UK Met Office on the pause

by Judith Curry

The recent pause in global surface temperature rise does not, in itself, materially alter the risks  of substantial warming of the Earth by the end of this century. – UK Met Office

Bishop Hill points to three papers released today by the Met Office on the topic of the pause:

Below are some excerpts and my comments:

Paper 1:  Observing changes in the climate system

Paper 1 provides a good observational summary of observations of a range of climate variables over the past 2-5 decades.  In looking at these plots, I was struck by the disagreement among the different measurements/estimates of the same variable, notably humidity/water vapor and cloudiness.

A 15+ yr pause seems to be reflected in the following variables:

  • surface temperature
  • lower tropospheric temperature
  • lower stratospheric temperature
  • NH hemisphere snow extent
  • total column water vapor

From the conclusions:

It has shown that a wide range of observed climate indicators continue to show changes that are consistent with a globally warming world, and our understanding of how the climate system works. 

Paper 2:  Recent pause in global warming

Punchline from the Executive Summary:

It is not possible to explain the recent lack of surface warming solely by reductions in the total energy received by the planet, i.e. the balance between the total solar energy entering the system and the thermal energy leaving it. Observations of ocean heat content and of sea-level rise suggest that the additional heat from the continued rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations has been absorbed in the ocean and has not been manifest as a rise in surface temperature. Changes in the exchange of heat between the upper and deep ocean appear to have caused at least part of the pause in surface warming, and observations suggest that the Pacific Ocean may play a key role.

There are potentially two distinct mechanisms to explain the recent pause; the first involves changes to the total energy received by the planet (radiative forcing), and the second involves the low frequency variability of the oceans and the way in which the oceans take up heat and store it below the surface, potentially into the deeper ocean. It is possible that a pause in surface warming could result from both mechanisms acting together.

From the section Is the current pause in global warming unusual?:

It is clear that there have been other periods with little or no surface warming in the relatively recent past, a good example being the period between the 1940s and the 1970s (Figure 1). The trend in warming over that period is well understood, and linked to a substantial increase in the amount of aerosol in the atmosphere.

JC comment:  The 1940s to 1970s pause is not well understood; even with over juicing the climate models with aerosols for this period, they still don’t reproduce the pause.  The aerosol explanation doesn’t hold up.  I suspect it has mostly the same cause as the current pause, associated with changes in the ocean circulation patterns, notably the PDO and AMO.

The start of the current pause is difficult to determine precisely. Although 1998 is often quoted as the start of the current pause, this was an exceptionally warm year because of the largest El Niño in the instrumental record. This was followed by a strong La Niña event and a fall in global surface temperature of around 0.2oC (Figure 1), equivalent in magnitude to the average decadal warming trend in recent decades. It is only really since 2000 that the rise in global surface temperatures has paused.

JC comment:  Here we see some spin.  If the pause starts in 2000, it is further away from the 10, 15, 17, 20 yr thresholds variously argued for the length of a pause associated with natural internal variability.  However from a climate dynamics perspective, I do agree that the shift began circa 2001 with changes to the ocean circulation.

New unpublished climate model results are cited:

Secondly, the results show that a pause of 10 years’ duration is likely to occur due to internal fluctuations about twice every century. Thirdly, the results also show that beyond periods of 20 years and longer, a pause of that duration occurring from natural, internal variability in the absence of other changes in external forcing appears to be unlikely.

More research remains to be done to investigate to what degree the current pause in global surface warming is unusual.

JC comment:  this is why we need reliable paleclimate reconstructions with subdecadal resolution.

The most interesting text is in the section What do we know about changes in the ocean heat budget?  Excerpts:

As Figure 4 shows, the North Atlantic warmed rapidly during the latter half of the 20th century and this may well have contributed to the rate of global surface temperature rise in that period. It has been estimated that variations in the AMO can give fluctuations of about 0.1°C in global temperature (Knight et al 2005). Since then the AMO has remained fairly constant, so it is unlikely that fluctuations in North Atlantic surface temperatures have contributed to the recent pause in global surface warming, although the deeper Atlantic may be storing some of the heat.

JC comment:  I have seen higher estimates than 0.1C  of the AMO contribution to global temperature

The timeseries of the PDO index (Figure 5, lower panel) shows multi-decadal variations in the phase of the PDO. The transition from the negative to the positive phase in the late 1970s has been widely documented, and is often referred to as the ‘1976 climate shift’ (e.g. Miller et al. 1994, Trenberth and Hurrell 1994). The PDO index has shifted back to its negative phase since the turn of the Millennium and the question is whether this has been a contributor to the recent pause in global mean surface warming.

Measurements of heat content in the deeper ocean are much sparser and hence less certain. Using a combination of satellite and ocean measurements down to 1800m, Loeb et al (2012) estimate the Earth system has been accumulating energy at a rate of 0.5±0.4 Wm-2 from 2001 to 2010, similar to the 0.4Wm-2 from 2005 to 2010 down to around 1500m estimated from Argo floats alone (von Schuckman and Le Traon 2011). Reanalyses of ocean data give an average rate of warming from 2000 to 2010 of about 0.9Wm-2 averaged over the globe, with 30% of the increase occurring below 700m (Balmaseda et al. 2013). We conclude that the Earth system has continued to absorb a substantial amount of heat during the last 15 years, despite the pause in surface warming.

JC comment:  Interesting that Balmaseda et al estimate is about a factor of 2 higher than data only estimates.

However, prior to 1965 and from 2000 to the present day, there are substantial differences between the net radiative flux and the upper ocean heat uptake (black dashed curve in Figure 9), implying heat taken up by other components of the climate system, most likely the ocean below 800m. It is notable that there is a pause in the global mean surface temperature rise during both periods, and that the PDO was also in a strong negative phase

JC comment:  This provides a rationale for reconsidering the aerosol explanation for the the previous 1940s to 1970s pause.

Focussing on the recent period in more detail, the onset of the current pause coincides with a maximum in upper ocean heat uptake around 2002, and may reflect a recovery both from Mount Pinatubo and from the record 1997/98 El Niño. A recent study (Guemas et al, 2013) shows that, in 2002, the upper ocean below the mixed layer took up heat, while the mixed layer and sea surface temperature did not warm. The onset of the pause may therefore have been caused by ocean processes, predominantly in the tropical Pacific, in which energy trapped by greenhouse gases was buried below the surface of the ocean.

However, the continuation of the pause in global surface warming beyond 2004 coincides with a decline in upper ocean heat uptake (Figure 9). Previous minima in heat uptake are often associated with volcanic eruptions, but the decline in heat uptake after 2002 cannot be explained by a major volcanic eruption. Understanding the cause of this decline in upper ocean heat content is therefore crucial for explaining the continuation of the pause in surface warming. As already noted the monitoring of upper ocean heat content has changed substantially over the last decade with the rapid increase in deployment and hence global coverage of floats.

JC comment:  again, this is evidence of a climate shift circa 2001

If, however, the observations are robust, then the maximum in upper ocean heat uptake in the early part of this decade and the subsequent minimum in upper ocean heat uptake cannot be explained by changes in net radiative fluxes, as shown by large residuals in Figure 10. This suggests that the pause in global surface warming is unlikely to have been caused solely by systematic changes in the top of the atmosphere radiation associated with solar variability and minor volcanic eruptions, anthropogenic aerosol emissions, or changes in stratospheric water vapour as suggested in other studies.

JC comment:  this acknowledgment that not all climate change is forced is important; unfortunately they only seem to apply it to the recent pause and not the warming in the 1980’s and 1990’s.

Although this analysis suggests that exchanges of energy between the upper and deep ocean, calculated here as a residual (see black dashed line in Figure 10), may be of a similar magnitude to upper ocean heat uptake and net radiative forcing, we cannot show definitively that this has been the dominant factor in the recent pause in global surface warming. The fact is that uncertainties in estimating upper ocean heat content from the current monitoring network, along with uncertainties in observing the net radiation budget already discussed, mean that the residual calculation of deep ocean heat flux has to be treated with limited confidence.

In addition, direct measurements of the exchange of heat between the upper and deep ocean do not exist because the present ocean observing network does not sample the ocean below 2000m adequately. Even if it did, the potential changes in temperature could be very small, remembering that the energy imbalances involved are less than 1Wm-2 (Figure 10) and therefore potentially not detectable as temperature changes. However, some ocean analyses (Balmaseda et al, 2013; Levitus et al, 2012) show a continued uptake of heat by the deeper ocean throughout the period, consistent with our conclusion that changes in TOA R may not play a leading role.

JC comment:  This acknowledges the deficiencies and uncertainties in magnitude anyways of the recent deep ocean heat uptake.

From the conclusions:

What can we conclude from all this? First, periods of slowing down and pauses in surface warming are not unusual in the instrumental temperature record.Second, climate model simulations suggest that we can expect such a period of a decade or more to occur at least twice per century, due to internal variability alone. Third, recent research suggests that ocean heat re-arrangements, with a contribution from changes in top of the atmosphere radiation, could be important for explaining the recent pause in global surface warming.

JC comment:  They seem to think that this pause is not unusual or even unexpected.  16 years of ‘pause’ and counting brings us very close to falling completely outside of the large envelope of climate model simulations.  You can see why they want to redefine the pause to begin in 2000

The scientific questions posed by the current pause in global surface warming require us to understand in much greater detail the flows of energy into, out of, and around the Earth system. Current observations are not detailed enough or of long enough duration to provide definitive answers on the causes of the recent pause, and therefore do not enable us to close the Earth’s energy budget. These are major scientific challenges that the research community is actively pursuing, drawing on exploration and experimentation using a combination of theory, models and observations.

JC comment:  Yes, the science is far from settled.  We cannot close the Earth’s energy budget, and our models don’t adequately simulate multidecadal ocean variability.

Part 3: What are the implications of the pause for projections of future warming?

From the Concluding remarks:

Despite the fact that the first decade of the 21st century has been a period during which there was very little global mean surface temperature rise, the range of TCR estimates from the CMIP5 models lies within the TCR derived from observations, including this period. Indeed it can be shown that even the projections from much earlier models encompass the subsequent surface temperature observations, including the most recent decade. Therefore the physical basis of climate models and the projections they produce have not been invalidated by the recent pause in global surface temperature rise. 

When projections from the newer CMIP5 models are combined with observations, and specifically including the surface temperatures from the last 10 years, the upper bound of projections of warming are slightly reduced, but the lower bound is largely unchanged. More importantly, the most likely warming is reduced by only 10%, indicating that the warming that we might previously have expected by 2050 would be delayed by only a few years. 

Observational constraints on the ECS are more problematic because of uncertainties in energy storage in the Earth system. Again the models continue to provide a consistent range of values for the ECS, lying within the uncertainty range of the observationally-based estimates. 

In conclusion, the recent pause in global surface temperature rise does not invalidate climate models or their estimates of climate sensitivity. It does however raise some important questions about how well we understand and observe the energy budget of the climate system, particularly the important role of the oceans in taking up and redistributing heat, as highlighted in the second report. In particular, this report emphasises that the recent pause in global surface warming does not, in itself, materially alter the risks of substantial warming of the Earth by the end of this century.

JC comment:  They dismiss all of the recent empirical estimates of low climate sensitivity, and continue to think climate models are adequate.

JC summary

There is some good material in these reports.  But they draw some conclusions that seem to me to be unwarranted, and further miss an opportunity to ‘cover their backs’ if the pause does indeed continue for another 2-3 decades by acknowledging the importance of multidecadal natural internal variability in explaining the 20th century record.

They seem to obliquely admit the inadequacy of climate models by saying that they have not been falsified by the recent pause.  Well, even if they have not been falsified, the climate models are not looking very useful at the moment, and climate model-derived values of climate sensitivity are seeming increasingly unconvincing.

Update: Walter Mead sums it up this way:

There are innumerable variables in the climate system that could be responsible for the warming slowdown. These scientists have identified some of the likeliest culprits, but one professor admitted that they “don’t fully understand the relative importance of these different factors.”

That’s a big problem, considering most green legislation aimed at reducing emissions calls for measures to prevent very specific degrees of warming. This recent warming plateau is exposing our limited understanding of climate, and it’s effectively killing the rationale for green policies that limit growth and, at the most basic level, try to force people to do things they would rather not do. The biggest cause of climate skepticism isn’t evil oil companies and campaigns of disinformation; it is the inability of greens to refrain from overstating their case and insisting dogmatically and self righteously on more certainty than the frustrating facts can give.


353 responses to “UK Met Office on the pause

  1. I am not following their arguments. If the current climate models (a) do a reasonable job of tracking 20-century surface temperatures, and (b) do not take into account, none of them, the issues raised here, such as significant heat transfer to the deep oceans – what are we supposed to conclude? Exactly how is that possible without having overfit the models to surface temperatures?

    • spartacusisfree

      When all the climate models have heat generation terms that are based on ‘back radiation’ at the surface and Kirchhoff’s Law applying at ToA, they are perpetual motion machines based on no known physics, i.e. breaching Maxwell’s Equations and it’s easily proved.

      So, they have now resorted to claiming the ‘excess heat’ which never existed ‘goes into the oceans’.

      The claim is that the thermal diffusivity is higher than expected. However, the heat transfer is also accompanied by ion transfer as warm saline equatorial water mixes with low salinity water from the poles.

      Apparently they do not take into account the negative heat of mixing, the result of ordering of water molecules in the less saline water, which significantly reduces entropy and significantly increases free energy. Nor do they take into account the coupling of the process to atmospheric transfer of water vapour to the poles. In other words, the GCMs have a major extra term.

      This is truly institutional madness.

    • So basically, their previous predictions did not predict this sudden hoarding of heat in the lower oceans, there is no way to know when it will stop, but their future predictions of unstoppable temp increases remain unchanged.

      Is this what they are saying?

      • “* ‘Hording’ is great, I just wished this term would be injected into the field.”

        “Hoarding” is even greater.

      • Yes. Moreover, they don’t know why the oceans were not ‘hording’* heat during the rise from 1975 to 1998. Now if one were to look for some cyclical oscillation of heat redistribution in the aquasphere, say with a 60 year periodicity, one might be tempted to interpret ocean heat ‘hording’ as due to the arrest of water movements from a warm region to a cool one.

        * ‘Hording’ is great, I just wished this term would be injected into the field.

      • Horde like a Mongol, or a blog commenter.

      • Brent Buckner

        “For the Horde!” — World of Warmcraft

      • Whoring hordes, horrors! I feel like finding a bridge to scream under.

  2. JC:

    ” They seem to think that this pause is not unusual or even unexpected. 16 years of ‘pause’ and counting brings us very close to falling completely outside of the large envelope of climate model simulations.”

    Is this significant for the models? Yes. SignifIcant in regards to any warming? I don’t know about that given the panoply of uncertainties still running around on the parade grounds. Just saying I have much more confidence in nature’s surprises than anything else at this time. Just keep plugging on the science aspects for now. Howling and counter-howling is really not very productive.

  3. Judith

    Surely Natural variability is a fundamental part of climate models – great care is apparently taken to ensure that the major modes of variability (ENSO, NAO, AMO, PDO, IPO etc) are all represented sufficiently realistically in climate models. There are some climate models that do not do so well and so these are less useful for looking at near-term changes in climate where natural variability is a key player.

  4. “It has shown that a wide range of observed climate indicators continue to show changes that are consistent with a globally warming world….”

    Well, since there is absolutely nothing that could happen within a 15 year period that the consensus would consider INconsistent with a globally warming world, color me unimpressed.

  5. One must ask oneself, why they so strenuously cling to the AGW hypothesis. They’ll twist themselves into pretzels, move the goalposts, anything but admit even the chance they might be wrong. The bias is manifest to any reasonable observer.

  6. “It is not possible to explain the recent lack of surface warming solely by reductions in the total energy received by the planet, i.e. the balance between the total solar energy entering the system and the thermal energy leaving it.”

    Sure it’s possible. Maybe your climate models are wrong, and you don’t have a clue about what the actual solar energy balance of the climate system is. You don’t measure it, because you can’t. Your models that you use to estimate it are full of assumptions; they don’t properly account for all forcings and feedbacks because you don’t understand water vapor, or clouds, or even ENSO for that matter. And it is highly likely that there are unknown unknowns that influence the energy balance that your models do not reflect because…well,..they are unknown.

    There, it’s explained.

    • They also don’t understand Albedo. They say it is decreasing rapidly, but actual data shows that the decrease has stopped.
      We are not warming now because snowfall is above average because Oceans are warm and wet. This always happens in a warm period and a cold period always follows.

  7. “this is why we need reliable pale[o]climate reconstructions with subdecadal resolution.”

    I want to be rich, this is why I need a reliable philosopher’s stone to transmute lead into gold.

    I figure our chances are about even.

  8. Whistling past the graveyard, peddling the tricycled model as fast as little feet can move.

    • “this acknowledgment that not all climate change is forced is important; unfortunately they only seem to apply it to the recent pause and not the warming in the 1980′s and 1990′s.”

      Bazinga, Judith gets it.

      “However from a climate dynamics perspective, I do agree that the shift began circa 2001 with changes to the ocean circulation.”

      Don’t forget Palle et al Earthshine project and ISCCP saw an increase in cloud from 1998

      Great post Judith, thanks.

  9. The recent pause in global surface temperature rise does not, in itself, materially alter the risks of substantial warming of the Earth by the end of this century. – UK Met Office [emphasis added -hro]

    So the bottom line seems to be that this “pause” – which the Met Office and others have spent at least the better part of a year, in effect, insisting was not occurring and berating those who had the temerity to observe that it has – has finally been acknowledged!

    But (in keeping with past “standard operating procedures” on far too many such dragged out acknowledgments), the “experts” have, in effect, pronounced that “it doesn’t matter, anyway … our models continue to rule!”

    I could be wrong, but my guess would be that this is a rather determined and elaborate exercise in “spin” ahead of the Sept. “approval” of WG1’s contribution to AR5, in order to … uh … sustain what former UNFCCC head honcho, Yvo de Boer had declared last November:

    “That [AR5] report is going to scare the wits out of everyone,” Mr de Boer said in the only scheduled interview of his visit to Australia. “I’m confident those scientific findings will create new political momentum.”

