Meta-uncertainty in the determination of climate sensitivity

by Judith Curry

Two heavyweight climate scientists have published very different ideas about how much the Earth is going to warm in the coming decades. – Washington Weather Gang

A post last December by the Washington Weather Gang Studies differ on climate change and warming severity, researchers trade jabs lays down the controversy:

Two heavyweight climate scientists have published very different ideas about how much the Earth is going to warm in the coming decades. And neither has much regard for the other’s estimate – casting light on a long-standing, thorny issue in climate science.

Future warming is likely to be on the high end of predictions says Kevin Trenberth of the National Center for Atmospheric Research who has been a lead author for the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

But Michael Schlesinger, who heads the Climate Research Group within the Department of the Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Illinois, has just published a study with his group finding warming will be at the low end of projections.

In response to the recent Economist article (see this previous post), Michael Mann and Dana Nucitelli wrote an opinion piece for the ABC entitled How the Economist got it wrong.  Excerpts:

It should be a red flag that an estimate of climate sensitivity would change by a factor of two based only on the addition of a decade of data. In reality, the climate sensitivity now is not half what it was a decade ago. So where did the Norwegian study go wrong?

One likely culprit is that the role of natural climate variability, which is particularly important on timescales of a decade or less, was not properly accounted for in the analysis. One recent article published in the Journal of Geophysical Research found that internal natural variability (for example, natural oscillations in the climate like those associated with the El Niño phenomenon) can result in a sizable discrepancy (errors approaching 1°C) between the true climate sensitivity and the value of climate sensitivity derived from the instrumental record alone.

Yet another recent study published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters has argued that previously unaccounted-for effects of low-level volcanic eruptions may have offset more of the warming than scientists realised over the past decade.

And still another study published recently in Geophysical Research Letters suggests that any slowing of surface warming during the past decade may have been associated with a recent accelerated penetration of heat into the deeper oceans.

It is further unfortunate that the piece provided so little of the larger scientific context necessary for readers to appreciate the current state of scientific knowledge about climate sensitivity. Most critically, the article didn’t address why it is that the consensus estimate of climate sensitivity remains around 3°C.

The instrumental temperature record alone, it turns out, is an especially poor constraint on climate sensitivity because it is so short, and because there are multiple natural and human factors at work over the past century. For this reason, there is an extremely wide spread of estimates of climate sensitivity when only information from the instrumental record is used. That spread includes estimates that are both lower and higher than the mid-range (around 3°C) estimate (see figure above).

However, there is a wealth of other sources of information that scientists have used to try to constrain climate sensitivity (see for example this discussion at the site RealClimate). That evidence includes the paleoclimate record of the past thousand years, the specific response of the climate to volcanic eruptions, the changes in global temperature during the last ice age, the geological relationship between climate and carbon dioxide over millions of years, and more.

When the collective information from all of these independent sources of information is combined, climate scientists indeed find evidence for a climate sensitivity that is very close to the canonical 3°C estimate. That estimate still remains the scientific consensus, and current generation climate models — which tend to cluster in their climate sensitivity values around this estimate — remain our best tools for projecting future climate change and its potential impacts.

JC comment: At issue here is a plethora of new papers that are using different methods to estimate climate sensitivity. This range of methods, and the range of outcome results, highlight the meta-uncertainty in the determination of climate sensitivity.   By synthesizing and assessing these recent papers, can we increase our understanding of the limitations of various methods? Can we make any inferences as to whether Schlesinger is correct (climate sensitivity is on the low end of the IPCC range) or Trenberth is correct (climate sensitivity is on the high end)?

Lets take a look at some of these papers.

Schlesinger side of the debate

Here is the paper from Schlesinger’s group:

Causes of the global warming observed from the 19th century

M.J. Ring, D. Lindner, E.F. Cross, R.E. Schlesinger

Abstract.  Measurements show that the Earth’s global-average near-surface temperature has increased by about 0.8℃ since the 19th century. It is critically important to determine whether this global warming is due to natural causes, as contended by climate contrarians, or by human activities, as argued by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. This study updates our earlier calculations which showed that the observed global warming was predominantly human-caused. Two independent methods are used to analyze the temperature measurements: Singular Spectrum Analysis and Climate Model Simulation. The concurrence of the results of the two methods, each using 13 additional years of temperature measurements from 1998 through 2010, shows that it is humanity, not nature, that has increased the Earth’s global temperature since the 19th century. Humanity is also responsible for the most recent period of warming from 1976 to 2010. Internal climate variability is primarily responsible for the early 20th century warming from 1904 to 1944 and the subsequent cooling from 1944 to 1976. It is also found that the equilibrium climate sensitivity is on the low side of the range given in the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report.

Citation: M. J. Ring, D. Lindner, E. F. Cross and M. E. Schlesinger, “Causes of the Global Warming Observed since the 19th Century,” Atmospheric and Climate Sciences, Vol. 2 No. 4, 2012, pp. 401-415. doi: 10.4236/acs.2012.24035.  [link to full manuscript]

Specifically with regards to climate sensitivity:

Additionally, our estimates of climate sensitivity using our SCM and the four instrumental temperature records range from about 1.5 ̊C to 2.0 ̊C. These are on the low end of the estimates in the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report. So, while we find that most of the observed warming is due to human emissions of LLGHGs, future warming based on these estimations will grow more slowly compared to that under the IPCC’s “likely” range of climate sensitivity, from 2.0 ̊C to 4.5 ̊C. This makes it more likely that mitigation of human emissions will be able to hold the global temperature increase since pre-industrial time below 2 ̊C, as agreed by the Confer- ence of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Cancun. 

Nic Lewis

I just heard from Nic Lewis that his climate sensitivity paper has been published in Journal of Climate An objective, Bayesian improved approach for applying optimal fingerprint techniques to estimate sensitivity .  Congratulations, Nic!  A preview of some of the material was provided in this recent guest post by Nic.

Abstract.  A detailed reanalysis is presented of a ‘Bayesian’ climate parameter study (Forest et al., 2006) that estimates climate sensitivity (ECS) jointly with effective ocean diffusivity and aerosol forcing, using optimal fingerprints to compare multi-decadal observations with simulations by the MIT 2D climate model at varying settings of the three climate parameters. Use of improved methodology primarily accounts for the 90% confidence bounds for ECS reducing from 2.1–8.9 K to 2.0–3.6 K. The revised methodology uses Bayes’ theorem to derive a probability density function (PDF) for the whitened (made independent using an optimal fingerprint transformation) observations, for which a uniform prior is known to be noninformative. A dimensionally-reducing change of variables onto the parameter surface is then made, deriving an objective joint PDF for the climate parameters. The PDF conversion factor from the whitened variables space to the parameter surface represents a noninformative joint parameter prior, which is far from uniform. The noninformative prior prevents more probability than data uncertainty distributions warrant being assigned to regions where data responds little to parameter changes, producing better-constrained PDFs. Incorporating six years of unused model-simulation data and revising the experimental design to improve diagnostic power reduces the best-fit climate sensitivity. Employing the improved methodology, preferred 90% bounds of 1.2–2.2 K for ECS are then derived (mode and median 1.6 K). The mode is identical to those from Aldrin et al. (2012) and (using the same, HadCRUT4, observational dataset) Ring et al. (2012). Incorporating forcing and observational surface temperature uncertainties, unlike in the original study, widens the 90% range to 1.0–3.0 K.

Nic has just posted at BishopHill explaining the new Bayesian method.

Troy Masters

In press at Climate Dynamics [link]:

Observational estimate of climate sensitivity from changes in the rate of ocean heat uptake and comparison to CMIP5 models

Troy Masters

Abstract. Climate sensitivity is estimated based on 0–2,000 m ocean heat content and surface temperature observations from the second half of the 20th century and first decade of the 21st century, using a simple energy balance model and the change in the rate of ocean heat uptake to determine the radiative restoration strength over this time period. The relationship between this 30–50 year radiative restoration strength and longer term effective sensitivity is investigated using an ensemble of 32 model configurations from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 5 (CMIP5), suggesting a strong correlation between the two. The mean radiative restoration strength over this period for the CMIP5 members examined is 1.16 Wm−2K−1, compared to 2.05 Wm−2K−1from the observations. This suggests that temperature in these CMIP5 models may be too sensitive to perturbations in radiative forcing, although this depends on the actual magnitude of the anthropogenic aerosol forcing in the modern period. The potential change in the radiative restoration strength over longer timescales is also considered, resulting in a likely (67 %) range of 1.5–2.9 K for equilibrium climate sensitivity, and a 90 % confidence interval of 1.2–5.1 K.

Troy has a blog post [here].  This is my first visit to Troy’s blog, I’ve just added it to my blogroll, I definitely want to follow what he is doing.

Trenberth side of the debate

The IPCC AR4 consensus range is:

Equilibrium climate sensitivity is likely to be in the range 2°C to 4.5°C with a most likely value of about 3°C, based upon multiple observational and modelling constraints. It is very unlikely to be less than 1.5°C.

The rationale for this range is summarized in a recent RealClimate post.  The most recent two papers that I have found that are arguing for sensitivity on the high end are:

A less cloudy future: the role of subtropical subsidence in climate sensitivity

John Fasullo, Kevin Trenberth

Abstract.  An observable constraint on climate sensitivity, based on variations in mid-tropospheric relative humidity (RH) and their impact on clouds, is proposed. We show that the tropics and subtropics are linked by teleconnections that induce seasonal RH variations that relate strongly to albedo (via clouds), and that this covariability is mimicked in a warming climate. A present-day analog for future trends is thus identified whereby the intensity of subtropical dry zones in models associated with the boreal monsoon is strongly linked to projected cloud trends, reflected solar radiation, and model sensitivity. Many models, particularly those with low climate sensitivity, fail to adequately resolve these teleconnections and hence are identifiably biased. Improving model fidelity in matching observed variations provides a viable path forward for better predicting future climate.

A blog post on the Fasullo-Trenberth paper appeared at Real Climate.  Excerpt:

So how cool is it then that the recent paper by Fasullo and Trenberth estimates the net climate sensitivity without getting into the details of the cloud feedback then? Quite cool.

The Fasullo and Trenberth paper identified a relationship between the modeled seasonal change in relative humidity in the subtropical dry zones (the downwelling branch of the Hadley circulation, centered around 20-30°N and S) and the long-term feedback behavior of clouds in models. This is a very promising methodology because, if the relationship holds, we could evaluate climate models using observations of the seasonal cycle of relative humidity (which are much easier to obtain than cloud measurements). We don’t actually have to observe clouds at all! Fasullo and Trenberth use satellite data to estimate the present-day (1980-1990) May through August relative humidity and find that the CMIP3 models that best match the observations have strong moist zones in the tropical lower troposphere, strong dry zones in the subtropical upper troposphere, and high climate sensitivities. Thus, Fasullo and Trenberth conclude that the relative humidity observations are most consistent with higher climate sensitivities (around 4°C for a doubling of CO2).

Published in Science,  [link] to abstract.

Climate sensitivity, sea level, and atmospheric CO2

James Hansen, Makiko Sato, Gary Russell, Pusker Karecha

Abstract. Cenozoic temperature, sea level and CO2 co-variations provide insights into climate sensitivity to external forcings and sea level sensitivity to climate change. Climate sensitivity depends on the initial climate state, but potentially can be accurately inferred from precise paleoclimate data. Pleistocene climate oscillations yield a fast-feedback climate sensitivity 3 ± 1°C for 4 W/m2 CO2 forcing if Holocene warming relative to the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) is used as calibration, but the error (uncertainty) is substantial and partly subjective because of poorly defined LGM global temperature and possible human influences in the Holocene. Glacial-to-interglacial climate change leading to the prior (Eemian) interglacial is less ambiguous and implies a sensitivity in the upper part of the above range, i.e., 3-4°C for 4 W/m2 CO2 forcing. Slow feedbacks, especially change of ice sheet size and atmospheric CO2, amplify total Earth system sensitivity by an amount that depends on the time scale considered. Ice sheet response time is poorly defined, but we show that the slow response and hysteresis in prevailing ice sheet models are exaggerated. We use a global model, simplified to essential processes, to investigate state-dependence of climate sensitivity, finding an increased sensitivity towards warmer climates, as low cloud cover is diminished and increased water vapor elevates the tropopause. Burning all fossil fuels, we conclude, would make much of the planet uninhabitable by humans, thus calling into question strategies that emphasize adaptation to climate change.

Sources of uncertainty

Beyond the meta-uncertainty issue surrounding methodology, several recent papers have discussed sources of uncertainty in determination of climate sensitivity.  The basic sources of uncertainty are uncertainties in observations including forcing, uncertainties in model response, and natural internal variability.

What is the effect of unresolved internal climate variability on climate sensitivity estimates?

R. Olson, R. Sriver, W. Chang, M. Haran, N.M. Urban, K. Keller

Abstract.  Many studies have attempted to estimate the equilibrium climate sensitivity (CS) to the doubling of CO2 concentrations. One common methodology is to compare versions of Earth Models of Intermediate Complexity (EMICs) to spatially and/or temporally averaged historical observations. Despite the persistent efforts, CS remains uncertain. It is, thus far, unclear what is driving this uncertainty. Moreover, the effects of the internal climate variability on the CS estimates obtained using this method have not received thorough attention in the literature.

Using a statistical approximator (“emulator”) of an EMIC, we show in an observation system simulation study, that unresolved internal climate variability appears to be a key driver of CS uncertainty (as measured by the 68% credible interval). We first simulate many realizations of pseudo-observations from an emulator at a “true” prescribed CS, and then re-estimate the CS using the pseudo-observations and an inverse parameter estimation method.

We demonstrate that a single realization of the internal variability can result in a sizable discrepancy between the best CS estimate and the truth. Specifically, the average discrepancy is 0.84 °C, with the feasible range up to several °C. The results open the possibility that recent climate sensitivity estimates from global observations and EMICs are systematically considerably lower or higher than the truth, since they are typically based on the same realization of climate variability. This possibility should be investigated in future work. We also find that estimation uncertainties increase at higher climate sensitivities, suggesting that a high CS might be difficult to detect.

In press, Journal of Geophysical Sciences – Atmospheres, [link] to abstract.

Excerpts:

Our results suggest that the process driving unresolved internal climate variability is a key factor behind the current uncertainty in climate sensitivity estimates.

This suggests that CS is likely to remain uncertain in the world of error-free models and perfect observations, due to the confounding eect of the unresolved internal climate variability. The variability also appears to be a key factor in the second order uncertainty in climate sensitivity . This uncertainty represents the  sensitivity of estimated CS pdfs to different realizations of the unresolved climate noise, and is measured by the mean deviation of estimated CS modes.

Overall, our results suggest that internal climate variability presents a substantial obstacle to estimating climate sensitivity. It is thus far an open question whether this hurdle can be overcome with alternative approaches that perform joint state and parameter estimation [e.g., Annan et al., 2005; Evensen, 2009; Hill et al., 2012]. 

Switching from uniform to informative priors substantially reduces the CS uncertainty

Historical observational constraints on climate sensitivity (e.g., global average upper ocean heat content, and surface temperature) are based on a single realization of internal climate variability process. Not considering the effects of the observational and model errors, this realization alone can introduce a considerable discrepancy between the best CS estimate and the true value. Given that scientific models often share similar assumptions and might not be independent, it is possible that the bias due to the internal variability can be in the same direction in studies using different models. As a result, current EMIC-derived CS estimates from these datasets may be systematically higher or lower than the true value.

A way forward might be to use independent constraints from other time periods  or information from a wider variety of spatially resolved datasets and reanalyses.

I am impressed by the inclusion of a good section on Caveats regarding the limitations of their study.

Continuing on the theme of the impact of natural internal variability, on a previous thread I discussed the following paper

Tung, KK and J Zhou, 2013:  Using data to attribute episodes of warming and cooling in instrumental records. PNAS, [link].

Key excerpts:

The presence of multidecadal internal variability superimposed on the secular trend gives the appearance of accelerated warming and cooling episodes at roughly regular intervals.  Quantitatively, the recurrent multidecadal internal variabil- ity, often underestimated in attribution studies, accounts for 40% of the observed recent 50-y warming trend.

Model error and climate sensitivity with present day observations through model weighting

Daniel Klocke, Robert Pincus, Johannes Quaas

The distribution of model-based estimates of equilibrium climate sensitivity has not changed substantially in more than 30 years. Efforts to narrow this distribution by weighting projections according to measures of model fidelity have so far failed, largely because climate sensitivity is independent of current measures of skill in current ensembles of models. This work presents a cautionary example showing that measures of model fidelity that are effective at narrowing the distribution of future projections (because they are systematically related to climate sensitivity in an ensemble of models) may be poor measures of the likelihood that a model will provide an accurate estimate of climate sensitivity (and thus degrade distributions of projections if they are used as weights). Furthermore, it appears unlikely that statistical tests alone can identify robust measures of likelihood. The conclusions are drawn from two ensembles: one obtained by perturbing parameters in a single climate model and a second containing the majority of the world’s climate models. The simple ensemble reproduces many aspects of the multimodel ensemble, including the distributions of skill in reproducing the present-day climatology of clouds and radiation, the distribution of climate sensitivity, and the dependence of climate sensitivity on certain cloud regimes. Weighting by error measures targeted on those regimes permits the development of tighter relationships between climate sensitivity and model error and, hence, narrower distributions of climate sensitivity in the simple ensemble. These relationships, however, do not carry into the multimodel ensemble. This suggests that model weighting based on statistical relationships alone is unfounded and perhaps that climate model errors are still large enough that model weighting is not sensible.

This paper is published in Journal of Climate [link].

In context of the main topic of this post, the following excerpt is of particular significance, cutting to the heart of the argument by Fasullo and Trenberth:

[W]hile the motivation to narrow the distribution of climate sensitivity estimates is strong, our results dramatize the danger of focusing exclusively on this  goal. Relationships between sensitivity and model fidelity in any ensemble emerge from an unknown mix of underlying similarity in model representation and error, statistical sampling error, and physical relationships also present in the natural world. This means that arbitrarily chosen error measures may arise from underlying similarity not present in the physical climate system. We argue that, because metrics developed from the full multimodel ensemble alone cannot be falsified by comparison to more general ensembles, they cannot be justified as a model likelihood purely on the basis of the strength of the statistical connection between that metric and climate sensitivity. Indeed, where observations have been used successfully to constrain model response statistical metrics have been bolstered by physical arguments. Much depends on the way weights are chosen since incorrect weighting (i.e., weighting not related to true model likelihood) can substantially reduce the benefits of using an ensemble of projections.

JC synthesis

Mann and Nuccitelli state:

When the collective information from all of these independent sources of information is combined, climate scientists indeed find evidence for a climate sensitivity that is very close to the canonical 3°C estimate. That estimate still remains the scientific consensus, and current generation climate models — which tend to cluster in their climate sensitivity values around this estimate — remain our best tools for projecting future climate change and its potential impacts.

The Economist article stated:

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

The combination of the articles by Schlesinger, Lewis, and Masters (not mentioned in the Economist article) add substantial weight to the negative watch.

In support of estimates on the high end, we have the Fasullo and Trenberth paper, which in my mind is refuted by the combination of the Olson et al., Tung and Zhou, and Klocke et al. papers.  If a climate model under represents the multidecadal modes of climate variability yet agrees well with observations during a period of warming, then it is to be inferred that the climate model sensitivity is too high.

That leaves Jim Hansen’s as yet unpublished paper among the recent research that provides support for sensitivity on the high end.

On the RealClimate thread, Gavin made the following statement:

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

In weighing the new evidence, especially improvements in the methodology of sensitivity analysis, it is becoming increasing difficult not to downgrade the estimates of climate sensitivity.

And finally, it is a major coup for the freelance/citizen climate scientist movement to see Nic Lewis and Troy masters publish influential papers on this topic in leading journals.

648 responses to “Meta-uncertainty in the determination of climate sensitivity

  1. Approaching no feedback sensitivity as a limit.
    =========

    • Good news for the terrified greenies still tossing and turning in their beds at night.

      • David Springer

        A very long post. The first thing that struck me is Mann et al claiming stuff before the instrument record used to calculate sensitivity are practically all changes in albedo which is NOT the same mechanism as a non-condensing greenhouse gas. Apples to oranges. Throttling SW into the system is NOT the same as variation in DWLIR principally because water is transparent to SW but opaque to LW while rocks are opaque to both.

      • David Springer

        bob droege | April 17, 2013 at 5:42 pm |

        “Kim, let me put it another way for you, for the last 17 years the trend has been”

        Let me put it the way James Hansen puts it. The 5-year mean global average temperature has been flat for a decade.

      • Dave, there is no contradiction between what Hansen and I said.

        I worship the ground he walks on, remember.

    • Yep, if you consider the “true” surface, sea level, 0.8 C. Funny huh?

      • Why is it so hard to concede that this is encouraging news? That some of you can’t even so much as allow that there’s been a lack of warming for going on 17 years, is telling.

      • The last 17 years, using the good ole trend calculator at Skeptical Science gives

        Trend: 0.032 ±0.207 °C/decade (2σ)

        As the lowest value with large uncertainty, which neither confirms a trend of 0 nor denies a trend of 0.2 C/decade, I employ the 10 point must system and award 10 points to both hypotheses of warming has paused and warming continues unabated and require further rounds to determine the winner.

      • Where’s the ring doc? One contestant is out on his feet.
        ==============

      • Kim, let me put it another way for you, for the last 17 years the trend has been between cooling of 0.175 C/decade and warming of 0.239 C/decade, and you claim it is cooling for how long even you don’t know, so tell me, which one of us is boxing without a mouthguard?

      • Bob, over 30% of the gridded HADCRUT4 data is colder than the 1961-1990 average.

        So in the fact the whole “earth” has not even all warmed since the 1980s.

        And the only years above .15C/decade are the 2 and 6 years. 11 year trend is 0 and 10,9,8,7,5,4,3 and 1 are negative.

        18 years trend if .15C and it drops every year until the trend his 0 at 11 years out.

        But again. I repeat, 30% of the earth is colder than 1961-1990.

      • Reference …
        509 grid squares colder than 1961-1990.
        4 the same.
        1176 warmer than 1961-1990

        http://sunshinehours.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/had4_grid_february_2013_v2.png

        http://sunshinehours.wordpress.com/2013/03/28/hadcrut4-gridded-feb-2013-europe-was-colder-than-1961-1990/

        This trend map is for 12 years to January 2013. It would be even cooler if I had refreshed it for Feb 2013. I can’t wait for March’s data.

        http://sunshinehours.wordpress.com/2013/01/24/hadcrut4-gridded-12-year-trends-freezing-in-alaska-and-mongolia-and-australia/

      • The ring doc left his towel at the last ringside.
        =========

      • Kim and Sunshine, you don’t seem to understand what my argument for the last 17 years is.

        You seem to think I am arguing that it has warmed over the last 17 years.

        I don’t think that is what I am saying.

        And your charts, Sunshine, don’t make a convincing argument either way.

      • Bob, A admit the CRU/MET claim some parts of the world warmed. And some cooled. And some parts are cooler than 1961-1990.

        But the prediction they made before this all happened has not come true.

        The models are crap and 41 out of 43 are too high. But the alarmists nutbars in the AGW want to spend trillions to rectify the warming seen in the ONLY in the other 41 models.

        Thats insane.

      • Sunshine, you are going to have to be more specific with your reference to models. Which are the 43 models you speak of? Specific runs of specific models or just a general all models are crap argument.

        There are way more than 43 models or model runs that have been published.

        And models being the lesser of any arguments presenting evidence in favor of AGW.

        And can you be more specific on what predictions were made, who made them using what models etc. Can you make an argument against a certain model prediction other than look at the models prediction, look at the temperature change, it’s crap, and none of the models predicted the current lack of warming?

        Otherwise you wind up sounding like the nutbar.

      • Sunshine
        I can’t wait for March’s data.

        Well, here’s March. And Feb. And Jan.

        These are also base 1961-1990 – white is zero anomaly. Every month there’s some places negative, more positive. Doesn’t prove anything.

      • bob,

        Can you tell me if I am correct in understanding what you are saying?

        That when you look at the numbers and include the error range, it is possible to say that we are cooling and we are warming, but statistically the significance is so low that we really can’t tell which.

      • Timg56,
        Pretty much, the lower the trend, the longer the time that is needed for statistical significance, and the higher the trend, the shorter the time.

      • Nick, those are base 1951-1980.

        Isn’t that an amazingly huge area 6C COLDER than 1951-1980.

      • bob,

        thanks. That’s why I don’t pay much attention to the warming has stopped / its maybe cooling now argument. I figure it isn’t meaningful in the context of AGW until at least 20 years and better yet 30 years.

        I do think that it gives reason to question the models.

    • @bob droege | April 17, 2013 at 11:37 pm |
      These 44 models and predictions are crap Bobby, can’t you do your own research before shooting from the lip ?
      http://www.drroyspencer.com/wp-content/uploads/CMIP5-global-LT-vs-UAH-and-RSS.png

  2. “In weighing the new evidence, especially improvements in the methodology of sensitivity analysis, it is becoming increasing difficult not to downgrade the estimates of climate sensitivity.”

    Money quote, Thank you for your courage and clarity.

    “It is a major coup for the freelance/citizen climate scientist movement to see Nic Lewis and Troy masters publish influential papers on this topic in leading journals.”

    Agreed. All good news.

    • ‘…it is becoming increasingly difficult not to downgrade
      the estimates of climate sensitivity.’

      Now here’s a challenge fer
      the climate modeller in his cloud tower
      and shamen in the corridors of power.
      Listen and yer’ll hear the rustling
      of silk, whisperings, ‘Urgent need fer hustling
      up new scare scenarios to milk
      the citizens of their hard earned wealth
      and freedom.

      A serf

      • Dear Beth,
        You’d think so, and your poem is lovely. So sinister, that rustling of silk and those wispy whisperings. But on the other hand, I’ve not seen the alarmists here give up the slightest ground. Good news from an objective standpoint, but they just can’t hear it. Where one would expect at least some provisional relief, all I hear is anger…

      • Beth, I’m sorry to hear climate modelers are plotting to beat you out of your freedom and cash. It will be a sad day when you lose the freedom to pollute and deplete. However, not all is lost. You can send your cash to me, and I won’t let them get it.

      • Beth –

        a serf

        Surely, you must realize that on a scale of years, or decades, we, (as a generalization about humans on the whole as well as Americans, Australians, and most citizens of the majority of countries), are on the road away from serfdom not towards it?

        Surely you realize that on the scale of centuries we, (as a generalization about humans on the whole, and Americans, and most of the citizens of the majority of countries that have been around for centuries), are on the road away from serfdom, and not towards it?

        Now I will grant you that perhaps on the scale of millennia, or at least tens of thousand of years, we may be further along the road towards serfdom – because we mostly live in organized societies and in that sense share a basic attribute of serfdoms. But even given that, surely you must realize that there are some advantages to living in an organized society as compared to living in caves and beating each other with clubs as the only way to acquire life-sustaining resources.

        So given all of that, why all the brow-beating about how horrible you have it as a serf? Think of what a small percentage of the earth’s population has had the opportunity to enjoy the freedoms that you enjoy.

        Show a little gratitude, dude.

      • I will amend – due to uncertainty.

        Maybe on the scale of years, there is too much noise amid the signal to say anything for sure about trends. But once we reach the scale of decades, there is no significant uncertainty: we are on the road away from serfdom.

      • Say Max-OK and Joshua,

        My reference ter serfism is, yer know, a bit tongue –
        in – cheek, referring ter me non -expert status. But I
        recognize that I live in a lucky country, I can go where
        I wish, read what I wish, say, even dance in the moon –
        light if I wish. At the moment….

        But M & J, if -you – can’t – see – the – increasing – trend –
        ter – increasing – regulation – and – taxation – happening –
        in – our – centralist – western – governments, – well, – what
        – can – I – say? Hayek recognised what was happening
        if you don’t.

        ( Re pollution, I care fer the natural world guys. )

        Beth the serf pretender.

      • Beth –

        But M & J, if -you – can’t – see – the – increasing – trend –
        ter – increasing – regulation – and – taxation – happening –
        in – our – centralist – western – governments, – well, – what
        – can – I – say?

        Well – establishing an “increasing trend ter increasing regulation and taxation” may be happening in our centralized western governments. It would be an interesting debate, and I am far less certain about the truth of the matter there than you seem to be (there are many related issues, such as taxes on whom? increase in relative or absolute terms? how are we defining regulation, exactly? Is a poll tax regulation? Is being barred from a lunch counter regulation?), but then we have the question of whether, even if the increases are as you state – does that mean we’re on the road to “serfdom?”

        Ask someone once barred from a lunch counter whether an increase in regulation about whether they could be barred is moving down the road to serfdom. Ask someone who was systematically barred from voting, and now has her voting rights protected by “regulation,” whether we are moving down the road to serfdom. What about people whose land was poisoned by companies now regulated? Or workers in mines who now have certain regulated protections.

        Beth – your argument is weak. Those of living in these “socialist” “centralized” countries enjoy more freedoms than probably 99.9% of the humans who have ever lived – and more than the average person today who lives in non-“socialist” and non-“centralized” countries.

        Please – tell me what you see, in real terms, in terms of the lives that people live, that causes you to see some movement towards serfdom, let alone the massive drive in that direction as you visualize. Give me some concrete examples. Some data. Some evidence.

        Appealing to the authority of Hayek just doesn’t get the job done, my friend.

      • Indeed, taxing the rich is the opposite of what happened in serfdoms, where I believe the nobles either taxed or owned the serfs.

      • Beth, I haven’t lost any freedoms, I’m not afraid of losing any freedoms, and my taxes are fair. My problems are my own doing, not the government’s fault.

      • Fer starters, M/OK? and Josh,
        Lots of debate in OZ re this:
        http://www.quadrant.org.au/blogs/qed/2013/03/conroy-must-be-stopped

      • Beth this will make no an iota of difference to journalism in the MSM which is already owned and/or conrolled by the private family banking cartel and as they already own the governments what gets printed is what they allow – it is directed at the would be serfs and their communications.

        Effectively the Bwankers who now control the MSM will get monopoly control through the goverments they already control, the same governments who allow them to create money out of nothing, over all communication however primitive or advanced, from pamphlets to internet blogs.

        Some time ago I visited Laos and then Cambodia during the Vietnam War. In Laos in the wateringhole of the international press we were told that the US was carpet bombing northern Laos five hundred missions a day, in a day more bombs dropped than on the whole of Germany during WWII. Committing mass genocide and none of the MSM reporters could get their reports on this printed in their papers, the Aussie journalist in the group told us.

        That’s the power of the bwanking cartel and their industrial military complex created out of money they conjure up out of thin air. A month later in Cambodia we would sit on the roof for our after dinner coffee and smokes looking out over the capital, and watch the US planes drop bombs around the perimeter of the city; simply to keep the people in a state of fear to keep the curfews going and so control over them in place. We knew it was US planes because we were staying with an ex pilot who had flown on the daily genocide bombings of the northern Laotian people, who had quit. It was several years before the US involvement in these countries made it into the open.

        The only rational way to stop this takeover of our inalienable freedoms in Common Law is to stop the governments aiding and abetting the banking cartel’s fractional reserve fraud, which has now accumulated so much wealth that the only next move is to take control of everyone in every country. There are still a few countries left with banking systems not in their control. Watch the news..

        They don’t care which political party is in place as long as they control them, they even create them as they did in Russia by setting up the Bolshevik/Communists, all part of tactics. As they funded both sides in the American War of Independence and built up Hitler’s military power to continue the scam of the same families creating conflicts for which the nations involved would have to borrow money from them in return for collecting interest from the serf taxpayers.

        They’ve moved on from the Wizard of Oz days of using gold to create a monopoly on money supply from which they bankrupted the US farmers and stole their land, they now control the issue of money created out of nothing, as the Federal Reserve a well documented example.

        Henry Ford once said “It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning”.

        What did he mean?

