Pause politics

by Judith Curry

U.S. and European Union envoys are seeking more clarity from the United Nations on a slowdown in global warming that climate skeptics have cited as a reason not to “panic” about environmental changes, leaked documents show.

Bloomberg has an article entitled Global Warming Slowdown Sought in UN Climate Report.  Excerpts:

Government envoys from around the world will debate the final wording of the summary at an IPCC meeting that starts in Stockholm on Sept. 23. That document, formally the Summary for Policymakers, is designed to be used by ministers working to devise by 2015 a global treaty to curb climate change.

The current version of the summary needs more information about the hiatus, according to the EU and the U.S.

“The recent slowing of the temperature trend is currently a key issue, yet it has not been adequately addressed in the SPM,” the EU said, according to an official paper that includes all governmental comments on the draft report. The U.S. comment suggested “adding information on recent hiatus in global mean air temperature trend.”

The draft report includes possible reasons for the slowing rate, including natural variability, volcanic eruptions and a drop in solar energy reaching the Earth.

“Much of the information is present but it requires a lot of effort on the part of the reader to piece it all together,” the 28-nation EU said in the comments document.

The U.S. requested clarity on the implications of the data, commenting “this is an example of providing a bunch of numbers, then leave them up in the air without a concrete conclusion.”

Norway, Denmark and China requested information on the role oceans have played in the slowdown. China cited three scientific papers, including a study in the journal Geophysical Research Letters in May that found deep ocean waters below 700 meters (2,300 feet) haveabsorbed more heat since 1999.

A separate study in the journal Nature Aug. 28 linked the hiatus to a cooling of surface waters in the eastern Pacific. The cut-off date for papers to be considered in the UN report was March 15.

The UN World Meteorological Organization defines climate as the average weather over a 30-year period, and scientists say the 15-year slowdown isn’t long enough to mark a trend. Hungary and Germany, both EU members, cited this as a reason to delete any reference to the hiatus in the summary, while Japan questioned the purpose of using a 15-year average.

“A 15-years period of observation is not sufficient to give a qualified analysis of the global mean surface temperature trend in an assessment of climate change,” Germany said. It also said the use of the word “hiatus” is “strongly misleading” because “there is not a pause or interruption, but a decrease in the warming trend.”

Bob Ward’s take

Some quotes from Bob Ward in the Bloomberg article:

Including more information on the hiatus will help officials counter arguments that the slowing pace of global warming in recent years is a sign that the long-term trend may be discounted, according to Bob Ward, policy director at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics.

“In the public debate, there are people who are using the slowdown to say global warming is less of a problem than thought,” Ward said in an interview yesterday. “It has to be fully explained in the summary.”

Addressing the hiatus is important because skeptics of man’s influence on warming the planet have seized on the slowing pace temperature increase as evidence that scientists have exaggerated the impact of manmade greenhouse gases. That supports their assertion that there’s less need for expensive policies to curb carbon emissions from factories, vehicles and deforestation.

“Some people have suggested that the slowdown means that climate sensitivity is lower,” said Ward from the Grantham Institute.

JC’s take

Well, I’ve looked at the leaked AR5 material and I am holding off judgment until I see what they come up with in the final Summary for Policy Makers.  But the ‘sausage making’ in all  this is rather mind boggling.

It is of course absolutely essential for IPCC’s credibility to handle the issue of the pause in a comprehensive way, including implications of this for detection, attribution, and sensitivity.  The pause is currently the predominant issue in the public debate on climate change, and has been for arguably over a year.

Some policy makers may want this issue addressed so that they can effectively counter ‘denier’ claims; others may be more suspicious of the IPCC and want to see the IPCC justify its conclusions and confidence levels in view of the pause.

As an example to the IPCC of what tackling the pause looks like, see the evidence and arguments presented in my recent Congressional Testimony:

Relevant excerpts from my testimony (see original for references and figures):

Figure 1 shows a long-term increasing trend, and particularly during the last 25 years of the 20th century. However, since 1998 there has been no statistically significant increase in global surface temperature. While many engaged in the public discourse on this topic dismiss the significance of a hiatus in increasing global temperatures because of expected variations associated with natural variability, analyses of climate model simulations find very unlikely a plateau or period of cooling that extends beyond 17 years in the presence of human-induced global warming.  

James Hansen has recently written: “The five-year mean global temperature has been flat for the last decade.” Hansen interprets this as “a combination of natural variability and a slow down in the growth rate of net climate forcing.” Hansen then suggests that “global temperature will rise significantly in the next few years as the tropics moves inevitably to the next El Nino phase.” Others have suggested that the pause could last up to two decades or even longer, owing to the transition to the cool phase of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation that is associated with a predominance of La Nina (cool) events.

The fifth phase of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) has produced a multi-model dataset that includes long-term simulations of twentieth-century climate and projections for the twenty-first century and beyond, as well as an entirely new suite of initialized decadal predictions focusing on recent decades and the future to year 2035. While providing the underlying basis for the forthcoming IPCC AR5, the CMIP5 model output has been made freely available to researchers through a distributed data archive. An analysis provided by Ed Hawkins at the University of Reading compares the global average surface temperatures from the HadCRUT4 dataset with 20 models from the CMIP5 simulations (Figure 3).

The comparison in Figure 3 shows that observations particularly since 2005 are on the low end of the envelope that contains 90% of the climate model simulations. Extrapolation of the current flat trend would place the observations outside of the 90% envelope within a few years. While the observations remain within the substantial range of the climate model simulations, the trend in the model simulations is substantially larger than the observed trend over the past 15 years.

When considering possible physical reasons for the plateau since 1998, it is instructive to consider the previous mid-century plateau in global average surface temperature (Figure 1). The IPCC AR4 explained this previous plateau in the following way: “the cooling effects of sulphate aerosols may account for some of the lack of observational warming between 1950 and 1970, despite increasing greenhouse gas concentrations.” And “variations in the Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation could account for up to 0.2oC peak-to-trough variability in NH mean decadal temperature.”

Recent research on the impact of aerosols on radiative forcing of the climate has demonstrated that the overall cooling from aerosols is less than previously thought owing to a larger role for black carbon aerosols that have a net warming effect on climate.

With regards to multi-decadal natural internal variability, previous IPCC reports consider this issue primarily in context of detection of an anthropogenic warming signal above the background ‘noise’ of natural variability. The IPCC’s attribution of the late 20th century warming has focused on external radiative forcing, and no explicit estimate of the contribution of natural internal variability to the warming was made. A recent paper by Tung and Zhou suggests that the anthropogenic global warming trends might have been overestimated by a factor of two in the second half of the 20th century. They argue that a natural multidecadal oscillation of an average period of 70 years with significant amplitude of 0.3–0.4°C is superimposed on the secular warming trend, which accounts for 40% of the observed warming since the mid-20th century. Tung and Zhou identify this oscillation with the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO), although recent research suggests a more complex multidecadal signal propagating through a network of synchronized climate indices. Tung and Zhou argue that not taking the AMO into account in predictions of future warming under various forcing scenarios may run the risk of over-estimating the warming for the next two to three decades, when the AMO is likely in its down phase.

The recent research on natural internal variability and black carbon aerosols, combined with ongoing plateau in global average surface temperature, suggests that the AR4 estimates of climate sensitivity to doubling CO2 may be too high, with implications for the attribution of late 20th century warming and projections of 21st century warming.  The IPCC AR4 conclusion on climate sensitivity is stated as:

“The equilibrium climate sensitivity. . . is likely to be in the range 2oC to 4.5oC with a best estimate of about 3oC and is very unlikely to be less than 1.5oC. Values higher than 4.5oC cannot be excluded. .”

This estimate of equilibrium climate sensitivity is not easily reconciled with recent forcing estimates and observational data. There is increasing support for values of climate sensitivity around or below 2oC. The meta-uncertainty of these estimates remains high owing to inadequacies in the methods used to determine sensitivity from observations and models. If the climate models are running too ‘hot’ in terms of predicting climate sensitivity that is too high, what are the possible problems with the models that might contribute to this? While the direct forcing from greenhouse gases is well understood, possible problems are associated with the magnitudes of the water vapor feedback and the cloud feedback. The cloud-radiative feedback is one of the most uncertain elements of climate models; even the sign is uncertain, although most climate models produce a positive cloud-radiative feedback (warming effect).

The key conclusion of the IPCC AR4 is:

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

So what is the evidence for, and against, a dominant role in the climate since the mid-20th century of increasing human-induced greenhouse gas concentrations, and what are the major uncertainties?  Below is my summary interpretation of the available evidence.

Evidence for:

  • Long-term trend of increasing surface temperatures, for more than a century.
  • Theoretical support for warming as greenhouse gas concentration increases.
  • Long-term trend of increasing ocean heat content[2], although the trend for the past 10 years has been small in the upper 700 m of the ocean[3].
  • Decline in Arctic sea ice since 1979, with record autumn minimum in 2012.
  • Sea level rise since 1961, although multi-decadal variability and confounding factors such as coastal land use and geologic process hamper interpretation of these data.[4]
  • Results from climate model simulations.

Evidence against:

  • No significant increase in globally averaged temperature for the past 15 years.
  • Lack of a consistent and convincing attribution argument for the warming from 1910-1940 and the plateau from the 1940s to the 1970s.
  • Growing realization that multidecadal natural internal variability is of higher amplitude than previously accounted for in IPCC attribution analyses.

There are major uncertainties in many of the key observational data sets, particularly prior to 1980. There are also major uncertainties in climate models, particularly with regards to the treatments of clouds, solar indirect effects and the coupled multidecadal oscillations between the ocean and atmosphere. Further, there are meta-uncertainties regarding the methods used to make arguments about attribution of climate change and determine sensitivity to increasing greenhouse gases. And finally, climate models are apparently incapable of simulating emergent phenomena such as abrupt climate change.

In light of these uncertainties, what can we say about the future climate of the 21st century? Most scientists anticipate a decrease in solar forcing in the coming decades, but noting the absence of understanding the solar indirect effects on climate, this is not expected to dominate climate change in the 21st century. If the climate shifts hypothesis is correct, then the current flat trend in global surface temperatures may continue for another decade or two, with a resumption of warming at some point during mid-century. The amount of warming from greenhouse gases depends both on the amount of greenhouse gases that are emitted as well as the climate sensitivity to the greenhouse gases, both of which are associated with substantial uncertainties.

It looks to me like the national and international policy makers are expecting a serious treatment of the pause issue, I have shown them one way to approach the issue of the pause in an integrated way.   In spite of Michael Mann’s tweeted response to my testimony ‘typical denier talking points,’ the issues I raise are not easily dismissed, and my ideas are out there in the public domain and at least some politicians are paying attention to my arguments.  And the recent Nature article on the central Pacific control on global climate adds fuel to my arguments. If anyone can refute my arguments, I would be most interested in seeing this.

250 responses to “Pause politics

  1. Joe Bastardi

    No where is the INCREASE in Southern hemisphere sea ice,which since surrounded by water would be more significant than a northern shrinkage, which is pdo/amo related, mentioned.

    • Paul Vaughan

      Agree.

      Along with careful attention to temporal nonuniformity, careful attention to spatial asymmetry is key.

      That’s why I question the basis of the last sentence in the following, which I’ve now seen quoted at least twice by JC during the last week alone:

      “With regards to multi-decadal natural internal variability, previous IPCC reports consider this issue primarily in context of detection of an anthropogenic warming signal above the background ‘noise’ of natural variability. The IPCC’s attribution of the late 20th century warming has focused on external radiative forcing, and no explicit estimate of the contribution of natural internal variability to the warming was made. A recent paper by Tung and Zhou suggests that the anthropogenic global warming trends might have been overestimated by a factor of two in the second half of the 20th century. They argue that a natural multidecadal oscillation of an average period of 70 years with significant amplitude of 0.3–0.4°C is superimposed on the secular warming trend, which accounts for 40% of the observed warming since the mid-20th century. Tung and Zhou identify this oscillation with the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO), although recent research suggests a more complex multidecadal signal propagating through a network of synchronized climate indices. Tung and Zhou argue that not taking the AMO into account in predictions of future warming under various forcing scenarios may run the risk of over-estimating the warming for the next two to three decades, when the AMO is likely in its down phase.”

      A few points:

      • The secular percentage is at most ~15%. It’s not 40%.

      • Be very careful: The “multidecadal signal propagating through a network of synchronized climate indices” is still being misinterpreted. The misinterpretation appears rooted in failure to fully appreciate and understand the role of equator-pole-temperature-gradient-driven-wind in ocean evaporation, currents, & welling (up & down).

      • People are not being careful enough in making the north-south multidecadal-to-centennial-timescale distinction Bill Illis (possibly the most eminently sensible commentator at WUWT) has patiently encouraged for years.

      I respect Bill and I pay careful attention to what he writes, which should be evident to anyone familiar with his notes when carefully considering the following:

      Intro-Level Primer:
      (4 pages incl. 8 simple graphs)
      Natural Decadal & Multidecadal Solar-Terrestrial-Climate Attractors 101

      CRUCIALLY IMPORTANT:
      The results are ROBUST even if the detail in the solar time series is thrown away by converting to simple “low” (-1) & “high” (+1) values.

      Supplementary:

      • Graphical illustration of p.3′s cautionary paragraph:
      The Sun CHANGES Earth’s Ozone: Terrestrial total column Ozone CHANGE (NOT ozone) is coherent with the solar activity cycle. In other words: The solar activity cycle is 1/4 of a cycle ahead of the terrestrial total column ozone cycle.

      • Externally governed equilibration opportunity limits Earth’s degree of progression towards equilibrium via circulatory pattern persistence. At interdecadal timescales, the Sun changes the amount of time Earth has to equilibrate. Equilibration opportunity is governed by changes in the length of time-streaks during which solar activity persists above and below critical thresholds.

