by Judith Curry

It’s your turn to introduce some new topics for discussion.

This coming week I have some extra time on my hands, so I will be able to post more frequently.

452 responses to “Open thread weekend”

I just wish to thank you for having the courage to try to get to the bottom of things physical-science-wise in a very politicized debate.

Also, I would be interested in anyone parsing Joe Romm’s push-back to Matt Ridley’s recent WSJ piece and ‘global lukewarming’ in general: http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2012/12/20/1365671/error-riddled-matt-ridley-piece-lowballs-global-warming-discredits-wall-street-journal-world-faces-10f-warming/.

• gbaikie

Quote from: “in general: http://thinkprogress.org….”

“In our paper “A Fair Plan to Safeguard Earth’s Climate” (http://www.scirp.org/journal/PaperInformation.aspx?paperID=20038), we show that by the middle of this century the warming will exceed the 2°C (3.6°F)”

So, 2 C rise in 38 years?
And we had flat trend for last 15 years?
And we assume 560 ppm in 38 years??
160 divide by 38, so, 4.2 ppm average per year?
Seems odd. And:
“What will most likely happen is … permanent outgassing of carbon dioxide from permafrost and methane from clathrates/hydrates. As you know, methane is a greenhouse gas that is 23 times more potent, molecule for molecule, than carbon dioxide. If we hedge not against this outgassing, it’s game over.”

Do they realize the arctic was much warming a few thousands years ago, and we have lots of tree stumps to prove it?
Since it’s apparently so much more “powerful” than CO2 levels, why wasn’t is “game over” thousands of years ago?

• “160 divide by 38, so, 4.2 ppm average per year?
Seems odd.”

How backwards do you have to be at math to not have grasped the concept of exponents? Basic algebra, right? Amazing to see people who think they can debate professors of the hard sciences in their own field despite ignorance of 9th-grade math.

• gbaikie | December 22, 2012 at 12:09 pm lied: ” As you know, methane is a greenhouse gas that is 23 times more potent, molecule for molecule, than carbon dioxide”

gbaikie, it was 21 times more potent greenhouse gas; now advanced into 23 times…? is by next year going to be 26 times more potent?!

Methane is NOT a greenhouse gas!.Don’t run away from truth, for a change:: http://globalwarmingdenier.wordpress.com/methane-ch4/

• You are always going to see different GWP for methane, because it has a different, and variable atmospheric lifetime.

• +10 for Ridley
-100 for Romm

• JCH

Dr. Schlesinger has written a letter to the WSJ (below) explaining

“In his article, Mr. Ridley is just plain wrong about future global warming.”

• +1,000 for Professor Judith Curry’s courage !

As Dr. Alberto Boretti and I tried to remind the editors and readers of Nature magazine, governments were established to protect our God-given right to live happy, joyous and free !

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

The document proclaiming those rights in 1776 also assured us of the right to abolish any government that becomes destructive of these ends, i.e., by scaremongering.

That includes politicians and the “UN Climate Scientists” who already “Plead for Immunity from Criminal Prosecution”

– Oliver K. Manuel
PhD Nuclear Chemist
Postdoc Space Physics
Former NASA Principal
Investigator for Apollo

• Joshua

Test

• Joshua

This is annoying. Once again, from the top:

Ridley +10, eh?

From Ridley’s Op-ed:

==]] Given what we know now, there is almost no way that the feared large temperature rise is going to happen.[[==

Ok then. I guess that uncertainty monster has just left the room, eh Judith?

Again?

When will you begin holding the combatants on both side of the debate to the same standard, Judith?

Same ol’ same ol’.

• Joshua

Aarrrggghhhh!!!!

From the WSJ article:

==]] Given what we know now, there is almost no way that the feared large temperature rise is going to happen.[[==

Ok then. I guess that uncertainty monster has just left the room, eh Judith?

Again?

When will you begin holding the combatants on both side of the debate to the same standard, Judith?

Same ol’ same ol’.

• Brian

Johua, set an example. Might be others may follow!

• Judith,
What’s going on with the recent paper by Keith Briffa et al, that contained a new interpretation of the data used by Mann to build his hockey stick? IIRC, the paper concluded that the Medieval Warming Period was indeed warmer than the present, which is in direct contradiction to the hockey stick. Other than some news stories in the week or so immediately afterward, there has been nothing at all from either side of the AGW spectrum.
What is your opinion? Is there anything to this at all?

• Who is Richard Windsor?

Is Romm serious?

• Jim D

Romm correctly laid into Ridley for his confusion of the water vapor feedback with cloud feedback. That kind of confusion on the basic science does not belong in any article, and is a plain mistake, rightly called out. Romm also goes to sources that Ridley quoted, who oppose Ridley’s twist on their work.

• Rob Starkey

Jim D- You really are dense.

• Jim D

Can you distinguish water vapor feedback from cloud feedback, because if you can you are already a step ahead of Ridley.

• Who is Richard Windsor?

If you want to play that game, there is more than one cloud feedback mechanism. Empirically, it all comes out in the wash.

Distinction without a difference.

• Jim D

So you saw Ridley’s mistake then.

• David L. Hagen

Jim D
Recommend you read Ridley rebuttal of Romm before giving yourself any kudos.
Joe Romm demonstrates himself to be an angry know-nothing in his attack on Matt Ridley’s WSJ essay – Ridley responds

He says I apparently don’t know the difference between water vapor and clouds. He produces no evidence for this absurd claim, which is wrong. Water vapor is a gas; clouds are droplets of liquid water that condense from water vapor. I do know the difference.

He quotes a scientist as saying

it is very clear water vapor … is an amplifying effect. It is a very strong warmer for the climate.

I agree. My piece states:

water vapor itself is a greenhouse gas.

So there is no confusion there. At least not on my part.

However, I do discuss the possibility that clouds, formed from water vapor, either amplify or damp warming – and nobody at this stage knows which. This is the point that my physicist informant was making: the consequence of increased temperatures and water vapor in the atmosphere may be changes in clouds that have a cooling effect. You will find few who disagree with this. As the IPCC AR4 said:

Cloud feedbacks remain the largest source of uncertainty.

Joe Romm disagrees with this consensus, saying

The net radiative feedback due to all cloud types is likely positive.

He gives no backing for this dogmatic conclusion. By contrast, Professor Judith Curry of Georgia Tech says:

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.

• Memphis

Ah, for a moment there I thought Romm had made his first-ever non-moronic contribution.

• Jim D

Ridley said: ‘ “We don’t even know the sign” of water vapor’s effect—in other words, whether it speeds up or slows down a warming of the atmosphere.’ He did not say clouds (which was probably what he should have said), he said water vapor. His own reply doesn’t address this sentence which Romm picked up for its inaccuracy. In his reply, he hoped nobody else would notice what he actually said too. Fail.

• This points system is amazing.

2. Government Climatists’ GCMs (General Circulation Models) are constructed to propagate a political point of view. Climatists want you to believe the science of global warming is far too complicated for you to understand and they preach to you that you must fear the future for your own safety. Climatists tell you reality does not give you a true picture of the world and caution you against listening to your own common sense. Climatists believe you should fear everything that free men do of their own accord. Should you abandon your own dreams and desires too? Can you be trusted to exercise your individual liberty? Should the rest of us also fear whatever it is that you wish to do?

• gbaikie

“Government Climatists’ GCMs (General Circulation Models) are constructed to propagate a political point of view.
…”

Yes, but it’s pretty weak tea.
The rise of the totalitarian states has been trend for over
two centuries. Some could think it’s faltering. Though perhaps
crashing is a better term.
I don’t know. It’s possible it’s best we are capable at the present-
an endless loop of foolishness.
Will fail like the Soviet Union?
Or will we move on :)

• The climate is neither the hottest ever nor the coldest. These are neither the best nor worst of times either. The mainstream has not gotten any smarter nor has education gotten any better. In other words, most everything is the usual chaos. The climate hasn’t changed much for over a decade–there has been no global warming in 16 years and very little warming since 1940–but, some things are different.

“Mainstream climate science has changed… reasons for this paradigm shift are clearly not based on science…”
~Dr. Roy Spencer

3. David Wojick

The US National Academy of Sciences has a new report out on data sharing: http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=18258

The report is largely an exercise in envisioning the possible opportunities for scientific discovery presented by extensive data sharing, based on large-scale, present-day examples. Given the vastness of this issue and the slow pace of its unfolding, the fact that this workshop happened over a year ago does not detract from the report’s importance. Happily, the PDF version is free and searchable. One of the best features is that in addition to the presentations, the post-presentation discussions are included, where interestingly the discussants remain anonymous.

The context for this report may be as important as its content, if not more so. The workshop was a flagship event for the relatively newly formed Board on Research Data and Information (BRDI) of the US National Academy of Sciences, locally known as “Birdie.” NAS is the chief science adviser to the US government, and it is standard practice that they pass judgment on new federal science initiatives. Creating BRDI is a de facto endorsement of data policy as a legitimate federal science issue, and tracking their activities is recommended. http://sites.nationalacademies.org/PGA/brdi/index.htm

The focus of the report is promise, not policy, but there are many major policy issues between the lines. Given the discipline-case approach, these issues tend to be scattered, especially among the discussions, so search and scan may be the best way to find them. There is even some AGW stuff but of course it is on the warmer side.

It seems clear that even in good budget times, universal data preparation, curation, preservation, and sharing are not feasible, and these are far from good times. The present approach is to fund what can be justified on a case-by-case basis, and that is likely to be about all for the foreseeable future, so we need good data sharing selection mechanisms and a better awareness of the issues. Sharing of policy relevant data should be a high priority.

• David, thanks for this link

4. jim2

Can anyone explain how trapping more heat will increase the amount of water vapor in the air, especially in the tropics? Isn’t the air there saturated? If so, there can be no increase in water vapor, only an increase in rain and a speedup of the thunderstorm, heat conveyor.

• Who is Richard Windsor?

Google the difference between humidity and relative humidity.

• gbaikie

Well, if didn’t get cold in the temperate regions during the winter, then
the air would not get colder and condense out the water vapor, so as to result in rain [or snow].

So we would have to see more tropical condition in the temperate zone, for
this to work.
So, being able to grow orange trees in Oregon, would be a start.

I think the only way this could have chance of happening is for the temperate zone ocean surface temperature to increase significantly.
But this could also cause massive snowfall at higher elevation, and cause
cooling, and eventually enter or be in ice age.
But I think tilting the planet would work better.

• gbaikie | December 22, 2012 at 12:30 pm said: ”Well, if didn’t get cold in the temperate regions during the winter, then the air would not get colder and condense out the water vapor, so as to result in rain [or snow]”

Here is some more truth:: CO2 at night releases more heat than O&N – becomes COLDER and increases condensation = rain -> makes space for more evaporation. FACT: in high.humidity -> evaporation decreases.
FACT#2: CO2 is used to make dry ice; because can get much colder than other gases. You already understand that: coldness increases condensation. if you don’t; here is experiment: take a bottle with deep frozen water in a humid room – the ”coldness” will condensate half a cupful of water. outside the bottle’

the only reason the propaganda avoids to recognize that: CO2 absorbs much more coldness at night / or; releases more heat, if you will; than O&N can do – because CO2 supposed to be demonized. Can you prove the dry ice makers stupid, for using CO2??? If not, what does that makes the propagandist and their foot solders like you and JimD?

• Dennis

Stefan, huh? I think you don’t know what you are talking about.

• Jim D

The water vapor holding capacity increases with temperature, and the oceans supply enough to keep it near that holding capacity.

• Jim D | December 22, 2012 at 12:39 pm lied again: ”The water vapor holding capacity increases with temperature, and the oceans supply enough to keep it near that holding capacity”

Jimmy boy; if ”water vapor holding capacity increases with temperature” how come the hottest places in Australia / Sahara are the driest??!!
you are almost; the biggest ”back to front person” Everything you say; is offensive to the nose… Do you get a kick out of lying, or are you fleecing some suckers, for telling lies?

• Jim D

stefan, up to your usual standards. You possibly noticed that the ocean is wetter than the desert, so the ocean temperature is what controls global water vapor not deserts, silly.

• jim2

stefan – You are fighting a losing battle. They are right. You can’t have humidity where no water exists. Mine was a stupid question.

• manacker

Jim D

You write:

“The water vapor holding capacity increases with temperature, and the oceans supply enough to keep it near that holding capacity.”

A 5-gallon jug has a “holding capacity” of 5 gallons.

That does not mean that it has a “content” of 5 gallons.

Likewise, a warmer atmosphere has the “holding capacity” for more water vapor (moisture) following Clausius-Clapeyron.

This does not mean that its increased “content” equals the increased “holding capacity”.

In fact, tropospheric observations by Minschwaner + Dessler (2004) showed that the increase in atmospheric WV “content” was less than one-fourth the theoretical increase in “holding capacity”.

Other later studies (recent thread on revised ECS) also seem to confirm that in our atmosphere WV “content” does not increase in lock step with the theoretical “capacity” with warming.

In the past (AR4) IPCC models assumed that WV would increase with “holding capacity”. This is one reason that the WV feedback predicted by the models (and the resulting 2xCO2 ECS) was too high.

A second reason is that cloud feedback was also predicted to be strongly positive, whereas recent studies show that it is neutral to negative.

Together, these two factors have resulted in a revised ECS estimate of 1.6 to 1.7C, as compared to the previous mean estimate of 3.2C.

Max

• Jim D

manacker, that applies to equilibrium climates. We are in a transient state where the land is warming too fast for the ocean to maintain the same relative humidity over land. The oceans would have to catch up first, but that could take a while.

• manacker

Jim D

The long-term NOAA record (radiosonde plus satellite) since 1948 shows that tropospheric humidity has actually decreased over the long term while temperature warmed.

Interestingly, over the short term SH increased with temperature (as evidenced by several “blips” in the curve), but over the long term it decreased (as evidenced by the linear trend).

I do not believe that there is any empirical data that would support the notion that humidity changes on a global scale with warming to maintain constant relative humidity, while there are empirical data to indicate that this is not the case, for example M+D 2004:

Max

• Jim D

And I can point to what the IPCC go by for the water vapor over oceans.
http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch3s3-4-2-1.html

• ” Ishii et al. (2005) reported that globally averaged dew points over the ocean have risen by about 0.25°C between 1950 and 2000.

• Jim D | December 22, 2012 at 6:10 pm said: ”You possibly noticed that the ocean is wetter than the desert, so the ocean temperature is what controls global water vapor not deserts, silly”

No Jim; I can ”notice” that: Australia is surrounded by the biggest mas of water on the planet / three oceans / smallest continent, but is the driest!!.Brazil has permanent water inland that tracts clouds from the sea / in Australia – dry heat produced inland, keeps the clouds away from land. Because of criminals like you and Tim Flannery.

Now they are prepossessing farmer’s water – to drain it into the estuary, when is raining = even less moisture on the land in the future = even bigger bushfires / even less clouds from the sea will go on the land. Just to make day temp much hotter, to suit the sick propaganda!!!!…

saving extra storm-water in new dams = improves the climate. decreases dry heat – more permanent moisture inland, attracts regular clouds from the sea, as in Brazil. Same as: money makes money = water brings extra clouds – extra dividends. more new trees woulds be grown, when is permanent moisture inland. After farmer’s water evaporates, contributes to other vegetation + fights against dry heat – no need helicopters to put the bushfires off. Instead; the ”Carbon Molesters” like you are getting further and further away from the reality.

• jim2 | December 22, 2012 at 6:27 pm said: ”stefan – You are fighting a losing battle.

WRONG! I have the real proofs; I will definitely win. only will take longer. People on the street that are not fanatically involved; can understand, when the real proofs are presented to them!

C#2: ”They are right. You can’t have humidity where no water exists”

A#2: water CAN AND DOES EXIST on land. Brazil has natural lakes / swamps – in dry countries dams can be built, to save storm-water and to have permanent water – that ‘permanent water” attracts more clouds from the sea – that makes space for more evaporation from the sea. Rice paddies improve the climate better than anything / makes days cooler / nights warmer – in Australia, rice paddies are demonized more than anything; by people from Jim D’s Organized Crime.

Jim 2, the truth always wins on the end! don’t forget that. I have the real proofs.

• Matthew R Marler

StephanTheDenier: Jimmy boy; if ”water vapor holding capacity increases with temperature” how come the hottest places in Australia / Sahara are the driest??!!

The “water holding capacity” increases with temperature but the “actual water held” depends on the availability of water.

5. kim

The Bish and his commenters have a nice thread on Joe Romm, Matt Ridley, and Nic Lewis.
=========

• Who is Richard Windsor?

Romm answered with another non-answer. For a blogger, his communication skills sure aren’t very strong. I almost think he has something to say, but I sure can’t figure it out from that turgid verbiage.

6. Tim Worstall has a very entertaining thread on the Ridley WSJ article
http://timworstall.com/2012/12/19/is-climate-change-really-a-damp-squib/

One of the most interesting ‘food fights’ I’ve seen in the climate debate, in which William Connolley ‘distinguishes’ himself

• I feel exactly the same way – and this slightly puzzled me yesterday, because the language and attitude employed and tolerated by Tim is outside my normal comfort zone for blogs dealing with serious subjects.

But the bad feelings and emotions are there in all parts of the climate scene and sometimes it really sheds light when they are allowed to show. Mosher and others deliver some facts along the way. It’s a great read.

• David Springer

“the language and attitude employed and tolerated by Tim is outside my normal comfort zone for blogs dealing with serious subjects.”

Speaking as a US Marine Corps sergeant I can say that no situation or subject is so serious that salty language becomes inappropriate.

• David Springer

It really isn’t a serious subject anyhow.

• manacker

Yep. Connolley can sling it with the best of them.

• mike

We can all be proud, here at Climate Etc., that one of our own–yep, David Springer!–got in the best shot, by far, in the Worstall blog free-for-all. Maybe even the best shot in the whole history of blogospheric “food-fights.”

• Steven Mosher

• David Springer

When in Rome…

• David Springer
7. It’s your turn to introduce some new topics for discussion.
Sun, temperature, ocean currents, geomagnetics, tectonics, NAO, AMO,and CET, all get together for a jolly Xmas party in the N. Atlantic
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LL.htm

• gbaikie

Hmm.
Not sure I understand this.
Are jet streams strongly affected by large evaporate weather/climate systems?
What is established view on what causes changes in jet streams- I thought generally it mostly about high and low pressure areas.

• High pressure (Azores) – Low pressure (Reykjavik) = NAO

• gbaikie

“High pressure (Azores) – Low pressure (Reykjavik) = NAO”

Ok, so *mostly* Icelandic low would be a causal factor.

And then I wander around looking solar cycles. And:
“Good luck.
I’ve been at it for some years now, not getting very far though.
http://cdsweb.cern.ch/record/704882/files/0401107.pdf
http://www.vukcevic.co.uk/solarcurrent.pdf
Currently the climate change is more fun.”

In regards to solar cycle in regard Juptier and Saturn:

Two questions. Earth has very significant magnetic field compared to terrestrial planets- but a relatively tiny planet- comparatively small magnetic field as compared to gas giants. If one considers possibility of Jupiter and Saturn affecting the Sun, could Earth’s magnetic field as it being closer, affect the Sun?
Other question is about Sol traveling thru different density of the matter in galactic space. Could the solar system traveling thru different densities of vacuum affect the sun’s magnetic field?
I am thinking quite long term cycles. And thinking about changes in the bow shock wave. Could a change in the Sun’s bow shock wave which is something like 1/4 light year away affect in any significant way, local magnetic fields?.

Hmm. But apparently we might not have a bow shock wave:
“For several decades, the solar wind from the Sun was thought to form a bow shock when it collides with the surrounding interstellar medium. This long-held belief was called into question in 2012 when data from the Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) found the solar system to be moving slower through the interstellar medium than previous believed. This new finding suggests that beyond the termination shock and heliopause surrounding the solar system there is in fact no bow shock.”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bow_shock
You can learn something every day.
Oh well, say we did have one:)

• gbaikie said “I am thinking quite long term cycles” wrt solar system’s trajectory through deep space.

While the SS is cyclical by nature, the movement of the SS through deep space would certainly involve differing magnetic and radiative conditions which would most probably be non-repeatable and non ergodic by nature and hence, non-predictable with no cycles in play.

• gbaikie

“gbaikie said “I am thinking quite long term cycles” wrt solar system’s trajectory through deep space.

While the SS is cyclical by nature, the movement of the SS through deep space would certainly involve differing magnetic and radiative conditions which would most probably be non-repeatable and non ergodic by nature and hence, non-predictable with no cycles in play.”

Generally, yes, I agree. But SS has about 250 million year long, “year”/cycle.
And we do look back and are interested 500 million years or longer.

Galactic year:
“The galactic year, also known as a cosmic year, is the duration of time required for the Solar System to orbit once around the center of the Milky Way Galaxy. Estimates of the length of one orbit range from 225 to 250 million “terrestrial” years. According to NASA, the Solar System is traveling at an average speed of 828,000 km/h (230 km/s) or 514,000 mph (143 mi/s), which is about one 1300th of the speed of light.”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galactic_year

For shorter time scales, the Milky Way has spiral arms which may be known to have general/broad ideas regarding the density space in
these regions.
So probably within your current capability to predict “seasons” of your Galactic year and so talk about smaller units, say, 50 million years.

What important other than density, is relative velocity. We traveling at 230 km per second and in order to run into anything, it of course needs to be traveling at different velocity, and this would mostly be about intersecting something which has a different vector than Sol.
For instance, there are stars in our galaxy which orbit, sort of like comets
in our solar system- they have a highly elliptic orbits.

So hitting stuff in a similar orbit as our solar system is in, would not be much velocity difference. Whereas, “stuff” in a highly elliptic orbit which intersect us, would include very large differences in velocity- have bigger effect in terms of energy

• gbaikie

Re: Galactic year.

The difference in the galactic year of different stars add another complication to civilization which could involve many different stars, and if one talking about over a long enough time period [millions of years] an increasing problem.
It does help diffuse a civilization, but interferes with a unity and purpose of a particular civilization. This is assuming one must obey light speed type limitations. Or that distance is relevant and an obstacle.

• Thanks for your response gbaikie. I had forgotten that our SS is itself orbiting around the Milky Way Galactic centre. The cycles are indeed very long and they would be extraordinarily difficult to track.

8. The Medium is the Message Parse this: “the heat is missing.

“[The] “missing heat” explanation for a lack of recent warming [i.e., Trenberth’s argument that despite the lack of global warming we just cannot find the heat yet] is theoretically possible, I find it rather unsatisfying basing an unwavering belief in eventual catastrophic global warming on a deep-ocean mechanism so weak we can’t even measure it [i.e., the coldest deep ocean waters are actually warmer than they should be by thousandths of a degree]…” ~Dr. Spencer

We know things as well as humans can. The big emains: how immeasurable is chaos?

9. Schrodinger's Cat

The climate debate is hugely polarised by political, financial, funding and idealist agendas. Is science and the search for truth the loser?

I get the impression that warmists are now in defensive mode as far as the blogosphere is concerned, though the ordinary scientists, MSM, public and everyone else is still on message. Do you think the whole catastrophic warming movement will crash publicly any time soon, or what?

The elephant in the room is the fact that warming has not happened for 16 years and the way things are going, I wouldn’t be surprised if the earth starts cooling. Given that CO2 caused the warming “because nothing else could explain it” how do you explain the negation of continued warming? (Please don’t harp back to underestimating the cooling effect of aerosols.)

• “I get the impression that warmists are now in defensive mode as far as the blogosphere is concerned”

Why do you think so? I’d say the pro-science blogging community is reasonably smug right now, given the large shift in public opinion away from climate denial, and of course the scientific evidence, which smashes psuedoskeptics into the dirt and takes their lunch money every single day of the week and twice on Sundays (yet the sight never gets old!)

Maybe you’re simply self-selecting your peer community in terms of the blogs you read. It’s also possible that you are seeing a drop in comment wars, because deniers really have no new material, and you can only win the same argument so many times before it becomes boring.

But please tell me why you think the reality-based community is “in defens[e] mode.” I’m curious.

• manacker

Robert

You wrote:

But please tell me why you think the reality-based community is “in defens[e] mode.” I’m curious.

The “:reality-based community” is NOT in defense mode, Robert.

It’s the “CAGW community” that is.

Max

• Jim D

-The land temperature is still rising.
-The ocean heat content is still rising.
-The Arctic sea-ice is still disappearing.
Nobody really, deep down, taking everything into account, thinks that the warming has stopped for good, do they?

• It really hasn’t stopped at all, even in the atmosphere:

http://tamino.files.wordpress.com/2012/12/giss79.jpg?w=500&h=322

• JimD

No. Its impossible to tell whether its merely a pause in the long established upward trend or the start of a signficant reversal .

My money would be on merely a pause, but that’s based primarily on a linear extraploation of the last few hundred years data. I’m sure everyone here will have their own idea that is likely based on whichever side of the debate they sit

tonyb

• kim

The repeating apparent cycle of climate optima and minima urges me to worry that our optima is past.
================

• manacker

Jim D

You missed the “globally and annually averaged land and sea temperature anomaly” (surface and troposphere), which is not rising.

And, while there is a current pause (which only a true “denier” would deny), NOBODY is saying “that the warming has stopped for good” only that it has “stopped for NOW”.

Max

10. Schrodinger's Cat

Jim D – Please provide your source. My source is the Met Office

• Specifically what data? If you think the Met Office data shows “warming has not happened for 16 years” then I suspect the problem is that you don’t know how to read the data.

