Sensitivity about sensitivity

by Judith Curry

. . . the IPCC’s sensitivity estimate cannot readily be reconciled with forcing estimates and observational data. – James Annan

Since the release of the AR5 SOD, there has been a flurry of blog posts on the topic of climate sensitivity.  The triggers seem to have been Nic Lewis’ analysis (discussed here), plus a press release from the Norwegians (discussed here).  Both find values of sensitivity to be significantly lower than the consensus values.

In response to this, we have been ‘reassured’ by RealClimate  and SkepticalScience that nothing has really changed with regards to the consensus on sensitivity.  Gavin Schmidt states:

In the meantime, the ‘meta-uncertainty’ across the methods remains stubbornly high with support for both relatively low numbers around 2ºC and higher ones around 4ºC, so that is likely to remain the consensus range.

The ‘consensus’ range has been 1.5 – 4.5C (centered on 3C) since the 1979 Charney Report.  With all the many different ways of calculating these numbers (empirically and from simple models and general circulation models), and different results that have been obtained from these analyses, why hasn’t this range and central value budged in over 3 decades?  Here are some reasons:

1.  The ‘experts’ are convinced.. Zickfeld et al. (2010)  conducted face-to-face interviews with 14 leading climate scientists, using formal methods of expert elicitation.  The results were not surprising.  Apparently the results of this expert elicitation have a substantial influence in the AR5 report.  Before you start criticizing the formal expert elicitation process, it is WAY better (less biased) than a consensus building process (see my paper no consensus on consensus).   You are of course allowed to criticize all of this in the context of how many, and which, experts were included in this process.

2.  Anchoring devices.  Pielke Jr reminded me of this paper by van der Sluijs et al. Anchoring devices in climate for policy: the case of consensus around climate sensitivity.   Excerpt:

We show how the maintained consensus about the quantitative estimate of a central scientific concept in the anthropogenic climate-change field – namely, climate sensitivity – operates as an `anchoring device’ in `science for policy’. In international assessments of the climate issue, the consensus-estimate of 1.5°C to 4.5°C for climate sensitivity has remained unchanged for two decades. Nevertheless, during these years climate scientific knowledge and analysis have changed dramatically. We propose that the remarkable quantitative stability of the climate sensitivity range has helped to hold together a variety of different social worlds relating to climate change, by continually translating and adapting the meaning of the `stable’ range. But this emergent stability also reflects an implicit social contract among the various scientists and policy specialists involved, which allows `the same’ concept to accommodate tacitly different local meanings.

3.  The ‘experts’ have taken into account the latest knowledge on external forcing and uncertainties, model uncertainties, methodological uncertainties, etc. in preparing their estimates.  Oops, looks like they forgot to do this (see James Annan’s comments below)

Andy Revkin

Revkin has two recent posts on this topic:

Revkin has elicited some remarkable statements from IPCC authors regard climate sensitivity, as well as some startling comments from climate bloggers.

Reto Knutti

Revkin’s post on the Norwegian press release elicited the following statement from Reto Knutti, excerpts:

If you look at the Fig. 3a in our review (red lines at the top) you see that many previous estimates based on the observed warming/ocean heat uptake had a tendency to peak at values below 3°C (that review is from 2008). The Norwegian study is just another one of these studies looking at the global energy budget. The first ones go back more than a decade, so the idea is hardly new. The idea is always the same: if you assume a distribution for the observed warming, the ocean heat uptake, and the radiative forcing, then you can derive a distribution for climate sensitivity.

What is obvious is that including the data of the past few years pushes the estimates of climate sensitivity downward, because there was little warming over the past decade despite a larger greenhouse gas forcing. Also in some datasets the ocean warming in the top 700 meters is rather small, with very small uncertainties (Levitus GRL 2012), pushing the sensitivity down further. However, in my view one should be careful in over interpreting these results for several reasons:

a) the uncertainties in the assumed radiative forcings are still very large. Recently, Solomon et al. Science (2010, 2011) raised questions about the stratospheric water vapor and aerosol, and just days ago there was another paper arguing for a larger effect of black carbon (http://www.agu.org/news/press/pr_archives/2013/2013-01.shtml, a massive 280 pages…).

b) Results are sensitive to the data used, as shown by Libardoni and Forest DOI: 10.1029/2011GL049431 and others, and particularly sensitive to how the last decade of data is treated. Very different methods (detection attribution optimal fingerprint) have also shown that the last decade makes a difference (Gillett et al. 2011, doi:10.1029/2011GL050226).

c) The uncertainties in the ocean heat uptake may be underestimated by Levitus, and there are additional uncertainties regarding the role of deep ocean heat uptake (Meehl et al. 2011 Nature Climate Change).

Even though we have many of these studies (and I am responsible for a couple of them) I’m getting more and more nervous about them, because they are so sensitive to the climate model, the prior distributions, the forcing, the ocean data, the error model, etc. The reason for this, to a large extent, is that the data constraint is weak, so the outcome (posterior) is dominated by what you put in (prior).

 

James Annan

I found the statement by Knutti to be interesting and I think it made some good points.  This post by James Annan made my jaw drop.  Excerpts:

As I said to Andy Revkin (and he published on his blog), the additional decade of temperature data from 2000 onwards (even the AR4 estimates typically ignored the post-2000 years) can only work to reduce estimates of sensitivity, and that’s before we even consider the reduction in estimates of negative aerosol forcing, and additional forcing from black carbon (the latter being very new, is not included in any calculations AIUI). It’s increasingly difficult to reconcile a high climate sensitivity (say over 4C) with the observational evidence for the planetary energy balance over the industrial era.

Note for the avoidance of any doubt I am not quoting directly from the unquotable IPCC draft, but only repeating my own comment on it. However, those who have read the second draft of Chapter 12 will realise why I previously said I thought the report was improved :-) Of course there is no guarantee as to what will remain in the final report, which for all the talk of extensive reviews, is not even seen by the proletariat, let alone opened to their comments, prior to its final publication. The paper I refer to as a “small private opinion poll” is of course the Zickfeld et al PNAS paper. The list of pollees in the Zickfeld paper are largely the self-same people responsible for the largely bogus analyses that I’ve criticised over recent years, and which even if they were valid then, are certainly outdated now. Interestingly, one of them stated quite openly in a meeting I attended a few years ago that he deliberately lied in these sort of elicitation exercises (i.e. exaggerating the probability of high sensitivity) in order to help motivate political action. Of course, there may be others who lie in the other direction, which is why it seems bizarre that the IPCC appeared to rely so heavily on this paper to justify their choice, rather than relying on published quantitative analyses of observational data. Since the IPCC can no longer defend their old analyses in any meaningful manner, it seems they have to resort to an unsupported “this is what we think, because we asked our pals”. It’s essentially the Lindzen strategy in reverse: having firmly wedded themselves to their politically convenient long tail of high values, their response to new evidence is little more than sticking their fingers in their ears and singing “la la la I can’t hear you”.

 Of course, this still leaves open the question of what the new evidence actually does mean for climate sensitivity. Irrespective of what one thinks about aerosol forcing, it would be hard to argue that the rate of net forcing increase and/or over-all radiative imbalance has actually dropped markedly in recent years, so any change in net heat uptake can only be reasonably attributed to a bit of natural variability or observational uncertainty.

 But the point stands, that the IPCC’s sensitivity estimate cannot readily be reconciled with forcing estimates and observational data. All the recent literature that approaches the question from this angle comes up with similar answers. By failing to meet this problem head-on, the IPCC authors now find themselves in a bit of a pickle. I expect them to brazen it out, on the grounds that they are the experts and are quite capable of squaring the circle before breakfast if need be. But in doing so, they risk being seen as not so much summarising scientific progress, but obstructing it.

 There’s a nice example of this in Reto Knutti’s comment featured by Revkin. While he starts out be agreeing that estimates based on the energy balance have to be coming down, he then goes on to argue that now (after a decade or more of generating and using them) he doesn’t trust the calculations because these Bayesian estimates are all too sensitive to the prior choices. That seems to me to be precisely contradicted by all the available literature, It looks rather like the IPCC authors have invented this meme as some sort of talismanic mantra to defend themselves against having to actually deal with the recent literature.

For some context on why my jaw dropped, here  are some posts by James Annan where he has been harshly critical of my criticisms of the consensus conclusions and the consensus building process.  Looks like JA has been bitten by the uncertainty monster.  The antidote is to reread my papers on the Uncertainty Monster and Reasoning About Climate Uncertainty.

Stoat

Comment from William Connolley in Revkin’s second post:

James also identifies a possible problem in the way IPCC subgroups can come to “own” a particular area, and find outside opinions — even those clearly from within Science rather than the wackosphere — unwelcome. I don’t know how serious that is: again, I’d be inclined to trust James Annan on this, but that’s all I’d be doing. Perhaps an investigative journalist might take an interest.

JC comment:  This one made me laugh. Here is how ‘outside opinions’ have been treated by Stoat (search for ‘shark jumping’). 

JC summary:  Kudos to Revkin for stimulating this blogospheric  discussion.  Whether all this heralds a ‘game change’ in the ‘consensus’ remains to be seen.

The broader issue with climate sensitivity is this.  The simplistic way in which this is defined and calculated makes the whole concept an artifact of the oversimplification.  On short time scales (decade to centuries), there is no satisfactory way of sorting out forced climate variability from natural internal climate variability unless you have a really good climate model that can adequately handle the natural internal variability on the range of time scales from years to millennia. Empirical methods have yet to do this in any sensible way, IMO.

Further, it is  misleading to think of sensitivity in terms of a pdf (see my previous post on this here).  Talking about the probability of a climate sensitivity fat tail is meaningless in my opinion.  What is meaningful is the possibility of a scenario of abrupt climate change.  While abrupt climate change is regarded as a possibility based upon paleoclimatic evidence of previous events, climate models are incapable of producing such emergent phenomena.  The concept of abrupt climate change does not figure into any estimate of equilibrium sensitivity that I am aware of.

Until we better understand natural internal climate variability, we simply don’t know how to infer sensitivity to greenhouse gas forcing. The issue of how climate will change over the 21st century is highly uncertain, and we basically don’t know whether or not different scenarios of greenhouse gas emissions will be (or not be) the primary driver on timescales of a century or less.  Oversimplification and overconfidence on this topic have acted to the detriment of climate science. As scientists, we need to embrace the uncertainty, the complexity and the messy wickedness of the problem.  We mislead policy makers with our oversimplifications and overconfidence.

1,165 responses to “Sensitivity about sensitivity

  1. Palatial coverage at the Bish’s. Andy Revkin’s all over it, and Gavin gives up catastrophes.

    But they were promised. Where are the Wild Things?
    =================

    • Thus Gavin thwacks the fat tail. But the fat tail has disrupted the world’s economy needlessly and there will be thwackback. A Phat Tale.
      ===================

      • Are you using my name in vain, perchance?

      • The catastrophes were as vain as a peacock’s tail, and as seductive.
        =============

      • Consider me seduced ;-]

      • No, the question of whether AGW is a serious danger has never depended on the fat tail.

      • Heh, hastur, so why was that fat tail defended so surreptitiously and illegitimately? Tell me it wasn’t just for grins.
        =============

      • Indeed, interestingly it is climate skeptics that have backpeddled here.

        They used to claim climate sensitivity was less than 1 degree C per doubling of CO2. Ie climate feedbacks were net negative.

        In the recent month we’ve seen climate skeptics admitting climate feedback is likely net positive, and sensitivity much higher than they’d previously acknowledged. With some climate skeptics even toying with sensitivity as high as 1.7C per doubling of CO2.

        The consequences of this haven’t yet been fully absorbed by the climate skeptic community.

        1) At 1.7C per doubling, CO2 is the dominant driver of global temperature over the 21st century.

        2) At 1.7C per doubling, CO2 is very likely to have caused most of the warming since the mid-20th century. Ie the IPCC attribution statement was right all along.

        3) At 1.7C per doubling, we can expect about twice as much warming as that under business as usual, as not only is CO2 itself going to more than double, but there are other greenhouse gases aside from CO2 that are increasing.

        Of course it is likely that climate skeptics will simultaneously claim they always accepted something like 1.7C while still refusing to accept points #1 through #3.

      • lolwot

        At a 2xCO2 ECS of 1.7C we can stop worrying about CAGW.

        At a likely CO2 level of 600 ppmv by 2100, we would see around 1.0C warming from today. Peanuts.

        And at the absolute maximum CO2 level we could ever reach from burning all the fossil fuels on Earth, we would reach 2.3C

        This is no longer scary, lolwot. The “C” has been removed from IPCC’s “CAGW”.

        Max

      • Heh, hastur, so why was that fat tail defended so surreptitiously and illegitimately? Tell me it wasn’t just for grins.

        What makes you think it was defended “surreptitiously and illegitimately”? The fat tail existed because that’s what research into climate sensitivity indicated. That doesn’t mean scientists believed that such high values were likely, just that they didn’t have enough information to rule them out. Now we have more information, which may be able to do so.

      • “And at the absolute maximum CO2 level we could ever reach from burning all the fossil fuels on Earth, we would reach 2.3C”

        How much more from methane, nitrous oxide, black carbon?

        How much more from aerosol levels falling?

        How much more from a warmer Earth emitting more greenhouse gases itself?

        Even 2.3C puts Earth far warmer than it has been for a long time.

      • Anyhow, I don’t think it makes sense to claim that “climate skeptics” have backpedaled.” There are a lot of different skeptics. You need to identify one, show what he used to say, and show that he is saying that he believes sensitivity is now 1.7 – not that he’s happy that others have come down that far.

      • Yes lolwot.

        Poor kim seems to accept this, yet is a CGC (catastrophic global cooling) alarmist.

        Trust the ‘sceptics’ to simultaneously adopt mutually exclusive positions.

      • hastur could read Annan. Joshua could connect dots.
        ===================

      • Michael could review my defense of the term ‘lukewarming cooler’ @ the Blackboard. I suspect CO2 has some warming effect, but I’m quite sure natural processes can cool to catastrophe. No alarum, though. Just listen and prepare.
        ===============

      • lolwot: “How much more from methane, nitrous oxide, black carbon? How much more from aerosol levels falling? How much more from a warmer Earth emitting more greenhouse gases itself?”

        You do realize that the first and third sentences are saying the same thing, right?

        And you do realize that things like black carbon have been ignored for decades because of the obsession with CO2, right? Finally, we are now realizing that black carbon is a significant issue which affects human health as well as the climate. And it’s an issue that can be dealt with separately and without the enormous economic disruption of trying to halt the world’s CO2 production.

        Last, aerosol level effects may well be exaggerated, just as CO2’s effect was: aerosols were how the models cancelled out “CO2″ effects at inconvenient times. As the CO2 sensitivity is adjusted down, the aerosol level sensitivity may be as well.

        As you know, many skeptics in these here parts are “lukewarmers”, who agree that CO2 has some effect, but not the effect that “the consensus” has been selling us for decades. You’re simply lumping a bunch of different classes of skeptics (of the consensus) together, then taking the positions of one group as the past, and the positions of another group as the present, then claiming your hypothesized monolithic group of “skeptics” has changed.

      • “As you know, many skeptics in these here parts are “lukewarmers”, who agree that CO2 has some effect, but not the effect that “the consensus” has been selling us for decades.”

        They spin and weave. You’ll find climate skeptics can’t be pinned down on what they believe because they keep changing it.

        The problem for them is as I stated a sensitivity of 1.7C would imply CO2 is the dominant driver of global temperature over the 21st century.

        But a climate skeptic could never admit such a thing. It’s too IPCC. They want to minimize CO2 to a largely insignificant component of climate.

        So while they’ll happily promote Nic Lewis’s 1.7C figure as an argument, they don’t actually want to believe it themselves.

        They demand others believe it. They even cry to high hell that it’s being ignored by the IPCC. But they don’t want to believe it themselves.

        That’s 21st climate skepticism.

      • kim does the red queen, again.

        Annan thinks the most likely range for CS is 2.5-3. Similar to the IPCC.

        kim concedes the possibility of some CO2 forcing, but has 100% certainty that it will be cancelled out by mysterious cooling mechanisms.

        CGC alarmist!

        Love the smell of ‘scepticism’ in the morning.

      • Michael could read Annan again, and he could avoid placing ‘will’ back in my mouth when ‘can’ just came out of it.
        ===================

      • away with your climate alarmism and quibbling kim.

      • Consider the temperature rise from the Little Ice Age. We are blessed if we did it and blessed if we didn’t. We can expect future blessings.
        =======================

      • kim seems sensitive about his/her alarmism.

      • lolwot

        Deliberating about what (you think) “skeptics think” is a waste of time and puts you on a “slippery slope”.

        The skeptics concerned know full well “what they think”. You don’t

        And there is absolutely no reason that “skeptics” of a premise, dogma or hypothesis have to “march in lock step” regarding their skepticism. .

        I, personally, am probably what some would call a “lukewarmer”.

        Unlike Jim Springer, for example, I am prepared to provisionally accept the concept that increasing human-induced GH gases will result in some increase in temperature, even though this has not yet been demonstrated by actual empirical evidence.

        But I am not about to buy in on the AGW premise of IPCC, which is based on a mean ECS value of 3.2C (with a “fat tail”), which is in turn based on net positive feedback from clouds and a water vapor feedback based on essentially maintaining constant relative humidity with warming, all of which is solely based on model predictions and not on empirical evidence.

        That’s when my “BS meter” goes into alarm mode.

        And, based on the latest studies on ECS plus the failure of warming forecasts (such as Hansen 1988 or IPCC TAR and AR4) , it looks like my skepticism has been well placed.

        Max

      • lolwot

        CORRECTION: That’s Jim Cripwell (not Springer, of course)

        Sorry, Jim and David.

      • lolwot | February 4, 2013 at 5:00 pm said: ” With some climate skeptics even toying with sensitivity as high as 1.7C per doubling of CO”

        lolwot!!!! if one believes that CO2 increases the GLOBAL temp; that’s NOT a ”Skeptic” Same as: If one believes in Santa, cannot be referred as ”mature person” ”Believer” that: CO2 has anything to do with the overall global temp; calling him ”Skeptic”.is a very overloaded comment…

      • Mother Nature is currently making a statement. Look around the Northern Hemisphere right now. Mother Nature says that warm oceans are a necessary part of a well bounded cycle. Mother Nature uses warm oceans to get the moisture to rebuild the ice volume for the next cold cycle. Mother Nature uses the cold frozen oceans to cut off the moisture and allow the sun to reduce the ice volume for the next warm cycle. The sensitivity is to warm or frozen oceans. Mother Nature just uses CO2 to make the green things grow. Mother Nature uses water, in all its states, to control temperature. Mother Nature uses something that is abundant and not a fraction of a trace of something.

      • I do not know anyone who is a Climate Skeptic. We believe in Climate and we all, or most, recognize that Climate has warmed since the Little Ice Age. Just like it always has after a cold period.
        I do know a lot of people who are Alarmist Skeptics. We do not believe that increased CO2 is going to do more harm than good.

    • One hopes that scientists always strive mightily to utilize only the most accurate data, methods, and reasoning. Does anyone think that this sort of behavior serves either science or society properly: in a July 2010 comment James Annan referred to one of the ‘Zickfeld 14′ climate scientists who had urged fellow scientists to exaggerate, er… lie, about their climate sensitivity estimates, in order to ‘encourage action’….

      [emphasis added]

      James Annan 1/7/10 4:30 pm
      DC,
      Well talking of AR5, the two CLAs plus two more authors on the most relevant chapter (long term climate change) are in this set of 14 – and none of them are the sane #4…(ok I accept several of the other pdfs are not really too ridiculous either).

      Incidentally one participant in this new work is the person I think I mentioned some time ago who openly advocated exaggerating in opinion polls such as this in order to encourage “action”.

      James Annan comment thread on his blog, July 1, 2010

  2. There is an explicit, if unnamed, villain in this piece. Many implicit, one explicit. Unnamed, but well known.
    ======

  3. Concerning the views of Annan. What he writes now is very well in line of the reasoning he presented in the 2009 paper with Hargreaves: On the generation and interpretation of probabilistic estimates of climate sensitivity. He has also been fairly outspoken. Thus what he says now is not that surprising.

    • Yes, he’s been screaming since ~2006, but Revkin couldn’t hear Japan from his back porch. Nor anyone much else.
      =================

    • Matthew R Marler

      Pekka Pirilä

      Concerning the views of Annan. What he writes now is very well in line of the reasoning he presented in the 2009 paper with Hargreaves: On the generation and interpretation of probabilistic estimates of climate sensitivity. He has also been fairly outspoken. Thus what he says now is not that surprising.

      That’s a fair statement. Without actually using Bayes’ Theorem, Annan has incorporated the evidence of the last few years to move his personal probability distribution of the sensitivity toward 0. I put more trust in likelihood functions, where they can be justified by observations, than in posterior distributions. An interesting question is how many other climate scientists will review Annan’s article and adjust their beliefs in light of the recent evidence.

      A frequent, though not universal, occurrence is for experts to dispute new evidence and keep their beliefs totally unchanged. Clearly, Annan is not doing that.

  4. I left this comment at Dot Earth and will leave it here. Gerald North of Texas A&M has long had a sensitivity estimate of 2C, with a range of 1.75-2.25C, which is a good bit below the IPCC estimate. He remarked how the low-sensitivity folks were not eager to enter the fray realtive to those on the high-sensitivity side. Just another data point ….

    • Because lower sensitivity might result in less funding?

      • Rob Starkey | February 4, 2013 at 5:44 pm said: ”Because lower sensitivity might result in less funding?”

        I like that comment. 1] So, which one they will chose? 2] if NO sensitivity… time to start reimbursing the taxpayer,, with modest interest, on the spoils…

  5. Judith, you write “Until we better understand natural internal climate variability, we simply don’t know how to infer sensitivity to greenhouse gas forcing.”

    I could not agree with you more; this, to me, is the crux of the issue. As I put it, no-one has any idea what the climate sensitivity of CO2 is. And even more important, no-one has any idea of how accurately climate sensitivity has been estimated; estimated since it has NEVER been measured. If it had been measured we would know the accuracy.

    Yet, the SPMs that the IPCC published in the AR4, contain phrases like >90% probability and >95% probability, and I cannot, for the life of me, find out the scientific basis for these claims. The basis ought to be in the AR4, but it does not seem to be. I have never heard of a scientific report where the conclusions were not based on what was in the report itself. Further, despite people like Alex Rawls pointing out some of the uncertainties, the SOD of the AR5 still contains these claims of high probabilities for what adding CO2 to the atmosphere does.

    It seems to me that these wild claims of high probabilities in the SPMs ought to be based on some sort of knowledge for how accurately we know the value for climate sensitivity, yet they seem to be based on absolutely nothing at all, but no-one seems to want to discuss this issue.

  6. Actually, there is ambiguity in Gavin’s phraseology around giving up catastrophes(nightmares). Perfectly intelligent people are interpreting what he says backwards.
    =============

    • Sloppily, his antecedents blur.
      ==============

    • It is a tweet. Perhaps those interested in understanding his views, might consider a more comprehensive explanation. Perhaps those looking to confirm biases might attach great meaning to a tweet.

      But yes, thank you for noting the ambiguous antecedent. It all depends on what “it” means, now doesn’t it? And ironically, not much actually depends on what it means.

    • Perfectly intelligent people are interpreting what he says backwards.

      Lol! Same exact logic as your statement about “connecting dots” to devine Obama’s “Muslim sympathies,” eh?

    • Naw, silly, He means ‘climate sensitivity’ when he refers to ‘change in climate sensitivity’. Did you read it?
      ===============

    • Sorry, Joshua, you are giving little evidence of understanding what is going on here. Go with your gut, though.
      =================

    • I don’t have your dot-connecting skills, (i.e., your depth of insight or your parapsychological gifts), kim.

    • Here’s what I don’t think that it means. I don’t think that Gavin believes that less climate change equals a nightmare. I don’t think that he wants the climate to change drastically, to the point that it causes severe impacts to humans living today or in the future.

      Although sure, the speculators may be correct – it is possible that he is a psychopath. If only I had your mad skilz at dot-connecting….

      • Why don’t you just read what he wrote, apply the antecedent he means, and deal with it? He’s giving up nightmares, which must be nightmarish for him and others.
        ============

      • Hey, you could go ask him yourself. You won’t be the first one. Nor yet, the very last, by a long shot.
        =============

      • Josh,

        The discussion may be about uncertainty – re sensitivity – but of one thing I am certain.

        The climate will change no matter what you, me or Gavin Schmidt would like it to do.

      • The way I read it, is that a big change in climate sensitivity towards the low side is the nightmare Gavin is talking of. The nightmare of being totally wrong on the subject.

      • As I said, Bob, a lot of perfectly intelligent people read it that way. I don’t, for the reason that Joshua has laid out elsewhere, I have hope for his fundamental humanity.
        ================

      • Heaven forbids asking, but does anyway.
        =================

  7. I agree with Judith that equilibrium sensitivity is difficult to derive from the short record so far, especially recently, due to natural variability. The Norwegian study had 3.7 C sensitivity before including the last decade. I suspect that it is because the positive water vapor feedback in the equilibrium sensitivity needs the tropical oceans to warm, and this process is very delayed, when CO2 is the forcing, due to the amount of vapor shielding its effect there. The warming over the last 30 years also is affected by the PDO which is in a cold phase. Deriving sensitivities while the ocean warming is suppressed will also suppress the sensitivity. Only long-term enough studies will add sufficient tropical ocean warming for the sensitivity to be a realistic equilibrium one, but this is showing that the equilibrium will be slow to reach.
    I would also note that paleoclimate gives sensitivities in excess of 4.5 C per doubling, but that is only because the Antarctic and Greenland will melt, and (darker) forest vegetation will spread north into the tundras, so we have to define time scales even for “equilibrium”.

    • Jim D

      Paleoclimate can give you just about any 2xCO2 ECS you are hoping to find (sort of like reading tea leaves)

      Fuggidaboudit. Let’s look at actual records – these point to the lower end of the range, albeit still with guess-timates for natural factors.

      lolwot’s 1.7C is probably a good upper limit.

      Max

    • “,,,,,,, especially recently, due to natural variability. ”

      Presumably Jim in the good old days we didn’t have to worry about natural variability because temps were going up nicely and we were getting the result we wanted. I don’t think you do agree with JC, her point might be that climate scientists should ALWAYS have been worrying about natural variability not wait until something came along and bit them on the certainties..

    • “I agree with Judith that equilibrium sensitivity is difficult to derive from the short record so far, especially recently, due to natural variability.”

      Have natural variability increased recently?

      • I would say the difficulty lies in feedbacks that take some time to materialize.

      • My point exactly. How can we define equilibrium sensitivity with a global warming distribution that is transient? Have they just extrapolated past warming, or are they allowing for the tropical oceans to catch up? I suspect the former is done, because it is easier to do.

    • Has natural variability increased recently?

      • No, but I suspect these statistical methods emphasize recent periods where more data is available at the expense of looking evenly at the longer record over which natural variability cancels out.

      • Jim, the consensus is that global warming started in the ~1960s and that more than 100% of the total warming since then is human (there would be global cooling without humans).

        Do you still accept that?

      • Edim, no anthropogenic warming has been increasing since the industrial age began, and has only in recent decades exceeded natural variability for any sustained periods.

      • Jim, the link (evidence)? Everything I’ve seen on the consensus attribution looks very similar to those two graphs. Are you skeptical of the consensus attribution and human influence?

      • Maybe I’ll feel better again on Blue Bayou.
        ===============

      • Edim, just because it can’t be seen above the background noise on those graphs doesn’t mean it wasn’t there earlier. This is what to expect with a growing process. It would be a very strange process that waited for CO2 to reach a threshold before its warming effect even started, wouldn’t it? Who ever proposed that?

      • Jim, don’t be silly. Human influence became significant in the ~60s, it didn’t reach a threshold. Humans emit now in a few years more than in the whole period of 1850 – 1950 (just quickly eyeballed it).

      • Yes, the human contribution doubles every 33 years. What was the question?

      • Where’s the beef?

  8. Hank Zentgraf

    “Until we better understand climate variability………” We have certainly paid dearly for all the years since 1988 trying to force numerous models to blame just one item, man-made CO2, for modern warming. Think how different the resource allocation would have been and how much closer we would be to understanding this subject had we treated climate science in a more traditional fashion. Is it time to reduce the number of climate modeling efforts in half and reapply those resources to observational research?

    • So far the “skeptics’ haven’t come up with a single model between them, even a simple one. What does it take to get them started? They tend to be the older types who don’t know how to do it themselves. Can’t they take an existing model and change the physics? I suspect a low-sensitivity model might have trouble producing warm enough summers due to the negative cloud feedback they are forced to put into it, but that is just my prediction.

      • Jim D, here is a simple climate model from the realist skeptical scientist.

        http://www.drroyspencer.com/Simple-climate-model-v1.0.xls

      • An excel spreadsheet??

        Unfortunately Roy Spencer can’t be trusted

      • The problem(s) of CS are indeed large.
        1) The irreducibility of the spread over the last 30yrs,which suggests that it is indeed irreducible .
        2) The affixing of cardinal numbers to subjective opinions,of which some have been critical eg Zalapin and Ghil.
        3) The geometric mean of the range of experiments is bounded by the Khinchin constant,which suggests that sensitivity is indeed low,and long tails will be improbable.
        4) The spread (the range) of sensitivity ,is a constraint on future uncertainty being reduced,and even if there is increased information it will increase.

      • As far as I can tell, that is not a model. He puts sensitivity in as a variable you can choose.

      • lolwot, you say, ” Unfortunately Roy Spencer can’t be trusted”. I see, so we should trust Jones, Mann, Scheinder, Hansen, Gleick, Trenberth, the person in Annon’s piece who admitted to lying, or perhaps we should trust you. LOL.

      • Don’t think you get my point Bob. If you don’t trust the above people you mention you can’t trust Roy Spencer either.

        That’s my point.

      • Jim D, you don’t have to create a model. Some models can already recreate the current warming sans forcing changes. Just apply aerosols liberally to tune from there. Also, not all paleo studies show 4.5C or greater but what difference does that make? Do you really believe climate sensitivity is a constant and not a variable?

      • Jim D

        So far the “skeptics’ haven’t come up with a single model between them, even a simple one.

        Roy Spencer has come up with a simple model (2 years ago!)

        And, hey, the big “model in the sky” has been telling us a story since 1998 (or is it 2001?).

        Max

      • “So far the “skeptics’ haven’t come up with a single model between them, even a simple one. What does it take to get them started? ”

        I would say model are in simplest in terms a learning tool.
        Or a means of exploration.
        Or also system of validation of hypotheses.

        At that point in time, they are not a way to predict the future and
        they might not approach this for many decades.

        So the practical use of models is for models to make short term
        predictions which can within a reasonable period of time, be
        checked against reality.

        But climate models have different priorities then the above.
        One purpose could be describe as PR- selling an idea.
        As tools to sell a scary future, their value is if anyone or
        most people can trust them coupled with enough scare
        value that they get a good payoff.

        So models should predict few years in future, and
        instead 100 year prediction are preferred, and in complete
        wacko mode are claimed to be easier and to be more
        accurate [with numerous idiots blithely nodding their heads].

        Of course it’s not uncommon to make short climate predictions-
        farmers want them. And skeptics have made short terms
        prediction. This idea we suppose entering a cooling period
        in next couple decade is actually kind of widely accepted.
        It such expectation cooling is due to looking at natural
        variability.

        But I think a more comprehensive model should done-
        a global model. It should be done by skeptics or real
        scientists. But it would require money, and skeptics
        are not well funded. But perhaps something like
        crowd sourcing. Or some kind contest with prizes-
        a game model could work to help this occur.

      • Here is a game.

        Start with earth which uniform temperature of 3 C.
        Meaning entire surface is 3 C [no ice].
        Assume the atmosphere is same composition- and
        could start with same temperature as current values.
        Another option is start with just skin temperature being
        a uniform temperature- so only top foot of surface
        starts at uniform temperature of 3 C. So same world
        as present in all respects, expect the top 12 inches
        has uniform temperature of 3 C.
        What occurs in within 10 years?

      • I agree gbaikie that models are not appropriate for prediction but could assist in sorting out natural variability as distinct from anthropic influences on weather and climate.

        The extension of meteorological modelling (good for 7 to 10 days) toward regional forecasting (hopefully good for up to 30 days) and applied over interlocking areas of the Earth’s surface and stratosphere, would be most useful for humanity in its quest to ameliorate the effects of sudden climate change.

      • @LOLWitless , models only express a hypothesis, models are not scientific experiments and therefore do not provide data. Models also do not replicate reality and therefore cannot be regarded as providing science with anything other than a narrative expressing an idea.

      • @Jim D | February 4, 2013 at 4:59 pm |
        All models are parameterized to do exactly as you say.

      • Jim D”| February 4, 2013 at 4:26 pm | Reply
        So far the “skeptics’ haven’t come up with a single model between them, even a simple one.”

        I do have a simple model. See my website above. I don’t label myself as a sceptic because my model quite clearly shows there has been periods of anthrogenic global warming, but they stopped and were limited. Why were they limited? Because classical thermodynamics can’t answer that question, but Quantum can. We don’t know on wfat conditions CO2 could lose a photon of energy. So more research is necessary to justify my assumption.

        However my model has the virtue that it can provide a credible narrative of global climate during the 20th and 21st centuries and the IPCC have never even tried to do thst.

      • Some people have come up with other offerings of what they call models. I call a GCM a model. “Skeptics” have not produced GCMs so that they can evaluate its seasonal and regional variations before going on to climate change. There is a qualifying level for a model, which is current climate.

      • Well sceptics could of course produce their own model but first let’s review the “do nots” of atmospheric modelling –

        1. Do not model the “earth” as a combined land/ocean/gas “thingy”
        2. Do not model the atmosphere as a single body or layer
        3. Do not model the sun as a ¼ power constant source without diurnal cycle
        4. Do not model conductive flux to and from the surface and atmosphere based on surface Tav
        5. Do not model a static atmosphere without moving gases
        6. Do not model a moving atmosphere without Gravity

        If existing models contained any of the above, then your suggestion “Can’t they take an existing model and change the physics?” would be a very foolish suggestion would it not?

        The first question to ask in atmospheric modelling is not what happens when we add more radiative gases to the atmosphere, but what is the role of radiative gases in the atmosphere? Lets model the atmosphere with and without radiative ability with moving gases and gravity –

        http://tinypic.com/r/6zy1ky/6

        The panel on the right shows convective stagnation shortly after the radiative ability is “switched off” Amazing! The atmosphere heats! This would of course mean –

        – Those claiming a radiative GHE never modelled a moving atmosphere with depth and gravity.
        – Without convective circulation below the tropopause our atmosphere will heat.
        – radiative gases providing energy loss at altitude are critical for convective circulation below the tropopause.
        – adding radiative gases to the atmosphere will not reduce its radiative cooling ability.
        – radiative gases cool our atmosphere at all concentrations above 0.0ppm

        But of course you already knew this Jim. You knew before 2010. The actions of yourself, Nick Stokes, Joel Shore and Josh Halpern in the discussion of the M2010 paper provide clear evidence. Trashing a paper in another discipline just to defend the “Cause”? That would have to be a new low in science. For shame. Sceptics will never forgive and the Internet will never forget.

      • Konrad makes an interesting point. It is a fact indeed that what is put out on the internet will not be forgotten and it would behoove everyone to always act with fairness and in good faith.

      • Peter,
        I am well aware of the corollary to “Sceptics will never forgive and the Internet will never forget”. In light of information that has recently come to light I believe I am showing considerable restraint in my comments. They have known they were wrong for years. Pushing a failed hypothesis for financial and political profit is one thing. Trashing a scientific paper in another discipline to defend the “cause” is quite another. Sod restraint. It’s Whacking Day.

      • It’s not totally clear what would happen for the atmosphere in total absence of all radiative gases, i.e. with exactly zero emissivity/absorptivity. I have been arguing for the mostly isothermal atmosphere but others have argued that the diurnal and latitudinal variability could still maintain circulation over an altitude range comparable to the present troposphere. As I haven’t heard of any credible analysis of this case i consider the case open.

        What’s, however, certain is that the Earth surface would be almost unaffected by the atmosphere. The surface temperature would be very close to that without any atmosphere. Earth would be different from the moon due to shorter day and different albedo, not because of the atmosphere.

        Another thing that’s known fairly well is what the situation would be it the atmosphere would have a very weak nonzero emissivity/absorptivity. In that case the surface temperature would still be essentially the same as without any atmosphere, but the atmosphere would have the adiabatic lapse rate up to an altitude of about 4 km. At that altitude and above, the temperature would have a constant very low value as the surface is very cold and the tropopause about 40C colder.

      • “What’s, however, certain is that the Earth surface would be almost unaffected by the atmosphere. The surface temperature would be very close to that without any atmosphere.”

        Pekka, how would the atmosphere lose the energy to space? Thermal resistance at the TOA would be infinite. This path would be closed. The surface could only lose the energy by radiating directly to space.

      • Edim,

        You are right on what you write, but there’s more to it. I explain a little more.

        The circulation that would persist is based on

        – heating the atmosphere by the surface near the spot of maximum surface temperature. The mechanism is conduction in a very thin surface layer and convection above that.
        – cooling the the atmosphere by conduction to the surface everywhere else.
        – some circulation to distribute heat within the atmosphere
        – conduction within the atmosphere wherever convection is not much stronger

        Because conduction is so weak the whole energy flux of circulation is very weak. The Earth surface area is, however, very large and the horizontal distances also very large in comparison to the height of atmosphere excluding the altitudes of very small density. Therefore it’s not immediately clear what the stationary state would be when all these factors are taken into account.

        It’s clear that the atmosphere would be relatively warm. The determining surface temperature is that of the hottest spot, because convection is so much stronger than conduction.

      • Pekka Pirilä:
        “What’s, however, certain is that the Earth surface would be almost unaffected by the atmosphere. The surface temperature would be very close to that without any atmosphere. Earth would be different from the moon due to shorter day and different albedo, not because of the atmosphere.”

        I don’t think Earth surface is much affected by the atmosphere.
        Rather I think the surface is mostly affecting atmosphere.

        So, I think Earth with 1/2 it’s atmosphere would have a significantly
        hotter surface [skin temperature].
        So with 1/2 of Earth’s atmosphere, one could easily cook eggs on a sidewalk.
        And you get 1100 watts per square meter as compared to 1000 watts per square meter. But more difference would be total amount solar energy per day.
        A 1/2 atmosphere would not have much affect upon the temperature ocean boils or evaporates. And ocean would receive a lot more solar energy. And ocean is average global temperature.
        So ocean surface temperature in tropics because of increase in solar energy would be slightly warmer than our ocean temperature and temperate zone ocean should more significantly warmer.

        Also seems as though there were less clouds. Could be more windy in terms wind speed, but probably not much higher in terms of strength of winds. And there would be smaller troposphere sphere.
        Atmosphere mass “50% is below 5.6 km (18,000 ft)”

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atmosphere_of_Earth#Density_and_mass

        Average troposphere is 17 km. So instead with 1/2 atmosphere the troposphere would be average would be about 10 km or less.

        Snow couldn’t form at as high elevation- ice caps would be lower in elevation. And some mountains could too high for snow.

        Less air pressure and therefore lower vapor pressure [partial pressure].
        So, “For example, air at sea level, and saturated with water vapor at 20 °C, has partial pressures of about 23 mbar of water, 780 mbar of nitrogen, 210 mbar of oxygen and 9 mbar of argon.”

        Becomes: H2O 11.5 mbars partial pressure at 20 C.
        So same temperature less water vapor in air.
        This factor more than increased sunlight will cause oceans to get warmer at surface.
        So higher average temperature of say, 5 C.
        And inland significantly more deserts and colder nights and winters.
        But should be wider tropical conditions- more than 1/2 surface tropical conditions.

      • gbaikie,

        Without the present atmosphere and the GHE the hottest parts of the surface would be a hotter than they are now during the day, but during the night even those parts would be cold and their average temperature over 24 hours would be moderate. The exact values depend on the assumed albedo, which depends on the type of surface we would have. (What should we assume about water?)

        Most of the Earth surface would be very cold.

      • Pekka,
        The Knights of Consensus just got routed at the battle of Radiative Ridge at the Talkshop. Proxies are no shield to computer language analysis. Also at least three lukewarmer “sleepers” lost at WUWT.

        Are you sure you want to play?

      • “gbaikie,

        Without the present atmosphere and the GHE the hottest parts of the surface would be a hotter than they are now during the day, but during the night even those parts would be cold and their average temperature over 24 hours would be moderate. The exact values depend on the assumed albedo, which depends on the type of surface we would have. (What should we assume about water?)

        Most of the Earth surface would be very cold.”

        Well if Earth has no nitrogen, oxygen, or argon.
        It could have atmosphere of H20 gas.
        But without any atmosphere one would need no water.

        So as you say it would be Moon like.
        One problem with Earth being just like the Moon is
        Earth has more volcanic and tectonic activity. The Moon hasn’t
        had volcanic activity [other than minor out gassing- which is not
        what I mean by volcanic activity] for over a billion years. And
        not much over last 3 billion years.
        So moon’s surface is ancient, and Earth surface is very
        young.
        This mean in terms of climate that Earth would not covered
        with tens of meters of regolith- Earth would be mostly bare
        rock. And with no water, drier than Mars. Mars has ice caps
        of CO2 and H2O. And it’s very dry and cold place with 210 ppm
        of H20 gas.

        If Moon was mostly bare rock, it would warmer at night.
        And if Moon had 24 hour day it would also be much warmer
        in the night.
        Also Earth has tilt which gives in seasons. And seasonal
        tilt adds a bit warmth if one has a lot heat capacity- bare rock
        would store more heat as compared to regolith.
        This tilt effect is greater when you have ocean of water,
        but with bare rock it should have a minor effect.

        So daytime temperature should reach around the moon’s
        surface temperature of 120 C. On moon if the sun is blocked
        for two hour one lose about 100 K. Or lower from 120 C to
        20 C.
        Roughly, with bare rock, I would guess two hour after sun goes down
        one should have surface temperature of around 20 C. And probably rest of nite it cool another 50 K.
        So equator being 120 C in day and and -30 C at nite.
        Going poleward it’s cooler.
        So roughly 240 K to 400 K. And that’s 47 C average at equator
        Or say around 30 C average global temperature- wider swinger
        than earth, but significant part of swings in temperature is due
        to the much hotter surface temperature. And we measuring different things- skin surface vs air temperature. Or Earth highest skin temperature is about 70 C with highest air temperature of about
        50 C [323 K].
        So with vacuum world swing is 140 C. But the skin temperature 77 C
        hotter, or about half of the temperature swing.
        With earth tropical ocean it’s about swing day/night of around 5 C and land or desert around 20 C degrees of swing in temperature.
        So no doubt a vacuum vs atmosphere has large variation in temperature. But presence of Earth ocean is also large factor reducing
        global variation in day vs night temperature.

      • Jim, how about the model of what happened the last 100 years since CO2 was at 280ppm. Even assuming that CO2 is 1005 responsible for the increase of the past 100 years CO2 is now 394ppm an increase of 41%. Temps have risen .6C. On a straightline that would mean the total rise for a doubling is just under 1.5C. With .6 already realized that means an increase of .9 more for the rest of the doubling. This does not even take into consideration a logarithmic approach which would make the first 41% more like 60% of the total warming for a doubling which would mean we could expect as little as .4C more warming for the next 166ppm of CO2. The nice thing about using what has happened in the past is it includes all forcings and feedbacks because they are built in automatically.

      • “Most of the Earth surface would be very cold.”

        I didn’t include Bond albedo.
        If mostly sold rock were snow white, what difference would make
        in surface temperature during the day.
        It surface were perfectly reflective it would probably have greater
        effect. But the white paint or white sand or snow has reflective nature- it’s
        scattering light.
        Look at max temperature of painted cars:
        Hood of black car: 160.0 F [71 C]
        Hood of Pearl White car: 87.7 F [31 C]

        http://www.tom-morrow-land.com/tests/cartemp/index.htm

        So if darkish lunar surface was 120 C what would the difference
        be if color were white? It could be as low as say 60 C.
        Or 60 K reduction in maximum day time temperature.

        Nature terrain on Earth, does not have such dramatic cooling- salt flats
        or White Sand, New Mexico aren’t noted as being very cool
        in a summer sun:
        “Daytime temperatures can range from below freezing in winter to triple digits in the summer. Average highs in July, August, and September are usually in the mid to upper 90s.”

        http://www.ohranger.com/bonneville-salt-flats

        If there is as much of 60 K daylight reduction- that by itself knocks average 24 hr temperature by 30 C. And would reduce the swing
        in high and low temperature [reducing variation by 60 K].

        But the question is how much would reduce the energy store in terms of
        heat capacity. Salt flat or white sands in vacuum are not going store
        much heat. But as black sand or regolith isn’t going store much either.
        I haven’t gone into detail about how much heat is store, other say it should be significantly more than lunar regolith.
        If lunar regolith at 120 C cools 100 K in 2 hours, the same lunar regolith which 60 C is not going to cool 100 K in 2 hours.

        Heat is conducted depending temperature difference- the hotter the surface, results in more heat being conducted.
        So difference should put in K temperature.
        So 333 K [60 C] as compared to 393 K [120 C].
        And if assume coolest is 240 K. The temperature difference 97 K compared to 153 K.
        And Thermal Conductivity – k – W/(m.K) of rock is
        Rock, solid: 2 – 7

        http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/thermal-conductivity-d_429.html

        So what kind of rock could have bigger effect than color of rock in terms amount energy absorbed.
        Btw, sand, dry [in our atmosphere] 0.15 – 0.25.

