American Physical Society

by Judith Curry

The American Physical Society (APS) has a new Topical Group on the Physics of Climate (GPC).

From the GPC website:

The objective of the GPC shall be to promote the advancement and diffusion of knowledge concerning the physics, measurement, and modeling of climate processes, within the domain of natural science and outside the domains of societal impact and policy, legislation and broader societal issues. The objective includes the integration of scientific knowledge and analysis methods across disciplines to address the dynamical complexities and uncertainties of climate physics. Broad areas of initial scientific inquiry are described in the Areas of Interest below. These are expected to evolve with scientific progress, while remaining entirely within the domain of natural science.

The focus of the Topical Group on the Physics of Climate (GPC) is on the physics of climate processes and measurements. It is not intended to encompass the wider scope of physics associated with other environmental issues. The intended product of the GPC is physical insight and understanding of value to members of the Topical Group, APS members as a whole, and the broader scientific community concerned with climate issues. It is not concerned with matters of policy, legislation, or regulation. It is intended to be a mechanism for physicists with relevant skills, backgrounds, and interests to interact, to present research insights, to learn about and exchange views on the science, and to generally advance the physical understanding of climate.

Five specific initial areas of focus are listed below. These are based on the current perceived needs of climate science and are likely to change as that science progresses.

  1. Climate as a complex dynamical system, leading to a better understanding of the natural modes of the climate system, their coupling to each other and to exogenous forces.
  2. The physics of climate influences, leading to a better understanding of the mechanisms, magnitudes, and timescales by which anthropogenic and non-anthropogenic processes affect climate, including for example, greenhouse gases, solar variability, and unforced influences such as internal modes of variability.
  3. Insight into the nature, magnitude and timescales of climate sensitivity, arising from feedbacks including clouds, water vapor and the hydrological and carbon cycles, at the surface, in the atmosphere and in the oceans.
  4. The physics of proxies used to infer the properties of past climates for which instrumental records are not available, leading to a better understanding of past climates and their relation to the present climate.
  5. The computational physics and statistical analysis of climate model and measurement systems, leading to a better understanding of the methods, capabilities, and limitations of climate models and climate simulation predictions.

Specific natural science areas underlying these issues include fluid dynamics, modeling of nonlinear systems, the physics of complex systems, gas phase physics and chemistry, radiation/heat transfer, phase transitions, measurement science, computational physics, statistics, and biological physics.

Executive Committee

I (along with Daniel Rothman) are the newest members of the Executive Committee.  Note all members of Executive Committee are elected by the GPC membership.  Some background on my own involvement in this.  About 18 months ago I was contacted by Roger Cohen about the new GPC.  He encouraged me to join.  I was sufficiently intrigued to join the APS and the GPC.  Soon after, I was invited to give a Plenary talk at the APS  April meeting (2012) on the topic of the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project.  I was subsequently nominated to be on the ballot for Member-at-Large, and was elected to this Committee a few months ago.

Background

The motivation for the formation of the GPC is tied up with the controversy surrounding the  2007 APS Statement on Climate Change:

Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are changing the atmosphere in ways that affect the Earth’s climate. Greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide as well as methane, nitrous oxide and other gases. They are emitted from fossil fuel combustion and a range of industrial and agricultural processes.

The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring.

If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth’s physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and human health are likely to occur. We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now.

Because the complexity of the climate makes accurate prediction difficult, the APS urges an enhanced effort to understand the effects of human activity on the Earth’s climate, and to provide the technological options for meeting the climate challenge in the near and longer terms. The APS also urges governments, universities, national laboratories and its membership to support policies and actions that will reduce the emission of greenhouse gases.

There was controversy surrounding this statement, including Correspondence published in Nature by Fred Singer, Hal Lewis, Will Happer, Larry Gould, Roger, Cohen, and Robert Austin entitled Petitioning for a revised statement on climate change (note can’t find an online version with active link).  WUWT has followed the controversy, here are some of the links:

In 2010, the APS did provide an addendum to their statement.

History and context of the GPC is summarized in the first Newsletter (March 2013), which was prepared just prior to March APS meeting.  With regards to the March meeting (held last week in Baltimore):

A great deal of discussion within the Program and Executive Committees lead to the development of two excellent sessions as described below. In addition, the chair of GPC was invited to join the organization committee for the Kavli Plenary session, and two speakers were invited to speak on the physics of climate. 

It should also be mentioned that the process of choosing invited speakers for the GPC March meeting sessions was not without argument. The aim by both the Nominating Committee, charged with driving the effort, and the Executive Committee, who worked with the Program Committee in both developing and discussing potential speakers, was to strive for excellence in scientific research, a theme continuously emphasized. Unfortunately, disagreements arose that led Roger Cohen to resign. Roger was one of our members-at-large and a major contributor to the organizational process from the beginning. It was with great regret that he left the GPC Executive Committee and it is our hope that evolution of the GPC will realize the goals that we all had in its creation: a strong emphasis on quality scientific research outside the public debate. We feel that we have made a good start in that direction with these inaugural events.

See the newsletter for the list of speakers.  Unfortunately, none of the presentations are publicly available other than the Kavli lectures (Graeme Stephens and Lonnie Thompson).  I was invited to give a presentation at the APS meeting last week, but unfortunately was unable to attend.

WUWT has two posts on Roger Cohen’s resignation:

Jim Brasseur, Chair of the GPC, was interviewed on APS TV last week, the youtube video can be found here.

JC comments:    So why am I participating in the GPC?  I am hoping that the different ‘culture’ of the APS is more conducive to taking an unbiased look at the science, stimulating more physicists to get involved in climate science, and focusing on challenging issues at the knowledge frontier. A corollary to this statement is that I am concerned that the American Geophysical Union has gone too far over into the land of advocacy, and is rewarding scientists for their ‘alarmism.’  The GPC is a work in progress; I hope that by serving on the Executive Committee that I can influence the objectives and outcomes of the Committee.

Here is my advice to the GPC:  First, drop the APS Statement on Climate Change.  The timing and content of the 2007 statement indicates that it is entirely derivative from the IPCC AR4, albeit more ‘alarming.’  The 2010 addendum doesn’t add much.  So what is the point of the statement?  Apparently, to ‘inform the public’  on this controversial issue by appealing to the ‘authority’ of the society.  Does anyone pay attention to the APS statement as their primary source of information (e.g. rather than the IPCC or the NRC)?  I suspect that no one paid any attention to the APS statement until Happer et al. started complaining about it, resigning, etc.   All this detracts from the scientific and public credibility of the APS.

Second, focus your efforts on the knowledge frontier, e.g. the controversies, the uncertainties, the known unknowns.  Too much climate research is focused on taxonomy, and not enough on fundamental physics-based research.  This is where the APS  CPG can have its greatest impact.  Graeme Stephens’ Kavli talk is presented in this spirit: focusing on what we don’t know in terms of the Earth’s energy balance, and discrepancies between models and observations.  And make these presentations publicly available (e.g. for the invited speakers, make the public availability of their ppt a condition for their travel reimbursement).

I remain optimistic that the APS GPC can have an important impact on climate research.  So far, I am enjoying my interactions with this group.  Time will tell. In the mean time, I am hoping that more members of the APS will join the GPC, and that physics-minded non-APS members will consider joining.   Climate research would greatly benefit from a  larger infusion of physics and physicists.

946 responses to “American Physical Society

  1. There was controversy surrounding this statement..

    Dr. Curry is too modest. One of the earliest and strongest critics of the statement was Dr. Curry, IIRC.

    How then does this position jibe with taking an unbiased look at the science?

    Isn’t the best we can hope for a balance of participation from several equally biased parties?

    • John Carpenter

      “It is not concerned with matters of policy, legislation, or regulation. ”

      Well, now that’s out of the way what other bias do we need to be concerned with from the participating biased parties?

      • Here is my advice to the GPC: First, drop the APS Statement on Climate Change. The timing and content of the 2007 statement indicates that it is entirely derivative from the IPCC AR4, albeit more ‘alarming.’ The 2010 addendum doesn’t add much. So what is the point of the statement? Apparently, to ‘inform the public’ on this controversial issue by appealing to the ‘authority’ of the society. Does anyone pay attention to the APS statement as their primary source of information (e.g. rather than the IPCC or the NRC)? I suspect that no one paid any attention to the APS statement until Happer et al. started complaining about it, resigning, etc. All this detracts from the scientific and public credibility of the APS.

        Second, focus your efforts on the knowledge frontier, e.g. the controversies, the uncertainties, the known unknowns. Too much climate research is focused on taxonomy, and not enough on fundamental physics-based research. This is where the APS CPG can have its greatest impact. Graeme Stephens’ Kavli talk is presented in this spirit: focusing on what we don’t know in terms of the Earth’s energy balance, and discrepancies between models and observations. And make these presentations publicly available (e.g. for the invited speakers, make the public availability of their ppt a condition for their travel reimbursement).

        These sound like foregone conclusions, rather than open-minded will to investigate, examine and draw conclusions based on the facts found through the process.

        Now, if they were just questions, such as:

        1.) What are the merits and drawbacks of the case to drop completely, drop and replace wholesale, or amend the APS statement as of 2010?

        2.) What value does an APS statement add, given the IPCC reports, without overlap, seeking to substitute the judgement of the APS for the IPCC in matters more properly within IPCC mandate, mere repetition, disinforming or obscuring the science?

        3.) What is the best role in informing the public for the APS in regard to climate.

        .. See how that works?

        You do science to find answers, not to assert them.

      • And, as our unsatisfied Latimer told us last week, you do op-ed to assert things.

      • John Carpenter

        “You do science to find answers, not to assert them.”

        I don’t see her asserting any ‘science’ in the statements she made. What assertions of the ‘science’ did she make? She advised to drop the APS statement and to focus effort on knowledge frontiers. These are examples of asserting science? Sure, she gave some opinions on why she thinks the APS should take her advice, but to stretch that to asserting science… I don’t see it. I think she is trying to say… take the ‘controversial’ statement off the table (for now)….and… do some science in areas that are more under-represented. I will add a third part… after taking an ‘unbiased’ look at the established as well as the less established work, re-visit the statement.

        Perhaps, to you, her statements look like foregone conclusions… but that is precisely the argument she is making to the APS on why it might be advantageous to take the current statement off the table for now…(it’s a statement that makes biased policy recommendations) and why looking at under-represented areas of climate science frontiers might be healthy and a little more ‘open minded’.

        It appears all you are doing is turning here argument around back on to her instead of understanding what she is trying to say.

        The way you framed the questions are certianly the way I would expect the issues to be presented within the committee.

      • John Carpenter | March 25, 2013 at 2:02 pm |

        ..focus your efforts on the knowledge frontier, e.g. the controversies, the uncertainties, the known unknowns.

        It’s been my experience of the sciences that “the controversies” and “the uncertainties” and the “known unknowns” are seldom, marginally and infrequently productive areas of exploration.

        In 1900, the view of some was that everything that could be known in Physics was, and all that remained was to add decimal points of precision to observations. This focus on known unknowns was utterly wrong, as Einstein showed by discussing not the controversial but the interesting questions.

        More often, focus on “the controversies” is elevation of inferior alternative explanations — not as universal, not as parsimonious, not as straightforward, not as well supported by the evidence, not as a response to observation of new phenomena not previously explained — to equal footing with dominant established theory. It’s fingoism. It is an unsound approach we are well warned against. And it is not science.

        More often, “the uncertainties” is code for polemics. Climate Science has irreducible uncertainties. The causes of the mathematical uncertainties in the equations is well understood by mathematicians, who can identify when an equation is linear and when it contains elements of nonlinear response. These are uncertainties that dominate over error bars and doubts about the reliability of data — which, though they’re good to consider, seldom take more than a small amount of study to reveal. Some error bars, likewise, are not practicably reducible. If the observations weren’t originally made and proxies must be substituted, there’s just no way to recover a higher fidelity. These things will NEVER respond to more examination, and it’s simply a waste to wish otherwise or promise some committee is going to wave a wand over it and make it all better.

        No. Dr. Curry’s pre-conceived views as stated before even attending a single group meeting are pure nonsense and bafflegab, as stated.

      • John Carpenter

        “It’s been my experience of the sciences that “the controversies” and “the uncertainties” and the “known unknowns” are seldom, marginally and infrequently productive areas of exploration. ”

        Yeah Bart, I can just imagine how Max Plank would have thrown away investigating an explanation to black body radiation (a known unknown, a controversial phenomenon to classical physics that threw uncertainty into then current world views) had he been of a similar opinion as you.

      • John Carpenter | March 28, 2013 at 9:23 pm |

        I can just imagine how Max Plank would have thrown away investigating an explanation to black body radiation (a known unknown, a controversial phenomenon to classical physics that threw uncertainty into then current world views) had he been of a similar opinion as you

        Let’s examine this statement:

        David Wojick promotes “teaching the controversy”, a theme that fits well with emphasis on controversial phenomena.. but not in particular with the emphasis on new Physics; indeed David’s approach regressively seeks to lock in the beliefs and methods, systems and points of view of a world before the time of Planck as regards understanding of climate.

        Have you reviewed lately Planck’s work on Kirchhoff’s 35-year old formulation of intensity, frequency and temperature in cavity radiators? Some stirring controversy, that, hot off the presses for only a mere 35 years. Of Planck’s 5-year quest to force the observations to fit conventional uncontroversial thinking of the period, which had never in four decaded advanced understanding?

        Of how Planck advanced thinking and moved forward?

        How does this in the least match the concept of “teaching the controversy”?

        Planck wasn’t working on something well-understood with a solid hypothesis explaining the majority of observations. And he didn’t fret over the uncertainties, to quash them. He ended up accepting the uncertainty as the IPCC has accepted the complex and chaotic aspects of climate.

        The knowledge frontier of 1894 was not Kirchhoff’s cavity radiator problem: in 1895 that frontier was identified as getting more decimal points of accuracy in readings of temperature, frequency and intensity. What a waste had Planck kept chasing that frontier.

      • Wojick’s teaching of controversy is more of that negative logic that these guys seem to enjoy (or get paid to do).

        The gormlessness, too:

        http://judithcurry.com/2013/03/19/playing-hockey-blowing-the-whistle/#comment-306193

      • John Carpenter

        Bart, you’re attempting to insert words into my mouth. Your shifting the goal posts. Your changing the conversation to one of your own little hobby horses. I never said anything about ‘teaching the controversy’ and AFAICT, Judith didn’t either. Red herrings and David Wojick aside… just because you believe investigating controvesial subject matters, trying to figure out known problems that currently aren’t well described (known unknowns) or trying to determine degrees of uncertianty, is unproductive and uninteresting doesn’t mean most or even a few other scientists would agree with you. If your looking for the hail Mary pass of a grand new theory by epiphany… god bless you and good luck. You might recieve a Nobel prize someday. Don’t expect one for coming up with new words like ‘fingoism’. But for you to appear to not understand that this is the way scientific behavior works…. endeavors to try to clean up the loose ends even if it proves to be in vain or to work on known unknown types of problems… is a bit curious to me. Why did Max Plank look at the black body radiation problem? Because he was commisioned to do so. Someone wanted to know where the maximum amount of light could be produced with the least amount of energy. It was a known unknown. Did he just set out one day to figure out quantization of energy? No. He was asked to solve a known unknown. What happened? He couldn’t solve that porblem using known classical physics no matter how he tried. That unfruitful endeavor of trying to solve a known unknown only led to the whole field of quantum physics, go figure.

        The argument you are presenting amounts to nothing but belittling what JC is doing. The premise that because she holds a bias (as does everyone including you) towards the wording of the APS statement is somehow in direct contradiction with the idea of looking at science in an unbiased way is disingenous at best. I could argue the APS statement is akin to the late 1900th century thinking about physics, that we know everything we need to know about our warming climate and CO2 is the only answer, it’s just a matter of filling out those decimal places.

      • Bart and WHT:

        More often, focus on “the controversies” is elevation of inferior alternative explanations — not as universal, not as parsimonious, not as straightforward, not as well supported by the evidence, not as a response to observation of new phenomena not previously explained — to equal footing with dominant established theory…

        […]

        David Wojick promotes “teaching the controversy”,…indeed David’s approach regressively seeks to lock in the beliefs and methods, systems and points of view …

        and

        Wojick’s teaching of controversy is more of that negative logic that these guys seem to enjoy (or get paid to do).

        While I understand the reasons for the criticism, I still have to disagree. Teaching controversy can be a way to explore and appropriately build hierarchies of knowledge. Just because sometimes “teaching controversy” can abuse the scientific process doesn’t mean that it necessarily does so. In fact, I think that appropriate teaching, necessarily, focuses on teaching controversy so as to teach analytical skills in context.

      • John Carpenter | March 29, 2013 at 9:54 am |

        I apologize unreservedly to yourself and Dr. Curry for any implication linking you to David Wojick’s vigorous assault on the educational system. Such was not my intention.

        My subject is the management and administration of scientific endeavor of a group, not educational endeavors; and not of the endeavors of individual scientists.

        ..investigating controvesial subject matters, trying to figure out known problems that currently aren’t well described (known unknowns) or trying to determine degrees of uncertianty, is unproductive and uninteresting doesn’t mean most or even a few other scientists would agree with you.

        It isn’t the investigation of controversial subject matters that is unproductive or uninteresting. It’s the identifying subject matters to investigate by controversiality that is unproductive and uninteresting. You want to generate productivity and address interesting subjects? Then select them by how productive and interesting, not how controversial, they are.

        Look at religious controversies such as from time to time crop up in the conversation at Climate Etc. Are they in any way productive where resolving questions of climate science are concerned? No, they are not. Nor are they very interesting here.

        Controversiality derives from conflicting levels of acceptance of conclusions, not from the merit of the conclusions themselves. Investigating the controversy serves mainly to pile superfluous evidence wastefully on top of evidence that suffices, where it does not serve just to obfuscate and delay.

        Problems that lack current explanation or well-formulation? Sure, absolutely those are interesting. Identifying complete lists of such problems itself is an exercise in infinite regress, and invariably a waste of time. By their very nature, these questions are not susceptible to committee categorization and management. Scientists working on problems of this sort are admirable and move science forward. But you can’t program them or administer the unknown.

        Trying to reduce uncertainty is laudable, until you begin to try to reduce irreducible uncertainty. We know there are irreducibles in climate studies. We even know were many of them are, and in great detail, and why. Yet we see — because the vast unwashed want certainty — repeated attempts to reduce the irreducible by supposed practitioners of science.

        Three month long weather regional predictions accurate in terms of temperature and precipitation? Really? Lorenz demonstrated the impossibility of this due irreducible uncertainty decades ago. At the same time, time scale and size are highly important when determining irreducibility of some types of uncertainty; at twenty years a prediction of global mean temperature is reliable nineteen times in twenty while at thirteen weeks the local temperature cannot be reliably guessed better than random chance. Anyone who doesn’t understand this doesn’t belong in a discussion of the next declaration of a science organization about climate.

        If your looking for the hail Mary pass of a grand new theory by epiphany… god bless you and good luck. You might recieve a Nobel prize someday. Don’t expect one for coming up with new words like ‘fingoism’. But for you to appear to not understand that this is the way scientific behavior works….

        John, you’re attempting to insert words into my mouth. You’re shifting the goal posts. You’re changing the conversation to one of your own little hobby horses.

        I’m perfectly okay with the theories of Arrhenius, amended as necessary to account for new phenomena and the work of Lorenz where necessary to adequately explain, most parsimoniously, simply and universally — which they do — observations.

        If you have observations that call for investigation into amending Arrhenius, present it by all means. Many have, and our knowledge frontier has moved forward for it.. while failing to falsify the central hypothesis.

        I observe what Newton condemned as fingoism (I regret your Latin leaves you thinking this is a made-up term; the world ought not lose the language Newton wrote) the elevation of alternate hypotheses for no other reason than to feed controversy without improving our knowledge, such zodiacal claims as “It’s the movement of Saturn and Jupiter,” or “Solar activity explains all,” absurdly wasting the time of talented Physicists, and I am scandalized.

        You can prove on the back of an envelope in two minutes why Scafetta errs. Why anyone continues to extend any courtesy at all to such fingoism in Physics circles is shameful.

        You can confirm the sixteen decade correlation of Solar activity to global mean temperature ended by 1960 with simplest chartsmanship. This requires an explanation, and Arrhenius furnished that: CO2E and the Greenhouse Effect.

        These are the freaking ‘controversies’ embraced by objectors to the APS statement?! That’s embarrassing.

        endeavors to try to clean up the loose ends even if it proves to be in vain or to work on known unknown types of problems… is a bit curious to me. Why did Max Plank look at the black body radiation problem?

        It’s Max _PLANCK_. Please.

        Because he was commisioned to do so. Someone wanted to know where the maximum amount of light could be produced with the least amount of energy. It was a known unknown.

        That’s a funny way of phrasing, ‘Light bulb manufacturing was competitive and technicians were looking for ways to make better bulbs.’

        Did he just set out one day to figure out quantization of energy? No. He was asked to solve a known unknown. What happened? He couldn’t solve that porblem using known classical physics no matter how he tried. That unfruitful endeavor of trying to solve a known unknown only led to the whole field of quantum physics, go figure.

        Indeed, we have a fundamental difference in how we look at the years Planck spent wandering in the wilderness of treating incandescence as a known unknown before he assembled what was known from Mathematics and throughout science — you are aware Planck didn’t just pull his ideas out of thin air, right, but from established Mathematical bases? — and connected this information through his brilliant decantation. You think he just buckled down and drilled into an unknown; I know he built on the best of what was known to figure out how it all fit together.

        Which simply means your analogy is inappropriate to the case at hand.

        The argument you are presenting amounts to nothing but belittling what JC is doing.

        That’s hardly a fair assessment. It’s laudable that JC is involved, interested, and working hard. I’m seeking to help her steer away from the pitfalls that it appears to me based on my prior experience she will surely face.

        Whereas one may observe no other effect from your comments than belittlement.

        The premise that because she holds a bias (as does everyone including you) towards the wording of the APS statement is somehow in direct contradiction with the idea of looking at science in an unbiased way is disingenous at best. I could argue the APS statement is akin to the late 1900th century thinking about physics, that we know everything we need to know about our warming climate and CO2 is the only answer, it’s just a matter of filling out those decimal places.

        You could argue these things. I’ve demonstrated you’d err to argue them, but you could. We clearly don’t know everything about climate — though we know enough to act and have known enough to act for some time now yet continue to fail — and that exciting space wherein our science might advance is a treasure to a true scientist.

        Is global climate a truly chaotic system? Will the equilibrium global mean temperature be the same for the same CO2E level (all other things held the same), or might there be multiple equilibrium temperatures for some CO2E levels? That’s an interesting question. It makes a huge difference. But it’s not very controversial, and examining it will not necessarily reduce uncertainty. It fails as a valid question on two of JC’s three criteria, yet it is the key to what many claim is the most important question in climate science. (Not that I agree with that assessment.)

        No committee can draw a map of that space and point to where to concentrate most productively. That view predates Newton, and Newton showed how it erred.

      • Joshua | March 29, 2013 at 10:03 am |

        When I was a child, my formal education in Science covered a quick survey of the history of musty old controversies ranging from Ptolemny and Plato to phloegiston to wave vs. particle, and I can say it was all a historian’s fabrication, untrue to what really happened, praising many unpraiseworthy deeds and elevating many underhanded polemicists.

        Did you know this Aristotelean approach allowed the Platonic view of science to dominate all scholarship for centuries.. and where it did, Science always withered? The same Plato who taught in his Republic that leaders must lie to the masses to keep them in line?

        It’s a timeworn method, and it’s crap.

        Students ought learn methods to cope with controversy; they ought not be taught closemindedness. But they don’t need to be taught to elevate inferior explanations to equality with established hypotheses.

      • Echoing what Bart said, David Goodstein (disciple of Feynman) has argued:

        “Physics, I think, should never be taught from a historical point of view — the result can only be confusion or bad history — but neither should we ignore history”

        Say you had a group of students and wanted to teach them about controversial topics. If you were really lazy, the easy way out to teach the controversy is to direct them to listen to Coast2Coast AM every night as homework. Or you can tell them to read WUWT every day, which after all got voted Best Science Blog (and Best Blog too!). Or tell them to read the propaganda that Wojick spews.

        The next day, you can spend all class hour dissecting why people believe weird things. For those with further interests, they can do a report on a book by Michael Shermer, David Goodstein, or Robert Park, or other writers on the topic of voodoo science.

        I would love that teaching job, but, alas, it is better suited for people that have already reached a certain level of jaded cynicism, and not for young minds. That is what Bart is getting at, and what Goodstein was arguing about. Forget Svante Arrhenius and his original analysis, and move on.

      • Bart –

        I disagree most strongly. In fact, the arguments such as you make here are the type that make me feel some sympathy for the arguments of many “skeptics.” Can’t respond in-depth now, though, and won’t be able to until Sunday. Check back then if you’re interested.

      • John Carpenter

        Bart,

        Let me see if I can generate a more conciliatory reply so as to wrap up this discussion.

        “You want to generate productivity and address interesting subjects? Then select them by how productive and interesting, not how controversial, they are.”

        I agree to a point. Address the productive and interesting controversial topics. I think we are having a bit of a disconnect based on what is considered a ‘controversy’ worth looking at. Perhaps we are in better agreement than I thought here.

        “Controversiality derives from conflicting levels of acceptance of conclusions, not from the merit of the conclusions themselves.”

        I can’t disagree with that.

        “Trying to reduce uncertainty is laudable, until you begin to try to reduce irreducible uncertainty.”

        So what is the level of uncertainty we should assign to natural variation? Is this worth further investigation? How can we determine the level of A in AGW if we don’t have a real good grasp of the baseline? I’m sure you’ll tell me.

        “(I regret your Latin leaves you thinking this is a made-up term; the world ought not lose the language Newton wrote)”

        mea culpa.

        “It’s Max _PLANCK_. Please.”

        again, mea culpa

        “you are aware Planck didn’t just pull his ideas out of thin air, right, but from established Mathematical bases? — and connected this information through his brilliant decantation. You think he just buckled down and drilled into an unknown; I know he built on the best of what was known to figure out how it all fit together.”

        Why would I have the idea he pulled the idea out of thin air? I think I understand how you misunderstood my ‘grand theory through epiphany’ statement now. You know we both just said the same thing don’t you?

        “Whereas one may observe no other effect from your comments than belittlement.”

        Other than the ‘fingoism’ comment… I don’t see where I belittled you in the least.

        I appreciate your last comment as it did clarify your position better. I have nothing more to add.

      • John Carpenter | March 29, 2013 at 3:03 pm |

        I’m extremely glad we’ve had this exchange.

        It was productive and interesting, and through hammering away at what appeared to be controversy until we both communicated more clearly, we have each had our knowledge (I hope) a little advanced by the other.

        I look forward to the next time we bring our disagreements to a forum to resolve, mainly as your approach is reasoned, insightful and maintains focus on what interests me: ideas.

        I hope you’ve found this as rewarding as I did.

      • > I’m extremely glad we’ve had this exchange.

        John is one the few reasons left to read this blog.

        Too bad he won’t comment much anymore.

      • Steven Mosher

        ya willard, it would be a waste of time for him, although others might gain value from it.

      • John Carpenter

        Bart, It was a good exchange, thanks for participating equally in a thoughtful manner. Regards.

      • I agree, John Carpenter remains remarkably neutral. Remarkable, because this controversy naturally polarizes.
        =============

      • John and Bart,

        The issue of, how to choose the subject to study is interesting, but there’s an additional observation

        Looking at what scientists do in practice we see often that they keep themselves occupied studying problems that are not so great and unlikely to lead to major scientific breakthroughs. That’s unavoidable and that’s not as bad as it may sound. Unless scientists were behaving like that they would never have the change of realizing something nobody couldn’t predict. Many great breakthroughs are byproducts of studying something else, mostly something related to the breakthrough, but quite often not even that.

        Scientific research is not project work like an engineering project that aims at a precisely defined goal. Most science is exploratory work that includes projects, but is not at the most fundamental level a project. Progress in science does not mean that the ultimate goal is any closer, rather the goal keeps on moving as fast as the progress brings as closer to the previous goal.

        Applied research is a different issue. Atmospheric sciences are a combination of pure science and applied research. The goals may be as practical as a better 7 day weather forecast – or firmer understanding on the influence of CO2 on the temperatures. These are questions of applied research, but solving them needs support from pure science.

        The pure atmospheric sciences must be free to choose the subjects of study based on their curiosity interest and on each scientists judgment on where he might be able to gain significant insight. The related applied research can be directed to answer as directly as possible the questions of highest relevance for the present decision making.

      • John Carpenter

        Willard and Steve, I’m flattered you think that, thanks for reading.

      • Pekka, I’m highly amused by ‘the pure atmospheric science must be free to choose the subject of interest.’
        ==================

      • Pekka, “The pure atmospheric sciences must be free to choose the subjects of study based on their curiosity interest and on each scientists judgment on where he might be able to gain significant insight.”

        That may be true, but climate science needs a great deal of grunt engineers, statisticians and bookkeepers to tidy up after the more creative characters.

      • That’s the applied research part that I mentioned as well. In many fields applied research uses more resources than pure science.

      • John Carpenter

        Pekka, I agree with what you say. Since I come from more of an engineering scientific discipline, I tend to look at problems more like specific projects. It has been a long time since I did pure research where investigating a problem did not necessarily have a specific direction. Though it was interesting, I did not see my work contributing to society in a meaningful way. I did not choose to stay in the academic environment, though I do work with colleagues in academia. I currently enjoy doing applied research that contributes directly with problems engineers face with surface engineering. I tend to identify more with those who look at understanding the climate as a project that needs reliable answers in order to help make good pragmatic decisions now. It is more of an engineering viewpoint.

    • yeah Bart, do everything but keep the statement and then try to disprove it. so that folks like you can still claim that the original statement was essentially correct,

      • DEEBEE | March 25, 2013 at 6:32 am |

        I don’t argue on the correctness of the original statement one way or the other.

        Isaac Newton does.

        The ‘original statement’ in science is always ‘accurate or very nearly true’ once the evidence is sufficient to decide on its truth and it is amended or supplanted to a statement that most parsimoniously, simply and universally explains all observed phenomena, until new observation requires new amendment or formulation.

        Anything else — including dropping established statements or considering many unproven substitutes to have equal footing with established statements — is simply not science, but denialism or fingoism. Anyone practicing mere denialism or fingoism is not doing science in such cases.

        While I’m sure you can find APS members who dispute Isaac Newton, I’d bet that on the whole the organization rather tends to prefer the groundwork laid 300 years ago over, say, “dropping Newton”.

        Dropping the ‘original statement’ as amended to explain all observed phenomena, before new phenomena are observed, is equivalent to dropping Newton.

    • Bart,

      You state that ” … the uncertainties” and the “known unknowns” are seldom, marginally and infrequently productive areas of exploration.)

      Does this mean you think further research into how clouds work in the climate system is unwarranted?

      What about further running down the uncertainties which limit the ability (or more accurately, contribute to the inability) of GCM’s to work on a regional basis? Is this a waste of time?

      What garnered my attention to the issue in the first place were statements to the effect that “the debate is over” and the science is settled”. Add to this knowingly misleading statements, such as “97% agree”, and a reasonable person should start hearing alarm bells. Your comments appear to be going down that same track. There are no controversies. Any uncertainties are likely to be a dead end or waste of time so quiet down and be good little boys and girls and do as we tell you.

      The problem is that even if one were inclined to agree that the “experts” are more informed and therefore should be given the benefit of doubt, we then get told stuff like the following:

      The seas will rise 10 meters by 2100.

      There will be 50 million climate refugees (date to be revised as necessary).

      300,000 people a year die due to climate change.

      More drought.

      More floods.

      More storms.

      Bigger storms.

      Extreme weather.

      Spreading of tropical disease.

      Mass extinctions of species.

      Nations going to war.

      Snow being a thing of the past.

      Disappearance of Arctic ice.

      Lots and lots of dire warnings, but with one exception, none are backed up by real evidence. In some cases the evidence goes the other way. So with such a track record (getting it right 1 time out of 13), where does our confidence in your crediability come from?

      • +1

      • timg56 | March 27, 2013 at 11:47 am |

        Does this mean you think further research into how clouds work in the climate system is unwarranted?

        I somehow doubt clouds qualify as denizens of the knowledge frontier. Though I find a great deal of the spending on some cloud questions a sad frittering of resources where more obvious and far lower cost field work recommends itself. I’d rather 500 pertinent and reliable studies addressing relevant and impactful questions than a single cloud chamber tossing out a few cosmic rays at the same price, for an effect that was previously well-enough understood.

        What about further running down the uncertainties which limit the ability (or more accurately, contribute to the inability) of GCM’s to work on a regional basis? Is this a waste of time?

        Yes. Absolutely it is a waste of time.

        Irreducible uncertainty means exactly that: IRREDUCIBLE

        Where there’s a mathematical proof that you can’t do any better, then you should cease spending money on scam artists claiming they can do better.

        Spend the money instead on producing good quality PDFs of huge numbers of very long GCM runs that can be validated not against the behaviors we can’t reduce the uncertainty for (like temperature level) but against the behaviors we already have (like distribution and frequency of trends or extremes).

        What garnered my attention to the issue in the first place were statements to the effect that “the debate is over” and the science is settled”. Add to this knowingly misleading statements, such as “97% agree”, and a reasonable person should start hearing alarm bells. Your comments appear to be going down that same track.

        My comments are a bit more nuanced than your hearing of what people say. You appear to be confusing actual claims such as “the time for debate is over, it is time to act”, with the historically proven absurd claims of over a century ago that “all that remains to debate is the next decimal point.”

        Sure, you could if presented a jaundiced, cherry-picked outtake from the original speech calling for policy response due to the evidence rising to the level of triggering action (which evidence has risen a hundredfold or more since the days that policy change was called for), be excused for thinking what you thought, then.

        However, you’ve had ample opportunity by now to more adequately inform yourself. And I’m sure you agree — whatever direction and detail the change — it’s past time to stop acting like it was still 1968.

        There are no controversies. Any uncertainties are likely to be a dead end or waste of time..

        Of course there are controversies. Where is all that tax money that Spencer and Christy have had pumped their direction in terms of satellite building and launching and monitoring only to produce a leaky and unreliable temperature record? Where is all that tax money spent on hurricane monitoring that the USA had to be warned of Frankenstorm Sandy by the freaking Europeans?! How could our government have so mismanaged that critical infrastructure, doing more damage to the US economy than terrorism has all decade?!

        Where are the returns to the US taxpayer from all the corn subsidy and oil subsidy and coal subsidy of the past eight decades?

        Where is the accountability and traceability of private funds spent to line the pockets of public officials and to amplify their election advertising, when so many lobbyists hide behind anonytrusts?

        Why does congress let its ear be bent by 48% second-rank science commentators, and 50% discredited scammers, and only 2% of its testimony from the 100 most influential climate scientists?

        ..so quiet down and be good little boys and girls and do as we tell you.

        What about my posts has ever led you to think I am in favor of quieting down? Is that really what I sound like to you?

        The problem is that even if one were inclined to agree that the “experts” are more informed and therefore should be given the benefit of doubt, we then get told stuff like the following:

        The seas will rise 10 meters by 2100. By which specific expert, please? This is five times the projections I’ve heard from any actual experts. Cite?

        There will be 50 million climate refugees (date to be revised as necessary). I agree the morons who put this out ought to be pilloried for their loose terminology and poor methods. It’s impossible to say whether or not climate is causing a person to be a refugee, or something else.

        300,000 people a year die due to climate change. Cite? Because I seem to recall this claim was documented pretty specifically, so it’d be irresponsible to dismiss it just because of some innumerate kneejerk response to a six-digit figure.

        More drought.

        More floods. And you doubt the USA has experienced extreme droughts and floods? Sure, they’re not the only droughts or floods ever, and not all droughts or floods can be attributed to AGW, but it’s even more lunatic to imply that the past existence of drought or flood somehow means AGW — with detailed study of how the changes in the jet stream lead to drought and flood — isn’t the culprit. That’s like saying, “Your honor, people were shot before my client shot the victim, therefore you can’t find my client guilty of this shooting.”

        More storms.

        Bigger storms. I thought it was just more big storms?.. though Frankenstorm was the largest storm system ever documented.

        Extreme weather. That one’s mathematically certain.

        Spreading of tropical disease. That’s a real risk, and key vulnerability. What is your basis for proving it isn’t?

        Mass extinctions of species.

        Nations going to war.

        Snow being a thing of the past.

        Disappearance of Arctic ice.

        Lots and lots of dire warnings, but with one exception, none are backed up by real evidence.

        Oh come off it. Of the warnings you list, only one that I can see isn’t amply supported by substantial evidence.

        So I say to you, about your ludicrous claim that though In some cases the evidence goes the other way. So with such a track record (getting it right 1 time out of 13), where does our confidence in your crediability come from?

      • I would agree with Bart that timg made quite a few non-sensical assertions.

        When I read Bart, it’s like watching someone like Buckley going after a second-rate high debate squad.

        And as far as the technical stuff we discuss, the skeptics are like the hapless Washington Generals competing against the Globetrotters.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘Despite some advances in the understanding of the physical processes that control the cloud response to climate change and in the evaluation of some components of cloud feedbacks in current models, it is not yet possible to assess which of the model estimates of cloud feedback is the most reliable. However, progress has been made in the identification of the cloud types, the dynamical regimes and the regions of the globe responsible for the large spread of cloud feedback estimates among current models. This is likely to foster more specific observational analyses and model evaluations that will improve future assessments of climate change cloud feedbacks.’ AR4

        ‘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.’ AR4 3.4.4.1

        Sure – if real low frequency climate variability was the cause of all recent warming.

        Clouds are of course the significant known unknown in climate and the secular changes in cloud seem quite unknown many. In fact a great deal is known from data – MODIS especially – but this doesn’t seem to be the right data.

        While we can devise a mathematical proof that deterministic chaos creates irreducible imprecision in models – we have yet to actually estimate the 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.’ http://www.pnas.org/content/104/21/8709.long

        Droughts and floods are well within historic limits. And really – if all warming was natural everything is moot.

        http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/10/how-does-sandy-stack-up-against-the-worst-storms-in-world-history/264304/

        But be prepared for bigger droughts and bigger storms because they populate the proxy record.

        Some actual science from bart and webby would be nice – but we can’t expect miracles.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      1.Climate as a complex dynamical system, leading to a better understanding of the natural modes of the climate system, their coupling to each other and to exogenous forces.

      ‘In a truly nonlinear setting, indeterminacy in the size of the response is observed only in the vicinity of tipping points. We show, in fact, that small disturbances cannot result in a large-amplitude response, unless the system is at or near such a point.’ (Another look at climate sensitivity
      Zaliapin and M. Ghil 2010)

      The question to be resolved is how close the system is to a hot or cold tipping point. In every sense linear sensitivity is a misleading idea and should be as dead as a dodo.

      2.The physics of climate influences, leading to a better understanding of the mechanisms, magnitudes, and timescales by which anthropogenic and non-anthropogenic processes affect climate, including for example, greenhouse gases, solar variability, and unforced influences such as internal modes of variability.

      The central question here is how well TOA radiant flux is measured. There are obvious issues with this going back many years. Perhaps the least important being the inability to determine absolute values – as we are more interested in variability at any rate. This data seems to be accepted in some contexts – missing energy notably – but not in others and it is a mystery why this should be so. Without dependable data here we are left with severely limited means of analysis of sub-components of a complex and nonlinear system.

      3.Insight into the nature, magnitude and timescales of climate sensitivity, arising from feedbacks including clouds, water vapor and the hydrological and carbon cycles, at the surface, in the atmosphere and in the oceans.

      ‘Recent, somewhat abrupt climate changes add to the collective concern that larger future nonlinear changes pose a significant risk to societies [2]. Furthermore, recent assessments place such ‘large-scale discontinuities’ rather closer to the present state of the climate [3]. By definition, such events imply significant impacts on societies or on other living components of the Earth system. Hence, if an early warning of a climate tipping point can be achieved, then it could be of considerable value to societies, at least in helping them build an adaptive capacity to cope with what is approaching.’ http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/370/1962/1185.full.pdf

      Again – the linearisation of a fundamentally nonlinear system is misleading and further emphasis on the identification of climate tipping points – preferrably before they happen – is a higher priority.

      4.The physics of proxies used to infer the properties of past climates for which instrumental records are not available, leading to a better understanding of past climates and their relation to the present climate.

      ‘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.’ NAS – Abrupt climate change: inevitable surprises

      Regardless – there is limited information that can feasibly be recovered. There is much that is of interest but little that is definitive. It seems unlikely that this will change soon – especially as a result of the efforts of physicists.

      5.The computational physics and statistical analysis of climate model and measurement systems, leading to a better understanding of the methods, capabilities, and limitations of climate models and climate simulation predictions.

      ‘In sum, a strategy must recognise what is possible. In climate research and modelling, we should recognise that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible. The most we can expect to achieve is the prediction of the probability distribution of the system’s future possible states by the generation of ensembles of model solutions. This reduces climate change to the discernment of significant differences in the statistics of such ensembles. The generation of such model ensembles will require the dedication of greatly increased computer resources and the application of new methods of model diagnosis. Addressing adequately the statistical nature of climate is computationally intensive, but such statistical information is essential.’ TAR s14.2

      ‘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

      The need is for probabilistic estimates across rigourously designed model families – as opposed to solutions chosen on the basis of a posteriori solution behaviour of the opportunistic ensembles. We could start by educating the public on the realities of climate modelling

  2. You wrote: Climate research would greatly benefit from a larger infusion of physics and physicists.

    As one among the: http://www.therightclimatestuff.com/ group, I would think that Climate Research would greatly benefit from a larger infusion from many areas of knowledge.

    • I can’t but help think that an influx of statisticians would be far more useful. Biostatisticians have a lot of experience looking at episodic systems that one has very little control over.

      • Well their poets all stink and their superheroes are wont to display big red ‘S’s on their chests, instead of slamming the ‘S’ out of a racquetball court.
        =============

      • squash

      • Nazi POW Kommandant: Und now, for ze amusement of ze prrisoners, ve vill play a game of skvasch.

        Sergeant Shultz vill drive ze schteamroller.

      • Yikes, dare I show my face over there again?
        ============

      • Epidemiologists for climate scientists – but they are not interested in having them / using them. Much like the medical profession, they only want them when they have no personal stake in the outcome – when they do have such a stake, they don’t need some overly clever stats guru to tell them, they KNOW!

  3. Judith, you write “I am hoping that the different ‘culture’ of the APS is more conducive to taking an unbiased look at the science, ”

    I am afraid it looks like the fix is in. The Five specific initial areas of focus are listed below.
    I find
    3. Insight into the nature, magnitude and timescales of climate sensitivity, arising from feedbacks including clouds, water vapor and the hydrological and carbon cycles, at the surface, in the atmosphere and in the oceans.
    It seems to have already been assumed that clouds and water vapor are feedbacks. I would suggest that this needs to be altered before you start any work.

    • Simon Hopkinson

      Jim, in that they do likely respond to forcings, I don’t think the idea that they’re feedbacks is really much in question. It’s in the nature and balance of their strength, and even their sign, that there is much consternation and little certainty. I think recognition of advocacy as an inappropriate influence on the debate is laudable.

      It may not all be perfect quite yet but there is an opportunity for science to take the front seat in the climate debate here – something that certainly hasn’t happened for a long time in climatological circles. Anything that has as one of its stated goals to distinguish between the scientific case and policy implications is a step in the right direction, if it can be held to that.

      • Simon, you write “Jim, in that they do likely respond to forcings, I don’t think the idea that they’re feedbacks is really much in question.”

        I am in total disagreement. What scientists should be looking at is how the atmosphere responds to an increase of CO2 from recent levels. The approach should not be prejudiced by looking at the hypothetical and meaningless concept of forcings and feedbacks. This concept of something being a forcing, and something else being a feedback, is one of the monumental errors that the IPCC made. The whole concept of no-feedback climate sensitivity, which seems to be implicit in this area of focus, seems ot bias the whole way any scientists would approach the vital issue of climate sensitivity.

        The only proper way to look at climate sensitivity is how the atmosphere responds to more CO2. Period.

      • Steven Mosher

        “The only proper way to look at climate sensitivity is how the atmosphere responds to more CO2. Period.”

        Wrong.

        Climate sensitivity is defined as the change in temperature for a change in forcing. It is defined INDEPENDENTLY of C02 forcing.

        Lets give you some examples.

        1. A volcano erupts. The sky is filled with particles. Sunlight is reflected
        The Watts IN ( forcing ) go down. The temperature goes down.
        The relationship between the delta Watts and the delta C is
        the climates sensitivity to changes in forcing.
        2. The little ice age. We know that the sun had few spots. We can infer
        from the relationship between spots and TSI ( total solar irradiance)
        the Watts IN from the sun were lower. And as we understand the temperature was lower. The climate is sensitive to changes in inputs.

        you can understand climate sensitivity without know a damn thing about c02. Look at Lindzens work, Spensers work, sensitivity is measured without a single reference to C02. That because sensitivity is a SYSTEM metric. how the system responds to ANY change in forcing.

        We already know that doubling C02 from 280 to 560 will produce an additional 3.7 Watts. what is unknown is how the climate system responds to an additional forcing of 3.7watts.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Of course, sensitivity to “forcings” is really just a proxy for much more complicated things. A change in TSI is not perfectly comparable to a change in CO2 levels or volcanic responses. We just approximate relationships between various changes in the system to a measure of “forcings” to make things simpler.

        I point this out because it is important that in the process of simplifying things, we don’t oversimplify them.

      • Why use terms like ‘forcing’ and ‘feedback’ at all?
        A ‘forcing’ is a rather odd term, being that average amount of energy, per unit time, bombarding the Earth over an average year.
        Feedback means whatever people want it to mean; there is no definition of what a feedback actually is, lots of arm-waving, no mechanistic principle and mathematics.
        Lastly, what about ‘equilibrium’? A perfectly fantastic thermodynamic concise definition of a state, being applied to non-equilibrium conditions?

      • David Springer

        Steven Mosher | March 24, 2013 at 8:39 pm |

        “The only proper way to look at climate sensitivity is how the atmosphere responds to more CO2. Period.”

        Wrong.

        Climate sensitivity is defined as the change in temperature for a change in forcing. It is defined INDEPENDENTLY of C02 forcing.

        ————————————————————————

        I’m afraid that’s not how the IPCC defines sensitivity, Steven.

        From the horse’s mouth (or the other end if you’re a less charitable person than I):

        http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/annex1sglossary-a-d.html

        Climate sensitivity In IPCC reports, equilibrium climate sensitivity refers to the equilibrium change in the annual mean global surface temperature following a doubling of the atmospheric equivalent carbon dioxide concentration.

        You should, of course, write that down. :-)

      • Matthew R Marler

        Steven Mosher: Climate sensitivity is defined as the change in temperature for a change in forcing. It is defined INDEPENDENTLY of C02 forcing.

        Is there only one definition and do you have an authoritative source for it? No less a scientist than Isaac Held has written about the transient climate sensitivity to a doubling of CO2; have you shown him the error of his ways?

        The climate sensitivity that matters for fossil fuel policy is the climate sensitivity to CO2.

      • Steven Mosher

        Wrong again David

        ‘I’m afraid that’s not how the IPCC defines sensitivity, Steven.

        From the horse’s mouth (or the other end if you’re a less charitable person than I):”

        I am discussing the sensitivity NOT ECS which is what your quaote is talking about. write that down

        Sensitivity: the climate response to a change in forcing
        ECS: the climate response to a doubling of C02

        AGAIN because you are dense:

        1. Sensitivity: the climate response to a change in forcing.
        2. ECS: the climate response to a doubling of C02

        Again, because you are really really dense

        1. Sensitivity: the climate response to a change in forcing.
        2. ECS: the climate response to a doubling of C02

        Its pretty easy. If you change the solar forcing by 1 watt and the
        temperature changes by .75C you have a sensitivity
        of .75. If doubling C02 gives you 3.7 more watts.. well you go figure out the response.. is multiplacation too hard for you?

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

        here are some resources for you:

        start here

        “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[citation needed].
        The climate sensitivity specifically due to CO2 is often expressed as the temperature change in °C associated with a doubling of the concentration of carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere.”

        If you want to quote Ar4 you have to follow the citations. To understand where ECS comes from. The section you refer to cites Cubasch 2001. Go there. you dont even know what this is a reference to do you?

        “. The response of the climate system to a given change in forcing is broadly characterised by its “climate sensitivity”. Since the climate system requires many years to come into equilibrium with a change in forcing, there remains a “commitment” to further climate change even if the forcing itself ceases to change.”

        or section 6.2 ( symbold get a bit botched here)

        6.2.1 Characteristics

        As discussed in the SAR, the change in the net irradiance at the tropopause, as defined in Section 6.1.1, is, to a first order, a good indicator of the equilibrium global mean (understood to be globally and annually averaged) surface temperature change. The climate sensitivity parameter (global mean surface temperature response Ts to the radiative forcing F) is defined as:

        Ts / F = (6.1)

        (Dickinson, 1982; WMO, 1986; Cess et al., 1993). Equation (6.1) is defined for the transition of the surface-troposphere system from one equilibrium state to another in response to an externally imposed radiative perturbation. In the one-dimensional radiative-convective models, wherein the concept was first initiated, is a nearly invariant parameter (typically, about 0.5 K/(Wm-2); Ramanathan et al., 1985) for a variety of radiative forcings, thus introducing the notion of a possible universality of the relationship between forcing and response. It is this feature which has enabled the radiative forcing to be perceived as a useful tool for obtaining first-order estimates of the relative climate impacts of different imposed radiative perturbations. Although the value of the parameter “” can vary from one model to another, within each model it is found to be remarkably constant for a wide range of radiative perturbations (WMO, 1986). The invariance of has made the radiative forcing concept appealing as a convenient measure to estimate the global, annual mean surface temperature response, without taking the recourse to actually run and analyse, say, a three-dimensional atmosphere-ocean general circulation model (AOGCM) simulation.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Steven Mosher: 1. Sensitivity: the climate response to a change in forcing.
        2. ECS: the climate response to a doubling of C02

        I get it. “Sensitivity” without modifiers refers to a response to a change in forcing.

