Time of emergence of a warming signal

by Judith Curry

Time of emergence of a warming signal is a topic that is receiving increasing discussion.

The IPCC AR5 discusses this in section   I don’t particularly suggest reading the AR5 text, since it is typically painful to read.

Ed Hawkins has blogged on this Time of emergence of a warming signal, with a nice summary.  Some excerpts:

The ‘signal’ of a warming climate is emerging against a background ‘noise’ of natural internal variability. Both the magnitude of the signal and the noise vary spatially and seasonally. As society and ecosystems tend to be somewhat adapted to natural variability, some of the impacts of any change will be felt when the signal becomes large relative to the noise. 

The concept of a ‘time of emergence’ (ToE) has been discussed by several authors and the IPCC AR5 includes a section ( on when and where the temperature signal will emerge. Each model’s ToE is defined using the standard deviation from a control simulation as the noise (N), and the temperature change since the mean of 1986-2005 as the signal (S).

[Fig. 11.11 from the IPCC report; reproduced in Ed Hawkins' post] shows maps of the median year in which S/N becomes larger than 1. The darker red colours, indicating earlier ToE, are found in the tropics. Even though the signal of change is not largest in the tropics, the variability tends to be smaller than at higher latitudes, thus giving earlier emergence times. The histograms illustrate the uncertainty in ToE for particular area averages, which is due to uncertainty in both the signal and the noise in different models.

A new paper is published today in Nature that provides a different perspective on this issue.

The projected timing of climate departure from recent variability

Camilo Mora, Abby G. Frazier, Ryan J. Longman, Rachel S. Dacks, Maya M.Walton, Eric J. Tong, Joseph J. Sanchez, Lauren R. Kaiser, Yuko O. Stender, James M. Anderson, Christine M. Ambrosino, Iria Fernandez-Silva, Louise M. Giuseffi & ThomasW. Giambelluca

Ecological and societal disruptions by modern climate change are critically determined by the time frame over which climates shift beyond historical analogues. Here we present a new index of the year when the projected mean climate of a given locationmoves to a state continuously outside the bounds of historical variability under alternative greenhouse gas emissions scenarios. Using 1860 to 2005 as the historical period, this index has a global mean of 2069 (618 years s.d.) for near-surface air temperature under an emissions stabilization scenario and 2047 (614 years s.d.) under a ‘business-as-usual’ scenario. Unprecedented climates will occur earliest in the tropics and among low-income countries, highlighting the vulnerability of global biodiversity and the limited governmental capacity to respond to the impacts of climate change. Our findings shed light on the urgency of mitigating greenhouse gas emissions if climates potentially harmful to biodiversity and society are to be prevented.

citation: dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature12540

Phys.org has an article on this new paper titled: Study reveals urgent new time frame for climate change.   Excerpts:

The new index shows a surprising result. Areas in the tropics are projected to experience unprecedented climates first – within the next decade. Under a business-as-usual scenario, the index shows the average location on Earth will experience a radically different climate by 2047. Under an alternate scenario with greenhouse gas emissions stabilization, the global mean climate departure will be 2069.

“The results shocked us. Regardless of the scenario, changes will be coming soon,” said lead author Camilo Mora. “Within my generation, whatever climate we were used to will be a thing of the past.”

Tropical  are unaccustomed to climate variability and are therefore more vulnerable to relatively small changes. The tropics hold the world’s greatest diversity of marine and terrestrial species and will experience unprecedented climates some 10 years earlier than anywhere else on Earth. Previous studies have already shown that corals and other tropical species are currently living in areas near their physiological limits. The study suggests that conservation planning could be undermined as protected areas will face unprecedented climates just as early and because most centers of high species diversity are located in developing countries.

“This paper is unusually important. It builds on earlier work but brings the biological and human consequences into sharper focus,” said Jane Lubchenco, former Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and now of Oregon State University, who was not involved in this study. “It connects the dots between climate models and impacts to biodiversity in a stunningly fresh way, and it has sobering ramifications for species and people.”

JC comments:  I like the methodology used in the new study (well, apart from the issue of the climate models running too hot and not simulating natural internal variability very well).  To me, it makes much more sense to look at the historical variability since 1860, than merely to look at the period  1986-2005.  Further, I like this approach better than the detection and attribution approaches used by the IPCC, whereby simulations forced with only natural variability are compared with simulations with natural plus anthropogenic variability.  Since the models do a poor job simulating natural internal variability, it seems a much better strategy to look at the regional natural variability from the historical data record.

With regards to Mora et al. being “shocked” by their results, well their results seem to me to be far less alarming than the results reported by the AR5, whereby Mora et al. find emergence of the signal several decades later than reported by the AR5.

The issue of the tropics emerging as the key ‘hot spot’ for emergence is interesting, since the amount of warming expected for the tropics is substantially less than for the high latitudes.   I can’t speak with any great understanding regarding the adaptability of tropical ecosystems to this relatively small amount of warming.  But in terms of adaptation of human societies, the main issue is fresh water availability  – an issue for which the climate models show little skill, and for which population increase is the main driver.

So, sounding the ‘alarm’ based on this paper seems misguided, since this paper seems markedly less alarming than what was reported in the AR5.

And finally, how do we square this concept of ‘time of emergence’ with the statement from the IPCC AR5 Report, chapter 10:  “On every continental region except Antarctica, it is likely that anthropogenic influence has made a substantial contribution to surface temperature increases since the mid 20th century.”

277 responses to “Time of emergence of a warming signal

  1. Now we can begin again and add to fears of ‘increased ocean acidification’ the list that will never die of erroneous AGW model-based predictions that can never be falsified enough by empirical records, which includes epidemics of insect-borne disease, extensive extinction of species (e.g., the polar bear), coastal flooding with catastrophic effects on Pacific islanders, and an ever greater severity of increased numbers of hurricanes and tornadoes of increasing severity — even before the elevated temperatures that have been predicted by the AGW models are detectible.

  2. “On every continental region except Antarctica, it is likely that anthropogenic influence has made a substantial contribution to surface temperature increases since the mid 20th century.”

    Why except Antarctica? Isn’t CO2 an equal continent contributor? Or do they mean UHI effect? This is a bit unclear and is possible explained elsewhere?

  3. “I like the methodology used in the new study (well, apart from the issue of the climate models running too hot and not simulating natural internal variability very well). ”

    Res ipsa loquitur.

    • It’s models all the way down. In the models, it’s CO2 all the way up. Res ipsa loquitur indeed (ratio ipsum loquitur?)..

    • If you need to hide in the weeds pokerguy any weeds tall enough will do. This is another pointless topic to placate the fake science discussion crowd. Validating the IPCC that should be “put down” but for an abstract list of reasons Dr. Lindzen wouldn’t even recognize.

    • I’m a bit confused, and I’ve never commented here, but isn’t it true that climate models do run hot and fail to handle cyclic phenomena?

  4. I will look up and post a link showing that the signal from the Sun’s pulsar core slowed by a very small fraction over the 20-year period (1977-1997) that global temperatures increased.

  5. “Within my generation, whatever climate we were used to will be a thing of the past.”

    Gee, what a dreadful prospect to contemplate. So lucky were people like Charles Dickens and George Washington who both lived during the Little Ice Age and never had to experience a warmer climate.

    • Right. Goes to Kim’s point. How cold would we be without the purported anthro warming…


    • What are these guys who wrote those papers doing as so called climate scientists?
      With their self promoted and extraordinary ability to predict the future, they should turn their attention to the stock market where the amount of information available to base predictions on is much larger and is far less complex than the information on the supposed drivers of the climate.

      If they turned their claimed forecasting and prediction skills towards the trends in various stocks in the next couple of years they would be multi billionaires and well set up to weather the heat of the anthropogenic warming or the cold of the next solar induced Maunder type minimum.

      Sorry folks but as layman who has been interested in, has been associated with and has supported science all my life, I’ve about had enough of vainglorious charlatans parading as scientific seers promoting endless visions of hells to come,
      After closely following the climate scientist’s prognostications on the trends in our global climate for decade and even believing to a considerable extent in those predictions, I’ve about had a total gutsfull of climate scientists and their endless list of horrors that seer like, they in their arrogance and hubris relying on the dead chicken entrails of some very inventive modeling, predict will afflict,mankind if he continues to sin against whatever it is they happen to believe in today..

      And I can assure you from my personal contacts and experiences that there are many, many ordinary folk off the streets and farms and out of the workshops and factories and offices who are now moving quite quickly towards the same pissed off attitude towards science and climate scientists in particular and their endless promoting of horrific visions of the various hells that await us unless we bow the knee before their vastly superior intellect and knowledge and follow their dictates intimately.

      Climate science or what passes for science in climate research is destroying science.
      Nothing more!
      Nothing less!

    • ROM expresses well the reasons why leaders of the US National Academies of Science should have intervened in this matter long ago.

  6. So according to the AGW promotion industry by way of Mann’s hockeystick, teh climate crisis is here and not doubted by serious people, But now the climate catastrophe is an emergent phenomenon, only distinguishable from natural climate by the must subtle of scienctific efforts.
    What a bunch of circular bs.
    None of the ‘scientists’ have the guts to question any assumptions in serious manner.
    And the dismissal of tropical scpecies ability to adapt to a braod range of climate variability is nearly new world creationist in its ignorance.

    • Dr. Curry needs the status quo to be maintained, a fake and circular science debate among a preselected group of peers. She can’t own up and few ask her to.

  7. R. Gates the Skeptical Warmist

    This part:

    “As society and ecosystems tend to be somewhat adapted to natural variability, some of the impacts of any change will be felt when the signal becomes large relative to the noise. ”

    Excellent. +100.

    Question: How quickly might that signal to noise change and will there be time to “adapt” to those changes?

    • Today I was looking at data for October 2 at the nearest weather station where I live.

      Tmax ranges from 11C to 26C. The coldest happened to be 2013 and the warmest 20 years ago.

      I’ve adapted.

    • Little Miss Sunshine discovered what an anecdote is, and that LMS is one as well.

    • Webby, people and animals and plants do not live in a place where it always is the “average” temperature. They’ve already adjusted to wild fluctuations.

      People fly from NY to Florida or Hawaii. They don’t suddenly die because its 5C or 10C warmer.

      A 1C rise over 100 years would benefit way more people than it mildly discomforts.

      And consider there was no rise over the last 15 years and the sun is the quietest in 190 years, why do you your cult run around screaming “the sky is falling”.

      You look like badly drawn cartoon characters.

