global temperature
    could higher than 1.6°-1.7°C.

    I could choose to fit the 1.6°-1.7°C from CO2 with my general assumption we still recovering from the LIA. I expect, though glaciers are not retreating fast at the moment, that the glacier formed during the LIA will continue to melt over the coming decades. But we are in warming period than most of 20th Century, and so don’t expect as much warming in terms recovering from the LIA in the 21 century as we had during the 20th Century.
    So, something like .3°- .4°C might be about right.
    But I don’t think it’s some kind of certainty that we will have +1.5 C increase in global temperature by the end 21st Century.
    Rather, I have larger error bar in my expectation of future global temperature. And tend to think, that these other factors could cause significant cooling.

    And lots of people imagine we could be entering a cooler period in next couple decades, and most are not allowing or counting on, that we could have a large volcanic eruption as part of the mix. Instead it’s “climate variability” and/or solar activity.
    As these things are fitting in category of predictable- and global decadal volcanic prediction isn’t as an amusing game at this time- though the “right” volcanic events could change this into a new poplar fetish.

    It seems obvious that humans will be more commonly engaged in trying to predict global volcanic event some time in our future. Perhaps it will be related to fracking:) I assume seismic measurements are being taken and kept in terms of a record and if so, we could get a lot more data- than compared to all the haphazard and brief attempts to do this in the past.

    Anyhow, I think at most we will get 2 C increase in global temperature by 2100, and it would not be significant if it was a 3 C increase. And I don’t think we get a 3 C increase over much longer time periods [centuries] in the future- unless human deliberately want this [such as will pay money for some effort that will get more warming- for whatever reason].
    And the bigger possibility as compared to getting say +1.8 C warming
    before 2100, is to have significant cooling- so around .5 to 1 C would
    be significant. And such significant cooling would have larger effect any any possible warming.
    There is not much we could do about such significant cooling, particularly consider the fact, that this could occur within decade or 2.
    Not that we seemed capable of doing anything about the possibility warming, either.

  66. Pingback: Leaked AR5 SOD Challenges IPCC Scientists to Stop Cherry-Picking Data « GeoEngineering Exposed

  67. Speaking of sensitivity NCAR is now doing ” climate micro-forecasts” of local catastrophes to come. See http://planetark.org/wen/67448.

    What a hoax. Your tax dollars at work.

  68. Judith,
    Maybe I’m wrong but my take is that table 12.2 is not climate sensitivity but temperature changes, so density below 1.5 does not indicate that climate sensitivity is below 1.5.

    “Essentially no change, other than placing an upper limit. In the AR5 SOD, refer to Figure 1 Box 12.2 on p 153). This figure includes substantially more sensitivity estimates than did the AR4. A quick eyeball of the figure shows substantial density below 2C and even below 1.5C. What is the rationale for ‘very unlikely’ below 1.5C? It seems to be tied to the GCM climate model results (second panel from the top on the figure). Hence it seems that the large coupled global climate model simulations are given the predominant weighting in the assessment. The problems with this strategy were discussed in my Uncertainty Monster paper.”

    • Bob, I think you may be looking at the wrong fig, go to p 153

    • Sorry, I was looking at fig 12.2 rather than box 12.2.

      But anyway, my eyeball says that there is as much over 4.5 as there is below 1.5.

      I don’t think we should be putting any weight on eyeballin charts anyway.

  69. The maximum entropy principle forbids any positive feedback from the water cycle or atmospheric convection in general. The supposed water vapor amplification mechanism will simply accelerate the water cycle slightly and produce little actual temperature rise, certainly less than the 1 C rise touted as a no-feedback case.

  70. To find the IPCC’s best observational (satellite-based) estimate for AFari+aci, one turns to Section 7.5.3 of the SOD, where it is given as −0.73 W/m² with a standard deviation of 0.30 W/m². That is actually the same as the Table 8.7 estimate for RFari+aci, except for the uncertainty range being higher.

    I’ve found figure 7.19 in the draft which plots the various satellite-based estimates and followed the relevant references in Table 7.4. My first confusion was that there were only five references and appeared to be 7 dots on the figure. However, the caption states that some papers give multiple estimates (due to different approaches, satellite products etc.), and all these are plotted as if they were independent. Sure enough Quaas et al. 2006 gives two estimates, and it turns out there is another Quaas et al. 2006 with a very similar theme which also gives two estimates. That leaves me with 8 estimates and apparently only 7 dots, but two of the Quaas values are identical so one is probably on top of the other.