        A quick time line of the banking family cartel’s rise to power: http://www.iamthewitness.com/books/Andrew.Carrington.Hitchcock/The.History.of.the.Money.Changers.htm

        Some in more detail: http://www.apfn.org/apfn/reserve.htm

        The politicians of all parties and the ideologues of various stripes are stooges, puppets, manipulated from behind the curtain, and this manipulation has grown ever more sophisticated and widespread since the early days of success in controlling through the ruling powers of “royalty”, from the last link: –

        “Because of his success in his speculations, Baron Nathan Mayer de Rothschild, as he now called himself, reigned as the supreme financial power in London. He arrogantly exclaimed, during a party in his mansion, “I care not what puppet is placed upon the throne of England to rule the Empire on which the sun never sets. The man that controls Britain’s money supply controls the British Empire, and I control the British money supply.””

        From that to creating the World Bank and IMF and the UN and Agenda 21, gosh, could it be that they were jealous they weren’t royalty? Or simply that’s the only way to go for clever socio/psychopaths? Odd that in their setting up Eugenics they never thought to see the possibility of themselves as genetically flawed..

      • Josh & Beth,

        Hope you realize you both are right on this. From a global aspect, the last 200 years has seen a march away from serfism. Yet on an individual basis, we are seeing increasing burdens or limitations on our rights. Try refinancing your home if you don’t believe me.

      • Just seeing this today so forgive the late posting.
        Beth is right:
        The science of AGW is used as a proxy for an otherwise failing political agenda and now that the proxy is being exposed the arm-chair political activists are flailing. Although Dr. Curry is one of the few among us who can understand the scientific subtitles, you don’t need to be a weatherman to see which way the wind is blowing.
        Max_OK (April 17, 2013 at 11:24 pm) says “sad day when you lose the freedom to pollute”. The impression left is that carbon dioxide (a plant food) is a pollutant; it isn’t. In the 1960 it was estimated that all oil would be depleted in 40 years, and now fifty years later I read that we still have 100 years of oil; yes we are depleting oil and the sun is depleting hydrogen? Although I usually cite sources in this case the point is valid even if someone want to change the subject and start quibbling over who has the best source or numbers.
        Joshua (April 17, 2013 at 11:39 pm) says “Surely, you must realize that on a scale of years, or decades ….. we are on the road away from serfdom not towards it?”. Then he says “…perhaps on the scale of millennium, or at least tens of thousands of years, we may be further along the road towards serfdom… “. And then later he says “there is no significant uncertainty: we are on the road away from serfdom”. I’m sorry, are you disagreeing with Beth before you are agreeing with her before you are disagreeing with her? If you recognize social development trends why cannot you also recognize the trend of natural warming from the end of Little Ice Age or on the scale of millenniums, the naturally warming from the end of last Ice Age. Isn’t it time to give up the meme that “Anthropogenic” causes are the only acceptable explanation? You are going to have to sooner or later why not now?
        Jim D (April 18, 2013 at 1:13 am) says “Indeed, taxing the rich is the opposite of what happened in serfdoms…” The avowed objective of the AGW proponents is to increase the cost of energy. In a 2008 interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, Obama told the editors that his policies would make energy prices “skyrocket”. He is achieving this by mandating expensive “green” energy, restricting exploration and development of coal and oil, and using taxes to subsidize his chosen energy sources. It may be “taxing the rich” to increase the price of energy but expensive (read unavailable) energy kills the poor. The moral implications of taxing the rich of their money and the poor of their lives should be a primary concern in setting energy policy.
        And Max_Ok (April 18, 2013 at 1:52 am) again says “…my taxes are fair.” He better be concerned about more than his taxes and he better be concerned about what his taxes are used for.
        And although Myrrh (April 18, 2013 at 7:34 am) may be right that “…this will make not an iota of difference to journalism in the MSM…”, we are all either part of the solution or part of the problem.
        Beth’s position is supported by the following general statements:
        If you support AGW based on the “precautionary principle”, you are conceding that the AGW science is not robust and you may be supporting AGW as a political proxy.
        If you defend the validity of AGW models despite the fact that they all consistently over forecast temperatures, you may be supporting AGW as a political proxy.
        If you defend the validity of AGW models despite the fact that the largest “greenhouse” gas (water vapor) is poorly understood and modeled, you may be supporting AGW as a political proxy.
        If you support the green energy initiatives as an AGW mitigator despite the International Energy Agency reporting that after spending several trillion dollars the average carbon emissions per unit of energy hasn’t changed in twenty years, you may be supporting AGW as a political proxy.
        If you support the US EPA AGW initiative despite the EPA’s own projection that implementation of their proposed restrictions on carbon dioxide at a cost of $78B per year will reduce global temperatures in 2100 by 0.01 degrees F, you are supporting AGW as a political proxy.
        If you support “skyrocketing” energy prices by taxing the rich of their money and the poor of their lives, you may be supporting AGW as a political proxy.
        Although it will be a very long time before the climate is understood, AGW theory is not supported by current data. And although there are many well intentioned people who support AGW, it is by-in-large used as a political proxy by people not so well intentioned.
        Yes! Beth is right.

      • PMHinSC, you and Beth seem paranoid. You both have an irrational fear of being robbed of your gold and your freedoms. Why, I don’t know.

        One thing you said caught my attention. You said: If you support “skyrocketing” energy prices by taxing the rich of their money and the poor of their lives, you may be supporting AGW as a political proxy.

        As an owner of mineral rights in a natural gas producing area I have to admit I wouldn’t mind higher energy prices. Is that the reason I support policies to curb AGW? Well, I guess it could be one of my reasons, since the higher prices also will slow depletion, leaving more for me to pass on to my descendants.

      • “Max_OK | April 18, 2013 at 6:53 pm |
        PMHinSC, you and Beth seem paranoid.”
        It is fortunately for Beth and I that paranoia neither adds or subtracts from the validity of an argument.

      • k scott denison

        Max_OK:

        Many brave men and women have died over the years to protect the freedoms we enjoy. To not be paranoid that tome might be plotting to restrict, and eventually eliminate, those freedoms is to disrespect those who have died for our freedoms and those who continue to fight for them.

        It is only through never ending vigilance that freedom may be maintained. History is replete with non-vigilant societies whose freedoms were taken from them. Yet I can think of no examples where a “too-vigilant” society came to ruin.

        Live Free or Die!

      • Paranoia results in false premises.

        False premises + good argument = doo doo

      • k scott denison said on April 18, 2013 at 9:56 pm

        “Many brave men and women have died over the years to protect the freedoms we enjoy.”
        ______

        One of my forefathers died protecting the freedom to own slaves, and he didn’t even own any.

        I’m haven’t lost any freedoms, and I don’t expect to lose any. I’ll leave fear of losing freedoms to the paranoid. I do feel sorry for ‘em having to worry all the time, but I don’t know how to help them get over their paranoia.

      • k scott denison

        What you are really saying Max_OK is that you’ll let others protect you freedoms while you enjoy them. Think anyone in Germany thought that early last century? Or how about a few people in, say Hungary or Poland around the middle of the century?

        That you take your freedoms so,for granted speaks volumes.

      • What ksd is saying is that there are people in current-day America that feel as persecuted as those Europeans prior to WW2, and I don’t think he is talking about illegal immigrants.

      • k scott denison | April 18, 2013 at 9:56 pm |

        Sparta was perhaps the most ‘vigilant’ nation in history. It’s gone, in no small part because it was so infamously militant and antagonistic.

        Ancient Rome had vigilant Legions, and fell in no small part because its vigilant conservativism left it inflexible and unable to adapt.

        Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the early to mid first half of the last century? Vigilant to the teeth. So paranoid Japan was of being subjugated that it unadvisedly tried to subjugate every port from which it might be attacked.

        Immoderate vigilance is as bad as none. The price of liberty is eternal, not irrational, vigilance.

      • k scott denison said on April 18, 2013 at 10:54 pm

        “What you are really saying Max_OK is that you’ll let others protect you freedoms while you enjoy them.”
        ______

        k scott, I have already served in my country’s armed forces, and would gladly serve again if needed to defend against aggressors, including any domestic anti-government extremists who try to overthrow the government.

      • k scott denison

        Max_OK thank you for your service. The only threat to our freedom is not anti-government groups. The government itself must also always be considered a threat. In history, many suppressors of freedom were governments, not anti-government groups. And the suppression doesn’t always start with military means.

      • k scott denison | April 19, 2013 at 7:32 am |

        Suppressed or oppressed?

        So far as I can tell, Americans are being suppressed all the way to the (deregulatedly inept) bank.

        Suppressed into schools that show each generation wonders the previous one never knew.

        Suppressed into voting regularly and honestly for candidates from among their own number who are scrutinized to a ludicrous degree for years prior to election.

        Suppressed, many of them, into subsidized cars on subsidized streets with subsidized fuel pumped through subsidized pipelines and cared for in subsidized medical facilities when their subsidized own folly leads to their subsidized obese inebriation causes them subsidized self-harm.

        Suppressedly armed to the teeth — and better than most armies — with access to military-grade telecommunications and freedom of assembly and the press, and yet so gullible that they’ll believe anything they see so long as it doesn’t come from The Establishment.

        Suppression isn’t a problem. Paranoid delusion is, and is far more insidiously oppressive than any imagined Wurld Gubmint. You can change your government. But there’s no cure for stupid.

  3. Hansen spies Shangri-La, but is forbidden admission.
    ==================

    • PMHinSc says at 18/ 04 @ 4.36pm:,

      ‘Beth is right.’

      See, Max_OK (?) I’m right.

      Max-OK ? says at 18/ 04 @6.53pm, ‘yer seem paranoid.’

      Radiohead Paranoid, Max?
      Love that song so maybe … I’d post it but it comes with
      a somewhat cheeky video.

      Paranoid Beth who is – right – never – the – less
      (in a meta – insane world.)

      • Beth, Radiohead is so Nineties. That band is almost old enough to draw Social Security.

        Age, not government, will take away your freedoms. Think about what will happen as you age even more, and enjoy what you still have while you can.

      • And +1 ter you k scott denison.
        History as a record of human power relationships
        shows how fraught are free societies. That’s why
        closed society movements dislike the record and
        why, in Orwell’s 1984, ‘down the memory hole is
        such a chilling scene.
        BC

      • PS ter Max-OK
        Did you read what’s going on in OZ re MPs’ attempts
        ter muzzle the [press and internet. There is plenty of
        evidence on the record about this onslought on freedom
        I suggest yer READ IT but of course ….

      • I’ve been trying to write a comment on this sub-thread all day – but I just keep weeping uncontrollably about poor Beth and poor PMHinSC — who have just had soooooooooo many freedoms ripped away.

        I’d write more, but I’m just too despondent to continue.

      • Joshua: Go easy, those ozzy’s are just jealous. They talk a macho game, but the birds run the show over there. The US Senate just upheld the 2nd Amendment… again. That’s gotta make you feel good about our ability to keep and defend our Philadelphia Freedom. Carbon tax, cap-n-trade are all dead. Obama care is dying on the vine. Burn, baby, burn, it’s 4-20 every day in the USA.

      • Beth, I don’t keep up with what’s going on in Australia. If libertarians piss and moan about the country, it must be nice.

        On second thought, libertarians whine no matter where they are, so Australia may be like every place else.

        Anyway, what freedoms have you lost now? If you posted a link, I overlooked it.

      • Max_OK,

        Don’t bother, you got it in one – a lot of pissing and moaning about nothing.

        Some people just aren’t happy unless they’ve got something to whine about.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Freedom is what we hold most dear. It is that for which we sacrifice life to secure freedom for ourselves, our families and our communities. In dawn services across Australia next week we will remember those who sacrificed their lives for our freedoms.

        It is something not just for ourselves to reflect on what the limits of government should be, how government is best managed in free markets or how much the law loses authority by encroaching on the space to be oneself. These are serious issues for the world at large in all societies and for all peoples who would aspire to be free.

        It is the ever increasing scope of government that is positively encouraged by some types. There are as well who looks to catastrophe to create a moment of transformation root and stock of societies. Those who look to demolish wealth, to de-industrialise and to create opportunities again for the socialist, green and centrally planned utopia. We know where that ends and we know that – as Hume tells us – ;it is seldom that liberty of any kind is lost all at once.’

        We are enlightenment liberals and we are historically for freedoms for all people – freedom for slaves, supporters of universal suffrage, defenders of democracy and the rule of just laws arrived at through the consent of the governed. It is only these things that we stand for against the barbarians inside the citadel of enlightenment.

        They would ridicule at the least and attempt to silence us as in recent attempts at media laws in Australia. It is a very old game that receives the contempt, unrest and incivility it deserves.

        ‘“It is not difficult to deprive the great majority of independent thought. But the minority who will retain an inclination to criticize must also be silenced….Public criticism or even expressions of doubt must be suppressed because they tend to weaken pubic support….When the doubt or fear expressed concerns not the success of a particular enterprise but of the whole social plan, it must be treated even more as sabotage.”
        ― Friedrich A. von Hayek, The Road to Serfdom

        The whole social plan sucks big time.

      • While Max Anacker’s been away, …
        (The Max, that is, who does NOT say
        ‘I herewith_ recognise_that _ I’m _ OK.’)
        This okay Max doth like ter play,
        casting pearls before the skeptic swine
        that roam unchecked on climate
        sites upon the internet.

        Into the breach steps okay Max,
        presenting ter the paranoid, maxims
        that counteract their ( paranoid ) paroxysms: :)

        “Accept ye climatology’s consensus,
        fer experts can – do – no – wrong.”

        ” Be ye not critical of suss – stain – able
        technology, trust the green economy,
        no tilting at windmills that will,
        occasionally deliver energy,.”
        (Fer energy is known ter keep society
        wealthy and warm.”

        ” Yer will not come ter any harm :(
        By embracing centralized power,
        checks on free speech: ‘ Say,
        we will tell yer what ter think,
        okay, jest listen and obey.”

        BC

      • Howdy Beth

        Ah done come back jes in time te reed yore po’m an it shore wuz mahty purty.

        That other feller whut call hisself Max OK don’t rilly soun lahk hes all that OK, tho,

        The pore feller souns lahk hes kinda skeered bout cli-muht change (whutever that is).

        But maybe ef yew rite him anuther purty po’m he’ll calm down an git over bein skeered.

        Yore feller serf Max

      • “They would ridicule at the least and attempt to silence us as in recent attempts at media laws in Australia.” – chief

        Yep, pissing and moaning.

      • They would ridicule at the least and attempt to silence us as in recent attempts at media laws in Australia.

        My god – what drama queenism. Criticizing the logic of your kvetching about “lost freedoms,” “attempting to silence” you?

        Ah. But you won’t be dissuaded.

        No, our brave Chief is willing to endure critical comments, to fearlessly stand up to his “enemies,” to write yet another of his repetitive rants.

        His family must be so proud of him for his selfless and noble service to mankind.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘Liberating tolerance, then, would mean intolerance against movements from the Right and toleration of movements from the Left. As to the scope of this tolerance and intolerance: … it would extend to the stage of action as well as of discussion and propaganda, of deed as well as of word.’ Herbert Marcuse

        Is not the response of Joshua and Michael simply demonstration of the proposition?

        ‘Mr Finkelstein told the inquiry, led by Labor senator Doug Cameron, that examinations of media regulation “could get terribly distracted if the object of the exercise was to look for press failings.”

        He said he had found in his report that the common ground with newspaper proprietors was “they wield enormous power and it struck me as being very odd that any group in society that wields enormous power should not be wholly or substantially regulated.”

        “There are no powerful groups in society that can come along to governments or anybody and say ‘we can do what we like when we like and there’s nothing you should do about it’.”

        He described this attitude as “a very surprising approach.”

        No substantial press failings – we just don’t like the reporting on global warming and other things form the right wing press. This was an attempt to silence debate in the press and online – on the principle of liberating intolerance.

  4. I’m glad to see the ‘science is settled’. It’s heartening to see the Government is about to confirm a carbon taxation policy based on all this. I will die of hypothermia safe in the knowledge that there are scientists keeping an eye on this for my grand-children.

  5. Steven Mosher

    I would expect people to go to every study that shows a high sensitivity and lop the last 10 years off to see the effect.

  6. And if the sun gets into the act, all these numbers plummet.

    Or rise. Not commanding the sun here, no sirree.
    ============

    • Why don’t yer, K,
      we hew mans* are
      supposed ter be
      havin’ a mighty powerful
      in flu – ence on nay – chur
      spew in out that cee oh too.
      *Kinda like a pest – ilence.

      BC

  7. Fred from Canuckistan

    Well I,for one, am going to believe Kevin Trenberth.

    Because he has always been correct in his predictions, he never fear mongers or goes all greenie-we-are-all-going-to-die hysterical theatrical like that Hanson or Mann fellows.

    Go Kevin go. We all know we can trust every word you say. Because you work for the government and you are a Climate Scientist, a real, honest to goodness, honest Climate Scientist who would never, ever stoop to torquing up some pseudo science mumbo jumbo just to get a free ride on the taxpayer funded R&D Gravey & Fame Train.

    Yo da Mann, I mean man.

    • Well, I’d like to believe him. Deep transport, huh? What a way to store up heat for the coming glaciation.
      =============

    • And of course, Fred, it’s not as if his career and reputation are on the line. Good thing too, because otherwise we might have reason not to trust him. But as things stand, Trenberth is absolutely unimpeachable. Unbiased to a fault.

    • Fred must have left off his sarc/ tag. Trenberth is into the AGW controversy up to his neck!

  8. I have said it before; let me say it again. All these papers deal with the ESTIMATES of climate sensitivity. Here we are decades into the CAGW debate and we are still talking ESTIMATES. There is no empirical data that provides a MEASURE of climate sensitivity with a proper +/- attached to it. I know Steven Mosher claims that climate sensitivity has been measured, but no numeric value and +/- value has ever been presented.

    The fact of the matter is that no-one has the slightest idea what the numeric value of climate sentivity is, no matter how it is defined. When the warmist denizens fo Climate Etc., including our hostess, finally agree that this is true, we can have a proper discussion of what the implications are.

    • It was measured in a bottle. Found a little MS in it.
      ===================

      • was there any BS in the bottle?

      • Jim Cripwell: “The fact of the matter is that no-one has the slightest idea what the numeric value of climate sentivity is, no matter how it is defined.”

        Jim Cripwell disagrees : ““the climate sensitivity for CO2 added to the atmosphere form current levels, has been proven to be indistinguishable from zero, by observed data.”.

        Jim Cripwell rebuts : “Until we have the empirical data which actually measures climate sentitrivity, any particular number is as good, or as bad, as any other.”

        Jim Cripwell holds fast : “it is positive but has such a low numeric value that this number is indistinguishable from zero,”

      • The Cripwell Criteria is that the sensitivity is definitely zero but that no one but Jim can measure it.

    • I’m not a scientist, and I don’t even pretend to be one on the Internet. But for what it’s worth, that seems true by definition, no? Which is to say, they’re educated guesses. Don’t see how such a complex thing could be precisely measured given our current state of knowledge…

      If it could be measured, then what are we fighting about?

      • pokerguy, you write “If it could be measured, then what are we fighting about?”

        So true. That is the whole point of my argument. Now if only our hostess and the other warmist denizens of CE would agree with you, we could start to make some progress.

    • Steven Mosher

      Jim,
      you continue to miss the point so I will make it clear for you.

      1. there is no categorical difference between estimating and measuring.
      They both come with error. Your position that it hasnt been “measured”
      rests on two fundamental confusions:
      A) that there is a catagorical difference between “measuring” and
      “estimating”
      B) that, if there is a difference between measuring and estimating , that somehow we can only know what we can measure.
      2. Each of these studies gives you a range of uncertainty. read them.

      • Steven, you write “1. there is no categorical difference between estimating and measuring.”

        I completely and utterly disagree with you. Estimates and measurements are completely different things. Period.

      • So far, measurements of climate sensitivity have been poor estimates.

        Could be worse, and will be. See Hannart.
        =====================

      • So if “physicits” were still estimating “gravity” g on earth and some people said it was 3 m/s and some said 30m/s and some said 10m/s would you consider physics a science?

      • Matthew R Marler

        Jim Cripwell: Estimates and measurements are completely different things.

        Could you give us some examples of “measurements” that are not “estimates”? And accompany the list with the desiderata that inform the decision of whether something is a “measurement” rather than an “estimate”?

      • Matthew writes “Could you give us some examples of “measurements” that are not “estimates”?”

        I have done so on numerous occasions. I built a cottage. I bought 2×4’s which were all slightly longer that 8′, but not all the same length.. To make the walls right, I needed the 2×4’s to be 8′ +/- 1/8 inch. I did not estimate the length. I took a rule, and measured the length, three times, before I cut the excess off. How many more idiotic examples do I have to give you before you, Steven, Pekka, Old Uncle Tom Cobbley and All admit that numbers for the value of a variable which are estimated are completely and utterly different from numbers which are measured.

        Surely to God, on a scientific blog like Climate Etc. I should not have to engage in this stupid discussion, and waste all our times on a issue which is completely cut and dried.

      • Steven Mosher

        Jim
        “Steven, you write “1. there is no categorical difference between estimating and measuring.”

        I completely and utterly disagree with you. Estimates and measurements are completely different things. Period.”

        #############################
        Well, saying so does not make it so. I’ll ask two questions.

        1. Does a thermometer measure temperature?
        2. can we only know what we measure?

        Simple questions.

      • I did not estimate the length.

        Jim – you did do estimation as you cut your studs. You estimated your error by 1/16 of an inch, or so, as you marked your line for your cut. You estimated by another 1/16″, or so, as you made your cut – whether to leave the line on or take the line off.

        You actually made your combined estimation and measurement completely obvious when you say that you needed the lengths to be 8′ +/- 1/8″. So yes, you did measure and you also estimated – based on your tolerance for error.

        It is amusing to watch this argument break out yet again. IMO, you are both right and you are both wrong, and it is amusing to watch that both of you are so focused on “proving” who is right that neither of you are facing up to the ambiguous nature of the question being debated.

      • Steven, you write “Well, saying so does not make it so. I’ll ask two questions.
        1. Does a thermometer measure temperature?
        2. can we only know what we measure?
        Simple questions.”

        Simple answers. Your saying that estimates and measurements are the same does not make it so. So, first apply your logic to yourself.

        Answer to 1 is yes.

        I dont understand the second question. All I say is that you cannot prove a hypothesis is correct without empirical, measured data. And CAGW is, was, and probably always will be, a hypothesis, since there is no empirical data to support it.

      • I love it when progressives try to redefine words into meaninglessness to win petty arguments.

        All measurements are estimates, but not all estimates are measurements. To pretend otherwise is sophistry.

        A measurement with a thermometer or tape measure estimates a physical property by direct observation of that which is measured. An estimate by a GCM is a WAG by a nerd in a lab coat with a pocket protector (and based on past performance, not a very good one).

        Leave my language the hell alone.

      • Nope, deep and well-lined pocket protectors.
        =========

      • David Springer

        Steven, I estimate the distance between us to be 1800 miles. We could measure it by comparing GPS fixes.

        Your argument that estimates and measurements are the same thing is argumentative at best and stupid at worst. Grow the f*ck up.

      • ” Jim Cripwell | April 17, 2013 at 9:44 pm |

        Matthew writes “Could you give us some examples of “measurements” that are not “estimates”?”

        I have done so on numerous occasions. I built a cottage. I bought 2×4′s which were all slightly longer that 8′, but not all the same length.. To make the walls right, I needed the 2×4′s to be 8′ +/- 1/8 inch. I did not estimate the length. I took a rule, and measured the length, three times, before I cut the excess off. How many more idiotic examples do I have to give you before you, Steven, Pekka, Old Uncle Tom Cobbley and All admit that numbers for the value of a variable which are estimated are completely and utterly different from numbers which are measured.”

        What are the exact dimensions of a 2×4? Is this estimated or measured? Why is a 2×4 not even close to being an as-measured 2″ × 4″ in dimensions?

        This is veering awfully close to Chewbacca territory. It is fitting that Cripwell would use a piece of lumber as an example. I’m board of Cripwell and his tiresome exercise of walking down this plank.

      • GaryM – :) Great comment, I agree Mosh leave the language alone you are wrong. Admit it. A measurement uses a standard such as you can find on the bureau of standards for meter, seconds and kilograms. An estimate utilizes something that is not a standard. In the case of climate sensitivity you should not even use the term estimate, but rather educated guess.

      • It’s far too restrictive to limit the word “measuring” to cases where measuring devices standardized by NBS can be used.

        The accuracy of measurements varies hugely, and so does also the directness or need to involve explicitly some models in the determination of the outcome. There are, however, no clear dividing lines, but a continuum from very accurate and direct to very model dependent and imprecise. Even the simplest measurements are dependent on some theory, so simple that nobody pays attention to that, but it’s there.

        To take an example, distances are often measured by a measuring tape. When no special requirements are set for the accuracy, no attention is paid to stretching of the tape, but in other cases a standardized force may be applied to stretch the tape. Presently laser devices are used for the same task and a lot of theory is involved in the construction of such a device.

        Another factor is the possibility of using repeated measurements to test and possibly calibrate the devices and also methods used in post-processing the data. Few people would claim that satellites are not used to measure tropospheric temperatures, and many skeptics like the results of UAH. Getting to the temperatures from the readings of the satellite instruments is a really complex process of post-processing the data. It’s, however, possible to build trust on that through comparisons with other approaches like the much simpler surface measurements scorned by some of those who prefer the very indirect UAH estimates.

        The final outcome from measurements is an estimate of the quantity being measured, it’s an estimated, when tape is used to measure distance, satellites to measure temperatures – or various approaches to determine the value of climate sensitivity from empirical observations combined with reprocessing and analysis.

      • Pekka, you write “It’s far too restrictive to limit the word “measuring” to cases where measuring devices standardized by NBS can be used.”

        Sorry, Pekka, in the context of what we are talking about, this is just a bunch of red herrings. What we are talking about is the numbers which people claim represent the value of the climate sensitivity of CO2 added to the atmosphere from current levels. At the current time, we do not have the technology to actually measure this number. It is technically impossible to do this, for a variety of reasons, which have been discussed ad nauseum. So, all that scientists can do is to estimate what this number might be. But until some way of actually MEASURING the number is found, we do not know what the real number is.

        This in no way invalidates the hypothesis of CAGW. It is still a completely reasonable and viable hypothesis, However, what it does do, is to call into question the certainty with which some scientists have proclaimed that CAGW has been established. The probability values quoted in the SPMs of the IPCC AR 4 are, at best, highly questionable, and at worst, just plain wrong.

        That is the issue, the certainty with which CAGW has been procalimed, which is undermined by the fact that climate sensitivity has NOT BEEN MEASURED.

      • Jim,

        It’s useless to repeat time after time that neither of us sees any value in the arguments of the other.

        Others can make their own judgment on what’s the color of each herring.

      • As through a glass, smokily.
        ==============

      • Steven – while I am no scientist, and have never played one anywhere, I would disagree with your definition. If I walk out my front door and look at the sidewalk leading to the curb, I could estimate that it is 30 feet from the front of my house to the curb, or, I could take a tape and precisely measure it to find that it is actually 40 feet. 2 very different obsevations.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Jim Cripwell: To make the walls right, I needed the 2×4′s to be 8′ +/- 1/8 inch. I did not estimate the length. I took a rule, and measured the length, three times, before I cut the excess off.

        1. what was the varianc4e of the 3 measurements?

        2. unless you want to try to persuade us that you have the *exact* length, you have an approximation accurate to less than 1/8 inch. That is an estimate.

      • Lumber companies measure the two-by-fours and label them as 2″ x 4″.

        I estimate that a two-by-four is 1.5″ x 3.5″.

        Guess who is always closer to the actual value? My estimate is, you betcha.

      • k scott denison

        Perhaps I’m both wrong and too obvious, but what I believe Jim is getting at is that one can make a direct, physical observation (measurement) of the length of the boards (with obviously an error of measurement) while one must infer the climate sensitivity as it cannot be directly physically observed.

        Or perhaps more simply, the sensitivity cannot be determined without making so many untested simplifying assumptions (that go into the models) that the determination doesn’t rise to the level of a “measurement”.

        Feel free to blast away, I’m probably wrong.

      • Clearly, we do not have an instrument such as a ruler or a thermometer or a clock with which to measure climate sensitivity directly. Clearly, when we do use measuring instruments directly to measure some quantity or other the measure we make is always only an estimate of the magnitude of the quantity intrinsic to the object being measured because we read our measure off the measuring instrument and not off the object being measured. A measurement involves the comparison of that which is the standard of measurement with that which is the subject of measurement. Thus a measure is a particular kind of estimate. However, it may not be logical to say that because all measures are estimates then all estimates are measures. If the chain of inferences grows long between the observations relating to the standards of measurement and the deductions relating to the quantity being estimated it may be somewhat abusive of language to call the ultimate inference a measurement even though it is clearly an estimate.

      • > [N]umbers for the value of a variable which are estimated are completely and utterly different from numbers which are measured.

        Would be nice to cut off an eight of an inch from anyone’s CS.

      • There may not be a categorical difference between estimate and measurement, but there most certainly is between direct empirical measurement and indirect inferred estimation.

      • Indeed, and constantly asking for direct measurements of such abstracta only goes by Baseball Jim’s book.

      • You miss the forest for the trees. Physicist and Logician Jim asks for admission that measurement has not been better than the so far rather poor estimations. ‘abstracta’ was your clue.
        ===================

      • kim | April 19, 2013 at 8:13 am |

        Physicist and Logician?

        With all due respect, Beth’s as much of a Physicist and Logician as Jim, only with a more current education and better poetic ear.

        Nothing in this “admit it’s never been measured” argument is valid or interesting, as it is equally valid if you substitute the word ‘temperature’ for the words ‘climate sensitivity’, and Jim — the author of this silliness — has already accepted that temperature measurements are perfectly acceptable to him, as ‘they must be right’. Or substitute air pressure, volume of sea ice, extent of sea ice, standard deviation of any of these mean values, the Higgs Boson, the force of gravity on Earth, the weight of an electron, the weight of a neutron, Justin Bieber’s talent…

        It’s just all dicing up wordslaw.

        And let’s recall what CS is, and therefore how useless it is considered on its own: CS is less than (the non-mechanical) half of the derivative of the derivative of the complex global value we are actually interested in; a small CS will at some points we cannot predict equate to something enormous in human terms that grows more enormous and more likely so long as its value is positive. Haggling over whether its mean is between one and two or two and three or four and five or five and nine is a mathematically absurd wager.

        Our best evidence of the Pliocene, the most near approximation of our current conditions of CO2 level on a geographically and biologically similar-enough Earth tells us the Tundra was about twenty degrees warmer for the same CO2 level we have today, for the millennia it takes for camels to evolve on the northern tip of the Canadian Arctic. THAT is the best indication of the Climate Sensitivity of Earth, so far as we have reliable evidence.

      • BartR, “Our best evidence of the Pliocene, the most near approximation of our current conditions of CO2 level on a geographically and biologically similar-enough Earth tells us the Tundra was about twenty degrees warmer for the same CO2 level we have today, for the millennia it takes for camels to evolve on the northern tip of the Canadian Arctic.”

        So when in doubt pick a time with even greater uncertainty to verify why you are so certain?

        http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2009PA001809/abstract

        ” Ultimately, this study suggests that the growth of Northern Hemisphere ice sheets is a result of the global cooling of Earth’s climate since 4 Myr rather than its initial cause. Thus, reproducing the correct changes in the SST distribution is critical for a model to simulate the transition from the warm early Pliocene to a colder Pleistocene climate.”

        Issac Held also has a post, http://www.gfdl.noaa.gov/blog/isaac-held/2013/04/10/36-a-diffusive-model-of-atmospheric-heat-transport/

        Bart, the hemispheres are not symmetrical, the oceans drive the climate, you start with the main impacts then move out to the lesser. Your example is meaningless.

      • > why you are so certain?

        Where is certainty assumed?

        The best evidence is the best evidence, however uncertain it might be.