    • little miss sunshine
      You make the mistake that I do subjective evaluations of outcomes. All I really do is objectively analyze the statistical climate data.. while pointing out fakes like you that apply anecdotal information only.

    • Poor Webby … the accusation that plants and animals and humans can’t adapt to 1C of warming exposes you as a joke.

      Where is the science behind such a ludicrous claim?

    • sunshinehours1 | October 9, 2013 at 8:10 pm |

      Poor Webby … the accusation that plants and animals and humans can’t adapt to 1C of warming exposes you as a joke.

      Where is the science behind such a ludicrous claim?

      Look up “denial” on Wikipedia. A common approach of the denier is to rationalize:

      “minimisation: admit the fact but deny its seriousness (a combination of denial and rationalization)”

      You make the claims while I just observe.

    • Poor, poor webby. He couldn’t find any evidence. And now he is all petulant.

      According to webby, Adaptation to a minuscule 1C change over hundreds of years is impossible, even if a normal fluctuation is 15C.

      webby the denier.

    • Perhaps the climate scientists can explain why warmer weather equates to both thicker tree rings and is also going to destroy the biosphere?

    • Little miss sunshine has a talent for cherrypicking anecdotal evidence to prove that AGW is not happening and then asserting that even if it were, it wouldnt be too bad.

      This is how every college dropout has rationalized their failure. They lazily did the required work, and then when they failed, harumphed they didnt want to pursue that career anyways.

    • Science says one third of manmade CO2 went into the atmosphere after 1998.

      Science says temperatures have been flat since 1998.

      Webby says AGW is happening now,

      Poor poor denier webby.

    • k scott denison

      R. Gates, where I live the lowest recorded temperature was -33F (1951). The highest recorded temperature is 101F (1988). I’d bet a paycheck the historical (vs. recorded) extremes while man has lived here are still wider.

      The lowest annual average Tmax is 27F and the highest 82F. The lowest annual average Tmin is 19F and the highest is 62F.

      The vast majority of our days throughout the year are +/- 10-15F off the averages.

      How much warming do you think is required before we would notice? How much to where we couldn’t adapt?

    • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

      K Scott Denison,

      You ask good questions. But are you assuming the future is going to be like the past and our alteration of the atmosphere is insignificant enough and slow enough that we can adapt. I make no such assumption.

    • k scott denison

      I make no such assumption. I asked how much warming is required before we would notice and to where we couldn’t adapt.

      Nice try at deflection, though.

  8. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Citizen-members of The Audubon Society have long appreciated, from the evidence of their own eyes, that bird populations are *already* on the move from climate-change

    That’s why conservation organizations like Season’s End enjoy wide support from outdoors folks.

    Because when it comes to climate-change, seeing *IS* believing!

    Animals and birds and fishes have been around for millennia … and *that* is the common-sense reason why millennial time-scales are crucial to the conservationist assessment of climate-change.

    Needless to say, short-sighted Randian libertarians are notably sparse among the membership rosters of the conservationist organizations!

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    • thisisnotgoodtogo

      I have a writer for you, Fanny.

      Read Gavin Maxwell ( Ring of Bright Water fame) and his account of the changes of the flora to his cottage environment. Must have been AGW!

    • “Animals and birds and fishes have been around for millennia” – millions of years, more like. One of the features of evolution that is not yet understood is that species can survive extinction. Polar animals such as polar bears and penguins became extinct in each of the interglacials which were a lot warmer than today. Similarly, tropical animals such as parrots and crocodiles became extinct during the glacial periods which were a lot colder than today.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Mike Jonas, your novel evolutionary insights richly deserve their own thread! Thank you Mike Jonas!

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    • Monarch butterflies have a serial migration from southern Canada to central Mexico. Monarchs lay eggs at different stages through the journey and so it takes many generations makes the whole trip.
      When crossing Lake Superior, they fly south, and at one point of the lake turn east, fly for a while, and then turn back toward the south.
      Many biologists, and some geologists, believe that something was blocking the monarchs’ path, that that part of Lake Superior might have once had a mountain, so all successfully migrating monarchs veered east around it and then headed southward again.
      They continue doing this even though the mountain is long gone.

    • Bird’s are flying places during The Pause? What a shock. Birds have never flown anywhere before.

      And the poor fishies. .066C over 45 years. How can they adapt … if they happened to notice.

    • Good one fan. You can take 40 years of citizen observations and turn it into data pin-pointing the ranges of birds for millenia.
      You must be some kind of super-scientist.

    • Fan of discourse,

      In a completely stable climate, you would still observe the most shocking up and down cycles of populations. Nature is also a dynamic system. Contrary to popular belief, it is not “naturally” stable. In it’s simplest form, we can have the Lotke-Volterra model. See for example: http://www.tiem.utk.edu/~gross/bioed/bealsmodules/predator-prey.html

      Therefore, it is not valid to conclude an effect of climate change simply from observing changes in nature. (It can also not be ruled out but definitely requires conclusive proof in each case.)

  9. “Each model’s ToE is defined using the standard deviation from a control simulation as the noise (N), and the temperature change since the mean of 1986-2005 as the signal (S).”

    We need some real statisticians looking at this. Stat.

    • Yes indeedy. Mora et al., are much too conservative in their definition of emergence of a strong signal. First they define the envelope encompassing all the measurements at a particular location. Then they say emergence is defined by eleven years annual average above the envelope. Take a look at the figure here

    • So nice to know that you have a ‘signal’ and ‘noise’, rather than having a signal.
      These people are just like bad guarders, instead of having plants they have flowers and weeds, where in truth weeds are just flowers they do not like.

  10. OK Fan, I wonder what avian movements occured in the Medieaval Warm Period?

  11. abyssus abyssum invocat

  12. R. Gates the Skeptical Warmist

    We must also keep in mind that with the ocean receiving the bulk of the GH gas driven warming over the past half-century, they have already been experiencing a high signal to noise ratio, and are undergoing rapid change:


    But as so many “skeptics” love to point out (erroneously of course)…”why do we care about a few hundreths of a degree spread out over the whole ocean?”

    Their failure to understand ocean warming and how it impacts ecosystems,
    and their reluctance to even try to understand it tells me theirs is not true “skepticism”.

    • Gates

      You seem to be misguided or at least premature in your fears. Perhaps you can outline how you KNOW that the warming of the oceans is a significant concern as to an unknown

    • R. Gates the Skeptical Warmist

      Of course Rob, all the things I “know” are only within a range of provisional truth. As a true skeptic, I look for anything that might cause me to modify or discard those truths. When it comes to oceans, I read every new study that comes out looking at ocean health, eco system stability, warming, paleo-ocean studies, etc. The vast majority that I have read in the past 5 years especially indicate that the ocean ecosystems are undergoing rapid change and are under great stress. This is not just from AGW, but from a variety of anthropogenic related factors. If you have data or studies that say something different, as an honest skeptic, I am more than interested in those.

    • Well just what did you expect them to say? That there’s been no change? How about doing something refreshing and read established studies which tell you about how things are, rather than recent studies which just talk about purported changes.
      In short, if you don’t understand how things work then you can’t understand how they’re affected by changes, or not.

    • k scott denison

      R. Gates the Skeptical Warmist | October 9, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
      “The vast majority that I have read in the past 5 years especially indicate that the ocean ecosystems are undergoing rapid change and are under great stress.
      When was the last period where the ocean ecosystems were *not* undergoing rapid change? How do you know? Are there equally detailed studies of these periods? Or is this a “searching where the light is” situation?

    • It’s called confirmation bias, Rob.

    • I find it amazing how self-confessed “sceptics” seem to swallow, hook line and sinker, the copious amounts of literature appearing from all the cracks describing how almost every aspect of nature is rapidly going to hell in a handbasket.

    • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

      Please share any studies that show the oceans are healthy and doing just fine. Seriously.

    • It is axiomatic that climate is always changing.

    • Please share any studies that show the oceans are healthy and doing just fine

      Who’s going to fund or publish a study which shows nothing? Seriously? And even if they did, unless it provided absolutely irrefutable proof, who would believe it? Seriously?

    • k scott denison

      R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist | October 10, 2013 at 7:55 am |
      Please share any studies that show the oceans are healthy and doing just fine. Seriously.
      Once again, deflection.

      My turn then: please show me any studies from the 1950s that said the oceans were fine then.

    • I thought the claim was constant change for OHC and it would take 600 years for a 1C increase?

      Poor fishies. .066C over 45 years. How will they adapt?

    • What does R. Gates know that Gavin Schmidt doesn’t?

      “The deep ocean is really massive and even for the large changes in OHC we are discussing the impact on the deep temperature is small (I would guess less than 0.1 deg C or so). This is unlikely to have much of a direct impact on the deep biosphere. Neither is this heat going to come back out from the deep ocean any time soon.”


      Gavin Schmidt – just another climate denying “skeptic”.

    • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

      Very tricky. “Deep” ocean biosphere.

      1. Gavin is speculating in a blog post about an area he is not an expert in.
      2. The important biosphere related to the food chain is not the “deep” ocean.
      3. Gavin is not saying the oceans as a whole may not be in trouble from a biosphere perspective.

      But please, give me any recent study that shows the oceans are doing just fine.

    • R. Gates

      give me any recent study that shows the oceans are doing just fine

      Such studies generally do not get published, Gates, so no scientist is dumb enough to write such a paper.


      However, even so we see the occasional report of thriving coral growth in warmer waters in Australia, for example:

      A GOVERNMENT-RUN research body has found in an extensive study of corals spanning more than 1000km of Australia’s coastline that the past 110 years of ocean warming has been good for their growth.

      See more at:


    • RG, this CO2 thing, this small aliquot, seems to have little effect.

  13. What CO2 signal? Beenstock et al have looked for one, and found nothing. I am not going to be the least concerned unless and until someone actually MEASURES a CO2 signal.

  14. “The ‘signal’ of a warming climate is emerging against a background ‘noise’ of natural internal variability”

    Let us know when it comes all the way out.


  15. What remains clear is that there is nothing going on that is outside the natural variability on the current interglacial. The whole basis for “Catastrophe! Catastrophe! – The End Is Near” rests on the claim of positive feedback to temperature perturbations. If so, why didn’t “the seas boil” (per Hansen) during the Medieval Warm period, the Roman Warm Period, the Minoan Warm Period, etc. etc.

    What we really know is that those who claim to understand atmospheric physics enough to predict the future are at best deluding themselves. And more often, as with The Hockey Team, deliberately trying to delude everyone else.