        “Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity” (and also “Transient Climate Sensitivity”), because it has the modifiers, is the response to a doubling of CO2 concentration. Our mistake is to drop the modifiers for simplicity, because everyone else except you knows that we are discussing ECS and TCS, and that because CO2 is what we (perhaps) control directly.

      • Steven Mosher

        yes mathew, it has been a horrible source of confusion and there are important reasons for distinguishing betwen the two.

      • Steven, Since it is clearly impossible for either climate sensitivity or equilibrium climate sensitivity to be actaully measured, we will never be able to deteremine what the values of either of them are, or how accurately they can be measured. So it is impossible to determine whether CAGW is actually occurring, and impossible for the IPCC to declare with any certainty what effect adding CO2 to the atmopshere from current levels has.

        And the warmists pretend this is science. The mind boggles.

      • Steven Mosher

        Jim sensitivity is easily measured.
        u measure temp and change in forcing. u can do so daily monthly annually or over millenia

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        MattStat, I don’t get the reason for the distinction you and Mosher are making. Why should “sensitivity” refer to radiative forcing and “transient climate sensitivity” refer to CO2? A change in CO2 causes a change in radiative forcing. A sensitivity for CO2 is a sensitivity for radiative forcing. Here is how I see it:

        Δf = ΔCO2 * a
        Δt = Δf * b

        Where a and b are variables (or rather, functions) that handle the translation between CO2/forcing and forcing/temperature. We start with a change in CO2. That gives us a change in radiative forcing. That gives us a change in temperature.

        Why should “equilibrium climate sensitivity” refer back to the first line while “sensitivity” refers to the second? That seems completely arbitrary.

      • Knowing what the words refer to is important for communication, but not otherwise. It’s, however, useful to note that measuring the sensitivity may be based on other forcings like solar variability. The value does depend on the type of forcing, but not very strongly.

      • sensitivity is easily measured.u measure temp and change in forcing. u can do so daily monthly annually or over millenia

        Hmm in the annular mode (the poor mans climate model) in mid latitude stations in the SH,the solar forcing is 2 magnitudes greater (120wm^2) then the AGW observed forcing(1.6 wm^2)Sell that.

      • Steven, you write “Jim sensitivity is easily measured.”

        Reference please. Where can I find the numerical and +/- measured values for both CS and ECS for CO2? They do not appear in any IPCC report, or at least I have never found them. Please note that the radiaitvie forcing of CO2 has only ever been extimated, and can never be measured, so I cannot see how CS for CO2 can ever be measured.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Brandon Schollenberger: MattStat, I don’t get the reason for the distinction you and Mosher are making.

        Mosher made the distinction, I attempted a clarification, and Mosher confirmed my clarification. I think that it is absurd. However, in writing it won’t be that hard to write “sensitivity to a doubling of CO2″ and “sensitivity to a radiative forcing change”. How exactly a change in CO2 will change radiative forcing is, I think, incompletely known.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Oh, gotcha. Now that I reread your comment, I see you weren’t agreeing with Mosher. I missed the subtext of your comment.

      • I don’t think it is silly to agree on definitions for good communication.

        I would point out for accuracy however that “climate sensitivity” and “transient climate sensitivity” both conventionally have units of temp per unit of forcing; they are not specific to CO2.
        On the other hand, ECS and TCR (the latter being “transient climate RESPONSE”) have units of temperature and are specific to CO2 forcings.

    • David L. Hagen

      Judith
      Re item 3. This at least has the proper emphasis on clouds as the greatest uncertainty.
      Roy Spencer highlights that we know very little on which is the cause and which the consequence. i.e. which comes first, the chicken or the egg.

      Are clouds the driver of climate change via solar/cosmic rays affecting albedo, or the followers via temperature – humidity feedback?
      e.g. see I’ve Looked at Clouds from Both Sides Now -and Before
      Similarly, David Stockwell finds that global temperatures LAG the solar cycle by Pi/2 (90 deg).
      As possible, may I recommend proposing the following change to 3.

      3. Insight into the nature, magnitude and timescales of climate sensitivity, arising from all forcings and feedbacks, including clouds, water vapor and the hydrological and carbon cycles, at the surface, in the atmosphere and in the oceans.

    • David Springer

      Jim, feedbacks can be either negative or positive. There’s no doubt the water cycle has a multiplicity of feedbacks both positive and negative. The problem is in determining polarity and magnitude. Theoretical assignments are error prone. Clouds are likely neutral to slightly negative instead of positive as evidenced by the tropical desert climate type having the highest mean annual temperature of any climate type. Another example is lapse rate feedback which is a negative feedback that occurs from more water vapor in the column causing clouds to condense at a higher altitude and therefore cooling more efficiently while at the same time less able to keep the surface war was higher than model assumptions. We are just beginning to gather data on global average aspects of the hydrologic cycle like cloud height and type, relative and specific humidity, enthalpy, and so forth. Lots of surprises for warmists in preliminary findings. No surprises for me in them. They’re just confirming what I’ve been harping on for the last year or two – greenhouse gases have little effect on surface temperature when the surface is wet and free to evaporate in response. In that case the excess energy is transferred insensibly to higher cloud tops where it radiates more freely to space and less freely back towards the surface. Anthropogenic global warming is only significant where the surface doesn’t have ample water available for evaporation which especially includes land surfaces in the winter in sub-freezing temperatures.

  4. What are “unforced influences such as internal modes of variability”. Is unforced the same as uncaused? Is it possible to give an example of such an occurrence? Would it not be more accurate to describe it as a variation whose cause we do not yet understand?

    • docrichard | March 24, 2013 at 5:58 pm |

      What are “unforced influences such as internal modes of variability”.

      In a three-body problem, internal modes of variability lead to differences from linear or predictable motion, and happen without any outside influence.

      Forced influences would come from something other than the three bodies and their intrinsic properties. A fourth body zooming into the system like a comet, a surge or push or removal of part of the system, each would be an external forcing if they had some influence on the motion of the three bodies.

      For example, some volcanoes, some massive land use changes and cumulatively large anthropogenic CO2E emission would be external forcings.

      • “In a three-body problem, internal modes of variability lead to differences from linear or predictable motion, and happen without any outside influence”

        But framing these changes as UNFORCED is sleazy, skip-de-doo propaganda. This is meant to characterise forces OTHER than the three-body state as un-natural. A volcano (eg) is NOT un-natural, nor is the current atmospheric CO2 concentration. Homo sapiens is NOT un-natural

        If the initial frame is a sleight-of-hand, deliberative results will always finish in the current tedious, endless repetition of entrenched positions. This is how politicians work, not scientists

      • You misinterpreted what Bart is describing when you say this:

        “But framing these changes as UNFORCED is sleazy, skip-de-doo propaganda. This is meant to characterise forces OTHER than the three-body state as un-natural. “

        Signal versus noise is the fundamental issue.
        Physicists try to separate out the noise to understand the underlying behavior.
        This is a basic stochastic differential equation
        dX=b(X)dt+dW

        the dW term is the noise and b(t) is some forcing function. The formulation looks simple enough, but there is a deeper context which we can apply to many natural and artificial processes. For example, the quants on Wall Street used it to model all sorts of “artificial” financial behaviors.

        What is natural and what is artificial? People use short-hand to describe the distinctions case-by-case but much of the mathematics is universal. Separate the wheat from the chaff, the signal from the noise.

      • David Springer

        It’s always fascinated me how the human species sometimes is and sometimes is not an intrinsic part of the earth depending on the spin.

        If you’re an evolutionary biologist then humans naturally evolved along with the rest of the planet. However if you an eco-loon or mainstream climate scientist the human species is like some alien invader doing unnatural things to the planet.

        Non-sequitur.

        Good description of forced and unforced but I’d say the more common definition is “forced” is things that humans do and “unforced” is things that humans don’t do. For example surface insolation changes due to changes in the sun are not forcings but surface insolation changes caused by human emission of gases and particulates are forcings.

    • Unforced would be things like changing ocean circulations that are just part of a chaotic fluid behavior, especially as it is coupled to the atmosphere. ENSO is a perfect example of an unforced variation.

  5. Cannot see any relevance of the three body problem to climatology. Sorry.

    • Start here.

      http://web.mit.edu/lorenzcenter/about/

      If you have questions about the relation of the three body problem to climatology, then the Lorenz Center may be able to help you out.

      • David Springer

        Oh here we go. Mentioning Lorenz will get Chief Kangaroo Skippy “Sybil” Ellison all wound up about chaos theory and climate.

        Lorenz applied chaos theory to weather not climate. Sybil doesn’t seem to understand that climate is not chaotic.

        Lets say we have a pot of water on the stove. As it heats up to boiling we can’t predict exactly when and where the convection eddies and bubbles will happen. That’s weather. However, we know that the water generally convects from bottom to top and that if we turn the flame up the whole pot warms faster and if we turn the flame down it warms slower. That’s climate. Weather is chaotic. Climate isn’t. The demarcation is important.

      • David, Climate is still chaotic, just different time scales and smaller variance. Include a +/- 2 C uncertainty and you can assume it is not chaotic, but with natural frequencies of 1,2 3 5 11, 30, 60, 150, 401, 1070, 1220, 1470, 1700, 4300, 5000, 5800, 14000, 21750, 41,000, etc. years it fits the chaotic model. If you know where you are at on any of those recurrent pseudo-cycles, you can make a reasonable prediction. If you don’t know, it can prove interesting, especially if the predicted change in climate is less than the normal variance.

        Consider the shift from 41ka events to ~ 100ka events. That was a shift from an obliquity dominate regime toward a precessional dominate regime. Now precessional dominance can lead to a 21ka world. There will still be ice ages and interglacials, but likely not as deep or as long.

        Or with the rate of ocean heat uptake, how long would it take to reach a 1.5C high average ocean temperature with 30 and 60 year natural variation cycles?
        If you predict 30 years in the future and the AMO shifts, how far off would your estimate be?

      • David Springer

        CaptDallas re; climate is chaotic

        Au contraire.

        http://www.aip.org/history/climate/chaos.htm

        The meteorological questions that had launched chaos theory remained among the hardest to answer. Some scientists now insisted that the climate system’s intrinsic fluctuations would utterly defeat any attempt to calculate its changes. Thus the 1980 edition of one classic textbook said that predictions of greenhouse effect warming were dubious because of chaotic “autovariations.” Lorenz and others argued that the recently observed global warming might be no evidence of a greenhouse effect or any other external influence, but only a chance excursion in the drunkard’s random walk.(34)

        Most scientists agreed that climate has features of a chaotic system, but they did not think it was wholly unpredictable. To be sure, it was impossible to predict well in advance, with any computer that could ever be built in the actual universe, that a tornado would hit a particular town in Texas on a particular day (not because of one guilty butterfly, of course, but as the net result of countless tiny initial influences). Yet tornado seasons came on schedule. That type of consistency showed up in the supercomputer simulations constructed in the 1980s and after. Start a variety of model runs with different initial conditions, and they would show, like most calculations with complex nonlinear feedbacks, random variations in the weather patterns computed for one or another region and season. However, their predictions for global average temperature usually remained within a fairly narrow range under given conditions. Critics replied that the computer models had been loaded with artificial assumptions in order to force them to produce regular-looking results. But gradually the most arbitrary assumptions were pared away. The models continued to reproduce, with increasing precision, many kinds of past changes, all the way back through the ice ages. As the computer work became more plausible, it set limits on the amount of variation that might be ascribed to pure chance.

        Weather is chaotic. Climate is not. If we set pot to heating over a flame the eddies and bubbles are chaotic. That’s weather. If we turn the flame up or down the temperature change will accelerate or decelerate. That’s climate. A butterfly’s touch will change the eddies and bubbles. That’s weather. A butterfly’s touch will not prevent the water from getting warmer if we turn up the flame. That’s climate.

        Please put a little more thought into differentiating the chaos of weather and the regularity of climate. They are two very different things. Thanks in advance.

      • Parts of what David Springer says are bang-on, like the weather-climate difference. If only he’d realize that CO2 is like putting a lid on that pot, he would see how CO2 fits into the boiling pot climate analogy. That’s the bit missing. Yes, climate is not affected by chaos, but there are some bi-stable states as we see from the Ice Ages.

      • David Springer

        Oh crap. I don’t know whether to be flattered or mortified.

        I was looking for other discussions of climate and chaos in addition to the AIP article and I ran across this:

        http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2005/11/chaos-and-climate/

        Chaos and Climate by James Annan and William Conneley

        I created an analogy with a pot of water heated by a flame to better illuminate the difference. It was wholly my creation having never seen it elsewhere. Lo and behold look what Annan & Cannoli had to say:

        Fortunately, the calculation of climatic variables (i.e., long-term averages) is much easier than weather forecasting, since weather is ruled by the vagaries of stochastic fluctuations, while climate is not. Imagine a pot of boiling water. A weather forecast is like the attempt to predict where the next bubble is going to rise (physically this is an initial value problem). A climate statement would be that the average temperature of the boiling water is 100ºC at normal pressure, while it is only 90ºC at 2,500 meters altitude in the mountains, due to the lower pressure (that is a boundary value problem).

        Of course my analogy far better as I also worked in how a butterfly’s caress could change the course of a bubble but couldn’t change the course of the water getting warmer.

        My analogy was superior mostly because I’m just a naturally grate righter. Be that as it may Annan and Cannonlilly have a commendable grasp of the difference between chaotic weather and regular climate. A grasp that appears to be somewhat lacking amongst the usual suspects on Climate Etc.

      • I have used the boiling pot analogy here and elsewhere too, once quite recently as I recall.

      • David Springer

        Of course you are correct: weather is chaotic, and therefore, hard to predict.

        Climate is no different.

        Jim D has fallen into the “roll of the dice” reasoning trap, whereby making a prediction for next year is allegedly more difficult than one for an integrated average 100 years in advance. Weather and climate is much more complex than a roll of the dice, and we don’t even know all the reasons why this is so (= “uncertainty”).

        If we cannot predict the weather two years in advance (because of “uncertainty”), we sure as hell can’t predict it two decades or centuries in the future, as IPCC would have us believe.

        This is even more the case if we are myopically fixating on human GHG emissions as the principal “climate control knob” and ignoring all the rest – especially the “uncertainty” (i.e. the unknowns).

        Nassim Taleb shows us why this is so (and it is so simple it hurts).

        In making predictions, it is not so important what “experts” know, writes Taleb. It is what they do not know.

        The current lack of warming despite unabated human GHG emissions (and IPCC predictions of 0.2C per decade warming that never materialized) is a case in point.

        Max

      • David Springer

        Jim D,

        Actually CO2 isn’t much like a lid. That’s a physical barrier preventing convection. CO2 is more like a gate in a dam. In this case it controls how fast mid-infrared radiation can flow through the atmospheric pipeline. Adding more CO2 is like closing off the gate a little bit. In response the water behind the dam (analogous to solar energy absorbed by the earth’s surface) rises in level. As the water rises the head pressure at the gate increases and total flow is restored. Head pressure is analogous to temperature.

        However, rising temperature isn’t the only way energy can move from surface to space. Nor is a gate the only way water can traverse a dam. There’s also a spillway. If we close off the gate when the water is already flowing over the spillway it will rise just a tiny bit because the spillway is huge compared to the gate. Analogously evaporation is like a spillway. The response of dry land to insulation by CO2 is a temperature rise. There’s no spillway on that dam. The response of water to insulation by CO2 is evaporation. That dam has a spillway.

        This is a situation mirrored in all kinds of physical systems. In fancy terms it’s called equipartition or equal division. I like to call it the path of least resistance. It’s basic to plumbing and electricity. Say I got a pipe with a few small holes in it. Most of the water will flow through the pipe because that’s the path of least resistance but some of the water will flow out of the holes. In the lower troposphere, where there’s a lot of water on the surface, the pipe is evaporation and the smaller hole is mid-infrared radiation. If we make the hole a little smaller the main pipe will just start to flow faster. Since the flow through the hole wasn’t much of the total to begin with it closing it won’t constrict the total flow but a commensurate fraction. Over dry land radiation is the pipe and there ain’t no hole in it so when we we constrict the opening at the end of the pipe with more CO2 the only possible response is an increase in pressure. Temperature is analogous to pressure.

        The model dam the warmists built doesn’t have a spillway. So when the gate closes the pressure rises commensurately. That’s the response of dry land but not for the ocean. Evaporation and convection is the path of least resistance so constricting radiative cooling of the ocean has very little effect on ocean temperature. Near as I can figure it results in higher cloud tops and more rain which is being proven out in the global average by more sophisticated satellites that can measure relative humidity, specific humidity, and cloud height all over the globe at once (or at least once per day). So for climate sensitivity modeled at 1.5C-4.5C I think we’ll find the range is about one third of that which reflects the ratio of land and ice to liquid ocean surface. Global average climate sensitivity is thus 0.5C-1.5C. Empirical measurements are coming in within that range. And you can model the pause with it too. Everything makes sense in light of discounting greenhouse warming over the ocean including global average sensitivity and regional distribution of the greenhouse warming which is predominantly over dry land.

        Just sayin. Only time will prove me right or wrong. Knock on wood I got the time. Another ten years to reasonably prove I’m right or less to prove me wrong. If global warming doesn’t resume with vengeance by 2020 I’m declaring victory and if it does resume I’ll admit defeat. Fair enough?

      • David I would say you should be mortified :) Think of Chaotic as how well you can use the past to predict the future. Your buddy JIMD mentions that CO2 can produce large amounts of warming because in the paleo-data for the JIMOCENE, you can pick any period, globally it was umpteen degrees warmer and CO2 was at a higher value. Is he right?

        Since we live on a water world, I tend to doubt that CO2 all by itself was capable of creating that umpteen degrees. Currently there are oscillations not explained by CO2 and solar forcing so it is likely there are other oscillations also not explained by CO2 and solar forcing. They may be caused by some random extra-terrerstial impact, but following whatever caused the change, there is no reason to believe that the system will respond the same following the event. The Drake Passage opened the Panama gap closed, the Antarctic grew a massive Ice cap, things are different. Just because it may take 25,000 years or more to find out how different, doesn’t mean that climate is not a slow chaotic process.

        If you base your assumptions on it not being a chaotic process, you would tend to be over confident in your predictions.

        http://www.skepticalscience.com/print.php?r=423

        That is a link to SS pooh poohing the thermostat hypothesis. They use the Eocene SST temperatures as some kind of proof that the current ocean current configuration would allow the same results. Since climate is not chaotic in your opinion, then dissenting views like this, http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/1324186/ have to be wrong, because climate is predictable based on past performance. Since the Drake Passage could be blocked by the loss of the Western Antarctic ice sheet or the thermal equator could continue to advance northward or since the Chander wobble has slowed to nearly nothing, future climate can be much different than the past.

      • David Springer

        Jim D | March 25, 2013 at 4:46 pm |

        I have used the boiling pot analogy here and elsewhere too, once quite recently as I recall.

        Jim D | March 25, 2013 at 4:50 pm |

        Re: boiling pot. March 18th I posted this to ksd.

        http://judithcurry.com/2013/03/16/open-thread-weekend-11/#comment-303330

        ————————————————————————
        Okay so you, me, James Annan, and Wilhelm Cornholey all instinctively reached for the same analogy proving that it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to come up with it. That’s assuming you don’t religiously read RealClimate. I religiously avoid it for the most part on general principle.

      • David Springer

        captdallas2 0.8 +/- 0.2 | March 25, 2013 at 5:24 pm |

        “David I would say you should be mortified :) Think of Chaotic as how well you can use the past to predict the future.”

        Ok. Based on the past I’m going to predict it will snow in Buffalo, New York next January.

        Thanks for making my point for me. I think that’s what some people would call an ‘own goal’.

        Thanks for playing but please don’t make my goals for me because it takes all the fun out of it.

      • Jim D

        Not to get into a long discussion about the chaotic nature of nucleate boiling, but your “pot” analogy is a poor fit for our climate.

        This is so simply because there are no “unknowns” (or “uncertainties”) in the “boiling pot” analogy. Heat in, heat out, latent heat of vaporization, etc. are all well defined. Putting on the “lid” (analogous to the GH effect of added GH gases) simply slows down the loss of energy out the top (until something explodes).

        But our planet’s climate is not so simple.

        If we knew all the many factors that impact our climate, it would still be a daunting task to crank these all into a model. But we don’t. We are aware of a few things that we do not know, but there are the “unknown unknowns”, we don’t even have a clue about.

        This leads to the high level of “uncertainty” in explaining past climate change, and the even higher level of “uncertainty” in predicting future climate change.

        On top of all this, we have an agenda-driven myopia on human GHGs as the cause of most of the past and future climate change, which is driven by the IPCC consensus process.

        People like you actually believe that they can forecast the globally and annually averaged temperature X years in advance, simply based on an estimated increase in atmospheric GHGs (principally CO2). This is absurd, Jim, as the current decade is showing us.

        To quote the Bard:

        There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

        – Hamlet (1.5.166-7), Hamlet to Horatio

        Max

      • David, How many inches? Hansen in crew are predicting 4 C of warming while ignoring a +/- 2 C range of natural variability. In fact, Hansen thinks it is impossible for natural variability to be significant. Hansen is convinced that H2) will double CO2 sensitivity. Will it?

        That’s the difference. What is the real range of uncertainty.

      • David Springer

        manacker | March 25, 2013 at 5:17 pm |

        “David Springer

        Of course you are correct: weather is chaotic, and therefore, hard to predict.

        Climate is no different.”

        No, climate is different. The usual warmist suspects aren’t wrong becauise they’re trying predict the response of a chaotic climate. They’re wrong because they don’t know enough about a non-chaotic climate.

      • David Springer

        captdallas2 0.8 +/- 0.2 | March 25, 2013 at 6:01 pm |

        “David, How many inches? Hansen in crew are predicting 4 C of warming while ignoring a +/- 2 C range of natural variability. In fact, Hansen thinks it is impossible for natural variability to be significant. Hansen is convinced that H2) will double CO2 sensitivity. Will it?”

        How many inches of snow in January is asking me about the weather. I can describe the climate in Buffalo in January. Expect snow. I can’t describe the weather in January. Maybe a little snow maybe a lot.

        You’re backpeddling now. That’s good. You’re talking about margins of error which can be refined by better understanding and instrumentation of the system under study. If the system is bounded chaos then no refinement would be possible. I think a lot of refinement is possible through greater understanding, correction of fundamental misunderstandings, and better instrumentation.

        I think you’ve quite thoroughly misrepresented Hansen. The usual suspects are predicting 1.5C-4.5C per doubling with 95% confidence. And try to stay on topic. We’re talking about chaos and climate. Is the amount of feedback from water vapor chaotic and unpredictable? Of course not. If Hansen is wrong it’s because he didn’t get the physics right not because it’s unpredictable.

      • manacker, climate is simple in the sense that heat in equals heat out over the long term, becoming more accurate in W/m2 balance the longer you take. Even a 1 W/m2 persistent forcing either warms the upper ocean 0.1 degrees per decade to absorb it or increases the effective surface temperature by 0.2 degrees to cancel it (excluding H2O feedback), or a combination of the above. So this level of accuracy in observations is becoming a good constraint because CO2 forcing almost doubles that already, and should be very measurable in surface temperature and ocean heat content changes.

      • David Springer, you bring up the other analogy that I have a version of, which is the faucet, basin, and plug-hole analogy. The faucet provides water (solar energy), the plug-hole provides a way to escape (IR radiation), and the water level represents the temperature (David Archer’s Long Thaw has this analogy). Partially blocking the escape/plug-hole increases the water level (temperature). We seem to agree on this part. Your only difficulty is that you don’t see that water surfaces are just as blocked as land surfaces when it comes to the IR effect of CO2.

      • So how come we’ve had less than 0.1 deg ocean warming over the past 50 years?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘Recent scientific evidence shows that major and widespread climate changes have occurred with startling speed. For example, roughly half the north Atlantic warming since the last ice age was achieved in only a decade, and it was accompanied by significant climatic changes across most of the globe. Similar events, including local warmings as large as 16°C, occurred repeatedly during the slide into and climb out of the last ice age. Human civilizations arose after those extreme, global ice-age climate jumps. Severe droughts and other regional climate events during the current warm period have shown similar tendencies of abrupt onset and great persistence, often with adverse effects on societies.’ http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=10136&page=1

        I repeat this bcause it bears on the idea of predicabiity of the seasons. If there is 16 degree change in a decade the loal season is going to look very different. It goes to droughts and floods as well – these vary season to season, decade to decade and across millennia.

        The climate shift of 1998/2001 involved cloud changes that influenced the energy budget of the planet. – http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/ReflectedSW-1998to2001climateshift_zps263e8ae9.jpg.html#/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/ReflectedSW-1998to2001climateshift_zps263e8ae9.jpg.html?&_suid=1364251134278038936875076513266

        The 1976/77 shift seems to as well – http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Clementetal2009.png.html?sort=3&o=23#/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Clementetal2009.png.html?sort=3&o=23&_suid=136425168599202564152779713511

        It is hypothesized that persistent and consistent trends among several climate modes act to kick the climate state, altering the pattern and magnitude of air-sea interaction between the atmosphere and the underlying ocean. The middle panel in Figure 1 shows that these climate mode trend phases indeed behaved anomalously three times during the 20th century, immediately following the synchronization events of the 1910s, 1940s, and 1970s. This combination of the synchronization of these dynamical modes in the climate, followed immediately afterward by significant increase in the fraction of strong trends (coupling) without exception marked shifts in the 20th century climate state. These shifts were accompanied by breaks in the global mean temperature trend with respect to time, presumably associated with either discontinuities in the global radiative budget due to the global reorganization of clouds and water vapor or dramatic changes in the uptake of heat by the deep ocean. Similar behavior has been found in coupled ocean/atmosphere models, indicating such behavior may be a hallmark of terrestrial-like climate systems [Tsonis et al. 2007].’ S&T09

        So the silly little narrative about next winter being cold is just that – it misses all of the nonsationary nature of climate time series. The planet is ikely to remain in a cool mode for a decade or three following the198/2001 climate shift – but there are factors that go well beyond evaporation as a determinant.

      • phatboy, ocean heat content has it that the absorption of heat has averaged about 0.5 W/m2 in the last ten years, so if the surface isn’t warming, other depths are.

      • JimD

        Can you please clarify the mechanism whereby the heat bypasses the upper layers of the ocean and ends up in deep and Abyssal water?
        tonyb

      • David, “You’re backpeddling now. That’s good. You’re talking about margins of error which can be refined by better understanding and instrumentation of the system under study. If the system is bounded chaos then no refinement would be possible.”

        nope,not back peddling, the uncertainty involved with degrees of chaotic behavior have to be considered. You can’t make an apples to apples comparison of past climate without considering the range of possible impacts due to the chaotic nature. The average range of the tropical climate has been about +/- 1.5 C for the past 800 k years.

        Annan & Hargreaves last glacial maximum paper indicates the global average temperature may have only changed 4 C, so there is “weather” like climate issues, which would be chaotic. North America can get a glacier while Siberia has lush forests. If you try to predict climate based on the tropics, you have a smaller margin of error. That is why there is a focus on regional sensitivity.

        I think some parts of climate are very predictable within a reasonable limit and others are not. That is why I tend to focus on the oceans and the moist air part of the planet. If you pick the highest variability regions, you are doomed to fail IMO, because they are wicked chaotic.

      • climatereason, I can give my take, which is that there is always upwelling of deeper water which is colder, and this can counter the surface heating over periods of time, such as now. It depends on the upwelling strength and temperature. The warmer water may be deepening, while not spreading in other regions, such as the west Pacific where the El Nino recharges before this deeper warm water comes to the surface in the next outburst.

      • JImD

        Surely if we have this massive sporadic and chaotic upwelling of cold water from the depths, any temperature taken in the ocean betweeen the depths and the surface is going to differ to another reading when the upwelling has abated. It doesnt seem very sound science
        tonyb

      • tonyb, this is exactly why I don’t think surface temperatures are very meaningful unless they are first averaged over at least a decade to average out the ENSO and solar variability. Decadal temperatures are much less sensitive to fluctuations as only long-term ocean effects are left and their global-averaged amplitude is only 0.1 or so degrees which won’t matter much when we see degrees of warming.

      • David Springer

        Jim D | March 25, 2013 at 6:59 pm |

        “David Springer, you bring up the other analogy that I have a version of, which is the faucet, basin, and plug-hole analogy. The faucet provides water (solar energy), the plug-hole provides a way to escape (IR radiation), and the water level represents the temperature (David Archer’s Long Thaw has this analogy). Partially blocking the escape/plug-hole increases the water level (temperature). We seem to agree on this part. Your only difficulty is that you don’t see that water surfaces are just as blocked as land surfaces when it comes to the IR effect of CO2.”

        Excellent analogy if radiation was only way for surface to cool. There are two other ways so you need two more drain openings. Label one the conductive (thermal) drain and the other the latent (evaporation and convection) drain.

        If the evaporation drain is wide open and it’s big then putting a plug in the radiation drain hole does very little. The size of the evaporation drain hole varies. It’s big over the ocean and tiny in deserts and frozen landscapes. The thermal drain hole is small overall but important in places where the ground temperature is way different than air temperature in contact with it. Air is a piss poor conductor so thermal is the path of most resistance in all cases.

        This is what is missing at least in my opinion. The warmist model has water vapor amplification over the ocean and I say that water vapor amplification only happens over land and not even CO2 warming occurs over land because ocean doesn’t play the radiative cooling game and in all greenhouse gas warming the mechanism is radiation.

        The missing heat is never absorbed by the ocean. It’s rejected insensibly by evaporation and convection from the surface to the cloud deck and the cloud deck itself is higher in altitude. A higher cloud top that radiates more efficiently because there’s less greenhouse gas above it sends that extra energy packing into outer space more efficiently than the lower cloud deck could and the increased greenhouse gas between higher cloud and ground lessens reemission that makes it back to the surface.

        Clouds are the problem for the models. Heck the water cycle in general is a problem for the models. Those models are grade A prime for radiation and thermal which is high school science fair kind of stuff with well mixed non-condensing greenhouse gases. They screw up big time with evaporation, convection, and clouds which are not at all well mixed and very complex. And clouds, due to being able to block out 90% of sunlight, have an awful lot of control over how much of the sun’s energy makes it down to warm the surface.

      • David Springer

        typo

        and not even CO2 warming occurs over land ocean because

        sorry I really should proof read BEFORE hitting post button

      • David Springer, I have been over this before and I don’t have the patience to do it again. Evaporation over the ocean is not a free variable. It is tightly constrained by the temperature and Clausius-Clapeyron. Besides that, it is not an energy loss mechanism for the earth, and clouds are inefficient emitters being cold-topped. No, the oceans respond to added CO2 blanketing the same way anything else does, and can only increase their emission by increasing their surface temperature. If you could just free yourself from this mental block about evaporation, you would be a warmist.

      • JimD, C-C is not a tight constraint. There is a new atmospheric thermodynamic measure called convective triggering potential, developed at GFDL. http://www.gfdl.noaa.gov/kirsten-findells-thesis-papers

        Which is was developed in studies of soil moisture impacts on convection, it appears to be valuable in other areas like marine boundary layer convection. Instead of convection being initiated at the surface it can be initiated in the mid-troposphere. http://cimss.ssec.wisc.edu/goes/blog/archives/7745

        Imagine that, just out of the clear blue sky, convective clouds form producing a negative feedback.

      • captd, and how do you imagine CO2 creating mid-level convection or is this one of your red herrings, captain? The surface air above the ocean is close to saturated. Can evaporation increase if you bombard it with IR, no, because C-C requires the temperature to increase first, unless you can figure a way the IR also dries the air out to make way for the new vapor from any added evaporation.

      • JimD, evaporation is dependent on surface water temperature, saturation vapor pressure of the air over the water and the wind speed. H2O positive radiant feedback is dependent on that water vapor remaining in the air. With increased deep convection and this increase in mid to upper level convection, the water vapor is not staying in the air. While you mention that is likely due to limited water availability over land, increased mid-troposphere convection over the oceans is not part of the C-C estimation. Clouds appear to be providing a negative feedback.

        There is this issue related to the convective triggerring potential, it happens to be roughly equal to the 88 Wm-2 of global latent heat loss in the newer more accurate energy budgets. The models underestimated latent heat flux per much like Dr. Curry thought some time ago.

      • captain, so yes the evaporation can’t stay in the air because of C-C, so there is no net evaporation increase, and you are in fact disagreeing with David Springer. It was hard to get that out of you.

      • David Springer: .”..Sybil doesn’t seem to understand that climate is not chaotic.
        Oops, better get your paper into the IPCC Dave, they’ve got it wrong too.

        ” … In climate research and modelling, we should recognise that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the
        long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible.”
        IPCC TAR, Section 14.2 “The Climate System”, page 774.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        thanks…I lost the source of that quote and have been looking for it for years…puts things into perspective nicely…

      • Is climate chaotic? The proposal for the MIT Lorenz Center (see Bart R’s link) lists a number of critically-important climate science questions, worthy of establishing a research institute to address. The first question:

        “Are two or more statistically stable climate states possible for the same climate forcing (solar radiation,atmospheric composition, configuration of continents)? This is a problem of great inherent intellectual interest and potentially enormous practical consequences as well. At present, we do not know whether the real climate has multiple equilibrium states.

        If there are multiple equilibrium states, then climate has the potential to be chaotic, not deterministic. The pathways that lead from one equilibrium climate state to another will almost certainly be chaotic, just like the pathways between El Nino and La Nina climate states and the Ice Ages that occur every 40,000 or 100,000 years. .

      • The two obvious states have to do with concentration of atmospheric co2. If we have no or very little co2, the earth will be on average below the freezing point of water. With sufficient co2 it is above freezing.

        If one injects more co2, the upper setpoint rises.

        This is the theme of the co2 control knob paper by Lacis.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Th 2 obvious states are the ice extent in glacials/interglcials Ice feedbacks drive descents into glacials and most probably the recovery and CO2 is a feedbck of that.

    • 1) The troposphere, and 2) and 3), its upper and lower boundaries (or bounding regions).

      But the system is broken, and the GPC is just another conglomeration of incompetent scientists.

    • david springer

      I hate to take this risk, but I am going to go out on a limb, too.

      I forecast that January 4, 2014 will be colder in Buffalo, NY than in Houston, TX.

      There.

      I’m on record.

      Max.

      • Does that apply to the measured temperature or to the adjusted temperature?
        After normalization, altitude adjustment and homogenization of Houston with Vostok I somehow doubt it.

    • Chef Hydrologist

      ‘Climate as a complex dynamical system, leading to a better understanding of the natural modes of the climate system, their coupling to each other and to exogenous forces.’ APS

      ‘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.’ Hurrel et al 2009

      ‘In principle, changes in climate on a wide range of timescales can also arise from variations within the climate system due to, for example, interactions between the oceans and the atmosphere; in this document, this is referred to as “internal climate variability”. Such internal variability can occur because the climate is an example of a chaotic system: one that can exhibit complex unpredictable internal variations even in the absence of the climate forcings discussed in the previous paragraph.’ The Royal Society Climate change: a summary of the science I September 2010

      ‘Recent scientific evidence shows that major and widespread climate changes have occurred with startling speed. For example, roughly half the north Atlantic warming since the last ice age was achieved in only a decade, and it was accompanied by significant climatic changes across most of the globe. Similar events, including local warmings as large as 16°C, occurred repeatedly during the slide into and climb out of the last ice age. Human civilizations arose after those extreme, global ice-age climate jumps. Severe droughts and other regional climate events during the current warm period have shown similar tendencies of abrupt onset and great persistence, often with adverse effects on societies.

      Abrupt climate changes were especially common when the climate system was being forced to change most rapidly. Thus, greenhouse warming and other human alterations of the earth system may increase the possibility of large, abrupt, and unwelcome regional or global climatic events. The abrupt changes of the past are not fully explained yet, and climate models typically underestimate the size, speed, and extent of those changes. Hence, future abrupt changes cannot be predicted with confidence, and climate surprises are to be expected.

      The new paradigm of an abruptly changing climatic system has been well established by research over the last decade, but this new thinking is little known and scarcely appreciated in the wider community of natural and social scientists and policy-makers.’ NAS Committee on Abrupt climate Change.

      ‘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. In this paper, after a brief tutorial on the basics of climate nonlinearity, we provide a number of illustrative examples and highlight key mechanisms that give rise to nonlinear behavior, address scale and methodological issues, suggest a robust alternative to prediction that is based on using integrated assessments within the framework of vulnerability studies and, lastly, recommend a number of research priorities and the establishment of education programs in Earth Systems Science. 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.’ Rial e al 2004

      JC SNIP Spr..ger is profoundly ignorant and proud of it. He is the king of the totlly irrelevant in a style of self aggrandising, bombastic, tedious, repetitive nonsense. Who am I supposed to believe? Some dimwited, obsolete gamer with a compulsion to be the smartest dips…t in the room or the APS, The Royal Society, the NAS, etc. Utterly pathetic almost covers it.

      • Well, when Paul Nurse speaks for the Royal Society, I’ll prefer to listen to D. Springer. Now, I know that’s not what you meant.
        ========

      • I put a SNIP warning on the post, let’s see if that is sufficient to deter.

      • Speaking moderately, I find great value in both of you. That value is entirely separate from what you two are arguing about, which I don’t understand.
        ============

      • I think the Chef shouldn’t do personal attacks even on targets that have done them in the past. Rise above.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Obviously not.

        Address the science springer – instead of whining that your habitual rudeness is reciprocated.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Predictability has nothing to do with it at all – complex, dynamic nonlinear system = deterministic chaotic system = chaotic dynamical system = abrupt climate change. The fact that it is the result of multiple feedbacks is precisely the point. It is exactly the same behaviour as the 3 body problem.

        ‘AOS models are members of the broader class of deterministic chaotic dynamical systems, which provides several expectations about their properties (Fig. 1). In the context of weather prediction, the generic property of sensitive dependence is well understood (4, 5). For a particular model, small differences in initial state (indistinguishable within the sampling uncertainty for atmospheric measurements) amplify with time at an exponential rate until saturating at a magnitude comparable to the range of intrinsic variability. Model differences are another source of sensitive dependence. Thus, a deterministic weather forecast cannot be accurate after a period of a few weeks, and the time interval for skillful modern forecasts is only somewhat shorter than the estimate for this theoretical limit. In the context of equilibrium climate dynamics, there is another generic property that is also relevant for AOS, namely structural instability (6). Small changes in model formulation, either its equation set or parameter values, induce significant differences in the long-time distribution functions for the dependent variables (i.e., the phase-space attractor). The character of the changes can be either metrical (e.g., different means or variances) or topological (different attractor shapes). Structural instability is the norm for broad classes of chaotic dynamical systems that can be so assessed (e.g., see ref. 7). Obviously, among the options for discrete algorithms and parameterization schemes, and perhaps especially for coupling to nonfluid processes, there are many ways that AOS model equation sets can and will change and hence will be vulnerable to structurally unstable behavior.’ http://www.pnas.org/content/104/21/8709.long

        Again – climate is in that broad class of ‘deterministic chaotic dynamical systems, which provides several expectations about their properties ‘. It is the properties we are interested in – slowing down and noisy bifurcation especially. e.g. http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/370/1962/1185.full.pdf

        The absolute values of incoming or outgoing radiation cannot be determined with a couple of Watts/m^2. It is impossible to determine a radiative balance at a point in time. However – the changes in radiant flux – expressed in anomalies in the case of outgoing radiation – gives with much more accuracy the trends and quantum of changes in radiative energy. Most useful information used for instance to determine that there was ‘missing energy’.

        ‘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.’

        The above refers to ERBS and ISCCP-FD and CERES provides an order of magnitude improvement. The trick is to understand and use the data in appropriate ways and not get hung up with absolutes.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      And Jim is quite right on one thing – ciimate depends only on the radiant imbalance at toa.

      d(W&H)/dt = power in – power out

      Where W&H is work and heat – perfectly defines the energy budget of the planet.

      This changes all the time mostly in the short trm as cloud height and cover changes.

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Loeb2011-LWCERES.png.html?sort=3&o=35

      And seems to have a bit of an association with ENSO. Climate spontaneously reorganises – emergent behavior in the terms of the theory of dynamic complexity – with changes in snow, ice, cloud, dust, biology etc.

      • One quibble. power in = power out, implies that the rate is instantaneously balanced. I would say energy in = energy out, if you average over long enough periods.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        another quibbler – one is not happy with energy and one not happy with power.

        It is a differential – so time is at the core and Watt = J/s

      • Chief Hydrologist

        If the planet s not warming or cooling – d(W&H)/dt = 0 – and energy in = energy out.

        Not all that common it seems and it is really d(W&H) we are interested in.

      • CH, anyway a more useful expression is
        dF = dH/dt + lambda*dT
        where now all the terms are in W/m2.
        dF is a change in forcing (from an equilibrium), H is a heat content and dT is the surface temperature change needed to rebalance the dF with lambda being the climate sensitivity. A simplification is to say that H is proportional to T, but that doesn’t hold over short time periods with internal variability, as is the case now with H increasing but T not.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I have quoted several of the most reputable sources above about chaos in climate. Science has moved beyond ideas of simple cause and effect – to the idea of abupt change efined as change that exceeds the rate and is out of proportion to size of the initial forcing. This you agreed to just yesterday. I appreciate that changing your mind is a sign of maturity – but I feel quite confident that these sources do have a point and that weigh of science is inexorably shifting behindthis idea. Indeed it is called the new climate paradigm by the NAS>

        In a choatic climate sensitiviy is one of the things that needs to be radically rethought. The situation is scematically as follows.

        http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/bifurcations.png.html?sort=3&o=14

        Climate dosn’t change much until it hits a tipping point – an abrupt change in MOC for instance – and then shifts rapidly. The sensitivity is high at the point of bifurcation but not otherwise.

        ‘Recent, somewhat abrupt climate changes add to the collective concern that larger future nonlinear changes pose a significant risk to societies [2]. Furthermore, recent assessments place such ‘large-scale discontinuities’ rather closer to the present state of the climate [3]. By definition, such events imply significant impacts on societies or on other living components of the Earth system. Hence, if an early warning of a climate tipping point can be achieved, then it could be of considerable value to societies, at least in helping them build an adaptive capacity to cope with what is approaching. In general, for a system approaching a threshold where its current state becomes unstable, and it makes a transition to some other state, one can expect to see it become more sluggish in its response to small perturbations [4].

        Mathematically speaking, for systems that can be characterized as gradually approaching a (co-dimension 1) bifurcation point in their equilibrium solutions, their leading eigenvalue tends towards zero, indicating a tendency towards infinitely slow recovery from perturbations. This is referred to as ‘critical slowing down’ in dynamical systems theory. This phenomenon has long been known about [5,6], but it has only recently been applied to climate dynamics [7,8].’

        http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/370/1962/1185.full.pdf

        At toa, however, my simple energy budget is perfect in one sense but limited in another. Conceptually – it perfectly describes the energy budget. Realistically – the data limitations mean that the interpetation is only broadly quantitative.

        Thus we know the sign of d(W&H)/dt from ocean and atmopsheric monitoring and the change within reasonable error bounds. We know with some precision the change in energy in and energy out if not the absolute values.

        Thus we know that the change in TSI is not hugely significant – and indeed was declining in the SORCE period. We know that long wave out varied with ENSO as clouds formed in La Nina and dissipated with El Nino – http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Loeb2011-LWCERES.png.html?sort=3&o=35#/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Loeb2011-LWCERES.png.html?sort=3&o=35&_suid=136426072565907609199636549699 – without an observable trend in the period.

        We know also that short wave changed with a decadal trend in cloud – http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/CERES_MODIS-1.gif.html?sort=3&o=49#/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/CERES_MODIS-1.gif.html?sort=3&o=49&_suid=1364260897505014999157657388795

        I would attribute much of the cloud changes to the persistance of warm surface water in the Pacific – but expect this to change as the PDO+ENSO intensifies.

        The simple energy budget is a simple way of thinking about inputs.

      • David Springer

        Chief Hydrologist | March 25, 2013 at 7:13 pm | Reply

        “And Jim is quite right on one thing – ciimate depends only on the radiant imbalance at toa.”

        Is that chaotic too? Do tell.

        TOA imbalance is on the order of a half watt per square meter depending on how accurate you think ARGO is because the ocean is the only reservoir that can hold much energy. Land just gets warmer and spits it back out right most riki tik.

        I don’t believe ARGO is that accurate for one. The ocean was cooling a tiny bit until Josh Willis flip-flopped (under pressure is my guess) and said it was warming a tiny bit instead. Games like that with data over a value so close to zero the polarity is in question doesn’t give me any warm fuzzy feelings about the data quality.

        A 0.5W/m2 imbalance at TOA is enough to raise ocean temperature 0.2C in 100 years. Not exactly scary stuff even if it’s both accurate and persistent.

        The scary thing is that all the ocean below about 1000 meters is a not very friendly 3 degrees centigrade. Brass monkeys beware of those depths. If the mix rate between surface and vast bulk of the ocean increases substantially brass monkeys will need fur lined jockey shorts on the surface too. The average global ocean temperature is a warning shot across the bow. We have a warm world due to a shallow layer of warm water on the ocean surface. If it were to mix downward faster we’re in a world of hurt.

        One might also ask exactly how the ocean’s average temperature got to 4C in the first place. That’s an even scarier question because near as I can figure that must be the average of the surface temperature over very long spans of time like say the last few million years. The ocean might equilibrate top to bottom very slowly but it doesn’t take forever.

      • David Springer

        correction

        The scary thing is that all the ocean below about 1000 meters feet is a not very friendly 3 degrees centigrade

      • David Springer

        Chief Hydrologist | March 25, 2013 at 9:36 pm |

        “Indeed it is called the new climate paradigm by the NAS”

        Well the old climate paradigm certainly isn’t working out very well.

        What a grand coincidence it is that the new paradigm chaotic climate is doing exactly what some of us predicted – not warming while cool multidecadal ocean oscillations get their turn at bat. I guess we just got lucky, huh?

        By the way, where exactly does NAS talk about his new climate paradigm? As far as I know they’re on about abrupt paleoclimate change. Just because the climate can change abruptly doesn’t make it chaotic. Positive feedback can flip a semi-stable state in the blink of an eye. In fact that’s how a logic circuit called a flip-flop works. It’s about as chaotic as an earthquake fault line. Exactly when the fault is going to slip is chaotic like the weather. But as tension builds it will eventually slip and that’s like the climate. Just like a slow steady squeeze on the trigger of a gun ends in a fast explosion. It isn’t chaos just becuase it happens fast.

      • David Springer

        @ Ellison

        ‘In principle, changes in climate on a wide range of timescales can also arise from variations within the climate system due to, for example, interactions between the oceans and the atmosphere; in this document, this is referred to as “internal climate variability”. Such internal variability can occur because the climate is an example of a chaotic system: one that can exhibit complex unpredictable internal variations even in the absence of the climate forcings discussed in the previous paragraph.’ The Royal Society Climate change: a summary of the science I September 2010

        Since the Royal Society Report is the only that is the only quote you gave that characterizes climate as chaotic I’d encourage everyone to read the whole thing.

        http://royalsociety.org/uploadedFiles/Royal_Society_Content/policy/publications/2010/4294972962.pdf

        It is a production by an appointed committee of Royal Society members including policy makers and non-scientists. No independent scientific reviewers endorsed it which is made explicit.

        The conclusions don’t even hint at the climate being chaotic but merely restate the same old crap we’ve all heard a million times about uncertainty making prediction of global warming somewhere between very bad and the end of life on the planet.

        I quote the conclusions which are no new paradigm at all but the same old narrative that’s been around since Hansen turned off the airconditioners in 1988.

        There is strong evidence that changes in greenhouse gas concentrations due to human activity are the dominant cause of the global warming that has taken place over the last half century. This warming trend is expected to continue as are changes in precipitation over the long term in many regions. Further and more rapid increases in sea level are likely which will have profound implications for coastal communities and ecosystems.

        58 It is not possible to determine exactly how much the Earth will warm or exactly how the climate will change in the future, but careful estimates of potential changes and associated uncertainties have been made. Scientists continue to work to narrow these areas of uncertainty. Uncertainty can work both ways, since the changes and their impacts may be either smaller or larger than those projected.

        59 Like many important decisions, policy choices about climate change have to be made in the absence of perfect knowledge. Even if the remaining uncertainties were substantially resolved, the wide variety of interests, cultures and beliefs in society would make consensus about such choices difficult to achieve. However, the potential impacts of climate change are sufficiently serious that important decisions will need to be made. Climate science – including the substantial body of knowledge that is already well established, and the results of future research – is the essential basis for future climate projections and planning, and must be a vital component of public reasoning in this
        complex and challenging area.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I can’t imagine what you think is implied by for instance Rial et al – NONLINEARITIES, FEEDBACKS AND CRITICAL THRESHOLDS
        WITHIN THE EARTH’S CLIMATE SYSTEM.

        ‘The new paradigm of an abruptly changing climatic system has been well established by research over the last decade, but this new thinking is little known and scarcely appreciated in the wider community of natural and social scientists and policy-makers.’ http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=10136&page=1

        ‘According to the Committee on Abrupt Climate Change of the National Research Council:

        There are essentially two definitions of abrupt climate change:

        In terms of physics, it is a transition of the climate system into a different mode on a time scale that is faster than the responsible forcing.

        In terms of impacts, “an abrupt change is one that takes place so rapidly and unexpectedly that human or natural systems have difficulty adapting to it”.