        So if you take extremes, low conductivity of rock, white reflective rocks,
        the average global temperature could be below 0 C, perhaps as cool -20 C.
        But we removed water- one should imagine snowy frozen wasteland. During the day it’s as hot [though in “normal natural conditions” much hotter] as on Earth. Open water evaporate and freezes, and once frozen continues to evaporate fairly rapidly [due it being a vacuum- more than anything to do with temperature.
        Whereas a sealed pool of water could have average temperature well above 30 C near equator. Due to water capability to absorb solar energy and it’s high heat capacity which can store energy through the night.

      • “Most of the Earth surface would be very cold.”

        More than half earth is below 40 degrees latitude
        And more than 80% below 60 degree latitude.

        About 20% of earth could be somewhat colder, as one
        removing mechanisms that transport heat.
        Ocean is the main transporter, and atmosphere also conveys
        a considerable amount of heat poleward.

        If you have a large cave in tropics and polar region
        and seal both them. Would there would not be much difference in the
        sealed caves if you removed the atmosphere and oceans?

        In present conditions the polar cave will be colder than tropical cave, and this temperature difference [tropic vs polar] and I would say this difference will be more of variation as compared the effect of removing atmosphere and oceans.
        And in the airless and waterless world, the tropical cave might be a
        bit warmer, and polar cave a bit cooler.
        But most of earth would about the same in terms of average temperature.
        Say if you measure it by putting a sealed white box 10 feet beneath the ground.

        Does anyone imagine difference would as much as 10 C +/- ?
        How about 5 C +/- ?
        Buried under sand or say, slab of concrete10′ thick – anywhere on land and any one spot on earth have greater than 10 C difference?
        If so, where on earth and when [season] would one think there would be the greatest difference in temperature?

      • Jim, I want you to read the paper I am going to link and think about the following points.

        If the oscillations are real then there is no way of knowing how much warming of the model projections are from the oscillations and how much from the forced response.

        If the oscillations aren’t real there are errors in the physics of the models and, without knowing what these errors are, there is no way of knowing if the errors are amplified or dampened by the addition of forcing calculations. This makes simply eliminating the oscillation an unexceptable answer.

        The models as they currently stand are useless for projections. They may have other uses although I am hard pressed to think of what they may be without knowing if the physics are in error or, if they are, where. So the comparison you are making is a model that is relied upon to make projections where the projections are useless or no model at all. I don’t see one being far superior to the other

        http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/~jsmerdon/papers/2012_jclim_karnauskasetal.pdf

    • gbaikie | February 5, 2013 at 6:03 pm said: ”If mostly sold rock were snow white, what difference would make in surface temperature during the day”

      ”IF” grandpa had that thing… well if he did, he wouldn’t be grandpa, he would have being grandma; fortunately, he is and always will be grandpa.

      2] Desert sands are not much different from white – is that kind of climate you prefer? What’s wrong with dark green colour surface, as a healthy forest; with regular rain AND, no dry hot winds coming from the desert…?

  9. What we may be seeing is a real time view of the re-write of climate science history.

    “We never actually believed in high climate sensitivity values, whatever are you speaking of? We’ve been nothing but consistent on this subject.”

    • The rowback is frothing the waves. What, me worry? It is a mad, mad, mad, mad world.
      =====================

    • “We never actually believed in high values for S” etc etc.

      Well, let’s have a look at the Believers’ Bible, AR4 WG1.

      What do we find? We find this:

      Since the TAR, the levels of scientific understanding and confidence in quantitative estimates of equilibrium climate sensitivity have increased substantially. Basing our assessment on a combination of several independent lines of evidence, as summarised in Box 10.2 Figures 1 and 2, including observed climate change and the strength of known feedbacks simulated in GCMs, we conclude that the global mean equilibrium warming for doubling CO2, or ‘equilibrium climate sensitivity’, is likely to lie in the range 2°C to 4.5°C, with a most likely value of about 3°C. Equilibrium climate sensitivity is very likely larger than 1.5°C.</i?

      And what is Annan's estimate again? Oh…

      Revolution, not. Storm, meet teacup, etc, etc…

      • BBD | January 12, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
        “The current best estimate for ECS to 2 x CO2 is ~3C.”

        I do seem to recall someone endlessly quoting a different section of the IPCC report to argue that 3C was the ‘best estimate’.

      • harry

        As far as many people are concerned, ~3C *is* the best estimate. There are problems with the paleo estimates that come in low. There are problems with the observational estimates that come in low. Unfortunately, ‘sceptics’ don’t follow the scientific argument closely enough to understand these problems. They just grab the lowest numbers going and start braying victory. Which is mistaken on two levels.

        First, the problems mentioned above. Second, the policy implications, or rather the lack of them. It makes no policy difference if S is ~2.5C or ~3C.

        Finally, it’s also a strawman to argue (as far too many ‘sceptics’ are now doing) that ‘the consensus’ endorsed a *higher* value for S than ~3C. It did not. And the evidence is right there, in black and white, in AR4 WG1.

      • Steven Mosher

        3C is a lousy estimate for that skewed distribution.

      • mosher

        The real issue remains unchanged: with S anywhere in the range ~2.5C – ~3C the policy implications are unchanged. It’s a bloody great ‘so what?’ Which *begs* the question: what are you doing here?

  10. I calculate the sensitivity at 3C for doubling of CO2

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/00f.htm

    • David Springer

      That’s absurd. A record busting huge amount of CO2 was poured into the atmosphere between 1998 and 2013 and temperature fell a little in response. Are you nuts?

    • vukcevic

      You calculate sensitivity at 3C for doubling of CO2.

      This is essentially the same as the mean value predicted by the models cited by IPCC of 3.2C

      That’s nice.

      Here are some other recent estimates.

      Schlesinger et al (2012) estimate it at 1.45C to 2.01C, based on several past temperature records

      Nic Lewis (2012 article, study not yet published) estimates it at 1.6C to 1.7C also using the past temperature record

      van Hateren (2012) estimates 1.5C to 2.5C using reconstructed record of past millennium plus actual past record

      Schmittner (2011) calculates 1.4C to 2.8C, using reconstructions of Last Glacial Maximum

      Lindzen & Choi (2011) calculate it at around 0.6C to 1.0C, using CERES satellite data..

      The average range of these recent studies is 1.3C to 2.0C, or about half of your calculation.

      Max

    • Edim, dobro jutro
      What I think is irrelevant, what matters is what is in the NOAA and the NASA data. I suggest everyone interested should carefully read above posts, and if unconvinced then reproduce the analysis as shown in the link

      http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/00f.htm

      • Dobro jutro Vuk, I understand, I was just surprised. My take from all the data and theory of thermodynamics and heat transfer is that CO2 cannot warm, radiatively active gases cool the atmosphere, the bulk of the atmosphere insulates the surface.

  11. Sensitivity suddenly pops up in three blogs – this one, WUWT and Dot Earth. It seems to be a big thing that it has turned out to be quite a bit lower than IPCC says. This seems to please lukewarmers but I am not one of them – I am a complete denier, and the importance of sensitivity to me is something of the order of discussing how many angels can fit through the eye of the needle. Nevertheless, most climate people follow it so let’s have a go at it. There is no warming now and there has not been any for the last 16 years while carbon dioxide kept increasing. No amount of talk about sensitivity can explain this. Your theory of greenhouse warming demands that increasing carbon dioxide must cause warming. For a scientist, sixteen years with no warming ought to be enough to tell him that the experiment has failed, that the attempt to cause warming by putting carbon dioxide in the air just does not work. When greenhouse warming comes up the climate scientists always cite the work or Arrhenius. You may not be aware of this but if you follow Arrhenius and calculate sensitivity you will get 1.1 degrees for doubling of CO2, not 3 degrees as IPCC tells us. The IPCC realized from the start that 1.1 degrees will not scare anyone so they decided to use the help of water vapor to jack up the Arrhenius heat. It goes like this. First, carbon dioxide warms the air. That warm air can now hold more water vapor. The greenhouse effect from that extra water vapor will then cause additional warming that gets added to the original warming from carbon dioxide. Their computers tell us that this can triple or raise even more the original warming from carbon dioxide. This is called positive water vapor feedback. And that is where all those dangerous predictions of warming come from. But this is all wrong as Miskolczi’s analysis of radiosonde measurements proves. He showed that atmospheric absorption of long-wave radiation was constant for 61 years while at the same time carbon dioxide increased by 21.6 percent. This substantial amount of carbon dioxide did not increase IR absorption by the atmosphere by one whit. And it is this absorption of radiant energy that is needed by the greenhouse gases to create their eponymous warming. No absorption means no greenhouse effect, case closed. And this settles the sensitivity issue: true sensitivity for doubling of carbon dioxide is exactly zero. It also tells us that water vapor feedback is negative, not positive, as IPCC claims. That being the case, all model predictions of dangerous warming ahead are false. And since many of them have been used to justify global warming laws and and regulations these laws and regulations have been passed under false premises. They have to be voided.

    • “There is no warming now and there has not been any for the last 16 years”

      wrong.

      • Guess I should back that up. The idea that there’s been no warming for 16 years is a myth.

      • lolwot, get used to it, your jig is up.

      • If you want to be a liar Bob, go ahead..

      • Because only a liar can look at a graph like this and still claim the warming stopped 16 years ago.

      • Maybe you could avoid words like “liar.” Whatever else you have say may or may not have merit. Your assault on character offers no matter of fact to the discussion, is insulting and is simply not justifiable from the post it rejoins.

      • David Springer

        The new denier is lolwot.

        Hard to believe isn’t it?

        Write that down.

        I love it so!

      • If disgustingly brazen false claims like “no warming for 16 years” are going to be made then the people making the claims should be rudely shouted down.

      • Sorry, but this kind of stuff loses your side credibility. Tamino may or may not be right, but there are others with other graphs and other conclusions. Calling someone liar because you found a source you like just tells the rest of us that you’re a partisan.

      • you are just a concern troll trying to shut down a threat.

        I am calling people out and you don’t like it.

      • lolwot

        Forget the sleight of hand work.

        If you are going to talk about the past 16 years, show a plot that starts in 1998 (or 2001), not one that starts in 1976.

        You’ll see that Hansen was correct to talk of a “10-year standstill” (which has actually lasted a bit longer than “10 years”.

        Max

      • Sigh. Believers in AGW have been losing credibility for as long as I’ve been following things, and this is why. Most of us aren’t climate scientists or statisticians; we aren’t going to work through the math of the technical papers. Instead, we have to decide which set of sources to believe. Roy Spencer and Steve McIntyre? Hans von Storch and Judith Curry? Gavin Schmidt and Tamino? How are we supposed to know? Pick the blog that my friends like, or those who share my politics? Well, one way to know is to see which ones look like they are honest scientists, and which ones look like they’re in some kind of battle. And I don’t know of any other way to know.
        There are loads of partisans on both sides. But people like me – and that is the vast majority of us out there who aren’t going to go through the papers ourselves – screen them all out. Sorry, but by fighting, you lose.
        Most people on the AGW side still don’t understand why Climategate is such a big deal. All those investigations! Exonerated every time! Yeah – but they were shown to be partisans, shown beyond a doubt. And that’s enough.

      • “If you are going to talk about the past 16 years, show a plot that starts in 1998 (or 2001), not one that starts in 1976.”

        The claim is that warming *stopped* 16 years ago, which is a statement both about the period prior to 1997 and after.

        To test the claim it is necessary to graph the claimed pre-1997 period of warming so we can see if it really did stop 16 years ago. The answer is no it didn’t.

        Such simple tests seem beyond climate skeptics.

        And no drawing an OLS line from 1997 only gives you a trend since 1997. It doesn’t tell you if warming *stopped* in 1997, which requires a comparison with the prior claimed rate of warming.

      • Ah it’s the old politeness fallacy that Creationists use. Those creation scientists are so polite and Richard Dawkins is so mean, so creationism must be right.

      • Miker613 @ 5:52, this is something that amazes me. Some highly trained and competent rhetoricians here look at the field and fail to see the flow. Or something obstructs their vision, what that could be, I do not say.
        ==================

      • David Springer

        Do you seriously NOT understand the difference between a 30 year trend and a 15 year trend?

        You keep putting up a 30-year trend line to prove the 15-year trend really is rising.

        Everyone but you seems to know the difference.

      • It’s not a 30 year trend line. It’s the pre-1997 warming trend-line extrapolated to present.

        If warming really had stopped in 1997, the data should fall below an extrapolation of the pre-1997 warming. But it doesn’t.

      • “Ah it’s the old politeness fallacy that Creationists use. Those creation scientists are so polite and Richard Dawkins is so mean, so creationism must be right.”

        lolwot,

        I read where K Hayhoe is a “Creationist”. Does that make her a denier too?

      • lolwot: You are confusing things. The claim is that it has not warmed in the last 16 years. You turn this into “it stopped warming 16 years ago” so that you can justify graphing back farther than 16 years in order to make an impression. Your confidence interval is similarly created to make a particular impression.

        You’re not disproving what you think you are. But in any case, even Mann has admitted that there’s been a 10-year lapse in which there’s been no warming, and other anti-skeptics have begun to get nervous and hedge their bets, so you’re simply arguing that perhaps it’s only 11 years or 14 years, rather than 16, and your graph is irrelevant.

      • “Ah it’s the old politeness fallacy that Creationists use. Those creation scientists are so polite and Richard Dawkins is so mean, so creationism must be right.” You’re not listening. Many of us are not in a position to know who’s right. All we can see is, who sounds like they’re trying to do science, and who sounds like a politician?

      • Liar is a naughty word lolwot. Please don’t use it.

      • lolwot, repeat after me, “There is no warming now and there has not been any for the last 16 years”, and do it 1000 times.

      • lolwot, repeat after me, “There is no warming now and there has not been any for the last 16 years”.

        It’s so bleeding obvious, its amazing how anyone even half numerate cannot understand it.

        It really is the CAGW Alarmists who are the true “deniers”. And more an more people are beginning to realise it. The latest Australian Opinion Poll shows that Australian’s have lost interest in Climate Change. They list it as tenth most important on a list of ten issues they were asked about (and, therefore, prompted to rank). I guess the general public is smarter than the CAGW Alarmists (i.e. the real deniers)

      • “lolwot, repeat after me, “There is no warming now and there has not been any for the last 16 years”, and do it 1000 times.”

        Why would I repeat a lie. Even the OLS trend over the last 16 years is positive and the uncertainty range covers substantial warming.

        To claim there is no warming is idiot talk.

      • Lolwot proves miker613’s point beautifully!
        Guess who I (and probably all other interested non-climate-experts lurking here) are going to believe?
        Well the guy who constantly uses words like “liar”, “lies”, “idiot”, “disgustingly brazen false claims” and “shout them down” of course!!
        /sarc

      • There is a field well fertilized for research. Articles, nay, books.
        =============

    • David Springer

      No regrets Arno if it means quickening the roll-out of energy sources that are below OPEC’s cost of production. Synthetic biology will make them cheaper. $50/bbl on the hoof in New Mexico before Obama leaves office. Made with non-potable water on non-arable land. You can’t beat that with a stick. Don’t matter the motivation so long as it lowers the cost of fuel. No regrets.

      • David,
        Please elaborate.

      • David Springer,

        Jees. You got to be joking. You argue nuclear is not cost competitive and then go spruking synthetic biology. What a joke!

      • David Springer

        @Lang

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cost_of_electricity_by_source#US_Department_of_Energy_estimates

        Levelized cost of advanced nuclear put into service in 2017 is $113/mWh.

        Same number for advanced combined cycle natural gas is $66.

        Do the math.

        Biomass, which in this case is almost literally burning sawdust and corn cobs to fire a boiler attached to a steam turbine, is $120/mWh, barely higher than nuclear.

        To most people this is illuminating. To nuclear zealots it must be untrue.

      • David Springer

        Now watch the rationalizing by Lang begin. It’ll start out by non-existent portable reactors made by super advanced Chinese science which, judging by their position in the space race, are about 50 years behind the U.S. But they’re WAY ahead of us in nuclear science. Oh yes. Real soon now we’ll have those portable thorium reactors that make energy so cheap your monthly electricity bill will be about same as a latte at Starbucks.

        Spare me, Lang.

      • David Springer

        John another,

        Go here

        http://www.jouleunlimited.com/

        and here

        http://joulefuels.com/

        Check out the funding and the names on the board of directors. Check out the patents on the GM organisms and the world class geneticists in Massuchusetts. And most of all watch the recently commissioned first commercial fuel plant being built in New Mexico in partnership with Audi and the unsubsidized price of the fuel it produces.

        Synthetic fuel from synthetic organisms is OPEC’s worst nightmare. OPEC’s second worst nightmare is coal liquifaction which comes in around $90/bbl. The cost of liquifaction sets the long-term price they can charge for a barrel of oil. If they go too much above that cost for too long then they’ll have to compete with it so they walk a tightrope of price manipulation, through blatant illegal collusion i.e. price fixing, to make sure that there’s not sufficient price motivation for anyone to invest the startup capital for large scale coal liquifaction. In reality that means they can raise the price well above $90 for short periods of time, bank the high profit margin, and lower the price when either demand falls off and/or the pain spurs active construction of a known cheaper alternative. Synfuel from nuclear energy doesn’t disturb their sleep.

      • David Springer,

        Biomass, which in this case is almost literally burning sawdust and corn cobs to fire a boiler attached to a steam turbine, is $120/mWh, barely higher than nuclear.

        To most people this is illuminating. To nuclear zealots it must be untrue.

        Your misuse of units shows you haven’t a clue. There is a factor of a billion difference between a mill-watt and a mega-watt.

        I also am fully aware of the LCOE projections of the various electricity generation technologies. The cost of electricity generated by gas is highly dependent of the cost of gas. The cost of nuclear power is hardly affected at all by a doubling in the cost of uranium.

        However, I notice instead of addressing the issue of the cost of biofuel, you avoided it and talked about the cost of gas generation. That is disengenuous.

        Biofuels are nowhere near to being cost competitive (for the quantities required) and never will be. Its impossible. This 8 minute video by Professor David Mackay, Chief Scientist to the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change, shows the problem very clearly. It just isn’t possible.

        Some other reasons will be obvious to you if you consider these questions I posed to Dr Mark Diesendorf (a lon-time renewable energy proponent):

        http://bravenewclimate.com/2012/02/27/100-renewable-electricity-for-australia-response-to-lang/#comment-152532

        Dr Diesendorf.

        I have a few questions for you regarding ‘gas turbines running on biofuels’. I don’t have access to your 2007 book, and nor do most of those following this thread, so I am not sure what your concept is. Firstly, let me provide some background to my questions.

        Grattan Institute (2012) (p 8-9) http://www.grattan.edu.au/publications/125_energy__no_easy_choices_detail.pdfstates:

        For a 30 megawatt power plant at a 70% capacity factor the land area would be around 240,000 hectares and involve nearly 500 average sized wheat farms.

        For 24 GW of power plants operating at an average of 13% capacity factor (assumed by EDM-2011), the land area would be around 35 million hectares and involve nearly 75,000 average sized wheat farms. Australia’s annual grain crop is about 20 million hectares http://www.cropscience.org.au/icsc2004/poster/0/981_walcottj.htm . The 20 million hectare figure includes Western Australia’s grain crops. Therefore, EDM’s assumptions for gas turbines running on biofuels sourced from grain crops would require twice Australia’s annual grain crop area – and that is in average years!

        I’d expect we should assume double or quadruple the 35 million hectares figure to get us through long droughts and seasons of failed crops. We can also add the cost of storage to provide reliable fuel supply through years of below average biofuel production. And we should add the cost of transport facilities used to move biomass from one location to another for seasons when the crops succeed in one region but fail in another. We’d need roads, trucks, railway lines and rolling stock, which must have sufficient capacity for the worst conditions but would be used rarely. The capital costs and the O&M costs must be included in the cost of the biofuel.

        The costs just keep on increasing the more we think about the concept of gas turbines running on biofuels.

        Since I don’t have access to your 2007 book, I wonder if you could please answer the following questions about your proposed ‘gas turbines running on biofuels’ system:

        1. Would the generators be located near the demand centres or near the source of the biomass fuel?

        2. If the generators are to be located near the demand centres:
        a. Where would the biomass to biofuels processing plants be located; i.e. near the biomass source or near the generators?
        b. Where would the fuel storage be located, near the biomass source or near the generators?
        c. How would the fuel be transported to the gas turbine generating plants?
        d. How much overbuild of biofuel production and storage capacity would be required to ensure reliable supply for extended periods of drought and to cover for regions that have crop failures?
        e. How would the biomass or biofuels would be transported from Western Australia to the eastern states’ electricity generators? How woud this be done?
        f. What would be the delivered cost of fuel from a system that can reliably deliver biofuels to the gas turbines through long periods of drought and crop failures?

        3. If the generators are to be located near the biomass source (i.e. in the grain growing areas:
        a. What is the optimum sized generator unit you envisage?
        b. How will the biomass be collected and transported to the biofuel processing plant? What are the logistics and the costs?
        c. How much biomass storage and how much biofuel storage would be required at each generator unit
        d. How much overbuild of biomass and biofuel production and storage capacity would be required to ensure reliable supply throughout extended periods of drought and to cover for regions that have crop failures?
        e. How would you propose to transport biomass between generating plants during periods when one region has crop failures and they need the biomass to be shipped in from other regions to keep the plant running?
        f. How would the biomass or biofuels be transported from Western Australia to the eastern states’ electricity generators?
        g. Or would you envisage transmitting electricity rather than transporting biofuels? If so, would you envisage the transmission lines have the capacity to transmit the maximum power that can be generated from all the generators in Western Australia at times when they have ample fuel but the Eastern states do not?
        h. If you envisage transmission lines, how would the biofuel production and generating plants that are idle in the eastern states be paid for; i.e. where does their revenue come from?
        i. What would be the delivered cost of fuel from a system that can sustainably deliver biofuels to the gas turbines through long periods of drought and crop failures?

        I recognise that many assumptions and details in these questions could be easily dismissed. However, could you please look beyond that and explain your concept and importantly what would be the cost ($/GJ) of a 100% reliable supply of the biofuels delivered to the generating units (to meet their highly variable demand for fuel).

      • David Springer,

        Sorry, I forgot to provide the link to the TED David MacKay video:
        David Mackay: “A reality check on renewables

      • David Springer

        “Your misuse of units shows you haven’t a clue. There is a factor of a billion difference between a mill-watt and a mega-watt.”

        Wow thanks Lang. I really thought nuclear power plants were rated in milliwatts until you corrected me. It wasn’t just a matter of careless capitalization and the assumption that context of a hundred dollars cost per unit of electricity excluded any potential confusion of milliwatt hours with megawatt hours.

        Let me return the favor. There’s no hyphen in either millwatt or megawatt. The fact that you can’t spell them correctly proves you’re as clueless as I am. According to your logic, anyhow.

      • David Springer

        By the way, TED is not a reference for established science. It’s a venue for semi-famous people to express their opinions on what the future holds. I can match you zealot for zealot. Where the rubber meets the road is called commercial reality. The commercial reality is that burning corn cobs to produce steam for a turbine is almost equal in cost to using controlled fission to heat the boiler.

        Drastically less expensive nuclear power is pie-in-the-sky. I’ll believe it when I see it. In the meantime Joule is building a commercial synthetic biology fuel plant. Let’s see what comes first – portable thorium reactors from China or biodiesel from New Mexico. I’d like to say we should then compare costs but there’d actually have to be a portable reactor producing electricity before we can figure out how much it costs to produce. I suspect we’ll never know because it will never actually materialize.

      • David Springer

        Regardless of the speculative nature of TED I began watching McKay’s diatribe but killed it almost immediately when he said that biofuel replacement of fossil fuel would require a land surface the size of the US devoted to it.

        That’s for biofuel production using corn as a feedstock. That’s not what Joule is doing. Joule is producing tens of thousands of gallons per acre using non-arable land and non-potable water. At that rate US energy requirements can be met using a land area half the size of the state of Maine, or about 10% of the Texas panhandle.

        Until you understand that fuels produced with synthetic biology is very different from using corn, beets, or sugar cane you’re not informed enough to even begin a discussion about it. And neither is McKay.

      • David Springer,

        Your misuse of units was not a spelling mistake. It was a clear sign of lack of familiarity (i.e. ignorance) of the subject matter you are pontificating about. If you were familiar with the units, you would not have made such a mistake. It is a dead give away.

        However, your spelling mistake “millwatt” is a spelling mistake.

        And yes, I should not have included the “-“. I did it to make the point. Clearly a mistake when dealing with a algae biofuel zealot.

      • David Springer,

        You really don’t have a clue what you are talking about. The biofuel productivity is best on the most fertile lands, they get less as the land, rainfall, etc get less fertile. You need more land area if you want to use land and crops that are less productive.

        You are clearly a zealot without a clue and you shut off anything that doesn’t support your beliefs.

      • David Springer

        Try this:

        http://www.fas.org/irp/agency/dod/jason/micro.pdf

        ENGINEERING MICROORGANISMS FOR ENERGY PRODUCTION

        Note the theoretical limit is 10% conversion efficiency of light to chemical bond energy or about the same as photovoltaic cells. The reaction speed is limited by CO2 availability not chemistry. Joule uses tanked CO2 obtained from industrial waste gases.

        Each square meter of ground in an ideal location receives about 5kwh per day. That’s about 15% of the energy in a gallon of ethanol. An acre is roughly 15,000 square meters. So at 100% conversion efficiency that’s 2250 gallons of ethanol per acre per day or 820,000 gallons per year per acre.

        Joule claims 20,000 per acre per year which is a conversion efficiency of 2.4%. This is reasonable especially with tanked CO2 but even with atmospheric CO2 it’s not unreasonable as it’s still well within theoretical bounds for green plants in standard atmosphere.

        US gasoline consumption is 134B gallons annually. Let’s call it 200B for pure ethanol since ethanol only has 2/3 the energy density of gasoline.

        That means we need about 10 million acres at Joules’ claimed yield per acre to replace all the gasoline. New Mexico is 77 million acres.

        This is why I killed McKay’s TED conference speech inside the first 30 seconds. If he didn’t do the math on how much land is required for advanced biofuel production from synthetic organisms there’s nothing of value to follow. Garbage in, garbage out. I mocked ethanol production from corn since the word go. That’s a non-starter. Its only practical value was in spurring the production of flexible fuel engines in automobiles which are prerequisite to switching from mostly gasoline to mostly ethanol.

        Electrical production isn’t really a problem in the US so I seldom spend much time on it. The problem is liquid fuels for the transportation sector not electricity to recharge your iPhone. The problem is both the high cost per BTU and importing it from countries that hate us, neither of which is a great concern for electricity unless you’re worried about CO2 production and I’m not concerned about CO2 production which I consider a huge net benefit to agriculture and, in the future, a handy source of carbon for the fabrication of durable goods.

      • David, I support your thoughts on non-food ethanol. There is an intermediary stage now in progress, which is cellulose ethanol. A commercial plant is being built by Poet/DSM, which should come into production, 20 million gallons per year, next year. Poet/DSM claim it is commercially viable without subsidies.

      • David Springer

        Jim,

        Yeah, I’ve been following that and even did some experimentation a decade ago. Breaking down cellulose into carbohydrates that can be further reduced to sugars and then finally fermented and distilled into ethanol is a tough row to hoe.

        Mechanical processing at the outset is required to pulverize the cellulosic material into fine particulates with a large surface area available to the biologic producers of the enzymes which break it down into carbs. In nature that’s going to be some wood-loving fungi such as mushrooms and brackets. These are very complex eukaryotes and difficult to modify. The natural ones are very slow growing and difficult to farm. The feedstock must be sterilized as well as pulverized. After that it’s pretty much the same as making moonshine from corn. Using beets or sugar cane skips the mashing step where enzymes from malted grain turn the carbs into sugars which can then be fermented into alcohol by yet another fungi yeast.

        This then requires three distinct eukaryotes in a multi-stage process. Eukaryotes are far more complex than prokaryotes and thus far more difficult to genetically engineer. Combining all of them into a single step organism seems well beyond state of the art in genetic engineering. I think you’d be much better off just drying and pelletizing the cellulosic material and using a syngas generator to produce carbon monoxide and then fuel your internal combustion engine directly from the CO which requires very little modification to the engine – about the same as the modifications required to run it from natural gas or propane. CO is far more toxic to handle than natural gas and syngas generators, while they can be made portable, are big and messy as they produce copious amounts of wood ash.

        Joule is doing it the only really practical way and that’s genetically engineering a comparatively simple prokaryote to excrete fuel in usable form directly from conversion of sunlight, CO2, and water. It may be a very long time before we develop any competence in genetic engineering of life more complex than bacteria. Fortunately we don’t need anything more complex than bacteria by the same principle that we don’t need anything more complex than a NAND gate to build a supercomputer.

      • David Springer

        Jim,

        I wouldn’t really call cellulosic “intermediate” biofuel either. It’s basically the same old thing using a marginally more available feedstock that still requires arable land to produce. It’s not really a waste product as the feedstock is usually plowed under where it decomposes and fortifies the soil. This would somehow have to be replaced otherwise the soil would no longer support productive farming.

        Joule’s feedstock is waste CO2 from industrial processes and with further improvements can be CO2 obtained directly from the air.

        It’s my position that synthetic biology has such huge potential for transforming atmospheric CO2 into durable goods that we’re going to run into a problem where we’re removing too much of it. Fuels are carbon neutral in that whatever is removed from the atmosphere is replaced when the fuel is consumed a short time later. Durable goods remove the carbon for an indefinitely long time so when the day comes that you can grow a home by innoculating the ground where you want it with a microgram of bacteria pre-programmed with the specifications for the home that removes the carbon more or less permanently and the bacteria are essentially free and so too is the home. When homes are free everyone can afford a mansion. Unfortunately the supply of carbon in the atmosphere is vast but not unbounded and a limit can quickly be reached where there’s too little left for the rest of the biosphere.

      • David, you write “It’s not really a waste product as the feedstock is usually plowed under where it decomposes and fortifies the soil. This would somehow have to be replaced otherwise the soil would no longer support productive farming.”

        I am no expert, so I can only go by the claims of people who are. Poet/DSM claim that the feedstock they use is not required to be recycled. It does not add anything to the soil. It is merely a breeding stock for the various organisms which turn it into CO2 and water.

    • lolwot

      You are quibbling here.

      There was the now famous article that proclaimed “no warming in past 16 years” based on MetOffice data.

      They should have written “no warming in past 15 years“, (i.e. since the end of 1997) to be correct.

      I’d say that there has definitely been “no warming since the end of 2000″ (i.e. over the past 12 years)

      Hansen has conceded that there has been a “10-year standstill” in the 5-year average temperatures.

      However you slice it, lolwot, there is a current “pause” (or “standstill”) in the warming of the “globally and annually averaged land and sea surface temperature anomaly” (used by IPCC to measure “global warming”), despite unabated human GHG emissions and CO2 levels (Mauna Loa) reaching record levels. A dilemma for the supporters of the IPCC CAGW premise.

      To deny this is simply sticking the head in the sand.

      Max

      • “They should have written “no warming in past 15 years“, (i.e. since the end of 1997) to be correct.”

        Even that’s wrong.

        “I’d say that there has definitely been “no warming since the end of 2000″ (i.e. over the past 12 years)”

        And that’s wrong too.

      • Lolwhut, with his hands firmly over his ears, shouting “LIAR!! WRONG!! LIARS!!”….so funny

  12. David Springer

    maksiomovich | February 4, 2013 at 4:46 pm |

    “3) The geometric mean of the range of experiments is bounded by the Khinchin constant,which suggests that sensitivity is indeed low,and long tails will be improbable.”

    The long tails are artifacts of noise in the model. All the model have more or less sharp probability peaks under 3C. The sharp peaks are what to look at. This is deception by people who know that the peaks count and the rest is garbage.

  13. David Springer

    lolwot | February 4, 2013 at 5:10 pm |

    “Don’t think you get my point Bob. If you don’t trust the above people you mention you can’t trust Roy Spencer either. That’s my point.”

    I’ve heard of guilt by association but never guilt by disassociation. Your point is ground breaking!

    • Roy Spencer: “I view my job a little like a legislator, supported by the taxpayer, to protect the interests of the taxpayer and to minimize the role of government.”

      given that statement, explain how you can trust Roy Spencer’s science.

      Remember you are a climate skeptic so you must treat all such statements as Very Serious Matters.

      • David Springer

        lolwot | February 4, 2013 at 5:45 pm | Reply

        “given that statement, explain how you can trust Roy Spencer’s science.”

        Because Roy Spencer would rather poke himself in the eye with a sharp stick than break one of the ten commandments. In this case it would be the commandment to not bear false witness. I seen the dude swear to tell the truth to congress. To somebody like Spencer that oath means more than it does to the average bear.

        That’s how.

      • David Springer

        Plus I checked on his climate claims myself and while not agreeing with everything most of it withstands close scrutiny. I more concerned about honest mistakes than I am deliberate deceit.

      • Funny haha and peculiar, how one looks at religious faith can generate vastly different attitudes about credibility. There is a yawning cultural crevass on this, and some have ropes and picks.
        ===========

      • David Springer

        Plus I checked on his climate claims myself and while not agreeing with everything most of it withstands close scrutiny.

        Rubbish. This is a three-part article and you need to read it all. See what happens when Spencer’s stuff is subjected to close scrutiny.

      • David Springer

        Oh lovely. More blog science from BBD.

        I’m not even going to look at it. Give me a reference to a university level text on atmospheric physics or STFU.

      • Most of Spencer’s output is blog science David, but you lap it up. You appear to be more biased even than your heroes.

      • David Springer

        http://scholar.google.com/scholar?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1T4LENN_enUS461US461&q=roy+spencer

        Spencer has a long list of publications in relevant journals. I never use articles on his blog as a reference. I wish you’d stop making things up out of thin air.

      • Springer

        Spencer has a long list of publications in relevant journals.

        Strawman. None of which are relevant to the controversial claims he has made in recent years – on his blog and in his books, *not* in the reviewed literature. When he does try, he gets into all sorts of trouble. Let’s talk about Remote Sensing…

        Here’s a couple of rebuttals to S&B11 and Lindzen & Choi (2011) to be going on with:

        Dessler (2011)

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

        Trenberth, Fasullo & Abraham (2011)

        http://www.mdpi.com/2072-4292/3/9/2051/pdf

        Stop the time-wasting.

    • lolwot

      It is not a matter of whether or not you “trust” Roy Spencer (and his simple model).

      It’s just that you made the incorrect statement that no skeptic had come up with a model, even a simple one.

      Roy Spencer is a skeptic.

      He has come up with a simple model.

      So your statement was false.

      Sorry. No cigar.

      Max

      • Correction

        Sorry, lolwot it was Jim D who made that incorrect statement about models and skeptics, not you.

        mea culpa.

        Max

    • Spencer is suffering from confirmation bias induced by his belief system. He is probably sincere. Just wrong.

      • David Springer

        Spencer is undoubtedly sincere because his religion requires it and he’s a devout about his religion. He’s also probably right for the most part about the science. I’m not so sure about his religious beliefs but it’s within the realm of possibility he’s right about that too.

      • How can you possibly know if Spencer is correct if you *refuse* to read critiques of his methodology and tell anyone cautioning you that Spencer’s toy model is broken to ‘STFU’?

        And can you struggle to be a bit less offensive please. You are dragging the tone down.

  14. Two words:
    Milikan effect.

  15. Jim D wrote
    “The Norwegian study had 3.7 C sensitivity before including the last decade.”

    The study concerned (Skeie et al) actually estimates that climate sensitivity is most likely to be 1.7 C using data ending in 2010, or 2.0-2.1 C using data ending in 2000. See http://www.uib.no/People/ngfhd/EarthClim/Calendar/Oslo-2012/ECS_Olavsgard.pdf – slide 6, the peak of the PDF curves on panels a) and b) The estimates that the paper quotes, of 1.9 C and 3.7 K for the two cases, are means.

    The mean is not a good central estimate for a highly skewed probability distribution, which that using data only up to 2000, in particular, is. The very long tail of that distribution reflects partly poor data constraints and partly the use of a uniform prior for climate sensitivity, which biases upwards the reported probability of high climate sensitivities.

    • David Springer

      zewig | February 4, 2013 at 5:59 pm | Reply

      “The mean is not a good central estimate for a highly skewed probability distribution, which that using data only up to 2000, in particular, is. The very long tail of that distribution reflects partly poor data constraints and partly the use of a uniform prior for climate sensitivity, which biases upwards the reported probability of high climate sensitivities.”

    • Using data only up to 2000 gives results in agreement with IPCC AR4

      • Joshua

        You mean: “Using data only up to Hiding the bothersome decline after 2000 gives results in agreement with IPCC AR4″

        Right. Sound familiar?

        Max

      • Max –

        It seems oddly inconsistent (dare I say “skeptical” not skeptical) to me to selectively decide which part of their work to cross out and substitute your own words, and which part to trumpet as a “last nail” “final stake” etc., etc….

        It isn’t a matter of what “[I] believe” I quoted directly from the pdf.

        Their findings are what they are – and that includes their statement of findings excluding the last 10 years. If you don’t trust the fact that they made that qualification, then it means that you should disregard their work more generally as well.

        As someone who isn’t bright or knowledgeable enough to understand the science, I’d say that any conclusions made on analysis of long-term climate trends that looks dramatically different based on the inclusion or exclusion of only 10 years of data should be viewed as “information” – useful but certainly not dispositive..

      • Joshua. Short term extrapolation by both sides of the debate on AGW simply fails to cut the mustard as far as I am concerned. Informative yes disposive no and here, once more, I completely agree.

      • David Springer

        You mean to say using observaions from 1979 to 2000, Joshua. The CAGW theory was looking pretty good based on that data. Prior to 1979 when satellites began to measure lower troposphere temperature all over the globe we had no measure of global average temperature (GAT) only guesstimates based on fewer and fewer measurements using instruments not designed to measure decadal trends so small as a few milliKelvins per decade.

        Unfortunately for the CAGW hypothesis the data from 1979 to 2012 is not nearly so supportive. GAT failed to rise from 2000 onward despite a huge accelerating increase in anthropogenic CO2 emission during that time. Indeed, since 2010 GAT has been falling off a cliff and if the current rate of cooling continues for another decade we’ll be in a world of hurt from global cooling as growing seasons grow shorter, late spring and early fall frosts take their tolls, and colder winters requiring more fuel with a rising price per BTU attached to it.

        These are the facts, Joshua. Failing to acknowledge these facts makes you a denier. The new deniers are the warmists. Ain’t that a hoot? Probably not funny if you’re a warmists but those of who predicted what’s happening today are rolling in aisles laughing at CAGW ignoramuses and their gullible sycophants who never understood the science in the first place.

      • Dave Springer

        These are the facts, Joshua. Failing to acknowledge these facts makes you a denier. The new deniers are the warmists. Ain’t that a hoot? Probably not funny if you’re a warmists but those of who predicted what’s happening today are rolling in aisles laughing at CAGW ignoramuses and their gullible sycophants who never understood the science in the first place.

        This is evidently the new ‘sceptic’ meme. It is as wrong and as determinedly self-serving as the rest.

        All that happened (back in 2006) was that Annan demonstrated that a fat tail (S > 4.5K) was *very unlikely*.

        Many investigators – Annan among them – favour a value for S to 2 x CO2 in the range ~2.5 – 3K, which sits comfortably within the range given in AR4.

        This has no policy impact. Nothing changes. Emit enough to push CO2 well beyond 550ppmv and you will get your catastrophe in due course. Hold CO2 at ~550ppmv and watch average NH land surface temperatures increase by >3K. Call that anything you like except a ‘victory’ for ‘sceptics’.

      • I must have chalked ‘last quarter of the last century’ a hundred times @ the blackboard, and bright as she was, Teach couldna see it.
        =================

  16. Dr. Curry, this kerfuffle is fascinating. Annan’s ‘defection’ would be more significant if he focused his objections less on hot tails, and more on the sharp 1.9 mode in his 2011 paper pointed out by my previous guest post.

    You raise another important issue, ‘abrupt change’. This is surely possible theoretically, since weather and climate are nonlinear dynamic systems capable of abrupt onset of chaos (around some strange attractor). Chaos theory was discovered by Lorentz’ modeling of weather at MIT.
    Abrupt is in the eye of the beholder. The slower it is, the more adaptation rather than mitigation is a better response (of course, since my research leads me to a lukewarmist conclusion).
    But this still begs the meaning of abrupt on human time scales. I offer a practical definition. Anything less than one lifetime is ‘abrupt’ since habits and populations can be severely affected within living memories. By that definition, neither the MWP nor the LIA were abrupt, even though historically significant. There are at least two ‘certain’ abrupt events coming. Climate change is increasingly unlikely to be a third.
    One is limitations on food calory production relative to population growth, by sometime around 2050 (plus or minus a couple of uncertain decades). There are many individual contributors including arable land, irrigation, fertilizer, genetic productivity, and pest evolution. The law of diminishing marginal returns is net playing against continued compound population growth. Perhaps of less concern since food is only a soft limit.
    Second is peaking fossil energy, on which we have just learned many of your readers have strong opinions but a shaky understanding of underlying observational geophysics. Fossil energy is worrisome, since could be a hard limit. Hard means a big ouch, like Rapa Nui. Read Diamond’s Collapse.
    Both themes are worthy extensions of AGW (since focused on anthropogenic consequences) and also your interest in uncertain science, its limitations, and its communication.
    A previous guest post deconstructed alarmist AGW crop yields from a faulty paper. Most readers applauded, since consistent with their world view of no problems. We just deconstructed a single faulty paper on peak oil to get emotional reactions evocative of CAGW alarmists, except largely inverted by proponent/opponent since inconsistent with that same world view. Yet both just invoked fact observations in pursuit of uncertain truth.
    I personally advocate expanding dialog here to the etc part of climate, etc.
    Please keep this site scientifically rocking.
    Highest Regards

    • The Gods walked.
      =============

    • David Springer

      Rud, have a look at what happens when interglacial periods begin. Temperature shoots up like a rocket then hits a ceiling and bounces off of it. The ceiling temperature is the same every time.

      Explain the ceiling and why you think the ceiling is not real. Climate is only chaotic in the noise. The magnitude of the noise is bounded and you can see the bounds reached again and again and again in ice cores.

      If you think CO2 level is cause, not effect, you’ll need to explain what bounds CO2. Good luck with that because the supply of carbon in the earth and ocean is humongous.

      I say CO2 simply follows ocean outgassing/absorption as it warms and cools and temperatures are bounded by planetary albedo i.e. how much land can potentially be locked under high albedo glaciers or alternatively how much can be exposed to present a lower albedo. Reach an albedo limit either way and warming/cooling reaches a limit with it.

    • David L. Hagen

      Rudd and Judy

      Re: “What is meaningful is the possibility of a scenario of abrupt climate change. While abrupt climate change is regarded as a possibility based upon paleoclimatic evidence of previous events, climate models are incapable of producing such emergent phenomena. ”
      As Springer pointed out, far higher warming rates occur at the end of a glaciation. Similarly far faster and far more dangerous cooling occurs as we descend into a glaciation. Warming is constrained by T^4 outward black body radiation and exponential increase in latent heat by Claus Clapeyron.

      The complete Greenland ice cores show very slow melting under 8C higher temperatures.

      the NEEM ice core drilling project in northwest Greenland, led by the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen show that the climate in Greenland was around 8 degrees C warmer than today during the last interglacial period, the Eemian period, 130,000 to 115,000 thousand years ago. . . .
      despite the warm temperatures, the ice sheet did not disappear and the research team estimates that the volume of the ice sheet was not reduced by more than 25 percent during the warmest 6,000 years of the Eemian.

      There were massive amounts of solar energy stored in buried biomass (aka coal) indicating very favorable growing conditions with higher temperatures and higher CO2.

      Cooling has far greater consequences.
      Natural variability and glaciation with much colder temperatures are proven major climatic problems from the geological record.

      So where is the evidence of “abrupt” changes a problem with warming rather than cooling?

      • David Springer

        David L. Hagen | February 4, 2013 at 8:35 pm | Reply

        “Similarly far faster and far more dangerous cooling occurs as we descend into a glaciation. Warming is constrained by T^4 outward black body radiation and exponential increase in latent heat by Claus Clapeyron.”

        You’re a lot smarter than you look, Hagen. ;-)

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Crop productivity among small-scale farmers in Zambia is constantly low mainly due to poor and unsustainable farming systems. As a solution, conservation farming (CF) is being advocated to scale up crop productivity. This study was undertaken to assess the rate of adoption and ascertain the impact of this practice on crop productivity among small-scale farmers in Kapiri Mposhi District. A structured questionnaire was administered to 252 farm householders randomly selected and data collected were analyzed using SPSS. About 91% of farmers are practicing the technology at different levels depending on the component adopted out of the six, namely minimum land tillage; laying out fixed planting basins; no burning of crop residues; planting and input application in basins; and rotation with nitrogen-fixing crops for soil fertility restitution, outlined by the Conservation Farming Unit
      (CFU). Some respondents (10.3%) have adopted five to six components of the technology, 9.7% four and 40.5% practicing only the reduced tillage. Overall, the adoption rate between 2000 and 2008 stands at 98.9%. Increased maize yield after CF adoption was recorded among 65.7% of the respondents with a gain in yield amounting to 2 tons/ha on average,
      which is three times more than the yield from conventional farming. It is, therefore, oncluded that CF constitutes currently one of the major keys to increasing crop yield and productivity in Zambia.

      http://www.m.elewa.org/JAPS/2009/3.2/4.pdf

      About 70% of global agricultural land is small holdings. The productivity gains through ‘conservation farming’ are more than sufficient to secure food supplies for 10 billion people. The techniques improve water conservation, retain soils, improve the nutrient status of foods, conserve downstream environments and sequester carbon. There are a whole lot of other techniques in conservation farming that achieve similar outcomes in broad scale western agriculture – perhaps with only 70 to 100% increases in productivity. About 15% of Australian farmers are practicing conservation agriculture – and that number is rapidly growing. See as well the ‘carbon farmers of America’.