  16. R. Gates blames the skeptics for pointing out that these reports are piles of used cow food. What a hoot.
    The smoothness with which the CO2 obsessed move from storm to polar bears to OA, to SLR, to drought, to flood to the latest fear mongering du jour without acknowledging or even trying to reconcile the string of failed predictions of doom is easliy the most entertaining aspect of this.
    Notice how smoothly they go from surface temps to OHC…relying on magical wishing to move surface heat to hiding in the briny deep.
    And the blaming of skeptics for the failure of their predictions is just the cherry on top.
    And these reports will end in the same large compost heap as so many other calls to crisis put out by the rent seeking AGW promoters.

  17. This deep thought by the AGW rent seekers,
    “As society and ecosystems tend to be somewhat adapted to natural variability, some of the impacts of any change will be felt when the signal becomes large relative to the noise. ”
    Is actually, when you read it closely, a completely empty statement.
    It does not show that eco-systems will suddenly be unable to do what they have done throughout the last billion years or so….adapt. It does not discuss how humans have effectively colonized nearly every ecological niche on the planet will not be able to do so when the climateversion of Godot finally arrives.
    Instead, it gives just the sort of shallow, thin facade of seriousness that AGW true believers need to sustain their silly faith.

  18. “Because when it comes to climate-change, seeing *IS* believing!”

    Right. What I see is no temp rise in 17 years. Long time. The last time there was warming I still had my hair. Clinton was in the white house. Prince Diana was killed. The DJIA closed above 7000 for the first time. Mike Tyson bit Evander Holyfield’s ear.

    Whew. Talk about ancient history!

  19. We can only evaluate models to the accuracy of the data.
    Nigel Fox of NPL notes a 3x shorter time to detect a signal with a 10x reduction in satellite measurement uncertainty via the TRUTHS Project.
    TRUTHS Specification:
    Solar Irradiance Accuracy
    Total Solar Irradiance (TSI) < 0.01 %
    Solar Spectral Irradiance (SSI) (UV – IR) < 0.1 %
    the TRUTHS project pubs. e.g.

    Seeking the TRUTHS about Climate Change 2011 especially fig at 17:24 with capability to distinguish within 12 years with TRUTHS, 25 years with CERES and 40 years with MODIS.

    Overview of Intercalibration of Satellite Instruments 2013

  20. Can’t somebody start a Doomsday Clock to Thermageddon? We have to have a Doomsday Clock to Thermageddon!

    • The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse


      This one is from those crazy scientists at Oxford University:


      But – if you really want to rant and rave – Have a look at this:


    • There is indeed nothing new in the climate debate.

    • Steven Mosher

      very cool Rev.

      My choices gave us to 2100

    • Rev, I see you bought the control knob, hook-line and sinker. ENSO Rev.

    • Mosher, “My choices gave us to 2100″

      Let us guess Mosher- your are dressing up as Trenberth this Halloween.

    • I like that they have about ten significant figures in their % readout at the bottom. I like it very much.

    • Reverend

      Before you get your holy knickers twisted into a knot about carbon-induced doomsday, consider this:

      The WEC 2010 report estimated that all the “inferred possible recoverable total fossil fuel resources” left on our planet in 2008 were:
      Coal: 1900 Gt
      Oil: 5100 billion bbl
      Gas: 490 trillion cubic meters

      This total would generate around 9,290 Gt CO2. With 50% of this “remaining” in the atmosphere, this would increase atmospheric CO2 concentration by 595 ppmv over the 2008 level of 385 ppmv, to <strong 980 ppmv when all fossil fuels are 100% gone.

      A quick “sanity check” on this calculation:

      WEC estimates that in 2008 we still had 85% of all the recoverable fossil fuels that were ever on our planet (i.e. we had used up 15%). Most estimates (“peak oil”, etc.) put the remaining fossil fuels somewhat lower, but let’s stay with the rather “optimistic” WEC estimate.

      The first 15% of all fossil fuels got us from a “pre-industrial” 280 ppmv to 385 ppmv CO2 by 2008. So the remaining 85% should get us to:

      385 ppmv + (385-280)*0.85 / 0.15 ~ 980 ppmv

      So we would get to somewhere below 1,000 ppmv when all fossil fuels have been totally used up, some day in the far distant future.

      Several recent independent observation-based studies suggest that the 2xCO2 climate sensitivity is around 1.6ºC, or half the model-predicted value previously reported by IPCC in AR4 (3.2ºC).

      So how much warming can humans theoretically produce from burning all the remaining fossil fuels on Earth?

      1.6ºC * ln (980/394) / ln(2) = 2.1ºC

      And this might theoretically occur as an asymptotic maximum some day in the far distant future, when all fossil fuels are 100% gone.

      And several studies suggest the first 2ºC warming will actually be beneficial for humanity on balance.

      Reverend, you can now get your holy knickers untwisted and concern yourself with more spiritual thoughts than global warming doomsday.

      Hope this has helped.


    • The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse


      Think: ROI


      Did you know that the WEC advocates putting a price on carbon emissions?


      World Energy Council Statement on COP15:

      Energy is at the core of economic, social and environmental development. Moving towards a low carbon economy in a context in which we see a major demand shift towards Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East and, in which 1.6 billion people strive for access to modern energy will require strong and effective policies to be in place.

      Climate change and energy security are global challenges and therefore have no economically efficient solutions within national boundaries. This underlines the role of trade and makes the rules that govern it an essential building block of the global public good. Nationalistic solutions that lose sight of the global picture and the need for a coordinated and collaborative approach delay the necessary international policy convergence. The resulting high investment framework uncertainty makes infrastructure investments unnecessarily risky and we all will pay the risk premium as part of higher energy prices and further delay in climate change mitigation.

      You’re welcome.

    • Reverend

      Your comment did not respond to mine, but added some rather irrelevant thoughts on WEC advocating a “carbon tax” (what international agency doesn’t – it’s the “PC” thing to do).

      The point is that all the fossil fuels still left on our planet will only cause a theoretical increase in temperature of around 2C, which represents no problem (after they are all 100% used up).

      So relax and return to your chosen mission of saving of souls and study of Scripture rather than fretting about an imaginary thermal doomsday.


  21. Matthew R Marler

    Using 1860 to 2005 as the historical period, this index has a global mean of 2069 (618 years s.d.) for near-surface air temperature under an emissions stabilization scenario and 2047 (614 years s.d.) under a ‘business-as-usual’ scenario

    fwiw, those large standard deviations render the mean nearly worthless.

  22. Dr. Curry was certainly right about AR5 WG1 chapter 11 on ToE being a painful read. But interesting, since it plainly says this signal is supposed to emerge in the future. By inference, it is not yet robustly distinguishable from background noise (natural variation). A specific example given in Fig. 11-11 and is the infamous tropical upper troposphere hot spot, which CMIP5 models still predict and which is still not observable.

    That’s totally at odds with the boxed conclusions in the SPM, section D (attrubution), first four boxes, SPM pages 10-13, which say the AGW signal has already unequivocally emerged in many ways. Extremely likely, highly confident, and all that stuff.

    It’s a flat out black and white, in print so cannot be changed contradiction.
    More evidence for the IPCC to be dismissed with prejudice so that it can never return to produce such abominations again.

    • If the IPCC says we don’t have a discernible signal of CAGW yet, what does that do to all the horror stories attributing every weather event to “global warming”?

      The IPCC must have laid off some of its better PR people because of the U.S. government mini-shutdown.

    • That’s why it is written in bold font at the bottom of each page:
      “Do not Cite, Quote, or Distribute”
      Your in big trouble bub! :-)

    • Heh, a signal indistinguishable from none. Hiya Jim!

  23. There is a mistake in the text here:

    “2069 (618 years s.d.) for near-surface air temperature under an emissions stabilization scenario and 2047 (614 years s.d.)”

    should read (from abstract):

    “2069 (±18 years s.d.) for near-surface air temperature under an emissions stabilization scenario and 2047 (±14 years s.d.)”

    • Matthew R Marler

      ordvic, thanks for the correction.

    • That had me going for a while too! I thought it was some kind of scientific jargon the I didn’t understand. First of all I was trying to figure out why their ToE was so far off in the future. When I look at 1860 to 2005 I see trends with going up and with some going slightly down or sideways. They are something like 37,33,27 and maybe 20 years long. So if this current ‘pause’ continued for perhaps an average of another 15 years it would be 2028. Add another 30 years to 2058 that should be the END of another upward impulse not the beginning. It could only mean to me that they think things will really go bad toward the end of the next noiseless heat trend?

  24. Now some, not Eli to be sure, might point out that Judith’s arguments about natural variability just had a truck named Mora driven through it. The point being that natural variability is local as far as the biosphere is concerned, and that the biosphere is particularly vulnerable where natural variability is the smallest, because it is poorly adapted to any changes.

    Mora is not coming from where you think he is

    • Steven Mosher

      take a look at figure 2 and see if you can spot the problem.

    • Eli, I have read the Mora paper on biodiversity tipping points, because am planning to do an essay on how poor it is, using the upslope migration of Andean trees Feeley nonsense as a specific granular example of how bad.

      Mora has a truck wreck, not a truck. As for a marine example, see my post Shell Game concerning oysters and estuarine pH. Different ecosystem, same fundamental bad science problem.

    • Rud

      Don’t confuse the rabbit with facts. Not his strength.


    • If Obama had a son, he would look like Eli Rabette.

    • Steven Mosher

      damn Im not sure which of the two is insulted more bythat comment

    • Hey, Cuz.

    • Scott Basinger


    • Ears?


      (But they’re not too good at listening.)

    • The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse

      “… Judith’s arguments about natural variability …”

      I’ve seen concerns, musings, postures, declarations, accusations, vague assertions, pearl-clutching, and outright mistakes…

      But nothing I’d deign to call an ‘argument’.

      This blog needs more Monty Python…

      Man: An argument isn’t just contradiction.
      Mr. Vibrating: It can be.
      Man: No it can’t. An argument is a connected series of statements intended to establish a proposition.
      Mr. Vibrating: No it isn’t.
      Man: Yes it is! It’s not just contradiction.
      Mr. Vibrating: Look, if I argue with you, I must take up a contrary position.
      Man: Yes, but that’s not just saying ‘No it isn’t.’
      Mr. Vibrating: Yes it is!
      Man: No it isn’t!
      Man: Argument is an intellectual process. Contradiction is just the automatic gainsaying of any statement the other person makes.

      (short pause)

      Mr. Vibrating: No it isn’t.

