UK MSM on climate sensitivity

by Judith Curry

If climate scientists were credit-rating agencies, climate sensitivity would be on negative watch. But it would not yet be downgraded. – The Economist

Over the past few weeks, there have been some interesting and provocative articles in the mainstream media on the topic of climate sensitivity.

Sunday Mail

Two weeks ago, David Rose published an article in the Sunday Mail entitled The Great Green con no. 1: The hard proof that finally shows global warming forecasts costing billions were WRONG all along.     Subtitle:

No, the world ISN’T getting warmer (as you may have noticed). Now we reveal the official data that’s making scientists suddenly change their minds about climate doom. So will eco-funded MPs stop waging a green crusade with your money? Well… what do YOU think?

The article quotes myself, Myles Allen, Piers Forster, James Annan and David Whitehouse. The centerpiece evidence is the plot of Ed Hawkins, comparing CMIP5 climate model simulations with observations.

The article not surprisingly received a response from the Committee on Climate Change (specifically, Brian Hoskins and Steve Smith) titled Climate science remains robust despite claims in the Mail.  The punchline of the article is

The results from recent studies are evidence of a healthy climate science community continually testing its science. In addition to the issues discussed here a number of uncertainties remain, for example as regards the carbon cycle, cloud effects, regional climate, extreme weather change, and impacts. And there is an extensive work programme underway to try to resolve these uncertainties. Given what we know now, the appropriate response to these uncertainties and associated risks is to cut emissions rather than to wait and see. We will continue to monitor closely developments in climate science and draw out any implications for policy.

David Rose strikes back with another article entitled Government’s climate watchdog launches astonishing attack on the Mail on Sunday for revealing global warming science is wrong.

JC comment:  A vehement exchange, generating more heat than light.

The Guardian

The Guardian counters with an article titled Global warming predictions prove accurate.  Subtitle: Analysis of climate change modeling for past 15 years reveal accurate forecasts of rising global temperatures.

This article is based on a new paper by Myles Allen, that presents a new way of presenting the climate model simulation – observation comparison (see this previous Climate Etc. post).  Excerpt:

The paper, published on Wednesday in the journal Nature Geoscience, explores the performance of a climate forecast based on data up to 1996 by comparing it with the actual temperatures observed since. The results show that scientists accurately predicted the warming experienced in the past decade, relative to the decade to 1996, to within a few hundredths of a degree.

Paul Homewood at WUWT is not impressed.

Economist

The Economist has an astonishingly good article entitled Climate science: A sensitive matter. Subtitle: The climate may be heating up less in response to greenhouse-gas emissions than was once thought.  But that does not mean the problem is going away.

The article provides an accurate representation and interpretation of Ed Hawkin’s analysis.

The mismatch might mean that—for some unexplained reason—there has been a temporary lag between more carbon dioxide and higher temperatures in 2000-10. Or it might be that the 1990s, when temperatures were rising fast, was the anomalous period. Or, as an increasing body of research is suggesting, it may be that the climate is responding to higher concentrations of carbon dioxide in ways that had not been properly understood before. This possibility, if true, could have profound significance both for climate science and for environmental and social policy.

The article is a must read, it effectively summarizes many of papers recently discussed at Climate Etc.  Interestingly, the article relies entirely on analysis of published papers and blog posts (without interview quotes from scientists).

The article is written by  The Economist’s new editor for energy and environment, John Parker.  What an absolutely superb job by someone who has no obvious background in the climate area.  He did email me for input, and I sent him a few pages from my forthcoming testimony, which he clearly paid attention to.

JC comment:  I would like to see the Committee on Climate Change also respond to the Economist article.  And I would be pleased if the IPCC AR5 does as a good a job as John Parker has in terms of assessing the issue of climate sensitivity.

358 responses to “UK MSM on climate sensitivity

  1. That Economist quote on negative credit watch sounds Enronishly slow…. Steve Hayward asks over at Powerline, ‘Climate Change Endgame in Sight?’ (http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2013/03/climate-change-endgame-in-sight.php)

    • Rob -

      Steve Hayward asks over at Powerline, ‘Climate Change Endgame in Sight?’

      Indeed. Yet another final nail in the coffin/final stake through the heart.

      One of the more amusing aspects of climate “skepticism” is how often some climate “skeptics” make laughable predictions yet just disregard that they were ever made (and shown to be wrong) to make them yet again and again.

      • Yes, Josh. You’ve made that same point about 600 times now. Easier the drive-by sneer, than dealing with the questions at hand. Have you read the Economist piece? What’s your reaction? Has your opinion on climate sensitivity changed at all over the last few years?

        What about the fact that questions about climate sensitivity are beginning to be asked in MS outlets? Do you think that’s significant in any way?

      • It is interesting that you’d ask my opinion, PG, after your (rather obsessive) focus on telling me how much you think my opinions irrelevant.

        FWIW, while perhaps not in agreement with Judith that it is “astonishingly good,” and despite some nits (i.e., a rather strangely sloppy errors in calling Nic Lewis become a climate scientists), I think that the Economist article provides a pretty good overview of the debate.

        I had no particular opinion about sensitivity. I don’t understand the science well-enough to have such an opinion.

        My sense of the opinions of climate scientists is that there is probably increased support a lower “best estimate,” limited-range sensitivity than there was previously. But completely in-line with the articles’ thesis, I think that despite a possible shift in the consensus about a limited range “best estimate,” the larger-range CI sensitivity estimate still has troubling ramifications such that serious debate about policy is in order. I think it is unfortunate that political environment it too polluted for much chance that such serious debate will take place in the near- or medium-term.

        What hasn’t changed is my view that the “skept-o-sphere” is full of “skeptics” who pay lip service to appropriate recognition of uncertainty, but prove to be highly selective in that regard. Comments such as Rob’s and articles like the one that he linked make it abundantly clear that nothing’s likely to change in that regard.

        No problem, however. I’m well-stocked in popcorn and I just bought more shares in Orville Redenbacher

      • Steven Mosher

        Joshua:

        “FWIW, while perhaps not in agreement with Judith that it is “astonishingly good,” and despite some nits (i.e., a rather strangely sloppy errors in calling Nic Lewis become a climate scientists)

        sloppy errors??: hehe. he calls Nic an independent climate scientist. That is a perfect description. When one writes a science paper they ask you to declare your affiliation. Nic is independent. I wonder if you think that Nic is not a scientist?

        Lets see: an artist makes art. A mason lays bricks. A teacher teaches. Nic does what other scientists do: He makes a hypothesis and he tests it. He writes up his result. Those results have been published in the peer reviewed literature. I suppose one could argue that he is more statistician than climate scientist, but if you’d have to exclude a bunch of other folks that we normally calls scientists if this is your rule. Even some of the scientists quoted in the article. Maybe you mean to say that nobody pays Nic to do science? Maybe you mean to say that what he does is not science.. which is weird since he is cited by Ar5.
        And when the authors of Ar4 had to issue an errata because of one of Nic’s criticisms, why didnt they object to a non scientist correcting them? To settle this matter I asked 10 scientists. They all agreed, Nic is a scientist.

      • steven -

        I suppose that anyone who wants to identify as such could be considered an “independent climate scientist.” If I wanted to, I could call myself an “independent climate scientist.”

        But here is what I remember reading for how Nic described himself:

        Nic Lewis’ academic background is mathematics, with a minor in physics, at Cambridge University (UK). His career has been outside academia. Two or three years ago, he returned to his original scientific and mathematical interests and, being interested in the controversy surrounding AGW, started to learn about climate science. He is co-author of the paper that rebutted Steig et al. Antarctic temperature reconstruction (Ryan O’Donnell, Nicholas Lewis, Steve McIntyre and Jeff Condon, 2011, Improved methods for PCA-based reconstructions: case study using the Steig et al. (2009) Antarctic temperature reconstruction, Journal of Climate

        So, from what I can tell it looks like doesn’t identify himself as a climate scientist, and he says that he started looking into climate science @ 2008-2009.

        Usually, when someone makes a reference such as that someone is a “climate scientist,” it suggests that they research climate as a career, have done so for more than 5 years, etc.

        But yes, technically, I sometimes make a drawing but don’t refer to myself as an artist, and would not expect someone making reference to me to refer to me as such. I sometimes lay brick, but I don’t refer to myself as a mason, and would not expect someone making reference to me to call refer to me as such. Etc.

      • Joshua, ” I sometimes lay brick, but I don’t refer to myself as a mason, and would not expect someone making reference to me to call refer to me as such. Etc.” If you laid peer reviewed bricks, you’ld get stuck with the title.

      • Here’s how Matt Ridley described Nic:

        A semiretired successful financier from Bath, England, with a strong mathematics and physics background, Mr. Lewis has made significant contributions to the subject of climate change.

        Hmmm. No mention of him being a “climate scientist,” independent or otherwise. There is reference to him being a financier. There is reference to his background…..

        But yes, I suppose that technically one could refer to him as an “independent” climate scientists – but I would still say that to refer to him as such in a newspaper article is sloppy.

        So tell me, steven – what are the criteria that you would use to distinguish between someone with a technical background and who investigates climate science from a “climate scientist?” Are there any, or would you say that anyone with a technical background and who investigates climate science is an “independent” climate scientist. And what, do you think, “independent” means there, anyway?,What is the criteria you’d use to determine who is or isn’t “independent?”

      • Hmmm. Comment got stuck in moderation: I’ll try to edit. Speaking of people who don’t describe Nic as a “climate scientist,” here take a look at how RIdley’s description:

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

        Interesting, don’t you think?

        Is anyone who has a technical background and who studies climate a “climate scientist?” if not, then what are the distinguishing criteria you use?

        And while you’re at it, what are the criteria you’d use to determine whether someone is “independent” in that context?

      • Steven -

        Oy – keep getting stuck in moderation. Let me try editing even more:

        What criteria do you use to distinguish who is or isn’t a “climate scientist?” Independent?

        Another description of Nic…

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

      • Not the joke I was expecting, Cap’n. I was expecting a joke about me laying bricks.

        Extra points for creativity.

      • Steven Mosher

        ‘I suppose that anyone who wants to identify as such could be considered an “independent climate scientist.” If I wanted to, I could call myself an “independent climate scientist.””

        That’s not my question. Its not what you would call yourself, or what Nic would call himself or what other people have called Nic in the past.
        The question is by what definition of scientist do you exclude him?

        I would not consider you a climate scientist because you do not do science and you know nothing about the climate. You have no publications in science journals and I’ve yet to see you do a lick of math or test a hypothesis.

      • Steven Mosher

        Joshua

        “What criteria do you use to distinguish who is or isn’t a “climate scientist?” Independent?

        Another description of Nic…

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

        Non responsive. I asked for YOUR criteria. I did not ask you to point to other peoples descriptions. Further, I see nothing in that description which entails it is incorrect to ALSO describe him as a climate scientist.

        Learn how a proof works

      • Steven Mosher

        captain
        “Joshua, ” I sometimes lay brick, but I don’t refer to myself as a mason, and would not expect someone making reference to me to call refer to me as such. Etc.” If you laid peer reviewed bricks, you’ld get stuck with the title.”

        Let us suppose that you laid bricks and suppose that the UN commission a report on masonry, and used examples of your brick laying. Seems to me I would trust them over you and your false modesty.

      • OK, so now we have some exclusion criteria. Judging from your commenting style, I suspect that is as close as I will get to inclusion criteria from you, so I’ll work with what I’ve gotten.

        My emphasis:

        I would not consider you a climate scientist because you do not do science and you know nothing about the climate. You have no publications in science journals and I’ve yet to see you do a lick of math or test a hypothesis.

        So utilizing your exclusion criteria, anyone who does science, knows something about the climate, has published in a scientific journal, knows some math and that you’ve seen test a hypothesis is a “climate scientist?”

        I’d say that using such criteria, your definition of “climate scientist” is pretty meaningless – and as such, shouldn’t be used in a newspaper article.

        So how ’bouts some exclusion criteria for “independent?”

      • <strong I asked for YOUR criteria.

        I figured it was implied. But no reason not to be more specific.

        Someone who has research climate as a career, or at least researched climate science (presumably full-time) for a period considerably longer than 5 years.

        By your definition, I’d say that a fair number of the commenters here at Climate Etc. are “climate scientists – as quite a few have published articles in journals Should I assume that you would want to specify your criterion of publishing in science journals – to mean, specifically (at least co-authoring) articles in climate science-related journals?

        Otherwise, if it is any scientific journal, would it include social sciences as well? So let’s say Dan Kahan is a “climate scientist?” If not,,why not? How about if one of his papers gets published in a climate-related journal?

      • What is it that you want me to “prove” steven? That Nic isn’t a scientist? I didn’t say that he isn’t? That he isn’t an independent “climate scientist?” I didn’t say that statement was false, I said that in fact, that term could apply to basically anyone by applying arbitrary criteria.

        What I asserted is that it is misleading, and as such a “sloppy error.” What I meant is that I think that readers unfamiliar with who Nic is, in the context of the debate,would assume attributes about Nic’s career and work that are not the case.

        Anyway – as usual, you seem to want to make this personal and so that’s a good time to jump off (and anyway it’s time for me to “hit my sack”.)

      • I’m a chef, cartoonist, dancer, model builder, and cabinet maker. But I’m not very good at most of these things. Just hobby stuff.

      • Generalissimo Skippy

        Cause’ I’m a picker
        I’m a grinner
        I’m a lover
        And I’m a sinner
        playin’ my music in the sun
        I’m a joker
        I’m a smoker
        I’m a mid-night toker
        I get my lovin’ on the run
        Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh

        Whoa there Shibboleth</a – the villagers are revolting.

      • What isb a climate scientist? It seems to me that it is a catch all name for a number of scientific disciplines that study and publich papers on aspects of the climate. I don’t know of any University that has a “Climate Science” faculty.

      • Meanwhile, on Revkin’s blog, commentators are arguing about whether Dr. Curry is a proper climate scientist (alarmists say not, since she’s in Georgia and *therefore* off-message!).

        So another criterion: real climate scientists are based in California, the North-East and East Anglia, UK.

        On the UK MSM, it is instructive that (despite the increasing doubts about ‘consensus’ climate science and climate sensitivity) there are still only three regular commentators who take a contrarian position – Rose, Delingpole and Booker (gawd bless ‘em!). Given the weather and the ‘Green’ Tariff of Abominations on our energy bills, there may well be more soon.

      • Susan Anderson, the commenter you reference cui bono, has been flogging stereotypical political cant at DotEarth for at least five years. She is an artist, and apparently the daughter of a Nobel Prize winning Princeton physicist.

        She’s echo-chambered, or she’d realize what a fool she makes of herself.
        ======================

      • At DotEarth, David B. Benson was the one who shocked me. I didn’t think it was possible he could be more inane than he was five years ago.
        ==============================

      • David Springer

        Joshua | April 1, 2013 at 12:39 am |

        “I sometimes lay brick, but I don’t refer to myself as a mason, and would not expect someone making reference to me to call refer to me as such.”

        I sometimes lay waste but I don’t refer to myself as a demolitions expert but rather a United States Marine doing what we do best!

      • Generalissimo Skippy

        I can hear the music in my head. Does that make me…crazy? Kinda like seeing temperatures arisin’ and yet they ain’t there.

        Time to take my meds.

      • Steven Mosher

        ‘Someone who has research climate as a career, or at least researched climate science (presumably full-time) for a period considerably longer than 5 years.”

        Considerably longer than 5 years? Why then when mann got his Phd and was appointed to Ar4, he was not a climate scientist. And what of our new hockey stick kids?

        The issue is this. you called it a sloppy mistake. You ignored the science to focus on the one critical thing you could find. And there you are not on solid ground. The simple fact is that the definition of who is a scientist and who is not is not so clear. Given that its not clear, Given that there are arbitrary lines ( why 5 years? why not 4 years 6 months? why not 10,000 hours?, etc etc ) Given that its highly arguable, your position that it was a SLOPPY MISTAKE, is at best a sloppy mistake. You might call it over generous to Nic, you might say he was better described as a statistician, but its hardly sloppy and hardly a mistake to describe him as a scientist.
        It can’t be a mistake without a definitive shared definition of what constitutes a scientist. Nit picking your nit picking is so much fun

      • You ignored the science to focus on the one critical thing you could find.

        hmmm.

        and despite some nits (i.e., a rather strangely sloppy errors in calling Nic Lewis become a climate scientists), I think that the Economist article provides a pretty good overview of the debate.