    These Quaas et al. references are particularly important because they are the four lowest estimates for satellite-based aerosol forcing shown in the figure. However, if you read the papers it’s very clear these estimates relate only to the first indirect (cloud albedo effect) forcing. The direct effect is not included, nor are any other indirect effects. There is a similar problem with their interpretation of Sekiguchi et al. 2003: this paper gives an aerosol indirect forcing of -0.6 to -1.2 and a direct effect forcing of -0.4. However, the AR5 figure plots the Sekiguchi et al. estimate as -0.9, which is the mean of only the given indirect forcing range.

    If you restore the -0.4 to Sekiguchi et al. and add on a direct effect of -0.4 for the Quaas et al. 2006 estimates, the satellite-based estimates give a mean result of -1.0W/m^2.

  71. In reference to IPPC projections, has anyone read what recently Tamino says?

    He says: “What should be done is to offset the observations so that the hotter-than-average 1990 really is hotter than average. When I offset the observations by 0.1 deg.C, we get more realistic comparison of observations to projections:”

    then says: “It turns out that observed global temperature has gone “right down the middle” of the IPCC projections. But, fake skeptics want you to believe otherwise”

    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2012/12/20/fake-skeptic-draws-fake-picture-of-global-temperature/#more-6082

    Is he moving the goal posts after the ball is kicked?

    • no he makes a valid point. The ensemble means predict the smoothed climate state over time, not specific annual values, so it makes no sense to clip the modeled 1990 to the observed 1990.

    • Yes. The original projections included error bars. This technique now compares the models to a model of observed temperature. They can play this game for a long time.

  72. Mr. Lewis comments: “Taking the IPCC scenario that assumes a doubling of CO2, plus the equivalent of another 30% rise from other greenhouse gases by 2100, we are likely to experience a further rise of no more than 1°C.”

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323981504578179291222227104.html

    _______

    If I’m reading this right, given a doubling of CO2, Mr. Lewis is predicting a 1 degree C increase in average global temperature from 2012 to 2100.

    If my memory serves, a simple extrapolation (OLS) of the 1979-2012 UAH rise ( about 0.4 C ?)in average global temperature puts the 2012-2100 increase at 1 degree C or more, yet from 1979 to 2012 CO2 increased by only about one-sixth. Instead, had CO2 actually doubled, wouldn’t the 1979-2102 rise in temperature have been greater than was observed?

    When CO2 actually does doubles

    • Max_OK

      “Given a doubling of CO2″ from when?

      Let’s assume he’s talking (as many CAGW aficionados do) from “pre-industrial level” of 280 ppmv (as estimated from ice core data).

      That means a level of 560 ppmv

      At the revised 2xCO2 ECS of 1.7C, that would mean warming above 2012 level of 0.9C (close enough to 1C), so sounds about right.

      Max_not from OK

      • Max, rather than address my point, you want to divert attention to a ” let’s assume” something else. Let’s not.

        BTW, I chose 1979 as a base year because that’s when UAH started doing instrument-based estimates of average global temperature. I believe that’s a sound reason for starting from 1979.

    • Max_OK

      You are entering a slippery slope with your question.

      Since the end of 1997 it hasn’t warmed at all.

      Yet over that period we have emitted close to one-third of all the CO2 we’ve ever emitted since ~1750.

      Go figure.

      Short-term “blips” (whether they are 15 years or 33 years) really don’t tell us all that much now, do they?

      Max_not from OK

  73. Please disregard the sentence fragment.

  74. Prediction: AR5 stays the course. That gives the IPCC and its proponents 6 years of “cover” for the declarations of the settled science. AR6 will take care of itself.

    Is there anyone here whose opinion of the IPCC has changed in the past couple of weeks?

    One thing I have not seen is a discussion on the approximate cutoff date for the science included in the CMIP5 models. Since the models were baselined well before the science in AR5 will be baselined, disconnects would not be surprising. Even if the climate community suddenly embraced the notion that water vapor does not increase with warming, the CMIP5 models runs are complete.

    Another discussion I would be interested in is the timing and evolution of research related to hard questions. For example, could the recent 2012 NVAP-M paper Dr, Mims is concerned is missing from AR5 have been completed earlier? Clearly it is a topic of interest to science because of the positive feedback increased water vapor is supposed to apply to any warming.

  75. This is a test. I appear to be on moderation! Or perhaps not. Trying again…

  76. MediaMatters says WSJ’S Climate Bomb is a Dud

    A little psss ….. but no boom.

    http://mediamatters.org/blog/2012/12/20/wsjs-climate-dynamite-is-a-dud/191923

  77. Willis Eschenbach

    DCA | December 20, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Reply

    In reference to IPPC projections, has anyone read what recently Tamino says?

    Nope. Tammy has censored me from his site for asking impertinent and inconvenient questions.