        These definitions are complementary: the former gives some insight into how abrupt climate change comes about ; the latter explains why there is so much research devoted to it.’

        The first one being more technical is the one to concentrate on – a shift to a different mode. This is what happens in chaotic systems. The system hits a tipping point and the components interact in what is known as ‘dragon-kings’ or noisy bifurcation – before settling into a new mode.

        This happens because of feedbacks in snow, ice cloud, dust, biology etc. I am clueless as to what you falsely imagine deterministic chaos to be but there are a number of terms. Nonlinearity, dynamical complexity, tipping points, catastrophe in the sense of Rene Thom – if it makes you feel any better.

        ‘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.’

        I suggest that you actually read Rial et al 2004 – because really I am not here to engage in long winded discussions with someone who clearly doesn’t have the faintest clue and refuses to learn. One webby is quite enough.

        As for radiant imbalances – for ERBS Wong et al 2006 is the place to go – http://www.image.ucar.edu/idag/Papers/Wong_ERBEreanalysis.pdf

        For CERES – Loeb et al – Advances in Understanding Top-of-
        Atmosphere Radiation Variability from Satellite Observations – google it – is the best I have found.

        It matters little that you understand ARGO without looking at causality in the radiant imbalances. I have discussed these in detail elsewhere on the post. Beyond that you can start to look at why cloud changes and it is indeed chaotic.

        ‘We construct a network of observed climate indices in the period 1900–2000 and investigate their collective behavior. The results indicate that this network synchronized several times in this period. We find that in
        those cases where the synchronous state was followed by a steady increase in the coupling strength between the indices, the synchronous state was destroyed, after which a new climate state emerged. These shifts are associated with significant changes in global temperature trend and in ENSO variability. The latest such event is known as the
        great climate shift of the 1970s. We also find the evidence for such type of behavior in two climate simulations using a state-of-the-art model. This is the first time that this mechanism, which appears consistent with the theory of synchronized chaos, is discovered in a physical system of
        the size and complexity of the climate system.’ https://pantherfile.uwm.edu/aatsonis/www/2007GL030288.pdf

        This is a good place to start to look at chaos in the instrumental record.
        You might then move onto – ‘Has the climate recently shifted’ Swanson and Tsonis 2009.

        ‘It is hypothesized that persistent and consistent trends among several climate modes act to ‘kick’ the climate state, altering the pattern and magnitude of air-sea interaction between the atmosphere and the underlying ocean. Figure 1 (middle) shows that these climate mode trend phases indeed behaved anomalously three times during the 20th century, immediately following the synchronization events of the 1910s, 1940s, and 1970s. This combination of the synchronization of these dynamical modes in the climate, followed immediately afterward by significant increase in the fraction of strong trends (coupling) without
        exception marked shifts in the 20th century climate state. These shifts were accompanied by breaks in the global mean temperature trend with respect to time, presumably associated with either discontinuities in the global radiative budget due to the global reorganization of clouds and water vapor or dramatic changes in the uptake of heat by
        the deep ocean.’

        I know you think that deterministic chaos equates to randomness – but that’s just stupid.

      • David Springer

        Chief Hydrologist | March 26, 2013 at 4:45 am |

        I can’t imagine what you think is implied by for instance Rial et al – NONLINEARITIES, FEEDBACKS AND CRITICAL THRESHOLDS
        WITHIN THE EARTH’S CLIMATE SYSTEM.

        ‘The new paradigm of an abruptly changing climatic system has been well established by research over the last decade, but this new thinking is little known and scarcely appreciated in the wider community of natural and social scientists and policy-makers.’ http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=10136&page=1

        ‘According to the Committee on Abrupt Climate Change of the National Research Council:

        There are essentially two definitions of abrupt climate change:

        In terms of physics, it is a transition of the climate system into a different mode on a time scale that is faster than the responsible forcing.

        In terms of impacts, “an abrupt change is one that takes place so rapidly and unexpectedly that human or natural systems have difficulty adapting to it”.

        These definitions are complementary: the former gives some insight into how abrupt climate change comes about ; the latter explains why there is so much research devoted to it.’

        The first one being more technical is the one to concentrate on – a shift to a different mode. This is what happens in chaotic systems. The system hits a tipping point and the components interact in what is known as ‘dragon-kings’ or noisy bifurcation – before settling into a new mode.

        This happens because of feedbacks in snow, ice cloud, dust, biology etc. I am clueless as to what you falsely imagine deterministic chaos to be but there are a number of terms. Nonlinearity, dynamical complexity, tipping points, catastrophe in the sense of Rene Thom – if it makes you feel any better.

        ‘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.’

        I suggest that you actually read Rial et al 2004 – because really I am not here to engage in long winded discussions with someone who clearly doesn’t have the faintest clue and refuses to learn. One webby is quite enough.

        As for radiant imbalances – for ERBS Wong et al 2006 is the place to go – http://www.image.ucar.edu/idag/Papers/Wong_ERBEreanalysis.pdf

        For CERES – Loeb et al – Advances in Understanding Top-of-
        Atmosphere Radiation Variability from Satellite Observations – google it – is the best I have found.

        It matters little that you understand ARGO without looking at causality in the radiant imbalances. I have discussed these in detail elsewhere on the post. Beyond that you can start to look at why cloud changes and it is indeed chaotic.

        ‘We construct a network of observed climate indices in the period 1900–2000 and investigate their collective behavior. The results indicate that this network synchronized several times in this period. We find that in
        those cases where the synchronous state was followed by a steady increase in the coupling strength between the indices, the synchronous state was destroyed, after which a new climate state emerged. These shifts are associated with significant changes in global temperature trend and in ENSO variability. The latest such event is known as the
        great climate shift of the 1970s. We also find the evidence for such type of behavior in two climate simulations using a state-of-the-art model. This is the first time that this mechanism, which appears consistent with the theory of synchronized chaos, is discovered in a physical system of
        the size and complexity of the climate system.’ https://pantherfile.uwm.edu/aatsonis/www/2007GL030288.pdf

        This is a good place to start to look at chaos in the instrumental record.
        You might then move onto – ‘Has the climate recently shifted’ Swanson and Tsonis 2009.

        ‘It is hypothesized that persistent and consistent trends among several climate modes act to ‘kick’ the climate state, altering the pattern and magnitude of air-sea interaction between the atmosphere and the underlying ocean. Figure 1 (middle) shows that these climate mode trend phases indeed behaved anomalously three times during the 20th century, immediately following the synchronization events of the 1910s, 1940s, and 1970s. This combination of the synchronization of these dynamical modes in the climate, followed immediately afterward by significant increase in the fraction of strong trends (coupling) without
        exception marked shifts in the 20th century climate state. These shifts were accompanied by breaks in the global mean temperature trend with respect to time, presumably associated with either discontinuities in the global radiative budget due to the global reorganization of clouds and water vapor or dramatic changes in the uptake of heat by
        the deep ocean.’

        “I know you think that deterministic chaos equates to randomness – but that’s just stupid.”

        What did I say to make you believe that’s what I think? I don’t believe ANYTHING in the universe is truly random. I believe in the clockwork universe of Einstein and that God does not play at dice with it. I would appreciate it if you would make a note of that and not accuse me again of thinking that chaos is randomness. Chaotic systems are deterministic non-linear systems that exhibit sensitive independence. The latter two characteristics typically make prediction of future states from the present state intractable and the lack of predictability gives the appearance of random behavior and abrubt state changes with no apparent causation.

        I dispute the assertion that the climate exhibits this kind of behavior to any significant degree. Weather does but not climate. We can’t predict how much snow fall in Buffalo, New York in January of any given year but we can almost certainly predict there will be snow because snow in January in Buffalo is a reliably repeating pattern and we know the cause of the frozen precipitation – sources of moisture in the air and not enough insolation in January to keep temperature above freezing.

        Such predictability is not characteristic of chaotic systems. There is no sensitive dependence on any variable that determines whether conditions will be amenable to snowfall in Buffalo, New York in January. There would have to be freakishly large change in some variable to bring about a January without snowfall in Buffalo, New York and it is unlikely we would not be aware of what happened to cause it.

        Being unable to predict the behavior of a complex non-linear dynamic system isn’t necessarily because it is chaotic it may simply be because you don’t know enough about it or know enough about the dynamics of each individual component in the system. For instance I often can’t predict when my car is going to break down but in hindsight there’s invariably a discernable reason for the breakdown. The car is a complex non-linear dynamic system but in this case I simply don’t have sufficient information available about each component to predict when and where and how it might fail. The point is that its behavior is predictable most of the time despite it having some sensitive independence to microscopic flaws and despite it being a complex non-linear dynamic system. It has some characteristics of a chaotic system but mostly it isn’t.

        Weather is generally viewed as a chaotic system but for most scientists climate has some characteristics of a chaotic system but like the automobile for the most part it’s viewed as non-chaotic where cause and effect become apparent with sufficient instrumentation and understanding of the system dynamics.

        I realize there is disagreement about this but I belive the weight of the evidence is that with proper understanding and sufficient information climate is largely predictable i.e. it’s gonna snow in Buffalo in January unless something readily apparent happens to change that situation.

      • David Springer

        Resubmitted because I inadvertantly forgot to snip what I wasn’t addressing. I only meant to dispute the assertion that I thought chaos was randomness, clarify my understanding of what constitutes a chaotic system, and describe why don’t believe climate behavior is diagnostic of a chaotic system.

        Chief Hydrologist | March 26, 2013 at 4:45 am |

        “I know you think that deterministic chaos equates to randomness – but that’s just stupid.”

        What did I say to make you believe that’s what I think? I don’t believe ANYTHING in the universe is truly random. I believe in the clockwork universe of Einstein and that God does not play at dice with it. I would appreciate it if you would make a note of that and not accuse me again of thinking that chaos is randomness. Chaotic systems are deterministic non-linear systems that exhibit sensitive independence. The latter two characteristics typically make prediction of future states from the present state intractable and the lack of predictability gives the appearance of random behavior and abrubt state changes with no apparent causation.

        I dispute the assertion that the climate exhibits this kind of behavior to any significant degree. Weather does but not climate. We can’t predict how much snow fall in Buffalo, New York in January of any given year but we can almost certainly predict there will be snow because snow in January in Buffalo is a reliably repeating pattern and we know the cause of the frozen precipitation – sources of moisture in the air and not enough insolation in January to keep temperature above freezing.

        Such predictability is not characteristic of chaotic systems. There is no sensitive dependence on any variable that determines whether conditions will be amenable to snowfall in Buffalo, New York in January. There would have to be freakishly large change in some variable to bring about a January without snowfall in Buffalo, New York and it is unlikely we would not be aware of what happened to cause it.

        Being unable to predict the behavior of a complex non-linear dynamic system isn’t necessarily because it is chaotic it may simply be because you don’t know enough about it or know enough about the dynamics of each individual component in the system. For instance I often can’t predict when my car is going to break down but in hindsight there’s invariably a discernable reason for the breakdown. The car is a complex non-linear dynamic system but in this case I simply don’t have sufficient information available about each component to predict when and where and how it might fail. The point is that its behavior is predictable most of the time despite it having some sensitive independence to microscopic flaws and despite it being a complex non-linear dynamic system. It has some characteristics of a chaotic system but mostly it isn’t.

        Weather is generally viewed as a chaotic system but for most scientists climate has some characteristics of a chaotic system but like the automobile for the most part it’s viewed as non-chaotic where cause and effect become apparent with sufficient instrumentation and understanding of the system dynamics.

        I realize there is disagreement about this but I belive the weight of the evidence is that with proper understanding and sufficient information climate is largely predictable i.e. it’s gonna snow in Buffalo in January unless something readily apparent happens to change that situation.

      • David Springer

        On satellite observations of imbalance in earth radiation budget at TOA.

        Give me a break. The solar constant changes both predictably and unpredictably. It has an *approximate* average of 1361 kW/m2 and that approximate average was recently changed downward from 1366 kW/m2. Many references still state the old figure. If average incoming solar power is subject to errors of 5 Watts, and noting that incoming power far easier to measure than outgoing power, then it seems rather naive to suggest we can with the same instruments detect an imbalance between incoming and outgoing power of a mere 0.5 Watts. Prima facie evidence suggests we can’t get that kind of resolution on incoming power
        so say nothing of multiplying the uncertainty by subtracting outgoing power from it to reach an imbalance figure.

        The ~0.5W imbalance is actually calculated mostly from OHC change as measured by ARGO instrumentation and then refined by estimates of less significant heat reservoir changes like latent heat of fusion in reduced global ice mass.

        Hansen and colleagues explicitely spell it out here in a January 2012 science brief which I shall quote from:

        http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/briefs/hansen_16/

        Many nations began, about a decade ago, to deploy floats around the world ocean that could “yo-yo” an instrument measuring ocean temperature to a depth of 2 km. By 2006 there were about 3000 floats covering most of the world ocean. These floats allowed von Schuckmann and Le Traon (2011) to estimate that during the 6-year period 2005-2010 the upper 2 km of the world ocean gained energy at a rate 0.41 W/m2 averaged over the planet.

        We used other measurements to estimate the energy going into the deeper ocean, into the continents, and into melting of ice worldwide in the period 2005-2010. We found a total Earth energy imbalance of +0.58±0.15 W/m2 divided as shown in Fig. 1.

        If you think TOA energy imbalance estimated down to hundredths of a Watt with an error bar of plus or minus 15 hundredths of a Watt is derived in any other way than the above you are mistaken, Ellison. It’s derived exactly as I described and I’ve know how it was derived for years because ARGO data has been its primary source for at least several years.

      • David Springer

        typo

        “It has an *approximate* average of 1361 kW/m2 and that approximate average was recently changed downward from 1366 kW/m2.”

        I had initially quoted it as 1.361 kiloWatts then decided to quote it in Watts instead and removed the decimal point without removing the kilo designation. Normally I wouldn’t bother with a correction like that but the climate here in these comments makes it necessary lest some jagoff make an issue out of it.

      • David Sp…er,

        “We used other measurements to estimate the energy going into the deeper ocean, into the continents, and into melting of ice worldwide in the period 2005-2010. We found a total Earth energy imbalance of +0.58±0.15 W/m2 divided as shown in Fig. 1.” Your Hansen Quote.

        “In light of compilations of up-to-date surface and satellite data, the surface energy balance needs to be revised. Specifically, the longwave radiation received at the surface is estimated to be significantly larger, by between 10 and 17 Wm−2, than earlier model-based estimates” Graeme Stephens et al.

        Is 17 bigger than 0.15?

      • David Springer

        I’d like to talk a little more measuring global energy imbalance because this is vitally important and is the proverbial bottom line in whether the earth is warming or cooling and by how much.

        Measuring incoming energy at TOA is not all that difficult because it comes from a point source and we can insert a satellite in a fixed position such that always stays between the sun and the earth. After that it’s just a matter of having instrumentation that can accurately measure power across the significant power spectrum of the sun which is to say from ultraviolet through near infrared. Not easy to cover the entire range with precision but doable.

        Outgoing power is a different beast for a number of reasons. First of all the spectrum which must be measured is far broader. The earth reflects a significant fraction of UV through near infrared but also absorbs and remits much energy as mid-infrared. Mid-infrared is not so easy to measure accurately as it typically requires super-cooled optics to obtain the image.

        But that’s not the biggest problem. The biggest problem is that outgoing radiation can’t be monitored like incoming from a single point source. The earth radiates over a very broad frequency range in all directions requiring an array of satellites to monitor achieve just partial coverage. One satellite can only look at one hemisphere at a time and not even that much because looking straight down on the equator doesn’t provide a good enough viewing angle to measure either of the poles nor the horizon. We don’t have an array of capable satellites in orbit so we have to guesstimate what’s happening outside the current view angle.

        This difficulty in obtaining an accurate measure down to hundredths of a Watt per square meter in outgoing radiation is one of the main reasons for deploying an array of 3,000 buoys that periodically dive to 2000 meters depth (which is still only halfway to the average bottom depth) measuring temperature to the thousandth of a degree during the dive and reporting results when it surfaces. As of now that’s the only practical means of obtaining energy imbalance numbers with sufficient accuracy and precision to figure out what’s happening in the imbalance domain of interest (less than 1W/m2). Even so ARGO misses any ocean water covered by ice and any ocean below 2000 meters. The buoys also tend to cluster due to getting caught up in ocean gyres which round them up like a cow dog does with a herd of cattle. So ARGO misses well over half the ocean and that’s the best we got which is far better than anything we had more than 10 years ago but even so the coverage is still ‘iffy’ as we have to interpolate, assume, and guess about the majority of the ocean volume that escape measure. Then the instruments themselves, thousands of them, are subject to drift away from factory calibration and development of other defects that commonly occur in electronics. So it’s really a bit of a mess but we work with the data we have not the data we wish we had.

        On top of ARGO’s problems there is even less reliable information about other heat reservoirs such as global ice mass and energy absorbed by the earth’s crust. Together these other reservoirs ostensibly, according to Hansen et al, account for about half as much of imbalance storage as the ocean. ARGO, such as it is, indicates 0.41W/m2 is being stored in the ocean 24/7 and another 0.16W/m2 is getting stored in ice melt (heat of fusion) and in the earth’s crust below the surface and these are not instrumented anywhere near as well as ARGO instruments ocean heat content changes.

        I don’t know about others but I’m not inspired to a high level of confidence in energy imbalance figures accurate in the hundredths of watts. There’s far too much room for error if you ask me. But even if we presume it’s accurate an 0.5W/m2 imbalance would only warm the global ocean volume by an average of 0.2C over the course of a century. Global average temperature in the lower troposphere is largely determined by ocean temperature as there’s only an average of 1C difference in ocean surface temperature and air temperature immediately above it. Counter-intuitively the ocean is 1C cooler not warmer. That’s because of evaporation. The atmosphere is mostly warmed by condensing water vapor which any competent climate scientist or meteorologist will be quick to tell you – the atomosphere is heated by rain not by radiation or conduction.

      • David Springer

        captdallas2 0.8 +/- 0.2 | March 26, 2013 at 10:48 am |

        “In light of compilations of up-to-date surface and satellite data, the surface energy balance needs to be revised. Specifically, the longwave radiation received at the surface is estimated to be significantly larger, by between 10 and 17 Wm−2, than earlier model-based estimates” Graeme Stephens et al.”

        “Is 17 bigger than 0.15?”

        Is an apple an orange?

      • David spr,./er, I agree that a high level of precision can be obtained at the TOA. as far as absolute values go, but since the range of imbalance TOA can be 1Wm-2 for half a precessional cycle, how much good is that precision?

        The “surface” is another can of worms. That is why I think using (Isc/pi)cos(lat), just like I would designing a solar pond, is a better way of estimating the “sub-surface” or blackbody energy. Since clouds are a response to surface temperature and not a fixed albedo, the two estimates, one for the blackbody and the 0.7*TSI/4 for the radiant shell provide a bracket range. That gives you a black body energy of 334.5 Wm-2 (the 4C oceans) versus 240 Wm-2 (~15C) shell.

        Variations in cloud response would produce most of the drift between the two estimates with the oceans providing the best reference for future climate. There is still +/- 8 to 10 Wm-2 of “drift” because of the THC, but you are at least in a reasonable ballpark.

        The Atlantic, because it is most influenced by THC, provides a reasonable uncertainty range. That appears to be the direction that the GFDL is headed.

      • David, i have another comment in moderation but, “Is an apple an orange?”, is what you should ask Hansen. TOA you can get that kind of accuracy, but he is combining surface values and assuming he can compare those to TOA. That is why Graeme Stephens got involved and did his own budget.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Is this the right place? The thread is impossible.

        http://judithcurry.com/2013/03/24/american-physical-society/#comment-306233

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘Chaos is just a code word for inability to predict system response due to intractible complexity of the system under study. It’s analogous to the n-body problem n in the thousands. We can’t solve it but nature solves it every moment of every day. To us perterbations appear chaotic but this is simply an illusion borne of ignorance.’

        No you were simply arguing we were imagining that deterministic chaos was something other than dterministic. That is the simplest of the ideas of chaos – a trivial observation.

        ‘In sum, a strategy must recognise what is possible. In climate research and modelling, we should recognise that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible. The most we can expect to achieve is the prediction of the probability distribution of the system’s future possible states by the generation of ensembles of model solutions. This reduces climate change to the discernment of significant differences in the statistics of such ensembles. The generation of such model ensembles will require the dedication of greatly increased computer resources and the application of new methods of model diagnosis. Addressing adequately the statistical nature of climate is computationally intensive, but such statistical information is essential.’ TAR s 14.2

        ‘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.’

        Cars are not complex dynamical systems in the sense of theoretical physics. That you assert this merely attests to planet sized gaps in your understanding.

      • David Springer

        Chief Hydrologist | March 26, 2013 at 7:29 pm |

        “No you were simply arguing we were imagining that deterministic chaos was something other than dterministic. That is the simplest of the ideas of chaos – a trivial observation.”

        Great. Now you’re defining my arguments for me. I’m going to bow out as it appears I’m unnecessary here. You make my arguments then shoot them down then unilaterally declare victory. And then call me a bunch of names at the end which Curry spanked you over like one would a petulant child.

        You talk to yourself from now on. God knows you’ve got enough different names you use here to make it look like a crowd of agreeable voices. Pffffffffffffffffffffffft!

      • Chief Hydrologist

        You are talking to yourself anyway springer – and nonsense at that. All the long winded rubbish about cosmic determinism, the digital universe or the lack of quantum indeterminancy. How is anyone to decide what you don’t know about the theoretical underpinings of dynamical, deterministic chaos. lmost everything apparent, Just a mouth engaged with little regard the niceties of actualy knowing somethng. There is little more absurdthan a facile intellect with half an idea about nothing much at all.

        Do you think I will miss your science free narratives,self aggrandising anecdotes, juvenile jibes or pahetic whining? So by all means go away – I have had more than enough of our nonsense.

    • David Springer

      Jim D | March 26, 2013 at 12:22 am |

      “The surface air above the ocean is close to saturated. Can evaporation increase if you bombard it with IR, no, because C-C requires the temperature to increase first, unless you can figure a way the IR also dries the air out to make way for the new vapor from any added evaporation.”

      Whoever told you the air was saturated over the ocean lied to you.

      http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/model-data/reanalysis-1-reanalysis-2

      70-80% between 45N and 45S latitude. 80-90% over most of the rest of it. Plenty of room for more water vapor.

      It’s 100% at the surface it’s called fog. Fog happens but not a lot.

  6. If the GPC is serious, it will have “sceptical” scientists as well as “mainstream”. Otherwise, the uncertainty specialist Judith Curry will be fighting a lonely battle to get them to recognise that there is even a shred of uncertainty.

    So I started searching the group’s names to find out – starting from the bottom of course.

    It seems that the group does indeed include a “skeptic”: From Jo Nova: “See for example Daniel Rothman, PNAS 2002 for a chart of pCO2 for the past 500 my. He says the chart show NO correlation between temp and CO2 levels.” http://joannenova.com.au/2012/07/muller/

    But a search for the next name, Warren Warren, indicates that the inclusion of Daniel Rothman may be in token only:

    From “Reply to Warren Warren” by Roger Cohen, referring to the GPC speaker program as organised b y Warren Warren: “First, after all is said and done, the fact remains that non scientific activities were routinely used to exclude proposed speakers whose findings do not support climate doctrine, while known public advocates were given a pass, and that consequently the program reflects this imbalance. Whether it was religious belief, or an endorsement of the “wrong side” in a newspaper OpEd, or the vague charge that a person was simply “too adversarial,” any stick that could be used to beat on an opposition speaker was suitable ammunition to exclude that speaker. This despite the fact that the science in question had been peer reviewed and published. But advocates sailed through without so much as a question. Indeed if notable IPCCers such as Susan Solomon and Kerry Emmanuel had not declined their enthusiastically proffered invitations, the advocates would have run the table. In that case Israeli physicist Nir Shaviv, who finds results in opposition to the doctrine, would not have made the roster from his position as “back up speaker.” Even so, he is the only one of seven invited speakers chosen by GPC whose science does not conform to the doctrine, and even he was proposed under the condition that he present “both sides,” a requirement not applied to any other speaker. The old saying applies here: “If it walks like a duck, looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then… it’s a duck.” Plenty of quacking in the GPC.” http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/10/25/reply-to-warren-warren/ (Warren Warren’s original statement is at http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/10/24/the-aps-topical-group-on-the-physics-of-climate-reply-to-roger-cohen/)

    The next, John Marston, appears not to be a “skeptic”. He is involved in making “recommendations about sustainable adaptation to climate change in the region [Turkey] over the next few hundred years”. http://bu.academia.edu/JohnMarston

    I didn’t look any further. OK, it could be worse, but it really doesn’t look good. The resignation of prominent “skeptics” indicates that (a) they have no faith in the ability of the group to be unbiased, and (b) the “mainstream” will be even more able to dominate.

    • Somebody said:

      “The next, John Marston, appears not to be a “skeptic”.

      Marston wrote an interesting paper called “Looking for new problems to solve? Consider the climate,” Physics, vol. 4, p. 20, 2011.
      This is one of those call-to-arms pieces that implores scientists from other physics disciplines to consider looking at climate problems, and especially to those scientists familiar with stochastic or statistical processes.

      It works as a pretty good motivator to consider climate science from different perspectives, and I referenced him in a recent blog post here:

      http://theoilconundrum.blogspot.com/2013/03/stochastic-analysis-of-log-sensitivity.html

      Marston was also the co-author of the Direct Statistical Simulation paper which was highlighted on a blog post on CE recently.

      Hint: The guy is a real scientist.

      • Cripes, I just clicked on the link that Mike Jonas made to John Marston and it gave me a start. It points to some archaeology dweeb from Boston University, and not the physicist John Marston from Brown University.

        I thought I made a mistake and got trigger-happy when I saw Marston’s name mentioned, but then realized that Brown’s John Marston is exactly the guy you want to participate in this APS activity.

        To Jonas: Another case of shoddy “skeptic” research. Par for the course.

      • David Springer

        Look again, Webby. The John M. Marston at Boston U is now at Brown. There are two John Marston’s now at Brown. John M. and John B. John M. the archeologist has expressed interest in climate change:

        http://brown.edu/Departments/Joukowsky_Institute/people/past/marston.html

        John B. Marston the physicist at Brown has no expressed interest in climate change:

        http://brown.edu/Research/ECI/people/facultypage.php?id=10392

        So your research is just as shoddy as the guy you accuse of shoddy research and my research is, of course, much better.

        As to which John Marston of Brown University is the one on the list Curry sites is unknown at this point but if I had to guess from context I’d guess the physicist not the environmental researcher. I lean that way because the thrust is to get more physicists involved. But it was still negligent of you to not discover there were two John Marstons at Brown and only one of them, the non-physicist, is explicitely interested in how changes in the environment effect human civilization.

        Thanks for playing but please try harder next time.

      • David Springer

        Correction. John M. Marston moved to Boston University (from Brown) in July 2012. So he’s currently at Boston.

        http://www.linkedin.com/in/macmarston

      • Yes, it took me a second to see the bu.edu address and I knew it was Boston U.

        Take a look at the archaeologist dude and you see a young version of Bill Nye the science guy. He’s got the bow-tie and everything.

      • David Springer

        I thought John Marston the archeologist was a dead ringer for John Sidles (aka fan of more discourse) the ideologist. Same bow tie, same chit eating grin. Looks can be deceiving though. Marston might not be a such a toomler. :-)

      • “some archaeology dweeb from Boston University”

        Mea culpa.

        “dweeb” is perhaps a bit rude. It was my fault, not his, that I got the wrong person.

        It would have helped a lot if the links to the people in the original article led to information about them instead of to a log-in screen.

        Brown University’s John B Marston appears sometimes to be called Brad, and John M Marston to be called Mac. The GPC John Marston is John B Marston – http://tinyurl.com/bmk3q5x – so I did have the wrong one.

        Brad Marston has a strong intterest in climate modelling, but there is no sign of any scepticism of “mainstream” climate science.

        http://www.theskyscrapers.org/brad-marston

        http://phys.org/news124463227.html

        http://www.futurity.org/earth-environment/basic-physics-may-speed-up-climate-modeling/

        http://www.consequencesofglobalwarming.com/colleges/brown-university.html

        http://brown.edu/Research/ECI/people/facultypage.php?id=10392

        http://research.brown.edu/pdf/10392.pdf

        If I wanted to be really cynical, I would say he is simply advocating a method of making the same mistakes faster.

        So yes, I made a bad mistake, but correcting it doesn’t make the GPC look any better.

  7. David L. Hagen

    Judith
    Compliments on your patience and efforts to uphold and extend the science based on sound physics.
    In light of your forte on uncertainties,
    Emphasize what we don’t know, and expose arguments from ignorance.
    Emphasize evaluation of ALL the evidence, especially regarding clouds.
    Compare the predictive skill of ALL models, not just GCMs.
    Look at both stochastic methods and determinative models.
    Examine evidence of solar/cosmic influences as well as anthropogenic effects. Simpler models that cover many orders of magnitude appear more credible than current GCM’s that have very poor skill over shorter periods.

    e.g. The relationship between thunderstorm and solar activity for Brazil from 1951 to 2009 Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics

    http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jastp.2013.03.010

    The existence of periodicities around 11 years in six out of seven cities and their anti-phase behavior with respect to 11-year solar cycle suggest a global mechanism probably related to a solar magnetic shielding effect acting on galactic cosmic rays as an explanation for the relationship of thunderstorm and solar activity, although more studies are necessary to clarify its physical origin.

    Climatic variability over time scales spanning nine orders of magnitude: Connecting Milankovitch cycles with Hurst–Kolmogorov dynamics Surveys in Geophysics, 34 (2), 181–207, 2013.

    Multi-scale harmonic model for solar and climate cyclical variation throughout the Holocene based on Jupiter–Saturn tidal frequencies plus the 11-year solar dynamo cycle

  8. So there is supposed to finally be a debate about CAGW among climate scientists? From the already politicized APS? Forgive me if I don’t hold my breath.

    One question will tell the tale. Is there a genuine skeptic (not a faux skeptic like Mueller) among the members of the executive committee?

      • “Last year, following an intensive research effort involving a dozen scientists, I concluded that global warming was real and that the prior estimates of the rate of warming were correct. I’m now going a step further: Humans are almost entirely the cause.”

        Somehow I can’t see someone who now claims that the IPCC properly stated the risk, and understated the degree of certainty as to attribution, can be a skeptic under my definition.

        But I will say this is the first time I have seen you say you are against taxation and regulation of CO2 to limit emissions. Welcome to the “team.”

      • This was supposed to be in response to Steve Mosher 10:57 am below.

      • > by virtue of the principle quality of the word economy […]

        The auditing sciences have an important stake in that sphere of the economy.

      • Steven Mosher

        “Mr. Mosher, if this is what you believe, then what has kept the earth’s temperature in such a narrow band throughout history, even when CO2 has been much higher than today? Doesn’t there have to be a negative feedback that acts to lower the temperature? Otherwise wouldn’t the CO2-temperature feedback always spiral out of control given that the oceans will outgas CO2 as they warm?

        This is a serious, not snarky, question.”
        ##########################

        Narrow band? hardly. you’ve been reading Willis.

        dont forget that the response to C02 is a log response.

        start reading here

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paleocene%E2%80%93Eocene_Thermal_Maximum

      • Willis Eschenbach

        Steven Mosher | March 26, 2013 at 11:24 pm |

        “Mr. Mosher, if this is what you believe, then what has kept the earth’s temperature in such a narrow band throughout history, even when CO2 has been much higher than today? Doesn’t there have to be a negative feedback that acts to lower the temperature? Otherwise wouldn’t the CO2-temperature feedback always spiral out of control given that the oceans will outgas CO2 as they warm?

        This is a serious, not snarky, question.”

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

        Narrow band? hardly. you’ve been reading Willis.

        Yeah, that Willis, pointing out things like the fact that over the last century the temperature has been flailing about in a “wide band” … a wide band of ± 0.3°C. Per century.

        This, of course, means the system is stable to on the order of ± 0.1%, a tenth of a percent.

        Are you truly calling a stability of plus or minus a tenth of a percent in a natural system a “wide band”, Steven? If so, I fear you’ll have to justify that with more than you’ve provided to date.

        w.

      • An interesting definition:

        Proved recoverable reserves are the tonnage within the proved amount in place that can be recovered in the future

        under present and expected local economic conditions with existing available technology.

        Again, with our emphasis.

        Compare with this:

        WEC 2010 estimates that the remaining inferred recoverable resources represent 85% of all the fossil fuels

        that were ever on our planet.

        http://judithcurry.com/2013/03/24/american-physical-society/#comment-306259

        Again, our emphasis.

    • Steven Mosher

      Gary. what does a real skeptic believe? how do you know one when you meet one?

      • A “real skeptic and believe” in one sentence is an oxymoron I believe…

      • k scott denison

        I believe the short answer is a real skeptic “believes” empirical evidence; and is skeptical of that as well.

      • Steve,

        I would say that a real skeptic in terms of the climate debate, the one that is the reason blogs like this garner so much attention is – a person who does not accept that the risks of increased warming/severe weather, as a result of anthropogenic CO2, justify decarbonizing the economy.

        There are many reasons for rejecting CAGW; doubts regarding climate models, paleo records, current temp records, known unknowns, unknown unknows, the “pause,” uncertainty, etc., etc. But the common thread as the term is used in the larger debate is rejection of the CAGW “consensus” on the ultimate question.

        This is why Mueller was never a “real” skeptic to other skeptics. I have never seen anything he wrote or said before BEST (or after), that suggested he rejected the consensus, rather than some of the methods used by the climate cognoscenti..

      • A real skeptic is skeptical of his skepticism.

      • Steven Mosher

        “A “real skeptic and believe” in one sentence is an oxymoron I believe…”

        a real skeptic believes in the scientific method
        a real skeptic believes in logic
        a real skeptic believes in thinking before he writes.

        next.

      • Steven Mosher

        Gary

        I would say that a real skeptic in terms of the climate debate, the one that is the reason blogs like this garner so much attention is – a person who does not accept that the risks of increased warming/severe weather, as a result of anthropogenic CO2, justify decarbonizing the economy.
        #########################
        Oh. I believe that C02 will warm the planet
        I believe that sensitivity is around 2-3C
        I dont accept that the risk of increased warming severe weather
        justify decarbonizing. That makes me a skeptic? hardly.

        and you might be surprised about Muller’s view on those things.
        You think that everyone who realizes that C02 is a danger accepts the solution of de carbonizing. Sorry, you are wrong.

      • Yes, I am also of the view that decarbonizing realistically won’t happen. Muller points to China and India, and I agree, as not being about to change their ways and other countries are on the up-ramp in energy usage per capita too. The realistic view is that change is coming. I think if we use all our carbon that change could exceed 6 C (possibly by a lot if you consider paleo evidence and wait long enough for the permanent ice to melt which also raises the sea level). We have to start saving now to prepare for change because it will be more expensive to raise money the longer we wait, or to tax people to pay for damage that could have been prevented. Economic sense is to spread the costs over time and plan ahead.

      • “justify decarbonizing the economy.”

        Most physicists realize that some type of decarbonizing is happening anyways, independent of climate change politics. See crude oil depletion and read Mueller’s books on the topic of resource depletion.

        Physicists are also keenly aware of non-renewable resource depletion, such as is the case with Helium reserves, vital to experimental physics and medical research. A bill to prevent a global helium shortage just passed the House a few days ago:

        http://naturalresources.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=324811

        Key point to remember here is that helium was easily extracted as a by-product of conventional natural gas reserves, but with the advent of hydro-fractured unconventional supplies, a traditional source of helium has disappeared. Helium has no place to accumulate in tight shale, and the large fields of natural gas supply are depleting, and with that the helium. That is what has caused current and pending shortages.

        The Federal Helium Reserve is scheduled to close this year, which was located in huge underground salt caverns (containing more than a billion cubic feet of storage). The feds probably want to clean their hands and let the market be accountable.

        I hope Bart R will comment on this because the solution bears some resemblance to what he has suggested — to let the free-market bid up the price of valuable natural resources so that we all share the sacrifice as those become more and more scarce. The bill says to “provide American taxpayers with a fair return for this resource”.

        The same goes for thermal pollutants such as CO2, bid up the price of valuable hydrocarbons that are owned by the commons, so that we can all share in the decisions being made that may impact the future. These aren’t easy problems to deal with and the solutions aren’t any easier.

      • Jim D

        You state that warming of 6C is likely to occur some time in the future due to increased human GHG emissions.

        This is silly, Jim.

        Even using the IPCC AR4 mean 2xCO2 ECS of 3C, this would require a quadrupling of atmospheric CO2 (to 1472 ppmv)!

        At the latest ECS estimates of around half this value, it would take an eight-fold increase (to 2944 ppmv)!

        WEC 2010 estimates tell us that in 2008 the “inferred possible recoverable fossil fuel resources” remaining on our planet represented 85% of the total original amount (i.e. we had only used up 15% to 2008). Most estimates (Hubbert et al.) put the remaining resources much lower, so this is probably an upper estimate.

        Using the WEC estimate means that the >maximum ever possible CO2 level from combusting all the remaining fossil fuels on our planet is:

        385 + 0.85*(385-280) / 0.15 = 980 ppmv

        NOT 1500 to 3000 ppmv

        Come back down to Planet Earth, Jim, and forget these totally exaggerated projections – they just make you look silly.

        Max

      • Steven Mosher

        You captured it succinctly with your three bullet points.

        I agree 100%

        Max

      • Steven Mosher

        For those who object to the use of the word “believe” in connection with “a real skeptic” (viz. the Bible story of “doubting Thomas”), your three bullet points could be modified slightly, as follows:

        – a real skeptic believes in follows the scientific method
        – a real skeptic believes in uses logic
        – a real skeptic believes in thinking thinks before he writes.

        OK?

        Max

      • Max says that 980 PPM is the correct number to use, as we will likely not combust any of the tremendous amounts of oil shale, methane hydrates, lignite, and peat moss that will remain unexploited (thank goodness).

        At 3C sensitivity, we have already have had 1.25C warming as we moved from 295PPM to 395PPM. That is substantiated by the data from BEST land temperature records, which is faster to reach equilibrium. One can check my model here:

        http://theoilconundrum.blogspot.com/2013/03/stochastic-analysis-of-log-sensitivity.html

        As we reach 980PPM, we will see another 4C of warming using the same 3C sensitivity, bringing the total to 5.2C.

        So Max is correct with his conservative, scientifically established number of 5.2C warming.

        Max, how is 5.2C warming not a “dire” prediction, but JimD’s number of 6C is considered “silly” ?

        Or is this another example of that relentless manipulation of numbers that you are becoming infamous for?

      • Steve,

        “You think that everyone who realizes that C02 is a danger accepts the solution of de carbonizing.”

        If I thought that, or more importantly wrote that, then I would be wrong. But I don’t, and I didn’t, so I’m not.

        As to whether or not you are a skeptic, that is in the eye of the beholder. Ask Schmidt, Hansen, Trenberth et al. what they think of your position. Those who do see a danger to the planet from ACO2, the ones controlling the levers of power, seem to take the nuanced position of “lukewarmer” as a distinction without a difference.

        But I am aware of the “lukewarmer” position. Dr. Curry, for instance, also believe CO2 emissions are a danger, but do not warrant decarbonizing. And her post clearly indicates that she is a member of the executive committee. Since I asked whether a skeptic had been appointed, I think it was clear I did not include lukewarmers in the definition. Though I should have used a more precise definition once you asked. (It was late, so sue me.)

        So I will revise and extend my remarks to say a skeptic is – a person who does not accept that the risks of increased warming/severe weather, as a result of anthropogenic CO2, justify decarbonizing the economy, or otherwise extensively taxing and/or regulating CO2 emissions.

      • Comment?

        I don’t care if “de-carbonizing” ‘the economy’ is a solution to climate problems or not, or at least not principally.

        Clearly, economies can and have undertaken changes as large as or larger than fully “de-carbonizing” (which simply by itself is not the optimal ‘solution’ per se to CO2E levels). How many buggywhips are made today for uses unrelated to 50 Shades of Grey? The idea that it can’t be done is simply false.

        Clearly, economic systems — by virtue of the principle quality of the word economy — will not only not experience switch from carbon-burning as a cost, but as a growth opportunity generating massive new opportunity if left to find their natural response to “de-carbonizing”. So the whole “costs m/b/trillions” line of claims is an Uneconomic idea.

        I care principally that the Market is being manipulated due the whole “cheap energy” argument in a way that everyone understands is patently unfair, and an unfair Market is the worst possible outcome. It’s contractionary. It’s demotivational. It’s inequitable. And it isn’t working.

        Various socialists and corporate communists and government fiat capitalists see the “cheap energy” promise as a road paved in gold, to make the lives of the poor better — well, that demonstrably has not worked; to stimulate prosperity for business — well, that demonstrably has not worked except for the Free Riders directly receiving subsidies (which they deny they get while rolling in taxpayer funds!); to grow the economy — well, that demonstrably does not work.

        The largest component of the “cheap energy” mistake is failure to price inputs from the carbon cycle. Once upon a time, this failure was due to administrative impossibility and ignorance. Now, it’s simply the lobbying of Free Riders who suckle on the Commons through CO2E emission without paying for the benefit they receive to the owners of the resource, and in a much smaller way who create a need for massive research efforts that they ought be paying for on the principle of tort.

        CO2E pricing is administrably feasible. The carbon cycle is rivalrous, scarce and excludable. By every Economic principle of equity it must be privatized on this basis.

        Does my solution of this Market problem, requiring the government to enforce the standards of weights and measures of CO2E to allow its private owners to reap the rewards of the use of their portion of the carbon cycle, also fully “de-carbonize” industry? No. It just means the Law of Supply and Demand applies again.

        You may argue about climate and regulations and costs all you want, but until the Market is fair, until prices are explicity and governed by the Law of Supply and Demand, everything said about the costs of ‘solutions’ is either baseless or socialist.

      • Steven Mosher

        “For those who object to the use of the word “believe” in connection with “a real skeptic” (viz. the Bible story of “doubting Thomas”), your three bullet points could be modified slightly, as follows:

        – a real skeptic follows the scientific method
        – a real skeptic uses logic
        – a real skeptic thinks before he writes.”

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

        Nice try.
        why does a skeptic follow the scientific method? why does he use logic
        why does he think before he writes?

        or put another way, does he believe these actions are better than their alternative.

        Having said all those things, I believe you are not a skeptic.

      • Steven Mosher

        “So I will revise and extend my remarks to say a skeptic is – a person who does not accept that the risks of increased warming/severe weather, as a result of anthropogenic CO2, justify decarbonizing the economy, or otherwise extensively taxing and/or regulating CO2 emissions.”

        Then I’m a skeptic and so is Muller. case closed.

      • manacker,

        The problem with the Mosher/Max definition of skeptic, for purposes of the climate debate, is that there is no one in the debate, consensus, lukewarmer or skeptic, who would not claim to fit that three part definition. Gavin Schmidt for one. in his writings, clearly embraces all three. So does Steven Mosher. And you. So since we are all skeptics now, I guess the debate is over and we can just shut down all the blogs.

        Progressive activists love to redefine words to the point of meaninglessness. That is why the constant switch in framing from global warming, to climate change, to climate disruption. It is a huge mistake to allow them to start redefining terms.

        CAGW is a political movement. So any definition has to take that into account. Otherwise it obscures, rather than furthers, the debate.

        It may come as a shock to some, but words often have multiple meanings depending on their usage:

        “Oh dear, my dear aunt bought her coat cheap but sold it dear.”

        The reason activists fight against terms like CAGW and skeptic is that they make it easier to discuss the underlying issues. Another word for labels is nouns. And it’s hard to have a discussion without them. Which is the point. That is why “fairness,” “for the children,” and “social justice” are the credo of the left. No one knows what the hell they mean, so how do you argue against them?

        So Steve Mosher’s definition of skeptics, as modified by you, is a perfectly serviceable one. I just don’t think it’s terribly useful in the CAGW/AGW/we need more government climate debate.

      • “Next….”

        Hang on Mr. Mosher, I know you have a bomb-proof trust in your own infallibility, however belief/ve is too much associated with faith, religion etc., therefore unsuitable for using it together with the word “skeptic”.

        I prefer the corrected version of manacker above. I surely hope that, in your own field, you’re a skeptic as well?

      • manacker, the high unmitigated scenario for AR5 is 8.5 W/m2, equivalent to over 1300 ppm by 2100, but some of this is other GHGs. This is more than two doublings from 280, so 6 C is an underestimate based on that and 3 C sensitivity. You can read the justification paper on this scenario (Riahl et al., 2011) at

        http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10584-011-0149-y

      • k scott denison

        Steven Mosher | March 25, 2013 at 1:18 am |

        Oh. I believe that C02 will warm the planet
        I believe that sensitivity is around 2-3C
        ——–
        Mr. Mosher, if this is what you believe, then what has kept the earth’s temperature in such a narrow band throughout history, even when CO2 has been much higher than today? Doesn’t there have to be a negative feedback that acts to lower the temperature? Otherwise wouldn’t the CO2-temperature feedback always spiral out of control given that the oceans will outgas CO2 as they warm?

        This is a serious, not snarky, question.

      • David Springer

        Steven Mosher | March 25, 2013 at 10:57 am |

        “Then I’m a skeptic and so is Muller. case closed.”

        Case reopened. Nobody appointed you to be the judge.

      • Steven Mosher

        David,

        Gary wanted to play the game of who is the real skeptic. ameBy his definition, I count as one, as does Muller.

        If you would like to play the game, offer your definition of what a true skeptic believes.

      • Everybody wants to be a skeptic. I declare we won.
        ============

      • David Springer

        No True Skeptic

        I just got an idea for a reality TV show. Stupid Fallacy Tricks. I hope you boys aren’t camera shy.

      • This response (with minor efdits) to Steve Mosher from yesterday got misthreaded.

        “Last year, following an intensive research effort involving a dozen scientists, I concluded that global warming was real and that the prior estimates of the rate of warming were correct. I’m now going a step further: Humans are almost entirely the cause.” Richard Mueller from his NY Times op-ed.

        Somehow I can’t see someone who now claims that the IPCC properly stated the risk, and understated the degree of certainty as to attribution, can be a skeptic under my definition.

        But I will say this is the first time I have seen Mosher say he is against are against taxation and regulation of CO2 to limit emissions. Welcome to the “team.”

        Mueller is in no way a skeptic as I defined it.

      • manacker | March 25, 2013 at 9:35 pm |

        The CAGW hypothesis, as specifically outlined by IPCC in its AR4 report, has not yet passed that threshold. It has not been falsified, nor has it survived falsification attempts, nor has it been corroborated with empirical evidence, so it is still an uncorroborated hypothesis.

        Could you cite, specifically, the ‘CAGW hypothesis’ from AR4?

        I’ve been all through the report, and simply cannot find anything labelled ‘CAGW hypothesis’.

        So I’m skeptical it exists, as the claim fails on the element of empirical evidence.

        Whereas almost everything that I did find in AR4 has been subject to and survived multiple documented attempts to falsify, and is for the vast majority overwhelmingly corroborated with empirical evidence.

        SO WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?

      • (Hoping this is the good place, this time:)

        > by virtue of the principle quality of the word economy […]

        The auditing sciences have an important stake in that sphere of the economy.

      • Steven Mosher

        Still wrong gary

        Last year, following an intensive research effort involving a dozen scientists, I concluded that global warming was real and that the prior estimates of the rate of warming were correct. I’m now going a step further: Humans are almost entirely the cause.” Richard Mueller from his NY Times op-ed.

        Somehow I can’t see someone who now claims that the IPCC properly stated the risk, and understated the degree of certainty as to attribution, can be a skeptic under my definition.”

        ################################################
        easy.

        1. your definition had to do with taxation.
        2. I agree with everything Muller said above
        a) its about the PAST rate of warming
        b) humans are the cause
        3. His statement says NOTHING about the RISK of future warming

        “But I will say this is the first time I have seen Mosher say he is against are against taxation and regulation of CO2 to limit emissions. Welcome to the “team.”

        Mueller is in no way a skeptic as I defined it.”

        #########################
        well, since he does not think taht taxation is a way to solve the problem
        and since he is dedicated to helping China develop its fossil fuels, he’s probably more of a skeptic than you are.

        Next, Ross McKittrick, as skeptic, has proposed a carbon tax, so where are you with that?

      • Steven Mosher

        Hoi:

        Hoi Polloi | March 25, 2013 at 11:19 am |
        “Next….”

        Hang on Mr. Mosher, I know you have a bomb-proof trust in your own infallibility, however belief/ve is too much associated with faith, religion etc., therefore unsuitable for using it together with the word “skeptic”.

        I prefer the corrected version of manacker above. I surely hope that, in your own field, you’re a skeptic as well?
        ##############################
        1. skeptics typically challenge knowledge and argue that one only has belief, not knowledge.
        2. You prefer manakers formulation. Fine. do you believe in it?
        3. why do you believe it?
        4. are you sure?

      • Steve,

        Now you’re just being disingenuous.

        You said:

        “1. your definition had to do with taxation.”

        What I actually said:

        “a person who does not accept that the risks of [CAGW] justify decarbonizing the economy, or otherwise extensively taxing and/or regulating CO2 emissions.”

        You said:

        “3. His statement says NOTHING about the RISK of future warming”

        What Mueller actually said:

        Mueller’s op-ed began with: “Call me a converted skeptic.” Converted to what? Well, look further down in the op-ed:

        “What about the future? As carbon dioxide emissions increase, the temperature should continue to rise. I expect the rate of warming to proceed at a steady pace, about one and a half degrees over land in the next 50 years, less if the oceans are included. But if China continues its rapid economic growth (it has averaged 10 percent per year over the last 20 years) and its vast use of coal (it typically adds one new gigawatt per month), then that same warming could take place in less than 20 years.”