      Technical note:
      The Atlantic hurricane rate exploration is based on the exact same methods linked from the STC101 article. Anyone who can independently reproduce Donner & Thiel’s (2007) Figure 4 from scratch is ready for more serious discussion. (If anyone begs for code, that’s a sure sign they don’t appreciate and understand with sufficient depth the very simple concepts underpinning the methods)

      Inevitable Conclusion:

      The “internal” decadal & multidecadal variation narrative is based on patently false inferential assumptions that thoroughly & completely fail diagnostics. Specifically it catastrophically fails implicit assumptions of uniformity & symmetry. There’s only one sensible option: It must be abandoned.

      Regards

      • In a complex system such as climate one wonders if indeed ALL known parameters are endogenous to the system and if not, why not? Even the output of volcanoes could be considered as endogenous if we are to believe vulcanologists and while not much is known about this type of activity in the deep ocean, the measured heating in the deep ocean could be partly due to this. The steady state behaviour of the trajectory of climate over millennia gives support to the predominance of negative feedbacks.

      • Peter Davies (August 30, 2013 at 9:17 pm) mused: “In a complex system such as climate one wonders if indeed ALL known parameters are endogenous to the system and if not, why not?”

        Forget it Peter.

        This line of thinking is fatally inconsistent with observation. One would have to be naive enough to model temperature gradients in anomalies rather than absolutes to even consider it.

        The only utility for this line of thinking is to attempt to drive short-term economic & political movements that will ultimately — because there is only so much play in the gears — lead to seriously costly backlash (backlash says: “hello future generations!”) …which I suppose is what some are aiming for, because there’s always profit for those who foresee and are therefore prepared to capitalize…

        I DARE you to try to reproduce Donner & Thiel’s Figure 4.

      • That could be true Paul. Climate also has unknown unknowns that may well be exogenous. The reason for my thoughts on climate behaving like a closed system with all known parameters being endogenous is indeed based on observations of it’s remarkable stability over millennia.

        BTW could you please provide a link to Donner and Thiele 2007? I can’t recall seeing this paper before.

      • Paul Vaughan

        Peter: Top-Right Link on p.1 of STC101. Regards

      • Paul Vaughan:
        Your link STC 101 is interesting.
        A lot to think about.

      • Paul Vaughan

        @ Ragnaar

        Thank you.

    • Increase in Antarctic sea ice has been attributed to decreasing salinity due to an increase of fresh water by increased melt (Peninsula) and/or changes in wind (related to ozone hole dynamics), which change vertical mixing and thereby also salinity of surface water. It has even been suggested already in 2007 (Zhang, J. Clim) that in a somewhat warmer climate Antarctic sea ice could increase (again via ocean mixing and salinity changes). The debat is certainly still open, but based on literature it is by no means fair to conclude the increase in Antarctic sea ice is at odds with AGW.

      http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI4136.1

      http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v5/n12/full/ngeo1627.html

      For the “fresh water” hypothesis, see a Nature paper by my colleague Dr. Richard Bintanja earlier this year.

      http://www.nature.com/news/global-warming-expands-antarctic-sea-ice-1.12709

      Jos de Laat, Royal Netherlands Met. Office (KNMI).

  2. Both the words ‘pause’ and ‘hiatus’ presuppose the resumption of a warming trend sometime in the future.

    Nobody seems willing to stick their neck out and say when though.

    • Calling it the modern era peak would hack off a few people.

      • In Climate science parlance we now have a “Pause” where the global temperatures are supposedly quite flat for a period but are expected to increase again sometime in the unknown future.

        We have “Climate Change” which term implies that the climate will change in a relatively steady and slow and possibly predictable manner.

        We have “Climate Shifts” which imply that despite the immense inertia in the global climate system there will be or is a quite abrupt shift in the major characteristics of the global climate.

        But what if that “Pause” is a “Plateauing” of global temperatures.
        With a “Plateau” there is a long or steep rise to the flat top of the actual Plateau after which when the further limits of the Plateau are reached at the other end, there is a corresponding long or possibly steep drop to the lower levels once again.

        So is the “Pause” a “Pause” or in reality a “Plateauing” of global temperature increases?

        With the so called “Climate Change”, my take on that after a life time in living with weather, Nature and climate and having seen such climate changes at least 3 times and possibly 4 times here in SE Australia, initially from the hot dry 1930′s and early 1940′s to the change in the late 1940′s to the cooler and much wetter 1950′s and 1960′s and the even wetter early 1970′s, and back to the dry hot 1980′s and 1990′s and now in the last couple of years a perceivable shift back to the cooler and what promises to be a increasingly wetter period of local climate, all of which is my personal measure against which i calibrate the claims of the popular so called “Climate Change” is a misnomer.

        “Climate Change” seems to come under a terminology heading where it can be classified as a relatively smooth local and regional phenomena.
        Whereas “Climate Shifts” invokes an image of a quite abrupt transition occurring in the entire global climate as it shifts rapidly from a decades long quasi steady state to another potentially decades long quasi steady climate regime.
        From a historical perspective, rapid “Climate Shifts” on global scale appear to be the norm rather than a slow steady progression of perceivable changes in the global climate characteristics that currently is implied by the term “Climate Change”

        The use of correct terminology is very important for it defines the way in which we look at and exam items and defines the intellectual starting point from which the whole complex question of the global climate is to be analysed. .
        I would suggest that there is currently a misuse of the term “Climate Change” when “Climate Shift”, based on the passage of past historical climate events, would be a more appropriate term to use in climate science..

      • ROM, Climate Change has a lot in common with politics, you can’t much predict either. Gore though and the IPCC do seem to have had an impact. 1997 was the first real IPCC report and Gore symbolically signed Kyoto in 1998. Temperatures dropped like a brick in late 1998. The temperatures recovered a bit but then BAM! the SAR knocked them back down again. Things started getting bad again, terrible hurricanes and warmest ever years until Al Gore released AIT in 2006 followed by the 2007 IPCC FAR, temperatures dropped like a brick. During the build up to the 5AR, the hurricane season is just waiting for Gore to show up then we will probably have the mother of all European tropical storm landing converging with an abnormal Arctic blast to get a jump start on the next Gore/IPCC global temperature drop.

        It looks like a virtual problem has been symbolically resolved.

    • Over the past 20 years CO2 concentration in the atmosphere has accelerated.
      Over the past 20 years the warming trend has decelerated.
      None of the previous IPCC reports expected this.

    • Tallbloke,

      There have been forecasts of when the pause will end. I list 7 of them, from “next few years” (Hunt in 2011; Hansen in 2013) through “another decade or two” (Curry in 2013).

      Keenlyside et al, Nature, 1 May 2008
      Professor Mojib Latif
      Barrie G. Hunt (CSIRO)
      James Hansen (NASA)
      Kevin Trenberth (NOAA)
      Professor Judith Curry
      UK Met Office Decadal Forecast

      http://fabiusmaximus.com/2013/08/25/global-warming-54140/

    • After thinking on it, “pause”, “hiatus” and “stagnation” aren’t very good terms especially in relationship to politics. We should call it what it really is, the “Gore Effect” Since Gore “symbolically” signed the Kyoto protocol in 1998, the Gore Effect symbolically started in 1998 giving every skeptic a legitimate reason to monitor the Global Gore Effect without being accused of cherry picking.

    • I will stick my neck out again and repeat what I have written many times.

      When the Roman Warming Ended, the warming resumed about 700 to a thousand years later with the Medieval Warming. When the Medieval Warming Ended the warming resumed about 700 years later in the Modern warming period. I expect warming will resume in about 700 to 1000 years with a little ice age in between. This is exactly how climate has worked for ten thousand years. This Warming is over, or nearly over. We may have one more warm cycle before this is clearly over but when the Warm Oceans cause Low Sea Ice Extent, the Snowfall that always follows does always put ice on land and that ice advances and causes a cold period. Oceans are dropping, Albedo has stopped decreasing and the upper bound of temperature has been reached again. Look at the data. We don’t really ever, in ten thousand years, get much warmer than now before it gets cooler.

    • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

      You could give a probability curve of a range of dates of when the tropospheric warming will resume based on the slight net increases in the rate of energy flow from ocean to atmosphere required to move tropospheric temperatures to the next higher step. Also, the presumption by some seems to be that the continually increasing GH gas concentrations are not affecting the natural ocean to atmosphere energy fluctuations. This assumption seems quite foolish.

      • R. Gates

        the presumption by some seems to be that the continually increasing GH gas concentrations are not affecting the natural ocean to atmosphere energy fluctuations substantially. This assumption seems quite foolish logical

        Max.

  3. “Addressing the hiatus is important because skeptics of man’s influence on warming the planet have seized on the slowing pace temperature increase as evidence that scientists have exaggerated the impact of manmade greenhouse gases. ”

    Well we sure wouldn’t want them “seizing” on some flimsy excuse like no warming as evidence it’s all b.s.

    Hey, at least they’re talking about it which means they’re accepting that the pause is real. That’s progress. (I don’t know lollywot, you seem to be one of the last men standing)

  4. Your honor, I object. Simulations are not evidence.

    They didn’t allow the CGI in the Zimmerman trial.

    • Steven Mosher

      If I do a simulation of an aircraft flying to test flight controls and the plane becomes unstable, nobody suggests that this is not evidence. Nobody suggests, that we should build the plane and fly it to test the model.
      If I simulate a nuclear reactor and the simulation indicates that the core could melt down nobody suggests this is not evidence. Nobody suggests building the reactor as designed to test the model.

      Now, if the simulation suggests the plane is stable, nobody is going to suggest that we shouldnt do more testing, that we shouldnt load the software into a calspan plane and test it out in flight.

      Simulations are evidence and depending on the science being done can be afforded some weight, great weight, or little weight.

      • “Simulations are evidence”

        They are information, but not evidence. The real life events that the simulation is based on would be the evidence.

        Andrew

      • You Honor, the attorney for the simulation is making an invalid comparison of known flight mechanics and unknown climate dynamics.

      • I don’t know where you’re from, but in the United states the FAA very much does make you build the plane and fly it to test the model. I don’t know of any aircraft manufacturer that doesn’t use wind tunnels to test prospective wing design. The reason being, real engineers know that computer models are extremely limited when compared to the real world. Computers can only tell you what you tell them to. The number of factors left out of the simulations is staggeringly larger than the number of factors included. For a model to even be considered it must first be verified against observed conditions. Similar to the way astronomical observations debunked the geocentric model of the solar system. Sure lots of people called the observations flukes or biased but eventually the new model was better able to predict futer observations. Everyone left clinging to the old model was either forgotten or vilified by history.

      • I would argue that the flight simulator models have a lot less uncertainty in them.

      • Current simulations of aircraft flying are so truthful and precise that the same math is being used in flight control software, moving millions of passengers safely from continent to continent.

        On the other hand, current simulations of climate are so far off the what is being observed, that the only way to describe them is “BS”.

        I hate when the cargo-cult-we-also-have-formulas “sciences” (like climate “science”) use physics as the proof that they are good just because they use the same language:

        -”well, if you trust aircraft simulation, so you must trust our climate models too because they are also called “simulations”.

        Solution: it should be prohibited for anyone to practice “climate science” if s/he doesn’t have at least master or PhD in physics.

      • Theo Goodwin

        You refer to simulations of aircraft and nuclear reactors. Then you compare them to simulations of climate. That is not so much an apples and oranges comparison as it is an apples and compost comparison. The context for description of aircraft is Highly Ramified. In other words, the settled theories, engineering techniques, and simulation techniques that are used in aircraft simulations are many, highly complicated, and tried and true. The same holds for simulations of nuclear reactors though our experience level is not so high. By contrast, the context for climate science is of the simplest kind. Climate science has not yet produced the empirical generalizations that more sophisticated science must rest on. For example, climate science has no tried and true set of empirical generalizations that describe the natural regularities making up the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation.

        Mainstream climate science has no settled theory of climate change and its simulation techniques have proved to be unable to represent the observed phenomena of temperature change. It does have the work of Arrhenius which explains that increasing concentrations of CO2 can act as something like a blanket and retard cooling of Earth’s surface, though Arrhenius’ work has been verified in the lab but not in the atmosphere. Arrhenius work must be supplemented by well confirmed hypotheses about the “forcings and feedbacks” that involve clouds, water vapor, and other factors. No progress has been made on “forcings and feedbacks” in the many years that I have followed the climate debates. Beyond the work of Arrhenius, mainstream climate science has no physical theory. Simulations that work in hindcast only and endless sets of time-series analysis do not add up to a theory or even an hypothesis.

        It is the height of frustration to hear James Hansen, or any mainstream climate scientist, speak authoritatively on some matter regarding climate and do so as if he is speaking from a comprehensive and settled theory. He is simply play acting. If he were scrupulously honest he would explain that he has dribs and drabs of theory but nothing that can add up to an explanation of temperature change on the scale of climate.

        I would love to hear a Trenberth propose new measuring instruments and experiments that could enable him to more clearly formulate and test his idea that “the missing heat” is in the deep oceans. What we get instead is pontification to the effect that the missing heat is there and that it solves the existing puzzles caused by the flat line in temperatures over the last 17 years. Trenberth has neither theory nor even cobbled together evidence that the “missing heat” is in the deep oceans.

        We will have a comprehensive and settled science of climate change that is capable of explaining climate but we will not have it in the foreseeable future. Someone has to get to work on the empirical generalizations that describe the AMO. But if the present play acting continues, we will never have a climate science.

      • A simple model to predict weather is to state that tomorrows weather will be very much like today’s, as far as Tmax/Tmin and total rainfall.
        This model has very high predictive, but it is not evidence.

        If you have clap, our in vitro models suggest that cefixime should work, but it isn’t evidence that your Neisseria gonorrhoeae infection isn’t antibiotic resistant.
        So me growing Neisseria gonorrhoeae and treating it with antibiotics in a flask, may or may not, be a useful model for this treatment regime in you, to treat your infection.

      • Steven Mosher

        All you guys are missing the point.