• Jim D

You have not seen the Levitus et al. paper on Argo data or the BEST land temperature record, or heard that this year had the lowest sea-ice area, or seen other temperature records like GISS. You need to weigh up all these lines of evidence before drawing any conclusions. The Met Office might have been talking about their own temperature record and its statistically noisy recent trends. Their trend is 0.15 degrees per decade if you look at the last two ten-year averages.

• David Wojick

But the atmosphere has not warmed for the last 34 years except for a small jump coincident with the big ENSO cycle. The ocean has not warmed since systematic measurements began. Global ice volume appears steady but we really do not know. The surface statistical models are unreliable. So there you have it. Looks like the LIA is over.

Guess it all depends on who you believe, as always when the science is ambiguous.

• Jim D

So you believe Tisdale’s ENSO ratchet effect, where El Ninos blast energy from somewhere undefined into the atmosphere periodically?

• manacker

Robert

It’s not really about what one “believes”, it is simply the fact that two of the temperature records (HadCRUT and RSS) show slight (statistically irrelevant) cooling since 1998 and two (GISS and UAH) show slight (statistically irrelevant) warming, for a net average = “no warming”.

This is the “pause” that has been discussed ad nauseam.

Everyone (almost) agrees that 15 years is too short to be a statistically significant trend.

Ben Santer once stated that it takes 17 years. Others have said it takes 30 years.

As Jim D says, if you look at the longer-term record, all indicators show a statistically significant warming since 1976 of between 0.13 and 0.16C per decade.

Those are the facts, Robert.

Max

• David Wojick

I make no physical claim about the step mechanism. I merely note that there was no warming 1978-1987 and 2001-today. The only warming in 34 years is the small jump coincident with the big ENSO (not El Nino). I see no ghg warming here over 34 years. Sensitivity appears to be zero and 34 years is a long time.

Tisdale focuses on the jump but my eye is on the flat lines that bracket it.

• The Skeptical Warmist

Jim D said:

“Their trend is 0.15 degrees per decade if you look at the last two ten-year averages.”

___

Which is exactly in the range that Foster & Rahmstorf 2011 found for AGW when factoring out short-term effects of ENSO and solar. Interesting.

• The Skeptical Warmist

Jim D says:

“So you believe Tisdale’s ENSO ratchet effect, where El Ninos blast energy from somewhere undefined into the atmosphere periodically?”
_____
More net heat definitely flows from ocean to atmosphere during El Nino periods and this can be traced in the spike in tropospheric temperatures that occur, but one can filter out the ENSO cycle and find out if there is a residual AGW signal under the ENSO/Solar/Volcanic noise. Turns out there is.

• Bob Droege

As usual Max is up to his tricks,

First he makes a conclusion from two irrelevant facts.

Then he makes his only factual conclusion, that the pause has been discussed ad naseum.

It is true that Max and lots of “skeptics” think the amount of time a trend exists is the sole determination of statistical significance, but the truth is one has to perform the statistical tests to determine the statistical significance.

Sometimes 15 years happens to be long enough, sometimes 30 years is not. For example, the slight cooling trend from 1940 to 1970 is not statistically significant, while the trend from 1982 to 1997 by HadCrut4 is statistically significant. (Just barely and that is a cherry pick)

I remind you again Max, that Santer said “at least 17 years” again you misquote the guy.

Some trends since 1976 are higher than 0.16, for example HadCrut4

• “It’s not really about what one “believes”, it is simply the fact that two of the temperature records (HadCRUT and RSS) show slight (statistically irrelevant) cooling since 1998 and two (GISS and UAH) show slight (statistically irrelevant) warming, for a net average = “no warming”.”

You’re wrong on all counts. But thanks for playing!

• manacker

Bob Droege

Max

• The Skeptical Warmist

David W.,

Mind if I include this quote with proper attribution in my upcoming book, “The Lies Global Warming Deniers Tell Themselves”.

“But the atmosphere has not warmed for the last 34 years except for a small jump coincident with the big ENSO cycle.”

• The Skeptical Warmist | December 23, 2012 at 5:47 pm said: ”Mind if I include this quote with proper attribution in my upcoming book, “The Lies Global Warming Deniers Tell Themselves”. “But the atmosphere has not warmed for the last 34 years except for a small jump coincident with the big ENSO cycle.”

Gates, you should put the statement from the genuine denier in GLOBAL warming / BUT never denies that climate is constantly changing – some places for the better / others for worse – H2O controls the climate, not CO2; here it is:

1] extra heat in the earth’s troposphere is not accumulative.
2] for the last 5000 years, not enough extra heat has accumulated, to boil one chicken egg!!! Some part / parts always get warmer; BUT, under the laws of physics – other parts simultaneously must get colder; all proven!

3]planet will have SAME warmth units on first of January and on the end of the year, 31 of December. During the year, the sun will produce tremendous amount of heat on the earth + all the geothermal heat released + volcanic heat + heat produced from burning fossil fuel – ALL WILL BE WASTED. Therefore: troposphere wastes more heat, than what the sun produces here. Because: of the sensitivity of oxygen & nitrogen in change of temperature!!! them expending when warmed / shrinking INSTANTLY, when cooled; are regulating the temperature ”overall”, to be always the same – every day / night of every year and millenia!!!.

4] monitoring only for the hottest minute in 24h and ignoring the other 1439 minutes; is the biggest con – b] monitoring on 6 feet off the ground; but ignoring the rest of the troposphere, is the second biggest con ever. c] .not having ”EVENLY” distributed the monitoring places, is the mother of all con. Merry Christmas Baron!

• Punksta

The Skeptical Warmist
… my upcoming book, “The Lies Global Warming Deniers Tell Themselves”.

Phew, what a man of principle! – going for such a tiny niche market when there is so much more material in “The Lies Global Warming Alarmists Tell Everyone, using our taxes”

11. Schrodinger's Cat

Climatereason:
I agree that we have had warming since the Little Ice Age and thank goodness that we have. We also had rather severe warming towards the end of the the last century. Now we seem to be in a period of no change in global temperature.

I think that most of us, but perhaps not all, can agree on the published data in that respect.

• “I think that most of us, but perhaps not all, can agree on the published data in that respect.”

That is what the psychologists referred to as a “shared delusion.”

The published data reflects rapid and continuing warming over the past forty years.

If you are having trouble perceiving that, then either you don’t know how to read the data or are in denial about what it says.

• Tomcat

Robert : The published data reflects rapid and continuing warming over the past forty years. If you are having trouble perceiving that, then either you don’t know how to read the data or are in denial about what it says.

It is quite clearly only Robert who is in denial here, about the current pause. Pesky data that doesn’t fit the required concslusion, what else can the poor boy do ?

12. Frank

You may be interested in this press release:

Stanford expert: ‘Black swans’ and ‘perfect storms’ become lame excuses for bad risk management

Instead of reflecting on the unlikelihood of rare catastrophes after the fact, Stanford risk analysis expert Elisabeth Paté-Cornell prescribes an engineering approach to anticipate them when possible, and to manage them when not.

13. Schrodinger's Cat

Robert:
You obviously don’t accept the Met Ofice temperature record. No Problem. I presume that you accept that the global temperature over the last decade plus has not been roaring away at the same rate as the correlation with atmospheric CO2 concentration predicts, according to the GCMs.

What explains the deviation?

• “You obviously don’t accept the Met Ofice temperature record.”

No, you’re simply not understanding what you’re reading.

“the global temperature over the last decade plus has not been roaring away at the same rate as the correlation with atmospheric CO2 concentration predicts, according to the GCMs.”

Nope, you’re wrong about that too.

• The Skeptical Warmist

Schrodinger’s Cat,

As net heat flow on this planet is from ocean to atmosphere. During the current cool phase of the PDO one would expect a flattening of atmospheric temperatures as less net heat is flowing from ocean to atmosphere relative to a warm phase of the PDO. But underlying this is the continued warming of the ocean as measured by ocean heat content increases. Interestingly, the most accurate measurements we have of ocean heat content down to 2000 meters has occurred during the current cool phase of the PDO. Oceans continue to accumulate energy, consistent with a TOA energy imbalance caused by continued GHG increases.

• Memphis

Skeptical Warmist
Oceans continue to accumulate energy, consistent with a TOA energy imbalance caused by continued GHG increases

This would be a telling claim, were it not the case that there is only unreliable data for both OCH and TOA imbalance.

Furthermore, since the mechanism of AGW is a warming of CO2 in the atmosphere, if (as now) the atmosphere isn’t warming, then any ocean warming there might be cannot be due to AGW/CO2 – it must necessarily be something else. (Anyone have any ideas on this?)

14. Schrodinger's Cat

Jim D
I agree with you that there are lots of sources of data.

Personally, I ignore Giss data because I cannot stomach their habit of massaging it. I’m not too keen on Met Office interpretation, but their data is probably honest. Forget the data since we are not talking about detail here.

The GCMs predict massive warming and that has clearly not happened in the last 16 years. Do you accept that definition or not?

• David Wojick

The output of these statistical models is not data in the sense of measurements. It is just model results and the surface statistical models are unreliable, just as unreliable as the GCMs if not more so. Nor do they even sample the atmosphere, just the boundary layer.

• “Personally, I ignore Giss data”

That is why you are called a “denier.” Because you are “in denial.”

15. Max_OK

I have continued to analyze age data on the signatories to the recent open climate letter to the UN Secretary-General complaining about his statement on extreme weather and climate change, and I have found that the American Phd’s who signed the letter are much older than the American PHD’s as a group Although I couldn’t find the ages of all 40 Americans Phd’s who signed the letter, I did determine at least 22 of them, or 55%, were over age 60. In comparison, only 18% of all U.S doctoral scientists and engineers were above age 60 in 1997 according to a survey by the National Science Foundation.

The climate change skepticism of the signatories may be a reflection of the politics of older Americans, who tend to be more conservative and and less willing to accept change than younger people.

Famous physicist Max Planck, who originated quantum theory, once said:

“A scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.”

• David Wojick

Leaders tend to be older. I signed it and I just turned 70 but I have been fighting the greens since 1968 when I first recognized their threat to humanity. See this from 1980: http://www.stemed.info/engineer_tackles_confusion.html.

• Max_OK

And you are losing. Why be a loser?

• David Wojick

Losing? Did you watch Kyoto go down the drain? I am celebrating.

• Max_OK

That was under a GOP ( Go On Polluting) presidency.
Climate change is one of President Obama’s top three priorities in his second term. His young daughters have convinced him the problem needs to be addressed The anti-science GOP has disintegrated into waring tribal factions of aging old guys.

• manacker

Max_OK

He’s got other problems (and priorities) right now.

Max_not from OK

• kim

Heh, the US did better with Kyoto targets than almost all(maybe all) signatories. And Max, not OK, wants to make it a national political issue and is dead wrong about it, to boot.

‘Business interests’ must not need much careful attention.
========

• harrywr2

“The climate change skepticism of the signatories may be a reflection of the politics of older Americans.”

Maybe they are old enough to have experienced ‘climate cycles’ first hand.

If I go to the shoreline on a warm day there is no shortage of young children that become alarmed when the tide comes in.

• Max_OK

I think among the old, it’s fear . Some seniors are even afraid to leave their houses.

• mwgrant

Max_OK

I think among the old, it’s fear .

Definitely in some cases. But maybe for some their perception is that many of the younger sorts are naive due to insufficient experience. There are asymmetries involved–the older have experienced being young albeit in different times, whereas the young has not experienced being old. The younger may be quicker to connect some of the dots–that’s usually good, but maybe sometimes too quick, e.g., vaccinations and autism–that even to the point where they endanger society with their decisions. [Know something about living in society?]

But also maybe some of the older individuals have an easier time accepting that there are risks in life.

Both the young and the old have enough impediments to judgement. Anyway, I’ve decided to leave my house for a little while now. I’ve gotta get out, run an errand and get back ere Harry-ca-nab gets me. :op

• Max_OK

Yes, mwgrant, some wisdom comes with age, but it seems to lag behind. If I had inherited a large sum of money at age 18, I probably would have squandered it on snazzy cars and other extravagances, which looking at it now, I shouldn’t have done at that age. But now, I probably should spend a windfall extravagantly, but wouldn’t unless near death.

• mwgrant

Max_OK,

Nice summary.

• mike

Max_OK,

Yr: “And you are losing…”

Are the “good guys” really losing, Max_OK? Sure about that? I mean, like, we’ve now got Kevin Trenbreth (a bit of an “ol’ dog”, himself), on record that the IPCC sucks–see my comment down thread there. Doesn’t sound like “losing” to me.

Look at it this way, Max_OK, your “side” has, as its “winner” line-up, yourself, Robert (barf!), lolwot and a few other improbable weirdos like that; a tribal history of make-a-buck/make-a-gulag, killing-field failures; and a dorked-up, brainwashed, randy herd of flash-mob-ready kids as your shock-troops, who, when they mature into responsible adults and put their “zits” behind them, will hate you and your lefty con-jobs for the rest of their lives for your former abuse of their naive, youthful, skin-blemished idealism.

In contrast, Max_OK, us “good guys” have on our side a line-up, in depth, of decent men and women with a respect for the scientific method, a craftsman pride in our accomplished honest-labors, a social competence in our personal lives, a fully worked-up and functioning B. S. detector, a contempt for scamsters, a solidarity with those of our fellow citizens who share our ethical good-character, and history.

So my bet’s on the “good guys.”

• Max_OK

What’s good about a bunch of geezers who want the world to deplete it’s fossil fuels ASAP, and who at the same time oppose development of alternatives to fossil.
fuels? NOTHING ! They hate people, they hate polar bears, they hate …… you name it, they hate it. Fortunately, there aren’t many of em’ , and the public knows they are a cracked and shrinking demographic.

• Max_OK

mike, disregard my careless writing. Anyway, you know what I mean.

• jim2

Max_OK – you conflate hating government support of alternatives with hate of alternatives. As long as alternatives arise from a free market, unsupported by government, I think they are a truly great idea.
And before you go there, there should be no special subsidies for other energy sources either, with the exception of nuclear with comes with security concerns. (But it otherwise a truly outstanding source of energy!)

• Max_OK

jim2 said in his post on Dec 2012 at 7:26 pm
Max_OK – you conflate hating government support of alternatives with hate of alternatives. As long as alternatives arise from a free market, unsupported by government, I think they are a truly great idea.
_____

I’m a pragmatist, and I don’t care much for ideologies, including free-market ideology. I think the notion alternatives are good only if they arise from the free market is a silly notion. I think the notion alternatives are good only if they arise from government is another silly notion.

• jim2

Max_OK. Perhaps you could extricate yourself from you obsession with ideology by envisioning the economy as a machine, where cause and effect come into play. Just trying to help you out here.

• “Are the “good guys” really losing, Max_OK?”

What good guys? You mean lying scumbag deniers? People like you who threaten scientists’ children with rape and call for them to be lynched?

Do you mean good guys, or people like you?

• Max_OK

jim2 said on Dec 23, 2012 at 12:13 pm
Max_OK. Perhaps you could extricate yourself from you obsession with ideology by envisioning the economy as a machine, where cause and effect come into play. Just trying to help you out here.
________
jim2, I’m not obsessed with ideologies. I simply don’t like ideologies. Some other things I don’t like are rap music, raw onions, and long prayers before meals, but I’m not obsessed with any of these things.

You want me to envision the economy as a machine? I’ll pass, but jim2 why don’t you envision the economy as a machine, and tell me about what’s going on in your head.
______________________

• jim2

OK, Max. Let’s consider the money one keeps from ones efforts to be a potential – kind of like voltage. In this case, the higher the potential, the more the person is incentivised to produce (more current). Lower the potential, less is produced. That is a good start.

• Max_OK

jim2, I’m a little disappointed you decided not to describe your vision of the economy as a machine. I was curious about how you see it as a machine. But I can understand why you wouldn’t want to start writing a long and complicated description on Christmas Eve.

Re your “let’s consider the money one keeps from ones efforts to be a potential.” I’ll buy that. Any money not spent has potential. If I live below my means (always a good idea), the money I don’t spend can be invested with the potential for making me wealthy. Tax I pay also is not money spent by me, and has potential for enhancing national defense, infrastructure, education, and the health and welfare of citizens less fortunate than me.

Of course there should be a reasonable balance between the taxes I pay and what I have left over to save and invest, because being taxed too much might reduce my incentive to make money, which wouldn’t be good for me or anyone else. So far, tax rates have never been high enough to discouraged me from making all the money I can make, and I have in the past paid higher rates than I pay now.

I wish you a MERRY CHRISTMAS.

• manacker

Max_OK

Your “analysis” of the relative ages of scientists openly challenging the IPCC forced “consensus” and those going along with it may reflect the fact that the younger ones are still dependent on supporting the mainstream “consensus” in order to get funding for work, while the older ones may either be retired or so well established that they refuse to be cow-towed by a forced “consensus”.

Or maybe it’s just the wisdom that comes with age?

Max_not from OK

• Max_OK

Max, contrary to what you might like to believe, the 22 American Phd’s past age 60 who signed the letter to the UN are not a significant proportion of all 104,750 American science and engineering Phd’s past age 60. For some perspective, those letter signers would be comparable to about 2 people in a town of 10,000 signing a petition, not enough signatories to take seriously. Indeed, the number is laughable.

• manacker

Max_OK

Don’t play the stupid “numbers game” with me.

There are hundreds of scientists qualified to have an opinion who have publicly stated that they do not support some aspect of IPCC’s “CAGW” premise.

Your own Senator put together a list once and others have joined the ranks.

This list is slowly growing, Okie, as reality sets in.

But, since the “consensus” group still controls the climatology funding, the list who support IPCC is still longer.

Max

• Max_OK

The numbers don’t lie. According to the National Science Foundation, there were 582,000 Americans with science and engineering doctorates in 1997, and the number likely is greater now. Not even 1% (5,820) of that total are on Inhofe’s list of skeptics and deniers.

Look at it this way. If the docs were a bushel of grapes the deniers/skeptics would be one little dried-up raisin.

• “Don’t play the stupid “numbers game” with me.”

Sometimes a denier says something that just perfectly encapsulates their bellignorant attitude towards facts and reason . . . case in point.

• Tomcat

Robert is your textbook alarmist – belligerent towards facts and critiques of CAGW, crdedulous towards any and every claim that might support CAGW. He dispenses with thought because his mind was made up before he started.

• manacker

Max_OK

Yes, you are playing the “stupid numbers game” with me.

How many of those “104,750 American science and engineering Phd’s past age 60”, which you cite have publicly stated that they fully support the IPCC CAGW premise?

Can you cite specific references?

Or are you simply “playing a stupid numbers game”?

Grow up.

Max

• Max_OK

Max_Ch, your reply is a transparent ” hey, look over there” attempt to divert attention from your embarrassment at being cornered by hard facts.

If you want to play silly games, I will counter your diversion with one of my own.

You ask: ‘How many of the “104,750 American science and engineering Phd’s past age 60″, which you cite have publicly stated that they fully support the IPCC CAGW premise?’

My answer: Who cares what a shrinking demographic supports ? Old guys past age 60 aren’t going to be around much longer anyway, but If you want to know what they support, do some research and find out. You already know only 22 out of all 104,750 science and engineering doctorates over age 60 don’t support the IPCC CAGW premise, so out of the remaining 104,728 you should be be able to find as many or more who do support it.

• phatboy

In the words of Einstein, “it should only take one”
Besides which, most of the above-mentioned Phd’s are too busy keeping the wheels turning to get involved

• manacker

Max_OK

Not to spoil your post-Christmas feeling of good cheer, but just to remind you that it was YOU who tossed out:

“there were 582,000 Americans with science and engineering doctorates in 1997, and the number likely is greater now. Not even 1% (5,820) of that total are on Inhofe’s list of skeptics and deniers.”

I simply asked you how many of those 582,000 US scientists you cited had gone on record saying they supported the IPCC “CAGW” premise, a question which you skirted with a waffle.

When you toss out numbers, it’s best to know what they really mean – otherwise you just look foolish (even if you aren’t).

Max_CH

• David Wojick

What percentage are IPCC WG1 authors?

• phatboy

So science has in fact demonstrated a link between extreme weather and climate change, has it?
I must have missed it…

• manacker

phatboy

Establishing that link “between extreme weather and climate change” was a two-step process. But is was more one of marketing strategy than scientific discovery.

After several years of no warming and a couple of unusually harsh and snowy winters, the brand name “Anthropogenic Greenhouse Warming” (AGW) had to be changed.

“Anthropogenic Climate Change” (ACC) was just the ticket.

But this name was not scary enough – after all, everyone knows that climate “changes”, so what?

So we then morphed to “Anthropogenic Climate Disruption” (ACD).

This new brand name filled all requirements: any kind of climate-related disruption – hot, cold, wet or dry – could be blamed on human CO2 emissions, from cold waves in the UK and forest fires in Russia to a relatively weak but devastating hurricane in the USA.

A true branding bonanza!

Max

• phatboy

Max,
I was merely responding to your namesake’s misapprehension that such a link does in fact exist.

• David Wojick

Max, I did some research on this and the term climate change has actually been widely used as long as global (not greenhouse) warming. Happily climate disruption has not caught on.

• manacker

phatboy

I was just trying to explain to Max the Okie how the “link between extreme weather and climate change” was really established – not by scientific discovery, but by marketing strategy.

Max_not from OK

• David Wojick

Phat, science is not a person so it does not demonstrate things. But several leading scientists have claimed that this link exists and their followers now accept it as established fact. See for example http://news.google.com/news/section?pz=1&cf=all&q=Climate+change&ict=ln where the link is assumed in many cases. Science is a human activity so it is just as subject to short term fads and fallacies as any other.

• Tom

Science has in fact demonstrated a clear link that shows that SUVz, kill people. I read it in the papers too.

• manacker

David

The fact that “several scientists” have accepted the premise that a causative “link between extreme weather and (human-induced) climate change” exists means absolutely nothing. Zilch.

What is missing is empirical scientific evidence for such a causative link.

Until that is presented, there is no “scientific causative link between extreme weather and human-induced climate change”.

It’s just that simple, David.

Max

• Tom

Why, men has been shown to be the causative link.

16. Schrodinger’s Cat

If you are referencing the Met office rather than Giss it is likely you are British. The UK represents that considerable numnber of stations globally that are cooling. (about one third of all stations in BEST but the definition is rather elastic as Steve Mosher will tell you.)

Interestingly, in 2010 the average anomaly of CET was identical to that of the first year of the record back in 1660. This date isn’t shown on the link as the Met office prefer the material from 1772 based on the daily measurements. The 1660 data was a monthly one.

If you are interested in the subject I wrote about it here

http://judithcurry.com/2011/12/01/the-long-slow-thaw/

tonyb

• Steven Mosher

That chart was very confusing.

Basically here is what was done. All series were compiled from 1700 to present. then those series that had more than 70 years of data were selected. NOTE.. these 70 years could be at the beginning of the time period, at the middle OR at the end. they are scattered through time.
30% of these are ‘cooling’ but not all of them are statistically significant.

I’ve redone that data looking at the past 60 years. Selected stations that have NO missing data. tested for signifcance and the cooling stations fall to single digit percentages.

Some day I’ll get back to looking at this in detail, but the orginal chart, made for a diiferent purpose ( looking at S/N) has been mis used by swarms of people

17. We can get better with our language. For example, we shouldn’t say land based temperature. All we can say, is that after many years, we have an idea about the micro climates immediately surrounding government thermometers in the middle of urban heat islands subject to myriad adjustments that are not explained.

• But you fail to grasp the critical point that your ignorance is irrelevant to what scientists know and understand.

• The difference is, I know that.

18. johnm33

When the sea ice has gone and we have a moderating oceanic expanse instead of a frozen desert in the north, what are the chances of a 4 or 5 cell system of atmospheric circulation kicking in. Say hadley ferrel larop/polar, there seems to be no hard and fast rule about this looking at the gas giants.

• Johnmm33

Did that happen during the Viking period? What were the consequences?
tonyb

• Jim D

I think it will be more like the Eocene epoch around 40 million years ago. A weak equator to pole gradient, no ice or freezing over most of the globe, extended Hadley cell, tropical oceans reaching 35 C, and tropical vegetation into high latitudes with forests and methane-producing wetlands in all of what is now Arctic tundra and Antarctic glacier. A mystery about the Eocene is apparently how the poles were so warm leading to the weak equator-pole gradient. We should look to the Eocene because its CO2 levels are where we are going to be by 2100. Current polar creatures may have difficulty with this scenario.

19. Schrodinger's Cat

We are getting bogged down in detail – deliberately, I suspect.

The particular temperature dataset is unimportant. They all show the same trend. Anthony Watts has shown that most of the thermometers generate warming due to poor siting anyway.

The bottom line is that the warming recently is much less than predicted. What is the reason for that? If your particular belief cannot explain that fact then it is failing in some way.

People who believe that at least some proportion of the previous warming was due to natural forcings have no problem in explaining recent temperatures.

• Jim D

Anyone who believes in natural (solar and ocean) cycles with an amplitude of 0.1-0.2 degrees has no problem with the current flat trend either. It is consistent with expectancy, and will soon be cancelled by a positive natural cycle, possibly around the next sunspot maximum or large El Nino. These natural cycles are small in the big picture of 3 C per doubling.

• manacker

Jim D

You’d better update your ECS estimate.

It’s no longer “3 C per doubling” (of CO2).

It’s 1.6 to 1.7 C based on latest studies.

And the natural factors have managed to completely “overwhelm” the AGW from unabated CO2 emissions since 1998, (equal to almost one-third of all the CO2 ever emitted by humans).