        Gee, he actually used the words “future” and “warming.” Imagine that.

        But again, if you are saying you do not favor taxation and regulation of carbon based energy, then you are indeed a skeptic as I defined it.
        But then, you haven’t actually said that anywhere I have seen. So why not take the opportunity to say you oppose the taxation and regulation of energy for the purpose of limiting CO2 emissions.

        And if you can cite to a quote from Mueller saying he is against taxation and regulation of energy to limit CO2 emissions, then I will concede that he is one too.

        But absent statements to that effect, no skeptic cigar for either of you.

      • Steve,

        As to Ross McKitrick, when I read what he wrote about his pigovian style tax, he was not proposing it as a good idea, but as a less bad idea compared to a straight out carbon tax. I haven’t read it in a while, but I remember him claiming that, if we were going to be stuck with a tax, it made more sense to have one that actually attempted to be tied to actual warming of the climate. While I think his proposal was a bad idea, it did not make him a consensus advocate.

      • Pfah, Muller is a sceptic of Michael Piltdown Mann. With respect to most else about climate he is a true believer in CAGW, even to the extent of believing in his own absurd attribution for warming.

        moshe, where would we be without the warming that Muller attributes to man?
        ====================

      • moshe, you could ask Muller what he thinks about the Marcott shenanigans. I’m not talking about the way it was presented to the media, rather about Steve’s auditing. Ask, also, in particular, how he likes the latest hockey stick?
        ========================

      • ‘J’accuse!’

        H/t Voltaire.

        My definition of a real skeptic … some one who’s
        not dead.

    • a genuine skeptic

      A genuine skeptic, following the skeptical process, has an obligation to regard any conclusion which has survived due skepticism to be accurate or very nearly true until new phenomena require amendment or reconsideration.

      Anyone who neglects this obligation is no skeptic, but merely a denier.

      • Bart R

        A “rational” (or “scientific”) “skeptic” is, by definition a person, who insists on empirical evidence before accepting the validity of a proposed hypothesis (Feynman).

        For example, hypotheses such as “creationism” or “intelligent design”, which are not supported by such empirical evidence, are rejected by the “rational skeptic”.

        If there have been repeated scientific attempts to falsify the hypothesis (Popper), and these have all failed, the hypothesis gains credence.

        Then it becomes the obligation of the skeptic (as you write) to acknowledge that the hypothesis has survived falsification attempts and to accept it provisionally until new empirical data can be presented, which falsify it.

        The CAGW hypothesis, as specifically outlined by IPCC in its AR4 report, has not yet passed that threshold. It has not been falsified, nor has it survived falsification attempts, nor has it been corroborated with empirical evidence, so it is still an uncorroborated hypothesis.

        It is quite possible that falsification attempts will be made of the CAGW hypothesis (if someone can figure out how this hypothesis could be falsified), and it is conceivable that the hypothesis could survive such attempts.

        In this case the hypothesis would gain credence and rational skeptics (including myself) would have to acknowledge this and provisionally accept the hypothesis.

        But we are not there yet, Bart.

        Max

      • manacker, is it true that the only empirical evidence they will accept is warming by several degrees over a period of a century, or would it take less time to accumulate the empirical warming evidence needed? We are already close to the one degree mark, which is clearly not enough yet.

      • Jim D

        You fall into a basic logic trap of equating observed warming with a validation of the premise that AGW is a significant driver of our climate.

        There is a missing link, which you replace with a leap of faith (but faith has nothing to do with science, Jim).

        We know it is warming (at least it was until the end of the 20thC).

        We have a hypothesis that this warming was caused largely by increased GH gas concentrations.

        We have model simulations, based on the “laws of physics”, which tell us that this could be the reason for most of the past warming.

        We have measurements that tell us that atmospheric concentration of CO2, the second most important GH gas (after water vapor) has increased over time.

        We also know that human activity causes the emission of large amounts of CO2 (plus smaller amounts of other trace GH gases).

        We even have a defined mechanism: the IR absorption capacity of CO2 (and other GH gases).

        We postulate that this mechanism results in a significant greenhouse warming effect.

        We postulate further that this GH effect is amplified three-fold by strong positive feedbacks from water vapor and clouds.

        From these estimates, we predict that a doubling of CO2 concentrations will lead to mean warming of around 3C, and that warming from human greenhouse gas emissions will reach potentially catastrophic levels (the “CAGW” premise, as specifically outlined by IPCC in AR4).

        But we do not have empirical evidence to support these estimates or to tell us why it is warming.

        We see that it has warmed since the modern temperature record started in 1850, long before there were any significant human CO2 emissions – the long-term rate of warming has been around 0.6C per century

        Upon closer examination, we see that the correlation between atmospheric CO2 and temperature is anything but robust – the temperature seems to follow a random walk instead.

        There are multi-decadal periods of warming followed by periods of slight cooling in half cycles lasting ~30 years, which have nothing to do with CO2 concentrations.

        We have just completed the last of these warming cycles and appear to have started a cycle of slight cooling since around 2001.

        There have been many rationalizations for these cycles, but no real explanations.

        There is no empirical evidence linking the observed warming with the increased GHG concentrations, and certainly none to corroborate the “CAGW” hypothesis..

        So that is where we stand today, Jim.

        We have entered a period of no apparent warming (in fact slight cooling), but it is anyone’s guess where we are headed.

        As a rational skeptic, I am of the personal opinion that we will soon either validate or falsify the premise that human GHGs (primarily CO2) are a principal driver of our climate, and hence the “CAGW” hypothesis.

        If we see a continuation of the present lack of warming (or slight cooling) over another decade or two, despite unabated human GHG emissions and concentrations reaching record levels, the empirical evidence will essentially have falsified the “CAGW” hypothesis.

        If, however, the warming of the late 20thC should resume and continue for another decade or two at that rapid rate, the empirical evidence will have given strong support to the validity of the “CAGW” hypothesis.

        And while this still may not be empirical evidence, it will go a long way toward corroborating the “CAGW” hypothesis.

        That’s how this rational skeptic sees it, Jim.

        Max

      • David Springer

        manacker | March 25, 2013 at 9:35 pm |

        “For example, hypotheses such as “creationism” or “intelligent design”, which are not supported by such empirical evidence, are rejected by the “rational skeptic”.”

        Living cells are the most complicated bits of machinery in existence. Incredibly complex with construction and operating instructions digitally coded in millions or billions of base four digits in what can only be described as like the old paper tapes used for computer program storage.

        There only analog to machines like this were created by people. Abstract codes known to exist in the universe either came from a human mind or the source is unknown. Complex machines wth many interdependent moving parts working together to serve some specific function known to exist in the universe came from either a human mind or the source is unknown.

        So all the complexity in the universe similar to that found in living things is either unknown in origin or came from the human mind.

        In other words we know of NO source for this kind of complexity except intelligent design. And you think there’s no evidence for intelligent design? I say to you sir there is no evidence EXCEPT intelligent design.

        So there.

      • David Springer

        Not to get into an argument over a side issue here.

        I picked “creationism” and “intelligent design” as two hypotheses, which have a wide following, but neither of which has been corroborated by empirical evidence.

        You say (and so did Einstein) that there must have been some all-powerful force behind the creation of our universe. Makes sense.

        But just like the CAGW hypothesis (that human CO2 is dramatically changing our climate and thus represents a serious potential threat to humanity and our environment) it has NOT been corroborated by empirical evidence.

        Also, just like CAGW it has not been falsified.

        So both premises remain uncorroborated (and also unfalsified) hypotheses.

        That’s how I see it, anyway.

        “Intelligent design” will probably never be falsified (I doubt that it even is “falsifiable”).

        BUT I am convinced that CAGW would be falsified if we have another 15-20 years of essentially no warming despite continued unabated human GHG emissions, because it would become evident that something else is driving our climate beside human GHGs.

        Max

      • Steven Mosher

        manaker:

        “A “rational” (or “scientific”) “skeptic” is, by definition a person, who insists on empirical evidence before accepting the validity of a proposed hypothesis (Feynman).
        ####################################
        no that would be an empricist. second please dont appeal to feynman when arguing for empiricism or skepticism. he’s no authority, and if he was, appealing to him would not be skeptical practice and thirdly he did not believe what you attribute to him.

        “For example, hypotheses such as “creationism” or “intelligent design”, which are not supported by such empirical evidence, are rejected by the “rational skeptic”.

        If there have been repeated scientific attempts to falsify the hypothesis (Popper), and these have all failed, the hypothesis gains credence.

        Then it becomes the obligation of the skeptic (as you write) to acknowledge that the hypothesis has survived falsification attempts and to accept it provisionally until new empirical data can be presented, which falsify it.
        #############################
        wow, another appeal to authority to define skepticism. How about you test your definition scientifically. Guess what very little of what popper says is actually factually empirically how science works.
        no theory is simply falsified. Popper of course would agree with this. so again you cant get your appeal to authority correct. So much for your theory of skeptcism
        ############################
        “The CAGW hypothesis, as specifically outlined by IPCC in its AR4 report, has not yet passed that threshold. It has not been falsified, nor has it survived falsification attempts, nor has it been corroborated with empirical evidence, so it is still an uncorroborated hypothesis.

        It is quite possible that falsification attempts will be made of the CAGW hypothesis (if someone can figure out how this hypothesis could be falsified), and it is conceivable that the hypothesis could survive such attempts.

        In this case the hypothesis would gain credence and rational skeptics (including myself) would have to acknowledge this and provisionally accept the hypothesis.

        But we are not there yet, Bart.
        #################################

        much better. The question is what would somebody have to show you to change your mind?
        be specific, and no appeals to sham authorities.

        Max

      • manacker, you started out by disagreeing with me, but then affirming what I said, which is that empirical evidence to you would be continued warming, like the late 20th century for the next few decades. So you don’t have any sort of empirical evidence that can help you decide the validity of AGW until then. You have rejected paleoclimate as empirical evidence when it correlates all the warm periods with high CO2 and cooler periods with low CO2 and gives high sensitivity corroborating the ideas of AGW. You have rejected GCMs that can explain current global climate zones will still work when perturbed by a 1% increase in radiative forcing as with doubling CO2 when they can represent much larger local changes with latitude or annual cycle, typically a 30 C temperature range in each case.

      • Where I reside, a local station broadcasts a radio show about the paranormal for 1 hour each night of the week. It has been running for 5 years now. The hosts of that show and the listeners are skeptical about the fact that ghosts and space aliens don’t exist. Tonight they talked to the author of a book claiming that the existence of a 1200 ton cut stone in Lebanon proved that man descended from space aliens. The old guy could barely talk and create a coherent thought, yet the host was unperturbed. You see, he had his substantiating empirical evidence negating the negative, AHA!

        There is another very popular nationally syndicated radio show about UFO’s that runs for 4 hours each night. The hosts of that show are equally skeptical about the fact that space aliens don’t exist.

        The “skeptics” on this commenting board are no different than the skeptics that flock to these kind of shows. In particular, they need to hear confirming voices which negate the existence of man’s impact on the environment.

        On the other hand,
        A real skeptic questions whether adding 2 PPM of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere every year is such a good idea.
        A real skeptic questions whether we should continue depending on finite fossil fuels without considering alternative energy options.

        Whereas,
        A fake skeptic questions why the real skeptic is asking these questions.

        You see the fake skeptic believes in ghosts, and space aliens, and infinite fuel, and safe pollution, and asserts a conspiracy to cover up these hidden truths. They also need to redefine the term skeptic to mean exactly the opposite of what science says it means in order to create a logical facade. And they pull in the ghost of Feynman to help reinforce this worldview …. how very apropos.

      • Note how this classification of fake skeptic also works to describe the Intelligent Design believer.

        These guys are skeptical about the fact that reality wasn’t designed by a superior being. In first-order logic, this is referred to as “negation as failure” and is well known in practical AI applications. Unless you put in a fact that states “universe_not_designed_by_intelligent_entity” , someone semantically querying “universe_not_designed_by_intelligent_entity” will get back false, and therefore conclude that “designed_by_intelligent_entity” is true.

        This all sounds kind of silly, but people have trouble reasoning about negative logic in general, and are silly putty in the hands of the charlatans that no how to use negative and circular logic.

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

        “Sagan referred to arguments from ignorance as follows:

        ‘Appeal to ignorance': the claim that whatever has not been proved false must be true, and vice versa. (e.g., There is no compelling evidence that UFOs are not visiting the Earth; therefore, UFOs exist, and there is intelligent life elsewhere in the Universe….) This impatience with ambiguity can be criticized in the phrase: absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.”

        Everything on this commenting site follows from this observation. We’ve got your Chewbacca, the Cripwell Criteria, the Girma Gobbles, MiniMax falsification, Dave S the Devi’s Advocate, the Chief of Chaos from Down Under, Captain Gibberish, etc.
        Negative logic from top to bottom.

        This also explains why Willard has a field day every day.

      • Mosh

        You may know a lot about a lot of things, but I sure as hell don’t need a lecture from you about the meaning of “rational skepticism” or “what Feynman really meant”.

        You can check out Wiki:

        Scientific skepticism (also spelled scepticism) is the practice of questioning whether claims are supported by empirical research and have reproducibility, as part of a methodological norm pursuing “the extension of certified knowledge

        AND

        Scientific skepticism is also called rational skepticism, and it is sometimes referred to as skeptical inquiry.

        From “Authority of Experimant”:

        https://classesv2.yale.edu/access/wiki/site/chem124_f08/authority_of_experiment.html

        Feynman warns against blindly submitting to the views and beliefs of so called “experts,” while advocating the use of questioning through experimentation and empirical evidence to establish facts. Feynman argues that science itself does not teach facts, but experiments do. With that logic, learning is not about following the beliefs of experts but rather believing in the facts shown by experiments.

        ‘Nuff said, Mosh.

        Max

        PS Model runs are not “experiments”, Mosh, and they do not provide “empirical evidence”.

      • Jim D

        A tip: improve your reading skills.

        You write:

        you started out by disagreeing with me, but then affirming what I said, which is that empirical evidence to you would be continued warming, like the late 20th century for the next few decades.

        But this is not what I wrote. I wrote (bold type added):

        If, however, the warming of the late 20thC should resume and continue for another decade or two at that rapid rate, the empirical evidence will have given strong support to the validity of the “CAGW” hypothesis.

        And

        while this still may not be empirical evidence, it will go a long way toward corroborating the “CAGW” hypothesis.

        Got it this time? Another decade or two of warming at the rate of the late 20thC still may not be empirical evidence [to support the “CAGW” hypothesis], but it will go a long way toward corroborating it in my opinion, until real empirical evidence comes along to either falsify or validate it.

        In the same post I wrote:

        If we see a continuation of the present lack of warming (or slight cooling) over another decade or two, despite unabated human GHG emissions and concentrations reaching record levels, the empirical evidence will essentially have falsified the “CAGW” hypothesis.

        Would you agree with this statement?

        Now to paleo-climate studies.

        You write:

        . You have rejected paleoclimate as empirical evidence …

        Jim, you and I both know that these are extremely dicey for many reasons. I consider them not much better than reading tea leaves, because one can essentially get any answer one is looking for by cherry-picking the appropriate time period in our planet’s distant geological past, relying on subjective interpretations of dicey proxy data, ignoring unknowns and uncertainty and applying the argument from ignorance, “we can only explain X if we assume Y…”.

        And to model simulations you write:

        You have rejected GCMs

        Climate models are great, Jim, and I certainly don’t “reject them” as good background information, but they do not provide any empirical evidence, because the output is only as good as the programmed input (GIGO).

        Empirical evidence, as insisted on by the rational (or scientific) skeptic is based on actual physical observations or reproducible experimentation. And, Jim, this is lacking so far for the “CAGW” hypothesis as outlined by IPCC in its AR4 report.

        I’m not changing my view on that, even if I have stated that a decade or two of warming at the late 20thC rate with warming approaching the rate forecast by IPCC of 0.2C per decade would get me personally to re-evaluating my position provisionally, at least until empirical evidence is presented to either falsify or validate the “CAGW” hypothesis. (IOW, the “science is NOT settled”, in my view.)

        I hope I’ve made myself clear, and I’d appreciate an answer from you on whether or not you would accept that the “CAGW” hypothesis has essentially been falsified if global average temperature continues not to warm over the next decade or two despite unabated GHG emissions.

        Max

      • David Springer

        Max,

        ID is as falsifiable as mud-to-microbe evolution by law & chance is demonstrable. ID’s main tenet is that law and chance is insufficient for the task of creating complex machinery of life and abstract codes contained therein in a finite universe. Demonstration that law and chance is sufficient then constitutes falsfication. It’s not actually demonstrated that ID wasn’t how organic life came to exist if another means is demonstrated but it makes intelligent design unnecessary. Application of Occam’s Razor culls the unnecessary.

        It’s already demonstrated the intelligent agents can design intricate machines and abstract codes de novo. The computer you’re using is proof positive of that as is the library of congress, the space shuttle, and any number of other constructions that are next to impossible in a finite universe without an intelligent mind to conceive and agency to construct.

        What remains undemonstrated is that the same order of complex machinery and abstract codes can appear by law and chance alone in the same finite universe. So far intelligent design is the only proven-capable source of such things.

        I don’t how I could possibly be more objective. Only one means of creating complex machinery and abstract codes is demonstrated. I don’t understand how the only proven method could possibly not be the null hypothesis. Please explain why the law and chance hypothesis should be the null hypothesis if you disagree. I’ve never seen a defense for it that holds water but who knows maybe you could be the first. The usual response is humans are the only agency that does it and humans didn’t exist billions of years ago. How that proves human agency didn’t exist billions of years ago in a galaxy far far away is beyond me and it’s also beyond me how that proves no other agency ever existed. Then we move along to the who designed the designer gambit. How should I know? Who made the material in materialism? Two can play the infinite regression game so that’s a stalemate.

        I’ve heard it all but I always like to give noobs a chance to say something that might not have been said before a million times.

      • Max,

        As always your definition of rational skeptic is one that uses all tricks to make his views look something that they are not. He makes is own false interpretation of how scientific evidence is obtaining accepting only those methods that are too powerless for leading to results and rejecting all progress in science. He refers to big names like Feynman making a caricature of him and interpreting his words out of context to imply something that they have never meant.

        Rational skeptic? you? Pah! You are a propagandist, not a rational skeptic.

      • Pah, Pekka, we see the propagandists stretch the bounds of reason to maintain a narrative of disastrous warming. You’ve seen it yourself. Is that OK?
        ======================

      • Pekka,

        Have you thrown your hat in the ring with the trolls?

        Your last sentence to Manacker with slight rewording would apply to you and the others doomsayers:

        Objective scientist? “you? Pah! You are a propagandist, not an” objective scientist.

        Once a scientist becomes an advocate for a cause he/she is no longer a scientist.

      • David Springer

        Good grief, Pekka. Who pissed in your Wheaties this morning to put you into such a foul mood? I couldn’t determine if there was any substance mixed in with that stream of invective at Manacker. Did I miss something?

      • Pekka

        I am surprised that someone who claims to be a scientist would write such a silly comment as you’ve just written me, with the accusation.

        You are a propagandist, not a rational skeptic.

        The definition of a “rational (or scientific) skeptic”, which I posted is not my definition, but that of Wiki.

        It appears to me that you, a scientist of all people, are trying to weasel out of the need for empirical evidence to support a scientific hypothesis before it can be corroborated and accepted as reliable scientific information, according to the scientific method.

        That empirical evidence is lacking for the “CAGW hypothesis”, as specifically outlined by IPCC in AR4, Pekka, and you know it.

        Otherwise you would cite it.

        Stick with discussing the science, Pekka, rather than attacking others.

        It doesn’t look good for a scientist.

        Makes you look like you aren’t objective.

        Max

      • david springer

        To your last comment.

        I haven’t done much thinking or reading on the ID question.

        I know that Einstein is said to have remarked that a “higher power” must have been involved in the creation of the universe.

        And I’ve seen articles stating that ID could neither be falsified or corroborated with empirical evidence.

        For this reason, I used it as an example, similar to CAGW .

        But I don’t want to get sidetracked into a specific discussion of ID.

        Max

      • WHT –

        Check it out:

        How that proves human agency didn’t exist billions of years ago in a galaxy far far away is beyond me and it’s also beyond me how that proves no other agency ever existed.

        Coast to Coat AM, baby.

      • “How that proves human agency didn’t exist billions of years ago in a galaxy far far away is beyond me and it’s also beyond me how that proves no other agency ever existed. “

        That’s the negative logic I am referring to. It makes the brain hurt just trying to process it. The “skeptics” gobble it up, however. They don’t care, as it’s just more FUD that they welcome in their quest to avoid reality.

      • That’s the negative logic I am referring to.

        “Rational skepticism” = We can’t prove that “human agency didn’t exist billions of years ago in a galaxy far far away.”

        I’m an agnostic and my coffee spewed when I read that one. I had to check the radio to make sure it wasn’t on and somehow I confused reading Climate Etc. with listening to Coast to Coast, AM.

      • Hey, Pekka; is that OK?
        ========

      • David Springer

        @Joshua

        Agnosticism is the only rational position based on pure reason. I am agnostic as well. But just because you don’t know for sure doesn’t mean you can’t lean one way or the other. I know a lot about computers. As I studied the machinery inside living cells it became immediately apparent that cells are doing a lot of digital information processing. The construction of protein resembles nothing so much as a “pick & place” machine that robotically assembles printed circuit boards. The DNA molecule is a serial stream of base-4 digits where triplets encode stop and start bits plus a 20 character alphabet of amino acids. This resembles nothing so much as morse code. It’s abstract. DNA is the cell’s non-volatile storage and is organized like a tape drive. Strings of these characters hundreds of symbols in length specify the construction of 3 dimensional building blocks called proteins and enzymes. When a specific protein is needed a signaling molecule starts a sequence of events where the tape is spooled to the proper storage location and copy of the needed data is made in a another serial storage format called RNA. RNA is the equivalent of volatile storage. The copy of the data encoded into the RNA molecule is transported to the pick & place machine called a ribosome. The RNA tape feeds through a reader in the ribosome and as each character is read off the machine grabs the specified amino acid and adds it on the polymer it is constructing which spits out the other end. This just about exactly how industrial pick & place machines work.

        Now when somebody tells me that something as complex as a pick & place self-assembled from a random dance of atoms I question either their sanity if they’re informed about how micro-molecular machinery works in living cells or otherwise assume they’re just ignorant.

    • “Is there a genuine skeptic (not a faux skeptic like Mueller) among the members of the executive committee?”

      Daniel Rothman? From Jo Nova: “See for example Daniel Rothman, PNAS 2002 for a chart of pCO2 for the past 500 my. He says the chart show NO correlation between temp and CO2 levels.” http://joannenova.com.au/2012/07/muller/

  9. Regan E. Howard

    The statement by the GPC is encouraging and I do wish the group well.

  10. Judith Curry,

    I applaud your intent and effort. I am sure your voice will be heard…although not paid attention to.

    It seems that the purpose of the gathering is to bring the known physics to the discussion.

    Pardon me if I remain skeptical. The pre-supposition is that the physics of climate science is known. As an instance, others have pointed out, our sun’s output, most currently UV, is just being explored on its impact upon the Stratosphere, and such influence upon the Tropopause and such influence upon the Troposphere etc. That is, exploring a top down approach vs a bottom up approach that the current physics enjoys a welcoming reception.

    To me, there is not enough known. We will have yet another pronouncement from an “expert panel.”

    I believe we need more exploration and not a summary of the known physics. If exploration is your message, I welcome that message.

    • RiH008, one has to believe that W/m2 is W/m2 and so it makes no difference if the photons reaching the Earth are the near uv or IR solar output is flatter than a pool-table. You are not allowed to even thing that different solar spectra can change the Earth in any way what so ever.
      2 W/m2 of IR is identical in all ways to 2 W/m2 of blue or red light.
      Never mention differences in the location where energy is absorbed or what albedo means across the spectral range.

  11. “Here is my advice to the GPC: First, drop the APS Statement on Climate Change. The timing and content of the 2007 statement indicates that it is entirely derivative from the IPCC AR4, albeit more ‘alarming.’ The 2010 addendum doesn’t add much. So what is the point of the statement? Apparently, to ‘inform the public’ on this controversial issue by appealing to the ‘authority’ of the society. Does anyone pay attention to the APS statement as their primary source of information (e.g. rather than the IPCC or the NRC)? I suspect that no one paid any attention to the APS statement until Happer et al. started complaining about it, resigning, etc. All this detracts from the scientific and public credibility of the APS.

    Does anyone pay attention to the statement? All the people complaining about it seem to think it’s pretty important.

    Maybe you should tell Happer et al to STFU if it isn’t that important.

    • The statement is not important, and only a small number are complaining about it. Well, that figures.

      I suspect the complainers aren’t important too.

      • Max_OK

        The statement is not important, and only a small number are complaining about it. Well, that figures.

        I suspect the complainers aren’t important too.

        And the same goes for the defectors, right?

        Sounds like Pope Leo X, when he heard of Martin Luther (what the hell, just a bunch of crackpots and malcontents – it’ll never amount to anything!).

        And then there was good ol’ King George III (who are those insolent complainers over there? Tax ‘em!)

        Max_CH

      • Max_Ch, I think I know why you are comparing the APS protestors to Martin Luther. Luther thought lying was useful. He advised Philip I to tell a good strong lie.

      • Max_OK

        You stray from your original premise, namely that the “complainers” (and defectors) “aren’t important”.

        That’s where Leo X and George III were both wrong.

        And you may turn out to be just as wrong.

        Max_CH

      • Max_Ch, I can understand how it makes you feel good to believe the APS is going to be coerced, but you may be setting yourself up for disappointment.

      • Max_OK

        I have no opinion on whether or not the (current leadership of the) APS will be “coerced”.

        Leo X was also not “coerced” by Martin Luther, believing until his death that this “Reformation thingy” was just a bubble, and that the “complainers weren’t important”.

        George III believed the same about those pesky colonists, who were complaining about a tea tax.

        But both turned out to be wrong.

        Max_CH

      • Max_CH, you are making me laugh. The American Revolutionaries were never employed by ExxonMobile, nor were they associated with a right-wing think tank. I believe it’s also safe to say few were old guys in their 80’s.

        BTW, I am a descendant of a Revolutionary War veteran. He got some land for his service.

  12. “The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring.”

    It is the cobination of “incontrovertible” with the present tense that makes the above statement objectionable to this scientist. It is equally incontravertible that past evidence shows the on again/ off again nature of global warming (past tense). It is this strange behaviour that requres more investigation by science.

    Congratulations, Judith, on being a member of the executive of the GPC.and I submit my own paper on Climate (see my website above) as a possible solution to the problems raised by the APS paper and the Hal Lewis resignation letter. It is clear to me that further research is requred to understand the om/off nature of climate change.

    • David L. Hagen

      Nobel Laureate Dr. Ivar Giaever observed:

      “In the APS it is ok to discuss whether the mass of the proton changes over time and how a multi-universe behaves, but the evidence of global warming is incontrovertible? The claim (how can you measure the average temperature of the whole earth for a whole year?) is that the temperature has changed from ~288.0 to ~288.8 degree Kelvin in about 150 years, which (if true) means to me is that the temperature has been amazingly stable, and both human health and happiness have definitely improved in this ‘warming’ period.”

      I find the IPCC’s projections of “global warming” to be an unverified, unvalidated argument from ignorance with little understanding of or attention to scientific forecasting.
      e.g., see the pragmatic perspective of reknowned aerospace engineer Burt Rutan from a lifetime of practice in evaluating ALL the available evidence.

      We look forward to the APS exploring the full range of physics involved in climate and quantifying all the related uncertainties involved. Hopefully it will then recognize how great an embarrassment it is has been to physicists to claim that “(major anthropogenic) global warming” is “incontrovertible”.

  13. JC

    I (along with Daniel Rothman) are the newest members of the Executive Committee.

    Congratulation JC.

    That is great news.

  14. Willis Eschenbach

    First, Judith, my congratulations on your participation in the GPC. I’m sure that your being there will be productive. Also congratulations on the invitation to make a presentation to the APS, although you weren’t able to accept.

    However, I was saddened to see that the reigning Prince of Non-Archiving of Publicly Funded Data, Lonnie Thompson, was selected to give one of the Kaevli lectures. It let me know that you are just a token player. If Lonnie Thompson is their chosen lecture boy, then I fear little has changed, the fix is already in.

    Ah, well, the story continues. Again, my congratulations.

    w.

    • You mean the Lonnie Thompson with the recent heart transplant?

      Give it up for the guy. Kudos, Lonnie.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        WebHubTelescope | March 25, 2013 at 1:50 am

        You mean the Lonnie Thompson with the recent heart transplant?

        Give it up for the guy. Kudos, Lonnie.

        While I wish any man well after an operation, why on earth would Lonnie’s health problems be of the slightest interest to the question at hand?

        In any case, it’s not clear that the transplant succeeded, because Lonnie still heartlessly refuses to archive his taxpayer-funded data. The climate orthodoxy refuse to comment on this … so he continues. You seem to approve, Webbie … and he continues.

        Me, I disapprove, whether he has a new heart or not. The NYT slobbers all over him in their hagiography, viz:

        One day in 1991, high in the thin, crystalline air of the Peruvian Andes, Lonnie G. Thompson saw that the world’s largest tropical ice cap was starting to melt. It was the moment he realized that his life’s work had suddenly become a race.

        The discovery meant other ice caps were likely to melt, too, and the tales of past climate that they contained could disappear before scientists had a chance to learn from them.

        Driven by a new sense of urgency over the ensuing 20 years, he pulled off a string of achievements with few parallels in modern science. He led teams to some of the highest, most remote reaches of the earth to retrieve samples of the endangered ice.

        This is what passes for reporting, some high school girl’s breathless description of her man?

        Yeah, he did all of that. He got to take mountain vacations on the taxpayer’s dime to collect the data he claims is so important … and then the prick REFUSED TO ARCHIVE THE DATA. If he dies it may all vanish. Grey versions are in circulation. These are irreplaceable records, and he wants to squat on them, and just gives the finger to everyone who asks him to archive.

        So no, I have no respect for the man at all. And the idea that he is picked by the APS to give their lectures proves that they don’t give a damn about scientific ethics and honesty.

        We paid him to collect the data, he flat-out refuses to archive it, and the APS honors him???

        Then screw him, the APS, and the heart transplant he rode in on, Webbie … I can see why people are resigning from the Society in protest.

        w.

      • Regarding Lonnie Thompson, Willis says “Then screw him, the APS, and the heart transplant he rode in on, Webbie … I can see why people are resigning from the Society in protest.”
        _______

        Sounds like you had some unsatisfactory dealings with Thompson. I would like to hear his side of the story.

        How many of the 50,000 APS members resigned over the organization’s statement on climate? I suspect it was less than one-tenth of one percent (less than 50 members), and it wouldn’t surprise me if the number was even lower.
        Anyway, the APS is better off without these cranks and weirdos.

        Are you a member of any organizations? If so, please let me know what they are, because if I belong to any of ‘em, I am canceling my membership.

      • Yes, I would much rather hear the heart-warming story of how Willis recovered from the klap after an unfortunate encounter with three contagious subjects. Kudos to Willis and congratulations on overcoming that near-death encounter.

      • “Lonnie still heartlessly refuses to archive his taxpayer-funded data.”
        Well, Willis, I went over to the NOAA Ice core archive and found this impressive collection. Is there something you particularly wanted?

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Nick Stokes, you’re easily impressed. For some information on what has not been archived, read these two posts. A relevant quote:

        Thompson has subsequently pointed to this absurdly inadequate archive as evidence that he has “archived his data”. However, for the various reasons set out above, archiving the published decadal O18 histories for these sites is only one small component of a definitive archive.

      • Brandon sez:

        “Nick Stokes, you’re easily impressed.”

        That’s odd, because I am easily impressed by Nick Stokes. The guy is a genius, seriously. He knows his physics inside-and-out, and that interactive web server of his is an amazing piece of work.

      • Brandon,
        That’s 12 icecore items out of a total archived by NOAA of 181. Yes, I think that’s not bad. And it’s only the ones where his name comes first.

        But Willis clearly has his heart set on something missing. I’m just wondering what it is?

      • Scientific adviser to Gore’s ‘An Inconvenient Truth’. He missed on the title, shoulda been ‘A Convenient Untruth’.

        He could deny responsibility for the errors, he could do almost anything. Behind every good man, there is Kodachrome.
        =================

      • Kim re Gore’s ‘A Convenient Untruth” is herewith awarded
        a triple plus one. Lol.

      • Heh, Beth, I’ve been using that one for so long I’ve forgotten whether I invented it or stole it. The odds are I stole it, because most of my stuff is.
        =============

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Nick Stokes, you say you’re “just wondering” what something is, but when I attempted to give you information about it, you… ignored it. I can’t imagine you’re that curious. If I’m wrong, and you actually care to read what people say to you, we can discuss what data Thompson has archived and whether or not it’s sufficient.

        In the meantime, I’ll just point out one thing. Included in the “12 icecore items” you referred to are archives like this one. It has two columns, 100 rows each. Thompson received a sizable grant to gather data at a site, and that is what he archived. And he archived that only when forced.

        You might be impressed by behavior like that. It’ll put you in the minority.

      • David Springer

        WebHubTelescope | March 25, 2013 at 9:26 am |

        “I am easily impressed by Nick Stokes.”

        My bold.

        Truth and lies are faced alike; their port, taste, and proceedings are the same, and we look upon them with the same eye. I find that we are not only remiss in defending ourselves from deceit, but that we seek and offer ourselves to be gulled; we love to entangle ourselves in vanity, as a thing conformable to our being. ~Michael De Montaigne, 1580 A.D.

        Well Michael I’m not sure about WE but it sure fits WEbby. :-)

      • “In the meantime, I’ll just point out one thing. Included in the “12 icecore items” you referred to are archives like this one. It has two columns, 100 rows each. Thompson received a sizable grant to gather data at a site, and that is what he archived. And he archived that only when forced.”

        The archive is the data that formed the basis of a paper in Science (2000) and Climatic Change (2003). Somebody thought decadal resolution of a millenium of Himalayan glacier record was important. He archived it in 2004. Who was forcing him?

      • k scott denison

        So Nick, 12 out of 181 is sufficient for you? Ge, maybe I should only pay 12 out of every 181 tax dollars I owe, especially because my wife’s name is on many of them.

        This attitude of yours, Nick, is why, in spite of the fact you probably are a smart guy, I have no respect for you.

        Come out to the ral world where accountability is not only important, it’s mandatory.

      • Not only am I impressed with Nick’s scientific and software skills, I am impressed with his statistical and math skills.

        Climate science is really an applied science field and the more that you can bring to the table, the more you can accomplish.

      • Here’s the URL that was hidden under one of Chebacca’s title:

        http://climateaudit.org/2012/07/01/lonnie-and-ellen-serial-non-archivers/

        Notice the title:

        Lonnie and Ellen, A Serial Non-Archiving Couple.

        That is all.

        Yup.

        A very big THANK YOU to the Auditor.

      • k,
        “So Nick, 12 out of 181 is sufficient for you?”
        You seem to take pride in indifference to the facts. We’re told:
        “Lonnie still heartlessly refuses to archive his taxpayer-funded data…
        He got to take mountain vacations on the taxpayer’s dime to collect the data he claims is so important … and then the prick REFUSED TO ARCHIVE THE DATA.”

        and yet on checking the archive more fully, he has 15 contributions. It’s a big field and a big archive. But the next most prolific contributors are Parrenin and Pedro, each with five.

      • Roger thankfully comments:

        Thanks for the comments.

        Ad hominem is perfectly well described as a term denoting personal attacks
        http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/ad_hominem .

        I’m afraid I do see this is a personal attack. One person has been singled out for critism for conduct which is commonplace in a field (and in a highly snarky way). IMO any neutral observer would be hard pressed to say that there was nothing ad hominem in this CA post.

        On another note, I enjoyed reading the posts about Dr Svalgaard. As predicted, excuses, evasions and none of the language reserve for Mrs Lonnie. S. Mosher came closest with a condemnation and a “not best practice” statement. However, this was followed with a “still, he’s a lovely man and his wife is charming” statement. A nice (and highly appropriate) bit of human warmth. Still, none of the hyperbole of “not a real scientist” here.

        http://climateaudit.org/2012/07/01/lonnie-and-ellen-serial-non-archivers/#comment-341767

        Righteous hindsight is a wonderful thing.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Nick Stokes, you have to be delusional or willfully obtuse to think a decadally averaged series “is the data that formed the basis of [the] paper.” That’s fitting as you yet again ask a question while ignoring the sources that answer it. You asked, “Who was forcing him.” The second link I provided includes this paragraph:

        In March 2004, I requested supporting data for Thompson’s 2003 article under the new policy, a request that was supported by Climatic Change. However, instead of providing a comprehensive and definitive archive, Thompson simply archived decadal O18 chronologies for Dunde core 3, Guliya and Dasuopu for the top part of the cores from AD1000 to 1990.

        The fact you flagrantly ignore other people’s contributions to discussions wastes everyone’s time. It also makes you look like a fool.

        WebHubTelescope, can you read any better than Nick Stokes?

      • Brandon, so I have to learn to read. OK, lesson 1

        ” And he archived that only when forced.”
        means he archived the data that he actually used in a timely way in accordance with the new Journal policy
        And
        “the prick REFUSED TO ARCHIVE THE DATA.”
        means that his archive did not satisfy Steve McIntyre. Well, what would?

      • Steven Mosher

        my suggestion is that you should not listen to people about archiving data who have no verifiable experience or expertise in archiving data.
        Another way to put this is as follows. Don’t listen to Nick or Willard, they are the skydragons fighting against what is well known about the importance of archiving data and providing code.

        Instead listen to Victoria. she kicks ass.

        Or read these guys

        http://www.jisc.ac.uk/supportingyourinstitution/researchexcellence/researchintegrity.aspx

        http://www.jisc.ac.uk/supportingyourinstitution/researchexcellence/managingyourresearchdata.aspx

        http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pmed.0020124

        Even Boulten is learning:

        http://www.bishop-hill.net/blog/2013/3/26/boulton-on-scientific-practice-and-malpractice.html

        or these guys

      • > Don’t listen to Nick or Willard, they are the skydragons fighting against what is well known about the importance of archiving data and providing code.

        Black hat marketing at work.

      • Dark shadows in transparencies.
        ===========

  15. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    TWO CASE HISTORIES

    APS Panel on Public Affairs (POPA) Studies

    ————————-
    A Reasonably Successful POPA Study
    Power Line Fields and Public Health (1995)

    “Physicists are frequently asked to comment on the potential dangers of cancer from electromagnetic fields that emanate from common power lines and electrical appliances. While it is impossible to prove that no deleterious health effects occur from exposure to any environmental factor, it is necessary to demonstrate a consistent, significant, and causal relationship before one can conclude that such effects do occur. From this standpoint, the conjectures relating cancer to power line fields have not been scientifically substantiated.”

    ————————-
    An Arguably Not Successful POPA Study
    Nuclear Energy: Present Technology, Safety, and Future Directions (2001)

    “In the United States, nuclear plants have taken much longer to build than in countries such as France and, especially, Japan, and have cost far more. With continued nuclear plant growth projected, the Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) asked General Electric, and Toshiba and Hitachi to develop an advanced design to improve on the cost, reliability, and safety of the BWR’s then in operation.”

    Assessment 1: In retrospect, the APS was largely right on the science (e.g., cancer risk associated to electromagnetic fields)

    Assessment 2: In retrospect, the APS was largely wrong on the engineering (e.g., Japan/TEPCO’s reactor safety proved to be gravely deficient).

    Conclusion: Trust Hansen’s AGW analysis, but don’t trust BP’s economic analysis!

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  16. If the clear majority of the membership believe the globe is warming incontrovertibly, I think that statement is OK. If a small minority object, and think the earth is not warming, despite the evidence that it is, should they modify their statement to be less certain? No, the society would look foolish if they say the earth may be warming or not, and there would be no point in a statement. How about if one or two out of thousands object to a statement, do they have to hold back on it? Where is the bar? I am sure the APS has some cranks who would object to some obvious truths in many fields of physics. Do they have veto power? If statements by the APS can be majority statements, and not necessarily unanimous, that would be useful in itself.

    • The APS can’t be accused of “buttering their own bread”, however, as they have nothing to gain from asking for more climate research funding, and possibly could even lose out in their own areas in tight budget situations. I certainly hope that they do ask for more funding due to the remaining level of uncertainty, as this could influence the NSF and other agencies in their priorities. In science funding terms, uncertainty is your friend.

    • Willis Eschenbach

      Jim D | March 24, 2013 at 8:01 pm

      If the clear majority of the membership believe the globe is warming incontrovertibly, I think that statement is OK. If a small minority object, and think the earth is not warming, despite the evidence that it is, should they modify their statement to be less certain? …

      Since none of these oh-so-august societies seem much interested in actually polling their members, your question can’t be answered.

      However, one can answer the question “Are the learned societies interested in actually polling their members?”, and draw whatever conclusions one wishes from that fact …

      w.

      • The way it worked previously is that they issued a statement, and a few members objected loudly or resigned. It would be an improvement if this GPC could come up with a statement and put it for review to the APS before issuing it. It won’t solve it because people in a small vocal minority could still object and hold it up, which is where the acceptance of a majority statement gets past this roadblock.

      • The reason they don’t poll their membership is because the activists who have worked their way up to a position of influence don’t want to allow the “dumb” membership to influence the outcome of what the activists ‘know’ is the correct policy.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        Jim D | March 24, 2013 at 9:11 pm |

        The way it worked previously is that they issued a statement, and a few members objected loudly or resigned. It would be an improvement if this GPC could come up with a statement and put it for review to the APS before issuing it. It won’t solve it because people in a small vocal minority could still object and hold it up, which is where the acceptance of a majority statement gets past this roadblock.

        There is a third possibility, which is that they could actually poll their members and find out what they think, instead of the present situation where a handful of people claim (with no evidence) to speak for the whole. A poll, with carefully considered and nuanced questions, would actually be of interest. It would particularly be of interest if it were used in more than one scientific organization.

        However … no “scientific” organizations seem interested in doing that, instead a few of the leadership issue a “statement” reflecting their beliefs, biases and prejudices.

        And as to a “statement”, I don’t see why so many organizations feel obliged to make a statement about the climate. What is a statement from a handful of people at APS supposed to add to the discussion? What do we gain from it?

        Finally, although you propose changes, you still seem to want to shut out disagreement. You still want “acceptance of a majority statement”.

        But even the Supreme Court has a Minority Opinion. Trying to squelch that minority view is sadly typical of AGW supporters. If there is a consensus statement from some hypothetical majority of AGW supporters, there should also be a minority statement or statements from those who don’t think that CO2 is the secret knob controlling the climate …

        To me, though, the vague handwaving nature of the “statement” is the main crime being committed here. The statements of learned societies on climate have generally been tasteless pabulum. Try this one:

        Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are changing the atmosphere in ways that affect the Earth’s climate. Greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide as well as methane, nitrous oxide and other gases. They are emitted from fossil fuel combustion and a range of industrial and agricultural processes.
        The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring.

        Global warming over what period of time? A decade? A millennium? Without that, “global warming is occurring” is MEANINGLESS. It’s a crime against science to pass that off as a falsifiable, scientific statement.

        And how about “Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are changing the atmosphere in ways that affect the Earth’s climate.” That’s not the question. Every change affects the climate to some degree. The question is, how much? So again, this is just a comforting anodyne, not a scientific or physics based statement in the slightest.

        w.

      • Willis, the problem with polling their members is you don’t know how much thought they have put into the science versus some political knee-jerk reaction.
        On the global warming is incontrovertible part, the context was evidence of GHG effects. The warming itself is incontrovertible, and it is evidence for a GHG effect (not incontrovertible proof, but evidence). This was too subtle a shift for some to grasp and led to a lot of fall-out.

      • k scott denison

        JimD, are you truly unable to believe that statements from a few members of a society who have deliberately pursued leadership positions, ones typically won via a network of similar thinkers, might just be politically, rather than scientifically motivated?

        That seems very naive to me.

    • Organisations writing on the AGW issue do not seem to question the scientific underpinnings of the AGW hypothesis but rely more on assertions about consensus which are clearly unsupported by significant sections of their own membership.

  17. Twenty years late, but, in spite of the many reservations in earlier posts, a potentially positive move to advance scientific understanding. The proof of the pudding will be in the eating. We should encourage such initiatives rather than be immediately sceptical of their merits. I’m sure that the work will be subject to strong external scrutiny, at least in the blogosphere.

  18. @JimD – physicists especially know that scientific results are not determined by consensus, so the “clear majority” test is insufficient. Beyond that, most members of the APS are not likely to be informed enough of either the field of climatology or the specifics of AGW to be able to offer any worthwhile opinion. Do we care about the opinion of a string theorist unless that person has also studied meteorology, climatology and its related subspecialties?

    This is the fundamental problem with many of the X% of scientists support CAGW. Most scientists are not able to give an informed opinion, but that doesn’t stop them from doing so.

    • There is always a call for an independent review of the AGW theory, so from this perspective it is a positive step. They will have invited speakers who will probably explain the science behind their thinking and answer questions, some of which may be very basic. If they are not satisfied with the answers they can probably offer their view to the GPC. It seems to be a route for dialog that otherwise would not exist, and it is especially good that they want to keep policies out of the discussion. That removes a lot of the histrionics we see here.

      • @JimD – I was referring to the current state of APS as a whole as applied to their controversial statement.

        As for having physicists review the field, that’s a fine idea.

      • I see. This comes down to whether the APS should issue a climate science statement at all if (say) 90% of their members don’t care or know enough about the science to form an opinion. With climate policy statements, I would expect they have a greater percentage interest as it affects people directly, and many non-experts issue corporate policy statements, witness Apple, Google and Exxon, for example.

      • Jim D,

        Are you saying the GPS should issue a political statement? Or should they issue a statement that assures their customers that the APS is a good bunch of people and the public should continue buying their product? Or perhaps they should issue a statement of faith since some of their more vocal members believe?

      • The problem with GPC issuing a policy statement is that these typically only come from the top executives where private industry does it. They would not add anything to the debate by doing that as they are no more expert than the members of the Google board in that area. Where they can add something is to have sub-panels that review the climate physics and make a statement based on which parts of that they support or which parts need more work, which I guess is where the GPC comes in.

  19. Was the evidence incontrovertible when they made this statement: “The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring.”?

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/03/11/a-note-from-richard-lindzen-on-statistically-significant-warming/

    Posted on March 11, 2008 by Anthony Watts
    Yesterday, in response to the thread on “3 of 4 global metrics show nearly flat temperature anomaly in the last decade” I got a short note from MIT’s Richard Lindzen along with a graph. I asked if I could post it, and he graciously agreed:

    Look at the attached. There has been no warming since 1997 and no
    statistically significant warming since 1995. Why bother with the
    arguments about an El Nino anomaly in 1998? (Incidentally, the red
    fuzz represents the error ‘bars’.)

    Best wishes,

    Dick

    Wasn’t what we had in the years leading up to that statement a concerted effort to hide the stall in warming which must have been known very well by all the key players during those many years?

    And all that time we were bombarded with scare scenarios based on the lie that there was global warming, and all the accompanying shenanigans..

    It’s only now that the Met has admitted there hasn’t been any for years and years and years and years..

    The APS has sadly shown itself fully part and parcel of that propaganda campaign by that statement, whoever instigated it originally and which has involved other main science institutes, so, if this group has been formed in response to the criticism the APS has received and acknowledges the criticism justified, then this could be a game changer for all involved in climate science. But call me cynical, I’ll wait and see if this group can live up to its billing.. “within the domain of natural science and outside the domains of societal impact and policy, legislation and broader societal issues.”

    I’d like to see some real physical backing to the “The Greenhouse Effect” claim -I have never seen quantified, never been shown the experiments which I’m continually told exist, to prove that water and carbon dioxide are able to do what they say in either of AGW/CAGW’s two claims made for these (blanket/backradiation).

    Good luck with it, really.

  20. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Watching THE INNER LIGHT (which many consider to the greatest of Star Trek episodes) has motivated this:

    Climate Etc Consensus Statement (2013)

    Conclusions  Much of the public debate over climate change has confused the issue of detection of climate change with the inevitability of climate change. The consensus of the scientific community is clear: increasing emissions of greenhouse gases will inevitably cause the levels of greenhouse gases in the Earth ís atmosphere to rise, which will change the Earthís climate.

    Stripped of the baggage associated with political and economic interests, much of the debate over climate change boils down to differences in values.

    Technological change and a general increase in wealth through economic growth will leave the world better able to deal with this issue in the future. However, some, perhaps small, amount of damage will accrue in the interim.

    A risk-averse viewpoint argues for mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible to avoid the possibility of harm. An opposite view advocates waiting until we are more certain about climate change effects (and more able to effect changes).

    This part of the debate will be better informed, but not solved, by improved science.

    What do Climate Etc folks think? Is this a fair summary statement of contemporary climate-change science?

    Now, back to The Inner Light (video excerpts) … which beautifully illuminates a society that is wrestling responsibly with the scientific, economic, and long-term moral implications of climate-change.

    Highly recommended!

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    • Marlowe Johnson

      And here I was thinking that I was the only one who thinks that ‘The Inner Light’ is the best star trek episode ever. Nice to know I’m not alone ;)

    • I think this is a good consensus statement, but many including me hold intermediate views like wanting immediate changes and incentives to encourage evolving away from fossil fuels (fuel efficiency, electric cars, alternative energy) while preparing for inevitable climate change impacts on food, water and energy resources, and national security, and this is what is happening in some advanced countries that are actually thinking ahead with the assumption of climate change. So, in addition to your waiters and mitigators, we have adapters.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Jim D argues “I think this is a good consensus statement”

      The above (draft) Climate Etc consensus statement is excerpted (verbatim!) from the APS 1996 POPA report The Current Energy Situation & Background Papers

      Perhaps not too many Climate Etc folks have read it?