        Here was the claim:

        1. Simulations are not evidence.

        please note that the claim was general. It was not specific to climate simulations. It made a claim about simulation.

        As I pointed out simulation is taken as evidence. we use it all the time as evidence. In some of those cases we can actually test the simulation.
        in other cases We BUILD THINGS THAT WORK WITHOUT testing the the simulation first.

        Here is an example

        Does anyone think this was tested full scale before being deployed

        Please note. I dont have to claim that climate models ARE evidence, to attack the general, and false, claim that simulations are not evidence.
        Because quite simply we can point to any number of things that are engineered by simulation and in the process of engineering that simulation data is used as evidence.

      • Steven Mosher

        Theo

        “Theo Goodwin | August 30, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
        You refer to simulations of aircraft and nuclear reactors. Then you compare them to simulations of climate. ”

        I made no such comparison.
        I merely pointed out that in some fields simulations are evidence so the general proposition that simulations are not evidence is wrong.

        It pays to be specific.

      • Curious George

        Has anybody done a simulation of a Mach 15 plane and engine (“scramjet”)? Undoubtedly. Was it an evidence of anything? Maybe of our lack of understanding of these speeds.

      • Steven Mosher

        “Igor | August 30, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
        Current simulations of aircraft flying are so truthful and precise that the same math is being used in flight control software, moving millions of passengers safely from continent to continent.”

        sometimes has nothing to do with being truthful or precise.
        In some cases we cannot tell how a plane will react in a given situation
        So we keep it from flying there by installing “limiters”

        Finally, thank you for admiting that I was right. Simulations can be used as evidence. If the simulation said the plane was going to crash would you fly in such a plane?

      • Steven Mosher

        M. Hastings | August 30, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
        I would argue that the flight simulator models have a lot less uncertainty in them.

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

        well you would be wrong.

        Consider a plane at a High angle of attack. When it departs it can
        enter a flat spin.
        will that plane spin to the right? or will it spin to the left?

        can you say “totally uncertain and random in certain cases”

        And the funny thing is that a plane known to have a hankering for a right handed flat spin, may develop a left handed flat spin after it has been repainted.

      • Steve Fitzpatrick

        Mosh,
        It comes down to a fitness for purpose argument. I would be very ‘skeptical’ of any comparison of nuclear reactor, flight, and climate models. Orders of magnitude more confidence in the two former than in the latter.

      • Steven Mosher

        “GH05T | August 30, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
        I don’t know where you’re from, but in the United states the FAA very much does make you build the plane and fly it to test the model”

        The most certainly do not.

        We designed a tail-less aircraft. After many months of control design simulation we could not make it stable. Of course the guy who designed the plane complained about the models. The FAA did not make us build the plane to test the model. Everyone was happy to ditch the design without building it. The model told us that building it would be a waste of money. we took the model as evidence. In no case has the FAA ever demanded that we build a plane when our models say they will crash.
        They too take the models as evidence.

        Of course when you fly a plane they want MORE evidence than just a simulation, But the fact that they want MORE evidence says nothing about the evidence that simulation does provide.

        Sometimes simulation says “Dont build that. it wont work” This is taken as evidence. Nobody measures anything. nobody builds any physical thing. we look at the simulation results and conclude “this thing sucks. dont build it “

      • Steve, if I take 15 different models and take and average and standard deviation, does it become a statistically significant evidence?

      • Steven Mosher

        Steve Fitzpatrick | August 30, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
        Mosh,
        It comes down to a fitness for purpose argument. I would be very ‘skeptical’ of any comparison of nuclear reactor, flight, and climate models. Orders of magnitude more confidence in the two former than in the latter.
        #################

        you too are missing my argument.

        I am laying out the flaws in the general case that “simulations are not evidence”

        That position is not supported by actual practice.

        I think folks need to look at all the ways we actually use simulations and be scientific about it rather than dogmatic.

        At some point we might get to the question about climate simulations, but before that people need to clear up their misconceptions about evidence, proof, information, and how we reason.

      • Steven Mosher

        Harold | August 30, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
        You Honor, the attorney for the simulation is making an invalid comparison of known flight mechanics and unknown climate dynamics.

        No he is not.

      • During development of transport aircraft, engine efficiency, aircraft weight and aerodynamic drag are modeled. The first aircraft off the line are usually overweight and are less aerodynamically efficient than projected. The first engines are less efficient than specified and undergo further development to meet the projections of the engineering models. The differences between the modeled aircraft and the real ones are often just one or two percent which is roughly the same as the total amount of warming predicted by climate models.

        According to Wikipedia, The 787 was 8% overweight and Boeing knows more about designing and building airplanes than we know about earth’s climate.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_787#Engines

      • Steve Fitzpatrick

        OK. maybe I did miss your point. Tested, verified models are a useful way to make preliminary tests on all kinds of designs. But then, what exactly is your point? That existing climate models are fit for that purpose? I think the overwhelming evidence is that they are not. Unless you think climate models really are fit for running meaningful tests on hypothetical future forcing scenarios (“fit” in the sense that we can be confident of the results of a simulation), then why on Earth make the comparison to engineering models of nuclear reactors and airplane flight models? I do not think that most people question the use of verified engineering models; they doubt the use of climate models. These things are worlds apart… both technically and politically.

      • Steven Mosher

        Let’s get a little more specific (and to our point here).

        GCM simulations are not scientific evidence.

        Now let’s debate that because, Mosh, that’s what we are talking about.

        Max

      • [GCM] “simulations are evidence possible suggestions

        There. That fixed it.

      • In the united States, we designed and built the Space Shuttle. We validated our Models and we flew the First Mission with live Pilots on board and we were successful. Simulations and Models can be validated to a high confidence level and used for life and death decisions.

        Climate Models are not validated to this level. Climate Models pump out bad forecasts for decades.

        The Space Shuttle would never have worked with the lack of validation in Climate Models.

      • Steven Mosher Posted:

        “Steven Mosher | August 30, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
        Theo

        “Theo Goodwin | August 30, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
        You refer to simulations of aircraft and nuclear reactors. Then you compare them to simulations of climate. ”

        I made no such comparison.
        I merely pointed out that in some fields simulations are evidence so the general proposition that simulations are not evidence is wrong.

        It pays to be specific.”

        You could not be this confused so you must be engaged in weaseling your way out of your claim. Permit me to explain. The reason that people object to the claim that climate simulations, those products of the computer models known as GCMs, are evidence is because of the categorical difference between measurments taken in the real world, which can be the input to a simulation, and the output of a simulation which cannot be measurments taken in the real world. The input to some simulations consists of actual observations yet the output of any simulation consists of no actual observations at all. If you cannot tell the difference then you do not understand the difference between a thermometer reading that is input to a computer and a temperature reading that is output from a simulation. The former is firmly tied to reality through the act of reading the thermometer while the latter is separated from reality by the computer code that makes up the GCM along with all the assumptions about physics found in the GCM. The former is factual and empirical while the latter is theoretical and possibly an artifact of the computer code. If you cannot grasp this distinction then you will remain forever ignorant of scientific method. Actual temperature readings can be input to a GCM but the output of a GCM must never substitute for an actual temperature reading and serve as input to another GCM.

        Simulations in aircraft testing or nuclear engineering are nothing like GCMs. Each component of the simulation has been separated from the other components through analytical and practical processes that make it testable and manageable on its own. Unlike GCMs, no one builds a simulation of a whole airplane or creates a computer program that takes some input and constructs an ideal airplane. In aircraft engineering, a simulation might show airflow over a wing for the purposes of studying vibration and stress. Once the simulation has been used for analytic purposes, not to mention bookkeeping purposes, the actual wing is taken to the actual wind tunnel and the stresses are actually applied. There is constant feedback from reality to simulation. Never has an aircraft engineer taken output from one simulation and used it as input to another. The categorical difference between measurements made in the world and the output from a simulation is always recognized and respected.

        When people say that simulations cannot serve as evidence what they mean is that values calculated by a simulation cannot serve as substitutes for measurements taken in the real world.

      • GCMs

        With this article:
        http://judithcurry.com/2013/08/28/pause-tied-to-equatorial-pacific-surface-cooling/
        I read it as the model was used to find the key of the South Pacific. Some had suspected a key was there true. Did the model strengthen the case that there’s a key there? Did it try to predict its magnitude and how it cascades into other zones?

        “Why We Use Climate Models
        To understand present climate: Global climate models are used to understand the current climate, especially those processes that create a particular climate in each place. To become confident that a model correctly represents everything that shapes climate, scientists test models to see if they can accurately depict the current climate or recent historical climates on Earth.  In this way, developers can improve the computer code that represents important physical processes that shape climate in any region.” – http://occri.net/climate-science/climate-modeling/why-we-use-climate-models

        It looks to me that the models evolve in tandem with the knowledge. As I said earlier, they seem to be able to keep huge amount of assumptions and data in one compact useful place. Perhaps the models have the ability to think of many things at once, while our brains are not capable of doing that. That with them you can test assumptions, within limits. I recently watched another video where it seems climate Scientists were being shown how to incorporate chaos theory into their models, which is not to say they aren’t, maybe these were beginning modelers, not sure about that. But this seems a good intersection, looking at chaos theory and trying to apply it. Is this good? I think they mentioned groups of outcomes rather than just one. A model that kicks out the 4 most likely answers. The models are staring to look to me like knowledge machines.

        They have been a rock in our shoe true. Being used to alarm. Not their best use as others have said. The aircraft modeling discussion was interesting. I’d be interested to know if Steven Mosher found something that would work on a negatively stable aircraft and if so, how does that work?

      • SM: “Simulations are evidence”.

        Indeed. Learn the difference between “model” and “simulation”. CS has models, climate simulation is beyond current capabilities and arguably may even be theoretically impossible (maybe – we don’t even know if we CAN simulate climate, but we can certainly model it!)

      • Steven Mosher | August 30, 2013 at 5:41 pm |

        “We designed a tail-less aircraft. After many months of control design simulation we could not make it stable. Of course the guy who designed the plane complained about the models. The FAA did not make us build the plane to test the model. Everyone was happy to ditch the design without building it. The model told us that building it would be a waste of money. we took the model as evidence. In no case has the FAA ever demanded that we build a plane when our models say they will crash.”

        Please be specific about the reasons and the conclusion. That way we know that you understand what you are saying.

        What specifically was the conclusion? In your simulation, the tail-less aircraft was not stable. What was proved? You proved that you could not design and simulate a tail-less airplane that is stable. In other words, the proof was about your simulation but not about a tail-less aircraft. Why? Because the tail-less airplane was part and parcel of your simulation and did not exist in the real world. You did not prove that there cannot be a tail-less airplane. In fact, you proved nothing about the real world.

        Once again, you make an inference from the results of a simulation to facts in the real world. You have yet to get your mind around this divide. There is a real world that exists independently of simulations and simulations have implications about that real world only if they receive constant feedback from the real world and are adjusted accordingly.

      • When Model output is compared with real life data and it does match, that is a world apart from when model output is compared with real life data and it does not match. Climate Models can not play in the same ballpark with Models that match real life data.

      • Steven Mosher says:
        Simulations are evidence and depending on the science being done can be afforded some weight, great weight, or little weight.

        Which of these three do you think GCM’s qualify for Steve? Not forgetting the incorrectly incorporated variables such as solar (see Scafetta’s devastating rebuttal of Benestad & Schmidt, who misused their analysis software by pegging the modern end of solar variation to the start of the data), AMO, PDO & unknowns like the effect of EUV variation (up to 50% at the multi-decadal timescale) on ozone and stratospheric water vapour.

        GCM’s Get an F- from the sceptics for good reasons.

      • It, erl, Happens I’m inclined ultravioletly, but cosmic rays are so seductive.
        ============

      • Oh really,

        The models that you refere to are built on many iterations and experiment. The techniques of CFD allow detailed comparison with experiments as is the case with nuclear reactors.

        Climate models are unverified against experiment, merely said to have some similarities with observations.

        Tell me, how do you do a contolled experiment in climate?

      • Steven Mosher, you are the one missing the point.

        Suppose you build a simulation model of an airplane’s flight dynamics. Then you put a physical model into a wind tunnel — and get a result outside of your predictions you do NOT continue assuming the simulations are trustworthy. Full stop until you figure it out. It might be a non-linearity in the model-windtunnel configuration. It is probably something wrong in the model.

        Global Temperatures have departed outside the predictions of GCMs. Is IPCC going to issue a “Full Stop” with AR5? Or are they going to say “our confidence has increased?”

        Would you flight test a plane designed by this IPCC?

      • @Herman Alexander Pope, Re Space Shuttles.

        I remember the post flight interview of Robert Crippen, Copilot of the Columbia maiden flight. Can’t find a link, but it was something like this:

        When the SRB’s jettison, there is all this fire and smoke past the cockpit windows… and you hope it is supposed to be like this!”

        We do validate and test models and equipment before they are “man-rated”. But we still do a Full Stop when Reality seriously departs from expectations from simulation. Challenger didn’t survive launch temperatures below tested ranges.

        Columbia suffered more from a foam impact than thought possible. Full Stop. Even then, they didn’t identify the real problem.

        Now that Discovery is safely delivered to the Smithsonian, I think I can tell the story of how we nearly lost her in July of 2005, and how well-intentioned, highly motivated, hard-working, smart people can miss the most obvious.
        “How We Nearly Lost Discovery”. Wayne Hale, Apr 12, 2012

        Anti-carbon climate change activists from the IPCC, AGU, ACS, EU, EPA, DOE, and dozens of NGO’s are gearing up for the launch of AR5. They are suffering from “Go Fever“, a condition where they believe themselves more than the data. It is a Group Think on executing an expensive plan on time with insufficient regards to current circumstances. Go Fever can lead to great regret.

      • Stephen Rasey, it is very easy to turn your argument on its head. In each case people saw the warning signs but were overruled because of the expense of heeding them. Disaster ensued. You see the parallel.

