The New Republic on the ‘pause’

by Judith Curry

In the end, the so-called scientific consensus on global warming doesn’t look like much like consensus when scientists are struggling to explain the intricacies of the earth’s climate system, or uttering the word “uncertainty” with striking regularity. – Nate Cohn

The New Republic (TNR) has an interesting article on the pause entitled Global Warming Hiatus: Where Did the Heat Go?  As per the Wikipedia:

Domestically, TNR as of 2011 supports a largely modern liberal stance on fiscal and social issues, according to editor Franklin Foer, who stated that it “invented the modern usage of the term ‘liberal‘, and it’s one of our historical legacies and obligations to be involved in the ongoing debate over what exactly liberalism means and stands for.”

Excerpts from the article:

If scientific models can’t project the last 15 years, what does that mean for their projections of the next 100?

It might seem like a decade-long warming plateau would cause a crisis for climate science. It hasn’t. Gerald Meehl, a Senior Scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, has seen hiatus periods before. They “occur pretty commonly in the observed records,” and there are climate models showing “a hiatus as long as 15 years.”

JC comment:  I would certainly like to see some clarification on Meehl’s statement.  AGW refers to warming since about 1900.  The previous ‘hiatus’ is the period 1940-1976.    Climate models don’t simulate the 1940-1976 period very well.  And if the current hiatus extends well beyond 15 years, what does that say about the climate models?

But all this leaves a big question, one that scientists have been trying to answer: If the atmosphere is warming more slowly than projected, where did the heat go?

There are two ways to create a global-warming hiatus: The heat can go somewhere other than the atmosphere, or there might be less heat in the climate system than scientists predicted.

Global warming estimates usually center on measures of air temperature. But  the climate system also can move heat from the atmosphere to somewhere else, like melting ice.

The most obvious culprit is the ocean, which absorbs 90 percent of the heat added to the climate system. With the oceans holding so much heat, the focus on mean surface temperature as the measure of global warming misses much of the point. Minor shifts between the oceans and the air could keep the planet heating up, even while slowing the pace of atmospheric warming. And that wouldn’t necessarily be good news, since warmer oceans would raise sea levels, change the climate, and hurt the ocean’s ecosystem.

JC comment:  Exactly how does focusing on the mean surface temperature miss the point?  Global warming is pretty much defined in context of the mean surface temperature.  People live on the surface, not in the ocean below 700 m.  Yes, warming the ocean interior will cause some sea level rise associated with thermal expansion.  But this line of argument that warming in the deep ocean will change the climate (presumably due to changes in the ocean circulation) really just supports the argument for ocean circulations being a primary driver for climate (the natural variability hypothesis promoted by many skeptics).

But other scientists think that the heat is missing because it never made into Earth’s climate system. The idea that heat might not have made it relates to the concept of “forcing.” The term refers to the forces that add or remove heat from the climate system. The best known example of forcing is the Greenhouse effect, where greenhouse gases in the atmosphere trap heat that might otherwise radiate into space. But there’s negative forcing, too—i.e., other pollutants that reflect energy back into space.

The sun itself is a major factor in forcing. Over an average of eleven years, the sun’s energy output ebbs and wanes, subtly influencing earth’s climate. The last solar maximum was in 2000, but a prolonged solar minimum has kept the sun even dimmer than usual. According to Kevin Trenberth of the Center for Climate and Atmospheric Research, lower levels of solar radiation account for 10 to 15 percent of the hiatus.

JC comment: This is the first I have heard from an IPCC author acknowledging that solar radiation has accounted for 10-15% of the hiatus.  Has anyone seen a reference on this?

Explaining the rest is more difficult. Susan Solomon, an MIT professor best known for research on the ozone hole, has focused on stratospheric water vapor and aerosols. Water vapor is a greenhouse gas, and satellite data shows stratospheric water vapor decreasing since 2000—meaning less heat is getting trapped.

What all of these discoveries hint at is that scientists, at long last, have developed a better understanding of year-to-year climate variations. In a way, you could think of it like the stock market. Watching Wall Street, we see the indices rise and fall, and we know the news that has influenced the swings. Watching annual temperatures, scientists could see the fluctuations but, until recently, knew little about the news–even though they were confident that increased carbon dioxide would ensure a bull market over the longer run. 

JC comment:  The Wall Street analogy is an interesting one

Piecing together the hiatus puzzle—the competing effects of the oceans, stratospheric water vapor and aerosols, and sunlight on the global climate system—is difficult. Scientists want an exact account of earth’s energy budget or balance, or how much energy enters the earth’s atmosphere from the sun, how much is absorbed by the oceans and atmosphere, and how much is radiates back into space.

All of which leads to very different estimates of how much heat is getting trapped in the Earth’s climate system. Using computer models, Trenberth estimates that the earth’s net-energy balance is about 50 percent larger than James Hansen, a prominent ex-NASA scientist who relies on Argo data.

The difference matters: If the Earth’s energy balance was actually a third lower than the computer models suggest, it would mean rethinking assumptions of climate science, such as whether aerosols are reflecting even more heat out into space than previously imagined. But Trenberth thinks the problem is Hansen’s data, not the climate science. Argo misses key things—the top ten meters of oceans and the seas around Indonesia, among other “huge patches.”2 After accounting for those differences, Trenberth thinks that his estimate “lines-up pretty well with the values from the ocean data.” Hansen says most of the difference is due to the solar cycle, as his analysis assumed the solar minimum, while Trenberth’s estimate is for the entire decade. Adjusting for the difference reduces the difference from 50 percent to 20 percent.

JC comment:  I hadn’t previously come across this disagreement between Trenberth and Hansen on the ocean heat.  There are certainly problems with the Argo data, but without seeing the arguments from Trenberth and Hansen in detail (does anyone know of the relevant references?) it seems that Hansen’s argument based on data would be more convincing than Trenberth’s estimate based on ‘climate science.’

Meanwhile, Trenberth’s model doesn’t directly account for changes in stratospheric water vapor or aerosols from small volcanoes, since those “effects should be included in the CERES top-of-atmosphere measurements.” Whether his approach accounts for these subtle changes in forcing depends on just “how good the CERES values are.” Solomon approaches the problem from the opposite perspective. She emphasizes that the role of volcanoes is “unambiguous,” supported by “great” satellite measurements, and multiple sources of data. As a result, she argues that stratospheric water vapor might cover roughly “20 percent of the hiatus” along with “30 percent from volcanoes”—the oceans, and whatever else, must cover the outstanding 50 percent.

Nonetheless, the combination of imperfect data, overlapping explanations, and continued uncertainty mean that scientists cannot discount the possibility that they have overestimated the climate’s “sensitivity” to additional greenhouse gas emissions. For Herd, the last 10 to 15 years “make it more plausible that the size of climate response to greenhouse gas increase is on the lower side of what models have been projecting over the last 10 or 20 years rather than over the high side.” Herd is not alone.

JC question:  Who is Herd, does anyone know?  He is the most cited person in this article.  Perhaps Isaac Held, a typo?

In the end, the so-called scientific consensus on global warming doesn’t look like much like consensus when scientists are struggling to explain the intricacies of the earth’s climate system, or uttering the word “uncertainty” with striking regularity. Nowhere is there more uncertainty than in the clouds.

In the current political climate, debates about things like climate change are carried out in broad-brush assertions. The challenge for scientists is that the more they understand the climate system, the more complex it gets, and the harder it gets to model with precision—not to mention making the kinds of sweeping statements the news cycle requires.

JC comment:  Carrying out a debate on a complex problem such as climate change in ‘broad-brush assertions’ pretty much sums up the problem with the public debate on AGW.  Using the word ‘uncertainty’ and acknowledging the existence of disagreement and debate, such as this article does, is good journalism.  I guess the news cycle is somehow incompatible with good journalism?

Public doubts about climate change are already increasing, even as scientists warn that the window for forestalling dangerous warming is closing. According to Pew Research, just 45 percent of Americans believe that scientists agree that warming is mostly because of human activities, down from 59 percent in 2006. The recent wave of news and magazine articles about scientists struggling to explain the warming slowdown could prolong or deepen the public’s skepticism.

But the “consensus” never extended to the intricacies of the climate system, just the core belief that additional greenhouse gas emissions would warm the planet.

JC comment:  Hmmm. . .  this is an interesting redefinition of the climate change consensus, that would leave only the Skydragons outside of the consensus.

“I don’t see how you can argue against it,” Solomon observed after declaring that “carbon dioxide will be king over the long run.” Over the twentieth century, the atmosphere warmed by two degrees Celsius. That’s no small amount and there “has to be a source, if you believe in basic thermodynamics.” Skeptics point to internal variations—the natural shifts that scientists have struggled to explain over the last decade. But oceanic heat content has also been increasing, ruling out the possibility that atmospheric warming is due to internal variability. To Herd, that’s “pretty much a smoking gun.”

JC comment:  Fact check, where did 2C increase over the 20th century come from?  Is anyone else having trouble with the logic of Herd’s statement: But oceanic heat content has also been increasing, ruling out the possibility that atmospheric warming is due to internal variability.

The last decade is proof of climate change, not a cause for reflexive skepticism. It was the warmest on record, despite a laundry-list of mitigating factors like prolonged La Nina, a wave of modest volcanic eruptions, and an ebb in solar activity. As those attenuating factors subside, climate scientists anticipate another round of rapid warming.

JC comment:  The article lost me on this last paragraph.  Why are all of these mitigating factors dismissed as mitigating factors?  These are important controls on global climate; the debate is whether CO2 dominates these natural factors in determining our climate.  In the near term, natural variability is obviously dominating.

JC summary

I find this article significant for several reasons.  TNR is a bastion of liberal journalism; in this context this article is at least as significant as the recent Economist article.

While apparently no skeptics were interviewed for the article (at least there were no quotes), there is plenty of disagreement among the mainstream climate scientists interviewed (most of whom play or have played important roles in the IPCC).

This article reinforces my characterization of the debate in this recent post Sociology of the pause:

The public debate about the pause is being conducted primarily in the MSM, op-eds, congressional testimony, and yes the blogosphere.  Few journal articles have been published that explicitly tackle the pause; in any event the publication cycle occurs much more slowly than the public debate.

247 responses to “The New Republic on the ‘pause’

  1. “The article lost me on this last paragraph.”

    Me too. However, it is a consistent theme.

  2. Lance Wallace

    Isaac Held is referred to in the first paragraph, so Herd is certainly a misprint.

  3. I can’t find Herd anywhere in the article, so it was probably a misprint that’s been fixed.

  4. Also, why can’t they finally lose ‘hurt the earth’s ecosystem’? Warmer sustains more total life and more diversity of life. In the eagerness to attach blame and guilt this was not thought out.
    =======================

    • steven mosher

      Herd, cloud.. get on it man

    • Warmer means more venomous snakes, tsetse flies, malaria carrying mosquitoes, and other things no one wants.