So I would not call them “small in the big picture”.

Max

• Jim D

manacker, nope, still 3. Otherwise how do explain the rate at which the land temperature is rising, equivalent to 4.5 C per doubling? TCS estimates of 1.5-1.7 C impose a lower limit on ECS, and I don’t know why Nic Lewis thinks he has an ECS, not TCS, given the transient nature of current climate and relative lack of warming in the tropics (with its water vapor increase) as of yet.

• manacker

Jim D

” Nic Lewis thinks he has an ECS”

I guess until someone refutes his study successfully, thereby invalidating it with scientific evidence, it stands, sort of regardless of what you might personally think.

Max

• “I guess until someone refutes his study successfully, thereby invalidating it with scientific evidence, it stands, sort of regardless of what you might personally think.”

Nope. Unfortunately your ignorance is showing. One paper out of dozens that reaches a conclusion you like does not automatically become more important than all the others.

• Steven Mosher

Sorry Anthony has not shown this. He has claimed it in a draft paper for which neither code nor data has been provided. he assures me that if and when he publishes he will release the data and code. until that happens, its a non reproduceable result. Rumor, not science

• Mosh

Sorry, not intended to be snark but has the BEST material been peer reviewed yet?
tonyb

• Steven Mosher

Has it been peer reviewed? of course. The paper, data and code has been published before it was ever submitted for review. That’s our basic philosophy, as with physics of old, we post the stuff the community needs prior to submitting to a journal. That way we can actually benefit from comments before submitting to the political process of journal approval.

• mwgrant

Steven Mosher, Climatereason –

Has it been peer reviewed? of course.

The BEST material may have been ‘peer reviewed’ but it has not been QAed.* There are still easy to find errors in the data. The one example given here is from ‘site_details.txt’ and ‘site_complete_details.txt’. When I first looked at the 2011 data this past summer a number ‘nit-picking’ errors were evident within minutes after getting the data (US data) into R.

Post-plots of the station locations by state showed stations outside the state for a number of states (10 to 20 I think). These data error may or not be relevant to the actual calculations—I was taking a quick look with my ex-QA hat on. Looking for the kinds of things that auditors find. A basic question is did BEST look at their data as a part of their QA. If they did not and easy-to-spot errors are found, then the latter may help to discredit the whole work in litigation and such. At best, defense of the work is made much more difficult in a public forum. It is that simple.

This example came from an examination of the Texas data. Basically when a scatter-plot** of the Texas stations was made the outline of the state was easily recognized. In addition there was on point well to the northeast of the state. It seemed to be about where Memphis, TN is located. A check on the Memphis station lat-long values in the R dataframe quickly showed that to be the case. ABILENE(NEXRAD) is associated with the West Memphis Muni AR lat-long. Next the site_details.txt file from which the R data came was examined in a text editor–that is I looked at the files as provided at the BEST site. The same association exist there and in site_complete_details.txt. A second check was made using the ‘less’ tool. Same result.

Here are some partial listings demonstrating the error. The ellipses indicate where data irrelevant here are deleted. For your orientation the location data for West Memphis is ( http://www.wunderground.com/cgi-bin/findweather/getForecast?query=72301&MR=1 )

Elev: 217 ft
Lon: 90.2° W
Lat: 35.1° N

===============================================================
site_detail.txt : (ABILENE(NEXRAD) is line 24073):

30038 WEST MEMPHIS MUNI 35.13500 -90.23400 65.00000 … 62e967888617ab5c79904ff18fc21765

30039 ABILENE(NEXRAD) 35.13500 -90.23400 65.20000 … 50453318fdc6b10058454b754c154465
===============================================================
site_complete_detail.txt : (ABILENE(NEXRAD) is line 10646):

30038 1 WEST MEMPHIS MUNI United States -9999.000 -9999.000 Global Summary of the Day 35.13500 -90.23400 65.00000 … 9b91d038d6226373c4ca85c4e5449b1a

30039 1 ABILENE(NEXRAD) United States -9999.000 -9999.000 Global Summary of the Day 35.13500 -90.23400 65.20000 … 077564f756bdafd31c44c2fee90e0441

A quick look at those apparent errors I found suggested several origins: typos (I think the Abilene-West Memphis example here is one of these); association by legal jurisdiction ( Several Caribbean/North Altantic/European locations are indicated for New York state; possible cut and paste errors. It simple and given the optics of the situation it should be done. Yes, it is a huge mountain of grunt work.

Given this and a number of similar findings I reached the conclusion that the due diligence has not been done from a QA perspective–given the extreme visible and audible nature of the work. However, it is important to note that at this time these ‘nits’ would even perceivably effect the calculations.*** I merely point this out because the question of peer review has come up and in the past there has been comments extolling the virtues of the BEST data. While those comments are understandable and has some basis given the amount of refinement that has been applied to these data electronic http://berkeleyearth.org/dataset/ , it seems that not enough time was spent in actually looking at the data**** and they still are not ready for general distribution.

If I was do a real review this quick look (applied to all the data) would be the starting point or pretty near it. And if it I hit a glitch or question with the data at this point I would consider stopping there and sending it back or at least would send it back and scale down my effort for the time. Why wade into the weeds if you have have immediately found any problem with the initial data.

The purpose this comment is to communicate one potential with the BEST data using an example. In all there were 15-20 states in the US with such anomalies. No effort was made to look at other countries.

[* Academic and private sector scientists by virtue of the nature of the work and interests often seem to have only have partial overlap in QA world—It probably an over-simplification but peer review addresses the quality of a piece of work, and QA attempts to address the quality of an entire project. BEST has elements of both. Overlap improves when academic and private sector scientists are throw together on some crisis/project working group.]
[** The scatter-plot used the digital lat-long and hence there is some minor distortion.]
[*** Only a very small number of the US data are affected. ]
[**** Again maybe time was spent, but when one outside the process–but having some QA experience–finds errors in the two initial datasets examined something is wrong.]

• mwgrant

The further back in time you go the fewer stations there are so to maintain the notion of a ‘global’ climate as it appears that data needs to be ‘borrowed’ from the older stations. This of course was done with Hansen and his grids but I have never been sure it shoud be done. Also I did a check with some of the stations and their reliability must be questioned. Reasonable data may be available pre war for Europe the States etc but various other ones used are rather more questionable.

I have never really seen a ‘popular’ article from Mosh in the wider media that clarifies in non technical language how the data base was constructed although I have had several exchanges with him and I am sure he is diligent in the way he has put together data. Its just that as in many other walks of climate life-Historic Sst’s, Historic ice levels etc-the data is not always as robust as is imagined and you shouldnt build policy on them as if they are the results of laboratory experiments.
tonyb

• mwgrant

clearly something was missing here…

However, it is important to note that at this time [it is probably the case that] these ‘nits’ would even perceivably effect the calculations.***

• mwgrant

However, it is important to note that at this time [it is probably NOT the case that] these ‘nits’ would even perceivably effect the calculations.***

continual corrections on a comment about QA lacking… what better way to make a point. Anything else, figure it out. …cold, dry air itching to distraction…

• mwgrant

climatereason

Thank you for your remarks. Following up a little…

Also I did a check with some of the stations and their reliability must be questioned.

Of course not being part of the BEST process it is hazardous–and to a degree unfair–to read between the lines and speculate on exactly what was done. But the documentation, which I believe to be a good faith effort, just is not complete, and one is left with speculating. From the description on the BEST site dataset page one does get the impression that processing the data was done nearly all electronically–future detailed documentation of filtering and merging is mentioned. Given the amount of the data this is the sane approach to many of the culling tasks performed. But at some point one, i.e., a qualified individual, has to find some way to look at look at the data. It appears not to have been done because there is no mention of even a surficial examination of the data, e.g., judiciously constructed scatter-plots, on the dataset page where the processing overview is presented. (‘tests’ suggests all numeric.) The nature of the errors I pointed out above supports my supposition the idea of no ‘substantive looking at the data’ by humans occurred. Also for the record the ‘example’ I listed above were taken from the site data as of yesterday–my last look used summer vintage files but no changed was evident.

I’ll presume that you went and manually assessed the reliability of the data in part because the description of process is not developed much in the methods paper, and/or you’ve worked enough with others’ warehoused data to realize they inevitably have their warts and require human scrutiny, i.e., computer screens can be imperfect. From a data quality perspective that has to be done. I am curious to know why you initially rolled up your sleeves.

I have never really seen a ‘popular’ article from Mosh in the wider media that clarifies in non technical language how the data base was constructed…

What does he have to work with. The detailed report is not out–at least at the site. (These things are not easy to writeup, so better to wait and get a better product.) And of course if he is working on the writeup–well that is a priority. But, and this is a big ‘but’, how can the data quality have been assessed by peer-review if that detailed writeup has not been available?

“The paper, data and code has been published before it was ever submitted for review.”

…although I have had several exchanges with him and I am sure he is diligent in the way he has put together data.

I concur and I have bugged him on this and some other things–always a courteous and helpful response from a busy fellow. I just get the sense–based on language and tone–from Steven and the BEST site that enthusiasm (good-thing) and/or promotion (bad-thing) are/is preceding adequately demonstrated accomplishment. It would be ashamed to blow with eyes on the top of their heads.

–notes from the Peanut Gallery.

• Mwgrant said

“Of course not being part of the BEST process it is hazardous–and to a degree unfair–to read between the lines and speculate on exactly what was done.”

No I wouldnt do that, which is why I checked directly with Nick Stokes on these points ( Mosh seemed to be incommunicado) after manually checking the data and its likely provenance

I had worked through the less likely ones in the A’s and B’s including Albania and Afghanistan and Algeria and also seen where the data had been ‘borrowed’ from when a reporting station didnt go back too far in time.

I have no idea of how the peer review was conducted or why by and whilst there may be an easy to read summary of all the points that need clarifying I havent seen it in the avalanche of papers that come my way. I am not suggesting that the data was compiled in anything but good faith as I have great regards for the principal people involved, but they are not always the best at explaining their data in an intelligible fashion.

However, I have become increasingly wary of the apparent habit- prevalent in climate science- of trying to make a silk purse out of a sows ear. I appreciate scientists want numbers to crunch but the provenance of some of this data -SSTs, sea levels and Sea ice data amongst them-means we should be very wary of using them to formulate policy.

Creating a global data base of temperatures using such stations as Albania and Afghanistan is highly problematic and becomes more so the further back in time you try to step.

You also say
” I am curious to know why you initially rolled up your sleeves.’

Thats easy. I am a historical climatologist and have written some dozen articles and collect old temperature data sets here.

http://climatereason.com/LittleIceAgeThermometers/

tonyb

• mwgrant

climatereason

“No I wouldnt do that,…”

I didn’t think that you would, based on the decorum in the exchanges–between you and others–that I have previously seen. The comment that you reference reflects my own discomfort. Based on what I have seen to date I share your regard for those involved with BEST. Also their ability to communicate both on the data and the methodology has been a little frustrating to me. (Not too much, however, since I don’t have skin in the game.)

I think were are in very similar place with regard to the handling of data–BEST and in general. Thank you for your perspective. Expounding on the methodology but I don’t care beat on it to death’s door…I’ve used geostatistics a number of times in groundwater and some of what was done or not done in BEST with the correlation and kriging looks different than what I would expect–particularly regarding uncertainty, intrinsic bread and butter stuff for kriging. It is not necessarily wrong, but to me appears more akin to using a Ferrari to get groceries. That’s fine, they drive the Ferrari, but I feel that BEST proponents at times sell it (kriging) as the best thing since sliced bread–in part borrowing against that reputation of the methodology–but they didn’t do the good stuff yet. (Even if they tried it and it didn’t work it would be valuable.) That and the silence on the documentation front for this length of time is disquieting.

So you might say my concern is not making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, but instead running victory laps after warmup but before preliminary heats and the final. :o)

Thanks for pointing out the link to your site, I’ll go poke around–I’ve looked to much at land temperatures. Have a very nice Holiday.

mwgrant

• Mwgrant

Very much liked your analogy of running the victory lap before Actually running the races

Yes, it would be nice to see some documentation, there are many facets to BEST and a thread to explain it all on a site such as this one would be useful as it would cause Steve and nick to sit down and put something together, which would then prompt an interchange of comments. Perhaps it has already happened but I haven’t seen it
Tonyb

• kim

And attributing before growing muscles.
==============================

• mwgrant

tonyb – Well said.

tonyb, jim, steven, max – regarding the New Year — I’m trying to go cold turkey on blockquote tags. This is in part out of respect for your patience and distaste text-based tornado plots.
Cheers

• Steven Mosher

mwgrant | December 22, 2012 at 10:02 pm |

This Arkansas station according to google maps is exactly where is supposed to be.

23928 30038 35.135 -90.234 WEST MEMPHIS MUNI 65
LatUnc LonUnc AltUnc Country State
23928 5e-04 5e-04 0.05 United States AR
County Tzone WMO COOP WBAN ICOA Relo SugRelo Sources
23928 NA NA NA NA KAWM 0 0 1
Hash
23928 62e967888617ab5c79904ff18fc21765

If you plotted “texas” data the way I think you did, you made a mistake.

You took the dataframe and looked at the state column. bad.

If You looked at the “state” value in the dataframe. This data is never used and never QAd. We dont use this data because it is unreliable.
If you want texas data you use a shapefile to select those lat/lon within texas. That is use the sp package and a texas shapefile. You can also do it with the maps package. But DO NOT use the data in the state feild of the data. That data is preserved AS IS because it is never used in any computation.

Basically, you should ignore the “names” and other metadata like “state” and focus on the lat lon and then the correlation of first differences in the data. A complete Cleaning of the other metadata is yet another project BUT the problem there is that you cannot upstream fixes because the agencies are slow to fix their metadata and it doesnt stay fixed.

The process works basically like this ( paper is being written so bear with me )

1. Stations are matched on lat/ lon. to identify potential duplicates.
If the stations match within the lat lon uncertainty they are then
checked on the DATA portion. For the same location ( +-10km) If the data differs , then these are regarded as two different stations.
Station name and station country and station state etc is not
looked at..

2. Next all stations are compared against all other stations to find those that match on data. So you will find stations that have been mis named, renamed by a different agency, etc. Here we do check the other metadata but the only data we correct is the lat/lon.

• Steven Mosher

“I have never really seen a ‘popular’ article from Mosh in the wider media that clarifies in non technical language how the data base was constructed”

Well, I’m working on a database paper amongst all the other things that I have to do, but generally when a scientist writes with a question that is handed to me to Robert to handle. That means of course that the data paper goes pretty slow. Most guys just read the code if they have any real questions. Other folks write with questions they could answer for themselves if they took the time. But they still get answers. Other people write asking for favors. Can I write code for them to pull out a subset of data. Gosh, that is what I wrote the R package for, so I end up writing R for them, writing C for them, basically lazy people.

So in non technical language here is how the database was constructed. See the code if you really want to know. That is why it is provided. If you cant read matlab, sorry.

1. Assemble all the data that is Freely available via FTP.

2. Assemble daily into monthly.

3. Output the multiple series database.

Now do duplicate identification.
Fix lon/lon errors after manual inspection
manually inspect all long series.
remove all duplicate stations.
Merge into single value file.

4. output single value file.

The whole process of “duplicate” identification and removal is a combination of fuzzy matching and human review. Given our method the most important thing to do is to identify stations that are likely duplicates based on LAT and LON and the data. Those are the most important to flag because you dont want to overweight the observation.

So basically you gather files by fuzzy match on lat/lon and then check for data similarity.

Then you do the opposite: fuzzy match on data and look at other metadata. basically for every station you evaluate all other stations to see what the closest data matches are. then you look at metadata. At this stage you might have to hand fix some lat/lon because they reverse signs.

If you are interested in texas data, then use a shape file to pull that out. If you look at the dataframe data you’ll have 800+ stations, but not all of those make it through QA. In the end only 500+ make it through.

http://berkeleyearth.lbl.gov/regions/texas

I suppose when Time permits I will lobby to go back and QA all the metadata that we dont use ( like the State field ) and to produce a station record for all those stations that dont pass our QA, but for now, the data like Sitedetail is all input side data and doesnt reflect the QA process.

• mwgrant

Hi Steven Mosher

Thanks for the reply. I can be brief, well less long, because we are at close to the same place. Among things you wrote:

“Basically, you should ignore the “names” and other metadata like “state” and focus on the lat lon and then the correlation of first differences in the data. A complete Cleaning of the other metadata is yet another project BUT the problem there is that you cannot upstream fixes because the agencies are slow to fix their metadata and it doesnt stay fixed.

This is not a surprise and is pretty much what I expected. No issue. My point was and is that you can’t turn it data lose and have such obvious errors in the data and say you are QAed and peer reviewed–as you noted you folks aren’t there yet. [You do not claim to be at the site, but away from site….]

“If they [BEST]did not and easy-to-spot errors are found, then the latter may help to discredit the whole work in litigation and such. At best, defense of the work is made much more difficult in a public forum. It is that simple. “

I considered (actually even assumed) that errors I found were not used–they would not be needed but would be useful in QA. [That’s why when working I often retained and QAed ‘superfluous’ data like that–slicing and dicing it in an exploratory way to visually check things early in the process.].Basically EDA is essential and such metadata can be extremely useful. Regrettably in this/my comment sequence you would have to plow thru a couple my corrections to arrive at … it is important to note that at this time [it is probably NOT the case that] these ‘nits’ would even perceivably effect the calculations.*** Note this is from my second correction found at> mwgrant | December 23, 2012 at 6:54 am | Grrrr! My apologies.

Regarding

If you plotted “texas” data the way I think you did, you made a mistake.

Well I did that but it was not a mistake–I was simply playing auditor with the released data and making such plots as a quick visual check is quite legitimate. When a dataset provider claims the data are QAed (peer reviewed) I simply test that fact as many ways as I can until I feel I can sign-off with a yea or nay. Here I was just trying to get a manageable data set to play with some geostatistics, so I had parsed out most of the US data and was doing my EDA thing–looking at the data–looking for interesting subsets. That is, I had/have no interest in QAing the data, ,for example, a goal poking at the efforts or anything like that. [I wanted to get at the spatial correlation.]

I understand and appreciate the upstream data ‘dilemma’. We handled those situations by retaining the originals and a cleaned version–including annotations of changes–signed of course :) All of this was done under procedures developed and approved under a project workplan (and all related documentation) prior to any work on the data. Needless to say any data in your final datasets–I looked at BEST datasets and not the originals–should be QAed–even those you did not use in your direct calculation. Anything officially released has to survive under the lights. Admittedly my world was big project,e.g.NEPA or CERCLA at a federal facility, typically coming without of the box complete with lawyers and the built-in threat of litigation–your world is different but the stage is larger and the stakes are so much higher. Borrowing some approaches from elsewhere may help navigate the waters. Enough!

I close with a trivial corrective note. The screw up is with the ‘not used’ the ABILENE record, not West Memphis. Yeah, West Memphis data are fine. Regrettably, Abilene(NEXRAD) is not located there ;o)

Here the West Memphis coord
Elev: 217 ft
Lon: 90.2° W
Lat: 35.1° N

Here is just the site_complete_details.txt entry from line 106046: [typo in my comment-ln.no.]

30039 1 ABILENE(NEXRAD) United States -9999.000 -9999.000 Global Summary of the Day 35.13500 -90.23400 65.20000 … 077564f756bdafd31c44c2fee90e0441

Best regards and have a very pleasant holiday and successful New Year.

mwgrant

Hi Steven Mosher

Thanks for the reply. I can be brief, well less long, because we are at close to the same place. Among things you wrote:

“Basically, you should ignore the “names” and other metadata like “state” and focus on the lat lon and then the correlation of first differences in the data. A complete Cleaning of the other metadata is yet another project BUT the problem there is that you cannot upstream fixes because the agencies are slow to fix their metadata and it doesnt stay fixed.

This is not a surprise and is pretty much what I expected. No issue. My point was and is that you can’t turn it data lose and have such obvious errors in the data and say you are QAed and peer reviewed–as you noted you folks aren’t there yet. [You do not claim to be at the site, but away from site….]

“If they [BEST]did not and easy-to-spot errors are found, then the latter may help to discredit the whole work in litigation and such. At best, defense of the work is made much more difficult in a public forum. It is that simple. “

I considered (actually even assumed) that errors I found were not used–they would not be needed but would be useful in QA. [That’s why when working I often retained and QAed ‘superfluous’ data like that–slicing and dicing it in an exploratory way to visually check things early in the process.].Basically EDA is essential and such metadata can be extremely useful. Regrettably in this/my comment sequence you would have to plow thru a couple my corrections to arrive at … it is important to note that at this time [it is probably NOT the case that] these ‘nits’ would even perceivably effect the calculations.*** Note this is from my second correction found at> mwgrant | December 23, 2012 at 6:54 am | Grrrr! My apologies.

Regarding

If you plotted “texas” data the way I think you did, you made a mistake.

Well I did that but it was not a mistake–I was simply playing auditor with the released data and making such plots as a quick visual check is quite legitimate. When a dataset provider claims the data are QAed (peer reviewed) I simply test that fact as many ways as I can until I feel I can sign-off with a yea or nay. Here I was just trying to get a manageable data set to play with some geostatistics, so I had parsed out most of the US data and was doing my EDA thing–looking at the data–looking for interesting subsets. That is, I had/have no interest in QAing the data, ,for example, a goal poking at the efforts or anything like that. [I wanted to get at the spatial correlation.]

I understand and appreciate the upstream data ‘dilemma’. We handled those situations by retaining the originals and a cleaned version–including annotations of changes–signed of course :) All of this was done under procedures developed and approved under a project workplan (and all related documentation) prior to any work on the data. Needless to say any data in your final datasets–I looked at BEST datasets and not the originals–should be QAed–even those you did not use in your direct calculation. Anything officially released has to survive under the lights. Admittedly my world was big project,e.g.NEPA or CERCLA at a federal facility, typically coming without of the box complete with lawyers and the built-in threat of litigation–your world is different but the stage is larger and the stakes are so much higher. Borrowing some approaches from elsewhere may help navigate the waters. Enough!

I close with a trivial corrective note. The screw up is with the ‘not used’ the ABILENE record, not West Memphis. Yeah, West Memphis data are fine. Regrettably, Abilene(NEXRAD) is not located there ;o)

Here the West Memphis coord
Elev: 217 ft
Lon: 90.2° W
Lat: 35.1° N

Here is just the site_complete_details.txt entry from line 106046: [typo in my comment-ln.no.]

30039 1 ABILENE(NEXRAD) United States -9999.000 -9999.000 Global Summary of the Day 35.13500 -90.23400 65.20000 … 077564f756bdafd31c44c2fee90e0441

Best regards and have a very pleasant holiday and successful New Year.

mwgrant
(no more editing and twisted neck…I hitting the RTN.

• mwgrant

Zum Teufel damit!!!!!! Live with it there ain’t nothing bad there.

• jim2

So, could crowd sourcing be employed to QA the data? Lots of data – lots of people – it might work.

• mwgrant

Hi Jim2

“So, could crowd sourcing be employed to QA the data? Lots of data – lots of people – it might work.”

Obviously I can’t speak for BEST and they have enough people to do that. Still here are a few informal observations that may apply:

– BEST is responsible for the quality of all of their product, so for that reason alone they need to keep things in house. People doing their have to be accountable to them–certainly more so than parties are to the IPCC. [Not a judgement here, just a fact.]

– Typically all of a team working of a project–management, scientists, publications, etc.–everyone–is required to have formal training/reading (within the scope of the project) on QA at the program level and in regard to their particular activities. This limits who can participate–team members, contractors and the like. Note that this is part of good QA practice and not a practice to designed to thwart outsiders.

– BEST’s project is unique, i.e., and may well be free of the legal entanglements that occur in my former world. I would think that they could (or maybe have) build a hydrid QA program encompassing the the best of QA world with academia. Afterall, agreed upon ground-rules (expressed in procedures) are layed-out in the project QA documentation done up front. There is potentially significant latitude there.

– Yes there could be a lot of tedious work. There could be ways to trim that–just put it in the plan. For example, do some culling on the original and then take on a more stringent QA on the data with the results of the culling. (Of course, even the initial culling process must be done under a QAprocedure.) So it can be done with fewer people than one might think.

– Also calculations can proceed with QA incomplete data–the key is timely coordinated convergence at the end of the process. (Sometimes this is an absolute necessity.)

– I want to stress that the QA is the result of the efforts of the entire team. Only a person or two is needed to be the QA traffic cop,’ i dotter’, and’ t crosser’. Both internal and outside auditors are used.

– A formal calculation package system might work nicely, same for code writing, maintain, and use. (Some of this may not apply, I’m just trying to give a sense of the approach.)

I hope this helps answer you question and maybe suggests other aspects of a ‘how’ of QA.

Regards,

and have a very nice holiday.

mwgrant

pleas excuse any typos here. I’m whupped.

• Steven Mosher

mwgrant.

You don’t get it.

The only data that we QA’d was the temperature data and a SMALL SUBSET of the metadata, specifically the lat and lon. All other metadata, inlcuding the errors is PRESERVED because our goal in this project was not to correct metadata that is never used. For example, we often find station Id codes that have been “munged” These are not corrected because we dont use station Id. Other folks who try to merge on station ID would have to fix that data. We dont use it. Now, why preserve “bad data” ? pretty simple. If somebody is using a dataset with a “bad number” and they try to “look up” that bad number in our system, they can.
The “QC’ on indices is provided by doing our own ID and by supplying all other known Ids for that site. To repeat, we QA’s the data that was necessary for computation. If a station name is misspelled at the source, we do not correct the miss spelling. If we did that, then folks would say we have “missing data”. Trust me I’ve had to answer such stupid questions.