    Not to mention that there appears to be no mention of the simple fact that even if the output of their gloriously faulty – if not significantly deficient – models turns out to be correct, they still have absolutely no empirical evidence (nor even a sustainably “alarming” correlation) which would support the hypothesis that the primary “culprit” is human-generated emissions of CO2. But perhaps this is not a message that the “experts” want to convey to the policymakers – or to the public!

    YMMV, but, well, that’s the view from here ;-)

    • Hilary, I posted an article from The Australian on group-think on the Open Thread page.

      • Yes, I saw that, too :-) One might speculate that perhaps behind closed screens at the Met Office (and elsewhere!) there’s been a whole lotta worryin’ goin’ on for some time. And that article probably didn’t do much to alleviate this worrying … uh … trend!

        These three papers obviously were not produced overnight; although one wonders if perhaps drafts thereof might have been reviewed and discussed at the mid-summer “unprecedented” -> “emergency” -> “everyday” gathering at the Met Office last month, a convocation which (according to Richard Betts, who seems to have had no “acknowledged” part in the production of this trio of papers) was not “unprecedented”, nor about “disappointing weather”, nor about “climate change vs natural variability”.

        FWIW, my own contemporaneous speculations about this one-day “workshop” had included:

        Will these “experts” be able to conjure up a new, improved icon for the IPCC?! A mirabile dictu “statement” that will rescue the IPCC from its quandary? Who knows, eh?!

        They must be just a little bit worried that MSM coverage of “global warming” aka “climate change” has been in noticeable … uh … decline.

        And – if they were truly honest with themselves – they would know that leading lights (such as Mann, Gleick, Gergis, Karoly et al) have not really been helping “the cause”. Nor have the best efforts of Lewandowski, Cook, Nuccitelli, Marcott, (or Stephen Emmott or John Ashton) done much to enhance the reputation of this “jewel in the crown, of British science and global science” which prides itself on being “trusted” – and a mainstay of the IPCC.

        I’m inclined to suspect that there hasn’t been such, well, “alarm” amongst the great and the good at the Met Office since the immediate aftermath of Climategate!

        But then they can’t say that they weren’t warned – by one of their own, no less – even before CG1. Then, again, perhaps they all missed the October 26, 2009 plenary of the IPCC in Bali, when Joseph Alcamo (an IPCC alumnus, who at that point held the position of Chief Scientist of the UNEP) told those assembled:

        as policymakers and the public begin to grasp the multi-billion dollar price tag for mitigating and adapting to climate change, we should expect a sharper questioning of the science behind climate policy. [emphasis added -hro]

        OTOH, I suppose its possible that there’s something the folks at the Met Office (and their allies) just don’t understand about “multi-billion dollar price tag” and/or the questions it might give rise to;-)

    • Rob Starkey

      The Met office’s conclusion seems strange on many levels. The comment you highlighted at the top of your post is especially odd since the prior anticipated rate of warming was important to the belief that humans would have difficulties in adapting to the change. How is it that a slower rate of change does not mean adaptation is less difficult or risky?

      • Faustino, like you, I don’t have a copy of Alice to hand, but wasn’t it the Red Queen who declared “it means what I say it means!”, thus giving rise to the expression ‘Red Queen law’ to describe jurisdictions like Russia?

      • tomfop, I thought it was Humpty Dumpty. Deep research unearthed the following:

        “There’s glory for you!” “I don’t know what you mean by ‘glory’,” Alice said. “I meant, ‘there’s a nice knock-down argument for you!'” “But ‘glory’ doesn’t mean ‘a nice knock-down argument”,” Alice objected. “When I [italicised] use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said in a rather scornful voice, “it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less.” …

        The March Hare told Alice “You should say what you mean.” She replied, “I do, at least – I mean what I say – that’s the same thing, you know.” “Not the same thing a bit!” said the hatter. “Why, you might just as well say that “I see what I eat” is the same thing as “I eat what I see!”

        I suspect that the warmistas have added Carrollism to Orwellism, to doubly confound, seasoned no doubt with Kafkaesque complexities.

      • Well Rob, the Dumb-Bunny states that the longer the pause last the greater the likelihood is that the climate sensitivity is underestimated.
        You see, the longer temperature remain flat, the more natural variability there must be and this natural variability has been masking the rate at which temperature should be rising.

      • DocM, Alice in Wonderland has some pertinent comments, I don’t have a copy to hand, but along the lines of whatever meaning I give to something at this moment is the meaning it has. (Lewis Carroll expressed it better.)

      • Alarmism is not based on science and data.
        Alarmism is based on the sky is going to fall if you don’t give us more money.

    • The CAGW models/theory are being trampled by their missing variables.
      Such a shame that models are used in the estimation of sensitivity.

  10. We had warming into the Roman and Medieval warm Periods without our CO2.

    We had warming into many other Warm Periods in the last ten thousand years without our CO2.

    This time, they tell us we would not have warmed without our CO2.

    They do not and cannot explain why this time would have been different without our CO2.

    The warm part of the Roman Warm Period was warmer than the long term average and it had less ice.
    The warm part of the Medieval Warm Period was warmer than the long term average and it had less ice.
    The warm part of the Current Warm Period is warmer than the long term average and it has less ice.

    This is exactly how it is supposed to work. Now it snows and we get more ice and we cool.

    The NOAA data shows that it snows more when there is water in the polar oceans and it snows less when the polar oceans are frozen.

    When Climate Model Output Disagrees with Earth Data for two Decades, guess which one is always right.

    The growing season shifted north during the roman and medieval and current warm periods more than now.

    Nothing to do with greenhouse effect Why do they think they know this time would have been different without our CO2?

    It is exactly the same for the exact same reasons and nothing to do with CO2

    The one thing that is different with our more CO2 is that almost every green thing grows better with less water.

    The king has no clothes on. The sky is not falling. I know they think it is a travesty that the data does not support their disaster, but the travesty will grow every year because they promised that this warming would be different from all the others if we did not pump out CO2 and their CO2 and temperature is parting ways. There is no support for the alarmism..

    This warming is just like the others because nothing important for temperature control has changed and they just do not yet understand climate.

    The Models will get right after their theory gets right.

  11. The recent pause in global surface temperature rise does not, in itself, materially alter the risks of substantial warming of the Earth by the end of this century.

    Yep! The risk is very small and this does not alter it much.

    The only thing it really, really, alters is the alarmist warnings, every year the temperature does not rise. We are well past the point they said they would admit they were wrong and they extend that deadline, time after time after time. The never change the warning, but they adjust the time every year.

    When you are wrong, you are wrong. Every year that you delay understanding why your are wrong will make it worse someday.

  12. Paper 1 doesn’t discuss possible volcanic origin forcings associated with many historical pauses. JC points to theese effects in her comments so i wonder: Did I miss it skimming the paper or should it be considered an indication of malicious intent to mislead?

  13. David Springer

    Two huge ironies remain.

    1) Even if AGW is headed along the consensus trend and the causes amongst CO2 and equivalents are spot on, there’s not a politically practical damn thing that can be done to stop it. Kyoto was a bust and that minimal feel-good gesture is evidently too much to renew.

    2) Even if AGW is headed along the consensus trend there’s nothing at all to show the fertilization of the atmosphere with CO2 and concomitant warming is a net negative to either human civilization or the natural world.

    • Rob Starkey


      The largest single potential harm is (imo) sea level rise. If we were on a trend to have had sea level rise by 2 meters between 2000 and 2100 then there would have been a much stronger consensus amoung governments for drastic action.

      However, since it is very difficult to point to any increase in the rate of sea level rise that can be attributed to AGW it seems very difficult for any reasonable person to defend a claim that harms that will result from AGW in the next 50 years that warrant any highly expensive actions to limit CO2 emissions.

      • David Springer

        Agreed. Even in that case it’s not a problem for the natural world or even human beings per se but rather an economic problem for man-made structures built very close to sea level. It may be a large economic problem but it’s still economic-only. Plants and animals, including humans, can adjust to sea level rising an inch per year. The vast majority won’t have to relocate at all. Abandoning structures on land close to sea level represents an economic hardship but it’s one that should be calculable.

        The other thing that should be calculable is what actions would have to be taken to reduce CO2 and equivalents emissions enough to make a significant difference in sea level rise. Given that the vast majority of the human population is not at any risk at all from a one inch per year rise in sea level we can rest assured that the draconian measures to prevent it would not be politically possible.

        No sane informed person can look closely at the science and the politics surrounding so-called climate change and not conclude there is a hidden agenda at work which has nothing at all to do with potential damages but rather has everything to do with culture wars. The object is a massive redistribution of weath and power. It’s all about controlling humanity not controlling the climate.

      • Let us all remember that the Good Shepherd, does not need a crook.

      • After the oceans get warm and wet the snowfall starts and does drop the sea level again. it has been going up and down in the same range for ten thousand years. The Roman Emperor went to his private beach in the Blue Grotto at Isle of Capri, using a rowboat, thousands of years ago. We used a similar rowboat to enter the sea level entrance to that cave in 2007. Sea Level rises during all warming periods because Ice is Retreating.. Sea Level drops during all cooling periods because Ice is Advancing. The actual drop starts during the warm period before the drop because that is when the snowfall starts. Like now in the most recent Decade.

      • Actual sea level data is not rising.
        Only “Adjusted” sea level numbers show a rise.

    • David, we can only hope that voters and policy-makers will grasp those points.

      • David Springer

        I think plenty of them understand those things quite well. They have an agenda and are trying to gin up and leverage fear of anthropogenic climate change to acheive other ends. Sort of like fear of God has been used throughout history to control behavior. Maybe more than sort of like. Exactly like. Including human sacrifices if you ask Willis Eschenbach. ;-)

      • I expect an avalanche of fear and dread in the MSM leading up to the release of AR5.

  14. Paul Milligan

    Increase in ground surface temperatures has been THE defining argument of why global warming is undeniable. Now ground surface temperatures are flat and we are changing the metric to subsurface ocean temperatures. Changing metrics mid experiment is one of the cornerstones of junk science.

  15. Quote of The Week.

    “the climate models are not looking very useful at the moment”

    J Curry.

  16. David Springer

    Betting pool on when lowtwat, maxipad_ok, and tedner_terrain chime in to deny the pause.

    Put me down for less than 24 hours.

  17. “Reanalyses of ocean data”


    We managed to make the data fit our model.

    It isn’t Earth they are examining it’s Htrae.

  18. Why is there not a constellation of satellites with sensors pointed at the earth to measure energy radiated out into space and sensors pointed out into space to measure incoming energy? Is this technically impossible? Too expensive? Too likely to provide an inconvenient answer?

    This is a serious question that I’ve not seen discussed anywhere before.

    • According to the consensus, there would be no point in measuring incoming and outgoing radiation. The purported “imbalance” between the two is to negligible to register on the instruments we currently have.

      It takes a climate model to estimate the immeasurable.

      • The rapid response for day and night and for summer and winter demonstrates that Earth gets in balance very quickly. This thing of calculating an imbalance where there is not one is very bad science. They say that when we measure temperature that it should be higher and the heat is hiding. That is a crock if I ever heard one.

    • Berényi Péter

      That’s unfeasible, would require too many satellites. However, I could never understand why atmospheric optical depth is not measured continuously over the entire thermal IR range. That would only need a few satellites with wide band IR cameras installed with moderate temporal resolution (like 60 images/sec).

      Then one would need as many narrow band terrestrial sources as one could afford, well distributed both spatially over the surface and frequency-wise over the thermal IR band. They could be made flashing on the same clock signal the camera works on, with different long pseudo-random sequences each (a trick well established in radar technology). In this case sources would not have to be particularly bright, while it would be a simple image processing task to recover spatio-temporal variation of Planck weighted IR optical depth from image sequences taken by satellites, an ultimate measure of the so called “greenhouse effect”. I am surprised this measurement was never proposed.

      • My God Berényi, to collect actual data is simply not done. Better to guess then model and claim reality is on the blink if the model fails to reflect reality.
        No one has yet determined the fraction of sensible/latent heat that results from illuminating the surface of seawater with photons of different wavelengths. As things stand seawater has identical properties towards energy packets of blue, red and infrared photons; universal albedo.
        A planet that orbits a star and revolves on its own axis is also in thermal ‘equilibrium’.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      The data from each of these are best seen as anomalies. Absolute values are difficult for calibration reasons.

      GERB might be of use one day.

      • ” Absolute values are difficult for calibration reasons.”

        That is climatespeak for:

        The purported “imbalance” between the two is too negligible to register on the instruments we currently have.

      • More and more, better data, is going to help us solve this!

        Model output is NOT data. Adjusted Data is not always still Data.

      • OK, so the LIA, Ice Ages, and Eocene were also random fluctuations, or…what? I at least agree that the ocean heat content does close the budget on the long term. The energy imbalance means the OHC has to steadily increase in the absence of a surface temperature change, and that is what is happening. I prefer dF=dH/dt + lambda.dT.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        No it means you can’t solve the energy budget directly at all’

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

        The two right hand terms can’t be compared at all. One is given in absolute terms – but has in fact been relatively recently adjusted by 5W/m2. Power out is given in anomalies. All that can be done is compare the trend in changes – much more accurate than absolutes – to see what is changing. Power in changes very little and so power out is the metric to look at.

        Net trending up is warming by convention. SW trending down is less reflected sunlight – warming – which is the majority of the change in the CERES period. As indeed it was in the earlier records. This is Trenberth’s ‘missing energy’ and it has nothing to do with greenhouse gases at all. It is a scam and a rort.

        But the data is very informative and the budget can be closed with ocean heat content.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The virtue of the energy budget is that is an exact and complete description of he global energy dynamic in terms of measured quantities.

        ‘The climate system has jumped from one mode of operation to another in the past. We are trying to understand how the earth’s climate system is engineered, so we can understand what it takes to trigger mode switches. Until we do, we cannot make good predictions about future climate change… Over the last several hundred thousand years, climate change has come mainly in discrete jumps that appear to be related to changes in the mode of thermohaline circulation.’

        Most climate in the Quaternary – and I will limit myself to the last 2.58 million years because this is our current climate state space – has been entirely natural, episodic, abrupt and nonlinear. This includes in the last 30 years as well as the little ice age. It is completely deterministic – but subject to abrupt and seemingly random change.

    • Data is being measured and ignored.
      In this link, under projects, look at Earthshine.
      They measure the light reflected from Earth to the dark side of the moon. The data shows that Albedo is not decreasing.
      Look at Earthshine, CERES and ISCCP-FD
      A new report is due out soon.
      That will shed more light on this subject. Pardon the excellent pun.

      Climate theory and models keep reducing Albedo and keep trying to make up the difference by hiding the extra heat.
      Earth is just reflecting the extra light before it becomes heat.
      The consensus climate people just do not understand wet oceans and snow and ice and clouds. The good news is that more and more data is coming in to help them get on the right track.

  19. The generosity of the model-makers and believers in granting themselves such wide, sloppy, feeble confidence levels is key. It leaves the door wide for the very forms of error and bias which tight confidence bound requirements are intended to forestall. Even the ‘hardest’ of sciences have found such rigour to be necessary, and still have to retract occasional ‘findings’ because some preferred but fallacious conclusions snuck through. In this highly politicized field, the reliance on 90% and 95% ‘certainty’ is risible (or nauseating, or infuriating, depending on your proclivities.)

  20. Berényi Péter

    “They seem to obliquely admit the inadequacy of climate models by saying that they have not been falsified by the recent pause.”

    No need to falsify them, because as George E. P. Box noted (in 1987), “all models are wrong, but some are useful”. Which is wrong, is falsified already, while “usefulness” is not even a scientific category (it belongs to engineering).

    This is true for all computational models of high Kolmogorov complexity, especially if they are fitted to a single run of a unique physical instance.

    However, with simple (mathematical) models it is not the case. First of all they have a short description (many orders of magnitude shorter, than the “several million lines of code” in GCMs), then they are often proven to be accurate beyond all reasonable expectations. No such miracle is seen in climate science though.

    The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences by Eugene Wigner

    • Curious George

      Peter – how do you create a “simple mathematical model” of an extremely complex and not well understood phenomenon – I mean the Climate? The Earth’s climate. I have seen a “simplified mathematical model” of (our’s?) climate, called CAM 5. Unfortunately, on their planet, CAM 5 handles a “dry water (apologies to Richard Feynman)”, not a real water. No indication of a difference it may cause.

      How does a high Kolmogorov complexity relate to physics?

      • Berényi Péter

        Good question. There is a general theory of non-equilibrium stationary states (ignored by computational climate models).

        Journal of Physics A: Mathematical and General Volume 36 Number 3
        Roderick Dewar 2003 J. Phys. A: Math. Gen. 36 631 doi:10.1088/0305-4470/36/3/303
        Information theory explanation of the fluctuation theorem, maximum entropy production and self-organized criticality in non-equilibrium stationary states

        According to it in reproducible non equilibrium stationary systems the Maximum Entropy Production (MEP) principle holds.

        A system is reproducible if for any pair of macrostates (A;B) A either always evolves to B or never.

        Now, the climate system is obviously not reproducible in this sense (it is chaotic), so it comes not as a surprise Earth is not pitch black as seen from space (although for a system radiatively coupled to its environment maximum entropy production occurs when all short wave radiation is thermalized, none reflected).

        Still, the system has a vast number of internal degrees of freedom, so one would expect some, as yet unidentified extremum principle to hold. However, making ever more complex computational models of a single run of a unique physical instance is definitely not the way to go.

        Instead, one should aim at a wide class of chaotic, non equilibrium quasi steady state thermodynamic systems, some members of which class (unlike the terrestrial climate system) are realizable under lab conditions, so any theory one may come up with could be studied experimentally.

        There is even the possibility of some simple math emerging along this path, an extremum principle, a bit more universal one than MEP, most likely.

        However, that would mean doing actual science, what these souls are not accustomed to.

