The 2.8% effect

by Judith Curry

The Arctic Ocean covers about 2.8% of the total Earth’s surface area   –  The Encyclopedia of Earth

While we discuss the uncertainties in estimates of Arctic Ocean temperatures and its trends, it is useful to put into perspective its relatively small size.

The figure below was just tweeted by Ed Hawkins:

hawkins

This is Figure 11.25 from the IPCC AR5 (discussed previously on Implications for climate models of their growing disagreement with observations).  Ed Hawkins has added a blue line to show Cowtan and Way’s global temperature analysis.  While Cowtan and Way is slightly warmer than HadCRUT4 for the past decade, their analysis doesn’t change the pause story very much when shown in this context.

The interesting issue is what has really been going on with the Arctic temperatures since about 2008.  In the preceding post Uncertainty in Arctic temperatures, MERRA vs the ERA-Interim showed  diverging trends after about 2007; Figure 4b of Cowtan and Way is suggestive of a steady temperature in the Arctic since 2000 (although this figure uses a 60 month running mean).

Note, comparing truly global climate model simulations with a truly global observational data set (e.g. Cowtan and Way) is better than comparing with HadCRUT4 with missing data regions.  Note, this is why Ed Hawkins previously compared (fig) the HadCRUT4 observations with climate model simulations where the missing regions were held out from the simulation data set.

So, you may be asking why we are paying such close attention to 2.8% of the globe.  It does seem surprising that this small region would have a noticeable affect on global surface temperatures, but it seems to according to Cowtan and Wray’s analysis.  In terms of the broader climate dynamics, the Arctic Ocean has an outsized influence on Northern Hemisphere climate dynamics (as per the Stadium Wave analysis).

Further, the Arctic has been referred to as a ‘bellwether’ for global warming, owing to the observed amplification of warming in the Arctic in the last quarter of the 20th century.  Hence, the importance of sorting out exactly what is going on in the Arctic Ocean and why is of outsized importance relative to its 2.8% effect.

237 responses to “The 2.8% effect

  1. Isn’t the “Stadium Wave” a factor in the Artic weather, and not the other way around?

    • Excerpt:

      In the journal Geophysical Research Letters, the researchers attribute the change to a weakened Arctic Oscillation. This, they explain, reduced the saltiness of the upper ocean near the pole, making it lighter and changing its circulation.

      “Our study confirms many changes seen in upper Arctic Ocean circulation in the 1990s were mostly decadal in nature, rather than trends caused by global warming,” said James Morison, lead researcher based at the University of Washington’s Polar Science Centre Applied Physics Laboratory.

      “While some 1990s climate trends, such as declines in Arctic sea ice extent, have continued, these results suggest at least for the ‘wet’ part of the Arctic – the Arctic Ocean – circulation reverted to conditions like those prevalent before the 1990s,” he added.

      Since the end of the period covered by the published data, Morison says the measurements of pressure are already swinging back to the higher levels at the beginning of the study. He offers this as evidence of just how short-lived changes in ocean currents can be.

      Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/11/15/ocean_currents_melt_planet/

      • David Springer

        The Arctic ocean is a radiator for tropical heat with a variable surface area controlled by how much of it is covered by insulating layer of ice. If the conveyor belt carries more heat up from the tropics more ice turns to liquid increasing the radiator surface area and hence heat is dumped to space faster.

        It works just like water-cooling systems in internal combustion engines. If the engine starts generating more heat the thermostat opens up allowing more water to reach the radiator. It’s not terribly complicated. Climate boffins interested in scaring children and politicians into coughing up money simply want you to believe it’s too complicated for non-climate boffins to understand.

  2. In UK the last cold winter was unequivocally attributed to the melting of the Arctic ice because of global warming.

    Since the ice is back this year, can we bank on a mild winter? If not, which excuse will the climos use this time…and why doesn’t it apply to cold winters too?

    • the ice is back this year

      maybe.

    • Latimer

      No, it was RGates who attributed the last ‘cold’ winter to lack of arctic ice.

      The only problem was that last winter was not especially cold. It was the Spring that was cold and by then the ice had fully recovered.
      tonyb

      • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

        Tony said:

        “No, it was RGates who attributed the last ‘cold’ winter to lack of arctic ice.”

        ____
        Uh…no, that’s not at all what I was talking about if you are referring to my discussion of SSW events and the break down or disruption of the Arctic Vortex that can result from the larger of these events. It is the disruption of the vortex that can allow massive cold outbreaks at lower latitudes, as we saw in 2009 and 2012 for example.

        The relationship between the long-term decline of Arctic Sea ice and apparent increase in more significant SSW’s may be one of correlation and not causation– that is, they are both related to the advection of greater amounts of energy from equator to the pole, both in the atmosphere and in the ocean seems to be the common factor.

      • I stand corrected.

        Maybe it was the year before that Vicky Pope from the Met Office appeared on one of the breakfast TV shows and – with the hauteur only an entitled climo can manage – treated us all to her wisdom that no matter what common sense might tell us we should listen to the experts and that the very cold weather was due to global warming.

      • RGates

        In your (excellent) post at Nevens you said;

        “Certainly declines in Arctic sea ice may be changing the patterns of NH weather, the research on these effects is ongoing. In terms of the winter of 2013, we can trace the change in England’s weather this winter almost to the day of the onset of the large SSW event over the pole. If you look at the chart above for the SSW that peaked around the 6th of January, and then take a look at the Central England Temperature record for the winter, you’ll see this…”

        We had several conversations here about it when you said the declining sea ice had an effect on the weather in the UK as could be witnessed in the hard winter of 2013. I don’t want to misrepresent you, so perhaps you can clarify if you believe that declining sea ice impacts on our winter weather as evidenced by 2013?

        tonyb

      • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

        Tony,

        There are several different issues here:

        1) Is declining sea ice directly causing a change in weather patterns, as Dr. Francis at Rutgers and others postulate may be happening.

        and/or

        2) Is declining sea ice related to the same atmospheric/ocean changes causing an apparent increase in severe SSW events.

        The outbreak of cold weather last year and in 2009 that I was referring to was specifically related back to the SSW event that broke apart the polar vortex. Furthermore, these SSW events can be traced back to planetary waves in the stratosphere, that represent the advection of energy poleward from the equatorial regions. We are also seeing the increased advection of warmer waters into the Arctic– which has effects on the sea ice. But as is the case with SSW events, warmer over the Arctic proper (when that warmth is related to the shattering of the polar vortex) can certainly cause extreme outbreaks of colder air over lower latitudes such as Europe experience during the last big SSW events.

      • Around 50% of SSW’s are followed by warmer weather circulation in the UK region.

      • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

        “Around 50% of SSW’s are followed by warmer weather circulation in the UK region.”
        ____
        Not sure where you get this meaningless statistic (50% means that the other 50% have no effect, or are followed by cold weather), but it isn’t what I was specifically referring to in terms the large SSW events that break down the polar vortex such as we saw in 2012, 2009, and even 2006. When the polar vortex is shattered like that the normal polar westerlies turn to easterlies, and the UK and much of Europe and Russia, get extremely cold as they get cold air right from the Arctic.

      • R. Gates said:
        “When the polar vortex is shattered like that the normal polar westerlies turn to easterlies, and the UK and much of Europe and Russia, get extremely cold..”

        No, following around half of them it gets warmer in the UK. The SSW issue is an exception to my original point, and not the rule.

    • If UK has a colder winter the ‘climos’ will hope for a volcano and then, point.

  3. From global warming to northern polar warming. The IPCC has only to change the meaning of the P.

  4. Yes indeed, why get so worked up over such a small correction as the Cowtan and Way Hybrid model?

    Is it because that it substantiates all the simple thermodynamic-based energy balance arguments? Like this one:
    http://contextearth.com/2013/11/19/csalt-ju-jutsu/

      • Wayman, Thanks for supporting my post here
        http://contextearth.com/2013/11/19/csalt-ju-jutsu/
        and therefore the C&W Hybrid approach.

        The more you write, the deeper the hole you dig for yourself.

      • Once again, WebHubTelescope (@WHUT), you misinterpret, fabricate, and mislead.

        Let me repeat: I do not find you or your model credible.

        Have a nice day.

      • BTis – the guy that is trying to calculate an integral to disprove AGW.

        Good luck with that, LOL.

      • “the guy that is trying to calculate an integral to disprove AGW.

        Good luck with that, LOL.”

        You think you can apply equilibrium Thermodynamic to an open system and that the ‘conservation of energy’ is applicable to a steady state system.

      • “You think you can apply equilibrium Thermodynamic to an open system and that the ‘conservation of energy’ is applicable to a steady state system.”

        What exactly is “apply equilibrium Thermodynamic” ?

        Is that similar to “apply thermodynamic principles to the impossible-to-attain equilibrium situation”?

        People use thermodynamic principle to solve practical problems every day. So things aren’t in strict equilibrium. Boo hoo, deal with it. Just because you can’t doesn’t make it my problem.

        The CSALT model is an example of energy balance in action
        http://contextearth.com/2013/11/19/csalt-with-cw-hybrid/

      • David Springer

        WebHubTelescope (@WHUT) | November 19, 2013 at 9:48 am |

        “The more you write, the deeper the hole you dig for yourself.”

        Actually that more applies to you when BAE discovers how much company time Paul Pukite is taking up trolling climate blogs.

    • “The more you write, the deeper the hole you dig for yourself.”

      Titter!

      (You don’t deserve a LOL)

    • (@WHUT) said:
      “No, these are oscillating fluctuations. By definition, whatever cooling is offset by an eventual warming.”

      No the extratropics temperatures move in opposition to the Arctic at all scales through the Holocene. All these warm spikes in Greenland were very cold periods in the the temperate zone:
      http://smpro.ca/crunch/GISP2Civil.png

      And nearly all of this moves in opposition to CET:
      http://www.21stcentech.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Greenland-ice-core-data.png
      http://climexp.knmi.nl/data/tcet.dat

      And this summer there was more Arctic sea ice and a colder Arctic compared to last summer as the AO/NAO were more positive.

      • And that is why it is important to do the accounting of temperatures correctly.

        From a macro level view of the enclosing volume, the mean values of the thermodynamic variables have to adjust in concert to obey the laws of conservation of energy. If temperatures go up in one place and down in another that is perfectly acceptable as long as physical laws are not violated.

        You would think this would be taught at schools such as GaTech.

      • Matthew R Marler

        WebHubTelescope: From a macro level view of the enclosing volume, the mean values of the thermodynamic variables have to adjust in concert to obey the laws of conservation of energy. If temperatures go up in one place and down in another that is perfectly acceptable as long as physical laws are not violated.

        Is that your way of saying that the Earth is neither warming nor cooling?

        When there is biased placement of the thermometers, you can not measure all the places that heat might flow to and from; with constant input to an oscillating system (see the last chapter of the thermodynamics test by Kondepudi and Prigogine that I often cite), and with outward radiation at each locale proportional to local T^4, you can in fact have oscillations in total energy in the Earth system that are not balanced out during any particular period of observation. Of course, energy is conserved, ,but not all of it is observed, so you can’t use the conservation of energy to make a sound argument about the temperature of any particular regions over any particular epoch.

        Your model and the paper by Cowtan and Ray have the same limitation, both being calibrated with respect to observed data when the missing data are clearly not missing at random. Hence my claim that your model and their imputation will succeed or fail together.

        Neither you nor they have an explanation for the apparent breakpoint in their imputed differences at 2005.

      • Marler,
        Most of the model’s behavior is driven by CO2 and SOI, with the slowly varying LOD modulating multi-decadaly.
        The TSI also generates some modulation as do volcanic aerosols after large eruptions.