When time permits I probably will do a metadata project where I produce a product where all fields have been QA. Until then

Berekeley Earth metadata has been QA’d for LAT LON ONLY. The errors fixed at this stage are only gross sign errors. fine scale location errors ( like stations in bodies of water) are eliminated from analysis.

• jim2

mwgrant – The most significant constraint on crowd sourcing you mentioned would be the QA technique. I’m not sure what the options are – a special bit of software to make it easy, a detailed procedure – I don’t know – it might take some thought.

WRT the work done by the crowd, they could identify bad data points and the list could be used by the in-house workers. This would be low-hanging fruit for the in-house guys. This way, they get the advantage of the crowd, but ultimately do the work themselves.

• mwgrant

HI Jim2

If I were responsible for a project of the importance/visibility of BEST I just would not consider crowd sourcing. Again just listing reason fragments: I am not a glutton for punishment.

– QAing the external QA would be difficult at worst, add another layer of fog into the process at best. That is particularly an unattractive idea in the present adversarial environment. Just doing the work of the project is hard enough.

– I would do something along the lines of what BEST has done–clean it up some and make it available. However, I would have caveated the hell out of it and indicated it draft nature, particular noting that some fields in the datasets have not been addressed and errors exist. I would consider writing up descriptions of each source dataset including an overview of its potential data issues. I would solicit feedback and have a formal system for logging that feedback, a well defined comment [specific to data quality issues] period, and a formal procedure for internaling handing data-related comments-discussions. (This is similar to general comments in the US NEPA scheme, lack of any legal requirements could streamline that process and reduce the significant burden that process imposes–borrow what is useful.)

– Back to QAing the QAers. QAing data will inevitably require discipline and a degree of working knowledge of the sources’ institutions mission history, etc. Again assuring this capability in an individual is not easy or pleasant to contemplate in a ‘crowd’ scenario. (A little perspective here: when a project is set up to be formally responsive along the way to external inputs and influences, it can become a very abusive environment for the members of the project team–it hard to be a deer in hunting season.That is just the way it is–unwitting a crowd approach turns up pressure inside. Anyone who has been there knows what I mean.)

– Back to item 2 (releasing in-progress data for comments/review outside the Project). Like in NEPA raw comments on the data could be documented and part of the working record.

– Accountability, accountablity, accountablity.

– If not obvious by now–for the record. I presume any proposal of crowd processing incorporate some element of the democratizing science, say via the internet. In order to carry out a project one has to select a team. I may be wrong, but I see more headaches than virtues in a ‘crowd’ scenario which it just too susceptible to politicizing. I’m new to looking at climate scene. It’s a mess.

– Personal liability comment. I would think long and hard before adopting something mentioned here. I’m just throwing hash on the table in repsonse to your comment.

– ‘liability’…preceding comment makes me think. Beyond the responsibility and accountability perspectives mentioned earlier, what are any project liabilities to to a ‘crowd’ scenario. That probably cause for some sort of risk assessment–some reflection at the least.

Anyway, those are someof my thoughts. Consider what you paid for them.

mwgrant

• jim2

mwg – I certainly agree with you that the data should be well documented and transparent. I don’t see a lot of legal issues. Everyone knows climate science is a work in progress. Although the prosecution of the scientists in Italy deserves our attention.

• jim

For it to be useful you have to present a coherent narrative with a beginning a middle and an end (preferably, but not always the latter) Dr Pratt did this to promote his thesis recently, and fortunately there were a number of people informed enough to make useful comments on what is a very technical subject, but it still got very messy.

The BEST project falls into a different category to Dr Pratts project in as much the former has a certain iconic status in the same way (but probably not as iconic) as Dr Manns Hockey stick.

It is comprised of lots of very clever technical bits which are the parts that Mosh likes dealing with. However, the temperature record is such a huge subject that there are also lots of component parts where people in other fields could have a useful input. For example I have made comments as to the value of using information from such places as Afghanistan,(typical of many temperature records, especially historic ones) the general reliability of data in the first place, ‘borrowing’ data from another station, interpolation, the effects of a station moving location and the effects of UHI.

Other people would chip in with information that matched their own areas of knowledge. Writing a highly technical paper full of code for the scientists in Tv’s ‘BIg Bang theory’ is all very well, but in this case that would exclude others who could make comments on those parts that don’t require a physics Phd (I’m not thinking of Penny here though)

However, there are politics and ideology involved here and I would surmise there would be a great deal of deafening noise in the comments in much the same way as if Dr Manns work had been put up for open review in a place such as this.

My constant concern is that turning data into code for scientists to play with is all very well, but the data has to be robust in the first place. (I am never convinced by the ‘averaging’ argument)

Anyone who has looked at the global temperature records, SSt’s, Sea ice etc etc would not be confident that it is good enough to be put through the mincing machine then used by politicians to determine far reaching policy. I do therefore think that crowd sourcing might work on a technical thread that was very tightly moderated. But it needs to be written first and I doubt that will happen in the near future.
tonyb

• Steven Mosher

“mwgrant – The most significant constraint on crowd sourcing you mentioned would be the QA technique. I’m not sure what the options are – a special bit of software to make it easy, a detailed procedure – I don’t know – it might take some thought.

WRT the work done by the crowd, they could identify bad data points and the list could be used by the in-house workers. This would be low-hanging fruit for the in-house guys. This way, they get the advantage of the crowd, but ultimately do the work themselves.

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

Don’t make me laugh. I have wasted more time chasing down “errors” found by people who don’t know what they are doing than I care to detail.
Jeez, some guys try to tell where stations are by looking at the state field. Every body who works with this data knows never to use that data especially since location names and political boundaries change. We use lat lon. next up, we will hear that spelling errors cause global warming.

Also, I have asked the “crowd” for help on matters when they can help. crickets.

• mwgrant

Hi Steven (Steven Mosher)

“You don’t get it.” :O) <- note the tenor at the outset.

Actually I get it and have for some time. I've indicated so at places thru-out the thread. Admitted that might be hard to spot in a tornado double rig.
——-
For me you don't get it and/or I didn't communicate clearly but not profit in squandering more time–we are at a good enough place.

@ Steven Mosher | December 22, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
Steven Mosher said:
"Has it been peer reviewed? of course. "
——-

The gist of my comment in a nutshell was: one should not say things like that when about the data that have been made publicly available if you can't back it up. I found some nit errors that probably don't effect things but could prove to be a QA pain.

As came out in our exchange, part of the data are not QAed. Parts are but you do not make distinction in your response and the site page is not appropriately caveated. Knowing that works for me as I have no desire to drive you to distraction.

BTW this minor episode does suggest that maybe there could be some things about other parts of BEST having similar peer review quality. In that regard I’ll personally still buy into the less than pure nobility of BEST motives, but am mildly bemused by some of its naive actions. But that is my perspective and not my worry.

Aside: If your perception that ‘I don’t get’ it was not influenced by my subthread remarks to jim2–that is speculation on some QA aspects of BEST as a project–nothing more.

I appreciate your time and as far as I am concerned your comments have cleared the air some on the quality of the data posted at the site. That’s a good thing, now the world knows a little more.

Best regards and good luck on BEST.

mwgrant

• mwgrant

Steven Mosher

For example@ mwgrant | December 24, 2012 at 10:09 am |:

If I were responsible for a project of the importance/visibility of BEST I just would not consider crowd sourcing. …: I am not a glutton for punishment.

My experience parallels your and spent considerable effort paying attention to that in my comment. I have similar strong feelings.

And in an attempt to avert other such misfires–I tried to couch my ‘QA management’ comments to jim2 in a manner which would not be construed to be laying how BEST should do thing. The spirit is that QA in projects such as these is interesting in it own right.

Sorting out things as for example this thread as exactly why I am down ‘open’ collaboration. Something about is inherently pathological or corrupting about the approach.

Again I muster my best regards,

mwgrant

• mwgrant

Steven Mosher

Then from mwgrant | December 24, 2012 at 12:06 am | there is this:

– BEST is responsible for the quality of all of their product, so for that reason alone they need to keep things in house. People doing their have to be accountable to them–certainly more so than parties are to the IPCC. [Not a judgement here, just a fact.]

and this

…This limits who can participate–team members, contractors and the like. Note that this is part of good QA practice and not a practice to designed to thwart outsiders.

Get the picture? How can I make it any damn apparent?

Best regards,
mwgrant

• Steven Mosher

mw.

First off you point out an “error’ without even giving an adequate description of what you did. Posting your code would have saved me a considerable amount of time in figuring out what you did. pathetic. Second, we are responsible for doing QA on the data that we use. The process creates intermediate data which is what most other people do not produce. Intermediate data is just that. The idea that we should somehow correct every spelling mistake or every error on data we decide not to use, on data that we show you that we dont use is just plain silly.
it is not used.Its not used because it is low quallity. Want to see that it is low quality? have a look, we provide it to you. Oh you found an error? yup, now you know why we dont use it. . Now, If I decide to publish a berkely Earth metadata collection, that will get the full treatment. The data that we used ( QAd) is in summary.txt. So all the other data is upstream. reread that. You are mistaking intermediate data for the data that actually gets used. Read the code if you have any questions.

• mwgrant

Steven Mosher

Mosher you are so wrapped up you don’t know which way is up. So be it. It does neither of us good.

BEST wishes

mwgrant

• The Skeptical Warmist

Schrodinger’s Cat said:

“Anthony Watts has shown that most of the thermometers generate warming due to poor siting anyway.”

_____
Did he now? Wow, seems the world somehow missed that blockbuster finding. What did the Best study find when using Anthony’s siting data…oh, yeah, never mind, right?

20. Schrodinger's Cat

Concerning the age, etc of believers or skeptics. I would think that younger people are pretty well brainwashed from an early age and graduates too are taught about the current climate mindset.

Academic scientists have the same problem as the establishment because if you stop believing in the peer review system then the whole house of cards comes tumbling down. It is unthinkable.

Of course, if you read the climategate emails in detail, you already believe the unthinkable.

Skeptics tend to be older academics who still have a healthy respect for science when it was still a search for the truth. However, I suspect that most skeptics are from industry. They can weigh up the scientific arguments without having the baggage of papers published, peer review or government funding at the forefront.

Government funding tends to be the driver of what academics believe in when it comes to climate change.

• Who is Richard Windsor?

Also, younger people are more easily convinced that the 1960s had snow from October to May. Older people may tell tales of walking through the snow to school uphill both ways, but…

• The most importance difference is simply that “skeptics” are ignorant of science. They aren’t scientists, as a general rule. There are a tiny number of scientists, heavily dependent on fossil fuel dollars, producing a microscopic number of papers attacking the fact of AGW.

If you know science, then you know AGW is a proven fact. If you reject that reality, you are either ignorant of science, bought and paid for, or very, very stupid.

• Edim

With warmists like these, who needs skeptics?

• Peter Lang

Zealots don’t think.

Robert, you are zealot of the worst kind.

Zealots don’t ‘think’. They don’t think they need to think because they reckon they know all that needs to be known.

• kim

‘Frantic orthodoxy is never rooted in faith but in doubt. It is when we are unsure that we are doubly sure.’ Reinhold Neibuhr.

H/t Janet.
===========

My nomination for Top Militant Ignoramus Quote of 2012

Robert | December 23, 2012 at 2:49 pm
If you know science, then you know AGW is a proven fact. (empahsis added)

With such impressive blinkers, perhaps young Robert will be the next IPCC president.

21. Rud Istvan

The climate chapter in me second book The Arts of Truth covers the entire subject in considerable but accessible detail, with lots of footnotes. Dr. Curry was kind enough to critique and then post a few of the more technical sections here previously, for example on ECS, and on the probable reasons for GCM oversensitivity. Might be worth a read for many of this threads posters.
Also covers a lot of other politicized important social issues. Patterns emerge about general deceptions and promulgation of ‘untruth’. AGW, or if one prefers CAGW, or climate change unfortunately served nicely to illustrate them all.

22. mike

In a 12/14/2012 post to the HuffPo blog, entitled “Leaded IPCC Report Excites Skeptics, Annoys Authors, and Raises Questions About Process”, the author, Tom Zeller Jr., quoted Kevin Trenbreth as follows:

“There are too many scientists involved [in the IPCC process] who are not leading researchers–due to the demand for new people and geographic, national and gender equity. … The IPCC processs, he added, is not the way to improve and develop models.”

Zeller’s bio, posted at the Huffington Post, has Zeller with the title “senior writer” for the blog and with 10 years prior work at the New York Times where one of his beats was “clean energy and the politics of climate change.” Seems like, in other words, Mr. Zeller is a pretty well-credentialed individual in conventional terms.

So can we henceforth all agree with Kevin Trenbreth (unless he was misquoted or quoted “out of context”, of course) that the IPCC sucks, for the reasons he has given?

• kim

We can’t find the missing knowledge, and it’s a travesty.
====================

• Who is Richard Windsor?

The missing knowledge is out in the wilds of the innernet. What’s missing is the encryption key.

• kim

Wait’ll the ‘diverse’ ones get tired of seeing their peoples sold down the river. Kevin’s hair will catch fire from the ingratitude of them all.
==================

23. Peter Lang

So far 70 comments about temperatures and stuff, but nothing with any relevance to policy. Time to move on?

If CAGW is such an enormous problem – e.g. dangerous and catastrophic – what policies should be implemented? What policies would have a high probability of delivering what is required – in the real world of domestic and international politics, finances, economics, etc.?

One thing for sure, is the economically irrational policies that have been pushed by the UN, the IPCC, the environmental NGO’s and the ideologically Left leaning groups has no chance of working in the real world. Twenty years of failed climate conferences couldn’t send a clearer message.

So what policies should be advocated?

• The “No Regrets Policy”:
Get off of fossil fuels, as we won’t regret this move because if oil depletion won’t cause us grief, then global warming caused by GHG’s likely will.

• Peter Lang

WHT, you are correct, but of course that is a simplistic statement. Everyone knows that. The question is what policies would work with high certainty in the real world to achieve that?

• manacker

WHT and Peter

“Get off of fossil fuels as soon as an economically and politically viable alternate can be implemented

Agree.

THAT’s “no regrets”.

Max

PS As weird as this may seem, we may all three be agreeing here.

• Peter Lang

Max,

I agree. Does WHT agree?

If so, how does he suggest we get there?

• Peter Lang,

“The question is what policies would work with high certainty in the real world to achieve that?”

There aren’t any policies that would work with high certainty.

1) We can mandate
In the US petroleum refiners are required to use a certain amount of ‘advanced biofuels’ or pay a fine, they just pay the fine.

2) We can tilt the market with subsidies

That’s given us a lot of windmills and solar panels, but it hasn’t really made much of a dent in emissions.

3) We can spend on R&D
Time to market from R&D inception to commercial product is at least 10 years.

4) We can ‘cap something’.
There needs to be an enforcement mechanism. China , India and the US are all too big to invade. As a result any ‘cap’ would essentially be voluntary.

Personally, I think #3 will end up providing the solution. Unfortunately, unless R&D is tied to something exciting like space flight it doesn’t get much press.

I hardly think the progress of the IAEA working group on the prediction of axial and radial creep on pressure tubes is going to make the evening news.
http://www.iaea.org/NuclearPower/Technology/CRP/creep/index.html

• lolwot

well as we all agree at least 1.6C-1.7C warming from CO2 we should start by conveying the fact that human GHG emissions are the largest driver of global temperature change to the public. Recent polls show an awful lot of people still deny humans influence the climate. We kind of need to get the public on board with reality.

• manacker

Peter Lang

IF you and WHT and I have agreed on the “WHAT”, namely:

“Get off of fossil fuels as soon as an economically and politically viable alternate can be implemented”

we can move on to the “HOW”.

I’d agree with you that current nuclear fission technology already gives us that option for the major load (electrical power generation) – provided certain political barriers and public fears can be removed.

I suspect WHT also agrees, but I have not seen a specific statement to that effect.

In addition, IMO there should be basic research on promising future candidates, including nuclear fusion, with some selected government funding where this makes sense. (WHT seems to support this approach, as well). How about you?

Then there is the transportation sector. This is more complicated IMO, because there is no “economically viable alternate to fossil fuels on the shelf” for immediate implementation. Batteries are still too limited. Corn ethanol was a colossal flop. Sugar cane ethanol is geographically limited and involves undesirable land use changes. So more R+D work is needed, again with some possible selected government funding.

But these are just my thoughts – and I don’t know how you and WHT see this.

Max

Max

• Peter Lang

Manacker,

I don’t know much about the possible options for the transport fuel sector. I agree there is no currently viable option. It will take time. Cheaper electricity will help. Cheaper electricity can replace up to 50% of CO2 emissions from fossil fuels, so that is where the early focus is needed, IMO. If we allow that to happen, global emissions could be cut by 50% by around mid century.

Cheap electricity will allow electricity to replace gas for some heating and some oil for land transport.

High temperature nuclear reactors may, in the future, provide industrial heat and also produce transport fuels (more correctly called ‘energy carrier’) so I understand. This is described on the NRC and WNA web sites. But it is not something I know much about and not much interested in. We’ll get there in time, but I don’t see it as something we should be diverted to now.

The first step, iMO, is to persuade the ‘Progressives’ to stop blocking progress on nuclear power. To move fastest the world really needs the ‘Progressives’ to persuade their comrades and the environmental NGO’s to become enthusiastic advocates for low-cost, nuclear power. The low cost is the essential bit. We have to get the cost down a long way and we need low cost small nuclear power plants if we are going to ramp up rapidly to better technology and rapid replacement of fossil fuels.

• harrywr2

Peter Lang,

Happy Holidays!

“The first step, iMO, is to persuade the ‘Progressives’ to stop blocking progress on nuclear power”

IMHO What the progressives in the developed world do or don’t do in the short term is largely irrelevant.

In 2004 the entire global nuclear power industry had a build capacity of 4 units per year. China’s energy growth will be 50 GW per year for the foreseeable future and India’s is about 16 GW per year at the moment and accelerating.

To offset India and China’s growth we would have to shut down and replace every coal fired plant in the developed world in a 10 year time span.

Or we can take a different track…which we did..make available the vast majority of the entire global nuclear industry build and engineering resource to China and India until such point as they can ‘build on their own’.

It didn’t take the Chinese long to master building advanced coal fired plants, hydro plants, wind farms and solar panel manufacturing. Eventually they’ll master advanced nuclear power plant building.

When all of that is done then we in the developed world can rationally replace our existing energy infrastructure on a timeline that coincides with ‘normal retirement age’.

The “kyoto approach” of the developed world throwing away perfectly good energy infrastructure so that the developing world could build coal fired plants was backwards.

• harrywr2

All the action is over at the IAEA.
http://www.iaea.org/NuclearPower/Technology/Meetings/2012.html

Lot’s of engineers and scientists are toiling away at ‘fixing the problem’ in multinational groups working under the auspices of the IAEA.

• Since “CAGW” is an imaginary denier strawman, the pro-science folks aren’t really going to be able to say what should be done about it. Your imaginary theory = your imaginary solutions.

On the other hand, for plain old proven AGW, there are a number of policies that can work. Carbon taxes, obviously a necessity. End agricultural subsidies. Halt and reverse deforestation. Better transmission infrastructure, better rail networks, end subsidies for fossil fuels. Open national and eventually international markets in electrical power. Privatize electrical utilities. Green building codes. And much else.

• Peter Lang

Robert,

On the other hand, for plain old proven AGW, there are a number of policies that can work.

How dumb is that comment. Clearly, if AGW is not CAGW, then the urgent, high cost policies being advocated by the alarmists are not required – in fact, they are bad policy!. It is the CAGW Alarmists’ exaggeration of the seriousness of the impacts/consequences of AGW that is their basis for arguing we need to implement high cost policies to mitigate it. If the impacts are not ‘catastophic’ (a very common adjective used by Alarmists to describe the impacts of global warming) then high cost, economically damaging policies are not needed.

And, clearly, carbon pricing will not work in the real world. How dumb are the loony Left for continuing to uncompromisingly advocate policies that have so clearly failed for over 20 years (1992 Rio Earth Summit to 2012 Doha climate conference). Robert, the loony Left have been told by the rationalist for over 20 years the policies they advocate (‘big brother’, centrally control’ed, big government, penalty schemes and regulatory approach) won’t work. It’s the wrong way!.

We don’t don’t need an expensive policy, ‘world government’ and a whole lot of other such damaging policies if AGW is of no serious consequence, which is what the ‘C’ in CAGW means, You know that, but are being your usual dishonest self. Such dishonesty is common amongst CAGW alarmists and it is a major reason why so many people distrust everything you say and are repulsed by you your moral values.

Carbon taxes, obviously a necessity.

Carbon pricing can’t work in the real world – there is a better way.

Professor William Nordhaus is a world authority on carbon tax. In a paper in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, ‘Economic aspects of global warming in a post-Copenhagen environment’, http://nordhaus.econ.yale.edu/documents/Nordhaus_Copenhagen_2010_text.pdf Nordhaus said:

“The results of the present study suggest that several policies could limit our “dangerous interference” with the climate system at modest costs. However, such policies would require a well managed world and globally designed environmental policies, with most countries contributing, with decision makers looking both to sound geosciences and economic policies. Moreover, rich countries must bring along the poor, the unenthusiastic, and the laggard with sufficient carrots and sticks to ensure that all are on board and that free riding is limited. The checkered history of international agreements in areas as diverse finance, whaling, international trade, and nuclear non-proliferation (36) indicates the extent of the obstacles on the road to reaching effective international agreements on climate change.”

In other words, the world authority is effectively acknowledging that carbon pricing cannot succeed in the real world.

His Table 2 ‘Costs and benefits of the Copenhagen Accord through 2055’ shows why. The costs would be far greater than the assumed benefits:
• Abatement cost = \$2,060 billion
• Benefit (climate damages avoided) = \$413 billion

No country can justify committing to a policy that will cost \$5 for every \$1 of benefit. And the compliance costs are not even included. They would be huge. Furthermore, as most people realise, the assumed benefits are highly uncertain.

There is a much better way. I’ve pointed out repeatedly what it is and so have many other people for the past 20 years. Why don’t you swallow your pride, and advocate policies that can work in the real world and help to convert those of your ilk to the better way? You could start by getting as many people as you can to infiltrate Greenpeace, WWF, FoE and the rest of the anti nuclear groups.

I don’tr expect uyou can admit you are wrong, That’s because Zealots don’t ‘think’. They don’t think they need to think because they reckon they know all that needs to be known.

• Peter Lang

Robert, By the way. Happy Christmas! :)

• ” It is the CAGW Alarmists’ exaggeration . . .”

If your imaginary straw men are frustrating you, whose fault is that?

The theory of AGW is proven. That theory has certain consequences. The imaginary theory of CAGW can be whatever you want it to be, since it doesn’t exist outside your imagination.

“And, clearly, carbon pricing will not work in the real world.”

Except it already does. It seems your argument is with reality, not me.

• Memphis

@Robert

The man certainly has some impressive logic.

A

That the theory of AGW is proven (ie co2 absorbs IR), proves that blinkered CAGW alarmists such as himself don’t exaggerate its effects and certainty. He also describes people such as himself as straw men. Most peculiar.

B

> “And, clearly, carbon pricing will not work in the real world.”

Robert > Except it already does. It seems your argument is with reality, not me.

Yeah that’s right. Just like communism and apartheid “worked”. All three the epitome of efficiency. Robert’s “reality” resembles what we read in books for small children – which are your favorite, Robert ?.

• manacker

Robert

“CAGW”, as a concept, is not “an imaginary denier strawman” (as you suggest), it is a name commonly given to the IPCC premise that AGW has been the principal cause of warming since ~1950 and thus represents a serious potential threat to humanity and our environment unless human GHG emissions (principally CO2) are sharply curtailed.

Max

• lolwot

” it is a name commonly given to the IPCC premise that AGW has been the principal cause of warming since ~1950″

Nic Lewis’s work shows it has. That is if we believe Nic Lewis’s conclusion.

• BatedBreath

“CAGW” is the accurate name of the idea embraced by Robert; but which, due to the all-too-common lack of integrity in alarmists, causes him to to bristle whenever he hears it.

• Arno Arrak

Robert: “…plain old proven AGW…” This “proven” part of your statement is complete nonsense. Haven’t you heard that the warming involved in AGW is based upon the greenhouse warming theory which has turned out to be false? Simple example: there has not been any warming for 16 years while atmospheric carbon dioxide relentlessly increased. Greenhouse theory requires that increasing carbon dioxide should warm the atmosphere but this isn’t happening. The theory, quite simply, is wrong. And any scientific theory that makes wrong predictions belongs in the trash heap of history. The real science you need to know is not the simplistic concept of Arrhenius but the advanced theory of Ferenc Miskolczi. According to him the the Arrhenius absorption is blocked by negative feedback of water vapor. As a result, increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere does not warm the air, period. That is what is happening now and it has never been any different. The issue is confused by falsified temperature curves that show warming in the eighties and nineties that does not even exist. I had proof of that falsification in my book that has been out for two years now and I bet you don’t even know it exists. It is called “What Warming?” and it will bring you up to date on this and other important things.