      • @JimD.
        I’m not sure what your point is.
        Yes, there were some who were unhappy with Apollo One. Grissom hung a lemon on it. Some argued that 100% oxygen at 15+ PSI was unwise. Apollo wasn’t ready in early 1967. Yes, a couple engineers at Thiokol urged postponement of Challenger to a warmer morning, a small monetary cost, but a large political cost on the Day of the State of the Union. Go Fever infected the whole NASA food chain on these events. Warnings spawned from critical data were discounted. Disasters became inevitable. Calls to “slow down” were ignored until disaster brought progress to a full stop.

        Likewise, the authors of IPCC AR5 have had ample opportunities to heed warnings that data isn’t fitting theory, but they will discount those warnings or use arcane rules on publication dates to bury them. The AGU committee discounted Pielke’s dissent and issued a statement of flagrant advocacy. The editors of EOS shut the door in Pielke’s face to hinder communication with the AGU membership. Go Fever infects the entire CAGW movement. Calls to slow down will be ignored. Nothing short of disaster is going to stop it. The difference here is that WE are ones being taken for a ride.

      • Stephen Rasey, I didn’t think I would need to spell it out, but here it is. The scientists are saying there is danger on our current course, kind of like those engineers who warned of some problems, but the fossil fuel industry is bent on continuing as usual, especially because remedies look expensive for them. They are the ones with the ‘go fever’. The ‘managers’ (policymakers) are currently in the go fever mode listening more to the economical argument than the danger argument. I thought it was quite clear what I meant, but happy to spell it out.

      • Jim D,
        Yes, for me you needed to spell it out.
        Silly me, I thought most people on this planet prefered cheap energy to expensive energy. So there is a demand component to the fossil fuel situation, too. Most people prefer the 21th century to the 19th, too.

        Go Fever is to be avoided. Listen to the warnings, evaluate the data and reassess the risks. Modify or not your plan of action.

        Analysis Paralysis is also to be avoided, too. Analyze new data, adjust your uncertainties and risks, Modify your plan. Repeat frequently. Many small risks with the opportunity for learning and correction are much preferable to one large risk.

        “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” — Ben Franklin

      • Stephen Rasey, it is not just the scientists, behind them you see nature with the warning light flashing red on Arctic sea-ice loss rates over just the past decade. Just go on as usual? Thankfully, for the people whose job it is, they are paying attention and planning for these things now.

      • Jim D,
        You might want to look at the historical Ice maps here: http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/arctic/rediscover/dmi_sea_ice_maps
        Since they’re not taken by satellite they don’t include extents, and there are areas that were not surveyed, but over various years most of the ice in the Northwest Passage is gone, and there are years when most of the Russian coast is ice free.

      • Yes Jim D, the parallel is that we ignore the warnings and Go with pointless, economically ruinous CAGW ‘fighting’ policies.

      • You have zero credibility now Mosher. GOOD simulations are evidence but only because they are backed up bu rigorous verification and validation. Surely you must know that. You run with the hare and hunt with the hounds.

      • @JimD.
        The following chart of RSS and CO2 for 1980-2000 does indeed flash red lights and ring alarm bells on climate change. The RSS Linear Trend is bang on the 3.5C sensitivity. Its near the upper range of what we feared. IPCC come save us!

        But the vary same chart for 1995-2013 flashes red warning lights on the SCIENCE, not the Climate. CO2 climate sensitivity is below 1.0. and closer to 0.5. Same data, different time frame. IPCC goofed.

        Temperatures change without the hand of man. (Spencer Vostock chart)

        The IPCC and crew, “the people whose job it is” are not as smart as they want us to think they are. They are making the wrong plans based upon incorrect theories. Nature is talking, but they are instead following the the script, money, politics and power. They have Go Fever.

      • @Jim D
        “Stephen Rasey, I would have used 1980-present.
        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/from:1980/to:2015/offset:-350/scale:0.01/plot/rss/from:1980/to:2015/scale:1/trend/plot/rss/from:1980/to:2015
        That way it wouldn’t look like I was cherry picking.”

        If you really didn’t want to cherry pick, maybe you wouldn’t just look annual temperatures, how about we compare how much temperatures go up during the day vs how much they drop at night? Because isn’t that what Co2 is suppose to affect? A reduction of night time cooling?
        ~110 million daily surface station readings from 1950 to 2012?

        “The world wide surface station measured average daily rising temp and falling temp is 17.465460F/17.465673F for the period of 1950 to 2010, not only is the falling temperatures slightly larger than rising temperatures, 17.4F is only 50%-70% of a typical clear sky temperature swing of 25F to 30F, which can be as large as +40F depending on location and humidity.”

        Where is the Co2 signal in nightly cooling?

      • A more obvious effect is that the land should warm faster than the ocean, and that is happening with the land warming at twice the ocean rate since 1980.

      • Jim D, I was using basically a constant 20 year moving window. That’s not cherry picking. That’s highlighing what AR5 would look like with about the same data window that AR3 used.

        The confidence that Climate Sensitivity is as high as 3 must be dropping.
        The confidence that Climate Sensitivity is an important concept has to be dropping.
        But that’s not in the script.

    • Actually, Harold’s point is quite good. The simulation math for air flow over foils and fuselages has been in development/refinement for about 75 years. But more to the point, it has copious support from empirical testing. And most importantly, there’s a consistent and ongoing meetup between the model predictions and (particularly) foil behavior. This is ultimately what allows CGI based flight simulation to achieve a fairly high degree of accuracy.

      The thing that calls climate models into question is that it isn’t readily clear what it is they model. For example, they don’t seem to model the pause well. The response is always along the lines of “they behave within a predicted range.” Then we all descend into arguments about statistical uncertainties that involve roughly equivalent real certainty to arguments about how long the angel chorus line on a point of a needle can be. I don’t work regularly in uncertainty, so I appeal to authority. What I have found consistently are wide ranges of disagreement that may be fairly entertained by all concerned reasonable minds.

      It’s pretty simple really. To support carbon (or other) forced AGW, come up with a model that fits what we’re seeing. Back test it. Invest the time, energy and money to forward test it against real temp data. Consider the possibility that carbon forcing is either much smaller than we thought or non-existent, perhaps in part by an enthusiastic embrace of the idea that correlation isn’t causation (that one seems to have gotten lost all together.) In any case though, just go get it right.

    • Steven Mosher

      Lets see If I can summarize the problem for you.

      Suppose you are planning a mission to mars and you have to engineer the landing vehicle.

      1. you cannot field test your vehicle in conditions are are the same as mars. You cant test how the parachute will deploy in the martian atmosphere. you cant test the amount of dust on the surface that will kick up. And scale model tests on earth tell you precious little. You have very few data points from previous landings.

      2. You therefore have to rely on simulations.

      If a simulation told you that your course of action would lead to a crash
      would you discount that information.

      In climate science we have crappy simulations. Those crappy simulations tell you adding a bunch of C02 is not a good idea.

      How do you use that evidence?

      So the question is not “do simulations provide evidence”
      The question is not “are climate sims good”

      The question is “given that climate sims are imperfect, how do you use that evidence”

      • The earth has 3.9 billion years of stable climate supporting life indicating it flies like an Ercoupe and the climate models tell us it’s an R44 on autopilot. That’s not imperfect, it’s dangerous.

      • Better analogy. You’re Captain Peachfuzz. They stuck you down in the cargo hold with a simulator while the real pilots are upstairs actually flying the plane Let’s say it’s a 747. It’s flying over the arctic approaching Greenland. Nearest airfield that can land a 747 is 600 miles away in New Brunswick. Your simulator tells you there’s enough fuel to make it 10 minutes. It takes 60 minutes to get to the nearest safe landing field.

        You flip out and tear yourself a hole in the floor and get into the real cockpit and demand a water landing. You say we either attempt a water landing or we’ll crash into Greenland. There’s no way to throw you out of the pressurized cabin. All they can do is try to find the straitjacket.

      • Harold, why not put down on Thule Air Base? A fully loaded 747 can put down on a runway of 6500ft and Thule is 3ft short of 10,000ft.

        http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0b/Thule_Air_Base_aerial_view.jpg

      • OK, it’s an A380 Spruce Goose, then.

        Jeez, never heard of a hypothetical?

      • ““given that climate sims are imperfect, how do you use that evidence”

        With great caution, not, as in Australia, severely damaging a carbon-intensive economy so as to reduce emissions without clear demonstration of the net costs and benefits of taking/not taking that action. It is something to consider, to take account of when determining policy priorities, but surely not something to dominate your thinking.

      • @Steven Mosher
        In climate science we have crappy simulations. Those crappy simulations tell you adding a bunch of C02 is not a good idea.

        If a simulation is “crappy”, then ANYTHING it tells us is LESS than useful, because we don’t know whether it is correct or not.

        Also whatever they “tell us about CO2″ is not result of a simulation, but more like a designed-in feature.

        I would ignore climate simulation totally until they really start simulating reality:
        clouds and cloud formations, air/oceans/landmasses/currents interactions, ocean/land surface covers, daily/monthly variations of all the above, and so on –
        - all that important staff that climate “science” has no idea how to calculate…..

        simulations, my a**.

      • “1. you cannot field test your vehicle in conditions are are the same as mars. You cant test how the parachute will deploy in the martian atmosphere. you cant test the amount of dust on the surface that will kick up. And scale model tests on earth tell you precious little. You have very few data points from previous landings.”

        Think for a minute. What do you mean that you cannot field test your vehicle in conditions that are the same as on Mars. Don’t you mean that you do not know the factual conditions on Mars? If not, then what do you mean? If you do not know the facts about Mars, how is constructing a simulation going to improve you knowledge of the facts? It cannot, right?

        See how you talk of simulations has allowed you to overlook the fundamental problem that you needed to address. You needed the facts about Mars. Somehow you developed the idea that a simulation could substitute for those facts. Obviously, it cannot so substitute. You would need the facts to build and then test the simulation.

        When the word ‘simulation’ pops up you imagine some fantastic thing that does not exist at all.

      • The issue with models is that they are considered “evidence” by politicians and other policymakers, and decisions and policies that affect everyone and everything are made on the basis of model output, which has failed to match actual data i.e. the “pause.” The models are a tool to gain understanding of a nearly infinite and complex system, they are not “evidence.”

      • Chuck L writes:
        “The issue with models is that they are considered “evidence” by politicians and other policymakers, and decisions and policies that affect everyone and everything are made on the basis of model output, which has failed to match actual data i.e. the “pause.””

        Agreed. Perhaps the problem is with the politicians who do know better but use the models as cover. If the model are oversold on long range predictions, perhaps they are also overbought by some politicians.

      • Mosh,
        I spent 15 years supporting electronics simulators, I do get your point, at least some simulators are evidence.
        I get Hung up on two points:
        Electronics sims are validated in a lab over time, and shown to match reality.
        GCM’s were written specifically to generate water vapor forcing from Co2.

        They were written by people who were worried by raising Co2. This theory of atm response to Co2 needs to be confirmed in reality, unfortunately the “lab tests” yield a jumble of conflicting signals, that are poorly sampled.

        And I think the work I did looking at nightly cooling shows no sign of the asymmetry in the temp record that would seem to be required, a loss of nightly cooling. It doesn’t exist in the surface record.
        All of the other signals, except from the models could be caused by any source of warming.

    • Simulations are not evidence without validation. In other sciences and in engineering it is standard practice to validate Models. In Climate science they say it is too complicated to validate and they use the Model out put anyway. This did bite them and this will continue to bite them. Their Model Flawed Theory and will continue to produce forecasts that fail as long as they use unvalidated Models. They really cannot validate their models until the fix their Theory. Flawed Theory cannot produce Models that can be validated.

      • “Simulations are not evidence without validation.”

        I submit simulations are never evidence. The reality they are supposed to/may represent is the evidence.

        Andrew

  5. It may be my imagination, but strident claims that “the inevitability of cataclysmic global warming is even more certain than ever so STFU skeptics” appear to be ratcheting up lately, seemingly in direct correlation to the deviation of global temperatures from IPCC projections.

    But even I can see that the reliability of the projections is becoming more doubtful with every passing year.

  6. This shows one of the main weaknesses of the IPCC. Cut-off date was March 15. An honest author would hesitate to introduce new material after the second review. All the interesting papers on the pause have appeared since. The IPCC cannot write about these papers — but it cannot not write about them either, because everybody has read them.

    • They bent & broke their “rules” to get the “Caspar & the Jesus” paper in!
      http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2008/8/11/caspar-and-the-jesus-paper.html

    • No kidding! In the recent “best available evidence” discussions at Dan Kahan’s place, one of the few points on which I could agree with him was his:

      The only “peer review” that I myself view as particularly reliable is the one that occurs after a study has been published (and “published” as in made public in any particular way). That sort literally never ends;

      In light of which, I asked how he could square this with the IPCC’s well-known process which often results in:

      the inclusion of supporting citations derived from material that is so new that this post-publication “review” has not even begun (as I had observed here and more recently here) Well, except via the blogs, which the IPCC’s new, improved rules have specifically excluded from their list of “acceptable sources of information for IPCC reports”.

      In light of the above, would you say that the IPCC’s reports are based on “best available evidence” (whatever your definition and/or criteria might – or might not – be)?

      It all strikes me as being very much an artificial setup for “heads we win, tails you lose because we’re the IPCC – and we can have everything both ways”!

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Richard Tol notes: “One of the main weaknesses of the IPCC [is] the cut-off date was March 15. All the interesting papers on the pause have appeared since.

      Yes. Just this week (for example) the oceanographic community (for example) has coalesced solidly in favor of “there is no pause in global warming.”