      The ‘hard limit’ of oil seems less hard and less of a limit – when there are many alternatives liquid fuels feasible at around the $100 a barrel mark. One need only look at the EIA liquid fuels projections for the US.

      By all means – let’s talk about it but let’s see where the solutions are coming from and how we might facilitate progress, economic growth and societal resilience.

      • David Springer

        I got yer societal resilience right here… [rude gesture]

      • Chief Hydrologist

        What’s the matter big dave – don’t like people feeding themsleves and having enough money to cope with natural disasters?

        ‘Energy innovation, resilience to extreme weather, and no regrets pollution reduction — each of these goals has its own diverse justifications:

        • Support for energy innovation today comes from those concerned about the high (and rising) economic costs, not to mention the foreign entanglements created by America’s dependence on oil; the need for greater energy access in poor countries; diseases and deaths caused by air pollution, oil and gas drilling, and coal mining and waste; and the
        potential for America to manufacture and export new energy technologies at a profit. All of these motivations play to America’s strengths, and each can assemble a strong coalition of support.

        • Rich and poor countries alike are vulnerable to a wide range of complex socio-technical disasters, some climate change-related, some not. Domestically, Hurricane Katrina and the recent Mississippi flooding provide compelling rationale for improving resilience to extreme weather events, whether they are exacerbated by climate change or not. Internationally, US support to build disaster resilience in developing countries is strong and longstanding, and US foreign aid remains the highest in the world. When harnessed to build resilience to extreme weather and disasters, both domestic and international efforts will be more successful.

        • And motivated by a clear desire to protect public health, the United States has long been a global leader in the development and deployment of pollution abatement technologies, from the creation of smokestack scrubbers to the invention of alternatives to ozone depleting chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). A redoubling of such efforts can yield simultaneous progress to reduce climate forcings.’

        Now I realise that you might object to the third – but that would be an atgumentum ad ignorantiam. A specialty of yours. Now I am a bit jaundiced by interactions with you and webby – with whom you share traits – but I am sure there are Americans with something other than sh_t for brains.

  17. Matthew R Marler

    Zickfeld et al. (2010)

    Hasn’t a lot been learned since then?

  18. Matthew R Marler

    Reto Knutti: Even though we have many of these studies (and I am responsible for a couple of them) I’m getting more and more nervous about them, because they are so sensitive to the climate model, the prior distributions, the forcing, the ocean data, the error model, etc. The reason for this, to a large extent, is that the data constraint is weak, so the outcome (posterior) is dominated by what you put in (prior).

    Is that generally agreed-upon by climate experts?

    • Well, Matt, it will be when it’s their best excuse.
      =============

    • Matthew R Marler

      the outcome (posterior) is dominated by what you put in (prior).

      Is that another way of saying “GIGO”?

      (check several posts by Willis Eschenbach)

      Max

      • Matthew R Marler

        manacker: Is that another way of saying “GIGO”?

        No. The use of “GIGO” usually signals the end of thinking.

        That the posterior distribution is dominated by the prior distribution instead of by the likelihood is an assertion that more research is needed. It could be interpreted as meaning that there is not enough information in the prior distributions to justify a policy recommendation of the “experts” so modeled. Somebody other than I may call the empirical evidence gathered by researchers “garbage”.

      • or does it mean “ass backward”?

  19. David Springer

    “We mislead policy makers with our oversimplifications and overconfidence.”

    To be more precise the credibility of the science was destroyed amongst all but those with a partisan agenda who find it convenient to pretend it’s still credible.

  20. I love it when people give their opinion on what a number might be. Any time in my engineering education that we would write down any kind of a number we needed to be able to back that up to pass the course. Climate sensitivity to CO2 is simple physics. Climate sensitivity to water vapor which somehow could increase itself because CO2 goes up, that is NOT simple physics, more like voodoo.

    Climate Sensitivity lottery, anyone? Very scientific (???).

    • The 2nd law of thermodynamics doesn’t allow anything to be created out of nothing!

    • David Springer

      Climate sensitivity on a planar black body illuminated by an invariant continuous spectrum through a motionless inert gas plus the greenhouse gas in question absent a gravity well is simple. The more you vary from that ideal situation the less simple it becomes. In other words climate sensitivity in vitro is simple. In vivo not so much.

  21. Pingback: GreenGeld | Jay Currie

  22. Chief Hydrologist

    The ‘sensitivity’ is defined as the average or the range of multi-model ensembles. Each of the members of the ensemble is a non-unique solution of a set of nonlinear equations. The ‘member’ is selected on the basis of ‘a posteriori’ solution behaviour. It looks plausible so it is in. So sensitivity is based on what seems plausible – think of a number – and not an any unique, deterministic solution to an equation.
    ‘AOS models are therefore to be judged by their degree of plausibility, not whether they are correct or best. This perspective extends to the component discrete algorithms, parameterizations, and coupling breadth: There are better or worse choices (some seemingly satisfactory for their purpose or others needing repair) but not correct or best ones. The bases for judging are a priori formulation, representing the relevant natural processes and choosing the discrete algorithms, and a posteriori solution behavior.’ http://www.pnas.org/content/104/21/8709.full
    Sounds mad I know – and certainly not made explicit in the way models are reported – which is why I persist in quoting people like James McWilliams and Tim Palmer.
    ‘Atmospheric and oceanic computational simulation models often successfully depict chaotic space–time patterns, flow phenomena, dynamical balances, and equilibrium distributions that mimic nature. This success is accomplished through necessary but nonunique choices for discrete algorithms, parameterizations, and coupled contributing processes that introduce structural instability into the model. Therefore, we should expect a degree of irreducible imprecision in quantitative correspondences with nature, even with plausibly formulated models and careful calibration (tuning) to several empirical measures. Where precision is an issue (e.g., in a climate forecast), only simulation ensembles made across systematically designed model families allow an estimate of the level of relevant irreducible imprecision…
    In each of these model–ensemble comparison studies, there are important but difficult questions: How well selected are the models for their plausibility? How much of the ensemble spread is reducible by further model improvements? How well can the spread can be explained by analysis of model differences? How much is irreducible imprecision in an AOS?
    Simplistically, despite the opportunistic assemblage of the various AOS model ensembles, we can view the spreads in their results as upper bounds on their irreducible imprecision. Optimistically, we might think this upper bound is a substantial overestimate because AOS models are evolving and improving. Pessimistically, we can worry that the ensembles contain insufficient samples of possible plausible models, so the spreads may underestimate the true level of irreducible imprecision (cf., ref. 23). Realistically, we do not yet know how to make this assessment with confidence.’ (op. cit.)
    Any change in a model can produce divergent solutions that are not predictable beforehand – it is the nature of the nonlinear Navier-Stokes equations – this extends to the range of uncertainty in climate data and to the number and breadth of couplings.
    ‘Lorenz was able to show that even for a simple set of nonlinear equations (1.1), the evolution of the solution could be changed by minute perturbations to the initial conditions, in other words, beyond a certain forecast lead time, there is no longer a single, deterministic solution and hence all forecasts must be treated as probabilistic. The fractionally dimensioned space occupied by the trajectories of the solutions of these nonlinear equations became known as the Lorenz attractor (figure 1), which suggests that nonlinear systems, such as the atmosphere, may exhibit regime-like structures that are, although fully deterministic, subject to abrupt and seemingly random change.’ http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/369/1956/4751.full
    We are not at the stage of having ‘systematically designed model families’ – thus the first hurdle for precision is not cleared. Solutions are literally chosen subjectively from many possible solutions and the range of solutions remains unknown. This goes directly to the a priori expectation of modellers as to the plausible sensitivity of the system. Subjectivity rather than a deterministic solution of an equation.
    I have said this many times in many different ways – but a wider and deeper appreciation of dynamical complexity remains elusive. These models are most certainly chaotic in the sense of theoretical physics – as shown by Lorenz in the early 1960′s.
    There may be some expectation that climate as well is nonlinear. Inputs and outputs are not proportional – change is abrupt and episodic – there are multiple equilibria (Rial et al 2004) and unpredictable tipping points (NAS, 2002). Where inputs and outputs are not proportional – the question of sensitivity becomes a problem of a different order entirely.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      I should know by now that you need double spaces for paragraphs.

      • I thought you were copy-pasting the same comment over and over again, Chief.

      • Learning from your errors is clearly not one of your strengths, chief. But we love ya’ anyways.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        This was clearly germane to the discussion of climate sensitivity and something of such fundamental import to the calculation of this elusive concept of sensitivity. The fact that it the bulk of the comment appeared in response to a question by Peter Lang recently is immaterial. As I said – I have said this many times in as many different ways as i can to get this fundamental new paradigm across. Tomas has indeed wondered why I bother arguing with fools and charlatans.

        To quote again from Rial et al 2004 – it ‘is imperative that the Earth’s climate system research community embraces this nonlinear paradigm if we are to move forward in the assessment of the human influence on climate.’

        It seems as imperative that a deeper understanding of this paradigm emerge in the broader community in order that public policy be based on science rather than the eschatological musings of the neo-millennialists. Isn’t that so?

      • Great post Chief. I first thought it was Arno Arrak’s work when I stumbled on it (I rarely read threads from the top through to the bottom as it takes too long) but I still give it a +1 along with Beth below.

      • David Springer

        It was so long and lacking paragraph breaks that it was difficult to not stumble when trying to step over it. I feel your pain.

      • > The fact that it the bulk of the comment appeared in response to a question by Peter Lang recently is immaterial.

        Of course.

    • David Springer

      Chief Hydrologist | February 4, 2013 at 8:06 pm | Reply

      “The ‘sensitivity’ is defined as the average or the range of multi-model ensembles”

      No that’s how some find a value for it. It’s usually defined as the surface temperature response to a doubling in atmospheric CO2.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Jesus weeps – how the f_uck do you suppose they work that out.

      • David Springer

        They derive a value in various ways. Some by model, some by empirical observations, and some a mix of both. If you don’t understand what climate sensitivity is and various ways a value is assigned to it you probably shouldn’t be commenting on this thread unless it’s to ask questions of those who do understand.

        Both model and empirical methods are discussed here:

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

        It would behoove you to gain at least an encyclopedic knowledge of the topic before you begin bloviating.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Hi big dave – stalking again I see and with your usual perspicacity. The way that sensitivty is derived is with these models that have at their core the nonlinear Navier-Stokes equations. Thise is where the range comes from that almost always quoted. If some sort of confimation is sought from the vagaries of the paleoclimatic record – it is something I tend to take with a great deal of salt.

        ‘Now imagine that you have never seen the device and that it is hidden in a box in a dark room. You have no knowledge of the hand that occasionally sets things in motion, and you are trying to figure out the system’s behavior on the basis of some old 78-rpm recordings of the muffled sounds made by the device. Plus, the recordings are badly scratched, so some of what was recorded is lost or garbled beyond recognition. If you can imagine this, you have some appreciation of the difficulties of paleoclimate research and of predicting the results of abrupt changes in the climate system.’ http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=10136&page=13

        I will remind you again of the current limitations of opportunistic ensembles of AOS.

        ‘In each of these model–ensemble comparison studies, there are important but difficult questions: How well selected are the models for their plausibility? How much of the ensemble spread is reducible by further model improvements? How well can the spread can be explained by analysis of model differences? How much is irreducible imprecision in an AOS?

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

        I suspect that one should go deeper into the literature than wikipedia to gain any depth of understanding and to move beyond the simplistic.

  23. There is little wonder that the “sensitivity” cannot be determined, because carbon dioxide has a net (albeit) minuscule cooling effect. Water vapour has a far great cooling effect, because it reduces the thermal gradient, and so the thermal plot intercepts the surface at a temperature which is about 30% lower than would be the case with a dry atmosphere.

    In other words, the “dry” gradient (which is the quotient of the force of gravity and the mean specific heat) would yield a surface temperature of about 300K if the atmosphere were 80% pure nitrogen and 20% pure oxygen. But then water vapour reduces the temperature back to 288K and carbon dioxide reduces it by less than 1% of the reduction due to water vapour. Yes, inert gases do absorb incident Solar radiation in the UV and visible spectra, so the atmosphere warms to radiative balance, and the temperature at the base of the atmosphere determines (or “supports”) the surface temperature.

    Surprised? It’s all in my paper “Planetary Surface Temperatures. A Discussion of Alternative Mechanisms” on the Principia Scientific International website in the PROM menu.

    • David Springer

      Doug Cotton | February 4, 2013 at 8:28 pm | Reply

      “There is little wonder that the “sensitivity” cannot be determined, because carbon dioxide has a net (albeit) minuscule cooling effect. Water vapour has a far great cooling effect, because it reduces the thermal gradient, and so the thermal plot intercepts the surface at a temperature which is about 30% lower than would be the case with a dry atmosphere. ”

      Utter dreck, Cotton. It’s both wetter and warmer during interglacial periods.

      • So what? Glacial cycles are thought to relate to variations in Earth’s eccentricity caused by gravitational force from Jupiter. This affects the mean distance of the Earth from the Sun, and thus the level of insolation received here. The effect of such on climate is obvious. Anything else I can help with from many thousands of hours of studying all this?

      • Without water the temperature of the Earth would be 67°C, the Water Cycle cools the Earth by 52°C.

        Carbon dioxide is fully part of the Water Cycle, all natural rain is carbonic acid.

        The thermal blanket keeping the Earth warm is the whole atmosphere which is mainly the real gases with volume weight and attraction nitrogen and oxygen under gravity, without which temperature would be -18°C.

        There is no AGWScienceFiction’s Greenhouse Effect of “greenhouse gases raising temps 33°C from -18°C to 15°C – if you can’t see that this is an illusion you’re not thinking.

        Because, without the AGWSF’s main greenhouse gas water vapour the temps would be 67°C not -18°C.

        Sensitivity? To an illusion..

        Sheesh.

      • David Springer

        Cotton, I see your knowledge of orbital mechanics is no exception to the general rule of your scientific illiteracy. I’m not sure who you’re referring to when you say it is thought that TSI has anything to do with glacial cycles.

        TSI remains unchanged in glacial cycles. The timing changes such that northern hemisphere recieves more insolation during the winter and less during the summer. Net annual insolation is unchanged. Warmer winters and cooler summers results in more snowfall during the winter and less melt during the summer allowing glaciers to advance. The high albedo of glaciers is a positive feedback that makes summers even cooler. The opposite effect happens in the southern hemisphere but because glaciers need land anchors and the northern hemisphere has twice the land mass as the southern hemisphere the northern hemisphere is the trigger.

        This isn’t rocket science but it IS science. How is it your thousands of hours of study somehow missed it?

      • David Springer

        Myrrh | February 7, 2013 at 6:01 am |

        “Without water the temperature of the Earth would be 67°C, the Water Cycle cools the Earth by 52°C.”

        No, it would be in a permanent deep freeze. The ocean is essentially black soaking up all the energy from the sun. Rocks aren’t as dark so there’d be less surface heating. The atmosphere sans water vapor would add nothing substantial in the way of greenhouse warming.

        The black of the ocean is countered by clouds forming until a balance is reached where if there are fewer clouds sunlight gets through to warm the water causing cloud formation to pick up then the increase in clouds blocks sunlight from reaching the ocean and it cools down. In effect a water world is thermostatically controlled by clouds. This is how the earth remained within a narrow temperature range suitable for life for billions of years despite a large range of major perterbations (e.g. super volcanoes, asteroid strikes, solar storms, super novae in the neighborhood) and a star that’s become 10% brighter during that time.

        The only monkey wrench is when some perterbation gives snow/ice the upper hand, slowing the water cycle dramatically, which can cause long-lived snowball epsisodes which only end after millions of years of volcanoes belching snow-darkening soot and insulating CO2 gas to tip the scale back towards domination by liquid water instead of frozen water.

        The whole enchilada revolves about the solid/liquid phase transition temperature of H2O. Solar power is not so great that it always remains unfrozen and not so little that it always remains frozen. Each state is a so-called great attractor where pseudo-stability can be found. The most recent 4 million years have been battle for dominance between the two. The arrangment of the continents has enough influence on ocean currents to allow or disallow enough heat from tropics to reach the poles to either melt or allow icecaps. No icecaps is the most stable state and accounts for about 90% of the earth’s history after the crust cooled and ocean formed.

      • David Springer

        Without water the earth would be like the moon with an average temperature near -23C (the measured unchanging temperature of lunar regolith 50 or more centimeters deep) and diurnal temperature change near 100C at the equator. Both are composed of the same minerals, after all, so would have substantially similar albedo and thermal characteristics if not for water. The earth’s wispy atmosphere would have little influence without water vapor in it. The faster rotation rate of the earth would moderate the more extreme (300C) diurnal temperature swings found on the lunar equator.

        The moon is a handy reference for what the earth would be like without a global ocean.

      • David Springer | February 7, 2013 at 9:27 am |
        Myrrh | February 7, 2013 at 6:01 am |

        “Without water the temperature of the Earth would be 67°C, the Water Cycle cools the Earth by 52°C.”

        No, it would be in a permanent deep freeze. The ocean is essentially black soaking up all the energy from the sun. Rocks aren’t as dark so there’d be less surface heating. The atmosphere sans water vapor would add nothing substantial in the way of greenhouse warming.

        The deserts are in permanent deep freeze?

        The minus 18°C figure AGWScienceFiction uses claiming the Earth would be this temperature without their “greenhouse gases”, mainly water and carbon dioxide, is the figure without the whole atmosphere – not without “AGWSF ir imbibing greenhouse gases”, but also without the real physics greenhouse gases of nitrogen and oxygen.

        Traditionally the whole atmosphere was likened to a greenhouse around the Earth, and likenened to a thermal blanket around the Earth – AGWSF has misappropriated these figures to create the fiction of “33°C warming by their definition of greenhouse gases”.

        I’m trying to point out what the sleight of hands are in this confidence trick the AGW Greenhouse Effect.

        There really isn’t any point in you continuing to give me arguments from the fictional fisics they’ve created when I’m trying to show you how and why they are fictional, at least make some effort to follow what I’m trying to tell you..

        AGWScienceFiction has given different meaning to “greenhouse” and “greenhouse gases” and “blanket” and so on, I am giving you what traditional physics teaches so you can see how they’ve manipulated this to create their fictional AGWSF Greenhouse Effect.

        From traditional science – without our heavy fluid real gas ocean under gravity which is around 98% nitrogen and oxygen, the temp would be -18°C. Go and compare this with the Moon.

        This is where the term “blanket” comes from, from traditional physics and it refers to the whole of the Earth’s atmosphere trapping heat/delaying the escape of heat from the Sun heated Earth. The Sun’s direct heat, longwave infrared aka thermal infrared, heats the land and water.

        Compare with the Moon:

        Temperatures on the moon are very hot in the daytime, about 100 degrees C. At night, the lunar surface gets very cold, as cold as minus 173 degrees C.

        This wide variation is because Earth’s moon has no atmosphere to hold in heat at night or prevent the surface from getting so hot during the day.

        http://www.space.com/14725-moon-temperature-lunar-days-night.html

        My bold. All the gases comprising our atmosphere are the real traditional greenhouse gases and real traditional blanket:

        SECURITY BLANKET

        The atmosphere also keeps us warm. It holds the surface heat on the earth and prevents it from radiating out into space. We call this the greenhouse effect. In a greenhouse people grow plants under the protection of glass or plastic which lets the light come through for the plants to grow, while protecting the plants from cold. In this way people are able to grow plants even in cold weather because the plants stay warm inside the greenhouse. That’s the way the atmosphere protects us. Without the greenhouse effect of the atmosphere holding in the heat, the Earth would be a very cold place. That same greenhouse effect also reduces the extreme temperatures between day and night. On the moon, where there is no atmosphere, the daytime temperature can be extremely hot and the nighttime temperature extremely cold. Without the blanket of the atmosphere we might freeze or fry.

        http://www.scienceterrific.com/atmosphere_function.php

        So, in traditional physics, in the real world, what does a greenhouse do? It both heats and cools to give optimum growing conditions, hence our Earth’s atmosphere was likened to it.

        The traditional Blanket of the whole atmosphere which is mainly the real gases nitrogen and oxygen under gravity keeping the real greenhouse warm, so what cools it?

        Two things. Firstly convection of the real gas Air which when heated becomes lighter than air and rises taking away heat from the surface and as it rises heavier colder air above flows beneath to take its place; these are called winds, volumes of air on the move. This is our basic wind system from the equator to the poles, hot air rises at the equator and flows to the poles and the cold air at the poles sinks beneath, flowing back to the equator. Add Earth’s spin. (As above, so below – the ocean also gets heated at the equator and flows toward the poles, add Earth’s spin and land masses.

        Magicians’ tricks are subtle if they’re any good.., and this fiction of the Greenhouse Effect is good, very clever tweaking of real physics by swapping properties around, playing with meanings, taking out whole processes and so on, if you don’t know real world physics basics and never hear the traditional physics explanations then their fictions sound quite plausible. Of course, applied scientists can spot the errors in their own fields, that there’s no gravity, etc., but might still take on trust something from a field they’re not familiar with. When you do know the real physics basics and can see how AGWSF has manipulated these you can see how utterly absurd their claims, but quite frankly, appalled as I am by their introduction into the education system, they are also very amusing because they’ve created a completely impossible world.

        Anyway, the AGWSF Greenhouse Effect is a fiction as I’ve explained, which is why no empirical proof is ever fetched, because it doesn’t exist to be fetched, it’s an illusion.

  24. David Springer, sure did. In detail. Both books show CO2 follows temp as a result of Henry’s law. That does not mean anthropogenic CO2 has no effect, because it was proven a greenhouse gas back in 1859. These are not all or nothing hypotheses. They are rates of change first differential hypotheses, or even second derivative rate of rate of change (acceleration, to alarmist) arguments. And all uncertain.
    I find it useful given uncertainty to step back and look at the big picture, which is usually less uncertain than any details. When you do that, climate change becomes trivial compared to other issues that almost no one wants to confront because so profoundly disturbing. Certainly not the UN, or developing nations. Gaia absolutely does not care about our feelings on these matters. Just is.
    Regards

    • Yes, yes, some “greenhouse effect” was claimed to have been “proven .. back in 1859 ” – but then the greenhouse effect conjecture was itself disproved back in 2003 such as in a peer-reviewed journal paper like Dr Hans Jelbring’s http://ruby.fgcu.edu/courses/twimberley/EnviroPhilo/FunctionOfMass.pdf

      Unfortunately back in 1859 physicists did not understand the ramifications of the maximum entropy thermodynamic equilibrium required by the Second Law of Thermodynamics. This was because they only had the, now outdated, Clausius statement which physicists now realise is only strictly correct for heat transfers in a horizontal plane, not for conduction, diffusion and convection in a vertical plane when subjected to the force of gravity.

      It makes a big difference, because now we don’t need to invent any multiplication of energy by back radiation to explain that extra 33 degrees. In fact, gravity explains about 50 degrees, and then intra-atmospheric radiation by water vapour reduces the thermal gradient (AKA “wet adiabatic lapse rate”) so that the surface temperature for radiative equilibrium is lowered back to just that extra 33 degrees as is observed. Carbon dioxide may lower it another 0.1 degree, but we won’t worry too much..

      • David Springer

        Unfortunately Doug this physical theory of yours does not allow for exceptions and Saturn’s moon Titan is an exception. Nice try but no cigar.

      • You’d have to do better than that, David Springer. Moons are also affected by the gravity of the planet they are orbiting. Let’ see your argument that proves the Second Law of Thermodynamics to be wrong. Let’s see your personal explanation as to how the required energy gets into the surface of Venus. Let’s see your explanation as to how the Earth’s core gets just the right amount of energy to maintain its temperature and balance energy loss, such as through volcanoes and conduction processes. Let’s see you prove my physics wrong in any way. Go and read how others agree with me on the current Roy Spencer thread. Go and read Hans Jelbring’s peer-reviewed journal article.

        http://ruby.fgcu.edu/courses/twimberley/EnviroPhilo/FunctionOfMass.pdf

    • David Springer

      Rud, the so-called greenhouse effect works in a controlled environment such as a CO2 sensor i.e. literally in vitro. Nothing has been demonstrated in vivo and the correlative evidence is looking pretty damn shaky what with CO2 increasing some 20% since 1998 and no rise in GAT in response to it.

      • You are assuming that the increase is C02 was the only change. While C02 forcing has gone up by a couple 1/10ths of a watt, youd have to show that other forcings net to zero.

      • Also, one would have to assume that all of the effective delta GAT up to 1998 had already occurred (ie equilibrium). Since we know that CO2 forcing is like compound interest and that the climate feedbacks become more positive with time, it seems quite puzzling that GAT has stopped it’s ascent.

        Throw in carbon black and ozone with associated feedback mechanisms and the uncertainty monster can swallow up CO2 into the noise.

        …or do you believe Taminino’s ENSO regulator?

      • And the effect of gravity as it produces a thermal gradient has been established with the Second Law of Thermodynamics, as well as over 800 experiments since the year 2002. All this is in my paper on Planetary Surface Temperatures on the Principia Scientific International website. Before you think you have any more objections, go and read the paper because, chances are, I’ve already answered them. Meanwhile I’ll await your proof that an isothermal gas in a gravitational field would represent a state of thermodynamic equilibrium, as required by the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

  25. Interestingly, one of them stated quite openly in a meeting I attended a few years ago that he deliberately lied in these sort of elicitation exercises (i.e. exaggerating the probability of high sensitivity) in order to help motivate political action. Of course, there may be others who lie in the other direction, which is why it seems bizarre that the IPCC appeared to rely so heavily on this paper to justify their choice, rather than relying on published quantitative analyses of observational data. Since the IPCC can no longer defend their old analyses in any meaningful manner, it seems they have to resort to an unsupported “this is what we think, because we asked our pals”.

    We skeptics have won the climate war.

    An insider is fighting for us.

    Now it is acknowledged by an insider: ‘IPCC can no longer defend their old analyses in any meaningful manner, it seems they have to resort to an unsupported “this is what we think, because we asked our pals”’

    Science will get back its integrity, purity and truthfulness.

    Congratulation skeptics: http://page.crystalcomments.com/6/26772.gif

    • Jumping to conclusions again Girma? The sensitivity battle may have been won for the moment (but only to the extent that neither side of the debate can put a handle on this issue) but the war rages on.

      • The war will “rage on” as long as the perceived vested interests of egotistical individuals over-ride their commitment to honesty, integrity and the common good. Maintain your supply lines.

  26. +1 Chief Hydrologist (9.01 pm) ter economic growth, (crop growth
    through conservation farming practices,) and societal resiliance,
    grow – baby – grow.
    Beth, friend of the forest.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Way back in my environmental science school – I would describe my religion as Sylvan Fundamentalist. We dance naked in the woodland in the Spring equinox. Now I am just hoping I don’t meet Dave Springer.

      • David Springer

        It was just an expression on my part and I didn’t think anyone in their right mind would actually do such a thing. That you actually did it doesn’t dispute my belief, if you get my drift, and I think you do.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Well big dave – really – which part of slyvan fundamentalist did you take seriously? I realise that you crack youself up – but that never translates into actual mirth for anyone else. For humour that is not just cackling to yourself in the corner like some mad crone you need to have human qualities that you sadly lack – so sad too bad.

      • I’ve got mad crone cackling all over him, and look, there’s a plum in my porridge.
        ===============

      • Chief, “We dance naked in the woodland in the Spring equinox.”

        Tequila?

      • David Springer

        “Well big dave – really – which part of slyvan fundamentalist did you take seriously?”

        Coming from a delicate flower such as yourself… pretty much all of it.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        These days my local is the Grand Western. It is one of 2 places in the world where a man can swear, drink, spit and ride bulls at the same time. The other one is in Texas. So springer – behind the bull ring any time and I will show you who’s a pansy. Texas death match rules.

        Back then – if I could get a girl to dance naked anywhere – it was a good day.

      • A greater chance of an interaction with Jerry Springer I’d say.

  27. Or meet any leprechauns. … Be careful of yer toe)

  28. Peter Davies, yer have to make a different award … I have the franchise fer plus ones. I’m sorry )

  29. Dr. Curry, with respect, as a GT alumnus I find your comment;

    “Oversimplification and overconfidence on this topic (i.e. climate sensitivity) have acted to the detriment of climate science.”

    Quite a bit refreshing. Having received a fine engineering education at GT (and elsewhere back in the 70/80’s) I was long ago humbled when my predictions of how my engineering creation would respond collided with reality.

    Frankly, the whole field of climate science has had billions of dollars and decades to make its case. The engineering community put people on the moon and brought them back with far less time and money.

    The case for “radiative forcing” is still missing……… And likely always will be.

    I do like it when GT folks try to raise the bar. Take a long step back from climate science for a while and take a good hard look at the correlation between the theory and the real empirical results. You might benefit from a more distant perspective, (look at the forest, not the fleas on the pine needles).

    Cheers, Kevin.

    • Judith is a credit to Climate Science and I appreciate your humility KevinK because that’s where the best science is practiced.

      BTW lets be sure that “humility” is by no means to be interpreted as “humble” because high self esteem is the precursor to great performance and high ideals.

    • David Springer

      KevinK | February 4, 2013 at 10:32 pm | Reply

      “The engineering community put people on the moon and brought them back with far less time and money.”

      Damn skippy!

      +1

    • Kevin,

      As the brother and uncle of 2+ GT grads (one niece graduates this coming spring), I have great respect for the institution. And I particularly liked your comment re what engineers and scientists accomplished with the space program. We just don’t get the same for our tax dollars these days.

  30. My empirical analysis of the HADCRUT3 data from 1870 to 2011 gave me a climate sensitivity estimate of 1.55 deg C for doubling of CO2 from 280 to 560 ppm.

    Folks, what is your estimate for this data?

    • sorry, you have to calculate NET forcings first.
      Then you calculate the sensitivity.
      Then you can calculate the sensitivity to doubling C02 in isolation.
      By just doing it directly you are assuming that all other forcings net to zero.
      That’s, well, wrong.

      • Mosher

        You write that “By just doing it directly you are assuming that all other forcings net to zero. That’s, well, wrong.”

        In fact you do not know the net impact of the other forcings so you do not know that it is not zero so you do not know it is wrong.

        It also does not seem wrong to summarize the forcing in the actual system based upon observations. I agree that it is probably not completely accurate, but you can’t state that definitely can you?

      • Oh, please, he states everything definitely. It’s what he knows that is so.
        ==================

      • Correction: he’s capable of waffling on attribution. I’m grateful.
        ===============

  31. Einstein said it best: ” If you cannot explain what you are doing to a 12-year-old, you do not know what you are doing.” He actually said a 12-year-old girl, but my genius sisters would not let me get away with this.

    Good science is understandable, bad science causes good minds to say, “Hmmmm, did not follow that.” Anyone not following the AGW theory other than me???”

    • I have no trouble following AGW theory even though I do not accept it. There are numerous publications explaining it to 12 year olds. What part do you not understand?

      But Einstein also said “If we knew what we were doing it would not be research.” The problem is that AGW research assumes and defends AGW rather than testing it.

  32. “By failing to meet this problem head-on, the IPCC authors now find themselves in a bit of a pickle. I expect them to brazen it out, on the grounds that they are the experts and are quite capable of squaring the circle before breakfast if need be. But in doing so, they risk being seen as not so much summarising scientific progress, but obstructing it.”

    When are the IPCC sdientists going to admit that they got it wrong? Or perhaps the politicians or economists that drove them into accepting an impossible task should publically apologise. Scientists should never let their agenda be set by such people

  33. Girma,

    That is the spirit!!! Natural variability would put error bars on that, could you finish the calculation, Student’s T-Test would be fine???

    You rock…

  34. Rud Istvan,

    Abrupt climate change has happened many times in the long ice core records. +- 5 C in ten years, more than once or twice. We never hear about this at Real Climate or Skeptical Science because they have no clue how it could have happened. I am sure, though, that YOU could explain it to us………….

    Kevin K., you rock too…

  35. Peter Davies,

    What is your deal? How do you feel about the Scientific Method? Is it important to you???

    • Welcome to the blog MM. If you are interested you can look through the Denizens’s page to find a little bit more information about some of us here, me included.

      To respond to your question – my approach to solving problems is firstly to make sure that there is indeed a problem to solve. In this respect Scientific Method (capitalised as you have) probably works well in testing hypothesis but does little to come up with the ideals and ideas which have any real impact on any field of endeavour.

      I prefer intuitive and lateral thought as an originator of solutions rather than the basic rationality of thought that underpins scientific method as I understand it. Rational thought is perceived by me to be only linear in its logical basis.

      This is off topic and if you like you (or anyone else, for that matter) may email me directly if there is anything else that you would like to discuss.

  36. It looks rather like the IPCC authors have invented this meme as some sort of talismanic mantra to defend themselves against having to actually deal with the recent literature.

    If this is true then it proves that science is self-correcting. Excellent news.

  37. The only consensus we can expect from the Al (Jazeera) Gore-StoatCRUs of the world is their opinions about scientific skeptics–e.g.,

    “…the beaten, disgraced, and perjured … [Skeptic]! the faithless, perjured, craft-loving … [Skeptic]!… –a blustering Charlatan! — such a Fellow! –a Scoundrel, with a degraded character! an Impostor! a despicable Imposter! a notorious Impostor! an hypocritical Impostor! a Wretch! a desparate Wretch! such a Wretch! a Robber! a mere Brigand! an atrocious Brigand! –a savage Adversary! –a Remorseless Ruffian! –a Criminal! such a Criminal! so infamous a Criminal! –that Traitor! that…[Skeptic]… Villain! a Fool! an imperial Robber! an infamous, bloody, execrable, audacious, atrocious, ferocious…” (Editor, ‘Cursing made Easy,’ The Times, 1815))

    • I doubt if that would pass Australia’s proposed “no-offence” anti-free speech laws, even with the (200-year-old) imprimature of The Times.

      • Stoat can still say skeptics “jumped the shark” in Australia but will the liberal fascistas continue to allow the Beatles to say “Mother Superior jumped the gun,” and, “bang, bang, shoot shoot?”

      • Well, some of them have the appalling “Imagine” as their anthem, they might be conflicted with knocking Beatles’ lyrics.

      • The carbon-hating Left gives Britania with its comparatively benign form of totalitarianism a bad rap compared to the Left’s Marxist ideal that has led many millions to poverty, despair and death. If not for the British breaking a secret China held for 5,000 years where would India be today? The Left should swoon apoplectic nirvana at the thought of 10 million people employed in India’s tea industry, many of whom still pick the leaves by hand on steep slopes where no machinery can operate.

      • Bang bang, shoot shoot foot,
        Mother Alarum pumped gun.
        Darjeeling tea leaves.
        =============

  38. Sensitivity to so-called GHGs? There is NONE that could ever be demonstrated. Just ask the 31,000+ signers of the Petition Project – degreed and practicing scientists all. How many more scientists is that who dismiss and reject the AGW bogeyman, versus those corrupt-politicians-no longer-scientists who believe in it (or say they do, to get gobs of taxpayer-funded research money)? A pretty large multiple thereof, methinks.

    And Mr. Faustino – since any criticism of official behavior or actions will inevitably be considered to be “offence” speech, how long before tyranny firmly descends upon Australia? Not long, methinks. But I’d have to ask, isn’t it also an “offence” to call honest scientists liars?

    And here in the US more and more of the CAGW scaremongers are calling for denying their arguments to be made a criminal offense (the American spelling of “offence”).

    The Petition Project website can be accessed easily through Google.

  39. We mislead policy makers with our oversimplifications and overconfidence.

    Thanks JC.

    To stop sea level rise a fools errand.

  40. I’m awarding you +! fer adaptability, Peter Davies Well done!
    BC

  41. “What is obvious is that including the data of the past few years pushes the estimates of climate sensitivity downward, because there was little warming over the past decade despite a larger greenhouse gas forcing.”

    What is obvious is that the consensus science is a fine example of ‘cargo cult’ science. I said years ago, I can’t wait for the estimates of climate sensitivity when it starts cooling.

  42. +1 fer u also Senor Faustino fer showing musical discrimination.
    ‘Imagine’ by The Beatles is a terrible song (. Yesterday was so
    much better.
    BC 2013 Franchise fr Plus Ones. Email in Working Hours Only.

    • Hi Beth,
      I see your knowledge of the Beatles is equivalent to your knowledge of climate science.
      “Imagine” is not a Beatles song.

      • OK, a Beatle song.

        What’s an s among friends?

      • Imagine is a John Lennon song recorded after the Beatles broke up.

      • ‘Imagine’ is a John Lennon song, John Lennon is(was) a Beatle, therefore ‘Imagine’ is a Beatle’s song. Beth only missed the apostrophe, not surplussed an ‘s’.
        ==========

      • I personally thought Paul did better with wings although I found Ringo’s no no song amusing.

      • tim –

        OK, a Beatle song.
        What’s an s among friends?

        You too? Say it ain’t so!

      • Joshua, I think people are only treating this discussion with the levity it deserves.

      • steven –

        Levity? You think an issue of such importance should be treated with “levity?” What’s next – diminishing the importance of Al Gore’s income? Is there no limit to what you will look past?

      • I can’t get no chakra release.
        ================

      • I suppose if you think Al is important and are disappointed or delighted by his duplicity perhaps his income may matter to you. I don’t think he’s important so it pretty much falls into the beatles or ex beatle category for me in importance level.

      • David Springer

        Actually Imagine is a Yoko Ono song and she might sue your ass if you use any part of it without permission. And you wouldn’t be the first she sued over that either.

    • ‘Imagine’ is a John Lennon song, John Lennon is(was) a Beatle, therefore Beth only missed the apostrophe, not surplussed an ‘s’.<

      Wow – and you’ve deigned to lecture me on interpreting syntax and grammar:

      Let’s look again at what Beth wrote, shall we?

      ‘Imagine’ by The Beatles is a terrible song ‘Imagine’ by The Beatles is a terrible song

      Notice how you changed “the” to “a?” It’s always the cover-up that’s more revealing, kim. Beth made an error. You changed facts as a defense – apparently projecting gullibility onto others? Errors are perfectly acceptable and not an indication of character. I’ll let you fill in the rest.

      • Heh, I’ll define John Lennon as ‘The Beatle’ and my analysis stands. Say, I could write climate models.
        ============

      • Josh,

        Impressive how you demonstrate your capability to push hair splitting on non-relevant topics to new boundries.

  43. Nuthin’ gits passed u does it PD? )

  44. Is there any experimental evidence of any net ~15 micron CO2 band IR emitted from the Earth’s surface?

  45. Still overstated by a factor of 10 — or at least 7, if you wish to be technical.

  46. Chief Hydrologist

    This is a multiple choice – and right answers will get a +1 from Beth.

    Let’s say CO2 doubles: How will “climate” change?

    1. Climate is in stable equilibrium (fixed point); if so, mean temperature will just shift gradually to its new equilibrium value.

    2. Climate is purely periodic; if so, mean temperature will (maybe) shift gradually to its new equilibrium value. But how will the period, amplitude
    and phase of the limit cycle change?

    3. And how about some “real stuff” now: chaotic + random?

    http://casts.ntu.edu.tw/Talks_detail.php?talkID=2293&i=3

    • 3. ?
      Beth, now do I get a +1?

    • Chief, you write “Let’s say CO2 doubles: How will “climate” change? ”

      You dont need three questions. The answer is simple. Any change that doubling CO2 makes to climate will be so small that it can NEVER be measured.

      • Maybe I should have added that if Anastassia is correct, doubling CO2 could cause so much growth in our forests that this could have a major impact on climate.

      • As I recall some partially credentialed physicist, hardly a climate specialist, once spoke of such trees.

        No moss grows on a rolling ent, or maybe there’s some on the north.
        ===============

      • David Springer

        Jim Cripwell | February 5, 2013 at 9:21 am |

        “Maybe I should have added that if Anastassia is correct, doubling CO2 could cause so much growth in our forests that this could have a major impact on climate.”

        That’s got a good foundation in biology to be certain for at least some effect along those lines. Terrestrial life evolved around an ocean that outgasses CO2 as it warms and takes it up as it cools. For most of the earth’s history past the Cambrian explosion 500mya when life began to take up residence on land there have been no ice caps at all and far higher CO2 levels. The current cold, CO2-starved era began only 4 million years ago which is an eyeblink in evolutionary time at even the genus level. There hasn’t been a new family of life in 10 million years.

        Therefore evolution best adapted life to the environment which persisted for the longest span of time. Following from that we find plants almost universally respond favorably to higher levels of CO2. Adaptation at the family level is very fast to conditions that have been experienced in the past. There’s a genetic memory of how to best cope in different conditions. Species are the result which are tweaked for shorter, more recent evironmental conditions. Sub-species are tweaked for even shorter periods of time. Plasticity is reduced with the tweakings with the result that sub-species and species come and go frequently. Families tend to persist for tens of millions of years and by the time you get to Phyla most of the present phyla have been around since the Cambrian explosion. Bacteria and Archaea may very well predate our solar system and are generally considered to go back at least 2.5 – 3.5 billion years on the earth. 3.5 billion years is barely time enough to form a thin crust over the molten rock. Maybe cool enough for liquid water but there are Archaea that don’t mind boiling hot water and no sunlight.

        But I digress. The point is that in the story of life when more resources become available, in this case warm temperature and higher CO2, life will jump in to take maximum advantage of it and do it quickly. Crap starts growing on lava within decades. If an old growth forest burns down plants pre-adapted to the new conditions spring up before the ashes are cold.

      • David Springer @ 11.01, this is the kind of time-scale and perspective people need to take in assessing short-term changes, but almost always ignore. Life is tenacious, its form ever-changing.

      • I agree with you David. The timescale of Earth’s climate trajectory is extremely long.

    • Chief I have 3 questions for you.
      1. What is man’s contribution to current Atmospheric CO2 (percentage)?
      2. What would it be if we could increase it 10 fold?
      3, What other way can the CO2 level be “doubled”?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        There is no simple answer – what is known in that anthropogenic carbon flux to the atmosphere is about 4% of natural flux. Economic growth could see that grow to 8%, 16%, 32%,…, as economies grow this century. It is now part of the fast cycle of carbon in the environment and increasing. A priori – unless the outcome is known with certainty it seems imprudent to emit exponentially increasing amounts of carbon. Certainty – one way or the other – only arises from arguments founded on ignorance.

        http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/CarbonCycle/

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Plants have many requirements for growth – CO2 is one of the easiest for plants to obtain. The number and size of stomota vary with CO2 – trading off carbon uptake against water loss. Water is the critial limit in land plants at most locations. This is a quaint little site called plant fossils of west virginia – but the information is standard. . – http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/stomata.html

      It is quite certain that warmth and wet go together – so the plant fecundity in warm times has something to do with warmth and wet but perhaps less to do with carbon being a limiting nutrient. Although there is never one inclusive explanation – rather a host of interacting factors.

      ‘Technically, an abrupt climate change occurs when the climate system is forced across some threshold, triggering a persistent transition to a new state at a rate determined by the climate system itself and faster than the cause (Abrupt Climate Change: Inevitable Surprises, National Research Council, 2002).’

      3 is the right answer of course – but the problem of abrupt shifts in climate is not simple and predictable. There are hints of mechanisms primarily involving thermohaline circulation – and ice and snow feedbacks.

      CO2 might be one of these ’causes’ that lead to rapid and nonlinear shifts in climate.

      http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2004/05mar_arctic/

    • The third graph in Ghil 2012,is that in random dynamical systems,the oscillations produce multiple equilibria even of opposite signs,which increases the range of uncertainty.

  47. I don’t like the idea of climate sensitivity whatever its value. It seems to me to be a coarse measure that says nothing about the effect on different parts of the world and on real people’s lives. Some parts of the world are warming, others are cooling. So if average temperatures go up 2 degrees, what does that actually mean for me in the UK? Will it be warmer or cooler? Will my sheep be ok? Simplistic maybe, but that’s the reality of this arcane argument for the majority of ordinary people like me. Back to occasional lurking!

    • RobB

      So if average temperatures go up 2 degrees, what does that actually mean for me in the UK? Will it be warmer or cooler? Will my sheep be ok?

      Hard questions! Marek Kohn wrote an accessible and non-alarmist book about this, which I recommend if you haven’t already read it.

      • “Hard questions!”

        BBD,

        There are no hard questions when you can always pretend to know the answers.

        Andrew

      • You are trolling, as always. Why not contribute usefully or remain silent?

      • “Why not contribute usefully or remain silent?”

        BBD, a smarter question would be ” Why not contribute usefully and remain silent?” ;)

        But you aren’t the brightest bulb in the display now, are you.

        Andrew

      • You are still trolling.