24. Some facts about carbon dioxide and global warming.

The amoumt of heat that a gas (or any solid or liquid) can absorb for a 1.0C rise in temperature is called specific heat or heat capacity. Here are some figures for atnospheric gases:
Nitrogen (70% of atmosphere) 29.12
Oxygen (20% of atmosphere) 29.37
Carbon dioxide (less than 1% ) 36.62

These are molar heat capacities at the standard temperature of 25 degrees C.. You can see from this table that the atmosphere’s heat capacity is dominated by nitrogen and oxygen because of quantity. Yet CO2 is the culprit. Why?. Because CO2 has vibration modes at critical temperatures, not 25C, but higher and lower. These vibration modes can absorb heat energy like a sponge absorbs water. Classical thermodynamics does not deal well with these vibration modes, but quantum thermodynamics can and does and should be used by scientists to construct models and explain AGW. One thing we learn is that CO2 can just as easily lose heat as squeezing a sponge loses water and that is most likely what happened in 1940 which the IPCC ignored

• gbaikie

“Some facts about carbon dioxide and global warming.

The amoumt of heat that a gas (or any solid or liquid) can absorb for a 1.0C rise in temperature is called specific heat or heat capacity. Here are some figures for atnospheric gases:
Nitrogen (70% of atmosphere) 29.12
Oxygen (20% of atmosphere) 29.37
Carbon dioxide (less than 1% ) 36.62

These are molar heat capacities at the standard temperature of 25 degrees C.. You can see from this table that the atmosphere’s heat capacity is dominated by nitrogen and oxygen because of quantity. ”

Yes, about 100 times more heat is in the N2 and O2 of the atmosphere.
But the N2 and O2 energy is due to the kinetic motion of these gas molecules. And not to do with vibration modes of the molecules.
The mole mass has to do with number of molecules.
In a volume of gas, O2 gas has specific heat of 0.918 joules per gram
And nitrogen gas has 1.040 joules per gram.
With CO2 gas being: 0.846 joules per gram.
But CO2 molecule has more mass than O2 or N2 molecule.
Obviously CO2 has extra carbon atom as compared to O2. And O2 and N2 are similar mass- O2 is slightly more massive than N2.

“Yet CO2 is the culprit. Why?. Because CO2 has vibration modes at critical temperatures, not 25C, but higher and lower. These vibration modes can absorb heat energy like a sponge absorbs water. ”

A maybe kind like sponge or kind like cooked spaghetti.
Or if think a baseball in vacuum [no drag] and you have rubbery wings on the baseball. And you hit winged baseball with bat. You will have to hit the winged baseball harder to get same distance as non-winged baseball. And this mostly because the winged baseball is more massive.

• gbaikie

“Yes, about 100 times more heat is in the N2 and O2 of the atmosphere.”

Oops, I mean 1000 times more heat…

• gbaikie | December 22, 2012 at 8:28 pm mislead again: ”The amoumt of heat that a gas (or any solid or liquid) can absorb for a 1.0C rise in temperature is called specific heat or heat capacity”

listen very, very carefully: Gases absorb heat; ONLY DURING THE DAY!!

At night, CO2 releases much more heat than O2, N2, H2O can!!! Those two factors cancel each other; unless you are a ”Flatearther” .as most of the D/H.

2] ”can absorb” and does absorb, are two completely different things. You ”CAN” eat a kilo of salt in a day; but we are still waiting, when will you do it?! Merry Christmas!

• Gbaikie, thanks for explaining heat capacity better than I did. But why did the IPCC not explain this years ago. The 1000 to 1 ratio would justify skepticism and require explanation that would help avoid the divided nations of today, or at least we would know what the divide was about. As it happens it is difficult to find research on the CO2 molecule, particularly its vibration modes. We do know that the earth looks about 255K from space and so its peak radiation IR is about 14 to 15 microns which coincides with a CO2 mode at 14.99 microns. I think that is the really critical mode. See my: http://members.iinet.net.au/~alexandergbiggs .

• gbaikie

“But why did the IPCC not explain this years ago. The 1000 to 1 ratio would justify skepticism and require explanation that would help avoid the divided nations of today, or at least we would know what the divide was about.”

The Greenhouse effect theory does not mention heat capacity- it’s all about the radiant properties of atmospheric gas [greenhouse gases].

But when climate science is discussing the warming effects of say, the Gulf Stream and it’s warming effect on Europe- that is about heat capacity of ocean.
Or weathermen are largely dealing with heat capacity of atmosphere.

But the theory of the Greenhouse Effect and focus what the IPCC is all about, is largely ignoring heat capacity.

So regarding the greenhouse theory:

CO2 molecules in atmosphere isn’t necessarily getting warmer, rather surface longwave IR causes CO2 molecules to glow longwave IR, and this longwave IR is suppose to be warming something.
Some assume it’s the surface- so this is what called backradiation.
Others explain it as inhibiting heat from radiating from the surface.

And others seem talk about it inhibiting longwave IR radiation, until reaches a certain elevation- and the addition of greenhouse gases would raise the elevation that gases can radiate to space.

The third is commonly assumed as fundamental basis in climate models. [And third has been disproven, as far as lacking any evidence of the predicted hot spot- but hey, why should they allow that small detail discourage them.]

But I do think it’s largely about heat capacity, and it is the major element which is responsible for what is called the “Greenhouse Effect”.

And I have some sympathy for whose who call it all a hoax.
But assign most of it, to the tendency in society for any pseudoscience to become broadly accepted.

• lolwot

if it was heat capacity the models would show it.

the models don’t show it. It isn’t heat capacity.

It’s greenhouse effect.

• Jim D

Alexander Biggs, radiative transfer models are a central piece of climate models and part of the AGW science that goes back over a hundred years to Arrhenius. Arrhenius realized that CO2 absorbs at 15 microns where no other gases absorb, and that 15 microns is in the middle thermal infrared band, so it has a significant effect on the atmospheric absorption and emission of IR.

• It is hard to say what was in Arrhenius’ mind (the younger) , but he made his name by showing that many chemical reactions could be speeded up by increased temperature. He had no way of producing or measuring radiation at 15 microns, or that the earth’s radiation into space would peak at about 15 microns. Indeed it was not until after WW2 that those of us working on IR guidance found that there were wavelengths we could not use because of atmospheric absorption. But I don’t recall us consulting his work.

• Jim D

It is possible he didn’t know the wavelength, just the absorption coefficient which is sufficient for an estimate of the effect of doubling. He also formulated the log law for the effect.

25. jim2

OK, another question. The average Earth surface temp is 310 K, the top of the troposphere 210 K or so. This implies a Carnot efficiency of about 32. So, only 32% of heat would be converted to work in the atmosphere with 68% being conveyed to the top of troposphere. The work would eventually manifest itself as heat which in turn would drive temperature of the atmosphere. Therefore, any step increase in surface temperature would be diluted by about 2/3rds over time. (Although I didn’t convert heat to temp.) Is that taken into account when calculating the simplified climate sensitivity?

• jim2, “The average Earth surface temp is 310 K, the top of the troposphere 210 K or so.”

Going from a maybe to another maybe yields a maybe. First, the “average” Earth surface temperature is not known all that well and would likely not be the number you would want to determine efficiency. The approximate maximum SST is ~306.5K and the approximate minimum surface temperature is 184.5K That would give you a rough Carnot efficiency of 39% which compares rather well with an emissivity of 61%. If you increase resistant through the atmosphere to space, you would reduce the emissivity and increase the Carnot efficiency, the “average” surface gets warmer.

Unfortunately, there are two cycles. The oceans below the 306.5K that sink to ~271K which have an efficiency of only 11.5%. If you increase the resistance to heat loss from the oceans, you increase the Carnot efficiency, the oceans get warmer, but not as quickly as the atmosphere.

Since 306.5 is not “fixed”, 184.5 is not “fixed” and even 271 is not “fixed”, the Carnot efficiency is in a fix. The 271K though is closer to “fixed”, something to remember in the future. Also an interesting thought is that since the rough Carnot efficiency of the oceans is less, solar forcing in the oceans would likely have a greater impact than adding atmospheric resistance, another thing than may be nice to remember in the future.

My two cents, I am sure Webster disagrees :)

• jim2

Well, captain, I was just getting into the popular past time of averaging and hypothesizing. For example, the ECS, which is never in equilibrium. And the CS, which isn’t a constant. Just sayin’. Carnot efficiency is probably a less shaky proposition than some of the other hypotheses floating around here.

• Yes, well try to apply similar thought processes to the planet Venus whose surface receives an estimated mean direct Solar insolation of less than 10% that received by Earth’s surface, yet has a temperature over 700K.

You all need a paradigm shift in your way of thinking. As you will perhaps understand if you study this paper.

I am challenging anyone in the world to explain an alternative mechanism which is in keeping with the laws of physics. I don’t want links to “runaway greenhouse” type explanations. I want original, thought out explanations based on physics that can be proved. (Hint: Stephen Wilde has come close on tallbloke, but, in my view, it is not due to convection loops as he assumes.)

• Sorry – typo: if you study this paper.

• jim2, “Carnot efficiency is probably a less shaky proposition than some of the other hypotheses floating around here.”

The shakiness is in assuming what are the normal temperatures. I picked 306.5 and 184.5 because I knew it would match emissivity. That can change and without having a good idea how much it can change, it isn’t much help.

Water though freezes at a stable temperature if it is fresh and should be pretty close to -2 C with the current salinity if it is not. That looks like about the most stable range of temperature there is for a reference. If you assume that there has to be liquid water, then the “average” surface has to be zero or so. If the average is zero, S-B equivalent of 316 Wm-2 and you add 3.7 Wm-2 worth of more insulation, then there would be ~0.87 C degrees of impact. For the impact to be greater the average temperature of the “real” surface would have to be lower. How low can it be?

If you use a number of different tools you can fine tune your estimate, but there will always be about 2C or about 10 Wm-2 of uncertainty. But since the oceans change slower and have probably not be frozen over past 65N or 65S for a while, you can get a decent estimate.

For an “average” surface temperature from 0 to 20 C degrees, the impact is less that 0.87c per 3.7Wm-2 of atmospheric forcing or less impact. Below 0C the impact increases. It kind of is like a regulator. Then you could assume the average surface temperature is really low and scare the heck out of everyone :)

• jim2

Captain Dallas. This was just a rough calculation using atmospheric profile found on the web. But, it is still interesting. It would be more meaningful to integrate over the entire atmosphere, taking into account the shape of the troposphere. But that being said:

Using 291K and 215K for Earth yields a Carnot efficiency of 26%.

For Venus, using 740K and 163K, the point at which the direction of the temperature gradient changes, the efficiency is 78%.

This probably accounts, in part, for the higher surface temperature of Venus.

• jim2, “This probably accounts, in part, for the higher surface temperature of Venus.” Yep. Venus is much more efficient retaining heat since its sufrafe is more iosothermal. If you put peanut butter between a pair of Ritz crackers and squeeze, the peanut butter runs out the sides. There are no sides so to speak on Venus to run out of :)

Which is the funny part about using a radiant model and assuming up/down flow would work for both planets. The horizontal flow on Earth varies widely with each reference layer. Advection kills the ideal radiant models on Earth.

• jim2

I wonder what the top-of-troposphere temps are in the computer models? Do they reproduce the correct TOT temperature around the globe? Might be one way to test models.

• jim2, “I wonder what the top-of-troposphere temps are in the computer models? Do they reproduce the correct TOT temperature around the globe? Might be one way to test models.”

That is a good question. From comments I have read, they don’t do well with absolute temperatures. I have looked at a number of modeled regional anomalies and they tend to over estimate the tropics and SH while underestimating the higher latitude NH. The current stratosphere is a head scratcher for the modelers along with the mid-troposphere.

As far as testing models, how? Supposedly, ensemble means are the only pertinent GCM output, but now picking and choosing is in vogue. It is like Calvin Ball.

• jim2

Well, capt’n, it seems to me that for a climate model to be considered true to reality, that is predictive at least of chaotic patterns, that a necessary, but not necessarily sufficient, condition would be that the model accurately represent the height and temperature profiles of the troposphere. This would lend some assurance that the model’s “mechanics” of the troposphere were correct.

• jim2, “but not necessarily sufficient, condition would be that the model accurately represent the height and temperature profiles of the troposphere.”

I agree, but they don’t. Compared to the average climate model, Carnot Efficiency is a great leap forward.

http://julesandjames.blogspot.com/2012/12/can-last-glacial-maximum-constrain.html

The oceans are a different story than the atmosphere, they may actually be able to model that to within a couple of degrees.

26. For years now AGW theory has had only one meaning: a subterranean excise tax on the productive to keep the socialist bureaucracy ponzy scheme going. Greece fell once and Greece has fallen again. We’ve seen it before.

• Yes. Greece has fallen again.

The fiscal cliff – largely ignored during the “election” – indicates that the EU and the USA will also encounter reality soon, while our leaders squander public resources on pseudoscientific AGW.

If climate scientists who promoted human-induced global climate warming (AGW) believed their own propaganda, why did “UN Climate Scientists Plead for Immunity from Criminal Prosecution?”

Once again, truth will b e victorious!

Merry Christmas !
– Oliver K. Manuel
PhD Nuclear Chemist
Postdoc Space Physics
Former NASA Principal
Investigator for Apollo
http://www.omatumr.com/

27. Joe's World {Progressive Evolution}

Judith,

NASA has some interesting solicitation calls for HELP in Eco-Forecasting and other areas such as the evolution of universes and their formation through history…

28. J Jackson

The latest in this series on tree ring problems at Ecologically Orientated is up. It’s the longest so far, and he says the most important. I’m really curious to see what kind of response comes from the tree ring community, if any:
http://ecologicallyoriented.wordpress.com/2012/12/19/severe-analytical-problems-in-dendroclimatology-part-seven/

• i’ve been sort of following this, looks extremely interesting. I’ve assumed McIntyre would do something on this, by he seems to be traveling. Maybe I should do a discussion thread on this later this week, but dendro is definitely not an expertise of mine

• J Jackson

I’ve posted several notes there with no response; he doesn’t seem to be interested for whatever reason.

• jim2

He wants to engage real scientists. Dr. C should fill the bill.

29. Anybody remember the Stieg v O’Donnell dust-up? Stieg wins:

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2012/12/the-heat-is-on-in-west-antarctica/

Bromwich, D. H. et al. Central West Antarctica among most rapidly warming regions on Earth. Nat. Geosci. (2012).

• Robert

Follow your own link, read the article again and then tell me what the temperature has been doing over the last decade. Should we cherry pick from the 90’s or the data gathered this century?

Tonyb

• So you get that Stieg was right and O’Donnell was wrong, yes? You understand that?

And on a separate subject, the world continues to warm, as it has for the last forty years.

• Tom

Right Robert, wrong Bible. Glad to know it is snowing where you live and you were able to find your way back. No stopping your big feet either.

• Steven Mosher

Wow Robert. Right and wrong? and as you note below when challenged that its just another paper.

here is the main point of O Donnell. Steig’s method was flawed.
NO subsequent data can show this not to be the case.
To put it another way. its basically a methods paper. So, if you want to do the comparison the right way you would take the new Byrd data and imprt it it into both the steig method and the Odonnel method. THEN do the comparison. dope.

• Tom

Idiot, his blog says, so not dope.

• “here is the main point of O Donnell. Steig’s method was flawed.
NO subsequent data can show this not to be the case.”

It’s nice that you formally and explicitly stated your belief is not subject to change based on evidence. Hence, it’s not a scientific belief, but a matter of faith. And it’s poor manners to dispute matters of faith on Christmas Day.

O’Donnell was wrong about warming in Antarctica. Steig’s paper, overall a bungled, incompetent mess, was wrong. In that mess you can find a couple of useful points to inform later work. But those points are certainly not what you find attracting the attention of the pseudoskeptics, who embraced O’Donnell as “refuting” Steig.

The key point is that O’Donnell was wrong and Steig was right. Their critiques of one another’s methodology — that’s footnotes.

• oneuniverse

I left the following message at RealClimate, which went into moderation for a while, and was then deleted. :

O’Donnell et al., used in the plotted graph, is missing from the references.

O’Donnel, Ryan, Nicholas Lewis, Steve McIntyre, Jeff Condon: Improved Methods for PCA-Based Reconstructions: Case Study Using the Steig et al. (2009) Antarctic Temperature Reconstruction, J.Climate, 24, 2099-2115, doi:10.1175/2010JCLI3656.1 (2011)

• oneuniverse

My mistake – it wasn’t deleted, but placed in RealClimate’s “Borehole”.

• Steven Mosher

Not so fast Robert.

“This is primarily because long-term near-surface temperature observations are restricted to Byrd Station in central West Antarctica, a data set with substantial gaps. Here, we present a complete temperature record for Byrd Station, in which observations have been corrected, and gaps have been filled using global reanalysis data and spatial interpolation. The record reveals a linear increase in annual temperature between 1958 and 2010 by 2.4±1.2 °C, establishing central West Antarctica as one of the fastest-warming regions globally.”

The “correctness” will depend upon how they did the corrections, the quality of re analysis data, and the kind of spatial interpolation they did.

Last time I looked the accuracy of re analysis data for antarctica was tough to ascertain because……. lack of data. All that said the devil will be in the details and I hope they supply data and code so the claim can actually be checked. One hopes that they keep better track of their data than others.

• “The “correctness” will depend upon how they did the corrections, the quality of re analysis data, and the kind of spatial interpolation they did.”

Sure. Another paper is just another paper. Still, it’s nice to revisit these debates as the evidence gradually accumulates, as it usually does, on the professionals’ side of the argument.

• Steven Mosher

weird that you would presume that evidence you havent seen would actually survive some scrunity. The fact that re analysis output was used should raise a red flag. Also, weird that you assume that O’Donnell, and Lwis are not professionals. Not that they are paid by the oil lobby, but they are certainly not amateurs. When you actually show some competence in evaluating data and methods, then your opinion about something you havent read will be of little interest. presently, its of no interest.

• Memphis

So Stieg’s “victory” is based on his data, code and corrections remaining hidden.
How oh how is it possible that this could happen in climate science of all places?

30. Brian H

Romm +100? Judith, you reveal yourself as a shill. No one could read that article as anything but ad hom bloviation, unless they shared its agenda.

• Vague Genie

Projection becomes you.

• kim

giggles.
=====

• You misread: Romm – 100

• Peter Lang

Brian H,

You misread Judith’s comment. She said:

-100 for Romm

Not +100

• kim

Plus a hundred, minus a hundred, what’s a little polarity sign among friends?
=============

• jim2

Mathematicians of old believed negative numbers were un-physical. Maybe Brian suffers from that delusion?

• Petra

what’s a little polarity sign among friends?

31. Girma

Some of the best recent observationally based research also points to climate sensitivity being about 1.6°C for a doubling of CO2. An impressive study published this year by Magne Aldrin of the Norwegian Computing Center and colleagues gives a most-likely estimate of 1.6°C. Michael Ring and Michael Schlesinger of the University of Illinois, using the most trustworthy temperature record, also estimate 1.6°C.
….
On behalf of all those poor people whose lives are being ruined by high food and energy prices caused by the diversion of corn to biofuel and the subsidizing of renewable energy driven by carboncrats and their crony-capitalist friends, one can only hope the scientists will do so.

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

An excellent article.

• Arno Arrak

Girma – I opt for a sensitivity of zero. That is what we have now: increasing carbon dioxide is not causing any warming at all. It has been like that for the last 16 years. Would you agree that this is because the greenhouse effect does not exist? I really don’t think it does or that increase of carbon dioxide would warm the world which it does not. Here is an acid test for it. In 2007 IPCC made a firm prediction, based on using the greenhouse theory, 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 whatsoever of the predicted warming. Did you know that in science, if a theory makes wrong predictions it is cast into the trash heap of history? The utter failure of this predicted warming sure qualifies the greenhouse theory for that trash heap. And that is not its only prediction that has failed. Climate modelers have predicted the existence of a “hot spot” at ten kilometer height in the tropics. There have been thousands of radiosondes traversing that part of the atmosphere and there is nary a sign of that hot spot. This of course negates the existence of positive feedback from water vapor but not necessarily the primary greenhouse effect itself. But Ferenc Miskolczi took on the existence of the enhanced primary greenhouse effect directly. The greenhouse effect happens when carbon dioxide is added to the atmosphere and starts to absorb outgoing long-wave or infrared radiation. The captured radiation turns to heat, the atmosphere warms, and we have greenhouse warming. Miskolczi theory, however, says that this does not happen because that increased absorption is counterbalanced by a reduction of water vapor in the atmosphere. That is of course negative water vapor feedback, not positive, and that is part of the reason he is hated by warmists. If you could measure the transmittance of the atmosphere in the infrared while the amount of carbon dioxide varies you should be able to tell whether the IPCC version is true or the Miskolczi theory is true. And that is exactly what Miskolczi did. He used NOAA weather balloon database of radiosonde measurements that goes back to 1948 and observed that the infrared transmittance of the atmosphere was constant for 61 years. Ar the same time, the amount of carbon dioxide in the air increased by 21.6 percent. The greenhouse theory predicted that this should have reduced the IR transmittance of the atmosphere but it did not. Another failed prediction from the greenhouse theory and a clear win for Miskolczi. Are you ready yet to consign that greenhouse theory to its rightful place in the trash heap of history? (If not, tell me why not.)

32. Arno Arrak

Check out January Scientific American. There is an article “Coming Megafloods” that tells about “atmospheric rivers” that dump large amounts of rain on land. Usually they don’t take long and are beneficial but they can be longer and cause huge floods. In 1861 one hit California and lasted for 43 days. The Central Valley became a 300 mile long lake, Sacramento was under ten feet of water, and San Francisco Bay became a freshwater lake. Worse yet, sedimentary record tells us that they happen every 200 years. Californians are beginning to worry.

33. Beth Cooper

“Thought fer Today,” 24th December, 2012 AD
Xmas Eve in OZ.

‘Deck the halls with boughs of holly,
Fa la la la la la la la la.’

(Come on Josh, Lol, Michael, Skep, Tempt, and Web,)
‘Tis the season to be jolly,
Fa la la la la la la la la.

Don we now our gay apparel, (hmm ..)
Fa la la………………………………….

Troll the harp and join the chorus,
Fa la etc

Sing we all the joyful chorus.
( Join in denizens,)
Fa la la la la la la la la

Heedless of the wind and weaher,
( Climate reference,)
Fa la la la la la la la la.

Joyous Christmas to Judith and everyone at Climate Etc.

Beth.

34. The Skeptical Warmist

More mounting evidence that climate change is reaching into Antarctica:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-20804192

“We’re seeing a more dynamic impact that’s due to climate change that’s occurring elsewhere on the globe translating down and increasing the heat transportation to the WAIS.” said Dr Monaghan

WAIS= West Antarctic Ice Sheet

As I’ve pointed out for several weeks, this year there has been an unusually long spell of warm temperatures in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere over the southern hemisphere which was related to mild SSW event over the Antarctic back in July.

And there has also been an unusually long burst of stratospheric westerlies associated with the QBO over the equator for more that six months:

The area of westerly anomaly between about 25 and 45 km is worth watching. This intense westerly leg of the QBO will work its way down into the troposphere during 2013, and presents a potentially very strong element for a big El Nino for late 2013-2014. It could easily rival 1998’s El Nino depending on how it lines up with upwelling warm water in the eastern Pacific. In the meantime we could see a brief and relatively mild La Nina in early 2013.

• Edim

Roll on the next El Nino!

• JCH

Which differs how from roll on next La Nina? That’s rooting for death.

• Edim

So you admit that warmists root for warming? I admit that I root for cooling, like many skeptics. My motivation is science – the AGW dogma will not survive another decade of cooling.

• Edim

I am aware that strong cooling like LIA will be very destructive to people. Climate change is like seasons – inevitable. IMO, the sun is the variable to be studied and if we want to predict which way the global climate will go, observe the solar variations and oscillations. Physical mechanism or not, if we can predict without it, that’s much better than wrong mechanism, no matter how convenient.

• Edim

Speaking of El Nino, the indices are at about zero, but the forecasts changed lately to weak La Nina in spring 2013. Interesting times.

• lolwot
• Edim

Almost one third of all human CO2 is emitted in the last 15 years and the big scary warming stopped? Now that all the numerous positive feed-backs should kick in? This can only be plausible (but not correct) if the warming continues again soon. Very soon.

• lolwot

That graph is meaningless without the uncertainty ranges. If the 95% confidence may very well cover +0.2C warming/decade over that period.

• Edim

Agree, it could be cooling -0.2 deg/decade.

• BatedBreath

lolwot | December 24, 2012 at 7:29 am |
global sea surface temperatures have been very high for months

But atmospheric temperatures are level. So since AGW works by means of air temperature, it cannot be AGW that is warming the sea surface.

• BBD

Edim

Using the towering temperature anomaly of the 1998 Super El Nino as the start of your ‘cooling’ period from is just feeble. And it has been done to death by fake sceptics trying to fool themselves and others.

May I suggest that one of your New Year’s Resolutions is to stop blatantly cherry picking the 1998 Super El Nino? The rest of us saw through this trick some time ago and are bored rigid by it.

Honest graphs use long time-series whenever possible and sometimes eschew OLS linear fits in favour of something that captures the way the data behave more clearly. This cubic fit to a century’s worth of SSTs is a representative example.

• BBD

phatboy

Are you suggesting that the cubic regressions shown are misleading? If so, please explain why.

• phatboy

The more honest among us just look at the data, without attempting to make it fit some or other regression model.
The data can be made to confess to anything if you torture it enough.

• Edim

BBD, that New Year’s resolution won’t work. The skeptics are looking for the longest period without warming and the year 1998 is the natural choice. When the cooling really kicks in, then the skeptics will cherry-pick some earlier date with no warming. Sometime in 2020, we will cherry-pick the year 1990 in order to have 30 years of no warming.