    • Reverend

      To the arguments of Judith (a climate scientist) regarding her field of expertise you (a man of the cloth) opine:

      nothing I’d deign to call an ‘argument’

      Without backing your opinion with any specifics.

      What’s wrong with this picture?

      Are you sure you’re really a man of the cloth (as you claim) or just an opinionated heckler?


    • > Without backing your opinion with any specifics.

      Are you sure you want that, MiniMax?

      We could revisit the last posts if you insist.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse opines  “I’ve seen concerns, musings, postures, declarations, accusations, vague assertions, pearl-clutching, and outright mistakes [from Dr. Curry in regard to 'variability'] But nothing I’d deign to call an ‘argument’. This blog needs more Monty Python…”

      Here is the Python skit in question, VRJH!

      No one knows (yet) whether Earth’s polar bears will suffer extinction from the harsh reality of Arctic climate change. But it’s clear that Climate Etc’s denialists are rapidly adapting to climate-change — very successfully! — by publicly embracing pride-in-ignorance!

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

    • The oldest Polar Bear fossil is dated between 130-110,000 years ago.


      Then the world cooled 8 degrees.

      20,000 years ago they got their unique molars.

      Then the world warmed 8 degrees

      Oddly, they survived the 8 degree drop and 8 degree rise.

    • Fanny

      To the purported future extinction of polar bears from AGW you write:

      Climate Etc’s denialists are rapidly adapting to climate-change — very successfully! — by publicly embracing pride-in-ignorance!

      Suggest you “embrace” a polar bear to see if they are really going extinct.


    • Be careful:


      “We all know that Oscar Wilde would never refer to himself in the third person.”
      ~ Oscar Wilde on me, you, them, us, and himself

      Needless to say, the comedic potential of having this ability cannot be overestimated, but there is also danger, in that you may inadvertently develop strong narcissistic tendencies in yourself without realizing it.

    • I think that train has departed.

    • ‘the biosphere is particularly vulnerable where natural variability is the smallest, because it is poorly adapted to any changes’

      Er, no.
      The biosphere is vulnerable where there is no mobility, thus island species are highly vulnerable as migration is not an option.
      Your use of the term ‘natural variability’ is bogus for anywhere poleward of the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn as their is annual climate variability, the more poleward, the bigger the annual swing.
      Species which operate in a narrow niche are always on a knife edge; big cats are a great example. Big cats only exist when there are large populations of migratory herbivores. The bigger the pray, the bigger the cat. When we have really large herbivores the cats evolve saber teeth, done it loads of times. Then comes a rock from the sky, the big herbivores die and the big cats die. Then smaller herbivores fill the migratory grass digester role and the medium sized cats evolve bigger.
      Snakes are a good survivor species, nice broad, capable of senescence and a huge range of habitat and pray.

      Whoever is talking to you about biology is a complete novice and knows nothing about evolutionary biology or ecology; are you self taught?

  25. Matthew R Marler

    (well, apart from the issue of the climate models running too hot and not simulating natural internal variability very well).

    Worth repeating.

    • Well Judy doesn’t back up her statement with any argument and neither do you.

      Ever look at any of the spaghetti graphs, I find those to be evidence that individual model runs do simulate natural variability. I think the models are running too hot due to ENSO variations.

    • Bob Droege | October 9, 2013 at 6:54 pm |

      I think the models are running too hot due to ENSO variations.

      I think so too BD. The correlation of peak and valley structure is obvious and it stretches back to 1880.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Bob Droege: Ever look at any of the spaghetti graphs, I find those to be evidence that individual model runs do simulate natural variability.

      Pick the ones that you like best, and then tell us you think they make sound predictions for the future — just a suggestion; in the next 20 years we’ll see how well they have actually done.

      Thinking of the simulations as an unbiased sample from some population, the actual data are now outside the 95% confidence limits for the mean of that population. The confidence interval on the mean is much narrower than the 95% quantile limits of the sample — so the mean itself is almost for sure too high.. IPCC “models running too hot” refers to the fact that their mean is too hot, and most of them are too hot. If you think that the mean is not the most reliable result of the simulations, then you might be right to choose another, but most of the field thinks that the mean is the most reliable. An essay by Gavin Schmidt is frequently quoted on that point. We could look it up, I suppose, if you insist.

      If the simulations are not an unbiased sample from some population then they are worthless. Unless, that is, you actually can identify the most reliable of the bunch.

    • Matthew,
      How close should an individual model run be to the observed data?
      And how far off are they, by how much are they running hot, the ensemble for this question?
      You do know that using the ensemble takes out the natural variability right?
      So the ensembles of models should not show any natural variability, but as the individual runs show, they do model natural variability.

      If you give a number for how close the models should be, but I have yet to hear a skeptic give a number for this, you would find how close the models do agree with the data.

      I wonder why the skeptics never give up a metric for testing the skill of the model.

      And the models should be out of the 95% range, what some 5% of the time.

  26. I’m shocked that the model that we created to show climate change showed climate change.


  27. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Question  How did polar bears survive previous warm epochs?

    Investigating Mysteries
    of Polar Bears’ Ancestry
    With a DNA Lens

    [Polar bears] have made it through warming periods and loss of sea ice before. It may have been touch and go for the bears, however, because the authors [of Nuclear genomic sequences reveal that polar bears are an old and distinct bear lineage, 2012] find evidence of evolutionary bottlenecks, probably during warm periods, when only small populations survived, even though warming was occurring much more slowly than it is now.

    Answer  Just “bearly”.

    Some puns are irresistible, eh Climate Etc readers?

    \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}

  28. To me, it makes much more sense to look at the historical variability since 1860, than merely to look at the period 1986-2005.

    To me it makes sens to look at the historical variability for the past
    ten thousand years than to merely look at recent data.

    Temperature is not out of bounds and not headed out.

  29. I quote:

    “… ToE is defined using the standard deviation from a control simulation as the noise (N), and the temperature change since the mean of 1986-2005 as the signal (S).”

    These people have chosen an extremely inappropriate, even weird, temperature region to define their “signal.” For people dealing with temperature curves they are oblivious to the fact that this temperature stretch is bisected by the super El Nino of 1998 and its accompanying step warming. That step warming raised global temperature by a third of a degree in only three years and then stopped just as the new century had gotten started. First, the super El Nino is once a century occurrence and does not belong in any definition of a standard signal. Second, if the temperature rise for the twentieth century was 0.6 degrees half of it is included in that defining stretch of temperatures. Third, global temperature before the appearance of the super El Nino was at a standstill for 18 years. This was covered up by a fake warming in the eighties and nineties that is now withdrawn by all three major temperature sources – GISTEMP. HadCRUT, and NCDC. With that, we now have two no-warming sections included in this supposed “signal,” one before the appearance of the super El Nino, and one at the start of the warming pause. What meaning can be attached to this “signal” is impossible to say except that comparing anything to it is a waste of time.

    • Yes.

      Surely in the real world, the “Noise” should be defined as the range of natural variability not predicted by the models.

      The “Signal” we are interested in is the human-caused warming.

      The models can’t do better than exponential growth in temperature, excepting for factoring in known historical events like volcanic eruptions after the fact.

      To have a hope, the models need to make statistical projections of all the modelled “forcing” factors including future random events like volcanic eruptions and the known cyclic multi-decadal events.

      It is pretty clear the GCMs to date don’t do any independent projection of any known cycles nor any known random forcing events and that their predictive skill is very low.

      On a value for money scale, how low can a GCM go?

  30. This is Trenberthian logic being applied to surface temperatures–i.e., the heat is there we just can’t see it amidst all of the variability… which is why we must ditch the scientific method in favor of AGW divining rods.

  31. R. Gates the Skeptical Warmist

    As we talk about the emergence of a warming signal, of course, some only seem to think the troposphere is important, for reasons I can’t fully fathom, considering that ocean dog wags the troposphere tail, and the latest studies continue to indicate there real trouble in the deep:


    Additionally, it seems that a real signficant signal will be emerging for those only focused on troposphere:


  32. Irrespective of humanity’s CO2, Ye Olde AGW Spécialiste d’Alarme still has a big problem: AGW has become so politicized it is as easier to believe, “Aliens Cause Global Warming,” than it is to believe Western schoolteachers are anything other than unconscious incompetents. “Whenever science is enlisted in some other cause—religious, political, or racialist—the result is always that the scientists themselves become fanatics.” ~Phillip Johnson

  33. The quaint definition of “signal” and “noise” being avocated here is symptomatic of the pseudo-erudition of the AGW camp in matters of system and signal analysis. Unlike bona fide science, it offers no well-grounded theoretical framework for explaining any physical behavior. At best, it represents a simplistic phenomenological rule of thumb for drawing sweeping conclusions. And it does so largely on the basis of unproven models.

    • True, true, the mathematics of McShane and Wyner isn’t the chalkboard squeak heard ’round the world because it yet again debunks MBH98/99/08 (aka, the `hockey stick’ graph) but because they found absolutely no ‘signal’ whatsoever in Mann’s proxy data. That shoots the ‘consensus’ all to hell and shows that AGW theory is essentially a ‘science’ without mathematics: sort of like the sun without the heat and vice versa.

    • John S. | October 9, 2013 at 5:20 pm | Reply

      The quaint definition of “signal” and “noise” being avocated here is symptomatic of the pseudo-erudition of the AGW camp in matters of system and signal analysis. Unlike bona fide science, it offers no well-grounded theoretical framework for explaining any physical behavior. At best, it represents a simplistic phenomenological rule of thumb for drawing sweeping conclusions. And it does so largely on the basis of unproven models.

      Odd that I anticipated the top-level post in the previous thread, where I talked about SNR:


      Many factors contribute to noise. When all these factors are small and of the same order of magnitude in their impact, it may no longer make sense to deconstruct the individual contributions. At that point statistical characterization of the noise makes sense.

      The application of the signal-to-noise idea comes in when one realizes that one of the contributors to the dynamics starts starts to rise above the background din. In the case of the climate, the signal emerging is that of AGW.

      What is most exciting about the current situation is that we have struck gold by having this one measure, the Southern Oscillation Index(SOI), that essentially isolates one of the significant noise sources. This source is still much smaller than the AGW signal (see the first figure in the following post where the dynamic range is less than the total rise observed so far):
      So the obvious approach is to remove this fluctuation from the global temperature time-series so that the Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR) is even further improved.

      This results in a significant reduction in uncertainty, and one that has gone unnoticed since the original excitement of the work by Kosaka & Xie [1] faded, largely because it doesn’t support the denier’s position any longer. Kudos to Tamino as well, since he anticipated this early on.