    Now, if you want to get your scientific information from a site that censors opposing views, that’s up to you. Be aware, however, that the real reason people don’t point out to Tammy the manifold locations where he is wrong is not because he is right, as he would have you believe …

    Me, I’ll pass, but I’ll leave you with a word of advice.

    If Tamino says it’s raining outside, I suggest that you look out the window before you go any further … and if you plan to do anything on Tammy’s site other than to osculate his fundamental orifice, don’t expect a warm welcome.

    w.

    • Willis,

      Thanks for the reply.

      I don’t plan on spending much time at tamio’s for the reasons you suggest. I just read it because Anthony referred to it.

      I couldn’t figure out why he would “offset” the observed values up to fit the projections. I’m no scientist (engineer by profession) but his “offset” doesn’t pass the smell test. I wanted to know what others more familiar with the science think about his “offset”.

  78. Willis Eschenbach

    Pekka Pirilä | December 20, 2012 at 11:21 am |

    With anomalies based on a period decided by convention one should stick to absolute values. With OHC the problem is that the absolute values tell nothing to most (is 10^22 J a lot?)

    No, 10^22J is a trivial amount in the ocean. According to them, the top two kilometres has warmed only about 0.004° per year.

    In my post Decimals of Precision, I have pointed out that we do not have anywhere near the number of temperature sensors in the ocean to determine the OHC to their claimed precision. This is particularly true for their data from years ago.

    So unless and until someone shows that my argument in that post is wrong, I plan to continue to treat the OHC figures as interesting, but purely anecdotal.

    w.

    • Willis,
      I presented the question to support my claim that few people can tell what would be a large value.

      Then to your post. Your argument is wrong. That part of the error that can be estimated like you present is negligible. Each individual measurement has that accuracy and there are really many of them. Each measurement counts in that simple argument and every buoy counts in the geographic coverage.

      Reaching the accuracy given by the scientists is certainly difficult for many other reasons, which neither of us can judge. Error estimates are often difficult to make and a place where scientists often err. Thus I don’t say anything more than that your argument is not valid. I trust that scientists of such large groups don’t make simple explicit mistakes in their error analysis but this kind of research may well involve subtle errors as well.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        Thanks, Pekka.

        I fear that you saying my argument is wrong is not sufficient to falsify it. I have discussed the effect of a fundamental relationship between the error in an answer and the number of measurements used to determine the answer. The relationship is that the reduction in the error is proportional to the square root of the number of measurements.

        This means that to get an additional decimal of precision in answer, you need to have 100 times the measurements. Conversely, you can get an error with one less decimal of precision with only a hundredth of the measurements.

        Now, their claimed error from something on the order of 3000 Argo floats for the temperature of the top 2 km of the ocean is ± 0.004°C.

        By the inexorable laws of statistics, their claim would also mean that they would only need 30 Argo floats to measure the temperature change of the top two km. to within ± 0.04°C per year.

        Frankly, I find that far from credible. No way that 30 Argo floats in the immensity of the ocean could give us that small an error.

        You say:

        That part of the error that can be estimated like you present is negligible. Each individual measurement has that accuracy and there are really many of them. Each measurement counts in that simple argument and every buoy counts in the geographic coverage.

        While it is true that there are a host of different things that make up any given individual error estimate at any single point, that does not free us from the constraint imposed by the number of measurements.

        This should be obvious from the fact that we cannot determine the average temperature of the ocean from 10 measurements with any accuracy or precision. But if we had 100,000 measurements, our average would have much less error.

        Note that the individual errors that you point out are already included in the calculation of the standard error of the average (usually called the SEM, the standard error of the mean). If you have errors in a measurement, it is revealed by a larger standard deviation in the results.

        But the SEM is standard deviation of the results divided by the number of measurements … so your individual errors are indeed accounted for, whether they are random or are from other sources.

        Subject to the usual disclaimers about symmetrically distributed errors, of course …

        All the best,

        w.

      • Willis,

        I gave the full argument. The full argument is that simple.

        There are millions individual readings in each annual ARGO average. Let’s use a low value of one million. Taking the accuracy of each reading as 0.005 K we end up to 0.000005 K as the accuracy of the average. This is really the only limit that you can reach with your simple argument.

        I did continue to tell that the real accuracy is certainly not anything like 0.000005 K, but for estimating how much worse it is we need an comprehensive analysis of the whole process of using ARGO floats and processing the data. Nothing more than this ridiculously low lower limit can be said about the achievable accuracy without additional information on top of the accuracy of individual measurements, the number of floats and the number of readings from each float.

        You cannot proceed stepwise reducing the number of floats to 300 or 30 to support your argument. That’s a procedure that you should justify (and it’s wrong).