      Warmer means more rot, mold, pond scum, and weeds.

      Warner means more suffering from allergies.

      Warmer means hotter summers, which takes a toll on important food crops and farm animals. Anyone who thinks warner is better for plants should ask themselves why Greenhouses are air-conditioned.

      Warmer means lazier people, who just want to lie around and drink fruity rum drinks and tequila concoctions. Think Jimmy Buffet.

      Science doesn’t thrive in the warm places. How many scientific breakthroughs came from near the equator? I can’t think of any.

      Warmer means lazier people, who just want to lie around and drink fruity rum drinks and tequila concoctions. Think Jimmy Buffet.

      Old people like warmer because when you get old you suffer from stiff joints, poor circulation, and brittle bones.
      But only a small proportion of the population is old, and they are no longer productive anyway.

      Anyone who thinks warner is better for plants should ask themselves why Greenhouses are air-conditioned.

      • I repeated a few things just for emphasis.

      • dennis adams

        When things dont look good for your belief system, repeat, I always say.

      • John Carpenter

        Now we’ve got the ‘lazy argument’ for why things are going to hell.

      • Max: “But only a small proportion of the population is old, and they are no longer productive anyway.”

        Yes, and their percentage of the population is about to grow substantially. Not only are they unproductive, they divert huge amounts of productive capital into horrible “entitlement” programs just so they can survive.

        Isn’t the final solution the next step?

      • The final solution tends to manifest itself naturally. If you’re lucky, the old farts will pass on some of their money to you.

      • Jim 2
        That would be funny if you weren’t serious.

      • Max,

        Where do you think people are moving to – the sun belt or the rust belt?

        Which location attracts more vacationers – Florida or Northern Alberta?

        When are you going to provide a line of thought that doesn’t sound like something a 15 year old with a learning disability might post?

      • maxok:
        Anyone who thinks warner is better for plants should ask themselves why Greenhouses are air-conditioned.

        …..HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!
        That is the DUMBEST thing I have read this year!
        Greenhouses are meant to be warmer than the local climate allows for, that’s why you build them…
        I should know, I summer-job’ed inside ‘em my whole youth, and damn were they hot and sticky inside.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      - biology gets more abundant and diverse as we approach the poles
      – people cope better in the arctic than the tropics
      – food is easier to grow in Alaska than North Queensland
      – the theory of evolution is based on observations in Minnesota not the Galápagos Islands
      – the El Nino Southern Oscillation was described based on snowfall in Antarctica and not rainfall in India
      – greenhouses need to be cooled in Finland but not warmed
      – teenagers get out of bed earlier in cold climes than warm – and then cut a hole in the ice and go swimming

  5. maksimovich

    it seems that Hansen’s argument based on data would be more convincing than Trenberth’s estimate based on ‘climate science.’

    Hansens arguments
    eg http://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/11/13421/2011/ are incorrect (based on PMOD), whilst the length of the minima is unusual,the amplitude is not,the proceeding SC minima needs to be reduced also,as the instrument degradation in PM06 was occuring prior.

  6. Having raced to get my important news in before anybody else does, I’ll try to make up for it with a more though-out comment.

    Most importantly, this article seems to be quoting just about everybody that they don’t really know what the TOA balance is, or whether there’s an imbalance:

    Susan Solomon, an MIT professor best known for research on the ozone hole, has focused on stratospheric water vapor and aerosols. Water vapor is a greenhouse gas, and satellite data shows stratospheric water vapor decreasing since 2000—meaning less heat is getting trapped.

    This means more outgoing long-wave at TOA, without any way of determining whether it’s the case.

    But stratospheric aerosol levels have risen since 2002, even though there hadn’t been a large volcanic eruption since 1991 […]

    Meaning more “reflecting energy away from the Earth. ” And we mustn’t forget clouds. Which reflect short-wave even as they produce a greenhouse effect for long-wave.

    The take-away point seems to me to be that the “missing heat” is only missing from simplistic models that don’t account for realities of water vapor, aerosols, and clouds. Nobody really knows if there’s any real imbalance at TOA.

    • Also, water vapor in the troposphere is extremely saturated so very little water frequency radiation will make it into the stratosphere. In the stratosphere it is in such low concentration that it will radiate much more than it absorbs and lead to overall cooling.

  7. Cohn highlights where he finds his info about global warming with the animation from SkepticalScience:

    Discussed that animation in the blog post here:

    http://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2013/03/20/on-dana1981s-meaningless-enso-exercise-at-skepticalscience/

  8. Judith says: “I hadn’t previously come across this disagreement between Trenberth and Hansen on the ocean heat. There are certainly problems with the Argo data, but without seeing the arguments from Trenberth and Hansen in detail (does anyone know of the relevant references?)”

    I believe he’s referring to Paul Voosen’s article “Provoked scientists try to explain lag in global warming”

    http://www.eenews.net/stories/1059955427

    The article reads, “Trenberth questions whether the Argo measurements are mature enough to tell as definite a story as Hansen lays out. He has seen many discrepancies among analyses of the data, and there are still ‘issues of missing and erroneous data and calibration,’ he said. The Argo floats are valuable, he added, but ‘they’re not there yet.'”

    Regards

  9. While skeptics are very excited about the pause, there are some other factors to consider apart from the mitigating factors in the article (sun, net deep ocean warming, volcanoes, aerosols). One is that the land surface has not paused. Another is the Arctic summer sea ice has continued to go away mostly during the pause. A third is that while we have had a pause for the last decade, the decade before that warmed by 0.25 C, and the one before that also warmed by 0.25 C, both 50% faster than expected, so the pause could just be a correction to a warm anomaly in the natural variations around the CO2 rise.

  10. …even as scientists warn that the window for forestalling dangerous warming is closing.

    Translation: We live in a society where there are no consequences when school teachers push climate porn on the children.

  11. Tropical thunderstorms could be a negative feedback by presenting a larger cloud area during the day. They, as a heat engine working against a temperature difference, pump heat more rapidly to TOTrop as the surface temperature is pushed higher by more CO2.

  12. The reference to 2 degrees Celsius caught my eye when I read the article. Whose data can possibly be the source for that amount of warming? My fear is that, through simple repetition, this number will become widely accepted as the amount of warming in the 20th century as recognized by that famous “consensus” of scientiests..

  13. 2 deg C in 20thC? The IPCC put it at 0.74 deg C, and that’s an overstatement because some – maybe a third – is visibly from a natural cycle. It’s hard to see how this TNR article is anything but nonsense.

  14. Hansen’s argument based on data would be more convincing than Trenberth’s estimate based on ‘climate science

    If we could really trust Hansen, that might be right.

    I don’t think so.

  15. Chief Hydrologist

    Is anyone else having trouble with the logic of Herd’s statement: But oceanic heat content has also been increasing, ruling out the possibility that atmospheric warming is due to internal variability.

    Internal variability is defined – without any justification – as purely a redistribution of heat between the oceans and atmosphere.

    The last decade is proof of climate change, not a cause for reflexive skepticism. It was the warmest on record, despite a laundry-list of mitigating factors like prolonged La Nina, a wave of modest volcanic eruptions, and an ebb in solar activity. As those attenuating factors subside, climate scientists anticipate another round of rapid warming.

    Intense and frequent La Nina seem likely for another decade or three – if not for the rest of the millennium. Solar intensity is as high as it is going to get this century. Sulphates from either volcanoes or Chinese emissions are estimated at 0.1W/m2 – and when will that subside?

  16. “If scientific models can’t project the last 15 years, what does that mean for their projections of the next 100?”
    _______

    Nothing.

    • LOL- you have a solid system of beliefs and won’t let facts get in the way

      • Mr. Model, you say SLR will be around one meter in 2100.

        Yes.

        Well, what will it be in 2017.

        Ain’t got a freakin’ clue.

  17. Who is Herd, does anyone know? He is the most cited person in this article. Perhaps Isaac Held, a typo?

    Seriously? You put up a post based on the article, and didn’t even check to see if a last name (mis-spelled) referenced towards the end of the article was accompanied by a first name earlier on in the article?

    Must have been in a rush to put something up, eh? Pretty much accounts for the rest of your comments as well.

    • Of all the gratuitously nasty comments you’ve put up, this is one of the nastiest. it’s finally dawning on me…I can be pretty dense at times…that you’re basically nothing but a troll. A sneering, arrogant, nasty troll. Excuse me, I have to go wash my hands now…

    • Steven Mosher

      And if she had said it was Held you would have complained that she rushed to judgement and should have checked with the author. You would have read her assumption of a typo as a veiled slammed against liberals.

  18. Fascinating.

    So in point point we get this from Judith:

    (the natural variability hypothesis promoted by many skeptics)

    and at another point we get this from Judith:

    But the “consensus” never extended to the intricacies of the climate system, just the core belief that additional greenhouse gas emissions would warm the planet.

    JC comment: Hmmm. . . this is an interesting redefinition of the climate change consensus, that would leave only the Skydragons outside of the consensus.

    So in the same post, Judith says that many “skeptics” explain warming by natural variability and she says that Sky Dragons are the only ones who don’t accept that greenhouse gas emissions are warming the planet.

    I guess when you’re engaged in normative science and advocacy, consistently isn’t an obstacle.

    • and neither is consistency,.

      • The aperture is wide open for skeptics outside the SkyDragon realm. Climate scientists such as Salby and Humlun don’t even believe that CO2 rise is man-made. QP Lu from U of Waterloo thinks its all due to halocarbons. And people believe them because they have credentials.

      • And people believe them because they have credentials.

        Indeed – the hypocrisy towards “authority” is one of the most characteristic attributes of our beloved “skeptics.”

        There are tens of millions of “skeptics,” in this country alone, who flat out reject the GHE, believe that humans could never affect the climate, doubt any evidence that shows warming, say that, in fact, the Earth is “cooling” despite every-growing levels of carbon in the atmosphere, say that the theory of AGW is a “hoax,” and/or attribute any recent warming to natural variability. The vast, vast, vast, vast majority of those “skeptics” have never even heard of the “Sky Dragons,” let alone have any awareness of their theoretical arguments.

        Judith obviously reads the comments at her site and at places like WUWT. Obviously, she reads all the time comments detailing perspectives like that of Tony Brown – who argues that there has been no discernible trend of anomalous climate patterns attributable to ACO2. A large percentage of “skeptics” similarly claim that there is no discernible ACO2 “footprint” that stands apart from natural variability. Judith has even had Tony write guest posts at her very own site.

        Now there are some “skeptics” who pay lip service to the GHE, presumably because they don’t want to be labeled as cranks, but what does it mean to say that you don’t doubt that ACO2 affects the climate and then turn around and support arguments that directly contradict that premise?