      [1]Y. Kosaka and S.-P. Xie, “Recent global-warming hiatus tied to equatorial Pacific surface cooling,” Nature, vol. 501, no. 7467, pp. 403–407, 2013.

    • Unwittingly, through your dismissal of SOI as “noise,” you have just confirmed that AGWers typically don’t know what they’re talking about when they invoke geophysical system and signal analysis.

  34. Is there anyone else working on climate change at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa beside those listed as coauthors?


    • Probably not. Consensus in matters of climate science seems to be the go these days; nothing like safety in numbers as any school fish will tell you.

  35. Can someone tell me, is the MM hockey stick still in the new IPCC report? Or did the medieval warm period return?

    • Which MM hockey stick do you refer to?
      MM98. MM99, MM07, MM08 or MM09?

      Is three of five bad?

      The medieval climate anomaly did return, but you probably won’t like the treatment it got.

  36. Matthew R Marler

    The abstract agrees with what we read yesterday from a different group: the free and forced variability should become separable toward the middle of the century.

    • R. Gates the Skeptical Warmist

      “free and forced variability should become separable toward the middle of the century.”

      This assumes of course that the “free” variability really is “free” and is completely separate from changes in forcings. The longer term effects of rapidly increasing GH gas concentrations on natural variability of the system is an area of huge uncertainty and equally huge interest. Earth 2013 does not equal Earth 1940 or Earth 1785 or Earth 2090. Natural variability during each of these will be different and it is not unreasonable to suggest that alterations of the chemical composition of the atmosphere might make a big difference in the character of that “natural” variabililty.

    • Matthew R Marler

      R. Gates the Skeptical Warmist: Natural variability during each of these will be different and it is not unreasonable to suggest that alterations of the chemical composition of the atmosphere might make a big difference in the character of that “natural” variabililty.

      That is a serious possibility; in particular, the increase in CO2 can produce an increased range in the swing between relatively high and relatively low temperatures without changing the mean (how would require another post, but it isn’t far-fetched, given current knowledge.) It implies that we may never know whether the increase in CO2 produced an effect on the climate. What I am hoping is that the “mainly solar” models and the “mainly CO2″ models make sufficiently discrepant predictions that at least one of those classes can be reasonably discredited.

  37. “So, sounding the ‘alarm’ based on this paper seems misguided, since this paper seems markedly less alarming than what was reported in the AR5.” JC

    Except that wrt oceans they state that “outside the bounds” conditions have already occurred.

    • “Within my generation, whatever climate we were used to will be a thing of the past.”

      A simple translation of that must mean the author thinks humanity’s CO2 will take us from an Earth of zero ‘climate change’ to a far different Earth where within the author’s lifetime we can expect the climate to change.

    • Hint; generation = human life span….not the planets.

    • True of every generation ever.

    • The author’s comment seems lmore emotional than scientific, much like alarmists predicting and ice-free Arctic and CRU’s Dr. David Viner lamenting that in a few short years a winter snowfall will be, “a very rare and exciting event,” and, “Children just aren’t going to know what snow is.”

    • Those oceans sure are trend setters aren’t they? It just amazes me how ahead of their CO2 forcing time the southern oceans can be. They must really think outside the box.

    • R. Gates the Skeptical Warmist

      Captn. of course you are confusing natural variabililty and external forcing. At any given time there are numerous forcings going on, especially in regards to the very low thermal inertia of the troposphere. The oceans do indeed have multi-year, mult-decadal, century scale, and proably longer natural variations that run in semi-periodic fashion. Changes in ocean heat content will be subject to:

      1) Changes in the amount of solar radation reaching them
      2) Changes in the amount of energy leaving them, which can be driven by:
      a) Natural variation (ENSO etc.)
      b) Alternation in GH gas concentration in the atmosphere

    • Gates, “Captn. of course you are confusing natural variabililty and external forcing.”

      Nope, There is too good a correlation with solar from there not to be some amplification of solar forcing. The southern hemisphere has the highest solar intensity, the majority of the oceans and least response to CO2. The correlation of the TSI composite with the ENSO region is especially interesting and the subject of quite a few papers noting centennial scale ENSO variation related to solar, which means instead of using a prefab detrended “oscillation”, some are moving forward. Regional imbalances cause the natural internal variability, looks like the sun causes a bit of the regional imbalance.


      I would guess that since the 165Wm-2 on average that reaches the surface and the 75 Wm-2 on average that is absorbed in the atmosphere are amplified by 1.5 times to produce a “global” surface temperature that it is not unreasonable to expect the oceans would amplify solar forcing a bit.

    • Nothing there to see. It can’t even pick up the 11-year sunspot cycle!

    • Webster, “Nothing there to see. It can’t even pick up the 11-year sunspot cycle!” You are using the wrong methods and the wrong data. ERSST lets you isolate bands and ReynoldsOiv2 allows you to calibrate the bands to absolute temperature.

      Then if you don’t allow for volcanic, you get about 0.34C solar impact from 1880, that is right in line with estimates. Allow for volcanic with a reasonable lag for regain, you get ~0.6 for solar and volcanic combined. Then for the oceans you need ~ 0.25C atmospheric response. About 1/3, 1/3 and 1/3, solar, “natural” and CO2 Equivalent forcing for the oceans.

      That is getting to be a more popular combination. Since 30N-60N contributes very little to the oceans but a large amount “Globally” that would indicate a problem with the Land only and combined Land and ocean temperature as a metric for “global” energy. BEST has already confirmed the land amplification I noted years ago, the absolute temperature underestimate I noted years ago and common sense should guide you to suspect (Tmax+Tmin)/2 at 2 meters is not equal to Tave at minus 5 meters.

      But what can I say, my Votech training was in data acquisition, not data creation.

    • Webster, as a by the way, that minus 5 meter ocean temperature average means you had better consider that “Greenhouse” Fluid, since you are measure that not the firiggin’ surface air temperature for most of the globe numb nuts.

    • David Springer

      But dense. How it works, according to Paul “WebHubTelescope” Pukite, is that as the opacity of a greenhouse gas increases due to rising density it becomes less a greenhouse gas and more a black body. Seawater is too dense to have any greenhouse warming capacity left because it is completely opaque.

      So by that logic there must be less greenhouse effect the lower you get in the atmosphere because density of the greenhouse gases are rising.

      That certainly explains why adding more CO2 to the atmosphere isn’t warming the planet. It must be cooling the planet because the denser it gets the less capacity it has to be a GHG.

      I’m waiting for Webby to explain in greater detail how this works. ;-)

    • Springer, since you seem to grasp the “Greenhouse” Fluid effect, now reconsider the average energy delivered to that fluid. TSI/4 is an average for the entire “surface” The average energy for the “sub-surface” is a tad more complicated.

      Iave = 1361.1cos(θ) / πW / m2 for the full day. That is the actual energy in. You have to figure the energy out. Not allowed to assume “equilibrium” unless you know what that “equilibrium is supposed to be.

      Remember, you can’t figure out abnormal if you don’t know normal.

    • The category of denier that Captain and Springer fall into is science denialism.
      They would have everyone believe that a “greenhouse liquid” effect exists and is responsible for the warming of the planet.

      We use to have the SkyeDragons, now we have the WaterSerpents.

      We will all eagerly await for your book. I suggest as a publishing house that you consider Intelligentsia Designia.

    • webster, “They would have everyone believe that a “greenhouse liquid” effect exists and is responsible for the warming of the planet.”

      It is mainly responsible for bad math. You cannot assume that surfaces that are not homogenous are meaning each layer has to be considered independently. I know that is way over your linear no threshold head, but water doesn’t change the greenhouse effect, it is part of it just like super critical CO2 is a part of Venus’ “greenhouse” effect. Sometimes you just have to put on your big boy pants and admit there is tad more to things than you initially thought, like each layer has different time constants. With a 1310 to 1410 swing in TSI annually and the higher range mainly impacting the southern oceans, you have ~27 month lag is SST where there is near zero lag in land surface temperature due to solar. Keep comparing apples and oranges and you will never get ahead of the game.

      At least you have your ad homs to fall back on when your logic fails :)

    • Cappy is already trying to walk back his volunteering to the WaterSerpent team.

      Remember that Water Serpents believe that the oceans act like greehouse liquids and so that alone is responsive for most of the 33C warming.

    • David Springer

      Hey Pukite tell us again how the ocean contributes nothing to warming the earth above 255C because water is too dense. [snicker]

    • David Springer

      Webster is a shallow thinker. Let’s consider again what he wrote.

      Water is so dense that it turns into a more-or-less black body, and attenuates all long-wavelength signals. Black bodies do not show green-house properties as the spectral response is determined strictly by statistical mechanics and quantum mechanics.

      This is so boneheaded in so many ways. Solar ponds for instance. They take advantage of the fact that water attenuates virtually all long-wavelength signals while exhibiting virtually zero attenuation to all short wavelength signals. Solar energy enters the pond, is absorbed by a dark bottom heating the lower layer, and because water does not transmit longwave the only way the energy can escape from the lower layer is by conduction (water is a poor conductor) or convection to the surface where it may freely radiate and evaporate. In a solar pond convection is blocked by a low salinity surface layer which is cooler than the water below it while at the same time being less dense. The solar pond greenhouse effect can raise the average temperature of the pool by 70C above what it would be otherwise.

      The water in a solar pond is dense. Perhaps not as dense as Paul “Whut” Pukite but it’s dense in the sense he asserts makes it incapable of having any greenhouse properties.

      So Pukite’s density response is utter crap.

      Try again, dummy. Explain why the ocean can’t contribute to warming the earth above the 255C of a black body the same distance from the sun. Amuse us with more of your density.

    • David Springer

      One might then ask if the ocean has any regions in which the top layer is less saline than lower layers which gives us some amount of solar-pond style greenhouse effect.

      You bet. Let’s go to my favorite Physical Oceanography text.


      Anywhere precipitation exceeds evaporation we get a layer of fresh(er) water floating on the top which gives us what we need for a significant solar pond effect. As can be seen in the diagram this happens at all latitudes greater than 45 degrees and also all latitudes less than 10 degrees with a very precipitous (pun intended) decline in surface salinity near the equator.

      I’m going to call it “The Solar Pond Effect”. You heard it here first. :-)

      The question isn’t whether the global ocean contributes to warming the earth above the 255C black-body temperature but rather how much it contributes. If we include water vapor in the troposphere as part of the ocean then it’s responsible for the vast majority. If we discount water vapor greenhouse warming there is still some solar-pond warming that will remain.