• lolwot

“The skeptics are looking for the longest period without warming”

yes cherrypicking

• BBD

Edim

BBD, that New Year’s resolution won’t work. The skeptics are looking for the longest period without warming and the year 1998 is the natural choice.

Then you have a problem. Look at HadCRUT4. Warming from 1998. Warming from 1999. Warming from 2000. Your cherry-pick needs to be 2001.

Sloppy!

• Edim

BBD, it’s not skeptic’s fault that the things are sloppy – that’s actually one of our points. Your science is sloppy!

• phatboy

BBD, Yes I am.
Because, like any other regression, it’s sensitive to the start and endpoints.
To see what I mean, replot your regression, pretending that you’re in 1985 and so you only have data up to 1985.
Regressions may or may not be misleading, and there’s really no way of telling until many years later.

• BBD

phatboy

BBD, Yes I am. [Suggesting that the cubic fits to SST are misleading]
Because, like any other regression, it’s sensitive to the start and endpoints.

I wasn’t anywhere suggesting that we extrapolate from the regressions shown. Simply that cubic regression is well suited to investigation of the full century’s worth of data. And that *using* a century’s worth of data – optionally with the most suitable regression – was the best approach to take.

You seem to miss that Edim thinks he can *extrapolate* a very short flat trend into the future. Why don’t you caution him about this?

• jim2

Here is SST, unadjusted and 120 month mean. Looks like there was a flat period, a rise, then another flat period.

• phatboy

BBD wrote:
“Simply that cubic regression is well suited to investigation of the full century’s worth of data”
—————————————————————————————–
You don’t know that. Neither do I. Neither does anybody else.
Do a cubic regression on a century’s data between 1885 and 1985, for example, to see how futile the whole exercise is.
Honestly, some of you guys behave just like kids, playing around with flashy toys which they don’t even begin to understand.
Look at the data!

You don’t know that

• BBD

phatboy

I did say the use of regression was *optional*. Omit it if you prefer; it makes no difference. The C20th data show a centennial warming trend with variability on the decadal scale.

We both appear to agree that nothing can be said about short term trends (sensitivity to the start and end points).

Why don’t you pull Edim up on this?

• BBD

jim2

Sorry, I don’t follow you. The graph compares RSS MSU lower troposphere land only 120 month mean with RSS MSU global lower troposphere. How is this unadjusted SST?

• phatboy

BBD, I was replying to you, not Edim – who I am sure can read.
But, FWIW, the same applies to anyone who (mis)uses any form of data manipulation.
See: http://wmbriggs.com/blog/?p=6854

• jim2

BBD – you are correct. I mis-wrote. It is RSS land. Sorry. I had Mann’s SST hockey stick on my mind at the time.

> Why don’t you pull Edim up on this?

Yes he does seem to be exhibitng levels of wishful credulity normally associated with alarmists.

• Memphis

OK, so alarmists have a wriggle-out of the 16-year non-warming, by reference to ocean-atmosphere cycles, saying we are currently in one where there is less warming of the atmosphere by the oceans.

“Roll on La Nina”. Yes, this will be a test.
Gates, if this comes and there is still no warming, how would you then respond ?

• lolwot

The 95% uncertainty of the 16 year period covers significant warming.

• phatboy

…Putting it that way, it can also be said to cover significant cooling.

• lolwot

If the error bars cover significant warming and cooling then it’s fraudulent to cite the period as evidence of anything.

Eg the trend since 2011 is 0.78+-2.3C/decade

Can’t use it. Too short.

• phatboy

Exactly.

But the 95% uncertainty applies to the model (the trend) and not to the data – which is the data and there for all to see.
See: http://wmbriggs.com/blog/?p=6854

• The Skeptical Warmist

Memphis, if we get the large El Niño event in the winter of 2013-2014 and don’t get tropospheric warming along with it, it would completely fly in the face of all known physics. But, I don’t define AGW based on tropospheric tempertures, but on the total non-tectonic enthalpy of the Earth system, which of course in mainly found in the ocean.

• Memphis

lolwot –
there is nothing uncertain about the 16 years of non-warming

gates –
as you haven’t addressed my question I’ll repeat it : if La Nina comes and there is still no warming, how would you then respond ?
IOW, do you have another wriggle up your sleeve, or would that bring you to a rethink?

• BatedBreath

@Gates
I don’t define AGW based on tropospheric tempertures, but on the total non-tectonic enthalpy of the Earth system, which of course in mainly found in the ocean.

It’s correct to define GW that way, but not AGW, since the ‘A’ is understood to have its initial impact in the troposphere.

• The Skeptical Warmist

Memphis,

I honestly thought I had answered your question. I have no cause to want to “wiggle” out of anything, for I am a true skeptic who happens to believe it is more likely than not that anthropogenic GHG emissions are altering the energy balance of the planet, leading to an increasing enthalpy in the overall Earth energy system. Most of this energy is currently going into the ocean, but increasing enthalpy can also be seen in the atmosphere and cryosphere. But, if we don’t see a continued increase in Earth system enthalpy, including a warming of the atmosphere, despite GHG increases, I would gladly revisit my assumptions about the effects of anthropogenic GHG accumulations. Remember, as an honest skeptic, I hold all “truths”
as provisional, and would welcome and actually seek out anything that would disprove my provisionally held “truths”.

Merry Christmas!

• The Skeptical Warmist

Bated Breath said:

“It’s correct to define GW that way, but not AGW, since the ‘A’ is understood to have its initial impact in the troposphere.”

——
It is? Both physical theory and the models based on that theory show the greatest enthalpy increase at all times related to AGW to be first and foremost occurring in the oceans.

Merry Christmas!

• Memphis

Skeptical Warmist,
OK, so if after the next La Nina there is still no appreciable warming, you’ll reconsider. Fair enough.
(I wonder what the Team’s take on this is though?)

Also fair enough is the suggestion that the oceans will take up much of any increase in the earth’s heat content there might be. However, unless the atmosphere also warms, and warms before the oceans, you cannot say that any ocean warming is attributable to CO2 increases, since these by definition warm the atmosphere, resulting later in less conductive & convective cooling of the oceans to the atmosphere (as you yourself have mentioned).

Happy Xmas.

• BatedBreath

@Gates
Both physical theory and the models based on that theory show the greatest enthalpy increase at all times related to AGW to be first and foremost occurring in the oceans.

Models I can believe, they say whatever their authors parametrize them to say.

But physical theory? I thought the physics of AGW was that longwave radiation from the earth is captured by CO2 et al, which warms the atmosphere. This then results in warming elsewhere, eg oceans, but with no atmospheric warming to cause ocean warming, any ocean warming discovered to exist cannot be pinned on AGW.

Note that the oceans being a far greater heat sink that the atmosphere, has no bearing whatever on the above argument.

• Jim D

BatedBreath and others, it is wrong to think that the atmosphere responds first to increased GHGs. It is the surface that responds first and the atmosphere’s temperature responds to the surface, as does the deep ocean. This is because the troposphere’s temperature profile is constrained by convection to a lapse rate, and the only free variable is the surface temperature.
Merry Christmas to all.

• AGW is just accumulation of extra heat in the Earth system caused by the anthropogenic influence. The influence of additional GHG’s is to change the overall energy balance at TOA. That results in more heat stored somewhere in the Earth system but tells less about the place where the heat ends up or about the shares of troposphere and oceans in that.

Warming that ends up as heat in oceans is no less AGW than warming of troposphere as long as both are caused by human influence. Internal variability may influence significantly the shares of oceans and troposphere in taking up the extra heat and even cause cooling of one while the other warms enough to maintain the overall warming trend.

• Jim,

I would say that neither the surface not the troposphere is first, they move together. Oceans have enough heat capacity and extent to dominate in the determination of the surface temperatures over other effects over significant periods as seen most clearly in El Nino / La Nina, but also in the effects of multidecadal oscillations.

The warming in the sense of the energy content of the whole Earth system (or equivalently the TOA energy balance) may continue undisrupted even when surface temperature averages drop for a while or stay approximately constant for a little longer while.

It’s also possible that the TOA energy balance is positive on the average but varies enough (due to albedo effects) to be sometimes near zero or slightly negative without contradicting the longer term warming trend. It seems more likely that the TOA balance is consistently positive but I haven’t seen (or understood) convincing evidence on that.

• phatboy

So, given that the CO2 concentration is now around 0.005ppm more than it was yesterday, on average, and that this should result in the new equilibrium temperature being around 0.00004degC higher than yesterday’s, on average, how long, on average, will it take to reach this new equilibrium?

• Jim D

Pekka, yes, to be clear I agree they move together, but the atmosphere would not warm without the surface and ultimately if the surface did not warm, the atmosphere would not. My post was to point out the causality order. The atmosphere does not have to warm first for the surface to warm. It only needs to increase its GHG amount to have the radiative impact that warms the surface. It is a subtle point often missed. The tropospheric temperature is inextricably tied to the surface. Ultimately the energy balance dictates the overall warming, but as you mention, the amount partitioned to the surface (and troposphere) varies on short time scales with natural variability, so there are some periods where it goes into the ocean rather than causing enough surface warming to balance it. And we should not forget clouds, ice, snow-cover and aerosols that affect albedo in both directions too.

• Jim D

phatboy, the land is warming at 0.3 C per decade because apparently there is little delay. Eventually the oceans will put a brake on this (we hope), but so far it is quite a strong and direct response, possibly helped by reduced cloudiness rather than water vapor feedback, IMO.

• The early posts of Isaac Held tell about the basics of the temporal development of the warming response to forcing:

http://www.gfdl.noaa.gov/blog/isaac-held/2011/03/

He has written on related issues also recently

http://www.gfdl.noaa.gov/blog/isaac-held/2012/11/25/32-modeling-land-warming-given-oceanic-warming/

• phatboy

Jim D wrote:
“Eventually the oceans will put a brake on this…”
————————————————————————————
Can you explain why this should be, considering that the diurnal range of ocean temperature is orders of magnitude greater than the average daily temperature increase due to radiative forcing?

• jim2

@Pekka Pirilä | December 25, 2012 at 12:55 pm |

The second link does not work.

• in my browser me the second link works, but if it doesn’t, you can check the post #32 of Nov. 25, 2012.

• mwgrant

Hey Jim2

FYI if you are referring to Pekka’s Pekka Pirilä | December 25, 2012 at 12:55 pm | post. They just worked for me.

mwgrant

• Jim D

phatboy, the oceans can’t warm at 0.3 C per decade because their circulation brings up colder water all the time and they have a higher effective heat capacity than land anyway because of their deep mixed layer. However, the air over the oceans can help keep the land cooler than it would be without an ocean surface as the air circulates over the land and ocean.

• The Skeptical Warmist

Pekka said:

“AGW is just accumulation of extra heat in the Earth system caused by the anthropogenic influence.”

—–
This is exactly the correct perspective, and what should therefore be discussed is not the “temperature” of the near surface troposphere, or the sea surface temperature, or ocean heat content, or even the decline of sea ice and glaciers, but total enthalpy of the Earth system. Total Enthalpy is truly the best and most honest measurement of the sum effects of AGW. In line with move toward measuring total system enthalpy, and not merely “temperature”, here’s some research making an attempt at this for at least the atmosphere:

http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2011/2011GL048442.shtml

35. Beth Cooper

‘Thought fer Today’ (24th December 2012 AD in Oz)

‘Deck the Halls with boughs of holly,
Fa la la la la la la la la.’

Now’s the season to be jolly,
(Come on, Josh, lol, Michael. Skep, Tempt, Web,)
Fa la la la la la la la la.

Verse omitted due to archaic word monitoring me
previous posting.)

Sing we joyous all together,
(Join in denizens,)
Fa la la et al.

Heedless of the wind and weather,
( Climate reference,)
Fa la la ………………….la la.

A joyous Chriistmas to Judith and everyone at Climate Etc.
Beth.

• And likewise to you and your loved ones Beth. Thanks for helping to make Judith’s place nicer, more humane and humorous. You are a constant reminder to not take oneself and other denizens too seriously.

• The Skeptical Warmist

Thanks Beth, and the same to you and everyone here at Climate Etc. (even you Mike).

Here is the best Fa la la la la la la la la ever:

Merry Christmas Everyone!

• mike

Gates,

I’ll see your “Merry Christmas” and raise you a “Happy New Year.”

And a hearty, MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR to everyone else, as well (even you, Robert).

• manacker

Thanks for verses of holiday cheer.

Have a great one!

Max

36. Beth Cooper

Gorgeous Christmas Music, ‘On the Way to Bethlehem.’

http://grooveshark.com/#!/album/On+The+Way+To+Bethlehem/7590811

37. This is where I wish Judith and all contributors a very merry Christmas and may 2013 bring you peace of mind and heartiness of health and spirits.

38. mike

MORE DEATH THREATS!!!!

Remember the likely false-flag “CLIMATE SCIENTISTS GET DEATH (AND RAPE OF THEIR FAMILY) THREATS!” campaign of a year or so ago? You know, how the whole business fit the profile of your standard-recipe, lefty false-flag, and all:

-Comes outta nowhere and explodes in a media bombshell of spastic-dork eco-hysterics!

-The outrage appears at a too-good-to-be-true, just-happenstance, opportune moment to help along a critical item of the hive’s agenda–in the “hate mail” deal make that some controversial Australian eco-legislation.

-An instantaneous, synchronous, massive spew of supportive, PARTY-LINE, message-DISCIPLINED! hype that then erupts from the hive-friendly media–each media source a figurative, agit-prop pus-geyser of propaganda and, collectively, the sort of thing best visualized in terms of some pathetic, loser hive-bozo, possessed of a pathetic, loser blog that nobody reads, applying a high-pressure, mass-evacuation send-off to the contents of all his zit-shafts simultaneously.

-No police reports or names of the dastardly “threateners” of the very lives and chastity of climate science’s finest and their kith and kin ever appear–indeed, it may even transpire that the “death threats” over which so much fluttering angst was formerly lavished weren’t even reported to the police and/or the police declined to investigate. Some “death-threats”.

-Once the usefulness of the “meme” passes, the hub-bub dies down, not to be heard of again, until the hive again needs another “false-flag” to again sell one of its noxious make-a-buck/make-a-gulag deals.

Google: “fake hate crimes” to see the left’s ardent love affair with false-flags.

But now there is a real-life DEATH THREAT! and I’m prepared to name names! Professor Richard Parncutt advocates DEATH TO DENIERS!–starting with those whose names appear on the Desmogblog “death-list”, no less. The original article appears to have been pulled, but Jo Nova’s “Death Threats Anyone…” post has the details. Reminds me that recently lolwot kinda off-the-wall–or so I thought at the time–asked something to the effect of how many kids had been murdered by skeptics critical of the IPCC.

Things seem to be cookin’ in the hive. Wonder what’s up?

P. S. Hey, Robert, here’s a good idea–why don’t you publish the names (or at least the name used on the e-mails) of those issuing death/rape threats to climate scientists and their families with links to the relevant police reports on that sadly-unappreciated, tragically-ignored, blog of yours that keeps such good track of you and, so, delivers on the promise of its title. That’d get you some much-needed page-views and even comments, for sure. I mean, like, I’d pull-up a post on your blog, myself, for a “scoop” of that sort. See, I’m being a pal, Robert. Kinda like Santa Claus, you know.

• mike

Sorry the above comment followed some Christmas good wishes–please hold off reading it until the 26th, since it’s not really in the spirit of the moment.

39. Edim

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR to all.

40. A merry christmas and a happy new year to everyone at Climate etc and especially to those whose views do not always coincide with mine.

Tonyb

• manacker

May they be enlightened…

41. jim2

MERRY CHRISTMAS! I hope all of you enjoy your holidays.

42. GaryM

With apologies to Robert May and Johnny Marks:

Michael the long-nosed zealot
and when he ever spoke out
you’d have to fight not to laugh

All of the other zealots
used to shout and praise his name
They never let poor Michael
see his graph was just a shame

Then one foggy non-denominational day
Pachauri came to say
Michael with your graph so high,
won’t you help us sell our lie

Then all the warmists loved him
as they shouted out with glee
Michael the long nosed zealot
you helped us re-write history

• manacker

Super!

(combines the spirit of the Season with the realities of the climate debate)

• Peter Lang

GaryM

+100

43. GaryM

Meet the real life George Bailey (protagonist in the movie It’s a Wonderful Life):

http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2011/06/the-real-life-george-bailey-who-founded-bank-of-italy-which-became-bank-of-america/#4UgmmrVEx5dqY5Sg.99

Merry Christmas

44. jim2

@ Pekka Pirilä | December 25, 2012 at 10:36 am |
“Warming that ends up as heat in oceans is no less AGW than warming of troposphere as long as both are caused by human influence.”

Pekka – The oceans are warmed by SWR from the Sun, no? The back radiation from CO2 gets captured in the first 10 uM of the ocean and is converted to water vapor. So, CO2 plays no role in heating the ocean, 70% of the Earth’s surface.

Is that not correct?

• The oceans are warmed by SWR from the Sun, no?

Right.

The back radiation from CO2 gets captured in the first 10 uM of the ocean and is converted to water vapor. So, CO2 plays no role in heating the ocean, 70% of the Earth’s surface.

Wrong.

The top 10 µm emit more IR than absorb. The surface loses in addition energy by evaporation and a little by conduction that feeds convection. All those energy losses are compensated by conduction from below and mixing of the surface ocean.

Adding CO2 to air adds a little to the downwelling radiation and reduces a little the temperature gradient in the ocean as a little less conduction is needed to maintain the balance.

it’s very difficult to proceed to more accurate understanding of the surface fluxes both because of the inherent complexity of all the processes on both side of the surface and because of the very great variability in the local conditions that affect those subprocesses. What’s much easier is to figure out what CO2 does in the upper troposphere where it has its largest influence and also how the weaker influence on the TOA energy balance builds up from other parts of the atmosphere both below and above.

When it’s known what’s the balance at TOA it’s also known what’s the overall balance at the surface because the heat capacity of the atmosphere is so low that the overall balance is guaranteed to be nearly the same at the surface as it is at TOA. What’s more difficult to tell is, where the heat goes on the surface and below. The oceans can store a lot of heat in many ways and there’s some uncertainty also on land areas although much, much less.

• Edim

“it’s very difficult to proceed to more accurate understanding of the surface fluxes both because of the inherent complexity of all the processes on both side of the surface and because of the very great variability in the local conditions that affect those subprocesses. What’s much easier is to figure out what CO2 does in the upper troposphere where it has its largest influence..”

What’s the large influence in the upper troposphere? I see warmists have a hard time finding a new plausible explanation for the so-called GHE. By the way, there can be no imbalance at the TOA in a new steady state. Otherwise, the new steady state is not reached yet.

• Edim,

There’s nothing new in the important role of the upper troposphere. It has been understood since the 1966 paper of Manabe and Wetherald.

You are right that the imbalance disappears when the warming stops but that situation will not be reached until the peak of CO2 concentration is far in the history, and thereafter there will be for a long time an imbalance in the opposite direction. That turnround will almost certainly not happen in this century and quite possibly not even during the next.

• Edim

So, it’s not the balance at TOA that can make any influence – in a new steady state E(in) equals E(out) at TOA. The new outgoing energy is the same as the old one (before change in CO2 for example).

• It does not make any further influence when it has already done what it can do.

But what’s the relevance of this observation about a future that’s very far (centuries away) if it ever comes to stay.

• Edim

Gotta go Pekka, thanks. We remain in disagreement. The more I look into this, the more I see only cooling effects of GHGs, by making the atmosphere more ‘radiative’. The surface is cooled primarily by non-radiative fluxes anyway.

• BatedBreath

@Edim
I see only cooling effects of GHGs, by making the atmosphere more ‘radiative’

You’re ignoring that GHGs also absorb radiation. The atmosphere only becomes more radiative, BECAUSE of the radiation GHGs have absorbed.

• Edim

BatedBreath, I am not ignoring it. The atmosphere radiates not only the energy gained by absorption of surface radiation, but also the energy gained by the non-radiative heat transfer from the surface, which is pre-dominant by the way. I don’t except a significant net effect of atmospheric CO2 (H2O is the knob), but the postulated CO2 warming effect is very uncertain. Even the consensus natural GHE of ~33 K is very questionable. The surface loses more than half of its energy by non-radiation to a relatively warm atmosphere, why would anyone expect the surface to be about – 18 °C (the idealized effective temperature at the same distance from the sun)? It doesn’t make any sense.

• Edim,

Have you ever made a serious attempt to learn to understand how the level of outgoing radiation at TOA is estimated?

The basic arguments are well known and not particularly difficult to understand but you seem to be totally ignorant of them.

• Edim

Pekka, what’s interesting, is that more than 90% of the outgoing radiation at TOA is atmospheric radiation, made possible by GHGs (and clouds). The non-radiative bulk of the atmosphere insulates the surface, by not being able to radiate significantly to space – it has to transfer its gained energy to the radiatively active atmospheric gases, which radiate the energy to space.

• Edim,

Rigth, and that leads to the less radiation to space the better the atmosphere stops radiation from the surface and warmest parts of the atmosphere and replaces that by the lesser radiation from uppermost cold atmosphere.

The more emission there’s in the atmosphere the more there’s also absorption. The level of radiation at each altitude is determined largely by the temperature at that altitude and not so much by the amount of GHG’s because the added absorption approximately cancels the increased emission. Looking more accurately at the change the absorption increases a little more than emission and therefore the radiation to space gets reduced.

The best way to understand what happens is to imagine looking down from space at IR wavelengths. The deeper into the atmosphere one can see the warmer layers one sees and the more radiation is observed. With more CO2 one cannot see as deep and the colder visible layers radiate less.

• BatedBreath

The whole argument would seem to hinge on whether
1.

• BatedBreath

Arrg, don’t use angle brackets…

Edim, Pekka,

The whole argument would seem to hinge on whether
(less than, equal to, or greater than) 1.

• Edim

Bated, if there was a vacuum layer between surface and atmosphere, so that the surface can cool only by radiation, than maybe it would seem to hinge on whether CO2 IR radiation absorption/emission is (less than, equal to, or greater than) 1. The main surface cooling process is evaporation (according to consensus) and conveniently, the same evaporated water can further transfer the heat by radiating it to space.

• Edim,

The point is that surface cannot cool more than the Earth as a whole radiates to space and that’s determined by what’s visible from above (visible really means that emission from that point can get trough).

Then about the ratio of absorption and emission.

Absorptivity and emissivity are always equal for each wavelength separately. That’s one formulation of the Kirchhoff’s law, and that’s also a result of QM.

Planck’s formula tells the intensity of blackbody radiation as function of temperature. If the actual intensity is higher at some location then absorption is stronger than emission, similarly a lower intensity of radiation makes emission stronger than absorption (this consideration is valid for each wavelength separately as well as for the total).

In atmosphere radiation coming from below comes from warmer areas and is stronger than that given by Planck’s formula for upwards radiation at the local temperature. The situation is opposite for the downwards radiation from above. The dependence of the intensity on temperature is not linear but gets steeper with increasing temperature. Therefore the total intensity is a little higher than that given by Planck’s formula as long as the lapse rate is constant or gets weaker with increasing altitude. In atmosphere this is mostly true. That makes absorption stronger than emission. The radiation coming from surface adds to this effect.

• BatedBreath

The whole argument would seem to hinge on whether CO2 IR radiation absorption/emission is (less than, equal to, or greater than) 1.

Edim
No, conduction into the atmosphere makes no difference to this. As Pekka notes, the earth system cannot cool more than the TOA flux imbalance, no matter by what route the TOA is warmed.

Also, only at TOA can emission possibly be as much as absorption; at lower altitudes, where varying amounts of emission cannot be seen from space due to other CO2 molecules blocking a free path to space, net emission must necessarily be less than net absorption.

• Batedbreath said, “Also, only at TOA can emission possibly be as much as absorption; at lower altitudes, where varying amounts of emission cannot be seen from space due to other CO2 molecules blocking a free path to space, net emission must necessarily be less than net absorption.”

TOA is a artificial “surface” though. Below the TOA, energy is transferred so that regions with high insolation transfer less to the TOA and regions with low insolation transfer more to TOA. The internal transfer plays hell with the assumption that a simple up/down radiant model of the TOA can accurately capture the complexity of the “surfaces” below the TOA.

You end up with apples and oranges. Anistropic or advective transfer both below and above the TOA which is “assumed” to be roughly in the neighborhood of the tropopause, is the equivalent of radiant scattering. All that semi-chaotic weather action in the atmosphere and slower ocean current transfer at several different depths smears the timing of Ein versus Eout by centuries to millennia.

Just for grins, assume -20C is the ERL equivalent temperature. Draw a mental picture of where that ERL is with respect to the true sea level surface during the year.

45. Jim D

Monckton has an entertaining “rat-hole” post at WUWT. Good Christmas entertainment. Basically he says sensitivity can’t be high because it can’t be high, and models can’t be right because they can’t be right, and the temperature won’t be rising because it isn’t rising. Cogent stuff as usual from him.

• A form of projection is the only way to describe it. Monckton crawls out of his hole, and all the cockroaches scuttle about feeding on the crumbs he leaves behind.

46. BatedBreath

The comments of Pekka and JimD seem to skirt around the fact that the fundamental agent of AGW is the increased absorption of IR by increased CO2. Without this, there would be no AGW as currently understood (hence the drive to cut CO2 emissions).

This must surely mean the first and tell-tale effect in the chain of events leading to overall warming of the planet, is warming of the atmosphere (one of the consequences of which is the flux imbalance at TOA).