        It is fascinating that Judith, as a scientist, eschews definitional clarity when she talks about the climate debate. She alternately says that she doesn’t listen to anyone who isn’t a scientist, and then: (1) labels people who place importance on scientific credentials as “appealing to authority; (2) places great stock in the viewpoints of her many “denizens” and other “skeptics” who are not scientists. She says she doesn’t listen to anyone who doesn’t accept the ACO2 GHE, and then places great stock in the viewpoints of her many “denizens” and other “skeptics” who make arguments that preclude the possibility of an ACO2 GHE. One of the ways that she does that is by pretending (there really is no other word for it), that the only “skeptics” who put forward arguments that directly contradict the possibility of an ACO2 GHE are “Sky Dragons. She alternately dismisses and accepts the impact of phenomena such as confirmation bias depending on whether she is talking about “skeptics” or “realists,” respectively.

        She hides behind vague terminology, in fact exploits the vagueness of terminology, without seeming to be concerned about a lack of scientific clarity.

      • “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.”

        R.W. Emerson

      • Tom – the subject is climate; not airplane crashes, tobacco issues, space aliens, polywater, flat Earth theories, or how many Angels can dance on the head of a pin. It is gradually beginning to dawn on the climate science community that radiative physics can stand while temperature falls. It’s a travesty they can’t explain it. Don’t be such a sore loser.

      • Don’t be such a sore loser.

        You gotta love the analysis of some “skeptics.” They build upon false premises (based on incomplete information), and from completely incorrect conclusions.

        “Skepticism,” not skepticism.

        jim2 – you are wrong about Tom.

        Reminds me of Judith presenting her analysis on this article and encountering a reference with a last name only near the end of the article, and asking about that reference w/o checking to see if that name was associated with a first name earlier in the article.

        Quite likely, none of us have ever read has had a last name only reference towards the end of the article (unless it was a name that is obviously unique Christ or Obama or Limbaugh) without there being a reference earlier in the article that contained the accompanying first name. What explains Judith presenting her opinions on the article w/o having performed rudimentary skeptical scrutiny? What explains jim2 presenting his view w/o performing rudimentary skeptical scrutiny?

      • @Joshua | June 19, 2013 at 10:09 am |
        So, you are denying that Tom linked an article about a plane crash?

      • jim2 –

        You were wrong in your conclusion about Tom.

        How do you explain your error?

      • First, you have to prove I am wrong about Tom. Explain your assertion.

      • jim2 –

        Let’s test your skepticism. Since I provided a quote, it should be obvious what I am referring to. I also explained that the error contained in that quote was caused by incorrect assumptions that lead to an incorrect conclusion.

        Go back again. Apply some skepticism to your prior analysis. With a modicum of due skeptical diligence, it should become obvious where I am saying that you are in error.

      • Joshua – Obviously, you got nothin’.

      • Thanks, jim2 –

        For providing an excellent case study in the level of skepticism applied by some self-defined “skeptics” (at least some of the time)

        It seems that you can’t even figure out an obvious flaw in your reasoning – one that even rudimentary due skeptical diligence would make abundantly evident.

        To be clear, I don’t doubt that you are quite capable of solid skeptical reasoning. What is instructive here is your inability to even perceive your lack of skepticism in the context of the climate debate. Such a phenomenon is a “tell” for motivated reasoning/confirmation bias, etc.

      • Look in the mirror Joshua.

      • jim2

        Perhaps I have over-estimated your baseline skills (prior to the influence of your biases related to the climate debate) in skeptical reasoning?

        If so, I will give you a more complete explanation:

        Here is the quote I provided earlier:
        .

        Don’t be such a sore loser.

        This comment makes it clear that you have made an assumption that Tom is in a contest where one side “wins” and the other side “loses.” Further, it is abundantly clear that you have drawn a conclusion, with complete certainty, about which side Tom identifies with.

        Which side does Tome identify with? What evidence did you use to draw that conclusion? What sort of skeptical scrutiny did you apply to your evidence/conclusion logic?

        In fact, you are wrong about your conclusions about Tom. You jumped the gun. You shot your wad. You saw conclusive evidence where it didn’t exist – as proven by the fact that you reached an incorrect conclusion.

        Even more damning – you couldn’t even figure out where you failed to apply sound skeptical reasoning even when I freakin’ led you directly to it.

        Read up on critical reasoning and get back to me.

      • Joshua – and you are assuming I was using deductive logic. Again, look in the mirror.

      • jim2

        Joshua – and you are assuming I was using deductive logic.

        Lol! You can run,but you can’t hide.

        Your statement made it clear that you placed Tom on a particular side. You were wrong. There are reasons why you were so certain about reaching an incorrect conclusions.

        Show some freakin’ accountability.

      • Show some curiosity about the climate. Analysis of motives in conversation is turbulent, and you always wash up exhausted at the edge of the stream.
        ===========

      • kim –

        You also fail at basic skeptical scrutiny:

        Analysis of motives in conversation is turbulent, and you always wash up exhausted at the edge of the stream.

        I am not analyzing motives. I am analyzing reasoning.

      • OK, Joshua. Humans frequently find themselves in situations where all facts are not known. But still, decisions must be made. My experience with climate blogs has revealed a pattern that applies in this case. The pattern being that CAGW’ers like to attempt to draw parallels between “tobacco causes negative outcomes” skeptics and climate skeptics. Tom’s post tends to place him in that camp. So, I’m using fuzzy logic, not deductive logic. The final comment about him being a sore loser was merely a poke in fun at him. So, Joshua, your attempt to slime me based on some idealistic concept of how discourse should be conducted places you in the position in which you attempted to place me. Petard – hoist – yourself.

      • With your motives and bias you have tied your hands and feet. Have a Snickers and loosen the binds before you venture in.
        ==============

      • You keep using that word ‘critical’. I don’t think it means what you think it means.
        ==========

      • Josh is right. I remember Tom as a fundie-type denier from way back.

        Josh’s powers of observation are strong. No denying that.

    • Are you really that dense? Or just trolling? Here’s a clue. One can believe that CO2 is capable of contributing to warming and that natural variability is as well. The amount of warming due to each factor is the real question. So Judith is entirely consistent. It only seems inconsistent to people too stupid to understand anything more complicated than: it must be entirely due to A. or entirely due to B.

      • One can believe that CO2 is capable of contributing to warming and that natural variability is as well.

        Of course. Nothing I have argued supports suggests a different perspective.

        The point is that there are many, many “skeptics” who argue that (1) the climate has not changed appreciably in any way or, (2) all the climate changes we have seen are indistinguishable from natural variability. In fact, I’d say that the majority of “skeptics” make such arguments and only a tiny % of that group have ever even heard of the “Sky Dragons.”

        There is a small % of “skeptics” who don’t base their arguments on such a contradictory foundation (think of Mosher or Muller, for two) – but many “skeptics” label such other “skeptics” as non-“skeptics” (inconsistently, of course. For many “skeptics,” folks like Mosher and Muller are “skeptics” sometimes and not “skeptics” at other times – depending on which isolated part of their argument the “skeptics” are referring to).

        Judith selectively defines “skeptic” so that she can make her normative arguments so that she can advance her agenda. To do so is unscientific in nature.

      • Mosher and Muller skeptics? That’s laughable!

      • Edim –

        Mosher and Muller skeptics? That’s laughable!

        So Muller and Mosher – both of whom accept an influence of natural variability on the climate, and who don’t doubt that GHE of ACO2 has an effect on the climate, but question the relative proportion of those two causes of effect – are clearly not “skeptics” in your viewpoint.

        So clearly, you are defining “skeptic” differently than Judith. Thank you for providing that example of how definitional vagueness underscores the selectivity of Judith’s arguments.

      • They’re both (luke)warmists. They think CO2 MUST warm.

      • Perhaps the missing heat has been turned into fat, by American men & women?

        http://washingtonexaminer.com/after-4-years-of-michelles-anti-obesity-campaign-america-is-still-getting-fatter/article/2532108

        Let’s all sit down and study the issue.

      • lolwot,

        Null hypothesis is NO effect. For AGW it’s NO AGW and for GHE is NO GHE. GHE here is defined as radiative GHE.

      • Edim –

        They’re both (luke)warmists. They think CO2 MUST warm.

        So, if I can work backwards from what seems to be your exclusion criterion, according to you “skeptics,” by definition, are those who do not think that ACO2 MUST warm. That is in direct contrast to Judith’s definition.

        Anyway, just out of curiosity, some questions:

        Consider two hypothetical planets:

        Planet A – identical to the earth, with the same causes of “natural” variability” in the climate, and all other aspects identical as well, but no ACO2 emissions.

        Planet B – identical to the earth, with the same causes of “natural variability” in the climate and all other aspects identical as well, with the exception of the presence of ACO2 emissions.

        Question A: Accepting for the influence of chaotic interactions among causal variables that affect climate, do you think that the climate of planet A and planet B would be the same, or do you think that the ACO2 emissions on planet B would necessarily mean that it would be warmer?

        Question B: Are you a “Sky Dragon?”

      • Sorry –

        That should have read:

        Planet B – identical to the earth, with the same causes of “natural variability” in the climate and all other aspects identical as well, with the exception of including the presence of ACO2 emissions.

      • Question A

        No significant difference on the face of it. I agree with Salby.

        Question B

        NO, but I think that the GHE is misunderstood. Evaporation and convection cool the Earth’s surface. The so-called GHGs cool the atmosphere by radiating the gained energy to space. The ‘blanket’ is the bulk of the atmosphere (N2 and O2).

      • Joshua,
        Again, your posts show a minimal level of reading comprehension or sophistication. You do seem to grasp the most literal facts displaying some small level of rote learning. However, your posts demonstrate a lack of interpretive and applied skills. Through your writing, you continue to show only a rudimentary ability to attach new learning to old information and little if any ability to synthesize information.

      • Thanks Edim –

        I appreciate your honesty and consistency.

        It is ironic that many “skeptics” such as yourself, who are open and consistent, are discarded by other “skeptics” from the “skeptic” camp – as Judith does so frequently. Often, it seems, such exclusions are based on a lack of “authority,” which is one of the sweet ironies of the climate debates.

        Because I can’t evaluate the science myself, I look to other features of the debate in order to grab a foothold. One feature is the degree of consensus among smart and knowledgeable people. Although that is not dispositive, it is information that is useful for estimating probabilities. Another feature is logical consistency. Actually, that isn’t necessarily dispositive either (two people can be logically consistent and still reach diametrically opposed conclusions; a person can be logically inconsistent and still reach the correct conclusion by virtue of chance), but IMO, it does at least make for an argument that merits respectful consideration.

      • @Joshua…

        do you think that the climate of planet A and planet B would be the same, or do you think that the ACO2 emissions on planet B would necessarily mean that it would be warmer?

        When did you stop beating your wife? Or haven’t you yet?

        The climate of planet A and planet B would probably not be the same, but which would be “warmer” remains an open question. As does whether it’s even possible to predict whether planet B would “necessarily” be “warmer”. Given the spatio-temporally chaotic nature of climate, even tiny differences in starting conditions, or other “boundary” conditions can result in completely different outcomes.