        More generally you should justify better your claims. For me it’s enough to tell that when the final outcome has the nature of an average of all annual readings we get the first lower limit by dividing the accuracy of individual readings by the square root of the number of all readings.

        That it’s not exactly the average of all readings brings us to the need of the comprehensive error analysis that the scientists have certainly done to the best of their understanding. The scientists are not stupid and they know all the basic rules of performing such error analyses. As I wrote before, the problem is so difficult that they may still have made errors but I have strong trust in that they have done their work so well that only other scientists who go carefully trough the procedures can present relevant criticism on it.

  79. Willis

    You are spot on.

    I am always flabbergasted by proclamations of 40 years of ocean warming, etc.

    Before ARGO in 2003, there were no ocean measurements that meant anything.

    Just prior to ARGO, ocean temperature was spot measured by expendable XBT devices that were conceded to have introduced a “warming bias”

    Even when ARGO started the measurements first showed net cooling, before “errors” were found that (after correction) resulted in an almost flat curve.

    And, as you say, all the purported warming would only increase ocean temperature by an indiscernible few thousandths of a degree.

    Let’s wait until we have 40 or 50 years of ARGO data before we even talk about “net warming of the ocean”.- so far it’s only fantasy.

    Max
    .

    • “Let’s wait until we have 40 or 50 years of ARGO data before we even talk about “net warming of the ocean”.- so far it’s only fantasy.”

      yet Nic Lewis’s calculation of climate sensitivity requires accurate measurement of ocean heat uptake.

      So now you admit you don’t believe Nic Lewis’s conclusion of 1.6C-1.7C climate sensitivity after-all.

      Yet throughout the thread you kept advocating it.

      • lolwot, I’m not understanding why you’re not the slightest bit relieved that global warming is perhaps not as serious as was once thought. Instead, you just seem angrier than ever. What gives?

      • lolwot

        Please show me where I have stated that I “don’t believe Nic Lewis’s conclusion of 1.6C-1.7C climate sensitivity after-all” as I do not recall ever having said that.

        Max

        PS I have also not said that I “believe the new estimate”. I must admit that it sounds more reasonable to me than the previous higher figure, simply based on the observed CO2 temperature response since 1850. [I came up with a range of 0.8 to 1.5C for the long-term CO2 temperature response.]

      • There’s always been a perhaps. 1.6-1.7C ECS is within the traditional 1.5-4.5C range.

        It’s only a big deal if the 1.6-1.7C result is so certain as to take precedence over other estimates in that range. So predictably this is what skeptics in this thread are pushing it as: The idea that ECS has now been shown to be 1.6-1.7C with high confidence and so the IPCC has overestimated it.

        But there are consequences of believing ECS is 1.6-1.7C:

        1) Climate feedback must be net positive. Because 1.6C is higher than the no-feedback case.

        2) Most of the warming of the 20th century was caused by human GHGs (and virtually all the late 20th century warming). Because we can now accurately estimate the 20th century CO2 warming by multiplying the known CO2 forcing over the 20th century by the claimed climate sensitivity of 1.6-1.7C.

        3) Human GHGs (primarily the dreaded CO2) will almost certainly dominate global temperature over the 21st century. Because we can calculate the probable level CO2 will rise to and multiply it by the 1.6C-1.7C sensitivity estimate.

        All three deeply challenge the ideas that climate skeptics like to propose.

        #1 isn’t a biggie but a lot of climate skeptics dismiss positive feedback in climate and propose feedbacks to be negative. Cloud feedback for example is pushed as being negative, and some also attack the idea of water vapor feedback being positive too. Well something has to be positive if ECS is 1.6C.

        #2 Is a big problem for climate skeptics because they don’t want to accept the warming of the 20th century was human caused.

        #3 is an even bigger problem because climate skeptics don’t want to accept CO2 can dominate natural causes of global temperature change. Words like driver, control knob.

        There’s a #4 too. For Nic Lewis’s estimate to be robust hinges on 3 things:

        1) the accurate aerosol forcing used is accurate
        2) accurate ocean heat uptake records in recent years
        3) the equation used does accurately calculate ECS

        For skeptics to believe the result of ECS 1.6-1.7C they have to accept 1 through 3, or at least not toss them out. I mean if skeptics don’t accept #1,#2,#3,#4 then they can’t accept ECS 1.6-1.7C and if they don’t accept it why are they expecting the IPCC to?

        For example when manacker states:
        “Let’s wait until we have 40 or 50 years of ARGO data before we even talk about “net warming of the ocean”.- so far it’s only fantasy.”
        He’s rejected “2) accurate ocean heat uptake records in recent years” without which Nic Lewis’s result cannot be reached.