      Reviews of Geophysics
      A review of global ocean
      temperature observations: Implications for
      ocean heat content estimates and climate change

      by J. P. Abraham (and 27 more co-authors)

      Despite differences in measurement methods and analysis techniques, multiple studies show that there has been a multi-decadal increase in the heat content of both the upper and deep ocean regions, which reflect the impact of anthropogenic warming. With respect to sea-level rise, mutually reinforcing information from tide gauges and radar altimetry show that presently, sea-level is rising at approximately 3 mm yr-1 with contributions from both thermal expansion and mass accumulation from ice melt. The latest data for thermal expansion sea-level rise are included here and analyzed.

      Can the IPCC responsibly ignore this “best available/global-scale science”, which indicates plainly, from model-independent global-scale data-sets, that there has been no pause in the global heat rise-rate?

      How would you suggest these (scientifically strong) findings be addressed by the IPCC, Richard Tol?

      \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}&bg=ffee&aafg=0033ff

      • IPCC rules are clear: These findings should be ignored.

        Stocker will need to decide: Does he make the IPCC irrelevant by omitting the exciting stories of the last months, or does he bend the rules and risk breaking the IPCC?

        I would go for the latter, because there is no point in having an irrelevant IPCC.

      • Since most of this is subjective ‘expert judgment’, one would hope that these new results would influence their subjective judgment and reduce their confidence levels.

      • Richard Tol (@RichardTol) | August 30, 2013 at 5:48 pm…..
        because there is no point in having an irrelevant IPCC.

        Do you have any evidence for this? I ask because it seems from my kibitzing perspective that we are seeing more and more rational science getting into the “better” journals as IPCC is losing relevance.

        How many times does this process have to fail before we reboot?

      • “…or does he bend the rules and risk breaking the IPCC?”

        Since when does bending the rules, or even breaking them beyond repair, have any negative impact on anyone in the climate “science” consensus? The IPCC shattered its rules on grey literature and cut off dates in the AR4. Who lost their job? What cuts were made in IPCC finding? None and none.

        What repercussions were there for “bending the rules” by Mann, Jones, UEA, Gleick? None and none and….You get the point.

    • Richard Tol,

      Could the IPCC’s leadership declare the equivalent of force majeure? Due to these exceptional circumstances set a later cutoff date for research about the pause? Circulate new discussion doc, arrange special conference calls, label the findings as done outside the normal procedures, so less certain but still important.

      That would require stronger leadership than they have demonstrated so far, but might be accepted as logical and appropriate under these circumstances.

    • stevefitzpatrick

      Richard,

      Forget cut-off dates. I think all IPCC internal documents should be posted at Climate Etc. for public discussion and vetting. No more need for AR’s at all, which, IMO, have long outlived their usefulness, Besides, without IPCC censoring of content, the discussion really would be open and fair. Gavin might feel uncomfortable commenting here, but that is a small thing. Besides, it would do him good.

    • The IPCC is, as I understand it, a bureaucracy that, as such has strict rules. When bureaucrats rule, science and commonsense leave the building.

  7. Ironically, the pause makes natural variability absolutely critical to the Urgent Mitigation position. Without it, we would simply integrate the last two decades’ records into the linear regression of surface air temperature on CO2, getting a lower coefficient than we did previously. (Or we could find some heretofore unknown temporary negative forcing that happened to come along but can’t be counted on in the future.)

    Even the deep ocean sequestration story undermines UM in the absence of natural variability. If the heat trapped by unprecedented atmospheric CO2 were to permanently be diverted into marginally raising the temperature of that vast, chilly heat sink there would be little to worry about. UM requires that further sequestration could stop at any time, which means natural variability.

  8. Time for the Great Global Warming Walk Back to kick into high gear. The reality of data is imposing its will on years of hysterical fear mongering “science” .

    After all, there are reputations to be salvaged, pensions that need a few more years of inputs to max out, cover stories to be dreamed up.

  9. ‘Evidence for’ is weak or illogical.

    So AGW got significant around the mid-20th century. Good to know.

  10. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Watts/WUWT regular Willis Eschenbach has provided an scientifically solid answer:

    Accuracy, Precision, and One Watt per Square Metre
    August 30, 2013
    by Willis Eschenbach

    The top-of-atmosphere (TOA) imbalance … is calculated as downwelling solar minus upwelling (reflected) solar minus upwelling longwave. That gives a fascinating look at the overall radiation picture.

    I am once again surprised by the overall stability of the system. Twelve-month averages of all three of the variables (the TOA balance, reflected solar, and upwelling longwave) are all stable to within about ± 0.3 watts per square metre. Out of a total of 340 watts per square metre going each way, that’s plus or minus a tenth of one percent … I call that extremely stable.

    Yes, with a longer sample size we’d likely see greater swings, but still, that’s very stable.

    Thus in regard to Earth’s Energy Balance and Its Implications:

    ▷  the decadal stability of the Earth’s radiative imbalance (that Watts/WUWT/Eschenbach affirm) is consonant with the decadal stability of the Earth’s sea-level rise rate and the multidecadal acceleration of the Earth’s ea-level rise rate

    ▷  local fluctuations in small-capacity thermal reservoirs (e.g., land temperature records) provide no substantial scientific reason to doubt the secular increase in global heat energy (that is, there has been no energy-balance “pause”).

    Conclusion  The “best available climate-change science” (in Judith Curry’s useful phrase), consistently over many decades, sustains a strong-and-strengthening Scientific Case for Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change to Protect Young People and Nature

    Short Summary The best available climate-change science simply says: “James Hansen’s 1981 worldview is right.”

    It’s not complicated, eh Climate Etc folks! And, thank you Willis Eschenbach!

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

    • I agree with you for once, Hansen’s paper, with three other professional scientists, has less scientific content than a blog post by a single amateur.
      It just shows how Climate Science has devalued the scientific method and tainted all fields it has interacted with, most notably, physics.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      DocMartyn believes (without evidence)  “Climate Science has devalued the scientific method and tainted all fields it has interacted with, most notably, physics.”

      DocMartyn, you had better advise the Institute of Physics to shut down all their scientific journals, expunge their Discovery of Global Warming web site, and close their Center for the History of Physics Archives!

      `Cuz those closings would (in your view) help folks appreciate “the best available climate-change science”, eh DocMartyn?

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

      • Your own work is an example of why experimental approaches to discovery are far superior to thinking about things really hard.
        Just how goes your research?

      • @Doc Martyn
        You refer to FOMD’s research. Do you know for a fact that he/she does any research and even who this complete twat is?

    • Chief Hydrologist

      ‘There have been decades, such as 2000–2009, when the observed globally averaged surface-temperature time series shows little increase or even a slightly negative trend1 (a hiatus period). However, the observed energy imbalance at the top-of-atmosphere for this recent decade indicates that a net energy flux into the climate system of about 1 W m−2 (refs 2, 3) should be producing warming somewhere in the system.’ http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v1/n7/full/nclimate1229.html

      There are problems with the earlier TOA radiant flux datasets – each of which has specific issues that required a number of corrections. ERBS is considered the most accurate of the earlier satellite flux series (IPCC AR4) – and it is consistent with ISCCP-FD data. Equally – ocean heat content has coverage issues – in time, area and depth – instrument issues and calibration issues. The best treatment of ocean heat content prior to ARGO I am aware of is Willis 2004 which uses of number of different ocean heat data sources to build a data series that is internally consistent and has a sufficiently dense coverage to provide annual datapoints for the years 1993 to 2003. This was compared with the final Edition 3 ERBS data in Wong et al 2006 providing confirmation that changes in ocean heat content indeed follows net toa radiant flux changes. In this paper ocean heat content peaked in 1998 along with net radiant flux.

      Although we should wonder what the nature of the change in net toa radiant flux was.

      http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/figure-3-23.html

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

      Norris is cited by the IPCC as a source of the equivocation but one doesn’t need to go far to start wondering about this.

      ‘Near-global upper-level cloud cover declined by 1.5%-sky-cover over land between 1971 and 1996 and by 1.3%-sky-cover over ocean between 1952 and 1997. Consistency between EECRA upper-level cloud cover anomalies and those from the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP) during 1984–1997 suggests the surface-observed trends are real.’ http://meteora.ucsd.edu/~jnorris/reprints/2004JD005600.pdf

      Since 2000 there have been newer instruments monitoring all sky flux – and since 2003 an order of magnitude better ocean monitoring system. Unfortunately missing the critical 1998/2001 climate shift. The latter is the result of emergent behaviour of the system that proceeds without any forcing at all – or perpetual motion as webby likes to call it. Here – ‘forcings’ are called control variables and the resulting climate change is nonlinear and chaotic.

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

      Climate change: a summary of the science
      September 2010
      The Royal Society

      I use this for CERES – because Roy Spencer has conveniently added trend lines.

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/CERES-BAMS-2008-with-trend-lines1.gif.html?sort=3&o=120

      The vertical axis is W/m^2. OLR is outgoing longwave radiation. RSW is reflected shortwave. Net upward is by definition warming. We can indeed see that net flux increased by about 1 W/m^2. Although again interesting that it was all in less reflected shortwave.

      ARGO shows the modest warming (0.55 W/m^2 in the period) – and modest sea level rise (0.69mm/yr) – from the modest change in toa flux.

      Palle and Laken (2013) combined the datasets to show cloud changes over the combined instruments – using sea surface temperature to validate both datasets.

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/cloud_palleandLaken2013_zps73c516f9.png.html?sort=3&o=19

      It shows the decline in cloud to the late 1990′s,the 1998/2001 climate shift and minor changes since. It all adds up to the global energy content peaking in 1998, energy inputs decreasing in the 1998/2001 climate shift and not much change since.

  11. The IPCC should not be in the business of seeking to head off skeptics or providing talking points for politicians. It should focus on its mandate to assess the science, and leave the tactical positioning to politicians and advocates.

    Hard to believe that the IPCC does not recognize that it was these sort of shenanigans that got WGII into trouble in AR4.

    • The issue is that certain topics are particularly relevant to the public debate on climate change. If the IPCC doesn’t address these issues in a meaningful way, the utility and impact of their assessments will be diminished.

      And if they pull shenanigans, there have been several backfire lessons that they should have learned from (including ‘discernible’).

      The good news is that the internet, blog, leaks, and possibly the recent IAC review and recommendations, will make any shenanigans more transparent this time around.

      • stevefitzpatrick

        I hope you are right, but experience suggests you are wrong. If they play it straight, there are too many questions/doubts/uncertainties that open up for legitimate public discussion. Too much loss of “argument from authority” when admitted reality contradicts authoritative opinion. IMO: Mostly shenanigans it will be again; too many vested interests for anything else be included. And with that we might hope for the permanent end of the AR train.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Prediction  The conclusion of the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Science, following their 2014 meeting Sustainable Humanity, Sustainable Nature, will amount to this: “Judith Curry is right to focus upon ‘the best available science’, Naomi Oreskes is right to conclude that ‘the IPCC assessments are too conservative‘, and Willis Eschenbach correctly (and quantitatively) points to the strong-and-strengthening evidence that James Hansen’s world view is correct.”

      Thank you, Judith Curry, Naomi Oreskes, Willis Eschenbach, and James Hansen. Truly you four are the Athos, Porthos, Aramis & D’Artagnan of 21st Century Climate-Change Science!

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

      • Truly, FOMD, you and lolwot are the Laurel and Hardy of faux science activism.

        When you FOMD say that “The “best available climate-change science” (in Judith Curry’s useful phrase), consistently over many decades” after linking to a sea level graph that is barely two decades long, It becomes clear that you are agenda driven, not driven by “strong climate science” as you claim.

        And further, maybe it’s too complex of a subject for me to grasp, but I fail to see how Willis Eschenbach’s finding that the “system is extremely stable” support any conclusion that we are in some kind of climate emergency. Also, I don’t think that the approximately 7 centimeter sea level rise over twenty years that the graph you linked to showed is anything to get alarmed about, especially since such a tiny number is dwarfed by natural ups and downs including storm surges etc. That is a little over a foot in an entire century. Only an idiot would claim that human beings cannot deal with 35 measly centimeters of sea level rise in a hundred years. Not to mention there are many places on this big planet where there has been far less than that amount of rise, and yet more places where sea levels have been stable.

        Also, my understanding is that history shows that warmer climate conditions have consistently meant fewer and less severe storms in any case, and this last very quiet storm season, supposedly in the middle of accelerating warming, appears to confirm that understanding.

        By the way, you should post pictures of your shrine to Hansen, and your little scrapbook too. You don’t have to show us the love letters though.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        In your view, tomdesabla, how is it that Judith Curry (2013) and James Hansen (1981) agree near-perfectly in regard to the range of “best available science” values for CO2 sensitivity in climate-change?

        Coincidence? Perhaps not! It COULD be that Judith Curry and James Hansen share a comparable respect for “best available climate-change science”, eh? With Hansen outstandingly skilled at pioneering that science, and Judith Curry outstandingly skilled at validating it? (both skills being essential, needless to say).

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

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The answer for climate sensitivity is …. wait for it… γ in the linked diagram.

        http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Ghil_fig11_zpse58189d9.png.html?sort=3&o=0

        http://www.atmos.ucla.edu/tcd/PREPRINTS/Math_clim-Taipei-M_Ghil_vf.pdf

        Now we need 1000′s of times more computing power to find out what the question is.

        A sensitivity of γ might certainly include 1 degree or 6 degrees. However, it seems credulous in the extreme to suggest that this is a definitive range.

        ‘In each of these model–ensemble comparison studies, there are important but difficult questions: How well selected are the models for their plausibility? How much of the ensemble spread is reducible by further model improvements? How well can the spread can be explained by analysis of model differences? How much is irreducible imprecision in an AOS?

        Simplistically, despite the opportunistic assemblage of the various AOS model ensembles, we can view the spreads in their results as upper bounds on their irreducible imprecision. Optimistically, we might think this upper bound is a substantial overestimate because AOS models are evolving and improving. Pessimistically, we can worry that the ensembles contain insufficient samples of possible plausible models, so the spreads may underestimate the true level of irreducible imprecision (cf., ref. 23). Realistically, we do not yet know how to make this assessment with confidence.’ http://www.pnas.org/content/104/21/8709.full

      • Hey, tom, Stan Laurel was an almost-Geordie (born in Lancs, grew up on Tyneside), let’s not link him to the un-Geordie-like Fan. (Geordies are blunt, upfront, unsubtle, undiplomatic, pragmatic and the salt of the earth.)