        I can’t believe old PhDs play this silly game.

      • captdallas 0.8 or less | April 19, 2013 at 9:51 am |

        You mistake the concept of Uncertainty with Variability.

        A Pliocene that had a stable twenty degree warmer Tundra at current CO2 levels in no way precludes a Pliocene with other climate conditions resulting from other CO2 levels.

        Also, could you reframe your response in a form even vaguely relevant to what I wrote, with links or citations to something that in any way addresses anything in the thread?

        At all?

        Thanks.

      • BartR, “A Pliocene that had a stable twenty degree warmer Tundra at current CO2 levels in no way precludes a Pliocene with other climate conditions resulting from other CO2 levels.”

        Yeah, like just having sex once doesn’t preclude one from remaining a virgin. The paper I linked and the post by Held are perfectly relevant to your misunderstanding and FUD spreading :). Continents drift, the ACC formed, you can’t go back home again. It is a complex non-linear dynamic system.

      • Think Hula Hoop.
        ============

      • captdallas 0.8 or less | April 19, 2013 at 10:21 am |

        They have surgery for that.

        Continental DRIFT?!

        Prithee, how much freaking continental drift do you ascribe? It’s the Piacenzian, not the freaking Eoarchean.

        100 km of drift _might_ cause a fraction of the differences documented in temperature, though it might just as easily have suppressed even further extremes. Where, between 70-80 degrees latitude, do you see a 20C warmer outlier today due rotational effects?

      • BartR, “100 km of drift _might_ cause a fraction of the differences documented in temperature, though it might just as easily have suppressed even further extremes. Where, between 70-80 degrees latitude, do you see a 20C warmer outlier today due rotational effects?”

        100kilometers in the right location is a lot. In fact, the initial opening of the drake passage which is now only 600 km wide is estimated to have had an abrupt, in geological time, 3 to 4 C impact on “global” surface temperature.

        http://sam.ucsd.edu/sio219/toggweiler_bjornsson.pdf

        That opening suppresses most of the extremes in climate that occurred prior. Is there a surgery for that?

      • lost in all this is the time dimension (assuming for the moment we can “measure” time).

        Who disagrees with the following statements?

        -past (paleo) climate sensitivity has been estimated
        -current temperatures, etc. are being measured
        -future (or current, semantically) climate sensitivity has been estimated

        you’re welcome

      • captdallas 0.8 or less | April 19, 2013 at 11:59 am |

        Uh huh. Suppose we granted 4C (with feedbacks, including higher CO2); you have 15 C unaccounted for by anything but CO2.

        What is more credible: that a whole continent (camels are herbivorous itinerant herd megafauna, they didn’t evolve in a remote canyon warmed by a thin rivulet of invariant rotational current from the tropics or a volcanic spring) was arbitrarily warmer by 20C in a manner never since seen by sheer happenstance of currents that lasted for millennia reliably, or that CO2 had the effect we know CO2 produces?

        Sure, it’s not a certainty. But it’s a Risk that must now be considered possible. It’s one observed mode, but it’s the only actually observed long-term stable mode, for climate sensitivity at this level.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Barnes: I could take a tape and precisely measure it to find that it is actually 40 feet.

        Do you assert that the markings on the tape measure are exact?

      • BartR, “Uh huh. Suppose we granted 4C (with feedbacks, including higher CO2); you have 15 C unaccounted for by anything but CO2.”

        No, we have approximately 15C unaccounted for period some multi millions of years ago. CO2 is a theory used to attempt to explain the unaccounted for 15C. There have been quite a few magnetic field reversals, last I checked, they are one of the few things CO2 can’t directly cause and they are used to determine where your camels lived. Just because Earth now has a 23.5 degree tilt and ~21,000 year precessional cycle doesn’t mean it always has. With a slight faux pax of say estimating a latitude as being 60 N when it was actually 40N or for that matter 40S, we can have all sorts of neat critters living where they can’t live. So you keep going back to epochs we know less about to attempt to explain how something we know can have a 0.8 to 1.5 C impact, might have caused a 15 or more degree impact.

      • Matthew R Marler

        BillC: -current temperatures, etc. are being measured

        All current temperatures are estimated through quantitative theoretical relationships between temperature and something else, usually voltage or distance (as with a mercury thermometer.) The outputs of the process are calibrated (or the equipment is calibrated through its outputs) by comparison with other estimates to ensure that the error of the estimates is not too large. Every temperature (humidity, air pressure, etc) standard is a model-based estimate of one kind or another.

        It might be the case that some estimates are not measurements, but all measurements are estimates. To assert some epistemological superiority of “measurements” over “estimates” is to ignore the operations performed in carrying out measurements. The results of such operations are always estimates.

      • Matthew R Marler

        David Springer: Steven, I estimate the distance between us to be 1800 miles. We could measure it by comparing GPS fixes.

        GPS fixes are model-based quantitative estimates. Thus, the result of your “measure” process is another estimate.

      • MM

        It might be the case that some estimates are not measurements, but all measurements are estimates.

        agree

        To assert some epistemological superiority of “measurements” over “estimates” is to ignore the operations performed in carrying out measurements.

        disagree. in practical terms the distinction is huge, though the boundary fuzzy.

      • captdallas 0.8 or less | April 19, 2013 at 12:50 pm |

        And we see here the inevitable outcome of fingoism, the ever deepening death spiral of new fingoism to explain every exception to the prior needlessly convoluted, unparsimonious, too complex exceptionalistic fingoized hypotheses.

        We could accept mainly GHGs mainly explain the main differences in temperature we see based on what is evidently a similar continental geography and likely similar rotational effects on an Earth we have little cause to suspect was radically different in axis of rotation or locus of orbit, or we could make stuff up out of our butts because we just can’t bear the thought that the GHG effect might be real and might indicate we maybe ought take some measure of responsibility for the consequences of our own actions.

        But then, we’re not talking about Science any more, or even pretending to. We’re simply observing Free Riders trying to weasel out of the reasonable obligation to pay for what they take by every feeble and obvious excuse under the (and included as an excuse) sun.

      • Matthew R Marler

        BillC: in practical terms the distinction is huge

        This is where we disagree. My assertion is that in practical terms there is no distinction. As practiced, measurement is always estimation.

      • Matthew –

        It might be the case that some estimates are not measurements, but all measurements are estimates.

        I note that you said “might.”

        Could you speculate about an example of a “estimate” that would, categorically, not be a “measurement?”

      • BartR, “And we see here the inevitable outcome of fingoism, the ever deepening death spiral of new fingoism to explain every exception to the prior needlessly convoluted, unparsimonious, too complex exceptionalistic fingoized hypotheses.”

        Yeah right, you have fossils of giant camels found in northern Canada dated to about 3.5 million years ago that could only survive there because of the magic of CO2 since you equate an “ESTIMATE” of the Canadian Arctic being “APPROXIMATELY” 15 C warmer as being inconsistent with the “GLOBE” being ~ 3 to 4 C cooler. .

        https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-fa_IDVMYqrM/UHBo7G5aA1I/AAAAAAAAESc/DW9qH5j3RSo/s912/past%2520few%2520million%2520years%2520of%2520tropical%2520ocean%2520temperatures.png

        Those camels must have been sucking up a lot of CO2 to cause the tropical Eastern Pacific temperatures to start that 4 million year 4 C decline in temperatures. Since stone age man probably wiped out the Carbon Dioxide eating Camelops, perhaps we should enact a retroactive Camelops tax?

      • BillC said on April 19, 2013 at 12:14 pm

        Who disagrees with the following statements?

        -past (paleo) climate sensitivity has been estimated
        -current temperatures, etc. are being measured
        -future (or current, semantically) climate sensitivity has been estimated
        ______

        While those are OK, I would prefer to the one for the future to say it has been projected, forecast, or predicted.Then an explanation of exactly what is meant.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Joshua: Could you speculate about an example of a “estimate” that would, categorically, not be a “measurement?”

        I hope my response is not interesting enough to hijack the thread. I can rarely resist a well-formulated question directed to me.

        Maybe we’d include the correlation between two variables when the causal mechanism is complex or obscure, like the correlation since 1850 between atmospheric CO2 and global mean surface temperature, diverse correlations of solar output and global mean surface temperature, or the classic father height and son height.

        Also when something is modeled by regressing it on a large set of basis functions, like the JPEG standard for images. The stored coefficients produce an estimate of the original image, but this production might not be called a measurement of it.

      • Matthew – @ 4:27

        Oy. I’ll need to chew on that for a while. But I suspect that in the end, you’ll have to dumb it down for me or I’ll just have to take your word for it.

      • k scott denison | April 18, 2013 at 10:11 pm | Perhaps I’m both wrong and too obvious, but what I believe Jim is getting at is that one can make a direct, physical observation (measurement) of the length of the boards (with obviously an error of measurement) while one must infer the climate sensitivity as it cannot be directly physically observed.

        ..
        Feel free to blast away, I’m probably wrong.

        Has never been observed, carbon dioxide always lags temps – except with Al in wonderland the effect cannot precede the cause.

        It can’t even be a viable hypothesis to begin with, contrary to Jim, as there is zilch about carbon dioxide that would make it capable of raising temps at all, let alone that doubling of a trace gas raising global temperatures several degrees centigrade is just so stupid it’s beyond comprehension that anyone calling themselves a scientist could even contemplate it.

        It’s not a hypothesis, it’s a bad joke.

        And the joke’s on us.

      • captdallas 0.8 or less | April 19, 2013 at 4:18 pm |

        Let me see if I follow your reasoning.

        We have a plausible, peer-reviewed, widely-accepted and much-lauded study of ARCTIC paleoclimatology of a thin slice of time in the late Pliocene LAND temperature (based on three distinct consilient overlapping reconstructions), and your argument disputing it is based on a single — and inconsistent with the rest of the paper — TROPICAL SEA temperature graph that appears as a jump discontinuity in the record?

        You surely understand the relative weakness of your 15C claim, on top of that it requires everything to have gone your way on the 4C part that we agree is really weak already, right?

        Maybe you’re too close to this issue?

      • BartR, Quality trumps quantity. The impact of the Drake Passage was basically ignored because of the quantity of group think force fit theories. Now with greater satellite coverage, improved paleo, with certain exceptions, and improving modeling, Aqua Earth is getting its fair day in court.

        Even the Faint Young Sun Paradox is being revisited with more realistic cloud forcing estimates. Imagine that, 1 billion years ago with a fainter sun the average SST was likely close to what is is today.

      • captdallas 0.8 or less | April 20, 2013 at 12:11 am |

        Relevance trumps irrelevance. I have a really fine, precision-tuned, sparkplug wrench. It’s a good tool. Which is why I don’t use it as a hammer or a pry bar.

      • David Springer

        Matthew R Marler | April 19, 2013 at 12:58 pm |

        “GPS fixes are model-based quantitative estimates. Thus, the result of your “measure” process is another estimate.”

        Disagree. Surveyors use GPS almost exclusively these days. I’m not sure what your definition of measure is but GPS is the most accurate measure of latitude and longitude that’s available today. I stress the word measure because it’s totally appropriate in this case.

      • Matthew R Marler

        david springer: Disagree.

        Surely you do not dispute my assertion that GPS coordinates are model-based.

        Your argument seems to be that estimates turn into “measurements” when they become accurate enough for the purpose.

      • Vaughan Pratt

        David Springer: GPS is the most accurate measure of latitude and longitude that’s available today.

        In the US (and presumably many other countries), if you hire a surveyor to estimate the geospatial coordinates of your lot corners they will give you a result to within a tenth of an inch based on careful measurements/estimates of the distance of the corners from nearby benchmarks. The coordinates of the benchmarks are determined from a least-squares fit of all the available data, which over an area the size of a county or even a state can amount to many tens if not hundreds of thousands of other such benchmarks, sufficient to justify the tenth-of-an-inch accuracy.

        If you rely on GPS without WAAS (Wide Area Augmentation System) the accuracy is around 50 feet. This uncertainty results primarily from the unknown impact of fluctuating air pressure and temperature on propagation of radio signals from satellites to ground, which creates an uncertainty in the distance between the satellite and the receiver.

        The sources informing Wikipedia such as this specification will tell you that WAAS uses a network of ground-based reference stations in North America and Hawaii to measure small variations in the GPS satellites’ signals in the Americas resulting from these atmospheric fluctuations. Measurements from the reference stations are routed to master stations, which queue the received Deviation Correction (DC) and send the correction messages to geostationary WAAS satellites (currently two or three depending on which ones are operational at the moment) in a timely manner (every 5 seconds or better). Those satellites broadcast the correction messages back to Earth, where WAAS-enabled GPS receivers use the corrections while computing their positions to improve accuracy.

        David Springer is claiming that an accuracy of 300 inches obtained using GPS even when augmented with WAAS is better than the 0.1 inch accuracy routinely obtained by surveyors you can hire to check out your property.

        Given these numbers, let me throw open the following question. Has David Springer actually measured the accuracy of GPS, or has he merely estimated it?

        If the latter then this would give an example where estimation is several orders of magnitude worse than measurement.

        Taking the side of Pekka, Mosher, etc., I would say Springer has actually measured it, and that his way of measuring it is several orders of magnitude less accurate than other ways.

        In mathematics one can measure to infinite precision. In the real world there is no such thing as a measurement that is made without any estimation.

    • Sometimes it is proper to report a range, expecially if you find that probability density function for the value you are reporting is unsymmetrical which would mean that using an x +/- b expression being less than ideal.

      Other than that, did you read any of the abstracts Judy posted above or did you just go straight to your hobby horse?

      • Come back Harry when you can explain the temperature at the surface of Venus, not high in its atmophere where the pressure is the same as earth’s.

      • “Come back Harry when you can explain the temperature at the surface of Venus, not high in its atmophere where the pressure is the same as earth’s.”

        Equation of state:
        f(p,V,T) = 0.

        For ideal gases:
        T = p/(ρ*Rspec).

      • Edim,
        Grade F for your assignment. No credit.

      • Webby, that’s not enough. What’s the reasoning behind your grade?


      • Edim | April 18, 2013 at 4:35 am |

        Webby, that’s not enough. What’s the reasoning behind your grade?

        Your answer was under-determined. You have an extra unknown with the density. Zero credit for using your crib sheet to copy&paste the ideal gas law .

        In the science and engineering school that I went to, it was not uncommon to see half the class flunking out. Sadly, this blog comment area has no such criteria, and that’s why people such as Edim like to hang out here. They are a combination of scientific wannabees and fake skeptics.

      • Webby, of course the density is an extra unknown. My point is that if the density and pressure are given, the temperature can have only value, according to the equation of state. Many miss this point.

      • David Springer

        Venus’ surface temperature is geothermal. Ninety bar CO2 insulates the crust and changes the geothermal gradient compared to earth. If you dig down a couple miles into the earth’s crust it reaches the temperature of the surface of Venus. The uber-dense atmosphere of Venus, which is actually so thick it’s viscous, does the same thing that a couple miles of rock does on the earth. It’s not complicated.

      • Edim, This is a homework assignment fer cripes sake.
        You can integrate the density out by making an adiabatic approximation. Add in a mean potential energy term due to gravity and one can predict the standard atmosphere for the earth, mars, and venus.

        For the earth, the standard atmosphere profile is important as a technical specification, and is described in a NASA document
        What I find interesting is that the standard profile and lapse rate was empirically determined and fit according to a formula, yet this formula can be theoretically derived by applying a maximum entropy estimate to the potential energy term.

        This is A+ effort on my part. Edim, you still get an F.

      • You said it Webby, “due to gravity”. I have nothing to add.

      • David Springer

        @WebHubTelescope

        Glad to see someone other than me mention gravitational potential energy in the atmosphere. Thermometers don’t measure potential energy only kinetic energy. Nonetheless both potential and kinetic energy are components of internal energy. This creates the appearance of a lapse rate in a non-convecting atmosphere but when internal energy instead of just kinetic energy is measured the lapse rate disappears. We should probably call it the kinetic lapse rate and say it’s equal and opposite to the gravitational lapse rate. It also foils any attempt to construct a perpetuum mobile of the second kind leveraged off the kinetic lapse rate. The terminology can be confusing. An isothermal atmosphere is the same temperature everywhere but doesn’t exist in nature because it can only exist in the absence of gravitational potential energy. Thermal energy should really be defined as the sum of potential and kinetic energy. I found it defined that way but it generally isn’t. If we use that definition then an isothermal atmosphere isn’t the same temperature everywhere but rather has the same internal energy everywhere and it won’t convect because it’s in its highest entropy state.

      • David Springer,
        The problem with your Venus is hot because the atmosphere insulates the geothermal warmth is that the earth still has the same amount of insulation in the oceans and the crust.

        Anyway, when you have 5 mw on one side and 1000 watts or so on the other and millions of years, you tell me which way the heat flows. And what causes the insulator to get so hot.

        I know, both ways

      • David Springer

        Correct Bob, about the earth having the same amount of insulation. Which was exactly my point. If you dig down through the earth’s insulation you will get to a point where it’s the same temperature as Venus. With Venus the “insulation” includes an exceedingly thick troposphere. On the earth the troposphere is so thin it doesn’t provide any appreciable insulation but several miles of rocks insulate as well as Venus’ troposphere.

        The earth’s ocean actually does insulate much better than the atmosphere. Vast and continuous volcanic activity occurs on very deep ocean floors and the crust is much thinner so you don’t have to dig nearly as deep into it to reach the surface temperature of Venus.

        You should probably think a little harder before before trying to dispute me. Or just avoid the practice altogether because it never turns out well for you. Write that down.

    • You don’t know what you are talking about (and neither does Curry, nor any climate scientist). The measured CO2 climate sensitivity is essentially zero. See

      CO2 Climate Sensitivity Vs. Reality

      for the actual calculation, with +/- value of course. I performed and communicated the first and only proper Venus/Earth temperatures comparison in November 2010. I first told Judith Curry and her readers here about it in December 2010. The public debate is incompetent–as I have been saying ever since–on the part of both alarmists and lukewarmers.

      • Harry, you write “The measured CO2 climate sensitivity is essentially zero.”

        I entirely disagree with you. I agree that the climate sensitivity of CO2, aded to the atmopshere from current levels, is indistinguishable from zero, but this has NEVER been MEASURED. Please let us be scientific in our discussions.

    • I think Jim Cripwell is saying you can’t measure climate sensitivity and he is not willing to believe any estimates either under any circumstances, so he is pretty much stuck when it comes to that, but it is in a morass of his own making.

  9. At least to me, it is obvious that the climate sensitivity numbers are getting dragged down by more weighting being placed on temperature readings in ocean regions.

    Hansen has always known about this and has stuck to higher end numbers because he understands the difference between transient and equilibrium views. The land readings are quicker to track the equilibrium values while the oceans will always lag. The pipeline argument continues to be misinterpreted.

    I came to this view independently while formulating my own models, but one only has to read Hansen’s latest “Making things clearer” memo to make this point clear.

    • I gotta feeling you’ve got this bass ackward.
      ==================================

      • “Because climate responds slowly, we have felt so far only about half of the effect of gases already in the air”

        Those are Hansen’s words from April 15. I suggest that the land responds more quickly and leads the ocean. Trenberth’s OHC data shows that about half the excess heat is sunk in the ocean, assuming a forcing consistent with a 3C climate sensitivity.

        The trend will be to explain both heat and temperature as complimentary measures in future discussions. Temperature makes for nice soundbites but does not tell the whole story.

      • David Springer

        The effect for the past 15 years is zero. Twice zero is still zero.

    • No snark intended here Web, but of course it’s impossible to argue with you on such a matter. You’ll claim superior knowledge, and you have every right to do that. But if academic degrees and a bunch of IQ points ultimately added up to wisdom, including a freedom from the universal human tendency toward self-seeking, we could just forget about democracy and simply appoint the smartest guy in the country President.

      For what it’s worth, and you’ll of course sneer and insist it’s worth nothing, what I see are a lot of ad hoc rationalizations. I’d be more inclined for one example, to give credence to those climatologists who are now asserting that cold, snowy weather is caused by global warming (i.e. receding arctic sea ice as I understand it) if that was their position all along. Of course, I heard none of that during the mild winters of the 90’s and early 2000’s..

      • I think they have been saying the warm snowy weather all along perhaps you just missed it. Or warmer weather with more precipitation that could be falling as snow in colder regions.

      • There is more evaporation anyway. Ice melts = more evaporation. More evaporation = more precipitation. More precipitation = more snow. More snow = more ice. More ice = less evaporation. Less evaporation = less precipitation and so on. Say, doesn’t all this remind you of Alex Pope’s theory of climate?

      • bob,

        if certain scientists were saying that, they were doing so very, very softly. Much loader were those telling us snow would be a thing of the past.

        For what it is worth, I am willing to believe that colder winters follow as a result of warming temperatures. It sounds to me to be an expected negative feedback which keeps climate within certain boundaries. Interesting that many of the scientists making the warm causes cold claims don’t ever mention this.

    • Web,

      The kinetics of the process (the lag) are critical. If the heat really is equilibrating with the deep ocean over the last few decades, then the arguments about the pipeline and the urgency of doing something NOW fall apart. If it takes 500 years for the air temp. to go up 3 C, we can probably afford to study the issue another 15 years before making rash decisions. I like Hansen best when he makes the argument that we should only do what we would do anyway. Things like limiting particulate pollution and soot. Another 15 years should allow us to see what the effects of the recent small sun cycle are, and how much the other half of the 60 year climate cycles will affect Arctic sea ice and sea level. As a scientist, I try to wait until the evidence is in before I make my conclusions. But then, I’m an experimentalist.

      • I am only working by the definition of ECS.

        Land temperatures will go up faster than the ocean.

      • ” If the heat really is equilibrating with the deep ocean over the last few decades, then the arguments about the pipeline and the urgency of doing something NOW fall apart”

        A thermal gradient between the top and bottom of the worlds oceans exists because cold water from the poles flows to the bottom of the oceans and the top is heated by the sun. The ocean temperatures, at depths, are not and have never been in ‘equilibrium’.
        If you want to misuse words why not start substituting the word gravity for temperature and parsnip for rate?

      • What’s Up Doc? If one wants to be pedantic and rude, one points out that the word “equilibrating” (a qualitative rate of change seeking equilibrium) does not have the same meaning as “equilibrium” (a state). If you Elmer Fudd types want to abuse people for your own butchery of words, you might as well say fixed point when referring to velocity.

      • It is important Howard because one one discusses thermodynamics and uses the word equilibrium it has a specific meaning. It is a very special meaning and misuse shows that you are not describing the system correctly.
        People are describing helium balloons when they are looking at helicopters.

      • Webby

        Here’s a question for you.

        You say if the planet is warming, land temperature will go up faster than the oceans.

        What about if the planet is cooling?

        Wouldn’t the same be true?

        Max

    • WEB,

      read over the weekend something about how Lake Minnetonka still hadn’t iced out. Made me think of you and your research on that.

      I remember pontoon boating on the lake, though it was July, not April.

    • Not true Webby. The model used by Lewis takes account of heat diffusion into the oceans.

      • The sensitivity is closer to 3C per doubling of CO2.

        This what Hansen predicted in 1981 without the ocean heat capacity :
        http://imageshack.us/a/img802/3918/hansen1981.gif
        I overlaid a 2.8C model on this chart and this matches the land-only BEST data very well
        http://img856.imageshack.us/img856/5774/bestco2fit.gif

        About 1/2 the cross-section of heat is sunk by the ocean (from Trenberth’s data), which is 0.7 of the earth’s area. Therefore, the “effective climate sensitivity” is

        EffCS = 0.7 * 2.8 * 1/2 + 0.3 *2..8 = 1.82C

        which is a closer match to the GISS land+ocean data set.

        Now you can see how the climate sensitivity is magically reduced. This is not a real reduction though, because the heat is still entering the ocean — but without raising the temperature as it diffuses through the depths.

        Use land and you get closer to 3C which is close to the actual equilibrium climate sensitivity.

        Use land+ocean and you get closer to 2C which is an “effect climate sensitivity”

        If you use the lower-value effective sensitivity, then you have to also add in the excess heat sunk into the ocean, otherwise it is misleading.

    • WHT, at least to me it is obvious that the climate sensitivity numbers are getting dragged down by all that fresh snow on the ground. Another April snow storm, remind me again why warm is bad and cold is good?

    • There is nothing in consensus climate theory and not very much in skeptic climate theory that has a set point and a powerful means to change earth temperature to cause ice to advance or retreat in a narrow bound, such as we have had for ten thousand years.
      There is one skeptic climate theory that has a set point and a powerful means to limit temperature extremes. Ewing and Donn Climate Theory that was developed in the 1950’s did use the most powerful force on earth that can control the temperature of many things. Water, in all of its forms, does have a powerful set point. The temperature that sea ice melts and freezes is “THE SET POINT” for the Earth Thermostat. When the oceans are warm and wet it does snow more than enough to replace the ice and snow that does melt every summer. When the oceans are cold and frozen it does not snow enough to replace the ice and snow that does melt every summer.
      When oceans are warm ice volume increases. When oceans are cold ice volume decreases.
      After ice volume increases, ice extent increases and Earth cools.
      While ice volume decreases, ice extent decreases and Earth warms.
      This is proven by data that NOAA and NASA does have. This is in the ice core data.

    • You Say: Land temperatures will go up faster than the ocean.
      Wow! record snow and cold records have been broken in most of the Northern Hemisphere since October of 2012. Go back and study actual data. Yes, Land temperatures do go up faster than ocean temperatures and land temperatures do go down faster than ocean temperatures. You report all the ups and do not report any of the downs.

  10. Re. Schlesinger study,
    The fudge factor: “stochastic noise”. Lol.

  11. Cees de Valk

    I found Nick Lewis’ paper interesting because his treatment of the choice of prior seems to account for much of the difference. Previous Bayesian analyses were definitely inadequate in this respect. Moreover, he gets a relatively small credible interval, which is remarkable. Olson et al. should simulate his method.

    • As I wrote in another thread, I believe strongly that Nic made a serious error on that point. His discussion of the prior is simply not justifiable.

      I have sympathy on his prior in the sense that my personal subjective prior deviates from the most commonly used so called uninformative prior to the same direction, but as far as I can see not as much as his supposedly objective prior, that’s not really objective at all.

  12. Can we make any inferences as to whether Schlesinger is correct (climate sensitivity is on the low end of the IPCC range) or Trenberth is correct (climate sensitivity is on the high end)?
    Nope!
    Much more likely even the low end is much too high. It is certainly out of bounds with seventeen years of no warming. At this point, the actual data shows that CO2 only makes green things grow better using less water and that CO2 has little or no influence on temperature.

    • “seventeen years of no warming”

      That’s both you and pokerguy who have repeated this false claim. The surface data doesn’t support the claim of no warming for 17 years.

      Neither does the ocean data..

      I don’t know whether you guys think that by repeating a false claim it will become true.

      And before any of you make that other false claim: No the IPCC, Hansen, Phil Jones, the man in the moon, etc have NOT agreed with you that there’s been 17 years of no warming. They wouldn’t because it isn’t true

      • I give up lolwot. You’re right. It’s only getting hotter. We’re all doomed, possibly within the month.

      • Try this information instead and besides that it is well below the IPCC’s projections for the first 13 years of the century if you can remember what the IPCC wrote back in 2007 and even 2001:

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/04/08/are-climate-models-realistic-now-includes-at-least-february-data/

        “For RSS the warming is not significant for over 23 years.
        For RSS: +0.127 +/-0.134 C/decade at the two sigma level from 1990
        For UAH the warming is not significant for over 19 years.
        For UAH: 0.146 +/- 0.170 C/decade at the two sigma level from 1994
        For Hadcrut3 the warming is not significant for over 19 years.
        For Hadcrut3: 0.095 +/- 0.115 C/decade at the two sigma level from 1994
        For Hadcrut4 the warming is not significant for over 18 years.
        For Hadcrut4: 0.095 +/- 0.110 C/decade at the two sigma level from 1995
        For GISS the warming is not significant for over 17 years.
        For GISS: 0.111 +/- 0.122 C/decade at the two sigma level from 1996″

        This one from Richard Courtney:

        http://globalwarmingskeptics.info/thread-2137-post-12401.html#pid12401

        “The important fact of the recent halt to global warming needs to be stated and explained at every opportunity because we were told by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that the recent halt is not possible.

        This is stated in IPCC AR4 (2007) Chapter 10.7 which can be read at
        http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data…s10-7.html

        It says there”

        More in the link.

      • That’s good Sunsettommy, you can find periods that neither confirm nor deny the IPCC trend prediction of about 0.2 C/decade and neither confirm nor deny the skeptic claim that the warming has stopped.

        But we are looking for statistiacally significan trends that confirm one or the other, and so far no one has produced statistically significant trends that support the no warming hypothesis.

        And tons that confirm the it’s still warming.

      • k scott denison

        James Hansen wrote this:

        “The five-year mean global temperature has been flat for the last decade, which we interpret as a combination of natural variability and a slow down in the growth rate of net climate forcing.”

        In a paper that is found here:
        http://www.columbia.edu/%7Ejeh1/mailings/2013/20130115_Temperature2012.pdf

        Now, if the 5-yr mean has been flat for a decade, then how long has temperature been flat. Hint: more than a decade.

      • lolwot So you are telling us that the head of the IPCC has lied to us. He said no warming for seventeen years and you say that is wrong. The head of the IPCC DID SAY THIS!

      • lolwot So you are telling us that the head of the IPCC has lied to us.

        17 years ago was 1996. Between 1996 and 1998 the temperature rose 0.6 C. Moreover the decade 1996-2006 trended up at 0.233 C/decade. Anyone who says the temperature has been flat for 17 years is therefore easily contradicted simply by pointing to the actual temperature data.

        The only misrepresentation here is by those who claim Pachauri said any such thing. Had he said this, everyone who can read a temperature chart would have immediately contradicted him.

        Not only is there is no evidence whatsoever that he said this, there is no evidence of even one person pointing out to him the obvious fact that the data does not support such a statement. 15 years, sure, but certainly not 17, it’s an absurd statement.

  13. There are scholars who say they do not know what future climate will be like. We know they don’t know, but it’s nice to hear it from them.These people are called scientists, and, if they are working in the field of climate, they might be termed climate scientists.

    Then there are the others, a priesthood subsisting off lavish temple offerings. Every civilisation has ‘em, a hold-over from the old village days. They like to mutter stuff, sometimes make little models, get a hold over the populace and its chiefs with threats of bad weather, droughts, floods and so on. Lisbon earthquake was due to sin, that sort of thing. Lately they’ve got hold of a big storm over a city built near sea-level in a historic hurricane belt. No, really, I’m serious. Would I make this up?

  14. Svend Ferdinandsen

    What is it i have missed.
    I thaught it was the fancy climate models that gave the sensitivity by modeling the atmosphere the sea the Sun and so on based on pure basic physics.
    So why is so much work going on to determine this sensitivity?
    If the sensitivity is something put in the models, they can not use the models to claime any GW nor any AGW.

    • You want to read what you wrote there?

      Your second sentence contradicts your fourth.

      I agree with the second btw, but not the fourth.

      Maybe you should go to Realclimate and press the start here button

  15. neasdenparade

    Science must be repeatable and verifiable. Setting your end points a century ahead, as they did in the 90s, should have been a warning flag for all decent professionals in all fields as it breaks the first rule, you cannot carry out an experiment where the result cannot be discovered. But instead they continue using the same bogus methods as the sole basis of their legislation and supposition, while 15-20 years later the actual temperatures do something totally different.

    How qualified scientists can allow such diabolical abuses of their own profession to continue ad infinitum will become the greatest scandal since the Spanish Inquisition.

    • You are right, so we shouldn’t be burning fossil fuels at all, because we don’t know what the effects of doing that will be in 100 years.

      • We do know what the effects will be since we’ve been burning fossil fuels for well over 100 years. Nothing horrible has happened.

      • So you say Sunshine, others may disagree.