    • David Springer

      How’s it feel being taken to school by me, Webster? Bet it stings a bit, huh?

  38. The Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) has all the characteristics of a “red noise” source. It has a strong reversion to the mean property and a mean that appears stable over the last 130 year’s worth of data.

    In the context of the post, if one looks at the recent extended excursion of the SOI toward cool la Nina events, that run can’t be maintained and as the running average returns to the 100 year mean, the relentless AGW signal will again peek through the recent noisy fluctuation.

    As it does this the SOI will get pushed further into the noise background.

  39. I’ve got to agree with JC. If you are going to calculate a time of emergence on the basis of models, it’s probably a good thing thing to use a model that works.

    Having read Hawkins’ blog article, he say that the criterion is when the temperature goes more than 1SD above the models’ variabilty, we can establish that anthropogenic warming has arrived. Does he really mean this, or is it a typo? Can this be one of the famed “climate” misuse of statistics that so baffles the rest of us?

    The calibration region is too short, as JC points out, too short to establish variability. Forgive me if I am wrong, but fo the error limits for temperature not increase (real not model temperature) as you go back in time so trying to compare model and observed variabilities is not straight forward.

    So, we have a model to establish variabilty in the past, but we know that models don’t actually reproduce variability. Then we are going to compare the actual temperature with the forwards model output +1SD (Is the SD an appropriate metric – are these independent observations in the sense of the central limit theorem?) and if the temperature is above this we can say that we have detected an anthropogenic component?

    I must be missing some thing here.

    As for the Mora paper – this comes from the Geography department in a faculty of social sciences. I assume that this is a sociological experiment in post-normal science to see if you can get a paper that is utter nonsense but full of politically correct phrases published!

  40. Judith writes: “I like the methodology used in the new study (well, apart from the issue of the climate models running too hot and not simulating natural internal variability very well).”

    I’m glad I wasn’t drinking coffee at the time, Judith. Thanks, I enjoyed that.

    This seems like a nice way to say they can’t use climate models in studies of signals and noise because the models can’t simulate the signal or the noise.

    Ain’t that the truth!


    • “This seems like a nice way to say they can’t use climate models in studies of signals and noise because the models can’t simulate the signal or the noise. ”

      Ahh, but now we have ways of getting rid of the noise, thus reducing uncertainty — and that should make climate science academics very happy.

  41. R. Gates the Skeptical Warmist

    Here is something I posted over at Joannenova’s site. It is still awaiting moderation , but I thought I’d post it here as it relates to some of these issues. What prompted me writing this was Jo’s insistance that models are “worthless”.


    R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    October 9, 2013 at 11:45 pm
    “With models we know are worthless


    The value of a model that is trying to show the dynamics of a complex AND chaotic system is not necessarily in the accuracy of the model to predict exactly what happens in the real world, but rather to so what real world dynamics are involved. Lorenz (the founder of Chaos Theory) was quite clear on this point and every developer or serious user of global climate models will tell you straight up that all models are “wrong”, but you need to understand what they mean by wrong. Because of the chaotic nature of climate models might not get every detail exactly right, but they can still be right about dynamics and longer term trends.

    Here’s a simple, but parallel real world example: Take a garden hose and spray it against a window. Do you doubt that the drops and rivulets of water will flow down the window to the bottom? Probably not- the dynamics of gravity and water against glass will tell you the end result will be that the water will flow down the window. Yet, the path of individual drops flowing down that window will be subject to chaotic fluid motion, forces between molecules of glass and water, etc. You could develop a model that tried to show how the water molecules will flow exactly down that window, but you would know from the start that the exact path the water molecules will flow is impossible to model exactly– thus your model will be wrong about the details, but you can have a very high degree of confidence that your model will be right about the end result. Thus, your model is “wrong”, but still right about the net result and about the general dynamics involved. Global climate models (though they are much more complex of course) are similar in terms of showing what the long-term effects from increasing GH gases will be. They will always be wrong about the exact path into the future, but we can have a very high-degree of confidence in the net result.

    • Current GCMs are nothing more than modern-day divining rods. Andi Cockroft described the first digital weather model ever. It was a computer model by Edward Lorenz back when vacuum-tube computers were first introduced to science just fifty years ago. Lorenz used, “a set of a dozen or so differential equations involving such things as temperature, pressure, wind velocity etc.” As Concroft tells the story, Lorenz re-ran his program, “by entering a variable to 3 decimal places,” and to Lorenz’ surprise, “the results were completely at odds with what was achieved earlier.” As it turns out, “re-entering the variable to its full 6 decimal places produced a repeat of the initial results – from this Lorenzo drew the inevitable conclusion that with his dozen or so equations, even a miniscule variation on input is capable of creating massive change in output.”

      So, what happened? As Concroft asks, “why such a radically different outcome for such a miniscule difference in input?” They learned that with non-linear equations the final result is so dependent on initial conditions that even slight changes in the beginning results in large changes in the later output—i.e., like a stitching error where after you put a lot of little segments together by the time you get to the end you have nothing close to the ’circle’ that all of the little segments came from.

      The conclusion that Lorenz drew, was that given that such small variations can create such massive variation in output, it was impossible to “model” a weather system. (Andi Cockroft, 10 Billion Butterfly Sneezes — More chaos than you can shake a stick at)

    • Odds are against all odds:

    • “Most scientists agreed that climate has features of a chaotic system, but they did not think it was wholly unpredictable.”


      That link is not disagreeing with R. Gates I don’t think. Another issue to be resolved.

    • RG, that comment is way too smart for Mojo JoJo’s site.

    • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

      They are a bit rabidly nutty over there, but hope can spring eternal that one in a hundred actually is an honest skeptic who can way all facts with true neutrality.

    • R.Gates, You do realize that your argument here is that climate modelers new the answer before writing the program, and then wrote one that gave that answer. Just as If a modeler tried to model the water flow against the window if the results weren’t the flow is down they would throw out the model.

    • “The value of a model that is trying to show the dynamics of a complex AND chaotic system is not necessarily in the accuracy of the model to predict exactly what happens in the real world, but rather to so what real world dynamics are involved.”

      This is absolute garbage.

      The IPCC is telling the world we have to surrender control of the energy economy to statist bureaucrats because the global average temperature is going to increase to catastrohpic levels.

      The IPCC uses the predictions of its models regarding future global average temperature as the primary evidence in support of their demand for power.

      To then suggest that the inability of the models to accurately predict future temperatures is irrelevant to the “value” of the model is either dishonest or stupid.

      GCMs would be just fine with me if they were merely being used to attempt to learn about the global climate. Then Gates’ statement would be honest.


      They are being used to centralize control of the global energy economy.

      When you decode (deobscurantize) his bogus statement, it reads as follows:

      “The value of a model…is not necessarily in the accuracy of the model to predict exactly what happens in the real world…but they can still be right about…longer term trends.”

      Their value is not in their ability to predict, but they can still accurately predict.

      It’s either incoherent, or a lie. You pick.

  42. R. Gates the Skeptical Warmist


    You misundertand the radically different nature of weather models (really weather forecasts) and climate models. One is concerned and focused more on telling us exactly what the weather will be next Tuesday, and one is focused on telling us what dynamics are involved in knowing from the start that the details will almost always not match what happens, even if the dynamics are right.

    • The difference: One does not pretend to be accurate more than a few days into the future whereas the other engages in a pretense that it will be accurate 30-50 years hence.

    • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist


      Climate models are not an extended weather forecast. Your lack of understanding the difference, or even attempting to understand, is perhaps because the limits of comprehension have been reached?

    • No one really expects warmist ad hom attack dogs to know more about GCMs than they do about numerical weather forecasting.

    • I agree with R. Gates – weather models and climate models are different.

      A weather model is like building a 2500 square foot ranch home. A climate model is like building a sky scraper. Who here would let an architect whose ranch houses last about a year before falling down, design and build a sky scraper?

    • It is only by comparing model forecasts to what is observed using ground-based and satellite data that the validity GCMs can be determined. We know that GCMs deviate from observed states. We cannot be unaware that climatists have convincingly demonstrated their inability to evaluate, correct and develop new parameters to more accurately simulate reality. In these circumstances we must question either the validity of the observed data or whether climatists are anything more than official government witchdoctors who continue to use the veil of science to cloak their superstition and ignorance.

  43. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    “Essentially, all models are wrong, but some are useful.”
       — George E. P. Box

    Hopefully skeptics/denialists (like Joannenova?) are not too nervous during final approach … low-and-slow with flaps down … when fly-by-wire commercial aircraft are guided entirely by computational models of nonlinear dynamical flow.

    \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}

  44. How truly nice and reassuring that we now know that: The ‘signal’ of a warming climate is emerging against a background ‘noise’ of natural internal variability.

    But there is another ‘hockey stick’ that is of increasingly greater concern. That is the ominous trend in atmospheric CO2 that keeps on rising, despite the clueless craziness of government shutdown.

    Check it out at the NOA ESRL site, still up, despite the clueless craziness of government shutdown.

    • That is the ominous trend in atmospheric CO2 that keeps on rising,

      Yes indeed,the decrease (as an inverse problem ) between ML and SH mid latitude stations such as Baring head is significant and the subsequent changes in the SP record in the 21st century.

      The divergence suggests both a change in the interhemispheric transport, and an increase in the sink efficiency of the SO.


      The anti persistence in the SH/NH along a number of metrics such as T and sea ice is troublesome at least.

    • A Lacis

      As well as the clueless craziness of non talks on budgets there is the even more serious non talks on the eye watering debt ceiling.

      Have you any idea as to how this apparent impotence and paralysis looks to your friends and allies overseas?


    • Oh don’t worry about Americas allies, everyone knows how well this administration has treated its long standing allies.

  45. Yes, the models are a spanking twin of reality. Sure they are.

  46. Steve M. has a new post on fixing the models facts.


  47. (And now, a pause for a word from our data.)

    Shutdown worsens historic blizzard that killed tens of thousands of South Dakota cattle

    By M. Alex Johnson, Staff Writer, NBC News

    An unusually early and enormous snowstorm over the weekend caught South Dakota ranchers and farmers unprepared, killing tens of thousands of cattle and ravaging the state’s $7 billion industry — an industry left without assistance because of the federal government shutdown.

    As many as 75,000 cattle have perished since the storm slammed the western part of the state Thursday through Saturday with snowfall that set records for the entire month of October in just three days, state and industry officials said.

    Across the state, snow totals averaged 30 inches, with some isolated areas recording almost 5 feet, The Weather Channel reported.