        Interesting.

        I didn’t ignore the discussion of the science.

        I referred to an error and called it a “nit.”

        If I felt a desperate need to refer to weak rhetoric, I would post a dictionary definition of “nitpick” here – but I don’t have to as I’m quite sure that we both know that I was calling the error an insignificant one in the context of discussing scientific material.

      • Given that its not clear, Given that there are arbitrary lines ( why 5 years? why not 4 years 6 months? why not 10,000 hours?, etc etc )

        Exactly. That is why I asked for the criteria you’d use. You did give exclusion criteria that would leave behind a very large population of people who practically no one would call a “climate scientist.”

        You might call it over generous to Nic, you might say he was better described as a statistician,…

        Actually, that is a description, one of many, that I would consider to be less erroneous.

        but its hardly sloppy

        I don’t agree

        and hardly a mistake to describe him as a scientist.

        Heh. Notice anything missing there? Again you miss important qualifying information? After objecting to David W. doing so? Say it ain’t so, Steven, say it ain’t so!

        It can’t be a mistake without a definitive shared definition of what constitutes a scientist.

        I don’t agree. I think it is a mistake for a journalist to describe someone in a way that many readers would be likely to misinterpret. A minor mistake…

        Hmmmm. Can you think of a way to refer to what you consider to be a minor mistake? A nnnnnnnat? No, that’s not it. A nnnnnnnot? No. There must be a word – it’s at the tip of my tongue…..

      • Once again, Joshua the rectal effluvial manufacturing non scientist, has hijacked the conversation

      • Joshua

        Of course Mosh is right when he writes that Nic Lewis has become a climate scientist, despite the fact that he studied mathematics and physics.

        Remember that Alfred Wegener, whose continental drift theory eventually became the basis for the plate tectonics theory in geology, studied astronomy and meteorology – NOT geology.

        And Louis Agassiz, who did much of the early studies on glaciers, studied biology and medicine – NOT glaciology.

        There are several other notable examples.

        Max

    • You see – this is why I love “skeptics.”

      From the Powerline article:

      So The Economist story, though hedged with every reservation to Keep Hope Alive, is nonetheless a clear sign that it’s about over for the climate campaign.

      So appropriately discussing the uncertainties becomes “hedging with every reservation to Keep Hope Alive.”

      So once again, we see that with some “skeptics,” underestimating uncertainty is only bad when “realists” do it, and we even get some conspiratorial ideation to seal the deal.

      Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the difference between skepticism and “skepticism.”

      • I agree, Joshua, the AGW campaign will not be easily defeated by actual temperature measurements.

        Far too much is at stake for this campaign to be abandoned. But it will eventually be defeated by reality.

      • Joshua, you should plan on keeping your day job (assuming u have one) because it is unlikely (95% confidence level) you will ever be paid for your blog comments.

      • Latimer Alder

        Shorter Joshua

        ‘not every sceptic is sceptical for the same reasons’

        Multiply by several thousand and you’ve nailed his ‘contribution’. But why he should think this unremarkable fact is worth restating at every possibility escapes me.

        It does show however juts how fragile is the alarmist case. If a hundred different sceptics can find a hundred and fifty different reasons to be sceptical it sure isn’t ‘robust’.

    • Berényi Péter

      @Joshua – You are the kind of guy who’d insist Sir Isaac Newton was not a scientist but the Warden of the Royal Mint, are you not?

      • Berényi -

        While I appreciate the humor, that is the kind of comment that undermines my confidence in the perspective of “skeptics.”

        I didn’t say he isn’t a scientist. I said that (I believe that) referring to him as an “independent climate scientist” is an error (a journalistic error) – in the sense that most readers, if they don’t do more research, would make incorrect assumptions on the basis of that description. The reference is, essentially, misleading.

        Usually if someone is referred to as a “climate scientist,” I would think most readers would assume that it is someone who has spent much of their life researching climate – certainly for a period longer than 5 or so years.

        Do you disagree? If so, what criteria would you use to determine who is or isn’t a “climate scientist,” and who is or isn’t “independent?” Is Anthony Watts a “climate scientist?” Dan Kahan? Doc Martyn? If they are not, why would you classify them differently than Nic Lewis in that respect?

        No doubt, it is, a nit – as I indicated above. It is certainly not a point about the substantive issues discussed in the article. It was a strangely sloppy error.

      • Latimer Alder

        @joshua

        I bet you’re a real bundle of outrageous fun and joie de vivre at parties….maybe its your terrific sense of perspective, your deep understanding of Matthew 7.3, or just your general bonhomie to your fellow man. And something tells me you probably look like Dustin Hoffman too…….

      • Steven Mosher

        But Joshua its not a sloppy error which is how you described it.

        First its not sloppy. second its not an error. As I said, I asked 10 climate scientists if they would consider a person with Nics publishing background and technical background a climate scientist and they said yes.

        Why should I believe you over them?

      • steven -

        But Joshua its not a sloppy error which is how you described it.

        Ok – that I see as a legit criticism of my argument. I don’t have enough information to say if it was “sloppy.” I assumed it to be the result of a lack of journalistic investigation. But it could certainly have been a deliberate choice. I would still view that as a journalistic error, but not a “sloppy” one.

        Point taken.

      • As I said, I asked 10 climate scientists if they would consider a person with Nics publishing background and technical background a climate scientist and they said yes.

        Appeal to authority? Horrors!!! Say it ain’t so, steven, say it ain’t so.

        What do you think you’d get as a response if you asked a couple of hundred randomly-selected readers of the Economist whether someone who had a decades long career in a completely different field, and who had been researching climate science for on the order of 5 years, would accurately be described as a “climate scientist?”

        My guess is that they would say something on the order of: “Describing him as someone with a technical background who recently started examining climate science would be a more accurate description.”

        In other words, I’d say that the description would, essentially, mislead the readers (who would assume that researching climate science is something Nic does as a career).

        All this nit-picking is becoming increasingly recursive.

        Same ol’ same ol’ in the climate wars.

      • Joseph Fourier was the Governor of Egypt. And Einstein was a patent examiner. This is fun.

      • Latimer -

        How’s it going? Haven’t spoken to you in a while.

        I bet you’re a real bundle of outrageous fun and joie de vivre at parties….maybe its your terrific sense of perspective, your deep understanding of Matthew 7.3, or just your general bonhomie to your fellow man. And something tells me you probably look like Dustin Hoffman too…….

        I see that despite the lack of contact, you’re still fantasizing about me, eh? What is this powerful effect that I have on you?

      • Steven Mosher

        Joshua

        “Appeal to authority? Horrors!!! Say it ain’t so, steven, say it ain’t so.”

        Sorry, it’s not an appeal to authority. Nic is a climate scientist by my definition. For me that’s enough to say you are wrong when you call it a mistake. Objectively, it’s not.

        To check myself, I asked 10 people ( a while back when other people doubted Nic credentials ) They thought it was a fair description.

        My question to you was why I should believe YOU rather than them.
        I am not asserting I am correct BECAUSE of their position. I am right because Nic is a climate scientist. I am asking you WHY I should consider your opinion above theirs. They confirm what I already believe. I do not believe it because of their opinion, my belief comes from the simple facts of the matter.

        If I were appealing to authority I would say ‘I am right because they say so”

        That is not the structure of my argument. My argument is that he is a scientist because

        1. He is published in the field.
        2. he is a IPCC reviewer
        3. Ar5 cites his work
        4. AR4 was corrected due to a mistake he found.

        And oh by the way, other folks in the field agree with me.

        See how that works.

        Now, let me flip the tables on you.

        Agreed, Nic is not a scientist.

        Question; How can we rely on the IPCC when a non scientist can find errors in what amounts to the most important findings?

        See how that works?

        Since you’ve retreated from your “sloppy” position, you can just go ahead and say that you were wrong about the “mistake” part as well.

      • Latimer Alder

        @joshua

        ‘What is this powerful effect that I have on you?’

        It begins as mild nausea then rapidly gets worse……..I believe some of the more unpleasant tropical diseases are somewhat similar…….the ones for whom it is said ‘death came as a merciful release’………..

      • Follow the bouncing qualifiers:

        To check myself, I asked 10 people

        What’s missing, steven?

        Now, let me flip the tables on you.

        Agreed, Nic is not a scientist.

        What’s missing, steven?

        You’re disappearing qualifiers like a bonafide “skeptic.”

        If you want to come back to the table without disappearing qualifiers, and with serious intent in discussing my view rather than discrediting me or discussing views I haven’t espoused, I’m game. I’ll check back later. I’ve wasted enough time for now on this recursive nit-picking.

      • Latimer –

        Any effects are purely self-inflicted by virtue of your imagination. Stop fantasizing about me and your symptoms will go clear up immediately.

      • Berényi Péter

        @Joshua – Okay, let’s suppose Nic is not a climate scientist. Good for him, because who’d expect scientifically valid propositions on homeopathy from homeopaths? or on astrology from astrologists? Even if both fields have their own peer reviewed journals.

        If you define a climate scientist as someone who accepts the basic paradigm of that field, that is, fitting computational models of high Kolmogorov complexity to a single run of a unique physical instance is the way to go (an utterly unscientific method), you kick them all into the pit of pseudoscience. In that case anyone but climate scientists can have valid scientific points on climate, especially those trained in neighboring fields.

      • “What do you think you’d get as a response if you asked a couple of hundred randomly-selected readers of the Economist ”

        Josh,

        You appear to be appealing to non-authority

      • Steven Mosher

        simple joshua.

        yup I asked 10 climate scientists. That was easy.
        Lets agree. Nic is not a climate scientist.

        Now, answer the question.

        What does that say about the worlds most qualified collection of climate scientists who make a mistake that a non climate scientist can find in short order. And not just any mistake, a mistake in the most important metric. That metric is worth trillions. Trillions of dollars per degree.
        Thats not me, thats a climate scientist I’m quoting.

      • Steven Mosher

        Joshua.

        It was pretty clear that I was talking about climate scientists when I said people..

        “other folks in the field agree with me.”

        So, nit pick fail, my friend.

        You backed off your argument about “sloppy”
        Your definition of climate scientist excludes the young Micheal Mann.
        You botch an “appeal to authority” charge.
        and you effed up nit picking.

        Maybe you should have said
        ” I dont understand the science in the piece, but I do have some issue with the description of Nic Lewis. That issue is really beside the point and rather nit picky, so I’ll just shut up about it”

  2. Chief Hydrologist

    ‘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. ‘ TAR s 14.2.2.2

    This refers to systematically designed model families – a model that is run many times with varying inputs and couplings to generate outcomes that can analysed for probability. This is not something that has been done in the period since the TAR. The avergage shown is an average of an opportunistic ensemble whose members one of the many solutions possible and are chosen on the basis the modelling community expectations about plausible outcomes. The idea is that we have significant doubts about any subjectively chosen ‘solution’ and therefore the average should be much better.

    It reminds me very much of a Delphic Method in risk assessment. You gather a bunch of experts and ask their opinion on the basis that the average of the group expectations will represent a concise expert opinion. It is a technique I quite like – when estimating lungfish populations on the Burnett River. It is more than 1 and less than a million. So that’s half a million. I can then model long population dynamics assuming a figure and sensitivity for how many get shreddded going over the spillway in a flood and what the recruitment is. The shredded over the spillway is quite high and the recruitment is quite low for the long lived lungfish. This population is doomed. I am bad at lungfish biology – but good at Delphic Techniques and running models.

    The other aspect is that if solutions are probabilistic in a range we don’t know yet – the 1.5 to 4.5 range is dumb as* – long term sensitivites must also be probabilistic. When they are not coupled, nonlinear chaotical.

    This is another way and that is with carefully initialised models to predict some decade out. Waht is the first generation of these saying”

    ‘A negative tendency of the predicted PDO phase in the coming decade will enhance the rising trend in surface air-temperature (SAT) over east Asia and over the KOE region, and suppress it along the west coasts of North and South America and over the equatorial Pacific. This suppression will contribute to a slowing down of the global-mean SAT rise.’ http://www.pnas.org/content/107/5/1833.full

    These patterns of ocean surface temperature have immense implications for climate. A negative PDO and postive AMO for instance creating conditoins for the most severe drought risk for the continental US for decades hence.

    http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/USdrought_zps2629bb8c.jpg.html

    It may be time to reassess the cult of AGW spece cadet groupthink meme.
    Perhaps the space cadets are just dumb after all.

    *’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

  3. These articles tiptoe around the three relevant other pieces of information, (i) land temperatures have risen 0.3 C per decade for three decades, no pause there, (ii) the Arctic sea ice volume has decreased more rapidly than anyone expected, and the minimum volume is on an extrapolated path to be gone within this decade, and (iii) the ocean heat content rise shows a magnitude consistent with the expected forcing indicating the warming effect is as strong as expected even if the surface warming is delayed.

    • Information? Seems like a desperation to me..

    • Chief Hydrologist

      I quoted the TAR on climate as a coupled nonlinear chaotical system. I keep doing this because it is slow to sink in.

      There is a theory that climate shifted after 1998 – and there is a theory that these things last 20 to 40 years. The shifts suggest that we should be looking at cloud as a factor.

      This shows up in a number of places – project EarthshineERBS and ICOADS.

      In the tropical Pacific there is frequent and intense La Nina giving way to El Nino dominant in 1976/1977 and to La Nina again since 1998 – and cloud changes with ENSO.

      So there is a theory that surface temps should be decreasing for 20 to 40 years from 1998. Excluding 1998 to 2001 – in the method of Swanson at realclimate – we do indeed see a recent trend in BEST – http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/best/from:2002/trend/plot/best/from:1970 – that we suggest from initialised models is likely to last another decade – and from the theory of dynamic multiple climate equilibriums another decade or three. I should stress that this is not cherry picking but based on a coherent theory of a coupled nonlinear climate system.

      The 1998/2001 event is classed in our theory of coupled, nonlinear climate as a ‘dragon-king’ – extreme flucuations at times of critical bifurcation. So we exclude it as not representative of the new climate state after 1998.

      You may not agree with our theory Jim – but you ignore it at your loss.

      • The last two data points in BEST preliminary are bad and should be excluded. Without the bad data, you get a positive trend.

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/best/from:2002/to:2010.2/trend/plot/best/from:1970/to:2010.2

      • I should stress that this is not cherry picking but based on a coherent theory of a coupled nonlinear climate system.

        Snorf

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Really? BEST is not something I have been particularly interested in. Is there any reason that the why the data points are wrong. They look to be well within the limits of variability.

        At any rate – a shift from a slight negative to a slight positive trend in BEST makes no difference to the argument at all. Here is HADCRUT4 for ocean and land.

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:2002/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:2002/trend

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Do you have a cold? Or simply the inability of a dingbat to address the evidence or the argument?

        ‘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, A. A., K. Swanson, and S. Kravtsov (2007),
        A new dynamical mechanism for major climate shifts, Geophys.
        Res. Lett., 34, L13705, doi:10.1029/2007GL030288.

        The latest shift was identified of course in a follow up paper as happening in 1998/2001.

      • Short-term trends don’t demonstrate anything.

        The bigger picture is more informative.

      • “Is there any reason that the why the data points are wrong.”

        Yes.

      • Nick Stokes

        Thanks for Climate Plotter. This is a typically British understatement.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        As I said – I am not overly intested in BEST. It was used only because that was what Jim referred to. Whether the trend is staticticaly insignificant in either direction is immaterial to the aregument.

        The HADCRUT4 global data shows it more clearly.

        I get a browser doesn’t support message with blah blah’s link – and cannot be bothered fixing it to look at a temperature record from 1900.

        Such utterly simplistic nonsense is par for the course for blah blah.

        Again – the argument surrounds the theory that a climate shift occurred in 1998/2001.

        ‘This paper provides an update to an earlier work that showed specific changes in the aggregate time evolution of major Northern Hemispheric atmospheric and oceanic modes of variability serve as a harbinger of climate shifts. Specifically, when the major modes of Northern Hemisphere climate variability are synchronized, or resonate, and the coupling between those modes simultaneously increases, the climate system appears to be thrown into a new state, marked by a break in the global mean temperature trend and in the character of El Nino/
        Southern Oscillation variability. Here, a new and improved means to quantify the coupling between climate modes confirms that another synchronization of these modes, followed by an increase in coupling occurred in 2001/02. This suggests that a break in the global mean temperature trend from the consistent warming over the 1976/77–2001/02
        period may have occurred.’ Swanson, K. L., and A. A. Tsonis (2009), Has the climate recently shifted?, Geophys.
        Res. Lett., 36, L06711, doi:10.1029/2008GL037022.