      • bob, I like sunshine’s way of thinking. If I had been promiscuos for the past 10 years without catching an STD, I would like to think I could enjoy another 10 years of fun without fear.

        I was just being hypothetical.

      • Max is the kind of guy who thinks life long celibacy is the proper reaction to the existence of STDs.

      • Sunshine you sure don’t know much. You don’t have to be celibate all your life to avoid STD’s. All you have to do is remain a virgin until marriage, and of course, marry a virgin. It should go without saying, you and your spouse also must remain faithful.

      • Bob, we know for a fact that burning fossil fuels has led to a vast improvement in human well-being, one which could not conceivably have occurred without it. That’s a hugely positive effect to set off against vague concerns about possible downsides of an increase in life-enhancing carbon dioxide.

      • Max,

        if you are the sort to have been promiscuos for the past 10 years, the likelihood of you stopping for the next 10 years is unrelated to your chances of getting an STD.

      • timg56,
        i hear what you are saying. However, the second ten years would be riskier, because as you age you would be hooking up with more older partners, who because they are older, probably have been exposed to more STD’s, and thus have more.

      • k scott denison

        bob droege | April 17, 2013 at 6:31 pm | Reply
        You are right, so we shouldn’t be burning fossil fuels at all, because we don’t know what the effects of doing that will be in 100 years.
        ———
        Guess we shouldn’t be irrigating either. Or farming. Or building. Or …

        You first Bob.

      • K Scott Denison,

        How long have we been irrigating, building and farming?

      • “Coal is the most plentiful fuel in the fossil family and it has the longest and, perhaps, the most varied history. Coal has been used for heating since the cave man.

        Archeologists have also found evidence that the Romans in England used it in the second and third centuries (100-200 AD). “

      • This is silly. Look at the context – say 10ky of context.

        ;-)

      • k scott denison

        bob droege | April 19, 2013 at 10:23 am |
        K Scott Denison,

        How long have we been irrigating, building and farming?
        ——–
        Well over 100 years Bob. But only because we weren’t afraid of what might happen in 100 years when we made the decisions to start these activities.

      • sunshine, your graph ends in 1855 (whether it admits it or not). What about the last 150 years of warming?

      • Last 150 years? Hardly any warming to speak of as of 2013.

        February 1878 0.364

        February 2013 0.431

        http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature/HadCRUT3-gl.dat

      • Or … HADCRUT4

        February 1878 0.395
        February 2013 0.482

      • Max,

        While your hypothesis may prove to be true in many cases, it is not always a given. The world is repleat with older men enjoying the company of younger women.

        Hypothesis are interesting things. Last Friday I was with a group of high school freshmen at Hopkins Demonstrati0n Forest, south of Oregon City. The question for my group of young women was to compare riparian zones with upland forest zones for plant diversity. Their hypothesis before starting out with their field surveys was that the riparian zone would have greater diversity. The girls were a good group and we ended up having time to survey 4 different areas (2 of each type). The two forest zones provided counts of 14 and 16 species of plants (including moss and lichens). The two riparian zones had 21 (open area pond) and 13 (forested creek) respectively. The conclusion of the team was that their hypothesis was correct. They did however note that the upland forest zones were richer in species makeup compared to the pond area. After they presented their finds to their classmates I asked them if it made a difference in their conclusion if I were to tell them the pond area was man-made and heavily disturbed. There is apparently hope for the future, as unlike some people involved in climate science, they were willing to reconsider their conclusions based on new information.

      • CH

        Not sure where you are going with this. Let’s take the 305ppmv average proposed by geocraft and do the standard calculation assuming ECS/2xCO2 to be 2.8C and 800ppmv CO2:

        dT= 2.8ln(800/305)/ln(2)= 3.9C

        Not much comfort there for BAU.

      • BBD

        Let’s go through that same calculation using the newest observation-based estimates of 2xCO2 ECS averaging around 1.6C

        And let’s start with today (CO2 = 393 ppmv), rather than some hypothetical period long before you or I were even born.

        dT = 1.6*ln(800/393)/ln(2) = 1.6C

        And then let’s examine that 800 ppmv estimate for BaU. It ASS-U-MEs that CO2 will grow at a much higher exponential rate than is now the case, even though population growth rates are expected to reduce sharply over this century. Not very logical, right?

        So let’s look at a more realistic CO2 forecast (the average of IPCC’s first four “scenarios and storylines”) of around 620 ppmv by 2100: This assumes a continuation of the exponential rate of increase of 0.5% per year.

        dT = 1.6*ln(620/393)/ln(2) = 1.1C

        (Yawn!)

        Lots of “comfort” there, BBD.

        This is why IPCC is now caught in the dilemma of either recognizing the newest data on ECS (and losing the “fear factor”) or ignoring it / rationalizing it away (and losing any shred of credibility it still had left).

        Max

      • Chief Hydrologist

        CO2 is variable and temperature dependant by quite a lot. Nothing about the simple calculations makes any sense at all. It is substituting nonsense for reality and imagining that you have a credible number.

      • Yes, Chewbacca.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.’

        The log CO2 formula comes under the category of far too simple. I have pasted elsewhere in this post a youtube of Michael Ghil suggesting a new mathematical approach to climate sensitivity. I suggest you at least try to understand the necessity.

      • BBD

        Yeah.

        I saw that exchange between Fred Moolten and David Young on non-linearity.

        Nice opinion.

        Doesn’t change the fact that several new studies have come up with an observation-based (rather than simply model-predicted) 2xCO2 ECS, which is about half the earlier IPCC estimates. The scientists reporting these lower values are certainly as well informed on this subject as either Fred Moolten or David Young (or you or I, as a matter of fact).

        So, in view of these new findings, GH warming by year 2100 would obviously be significantly lower than previously estimated using the old values.

        And that was my point.

        Max

      • CH

        Condescending is not making a point. Radical topic change is not making a point. You lose this one, like all the others.

  16. Whatever members of theTeam say can be ignored as they clearly have little or no integrity and are either incompetent or deceitful in their use of statistics.
    The easiest way to determine the sensitivity of the earths temperature is to use historical evidence.
    MWP and Roman Period much warmer than now and atmospheric CO2 much higher now thus the climate is not overly sensitive to CO2 emissions. QED

  17. CO2 and “Climate sensitivity” – is just another in a long line of alarmist chimeras.

    Fundamentally – the earth, it loves balance and equilibrium as does the physical universe – water vapour [clouds] – in the earth’s atmosphere is the conduit, thermometer and highway back to equanimity – paradise on Gaia.

    The palaver, over ‘CO2 sensitivity’ is a scientific cul-de-sac and will never be formally quantifiable – because it simply put: is a red herring.

    PLUS – remember the so called problem : mankind’s noise in the natural signal is the bugbear – so we are told.

    MMCO2 ‘Sensitivity': The unspeakable alarmists – in pursuit of the unprovable.

    • Athelstan, you write “The palaver, over ‘CO2 sensitivity’ is a scientific cul-de-sac and will never be formally quantifiable”

      I agree completely. But then you go on, ” because it simply put: is a red herring.’

      This is simply just plain wrong. In the discussion in the AR4, the IPCC argues that certain conclusions in the SPMs are right with a probability of >95% and >90%. See http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch9s9-7.html

      However, this discussion carefully omits to say that the value of climate sensitivty used in the report has only been estimated, and NOT measured. Had the IPCC behaved as a scientiifc organization, the discussion must have included the fact that climate sensitivity has NEVER been meaasured. Once this fact is appreciated, the conclusion that something is right with >95% probability is clearly a load of nonsense.

      So please dont say the the value of cliamte sentiivity is a red herring.

    • Athelstan, in short, increased CO2 emissions leads to growth in red herrings. The fisheries people should be pleased.

  18. @S Mosher
    “1. there is no categorical difference between estimating and measuring.”
    Please! if you are trying to win an argument please don’t use false logic and remember “When words lose their meaning men have lost their reasoning”

    • Mosher is absolutely right about this. We use the word “measurement” to refer to an “estimate” that we have reason to believe is really good–highly accurate (relative to the use to which it is put), repeatable, based on other repeatable estimates, unbiased, etc.

      However, the non-categorical nature of the distinction does NOT imply that it is meaningless. As Thomas Sowell has pointed out, just because the border between Greece and Turkey is in dispute does not mean that there is much question about whether Ankara is in Turkey and Athens in Greece. At some point, observations become so good that it seems reasonable to call them measurements and not call them estimates. Inversely, data captures can become so bad that it is unreasonable to classify them as measurements.

      So asking for a measurement rather than an estimate could be rephrased as asking for an estimate as good as, say, the published heights of NBA players, which are known to be biased up but are more than adequate for the purposes to which they are put. Would a climate sensitivity estimate as good as the CPI be adequate for policy purposes? As good as the Census? As good as the Hubble constant? ISTM that these sorts of analogical questions, coupled with cognizance of the true levels of error in these comparison “measurements,” would be salutary.

      • Sorry but you are using false analogies to support the statement that estimates and measurements are the same.
        Voodoo science clearly results in mumb jumbo?

      • IMO estimates are derived from making assumptions about a quantity and while these estimates can often be validated by measurements taken of empirical data, many are not capable of direct measurement.

        Climate sensitivity is such a case and Jim Cripwell is correct in his general belief that due to the impact of other forcings, the effect of ACO2 (on its own) on temperature is not capable of direct measurement.

      • Well, in engineering measurements and estimates are totally different categories. You measure (and produce) your mechanical parts to an accuracy of a micron, otherwise your engine won’t run. You get the idea….
        In Economics, probably, what you call “measurements” are actually only estimates. That’s why it is a dismal science, and no two economists can agree on the correctness of any statistic (like, say, the CPI), and also not on the implication, or consequence, or the theoretical framework of what drives the economy.
        Climate science is similar to economics in this respect. No measurements and no agreement on anything.

      • This is an odd set of replies. Stacey asserts without argument that my analogies are false and also ignores the non-analogical part of my comment. Peter forgets that all “direct measurements” also rely on a whole bunch of assumptions, e.g. about the bias and variance of a thermometer relative to the actual average kinetic energy of the molecules to which it is exposed. Jacob seems to agree that measurements are just estimates that are a lot more accurate.

        The point I was trying to make is that Mosher’s line-drawing game is technically correct but not substantively important. That’s the point of the Ankara-Athens example: Just because there is no categorical distinction between estimates and measurements doesn’t mean that there isn’t a useful distinction to be made. So I am actually defending common usage along commonsense lines. It’s better to mount that defense from a defensible position, though.

      • Point taken about measurement errors of bias and randomness which apply when we deal with empirical data. The datasets also reflect various assumptions that are made in the process of validation of hypotheses, that the data are reliable proxies for the quantity to be estimated.

        Direct measurements of any co-relation between empirical data are rarely feasible due to the presence of other variables in any open system masking any effect of one variable upon another. Multicollinearity and autocorrelation between variables prevent direct measurement of the effect of one variable holding all others constant.

        Hence estimation IMO is mainly theoretical in its basis whereas measurement is mainly physical in its basis.

      • k scott denison

        Took a quick look at thesaurus.com for measurement.

        Antonyms include estimate.

        So, an estimate is the opposite of a measurement in the English language.

        Oddly, synonyms include estimation (but not estimate).

        Go figure.

      • Peter Davies, can have one of his own plus one’s fer
        comment on estimate/ guestimate and measure

        ‘Estimate, a ball-park guess Hmm, I’d say there are upwards
        of 12 000 people here today..
        Measurement. taking the ticket count, or
        a running a tape measure across the oval.
        Yer know I’m right.

        A paranoid android.

  19. He he…, this is a good time to bring up this comment from a blog: http://globalwarmingskeptics.info/thread-2138-post-12402.html#pid12402

    Make you think about it.

    He he…

  20. Nic Lewis,

    Congratulation on getting your paper published!

  21. A rather long post that overlooks the almost obvious problem ie that climate sensitivity is irreducible.As it is irreducible (that a program cannot be written less then the information generating it) we can say that climate sensitivity is random.

    The climate sensitivity paradox suggests that greater studies of various processes and mechanism,along with increased computer processing will actually increase uncertainty and irreducibility eg Hannart.

    http://www.atmos.ucla.edu/tcd/PREPRINTS/Hannart&co-Uncertain_future-2cols.pdf

    • thx for this link

    • For information, from the conclusions of the Hannart et al paper:

      “In other words, even when assuming steady, deterministic progress in climate research, climate uncertainty may have an uncertain future ahead. The implications for socio-economic and political responses to such an uncertain evolution of SdeltaT(t) may be quite complex, depending on whether future societies find high uncertainty more worrisome than the current range or less so [Hillerbrand & Ghil, 2008].

      “In any case, it follows that surprises may occur in the future evolution of our assessment of climate sensitivity – even when only considering linear effects in a climatic-equilibrium, EBM-type setting. This being said, the surprises associated with nonlinear behavior may be even greater, as discussed by Zaliapin and Ghil [2010]. In fact, the currently accepted estimate of mean sensitivity, Mf = 0.65, is not that far from the point at which linearized-EBM approximations break down. It would thus be interesting to set up a stochastic model for estimates of the distance between the current climatic equilibrium – or, more precisely, the current mean of natural climatic variability – and the closest bifurcation [Ghil, 2001] or “tipping point” [Lenton et al, 2002].”

      In short, the Uncertainty Monster is alive and kicking, policy must be developed without clear understanding of how particular actions will impact on climate (or human well-being).

      • I agree Faustino. Uncertainty is the only certainty I can think of in climate science and policy rationalisation is problematic given the level of knowledge we have about causality.

      • I disagree. These concepts demonstrate that f is more tightly constrained and must be lower than the current IPCC consensus. Otherwise, the climate would always be at a catastrophic tipping point to go Venus or Mars at the drop of a hat.

    • Lubos Motl has been making the same argument for years. However, this paper makes the concept crystal clear. The implication, in my mind, is that f must be less than 0.4 or else the earth’s climate system is inherently unstable, which we know it is not. This assumption of stability means that the upper-bound of delta-T is 2-deg C.

      • Howard, 0.3819 or there about :)
        http://amselvam.webs.com/earlsel/socpp.PDF

        The golden ratio provides a surprisingly stable control range, in a chaotic kind of way.

      • Kewl.
        ===

      • A feedback factor close to one would certainly lead to instabilities, if the feedback is even close to linear. Telling that the limit would be 0.4 requires some strong additional assumptions and probably a very simplistic model of the Earth system.

      • Pekka, How strong? Earth has been around about 4.5 billion years so something likely has a fairly strong influence on its being here. The first thing that pops into mind is gravity. We have an atmosphere because gravity and energy found that required balance where energy in equals energy out over some reasonable time scale. Too much energy and the atmosphere will lose mass to space if it can’t lose the energy while keeping the mass. That is a pretty simple limit now ain’t it?

        I believe the best colloquial example is a 5 pound bag can only hold so much $hit.

      • Hey Capt. That’s big heap arm-waving chaos theory of everything. You gotta be pretty stoned to follow along. I do appreciate the rectangle of the whirling squares. If you are into art and geometry, you might like:

        Obviously, f needs some limits in the equation because of the singularity. I’m just guessing that f is limited to the range where it varies linearly with deltaT. Apparently, Pekka dosen’t make the same leap of faith.

        If you really believe in a median ECR of 3 or 4-deg C, you must believe in climate tipping points and the Venus Syndrome. Fug-it. Lets go fishing, it’s salmon season.

    • The Hannart et al paper present a possible future, which gets relevant, if the best estimate for climate sensitivity goes up. It tells that a higher best estimate for the feedback parameter not only leads to a higher best estimate for the climate sensitivity, but also to larger uncertainty on it’s value.

      In the opposite case where the best estimate goes down, also the uncertainty is reduced.

      I cannot see anything deeper that these obvious and almost trivial observations in the paper.

      • Pekka, “In the opposite case where the best estimate goes down, also the uncertainty is reduced.”

        Right. Currently with more data the estimates of sensitivity are trending down and the IPCC poohbahs are saying that should lead to greater uncertainty and more drastic measures (er estimates?) :)

        Kind of bass ackwards.

    • Late to the party due to press of business, but wow! What an interesting paper quantifying the uncertainty in ECS as expressed by the gain feedback model.
      Thanks, Maksimovich

  22. I quote:
    “Future warming is likely to be on the high end of predictions says Kevin Trenberth of the National Center for Atmospheric Research who has been a lead author for the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). But Michael Schlesinger, who heads the Climate Research Group within the Department of the Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Illinois, has just published a study with his group finding warming will be at the low end of projections.”
    They are both in the business of divining the future. And so is IPCC. In their AR4 report in 2007 they predicted that warming in the 21st century shall proceed at the rate of 0.2 degrees Celsius per decade. We are now in the second decade of this century and there is no sign whatsoever of their predicted warming. So what happened? Blame it on carbon dioxide, the magic gas both Trenberth and Schlesinger are using to divine sensitivity of climate. It seems that there is plenty of it in the air, with more being produced every day, but it has gone on strike and refuses to do its warming thing. And not temporarily. Even Pachauri the railroad engineer admits that there has been no warming for 17 years. He was asked how long we might have to wait to get warming back and thought it could be thirty or forty years. I would simply have refused to answer a question about divining the future. But I do suspect that CO2 has finally revealed its true nature. This, of course, should not be news to anyone who has followed the work of Ferenc Miskolczi, the Hungarian scientist hated by all true believers in global warming. His theory explains it all but I will use only simple physics to show why carbon dioxide does not warm the earth. We have to start somewhere so let us start with the twentieth century. The first ten years of the century had cooling but in1910 warming suddenly started. It was the first of three warming periods of the century that must be understood. We specifically want to know whether any of these warming periods could have been greenhouse warming periods. Physics requires that in order to start a sudden greenhouse warming period you must equally suddenly put carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. That is the only way because the infrared absorbance of carbon dioxide is a property of the gas and cannot be changed. CO2 that was already there does not count because it is equilibrated with the existing temperature regime. And fortunately the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is quite well known from direct measurements at Mauna Loa as well as from ice core data. From this we know that there was no increase of atmospheic carbon dioxide in 1910 when the warming started. Hence, that 1910 warming cannot possibly be a greenhouse warming. It kept going for thirty years, until 1940 when it was suddenly halted by the World War II cold spell. Such a sudden stop is quite impossible for greenhouse warming to perform because there is no way to suddenly remove the CO2 molecules that are mixed up with the atmosphere. That cold spell lasted through the war but is displayed as a heat wave on some idiotic climate curves. Even 1947 was still cold enough that a blizzard could completely shut down the City of New York. The cold alleviated by the fifties but the next distinct warming did not start until 1976. Checking the Mauna Loa carbon dioxide record we see that there was no change of atmospheric carbon dioxide in 1976, hence this warming cannot be a greenhouse warming either. It was called the Great Pacific Climate Shift and is said to have raised global temperature by 0.2 degrees Celsius. Added to the 0.5 degrees from the 1910 to 1940 warming we now have a total warming of 0.7 degrees Celsius, none of it greenhouse. 1976 was a short-lived step warming and was over by 1980 but the temperature level it established became permanent. There was no warming at all in the eighties and nineties that followed. The next and last warming began with the super El Nino of 1998. It brought so much warm water across the ocean with itself that this caused another short step warming. This time global temperature rose by a third of a degree Celsius in only four years and stopped again. And again, Mauna Loa record shows no excursion of carbon dioxide at the time of the step warming. This makes the total temperature rise for the century just one degree Celsius, with none of it attributable to greenhouse warming by carbon dioxide. That is 100 years without greenhouse warming and I did not even have to bring up Miskolczi theory that explain it. As to these guys trying to figure out the sensitivity to warming from carbon dioxide, they are true believers and their work is comparable to that of medieval monks who were trying to figure out how many angels can dance on the tip of a needle.

  23. The wide degree of variation of estimates indicates to me that CS is affected by a number of different forcings, external and internal, operating at different times and at different regions of the Earth’s globe and that it should be represented in climate models as a PDF rather than as a single point estimate.

  24. “And finally, it is a major coup for the freelance/citizen climate scientist movement to see Nic Lewis and Troy masters publish influential papers on this topic in leading journals.” – JC

    ‘Yes’ (well not a coup really, given the very long history of ‘amateur’ contributions to science) to the first, and ‘no’ to the second.

    Any objective assessment of the influence of a paper certainly isn’t possible at the stage of the announcement of it’s publication.

    Let’s give it a year or two, and then we have some idea what, if any, influence it has.

    Sorry to be so sceptical.

    • Well, you should be sorry. You aren’t supposed to be skeptical of skeptics.

      Just kidding. You don’t need feel sorry/

  25. Well, whatever else anyone thinks, Dr. Curry’s post certainly puts the lie to “settled science”. Wonderful example of the uncertainty monster.

    • Only if you think a scientist consensus means 100% unanimity……which it doesn’t, and never has.

      • Of course it is totally acceptable to claim 97% consensus without ever mentioning that it is limited to a dozen or so people.

    • Rud, I had the very same thoughts. Dr. Curry’s uncertainty monster is breathing fire these days…

      Anyone still claiming the science is settled reveals profound ignorance…

    • Seems like it’s climate meta-morphis – meta-uncertainty
      all the way up …and
      … all the way …
      down

      Nothing of him that doth fade
      But doth suffer a sea-change
      Into something rich and strange.

      H/t Ariel..

  26. “Settled Science” and “Scientific Consensus” are two different animals, Michael. I believe “The Science is settled” was the term former VP Albert Gore told the US Congress in March 2007.

    • It is ‘settled’ as much as there is ‘consensus’ as long as you don’t pretend this means that everyone agrees on everything.

  27. This is why I love “skeptics.” It “puts the lie” to arguments that climate scientists didn’t make, but which is attributed to climate scientists by the bucketfull.
    Will “skeptics” stopputting a bad taint on “skepticism?z.

    When?

    • Josh,
      The message certainly has been that the science is settled enough that we must act now. The teamsters are of one voice in this regard. The IPCC is also claiming virtual certainty…And don’t forget the MSM. I get the NYT’s delivered to our house every day. I don’t think I’ve missed a climate article, or editorial, or opinion piece in 5 years. I see nothing that admits to the slightest practical doubts…

      I don’t think you’re being at all fair.

      • Yes, the IPCC claims ‘virtual certainty’ via it’s use of fairly standard statistical expressions of certainty.

        OTOH, we have the ‘skeptics’ professing absolute and utter certainty that the IPCC’s summary of the science is wrong.

        You gotta laugh…..at them.

      • PG –

        Outside of a few extremists, what is “settled,” in the minds of some, is that the risk warrants serious consideration of policy.

        Very few say that “the science is settled” in the sense of Rud’s straw man. For example, the IPCC speaks of probabilities that “most” of the recent climate change is attributable to ACO2.

        The problem with some “skeptics,” IMO, is that while they sometimes appropriately call for recognition of uncertainty, they are too vested in being climate warriors, and as such, willfully misrepresent the uncertainty that “realists” do generally acknowledge.

        That happens in two ways: – (1) as Rud just did by steadfastly mischaracterizing the extent to which “realists” do acknowledge uncertainty, and (2) also as we saw with Mojib Latif – when “skeptics” completely distorted his discussion of uncertainty to the point of saying that he was making an argument that the planet is cooling.

        Such behavior is “skepticism,” and not skepticism. It only drags down the debate and feeds the food fight. Rud’s statement is counterproductive rhetoric, and it undermines the strength of his more careful analysis.

        Argue about whether “realists” under-estimate uncertainty all you want. It is appropriate. It is skeptical. But when you throw garbage at the wall as Rud just did, the arguments are not skeptical, but “skeptical.”

        Face up to it.

      • Michael, that in my opinion is a fundamental misreading. Skeptics come in all intellectual shapes and sizes. Speaking for myself, I have no such feeling of certainty. Starting 3 years or so ago, I’d have been willing to make a meaningful bet that climate sensitivity was being exaggerated, and that position seems to be increasingly vindicated. But I have nothing like the IPCC’s 95 percent certainty in mind. I think that’s the case for many skeptics.

        The alarmist war cry continues to be WE MUST ACT NOW!! Given the current confused state of the science, that looks more out of touch by the day

      • Michael, that in my opinion is a fundamental misreading. Skeptics come in all intellectual shapes and sizes.

        Here’s something for you to consider. Some time when you have some time to kill, develop some kind of metric for certainty, and go over to WUWT and read through some comments, and rank a bunch on your “uncertainty scale.” I think that you will find that to the extent that generalizations can be made, “skeptics” do underestimate uncertainty in very much the way that so animates them about “realists.” And then, consider that the IPCC statements that so animates so many “skeptics” have uncertainty systematically built-in. Again, argue about the degree of acknowledged uncertainty all you want. It is appropriate. It is skeptical. But when you decry quantified and qualified statements of certainty, and distort the uncertainty that is stated, and then come back with unquantified and unqualified statements reflecting certainty, then you are not being skeptical – you are being “skeptical.”

        One of the things I find most amusing about some “skeptics” at places like WUWT is when they go on rants about how offended they are when “realists” use qualifiers like “probably” or “could” or “might” – as if by definition, they are unscientific terms.

      • josh,

        what is “settled,” in the minds of some, is that the risk warrants serious consideration of policy

        And there is the rub. In the minds of some, the risk warrants consideration of certain policy. But exactly how big is that “some”. And at what point does scientific understanding morph into “policy expert”.

        There is no denying that “the science is settled”, “the debate is over” and “97% of climate scientists agree”, have been repeated again and again. Yet in your statement above you use the term “consideration”. For me that implies debate. And even the most basic checking into the source of the 97% number shows that it is contrived, leading one to wonder why it gets referred to so often. That leaves us with the science itself. Perhaps there you could argue that you are on solid ground. But what then of this post by Dr Curry?

    • Joshua, good observation. Many AGW contrarians are fossil fuel apologists trying to pass themselves off as genuine skeptics

      • Thanks for the laugh, Max.

        And Joshua, I’d say a 95 percent confidence level on the part of the IPCC is in a practical sense, “settled.” As usual, I genuinely can’t understand how your mind works. I tried, but It’s getting late, so I’ll quit before I give myself a headache.

        “night and God bless…

      • Max_OK –

        Many AGW contrarians are fossil fuel apologists trying to pass themselves off as genuine skeptics

        I think it is more complicated than that. There is no doubt that there is a very strong correlation between political ideology and views on climate change. To think it is merely coincidental, or only relevant for “realists,” is profoundly unskeptical (i.e., “skeptical”). Those are some of the most “skeptical” of the arguments I see from “skeptics” – either a denial of the strong correlation or the deeply held belief that only the “realists” are affected by biases such as confirmation bias.

        But the motivated reasoning that helps explain the political correlations are much more complex than simply fossil fuel apologism, IMO. In my view, political ideology acts more or less as a moderator and/or mediator (one of a number of such noderators/mediators) between the phenomenon of motivated reasoning and views on climate change.

      • Wherever these “skeptical” views come from, it is not objectivism. The same people that were decrying models as being too uncertain or simple, end up praising Nic Lewis and his model analysis when it gives more convenient results for their world view. Where did the uncertainty go?

      • Jim D –

        Wherever these “skeptical” views come from, it is not objectivism. The same people that were decrying models as being too uncertain or simple, end up praising Nic Lewis and his model analysis when it gives more convenient results for their world view. Where did the uncertainty go?

        This will be the third time that I’m re-posting this comment from Matthew R. Marler – originally made at WUWT – because it is such a notable example of skepticism amidst the waves of “skepticism” that wash through the blogosphere on a daily basis.

        It appears from your presentation that you disliked the Forest et al procedure because it produced a posterior distribution that was discordant from your personal prior, and you liked your procedure because the formal prior you used produced a posterior prior that was closer to your personal prior. As an exercise in showing how posterior distributions depend on prior distributions that’s nice; but you have provided no substance for claiming that your credible interval is better than the credible interval than the credible interval that you critiqued.

      • Joshua, I would agree there’s more to AGW contrarianism than I implied with the “fossil fuel apologist” comment, a lot more.

        One thing that continues to fascinate me is contrarians tend to be older people. Lately, I have been thinking about how aging means loss of so much that’s important to people. The elderly experience loss of physical and mental abilities, health, authority and standing, spouses, friends, etc. Perhaps AGW in some way represents another loss to older people, and they resist recognizing it.

      • Max_OK – looks like I’m going have to break this into parts to get past the screen for some reason:

        Part I

        It is true that there may be something of a correlation with age. It would seem that can see that anecdotally, but I haven’t seen any validated evidence in that regard.

      • Part II:

        And we can see a similar pattern with other divisive controversies that overlay political taxonomies – such as opinions about same-sex marriage.

        And yes, those patterns might suggest something about older people being more resistant to change…perhaps that is somehow related to your discussion of the fear among older people of loss.

        I currently do a lot of care-taking for an elderly aunt. I have a set of her house and car keys, and when I pick her up and take her shopping, she asks me repeatedly whether I have my copy of her keys (even if I am using my set to drive her car). She repeatedly checks in her purse to make sure that her keys are still there. She is positively focused on a fear of loss. It is almost as her life is being increasingly reduced to concern about what she has “lost,” or might lose, or is losing.

        I think about how if someone is losing their memory capabilities, it must be a constant source of anxiety. I have certainly noticed an increase in memory-related anxiety in myself as I have gotten older. I have notices a similar pattern in many people as they have aged.

        But even still, I doubt there is anything causal about the correlation between age and views on climate change. Somehow, it just doesn’t add up to me. There are many attributes that are associated with age, in addition to, perhaps, greater concern over loss. I like to think that wisdom is associated with age (perhaps confirmation bias related to my own aging?). There are other positive associations also – such as perhaps more of a relativistic view on hot button debates? Certainly, exposure to media coverage on climate change has been pretty much a constant throughout the life of younger people, and a relatively recent development for older people. That could be an associated factor that doesn’t really have anything to do with attitudes towards loss.

        That argument of yours bothers me – I tend to think it is a weak argument. One reason, as I stated, is because it isn’t validated with data. I think that as speculation it’s OK, but only goes so far without any evidence. But as I think about it more, it is interesting that my instinctive reaction is to reject the argument. Such an instinctive reaction towards rejection is usually a sign that I need to look at the argument more closely!

      • Heh – found the problem. The filter didn’t like g-y marriage: A homophobic filter.

        It must be an older filter. :-)

      • > Wherever these “skeptical” views come from, it is not objectivism.

        Objectivism may not entail objectivity:

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

      • Oops, I don’t mean the Ayn Rand type of Objectivism, which seems to be the opposite in fact (Subjectivisim?)

      • Joshua, I am just speculating about a connection between age-related loss and AGW skepticism and denial. Scientists who are vocal AGW contrarians tend to be older. I don’t know if older people in general tend to be contrarians, but my guess is they do.

        What do all old people have in common? Well, obviously it’s loss. No matter what you do, aging ( and the passing of time) means loss, and people will resist losing. Along with physical and mental ability, the status quo is something that can be lost. Traditional marriage and not doing anything about AGW are parts of the status quo.

      • Max_OK believes that most fossil fuel apologists are fossils. ;)

      • Good one, Peter.

        “Fossils for Fossil Fuels”

        It would be a good name for a blog or organization.

      • Fail on that Max.

        10 years in nuclear and now working for a company that owns the 2nd highest wind generation capacity of US utilities.

      • You know something Max_OK, you’ll be old yourself one day – probably before you know it.
        Doesn’t that scare the pants off you?

      • No, not getting older scares me.

      • Again sorry for coming to the party late due to press of business. Joshua and Max OK, whoever you are, you are not very widely read.. I have published two ebooks on among other things the coming peaks in fossil fuel energy production on an annual basis, as well as several guest posts here in the past 18 months courtesy of Dr. Curry because of the close coupling to IPCC scenarios, and therefore prognostications.
        To say I am a fossil fuel apologist is an ignorant insult. And, like most of the rest of what you expound, just dead wrong on the facts including my previous guest postings here.
        Please raise your game or exit the playing field.