      • Berényi they use the equilibrium approximation, even though they know the system is a non-equilibrium steady state, because its mathematically easier.
        Read the Ocean pH thread and look at the application of equilibrium chemistry to a biotic system. To these people a helicopter is mathematically identical to a helium balloon.

  21. Rob Johnson-Taylor

    I find the met office comment ironic to say the least! It has grave difficulties forecasting the weather for the next 7 days, and now it prognosticates for the next 90 year.

    Old joke about the met office
    Last year the met office got 40% of its forecast right, with which they were very pleased untill someone pointed out that had they predicted the exact opposite they would have been 60% correct.

  22. Hi Judy They also miss the implications if the heat were really buried deeper in the ocean – see, for example,

    “Torpedoing Of The Use Of The Global Average Surface Temperature Trend As The Diagnostic For Global Warming”

    Best Regards

    Roger Sr.

    • If they have to go below 2000M to find the missing joules, then your point about long term damping is spot on.

      • David Springer

        It seems everyone but Trenberth figured out quickly enough that 0.5W/m2 diluted into the entire basin is only enough to raise its temperature 0.2C per century. It’s enough to raise the surface layer 2C if it confined to the surface; which it isn’t because the ocean overturns. It is physically impossible due to law of entropy for the heat to undilute itself into 2C of surface warming. If the heat can’t concentrate on the surface of the ocean again it cannot concentrate in the lower atmosphere either.

        Curry was pretty quick to point this out, as was I, and I even found Gavin Schmidt reluctantly agreeing.

        The moral of the story is that if the ocean eats your catastrophic global warming it cannot be returned with catastrophic speed at a later time. What goes in at 2C per century comes out at 0.2C per century for ten times as many centuries.

      • Gone.

        What is diluted
        in the deep ocean
        cannot later
        be un-diluted.
        What is lost
        in deep space
        cannot later
        come back ter earth.

        ‘Come back ter earth’ …
        Hmm .. ‘modellers in
        cloud towers …’

  23. So we now have intelligent sentient radiation.
    “Hey gang give the land a miss were going where it’s cool straight down there into the deep blue yonder”
    Do some climate scientists, the MET and UEA think people are as stupid as they are?

  24. It’s rather amazing for them to bring up the 40s and an example of a historic pause and use that to suggest something about whether the current event is surprising. Of course trends could be overriden by natural factors during periods when the expected (in the statistical sense) trend based on forcing was expected to be weak as it was in the 40s. But now according to the AR4 models, the expected trend is 0.2C/decade; the AR5 will include models with even higher mean trends. So the example totally skirts a relevant issue which is: Is the pause unexpected given the rate of warming being ‘predicted/projected’.

    Also: It is a bizarre to move the start date of the pause to 2000 or later and then ‘explain’ this length of time as expected relative pauses in models where similar ‘shifting’ has not been done. Sure, 1998 was an extremely strong El Nino. But presumably, pauses in model runs for this century will also often start with El Ninos ranging from weak to strong and tend to end in La Ninas. Some will surely start with very strong El Ninos. Unless the person doing the comparison to distributions of model trends has sifted through the model data applying their criterion for ignoring 1998 as the “start year” for the pause to pauses in model runs and created a distribution of “pauses that don’t start with very strong El Ninos”, the decree that the earth pause starts in 2000 smacks of very, very strong special pleading.

    • Which makes you wonder; given the presumed increased forcing since the ’40s from anthroGHG, why should this pause look like the ’40s? Strong(some) evidence for something else going on(Oh, hi Drs L&P) or the presumed increased forcing isn’t as presumed.

  25. Nice summaries, Judith. My own post this morning looked at Daniel Sarewitz’s essay nearly ten years ago that said it would be politics, not science that undid the AGW scare (not quite the way he put it). You can see the politics plainly, first in the need for these papers, and then in their contents. My guess is that the scaremongers and those who like a little scare in their lives will move on to something new before long.

    • Don, some good posts on your blog, I hope that in the interests of sensible policy and higher standards of public life in Australia that your readership expands exponentially. But I won’t attempt to model such growth.

    • +
      Thank you for citing Sarewitz’ essay.

  26. Models may never be “right”. We don’t know the extent of the set of variables; we don’t even know what variables we don’t know. Moreover, the system (the whole system: earth, sun, cosmos) is chaotic. The complexity is staggering. The models are linear because they are base 2 stepped systems.

    Look at the next ensemble plots of tropical storm X (now forming south of the Cape Verde Islands). After about four hours all hell will break loose you can be sure. I can do better with the Mariners 1-2-3 rule.

    Will models get better? Yes. Will they be robust and accurate enough to make reliable and useful predictions out seven days? No. Seven years? I don’t think so. It is hubris to believe it possible. The amount of computation time alone will exceed the information requirement window.

    Ok, you can flog me now.

  27. Lucia writes: ” It’s rather amazing for them to bring up the 40s and an example of a historic pause and use that to suggest something about whether the current event is surprisingOf course trends could be overriden by natural factors during periods when the expected (in the statistical sense) trend based on forcing was expected to be weak as it was in the 40s. But now according to the AR4 models, the expected trend is 0.2C/decade; the AR5 will include models with even higher mean trends. So the example totally skirts a relevant issue which is: Is the pause unexpected given the rate of warming being ‘predicted/projected’.”

    Brilliant, exactly right. Thanks for this. It’ so easy to release a few papers from on high. What a dream it would be to get these guys in a room with cameras and make them answer some of the questions and challenges that have come up here.

  28. Natural variabilty, as shown by power spectrum analysis of GISP2 del18O isotope data, encompasses much more than just mutidecadal modes. There are even more powerful trans-centennial and quasi-millenial wide-band peaks evident. Until some physical insight is gained into the mechanisms behind these unexplained, irregular cycles, the attribution of late-20th-century warming to CO2 “forcing” is speculative, at best. What makes such speculation highly suspect is the lack of low-frequency coherence between temperature and CO2 during the period of instrumented record.

    • There are even more powerful trans-centennial and quasi-millenial wide-band peaks evident. Until some physical insight is gained into the mechanisms behind these unexplained, irregular cycles, […]

      Here’s an hypothesis: “oscillations” in climate are part of a system that’s self-similar over time. Thus, we end up seeing the same, or at least similar, variations at any time-scale (within the limits set by external forcing agents such as Milankovitch cycles.

      • It is rude to make this point; there is no possibility of harmonic processes in the Earth because its flat, non-rotating and at equilibrium.

      • maksimovich

        The proposition ( Ruelle) is that in dynamic systems, oscillatory structures may exhibit historical behavior without being recurrent.

        Milankovitch periodicity (the quaternary glacial interglacial ) are random they have no preferred periodicty eg Nicolis and Nicolis.

        The foremost problem with Milankovitch periodicity is that whilst you can say obliquity effects forcing during the quaternary on earth, in the same time periods Mars is also effected. Two planets tangoing obliquely is troublesome at least.

      • Maks, “The proposition ( Ruelle) is that in dynamic systems, oscillatory structures may exhibit historical behavior without being recurrent.”

        True, but there are SOC characteristics of non-linear systems that are useful to know. Selvam has an interesting approach.

        The problem is that there are quite a few chaotic systems interacting. Milankovitch cycles represent just part of the puzzle, then there is lunar tidal forces that impact the atmosphere, lithosphere, biosphere, cryosphere and hydrosphere which are all coupled with asymmetrical responses. Selvam considers the cumulative variance which makes more sense than trying to have unrealistic precision which just add computersphere error.

        The noise really is the signal it seems.

      • “The noise really is the signal it seems.”
        Ahhh, a climate-atheist in the land of climate-determinists!

      • The propositions first proposed by Slutsky (1927) were ( Barnetts analysis)

        Proposition number one – the summation of random causes might
        generate wave-like phenomena, i.e. that mutually independent chance events might conjoin together to produce an oscillatory appearance in some aspect of reality that was represented in a time series-like fashion.

        Proposition number two – these wave-like fluctuations might imitate
        cycles exhibiting approximate regularity (i.e. rough periodicity), at least for a definite period of time

        Slutskys arguments were that the waxing and waning if the business cycle were random ie endogenous forced by noise

    • The high correlation between the rise of CO2 and the rise of temperature in the last quarter of the last century has led to the grandest example yet of the ‘Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc’ logical fallacy.

      • The ramblings of aCO2 deniers fail to make any scientific sense.

      • The skeptic hero Murry Salby is one of these deniers that claims that excess atmospheric CO2 is natural.

      • Indeed! Meanwhile, the NEGATIVE correlation during the third quarter, which produces negligibe low-frequency CO2 coherence even with temp indices that minimize that strong cooling, is blithely ignored. It’s cherry jam on points of toast.

      • The rise of atmospheric CO2 has shown the most incredible correlation to the sequestering impulse response to fossil fuel emissions.

        That is scientific analysis at incredible detail and demonstrates what mankind is capable of, in both being able to modify the global environment and understanding what we are doing to it.

      • The warmists motto is “If in doubt, just PHEPH it!” I’m sure you can think of a rejoinder to that.

      • Web: you claim that “The rise of atmospheric CO2 has shown the most incredible correlation to the sequestering impulse response to fossil fuel emissions.”

        This fails to make even grammatic, let alone analytic, sense.

  29. Our hostess writes “and climate model-derived values of climate sensitivity are seeming increasingly unconvincing.”

    As I have pointed out over and over again, climate sensitivity cannot be measured with current technology. I am not holding my breath, but until someone on the warmists side has the courage to state this as a fact, this sort of statement by our hostess will continue. But it is not that the estimates of climate sensitivity are unconvincing. The proper statement is that they are nothing more that wild-arsed, hypothetical guesses. And no-one has the slightest idea how accurate they are.

  30. “this acknowledgment that not all climate change is forced is important; unfortunately they only seem to apply it to the recent pause and not the warming in the 1980′s and 1990′s.”

    This is critical. If the deep oceans are taking up heat in a way not expected by the models, then there are presumably times when they give up heat. Until this is understood and and incorporated into the models, for the alarmist to argue the heat is in the oceans is an argument against self-interest.

    The did not predict it.

    They do not understand it.

    They do not know how long the oceans will continue to absorb heat.

  31. Arguing in favor of ocean heat uptake also means that the spectral composition of the incoming solar ration becomes more significant in that some frequencies penetrate deeper than others.

    I do not have time to run down the reference but IIRC, while incoming radiation is relatively constant, the spectra has more significant variation.

  32. I was looking at Bayesian Statistics for something else and came across a paper with this statement:-

    “The claim of a probability status for a statement that can fail to be approximate confidence is misrepresentation. In other areas of science such false claims would be treated seriously”

    it seems very apt

    “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future” Yogi Berra

    • That paper seems to be yet another attempt to draw conclusions that just cannot be drawn. The paper seems to disregard obvious weaknesses of the confidence approach. They make specific assumptions on the problem being analyzed. When those assumptions are true, their result is true, but there’s no way of knowing, when the assumptions are true and when not.

      It’s easy to use Bayesian approach to get very different answers to the same question. Everyone who knows something about Bayesian approach knows that changing the prior changes the posterior outcome, and the changes may be very large. It may be less well understood that any nonlinear transformation of the variables interacts with the form of the prior. The discussion of Fraser on the non-linearity is probably related to this effect. Up to this point I do probably agree with the paper. Where I disagree is when he seems to imply that confidence method is some immune to this problem.

      Bayesian approach would not be needed anywhere, if other methods would not have their own related problems. The great virtue of the Bayesian approach is that it makes the issue explicit. All other approach have the same problem, but they often hide it in some way. Such alternatives are misleading as they give a wrong impression of the reliability of the result.

      In practice these problems are often not important. Then every approach gives the same result (when applied technically correctly). This has led many people to think that straightforward approaches like confidence are immune the problems seen in the Bayesian approach as a difficult choice if prior.

      • An inverse Bayesian approach can be a good way to systematize one’s intuition about a finding: Ask what your prior would have to be to come to a given conclusion given the data. Leamer proposed essentially this for the inclusion/exclusion of variables in regressions–he called it Extreme Bounds Analysis. It’s a lot better than massive ad hoc specification searches.

  33. Chief Hydrologist

    ‘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.’

    d(W&H)/dt = power in – power out (1)

    Power is in Joules/s. W&H is work and heat in the planetary system and is dominated by changes in ocean heat content. An increase in ocean heat content and no surface temperature change shows that energy in is less than energy out in a period. This is categorically the case and the budget of (1) must balance. Although there is energy transfer in the ocean/atmosphere coupled system – it again relates to changes in ocean and atmosphere dynamics and is moreover secondary to TOA energy dynamics.

    The changes in energy at TOA due to greenhouse gases are not directly measurable. The earth heats up and emissions tend to a nominal equilibrium. Changes over time are observable as increased photon scattering. Proof without doubt – btw – of the simple radiative physics of greenhouse gases.

    Here’s what seems to be happening with LW. Large changes clearly associated with ENSO and volcanoes.

    Clouds determine decadal changes in reflected SW at least.

    Here’s the ERBS record. Cooling in IR and warming in SW.

    Here’s the CERES record. Despite the big variation in IR there is not much trend – but there is a bit of a trend in SW.

    So we have some idea of ocean and atmosphere dynamics – but unless there is a theory of why the systems change abruptly and with quasi periodicity we are fumbling about in the dark.

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

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

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

    Four multi-decadal climate shifts were identified in the last century coinciding with changes in the surface temperature trajectory. Warming from 1909 to the mid 1940’s, cooling to the late 1970’s, warming to 1998 and declining since.

    The theory of synchronized chaos suggests that the changes are characterized by noisy bifurcation. As the shifts on involve changes in ENSO behaviour – we might look for extremes in El Niño Southern Oscillation events. Theory suggests that fluctuations between La Niña and El Niño peak at these times of climate shift – 1976/1977 and 1998/2001 for instance – and climate then settles into a damped oscillation. Until the next critical climate threshold – due perhaps in a decade or two if the recent past is any indication.

    This pattern of chaotic variability – internal variability – is caused by the interaction of sub-components of the dynamic climate system. A far more difficult problem to solve but it beats solving the wrong problem.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Frothing at the mouth again gatesy?

      We were talking about the Pacific. We are quite obviously within the limits of this system.

      We are quite obviously within the temperature limits of the Holocence and it seems the carbon dioxide limit as well. Idiot space cadet science is actually almost science free and usually resolves into invective and general frothing at the mouth.

      • Chief,

        We are not inside the limits for CO2 in the holocene on a well-mixed global basis, and your constant instance that we are simply once more displays either great ignorance or much worse. Th latest data shows that it was likely somewhere in the Pliocene that CO2 was this high.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The latest data shows quite high concentrations at the last glacial termination.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Put together a rational argument based on actual science – and not just hand waving about this and that – or I simply can’t be bothered.

        It is obvious that CO2 concentrations and variability are considerably higher than in the ice core records.

      • Even the last glacial termination did not see CO2 at these levels. Your Stomata data is not accurate enough nor does it correspond to numerous other multi-proxy data that does all corroborate each other. Forget it Chief, you are way off on this.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘The high-resolution, single-species based CO2 record presented here, together with previously published Last Termination stomatal based CO2 records, clearly show that ice core-based CO2 records may significantly underestimate both the actual CO2 values during this period, but perhaps more importantly the dynamic behaviour of CO2, particularly at transitions between climate intervals (seeFigs.8 and9). Plant stomatal densities changed as a direct response to CO2 (which is well-mixed and globally distributed) and are thus an ideal proxy for Last Termination CO2.’

        See this is an example of actual science.

    • R. Gates the Skeptical Warmist

      Chief Hydro,

      Undoubtedly internal variability between components of the climate system cause a great deal of the decadal and even multi-decadal variability. What we don’t currently know is to what extent the external forcing of the Human Carbon Volcano will have on nudging or altering this internal variability. It is a good question and a far more advanced perspective then simply “humans are causing climate change and nothing else matters.”

      • Captn. Dallas asked:

        “…does the Human Carbon Volcano impact the lithosphere?”

        Depends on what you mean by “impact”. Certainly that’s where the carbon comes from that we then burn as fossil fuels, and so during the process of combustion taking carbon formerly from the lithosphere and placing it in the atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, and even cryosphere. Eventually much of it, through the rock-carbon cycle, will return back to the lithosphere but the process can take hundreds of thousands to millions of years.

      • Chief Hydro incorrectly said:

        “We are well within the limits of this system.”

        This is exactly where you are wrong. We are well outside the limits of what natural variability or known external forcings (without GH gas increases being included) would cause. Your lack of acknowledgement of this is either out of ignorance or something even less forgivable. This long term chart of Arctic sea ice tells the story quite well:

        Yes, there are little wiggles on this chart caused by natural variability, but the big downturn at the end– the majority of that is now the anthropogenic fingerprint. Your blowhard and insulting prevarications simply inflate your ego, when what you need is to really take a look at the human fingerprint on the climate being seen first and foremost in the highly sensitive Arctic.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Long ago is was suggested that the 19976/77 “Great Pacific Climate Shift’ was caused by global warming. I had my doubts but duly waited for more than a decade. The shift back to the cool mode in 1998/2001 shows that that the system is not all that simple. The shifts appear in the proxy records showing that the internal mechanisms are not dependent on changes in atmospheric composition. Larger shifts on centennial to millennial scales also occur. We are well within the limits of this system.

        CO2 may nudge the system – as I have said repeatedly – but the extent and speed of the nonlinear climate shifts depend on the abruptly emergent behaviour of the system.

        ‘There are essentially two definitions of abrupt climate change:

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

        •In terms of impacts, “an abrupt change is one that takes place so rapidly and unexpectedly that human or natural systems have difficulty adapting to it”.’ (National Research Council, 2002)

        Before deciding what is anthropogenic – the natural variability needs to be known.

        The policy response is a different matter. NAS (2002) suggests exploring no regrets policies but this still seems off the agenda in large part.

        Tell you what – come back to me when you have some actual science and are not just p_ssing in people’s pockets or when you have a no regrets mitigation policy.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        There are bigger and much faster sinks than silicate weathering.