      • AK –

        <blockquoteThe climate of planet A and planet B would probably not be the same, but which would be “warmer” remains an open question. .

        Yes, my question was poorly worded when I asked if the climate would be the “same,” and then continued by asking whether planet B would be “warmer.”

        I should have simply asked whether Edim would conclude that planet B would be warmer.

        Given the spatio-temporally chaotic nature of climate, even tiny differences in starting conditions, or other “boundary” conditions can result in completely different outcomes

        I tried to allow for that in the setup of my question….“Accepting for the influence of chaotic interactions among causal variables that affect climate,

        Perhaps that caveat is not scientifically valid. But I can’t evaluate that. What I can do is ask questions about the perspectives of others, to assess the validity of how folks like Judith characterize the debate. If Edim (or others) accept a caveat such as that I offered, then your argument does not change their stated perspective.

        If all “skeptics” argued as you did – that the chaotic nature of the climate makes it impossible to make predictions based on “all things being equal.” – then the number of people who could be classified as “skeptic” would be exponentially less than those that Judith has classified as “skeptics.”

        My point is that many, many “skeptics” use selective reasoning. One feature of that selective reasoning is a selective treatment of chaotic phenomena, although certainly not all “skeptics” employ such reasoning.

      • @Joshua…

        Perhaps if more “skeptics” had studied how the human mind actually creates the artifact we call causation…

    • Steven Mosher

      “So in the same post, Judith says that many “skeptics” explain warming by natural variability and she says that Sky Dragons are the only ones who don’t accept that greenhouse gas emissions are warming the planet.”

      Joshua. your reading is most uncharitable.

      Skeptics believe that more C02 can cause warming and they also believe that the warming we have is seen is DOMINATED by natural variability.
      There is no lack of consistency in what Judith wrote, However, there is your motivated reasoning. Your consistent and predicatable pattern of misreading her to make her look bad.

      Given two options, a reading of her which makes sense, and a reading of her which makes her look inconsistent, you CHOOSE to read her in the most ungenerous way. You do this consistently and pathologically.
      Ask yourself why. Ask yourself why you choose the same path in reading Judith. Never the generous path, never the benefit of the doubt, but always with an eye toward “exposing” an inconsistency.

      Understand a large swath of linguistic behavior is ambiguous. It’s hard to say what we mean in such a way that no one can misunderstand us.
      You take this fundamental difficulty of communication and systematically abuse others with it.

      • He makes it exhausted to the side of the stream by drowning his fellow swimmer.
        ===========

      • Joshie hates Judith because she has strayed from the reservation, period.

      • Steven Mosher

        what Joshua doesnt get is that his reading of things is dominated by his motivated reasoning. He never makes an attempt to ask people for clarification when that option is clearly open to him. So one gets to ask, why does Joshua always read a Judith text in the same way. There was a funny game I used to play when we went on long driving trips. Misread the signs.. some were simple “slow children at play”, “slippery when wet”
        others were hard “Stop”. hmm, later on, I would learn to do this more formally from Bloom and his “map of misreading”. So, it’s pretty simple to chart Joshua’s map of misreading. The anxiety of influence helps as well.

      • My favorite:

      • And this one would be appropriate if you were walking up on a group of Climate Etc. “denizens.”

        http://tinyurl.com/n3v3hg3

      • I’ve usually considered his bereting of Judith Curry as akin to some sort of middle school behavior. But it does appear to be headed into pathology.

      • I own a picture of a sign taken at a rural school crossing which says: Please don’t run over the children, wait for the teacher.
        ===================

  19. If natural forces dominate now, they always did. Game, set, match.

  20. “AGW refers to warming since about 1900.”

    JC, please, do you have a reference for this? This is the first time I hear about it, all the attribution studies say after ~1950.

    • Since it is a log sensitivity the early rise in carbon emission is certainly detectable. This is all part of the preponderance of evidence pointing to AGW.

      • Is there a reference on this? I only see graphs like this:

      • Like the period from 1910 – 1940 or so?

        Why is it that the climate models undershoot the warming during this time frame and can’t match the cooling/flat region in the 1950-1975 or so time frame? Shouldn’t they be able to match the past before you expect them to predict the future? If I am not mistaken, the climate modelers do not believe that the warming from 1910-1940 was strongly driven by CO2 and the rate of rise was similar to more recent warming. I will wait another 10-15 years before I start telling everyone else they are wrong. As a scientist it’s my responsibility to not draw conclusions from limited data and then claim certainty.

      • Bill

        You ask why IPCC is unable to identify the causes for the early 20th C warming period and yet thinks it can project future warming.

        The logic goes as follows:

        1. Our models cannot explain the early 20th C warming period.

        2. We know that the statistically indistinguishable late 20th C warming was caused by AGW.

        3. How do we know this?

        4. Because our models cannot explain it any other way.

        Max

      • 1910-1940 tells us it can warm a couple of tenths of a degree faster than CO2 over a 30 year period, and 1950-1980 tells us it can also warm slower by a tenth or two. In the context of an expected several degree rise over the next century, these tenths don’t change things much because the background rise is there. This is the range of natural variation being observed around the expected CO2 effect.

      • Jim D “1910-1940 tells us it can warm a couple of tenths of a degree”

        Why trivialize it? It warmed 0.7C from 1933 to 1945.

        http://sunshinehours.wordpress.com/2013/04/20/hadcrut4-1930-to-1949-by-month-dangerous-pre-co2-global-warming/

      • sunshine, yes, that only shows how silly it is to use monthly data for climate trends, doesn’t it? I would use at least decadal averages when talking about climate.

      • Decadal trends are an artificial construct used to hide what natural variability is capable of in the pre-CO2 era.

        .7C over 12 years. in the 30s/40s.

        1.1C from 1875 to 1878.

    • Edim

      References for the statement:

      “AGW refers to warming since about 1900.”

      IPCC AR4 WG1 SPM, p.5 refers to:

      The updated 100-year linear trend (1906 to 2005) of 0.74°C

      But AGW goes back even further, according to IPCC:

      Anthropogenic radiative forcing components are listed for the period 1750 to 2005 in IPCC AR4 WG1 SPM, p.4

      (IOW anthropogenic global warming is estimated to have started back in 1750, with the start of industrialization.)

      Then there is the tricky graph in AR4 WG1 Ch.3 FAQ 3.1, Figure 1, which purports to show an “acceleration” in warming since 1850, by comparing shorter periods with longer ones (time periods from 25 to 150 years), with the footnote:

      a substantial fraction of the early 20th-century change was contributed by naturally occurring influences

      Implying (of course) that the balance was from AGW.

      Just three examples out of many.

      Max

      • Max,

        Then AGW is all over the place and not even wrong. No wonder it has survived for so long – if it were just wrong, it would be very easy to falsify.

        Like I said, there are MANY attribution graphs on the net and NONE of them show any significant difference between ‘natural’ and ‘natural+human’ before roughly the middle of the 20th century. It would be physically implausible if ACO2 had an effect. I don’t think, if the anthropogenic radiative forcings are listed for the period 1750 to 2005, that it means it was significant back in 1750. See the Figure SPM.4. in IPCC AR4 WG1 SPM, p.11 – there’s no significant difference between the models using only natural and both natural and anthropogenic forcings before ~1950.

      • Edim

        Yep.

        You are right.

        Max

      • Edim,

        Like I said, there are MANY attribution graphs on the net and NONE of them show any significant difference between ‘natural’ and ‘natural+human’ before roughly the middle of the 20th century. It would be physically implausible if ACO2 had an effect.

        No, you are simply missing that the graphs, like the ones from the IPCC AR4 you referenced here, or the one to which you linked in the comment before in reply to me, don’t compare simulations with CO2 forcing alone+natural forcing and natural forcings. “human”/”anthropogenic” forcings doesn’t only include greenhouse gases. It also includes other anthropogenic forcings, especially the negative net forcing from anthropogenic aerosols, which also increased in magnitude, having an offsetting effect. So you can’t validly conclude from those graphs what you conclude here.

        For CMIP5, look at Forster et al., JGR (2013), doi:10.1002/jgrd.50174 (http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.1002/jgrd.50174), Figure 2, left panels, where the forcings and globally averaged temperature responses are compared between following configurations: historical net forcing, historical greenhouse gas forcings, historical natural forcings, and historical non-greenhouse gas forcings (first three are simulations, the latter is the residual). A slowly evolving divergence is already clearly visible for the time period 1880 to 1950 between the ensemble mean temperature from the simulations with greenhouse gases alone and the one from the simulations with natural forcings alone. There you have your slowly evolving CO2 effect in the model simulations also before 1950. Fully consistent with what one would expect.

      • Jan P Perlwitz

        You say the model simulations are “Fully consistent with what one would expect”.

        Of course they are.

        That’s how they’re programmed.

        Max

      • Chief Hydrologist

        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 Emphasis mine.

        Atmospheric and oceanic computational simulation models often successfully depict chaotic space–time patterns, flow phenomena, dynamical balances, and equilibrium distributions that mimic nature. This success is accomplished through necessary but nonunique choices for discrete algorithms, parameterizations, and coupled contributing processes that introduce structural instability into the model. Therefore, we should expect a degree of irreducible imprecision in quantitative correspondences with nature, even with plausibly formulated models and careful calibration (tuning) to several empirical measures. Where precision is an issue (e.g., in a climate forecast), only simulation ensembles made across systematically designed model families allow an estimate of the level of relevant irreducible imprecision. http://www.pnas.org/content/104/21/8709.long

        The models are of course tuned to reproduce behaviors – and can be tuned in many different ways – but they are a systematically designed model family away at least from engendering confidence.

        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.

      • Jan, OK that’s the first time I see a graph with a significant divergence between natural and natural + anthropogenic before ~1950. Thanks for the link. It disagrees with all the other consensus attributions though and that’s why I think the consensus AGW is all over the place and non-scientific. All I can say for now is that the consensus will need a lot of aerosol forcing to compensate for the cooling in the next few decades.

      • manacker wrote:

        You say the model simulations are “Fully consistent with what one would expect”.

        Of course they are.

        That’s how they’re programmed.

        Please could you explain? What is programmed in the models how, and to get what, specifically? And also, how you got to your claims?

        My statement in the comment to which you reply referred more specifically to the fact that the evolving radiative forcing by greenhouse gases added to the natural forcings, without taking the negative forcings from anthropogenic drivers like aerosols into account, leads to a divergence between the temperature of the cases also before 1950. One which is slowly evolving with the greenhouse gas forcing.

        The starting point was the claim of non-divergence for the time before 1950, made by edim. But his claim was based on a comparison between anthropogenic + natural forcings and natural forcings alone in some graphs, which he referenced, where the anthropogenic forcing included also other forcings, negative ones, in addition to the positive greenhouse gas forcing. Thus, his conclusion that the non-divergence was in contradition to an influence of CO2 on climate before 1950 was not a valid one.