      What have we learned since 1996 about climate-change?

      Other than that James Hansen’s 1981 worldview is broadly correct, that is?

      The world wonders!

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    • Fan,
      I don’t see what “Inner Light” has to do with Climate Change. The death of the planet was naturally occouring. And Piccard was simply making the observation. He didn’t blame the people or their technology for causing a naturally occouring phenomenon. He didn’t try to force others to sacrifice their standard of living to fix a problem with no evidence that the scrifice would help. He didn’t profit by selling people indulgences. He didn’t propose a tax scheme that would allow him to control the lifeblood of society.
      The episode was about life and death and legacy. It was about love and family and relationships. It was a beautiful episode.
      Of course, if you are a member of the collective, it was about climate change, everything is about climate change, resistance is futile.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse | March 25, 2013 at 3:11 pm | Jim D argues “I think this is a good consensus statement”

      What have we learned since 1996 about climate-change?

      See my post above Myrrh | March 24, 2013 at 9:34 pm

      We’ve learned that there has been no global warming since 1995 so from 1996 we’ve learned that the global warming scare has been deliberately contrived to deceive us,

      Other than that James Hansen’s 1981 worldview is broadly correct, that is?

      contrived and promoted by shysters passing themselves off as climate scientists of which Hansen is example.

      What should we make of those like you who continue to loudly and persistently promote the con?

  21. “A risk-averse viewpoint argues for mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible to avoid the possibility of harm.”

    This is only true if there is no risk of harm to humanity from the mitigation process. Otherwise, one has to balance the risks of both sides. Just as the climate is a complex dynamical system, so is human society. Since negative economic “forcing” is strongly shown to affect human happiness, wealth and survival, this is not a trivial point. If one is to apply the precautionary principle, it should be applied to all involved systems.

    So far, large quantities of money have been diverted in the name of reducing emissions, and it is easy to show that this spending has been economically harmful (future or accrued basis), we are currently on the negative side of the ledger in terms of the overall impact on humanity.

    This sort of thing is why scientists should stick to the science unless they have equal competence and expertise in human systems, which is unlikely since it’s not clear such competency exists anywhere.

    • Very clearly stated. I wonder why so many people don’t understand this.

      The Australian ETS would cost $10 for very $1 of projected benefit to 2050. But the projected benefits would not be achieved because they are dependent on world agreeing to a global carbon price and near 100% participation (and no cheating) and that will not happen. Of course, the projected benefit also assumes that the damages would be as bad as the IPCC projections if the ETS is not implemented.

    • I forgot to add… I’m glad Dr. Curry will be on this panel. Congrats and I hope it turns out well.

    • k scott denison

      +1 meso… well stated.

  22. Good luck Dr. Curry,

    At the very least I hope you have as much fun and education as I do when I read your blog.

  23. The Supreme Court of the US all hear the same evidence and arguments, but rarely vote 9-0. Dissenting opinions are often written by SCOTUS members in the minority. In the American Chemical Society of which I am active- with a Public Policy Statement similar in spirit/orientation as APS, I have long argued for a minority report (without success so far). ACS has never polled membership prior to issuing policy statements. This would be an intellectually much more honest approach.

    It is not as if the ACS has commissioned or conducted any independent research. The committees of the ACS involved in global warming policy just look at other peoples data, mainly the IPCC, and slap on a rubber stamp of approval after some period of discussion. We have all been in those sorts of meetings….

  24. Obviously the best we can hope for is greater interest in physical and cosmological theories and less emphasis on human affairs.

  25. Judith Curry says: “Here is my advice to the GPC: First, drop the APS Statement on Climate Change.”
    _______

    Nah !

    • Max_OK

      Our hostess says APS should, “drop the statement”.

      APS has already watered it down considerably (see my comment #305777 below), although it still remains a sales pitch for the IPCC CAGW premise, as outlined in AR4.

      Our hostess has simply stated that, even with the modifications, the statement is still too “normative”, rather than being fully objective, because it understates the large uncertainty that exists today and suggests solutions, which may be totally ineffective.

      An organization like APS should bend over backwards to retain scientific objectivity, and even the watered down version does not do this.

      So, scientifically speaking, I’d have to agree that our hostess is right.

      Max_not from OK

      • Scientific objectivity my foot! It’s easy to see this is an attempt at muddying the waters by pushing doubt and uncertainty, which is what the George Marshall Institute wants. Judith Curry should be leaning over backwards to show she’s not in bed with Marshall.

        It would be a sad day for science if the APS let itself be bullied by right-wing organizations. I have too much respect for the APS to see it happening.

      • Max_OK

        Baloney.

        Objectivity in science is paramount.

        Dogma has no place in science.

        Rational skepticism is an integral part of the scientific method.

        “Normative” science has no place in the APS.

        And these guys have no earthly notion or expertise when it comes to policy recommendations, so they should avoid getting into this discussion.

        Max_CH

      • Apparently, you like wishy-washy scientists who won’t threaten your sacred cows. That’s why you are more comfortable with those who aren’t sure about anything, unless of course they are sure about something you like.

        I’m not like you. I admire scientists who have backbone, who will tell it like it is, who will put their reputations on the line. That’s why Hansen is my favorite.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘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

        I think Tim Palmer is a lot smarter.

      • Max _ who thinx he’s OK
        and thinx his favoorite climatologist is _OK too…hmm.

        Dr James Hansen may be a doctor of dis-astrology,
        warnin…I mean ‘hypo_thesisin’ ‘ about warmin’ …

        *First the glaciers retreat …* next poly bears die of the heat.
        …*Then we run out of oil …* then the oceans begin ter boil.

        But, yer know, history shows that naycher jest ain’t ammenable
        ter Cassandra – doomsday viisions of the fewcher.

        Hansen is stuck, what with the warmin’ pause,’ …
        kinda’ between a rock and a hard place.

      • … Ouch

      • Beth, are you too young to remember the previous pause? You know, the one that had some say we were going into another icy age.

      • Max_OK
        I remember tjhe cool late 60’s, 70’s in Melbourne and the first
        warm mid Autumn coinciding with the arrival Halley’s comet.
        Out comet gazing my family noticed the unusual warmth of
        the evenings. Max -OK the point ter note is not the change
        from cool ter warm but that climate is variable and the 20th
        century temp record shows three distinct periods, warm, then
        a cool mid century period which has been observed ter be of
        longer duration than the 85/98 warming period. Now, a 21st
        century ‘pause’ in warming. This variation doesn’t seem ter be
        accounted for as I understand.
        A serf.

      • David Springer

        Not as sad as the day it let itself be taken over by left-wing ideologists.

      • Oh No! Springer, is on to us. He knows about the conspiracy.

      • Max_OK

        So you “like scientists who tell it like it is (even if it really isn’t that way)”?

        Good for you.

        I prefer scientists that are objective (like our hostess here) to scientists who are advocates for an agenda.

        But, hey, everybody can pick the scientists they like best. It’s a free world.

        Max_CH.

      • k scott denison

        Hey Max_OK, you seem to be confident that the *climate pattern* we are in now is only a pause. So how much of your annual salary are ou willing to bet on that?

      • I don’t have a salary. I don’t wager, I invest.

      • > [S]cientifically speaking, I’d have to agree that our hostess is right.

        Right about what? Here, with emphasis:

        > APS should “drop the statement”.

        Science. Should. Hmmm.

        Y U not play fair, MiniMax?

      • > APS should “drop the statement”.

        Hmmm. Normative or non-normative?

        You make the call.

    • Hey, Max. So you are an investor. How much of your portfolio is in wind and solar energy?

      • My investment in stocks is limited to broadly-based mutual funds. I don’t invest in sector funds .

  26. > their ppt a condition for their travel reimbursement

    https://speakerdeck.com

    • Steven Mosher

      here is some more black hat stuff

      “20th century portion of our paleotemperature stack is not statistically robust, cannot be considered representative of global temperature changes, and therefore is not the basis of any of our conclusions.”

      nice quote.

  27. I hope they invite some paleo people like Richard Alley, because the last time we had 1000 ppm, the evidence is that the oceans were 10 C warmer, and they could do with an expert on this subject. Also he gives a good talk to a general audience as shown a couple of years ago at the AGU.

    • Jim D

      Yeah. Alley gave a great sales pitch for the “CO2 control knob” premise.

      The AGU talk a couple of years ago had a few weak spots and boo-boos in it, though.

      Throughout his pitch, Alley used the “we can only explain it if we assume…” argument from ignorance, always pointing to CO2 as the culprit by elimination.

      Alley used several (“cherry-picked”?) periods of our planet’s distant geological past, plus the argument from ignorance cited above to “prove” that CO2 was the “control knob”.

      He did not attempt to explain the long-term temperature decline, which began at the end of the Cretaceous despite very high starting CO2 level, and which played a significant role in ensuing mass extinctions due to extreme cold.

      Alley then cited the Paleo-Eocene Thermal Maximum interval as proof of CO2 as cause for rapid temperature increase estimated at around 6°C, during which period an estimated 6,800 Gigatons of carbon (as CO2 equivalent) were released into the ocean and atmosphere (roughly three times the amount contained in all the “inferred possible fossil fuel resources” on Earth today, according to a 2010 report by the World Energy Council), but he did not attempt to explain why temperatures began to drop again as atmospheric CO2 levels had reached their highest levels.

      Incidentally, the PETM does not provide very convincing support for Alley’s claim of a 2xCO2 equilibrium climate sensitivity of 3°C upon closer examination. Atmospheric CO2 rose by an estimated factor of around 8 (to 2,400 ppmv), assuming all of the carbon released was CO2, while temperature rose by an estimated 6°C. This would translate into a 2xCO2 ECS of around 2°C, all other things being equal. However, the carbon release is believed to have occurred primarily in the form of methane (from clathrates) rather than CO2, so the calculated ECS would be even lower.

      Alley was unable to explain the lag of several centuries between past global warming and CO2 levels in the 450,00-year ice core record (in particular the observation that temperature starting sinking when CO2 levels were at their highest and started rising when CO2 levels were at their lowest.

      So, instead of addressing the issue, he sidetracked to a discussion of his credit card!

      In the Q+A part, Alley claimed we could reach over 1500 ppmv CO2 if all fossil fuels were consumed (WEC 2010 estimates on remaining fossil fuels put the absolute limit at 980 ppmv, or around half the increase required to reach 1500 ppmv).

      Alley made up for the holes in his science with his enthusiasm and conviction, but I did not come away convinced. There were too many holes. But there is no question: Alley is convinced of his story and he tells it enthusiastically. He is a good salesman.

      Max

      • Max,
        I don’t see how you can possible have included shale oil. You give a total 5.1 trillion barrels for all oil, when the report on p 98 says:
        “The total world in-place resource of shale oil is estimated at 4.8 trillion barrels. This figure is considered to be conservative in view of the fact that oil shale resources of some countries are not reported and other deposits have not been fully investigated.”

      • Nick Stokes,

        Can you provide a link to an authoritative source for estimates of the total quantity of fossil fuels, please?

      • “Can you provide a link to an authoritative source for estimates of the total quantity of fossil fuels, please?”

        No. That’s why I was all ears when Max said WEC 2010 had provided one. But alas…

      • Max the Manipulator once again does his tricks with the data. Like almost all skeptics, he pays no heed to uncertainties.

        FIRST, The uncertainty in climate sensitivity on the high side has to do partly with potential outgassing from thermally unstable sources of GHG’s such as frozen peat bogs, methane clathrates, and other positive feedback mechanisms. These are included in the climate sensitivities as subjective Bayesian priors, only because we can’t do controlled experiments on such a huge mass of material.

        SECOND, The potential human-combustible hydrocarbon reserves has a significant uncertainty attached with it. Granted, we are more certain about the trio of crude oil, coal, and natural gas resources. As Max states, it may be true that only 15% of the amount has been combusted until now.

        However, this does not even touch on the potential reserves of shale oil, tar sands, dispersed oil and gas, and methane hydrates available shown in the graph. These are all unconventional sources of hydrocarbons and will also take tremendous amounts of overhead energy to process . This overhead energy becomes waste energy and is produced alongside what is necessary to keep the economies humming along.

        The other wild card, which is studied by David Archer, is if there is some point at which the sequestering of CO2 becomes more difficult as the excess CO2 enters the carbon cycle and saturates the sequestering paths.

        These are all uncertainties that Max conveniently avoids discussing. Perhaps fitting considering that his previous life was as an industrial plant manager who had to manipulate waste and emission data.

    • Jim D

      You write that Richard Alley claimed 10C warming at 1000 ppmv CO2 level.

      This is patently absurd (and I assume that Alley is smarter than that)..

      Alley claimed paleo support for a 2xCO2 ECS of 3C (as IPCC was selling in AR4)

      At this ECS the warming would be 4C (not 10C).
      3C * ln(1000/393) / ln(2) = 4C

      And besides, 1000 ppmv is more than all the fossil fuels on this planet contain (according to WEC 2010 estimates the absolute maximum would be 980 ppmv, when they are all 100% used up).

      Max

      • Plus the 1.2C already baked in.
        Just like Max to manipulate the numbers.

      • Web,
        I thought APS said we were at 0.74C or is there more baked in?

      • > Plus the 1.2C already baked in.

        Y U not play fair, MiniMax?

      • The 0.74C is not baked in yet and is still on the rise. The 1.2C is closer to equilibrium as the land responds much faster due to the lack of a heat sink. This number is close to the BEST value.

        Assume 3C sensitivity to get to where we are now:
        1.2 = 3.0 * ln (395/295)/ln(2)

        plus we add this to get to MiniMax’s 980 PPM
        4.0 = 3.0 * ln(980/395)/ln(2)

        to get 5.2 C total

        Through the magic of logarithms:
        3.0* ln (395/295)/ln(2) + 3.0 * ln(980/395)/ln(2) = 3.0*ln(980/295)/ln(2)= 5.2C

        I use a baseline of CO2 of 295 PPM but others use 280 PPM.
        In that case it is 5.4 C.

        This is close to JimD’s 6C considering that he assumed a higher CO2 target than the 980 PPM.

        It really is not “silly” as Max likes to call it.

      • Webby

        I’v just shown that the future greenhouse warming we’ll see is constrained by the limitation on fossil fuel reserves to around 2C, using the latest estimates for 2xCO2 ECS.
        You chime in with:

        “Plus the 1.2C already baked in”

        Huh?

        We have recorded warming around 0.7C since measurements started in 1850.

        And you are adding in an additional hypothetical 0.5C from 1750 to 1850?

        OK. I’ll go along with your silly game.

        But, hey man, we have already seen (and enjoyed) that warming, and are doing just fine. It’s history, Webby.

        So don’t try to play me for a sucker by adding it back in to the future GH warming we will hypothetically see. (That’s double-accounting, Webby, and in other fields gets you into jail).

        Duh!

        Max

      • Webby

        Get some data points into your head.

        – WEC 2010 estimates that the remaining inferred recoverable resources represent 85% of all the fossil fuels that were ever on our planet. Other estimates (Hubbert, etc.) are much lower.

        Using the WEC 2010 estimate, there are enough fossil fuel reserves left on our planet to last us around 300 years at present consumption rates.

        At future rates based on sharply reduced projected population growth plus an increase in per capita use, these would last us 150-200 years.

        Burning 15% of the total fossil fuel resource got us from 280 ppmv (estimated pre-industrial CO2 concentration) to 385 ppmv (measured in 2008)

        So the remaining 85% will get us to an absolute maximum CO2 level of 980 ppmv when they are all 100% used up

        = 385 + 0.85(385-280)/0.15 = 980

        Whether this will happen in 150 years, 300 years or never is anyone’s guess.

        But, when it does happen, the CO2 from the total remaining fossil fuels will theoretically have warmed our planet by 4C using the old model-predicted IPCC AR4 2xCO2 ECS estimate of 3C, which you prefer, or 2C using the newer observation-based estimates of around 1.5C, which I prefer

        That’s it, Webby.

        Ain’t no mo’

        You can toss out all the hypothetical figures in the world, but they are meaningless unless you consider the real-life constraints that exist.

        (And adding in past warming is cheating, Webby.)

        Max

      • “WEC 2010 estimates that the remaining inferred recoverable resources represent 85% of all the fossil fuels”
        WEC 2010 was a conference and I’m sure lots of people said lots of things. Do you have a more detailed reference?

      • Nick Stokes

        Link to WEC 2010 report:

        http://www.worldenergy.org/documents/ser_2010_report_1.pdf

        Max

      • Max, I’m familiar with that report. It has chapters on various energy classifications. But I couldn’t find any statements about total fossil fuel reserves.

      • WEC is the World Energy Council that organizes World Energy Congresses and produces surveys like WEC 2010

        http://www.worldenergy.org/publications/3040.asp

        The WEC surveys presented once the best known and most highly valued estimates on energy resources. They may have lost that status, but remain one of the best known sources.

      • Pekka,
        Yes, but on individual sources. I can’t find any statement on overall fossil fuel reserves. Can you?

      • Here we go again:

        > My model makes no assumption of the ocean or biosphere, simply that the same amount of the CO2 emitted by humans will continue to “disappear” out of the atmosphere somewhere (we do not know where).

        My model makes no assumption of the ocean or biosphere, simply that the same amount of the CO2 emitted by humans will continue to “disappear” out of the atmosphere somewhere (we do not know where).

        Y MINIMAX NOT PLAY FAIR?

      • Nick,

        I didn’t find such a summary either. Furthermore I don’t think that their approach could produce particularly good overall estimates as they seem to rely too directly on information provided by third parties. IEA does more analysis and is a better source. Their full reports are, however, not openly available.

      • Max

        Yr estimate (2008) of remaining 85% of recoverable fossil
        fuels means maximum ever CO2 levels from combusting
        fossil fuel’s at 980ppmv is reassuring in a sober way, though
        we can never be too complaissant about climate change
        when we consider the complex interations of the ‘whether’
        and the possibility of black swan events.

        And while > temperature and CO2 do not correlate but
        wouldseem ter walk randomly together, data estimates
        of 2xCo2 sensitivity around 2degrees C don’t require
        punitive policies fer control.

        Fer sequestration of the dreaded CO2, there’s Freeman
        Dyson’s arguments fer sequestering by increasing soil
        biomass thereby also improving crop productivity. And
        of course, there’s more …what with human technical
        inventive ingenuity.

        jest – a -serf.

      • Nick Stokes

        You have to go through the report. “Inferred possible recoverable resources” are given for all the major producing countries, as are the “proven reserves” (which are smaller).

        Proven reserves are:
        Coal: 900 Gt
        Oil: 1,300 billion bbl
        Gas 180 trillion cubic meters

        Total inferred possible recoverable resources are:
        Coal: 1,900 Gt
        Oil: 5,100 billion bbl
        Gas: 490 trillion cubic meters

        (Note that this is higher than most estimates I have seen.)

        These would generate 9,290 GtCO2 when consumed, based on the following unit ratio (GtCO2 per unit):
        Coal: 3.3 per Gt
        Oil: 0.4 per billion bbl
        Gas: 2.0 per trillion cubic meters

        Based on other sources we’ve burned a total of around 450 Gt carbon to date ~1,650 GtCO2

        So the remaining fossil fuels represent ~85% of the original total.

        The first 15% got us from 280 to 385 ppmv (in 2008)

        The next 85% will get us roughly to:

        385 + 0.85(385-280)/(0.15) ~ 980 ppmv.

        Hope this helps.

        Max

      • Beth

        Thanks from one serf to another.

        There seem to be two Damoclean swords hanging over the heads of all of us serfs:

        – Peak oil – and its extension, peak fossil fuels (when the lights all go out)

        and

        – AGW – and its dreaded extension, CAGW (when we are all fried – or drowned – as a result of greenhouse warming)

        The two are mutually exclusive, however (although Webby hates to look at it like that, ’cause he likes ‘em both so much).

        I’m not really worried about either one.

        But I’m just trying to calm down some folks that seem to be getting hysterical about both of them at the same time.

        And your points about human ingenuity plus the specific ideas of Freeman
        Dyson’s for CO2 “sequestering by increasing soil biomass thereby also improving crop productivity” are good examples of why we should be looking at positive solutions rather than fretting about imaginary hobgoblins we can’t do anything about anyway.

        Your fellow serf,

        Max

      • Max,
        You’ve been saying over and over, for weeks, things like:
        “WEC 2010 estimates that the remaining inferred recoverable resources represent 85% of all the fossil fuels that were ever on our planet.”

        But they didn’t. Instead its some hairy arithmetic you’ve done, using some of their numbers. That’s misleading.

        You haven’t included shale oil, for example. And it’s not clear that unconventional natural gas is covered. And they specifically said:
        “In addition, the Questionnaires sent to WEC Member Committees requested information, as available, on undiscovered resources of the principal fossil fuels, in terms of the estimated additional amount in place and the amount recoverable from such resources. The information received in this regard is reported in the Country Notes on coal, oil and natural gas, but overall was insufficient to form the basis of a worldwide summary table.”

      • > [W]ith more than 0.5 Tt C released already since pre-industrial times, it may well turn out that we can only afford to release less than the same again, possibly much less, with many times that amount in fossil-fuel reserves remaining underground.

        https://edit.ethz.ch/iac/people/knuttir/papers/allen09nrcc.pdf

        Y U NO PLAY FAIR?

        http://memegenerator.net/instance/36705532

      • Nick Stokes

        You asked me for my estimates based on the WEC 2010 report, which I posted for you.

        You write:

        You’ve been saying over and over, for weeks, things like:
        “WEC 2010 estimates that the remaining inferred recoverable resources represent 85% of all the fossil fuels that were ever on our planet.”

        But they didn’t. Instead its some hairy arithmetic you’ve done, using some of their numbers. That’s misleading.

        You haven’t included shale oil, for example. And it’s not clear that unconventional natural gas is covered.

        Shale oil and gas is covered, Nick, so what you have ASS-U-MEd is wrong.

        Some advice for you, Nick.

        Rather than just shooting from the hip, if you are going to discuss the WEC 2010 report.

        1. Read it in detail, as I did.

        2. Go through all the estimates that are in there for both a) proven reserves and b) inferred possible recoverable resources.

        3. Take all theses data to arrive at totals for both categories.

        4. Do a “sanity check” on these totals, by comparing them with other published estimates that are out there.

        Once you have done all that, get back to me.

        But leave off the “that’s misleading” crap.

        OK?

        Max

      • Well Max, the bottom line is that you have said many times things like:

        “WEC 2010 estimates that the remaining inferred recoverable resources represent 85% of all the fossil fuels that were ever on our planet.”

        And they didn’t.

      • Nick Stokes

        You got it wrong, Nick.

        The “bottom line” is this:

        Once you’ve gone through the WEC 2010 report in detail as I suggested, you can make intelligent comments on what the estimates there indicate regarding the remaining fossil fuel resources on our planet.

        Before you do, you cannot,.

        Max

      • Max,
        I don’t see how you can possible have included shale oil. You give a total 5.1 trillion barrels for oil, when the report on p 98 says:
        “The total world in-place resource of shale oil is estimated at 4.8 trillion barrels. This figure is considered to be conservative in view of the fact that oil shale resources of some countries are not reported and other deposits have not been fully investigated.”

      • Webby

        Can we have some of the baked in 1.2C please?
        We seem to have lost it here in Britain

        http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadcet/

        tonyb

      • Willard

        Thanks for chiming in with

        [W]ith more than 0.5 Tt C released already since pre-industrial times, it may well turn out that we can only afford to release less than the same again, possibly much less, with many times that amount in fossil-fuel reserves remaining underground.

        Looks the estimate you quote on the amount of carbon released to date checks fairly closely with the 450 GtC (or 1,650 GtCO2), which I cited.

        It also looks like your “many times that amount in fossil-fuel reserves remaining underground” also checks with the WEC 2010 estimates (roughly 15% used to date with 85% left to go).

        So we are in agreement on the fossil fuels.

        However, I’d have to take issue with the statement that “we can only afford to release less than the same again, possibly much less”.

        And here’s why, Willard.

        So far we’ve gotten from 280 to 393 ppmv CO2.

        Releasing “the same again” will get us to 393+113 = 506 ppmv

        At the IPCC AR4 mean model-predicted 2xCO2 ECS of around 3C, this would give us warming of 1.1C

        And at the newer observation-based estimate of around 1.5C, it would result in warming of 0.55C.

        Gimme a break, Willard. That’s peanuts, either way.

        Who ever wrote that statement needs to check his arithmetic. It’s really not that complicated.

        Max

      • Nick Stokes

        Rather than singling out one sentence, read the whole report and make your own estimate of the total, based on the estimates included there.

        When you do this, be sure you differentiate between total inferred possible resources and total inferred recoverable resources.

        Come back to me when you’ve got your estimate of the total inferred recoverable fossil fuel resources.

        Then, based on the generally accepted estimate that roughly 450 GtC have been burned to date, estimate what %-age of the original total is still in the ground.

        Max

      • Max

        You seem to be the only one here that has actually calculated the useable reserves and their possible effect on co2 concentrations. It will be interesting to see the alternative estimates from the other experts posting here, such as Nick Stokes, Mr Web Hub Telescope and Willard
        tonyb

      • “It will be interesting to see the alternative estimates from the other experts posting here”
        Tony, Max’s figure was not offered as something from an expert posting here. It was offered as an estimate from WEC2010, and it isn’t. I’m not going to offer my own rough arithmetic. I believe that the WEC does not in fact make such an estimate for very good reasons – the information needed is not in their report. They acknowledge, for example, that they just don’t have information to estimate future discovery.

      • Heh, Nick Stokes defends Marcott. An advocate, though a sharp one.
        ================

      • Nick Stokes

        It almost sounds to me like you are copping out.

        There is a gold mine of data in WEC 2010 on both “proven reserves” and “inferred total recoverable resources” of global fossil fuels.

        You have to spend some time digging it out, but it’s there.

        If you are unable or unwilling to take the time to go through it in detail, and then to check the figures against other sources, so be it.

        But then don’t criticize my estimate based on the contained data.

        Unless you have a better estimate based on more reliable data, just admit that you don’t have one, that’s all. Easy enough.

        Bye for now.

        Max

      • There certainly are no definitive answers for the ultimately maximal use of fossil fuels. Making some plausible assumption we get numbers that are in the range Max has presented or even lower. Making some other assumptions the result is much higher. The most important issues concern the future use of shale oil and and low quality coal resources.

        My own view is that the availability of fossil fuels is really a strong constraint for the maximal carbon releases for many decades to come. It’s possible to develop technologies that expand the technically and economically available resource base but doing that and putting that into large scale use takes time. There may, in addition, be more persistent constraints on the achievable production rates. That could mean that the rate of production would be so slow that removal of previously added CO2 from the atmosphere would proceed faster than new CO2 is added. That would lead to a lower but more persistent peak in CO2 atmospheric concentration.

        The rate of future CO2 removal from atmosphere is also a badly known factor. People have tried to model processes involved in that, but the uncertainties are very large.

        The scenarios of highest CO2 releases are built by purpose to be on the high side of plausible range. It’s likely that the actual releases will be much lower. China, India, and other growing economies will be decisive in that, and it’s likely that the availability of energy will be one of the impediments for their growth. Their fossil fuel consumption has been growing at a rate that cannot be sustained whether the climate issues are taken into account or not.

      • Pekka @ 5.34, good points.

        All: off the net for 12 days from tomorrow.

      • From the Introduction:

        In addition, the Questionnaires sent to WEC Member Committees requested information, as available, on undiscovered resources of the principal fossil fuels, in terms of the estimated additional amount in place and the amount recoverable from such resources. The information received in this regard is reported in the Country Notes on coal, oil and natural gas, but overall was insufficient to form the basis of a worldwide summary table.

      • Let’s put my previous quote from Allen & alii 2009 in context:

        > Meinshausen et al. argue that emission levels in 2050, or cumulative emissions to 2050, are robust indicators of the probability of temperatures exceeding 2 °C above pre-industrial values by 2100. Allen et al. take an even longer view, exploring the impact of CO2 emissions over the entire ‘anthropocene’. They argue that keeping the most likely warming due to CO2 alone to 2 °C will require us to limit cumulative CO2 emissions over the period 1750–2500 to 1 trillion tonnes of carbon.

        https://edit.ethz.ch/iac/people/knuttir/papers/allen09nrcc.pdf

        Here’s the previous quote:

        > [W]ith more than 0.5 Tt C released already since pre-industrial times, it may well turn out that we can only afford to release less than the same again, possibly much less, with many times that amount in fossil-fuel reserves remaining underground.

        This last sentence is backed up by this reference IPCC, Carbon Capture and Storage, which I believe is over there:

        http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg3/en/ch4s4-3-6.html

        This last sentence refers to what remains to be burned until we get to 2C.

        There is many times that amount in fossil-fuel reserves remaining underground.

        ***

        You are being played, folks.

      • A quote from the CCS page:

        Storage capacity in oil and gas fields, saline formations and coal beds is uncertain. The IPCC (IPCC, 2005) reported 675 to 900 GtCO2 for the relatively well-characterized gas and oil fields, more than 1000 GtCO2 (possibly up to an order of magnitude higher) for saline formations, and up to 200 GtCO2 for coal beds. Bradshaw et al. (2006) highlighted the incomparability of localized storage-capacity data that use different assumptions and methodologies. They also criticized any top-down estimate of storage capacity not based on a detailed site characterization and a clear methodology, and emphasized the value of conservative estimates. In the literature, however, specific estimates were based on top-down data and varied beyond the range cited in the IPCC (2005). For instance, a potential of >4000 GtCO2 was reported for saline formations in North America alone (Dooley et al., 2005) and between 560 and 1170 GtCO2 for injection in oil and gas fields (Plouchart et al., 2006). Agreement on a common methodology for storage capacity estimates on the country- and region-level is needed to give a more reliable estimate of storage capacities.

        Interestingly, MiniMax does not show much concerns for this kind of uncertainty.

        Even more interestingly, MiniMax now accepts an argument from the best explanation.

        And that’s notwithstanding the linear and the non-delay tricks in the “arithmetic”.

      • willard is playing at playing.
        ===========

      • Here’s the **Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage** report:

        https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B1gFp6Ioo3akWFVURndxRU5xU1E/edit?pli=1

        Chapter 6 ought to be an interesting read.

      • Meanwhile, here’s a relevant paragraph, this time unwrapped and in the proper thread:

        In addition to the known reserves, there are significant resources that, through technological advances and the willingness of society to pay more for them, may be converted into commercial fuels in the future. Furthermore, there are thought to be large amounts of non-conventional oil (e.g., heavy oil, tars sands, shales) and gas (e.g., methane hydrates). A quantification of these in the Third Assessment Report (IPCC, 2001a) showed that fully exploiting the known oil and natural gas resources (without any emission control), plus the use of non-conventional resources, would cause atmospheric concentrations of CO2 to rise above 750 ppmv. In addition, coal resources are even larger than those of oil and gas; consuming all of them would enable the global economy to emit 5 times as much CO2 as has been released since 1850 (5,200 GtCO2 or 1,500 GtC) (see Chapter 3 in IPCC, 2001a). A scenario for achieving significant reductions in emissions but without the use of CCS (Berk et al., 2001) demonstrates the extent to which a shift away from fossil fuels would be required to stabilize at 450 ppmv by 2100. Thus, sufficient fossil fuels exist for continued use for decades to come. This means that the availability of fossil fuels does not limit the potential application of CO2 capture and storage; CCS would provide a way of limiting the environmental impact of the continued use of fossil fuels.

        That’s on page 75 of the srccs_whole.pdf.

        Arithmetic might very well be as important for discounting than it is for counting.

      • Plants capture CO2 and given the right conditions, can store it virtually indefinitely. And don’t think they won’t.
        =========

      • Indeed, this is why mavericks are proposing we invent CO2-sucking trees.

        ***

        There are interesting figures in table 4.2 of this report:

        http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/wg3/ar4-wg3-chapter4.pdf

        Page 264, I believe.

      • And of course we can count on phycisists and engineers and geologists to do the bean-counting of carbon emissions. Read papers and books by David Rutledge and David Goodstein of CalTech, Tad Patzek of UT, and Richard Muller of UCB.

        Goodstein was a student, colleague, and biographer of Feynman so you skeptics have no excuse. Goodstein is not a ghost.

      • Speaking of David Goodstein, here’s David Archer, vintage 2005:

        David Goodstein in his excellent book The End of the Age of Oil states, “If we were to suddenly stop burning fossil fuel, the natural carbon cycle would probably restore the previous concentration in a thousand years or so.” I assume that Goodstein is conservatively applying several century-long e-folding times to derive his thousand years, but he implicitly assumes that the CO2 will relax toward its 1750 concentration. The point is that it does not.

        When you release a slug of new CO2 into the atmosphere, dissolution in the ocean gets rid of about three quarters of it, more or less, depending on how much is released. The rest has to await neutralization by reaction with CaCO3 or igneous rocks on land and in the ocean [2-6]. These rock reactions also restore the pH of the ocean from the CO2 acid spike. My model indicates that about 7% of carbon released today will still be in the atmosphere in 100,000 years [7]. I calculate a mean lifetime, from the sum of all the processes, of about 30,000 years. That’s a deceptive number, because it is so strongly influenced by the immense longevity of that long tail. If one is forced to simplify reality into a single number for popular discussion, several hundred years is a sensible number to choose, because it tells three-quarters of the story, and the part of the story which applies to our own lifetimes.

        However, the long tail is a lot of baby to throw out in the name of bath-time simplicity. Major ice sheets, in particular in Greenland [8], ocean methane clathrate deposits [9], and future evolution of glacial/interglacial cycles [10] might be affected by that long tail. A better shorthand for public discussion might be that CO2 sticks around for hundreds of years, plus 25% that sticks around forever.

        http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2005/03/how-long-will-global-warming-last

        Seems that MiniMax uses the same kind of implicit assumption.

    • k scott denison

      Hey, JimD, if it was all due to CO2, then why didn’t it runaway? I mean the warmer oceans = more CO2 outgassing, which means hire temperatures, …

      So why are we here to discuss it today? Didn’t the planet melt back then?

      • k scott denison

        Ugh *higher. I hate autocorrect.

      • ksd, the numbers don’t support a runaway effect. You have to raise ocean temperatures 25 C to double the CO2. I think the current warming adds about 10 ppm per degree, small compared to the anthropogenic input.

      • k scott denison

        JimD, nice evasion, but if more CO2 = more warming = more CO2 from the oceans, please tell what stopped the temperature from continuing to climb.

      • You can work it out. It is a cycle with diminishing returns.

      • KSD doesn’t want to work it out.

        I on the other hand feel compelled to work it out, and support what JimD said. It’s a mild positive feedback effect.

      • k scott Denison and Jim D

        Jim D has guess-timated that every degree of global warming would increase atmospheric CO2 by 10 ppmv, due to added net ocean degassing,

        IOW the ocean would lose 10 ppmv to the atmosphere on a net overall basis and thus become more alkaline in the process.

        I have not heard this particular theory before, but let’s assume that Jim is right.

        All the fossil fuels left on our planet could get us to 980 ppmv CO2 in the atmosphere when they are all 100% used up.

        And, at the latest observation-based estimates of 2xCO2 equilibrium climate sensitivity of around 1.5C, this added CO2 would cause a global warming of 2C.

        But wait!

        We’ve got to add in the net “extra” CO2 that Jim says will come out of the warmer ocean.

        According to Jim this is 2*10 ppmv = 20 ppmv

        This increases the total (maximum ever theoretically possible) CO2 from 980 to 1000 ppmv, and this would theoretically raise temperature by another 0.04C

        Webby calls this a “weak positive feedback”.

        IPCC AR4 gives it the fancy scientific-sounding name of “climate-carbon cycle feedback”, but concedes that the understanding of this effect is too limited to assess the magnitude.

        I’d say it’s sort of a nice-sounding pipe dream.

        Max

      • Yeah Max,
        hunan ingenuity and the ‘heritage of The Enlightenment’.
        Herwith a poem repeat on same though I know I’m up
        against heavy comp-e-tishun here, poetry wise I mean.

        O we are creatures of the light, of enlightenment.
        Drawn to the light flickering on the river,
        The riffling silver threads disturbing its opacity.
        Drawn to the litter of stars that spark
        In the dark abyss of night, to the harvest moon,
        Palpable as globed fruit, forgetting
        Its light’s reflected from the sun.
        Shine on, o shine, harvest moon!
        Seeking through poetry and science, to probe
        The secrets of the heavens and deep ayss,
        We yearn fo honey from the golden hive,
        Enlightenment – o.
        BC

      • Beth

        +1

        You nailed it again, with a “mighty purty pom”.

        (Enlightenment is so enlightening)

        Yer feller serf Max

    • It wasn’t Alley that claimed it was 10 C warmer, but other more recent paleoclimate papers show the Eocene oceans to be 14 C warmer 50 million years ago when CO2 was about 1000 ppm, but possibly higher. This works out as a high climate sensitivity that includes albedo effects due to no ice and changes in vegetation darkening northern latitudes (alligators at high latitudes and all that), so this is why the sensitivity appears higher. You can also work out at least 10 C per doubling if you look at the temperature and CO2 change since the last Ice Age, but we know that was partly albedo because of the retreat of the northern glaciers because CO2 only increased 50% and can’t account for that by itself. In this case the CO2 was a feedback to the Milankovitch effect, which is why it lagged and the ocean can only release it slowly as it warms accounting for the lag. I am fairly sure Alley knows all this and can explain it to the GPC.

      • k scott denison

        If the ocean was 10 or 14C warmer, what caused it to cool? How did the CO2 concentration dissipate then? Why won’t it do the same in the future?

      • Paleoclimate says that carbon can be sequestered into the soil and rocks. This especially happens during continent building but also happens in the oceans with carbonate sediments from life. It is a slow process, but it happened and cooling went along with it.

      • Jim D

        Thanks for clarifying that it wasn’t Alley who came up with the ludicrous 10C warmer number based on 1000 ppmv CO2.

        As pointed out to Webby, we could theoretically only get to 2C to 4C warmer than today be burning all the fossil fuels remaining on our planet (and getting atmospheric CO2 up to just under 1000 ppmv).

        So 10C warmer than today is a pipe dream.

        Sure “you can also work out at least 10 C per doubling” if you use crazy hypothetical assumptions or subjective interpretations of dicey paleo-climate proxy data of carefully cherry-picked periods of our planet’s geological past and apply an argument from ignorance to guess-timate CO2 attribution by difference.

        But it doesn’t mean anything, Jim. It’s no better than reading tea leaves (you can get any answer you want.)

        Actual observations show us the 2xCO2 ECS is very likely to be around 1.5C – not 10C.

        And, on that basis, the maximum GH warming we could ever see from burning fossil fuels is around 2C

        And nothing to get your knickers all twisted about.

        Max

    • Peter Lang and Nick Stokes

      It takes a bit of digging, but there are figures in the WEC 2010 report of both world-wide “proven fossil fuel reserves” and “total inferred recoverable fossil fuel resources” (a figure that is much higher). The highest figures are for “total inferred possible resources”, but it is cautioned that a good part of these estimates may not ever be recoverable.

      The WEC estimates of various pieces have been cited elsewhere (ex. Wiki cites recoverable shale oil resources based on the WEC 2010 report).

      It pays to double-check all the figures against other sources that are out there.

      In checking all this out, I’ve found that most sources give lower estimates than the totals I’ve extracted from WEC 2010, and I have seen no source with higher estimates.

      But I’m waiting for Nick Stokes to go through WEC 2010 in detail and give us his estimate of what’s in there so we can compare with my estimate.

      Be back in about a week, but will try to check in during my absence..

      Max

  28. Judith Curry

    As I read it, the 2007 APS statement as modified in 2010 now reads as follows:

    “Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are changing the atmosphere Earth’s energy balance on a planetary scale in ways that affect the Earth’s climate. Greenhouse gases include, in order of importance, water vapor, carbon dioxide, as well as methane, nitrous oxide and other gases. They are emitted from fossil fuel combustion and a range of industrial and agricultural processes as well as from natural sources.

    While there are factors driving the natural variability of climate (e.g., volcanoes, solar variability, oceanic oscillations), no known natural mechanisms have been proposed as yet that explain all of the observed warming in the past century.

    The evidence is incontrovertible compelling: Global warming is occurring. The observational data indicate a global surface warming of 0.74 °C (+/- 0.18 °C) since the late 19th century.

    If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth’s physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and human health are likely to occur. Such predicted disruptions are based on direct measurements (e.g., ocean acidification, rising sea levels, etc.), on the study of past climate change phenomena, and on climate models.

    We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now. Even with the uncertainties in the models, it is increasingly difficult to rule out that non-negligible increases in global temperature are a consequence of rising anthropogenic CO2. Thus given the significant risks associated with global climate change, prudent steps should be taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions now while continuing to improve the observational data and the model predictions.

    Climate models calculate the effects of natural and anthropogenic changes on the ecosphere, such as doubling of the CO2-equivalent concentration relative to its pre-industrial value by the year 2100. These models have uncertainties associated with radiative response functions, especially clouds and water vapor. However, the models show that water vapor has a net positive feedback effect (in addition to CO2 and other gases) on global temperatures. The impact of clouds is less certain because of their dual role as scatterers blockers and reflectors of incoming solar radiation and as greenhouse contributors. The uncertainty in the net effect of human activity on climate is reflected in the broad distribution of the predicted magnitude of the consequence of doubling of the CO2-equivalent concentration. The uncertainty in the estimates from various climate models for doubling CO2-equivalent concentration is in the range of 1°C to 3°C, with latest estimates at the lower end of the range

    Because the complexity of the climate makes accurate prediction difficult, the APS urges an enhanced effort to understand the effects of human activity on the Earth’s climate, and to provide the technological options for meeting the climate challenge in the near and longer terms. The APS also urges governments, universities, national laboratories and its membership to support policies and actions that will reduce the emission of greenhouse gases.”

    Sounds a bit less “normative” (and a bit more “informative”) than the original statement.

    Max

    • Max, but still normatively assumes with no evidence that mitigation costs will have net benefits. It infers policy action which is beyond its competence.

      • Faustino

        Agree with everything you write.

        Our hostess has apparently voiced the opinion that the whole statement should be scrapped.

        There is still way too much “certainty” in the scientific part.

        And the APS should not even get into the policy part, for the reason you state.

        Max

  29. Contrast “The objective of the GPC”:

    The focus of the Topical Group on the Physics of Climate (GPC) is on the physics of climate processes and measurements.

    It is not concerned with matters of policy, legislation, or regulation.

    With the 2007 APS Statement on Climate Change::

    If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth’s physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and human health are likely to occur. We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now.

    Because the complexity of the climate makes accurate prediction difficult, the APS urges an enhanced effort to understand the effects of human activity on the Earth’s climate, and to provide the technological options for meeting the climate challenge in the near and longer terms. The APS also urges governments, universities, national laboratories and its membership to support policies and actions that will reduce the emission of greenhouse gases.

    The GPC objective looks good. Will it be followed? Glad JC is on the committee.

  30. Judith Curry

    Forgot to mention this above, but

    Congratulations on your appointment and lots of success in bringing a highly qualified and objective viewpoint on the ongoing scientific and policy debate surrounding climate change to the group.

    Max

  31. Generalissimo Skippy

    To turn to something much more serious for a moment – we have decided to invade New Zealand and annex the New Zealand cricket team. Desperate times demand desperate measures.

    • It’s a pity mosomoso has banned me from mentioning cr*ck*t, given that I’m an Indophile Pommie whose first exposure to television was days 4 and 5 of the Oval test in 1953, when my hero Dennis Compton hit the winning runs as England regained the Ashes. But I think we are less desperate than you.

  32. “There was controversy surrounding this statement, including Correspondence published in Nature by Fred Singer, Hal Lewis, Will Happer, Larry Gould, Roger Cohen, and Robert Austin entitled Petitioning for a revised statement on climate change …”
    ________

    Some of those guys are so old it makes me wonder if they are out of touch with the science. Age takes its toll.

    Fred Singer born 1924 age 87

    Hal Lewis born 1923 died 2011 at age 87 RIP

    William Happer born 1939 age 73

    Larry Gould B.S. in 1964, so estimated age 70

    Roger Cohen, retired, age not found

    Robert Austin, age not found

    • Perhaps, as you grow up, you’ll learn math.
      ==========

    • Not likely. I will still have only the same number of fingers and toes.

      If you are an old hag or witch, I didn’t mean for my post to be offensive.

    • Some of those guys are so old it makes me wonder if they are out of touch with the science.

      That is wrong.

      It is the reverse.

      They are not any more worried about their careers so they are able to speak the truth as Simpson stated:

      Since I am no longer affiliated with any organization nor receive any funding, I can speak quite frankly. […] The main basis of the claim that man’s release of greenhouse gases is the cause of the warming is based almost entirely upon climate models.

      • Girma, if that were the case, more older scientists would be speaking out. The protestors are but a drop in the bucket. Every large organization has a few old cranks.

    • Max OK, you complain about age. I was under the impression that pissant progressives usually don’t discriminate, especially about age. Your delusional if you think any of the people you cite deny the Tyndall effect, deny S-B. What they deny is the only thing any rational scientist would contest, the sensitivity to CO2 forcing. You see Max, without a positive feedback, the whole of CAGW falls on its face. What these brilliant people you denigrate think is that with 1-3 degrees of warming you might get with a doubling of CO2 is no big deal. Can’t hurt, might even help. Put an end to your obnoxious discrimination.

      • Bob, I’m not complaining about age. I hope to get to be as old as Singer and Lewis. And if I am that lucky, I don’t expect to be as sharp mentally as I am today.

    • k scott denison

      Max_OK | March 25, 2013 at 6:33 am | Reply

      Some of those guys are so old it makes me wonder if they are out of touch with the science. Age takes its toll.
      ——–
      When and if you grow up, Max, you’ll understand the sheer stupidity and arrogance of this statement. You may be bright, in spite of what you write here, but you are certainly not wise.

    • Max, you may be able to judge people based soley on their age, but I need to know their race, gender, religion and sexual orientation before I make judgements.

      • People age regardless of race, gender, religion, and sexual orientation. Age-restricted retirement communities are legal. I doubt a similar restriction based on race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation would be legal.

      • Justify your prejudice any way you choose. I know a lot of very sharp old people.

  33. David Wojick

    The GPC focus blurb makes no mention or even a hint of scientific debate or controversy. This is the pile of knowledge model of science but the frontier is a land of controversy not knowledge. There is very little agreement as to what is known about the climate system. It is not just a question of uncertainty but rather of active disagreement. The GPC needs to find a way to openly express scientific disagreement. Otherwise it is probably a waste of time.

  34. Here is the last sentence of the APS policy statement on climate change.

    “The APS also urges governments, universities, national laboratories and its membership to support policies and actions that will reduce the emission of greenhouse gases.

    http://www.aps.org/policy/statements/07_1.cfm

    To please deniers, the APS could replace it with the following:

    Reducing greenhouse gases might be a good thing, a bad thing, or neither. We can’t say one way or another. It’s all so complicated, so complex, so confusing. You figure it out. Just leave us alone.

    • Or simpler, physics can’t figure out policy.
      =======

      • Physics, not ideology, should drive policy. You can depend on physics, but ideology will get you in trouble.

      • Max Ok

        Entirely agree with you. But will it?

        tonyb

      • David Wojick

        I cannot imagine what depending on physics means? Do you mean depend on physicists? Suppose they do not agree? Then what should policy do? That is the question.

        BTW between chaos theory and dark energy physics is as unsettled as it has ever been. This is good because science is not a pile of facts.

      • David Wojick

        Climate science is about as far from bench physics as one can get. Here is a simple question. Which is more complex, the climate system or the human body? Prizes will be awarded.

      • Easy, since the climate system contains human bodies.
        =====

      • Steven Mosher

        physics cant drive policy. physics can inform policy, but in the absence of knowledge and even in the face of scientific controversy, policy is still decided, even if that policy is BAU. Nothing follows from physics or the lack of physics

        1. C02 will cause 3C of warming.
        2. so what?

        The so what involves concepts where physics is silent.

      • David Wojick

        True to a point Kim because climate modeling is driven in part by emission scenarios which depend in part on technology and economic forecasts, etc., which are predictions of human stuff. But I am looking for a science of complexity that will do for the 21st century what thermodynamics did for the 19th, namely measure and compare apparently different systems. So not so easy. Putting a person in a wheelbarrow does not increase the complexity of the wheelbarrow.

      • David Wojick

        Mosher: The pertinent problem is not that physics cannot do #2, rather it is that #1 is controversial within physics. Thus “so what?” cannot yet arise. Physics is not silent it is alive with debate.

      • Well, David, I’m curious what in climate can be analogous to imagination.

        And the human in the wheelbarrow is already directing its voyage, somewhat drunkenly, for sure.
        =================

      • Steven Mosher

        david it doesnt matter that #1 is controversial in science. The presence or absence of controversy tells you nothing.
        A rational policy maker can very easily defend using physics that is controversial to make a policy. There is nothing preventing that. Any policy maker can decide that he will or will not listen to one side or the other. Controversy is a wheel that doesnt turn. In the case of C02, the controversy makes a decision even more important.

      • Steven Mosher

        ‘True to a point Kim because climate modeling is driven in part by emission scenarios which depend in part on technology and economic forecasts, etc., which are predictions of human stuff. ”

        For SRES this was true. For RCPs it is less true. Update your reading David.

        Second it doesnt matter that these are predictions of human stuff, we predict human stuff all the time when we pass laws. Uncertainty and controversy are not impediments to action, in fact action can often resolve uncertainty. Thats called an experiment. So,

        1. Some people want to continue the experiment of dumping C02 in the air when there is uncertainty about its effects.
        2. Some people want to experiment on the economic system by imposing taxes to cut C02 when there is uncertainty and controversy.