      • Gates, does the human carbon volcano impact the Lithosphere?

      • R. Gates, ” Eventually much of it, through the rock-carbon cycle, will return back to the lithosphere but the process can take hundreds of thousands to millions of years.”

        Doesn’t look like it takes that long. Google Calcite Sea and Aragonite Sea. Stott et al are supposed to be doing a paper on the subject, but a fairly minor shift in the Lysocline/Carbonate Compensation Depth due to variation in the rate of sea floor spreading can do strange things. I think Vaughan Pratt mentioned something related to submarine volcanic activity in his milliKelvin post poster comments.

        It is pretty interesting.

        But it might make Stott and Salby look not so wacko.

      • A post on this is coming tomorrow

    • Are either of these the work to which you refer?
      Tsonis, Anastasios A. “Dynamical Changes in the ENSO System in the Last 11,000 Years.” Climate Dynamics 33, no. 7–8 (September 2008): 1069–1074. doi:10.1007/s00382-008-0469-4 (Paywalled)
      Tsonis, Anastasios A., Kyle Swanson, and Sergey Kravtsov. “A New Dynamical Mechanism for Major Climate Shifts.” Geophysical Research Letters 34, no. 13 (July 2007): 5. doi:10.1029/2007GL030288

  34. maksimovich

    Ocean heat uptake ( thermal expansion) would imply a late 20th century acceleration in mean sea level.

    The literature suggests however that there is little difference in the early 20th from the latter.

  35. I’m not sure why they are now saying they never predicted a substantial number for the OHC uptake.

    The climate models have it at over 1.0 W/m2 and even up to 1.5 W/m2 right now while the Argo floats are just measuring 0.5 W/m2 of OHC uptake.

    And then, why are they trying to compare it to the TOA Earth energy imbalance. This was always expected to be a small number around 1.0 W/m2 but all of the temperature increase projections are based on the Troposphere/Surface forcing of CO2/GHGs/Other forcings.

    For example, the 3.7 W/m2 produced by CO2 doubling results in a 2.8C increase in surface temperatures. This has nothing to do with the Earth energy imbalance.

    The IPCC has the net Anthro forcing at 2.1 W/m2 today. This is the relevant number to compare to the OHC uptake, not the TOA Earth energy imbalance. 0.5 W/m2 of imbalance is not going to raise temperatures by 3.0C.

    Every new explanation they come up with requires a new re-writing of the history of the theory.

    • Bill:

      Agreed! There is an essential difference between TOA TSI and insolation at the surface, which is strongly modulated by clouds. Furthermore, there is also an important difference between variations of surface insolation and variations of thermalized solar energy stored in the oceans, inasmuch as more highly variable UV penetrates far deeper than visible light. The more one knows about all this, the less credible the AGW paradigm becomes.

  36. R. Gates the Skeptical Warmist

    The Met office’s attempts to explain the flattening of tropospheric temperatures is at least an attempt to look at more than just greenhouse gas forcing. Many years have been lost at the “greenhouse gases are everything” approach, and had there been a more open mind about internal variability 20 years ago, we might have more answers now as to how much of that warming was caused by internal variabiliyt versus GH gas forcing. But really a far more nasty problem will be to now try and figure out if the rapid rise in greenhouse gases and related external forcing will push or nudge the the internal variability of the system one way or another and if so, then how much? That is to say, the internal variability of the system might run along a completely different path at 280 ppm of CO2 versus 400 ppm. A very sticky problem indeed…

  37. David L. Hagen

    Re: “the recent pause in global surface temperature rise does not invalidate climate models or their estimates of climate sensitivity”
    This raises the complementary challenges:
    What would it take to “invalidate climate models”?
    “Progress in science comes when experiments contradict theory.
    — Richard Feynman

    “It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are. If it doesn’t agree with experiment, it’s wrong.
    — Richard P. Feynman

    “You should not fool the laymen when you’re talking as a scientist… . I’m talking about a specific, extra type of integrity that is not lying, but bending over backwards to show how you’re maybe wrong, [an integrity] that you ought to have when acting as a scientist. And this is our responsibility as scientists, certainly to other scientists, and I think to laymen.”
    — Richard Feynman, Caltech commencement address, 1974

    Is the Met Office hindering “progress in science”?
    Does exceeding 2 sigma hotter than the global temperature data 95% probability of not matching data – or 97% one sided probability?
    e.g. see Roy Spencer to Senate, July 18, 2013.

    What would it take to “validate climate models” with neutral objective 3rd party perspectives?
    See: Green & Armstrong, Global Warming: Forecasts by Scientists versus Scientific
    How should we consider low sensitivity climate models that better fit the evidences?
    See Steve McIntyre Results from a Low-Sensitivity Model
    Considering the very strong “environmental”/”political” perspectives and financial feedbacks, how can the strict double blind methods essential in clinical trials be implemented in climate science?

    When will “red teams” be deployed to “kick the tires” and test alternative models dominated by natural causes with low climate sensitivity to CO2?

  38. If the heat is now being trapped in the deep ocean, perhaps a significant contribution of the warming came from the deep ocean waters as well. Who knows? It apparently cannot be measured.

  39. “JC comment: The 1940s to 1970s pause is not well understood; even with over juicing the climate models with aerosols for this period, they still don’t reproduce the pause. The aerosol explanation doesn’t hold up.”

    Why do people not understand the nature of the CO2 molecule? It is not a constant storer of heat. Its heat storage depends on its vibrational modes which in turn depend on temperature. When it falls to the earth’s average temperature of about 13C are there any vibrational modes left to store heat? This is where quantum mechaniics gets important because pauses are expected as ‘steps and stairs’ as temperatures rise and fall. What happens when we get to the last step before the bottom? At that stage is CO2 significantly different from N2 or O2? What has happened to it’s voracious appetite for heat?

    Maps showing the distribution of average temperature around the world consistently show that the N hemisphere is warmer than the southern. Why? There are far more ‘heat islands’ in the N hemisphere than the southern. Much of that heat is redistributed to the S hemisphere by deep water currants. They are subjected to a multi-decade transport delay, initiated by the haline effect in the N atlantic.
    That raises the question, was the global temperature rise of 1970 to 1098 largely the result of the 1910 to 1940 0.5C rise redistributed by the oceans? See my website underlined above.

    • “Maps showing the distribution of average temperature around the world consistently show that the N hemisphere is warmer than the southern. Why? There are far more ‘heat islands’ in the N hemisphere than the southern. Much of that heat is redistributed to the S hemisphere by deep water currants.”

      Pure fantasy!

      • Abyssal bottom water does get pumped by ongoing THC contributions from certain polar regions, but gets mixed by tidal streams in the process. The completion of such replenishment is estimated to be on millenial, rather than multidecadal scales. In any event, this has negligible effect on surface climate, which is dominated by greatly more ubiquitous and vastly faster poleward redistribution of tropical heat by winds and wind-driven currents. Cold deep water cannot transfer heat to warmer overlying water!

      • Please be specific. what is fantasy?

        Are you disputing the saline circullation?
        Are you disputing that the N hemisphere is hotter?
        Are you disputing that there was a pause after 1940 and the temperature actually fell?

        Because the oceans are such a huge heat store even an almost inmessurable temperature change of the water can result in a large atmospheric change.

      • What I’m calling pure fantasy is the notion that “heat islands,” rather than land-mass proportions, produce higher temperatures in the N hemisphere and that “much of that heat is redistributed to the S hemisphere by deep water currants.” Not even the most fanciful of the simplistic “conveyor belt” depictions has anything but cold deep currents flowing from N to S. Pick up an introductory oceanography text some time.

      • JohnS: Further to my reply to your more specific objections (thank you). The bottom of the oceans approaches temperature 4C because that is the maximum density of water. The haline circulation of higher density water containing more salt will tend to go to the bottom, pushing the tamperature profile of the water above to a higher level. Thus the temperature of the surface water in the southern oceans is raised, in turn raising atmospheric temperature. That is a major way that heat is moved from the N to the S Hemisphere, although the process may take many years. That is why I think the second period of temperature rise (1970 to about 2000) may be just a rerun of the first (1940 to 1970). Also to be considered is that transport delay is different from inertial delay althogh the result may be similar. They differ in diagnosis because an inertial delay would have opposed the 1940 to 1970 fall in temperature, while a transport delay would have no such affect..

    • Its heat storage depends on its vibrational modes which in turn depend on temperature. When it falls to the earth’s average temperature of about 13C are there any vibrational modes left to store heat?

      At the temperature of the lower troposphere about 7 % of CO2 molecules are always in the vibrational state than can emit 15 µm IR radiation. In upper troposphere the share is a little smaller but not very much. Actually the wavelength of 15 µm is close to the optimal for radiative heat transfer at the temperatures of the upper troposphere.

      Every CO2 molecule alternates between the vibrationally excited state and the ground state hundreds of millions times every second spending 7 % of the time in the excited state and 93 % of the time in the vibrational ground state. All that is based on collisions between molecules as the frequency of absorbing or emitting IR is less than once in a second.

      That CO2 stores energy in its vibrational mode is not essential, that makes only a small addition to the specific heat of CO2 and has a negligible influence on the heat capacity of the atmosphere. What’s important is that CO2 can absorb and emit IR and transfer within nanoseconds that energy to other atmospheric molecules or from other atmospheric molecules.

    • David Springer

      The earth emits close to a continuous spectrum. There will always be some energy in the spectrum at CO2 resonant frequencies. More or less depending on peak emission frequency being close to or farther from an important CO2 absorption band. The variable power doesn’t vary enough to be significant in at least the first approximation.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        There are two ways that CO2 molecules can transfer energy. Kinetically to adjacent molecules and radiatively. Overall there is an effective planetary temperature and at TOA the emission spectra is what it is. Some of the energy passes straight through the atmosphere – some is scattered through interaction with greenhouse gases. The latter occurs only at the frequency of IR photons.

        There is one ideal blackbody curve for the Earth –

        You stratify the atmosphere and opine that it emits at different frequencies at different heights. So what – and the differences at Earth temperatures are not significant.

        Frankly springer I don’t know what you are talking about – and I don’t think you do either.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Here’s an ideal emission spectra for the Sun and Earth – as well absorption spectra for gases.

        The spectra is the Planck distribution for black bodies and the frequency shift with temperature is in accordance with Wein’s displacement.

        In equilibrium the planet emits in all those frequencies – power in equals power out – albeit with increased scattering as molecules absorb photons and then emit them in all directions.

        Molecules are not blackbodies and they absorb and emit photons at the same frequency regardless of temperature.

        E = hv – the original quantum idea.

        The energy states are discrete quanta – quantum jumps in electron orbits – related to the energy of the photon.

      • David Springer

        “Molecules are not blackbodies and they absorb and emit photons at the same frequency regardless of temperature.”


        But there is a Boltzmann distribution of individual molecular temperatures in any ensemble which in turn produces the continuous blackbody spectrum characteristic of the average temperature of the molecules in the ensemble.

        Anyone further interested is encouraged to read the blackbody chapter of a physics text. The following text, HyperPhysics, is highly acclaimed, hyperlinked, and free. For your convenience the link takes you to the blackbody chapter.

      • David Springer

        All matter in motion emits thermal radiation at all frequencies. All molecules are matter. All molecules with a temperature above absolute zero are in motion.

        This is encyclopedic and one’s imagined understanding of quantum mechanics notwithstanding shouldn’t get in the way of understanding the basics first.

        Thermal radiation is electromagnetic radiation generated by the thermal motion of charged particles in matter. All matter with a temperature greater than absolute zero emits thermal radiation. The mechanism is that bodies with a temperature above absolute zero have atoms or molecules with kinetic energies which are changing, and these changes result in charge-acceleration and/or dipole oscillation of the charges that compose the atoms. This motion of charges produces electromagnetic radiation in the usual way. However, the wide spectrum of this radiation reflects the wide spectrum of energies and accelerations of the charges in any piece of matter at even a single temperature.

      • Thank you, David, am interestimg observation. This is the way I see it: When the CO2 molecule exits the tailpipe or chimneyit is very hot and fully excited, so it rises in a plume of CO2, like a hot air balloon. As the plume rises it scatters and cools. Eventually the CO2 molecules fall back as they cool and lose excitation.When they reach an average of about 13C, they wiill be at a low level of excitation and their heat absorption will oniy be comparable with N2 and O2. Hence the ‘pause’.While there seems to be little research in this area, we do know that there is an important absorption band at 14 – 15 micron IR. Can this band be excited at about 13C?. Brcause of the many isotopic versions of CO2, theory won’t help much here, but experimentation should be valid.

      • David Springer

        Yes. 15um is the most important band. A continuous spectrum from a mass at -80C has peak power at that frequency but there’s still a lot of power at 15um even from a 14C blackbody radiator which has peak power at 10um.

        Don’t forget the atmosphere cools with altitude so at a height of about 9 kilometers (mid-troposphere in the tropics) it’s radiating right at CO2 sweet spot. The increasing absorption as atmosphere temp approaches CO2 sweet spot produces the infamous CO2 signature i.e. a tropical mid-troposphere hot spot. Like Trenberth’s missing heat no one is able to find the hot spot. My guess is both signals are overestimated and in fact are too small for current instrumentation to dig out of the weeds (noise). We shall see. But there is power in the spectrum available for CO2 molecules to absorb and the induced vibration should transfer to surrounding N2 and O2 molecules though simple conduction as mid-troposphere they’re all still pretty much packed shoulder to shoulder.

  40. Steve Fitzpatrick

    Wow, there is so much whistling past the graveyard going on at the MET that the corpses may start to dance in their graves. The three MET articles prove only that desperate people say stupid things. Another decade of very slow warming may, if they have any sense at all, bring them toward accepting what is becoming pretty obvious to most: the climate sensitivity diagnosed by models is much higher than reality. The MET staff need to get over it and move on. For goodness sakes, stop embarrassing yourselves!

    • If there were any melody or rhythm in the lot, up would come the cornets and tubas, and the sainted models might come marching home.

  41. I’m wondering whether the fuss over the “pause” isn’t playing into alarmists’ hands, giving substance to the historic triviality of their global warming/extreming/whatever-we-are-calling-it-this-month. Should we be helping them reduce something so fantastically complex as climate to these kiddie simplicities? It simply does not matter if there has been warming or pause.

    Leave aside all those more remote warmings, coolings, extremings etc we know so much about, both from Chinese and Japanese and European documentation as well as from plain physical evidence. Move closer to the present century. How does one explain the Arctic melts of the early 1800s and 1900s, the biggest SLRs happening concurrent with the increase of Arctic ice as the 19th century wore on? Does Barack Obama not know that the rise of the oceans, which started in the late 1700s, slowed after the 1860s? His promised ocean magic had already been performed! And how does one explain the very dramatic increase in Arctic ice from the 1960s to the end of the 1970s?

    It’s no wonder that the climatariat and our Green Betters have the one thing in common: a detestation of history in all its forms. When you think about it, that’s quite sinister…but not unfamiliar to anybody acquainted with the worst aspects of the century just gone. The New Man has to be formed in an insulated bubble of fad theory, junk science, rigid dogma, censorship and intolerance.

    • mosomoso,

      Those are my thoughts on the issue of the reported temperature trends and “climate sensitivity” as well. If you let them define the debate, you end up implicitly accepting concepts and “data” that are simply not worthy of acceptance.

    • moso, perhaps “klimatariat”?

      • Is that an Afrikaans spelling? I’ll consult the English Cricket Team. They’re quite fluent in the language.

      • Touche. I was thinking more in terms of Soviet era terms such as apparatchik, given there is evidence of extreme leftism in the “climatariat.”

        Anyway, a country which, when rushing through unconsidered and harmful legislation towards the end of a dire parliament, finds time to legislate for the Australianisation of a Pakistani spin bowler (perhaps they thought he was a spin doctor), whose rejection as a refugee was also overturned by authority for cricketing reasons, can say little about a country which selects South Africans of British descent.

      • Fawad Ahmed? As true-blue an Aussie as you can get…till the wickets dry up. It’s a bit like Aussie David Campese. He quickly became Italian again when he passed the ball behind the line, thus losing a test. And Campo was born here!

        It’s how we keep you blow-ins in line.

    • Sadly, it’s a very fragile construct, malleable by brittle narrative.

  42. The most interesting thing about the head post is the deafening silence from the AGW supporters. R Gates is an exception in more ways than one (1) he make a lot of sense and (2) he engages with the sceptics on this blog and thus is helping to make Judith’s blog more balanced than most other climate blogs.

  43. The pause is simply a combination of a PDO cooling phase with forced warming by CO2 increases. If it were not for the CO2, the temperature would have dropped in the last decade. Instead it maintained a record high decade that is a standard deviation warmer than 60 years ago in summer temperatures, the last time the PDO had an equivalent cool phase. The skeptics should be happy that the PDO is temporarily slowing global warming, but the respite is temporary according to their own ideas about natural variability reversing itself.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Temperature did drop in the past decade – specifically post the 1998/2001 climate shift.

      The world is in a cool decadal mode. These last for 20 to 40 years in the proxy record. This decade will be cooler than the last – as the sun declines in the 11 year cycle (and longer)and the Pacific cool mode intensifies as it does.

      So hey – cooling for 20 years from 2002 with virtual (99-100%) certainty. It is a testable hypothesis that first hit me like a load of bricks in 2003. The confidence in, support for and the understanding of the relevant mechanisms increase year by year.

      Nor is it at all certain that the next shift will be to warmer again if natural variability has peaked.

      • In the last 30 years it has climbed 0.5 degrees (0.9 degrees for land), but that has been sadly forgotten by now. Climate needs the long-term view, but “skeptics” are somewhat myopic when it comes to taking individual decades out of the longer context. I don’t know a way to fix that thinking. They used to like natural variations to explain things, but when the Met Office uses it, they don’t like it anymore.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘ 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.”

        No this is what I have been saying for a decade. Oh I definitely have a long term view – but you are struggling Jim.