      • @tomdesabla.
        If you are new here, I would caution you that trying to have a conversation that in any way resembles logic with FOMD and lolwot is completely impossible. Judith Curry etc are victims of their paranoia.

    • Note that this is not the IPCC talking. It’s IPCC member states trying to push the IPCC in a particular direction, and Stern’s PR man offering comments.

      • Actually, in terms of the IPCC member states, not clear that there is any kind of agreement as to WHICH direction to push the IPCC here in terms of actually addressing the pause.

      • This pressure puts the IPCC staff in a difficult spot. Strong political pressure from multiple directions; giving into any of this will erode their reputation.

        It is a stress test for the IPCC’s structure and individual components. Too bad we don’t have a computer model to run different simulations.

      • @Judith, Fabius
        It will be interesting to say what they’ll make of this. They sure can’t please everybody.

      • Who are “they”? My impression is that the outcome of the Stockholm meeting is not strongly influenced by any small group, but will really be determined by the delegates.

      • Yeah, Pekka.

        And it may be essentially irrelevant to anyone.

        Max

      • Judith

        I don’t know if you agree or not, but I see this as a last chance for IPCC (and by extension, climate science in general) to recover a good part of its lost credibility.

        It may not get back to the high “glory” days of Nobel Peace Prize awards and fawning press coverage of 2006/2007, but it could rise out of the subsequent post-Climategate low.

        It will require a sobering concession that the “pause” has given us new observation-based information, which leads to a critical re-evaluation of past model-based estimates of 2xCO2 ECS and the likelihood that these were exaggerated by a factor of around 2.

        The question in my mind is: will IPCC blow this chance by ignoring or rationalizing away this new information or will it take the opportunity?

        Max

      • 50,000 quatloos say they’ve already blown it.

      • stevefitzpatrick

        manacker,
        “The question in my mind is: will IPCC blow this chance by ignoring or rationalizing away this new information or will it take the opportunity?”
        .
        No doubt about it: blow it they will. Embracing the probability of much lower climate sensitivity is tantamount to organizational suicide. Better to die the slow death of irrelevance (with declining but still generous funding) than to admit your efforts may not matter and perhaps disappear immediately.

      • manacker | August 30, 2013 at 8:13 pm

        The question in my mind is: will IPCC blow this chance by ignoring or rationalizing away this new information or will it take the opportunity?

        To paraphrase the late Abba Eban … the IPCC will never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity!

        In 2010, the IAC handed the IPCC a gilt-edged lifeline – which the intervening years have shown the IPCC has repeatedly failed to grasp. Not only has the leadership failed to grasp this lifeline, but in some instances – for all intents and purposes – while appearing to pay lip service, the end result (with perhaps the notable exception of a somewhat more responsive PR person on that particular deck) is business as usual.

        BAU evidently includes IPCC Chair Rajendra <hell no I won’t go> Pachauri continuing to run around spouting his favourite non-policy prescriptive panacea, as he did while on a recent junket to Finland, during which he evidently declared that:

        the most important way of limiting the harmful effects of climate change is making polluters pay for their carbon dioxide emissions.

        Engineering may be Pachauri’s trade, but clearly reality and facts are not his forté.

    • Dr. Strangelove

      Roger,
      The IPCC was established precisely for tactical positioning to politicians and advocates. It’s an environmental advocacy group. I never thought of IPCC as a scientific organization though it funds the activities of many scientists.

    • stevefitzpatrick

      Roger,
      “The IPCC should not be in the business of seeking to head off skeptics or providing talking points for politicians.”

      Sure, but then they would have no business at all to conduct. The sorry joke is soon coming to an end, and none too soon. That is what happens when reality confronts politics.

    • “The IPCC should not be in the business of seeking to head off skeptics or providing talking points for politicians. It should focus on its mandate to assess the science, and leave the tactical positioning to politicians and advocates.”

      That is precisely what the IPCC is supposed to do.

      The IPCC was created by politicians, paid for by politicians, staffed by politicians, its members chosen by politicians, for the express political purpose of justifying decarbonizing the world economy.

      Its hard to believe that anyone thinks that WGII got into any trouble in AR4. Who lost their job at the IPCC? Who lost their position at their research university? Who lost income? Who saw a reduction in government funding?

      Look at the demands being made by the politicians on the IPCC in the main post above. The people who really control the “consensus” are demanding more of the same, from WGII and everyone else. This pretense that the IPCC is some objective scientific body is just naive.

  12. Judith Curry,

    “And finally, climate models are apparently incapable of simulating emergent phenomena such as abrupt climate change.”

    If I understand the implications for abrupt climate change correctly, there are three scenarios possible: warming, staying the same, cooling.

    “If the climate shifts hypothesis is correct, then the current flat trend in global surface temperatures may continue for another decade or two, with a resumption of warming at some point during mid-century.”

    At the next synchrony or node as in the paradigm of Tsonis, why do you believe there will be a resumption in warming? Why not staying the same? or cooling? Is it all down to radiative physics for CO2? Or, are there still unknown unknowns?

    To me, the “pause” is not a pause in a known trend, rather, the “pause” represents a change to another semi-stable state which will again change to some future semi-stable state.

    PDO/AMO watching is just as good as anything else we have to do today.

  13. We have known for years, the predicament that the IPCC would be in when it wrote the AR 5. There are two issues that are incompatible.

    1. If the IPCC accepts the science on the pause, then it is clear that their previous reports “over-egged the pudding”. In other words, with little or no evidence, the IPCC’s previous reports give confidence to conclusions that were never warranted by the science. So to accept the science that is now becoming clear, means that they must now admit that their previous reports were incorrect when it came to the confidence that CAGW was correct.

    2. If the IPCC ignores the science on the pause, they can fall back on their claim that they have “expert knowledge” that proves that CAGW is real, and the conclusions they came to in previous reports on the confidence levels, are not only still correct, but, in fact, they undertestimated the confidence levels.

    The leaked documents indicate that the IPCC has chosen the latter approach. If they can get away with it, shame on us. But it appears that saner heads are prevailing, and the IPCC may be forced to adopt some parts of 1 above. If that happens, then the IPCC dilemma will become apparent.

    “May you live in interesting times” was an ancient Chinese curse, but in this case, I am glad I will almost certainly be living until the end of September 2013. General Sherman opined that the art of war was to give the opposing general two options, both of which were bad. The IPCC seems to have done this to themselves

  14. Thinking back on the prevalence of so many recitations** and recyclings of the “extreme weather” meme over the past year or so – as well as the curious timing of the (long overdue) “mainstream” acknowledgment of “the pause” …

    If one had a suspicious mind (which, of course, I do not!), one might be inclined to conclude that there was a concerted effort on the part of the die-hard “humans are to blame” crowd to stave off any discussion of “the pause” until (by IPCC “rules”) it was (conveniently?!) too late to do so!

    ** One such recitation came from the IPCC itself! Notwithstanding the actual findings of the SREX, in November 2011, the IPCC released a 5+ minute “Overview of the IPCC Report on Extreme Events (SREX)” video.

    But the most telling part of this PR effort was their (we can have it both ways) disclaimer at the end which reads:

    The material in this video includes explanations of the information in the IPCC Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation, from scientists who worked on the report. The explanations are in their words and not in the language officially approved by the IPCC

    Notice the subtle (or not so subtle, depending on one’s level of perspicacity!) difference in the title of the video [focus on "Extreme Events"] compared with the diffusionary title of the actual report – of which this video is supposedly an “overview”!

    In case you’re wondering, btw,it seems that there is already a movie in the making timed to coincide with the September meeting in Sweden. It will be interesting to see if there is a need for a similar disclaimer, don’t you think?!

    • Some way back Gary M made a comment regarding green
      progressives, ‘If you forget what they say and watch what they
      do, all is clear.’ ( JC 04/05’13 and also cited on me !st Edition
      of Serf Under_ground.)

      Thus on ‘All Things Considered,’ Judith’s interview, they weren’t.
      Heavy clipping of comments and framing made sure of this.
      Similarly with an IPCC video, Hilary observes the difference
      between the sign post “Extreme Events” title of the video
      and the actual report of which the video is supposed ter be
      an “overview”

      Watch what they do. The ol noble cause corruption rules.

  15. I bet ‘they’ll move the goalposts again. NASA said 15 years. Then Santer said 17 years. Recently Paucheri in his Oz talk said 40 years. Now Germany advocates 30 years, since that is the official distinction between weather and average climate. Right. Anything to deny the pause.
    Proving non of the above realy know modern statistics (JC previous post), and all have a collective memory failure about their own past ‘scientific’ pronouncements.
    As the Bard once wrote, “much sound and furry signifying nothing.”
    Regards

  16. There is no more telling remark about the problems of climate science than the belief that any given run of a computer model is “evidence”. There are papers by James Hansen from the early 80s where this assertion can be found. Does anybody still think those early 80s climate models he was running have any adequacy whatsoever? Is every run of every model evidence, no matter if not one of them is set up the same as another?

    Hardly. I recall evidence having something to do with facts. And facts being something found upon the investigation of reality.

    Freeman Dyson nailed this whole problem when he remarked that the modelers sat in dark rooms with their computer screens for too long and began to believe the models instead of reality.

    Allow me to state the obvious; Currently the models must constantly be righted to actual observations in order to be kept on track. Until such time as the models themselves can routinely and successfully predict the observations they need to keep on track, the models have no predictive value and thus little evidentiary validity. We are a long way off from that.

  17. When did JH, find out about the Greenland Grand Canyon, a few decades ago?

  18. Judith Curry

    Thanks for another interesting and timely post.

    “Some people have suggested that the slowdown means that climate sensitivity is lower,” said [Bob] Ward from the Grantham Institute.

    Sounds like Ward is someone who can think outside the box.

    Here’s the “box”

    The IPCC AR4 conclusion on climate sensitivity is stated as:
    “The equilibrium climate sensitivity. . . is likely to be in the range 2ºC to 4.5ºC with a best estimate of about 3ºC and is very unlikely to be less than 1.5ºC. Values higher than 4.5ºC cannot be excluded.”

    And here is the observation from your testimony:

    This estimate of equilibrium climate sensitivity is not easily reconciled with recent forcing estimates and observational data. There is increasing support for values of climate sensitivity around or below 2ºC.

    It will be extremely difficult IMO for IPCC to acknowledge the possibility of a much lower ECS than previously reported based on model predictions. Instead there will be all sorts of rationalizations to keep the higher ECS estimate alive (“pause” time period is too short, heat is going to deep ocean, short-term “natural variability” or Chinese aerosols “dunnit”, etc. etc.)

    The reason is quite simple: If ECS is only around 1.8ºC, as latest observation-based studies suggest, then the “C” has been removed from the “CAGW” projections, as outlined in detail by IPCC in its AR4 report.

    This would mean that all the overheated political talk for immediate mitigating actions (i.e. the politicians’ dream of direct or indirect carbon taxes) emanating from this report becomes meaningless (and IPCC can essentially close shop).

    Max

  19. curryja | August 30, 2013 at 6:11 pm |
    “Since most of this is subjective ‘expert judgment’, one would hope that these new results would influence their subjective judgment and reduce their confidence levels.”

    Judith is expecting the anointed ‘experts’ to be honest with us? And vetted through the 80% bureaucrat dominant SPM process? Surely you jest!

  20. “U.S. and European Union envoys are seeking more clarity from the United Nations on a slowdown in global warming that climate skeptics have cited as a reason not to “panic” about environmental changes, leaked documents show.”

    Translation: US and European political progressives are demanding better propaganda from their government paid bureaucrats and scientists at the IPCC to support their dreams of controlling the world energy economy.

    The German progressives even gave their scientific sock puppets a template:

    ““A 15-years period of observation is not sufficient to give a qualified analysis of the global mean surface temperature trend in an assessment of climate change,’ Germany said. It also said the use of the word ‘hiatus’ is ‘strongly misleading’ because ‘there is not a pause or interruption, but a decrease in the warming trend.’”

    Say there is no pause. Say the deniers who say there is are lying. And add some numbers and make it sound sciency.

    Anybody wanna take bets on how the IPCC will respond?

    • Kinda changed their tune from the ’80s, when 10 years of increasing temperature was airtight proof.

  21. michael hart

    So the policymaker’s envoys want some changes made before the document is presented to the policymakers?

    Hmmm…..

    What the names of these envoys?

    • The Summary for Policy Makers is not a summary by the scientists for the policy makers. It is a summary provided by the “scientists” for the policy makers to use to convince the public to accept decarbonization of the global, or at least western, economy.

      It depends on what the meaning of “for” is.

  22. Dr. Strangelove

    “typical denier talking points” – Michael Mann

    “typical hockey stick lies” – Dr. Strangelove

  23. “The U.S. requested clarity on the implications of the data, commenting “this is an example of providing a bunch of numbers, then leave them up in the air without a concrete conclusion.”

    This rebuke to the IPCC came from both the US and the EU. To be fair to the IPCC it was set up by the world’s politicians at a time when they believeed the world was heading for catastrophe owing to greenhouse gases, Following the 14 year ‘pause’ there is now considerable doubt on that prediction, But why?

    Well, no one predicted the ‘pause’, so they try to cover up by saying the result is still within the confidence limits. But that won’t wash when they can’t account for the ‘pause’.In my opinion the IPCC scientists failed to properly consider the propeties of the many varieties of the CO2 molecule. A normal CO2 molecule at 25C has a specifiv heat only slighylylarger than N2. Certainly not high enough to accoubt for the voracious appetite for heat attributed by the IPCC. Only by being at high temperature can that appetite be satisfied. New man-made CO2 from exhaust tail-pipe or chimney will be hot enough to excire those CO2 modes.