      • “You are still trolling.”

        I disagree. I’m commenting my opinion. In fact, my first comment goes right to the heart of the matter.

        Andrew

      • Your first question is essentially a denial of scientific knowledge. As such it only illustrates the nature of your bias. This is unlikely to be of interest to RobB, who is more reasonably concerned about the welfare of his sheep.

      • “Your first question is essentially a denial of scientific knowledge.”

        No, my first question is an obvious reference to the behaviors of you and other Warmers. You have absolutely no knowledge of what is going to happen to RobB’s sheep. But you pretend like you do.

        Andrew

      • BBD –

        In reference to Kohn’s book, I would note that the Amazon description reads, in part:

        “Our parks will be arid brown fields; private automobile use unheard of; water will be severely rationed; significant stretches of our beloved coastline will have been sacrificed to the sea. Some of our flora and fauna will have vanished; exotic animals and pests will flourish. Vast numbers of marginalised human migrants will be here. Surveillance and restriction of our movements will be taken for granted. Walking in what is left of ‘nature’ will be nearly impossible. Terrible summer fires in our upland areas will be commonplace.”

        How do you this consider this ‘non-alarmist’?

      • Hier. B. too young.
        ==============

      • kch

        Ah, the joys of selective quotation. You missed out the first sentence:

        These islands will, compared with the parched Mediterranean lands, let alone a devastated Africa, be fairly benign places to live.

        That said, the blurb is sensationalist compared to the book itself.

      • BBD cries ‘Wolf’. The beast turns out to be the neighbor’s shepherd.
        =============

      • Andrew

        No, my first question is an obvious reference to the behaviors of you and other Warmers. You have absolutely no knowledge of what is going to happen to RobB’s sheep. But you pretend like you do.

        We know well enough that GHG forcing will warm the climate. So we have a good outline idea of what is likely to happen.

        You believe with certainty that nothing will happen, which is why you describe everybody else as ‘warmers’. You are rejecting scientific knowledge and setting up your own, utterly baseless opinion as certain.

        Hopefully you can see the profound illogicality in that.

      • No kim, BBD cries “troll”.

        You must be the author of about 40% of comments on this thread, all of which are insubstantial and short. It’s a miracle you aren’t in moderation yet.

      • BBD –

        Didn’t miss the first sentence at all – I just didn’t feel the need to quote the whole review.

        That being said, the addition of that first sentence strenghtens my question: if what I quoted is a description of ‘fairly benign’, just exactly what would you consider ‘non-alarmist’?

        I’ll take your word on the blurb as sensationalist, but if so, the author might think to get it toned down, if only to improve sales. The blurb screams ‘alarmist millenarian rant’ at me, and if I want to read apocalyptic fantasy I’ve already got a reasonable collection of science fiction…

      • kch

        If you were actually interested in talking about the book, you could also google for reviews. Then you could get it out of the library and read it yourself.

        Bye now.

      • Riverworld’s perty kewl.
        =================

      • I’m fond a’ the barbed barrels.
        =================

      • BBD, astonishing that you would think that such a book is helpful here. Isn’t it much more likely that a couple of degrees warming will not make all that much difference? Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

        To me, this is just another example of how people overplay their cards on this subject, and lose their audience. Most of us are going to disregard any such claim. We aren’t even going to read the book, sorry. It just sounds absurd.

      • My blogrosaryroll regularly remembers Saint J.
        ==============

      • BBD –

        You’re missing the point. I’m not necessarily interested in talking about – or reading – the book, I’m interested in why *you* think it is ‘non-alarmist’, given the description at the site *you* sent RobB to.

        The Guardian review you refer to merely reinforces my quick impression that the book is distinctly alarmist. Why do you harbour such a different view of the book? That’s the point I’m interested in.

        If you actually want someone to read a book, you might try honestly answering honest questions. Otherwise, your behaviour looks very…well, almost trollish.

      • kch; miker613

        You might need to refresh you memories about the difference between global average temperature and land surface temperature.

        What are the projections for the NH land surface temperature increase concomitant with an increase in GAT of >2C?

        kch

        What you think about this book is irrelevant since you haven’t actually read it and I have. This strand of the discussion goes no further until you crack the covers.

      • Quiz in the AM. Childhood’s End.
        ============

      • BBD –

        I am not saying, and have not said, that Kohn’s book is irrelevant. For all I know, it could very well be the great answer to life, the universe and everything…perfect and complete in all its prognostications.

        What I have said is that it has the appearance of an alarmist screed, however charmingly well written. [As such, I have no more interest in reading it than I would have in reading The Watchtower. Your misdirections have only strengthened that resolve.]

        What you have failed to answer (three times) is this: why did *you* characterize it as ‘non-alarmist’, and just exactly what would you call ‘alarmist’? I suspect you have given no answer because there is no answer – you know you overstated and dislike being caught at it.

        I think miker613 is correct – you overplayed your cards, and in refusing to backtrack on (or even defend) what appears to be an obvious overstatement you’ve lost any credibility with this part of the audience.

      • Kim –

        Fond of the classics, I see. Great reads, but I find Vinge or Stephenson more thought-provoking.

      • Heh, I struggled through ‘The Big U’, and couldn’t face any more of him, despite much recommendation.
        =============

      • What I have said is that it has the appearance of an alarmist screed

        Oh dear. The message isn’t getting through, is it?

        Let’s try one last time. First read the book, then you can talk about what it is or is not, in your view. You are insistently claiming that the book is this or that, but at the moment, unless you are prepared to accept *my* description, you are a bit stuck.

      • How to win friends and influence people to read books.
        ==============

      • BBD-

        Hmmm…I can’t really tell if you are being deliberately obtuse or just lack reading comprehension. Honest broker seems right out.

        Only you have claimed anything about Kohn’s book, and you have stated that it is of a ‘non-alarmist’ nature. I have only referred to the descriptions you referenced, and have stated that they make the book seem alarmist indeed.

        I have also only asked that you explain why you find the book ‘non-alarmist’, as well as to indicate just what you would find alarmist. All I wanted was for you to expand on, and possibly justify, your one-word description. You seem unwilling or unable to do so.

        It’s really too bad. I thought I was asking a question, but it turns out I was feeding a troll…

      • Kim-
        ‘The Big U’ is the one of his I haven’t read, and as the author himself says it was a first novel written in a hurry I probably won’t bother. ‘The Diamond Age’ or ‘Anathem’ are worth a try, though.

        And yeah, BBD is doing a good job of making me run screaming (perhaps unfairly) from Kohn’s book. Not to mention anything else he might recommend…

      • kch

        How can I be the troll here? I attempted to answer another commenter’s question by suggesting a relevant book. All you are doing is claiming this book – which you have not actually read – is an alarmist screed, a work of SF etc.

        RobB shouldn’t have any trouble working out who is acting in bad faith.

      • BBD-

        Perhaps troll is the wrong word. How about alarmist shill?

        All snark aside, this is getting nowhere. I can’t seem to find a way of getting you to defend your description; and there is no way you will convince me of anything as long as you continue misrepresenting, misdirecting and avoiding the question.

        Before I go, though, I would like to recommend you read anything by Ayn Rand. She’s really very accessible and non-right wing. (Just don’t ask me to defend those descriptions.)

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Damn yes – according to the classics the answer is 42. Now we just have to build a bigger and better computer to find out what the question is.

        ‘Marek Kohn is a British science writer on evolution, biology and society. His first two books were on drugs, their cultural history, and their politics. He is the author of seven books and hundreds of articles.[1] He holds an undergraduate degree in neurobiology from the University of Sussex, and a PhD from the University of Brighton. Kohn has been an academic fellow at both institutions, and his writing has appeared in New Statesman, The Independent, New Scientist, and Prospect.’

        Neurobiology? This might work as long as he remembers to program in the 4th law of robotics – for God’s sake do not protect us from ourselves.

      • When the phytoplankton left they thanked the sun for all the UV, and man for all the carbon dioxide.
        =================

      • kch

        Still you don’t get it. As I’ve explained several times now, I’m not going to discuss a book with you that you haven’t read.We cannot do this and there’s no point in trying. RobB will either follow the suggestion up or not – despite your strenuous (and transparent) efforts to dissuade him with your mischaracterisations of a book that you haven’t read or even heard of until now.

        What fascinates me about these exchanges is how much energy (and how little honesty) ‘sceptic’ commenters will put into attacking anything that they perceive as a threat. All this effort trying to sabotage a casual recommendation of a book… dearie me.

      • All this effort. Man, oh man, BBD, you’re a tough audience all by yourself.
        =========

      • But kim, do not sell yourself short. I am *humbled* before your mighty productivity. What are we up to now? 50% of the thread? And still not a scintilla of actual content. That takes a certain talent all by itself, no?

      • Per asperum ad
        Scintillate and titillate.
        Rate me a titter?
        ============

      • BBD-

        Is it psychological failing, overwhelming obtuseness or deliberate tactic that leads you to misrepresent everything I’ve said?

        Let’s be clear.

        I’ve never asked you to discuss the book with me. Let me repeat that: I did not, and will never ask you to discuss the book.

        My only strenuous attempt has been to get you to explain the discrepancy between your description of the book and the descriptions found at the websites you directed RobB and myself to. This you seem unwilling or incapable of doing.

        Also, I’m not attacking the book, as I really don’t perceive it as a threat. From the description it comes across as rank alarmism and no more worth spending my time and money on than, say, anything from the dragonslayers.

        I have tried to give you a chance to offer cogent reasons to read the book, but instead you’ve decided to tell me lots about yourself and nothing about the book. Too bad. I hope you don’t work in publicity, because I think you’d suck at it.

        And really, it was no effort – I think you did most of the heavy lifting by yourself.

      • kch

        What a revealingly self-contradictory statement this is:

        Also, I’m not attacking the book, as I really don’t perceive it as a threat. From the description it comes across as rank alarmism and no more worth spending my time and money on than, say, anything from the dragonslayers.

        Shall we laugh? Yes, we shall.

        If you really wanted answers then why not look for them? 30 seconds would find you this review, containing this paragraph:

        The fact is, many regions are likely to become merely pleasantly warm. Life in the Yorkshire Dales 80 years hence sounds very nice indeed. Even these gentle temperature rises might be curbed further. A counter-intuitive aspect of climate change relates to the disruption of the heating effects of Atlantic currents, notably the Gulf Stream, which we currently enjoy. This could manifest itself during the 22nd century and the resulting cooling would offset general global temperature rises.

        The truth is, you don’t want answers; you are simply attempting to discredit a book you haven’t even read. This is the na-na-na school of commentary.

        All that effort. All that *fear*. All you need to add now is a great deal more subtlety.

      • BBD –

        Why ever would you think that I didn’t look for other reviews or information? When possibly interested in a book, I always check around.

        But please try to focus here. What I’m asking is why your quick description of the book is in such stark contrast to other descriptions, including the ones you referenced.

        And speaking of such, the Independant review contains some sentences you might have missed:

        “His account of London is sobering. The best guess is that the metropolis will become as much of a meteorological as a cultural hotspot, with summer temperatures regularly in the 40s. Parks will become largely denuded of grass and all remaining green space will be zealously conserved, while vigilant thermal surveillance satellites hunt down illegal air-conditioning plants.”

        Still sounds pretty alarmist to me. But not to you? Why not?

        The truth is, I have always wanted one answer, one that you have refused to entertain: was it mendacity, error or true belief that lead to your mischaracterization of Kohn’s book.

        Sadly, in all of your strenuous efforts to avoid that question I have only been able to rule out error.

      • kch,

        You may or may not be aware- BBD has been banned at least one other site for persistently trolling, FYI.

        Andrew

      • Heh, BBD, your exemplary paragraph looks like a bunch of speculative bulloney. It was even hard to finish that paragraph.
        ====================

      • kch

        It’s very clear that *anything* other than no effect whatsoever by 2100 is going to be ‘alarmist’ as far as you are concerned. Procrustean games are boring.

        Perhaps instead of trying to evade the sense of the paragraph I quoted from the Indy review, you should just read it again a couple of times.

        It backs up my original – and casual – remark about the generally non-alarmist tenor of the book. Since you are having problems, let me help with a little emphasis:

        The fact is, many regions are likely to become merely pleasantly warm. Life in the Yorkshire Dales 80 years hence sounds very nice indeed. Even these gentle temperature rises might be curbed further.

        See it this time?

        Your trolling is getting very tedious now. Why not go and read a book?

      • BA

        Some facts: I was banned from BH because it is a hardcore denier site where ‘dissentients afflicted with the malady of thought’ are not as welcome as advertised.

        I don’t troll, here or anywhere else. You however, do. It is all that you do. I haven’t seen a substantive comment for you in as long as I can remember.

        How many sites have banned you, BA?

      • The deal here is, BBD, that I like fiction written by fiction writers better than fiction written by non-fiction writers, and am pleased to sometimes be able to tell the difference. Your pleasures seem different.
        =============

      • Enter kim; another yammering troll who hasn’t read the book.

      • blueice2hotsea

        kim –

        I appreciate your quips – poetic and otherwise.

        Regardless, while phytoplankton thrive in sunlight, increased UV can be a problem. It damages cellular DNA and worse, it can cause death by activating latent viral infections (thought to be carried by nearly all phytoplankton). One reason IMO, that phytoplankton make clouds is to help keep their viruses asleep and in a benign state which also blocks additional infections. (Each teaspoon of seawater contains ~ 1 million viruses.)

        thanks

      • Oh, yes, Blue, I thought of that when I wrote it, and almost changed it to ‘light’, but left it in case UV has something to do with variable energy input to the system. Thanks for the critique, and your UV point was new knowledge to me.
        ======================

      • Plus, Blue, it’s very intriguing to consider the various feedbacks suggested by your speculation. Here be powerful mechanisms and hippogryphs.
        =============

      • kim

        The CLAW hypothesis is now considered defunct.

      • BBD-

        At last! Between your reply to me and your reply to Manacker below you are finally starting to deal with my actual questions, not your beliefs about me.

        Unfortunately, you seem to have resorted to the twin crutches of cherry-picking (to me) and authority (to Manacker).

        WRT me, I really can’t accept that a single paragraph outweighs the rest of that review, other reviews and the Amazon description, all of which leave a rather different impression than your ‘generally non-alarmist tenor’. Particularly when that paragraph is speaking of the possible slight benefits to parts of England resulting from the shut-down of the Gulf Stream. Seems a little alarming to me.

        WRT Manacker’s far more eloquent take on the review impressions, you finally get down to simply insisting that “… I’m *telling you straight* that the excerpts quoted from the reviews above give a reasonably accurate impression.” Fair enough, you are the one who has read the book. It does seems unfortunate that the reviews and Amazon description don’t agree with your interpretation (judging by the excerpts quoted by Manacker and myself).

        Oh, and your first sentence is pretty much wrong from start to finish. I *am* concerned with GW and its causes and effects. I am also concerned, however, with the economic and political effects around this issue. I really would like to see dispassionate appraisals of all this. Alarmist advocacy from *either* side (both the hoaxers/conspiracy group and the we’re-all-gonna-die group) doesn’t cut it.

        Last note – you got banned from BH? That must have taken work – even Zed still sneaks a comment in now and then. Do you see it as a lesson or a badge of honour?

      • Steven Mosher

        BBD
        The CLAW hypothesis is now considered defunct..
        actually weak, not defunct. overplaying the hand in a science that sees
        new things every day is running through a field of rakes. Dont overstate and then link to the evidence of your overstatement. Weak, very weak, but not defunct. hence the question mark in the title

      • steven mosher

        Weak, defunct, whatever. Not on the table when it comes to significant feedbacks. Why do people nitpick so much?

      • Weak, defunct, whatever. From models asked a silly question, whatever.
        ==================

      • kch

        I really would like to see dispassionate appraisals of all this.

        No you wouldn’t. You’ve spent the last couple of days deploying clunky rhetoric in an attempt to deny the existence of a *non-alarmist* projection of C21st CC in the UK.

        It isn’t going to work because arguing against the facts never does.

      • BBD-

        My apologies for the clunky rhetoric. Hopefully you at least find it as amusing as I find your boundless talent at obfuscation and misdirection.

        I mean, really, denying “…the existence of a *non-alarmist* projection of C21st CC in the UK”? I’ve done no such thing, and I would think anyone with basic reading comprehension skills should see that.

        What I have done is to question your characterization of this particular “projection of C21st CC in the UK” as ‘non-alarmist’ when all of your references lead to reviews/descriptions giving a very different impression.

        Your latest round is no improvement – the ‘facts’ you point to are merely cherry-picked excerpts from opinion pieces whose entirety leaves a distinctly alarmist odour. Hardly ‘facts’ at all.

        I hate to do your work for you, but you could try using the ‘Make Wealth History’ review. That one, used as a counterweight to the Amazon description – and perhaps combined with some acknowledgement that you had over egged the pudding – might have led me to conclude the book was worth spending money on. Everything else you’ve pushed? Nah, just makes the book look like another ho-hum piece of alarmism of the Gore school of self-enrichment.

      • blueice2hotsea

        BBD –

        Yes CLAW may be very weak. However, the authors of the article cited have this to say: “the essence of CLAW lives on”. This is because organic particulates in sea spray amount to nearly as much particulates as from all of fossil fuel burning.

        Further, I wonder if the model that was used to predict CLAW’s minor role in warmer seas took into account that increased phytoplankton activity also must compensate for significantly increased viral activity. If not, then perhaps the model has under- estimated the response.

      • Steven Mosher

        BBD,
        Why are you nit picking me about being precise. You could just say.
        Oh, steve, you are right, they said very weak.
        That was my claim. It is a correct claim. Just agree and move on.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘We estimate a maximum decrease of up to 15–18% in the droplet radius and a mean increase in cloud cover by around 2.5% over the southern oceans during SH summer in the simulation with ocean DMS compared to when the DMS emissions are switched off. The global annual mean top of the atmosphere DMS aerosol all sky radiative forcing is −2.03 W/m2, whereas, over the southern oceans during SH summer, the mean DMS aerosol radiative forcing reaches −9.32 W/m2.’ http://www.mpimet.mpg.de/fileadmin/staff/klostersilvia/Thomas_et_al_ACP_2010.pdf

        So this is quite a significant term in the global energy budget. The question is how much this changes and the most significant changes start in the eastern Pacific. Phytoplankton abundances change in ENSO with immense blooms in La Nina fuelling global abundance for fish, birds and marine mammals. It changes decadally with patterns of upwelling the type and abundance of phytoplankton.

        A high-resolution study of calcareous phytoplankton in a box core from the Santa Barbara Basin (SBB) reveals floral assemblage fluctuations which can be related to climatic and paleoceanographic changes during the last half century (1940–1996). In particular, Gephyrocapsa oceanica production increased during El Nino periods, in response to high temperatures, silica depletion, and increased iron availability. Conversely, Helicosphaera carteri flux increases in conjunction with lower surface temperatures associated with La Nina episodes. Increasing abundances of Florisphaera profunda and Umbilicosphaera sibogae after 1970 reflect a warming trend and increased stratification within the basin associated with the warm phase of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO). Conversely, increased abundances of Coccolithus pelagicus and Calcidiscus leptoporus before 1970 mark the cold phase of PDO. These coccolithophore production rate data are consistent with instrumental records of surface and thermocline temperatures monitored since 1950. This is the first study to document the response of calcareous phytoplankton to surface water warming occurring in SBB since 1970.’

        ‘Calcareous phytoplankton response to the half century of interannual climatic variability in Santa Barbara Basin (California) – Bianca De Bernardi,1 Patrizia Ziveri,2,3 Elisabetta Erba,1 and Robert C. Thunell4

        Increased phytoplankton abundance is a consequence of increased upwelling of cold and nutrient rich sub-surface water. The abundance feeds zooplankton and zooplankton fish and shrimp – with changes in abundance and species composition appearing all the way up the trophic chain. Anchovies instead of sardines, fat seal pups, whales chasing the anchovies in Monterrey Bay. Abundances of salmon in North American streams. Riches of fish, birds and mammals on the South American coast bordering the most productive ecosystem on the planet. All fuelled by nutrients rising from the abysmal depths.

        So DMS emissions from plankton change due to upwelling and influences the energy budget of the Earth. We know upwelling in the eastern Pacific changes on interannual to millennial timescales – so it seems a small step to infer millennial changes in the Earth’s energy budget from this cause.

      • Millenial scale capability to 20% daily viral kill. This is a versatile mechanism.
        ===============

      • steven mosher

        defunct: no longer in effect or use; not operating or functioning.

        The CLAW hypothesis is defunct:

        The CLAW hypothesis takes its name from Charlson, Lovelock, Andreae and Warren, whose 1987 paper suggested that phytoplankton could help regulate Earth’s climate.

        This is apparently not the case. Either the effect is non-existent or it is so weak as to fall below the threshold of detection. Phytoplankton do not help to regulate the Earth’s climate. So we can say that the CLAW hypothesis is defunct.

        If you are going to nit-pick you need to be more precise with your definitions.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Plankton certainly does modulate cloud cover through DMS production on cell breakdown. There are many studies in the literature. The suggestion that this does not change much with warming does nothing to discount this process. The most important changes in plankton abundance arise from upwelling.

      • That’s why I called it a silly question, Robert; the science is as unexplored as the vasty deeps, and BBD slams his mind’s door shut, lethally injuring curiosity and making truth’s morbidity chronic.
        =====================

      • That’s not what this is about. This is about the claim – now apparently falsified – that plankton plays a role in *regulating* the Earth’s climate.

      • Yikes! I only missed that slamming door because I saw it coming.
        ===============================

    • Rob B is correct
      Changes in temperature are not the major issues of concern. The concerns are based on what MIGHT happen as a result of the changes in temperature and we have very unreliable information on that. A lesser rate of warming clearly greatly reduces the amount of threat.

      BBD
      If a book is written that uses models to forecast future conditions in the UK, but those same models have been demonstrated to not be able to even reasonably accurately predict future rainfall at any specific location, what good is the analysis in the book that describes different conditions based on changes in rainfall?

    • BBD

      Let’s be honest about it.

      Before buying ANY book the wise buyer/reader checks out the reviews: What’s its message?, what is it trying to do: amuse, inform, entertain, educate, “sell” a proposition?

      There are lots of book reviews out there of Marek Kohn’s “Turned out Nice”, a sci-fi vision of how the UK will allegedly look after catastrophic AGW has ravaged it at the end of this century.

      You know, the good old scare mongering stuff we’ve heard from green lobby groups, etc.: increased vector borne diseases, migrations of unpleasant animals as well as millions of “climate refugees” escaping torrid temperatures, etc. etc.

      This review by Nicholas Lezard in The Guardian ends with: “And all this, or something like it, is going to happen. Don’t think it won’t. Buy this book for your children.”

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/jul/07/turned-out-nice-marek-kohn-review

      Peter Carty in The Independent categorizes it as “a fascinating forecast for the next 100 years”

      http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/reviews/turned-out-nice-by-marek-kohn-1984401.html

      He add this warning:

      “The scientific consensus is well rehearsed. It is easy to heat up the biosphere, but so far there is no practical technology for cooling it down. We are very likely at a tipping point, and prudence therefore dictates drastic reductions in greenhouse-gas emissions over the next 10 years.”

      So this book is not for amusement or entertainment, but supposedly to educate us (and our children) on what “is going to happen” unless we make ” drastic reductions in greenhouse-gas emissions over the next 10 years.”

      Once I’ve read a few of these reviews (plus a recommendation from BBD) my “BS meter” has hit the alarm peg.

      And I know that I do not need to waste my money and my time on this pap

      Sorry, BBD, NO SALE.

      Max

      • Actually BBD gives great clues to the ‘Extraordinary Popular Delusion and Madness of the Crowd’ that is the social mania of belief in a human-caused, climate-catastrophic future. He is so earnest about this blatantly alarmist piece of fiction. Its importance creates its own reality. Wait a minute, kim, are you spoofing yourself?
        =======================

      • Yes Max, let’s be *honest* about it. Let’s have a jolly good laugh at the view from Planet Manacker:

        There are lots of book reviews out there of Marek Kohn’s “Turned out Nice”, a sci-fi vision of how the UK will allegedly look after catastrophic AGW has ravaged it at the end of this century.

        What it says in the reviews:

        Peter Carty (Independent; same one you quote above):

        The fact is, many regions are likely to become merely pleasantly warm. Life in the Yorkshire Dales 80 years hence sounds very nice indeed. Even these gentle temperature rises might be curbed further. A counter-intuitive aspect of climate change relates to the disruption of the heating effects of Atlantic currents, notably the Gulf Stream, which we currently enjoy. This could manifest itself during the 22nd century and the resulting cooling would offset general global temperature rises.

        Nicholas Lezard (Guardian; same one you quote above):

        The climate of the British Isles will be probably the mildest in Europe, and therefore the most desirable

        Steven Yearley (Times Higher Education):

        Inhabitants of these islands are sufficiently used to disappointing weather to have developed the expression “it’s turned out nice” as a pleasant form of greeting, optimistic and bland enough to be used even with strangers. The irony, as Kohn points out, is that in the coming century it looks likely to turn out relatively nice for these islands as a whole.

        Yup, Kohn’s book is the bleakest, most terrifying post-apocalyptic dystopia imaginable, describing the horrors of life in the UK “after catastrophic AGW has ravaged it”…

      • BBD

        Don’t act like a jerk.

        You know full well that Kohn’s book is not describing a new “paradise”, which we will experience after AGW has had its effect over the coming century.

        To be sure, he mentions that a warmer UK will be less unpleasant than the torrid conditions elsewhere in the world (resulting in “climate refugees” to the UK from these regions).

        He mentions that certain ticks will also love the new, warmer climate (carrying along vector borne diseases to regions that currently do not experience them).

        All in all, BBD, the net effect of AGW, as described by Kohn (according to the reviews I have read) is strongly negative (as is the IPCC vision of CAGW.

        It is simply scare mongering BS, so not worth me wasting my time reading.

        Max

      • Max, why don’t you just say that CO2 will have no noticeable effect on climate? Instead of all this dance of the seven veils stuff?

        Because it is *very obvious* that this is what you believe…

      • All in all, BBD, the net effect of AGW, as described by Kohn (according to the reviews I have read) is strongly negative

        No it isn’t Max. The reviews make that abundantly clear. You are just being dishonest again.

        Besides, unlike any of the rest of you lot, I’ve actually read it, and I’m *telling you straight* that the excerpts quoted from the reviews above give a reasonably accurate impression. This book doesn’t present us with a vision of the UK “after catastrophic AGW has ravaged it”.

        That’s just a particularly egregious strawman.

    • David Springer

      Nothing conclusive about UV and phytoplankton I’m afraid.

      http://cmep.ca/jcullen/publications/1995/Smith_and_Cullen_1995_Rev_Geophys.pdf

      • blueice2hotsea

        David Springer –

        Thanks.

        From the paper you cite:

        Damage at the molecular, cellular, population and community levels has been demonstrated (at least at the phytoplankton level).‎ (my bold)

        I am interested in the response of phytoplankton to potential damage from UV. Descending to depths is one response. Increased DMS emission is another possibility, which may turn out to be negligible according to recent model projections.

        However, a warming ocean is claimed to be a key trigger for dramatically increased growth rate of viruses. Don’t know if the model takes that into account.

  48. What parts are cooling?

  49. Yes Peter yer do.Here, catch …+1
    Beth

  50. Reality.Check

    My computer models say there should be rapid warming.

    My data says warming is at best, very moderate.

    Gradually, the fantasy of the models will yield to the reality of actual data.

    And so it begins, the Great Climb Down, the cleansing of old quotes and blog posts in a desperate attempt to salvage a career, preserve a reputation.

    We will always remember those who chugged the Kool Aide and lead humanity down the path of bizarre and financially ruinous climate fear Mongering.

  51. It’s a good day when Andy Revkin speaks of ‘reality’ in the manner of a man from whose eyes scales have fallen, and when Gavin Schmidt admits to himself that his nightmares are just bad dreams.
    =======================

    • Dang, I could have said it’s a good day when Gavin Schmidt wakes up to the mess he’s made of his bed in his nightmare, but it’s got streaks of badenfreude in the dawning rays, so I hope he’s gonna be OK.
      =====================

  52. kim | February 5, 2013 at 12:31 pm |

    Quiz in the AM. Childhood’s End.
    Arthur C Clarke.

  53. Curry: Further, it is misleading to think of sensitivity in terms of a pdf (see my previous post on this here). Talking about the probability of a climate sensitivity fat tail is meaningless in my opinion. What is meaningful is the possibility of a scenario of abrupt climate change.

    These three sentences lead to some profound implications.

    First of, let’s be precise. Do you mean by “sensitivity” the equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) that is a change in mean global temperatures (ΔTx2). resulting from a doubling of [CO2]?

    IF the linearized model
    ΔT_global = K1*S*Δ[CO2] + Sum_(i=2,n)[K(i)*OtherFactor(i)]
    S.T. 1 = Sum_(i=1,n)[K(i)]
    Has any validity AND that the first term dominants (1 ≥ K1 ≥ 0.5), (which seems to be implicit in CAGW carbon-dioxide control studies, reports, laws, taxes and regulations)
    THEN finding better estimates of K1*S is worthwhile and therefore using science to define a pdf for values of K1*S (or just S if there are no OtherFactors) and further study to update and narrow that pdf over time is meaningful and worthwhile to a point. There is little point in knowing the pdf of S if the value of K1 is less than 0.1, so the product K1*S is what is meaningful.

    But, if it is misleading to think of sensitivity in terms of a pdf
    Then I think it follows either
    a) the linearized term K1*S*Δ[CO2] has no physical meaning,
    b) That the first term K1*S*Δ[CO2] is insignificant compared to other factors,
    c) That any significant relationship ΔT_global = f([CO2]) cannot be linearized within the range of [CO2] experienced within the span of the last 200 years.
    All three options undermine the theoretical linkage between [CO2] an Climate Change of any sort.

    Would it be over simplifying to summarize your qualms about sensitivity pdfs as being too wedded to climate modeling, inappropriate prior distributions, and unrealistic assumptions of ignorance in priors? If so, I agree that pdfs from such work are misleading. But if the linearized model has usefulness (in a predictive, non-political sense) then by keeping closer to the data than the models and successively updating the pdf with new data each year in an evolving chain of prior’s, we ought to narrow and migrate the K1*S pdf. If science is going on, that ought to happen. If the pdf remains essentially unchanged after 30+ years and $billions of research it smacks of anchoring.

    (continued to next post)

  54. (1:46 pm above asumed the linear model had usefulness. What if it doesn’t)

    What is meaningful is the possibility of a scenario of abrupt climate change.
    A theory of abrupt climate change means you discard all linearized models or admit that [CO2] is not a factor in any significant linear term involving an abrupt driver. This will only be meaningful if climate science returns to Square One and reexamine what drivers are important in a theory of abrupt climate change.

    The danger is that work done and assumptions on linearized models will infect preconceptions about new non-linear models. In this case, we are not adding precision by including non-linear terms to a working linear model. If the non-linear model is necessary it is because the linear model is becoming untenable in the face of new data.

    Collapse of the ice sheets is a viable “abrupt change scenario”, though not the only one. If [CO2] is a driver of that collapse, it certainly cannot be linear otherwise it could not be abrupt. No doubt that non-linear climate models can be created to support such scenarios… but then so can Hollywood disaster movies. What DATA do we have to base and calibrate non-linear models in preference to linear ones? It would be wrong to put [CO2] as the preconceived driver of such abrupt change. Is [CO2] the net driver or drivee in these scenarios? Hence, back to Square One and look at all driver candidates.

  55. Chief Hydrologist

    Do try to concentrate wee willie…big dave. The science is exceedingly difficult for some more than others it seems. There are a few passages from impeccable sources that I quote for the clarity of the passages. They express the core of this concept and the key computatonal implications. But by all means do read the papers.

    Just for big Dave – here is the comment again with double spaces.

    The ‘sensitivity’ is defined as the average or the range of multi-model ensembles. Each of the members of the ensemble is a non-unique solution of a set of nonlinear equations. The ‘member’ is selected on the basis of ‘a posteriori’ solution behaviour. It looks plausible so it is in. So sensitivity is based on what seems plausible – think of a number – and not an any unique, deterministic solution to an equation.

    ‘AOS models are therefore to be judged by their degree of plausibility, not whether they are correct or best. This perspective extends to the component discrete algorithms, parameterizations, and coupling breadth: There are better or worse choices (some seemingly satisfactory for their purpose or others needing repair) but not correct or best ones. The bases for judging are a priori formulation, representing the relevant natural processes and choosing the discrete algorithms, and a posteriori solution behavior.’ http://www.pnas.org/content/104/21/8709.full

    Sounds mad I know – and certainly not made explicit in the way models are reported – which is why I persist in quoting people like James McWilliams and Tim Palmer.

    ‘Atmospheric and oceanic computational simulation models often successfully depict chaotic space–time patterns, flow phenomena, dynamical balances, and equilibrium distributions that mimic nature. This success is accomplished through necessary but nonunique choices for discrete algorithms, parameterizations, and coupled contributing processes that introduce structural instability into the model. Therefore, we should expect a degree of irreducible imprecision in quantitative correspondences with nature, even with plausibly formulated models and careful calibration (tuning) to several empirical measures. Where precision is an issue (e.g., in a climate forecast), only simulation ensembles made across systematically designed model families allow an estimate of the level of relevant irreducible imprecision…

    In each of these model–ensemble comparison studies, there are important but difficult questions: How well selected are the models for their plausibility? How much of the ensemble spread is reducible by further model improvements? How well can the spread can be explained by analysis of model differences? How much is irreducible imprecision in an AOS?

    Simplistically, despite the opportunistic assemblage of the various AOS model ensembles, we can view the spreads in their results as upper bounds on their irreducible imprecision. Optimistically, we might think this upper bound is a substantial overestimate because AOS models are evolving and improving. Pessimistically, we can worry that the ensembles contain insufficient samples of possible plausible models, so the spreads may underestimate the true level of irreducible imprecision (cf., ref. 23). Realistically, we do not yet know how to make this assessment with confidence.’ (op. cit.)

    Any change in a model can produce divergent solutions that are not predictable beforehand – it is the nature of the nonlinear Navier-Stokes equations – this extends to the range of uncertainty in climate data and to the number and breadth of couplings.

    ‘Lorenz was able to show that even for a simple set of nonlinear equations (1.1), the evolution of the solution could be changed by minute perturbations to the initial conditions, in other words, beyond a certain forecast lead time, there is no longer a single, deterministic solution and hence all forecasts must be treated as probabilistic. The fractionally dimensioned space occupied by the trajectories of the solutions of these nonlinear equations became known as the Lorenz attractor (figure 1), which suggests that nonlinear systems, such as the atmosphere, may exhibit regime-like structures that are, although fully deterministic, subject to abrupt and seemingly random change.’ http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/369/1956/4751.full

    We are not at the stage of having ‘systematically designed model families’ – thus the first hurdle for precision is not cleared. Solutions are literally chosen subjectively from many possible solutions and the range of solutions remains unknown. This goes directly to the a priori expectation of modellers as to the plausible sensitivity of the system. Subjectivity rather than a deterministic solution of an equation.
    I have said this many times in many different ways – but a wider and deeper appreciation of dynamical complexity remains elusive. These models are most certainly chaotic in the sense of theoretical physics – as shown by Lorenz in the early 1960′s.

    There may be some expectation that climate as well is nonlinear. Inputs and outputs are not proportional – change is abrupt and episodic – there are multiple equilibria (Rial et al 2004) and unpredictable tipping points (NAS, 2002). Where inputs and outputs are not proportional – the question of sensitivity becomes a problem of a different order entirely.

    • David Springer

      I probably should have said I wasn’t going to read it even with paragraph breaks. But you probably enjoyed rewriting it so… no harm no foul.

      • You two should book smoke lodge time.
        ================

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I got a bit sick of quibbling nitwits – and yes the hat suits suits you perfectly big dave. I chié dans votre chapeau.

        I think it is probably a bit above your pay grade anyway. Why not go off and play with the kiddies instead?

  56. “We will always remember those who chugged the Kool Aide and lead humanity down the path of bizarre and financially ruinous climate fear Mongering.”

    My personal favorite is the inimitable, always right never wrong, there’s been no pause, and even if there has it’s just as terrible, lolwot. Of course, he’s not a climate scientist. I’m not even convinced he’s over 21. But he sure has been fun, and I’m sure will continue to be well into the coming period of cooling.

  57. On a more serious note, it’s going to take a while yet for the catastrophic anthropogenic global warming scam to begin to seriously unwind at the street level (The NYT’s, NPR, lolwot’s house). I made the mistake of putting on NPR during lunch. The lead story seemed to be how badly the fish are doing off the coast of New England due to how warm it’s getting. Something like that anyway. I could barely listen.

  58. Dr Curry:

    What did you do to poor James Annan to make him so catty whenever your name comes up?

  59. Lauri Heimonen

    Judith Curry:

    ”Until we better understand natural internal climate variability, we simply don’t know how to infer sensitivity to greenhouse gas forcing. The issue of how climate will change over the 21st century is highly uncertain, and we basically don’t know whether or not different scenarios of greenhouse gas emissions will be (or not be) the primary driver on timescales of a century or less. Oversimplification and overconfidence on this topic have acted to the detriment of climate science. As scientists, we need to embrace the uncertainty, the complexity and the messy wickedness of the problem. We mislead policy makers with our oversimplifications and overconfidence.”

    Judith Curry, you have stated, too, that you are ‘willing to engage in the policy process, at the science-policy interface’. As I understand, you have an objective to make even politicians understand if a solution stated by scientists is working or not. Until now, even any one of scientists have not been able to express any proper evidence for the climate warming believed to be dominated by anthropogenic CO2 emissions. That is why even the IPCC scientists base their view of recent warming only on belief in the influence dominated by the athropogenic CO2 emissions. Thus, until now, the politicians have had only one way and this to follow the unreliable advice of scientists. Therefore it is important that even politicians can be made understand the real cause of climate warming.

    Even in discussions of this forum, there are plenty of scientists who are grand experts in their own discipline, but the expertise of whom is infrequently enough to solve multiscientific problems like climate warming and extremes of weather are. And even IPCC scientists seem belong under this group. That is why there still is prevailing the ‘deep uncertainty’ for instance concerning the climate sensitivity.

    On the basis of multi-disciplinary metallurgical problems I have learned that a working solution of any multi-disciplinary problem can often be made even laymen understand. In the comment of mine http://judithcurry.com/2013/01/16/hansen-on-the-standstill/#comment-287036 I have stated:

    ”1) The CO2 content in the atmosphere is controlled together by both all CO2 emissions from sources to atmosphere and by all CO2 absorptions from atmosphere to sinks. Nowadays when the yearly total CO2 emissions are little over 200 GtC (CO2 as carbon) and the yearly human CO2 emissions are about 8 GtC, the influence of the human CO2 emissions on the CO2 content in atmosphere is approaching 4 % at the most. For instance, when the CO2 content in the atmosphere is 390 ppm, the manmade share of it is only about 16 ppm at the most; in the reports of IPCC the human share of recent CO2 content in atmosphere is assessed to be about 100 ppm without any proper evidence.”

    In addition, in the same comment I have stated:

    ”The climate sensitivity caused by antropogenic CO2 emissions ‘is indistinguishable from zero’. That is true already on the total CO2 increase, and the human share of that is only about 4 %.”

    This should be easy enough to make even politicians as laymen understand. And there is no more any uncertainty of the insignificant influence of anthropogenic CO2 emissions on global warming.

    When synthetizing the data and other findings available in reality there seems to be one only working solution to the recent problems of climate warming and weather extremes. And that is to learn how to adapt ourselves to natural climate changes and weather events. Instead of the cuts of CO2 emissions, the resources available ought to be used for the adaptation to natural climate warming and weather extremes.

    There have been ever deepening uncertainty on the anthropogenic climate warming assumed by UN politicians. According to the duty determined by UN, IPCC has tried to assess the scientific background of the climate warming believed to be anthropogenic. The reports related to the assessments are based on climate model simulations. The results prove only what kind of assumed parameters are needed for the believed antropogenic warming. Any finding in reality is not able to prove that the recent warming could be anthropogenic. Already in the Rio conference 1992 there was expressed no full evidence for the assumed anthropogenic warming. And thereafter – as well as before that – the findings in reality prove duly that the recent increase of CO2 in atmosphere follow warming and not vice versa (e.g. see my comment above).

    • A rather long way of stating- We really do not know how more atmospheric CO2 will impact the weather but what we do know is that preparing for bad weather is the best defense against whatever occurs. Nations need to build and maintain robust infrastructure to lessen damage to humans! That has almost nothing to do with AGW and is a no regrets path.

    • “Sensitivity” is just another way of trying to abandon the language of “global warming” while still pretending there’s still a problem to be solved. Renaming global warming to a concern about climate change and adding a few adjectives when that didn’t work — like disastrous and calamitous climate change — hasn’t worked out so well for the global alarmists. Neither has referring to weather as climate wierding.

      But, we need to be more sensitive. Being sensitive means we need to look long and hard for the smallest nit in the natter–the invisible nuance–i.e., we must continue to ignore the failure of Western education and their miserable performance based on the all too easily measureable product that is coming out of the state-run dropout factories — and, rename the earnings of the productive so that now our paychecks are government revenues needed to invest in teasing out some unmeasurable human influence on a mythical 30 year average global temperature.

      Meanwhile, most of humanity lives outside Western civilization in places like China, India, Brazil, Russia and in the Third world. They’re are getting a good chuckle at our expense when in reality they have much more to fear from the sacrifice of the foundational principles of individual liberty and personal responsibility in America.

  60. I like Judith’s comment and opinion very much.

  61. Bob Droege 5/10.28am, fer the record, because records are
    important, I was incorrect, I should have said that John Lennon,
    ex Beatle wrote ‘Imagine.’ -1 ter me… It’s still a lousy song,
    though, saccharine and cliche.
    .
    Re Climate change, BD, I at least do not seek ter deny the
    pause of 15/16 years, or the, er, implications of that …..
    ……… pause
    Beth – prone – ter – error..

    • In my opinion you got the important part right. Yesterday is a better song than Imagine.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Beth me darlin’

      Something about motes and logs comes to mind.

      Cheers

    • Beth,
      You are ok, just don’t go knockin Ringo.
      Could the ephemeral pause be due to ENSO?
      Anyone been to Spenser’s lately?

      Both Yesterday and Imagine share the theme that today sucks, only Yesterday mourns for days gone by while Imagine is optimistically looking to the future. I like imagine better, but then Paul is my least favorite Beatle.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Yesterday – love was such an easy game to play – now I need a place to hideaway… Yesterday is a ballad of lost love. Poignant – quite traditional – beautifully executed as is the norm for early Beatles.

        The pause is certainly associated with a cool Pacific in the 20 to 40 cool Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation. But the IPO is best viewed as a standing wave on the underlying choatic dynamical system that is the Earth’s climate.

        To view these decadal shifts in the instrumental record as the limits of natural variability would be misguided.

      • Right, who said that ENSO was the limit to natural variability. Saying all is good because we haven’t exceeded the limits of natural variability is a false hope. Knowing where climate has gone in the past is a cornerstone of the argument for mitigation.
        We know natural variability has caused near complete melting of the ice caps and attendant sea level rise. So it would be wise to prevent the warming that would cause excessive sea level rise.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Bob – you were talking about the pause which is due to natura variability – the limits to which are far from the mere decadal variability we have seen in the instrumental record. It goes far beyond ENSO which is just one expression of a global system. A deterministically chaotic system subject to control variables – such as CO2 – multiple positive and negative feedbacks and multiple equilibria. The result is that climate shifts abruptly – inputs and outputs are not proportional – change is in principle deterministic but in practice indeterminate. There are risks at both far ends of the warming/cooling spectrum.

        I am far from opposed to carbon mitigation – although the failure over decades suggest that another approach might be warranted. It is as well the politics of a pause that seems likely to last for another decade or three that concerns me. It looks very much like you have dug a hole – and the engineer in me insists that the first action is to stop digging. This might entail a reexamination of assumptions – and adoption of the dynamical paradigm for climate.

      • Chief,
        I am not denying the dynamical nature of the climate system, nor its inherent chaotic nature.

        The thing is, we are pushing it in one direction, and positive feedbacks are in play, negative ones not so evident. Unless you can provide evidence of negative feedback.

        Humans are too good at pattern recognition, we tend to see patterns where none are there.

        The climate system could be flat right now, building energy for the next “great climatic shift”

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I am looking for natural variability in climate – and there there are many and varied mechanisms. Cloud is one – http://judithcurry.com/2011/02/09/decadal-variability-of-clouds/ – cloud cover obviously changes with changes in ocean and atmospheric circulation. Indeed – both ISCCP-FD and ERBS satellite data say that clouds were the major source of recent warming. CERES in this century shows cloud cover changes remarkedly consistent with ARGO data for the overlapping period. The other areas to keep an eye on are THC changes snow and ice cove feedbacks.

        The system is exquisitely sensitive at regions of bifurcation – but not so otherwise. The response of the system to internally driven, abrupt and noninear change is not predictable. What seems evident is that the multi-decadal warrmer and cooler modes tend to persist for 30 to 40 years. But there is centennail to millennial variability as well. Beyond the next deacade or three there be dragon-kings. (http://arxiv.org/abs/0907.4290) I don’t think we know enough about the limits of natural variability to predict anything beyond that.