      • CH, good, so at least one skeptic is agreeing withe Met Office. I think it is an area where agreement is possible because it has something for everyone to say background warming continues, but natural variations are noticeable against it.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Except it is not really what they said is it?

        But you then have to ask what part of warming between 1976 and 1998 was natural. It seems in fact the overwhelming majority of it. First in ENSO in 1976/77 and 1998 – and secondly as changes in cloud cover. This anthropogenic warming you are talking about seems a very minor factor indeed.

        The bit you keep missing is that the dog is the internal climate system and the tail is the toa radiant flux. A bit of a basic flaw there.

      • Yes, and CO2 is just chopped liver according to the skeptics. I’ve heard all this. They pay no attention to physics or paleoclimate.

      • CH, all these people are talking about variability, not trends. Big difference that seems to escape you. Have any of these said variability has an amplitude more than a couple of tenths? How does this compare with the warming trend already and expected? Who has even quantified this variability anywhere near half a degree? Do you think the LIA was natural variability or solar or other forcing? Lots of questions, but it seems you haven’t answered these for yourself yet.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I have no idea what you are talking about Jim – and I hold grave doubts that you do either.

        ‘Tropical variations in emitted outgoing longwave (LW) radiation are found to closely track changes in the El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO). During positive ENSO phase (El Nin˜o), outgoing LW radiation increases, and decreases during the negative ENSO phase (La Nina).’

        Bob Tisdale discusses to my knowledge the ENSO recharge oscillator.

        ‘Bjerknes (1969) first hypothesized that interaction between the atmosphere and the equatorial eastern Pacific Ocean causes El Niño. In Bjerknes’ view, an initial positive SST anomaly in the equatorial eastern Pacific reduces the east-west SST gradient and hence the
        strength of the Walker circulation, resulting in weaker trade winds around the equator. The weaker trade winds in turn drive the ocean circulation changes that further reinforce the SST anomaly. This positive ocean-atmosphere feedback leads the equatorial Pacific to a neverending warm state. A negative feedback is needed to turn the coupled ocean-atmosphere system around. However, during that time, it was not known what causes a turnabout from a warm phase to a cold phase. In search of necessary negative feedbacks for the coupled system, four conceptual ENSO oscillator models have been proposed: the delayed oscillator (Suarez and Schopf, 1988; Battisti and Hirst, 1989), the recharge oscillator (Jin, 1997a, b), the western Pacific oscillator (Weisberg and Wang, 1997; Wang et al., 1999), and the advective-reflective oscillator (Picaut et al., 1997). These oscillator models respectively emphasized the negative feedbacks of reflected Kelvin waves at the ocean western boundary, a discharge process due to Sverdrup transport, western Pacific wind-forced Kelvin waves, and anomalous zonal advection. These negative feedbacks may work together for terminating El Niño warming, as suggested by
        the unified oscillator (Wang, 2001).’

        There are in fact many, many papers on the negative feedbacks that initiate La Nina.

        How about quoting Julia Slingo and Tim Palmer?

        ‘The richness of the El Nino behaviour, decade by decade and century by century, testifies to the fundamentally chaotic nature of the system that we are attempting to predict. It challenges the way in which we evaluate models and emphasizes the importance of continuing to focus on observing and understanding processes and phenomena in the climate system. It is also a classic demonstration of the need for ensemble prediction systems on all time scales in order to sample the range of possible outcomes that even the real world could produce. Nothing is certain.’

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘The climate system has jumped from one mode of operation to another in the past. We are trying to understand how the earth’s climate system is engineered, so we can understand what it takes to trigger mode switches. Until we do, we cannot make good predictions about future climate change… Over the last several hundred thousand years, climate change has come mainly in discrete jumps that appear to be related to changes in the mode of thermohaline circulation.’

        ‘The global climate system is composed of a number of subsystems | atmosphere, biosphere, cryosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere – each
        of which has distinct characteristic times, from days and weeks to centuries and millennia. Each subsystem, moreover, has its own internal variability, all other things being constant, over a fairly broad range of time scales. These ranges overlap between one subsystem and another. The interactions between the subsystems thus give rise to climate variability on all time scales.’

        Over the past 2.58 million years most climate change has been episodic, abrupt and nonlinear – emergent behavior of a dynamically complex system in complexity theory. Over the past century the trend has been from warmer to cooler to warmer to cooler – demonstrably natural for the most part – chaotic climate shifts according to Tsonis and colleagues – and resulting from more modest changes in ocean and atmosphere circulation. Your trend from greenhouse gases is an illusion of having 2 warm periods in the instrumental record combined with what seems like a quasi 1000 year peak. Your big failing I keep saying is the failure to understand complexity theory a it applies to climate. Without which no understanding is possible.

        You are on a physic mill Jim – around and around in circles wearing a rut in the ground. But it is time I got off.

      • CO2 is not chopped liver. Manmade CO2 is a fraction of a trace of chopped liver. Something tiny is something tiny. Who knows what it does, but whatever it does is tiny.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Come back to me when you have some actual science to dispute the simple math of ENSO temperature transitions in 1976/77 and 1998, cloud changes as shown in document 1 above didn’t occur or if you actually have a no regrets policy.

      • CH, you go with the Tisdale theory that ENSO blasts energy into the earth system from somewhere and it stays there. Interesting, but so profoundly wrong, which is why no one has a paper on it. It is just blog “science”. Don’t start quoting Tsonis again. Those are model variability papers with energy going up and down, not in one direction.

    • Pick a sensitivity that frightens you and calculate how cold it would now be without AnthroGHGs.

      • Barely holding its own, that human carbon volcano. You know, we’re gonna run out.

      • Jim D

        You ask:

        What if we have only used a tenth of the recoverable fossil carbon so far?

        WEC 2010 estimates put it at 15% in 2008, rather than 10% today (and Webby + other “peak oilers” are convinced it is much higher than that), but let’s play your game.

        If we still had 90% of all the original fossil fuels in place and recoverable, we could get to around 1400 ppmv by the time they are all gone.

        At the most recent estimates for 2xCO2 ECS of 1.6°C, this would result in 2.9°C warming above today at equilibrium.

        At the more reasonable WEC estimate, the maximum is 980 ppmv when all fossil fuels are completely gone, resulting in warming of 2.2°C above today at equilibrium.

        Nothing to get too worried about, Jim.


      • About a degree C but heading towards an LIA, another 0.5 C loss globally, with continued loss of solar activity, the thing that wasn’t mentioned here. Really it is PDO+solar that CO2 is competing with and holding its own, possibly winning when you look at Arctic sea-ice and northern hemisphere land temperatures, but I won’t mention those.

      • kim

        Agree with you that hydrocarbons will get replaced as primary sources of energy by less expensive alternates long before they run out. We can already do this for most of the energy requirement (electrical power) and there is no question that we will be able to do so for transportation as well.

        Alarmists have a hard time selling both “peak oil” and CAGW, as the two are mutually exclusive.


      • What if we have only used a tenth of the recoverable fossil carbon so far. You favor keeping on using it and searching for more, I suppose, no stopping, no limits? That’s your difference from common sense.

      • We’ll be sensible when the hydrocarbon bond is valued for structure rather than merely for the energy within it. There are cheaper, better, energy alternatives.

    • If it were not for the CO2.
      You then lack reason for the Roman and Medieval Warmings that were just like this. They warmed out of a cold period and leveled off and then went down again. CO2 having one extra molecule per ten thousand has not change anything to do with temperature that can be measured.

  44. From paper 2: “Observations of ocean heat content and of sea-level rise suggest that the additional heat from the continued rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations has been absorbed in the ocean and has not been manifest as a rise in surface temperature.

    An article in a 1979 newspaper writes about a research paper (by Libby and Pandofi) that predicted warming from around the beginning of the 80’s up until 2000 at which point the paper claims, it would start to cool (and possible get very cold) Here’s the link to the newspaper article:
    St. Petersburg Times – Jan 1, 1979

    Apparently, they saw a repeating pattern in temperature fluctuations from the proxies the studied.

    As such, all this talk of the ocean ‘hiding’ the warming seems like science fiction crap to me. Another point of contention is that they also predicted warming from the 80s to 2000 which it did. So how much of that warming is from humans? It’d be nice to know if the Libby and Pandolfi paper predicted how much warming we’d get because if it did, we could compare it to what we measured and get a rough idea of how much was from humans vs nature.

    • A curve fit is a curve fit. It can match the data or not. if it does fit or it does not fit, it does not prove anything. Curve fits most often extrapolate to numbers that are out of bounds to actual data. They say that what will happen is outside the bounds of what has ever happened. There is nothing in the data that indicates this is true.

  45. Matthew R Marler

    “this acknowledgment that not all climate change is forced is important; unfortunately they only seem to apply it to the recent pause and not the warming in the 1980′s and 1990′s.”

    The minds are perhaps being forced open, but will require a while to open fully..

  46. Paul Vaughan

    Attention UK Met Office:

    Terrestrial North & South differ: (2-slide animation)

    ( supplementary: )

  47. If you take all the temperature graphs of our planet for the past 150 years and change the horizontal axis from a tenth of degree Celsius and calibrate the same graphs to whole degrees, there has been ZERO warming or cooling.
    Therefore billions wasted! Imagine how these funds could have been used for real research and solutions to real environmental problems.

    • tempterrain

      Well yes, and if you plot the vertical scale in degrees Kelvin rather than Celsius or Fahrenheit the graph looks even flatter.

      The 3 degrees of warming predicted by the IPCC, or even six or ten degrees mentioned as a possibility by Prof Judith Curry, wouldn’t look so bad on the same graph. You’d probably need a ruler and keen eyesight to notice the line wasn’t flat. If anyone still objected you could change to a logarithmic scale on the Y axis. .Scientists like using logarithmic scales.

      That should shut them up!

    • That money was not all wasted. A lot of non knowledge has been exposed.

  48. I thought we were in trouble when the EPA got involved.
    Now we are in real trouble.

  49. Its not surprising that additional heat would continue to be apparent in the upper ocean even in the presence of a real pause in forcing. the ocean may take centuries to catch up with “a pause” and in fact could mask a minor reversal. The heat remains missing. We know upper oceans have reduced their rate of warming when one would expect just the opposite if it were also accounting for the pause.

  50. Thank you for the quote from, and link to, Russell Mead. Restrained and because of that all the more devastating.

    … more certainty than the frustrating facts can give

    If I wanted a synopsis of climate science (the non-JC version) in eight words I think that would be it.

  51. tempterrain

    Pause? Hang on a minute. Let’s check on the facts before getting too deeply into this discussion:

    • tempterrain

      There are 11 co authors on the pause paper

      Professor Julia Slingo OBE, Met Office Chief Scientist
      Professor Stephen Belcher, Head of the Met Office Hadley Centre
      Professor John Mitchell FRS OBE
      Professor Adam Scaife
      Rosemary Eade
      Dr John Kennedy
      Rachel McCarthy
      Dr Colin Morice
      Dr Matthew Palmer
      Dr Doug Smith
      Dr Peter Stott

      Why don’t you take up your objections with them? I correspond with several of them -including yesterday-and they always seem very happy to engage. No doubt you can explain why their terminology is incorrect.

      Tonyb so

      • tempterrain


        Its nice to see you are taking notice of expert opinion for a change. I won’t be too surprised then when you announce you’ve changed your mind on the causes of rising atmospheric CO2 levels and you’ve decided that it’s of anthropogenic origin after all!

  52. Pingback: Quote of the week – on the usefulness of climate models | Watts Up With That?

  53. Ian Blanchard

    Walter Mead has the following spot on:

    “…green policies that limit growth and, at the most basic level, try to force people to do things they would rather not do. The biggest cause of climate skepticism isn’t evil oil companies and campaigns of disinformation; it is the inability of greens to refrain from overstating their case and insisting dogmatically and self righteously on more certainty than the frustrating facts can give.”

    Probably the more important of these two points is the first – Green policies, at least as currently advocated, are expensive and regressive to the (western) world’s preferred lifestyle, so the vast majority of people just get on with their every day lives as normal while paying lip service to environmentalism.

    The concluding point is at least one of the reasons for my scepticism – the ‘big warming’ scare (where we are going to see 4, 5, 6 or more degrees C of warming within my lifetime) didn’t make sense to this geologist, and then Green advocates have resorted too strongly to ‘selling’ the scare rather than letting the facts speak for themselves.

  54. Listen serfs, we will tell yer what yer need ter know,
    listen and obey. WE have the ear of Gaia not ter
    menshun the oracle, and the ONLY solushun is
    “back ter the golden age”… no matter what it costs.

  55. A saying I used to hear all the time comes to mind, BS baffles brains

  56. The line of defense on the pause has been real fun to watch over the years
    1. There is no pause (and not only that, but the warming has actually accelerated). There is no pause. There IS NO PAUSE.
    2. OK, there is a pause but it’s because of aerosols/deep ocean/sun, whatever, we really don’t know. But we do, it’s the oceans, yeah. Or actually, no, the sun. Or, no, it’s still the aerosols from China. We really don’t know. Or, wait a minute, we do know, it’s the oceans. Deep ocean has warmed one zillionth of the degree (we know that because Trenberth found it when he was looking for his lost wedding ring, no, dog, no, missing heat, I guess). Oh no, still, there is actually no pause (Tamino has it all figured out) even though the pause we have now is because of… Oh…
    3. There can be a pause, but for not more than 15 years, anything over that may falsify the theory
    3. Our models have always (repeat – always) shown us that twice a century there can be a pause or even a decline from 10 to 20 years, but oops, sorry, our scientists/climate communicators just forgot to tell you that earlier. They are human beings, after all. (Nothing to see here, move along. And by no means, do not ever forget – in 1998 we had the mightiest (absolutely huge!) El nino EVER, and then the mightiest la nina, so these years don’t count and pause did not start in 1998, so it’s only 13 years now, or 12, not 15, 16 is right out!. We’ve got it all figured out!)
    4. Actually, air surface temperatures are not an important indicator at all (and never have been?). Look at the Arctic sea ice instead (but by no means don’t look at the Antarctic sea ice), or glaciers (but not lower troposphere) and so on…
    5, There is no pause

    Reminds me of a classical defense – a) my dog did not bite you as he never bites, b) it was your own fault, c) I don’t have a dog.
    Or maybe Monty Python would be a more suitable comparison.

    • + 97 (%)

    • It all makes one thing absolutely clear
      a) There is a consensus (at least, no, exactly 97%)
      b) the science is settled
      Or it seems to be two things? Whatever, at least we that we know everything there is to know. Now it’s three things?! Uhh

    • Good post, Sven. And here is the proof of just how good that post was:

      1. The GHE is a hoax.
      2. Well, even though it is a hoax, we still believe the theory, even though it is a hoax, and only nuts don’t believe it, except those who don’t believe it who aren’t nuts, but “skeptics” aren’t nuts because they aren’t monolithic, except “skeptics” don’t think that it is a hoax.
      3. It’s a hoax because it is based on bogus and fraudulent modeling that derives nonsense sensitivity calculations and we know that we can’t tell anything from modeling because it is flawed, except when the modeling is examined in such a way as to show lower levels of sensitivity. When that happens, the models aren’t flawed, but instead highly accurate and the resultant sensitivity figures are entirely believable and consistent with reality, except we can’t tell if they are consistent with reality because there is no such thing as global temperatures and so we can’t measure global temperatures, except that we can measure global temperatures to show that there is a “pause” and that is how we know that the climate models and their resultant sensitivity values are bogus even though the temperature records are bogus because of UHI and bogus “adjustments” that have been made by the cabal.
      4. But even though the whole “climate change” theory is a hoax perpetrated by eco-Nazis who want to impose their will in order to attain a one-world government, we don’t doubt that the basic theory is correct, except the many of us who flat-out reject the theory, although not many of use do, even though a lot of us do, because those of us who do aren’t really part of “us” except when they are. We just don’t have an valid ways of measuring whether or not the theory is correct. We don’t doubt that the theory is correct even though we have no evidence that the theory is valid because any evidence that the theory is valid is actually just the result of natural variability and any indicators that are not consistent with patterns of natural variability could be explained by natural variability, or at least it could be explained by past history of natural variability that we can’t measure but that we know occurred even though we can’t measure it.

    • David Springer | July 24, 2013 at 4:37 pm |

      What are you, five years old?

      I don’t mind being insulted, especially by someone whose only mode of address is Tourette-like, but you’d think after all the practice some measure of competence at the art of insult might sink in.

      Are you really going to let the Australians out-insult you by such a large margin? Heck, even the Swedes, or Swiss, or whatever, outpunch you. And you from Buffalo, too. Tch. Such a disappointment.

      manacker | July 24, 2013 at 5:49 pm |

      You’ve got your analogy backwards.

      I can see Santa Claus all over the place every December.

      Doesn’t mean I wait for a geriatric in boots and beard to slide down the chimney with a bag of toys every year.

      stevepostrel | July 24, 2013 at 10:35 pm |

      I only count five flips, since 2007, and still up in the air on the sixth.

      Oh. Wait. It flipped heads in 2007, and you missed it?

      Here. Let’s remind you:

      Do you see Santa’s big green bag of toys?

      • Bart R

        That “big green bag” you see is not full of toys.

        The box of “horse poo” that was under the Christmas tree for you doesn’t mean you got a pony.

        Sorry to disappoint you.


      • David Springer

        Bart R | July 25, 2013 at 12:42 am | Reply

        “What are you, five years old?”

        Oh yes. You found me out. You’re very very perceptive. I bet people tell you that all the time, huh?

      • manacker | July 25, 2013 at 3:41 am |

        What tree?

        There’s hundreds of thousands of trees around here, though very few of them get their roots mulched with manure.

        There’s a fair number of ponies hereabouts, too.

        You reveal how little regard you have for fact, and how much preference for fantasy, in your reply. As ever.

        David Springer | July 25, 2013 at 2:09 am |

        For a bright guy who often pegs things exactly right, it’s kinda sad seeing you reach outside your competence like this.

        How did you get through boot camp without learning to properly talk trash?

    • Sven | July 24, 2013 at 6:48 am |

      There is no pause.