    The South Dakota Stock Growers Association estimated that 15 percent to 20 percent of all cattle were killed in some parts of the state. Some ranchers reported that they lost half or more of their herds.


  48. Judith didn’t mention what the “time of emergence” signal was in the Camilo Mora et. al. paper. It was that the COOLEST YEARS (regional annual average) would be WARMER than the HOTTEST YEARS between between 1860 and 2005. They chose that because people will notice when that threshold is reached. The New York Times has an excellent write up today, “By 2047, Coldest Years May Be Warmer Than Hottest in Past” by Justin Gillis, New York Times, October 9, 2013 at

    The paper is also amazing because the research was done in a CLASS PROJECT in Camilo Mora’s graduate course at the University of Hawaii, Manoa on using large data sets to illuminate environmental issues. They didn’t need a single supercomputer or to run a single climate model. Instead they used ordinary PCs to access and analyze the publicly archived data from runs from something like 37 different computer models. An ordinary person could do this study in his home office, that is if he were clever enough to think of the method.

  49. Keep in mind the keepers of the flame of the official government scientists of GCM fabrication still refuse to admit that Mann’s ‘hockey stick’ was quatch and the null hypothesis of AGW theory has never been rejected that all observed global warming can be explained by natural causes.

  50. (And now, a pause for a word from reality.)

    Cold European Winter Could Create Energy Crisis, Cap Gemini Says
    By Sally Bakewell – Oct 9, 2013 6:01 PM CT

    A cold winter may plunge Europe into an energy crisis because of the over-reliance on renewable energy and the shutting of natural gas-fired generators, Cap Gemini SA (CAP) said in a report.

    Gas-fired generators are running at utilization rates that are too low to meet their fixed costs as grids favor subsidized renewable power, the Paris-based management consultancy said today. About 60 percent or 130,000 megawatts of Europe’s gas-generation capacity is at risk of closing by 2016, it said, citing IHS Inc. (IHS) estimates.

    “These plants — that are indispensable to ensure security of supply during peak hours — are being replaced by volatile and non-schedulable renewable energy installations that are heavily subsidized,” according to the report, produced with Exane BNP Paribas, law firm CMS Bureau Francis Lefebvre Lyon SELAS and think tank VaasaETT.

    Generators are switching to cheaper coal for baseload power as the U.S. exports the fuel amid a shale-drilling boom that has driven up domestic gas demand, Cap Gemini said. The collapse of the cost of carbon credits has strengthened the appeal of the polluting fuel.


    • Dead and dying Europe is destroying the futures of its young. They tried so hard to take America down with them. But, Bush said nyet to Kyoto after defeating Nobel-winner Al Gore. That is why Europe hated Bush so much.

      Meanwhile, Bush gave America enough time for a little reason to set in so that now, rational people outside the government bureaucracy understand. Global warming is the creation of and is maintained by the Leftist socioeconomic movement of Western secular, socialist, Eurocommunism.

  51. R. Gates the Skeptical Warmist | October 9, 2013 at 2:26 pm | says:

    “… as so many “skeptics” love to point out (erroneously of course)…”why do we care about a few hundreths of a degree spread out over the whole ocean?….their reluctance to even try to understand it tells me theirs is not true “skepticism”.

    Just why are pushing this bag of bovine feces at us? I am a skeptic but I have never said anything like that and I don’t know anyone else who has. As for reluctance to understand something, you certainly don’t show comprehension of the fact that the greenhouse effect is dead. There is more carbon dioxide in the air now than anytime in recorded history and yet there is no warming. There has been none for 15 years now and there was none for the eighteen years preceding the arrival of the super El Nino of 1998. You don’t know of the latter period because warmist temperature guardians had posted a fake warming in the eighties and nineties to cover it up. I exposed this in my book and guess what – the fake warming was withdrawn by GISTEMP, HadCRUT, and NCDC, all in unison, last fall. It was done secretly and no explanation was offered. This required trans-Atlantic coordination which tells me that they all knew the warming was fake. This gives us 33 green-house-free years out of the last 34. The two no-warming periods exist because OLR that passes through that cloud of CO2 in the air escapes into the cosmos beyond without being absorbed. It is highly unlikely with this track record that any enhanced greenhouse effect has ever existed.This is exactly what the greenhouse gas theory of Ferenc Miskolczi predicted in 2007. In 2010 he had experimental proof. Using NOAA weather balloon database he studied the absorption of infrared radiation by the atmosphere over time. And discovered that absorption had been constant for 61 years while carbon dioxide at the same time went up by 21.6 percent. This means that the addition of this substantial amount of CO2 to air had no effect whatsoever on the absorption of IR by the atmosphere. And no absorption means no greenhouse effect, case closed.

    • Arno -

      You can use the ‘return’ key on your keyboard (far right, half way up) to make a new paragraph. Try it; makes for easier reading. In case anyone is so inclined.

    • That would be bovine feces of masculine variety.

    • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

      Arno absurdly states:

      “There is more carbon dioxide in the air now than anytime in recorded history and yet there is no warming. There has been none for 15 years.

      Of course focusing on the tiny energy reservoir of sensible heat in the troposphere, and failing basic thermodynamic understanding that the warmest decade in the troposphere (which we have just seen) dictates the RATE OF ENERGY FLOW FROM OCEAN TO TROPOSPHERE. Do you understand so little about ocean to atmosphere energy transfer that you can’t see this?

    • Arno,
      I don’t understand the reference to the changed temperature records last fall. I am aware of real climate discussion of changed historical records bby GISS. they went back to the 30′s through the 90″s and modified historical records to change a cooling trend to a heating trend. What references can you help us withh?

    • Arno,
      actually it was real science; http:
      Data tampering post.


  52. An idea for the providers of stunningly fresh shock results whereby everything that used to be worse than we thought will now be as bad as we think (whew).

    I note that the two most popular flavours of radical climate change, BAU and Stabilisation, have fairly definite maturation dates. Well, the Jehovahs Witnesses and other millennarian sects have had to post-cancel several firmly predicted Armageddons over time. Would it not be wise to collaborate closely with people who have the success and expertise in Armaggedon prediction and post-cancellation? The JWs, in particular, are very keen on CAGW and all the sciency stuff that goes with it. They’ll be right there for you, I’m sure.

  53. 1860? How about 3000 BC? The Minioan Warm Period would make a far better baseline.

  54. Let’s see what we have learned the last couple days:

    Fan remains apoplectic about the Met Office acknowledging the “pause” in reported temperatures.

    Mosher was blissfully unaware that even Hansen acknowledged that climate sensitivity is “highly dependent” on initial conditions.

    And now R. Gates proves to be oblivious to the fact that the consensus, through no less a luminary than Gavin Schmidt, admits that whatever warming there is in the deep ocean is no real threat to the deep sea biosphere, or the surface climate, now or in the reasonable future.

    We need a better class of warmist around here.

    Either that, or the science isn’t very settled at all.

  55. pray for emergence of any GLOBAL warming… how many of you are praying and hoping that global warming will come at all? ha, haaaaaaaaa

  56. Time of emergence of the (anthropogenic) warming signal is about 1988, the year of the Hansen’s Senate testimony. Of course the signal is not real, as everybody now is beginning to realize. It’s a cargo cult signal.

  57. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Audubon Prepares to Unveil
    Groundbreaking Climate Change Model

    Audubon scientists have developed a powerful new climate model that predicts the future ranges of North American birds under the three possible future climate scenarios.

    Using 100 years of Christmas Bird Count data collected by Auduboners like you, Audubon scientists have accurately modeled the relationship between climate information and bird observations, and projected that into the future under a range of emissions scenarios.

    The result is a dazzlingly specific picture of future bird ranges in an uncertain climate future.

    It’s good that citizen-science is affirming the effects on wildlife of the perpetual climate-governing vortices that supercomputers show us!

    An` affirming that Hansen’s thermodynamic climate-change worldview may be … just plain right.

    An` affirming the common-sense scientific reasons why the oceans rise relentlessly?

    An` affirming that the Papacy is right to be concerned?

    It’s all fits together … `cuz that’s how (what Judith Curry calls) “the best available climate-change science” works.

    Think it over, Climate Etc folks!

    \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}

  58. Judith,

    I have been following your twitter efforts, and the brushing off the groupthink alarmist ripostes. Recently, these.latter have ended. Is this the turning of the tide?

    Other indicators include the ‘ocean heat uptake’ from climate scientists ie La Nina conditions acknowledged.

    Politicians, here in the UK., and energy professionals now question the green levy on energy bills.

    On Bob Tisdale’s excellent blog, , I once posed the question:

    Who will sink the alarmist titanic?

    The answer is, climate scientist, Judith Curry.. Others may have their own opinions.

  59. Does this mean that a global emissions mitigation policy would defer the “shocking” results by only 22 years (ie 2069 instead of 2047). If so, this paper will put a very low limit on the “benefits” of mitigation in future cost//benefit studies.

  60. Tomas Milanovic

    It is incredible what kind of pseudoscientific garbage wastes paper and time.
    So we are told that Ecological and societal disruptions by modern climate change are critically determined by the time frame over which climates shift beyond historical analogues.
    And they had to be 14 to write this groundbreaking stupidity ! I guess that they even got paid for it.
    Let’s resume.
    There are ecological and societal “disruptions”. Never mind that such things are neither defined nor belong to some serious science. But they exist are we told, they are supremely bad and hover ominously above our futures. Who would not agree that there is always something ominously hovering ?
    Fear ecological and societal disruptions is the message. Sofar so good. We got that. WWII or Mao’s cultural revolution were serious ecological and societal disruptions – we wouldn’t want that, would we ?
    OK so now we are told that these unpleasant events are critically determined. Not just determined but critically determined. The call to determinism suggests that the consequences of whatever the causes of these disruptions are, they are inescapable. The use of critical suggests that whatever other causes there might be, they are negligible and will be resolutely neglected. Exit economy, politics and sociology. If anybody thought that the societal disruptions were critically determined by politics and ideologies, he must be taught better.
    And now comes the result crowning years of work of 14 people. All this horror is critically determined by the time necessary such as an average of some parameter spends much time above or below the average of the same parameter but over another time period. This nonsense can be translated mathematically.
    Let define a time interval I = (t1,t2) such as for every t ϵ I we have |P(t) – [P(T)]| > a. σ where :
    P(t) is some parameter at time t
    [P(T)] is the time average of P and σ its standard deviation over some fixed time interval T
    a is some non zero constant
    Unbelievable but true : once translated, this “paper” tells us that it is the value of t1 and t2 which critically determines the future of our civilization!
    Never mind that the choice of T is arbitrary and that t1 and t2 critically depend on the arbitrary choice of a. Never mind that such an interval exists for every parameter in complex dynamical systems you can think of anyway.
    And never mind that if this idiocy was true then there would be no “disruptions” if and only if P(t) = [P(T)] = arbitrary constant for every t what is physically impossible.
    So actually we can be assured – if these 14 pseudo scientists are right (and they certainly are, they were peer reviewed after all) then an apocalypse or at best ecological and societal disruptions are 100% sure whatever we do or don’t do.