        Note how neither party is constrained by uncertainty in their policy proscriptions. basically, the physics matter less than you think

      • David Wojick

        Mosher, you seem to be objecting to points I have not made so I do not know what you are saying. But I am pretty sure that science does matter in policy making. You seem to be suggesting that it does not.

      • Steven Mosher | March 25, 2013 at 12:44 pm |

        1. C02 will cause 3C of warming.
        2. so what?

        The so what involves concepts where physics is silent.

        The “CO2 will cause 3C of warming” involves producing empirical evidence where the physics of AGW/CAGW pushing faux scientists is silent.

        Where are the industries utilising the amazing unproven claims for CO2 being able to raise the temperature of land and water by back radiation or blanketing? Quickly now, the cost of my home heating oil goes up even as I write..

    • And they’d be right.

  35. “the clear majority of the membership believe”

    A comforting notion for any pastor.

    Andrew

  36. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    BREAKING NEWS

    New Research Confirms Global Warming Has Accelerated

    Here we present the time evolution of the global ocean heat content for 1958 through 2009 from a new observational-based reanalysis of the ocean.

    Volcanic eruptions and El Niño events are identified as sharp cooling events punctuating a long-term ocean warming trend, while heating continues during the recent upper-ocean-warming hiatus, but the heat is absorbed in the deeper ocean.

    In the last decade, about 30% of the warming has occurred below 700 m, contributing significantly to an acceleration of the warming trend.

    Summary

    •  Climate-change skepticism has fallen to global heat-balance analysis.
    •  Willfully ignorant free-market ideology has fallen to the tragedy of the commons.
    •  Shortsighted selfishness is falling to foresighted science-guided morality.

    Conclusion  An APS summary statement *IS* in order.

    So climate-change isn’t complicated, is it, eh Climate Etc readers? The short summary is, that James Hansen’s 1981 worldview has proved to be scientifically, economically, and morally correct? So that skepticism, ignorant ideology, and short-sighted selfishness all are falling? That’s the sum of it, right?

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

    • So the missing heat is where the buoy network is unable to accurately measure temperature. Shock news from Trenberth then.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        DENIALISM’S DESPERATE TENETS

        •  the ARGO energy-budget data is wrong, and/or
        •  the scientists (Trenbarth et al) are corrupt, and/or
        •  the Three Laws of thermodynamics are wrong.

        DocMartyn, you have publicly committed to the first two tenets of denialism!

        Uhhh … maybe … just maybe … all three tenets of climate-change denialism are wrong?

        Perhaps climate-change denialists should seriously consider that possibility, eh DocMartyn?

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

      • It could be one of those three, or the fourth, Trenbarth et al are not making things up as they have a time machine and so are able to measure the heat content of the oceans from 1955 to 2007.
        2007 was the initiation year for the Argo Network, before this there was no method to measure the heat content of the Oceans; we know this to be the case as this lack of data was one of the reasons the Argos Network was funded.
        So Trenbarth et al MUST have access to a Blue colored police box and us this to go into the past and measure the ocean heat content.
        If they do not have a time travel device then it shows that Geophysical Research Letters is no longer a peer reviewed science journal.

    • I hope we can have a main post topic based on this ocean heat content paper (Balmaseda, Trenberth and Kallen, 2013). Back to science and observations that counter the so-called pause which is central to the skeptical argument these days. Seems quite relevant. Just observations, no models.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        Jim D | March 25, 2013 at 12:49 pm | Reply

        I hope we can have a main post topic based on this ocean heat content paper (Balmaseda, Trenberth and Kallen, 2013). Back to science and observations that counter the so-called pause which is central to the skeptical argument these days. Seems quite relevant. Just observations, no models.

        Since BTK didn’t analyze actual observations, but instead they analyzed the output of a computer model, in fact it’s ALL models and NO observations …

        However, I’m sure that their results and conclusions apply to similarly modeled planets all over the world …

        w.

      • yes i have flagged this paper for a post, hopefully will get something posted in a day or two

      • “central” really? So all those pre pause skeptical arguments just up and disappeared themselves?

      • It’s close to 1.3 w/m^2 heat absorption rate which is greater than 80% of the excess due to the 3C climate sensitivity.

        The missing heat seems to be accounted for according to their OHC chart.

      • Indeed it is a reanalysis where observational constraints are imposed on an ocean model as it runs. Can a reanalysis lead to biases given that the observations control it, and with Argo that is a big constraint? I don’t see how, but this should be a useful debate on reanalyses and data assimilation.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Willis Eschenbach wildly asserts “BTK didn’t analyze actual observations.”

        LOL … prediction time has arrived, Willis Eschenbach (and other skeptics/denialists)!

        •  If the ocean warming as assessed by Kevin Trenberth and colleagues continues unabated, then sea-level rise (from heat-induced water expansion) will continue unabated too.

        •  If the ice-melt as assessed by satellite gravimetry accelerates, then sea-level rise (from the ice-melt) will accelerate too … as predicted by James Hansen and colleagues.

        To make the same point another way, ain’t Kevin Trenbarth’s ARGO calorimetry independently affirmed by GRACE gravimetry and JASON altimetry?

        A Simple Question  Willis Eschenbach, what is the *skeptical* prediction for sea-level rise — as assessed by altimetry, calorimetry, and gravimetry — in the coming decade?

        Because if climate-change skeptics are right, ain’t we already a few years overdue for sea-level rise-rates to flatten and/or decline?

        The world (rightly) wonders, eh Willis Eschenbach?

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

      • Chef Hydrologist

        So here is the missing energy.

        Does it matter that it is all in SW? Of course it does except to the agenda driven.

      • Fanny

        You ask Willis:

        Willis Eschenbach, what is the *skeptical* prediction for sea-level rise — as assessed by altimetry, calorimetry, and gravimetry — in the coming decade?

        That’s the wrong question, Fanny.

        All these measurement techniques haven’t been around long enough to get a meaningful record, especially for decadal rate of sea level rise, which has varied from -1mm/year to over +5mm/year over the 20th century, as measured by tide gauges.

        The average rate over the 20th C was ~1.7 mm/yr. The rate was ~2.0 mm/yr over the first half of the 20thC and then decreased slightly over the second half of the 20thC to ~1.4 mm/yr.

        In addition, in the case of satellite altimetry, the errors have been greater than the rate of increase, according to the NOAA scientists making the measurements.

        http://www.cosis.net/abstracts/EGU04/05276/EGU04-J-05276.pdf

        So let’s reword your question so it makes sense:

        what is the *skeptical* prediction for sea-level rise — as assessed by any tried method — in the coming decade?

        I can’t speak for willis, but my prediction would be “within the range observed during the past century, i.e. somewhere between -1 mm/year to +5 mm.year”

        You can write that down.

        Max

      • Jim, a model of vertical heat transfer in the oceans that descibes one of its weaknesses as large surface salinity errors. Make sure you hard boil the eggs before you put them in that holey easter basket.

      • A reanalysis is a way to use data over time more effectively. An analysis has observation points at a given time and interpolates between them to get volume data. A reanalysis brings previous observations forwards in time with a gridded model to help fill gaps between new obs. By such a reanalysis cycle the model can combine data over long time periods using the flow of the currents. This is the gist of data assimilation methods.

      • Jim D |
        I don’t have access to the paper, but here a look at it:

        http://climatecrocks.com/2013/03/25/global-warming-continues-acceleration/

        One of the clearest features in Figure 1 is the rapid warming of the oceans over the past decade. As we have previously discussed, the warming of the shallower oceans has slowed since around 2003, which certain climate contrarians have cherrypicked to try and argue that global warming has slowed. However, more heat accumulated in the deeper oceans below 700 meters during this period. The authors describe the ocean warming since 1999 as,

        “the most sustained warming trend in this record of OHC. Indeed, recent warming rates of the waters below 700m appear to be unprecedented.”

        Hot water rises, cold water sinks.

        Direct radiant heat from the Sun, that is, the real heat from the Sun which is thermal infrared aka longwave infrared, heats both land and ocean, (visible light from the Sun cannot heat land and water, therefore plays no practical part in heating the ocean, that is, in physically raising the temperature of the water by moving water molecules into vibration).

        So, let’s stick with real heat transfer by convection and radiation. If the oceans warming so far down is “unprecedented” (have they taken out a copyright on this term?), it will be because the ocean is being heated up more from the bottom.

        http://carbon-budget.geologist-1011.net/

        2.0 Calculated Estimates: Glorified Guesswork
        The estimation of worldwide volcanic CO2 emission is undermined by a severe shortage of data. To make matters worse, the reported output of any individual volcano is itself an estimate based on limited rather than complete measurement. One may reasonably assume that in each case, such estimates are based on a representative and statistically significant quantity of empirical measurements. Then we read statements, such as this one courtesy of the USGS (2010):

        “Scientists have calculated that volcanoes emit between about 130-230 million tonnes (145-255 million tons) of CO2 into the atmosphere every year (Gerlach, 1991). This estimate includes both subaerial and submarine volcanoes, about in equal amounts.”

        In point of fact, the total worldwide estimate of roughly 55 MtCpa is by one researcher, rather than “scientists” in general. More importantly, this estimate by Gerlach (1991) is based on emission measurements taken from only seven subaerial volcanoes and three hydrothermal vent sites. Yet the USGS glibly claims that Gerlach’s estimate includes both subaerial and submarine volcanoes in roughly equal amounts. Given the more than 3 million volcanoes worldwide indicated by the work of Hillier & Watts (2007), one might be prone to wonder about the statistical significance of Gerlach’s seven subaerial volcanoes and three hydrothermal vent sites. If the statement of the USGS concerning volcanic CO2 is any indication of the reliability of expert consensus, it would seem that verifiable facts are eminently more trustworthy than professional opinion.
        This is not an isolated case. Kerrick (2001) takes a grand total of 19 subaerial volcanoes, which on p. 568 is described as only 10% of “more than 100 subaerial volcanoes”. It is interesting to observe that Kerrick (2001) leaves out some of the more notable volcanoes (eg. Tambora, Krakatoa, Mauna Loa, Pinatubo, El Chichon, Katmai, Vesuvius, Agung, Toba, etc.). Nevertheless, despite these omissions Kerrick calculates 2.0-2.5 x 1012 mol of annual CO2 emissions from all subaerial volcanoes, which is understated on the assumption that the sample is from the most active volcanic demographic. This is in spite of the fact that eight of the world’s ten most active volcanoes are omitted from Kerrick’s study (Klyuchevskoy Karymsky, Shishaldin, Colima, Soufriere Hills, Pacaya, Santa Maria, Guagua Pichincha, & Mount Mayon). At 44.01g/mol, 2.0-2.5 x 1012 mol of CO2 amounts to a total of 24-30 MtCpa – less than 0.05% of total industrial emissions (7.8 GtCpa according to IPCC, 2007). My main criticism of Kerrick’s guess is that it putatively covers only 10% of a highly variable phenomenon on land, and with the cursory dismissal of mid oceanic ridge emissions, ignores all other forms of submarine volcanism altogether. If we take the Smithsonian Institute’s list of more than 1000 potentially active subaerial volcanoes worldwide, Kerrick’s 10% is reduced to 1-3%.

        For pity’s sake, get a grip on yourselves, you’re supposedly scientists..

        That you’ve managed to fu the education system systematically with this fake fisics designed to sell the illusion of The AGW Greenhouse Effect is to your collective shame.

        You don’t even know the difference between heat and light. You have sod all to say about climate because this means you don’t even know how we get our weather.

      • A fan … wrote, “LOL … prediction time has arrived, Willis Eschenbach (and other skeptics/denialists)!”

        Ewwww. This is gonna hurt. Take it away, w.

    • Thanks Fan,

      Glad to know that the heat is being dissipated into the deep ocean. This will give us several thousand years before the problem gets serious. Plenty of time to study it and make sure there really is a problem.

      • Gad, if we could only time its release for when we need it. Oh, well, in Gaia we trust.
        =============

      • Interesting to see James Hansen’s 1981 paper vindicated.

        He described the diffusion of heat in exactly the way it is playing out. Draw Fick’s law right through the layers and you have it captured. They can then estimate the effective diffusion coefficient.
        Heck, I might try that.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Bill argues “Heat is being dissipated into the deep ocean. This will give us several thousand years before the problem gets serious.”

        Or equivalently:

        Bill argues (in effect) “I’ve rolled my credit-card debt into a second mortgage, on grounds of faith that my children are certain to be wealthy!”

        Bill, although your “solution” to the accelerating reality of AGW is economically sound, some authorities regard encumbering future generations by despoiling the earth for profit to be

        •  morally dubious, and

        •  socially dubious, and

        •  scientifically dubious.

        Are you entirely certain that you’ve thought through all the implications of your economic scheme, Bill?

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

      • Chef Hydrologist

        If James Hansen described diffusion of heat from the atmosphere to the oceans I would be surprised. This instead is a bizarre misconception peculiar to webby.

        Looking at the actual data – the ‘missing heat’ is entirely the result of albedo change.

      • So here goes the undergrad-level thermal physics analysis. In other words, the following mathematical explanation is the way a physicist would interpret the data presented in Balmaseda, Trenberth, and Källén (BTK) to a first-order approximation.

        We have three depths that we are looking at, in addition to the surface layer. These are given as depths to 300 meters, to 700 meters, and down to infinity, as charted on the SkS site :

        An application of Fick’’s Law is to approximate the amount of material that has diffused (with thermal diffusion coefficient D) at least a certain distance, x, over a time duration, t, by

        e^{\frac{-x}{\sqrt{Dt}}} = Q/Q_0

        For greater than 300 meters, Q/Q_0 is 13.5/20 read from the chart at SkS
        For greater than 700 meters, Q/Q_0 is 7.5/20
        Where Q_0=20 is the baseline for the total heat measured over all depths (i.e. between x=0 and x=infinite depth) reached at the current time. No heat will diffuse to infinite depths so at that point Q/Q_0 is 0/20.

        First, we can check to see how close the value of L=sqrt(Dt) scales, by fitting the Q/Q_0 ratio at each depth..
        For x=300 meters, we get L=763
        For x=700 meters, we get L=713

        These two are close enough to maintaining invariance that the Fick’’s law scaling relation holds and we can infer that the flow is by an effective diffusion, just as was surmised by Hansen et al in 1981.

        We then use an average elapsed diffusion time of t=40 years and assume an average diffusion depth of 740, and D comes out to 4.5 cm^2/s.

        Hansen in 1981 used an estimated value of diffusion of 1 cm^2/s, which is within an order of magnitude of 4.5 cm^2/s

        This is a scratch attempt at a first-order solution. As a more elaborate solution, what we really need to do is work the temporal profile out more accurately, assuming a growing thermal forcing function. The simple analysis described above is the equivalent of generating a unit step function 40 years ago and watching that evolve. Instead we need to apply a modulated forcing function and compute the convolution against the thermal impulse response (i.e. Green’s function) and evaluate it that way.

        In any case, this is essentially a homework assignment that Prof. Curry would hand out in her class. The TA would look at the logic of each student’s solution and grade it and then the class would move on to the next topic. In the back of physics textbooks, there are many harder problems to solve — this is a run-of-the-mill problem for a book on thermal physics.

        This is the article that predicted what we are now seeing:
        J. Hansen, D. Johnson, A. Lacis, S. Lebedeff, P. Lee, D. Rind, and G. Russell, “Climate impact of increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide,” Science, vol. 213 (4511), pp. 957–966.

        http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/1981/1981_Hansen_etal.pdf

        Reading Hansen and looking at the BTK paper’s results nothing looks out of the ordinary compared to conventional thermal physics. Upthread, I noted that the total heat absorbed by the ocean is very close to that expected by a 3C doubling sensitivity. BTK has done the important step in determining the amount of total heat absorbed, which allows us to estimate the effective diffusion coefficient, by evaluating how the heat contents modulate with depth. I like to add a maximum uncertainty modifier to the coefficient to model the disorder in diffusivity (some of it eddy diffusivity, some vertical, etc), but that is not necessary to get a ballpark number.

        Why do the skeptics think that this particular situation would violate textbook thermal physics? We will probably never know.

      • Webster, so you come up with 4.5 cm/s. Starting at the tropical 20C thermocline? Perhaps you started in the North Atlantic at the 4 C? How many years does that work out per degree C increase in average ocean temperature? 600 or so?

      • Cappy Dick sez:

        “Webster, so you come up with 4.5 cm/s. “

        That’s not the correct dimensionality for a diffusion coefficient. It’s 4.5 cm^2/s, not 4.5 cm/s. I still don’t have a clue whether you have any background in physics.

        You just seem to throw an empty hook out there to see if anyone will bite. Sorry Charlie.

      • Webster, Whether you unit area is cm^2, M^2 or furlongs squared, the heat still has to travel some distance to fill the volume. How long would it take to fill the volume with enough joules of energy to increase the temperature 1 C degrees? If you are assuming that the average rate of diffusion over the entire surface is 4.5 cm^2/s I would guess you are wrong since the surface temperature of the oceans in the tropics is not warming. If you are assuming the heat is entering at both poles, i would say you are wrong, the southern oceans are cooling while the north Atlantic is warming.

        You keep throwing out numbers with no time frames. since the current rate of OH uptake is on the order of 0.5×10^22 joules per year, I figure about 500 years per degree. Since SSW events are on the same order of magnitude, it will likely be long since they are in the NH where most of the warming is occurring.

      • This is describing the mean-value physics.

        Read Hansen’s 1981 paper. and you will see that the heating of the ocean suppresses the globally averaged warming.

        I have a post here that describes much of this in more depth but lacking the BTK paper, I didn’t estimate D

        http://theoilconundrum.blogspot.com/2012/01/thermal-diffusion-and-missing-heat.html

        Also get a book on thermal physics. I would suggest Reif’s “Fundamentals of Thermal and Statistical Physics”.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Groan. It is physically unrealistic because heat does not diffuse from the atmosphere to the oceans.

        Over oceans the flow of energy is from the sun to the oceans and thence as IR to the atmosphere and back to space. When greenhouse gases increase – it results in a warmer atmosphere almost immediately. This changes the net radiation in the top microns of the oceans reducing the heat loss from the ocean to the atmosphere. Sunlight warms the oceans to a hundred metres or so and this heat is then emmitted as IR from the surface and as convection and – to a much lesser extent – conduction. Declarations to the contrary notwithstanding – this is well known and included in all of the energy budgets. Slowing down of heat loss causes the oceans to warm and losses in IR, conduction and convection to increase. Ultimately, the ocean energy losses are equal to inputs and the ocean stops warming. The atmosphere is at this stage again at a conditional radiative balance at toa.

        Technically – a function that is not physically realistic – conceptually modelling this as effective diffusion of heat from the atmosphere to the oceans for instance – is known as a black box model and requires good data to mean anything at all. It must be calibrated to data and in this case is quite pointless as one may as well refer directly to the data itself.

        You can do all the baby physics and make all the assumptions you like – in the end it must fit to the curve and tells you nothing about the real physical processes going on. The result is mathematical gobbledegook that webby passes for realistic analysis. Is he serious? Is FOMBS serious with the wildly irrelevant functions thrown into the mix? I don’t know – but if you believe them it could be seriously misleading.

        To make any sense of it at all you need to look at data. Here for instance is Fig 7 from – Wong et al 2006.

        It shows the net change in ERBS and ocean heat content. What I find interesting is that OHC follows the trajectory of changes in toa radiant energy flux. Does this imply that the oceans don’t have much of a memory at all but simply warm and cool as dictated by the radiative imbalance at toa? Net ERBS was composed of 2.1W.m^2 warming in shortwave and 0.7 W/m^2 cooling in IR between the 80’s and 90’s. Cloud radiative forcing then increased a couple of Watts/m^2 in the 1998/2001 climate shift – seen here in ISCCP-FD data but also in ERBS and Project Earthshine.

        Assuming that radiative imbalance at toa changes solely as a result of greenhouse gas changes is incorrect. The perils of using a 30 year old paper is that the concepts, data and methods are radically out of date. With ARGO since 2003 and CERES since March 2000 a new generation of instruments is available for elucidation.

        The ocean warmed in ARGO data? I see no reason to dispute this but from CERES we can be sure that the primary cause was changes in cloud radiative forcing. It bothers me that this is not explicitly stated. They may assume that these are positive cloud feedbacks but this assumption needs to be exposed.

        This is how real scientists work webby. We use data to explore concepts – and do not fit data to preconceived notions while ignoring the inconvenient.

      • Webster, “Also get a book on physics..” Tiplers has done me well

        That is why I started looking at meridional flux by region.

        The ACC is the location of the majority of the deep ocean heat uptake. The southern pole is thermally isolated, the ACC pumps water to the partially isolated northern hemisphere, the heat uptake looks a little more complex than a simple diffusion application. Once you get into time scales over centuries there is a lot of factors involved. My estimate seems to fit the GFDL ocean model rates, but for some reason my magnitude is about 1/4 of Hansen’s using absolute SST data.

        Since the minimum temperature is fixed by the heat of fusion of salt water to a range of -2.3 to 0 C with -1.9 the rough average, to open water between 0c and 4C seems to be the main point of entry or heat sink region. That region is dominated by turbulent mixing and the area of the region varies with sea ice extent and local winds.

        http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/1324186/

        Looks like there is a relative importance in considering the meridional and zonal SSTs in this modern era.

      • “This is how real scientists work webby. We use data to explore concepts – and do not fit data to preconceived notions while ignoring the inconvenient.”

        Truth be told, the reason I started commenting to this blog a few years ago was because I thought it was a science-based blog, yet I saw all sorts of misinformation being propagated. In particular, I noticed something very peculiar about this commenter known as the Chief Hydrologist, and so my first comments (as I recall pretty clearly) were directed at his misleading suggestions as to how best model physics. I thought to myself: This is modern hydrology? … oh my god, please no.
        So I figured I could add something to the discussion by introducing my own style of simplifying stochastic and statistical physics arguments that have been gaining traction over the years. One can see this in the approaches advocated by Marston, Mumford, Lovejoy, Christian Beck, and in many of the maximum entropy style arguments governed by uncertainty that are in vogue. Importantly, I am not advocating anything that is contradicting the established climate physics set forth by the stalwarts in the field such as Hansen, Lacis, Pierrehumbert, etc, but simply trying to frame the arguments into first-order representations that could reduce complexity. These kinds of formulations are important to physicists, see the AIP’s American Journal of Physics, for an illustration on how important teaching is to the field of physics. Very apropos for the subject of the top-level post.

        So here we are a couple of years later, and still we have the Chief Hydrologist mucking things up and and arguably trying to act as nothing but an agent provocateur or prankster trying to mock authority. Well, I am still just as fed up with the Chief now as I was the first day I commented here and will continue to point out how misguided and damaging his attitude is in making forward progress to the climate science field.

        Some would ask why not just ignore the Chief, or whatever sockpuppet names he adopts? Well, that is a good question, and all I can volunteer is that the APS has had a longstanding history of dealing with kranks. During their spring and fall meetings, the APS have always allowed members to submit an abstract, no matter how twisted. It was up to the members of the APS to decide what was good stuff and what was bad. No different here, we just need to have somebody point out what the horrible stuff is. Someone’s got to do it, because this is science education, after all.

        That is also why this committee that Curry, Marston et al are involved in is so valuable. They have a group of people behind them, the APS and the AIP, that actually care about the science, and don’t treat it as a big freaking joke.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘Atmospheric and oceanic forcings are strongest at global equilibrium scales of 10^7 m and seasons to millennia. Fluid mixing and dissipation occur at microscales of 10^−3 m and 10^−3 s, and cloud particulate transformations happen at 10^−6 m or smaller. Observed intrinsic variability is spectrally broad band across all intermediate scales. A full representation for all dynamical degrees of freedom in different quantities and scales is uncomputable even with optimistically foreseeable computer technology. No fundamentally reliable reduction of the size of the AOS dynamical system (i.e., a statistical mechanics analogous to the transition between molecular kinetics and fluid dynamics) is yet envisioned.’ http://www.pnas.org/content/104/21/8709.long

        The problem with webby is that his reductions of the size of the dynamical system are fundamentally unreliable.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Let me be as clear as I can. Webby has a conceptual model of heat moving by ‘effective diffusion’ from the atmosphere. I briefly described the real energy dynamics above – and I am sure most of you understand how energ moves through the system.

        It must be apparent even to webby that the model is by no means physically realistic so can not provide insights into how things work in reality.

        The second point is that he then uses data – and I wont discuss the quality of the data – to determine an effective rate of warming. In doing this all the detail of the data is lost – the interannular to decadal and longer variabilities that are of great interest. Such that information is lost and not gained and there seems no apparent point to the exercise.

        He pretends to simplification in ways that are far from what is deemed reaonable in mainstream science. No one but webby is suggesting that a statisitics of climate equivalent that of thermodynamics is yet feasible.

        Here again is the Wong et al 2006 Fig. 7 – http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Wong2006figure7.gif.html?sort=3&o=91#/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Wong2006figure7.gif.html?sort=3&o=91&_suid=1364380335283035157579451685733

        It uses real data on ocean heat content and net toa radiant flux to provide real insight into how things work. Ths is real science.

        Over the years I have referenced hundreds of scientists and hundreds of papers. What I mostly get in return is arm waving narrative. Webby drops a few names and apparently has read Hansen’s 30 year old paper.

        I have very little knowledge. I have written abut environmentl law and policy and have studied hydrology for decades. This is clearly a core climate competency. My formal education includes chemistry, physics, mathematics, material science, hydraulics, computing, hydrology, economics, environmental economics, geography, fluvial geomorphology, biology, etc. Can anyone have any depth in all of these? Of course not – but these are just the things that are covered in enginering and environmental science and I know more about any of these over thirty years and especially hydrology than webby can even imagine. His claim abut modern hydrology leaves me unimpressed because it is not as if he actually knows anything about it – or much else in terms of broade science.

        I am however quite bored with the repetitive nonsense about cranks and clowns and whatever else he feels is an appropriate mode of dicourse. I am a real scientist – webby is a pretender with a line in pretentious and garroulous cr@p.

      • Chief Hydrologist proudly proclaims of himself:

        “I have very little knowledge. “

        That is so true. Take a bow.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Oh webby you take the most obvious and juvenile opening. Climate science is one of those things where there is still is a great deal to be learned and understood and a little intellectual modesty is a good thing.

        I have sometimes described it as being a humble worker in the vineyards of science.

  37. Just what we need. Another bureaucratic committee to hand down their politically motivated assertions based on inadequate review of grossly inadequate data

  38. patrioticduo

    Good luck Dr Curry. While reading the comments thread above, it seems that a lot of people think (or talk like they think) that institutions such as the APS are somehow inhabited by noble scientists more so than Nobel scientists. But as with any if not all groups that have a human membership, the APS is large enough and old enough to have a leadership order metastasized around image, patronage, cliques, and other arcane rules and relationships (seen and unseen). The result is that there will be leading members in and around the top echelon who ascribe to Machiavelli principles more so than any devotion to the scientific method. Thus, I applaud your appointment while also urging caution. As others have said, it is the minority dissent that must be heard, no matter how unpalatable that small voice might be or how obnoxious the message the minority intends to convey. And to my mind, that is why the APS statement hurt the APS. It was fealty to the majority view with no deference to alternate ideas or possibilities. And to make matters worse, the APS seemed incapable of comprehending its misstep for what it was. An appeal to authority based upon an appeal to consensus. Very unscientific for a group that purports to be the opposite.

  39. Matthew R Marler

    Second, focus your efforts on the knowledge frontier, e.g. the controversies, the uncertainties, the known unknowns.

    Sounds good to me. Here’s hoping.

  40. ” Simon Hopkinson | March 24, 2013 at 6:30 pm | Reply

    Jim, in that they do likely respond to forcings, I don’t think the idea that they’re feedbacks is really much in question.”

    “Mosher | March 24, 2013 at 8:39 pm | – That is because sensitivity is a SYSTEM metric. how the system responds to ANY change in forcing.”

    Given that the geophysical record record shows a consisntent picture that the earth’s climate has been stable for the last ~2,000,000 years consisting of ~100,000 years of extensive glaciation intersperesed with warmer periods of ~12-15,000 years, is there enything to indicate that the climate system is actually changing in a way that will interrupt this cycle?

    Since the current climate system is a complex, chaotic system the bistable character indicates that it has had two quasi stable modes for several million years. With this in mind, are the internal varaiblities of the climate that cause these changes also “forcings”?

    I think the whole concept of “forcing” and “sensitivity” in a chaotic system is an illusion since no one as yet has come up with any method for distinguishing between “forcings” such as increased insolation, changes caused by chaotic behavior in the system, and what the proper metrics are for a chaotic system. Certainly a construct such as Global Average Temperature is not a metric because is doesn’t measure anything. It takes a calculated equilibrium assumption and applies it chaotic system driven by processes that are not at equilbirium.

    Carry on.

    • You very much have the right idea. Physical comprehension of the complex climate system is not advanced by simplistic notions that fail to distinguish between conservative extensive metrics (energy) from nonconservative intensive ones (average) temperature or changes in system response due to increased CO2 from true forcings that introduce more energy.

  41. The evidence is incontrovertible:

    Which is rather different from saying it’s conclusive. One cannot help but wonder whether the authors might be aware of the distinction, yet hopeful that most of the readers are not.

    • Now, APS says the evidence is compelling. I like “compelling” better than “incontrovertible,” because compelling evidence is evidence that calls for action.

      • Max_OK

        compelling [kəmˈpɛlɪŋ]
        adj
        1. arousing or denoting strong interest, esp admiring interest
        2. (of an argument, evidence, etc.) convincing

        Yeah, I’d say that fits better than:

        incontrovertible [ˌɪnkɒntrəˈvɜːtəbəl ɪnˌkɒn-]
        adj
        incapable of being contradicted or disputed; undeniable

        Still an overstatement, but less so than before.

        Whaddaya think?

        Max_CH

      • I think you didn’t use Webster. He says compelling means

        a : forceful
        b : demanding attention <for compelling reasons

        Attention is an action.

      • “Attention is an action.”

        Yeah…uh…no. Attention is a noun/thing. Attend is a verb/action. One clue is the inclusion of the word “noun” in Webster’s entry for the word attention.

      • Max_OK

        “attention is an action”.

        Huh?

        (Maybe in OK – although I doubt it – but not anywhere else.)

        at·ten·tion

        /əˈtenSHən/

        Noun

        1.Notice taken of someone or something; the regarding of someone or something as interesting or important.
        2.The mental faculty of considering or taking notice of someone or something: “he turned his attention to the educational system”.

        Synonyms
        care – heed – regard – notice – consideration

        Having a hard time finding any “action” in there, Okie.

        Max_CH

      • You are having a hard time finding it because you go about this the same way you go about climate, seeing only what you want to see.

        Take a look at Webster’s synomyms for “attention:
        a : the act or state of applying the mind to something
        b : a condition of readiness for such attention involving especially a selective narrowing or focusing of consciousness and receptivity
        2
        : observation, notice; especially : consideration with a view to action

        Now, when I apply my mind to something, I am performing an action. You may be different. Perhaps when you apply your mind, nothing happens.

      • No, there can be compelling evidence that nothing is happening. No action required.

      • Good luck on selling that one.

      • Max_OK, you made a general statement about “compelling evidence,” as did I.

      • Semantics: the study of the meaning of words. It seems to me that even when discussing the colour blue, we all perceive something a bit different.

        It therefore seems to me that regardless of the topic at hand, complete concensus would always be problematic.

        Hence climate science has severe problems because even the basic underlying physics is not fully understood let alone the interpretation to be placed on observed phenomena.

      • Faustino, I have been talking about what I interpret the APS to mean by “compelling.” I think it means the organization is calling for action reducing emissions of greenhouse gases. To see why, read the last sentence of the APS policy statement on climate, quoted below.

        “The APS also urges governments, universities, national laboratories and its membership to support policies and actions that will reduce the emission of greenhouse gases.”

  42. I have asked many times why the bottom of the ocean is colder than the top and have been told many time that melting polar ice flows to the bottom of the oceans carrying chilled oxygen rich water.
    As we all know, global warming has increased the rate of polar ice melting and so has increased the rate at which frigid waters speed to the ocean depths.
    So, if the ice-caps are melting, where did all the missing cold go?

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Doc,

      I am a bit perplexed. The top of the ocean is warm because warm water floats. Below that there are processes of turbulent mixing of warm surface water into the water below and bouyant convection that carries warm water to the surface layer.

      In some areas in the polar regions some water is saline and cold enough to sink initiating global scale currents in the deep ocean. Melting ice reduces surface salinity and thus deep water formation.

      Ice will melt at 0 degrees C without changing temperature – but I don’t think that is the question you are asking?

      • The question is this. why should the Oceans, below about 300m, warm at all?
        We know the majority of the oceans are far closer to polar meltwater temperatures than they are to the surface.
        We are told the amount of meltwater is rising, but changes to the surface temperature are tiny.
        Why arn’t the oceans cooling?

      • Last month NOVA ran a show on sattelites and what they are telling us about our planet. One of the items was how the annual melting of Anarctica ice appears to drive ocean currents worldwide. (Note: I believe much of what they showed was derived from modelling.)

        Another interesting point – one I never hear about – is how scientists were amazed by how fast and how big ocean planckton blooms are. I seem to recall the figure 45 billion tons, though I can’t remember the time frame (it doesn’t exceed a year). I had the distinct impression that no one was taking this into account when calculating carbon sinks.

    • doc “So, if the ice-caps are melting, where did all the missing cold go?”

      The total volume of the oceans is about 1.3 billion cubic kilometers. Total annual sea ice formation is about 16 million kilometers squared in the Antarctic and 8 million kilometers squared in the Arctic. If the average annual ice thickness is 10 meters, it would take about 4167 years for the rejected brine to create one full over turning of the oceans. Since the colder brine sinks smoothly, as in laminar flow, because of being protected by the formed ice cover, it would displace warmer deep water pushing it toward the surface. So some portion of the climate we are experiencing now could be related to conditions 4167 years or more ago.

      Diffusion is faster. One paper used C14 dating to estimate 1700 years for the maximum diffusion time which is probably a mixture of diffusion and eddy mixing/diffusion.

      Some scientist seem to think that there are longer term ocean pseudo-cyclic recurrences related to the combination starting mainly in the Antarctic.

      I am sure Webster disagrees.

    • I believe you are being misled, if anyone claims that the abyssal depths are cold because of “melting polar ice”.

      Any large deep body of water – for example Lake Baikal – will have the same temperature at bottom, corresponding to the temperature at which the water reaches its maximum density. Simple radiative physics decrees that it cannot be otherwise.

      However, the heat from the core stops deep lakes from freezing completely, and in some cases is sufficient to force almost isothermal temperatures in quite deep lakes. It is interesting that the temperature of the mantle at several kilometres depth is far higher than the equivalent depth of water.

      The mantle is much thinner under deep water. In some cases, rock in excess of 1000C is within a few kilometres of the overlying ocean. In addition, the number of thermal vents pushing hot water at up to 400C into the depths is unknown, but certainly significant.

      At the extreme pressures involved, water remains liquid even at several hundred degrees C.

      “Heat” cannot magically transport itself from the surface to the abyssal depths. Less dense water rises – it has no choice. Denser water falls.

      This, of course, is somewhat simplified. There will be ephemeral situations where cold water may overly warmer water and so on. This is in the nature of any chaotic system, and fluid dynamics relating to water currents certainly appears to be chaotic.

      The letters PhD used by someone ascribing low temperatures at the bottom of deep bodies of water to “global ice melt” may actually be an acronym for “Piled higher and Dumber”!

      I may be unqualified, uneducated, and unschooled, but it doesn’t seem that difficult to me.

      Live well and prosper.

      Mike Flynn.

      • Mike, fresh water has the 4C maximum density, salt water maximum density isn’t limited to 4C. The freezing point of salt with ~35 g/kg is ~1.9C, so it can sink pretty well.

        http://www.gfdl.noaa.gov/bibliography/related_files/jrt9502.pdf

        That paper has a drawing on page 489 showing the global thermohaline mixing at the ACC.

      • ozzieostrich

        Captdallas,

        I purposely didn’t mention specific temperatures or salinity etc., as it can confuse the issue – comparing apples and oranges, or fresh and non- fresh water.

        I trust you will agree that the chance of melted sea ice being responsible for cold water at the bottom of freshwater lakes is small.

        Correct me if I’m wrong, but the paper seems to be about several different computer models, and treats different runs with different input parameters as “experiments”. Is this true? I assume you have intimate familiarity with the paper, as I have scanned it only briefly and superficially. I prefer reliable observations, where such exist.

        Thank you for the link to the paper, even if it turned out not to be particularly relevant, except for describing computer modelling runs as “experiments”. Please cut me some slack if I prefer a different definition of “experiment”.

        Live well and prosper,

        Mike Flynn.

      • Mike,
        Doc did say melting, but is actually the freezing that produces the sinking ocean water. The salinity which sets the temperature and density is important.

        In the Antarctic, the salinity is more stable because of the surface mixing. In the Arctic, mixing is a bit iffy leading to the theory that fresh water changes the density gradient slowing the thermohaline current. The GFDL ocean model indicates that the Arctic density gradient is not as important as the theory suggests and in fact indicates that the ACC is the primary driver of the THC rather than the fresh water influx. (I can’t find the link, but there is another GFDL that tends to contradict Rahmstorf’s density gradient THC theories).

        That is kind of important since it suggests that the opening of the Drake passage which created the ACC likely caused a rather abrupt 3 to 4 C of global cooling which is technically unforced variability. The model also indicates there are several lags due to mixing at the ACC, that can produces a variety of longer term oscillations. If the ACC did cause a reduction in global temperature, then Paleo estimates of “sensitivity” from periods before the Drake Passage would be grossly over estimated and natural variability due to the “modern merdional and zonal SST gradients” grossly underestimated. “The establishment of the modern meridional and zonal SST distributions leads to roughly 3.2 degrees C and 0.6 degrees C decreases in global mean temperature, respectively. Changes in the two gradients also have large regional consequences, including aridification of Africa (both gradients) and strengthening of the Indian monsoon (zonal gradient). Ultimately, this study suggests that the growth of Northern Hemisphere ice sheets is a result of the global cooling of Earth’s climate since 4 Myr rather than its initial cause.”

        http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/1324186/

        According to a Nielsen 2004 paleo paper, the Drake Passage flow variations appear to produce, ” Spectral analysis reveals centennial-scale cyclic climate changes with periods of 1220, 1070, 400, and 150 yr.”, so what happened to the cold is likely related to the Antarctic mixing a rate of THC circulation.

        Now while these papers are based on computer models and that whacky paleo stuff, you can take instrumental data and calculate the merdional flux and estimate the transport delays in the THC and find the papers offer quite reasonable explanations of the various pseudo-cyclic phenomena like PDO, AMO, AO, NAO, ENSO, QBO and all the other O’s which are supposed to average out to zero in 17 years or less.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Drakes passage is a fundamental of global climate as more cold water is pushed up the South American coast – or is constrained in the circum polar current – as a result of changes in the Southern Annular Mode. This feeds into upwelling of cold water off the Peruvian coast and ultimately in the thermal evolution of ENSO.

        The opening of the passage as Gondwana crumbled transformed the planet. Not APS related but the CE poetry undercurrent is very endearing.

        Illawarra Lake

        A cold wind buffetting off the lake
        captures the imagination for an instant,
        plunging with the pelicans wing glancing
        sunlight off feathers.

        Lifting waves and spray against the reeds.
        An instant playing out against a backdrop
        of the shifting of continents.
        Gondwana crumbling to eternity
        amidst the stars and comets.

        There is a challenge for humanity here.
        Australia, India, China, Tibet, Iran,
        Japan, Arabia, Marie Byrd land.
        Shall we crumble and fall like Gondwana
        or loft to the winds of the future?

        If I could wait like a stone on the shore,
        fast dissolution in the storms of time.
        If I could break the barrier of light
        to freeze the instant, it would still be
        unfolding to infinity.

        I would be big, I would fill the universe.
        I would have to be me and have to be you.
        We would have to be the sunlight on the waves,
        the rock, the wind, the water and the pelican.

        Comprehension of the universe fails and we are
        left with the struggles of humanity.
        Cities crumbling under the onslaught
        of our division, hunger and pestilence
        stalking the night.

        Can we ever struggle with our love?
        Don the blue helmet of the soldiers of peace?
        If there is a void laugh at it.
        If there is fear vanquish it.
        If there is a God banish him.

        If there is a lake, a friends kiss,
        a soaring pelican, a sweet song,
        a gentle voice, a loving smile,
        a good laugh, a warm bed and a
        full belly – then love is just enough.

        Let me wear the helmet of peace
        and I will guard my lake.
        My feet will measure out it’s
        restoration from historical ravages.

      • Chief on yr poem Lake Illiwarra,
        I remember this poem, it is lovely and yew have
        added to it. I think the change of focus deepens
        our human response to it, but that’s jest me.
        BC

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Thank you dear Beth – I am immensely gratified that you like it.

      • Mike,

        RE There will be ephemeral situations where cold water may overly warmer water and so on

        Something every sub sailor knows.

  43. Judith

    A very positive development!
    Reading anything that James Brasseur wrote I am quite optimistic that sound science will get a chance to shine.

  44. There’s a glaring lack in the misson statement of any professional concern about data quality/reliability as a serious problem in what is largely an empirical science. I fear that a group of academics without extensive field experience will continue to sweep the problem of systematic data bias under the rug while reaffirming tenuous theoretical expectations that underly the analysis. We’ve already seen this with the BEST exercise. The endless wonders that nature manifests will remain largely obscure..

  45. We cannot know the future but it can help to understand there is a limit to our knowledge. At least knowing that much, we rightly see those who pretend to know more than they ever really can, and see their forecast of impending doomsday as simply ravings of purposeful deceivers or religious lunatics.

  46. Chief Hydrologist

    ‘Abrupt climate changes were especially common when the climate system was being forced to change most rapidly. Thus, greenhouse warming and other human alterations of the earth system may increase the possibility of large, abrupt, and unwelcome regional or global climatic events. The abrupt changes of the past are not fully explained yet, and climate models typically underestimate the size, speed, and extent of those changes. Hence, future abrupt changes cannot be predicted with confidence, and climate surprises are to be expected.’ http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=10136&page=1

    I take the predictions of both sides with a great deal of skepticism. That we can predict the future with models that do not have a single determinitic solution in a range of solutions that is undetermined is ludicrous. That we can predict nonlinear climate with simple narratives more so. That we can infer from a lack of knowledge that it is reasonable to change the composition of the Earth’s atmosphere is perhaps most absurd of all.

  47. Good luck with this endeavor. A few tentative agenda items that I think would be helpful for my own understanding.

    1) Plainer speaking (and clarification) about what the issues are, e.g. long-term shifts in the distribution of heat around the Earth system versus changes in the total amount of heat retained in the system. Also some plain speaking about the apparent long-term stability range of the climate and the hypothesis that this could be explained by a mechanism whereby when it gets warmer the Earth’s albedo increases (clouds? snow? ocean whitecaps? vegetation? deserts?). Also, some careful discussion of the debate over what the dynamic status of the climate system is under different state-space specifications–stable, temporally chaotic, spatiotemporally chaotic, etc.

    For some reason, most summaries seem to be mealy-mouthed about what the competing stories are and why people believe or disbelieve them. I would like to see more direct posing of conflicting hypotheses and the relevant evidence on these sorts of topics.

    2) It wouldn’t be a bad idea also to clarify the confusion about what really are, if anything, ex post fudge factors used to make the models fit past time series and what parameters, if any, are really pinned down by physics or independent observation. It would be very helpful if the physicists could bring some of their experience with “blinding” data to suggest ways that climate researchers could avoid the risk of fooling themselves/others with various forms of data mining (and/or convince outsiders that nothing fishy is going on in the model specification process).

    3) Unvarnished analysis of the evidence for and against important cosmic-ray cloud nucleation effects. Ditto for solar variability. I generally ignore these topics because my gut suggests they are not a big deal, but they present nagging areas of uncertainty. I’ve even seen some mainstreamers citing solar variability to explain the recent “pause” in warming, so inclusion of these topics is not biased for or against any particular point of view.

    4) If there is any way to suggest an experimental research program that would pin down the effect of different aerosols on climate, or explain why that is impossible, that would be very nice. To a layman it isn’t clear why these issues can’t be settled pretty definitively in the lab.

    5) For an extra dose of curiosity and humility, see if you can get any physicists who’ve worked on explaining lightning over the years to get involved. From popular articles, it appears that widely held fundamental views about lightning have been repeatedly overturned in recent years by new data, while striking new phenomena have been identified, including such exotica as the creation of positrons during thunderstorms. People who’ve just lived through big upheavals in basic understanding in their own field might be particularly suited to identifying stale “consensus” assumptions.

  48. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Doug Cotton asks  “Does a thermal gradient develop autonomously in a gravitational field, or do isothermal conditions prevail?”

    Answer  ISOTHERMAL CONDITIONS PREVAIL

    It is my pleasure to demonstrate this answer by three different methods, Doug Cotton!

    As background, please refer to Walter Grimus’ recent survey article On the 100th anniversary of the Sackur-Tetrode equation. With reference to Eq. (1) of this article, we suppose that the local energy density of a monoatomic gas is \mathcal{E} (in units of Joules/meter^3) and the local number density of the gas is \mathcal{N} (in units of atoms/meter^3). Then the Sackur-Tetrode entropy density of the gas \mathcal{S}(\mathcal{E},\mathcal{N}) is given by

       \mathcal{S}(\mathcal{E},\mathcal{N}) = k_{\text{B}} \mathcal{N} \bigg(\tfrac{3}{2}\ln (\mathcal{E}-\phi(z)\mathcal{N}) - \tfrac{5}{2} \ln \mathcal{N} + s_0 \bigg)

    where k_{\text{B}} is Boltzman’s constant (units of Joules/Kelvin), s_0\simeq -1.1517078 is the Sackur-Tetrode constant (a fundamental physical constant whose numerical value NIST tabulates for us), and \phi(z) is the single-atom gravitational potential (units of Joules/(atom meter)) for z the altitude (in meters).

    ———————–

    Exercise 0  From the thermodynamic definition of pressure P and temperature T, derive the ideal gas monoatomic in-potential equations of state

       P = k_{\text{B}} T \mathcal{N}

       k_{\text{B}}T = \tfrac{2}{3} (\mathcal{E}-\phi(z)\mathcal{N})/\mathcal{N}

    from the Sackur-Tetrode entropy.

    ———————–

    Exercise 1  For a column of gas of height h (in meters), having space-dependent energy density \mathcal{E}(z) and atom density \mathcal{N}(z), vary \mathcal{E}(z) and \mathcal{N}(z) (numerically) subject to the constraints

       \int_0^h \mathcal{E}(z)\,dz = \mathcal{E}_{\text{tot}} and \int_0^h \mathcal{N}(z)\,dz = \mathcal{N}_{\text{tot}}

    so as to maximize the total entropy

       \int_0^h \mathcal{S}(\mathcal{E}(z),\mathcal{N}(z))\,dz = \mathcal{S}_{\text{tot}}

    and verify (numerically) that the maximum-entropy gas column is isothermal.

    ———————–

    Exercise 2  Repeat Exercise 1, but analytically (using the calculus of variations).

    ———————–

    Exercise 3  Repeat Exercise 2, but without using the Sackur-Tetrode entropy. Instead use a large-N atomic simulation of elastic colliding spheres (in three dimensions).

    ———————–

    Doug Cotton, one hopes that this three-fold exercise will convey to you (and to Climate Etc readers) an appreciation of how exceedingly plausible denialist cognition can be, to those who are ensnared in it!

    Question  Is simplistic short-sighted free-market economic reasoning — which disregards the tragedy of the commons — less delusional than the gravely flawed scientific reasoning of Principia Scientific International (PSI), which disregards fundamental thermodynamical principles?

    Query  Would the APS be justified in excluding “minority opinion” statements from PSI-believers? The world wonders!

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

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Extra Credit  From the results of Exercises 1–3, verify (both analytically and numerically) the mathematical statement of Pascal’s Law of 1646

         \displaystyle \frac{\partial P(z)}{\partial z} = -\phi(z) \mathcal{N}

      and explain how it is that Pascal’s Law has been deduced equally well from purely entropic considerations as from purely fluid mechanical considerations.

      Have fun, PSI members!

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    • Generalissimo Skippy

      One could go mad trying to make sense of either Doug or FOMBS. One uses bizarrely irrelevant maths in a mad pretence of mathematical sophistiction – the other is the Procrustes of physics.

      Would CE be surprised if they both disappeared up their own kazoos in a mad spin? The world wonders indeed.

      • Generalissimo Skippy

        One could go mad imagining that you had any clue at all about the actual meaning of your red herring fallacies. The atmosphere is far from isothermal and I have not the slightest intention of ever again playing either your or Doug’s silly games.

        My only intent is to point out – if any such heads up is neccessary – that your pretence at mathematics is merely that. A song and dance signifying nothing and if you have fooled any but the most foolish and gullible – I’m sure they are over it.

        Indeed the world wonders why you bother with such nonsense.- or why you should feel free to inflict such wholly mad ideas on the sum of us. One of those imponderables of life I suppose FOMBS – why do you communicate in ways that are not sane communications at all?

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Generalissimo Skippy opines “One could go mad trying to make sense of [statistical mechanics and thermodynamics]”

      Generalissimo Skippy, you speak more truly than you know!

      States of Matter
      By David L. Goodstein

      “Ludwig Boltzman, who spent much of his life studying statistical mechanics, died in 1906, by his own hand. Paul Ehrenfest, carrying on the work, died similarly in 1933. Now it is our turn to study statistical mechanics. Perhaps it will be wise to approach the subject cautiously. “

      So pray, be cautious in studying the above Sackur-Tetrode derivation, Generalissimo Skippy!