      • Edim wrote:

        It disagrees with all the other consensus attributions though and that’s why I think the consensus AGW is all over the place and non-scientific.

        To claim that they were “non-scientific” because you disagreed with them isn’t really an argument.

        All I can say for now is that the consensus will need a lot of aerosol forcing to compensate for the cooling in the next few decades.

        And what is supposed to be the physics behind this cooling, which is allegedly going to occur in the next few decades? A cooling trend of the troposphere would have to be driven by some longer-term negative perturbation of the energy balance in the system. The increasing anthropogenic greenhouse gases in the atmosphere cause currently a net positive perturbation, though. And you would have to get the trend in the ocean heat content, which is a result from this positive perturbation, to reverse first, before I see a cooling happening. However, the ocean heat content has continued to increase. A warming trend of the oceans, but a cooling trend (which is significant) of the surface/tropopshere at the same time don’t go together. The perturbation of the energy fluxes between the ocean and atmosphere will lead to a restoration at the direction of an equilibrium. The troposphere is just going to catch up with the continuing warming of the oceans at some point.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Unlike El Niño and La Niña, which may occur every 3 to 7 years and last from 6 to 18 months, the PDO can remain in the same phase for 20 to 30 years. The shift in the PDO can have significant implications for global climate, affecting Pacific and Atlantic hurricane activity, droughts and flooding around the Pacific basin, the productivity of marine ecosystems, and global land temperature patterns. #8220;This multi-year Pacific Decadal Oscillation ‘cool’ trend can intensify La Niña or diminish El Niño impacts around the Pacific basin,” said Bill Patzert, an oceanographer and climatologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. “The persistence of this large-scale pattern [in 2008] tells us there is much more than an isolated La Niña occurring in the Pacific Ocean.”

        Natural, large-scale climate patterns like the PDO and El Niño-La Niña are superimposed on global warming caused by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases and landscape changes like deforestation. According to Josh Willis, JPL oceanographer and climate scientist, “These natural climate phenomena can sometimes hide global warming caused by human activities. Or they can have the opposite effect of accentuating it.” http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=8703

        The top-of-atmosphere (TOA) Earth radiation budget (ERB) is determined from the difference between how much energy is absorbed and emitted by the planet. Climate forcing results in an imbalance in the TOA radiation budget that has direct implications for global climate, but the large natural variability in the Earth’s radiation budget due to fluctuations in atmospheric and ocean dynamics complicates this picture. http://meteora.ucsd.edu/~jnorris/reprints/Loeb_et_al_ISSI_Surv_Geophys_2012.pdf

        Changes in cloud in CERES completely account for ocean warming. As it does indeed for the earlier instruments.

        In summary, although there is independent evidence for decadal changes in TOA radiative fluxes over the last two decades, the evidence is equivocal. Changes in the planetary and tropical TOA radiative fluxes are consistent with independent global ocean heat-storage data, and are expected to be dominated by changes in cloud radiative forcing. To the extent that they are real, they may simply reflect natural low-frequency variability of the climate system. AR4 WG1 3.4.4.1

        http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/cloud_palleandlaken2013_zps3c92a9fc.png.html?sort=3&o=5

  21. Chief Hydrologist

    But this line of argument that warming in the deep ocean will change the climate (presumably due to changes in the ocean circulation) really just supports the argument for ocean circulations being a primary driver for climate (the natural variability hypothesis promoted by many skeptics).

    In summary, although there is independent evidence for decadal changes in TOA radiative fluxes over the last two decades, the evidence is equivocal. Changes in the planetary and tropical TOA radiative fluxes are consistent with independent global ocean heat-storage data, and are expected to be dominated by changes in cloud radiative forcing. To the extent that they are real, they may simply reflect natural low-frequency variability of the climate system. IPCC s 3.4.4.1

    There is much that suggests that natural low-frequency variability of the climate system is responsible for most recent climate change. This is not to say that the simple radiative physics of the atmosphere are somehow not part of a complex system – just that there are very many other things happening.

    We have examples above of the scientifically illiterate in Max and Joshua quibbling about things they are unwilling or unable to understand. Their entire presence here seems so pointless and their intentions so utterly unconstructive as to beg the question of why they bother at all.

  22. June 18

    Judith Curry posts about The New Republic on the ‘pause’ and record-breaking heat bakes Alaska.

    Great timing, JC ! Ha Ha !

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Alaskan temperatures will continue to decline decadally whatever the weather does. Nowhere much are there a very long term records and the statistics of short records suggest that new highs and lows are fairly common.

      Anyone told you what a worthless twit you are today yet?

      • A baked Alaska is a dish. That joke was done in honor of the Chef, who is always cooking up nonsense .

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Another obnoxious and scientifically illiterate troll – one who ‘solves’ climate with ideas and algebra worthy of a backward 10 year old. You are the joke here Webster. Not laughing yet? Everyone else is.

    • MaxOk

      Judith posts on a long term pause whilst you reference short term weather.

      “On Tuesday, the official afternoon high in Anchorage was 81 degrees, breaking the city’s record of 80 set in 1926 for that date.

      Other smaller communities throughout a wide swath of the state are seeing even higher temperatures.

      All-time highs were recorded elsewhere, including 96 degrees on Monday 80 miles to the north in the small community of Talkeetna, purported to be the inspiration for the town in the TV series, “Northern Exposure” and the last stop for climbers heading to Mount McKinley, North America’s tallest mountain. One unofficial reading taken at a lodge near Talkeetna even measured 98 degrees, which would tie the highest undisputed temperature recorded in Alaska.

      That record was set in 1969, according to Jeff Masters, meteorology director of the online forecasting service Weather Underground.

      “This is the hottest heat wave in Alaska since ’69,” he said. “You’re way, way from normal.”

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/19/baked-alaska-unusual-hea_n_3463563.html

      Alaska has very short instrumental records available.
      tonyb

  23. Chief says, “the statistics of short records suggest that new highs and lows are fairly common.”
    _____

    Which in turn suggests Alaskans better find somewhere else to live. With summers getting hotter and hotter, and winters getting colder and colder, Alaska will become a horrible place for people, just the opposite of Australia, which is a place for horrible people.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      You’re a purveyor of endless and scientifically illiterate twaddle with a passing resemblance to Nelson. Do you honestly think that is an endearing, mature and civilized way to behave? Of course I am unpleasant to you because you are an unpleasant, ignorant and obnoxious troll whose contribution to the discourse is…

  24. AGW refers to warming since 1900s?

    Where is this referenced? My understanding is that basic physics suggest accumulations of CO2 in atmosphere couldn’t influence atmospheric temperature until the 1960s.

    • Your understanding is wrong.

      • How is it wrong? Do you have ANY reference on AGW becoming significant before the middle of the 20th century?

        http://ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/myths/global-warming-is-only-part-human-caused/image

      • Edim, you are a rank contrarian.

        I know this doesn’t work for you, but you should think logically for once. When a human is born, the infant doesn’t immediately appear as a full-size adult. He or she goes through the concept of “growth”.

        I will let others fill in the rest.

      • Edim,

        I don’t see how the graph is supposed to demonstrate that Paul’s assertion was correct according to which basic physics suggested CO2 couldn’t have influenced atmospheric temperature until the 1960s? What in basic physics is supposed to suggest this? CO2 increased from pre-industrial times to the 1960s from about 280 ppm to about 320 ppm. Since the forcing from CO2 depends on the CO2-increase logarithmically, the forcing from CO2 up to 1960 makes almost 40% of the total forcing from CO2 between pre-industrial times and today. Why wouldn’t there have been any influence from this forcing? Having an influence doesn’t necessarily mean it was the dominant forcing.

        The influence of the CO2 increase was certainly small in the beginning, and then it has become larger in time. There is no reason to assume from basic physics that there wasn’t any influence from CO2 before 1960, and then suddenly there was an influence.

      • Not suddenly. The question is when it became significant. Humans emit now in only a FEW years more than they emitted in the entire period until ~1950.

        See the attribution graphs – there’s no significant difference between ‘natural only’ and ‘natural plus anthropogenic’ before ~1950. Nowhere to be find. It would be physically implausible because of the emission quantities.

    • There were not as many people on this beach in 1926, UHI affect was yet to be made public.

      http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_HOT_ALASKA?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2013-06-19-03-12-3

      People seem to still enjoy themselves in the heat of Spring. WHO knew too.

  25. OT, but since so many visitors here have strong opinions about wind power, I thought it might be of interest.

    NPR reports Danish pension fund invests in Cape Wind. The following excerpts are from the report:

    “BOSTON (AP) — The Cape Wind offshore wind project has secured a $200 million investment from a Danish pension fund in what the wind farm’s president said Tuesday is a milestone for the long-delayed project.”

    “The $2.6 billion Cape Wind project aims to be the United States’ first offshore wind farm. But the project, proposed in 2001, has been beset by lengthy review and entrenched opposition and has been seeking investors.”

    “PensionDanmark’s Pedersen said Cape Wind is an attractive investment at a time when bond yields are low and said he’s confident the long-stalled project will succeed. The weather conditions off New England are comparable to those off Denmark, and he believes the region will prove a similarly good place for offshore wind energy, he said”

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=193267505

    • I sincerely hope it works. Clean energy is a good thing. I am a bit worried though that it will fail and that these people’s pensions will be adversely affected. Note that it does mention that they believe this is a good investment compared to bonds which do not look promising, especially if interest rates go up. I guess once interest rates get to a higher (normal) level and are stable, then bonds would become a better investment?

      • Yes, after interest rates rise and stabilize, bonds will be a better investment if the rates are greater than the inflation rate. Of course, bonds will be an even better investment if interest rates rise, stabilize, and then start falling. Unfortunately, I don’t have a crystal ball.

    • Wind is working for us. We have the 2nd highest generation capacity in the US.

      Interesting piece of info my our CEO in a meeting with her last week – the state’s setting of mandated renewable percentages made development of wind generation more expensive. Our first wind farm was considerably cheaper to develop than subsequent ones.

  26. Which culprit is hiding the heat? Who is winning the arm wrestle between trappy GHGs and leaky aerosols? Well, if it’s that scamp of an ocean hiding the heat, it’ll be – wait for it! – WORSE THAN WE THOUGHT.

    Unbearably silly mag. Unbearably silly article. Captain-Kirk-at-the-console stuff: simplistic, mechanistic, juvenile.

    Warmies! Extremies! Unnatural trendies! Whatever we are supposed to call you this week! Stop. You are such babies. You are unbearable.