      There is a rising normalized global mean on a climate timescale in the validated datasets, as confirmed by confidence calculations and other robust statistical tests.

      There is an endpoint to that curve sixteen years prior to the most recent valid observational data, on each of these datasets.

      There are short term trend calculations after the endpoint.

      While these short term trend calculations are in agreement on the shape of the short term normalization, the short term normalization does not itself rise to the level of statistical confidence generally accepted as proven in hypothesis testing.

      Some of the observations in this short term span are consistent with the much higher rate of the valid timescale, and all of the observations since taken as a group could be consistent with a continuation of that long term rate, depending on observations yet to come.

      The eighteen other datasets in the reports, and many others beside, indicate something like a one in six chance that the lower trend observed in the ‘pause’ period will continue to dominate long enough that the climate timescale will show appreciable drop in rate.

      Now, one in six is nothing to sneeze at. Russian Roulette has the same odds. So there may be a pause. It may start in 1998, or 2003, or 2005, or 2008. However, we can’t know that yet, because the future, it hasn’t been observed so far.

      Five in six odds favor that the long term timescale beyond three decades will show no pause in the AGW trend.

      This doesn’t mean there isn’t an obvious and real effect in the half-decade trends. That climatology has come so far it can hypothesize and infer on such a short timescale as five year trends is a breathtaking and daring advance.

      I’m naturally skeptical of breathtaking advances. Those explanations that are offered, the inferences used, need to be questioned.

      Do the new explanations (or amendments of prior explanations) work parsimoniously, with the fewest amendments or additions?

      Do the new explanations work simply, with the least complicated rationale and mechanism that follows logic?

      Do the new explanations apply universally across observations, or more universally than other explanations?

      You ask and answer these three questions, and you arrive at the most accurate, or very nearly true, explanation.

      Which good policy will treat as such, until such time as new observation require further amendment.

      This is the scientific method as set out by Isaac Newton in his Principia three centuries ago, following a lifetime of development and from debate with the greatest scientific minds of his day, founders of all the science we know from that time, and never overthrown since.

      Now, I can see the point of discussing ‘the pause’ as if it were real. As if one existed. Clearly, people want answers about phenomena. If they have a name already for the phenomena they think they see, whether the name is accurate or the phenomenon is framed aptly or not, why fight the convention of society?

      What use, after all, would a science be that doesn’t speak the language people understand?

      It’s a shame that the massive media campaigns of people associated with less than three percent of scientific wisdom get to dictate these names and frames, it makes the discourse in my opinion inefficient and cumbersome, but it is our cultural reality, thanks to the likes of skilled culture manipulators like Benny Peiser and company.

      As for your list of the progression of the explanations, I’ve been commenting on Climate Etc. to exactly those points since before Climategate; the inferences from the data are there for anyone to make from the data. I’m glad the MET office is catching up with where Climate Etc. has been for years.

      In all modesty, it’s now us at Climate Etc. that has to catch up with the MET office.

      • We’ve flipped 20 tails in a row. Doesn’t prove that the coin isn’t fair, but don’t try to deny the record of flips.

      • Bart R ain’t one the three commenters Big Dave nicknamed, Cap’n.

      • David Springer

        Willard have you ever seen tart b, loltwat, tight terrain, and maxipad_ok all together in the same room? I bet no one has if you get my drift.

      • Bart R

        Just because you are unable to see a “pause”, does not mean that “there is no pause”.

        Just check out all those thermometers out there (even the ones next to heated buildings in winter and AC exhausts in summer).


      • Willard, “Read harder, Jim.”

        Why? BartR is spouting his typical nonsense. He just switches between wealthification and warmingfication.

      • David Springer | July 23, 2013 at 4:29 pm | Reply
        Betting pool on when lowtwat, maxipad_ok, and tedner_terrain chime in to deny the pause.
        Put me down for less than 24 hours.

        Bart R | July 24, 2013 at 10:45 am | Reply
        Sven | July 24, 2013 at 6:48 am |
        There is no pause.

        Looks like you win, David.

  57. ‘BS baffles the brain.’ Ter baffle is often the game.

    H/t Plato, Republic 414/bc: The noble lie of hereditary classes
    of men, gold fer the guardians, silver and peasant iron or copper,
    ( yer hereditary role,) ‘but the ‘noble lie is okay because it’s, well,
    … fer ‘noble’ ends.

    ‘And H/t Orwell “1984” and “Animal Farm” fer illumination on
    the meaning of death ter history, it’s down the memory hole
    yer go.

    And H/t ter Humpty Dumpty in ‘Alice in Wonderland’ fer
    words mean exactly what I want them ter mean’

    Oh and H/T ter Primo Levi, ‘Periodic Table’ on Fascism
    and messages of racial purity, …

    • Yes I read The Republic, and I do not side with Plato, Bart.
      I have written numerous criticisms of his back ter golden age-
      arrest all change- restore tribal hierarchies- arguments.
      Say, Bart, did you read Steve McIntyre’s exhaustively
      documented study of Mann’s Hockey Stick, and the
      Climategate emails which are words from the mouths
      of the team and oh so revealing.

      • Beth Cooper | July 25, 2013 at 9:56 pm |

        Sorry, Beth.

        I’m too old-fashioned to read other peoples’ stolen private correspondences.

        Does that lessen me in your eyes?

        Oh. Wait. I don’t care.

        As for MM05C etc.. I read the debunkings. Does that count?

      • It may not lessen you in Beth’s eyes, but it definitely lessens your knowledge of the truth about some climate scientists. BTW, the emails in question are not from their personal accounts – they are from a pubically funded email account which comes with a warning that the emails are property of the university which is pubically funded. Therefore, the public has every right to the emails. Just sayin’.

      • pubically should be publicly. Massacred that one.

      • Doesn’t make yer lesser im me eyes Bart, though we don’t
        see eye ter eye and yer tell me off!. When yer weren’t
        around there was somethin’ missing. Hey, I like eccentric
        people -) I’m a bit that way meself.
        Beth the serf.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        It’s telling Bart R says he hasn’t read a source, but he has read its “debunkings.” Can there be anything more biased than deciding a rebuttal is right without even looking at what it supposedly rebuts?

      • Brandon Shollenberger | July 26, 2013 at 6:09 pm |

        Read harder. I referred to the debunkings, going Beth one better.

        Has she read the careful analyses of MM#x, which universally find the McIntyre claims unfounded, but often charitably admit MM sounds plausible in theory except for the lack of support in fact?

        Have you?

        When I read the various debunkings of MM, I did also indeed wade through the original source material, which was highly repetitive since it kept being reissued claiming vital improvements required republishing.. and I doubt I’ll waste my time reading the next release having been required to repeat the exercise five times already on essentially the same incompetent complainerisms.

        jim2 | July 26, 2013 at 12:01 pm |

        You know, there’s whole art galleries and museums and military bases and financial institutions and hospitals that have the same pubical funding.

        The first few hundred times I heard this line of argument was news reports of Progressives and Greens staging sit-ins on this pubical institution or that, breaking into university research facilities to liberate lab rats and chaining themselves to the fences of European military sites.

        Tell me, are you a Progressive? Or simply soft on crime?

    • kim | July 25, 2013 at 10:00 pm |

      I wouldn’t have expected you to want to borrow it.

      Besides, mine’s a bit worn out from much use, I don’t think it could stand the strain.

    • Beth Cooper | July 24, 2013 at 7:09 am |

      Who do you think more likely to have read Plato, a bunch of Philosophy students like McIntyre and Monckton, or a bunch of Earth Sciences graduates?

      Who more likely to regard themselves as Gold nobles with a duty to lie, men who believe they belong in the House of Lords and Right Stuff acolytes of Stevenson’s obsolete oceanographic dabblings, or James Hansen and Michael Mann, who dress and talk like Iron peasants?

      The noble liars? I’d think Inhofe and Cuccinelli stand four square believing they have every right to lie to America to get their way.

      Why turn to works of fiction and politics to talk about data, inference and science? Are you allergic to fact and logic?

      • Works of fiction, Bart? Hmm ..Mann’s Hockey Stick based on
        a few selected trees and suss methodology comes ter mind .
        And it’s well documented. Plato ‘s ‘noble lie’ though based on
        a fiction was a real world political attempt ter return ter a tribal
        political system.. Primo Levi’s experiences under fascist
        governments were not a fiction.
        A serf.

      • Hilary, I always enjoy yr interesting comments and now I have
        a link ter yr blog. Thx.
        Beth the serf.

      • Beth Cooper | July 25, 2013 at 3:26 am |

        Have you ever _read_ Plato, yourself?

        Checked Plato’s facts, where verifiable?

        Plato’s Natural History, where supposedly a treatise on the observable physical world gets two out of three observations actually wrong, from the number of legs on insects right on up, totalling hundreds of mistakes in a single volume any child of four years old could spot and prove wrong.

        Compared to Michael Mann.. Have you actually read the works of Michael Mann you’re criticizing, or are you just regurgitating fifth-hand complaints from WUWT mindlessly and without checking?

        Mann’s made a single decision you dislike but cannot disprove, disapprove of but cannot debunk; Plato’s commended lying and made hundreds of factual errors any child of four could see.

        And yet, you side with Plato and his noble adherents like Inhofe and Cuccinelli, Monckton and McIntyre, Peiser and Rose.

        You recognise, of course, what that must do for your credibility?

        See, I don’t aspire to credibility for myself: I cite facts and make rational cases anyone can check for themselves and accept or reject, and I ask no one take me at my word; all you have is assertion and fiction, without credibility you’ve got nothing.

      • Do you not have an inner gauge that clues you into the difference between making sense and blathering?

      • Bart_R, “Like Ike”

        He had a bunch of general knowledge as well as having a good head for real world politics. Also, he was a smoker but was not into the mirrors.

  58. Pingback: What on “Earth” is going on at the U.K. Met Office? | The View From Here

  59. JC comment:

    The 1940s to 1970s pause is not well understood; even with over juicing the climate models with aerosols for this period, they still don’t reproduce the pause. The aerosol explanation doesn’t hold up. I suspect it has mostly the same cause as the current pause, associated with changes in the ocean circulation patterns, notably the PDO and AMO.

    Thank you JC.

    An unsteady ocean conveyor delivering heat to the far North Atlantic has been abetting everything from rising temperatures to surging hurricanes, but look for a turnaround soon

    With a longer view of climate history and long-running climate models, today’s researchers are tying decades-long oscillations in the Gulf Stream and the rest of the ocean conveyor to long-recognized fluctuations in Atlantic sea-surface temperatures. These fluctuations, in turn, seem to have helped drive the recent revival of Atlantic hurricanes, the drying of the Sahel in the 1970s and ’80s, and the global warming of the past few decades, among other climate trends.

    …there are growing signs that the conveyor may well begin to slow on its own within a decade or two, temporarily cooling the Atlantic and possibly reversing many recent climate effects.

  60. The pause of warming is only on paper. Let us not forget that surface temperature rise went through two corrections to lower values. The first in 2005-2007 and the second in 2009-2011.

  61. “…surface temperature rise went through two corrections to lower values.”


    • I’ll give Josh a thumbs up; I think he’ll get it right. Such is my faith in science.

  62. this is why we need reliable paleclimate reconstructions with subdecadal resolution.
    No. All we need from paleclimate is to see that after it gets warm it always cools. That is because it always snows more when it is warm. That is also in the paleclimate data.

    • Some day, sooner than they think, they will wake up and see the light. You know, the light that is reflected from earth by the ice that stopped decreasing when the oceans got warm and wet. The extra heat they get by continuing to decrease albedo in their models is not here. They have the ice wrong in their theory and models.

      Proof will be presented, soon.

  63. Herman, you might end up right, but it seems obvious to me that after it gets warm there’s always a CO2 rise, and then it always cools. I can demonstrate that more easily than you can the snow.

    OK, OK, sarc/off. This is the first time I’ve ever felt the need to use the tag. It’s probably the first time I’ve ever felt the need to be sarcastic.

    • Here is a real good demonstration.
      Earth, with its oceans, is like a huge carbonated drink.
      CO2 naturally follows temperature up and down.
      Ice Extent regulates temperature and temperature has a huge influence on CO2.
      Now, do your demonstration.
      Your actual statement, “after it gets warm there’s always a CO2 rise, and then it always cools”, is absolutely correct. Consensus Theory is that after the CO2 rise, it will warm more, this time, different from all the other times in the past. The more snow when it is warmer, is easy to prove. Look at NOAA Data.

      • Doc,
        I don’t say that humans have not added to the CO2. I say the data shows that we, or something started adding extra CO2 5000 years ago and temperature did not follow. Most of the CO2 rise from the last major ice age was from the oceans. This is basic physics. They get sensitivity of Temperature to CO2 when they should get the sensitivity of CO2 to Temperature. They have it backwards.

      • Herman, Nitrogen and Argon both have different shaped solubility vs temperature plots. Should there be large changes in SST one would be able to monitor it via the Ar/N2 ratio.
        CO2 does not follow Henry’s Law in the complex buffering system at the sea surface. The rise on CO2 is due to humans burning fossil fuels and not to the seas warming. A glance at the isotope ratio will confirm this.

    • According to NOAA Data, CO2 rise, away from temperature, actually started 5000 years ago. Recent rise is much faster, but the disconnect started a long time ago and temperature still did its part, but the CO2 went up and up while Temperature went up and down

    • Look carefully in the upper left of this chart that I copied from NOAA.
      The CO2 got disconnected from temperature several thousand years ago.

      • Thought provoking stuff, Herman, and you may end up with an operant mechanism. You obviously know more about this than I do.

        My silly joke was to provide a rationale for blaming CO2 as a cooling agent. Har de Har Hark.

  64. Ya, ya, the perfect buffer against the end of the Holocene, a completely serendipitous happystance.

    • Oh, heck this 10:01 is supposed to come after Springer’s remark about the ‘missing heat’ coming out over extended centuries.

  65. Trenberth used to be able to calculate an energy balance as shown by his heat balance for the atmosphere, which is still useful. But apparently he has forgotten how. When analyzing temperature change one must consider all heat flows from whatever source. It seems obvious that inflows of cold dense brine from polar regions must be considered, and that during the recent warming period in the 90’s this flow must have been reduced, which resulted in the observed deep ocean warming. Now that the normal freeze/thaw regime seems to have been reestablished, the inflow of cold dense brine into the deep ocean reservoirs will have returned to normal. There is no reason to suppose that surface heat has mysteriously appeared in the deep ocean while bypassing the surface layers.

    • pochas

      There is no reason to suppose that surface heat has mysteriously appeared in the deep ocean while bypassing the surface layers.


      And there are some very compelling reasons to suppose that surface heat has NOT mysteriously appeared in the deep ocean while bypassing the surface layers (because it is physically impossible).


  66. It seems obvious that inflows of cold dense brine from polar regions must be considered, and that during the recent warming period in the 90′s this flow must have been reduced, which resulted in the observed deep ocean warming.

    An obvious hyphothesis. There are others: the flow might have stayed the same, or even increased, but slightly less cold. Or changes to lateral transport might have changed the ratio of volcanic heat from seafloor spreading zones that ends up in the deep layers (relative to the shallow). Or other mechanisms that spread heat from the warm surface layers might have become stronger. There have been interesting changes to cyclonic activity in the Indian Ocean during the last decade or so, which might be associated with increased vertical mixing driven by intense surface winds.

    For that matter, there’s a huge amount we don’t know about ENSO, and it might be that increased heat transport to the under-700m layers is a natural concomitant to its current state.

  67. An excerpt from the reports:

    “Second, climate model simulations suggest that we can expect such a period of a decade or more to occur at least twice per century, due to internal variability alone.”

    It is not climate models suggesting this but the underlying observations. The pauses seen in the last 100 years are poorly understood so the process cannot be accurately modeled. Have the Met Office decided that in order for their projections to appear credible they have carried forward the pattern of pauses into the future? I guess Hubert Lamb would approve.

    If the pause 1940s to 1970s *was* due to changes in aerosols I can’t fathom the basis for expecting two pauses per century in the future. After China and India have tackled their problems with smog and particulates surely other developing nations will take advantage of technology transfer to an even greater extent, allowing for development without needing to pass through a smokey, smog filled period and burning every tree in sight but instead going relatively straight to relatively clean power stations and fuels.

  68. The Daily Mail has reported the Met’s statements on why no warming means we are all going to fry, for sure. The best and worst rated give one some idea of what the general public believe to be true.

    • Rob Starkey

      It is interesting to read the comments and the ratings. It would seem to indicate that a politican running on a platform of we need to implement a tax or terrible things will happen would be in deep trouble getting elected. However- if someone was in their 2nd term and would not be running for office again????

    • The best and worst rated give one some idea of what the general public believe to be true.

      Yeah – because Internet comments have been conclusively determined to be a lockstep indicator of public opinions. In particular Mail Online comments.

      In fact, the only Internet sites that is been scientifically proven to give a more accurate perspective on public opinion are WUWT, the Free Republic, HotAir, The Drudge Report, Weazel Zippers, Instapundit, Breitbart, and Daily Caller.

      Seriously, dude, do you really call yourself a skeptic?

      • Joshua bagged a Doc and a Chief relying on Daily Mail commenters as representative statistics. How embarrassing for the pair with the high-faluting titles.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        So obviously I can’t say collective dipsh_ts.

        My advice is that you drop the silly little gotchas and come back with serious comment on no regrets policies or not at all. Not at all would be much preferable as you add only calumny and climate trivia to the discourse.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        to repeat – The proposition that one can’t get an impression of the wider state of the debate from blog comments is erroneous. It gives a more in depth understanding of the understanding of the most motivated bloggers. It may be a limited sample but is a valid technique for sampling opinion. More of a self selected focus group than a survey – with attendant strengths and weaknesses.

        You can determine the mean of public opinion – within limitations of the method.

        Just like I can determine that you are relentlessly tedious, trivial and abusive Joshua.

      • Joshua, have you NEVER heard of Galton and the Ox?