        That we have shifted into a new decadal mode is something that is beyond much question. http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=8703

      • BBD | April 1, 2013 at 7:58 pm |

        Thanks – glad you find it useful. Gradually updating with 2012 data :)

      • Steven Mosher

        for some reason they wont update the dataset? go figure.

      • That we have shifted into a new decadal mode is something that is beyond much question.

        Yep. Step change to hotter after the 1998 super EN. Just as S&T says. Goodness, you can even show it with GAT and WfT. Expect more step changes to hotter over the coming century. Significant cooling in a continually forced climate system? Not likely. Just upward steps, some larger than others.

        You’d have to be crazy to deny this!

      • Such utterly simplistic nonsense is par for the course for blah blah.

        You need to sort out your lazy and your browser in that order and right quick, old son!

        The graph you can’t be bothered to look at shows solar forcing, well-mixed GHG forcing and net total forcing vs GAT.

        As I said, it is informative and you desperately need informing.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      In the rather short term ARGO

    • Latimer Alder

      @jim d

      ‘Land temperatures have risen 0.3 per decade for the last three decades’

      Really?

      Where can I look to see data showing nearly 1C rise since 1983?

      • Latimer

        When Jim D comes up with the evidence can you let me know in case I miss it?

        tonyb

      • Latimer Alder

        @tonybakaetc.

        Sure will. But holding our breath for it to happen does not commend itself as a long-term survival strategy……..

      • Latimer

        When JimD talks about Land temperatures he surely doesn’t mean OUR UK land temperatures which have plunged 0.6C in a decade?

        http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadcet/

        He presumably didn’t mean global temperatures either?

        When Jim comes up with the goods give me a nudge, I will be huddled in front of the fire

        tonyb

      • Latimer Alder

        @tonybakaetc

        A fire! How can you afford a fire? You must a proper toff or somefink! In the UK’s green paradise only aristos who have windmills on their ancestral land can have such luxuries.

        My old Granda told me a story once that people used to have a thing he called central heating for cold days….but I think that was just the cider talking….And he rambled on about days when there had been no snow in winter because of the benign climate before global warming made us all so f….g cold……But that was probably the gin……

      • Latimer

        Its a gas fire and I shall have no shame about turning it on for an hour, as at 3pm the internal temperature is currently 10.5C whilst outside it is 4C.

        Mind you here in the balmy south West we have plenty of palm trees dead from the cold we can burn if need by.
        tonyb

      • Tony,

        When you comment on land temperatures, you should link to land temperatures like CRUTEM4 rather than HADCRUT4.

        The trend of latest 30 years is not so far from 0.3 C. Close enough to justify giving that number.

      • Pekka

        Sorry, I have looked at Hadley and Giss and I can’t see the nearly 1 degree C warming. Please provide a link.
        tonyb

      • I used Woods for Trees to draw the trend. I didn’t search for numbers, but looking at the graph tells enough.

      • Latimer Alder

        @pekka

        Ummm.

        Please send the exact plot you used, because, frankly I do not believe you.

        A total of 0.3C over thirty years, perhaps,

        But Jim D said 0.3C *per decade* for thirty years. Which is not the same thing at all…..Especially as we know that the rate for the last 15 has been pretty close to zero……….

        BTW – none of this explains why Northern Europe is having its coldest Easter in living memory. And if I hear one more climatologit saying that
        its so unseasonably cold because we are all getting hotter. I will throw up…

      • You can do it yourself as easily as I can repeat it.

      • Pekka, the gentleman, would repeat it as easily as he could do it.
        ===================

      • He’s huddling in front of his fire, you know, warming his fingers. Then, the quick dash past the dog to the keyboard for a few brief moments, and soon, back down the hill after the big rock.
        ===============

      • Latimer Alder

        @pekka

        Sorry pal… with a response like that I believe you even less than I did to start with.

        So far we have Jim D claiming a 0.9C rise in 30 years of some unspecified dataset. Pekka has looked at a graph (but not the data) and agreed with him – but can’t tell us which graph.

        And the remainder of us are sitting around looking baffled and wondering if your posts are some form of elaborate, but definitely unfunny April Fool……….if so, I wish you better luck next year. This one’s a flopperoonie.

      • Latimer Alder

        @tonybeakaetc

        Good to know that in using dead palm trees for fuel you continue the Anglo-Saxon tradition of ‘estover’.

        But that thirty years of rampant AGW activism has reduced us all to having the same rights as medieval vassals is not a matter of national pride to me. Nor has it made any appreciable difference to the temperature.

      • I just have to jump in about temperature for the last three decades. It corresponds to the satellite era which I analyzed in “What Warming?” three years ago. There are three distinct temperature regimes there and they must not be fitted to a single curve as most ignoramuses do. The first segment, from 1979 to the beginning of 1997, is comprised of ENSO oscillations. There are five El Nino peaks there and the valleys in between them are La Nina valleys. If you look at long-term temperature curves that have not been smoothed you realize that they are all concatenations of such ENSO phases, occasionally interrupted by irregularities. The middle one of these five El Ninos is the El Nino of 1988 which Hansen thought was the top of global warming when he spoke to the Senate in 1988. Six months after he spoke that El Nino was over and the La Nina that followed it dropped global temperature by 0.4 degrees Celsius. At the same time global mean temperature stayed constant for the entire eighteen year stretch. This is actually a longer temperature standstill then the present one we are experiencing. But you don’t see this because all standard ground-based temperature curve show an upward slope, said to be part of “late twentieth century warming.” That upward slope is a complete fake and I have been complaining about it. But what do you know, late last fall GISSTEMP, HadCRUT and NCDC all changed that part of their temperature curves in unison to conform to the satellite curve. Someone must have been listening to me. The ENSO period was followed by the super El Nino of 1998. In satellite records its peak is twice as high as the preceding El Nino peaks. It is the highest El Nino peak in a century and its origin is still not understood. It brought so much warm water across the Pacific that this started a step warming which In four years raised global temperature by a third of a degree and then stopped. There has not been any warming since then. The step warming was followed by a seven year flat temperature region I call the twenty-first century high. It exists because a La Nina phase of ENSO was suppressed. It was followed by the La Nina of 2008 which almost gave Trenberth a heart attack. This signified the resumption of ENSO oscillations temporarily interrupted by the super El Nino and its aftermath. The global mean temperature of these oscillations appears to be the same as the twenty-first century high, and together they are part of the no-warming era of our century. Because of this no-warming period and because the global temperature also stood still during the eighties and the nineties there is no time left for any greenhouse warming during the last thirty three years. People who are thirty three or younger now have never experienced global warming during their lifetimes. It is important to know that the step warming from the super El Nino is also the cause of the very warm first decade of our century. Hansen notes that nine out of ten warmest years belong to that period, thinking that greenhouse did it. No luck with this carbon dioxide dream, step warming done it. For more information, read my book.

      • . For more information, read my book.

        One question first – did you write the entire book with no paragraphs breaks – like you did in that post?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The argument is somewhat correct. If the 1976/1977 and 1998/2001 – La Nina/El Nino shifts are excluded as they are obviously short term and ‘dragon-kings’ then the residual warming for other reasons is less than 0.1 degrees C/decade between 1978 and 1996. We should recall that Mt Pinatubo had a significant cooling effect in there but – if climate were linear – this would be the bottom line.

      • http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/crutem4vgl/mean:120/from:1970/offset:0.15/plot/best/mean:120/from:1970

        Woodfortrees is a good site for examining data. This shows ten-year running averages to remove the ENSO noise. Close to 0.9 degrees in this, and using the unsmoothed data a case can be made for 0.3 C per decade from CRUTEM4 or BEST that agree well with each other for land.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Here’s one since 1940 – hasn’t quite smoothed out the multi-decadal trend.

        Here’s on from realclimate – http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/07/warminginterrupted-much-ado-about-natural-variability/

      • Latimer Alder

        @jim d

        ‘using the unsmoothed data a case can be made for 0.3 C per decade from CRUTEM4 or BEST that agree well with each other for land.’

        OK

        Make the case.

        Your ’0.3C per decade for the last thirty years’ wasn’t supported by the graph you posted.

        Will this one be any better?

        Somehow I doubt it.

        But then, climatology is always full of surprises….disappearing hockey sticks, blunt scythes , no temperature increase for 15 years…….

      • Latimer Alder

        @tonyb

        Jim D has posted a graph. It does not show what he says it does.

        It does not support his proposition that

        ‘Land temperatures have risen 0.3 per decade for the last three decades’

      • You spose he’s froze or is he still trying to recreate Pekka’s graph?
        =====================

      • What I plotted was simply the 30 year trend since 1982, nothing more fancy. The result is clear. A trend slightly less than 0.3 C/decade.

        What Jim did show is 10 year smoothed average. To get 30 years in that we must take the period from 1977 to 2007. Again the result is the same: A rise close enough to 0.9 C over three decades.

        This isn’t difficult. What’s he problem with this?

        How can anyone disagree?

      • Latimer Alder

        @pekka

        ‘How can anyone disagree?’

        Please show your graph.

        And I remind you that the claim is that temperatures *have risen* 0.3c per decade for 30 years. Not about what the trend is. But what actually happened.

        i.e that T(2012) = T(1983) + 0.9C.

        Does your graph show this?

        When I studied science a long time ago, it was thought to be very important to be precise in one’s language when reporting results.

        Seems to me that many climatologists and their hangers-on have a more ‘flexible’ approach to what they mean…it seems to adjust itself according to the desired impact rather than trying to be a true representation of the observations, experiments and conclusions. I do not view this as a tendency that enhances my opinion of their integrity.

      • I have told exactly what the graph is.

        I don’t accept your sophistry on the meaning of the statement of Jim..

      • What we see in the land temperatures is:

        - overall trend of slightly less than 0.3 C/decade over a period of more than 30 years
        - some variability around the trend, but not at a level that would justify statements like those made about the global averages that include the oceans.

        The formulation of Jim was fully justified and an appropriate description of the data.

      • Here are the actual trend numbers. A bit less than 0.3; about 0.27 °C/dec from 1980. But also from 1970, so that does make it over a degree. In fact, says WFT, from 1970, 1.2°C for CRUTEM4, 1.16°C for BEST since 1970.

      • David Springer

        Satellite land-only record paints a very different picture.

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss-land/mean:12/from:1970/offset:0.2/plot/uah-land/mean:12/from:1970/offset:0.3/plot/uah-land/trend/offset:0.3/plot/uah/trend/offset:0.235/detrend:0.475

        33 years 1979-present, 0.475C warming = 0.14C/decade land-only

        I submit you boys are cherry-picking datasets. When the period you want to look at is 1979 forward then the satellite record is the gold standard.

      • David Springer

        Corrected and simplified. The offsets I used to make it pretty screwed up the detrending needed to make a flat line.

        Satellite land-only record paints a very different picture.

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah-land/plot/uah-land/trend/detrend:0.605

        34.4 years 1979-present, 0.605C warming = 0.18C/decade land-only

        Quite a lot different from the 0.3C/decade using BEST or CruTem4 land-only.

        I submit you boys are cherry-picking datasets. When the period you want to look at is 1979 forward then the satellite record is the gold standard.

      • Great Dave! Keep talking about TLT when the discussion is about land surface T. You polymathic genius, you!

      • Latimer Alder, here is the one year data

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/crutem4vgl/mean:12/from:1970/offset:0.15/plot/best/mean:12/from:1970

        Depending what you choose as endpoints, you can get up to 1 C in 30 years. This is why I prefer smoothed data. It depends less on endpoints.

    • Your “three relevant other pieces of information: are totally irrelevant. The pieces of information that are relevant for informing costs versus benefits of advocated policy are:

      1. climate sensitivity
      2. damage function (http://nordhaus.econ.yale.edu/Accom_Notes_100507.pdf p23)
      3. decarbonisation rate of the global economy (http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com.au/2010/07/decelerating-decarbonization-of-global.html Fig 2)
      4. probability that the chosen policy will achieve the objective (i.e., control the climate within defined tolerances)

      • These are relevant for assessing whether the pause is robust or showing signs of cracks before another warm bump. You can’t look at the pause alone to assess its future.

      • Latimer Alder

        @jim d

        You say

        ‘These are relevant for assessing whether the pause is robust or showing signs of cracks before another warm bump. You can’t look at the pause alone to assess its future’

        I have tried to extract meaning from this oracular statement. But I have failed. Please restate in plain English..

      • i. Relatively irrelevant and yours is wrong, i.e. not 0.3 C/dec.
        ii. So, it’s warmed during a 30 year data period.
        iii. Is heat missing or not?

        So your ‘relevancies’ don’t contain enough information to help.

        Robustupidity.
        ===========

    • Latimer Alder

      @jim d

      ‘ the Arctic sea ice volume has decreased more rapidly than anyone expected, and the minimum volume is on an extrapolated path to be gone within this decade’

      So climatologists are lousy forecasters.

      Who knew? Shall I hold the front page?

      Any article or opinion that compares actual with predicted is telling us nothing about reality…and only about the expertise (or lack of) of the predicters.

      Your remark here does not pass the ‘so what?’ test

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The coverage both vertically and spatially seems adequate. I am assuming modern equipment can be built to a high reliability and accuracy by a consortium of 50 countries. Occams razor suggests that the data is reliable and this very interesting question of ocean dynamics arises as a black swan.

        With ENSO and the PDO – we get upwelling not only in the eastern Pacific but progressively across the central Pacific as La Nina evolve. I have assumed that even with upwelling all the heat stayed near the surface. But perhaps there is mixing and turbulent eddies that transport more of the surface water downward at some periods more than others.

      • Yes, Latimer, it’s worse than they thought.

    • This graph tells, what makes me wonder, how much we know about the OHC below 700 m. All years with ARGO data available below 700 m are included. Compared to the NOAA/NODC graphics, what I have done is to take annual averages and look at the lower layer separately.

      Is it really credible that the HC of the layer 700-2000 m grows so smoothly and faster than that of the upper layer, or is the result somehow forced by the method or limitations on the availability of data? As our previous knowledge on the lower layers is minimal, my feeling is that we know very little about it even now,

      The oceans may well be absorbing as much heat as main stream scientists think, but do we really have significant empirical data on that?

      Should anyone say that we have observed that increase?

      • Pekka, do you read the Economist?
        =====

      • KIm,

        I do read when I’m not too busy with other things (I’m a subscriber, but The Economist is not the only journal that I subscribe but fail to read occasionally – and specifically for several recent weeks.

        I haven’t got the recent climate article on paper yet, but I have read it on the net, and I do like it.

      • Thanks, Pekka; you’re a mensch.
        ===========

      • Pekka, the oceans are probably absorbing that much energy deep. The Atlantic salinity is plenty high enough to allow higher temperature Atlantic deep water and the southern Atlantic appears to have caught up with the ENSO cycle. The problem is it is a complex mixing process not a diffusion process and we really don’t know the relevant time scales.

        Three to four hundreds years is a rough guess based on what data we have, which tends to agree with LIA recovery, but the instrumental is much too short to reach much of a valid conclusion, er.. robust conclusion.

    • dennis adams

      @Jim D Circling the wagons? Or just incantations to soothe the psyche from having to face the reality of it all?

    • Latimer Alder

      @jim d

      ‘A magnitude consistent with….’

      Shorter version

      ‘It disagrees by less than a factor of ten’

      I remember an examination where I achieved marks ‘of a magnitude consistent with’ winning the star prize for my year. But sadly, others got a wee bit closer than ‘an order of magnitude’ and my problems lay at the other end of the achievement scale……

      If this is the best you can do, can I interest you in my new soon-to-be-patented barrel scraping equipment? Particularly effective at the bottoms. See how its elegant lines glint in the sun with its coating of snake oil. Only one careful owner. Never been to Oregon so you can believe its own publicity….

    • In brief, people are tempted to just look at the pause, but looking at other things we see that the pause is showing an inconsistency that is a sign of it not being robust, as it hasn’t been in each of the pauses in previous decades. I think the pause is about to break upwards within the next couple of years helped by a solar max and large El Nino that releases some warm OHC water to the surface.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        We are at solar max and these cool periods are characterised by more frequent and intense La Nina.