  27. At last!!! A little light relief as we don and doff our woolies re-
    spondin’ ter that variable – on again – off again – complu-cated
    – coupled system we call the wether. How the gods must laugh …
    hahahahaaaahh at human oracle – climate modellers fifty year projecshuns theories of deeeep heat hidings ‘n much more.
    (Not too many hyphens there Tony.)
    Bts

  28. What all of these discoveries hint at is that scientists, at long last, have developed a better understanding of year-to-year climate variations. In a way, you could think of it like the stock market. Watching Wall Street, we see the indices rise and fall, and we know the news that has influenced the swings. Watching annual temperatures, scientists could see the fluctuations but, until recently, knew little about the news–even though they were confident that increased carbon dioxide would ensure a bull market over the longer run.

    JC comment: The Wall Street analogy is an interesting one
    ———————————
    Heh. Very dry, Judith, very dry. I like it.

  29. What all of these discoveries hint at is that scientists, at long last, have developed a better understanding of year-to-year climate variations. In a way, you could think of it like the stock market. Watching Wall Street, we see the indices rise and fall, and we know the news that has influenced the swings.
    And we know how well the “experts” are at predicting financial market swings. Maybe we’re just in an atmospheric temperature “bubble.”

  30. Judith Curry quotes some article:

    If scientific models can’t project the last 15 years, what does that mean for their projections of the next 100?

    This sentence in the article already reflects a common misconception about climate models. Climate models principally do not project the year-to-year variability of Nature over such a short time scale. The behavior of the globally averaged temperature at the surface, if we take this variable as example, over such a short time scale is dominated by unforced, internal variability, on some chaotic trajectory. Chaotic trajectories are objectively not predictable beyond some predictability limit. Thus, the correct question here is instead, whether climate models show a similar chaotic behavior, e.g. with respect to the magnitude of variability, compared to Nature on the same time scale, but not whether the models correctly predict the chronological succession of the up and downs of the globally averaged temperature on the time scales which are dominated by unforced, internal variability.

    On the other hand, on a time scale over 100 years, changes in the climate of Earth, i.e, changes in the statistical variables used to describe the state of the system, are not dominated by unforced, internal variability, but by the changes in the external forcings, according to our current understanding of the climate system.

    My personal best candidate is with respect to what surprises could be ahead for climate science, challenging aspects of our current understanding, that there may be modes of internal climate variability on much longer time scales, perhaps on a time-scale of hundreds or thousands of years, or also bifurcation points in this non-linear system, which we don’t know yet and haven’t understood yet. This doesn’t change the physics behind the effect of greenhouse gases on climate and AGW, the understanding of which is pretty solid, but it would make things more complicated. But this is only speculation.

  31. Great write-up and refreshing to see some actual journalism. Good journalism and good science are both impossible when they become slaves to the news cycle.

    You would think all of this uncertainty and confusion caused by the pause would bring new life and excitement to the climate science community. Now that a certain consensus is dead, perhaps some smart researchers and scientists will be more free to actually diagnose the problem.

  32. Another thread on “The Pause”; again. One wonders why. I suspect the global climate is doing exactly the same sort of thing it has doing for billions of years, and will contine to do for billions more. The Pause is only significant becasue the warmists cannot explain it on the basis of the hoax of CAGW. Hence we have another thread on The Pause.

    So far as I can see, no warmist predicted this pause; only with 20/20 hindsight do they claim it is not unexpected. Big deal. But the issue ought to be, when will The Pause end? On this issue the warmists are, understandably, silent. Their models have no predictive capablility, so no-one has any idea when The Pause will cease, and global temperature rise will start (or resume if you prefer) assuming a rate commensurate with CAGW.

    All I would note is that currently there are NO signs whatsoever that The Pause has ceased. To name but two. Arctic temperatures are supposed to be a bellwether for CAGW for some reason that I do not inderstand, but at the current date, temperatures north of 80 are the coldest on record since 1959 http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/meant80n.uk.php The first quarter of the current decade is cooler that the first decade of the 21st century http://notrickszone.com/2013/06/08/honeycutt-nuccitelli-climate-bet-progress-report-so-far-new-decade-is-cooler-than-the-last-ready-to-concede/

    Why it is so difficult for warmists not to understand that the sun almost certainly is the main driver of climate is beyond me; even though we dont understand why. And we are about to enter the Eddy minimnum. ‘nuf said.

  33. JC

    Enjoyed reading the post. Thank you.

    The 2 deg C is probably 2 deg F.

  34. I was under the impression that climate sensitivities >1.2 degrees per CO2 doubling were a product of the ability of the warmer atmosphere to support a higher concentration of water vapour, thus, atmospheric thermalization due to CO2 increases water vapour, which absorbs more outward IR causing more atmospheric thermalization.
    Thus, we have a mechanism of cAGW, as CO2 increases, water vapour increases and the Earth dies screaming.
    However, we are now assured that observational data indicate that although atmospheric CO2 has risen, and risen substantially, water vapour levels in the atmosphere have declined.
    When may a skeptic indicate that the model and reality have diverged without being labeled a ‘denier’ or ‘creationist’ or ‘in the pay of big oil/coal’?

  35. JC comment: This is the first I have heard from an IPCC author acknowledging that solar radiation has accounted for 10-15% of the hiatus. Has anyone seen a reference on this?

    Maybe this, from Trenberth:

    http://theconversation.com/global-warming-is-here-to-stay-whichever-way-you-look-at-it-14532

  36. If scientific models can’t project the last 15 years, what does that mean for their projections of the next 100?

    Translation: the new liberal mission of TNR is to state the obvious even if it conflicts with years of denial on the part of the AGW community.

  37. There are two ways to create a global-warming hiatus: The heat can go somewhere other than the atmosphere, or there might be less heat in the climate system than scientists predicted.

    Translation: People who live on other peoples taxes first deny the premise and when that no longer works they choose “A” and demand funding to find it even if it means looking under every icecap.

  38. Sign of a turning tide, or a false dawn? Will CO2 soon be viewed back where I think it belongs: extremely important for plants, only of marginal importance for atmospheric dynamics? Excellent work by JC in her comments on the article.

  39. …warmer oceans would raise sea levels, change the climate, and hurt the ocean’s ecosystem.

    Translation: –e.g., humanity would not exist if not for oceans having warmed and we all know humanity is a big mishstake…

  40. The sun itself is a major factor in forcing. Over an average of eleven years, the sun’s energy output ebbs and wanes, subtly influencing earth’s climate.

    Translation: Okay, okay now we can all admit it: the cause of global warming –i.e., nominally, it’s the Sun, stupid!

    • michael hart

      So it’s major, but it’s subtle. OK, I suppose we should be grateful that they’re making progress….

  41. According to Kevin Trenberth of the Center for Climate and Atmospheric Research, lower levels of solar radiation account for 10 to 15 percent of the hiatus.

    Translation: Kevin Trenberth speaks for the entire AGW community so everyone should look to him from now on when something needs to be pulled out of someone’s arse.

  42. Judith Curry writes:

    The public debate about the pause is being conducted primarily in the MSM, op-eds, congressional testimony, and yes the blogosphere. Few journal articles have been published that explicitly tackle the pause; in any event the publication cycle occurs much more slowly than the public debate.

    Isn’t this exactly what you do? You give interviews, you make public statements about an alleged “pause” in global warming, you are among the ones who have actively contributed to creating the meme about the “pause”, you present the “pause” as if it was something empirically verified, based on scientific criteria, but where is the research on which you base your claims about the “pause” in global warming? Based on what empirical, statistical evidence do you make your public statements about the “pause” in global warming? Since you are a climate scientist, wouldn’t it be your task to do and publish the research first, before you make public statements about the topic?

  43. Watching annual temperatures, scientists could see the fluctuations but, until recently, knew little about the news–even though they were confident that increased carbon dioxide would ensure a bull market over the longer run.

    Faulty analogy alert: in reality we could be confident that putting your vast fortune in railroad stocks in the 1920s to insure a good life for your children and grandchildren, only to lose dern near e’ry penny over the next 20-30 years.

  44. The challenge for scientists is that the more they understand the climate system, the more complex it gets, and the harder it gets to model with precision—not to mention making the kinds of sweeping statements the news cycle requires.

    Translation: Scientists like Carl Sagan have destroyed the credibility and authority of science.

  45. But the “consensus” never extended to the intricacies of the climate system, just the core belief that additional greenhouse gas emissions would warm the planet.

    No, no, no not “never extended,” but never considered the intricacies of the climate system…

  46. No mention whatsoever as to the lack of credibility of the land-based record nor the record of gross improprieties by climatists? Water under the bridge? Being lied to by government scientists not an issue?

  47. The last decade is proof of climate change, not a cause for reflexive skepticism.

    TNR apparently is ignorant of the fact that, “if corrected for non-greenhouse influences such as El Nino events and large volcanic eruptions,” Richard Courtney observed that global temperatures, “show little if any global warming since 1979.”

    • Richard Courtney observed that global temperatures, “show little if any global warming since 1979.”

      When Courtney claims such a thing, then it certainly must be right. Courtney very likely applied the new scientific method, developed by him, which is called “eyeballing”, to come to his conclusion. He is still writing his PhD-thesis on it. Once he has defended his thesis he won’t need to use a fake “Dr.” in his name anymore. His thesis are going to destroy climate science as we know it.

      • “Relative to the variability in the data, the changes in the globally averaged temperature anomaly look negligible.” ~R. S. Lindzen

  48. Time to stop arguing about climate change, World Bank says
    Reuters, by Nina Chestney
    LONDON, June 19 (Reuters) – The world should stop arguing about whether humans are causing climate change and start taking action to stop dangerous temperature rises, the president of the World Bank said on Wednesday.

    Jim Yong Kim said there was 97 to 98 percent agreement among scientists that global warming was real and caused by human activity.

    “If you disagree with the science of human-caused climate change you are not disagreeing that there is anthropogenic climate change. What you are disagreeing with is science itself,” Kim told a Thomson Reuters Newsmaker event in London.

    “It is time to stop arguing about whether (climate change) is real or not,” he said.

    A study last month found that 97 percent of around 4,000 scientific reports giving an opinion about the cause of climate change since the 1990s said it was mainly human. Skeptics said the survey wrongly omitted thousands of papers that did not give a view.

    Governments across the world have agreed to limit global temperature rise to below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit).

    Estimates differ over how high temperatures may rise and over what period of time.

    The World Bank and others have estimated that the globe has already warmed by about 0.8 degrees C (1.4F) since the Industrial Revolution and 2 degrees C is widely viewed as a threshold to dangerous changes such as more floods, heatwaves and rising sea levels.

    The World Bank wants more focus on the issue.

    In a report on Wednesday, it cited Bangkok as an example, saying much of it could flood within the next two decades if global warming stays on its current trajectory.

    Kim said that as extreme weather events continue, public opinion about climate change should start to change.

    The lack of an international deal is a “lame excuse” to not tackling climate change, Kim said. In the meantime, any kind of agreements or action should be encouraged.