      • Max_OK, look on the bright side – that won’t scare you for long

      • Rud, not reading your works doesn’t mean I’m not well read. I did read the overview of your book at Amazon.com. I agree with some of what you said.
        If the book is as poorly written (rambling) as the overview, however, you need a better editor.

      • A big reason why scientists tend to become increasingly sceptical with age is because they’ve seen more than their fair share of beautiful and convincing theories – sometimes their own – fall by the wayside, often because of some ugly little fact which someone’s overlooked.

  28. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    PLAUSIBLE SYNTHESIS: EVERYONE IS RIGHT

    • “Low enders” are right on decadal time-scales
        (Schlesinger, Cross, Lindner, Ring, Lewis, Masters)

    • “IPCC mid-range” is right on centennial time-scales
        (Trenberth, Mann, Nucitelli, Fasullo)

    • “High-enders” are right on millennial time-scales
        (Hansen, Sato, Russell, Karecha)

    • “Anyone’s call” are correct regarding uncertainties
        (Olson, Sriver, Chang, Haran, Urban, Keller, etc.)

    KEY QUESTION: WHOSE VIEWS SHOULD GUIDE POLICY?

    To my mind, the single clearest, most common-sense essay written (to date) upon this key question is James Hansen’s open letter (released this week) Making Things Clearer:

    If we should “succeed” in digging up and burning all fossil fuels, some parts of the planet would become literally uninhabitable, with some time in the year having wet bulb temperature exceeding 35°C. At such temperatures, for reasons of physiology and physics, humans cannot survive, because even under ideal conditions of rest and ventilation, it is physically impossible for the environment to carry away the 100 W of metabolic heat that a human body generates when it is at rest.

    Conclusion  The inertia of the climate system is not our friend. Because climate responds slowly, we have felt so far only about half of the effect of gases already in the air. This limited response makes it easier for people to believe that we are exaggerating the climate threat.

    The science of climate change, especially because of the unprecedented human-made climate forcing, includes many complex aspects. This complexity conspires with the nature of reporting and the scientific method itself, with its inherent emphasis of caveats and continual reassessment of conclusions, to make communications with the public difficult, even when the overall picture is reasonably clear.

    Aside  A pretty considerable portion of comments on WUWT show zero understanding of what “wet bulb” temperature implies for human physiology … consulting the literature is recommended.

    In any case, we can be reasonably confident that the Pontifical Academies’ coming joint workshop Sustainable Humanity, Sustainable Nature (2014) will scrupulously and rationally consider the implications of climate-change for human health on millennial time-scales.

    Good! It’s about time!

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

    • Everyone needs to read the note by Hansen.

      The decadal “low enders” are probably not making the distinction between transient response and equilibrium climate sensitivity. I interpreted that Hansen makes this connection in his memo. The ECS is all about the ocean as a heat sink and other slow climate-feedbacks that show up in the paleo record.

      BTW, in the memo Hansen retracts the statement he made earlier that the “oceans will boil”.

    • Why is James Hansen posting on this blog under a pseudonym and ending all his posts with demonic characters?? Hmmmmmm? :)

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Bill claims “all his [FOMD] posts end with demonic characters”

      LOL … yah call *those* “demonic characters”?

      Now *these* are demonic characters!

      \begin{array}{rcl} \displaystyle\frac{\partial\,L(\vec{r},\hat{s},t)}{\partial\,t} &=& -\,(\hat{s}{\cdot}\nabla) L(\vec{r},\hat{s},t)\\ && -\,\mu_t\,L(\vec{r},\hat{s},t)\\ &&+\,\displaystyle\mu_s\!\!\int_{4\pi}\!\!L(\vec{r},\hat{s},t)P(\hat{s}'{\cdot}\hat{s})\,d\Omega' \end{array}

      At least, “demonic” is how denialists regard radiative transport physics … and the hugely sobering long-term implications of that physics for earth’s climate … eh Climate Etc lassies and laddies?

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

    • The problem in your logic Fan is the mid rangers are off by a factor of two, and the highs rangers assume no technology transformation in the next thousand years. There are known ways to recycle CO2 even in our primitive state of technology.

    • An interesing point considering wet bulb temperature extremes is to look where these extremes have occurred.

      My conclusion is “nowhere to run”

  29. To me, the theme was the one from Mann and Nucitelli and Olson et al., which was that the simple models fitted to historic data are not trustworthy because they can be fooled by natural variability. We see the problem, that just adding another decade of data significantly changes the results. Lewis showed this, and a previous Norwegian study went the same way with these simple techniques. Sensitivity of climate sensitivity to the period chosen should have been a big red flag that these models are over-fitting the data, and that is because they have too few variables to represent the observed variation. This discounts a lot of the low-sensitivity efforts.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Your remarks are eminently sensible, JimD!

      Benestad’s recent Validating a physics-based back-of-the-envelope climate model with state-of-the-art data (arXiv:1301.1146, 2013) quantitatively addresses many of the concerns that rational climate-change skeptics are raising here on Climate Etc.

      Overview  Scientists and skeptics alike appreciate that climate-change science is supported by (at least) four pillars:

      Pillar #1 transport theory and

      Pillar #2 planetary-scale energy-budget observations, and

      Pillar #3 paleoclimate correlations, and

      Pillar #4 large-scale dynamical and/or statistical computer models (uncountably many).

      Conclusion  By far the flimsiest of the four pillars of climate-change science is #4. That is the common-sense reason why the blogosphere’s non-rational denialists focus mainly on the (relatively) flimsy science of Pillar #4, whereas the strongest climate-change skepticism stoutly focuses upon on the strongest climate-change science of Pillars #1–#3!

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

      • But I just recently read, right here on Climate Etc., that climate models are irrelevant to CAGW.

        Say it ain’t so!

  30. Judith
    Re Sources of Uncertainty

    The basic sources of uncertainty are uncertainties in observations including forcing, uncertainties in model response, and natural internal variability.

    How about unknown unknowns? e.g., previously unknown physics.
    e.g., some factors of climate appear to be controlled by the 22 year Hale solar cycle. cf. WJR Alexander et al. 2007. Linkages between solar activity, climate predictability and water resource development

    Now Hiroko Miyahara finds possible causes in Decadal Variations of Solar Magnetic Field, Heliosphere and the Cosmic Rays,and their Impact on Climate Change h/t WUWT
    H. Miyahara, Y. Yokoyama & K. Masuda, Possible link between multi-decadal climate cycles and periodic reversals of solar magnetic field polarity, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 272, 290-295, 2008.

    Y. Takahashi, Y. Okazaki, M. Sato, H. Miyahara, K. Sakanoi, and P. K. Hong, 27-day variation in cloud amount and relationship to the solar cycle, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 10, 1577-1584, 2010.

    Do conventional climate sensitivities vary with time?
    I don’t think such Hale cycle variations are yet included in either GCMs or in climate sensitivity analyses. How will this previously unincorporated physics impact climate models and climate sensitivity analyses?

    • Very insightful. For example, Spring starting three weeks earlier could have a fifty times greater effect on the environment than if just one week earlier which might be positively correlated with a 3% increase in precipitation for the year.

  31. Joshua,

    It’s good to share personal details to show that we’re all just people after all. It fosters a sense of shared humanity, and encourages us to act with civility.

    It’s in that spirit that I tell you that after our last exchange I went down to the kitchen and made myself a nice cup of tea. Then I moved into the living room (with a rather graceful glide I don’t mind telling you), where I played some of my favorite music, softly though so as not to awaken my slumbering wife. Chopin is knowns for soothing the skeptic’s savage breast. And so he does with me. I don’t play particularly well, but I play with great pleasure.

    Throughout, I had in the back of mind the mysterious mentations of my friend Joshua, whom I’ve mistreated in the past and won’t again. My new methodology is to kill ‘em with kindness, even lolwot.

    Then it dawned on me. Of course, You guys are just trying to walk it back in the face of increasing evidence that you’ve had it wrong. So naturally, the 95 percent confidence level from the IPCC is only “statistical language” that doesn’t really mean what it says. And so naturally, It turns out that Al Gore didn’t really mean it, and neither did any of you. Nor did President Obama mean it when he recently said that “We can choose to believe that Superstorm Sandy, and the most severe drought in decades, and the worst wildfires some states have ever seen were all just a freak coincidence. Or we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of science – and act before it’s too late.”

    “The overwhelming judgment of science,” Joshua. Over the past few months I’ve noticed that many climate arguments are becoming increasingly semantic in nature. There’s a reason for that. You’re losing the debate inch by inch, and you’re desperate to hang on any way you can..

    You can call it what you want, “settled science”, the overwhelming consensus, the overwhelming judgment, or any other weasel terms and phrases you can come up with. But In the end, it all comes to the same thing.

    • PG –

      If you’re going to argue against my point of view, then you should be able to articulate accurately what my point of view is.

      Judging form that comment, I would say that you may not be able to do so. At least you certainly didn’t show in that comment that you even know my point of view.

      What am I trying to “walk back?” What did I have “wrong?” Please try to be more specific.

      The temperature trend can fall out of the 95% CI in two years, and then be back in the 95% CI in five years after that.. It is, in fact, “statistical language,” and whether or not the trends are in or out of the 95% CI for a short time periods does not “settle” the science. It doesn’t prove any arguments about climate change right or wrong. It changes my perspective not a bit, as my perspective is not based on short-term evidence or on 95% CI’s.

      IMV, what is “right” or “wrong” won’t be known one way or the other until well after I’m dead. In the meantime, what makes sense to me is to discuss probabilities, and the implications of those probabilities within discussions about the costs/benefits of various policy options. It is valuable to discuss statistical analysis of sensitivity, but such discussions do not settle the debate. And such discussions are not furthered by comments such as the one I responded to – when folks like Rud, willfully distort the debate about uncertainty.

      You can call it what you want, “settled science”, the overwhelming consensus, the overwhelming judgment, or any other weasel terms and phrases you can come up with.

      What is interesting there is that you present an argument to me along with examples of terms as a menu of choices to express my views, and yet you will not be able to find my use of any of those terms in any of my discussions in these threads.

      Not once.

      I appreciate the new approach to our exchanges – but I think that to really make much progress, you will have to do more. You will have to stop debating that Joshua in your head, the one based on distortions, and instead offer an exchange on views that I actually hold.

    • Very magnanimous of you and in that spirit we also should consider that, “several recent polls have found ‘climate change’ skepticism rising faster than sea levels on Planet Algore (not to be confused with Planet Earth, where sea levels remain relatively stable).” ~Jay Richards

      • Jay Richards is an Intelligent Design Advocate. There’s not much intelligent about my design, so I’m skeptical about Richards.

      • You found something you can believe in without conviction?

      • Sure, there’s nothing very intelligent about the way I’m designed, You may be designed differently. Perhaps you have a second pair of eyes in the back of your head and four arms. if so, I envy you.

      • Anyone who so desperately wants to believe in human caused global warming is probably desperate enough to believe in anything.

  32. Saw this at the American Statistical Association web site:

    2013 AAAS annual conference presentations:
    Murali Haran: Using models and data to learn about the future of the climate

    A quote from Prof. Haran

    “Haran said that some people misinterpret uncertainty to mean not knowing about climate change, but quantifying uncertainty actually refers to expressing a range of sureness on assessments or predictions, which is central to careful science.”

    http://www.amstat.org/committees/ccpac/
    ______

    So uncertainty doesn’t mean sitting on your hands.

    • If you talking about the scientific method it is a handy handy tool to discern the truth from fiction hidden in the warp and woof of the sights and sounds that assail our senses, not crap our pants when Carl Sagan says if Saddam Hussein sets Iraq’s oil wells afire the release of black soot into the stratosphere will block the sunlight causing a “nuclear winter” scenario.

      • The “woof” ?

        woof, woof, …………. whoooooooo

      • …and, at the root of AGW alarmism are the warped.

      • Polluter Alarmism is pervasive among fossils for fossil fuel.

        This condition is called PA. Pronounce it like you would the “pa” in grandpa.

        It’s also known as Polluter’s Panic.

      • Until such time as we reach liberal Utopia — with a windmill on every roof and hash in every pot — be very careful of flames bursting suddenly from your faucets.

    • But you need to be careful as to how you propagate uncertainty through your process (or not), and what you mean by uncertainty.

      As my favorite example, climate modelers take an ensemble of models and model runs, look at the spread of predictions and call this spread the natural variability of the climate. Or Trenbereth, who believes we know temperatures in the deep ocean to two or three significant digits.

      Yes, I hate the uninformed skeptic who says, “Well shucks, we don’t know nothin’ for sure, so what we have here is some ivory-tower theory.” If that’s the point of the quote, it’s well-taken. But I equally despise the pseudo-informed anti-skeptic who believes that large CI’s strengthen their case.

  33. I got a climate sensitivity of 1.23 deg C from the following excellent correlation between Annual CO2 concentration and a Secular GMST fit for the 61-years moving average:

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/mean:732/from:1901/normalise/plot/esrl-co2/compress:12/normalise/offset:0.615/detrend:-0.125

  34. @ Max Nok
    “One thing that continues to fascinate me is contrarians tend to be older people.”
    You shouldn’t regurgitate rubbish spouted by Monbiot (aged 50)
    Better to keep you mouth shut and let people think you are a fool than to open it and confirm it.
    The majority of junkett scientists and agw proponents are no spring chickens but that’s irrelevant to the debate, what is relevant is there are no facts to support the hypothesis that man made CO2 emissions will cause dangerous global warm. The hypothesis is a busted flush.

    • I disagree. Getting older means loss. I am not unsympathetic. I do not look forward to losing teeth, hair, memory, strength, health, loved ones and friends. But there’s no denying that despite my efforts to hold on to what I have, I eventually will suffer losses.

      Live long enough, and aging also means loss of the status quo, and many resist losing it. The status quo is to do nothing about AGW, so that’s what a lot of older people want. Their objection to doing anything doesn’t stem from facts, it comes from emotions. But they look for facts that please their emotions.

  35. There is an error in the title to this piece – “meta-uncertainty” should read “mega-uncertainty”.

  36. David Springer

    James Hansen said the 5-year mean global average temperature has been flat for a decade. He characterized global warming as at a standstill.

    That’s at least honest which is more than I can say for most of his sycophants.

    So… has the standstill ended yet? ;-)

    • Yep, but he didn’t say 17 years of flat temperature, like some are saying.

      What’s new about a flat spot in temperature? Nothing that I can see. We have had flat before, and we will have flat again.

      • Max_OK

        We have had flat before, and we will have flat again.

        Yep.

        We had a “flat” from the 1940s to the 1970s (in fact, it cooled a bit, leading some scientists at the time to suggest we might be headed for extended global cooling).

        If you can believe the record that far back, we also had a long “flat” prior to around 1910 (again this was a period of global cooling).

        Will the current “flat” end up lasting 30 years as well? Will it shift from the present flat to slight cooling to a sharper cooling trend, like the earlier “flats”?

        Who knows?

        Max_CH

      • David Springer

        Yes, Hansen did not say 17 years of pause. He said the 5-year mean has been flat for a decade. Given it takes 5-years of flat history to begin a decade-long stretch of a 5-year flat mean we can infer 15 years of pause from his statement. I don’t 17 years by the way I use 15 as I have no disagreement with Hansen in that regard and don’t care to argue about an additional two years. I’ll just wait two more years then it will be 17 years of a flat 5-year mean. :-)

  37. Paul Matthews

    The Ring… & Schlesinger paper is very odd.
    They derive a CS of 1.5 – 2.0 and then say this is on the low end of the IPCC estimate. No, it’s off the end of the IPCC estimate, which is 2 – 4.5.

    They also have some very muddled comments about climate skepticism in the introduction. They note increasing skepticism, note the increase in people who say they understand the issue well, and seem to think that this is some sort of puzzle, going on to talk about whether the public will consider the evidence. I wonder if they have ever spoken to a climate skeptic. As most people here know, the point is that more and people are looking at the evidence and finding it lacking.

  38. Pingback: Another paper finds lower climate sensitivity | Watts Up With That?

  39. $100,000, 000,000 firehosed down the academic’s open and thirsty maws. Thirty years gone by.

    And still no nearer a decent understanding of the most important number in climatology.

    I’m sure I could find a better way to p**s away 100 billion bucks away than employing climatologits. What a joke of a subject it is

    • “$100,000, 000,000 firehosed down the academic’s open and thirsty maws. Thirty years gone by. “

      Septic,
      Do you realize how much of this money likely goes into satellite and sensor hardware?
      Since when have “academia” started to manufacture rockets and launch pads, commercial electronics, and machined parts?

      Who also gets to benefit from the deployed equipment? Commuters listening to the latest weather info? Airlines? Telecommunications companies who need to understand radiative physics for GPS and cellular technology?

      I am merely asking questions, while you make assertions.

      • David Wojick

        The USGCRP budget is just $2 billion a year, up from one billion in 1990, so $100 billion is far too high. A litle over half goes for satellites and launches. The numbers are on their website.

        That ECS cannot be determined is an important result, if it is ever accepted.

      • David Wojick


        That ECS cannot be determined is an important result, if it is ever accepted.

        CS can be estimated.

        The CO2 concentration has been measured. The GMST has been measured. It is accepted that the temperature is related to the natural logarithm of the CO2 as

        T1 = k*ln(C1)

        T2 = k*ln(C2)

        T2 – T1 = k*ln(C2) – k*ln(C1)

        T2 – T1 = k*ln(C2/C1)

        dT = k*ln(C2/C1)…….Equation 1

        From this, climate sensitivity, CS, is given by

        CS = dT (when C2/C1 = 2) = k*ln 2…..Equation 2

        Dividing Equation 2 by 1 gives

        CS/dT = (ln 2)/ln(C2/C1)

        CS = dT * (ln 2)/ln (C2/C1)……Equation 3

        That is it. That defines the climate sensitivity. If you know the change in temperature and the corresponding change in CO2, you can estimate the climate sensitivity using Equation 3.

      • #Data processed by http://www.woodfortrees.org
        #Please check original source for first-hand data and information:
        #
        #—————————————————-
        #Data from Hadley Centre
        #http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadcrut4/data/download.html
        #For terms and conditions of use, please see
        #http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadcrut4/terms_and_conditions.html
        #—————————————————-
        #
        #File: hadcrut4_monthly_ns_avg.txt
        #
        #Time series (hadcrut4) from 1850 to 2013.17
        #Averaged with 732-sample running mean
        #Selected data from 1958
        #Averaged and compressed in 12-sample sections
        1958 -0.0472961
        1959 -0.0408235
        1960 -0.0312377
        1961 -0.0243914
        1962 -0.0210383
        1963 -0.0166602
        1964 -0.00922712
        1965 -0.00176241
        1966 0.00434711
        1967 0.0129071
        1968 0.0216374
        1969 0.0270347
        1970 0.0329469
        1971 0.0397357
        1972 0.0471108
        1973 0.0552556
        1974 0.0625787
        1975 0.0688288
        1976 0.0763716
        1977 0.0849789
        1978 0.0922468
        1979 0.10087
        1980 0.111002
        1981 0.120417
        #Data ends
        #Number of samples: 24
        #Mean: 0.0319097
        e
        #Data processed by http://www.woodfortrees.org
        #Please check original source for first-hand data and information:
        #
        #—————————————————-
        #Data from NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory
        #http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/
        #—————————————————-
        #
        #File: co2_mm_mlo.txt
        #
        #Time series (esrl) from 1958.21 to 2013.29
        #Averaged and compressed in 12-sample sections
        #Selected data up to 1982
        1958.21 315.368
        1959.21 316.091
        1960.21 317.01
        1961.21 317.793
        1962.21 318.561
        1963.21 319.146
        1964.21 319.637
        1965.21 320.238
        1966.21 321.58
        1967.21 322.253
        1968.21 323.27
        1969.21 324.841
        1970.21 325.832
        1971.21 326.449
        1972.21 327.762
        1973.21 329.84
        1974.21 330.346
        1975.21 331.278
        1976.21 332.179
        1977.21 334.152
        1978.21 335.617
        1979.21 337.051
        1980.21 338.995
        1981.21 340.328
        #Data ends
        #Number of samples: 24
        #Mean: 326.067
        e

      • CS = dT*(ln 2)/ln(C2/C1)….Equation 1

        From the above data:

        For 1958, CO2 = 315.4 ppm and Secular GMST, T = -0.05 deg C

        For 1981, CO2 = 340.3 ppm and T = 0.12 deg C

        Therefore, for Equation 1

        dT = 0.12 + 0.05 = 0.17 deg C….Equation 2

        ln (C2/C1) = ln (340.3/315.4) = 0.076….Equation 3

        Substituting Equation 2 and 3 in Equation 1 gives

        CS = 0.17*ln 2/0.076 = 0.118/0.076 = 1.6 deg C for doubling of CO2.

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/mean:732/from:1958/compress:12/normalise/plot/esrl-co2/compress:12/to:1982/normalise

    • @david wojick

      News to me that only the US spends money on ‘climatology’. Plenty of other countries have joined them. I think they do some in England and Germany and Canada and Australia – and China and Russia too.

      USA is not the world.

      • I don’t think 100 billion thalers is (estimated)* too high. The figure includes many satellites, many multi-purpose.
        ==============

      • David Wojick

        Sceptic, the USGCRP is roughly estimated to be half the global budget, so feel free to double my numbers. Nothing much changes. I just don’t happen to have numbers for other countries. Not sure what your point is.

    • @web hub telescope

      I am sure that Apollo helped in the production of on-stick frying pans. You list some collateral benefits.

      But the primary purpose is to ‘prove’ the climate sensitivity. All the rest are spin offs.

  40. lurker passing through, laughing

    In the pre-AGW hype era, it was generally recognized that there had been extreme climate swings in the scale of ~ 100 years. These swings were in the >1.o range. The Chief has referred to that here from time to time. Now we see some very well paid workers trying wring a crisis out of ~0.8o in about 150 years, and claiming that no matter the weather event, it is proof of global catastrophe.
    No wonder AGW hypesters are losing credibility.

    • Agree 100%. In fact, after the hype is over, the 20th century will be exposed as remarkably stable, compared to the previous centuries.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      ‘An anthropogenic release of 300 Gton C (as we have already done) has a relatively small impact on future climate evolution…’ Archer and Ganopolski

      5000 Gton seems unlikely anytime in the near future – or at all I would suggest.

      It is suggested that the transition will be abrupt – significant cooling in a decade – and involve thermohaline circulation collapse and growth of northern ice sheets. Any day now – give or take a 1000 years.

      http://www.personal.kent.edu/~jortiz/paleoceanography/broecker.pdf

      • MIS11. Orbital dynamics. Pay attention!

        ;-)

      • From A&G05:

        An anthropogenic release of 300 Gton C (as we have already done) has a relatively small impact on future climate evolution, postponing the next glacial termination 140 kyr from now by one
        precession cycle.

        !

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The MIS 11 might be an analogue for temperature and sea level but you should not expect a one to one correspondence. This just argues that much of the heat and much of the C02 in the atmosphere is quite natural.

        http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/mis11_zpsaaf329db.jpg.html

        http://www.moraymo.us/Raymo+Mitrovica_2012.pdf

        We are already at or near the level of NH insolation where this is possible. Many things come together to cause a climate transition.

        http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/abrupt/images/data2-dome-fuji-lg.gif

        An anthropogenic release of 300 Gton C (as we have already done) has a relatively small impact on future climate evolution, postponing the next glacial termination 140 kyr from now by one precession cycle.

        The next glacial termination 140,000 years from now? Delayed by 26,000 years? From a modelling study? I am going to hold my breath.

      • CH

        The MIS 11 might be an analogue for temperature and sea level but you should not expect a one to one correspondence. This just argues that much of the heat and much of the C02 in the atmosphere is quite natural.

        Not sure what you are driving at. The extended interglacial at MIS11 apparently resulted from the ~400ka orbital eccentricity minimum modulating obliquity and precessional forcings. And here we are again at the next eccentricity minimum.

        This has no bearing on the dF from modern levels of CO2.

      • CH

        We are already at or near the level of NH insolation where this is possible. Many things come together to cause a climate transition.

        Indeed. The changes in the NH cryosphere are suggestive.

        ;-)

      • Chief Hydrologist

        We are not at an orbital eccentricity minimum – this is a fun site. http://www.jgiesen.de/kepler/eccentricity1.html

        But the NOAA site combines the modes of orbital variability to give an insolation number for high latitude NH summer and shows the current number and those of the past couple of interglacials.

        Sa levels and temperature are similar for MIS 11 and MIS 1 – without any anthropogenic CO2. Not that I would make much of that. We are talking about small changes in the modern era and big error bounds in the paleo data.

        The ice fluctuations are interesting and can only enhance both NH snow and North Atlantic warming and freshening.

      • We are not at an orbital eccentricity minimum

        Not quite! Thanks for the link confirming the approach to orbital eccentricity minimum as previously discussed.

        ;-)

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘The mean value of the eccentricity is 0.02674, the present value is 0.01670.’

        We are well above a minimum of 0.002 that occurred some 30,000 years ago.

        I told you it was a fun site – but it doesn’t confirm anything you say.

        As the NOAA page shows – eccentricity on its own is not a reasonable guide to NH high latitude summer insolation. Insolation in the northern summer is at or near a level where glacials have initiated in the past.

      • As the NOAA page shows – eccentricity on its own is not a reasonable guide to NH high latitude summer insolation. Insolation in the northern summer is at or near a level where glacials have initiated in the past.

        Sigh. Yes, I know that. Unlike you, I understand this topic and have also read and understood A&G05. You are doing your usual tedious thing of throwing up a vast cloud of rubbish and then pretending – in the confusion – that you have some kind of valid point.

        You don’t.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      There have been climate shifts of as much of several degrees in as little as a decade many times. The norm rather than the exception is abrupt climate change. One of the amplifying effects is on the polar annular modes. A solar peak associated with positive SAM.

      http://edoc.gfz-potsdam.de/gfz/get/19667/0/0c690b9067eab460a34c79d7a3ce4a51/19667.pdf

      With implications for ENSO and tropical cloud.

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Loeb2011-LWCERES.png.html?sort=3&o=41

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/tropicalcloud.png.html?sort=3&o=28

      With long term implications for the frequency and intensity of ENSO events – to explore the link between polar zonal winds and ENSO. High salt content at the Law Dome = La Nina.

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Vance2012-AntarticaLawDomeicecoresaltcontent.jpg.html?sort=3&o=39

  41. Morning Joshua,
    The difficulty I have with engaging with you on an extended basis is that it becomes more and more apparent that your main objective is to be clever. That doesn’t make you a bad person, nor does it make you unusual. YOu’re all doing it these days, as it becomes increasingly difficult for alarmists to make coherent arguments.

    As often happens with you, the discussion comes down to a semantical, angels on the head of a pin type discussion which is tedious and not useful. I’m not going to go back over your comments, searching for “gotcha” statements. I read them once, and that was plenty. As entertaining as you often are, in the end I’m just not as interested in Joshua as a topic of conversation as you are.

    In my view the near certainty expressed by the IPCC, the hockey teamsters,and media outlets like the NYT’s, along with statements like President Obama’s above, speaks for itself. That near certainty is looking more and more out of touch as the evidence continues to come in.. real world evidence in combination with an increasing body of scientific research making it, as JUdith says, “increasingly difficult not to downgrade estimates of climate sensitivity.”

    This all comes down to the sensitivity issue, does it not? Low sensitivity and the problem begins to go away. And yet curiously, I don’t see the slightest bit of provisional relief from most of the alarmists on board. Why is that?

    • Concur on this pokerguy.

      I like Joshua, but too often when I try to engage, he is mostly likely to go to cleaver mode. At which point I no longer can tell how serious he is on the topic at hand.

      Still, he is high on the list of who I’d buy a drink for.

  42. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Sceptic claims “I’m sure I could find a better way to p*ss away [resources] than employing climatologits”

    \frac{\rule[-0.45ex]{0pt}{1ex}\text{\scshape\sffamily Monthly Carbon Trade Imbalance}}{\text{\rule[-0.6ex]{0pt}{2.6ex}}\text{\scshape\sffamily Climate-Change Research Investment}}=\frac{\rule[-0.45ex]{0pt}{1ex}900}{\text{\rule[-0.6ex]{0pt}{2.6ex}}1}

    Gee, skeptic … aren’t these the two guys whom we ordinary folks have *REALLY* been subsidizing?

    By an overwhelmingly huge margin? Just who is your post effectively advocating for, “skeptic”?

    “Skeptic”, please tell us, exactly why should we keep buying mega-yachts for carbon-export parasites?

    While wrecking our planet in the process?

    The world wonders, eh? And rightly, eh?

    \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\frown}\,\spadesuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\spadesuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\frown}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Luxury Giga-Yachts: the ‘A’      Seeing as the owner also owns one of the largest coal companies in the world, I very much doubt the cost of fuel is an issue.

      Not when all our lives, we’ve all of us been involuntarily subsidizing the life-style and short-sighted selfish-simplistic values of ‘A’, eh ‘skeptic”?

      \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\frown}\,\spadesuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\spadesuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\frown}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • Fan: I’m beginning to suspect that you are a grad student’s AI project and simply look for keywords and then repost blog postings from elsewhere that have the same keywords.

      First, the whole point of this website and debate is that it’s not clear that carbon is wrecking the planet. Once you assume so and refuse to see anything else, of course, you’re freed to think as you do.

      Second, you pretend that energy is a drug and people who profit from selling it are drug dealers. In fact, energy has pulled humanity out of poverty. We can argue whether it’s better to get energy from unreliable or intermittent sources (wind, sun, etc), nuclear, or fossil fuels, but humanity needs energy and energy is a good thing.

      Third, if you’re going to pull out examples, how about things like Mann (or was it Hansen, they all look alike to me) getting a $1.8 million grant to study the spread of malaria due to global warming. Someone who has zero experience at epidemiology, biology, or anything related to the problem except the words “global warming” gets a large grant? Money could’ve been spent on Alzheimer’s research with someone who specializes in Alzheimers. Or River Blindness.

      Perhaps you feed at the Climate Change trough as well? Misdirection perhaps?

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Wayne2 asserts “It’s not clear that carbon [extraction economies] are wrecking the planet”

      Wayne2, we thank you for carefully spreading doubt regarding the scientific implications of sustained carbon-burning!

      Please continue to distract the polity from the economic/political/astroturfing tactics by which carbon enterprises privatize profits and socialize costs!

      We carbon oligarch benefit immensely from your posts, Wayne2!

      Yet everyone else is harmed, eh Wayne2?

      \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\frown}\,\spadesuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\spadesuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\frown}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

  43. Joshua,

    Just to add, I did go back and read your first reply to me and this is your first sentence “Outside of a few extremists, what is “settled,” in the minds of some, is that the risk warrants serious consideration of policy.”

    If you want to call The PCC, the hockey teamsters, the NYT’s, the President of the UNited States, and prestigious science organization like the Royal Academy in the UK and the AMerican Physical SOciety a ” few extremists” then you are of course free to do so. I however think you’re being disingenuous. I honestly can’t be any more polite than that.

  44. (I do think the Royal Academy has walked back their position somewhat, though not sure. The APS has called the evidence for AGW “incontrovertible,” prompting the resignation of the esteemed, late Harold Lewis)

  45. How low can it go? Lets take the limbo stick down another notch in anticipation of the AMO going negative.

  46. Communicating Climate Science
    Mojib Latif

    There is a broad scientific consensus that the climate of the 21st century will warm in response to the anthropogenic emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs) into the atmosphere, but by how much remains highly uncertain. This is due to three factors: natural variability, model error, and emission scenario uncertainty. We as climate scientists should stress this uncertainty when talking to the public. Dealing with uncertainty is an integral part of our daily life, and we are used to assess the risk of certain steps we take. Nobody would board, for instance, an aircraft that will crash with a probability of only ten percent. Emphasizing in the public discourse too much the consensus – which is an artificial construct – can be very dangerous, and the climate research community can lose its credibility when not clearly stating publicly the uncertainties.

    Atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels have skyrocketed since the start of industrialization and reached values unprecedented in man’s history. The globally averaged surface air temperature of the planet has warmed during the 20th century, global sea level has risen, and many mountain glaciers and Arctic sea ice have considerably retreated. There is overwhelming scientific evidence that a significant share of 20th century warming is driven by the increase of GHGs. They will continue to accumulate in the atmosphere over the next years and possibly even decades, which together with the inertia of the climate system will support further warming. But what else do we really know about the climate of the 20th and 21st century?

    Surface air temperature (SAT) during the 20th century displays a gradual warming and superimposed short-term fluctuations (the figure shows observed annual Northern Hemisphere and Arctic SAT as red lines). The upward trend contains the climate response to enhanced atmospheric GHG levels but also a natural component. The temperature ups and downs around the trend – which are particularly pronounced in the Arctic – mostly reflects natural variability. The scientific challenge is to quantify the anthropogenic signal in the presence of the background climate noise. Natural climate variations are of two types, external and internal. External fluctuations need a forcing, a change in the boundary conditions. Volcanic eruptions and fluctuations in solar output are examples. The Philippine volcano Mt. Pinatubo, for instance, caused a short-lived drop of global SAT in 1991; and an increase of the solar radiation reaching the earth may have contributed to the mid-century warming during 1930-1940. The anthropogenic influence is also considered as external.
    One way to estimate the external contribution to the 20th century SAT change is to run climate models with observed natural and anthropogenic forcing. The average over all IPCC models is the consensus (black lines). The spread (gray shading), however, is large, partly because natural variability can be also produced internally by the climate system itself. A well-known example of an internal fluctuation is El Niño, a warming of the Equatorial Pacific occurring on average about every 4 years. The record event of 1997/1998 “helped” to make 1998 the warmest year to date globally . The last year also happened to be an El Niño year, which supported, for instance, weak Atlantic hurricane activity. The event still persists and was partly responsible for January 2010 being one of the warmest Januarys on record. Different initial states yield different realizations of internal variability in models even under identical external forcing, one reason for the spread, as integrations are performed in ensemble mode with different start conditions.

    • To some extent, we need to “ignore” the natural fluctuations, if we want to “see” the human influence on climate. Had forecasters extrapolated the mid-century warming into the future, they would have predicted far more warming than actually occurred. Likewise, the subsequent cooling trend, if used as the basis for a long-range forecast could have erroneously supported the idea of a rapidly approaching ice age. The detection of the anthropogenic climate signal thus requires at least the analysis of long records, because we can be easily fooled by the natural fluctuations, and we need to understand their dynamics to better estimate the internal noise level.
      The spread also reflects model error. Climate models are based on basic physical principles. As such they are fundamentally different to empirical models which are used, for instance, in economic forecasting. Climate models, however, are far away from being perfect. Errors in annual mean SAT, for instance, typically amount to several degrees in some regions . Limitations in computer resources dictate the use of either reduced or relatively coarse-resolution models. As a consequence many important processes cannot be explicitly simulated; they must be parameterized. Some processes like cloud formation or some radiation processes are not completely understood and differently represented in the models, which adds to the uncertainty.
      One way to compare models is by means of the climate sensitivity which is defined as the equilibrium change in globally averaged SAT in response to a doubling of the pre-industrial atmospheric CO2 concentration (from 280 to 560ppm ). IPCC AR4 stated that the value ‘…is likely to be in the range 2°C to 4.5°C with a best estimate of about 3°C, and is very unlikely to be less than 1.5°C’. In the IPCC definition likely refers to an outcome or result when its likelihood is greater than 66% probable. Very unlikely means a probability of less than ten percent. Thus there is a non negligible probability that the climate sensitivity is either considerably smaller or larger than 3°C. Apparently, just communicating the consensus, the best estimate, is inappropriate. The uncertainty in climate sensitivity itself is in my opinion a good reason to demand reductions of global GHG emissions, because the possibility of ‘a dangerous interference with the climate system’ cannot be ruled out with high confidence.
      To predict the future climate we have to consider both natural variability and anthropogenic forcing. The latter is taken into account by assuming scenarios about future GHG and aerosol emissions. The scenarios cover a wide range of the main driving forces of future emissions, from demographic to technological and economic developments. IPCC AR4 published only climate projections based on such scenarios with no attempt to take account of the likely evolution of the natural variability. This by definition yields relatively smooth trajectories if the results are averaged over many models. In the real world, the natural variations will introduce a large degree of irregularity, and even short-term cooling may occur during the next years . This could have been explained better to the public, as in some media reports the existence of Global Warming has been questioned after for more than ten years no global SAT record has been observed2. Had we emphasized more the uncertainty, that debate which confused many people could have been avoided. Albert Einstein once said that we should make ‘things as simple as possible, but not simpler’.

      Mojib Latif is a Professor of Climate Physics at Kiel University and Head of the Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics Division of the Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research, Germany. He is Contributing Author of the IPCC Reports 2001 (TAR) and 2007 (AR4).

  47. Pokerguy. Blogging is pleasant way of spending time and I enjoy most of the social interaction that takes place here so long as you don’t take it too seriously, because if you do it becomes much less enjoyable.

    Joshua likes a good argument and he seems to be arguing from both sides of the AGW fence at times, which is one reason why I am not certain if he is pro warming or not. I’m inclined to think he has an open mind on this, the same as me, and like Willard and a few others, he is a true sceptic.

    But this blog is not about Joshua or you or me, its just a fun place where we can let off some steam but I try to do this with the same grace and style of Kim, Beth, Chief (when he is being civil) Faustino, Peter Lang, Pekka, MattStat, Vaughan Pratt, the two Max’s, Fan (even), Edim, Wag, Arno, Alex (Pope and Biggs) TemptT and quite a few others.

    That’s why I’ll keep coming back and hope that you will do as well.

    • Not disagreeing with you, Peter, at least in principal. As to who’s a skeptic and who isn’t, that’s another one of those semantic discussions of which I rapidly weary. But yes, let’s all enjoy..

  48. I read the Ring paper, supervised by Schlesinger.

    They define ΔT2x as the equilibrium climate sensitivity.

    First, bizarre that they make a -0.9C correction to their Simple Climate Model attributed to correcting a “code error” plus corrections due to an annual cycle. How “simple” could this model be to have made that big a boo-boo?

    And then they “Include ocean heat uptake as a constraint” which produces a -0.3C correction. How could this be a NEGATIVE correction when the OHC is the feature that should produce a POSITIVE correction toward the anticipated equilibrium value?

    It appears what they are estimating is a transient response and not an equilibrium response.

    Does Nic Lewis do the same thing? His paper is behind a pay-wall.

    • It appears what they are estimating is a transient response and not an equilibrium response.

      The equilibrium response must always be smaller than the transient response. I have not seen any system that its oscillation increases with increase in time.

    • WHT

      There are some very odd things about several of the recently published sensitivity estimates. Things that one might reasonably have expected the reviewers to focus on more sharply.

      Still, it is encouraging to see a spread of methodological approaches employed and subsequently critiqued. The tiresome part is the vocal and unsceptical endorsement of outliers by those with a prior commitment to a particular result.

  49. Stacey on April 18, 2013 at 3:15 am
    @ Max Nok
    “One thing that continues to fascinate me is contrarians tend to be older people.”
    You shouldn’t regurgitate rubbish spouted by Monbiot (aged 50)
    Better to keep you mouth shut and let people think you are a fool than to open it and confirm it.
    The majority of junkett scientists and agw proponents are no spring chickens but that’s irrelevant to the debate, what is relevant is there are no facts to support the hypothesis that man made CO2 emissions will cause dangerous global warm. The hypothesis is a busted flush.

    Reply

  50. Alexej Buergin

    If one determines something by eyeballing it, it is an ESTIMATE.
    If one uses an instrument, it is a MEASUREMENT.
    Normally, the second is more precise than the first, and the instrument can be improved to make it even more so.

    And “thermometer” is Greek for “measures temeprature”.

    • David Wojick

      Every measurement is an estimate but many estimates are not measurements. In particular statistics are not measurements, unless they are the statistics of multiple measurements of the same thing. Socalled global surface temperatures are not measurement statistics because no two thermometers measure the same thing. Global surface temperatures are just statistics and poor ones at that. Yet they are taken as measurements. Fallacies do not get any deeper than this.

      • I think Steven Mosher once referenced estimating the weight of the moon; which I took him to mean, were it possible to snatch the moon and take it into my bathroom and weigh it on my bathroom scale, how much would it weigh? Well, we can estimate that. Probably at least to the degree of accuracy seen in the “measurements” taken at Jenny Craig.

      • Please give a specific example of an estimate that is not a measurement. What is the difference between estimates that are measurements and those that aren’t?

      • David Wojick

        Joshua: Engineering and construction firms have estimating groups. Estimating is an engineering specialty. They are not measuring anything, just estimating. Measurements usually involve instruments applied to the thing being measured. Measurement is a physical activity. Estimation is often just a mental activity.

      • Alexej Buergin

        Joshua
        I could try to estimate your IQ from your text, but to measure it you would have to do a test.

      • The distinctions you’re making or subjective and certainly not categorical. You are estimating my intelligence based on the test from my comments. David, notice that you can’t give a specific exampl. It is not categoric It is not categorical. The distinctions

      • But you get the poi But you get the point. Any measurement of m Any measurement of my intelligence, based on the test of my comments,

      • Okay. I will try to use voice to text one more time. Any measurement of my intelligence certainly one based on testing my comments David , , a specifi a specific example. The distinctions you’re making are subjective. estimation an estimation and measurements ar are relative.

      • David Springer

        An individual thermometer reading is no more or less a measurment than global average temperature. An individual thermometer reading is the average temperature of a very large number of air molecules. In principle this is no different than the average temperature of a very large number of thermometers.

        You can’t have your cake and eat it too.

      • David Springer

        @Joshua

        I hear it told that dictionaries are the measure of the meaning of words.

      • OK – let me try typing it out – might be marginally more comprehensible.

        David – I asked you to give specific examples. Is there any reason why you didn’t do so?

        Measurements usually involve instruments applied to the thing being measured.

        Estimates also utilize instruments.

        Measurement is a physical activity. Estimation is often just a mental activity.

        Again, your distinctions are arbitrary, and not categorical. Mental activity requires physical activity You can’t conduct physical activity without involving mental activity.

        Alezej –

        I could try to estimate your IQ from your text, but to measure it you would have to do a test.

        You are using my comments as a test – to measure my intelligence. And any test you would use would only give you an estimate of my intelligence.

        The differences between the meanings of “estimate” and “measurement” are relative, subjective, and highly contextual. They aren’t objective, and they certainly aren’t categorical.

      • Alexej Buergin

        I can (and must be able to) give an IQ test to a group of people, but Joshuas comments from 5:40 pm to 5:47 pm can only be from Joshua. The definition of IQ is based on the mean of test results.

      • David Springer

        @Joshua

        A dictionary provides examples in context. Why do you refuse to look up words when you wish to know the meanings? Did you go to some kind of progressive grade school that eschews dictionaries because they don’t treat all words as equals?

      • David Wojick

        Joshua, I do not know what you mean by categorical but many estimates are future looking where measurement is not possible. Recently I went to the store and estimated to my wife that I would be back in an hour but it took longer when measured.

        Estimates are often mental acts. When asked to estimate how many bales of hay we had left for the horses I said about 40. But when I counted, hence measured, them it was 63. My estimate was way off.

        But there is no sharp distinction, as usual for ordinary concepts. Trees and bushes for example.

      • > I don’t know what you mean by categorical.

        Here’s one:

        > In the second half of the nineteenth century Dedekind proved that the basic axioms of arithmetic have, up to isomorphism, exactly one model, and that the same holds for the basic axioms of Real Analysis. If a theory has, up to isomorphism, exactly one model, then it is said to be categorical.

        http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/philosophy-mathematics/#Cat

        Since David’s our in-house logician, this might be what he has in mind when we say “categorical”.

        No wonder Joshua’s point might be so confusing.

      • Steven Mosher

        ‘An individual thermometer reading is no more or less a measurment than global average temperature. An individual thermometer reading is the average temperature of a very large number of air molecules. In principle this is no different than the average temperature of a very large number of thermometers.”

        Well if it is a Liquid in Glass thermometer it measures the expansion of liquid. ‘temperature” is the average kinetic energy of the particles being measured, so thermometers don’t “measure” this at all first since ‘average’ is never observed and second because they are not measuring energy.

      • David Wojick

        Willard: Categorical in the mathematical sense cannot be what Joshua is referring to.

      • David,

        Had I to choose between these meanings to interpret Joshua’s point:

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

        I’d say it’s something along these lines:

        > A category, or kind, is a set of things. Membership in the category may be (1) all-or-none, as with “bird”: Something either is a bird or it isn’t a bird; a penguin is 100% bird, a dog is 100% not-bird. In this case we would call the category “categorical.”

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

        and

        > In logic, a categorical proposition, or categorical statement, is a proposition that asserts or denies members of one category (the subject term) as belonging to another (the predicate term).

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

        The measuring discussion and MattStat’s insightful remarks made me think of the Dedekind cut.

        Too bad there are no Dedekind cuts for ClimateBall.

      • Alexej –

        I can (and must be able to) give an IQ test to a group of people, but Joshuas comments from 5:40 pm to 5:47 pm can only be from Joshua. The definition of IQ is based on the mean of test results.

        IQ tests net an estimate of intelligence. They aren’t measurements of intelligence. If you give them to any individual twice, there is a good probability that you will get two different results.

        You are relegating the term “IQ” to be meaningless if you don’t acknowledge that it is meant as the result of a “test” of intelligence. The results of the testing has a margin of error. For any individual result, you are only estimating based on that margin of error. And of course, that doesn’t even address the question of validity – in the sense of does an IQ test really measure intelligence rather than how someone did on an IQ test.

        The distinctions you are making are subjective. That you insist that they are objective is merely a product of your inability to recognize the impact of your subjectivity..

      • David Springer,

        “An individual thermometer reading is no more or less a measurment than global average temperature. An individual thermometer reading is the average temperature of a very large number of air molecules. In principle this is no different than the average temperature of a very large number of thermometers.”

        “In principle” there is a difference in kind, both would be measurements,if there were enough thermometers. In practice, no one measures global average surface temperature without serious massaging of the numbers, including various statistical means to “estimate” the temperature in areas not “measured” by thermometers.

      • David –

        Joshua, I do not know what you mean by categorical

        I mean, in this context, that there is a distinction between “measurement” and “estimation” that is mutually exclusive.

        but many estimates are future looking where measurement is not possible.

        What “future looking” estimation is not grounded, at least to some degree, in some form of measurement?

        Recently I went to the store and estimated to my wife that I would be back in an hour but it took longer when measured.

        Your estimation, inextricably, entailed various aspects of measurement. It was based on measurement of how long it usually takes you go to the store. It was based on how far away the store is. It was based on a measurement of typical traffic patterns at that time of day on that route. It was based on a measurement of how fast you typically drive. If you did not have any components of measurement, you would not be able to offer an estimate. They are not mutually exclusive. The distinctions are not categorical. The distinctions are relative.

        Estimates are often mental acts.

        Mental acts that involved physical acts. If you did not perform physical acts you would not be able to estimate – because you would be dead. Without mental acts, you wouldn’t be able to perform physical acts. Your distinction between “mental acts” and “physical acts” is subjective. The distinction is not categorical.

        When asked to estimate how many bales of hay we had left for the horses I said about 40. But when I counted, hence measured, them it was 63. My estimate was way off.

        The fact that the numbers you derived from the two processes were different does not mean that the two processes are categorically distinct from one another. In order to say “about 40″ you performed processes of measurement. You made a rough count of the bales – perhaps based on calculating the approximate volume of one bale and dividing the volume of the entire space occupied by that product. In doing so, you “measured” the volume of one bale. You took a rough “measurement” the volume of the area taken up by hay.

        Or perhaps you “measured” the amount you usually give per day to the horses and subtracted that amount from the total based on a “measurement’ of the number of days since you last stocked up.

        Whatever your process was, it involved some act of measurement for you to produce your estimate. Likewise, any process of measurement involves some degree of estimation.

        It isn’t that there isn’t any meaningful distinctions, but the distinctions are relative, not absolute, and not mutually exclusive.

        Hence, the distinctions are not categorical.

      • Alexej –

        To be more precise, I should have said: “They aren’t exclusively measurements of intelligence.” They are, in a relative sense, a measurement of intelligence. And they are, in a relative sense, an estimation of intelligence.

        What’s funny is that (well, IMO at least) neither extreme in this debate is “right.” There are real differences between estimation and measurement. They are not meaningless or entirely arbitrary. They are also not categorical. They are relative. It is amusing that neither side can see how the arguments they are presenting are merely reflections of their steadfast confusion of “objective truth” and “relative truth.”

    • Steven Mosher

      ‘If one uses an instrument, it is a MEASUREMENT.”

      so, if i use a ruler to estimate the length it is a “measurement”

      is my forearm an instrument? as in a cubit?

      A thermometer does not measure temperature. A thermometer measures the expansion of liquid in a sealed glass tube. Then there is a device THEORY that “connects” this length into a “temperature”.

      A tree ring is an instrument. It measures temperature.. or rather we have a tree ring width and it’s connected via theory to temperature.

      What is the difference between a thermometer “measuring’ temperature
      and a tree ring “measuring” temperature?

      Nothing, except that one is more precise than the other because its “theory” is better established.

      you might say this: measurements are the most accurate estimates.

      In Jim’s world he want to argue TWO things;

      A) that measurement is CATEGORICALLY different than estimating. That’s its black and white.

      B) Since we cannot measure the effect of doubling c02 that it is THEREFORE ZERO.

      Both of these arguments are stupid.

      There is no black and white difference between measuring and estimating. The difference is qualitative. Every device used to measure or estimate has a theory surrounding it. Second, he wants to argue that we cannot know the doubling effect UNLESS we actually double c02. hey well, you cant know how tall I would be if I were twice as tall unless you actually measure me after I grow. That is cripwell nonsense. And at the same time he professes that we have absolute ignorance unless we can measure he professes certainty that the value is ZERO.

      There are good skeptical arguments for a low value for sensitivity.
      There are good skeptical arguments that the metric has shortcomings.
      But Cripwells nonsense is just pig headed ignorance passing itself off as a tenable position.

      He we dont know the radius of the earth because no body has wrapped a tape measure around it.

      • A thermometer measures the expansion of liquid in a sealed glass tube. Then there is a device THEORY that “connects” this length into a “temperature”.

        Yes, but one which has been quantified and validated – ie it’s beyond question

      • Hmmm – couldn’t find “tree ring” here:

        http://www.bipm.org/noflash.html

      • David Springer

        My trees didn’t get enough water this past year and produced small rings. How is that a measure of temperature? The difference between a thermometer and a tree ring is precision, accuracy, and isolation of variables.

        Write that down.

      • David Springer

        Actually we know the radius of the earth using the Pythagorean theorem. We have satellites in geosynchronous orbit and we know their distance from the earth with a high degree of accuracy via radar ranging and we can also measure the angle between the line from the satellite to center of earth and from satellite to edge of earth. Thus we have three of the six measures of a triangle, length of one side and two angles, which is sufficient to solve for the other two lengths and remaining angle.

        Try again.

      • “e we dont know the radius of the earth because no body has wrapped a tape measure around it.”

        Hadcru obviously did not as its gris is based on a spherical cow reducing the earths surface to 500mkm^2 .The missing data being it the westward longitude west of the dateline coincidentally an area of coldening what a screamer.

      • Steven, you write “A thermometer measures the expansion of liquid in a sealed glass tube.”

        I will not attempt to counter all that Steven has written about my science. Suffice it to say that most of what he claims I have said is palpably untrue. He obviously does not bother to read what I actually write. All he seems to be interested in is trying to make it appear that I dont understand basic physics; which I do. He is clearly worried that the physics I present shows conclusively the CAGW is merely an unproven hypothesis; which it is.

        However, what I have quoted indicates that he thinks that the only type of thermometer is liquid in glass. This is nonsense. A thermometer is any instrumnet that measures temperature by whatever means.

        Dr. Langmuir invented the bolometer,
        An exceedingly long range thermometer.
        It detected the heat,
        From a polar bear’s seat,
        At a distance of half a kilometer.

      • Alexej Buergin

        Now that Mosher has taught us scientists what science is, maybe he has time to teach an old mare how to fart.

      • Alexej Buergin

        From my physics book:
        “Temperature can be measured by observing the expansion of a column of gas”.
        Jay Orear, Fundamental Physics, 1967

      • David Wojick

        Mosher, when you put words in scare quotes you create a new word which you must explain, or you are questioning the ordinary word, which you also must explain. Otherwise what you say is meaningless.

        Tree rings are not instruments because they are not constructed. They are proxies. Do you know nothing about concept analysis, the method of analytic philosophy?

      • David Springer

        Yes, your forearm can be a unit measure. We can express a distance in Mosher forearms. If we cut it off we could use its weight as a unit measure too. Units of measure are arbitrary. All we have to do is agree upon some standard unit for comparative purposes or have some equivalency table such as knowing how long your forearm is in inches so we can compare measurements in inches with measurements in Mosher forearms.

        We could use your IQ points in excess of 100 as unit of measure too but that would have to be expressed in square roots of negative one, if you get my drift, and I think you do.

      • Steven Mosher

        Springer gets it !!

        ‘My trees didn’t get enough water this past year and produced small rings. How is that a measure of temperature? The difference between a thermometer and a tree ring is precision, accuracy, and isolation of variables.

        Write that down.

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

        yes the difference between a ‘measurement’ and and estimate is all QUALITATIVE and not CATEGORICAL.

        All measurements are estimates. they all depend upon theory.

        Quick now. What is the theory underlying the notion that rulers measure length? What is the theory underlying the notion that there are standards one can calibrate against?

      • Matthew R Marler

        Jim Cripwell: A thermometer is any instrumnet that measures temperature by whatever means.

        More examples please. Can you come up with even one thermometer that does not produce a model-based estimate of the quantity desired?

      • Matthew R Marler

        Alex Buergin: “Temperature can be measured by observing the expansion of a column of gas”.

        That is because there is a mathematical model relating the expansion to the temperature. The parameters of the model are estimates. In an actual device based on expansion of a gas or liquid, the rule lines on the device are estimates of the distances.

        If you carefully examine the mechanics of any “measuring” device, you find that its output are estimates of the desired quantity.

      • Alexej Buergin

        Marler:
        Mosher is an English major (not that there’s anything wrong with it) and therefore thinks it is his job to define how words are to be used. That is wrong. A science like physics defines itself the meaning of the words that are used there.
        E. g. the word “force” in physics does not mean the same thing as in a prayer. And in mathematics the word “group” means something different than in sociology.
        The quote by Jay Orear is just there to show how a PHYSICIST uses the word “measure”. (I selected him because I used that book for teaching.) You can be assured that he writes about all the details of defining temperature (using the average translational kinetic energy of the molecule, not entropy). And of course he thinks that the Boltzmann constant is “determined experimentally by measuring”, not estimated.

      • I’m a physicist and an engineer, and I cannot understand, how anyone can disagree so strongly with Steve Mosher.

        To me it’s totally clear that it’s not possible to draw any specific line between measurements and estimates based to a major part on empirical observations. Using models in the process of converting observations to results is common to all cases.

        Some theory or model is involved even in the simplest measurements, and many accurate measurements are dependent on complex models.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Alex Buergin: And of course he thinks that the Boltzmann constant is “determined experimentally by measuring”, not estimated.

        OK, so describe in detail the mechanism by which the Boltzman constant is “measured” and I shall show you how it is an estimate. That he “thinks” it is a measurement and not an estimate is irrelevant.

      • David Springer

        Oh fercrisakes. Use a frickin’ dictionary.

        es·ti·mate /ˈestəˌmāt/
        Verb – Roughly calculate or judge the value, number, quantity, or extent of.

        meas·ure /ˈmeZHər/
        Verb – Ascertain the size, amount, or degree of (something) by using an instrument or device marked in standard units or by comparing it with…

      • “Oh fercrisakes. Use a frickin’ dictionary.”

        David, these guys are space cadets (aptly described by another commenter). They have their own dictionary, if you know what I mean.

        Andrew

      • Matthew R Marler

        David Springer: Oh fercrisakes. Use a frickin’ dictionary.

        es·ti·mate /ˈestəˌmāt/
        Verb – Roughly calculate or judge the value, number, quantity, or extent of.

        meas·ure /ˈmeZHər/
        Verb – Ascertain the size, amount, or degree of (something) by using an instrument or device marked in standard units or by comparing it with…

        Frickin’ dictionaries are totally inadequate to this discussion. Every measuring device (and every measurement reported from one) has been based on an estimated quantitative relationship. In practice, the asserted distinction can not be maintained.

        All you are asserting in practice is that some estimates are more precise than others.

      • This is funny because I HAVE to use actual measurements or my irrigation designs will fail.To factor in water and air hammer possibilities require using solid numbers and that means PUBLISHED numbers for flow in pipes to create a chart for a particular application that includes sprinklers too and pressure for the system.

        I NEVER use guesses or estimates in designing irrigation zones or systems.Anyone who thinks otherwise have no idea how silly they come across since it is often that there are often small margins of error to deal with and that means careful use of real measured numbers not guesses to make it work properly.

        Now back to your regular programming……..

      • Matthew R Marler

        sunsettommy: .To factor in water and air hammer possibilities require using solid numbers and that means PUBLISHED numbers for flow in pipes to create a chart for a particular application that includes sprinklers too and pressure for the system.

        The procedure that is used to produce the PUBLISHED numbers entails quantitative relationships that have been estimated. I have been emphasizing that estimates and measurements are not procedurally distinguishable, and that every measurement depends upon estimates. You and others use the word “estimate” to denote an estimate that is not accurate enough, and you use the word “measurement” to denote an estimate that is accurate enough. That makes “measurements” a proper subset of “estimates”. If someone produces a set of more accurate “measurements” for your piping, do your previous “measurements” turn into “estimates”? I would say no: your previous “measurements” are still estimates, but more accurate estimates have become available.

  51. David Wojick

    ECS is a misleading abstraction at best yet the community is fixated on it. Climate is a far from equillibrium system subject to multiple independent forcings and feedbacks some of which are unknown. ECS is thus junk because ECS does not exist in the real world except on paper. It may warm or it may cool but whatever it does is not due to ECS.

    • David Wojick

      For analogy it is like there are 50 vectors operating on a particle but we are only trying to measure one and predict the behavior from that. And the vectors are nonlinear.

      • First you take each non-linear vector and represent it with one linear vector and then you add all the vectors together like any civil engineer (those who design and build bridges for example) knows how to do.

        then you only have one vector as that particle is at any one moment moving in only one direction with only one velocity. The next instant may have it moving in a different direction with a different velocity.

  52. es·ti·mate (st-mt)
    tr.v. es·ti·mat·ed, es·ti·mat·ing, es·ti·mates
    1. To calculate approximately (the amount, extent, magnitude, position, or value of something).

    meas·ure (mzhr)
    n.
    1. Dimensions, quantity, or capacity as ascertained by comparison with a standard.

    Two different words. Two different meanings.

    Andrew

    • Thank you Andrew. Now if only Steven Mosher would post that he agrees, we could put this whole discussion to bed, and accept that climate sensitivity, however defined, has not been measured.

      • If there was no “climate sensitivity” the Old Farmers Almanac would not have been able to correctly predict global cooling. All the hysterics about global warming should have cooled by now. A hot mass media demonstrated zero prophetic insight when it came to discerning fact from fiction but The Old Farmers Almanac — an institution that actually has a stake in being credible — actually predicted a colder 2008-9 winter before it happened. Imagine that!

        That is something the climate change models and graphs fabricated by Western academics cannot even get right after-the-fact. The Alamanac also predicted global cooling over the next 50 years–e.g. “if human beings were not contributing to global warming,” the Almanac‘s Editor-in-Chief Jud Hale remarked, “it would become real cold in the next 50 years.”

        But a sensational mainstream media’s obsession with a human-caused thermogeddon continues to override cool heads and honest reporting.

      • Wagathon, you write “But a sensational mainstream media’s obsession with a human-caused thermogeddon continues to override cool heads and honest reporting”

        Unfortunately, I need to disagree with you. I am afraid the MSM and our politicians are taking their lead from people who OUGHT to be “cool heads”, and “honest”. I am talking about just about ALL the learned scientific societies, headed by the Royal Society, The American Physical Society, and the World Meteorological Organization. Unless and until these august bodies come to their senses, and start reporting SCIENCE instead of propaganda, then I am afraid the MSM and our politicians will continue to spout nonsense about CAGW,

      • Faint cries for a Royal Commission echo perfidiously around Albion.
        ==========

      • The Old Farmers Almanac was useful when we ran out of corn shucks, but the Sears catalogue was better.

      • Steven Mosher

        But it has been measured jim.

        of course the INSTRUMENTS used to measure it are

        A) not very precise
        B) subject to bias and drift
        B) not very accurate.

        In fact, they are So inaccurate, and so imprecise that folks refer to these measurements as ‘estimates’

        You get the difference now. All measurements are estimates. When you use a ruler to measure it is an estimate. A very very very good estimate because the instrument you use is precise and accurate, and you assume that it doesnt change during the process of measuring. Other measurements are not very precise, not very accurate, and subject to all sorts of errors.. like measuring the length of my golf shots by pacing them off.. We call thes measurements estimates.. but at the deepest level there is no categorical difference between the two.

        You would do better to say that the measurements are highly uncertain.

      • I would say they’re more like trying to measure the thickness of a human hair by pacing it off

      • But aren’t you the one who has been saying that it is indistinguishable from zero?
        Which would mean you have measured it.
        But pardon me if I have misremembered what you have posted, or if I have confused you with someone else.

      • I might have known it would be wasted.
        And no, it wasn’t me

    • Matthew R Marler

      Bad Andrew: 1. Dimensions, quantity, or capacity as ascertained by comparison with a standard.

      Standards are themselves estimates. Thus, the result of a measurement is an estimate of the quantity measured. Operationally, there is no reliable difference between estimates and measurements.

      • Maybe it’s just a vocabulary thing:

        One measures with a tangible instrument.
        One estimates with a theoretical apparatus.

        As long as one realizes that instruments and apparati are intertwined [1]
        No harm done.

        [1] http://www.calculemus.org/lect/06transl/quine1.html

      • Matthew R Marler

        willard(@nevaudit): One measures with a tangible instrument.

        1. Every tangible instrument is based on a quantitative theory.

        2. Every tangible instrument has been made with some approximation error (“within specs”.)

        3. The result of the measurement operation is an estimate.

      • “Standards are themselves estimates.”

        Not always. The standard week is exactly 7 days. Always.
        More examples can be provided.

        Andrew

      • Yesbutleapyears!

      • Good observation, MattStat.

        Or was that an estimation?

      • Bad –

        The standard week is exactly 7 days.

        Exactly speaking, how long is a day?

      • “Exactly speaking, how long is a day?”

        It’s exactly 1 rotation (of the earth) on it’s axis.

        Andrew

      • The consensus about what a day is might be overblown:

        > The Earth rotates once in about 24 hours from the point of view of the sun and once every 23 hours 56 minutes and 4 seconds from the point of view of the stars (see below). Earth’s rotation is slowing slightly with time; thus, a day was shorter in the past. This is due to the tidal effects the Moon has on Earth’s rotation. Atomic clocks show that a modern day is longer by about 1.7 milliseconds than a century ago,[2] slowly increasing the rate at which UTC is adjusted by leap seconds.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth's_rotation

      • Bad –

        t’s exactly 1 rotation (of the earth) on it’s axis.

        Exactly speaking, how long is that – and how do you measure it? What increments of measurement do you use?

      • Joshua, ” t’s exactly 1 rotation (of the earth) on it’s axis.

        Exactly speaking, how long is that – and how do you measure it? What increments of measurement do you use?”

        it is 1 revolution :) The Babylonians using sexagesimal of base 60 used that one revolution as the standard to develop degrees-minutes-seconds and hours-minutes-seconds. That still works and they never used zero. Zero was invented by Greek bankers.