        Perhaps I am supposed to accept the idea that people can argue that I accept things which they themselves don’t believe, and perhaps don’t even realize they don’t believe?

  80. verytallguy says:
    “Lewandowsky is a respectable professor who you can’t point to saying or doing anything remotely comparable. He just hit a sore nerve. Maybe because he was obviously correct – Rawls fits right into his hypothesis, no?.”

    Oh yes, Lewandowsy, fake but real, is a “respectable” professor.

    http://climateaudit.org/?s=lewandowsky

    Please, can there at least be the appearance of honesty?

  81. Today’s Thought fer Today.

    ‘Pride goes before a Fall.’

    Empires rise and fall,
    think Rome fizzling out
    from leaders’ over taxing
    and over reaching
    themselves. What’s new?
    and so today, the global
    warming coterie, the IPCC
    and Emperor you know who,
    won’t go without a whimper.

    H/T Tony Brown

  82. It has already been demonstrated climate models, the Holy Relic of AGW, are merely paramterized engineering code that thus far cannot predict much of anything correctly, so what is the argument about?

    • back in the 80s they successfully predicted the world would warm. Climate skeptics were still debating whether the world was warming in the early 2000s. Not until recently have skeptics by and large accepted the world warmed since 1980

      • YOu’re been hammering away at this all day in a transparent attempt to avoid the real issues. If you claim you don’t know what those are, then you’re being to be kind, disingenuous. Bottom line, no matter how wrong your spectacularly unsupportable alarmist bleatings are proven to be, you’ll never in a million years admit it. You can’t. Your whole identity is tied up in it. TRuly pathetic.

      • lolwot | December 20, 2012 at 7:54 pm lied: ”back in the 80s they successfully predicted the world would warm”

        WRONG, in the 80’s they swapped from ”Nuclear Winter for year 2000” – into ”GLOBAL warming of 5-6C, by 2060”

        lie #2: Climate skeptics were still debating whether the world was warming in the early 2000s”

        truth: now they are ridiculing the phony GLOBAL warming

        lie#3: Not until recently have skeptics by and large accepted the world warmed since 1980”

        a#3: the ones that accepted the phony global warming – they are NOT Skeptics, BUT Warmist in-bedded into the skeptic’s camp; recognized by their botanical name: ”the Fake Skeptics”

        lolwot; you succeeded to tell 3 lies in one breath; keep on the good work – practice makes perfect. shame, shame!!!

      • “WRONG, in the 80′s they swapped from ”Nuclear Winter for year 2000” – into ”GLOBAL warming of 5-6C, by 2060””

        I dispute your figures but you agree with what I said:

        In the 80s they (climate scientists) successfully predicted the world would warm. Before it happened.

        In hindsight it now seems obvious it warmed since the 80s but at the time global temperature data was scarce and it wasn’t clear it would warm at all.

        “lie #2: Climate skeptics were still debating whether the world was warming in the early 2000s”

        truth: now they are ridiculing the phony GLOBAL warming”

        You didn’t actually disagree with what I said, in fact the use of the word “now” implies you agree with it. It’s back in the 90s sorry, not early 2000s. Before an error was discovered in UAH satellite record in 1998 skeptics were citing it as evidence the world hadn’t warmed since 1980. Eg citing papers like this.

      • lolwot

        You say that “climate scientists” (whodat?) correctly predicted “global warming” in 1980.

        Duh!

        They had a record that went back to 1850, which showed overall warming in fits and spurts.

        The last “spurt” was from ~1910 to ~1944, over which period it warmed 0.53C (“statistically indistinguishable” from the late 20thC warming cycle, according to Phil Jones)..

        Then, concurrent to a rapid increase in human CO2 emissions, came the post WWII cooling period, when “climate scientists” (Schneider, Bryson, Budyko, etc.) predicted “global cooling”.

        In his usual hyperbole, Stephen Schneider wrote:

        “Some climatologists believe that the average temperature in the Northern Hemisphere, at least, may decline by two or three degrees by the end of the century. If that climate change occurs, there will be megadeaths and social upheaval because grain production in high latitudes (Canada, northern regions of China and the Soviet Union) will decrease.”

        But by 1980 the cooling trend had stopped and things shifted back to the long-term warming trend.

        So you didn’t have to be a “climate scientist” to see that the long-term trend since 1850 was one of warming. All you had to do was look at the temperature record.

        After all, we’ve been coming out of a prolonged period of harsher weather called the Little Ice Age.

        Max

      • Just because it warmed from 1900 to 1944 doesn’t mean it would warm after 1980! What bizzare logic you use.

        Climate scientists successfully predicted the warming from 1980 because they took into account human co2 emissions.

      • Here is one example of scenario projections from 1979.