        This has worked for 130+ years and has definitely worked best while using the GISS series, which fills in the grid via interpolation schemes.

        A very slight shift may be occurring in the last few years whereby the global temperature is not rising as fast as the SOI component would predict. But if that heat is moving to northern regions that is not captured by HadCRUT4 then something has to give.

        That is why I find the CW hybrid correction valuable.

      • Matthew R Marler

        WebHubTelescope: That is why I find the CW hybrid correction valuable.

        They might be right, and if they are your model gets another + in my unofficial book.

  5. Arctic warming happens under negative Arctic & North Atlantic Oscillation conditions. Anyone making a case for even more Arctic warming is simultaneously making the case for accelerated global cooling.

    • No, these are oscillating fluctuations. By definition, whatever cooling is offset by an eventual warming.

      So all else cancels out geospatially and what is left is the external forcing, the majority of which is controlled by CO2 levels.
      http://contextearth.com/2013/11/19/csalt-ju-jutsu/

      • Webster, “So all else cancels out geospatially and what is left is the external forcing, the majority of which is controlled by CO2 levels.”

        Right so the CO2 forcing signature began is roughly 1700AD and has and irregular response that is in opposite phases at each pole. The first definite CO2 signature was noted in ~1850 following a period from ~1816 to 1840 when space aliens sucked up CO2 to disguise combined volcanic and solar impacts.

      • Matthew R Marler

        WebHubTelescope: So all else cancels out geospatially and what is left is the external forcing, the majority of which is controlled by CO2 levels.

        Input of energy to each region varies with diurnal and annual rhythms, and randomly do to the random formation and dissipation of clouds (this could be chaotic, but on present evidence is indistinguishable from random) within seasons and days. Radiation from each region is proportional to T^4 in that region, and that fluctuates even more than incoming radiation. Over any interval, the Earth may experience a net cooling or a net warming, so there is not necessarily any geospatial cancellation. Globally there is net cooling when the Earth is farthest from the sun, and net warming when it is closest to the sun.

        Spatio temporal variation in radiant input, and spatio-temporal variation in T and T^4 make it impossible to calculate the energy balances sufficiently to substantiate your claim.

    • YES. WHEN POLAR WATERS ARE WARM AND WET, EARTH REBUILDS ICE ON LAND. WARM WET POLAR OCEANS ARE A NECESSARY PART OF THE WELL BOUNDED TEMPERATURE CYCLE EARTH HAS ENJOYED FOR TEN THOUSAND YEARS.

      When polar waters are warm and wet, it snows more than enough to replace the ice that melts every summer. Ice then advances and earth cools.

      When polar waters are cold and frozen, it snows less than enough to replace the ice that melts every summer and ice retreats and earth warms.

    • People on the various sides of Climate Study, study CO2 to death.

      It is way past time to put CO2 aside and look at the real factors that bound temperature.

      The bounds of earth temperature have tightened up as the Polar Ice Cycles developed.

      Look at temperature bounds for 600 million years. There was an upper bound and a lower bound but no set point anywhere in between.

      Then for most of recent the 870 million years, ice core data shows temperature being controlled inside the bounds of the 600 million years.

      Now, for the most recent 10 thousand years, a set point and very tight temperature bounds have been in place.

      The only thing that has an operating Set Point is Polar Sea Ice.

      When Polar Waters are wet, it snows a lot more and puts an upper limit on temperature.
      When Polar Waters are frozen, it snows a lot less and put a lower limit on temperature.

      Offer any alternate forcing with a set point and response in the right direction every time.

      For the past 870 thousand years and up to today, Earth Temperature is always in phase with Ice Extent and the Albedo makes the critical difference.

      http://popesclimatetheory.com/page54.html

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      Ulric Lyons said:

      ” Anyone making a case for even more Arctic warming is simultaneously making the case for accelerated global cooling.”
      ____
      This makes no sense at all. Regional warming of the Arctic is ultimately due to both the net climate forcing as well as localized positive feedbacks occurring because of the biosphere and cryosphere changes going on in the Arctic. If anything, those positive feebacks are likely to accelerate the overall global warming, reaching well beyond their regional signficance and futher enhancing the accumulation of energy in Earth’s climate system.

      • Warming in the Arctic is due to negative NAO/AO episodes. That transports extra warm water north, and the weaker vortex allows greater atmospheric exchange between the Arctic and the Extratropics. Your “net climate forcing” if it’s positive will give positive AO/NAO conditions, and Arctic cooling, and increased sea ice extent, just like this Summer. And there are no positive feedbacks.
        Look at the 1920’s and late 1930’s/early 1940’s, that’s negative AO/NAO causing the warming:
        http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/1d09a-arcticreconstruction.jpg
        ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/paleo/historical/north_atlantic/nao_mon.txt

      • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

        Ulric said:

        “Warming in the Arctic is due to negative NAO/AO episodes.”
        ___
        This is a great oversimplication of a process that involves the entire stratosphere– or at least the entire statosphere of the NH in the case of SSW events. Negative NAO/AO “episodes” are not causes, but measurements of effect– they are descriptive rather than causative. During a strong SSW event for example, we see a planetary scale wave travel thousand of miles, and spanning thousands of miles, with effects from equator to the pole. It is this planetary wave, descending over the pole, that rapidly compresses the air there, causing the AO to go extremely negative as the high pressure builds over the pole, the winds reverse direction, bringing cold Artic air from the east over Europe, and this condition can last for weeks. Thus the AO going negative is simply a measurement of a dynamical process that began at lower latitudes, and is simply measuring one of the effects of that process, but is not a cause of the process itself. Interestingly enough, there is a very close association with SSW events and enhancement of the Brewer-Dobson circulation, as you can see quite plainly see a pulse of air pulled up into the stratsophere over the equator exactly when the teleconnected mass of air is simultanously falling over the pole. A teleconnected event in the statosphere spanning some 9,000km! The negative AO that results from this falling air and higher pressure over the pole is simply a measurement of a much much larger hemispherical process.

      • R.Gates said:
        ” Negative NAO/AO “episodes” are not causes,”

        Yes it is a cause, and is directly solar forced at the poles, and I’m talking about regular negative AO/NAO states and not SSW’s. See the tropical upper stratosphere e.g. Dec 2010, there’s no cooling then as there would be with a SSW:
        http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/temperature/archive/02mb2525_2010.gif

        The warm pulses to the Arctic ocean are driven by and follow the negative AO/NAO phases and their effects on atmospheric circulation.

      • When the Arctic Polar Waters are warm and wet, it causes early snow around the Arctic and that changes the Jet Stream and that pumps cold air and causes snow much outside the Arctic and rebuilds ice on Northern land.

        When Polar Waters are warm and wet, as in September 2011, that causes and triggers snow around the Northern Hemisphere from October to May as in Oct 2011 to May 2012.

        Earth don’t get cold until after it has been warm for awhile. Earth don’t get warm until after it has been cold for awhile. Polar Sea Ice Melts and turns Snowfall On and It Freezes and turns Snowfall Off.

        Earth Temperature became more tightly bounded as Polar Ice Cycles Developed and Matured.

        LOOK AT THE ACTUAL DATA. During the 870 years of Ice Core Data, Earth Temperature was and is ALWAYS in PHASE with LAND ICE EXTENT.

      • Herman said:
        “When the Arctic Polar Waters are warm and wet, it causes early snow around the Arctic and that changes the Jet Stream…”

        Back to front, the jet moves south first. How else is the warmer water going to get north to Arctic without being driven by the winds?

  6. Here is another small correction to a narrow window of historical data.
    http://contextearth.com/2013/11/16/csalt-and-sst-corrections/
    This deals with the WWII time frame, where a small 0.1C bias has been isolated due to data that was collected expediently (with good reason).

    The point of these corrections, no matter how small, is that they are needed to reduce the epistemic (i.e. systemic) uncertainty of the scientific modeling. The fact that our measurements are not always in sync with our models is a challenge that we can always work on to correct.

    So we applaud that C&W correct for the lack of Arctic and other region data. And John Kennedy corrects for the biases introduced by changing measurement procedures. These are good things.

    • Pierre-Normand

      “Here is another small correction to a narrow window of historical data. [...]
      This deals with the WWII time frame, where a small 0.1C bias has been isolated due to data that was collected expediently (with good reason).”
      Impressive work, congratulations. The model/data agreement now is very impressive.

      • Thanks, I don’t get the feeling that many commenters here understand that changes on the order of 2.8% are often times needed to advance scientific knowledge. We advance incrementally as we build from the work of others.

        The concensus climate science is in no jeopardy of falling down, yet the skeptics believe that much of the tinkering as done by C&W for example is somehow fudging the data.
        That kind of tweaking is impossible to sustain if done by fudging numbers and science will eventually self-correct.

      • Matthew R Marler

        WebHubTelescope: Thanks, I don’t get the feeling that many commenters here understand that changes on the order of 2.8% are often times needed to advance scientific knowledge.

        I have written about small effects lots of times, and you have dismissed them as “third order”. Do you have a sharable (“operational”) definition of “third order”, or is it a post-hoc judgment about stuff you don’t want to consider.

        I have praised you model also, calling it “live” and drawing attention to some of its consequences. If the model is accurate enough, the consequences are serious.

    • Web, you cannot just, post-hoc, change historical data to get a better fit to your model.

      • Web is challenged to work to correct the fact that measurements are not always in synch with the models.
        ===========

      • Mann does.

      • DocMartyn,
        Ahhh, so you don’t like what you see, so you reflexively knee-jerk.

        Obviously the models are not in synch with the measurements. No model analysis exists that assumes a gaping empty space in the middle of Africa or toward the poles. Yet the data has these gaps. One works to correct this …

        … or if you are like lil kim, you write awful haiku and then declare victory.

      • Doc, as a theorist once quipped after an experimenter’s seminar, “Once again the data is rejected by the theory.”

      • “one works to correct this”
        If you think the SST record is incorrect, then you get into the whole what type of bucket did they use (canvas vs galvanized steel makes a big difference), what depth was the cooling water drawn into the engine room, when did the transitions from bucket to bucket to intake take place, what was the effect of longer sea routes have on ocean sampling and so on.
        One does not typically, change a chunk of data to make it fit your bias.
        The knee jerk response is just what people who have been keeping up with ‘scientific ethics’ have to data manipulation.


      • DocMartyn | November 19, 2013 at 8:30 pm |

        “one works to correct this”
        If you think the SST record is incorrect, then you get into the whole what type of bucket did they use (canvas vs galvanized steel makes a big difference), what depth was the cooling water drawn into the engine room, when did the transitions from bucket to bucket to intake take place, what was the effect of longer sea routes have on ocean sampling and so on.
        One does not typically, change a chunk of data to make it fit your bias.
        The knee jerk response is just what people who have been keeping up with ‘scientific ethics’ have to data manipulation.

        Well, some of us actually make the effort:
        http://contextearth.com/2013/11/16/csalt-and-sst-corrections/

        It’s clear that this WWII interval data was warm by about 0.1C based on the residual of the model.
        http://img802.imageshack.us/img802/6750/uxz.gif

        Do all these little things, 2.8% at a time, and pretty soon you have it much of it figured out.

        Unless you are DocMartyn of course, who would rather push the FUD pill.

  7. “So, you may be asking why we are paying such close attention to 2.8% of the globe. … In terms of the broader climate dynamics, the Arctic Ocean has an outsized influence on Northern Hemisphere climate dynamics (as per the Stadium Wave analysis).”

    The ‘outsized influence’ being … no warming in the rest of the globe.

    “Further, the Arctic has been referred to as a ‘bellwether’ for global warming, owing to the observed amplification of warming in the Arctic in the last quarter of the 20th century.”

    Zero amplified is what, exactly?