      • > Zero was invented by Greek bankers.

        :-)

      • Joshua,

        You asked for day in exact terms. That’s what I provided. How granular do you want to get with how long and earth’s rotation takes? It can be expressed in different units.

        Andrew

      • Matthew R Marler

        Bad Andrew: The standard week is exactly 7 days.

        Say for the sake of argument that you wanted to measure an epoch of time in weeks: the first thing you would have to do is estimate the time (in some reference frame) of the epoch; the last thing you would have to do is estimate the time of the end of the epoch; in between, you have to estimate the end and beginning of each “day”. Your measurement of 7.67 weeks (for some identifiable epoch of time) is thus only an estimate.

      • Bad –

        You asked for day in exact terms. That’s what I provided

        I asked you how long a day is, in exact terms, and you still haven’t answered my question. In other words, to answer my question, you would have to tell me how long it takes of the earth to revolve on its axis.

        Exactly, that is.

        If someone asks “Just how stupid is Bad, exactly,” and I say “Exactly as stupid as Cap’n and Willard put together,” I have not answered their question.

      • Cap’n

        And the Egyptians used 3,4.5 triangles to square the pyramids.

        How does your comment relate to my question to Bad?

      • Joshua, a day is a standard. Time and distance around the Earth are derived from that standard. A standard isn’t estimated, it is defined. Duplicates of that standard may be estimates, but not the standard itself.

        Sensitivity is also a standard because it is defined. Unfortunately, measurements based on that standard are not consistent, pretty much like LOD is not absolutely consistent, but LOD is consistent enough to be useful. Until climate sensitivity is redefined in some way so it can be
        “accurately” measured, it is a useless standard.

        A meter was defined as a standard, because the French, being constantly overrun by groups that may be poor cooks but fair warriors, defined the meter as 10-7 the distance through Paris from the pole to the equator due to jealousy of the Prime Meridian passing through London. The French of course screwed up the calculation, but since it is a standard, it doesn’t matter, much like climate sensitivity.

      • Cap’n –

        A standard isn’t estimated, it is defined.

        Standards are absolutely estimates, relatively speaking, with assumed margins of errors. Just as definitions are ultimate relative also.

        Unfortunately, measurements based on that standard are not consistent,

        Relatively speaking, all standards (and measurements) are not consistent. It is all a matter of where you want to drive your stake to choose your parameters. That is a subjective choice.

      • er…. rotate on its axis.

      • Joshua, “Standards are absolutely estimates, relatively speaking, with assumed margins of errors. Just as definitions are ultimate relative also.”

        Nope. A standard is not to be modified or rationalized away, though new standards do appear with political will and meridian envy. A standard can be measured with greater precision to get more decimal places, but standards are not estimated, they are defined or decreed.

      • A standard can be measured with greater precision to get more decimal places, but standards are not estimated, they are defined or decreed.

        That is where I see a contradiction in your argument. As I see it, a standard in some abstracted form is an estimate with an accepted (sometimes agreed upon) margin of error – and in an applied form you can choose to be more or less precise in matching that accepted margin of error. When I describe the dimensions of a sheet of plywood, I use a standard of measurement (in an abstracted form) that assumes a margin of error. When I say that it is 4′ X 8′, using the abstract standard of one foot, there is an acceptance of a margin of error (say, maybe, 1/64th of an inch? I have no idea exactly how much variance their are in sheets of plywood).

        When I apply my standard, I can choose to use a tape that has increments of varying size, and in that sense choose to be more or less precise, but there is always some element of estimation involved. No ruler is perfectly precise. The manufacturer did some degree of estimation in creating my tape that applies the “standard” of one foot. And I apply some degree of estimation when I read my ruler.

        That’s why I could always get away with my carpentry errors by explaining that my tape didn’t have increments smaller than 16ths of an inch.

        I suspect we’re just going to repeat ourselves here, so we may as well just agree that a slice of bacon is one standard we both greatly appreciate.

      • Joshua, “When I apply my standard, I can choose to use a tape that has increments of varying size, and in that sense choose to be more or less precise, but there is always some element of estimation involved. No ruler is perfectly precise.” Your standards are not “the” standard. While no ruler may be “precise” the standard that the ruler is manufactured to is. If you want to sell a micrometer that is +/- x accurate, you have to use a calibration standard, based on the true standard, that is at least 10 times as accurate as your product’s stated accuracy.

        Since nations are involved, greater precision or refinement is required from time to time.
        http://www.ngs.noaa.gov/PUBS_LIB/FedRegister/FRdoc59-5442.pdf

        Imagine that, a yard down to 8 decimal places. How many decimal places in your standard? That is a pretty exact estimate docha know.

      • Alexej Buergin

        Marler:
        In physics the standards are m, kg, s, A, K, cd, mol. They are DEFINED by the SI. The “error” is zero, perfection for you.

        E. g. 1 meter is defined as the distance light travels in a vacuum in exactly (1/299792458)s (and that DEFINES the speed of light to be 299792458m/s, no error there either).

        It might make you happy that an inch is DEFINED as 0.0254m, so there is no error there either. An inch is an inch, as Richard Petty said.

      • Alexej Buergin

        Since everybody here admires Feynman, who was good at estimating, how about going to his lectures and finding a quote where he uses “estimating” instead of “measuring”?

      • Matthew R Marler

        alexej: In physics the standards are m, kg, s, A, K, cd, mol. They are DEFINED by the SI. The “error” is zero, perfection for you.

        That defines the measurement unit. Any reported measurement of any other quantity has been based upon a quantitative relationship (“model”) between something and something else, and the parameters of that quantitative relationship have been estimated.

        Really: Find any measuring instrument and describe how it works; or find any reported measurement and describe how it has been obtained; in the procedure there is an estimated relationship, and the result is a number with some degree of error.

        Measurement isn’t about words, it’s about procedures to obtain a value for the measured quantity. Every actual procedure producing actual numbers is based upon an estimated relationship.

      • Alexej Buergin

        A clock is an oscillator, measuring time means counting the number of oscillations.
        I have no idea what an “estimated relationship” is.

  53. “It should be a red flag that an estimate of climate sensitivity would change by a factor of two based only on the addition of a decade of data. In reality, the climate sensitivity now is not half what it was a decade ago. So where did the Norwegian study go wrong?”

    How can people get through college and grad school and reason so poorly?

    • It all comes down to arrogance and confirmation bias. He believes his value is obviously right and this one is thus obviously wrong, and then his emotional mind fills in the ridiculous “sensitivity now is not half what it was a decade ago” part.

      I’ve seen this a lot in otherwise bright people. Perhaps we can call it BSO (Brain Stem Override) Syndrome.

  54. In weighing the new evidence, especially improvements in the methodology of sensitivity analysis, it is becoming increasing difficult not to downgrade the estimates of climate sensitivity.


    There was this interesting paper by Armour et al. discussed at Lucia’s by PaulK, the implications of which would be that sensitivity analyses should incorporate a surface temperature field. It doesn’t look to me as though Judith Curry is even keeping up with the literature in assuming that these papers represent some sort of conclusive evidence in the sensitivity debate.

    • David Wojick

      They are conclusive evidence of uncertainty, which additional references will not reduce.

      But I am curious as to why we are interested in a surface temperature field given that AGW is about atmospheric energy not boundary layer temperature? The greenhouse effect is not a surface phenomenon.

  55. In her thoughtful discussion of recent estimates of equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS), Judith Curry writes, “it is becoming increasing difficult not to downgrade the estimates of climate sensitivity.” Is it? I’d like to take a stab at that question – tentatively, because I’ve been less attentive to the details of recent articles than in the past, being occupied with other matters.
    My tentative response is that it is indeed more difficult to justify ECS values exceeding 4.5 C, and possibly even those exceeding 3 C, but that there is little justification for discarding the lower end of the canonical range – the latter typically cited as 2 to 4.5 C – or for greatly changing median estimates.

    Several recent studies – by Nic Lewis and others – have used observational data from past decades to derive an ECS estimate, generally based on energy balance considerations and requiring estimates of ocean heat uptake. Reasons for uncertainty surrounding these estimates have already been cited, but I think there is an additional problem. What has been estimated in these studies, while described as ECS, is much more akin to what has been termed “effective climate sensitivity” (I’ll abbreviate it Eff-CS) than it is to ECS. Eff-CS is essentially an attempt to estimate parameters underlying ECS under non-equilibrium conditions on an energy balance basis. Over sufficiently long intervals, the values of Eff-CS and ECS converge, but when the intervals are relatively short (decades), and positive forcing has been significant in recent decades, Eff-CS may substantially underestimate ECS. A major reason for this appears to be the influence of slow feedbacks that increasingly amplify the climate response over a protracted interval. Two recent papers addressing this are The Time-dependence of Climate Sensitivity and Time-varying climate sensitivity form regional feedbacks.

    If some of these recent estimates are adjusted for the Eff-CS/ECS disparity, they will probably fall within the 2 – 4.5 C range for ECS, although perhaps closer to the lower end. Other recent studies based on different approaches have yielded higher estimates, and so the uncertainty continues, although probably not at a level that should greatly change previous perspectives.

    • Thank you, Fred. It seems like this needs repeating, whether or not the non-linearity found in models is found in nature, although one would assume that regionally varying feedbacks ought to be the base assumption.

    • Fred, You are back! Your contributions I always find interesting.

    • Fred, your point about fast (OK, decadish) versus slow ( OK, multi decadish), versus very slow (OK, centuries to millennia, like ocean atmosphere CO2 Henry’s law equilibrium, or polar ice libido) equilibria is well taken.
      Your problem is that none of the longish ones can have any instrumental validations. And all the recent paleo climate efforts are less than Knutti’s 2008? survey. I examined many in last years book chapter.
      So the whole thing is again inside the uncertainty monster, and every time we chip away at it the answer is a lower sensitivity and less concern. That has become a certain trend relative to AR3 hockey stick ‘certainty’.
      Shakespeare wrote a play, Much Ado About Nothing. Would the Bard were alive here to post opposite Kim, and others of like ilk.

      • If climate science were a play, it would have been shut down long ago.

      • Rud – Just so readers aren’t confused, what is reported by the papers I cited (as well as references therein) is not time to equilibrium, which would be approached asymptotically over many centuries for doubled CO2, but rather the estimated value of temperature change at equilibrium as a function of the length of the observational record on which the estimate is based. Put simply, the actual temperature change at equilibrium would be whatever it is, but if one uses a few decades of data to derive an estimate of that value, the estimate will be lower than if a much longer observational interval is used. Now this is a modeled result, of course, but so is ECS in its own right. In any case, readers might want to visit the linked references, particularly Armour et al, for a better and more complete discussion than I provide here.

        Regarding paleo data, I believe both higher and lower ECS estimates have emerged in recent years, depending in part on estimates of the temperature difference between the LGM and recent times. However, it wasn’t my intent to discuss the enormous topic of ECS estimates in general, but rather to address the topic of this post – the recent estimates based on energy balance principles.

    • Fred, I’ve never really understood this nonlinear feedback thing. Annan for example got 1.7c as a difference between present and LGM and then said there were “nonlinear irises” that made CO2 sensitivity higher but that models disagreed on its size. Seems to me a finite difference over a big difference accounts for all the no linearity.

      Couldn’t one add nonlinear feedbacks to the climate model Nic used? I would assume the most important were included

      • David, As I understand it, the non-linearity refers to the variation in the radiative response to a given surface temperature change, attributed to the operation of feedbacks that differ in their response times, with the slower ones responsible for the increase in estimated values of ECS when a doubled CO2 scenario is run in the models for longer rather than shorter times. In essence, for a given temperature change, these feedbacks have not had the opportunity to exert their full effects at the shorter intervals.

        I do think that for a better explanation, the paper by Armour et al would be worth visiting.

      • To clarify Fred’s comments, Armour (and Isaac Held at his blog) caution that energy balance based on a global mean surface temperature result in underestimating sensitivity. Models show a nonlinear response for the net energy flux at TOA with respect to mean surface temperature as explained by Held here . Armour’s paper clarifies how underlying dynamics can still be understood by linear analysis, but only by constructing a local energy balance with a spatially varying temperature as opposed to observation-based estimates (which includes Forster/Gregory and Nic Lewis) relying on using the global-mean energy budget and global-mean temperature. As they state in their paper “Our central finding is that the time-variation of (effective climate sensitivity) appears to be fundamentally controlled by the geographic pattern of regional climate feedbacks and the time-evolving pattern of surface warming.” Whether or not models are good, the base case ought to be to assume that climate feedbacks show a spatially varying structure. The conclusion would then be that analyses such as by Nic Lewis would represent a lower bound with an unknown increase depending on the geographic structure of regional climate feedbacks.

        This is my understanding of Armour and Held – so you are well-advised to read the references yourself.

      • RB – thanks for the link to Held, for first mentioning Armour et al above., and for emphasizing the role of regional variation in feedbacks in explaining the time variation.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Regional variability has a great deal to do with shifting ocean and atmospheric patterns. Assuming it is all feedback to anthropogenic gases is – to use my favourite term of the day – utter nonsense. Until there is a means of untangling natural variability from anthropogenic attribution remains a problematic exercise.

      • Yes, Fred and RB. Thanks for the explanations. I participated in a discussion of Armour at Lucia’s. It was interesting. One of my caveats about that paper for me was that they used climate models for their analysis, but we know these have no skill at regional climate, but their whole argument is that polar amplification takes a very long time whereas tropical response was almost immediate, an argument relying on regional climate responses. Seems circular to me. However, their broad point that response will be much smaller in the tropics and much larger in polar regions is probably correct. In any case, GHG forcing at high latitudes is an order of magnitude smaller than orbital forcings and thus I doubt that we are on the verge of “melting the polar regions” which hasn’t happened in the last million years.

      • While I agree the discussions of Armour et al. (and other papers mentioned) are important with regards many of the empirical sensitivity estimates mentioned on this blog, I don’t think they are relevant to James Annan’s BoE calculation because that refers to LGM temperature difference from today, which is considered in terms of two long-term/quasi-equilibrium states. In theory the non-linearities discussed by Armour would have worked themselves out over the longer timescales involved.

        Annan’s calculation is really just (DeltaT/DeltaRF)*3.7, DeltaT from his LGM estimate and DeltaRF from PMIP modelling efforts (Bracannot et al. 2012 provides some useful details) using geological data for atmospheric composition, topographies, sea level.

        DeltaT = ~4ºC and DeltaRF = ~9W/m^2, so ECS = (4/9)*3.7 = 1.65ºC.

        However, there are different factors that constitute this 9W/m^2 total forcing, each with unique properties with regards their effect on climate, including the magnitude of their effect on global average temperature. These unique forcing properties have often been discussed in terms of “efficacy” – a larger efficacy means a greater effect on global average temperature per unit forcing. A couple of general rules that seem to pop out are that forcings have greater efficacy when applied to Tropical regions and when applied to oceans. About 1/3 of the total LGM forcing outlined in Bracannot et al. 2012 comes from the appearance/disappearance of high latitude ice sheets. According to those general rules of efficacy this large forcing will contribute very little to a global average temperature change (Isaac Held has recently put up a new blog post discussing relevant issues here, namely the inability of extratropical forcings to affect widescale climate). Indeed about 2/3 of the 9W/m^2 forcing is predominantly over land. The exception to this land dominance is the WMGHGs, which make up the remaining 1/3. So, despite representing only 1/3 of total forcing it’s quite plausible that WMGHG variability was responsible for the majority of global average temperature difference between the LGM and preindustrial Holocene.

        In summary the non-linearity in this case is primarily in the relationship between forcing and equilibrium global average temperature – not all forcings are alike in their impacts.

      • Paul S, Nice comment. The Held post could use some simplification IMO, but it would require some “magic” for the NH warming to impact the SH on any reasonable time scale.

      • Refreshing to have Fred Moolten and Paul S again comment here. Brings in thoughtful and informed people like RB.

      • This is a nice string of comments. One thing missing is accounting for non-WMGHG forcings in the modern warming. I know some believe that a major low frequency ocean cycle may be responsible for the pre WMGHG modern warming. Other papers cite carbon black, desertification, deforestation and irrigated ag as additional first order forcings. On top of this, we have anthro and volcanic aerosols that provide a mix of positive and negative forcings that are poorly understood.

        This is where, for me the Armour et al paper is so exciting. The fact that regional feedbacks at differing timescales influence climactic response is a positive step away from global average thinking. Hopefully, more effort will focus on tightening our understanding of other first order +/- forcings and regional feedback systems by collecting more field data to try and detect what is actually happening. It seems that water vapor feedback is not behaving as modeled and we are still weak on simulating cloud feedbacks, more data is needed and local models of these effects need to be modified to reflect nature.

      • What JCH said. Thanks Fred Moolten, RB and Paul S for their explanations.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Fred Moolten, welcome back!

      Other recent studies based on different approaches have yielded higher estimates, and so the uncertainty continues, although probably not at a level that should greatly change previous perspectives.

      I think you are right: The uncertainty is sufficient that previous perspectives will not greatly change.

    • CCSM4 produces oscillations under conditions of no forcing changes. To use this model in order to quantify the effects of forcing regionally without determining what is the unforced oscillation and what is a forced reaction makes it unclear to me what useful purpose it serves.

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

  56. Chief Hydrologist

    ‘…the future evolution of the global mean temperature may hold surprises on both the warm and cold ends of the spectrum due entirely to internal variability that lie well outside the envelope of a steadily increasing global mean temperature…’ S&T09

    The space cadets argue that this doesn’t mean what it says or even that Swanson and Tsonis are laughing stocks in the climate community. What it means for sensitivity is that even the sign of temperature prospects is uncertain when greenhouse gases interact with natural – and abrupt – variability. It requires a recognition of how far theoretically short these back of the envelope calculations – and I include GCM in this – fall in characterising the future evolution of climate.

    This newer – it has been around for a while – theory suggests warming is unlikely for a decade to three more since 2002. Following the latest climate shift in 1998/2001. All the auguries are in place. The PDO is negative and La Niña intensifies – cloud cover shifted abruptly at the turn of the millennium.

    The newer theory of climate requires a new mathematical theory of climate sensitivity – all else seems such utter nonsense.

  57. Will someone help me out wrt to climate sensitivity and its attempted estimate.

    We don’t have anything like a complete understanding of how the climate works. We can’t agree not just on what role the sun plays in natural variability, but even whether that role is important in relative terms. We don’t really know what causes ice ages, and we don’t really understand what brings them to an end. We don’t even know whether at this moment we’re warming or cooling. In fact, we don’t even completely agree on what it means when we say the earth is warming or cooling.

    ANd yet despite this obvious muddle, we’re somehow suppose to believe that the climate’s sensitivity to a gas that makes up a tiny fraction of the atmosphere, can be estimated accurately enough for us to make vaild predictions as to how our climate will behave years into the future…

    Clearly I’m missing something because credible scientists obviously do think that we can usefully estimate climate sensitivity, including Dr. Curry. Is anyone inclined to explain this to me?

    • Uncertainty isn’t the same as knowing nothing. Uncertainty has bounds. If you figure out where the uncertainty stops, you have some basis for decisions.

      • That sounds reasonable MAx, but do the uncertainties have bounds in a practical sense? It’s my understanding that the models used to make the IPCC predictions severely limit the role of the sun. Do these models somehow incorporate fudge factors to allow for the fact that this might be incorrect?

      • I don’t know. I guess even what seems certain could be wrong, but not by much I would hope.

        I don’t insist on absoute certainty ( no possibility of being wrong) before I make personal decisions. If I did, I would be paralyzed. Nor do I believe absolute certainty is necessary for public policy decisions.

      • 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.’
        http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/tar/wg1/505.htm

        By ensemble is meant the systematic exploration of a family of solutions from a single model – not the rubbish we have now.

        What is certain is that we are ‘dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system’ – and thus the meta-uncertainty extends to the impossibility of prediction of climate states.

        ‘Sensitive dependence and structural instability are humbling twin properties for chaotic dynamical systems, indicating limits about which kinds of questions are theoretically answerable. They echo other famous limitations on scientist’s expectations, namely the undecidability of some propositions within axiomatic mathematical systems (Gödel’s theorem) and the uncomputability of some algorithms due to excessive size of the calculation.’ http://www.pnas.org/content/104/21/8709.long

        Learn to love the uncertainty monster.

    • “we’re somehow suppose to believe that the climate’s sensitivity to a gas that makes up a tiny fraction of the atmosphere,”

      Just 280 PPM of CO2 is responsible for the 33C discrepancy and thus gives us an above freezing global mean temperature. Adding more CO2 will increase this discrepancy.

      There is no plausible alternative theory out there. Not one that is even close.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Global temperature is the result of being in the Goldilocks’ zone wrt to the sun where liquid water is possible. It is modulated for the most part by changes in albedo. 85W/m2 from snowball earth to blue green planet. CO2 is a secondary feedback effect at best.

        Endlessly repeating a simple and misleading meme about a hypothetical atmosphere without CO2 and water vapour does nothing to enable an understanding of the multiple causes of contemporary climate change.

  58. Pingback: Det våras för klimatkänsligheten: Judith Curry | The Climate Scam

  59. Chief Hydrologist

    Models don’t need fudge factors.

    ‘Lorenz was able to show that even for a simple set of nonlinear equations (1.1), the evolution of the solution could be changed by minute perturbations to the initial conditions, in other words, beyond a certain forecast lead time, there is no longer a single, deterministic solution and hence all forecasts must be treated as probabilistic. The fractionally dimensioned space occupied by the trajectories of the solutions of these nonlinear equations became known as the Lorenz attractor (figure 1), which suggests that nonlinear systems, such as the atmosphere, may exhibit regime-like structures that are, although fully deterministic, subject to abrupt and seemingly random change.’ http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/369/1956/4751.full

    Julia Slingo works at the Met Office I believe. Tim Palmer is the head of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) – and has been writing about this stuff for decades. The fudge factor isn’t needed because a solution is chosen from a number of possible solutions based on qualitative plausibility of the solution chosen. I wish I could get this point across.

    • “The fudge factor isn’t needed because a solution is chosen from a number of possible solutions based on qualitative plausibility of the solution chosen. I wish I could get this point across”

      Sorry mate, but that seems much more circular than pointed

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘The bases for judging are a priori formulation, representing the relevant natural processes and choosing the discrete algorithms, and a posteriori solution behaviour.’

        http://www.pnas.org/content/104/21/8709.long

        It seems quite a difficult point – but the point is the circularity. Between the governing set of non-linear equations and the vagaries of inputs and couplings there is no single deterministic answer and the divergence can be arbitrarily wide. This is both the aspects of structural instability and sensitive dependence to initial conditions. With chaotical dynamical systems – which these models most assuredly are – you are no longer in Kansas Toto.

        http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/sensitivedependence.gif.html?sort=3&o=73

        ‘‘Sensitive dependence and structural instability are humbling twin properties for chaotic dynamical systems, indicating limits about which kinds of questions are theoretically answerable.’ op cit.

  60. It is time to get off the warming bandwagon. Like all of the other phony pseudo-science bandwagons AGW theory begins by discarding the scientific method. The drill is always the same: frighten us all into crapping our pants and act out of a sense of urgency before we know, if ever, that we’ve been taken to the cleaners: like paying $600 to replace a $50 part on your car because it stalled. Remember when media darling Carl Sagan said if Saddam Hussein sets Iraq’s oil wells afire the release of black soot into the stratosphere will block the sunlight and cause a “nuclear winter” scenario. With that Sagan essentially dared Hussein to torch Iraq’s oil wells in his last ditch effort to frighten America and stave off personal accountability. Then, media darling Al Gore did the same thing: Gore tried to frighten America with fears of body bags caused by runaway global warming as he lives in a mansion consuming the electricity of a small country in Africa and uses a private jet to maximize his revenues from the global flimflam.

    Human kind has little or nothing to do with the recent temperature changes. We are not that influential. ~William Gray

    • Poor 83 year-old William Gray has tarnished his legacy with his skepticism. It’s so sad. I feel sorry for the old guy.

      • Michael Mann’s sycophants polish small knobs.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Poor old James Hansen at 72 has wasted so many years chasing a chimera he will probably never see the light. The definition of a dinosaur is someone who dies with a discredited scientific paradigm on their lips.

        The definition of a cult of AGW groupthink space cadet is those who – having little to no scientific understanding – accept a discredited paradigm as an article of faith.

      • Max_OK I too had a quick look at the Wiki article on Bill Gray and find that his scepticism started a long time before old age could be said to have been the main basis of it.

        Here’s a few more

        “Scientists questioning the accuracy of IPCC climate projections

        Scientists in this section have made comments that it is not possible to project global climate accurately enough to justify the ranges projected for temperature and sea-level rise over the next century. They may not conclude specifically that the current IPCC projections are either too high or too low, but that the projections are likely to be inaccurate due to inadequacies of current global climate modeling.
        Freeman Dyson, professor emeritus of the School of Natural Sciences, Institute for Advanced Study; Fellow of the Royal Society [9]
        Richard Lindzen, Alfred P. Sloan professor of atmospheric science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and member of the National Academy of Sciences[10]
        Nils-Axel Mörner, retired head of the Paleogeophysics and Geodynamics department at Stockholm University, former chairman of the INQUA Commission on Sea Level Changes and Coastal Evolution (1999–2003), and author of books supporting the validity of dowsing[11]
        Garth Paltridge, retired chief research scientist, CSIRO Division of Atmospheric Research and retired director of the Institute of the Antarctic Cooperative Research Centre, visiting fellow ANU[12]
        Philip Stott, professor emeritus of biogeography at the University of London[13]
        Hendrik Tennekes, retired director of research, Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute [14]
        Scientists arguing that global warming is primarily caused by natural processes

        Graph showing the ability with which a global climate model is able to reconstruct the historical temperature record, and the degree to which those temperature changes can be decomposed into various forcing factors. It shows the effects of five forcing factors: greenhouse gases, man-made sulfate emissions, solar variability, ozone changes, and volcanic emissions.[15]
        Scientists in this section have made comments that the observed warming is more likely attributable to natural causes than to human activities. Their views on climate change are usually described in more detail in their biographical articles.
        Khabibullo Abdusamatov, mathematician and astronomer at Pulkovo Observatory of the Russian Academy of Sciences[16]
        Sallie Baliunas, astronomer, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics[17][18]
        Ian Clark, hydrogeologist, professor, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Ottawa[19]
        Chris de Freitas, associate professor, School of Geography, Geology and Environmental Science, University of Auckland[20]
        David Douglass, solid-state physicist, professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Rochester[21]
        Don Easterbrook, emeritus professor of geology, Western Washington University[22]
        William M. Gray, professor emeritus and head of the Tropical Meteorology Project, Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University[23]
        William Happer, physicist specializing in optics and spectroscopy, Princeton University[24]
        William Kininmonth, meteorologist, former Australian delegate to World Meteorological Organization Commission for Climatology[25]
        David Legates, associate professor of geography and director of the Center for Climatic Research, University of Delaware[26]
        Tad Murty, oceanographer; adjunct professor, Departments of Civil Engineering and Earth Sciences, University of Ottawa[27]
        Tim Patterson, paleoclimatologist and professor of geology at Carleton University in Canada.[28][29]
        Ian Plimer, professor emeritus of Mining Geology, the University of Adelaide.[30]
        Nicola Scafetta, research scientist in the physics department at Duke University[31][32]
        Tom Segalstad, head of the Geology Museum at the University of Oslo[33]
        Fred Singer, professor emeritus of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia[34][35][36]
        Willie Soon, astrophysicist, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics[37]
        Roy Spencer, principal research scientist, University of Alabama in Huntsville[38]
        Henrik Svensmark, Danish National Space Center[39]
        Jan Veizer, environmental geochemist, professor emeritus from University of Ottawa[40]
        Scientists arguing that the cause of global warming is unknown

        Scientists in this section have made comments that no principal cause can be ascribed to the observed rising temperatures, whether man-made or natural. Their views on climate change are usually described in more detail in their biographical articles.
        Syun-Ichi Akasofu, retired professor of geophysics and founding director of the International Arctic Research Center of the University of Alaska Fairbanks[41]
        Claude Allègre, politician; geochemist, Institute of Geophysics (Paris)[42]
        Robert C. Balling, Jr., a professor of geography at Arizona State University[43]
        John Christy, professor of atmospheric science and director of the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, contributor to several IPCC[44][45]
        Petr Chylek, space and remote sensing sciences researcher, Los Alamos National Laboratory[46]
        Judith Curry, chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology[47]
        David Deming, geology professor at the University of Oklahoma[48]
        Antonino Zichichi, emeritus professor of nuclear physics at the University of Bologna and president of the World Federation of Scientists[49]
        Scientists arguing that global warming will have few negative consequences

        Scientists in this section have made comments that projected rising temperatures will be of little impact or a net positive for human society and/or the Earth’s environment. Their views on climate change are usually described in more detail in their biographical articles.
        Craig D. Idso, faculty researcher, Office of Climatology, Arizona State University and founder of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change [50]
        Sherwood Idso, former research physicist, USDA Water Conservation Laboratory, and adjunct professor, Arizona State University[51]
        Patrick Michaels, senior fellow at the Cato Institute and retired research professor of environmental science at the University of Virginia[52]”

        Perhaps Max_OK has already checked their ages? ;)

      • The wiki link to the above article is

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

        Scepticism is a true scientific trait that disappears when such scientist becomes part of a consensus, which seems to have happened in the case of the AGW hypothesis.

      • That graph is interesting.
        http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a2/Climate_Change_Attribution.png

        Solar (red) is explains all the variation. Why the epicycles?

      • The black line is charting the urban heat island effect which like tree ring extrapolations have become a leading indicators of the betrayal by academics of Western science and civilization. The cooling oceans tell the real story and has become the litmus test for reason and sanity.

  61. HA HA, what a list ! I know many are old timers, and some are nutters .

    David Deming believes if guns should be registered, vaginas should be registered too, because both can dangerous.

    Nils-Axel Mörner thinks he can find buried gold with a pointed stick.

    Why doesn’t the list include the scientist who claims he was spoken to by a glowing-green raccoon?

    I will see if the list includes more nutters when I have time.

    • Thought that you would like this list Max_OK. Sure some are nutters but I rather doubt that the percentage of nutters would be any different from that of the AGW believers.

      Maybe they are more able to speak out because their careers and livelihoods are not so much at stake after they retire? No matter because many of them are like you and me Max_OK in that we all believe that global warming has been happening, but we differ from you Max_OK because you are dead certain about CO2 being the main culprit whereas we are not.

      • I don’t buy the “able to speak out” explanation. If it were true, there should be more retired Phd’s “speaking out.”
        I base my skepticism on my analysis of the signatories to the UN letter about climate.

        Only a small proportion of all scientist and engineers signed the open climate letter to the UN Secretary-General complaining about his statement on extreme weather and climate change. How small? Minuscule, as we can see just by looking at U.S. data on Phd’s.

        Americans holding Phd degrees in science and engineering fields represented 39 out of the 130 signatories to the UN letter. According to the National Science foundation a total of 582,080 Americans had Phd’s in science and engineering in 1997. I couldn’t find more recent data, but the number now must be even greater now. So the signatories to the letter represented fewer than 4 out of every 58,000 Americans who had Phd’s in science and engineering. That’s not a significant proportion of any population. In a town of 58,000, a petition that got only 4 signatures would not be taken seriously. It would be laughed at.

        American science and engineering Phd holders age 65 and older who were outside the labor force in 1997 numbered 36,020 (these would be the retirees).The number now is likely greater. I don’t yet know how many of the 38 American Phd signatories to the UN letter are retired. But even if all of them were retired, they would represent fewer than 4 out of every 3,600 retired Americans who had Phd’s in science and engineering. Again, not a proportion that warrants being taken seriously.

        http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/nsf02324/sectb.htm

    • Max_OK

      Be careful who you call “nutters”, just because they believe something you don’t or may be older than you.