No warming of the atmosphere, means no AGW. The planet could well still be warming, but not because of AGW/CO2/greenhouse.

• Jim D

There are two immediate effects of adding CO2 to the atmosphere. 1) More downward IR flux at the surface, which is sustained over time and causes warming, and 2) less energy loss to space (blanketing effect) which also leads to energy accumulation in the energy budget that is only restored by warming.

• BatedBreath,

You explained correctly to Edim how CO2 affects both absorption and emission, but here you just state what “this must surely mean”. To draw such a conclusion you should have a full picture of subprocesses that force the conclusion.

It’s relatively easy to figure out what would happen first in the imaginary case where CO2 is suddenly added to atmosphere. That would lead immediately to some warming of the surface but the initial rate of temperature change would be much faster for the atmosphere. That would, however result very rapidly to reduced temperature difference between the surface and the lower troposphere and this further to reduced heat flux from the surface to atmosphere. It would not take long before the temperature profile from surface to the top of atmosphere is again almost stationary and similar to what it was before the addition of CO2. The temperature would a little higher at all altitudes, i.e. the warming would apply similarly to the surface as it does to the troposphere. (That applies only on the average as surface warming is not uniform, most importantly the ocean surface warms less than land surface and as there are also other local deviations from the average.)

All the above refers to the hypothetical sudden addition of CO2. In reality the increase in CO2 concentration is so slow that all the other important changes proceed at the pace determined by that increase, except that the warming of deep ocean is much slower. The average process is quasi-stationary, i.e. all the fast changes reach the balance much faster than the controlling CO2 concentration grows, while the slow process of warming of deep ocean is even slower than the increase in CO2. Due to these ratios in the time scales of various processes, it’s correct to consider all the fast processes as occurring simultaneously rather than one first and others later.

• jim2

So, Pekka.

The ocean warms in part by surface mixing. Is that correct?

Or, is it instead or also the fact that the added temp to the atmosphere retards the cooling of the oceans?

I think you also said the ocean-atmosphere interaction is poorly understood. I know that’s true for me at least.

For a second process, you say the land-based warming will somehow work its way into the sea? What would be the mechanism(s) for that?

• BatedBreath

Pekka I take the point that effects are slow, which complicates seeing the sequence of events. But neither that nor anything else you have said above, contradicts the point that without any warming of the atmosphere (via CO2 IR absorption), there cannot be any AGW. There can be GW for other reasons, but not the ‘A’ variety.

• BatedBreath,

1) There cannot be any GW without warming by definition.

2) The warming of the oceans is linked with the warming of the atmosphere, whatever the origin of the warming.

3) Over short periods the atmospheric temperature may move in the opposite direction from OHC – and “short” may be years, perhaps a few decades. (SST is more strongly linked to atmospheric temperature than to OHC)

The “A” doesn’t make any difference in any of the above. The “A” cannot cause the potential difference between the trends of OHC and atmospheric temperatures but it cannot prevent that either when natural processes are strong enough. It’s not at all excluded that AGW adds continuosly to OHC while the surface temperature and atmospheric temperature are low. Actually a reduction in these temperatures reduces OLR and may thus make the imbalance larger and speed up the warming as measured by OHC. (It’s also possible that albedo changes so much as part of the natural variability that warming is not accelerated.)

• BatedBreath

Pekka
You still seem to be avoiding the point that A GW is understood to be set off by CO2 being warmed, and hence warming the atmosphere, additional CO2 meaning additional warming. (This then has the knock-on effect of slowing ocean and land cooling into the atmosphere).

This means that if the atmosphere is not being warmed by the additional CO2, then cooling into the atmosphere too is not being slowed. Which means man’s additional CO2 is not having the effect the AGW theory expects.

If the heat content of the oceans and land are increasing, but the additional CO2 hasn’t managed to heat the atmosphere, then CO2 cannot be behind the warming of the oceans and land. Something else must be.

47. manacker

Bated Breath

You are fighting a losing battle with the “believers” in CAGW.

At first it was all about atmospheric warming, with the theory telling us the rate of warming in the troposphere would be higher that that at the surface (the “fingerprint” hot spot).

When this did not occur, we were told that it was not important where the atmospheric warming was occurring most rapidly.

Now that the atmosphere is not warming at all despite unabated GHG emissions, we are being told that atmospheric warming is not important – the warming is occurring in the ocean.

When the first real measurements of upper ocean temperature (ARGO) showed cooling instead of warming, we were first told this was a “speed bump”; subsequently the ARGO readings were “corrected” to show a slight warming.

It’s a moving target BB, and there is no way you can win the debate

Max

• Not much of a scientist or engineer you are Max. Most technology professionals are educated to not blindly follow “noise”. I know that it is often hypnotic to look at, but those fluctuations that you might notice in sensor readings are not always what are called the “signal”. The roll of a dice or the number of raindrops counted per second is also a “moving target”. What debate are you trying to win exactly? That what you see is not noise, but the other side is only seeing noise?

It is fun to be so pedantic with you because your attempts at using rhetorical arguments are such good target practice.

• manacker

Webby

Being a pedantic type you have missed out on the truism that “one man’s signal is another man’s noise”.

Max

• The anthropogenic CO2 signal is not noise as it is much too strong.
This becomes a forcing function input to a Weiner process which essentially describes fluctuating temperatures.
When that forcing function elevates the temperature signal above dW, the confidence improves. We are in a transition region for this process.

This is an incredibly rich foundation of physics and it is quite sad that no skeptics will work the problem from this angle.

• Jim D

We just had the warmest decade, and that didn’t even include 1998 which belongs to a decade that was cooler by 0.15 degrees. Skeptics somehow lost the plot when they started to look at individual years, which is fraught with misleading noisiness, and they stopped looking at the big picture.

• Edim

Yes, the warming stopped in the warmest decade, how it could be different?

• Jim D

You can’t say it stopped when the warmest decade was the last one. The end of a rising line stops too in that sense.

• Edim

Jim, how would it look like if it did stop? Or, if it will stop in the future? The only way it could stop not in the warmest decade is if the cooling is steeper than the previous warming.

• Jim D

I would expect the decade-on-decade change to decelerate, which it hasn’t, prior to stopping. It is quite robust.

• phatboy

Are you suggesting that previous decades were somehow not also ‘fraught with misleading noisiness’?
You don’t need misleading trendlines to tell you the slope of the warming has changed – you just need to look at the data.
See: http://wmbriggs.com/blog/?p=6854

• Jim D

Exactly, taking ten year averages, the rise is surprisingly smooth all the way back to the 70’s. I think it is because ENSO and sunspot cycles are effectively removed by this process, and that doesn’t leave much except the warming signal and the small multi-decadal oscillations.

• phatboy

It’s rather easier to for someone who has spent their whole lives working with real-world signals to believe in Santa Claus than in high-frequency noise just randomly appearing and disappearing without a damn good reason.

• Jim D

Yes, skeptics have to decide for themselves whether they like annual averages or not. It seems they don’t whenever there is a new record warm year, but do when it isn’t. Not a consistent view at all, possibly a little biased. This is why I prefer decades, and it turns out every one is a new record, guaranteed. If you prefer shorter terms, we have had 333 months above average in succession now, which you would not find in the historical record.

• Jim D

There is a lot of short-term cancellation because, with the surface temperature record, you are only looking at one side of the signal when you don’t look at the ocean heat content and the TOA radiation balance. If I have to come up with an analogy, it is looking looking at the water level in one half of a rocking box.

• phatboy

Yes, Jim, there’s always a near-infinite number of plausible explanations for anything – especially if one isn’t too fussed about detail.
…But only one correct one.

• harrywr2

“Skeptics somehow lost the plot when they started to look at individual years, which is fraught with misleading noisiness”

Right…so when Hansen parses a 12 months period that doesn’t end on the end of a year and declares it the ‘warmest’ 12 months in whatever exaggerated time frame then what do we call that?

Smothing 30 years of the positive phase of the PDO with 10 years of negative phase gives a result of what….0.15C/decade. The only trouble is that we ‘likely’ have another 15 or 20 years to go in the negative phase of the PDO.

The world had 1.6 billion in 1900. We have 7 billion now. The world also warmed by 0,8C in that time frame. Somehow I think if 0.8C warming were ‘catastrophic’ then we wouldn’t be able to support 5 billion more people living longer and better lives then in any point in history.

• kim

Heh, ‘above average’.
=============

• manacker

Jim D

I know you like to think in “decades”, because (for now) it helps “prove” your point that it’s still warming (even if the record shows that it has started cooling).

But let me see if you can expand your thinking outside the decadal box.

Let’s think “five year periods” instead (to eliminate some of the “lag”).

The average annual temperature (HadCRUT3) for the 5-year periods:
1998-2002 was 0.397C
2003-2007 was 0.444C
2008-2012 was 0.403C

So you can see that it has started to cool off a bit.

Max

• manacker

Jim D

Just so you are aware.

Since the end of 2000,

The following records show slight cooling

The following records show slight warming:
GISS
UAH

IOW there has been no warming over the past decade+

Max

• To get some feeling on the relevance of 5-year and 10-year moving averages in looking for longer term trends a made this graph.

In this graph I present the variability of 5-year, 11-year, and 21-year moving averages around a smooth fit. To save effort I picked Vaughan Pratt’s AGW+SAW as the fit. I left out the solar components of his model. The 21-year moving average tells that the fit is constructed to make variability at this time scale very small. Thus every fit that makes the 21-year variability small gives essentially the same results for 5-year and 11-year variability. I included only the period 1860-2000 to leave end effects of the fit out. What’s left out looks oscillatory in a similar way but that’s not really significant.

The graph tells that the variability of the 5-year moving average shows strong oscillations with peak-to-peak amplitude up to 0.2 C and periods around 20 years. It’s obvious that the 5-year moving average is of little value in looking for changes that do not exceed significantly 0.1 C and that are observed over a period of less than 20 years.

The 11-year moving average does not oscillate as much but even its applicability in determining longer term trends is limited.

The conclusion is that something that’s seen in 5-year moving average but not in 11-year moving average is of little value in judging whats going on over longer periods. There’s too much extra noise in 5-year moving averages for them to provide essentially anything significant beyond what 11-year moving average tells and even that has significant noise left.

• kim

Hilarious, Jim D, there is a ‘Jo Brighton’ over at Wots Up repeating the meme of ‘333 months above average’. Where do you people get this silliness, and why do you keep falling for it?
============

• JCH

The ARGO result was corrected because it was incorrect. Another line of evidence showed it was incorrect. Then they found the error and corrected.

• phatboy

Perhaps you’d like to tell us exactly what the error was, then

48. mwgrant

What quantitative measure or measures including any appropriate diagnostics lead people here to say ‘global warming has stopped [or continues]’?

• jim2

I think the source of the skeptics discontent in this case it that the model projections indicate a continuous rising of global temperature that didn’t come about. Until relatively recently, many climate scientists stood by those projections. Obviously, if you look at RSS or UAH, you can see from the chart that temperatures have not increased in 16 years. So, the models and the climate scientists who posited a continuous increase are wrong. That isn’t the same thing as saying the warming will not pick up in the future. It also isn’t saying it will, however.

• “Considering global warming. There may be global warming or there may not.”

Nope. There is global warming. Fact. Period.

If you’re struggling to understand that, you’re in denial.

• mike

Robert,

Let me keep this all nice and simple-like so that even a hacked-up, lickspittle, pustule-ooze, Gaia-loogie creep-out, like you can begin to comprehend the karmic-mother end to which the impersonal, implacable, historical forces of dialectical materialism have brought you (and your geek-ball, hive-bozo pals)–you, Robert, and your little CAGW scam are, like, complete sputum-rejects in the spittoon of history!

Deal with it!

• mwgrant

Robert! That is my comment and it is below. And for the record you missed the point. But that’s OK. I did see it and I’m an all inclusive sort of fellow.

So here is a spin for you. Presuming you have a candidate solution, how do maximize the odds for it not losing to a consensus Goldilocks principle solution. Of course if [you have confidence that] your solution is already a moderate position overall then you may feel comfortable. You could still try to enhance the odds for your team. But then why do you go around and express so much concern with the fringe skeptics. After all when you are already in the middle and the GP is going to bias things your way even more. Indeed your time might be better spent going after some of your more moderate competitors! They are the greater risk So chill out.

For the record, I’m really a ‘ don’t give a rat’s #@!%##-er ‘ and not a denier. I’ve arrived at this point after several months of observation. Humanity puts itself on trial, none of us puts it there. And that works fine for me. Yes, I do have a streak of misanthrope in me. ;o)

Thanks for your comment, it did take me still another direction.

• manacker

Robert

Short-term, it has stopped warming, as the record shows.

Seen over several decades, it has warmed.

What will happen over the next decades is anyone’s guess, Robert, although it would seem logical that the gradual warming trend we’ve seen since 1850 will resume.

Max

• kim

The return to the underlying rising trend of the last couple of centuries is naturally the default position, but the millenial scale apparent cycles(Minoan, Roman, Medieval Optimae) all have tops and the timing is about right for that underlying trend to reverse.

Nobody’s mentioned sunspots easing out of the visible spectrum lately. Time for a reminder.
==============

• manacker

kim

The “default null hypothesis” may be that warming will resume after a decade or two (as it has over several multi-decadal cycles since 1850) – BUT, I’d agree with you that there may be a longer-term cyclical effect at work that would cause a prolonged cooling cycle as we had after the other climate optima you mention.

Only time will tell.

The past is dead and the future is blind (even with climate models).

Max

• kim

We are cooling, folks; for how long even kim doesn’t know.
================

• “Short-term, it has stopped warming, as the record shows.”

Nope. Factually incorrect.

This assertion has been getting a lot of play here, but it’s simply false. It’s just a problem of motivated reasoners who don’t know how to read the data.

• mwgrant

Jim2,
Certainly the leveling has begun to look pretty convincing in a qualitative judgement. ANd I think we are wired to make that inference, although we all know we can’t say anything about next year–again one way or the other. Yet feelings can be quite strong. When one go back to the warming period we could applied the same logic and perhaps say yeah, its still going up. When it turns as it did circa 1998 roles reverse (after time establishes the ‘leveling’) and the reasoning becomes false say if one had been a warmist or the reasoning becomes true if one had skeptical–and no mercy is shown the other side. Somehow this seems obvious, trivial, and profound at the same time.

I appreciate your answer. I is succinct and sets up things nicely. And it is even in tone. I’m not sure why I asked or even if I would get a response. Maybe because I am stuck there and further realize that no quantitive skill can foretell the future–models, statistics. Yet the outcomes with action or no action may be so severe. The one thing what might hope we could control is the manner of our discourse–but that may be wired, i.e. ‘certain’. It not depressing, it is just interesting. I like your answer–the way it is couched.

• mwgrant

that we might hope <- 'what might hope we could control '

just woke from a nap! sorry

• Peter Lang

mwgrant

Yet the outcomes with action or no action may be so severe.

Not if we undertake robust analysis and allow robust policies – i.e. remove the regulatory blocks that are preventing a robust policy response.

Here is an example of an ideological block and the consequences:

Australia was offered a clear, economically rational, policy response to the threat of CO2 emissions in March 1993. The Coalition (then the Opposition) took the policy to the 1993 federal election. The Labor party (Left) ran an anti-nuclear scare campaign and won the election. That put nuclear power off the agenda for 14 years. It was offered again in 2007, again by the Coalition. Again by the Labor Party (Left). This put it off the political agenda for probably another 10 years or more (from 2007)

It is now 3 months short of 20 years since the Coalition’s policy was offered to the electorate in March 1993. If the Coalition had won the election and implemented the policy, Australia’s could be avoiding 80 Mt per year of CO2 emissions by now * (20% of CO2 emissions from energy consumption). If we added another 10 GW by 2020 we could by then be avoiding most of our emissions from electricity generation. To give a perspective (not quite correct because we can’t have 20 GW by 2010), Figure 5 here http://oznucforum.customer.netspace.net.au/TP4PLang.pdf shows what the CO2 emissions from electricity generation would haave been in 2010 if we’d had 20 GW of nuclear power – i.e. the CO2 emissions just 10% of what the emissions from actually were in 2010. Figure 6 compares the cost of mostly renewables versus mostly nuclear for achieving this outcome.

* [this estimate assumes 10 years to implement to the first 1 GW and 1 GW per year after that; i.e. total capacity = 10 GW production 8,000 GWh per year and avoiding 1 t CO2/MWh].

• mwgrant

Peter Lang

Hi, Peter. Your comment is good and pushes me to a little deeper. It is still messy but I should be use to that by now. I’ll work of the sentence:

“Not if we undertake robust analysis and allow robust policies – i.e. remove the regulatory blocks that are preventing a robust policy response.”

The ‘if‘ is my bold. That ‘if’ is a big deal. I’ll get there shortly, but I want to touch on the uncertainty before the decision.Also keep in mind that I am assume some wired tendency of humans to go Goldilocks.

Considering global warming. There may be global warming or there may not. Some would maintain that there is global warming and it is caused by man’s X, Y, and/or Z. Others might say we have global warming but it is natural. And so on…. My point here is no one really knows and to my knowledge no one can foretell–‘predict’ is not the correct word–what is going to happen. This includes an entire spectrum of natural and/or fiscal outcomes ranging in severity from no consequence to severe consequence. Yes the probabilities will vary greatly but of course our knowledge there will also be imperfect. This is and always effectively will be a roll of the dice. Again I repeat no one can foretell the future–that uncertainty is not going away, although we may be able to better characterize the various odds. Ignorance we can do nothing about.

Now about the decision. You propose a solution. Other parties propose/advance their solutions. Assume for the moment that your solution is a ‘viable’ solution–although you will not know that to be the case. If your solution is not perceived to be ‘in the middle’, how do you minimize possibility of a predisposed consesus Goldilocks event–where you, and the world, lose. This predisposed Goldilocks event (the discourse leading up to the decision) is what I mean by certainty in our behavior. Yes it is imperfect.

Summarizing. This is a simplified picture but even when a decision is made (or solution implemented) no one still knows what is the actual the global warming outcome, that has been unfolding all along before and up to the decision. When we make a decision we may be biased by an innate preference for Goldilock’s consensus solution. How does Peter Lang enhance the odds relative to his solution, or more important how does the collective we run an unbiased selection process. Folks here have touched on this I believe, I am just tring to formulate things in my language.

Thank you for the comment.

• David Wojick

MWG, if you are talking about reasoning you may be off the mark. In the demographics of belief polarization is often the norm, not goldilocks. It is policy not belief that finds the middle ground because it gets the most votes. As for prediction one side in this debate says it can be done.

• mwgrant

Thanks David Wojick.

Yet another angle that suggests distinctions–where do institutions fit in?.

Humans reason (rationally and irrationallly, to various degrees over time).
Institutions, at least those that are composites, make policy but do not reason. Belief polarization might be made to fit in there.

“As for prediction one side in this debate says it can be done.” That is a belief of the tribe members. (Other tribes probably use other nouns.)

As for being off the mark. That is the inevitable; I am playing with a model–a decision model. I am just trying to explore the ‘debate’ and decision models are one way to do that. I always have to be prepared to abandon a model at some point–accommodate too much and it becomes belief and not very useful in debate.

For now arguing over numbers–the ‘physics’– is a waste of breathe. Better to look for something more interesting. [To be clear discussing numbers is not useless.]

• jim2

mwg – Mr. Lang’s “no regrets” action is one where it does not matter if it warms or cools in the future. His recommended action is designed to benefit society no matter the weather (or climate in this case.) I suspect you understand that, but can’t tell for sure from your response.

I do understand what you mean WRT to Goldilocks. Society may view Mr. Lang’s proposal as risky, not just right. That appears to be the case. Unfortunate, that, because the solutions actively pursued by the US government are a waste of resources, IMO.

• mwgrant

Jim2

“he should focus on counting competing moderates (in his view)”
should be
“he should focus on counting competing moderates (in his view)”

• mwgrant

jim2

I believe Willard mentioned something about threes, so maybe the third go is my charm:

“he should focus on countering competing moderates (in his view)”

sigh. to borrow from Mosher: silly, pitiful, pathetic, stupid, above it all
(Well I can’t be too hard on myself, can I?)

• mwgrant

jim2,

I appreciate the follow-up on Peter’s comment. I didn’t want to be judgmental of a particular solution or particular outcome on the warming variable. One gets sucked into the ‘debate’.

Just as Robert came with a strong position, I wanted to see how where that might fall in place. Obviously my response was on the fly, but when it got to the point that he should focus on counting competing moderates (in his view)…well that was kink of interesting. But it is just a crude decision model.

People have no problem exploring model space…simple models, models with racing stripes, competing models, ensembles…when we are talking about physical models, economic models, etc. But most of us do not think to explore decision model space. Maybe there is some profit in that endeavor down the road. For me, at the moment, it is just a more interesting aspect of the climate ‘debate’.

• Peter Lang

mwgrant,

This is s great comment. Thank you. Sorry I missed it when you wrote it. [I’d love to have some way of seeing the comments I am interested that have been posted since I last looked. If threads ran continuously without nesting that would be easy – just continue reading from where I left off]

How does Peter Lang enhance the odds relative to his solution, or more important how does the collective we run an unbiased selection process.

This question is not really applicable for ‘No Regrets’ policies. No matter what the climate does or who dunnit, we are better off with ‘No Regrets’ policies.

What I am arguing for would provide cheaper and cleaner electricity (lower toxic emissions, lower GHG emissions, cheaper electricity, and available to more people more quickly. All this is beneficial no matter what the climate does.

Rollout of cheaper cleaner electricity would not be done by bureaucratic central control. It would be done by removing the impediments that are preventing it from happening now. We’ve blocked this from happening by 50 years of irrational interventions in energy markets. The most obvious at the moment is the subsidising and mandating of renewable power. We’ve been doing that for at least 30 years, yet after all this, non-hydro renewables now contribute just 3% of world electricity. How ridiculous is that. Meanwhile, nuclear’s share of electricity has decreased from 18% t0o 13% due to our thwarting of its development. For some 50 years we’ve been blocking the development of nuclear power, for totally irrational reasons. This has caused nuclear power to be around eight times more expensive than it would have been (Bernard Cohen said four times increase due to regulatory ratcheting to 1990, I guessed double that since 1990 http://www.phyast.pitt.edu/~blc/book/chapter9.html).

We need to stop advocating big brother approaches and instead allow competition between manufacturers and countries to produce cheaper, cleaner electricity for everyone. If we tackle the issue this way, your questions doesn’t apply.

• Peter Lang

mwgrant,

I should have started my previous comment by acknowledging your point – and stating that I agree 100% with it; i.e.:

My point here is no one really knows and to my knowledge no one can foretell–’predict’ is not the correct word–what is going to happen. This includes an entire spectrum of natural and/or fiscal outcomes ranging in severity from no consequence to severe consequence.

I argue, this does not apply if we adopt a robust policy, which, I make the assumption means ‘No Regrets’ policies.

The problem to date has been the is the incessant strong and determined advocacy to impose ‘big brother knows best’, centrally implemented and controlled policies (big government, big regulation, enormous compliance costs, international agreements to targets, timetables, carbon pricing, global taxes, etc). That is what the climate scientists, IPCC, environmental NGOs and Left leaning ideologues have been advocating since before the 1992 Rio Earth Summit.

This approach has clearly failed, as rational people have been arguing it would all along. It is the wrong approach. The evidence that approach won’t work in the real world is overwhelming. The longer we keep pushing tais approach the longer we will delay cutting global GHG emissions.

The AGW doomsayers are the same people, (mostly) who are anti markets and advocate the big brother knows best policies. They are the people who are responsible for us being well behind where we would be if they hadn’t continually blocked progress.

• mwgrant

Hi Peter Lang-

Sorry for the delay, but I’m trying to be careful–it easily gets weedy and I’m still turning things over in my mind. I’ll ‘telegraph’ where I am at this point as three bullets, flaws and all…

1.) Moving to a ‘No Regrets’ Policy is a formal decision.

Removing a current policy is a consensus Goldilocks decision — assuming there to be a reasonable government responsiveness (vaguely defined here) to will/pressures in a democratic system. A decision to move to a ‘No Regrets’ policy is a decision–yes or no at the least.

2.) Time ordering and impact of outcome on the decision.

The realized outcome of a decision cannot impact the decision; the reason why is because the relative order in time of the decision and the outcome matters–decisions precede outcome. Later events can not affect earlier events. This is applicable to all outcomes of all alternatives considered in the decision (change/making new policy, e.g., ‘No Regrets’/do nothing).

3.) Where is the actual outcome relevant in the decision process? Nowhere

Items 1 and 2 suggest that the ‘fact’ that your alternative has a beneficial outcome is irrelevant to the decision. That ‘fact’ is relevant to the selling of your alternative in the decision-making stage–again how can Peter enhance the odds of his alternative being selected for implementation. You may disagree but you and those who agree with you do still have a sale to make to the larger body of decision-maker(s)/stake-holders. That which you call facts others undoubtedly will call assumptions or worse.

Epiphany(?). My sense is asserting that the effect of the Goldilocks Principle being operative in a decision is just saying the decision maker(s) is risk adverse. But here with Goldilocks the perceived risk is straying too far in any direction from the middle something bad is likely to happen. ‘Thar likely be model monsters beyond here, matey.’

still mulling…

• mwgrant

Peter Lang

Tweaks just to be a little sharper (italics) in the language:

Epiphany(?). My sense is that asserting that the effect of the Goldilocks Principle being operative in a decision is just saying the decision maker(s) is risk adverse. But here with Goldilocks the perceived risk is straying too far in any direction from the middle something bad is likely to happen. (This may be manifested as uncertainty or recognized ignorance in an individual; uncertainty, ignorance, multiple-views, etc. in in a population of decision-makers/stakers holders

Regarding the model:
‘Thar likely be model monsters beyond here, matey.’ Bear in mind all of this is still with a simple model–devised to probe the decision-making a little. At numerous points it might become awkward. For example, handling a collective set of decision-makers probably becomes clumsy if one tries to describe such in too much detail. Then it is time to document it, and move on to another variation, i.e., one works with a collection of decision models. Or one can just stop.