        I didn’t realize that by reading the comments on articles related to climate change at The Nation, Huffpo, etc., I can determine the mean of public opinion. Imagine my embarrassment.

        Doc. Just stop. You know I’m right.

        You confused an obviously selective sample with a representative sample.

        It happens. It’s better for you to just own up to your confirmation bias and move on. It’s what a skeptic would do. It’s science.

      • The more you post, the more I think that WHT is on to something when he says that you are playing some kind of game by posting the most ridiculous opinions you can think up:

        You can determine the mean of public opinion – within limitations of the method.


        “Within the limitations of the method.”

        In other words, you can use data from a skewed sample to determine the mean of that limited sampling.

        You can’t determine the mean of public opinion by observing Mail Online comments on a climate article. The sampling is skewed. It isn’t freakin’ representative.

        Why are you pretending that you don’t understand this?

        You might use that data, if it were somehow calibrated with other data in some controlled fashion, to conjecture what the mean might look like, but you would need that other data to determine the mean of the broader public opinion.

        Well – you did manage to go deeper. I’m impressed. Can you go deeper still?

      • Joshua, have you NEVER heard of Galton and the Ox?
        Why do you think people, outside of those committed to left-wing politics, outside the ‘climate science’ field gaze on it in horror?
        Why in ‘climate science’ is it impossible for practitioners to present a falsifiable hypothesis?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I am not going deeper just cutting and pasting from my original comment. If you can’t tell that I am parodying you – then the irony compounds.

        The original statement from Doc was – ‘The best and worst rated give one some idea of what the general public believe to be true.’

        The people I agree with on climate science tend to be world class climate scientists. But the general public is another country. I am always surprised and usually disappointed by what the general public write in blog comments.

        You for instance focus on the utterly irrelevant and fight it out with calumny and dogged persistence.

        What is most important? I suggested you think about no regrets policies and instead you babble on with your usual nonsense.

      • No, I call myself a neurochemist, bioenergeticist and drug designer.
        You would not be surprised at what I call you though.

      • The proposition that one can’t get an impression of the wider state of the debate from blog comments is erroneous. It gives a more in depth understanding of the understanding of the most motivated bloggers.


        Unless you can find someone who made the argument you’re counter, you really should try controlling for your fantasies, Chief.

        I didn’t say that you can’t get an impression of the wider state of the debate from blog comments. Blog comments are part of the mix. Blog comments from sites with a strong orientation are also part of the mix.

        They help to get the full range of opinions.

        But onbline newspaper commenters are outliers. Only a tiny % of readers comment. Those that do are particularly motivated. Then when you add the overt orientation of specific sites, you get outliers of outliers.

        One of the funniest attributes of some climate “skept-o-pheric” “skeptics” is how they project their own experiences and beliefs onto a wider public, fully believing that their own experiences and beliefs are representative, without even stopping to look at the abundant evidence that they are outliers of outliers.

        It’s funny because it is so obviously not skeptical.

        It may be a limited sample but is a valid technique for sampling opinion.

        My point is not that it is a limited sample, but that Doc confused it for a representative sample. Is it really possible that you didn’t recognize the difference? How could that be explained?

        I respect your compulsive impulse to get the back of your bud Doc, but in doing so, in reality you are only branding your own comments with the same label of “skepticism.”

        You, like he, have experience in emperical analysis. For anyone with such experience to confuse a highly selective sample with a representative sample is a classic example of motivated reasoning. Any self-respecting scientist, who isn’t motivated to confirm biases, would immediately recognize why Mail Online comments on climate change would not be a representative sampling. That you went on to misconstrue my comment is only deepening your display of confirmation bias.

        How long will this continue? How deep can you go, Chief?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        You could be right Josh – my reaction to the Mail comments was that it was all superficial claptrap. The mean of superficial claptrap is superficial claptrap. It happens to be the mean of your comments as well. You must be representative of public opinion on climate science. Not much actual science involved.

        I am reading this at the moment – hardly The Iliad or Don Quixote (both of which I followed recently as audio books) – but interesting.

        ‘Arctic sea-ice extent and volume are declining rapidly. Several studies project that the Arctic Ocean may become seasonally ice-free by the year 2040 or even earlier. Putting this into perspective requires information
        on the history of Arctic sea-ice conditions through the geologic past. This information can be provided by proxy records from the Arctic Ocean floor and from the surrounding coasts. Although existing records are far from complete, they indicate that sea ice became a feature of the Arctic by 47 Ma, following a pronounced decline in atmospheric pCO2 after the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Optimum, and consistently covered at
        least part of the Arctic Ocean for no less than the last 13–14 million years. Ice was apparently most widespread during the last 2–3 million years, in accordance with Earth’s overall cooler climate. Nevertheless,
        episodes of considerably reduced sea ice or even seasonally ice-free conditions occurred during warmer periods linked to orbital variations. The last low-ice event related to orbital forcing (high insolation) was in
        the early Holocene, after which the northern high latitudes cooled overall, with some superimposed shorter term (multidecadal to millennial-scale) and lower-magnitude variability. The current reduction in Arctic ice
        cover started in the late 19th century, consistent with the rapidly warming climate, and became very pronounced over the last three decades. This ice loss appears to be unmatched over at least the last few thousand years and unexplainable by any of the known natural variabilities.’

        I have little basis for disputing any of this – although it may be difficult to continue arguing that the pause is a known natural variability.

        So actually knowing something by studying over decades – building a big picture in as far as any of us can and as a conscientious natural philosopher should – is elitist and condescending?

        Joshua – find something serious and relevant to do.

      • Wow. That’s impressive, Doc. Too bad it doesn’t prevent you from engaging in “skeptical” (as opposed to skeptical) reasoning.

        Nice appeal to self-authority, though. Very impressive.

      • The people I agree with on climate science tend to be world class climate scientists. But the general public is another country. I am always surprised and usually disappointed by what the general public write in blog comments.

        Ah. I see the problem now.

        Your condescension and elitism means that you don’t understand the context well enough to see that Mail Online commenters don’t represent the freakin’ general public (and thus, those Mail Online comments don’t represent the views of the general public).

        It’s rather confusing why you don’t realize that, since it should be perfectly obvious that Mail Online commenters on climate articles are outliers of outliers. But hey, maybe from your pinnacle on high it is difficult to see the obvious – it’s such along way down, eh? Must be tough being so isolated in your community of “wold class climate scientists.”

        Good god, man – you really might consider taking yourself just a smidgeon less seriously.

      • I mean seriously, Doc. On-line commenters reflect an extremely selective sample of public opinion. How could a scientist possibly think that it provides a representative sample of public opinion?

        I know that you feel that skeptical comments on an Internet site should be representative of public opinion, but what would explain why someone with an extensive background in empirical analysis could make such a fallacious conclusion?

        IMO, motivated reasoning is the most likely explanation. What would your explanation be?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I had occasion to visit WUWT. Not something I do often. The comments were largely from the usual suspects who must really go from climate blog to climate blog. Joshua obviously has a collection of sites where he makes essentially the same complaint again and again. The Mail at least attracted a wider clientele.

        The proposition that one can’t get an impression of the wider state of the debate from blog comments is erroneous. It gives a more in depth understanding of the understanding of the most motivated bloggers. It may be a limited sample but is a valid technique for sampling opinion. More of a self selected focus group than a survey – with attendant strengths and weaknesses.

        It is a safe assumption as well that the understanding of the rest of the population is even more limited. It is much more obvious that peoples attitudes to climate change are influenced by weather primarily. Storms, drought and the simple surface warming metric. The latter has paused for a decade and is very likely (99-100%) to pause for another decade at least.

        I have warned space cadets for nearly a decade that the pause is the biggest political risk for progress on mitigation and not sceptics. Doesn’t seem to sink in. They are soldiers unaware that their side has lost the war.

        I suggest Joshua that you do something positive instead – come back with a range of no regrets actions or stop bothering us with your idiotic quibbles.

  69. “been scientifically proven”

    Like AGW.


  70. Gary Pearse

    Judith, I have mentioned this aspect of the “plateaux” that are evident over the past century or so in other threads on WUWT posing the following:

    If global warming has inexorably taken us into record levels, largely since 1950s, and natural variation has masked the temperature ascent, then the global warming signal in the pauses would show itself in the differences in slopes of more recent the pauses (either a reduced negative slope or slight positive slope. If the slopes of all of them are about the same, then CO2 has been largely neutralized as a factor. There is, of course, the question of continual adjustments in the temperature record seemingly having a warming bias. But since they are cooling the past and warming the present – I describe this as the thumb-tack-in40s adjustment – the difference should still be measurable.

    • If, say 15 years ago, the ‘climate scientists’ and modelers had stated that it was entirely possible for there to be a 15 year period of no rise in temperature and yet also be a Climate Sensitivity of 2x[CO2] >3, then they would not be held in such contempt.
      The models are falsified, by reality, by any normal statistical analysis. If the error distribution of model minus reality is not the same in the hindcast as in the forecast, then you have a fitting, not a modeling, program.

  71. Judith Curry

    As I read it the Met Office blurb can be summarized as follows”

    – there has been a climate shift in atmospheric temperature since 2001
    – upper ocean heat uptake has declined since around 2003
    – no measurements exist of exchange between upper and deep ocean
    – “pause” in warming of up to 16 years is not considered “unusual”
    – we do not know reason for current “pause”
    – current “pause” similar to 1940-1970 period of slight cooling
    – models still project that GH warming will resume with some delay
    – no need to revise 2xCO2 climate sensitivity estimates of models



  72. The recent pause in global surface temperature rise does not, in itself, materially alter the risks of substantial warming of the Earth by the end of this century.

    – UK Met Office

    They got that one right.

    There is no “risk of substantial anthropogenic warming of the Earth by the end of this century” today.

    And there never was.


  73. Pity that there’s no statistically significant pause in any global temperature record.

    Just saying that’s a pity.

    • ozzieostrich


      Do you really believe that anyone, anywhere, anytime, has actually measured this “surface temperature” so beloved of the Climatology cultists?

      If you do, I am sure you would be able to define this marvellous ” surface”.

      If you are just parroting specious nonsense, I am sure you won’t be able to define the above mentioned “surface”, but will instead retreat into the usual evasive diversionary tactics of those who live in the twilight zone.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • lolwot, anthropogenic CO2 input is at the record level, where’s the beef?

    • Chief Hydrologist

      ‘Global mean surface temperatures rose rapidly from the 1970s, but there has been little further warming over the most recent 10 to 15 years to 2013. This has prompted speculation that human induced global warming is no longer happening, or at least will be much smaller than predicted. Others maintain that this is a temporary pause and that temperatures will again rise at rates seen previously.’

      I would say 10 years – from the 1998/2001 climate shift an very likely (99-100%) to persist for another 10 years at least. Natural variability caused most warming in the 1976-1998 period and has kicked into a cool mode.

    • lolwot, it has long been known

      “Don’t eat the brown acid!”

      you are just getting flash-backs. Take some orange juice and dim the lights; then have a look

    • lolwot

      Pity that there is no statistical difference between the early 20th C warming period (prior to much human GHG) and the late 20th C warming period (blamed by team climatologists on human GHGs).

      Just saying that that’s a pity.


      • Max, I asked a different question, which you didn’t answer.

        And Phil Jones did not say the trends were statistically indistinguishable, he said;

        “So, in answer to the question, the warming rates for all 4 periods are similar and not statistically significantly different from each other. “

      • Bob Droege

        The early-20th C warming was 0.53°C (see Delworth & Knutson, 2000).

        The late-20th C warming was 0.5°C (HadCRUT4).

        Phil Jones has stated that the two periods are “statistically indistinguishable”.


      • Max,
        It peaked at 0.4 C higher for the later period, so how many joules difference?

  74. 200 comments for a warmist[s] to appear. and 300 for me. Well done Josh and LOLWOT . Must have been hard coming up with your comments on the article and not the man.
    Comment, doesn’t the ocean get cooler as it gets deeper??
    How desperate can you be to claim the heat is hiding where you cannot measure it accurately. Then claim it has doubled.
    [Oops, if you could measure it accurately it wouldn’t be hiding , would it!!]


      Just sayin’

      But love how you play the ball, not the man.

    • ozzieostrich


      Some of these commenters cling to the caloric theory of heat, obviously. They forget that even caloric fluid was supposed to flow spontaneously from warmer to cooler bodies.

      As you point out, the ocean gets cooler as it gets deeper (basic EMR/matter interaction physics). Even supporters of caloric would look askance at anyone who suggested their “subtle fluid” would seek out the depths of the Ocean, rather than basking in the comparative warmth of the surface.

      “Heat” – a meaningless term as used by the Cult of Climatology acolytes – is as much a substance as phlogiston, or the luminiferous ether.

      The Climatologists suffer from collective infectious delusional psychosis, and cleave tenaciously to the delusion that you can increase the temperature of an object by surrounding it with CO2. Of course, they cannot demonstrate this “greenhouse effect” physically.

      All you get is shrill, incessant shrieking – as befits those who reject reality, and choose to live in their own world of fantasy.

      I am a little surprised that the charade has endured for so long.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

      • It is hard for me to understand “specious rationalization”, so glad to see that you agree with me AK. Roll my eyes.

      • I do…

        Some specious rationalization for his motivated belief that the greenhouse effect doesn’t exist. About on a par with your specious rationalizations for your motivated belief that weather doesn’t exist.

      • Flynn, Did you get a science education during the Victorian era?

        No one has a clue what you are rambling on about. Just so you know, as a lack of self-awareness is a common trait of the scientifically challenged.

  75. the ”missing heat” is gone to Venus, unless the dog eat it…?

  76. This calls for a fleet of ARGO floats that seek heat.

  77. How ever will we avoid the dire effects of Climate Strange??

  78. Climate pause deniers!

  79. “Alexander Biggs: may be just a rerun of the first (1940 to 1970).”


    Sorry, my mistake.

    Obviosly the period 1940 to 1970 was a period of falling temperature, not rising. What I meant was the first period of rising temperature was 1910 to 1940. and it was from this period that heat was transfered to the S hemisphere.

  80. The last days of the AGW Cargo Cult. Good for science.

  81. Pingback: Part 1 – Comments on the UKMO Report about “The Recent Pause in Global Warming” | Bob Tisdale – Climate Observations

  82. Pingback: Part 1 – Comments on the UKMO Report about “The Recent Pause in Global Warming” | Watts Up With That?

  83. And the prof this of hidden ocean heat is ? , virtual nothing but models , while the amount of measurement they do have is like taken one grain of sand of a 10 mile long beach and claiming from that is all you need to know all about the beach in total .

    This area as so many basic science failures you can only concluded that for many of its participates there is standard at all set for their own work , not even that expected of high school student.

    The need for such ‘hidden heat’ is because they simply cannot accept their basic premise is wrong , like a crack addicted they to find anything to justify their actions and reality as nothing to do with it .

    • “And the prof this of hidden ocean heat is ? virtual nothing but models”

      There is the models yes and that is quite compelling in itself.

      But there’s also the ARGO ocean heat data that shows heat gain below 700m.

      And to top it off there’s the continuing sea level rise that strongly suggests the oceans are still gaining heat.

      Now you can dismiss any one of those if you want, and that is what skeptics tend to do. But it’s rather absurd to dismiss all three, let alone pretend that there’s no evidence.

      The evidence seems quite favorably weighted towards the oceans continuing to gain heat. It’s the skeptic view that the oceans might be gaining no heat at all which defies what is currently known.

    • “expected of high school student”

      Considering your inability to write, perhaps you should consider getting a GED yourself.

      And to think that you compare dedicated scientists to crack addicts …..

  84. A basic question for me is how is a “pause” defined?

    If I knew that, then I could take a position on whether or not I deny that it exists.

    Since I have already taken the position that recent 16 year trends do not exclude zero trends, but they also do not exclude trends over 0.2/decade (5 of 8) and 0.14/decade (3 of 8)

    Since I am asking, I will give my own definition of a Pause: The trends upper bounds must be less than 0.05 per decade, so the period from 1940 to 1970 qualifies by GISS, but the current one does not.
    (5 of 6)

    • My view is that the following two questions should be kept separate:

      – Has there been a pause?

      – Has there been a pause that is significant in the way that it changes qualitatively our conclusions concerning the warming trend?

      You seem to discuss the second question, while the question on the existence of a pause is the first one.

      It’s also important to restrict the second question to qualitative changes in perception because any new observation that deviates even little from the average expectations has a quantitative influence on conclusions.

      For the first question I would answer positively as soon as a period of no warming has been observed. Then we can add descriptive parameters to the observation like the length of such a period.

      • You got me thinking Pekka. If CO2 is driving warming, then we should be able to see the ‘natural variation’ with graphology.
        Here is the natural log of the Keeling curve and the Sea Surface Temperature Anomoly, from 1958 to April this year.
        I moved the CO2 curve by two months as it gives a better fit.

        Now, from a plot of Ln([CO2] ppm) vs. Temp I can get the ‘average’ effect of Ln([CO2] ppm) on the SST. I then removed the fitted Ln([CO2] ppm) contribution from the SST to give me the ‘natural variation’.

        Now with all that CO2 global warming we have had 0.7 degrees of cooling per century. If we get rid of the CO2 driven inferno, then we note that ‘natural variability’ is running at minus 1.96 degrees per century.

        Now that is some ‘natural variability’.

      • The effects may be hard to separate from each other ever over longer periods, but whether they are or not, shorter term variability in CO2 concentration does certainly not have noticeable influence on temperature. It cannot lead correlations between concentration and temperature, but other factors that influence both the temperature and the CO2 concentration do cause such correlations, most notably ENSO.

      • Of course we have the well known levels that separate differently behaving parts of the atmosphere, but your envelopes seem to be something more.

        What do you mean by the following statement:

        If there was no atmospheric effect, then 99% of the atmosphere would be contained in the first 11.2 kilometers.

        The density profile of the atmosphere is given by the barometric formula corrected for the influence of varying temperature on the density. (In other words it’s determined by the hydrostatic equations and . No additional “atmospheric effect” has any significant influence on that (I dare to say that although I have no idea of what the “atmospheric effect” is).