    From these considerations it is not the total amount of CO2 in the atmosphere that matters, but the proportion of new, hot CO2.

  24. Judith writes: “And the recent Nature article on the central Pacific control on global climate adds fuel to my arguments.”

    Who woulda thunk the central Pacific controls global climate?!

    • Yes, It’s such a small ocean after all .

      Now Co2, that mighty control knob of a trace gas…

    • ‘Mind-blowing’ (!), eh Bob?
      [ :
      A grand revelation: Pacific variability has Pacific interannual variability as a component! Wow! ….Now there’s just that bit about forecasting the interannual variability. I wonder why the authors skipped that part? Flash! (illusion-bursting revelation due any second for those who were fooled — reminds me of the Livina & Lenton episode — so lost in the math that common sense is out the window…)

  25. R. Gates - The Skeptical Warmist

    “Norway, Denmark and China requested information on the role oceans have played in the slowdown. China cited three scientific papers, including a study in the journal Geophysical Research Letters in May that found deep ocean waters below 700 meters (2,300 feet) haveabsorbed more heat since 1999.”

    —–
    At least they are asking the right questions. That’s encouraging.

  26. “Hansen then suggests that “global temperature will rise significantly in the next few years as the tropics moves inevitably to the next El Nino phase.”

    Ever hopeful, is Dr. Hansen. He’s been waiting for another super el nino, and as I understand it has been predicting one, since 1998. Oh the good old days when the pacific was warm and the living was easy. And how frustrating it must be for him, to realized that nature herself doesn’t seem to care that he looks more and more like a deluded old fool.

  27. R. Gates - The Skeptical Warmist

    The intelligent policy makers will realize that the Earth continues to accumulate energy, and it is only natural variability that releases more or less of it to the troposphere over various timeframes.

    • I wouldn’t be too hopeful, if I were you R.G. Our policy makers can’t seem to understand anything at all, much less your convoluted, if oft repeated theory.

    • R. Gates
      “You must be one of those who thinks a jacket “warms” you up in the winter”

      Are you suggesting that the proposed mechanism of atmospheric CO2 photon recycling is the same mechanism that operates in a Down-filled coat?

  28. can the thermometers be wrong? can everybody be wrong accept me?

    the temp didn’t ”slowed down” increasing – BUT is overall always same temp

  29. JC said:

    “No significant increase in globally averaged temperature for the past 15 years.”
    _______

    Judith, If I used woodfortrees correctly, UAH globally averaged temperature data for the past 15 years (180 months) show an increase (see link), and unless the average declines during the next several months the increase for “the past 15 years” will be even greater, possibly even what you would consider “significant.”

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/from:1998.67/plot/uah/from:1998.67/trend

  30. The 30-year climate shows no pause starting yet. here the last point includes the whole “pause” period in its average.
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/mean:360/plot/gistemp/mean:360
    The reason for this is that the “pause” was preceded by a little talked about acceleration that culminated in 1998. It was talked about a lot at the time, but is forgotten, just as the pause will be in the next decade. The acceleration and pause cancel in the 30-year timeframe consistent with what natural variability does, and this is also why 30 years is used for climate. “Skeptics” used to be proponents of natural variability but don’t want to use it to explain the pause. They have to choose between them because they have difficulty holding the two concepts together and seeing the consistency they would have if they did.

    • Good point, Jim D. You know, if you suppose global temperature in 1998 didn’t surge, but was like the average of global temperatures for 1997 and 1999, you get a different picture.

    • Even using 15 years doesn’t get you much of a pause.
      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/mean:180/plot/gistemp/mean:180
      I guess all the fuss is about that little tick at the end.

    • As a skeptic I’m quite happy to attribute most of the pause to natural variability. Will you likewise accept that most of the preceeding increase was natural variability? If not why not.

      • Well, 1998 surge might have been, but you have an increase without the surge. Look what happened when I left it out. The increase in 1999-2013 was sharper than the increase in 1978-1997 (see my previous woodfortrees graph).

      • Natural internal variability like this cancels itself out over a few decades. As you see, the general rise has been going on for a century.

      • JimD, “Natural internal variability like this cancels itself out over a few decades. As you see, the general rise has been going on for a century.”

        Woods Hole, Pacific Centennial Oscillation, Pacific Climate Change and ENOS Activity in the Mid-Holocene, http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/2008JCLI2644.1

        How many Climate Scientists does it take to screw in a light bulb? One, just just stand there while the world revolves around them.

      • captd, complete nonsequitur. Why would the fact that ENSO is affected by forcing have any bearing on natural variability canceling itself out? Perhaps you mean that the size of natural variability is affected by forcing, but ENSO however weak or strong still cancels out, and the paper says no different.

      • I moved the break date around, a year at a time. Which map is the correct one?

        Using 1997:
        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/plot/uah/from:1978/to:2000/trend/plot/uah/from:2001/trend

        Using 1998:
        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/plot/uah/from:1978/to:1998/trend/plot/uah/from:1999/trend/plot/none

        Using 1999:
        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/plot/uah/from:1978/to:1999/trend/plot/uah/from:2000/trend

        Using 2000:
        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/plot/uah/from:1978/to:2000/trend/plot/uah/from:2001/trend

        I like the one using 2000, the 4th one. It looks like how I think of things. A rise, followed by a step change up, then flattening.

        All the above includes decisions on how one divides up the massive uptick and crash around 1998? What to do with that outlier?

      • Jim D | August 31, 2013 at 10:04 am |

        Natural internal variability like this cancels itself out over a few decades. As you see, the general rise has been going on for a century.

        False. Natural variability exists on all timescales not just on timescales shorter than a decade. The little ice age – the MWP – the roman warm period – all examples of natural variability over longer time scales. If you disagree then perhaps you could explain what you think caused them.

        You may comment that the existence of this type of natural variability would make the task of isolating a non-natural signal in the climate impossibly difficult. Yes. I agree.

      • On another thread in the last day, I distinguished between internal and external natural variability. External natural variability of course includes things like the Ice Ages. The LIA and MWP could also be affected by solar or volcanic forcing which are external variability. Internal variability is just ocean circulation changes. These move heat around, but can’t change the global climate. Even if the Gulf Stream stopped somehow, that would be internal variability, and some areas would get colder while others get warmer while the global average may show little change.

      • Jim,

        The internal variability might leave the average less variable, but it might equally well have a significant effect on that as well because albedo may be strongly influenced. Logic alone cannot tell what’s the case. Only further research can improve our knowledge on that. The answer may also vary from case to case.

      • JimD, “Even if the Gulf Stream stopped somehow, that would be internal variability, and some areas would get colder while others get warmer while the global average may show little change.”

        With it taking ~1700 years for deep ocean temperature to catch up with surface air temperature changes, global average energy changes pretty damn slow as it is. So designations like “internal” variability and “natural” variability get lost in the name game.

        If you look at the actual SST data, not the seasonality removed anomaly you will see variability that is seasonal forced up to 16C degrees. If a current shifts one of those bands by a few hundred kilometers, the regional seasonal average shifts which produces an anomaly that may have nothing to do with anything other than the method of calculating surface temperature anomaly. That is potentially an extra 0.125C uncertainty for SST and nearly 0.25C for land SAT. It has nothing what-so-ever to do with heat capacity or absolute temperature, just methodology.

        Then take the land amplification. Probably half of that amplification is due to large scale suburban effects, high road density, overly compressed soils, closer mowed grass, snow plowing to get to building and roads, irregular irrigation, cows trying to get to green grass, clearing snow off of instrument shelters or not, hundreds of little things. You don’t throw the data away because of that, but you learn to stop squinting to get an extra hundredth of a degree for arguments sake.

        So saying things like “internal” variability is only 0.1C is humorous, but little else.

      • Pekka, for internal variability to cause an albedo change, it would have to be self-sustaining, and somewhat alter global cloud and ice cover patterns in a systematic, rather than random, way. If someone can propose a mechanism for that with observational evidence or heuristic calculations, that would be interesting. I can see cloud and ice cover feedbacks as positive in a warming background, but I can’t see them driving this behavior by themselves, because then the climate would be inherently unstable.

      • JimD, “because then the climate would be inherently unstable.”

        It is. Luckily, it has limits to its instability. Hurricanes and tornadoes destroy themselves. Ice ages build to the point they destroy themselves. Interglacials build to the point they destroy themselves. The only difference between climate and weather is the time scale.

      • captd, even the people who write papers on PDO and AMO acknowledge its effect is in the few tenths of a degree when averaged over a decade. No one has said it can impact the temperature in a way comparable with the many degrees of AGW. There is a disconnect in scales when discussing natural internal variability. The only context for discussing something with this small amplitude is in detecting climate change over a few decades, which is what this thread is about.

      • JimD, “captd, even the people who write papers on PDO and AMO acknowledge its effect is in the few tenths of a degree when averaged over a decade. ”

        Are you wanting to talk about internal/natural variability or “oscillations” defined less than 30 years ago which have been detrended? Right now the ENSO region is subject to a new and improved regional designation. Cold tongue, hot tongue, north hot tongue, cold north tongue ENSO 2.6, La Madre, whatever, the “standard” oscillations do not cover “natural” or “internal” variability on “climate” timescales. The newly defined Pacific Centennial “Oscillation” is just the next step in the progression.

      • captd, actually I would prefer not to talk about anything that averages itself out over thirty years. This is supposed to be a climate discussion. Those are just distractions.

      • Jim,

        Pekka, for internal variability to cause an albedo change, it would have to be self-sustaining, and somewhat alter global cloud and ice cover patterns in a systematic, rather than random, way.

        Right.

        Skeptical scientists Like Lindzen and Spencer have tried to present such evidence, but have not been successful in convincing others. On the other hand I don’t believe that there’s anything that offers strong contrary evidence either from theory or observations. My impression is that the role of persistent enough changes in albedo is not known. They would be driven by changes in the state of oceans, and those changes might have a lesser direct influence on the global average surface temperatures than the changes in albedo that they would sustain. I have no evidence for that, but it’s plausible enough for being considered as an alternative until the details and mechanisms of decadal and multidecadal variability are better known than the are presently.

    • GaryM, if you don’t agree with UAH data, tell Roy Spenser what you think he’s doing wrong. If you don’t agree with how woodfortrees works, tell who’s responsible what he’s doing wrong. If you believe there’s an error in what I did, explain why.

  31. When Dr Mann uses language like “typical denier talking points” to respond to Dr Curry, he doesn’t sound like a scientist. A linguistic analysis of the language used by climate scientists as opposed to other scientists would be fascinating. Where is the typical scientific reserve and careful and precise use of language? Mann by contrast sounds shrill and argumentative – he doesn’t communicate like a scientist at all.

  32. Ian H , I was thinking the same thing about Dr. Curry’s guest author, Rud Istvan, who closed his piece titled “Ice Sheet Collapse?” with the following sentence:

    “Destruction of trust in science by the CAGW hockey stick gang continues.”

    But to be fair, Istvan may not be a scientist.

  33. Max_OK

    But to be fair, Istvan may not be a scientist

    Are you, Okie?

    (I’m not, either – just an engineer.)

    Max_CH

  34. Max_OK

    For years, UAH showed a slower tropospheric warming trend than the surface records and then RSS was given the contract to check out the inconvenient UAH conclusions (they came up with a faster rate of increase than UAH).

    Since around 2001, the surface records have all stalled, as has RSS.

    Only UAH still shows warming.

    If you want to fool yourself into thinking there has been no “pause” in warming (as Hansen, Trenberth, etc. have already conceded), go right ahead.

    It’s always easiest to fool yourself (Feynman).

    Max_CH

    • Well, Max_CH I can believe you are an expert on fooling yourself.

      I wish you would address my question. After surging in 1998, and plummeting in 1999, why has UAH average global temperature increased faster than it did before 1998?

      • Max_CH, I don’t have time to wait for your answer tonight because I’m going to bed. As for the “pause,” of course if you use 1998, you will see it. But doesn’t regarding 1998 as an aberration, give a different perspective on the pause?

        BTW, I try to think for myself when possible, which means I don’t just don’t automatically go along “Hansen, Trenbeth, etc.”

        Good night and good morning.

      • @Max_OK
        As for the “pause,” of course if you use 1998, you will see

        As even the most dogged CAGWers like Trenberth conceed, post-1998 you see it too. If you add 1998, the Pause becomes a slight Decline.

      • Gina, if you see a post 1998 pause in my previous graph of UAH average global temperatures, our eyesight is different. I don’t even see a pause in 1998-2013 using the UAH series. Indeed, the slope for 1998-2013 is about the same as the slope for pre-1998 . For a level OLS line, I have to start with 2005 (see linked chart). Of course UAH is only one of several global temperature metrics.

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/plot/uah/from:2005/trend/plot/uah/from:1998/trend/plot/uah/to:1998/trend/plot/none

      • Yes that’s right MaxOK – like Jim D, you see CAGW where even the massed spin doctors of the IPCC don’t; even they concede the Pause.

        You two should set up as IPCC Extra or something.

      • Gina, I didn’t address CAGW in my posts. I simply presented UAH data. It is what it is.

      • Wriggle away to maintain your Pause Denialism if you must Max.

        Or do you wish to recant ?

      • Now where’s lowlot when you need him/her? She/he should put you straight on the (mis)use of OLS

      • Re post by Gina on August 31, 2013 at 11:13 am

        Gina, if you think I said there hasn’t been a recent pause in global warming, you are wrong. I took issue with Judith Curry’s statement that there has been no significant warming in the past 15 years. The first linked graph starts with the latest month for which data are available for the four global temperature metrics and goes back 180 months (i.e., 15 years). If you agree with Judith that all four show no significant warming, please explain why.