        The research was published in J.Geophysical Res. I don’t have access to old JGR issues. Thus the figures are not directly from the article (abstract here),

      • They successfully predicted twice as much warming as occurred which places them as far from the truth as those that predicted no warming.

      • Actually the projection of Figure 10.9 agrees surprisingly well with what we have seen. The did certainly err in thinking that a scenario of solar and nuclear would be needed to get a reasonably valid projection for the CO2 concentration and also emission history that leads to such concentration. Their emissions exceed the actual ones up to 2003 but fall rapidly thereafter resulting concentrations that are a little lower than the measured ones.

        The warming of that that scenario is about 0.45 C from 1975 to 2010 while the observed one is somewhat more.

        Where the scientists of the 1970’s erred most was in projecting future energy consumption.

      • Sorry Pekka, I wasn’t responding to your paper. They do seem fairly close as far as concentrations and temperature goes. This doesn’t mean for the right reasons but at least they can say they were close without fingers crossed behind their backs. I would say the error that stands out from this time period the most for me would be the amount of co2 predicted to remain in the atmosphere.

      • Steven,

        I agree that they couldn’t be so close for the right reasons only. Some luck must be involved.

      • Projecting future energy consumption will make climate science partly into a systems science.

        The wild card in the projections is how much we burn marginal forms of hydrocarbons. There are plenty of fossil fuels and pseudo-fossil sources such as peat that have such low efficiency, that most of the carbon may be burned as process or waste heat. That is of course happening with tar sands whereby natural gas is used to process the kerogen. Or with biofuels where petrochemicals are used to make the fertilizer.

        Growth based economies need to get an increased supply of energy from somewhere.

  83. Thank you Tony. Believing in competition as I do, I’ll accept
    the review as long as it’s open and transparent. :-)

  84. I don’t agree with the conclusion AR5 is attempting to walkback it’s unproven numbers to the degree implied. Take a look at Markov processes and it’s derived Poisson Process points to knowing X (An S-valued stochastic process) for previous times T will NOT inform statistical dependence on state-space for any given economic change. Evolutionary economics is always a tradeoff between static Pareto-efficiency and innovation. In the case of the AGW industry there is virtually no innovation and full throated Pareto-efficiency is the driving force. This forcing will lead the industry to ramp up autoregressive profit seeking in an attempt to stave off “method of moments” (through Yule Walker equations) static wide-sense stationary stagnation. What you end up with after only T=5 iterations is something akin to a snake eating it’s own tail to keep alive. There is excellent work done on this (Winters and Nelson) with respect to the tobacco industry alarmist who eventually “killed off” nearly an entire industry with dire warnings on health issues which never came to pass.

    As a side note, what’s interesting with the correlation between tobacco and AGW is that the targeted industry uses innovation to overcome resistance. In tobacco we saw a push to expand markets into third world economies while at the same time massive diversification (RJR/Nabisco). Tobacco is relatively small compared with affected industries in AGW so one would expect a much more massive response and corresponding innovation to defeat AGW. That is good news for skeptics and great for the economy especially the energy sector.

  85. Getting the ECS from this initial transient phase is not likely to be accurate because the warming is mostly in the dry or cold areas (continents, Arctic) where the moisture feedback can’t play much of a global role. In other words, the distribution of the transient warming is not likely to be the same as the equilibrium warming. We don’t know the equilibrium warming distribution except through models, but the tropics should account for larger fraction than now, especially the ocean areas, and this will lead to the expected rise in water vapor. But in this first stage we just saw the land areas warming by 0.3 degrees per decade for 30 years, equivalent to a sensitivity of 4.5 C per doubling when divided by the CO2 forcing change in the period. I don’t think the uneven warming can continue at this rate, because the atmospheric flow probably limits the temperature gradients that can develop, but for sure the transient climate is an unnatural state and far from the more even warming that would reflect the equilibrium state.

    • Jim D | December 21, 2012 at 1:08 am lied: ”the tropics should account for larger fraction than now, especially the ocean areas, and this will lead to the expected rise in water vapor. But in this first stage we just saw the land areas warming by 0.3 degrees per decade for 30 years, equivalent to a sensitivity of 4.5 C per doubling when divided by the CO2 forcing change in the period” ===============

      Jim D. when you are still at your crystal ball; can you tell us: who is going to win the Melbourne Cup, next time? If you are correct – will start to believe you about the rest of the drivel, promise.

  86. Tony, NOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  87. Judith: I have been puzzled by the coldest regions in the atmosphere at 50 mb in the tropics, where the temperature is -75 degC. The moist potential temperature at 50 mb is higher than elsewhere in the well-mixed tropics implying that convection doesn’t reach this high. However, it is warmer outside the tropics at 50 mb, suggesting that convection followed by adiabatic expansion has produced these low temperatures. This contradiction might disappear if entropy potential temperature replaced moist potential temperature. Is this evidence that GCM should be using entropy potential temperature?