    Is black carbon on white ice “amplification”?

    What of the other places on earth where 2.8% is above the average trend of ~0? Is that ‘amplification’?

    What of the similarly sized places that are below that trend? What is that? ‘Attenuation’?

    What percent of the planet is the Antarctic continent and surrounding ocean? How is ‘polar amplification’ working there?

    • What percent of the planet is the Antarctic continent and surrounding ocean? How is ‘polar amplification’ working there?

      Antarctic Polar Sea Ice works with Arctic Sea Ice.

      When Oceans get warm, they take away Polar Sea Ice and more snow falls. When Oceans get cold, Polar Sea Ice is increased and less snow falls.

  8. The Sword of Damocles all over again. If the warmists nail their colors to the mast of Arctic sea ice, then what happens if the current possible recovery of the extent and volume of Arctic sea ice continues?

    All the more reason to keep tabs on what is happening to this part of the world on a daily basis.

    • Jim, it is only 2.8% of the world, CO2 caused the cooling, and the models predicted that would happen. It is just happening much more rapidly than expected so the situation is worse than we thought.

      • little steven, you do not seem to understand thermodynamic concepts such as conservation of energy.

      • Web, I understand conservation of energy perfectly. I intend to conserve mine since the law is only valid for closed systems such as your brain.

      • Steven, you write “Jim, it is only 2.8% of the world, CO2 caused the cooling, and the models predicted that would happen.”

        Sorry, you have lost me. I have never heard that CO2 causes cooling. Do you have a reference to what you are talking about, so I can read up about it.

      • Jim, according to GCMs CO2 warming will cause the AMOC to slow. This should reduce the warming according to the models but not cause cooling. If the AMOC were to slow faster than expected and the Arctic were to cool, they could say the models predicted it but not as fast as it happened. The AMOC appears to be slowing according to the most recent data.

      • Fine Steven. Please give me a reference where I can read up on it, in detail.

      • It’s very fine sarcasm, but horribly frightening, too, as Narrative is so much more manipulable than Nature.
        =======

      • Steven, It is all very well your writing something you found out about from somewhere, and which may or not be accurately reproduced. It is much more scientific to give me a reference where I can go and find out for myself precisely what was written,. The first alternative is simply not scientific; the second is the way scientists behave.

      • Jim, AR4 10.3.4

      • Thanks Steven. I don’t trust anything in the IPCC reports.

      • Jim, that’s fine. You asked what would happen to the warmist’s argument if the Arctic cooled. I suggested a possible scenario.

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      Jim asks:

      “…what happens if the current possible recovery of the extent and volume of Arctic sea ice continues?”

      ____
      Depends on how long it continues for. Much like the so-called pause in tropospheric temperatures, if Arctic sea ice were to undergo a mult-year recovery, something more that 5 or 10 years, then it definitely is worth looking at. I personally look at Arctic Sea ice and Ocean Heat Content as two of the stronger physical reasons for my “warmist” position. Should either (or both) of these reverse direction for a decade or more, my warmist postion would change direction as well. Given that both the cryosphere and the oceans have far greater thermal inertia than the rather fickle troposphere, a long-term reversal of these two would be more likely caused by some actual external forcing, as opposed to natural or internal variability.

      • R. Gates wrote:
        actual external forcing, as opposed to natural or internal variability.

        Pope wrote:
        external forcing has no set point. internal forcing has the temperature that Polar Sea Ice Melts and Freezes as a set point that can turn snowfall on and off.

  9. “Comparing truly global climate model simulations with a truly global observational data set” is indeed better than “comparing with HadCRUT4 with missing data regions”. But region by region comparisons would be better than either.

  10. Where’s that Pope dude?
    =======

  11. “Note, comparing truly global climate model simulations with a truly global observational data set (e.g. Cowtan and Way) is better than comparing with HadCRUT4 with missing data regions.”

    It would seem a more appropriate initial comparison would be between the augmented-with-models observational dataset (i.e. Cowtan and Way) and whatever enhanced-with-imagination dataset was used to feed the *cough* ‘truly global’ *cough* climate model simulations in the first place. How does C&W compare to the datasets the climate models were trained on and calibrated to?

    On the other hand, If you’re going to compare climate model outputs to any particular method of ginning up ‘observations’ from the ether, then those outputs should be generated by feeding the model input datasets generated by the same method.

    This ad-hoc BS of grafting the warmest part of a warm dataset onto part of an inconveniently cool dataset and then pretending that the result is universally applicable is … but I would repeat myself.

  12. And the last time I checked (a couple of years ago) the cooling of Southern Ocean sea surface temperatures…
    http://bobtisdale.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/14-southern.png
    …outweighed the warming of Arctic Ocean sea surface temperatures:
    http://bobtisdale.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/13-arctic.png

    Both graphs are from the October 2013 sea surface temperature update:
    http://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2013/11/11/october-2013-sea-surface-temperature-sst-anomaly-update/

      • When did we have the most snow in the Northern Hemisphere?

        It was from October 2011 to May 2012.
        This was just after the Record Open Arctic in September 2011.

        Warm Wet Polar Oceans do cause and trigger the snowfall that rebuilds Ice On Land.

        The Arctic will close when oceans get cold again, but the snow must fall on land first while the Arctic is open.

      • Thanks for the kind words and the link, Judith.

        Regards

    • Bob, then cooling of southern ocean temperatures which are in the ballpark of zero C degrees with a substantial specific heat capacity just can’t seem to compete with warming of lower density Arctic air with an average temperature in the ballpark of -30C degrees.

      It is almost like there is greater heat loss but some are tending to focus on misleading and possibly irrelevant Arctic Winter Warming.

      I wonder way that paper is not welcomed with open arms on Atmospheric Thermodynamics Broadway?

      • See how the lil Cappy’s start running to the big heat capacity when things are not looking their way.

        It’s like watching a soccer game composed of 5-year-olds– they all run towards the ball.

      • Webster, “See how the lil Cappy’s start running to the big heat capacity when things are not looking their way. ”

        Cappy has been on basic thermodynamics bandwagon for the git go. C&W’s krige is influenced by atmospheric mixing which blurs the “surface” frame of reference. You can’t determine heat loss and gain by flip flopping frames of reference. So if they wan to kirge the atmosphere, then leave the SST alone, but don’t blend and think you have “discovered” anything.

      • Little Cappy is pouting over the marvelous fit of the CSALT model to global temperature curves over the past 130+ years.
        http://contextearth.com/2013/11/19/csalt-with-cw-hybrid/

      • Web, you’ve referred to the high r (or r-squared) of these models several times, as some sort of support for the model. I think this is a mistake, especially in time series situations (which is your situation) where the dependent variable and one of the regressors (temp and co2 in your situation) both have a strong trend. Do you know the famous paper by Granger and Newbold on spurious regression? It is a classic statistics masterwork. Everyone who works with time series data should read it:

        http://wolfweb.unr.edu/~zal/STAT758/Granger_Newbold_1974.pdf

        Yes, this is published 1974 in an economics journal, but that’s because economists were making this mistake frequently at that time. Both Granger and Newbold’s PhDs were in statistics.

      • David Springer

        CSALT is not a model. A model would reproduce the Southern Oscillation Index history over 130 years not use it as an input. All you are doing is taking a temperature proxy (SOI) and converting it to a temperature.


      • David Springer | November 20, 2013 at 7:52 am |

        CSALT is not a model. A model would reproduce the Southern Oscillation Index history over 130 years not use it as an input. All you are doing is taking a temperature proxy (SOI) and converting it to a temperature.

        This is instructive and we can use CSALT to teach Springer what a physical model is.

        Similar to CSALT, one such model is the ideal gas law. It can be written as:

        nRT = PV

        where
        n = moles of gas
        R = gas constant
        T = temperature
        P = pressure
        V = volume

        The differential form of this is

        d(nRT) = d(PV)

        expanding this

        nR dT = V dP + P dV

        or

        dT = 1/(nR) * (V dP + P dV)

        What this model says is that we can reconstitute the slight variations in temperature via monitoring the slight variations in pressure and volume.

        This is essentially what the CSALT model does, but instead of the ideal gas law, I use a more general expression that is closer to a Gibbs free energy formulation. The precise structure does not matter as what I am trying to show is how the variation of temperature is reflecting the change of free energy within the system. This emerges via other intensive and extensive parameters of the system.

        This is more of a physical model than Springer would ever be able to dream up. And it works very well to determine the underlying contribution of the CO2 control knob to recent temperature rise. The contribution of pressure, via SOI, is obviously limited, as it cannot sustain a differential for long, being that it is based completely on atmospheric density and atmospheric height.

        So given that the temperature is still rising and the average pressure (i,e SOI) has not gone anywhere, something else is causing the warming. That is likely CO2 as the other parameters of the CSALT model, aerosols, LOD, and TSI are not going anywhere either.

        The CSALT model is also so simple that I would teach it as the basis of explaining how one could construct a basic reanalysis model.

        I hope that Springer has now learned what a physical model is and how it can be used to infer global warming

      • David Springer

        Paul Pukite now believes that laws are models. Awesome. The fraud is deep in that one.

      • Web

        I have asked you before-but did not see the reply -as to how CSalt dealt with volcanoes.

        Their output seems sometimes to cause cooling and sometimes to cause warming.

        How do you attribute the right effect and how long does the model assume the effect lasts for?

        tonyb


      • NW | November 20, 2013 at 2:54 am |

        Web, you’ve referred to the high r (or r-squared) of these models several times, as some sort of support for the model. I think this is a mistake, especially in time series situations (which is your situation) where the dependent variable and one of the regressors (temp and co2 in your situation) both have a strong trend. Do you know the famous paper by Granger and Newbold on spurious regression? It is a classic statistics masterwork. Everyone who works with time series data should read it:

        http://wolfweb.unr.edu/~zal/STAT758/Granger_Newbold_1974.pdf

        Yes, this is published 1974 in an economics journal, but that’s because economists were making this mistake frequently at that time. Both Granger and Newbold’s PhDs were in statistics.

        NW, the thing that you are missing is that CSALT is not fundamentally a time-series model. Look at Springer’s criticism, where he doesn’t even call it a model.

        It is in fact a variational approach to solving the earth’s average temperature in terms of its governing parameters. Aggregating from every point in time, CSALT is solving the contribution of the various parameters. Any filtering is done to model the lags and latencies that may exist, which is useful.

        Another aspect which is overlooked is that the correlation coefficient is used to compare one model against the other. So if you can come up with a better model, we can use your choice of model criteria and figure out which works better. We van use an evaluation criteria such as AIC or BIC. You aren’t going to be able to match CSALT for capturing every nook and cranny in the temperature profile, not even close whatever criteria you use, ha ha.

        Your econ buddies completely screw up the analysis in any case. Take the case of Beenstock
        [1] M. Beenstock, Y. Reingewertz, and N. Paldor, “Polynomial cointegration tests of anthropogenic impact on global warming,” Earth System Dynamics, vol. 3, no. 2, pp. 173–188, 2012.

        [2] D. Hendry and F. Pretis, “Comment on‘ Polynomial cointegration tests of anthropogenic impact on global warming’ by Beenstock et al.(2012)–Some fallacies in econometric modelling of climate change,” Earth System Dynamics Discussions, vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 219–233, 2013.

        Good luck, NW !

      • All physical laws have models of behavior associated with them. A model turns into a law after a certain amount of consensus builds up to support the universality of the model.

        In fact the ideal gas law is not anywhere near as strong as the conservation of energy as far as laws are concerned.
        http://philoscience.unibe.ch/documents/kursarchiv/SS07/smith.pdf

      • Volcanos are slight perturbations in the greater scheme of things and have no effect after their effects “wash out” of the system. CO2 does not wash out very easily. What’s the exact issue you have in mind?