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1998.67/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1998.67/trend/plot/gistemp/from:1998.67/plot/gistemp/from:1998.67/trend/plot/uah/from:1998.67/plot/uah/from:1998.67/trend/plot/rss/from:1998.67/plot/rss/from:1998.67/trend/plot/none

        I believe skeptics are exaggerating the length of the pause in global warming. In the second linked graph I show the length of the pause ( flat OLS line) for each of the four global temperature metrics. The year the OLS line starts going flat was 1999 for hadcrut 3 and rss, 2002 for gistemp, and 2004 for UAH. So we have pauses of 14 years, 11 years, and 9 years, depending on which metric is used.

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1998.67/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1999.67/trend/plot/gistemp/from:1998.67/plot/gistemp/from:2002.67/trend/plot/uah/from:1998.67/plot/uah/from:2004.67/trend/plot/rss/from:1998.67/plot/rss/from:1999.67/trend

      • Gina said on August 31, 2013 at 3:31 am
        @Max_OK
        As for the “pause,” of course if you use 1998, you will see

        “As even the most dogged CAGWers like Trenberth conceed, post-1998 you see it too. If you add 1998, the Pause becomes a slight Decline.”
        ______

        If by “post-1998″ you mean January 1999 to July 2013, and by pause you mean the warming stopped, the four global temperature metrics say you are wrong.

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1999/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1999/trend/plot/gistemp/from:1999/plot/gistemp/from:1999/trend/plot/uah/from:1999/plot/uah/from:1999/trend/plot/rss/from:1999/plot/rss/from:1999/trend/plot/none

        If by “adding 1998″ you mean January 1998 to July 2013, you will find only only one (rss) of the four metrics shows a decline in temperature.

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1998/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1998/trend/plot/gistemp/from:1998/plot/gistemp/from:1998/trend/plot/uah/from:1998/plot/uah/from:1998/trend/plot/rss/from:1998/plot/rss/from:1998/trend/plot/none

        There have been pauses and declines in global temperature in recent years, depending on the metric used, but for periods different than you think.

      • The paws curled up before the banked fire, but knew they’d have to trot out in the snow to pee soon enough.
        ==========================

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Max_OK:

        Gina, if you think I said there hasn’t been a recent pause in global warming, you are wrong. I took issue with Judith Curry’s statement that there has been no significant warming in the past 15 years. The first linked graph starts with the latest month for which data are available for the four global temperature metrics and goes back 180 months (i.e., 15 years). If you agree with Judith that all four show no significant warming, please explain why.

        Assuming I’m allowed to answer as well, I have a guess. My guess is some people know how to calculate error margins and find it useful to do so when discussing whether or not a statistically calculated value is statistically significant. I suspect these same people actually look at the data they’re discussing rather than just being distracted by pretty pictures. That’s why those people see things like, your “180 months” being:

        #Number of samples: 178

        I believe skeptics are exaggerating the length of the pause in global warming. In the second linked graph I show the length of the pause ( flat OLS line) for each of the four global temperature metrics. The year the OLS line starts going flat was 1999 for hadcrut 3 and rss, 2002 for gistemp, and 2004 for UAH. So we have pauses of 14 years, 11 years, and 9 years, depending on which metric is used.

        As long as your “metric” includes “ignores all statistical analysis,” you’re right. You’re also effectively just drawing with crayons and passing it off as “analysis.”

      • As I said before Max, you (and Jim D) seriously think you have dope even likes of committed alarmists like Trenberth don’t see ? Do you really think they would concede the Pause, fretting over “missing” heat, if they didn’t feel compelled to by overwhelming evidence ? C’mon!

      • Re Brandon Shollenberger’s comments on September 1, 2013 at 1:37 am

        Sure, Brandon, you are allowed to answer.

        Regarding your comment on statistical significance, JC didn’t say “no statistically significant warming in the past 15 years,” she said “no significant warming in the past 15 years.” I don’t think “significant” and “statistically significant” mean the same thing. I believe something can be significant without being statistically significant and statistically significant without being significant.

        Perhaps you have checked the four global temperature metrics for statistically significant warming in the past 15 years and have found none. If so, I would like to discuss the significance of your results.

      • MaxOk

        I think we are dancing on the heads of pins in looking at 1998 data and trying to construct a trend either way. However taking your data from 2002 shows a different story of noticeable decline.

        wayhttp://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:2002/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:2002/trend/plot/gistemp/from:2002/plot/gistemp/from:2002/trend/plot/uah/from:2002/plot/uah/from:2002/trend/plot/rss/from:2002/plot/rss/from:2002/trend

        2002 is precisely the time that a real world temperature record-as opposed to a global composite- also started its decline. Here is CET

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

        Now, a 11 year definite and irrefutable decline certainly counts as ‘interesting’ but can also be considered as merely a possible pause in warming rather than definitive proof that the 350 year long warming trend has definitely reversed
        tonyb

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Max_OK, at the point the data doesn’t show any warming, I think it’s safe to say the data doesn’t show significant warming. If you want to just eyeball data to find patterns you like, you can, but I don’t see what value there would be in me discussing it.

        It’s simple. One group of people uses math, science and evidence to judge positions. Another group doesn’t. Dialog between the two groups doesn’t end well. Join my group and actually look at things like the data you plotted, and we can have a discussion.

        Draw pretty pictures and say they prove you’re right, and we can’t.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        climatereason:

        Now, a 11 year definite and irrefutable decline certainly counts as ‘interesting’ but can also be considered as merely a possible pause in warming rather than definitive proof that the 350 year long warming trend has definitely reversed

        Please don’t make Max_OK look good. You’re overstating the confidence of your results more than even he did, and that’s saying a lot.

        Given the amount of noise in these series, there is no definite or irrefutable 11 year (actually 11 and a half year) decline. It is just as plausible there is no decline at all.

        And that’s ignoring the rampant cherry-picking required to get your results.

      • Brandon

        ‘Definite and irrefutable.’

        Good grief man, have you never heard of irony?

        tonyb

      • tony, I think it’s OK if you want to make me look good. I don’t know why Brandon objects.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        climatereason, nothing you said seemed exaggerated compared to what I see on climate blogs on a regular basis. Even when I search for it now, I can’t see any clues indicating hyperbole, sarcasm or parody.

        I may just be blind, but I don’t think your intentions carried through.

      • Brandon

        I was tossing out some tongue in cheek bait for Maxok who does have a good sense of humour.. He almost certainly would have reacted to ‘definite and irrefutable’ and we were then in for some enjoyable lunch time fishing.

        tonyb

      • Brandon Shollenberger | September 3, 2013 at 5:18 am |
        Max_OK, at the point the data doesn’t show any warming, I think it’s safe to say the data doesn’t show significant warming.
        _______

        Brandon, I’m no statistician, but I have enough common sense to know “statistically significant” and “significant” do not, as you imply, mean the same thing.

        I will take your word that each of the four metrics show no statistically significant warming for the past 15 years ( I presume that’s what you mean). But 15 years may be too short of a period to see any statistically significant change in global temperature, warming or cooling. Is using this measure good practice if the sample is too small?

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        climatereason, I still don’t see it, but sorry for messing up your plans!

        Max_OK:

        Is using this measure good practice if the sample is too small?

        Shouldn’t you have asked that before you used it? You’re the one who drew conclusions off a 15 year period. It seems silly to criticize your critics for pointing out the noise in that period when the only one suggesting we use it is you.

        (For the record, 15 years is enough to judge some trends, but not all. The Blackboard is a good resource on this issue.)

  35. In an earler thread, In response to the idea that “the science” is related to the *process* of science, Mosh said
    Lets see.
    1. Co2 causes warming
    2. Judith invites Mcintyre to georgia tech
    3. Did C02 change it’s radiative powers?

    No of course not. But not the point here. The process of science has an effect on *what* science is looked at, and *how* it is looked at. And is also about what is studiously *not* looked a too.

    If say you are a government shill – as most climate scientists are – your process will be to focus on CO2 because this is the angle that promises to to bring more power and glory to government. And you condone the hiding of data, declines, run coverups of Climategate, etc. This bias is of course the whole basis of the Consensus.

    But if you are a sincere climate scientist, your process would be to consider all aspects, no matter where they lead, and who is likely to benefit or lose out.

    So it really is rather vacuous to speak of “the science” without mentioning how it was arrived at and who paid for it. So, Mosh, in the case of climate, instead of saying *the* science says this or that, say *government* science says this or that (when referring to govenment-funded/motivated science)

  36. The EU asking the UN for clarity? On climate? If I was Diogenes, I wouldn’t put down that lamp yet.

  37. Reduced Arctic sea ice is due to negative Arctic and North Atlantic Oscillations, so a sign of cooling. Read this, and the following comments of mine:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/23/the-medieval-warm-period-in-the-arctic/#comment-1398577

    • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

      There is certainly some component of natural variability in Arctic sea ice fluctuations, but even Dr Curry has admitted an anthropogenic component to the multi-decadal decline in the sea ice and the general warming and indications of climate change the Arctic is experiencing. This graph gives a nice perspective on the dramatic modern decline relative to the past 1450 years:

      http://itsburning.blogspot.com/2012/08/arctic-sea-ice-and-natural-cycles.html

      • It’s a wolf, it’s a wolf.

      • In the short term and in the long term, the north Frigid Zone temperatures move in opposition to the Temperate Zone. Summers like 2012, 2007, 1962, 1958 with very negative NAO/AO suffer the greatest Arctic sea ice loss.

  38. Judith had written:

    Well, I’ve looked at the leaked AR5 material and I am holding off judgment until I see what they come up with in the final Summary for Policy Makers. But the ‘sausage making’ in all this is rather mind boggling.

    I haven’t seen the “leaked” material, but it would not surprise me to learn that a healthy portion of the “meat” in this particular sausage just happens to coincide with that which went into the SREX:

    IPCC’s new, improved “virtual certainty” flavoured sausage report

    YMMV, but the view from here, so to speak, is that they certainly don’t seem to have done any “upgrading” to the machinery at the sausage factory in the last few years!

  39. Pingback: Proactionary Thriving | Skeptical Swedish Scientists

  40. phatboy said on August 31, 2013 at 5:01 pm

    “Now where’s lowlot when you need him/her? She/he should put you straight on the (mis)use of OLS.”
    ——

    phatboy, If you think I have misused OLS , please explain why?

    • On two counts.
      Firstly, OLS should not be used on a continuous, unbounded data series, of which a time series is a typical example, as the slope of the line is very sensitive to the start and endpoints chosen. You’re only fooling yourself if you think OLS shows you anything other than what you get from simply eyeballing the graph.
      Secondly, at the risk of stating the obvious, an OLS will only show a valid linear trend if the trend inherent in the data actually is linear.

    • Re phatboy’s comments on September 2, 2013 at 4:26 pm |

      “Firstly, OLS should not be used on a continuous, unbounded data series, of which a time series is a typical example, as the slope of the line is very sensitive to the start and endpoints chosen.”

      phatboy, tell that to people who use OLS to show a “pause” in global warming, and recommend something else for them to use.
      _____

      “You’re only fooling yourself if you think OLS shows you anything other than what you get from simply eyeballing the graph.”

      Well, phatboy, eyeballing is OK, but not everyone will see the same thing.
      ______

      “Secondly, at the risk of stating the obvious, an OLS will only show a valid linear trend if the trend inherent in the data actually is linear.”

      Of course, but I doubt OLS will mislead you into believing something has been increasing or decreasing when it has actually been doing just the opposite.

      _____

      • Max_OK:

        tell that to people who use OLS to show a “pause” in global warming, and recommend something else for them to use.

        You don’t need to use OLS to show a “pause”, or anything else – an eyeball will do just fine

        eyeballing is OK, but not everyone will see the same thing.

        OLS is not going to help you – it can’t show you anything that you can’t otherwise see, and can be misleading.

        but I doubt OLS will mislead you into believing something has been increasing or decreasing when it has actually been doing just the opposite.

        You’re joking, right?

      • phatboy, let’s face it, eyeballing is for people too lazy to use OLS, and maybe even to lazy to use a rubber band

        The good thing about OLS is everyone gets the same results. But different eyeballs get different results, which can lead to arguments, etc. The only thing good about eyeballing is it’s easy.

        Here’s a challenge for you. Find a real world example OLS misleading us into believing something has been increasing or decreasing when it has actually been doing just the opposite. OK, I know you can’t do it, or I wouldn’t have challenged you.

        Don’t get me wrong. The first thing I do when I look at a graph is eyeball it. While I enjoy eyeballing, I’m aware of it’s imitations. You should be too.

      • Max_OK, here’s an example, and it’s not even time-series data:
        http://apivir.org/acrobatpdf/taylorvoiesetrisques.pdf
        Look at Appendix A

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  43. Jim D, I didn’t think I would need to spell out the unrealized underpinnings of your own analysis to you, but here it is.

    The scientists are saying there is danger on our current course

    These ‘scientists’ are all just government shills, employed to advance the cause of government. Neither they nor their managers care about economic impacts of what they are saying, since the taxpayers will always be forced to pick up the tab for them. So they just ignore the warnings that their models are broken, since to them, political correctness must be paid for, whatever the cost to the public.

  44. @jim d
    “it is not just the scientists, behind them you see nature with the warning light flashing red on Arctic sea-ice loss rates over just the past decade”

    Ah yes, arctic sea ice losses,
    THEREFORE,
    CO2 to blame, can’t be anything else.

    Almost as rigorous as what government stooge ‘scientists’ are saying.

  45. The plateau matters mainly in differentiating natural from manmade factors. If your model predicts an ever-rising anthropogencic warming based on filling in the gap of an assumed diminishing natural warming then when nature does the opposite it proves your assumptions are utterly wrong and you can no longer say that man has any influence at all. There is ZERO evidence that any of this gradual and miniscule trend has anything to do with man! Without that we only have agradual, benign or even beneficial warming and no need for policy at all. By extension no need for the IPCC, nor most on the climate gravy train.

  46. If the way CO2 warming works us by (increased) downwelling longwave from (increased) CO2, why would the effect be more pronounced at nighttime?