    You can see graphs of the dilemma at http://scienceofdoom.com/2012/02/12/potential-temperature/

  88. Webster, since you mentioned mean models.

    http://redneckphysics.blogspot.com/2012/12/the-moisture-model-and-quondums-comment.html

    If you think real hard about Quondum’s Helmholtz free energy iso-thermal boundaries, you might notice that with two systems, atmospheric and oceans, you might have two means to consider. If you assume that one mean applies to both, you end up with “climate science”.

    There have been quite a few real scientists mentioning that ocean or “aqua” models are needed and they are 100% correct. You can’t model the ocean with TOA estimated “average” energy because there are two averages to consider.

    • You certainly can model with TOA estimated average energy. There are 16 thermal emissive bands (TEBs), covering wavelengths from 3.7 to 14.4 microns. MODIS TEBs are calibrated on-orbit by a v-grooved blackbody scan-by-scan basis. The algorithms are different but otherwise It’s been doing this for 12 years now with good result for Terra and Aqua models. Your “quite a few real” scientists are obviously looking for new sources of funding and not doing real science.

      • Not the water, only the atmosphere. The oceans get most of their heat between latitudes 24N and 24S and that energy travels in all directions based on fluid dynamics in a virtually radiantless manner.

        Look at Aqua, the average SST per Aqua is ~ 21.1C degrees, that would put the “true” sea level surface temperature at approximately 17.5C for the global average. So you can use TOA for some “surface” but not the real surface.

        Now if all you want is the impact on some surface that is basically irrelevant with respect to the “true” surface, you can get the “true” surface temperature to +/- 5 degrees or so and we can all go home with the knowledge that radiant physics works great for a radiant surface at some altitude where most folks don’t live. Anything more accurate will require a water model.

    • Have a look and google maps or another map source. Please note both the Southern ocean and the Arctic Ocean don’t even reach into 24N/S. Automatically discounting 2 of the five known oceans would lead even the most deranged money grabbing climatologist to discount your argument.

      Energy absorbed into the Aqua doesn’t travel in all directions equally, otherwise we’d live in a perfect homogenized backbody. The energy stored is layered and follows the GTC as well as other factors. Your radiant model is about as true as my kids theory on the tooth fairy.

      Most “folks” live between sea level and 5000m. Your last point doesn’t even make a point, which is quite pointless.

      • LOL, I am not surprise the last point didn’t make a point to you. The effective radiant layer of the atmosphere is roughly at an average altitude of 5000 meters and temperature of roughly -30C degrees. A doubling of CO2 will increase the ERL average altitude and like an extra sheet on a bed increase the resistance to heat lost by roughly 3.7 to 4.1 Wm-2. With an average total atmospheric effect of roughly 334 Wm-2 that additional “layer” of insulation will increase the atmospheric effect to roughly 338 Wm-2. Any additional impact requires amplification or positive feedbacks.

        Increasing the atmospheric effect to ~338Wm-2 from ~334 Wm-2 would increase a surface at 3.89C to 4.71C or by 0.82C degrees. There is no more without help. Why do I use 334Wm-2 and 3.89C?, because that is the average temperature and energy of the bulk of the thermal energy on Earth that created the 334Wm-2 which you might call Down welling IR.

        Now if you happen to live in a region where the average night time temperature is -30 C degrees, you could experience the full impact of the CO2 doubling.

        Since the oceans are the main thermal energy storage of the Earth and they happen to be at ~3.89C, and they receive the vast majority of their energy from the sun in the tropics, what total warming that can be expected from a doubling of CO2 is total dependent on the oceans.

        I think I could even get an Amen from Skeptical Warmer, R. Gates on that point.

        TOA does give us a lot of information, but you gots to know what to do with it. Especially when it is a tale of two greenhouse.

        http://redneckphysics.blogspot.com/2012/12/a-tale-of-two-greenhouses.html

        If you are curious, Graeme Stephens et al. have a nifty new Earth Energy Budget just to bring you up to speed. 3C plus is just so 1980s

        http://judithcurry.com/2012/11/05/uncertainty-in-observations-of-the-earths-energy-balance/

  89. Pingback: Joe Romm demonstrates himself to be an angry know-nothing in his attack on Matt Ridley’s WSJ essay – Ridley responds | Watts Up With That?

  90. By the definition of terms, the equilibrium climate sensitivity is the ratio of the change in the equilibrium temperature to the change in the logarithm to the base 2 of the CO2 concentration. As the change in the equilibrium temperature is not an observable, the notion that there is an equilibrium climate sensitivity is scientific nonsense.