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    • Socrates:
      Look ultimately all I can say is that all ‘know’ is that
      I ‘know’ nothing, but … we are all capable of critical
      enquiry and even a serf may learn.

      Committee of Expert Opinion:
      Time fer yer hemlock, Socrates.

      A serf.

    • Fan:

      As long as your “proofs” of isothermy totally ignore convection, they are of mathematical interest only. See Dutton’s “The Ceaseless Wind” for a serious physical discussion of Emden’s nearly century-old finding that a gravity-bound atmosphere in radiative equilibrium is hydrostatically unstable. I don’t have time to discuss this important side-issue here.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        John S asserts “Fan: as long as “proofs” of isothermy totally ignore convection, they are of mathematical interest only.”

        LOL … getting the basic math right is an essential first step … a step that the climate-change denialists at PSI have not yet mastered, eh John S?

        In regard to convective transport driven by energy-sources, an early classic work is Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar’s An Introduction to the Study of Stellar Structure (1939).

        The practical advantage of studying convective heat transport in stellar atmospheres, is of course that the theory can be comprehensively validated against hundreds of millions of astronomical observations.

        Highly recommended, John S!

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      • Chief Hydrologist

        Again an utterly irrelevant obfuscation. Are you not ashamed of yourself FOMBS? No of course not.

        But as I said the atmosphere is not isothermal at all – but then that maths shows nothing of the sort does it FOMBS? It is just more BS – yes FOMBS?

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Stellar heat transport is chaotically turbulent while being at the same time reliably predictable.

        Just like the Earth’s CO2-warmed planetary climate, eh Chief Hydrologist?

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      • The sun’s surface is chaotic yet presents 0. 1% variation in TSI.

        The overall trend in TSI over millions of years appears very predictable.

        How does this square, eh Chief?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘Chaos in partial differential equations (PDE) has long been an open
        area. During the last decade, a standard program was established for
        proving the existence of chaos in near integrable PDE [25]. Around
        transversal homoclinics, existence of chaos can be proved by hand [20]
        [21] [22], while around non-transversal homoclinics, existence of chaos
        can be proved by hand up to nasty generic conditions.’ http://arxiv.org/abs/0712.4026

        There is certainly turbulence in the outer shell of the Sun – but does it have enough of the feedbacks that plaque the Earth system – snow, ice, cloud, biology, atmosphere and oceans?

        Is the Sun isothermal? Oh for God’s sake – the childish standard of this discourse is unbelievable. I suggest it is proof of nasty generic conditions.

      • Chief, I will have a derivation of the ocean heat content as a comment ready for the next post on the Balmaseda, Trenberth and Kallen paper. No chaos anywhere to be seen, just first-principles thermal pysics.
        It seems that you are always a step behind, and that makes you lash out at others.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Fantasy physics. I have wasted enough time on your so called maths. Fool me once – shame on you. Fool me a dozen times – I must be mad.

        There is chaos in the earth , the sky, the oceans and the sun – if you don’t find chaos you are wasting everyones time as usual. It shows up in toa flux anomaly and if you don’t use that data – you are a worthless ideologue.

        It has been known for a long time.

        ‘In sum, a strategy must recognise what is possible. In climate research and modelling, we should recognise that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible. The most we can expect to achieve is the prediction of the probability distribution of the system�s future possible states by the generation of ensembles of model solutions. This reduces climate change to the discernment of significant differences in the statistics of such ensembles. The generation of such model ensembles will require the dedication of greatly increased computer resources and the application of new methods of model diagnosis. Addressing adequately the statistical nature of climate is computationally intensive, but such statistical information is essential.’ TAR s14.2

        And please – by statistics they are talking about the statistics of systematically designed model families. Something that is yet to be achieved I might add. You are 10 years behind the game and rapidly receding into the dim and dark past.

      • Webster, Are you going to do a generic global SWAG or a hemisphere SWAG?

        http://www.clim-past.net/9/547/2013/cp-9-547-2013.pdf

        That is a new model SWAG. Their solar forcing looks a bit high but they did notice this, “Ocean stratification (which controls how fast heat is transported downward and there by contributes to heat uptake efficiency) was rather realistic…” compared to observations and other models. Of course that is with 1367 Wm-2 of solar forcing. Seems like pick your own solar reconstructions is still popular.

      • This is fun putting you guys in your place. You have nothing to counter first order physics, because first order physics with uncertainty quantification always works to describe long term climate effects.

      • David Springer

        WebHubTelescope | March 28, 2013 at 2:07 am |

        “No chaos anywhere to be seen, just first-principles thermal pysics.”

        Climate is generally not chaotic. Weather is chaotic. Put a flame under a pot of water and the tracks of the convective turbulence is chaotic. That’s weather. But convection will occur and it will be warmer water at the bottom rising to the surface. The average temperature of the water will increase at a predictable rate. That’s climate. Climate is predictable based on first principles. I agree with you.

        “It seems that you are always a step behind, and that makes you lash out at others.”

        One step behind would be an improvement. Near as I can tell there’s a linear relationship between how many steps behind and how much lashing out occurs. There’s also a linear relationship between how many steps behind and the number of different names the subject uses and the frequency of name changes.

        There’s a chaotic bifurcation point as well which is marked by a rapid transition from free-living under no observation to living in a room with padded walls under constant observation. Men in white coats watch for these bifurcations. ;-)

      • David, “climate is generally not chaotic.” So are you back peddling?

        The ocean heat uptake is totally dependent on mixing efficiency. With lower mixing efficiency there is more stratification and vice versa. The majority of the deep water mixing is initiated at the southern pole ACC where the temperature gradient is steepest at the surface, about 10 C in less than 5 degrees latitude. As the thermal equator shifts north, the average mixing temperature increases and the efficiency changes as the sea ice extent expands northward. A chaotic weather pattern has a longer term impact on climate.

        In the northern hemisphere you have the added bonus of a more variable mixing efficiency. The salinity varies from nearly 40 g/kg to nearly 0. That is a temperature range of -2.0 to 0.0, about the average range of “average” ocean temperature. As HAP would say, “when it warms, it gets cold’, creating a roughly 60 year pseudo-cyclic oscillation. When you combine the ACC which is more steady with the North Atlantic which is more variable you can bet frequencies of 30, 60, 150, 400, 1000. Add in precessional change and you add 1700, 4300, 5000, 14000 and 21000 years.

        Because of sea ice, you know the range will be about +/- 1.5C, but you don’t know the when. That is kinda sorta chaotic.

        Now Webster is going to ignore those fluctuation and determine that “if all else remains constant”, the ocean will warm X degrees over Y years verifying that he can make WAGs just as good as Hansen. Since you have that all figured out, why not tell him how much and when the warming will take place..

      • David here is another interesting tidbit. Fahrenheit set his temperature scale to the freezing point of saturated brine, 0 F or -17.7 C degrees. That would make the heat of fusion buffering range 0 C to -17.7 C or 316 Wm-2 to ~240 Wm-2. A remarkable coincidence no doubt.

      • All I hear is crickets from the skeptical losers.
        Looking forward to the top level post on Balmaseda and Trenberth’s paper.

        Prepare to pack it in.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        A pot as a climate analogy is eminently stupid. Always was always will be. The only analogy to abrupt limate change is if the heat is sudenly turned up or down.

        ‘Figure 1 (middle) shows that these climate mode trend phases indeed behaved anomalously three times during the 20th century, immediately following the synchronization events of the 1910s, 1940s, and 1970s. This combination of the synchronization of these dynamical modes in the
        climate, followed immediately afterward by significant increase in the fraction of strong trends (coupling) without exception marked shifts in the 20th century climate state. These shifts were accompanied by breaks in the global mean temperature trend with respect to time, presumably
        associated with either discontinuities in the global radiative budget due to the global reorganization of clouds and water vapor or dramatic changes in the uptake of heat by the deep ocean.’ S&T09

        Cloud?</a

        Have you seen any evidence – data? peer reviewed science? credible sources – from the usual suspects? It is all just tedious arm waving laced with juvenile taunts.

      • Webster, there is nothing to say about your simplistic diffusion approach. If all else remains equal it will work just fine.

        ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/paleo/contributions_by_author/thornalley2009/thornalley2009.txt

        Compare the temperature and salinity reconstructions by Thornalley. Since your boundaries are not fixed depths but move up and down with mixing efficiency and forcing the rate of OH uptake is highly variable over various time scales.

  49. Belated congratulations. I was writing another essay today, and only now saw your blog. The APS cannot get worse than its 2007 pronouncement, and might get much better with your participation on this new committee.
    Overstated positive humidity feedback and understated negative cloud feedback ought to be foci. Plus, re-establishing the primacy of the scientific method over quasi-scientific advocacy.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Rud Istvan opines “Overstated positive humidity feedback and understated negative cloud feedback ought to be foci.”

      Rud Istvan, it’s very good news that you and James Hansen substantially agree!

      Except that Hansen et al. in
      Earth’s Energy Imbalance and Implications
      take care *not* to presuppose that humidity feedback is “overstated” and cloud feedback is “understated”.

      What is the source of your presupposition, Rud Istvan?

      Are your presuppositions any more rationally grounded than the gravely flawed presuppositions of PSI?

      The world wonders … and rightly so, eh?

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      • Hansen provides an assumption that Krakatoa provides a -3.5wm^2 forcing.Best show little evidence of the forcing,can they be both correct?

        Either the observations are incorrect or the physics.

        Hansen exhibits amazing supernatural powers in hindsight,and blames the Arabs,Pinatubo,and the deep solar minimum for the imbalance in the statistics or a summation of random causes as the problem.

  50. Looked at your GPC newsletter. They have the picture of every executive committee member except yours – please rectify the omission! Also looked at APS original statements from 2007 and 2010. The latter one was produced in response to your petition to re-evaluate the original statement. You praised that decision in the letter to Nature but it turned out to be a complete joke. They had no intention of changing a word of that statement and proceeded to reaffirm it in great detail, sentence by sentence and paragraph by paragraph. This brazen display of pseudoscience must have solidified your intent to form your own group. Looks like you got a good start with your presentations at the APS March meeting. Be prepared for clerical work you did not bargain for. I once got hooked into being the secretary for the New York section of the SAS, and that was before computers. I refused to take a second term.

  51. Global cooling may not be the will of God. But, global warming is not the will of the Left either.The cat is out of the bag: no one knows what the future holds. We know the truth that global warming is nothing but a hoax and a scare tactic but we also can no longer avoid acknowledging that Western civilization is in a big time decline and that Leftist and liberal Utopian fearmongering is destroying the culture. The contribution of capitalism and individual liberty to the creation of wealth and well-being in America is obvious. Global warming is not obvious–only weather is obvious and only when it is happening. And, at a time when the Earth may be heading into the next ice age, we also know that those who fear global warming are simply nuts.

    • Waggy, you worry too much. You will be long gone before all you fear can ever happen. Get yourself a nice cushy government job and enjoy life before it’s too late.

      • Global warming is not happening. No one can find it, not even by those who hypothesized it would be here by now. The only explanation for what has been done is that scientists said what the government wanted them to say–for money. The experts lied to the people. Shocker!

      • Well, if that’s what you believe, you are going to continue to be unhappy. If you choose to be unhappy, what can I say?

      • Generalissimo Skippy

        Yet the world is not about to warm for a decade or 3 because of cool ocean and atmospheri paterns – http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=8703

      • But, how will the Left ever salvage the reputation of science among reasonable people when no matter what delusions they may wish to indulge, Nature is the decider and the Sun decided not to cooperate in the global warming hoax? Whatever nature has in store, none of us are getting out alive (For Man is born for trouble, as surely as sparks fly upward –Job 5:7).

  52. Chief Hydrologist

    Carbon mitigation is a far different issue as was mentioned above. Is there a risk from human emissions? In the world of abrupt climate change it may very well be a risk to change the composition of the atmosphere. While our crystal balls have failed and the left dogmas drive everyone to distraction – it is more than time to devise some reasonable ways forward.

    Besides America is not the west in the era of global cultural convergence. There is a new world of common human aspirations for peace, freedom and affluence being forged in the crucible of history. To this strange, new country of the future we owe allegiance and not to the stale and stagnant past.

    • The carbon was in the atmosphere before it wasn’t. You get that right?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        It was in the ground before it wasn’t – you get that right. I am a little bored with people who simply play with words.

      • That is a very foolish comment. The entire science of global warming alarmism is built upon chimera. Let us assume an increase in the concentration of atmospheric CO2 as an avoidable consequence of modernity. Let’s work with 300 going to 400 ppm because of industrialization. A 33% increase. Sounds like a big jump, right? But, in going from 0.03 to 0.04%, does that extra 0.01% of CO2 in the air make any difference?

        If you don’t know it is only because this is the sort of question for which AGW True Believers really don’t want an answer. Climatist authoritarians want you to keep the faith. Government scientists do not ever want to put this question to a test. The AGW witchdoctors only want you to listen to superstitious analogies like polar bears are dying and CO2 is a deadly poison so any increase no matter how small poses life-threatening consequences. But your exhaled breath is 40,000 ppm not 300-400. Compared to the atmosphere there is a ten-fold increase in the air of modern submarines. CO2 is added to greenhouses because plants love it. To plants CO2 is fertilizer (and plants exhale the oxygen we need to live). Greenhouses are warm inside like being in an automoble with the windows up because convection is halted not because there’s more CO2 inside. Comparing atmospheric CO2 levels over the geophysical record Dr. William Happer testified under oath before congress that currently the Earth is CO2-starved.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Emissions are currently about 4% of natural flux. What shall we say when it is 8%, 16%, 32%… as economies grow this century. What is the difference between 300ppm, 400ppm, 500ppm,…? I certainly don’t know and am not about to start believing back of an envelope calculations of whatever in the immensely complex and dynamically chaotically complex system that is the Earth’s climate.

        ‘In sum, a strategy must recognise what is possible. In climate research and modelling, we should recognise that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible.’ TAR 14.

        To argue that the increases we are contemplating are neccessarily benign is an argument from extreme ignorance. Sensible heirs to enlightenment liberalism argue for a much more flexible approach. – http://thebreakthrough.org/blog/Climate_Pragmatism_web.pdf -

      • Step outside your fears for a skeptic’s moment. Let us take as given that, “mankind has liberated huge quantities of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere over the past two centuries.”

        But mankind did not “create” this carbon dioxide out of nothing. It was released by the burning of “fossil fuels”, created by the Earth over millions of years from the remains of plants and animals (who themselves ultimately obtained their nutrition from those plants). So where did those plants get their energy and carbon dioxide from? They absorbed the radiant energy of the Sun, and breathed in carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, as plants continue to do today. In other words, when we burn fossil fuels, we are utilizing a small part of the solar energy that had been collected and stored by plants over millions of years, and in the process we are liberating into the atmosphere the carbon dioxide that those plants had absorbed from the atmosphere in the first place.

        This may sound like a fairly benign sort of natural cycle, until you realize that a couple of hundred years is a mere blink of an eye compared to the millions of years it took for the planet to build up those resources. It is right for scientists to worry about whether that massive and almost instantaneous “kick” to the planet may throw the equilibrium of the biota into complete chaos. It is a valid question, of ultimate global importance—one that most people would have thought would have demanded the most careful, exacting, and rigorous scientific analyses that mankind could muster.

        Climategate has shattered that myth. It gives us a peephole into the work of the scientists investigating possibly the most important issue ever to face mankind. Instead of seeing large collaborations of meticulous, careful, critical scientists, we instead see a small team of incompetent cowboys, abusing almost every aspect of the framework of science to build a fortress around their “old boys’ club”, to prevent real scientists from seeing the shambles of their “research”. Most people are aghast that this could have happened; and it is only because “climate science” exploded from a relatively tiny corner of academia into a hugely funded industry in a matter of mere years that the perpetrators were able to get away with it for so long. (John P. Costella, ‘Climategate Analysis’)

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘This may sound like a fairly benign sort of natural cycle, until you realize that a couple of hundred years is a mere blink of an eye compared to the millions of years it took for the planet to build up those resources. It is right for scientists to worry about whether that massive and almost instantaneous “kick” to the planet may throw the equilibrium of the biota into complete chaos. It is a valid question, of ultimate global importance—one that most people would have thought would have demanded the most careful, exacting, and rigorous scientific analyses that mankind could muster.’ From your quote.

        Are you arguing that because of some emaiis we can ignore the entire issue? That would be odd indeed.

      • The cat is out of the bag: no one knows what the future holds. We know the truth that global warming is nothing but a hoax and a scare tactic but we also can no longer avoid acknowledging that Western civilization is in a big time decline and that Leftist and liberal Utopian fearmongering is destroying the culture. The contribution of capitalism and individual liberty to the creation of wealth and well-being in America is obvious. Global warming is not obvious–only weather is obvious and only when it is happening. And, at a time when the Earth may be heading into the next ice age, we also know that those who fear global warming are simply nuts.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        You ae repeating yourself now – shamelessly. I really never ever say anything about global warming. The whole idea is preposterous. Linear thinking in a nonlinear world.

        In a nonlinear world climate is exquisitely sensitive at points of bifurcation – of climate shifts – and these are hard to anticipate let alone determine the quality of the shift. Climate flucuates wildly in extremes and then settles into a new mode. There is not the slightest bit of peer reviewed science that suggests that climate is not chaotic. If I have missed it -by all means educat me.. And I don’t mean blog science or arm waving by the usual ignorant rabble.

        In the mean time all we have is your claims of ignorance about the future and a silent passing over of human emissions. It is OK to continue to increase emissions because of your ignorance? Please.

      • The precautionary principle argument doesn’t sound any more persuasive coming from the Chief than it does from any of the run of the mill CAGW enthusiasts around here.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        On the contrary – there is known to be a risk whatever the quantum of the risk is.

        ‘In climate research and modelling, we should recognise that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible. The most we can expect to achieve is the prediction of the probability distribution of the system’s future possible states by the generation of ensembles of model solutions.; TAR s 3.4.4.1

        So we don’t as yet have any idea of the extent of the risk – but by the very fact of nonlinear couplng the risk is compounded. The question then becomes what policies are reasonable to reduce the risk,

        I have recommended this before – the Hartwell 2010 paper –

        ‘The Paper therefore proposes that the organising principle of our effort should be the raising up of human dignity via three overarching objectives: insuring energy access for all; ensuring that we develop in a manner that does not undermine the essential functioning of the Earth system; ensuring that our societies are adequately equipped to withstand the risks and dangers that come from all the vagaries of climate, whatever
        their cause may be.’ http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/27939/1/HartwellPaper_English_version.pdf

        The concept unvolves multiple paths with multiple onjectives – conservation, education, development – black carbon, tropospheric ozone, sulphides and energy innovation.

        I have also advocated carbon farming until I am blue in the face. This is a matter of improving yields, conserving water, building soils.

        These are all things that are sensible policy and the way forward for liberals (in the Australian sense) to frame the agenda for the future.

      • We live in the Age of the Greenhouse. The power of academia over reason has been a bitter fruit. Much like Al Gore has been shown to be the global warming alarmists’ KIng with no Clothes so too has academia shown that it has failed America and by extension all of humanity.

        Throughout the history of science, monocausal explanations that overemphasize the dominance of one factor in immensely complex processes (in this case, the human-induced emissions of greenhouse gases) have been inevitably replaced by more powerful theories …

        The inconvenient truth remains that climate is the most complex, coupled, nonlinear, chaotic system known. In such a system, both ‘doing something’ (emitting human-induced gases) and ‘not doing something’ (not emitting) at the margins are equally unpredictable. What climate will we produce? Will it be better? And, if we get there, won’t it, too, change?

        This is the fatal flaw at the heart of the whole global-warming debacle. Climate change must be accepted as the norm, not as an exception, and it must be seen primarily as a political and economic issue, focusing on how best humanity can continue to adapt to constant change, hot, wet, cold or dry. The concept of achieving a ‘stable climate’ is a dangerous oxymoron.

        (Philip Stott)

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘Fortunately, climate science is rapidly developing the tools to meet this challenge, as in the near future it will be possible to attribute cause and effect in decadal-scale climate variability within the context of a seamless climate forecast system [Palmer et al., 2008]. Doing so is vital, as the future evolution of the global mean temperature may hold surprises on both the warm and cold ends of the spectrum due entirely to internal variability that lie well outside the envelope of a steadily increasing global mean temperature.’ S&T09 – Has the climate recently shifted?

        Fanny of course remains utterly clueless. Wagathon is closer to the mark with his quote. Now if only he will understand how sensitive these systems are to small changes near regions of chaotic bifurcation.

        We have known without much doubt for some time that climate is dynamically, determoinistically chaotic. e.g.

        ‘In climate research and modelling, we should recognise that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible.’ TAR s14.2

        The importance of Tsonis et al 2007 – A new dynamical mechanism for major climate shifts – https://pantherfile.uwm.edu/aatsonis/www/2007GL030288.pdf – is that they explore modern climate shifts in a numerical framework. Shifts occur on decadal scales – and certainly much longer – are the result of sensitive dependence to small changes and are quite unpredictable.

        Waggy’s fighting straw man battles with warministas. I am far from that.

      • It’s time to explode the myth.

        You have a global warming hypothesis that supposed changes in climate, sea-levels, dying polar bears, more mosquitoes, fewer mosquitoes, etc., all can be attributed changes in the atmosphere due to some extra-regional human-inducement.

        You want more and money to tackle ‘the problem.’

        Those who live in supposedly affected areas are only too interested in getting all the assistance they can get to tackle ‘the problem.’

        You report your hypothesis as ‘scientific fact.’

        And, your hypothesis is strongly supported by Leftists who pretend to represent the ‘global environmental community.’

        None of this changes the simple fact that your hypothesis is a myth — ‘the problem’ you talk about is nothing more than Political Ecology, used by the Left to consolidate political power.

        (See—e.g., ‘Stott & Sullivan, Political Ecology: Science, Myth and Power’)

      • Chief Hydrologist

        oh really – I have a myth that most recent warming was entirely natural, the polar bears are better off since people stopped shooting them so much, the world is not warming for decades hence and this is amplified in distinct decadal variability in the Arctic, sea level rise at these minor rates is a threat to nothing and I have done years of work on sedimentology and island and coastal geomorphology. Nor have I ever aspoused anything but liberatarian approval of freedom, capitalism and democracy.

        Yet waggy persists in irrelevant quotes about the left taking over the world.

        ‘Throughout this paper we are critical of the way in which the carbon issue has been overloaded with the baggage of other framings and agendas. The oblique approach which we advocate may appear at first glance to be no different because it adopts multiple framings and agendas as well. But that would be a mistake. Currently, all the framings and agendas are mobilised to advance the one core
        goal of decarbonising the energy system via the UNFCCC/Kyoto process. Our approach is actually the opposite: multiple framings and agendas are pursued in their own right, and according to their own logics and along their own appropriate paths. Decarbonisation is a contingent benefit, not an encompassing one. This is a radical difference: indeed, an inversion.

        In our opinion, the experience of the recent failure of the frontal assault on climate policy – the implausibly straight driveway from the present to a magically decarbonised future – suggests that a more indirect yet
        encompassing approach via the attainment of different objectives which bring contingent benefits is, indeed, the only one that is likely to be materially (in contrast to rhetorically) successful. As ‘How to get climate policy back on course’ already documented, despite being the dominant policy for many years, there is no evidence that, despite vast investment of time, effort and money, the “Kyoto” type approach has produced any discernable acceleration of decarbonisation whatsoever: not anywhere; not in any region.’ http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/27939/

        He needs to address the actual points and not the ones populating his fervid imagaination.

      • Your multiple framings and agendas are pursued in their own right, and according to their own logics and along their own appropriate paths. do not include the only thing that is important: individual liberty.

        The craziest thing about the Left and the liberal Utopians of Western academia goes way beyond their acceptance of global warming hysteria as an article of faith. What is far worse is their unquestioned belief that this time, their Marxist Utopia will be different from the failure of Eurocommunism and humanity’s past experiences with the ideology of Marx which has led to misery, suffering and millions of deaths.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Here? Bye.

        ‘The Paper therefore proposes that the organising principle of our effort should be the raising up of human dignity via three overarching objectives: ensuring energy access for all; ensuring that we develop in a manner that does not undermine the essential functioning of the Earth system; ensuring that our societies are adequately equipped to withstand the risks and dangers that come from all the vagaries of climate, whatever their cause may be.’

        I have quoted this from the executive summary of the Hartwell 2010 paper before. You are talking but I don’t think it is to me.

      • Headline today; Could we face gas rationing? British gas reserves could run dry in 36 HOURS after freezing householders turn the heating up

        –Daily Mail

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Chief Hydrologist gets the vision  “There is a new world of common human aspirations for peace, freedom and affluence being forged in the crucible of history. To this strange, new country of the future we owe allegiance and not to the stale and stagnant past.”

      Yes … That’s what he said!

      No wait. That’s what *he* said!!

      Ouch. That’s what the Admiral said!!!

      Whoops. That’s what HE said!!!!

      Dammit. That’s what *HE* said!!!!!

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

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Arrg … That’s the conclusion!!!!!!

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

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I have given up opening any links you post – they are inevitably irrational and irrelevant attempts to confuse the issue.

        Practical and pragmatic ways forward are possible – http://thebreakthrough.org/blog/Climate_Pragmatism_web.pdf – but people like you are ultimately confused.

        The first is that the world is not warming for a decade or more.

        ‘If as suggested here, a dynamically driven climate shift has occurred, the duration of similar shifts during the 20th century suggests the new global mean temperature trend may persist for several decades. Of course, it is purely speculative to presume that the global mean temperature will remain near current levels for such an extended period of time. Moreover, we caution that the shifts described here are presumably superimposed upon a long term warming trend due to anthropogenic forcing. However, the nature of these past shifts in climate state suggests the possibility of
        near constant temperature lasting a decade or more into the future must at least be entertained.’ ftp://starfish.mar.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/pub/ocean/CCS-WG_References/NewSinceReport/March15/Swanson%20and%20Tsonis%20Has%20the%20climate%20recently%20shifted%202008GL037022.pdf

        Entertained it surely must be by any objective reader of the science because climate has most certainly shifted in 1998.2001. Objective leaves you out in the cold. As I said earlier – you are more of the problem than the solution. .

      • True, true the link to the Pope was a bridge to nowhere…

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Chief Hydrologist’s post (above) links Climate Etc readers to an article whose conclusions are strong and definite:

        Has the climate recently shifted?
        Kyle Swanson and Anastasios Tsonis (GRL 2009)

        “Finally, it is vital to note that there is no comfort to be gained by having a climate with a significant degree of internal variability, even if it results in a near-term cessation of global warming.”

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

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

        Thank you citing that article, Chief Hydrologist!

        Swanson’s and Tsonis’ conclusions strikingly affirm James Hansen’s strong cider (of math and physics), and affirm too Pope Francis’ strong wine (of faith), and affirm too Wendell Berry’s strong whiskey (of pragmatism)!

        Thank you for continued thoughtful contributions against the willful ignorance and short-sighted selfishness of climate-change denialism, Chief Hydrologist!

        You and Manacker both have been steadily evolving a more mature, integrated, and responsible understanding of the sobering accelerating reality of climate-change. Good on `yah, guys!

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

      • I don’t hear enough cow bell.
        ================

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘Fortunately, climate science is rapidly developing the tools to meet this challenge, as in the near future it will be possible to attribute cause and effect in decadal-scale climate variability within the context of a seamless climate forecast system [Palmer et al., 2008]. Doing so is vital, as the future evolution of the global mean temperature may hold surprises on both the warm and cold ends of the spectrum due entirely to internal variability that lie well outside the envelope of a steadily increasing global mean temperature.’ S&T09

        Although we have yet to develop the tools. Anyone have a spare $5billion?

        The value of Tsonis is that he applies a numerical methos to modern climate shifts.

        ‘We construct a network of observed climate indices in the period 1900–2000 and investigate their collective behavior. The results indicate that this network synchronized several times in this period. We find that in
        those cases where the synchronous state was followed by a steady increase in the coupling strength between the indices, the synchronous state was destroyed, after which a new climate state emerged. These shifts are associated with significant changes in global temperature trend and in ENSO variability. The latest such event is known as the great climate shift of the 1970s. We also find the evidence for such type of behavior in two climate simulations using a state-of-the-art model. This is the first time that this mechanism, which appears consistent with the theory of synchronized chaos, is discovered in a physical system of the size and complexity of the climate system.’ Tsonis et al 2007 – A new dynamical mechanism for major climate shifts.

        Fanny of course remains utterly oblivious. This is something known for some time. ‘In climate research and modelling, we should recognise that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible.’ TAR s14.2

        This is a wholly different idea of how climate works – but is perhaps something of a threshold concept and there may be some doorways to knowledge forever closed to some.

        In the meantime – we have a planet that is not warming for decades hence and a mathematical certainty that there are further surprises in store.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      ‘The Paper therefore proposes that the organising principle of our effort should be the raising up of human dignity via three overarching objectives: ensuring energy access for all; ensuring that we develop in a manner that does not undermine the essential functioning of the Earth system; ensuring that our societies are adequately equipped to withstand the risks and dangers that come from all the vagaries of climate, whatever their cause may be.’

      I have quoted this from the executive summary of the Hartwell 2010 paper before. You are tallking but I don’t think it is to me.

  53. So, you know how the wonders of socialized medicine are one of the arguments for governments ability to centrally plan various aspects of the economy? Here’s an article from that hotbed of conservatism, the BBC:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-21922998

    “The harrowing neglect and abuse at the hospital between 2005 to 2008 which led to needless deaths has already been well documented.
    Statistics at the time showed there were between 400 and 1,200 more deaths than would be expected.’

    And for an example of how these Euro progressive wizards of smart so reasonably regulate the financial industry:

    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/343968/who-jeroen-dijsselbloem-andrew-stuttaford

    Wherein one of the genius central planners of the Eurozone made clear that confiscating deposit accounts as just happened in Cyprus should be a model for other banks in the EU.

    By all means, let’s give these brilliant central planners even more control over the energy economy too.

  54. So, the reverence and religious fervor that the Left holds for Al Gore and AGW theory (a belief that human activities are causing global warming and will upset the delicate balance of Earth’s climate) probably must seem very odd to many. Nevertheless, we see the same people who abhor the principles of capitalism or shopping at Wal-Mart are wholesale buyers of the AGW salvation religion that they would have all of the rest of us adopt. Their value proposition is that they are going to save Earth from global warming by taxing energy whether we agree with them or how they want to spend our money.

    • I always enjoy your comments but AL Gore is far outside the science arena. Politics and demogogery (sp) is his mantra. Plus hypocrosy. But someone like Wallace Boerker of Columbia makes the delicate climate balence point and tipping points changes to abrupt different climate regimes. He has to be respected and abrupt climate change is a concern. We need to measure and improve the science before massive actions, particularly carbon taxes, but it is a real concern. Just not enough knowledge now but lots of science to perform. Measure the deep ocean and atmosphere.
      Scott

      • “far outside the science arena”

        Big Al is not far outside the science arena. He’s molesting and otherwise abusing the science arena.

        Andrew

      • Scott

        I’d agree with you that “we need to measure and improve the science before massive actions”.

        Measuring is key here.

        We have lots of predictions by model simulations, but these are NOT based on actual measurements, but rather on theoretical deliberations and some very dicey and subjective interpretations of paleo-climate proxy reconstructions.

        To sum it up: we do NOT know whether or not there is a “global warming” problem or not.

        We certainly do NOT know that there is a serious potential threat to humanity and our environment (i.e. the “CAGW” premise as specifically outlined by IPCC in its AR4 report), since this premise is NOT based on real measurements, but rather only on model simulations.

        To jump to “massive actions” now would be like:

        Ready,
        Fire,
        Aim!

        Ouch! My foot!

        Max

      • Bad Andrew

        He’s also milking it to the tune of many megabucks.

        Clever guy.

        But I think his time as “savior of the planet” is running short.

        But before he fades away, he’ll probably be able to milk the CAGW hysteria for another hundred mil or so.

        It’s nice to see someone “doing well by doing good”, isn’t it?

        The really nice part is knowing that a piece of the action may have been financed by your very own tax dollars.

        Warms the heart, it does.

        Max

      • Not so fast: academia gives wings to Al Gore through its silence just as it refuses to label MBH98/99/08 (aka the ‘hockey stick’ graph) a fraud. Climatology is a fraud and it’s time to stop the bleeding. Sorry but we don’t have the money to keep the hoax alive. Go fish!

        Mainstream climate science has changed… reasons for this paradigm shift are clearly not based on science… No, the reasons for this paradigm shift are mostly political…

        [Climatists] have been pretty successful at convincing the science-savvy public that climate will only change when we fire up our SUV, or turn on our incandescent light bulbs…

        While such a “missing heat” explanation for a lack of recent warming [i.e., Trenberth’s argument that despite the lack of global warming we just cannot find the heat yet] is theoretically possible, I find it rather unsatisfying basing an unwavering belief in eventual catastrophic global warming on a deep-ocean mechanism so weak we can’t even measure it [i.e., keeping the AGW hoax alive depends solely now on the speculation that in the coldest deep oceans on the planet the waters there must actually be warmer than they should be by an unmeasurable thousandths of a degree]…

        If, say, 50% of the warming in the last 50 to 100 years has been natural, then this profoundly impacts our projections of human-caused warming in the future, slashing them by about 50%.

        ~Dr. Roy Spencer, 14 December 2012 (http://www.drroyspencer.com/)

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Roy seems to have been quite busy on the 14th of Decamber 2012.

        ‘Chaotic behavior is a characteristic of most nonlinear dynamical systems, that is, systems which evolve over time and are governed by rather complex physical processes. We usually think of chaos in the atmosphere operating on time scales of days to weeks.

        But the ocean is also a nonlinear dynamical system. And it has time scales ranging from years up to hundreds or even thousands of years…time scales we associate with climate change.

        El Nino and La Nina can, for example, be thought of as a chaotic fluctuation in the climate system. Like the famous butterfly-shaped Lorenz Attractor, El Nino and La Nina are the two wings of the butterfly, and the climate system during Northern Hemisphere winter tends to alternate between El Nino and La Nina, sometimes getting “stuck” in a multi-year pattern of more frequent El Ninos or La Ninas.

        Now, while El Nino and La Nina are the best known (and most frequently occurring) ocean-based climate phenomenon, what other longer-term modes of climate variability might there be which are “unforced”?) By unforced, I mean they are not caused by some external forcing mechanism (like the sun), but are just the natural results of how the system varies all by itself.) Well, we really don’t know, partly because so little research is funded to study the problem.

        But How Can Chaos Cause “Global Warming”?
        It is my belief that most climate variability and even climate change could simply be the result of chaos in the climate system. By how would changing ocean and atmospheric circulation patterns cause “global warming”?

        One potential mechanism is through the impact of those circulation changes on cloud formation.

        Clouds are the Earth’s natural sunshade, and very small (but persistent) changes in cloud cover can cause either warming or cooling trends. I know that scientists like Trenberth and Dessler like to claim that “clouds don’t cause climate change”…well, chaotic changes in ocean and atmospheric circulation patterns can change clouds, and so in that sense clouds act as an intermediary. Of course clouds don’t change all by themselves, which is how some people disingenuously characterize my position on this.’ http://www.drroyspencer.com/2012/12/our-chaotic-climate-system/

        Chaos is a little more problematical than simple projections of a linear increase no matter how small.

  55. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Manacker articulates rational skepticism  “If, however, the warming of the late 20thC should resume and continue for another decade or two at that rapid rate, the empirical evidence will have given strong support to the validity of the CAGW hypothesis.”

    At thank point, Manacker, your skepticism will be rationally ready to receive James Hansen’s strong cider, Pope Francis’ strong wine and Wendell Berry’s strong whiskey!

    That was well-spoken, Manacker!

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

    • Fanny

      Yep.

      If warming resumes at the late 20thC rate and continues for another decade or two at that rate, I’ll be ready to re-evaluate my stand on CAGW.

      And, if the current lack of warming continues for another decade or two despite unabated human GHG emissions, I suppose that you will be ready to re-evaluate your position on CAGW as well.

      Am I right?

      (A simple “yes or no” answer, with or without smileys, will do.)

      Max

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Manacker asks  “If the current  lack of warming  sustained global energy imbalance continues for another decade or two  despite  accompanied by unabated human GHG emissions, I suppose that you will be ready to re-evaluate your position on CAGW as well.

        The answer is simply “yes”, Manacker.

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

      • Fanny
        Don’t do a waffle on me here, Fanny.

        The question was NOT

        “If Skeptical Science concedes that there has been no net positive energy balance due to warming of either the upper, middle or deep ocean or the surface atmosphere or the troposphere at various altitudes for another decade or two despite unabated human GHG emissions, I suppose that you will be ready to re-evaluate your position on CAGW as well.”

        It was

        “If Skeptical Science concedes that there has been no net positive energy balance due to warming of either the upper, middle or deep ocean or the surface atmosphere or the troposphere at various altitudes the current lack of warming continues for another decade or two despite unabated human GHG emissions, I suppose that you will be ready to re-evaluate your position on CAGW as well.”

        Is the answer still “yes”?

        Max

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Manacker insists  “Fanny, Don’t do a waffle on me here, Fanny. The question was NOT [this] it was [that]”

        Which is more wrong-headed, Manaker?

        •  The answers that denialists insist upon?

        •  The questions that denialists insist upon?

        Gee, maybe denialist questions and answers are *BOTH* kind of wrong-headed?

        Isn’t it just plain better to let these thoughtful folks supply the cider, wine, and whiskey?

        What do you think, Manacker?

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

      • Fanny

        Thanks for confirming my point.

        Max

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        LOL … Manacker, perhaps it’s getting to be time for you to join with Chief Hydrologist on the right side of the Force!

        Think upon it, Manacker! Because … denialism’s boring, eh?

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

      • Max,

        Fan rarely provides a direct response.

        In other words the content value for his comments is on par with that of the emoticons he favors.

      • Fanny,
        Yes or no?

  56. Wagathon

    Roy’s right.

    But some other folks just haven’t caught on yet.

    – Some are part of the game and rely on the CAGW scare for funding.

    – Some others see the possibility of gaining power or wealth.

    – Some are politically in favor of the policy implications, so they support CAGW as a way of implementing these.

    – Others have been frightened or bamboozled into believing the CAGW story, without doing too much “due diligence” themselves

    – And some folks just don’t know what to believe

    But what is undoubtedly happening is that the “skeptics” are growing in numbers and (as polls in the USA have shown) the general public has become wary of predictions by climate scientists.

    The politicians are going to continue pushing the hysteria for obvious reasons (Mencken).

    They may even try a power grab and “end run” around the general public, but I am convinced that this will fail in the long run in our representative democratic republics.

    And, yes, even the political leaders of the APS will eventually either change their stance or be changed out (or simply become irrelevant).

    Max

    • “But what is undoubtedly happening is that the “skeptics” are growing in numbers and (as polls in the USA have shown) the general public has become wary of predictions by climate scientists.”

      Max, I’d say this is correct. The alarmists won’t admit it, including those who regularly hang about the Climate Etc. campus. Joshua will snicker and ask for a link and put “skeptics” in quotes. He’ll also deny climate-gate had any effect on public opinion at all.

      Fan, bless her will make the point yet again…and again..and again… that climate skepticism is not only an affront to Wendel Berry but likely God himself.

      All I can say, is thanks be for the Internet. I shudder to think where we’d be without it..and warriors like Steve M. and Judith and Anthony and many more…

      • Hey Max, just noticed you’re doing the quotation mark thing to skeptics too. Interested in your rationale.

      • pokerguy, plus one. Fer Steve Mc’s investigations,
        Judith, Anthony, tony b’s disinterested history of
        climate too, and some other denizens of the open
        society, we owe a debt of gratitude fer protecting
        what is important ter human freedom and well-being.
        Amen. B-t-s

      • pokerguy

        No rationale (I don’t normally differentiate between “skeptics” and skeptics, like some folks here do).

        But SKEPTICS (of the CAGW premise) are growing in numbers.

        (Maybe I’ll CAPITALIZE the word in the future. Hmmm…)

        Max

      • Or how ’bout capitalizing plus bold italics, for emphasis?

        SKEPTICS

        Maybe I can even add some of Fanny’s smileys!

        Max

      • PG –

        He’ll also deny climate-gate had any effect on public opinion at all.

        This is not my perspective. Provide a quote and we could examine together whether your mis-percepetion of my belief is due to my inexact language or perhaps another factor.

        At any rate – it isn’t my belief that it didn’t have “any effect on public opinion at all.” I believe that the impact is often significantly and non-skeptically (no quotes there) over-stated by “skeptics” But even that is secondary to my main point on that issue: Statements by “skeptics” about the impact on public opinion – that aren’t appropriately qualified – are evidence of motivated reasoning because they aren’t grounded in validated evidence. For example, I asked Judith (and other “skeptics”) many times for the evidence she used to assert that Climategate caused a “crises” in public opinion vis-a-vis the climate community and beliefs about climate change. I ask this question because the only evidence I’ve seen that was subjected to empirical analysis does not support such a conclusion.

        In return I got bupkis.

  57. ‘abyss’ impetuous typing is me flaw …well one of them.

    • Ah Beth, impetuous typing is the best kind.
      (No) time yet for a hundred indecisions
      And for a hundred visions and revisions,
      Before the taking of a toast and tea.

      Let’s eat a bunch of juicy peaches while we type impetuously and meet up in moderation where we can plan the revolution.

  58. “Among the questions surrounding the global warming debate is the impact of
    human activities in influencing climatic changes. For the ever dwindling
    number of scientists who still discount global warming as mere apocalyptic
    hoopla the scientific standard is not meterorological data but
    sociological data. They cite the fact that apocalypticists have been
    predicting the fiery end of the world for centuries, that these fears and
    paranoias are rooted in human nature and that global warming is
    twenty-first century version of fiery chariots and dragons loosed from the
    abyss.”

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Communist-Party/message/1140

    • So, you admit global warming is a Left vs right issue. My hat is off to you. The Eurocommunists are all such deniers when it comes to the fact that AGW theory is more political than science and very likely a mass mania.

      • Wag,

        Yes AGW is a “left vs right” issue. Just as Darwinian Evolution is a “left vs right” issue too. There aren’t many members of religious sects who believe in the literal truth of Noah’s Ark who would advocate for the socialist cause. You could say the same about AIDS. If I hear anyone allude to it being God’s punishment on wicked homosexuals, I can guarantee that it won’t be from anyone with leftish political opinions.

        That’s the thing about us lefties, We are always right in the important sense of the word.

      • The Founders do not agree with tempterrain but Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Castro, Chavez, Al Gore… the Eurocommies and “all lefties” do.

  59. But it shouldn’t be like this. Global warming should not be a value-driven choice. Their choices should not be forced on global warming non-believers — i.e., AGW skeptics (they call us deniers). We deniers wish to apply those principles of reason, science, quaint notions of morality and simple common sense that have served humanity well in the past — e.g., the scientific method — and we deniers should not be forced to adopt their fears about global warming and the business of living we call capitalism: they were wrong about that and about the urgency of a problem that really isn’t there.

  60. The American Chemical Society is another professional organization of scientists with a policy statement on global climate change. The ACS statement includes recommendations, quotes from which are presented below. According to a July 30, 2009 article at WUWT, there were dozens of protest letters from ACS members over it’s policy statement. The article described the letters as an “outpouring,” which seems like quite an exaggeration, considering the Society has about 164,00 members.

    Recommendation 2a
    “The United States should develop a portfolio of subsidies, tax, regulatory, and other incentives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and allow advanced energy technologies, as they mature, to operate on an even playing field with current energy sources.” (See link for more.)

    Recommendation 2b
    The United States should significantly raise its public and private sector investments in technologies to mitigate climate change through economically viable energy conservation, sustainable fuel substitution for fossil fuels, carbon sequestration, and non-fossil fuel based energy sources with significantly reduced life cycle impacts on the environment. * (See link for more.)

    http://portal.acs.org/portal/acs/corg/content?_nfpb=true&_pageLabel=PP_SUPERARTICLE&node_id=1907&use_sec=false&sec_url_var=region1&__uuid=70317a69-2cf5-492c-a723-e74a6f86ae51

    • Max_OK

      Let’s get those chemists (or at least the political leadership of the ACS) back in their labs doing chemistry, instead of expounding on policy recommendations regarding climate change.

      Yikes!

      We’ll have the “international dogcatcher society” weighing in before too long.

      Max_CH

    • Max_OK

      Let’s get those chemists (and the political leadership of ACS) back in their labs doing chemistry, rather than expounding on policy recommendations on climate change.

      Yikes!

      We’ll soon have the “international dogcatchers’ society” giving us advice on how to save the planet.

      Max_CH

  61. And plus one ter yew Peter D, giver of plus ones, fer yer
    unfailing courtesy and good humer. Bit of ‘Mood Indigo’ goin’
    on around here at the moment….
    Beth the cow-girl.

    • Off for a fishing Easter w/end with group of family and friends tomorrow so will need your assistance to keep the plus ones flowing whenever deserved.

      Thanks for your kind remarks Beth, the last couple of weeks have been a bit sporadic when it comes to visiting CE but things will get better soon.

      The blues will pass, they always do. Everything is cyclical – even the weather and climate! And the latter applies to commenters as well.

      About time we hear again from Tomas. He doesn’t overexpose himself to CE (unlike some others whose names shall always remain unspoken) and as a consequence is usually a nice fresh read.

      Happy Easter to you and your loved ones Beth.

      • Thx Peter, I hope ter go bush too .. and ocean, mmm.

      • Thx Max,
        and on enlightenment, don’t fergit what Socrates said,
        that even a serf may learn and yer don’t hafta be a
        member of the precious metals parties, silver or bronze,
        …or even the Green Party,to understand which way the
        wind is blowin’.
        BC

  62. Message to Nick Stokes, Jim D and Mosh
    (with whom I’m currently having an exchange of comments)

    I’ll be “out of pocket” for a few days, so will respond to your comments when I get back (if you have any).

    Keep smiling.

    Max

    • Heh, Jim D and Nick Stokes have both made fools of themselves defending Marcott, moshe, not so much.
      =================

  63. Judith,

    Of course its all to the good that qualified Physicists should make a significant contribution into the state of knowledge on our climate. In fact, I thought they already did :-)

    Maybe you could ask these qualified well qualified Physicists to write a lead piece each.

    It would make a change from the usual politically motivated denialism that gets passed off as serious comment on this blog

  64. Having just said the above I do have to say that all the world’s Physicists combined aren’t going to be able change anything while climate science is perceived as a political left vs right issue.

    But just as us lefties were ultimately proved to have got it right on such issues as the Vietnam war, South African Apartheid etc, so in the end will we be proved to be correct in accepting the scientific line on global warming.

    • Alexej Buergin

      Are you saying that Nixon was wrong to end the war that JFK and LBJ started?

    • The Vietnamese themselves played the main part in ending the war. Nixon didn’t have any realistic alternative. You imply the left supported the war and yes. I, for one, was in favour of it. In my teenage years I was fully convinced that the Vietnamese were perfectly justified in fighting to oppose American interference, or imperialism as I would have referred to it at the time.

      • Alexej Buergin

        So what you are saying is that JFK and LBJ not only started the war, but they lost it, too, so RMN did not have any alternatives?

      • I hear Jane Fonda is single these days.

        Nice attempt at revisionist history, btw. Unless by main part you are referring to the eventual invasion of the south. If you are referring to the ending of major US involvement, you flunk.

        The North Vietnamese government was willing to drag out talks forever, as they – with good reason – felt that time was on their side. The US public was tired of the war, which greatly limited the options available to the government. Afterall, were they not dealing with an Administration which ran on ending the war? What they didn’t understand was they were dealing with a guy who was every bit the cold calculating bastard they were.

        The Vietnamese were forced to the table because they were the ones with no other option. Contrary to the myth of the war being a counter-insurgency, by 1973 it was a mid to high intensity conflict between modern technology based opponents. Which made North Vietnam vulnerable to intradiction and blockade. Unlike the Ho Chi Min trail, the north had limited and easily identifiable transportation chock points. Once Nixon took the gloves off and started hitting the rail & road passes along the Chinese bordor and shut down Haigphong harbor with mines, the ability of North Vietnam to continue fighting in the south was measured in months, if not weeks.

        What is the old saying about who studies strategy & tactics and who studies logistics and production?

        Temp, next up are you going to inform us that the reason the North so easily and quickly overan the South was due to the superiority of their tactics, moral and motivation, along with facing a corrupt opponent in the South?

      • RIpcord in the I Drang valley in 1971 or so was not a US victory

        Getting into a contest of attrition was a poor strategy.

        It was not worth the cost in treasaure and lives.
        Scott

      • A Shau Valley 1970.
        Scott

      • “JFK and LBJ not only started the war, but they lost it, too”

        Pretty much that’s right. It was unwinnable anyway. RMN worked behind the scenes in the late 60’s to sabotage LBJ’s peace settlement, largely to increase his own political opportunities, and which was essentially the same one he himself approved 4 or 5 years later. What was the total death toll in the last 4 years of the war? And all for nothing. And all down to tricky Dicky. That was his real crime. Watergate was nothing by comparison.

    • Kampuchea, my Kampuchea.
      ========

    • US death toll Vietnam
      1967 9,378
      1968 14,592
      1969 9,414
      1970 4,221
      1971 1,380
      1972 300

      Scott

  65. Chief Hydrologist

    tempterrain

    The mixture of politics and science is a bit of intemperate nonsense. Some of us are old enough to have marched in anti-war and anti-apartheid rallies. Apartheid was hardly a left right issue. It was condemned almost universally – it is a matter of human freedom something for which the left has had little regard. Vietnam was hugely unfortunate – but it was a product of of the cold war. An era when the planet itself was under threat and countries were falling like dominoes under the heels of totalitarian and genocidal regimes. These regimes of China, Russia, North Korea, Cambodia, etc had the unwavering support of useful idiots of the west.