    • Steven Mosher

      Better

    • David Springer

      I’m more of a Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, Got To Get You Into My Life, Day Tripper, and of course Strawberry Fields Forever.

      I remember watching this live in 1964. My father called me “Beatle” because I had the same haircut which was pretty radical for the length at the time.

      They were kind of innocent back then. Good times.

  62. This goddam +1 franchise is keepin’ me busy, thinkin’ of lettin’ it go.

    +1 fer this comment by Kim – the – non – pareil:

    Each and every little plant is wondering why its share of the
    record bursting huge amount of CO2 is so little, but each
    and everyone of them is bursting with gratitude it’s not less.

  63. David Springer

    kch | February 5, 2013 at 9:49 am |
    The numbering is mine.

    “Our parks will be arid brown fields(1); private automobile use unheard of(2); water will be severely rationed(3); significant stretches of our beloved coastline will have been sacrificed to the sea(4). Some of our flora and fauna will have vanished(5); exotic animals and pests will flourish(6). Vast numbers of marginalised human migrants will be here(7). Surveillance and restriction of our movements will be taken for granted(8). Walking in what is left of ‘nature’ will be nearly impossible(9). Terrible summer fires in our upland areas will be commonplace.(10)”

    Wow. Three more calamities than the bible says are coming.

    Now I’m really askeert.

  64. Yes, Steven, ‘Yesterday, Michelle ma belle, Hey Jude,
    Clown on the hill, I am the walrus,) Hard day’s night,’
    plus ones fer each of them.
    (Signing off me franchise now, whoever wants it go fer it!)
    BC

  65. Speaking of books, hope y’vall read, ‘Do Not Feed the Trolls.’
    I hear its short listed fer the Booker Prize.*

    C.Booker that is :)

  66. Leftists and liberals employed the rhetoric of ‘Holocaust denier’ to compare Wm Gray, a skeptical scientist, to a Nazi. In doing so Westerners heard clearly the Left’s consensus of opinion about the collectivists’ form of truth ‘finding,’ truth ‘making’ and ’truth’ control. The liberal fascism of the global warming Familia is our wake up call that the AGW insult dogs – Leftists in pinkshirts with Mao’sLittle Red Book – have taken over the Left’s war against individual liberty waged earlier by Germany’s National Socialist Workers Party in brownshirts.

    • Wag,

      Just wondering if you have ever discussed politics with real Nazis? If so what do you make of their claim that Bolshevism and Capitalism are just two different facets of a Zionist / Jewish world conspiracy to achieve global domination? The very wealthy like the Rothchilds are disproportionately Jewish. Marx , Engels, Trotsky were Jewish.

      They’d argue that Capitalists and Bolsheviks pretend to dislike each other but they are secretly working together to subjugate the Aryan race. Sometimes it’s not so secret like when Russia and the USA ally themselves in WW2. They’d argue that there are two Zionist states in the world: Israel and the USA. They argue that both Red Army and the US army use a star as their symbols. Lenin was a quarter Jewish. Stalin was secretly Jewish – both his wives were Jewish. The Jews promote racial mixing between Blacks and Aryans etc but are careful to keep their own race separate etc etc.

      So, what do you reckon? How would you answer someone like that?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        We should discuss politics with Anders Brevik, the Unibomber or Peter Martin? Not likely.

      • Why must we bury the AGW hypothesis, throw the money-changers out of their temples in Copenhagen and close down for good all of the margarita bars in Cancun where feckless UN-approved science authoritarians gather to vote on what is fact or fiction? Because there must no longer be a place reserved in Western science for those who only come to burn a witch or kick a Jew or hack off the limbs of the few so that the many will learn some terrible lesson we must all learn for our own good.

  67. Wag, I’d have laughed at this not long ago. Another right wing loon forgetting to take his morning medication. I’m not laughing anymore. There’s some truth to what you say.

  68. Sorry, poker, but Wag has it right – today’s left is the new fascism-Nazism, and the AGW agenda will surely cause another tens of millions of needless deaths if carried out in full – another Holocaust for sure. It’s already causing hunger and even starvation in poorer countries (the ethanol program driving up grain prices) and deaths from freezing in Europe when people can’t afford $100/MMBtu ($10/therm) natural gas and can’t burn coal during some of the coldest winters on record. These deaths are squarely at the hands of people who think like you.

    • More charity. pokerguy’s skeptical creds are impeccable, and he shows signs of remarkable political insight.
      ============

  69. Motes and logs, yes, I’d give yr observation a plus one but I’m
    no longer in that business, sweet chief. Consider moats and locks,
    they can be anathema to science and the open society. Defensive
    fear of the heretic, must lock down. What did Sun-Tsu say on seige warfare?
    BC

  70. Judith,

    “The issue of how climate will change over the 21st century is highly uncertain”

    Except for the lower estimates? When Prof Lindzen gives us his 1 degC, or lower, estimate for climate sensitivity I don’t remember seeing any comments from climate sceptics raising the ‘uncertainty’ objection. Or have I just missed all those?

    “and we basically don’t know whether or not different scenarios of greenhouse gas emissions will be (or not be) the primary driver on timescales of a century or less. ”

    So, if we “basically don’t know”, does that mean it’s OK to go ahead on a business usual scenario?

    Would emissions controls on GH gases only be justified if we ‘basically’ did know, with absolute certainty, and with no room for any doubt whatsoever, just what the effect would be otherwise?

    • Steven Mosher

      yup their science is settled

      • David Springer

        What’s consensus sensitivity estimate down to today?

        At the current rate of decline in GAT Lindzen’s estimate will be the consensus before Obama leaves office. He was just ahead of his time is all.

      • ~3C most likely value. It’s in AR5 SOD ;-)

      • “~3C” sez BBD & IPCC (at least through AR4)

        Looking more like ~half of that, based on latest data.

        But, hey, even at 1.5C IPCC can still posit that “most of observed global warming since 1950 was caused by increased human GHGs”, where:

        “most” = 67%% to 80%
        “CO2″ forcing = 75% of total GH forcing

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘In each of these model–ensemble comparison studies, there are important but difficult questions: How well selected are the models for their plausibility? How much of the ensemble spread is reducible by further model improvements? How well can the spread can be explained by analysis of model differences? How much is irreducible imprecision in an AOS?

        Simplistically, despite the opportunistic assemblage of the various AOS model ensembles, we can view the spreads in their results as upper bounds on their irreducible imprecision. Optimistically, we might think this upper bound is a substantial overestimate because AOS models are evolving and improving. Pessimistically, we can worry that the ensembles contain insufficient samples of possible plausible models, so the spreads may underestimate the true level of irreducible imprecision (cf., ref. 23). Realistically, we do not yet know how to make this assessment with confidence.’ McWillims 2007

        The attentive will note that I have quoted this a number of times. The repetition however would hardly amount to repetition of claims of sensitivity in as far as they arise from numerical models. The lack of understanding of model dynamics enables a false confidence to be placed in the results of these opportunistic ensembles. The false confidence isn’t something that practitioners share – but is entirely something that is constructed socially in a reinforcing group meme.

      • “At the current rate of decline in GAT Lindzen’s estimate will be the consensus before Obama leaves office. He was just ahead of his time is all.”

        Doubtful. What you can expect is the long tail getting shorter. Slowly but surely. Lidezens off in his own tail and its harder to move the bulk of the distribution his way. mode will pretty much stay where it is.

      • David Springer

        MODTRAN pretty much perfectly agrees with Lindzen’s CO2 estimate.

        Lindzen is still too high. MODTRAN is for a perfectly dry environment. Where there’s water available to evaporatively cool the surface the primary effect is the CO2 forcing causing the cloud deck to rise about 100 meters per doubling. The higher cloud tops have less atmosphere above them to hinder radiative cooling to space so they cool faster without getting warmer. This will become evident soon as observations of global average cloud height become available. In the meantime every year the so called pause continues the observation based sensitivity estimates fall. It’s all over but the crying Mosher. Get used to it. You joined the losing team.

      • David Springer

        HOLY COLD SPELL, BATMAN!

        -0.01C per month for the past 3 years.

        Will this madness never end?

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/from:2010/plot/rss/from:2010/trend/detrend:-0.326

        AHAHAHAHAAHAHAAHAAHAHAHAAH!!!!!!!!111

      • Well Dave I will tell you that I used MODTRAN when it was still classified. YF23 threat analysis. Its an ok tool, but you really should use a LBL model. It will give you a good estimate of the forcing. NOT feedbacks.

        The way I view it is as follows. To a first order we know the MODTRAN number.( or pick an excellent LBL model, modtran is quick and dirty, something you might run onboard a satillite ). That number wont change.
        Last big update to the estimate was 1998, changed maybe 10%.
        That leaves the question of feedbacks.
        the balance of evidence is for positive feedbacks not negative. That’s why the lukewarmer number starts at the MODTRAN figure as the low end.
        There’s no credible evidence for negative feedbacks outweighing positive.
        Although I would be super happy to be wrong about that. Since I’m rational and open minded I can even tell you what kind of evidence it would take to change my mind.

    • Chief Hydrologist

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

      Figure 12 shows 2000 years of El Nino behaviour simulated by a state-of-the-art climate model forced with present day solar irradiance and greenhouse gas concentrations. The richness of the El Nino behaviour, decade by decade and century by century, testifies to the fundamentally chaotic nature of the system that we are attempting to predict. It challenges the way in which we evaluate models and emphasizes the importance of continuing to focus on observing and understanding processes and phenomena in the climate system. It is also a classic demonstration of the need for ensemble prediction systems on all time scales in order to sample the range of possible outcomes that even the real world could produce. Nothing is certain.’ http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/369/1956/4751.full

      Not sure what your problem is. Clearly in the Proceedings of The Royal Society – nothing is certain.

      No douby wee willie or Joshua the … will accuse me of repeating myself. But in the extreme provocation of this tedious and inane argument being dragged out for an airing yet one more time – I will do it again.

      ‘The old climate framework failed because it would have imposed substantial costs associated with climate mitigation policies on developed nations today in exchange for climate benefits far off in the future — benefits whose attributes, magnitude, timing, and distribution are not knowable with certainty. Since they risked slowing economic growth in many emerging economies, efforts to extend the Kyoto-style UNFCCC framework to developing nations predictably deadlocked as well.

      The new framework now emerging will succeed to the degree to which it prioritizes agreements that promise near-term economic, geopolitical, and environmental benefits to political economies around the world, while simultaneously reducing climate forcings, developing clean and affordable energy technologies, and improving societal resilience to climate impacts. This new approach recognizes that continually deadlocked international negotiations and failed domestic policy proposals bring no climate benefit at all. It accepts that only sustained effort to build momentum through politically feasible forms of action will lead to accelerated decarbonization.’ http://thebreakthrough.org/archive/climate_pragmatism_innovation

      So if you read the report – there are any number of ways forward that might actually work. And you will find that most sceptics – unlike obvious maniacs like big dave – will not object to these measures. Only to the huge costs with uncertain and far distant benefts bit. So why don’t you pick up your soapbox – go away and come back with something original so I don’t have to repeat myself to the annoyance of big dave and wee willie. Not that I give a rat’s arse what they think – just my cut an paste finger is suffering repetitive strain. But OK? Is it a deal? I will stop calling you a pissant progressive. Maybe.

      • David Springer

        Would you please stop repeating yourself?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘The Hartwell Paper: A new direction for climate policy after the crash of 2009 argues for a changed approach to international climate policy after the sustained failure of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The paper argues that decarbonisation will only be achieved successfully as a benefit contingent upon other goals which are politically attractive and relentlessly pragmatic.” The paper calls for “human dignity” to serve as a necessary guiding principle of climate policy and outlines three central objectives consistent with this guiding principle: (1) ensuring energy access for all, (2) developing clean and scalable energy technologies that are ultimately cost competitive with fossil fuels absent subsidy, and (3) building resilience to climate change. It also argues for vigorous action to reduce non-CO2 climate forcings and pollutants such as black carbon and ozone. The result of three months of intensive work by a group of 14 authors from Asia, Europe, and North America, the paper was published in May 2010 by the MacKinder Programme at the London School of Economics and the Institute for Science, Innovation, and Society at the Saïd Business School, University of Oxford.’ It can be viewed here: http://bit.ly/HartwellPaper

        If we got rid of the ideological carousel big dave – you would have nothing left but ad homs, links to Wikipedia and salacious fantasies about me (shudder). TT would not repeat the same inane argument day after day. Honesty and good cheer would prevail. All would be perfect in the best of all possible worlds.

        ‘If the protracted climate battles of the past two decades polarized the American people and their representatives in Washington, DC, they also created an opportunity for the unlikeminded to come together around the three-part framework described above. The climate wars will no doubt continue between extremes on both sides, but that should not delay a far-larger set of pragmatic Americans from embracing policies and measures that attract widespread agreement, are adjustable over time, incremental in their implementation, and provide positive feedbacks for further action. For too long, the national and international climate debate has been little more than that: a debate. There is much that people and nations can agree to disagree on, even as they agree to work together on practical actions. It is time to get started.’

        It is time to move on past the unreconstructed ideologues of both sides of the climate war.

      • David Springer

        The Hartwell paper is my cup of tea. However I need to remind you that it was you who invited me to disrobe and roll around on the floor with you. Any salaciousness is entirely yours I’m afraid. Don’t get me wrong. I’m flattered that you’d like to have a romp with me, and I’m sure there are many other men who find your offer attractive, but that’s not my cup of tea. I think Willard and Mosher might be up for a threesome with you.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Is my face red – I thought a Taxas death match was more two fisted cowboy than camp. Although I suppose after Brokeback Mountain I shouldn’t be surprised. But you might have spared everyone – not least me – the graphical description.

      • David Springer

        Brokeback Mountain is in Wyoming not Texas.

        Wyoming is a lot like the Australian outback only not as feminized.

        We fight with guns here, by the way. That’s why we’re the superpower and you’re the… ah… dorks that are afraid of bad weather is the kindest way of putting it.

      • David Springer

        The flapping is all in your jaw with this chaos crap.

        The earth’s climate has been locked in a narrow range of temperature suitable for life for BILLIONS OF YEARS. That’s the polar opposite of chaotic dufus.

      • David Springer

        But hey, keep on flappin’. The Pratt/Ellison probability calculus predicts that the more times you’re mistaken the more likely it becomes that you’ll be right. Wait long enough Ellison will get a clue.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        So hi big dave – such a pleasure to see that you are still stalking me with your schoolgirl version of a pissing contest.

        But what the hell – Texans as I explained are potentially OK – but the rest of the country is all hat and no cow. I am inclined to think that a ‘Texas death match’ is something that comes from Wyoming, Oklahoma or possibly California – and has nothing to do with Texas at all. Where did you say you come from? You want to pull a gun? What a laugh.

        Though I hate to say it – the idea of a superpower with an economy in the toilet for a decade or so more, unable to control the deficit and spending and multi-trillion dollar debts spiralling out of control – and reduced to inviting China to Pacific Ocean defence exercises is laughable. Get used to treading a lot more softly in the world because no one is going to back down – least of all us. You would be surprised at our ability to project military strength and the depth of friendships we have in our region.

        As I explained to webby recently – the larrikin and mateship are our most sacred ideals of nationhood. Forged in an unforgiving land and tempered on the battlefields of the 20th Century.

        ‘The myth of the digger and the larrikin hero is an important part of the Australian experience of pastoralism, the goldfields, bushranging, shearing and droving. In Settlers and Convicts, first published in 1847, Alexander Harris wrote of the relationship between male pastoral workers in the early days of the British colony:

        … working together in the otherwise solitary bush; habits of mutual helpfulness arise, and these elicit gratitude, and that leads on to regard. Men under these circumstances often stand by one another through thick and thin; in fact it is a universal feeling that a man ought to be able to trust his own mate in anything.

        Henry Lawson wrote in Shearers:
        They tramp in mateship side by side –
        The Protestant and Roman
        They call no biped lord or sir
        And touch their hat to no man!’
        We stand by our mates. It is the Australian larrikin who in mateship has stood side by side with America in every godforsaken battlefield for close to a century. We have sealed our mateship in blood. If you want to call that nothing – then we can call it nothing too.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I can’t keep up with your stalking big dave

        Probability –

        ‘Events A and B are independent events if the probability of Event B occurring is the same whether or not Event A occurs. Let’s take a simple example. A fair coin is tossed two times. The probability that a head comes up on the second toss is 1/2 regardless of whether or not a head came up on the first toss. The two events are (1) first toss is a head and (2) second toss is a head. So these events are independent…

        When two events are independent, the probability of both occurring is the product of the probabilities of the individual events. More formally, if events A and B are independent, then the probability of both A and B occurring is:

        P(A and B) = P(A) x P(B)

        where P(A and B) is the probability of events A and B both occurring, P(A) is the probability of event A occurring, and P(B) is the probability of event B occurring.

        If you flip a coin twice, what is the probability that it will come up heads both times? Event A is that the coin comes up heads on the first flip and Event B is that the coin comes up heads on the second flip. Since both P(A) and P(B) equal 1/2, the probability that both events occur is

        1/2 x 1/2 = 1/4′ http://onlinestatbook.com/2/probability/basic.html

        Seems simple enough even for the most dimwitted of tossers.

        I think I might be in quite good company in a legion of scientists. I should think you are in the company of webby, blah blah and TT – so sad big dave.

        The ‘conclusion that abrupt climate changes have occurred in the past is almost impossible to avoid. Their timing, however, is rather difficult to pin down, due to the inherent imprecision of geochemical dating methods (decay of radioactive elements such as carbon 14 or uranium series). Nonetheless, the analysis of annually banded records (ice cores, corals, tree-rings, or speleothems) has firmly established the rapid rate of these changes.

        The ubiquitous character of certain events further confirms their importance: “the Younger Dryas and a large number of abrupt changes during the last ice age called Dansgaard/Oeschger events (23 abrupt changes into a climate of near-modern warmth and out again, during the last glacial period) have been corroborated in multiple ice cores from Greenland, Antarctica and tropical mountains, marine sediments from the North Atlantic Ocean, the tropical Atlantic, eastern Pacific, and Indian Oceans, and from various records on land. Other, smaller abrupt changes have been linked to societal disruptions. Evidence for some of these events are more regional in nature, and points to far less dramatic changes. However, these events did occur so rapidly and unexpectedly that human or natural systems had difficulty adapting to them – the second definition of abrupt climate change.” (source: NOAA Facts Sheet)

        Thus, while we like to find evidence of large events in many distant locations, local changes can be instructive examples of abrupt climate change, if properly dated.’ http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/res/div/ocp/arch/main.shtml

        Global regime like changes in hydrology are immensely important. Here is a graph Tsonis’ Minoan paper – http://s1114.photobucket.com/albums/k538/Chief_Hydrologist/?action=view&current=ENSO11000.gif – on which as well as the big dry that may have hastened the demise of the Minoans commencing about 1500 years ago – you can see the shift from La Nina to El Nino around 5000 years ago that initiated the drying of the Sahel and changed the course of human history.

        At the very least an intensification of La Nina over the next several centuries seems possible as the world abruptly crosses the threshold of Bond Event Zero. So not only will the US be parched and likely quite cooler over a decade or three more – the centennial to millennial prospects for rain look only middlin’ to awful. The least of your problems perhaps. At the very least it emphasises the impact of decadal shifts in rainfall that real hydrologists need to plan for.

        I love grand sweeping statements that mean nothing at all. Keep up the good work dufus.

    • Temp
      In many “skeptics” eyes the argument is that we do not know that any warming will lead to “net harms” for the world overall or for their nation individually. This makes people highly reluctant to agree to higher taxes or significant changes in their chosen way of life. That does not mean that positive action cannot be taken however. There are many no regrets policies that can be taken and virtually all people would agree upon would lead to lesser future harm from an unpredictable climate.

      Imo, many people have decided to rush ahead to implement “mitigation actions” that are expensive and cannot be shown to have a positive impact worthy of the expected cost. I am skeptical that implementation of mitigation actions are a wise use of limited resources. Over time we will have better information.

    • Temp, “Except for the lower estimates? When Prof Lindzen gives us his 1 degC, or lower, estimate for climate sensitivity I don’t remember seeing any comments from climate sceptics raising the ‘uncertainty’ objection. Or have I just missed all those?”
      1 C is based on purely the radiant impact of a doubling of CO2, no assumptions of feedbacks. Anything higher requires assumptions that are frankly not proving themselves to be valid. If land use has an impact, it would be amplified by CO2 whether as an increase or decrease. So an estimate of 1C to 1.5C should be absolute normal. Anything over or under should require the proof.

    • tempterrain

      “Uncertainty” about the future has always been a part of life.

      When it comes to weather (and its integral or composite, climate) there has always been very great “uncertainty”.

      The climate models of Hansen or IPCC have not reduced this “uncertainty”.

      In fact, their failure to predict future climate is well demonstrated.

      The current “lack of warming” has further increased the “uncertainty” of how future climate will look.

      Recent studies show that there is great “uncertainty” on the postulated theoretical temperature impact of doubling atmospheric CO2 concentrations, with latest estimates running around half the previous ones.

      As a result, there is no sound basis for undertaking any actions intended to mitigate global warming when we are “uncertain” a) whether there is going to be any future warming at all, b) whether this warming will be beneficial for human society rather than harmful (which is more likely, based on history), c) whether there is anything we could do the stop this warming, even if we tried and d) what the unforeseen negative consequences of any actions we would undertake might be.

      It’s a no-brainer, TT.

      Max

  71. Tenacious life, loves light and warmth and – what – ever-
    Time fer a repeat folk:

    Root Cellar.

    Nothing would slep in that cell,
    dank as a ditch. Bulbs broke out of boxes hunting for chinks in the dark,
    Shoots dangled and drooped,
    Lolling obscenely from mildewed crates,
    Hanging down long yellow evil necks, like tropical snakes.
    And what a congress of stinks!
    Roots ripe as old bait,
    Pulpy stems, rank, silo-rich,
    Leaf mould, manure, lime, piled against slippery plaks.
    Nothing would give up life:
    Even the dirt kept breathing a small breath..

    H/t ter the divine Theodore Roethke … Oh Gaia!

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Repeating Beth? It is even betterer second time around.

    • A superbly chosen poem Beth. What else can we do but revisit these timeless works over and over again. It’s a damn miracle of word choices. “Even the dirt kept breathing a small breath.”

  72. I’m not going ter edit ‘What the … who cares!

  73. Alex Heyworth

    How to estimate climate sensitivity from first principles
    A. If we start with 1 molecule of CO2 in the atmosphere, how many times does this have to double before we reach the current situation?
    B. After we subtract the effects of H2O in warming the atmosphere, how much warming is actually due to CO2?
    C. Divide B by A and you have your answer.
    Current situation = 3.15 x 10^40 molecules of CO2 in the atmosphere. ≈ 2 ^ 134.
    Earth is 33C warmer due to GHG, of which CO2 is 20% responsible = 6.6C warming in total from CO2.
    Therefore, CO2 sensitivity
    = 6.6C / 134 doublings
    = 0.05C per doubling of CO2.
    H/T ferdberple at WUWT. Some minor corrections to his numbers.

    A bit tongue in cheek, but refute it if you can.

    • John Tofflemire

      You are stating, in effect, that the addition of the second molecule of CO2 in the atmosphere increased the total surface temperature by .05 C. That would have been one real busy molecule. To the contrary, I suspect the net effect of that second molecule was virtually zero, as were the 3rd and 4th, 5th to 8th, 9th to 16th and so on for quite some time. A sufficient level of CO2 would have finally resulted in a measureable temperature increase at some point well beyond 2^some-small-number.

      Methinks that refutes the argument.

      • John Tofflemire

        Fred’s arithmetic is correct.

        Your logic (that a single molecule of CO2 could NOT cause 0.05C warming) is also correct.

        Whether or not 280 ppmv CO2 were responsible for 6.6C out of the theoretically estimated total “natural” GH warming of 33C is a moot point; the entire concept is pure theory in any case. And besides, CO2 concentration has “naturally” been several time this value in the past.

        To paraphrase you: Methinks Fred’s calculation just shows how dicey the whole concept of a 2xCO2 “climate sensitivity” is in the first place.

        Max

      • Certainly his extending the log approximation back to one molecule is dicey, isn’t it?

    • David Springer

      “Earth is 33C warmer due to GHG, of which CO2 is 20% responsible”

      That’s an educated guess and some might quibble that educated doesn’t belong.

    • David Springer

      Even the modestly informed are aware that CO2 absorption increases linearly at low concentrations. At around 100ppm it turns into a case of diminishing returns. At 400ppm current that’s two doublings, out of 134 doublings, where it’s outside the linear response domain. The first molecule does a f*ck of a lot more absorbing than the last, in other words.

      The ignorance around here is appalling at times. Buy a clue Heyworth.

      • David Springer

        Here’s how it works in terms the proverbial 12-year old can understand.

        Imagine infrared photons are apples on a tree and that CO2 molecules are people picking apples from the tree. With just a few pickers they can each work on a portion of the tree to that two pickers can pick twice as many apples as on picker and so forth. As you add more pickers you eventually get to a point where they crowd each other out. Imagine a hundred people all crowded around the same tree.

        That’s exactly how CO2 absorption works and this has been well known since Tyndall discovered it experimentally 150 years ago.

        100ppm in the atmospheric column above the earth is where it starts getting pretty crowded.

      • David Springer

        Calculated surface temperature vs. CO2 concentration via MODTRAN

        This is as good as any graph I found. It shows the 1.1C no-feedback warming going from 300ppm to 600ppm CO2. Note the changing response. For 10K total temperature boost from 0-300ppm the first 25ppm does half the work (5C increase) and by 100ppm the curve is well out of the linear increase domain.

      • Alex Heyworth

        You don’t seem to understand irony, David. I’m well aware that climate sensitivity is not really a constant. The point of the exercise was to illustrate, as Max Manacker picked up, “how dicey the whole concept of a 2xCO2 “climate sensitivity” is in the first place.” I like your apple picker analogy, btw. All that remains is to demonstrate it experimentally.

      • David Springer

        I understand irony. Do you understand Poe’s Law? There’s a lot of stupid around here. Use a smiley olr something so we can tell intentional stupid apart from parody.

        Tyndall experimentally demonstrated the apple picker analogy 150 years ago. See his treatise Heat: A Mode of Motion. It’s on google books in its entirety. A good read made better the quaint language of science way back then and the ingenuity of the experimenters. For instance Tyndall fashioned a calorific ray detector (thermopile) so sensitive he had to read the analog indicator with a telescope because if he got any closer his body heat messed up the reading.

      • Well, I did mention something about tongue in cheek …

    • Alex,

      A bit tongue in cheek, but refute it if you can.

      The logarithmic formula was empirically determined by Arrhenius at the start of the 20th century. Its an approximation.

      One analogy I’ve seen is painting a pane of glass. Each successive layer has a lesser effect on both the light being transmitted and the light being absorbed than the previous one and the relationship is therefore logarithmic.

      If you follow the same logic you end up “proving” that the first molecule of paint on the glass will have a huge effect on both the transmission and absorption of light.

      If you think about what’s happening, and you’re reasonably good mathematically, you’ll realise why the logarithmic formula works after a few layers but not a few molecules.

      I’ll write it all out over the weekend if anyone is interested.

      • David Springer

        I suggest you study the linked graph above. CO2 absorption increases linearly in concentrations much below 100ppm. Tyndall, not Arseholiness, discovered it.

      • David Springer

        Black pigment added to white paint is a far better analogy, by the way. Not only does it better describe the case of diminishing returns (the first few molecules of pigment do the most darkening while added pigment never quite stops making it darker) but also how just a few ounces of black pigment change the temperature of a thousand pound car body sitting in the sun from luke warm to burning hot (illustrating how a tiny percentage of adulterant can have a large effect).

        Write all that up. I’ll grade your work on Saturday and give you a cookie if it’s up to snuff.

      • Dave Springer,

        Again the linear relationship is just an approximation. The atmosphere doesn’t know to switch from one mathematical function to another at 100ppmv.

        The easiest way to think about it is that the first layer lets 95% through and absorbs 5%. Then the next layer lets 95% of the 95% through and absorbs 5% of the 95%. And so on as more layers are added. You can put these numbers in spreadsheet and create a graph. You’ll see that the plot will look linear to start with, then more logarithmic, then you’ll see a saturation region.

      • David Springer

        CO2 “knows” precisely it’s absorptive characteristics just like it “knows” its precise atomic weight. Whatever science teachers you had were abject failures in your case. Go back to school and come back when you know more.

      • Dave Springer,

        The paint, pesumably in its can, in your analogy is still opaque whether its black or white. You need to use a model which is partially transparent to be able to understand what is happening.

        Its often asked how a gas which is measured in ppm can have any significant impact on IR transparency and therefore the GH effect and cliamte. You could think about how a drop of dye in a tank full of water can give the whole water a tint which reduces its transparency at that particular wavelength. A GH gas acts on the atmosphere in exactly the same way, except of course it’s in the IR and outside of the visible spectrum.

      • David, you write “One doubling of CO2 at 300ppm produces 1.1C of warming in a perfectly controlled environment i.e. in vitro.”

        In the real world, this number has NEVER been measured. You quote it with no +/-; a real no-no in physics. I dont believe we have any idea what the value of this number is

      • The land responds to forcing faster, especially dry areas, as they have a lower thermal inertia. The land is warming faster than the oceans for this reason. Given time the oceans will warm too, but it is land first just because of inertia. You notice a similar thing with summer, or noontime heat over land versus water. This has nothing to do with water vapor feedback, obviously.

      • Above was response to below Springer.

    • Alex Heyworth

      Yes, write it up. It is still hard to fathom that 134 doublings can produce 6.6 degrees of warming, yet a mere one doubling can produce 2, 3 or even more degrees. Although I take Dave Springer’s point about the increase being linear up to a point and logarithmic thereafter, I ask “why”?

      • Alex Heyworth perhaps it’s the good ol’ law of diminishing returns? One thing to remember, though, the stratosphere is not a closed system and entrophy should follow from the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. (Thanks to David Springer I refreshed myself on these Laws)

      • David Springer

        One doubling of CO2 at 300ppm produces 1.1C of warming in a perfectly controlled environment i.e. in vitro.

        The earth is far from perfectly controlled environment. In vivo it could be more or it could be less. The warmists would have you believe the 1.1C of warming under laboratory conditions initiates a cascade of secondary effects including what’s called “water vapor amplification” where a little bit of extra warm evaporates more water and owing to water vapor being a greenhouse gas it adds another 2C-3C of warming. This has never been demonstrated, there is no evidence at all that it exists, and all the available evidence says the basic heating effect of CO2 is 1.1C per doubling is all there is and that much warming only happens in very dry environments with increasingly less surface warming where water is available to evaporate. Evaporating water cools the surface, big time, and clouds don’t negate it. So where there is water to evaporate the surface doesn’t get warmer but instead the cloud deck rises about 100 meters per doubling and where there was once dry cool air above the clouds there’s now a warm cloud occupying that layer in the atmosphere instead. The cloud top, being 100 meters higher, has less atmosphere between it and outer space and thus it cools more efficiently from the higher altitude.

        This has not been confirmed but it will be soon. We’re just beginning to collect data on global average cloud height. You’ll remember me as the first one to describe this. It’s elementary my dear Watson.

      • David Springer

        Confirming evidence for evporation negating the warming effect of CO2 is look at regional warming. The highest mean annual temperature ever recorded was from 1960 to 1966 in a salt desert close to the equator in Ethiopia. If water vapor amplification was real we should expect to see that record over an equatorial jungle instead of a desert. Evaporation and clouds negates CO2 warming. Also, northern hemisphere warming is greater than southern hemisphere. There’s twice as much land surface in the NH. Land surface is dryer than ocean surface. There’s more warming in winter than in summer. Winters are dryer because the air can’t hold as much water vapor and if it’s freezing snow doesn’t evaporate very well at all. Everything makes sense in light of evaporation negating surface heating by CO2. Everything. The grand mistake of the climate catastrophists was using an instrument network primarily located in industrialized NH locations and mistaking a natural warming trend beginning in the 1970-1980 timeframe with anthropogenic warming. The so-called pause is a category killer. It should not have happened while CO2 increased by another 20%. That’s just too much hypothetical forcing for a complete lack of warming response. Skeptics now own this space. Climate boffins are back peddling like crazy trying to figure out how to salvage their dignity and regain a measure of credibility. Ignorant sycophants of these boffins are the new deniers.

      • Modelling how clouds, of many different charateristics and associated feedbacks, affect global climate is horrendously difficult.
        Anyone who thinks ” it’s elementary my dear Watson” hasn’t the slightest clue!

      • This got in the wrong place first time.

        David, you write “One doubling of CO2 at 300ppm produces 1.1C of warming in a perfectly controlled environment i.e. in vitro.”

        In the real world, this number has NEVER been measured. You quote it with no +/-; a real no-no in physics. I dont believe we have any idea what the value of this number is.

      • blueice2hotsea

        tempterrain –

        Springer’s laser beam illuminates so many points so quickly that I am sure you can see a picture on the wall. And if it’s not also the writing on the wall spelling out an easing to CO2 alarmism, then please help out with substantive comments.

        Do not take this: “Ignorant sycophants of these boffins are the new deniers.” as a challenge to self-identify.

        Instead take it as a challenge to intelligently criticize such as this:
        “If water vapor amplification was real we should expect to see [the high temperature] record over an equatorial jungle instead of a desert. Evaporation and clouds negates CO2 warming.”

        Don’t satellites measure the temperature at the top of the jungle canopy? And isn’t the albedo of the canopy much lower than that of sand? So what the hell is going on, if not what Springer claims? Maybe it is obvious and I am too stupid to get it. Even so, I am not asking for to be cured of stupidity, just relieved of ignorance.

        Thanks.

      • Consider the disparity in night-time temperature between desert (extremely cold) and rainforest (very warm).

      • blueice2hotsea

        BBD –

        “Consider the disparity in night-time temperature between desert (extremely cold) and rain-forest (very warm).”

        ok. Each morning jungle temps begin significantly higher than the desert temps. Despite the head-start in temps, lower albedo and amplifying effects of much higher humidity, jungle highs fall short of desert high temps.

        now what? i still don’t get it. :(

      • Lots of factors as you suggest. Rainforest: high humidity and cloudiness (the rain in rainforest comes from?) means a mix of cloud albedo reflecting DSW (negative) and IR absorption and re-radiation below cloud deck from WV (positive). Hot days and nights but not as hot as deserts because cloud albedo modulates DSW.

        Deserts are dry so *full* DSW flux to the surface = very high peak T. But no cloud/WV = cold night-time temperature.

      • blueice2hotsea

        BBD –

        Thanks for your reply. I think you might have scored a bulls-eye but for hitting the wrong target.

        Springer’s point which I wanted to discuss with tempterrain had entirely to do with RECORD HIGH TEMPERATURES. (I am not yelling, but I don’t want you to miss out on this item because it is and always has been the target to aim for.)

        Also, it is important to not confuse an increase in average temperature with an increase in record high temperatures else I may once again will have to explain that I am not yelling.

        thanks.

      • blueice2hotsea

        BBD –

        To clarify. what I am asking for is an explanation as to why Springer is mistaken in his claim that cooling from increased evaporation results in a reduced likelihood of record high temperatures. NOT CONFIRMATION AS TO WHY HE IS CORRECT. ok that time I was yelling. sorry.

        you have the last word.

      • Why should you not expect record high temperatures in a desert under uninterrupted DSW (no cloud, no WV)? Bear in mind that rock and sand in the midday sun become hot enough to burn flesh. Have you ever been burned by a plant in the midday sun?

      • blueice2hotsea

        BBD –

        You have wasted your opportunity for the last word because you put it in the form of a rhetorical question. You ought to know that many are afflicted with the inability to automatically accede to non-obvious truth.

        It has already been established that deserts are hotter than jungles. The paradox to focus on is “humidity amplification of forcing at equal LATITUDES”. It seems to me that you agree with Springer. And if you cannot differentiate your claims from his, then the point of disagreement is inscrutable.

      • Deserts and rainforest at the same latitude? Do you know what a Hadley Cell is?

      • blueice2hotsea | February 7, 2013 at 4:49 pm said: ”It has already been established that deserts are hotter than jungles. The paradox to focus on is “humidity amplification of forcing at equal LATITUDES”

        blueice, you sound as a dedicated person; so let me correct you regarding establishment of desert being warmer than rainforest, on same latitude / altitude: deserts are hotter at daytime / colder at night, than in the rainforest. BUT, if you take the temp for every minute in 24h = they have SAME temp – because the ”extra heat” at daytime is canceled by ”extra” coldness at night, in the desert. It means: you have the best proof that: shoncks collecting only the hottest minute in 24h, is meaningless!!!!

        2] in the rainforest is ;;warmer” for you; but not for the rock, thermometer, or for the crocodile. I.e. sweating for cooling in rainforest is not efficient, so you feel hotter, because of your body produced heat, on the top of what’s in the air. b] your body produced heat of 12-14C, is not taken into account by you and by the ”researchers”. To know in detail, and have the most solid / undeniable evidences, please have a look at my post :http://globalwarmingdenier.wordpress.com/2012/07/20/water-vapor/

      • blueice2hotsea

        BBD and stephenthedenier

        I find that while I can often understand what each of you are saying, I mostly don’t understand what it has to with the topic at hand. Perhaps you two would be best to carry on with me.

        bye,
        bi2hs

      • David Springer

        BBD | February 7, 2013 at 5:08 pm |

        “Deserts and rainforest at the same latitude? Do you know what a Hadley Cell is?”

        World Geography another class you passed via social promotion?

        There are both deserts and tropical rainforests located near the equator.

        However with few exceptions it’s the rainforest that’s closer to the equator. Given that smack dab on the equator is where solar power peaks it only makes my argument stronger. Dullal, Ethiopia where the mean annual temp record was set is about 8 degrees north latitude and has annual rainfall of 1-3 inches. Shouldn’t a rainforest even closer to the equator be hotter if water vapor amplification were true? Ponder that, dummy.

      • David Springer

        BBD | February 7, 2013 at 5:08 pm |

        P.S. you create a straw man with record high temperature

        I specifically said record high mean annual temperature. Do you know the difference between record high daily temperature and record high mean annual temperature?

        If you do know the difference then the straw man was intellectual dishonesty. If you don’t know the difference the straw man was intellectual deficiency. If you know the difference but simply failed to note which it was I wrote about then the straw man was sloth.

        None of the three possibilities are flattering, to say the least. Let me know if I’ve constructed a false trichotomy there. LOL

      • David Springer

        One of the biggest differences between equatorial deserts and jungles is that the lapse rate in the desert is steep because it’s close to the dry adiabatic rate. So close to the ground it’s hotter than jungle and a few thousand feet up it’s colder. Whereas in the jungle the lapse rate is close to the wet (saturated) adiabatic rate which is just a little more than half the DALR. So the same solar energy gets spread out more evenly from surface where we live to several thousand feet AGL. The unsurprising result is that mean annual SURFACE temperature is higher in the desert. Average temperature of the air column is not different. Wet air simply spreads heat vertically much better. CO2 causing more evaporation should only cause cloud height to increase by 100 meters or so per doubling i.e. the 1.1C radiative increase on a dry surface becomes clouds forming higher by the distance the dry adiabat changes by 1.1C. Or maybe it should be the wet adiabat and it would be more like 170 meters higher.

        The higher clouds have less atmosphere above them to hinder heat loss to space and more atmosphere below them to hinder radiative transport downwards.

        Dry land is a different story and in higher latitudes with freezing winters it’s like desert dryness while the land is frozen. This is where CO2 warming would be significant. But guess what. All my friends at 45 north latitude don’t want colder winters. They don’t want to deal with it. Farmers like the cold even less. That leaves skiers and Norman Rockwell lovers basically that want colder winters. Phooey. They can move farther north. The vast majority and the economy do better with milder winters.

      • David Springer

        To understand politics, follow the money.

        To understand climate, follow the water.

        Write that down.

      • However with few exceptions it’s the rainforest that’s closer to the equator.

        Because they are situatued at the descending side of the Hadley cell – as I said. Diversionary waffle.

        Shouldn’t a rainforest even closer to the equator be hotter if water vapor amplification were true? Ponder that, dummy.

        Not if low cloud prevents enough DSW from reaching the surface – as I pointed out to bluesea above, and you have ignored.

        P.S. you create a straw man with record high temperature

        Bluesea did that, not me. Again, *read* before posting one of your onanistic rants please.

        As for the rest of you stuff, the GHE is balanced at the top of the atmosphere – all this wittering about evaporation and the troposphere is *irrelevant* and demonstrates only that you haven’t got the big picture straight yet.

        Keep working on it.

      • “Because they deserts are situatued at the descending side of the Hadley cell – as I said. Diversionary waffle.”

      • blueice2hotsea

        David Springer and BBD –

        Turns out that Dollol, Ethiopia has an average humidity of 84.6. And it is below sea level, in a volcanic depression that is geothermally active with hot springs, CO2 emissions, etc. You get the idea. Dolloi isn’t a good place to demonstrate the paradox.

        Given all above, Hadley Cells were a poor way to refute it. Especially given the paradoxes associated with the HC.

      • blueice2hotsea

        BBD –

        More on Hadley Cells. (continuiing the paradox brain-storming)

        According to The Encyclopedia of Global Warming Science and Technology, increased global temperatures should cause Hadley Cell expansion, which will also cause poleward expansion of deserts.

        However, it is noted elsewhere that for the 30 millions years prior to permanent Antarctic glaciation: “the [Amazon] rainforest extended as far south as 45°“, nearly to the tip of South America. Was the Hadley Cell descending onto the Patagonian desert somewhere in the Southern Ocean?

        Even looking back 3mya at +3°C (in the range of IPCC projections), we are told the desert southwest in the US was WET, WET, WET. So, maybe the world was hotter than present, but summertimes highs in that desert would have likely been been cooler.

        And here’s a Wikipedia picture of the Amazon rainforest making its own clouds. hmmm. Shades of Makarieva!

      • blueice2hotsea | February 8, 2013 at 8:24 pm said: ”Even looking back 3mya at +3°C (in the range of IPCC projections), we are told the desert southwest in the US was WET, WET, WET. So, maybe the world was hotter than present”

        ,blueice2hotsea, here is your own proof: why the truth for you sound as ‘off topic” A] you’ve learned / memorized the propaganda crap as a song – any real proof doesn’t have place in it. B] ”southwest in the US was WET, WET, WET” 1]southwest of USA is NOT the world – 2:no need GLOBAL warmings, to get wet, or dry!

        2] here is why US was WET, WET, WET: before Gibraltar straights and the English Chanel opened – there was no ‘Gulf-stream” Now, as soon as the surface water in the Mexican gulf warms up – GOES east,, as on a convayer-belt – no time to produce enough moisture in the air.

        before the gulf-stream existed – lots more moisture was constantly produced in and around the gulf -> by the planet spinning eastwards – constantly moisture was flowing west / similar as moisture from Atlantic into Amazon basin does today.

        therefore: if you close Gibraltar straights and the Chanel between France and England = Arizona… Texas and west would have become rainforest.
        see how is different when you understand things – instead off memorizing as lyric and parroting what the propaganda says / including your / their constant ”maybes”

      • blueice2hotsea

        Thanks, Mr. Denier.

        I was paradox brain-storming, unfortunately all by myself. The way it is supposed to work is that you try to best me by coming up with superior paradoxes, not by pointing out how weak mine are. Maybe next time.

        bye

  74. It’s no wonder that climate “scientists” are a laughing stock:

    How many climate “scientists” does it take to have an argument? … just one … and about 30 years of new data.

    What the difference between climate and weather? Climate science is an investment … we grumble about the weather ..,., but we are saving up to have a good laugh about climate “science” in our old age.

    What did the actress say to the climate scientist? It looked so good … now its just so flaccid.

  75. David Springer

    Failing to capitalize the M in the abbreviation for megawatt hour in the context of nuclear power plant output is not a sign of ignorance in the subject matter.

    Your ignorance of synthetic biology is manifest in calling me an algae zealot however. Joule doesn’t use algae.

    http://www.jouleunlimited.com/faq/isnt-joule-just-another-algae-fule-company

    Algae are eukaryotes which most people know as green plants. Joule uses a photosynthetic bacteria which is as far removed from green plants as you are removed from mushrooms. Maybe farther in your case.

    Algal fuels require harvesting, dewatering, trigliceride extraction, and chemical conversion of the triglicerides into the desired fuel. Joule’s bio-engineered bacteria directly excrete ethanol, diesel, and other chemicals. There is no harvest involved because the bacteria don’t contain the desired product they excrete it. Dewatering is all that’s required.

    Let me know which parts of that you don’t understand.

    Or to make a long story shorter let me know which parts you DO understand.

  76. David Springer

    Lang, you seriously think the guy who invented this:

    http://www.google.com/patents/US5936608?dq=patent+springer+dell+usa&hl=en&sa=X&ei=tmMSUbngN6XL2QWs24HYBQ&ved=0CDwQ6AEwAg

    doesn’t know the difference between milliwatts and megawatts? That’s absurd. But absurd appears to be your stock in trade, eh boy?

    • That was unnecessary. We all see your pathological wee-wee envy. You wear 9-narrow shoes, have a very tasteful engineered comb-over system, you made a fortune at Dell Computers, you like to drop nerd-celebrity names to impress Mosher and like to drive your big powerboat fast on a small lake.

      It’s hard to believe you are a racist as well!