      • Webster, “Volcanos are slight perturbations in the greater scheme of things and have no effect after their effects “wash out” of the system. CO2 does not wash out very easily. What’s the exact issue you have in mind?”

        Which is the reason your inbred model is useless. Solar and Volcanic are forcings that influence SOI because they create most of the internal imbalances. So by removing SOI you are reducing the apparent impact of solar and volcanic.

      • Web

        you said to me;

        Volcanos are slight perturbations in the greater scheme of things and have no effect after their effects “wash out” of the system. CO2 does not wash out very easily. What’s the exact issue you have in mind?’

        When you are modelling temperatures the perturbations are said to have a considerable effect on temperatures, with major eruptions affecting temperatures for several years.. Indeed the one in 1258 is said to have precipitated the LIA.

        Now, my reading of the contemporary observations is that the Volcanic effect is hugely overstated. However they are merely worthless historical anecdotes so can be safely disregarded.

        However, as a man of science you need to factor them in. So I am merelyt asking what allowance you make for them, how long is the effect and whether the signal is up or down?
        tonyb

      • I have volcanic disturbances in my model — you are so single-minded that you haven’t even looked at the CSALT model.

      • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

        Tony said:

        “Now, my reading of the contemporary observations is that the Volcanic effect is hugely overstated. However they are merely worthless historical anecdotes so can be safely disregarded.”
        ______
        Not sure what would lead you to believe that natural aerosols from volcanoes can ever be “safely disregarded”. Your focus on considering just the larger volcanic eruptions is misplaced, as there are periods of generally higher volcanic activity on the planet (think of it as another natural variabililty), and during these periods, which can last centuries, we see an long-term increase in aerosols in the atmosphere– that is, the aerosols and optical depth of the atmosphere stay higher for extended periods. Ice core samples have confirmed this. The sum total of this long-term aerosol loading is quite significant as a negative forcing on the climate.

      • RGates

        You have misunderstood. Webby HATES historical anecdotes and would have Breughel burnt at the stake as a witch. I was therefore saying with my tongue in cheek-before he did- that my historical anecdotes are worthless.

        I want to hear from him as to how his Csalt model copes with the aerosols which last for varying lengths of time and can either warm or cool the earth (apparently) according to science.
        tonyb

      • Webster, “I have volcanic disturbances in my model — you are so single-minded that you haven’t even looked at the CSALT model.”

        “One should especially note that while the uppermost layers of the VOLC experiment 20, recover quite quickly (Fig.5c, green curve), the signal stays memorized in the ocean, being rapidly transported into deeper layers (Fig.5c, black curve).”

        http://www.clim-past-discuss.net/9/6179/2013/cpd-9-6179-2013.pdf

        “Focusing on the volcanic response a clear inter-hemispheric difference is found: while in the SH, especially the 1809 and 1815 volcanic eruptions are well visible, the NH seems to be more responsive to the 1831 and 1835 volcanic eruptions.”

        Your inbred model makes lots of assumptions.

      • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

        Tony,

        Thanks for the clarification. My bad for jumping in without your tongue-in-cheek” context. Understanding the future is all about understanding the past– hence my love of paleoclimate data.

      • Webster, “Variational techniques are not one of Cappy’s strong suits.”

        Reading is not one of yours. Volcanic and Solar produce inconsistent impacts due to the asymmetrical distribution of ocean and land. To tease out Volcanic impacts you have to consider hemispheric imbalances and internal lags associated with the THC. Using just combined global land and ocean “surface” data the NH more rapid response is amplified by the lower heat capacity land mass and upwelling deep ocean water that has memory from past events not the current event. The paper describes “super-recovery” where the memory is from a warmer period.

        That is just the nature of large systems with huge heat capacity and decadal/multi-decadal lags. By using SOI you are erasing most of the Solar and Volcanic effects in favor of some unexplained phenomenon that hopefully balances out to zero since you confuse absolute pressure with differential pressure. There is no reason to assume the pressure differential between London and Tahiti zeros out on any meaningful time scale so there is no reason to assume Darwin and Tahiti will either since they are not on the same latitude, close, but not the same.

      • Here ya go Webster. Actually tonyb and Gates might find it interesting.

        https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-_POV9NU8vFg/UozrQyxkh6I/AAAAAAAAKkM/Giin3I-hPBs/w817-h453-no/1910+Vol+y+Sol+response+by+latitude.png

        That is how a combined volcanic and solar perturbation propagates by latitude in the ocean SST. 35NJ-45N has the fastest general recovery and has the greatest influence on land surface air temperatures. The land amplification noted by BEST. 55S-65S takes the longest to respond to an NH event and since 55S-65S has a large influence on the THC is set the memory for ~30 to 60 years in the future.

        What you get depends on which wave you catch.

      • Cappy, do you not realize by now that I am looking at mean value effects? Do you not realize that the strongest perturbations are what lead to the most observable fluctuations in globally measureable quantities?

        I know you will do whatever it takes to contribute more FUD because it is in your nature, the redneck with a vendetta against science.

      • Webster, “I know you will do whatever it takes to contribute more FUD because it is in your nature, the redneck with a vendetta against science.”

        No, I have a redneck vendetta against dumba$$ assumptions. The SOI has a trend, so it is not trendless i.e. averaging to zero. It not only has a trend the standard deviation has a trend, lower when there is volcanic forcing higher when there isn’t. There is a trend because there are centennial scale oscillations in the Pacific related to the longer term recovery from past solar/volcanic influence in addition to anthropogenic influences.

        There are a number of long term sea level pressure data sets which you can mask to pick any regions you like to check, they gots trends.

        So since SOI and all mean sea level pressures differentials are related to zonal mean temperature gradients not “Global” mean temperature, you should look at zonal means not “Global” means if you want to tease out volcanic/solar influence.

        For the LLN or CLT to apply you gots to know your mean or what period length is required to reasonably approximate a mean. C&W just adjusted the mean artificially which happens to favor your model.

        The again, perhaps the bucket/intakes virus infected MSLP :)

      • Captain

        Thanks for the link.

        Should I read it that, as I said, if volcanic eruptions do have a notable effect it can be both positive and negative as shown in the temperature anomalies?

        Or should I take it that that these were natural variations anyway and during them there were some volcanic eruptions that had a limited effect, that is to say they did not cause the temperature changes.

        Still hoping for a reply from webby because if the former is true he should be allowing for it in his csalt model

        Tonyb

      • Web, the first line of the Wikipedia entry on time series is “A time series is a sequence of data points,…” Notice that this definition is independent of physical or economic or any other theory. I understand that your CSALT is not “a time series model.” But your data is time series data, and therefore any estimation using that data–of any sort–is susceptible to the problems that crop up with all time series data sets.

        When Granger and Newbold criticized econometric practices in 1974, lots of the applied regression analysis they were criticizing was regression analysis of a static theoretical model, typically a static equilibrium model, that depended upon time series data.

        So when you say to me “the thing that you are missing is that CSALT is not fundamentally a time-series model,” I am not missing that and this is absolutely irrelevant to the question I asked, which is a legitimate question whenever one tests or estimates any theoretical model using time series data.

        You also give your estimated coefficient on co2 a causal interpretation, to whit, that it can tell us what the TCS will be from an exogenous doubling of co2. I am still waiting for a reply from you to my comment that causal interpretations of a parameter estimate are only possible if E(e|X) = 0. Random assignment of co2 levels would guarantee that, but as we know, the earth is not in a lab and we are not randomly assigning anything to it, and though prevailing co2 is partially driven by (arguably) exogenous human co2 emissions, parts of prevailing co2 (and temperature and soi and so forth) are joint outcomes of a complex system. I suggest that in this case the assumption E(e|X) = 0 is bound to be incorrect.

      • tonyb, “Should I read it that, as I said, if volcanic eruptions do have a notable effect it can be both positive and negative as shown in the temperature anomalies?”

        Yep, because of the polar/land amplification combined with aerosol indirect effects, you can have an initial positive impact on surface temperature. What was most interesting to me was the combined solar/volcanic effect. The real big volcanoes combined with longer solar minima whether it is related to poor quality solar data or not especially.

      • Captain

        So either webby has to agree with the much hated historical anecdotes which seem to show that volcanic eruptions have a very limited short term effect or agree with ‘science’ ‘ that shows eruptions have a notable long lived effect that can be positive or negative and adjust his csalt model accordingly.

        Assuming he doesn’t ignore all this which option do you reckon he will opt for?

        Tonyb

      • tonyb, “Assuming he doesn’t ignore all this which option do you reckon he will opt for?”

        None of the above. I am sure his model can create an imaginative alternative.

      • Captain

        Imaginative alternative?

        So csalt is a bona fide climate model then. ;)

        Tonyb

      • CapD, to my mind the forcings that are wholly exogenous to the climate (that is, not themselves generated by the climate system) are key to tackling a proper causal estimation. They can be used in an instrumental variables (IV) estimation, aka 2-stage least squares (2SLS). The volcanic stuff is not so helpful precisely because you can view it as belonging in both a temperature and a co2 equation, whereas something like total solar irradiance is both exogenous and excludable from the co2 equation, so key to identifying causal effects of co2.

        I’ve also thought about using human carbon emissions–call these hce–as an instrumental variable for prevailing co2. It has the two characteristics a good instrument should have: (1) hce is highly correlated with prevailing co2, and (2) we don’t think hce may cause temperature except through the path of its effect on co2.

        When I do an IV estimation using hce as an instrument for co2, and using solar as an exogenous influence on temp, the coefficient on co2 in web-like equations drops by about 0.22 or so–as one would expect if the causal arrows point every which way.

        I’d like to know a lot more about how the volcanic forcings are thought to work, and at what lags. In principle, there would be no problem with including more than one lag of volcanic activity if one thought it had short and long-term effects that differ.

      • NW, The biggest problem I have is with SOI used along with Volcanic and Solar. CO2 does have a weak feedback related to temperature but can have a stronger feedback related to volcanic. I don’t see how you could not use CO2, Solar and Volcanic. SOI though has two issues, first it is related to both solar and volcanic so removing SOI would just mask the impact of either Solar/Volcanic or both. Second is the assumption the SOI is a true oscillation. Since it has a solid trend from 1850 it is an artificial oscillation dependent of the selection of the baseline and the standard deviation during that baseline. It is not a natural climate feature but a convenient weather prediction “oscillation” by definition.

        The Volcanic impact is just about as complex as it gets. Depending on time of year the aerosols migrate to different hemispheres where they not only reflect sunlight (negative forcing) they also impact cloud formation and can reduce ozone (neutral to positive forcing). That is why combined with solar you can get mainly longer term negative forcing but abrupt positive forcing near the poles producing what appears to be an overly quick recovery. Depending on how the combined Solar/Volcanic interacts with internal variability, ocean inertia, you can get a long deep impact like 1815 to 1845 and 1900 to 1918 or a small impact like 1991 to present.

        Troy Masters has a paper in review about the pitfalls of removing Solar, Volcanic and ENSO on Climate of the Past but my link doesn’t work for some reason. The link I provided above has about the best description with a modeling attempt I have seen and agrees with what I am seeing with my simple static models.

        With my static models, the Little Ice Age maxed out in the tropics at -0.9C in 1700 and should take ~300 years to recovery but the 1816-1840 and 1900-1918 events prolong the recovery. That means the 1951-1980 base line is about 0.25C below “normal”. Given the margins of error, who really knows. Though I am pretty sure it is not Webster. It is one most excellent puzzle though :)

      • Captain

        I think the subject of volcanic forcing would make an interesting guest post.