    I have referencd hundreds of scientists iver a couple of years at CE. Ho bout the IPCC?

    ‘In climate research and modelling, we should recognise that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible. The most we can expect to achieve is the prediction of the probability distribution of the system’s future possible states by the generation of ensembles of model solutions.’ TAR s14.2

    As we have not yet formulated systematically designed model families we are not even at the stage yet of probabilistic forecasts. By all means let’s have some science. Perhaps to the effect that there are credible means of predicting the future? That climate is not dynamicaly, deterministically chaotic? To the effect that the world the world is not in a cool mode for a decade or so more? Balls in your court.

    • Apartheid was hardly a left right issue. It was condemned almost universally – it is a matter of human freedom something for which the left has had little regard.

      Wow! Truly spectacular, Chief.

      Motivated reasoning is a sight to behold.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Joshua – your lack of reflection is pursuit of your peculiar allegiances are on display. Which bit do you think is motivated? The global sanctio n against the South African regime? Ot the complicity of useful idiots in the murder of hundreds of millions of people?

      • Chief,

        Global sanctions against SA? Oh come on. It was all window dressing. It was all about turning blind eyes to what was going on. It was all about not wanting to know how nearly every major western corporation conducted business there.

        It is debatable as to whether Thatcher or Reagan was worse in this regard. Margaret Thatcher’s ‘opposition to apartheid’ was steeped in reluctance to say the least. The Pretoria regime, seen by them as an ally in the Cold War, enjoyed a kind of not-so-covert support from her government. Unable to openly side with a racist regime, she publicly expressed abhorrence of apartheid, but privately Thatcher used every loophole to oppose sanctions, preferring as she herself put it “dialogue and steady pressure on SA provided by our economic involvement there”.

      • Which bit do you think is motivated?

        Here, Chief – you tell me:

        http://www.salon.com/2011/02/05/ronald_reagan_apartheid_south_africa/

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Apartheid_Movement

        Opposition to the apartheid was not exclusively a concern of “the left,” but your portrayal of it as being not primarily from the left is predictably laughable. For you to then go on to disassociate obvious and evidence easily shown of opposition from “the left” to apartheid from concern about “human freedom” is similarly ridiculous.

        Finally, personally I think that associating concern about “human freedom” as exclusive (or even mostly exclusive) to either the left or the right is false (almost anyone I’ve ever known, no matter their political persuasion, was concerned about “human rights”), and the product of motivated reasoning. But regardless, your arguments by assertion are weak, and call into question your seriousness about controlling for biases in your analysis. Please, go ahead, and demonstrate in some validated way that “the left” is unconcerned with “human freedom.”

      • All true liberatarians are in favour of freedom and democracy.

        Yes, indeed, And there are no true Scottsmen.

        The self-serving nature of your analysis shows that you are, indeed, the Chief (of self-serving analysis).

        How many millions of people comprise “the left,” Chief? How difficult it must be for you, someone of such nobility and concern about “human freedom” (and poetic talent, I might add, who else but a gifted poet could write such as you about arses and why you need to clean off your keyboard?), to endure so many people who don’t care about “human freedom?”

        Oh. How the “Chief” must suffer! Oh. The humanity!

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Joshua,

        Your predictably noxious and embittered rant notwithstanding – arses and keyboards? Have you gone insane? I was just working hydrochloric acid and soil samples at the dining room table – and spilled that on a plastic protector. Whew – non reactive – or I would have been in deep trouble. See I am a real scientist and now I have to wash my test tubes. A scientists work is never done. But I doubt that I have ever tried typing with my arse. Has your hatred of libertarian values corrupted your brain? Perhaps Le Pétomane has been in your ear.

        I was not the one who introduced nonsense about apartheid being a triumph of the left. I said that opposition to apartheid was always universal. Apart from perhaps white South Africans. We should perhaps separate sanctions from this – sanctions as I said are a double edged sword.

        And for those of us who were on the front lines of the civil movement – it remains defining moments. Although in deep retrospect – I am less sure the motivation was not more sticking it to the man and impressing girls than moral conviction.

        The legacy of the left however is complicity in the deaths of hundreds of millions of people. Even after the evidence accumulated and was unmistakable that rogue socialist states all over the world were murdering and starving `their own people.

        To bring it to the present day – we have deep distrust of a resurgent green neo-socialist left driving governments wallowing in debt globally, burying business in ever less effective green tape, attempting to restrict press freedoms here and elsewhere and threatening to suspend democracy in a green emergency. The left is seeking to engineer a moment of crisis in order to fundamentally reorganise economies and societies in a utopian fantasy. It is bound to end badly – and that is why there is not taliking to you Joshua. As I have said before – you are the implacable enemy who speaks with lies and obfuscation – or perhaps just plain ignorance – of the green left agenda. What’s is it – you didn’t get the memo or you are lying?

      • Has your hatred of libertarian values corrupted your brain?

        You live in a fantasy world. You dream up ideas in your head, without evidence, and then become fully convinced they are real. What is your evidence that I “hate” “libertarian values?” You have none.

        . I said that opposition to apartheid was always universal.

        And I provided evidence that was not true – from “the right.” There is plenty more. Google Jessie Helms if you want to get a start on your research (or read the article about Reagan I already linked). Do you have any such evidence from “the left?” Of course not. Obviously, there were those on “the right” who apposed apartheid – but the apartheid opposition was clearly and unarguably dominated by “the left” – just as support for apartheid was dominated by “the right.”

        The legacy of the left however is complicity in the deaths of hundreds of millions of people.

        ZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzz

        Only if one grants you your self-serving definitions of “right” and “left.” And even if your definitions weren’t self-serving, the relevance to today’s world is merely a projection of your political extremism. I know many on “the left,” and none of them carry the legacy of Stalin, Mao, etc. Of course, if I were inclined to weak arguments such as you, I might argue something as absurd as that “the right” is complicit in slavery or in the abuses of South Africa’s apartheid. But why resort to weak argumentation? Your guilt by association tactics are the weak rhetoric of the banal.

        And for those of us who were on the front lines of the civil movement – it remains defining moments. Although in deep retrospect – I am less sure the motivation was not more sticking it to the man and impressing girls than moral conviction.

        Despite your self-impressed self-designation, you are in no position to lecture to me about being on “the front lines.” Big deal, you were “on the front lines.” Practically everyone I associated with was “on the front lines.” They didn’t think it particularly notable – why would you?

        And your admission of superficial motivations is probably even more exploitative of the sacrifices of activists than was your revisionist history that diminished the role of “the left” in the anti-apartheid movement.

        we have deep distrust of a resurgent green neo-socialist left driving governments wallowing in debt globally, burying business in ever less effective green tape, attempting to restrict press freedoms here and elsewhere and threatening to suspend democracy in a green emergency.

        Despite your laughable alarmism, “we” live in a world where “socialist” countries have paved the road towards higher standards of living and greater economic and political freedom than has ever existed in the history of the planet. But indeed, keep dreaming of Shanrgi-La along with your miniscule tribe of elitists, who define themselves as the only people who advocate for “human freedom.” Although in an abstract sense such dreaming does injustice to the real civil rights activists, who put their lives on the line in their battles, despite your grandiose illusions, your comments on a blog mean nothing in the real world – so no harm done.

        The left is seeking to engineer a moment of crisis in order to fundamentally reorganise economies and societies in a utopian fantasy.

        Amusing indeed, that you would focus your ire for utopian idealism on someone else. What are my utopian fantasies, Chief. Go ahead, name one. You can’t – because you are stuck in a world where your ideology colors your vision and your logic.It causes you to see things, repeatedly, although your errors have been explained to you, that aren’t there. It seems that somehow you can a strength of self by erroneously defining others. Why is that, Chief?

        As I have said before – you are the implacable enemy who speaks with lies and obfuscation – or perhaps just plain ignorance

        I’m not your enemy, Chief – despite your self-deluded belief that you are some kind of warrior in a pitched battle to save “human freedom.” In reality you are someone who wastes inordinate amounts of time writing blog comments. You and me, Chief – just a couple of blokes. Get over yourself.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        “From the saintly and single-minded idealist to the fanatic is often but a step.”

        Well that answers that question – you are insane and a humourless twit to boot. But as Ayn Rand said – ‘today’s uncontested absurdities are the accepted slogans of tomorrow.’ I am sure that you find your nonsense challenged in every open forum you go to. A thankless task haranguing of these evil conservatives hey? A losing proposition as well. We are so mainstream. We are arguing for balanced budgets at about 25% of GDP, management of interest rates to prevent asset bubbles, the rule of law to protect the weak against the strong, individual freedom, free markets and democracy. Need I even argue against socialism? The argument for socialism was lost long ago in blood and hunger.

        It is such an old battle – indeed going back centuries and primarily to the Scottish enlightenment. This battle was for the common trappings of democracy – universal suffrage, equality for women and freedom for slaves. This is our heritage and you will find that I am not wasting my time – as you are – but honing skills and knowledge to renew the struggle against whatever fanatics dangerous ideologies throw up.

        ‘“We must make the building of a free society once more an intellectual adventure, a deed of courage…. Unless we can make the philosophic foundations of a free society once more a living intellectual issue, and its implementation a task which challenges the ingenuity and imagination of our liveliest minds, the prospects of freedom are indeed dark. But if we can regain that belief in the power of ideas which was the mark of liberalism at its best, the battle is not lost.”
        ― Friedrich A. von Hayek

    • Chief Hydrologist

      ‘On 7 August 1963 the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 181, calling for a voluntary arms embargo against South Africa. In the same year a Special Committee Against Apartheid was established to encourage and oversee plans of action against the regime. From 1964 the US and Britain discontinued their arms trade with South Africa. The Security Council also condemned the Soweto massacre in Resolution 392. In 1977, the voluntary UN arms embargo became mandatory with the passing of Resolution 418.

      Economic sanctions against South Africa were also frequently debated as an effective way of putting pressure on the apartheid government. In 1962, the UN General Assembly requested that its members sever political, fiscal and transportation ties with South Africa. In 1968, it proposed ending all cultural, educational and sporting connections as well. Economic sanctions, however, were not made mandatory, because of opposition from South Africa’s main trading partners.

      In 1973, the UN adopted the Apartheid Convention which defines apartheid and even qualifies it as a crime against humanity which might lead to international criminal prosecution of the individuals responsible for perpetrating it.[87]

      In 1978 and 1983 the UN condemned South Africa at the World Conference Against Racism.

      After much debate, by the late 1980s the United States, the United Kingdom, and 23 other nations had passed laws placing various trade sanctions on South Africa.[88] A Disinvestment from South Africa movement in many countries was similarly widespread, with individual cities and provinces around the world implementing various laws and local regulations forbidding registered corporations under their jurisdiction from doing business with South African firms, factories, or banks.[89]
      ‘ wikepedia

      The messy progress of politics owes little to simplistic rewriting of history along arbitrary divides. All true liberatarians are in favour of freedom and democracy. Just as Abraham Lincoln was a Republican. These are the core values of the enlightenment that seem to occasionally to be neglected by the party of pissant progressives.

      But trade sanctions have deleterious impacts on populations as well. After 10 years of sanctions against the Saddam Hussein regime – the New Internationalist was reporting the deaths of 5000 children a month from sanctions. These numbers are usually plucked out of someone’s arse – but the problem of ‘collateral damage’ is still very real.

      But you avoid the substantive issue as usual. By all means give us some science along the lines suggested.

      • Hereby awarded a plus one as an accurate over view of
        historical action against apartheid in South Africa,
        including the deleterious effects of economic sanctions.

        Is tempterrain unaware that all ‘true libertarians are in favour
        of freedom and democracy – core values of the enlightenment?’

        He should read more widely, not jest the progressive POV
        I’d suggest.

        Beth the libertarian serf.

      • Hereby awarded a plus one as an accurate over view of
        historical action against apartheid in South Africa,
        including the deleterious effects of economic sanctions.

        Sad revisionist history, and sorry to say, a stain on the good name of “skepticism.”

      • Chief Hydrologist

        What – Abe Lincoln wasn’t the first Republican President? Perhaps he was a vampire hunter? Do you got nothin’ but sad little rants demanding validation Josh?

      • Joshua, don’t yer mean re – visiion -ist history as done by
        visionary – progressives. Joshua I don’t usually do this and
        I feel bad about it but I hafta’ award you a -1. (

        A serf.

      • ……… deleterious effects of economic sanctions.

        That was indeed the line taken used by the political right in the 70’s and 80’s. They favoured what Reagan and Thatcher termed “constructive engagement”. Ie business as usual. The idea was that if South Africa’s trading partners just asked nicely enough……

        You have to ask yourself if it really was designed to bring about change in SA or just an excuse to allow apartheid to continue.

  66. Let me bring this out as a new part.
    @@@
    Steven Mosher | March 26, 2013 at 8:17 pm |
    Jim sensitivity is easily measured.
    u measure temp and change in forcing. u can do so daily monthly annually or over millenia

    @@@

    This is complete and utter scientific nonsense. On the recent thread -New perspectives on climate sensitivity-, out hostess writes “JC summary: these papers are providing useful contributions to the methodologies of estimating climate sensitivity and attribution of climate change.”

    The whole basis of the scientific method is that one forms a hypothesis, estimates what should quantitatively happen as a result of this hypothesis, and then goes out and measures whether these results actually occur. Once such measurements have been made, the theoretical estimations are abandoned, since measured values are available, with +/- values.

    Now if our hostess, who is surely au fait with ALL that is going on with respect to climate sensitivity, is still talking about estimating climate sensitivity in March 2013, it follows that no values of CS have EVER been measured. If measurements had been made, then the requirement for estimations has long since passed.

    Steven’s statement is sheer, complete, and utter scientific nonsense.

    • “u measure temp”

      Even this is a silly oversimplification.

      What about the various adjustments that need to be applied?

      What about areas with no measuring devices?

      What about the use of dubious proxies?

      Andrew

      • Bad Andrew, I agree with you. What happens in these circumstances is that warmists like Steven Mosher, when asked a question that requires them to admit that CS has never been measured, either raise a series of red herrings, or simply disappear and dont continue the subject any more. Steven simply refuses to answer the simple question, “Has the CS of CO2 been measured?” All that is required is a simple Yes or NO, but I know I will NEVER receive any answer.

      • Yes, Steven Mosher gets all quasi-scientific and pseudo-philosophic in support of Warmerism.

        These gifts depart however, when it’s appropriate to criticize Warmerism.

        The spirit moves in mystetious ways.

        Andrew

    • http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/03/27/opinion-life-as-a-target/#comment-1258783

      Dennis Ray Wingo says:
      March 27, 2013 at 4:26 pm
      Dear Lord Monckton

      Six years ago I sent you the equations regarding CO2 and the reasons why what was being said was impossible regarding the increase in the absorption spectrum to a 0.012% increase (against the entire atmosphere) of a trace IR absorbing gas. These equations, originating in the Quantum Mechanical relationships of the absorption and emission of radiation, by the CO2 molecule, were developed by the U.S. military and scientific organizations in the 1940′s-50′s as a result of their studies of the upper atmosphere in the development of heat seeking missiles. These physical studies could easily be repeated today and compared with the data gathered in that earlier era. This comparison will settle the question one way or another, once and for all.

      On a hiding to nothing, Monckton adamant that the science is authoritative… When I requested empirical proof for the CO2 claims I got a vitriolic response, this in a post of his where he was waxing eloquent on his advice to students that they shouldn’t agree with their tutor if he can be shown to be wrong, because ‘science is the pursuit of truth’ and arguments from authority meaningless. He then wanted me confined to a ghetto on the forum and not allowed to post in his discussions…

      The “Greenhouse Effect” is an illusion deliberately created to promote AGW by manipulating real physics, taking out whole processes, giving the properties of one thing to another and so on, and it’s kept alive by the same science frauds which created it.

  67. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    BREAKING NEWS

    Jos Hagelaars’ The two epochs of Marcott and especially Tom Curtis’ in-depth commentary upon “The Wheelchair Graph” now are providing solid scientific foundations for a 2013 APS Consensus Statement that is far stronger than any previous statement.

    Meanwhile the sassy Australian weblog HotWhopper has been hilariously deconstructing denialist Anthony Watts/WUWT obsessive  one   two   three   four   five   six   seven   eight   nine   ten   eleven   twelve   thirteen   fourteen   fifteen   sixteen  desperately disparate WUWT refutations of Marcott’s analysis!

    Good on `yah, HW! As Harry Truman famously said:

    “I don’t give them h*ll. I just tell the truth about them and they think it’s h*ll.”

    Aye Climate Etc lassies and laddies … that’s what strong climate-science is all about, eh?

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

    • FAQ, Fan’s ‘Frequently Answered Questions’.
      ===========

    • Mornin’ Fan, always reassuring to log on and see you continuing to fight the good fight. Always entertaining.

      But have a question this morning. You’re fond of gleefully tossing around the term “denialist.” Sincerely curious. Are you using the term seriously, that is to convey the idea that skeptics are denying something they really know to be true, or are you engaging in a little good natured hyperbole in your role as climate gadfly?

      The world wonder, eh FOMD?

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Good morning to you, pokerguy!

      Regarding the scientific study of denialist cognition, a recent [free-as-in-freeedom] literature survey is

      Denialism: what is it and how should scientists respond?
      by Pascal Diethelm and Martin McKee (2012)

      Denialism is a process that employs some or all of five characteristic elements in a concerted way.

      • The first is the identification of conspiracies.
      • The second is the use of fake experts.
      • The third is selectivity [cherry-picking].
      • The fourth is impossible expectations.
      • The fifth misrepresentation and logical fallacies.

      Motivations of Denialism  Denialists are driven by a range of motivations. For some it is greed, lured by the corporate largesse of the oil and tobacco industries. For others it is ideology or faith, causing them to reject anything incompatible with their fundamental beliefs. Finally there is eccentricity and idiosyncrasy, sometimes encouraged by the celebrity status conferred on the maverick by the media.

      Responding to Denialism  Whatever the motivation, it is important to recognize denialism when confronted with it. The normal academic response to an opposing argument is to engage with it, testing the strengths and weaknesses of the differing views, in the expectations that the truth will emerge through a process of debate. However, this requires that both parties obey certain ground rules, such as a willingness to look at the evidence as a whole, to reject deliberate distortions and to accept principles of logic. A meaningful discourse is impossible when one party rejects these rules. Yet it would be wrong to prevent the denialists having a voice. Instead, we argue, it is necessary to shift the debate from the subject under consideration, instead exposing to public scrutiny the tactics they employ and identifying them publicly for what they are. An understanding of the five tactics listed above provides a useful framework for doing so.

      Conclusion  A substantial public service of sites like HotWhopper is to show how exceedingly well Diethelm and McKee’s five criteria apply to climate-change denialism! Thank you for your question, Pokerguy!

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

      • Heh, he said ‘reject deliberate distortions’, heh, heh.
        ======================

      • Reject deliberate distortions like hockey schick
        mannipulations and hide the decline mannoeuvres?
        Oh and cherry picking small stands of bristle cones.
        Plus ca change… plus fait chaud.
        Bonne nuit fan.

      • FOMD lists the ways and means of “denialism”:

        *The first is the identification of conspiracies.
        • The second is the use of fake experts.
        • The third is selectivity [cherry-picking].
        • The fourth is impossible expectations.
        • The fifth misrepresentation and logical fallacies.

        Funny, to me it looks like you’re actually listing the well established strategies of climate alarmists.

        Most edifying. Thanks you for your reply, FOMD!!

      • I am a professional research scientist, working in chemotherapy and Autism. Most of my background is in interaction of reactive oxygen/nitrogen species with biological macro-molecules.
        I discovered the first pumped proton in cytochrome oxidase and discovered the second; bring the total number identified to two.

        The most recent paper published in Science is a travesty of the scientific method and of the peer review process.
        It shows that complete and utter crap is rubber stamped by climate scientists because it helps with fear mongering.

        Anyone who questions either my moral or intellectual honesty with respect to scientific investigation of natural phenomena is a charlatan.

        Pascal Diethelm and Martin McKee are not fit to wipe my bottom.

      • @DocM.

        My respect and gratitude to you, Doc. You advance the skeptical cause greatly, given your passion, clarity, and credentials.

        I’m a math challenged social science major and freelance essayist who barely passed elementary statistics. I have no scientific aptitude at all, at least to speak of. But I’m no dummy. 62 years of sometimes hard living have honed what I was fortunately born with, good instincts for people and a nose for b.s. I came to this discussion convinced that the climate scientists must be right. I’m a liberal democrat after all. Or at least I was. I trusted the NYT’s Why shouldn’t I? But something must have bothered me, otherwise I’d never have gotten interested in the topic.Then climate-gate came along.

        It became quickly apparent to me that the climate scientists we see in the MSM, and the guys who run the alarmist fake blogs, were angry, contemptuous, and defensive. Manifest jerks, in a word. I don’t trust jerks. I don’t trust people who won’t debate. I don’t trust people who throw insults rather than patiently explaining. If the world is really going to hell in a hand basket as Donna has perceptively written, you’d think they’d be desperate to debate and convince those who don’t know what to think. After all, according to some of them, civilization as we know it is at stake.

        Those initial impressions of mine have only grown stronger with time. Even a science dummy like me can understand what MAnn did with his hockey stick by trying to hide the decline, and can readily see that the climate models on which this whole thing is based are churning out failed prediction after failed prediction.. I readily admit I can’t understand the technical criticisms of Marcott’s hockey stick, but I can understand what it means that after all this time these scientists have not stepped forward to defend themselves. People whose reputations and careers are at stake, will fight to the death to defend themselves if they have anything credible to offer. And I can certainly see that he lied, plain old lied by omission, when he didn’t mention in alarmist interviews that even in his view, the hockey stick blade is not “robust.”

        Again Doc, many thanks. I could go on and on, but I’m not saying anything that hasn’t been said thousands of times before, and often by people who can say them much better than I can..

  68. ‘Plants capture CO2 and given the right conditions, can
    store it virtually indefinitely. And don’t think they won’t.’
    H/t Kim.

    Ihttp://www.eastgippsland.net.au/?q=node/641

    The beautiful, though Plane tree fer example..

    • Beth Cooper | March 27, 2013 at 10:17 am |

      Different plants store CO2 differently: the most efficient storage is suspected to be in deep-rooting plants, which not only drive their own mass downward and store a greater bulk belowground where it sequesters more secure from fire and rot, but also induces soil microbes to drive deeper, conducting a conveyor of CO2 from the air to greater depths.

      Sadly, humans love to chop down, dig out, plow under, burn, poison and pave over the deepest rooted plants of each terrain, supplanting them instead with concrete or asphalt (made from volatile fossil fuel wastes, generating megatons of CO2E just by baking away under the sun until renewed by repaving with still more volatile carbonaceous asphalt) or short-rooted lawns and crops. And even invasive species of worms prey on microbial life, carried thoughtlessly by humans.

      It’s this last pair of reasons that likeliest caused the Dust Bowl, microbial and root life so devastated by human mismanagement that the good soil died and converted to dust the first parching that hit it.

      Freeman Dyson postulates that only a small percentage of land use need be redirected to carbon-sequestering plantings in order to entirely offset all human CO2 emissions. This is not untrue, except every nation on Earth either is speeding the opposite direction, or has already exhaused every opportunity to exploit the soil in this way by paving or planting it, and it is not so straightforward as Dyson wishes (http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2FBF00017089?LI=true#).

      Shame too few appreciate the beauty of the sycamore (what you call plane tree) is almost all on the surface; even the most windfirm seldom send roots deeper than your arm could reach. Plant some mollisols and extreme mollisols — walnut and oak, or wild fig. They’re beautiful too.

  69. Maybe I’m asking too much, when I ask for a clear statement of what exactly is the CAGW Hypothesis in IPCC’s AR4.

    So I’m going with a more direct approach.

    From http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg3/en/ch2s2-2-4.html the first line of the chapter is:

    The possibility of abrupt climate change and/or abrupt changes in the earth system triggered by climate change, with potentially catastrophic consequences, cannot be ruled out (Meehl et al., 2007).

    Is this line the CAGW Hypothesis?

    Yes or No.

    • Bart r,
      the CAGW hyp is changed ” cannot be ruled out” to “more likely than not”

      Back to astroid impacts ” cannot be be ruled out”

      or Massive volcano in Yosemite “cannot be ruled out”
      Major tsunaimi caused by earthquake” cannot be ruled out”
      or big cat 5 hurricane in GuGulf caost “cannot be ruled out”

      Scott

      • Scott | March 27, 2013 at 12:21 pm |

        Who changed it? When? Where? Cite? That would be a big help; however, I propose an easy way out of asking those questions.

        I agree it’s an absurd hypothesis, and is vastly improved (as a hypothesis) by replacing “cannot be ruled out” committeespeak with “more likely than not” — which itself is still weak as hypotheses go.

        It’d be easier to say the first line alone is an incomplete statement of the full hypothesis, and then digging into the rest of the chapter for more fulsome meaning allows us to discuss the statement as the “CAGW Hypothesis” as offered by IPCC in AR4, so we could go even further in replacing “cannot be ruled out” with “as predicted by Meehl et al 2007 and delineated by the consequent risks as enumerated (melting ice caps, sea level rise of X meters, etc.)

        That way, we don’t need to go to other sources, and we can all agree to what we’re talking about, once we’ve fully reformulated the chapter of the report into the strict formalism of a working hypothesis.

        After all, a chapter of a report isn’t a hypothesis.

        Should we work on constructing one out of this chapter?

    • Bart you write “Maybe I’m asking too much, when I ask for a clear statement of what exactly is the CAGW Hypothesis in IPCC’s AR4″

      So far as I am concerned, the basis for the IPCC warmist claims of CAGW are found at

      http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch9s9-7.html

      • Jim Cripwell | March 27, 2013 at 2:39 pm |

        This is a good candidate for discussion; I’d contemplated starting with it, however — it clearly discusses AGW, not CAGW, and the rest of AR4 makes clear CAGW is a small, small fraction of AGW in terms of costs to me. It’s all about my pocketbook, I’m sure you’ll agree.

        Can we agree to discuss the merits of WG1 Chapter 9 at such point in the course of evaluating the CAGW Hypothesis of IPCC AR4 WG3 Chapter 2.2 that validating AGW with regards to WG1 Chapter 9 are of direct consequence?

        Which is sure to happen, because even if CAGW were falsified (a lofty ambition to be sure) on this basis, there’d still be all those other nagging hits to my pocketbook from increased AGW risks and vulnerabilities.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      It is a statement of climate catastrophism in the sense of Rene Thom.

      ‘We emphasize the importance of understanding dragon-kings as being often associated with a neighborhood of what can be called equivalently a phase transition, a bifurcation, a catastrophe (in the sense of Rene Thom), or a tipping point. The presence of a phase transition is crucial to learn how to diagnose in advance the symptoms associated with a coming dragon-king.’ http://arxiv.org/abs/0907.4290

      • Chief Hydrologist | March 27, 2013 at 3:49 pm |

        Possibly a bit too obscure just yet at this point in the process, but inevitable we’ll have to cross this bridge when we come to it; you see farther than most.

        Why don’t we put this off until the discussion formulates a more accessible statement of exactly what the IPCC CAGW Hypothesis of AR4 is (as opposed to what it ought be)?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Flattery will get you nowhere.

        ‘An abrupt climate change occurs when the climate system is forced to transition to a new state at a rate that is determined by the climate system itself, and which is more rapid than the rate of change of the external forcing.’ wikipedia referencing the 2002 NAS report – Abrupt climate change: inevitable surprises

        ‘Originated by the French mathematician Rene Thom in the 1960s, catastrophe theory is a special branch of dynamical systems theory. It studies and classifies phenomena characterized by sudden shifts in behavior arising from small changes in circumstances.

        Catastrophes are bifurcations between different equilibria, or fixed point attractors. Due to their restricted nature, catastrophes can be classified based on how many control parameters are being simulataneously varied. For example, if there are two controls, then one finds the most common type, called a “cusp” catastrophe. If, however, there are move than five controls, there is no classification.

        Catastrophe theory has been applied to a number of different phenomena, such as the stability of ships at sea and their capsizing, bridge collapse, and, with some less convincing success, the fight-or-flight behavior of animals and prison riots.’

        Abrupt climate change is a catastrophe in the sense of Rene Thom – and is likely to surprise us all.

  70. Tomas Milanovic

    Second, focus your efforts on the knowledge frontier, e.g. the controversies, the uncertainties, the known unknowns. Too much climate research is focused on taxonomy, and not enough on fundamental physics-based research. This is where the APS CPG can have its greatest impact.

    This has been my point for many years. Glad that it percolates.
    Good luck Judith. If I was in US, I’d be in.

    • I spoke to a travel agent about visiting the knowledge frontier, and seeing it all in person.

      “By jet airplane, the trip is 10,000 km,” I was assured.

      “By propeller charter, the knowledge frontier is 12,000 km long,” she added.

      “Helicopter would be a trip of 13,200 km,” she continued.

      “Rail, 14,520 km..”

      “Car, 15,972 km, according to Google maps..”

      “Bicycle, 17,569.2 km..”

      ..

      “Walking the knowledge frontier would take forever,” she concluded, “longer with a small child”.

      Fractal geometry teaches us to distrust rough linear approximations.

      What the heck is the knowledge frontier?

      Do you mean rather the ignorance frontier?

      The information frontier?

      The communication frontier?

      The teaching frontier?

      The learning frontier?

      The acceptance frontier?

      I suspect no two people mean quite the same thing when they use this ambiguous term.

  71. Land based temperature data is gathered based on the silliest notion that we can divide up the world in small boxes and average the temperature readings in the boxes to arrive at an ‘official’ average global temperature. And added to that silliness, all of the data is corrupted by the urban heat island effect and we all know it. Thank goodness we do have satellite and radiosonde temperature change data that is accurate for the top layer of the ocean and lower troposphere. So, we do know something about the world: humans are not heating up the Earth — global warming is not happening.

    • Even sillier Wag is that even though we know that atmospheric temperature is not correlated with atmospheric heat content, it is assumed that a change in atmospheric temperature is due to a change in heat.

      • True, true any rise in the ‘official’ average global temperature has more to do with — e.g., cold winter nights that are not quite as cold as they ‘should’ be, in the coldest most remote and inhospitable places on Earth (or, more closer to home when ‘official’ thermometers are located on the snow-swept tarmac of an airport in France, Alaska, Russia) — Oui mon ami zat eez bubbly hot! no?

  72. FWIW, the problem with the Topical Group on Climate Physics is that the APS management initially populated it with a mix of denialists and people who were clueless about atmospheric science. In the initial executive committee the only competent people were Ken Minnischwer and Judith Lean. This is completely different from the other topical group executive committees which are overwhelmingly composed of experts with maybe one wild card.

  73. We had reached ‘a superb agreement’ based on complete misunderstanding.

    (Valery d’Estaing [The French President] at the Tokyo Summit, quoted in Carter, 1982: 113)

  74. Wag,
    Do you know how the estimate of global temperature is derived?
    As you say, do they weigh arctic night and day averages with tropic averages over the ocean to get a “precise” value to x decimal points?
    Lots riding on the error bars.
    Scott

    • Scott

      Here is the original Hansen and lebedeff paper from 1987 which describes the process.

      http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/abs/ha00700d.html

      It’s an interesting process which gives an overarching ‘global’ temperature. But as marvel leroux’s obseved’ we have many climates.’
      Tonyb

      • Tonyb, Thanks so much.
        We can always count on you.
        Scott

      • Plus one tony, fer going ter the source material
        – as – is – yore – way
        .
        Beth ex – officio – fer – Peter Davies (who’s gone fishing.)

    • The data is adjusted. And, the adjustments are adjusted, without any explanation or footnote to anything reasoned explanation that was relied upon to the adjustments. Then, the original data is ‘lost.’ That’s how it works. It’s not longer CRUgate; it has become GREENHOUSEgate.

      The idea of a greenhouse is an analogy. And, it’s false. So to any real scientist, belief in global warming must be seen as myth, delusion, superstition, ignorance or it can only be explained as something that con artists found to be useful to run a sting on the people. Academia is stabbing the people in the back.

  75. Berényi Péter

    I’d expect a Topical Group on the Physics of quasi steady state closed non-equilibrium thermodynamic systems, radiatively coupled to their environment. The climate system is but one member of this large family, while other members may readily be studied under lab conditions. A general theory of such systems is still lacking, a real challenge to physicists. The theory should be able to explain multiple runs of a wide class of systems, would be experimentally testable, as opposed to computational climate models, attempting to simulate a single run of a unique physical entity, which would never fit into a lab.

    With a proper theory at hand the problem of climate could be attacked with some hope for progress, which is utterly lacking until such time.

    • Absolutely Berényi, bioenergeticists have some experience with similar system and the (metabolic) control theory provides all the math one needs for examining pseudo-steady states

    • There is a new way of looking at this (links here)

      The present work points out, however, that entropy is not really necessary away from equilibrium. It is only at, or very near to, equilibrium when dissipation is identically zero or so small that local thermodynamic equilibrium can be assumed, that entropy (and the Gibbs approach-ER) may be useful.

      • Can you tell me where the equilibrium approximation is realistic anywhere in the Earths climate system?
        Did you not bother to read Berényi point, but jumped in like fool?

      • Berényi Péter

        Not so fast. Who cares what entropy is or even if it is theoretically sensible for non-equilibrium states? The task ahead is to do experiments. Have a large vacuum chamber, cool its walls with liquid nitrogen, put a transparent container onto a well insulated rotating table, fill it with some semi-transparent fluid then turn on intense high temperature radiation (visible light) directed to said container. Do detailed measurements on evolution of its state. Think.

        Then, having grasped the appropriate concepts, try to put together a computational model of this setup, which is able to predict what happens across multiple runs. Modify properties of fluid (including its IR optical depth), repeat.

        As soon as you have a project like this completed successfully, you are ready to proceed to climate. Never before.

      • Berényi, the hare-brained one looks down on experiments and on data collection; only matching modeled outputs to modeled data counts as physics nowadays.

        I would ask what the rotation rate of a planet would do to the diurnal temperature range. A fast rotating planet would have a very narrow diurnal temperature range and a slow rotating one a wide diurnal temperature range (rather like the moon).
        Nowhere has Earth temperature been tied into its rotation speed.

      • Well actually they did a nice experiment and found fluctuations that beat the second law. Wanna try again?

      • DocMartyn” I would ask what the rotation rate of a planet would do to the diurnal temperature range. A fast rotating planet would have a very narrow diurnal temperature range and a slow rotating one a wide diurnal temperature range (rather like the moon).”

        That depends on the composition of the planet. The easier the surface can transfer and store energy the lower the diurnal temperature range. The liquid portion of the Earth stores and transfers well, so the diurnal range of the oceans and the meridonal gradient smaller than a less conductive body like the moon. The sub-surface of the moon, being pretty well insulated, has a temperature roughly equal to the solar constant times COS(lat) divided by pi. If the moon where a conductive liquid with high thermal mass, its subsurface would be a uniform 4C degrees.

      • FWIW Arthur Smith did the rotating planet thing about five years ago

      • Eli, that is for a fixed albedo. If any portion of the albedo is a response to insolation, that doesn’t apply. Earth wasn’t born with clouds.

      • You could add that, of course you would have to have a model of how the albedo changed. You also have to say something about the heat capacity of the surface, land and ocean. Enjoy.

      • Does the droppings eater know what constitutes an experiment?
        Aristotelian philosophy failed. Thinking really, really hard about something until you come up with an answer isn’t science.
        You have to formulate a testable hypothesis and attempt to test it to destruction.
        You do not, and I really mean this, you do not call people who disagree with a hypothesis ‘deniers’ ‘big oil shrills’ or ‘conspiracy theorists’.
        If you don’t know the answer, say so.
        Do not pretend that the atmosphere or the oceans are in any form of thermal equilibrium.
        Grow up FFS, you are supposed to be a professional physicist. Covering up for disgraceful behavior for other scientists because they happen to be on your side, politically, is like watching the Nazi’s kick out the Jewish academics because you want a chair.
        So brain-dead bunny. Don’t post yet more models and say they are experiments.

      • Eli,
        “You also have to say something about the heat capacity of the surface, land and ocean.”

        Of course, then you would have the basic blackbody portion of the problem estimated. You would also have to consider the radiant “shell” portion, the upper atmosphere with its lower heat capacity that would not be influenced by albedo response, that is about -90C or 67 Wm-2 and you would have a range of ~94 C degrees, pretty much what Manabe concluded.

        There are some smart folks over there at the GFDL.

      • Now some, not Eli to be sure, might think Doc has been indulging in some mighty fine libations over there. Others might contend he simply enjoys ranting to himself in the bathroom. Finally a few could point out that the work which Eli pointed to is a new take on non equilibrium thermodynamics. Prigogine and rice to you sir. RTFR

      • Berényi Péter

        Eli Rabett | March 28, 2013 at 8:32 pm |
        FWIW Arthur Smith did the rotating planet thing about five years ago

        You are kidding, are you? Your “did the rotating planet thing” was in fact some calculations on idealized mathematical models. Are you actually unable to grasp the difference between “doing” and “thinking about” or you’re just pretending to?

      • Berényi, the dumb bunny is an example of modern physicists. He think abut things very hard, comes up with a complex model and presents the answer.
        Bunnys way to analyze complex phenomena is to examine the rate of reactants, in isolation,, and then construct a box model.
        If you have to leave you chair, its not physics.

      • Well as soon as you clowns finish with your Htrae model Eli can abandon calculations and do the experiment.

  76. http://risk-monger.blogactiv.eu/2013/03/25/job-offer-students-wanted-to-be-ipcc-climate-change-reviewers/#.UVNfhhemg1K

    The authoritative IPCC’s consensus of scientists..

    …are they having problems recruiting scientists?

    • The IPCC will never pass the ‘smell test.’ I can smell the sulfur from here.

      • There is no turbulent mixing in an ice core. The fractionation argument was popular in the 90s when the denial was cfc focused. Wegman also fell into it in his Congressional testimony which clearly showed he was clueless. For details see Robert Parson’s Ozone Faq Eli is an old bunny.
        ———————–
        Subject: 1.3) How does the composition of the atmosphere change with
        altitude? (Or, how can CFC’s get up to the stratosphere
        when they are heavier than air?)

        In the earth’s troposphere and stratosphere, most _stable_ chemical
        species are “well-mixed” – their mixing ratios are independent of
        altitude. If a species’ mixing ratio changes with altitude, some
        kind of physical or chemical transformation is taking place. That
        last statement may seem surprising – one might expect the heavier
        molecules to dominate at lower altitudes. The mixing ratio of
        Krypton (mass 84), then, would decrease with altitude, while that
        of Helium (mass 4) would increase. In reality, however, molecules
        do not segregate by weight in the troposphere or stratosphere.
        The relative proportions of Helium, Nitrogen, and Krypton are
        unchanged up to about 100 km.

        Why is this? Vertical transport in the troposphere takes place by
        convection and turbulent mixing. In the stratosphere and in the
        mesosphere, it takes place by “eddy diffusion” – the gradual mechanical
        mixing of gas by motions on small scales. These mechanisms do not
        distinguish molecular masses. Only at much higher altitudes do mean
        free paths become so large that _molecular_ diffusion dominates and
        gravity is able to separate the different species, bringing hydrogen
        and helium atoms to the top. The lower and middle atmosphere are thus
        said to be “well mixed.”
        [Chamberlain and Hunten] [Wayne] [Wallace and Hobbs]

        Experimental measurements of the fluorocarbon CF4 demonstrate this
        homogeneous mixing. CF4 has an extremely long lifetime in the
        stratosphere – probably many thousands of years. The mixing ratio
        of CF4 in the stratosphere was found to be 0.056-0.060 ppbv
        from 10-50 km, with no overall trend. [Zander et al. 1992]

        An important trace gas that is *not* well-mixed is water vapor. The
        lower troposphere contains a great deal of water – as much as 30,000
        ppmv in humid tropical latitudes. High in the troposphere, however,
        the water condenses and falls to the earth as rain or snow, so that
        the stratosphere is extremely dry, typical mixing ratios being about
        5 ppmv. Indeed, the transport of water vapor from troposphere to
        stratosphere is even less efficient than this would suggest, since
        much of the small amount of water in the stratosphere is actually
        produced _in situ_ by the oxidation of stratospheric methane. [SAGE II]

        Sometimes that part of the atmosphere in which the chemical
        composition of stable species does not change with altitude is
        called the “homosphere”. The homosphere includes the troposphere,
        stratosphere, and mesosphere. The upper regions of the atmosphere
        – the “thermosphere” and the “exosphere” – are then referred to as
        the “heterosphere”. [Wayne] [Wallace and Hobbs]

      • Most of the CO2 in the atmosphere is at about ankle-level.

    • myrrh

      Who want to “produce result” instead of assessing the science?

    • Girma – which is why they leave out of the summary report anything that conflicts with the AGW narrative(*)

      I’m thinking of such as the meme “carbon dioxide accumulates in the atmosphere for hundreds of years etc”, when in the body of the report it gives around 3-4 years residence time (which is rational as that takes into account being part and parcel of the Water Cycle, all rain carbonic acid, and that carbon dioxide heavier than air so will always sink displacing air unless work is done to alter that), don’t recall exactly I’ll see if I can find it.

      (*)”Today the IPCC’s role is also, as defined in Principles Governing IPCC Work, “…to assess on a comprehensive, objective, open and transparent basis the scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant to understanding the scientific basis of risk of human-induced climate change, its potential impacts and options for adaptation and mitigation.” http://www.ipcc.ch/organization/organization_history.shtml

    • OK, I’ve found a reference to the IPCC summary contradicting what it said in the main report: http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=340251

      From Saul’s post 10: “The driver for this study is the wide-ranging published values of the CO2 atmospheric residence time (RT), τ, with the values differing by more than an order of magnitude, where the significance of the difference relates to decisions on whether (1) to attempt control of combustion-sourced (anthropogenic) CO2 emissions, if τ > 100 years, or (2) not to attempt control, if τ 10 years. This given difference is particularly evident in the IPCC First 1990 Climate Change Report where, in the opening policymakers summary of the report, the RT is stated to be in the range of 50−200 years, and (largely) on the basis of that, it was also concluded in the report and from subsequent related studies that the current rising level of CO2 was due to combustion of fossil fuels, thus carrying the, now widely accepted, rider that CO2 emissions from combustion should therefore be curbed. However, the actual data in the text of the IPCC report separately states a value of 4 years. ”

      That discussion was from 2009, and I recall reading more in 2010 – this one amused me at the time:

      http://www.skepticalscience.com/co2-residence-time.htm

      “The skeptic argument…CO2 has a short residence time
      “[T]he overwhelming majority of peer-reviewed studies [find] that CO2 in the atmosphere remained there a short time.” (Lawrence Solomon)

      What the science says…
      Individual carbon dioxide molecules have a short life time of around 5 years in the atmosphere. However, when they leave the atmosphere, they’re simply swapping places with carbon dioxide in the ocean. The final amount of extra CO2 that remains in the atmosphere stays there on a time scale of centuries.

      ..
      “It is true that an individual molecule of CO2 has a short residence time in the atmosphere. However, in most cases when a molecule of CO2 leaves the atmosphere it is simply swapping places with one in the ocean. Thus, the warming potential of CO2 has very little to do with the residence time of CO2.”

      Very montypythonesque. Somehow the ocean says, no thanks not another molecule of carbon dioxide or I’ll burst..

      This piece also shows that rain has been taken out of the Carbon Cycle:

      “The claim hinges on what life time means. To understand this, we have to first understand what a box model is: In an environmental context, systems are often described by simplified box models. A simple example (from school days) of the water cycle would have just 3 boxes: clouds, rivers, and the ocean.”

      But no rain to get to the rivers and ocean…

      The AGWGreenhouseEffect has replaced the Water Cycle, which is the movement of real gases as heating up they become less dense and so lighter rise and in cooling down become more dense and so heavier sink, that’s why it’s called a cycle, with the propertyless imaginary ‘ideal gas hard dots with no mass, volume, weight, attraction zipping around at great speeds in empty space thoroughly mixing.

      They have replaced the dynamics of the Water Cycle in our real gas atmosphere with the idea that these hard dots of nothing, which they have given the same names as real gases, get to these “boxes”, what they call “sinks”, by “contact with the well-mixed atmosphere”.

      Of course, that still doesn’t explain why the ocean is going to say it’s too full to take any more and that what it doesn’t take is going to stay up in the atmosphere defying gravity, except they have no gravity because they don’t have real gases so they’re not bothered by this.

      • You are confusing two things. The residence time is the average time that a particular molecule remains in the atmosphere. This is determined by the relatively fast interchange with the biosphere and the upper oceans. Five years is a reasonable estimate for this.

        However, that is a different question from how long an increase in the atmospheric concentration of CO2 remains because, at the same time as CO2 molecules are moving from the atmosphere to the biosphere and the upper oceans, other CO2 molecules are moving from the upper oceans and biosphere into the atmosphere.

        These three reservoirs interchange carbon rapidly. If you put a jolt of CO2 into one of them, it will spread into the others in a few years, which is why the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere is about half of what we dump in every year as it spreads into the biosphere and the upper ocean

        OTOH the INCREASE in the CO2 mixing ratio takes hundreds of years to decrease because the movement into the lower ocean where it is stuck for thousands of years is slow and into rocks even slower.

      • Eli Rabett | March 28, 2013 at 8:49 pm | You are confusing two things. The residence time is the average time that a particular molecule remains in the atmosphere. This is determined by the relatively fast interchange with the biosphere and the upper oceans. Five years is a reasonable estimate for this.

        Some days it is just sooooo tedious dealing with AGW/CAGW attempts at revisionist history.

        NB – by “you” and “your” in the following I refer to generic pushers of AGW/CAGW “physics”.

        However, that is a different question from how long an increase in the atmospheric concentration of CO2 remains because, at the same time as CO2 molecules are moving from the atmosphere to the biosphere and the upper oceans, other CO2 molecules are moving from the upper oceans and biosphere into the atmosphere.

        Oh gosh, fancy that, the Carbon Cycle.

        These three reservoirs interchange carbon rapidly. If you put a jolt of CO2 into one of them, it will spread into the others in a few years, which is why the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere is about half of what we dump in every year as it spreads into the biosphere and the upper ocean.

        OTOH the INCREASE in the CO2 mixing ratio takes hundreds of years to decrease because the movement into the lower ocean where it is stuck for thousands of years is slow and into rocks even slower.

        Logic disjunct – the atmosphere is not a “carbon sink”, carbon dioxide cannot “persist” in the atmosphere just because you have decided that the “upper ocean” and “biosphere” cannot take any more..

        What is the mechanism for carbon dioxide “persisting” in the atmosphere when it is heavier than air and fully part of the Water Cycle?

        Water in the atmosphere has a residence time of 8-10 days.

        Carbon dioxide is fully part of the Water Cycle – all rain is carbonic acid – the water in the atmosphere can’t say, sorry, not one more molecule or I’ll burst, it is spontaneously attracted to carbon dioxide and in this clinch it mops up whatever carbon dioxide is around, constantly bringing the carbon dioxide back to the surface as carbonic acid and not only to the ocean, and into all the rivers and lakes, but back into all the land too where it sinks into the soil..

        All you’re doing here is confirming what I’m arguing against – you have no Water Cycle in your Carbon Cycle and you have replaced real gases with your fake ideal gas molecules..

        You have taken out the Water Cycle because it makes nonsense of your claims that “carbon dioxide accumulates for hundreds and thousands of years”.

        To distract even further from this you have created fake molecules of carbon dioxide which have no attraction (you have the imaginary ideal gas hard dots without mass speeding by their own molecular momentum through empty space and not real gases with volume whose speed is restricted by the volume of the molecules around them, and these your fake molecules are bouncing off each other without attraction, not real gases with attraction), so of course you never have to explain that rain is carbonic acid and so part of the Water Cycle, which cycle you have eliminated from your “Greenhouse Effect” for the 33°C fraud, you simply don’t include rain in your Carbon Cycle.

        Because for this fraud you have created fake imaginary “ideal gas” molecules without mass or attraction or volume or weight and so not subject to gravity, you have also no need to explain the other key mechanism for carbon dioxide to move from the atmosphere to the surface, that carbon dioxide is heavier than air and therefore will always spontaneously sink to the surface displacing air. Always. It takes work to change that.

        You don’t have the full Water Cycle or the full Carbon Cycle and you do not have real gases, you have eliminated them from your fake fisics world – your thinking is based on a science fraud.

        You cannot appreciate that your explanations are complete and utter gobbledegook unless and until you begin to appreciate how AGWScienceFiction has messed with the properties and process of the real physical world around us.

      • The Bunny said ‘ reservoirs’ and not ‘sinks’ Hallelujah, Hallelujah!
        Does this mean that the bunny has decided to learn mainstream kinetic analysis?
        Does the bunny now know the difference between ‘reservoirs’ and ‘sinks’?
        Has the bunny worked out what it means about the relative sizes of reservoirs if we observe first order kinetics of transfer from one to another; as in the loss of atmospheric 14C into other reservoirs?

        Perhaps the dumb bunny can estimate the pre-industrial mineralization rate (a true sink).
        Now this rate would have been first or higher order with respect to CO2 throughout history.
        Global CO2 emission rate for all degassing subaerial (on land) and submarine volcanoes lie in a range from 0.13 gigaton to 0.44 gigaton per year (Gerlach, 1991; Varekamp et al., 1992; Allard, 1992; Sano and Williams, 1996; Marty and Tolstikhin, 1998). So each and every year, to maintain the 280 ppm atmospheric CO2 level, the rate of influx 0.13 gigaton to 0.44 gigaton per year must have been matched by an efflux into a true sink, 0.13 gigaton to 0.44 gigaton per year .
        All the dumb bunny has to do is to think about what forms of carbon are mineralized (