• Peter Lang

mwgrant,
@ December 27, 2012 at 9:33 am

49. Interesting article on deaths from auto emissions:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/dec/17/pollution-car-emissions-deaths-china-india

2.1 millions deaths a year, mostly in Asia. A reminder of one of the major secondary benefits of cutting the burning of fossil fuels: less respiratory disease and cancer, another externalized cost of burning fossil fuels.

• mike

Hey Robert!

You’re interested in death-stores I see–boy, do I have a good one for you then, Robert. I mean, like, I got one with DEATH THREATS!!! and everything. Check out my December 24th 2:01 a.m. comment, up-thread, for the details–some good stuff there–check it out, you’ll like it, Robert, I just know.

So Robert, are you and all your lecturing, do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do, fear-mongering, in-on-the-hustle hive-bozo pals gonna mend your ways and, henceforth,–sort of a New Year’s resolution kinda deal, you know–give up your fossil-fuel cars for electrified dork-mobiles? And how about all that CO2-spew you guys give off jetting around to your interminable eco-conferences that could easily be video-conferenced with a vast reduction to the hive’s noxious, obscenely large carbon footprint? Any movement there on that front?
….

Thought not. But be honest, Robert, you wouldn’t mind “Pancuffing” everyone using fossil-fueled transportation, right, Robert?–unless, of course, the suspect offender can produce an enviro-hypocrite, Philosopher King, carbon-for-me-but-not-thee, privilege card. Right? Isn’t that how these things work, Robert? Or am I wrong?

• manacker

Robert

How about all the deaths from motor vehicle accidents?

(Makes the deaths from respiratory diseases look like a walk in the park.)

But then there are all the benefits of motor vehicle transportation (as compared to horse buggies).

And elimination of the horse manure problem.

“A reminder of one of the major secondary benefits of switching from horse carriages to motor vehicles.”

Max

Max

• “How about all the deaths from motor vehicle accidents?

(Makes the deaths from respiratory diseases look like a walk in the park.)”

That sounds like a “Republican fact” aka a lie. But please, find a source and cite it.

“But then there are all the benefits of motor vehicle transportation (as compared to horse buggies).”

Right, and obviously if we depended on deniers for our science and engineering, the only options would be horses or burning gas. Fortunately normal people are far more intelligent and have developed ways to get around other than horses or gas-burning cars and trucks.

Thank goodness, most people are not as stupid as a denier.

Precis of Robert, the Militant Moron (RTMM)

Sometime back we moved from horse buggies to cars.
Therefore, CAGW is true.
Indeed, every new theory is true.

• Steven Mosher

Sadly Robert it is not science.

“We estimated exposure distributions for each year, region, sex, and age group, and relative risks per unit of exposure by systematically reviewing and synthesising published and unpublished data. ”

Now if a skeptic told you he had disproved global warming by reviewing unpublished data, you would scream. me? i don’t care which side does it. Papers are not science. They are advertisements for the science. Science based on un published data is anecdote.

Further:

“In 2010, the three leading risk factors for global disease burden were high blood pressure (7·0% [95% uncertainty interval 6·2—7·7] of global DALYs), tobacco smoking including second-hand smoke (6·3% [5·5—7·0]), and alcohol use (5·5% [5·0—5·9]). In 1990, the leading risks were childhood underweight (7·9% [6·8—9·4]), household air pollution from solid fuels (HAP; 7·0% [5·6—8·3]), and tobacco smoking including second-hand smoke (6·1% [5·4—6·8]). Dietary risk factors and physical inactivity collectively accounted for 10·0% (95% UI 9·2—10·8) of global DALYs in 2010, with the most prominent dietary risks being diets low in fruits and those high in sodium.”

Looks like high blood pressure, smoking, and booze are more important to tackle than air pollution. Please don’t raise my blood pressure by saying something stupid, otherwise we will have to tax you,

• “Sadly Robert it is not science.”

Gosh, if you were a scientist, that might mean something. Unfortunately, you aren’t, and are mostly known in these small circles we frequent for numerous failed attacks on real scientists. I don’t go to Cossacks to ask what real Judaism is, and so I must regard your assertion with some . . . skepticism.

“Looks like high blood pressure, smoking, and booze are more important to tackle than air pollution.”

Really, Steve, you are not so stupid. Are you?

• Tomcat

Our credulous half-wit Robert is clearly (wilfully?) quite blind to the corrosive vested interest inherent in government-funded climate science.

• Tomcat

Our credulous half-wit Robert is clearly (wilfully?) blind to the widespread corrosive vested interest in government-funded climate science.

• harrywr2

That’s why Beijing has basically adopted the Euro V emission standard.

If you also read the official 12th 5 year energy plan ‘scrubbers’ are now mandatory on power plants.(With a phase in period for existing plants).

No one in China needs to read a study based on 2 year old data in the Lancet to determine that ‘air pollution’ in China is a serious problem.

Just as no one old enough to have lived in the US or Japan in the 1970’s needed a study in the Lancet to determine that air pollution was a serious problem. All anyone had to do is wipe their nose with a white handkerchief.

• “No one in China needs to read a study based on 2 year old data in the Lancet to determine that ‘air pollution’ in China is a serious problem.”

This is a common response to science from non-scientists: “Oh why did you carefully measure and quantify something that I sort of already knew based on my intuition? What a waste of time!”

Your and Mosher’s response are kind of bookends to the spectrum of ignorant dismissals of science. Mosher gives us the would-be-snob’s response — “I don’t like the methods. The study has limitations. Therefore it is not true science, where there is never anything to criticize in the methods used and the application of the data is not limited!”

Then we have your ignorant-and-proud approach: “I don’t care about numbers or counting or suchlike! As far as I know from not reading or understanding any part of the study, all it say is: Pollution is bad! And I already knew that!”

50.
Some may like to watch this 10 minute video, which I have recorded in easily understood terminology: http://youtu.be/r8YbyfqUvfY

51. jim2

mwgrant – When it comes to climate science, much of skepticism has been fueled by the media. Some climate scientists get the brunt of this skepticism, but OTOH, they sit idly by and allow the media to twist the truth beyond recognition, so IMO they deserve what they get. One example was Al Gore’s hit piece. Another more recent example is ABC’s treatment of Jo Nova.

http://joannenova.com.au/2012/12/abc-doco-uncut-evans-nova-minchin-and-rose-the-full-unedited-video/

• mwgrant

Jim2

Just found your AM post late in the day. Is it media as the driver or media as the opportunist? I had more here but it was clearly in a spiral. Pulled out for now…

52. BatedBreath

Jim D, Pekka & Skeptical Warmist,

We are agreed, are we not, that the agent of A GW is the absorption of longwave by CO2 in the atmosphere?

If so, how can there be A GW happening if the atmosphere is not warming?

53. Belinda

And yet it cools.

H/t Galileo Galilei
Beth.

54. Peter Lang

mwgrant,

I also am sorry for the delay. I often miss comments where WordPress doesn’t alert me to a response to one of my comments.

1.) Moving to a ‘No Regrets’ Policy is a formal decision.

In a way, ‘yes’, in that any policy decision requires a decision. However, I see it as a huge decision to try to get the world to agree to emissions targets and timetables, carbon taxes or cap and trade schemes, UN taxation to pay for the bureaucracy and ‘carbon police’. The compliance cost would be huge and the economic damage and effects on human well being significant and uncertain. But the decision to implement ‘no regrets’ policies can be done one at a time, bit by bit, country by country. There is no need for central control. It should be easy to sell to the citizens because the benefits are huge; for example:

• solve many environmental problems caused by burning fossil fuels (and mining, waste disposal and transport of these fuels)

• clean energy cheaper than from coal

• stopping particulate Air pollution and other toxic emissions would save over million of lives per year

• lowering energy costs will increase economic productivity

• ending energy poverty leads to sustainable population

Above taken largely from Robert Hargraves, “Thorium – Energy cheaper than coal” p91-93.

If the US President and the environmental NGO would lead this, the conversion from anti nuclear to pro nuclear in the USA and Europe could happen quickly, e.g. within as decade. It could happen.

After that it is just details. It’s then a matter of working through, bit by bit, identifying what legislation and regulation needs to be changed and getting it done. Down in the weeds will be the usual horse trading, special interest groups and deciding how to minimise the adverse consequences of removing regulations. There are lots of details, but they are at a level lower than the high level policy decisions and the gaining of broad public support.

2.) Time ordering and impact of outcome on the decision.

I get your point, but don’t really see the relevance. All decisions precede outcomes. But in this case the ‘No regrets’ policies provides benefits soon, benefits always exceed costs and the huge negative consequences of the ‘big brother’ approach are avoided. Furthermore, there is much greater certainty. There are many other advantages such as greater certainty, of success

“Time ordering and impact of outcome on the decision” could be interpreted that you are suggesting ‘big brother’ takes a massive project management approach to the implementation of a ‘no regrets’ policy. That is the opposite of what I am suggesting. Instead of a big implementation plan, I see the US President taking a lead, projecting a vision of a future that will deliver the benefits for the world listed in the dot points above. I see him taking a lead and the environmental NGO’s joining in to convince people it is time to change.

[as an aside, Climate Etc. bloggers could be active and early leaders]

3.) Where is the actual outcome relevant in the decision process? Nowhere

Items 1 and 2 suggest that the ‘fact’ that your alternative has a beneficial outcome is irrelevant to the decision. That ‘fact’ is relevant to the selling of your alternative in the decision-making stage–again how can Peter enhance the odds of his alternative being selected for implementation. You may disagree but you and those who agree with you do still have a sale to make to the larger body of decision-maker(s)/stake-holders. That which you call facts others undoubtedly will call assumptions or worse.

True. It’s a sell job. In the USA the unique selling points are:

• Doing this will help to maintain USA’s technological lead. That means more and better jobs now and in the future, and for future generations (our children and grandchildren, to borrow James Hansen’s words)

• If we don’t, other emerging countries will grab the lead and out market us. We will lose out technological lead, lose jobs, sink further into debt, sink in stature internationally and the standard of living of US citizens will progressively sink compared with what could have been the case if we’d kept our lead.

• It is also by far the most effective way to cut global GHG emissions. Some argue the USA should take a lead in enabling the world to cut GHG emissions. The USA is better placed than any other country to take the lead and to benefit from it. But if the USA doesn’t grab the opportunity while it is still available, they will miss out. Others will grab the lead.

• The USA is the de facto regulator of nuclear power plant designs for the world. USA has an advantage now, but it will not last forever if the USA doesn’t take the lead.

• TH US president has more capacity than any other single person to lead the necessary changes.

• He needs to get the message from his people. The ‘Progressives’ would be the most influential if they could take the lead instead of continuing to resist progress.

Epiphany(?). My sense is that asserting that the effect of the Goldilocks Principle being operative in a decision is just saying the decision maker(s) is risk adverse. But here with Goldilocks the perceived risk is straying too far in any direction from the middle something bad is likely to happen.

True. But with the ‘no regrets’ policies it is not one ‘big bang’ policy decision. It’s many small steps taken as opportunities arise and when the population is prepared to support them. The USA President and/or one or more environmental NGO’s could start this off. If one of the big anti nuclear groups such as Greenpeace changed to become enthusiastic advocates of nuclear power for the whole world and to reduce the cost of it as fast as possible, the others would fall in behind. But again, it will take the supporters of these groups to persuade them to change direction.

A first step would for the ‘Progressives’ who blog here and on CAGW web sites to start discussing this. BraveNewClimate web site is a good source of information slanted to the ‘Progressives’. http://bravenewclimate.com/renewable-limits/

Regarding the model:

I don’t know what you are attempting to do with your model. I would like to see a model for ‘robust analysis’ and allowing users to use it online.

• mwgrant

Peter Lang,

Thanks for replying. The exchanges are quite interesting and in no small measure reflect you preparation. Hat’s off to you.

In general I will go through your latest comments in order. The one exception is your comment at the end. A word or two about what I want to do with my model does frame everything else. I also will break out this first response and post it separately. You’re working me over, Peter.

I don’t know what you are attempting to do with your model. I would like to see a model for ‘robust analysis’ and allowing users to use it online.

The answer is that in fact I am not trying to do anything with a given decision model, i.e., I am not particularly trying hawk a tool for others at this time (and likely not a later time). Instead I am interested in exploring climate change from the decision perspective. My initial thoughts have been couched in some of the language of single attribute decision analysis, aka utility theory, because that is a comfort zone for me. In fact I am not an advocate of using either utility theory or more complex approaches in a formal context by any decision-makers, but instead view decision modeling as a way for the different interested parties to inform themselves–much in the spirit of the second sentence in the comment quote above. We attempt to model the physics of climate change using different schemes so why not model climate change decisions–being aware all the while that many of the caveats that apply to physical models hold for the decision models. An under-appreciated aspect of decision models is that they can be a great aid for a good characterization of the decision and developing a consistent language regarding the decision(s)–under consideration. [A lot of time and valuable resources are often lost because of poor characterization and communication lead to ill-conceived, irrelevant efforts.]

At this time there are multiple perceptions on what the decisions, who are the decision-makers, what variables are in play, etc. Early in the thread I adopted a simple decision model for the sake of discussionin a response to Robert–the idea being to demonstrate how even given his certainty on the truth of his position, there is still a formal decision process [Note 1] with which he has to contend–to ignore that reality risks his faction losing. Shortly after that you commented on undertaking a robust policy (of deregulation). My take on that comment was to note the if as a big deal–you too have to win a/the decision [Note 1]–and also the outcome of your policy is not universally agreed upon, i.e., debate on that outcome is part of what you face. So in a nutshell the current decision model is a simple incomplete construct used to illustrate some points in each case. An important distinct here is that my discussion is not looking at how

[Note 1] — Notice that at this point there is no indication or presumption at the institutional level–local,state,provincial,national, international–where a decision or a series of decisions are made. Also I really have discussed the decision(s) from the perspective of first Robert and then you as stakeholders hinting at how you might need/want to develop one or more strategies in that role. (In particular I have not proposed any grand schemes or processes for decision-makers. No point to or interest in going there.)

More to follow on the bulk of your comment. Any clarifications to this comment can follow there too.

• mwgrant

“An important distinct here is that my discussion is not looking at how”

should have been deleted. I had started to comment on taking the perspective of stakeholders and not decision-makers. I moved that to above and forgot the quoted material.

• Peter Lang

mwgrant,

This is fantastic. What you are doing sounds fascinating – and potentially a valuable contribution.

How can we develop this discussion further in a useful way?

Can you give me a link to where I can get some background. Do you have a web site? Is there some sort of tool we could enter inputs into and then discuss the results and justify why we proposed those inputs?

Can you point me to anything where I can learn more about what you are doing and what you envisage, without having to read masses of material. I am more interested in inputting and changing parameters and seeing the results.

• Peter Lang

mwgrant,

I should have said, when you reply to me could you please reply to one of my comments that are at the first or second nesting level; that way I get a message that you have replied.

• mwgrant

Hi Peter Lang

RE: material

I got lucky and found an updated version of the text we used in a short course sometime ago. It’s a free pdf and provides a pretty good look at the Stanford or SRI formulation of decision analysis.

http://smartorg.com/2010/11/decision-analysis-for-the-professional/

DA was a popular back in the 1980’s and did find its way into the oil industries, defense, automotive industries, and medicine. Medical articles are plentiful and can be interesting–there is a nice 5 part series for example.

I’ll pull together some papers or links to such that might give you a feel for if you have any interest, The problem I have with most of the material one can dig up on the internet is that it focuses on the quantitative aspects, e.g., decision trees, value of information, etc. Things start looking like a math exercise and experience suggests math is a loser when discussing uncertainty–well not completely, but quantitative types are drawn into it and this results in insufficient attention to the critical stuff that really make DA useful–defining, characterizing, and structuring the decision(s). The type of comments I’ve made in the thread tend to more of the upfront, non-quantitative sort. I think this is very relevant to environmental and climate problems, where even communication is so difficult. I think that it is worthwhile for technical people to get at least some experience/exposure to DA; it changes one’s outlook on and approach to uncertainty.

Other areas or decision tools you might want to explore are multi-criteria decsion analysis, analytic hierarchy process, etc. My point is to try different tools for different perspectives–I think this is quite within the spirit of ensemble approaches incorporating structural differences.

Again the form of DA is not a panacea but is a nice tool to analysis decision problems.

Regarding other books, a ghastly priced classic at \$199(US) is the Clemen book, ‘Making Hard Decisions’. Look around at course and you can find material on it in a lot of courses. I never bought it but a copies of parts of it–you can find that around on the net. Here is the link:

http://www.amazon.com/Making-Decisions-Decision-Update-Edition/dp/0495015083/ref=pd_sim_b_4

Clemen does make lecture slides and other materials available at his site:

https://faculty.fuqua.duke.edu/~clemen/bio/mhddt/mhdnet.htm

I haven’t seen it yet but were I to get serious again I would probably go for a book ~\$50US by David Skinner at

http://www.amazon.com/Introduction-Decision-Analysis-David-Skinner/dp/0964793865

As far as software goes quite a bit is out there–commercial and free. Just google on ‘decision analysis software’. Also you might want to be sure to look at GeNIe at http://genie.sis.pitt.edu/ .

In answer to your question I don’t have a website at this time although I’ve think about it sometimes–risk and decision tools for chemical and nuclear environmental projects. Save some legacy codes, maybe throw in some new stuff. Maybe as a blog on the same topic–but I am now too sloppy with my writing.

Still haven’t dented the rest of your comment… if it is OK with you we’ll take our time here and work it through.

• Happy new year mwg. I have been following your dialogue with Peter Lang with interest and consider the development of an interactive on-line decision tool a great idea and something that would add considerable value to any on-line visitor with a well formulated issue to be decided upon. Thanks also for the links.

• mwgrant

Peter Lang

Still, it wouldn’t hurt to play, would it? We’re both retired, grumpy and can do hat we please. ;O) What sort of hardware and software platform are you running? Win? OSX? Linux? R? Office? python? etc. Are you comfortable with commandline or not?

mwg

• Peter Lang

mwgrant,

Thank you for this. I have some knowledge of and limited experience with quantitative decision analysis, mainly for project management and risk analysis, and also in nuclear waste disposal and Preliminary Safety Analysis Report (PSAR) for nuclear power plants. But nuclear stuff was a long time ago. I don’t have the interest to go refreshing and learning the analysis methods now. I am retired. I am more interested in practical application at the level that would be useful for policy advice. I was hoping you might be able to provide a link to a short summary that is applicable to what you are doing.

I agree with your suggested approach: “if it is OK with you we’ll take our time here and work it through.“. I agree let’s do that.

I also agree with your focus on the the qualitative part as the first step for the reasons you state. As you say, for climate change, it is important we get this part right first: “defining, characterizing, and structuring the decision(s).

• Peter Lang

Mwgrant,

In the meantime, I copied the three questions under “Discovering the real problem” on page 4 in the book you linked to: http://smartorg.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Decision-Analysis-for-the-Professional.pdf

What are the possible alternatives?
• Global agreement
o Carbon price
o Regulate emissions
o Postpone commitment and do more research
• Picking technology winners
• Implement ‘No Regrets’ policies

What information do I have to describe these alternatives?

What value (decision criterion) do I want to use to choose between the alternatives?

If we have to decide on just one criterion, then it will have to be net cost/benefit.

If we intend to use multiple decision criteria, I’d suggest these:

• Economic performance, near term and long term. GDP growth rates
• Energy security
• Reliability of energy supply (electricity, petrol)
• Health and environmental effects of energy use (fatalities per year)

For electricity (with heat is responsible for 40% of global GHG emissions from energy use):
• Cost of electricity from the system
• Capital cost of the system
• Capex for the system (capital cost expenditure per year)
• Health effects (e.g. fatalities per year)
• Environmental impacts
• CO2 abatement cost
• CO2 emissions avoided

We have information from Nordhaus for cost benefit analysis:
http://nordhaus.econ.yale.edu/Balance_2nd_proofs.pdf and my estimate for the Australian economy here: http://jennifermarohasy.com/2012/06/what-the-carbon-tax-and-ets-will-really-cost-peter-lang/.

For the above list of decision criteria for electricity, we have my estimates for most of these for the Australian economy, summarised in Figures 5 and 6 here: http://oznucforum.customer.netspace.net.au/TP4PLang.pdf.

Of course, there are also many authoritative studies on this.

• mwgrant

Peter Lang

No book is perfect…You are already jumping ahead. What is the problem being addressed? What is the decision or decisions to be made?

Consider the list of alternatives:

• Global agreement
o Carbon price
o Regulate emissions
o Postpone commitment and do more research
• Picking technology winners
• Implement ‘No Regrets’ policies

Closed bullets? Open bullets? What is the meaning here? You might be falling into a trap. A common response when faced with making a decision is to immediately start doing what we know how to do. We come into a problem partially informed and work from what we know without carefully defining the decision. Here you have created what I would call an ambiguous a list–ambiguous in two respects: 1:) OK it looks like you have three alternatives, but I have to assume that; you did not explicitly state this to be the case and have introduced uncertainty already; 2.) Is this global agreement about carbon pricing and regulating emissions? Again you have to be clear. (Picky? Yes. Necessary? Yes)

Continuing on that riff a little: It is a good idea to write up a paragraph on the decision: what is the problem and background, what is the decision (or decisions) to be made, what is/are the decision variables, what is/are the criteria values. Consider then that when this is written up, you have access to a perfect clairvoyant. Is you description of the decision such that if the clairvoyant were to tell you the value of your decision variable(s) you would be able to make the decision? [One of my frustrations has been finding on the internet good material regarding the written characterization of the decision. [Over the next couple of days I’ll try rummaging thru some old hard copy material–if I still have it.]

For the record this task isn’t a matter of just doing something pro forma. It can and does reveal painful differences in what one knows and what one thinks one knows about the problem. In my limited experience management/clients can be very impatient with this–so don’t be impatient :) –and I suspect a good number of attempts at DA die or are mortally wounded at this stage. [I think this makes successful DA difficult for in-house folks. This is a good place of outside help.]

Try writing a paragraph that describes the problem, the decision, and the criteria. Nothing more, i.e., uncertainties!Just worry about that. Are you able to do that concisely, and here is a kicker, so that if you had access to a perfect clairvoyant (s)he you could make the decision with his/her input?

Happy New Year to you and Peter Davies–who maybe will note the New Year by having a little Carolina barbeque with slaw and hush puppies?

Regards,
mwg

55. Peter Lang

mwg,

in answer to your last comment, I have Windows XP and Office 2003. If something goes wrong, I call for help. But I can drive tractors and fix them when they go wrong (if they are 1960s’ era) :)

56. Peter Lang

Mw grant,

Thank you for this guidance. The open circles were supposed to be indented below the full circles – i.e. sub points. But, I agree, I jumped ahead, so forget all that stuff. I’ll have a go at:

Try writing a paragraph that describes the problem, the decision, and the criteria.

Problem, decision, criteria, Ver 1:
There is widespread public concern that global GHG emissions are damaging the environment seriously and irreparably to such an extent it threatens the wellbeing of people in the future. There is also widespread public desire to maximise human wellbeing (standard of living) now and for future generations. The problem is to find solutions that address both concerns in the optimum way. The decision is between trying to get agreement to legally binding global agreements or ‘No regrets’ policies. The decision criteria is to maximum human well-being for all people on the planet in the short term and the longer term, but recognising that policies we make now will be effective for only a short time (a decade or less). People in the future will make their policies based on the information they have at the time.

This is not succinct, but hopefully useful as a first draft for discussion.

57. The world needs a paradigm shift in thinking about climate change and what causes what. In my peer-reviewed paper “Planetary Surface Temperatures. A Discussion of Alternative Mechanisms” I provide proof that there is no runaway greenhouse effect on Venus – or any on Earth. Consider watching this 10 minute video, and maybe reading the paper. http://youtu.be/r8YbyfqUvfY

58. Readers of my paper “Planetary Surface Temperatures. A Discussion of Alternative Mechanisms” will realise that it is merely a review paper of other studies. Some of the references do in fact refer to papers published in, for example, The Journal of Atmospheric and Solar Terrestrial Physics. Another reference is to work done by Hans Jelbring whose 1998 thesis was Wind Controlled Climate. Paleogeophysics & Geodynamics, Stockholm University. 111pp.

The concept of the temperature gradient in an atmosphere developing at the molecular level is not my original work by any means. Hans Jelbring (in my Ref [11]) wrote “Hence, the atmospheric mass exposed to a gravity field is the cause …”

Either you accept the fact, first postulated by Loschmidt in the 19th century, that the requirements of both the First and Second Laws of Thermodynamics dictate that an autonomous thermal gradient must develop in a still gas in a gravitational field, or you accept the naïve conjecture of climatologists, who usually have little understanding of physics, that there would have been an isothermal atmosphere in the absence of water vapour and so-called greenhouse gases. The latter requires a blatant violation of both the First and Second Laws of Thermodynamics because it assumes that, every time a molecule moves upwards, energy is created and entropy decreases.

Doug Cotton

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• kim

I’m jealous.
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