        Here it is – La Nina to 1976, El Nino to 1998, and La Nina again since. – http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/enso/mei/ – can’t you see it?

        ‘This study uses proxy climate records derived from paleoclimate data to investigate the long-term behaviour of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO). During the past 400 years, climate shifts associated with changes in the PDO are shown to have occurred with a similar frequency to those documented in the 20th Century. Importantly, phase changes in the PDO have a propensity to coincide with changes in the relative frequency of ENSO events, where the positive phase of the PDO is associated with an enhanced frequency of El Niño events, while the negative phase is shown to be more favourable for the development of La Niña events.’ http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2005GL025052/abstract

        But it is a nonstationary series over thousands of years – and is at a 1000 year peak.

      • CH, some would dispute (a) that the solar maximum has already been reached, or (b) that the maximum warming is not lagged a few years from the maximum.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        It has been lagging quite a lot lately.

      • The min was only 4 years ago. How long do you think the max will last?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Something to be approached with a grain of salt.

      • If the past is anything to go by, the temperature should go up by one or two tenths of a degree just to respond to the solar max over the next few years.

      • Generalissimo Skippy

        First we are not at solar max – now it might warm in a couple of years. Sometimes I suspect you of pullling it out of your arse.

        http://www.skepticalscience.com/solar-cycles-global-warming.htm

      • Generalissimo Skippy

        ‘The other significant finding is that solar forcing will add another 0.18°C warming on top of greenhouse warming between 2007 (we’re currently at solar minimum) to the solar maximum around 2012. In other words, solar forcing will double the amount of global warming over the next five to six years.’ scepsci

        So we are currently 0.2 degrees C up in the solar cycle. Double zilch is actually minus a wheelie bin full of horsesh_t. I am collecting different kinds for my latest scientific enquiry – if you throw enough of it around does some stick?

  4. Dy – no – mite ! Another BOMBSHELL !

    Nah, more like warm-overs. Refried refried beans.

    Judith says … “I would be pleased if the IPCC AR5 does as a good a job as John Parker has in terms of assessing the issue of climate sensitivity.”

    I would expect AR5 to do better than John Parker. He did a pretty good job, but I thought he should have recognized temperature has plateaued before. Perhaps he did, and I missed it.

    • It has been editorial policy at the Economist to push CAGW alarmism for a long time. John Parker did a good job, but what is astonishing is that he was allowed to do it.
      =============

      • …but what is astonishing is that he was allowed to do it.

        Conspiracy ideation? What conspiracy ideation?

      • It takes a conspiracy for a change in editorial policy? You’re a little recursive, here, Joshua, but I’m not astonished at you, just at the change in editorial policy.
        ==========

      • Furthermore, Lewandowsky has so fouled his nest that you pushing conspiratorial ideation in skeptics just makes you look very foolish.
        ============================

      • So, on the one hand you would argue that there is an increasing amount of research that has findings of lower sensitivity, but you’d be “astonished” that a newspaper would: (1) care about that shift and, (2) respond accordingly.

        Just keep moving folks. No conspiracy ideation here. Move along now.

      • It amuses me to consider how many ‘Economist’ readers have been astonished this week. Many have been nourished for years with alarmist pap, and now they’re told it is thin gruel. OK, let ‘em eat biscuit.
        =======================

      • kim, you write “John Parker did a good job, but what is astonishing is that he was allowed to do it.”

        I might well have occurred to you, kim, but you have not mentioned that this March has been very cold and snowey in the UK. This is by no means unusual in the historical record, but it is the opposite of what the Met. Office has been predictng for years.

        I suspect the change of heart in the Economist, and I believe Roger Harrabin of the BBC, may well be influenced by the recent cold weather. The UK public is becoming increasingly disillusioned with CAGW, The Climate Change Act, the huge increases in energy prices, and the consequence that the economy refuses to grow, and the deficit is increasing instead of decreasing. One can only hope that The Royal Society has a similar change of mind.

      • Yup, Jim, there’s a glorious revolution birthing over there. Wait’ll the ‘Bryony Blackouts’ hit.
        ================

    • …you pushing conspiratorial ideation

      That’s good. Blame me for your un-skeptical “skepticism.”

      Makes me proud as an American to see you stand up for “personal responsibility.”

      • I know this has all been an awful blow to you, but rally, try to make sense.
        ==================

      • I know this has all been an awful blow to you…,

        This is good. The notion of uncertainty, once again trash-binned by “skepticism.’

        Don’t let any skepticism distract from your confidence about things you couldn’t possibly “know” anything about.

        Take some conspiracy ideation, throw in blaming me for your conspiratorial thinking, and then add on your fantasies about how I do or don’t react to the debate.

        More “skepticism” masquerading as skepticism.

      • Keep it up. Is your biliousness from making such a fool of yourself last night with your attempts at distraction?
        ===================

      • Hee, hee, you start to make a mockery of ‘critical thinking’. Get a little more coffee before you engage the gears.
        ===============

      • …with your attempts at distraction?

        Yet more fantasizing. Who am I trying to “distract?” Am I trying to distract you, a climate combatant, from making devastating comments one a blog, of the sort you’ve been making for years, of the type we can find by the scores daily on this blog alone?

        First, why would I want to “distract” you or anyone else? Do you fantasize that blog comments deal some “blow” to me? Second- even if I did feel that wy, why would I think I can “distract” you or anyone else by making blog comments of my own? Where has there ever been evidence of such?

        Part of “skepticism,” in the climate debate kim, are the oft-found delusions of grandeur, that lead “skeptics” to think that somehow making blog comments (at least of the sort you make) amounts to anything more than triviality. Take a look at Chief’s fantasizing about “enemies” and battles.

        I have no reason to want to “distract” you or anyone else, kim. And even if I did, I have no belief that I’d be able to do so. Why do you believe such nonsense?

      • Tea? Hot choco? How about a little biscuit?
        ============

    • MAX_OK, “He did a pretty good job, but I thought he should have recognized temperature has plateaued before.” That is part of the point, if CO2 forcing has over whelmed the more “natural” climate, there should be a difference in the plateaus before and after. The plateaus are reversions to mean, so the longer they last the lower the mean is likely to be. If you can sort out what portion to the trend is natural versus forced, you have a better estimate of “sensitivity”.

      • if CO2 forcing has over whelmed the more “natural” climate, there should be a difference in the plateaus before and after….

        But that doesn’t exactly explain why he didn’t reflect on the issue to show the full range of that debate. Consider the “What realists see, What skeptics see” GIF from Skeptical Science. The article would have been strengthened had he discussed that aspect of the debate in some more detail. It does seem like a rather obvious topic.

      • Joshua, He was writing an article not a full blown paper. The Skeptical Science Steps animation though is a good example. As the series progresses, the steps become more level. You can look at that as meaning that the mean is curved upwards or the system is approaching a physical limit. Which ever you chose, you should test to see which is more likely.

        I am a physical limit kinda guy, so I look at paleo plus the century and longer pseudo-cycles which confirm my suspicions, but now I have to look dig more make sure I haven’t fooled myself. That I think is a reasonable scientific process.

        The tell as far as the media side of the climate science is that the “mainstream” scientists tend to avoid explaining what the “pause” may mean. Annan, Curry, and quite a few more are publicly saying that “sensitivity” is likely lower than originally estimated. Others say look at the OHC squirrel.

      • Cap’n

        The rest of you comment is good, IMO, but not this part:

        Joshua, He was writing an article not a full blown paper.

        He wrote an article that was thorough in a number of respects – even if it wasn’t at the level of comprehensiveness that you’d expect in a full blown paper. However, w/r/t the issue we’re discussing (an important and fairly obvious issue), it was less thorough in comparison to the other issues that it discusses. The topic is not so complex that it couldn’t have been treated at a level of depth/complexity consistent with the rest of the article.

        Again, the article would have been strengthened had it discussed this issue.

        It seems that you are rationalizing a lack of thoroughness that could have easily been corrected. And you seem to be using a rationalization that is not bounded. We could say “he was writing an article not a full blown paper” to explain basically any conspicuous lack of thoroughness. Where do you think a line should be drawn between what is or isn’t sufficiently thorough?

      • BLAM! There goes the engine. You over revved it too cold.
        =====

      • Joshua, “Where do you think a line should be drawn between what is or isn’t sufficiently thorough?”

        He should know his audience better than we do. The really import stuff should be brief and on page three if I remember correctly :)

        He did go into more detail on energy models versus GCM than i would have expected for a newspaper, but observation versus theory is the major point, the observable pause has become significant.

      • Well, everything is natural. Don’t we have (a) natural anthropogenic warming and cooling influences, and (b) natural non-anthropogenic warming and cooling influences? CO2 forcing doesn’t always overwhelm the “natural” cooling influences on the climate,” but when it doesn’t, it offsets are at least moderates these influences

        In the recent past (20th Century) temperature plateaus on the magnitude of the current one have occurred, as well as some periods of declining temperature, yet average global temperature continued to trend higher and higher (reversion to a rising mean). Is the continuing rise in CO2 now preventing a decline?

        A better estimate of climate sensitivity would be good. However, I’m not sure we could get everyone to agree what’s better.

  5. ..this lack of new warming is a surprise..

    How would ‘lack of new warming’ be a surprise, if it happened?

    It happens one third of the time in GCMs on even longer running means than the five-year running means MSM use. It happens regularly in the past half century during steeply climbing overall climate trends.

    You could only be surprised if you aren’t terribly attentive.

    While it’s about a 50:50 bet at this time that there may be an actual negative GMT trend for climate on a mean in excess of 17 years — and this is expected one time in 20.. which would be about the ratio we’ve been seeing them at in the past half century.. it is not a numerically significant indicator.

    It is an excellent opportunity to examine the data and formulate ideas, explore impacts of inputs, and sharpen the science.

    But none of that happens in the MSM.

    Indeed, with Canada closing every federally-funded climate observation facility, it’s also now happening in 3% less of the world’s surface.

    With the USA cutting back on science spending, much of North America is in effect climate blind.

    Sad, when per capita science spending in North Korea exceeds the US. Though that is, of course, not helping climate scientists.

    • If that’s the case, the hockey team needs to widen its error bars for climate models. Of course, that would make them kind of useless for predictive value. (Oh yeah, that’s already the case.)

    • Bart R.,

      The surprise is due to the lack of uncertainties in public pronouncements and media opportunities and the trashing of anyone who dared suggest that there was no consensus on doomsday scenarios.

      You reap what you sow. Learn to live with it. I will feel no pity for anyone who calls others deniers, or tries to interfere with open debate. I don’t mean to aim all of this at you personally Bart as I don’t really remember much of what you have posted.

      • Bill | April 1, 2013 at 10:09 am |

        I don’t remember anything I’ve posted ever, either. It’s just not worth my time. The only reason for trying to keep track of past writing would be to keep track of past lies.. so I have no need.

        While I’m cool with what you say not being aimed at me personally, especially as all of it is not aimed at me, I’d be far cooler if it were all about the ideas expressed in the comment than about anyone personally or as an identifiable group made the object of scorn or hatred. Wouldn’t that be amazing indeed?

        Read AR4 or any IPCC report front to back and paid attention, find the pages plentifully supplied with statements of uncertainty. Where did my comments obtain the figures showing that GCMs often have negative trends? Why, in the IPCC reports.

        What is the source of statements absent clear expression of uncertainty, if not the original source material, and if not the IPCC reports on the original source material?

        Why, it must be secondhand and hearsay sources, which we know frequently err, inject controversy to sell copy, and construct straw men.

        What, then, is the responsibility of the skeptical reader? To reap among the weeds indiscriminately and blame the farmer far afield from where the woolgatherer skulks thusly? Or the dyskeptic, who ought know better?

        Reap the good grain. Reject the chaff and mischief of practiced deceivers.

        And stop repeating their deceptions.

        Not that I’m aiming all of that at you, personally.

  6. Generalissimo Skippy

    The statistics show that decadal cooling is quite natural. Decadal warming is however entirely anthropogenic and will return with a vengeance any decade now.

    We have sent our climate scientist – Doug – on an all expenses paid junket to UNtopia Minnesota – to be re-educated in right thinking. We are scouring all of Comrade Bart’s past comments on climate etc for course content – and will call it 180 impossible things before breakfast. Else no breakfast, no lunch… well you get the message.

    He will be shortly joined by the Australian cricket team if the statistics don’t improve.

    • “Natural” as in the patient died of natural causes, and although we aren’t sure of specifically what killed him, we are sure it was natural because everything is natural.

      .

  7. The observation – based climate sensitivity estimate is equal to the
    sensitivity with net zero feedback of 1.2 deg C.

  8. Dr Curry – Myles Allen believes that his views were grossly misrepresented in the Mail aricle. http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/mar/20/response-mail-on-sunday-great-green-con-climate-change

    • Reminds me of when Rose wrote that Jones “admitted” that models aren’t perfect. Judith didn’t seem to have a problem with that, so I wonder if she’ll have a problem with this.

      I get the impression that her concerns about accuracy in reporting are rather one-sided.

    • Wow, I was beginning to think Myles might have a bit of sense, but now I see he is saying that even with much lower sensitivities, we could still have 4-5 C higher temperatures by 2100. That is some whacked out alarmism there.

  9. Generalissimo Skippy

    ‘‘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 s 14.2.2.2

    We shall order it to be possible – and then tell everyone how bad it is.

  10. JC comment: I would like to see the Committee on Climate Change also respond to the Economist article.
    No need, value of the prediction is rapidly approaching ZERO.

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/GR1.htm

  11. Roger Pieleke Jr says in a comment:

    That said, virtually all of the climate science battles are teapot/tempest affairs — climate politics and policy has moved on to issues involving economics and energy.

    http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com.au/2013/03/fixing-marcott-mess-in-climate-science.html?showComment=1364790145958#c5952011715779932567

    Only a few haven’t yet moved on.

    • A couple of those who have not moved on being the US EPA, the EU, the Australian government. But other than virtually all of the governments of developed western countries trying to strangle the energy economy on the basis of CAGW, sure, the debate is over.

  12. David Springer

    I linked to the Economist article two days ago and also to Washington Examiner article by Michael Barone describing The Economist as having an “Emily Littela Moment”.

    David Springer | March 30, 2013 at 6:10 pm |

    P.S. I actually linked to the wrong thing at the Economist.

    I wanted this:

    http://www.economist.com/news/science-and-technology/21574461-climate-may-be-heating-up-less-response-greenhouse-gas-emissions

    Which Michael Barone in the Washington Examiner calls “The Economist’s Emily Littela Moment”.

    http://washingtonexaminer.com/michael-barone-the-economists-emily-litella-moment-on-global-warming/article/2525820

    • Barone doesn’t get it either. He doesn’t get that these lulls in warming have happened before.

      • The ‘CO2 forcing’ is at the maximum. Is the knob broken?

      • As predicted by the wonderful climate models, no doubt.

      • Better than climate models that show no temperature rise the remainder of this century.

      • @Max_OK: “these lulls in warming have happened before.” Pre-1980, post-1980? Which lulls are you thinking of in particular? I ask because lulls before CO2 forcing dominated the other forcings (i.e. “emerged from the noise”) aren’t comparable to current conditions.

      • @Max_OK: You really like the UAH dataset. So let’s walk through it step-by-step then…

        First, you identify 1979-1994 as a lull, and it actually goes from 1979-1995 I believe. Then there’s the 2001-2013 lull. You’ve stated that neither of these lulls are unusual in any way, correct?

        Are the lulls motivated — a part of the mechanism — or just the way that a noisy system looks? That is, do we have 26 years of no statistically-significant temperature increase (the two lulls), and 6-year surge in the middle during which the statistically-significant growth occurs? Or is it just 32 years of slow growth, with visual artifacts that are simply noise and not themselves statistically significant?

        The previous question is not rhetorical, I’d appreciate an answer, but for now, let’s assume for the sake of argument that the latter is the case: slow growth over 32 years. How much growth is it, then? If I put a regression line through all of the UAH data and use an ARMA(1,1) model for the noise because of autocorrelation, I end up with a 95% confidence interval of the rate of growth (in degrees C per century) of [0.93, 1.95]. Would you agree that is a reasonable confidence interval?

        Looking at AR4′s Figure SPM.5, it appears to me that this 95% CI does not overlap with B1′s 95% (twice the 1 SD shading in the graph itself), and the lower end is ridiculously lower than anything in the Figure. Perhaps I’m not understanding SPM.5? Or are we agreed that UAH indicates a trend that is significantly lower than AR4′s B1?