  61. Reading the various comments on this thread, together with what is in the reports, it seems to me that my contention is completely vindicated; that there is no CO2 signal in any modern temperature/time graph. After all, if such a signal existed in 2013, it would have emerged already, and we would not have to wait for decades to see it.

    So it seems to me that this discussion fully supports my contention, that there is a strong indication that the climate sensitivity of CO2, however defined, is indistinguishable from zero

    • Jim Cripwell


      It’s looking more and more like you are correct in your statement that

      there is a strong indication that the climate sensitivity of CO2, however defined, is indistinguishable from zero


    • IMHO Water vapor/humidity is the control knob.

  62. An interesting paper by Ed Hawkins. But it points out the basic problem IPCC has in selling a potentially “catastrophic” AGW story.

    As society and ecosystems tend to be somewhat adapted to natural variability, some of the impacts of any change will be felt when the signal becomes large relative to the noise.

    If we include the natural diurnal and seasonal variability we all feel as “noise”, it is very clear to see that the miniscule long-term warming “signal” is totally insignificant relative to the “noise”.

    This becomes even more problematic when the warming “signal” starts to stall for more than a decade, as it now has.

    And that’s the problem when it comes to getting the general public excited about “global warming” and its effects.

    All the fancy statistical analyses of the world cannot change the fact that global warming has been very small over the long haul and appears to have stopped over the past decade or more, despite unabated human GHG emissions.

    As a result, the general public is becoming aware that CAGW (as outlined specifically by IPCC in its AR4 report and being repeated in AR5) is a model-generated imaginary hobgoblin that has little to do with reality.

  63. I have no objections to the issue of warning signals based on accepted met. measured data, but not on the present unvalidated models .The present models have failed to predict accurately the climate of the last 15 years and earlier, so why should we trust the4m to predict the future

  64. The “Noise to Signal” ratio on AGW is extremely high.

    Taking a barely perceptible long-term warming “signal”, IPCC has been making increasingly louder “noise” about it in several 1000+ page pseudo-scientific reports.


  65. Berényi Péter

    I thought they were 95% confident the warming signal was already detected. Does it turn out this late in the game it was not the case and we still have several decades to wait before that happens?

    “Under a business-as-usual scenario, the index shows the average location on Earth will experience a radically different climate by 2047.”

    Please note IPCC FAR (1990), WG I, ch. 8, pp. 253 could only come up with such a late detection date with assuming the lowest forcing scenario and an equilibrium climate sensitivity of 1.5°C/doubling of CO₂. That was 23 years ago.

    “The lower curve shows the global-mean warming for the lowest forcing Scenario (D in the Annex) with model parameters chosen to minimize the warming rate. Detection does not occur until 2047.”

    • Berenyl, Thanks for the reference. The way we have actually produced CO2, the signal should have been detected in 2002!

    • Berényi Péter

      I am afraid in 2002 they thought the signal was detected. In the previous 11 years RSS trend was 0.4°C/decade, while CO₂ increased by 6.2% of a doubling. That is, everything looked shiny.

      Unfortunately since then, in the 11 years between August 2002 and July 2013 RSS (satellite) lower troposphere temperature anomaly trend is -0.05°C/decade. In the same period atmospheric CO₂ concentration went up from 371.83 ppmv to 397.22, which is 9.5% of a doubling.

      This state of affairs is a source of considerable confusion. One can’t possibly attribute current cooling to “natural variability” without attributing most of past warming to the same cause, but the guys are determined to do just that. They keep sticking to high climate sensitivity values and are willing to pay the price of going against facts, even if it involves denying predictions laid out in the first IPCC report.

  66. For Fanny and Webby. OT and compliments of the Bish.

  67. I hereby vote for banning the term “control knob” from the climate debate, and nominate “governor” (no, not that kind of governor you statists) as its replacement. Whether talking about CO2, clouds, water vapor or the ocean, isn’t the process more like the governor on an auto engine? The governor on an automobile controls the amount of fuel that gets to the engine, thus limiting the speed of the vehicle.

    “Control knob” suggests that man can adjust the climate to his liking by turning the control knob in whichever direction he wants. This is why thermostat is also a bad choice. But the governor acts independent of any action by the driver, often (as was the case in my youth) to his frustration. Governor conveys more definitively our lack of control. Which is, of course, why warmists would reject it out of hand.

    • The problem in borrowing terminology from control systems engineering is that people use these terms without understanding that they have actual definitions and meanings. Knobs are knobs and governors are governors.

      Having said that, saying that CO2 is a “knob” is wrong use of terminology, and always was. However, “knob” means something related but slightly different in the context of models. In that case, a “knob” is more like a slider on a graphic equalizer. It’s something that can be chosen at will, to make the final outcome more pleasing. This is why they talk about “tuning” models.

      I think it should be obvious what’s pernicious about too many of that kind of knobs, but I’ll quote one of Fanny’s heros:

      “With four parameters I can fit an elephant, and with five I can make him wiggle his trunk.”

      - John von Neumann

    • As a control engineer from way back I agree with Garym on ‘Control knob’.
      In any case our planet has its own thermostat in latent heat of evaporation, mostly in the southern hemisphere. It works because any attempt to raise planetary temperature causes increased evaporation. a powerful negative feedback loop.

    • “GaryM
      I hereby vote for banning the term “control knob” from the climate debate”

      How about we meet you half-way, we no longer use ‘control’, but can use the second half; as in “FOMD is a knob”.

  68. Chip Knappenberger

    While the New York Times’ Justin Gillis echoed Mora et al.’s shock, we, like Judith, thought it was a bit much:



    • Mayor of Venus

      Your link shows substantial warming in New York’s central park. Yet I’ve heard that many former New Yorkers have moved to Florida. A major reason for moving is a preference for the much warmer weather in Florida. So who’s supposed to be scared in New York if some additional warming occurs?

  69. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Historically the science has been right, eh Bob?

    Despite the outcries of cherry-picking denialists?

    History teaches plainly that foresighted public policies bring benefits to individuals and families.

    That’s plain-and-simple common-sense, eh Bob?

    \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}

  70. An extension of the results of the Mora study that was recently published in Nature really brings the specter of global warming close to home. Students taking ‘Introduction to Statistics’ at the University of Hawaii at Manoa found that on average outdoor pets will drink 148 more gallons of water by 2047 due to the projected increase in temperature in New Yorker’s back yards.

  71. Well done Dr. Curry – Stadium waves.

    “The stadium wave signal predicts that the current pause in global warming could extend into the 2030s,” said Wyatt, an independent scientist after having earned her Ph.D. from the University of Colorado in 2012.

    Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-10-stadium-lull-global.html#jCp

  72. From the Daily Mail’s coverage, “He [Mora] added that if mankind continued to burn fossil fuels, the threshold for the planet as an average globally is 2047 – with temperatures rising by as much as seven degrees centigrade.”

    That does not sound “markedly less alarming than what was reported in the AR5.”

  73. Pingback: The stadium wave | Climate Etc.

  74. Back in 1990, IPCC conceded in its first assessment report that the enhanced greenhouse effect had not yet been detected as a result of the uncertainties surrounding natural variability, but projected that this would occur when warming reached 0.5°C above the 1990 level. This was predicted to occur no later than 2047 based on anticipated warming.

    There was a warming trend following this report, although the warming trend reversed to a slight cooling trend after 2001 (the “pause”).

    Around 1990, the HadCUT4 anomaly was 0.25°C. So this means we would need to reach an anomaly of 0.75°C before we could detect the enhanced greenhouse signal with certainty.

    Time has passed and several IPCC reports (many thousands of pages) have been written in the meantime (we’re now at AR5), but the “magic number” of 0.75°C has still not been reached.

    In his report, Ed Hawkins still refers to the uncertain “noise” of natural factors, but suggests that the signal to noise ratio will soon exceed 1, which would be a point at which the GHE “signal” would be clearly discernible.

    IOW, there is still no discernible enhanced GH signal yet, but we should soon see one.

    Let’s stick with the original IPCC prediction of when this would occur, i.e. when the global surface temperature anomaly reaches 0.75°C.

    We are now at 0.45°C, so this means we need an added 0.3°C warming before we reach the “magic number”.

    Assuming warming rfesumes at the average rate seen since 1990 (0.11°C per decade), this should occur in 27 years, or by 2041 – still within the range of “before 2047” as predicted by IPCC back in 1990.

    If, however, the current trend of slight cooling (-0.05°C per decade) continues for another decade or two before warming resumes, this date could be pushed further away, well past mid-century.

    IMO this is all very wishy-washy. The threshold for detection of the enhanced greenhouse effect set back in 1990 has not yet been reached, IOW we are not yet certain that there is an “enhanced greenhouse effect”.

    And to generate a bunch of RCP scenarios (“representative concentration pathways”) with predicted CO2 levels and resulting future warming by year 2100 from all this is much too speculative to be of much value.


  75. But in terms of adaptation of human societies, the main issue is fresh water availability

    There you have it. Warm Wet Oceans provide more moisture for precipitation and More CO2 makes green things grow better using less water.

    Warmer and wetter and growing better with less water. Win Win Win

  76. I don’t know when it will emerge but i predict it will win the Nobel peace prize when it does.

  77. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup | Watts Up With That?

  78. RC member Jim Bouldin’s take on the paper–with more to come he says.

  79. @Jim D,
    ” When you point a radiometer up at a clear sky, even at night, 200-300 W/m2 may come from these molecules.”

    Not in ir, not over my house!
    I’ve been measuring < -50F on an IR thermometer every clear day or night since last week. Some of the measurements have been < -60F, both of which are less than 200 W/m2, by a lot.

    • If you are using a narrow-band device like an IR camera, it would only look at the window region and appear quite cold. You need to see the whole IR spectrum to get the net value otherwise you miss the CO2 and H2O emission bands. You can probably tell that exposed insulated surfaces are not dropping to -50 F every night.

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