        It could be argued that it has virtually no effect or that it has a warming effect or that it has a negative impact. Of course, according to circumstances all threecet ate s might apply at one time or another but what are the climate models being fed with?

        Tonyb

      • the combined Solar/Volcanic interacts with internal variability, ocean inertia, you can get a long deep impact like 1815 to 1845 and 1900 to 1918 or a small impact like 1991 to present

        The impacts induced from solar/volcanic forcing are far greater then simple changes in radiative forcing.The impacts from volcanics, which can induce changes to dissipative structures such as NAO and can effect OHC and the AMO due to precipitation,salinity and seaice can extend to the both decadeal and centennial limits.

        http://www.gfdl.noaa.gov/~atw/yr/2009/stenchikov_jgra_2009.pdf

      • tonyb, “I think the subject of volcanic forcing would make an interesting guest post.”

        Heck that would be easy, “F$$$ if anybody knows” :) I actually kind of like watching people try to explain it especially when a couple months difference in the main event can completely change the outcome.

        Now if Dr. Curry can post on some of the more current volcanic indirect forcing papers, I think it would make for a marvelous discussion. That and mixed phase clouds :)

      • CapD, we agree about SOI. The impression I get from reading what people write here is that the causal roots of these oscillations and the ENSO and so forth are poorly understood (though people know a good deal about their patterns and covariances with other things). But they are clearly endogenous variables, and have no business in any regression where we want to interpret estimates in a causal manner.

      • Maks, that is an excellent paper. One of the things I have been trying to do is determine the degree of hemispheric imbalance for the volcanoes we have good data on and that impact on mixing efficiency.

        The GFDL guys are worth a pay raise IMHO since they seem to be closing in on things faster than most.

      • The GFDL guys are worth a pay raise IMHO since they seem to be closing in on things faster than most.

        They do seem to have a better handle on the physics (or at least applying the statistics to physical structures)

        The approaches to arguments are also becoming better structured say the response to a singularity (such as volcanics) and the resulting tcs eg Merlis 2013

        http://www.meteo.mcgill.ca/~tmerlis/publications/merlis_tcs_volcano.pdf

      • Thanks Max, that looks interesting.

      • Most of what you are saying is not even worthy of consideration as it appears that you have no interest in advancing the yardstick.

        This is probably wasted on you, but I wrote the following post to place the CSALT model on a more formal physics footing:
        http://contextearth.com/2013/11/21/variational-principles-in-thermodynamics/

        BTW, this statement by NW is the most ridiculous piece of rubbish that I have read, which is quite a feat considering he has Cappy as competition:

        “But they are clearly endogenous variables, and have no business in any regression where we want to interpret estimates in a causal manner.”

        Casually tossing off important thermodynamic variables like that shows that NW has no “business” discusssing physics.

      • Well Web. You can’t be bothered to look into simultaneous equations bias, or the meaning of the regression assumption E(e|X) = 0, or the spurious regression phenomenon that crops up when using time series data. None of this is likely to undermine your model completely, but learning about it would help you refine your approach to the naturally occurring data (which you don’t encounter in your lab, where you have all kinds of control), get more defensible estimates, plausibly interpret them in a causal way and so forth. I am certain that, at one time, you were educable, but many people lose that somewhere along their way.


      • NW | November 21, 2013 at 2:28 am |

        Well Web. You can’t be bothered to look into simultaneous equations bias, or the meaning of the regression assumption E(e|X) = 0, or the spurious regression phenomenon that crops up when using time series data. None of this is likely to undermine your model completely, but learning about it would help you refine your approach to the naturally occurring data (which you don’t encounter in your lab, where you have all kinds of control), get more defensible estimates, plausibly interpret them in a causal way and so forth. I am certain that, at one time, you were educable, but many people lose that somewhere along their way.

        … how dismissive can one be?

        This is the analogy. I am looking at the response function of an electrical circuit that consists of various components. These are all arranged in some configuration and obey the physics of current flow, such as Ohm’s Law. By doing a regression of the measured output current against time, I can easily come up with estimates of the unknown parameters. That is all I am doing for now.

        I am not looking into “simultaneous equations bias” or “spurious regression” because what I am doing is providing valuable insight that you seem to have no clue about. So yea, sure, go tell a circuit analyst about these “spurious” effects and see what kind of response you get. Probably see someone bust a gut.

        If you want to be of some help, why don’t you find something wrong with the modified negative free energy formulation that W. Muschik, P. Ván, and C. Papenfuss define as the thermodynamics of the system.
        http://contextearth.com/2013/11/21/variational-principles-in-thermodynamics/

        Be specific and we can make it better. Just don’t take some thinly veiled potshots that only serve to create FUD.

        [1]W. Muschik, P. Ván, and C. Papenfuss, “Variational principles in thermodynamics,” Technische Mechanik, vol. 20, no. 2, pp. 105–112, 2000.

      • NW, Webster’s issues go beyond cause and effect confusion. He is assuming that since sea level pressure is “constant” that the pressure differential between Tahiti and Darwin has to have a reliable mean of zero over the instrumental period. The actual differential pressure is on the order of a fraction of millibar on a monthly average which is like a difference in average surface winds of ~5 mph. Tahiti and Darwin are at slightly different latitudes on opposite sides of the Pacific.

        https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/qQJ6rchOQWjzAipH_l9IayCFyet594ynHX7_KZfzEnU=w326-h190-p-no

        The formula for SOI is 10x(AP Tahiti – AP Darwin)/stdev(monthly average AP Tahiti-AP Darwin)

        Since surface winds are driven by pressure differentials caused by temperature and Coriolis effects, Webster is assuming that there is no long term natural trends possible and that CO2 forcing won’t impact global pressure and temperature gradients because sea level pressure is about constant. The assumption is so asinine it is painful. .

      • NW,

        I have two questions on your:

        > something like total solar irradiance is both exogenous and excludable from the co2 equation, so key to identifying causal effects of co2.

        First, how can total solar irradiance can be key of a process to which it can be excluded?

        Second, once we establish that solar irradiance and other exogenous variables are to be excluded from the process, why should we insist on them to determine the causal effects of co2?

        While I understand the need to filter out all the exogenous noise from the endogenous signal, it seems to be the fact that we exclude “it’s the sun stupid” as a causal mechanism for AGW that makes infer that it should be co2.

      • capt,
        you mentioned below (or above):

        As I said, I only have one published technical paper, guess what it was on?
        answer I take it is:
        Barometric pressure differential

        I looked on your site and you don’t have anything there on that paper. Care to add it? I’d like to see it.

      • ordic, “I looked on your site and you don’t have anything there on that paper. Care to add it? I’d like to see it.”

        That was back in the dead tree/michfishe era, I don’t even have a copy. It was actually just on air pressure differential and the dynamic components in general. Back then energy efficiency was a concern along with sick building syndrome which where linked by inadequate ventilation. Designers where installing variable air volume devices to meter conditioned air and required a higher velocity pressure reading for the controls. So they had some velocities in the range of 4000 FPM which requires 1 in. W.C. just for the ~45 mph air velocity not including the other static losses in the system. I got fed up with explaining the problems so I wrote the article for the AABC journal and made sure the worst offenders where on the mailing list :)

        The combination of higher design velocities/pressures and bigger faster turning fans introduced me to dynamic instability. I made good money for a while there :)

  13. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    BREAKING NEWS
    Roy Spencer reminds everyong:
    Don’t “Hang Your Hat”
    on No Future Warming”

    “If the current lack of warming really is due to a natural cooling influence temporarily canceling out CO2-induced warming, what happens when that cooling influence goes away?

    It is a pleasure to answer Roy Spencer’s question by directing Climate Etc readers toward the latest updates to (what Judith Curry calls) “the best available climate-change science”.

    Per this month’s climate-change science on the arxiv server

    •  Energy-balance thermodynamics continues to dominate climate dynamics on decadal-and-longer timescales, and

    •  proposed “ABC: anything but carbon” explanations for global warming continue to fizzle, and

    •  statistical analyses continue to resolve decadal-and-shorter dynamical variability with ever-improving precision.

    Conclusion  In the multi-decade long run, James Hansen’s climate change worldview continues to look simple, solid, and just plain right.

    Corollaries  That’s why the era of rational climate-change skepticism is ending; that’s why demagogic denialism is fading; and that’s why humanity now is focusing on finding pragmatic-yet-moral answers to tough long-term questions.

    It’s not complicated, 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}

    • When the AMO goes negative, the world will freeze and so-called global warming will be looked at with wistful sadness.

    • Fan

      My inclination is to think that a warming trend that has continued for some 350 years is likely to continue in the future

      http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/05/08/the-curious-case-of-rising-co2-and-falling-temperatures/

      This assumes that the current drop in CET which coincides with a sharp increase in co2 will be merely seen as an insignificant ‘blip’ in 30 years time.

      As Dr Hansen’s nearly official representative here, perhaps you can clarify why we are only looking at the modern warming trend rather than the historic warming we can observe in many data sets,of which CET is a reasonably proxy?

      An up to date view of CET can be seen in the Met Office record here.

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

      tonyb

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      climatereason poses a false dilemma “Why we are only looking at the modern warming trend rather than the historic warming that we can observe in many data sets

      False dilemma by climatereason, links by FOMD.

      It is a pleasure to answer your question, TonyB.

      Answer … The study of climate-change is grounded in (math-intensive) physical science, as contrasted with a (math-weak) statistical/empirical/historical science (in the sense of TonyB/Curry).

      The close study of Lucarini et al.‘s wonderful survey, Mathematical and Physical Ideas for Climate Science (arXiv:1311.1190) is commended to all Climate Etc readers.

      Thank you for helping to clarify the strengthening mathematics-and-physics foundations of modern climate-change science, TonyB!

      \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}

      • Fan

        I am flattered that you bracket me with Dr Curry.

        I merely point to the instrumental record of temperature and the CDIAC version of co2 concentrations. Why is that a false dilemma? I am merely drawing your attention to the record and asking the reason for this very long term warming.
        tonyb

      • David Springer

        A fan of *MORE* discourse | November 19, 2013 at 12:05 pm | Reply

        “The study of climate-change is grounded in (math-intensive) physical science, as contrasted with a (math-weak) statistical/empirical/historical science (in the sense of TonyB/Curry).”

        Reality always trumps theory regardless of one’s confidence in a mathematical model that predicted something different.

        I know you won’t write that down but it would behoove you to do so.

    • Conclusion In the multi-decade long run, James Hansen’s climate change worldview continues to look simple, solid, and just plain right.

      Corollaries That’s why the era of rational climate-change skepticism is ending; that’s why demagogic denialism is fading; and that’s why humanity now is focusing on finding pragmatic-yet-moral answers to tough long-term questions.

      Don’t hold your breath waiting for what will not happen!

  14. Knappenberger and Michaels have a new post using Cowtan and Way to evaluate climate model trends
    http://www.cato.org/blog/or-without-pause-climate-models-still-project-too-much-warming

  15. Out here among the non-scientists, I’ve seen people focus on Arctic cooling and on the growth of Arctic ice extent because those changes were relatively extreme. In other words, people were cherry-picking the Arctic climate for political arguments. Those same people ignored the Antarctic, where ice was expanding, and they continue to do so.