        Of course, 26 out of 32 years of “lull” might indicate an underlying regime-change-ish mechanism rather than being a visual artifact of noise. I don’t think you’ll choose that option, but if you’d be willing to entertain it, that changes the game entirely and is not, as far as I can see, consistent with CO2-as-dominating-forcing theory of climate change.

      • Argh! Note to self: do not edit in the Post Comment window. One button press and there’s no way to edit! Or delete. Sigh.

        OK, I was double-checking SPM.5 and B1′s 95% CI seems to be [1.0. 2.6], which does in fact overlap my [0.93, 1.95].

        With that corrected, do you then agree that UAH data over the last three decades indicates that the AR4 is probably biased high?

        The next question then remains, are the two lulls in UAH just the result of a random walk around a trend, or might they indicate a regime-change mechanism that has 10-15-year lulls punctuated with rapid change?

        (When looking at GISTEMP NH and SH, I don’t see any lulls similar to the current one — 14 years NH, 16 years SH.)

      • Wayne2, I think AR4 is biased high for the early part of the century or at least to 2013, but beyond that no one knows.

        I pointed out 1979-94 as a temperature lull period because it’s 15 years long and the Economist article refers to the last 15 years as a period of no warming.

        The temperature spike in 1998 was an aberration. Without it, you get a different picture:

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/from:1979/to:1997/plot/uah/from:1979/to:1997/trend/plot/uah/from:1999/to:2013/plot/uah/from:1999/to:2013/trend

        If not for the temperature spike in 1998, the skeptics wouldn’t have much of an argument about no change.

      • Max_OK: Not sure if you’re still reading this thread. I’ve been busy, but have managed to do a simulation of the UAH, simulating it as a line of slope 0.014 (Deg C per year, obtained from `lm`) and arma(1,2) noise (ar, ma coefficients obtained from arima on the residual of the `lm`). I ran 10,000 simulations and found fewer than 1.3% of the simulations had lulls as long as the two we’ve experienced. So I don’t think two long lulls in 32 years suggests the underlying slope that you suggest. (Obviously, looking only at the UAH time series and not delving deeply into AMO’s, PDO’s, etc, etc. But I believe your argument does not depend on these.)

        I’m working from another computer, so will have to check the results when I get home.

        I also looked at a regime-change, step-like model for UAH. I’ve been skeptical of some of the step-wise graphs on whattsup, etc, but UAH has that huge (“unprecedented”) spike around 1998 that basically links two “lulls”, which could well be flat. So I took the average temp from Dec 1978 through Jan 1997 (-0.13) and the average temp from Jan 2001 to date (0.19), and ran horozontal lines at those values, with a ramp across the 1997-2001 years joining the two. This model has a lower RSS than the `lm` line and looks reasonable against the data.

  13. Woud someone will tell me the correct temperature to use to reproduce the the IPCC AR4 multi-model average ?
    I propose to rest if the forecast has the same nature as the hindcast. Did the AR4 use GISS or HadCRUT?

  14. Climate skeptics/deniers seem to prefer emphasizing a relatively brief recent period when assessing long-term forecasts. Why? I think it’s because they tend to be old guys who don’t like thinking about years very far out. That’s understandable. Who wants to think much about a time when he won’t be here?

    • “Climate skeptics/deniers seem to prefer emphasizing a relatively brief recent period when assessing long-term forecasts. Why?”

      I could turn the question around: you seem to prefer emphasizing a relatively brief recent period (1980-2000) when making long-term forecasts. Why?

      The fact is, CO2 has continued to increase on-schedule, but temperature has not. In fact, the “relatively brief” period you mention is now almost as long as the preceding period of during which temperatures increased on-schedule.

      The length of that “relatively brief” period is within a couple of years of exiting the 95% CI of the CO2-as-dominant-driver hypothesis, and you can see various organizations and scientists beginning to hedge their bets

      • Nah ! You got me wrong. I prefer to look at data for all the years available. For example, UAH global temperature data are available back to 1978, so I look at 1978-2013, as shown here:

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/from/plot/uah-land/from/trend

        Some series go back much further. GISTEMP , for example, goes back to the late1800′s, so I look at all of it.

        Sometimes there may be a good reason for concentrating on a segment of a time series, such as a new trend that has causes. But I doubt it’s a good idea to regard the most recent lull in global temperature as something new just because you would like it to be something new.

      • He can bake a cherry pie so don’t take him back to Tulsa.
        ===========

      • @Max_OK: OK, gotcha. So why not look at GISTEMP global since 1880 then? Surely restricting yourself to land-only, and only since 1978 is uncomfortable for an “all the years available” kind of guy?

        Looking at all the data, I have to go back to around 1940 to find a lull comparable to the current one. But since that’s from a previous era before CO2 dominated all other drivers, it’s not really comparable to today. Unless you’re saying that CO2 is not currently dominating other factors so we can compare them. Or are you claiming that CO2 was already the dominant driver back in 1940?

      • Max_OK, the land only surface temperatures and Satellite temperatures may be mixing apples and oranges. If you compare regions, you would find that the GISS northern extent land has a 95% correlation with UAH, the Tropics an 85% correlation and the southern extent a 69% correlation.

        Now why is that? All the temperature data sets have unbelievable accuracy considering the magnitude of the task, but the high tech space age sets tends to disagree with the lower tech by a pretty large amount.

        The low tech guys are pretty convinced that the high tech guys screwed up. The high tech guys are pretty convinced the low tech guys screwed up. Since that is such a large difference, why do you prefer one over another?

    • Or perhaps it’s because they’ve, during their long lives, seen it all before

      • Heh, he’ll learn.
        ===========

      • What some old timers are seeing is their ideology being debunked. It’s hard for them to admit being wrong for 50 years, so just sink into denial and become stubborn, sour, and mean spirited.

        My advice is eat more prunes. Lack of regularity, a common problem among the aging, causes crankiness, which probably just makes living in denial even worse. I used to laugh at prune eaters, but I recently had some steamed prunes topped with vanilla ice cream, and it tasted pretty good.

      • What ideology Max? This has nothing to do with ideology, at least not in that sense (leftwing/rightwing or liberal/conservative). You’ve been misled by the establishment. Liberals should have never jumped this bandwagon, it’s not theirs bur from their ‘enemies’ (banks, big oil, corrupted state and academia…). Many good liberal ideas may suffer…

      • People tend to become less ideological with age – most who retain their ideologies are those who profit in some way from them.

      • Edim said on April 1, 2013 at 1:26 pm
        What ideology Max? This has nothing to do with ideology, at least not in that sense (leftwing/rightwing or liberal/conservative).
        —————————-

        Oh, believe it does have to do with ideology. Old people tend to be Republicans, Republicans are opposed to government interfering in the free market, and measures to curb GHG’s are seen as interfering. Of course that generalization doesn’t apply to all old people.

      • Maybe not. Lesson One: When you let off a bigoted generalization and then deny the generalization, all you’re left with is bigoted.
        =========

      • Edim -

        This has nothing to do with ideology, at least not in that sense (leftwing/rightwing or liberal/conservative). You’ve been misled by the establishment. Liberals should have never jumped this bandwagon, it’s not theirs bur from their ‘enemies’ (banks, big oil, corrupted state and academia…).

        More of my favorite “skeptical” arguments.

        There is a clear and obvious correlation between political ideology and views on the climate debate. Establishing causality is difficult there (personally, I think that the causal mechanism is motivated reasoning, not political ideology, but that political ideology is a mediator in the relationship between views on climate change and motivated reasoning), but to say that “this has nothing to do with ideology” requires a disregard for easily found evidence (please note, I am not saying that anyone’s views on CC are necessarily driven by ideology).

        “The establishment” is not monolithic w/r/t views on climate change. By what measures are Fox news or Inhofe or energy companies not part of “the establishment?” One of the first signs of motivated reasoning on all sorts of issues is the self-identification as victims of “the establishment.” This happens on both sides of many debates. “Realists” and “skeptics” alike portray themselves as victims of “the establishment,” despite obvious evidence for other drivers (motivated reasoning, the impact of short-term weather phenomena, the impact of proximal economic factors, etc.)

        “Skeptics” alternately cling to the “corrupted academia” causation even as they selective embrace some of the work of the “corrupted academia.” The bottom line is that some “skeptics” only see “corruption” in academia when they reverse engineer from the findings of research. (A manifestation of motivated reasoning not unlike what is seen from people actively engaged on many sides of controversies that overlap with cultural, ideological, and social identifications).

    • Max

      Probably the best reason to point out the significance of the recent period’s lack of warming is that it conflicts with what was supposed to occur according to those who claimed we were on a raod to disaster due to more CO2 and climate change.

      GCM’s did not accurately forecast the current period did they? If the GCM’s are not relaible, then upon what are your concerns based???? If you fear monsters in the dark should the rest of the world adjust to your fears, or should you?

      • Rob, I don’t believe they said a “steady road” or a “straight line.” How could anyone look at history and believe the future trend would an uninterrupted rise in temperature.

        I believe you are too concerned with the short-term results of long-term forecasts. Perhaps you think that way because of your age, and that would make some sense if your personal planning horizon is short. Otherwise, it doesn’t.

        I don’t live in fear, and I don’t understand why you would think I do. Nor do I understand why you fear mitigation measures will do more bad than good, if that is what you fear.

      • Rob Starkey

        Max

        The rate of temperature change and feared the negative consequences that could result from more rapid warming is a key to the issue. If warming is slow, humans have a lot of time to easily adapt.

        Imo, the single largest thing to watch is the rate of sea level rise. The greatest single cause of potential harm to humans resolves around sea level rise. To data, we have witnessed no change in the rate of sea level rise and it is still rising at a rate that would result in about 1 foot of rise between 2000 and 2100. Unless or until there is clear evidence of a significant increase in the rate of rise, it is difficult to claim much harm to humanity.

      • Rob Starkey

        Max

        I do not fear climate mitigation actions, but I do not know of many that are not highly ineffective from a cost benefit analysis. When we have very limited funding to spend, we need to spend what we do have wisely.

        Does it make sense to you to spend money on something that will have virtually no impact on the perceived problem? Most of the climate mitigation actions under consideration in the US fall into this category. They will add a cost to consumers, but will not result in lowering CO2 emissions enough to be noticed in the long term. The proposed actions are to make people feel like they are doing something when in fact what they are doing is of little consequence. What is of consequence is the 3 billion people who will be getting electricity and transportation in the next few decades.

      • I’m sorry, Rob, but I don’t agree with you about the effectiveness of mitigation measures. I believe theses measures will curb global warming, and most will also conserve fossil fuels, a deletable resource, and reduce air pollution. This is a triple benefit. Of course there will be costs, but I believe the expense will be an investment in the future, and pay dividends down the road.

      • A deletable resource ? No, a resource that can be depleted. But I guess the meaning is similar.

    • Could it be because the “old guys” remember when the media and governments (and somewhat backed up by climate scientists) were predicting the impending arrival of the next ice age?

      • A few scientists back then were predicting ice age.

        A lot of scientists today are predicting warming.

        I hope advancing age doesn’t make me forget the difference between a few and a lot. If it does, I better let someone else take care of my money for me.

      • A few scientists back then were predicting ice age.

        A lot of scientists today are predicting warming.

        One of my favorite examples of “skepticism.”

        Out of curiosity – have you ever read on “skeptic” criticize that lame-assed argument? Why is it so difficult to find a skeptical “skeptic.” You’d think just by the probabilities of random distribution more would show up.

      • For sure, I thought you were more foolish than you think, but now I fear you are wiser than you think.
        ==============

      • No, Joshua, I don’t recall any self-identified skeptic criticizing that argument. But then I’m skeptical about people who identify themselves as skeptics. I suspect most are not true skeptics.

      • kim, you’re more funny than you think.

      • Max, Joshua, what’s wrong with the argument? Serious question. A few, a lot?

      • Edim –

        For starters:

        1) The degree of scientific agreement on the two phenomena, respectively (in the every least as represented by peer-reviewed publications, admittedly an incomplete measure – but what better measure is there?), isn’t comparable. This becomes more problematic in that “skeptics” distort the evidence (see William Connolley’s comments on a recent thread) to make this comparison.

        2) Just because some scientists were wrong once doesn’t imply that some, or even more a large %, are wrong now.

        3) The state of the science has changed exponentially, so it is like comparing apples to oranges.

      • A lot of people would think the argument foolish. A few people might think otherwise, because they don’t think a lot.

      • Joshua’s way funnier. He used ‘distort the evidence’ and ‘William Connolley’ in the same sentence.
        =============

      • That’s not how I understand the argument. For starters:

        1) bigger and more lucrative bandwagon.
        2) it’s just the ‘consensus can be wrong’ argument. pointing the logical fallacy.
        3) state of the science changed in a way that the paradigm became very big and then the science froze in time. only AGW friendly was allowed.

      • 2) it’s just the ‘consensus can be wrong’ argument. pointing the logical fallacy.

        No one that I’ve seen argues that the “consensus can’t be wrong” – although certainly some do argue that a predominance of opinion among experts is relevant and useful for assessing probabilities. Now that perspective may well be wrong, but that is another question.

        The fact that the “consensus” has been wrong in the past is a trivial observation, and in no way directly informs the discussion of the odds of the “consensus” being wrong on this issue. When an argument relies on that logic to substantiate reasoning, it reveals “skepticism,” and confirmation bias.

        Show me a scientific approach to quantifying how often the “consensus” has been wrong as compared to how often it has been right, and you might be able to start to substantiate (still a weak) argument.

      • consensus in science is always wrong. it may be useful for something else, but not for science.

      • Consensus constantly evolves. Now and then, clots of it form and we call them social institutions. Beware this climate thrombus, and beware total circulation clotting.
        ==========

      • Now and then, clots of it form and we call them social institutions. Beware this climate thrombus, and beware total circulation clotting.

        Yet another alarmist. Let’s continue with your line of reasoning.

        Now and then, lightening strikes people. Beware lightening.

        Now and then, trees fall down and crush people. Beware trees.

        Our democratic society is basically based on consensus. Better we were still be living in caves and using clubs to make “decisions,” eh?

    • Wayne2, go up and see my 12:45 PM response to your 10:45 AM post.

      • patrioticduo

        “A few scientists back then were predicting ice age. A lot of scientists today are predicting warming.”

        Another appeal to consensus. Yet, the fact remains that there were predictions of dire cooling in the 1970′s (and dire predictions of warming and cooling depending on which paper you read and when).

        Your original claim was that “Climate skeptics/deniers seem to prefer emphasizing a relatively brief recent period when assessing long-term forecasts. Why? I think it’s because they tend to be old guys who don’t like thinking about years very far out. That’s understandable. Who wants to think much about a time when he won’t be here?”

        I think your dubious claim is so devoid of any factual basis (certainly no evidence) that it only warranted pointing out an immediate possibility for why “old guys” might not have much faith in the current consensus. That is, they’ve heard these dire predictions before. And guess what, it turns out that the current batch of dire predictions are failing to materialize yet again! Instead, we have Ph.d wannabees making outrageous interviews with much arm raising and flailing but when we take a look at the paper it turns out that the arm flailing isn’t backed up by the paper. And, said paper isn’t worth the paper it’s written on. “NO NO” you say. It must be the “old guys” who don’t want to think about their future because they won’t be around for it. You insult the intelligence and the morality of folks who are wiser, who know better and have seen this all before. FAIL!

      • Nothing to do with being Republican, huh ? Just a coincidence. Ha Ha !

        Consensus is useful. If the consensus among scientists is it’s harmful to smoke, ingesting lead, and breath asbestos, only a nitwit would smoke, lick lead, and roll around in asbestos.

        Appeal to authority is useful. I go to doctors, dentists, lawyers, etc. Who doesn’t?

    • Ain’t you an old guy yourself Max_OK? You sounded like one in many of your other comments. Well getting on a bit anyway! ;)

  15. Judith

    What has occurred at the Economist is very telling about the powers that rule at the editorial level in any given context, be it at a mainstream, quality weekly like the Economist or a scientific journal [you know more about that than most of us].