      Some folks who like a good steak might opine that you are a “nutter”, because you are a vegetarian.

      Others might think so because you are apparently afraid of man-made global warming.

      My advice: Forget calling people “nutters” – it’s a silly (and juvenile) thing to do.

      Max_CH

      • G’day Max, I was writing about you and Max OK
        jest before yer came on site, lol,
        A serf.

      • Max_CH, if someone believes he can find buried gold with a stick, you can think what you want, but I will think he’s a nutter.

      • Beth, I think I ran across what you meant earlier about government muzzling the press in Australia. The press is complaining about an anti-terrosist bill that places limits on the press because the press can compromise security, even inadvertently aid terrorists. If some muzzling of the press prevents deaths of countless innocent people, I’m all for it.

        It’s past my bedtime. Goodnight.

      • ozzieostrich

        Max_OK

        Sir Isaac Newton – nutter – alchemist.
        Lord Kelvin – nutter on many grounds.
        Albert Einstein – nutter on several counts.
        Charles Darwin – nutter.
        Linus Pauling – nutter.

        Name a non nutter who has advanced science in any significant way.

        On the other hand, the vast mass of we, the sheeple, will happily ingest the most nonsensical tosh, and ask for more.

        Of the 582,080 Americans who had PhD’s, how many actually achieved anything significant. I have mentioned a few nutters whose names are recognised widely by ” scientists”, so you should be able to provide at least 40 names from your 582,080 non nutters that I would recognise. Yes, I have heard of Archimedes, Boyle, Charles, Descartes and probably most of the other letters of the alphabet. I’ll finish with Zeno – a bit of a strange lad in ways. You would probably have to classify him as a nutter.

        Does it matter? What has happened has happened, whether we think it should have or not.

        The future is unknowable, as unpalatable as that is to most in the scientific community. What passes as prediction is assumption, plain and simple. I am willing to bet that you can’t produce anyone who can predict weather or climate better than I can – not claims, but verifiable results.

        But who really cares, and does caring make any difference at all?
        Would you rather be right, or rather be happy? And yes – I think I got that from Dr Phil.

        Give me a good nutter any day. At least they liven things up!

        Live well and prosper!

        Mike Flynn.

    • Max_OK

      Would a “nutter” tell us that we have (at 350+ ppmv) already exceeded the “dangerous level” of CO2?

      Or that we will see “irreversible tipping points” leading to “deleterious changes” in our climate?

      Or how about “sea level rise this century which can be measured in meters”?

      Or “extinction of species” resulting from human CO2 emissions?

      Or possible “Venus runaway” conditions?

      Or that coal trains are “death trains”?

      For many people, these would be the utterings of a certified “nutter”.

      But I personally would stay away from using this term, because it really doesn’t mean much.

      Max_CH

    • Max_OK

      A question: Have you ever inquired whether or not Nils-Axel Mörner really has found gold with his stick?

      Might be worth checking out.

      Max_CH

      • I tried finding gold in my lawn with a stick and it didn’t work. All I found was some dried-up dog doo doo.

  62. Peter, here a list that includes the names and ages of many of those you listed. It’s the signatories to a letter of protest sent to the UN regarding a UN statement on climate.
    1. Habibullo I. Abdussamatov , astrophysicist, b Oct 27, 1940, age 72

    2. Syun-Ichi Akasofu, physicists, b Dec 4, 1930, age 81

    3. Bjarne Andresen, physicist, dob not found

    4. J. Scott Armstrong, Phd, b Mar 26, 1937, age 75

    5. Timothy F. Ball, environmental consultant, b Nov 5, 1938, age 74

    6. James R. Barrante, chemist, dob not found but he received his under graduate degree in 1960, so I estimate his age is 73

    7. Colin Barton, earth science, dob not found, but he is retired from CISRO in Australia

    8. Joe Bastardi, meteorologist, b Jul 18, 1955, age 57

    9. Franco Battaglia, chemist, dob, not found

    10. Richard Becherer, Phd,, physicist, dob not found

    11. Edwin X. Berry, physicist, dob not found but he received his BS degree from Caltech in 1957, so I estimate his age is 77

    12. Ian Bock, biological sciences, dob not found, but he is retired

    13. Ahmed Boucenna, physicist, dob not found

    14. Antonio Brambati, geologists, dob not found, but he is retired.

    15. Stephen C. Brown, environmental science, dob not found but he didn’t get his BS until 1987, so he’s probably only in his forties.

    16. Mark Lawrence Campbell, Phd, chemist, dob not found

    17. Rudolph Candler, Phd, chemist, dob not found

    18. Alan Carlin, Phd, economist, b 1937, age 75

    19. Dan Carruthers, Arctic Animal Behavioural Ecologist ? dob not found.

    20. Robert M. Carter, geologists?, dob not found , but he received his BS degree in 1963, so I estimate he is age 71.

    21. Uberto Crescenti, PhD, geologist, dob not found

    22. Arthur Chadwick, PhD , molecular biology) a creationist

    23. George V. Chilingar, PhD, civil and petroleum engineering, b 1929, age 83

    24. Ian D. Clark, PhD, earth sciences, dob not found, but he received his BS in 1978, so he may be in his mid-50’s

    25. Cornelia Codreanova, Diploma in Geography, dob not found

    26. Michael Coffman, PhD, Forest Science, b 1943, age 69

    27. Piers Corbyn, MSc physics , b Mar 10, 1947, age 65

    28.Richard S. Courtney, philosophy diploma, dob not found

    29. Roger W. Cohen, PhD physics, dob not found

    30. Susan Crockford, PhD Zoology, dob not found

    31. Walter Cunningham,, M.S. physics, b Mar 16, 1932, age 80

    32. Joseph D’Aleo, MS Meteorology, dob not found

    33. David Deming, PhD geophysics, b 1954, age 58

    34. James E. Dent; B.Sc., dob not found

    35. Willem de Lange, Phd, dob not found

    36. Silvia Duhau, Ph.D. physics

    37. Geoff Duffy, DEng , dob not found

    38. Don J. Easterbrook, PhD geology, b Jan 29, 1935, age 77

    39. Ole Henrik Ellestad, chemistry professor, b 1943, age 69

    40. Per Engene, MSc, biologist, dob not found

    41. Gordon Fulks, PhD physics, dob not found but he received his BS in physics in 1967, so I estimate he is age 67

    42. Katya Georgieva, Phd physics, dob not found

    43. Lee C. Gerhard, PhD geology, b May 30, 1937, age 75

    44. Ivar Giaever PhD physics, b April 5, 1929, age 83

    45. Albrecht Glatzle, PhD, ScAgr, dob not found

    46. Fred Goldberg, PhD, engineering, dob not found

    47. Laurence I. Gould, PhD physics, dob not found, but he received his BS in 1964, so I estimate he is age 70

    48. Vincent Gray, PhD, b 1922, age 90

    49. William M. Gray, PhD, b 1929, age 83

    50. Charles B. Hammons, PhD , dob not found

    51.William Happer, PhD physics, b July 27. 1939, age 73

    52. Hermann Harde, PhD dob not found

    53. Howard Hayden, PhD, dob not found

    54.Ross Hays, Meteorologist,dob not found

    55. Martin Hovland, Phd meteorology, dob not found

    ____________________________________________

    From here, American only (53 total, and 27 were over age 60, and 19 were age 70 or older. )

    • Thanks for that Max_OK, no surprises in the numbers then.

    • These (55) were not all the signatories. I believe there were about 130 in total. Disregard the sentence at the end of this list. It’s just a note to myself.

    • Max,

      You’ve brought up this age thing before. It’s a dog that don’t hunt. Sitting on your porch and criticizing the dog because he’s old only results in you looking foolish. The dog, he don’t care. He’s a dog after all.

  63. I missed S. Fred Singer, PhD, b Sep 27, 1924, age 88. I hope i live that long.

    Remember what famous physicist Max Planck, who originated quantum theory, said:

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

    I think lots of old guys just lose touch with developments in their fields. It’s really not fair to expect them to keep up.

    • Max_OK

      Our namesake, Max Planck was right.

      As the Hansens and Trenberths fade out of the picture, we’ll have a new brand of climate scientists.

      This “new generation” may very likely see a totally different “scientific truth” than the one being postulated today by the old guard.

      Right?

      Max_CH

      • Forget it, Max_Ch, it’s curtains for the coots. Y’all might as well throw in the towel now, and try to save some face.

      • Max_OK

        Lots of bravado and big talk there, Okie.

        CAGW will fade as all doomsday predictions before it have done.

        This will involve older guys, like Hansen, Trenberth, Lindzen, Gray – as well as younger ones (on both sides if the debate).

        But as the lead post demonstrates, time is not on the side of the “high climate sensitivity” doomsayers.

        Max_CH

    • Chief Hydrologist

      That’s what I said. Poor old James Hansen at 72 has wasted so many years chasing a chimera he will probably never see the light. The definition of a dinosaur is someone who dies with a discredited scientific paradigm on their lips.

      The definition of a cult of AGW groupthink space cadet is those who – having little to no scientific understanding – accept a discredited paradigm as an article of faith.

      ‘Hence, future abrupt changes cannot be predicted with confidence, and climate surprises are to be expected.

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

      It is certainly little appreciated amongst space cadets.

  64. Looks like the conversation has started bouncing all over the map.

    To me the key “take home” from this post was that the mean estimate for 2xCO2 equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) of 3.2C has come under serious fire over the past couple of years based on new studies out there.

    In addition, the postulated “fat tail” on the upper end has also been seriously questioned.

    I’ve seen seven studies, including those cited by our hostess, all of which indicate a value for ECS of around half the previous estimate.

    These are:
    Lewis 2013
    Schlesinger 2012
    van Hateren 2012
    Berntsen 2012
    Lindzen 2011
    Schmittner 2011
    Masters 2013 (not yet published)

    The average of all these studies is 1.2C to 2.4C, with a mean value of 1.8C.

    Most of these studies are based on the actual past temperature record or satellite observations (with some estimates for natural forcing and variability) rather than simply model simulations.

    True, “consensus” supporters, such as Trenberth and Hansen are trying very hard (with help from “consensus” sites like RealClimate and Skeptical Science) to keep the notion of a high climate sensitivity alive, but it looks to me like this is becoming increasingly difficult for them.

    The key question now is, “how will IPCC react to this new information?”

    If IPCC acknowledges it and concedes that ECS is likely to be around half the previous estimate, this will change all the projections for future warming accordingly, essentially eliminating the “fear factor”.

    If, on the other hand, IPCC “hangs tough” and ignores or rationalizes away the new studies, it risks losing even more of the small amount of credibility it has left, and is in danger of becoming totally irrelevant.

    A dilemma for IPCC.

    That’s how I see it.

    Max

  65. Chief Hydrologist

    “There is an enduring potential for plasticity, reorganization and preservation of capacities,” says cognitive neuroscientist Patricia Reuter-Lorenz, PhD, of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

    Researchers now have an unprecedented wealth of data on the aging brain from the Seattle Longitudinal Study, which has tracked the cognitive abilities of thousands of adults over the past 50 years. These results show that middle-aged adults perform better on four out of six cognitive tests than those same individuals did as young adults, says study leader Sherry Willis, PhD, of the University of Washington in Seattle.

    While memorization skills and perceptual speed both start to decline in young adulthood, verbal abilities, spatial reasoning, simple math abilities and abstract reasoning skills all improve in middle age.

    Cognitive skills in the aging brain have also been studied extensively in pilots and air-traffic controllers. Again, older pilots show declines in processing speed and memory capacity, but their overall performance seems to remain intact. In a study published in Neurology (Vol. 68, No. 9) in 2007, researchers tested pilots age 40 to 69 as they performed on flight simulators. Older pilots took longer to learn to use the simulators but did a better job than their younger colleagues at achieving their objective: avoiding collisions.’

    I used to think I was a dilettante now I just think I’m eclectic. That’s perhaps a decade short of being a polymath. People don’t hit their stride until their 40’s and 50’s – top of their earning capacity, a wealth of knowledge, emotional maturity, confident in their professional capacities. The absurdities keep coming – but this is a technical thread and no place to indulge in silly and unsupported social theories.

    • Yes Chief. Mea culpa OT yet again! Interesting though ;)

      • It’s not just the cognitive skills of older people, it’s their attitudes, their resistance to change. Older people are less accepting of new things (same sex marriage, for example), which I don’t see having to do with cognitive skills.

      • Max_OK

        Infants and young children are the most receptive to new ideas and concepts, because they start life with a “clean slate”.

        Adolescents and teenagers are also very receptive to new ideas, especially fads and fashions within their peer group.

        Young adults are also open to many new ideas; this group has occasionally been brainwashed and misused by totalitarian regimes (Hitler Jugend during Nazi Germany, Jungsozialisten during the DDR, etc.).

        It is probably true that older people are less open to new ideas (good or bad) and more stuck on the “status quo”.

        But this all has very little to do with the current CAGW scare. There is no evidence that this is an age-related fad or belief.

        Max_CH

      • Max_CH, my research indicates skepticism about the dangers of global warming is age related, and I will present my evidence.

        Americans holding Phd degrees in science and engineering fields represented 40 out of the 130 signatories to the open climate letter to the UN Secretary-General complaining about his statement on extreme weather and climate. change. These 40 climate contrarians were much older than science and engineering Phd’s in general.

        Of the American Phd’s who signed the letter , 21(see list) or 53% were older than age 65. I couldn’t find the ages of some, so the number older than 65 may be even larger. In comparison, individuals over age 65 represented only 11% of all 582,080 American science and engineering Phd’s reported by the National Science Foundation in 1997. I couldn’t find more recent data, but the number now must be greater now.

        http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/nsf02324/sectb.htm

        So there you have it, Max_CH, 53% of the science and engineering Phd’s who signed the letter were over age 65 while only 11% of all science and engineering Phd’s were that old, compelling evidence that climate contrarians are a lot older than science and engineering Phd’s in general.

        I would welcome an audit of my research. The names and ages of the 40 signatories are given below:

        Five were Age 80 or older: Syun-Ichi-Akasofu, George V. Chilingar, Ivar Giaever , William M. Gray, S. Fred Singer

        Six were ages 75 to 79: J. Scott Armstrong, Edwin X. Berry, Alan Carlin, Don J. Easterbrook, Lee C. Gerhard, Oliver Manuel

        Six were ages 70 to 74: James R. Barrante, Laurence I. Gould, William Happer, Sherwood B. Idso, Jay Lehr, Arlin B. Super

        Five were ages 65 to 69 : Michael Coffman, Gordon Fulks, William Lindqvist, David E. Wojick, George T. Wolff

      • manacker said on April 19, 2013 at 4:32 am
        “There is no evidence that this is an age-related fad or belief.”
        ______

        I do have evidence, Max_CH, based on my own research, which I posted over one-half hour ago, but is awaiting moderation. Basically, I just compared (a) the age distribution of the American S&E Phd signatories to the UN letter re climate to (b) the age distribution of all American S&E Phd’s. I invited you to audit my work, an invitation that I extend to anyone else who is interested.

        Finding the ages of the signatories was a tedious task (lots of running down leads on Google), and some I could not find. I listed the names and ages of the signatories in my post. I’m not sure, but this may be why the post went into moderation. Unfortunately, my work cannot be audited without this information.

        If my post does not pass moderation, should I try again today with a brief description of my findings, excluding the names and ages? Or given the subject is not related to climate sensitivity, would it be better to re-submit my post at a more appropriate time?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘Recently a smart young person told me that she tends to discount global warming as a concern, because of prior assertions that we only had 5 years or 10 years before disastrous consequences — and her observation that not much has changed in the past 5 years.’ James Hansen

        http://hauntingthelibrary.wordpress.com/2011/01/24/survey-young-people-arent-concerned-about-global-warming/

        This is my experience – mostly they are just tired of tales of imminent catastrophe and are avoiding ‘doom courses’ such as environmental science. They are technological optimists.

      • I’m glad my 2:25 pm post showing age as a factor in AGW skepticism has come out of moderation. Again, I welcome audits and comments.

  66. Max_CH, the IPCC might see it different than you, and that wouldn’t necessarily mean the IPCC is wrong.

  67. David L. Hagen

    Water vapor amplification in Climate Sensitivity
    Critical to climate sensitivity is the magnitude of water vapor amplification. Conventional theory assumes ~ 1 C for CO2 but amplified by 1.5 C to 6 C (~3 C) by water vapor.
    Clive Best now shows water vapor DECLINING since about 1997 while CO2 continues to rise. See:
    H2O decreasing while CO2 rises !

    Total atmospheric water content actually falls despite a relentless slow rise in CO2. This fall in atmospheric H2O also coincides with the observed stalling of global temperatures for the last 16 years. All climate models (that I am aware of} predict exactly the opposite. Something is clearly amiss with theory. Is it not now time for “consensus” scientists to have a rethink?

    • David L. Hagen

      Clive Best linked to the water vapor data:

      My thanks to Ken Gregory for help with the data. The conversion from NetCDF was a bit of a nightmare !
      NASA NVAP-M data is available here. Thanks to NASA Water Vapor Project-Measures (NVAP-M) team.

      This appears to be a critically important climate trend that needs to be verified and independently replicated.

      • The main issue in terms of trend determination is whether the data sets from different satellites are appropriately calibrated

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Judith Curry [correctly] remarks “The main issue in terms of trend determination is whether the data sets from different satellites are appropriately calibrated”

        To expand upon Judith Curry’s remarks, atmospheric temperature acquired by satellite are problematic for (at least!) three reasons:

        Atmospheric Temperature Satellite Data, Problem A:  Satellite sensors drift.

        Atmospheric Temperature Satellite Data, Problem B:  The atmosphere has low heat capacity, relative to the oceans.

        Atmospheric Temperature Satellite Data, Problem C:  Satellites measure radiative flux, which is strongly modulated by cloud cover on all times scales from hourly to decadal (and longer).

        Problem A can be mitigated by better instrumentation, but Problems B and C cannot be mitigated by any means whatsoever (because they are intrinsic to climate dynamics).

        Let us reflect upon the four pillars of climate-change science:

        Pillar #1:  transport theory and

        Pillar #2:  planetary-scale energy-budget observations, and

        Pillar #3:  paleoclimate correlations, and

        Pillar #4:  large-scale dynamical and/or statistical computer models (uncountably many).

        Conclusion  Atmospheric temperature data acquired by satellite will forever provide only weak constraints, upon the weakest of the four pillars, that support climate-change science.

        Of course, that same inherent scientific weakness is why climate-change denialists just plain love to obsess over satellite temperature data!

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

      • Roy Spencer privately commented that this TPW series is effectively flat and within the margin of error in both series except for the 1997/1998 El Nino peak.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The temperature instruments use microwaves emitted from oxygen – which penetrate cloud easily. CGM are dynamic chaotical systems. Energy budgets that ignore CERES are patent nonsense. Paleo data shows that climate varies naturally and abruptly.

        The lack of any serious and informed discussion from this AGW space cadet – and repetitive denier silliness – is typical of the type. Irrelevant and a waste of time.

  68. CS is multi-modal.

    Any idiot can see that just looking at any long enough plot of CS from actual data.

    Also, CS is a derivative value, of a derivative value of less than (the non-mechanical) half of a complex cumulative multivariate function.

    It is therefore dubious at best to focus on the mean value of CS, and the modes and deviations ought be the matter of more discussion, if we talk about it at all.

    Does anyone remember the Star Trek movie where Ricardo Montalban’s character Khan was outmaneuvered because he couldn’t adapt his military strategy to Kirk’s modern world?

    The use people are making of CS is apt only to a linear function in a nondynamical system, in this discussion. It is so inadequate an approach as to be meaningless.

    • Bart R

      I’d agree with you that the concept of a definable 2xCO2 ECS is “meaningless” (in the scientific sense), as there is no way to measure it empirically.

      But it has been designed for use in the political sense, i.e. in order to ram through a political goal of the UN through the use of fear.

      And this has had a moderate amount of success until the world began to realize what was happening after the Climategate leaks, the exposed IPCC falsehoods and, most important of all, the decade or more of “lack of warming”, despite IPCC forecasts of significant warming and
      unabated human GHG emissions plus CO2 concentrations reaching record levels.

      And now, to make matters even worse, out come all these (at least partly) observation-based estimates of 2xCO2 ECS averaging around 1.6C, or half of the previous model-derived estimates cited by IPCC.

      Without a high 2xCO2 ECS the CAGW premise as outlined in AR4 is a dead duck and IPCC’s fear factor is gone – “poof!”

      That’s the dilemma for IPCC today, Bart.

      Max

      • manacker | April 19, 2013 at 4:33 pm |

        Please read harder. Nothing in what I say bolsters your own argument. It’s if anything an opposite argument. You appear to be ascribing to IPCC malice what could adequatly be ascribed to the general incompetence of everyone — yourself included — in approaching CS as you do.

        Understand that 1.6C average for doubling CO2 is not meaningfully less than an estimate of 3C, or 4.5C or 8.9C, any more than suggesting that the average of two points in the Mandelbrot set is meaningful as a representation of a section of the Mandelbrot set or forming a line through all three points will give you a trend line to predict further points in the set.

        And IPCC “fear factor”?

        Please, I’ve read, as you know, AR4, and so know you’re insulting my intelligence by suggesting it’s a set of documents seeking to dredge up alarm.

        Grok what a cumulative multimodal multivariate complex function means. No ‘lower’ or ‘higher’ average implies much; that the function is generally positive is all it takes for raising CO2 by external forcing to make all physically possible outcomes plausible. As we’ve seen the (relatively recent) Pliocene Arctic exhibiting stable tropic-like temperatures for CO2 levels, we must admit to this physical possibility.

        There’s no dilemma. The IPCC is simply not really very well-versed in Chaos Theory. Wouldn’t you like for a change to say you know something they don’t? Read up on the math.

  69. “Although initially generated by honest scientific questions of how human-produced greenhouse gases might affect global climate,” as Wm Gray tells us, “this topic has now taken on a life of its own.

    It’s all political now. Academia is part and parcel of the wholesale the global the continued deception concerning the phony alarm about AGW.

    It’s not global warming that is the problem. It is government. What is the biggest union in the US? Is it Teamsters or UAW? Or, is it the Service Employees International Union? Nope: it’s the National Education Association.

    • Wag,
      As you know I often have trouble with what I consider your pretty reductionist world view, but after 5 years of following the climate debate I really can’t disagree with you. That’s some concession coming from a guy who considered himself a liberal Democrat not too long ago

      I’m completey adrift now, politically speaking. I can’t abide the right’s hypocrisy wrt to civil rights (Guns are sacrosanct, but let’s hang drug users. Let’s keep government out of people’s personal lives but of course the right has no problem laying claim to a woman’s body when it comes to abortion)..

      And the left is just as bad if not worse in different ways.

      On a personal level, this has all been quite the journey.

      • pokerguy, pokerguy, pokerguy,

        You are still burdened with the propaganda you absorbed as a liberal Democrat.

        Guns are not sacrosanct, any more than drugs. Nor does any conservative I know think pot smokers should be hanged. Crack and meth dealers, well, that’s another issue.

        The right to “bear,” ie. possess, guns is, however, fundamentally different from the “right” imagined by liberals and liberaltarians, to possess crack cocaine, methamphetamine and heroine.

        You are normally a quite reasonable guy. This last comment is just an example of how thoroughly those who were what I call default progressives, have been sold a bill of goods. and how hard it is to see beyond the fog of propaganda that has formed the “mainstream” of our culture for decades.

        And as to hypocrisy on civil rights, don’t make me post my links to the real history of the Democrats and Republican parties respectively on institutionalized racism.

        The tactics and dishonesty you now recognize being promulgated by progressives on CAGW, are indistinguishable from their tactics on virtually every other policy issue. The activists who drive policy on the left, are uniform in their use of dishonesty, demonization and group think.

        And yes, this includes all too many progressive Republicans. But at least we have a contingent in our party fighting them. All “conservative” Democrats have been either run out of the party, or re-educated.

      • pokerguy,

        And as to abortion, perhaps you can explain why your former liberal associates ignored “Dr.” Gosnell for so long. Including the Penssylvania government and Planned Parenthood offices who knew much of what was going on there for years?

        For a conservative, the killing of a human being in the womb, particularly when it is viable, is not just about the woman’s body. But that is probably the only way you have heard the issue framed.

      • Reality: Oceans cover 70 percent of the Earth’s surface. The Pacific ocean is so enormous it alone accounts for more than half of the Earth’s surface and has a greater surface area than all of the continents put together. The Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, Arctic and Antarctic oceans are mostly (97 percent) salt water and are a colossal heat sink — climate’s thermal memory — that slowly takes on, stores and slowly releases heat to the atmosphere. The oceans buffer the Earth’s climate. The oceans are an enormous reservoir of heat with a heat capacity that is so large they heat the atmosphere around us.

        Myths: CO2 stores heat. CO2 traps heat; acts like a blanket. CO2 turns Earth into a greenhouse. Changes in solar activity and ocean heat levels are irrelevant to climate change. The planet is not being warmed by heat being released from the oceans into the atmosphere. There is no historical precedent for current global warming. The UN-IPCC and European governments don’t hate America and they really believe taxing fossil fuels will save the world from global warming and if you sign an agreement with them they would do everything they promise and never stab you in the back because they are honest and not politically motivated.

  70. Pingback: The Climate Change Debate Thread - Page 2417

  71. Just to add, regarding the so-called war on drugs, the left is just about as stupid. Obama must know better, but he pretends not to.

  72. Lauri Heimonen

    Judith Curry:

    ”In weighing the new evidence, especially improvements in the methodology of sensitivity analysis, it is becoming increasing difficult not to downgrade the estimates of climate sensitivity.”

    And finally you have to admit that 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 %. E.g. http://judithcurry.com/2013/01/16/hansen-on-the-standstill/#comment-287036 .

  73. We badly need another post, if for no other reason than to save the more rabid CAGWers here from tying themselves into Gordian Knots trying to redefine “estimate” and “measurement.”

    • Gary, it is just another form of ‘Look! Squirrel’

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The science of multi-decadal climate variability is quite obvious and has been since at least 1988 when I noticed it as rainfall regimes – and there is such a lot of it. You just need to expand your horizons. Or not – it matters so very little as – you lose.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        wrong place

    • As per usual, the subjectivity of your logic is rather spectacular.

      BTW – did you ever clear up how you could have been so wrong in your analysis of the election? You do realize, don’t you, that despite your absolute certainty that the polls were “skewed” in favor of Obama (in a media conspiracy to rig the election), as it turned out the vast majority underestimated his eventual performance.

      Why were you so wrong, Gary?

    • On the one hand we have a relative small number of persons who provide all of the goods and services that everybody else really wants–and, these few are willing to work to have them.

      On the other hand, we have everyone else…

    • I cannot understand the warmists. I point out the obvious, that climate sensitivity cannot be measured, and they go into convulsions. They seem to be claiming that for CAGW, and only CAGW, there is no difference between estimates and measurements, But I admit, the logic eludes me. I have obviously hit a raw nerve.

      • “that climate sensitivity cannot be measured”

        Yes and they keep insisting that measurements are estimates, so when they use the word “measure”, we can take it they mean “estimate”… which is your point.

        Andrew

      • Did you hear the one about global warming in the dark recesses of the deepest oceans that is so small we are not yfet able to measure it? No? I can’t believe it. I just paid a load of taxes for Western school teachers to get the word out about it.

      • A victim of its own success, too easy a target.
        ======

      • But now the predator’s gotten fat and lazy. Have I confused everyone yet?

        Keep your fork, there’s pie.
        ==============

      • Why did the chicken cross over to the Left side of the road?

      • “I point out the obvious, that climate sensitivity cannot be measured”

        You do more than that. First you are defining ‘measurement’ very narrowly. Second you claim as a consequence climate sensitivity is completely unknown.

        Put that together and the contentious claim you are making is that direct measurements are the only source of knowledge. That’s what people are disputing. People are saying, no, indirect measurement and calculations are sources of knowledge too.

      • lolwot, you write “Put that together and the contentious claim you are making is that direct measurements are the only source of knowledge. That’s what people are disputing. People are saying, no, indirect measurement and calculations are sources of knowledge too.”

        Garbage. What a complete fabrication of all, I have written. Let me make quite clear what I claim.

        1. Climate sensitivity has not been measured.
        2. There is lots of evidence that makes CAGW a plausible and viable hypothesis.
        3. The lack of measured data makes the claims of the IPCC in the SPMs that some things have been established with >95 % and >90% probability very doubtful, and probably just plain wrong.

        Now, please answer a simple quetion, lolwot, with a simple yes or no.

        Has climate sensitivity been measured?

  74. http://notrickszone.com/2013/04/19/mother-of-german-green-weeklies-die-zeit-shocks-readers-now-casts-doubt-on-global-warming/

    “Mother Of German Green Weeklies, Die Zeit, Shocks Readers…Now Casts Doubt On Global Warming!
    By P Gosselin on 19. April 2013

    After a foray in a cult, one of the first steps on the path back to reality is the process of deprogramming. Could it be that this step is now being self-administered by the German mainstream media? It appears so.”

    • “But suddenly I read in the paper that a number of climate scientists had changed their minds. Now they were saying it is not going to get warmer, but colder, at least in Europe. Whatever happened to the tables, I ask myself.”

      The actual translation was something like, “Suddenly, the UHI corrupted global mean temperature curve fell below the statistically meaningless projections of the IPCC and now I am going to eat a polar bear.”

      • He crossed the road to get the Chinese newspaper. Do you get it? Neither do I. Neither did the chicken. That’s why he crossed the road.
        ====================

      • I heard it was because they were offering free lunch.

      • Wag

        Yeah. But he turned out to be it.

        Squawk!

      • Must have been mistaken for a Golden Goose!

      • A story of fowl play?

        Out of nowhere come the twin Black Swans (several new estimates of 2xCO2 ECS plus more than a decade of no warming), essentially wiping out the canard of dangerous AGW.

        The IPCC turkeys who have tried to frighten the public now see that their goose is cooked and their Chicken Little tale is a dead duck.

        Fricassée de volaille, anyone?

      • ‘Un cigne qui s’etais evade de sa cage….

        H/t Baudelaire.

      • If the climate gets colder instead of warmer future humans will evolve with either more fur or pockets full of kitchen matches.

      • I think the IPCC, as usual, will cause deniers to have fits. I expect deniers to exhibit a lot of kicking and screaming, foaming at the mouth, teeth gnashing, and hair pulling.

      • The IPCC is a perfect example of how the government does more than waste our money — it underwrites anti-Americanism.

  75. The AGW alarmists didn’t stop to consider that the top three meters (10 feet) of the Earth’s oceans hold a thousand times more heat than all of the Earth’s atmosphere. They still do not get it that because they are so large the oceans bring a sort of thermal memory to the Earth in that they continue to give heat back to the atmosphere even when the Sun sets and also when solar activity diminishes over time. If the oceans did not store and give back their heat to the atmosphere it would be very cold at night like it is on the dark side of the Moon (or the dark side Mercury with its atmosphere that is composed almost entirely of CO2).

    In the real world, the Sun provided more energy than usual during the latter half of the 20th century. Heat from the sun accumulated in the oceans like water in a reservoir. As the Sun’s energy diminished the oceans stopped warming. After a while the oceans began to gave up more heat than the Sun put in so the oceans began to cool like water running out of a reservoir .

  76. A story of fowl play?

    Out of nowhere come the twinBlack Swans (several new estimates of 2xCO2 ECS plus more than a decade of no warming), essentially wiping out the canard of dangerous AGW.

    The IPCC turkeys who have tried to frighten the public now see that their goose is cooked and their Chicken Little tale is a dead duck.

    Fricassée de volaille, anyone?

    • Swiss cheesy ? HA HA ! Max_CH, you sure know how to write corny.

      I like corny pick-up lines. Some of my favorites are —

      Are you from Tennessee? because you are the only ten I see.

      You must be Jamaican, because Jamaican me crazy.

      If you were a booger, I would pick you first.

      If you were a chicken, you’d be impeccable.

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