      • David Springer

        Actually I wear a 9-wide, haven’t had my jet boat in the water in 3 years, and if I needed a comb over (which I don’t) I keep my hair too short to do it.

        But thanks for thinking about me Howard. You do that a lot?

      • David Springer

        And I’ve been married for over 30 years to a woman of a different race. No racist organization in the world would have me for a member. Just like Tom Jefferson in fact. Marriage outside one’s own race is an instant disqualifier.

        So there.

      • Howard,

        I don’t think David was trying to impress me. We know the same people. Worked in the same industry. Hell he made money on the stuff I did. And when it comes to gamers and graphics there isnt anything he could say to impress me. Been there done that, helped start the 3D revolution. That’s all history now. Think of it as two guys trading stories. Someday I’ll tell how Jobs hijacked the Ipod idea. Again, history, grateful to be a part of it but very few guys who worked in the area are stupid enough to take sole credit for a huge group effort. Lots of guys big and small, loud and quiet played roles. Some made Billions, other millions and some just made enough to pay the rent. Most would work for the love of it and did.

      • > That was unnecessary.

        Perhaps, but it serves a function and satisfies a need.

        Your answer to that feeds the function and castrates the need.

        Did you like it when your dad did this to you, Howard?

        Neither will Big Dave.

    • brightness manager. Cool.

      • David Springer

        Dell was my first experience with the patent game played by the big companies. It’s a sucky game. The vast majority of things that get patented are obvious upon defining the problem. In my past experience at small companies designing personal computer hardware and software you’d run into an solve three problems like that every day before lunch. You didn’t patent it you just did it and moved along to the next small challenge. In the portfolio race you spend a little time solving a problem then a lot of time (or money or both) pursuing a patent on it. The individual patents are only rarely scrutinized or contested. Instead they’re used in groups by lawyers working out cross licensiing deals and he who has the largest number of patents has the most leverage at the bargaining table. Intel and Microsoft would sometimes assign a few of their patents to a favored customer in order to help the customer sell products that might cause legal harrassment from some competitor of that customer’s. Texas Instruments and IBM were like patent terrorists extorting huge sums of money from lessers who wanted to make personal computers. It was a disgusting game but I played it. Had to in order for both me and the company to succeed.

        Ya think federal regulators will let Microsoft come within an inch of buying Dell? Fifteen years ago that was unthinkable. It still is for me but Microsoft ain’t the monopoly it used to be but still there’s just something that makes me flinch about owning one of your customers and pretending they don’t receive favorable treatment.

      • David Springer

        re; brightness manager

        Long flight back from China a guy sitting next to me worked for some big company doing imaging systems for infantry weapons. Battery power is at a premium and money is no object on the modern battlefied. So he was working on a new invention, the cold cathode electron beam flat panel, which could be manufactured with a few thousand pixel elements on a screen the size of a coin. They’re exceedingly bright with a wide viewing angle and also they require zero current (measured in either milliwatts or megawatts) for any pixel which isn’t lit and power proportional to the brightness of the pixel. So I figured hey, maybe some day they can make these big enough and cheap enough for commercial laptops so I figured out a way to selectively reduce the brightness of pixels on portions of the display screen that a user have the user’s attention at the moment. I only spent a few hours on that patent. Wrote up an abstract, presented it for approval at our weekly patent committee meeting (I was one of a dozen voting members on the committee). Patents presented by other committee members usually got a rubber stamp approval because we knew better than anyone else what could and couldn’t be patented. After that the Dell IP legal beagles found and assigned me a lawyer to work with at a big third party IP law firm in Dallas. A couple phone calls and emails later the lawyer turned my abstract and $10,000 in billable hours into what you see at that link. I never heard another word about it until the patent was granted a year or two later. That’s now most of them go. The US patent office is just another rubber stamp. The examiner looks at the application, sees it’s from a multi-billion dollar company with a Johnny Cochran of intellectual property representing it and decides he can, instead of scrutizing it, take a long lunch instead. Welcome to the IP world of big bidness. With bidness like that who needs banana Republics?

      • David Springer

        Oh dear. It just occured to me that “banana republic” might be considered a racist expression nowdays. Am I in even more trouble with the thought police now?

  77. David Springer

    Peter Lang | February 6, 2013 at 7:36 am |

    “You really don’t have a clue what you are talking about. The biofuel productivity is best on the most fertile lands”

    This is pure unadulterated ignorance. Joule’s technology is soil free.

    Sans soil.

    Non-arable land.

    Desert is ideal.

    It’s aqua-culture and doesn’t even require potable water. Municipal wastewater is ideal but seawater with basic nutrients added to is fine. It’s also enclosed aquaculture so there’s not even a lot of unpotable water required since little is lost to evaporation.

    Which bits of that do you not understand, Lang? At this point I can only assume willful ignorance because even a small child understands the difference between an aquarium and a corn field.

    • David Springer

      I see the threading is jacked again. Who’s the potty mouth THIS time?

      • Well, I know my link to a santana song got deleted. I can’t argue it was on topic so have no real problem with that. I can only assume since so much garbage was left behind that Judith is not a Santana fan.

      • David Springer

        Ha. She deleted the same youtube links of mine three times now. JCH asks which parts of the earth are warming/cooling and I responds with that old Wendy’s commercial where the customer asks what’s in the chicken nuggets and the kid behind the counter says chicken parts. The customer then asks “WHAT parts?” and the kid, after a discussion with his manager says “Different parts. Parts is parts.”

        And then I cap it with a link to Forrest Gump saying “And that’s all I have to say about that”.

        The woman has no sense of humor.

      • I found it amusing. I went to GISS to produce some comparisons but they have shut down the interactive portion of their web page.

    • David Springer,

      Which bits of that do you not understand, Lang? At this point I can only assume willful ignorance because even a small child understands the difference between an aquarium and a corn field.

      Your charm offensive is very persuasive. Unfortunately, your beliefs are just plain silly.

      The link you provided is to a proponent’s advocacy document. It is no more reliable or realistic than other renewable energy proponents’ spin documents. Furthermore, it says nothing about the cost of the fuels, let alone whether it would be possible to provide the quantities sufficient to supply the world’s transport fuel in say 2050.

      Biofuels, algae and the rest are at the early stage of R&D.

      http://biodieselmagazine.com/articles/8889/doe-announces-new-funding-for-cost-effective-algae-biofuels

      At a large-scale, these technologies could help speed commercialization of domestically produced, cost-competitive biofuels from algae.

      That is “could”, perhaps, maybe, bla bla bla.

      But they are not even close to being economically viable.

      In other words, it’s another ‘pie in the sky idea’.

      But since you’ve studied it, you clearly are biased. And you’ve no sense of balance or objectivity.

      Did you say something about “zealot” in an earlier comment? If the shoe, fits …

      • David Springer

        Amazing. I stipulate the fact that Joule is not using either algae or arable land and you continue to rest your argument on biofuel production that uses algae or arable land.

        Simply amazing. You’re very polite for a retard though! Have a nice life.

      • David Springer,

        Amazing. I stipulate the fact that Joule is not using either algae or arable land and you continue to rest your argument on biofuel production that uses algae or arable land.

        Simply amazing. You’re very polite for a retard though! Have a nice life.

        I notice your charm offensive continues (typical of many computer nerds).

        However, you continue to make misleading, disingenuous statements. Why didn’t you deal with this:

        The link you provided is to a proponent’s advocacy document. It is no more reliable or realistic than other renewable energy proponents’ spin documents. Furthermore, it says nothing about the cost of the fuels, let alone whether it would be possible to provide the quantities sufficient to supply the world’s transport fuel in say 2050.

        Your previous comment was so silly I saw no point in parsing it and pointing out all the silliness. It shows you have no understanding of the real world (outside the world of computer games, that is).

        You said:

        This is pure unadulterated ignorance. Joule’s technology is soil free.

        Sans soil.

        Non-arable land.

        Desert is ideal.

        It’s aqua-culture and doesn’t even require potable water. Municipal wastewater is ideal but seawater with basic nutrients added to is fine. It’s also enclosed aquaculture so there’s not even a lot of unpotable water required since little is lost to evaporation.

        Have you any concept of the costs of what you are suggesting? Have you any idea of the cost of flooding desert areas with sea water or municipal waste water? Have you done any calculations of the area required to produce the quantity of transport fuels needed to replace fossil fuels globally, now, in 2050, in 2100? You provided no references to anything authoritative to support your beliefs. As far as I am aware DOE, although providing token funding for research, hasn’t provided the cost of fuels or information on the quantities that are being produced now and could be produced globally by this technology, which you say is competitive (while at the same time arguing nuclear is not and never will be). If they have, please provide the link.

        When you can provide something authoritative that shows this idea can produce a replacement for fossil at competitive cost, provide the quantities of fuel required and the area that would be required, and show the basis of these estimates, then I may take you a bit more seriously than i do now (but probably not seeing as you don’t even realise when you write mWh instead of MWh – repeatedly!).

      • [Repost with corrected formatting]

        David Springer,

        Amazing. I stipulate the fact that Joule is not using either algae or arable land and you continue to rest your argument on biofuel production that uses algae or arable land.

        Simply amazing. You’re very polite for a retard though! Have a nice life.

        I notice your charm offensive continues (typical of many computer nerds).

        However, you continue to make misleading, disingenuous statements. Why didn’t you deal with this:

        The link you provided is to a proponent’s advocacy document. It is no more reliable or realistic than other renewable energy proponents’ spin documents. Furthermore, it says nothing about the cost of the fuels, let alone whether it would be possible to provide the quantities sufficient to supply the world’s transport fuel in say 2050.

        I didn’t bother parsing and pointing out the silliness in your previous comment because it was so silly I saw no. It shows you have no understanding of the real world (outside the world of computer games, that is). But now I will mention some

        You said:

        This is pure unadulterated ignorance. Joule’s technology is soil free.

        Sans soil.

        Non-arable land.

        Desert is ideal.

        It’s aqua-culture and doesn’t even require potable water. Municipal wastewater is ideal but seawater with basic nutrients added to is fine. It’s also enclosed aquaculture so there’s not even a lot of unpotable water required since little is lost to evaporation.

        Have you any concept of the costs of what you are suggesting? Have you any idea of the cost of getting water to desert areas ( sea water or municipal waste water)? Have you done any calculations of the area required to produce the quantity of transport fuels needed to replace fossil fuels globally, now, in 2050, in 2100?

        You provided no references to anything authoritative to support your beliefs. As far as I am aware DOE, although providing token funding for research, hasn’t provided the cost of fuels or information on the quantities that are being produced now and could be produced globally by this technology, which you say is competitive (while at the same time arguing nuclear is not and never will be). If they have, please provide the link.

        When you can provide something authoritative that shows this idea can produce a replacement for fossil at competitive cost, provide the quantities of fuel required and the area that would be required, and show the basis of these estimates, then I may take you a bit more seriously than i do now (but probably not seeing as you don’t even realise when you write mWh instead of MWh – repeatedly!).

      • David Springer

        Presumably Audi worked through the numbers before handing Joule $70 million in private funding to build the commercial scale plant in New Mexico.

        Before you can pooh-pooh a proposed technology you should at least have a quick look at it. You have not done that and that is proven by your statement about biofuels and fertile land when Joule employs aquaculture.

        How much does it cost to pipe water into the desert? I don’t know. It’s already there. Ever been to Palm Springs or Taos or Phoenix? They have water.

        As I told you before Joule doesn’t use open raceways or ponds so they don’t need a lot of water since none is lost to evaporation. They use thin hollow panels made of plastic. It looks like a solar panel only green.

        You might know those things if you’d taken 60 seconds of your time to learn about it. If you object to reading Joule’s own description of itself there’s wickedpedia:

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

        Joule Unlimited, formerly known as Joule Biotechnologies,[1] is a producer of alternative energy technologies based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The company developed a process to generate hydrocarbon-based fuel by combining non-fresh water, nutrients, cyanobacteria, carbon dioxide, and sunlight. The company planned to break ground in October 2011 on a facility to produce more than 20,000 gallons of fuel per acre per year (19,000 m3/km2·a).[2]

        Helioculture uses photosynthetic organisms, but is otherwise distinct from the process that makes fuel from algae. Oils made from algae usually have to be refined into fuel following a batch process, but helioculture produces fuel directly – either ethanol or hydrocarbons – that do not need refining. The Helioculture process also does not produce biomass. This process is enabled by the discovery of unique genes coding for enzymatic mechanisms that enable the direct synthesis of both alkane, olefin, ethanol, and other key molecules.[3] Helioculture allows for brackish water or graywater, nonindustrial waste water from sources such as baths and washing machines,[4] to be used, while traditional biofuels such as cellulosic ethanol require fresh water.

        Joule Unlimited claims that its product will be cost competitive with crude oil at $50 a barrel ($310/m3). The company also states that its product could supply all of the transportation fuel for the United States from an area the size of the Texas panhandle.[5]

        Joule Unlimited has not revealed the name of the organism that it uses, although it has acknowledged that the company has modified the organism.[6] In September, 2010, Joule received a patent for genetically altered bacterium.[7]

        Joule was founded by David Berry and Noubar Afeyan of Flagship VentureLabs. In addition to its founders, Joule’s Board of Directors includes Graham Allison, Stelios Papadopoulos, Ruben Vardanian, John Podesta, and CEO, Bill Sims.[8] Joule’s Scientific Advisory Board includes synthetic biologists George M. Church and Jim Collins.

      • David Springer,

        Presumably Audi worked through the numbers before handing Joule $70 million in private funding to build the commercial scale plant in New Mexico.

        That is not a valid answer to my questions about the costs of the fuels, quantities that are being supplied now, can be supplied in 2050 and 2100 as a proportion of total transport fuel demand, area required. Just saying that someone has invested their money is not a valid argument. Obama invested taxpayers money in solar plants that went broke. Many famous people invested in “Better Place’ electric vehicle network and it has had to pull out of Australia and USA. There are many failures for every successful idea. There are also many reason why companies invest in “green technologies’ to say they are saving the planet. The fact is, you haven’t been able to answer my questions, which means you can’t. Whish means the idea is another ‘pie-in-the-sky’ idea and you’ve been sucked in and can’t think critically.

        Before you can pooh-pooh a proposed technology you should at least have a quick look at it.

        You didn’t apply that approach before poo-poo-ing nuclear power which is the safest electricity generation technology, and by far the least cost way to reduce global GHG emissions by the amount being advocated by the CAGW crowd. Nuclear is also cost competitive with fossil fuels in many countries and arguably could/should be far cheaper than it is. Furthermore, it is the only realistic option for providing for the energy needs that are likely to be required for hundreds or thousand of years. It has also been proven over a period of nearly 60 years and produces about 14% of world electricity. You have been poo poo-ed nuclear, repeatedly, and yet you ask me to not poo poo the scheme you are advocating, despite your scheme having no runs on the board and you can’t even answer the most basic questions I’ve asked you. So why would I waste my time following your links. If I and others followed all the links from all the people advocating their ideas, I’d spend all our time refuting nonsense.

        I am poo poo-ing your advocacy because you haven’t been able to answer the basic questions I asked you. When you actually address my questions, if you can, there may be something worth pursuing, but I now seriously doubt it.

        The US Navy research is suggesting they can make 100,000 gallons per say of jet fuel from sea water on board their nuclear air craft carriers http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA539765 . John Morgan has taken this a step further and estimated cost using current costs of electricity on land to make just fuel from sea water http://bravenewclimate.com/2013/01/16/zero-emission-synfuel-from-seawater/. He calculates $2.50/L. However, this could be much cheaper with high temperature reactors that produce hydrogen. 100,000 gallons of jet fuel per day from a small nuclear reactor and seawater. Nuclear energy and sea water are both effectively unlimited. So what do you think of that idea? (Just testing to see how you poo poo the idea and how much research you do to check out the figures and the calculations. BTW, I can give you plenty more schemes to research and read up on if you are interested. Get the point?).

      • David Springer

        I provided the numbers you wanted here:

        David Springer | February 6, 2013 at 8:40 am |

        How many times does a person need to answer you before you acknowledge the answer?

        If I answer you again it will be the third time. I’d rather just point out what an ass you are as it requires less space and is equally effective which is to say not at all.

        And I know more about the nuclear options than you do. You’re a zealot. I’m not. I have no vested interest in any technology. I just know which ones hold the most promise and which hold the most hype. Nuclear energy options have been doggedly pursued for over 50 years. What you see is what is practical. There have been no breakthroughs that will enable massive improvements in cost effectiveness. What level of portability and safety can be achieved at any cost is contained within nuclear powered submarines and aircraft carriers. What level of cost-sensitive commerical power is contained within the 400-odd commercial reactors in operation around the world. There is nothing new in either science or engineering that will significantly alter what we have operating right now.

        Genetic engineering on the other hand is an infant technology improving in cost-effectiveness at a rate reminiscent of Moore’s Law of semi-conductors. Why you remain willfully ignorant of both nuclear chemistry and biology is unknown to me. Perhaps you can explain.

      • David Springer

        $2.50/liter for synfuel made with energy from a nuclear reactor is $10/gallon.

        A 300% improvment would make it competitive with $100/bbl oil.

        I’m supposed to be excited by that?

        Are you insane?

        LOL

      • David Springer,

        I provided the numbers you wanted here:
        David Springer | February 6, 2013 at 8:40 am

        No you didn’t. Reread my question.

        How many times does a person need to answer you before you acknowledge the answer?

        Once would do very nicely, thanks. But first you need to read and understand the question. Its actually very simple, and absolutely standard. But if you’ve never worked in the real world, perhaps no matter how times I ask it, you will never be able to understand it.

        If I answer you again it will be the third time.

        If you answer once, that will be once.

        I’d rather just point out what an ass you are as it requires less space and is equally effective which is to say not at all.

        You don’t seem to take any notice no matter how many times I’ve pointed out you are an ass on many threads.

        And I know more about the nuclear options than you do.

        You think you do. You’ve repeatedly demonstrated you know next nothing. You don’t even recognise when you repeatedly talk of $/mWh instead of $/MWh. You know zip, other than what you read on your computer screen.

        You’re a zealot. I’m not.

        I see it the other way around.

        I have no vested interest in any technology.

        Nor do I. I ma just interested in least cost energy. For many reasons I’ve explained on numerous threads. So, if we are required to reduce global GHG emissions, I want to be sure we do it the least cost way. That’s my agenda, and its been plain since the start, unless you are just a zealot and choose to misrepresent and twist what I say to put your own spin on it.

        I just know which ones hold the most promise and which hold the most hype.

        No you don’t you haven’t a clue. You know nothing about the subject. You just have opinions. And you can’t even back them up.

        The rest of your comment is such nonsense and you are such a zealot you wouldn’t listen or understand even if I did explain. You are very opinionated, but ignorant. A typical arrogant, rude computer nerd.

      • David Springer,

        I’ll make it easier for you. Using authoritative references such as DOE, not proponents advocacy documents, provide answers with references to support your answers for each of the following:

        1. How much transport fuel is being produced now?

        2. How long has the process been supplying transport fuels?

        3. What quantities per year?

        4. What is the cost of the fuel (and what is the basis of that cost, e.g. retail fuel delivered at the pump, wholesale, crude, etc)?

        5. what subsidies are required / included in the cost?

        6. How much land area is actually required (actual not theoretical) to produce that volume of fuel per year?

        7. How much could be produced globally by 2050? What is the basis of that projection? Is that from an authoritative source?

        I am asking these questions because I know the answer. There are no answers. It is another pie-in-the-sky idea. It’s about as silly as all the other renewable energy schemes. If you actually tried to answer these questions honestly, and used reliable, authoritative sources, you’d realise I am correct,

        However, I recognise, there is no chance of that because you are waht you accuse me of being – a zealot.

      • David Springer

        It’s a private company Lang. You only have what they choose to tell you.

        You have to look at the players to determine if they’re real or not.

        The BoD is world class in finance, energy, and biotechnology. They were awarded patents on their modified bacteria. They are partnered with Audi. They’ve received over $100 million in venture capital. Fluor Corporation announced it won the contract to build the New Mexico plant for an undisclosed sum. Wall Street Journal gave them its #1 award in 2011 Technology Innovation (Energy) and #2 award in all categories.

        If you choose to believe that the Wall Street Journal, Audi, Fluor, the US Patent Office, and venture capitalists chipping in $100 million were all suckered by pie-in-the-sky I guess that’s your opinion and there’s no more I can do to change it.

        Your demand for authoritative sources is pretty humorous given you started out by pointing me to a TED conference presentation. Double standard much?

        http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20120214005393/en/Fluor-Awarded-Biofuels-Demonstration-Plant-Joule-Unlimited

      • David Springer

        So Lang, who’s actually building a nuclear reactor powered synfuel production plant? Fluor is building the bioreactor site for Joule. Surely the US Navy has awarded someone a contract to synthesize jet-A aboard aircraft carriers, right? Surely the whole idea is advanced much farther than a few studies on paper, right? RIGHT?

        ROFLMAO

      • David Springer,

        It’s a private company Lang. You only have what they choose to tell you.

        LOL.

        You’d believe anything that supports your beliefs. You haven’t a clue. But you are so opinionated and ignorant there is no point trying to explain anything to you. I’ll give up on that (with you, that is)

        By the way, I wasn’t advocating the US Navy’s idea. I was making the point there are thousands or millions of ideas seeking funding. Some get some. Wind, solar, biomass, wave, tides, ocean thermal, geothermal, electric cars and many others have been seeking and getting some funding for ages. But to just blindly believe a proponents idea without doing any research to check it is just silly. And, clearly you haven’t. You’re gullible and an extreme zealot.

        Also, BTW, you poo pooed the Navy research paper without even reading it or taking any notice of what I said. For example, the Navy research paper reckons the cost of nuclear is $1200 kW and this is claimed to be a current figure. Using their costs, John Morgan calculated $0.79/L (with caveats). However, that is using electrolysis to produce hydrogen. That is the largest component of the cost. With high temperature reactors it may be much cheaper. I am not advocating this Navy idea – I’m just pointing out how gullible you are to accept one idea out of the many out there and the many that have been floated for centuries and suddenly believe this one. That’s what gullible people do.

      • David Springer

        I don’t share your problem Lang, of being too stupid to separate the wheat from the chaff. Joule’s technology is where the smart money is heading. Mark my words, dummy.

    • You’ve got to hand it to Peter Lang, he’s equally, or almost equally, obnoxious to everyone , and not just those of us who might just think that CO2 and other GH gas emissions should be brought under control.

      Its good to see that level of consistency and an unwillingness to discriminate between friend, if that’s the right word as far as Peter is concerned, and foe.

      Amusing too that he seems to have got under Dave Springer’s skin :-)

      • ” those of us who might just think that CO2 and other GH gas emissions should be brought under control.”

        You’ve got to love the way progressives package their support for a government takeover of the energy economy. We don’t want to bring the world economy to a screeching halt by “decarbonizing” it, we just want to bring it under control.

        But that is the heart of progressivism, bringing the stupid voters “under control” of the government.

      • David Springer

        I don’t find Lang obnoxious. He’s a blinder-wearing nuclear power cheerleader but not obnoxious. I am a good example of someone who is obnoxious to everyone, you illiterate toad.

      • Hey, I’m chirruping and irritating. Watch me fluff my feathers in pride! Why, yours ruffle too, how entrancing.
        ====================

      • Springer

        I am a good example of someone who is obnoxious to everyone, you illiterate toad.

        Judith Curry: commenting policy on insults:

        Anyone that persists in insulting other commenters will be put in moderation

        I’m waiting…

      • blueice2hotsea

        BBD –

        Please calm down. You have not been unfairly singled out for moderation. Yes, both you and Springer can be abrasive and sometimes correct. One difference is that Springer is sometimes brilliant. I suspect that an occasional diamond in the bag of rocks helps pay for extended air-time.

        Also, notice how DS doesn’t go much after willard or kim? When willard is teaching via Socratic method, you are teaching by autocratic method. When kim is holding up a mirror, you do not look in it. It’s also true that you have been the busiest stink-bomb on the site.

        Time to pass the baton and raise the level of your game.

        bi2hs

      • Gad, ya think I oughta pay attention to willard? I’d much rather just admire myself in the looking glass.
        ===========

      • David Springer

        I was moderated the same time BBD was. I just didn’t complain about it or mention it. Instead I just started writing comments that I knew Curry would read in the moderation queue and then snip because they were so far over the top. It was fun while it lasted. When God gives you lemons, make lemonade!

      • David Springer

        You and tempterrain aren’t commenters. You’re illiterate anonymous cowards with keyboards and internet connections.

      • Now if you want the real deal, try me: ‘ignorant, innumerate, illiterate anonymous coward’. These other ones just don’t try hard enough.
        ===================

    • David Springer | February 6, 2013 at 10:12 am said: ”The biofuel productivity is best on the most fertile lands”

      David, if you can memorize this – you can do some good: in the sewage treatment plants has EVERYTHING what bio-fuel can be produced from… but is not glamorous, to produce fuel from there.

      You are correct, on fertile land can produce more sugar, corn, other grains for fuel. BUT, all those products are already in the sewage treatment plants – much more of it than can ever be produced specifically for fuel. Now, go and tell the world; not to waste good land and plenty water + diesel for grains / sugar for bio-fuel, because is plenty of it already, new every day arriving for free, in the sewage treatment plants, Get the Sods to produce fuel, without subsidy and repossessing fertile land !

      • David Springer

        I didn’t write what you quoted. That was Peter Lang and he’s wrong because some biofuels are produced in aquaculture. No soil. No arable land required.

  78. Not directly on point, but an excellent example of the ardor with which progressives attack even the attempt at critical analysis (particularly among their fellow progressives). Not to mention how reality for progressives is based on what they have been told by their peers, regardless of the evidence.

    https://www.nationalreview.com/nrd/articles/338656/what-happened-haymarket?pg=1

    You can see this same phenomenon in the reaction to any heresy regarding CAGW, whether on sensitivity, the “pause” or uncertainty. Dissident opinion is not only not encouraged, it is attacked.

  79. David Springer

    Worth another look:

    Climate sensitivy probability distributions from different models published in AR4.

    The most important graph appears first and shows there’s nothing but fat tails beyond 3C sensitivity. All studies except one have sharp probability peaks below 3C with the sharpest at 1.1C which is what you get from MODTRAN.

    Water vapor amplification is a fabrication to make welcome warming into scary warming. Fat tails are noise in the models. The peaks are where the signal rises out of the noise in the model.

    • You can get any invalid “sensitivity” you wish if you start with invalid assumptions that the atmosphere would have been isothermal without WV and GHG Without WV the surface would have been around 300K, but water vapour reduced the gradient (as does carbon dioxide to a minuscule extent because it radiates in far fewer frequencies than WV) and so each has a cooling effect. That’s why the end result is about 288K.

      But you won’t have a clue what I’m talking about, and why it is correct physics, until you read my paper. Possibly my comments on the current Roy Spencer thread will help if you want to take a shortcut.

      • David Springer

        No atmosphere heated from the bottom and cooled from the top will ever be isothermal. I tune out whenever it’s mentioned and discount the author as making special pleading for some case he cannot justify in the real world. It’s the equivalent of starting an argument saying “If pigs could fly…” Yeah well pigs can’t fly and neither can your argument if it needs that in it.

      • Dave Springer,

        “discount the author as making special pleading for some case he cannot justify in the real world. ….”

        They are known as thought experiments , Dave. We know the real atmosphere can never be isothermal because , as you say it cools from the top ( and the bottom too) and is heated from the bottom.

        But its instructive to imagine what the atmosphere would be like if the GH effect didn’t exist. It helps us understand the real one better. I agree with Prof Roy Spencer that it would be isothermal, or at least much more isothermal than it is. Therefore, the fact that it is cooler at altitude shows the existence of the GH effect. That’s an important point to establish, and that’s why many climate deniers are at pains to say otherwise.

    • Steven Mosher

      Fat tails are noise in the models.

      ####################
      Wrong.

      long tails are the consequence of having an estimate of a ratio. You also have long tails in observation estimates.
      delta C over delta Watts. lots of uncertainity in that denominator means a wide ass pdf. Doesnt matter that its sensitivity or any other ratio estimation.

      plus look at the third panel. The distribution of the models is more constrained that observational estimates, You got it backwards david.

      • David Springer

        No, it’s noise.

      • you have it backward david. the models are constrained from 2.1 to 4.4.
        they do not cause the long tails and they dont constrain the PDF. They dont even move the mean. Basically, if you did the statistics and removed the models, the answer would not change. That is why hansen argues correctly that models do not inform our understanding of sensitivity.
        Write that down. you were wrong. its easy to to see and even easier to calculate.

        let see if I can make this easy for you.
        You probably have a car with a display that says MPG. and as you drive it changes. It tells you you are getting 12mpg ( Mopar hemi here ) or 20MPG..

        1. Note that you dont actuallly measure MPG. you measure miles and you measure gallons. MPG is a ratio. its “measured” but only by measuring two components. Speed of light is also never measured. You measure distance and time and compute or estimate the metric.
        when i measure temperature and measure watts and look at the changes in those.. I’m measuring sensitivity in the same way i measure MPG.. not directly, but effectively.

        2 MPG = miles/gallons. like sensitivity = delta C/ delta Watts.
        write that down. you are measuring a ratio.

        3. Your final measure is going to be effected by the error in numerator
        and the error in the denominator.
        4. Which is more accurate your estimate of miles travelled or your
        estimate of gallons in the tank? how the hell does that sensor
        in the gas tank work? what if my vehicle is tilted?

        Which is more important? a tight estimate of the numerator or a tight estimate of the denominator. Do some examples. write them down

  80. Big Snow Possible This Weekend It is being called Winter Storm Nemo. Obviously, it is caused by the production of CO2 by Americans. For polar bears’ sake hopefully all those NE climatists will show us by example how we all should live and abstain from turning on the furnaces to keep warm. Hopefully, they will celebrate every downed power line as a positive step toward their liberal Utopian dreamland. Godspeed.

  81. There is nothing more satisfying than reading the same thing we skeptics have been writing for the last six years being written by the AGW camp:

    But the point stands, that the IPCC’s sensitivity estimate cannot readily be reconciled with forcing estimates and observational data. All the recent literature that approaches the question from this angle comes up with similar answers, including the papers I mentioned above. By failing to meet this problem head-on, the IPCC authors now find themselves in a bit of a pickle. I expect them to brazen it out, on the grounds that they are the experts and are quite capable of squaring the circle before breakfast if need be. But in doing so, they risk being seen as not so much summarising scientific progress, but obstructing it.

    The climate war on the science side is being won. However on the politics side it is another issue.

    The main issue is the observed warming from 1970 to 2000 has a transient component of 0.12 deg C/decade. As a result, the secular warming is not the observed 0.2 deg C/decade, but only 0.08 deg C/decade.

    This gives an IPCC trend multiplication factor of 0.2/0.08 = 2.5.

    So the corrected climate sensitivity is 3/2.5 = 1.2 deg C.

    • Steven Mosher

      Girma please learn how to do the calculation correctly.

      • How do you account when IPCC wrongly assumed a secular warming rate of 0.2 deg C when the actual warming rate is 0.08 deg C?

        How do you modify IPCC’s estimate of climate sensitivity from 3 to correct this mistake?

      • 1. They did not.
        2. there estimate doesnt depend on that.
        3. Even IF they had made the mistakes you claim, which they have not, that does not justify you doing the calculation wrong.

        If you want to see how its done from observations there are any number of papers. Lets start with a simple question: define sensitivity and define sensitivity to a doubling of C02.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The warming from greenhouse gases is quite likely at most what Girma calculates. I would hesitate to project it through at all – because of the likelihood of abrupt climate several times this century. But projecting it uses climate models has the additional burden of nonlinear equations, uncertain inputs and a changing breadth of couplings.

        Oh if either of you only knew what this means for the calculus of climate. The key concept is that there is no single deterministic solution.

      • I love Girma. He makes Steven Mosher modulate into Super-Clown mode.

        Andrew

      • our question andrew is how to get you to modulate out of moron mode

      • David Springer

        What works for you personally and why don’t you ever do it?

  82. In Nature uncertainty prevails, no good feeling over-sensitive
    about it.Yesterday a dinosaur, tomorrow a feather rooster.

  83. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/a-solar-superstorm-is-coming-and-well-only-get-30minute-warning-8484058.html

    What good is an inevitable catastrophe if we can’t blame it on human behavior and use it as an excuse to centralize more power in the government?

    And besides, the sun is nothing compared to the awesome power of a few ppm of CO2 emitted by evil humans burning carbon based fuels. What’s the big deal?

  84. Pute the blame on Meme, boys…

  85. Compressing time to one of our years, from the age of the solar system the beginning of life on Earth has been in just the last few minutes with America being about 3 seconds old. Accordingly we’re incapable of understanding anything at all — we’re babies: creatures of a dynamical Sun-air-sea living model using computers to play numbers games to scare each other. Even so, this is exciting research. But, we really need to improve our credibility because our attribution skills are nutty. And for sure we are driven to keep modeling like crazy (on some else’s dime) like hysterical people building Towers of Babel despite the fact if there is any true substance to general circulation models (GCMs) –i.e., the mathematical models Western government scientists use only to indict humanity for living — it is well disguised.

  86. “On short time scales (decade to centuries), there is no satisfactory way of sorting out forced climate variability from natural internal climate variability unless you have a really good climate model that can adequately handle the natural internal variability on the range of time scales from years to millennia.”

    Is there a “Most brilliant and sensible statement ever made by a climate blogger” award? If not; there SHOULD to be! And then someone ought to I nominate Dr. Curry.

    • What the phytoplankton know, they ain’t sayin’.
      =======================

    • It’s multifaceted. Duh! There are a lot of questions: what is the climate response to solar activity and no solar activity, changes in TSI, spectral variability, particle events, cosmic-ray variability, volcanic aerosols, the Antarctic ozone hole. The key problem is, we now admit the Little Ice Age existed. And, the Maunder Minimum existed too. And, we don’t know how any of these activities are related or just coincide with our observations and which may be effects or a part of an emerging pattern of paleoclimate change. Even NASA admits this.

      We don’t need brilliance here. We need honor. We need fiscal responsibility. We need academic integrity. The truth does not stop government scientists from simply declaring that looking back over the past 10,000 years the Sun is responsible for Earth’s climate and of course, over the last 50 years it is just us that is causing global warming.

      Academia feels honorable fascilitating Western governments’ view on the matter, irrespective of the conclusons we must draw using the scientific method and employing sense to tackle real problems. That’s where we are today and nothing is going to change in the future until Western civilization either runs out of money or starts trimming the budget, beginning with a state-run dysfunctional education system that no longer delivers the mail Monday through Friday.

  87. Am I reading this correctly?

    Privately: consensus climate science has recognized for more than a decade ECS 2xCO2 at 1.5 – 4.0 C

    Publicly IPCC has stated: 3.0-5.0 early 2000s, 2.5-4.5 late 2000s?

    Are these figures/ the comparison metric valid?

    • SUT

      No. Here’s the relevant bit from AR4:

      The likely range[1] for equilibrium climate sensitivity was estimated in the TAR (Technical Summary, Section F.3; Cubasch et al., 2001) to be 1.5°C to 4.5°C. The range was the same as in an early report of the National Research Council (Charney, 1979), and the two previous IPCC assessment reports (Mitchell et al., 1990; Kattenberg et al., 1996). These estimates were expert assessments largely based on equilibrium climate sensitivities simulated by atmospheric GCMs coupled to non-dynamic slab oceans. The mean ±1 standard deviation values from these models were 3.8°C ± 0.78°C in the SAR (17 models), 3.5°C ± 0.92°C in the TAR (15 models) and in this assessment 3.26°C ± 0.69°C (18 models).

      […]

      Since the TAR, the levels of scientific understanding and confidence in quantitative estimates of equilibrium climate sensitivity have increased substantially. Basing our assessment on a combination of several independent lines of evidence, as summarised in Box 10.2 Figures 1 and 2, including observed climate change and the strength of known feedbacks simulated in GCMs, we conclude that the global mean equilibrium warming for doubling CO2, or ‘equilibrium climate sensitivity’, is likely to lie in the range 2°C to 4.5°C, with a most likely value of about 3°C. Equilibrium climate sensitivity is very likely larger than 1.5°C.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘In each of these model–ensemble comparison studies, there are important but difficult questions: How well selected are the models for their plausibility? How much of the ensemble spread is reducible by further model improvements? How well can the spread can be explained by analysis of model differences? How much is irreducible imprecision in an AOS?

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

        We are repeatedly assaulted with the simplistic interpretation of these opportunistic ensembles. If we accept that – realistically – the ensemble statistics have no validity then no confidence can be placed in the results. Each of the ensemble members is one of many possible solutions – and the specific solution is chosen subjectively on the basis of a posteriori solution behaviour. The members are subjectively chosen and therefore the ensemble carries that subjectivity forward.

        The paleoclimatic reconstructions have problems with the completeness of data – with the reproduction of couplings – and indeed with the same nonlinearity of the core equations in the case of models.

        The very notion of linear sensitivity seems misplaced. From Rial et al 2004. ‘The Earth’s climate system is highly nonlinear: inputs and outputs are not proportional, change is often episodic and abrupt, rather than slow and gradual, and multiple equilibria are the norm. While this is widely accepted, there is a relatively poor understanding of the different types of nonlinearities, how they manifest under various conditions, and whether they reflect a climate system driven by astronomical forcings, by internal feedbacks, or by a combination of both.’

        Sensitivity in a complex dynamical system is high at regions of shifts between equilibrium states but not otherwise and the science of predicting shifts is in it’s infancy.

      • Can we have some moderation on the cut’n’paste trolling please? It’s getting out of control.

      • David Springer

        What a whiner!

        WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
        WAAAA
        WAAAA
        WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

      • David Springer

        No, the relevant bits from AR4 are here:

        http://www.nature.com/climate/2009/0905/fig_tab/climate.2009.41_F1.html

        The model with the least noise is the one with the probability spike that looks an upside down stilletto heel. The kind of shoe that Ellison probably likes to wear on special occasions. ;-)

      • Chief Hydrologist

        This from the guy who cut and pasted from AR4?

        I responded technically, in depth, with reference to the literature and quite without the usual qualities one would associate with trolling. Perhaps trolling is defined as demonstrating a view that is not in accordance with blah blah’s superficially dispassionate narrative? Altough I have noticed that it quite often descends into the accusatory and defamatory.

        ‘Although it has failed to produce its intended impact nevertheless the Kyoto Protocol has performed an important role. That role has been allegorical. Kyoto has permitted different groups to tell different stories about themselves to themselves and to others, often in superficially scientific language. But, as we are increasingly coming to understand, it is often not questions about science that are at stake in these discussions. The culturally potent idiom of the dispassionate scientific narrative is being employed to fight culture wars over competing social and ethical values. Nor is that to be seen as a defect. Of course choices between competing values are not made by relying upon scientific knowledge alone. What is wrong is to pretend that they are.’ The wrong trousers – radically rethinking climate policy – Gwyn Prins & Steve Rayner

        Blah blah has a superficial acquaintance with climate science – but without the science background needed to properly assess sources, to have a feel for intrinsic uncertainties and approximations or to compare and contrast sources. The result is the acquistiion of bits of science that appear to confirm the exisitng worldview and the construction of a narrative in the ‘culturally potent idiom of the dispassionate scientific narrative’ that is used to fight a cultural war. The risk is that science is lost in the clamour of duelling narratives.

      • The usual insulting diatribe from Ellison.

        All did was answer this commenter’s specific question – by quoting the exact relevant section from AR4.

        And just *look* at the response from you two. Comments here are an animal house because of the antics of a handful of people.

        Let’s have some moderation please.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Them is fightin’ words big dave – but you’re too much of a pansy.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        But we’re quite broadminded at the Great Western big dave – you can wear whatever you like.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I suppose it is because I called him blah blah. This from the guy who tosses around endearing terms like idiot, petulant liar, fool, moron, hideously bloated and truculent denialist scumbag, mentally aberrant conservative son of a diseased camel, morally deficient lizard brain, scion of a toad and a slime mould, repugnant eater of children and defiler of mothers, Republican voter, a wart on the rump of the body politic, viewer of Faux News, disgusting purveyor of ideas picked up in the intellectual dung heaps of civilisation, soiler of underpants, bent over superannuated hag of obsolete ideologies, putrid despoiler of humanities past, present and future. And that was just yesterday – all my troubles seemed so far away. Oh wait – that was another thread. My diseased and alcohol riddled brain pan conjures up this and other psychoses like a perpetual motion machine on steroids. Astonishing hypocrisy from blah blah. – a zillion.

        Perhaps he objects to being characterised as a climate warrior telling himself stories superficially in the objective idiom of science. This seems to me to be fair analysis and a good call. But for someone who routinely uses the term denier to complain? Breathtaking hypocrisy. – a zillion.

        As for the blah blah charm, wit and style? – a zillion is generous and leaves somewhere for big dave to go.

        The new paradigm of chaos in climate has broad scientific support. Models are chaotic without a doubt. If these ideas are pitched at the level of the incomprehension of a few noisy bloviators – it sort of defeats the purpose of discourse. How could we ever promote understanding and thinking in the different ways required – at a system level rather than as one piffling little ‘forcing’ at a time.

        It’s a zoo all right blah blah – but for you to complain about a lack of decorum in the denizens is a little to disingenuous.

      • Ellison

        I’ll step over the rancid puddles above and just concentrate on the actual argument.

        Your reasoning is partial, in both senses. Abrupt climate shifts do not occur with the absolute randomness you seem to imply. If a generalised forcing is gradually increased (eg WMGHGs) then the *nature of climate change* on the centennial scale will be constrained. The climate system will warm, perhaps in fits and starts, but it will warm. You greatly overstate the potential for decades of cooling. Absurdly so, for someone whose argument is predicated on the *unpredictably chaotic* nature of climate change.

        So your reasoning is contradictory as well as partial in both senses.

        Add in a carious, deranged delivery (see above) and insistent, tedious repetition and the results aren’t pretty.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Dear blah blah – Not amused? I am. I suppose I will take the vicious invective – and so close to the surface too – in equanimity.

        But the objective is to cite some actual science in support of these wild and unlikely claims you are making. We know that these decadal modes last for 20 to 40 years – we are in a cool mode – ergo La Niña is set to intensify for another 10 to 30 years.

        Verdon and Franks (2006) – for instance – used ‘proxy climate records derived from paleoclimate data to investigate the long-term behaviour of the PDO and ENSO. During the past 400 years, climate shifts associated with changes in the PDO are shown to have occurred with a similar frequency to those documented in the 20th Century. Importantly, phase changes in the PDO have a propensity to coincide with changes in the relative frequency of ENSO events, where the positive phase of the PDO is associated with an enhanced frequency of El Niño events, while the negative phase is shown to be more favourable for the development of La Niña events.’ Verdon, D. and Franks, S. (2006), Long-term behaviour of ENSO: Interactions with the PDO over the past 400 years inferred from paleoclimate records, Geophysical Research Letters 33: 10.1029/2005GL025052.

        See this is where we start to introduce some science and not just tell ourselves silly stories.

        Climate shifts aren’t random in any sense – they result from spontaneous internal reorganisation of the complex climate system. They are emergent properties of a deterministically chaotic system. This is entirely a different behaviour to stochasticity.

        ‘The global coupled atmosphere–ocean–land–cryosphere system exhibits a wide range of physical and dynamical phenomena with associated physical, biological, and chemical feedbacks that collectively result in a continuum of temporal and spatial variability. The traditional boundaries between weather and climate are, therefore, somewhat artificial.’ A UNIFIED MODELING APPROACH TO CLIMATE SYSTEM PREDICTION (2009) Hurrell et al
        There are all sorts of resources across the web on abrupt climate change over almost 2 decades now. The NAS publication in 2002 – Abrupt climate change: inevitable surprises – contains what is still a good summary and the title moreover suggests – well – inevitable surprises.

        Really beyond the next decade or three nothing is much predictable. Nothing is constrained – the models are most assuredly chaotic and so are useless for this – and the vagaries of data and attribution leave much to be desired. This is where we start to assess the quality and reliability of the data. You see how it works?

        The future of natural variability is most uncertain – one thing seems certain is that the pattern will not be that of the 20th century.

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

        Figure 12 shows 2000 years of El Nino behaviour simulated by a state-of-the-art climate model forced with present day solar irradiance and greenhouse gas concentrations. The richness of the El Nino behaviour, decade by decade and century by century, testifies to the fundamentally chaotic nature of the system that we are attempting to predict. It challenges the way in which we evaluate models and emphasizes the importance of continuing to focus on observing and understanding processes and phenomena in the climate system. It is also a classic demonstration of the need for ensemble prediction systems on all time scales in order to sample the range of possible outcomes that even the real world could produce. Nothing is certain.’ Slingo and Palmer 2011 Uncertainty in weather and climate prediction

        Nothing is certain but you dear blah blah – and it stems not from science but from a telling yourself a story and believing every word of it. I know this is repeated – but it is from one in particular of the most respected climate scientists in the world. So in utter disbelief I keep asking myself – who do I believe? A nasty little troll like blah blah or the leading scientists in the field. It is in fact a simple question to answer but actual quotes reveal the great divide between science and the narratives of climate warriors.

      • David Springer

        Chief Hydrologist | February 7, 2013 at 8:06 pm |

        “Them is fightin’ words big dave – but you’re too much of a pansy.”

        You’d want to kill or be killed over a pair of high heels? I heard of one hood rat killing another hood rat for a pair of sneakers but I must say this comes as a bit of a surprise. Because I like you so much I promise I’ll never again talk about your footwear. Happy now?