    Now we have the Economist’s editorial board decision to give Parker a separate remit for energy and environment, which until now belonged to Geoff Carr’s position as Science editor. The problem was that Carr has ideologically and by extension editorially been deep in the pockets of the climate “establishment” and its orthodoxy, which to a very large extent explains the Economist’s dreadful track record over the past decade of hard core alarmist CAGW/CACC reporting, with articles on just about anything containing a religious “de rigeur” reference to [man made] global warming.

    We can only hope -both for its readers and the Economist’s reputation- that with Parker on then new beat we will see more realistic, non-ideological, coverage of the subject matter.

    • Democracy is an awfully messy business and it requires such an inordinate amount of time and resources expended by people who would otherwise rather just get on with their lives. But it’s the system we have; so we go to war with what we have – not what we wish we had.

  16. the Economist article was clearly very well written.
    All ‘sides’ are able to take from it their preferred conclusion, confirmation bias for everyone.

    I find it difficult to understand those that see it as an admission that the whole of the last fifty years of climate science is mistaken. Some seem to read the possibility of a lower sensitivity or TCR as a covert confession that the whole of ‘C’AGW is a ideologically driven hoax or fraud.

    My own ‘shorter’ Economist would be –
    “Lower sensitivity means we have longer for policy to catch up.”

    But as the article points out, the policy has not even started to respond significantly despite the significant warming already experienced.

    We will never see global temperatures as low as they were in the 1980s again, it is unlikely that we will return to the climate of the 1990s. while it may not warm as fast as was feared by some, that change comes with greater variation and local extremes as the warm Arctic causing a cold N Europe demonstrates at present.

    The article makes clear that the science continues to refine our knowledge of the climate. Small reductions in the uncertainty are possible. narrower bounds of probability can be placed on different outcomes. That refinement does not justify rejecting the field of climate science as legitimate unless you are motivated to do so.

    Neither does it justify the continued inaction at the level of policy that the article identifies.

    izen

    • Yes, the subhead or subtitle did say:
      “The climate may be heating up less in response to greenhouse-gas emissions than was once thought. But that does not mean the problem is going away.”

      How could anyone reading the article miss ” BUT THAT DOES NOT MEAN THE PROBLEM IS GOING AWAY” ?

      Well, some denier/skeptics want the problem to go away, so they read or remember only the parts of the article they like.
      They are notorious cherry-pickers.

    • izen, we will return to the climate of the 1990s by ~2020. The 1980 by ~2030. Don’t worry.

      By the way, I reject the field of climate science because it looks like pseudo-science to me. Furthermore, my belief in the ignorance of experts (in science) is strong in general. That’s my motivation.

      • Thank you Edim.
        I always welcome and enjoy the experience of seeing someone express confidence in their own judgement of the ignorance of experts and their doubt about the legitimacy of science.
        On the internet.
        Using a computer….

        More Darwin -
        “Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science.”

      • what’s wrong with the internet and a computer?

        By the way, I agree with Darwin. He’s one of my favorite scientists. All of science should be considered subject to revision. If the foundation is solid, no problems for the field or theory. If not, progress! It’s a win-win. Dogma is lose-lose.

    • David Young

      Yes, Izen, That’s a fair summary of what the Economist said. However, while not “invalidating” 40 years of climate science, it does kind of put a big dent in the IPCC reports and a lot of Team research over the last decade. What I sense happening is that the Team is a little afraid of what the newer research is showing. They are definitely fearful of statisticians who say for example that uniform priors have biased IPCC estimates to the high side and that Mannian reconstructions are not statistically significant. The team still comes out to defend Marcott et al with their usual censorous style. The arrogance of the in line responses to everything is so annoying. Can’t even let any statement that is not the received dogma, i.e., it was stated by the Team, stand without an in line rebuttal. At least recently, they have had the decency to remain mostly silent.

  17. So the GCM with the lowest prediction of future temps, which is still too high, now validates the rest of the inaccurate, incomplete, unvalidated climate models? What’s that line about enough monkeys and enough typewriters, and you get the complete works of Shakespeare?

  18. Schrodinger's Cat

    If CO2 driven warming creates more water vapour by evaporation and the water vapour, also being a GHG creates more warming and so on, we have the magnifying effect and some would claim, runaway warming.

    We don’t need CO2 to trigger this,water vapour should be able to create the spiral on its own. It has been much hotter than at present at various times in our history and obviously the runaway warming did not take place. (It didn’t take place when CO2 concentrations were much higher either.)

    Clearly, our stable climate indicates that negative feedback is dominant. Strong positive feedback would have led to system instability and we would have destroyed life years ago. Our climate system is very stable. Stable systems are never vulnerable to strong positive feedbacks by definition.

    • Modest positive feedback provides amplification. It does not produce a signal out of nothing. In this case the influence of CO2 is needed to serve as the signal to be amplified.

      Only very strong feedback leads to a runaway situation. Fortunately the Earth is not very close to that. Some people do, however, think that the Earth could be brought to a runaway situation by passing a tipping point. These views have not found much support recently, but I’m sure that there are scientists who think that we are not safe from that risk.

      • Pekka Pirilä | April 1, 2013 at 1:29 pm |

        While we are cataloging people who believe in runaway warming, we ought perhaps pigeonhole them more narrowly.

        Some think there are many regional tipping points that might lead to runaway changes regionally (thus ‘bounded runaway’) but not globally. For example, there could be changes in the Arctic that result in brutal European and Siberian winters increasing in ferocity, but that ultimately end every Spring (though later and later) to be supplanted possibly with equally fierce hot spells in summer. As the net balances to warming, and other neighboring regions make up (as they almost must, by the principles of Conservation of Matter and Energy) for the bounded shifts, while it is a terrible runaway locally, it is meaningless globally. But not everyone who believes in runaways following tipping points believes this likely.

        Some think there may be some tipping point(s) that might lead to moderate-length runaway (again bounded) globally until some other trigger or externality forces the effect to discontinue, such as some increase in runaway El Nino or La Nina phases until some adjacent ocean circulation or potent atmospheric blocking pattern disrupts the phase, perhaps causing it to flip into its opposite. But not everyone foresees this, who is concerned with tipping points and runaways.

        The ‘catastrophic’ (though both of the above are Risky, costly, and affect the vulnerable in key ways) global unbounded tipping point runaways are things that would last a century or more and not be interrupted by any ordinary foreseeable input. Melting of clathrates due deep ocean and permafrost warming would be an example of this catastrophic runaway; though even it has limits, as there is only a limited number of millennia worth of methane in this hydrate form.

        The ‘doom’ scenario most agree is impossible: we just will never reach Venus-level CO2 concentrations on Earth, so are unlikely to boil the seas or arrive at other such far-fetched outcomes of our irresponsibility.

        See? It is by no means all doom and gloom. For the most part, it is just a few greedy free riders making things more expensive for us all.

      • “In this case the influence of CO2 is needed to serve as the signal to be amplified.Only very strong feedback leads to a runaway situation. ”

        You can’t model that though can you Pekka, you can say it, but not model it.
        As we know, CO2 causes heating, which causes ocean heating and an increase in water vapor AND the release of CO2. So this CO2 causes heating and more water vapor and more CO2 released.
        This is why climate science used a definition of feedback that is different to other sciences. If you used the CO2 causes heating release of CO2 you would see the problem.
        Somewhere along the line there must be a negative feed back, say like, warm cause more water vapor, causes clouds, blocks sunlight and causes cooling.
        Then you are fine.

      • DocMartyn, there is a well known model for that. Lindzen uses it in the introductions to his sensitivity papers. The amplification is given by 1/(1-f) where f is the feedback factor. f=2/3 gives an amplification of 3. So if doubling CO2 warms the earth by 1 degree and the added water vapor from 1 degree warms it another f degrees (f < 1) , and that leads to more water vapor, etc., you end up with a converging series and the mathematics gives you 1/(1-f) for the sum. Several feedbacks may add to f such as water vapor, clouds, ice albedo, but f=2/3 gives 3 as the amplification.

      • Jim D, doesn’t it strike you as very odd that 1/(1-f)?
        You do realize that this is a description that is nothing to do with physical model what so ever.
        How would one derive this formula, based on the properties of atmospheric gases for instance?

      • DocMartyn,

        As far as it makes sense to discuss feedback in the way it’s usually discussed the formula 1/(1-f) is valid. The formula answer fully and without reservations the erroneous idea that you presented in the message that prompted my previous answer.

        There are other open issues related to the feedbacks but the particular one you presented is moot and shows only lacking understanding.

        Have you ever heard about converging series or do you no the tale The tortoise and the hare or Achilles and the tortoise. That tale should tell you, where your argument goes astray. The common failing in understanding the point was known Zeno of Elea almost 2500 years ago.

      • Unknown unknowns and known ones render this whole thing somewhat moot. The biosphere’s been ignored, and truly where else do you think the ‘missing negative feedback’ is hiding? Oh, yeah, unknown places.
        ===========

      • It’s an unterrestrial travesty.
        =========

      • Yes, Pekka, your point is that St. Sebastian was protected by the arrows by Zeno’s paradox and died of a heart attack.

        1/(1-f) is so very physical isn’t it. Perhaps you could point to the derivation with respect to photonic recycling of CO2 in the atmosphere?
        Well you can’t, but never mind, its just a ‘Glory’.

      • DocMartyn, you seemed to be asking how a feedback leads to an amplification and not a runaway, and were shown how a feedback does that in mathematical terms. If you were not asking that, you need to restate your question. The model is forcing, followed by a feedback that adds to the effect and then adds to its own effect with diminishing returns on each iteration, which is a lot like CO2 and H2O in the representation of a major climate feedback component.

      • Generalissimo Skippy

        ‘How much does water vapor amplify CO2 warming? Studies show that water vapor feedback roughly doubles the amount of warming caused by CO2. So if there is a 1°C change caused by CO2, the water vapor will cause the temperature to go up another 1°C. When other feedback loops are included, the total warming from a potential 1°C change caused by CO2 is, in reality, as much as 3°C.’ scepsci

        Your maths and physics are pretty crappo Jimbo. We have here in fact a divergent series increasing rapidly to infinity. The negative feedback is the S-B for a gray body – where emissions vary to the 4th power of temperature. So a further increase in CO2 wil increase temperatue – all other things being equal (lol) – by half a degree.

      • Jim D. This is the postulate:-
        CO2 causes heating of the ocean surface; this causes an increase on evaporation and increases the level of water vapor and so the effect of CO2 is really (CO2+Water).
        However, heating the surface of the sea decreases the solubility of CO2, and CO2 is highly buffered. Total Atmospheric carbon is about 800 billion tons, the top, warm, 80 m of seawater contains about 800 billion tons of buffered CO2. In total the Oceans have 38,000 billion tons of buffered CO2.

        Pekka defends the warming of the oceans 0-700m, caused by atmospheric CO2. The solubility of CO2 changes by 3.5% per degree in the 0-15 degree temperature range. Even mild warming is going to shift the partition coefficient from the oceans to the atmosphere.

        Now warm the oceans and CO2 comes out of the ocean like a rat out of a drainpipe.
        So an increase in CO2 causes global heating and an increase in atmospheric CO2 and so causes global heating and an increase in atmospheric CO2 and so causes global heating and an increase in atmospheric CO2 and so causes global heating and an increase in atmospheric CO2 and so causes global heating and an increase in atmospheric CO2 and so causes global heating and an increase in atmospheric CO2 and so
        That is what a model of positive feedback gives one, if you model using tradition methods.

        Thus, Earth is always a hair-trigger away from Thermogeddon. A mild heating event or bolas of CO2 causes a catastrophic positive feed-back as hydrated CO2 in the oceans becomes atmospheric CO2, causing more heating and causing the liberation of more CO2.

      • The solubility of CO2, or more correctly of CO2, bicarbonates and carbonates does not depend on temperature that much. It’s actually only a very minor part of the feedback, small enough to be considered linear over the relevant range. Thus it does not lead to significant deviation from the 1/(1-f) “law”.

        As i wrote already, the feedbacks are more complex and that means also that they are not linear. Nothing in that changes the fact that 1/(1-f) is a perfect answer to your original question.

        We don’t have a runaway situation, because we don’t have so strong positive feedbacks that they would lead to that. It’s that simple, and there’s nothing mysterious in that.

      • DocMartyn, so you are concerned about the CO2 feedback being larger than the H2O feedback? I can assure you that the CO2 feedback is minuscule in comparison. The water has to warm by 25 C before the CO2 in the atmosphere will double. One degree gives about 10 ppm of CO2 feedback, and 280 ppm of H2O feedback. It is because there is so much more water in the ocean than CO2 that the water effect dominates. Make sense?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The solubility of carbon dioxide is the best known but least important of the changes of CO2 flux.

        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2938481/figure/fig1/

        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2938481/

    • blueice2hotsea

      Schrodinger’s Cat-

      Strong positive feedback would have led to system instability and we would have destroyed life years ago. Our climate system is very stable. Stable systems are never vulnerable to strong positive feedbacks by definition.

      You seem confident that a strong positive feedback which dangerously destabilized climate would unfold in a time-frame of “years”. Therefore we are are safe because we are still alive.

      Your assurances are too weak to be comforting. Better to just not bring it up at all. In fact, I would rather be assured of no need to be alarmed of Bart R – and I am not talking about Bart R’s concerns – I am talking about Bart R.

      • blueice2hotsea | April 1, 2013 at 9:58 pm |

        Describe Bart R. Height? Weight? Age? Shoe size? Hair color? Handedness?

        Your comment talks about that which you do not know — and I’m not talking about Bart R — I am talking about pretty much everything your comments opine.

        We haven’t died yet so we’re safe?!

        What absurdity.

        We’re already paying more because of Risks. New York’s bonds are downgraded because of the perception that AGW-caused frankenstorms will become more common. That cost isn’t borne by the culprits, and ought.

      • blueice2hotsea

        Bart R

        Describe Bart R.
        – Bald

        We haven’t died yet so we’re safe?!

        What absurdity.
        – Yes, that was my point – which you missed.

        That cost isn’t borne by the culprits, and ought.
        – Such comments come across as schizoid. No biggee. However, it then interests me to look for assurance in another area.

  19. William Lippincott

    Anybody bothered by The Economist giving equal weight to theory (models) and evidence (observations)? I am.

    • Why?
      they are the two legs on which science constructs accurate explanations of the world.

      “How odd it is that anyone should not see that all observation must be for or against some view if it is to be of any service! ” Darwin

      Observations back the view that climate sensitivity is still of a magnitude where it will cause change that requires policy responses. In that sense it favours the models over the null hypothesis. As shown by -
      ‘Test of a decadal climate forecast’
      Myles R. Allen,
      John F. B. Mitchell
      & Peter A. Stott
      Nice discussion from one of the scientists who have prompted the idea that sensitivity might be lower –

      http://julesandjames.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/decadal-prediction-stuff-part-2.html

      Climate change is real and ongoing with no scientific reason to think that it will be anything more than slightly slower than the worst predictions.

    • There are observational scientific reasons to believe that sensitivity will be a great deal lower than the worst predictions.

      Izen, do you read the ‘Economist’?
      =============

  20. FTFY:
    3) The state of the science FUNDING has changed exponentially, so it is like comparing apples to oranges. IF YOU WANT TO GET PAID, YOU SEEK CAGW.

    • Yes – obviously, Judith, Spencer, Christy, the Pielke’s, etc. are starving paupers. Why didn’t I think of that!?!?!?

      • Times are changing, there was climategate and it’s not warming. some were skeptical from the beginning, but there were too few of them.

      • Those few, those fortunate few.
        =======

      • Yes, times are changing. The denier/skeptic demographic is shrinking.

      • Joshua, See, that’s disingenuous and of course you know it. Why pretend the funding issue isn’t important? Are you arguing that a young scientist who stands up and identifies himself as a global warming skeptic isn’t going to have problems with respect to employment?

    • DayHay is right. Most scientists will eagerly prostitute themselves for money, and will make up phony research to serve greedy politicians who control tax payer’s dollars, evil politicians who want to deprive Americans of their freedom with this global warming scam. Even school teachers are a part of this despicable scheme, filling the heads of innocent children with lies about the climate.

      I’m standing in for Wagathon, until he shows up.

  21. Schrodinger's Cat

    Pekka Pirila – Thank you for your response. If I paraphrase your reply to check that I understand – You are saying that some extra heat input is required to produce extra water evaporation. CO2 fills this role in the current case.

    Equally, ANY extra heat input, say reduced cloud cover or some other natural change could produce the same effect.

    Do you agree?