    The Arctic is politically important because warmists made it so. Changes in its climate could weaken or refute arguments focused on the Arctic.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      David in Cal posts [confusedly] “Out here among the non-scientists, I’ve seen people focus on  Arctic cooling  accelerating Arctic warming and on  the growth of Arctic ice extent  accelerating polar ice-mass loss

      Confused politics-first slogan-shouting by David in Cal, best available science by FOMD

      \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}

      • Fan

        That was a splendid photo of Disko bay in Greenland in your second link. Fortunately, through the chronicles of the brave explorers of the time, we can get a glimpse of what it must have been like there during a previous dramatic warming of some 200 years ago;

        Contemporary reports from the time include the following 1817 book;

        http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=EpwSAAAAYAAJ&dq=illustrations+of+greenland+1817&printsec=frontcover&source=bl&ots=3cjiizphFa&sig=nFNcBtJE-Bv3DDAf9U4lK2Y-JYg&hl=en&ei=1eEySpGRB4iZjAeItuyBCg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1

        “We learn that a vessel is to be fitted out by Government for the purpose of attempting again the north-west passage, the season being considered as peculiarly favourable to such an expedition. Our readers need not be informed that larger masses of ice than ever were before known have this year been seen floating in the Atlantic, and that from their magnitude and solidity, they reached even the fortieth latitude before they were melted into a fluid state. From an examination of the Greenland captains, it has been found that owing to some convulsions of nature , the sea was more open and more free from compact ice than in any former voyage they ever made: that several ships actually reached the eighty-fourth degree of latitude, in which no ice whatever was found; that for the first time for 400 years, vessels penetrated to the west coast of Greenland, and that they apprehended no obstacle to their even reaching the pole, if it had consisted with their duty to their employers to make the attempt. This curious and important information has, we learn, induced the Royal Society to apply to ministers to renew the attempt of exploring a north-west passage as well as to give encouragement to fishing vessels to try how far northward they can reach , by dividing the bounty to be given, on the actual discovery, into portions, as a reward for every degree beyond eighty-four that they shall penetrate For the same reason we think it would be advisable for the merchants engaged in the Greenland whale fishery not to postpone the sailing of their ships to the usual season but expedite them at once so as to take advantage of the temporary fresh.”

        And

        This is an extract from 1868 concerning a British expedition to Greenland, a land which was then an almost unknown quantity but whose coast it will be remembered Scoresby junior had found to be clear of ice in 1820, had subsequently iced up again, then found by Captain Graah in 1828 to be clear again. Apparently conditions had changed once more;

        “We lived for the greater portion of a whole summer at Jakohshavn,
        a little Danish post, 69° 13′ n., close to which is the great Jakohshavn
        ice-fjord, which annually pours an immense quantity of icebergs into
        Disco Bay. In early times this inlet was quite open for boats ; and
        Nunatak (a word meaning a ” land surrounded by ice “) was once an
        Eskimo settlement. There is (or was in 1867 ) an old man (Manyus)
        living at Jakohshavn whose grandfather was born there. The Tessi-
        usak, an inlet of Jakohshavn ice-fjord, could then be entered by
        boats. Now-a-days Jakohshavn ice-fjord is so choked up by bergs
        that it is impossible to go up in boats, and such a thing is never
        thought of. The Tessiusak must be reached by a laborious journey
        over land ; and Nunatak is now only an island surrounded by the in-
        land ice, at a distance — a place where no man lives, or has, in the
        memory of any one now living, reached.

        Both along its shore and that of the main fjord are numerous remains of dwellings long unin-habitable, owing to it being now impossible to gain access to them by sea. The inland ice is now encroaching on the land. At one time it seems to have covered many portions of the country now bare. In a few places glaciers have disappeared.”

        So, several examples of melt and a reference to the first visit (in 1850) to a Viking settlement in 400 years.

        Research by Tonyb. Fan, its a pleasure to put you right concerning your misunderstanding of previous examples of a warming arctic.

        tonyb

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Remember TonyB, the plural of “historical anecdote” is not “scientific data”, isn’t that a fundamental principle of the scientific method?

        Whereas the limnological data speak plainly, isn’t that right?

        \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}

      • Fan

        The plural of ‘historical data’ is not ‘climate models based on highly theoretical data.’

        We have numerous records that tell us of past episodes of climate change. Are you denying climate change fan?
        Tonyb

      • FOMBS, you’re funny!

      • FOMD, thank you for not posting for the last few days. Your silence was much appreciated.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        BREAKING NEWS from June 20, 1896@
        Hansen-style climate-science disproved!
        Cherry-picked climate-history validated!
        That the seasons have been changing in the far north is no longer a surmize, but a fact!

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      • Fan

        I thought you took your instructions from the Pope? What would he say if he knew you were citing ( for some inexplicable reason) stuff from a very old edition of ‘The deseret weekly’ a publication from the church of Jesus Christ of seventh day saints.

        You do know that Scoresby, who I quoted, is recognised as leading the first scientific Arctic expedition under the mandate of the Royal Society?

        You’ve been away too long fan, as youR skills seem to have got a little rusty .
        Tonyb

      • CPU fan’s starting to rattle.

      • Fan

        As a kindness and a service to you and in recognition that you seem to believe that science only began during the 1970’s with dr Hansen, I thought you might be interested in the voyages of Hms challenger undertaken a century earlier.

        http://oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/explorations/03mountains/background/challenger/challenger.html

        By the way there are precursors to Giss that were compiled two centuries earlier than hansens efforts but I’ll tell you about them another time.

        Tonyb

      • I know Hansen has read the paper discussed in this article, and I would not be at all surprised if fan has too.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Why are you inexplicably ignoring America’s Greely Expedition to the Arctic, TonyB?

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  16. Arctic alarmism is just more of the, same ole, same ole, but with an icy twist. The temperature history of the Arctic has risen and fallen many times over the last 1500 years. Facts are facts: it is impossible to rationally make anything significant out of a period of rising temperatures when compared to the deafening noise of natural variation.

  17. The pragmatist in me says that this is all a lot of tempest about angels on the heads of pins. While it is of great interest to those actively engaged in the mock battle concerning numbers that would be called, if they were
    foods and not numbers and graphs, highly over-processed.

    Any new analysis of the imaginary (derived, calculated, shaken but not stirred, and certainly not measured) number representing Global Average Surface Temperature or its anomalies from various set points should produce new answers. It is when they produce the same answer using different data and different methods that make me very suspicious. (reference the BEST results).

    The infinitesimal difference found by Cowtan and Way, over a ~ 30 year time period, does little to inform us about climatic conditions of the planet.

    For a clear view of what the fuss is about, see this image in the Cowtan/Way web site ==> http://www-users.york.ac.uk/~kdc3/papers/coverage2013/media_summary.png

    Look at the graph itself. The C/W graph is essentially identical except in the last few years (since ~ 2005, which would be curious if there is in fact an ongoing, long-term bias in other temp records).

    The fuss is about the two red lines. C/W want us to be shocked by the heavy red line, and its difference from the thin red line.

    This is just a lesson in “How to Fool Yourself With Artificially Applied Trend Lines.”

    I’m with Dr. Curry on this: “So I don’t think Cowtan and Way’s analysis adds anything to our understanding of the global surface temperature field and the ‘pause.’”

    • Yes, Kip, the fuss is about this small correction. That is what happens when so much agreement exists with the generally accepted theories. Small discrepancies get magnified and the accountants such as McIntyre get out their microscopes and start doing forensics on what they think is a crime scene.
      In the meantime, the rest of us are happy to see more data and more scientific ideas to draw from.

      Specifically what this is telling us is the northern latitudes are drawing more heat and the C&W analysis shows us how to compensate the aggregate measurements to account for this.

      • Web — Look at the graphs of C&W again. If their hypothesis is that HADCRUT biases the Artic too low, why does this ONLY show up after ~ 2005? HADCRUT added in a new low bias? Changed the way they calculated? What’s the deal with that? Or did the Arctic just start to “draw in more heat” in 2005?

        Take a look at the actual results graph in the original paper at http://www-users.york.ac.uk/~kdc3/papers/coverage2013/media_summary.png and tell me what you think.

      • Kip, “Web — Look at the graphs of C&W again. If their hypothesis is that HADCRUT biases the Artic too low, why does this ONLY show up after ~ 2005?”

        You are wasting your time with Webster. He could easily compare the GISS 70N-90N September data which goes all the way back to 1880 with what actual yearly data there is and see that Arctic Winter Warming is greatest as general Arctic temperatures start cooling which provides a false warm bias for 8 to 10 years. The UAH data just further amplifies the trend associated with a “global” climate shift to neutral giving him some hope that the “pause” doesn’t exist.

        He has a pseudo-religious attachment to anything that supports his “model”.

  18. Schrodinger's Cat

    I can’t make up my mind whether this is off or on topic because it applies to all debates on this site (and many others). I refer to the almost pantomime polarisation of climate science.

    “These results confirm that the pause didn’t happen!”.
    “Oh yes it did!”
    “Oh no it didn’t”
    Etc.

    I apologise if panto is alien to American audiences. You can Google it if curious. Pantomime is a theatrical play with fairy tale goodies and baddies popular with children in the run up to Christmas.

    It seems that the climate version is popular with scientists all the year round.
    Why is that? One would think that science as, the search for truth, (so I was told as a boy), would eventually arrive at the truth through a process involving measured data, logic, reasoned argument and honesty.

    I wonder which of these has been corrupted to prevent us from reaching any conclusion after about 25 years of debate?

    • There is inadequate data, and logic and reasoned argument have been perverted by dishonesty and advocacy.
      =======

    • “I can’t make up my mind whether this is off or on topic because it applies to all debates on this site (and many others). I refer to the almost pantomime polarisation of climate science.”

      A bit like this:

  19. What does “RCP” stand for?

  20. Schrodinger's Cat

    Kim, I think that is a very honest answer. Thank You.

  21. Thank you for that thoughtful post. Ed’s comparison highlights what I consider the distinction between bad science (drawing conclusions from short term temperature trends) and good science (careful model data comparisons) – although the latter still need to be done with a proper understanding of internal variability. I for one haven’t found a good way of communicating this last issue to a lay audience. And I am not in a position to discuss when a difference can or cannot be explained by natural variability or unmodeled forcings, hence we do not even address the issue.

    Unfortunately bad science has dominated the public discourse. As we state in our introduction:
    “While short term trends are generally treated with a suitable level of caution by specialists in the field, they feature significantly in the public discourse on climate change”.
    I have a naive hope that our paper will trigger a little more caution in that area, but I doubt it.

    • Kevin, the interest in the short term pause is related to the proclamation of climate modelers and the IPCC not to expect a period of longer than 10-15 yrs without warming in the presence of anthropogenic CO2 forcing, then that was upped to 17 yrs by a paper by Santer. Depending on how you slice and dice the model-observation comparison, the spread of model simulations is outside, or close to outside, of the entire multi-model ensemble of climate simulations. This raises the issues of whether the climate model sensitivity is too high and whether the climate models can’t deal with multidecadal natural internal variability and whether the attribution of late 20th century warming is correct. So the 16+ yr pause is a big deal in the climate science and the public debate on AGW.

      • Matthew R Marler

        curryja: the spread of model simulations is outside, or close to outside,

        I think you mean that the observed mean temperature is outside or close to outside.

        Or something like that.

      • Ah, but Judy, Kevin knows all that. That’s why he so proudly shows us his bandaid.
        ==========

      • Except that Ed’s comparison shows exactly the opposite. You can make a big difference to the 16 year trend while at the same time having a rather small impact on the model-data comparison. One is a real scientific question, the other is not. And in the UK at least most of the public discourse has been on the wrong one.

      • Dr. Curry ==> A quick look at C&Ws results in their Summary

        http://www-users.york.ac.uk/~kdc3/papers/coverage2013/media_summary.png

        captioned

        “Temperature data from the Met Office (thin lines) compared to the optimal Cowtan and Way (2013) global reconstruction (thick lines). The straight red lines indicate the trend over the past 16 years in the respective data. The background image illustrates the coverage of the Met Office data, with colours indicating geographical temperature trends. The Arctic is warming much faster than the rest of the planet.”