      • Ellison

        My screen name is BBD. ‘Blah blah [duh]’ is a calculated insult. Our host has made the commenting policy on insults very clear:

        Anyone that persists in insulting other commenters will be put in moderation

        I will keep on complaining until you desist or are put into moderation.

        ***

        See this is where we start to introduce some science and not just tell ourselves silly stories.

        No, this is where you start ignoring the radiative forcing from CO2 and your argument falls apart. Repeating partial, contradictory nonsense (see my previous comment) doesn’t make it true. It’s just tedious.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Dear blah blah,

        The sobriquet pales when compared to your vicious invective – rancid, carious, deranged and many, many more. Please feel free to continue – subject to moderation of course.

        Radiative forcing from greenhouse gases is only one of many factors. We are in cool mode –and these decadal modes tend to last for 20 to 40 years. ‘Natural, large-scale climate patterns like the PDO and El Niño-La Niña are superimposed on global warming caused by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases and landscape changes like deforestation. According to Josh Willis, JPL oceanographer and climate scientist, “These natural climate phenomena can sometimes hide global warming caused by human activities. Or they can have the opposite effect of accentuating it.” http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=8703 Now I realize that I have quoted Josh Willis form the NASA site before – but this is one of the critical Earth systems for many reasons – perhaps least for the changes in global surface temperature trajectory associated with the decadal climate shifts.

        ‘One of the most important and mysterious events in recent climate history is the climate shift in the mid-1970s [Graham, 1994]. In the northern hemisphere 500-hPa atmospheric flow the shift manifested itself as a collapse of a persistent wave-3 anomaly pattern and the emergence of a strong wave-2 pattern. The shift was accompanied by sea-surface temperature (SST) cooling in the central Pacific and warming off the coast of western North America [Miller et al., 1994]. The shift brought sweeping long-range changes in the climate of northern hemisphere. Incidentally, after ‘‘the dust settled,’’ a new long era of frequent El Niño superimposed on a sharp global temperature increase begun. While several possible triggers for the shift have been suggested and investigated [Graham, 1994; Miller et al., 1994; Graham et al., 1994], the actual physical mechanism that led to this shift is not known. Understanding the dynamics of such phenomena is essential for our ability to make useful prediction of climate change. A major obstacle to this understanding is the extreme complexity of the climate system, which makes it difficult to disentangle causal connections leading to the observed climate behavior. Here we present a novel approach, which reveals an important new mechanism in climate dynamics and explains several aspects of the observed climate variability in the late 20th century.’ Tsonis and Swanson (2007) A new dynamical mechanism for major climate shifts.

        The mechanism involves cloud changes in these major internally driven reorganizations atmospheric and ocean circulation.

        ‘In summary, although there is independent evidence for decadal changes in TOA radiative fluxes over the last two decades, the evidence is equivocal. Changes in the planetary and tropical TOA radiative fluxes are consistent with independent global ocean heat-storage data, and are expected to be dominated by changes in cloud radiative forcing. To the extent that they are real, they may simply reflect natural low-frequency variability of the climate system.’ IPCC 3.4.4.1

        If true – and there is more than one source of evidence – greenhouse gases have been a minor effect in the satellite error. Which is the period of ost of the recent warming. Just one of the vagaries and uncertainties. In the bigger picture – the effect of AGG is an order of magnitude less than potential change in albedo.

        There are two essential concepts. The first is dynamical complexity. ‘The Earth’s climate system is highly nonlinear: inputs and outputs are not proportional, change is often episodic and abrupt, rather than slow and gradual, and multiple equilibria are the norm. ‘ Rial et al 2004 – op. cit. The second is that the limits of natural variability are unknown.

        When everything is placed in context – it argues for uncertainty rather than certainty. It is the wider context that you have not understood – and you seem limited to repeating a few simple memes. Tedious is not the word for it but groupthink in the way that Gwyn Prins & Steve Rayner in the quote above and many others have identified may be.

      • Radiative forcing from greenhouse gases is only one of many factors.

        But it is steadily increasing, and unless we ignore the RTEs it *must* be causing energy to accumulate in the climate system. Do you dispute the RTEs?

        If not, why always wrench the focus round to natural variability?

        We are in cool mode –and these decadal modes tend to last for 20 to 40 years.

        They used to. But RF from GHGs is increasing and energy is accumulating in the climate system (OHC 1970 – present). Why will this have no effect on the duration of the cool mode? And future ones?

        Without addressing these questions, you insist on the continuation of past behaviour. Then you reject any predictive power in modelled investigation of forced climate change. Does not compute ;-)

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘This paper gives an update on the observed decadal variability of the earth radiation budget (ERB) using the latest altitude-corrected Earth Radiation Budget Experiment (ERBE)/Earth Radiation Budget Satellite (ERBS) Nonscanner Wide Field of View (WFOV) instrument Edition3 dataset. The effects of the altitude correction are to modify the original reported decadal changes in tropical mean (20°N to 20°S) longwave (LW), shortwave (SW), and net radiation between the 1980s and the 1990s from 3.1, -2.4, and -0.7 to 1.6, -3.0, and 1.4 W m^2, respectively. In addition, a small SW instrument drift over the 15-yr period was
        discovered during the validation of the WFOV Edition3 dataset. A correction was developed and applied to the Edition3 dataset at the data user level to produce the WFOV Edition3_Rev1 dataset. With this final correction, the ERBS Nonscanner-observed decadal changes in tropical mean LW, SW, and net radiation between the 1980s and the 1990s now stand at 0.7, -2.1, and 1.4 W m^2, respectively, which are similar to the observed decadal changes in the High-Resolution Infrared Radiometer Sounder (HIRS) Pathfinder OLR and the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP) version FD record but disagree with the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) Pathfinder ERB record. Furthermore, the observed interannual variability of near-global ERBS WFOV Edition3_Rev1 net radiation is found to be remarkably consistent with the latest ocean heat storage record for the overlapping time period of 1993 to 1999. Both datasets show variations of roughly 1.5Wm_2 in planetary net heat balance during the 1990s.’ Wong et al (2006) Reexamination of the Observed Decadal Variability of the Earth Radiation Budget Using Altitude-Corrected ERBE/ERBS Nonscanner WFOV Data

        If the satellite evidence is correct – all of the recent warming seems quite likely to be natural. I think it is quite likely to be as correct as the ocean record – and quite as frequently corrected. There is not merely the satellite evidence but much else besides.

        Here for instance is ICOADS observations of cloud in the north-east Pacific from Clement et al 2009 – http://s1114.photobucket.com/albums/k538/Chief_Hydrologist/?action=view&current=Clementetal2009.png

        The shift to the cool mode happened on schedule after 1998 – and you have absolutely no evidence that the drivers of these shifts are influenced at all by something that is a minor part of the system. There is very little to suggest that anyone understands much about the dynamics of the Pacific wide system and the global teleconnections.

        Here’s the CERES record – http://s1114.photobucket.com/albums/k538/Chief_Hydrologist/?action=view&current=Loeb2011-Fig2.png – I have given the reference in the week in review.

        It shows large interannular changes – and hints at a trend in SW mostly seen in the tropics. There is far too much so-called noise to distinguish the so-called signal and the noise changes abruptly and significantly with these decadal climate shifts. There is simply not enough known to predict the limits of any future shift. You factor in the simplest notion – but of course there are many fundamental unknowns.

        Models are rejected for another reason. They are undoubtedly chaotic. Given uncertainties in inputs and coupling and the nature of the governing equations there is no single deterministic solution and the limits of ‘irreducible imprecision’ remain unknown.

      • Another aspect of the incoherence in your argument was pointed out by R. Gates. You have the cloud/OHC relationship inverted.

      • Also, if you bother to look at Levitus et al. (2012) as I have repeatedly urged in the past, you would see that OHC is increasing in all major basins simultaneously (SI, figs S1 and S2). Global cloud cover cannot explain this. None of what you say really stacks up. It is partial reasoning, in both senses. You do understand what I mean by this, don’t you?

        You have a very large, self-induced blind spot. The space cadet, I’m afraid, is in the mirror.

  88. What is new is ‘the consensus on global warming’ admits that AGW True Believers simply assume global warming is manmade. There are no peer-reviewed studies that rule out ‘natural, internal climate cycles’ — i.e.,‘natural, internal variability’ – as the real cause of 20th century warming.

    What is not admitted is that while natural variability is obscurring the human signal they believe exists, the signal they seek desparately can’t be detected despite the fact the record has been jived.

    Adopting a Bayesian analysis in no way increases the precision of current information. We know that all of the information, past and present, upon which any analysis must rest has been corrupted. Whereas perhaps only some of the corruption is result of demonstrable fraud and incompetence, the ubiquitous UHI (Urban Heat Island) effect is pervasive across the land-based temperature record (which itself is telling of a wilful and purposeful deception on the part of the climatist community).

    A Bayesian analysis cannot make bad data relevant. God-in-garbage-out–GIGO –i.e., you can’t turn a pig’s ear into Flammkuchen. And, the most recent and most accurate data we have ever had – based on information gathered using satellites – shows that the oceans have been cooling for more than a decade.

    • While you can rule out the sun, oceans and volcanoes which would be the main natural suspects, I guess you are saying we can’t rule out some as yet unknown source of natural variation, therefore it can’t be CO2. Is that capturing your logic?

      • Not at all. It’s a fact not logic that it’s natural variation that cannot be the eliminated as the source of all climate change. NASA admits that.

        A human signal cannot be teased out of the data. Accordingly, given the corruption of data by the UHI effect, only an insane person would look for a human signal in uncorrupted data. That would be a waste of time, right?

        The logic is, it’s even a greater waste of time to look for a human signal in corrupted data. In a sane world, everyone would agree with that. And, that is why global waming alarmism is called a mass mania. Western civilization is as nutty as the pre-WWII Germany population. It happens. Societies die and usually it is rotting from within from the head down.

      • “You can dive off the boat now and swim” announced Wagathon.

        “But what about sharks?” someone asks, “I am sure I heard some scientists saying this is perfect conditions for sharks”.

        “Can you see any sharks?” Wagathon asks.

        “Well no, I can’t, but I can’t see much because the water is very murky today” replies the worried one.

        “Well if you cannot tease a shark signal from the data there is logically no risk of sharks and you are just being an alarmist” replied Wagathon.

      • Look to the Dolphins. They look to you.
        ========

  89. I remember being impressed, 6 months to a year ago, with a graph drawn by someone, who is not normally on my side of the argument, showing the correlation between CO2 concentrations and temperature anomaly over the last 100 or so years.

    Unfortunately I can’t remember who it was and I can’t find it again.

    Any suggestions? Thanks.

    • tempterrain

      Is this the CO2 temperature correlation you are talking about? (I posted this a couple of years ago but have just updated it to include most recent years.)

      As you can see, there is no apparent correlation between the “theoretical GH warming from CO2” (at equilibrium per IPCC) and the “observed actual temperature”.

      Max

    • I don’t know the exact posts, but DocMartyn and Girma have both posted those scatter plots showing the correlation and sensitivity near 2 C per doubling.

      • Jim D

        Over the 160+ year total period the actually observed warming is a bit less than half the theoretical warming at equilibrium per IPCC.

        But there is no apparent CO2 temperature correlation when then overall record is broken down into statistically significant 30-year periods.

        Max

      • Yes maybe by DocMartyn. I’ll have another look. Thanks.

    • I’ve found it now.

      http://s179.beta.photobucket.com/user/DocMartyn/media/LNCO2vstemp.jpg.html

      Doc Martyn has shown empirical evidence for CS being 2.2 degC as measured on a year to year basis. So if we allow for thermal inertia, the Earth takes a time to reach equilibrium, then this is quite consistent with the IPCC’s figure of 3 deg C

      • Chief Hydrologist

        This is quite long term and the temperature increase can by no means be all attributed to greenhouse gases. So about 0.5 degrees C seems reasonable. Nothing to worry about then? Actually no – because there will be several climate shifts this century.

  90.  
    This is how to calculate sensitivity:

    Radiation levels adjust automatically so as to be in balance in so far as net radiative flux at TOA. Measurements of net radiative balance do not disprove this basic fact of physics. Such measurements rarely show a difference of more than 0.5% – and even that could be just error in measurement.

    Hence, the overall level of the plot of temperature against altitude in the troposphere will adjust up and down in parallel positions. The gradient is determined by (a) the acceleration due to gravity (b) the mean specific heat and, when water vapour and radiating molecules are added, (c) by intra-atmospheric radiation, which transfers heat always from warmer layers to cooler ones, which are generally above in the troposphere. Hence this radiation has a propensity to reduce the slope. It is well known that the wet adiabatic lapse rate is only about two thirds that of the dry one.

    But, for radiative balance, the area under the corresponding plot of outward radiative intensity has to remain constant. Hence that plot, and so also the plot of temperature against altitude must both rotate (swivel) around some intermediate point between the surface and the tropopause.

    Hence, when the gradient (AKA lapse rate) is less steep, the equilibrium surface temperature will be cooler. We see this in moist Equatorial areas where, for example, Singapore daily maximums never go above about 33C. But in dry tropical deserts, when the sun is also directly overhead in summer, we can get maximums in the mid 40’s.

    Water vapour cools. Thus there is no positive feedback upon which the IPCC stakes their claim that any carbon dioxide warming will be magnified. But carbon dioxide also reduces the gradient by a minuscule amount, due to (c) above, maybe reducing surface temperatures by about 0.1C.

  91. Judith

    Willis Eschenbach has just published what looks like the culmination of his magnus opus on sensitivity at WUWT

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/02/07/emergent-climate-phenomena/#more-79055

    well worth a read

    • Indeed –

      My favorite part:

      days that start out colder than average end up warmer than average, and days that start out colder end up warmer

      Epic.

      • A drive-by sneer from the ever genial Joshua. What a surprise.

      • Looks like Willis is using the Creationist Method rather than the Scientific Method

        “Lets start by assuming climate sensitivity is low! Now how can we support that?”

      • Joshua

        Instead of simply nit-picking one sentence of Willis’ essay on emergent climate phenomena, why don’t you try refuting the message?

        (Might be a bit harder for you, Josh.)

        Max

      • lolwot

        The “null” hypothesis is that (2xCO2) climate sensitivity is “null” (= zero). That’s “low”, isn’t it?

        Max

      • lowlot, three words come to mind – pot, kettle and black.

      • I’d accuse so-called amateur scientists like Willis Eschenbach and Nic Lewis of not being particularly interested in knowing what climate sensitivity is. Some years ago they both decided to bat for the team that wants to oppose GH gas emission control. Why would they do that? Mere scientific curiosity? I don’t think so. They have no credentials to suggest they approached the problem in a dispassionate way. So they have to say climate sensitivity is low , don’t they?

        Or do they? I suppose they could say that it’s possibly quite high, but its all too uncertain etc etc. But, if they took that line, Judith might think they’re encroaching on her patch!

        Max,

        A “null hypothesis” is more a question of choice than definition.
        Unless you choose to deny that CO2 is a GH gas there is no reason to assume zero.

      • tempterrain

        The “null” hypothesis on AGW is what it is. “Null” = zero

        It’s up to “believers” in AGW or CAGW to cite the empirical evidence that falsifies the “null hypothesis” (Popper).

        Pretty simple, actually.

        Max

      • tempterrain

        Instead of giving us your analysis of “why” Willis Eschenbach (or Nic Lewis) are committed to a low (2xCO2) climate sensitivity, why don’t you rebut Willis’ paper. Should be easy for you (as a REAL physicist) .

        Max

      • Max,

        The “null” hypothesis on AGW is what it is. “Null” = zero”

        Do you use this sort of “logic”, if that’s the right word for it, in real life? When crossing the street is the “null hypothesis” that nothing will happen so you just step out regardless? You’d have unprotected sex with any stranger who might take your fancy as the “null hypothesis” is………. etc etc ?

      • David Springer

        The null hypothesis is that which is not to be proven.

        No one is out to prove that CAGW never happened in the past. CAGW is that which is to be proven.

        Thanks for playing.

      • tempterrain

        Stepping out into a busy street without looking has been shown by repeated empirical evidence and accident statistics to be life threatening.

        There is no empirical evidence to corroborate the hypothesis that adding CO2 to the atmosphere will cause an increase in global temperature.

        Big difference.

        Max

      • “There is no empirical evidence to corroborate the hypothesis that adding CO2 to the atmosphere will cause an increase in global temperature.”

        Well actually there is:

        http://s179.beta.photobucket.com/user/DocMartyn/media/LNCO2vstemp.jpg.html

    • Chief Hydrologist

      up Loved the dolphin poetry – and encourage thinking about emergent phenomena. But this is how ENSO really works.

      or

      http://people.duke.edu/~ts24/ENSO/

      Whichever is easy for you.

      The thermal evolution of ENSO is best understood in terms of upwelling in the Humboldt Current off South Ameica . This region of upwelling propagates across the central Pacific driven by winds and Coriolis forces enhancing Walker Circulation – which with Hadley Circulation establishes the dominant trade winds in the north and south sub equatorial regions. Trade winds, south-easterly in the Southern Hemisphere and north-easterly in the Northern Hemisphere , pile up warm surface water against Australia and Indonesia. Water vapour rises in the western Pacific creating low pressure cells that strengthen the trade winds piling up yet more warm water in the western Pacific. Cool, subsurface water rises in the eastern Pacific and spreads westward. At some point the trade winds falter and warm water spreads out westward across the Pacific.

      • “… upwelling in the Humboldt Current off South America”

        Any reasonable idea of what causes this ?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Hi Ian – it is the result of winds and the rotation of the Earth pushing surface water away from the coast of Peru and from the equatorial region in the Pacific. See the north and south Pacific gyres in the beginning of the animation. This enhances Walker circulation in a La Nina. The east-west asymetry overshoots and the warm water flows eastward across the Pacific suppressing upwelling in an El Nino. It is a Pacific wide wave as water piles up in the west and then flows eastward. The changes in frequency of ENSO events and the multi-decadal PDO is related to more or less cold water entering the gryres as storms spin off the polar vortices more or less into lower latitudes.

    • David Springer

      Dolphinlegs | February 7, 2013 at 6:31 pm | Reply

      “well worth a read”

      Nothing he’s ever written in the past was well worth reading. Why should this time be any different?

    • Hmm, Willis has convection – I wonder how he gets that without gravity..

      Oh look, he has “convection cells” replacing the processes of real gases and gravity:

      “local circulation cells spring up everywhere. These cells transport water vapor upwards to the local lifting condensation level. At that level, the water vapor condenses into clouds as shown in Figure 3″.

  92. Chief and DS,
    OMG are youse sellin’ tickets fer the Great Western
    Battle of the Giants? )

  93. Considerate thinker

    Barn yard chicken fight, peckers at paces methinks!

  94. Chief Hydrologist

    Not even. A schoolgirl pissing contest. As for big dave – I chié dans son chapeau. But hell – if he turns up at the Great Western you don’t find an Aussie larrikin backing down.

    I have been wanting to segue from sensivity to Deborah Conway’s new album – stories of ghosts – that I have been listening to all week. How about – the writings on the wall for linear sensitivity? The song can be found here – http://www.deborahconway.com/

    She smiled at me once at the North Gong Hotel – touring her string of pearls album. That was in 1991. Wow.

    Found out today that Abigail Washburn will be at the Bulli Heritage Hotel March 7. Wonder if I can swing it?

  95. Max earlier asked the question: “Instead of giving us your analysis of “why” Willis Eschenbach (or Nic Lewis) are committed to a low (2xCO2) climate sensitivity, why don’t you rebut Willis’ paper.”

    First of all I’d make the point that the term “paper’ normally implies something published in a scientific journal, peer reviewed and subject to the normal scientific process. That’s the normal scientific process.

    On the climate question we have several individuals, the names Willis Eschenbach, Nic Lewis, and Christopher Monckton spring to mind, who now claim to be self taught amateur scientists writing up their works as ‘papers’ on such blogs as Wattsupwiththat.

    So how to treat them? I’d argue that it does depend on their motivations. Scientists like Faraday, in the 19th century were largely self taught, so there’s nothing wrong with that per se. Faraday, however didn’t have any choice. At the time, entrance to university courses was limited to those from the upper echelons of English society. Faraday was from much humbler origins.

    Did Eschenbach et al have similar handicaps? Was their decision to learn more about climate science in a self taught fashion made from economic necessity or choice? Did they isolate themselves from mainstream scientific thinking because they didn’t wish to end up thinking the same? Was their decision to learn just enough about climate science to be able to write these so-called ‘papers’ prompted by scientific curiousity or a pre-conceived desire to to do what they could to undermine the mainstream scientific case on the need for GH gas emissions control?

    Are they prepared to answer these kind of questions? If not, their writings have to be considered to be the result of an initial prejudice on their part and don’t deserve any further comment. In no way can they be considered to be modern day Michael Faradays.

    • David Springer

      Are you out of your frickin gourd comparing Eschenbach to Faraday?

      You might as well compare a peacock and an elephant. Both have feet.

      Faraday was an experimentalist and prolific inventor. Eschenbach is a prolific blowhard.

  96. Chief Hydrologist

    ‘In this commentary, I will discuss the question “If somebody were to discover that climate variations in the past were stronger than previously thought, what would be the implications for estimates of climate sensitivity?” Pick your favorite time period – Little ice age, Medieval Warm Period, Last Glacial Maximum or Cretaceous – the issues are the same. In considering this question, it is important to keep in mind that the predictions summarized in the IPCC reports are not the result of some kind of statistical fit to past data. Thus, a revision in our picture of past climate variability does not translate in any direct way into a change in the IPCC forecasts. These forecasts are based on comprehensive simulations incorporating the best available representations of basic physical processes. Of course, data on past climates can be very useful in improving these representations. In addition, past data can be used to provide independent estimates of climate sensitivity, which provide a reality check on the models. Nonetheless, the path from data to change in forecast is a subtle one.’

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2005/12/natural-variability-and-climate-sensitivity/

    Right at the heart of the climate establishment – but not in the literature – is the inexplicable denial of the computational reality of the climate models. The models are chaotic without a doubt. That much is clear from uncertainty in data and couplings combined with the nature of the Navier-Stokes equations. ‘Sensitive dependence and structural instability are humbling twin properties for chaotic dynamical systems, indicating limits about which kinds of questions are theoretically answerable. They echo other famous limitations on scientist’s expectations, namely the undecidability of some propositions within axiomatic mathematical systems (Gödel’s theorem) and the uncomputability of some algorithms due to excessive size of the calculation.’ http://www.pnas.org/content/104/21/8709.full The reason for this astonishing gap between what is known in the scientific and public realms can only be speculated on.

    Willis talks about sensitivity in terms of emergent properties – a property of self-organising systems. Neither high nor low – but variable in space and time. It becomes an idea that has all meanings and therefore ceases to have much meaning at all. Yet they pretend that it is something meaningful and something that can be calculated by models. Willis is correct in essence – climate is self-organising – although there is a lot to be discovered about how dynamical complexity works in climate.

    • David Springer

      How many days has it been since you stopped babbling long enough to get a good night’s sleep?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Hi big dave – see this doesn’t qualify as a substantive comment. There is really nothing I can do with it but respond again that you are a dumbarse with absolutely zero credibility and a penchant for self aggrandisement and making sweeping but stunningly meaningless comment. The emptyness of your comments – sans science, sans common sense, sans common civility – is something that constantly amazes. You jump in with personal and idiosycratic trash talk or idiotic ideas that fail to pass any test of sanity, reason or scholarship.

        Not sure why you bother – other than the obvious turd on legs bit.

      • David Springer

        You even babble in response to non-substantive comments. Amazing.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        So you fail again to pass test of sanity, reason or scholarship. So sad.

  97. Can someone please tell me what the abbreviation “pdf” means in climatology ? (You can imagine what a google search produces, sigh). Thanks.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      probability distribution function

    • And just to give you a practical example: Judith has stated that, in her opinion, climate sensitivity lies in the range of 1-6 degC to a 66% level of probability.

      Which means that there is approximately a 17% chance of it being lower than 1 degC and a 17% chance of it being higher. Though she has quibbled about my interpretation of this, but, at the same time declined to offer corrected figures.

      She’s also consistently declined to supply percentages for 1-2 degC , 3-4 degC etc Except, of course, we know they must add up to 66%.

      Judith’s claimed justification is related to her dislike of Bayesian stats which IMO is ‘bollocks’! The more likely reason is related to her desire to convey the message that levels of climate change are too uncertain to be bothered about. She therefore wishes to present a wider range of CS than would be considered likely by most climate scientists , but she sees the problem that a wide rage opens up the real possibility of genuine catastrophic levels of change which would put her in the warmist of warmist camps. Not exactly what is expected from a member of the Republican climate change team!

    • Oh dear, more mindless blather from the self-opiniated Judith-misinterpreter on the Democrat FUD team.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        You forgot self serving twaddle from a pissant progressive.

      • Judith,

        I’d just challenge you, once again, to answer my point properly. Erica and Chief don’t seem to be able to do any better than undulge in name calling.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Sensitivity can only be understood in terms of emergent properties – a property of self-organising systems. Neither high nor low – but variable in space and time. It becomes an idea that has all meanings and therefore ceases to have much meaning at all. It is not something meaningful or something that can be calculated by models.

        The answer is that it is a pointless and stupid question – that hasn’t changed since last the last time of the trillion times you asked it.

      • “…..last time of the trillion times you asked it.

        Look Chief, if I’ve told you once I’ve told you a million times. Don’t exaggerate! :-)

        There may be stupid answers but stupid questions? That’s what is claimed when very ‘un-stupid’ questions have obvious but embarrassingly simple answers.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The question was stupid the first time and has grown increasingly tedious and smary since.

        The answer may be 42 – but what should the real question be? You may have to build a climate machine to find out. Why don’t you drop back in with progress reports now and then.

    • He actually imagines he has a “point” … astounding.
      And likes suggesting political motivation in others, but calls it name-calling when applied to himself (where is it overwhelmingly obvious,)

  98. David Springer

    lolwot | February 8, 2013 at 7:46 am |

    Looks like Willis Hansen is using the Creationist Method rather than the Scientific Method

    “Lets start by assuming climate sensitivity is low burning coal and petroleum is bad! Now how can we support that?”

    Fixed that for ya!

    • Dave Springer,

      So you’re saying its a leftist hoax or conspiracy to destabilise the capitalist system?

      Its an argument often heard but where’s the substance? As far as I know there was never been any opposition, from any part of the political spectrum, to the burning of coal, or any other fossil fuel, solely because of its CO2 emissions before scientific evidence that CO2 build up was a problem. There may have been some objections to other hazards of coal burning such as particulate emission, or acid rain, but that’s not the same thing. But if you know any different please show me why you think that to be the case.

      And no-one is saying, even now, that burning coal and fossil fuels has to be immediately stopped. But it does make sense to look at less polluting forms of energy, and it does make sense to capture any emissions before release, and it does make sense to tilt the economic balance to achieve a desired result of lower levels of CO2 emissions.

    • Shucks, now it’s the tired old “conspiracy” strawman being dragged out for another performance by the alarmist camp.

      One more time then – one does not need a “conspiracy” to explain an organization acting its own interests.
      * it’s government that stands to massively benefit from climate alarmism
      * it’s government that is funding and promoting alarmist climate science

      See the connection ?

    • Why should it have to be government which benefits? Probably no-one will benefit except maybe those who come up with the best technical solution. But isn’t that called capitalism?

      It would seem that you are making these comments solely because your political viewpoint doesn’t have any solution for such a problem as climate change caused by widescale human emissions of a GH gas. Therefore the only recourse is to argue that the problems can’t exist.

      If I’ve got this wrong, and you can bring yourself to accept there may be a GH gas emission problem, even just for the sake of argument, what would be the ‘libertarian’ solution to it?

      • tempterrain-

        Governments benefit enormously from any type of alarmism (climactic, financial, security, health, whatever) that strikes the public fancy, as alarmism gives the impetus to further expand state power over the individual. The public cries “Save us! Save us!” and the politicians reply “Certainly! We’ll just need some more money and, well, maybe a little more of your freedom. But trust us, it’s for your own good.”

        Punksta is right – institutions (like government, the military, universities, etc) will always act in their own perceived interest first, and for their ostensible purpose after.

        Who else benefits? Well, when governments are involved, the major benefits will go to their cronies – the political backers, childhood friends, the relatives, the ones with the best lobbyists. It’s currently known as ‘crony capitalism’, and it bears little resemblance to capitalism. It goes on under all kinds of governmental systems. With great power comes great opportunity to hand out great whacks of other peoples money…

        As for a libertarian solution, I cannot speak for others (of course), but I will say that I do feel there is a ghg problem. There are also economic and political issues, particularly in the policy responses of the left to any ghg problem. My thinking is that allowing a great expansion of nuclear power is the best option on the table at the moment while we continue to study the whole issue and further quantify the problem. We don’t yet know enough to do anything but a ‘regrets option’.

        So there you have it – my libertarian two cents, to read or ignore at your leisure.

      • kch,

        Thank you for attempting to identify a possible libertarian solution to the problem of climate change. The suggestion you’ve offered, an expansion of the nuclear power industry, is exactly the same one offered by such climate scientist as James Hansen.

        So why is he such a hate figure for many on the political right?

      • tempterrain-

        ‘So why is he such a hate figure for many on the political right?’

        No idea. You’d have to ask someone on the right – as a libertarian I have only slightly more in common with the conservatives than I do with the liberals.

        My problem is with Hansen the activist, not with Hansen the scientist. Hansen the activist I dislike for his overblown rhetoric and public actions, all of which seem calculated to rush the public into taking action, any action, well before the extent and magnitude of the problem (not to mention the effects of the proposed solutions) are known.
        Note that it is dislike, not hate, for me. I suspect that that is the actual feeling most on the ‘right’ would actually express.

        I would also like to point out that while Hansen and myself both seem to agree on nuclear power, the greatest opposition to that is coming from the political left – his side. If nothing else, this should emphasize that the climate wars are far more complex than the political left/right split you are framing here.

      • tempterrain

        To underscore what kch has written about governments (i.e. politicians or the ruling class) benefitting from alarmism, H.L. Mencken said it best many years ago:

        “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary. “

        Max

      • kch,

        If the left right split was just on the question of how achieve GH gas emission reductions then I would have to side with the political right some of the time. However, it’s not about ‘how’, as you well know. The primary tactic we see from those of rightish opinion is to question/undermine the scientific evidence and argue that yet more ‘proof’ is needed.

        Nuclear power? Yes you’d like that, but don’t ask us to support the the use of nuclear too publicly, you say, to reduce GH gas emissions. We don’t really care about them anyway and prefer to blame leftists for opposition to that idea.

      • tempterrain-

        “However, it’s not about ‘how’, as you well know.”

        Actually, when it comes to the political/policy battles, I think it is mostly about ‘how’. This is where competing visions of governance are truly important. The fights over the policy prescriptions drift back to colour the science, not the other way around.

        “The primary tactic we see from those of rightish opinion is to question/undermine the scientific evidence and argue that yet more ‘proof’ is needed.”

        To which I could counter that the primary tactic we see from those of leftish opinion is to ultimately abandon science and argue from emotion – constructing ‘scary scenarios’ and pleading ‘for the grandchildren’.

        As for the second paragraph, I’m not clear on what you are saying. Are you saying that the left – where most of the greens seem to reside – isn’t the major opposition to nuclear power? Who are you accusing of what here?

        (reposting this – for some reason my earlier reply didn’t make it. If it now appears as a double-post, my apologies)

      • tempterrain

        You seem to doubt that a totalitarian government could be voted in democratically.

        The National Socialists were voted into power democratically in Germany in 1933 – a few years later they had established full totalitarian control, eliminating democracy.

        For a chilling novel describing how this could also have happened in the USA read the 1930s “It Can’t Happen Here” by Sinclair Lewis.

        Democratic systems of government seem “natural” to us today, so that we start believing that it is inevitable that they will last forever.

        The danger is that a central government continuously wants to grow and increase its power (by increasing taxes, controls, services and regulations on its citizens). Often this is done “for the common good of the people”, as imagined by the ruling politicians and bureaucrats, who are mistakenly convinced that they “know better” what’s good for the people than the people themselves do.

        It is up to the voting public in a representative democracy to make sure (through their representatives or by direct plebiscite) that the power of the government is kept in check, IOW that it only provides those services and regulations or levies those taxes that the public wants – and no more.

        That’s what representative democracy is all about.

        Max

      • “seem to doubt that a totalitarian government could be voted in democratically.”

        Today’s welfare states are clearly totalitarian – high levels of taxation, coercive wealth redistribution, regulation, state ownership & control – and many if not all have been created via democracy.

    • Why should it have to be government which benefits?

      Nothing fancier than the blindingly obvious reason – because this will justify more taxes, more bureaucracy, more state controls – a generally more totalitarian society. Music to ears those with totalitarian/left leanings of course, and which is of course the primary driving force in promoting alarmism.

      Your fabricated need to imagine that only you totalitarians can envisage a greenhouse problem, is laughable.

      • But suppose we made Governments even more democratic than they are now. Wouldn’t that overcome the ‘promoting totalitarianism’ argument?

      • Hoo boy, you haven’t been around very long, have you?

      • Long enough to know what questions to ask!

      • Chief Hydrologist

        There was a media report in Australia last year that sought to curtail – or indeed ban as misinformation – global warming in the media and on blogs read by more than 16 people a day.

        The real Australian response – http://joannenova.com.au/2012/03/finkelstein-yes-please-just-try-it/

        Sank without a trace but tt supported it at the time. Yeah – right – more democracy.

      • .. suppose we made Governments even more democratic than they are now. Wouldn’t that overcome the ‘promoting totalitarianism’ argument?

        There is no reason to think it would. Indeed democracy has fostered the creeping totalitarianism we know today as the welfare state – more taxes, more regulation, state ownership, bureaucracies and agencies.

      • Indeed democracy has fostered the creeping totalitarianism we know today as the welfare state – more taxes, more regulation, state ownership, bureaucracies and agencies.

        What are you proposing instead? A government vacuum?

        Nature abhors a vacuum. Just because you’re not natural doesn’t mean the rest of us are.

      • Not a vaccuum, no. Just a much reduced density. Strong constitutional limits on what governments/majorities are allowed to do to people/minorities, to protect people/minorities from abuse by government/majorities.

      • Just a much reduced density.

        Sounds good. Reduced to 90% of before, or 10%, or 1%, or 0.1%?

        Toss a coin.

      • 10% of what we have now sounds about right. Law and order and a few other items.
        But you toss coins if that’s your preferred approach.

      • Erica,

        “……..democracy has fostered the creeping totalitarianism ”

        So in your view democracy = totalitarianism?

      • Eh?? Let’s get some terms straight here.

        You’re using “fostered” to mean “is the same same as “. It isn’t.

        * Democracy
        is broadly a system where people elect the government. The opposite is dictatorship, where they don’t..

        * Totalitarianism
        is where government exercises total (broadly, a high degree) of control over people. The opposite is classical liberalism (libertarianism), where people are largely free to control their lives themselves.

        There are thus four possible combinations of these attributes:-
        1. Totalitarian dictatorship
        2. Libertarian dictatorship
        3. Totalitarian democracy
        4. Libertarian democracy

        The West is obviously type 3. And increasingly totalitarian(more taxes, controls etc) over the last century or so, all implemented under a franchise system.

      • Erica,

        Your use of the term “Totalitarian democracy” is somewhat worrying.

        You can argue for libertaranism, socialism, conservatism … whatever you like. But unless any of these are brought about democratic means what you’ll end up with will be a form of fascism.

        Democracy is more important than any “ism”.

      • Your use of the term “Totalitarian democracy” is somewhat worrying.

        OK then, what term would you prefer for a totalitarian system brought in by means of democracy?

        You can argue for libertaranism, socialism, conservatism … [] But unless any of these are brought about democratic means what you’ll end up with will be a form of fascism.

        Fascism is just another word for totalitarianism, often the dictatorship type.

        Democracy is more important than any “ism”.

        ?? – it is itself an -ism
        More or less amounts to : tyranny of the majority.

        ( ism – noun, a distinctive practice, system, or philosophy, typically a political ideology or an artistic movement.
        Synonyms : doctrine – theory )

      • Since it can be voted out, it cannot be a totalitarian form of government. If your neighbors do not agree with your notions about the size of government, move. If they will let you.

      • Since it can be voted out, it cannot be a totalitarian form of government.

        No, a government that cannot be voted out is a dictatorship.

        Nothing to do with whether its policies are total- or liber -tarian.

      • Erica and tempterrain

        Being Swiss I may see your debate from a slightly different angle.

        I’d agree with you, Erica, that there is a real danger of “creeping totalitarianism” in our modern representative democratic societies.

        Nobody wants to return to the lawless “Wild West” days, BUT the bigger and more powerful that a central government gets, the less personal freedom is left at the individual level.

        Switzerland has this problem of “creeping totalitarianism”, just as many other representative democracies do (including, of course, the USA).

        It takes a lot of effort to fight creeping centralization of power – Switzerland does this by retaining decision-making (and the flow of tax revenues) at the local (rather than central) level as much as possible and ensuring that government initiatives are voted on by the populace before being either implemented or discarded.

        It’s also why the Swiss population has resisted government efforts (mostly from the left) to join the EU and thereby give up a piece of local sovereignty to a central power.

        No system is perfect, but that one seems to work here.

        But I would agree that the basic problem in all representative democracies today is “creeping totalitarianism” from increased centralization of power, and that it requires a concerted effort from the citizens to stop this (or at least slow it down).

        Max

      • In the USA, the government is me and my neighbors. We voted for it. My neighbors and me like to stick our noses in our business. That is not totalitarian; it’s being neighborly. I refuse to vote for less neighborliness.

      • erica-

        You need to rethink this. The base problem is that a dictatorship is, more or less, a subcategory of totalitarianism. As a result, your first combination is really a tautology and the other three are combinations of two different types of governance, hence contradictory.

        This is not to say that tempterrain is completely right. As you point out, democracy can be defined as the tyranny of the majority – and when the majority changes its mind, subgroups suffer. His faith in it is touching, but misplaced: it can lead to both good and bad.

        “Do not blame Caesar, blame the people of Rome who have so enthusiastically acclaimed and adored him and rejoiced in their loss of freedom and danced in his path and gave him triumphal processions. Blame the people who hail him when he speaks in the Forum of the ‘new, wonderful, good society’ which shall now be Rome’s, interpreted to mean: more money, more ease, more security, more living fatly at the expense of the industrious.”
        — Marcus Tullius Cicero

      • JCH

        You describe how individual voters in the USA (the second oldest living democracy in the world) are simply being neighborly by involving themselves in the political process.

        The same holds for Switzerland (the oldest living democracy in the world), as I described it.

        But I believe the discussion between Erica and tempterrain covers the subject of “creeping totalitarianism” that results from an ever more powerful central government; and I’d agree with you that it is only the individual voters who can keep this process from eroding their individual freedom.

        Max

      • JCH
        Neighborliness has nothing to do with government. Your neighbors you interact with consensually. Government, by contrast, is all about coercion.

      • TCH

        The base problem is that a dictatorship is, more or less, a subcategory of totalitarianism.
        No, that is quite wrong.
        Dictatorship is about the lack of voting.
        Totalitarianism is about how invasive government is, high taxes etc.

        They are often combined, but need not be.

      • Ah, Erica, but democratic totalitarianism will perfect the new man, doncha know.
        ==========

      • You’ve never met my neighbors. Coercive doesn’t even begin to describe them. Texas is a thug nanny state.

      • Erica –

        Hmmm. I’m glad I threw the ‘more or less’ in there – it’s going to give me some dignity in retreating a little bit.

        You are correct that one is not a subcategory of the other, but I will maintain that totalitarianism and dictatorship are systems that converge on each other as they approach perfection. Both, in the end, squelch individual freedom in favour of state control. A truly totalitarian state really requires dictatorial rule to determine the state interest, while a dictatorship naturally gravitates towards totalitarianism in the interest of protecting the dictator (who is the state). Because of this, they do tend to be used synonymously.

        I’m more comfortable with the terms ‘statist’ and ‘individualist’ for broad descriptions of political systems. Totalitarianisms and dictatorships are to me just two examples of statists, while libertarians are individualists. Ideally, democracies tend towards individualism but can be far too easily dragged towards statism.

        Also, I don’t see dictatorship as being about the lack of voting, to me it’s about the control of the state by an individual or small oligarchy; and totalitarianism is not about the invasiveness of the state, it’s about total state control of the individuals actions.

        In the end, I’d bet that my discomfort with your combinations is a result of using different definitions – I still see #1 as at least a redundancy, if not strictly a tautology, #2 and #3 as inherently self-contradictory, and #4 as an unrealizable ideal.

        I’d also bet that we agree on a whole lot more than we disagree on.

      • Erica,

        You’ve probably never lived in a genuinely totalitarian country. You wouldn’t be free to come and go as you please. You wouldn’t be allowed to change jobs without the State’s permission or even move from where you lived. Blogging as you do would be a crime. You certainly wouldn’t be allowed to leave the country as you wished either. Totalitarianism means the state controls everything – totally. You might not like everything your democratic government does, or agree with every policy. But so what? No one does.

        Is it possible that such a government could be elected democratically? I’d say not. In any case it hasn’t ever happened. Democracy may not be perfect , there a well known quote by Churchill on that point which I’m sure you’ll know, but everything else is much worse.

      • tempterrain,

        “Is it possible that such a government could be elected democratically? I’d say not. In any case it hasn’t ever happened.”

        Tell that to the Egyptians, the Afghans, the Palestinians, the Russians…and that’s just the last couple years. A few years back, Nicaragua, before that most African countries after de-colonization…it happens all the time. Sometimes over night, as with the ill served Palestinians, sometimes after a period of years, as in Russia (which may not be quite there yet, but is soooo close).

        Europe is the frog in the pot, reaching out to turn up the heat under the pot it’s sitting in, blissfully unaware of the fact that it is on its way to becoming soup. And the U.S. is being pushed to follow them into the pot.

        One man, one vote, one time.

      • Gary M-

        Don’t forget the Italian election of 1924, which legitimized the fascists (and for whom the very word ‘totalitarianism’ was coined). Mussolini’s general program was very clear by that point, yet the populace still allowed themselves to be buffaloed into giving up their freedom in return for a promise of stability.

        Never underestimate what a fearful population will sacrifice on the altar of comfort.

      • I’m toying with, and tuning, a Government Fiat.
        ==========

      • tempterrain

        [This ended up in the wrong spot, so am re-posting]

        You seem to doubt that a totalitarian government could be voted in democratically.

        The National Socialists were voted into power democratically in Germany in 1933 – a few years later they had established full totalitarian control, eliminating democracy.

        For a chilling novel describing how this could also have happened in the USA read the 1930s “It Can’t Happen Here” by Sinclair Lewis.

        Democratic systems of government seem “natural” to us today, so that we start believing that it is inevitable that they will last forever.

        The danger is that a central government continuously wants to grow and increase its power (by increasing taxes, controls, services and regulations on its citizens). Often this is done “for the common good of the people”, as imagined by the ruling politicians and bureaucrats, who are mistakenly convinced that they “know better” what’s good for the people than the people themselves do.

        It is up to the voting public in a representative democracy to make sure (through their representatives or by direct plebiscite) that the power of the government is kept in check, IOW that it only provides those services and regulations or levies those taxes that the public wants – and no more.

        That’s what representative democracy is all about.

        Max

      • The problems you’ve mentioned in Africa, Italy and Germany were due to democracy being curtailed after elections. Yes it’s possible that democracy can produce a bad leader, even though he or she may have seemed plausible at the time, but, of course there does need to be a mechanism in place, a constitution, to ensure that democracy can continue and mistakes can be subsequently corrected. That’s essential.

        This “democracy = mob rule” argument increasingly coming out of America is quite a disturbing current IMO. If those in the Tea Party, and others on the political right there, feel they just don’t have the numbers to win any election against what they disparagingly term “the 47%ers” , where will it lead?

      • You’ve probably never lived in a genuinely totalitarian country

        Most of us on this list do. We all pay more tax and are subject to more state controls than our ancestors did.

      • Oh, and forgot to add – the totalitarian welfare/nanny states most of us on this live in, were put there by democracy.

        But sure, this is a substandard form/degree of totalitarianism relative to the mass murder byf regimes in the USSR, China and Nazi Germany.

    • Robert I Ellison

      Here’s one prepared earlier.

      ‘The old climate framework failed because it would have imposed substantial costs associated with climate mitigation policies on developed nations today in exchange for climate benefits far off in the future — benefits whose attributes, magnitude, timing, and distribution are not knowable with certainty. Since they risked slowing economic growth in many emerging economies, efforts to extend the Kyoto-style UNFCCC framework to developing nations predictably deadlocked as well.

      The new framework now emerging will succeed to the degree to which it prioritizes agreements that promise near-term economic, geopolitical, and environmental benefits to political economies around the world, while simultaneously reducing climate forcings, developing clean and affordable energy technologies, and improving societal resilience to climate impacts. This new approach recognizes that continually deadlocked international negotiations and failed domestic policy proposals bring no climate benefit at all. It accepts that only sustained effort to build momentum through politically feasible forms of action will lead to accelerated decarbonization.’ http://thebreakthrough.org/archive/climate_pragmatism_innovation

      Your welcome.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        damn wordpress. Chief Hydrologist is a comfortable old sockpuppet – everyone knows my name – but the null hypothesis in using only my name was correct. There was no change in the civility index. So I will happily slip back into my old sockpuppet – wordpress allowing.