  22. Schrodinger's Cat

    Equally, the evaporation of water vapour could lead to a negative feedback such as increased cloud cover.

  23.  

    Missing Global Warming has been found. Trenberth just announced it to the global warming community…

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Just kidding! APRIL FOOLS.

    • Good timing.

      • Wags is my absolute favorite.

        He has been my runaway choice for Climate Etc. Commenter of the Year award for a couple of years running now.

        I am quite sure that his “Chinamen” comments will never be equaled.

      • Very common usage in English English, you parochial, you.
        ==============

      • Putting a little english on it, how can the weather be hot as hell one day an cold as hell another?

  24. CO2 sensitivity was originally based on a show of hands from people who would get more funding from a higher figure. It hasn’t changed since because they don’t know more about climate than they did then.

    Of course these scientists can’t bring themselves to admit the hypothesis has been proven wrong. For most of them their job wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for the scare. They will edge down gradually to the 1K figure that should have been used from the beginning and then they will state that the IPCC lower limit was 1.1K so they were all correct after all. All this time money will be wasted on futile impacts reports, bad modeling efforts and insane energy policy subsidies.

    For most of the world it may not actually matter though because their policymakers just ignore CO2 targets: The only effect will be seen on more important environmental issues that the money is diverted from. For Europe it will mean deindustrialisation, freezing homes and widespread blackouts unless some reality check is done soon.

    • @-” They will edge down gradually to the 1K figure that should have been used from the beginning and then they will state that the IPCC lower limit was 1.1K so they were all correct after all. ”

      Don’t be silly, at that climate sensitivity there would be no ice-age, warm period cycle over the last few million years and the Eocene and Miocene warm periods would be beyond explanation.

      • Heh, izen, like nothing changes climate except CO2. I was born at night, but not last night.
        =============

    • JamesG, you may be suffering from Polluter’s Panic, a condition brought on by fear environmental measures will take civilization back to the stone age. Get hold of yourself.

      • Max – no panic, just taking a look at what’s happenning in the UK due to over zealous environmental policy. You may want to google uk energy crisis.

  25. Nice going folks.

    Have another look at Marcott’s 2011 PhD thesis [aka the Science paper minus the spike].

    If the data and the analysis at the core [no pun intended] of that study are to be believed, we are now and have been for some time, at the coldest portion of the entire Holocene! And the curve- before the Science travesty- is on a downward slope. Food for thought I would say.

    So why not pick up the discussion from there, and put a -everything sliced and diced- probably no more than a 0.8C rise over a 130-150 year period, including the flat lining of the past 16 years or so, into perspective.

    Has anyone here ever asked themselves why geologists as a scientific discipline were the very first of the climate skeptics [and every geologist I know continues to be one to this day]?

    • Yes, the 10 ka cooling trend is the most important trend (the most probable to continue and speed up) and this observation is not new.

    • The Marcott thesis does not tell that. It tells that LIA was the coldest time. Neither the thesis nor the paper tells about the warming since LIA, but we know that we are not anymore in LIA.

      • The warming since LIA is a short therm event at the timescale. Probably happened many times in this interglacial.

      • The timescale is short, but the amplitude is large.

        The analysis does not tell about variability that averages out in couple of hundred years, but saying that such variability has probably occurred is not supported by anything.

      • Pekka, I think it’s supported by many non-global reconstructions, ice core records for example, Holocene glacier dynamics etc. But I could be wrong here, the warming since LIA could be one of the longest and fastest in our (fading) interglacial.

      • It’s difficult to imagine what could provide evidence for a repeated occurrence of warming with an amplitude that extends from the lowest value observed to almost the highest one.

        The only additional relevant knowledge comes from the last 2000 years, and even that’s uncertain. It does not indicate that variability as large as the recent warming would be normal.

      • The problem Pekka, is not even so much the deception in the paper, but the appearance of deception, which, much to my dismay, you encourage.

        Pekka, do you read the ‘Economist’? The panic is over. If you want to convince people of action, to their direct and immediate cost, you have got to regain credibility. You are not making a good start.
        =====================================

      • Also, Pekka, please pick a number for climate sensitivity that frightens you. Now calculate how much colder we would be presently without anthro CO2. What do you get?
        ===========

      • Pekka, how about the Greenland ice core records?

        There must be many more. Not global I know. The resolution is simply lost by dating uncertainty and averaging into global indices.

      • There is evidence for large natural swings in the last 2000 years. Not in Marcott, to my dismay, but not apparently yours, Pekka.
        ======================

      • Kim,

        This paper is about the past millenia. It’s results are interesting but do not change directly anything essential for what we expect to occur in next 200 years. The authors made a disservice for science, when they didn’t make fully clear what their research can tell and what it cannot.

        The climate science is in a situation where the scientists should be doubly careful in formulating their conclusions. All errors in that may easily backfire.

      • Agreed, a ‘disservice to science’. You are here apologizing for the paper.
        You are doing a disservice to science unless you damn this caricature of science and policy for what it is.
        ===============

      • Individual proxy series can indicate variability that’s totally spurious or limited to some area. That makes the evidence on fast variability highly suspect.

      • ‘what we expect in the next 200 years’. You don’t know what to expect even were we to have far better understanding of sensitivity to CO2 and of the natural forces, so why do you talk like that?

        If sensitivity is as high as you fear, then we’d be a lot colder today without anthroCO2. Better to hope for a low sensitivity.
        =============================

      • Pekka, you’re drifting into absurdity. You know the climate is capable of rapid change.
        =========

      • Looking for caricatures in this debate you find them all around.

      • This interface of science and policy has become a joke, a tragic joke. Today, I find you a caricature of a science/policy wonk. Why don’t you follow the example of Pielke Fils?
        ====================

    • Richard Alley is one geologist who does not share your scepticism.

      the 10K trend of a cooling Holocene is disrupted by the large spike in the instrumental record.
      A spike for which there is a well established explanation from the field of physics and thermodynamics. Given the weight of scientific evidence behind that explanation it seems unwise to expect the 10k trend to continue or resume before the extra fossil carbon in the atmosphere is removed by long time-scale processes in the carbon cycle.

      • The 10K trend of a cooling Holocene has been smoothed to remove all spikes. Oops, better tack something else on the end.

        The paper’s indefensible. Get over it.
        ==================

      • I hope this paper does stand for awhile in the public eye, because then a lot of scientists are going to get to see it for the put-up job it is. Win a battle, lose the war.
        ========

      • Heh, izen, it seems unwise to hope the 10K trend continues or resumes.
        ======================

      • the paper will stand as one of a growing forest of research refining our understanding of paleoclimate, and by comparison gaining a better understanding of what it is possible from our present climate.

        Large, rapid temperature spikes in the Holocene are rare in proxy records with better resolution than in the Marcott paper. The biggest would probably be the Younger Dryas. Nothing comparable is likely until another ice-cap slumps into the N Atlantic.

        But then, Greenland has never supported an ice-cap while CO2 was above 400ppm..

        It is unnecessary to pick a transient climate sensitivity, the climate without AGW would be roughly where it was in the 1900s before the ~0.7degC rise. The point is not that the two climates are vastly different in sustaining an agricultural base, but that the changes are ongoing and long-term. The Economist article discusses refinements to the magnitude and time-scale of the warming. It does not dispute its direction or the necessity for a policy other than BAU.

      • It was very foolish to put this paper out without better understanding of natural changes. Unless temperature shoots up, this paper will be a laughingstock, and the arrogance to flaunt hockey sticks will be exposed as hubris.
        =======

      • Izen: One geologist does not spring make.

        Pekka: Why not have another look at the sustained downward slope in the original Marcott study [2011] with no sign of any upward trend -other than the grossly fabricated and fraudulent spike in the Science paper.

        In the private sector, Marcott et. al. would have been fired for this and depending on the business context of their fraud, would wind up in prison.

        These clowns have -on their own and with the support of the rest of the Team- done more harm to the reputation of [climate] science than anyone else recently.

      • The Marcott work does not tell anything about the last 150 years. We know from instrumental record rather well, what has happened over this period. These two peaces of knowledge are supplementary, not contradictory or confirmatory.

        From the combined information we learn that the present temperature is close to the highest holocene smoothed temperature. We cannot compare to peak values as the Marcott study tells only the smoothed ones. Smoothed means in this case something like 500 year average judging from the fact that all variability up to 300 years is lost, but most 1000 year variability retained.

      • Pekka

        The Marcott data tells us nothing about the past 150 years you say.
        Other than the grossly fabricated hockey stick/spike I suppose?

        And the instrumental record tells us an increase of approx 0.8C over 150 years with significant ups and downs [remember the global cooling scare of the 1970s or are you too young for that] in the graph and a recent 16 year flat line that looks like its going to continue. Nothing to get all lathered up about I would say. Think again about why geologists can’t get alarmed about this.

        And keep in mind what Marcott’s PhD thesis does say: we are and have been for quite some time in the coldest period of the entire Holocene. And the instrumental data does NOT change that.

      • Tetris,

        The instrumental data tells that your latest sentence is just the opposite of truth. You couldn’t err more. That’s why the further statements that the authors have made are correct. They should have told that their results are about the early part and do not add to the knowledge on the rising part.

        Your comment tells that they may have actually been right when they decided to emphasize the whole picture, not only what new their research shows directly. Even when this all has been explained so many times you seem to be unable to understand the facts.

      • Marcott et al is an April Fool’s Day joke on the world. What did you tell the President, Elevator Litella? Never mind.
        =================================

  26. Are hindcasting and forecasting differences from the actual temperature equivalent?

    I took the IPCC AR4 multi-model average of detrended globally averaged TAS anomalies relative to 1980-1999.
    I took the HADCRUTv3 monthly data and calculated the yearly mean assuming equally sized months (quick and dirty).

    I floated the sum of the (HADCRUT anomalies MINUS AR4)^2, in the range of 1900-1999, were as small as possible.

    The calculated (Real minus Model), and plotted it with HADCRUTv3 and AR4.

    I calculated, from (Real minus Model), means and SD’s of 1900-99 and 200-13. Then performed a t-test.

    I use the B1 scenario, starting Jan 1st 2000.

    The model is quite different at forecasting than it is with hindcasting

  27. Generalissimo Skippy

    Elvis was the King – h/t RiHo08

    • Excellent. Thank you. We certainly got good value for money in those days. No wonder we are wiser and have a better innate understanding of costs-benefits and what are the real economic issues :)

  28. The Economist article, and the comments on this thread, epitomises the issues surrounding the AGW hypothesis and the inescapable conclusion that jumping to conclusions using short term trends is done by both sides of the debate.

      • @ Joshua “my kingdom for a skeptic”

        It appears that we agree again.

        True sceptics don’t take sides but neither does the truth. Abrupt climate change (either colder or warmer) is more dangerous to life than gradual climate change.

        The AGW hypothesis is suggestive of exponential climate change due to human activity but the temperature data series to date is not supporting this.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Peter

      Recent work is identifying abrupt climate changes working through the El Niño Southern Oscillation, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the North Atlantic Oscillation, the Southern Annular Mode, the Artic Oscillation, the Indian Ocean Dipole and other measures of ocean and atmospheric states. These are measurements of sea surface temperature and atmospheric pressure over more than 100 years which show evidence for abrupt change to new climate conditions that persist for up to a few decades before shifting again. Global rainfall and flood records likewise show evidence for abrupt shifts and regimes that persist for decades. In Australia, less frequent flooding from early last century to the mid 1940’s, more frequent flooding to the late 1970’s and again a low rainfall regime to recent times.

      This has since shifted again to a high rainfall regime in which we will see average summer rainfall increase by a factor of about 4 for some decades into the future – according to the theory of drought and flood dominated regimes which was first formulated by geomorphologists Wayne Erskine and Robin Warner back in the 1980′s.

      Anastasios Tsonis, of the Atmospheric Sciences Group at University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and colleagues used a mathematical network approach to analyse abrupt climate change on decadal timescales. Ocean and atmospheric indices – in this case the El Niño Southern Oscillation, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the North Atlantic Oscillation and the North Pacific Oscillation – can be thought of as chaotic oscillators that capture the major modes of climate variability. Tsonis and colleagues calculated the ‘distance’ between the indices. It was found that they would synchronise at certain times and then shift into a new state.

      It is no coincidence that shifts in ocean and atmospheric indices occur at the same time as changes in the trajectory of global surface temperature. Our ‘interest is to understand – first the natural variability of climate – and then take it from there. So we were very excited when we realized a lot of changes in the past century from warmer to cooler and then back to warmer were all natural,’ Tsonis said.

      The data – and the reality of present ocean and atmosphere conditions – suggests a climate shift again after 1998. The theory of a coupled, nonlinear climate system suggests a cooling trend since 2002 with a shift in cloud cover. The instrumental and proxy records – over a 1000 years at least – show that these modes last 20 to 40 years.

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/SWupnotes_zps3f1ab841.jpg.html?sort=3&o=1#/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/SWupnotes_zps3f1ab841.jpg.html?sort=3&o=1&_suid=1364863152918007541675741216014

      Whether the trend since 2002 is meaningful or not depends on whether or not you have a hypothesis that both explains and on which predictions can be made. This is entirely analogous to making of predictions of decadal rainfall from current patterns of atmospheric and ocean indices – the potential for which is currently exciting the hydrological community.

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1995/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:2002/trend

      The world is not warming for a decade or three more yet.

      • Agree with you Chief. Tsonis et all are definitely on the right track as far as I can tell. Sudden shifts in climate seem to be chaotic at all time scales but short term prediction seems feasible if we can identify from observed data when the system approaches criticality.

        These shorter term forecasts should be helpful in mitigation of the worst effects of climate change on the more vulnerable communities around the coastlines. Longer term predictions seem a waste of everyone’s time.

  29. And neither side owns up to it, but both sides accuse the other side of being guilty.

    My kingdom for a skeptic.

    • Steven Mosher

      of course both sides accuse the other of being guilty. of course neither will admit it. No wait, lets be skeptical of that. I know some skeptics who refuse to engage in this behavior and some believers who refuse to engage in it. you can of course choose to focus on the worst behavior, or encourage the best. or you can do both. I see you doing one. perhaps you should be skeptical about its effectiveness.

  30. I notice no mention of any affect from the sun. Are there not any scientists considering this an under/over estimated factor?

  31. David Springer

    UAH lower troposphere temp for March is out:

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2013/04/uah-global-temperature-update-for-march-2013-0-18-deg-c-again/

    Samo samo as February. 0.18C above the 1981-2010 average.

    Decadal trend 0.06C.

    Scary stuff.

    Not.

  32. Generalissimo Skippy

    ‘The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines.’ Michael Mann

    ‘Although it has failed to produce its intended impact nevertheless the Kyoto Protocol has performed an important role. That role has been allegorical. Kyoto has permitted different groups to tell different stories about themselves to themselves and to others, often in superficially scientific language. But, as we are increasingly coming to understand, it is often not questions about science that are at stake in these discussions. The culturally potent idiom of the dispassionate scientific narrative is being employed to fight culture wars over competing social and ethical values.’ http://www.lse.ac.uk/collections/mackinderProgramme/pdf/mackinder_Wrong%20Trousers.pdf

    “Fascism is the stage reached after communism has proved an illusion.”
    ― Friedrich A. von Hayek

    ‘We must make the building of a free society once more an intellectual adventure, a deed of courage. What we lack is a liberal Utopia, a programme which seems neither a mere defence of things as they are nor a diluted kind of socialism, but a truly liberal radicalism which does not spare the susceptibilities of the mighty (including the trade unions), which is not too severely practical and which does not confine itself to what appears today as politically possible…Those who have concerned themselves exclusively with what seemed practicable in the existing state of opinion have constantly found that even this has rapidly become politically impossible as the result of changes in a public opinion which they have done nothing to guide. 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 power of ideas which was the mark of liberalism at its best, the battle is not lost.’ ― Friedrich A. von Hayek

    There is certainly a generational cultural battleground as much as Joshua might like to present a case of realism as opposed to individual irrationality of sceptics. His language and his attitude reveal the true nature of his ideology – which he will then deny having. But we do know who and what he is – a cultural warrior, disingenuous, sly, argumentative, abusive, and dishonest and someone who has motives and an agenda that dare not speak its name. He has no knowledge of science and little interest in learning – it is merely at the level of the personal and the political. He denies there is a conspiracy – but there has been a Marcusian inspired conspiracy to silence opposition since the 70′s – and every utterance of Joshua’s comes out of that playbook. He is eminently ignorable if we understand that and keep our eyes on the prize.