    “The level of seriousness at the top in the United States couldn’t be higher. As extreme weather events occur (such as) in the Midwest and Hurricane Sandy etc, other legislators will come around,” Kim said.

    • Rob Starkey

      The World Bank likes to take US citizen’s funds and invest those funds in foreign nations. It is in the World Bank’s interest to hype the issue of terrible things happening as a result of global warming because the only means to stop CO2 rise is for developed nations to massively subsidize the production of energy for 50% of the world’s population.

      The facts on the ground are thankfully hurting the World Bank’s case.
      1. The fact is the rate of warming has been much lower than was postulated by those who said disaster would occur due to more CO2. The current assessment is that temperatures will likely remain stable or potentially even lower over the next 10 years. It is now commonly believed that the impact of more CO2 to the actual system was overstated. It does have an impact, but not nearly as a large of one than was thought 10 years ago
      2. The fact is there is no money in the developed nations to fund the less developed nations to the extent necessary for them not to use fossil fuels for their energy needs.
      The potential harms outlined in the article are laughable and will not occur.

    • Reality check: If almost no-one whose opinion is worth listening to disagrees, what is the problem? Surely it is like the anti-vaxxer nutcases – OK, some deluded parents fail to vaccinate their kids, but the vast majority did and do.

      Calls to stop debating and just fall in line to act the way we want are the antithesis of both democracy and science, which come at the issue from opposite ends. Science is not a democracy, and democracy is not a science. Trying to quell dissent in either sphere is utterly reprehensible, and betrays weakness.

  49. “Exactly how does focusing on the mean surface temperature miss the point? Global warming is pretty much defined in context of the mean surface temperature. People live on the surface, not in the ocean below 700 m. ”

    That is not why “global warming is pretty much defined in context of the mean surface temperature.”

    One reason globalclimatewarmingchange is usually “defined” by the mean surface temperature is because the SST temperature measurements are even more sparse and time limited than the LST, and the deep sea temps are so minimally covered as to be virtually non-existent. It’s even worse for the paleo data needed to show how unique current warming is supposed to be.

    But the reason global warming will continue to be defined primarily by LSTs even as SST coverage improves and even DSTs are increased, is that the surface air temps respond more quickly, and much more dramatically to short term warming. This is one of the reasons I have complained so often about the consensus selling the political CAGW policy based on graphs labelled “global warming” that are not global at all.

    Focusing on mean surface temperatures misses the point entirely if you want to know whether the global climate system as a whole is warming as a result of anthropogenic emissions of GHGs. It’s nice to see the progressives at The New Republic get that.

    But don’t worry, they are sure to be getting a flurry of memos from their progressive brethren in the consensus community on the proper framing required by the cause. I imagine Schmidt’s and Trenberth’s computer key boards have taken a pounding since this article was published. Expect a walk back in the near future from TNR.

    • Gary M

      “global warming is pretty much defined in context of the mean surface temperature.”

      Why is this so?

      A key player in defining the context of (anthropogenic) global warming has undoubtedly been IPCC.

      In its AR4 WG1 SPM report under “Direct Observations of Recent Climate Change”, IPCC states:

      Warming of the climate is unequivocal…

      It then has two paragraphs outlining in detail how the globally and annually averaged land and sea surface temperature anomaly (as measured by HadCRUT3) has increased and how this surface warming is corroborated by balloon and satellite data.

      Subsequent shorter paragraphs discuss other aspects of climate change, including warming of the ocean and resulting rise of sea levels.

      A graph on the following page shows the “global average temperature” (as defined above).

      In the next section on “Understanding and Attributing Climate Change”, IPCC tells us

      Most of the increase in global average temperature since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations.

      The next five paragraphs all mention global (surface) warming, and the following page shows charts depicting the global warming over six of the seven continents, the land average and the sea surface temperature.

      Under the next section, “Projections of Future Climate Change”, the first paragraph makes the awkward prediction:

      For the next two decades, a warming of about 0.2°C per decade is projected…

      The next five paragraphs again discuss global (surface) warming, and a table shows the projected increase in surface temperature over the next century for varios “scenarios and storylines”; these are shown graphically on the following page.

      The next page has two paragraphs devoted to surface warming and shows maps and graphs of projections of surface temperatures.

      And on it goes.

      So one needn’t ask the question why “global warming is pretty much defined in context of the mean surface temperature”.

      It’s IPCC whodunit.

      And it is now backfiring as the global (surface) temperature has stopped warming despite unabated GHG emissions and concentrations reaching record high levels.

      So methinks I hear the sound of goalposts being moved.

      Max

  50. Judith Curry

    “I don’t see how you can argue against it,” Solomon observed after declaring that “carbon dioxide will be king over the long run.”

    “Cotton is King” said Jefferson Davis “and Great Britain will come into the War on the side of the Confederacy.”

    Cue the Public.

  51. David Springer

    “JC comment: This is the first I have heard from an IPCC author acknowledging that solar radiation has accounted for 10-15% of the hiatus. Has anyone seen a reference on this?”

    10% is a fudge factor. You can put just about anything in it. In engineering we refer to tolerance of +-10% “close enough for government work” which is meant to mock government competence and warn against sloth in commercial applications where the proverbial six sigmas approach to quality is SOP. We need a man like Jack Welch running the EPA. He’d look at the data supporting CO2 pollution harm and say “You gotta be shiiting me.”

    • David Springer

      To Judith’s question where the 10-15% solar attribution came from, I find it interesting that the “consensus” view is shifting from the past IPCC belief that only around 7% of the past warming could be attributed to changes in solar activity (limited to direct solar irradiation), with the caveat that it’s “level of scientific understanding of solar factors is low”..

      But there have been several independent studies, concluding on average that around 50% of the past warming could be attributed to the unusually high level of 20th C solar activity (highest in several thousand years).
      Stockwell (2011), Shapiro et al. (2011), Scafetta (2010), Stott et al. (2003), Geerts and Linacre (1997), Lean et al. (1995), Scafetta + West (2006), Solanki et al. (2004)

      So I don’t know where the new “10-15%” has come from, but it appears to me to very likely still be on the low side, based on all the other data out there.

      Max

  52. Our hostess writes:

    the debate is whether CO2 dominates these natural factors in determining our climate. In the near term, natural variability is obviously dominating.

    Yup.

    Max

  53. Dontcha just love Held’s invisible, undetectable “smoking gun”?

    Max

  54. Climate scientists anticipate another round of funding, not rapid warming.

  55. Pingback: The Economist on The New Republic on the ‘pause’ | Climate Etc.

  56. David Appell

    JC comment: Exactly how does focusing on the mean surface temperature miss the point? Global warming is pretty much defined in context of the mean surface temperature. People live on the surface, not in the ocean below 700 m.

    By the same token, humans live on the surface of the land, not the surface of the ocean, and the former is warming much faster than the globe as a whole:

    http://davidappell.blogspot.com/2013/06/we-live-on-land-not-in-oceans.html

    If it’s a mystery why the ocean has lately been taking up more heat than it was before, how is that comforting? What other unexpected and unforeseen changes lie in our future? Will the next one be to our benefit, or our detriment?

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Surface land temperature is driven by the oceans.

      ‘A characteristic feature of global warming is the land–sea contrast, with stronger warming over land than over oceans. Recent studies find that this land–sea contrast also exists in equilibrium global change scenarios, and it is caused by differences in the availability of surface moisture over land and oceans.’ http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/2009JCLI2778.1

      It seems a robust feature. Here’s an explanatory cartoon.

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/DIETMARDOMMENGET_zps939fe12e.png.html?sort=3&o=0

      Although the causes of the warming seem problematic.

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/cloud_palleandlaken2013_zps3c92a9fc.png.html?sort=3&o=5

      Ocean warming in the ARGO period is not mysterious at all. It results from changes in cloud cover in the CERES record.

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/AdvancesinUnderstandingTop-of-AtmosphereRadiationVariability-Loebetal2011.png.html?sort=3&o=39

      Ocean surface cooling is far from mysterious. It results from upwelling of cold sub-surface water.

      But yes – climate surprises are inevitable.

      • David Appell

        In which peer reviewed journal does “photobucket” publish their work?

        Such links mean nothing. Either cite a real paper, or don’t waste my time.

      • David Appell

        Surface land temperature is driven by the oceans.

        Which is precisely why Curry’s dismissal of ocean warming is so wrong headed!

      • Yeah, David, go read peer reviewed callow science.
        ==========

      • David Appell

        What should I read instead — dumb blog comments like yours?

      • You might get a little insight. Or, you could read The Economist.
        ==================

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The authors and even the name of the Loeb et al paper are in the title.

        http://www.benlaken.com/documents/AIP_PL_13.pdf

        http://meteora.ucsd.edu/~jnorris/reprints/Loeb_et_al_ISSI_Surv_Geophys_2012.pdf

        But if you want to be an ignorant arse go right ahead.

      • Chief Hydrologist asserts:

        Ocean warming in the ARGO period is not mysterious at all. It results from changes in cloud cover in the CERES record.

        Says who? Neither the Loeb et al. paper nor the Palle and Laken paper, which you reference here in support of such an assertion, say anything like that this was the causal relationship. At least I haven’t seen it in the papers. If I have missed it show me where they say that, please.

        According to the Loeb et al paper, short wave radiation, long wave radiation and clouds have a large variability over a time period of 10 years, with this variability largely related to El Nino/La Nina variability.

        How are clouds supposedly cause the trend in ocean warming? Clouds are not a climate driver. They are a dependent variable in the climate system. They do not spontaneously have a trend just by themselves, controlling the rest of the climate system.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘The CERES data published in the August BAMS 09 supplement on 2008 shows there should be even more warming…’ KT

        I use this because it references the BAMS data and has trend lines – the axis is in W/m2 of course.

        http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/CERES-BAMS-2008-with-trend-lines1.gif.html?sort=3&o=108

        The change was predominantly in SW. Clouds change with ocean and atmospheric circulation leading to changes in cloud radiative forcing.

        I believe this comes from the Loeb paper.

        http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/CERES_MODIS-1.gif.html?sort=3&o=77

        For earlier instruments.

        In summary, although there is independent evidence for decadal changes in TOA radiative fluxes over the last two decades, the evidence is equivocal. Changes in the planetary and tropical TOA radiative fluxes are consistent with independent global ocean heat-storage data, and are expected to be dominated by changes in cloud radiative forcing. To the extent that they are real, they may simply reflect natural low-frequency variability of the climate system. http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch3s3-4-4-1.html

        It’s looking pretty real.