        The value of 99% is total nonsense, the right value is close to 20% without any “atmospheric effect”.

        Tropopause exists because radiative heat transfer alone can transfer sufficiently heat to maintain the energy balance above that altitude without need for convection. Within the troposphere convective energy transfer is one essential component in reaching the balance.

        Energy transfer is balanced at every altitude. Thus stratopause cannot exist based on that. It’s existence is due a change in the relative strengths of warming by absorption of solar radiation (mostly UV by ozone) as cooling by emission of IR by CO2.

        Turbopause is the upper limit of the dominance of turbulent mixing. Above that the gas is so rare that diffusion takes over as the dominant mechanism for mixing leading to different mass dependent density profiles for each molecule.

        I still haven’t seen any reason to take your discussion of envelopes seriously. What you have written above makes me even more certain that you don’t really know what you are talking about.

      • Pekka, “The influence is small in one year or even 10 years, but when the same forcing persists for many decades, the effect builds gradually up.”

        What builds up gradually is the redistribution and increase in stored energy in the oceans, ice sheet reduction, etc. Natural variability changes the distribution, energy stored and ice/snow area. Kinda hard to separate on from the other.

      • There’s nothing odd in that. The influence of CO2 is as large as it is, because it’s a persistent change in energy balance. The influence is small in one year or even 10 years, but when the same forcing persists for many decades, the effect builds gradually up.

        Variability on time scales less than 10-20 years will never lead to buildup that’s really noticeable.

      • The natural variability makes it more difficult to interpret empirical observations of temperature and other climatic variables. Much more information is obtained on short term variability than on slow processes like global warming. Due to multidecadal variability no observations tell only on AGW.

        CO2 forcing is not directly influenced by surface temperature to a significant extent, but changes in clouds cover and water vapor concentration have a little more influence on it. All climatic variability does, however, affect the energy balance and thus adds to or subtracts from the CO2 forcing.

      • Pekka, ” It cannot lead correlations between concentration and temperature, but other factors that influence both the temperature and the CO2 concentration do cause such correlations, most notably ENSO.”

        Right, CO2 forcing is dependent on surface temperature, among other things. You have the same ln(2) relationship for both, so if you attempt to “remove” ENSO, Solar etc., you have to “remove” the amplification due to the natural variability. That amplification doesn’t seem to register with the warmista faithful.

      • Pekka, “CO2 forcing is not directly influenced by surface temperature to a significant extent,”


      • I’ve tried to explain Pekka’s point with my coin-flip analogy a couple of times. It may be sinking in, even among the UMs, as authorities such as the Met Office discuss the pause in public.

      • Pekka, “What I have understood from your comments seems to give those envelopes properties that are not true for the real atmosphere.”

        The layers and envelops exist because of their properties, I didn’t give them anything. If there was no atmospheric effect, then 99% of the atmosphere would be contained in the first 11.2 kilometers. The layers exist because of the atmospheric effects. The Turbopause exists because that is where turbulence effectively ends. The stratopause exits because energy transfer above and below are balanced. The inversion from the tropopause to the stratopause exists because energy is being absorbed due to solar SW interaction. All I am doing is observing what is actually happening.

        The envelops are nothing more than thermodynamic boundary “shells”. If they were all isothermal and did not intersect the surface, you could treat them as the models do, but they are not, you have to consider their relative areas.

        Or you can force fit the real world to theory.

      • DocMartyn,

        CO2 affects the temperature on the time scale of decades. It’s not expected that anything that happens on the scale of months or even a few years is visible. Other factors dominate all short term variability up to a decade or two.

        The logarithm of CO2-concentration has gone up by approx. 0.36 since pre-industrial time. That corresponds to a forcing of 0.36/0.693*3.4 = 1.8 W/m^2. The standard view is that about half of that is cancelled by the warming that has occurred so far. Thus the present warming trend corresponds to a deviation of roughly 60 ppm between the actual CO2 concentration and that which would keep the temperature at the present level. Any variability in CO2 concentration should be compared to 60 ppm and anything much less than 60 cannot be observable as the natural variability is strong enough to compete with 60 ppm.

        Any analysis that’s based on details of CO2 concentration at the level well below 60 ppm is likely to give random results that tell nothing about the influence of CO2 on the climate.

      • There are altitude profiles, but i don’t believe that anything like your envelopes do exist. What I have understood from your comments seems to give those envelopes properties that are not true for the real atmosphere.

      • “Pekka Pirilä to DocMartyn,

        CO2 affects the temperature on the time scale of decades. ”

        Odd that, you where I live sunrise affects the temperature in the order of minutes. The axial tilt means that summer is warmer than winter. I have been lucky enough to observe two total solar eclipse’s, in both cases the temperature dropped as soon as the moon began blocking the suns rays.
        However, for some reason, even though we can observe a difference in the steady state temperature of two locals that have a latitude difference amounting to <2W/m2, you have a decades long lag in the effect of CO2 induced changes in back radiation. Odd that.

      • Pekka, “How?”

        The 5.35 in the dF(2xCO2)=5.35lin(Cf/Co) is based on a source and sink temperature/energy that assumes that an “Effective Radiant Layer” can be used to “average” the change in forcing. Since water vapor is not well mixed, that is a dangerous assumption. Regional “sensitivity” at the “surface” is dependent on surface temperature and the water vapor portion of the GHE first. The dry portion of the GHE surrounds this water vapor “envelope”.

        You mentioned before you don’t think in terms of “envelopes”, but that is going to be pretty much required in the near future, H2O GHE versus WMGHG effect.

  85. Bill
    Bob Droege wrote

    A basic question for me is how is a “pause” defined?

    Stock market technicians try to predict the future performance of a stock by looking at it’s chart (time series). A stock is in an uptrend if highs and lows (mathematically, local maxima and local minima ) are followed by recent higher highs and lows. One can draw lines through the highs and lows, and if the lines are more or less parallel, we say the stock is in an uptrend. In the above case the slope of the lines is positive. Similarily the stock is in a downtrend if the lines have negative slope. I guess a pause, from a stock market technician’s point of view is the stock is not in an uptrend nor a downtrend. Much depends on the starting point of the chart and what are the highs and lows should be omitted, i.e. there is much in the eyes of the beholder. However most technicians agree on whether one is in an uptrend or downtrend if the evidence is strong enough.

    I don’t think there is room for disagreement by just looking at the temperature time series. But unlike technical analysis, there is something else here. Models predict increasing temperature with increasing CO2 emissions. CO2 emissions have been increasing so it looks like the models may be wrong.


    • Looking at the various temperature series like a stock technician, I find the
      local maxima and minima to still look to be trending up for the most part. So I would rate the various indices from at least a hold for a few, most a moderate buy, and one or two a strong buy.
      The models may be wrong, especially with respect to getting the phases of ENSO and the other oscillations correct, imagine if your stock market model had you buying at thelocal maxima and selling at the local minima, when the overall hold strategy would still have had you ahead.

      • Ooops

        I meant to say “I think there is room for room for disagreement and not the opposite. Sorry


  86. Pope’s Climate Theory (very short version)

    The sun warms the earth. Light comes in. Some light is reflected back into space. Green house gases and water in clouds radiate heat away from earth and cool the earth. Cooling by radiation has always cooled the earth. Water Vapor and Clouds most likely account for ninety some percent of the cooling. CO2 does a small fraction.

    Look at the Paleo Data. Radiation cooling is sloppy. It does not have a set point and it does not have narrow bounds. CO2 is a trace gas and a fraction change of CO2 will make small changes to the sloppy radiation cooling.

    The temperature of earth has gotten more tightly bounded over many years and the most recent years has seen the bounds get within plus or minus one degree C, most of the time, and within plus or minus two degrees C, all of the time for the most recent ten thousand years.

    Radiation cooling does not have a set point and could not have done this.

    What has changed? The continents drifted the ocean currents evolved and polar ice developed.

    Ice and Water have a SET POINT. When oceans are warm and wet it snows more and does keep earth from getting too hot. When oceans are cold and frozen it does not snow much and the sun keeps the earth from getting too cold.

    It is just like a house in Houston. We could live without Air Conditioning, radiation would keep us in a livable range, but with a small amount of energy we can turn the Air Conditioning on to keep us from getting too hot and we can turn off the air conditioning off when we are cool enough.

    Earth does exactly that. It turns on the snowfall when oceans are warm and wet and it turns off the snowfall when oceans are cold and frozen.

    The temperature that Polar Water Freezes and Thaws is the Thermostat for Earth. Small changes in albedo can determine if we head toward a Medieval Warm Period or toward a Little Ice Age and keep us inside those bounds.

    Radiation does the most of the cooling for Earth, but it lacks a set point.
    Ice and water does have a set point. Find another Forcing with a Set Point.
    I keep throwing this challenge out and NO One, Ever, Even Tries.

  87. This all really exposes the just so nature of some of climate science. We have internal variability which is poorly understood mechanistically and poorly quantified. Aerosols that again aren’t fully understood mechanistically and badly observed. As well as other forcings and feedback. Each one is wheeled out at different times to explain unexpected observations and at other times are completely forgotten when the aim is to tell a clear story about GHGs. So we seem to have

    1 1910-1940 that warmed more rapidly than expected from forcing. As Ed Hawkins on his blog commented it could be solar, lack of volcanoes, internal variability or GHGs
    2) 1940-1970 that didn’t warm fast enough, maybe it’s aerosols, maybe not.
    3) 1970s-end of 1990’s. Certainty that it was GHGs. At least no other mechanism needs to be evoked to explain things
    4) 2000ish-present a pause that might be aerosol,, climate variability, something else or a mixture of any.

    The really horrible part is the certainty of 3) amidst so much unknown. We seemingly have poorly observed, poorly understood and poorly quantified processes that can at least be as large as the GHG forcing (given they seem to be fully masking the ongoing GHG forcing in present Pause). Yet we can have what seems to be highly level of certainty about attributing warming at the end of the 20th century.

    It just horrifies me. Either I’m seriously missing something in climate science or this is all just badly observed, badly controlled and badly understood best guessing.

  88. “this is all just badly observed, badly controlled and badly understood best guessing.”

    I think you are giving too much credit there.

    • Yep, wasn’t the best guess at all. The butcher had his thumb on the scales. There are fish in the milk.

      • There , from Faustino and kim are a coupla’ responses ter yer conclusion HR. .And spot on they concernin’ that old black magic
        of predictin’ fuchur climate, (or even the weather next week.)
        A serf.

  89. I will take the papers one by one. I quote below what the observations are supposed to show according to the executive summary of Paper 1:

    “A wide range of climate quantities continue to show changes. For instance, we have observed a continued decline in Arctic sea ice and a rise in global sea level. These changes are consistent with our understanding of how the climate system responds to increasing atmospheric greenhouse gases.
    • Global mean surface temperatures remain high, with the last decade being the warmest on record.
    • Although the rate of surface warming appears to have slowed considerably over the most recent decade, such slowing for a decade or so has been seen in the past in observations and is simulated in climate models, where they are temporary events.

    Judy finds inconsistencies among various claims in this paper. I find outright lies and ignorance. Lets take their first point. They claim that the behavior of Arctic sea ice and global sea level are are responses to increase of atmospheric greenhouse gases. These are two assertions with no scientific support whatsoever. Take the Arctic sea ice. It has been going down year by year cecause the Arctic is warming. What they either don’t know or simply want to hide is the fact that Arctic warming is not greenhouse warming [1]. It started suddenly at the turn of the twentieth century, after two thousand years of slow cooling. It paused in mid-century for thrty years, then resumed, and is still going strong. There was no increase of atmospheric carbon dioxide at the turn of the century and this rules out greenhouse warming as its cause. Laws of physics simply do not allow this. It is likely that a relatively sudden rearrangement of the North Atlantic current system started to carry warm Gulf Stream water into the Arctic Ocean at the turn of the century. The mid-century pause of warming can be interpreted as a temporary return of the original flow pattern of currents. By 2010 the temperature of currents reaching the Arctic exceeded anything observed for the last two thousand years. And thanks to this steady source of warmth the Arctic today is the only part of the world that is still warming. Next, sea level rise is claimed to be caused by greenhouse gases. There is absolutely no evidence that this is true. It is likely that melting of glaciers since the end of the Little Ice Age and thermal expansion of the ocean water are the only factors involved. The most reliable data on sea level rise come from Chao, Yu, and Li [2]. They corrected available sea level data for the effect of water held in storage by 29,484 reservoirs built since 1900. When these corrections were applied sea level curve became linear for 80 years, with a slope of 2.46 mm per year. This is 24.6 cm or just under 10 inches per century. It came out in 2008 at a time when luminaries like Al Gore and James Hansen were still sticking to 20 foot sea level rise predictions. During these 80 years atmospheric carbon dioxide steadily increased but there is no trace of its influence on sea level during this period. The second point of the executive summary is about surface temperature remaining high, with the last decade being the warmest on record. They even demonstrate this triumphantly in figure 5. Again, we are dealing with an ignorance of the global temperature history and what the observations mean. I will combine it with response to the third point that talks about slowing of surface temperature rise. First, the most reliable data on global temperature come from satellite obsevations. They start in 1979, so let’s walk it through. The beginning of the curve, from 1979 to early 1997, is taken up by a series of ENSO oscillations. There are five El Nino peaks and four La Nina valleyes there with an average peak height of 0.5 degrees Celsius. They form a somewhat distorted wave train. The mean temperature of such an oscillation is determined by the midpoint of a line connecting a peak and its adjacent valley. If this were a perfect harmonic oscillations the midpoints would line up in a perfectly straight line. The actual line we get by connecting the dots has some random kinks in it but it is recognizably a straight line. It tells us that there was no warming for the eighteen year period of this line. Unfortunately all ground-based temperature curves, those that are part of this trilogy included, show this period as a steady warming called the “late twentieth century warming.” I recognized it as a fake and said so when my book [3] came out. Nothing happened until last fall when suddenly GISTEMP, HadCRUT, and NCDC all decided to get rid of this fake warming and align their eighties and nineties with satellite data. It was done secretly and no reason was given. I consider this concerted action as tantamount to an admission that they knew this warming was fake. This clears the way for constructing an accurate satellite temperature curve. Start out with an eighteen year temperature standstill from 1979. Add to it the present 21st century standstill. This leaves you with only a small window between these two. This window gets filled with the super El Nino of 1998 and its step warming. Which leaves no period free since 1979 that could be called greenhouse warming! That means no greenhouse warming for the last 34 tears and counting. The step warming was created by the large amount of warm water the super El Nino carried across the ocean. You may not know about it because its presence was covered up by the phony late twentieth century warming. It started immediately after the super El Nino was finished, raised global temperature by a third of a degree Celsius, and was finished by 2001. Some people include the super El Nino as part of the hiatus but if you want to be accurate about dates then 2001 is the start date of the current warm period initiated by the step warming. The initial warming was followed by a seven year flat temperature plateau I named the twenty-first century high. It was followed by the La Nina of 2008 and further down the line by the El Nino of 2010. The midpoint between these two lines up perfectly with the twenty-first century high. The step warming has the further consequence that all twenty-first century years are warmer than twentieth century years. That is what their second point is about. The warmth of the twenty-first century was created by the step warming that has an oceanic origin and has nothing to do with carbon dioxide as they would like to be able to say. The last argument is of course nonsense, first because a real pause did occur in the eighties and nineties which they got wrong and secondly they are quite wrong to claim that simulations predicted the pause. When they saw the pause happen they simply wrote some code to show they can do it but doing it after the fact simply does not count.
    Paper 2 is filled with nonsense and really should be ignored. But I want to react to this statement:
    “Radiative forcing by greenhouse gases has continued unabated; that heat is being held in the system but is not manifest as a rise in global mean surface temperature.
    Observations of ocean heat content and of sea-level rise suggest that this additional heat has been absorbed in the ocean.”
    Yay, verily, into Davy Jones locker. Let’s see what this claim entails. They say radiative forcing continues unabated. Well, unabated means at the same speed as it was going before which from current observation turns out to be zero speed. Global warming, we were told, was caused by the capture of OLR by atmospheric carbon dioxide and conversion of its energy to heat. But now we are told instead that while OLR is captured unabatedly it just turns around and makes a bee line for the ocean bottom. Hiding in the ocean really is a WOW method of not warming the world. And at what point did OLR change its preference from warming the air to diving into the ocean? Someone should get a Nobel Prize for it. Or, if not, I think it would qualify even better for an Ig Nobel Prize.
    Paper 3 tries to keep hope alive that future warming is coming. They redefine TCR and ECS to make them more useful for predictions. Here is what they say about CMIP5: ” When projections from the newer CMIP5 models are combined with observations, and specifically including the surface temperatures from the last 10 years, the upper bound of projections of warming are slightly reduced, but the lower bound is largely unchanged. More importantly, the most likely warming is reduced by only 10%, indicating that the warming that we might previously have expected by 2050 would be delayed by only a few years.” In other words, not to worry, warming will be only slightly delayed. This of course is complete asininity. I looked at the CMIP5 in figure 3. It shows a HadCRUT4 background which still features the late twentieth century warming and does not show the twenty-first century standstill. And this is used to project a laughable bouquet of projected warmings, said to be with 95 percent confidence limits. Its about as useless as they can get. Finally, before closing, , I did find something positive. Figure 7 of Paper 1 is a comparison of various temperature curves and one of them happens to be Arctic air temperature. It shows shows a sharp early twentieth temperature rise until 1940, a sharp decline until about 1970, and another a sharp rise after that.When I wrote my Arctic paper I determined that the cooling between 1940 and 1970 proceeded at the rate of 0.3 degrees per decade. And darn it, my cooling is the same as this one from a completely different source.
    [1] Arno Arrak, “Arctic warming is not greenhousecwarming” E&E 22(8):1069-1083 (2011)
    [2] B. F. Chao, Y. H. Yu, and Y. S. Li, (Science April 11th 2008)
    [3] Arno Arrak, “What Warming? Satellite view of global temperature change (CreateSpace 2010)

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