    Joshua denies there is a cultural war with opposing sides. It suits his agenda to pretend there are the ‘realists’ and individual crazies with strange ideas. Something he will pursue with mad intensity. But the idea of a cultural war is in the language and the zeitgeist of the modern world – and we know that this contemporary continuation of the battle is being fought in the very modern forums of cyberspace. As Hayek said – it is the power of ideas and of communications that will determine the future of the world. What we want is a future of prosperity, technological innovation in energy, individual freedom, fair markets and resilient societies. One of the ways forward for the liberal is to enunciate a positive agenda for the future. We can address the problems of energy, development and environment without resorting to draconian social controls envisaged by the pissant progressive. One of the ways we can do this is by framing and developing these ideas – this intellectual adventure – in eSalons such as this. We do not aim at consensus but at a politically and socially responsible but inspiring liberal utopia. A practical and pragmatic future of light and hope for as many as possible.

    We would do well to limit the time we waste with such as Bart and Joshua and instead rediscover the joys of forthright language free of obfuscation and obscurantism. We would do well to spend less time opposing the propaganda of the enemy and more time in understanding and enunciating the ‘philosophic foundations of a free society’.

    • Joshua’s Kingdom for an idea.
      =====

      • the joys of forthright language free of obfuscation and obscurantism

      • Generalissimo Skippy

        Elvis was the King! Bart is the jester.

      • Generalissimo Skippy | April 2, 2013 at 6:43 pm |

        Most agree Bob Dylan is The Jester.

        Maybe you have to be American to understand Rock and Roll.

      • Generalissimo Skippy

        There have been many jesters in history –
        - A jester, based on the Shakespearean jesters and unofficially named Elvis, is the logo of the financial website The Motley Fool
        - James Root, guitarist for metal band Slipknot, wears a Jester-like mask on stage.
        - The Jester, a suited Jack/Seven – named after the poker player “The Jester.”
        - Bob Dylan is often referenced as the ‘jester’ who stole the ‘king’s (Elvis Presley’s) crown in the song “American Pie”.
        - “Script for a Jester’s Tear” is the title of the first LP (1983) by the British rock band Marillion.
        – “The Jester Race” is the title of an album by the Swedish melodic death metal band In Flames. Since this album they also use a symbol called “Jesterhead” as their mascot, appearing on almost every album-cover.
        - The Fool is the main and title character of a series of 12 books called “The Fool Series”. He has also been used in over 200 role-plays over the internet.
        - The Fool is a Trump card in a Tarot deck.
        - The Jester is the mascot for Finnish ice hockey team Jokerit based out of Helsinki, Finland.
        – “The Jester” is a song on the Sum 41 album Underclass Hero.
        Kourt Jester is the name of an underground rapper originally from Buffalo, New York. He has released several songs through iTunes via Interscope Records Digital Distribution.
        - Jester is the name of an alternative indie Italian band formed by members of Elfoguelfo.
        - The Jester is the mascot of St. Joseph’s High School, a private all-girls Catholic school in Lakewood, CA – they are known as the St. Joseph’s Jesters – “Fools for Christ”, and were founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet (CSJ) in 1964. Their colors are orange and white and their motto is “Love, Hope and Zeal”.
        – “The jester from Leicester” is the nickname of snooker player Mark Selby
        – A jester in a handstand was used on the popular 1970s and 1980s game show The Joker’s Wild. They were used as a “wild card” during the show’s front game.
        – The Chess piece known in English as the Bishop is known in French as “Fou” – The Fool. (The deep groove atop this piece, regarded in England as symbolising a bishop’s mitre, was in France taken as representing a jester’s cap).
        – Elton John’s “The King Must Die” lyrics starts with a briefing of what happens when a king is overthrown, possibly by ignoring his jester’s advice: “No man’s a jester playing Shakespeare Round your throne room floor While the juggler’s act is danced upon The crown that you once wore”

        And rock and roll is the universal soundtrack for our generation – and not an excuse for a pretension of American exceptionalism. But there are of course other soundtracks – and while American Pie has a certain flair, Dylan is an extraordinary poet and Elvis had immense charisma – the best and funniest American rock musician was Frank Zappa. Whose roots of course were deep in modern classical.

        The only things that Americans like you seem to understand is pomposity and dissimulation. Why is that Bart R? Is it much wonder that the American experiment is in dire straights?

      • Beth Cooper

        O/t fer Bart,
        Yer dont hafta be from the YEW ESS Ay ter know
        rock’n roll . As Generalissimo notes Elvis was king
        bur this man was a pioneer yee ha!

        Beth – who – can – rock’n roll. – tango – and – do –
        any – goddam – dance – there – evah – woz :).

  33. Beth Cooper

    Say, the NASA “Pesnell Prediction Panel” …
    I like it, ) predicts a May 2013 solar sunspot
    peak fer the present cycle …While not the over-
    whelming ‘consensus’ view and therefore ‘certain,’
    this is the majority decision of the panel.

    Beth the serf.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      I prefer tea leaves meself.

      Hi ho Shibboleth

      He likes to get out of the photobucket now and then.

      • Beth Cooper

        ‘Something there is that doesn’t love a wall.
        H/t Robert Frost.

        … Hi ho Shibboleth.
        Down with serfdom!
        .

    • the joys of forthright language free of obfuscation and obscurantism

      • Generalissimo Skippy

        In case there is anyone listenting still – although not especially to Bart – poetry, humour and rock and roll have modes of communication that go beyond the stolid modes of logic and the pedestrian strictures of everyday syntax. They carry an emotional truth which is recognised in laughter or joy.

        Bart’s language carries am implied truth as well – that of obfuscation, confusion, mockery and disdain. Personal failings that colour every utterance.

  34. It’s very important to note that if the consensus AGW hypothesis is true, then AGW became significant roughly after the middle of the 20th century – anything before that would be physically (and logically) nonsense. This shouldn’t be controversial at all and I’ve never seen any consensus attribution study that differs from these for example:

    … (there are many)

    They all look very similar. Now, I often see the convinced denying this when it suits them. That’s not even wrong.

  35. There is an argument that land use changes associated with agriculture drove some climate change from the begining of human exploitation of the environment. The Pielke’s are probably best known for this line of hypothesis, but others have suggested that the MWP was in part driven by increasing forest clearance and the LIA was the result of a fall in CO2 after the population drop from the plague.

    However it is certainly defensible to claim that most of the AGW has happened since 1950. So an increase of CO2 much short of a doubling has resulted in an immediate transient warming of 0.7degC with inevitably, more to come given the thermal inertia of the climate system. Often climate change deniers seem to forget the amount of global warming that we have already seen from the less than 50% increase in CO2 so far.

    • Often climate change deniers seem to forget the amount of global warming that we have already seen from the less than 50% increase in CO2 so far.

      But hasn’t that warming been good for humanity and life on planet Earth so far. How good will the next lot of warming be? Does anyone know? The doomsayers have had lots to say, but nothing persuasive that more warming is bad.

      • @-”But hasn’t that warming been good for humanity and life on planet Earth so far. ”

        That is highly uncertain.
        Increased crop growth might be claimed, but improvements in crop varieties, fetilization and management probably has more to do with it.
        And the incidence of drought and flooding destroying crops may well offset any gains. Probably a net loss given the measurable decrease in agricultural output in the areas where rainfall and glacial melt as sources of irrigation are drying up.

        Historical evidence of civilisational collapse seems to indentify climate change as the trigger, whichever the direction. Human societies tend to optimise their agricultural system for the prevailing conditions which makes them rigid and very poor at adaption to change.

      • David Springer

        re; civilization collapse when climate changes either way

        Are you stupid or what, izen? Civilization bloomed during Roman, Medieval, and Modern warm periods. During the Little Ice Age a third of the human population perished.

      • the joys of forthright language free of obfuscation and obscurantism

  36. Doctor Leonard McCoy

    The GCM model ensemble is dead, Jim.

  37. Bart R

    The current 12 months is the coldest in the Central England Temperature record since 1878, 134 years.

    The UK MSM are, quite understandably, beginning to question why the government is spending such a large fraction of GDP on CO2 mitigation policies which threaten energy supply, when the observed threat to UK citizens is death from cold not warmth

    • Gras Albert | April 2, 2013 at 11:38 am |

      You don’t go nearly far enough.

      The current 12 months also represents the greatest difference by far between high and low annual means in the same decade in the CET.

      And you really should take a peek at http://exmetman.blogspot.ca/2013/03/the-non-uniform-rise-in-central-england.html for some other interesting bits of information:

      March is statistically trending down, as is June, on the CET record, while the overall is sharply up in the past 240 years.

      I can’t condone how the Socialist government of the UK runs things, nor comment much on it. I’m not from there, and it is unseemly for a foreigner to tell democratic peoples how they ought run their country. In America, it’s downright unpatriotic to let some foreigner do it to Americans.

      Though I ought point out, both your Communist poverty-activist website and the industry association president bleating for corporate charity from the taxpayer are picking your pocket with unfounded claims that do not well match the actual data.

  38. @-”The current 12 months is the coldest in the Central England Temperature record since 1878, 134 years.”

    That’s what happens when you melt out 80% of the Arctic ice and create a ‘Lance Armstrong climate.
    Weather extremes.

    • izen

      The graph doesn’t work like that. CET anomaly for 2012 was slightly above the anomaly for 1961-1990, that well known period of high ice, so reduced ice levels obviously don’t cause these ‘extremes.’
      tonyb

  39. Lauri Heimonen

    Judith Curry:

    ‘The Economist has an astonishingly good article entitled Climate science: A sensitive matter. Subtitle: ”The climate may be heating up less in response to greenhouse-gas emissions than was once thought. But that does not mean the problem is going away.”

    The article provides an accurate representation and interpretation of Ed Hawkin’s analysis.

    ”The mismatch might mean that—for some unexplained reason—there has been a temporary lag between more carbon dioxide and higher temperatures in 2000-10. Or it might be that the 1990s, when temperatures were rising fast, was the anomalous period. Or, as an increasing body of research is suggesting, it may be that the climate is responding to higher concentrations of carbon dioxide in ways that had not been properly understood before. This possibility, if true, could have profound significance both for climate science and for environmental and social policy.”’

    The quotes above prove that there is a complete ignorance on the believed role of anthropogenic CO2 emissions on the recent global warming.

    In a comment of mine http://judithcurry.com/2013/03/29/has-trenberth-found-the-missing-heat/#comment-307156 I have written:

    ”It is really nonsense to express any climate sensitivity based on human CO2 emissions, and even not on any total increase of CO2 in atmosphere:

    a) Only natural global warming has been observed in reality.

    b) Even influence of any total increase of CO2 content in atmosphere can not have been observed to control the recent warming in reality; the increases of global CO2 content have been proved to follow warming and not vice versa.

    c)Any anthropogenic share in the recent increase of CO2 content in atmosphere can not be empirically found. That makes the polemics on climate sensitivity be even more useless.”

    In the comment of mine http://judithcurry.com/2013/01/16/hansen-on-the-standstill/#comment-287036 I have stated on the base of natural laws:

    ”The CO2 content in the atmosphere is controlled together by both all CO2 emissions from sources to atmosphere and by all CO2 absorptions from atmosphere to sinks. Nowadays when the yearly total CO2 emissions are little over 200 GtC (CO2 as carbon) and the yearly human CO2 emissions are about 8 GtC, the influence of the human CO2 emissions on the CO2 content in atmosphere is approaching 4 % at the most. For instance, when the CO2 content in the atmosphere is 390 ppm, the manmade share of it is only about 16 ppm at the most; in the reports of IPCC the human share of recent CO2 content in atmosphere is assessed to be about 100 ppm without any proper evidence.”

    In addition, in the same comment I have stated:

    ”The climate sensitivity caused by antropogenic CO2 emissions ‘is indistinguishable from zero’. That is true already on the total CO2 increase, and the human share of that is only about 4 %.”

  40. Judith

    In general, I applaud and support your blog. I do however, take issue with your description of the Economist article as “excellent”. It was the usual attempt to keep the AGW gravy train on the rails in the face of overwhelming evidence undermining its validity.

    On the basis of first principles the theory was invalidated by the missing hotspot – the manipulation of of temperatures and “dancing on the head of a pin” sensitivity calculations are just background noise. It is not even proven that current CO2 concentrations are mainly man-made – we don’t understand, let alone quantify the natural CO2 exchange mechanism. Atmospheric CO2 has always followed temperature hitherto and there is no evidence to suggest that has changed other than the fact that we’re putting more into the atmosphere.

    http://sciencespeak.com/MissingSignature.pdf

    Your endorsement of the article may be a tactical ploy to encourage more open dialogue but it risks prolonging the pain of inappropriate policies which will inflict further damage on future generations. We must deal in truth. The truth is the theory is invalid and climate science needs to revert to its former obscurity and we must resist the temptation to “play god” with the weather, climate and all the other dubious activities emanating from this discredited theory.

  41. http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/04/03/open-thread-9/#comment-1265105

    richardscourtney says:
    April 3, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    “So, each climate model emulates a different climate system. Hence, at most only one of them emulates the climate system of the real Earth because there is only one Earth. And the fact that they each ‘run hot’ unless fiddled by use of a completely arbitrary ‘aerosol cooling’ strongly suggests that none of them emulates the climate system of the real Earth.”

    And quoting Kiehl: “The question is: if climate models differ by a factor of 2 to 3 in their climate sensitivity, how can they all simulate the global temperature record with a reasonable degree of accuracy.”[?]
    =========

    All the models arbitrarily retro fit by pulled out of nowhere numbers.

    So where do all these “doubling” of carbon dioxide sensitivity numbers come from?

    Lots on “doubling” in that discussion, but the one that sums it up for me as common sense versus Mosher type BS is the following:

    Physics Major says:
    April 3, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    Steven Mosher says:
    “Now to calculate the sensitivity to a doubling of C02
    easy: Forcing from doubling from 280 to 560 = 5.35ln(560/280) = 3.71
    3.71 * .5 = 1.85C per doubling.”

    Gee, that is simple. If you double CO2, the temperature will rise by 1.85C.

    So, if we start with one CO2 molecule in the atmosphere and then add one more, the temperature will rise by 1.85C. Then, if we double again by adding two more molecules, we get another 1.85C rise for a total of 3.7C. I could go on for a few more doublings. but you can see that it’s a wonder that we haven’t fried to death with all of those CO2 molecules that are in the atmosphere today.

    So, where do these numbers come from?

  42. Pooh, Dixie

    Actually, “Green” is a marvelously effective means of getting rid of obligations to retirees (pensioners, Social Security recipients, and other programs). Can this have escaped the notice of Washington’s political types? (/sarc)

    Nelson, Fraser. “It’s the Cold, Not Global Warming, That We Should Be Worried About.” Telegraph.co.uk, March 28, 2013, sec. elderhealth. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/elderhealth/9959856/Its-the-cold-not-global-warming-that-we-should-be-worried-about.html

    “No one seems upset that in modern Britain, old people are freezing to death as hidden taxes make fuel more expensive.
    “The government’s chief scientific officer, Sir David King, later declared that climate change was “more serious even than the threat of terrorism” in terms of the number of lives that could be lost. Such language is never used about the cold, which kills at least 10 times as many people every winter. Before long, every political party had signed up to the green agenda.
    “Since Sir David’s exhortations, some 250,000 Brits have died from the cold, and 10,000 from the heat. It is horribly clear that we have been focusing on the wrong enemy. Instead of making sure energy was affordable, ministers have been trying to make it more expensive, with carbon price floors and emissions trading schemes. Fuel prices have doubled over seven years, forcing millions to choose between heat and food – and government has found itself a major part of the problem.”

  43. Pooh, Dixie

    One more thing: We may expect enormous outrage, denigration, ill-supported “papers” and press releases to discredit the idea of low sensitivity. These will be aimed at the public’s support of political policy on fossil fuels ala Post Normal Science.

    After all, people move south to enjoy an increase of 1 degree C. It is high sensitivity that drives “catastrophic” scenarios and the utility of the “Laws of Fear” (Sunstein).

    Fossil fuel policy is important to politicians and bureaucrats in three respects: taxes (revenue), political favors (subsidies, waivers) and control of the means of production (and liberty).

    It is detrimental to the well-being of citizens.

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