        This is a simple trick with trend lines (of course, both trend lines are a trick, and in exactly the same way.)

        The only thing that makes the trick work for C&W in this case is a difference in the data points from C&W since 2005-2006, before that, they are for-all-intents-and-purposes identical.

        Mu question is why is there a difference ONLY since 2005/6 if this is a methodological problem with HADCRUT?

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      Kevin,

      A recent article and paper on models and future projections of climate change can be found here:

      http://phys.org/news/2013-11-paths-uncertainty-extreme-confidence.html

      And here’s the journal link:

      http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nclimate2051.html

      Once more, the models can be “wrong”, but still quite useful for longer-term projections because they have the basic dynamics correct.

      • Heh, they don’t even have CO2 dynamics correct, let alone natural dynamics.
        ==============

      • Models that cannot predict anything either spatially or temporally correctly are never useful. And the authors are quite misleading in saying models predict this or that when in fact you can get two models predicting opposite things for the same place quite easily. The models may be useful in an abstract way eg in rejecting really bad ideas but they need constant correction from reality. At the moment too many researchers are treating model output as if it was reality and then suspecting that observations must be wrong. This is soft science at its worst.

        .I’ve noted time and again that none of the current theory can adequately explain cooling events and none of them can remotely predict ice ages. Even the theory of CO2 as a driver of climate is hit hard by the fact that when CO2 was at its maximum level, the ice ages reappeared with no restraint from all that CO2 whatever. Basically for CO2 to be a driver of climate then a massive carbon sink had to appear in order for ice ages to happen. Totally implausible! So get cooling events right and then you may be on track with the “basic dynamics”. Until then these models should not be used for policy. And without the models there is no alarm – just a gentle, probably natural 0.6K per century. In fact, without the models you cannot even tease out any manmade contribution from the background noise at all.

      • “they don’t even have CO2 dynamics correct”
        they don’t have water vapor dynamics correct
        they don’t have water vapor dynamics correct
        they don’t have solar dynamics correct

        But they do have their political dynamics perfectly aligned. Which is the only thing that matters – to them.

      • one of those should be “clouds”

    • Kevin, you write ” (drawing conclusions from short term temperature trends)”

      Could you quantify this. What length of time constitutes “short term”, and what is meant by “long term”?

      • No, length is only one of the problems. We shouldn’t be drawing conclusions from trends at all, unless we can isolate the contribution we are interested in and know it is linearly increasing.

      • +1 ‘No conclusions should be made from trends at all’. As David Springer would say. Write that down.

      • David Springer

        Trends tend to continue unless something changes. Without being able to point to something which changed a betting man bets on the trend continuing. The longer the trend the bigger the bet. It’s not really complicated. Identifiable trends are extremely useful tools for predicting system behavior for systems that are not fully understood.

        Write that down.

    • Kevin it sounds like you are being too prescriptive. There are conclusions you can draw from short term trends and one’s you can draw from longer. It isn’t a case that one type is bad and one good just that they tell us different things. There are no doubt some people who will tell us we just don’t have long enough data sets at the poles to make any definitive conclusions. Do we call those longists and think of them as the best?

      I also think you are being a bit disingenuous. You know your paper is all about The Pause (short term temperature trends). If it wasn’t all about The Pause it would be a rather specialists technical paper about how to handle difficult data sets. The Gaurdian isn’t featuring your work because of the sudden widespread interest in kriging!

    • Kevin, “While short term trends are generally treated with a suitable level of caution by specialists in the field, they feature significantly in the public discourse on climate change”.

      They do don’t they. But they do make neat climate art as well as water cooler conversation. Almost like weather.

      https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-em08T7M6fjA/UowAwWKsTzI/AAAAAAAAKj4/U99oajecEJA/w887-h431-no/pause+length+trends.png

    • Kevin,
      Unfortunately bad science has dominated the public discourse. As we state in our introduction:
      “While short term trends are generally treated with a suitable level of caution by specialists in the field, they feature significantly in the public discourse on climate change”.
      I have a naive hope that our paper will trigger a little more caution in that area, but I doubt it.

      …and you were correct. Still at least no one can say climate scientists do not make accurate predictions.

    • For those interested – the new comparison shown above by Judy is now discussed at my blog:
      http://www.climate-lab-book.ac.uk/2013/updates-to-comparison-of-cmip5-models-observations/

      Ed.

    • Ted Carmichael

      Hi, Kevin. I’m glad you and Robert are engaging (here, and at Climate Audit, as well as other places). And I think the paper is solid and careful (though a bit oversold in the media).

      You said, “While short term trends are generally treated with a suitable level of caution by specialists in the field, they feature significantly in the public discourse on climate change.” I agree that can be a problem. However, I think you have (inadvertently?) added to the misrepresentation in the media. On your webpage/press release, you say, “HadCRUT4 underestimates the rate of warming in recent years,” and “Our global record suggests that surface temperatures have been warming two and a half times faster than Met Office estimates over the past 16 years.” Further down, however, you acknowledge that your new trend falls within the confidence intervals of the Met Office trend. In other words your trend is, statistically, the same as that of the Met Office (according to their confidence intervals), is it not?

      This is not the “take away” message that you are implying, due to the prominent “two and a half times faster” statement and the “HadCRUT4 underestimates the rate of warming” statement; and as evidenced by the msm reporting on your paper. In real terms “two and a half times faster” is actually quite small (on the order of 0.05 degrees per decade?), especially when one considers that the Met Office trend is indistinguishable from no trend (the null hypothesis) for this period. But it sounds huge – two and a half times larger! – and it is natural to wonder if this was purposefully spun as such for the media.

      I should note the “two and a half times faster” also appears in the abstract of your article, which does not include the caveats you mention, nor does it include the actual (small) amount of difference in degrees C.

      If your aim is to discourage misrepresentation in the public discourse, then I’m afraid you have given a very good example of how NOT to do this.

      I do want to again mention that I’m glad you are engaging in multiple discussions of this paper, and give kudos also for the many efforts you have undertaken to make the methods and data wholly transparent. We need more of that, please.

  22. Kriging may work well in some settings, but it (‘ordinary’ kriging) is just constrained multiple linear regression at the end of the day. With all the pitfalls in the application of that technique that climatologists are either unaware of or could not care less about. Something tells me CW is unlikely to be different!

  23. Cowtan is certainly right that bad science has dominated the public discourse but not in the way he means. When scientists stop blatantly lying about the predictive capabilities of these inadequate models, stop talking about masses of evidence for climate change when they really mean evidence for a very gentle warming inseparable from natural variability, stop linking extreme weather events to global warming when there is not even a theory, never mind data to support the assertion and when they can drop the unjustified use of the word unprecedented – then they might be able to start lecturing the rest of us on what is bad or good science.

    Basically if you don’t understand what natural variability consists of then you don’ t know what really drives climate. All you have is confirmation bias based on a linear, 1D, two variable simplification of a complex, 3D, nonlinear, chaotic system. What is most galling though is the holier-than-thou attitude to skeptics who have in fact been mostly proven right while the climate cultists have been wrong on every score thus far and who seem to care far more about the evil consequences of bad policy on the most vulnerable in society than these faux-greens do. Life without energy is brutal and short! If it were easy to replace fossil fuels and if the medicine was not worse than the putative disease there would be no conflict. Alas….some of us face reality whilst others seem perversely disappointed when their biased, apocalyptic models are not corroborated by mother nature. Why this is so I can’t even begin to imagine. Even Arhennius and Callendar thought warming would be good for us. Even the IPCC manages to admit that up to 2.5K it will be beneficial. Quite where this institutionalised pessimism stems from I can’t imagine. Of course few of these characters would be in a job without the CO2 scare. That might have a bearing on it!

  24. I prefer Ed’s earlier figure. This one is confusing. deciding which temperatures are anomalous does not help. One of the IPCC’s earliest mistakes was to draw the zero line through the 1940 temperature. when quite clearly the 1940 temperature was about 0.5C higher than pee-industrial. Has Ed carried that mistake on? Also it is not clear which projections come from the IPCC supported models. Is Ed trying to placate the IPCC?.

    • Hi Alex – there are two ways of comparing the models and observations. Both approaches are defensible.

      Firstly, you can remove the model data where the observations did not exist in HadCRUT4 – that produced this comparison, which I think is the one you refer to:
      http://www.climate-lab-book.ac.uk/2013/comparing-observations-and-simulations-again/

      Secondly, the IPCC graphics use the data from the models over the entire globe – which is what is in the new figure (updated from Fig. 11.25 from IPCC AR5). This can be compared with CW13 as representing the whole planet, or with HadCRUT4 including the appropriate uncertainties for lack of complete spatial coverage.

      The IPCC also chose a reference period of 1986-2005 as ‘zero’ anomaly for AR5, which is around 0.6K above pre-industrial, hence the two y-scales on the figure.

      I agree with Kevin that comparing short-term trends is not what we should be concentrating on.

      Ed.

  25. When questions like this are asked as to why the importance of the Arctic relative to the global climate, sometimes it would be a good idea to sit down and think about the question from the angle of looking at the psychology of the people / scientists involved.
    They are perhaps surprisingly to some, just ordinary human beings who react exactly the same as any other human beings in similar situations

    The Arctic probably gets the attention and the consequent associated bias towards it’s importance as arguably 98% [?] of climate scientists live in the northern hemisphere.
    And even within that percentage of climate scientists most are from western nations and live north of 30 degrees of latitude.
    They are concentrated in the climate science faculties of the quite dense conglomeration of adjacent university and research organisations in just a few mostly western countries.
    They know sweet FA about the Antarctic continent and Antarctic conditions let alone anything much about the immense South Pacific, Indian and Southern Oceans and therefore they have no real time knowledge on how the Antarctic and Southern Oceans interact and influence global weather.

    Nor are most of these climate scientists particularly interested in doing research on the very remote part of the planet where data is sparse and very questionable and where your papers can get shot down by even a minor glitch in that sparse data which will, because of the lack of much in the way of trustworthy data from the vast southern regions, have a disproportionate effect on your research results.
    Better to stick to the current fashionable far northern Arctic aspect of climate science that everybody else is playing with and the kudos and grants will come far more freely than if one was to go out mostly on their own in a research field with lousy data, poor records and somewhere down there out of sight of the rest of climate science such as researching climate in the whole of southern half of the planet.

    Climate scientists after all are actually human and despite all their professed claims to being impartial and free of bias and etc which nobody in their right mind should ever believe, are just as subject to bias and highly unconscionable selective analysis as anybody else on this planet.

    So as a northern hemisphere climate scientist in one of those well north research organisations if the Arctic is outside of your back door then thats what you look at for your climate research along with everybody else rather than the Antarctic and it’s immense surrounding oceans way down south and in the back blocks of the other end of town.

  26. When will we acknowledge that CO2 itself is having very little effect on global warming. It is the heat emitted when we burn fossil fuels that is the major cause( being 80% of our energy sources). The total heat emitted by our energy use amounts to four times the amount that can be attributed to the actual measured rise in atmospheric temperature. Shouldn’t a scientist studying temperature rise in the atmosphere be aware of this before assigning numbers to CO2 as if it were the only factor worth considering? It is a very simple and straightforward calculation. The mass of the atmosphere is well known, and the energy use is well documented. The CO2 models were based on the assumption that CO2 is and has been the cause of rising atmospheric temperatures which is false. Rising temperatures, due to increased solar insolation, were the cause of rising CO2 concentrations, not vice versa as NOAA would have you believe. See “A Paleo Perspective on Global Warming” http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/globalwarming/temperature-change.html.

    • philohaddad,

      The Warmists don’t realise that the oxidation of carbon is an exothermic process in the main.