      • Chief Hydrologist,

        The graphics you show don’t change anything. Have you even read the Loeb et al. paper? The cloud and radiation changes, which you show and which are correlated with each other, are linked to the El Nino/La Nina variability. More clouds and reduced downward SW radiation during El Nino, i.e., when a positive SST anomaly is prevalent in the tropical Pacific, less clouds and more downward SW radiation during La Nina, i.e., when a negative SST anomaly is prevalent in the tropical Pacific. It’s plausible, since a positive SST anomaly favors convection in the troposphere, and vice versa. It looks like some trend over the decade because of the prevalent La Nina conditions toward the end of the decade. What is indicated is basically a negative net cloud feedback. The increased clouds, in response to higher SSTs, have a cooling effect during the El Nino conditions, and the decreased clouds in response to lower SSTs, a warming effect during the La Nina conditions, counteracting the SST anomaly, which causes the cloud changes in the first hand.

        There is nothing in the graphics or in the text of the papers you reference that says anything about the alleged causal relationship you have been asserting, according to which the trend in the ocean heat content was caused by cloud changes.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        An alleged causal relationship because TOA radiant flux and planetary heat content? The net in CERES explains all of the change in ARGO – as it must. This is the missing ‘heat’ – but it is all in SW.

        There are a couple of processes with whereby ENSO influences radiant flux at TOA. One is the atmospheric temperature. Warm in El Nino and cool in La Nina. This causes increases in LW flux up in El Nino and decreased LW up in La Nina. This is compensated for somewhat by changes in mid latitude cloud cover. Increased cloud for La Nina and less for El Nino. Loeb suggests net cooling for El Nino and net warming for La Nina.

        CERES data show that clouds have a net radiative warming influence during La Nina conditions and a net cooling influence during El Nino, but the magnitude of the anomalies varies greatly from one ENSO event to another. http://meteora.ucsd.edu/~jnorris/reprints/Loeb_et_al_ISSI_Surv_Geophys_2012.pdf

        Cloud cover is negatively correlated with SST.

        Zhu et al (2007) found that cloud formation for ENSO and for global warming have different characteristics and are the result of different physical mechanisms. The change in low cloud cover in the 1997-1998 El Niño came mainly as a decrease in optically thick stratocumulus and stratus cloud. The decrease is negatively correlated to local SST anomalies, especially in the eastern tropical Pacific, and is associated with a change in convective activity. ‘During the 1997–1998 El Niño, observations indicate that the SST increase in the eastern tropical Pacific enhances the atmospheric convection, which shifts the upward motion to further south and breaks down low stratiform clouds, leading to a decrease in low cloud amount in this region. Taking into account the obscuring effects of high cloud, it was found that thick low clouds decreased by more than 20% in the eastern tropical Pacific… In contrast, most increase in low cloud amount due to doubled CO2 simulated by the NCAR and GFDL models occurs in the subtropical subsidence regimes associated with a strong atmospheric stability.

        Here’s a brief discussion from a couple of years ago – http://judithcurry.com/2011/02/09/decadal-variability-of-clouds/ – the Zhu link is there as well. I also cite Amy Clements and I believe Andy Dessler as well.

        The drivers of cloud cover change seem quite complex and associated with longer term changes in the Pacific Decadal Variation especially.

        You have really got things backwards – based on silly narratives and no science. Then you make snarky remarks about me not reading the paper I linked to. It seems more like post hoc rationalization from a silly little warminista than something based on any depth of knowledge.

      • Chief Hydrologist, you write:

        Cloud cover is negatively correlated with SST.

        This is apparently not really in aggrement with the findings of Loeb et al., at least for the tropics. The response of clouds to El Nino/La Nina isn’t conclusive. Both El Nino and La Nina come with increase or decrease in cloud optical depth (see Table 4). Regarding the radiative effect of clouds, they write in their paper:

        Tropical anomalies in LW cloud radiative effect (CRE) are positive during La Nin˜a events and negative during El Nin˜o conditions. In the SW, cloud effects dominate by a factor of 3 over anomalies in clear-sky TOA flux. The net effect of clouds is to warm (cool) across the tropics during La Nin˜a (El Nin˜o). A striking feature is how different ENSO events are from one another.

        You have really got things backwards – based on silly narratives and no science.

        So, now the Loeb et al. paper presents “silly narratives and no science” after you have referenced it again in again as alleged support for your claims. How funny is that.

        I am going to ignore your last comments where you attack me personally.

    • What other unexpected and unforeseen changes
      to our future?

      Will the next one be to our benefit
      or our detriment?

      Tune in termorrer, same time fer the next
      excitin’ episode!

  57. Well we somehow survived:
    Nuclear holocaust, new Ice Age, resource scarcity, overpopulation, killer bees, acid rain, ozone Hole, AIDS, ebola, Y2K, deforestation, BSE, SARS, bird flu, global Warming.
    Rejoice! And prepare for scary media coverage of:
    Pig flu, MRSA, acid seas, bee deaths, overpopulation, resource scarcity, new Ice Age, nuclear proliferation, etc, etc.

    And the media never seem to learn that the scientists just don’t know how not to exaggerate. If the big die-off does ever happen my prediction is that nobody will have predicted the actual cause: The scientists will have all been too busy with trivia.

  58. Pingback: Experts now run the world using their theories. What if they fail, and we lose confidence in them? | Fabius Maximus

  59. As often happens, there are more subjects worthy of writing about than I can handle. From the present article I have chosen this JC comment:

    ” I would certainly like to see some clarification on Meehl’s statement. AGW refers to warming since about 1900. The previous ‘hiatus’ is the period 1940-1976. Climate models don’t simulate the 1940-1976 period very well. And if the current hiatus extends well beyond 15 years, what does that say about the climate models? But all this leaves a big question, one that scientists have been trying to answer: If the atmosphere is warming more slowly than projected, where did the heat go?”

    Hiatuses are complicated so lets take the last sentence first: “…where did the heat go?” Looking for the heat implies that you think there is heat to be found. If so, its obvious destination has to be in the oceans as some pseudo-scientists have already guessed. But if it goes to the sea bottom this still does not explain how it got there from the continents without warming them. More to the point, how did it sneak past that cloud of carbon dioxide in the air? I guess we have to assume that this darn carbon dioxide not only refuses to catch the good old OLR we give it and sends it to the ocean bottom instead but it somehow also manages to lend a helping hand to the heat that ended up on the continents but needs to be in the ocean. Could this missing heat be related to the missing energy of Trenberth? Now there is a cutting edge research project that needs Uncle Sam to fund it quickly in a hurry, before an ice age hits us. You may not know this but Trenberth and Fasullo between them managed to lose eighty percent of world’s energy in only four years, and nobody has found it yet. But before we start looking for the lost energy of hiatus heat, has it occurred to anyone to close down those supercomputers and start using actual observations of climate instead? No? Then it may be a bigger problem than it sounds because more and more hiatuses are surfacing that models can’t handle. The one JC refers to was easy to explain away pseudo-scientifically by blaming it on factory smoke from war production. It started very suddenly in 1940 when World War II cooling put an end to the early twentieth century warming. That WWII cooling was a deep dip from 1940-45 that some idiotic temperature curves show as a heat wave. Temperature recovered by 1950 or thereabouts and I guess this recovery counts as a form of warming. The year !947 was still cold enough that a blizzard could entirely shut down the City of New York. From the fifties to the seventies temperature went nowhere until 1976 when the Great Pacific Climate Shift appeared. It was basically a short step warming that was over by 1979 or 1980. Later it was attributed to the phase change of PDO from its cool to warm phase which would qualify it as an oceanic phenomenon. It raised global temperature by about 0.2 degrees Celsius and then stopped. But that is not the way most temperature curves have been showing it. According to satellites this was followed by a temperature standstill from 1979 to 1997 However, NOAA, GISS, and HadCRUT3 feature a continued warming after it that they call “late twentieth century warming.” Nobody could find a natural cause for it and this was taken as proof that it was a man-made warming. I pointed out the discrepancy with satellites in my book “What Warming?” but nothing happened. Until last fall, that is. Then, astoundingly, GISTEMP, HadCRUT, and NCDC in unison got rid of that fake warming and aligned their data for the eighties and nineties with satellite records. This was done secretly: no one was told about it nor was its purpose explained. I consider this concerted action tantamount to admission that they new this was a fake warming. And arguments using it as proof of warming must therefor be considerd pseudo-scientific arguments.While it was up in official records numerous papers were published that referred to it as proof of AGW. In my opinion, all such papers should be withdrawn. With the mainstream remperature databases now recognizing the existence of the satellite-equivalent hiatus insyead of a phony warming, this hiatus and the present hiatus together cover practically all of the satellite temperature range. What is left is just a small window between them, wide enough to accommodate the 1997-1998 El Nino and its accompanying step warming. That step warming was itself caused by the large amount of warm water carried across the ocean by the super El Nino. It raised global temperature by a third of a degree Celsius and then stopped. There was no more warming after it and none before it, going back to 1979. It amounts to almost half a century’s worth of warming and is the reason why the twenty-first century is very warm compared to the nineties. Hansen noticed this and pointed out that nine out of the ten warmest years happened after 2000. He was right of course but he was wrong to call it greenhouse warming. The two no-warming periods and the 1998 interlude together take up all of the satellite era which means that there has been no greenhouse warming at all for the last 34 years. With this fact in mind, can anyone still believe that any previous warming was greenhouse warming? I think not. But if you have doubts about it there are ways to find out. Within the last 100 years, there were three periods when warming started suddenly, after a lull (hiatus). They were the early century warming of 1910; the Great Pacific Climate Shift of 1976; and the step warming of 1998. If any of these were greenhouse warming they must obey the applicable laws of physics. To start a greenhouse warming, laws of physics require that you must simultaneously increase the amount of carbon dioxide in the air. That is because the absorptivity of carbon dioxide in the infrared is a property of the gas and cannot be changed. Hence, to start a warming you must increase the number of absorbing molecules in air. This is very easy to check because we know exactly how much carbon dioxide was in the air at any given time. Checking up to see what it was doing when these warming periods started we find that it was doing exactly nothing. Its graph is completely featureless where addition of absorbing molecules is called for. Which means that none of the warming within the last 100 years is greenhouse warming. This makes the concept of anthropogenic global warming a myth perpetrated by, among other things, falsified global temperature curves. Time to close the IPCC, stop funding of global warming projects, and fire those people who are not needed any more. There is precedent for that. When Richard Nixon decided to cancel the last three moon landings Grumman, the prime contractor for the Lunar Lander module, was ordered to lay off ten thousand people in one month. I know because I was one of the ten thousand. Nixon was of course wrong and the money saved went to pay for the Vietnam war. But there is no doubt that the global warming scam is a total waste and must be shut down.

  60. Pingback: Lessons about America to be learned from the Climate Wars | Fabius Maximus

  61. Pingback: The 97% ‘consensus’ | Climate Etc.

  62. Why is it so hard to understand where the HEAT is going? It is melting one trillion tons a tear of glaciers a year. That’s why the temperatures are not rising, but the oceans are. Correlations of CO2 and temperature are useless and misleading. Heat emissions from energy use, both fossil and nuclear, are the cause of global warming, CO2 is not the problem. Does that make me in or out of the 97%?