      • Chief

        The text you quoted of the “new UNFCC framework” tells it all.

        “sustained effort to build momentum through politically feasible forms of action” (which will) “lead to accelerated decarbonization”?

        Yikes!

        Who’s paying for the UN bureaucrats that are going to drive this “sustained effort”?

        And why?

        Max

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I think you are reading too much into a few words. And there was in fact no mention of the UN in the new framework.

  99. David Springer

    BBD | February 8, 2013 at 7:56 am |

    “Anyone that persists in insulting other commenters will be put in moderation”

    I consider your output to be more like cow pies than comments. Hence the policy may not apply in your case. I could be wrong but that’s not for me to decide.

    Judges, can we have a ruling?

  100. David Springer

    Dear Blah Blah Duh

    In regard to your blathering rationalizations of why Dullal holds the record for highest mean annual temperature I direct you a climate textbook:

    http://www4.uwsp.edu/geo/faculty/ritter/geog101/textbook/climate_systems/tropical_desert.html

    Distinguishing Characteristics
    Temperature
    The tropical desert has the highest mean annual temperature of any climate on Earth.

    Let me know which part of that you don’t understand.

    • David Springer

      For most people, the simple fact that tropical deserts have the highest mean annual temperature of any climate type is very strong evidence that cloud feedback is negative, not positive. Temperature characteristics of different climate types should be known by anyone who has taken and passed an introductory course in physical geography.

      I’ve yet to see any physical evidence that cloud feedback is positive. If someone could provide it I would be mighty obliged. Just don’t give me links to blog science. I will accept encyclopedic references so long as they contain citations to more authoritative sources. I prefer references to college level textbooks. I shouldn’t have to belabor common geographical facts like tropical deserts having higher mean annual temperatures than tropical rainforests as that’s introductory level geography. Yet BBD tried to argue otherwise. How am I supposed to react in the face of such ignorance? I try to be gently corrective but after being rebuffed by any one ignoramus so many times it becomes obvious that normal pedagogy won’t work. BBD seems quite impervious to fact so really all that’s left is to have some fun at his expense and hope aspirants to similar displays of ignorance might be warned off by it. Of course anonymity makes that less likely because the ignorant anonymous ass can easily abandon the humiliated alias.

      • Springer

        Yet BBD tried to argue otherwise.

        This is a simply a lie.

        You are unbelievable. Truly something else.

    • climate4you shows a negative correlation between global cloud cover and surface temperature.This argues against a negative feedback, and either for a positive feedback, or, less likely, it is cloud cover that is driving global temperature.

      • David Springer

        Nice. I give you a citation from a standard college textbook on physical geography and you respond with some vague reference to “climate4you”, whatever the f*ck that is. Unfvckingbelievable.

      • Yes, probably doesn’t matter that their correlation graphs are referenced, does it?

      • Jim D

        You say it’s “less likely that cloud cover is driving global temperature”.

        How so?

        I’d say (based on the Earthshine data) that it is very likely exactly what is happening.

        As far as observed “negative net overall cloud feedback with warming” (on relatively short time scales over the tropics) see Spencer & Braswell.

        Wynant et al. showed a similar negative overall feedback with warming over all latitudes, based on model simulations using superparameterization to better simulate cloud behavior.

        There is absolutely no reason the two concepts cannot coexist.

        Max

    • Read your own link. It says exactly what I said: deserts are dry because they mainly occur on the descending side of the Hadley cells. The lack of cloud and WV maximises DSW flux to the surface etc etc.

      It’s ironic: you both lie about what I actually said and at the same time provide a reference that supports what I said in considerable detail.

      What a hopeless mess you are.

      • David Springer

        Dry climates have a higher mean annual temperature than wet cllimates when insolation is the same at top of atmosphere. It doesn’t matter why they are dry. What matters is that the higher mean annual temperature occurs where there are fewer clouds. This is empirical fact. Do you still deny it?

      • I never even questioned it. You are either confused (re-read the original thread) or deranged. Either way, it’s your problem. Please sort out the mess if you are able.

      • I think we can agree that warmer climates are less cloudy then, can’t we? Some negative feedback people think the opposite.

      • Jim D

        You don’t have to be a genius to figure out that increased clouds => cooling.

        With the albedo effect of clouds averaging -48 W/m^2 (compared to 2xCO2 forcing of +3.7 W/m^2 according to IPCC), it is clear that a relatively small increase in cloud cover could have a major impact on temperature. It is also quite plausible that clouds act as a significant climate forcing through a mechanism, which is not yet well understood (as IPCC concedes)

        We know from ISCCP observations (Pallé et al.) that the global monthly mean cloud cover decreased by around 4.5% between 1985 and 2000. As a result the Earth’s global albedo decreased by the equivalent of around –5 W/m^2, i.e. decrease of reflected SW radiation (= heating of our planet). Over the period 2000 to 2004 the cloud cover recovered by around 2.5%, with an increase in reflected SW radiation of around +3 W/m^2 (= cooling).

        http://bbso.njit.edu/Research/EarthShine/literature/Palle_etal_2006_EOS.pdf

        These periods coincide well with a period of rapid global atmospheric warming (1985-2000) followed by a period of slight cooling (after 2000), as measured both at the surface and in the troposphere.

        But, hey, all you have to do is go outside on a partly cloudy day and see what happens when a cloud blocks out the incoming sunshine.

        [At night, there is a smaller reverse effect: it cools off more rapidly on clear nights than on cloudy nights.]

        But I do not know anyone that believes that increased clouds cause warming. Do you know anyone?

        Max

  101. Dave Springer,

    More name calling? Is that the best you can do?

    BBD made a valid point saying “It makes no policy difference if S is ~2.5C or ~3C”

    I’d extend that slightly. It makes no policy difference if there is a significant possibility that S will exceed 2.5 degC.

    Is anyone saying that there isn’t a significant possibility that it might? Is there a ‘significant possibility’ that we might actually discuss just what the term ‘significant possibility’ might be interpreted to mean in an intelligent fashion?

    • David Springer

      No, the best I can do is direct the ignorant to the textbook information. If that’s rejected time after time then I resort to name calling. If I can’t educate from the podium then I might as well entertain from it instead. I take my comedic style from Don Rickles. If you don’t like it skip over it.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I am afraid the best you can do – springer – is facile and specious argument based on wikipedia entries usually. Your pretensions to pedagoguery is about right in the strict dictionary sense – ‘a petty instructiveness; a dogmatic and narrow-minded method of dealing with things’. Your comedic style is more the witches from Macbeth and you amuse only yourself. I suppose that’s enough for you.

      • Eye of willard, twig of moshe.
        ===========

    • tempterrain writes “I’d extend that slightly. It makes no policy difference if there is a significant possibility that S will exceed 2.5 degC.
      Is anyone saying that there isn’t a significant possibility that it might? ”

      I dont know if I qualify as “:anyone”, but if I do, then I say there is “no significant possibility that it might”. There is no measurement of climate sensitivity; all we have are hypothetical, meaningless estimations. Until we have an actual measurement, and therefore a measure of accuracy, no-one has the slightest idea what the climate sensitivity of CO2 is. And until we have a measurement, there is no significant probability that S will exceed 2.5 C. Such little empirical data as we have, and it is not very much, gives a strong indication that the climate sensitivity of CO2 added to the atmopshbere from current levels, is indistinguishabled from zero.

      But then, I probably dont qualify as “anyone”; certainly not anyone who matters.

      • “I dont know if I qualify as “:anyone”, but if I do….”
        No, you don’t.

      • tempterrain, you write “No, you don’t.”

        That is what I suspected. I am glad to know that, for once, you agree I am right.

      • Paleoclimate shows it is far from zero.

      • Jim D you write “Paleoclimate shows it is far from zero.”

        I object to the word “shows”. The word Hansen used was “infers”. There is an enormous difference in meaning between these two words.

      • Let me rephrase, paleoclimate implies that a person would be stupid to assume a climate sensitivity of zero.

      • Paleoclimate shows that climate shifts from warming to cooling at the highest CO2 levels, and from cooling to warming at the lowest CO2 levels.

      • Clever little beastie, that paleoclimate; it can change its spots.
        ==============

      • Edim is still confused by the Ice Ages. I was referring to the clear signal in the last 50 million years.

      • Edim forgets orbital forcing. And like several others (Springer included) forgets that if the climate system were dominated by negative feedbacks (including strongly net negative cloud feedback) then deglaciation under orbital forcing would be impossible. Deglaciation under orbital forcing is an unambiguous demonstration that the climate system is in fact dominated by *positive* feedbacks. How else does a spatial and seasonal reorganisation of TSI trigger the massive climate shift from glacial to interglacial? How else?

      • kim also can’t tell his Pleistocene from his Eocene :-)

      • Jim, I’m not confused by the Ice Ages. I just say that if you accept the CO2/temperature correlation (at any timescale), then you also accept that climate shifts from warming to cooling at the highest CO2 concentrations and vice versa. We can observe it now and see if it’s true.

        BBD, I don’t forget anything. You’re arguing from ignorance and that’s a well known logical fallacy.

      • Then you are arguing from assertion ;-)

        No, but seriously, what you said is simplistic nonsense. Try again. After reading a paleoclimate text or two.

      • BBD, yes it’s rather simple, but not simplistic and not nonsense. AGW, on the other hand seems like simplistic nonsense to me.

      • Jim D. writes “Let me rephrase, paleoclimate implies that a person would be stupid to assume a climate sensitivity of zero.”

        I object to this as well. I am no expert on the subject, but so far as I am aware, it is difficult getting accurate time measurements in paleo data. My understanding is that while CO2 and temperature are correlated in the paleo data, the rise of CO2 comes some 800 years after the rise in temperature. In other words, first temperature rises, and then CO2 rises, not the other way round; possibly caused by CO2 outgassing from warming oceans.

        So, I dont think the paleo data can ever “show” anything. If the modern data, where we have good information on both time and temperature, shows no CO2 signal, then I prefer to believe the modern data; which means, to me, I am not stupid.

        And, once again, you put words in my mouth and misquote me. I do not claim that CS is zero; merely that it’s value is indistinguishable from zero.

      • Edim, the Eocene was an iceless hothouse peak correlated with a CO2 value over 1000 ppm. The CO2 decline since then came with cooling temperatures and glaciers consistent with high sensitivities. Not enough “skeptics” have looked at this, and tried to explain it in their own way, but it is silly to just ignore such evidence. It is almost like they don’t want to acknowledge it as such. Looks like bias to me, but it could simply be ignorance.

      • Jim D

        Yes, every time I raise this point it gets… ignored. But I will carry on doing it all the same because ‘sceptics’ cannot explain it ;-)

      • Is the glass half warm or half cold?
        =================

      • BBD, your point is a logical falacy, the so-called argumentum ad ignorantiam.

      • Edim dear, you are stuck.

        Let’s try again. CO2 and CH4 are *feedbacks* to orbital forcing during deglaciation. Nor are they solely responsible by any means for the totality of deglaciation. They are a part of the phenomenon.

        CO2 is low during glacials. It increases during deglaciation and remains ~100ppmv higher during interglacials than glacials. It helps stabilise integlacial climate and prolong the interglacial. But eventually, after many thousands of years, orbital dynamics decrease high latitude NH summer insolation and the great NH ice sheets begin to re-grow. Ice albedo feedback (strongly positive) is engaged and *overwhelms* the interglacial climate, GHGs and all, and the slide back into full glaciation gets underway.

        This ‘CO2/temperature correlation’ is just another hideously mangled ‘sceptic’ meme. There is no contradiction, only a profound lack of understanding of the actual processes at work.

      • Jim Cripwell, check what happened since the Eocene. A CO2 change much larger than in the Ice Ages occurred in the last 50 million years, and that ramp down has gone with cooling consistent with high sensitivity. The Ice Age changes were smaller and not forced by CO2 as we know from Milankovitch, so the CO2 was a response. This often has confused people, especially here. I see it explained a few times a year.

      • BBD, the solution is in front of you: Gaia, on her knees, begging for air.
        ================================

      • Nice story BBD, but it’s just a story and it’s getting boring. I have heard it already 1000s of times and I am not convinced at all.

      • kim

        Did I ever mention that you are chirruping, irritating troll?

      • Then you are too stupid to understand it Edim, and shouldn’t be commenting on a climate blog.

      • Jim D. you write “and that ramp down has gone with cooling consistent with high sensitivity.”

        Here we go again with the weasel words. Whatever it is may well be “consistent” with something or other, but this means very little. It could be “consistent” with a lot of other things as well. I try and use scientific words, in the sense they are supposed to be used.

      • That’s Edim and Cripwell engaged in denial. This is an accurate description of what has just happened here, not name calling.

        It is necessary to be clear about what is happening. Necessary.

      • I disagree BBD, it’s the other way around. But, let nature’s phenomena decide.

      • I know I’ve mentioned to you before that you need to go on ‘A Tour of the Whole Island of Great Skepticism’.
        =========================

      • kim

        I’ve been on the tour kim. I’ve spend far, far too much time listening to, and researching sceptic claims. I was – once – a lukewarmer, if you recall.

        The problem is that the sceptic case is virtually non-existent. The absolute most that can be said is that it’s possible that the role of natural variability amplifying warming post-1975 has been *slightly* under-stated, but on a century scale this means nothing. If S is ~2.5 – ~3C as seems compellingly likely, then we are in a spot of bother.

      • Thanks for being frank, BBD. You, like Pekka, have been infected by the fear and guilt associated with catastrophic projections.

        Paleontology shows that a warmer world sustains more total life and more diversity of life. Maybe you should lie back and think of Gaia.
        =================

      • Abrupt climate change causes mass extinctions. Do some checking, by all means.

      • Yep, this is one of our fundamental disagreements. Your belief in our power to cause abrupt climate change is stronger than mine.

        What little power we do have will either delay the onset of the next Ice Age, or ameliorate its depth, or both. The more power we have the more we can effect either or both.

        Consequently, I’m quite conflicted about the whole mess. I wish climate sensitivity were just high enough that the amount we have to contribute will navigate the Scylla and Charybdis of catastrophically abrupt change, and near term reglaciation.

        Have we the wisdom? Well, we wonder.
        ==============

      • Jim Cripwell, you like to play with words. Let’s see if you agree with some statements.
        (a) The last 50 million years of temperature change and CO2 change are evidence consistent with AGW with high sensitivity.
        (b) So far no other theory has been put forwards to explain the cooling since 50 million years ago.

      • Jim D. You write “Jim D | February 9, 2013 at 11:40 am |
        Jim Cripwell, you like to play with words. Let’s see if you agree with some statements.
        (a) The last 50 million years of temperature change and CO2 change are evidence consistent with AGW with high sensitivity.
        (b) So far no other theory has been put forwards to explain the cooling since 50 million years ago.”

        Taking these one at a time.

        (a). I have no ideas what this means scientificly. It may be consistent, but so what? It may also be consistent with all sorts of other things you dont mention. “Consistent” is a scientificly meaningless weasel word.The statement has no scientific meaning, so I suspect it is correct, but it does not add anything to our scientific understanding of how the atmosphere works..

        (b) CAGW is not a theory; it is a hypothesis. There is no empirical data to give that hypothesis enough support to warrant it being called a theory. There is an alternative hypothesis, which was put forward by Henrik Svensmark, that cloud concentration, moderated by galactic cosmic rays, could be responsible for all observed paleo evidence. There is also correlation, but no causation, that other magnetic effects of the sun affect global climate. There are also many other climatic effects for which we do not know the cause; e.g. sudden stratospheric warming, which we are now experiencing, and which might be affecting what is currently happening with global weather.

      • Jim Cripwell, you are weaseling out of answering. You say that evidence of something is not allowed to be consistent with a theory, like evidence of the earth’s orbital period and distance is not allowed to be consistent with Kepler’s laws of motion. How would you phrase that statement? You are making up a language that enables your own denialisticness, and it doesn’t help discussion by setting up your word obstacles and walling yourself in with them.

      • …and do you trust Svensmark’s idea with the evidence yet. I could say that the sun is weaker than it has been for a while in this cycle, yet global cloud cover is lower, which is evidence that the Svensmark theory is wrong, while this evidence consistent with AGW and positive cloud feedback. Which theory do you think is more consistent with the way cloud cover is going? Consistency is a very good way of separating competing theories, isn’t it?

      • JIm D, you write “Jim Cripwell, you are weaseling out of answering”

        I am doing no such thing. Your statement is pedanticly correct, but meaningless. If there are lots of other things which are consistent with the same information, the fact that the one you choose happens to be consistent, says nothing scientific about what is causing the observed happenings.

      • Jim D. you write “…and do you trust Svensmark’s idea with the evidence yet.”

        Of course not. All Svensmark has is a hypothesis. That is all you asked for. I agree you asked for a theory, but since CAGW is only a hypothesis, I feel another hypothesis is all that is required. We need a lot of empirical data before it becomes anything else. You mention timing. There has been insufficient time to test Henrik’s hypothesis. It seems strange that you talk about paleo data, and then claim therre has been enough time to test Svensmark’s hypothesis, when the time has been miniscule on a paleo scale.

        During the LIA and the Maunder minimum, sunspots “disappeared” around 1645. (I put “disappeared” in quotation marks, as the word is used to mean two different things in this context). Livingston, Penn and Svalgaard have shown that sunspots are “disappearing” now, during SC24; disappearing in the sense that they claim there are fewer than there ought to be. If L&P are correct, sun spots will “disaappear” in the Maunder minimum sense, around 2020, or a little later. The lowest temperatures of the LIA were registered around 1685. We cannot expect to test Svensmark’s hypothesis until somewhere around 2050 or so. I wont be around at that time to find out. We will need to be toward the greatest extent of the Eddy minimum before we can trust and test Svensmark. Unless we get some other form of empirical data in the meanwhile.

      • Jim Cripwell

        You are probably right that “testing Svensmark” with physical observations in our climate system would most likely take at least until 2050.

        But the experimental work under controlled conditions at CERN may give us an answer more quickly, if reproducible experimentation simulating climate conditions can validate the hypothesis.

        So far, the only thing CERN has been able to validate is that there is a cloud nucleation mechanism with cosmic rays when certain naturally occurring aerosols are present, but it is too early to say how and to what extent this would work in our climate system.

        Max

        PS Although there are still many uncertainties regarding the extent of natural forcing and variability, we are de facto performing a test of the CAGW hypothesis today. If the slight cooling trend continues for another few more years (say to a total of 20+ years) despite unabated human GHG emissions, we will have falsified the CAGW hypothesis of IPCC.

    • tempterrain

      More and more, it is becoming apparent that (2xCO2) equilibrium climate sensitivity lies within the range of 1.2C to 2.0C, according to latest studies, which are based on analyses of the actual temperature record, rather than simply model simulations.

      This means that it is virtually certain that we will not see warming from human CO2 exceeding 2.5C by 2100.

      In fact, with total CO2 constrained to less than 1000 ppmv due to total availability of fossil fuels (WEC 2010), it is very unlikely that we will EVER see 2.5 degC warming

      So you can add me to the list of people “saying that there isn’t a significant possibility that it might exceed 2.5 degC.”

      Max

    • Actually every degree of C we can cut from sensitivity estimates is worth Trillions. So, merely asserting that there is no difference between 2.5 and 3 wont do, when some of the experts studying the matter say differently.

  102. David Springer

    Let’s get this straight before BBD forgets about it.

    BBD is in full agreement with both me and standard physical geography textbooks that dry climates without clouds have higher mean annual temperatures than wet climates with clouds when both are at substantially the same latitude.

    Watch the back peddling. Everyone here knows he can’t both agree with this and continue to claim that clouds have positive temperature feedback.

    LOL – this is entertaining.

    • Stick to one thread or you will be talking to yourself from now on.

    • Why are rainforests warm at night, Springer?

      Why are deserts cold at night?

      Why would that be?

      • David Springer

        Clouds limit heat gain during the day and limit heat loss during the night.

        The net effect on mean temperature is that the cloudy climate is cooler. More energy is blocked during the day than is retained at night.

        It’s not rocket science. Standard introductory concepts discussed in Physical Geography 101.

      • BBD

        Why are deserts much hotter than rain forests during the day?

        Max

    • You are always going on about references. Please back up your claim that cloud feedback nets strongly negative with at least three published studies in mainstream, reviewed journals.

      Thanks in advance.

      • David Springer

        Who said strongly negative? Not me.

        It only needs to be neutral to put the kabosh on water vapor amplification.

        It’s at least slightly negative which is why tropical desert climates have the highest mean annual temperature of all climate types.

        reference below

        http://www4.uwsp.edu/geo/faculty/ritter/geog101/textbook/climate_systems/tropical_desert.html

      • Kibosh has a much sharper blade.
        =====

      • Aah! Who’s backpeddaling now? Do you remember our previous conversations Dave? The ones where I said that cloud feedback was either weakly negative, neutral or weakly positive? Those conversations?

        Shall we go back and look at them, Dave?

      • It only needs to be neutral to put the kabosh on water vapor amplification.

        Ah! I see what you’ve done now.

        You don’t understand the difference between water vapour amplification of the GHE and clouds… Oho! You have make a prat of yourself again Dave! Big time.

      • And it wonders why it gets moderated lol.

      • Erica

        What do you have to say to Springer about this?

      • I say : careful not to crank it up by a factor of a 1000 or so, or you’ll be bracketed with BBD.

      • Studies pointing to net negative cloud feedback (all published after IPCC AR4):

        – Spencer & Braswell (2007) show net negative cloud feedback based on CERES satellite observations

        – Wyant et al. (2007) show net negative cloud feedback with warming using model simulations with superparameterization for clouds.

        – Lindzen & Choi (2009/2011) show a low overall climate sensitivity (overall negative feedback) based on CERES satellite observations

        Hope this helps.

        Max

      • BBD

        I’m sure you know this, but IPCC AR4 WGI (Ch. 8) estimates that with all feedbacks except cloud feedback, the 2xCO2 ECS would be around 1.9C

        Cloud feedback is predicted to be positive, adding 1.3C, so the mean 2xCO2 ECS is predicted to be 3.2C

        Obviously if cloud feedback is only slightly negative this would result in an ECS of say 1.9C – 0.4C or roughly 1.5C.

        And, since IPCC assumed essentially constant relative humidity with warming to arrive at the water vapor feedback and it appears that RH decreases with warming (Minschwaner + Dessler 2005, NOAA radiosonde and satellite humidity records), the water vapor feedback is very likely too high by around 0.3C to 0.6C, bringing the overall adjusted ECS to roughly 0.9C to 1.2C.

        And latest analyses of the actual record are showing the same much lower 2xCO2 ECS estimates.

        It’s not looking good for strongly positive WV and cloud feedbacks (as predicted by the IPCC AR4 models), BBD.

        Max

      • Max,

        Its possible that you are correct and that CS will come out at the lower end of the IPCC range. Somewhere around the 1.5 degC figure.

        But you must have read enough posts by Judith to explain how uncertain any particular calculation or measurement might be. Let me know if you’ve missed them all and I’ll post up some links.

        But, what if it comes out at the upper end? 4.5 degC

        There seems no reason to be over-optimistic or over-pessimistic. Why not just assume a mid range figure? ~ 3 degC

        It’s what we all, including climate ‘sceptics’, do in everday life on other issues when faced with conflicting information.

      • manacker

        It’s not looking good for strongly positive WV and cloud feedbacks (as predicted by the IPCC AR4 models)

        You should talk to the Hydrologist. He thinks most of the warming is caused by reduced cloud cover over the last few decades. What to think?

  103. David Springer

    BBD | February 9, 2013 at 10:01 am |

    “Edim forgets orbital forcing. And like several others (Springer included)

    How many times must I remind you that orbital mechanics does not change total power the earth receives from the sun over the course of a year?

    It changes the seasonal distribution of the same amount of power. Specifically when orbital mechanics line up such that northern hemisphere winters get more sunlight and summer gets an equal but opposite reduction this encourages glacial advance. The warmer winter has more snowfall and the cooler summer is less able to melt it completely.

    This is, once again, standard physical geography. You are ineducable it seems. A shopkeeper with delusions of literacy in natural sciences.

    http://www.indiana.edu/~geol105/images/gaia_chapter_4/milankovitch.htm

    It is of primary importance to explain that climate change, and subsequent periods of glaciation, resulting from the following three variables is not due to the total amount of solar energy reaching Earth. The three Milankovitch Cycles impact the seasonality and location of solar energy around the Earth, thus impacting contrasts between the seasons.

    You serve a valuable purpose, BBD, in illustrating the lack of basic knowledge in natural sciences that warmists all share. If you didn’t exist I’d have to invent you.

    • How many times must I remind you that orbital mechanics does not change total power the earth receives from the sun over the course of a year?

      I never said that it did. Go and look for the non-existent statement. Your incessant and blatant recourse to strawman tactics is a bore, Springer.

      • David Springer

        Okay, so now you suddenly agree that total energy received from the sun during the year does not change with the Milankovitch cycle and hence is not a factor in the glacial/interglacial transitions.

        Great. That’s correct.

        Yet you continue to say that orbital forcing causing glacial/interglacial transitions is proof of high climate sensitivity.

        How so?

        Climate sensitivity is a measure of how responsive the temperature of the climate system is to a change in the radiative forcing.

        Although climate sensitivity is usually used in the context of radiative forcing by carbon dioxide (CO2), it is thought of as a general property of the climate system: the change in surface air temperature (ΔTs) following a unit change in radiative forcing (RF), and thus is expressed in units of °C/(W/m2). For this to be useful, the measure must be independent of the nature of the forcing (e.g. from greenhouse gases or solar variation); to first order this is indeed found to be so.

        So in the Milankovitch cycle we have ZERO change in global average forcing and several degrees of temperature change. This results in a division by zero when calculating sensitivity. Division by zero is undefined. Thus your claim that orbital forcing proves a high sensitivity is also undefined.

        Thanks for playing. Hopefully people are learning from your mistakes.

      • Springer

        Okay, so now you suddenly agree that total energy received from the sun during the year does not change with the Milankovitch cycle

        No, I’ve *always* said this. Strawman. Again. See above.

        and hence is not a factor in the glacial/interglacial transitions.

        Great. That’s correct.

        Actually Dave, it’s rubbish.

        Let’s walk through the process as it is now understood (Shakun et al. 2010):

        – NH summer insolation increases from ~ 21.5ka

        – By ~19ka, mid/high latitude NH temperature increase forces sufficient melt from NH ice sheets for freshwater flux to inhibit NADW formation and halt AMOC

        – NH *cools* as equatorial -> poleward heat transport stops

        – With the NH ‘heat sink’ turned off, the SH *warms*, as it must

        – Deep water warming in SH causes release of carbon from ocean sediments. This strongly positive feedback globalises and amplifies the warming

        – NH melt resumes, fully engaging strongly positive ice albedo feedback

        – Deglaciation accelerates until largely complete by ~11.5ka. Holocene interglacial begins

        This is how a spatial and seasonal reorganisation of TSI entrains *strongly positive* feedbacks which combine with enough strength to propel the climate system out of a glacial into an interglacial.

        Climate systems dominated by strongly positive feedbacks are, by definition, sensitive.

        Thanks for playing. Hopefully people are learning from your mistakes.

        ;-)

    • And I remember laughing long and loud at the utterly indescribable mess you made of Milankovitch here.

      You are delusional, Dave.

    • Albedo is a forcing. This works by changing mean albedo.

      • Ice albedo is a feedback.

      • OK, yes, it is both. Orbital cycles change the mean albedo which affects forcing because it affects the energy balance, then albedo also amplifies its own change in the case of Milankovitch cycles.

      • Jim D

        Ice albedo is a feedback. The forcing is seasonally and spatially altered TSI. Both GHGs and ice albedo change are feedbacks to the initial orbital forcing.

      • David Springer

        No Jim, albedo is not a forcing. Forcing is the amount of illumination on the surface. A black surface recieves the same amount of illumination as a white surface.

        Albedo isn’t even the cause of glacial/interglacial cycles. The cause is warmer winters and cooler summers in the northern hemisphere. This results in more winter snowfall and less summer melt. Glaciers require land anchors and the northern hemisphere has twice the land surface of the southern hemisphere. At the same time the winters become warmer and summers cooler in the NH the opposite is happening in the SH. It would cancel out for global average if not for the huge disparity in land anchors for glaciers between the two hemispheres.

        Change in albedo is a feedback. It’s a positive feedback and is why there are two great attractors in the climate system – all frozen or all unfrozen. Once either state is attained it becomes difficult to change to the other one. In the earth’s entire history it’s all unfrozen 90% of the time. Liquid oceans are the dominant climate state overall. In the most recent 4 million years we’ve had the opposite situation where glaciers dominate 90% of the time. One perfect storm, say a deep solar minimum, Milankovitch cycle in the glacial phase, continents arranged as they are today, and a supervolcano eruption all at the same time would probably trigger another snowball earth episode which has happened a few times in the past few billion years. These are rare episodes because the odds of them all happening at the same time are slim.

      • OK, now I would phrase it more specifically. Direct albedo effects due to orbital parameter changes are themselves a forcing. Orbital effects themselves are not a forcing because they don’t impact the net solar input or long-term energy balance by themselves. It is only earth’s geography that turns these effects into an initial albedo change, and this is how the forcing first appears. I don’t call it orbital forcing because that doesn’t always translate into an albedo effect or a direct solar irradiance effect.

      • Jim D

        I understand what you are saying, but ice albedo is classed as a feedback to orbital forcing. It’s niggling sometimes, I agree. Just as the confusion engendered by CO2 being treated as a feedback to ice sheet melt during deglaciation and a forcing in modern climate because it is introduced artificially and externally into the climate system by human activity. Proper does me head in, sometimes.

      • BBD, yes, I know your view is the accepted interpretation. I am trying to represent forcing as more limited. My argument is that the energy balance has only two terms, solar-in and longwave-out, so forcings have to affect one of these directly. Solar-in is impacted by solar irradiance and albedo (which can be geographic changes such as net seasonal ice effect, vegetation, water area, or atmospheric changes like aerosols and volcanoes). Longwave-out is mostly affected by GHG amounts. Ice albedo can also be a feedback, and in the end this feedback dominates over the initial small ice changes due to orbital changes making them hard to separate.

    • “How many times must I remind you that orbital mechanics does not change total power the earth receives from the sun over the course of a year?”

      Is that really true? Glacial cycles in the past have been observed on a 41kyr timescale which corresponds to the variation of the Earth’s axial tilt. Winters would be warmer and summers cooler with a smaller angle of tilt. So, on the face of it it would appear that one would cancel out the other. But if the winters were still cold enough to freeze the polar regions (it wouldn’t matter whether the temperature was -20degC or -22degC for example) a cooler summer would thaw less of it and the ice cap would expand. That would change the Earth’s albedo , reflecting more solar energy back into space.

      That’s one theory. Yes , I know, its just a theory and we don’t have any empirical evidence to support that. So far, no-one has been able to do controlled experiments in a double blind way to confirm that.

      However, the present period is more like 100kyrs. This time period does correspond to the angle of the Earth’s orbit relative to the sun and also its eccentricity of orbit. It is hard to see how a change of eccentricity can have a large enough effect. One theory is that there is a certain position in the Earth’s orbital plane which lines up with the orbit of a dust cloud which would make the Earth cooler. I’m not sure that this theory fits in with a 100kr year period though. Wouldn’t it have to be 200 kyr? The Earth’s orbit would pass through the dust cloud twice in its cycle.

      Its fair to say that the causes of ice ages aren’t well enough understood. But it should be noted that a small change in forcing, for whatever reason, can cause a large change in temperature. This indicates there are positive feedbacks at work.

      • The solar irradiance averaged over the earth averaged over the year doesn’t change with orbital variability. The thing that changes is its distribution, favoring longer northern winters for example. Eccentricity can help that by lengthening the time earth spends further away allowing more time for ice to build up.

      • JIm D,

        Yes I would agree. But the “total power the earth receives from the sun” would still be less, if the higher albedo from a increased area polar icecap were taken into account.

  104. David Springer

    http://web.bryant.edu/~dlm1/cies/topics/climatechange/milankovitch/milankovitch.htm

    It is of primary importance to understand that climate change resulting from the following three variables

    is not due to the total amount of solar energy reaching Earth.

    is due to their impact on seasonality and location of solar energy around the Earth, thus impacting contrasts between the seasons.

    • Yes, I know Dave. If you actually read what I said instead of making up a strawman version you can have a fake argument with, you will notice that I never said otherwise.

      You are delusional, Dave.

      • Here are the original comments again, so you can read them again Dave:

        Edim forgets orbital forcing. And like several others (Springer included) forgets that if the climate system were dominated by negative feedbacks (including strongly net negative cloud feedback) then deglaciation under orbital forcing would be impossible. Deglaciation under orbital forcing is an unambiguous demonstration that the climate system is in fact dominated by *positive* feedbacks. How else does a spatial and seasonal reorganisation of TSI trigger the massive climate shift from glacial to interglacial? How else?

        And:

        CO2 and CH4 are *feedbacks* to orbital forcing during deglaciation. Nor are they solely responsible by any means for the totality of deglaciation. They are a part of the phenomenon.

        CO2 is low during glacials. It increases during deglaciation and remains ~100ppmv higher during interglacials than glacials. It helps stabilise integlacial climate and prolong the interglacial. But eventually, after many thousands of years, orbital dynamics decrease high latitude NH summer insolation and the great NH ice sheets begin to re-grow. Ice albedo feedback (strongly positive) is engaged and *overwhelms* the interglacial climate, GHGs and all, and the slide back into full glaciation gets underway.

        This ‘CO2/temperature correlation’ is just another hideously mangled ‘sceptic’ meme. There is no contradiction, only a profound lack of understanding of the actual processes at work.

        See Dave? I was correct all along. Now where does that leave you?

        Did you notice the bit about an unambiguous demonstration of positive feedbacks? Or were you so busy fabricating what I did not say that you missed the import of what I DID say?

        Or are you just trying to steamroller over that? Is that what you are doing Dave?

      • David Springer

        Deglaciation is caused by colder winters and warmer summers in the northern hemisphere. Negative feedback from clouds does not make deglaciation impossible. There is no logic to support that position. You are wrong.

      • Misrepresentation, yet again.

        What I actually said – and have always said – is that if the net of *all* feedbacks in the climate system is negative, then a mere seasonal and spatial reorganisation of TSI under orbital forcing would not be capable of terminating glacials.

        As far as clouds are concerned, we can simply say that if the net of *cloud feedbacks* is strongly negative (as many ‘sceptics’ claim) it would strongly inhibit the process of deglaciation, if not prevent it altogether.

        This obviously doesn’t happen, so the evidence suggests that the net of cloud feedbacks is either *weakly* negative, weakly positive or neutral.

        I don’t know how many times we’ve been through this now, but it’s more than enough.

      • The more Springer argues with BBD, the more sane he appears.

        The science of climate forcings and feedbacks is in it’s infancy. It’s a complex problem and we need super computer nerd Springer to get off his lazy east Texas barbeque arse and create a new patent for a uber-super-dooper computer to work out a global coupled multi-phase model of oceans, atmosphere, gases and aerosols. We won’t make him figure out how to simulate the biosphere interactions just yet.

        The glacial cycle forcings are asymmetrically powerful and produce asymmetrically powerful positive and negative feedbacks, depending on the phase of the Milankovich cycle. This is completely different from the effects of small changes to well mixed GHGs like CO2 and CH4.

        Now, the current failed theory of Global Warming put forth by the armchair alarmists is that the glacial cycles are ruled by 100-ppm swings in CO2 and 300-ppb swings in CH4. Apparently, these are the phantom phat-tails wagging the orbital mechanical dog that is actually responsible for glaciation.

        Meanwhile, here in the 21st century, the transient climate response due to CO2 is rolled up with the ozone forcing and the black carbon forcing and the deforestation forcing and the irrigated agriculture forcing, etc, etc, etc and it’s creeping down below 2-deg C. Now the alarmist are looking to the sun and ENSO to save them. This is when a circle-jerk turns into a circular firing squad.

      • David Springer

        Howard | February 9, 2013 at 6:59 pm |

        “The more Springer argues with BBD, the more sane he appears.”

        I really don’t want anyone to think I’m sane. The goal is for you to find yourself in agreement with me causing you to question your own sanity. Mind phucking, in other words.

      • Dave Springer,

        What’s somewhat worrying, is not so much what you say, it’s the certainty with which you assert it. You don’t use phrases like “the most likely explanation” or “one possible theory”. You make a series of largely unrefenced assertions.

        There are lots of pieces which don’t quite fit together to give us a complete picture of why glacial cycles occur, but it seems that you think they do. Do they really, or have you just hammered them together as you think fit?

  105. David Springer

    CO2 simply follows ocean temperature. A warming ocean outgasses and a cooling ocean ingasses. You have cause & effect bass ackwards. No surprise there.

    Glacial epics end because (as I’ve pointed out many times) colder winters and warmer summers result in less snow accumulation in the winter and more melt in the summer. Cloud feedback is not a factor. Albedo is a large factor in the melt primarily because the ocean surface expands rapidly. Glaciers evidently take a lot longer to grow than to disintegrate. The glacial maxima builds slowly. The change from maxima to minima happens rapidly.

    Note also the hard floor and ceiling on temperature at the minima and maxima. This is the limit imposed by albedo which can only change so much with the current arrangement of the continents. Once as much land as is possible is covered/uncovered the albedo feedback halts and with it temperature rise/fall halts too. It’s also important to note that the ocean is much darker than land and its surface area expands and shrinks in opposition to glacial advance and retreat. Glaciers build over land slowly and slowly expose more land as water becomes locked up in ice. On the other hand they melt fast when a rising ocean hits their boundary and turns landlocked ice directly into dark ocean surface with no intermediate state of ice-free land surface.

    • Same old climate illiterate tripe. Read some texbooks. Deepen and improve your understanding.

      • BBD

        Try to think outside the box of your paradigm.

        When you think “clouds”, think outside the box of “feedbacks”.

        Remember, the first step in thinking outside the box is to realize that there is no box.

        Max

      • Are you telling me that you are out of your box, Max?

        Tut, tut.

        ;-)

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Clouds change in response to changes in ocean and atmosphere circulation- part of the natural variability of the system. It seems associated with sea surface temperature – which is influenced by upwelling. Something that is driven by the polar vortices and planetary spin.

        Insolation does change with orbital eccentricities – there would otherwise be no threshold for bifurcation between states. But there are many factors involved – the closing of the Ithmus of Panama or tectonic uplift in the Himalayas perhaps implicated in Quaternary glaciation/deglaciation cycles. I have an idea as well that these are not always negative or always positive feedbacks. There are multiple negative and positive feedbacks. Warmth causing a slowdown in THC for instance. Dessication in cold periods limiting plant growth with dust storms circling the planet. There is no one cause – but depends on how the system responds to small changes.

        Insolation changes? Of course it does – but is by no means the whole story.

        http://www.skepticalscience.com/print.php?n=837

      • David Springer

        You’re just still mad at the spanking I gave you with a chapter from Physical Geography 101 stating that tropical deserts have the highest mean annual temperature of any climate type. It’s impossible to argue that clouds raise surface temperature in light of that, eh shopkeeper? I’d might be mad too if I was humiliated by a correction from an introductory science text too but I can’t say for sure because it never happened to me.

      • BBD

        I’ve long ago realized that I am not in a box.

        It’s a first step.

        Max

      • We’re all in little subjective boxes Max. Let’s not get above ourselves ;-) (sorry).

      • Max seems to like his paradigms too. Especially his shifting paradigms. He now says he’d like to shift them all outside the box , even though it doesn’t exist. If it would help, I could send him a small one in the post.

  106. Chief Hydrologist

    BBD | February 9, 2013 at 9:35 am |

    Another aspect of the incoherence in your argument was pointed out by R. Gates. You have the cloud/OHC relationship inverted.

    BBD | February 9, 2013 at 9:40 am |

    Also, if you bother to look at Levitus et al. (2012) as I have repeatedly urged in the past, you would see that OHC is increasing in all major basins simultaneously (SI, figs S1 and S2). Global cloud cover cannot explain this. None of what you say really stacks up. It is partial reasoning, in both senses. You do understand what I mean by this, don’t you?

    You have a very large, self-induced blind spot. The space cadet, I’m afraid, is in the mirror.

    Blah blah,

    This is another example of narrative in the climate war.

    I think you will find that gatesy was arguing that OHC decreased in El Nino and increased in La Nina as heat cycled between ocean and atmosphere. But you will find that OHC follows the net radiant flux at TOA quite closely.

    This from the Wong et al study for instance where the OHC is resolved annually rather than with the 5 years averages of Levitus. This was one of gatesy’s problems – he didn’t understand how Levitus derived his numbers.

    It shows ocean warming though the 90’s to 1998 and then some cooling. This shows the consistency of the Wong et al TOA record with OHC – as noted by IPCC s 3.4.4.1. For ERBS in the 80’s and 90’s we have 07W/m2 LW, -2.W/m2 SW and 1.4W/m2 net. A warming net anomaly trend in the 80’s and 90’s – but cooling in IR and all the warming in SW as result of cloud changes.

    But I have been interested in changes in sea surface temperature and cloud change and especially how these decadal changes in sea surface temperature influenced cloud formation. See here for a long winded post.

    http://judithcurry.com/2011/02/09/decadal-variability-of-clouds/

    Changes in global cloud negatively correlated with SST is one of the obvious answers. It is in fact used as an ENSO diagnostic.

    ‘El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is the most important coupled ocean-atmosphere phenomenon to cause global climate variability on interannual time scales. Here we attempt to monitor ENSO by basing the Multivariate ENSO Index (MEI) on the six main observed variables over the tropical Pacific. These six variables are: sea-level pressure (P), zonal (U) and meridional (V) components of the surface wind, sea surface temperature (S), surface air temperature (A), and total cloudiness fraction of the sky (C). These observations have been collected and published in ICOADS for many years.’ http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/enso/mei/

    My interest in these systems started more than 2 decades ago on reading a 1988 paper on multi-decadal rainfall regimes in Australia. These are systems that change hydrology across the globe on decadal and longer timeframes. It is nonsense to think that cloud changes are not part of these shifts in large scale ocean and atmospheric patterns.

    There was a study last year using salt content in the Law Dome ice core to produce a 1000 year high resolution ENSO proxy. It shows 2 dry periods in Australia – the past 150 years and around the medieval optimum separated by a long period of La Nina dominance. A similar thing is shown in the 11,000 ENSO proxy from Moys 2002 – along with the drying of the Sahel and the demise of the Minoan civilisation. It is an example of a nonstationary system with influences on global hydrology and surface temperature whose limits of variability we barely understand.

    • But you will find that OHC follows the net radiant flux at TOA quite closely.

      Or net radiative flux at TOA is influenced by variability in OHC. Which I believe is the standard position?

      What do you make of the increase in OHC 0 – 1500m from 2005 – 2010?

      Reference.

      Do we have cloud data that fits with this?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        dS/dt = Energy in – Energy out …by the 1st law of thermodynamics.

        I suppose you are capable of understanding simple 1st order differential equations? dS/dt is the change in energy stored in the global system as a result of an energy imbalance at TOA – which I believe is the standard explanation.

        The equation is a complete description of the global energy budget – simple aye. You can use ARGO to determine whether dS/dt is positive or negative and SORCE TSI and CERES trends to look at why.

        Here is one from Norman Loeb –

        Here’s the data for SW, LW and Net – with trend lines – from Trenberth and Spencer – part of a discussion.

        Net is warming up by convention.

        Here is the data on radiant flux form Loeb – the reference is provided in the name.

        The change in SW in these short periods is almost all cloud.

        Yes we have cloud data that fits with the ocean heat content – as it must. This data is pretty good too.

      • I can see why you didn’t link to any actual references but only presented deracinated figures. I remember checking Wong et al. (2006) only to discover that it doesn’t support your claim that OHC is modulated by cloud cover. Nor does your first reference Loeb et al. 2012). Do the rest? You can show me, with direct quotes.

        You *assert* that it’s all clouds and wave away CO2 forcing as the driver of the increase in OHC in all major basins since the 1970s (Levitus et al. 2012). I can find *nobody* who agrees with this. What published studies actually support your hypothesis? I would like to see concrete evidence that you aren’t simply a lone voice loudly crying ‘anything but CO2′ in the blog wilderness.

        And as a side note, the clipped figures you show *don’t* match the trend in OHC 0 – 1500m.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Curiouser and curiouser.

        ‘The overall slight rise (relative heating) of global total net flux at TOA between the 1980’s and 1990’s is confirmed in the tropics by the ERBS measurements and exceeds the estimated climate forcing changes (greenhouse gases and aerosols) for this period. The most obvious explanation is the associated changes in cloudiness during this period.’ http://isccp.giss.nasa.gov/projects/browse_fc.html

        ‘In summary, although there is independent evidence for decadal changes in TOA radiative fluxes over the last two decades, the evidence is equivocal. Changes in the planetary and tropical TOA radiative fluxes are consistent with independent global ocean heat-storage data, and are expected to be dominated by changes in cloud radiative forcing. To the extent that they are real, they may simply reflect natural low-frequency variability of the climate system. ‘ http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch3s3-4-4-1.html

        There are a dozen studies on clouds and I have referenced – as well as NASA and the IPCC. The ERBS data is from Wong et al in both cases.

        The later data is from CERES. Loeb