      Add that to all other sources of heat on or near the surface created by mankind, and listen to the Warmists dismissing it as “irrelevant”. Their temperature records should show a logarithmic increase in the last hundred years, given that the population has more than quadrupled, and per capita energy use (generating “waste” heat) has increased exponentially.

      But no, nothing has changed in the last century, according to the Warmists.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      philo,

      You probably need to do a bit more study of the physics. Waste heat from the burning of fossil fuels is far too small to account for the warming we have seen so far– off by a factor of a thousand at least:

      http://www.skepticalscience.com/waste-heat-global-warming.htm

    • Burning fossil fuel releases 0.01% of the energy we get from the sun. Is that significant? No, not compared to regular daily sunshine. Stands to reason too. Do you feel the heat from the sun, or from your nearest fossil fuel plant? Carbon dioxide is much more insidious. Doubling it prevents 1% more heat from escaping, and things warm up due to this build up. It is passive like insulation.

    • philohaddad,

      On the other hand : –

      “The extra “waste heat” generated from buildings, cars, and other sources in major Northern Hemisphere urban areas causes winter warming across large areas of northern North America and northern Asia. Temperatures in some remote areas increase by as much as 1 degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit), according to the research by scientists at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography; University of California, San Diego; Florida State University; and the National Center for Atmospheric Research.”

      This is a 2013 study. There are others.

      Warmists dismiss research like this. I’m not sure why.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

      • You think “warmists” dismiss that urban areas are warm? Where did that come from? There are lots of papers with actual data on this. Your local weatherman is probably also aware of the downtown versus outlying areas effect. If skeptics accept those reasons for warming, why don’t they accept what the other papers have said about warming in areas like the Arctic or deep ocean where you can’t blame urban areas? You can’t just pick and choose based on your own bias. Take all the data.

      • Jim D,

        Read the paper. It isn’t talking about urban warming per se. As usual, you are not comprehending what I wrote. I said nothing about urban temperature increases, did I?

        When you’ve read it, get back to me if you wish.

        Live well and prosper,

        Mike Flynn.

      • Mike, so are you saying you agree with Philo? Be more precise. Do buildings (mostly in urban areas, you will find) heat us up as much as his fossil fuel burning, or have you just changed the subject?

      • Jim D,

        Yes. I assume that is precise enough for you.

        I am not sure what you are getting at when you refer to –

        “Do buildings (mostly in urban areas, you will find) heat us up as much as his fossil fuel burning, or have you just changed the subject?”

        The answer is no, but I don’t think you understood what I am agreeing with him about.

        The first part of your question doesn’t seem to relate to anything philohaddad or myself wrote. I cannot see anything about buildings, and it seems obvious to me that “heat” heats everything that is absorbed by it, regardless of the mechanism by which the heat is generated.

        If you don’t accept that “heat” heats things, then I must leave you to your own reality.

        As a final attempt to persuade you that CO2 “warming” is nonsense, I ask if you might care to consider night in a tropical desert. While temperature is dropping rapidly after sunset, the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is not. A Warmist might convince himself that in the absence of atmosphere, the temperature would drop even more rapidly, and this is true.

        He might then go on to say that this slower cooling is really warming. No it’s not – it’s cooling. If the temperature falls to freezing, it is very hard to convince yourself that you are actually becoming warmer, while you are in the process of dying from hypothermia. The UK Department of Defense has fallen into this trap more than once.

        Live well and prosper,

        Mike Flynn.

      • Mike Flynn, your own quote referred to “buildings”.
        Anyway, you are having trouble with a more basic idea that an insulated system is warmer than one that isn’t. Think about whether it is or not. Maybe you prefer to say an insulated system is less cold than one that is not. No difference. Less cold = warmer. 288 K is less cold than 255 K, and is also warmer than 255 K. Amazing stuff, science is. It explains all that for you. Boldly go.

    • David Springer

      @PhiloHaddad

      You have been shown to be wrong many times here. The amount of waste heat produced by humans is miniscule in comparison to the earth’s total energy budget. Write that down.

  27. How many years of weather does it take to make a climate? From my vantage I don’t see that the climate has really changed much if any at all over the last 280 or so dog years.

  28. looks like ‘the pause’ is due to have a little pause

  29. The Arctic Ocean has no demonstrably “outsized” effect upon NH climate dynamics. It is the amplified variance of temperature variations in polar regions that C&W try to parlay into a putative pauseless global trend. Climate dynamics at high latitudes is best understood through Rossby waves in the atmosophere, whose ever-varying lobes set the position of the polar front. Unlike the fanciful “stadium wave,” these are physically real waves.

  30. On the Arctic representing only 2.8% of the global surface area, modeler Gavin Schmidt at dead-certain-to-be-submerged NASA GISS has already ‘ruled’ on discounting trends in small areas of the globe. In January 2010, while discussing a cold NE US winter-

    “Keep in mind that the contiguous United States represents just 1.5 percent of Earth’s surface.”

  31. Moderated again on Corn Ethanol thread fer
    a comment on Matt Ridley’s book. Seems there’s
    a blip re me posting. (
    Bts

  32. In terms of the broader climate dynamics, the Arctic Ocean has an outsized influence on Northern Hemisphere climate dynamics (as per the Stadium Wave analysis).

    Would it be fair to say that once the ice has gone from the North Pole, the climate will be less variable?

    If so, bring it on I say :)

  33. According to the stadium wave hypothesis we would now be in the transition period between phase IV and the starting of cooling in phase I. Phase IV saw the culmination event and the warming of the arctic described in the paper.

    From the paper:

    “4.5 Transition: After temperatures peak, surface temperatures begin to decrease, while AMO continues to warm and sea-ice extent continues to wane. This short duration of seemingly incongruent index trends marks regime transition, indicated by dashed line on Figure 12, from the peak of Group IV to the regime reversal at the peak of Group –I. Once the peak of Group –I is reached, a maximally warm AMO reverses trend; WIE begins to rebound. A new regime of cooling begins – punctuation on a continuum of an ever evolving, quasi-oscillatory system.”

    So I take it 2013 saw the return of ice that would confirm the end of phase IV. There would continue to be warm in the North Atlantic until the reverse is complete:
    http://bobtisdale.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/0-map1.png

    “while AMO continues to warm and sea-ice extent continues to wane.”

    It’s still warm in the North Atlantic so if it transitions to cool it would confirm that part of the hypothesis. Interesting that the paper comes out right at a big test of a transition.

  34. “The Arctic Ocean covers about 2.8% of the total Earth’s surface area – The Encyclopedia of Earth

    While we discuss the uncertainties in estimates of Arctic Ocean temperatures and its trends, it is useful to put into perspective its relatively small size.

    The figure below was just tweeted by Ed Hawkins:”

    Thank you JC. God bless.

    Looking back at the worst times, it always seems that they were times in which there were people who believed with absolute faith and absolute dogmatism in something. And they were so serious in this matter that they insisted that the rest of the world agree with them. And then they would do things that were directly inconsistent with their own beliefs in order to maintain that what they said was true.

    Richard Feynman
    http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Richard_Feynman#The_Character_of_Physical_Law_.281965.29

    • David Springer

      A thermostat is very small in comparison to a furnace. Sometimes little things have big effects.

      Write that down.

  35. “Further, the Arctic has been referred to as a ‘bellwether’ for global warming, owing to the observed amplification of warming in the Arctic in the last quarter of the 20th century. Hence, the importance of sorting out exactly what is going on in the Arctic Ocean and why is of outsized importance relative to its 2.8% effect.”

    Yet more hidden assumptions being built into the language and terminology climate science to subtly bias the listener.

    Like temperature “anomalies” as though any deviation from the mean was abnormal, when the inverse it true.

    Here we see “polar amplification” which assumes the change comes from somewhere else and is being amplified.

    Maybe the reason it is stronger there is because it starts there?

    Certainly AO seems to have a strong influence on temperate climate in NH.

    This is fairly standard meteo these days. Here is an example demonstartion of the effect.
    http://climategrog.wordpress.com/?attachment_id=643

    The correlation with CO2 during ‘the pause’ is also interesting:
    http://climategrog.wordpress.com/?attachment_id=259

    • Greg

      Do you believe that the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere depends on ocean temperature, not human emission of CO2?

      • It is clearly a combination of the two. The question is what proportion.

        I “believe” that this has never been properly assessed beyond hand waving arguments about glaciation/deglaciation that are not comparable.

        These kind of rate reactions can be solved mathematically. Some systems engineering techniques need to be applied rather that guessing from ice core data.

        This has been discussed at length elsewhere, I’m not going into the whole story again.

  36. Retrograde Orbit

    Greg,
    “as though any deviation from the mean was abnormal”.
    You don’t realize, it’s actually the skeptics who make the assumption that there is a “normal”. For example I have seen the phrase “since the emergence from the LIA” in skeptic’s blog post. Well, how do we know we emerged from the LIA? For all we know we are still in the LIA – and it is only due to AGW that we don’t currently have LIA temperatures.
    Scientists actually don’t make the assumption that there is a “normal” climate. That’s why they use models.

    • “For all we know we are still in the LIA – and it is only due to AGW that we don’t currently have LIA temperatures.”

      LIA extreme was well over 300 years ago . Human CO2 emissions are reckoned only to be significant since 1960 , end of WWII at most.

      That means that most of that change was unaided.

  37. Steve McIntyre

    If the Arctic Ocean is 2.8%, that means that the rest of the world is 97.2%. Wouldn’t that be a 97% consensus.

  38. I posted this on the Cowtan & Way thread and it applies just as much to this one.
    What I don’t understand is if the Arctic temperatures are so important why haven’t Scientists come up with a method of measuring the temperature over most of the Arctic. I am sure they could devise automatic Instrumentation that could be seeded over large areas of the arctic with some of the $ Billions that they have already had for Climate Change research. Compare it to the efforts with Argo buoys for sea temperature measurement.
    I can only think that it is not really an issue.

    • Observations and monitoring in the arctic took a nose dive in 1989, at the end of the cold war (many observations were justified by Defense agencies in context of the high level of submarine activity). Global warming and the opening of the Arctic ocean to economic activity is starting to motivate an increased level of monitoring/observations in the Arctic.

    • “What I don’t understand is if the Arctic temperatures are so important why haven’t Scientists come up with a method of measuring the temperature over most of the Arctic. ”

      The Arctic became the “weather-bell” when all the other weather-bells stopped ringing. Ten years ago SST was a weather-bell so no one paid much notice to the Arctic.

      AGW has been retreating further and further from anywhere where it can be measured.

      It’s currently hiding somewhere between the black circle that covers the hole at the geographic north pole ;) and somewhere so deep in the oceans it will take another 20 years before we can say it’s not there either.

      In the mean time we’ll have found lots more ways to “correct” any data won’t play the game. Lots more gaps where we can fill in with something warmer. ;)

  39. How does climate science deal with enthalpy?

  40. Cowtan and Way combine parts of the UAH data set with much larger parts of the Hadcrut data set.

    If the UAH data are good enough to use in the Arctic, why not just use the UAH data, period, instead of introducing the possibility of cherry picking from two different data sets? Judith?

  41. Dr. Strangelove

    Cowtan,
    What’s the big deal with declining Arctic sea ice? Its total volume is about 30,000 km^3 maximum. The volume of the East Antarctic ice sheet is 23 million km^3 and gaining mass. The Antarctic sea ice is also increasing. It’s still ice age in the south pole where most of the world’s ice resides.

    BTW the Arctic sea ice increased 60% this year according to sailors passing the Northwest Passage. 22 yachts got stuck in sea ice this August. There was probably less sea ice in 1944 when Larsen crossed the Passage in a single season.

  42. Greg | November 20, 2013 at 11:00 am |
    I just Love that answer.

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