  91. Lauri Heimonen

    Judith Curry

    ”By far the most important debate about climate change is taking place among scientists, on the issue of climate sensitivity: How much warming will a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide actually produce? – Matt Ridley

    Chapter 12 of the SOD includes the discussion on sensitivity (download chapter here). The main summary conclusion on equilibrium climate sensitivity is stated as follows:
    Equilibrium climate sensitivity is likely in the range 2°C–4.5°C, and very likely above 1.5°C. The most likely value is near 3°C. Equilibrium climate sensitivity greater than about 6°C–7°C is very unlikely.”
    The assessment of IPCC is based on model calculations where especially the anthropogenic share of CO2 increase in atmosphere and a minimal influence of Sun, without any proper evidence, have been chosen to support the believed AGW.
    Already nicola Scafetta states that the climate sensivity assessed by IPCC is too high to be reliable http://judithcurry.com/2012/12/19/climate-sensitivity-in-the-ar5-sod/#comment-278277 :
    ”The climate models used by the IPCC needs a climate sensitivity of about 3 C because only in this way the chosen readiative forcing functions are able to reproduce the about 0.8-0.9 C warming since 1850.
    However, this same models fail to reproduce the natural cyclical variability of the climate system at many time scales from the decadal to the multidecadal, secular and millennial scale. Because of this failure it is possible to demonstrate that about half of the warming since 1850 is associated to these natural oscillations. As a consequence the real climate sensitivity is less than 1.5 C.”
    As I have stated, for instance in my comment http://judithcurry.com/2012/12/04/multidecadal-climate-to-within-a-millikelvin/#comment-274367 , the share of the anthropogenic CO2 emissions in the total CO2 content in atmosphere and in the recent rise of CO2 content in atmosphere are so minimal, that the climate sensitivity caused by them is insignificant. In addition, according to empirical findings the recent increase of CO2 content in atmosphere has followed the warming, not vice versa, where any warming caused by the increase of CO2 content in atmosphere cannot be found in reality. IPCC ignores all of these essentials findings in reality.
    According to pragmatic philosophy (e.g. as stated by John Dewey) any theory has to be regarded as a hypothesis that has continually to be empirically tested. This makes a continuous development of theory be fulfilled. As to the AGW hypothesis this kind of testing is ignored by IPCC. Therefore you can regard the AGW modelling as an imaginative ‘AGW Game’. As it’s metaphor can be regarded e.g. Hermann Hesse’s ‘Glass Bead Game’, the hero of which finally finished the organization of the ‘games’, as he recognized it has nothing to do with the real life. Before long even the ‘AGW scientists’ will have to admit that any Kioto-type measure to cut CO2 emissions causes only huge harms and not any real benefit. Even IPCC seems already to move in that direction as it has begun to emphasize adaptation to natural climate events, though there even still is an ‘institutional’ belief in strengthening influences of potential anthropogenic warming.
    The truth on the natural cause of the recent global warming has to be proven to politicians as decision makers simply enough, that even they themselves can it understand. That demands a sufficiently proper cross-disciplinary approach of the complicate climate problem in order to find sufficiently understandable explanation concerning the essential reasons. For instance, what I have said in my comment above should be clear enough to make politicians, too, to understand that the recent increase of CO2 content in atmosphere is dominated by natural factors and not antropogenic CO2 emissions:
    ”The CO2 content in the atmosphere is controlled together by both all CO2 emissions from sources to atmosphere and by all CO2 absorptions from atmosphere to sinks. Nowadays when the yearly total CO2 emissions are little over 200 GtC (CO2 as carbon) and the yearly human CO2 emissions are about 8 GtC, the influence of the human CO2 emissions on the CO2 content in atmosphere is approaching 4 % at the most. For instance, when the CO2 content in the atmosphere is 390 ppm, the manmade share of it is only about 16 ppm at the most; in the reports of IPCC the human share of recent CO2 content in atmosphere is assessed to be about 100 ppm without any proper evidence.”

  92. I have a PhD in molecular biology, so I don’t know a thing about serious climate science, but i do know about how science shd be done.

    I read the WSJ piece; it cites two other articles as important. I forget one, but the other was by a norwegian guy who spends most of his time on fish stocks; he published one paper on climate.
    kinda suspicious that: unless you are a gibbs or an onsanger, you can’t publish one paper and be a serious player.

    so, i’m biased, but if Dr Curry is taking something from the wsj op ed page as serious…we can safely put her on permanent ignore.

  93. Pingback: Weaker Global Warming Seen in Study Promoted by Norway's Research Council - NYTimes.com

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